Monday, August 3, 2009

Meet Seby D’Souza – one of the heroes of NIRMONN and hero of Kortubancho Sonvsar

Meet Seby D’Souza – one of the heroes of NIRMONN and hero of Kortubancho Sonvsar
July 31 was quite a busy day for me. In the evening we bid adieu to our dearest colleague and scholar, Dr. Olivinho Gomes at Taleigao. Earlier, in the morning, one of our Anjunkarn, Mrs. Emilia Fernandes, first cousin of Mrs. Martha Aguiar (late M. Boyer’s wife) was interned in Anjuna parish.

The moment I got the news that Emilia had passed away, I remembered her brother, Seby, who lives in Mumbai. I was pleasantly surprised to see him at his sister’s funeral.
I met with him today after around forty years and we both recalled the good old times. Before I begin to write on Seby, let me give readers a brief about him:

Seby’s full name is: Sebastiao Santos George Lorensinho D’Souza. He was colloquially known to his schoolmates as Bosteão. He hails from Kuddchem Bhatt, Anjuna. He is the son of late Xavier Francis D’Souza, the eldest brother of Apolnario D’Souza (M. Boyer’s father-in-law – Martha’s father.)

Seby is the grandson of Pasku (Pascoal) Simão, once upon a time a famous man in Anjuna, who owned a “bongsai” (saw mill) in Kuddchem Bhatt. He employed many workers in his sawmill. In those days, anyone who had workers working for him was categorized as an “astig munis” (well-to-do person.) Pasku Simão was a very good carpenter.

Seby studied in St. Joseph High School in Arpora – a school for which his grandfather had rendered his services as a carpenter when it was built.

He relocated to Bombay in 1957. He fondly remembers the troubles he underwent to go to Bombay by crossing the Nai Bhag River and how his cousin, Mariano, got caught by British soldiers while crossing the river and was jailed in Aronda.

He began his mechanical career in 1958 with Pereira & Sons. In 1968, he joined the National Garage Private Limited in the capacity of a Supervisor. Finally, he established his own business ‘Messrs. SEBSON AUTOMOBILE ENGINEERS’ in Juhu in 1976.

Seby grew up in the midst of seasoned tiatrists like C. Alvares, Robin Vaz, Prem Kumar, Francis de Parra, M. Boyer, Alfred Rose, etc. Obviously, he was inspired and influenced by them.

He was very much interested in tiatros so much so he wrote and directed his first tiatro “MAINCHI DEKH” when he was around 17 years old. He has written and directed about a dozen tiatros. Some of his famous tiatros were:

BHOTTO (with Mohanna.)

He recalls in those days there was no much prospect for a tiatro, as it would be shown only once in P.T. (Prince’s Theatre) Bangwaddi. Rarely the same tiatro was shown in other parts of Bombay.

He was a “partist” (played roles) but he also liked to sing, especially duets. He has acted with all professional tiatrists; he was a regular in M. Boyer’s tiatros.

In 1965, Seby got a chance to act in Konkani film ‘Nirmonn’. In this film, he is Claudia’s (Antonette’s) boyfriend. As we all know, it was the best Konkani film ever. Seby carved a niche for himself in this movie and became immortal in everyone’s heart, especially in the hearts of girls!

Seby was very handsome and he still looks a dashing hero. Whenever Bomboikar tiatrists’ group came to Goa and Seby visited Anjuna, we would admire his handsomeness and keep looking at him for as long as we could at the same time dreaming of becoming a hero like him one day. After watching Nirmonn, we hoped he would act in many more Konkani movies.

Our wishes were partly fulfilled when two years later (1967) he played the main role beside Fatima in Albert Britton’s film “Kortubancho Sonvsar”, a ‘Brittona Films’ production.

Seby was chosen for another Konkani film (Mangalorean) but he opted out because their offer was very low. It was a lead role which required a rich wardrobe. Seby told them he would agree to their offer on condition that they provided him with the wardrobe, but they did not agree.

Around 1970, Seby changed from actor-writer-director to a ‘Tiatro Contractor.’ He became one of the main tiatro contractors in Bombay as well as Goa. He also took tiatros to New Delhi. He proudly tells me that he was the one who brought Chris Perry’s show “Novro Mhozo Devchar” to Goa. I think it was Lorna’s maiden debut in that tiatro.

Seby recalls how difficult it was to hire a car in Goa for advertisement purposes - keep in mind there were very few cars in Goa in the 1960s and 1970s.

“None would give us a car on hire for a few hours; not even for half a day; we had to hire a car for a full day. Moreover, it was a problem to bring a car from Margao, Salcete to Mapusa, Bardez. Therefore, I would sometimes bring a car from my garage in Bombay and use it in Goa as per our needs.”

Seby retired from his private business and lives with his family – wife Mary, son Frank and daughter Nisha in Juhu-Koliwadda, Catholic Society, Santa Cruz, Mumbai. Unfortunately, none of his children have followed their father’s footsteps.

However, Seby’s nephew (late Emilia’s son), Henry Fernandes, who recently built a beautiful house at Sorantto, Anjuna, is a very good actor and singer. He is actively involved in tiatros in Doha-Qatar. He has acted with many professional tiatrists like Prince Jacob, late Bab Peter, Sucurrine, late Luis Dias (late Aristide’s son,) etc.

It is people like Seby who we owe our gratitude to for working hard to spread and promote the Konkani language through tiatros.

We, Anjunkars, are proud of you Seby! We wish you many more successful years and all the best to your family.


Domnic Fernandes
Anjuna, Goa
Mob: 9420979201



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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.