Interview: A ‘Pao’ fell on my head and ‘Eureka’!

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Apphia Ruth D’Souza, founder and owner of Facebook page PaoTips

How did the idea of starting PaoTips come about? What was the inspiration?

A ‘Pao’ fell on my head and ‘Eureka’! (I generally like to go with that version of the story). Anyway, I had come across BawaTips, BroTips and the likes, and I had been dabbling with the idea of having a page that highlights the funny happenings and traits of ‘Pao’s’. I’d find myself typing into the search box for a page on ‘Pao’s’ hoping and wondering, if someone had already created it. Since no one had, I decided why not? I had a few lines and tips prepared, but they weren’t enough. ‘Being Goan’ had been trending around that same time and the tweets were hilarious and so apt. I put the word out there on Twitter, if I could use a couple of peoples tweets with due credit. I then had enough tips, which I had begun by using MS Paint to be uploaded on the Facebook Page on March 17th.

How does the page function? How do you come up with these tips? 

When the page had just begun, I would get panicky with the amount of posts that needed to be uploaded per day, and managing the never ending notifications. With time, I was more at ease with how social media works and now Facebook also has a function where posts can be scheduled, which makes it much easier. I believe in uploading or sharing a post only if it is funny, relatable, informative or fitting.

What are the broad topics you focus on?

There’s PaoTips I –  Which includes the first 5o Tips and PaoTips II – The Bakery (which has the next 50 tips along with comics, illustrations and memes) I wouldn’t necessarily categorize the contents of this page into specific topics as the Tips are about common traits and characteristics as well as experiences, growing up in a ‘Pao’ household.  I also share pictures of dishes and foods that I venture out to find from time to time, most of which are non-vegetarian, and some which have been cooked in my home!  Apart from these, I share something very close to my heart — adventure and travel. So when I come across rare and and beautiful posts and articles of places of travel and natural phenomenon around the world, I make it a point to share a few of them.

Why do you think Goans, Mangaloreans and East Indians are referred to as Paos? And what’s your idea of the same?

My Dada would jokingly say that ironically, ‘bread sellers’ would call us pao wala’s because they believed we ate a lot of bread. I wonder how ‘maka pao’ came to being. *Whispers in the corner* Looks like I got a post to put up on the page, eh?

Who works on the creatives/ illustrations that you upload?

A fan of the page, Boris Cardozo graciously offered to do the cover photo along with the profile picture; he even created a template that was much needed. Another fan, Nigel Sequeira worked on some amazing logos, which I shared on my page for the audience to choose. I then merged the logo onto the template and have been experimenting with patterns, colours and images that go with each Tip. It’s through the page that I learned, rather was forced to learn to use Photoshop and worked on a couple of Illustrations and comics of my own too.

Do share an interesting anecdote with us regarding the page 🙂

Once, I was joking around with my brother and as usual I made a fool out of myself, and told him, “That was my Anda Pao moment” which ended up as a fairly entertaining post on the page.

What do you intend this page to look like in 5 years? 

I honestly have no clue. The number of ‘Likes’ are of no significance to me, as long as people see posts that make them laugh and say, “Yep, I’ve been there!” I’m happy!

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