Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prince Jacob wakes up Goans in Kuwait!

Prince Jacob wakes up Goans in Kuwait!

It is certainly one of the best Konkani dramas that I have seen – vividly diverse from the regular lineage of emblematic Goan scripts!

By Gasper Crasto for Team Mangalorean

Kuwait Nov 17, 2009: Prince Jacob’s drama ‘Zaiat Zage’ was more than what one could expect from a seasoned, professional showman of the Konkani stage.

The drama has more in it than just entertainment. The message is a hard-hitting clarion call to all Goans to wake up and unite, or perish. The tale enacted with plenty of humor is presented in fluent style and is a real treat for the audience. This tongue-in-cheek drama looks at how people from other states flock down to the beautiful state of Goa and set up their businesses there and how Goans grow to become dependent on them.

The well attended show staged on 13th November 2009 at the Daiya Fencing Club Hall, Kuwait, was organized by Kala Mogui Kuwait to celebrate the 7th anniversary of its existence in Kuwait. Dominic Araujo and Felix Fernandes were the main coordinators of the event.

H.E. Shri Ajai Malhotra, Ambassador of India was the chief guest on the occasion, the first Goan event that His Excellency has attended in Kuwait and surprisingly his first ever Konkani drama which he took pleasure in watching for over 2 hours till the half time.

Alban Pinto was the guest of honor. Other special invitees included Muriel Alphonso, President - IWA, Fr. Teo Fernandes, Fr. Frank, Fr. Lionel Braganza, Fr. Melwyn D’cunha and Joseph & Elvira D’Souza.

The evening began with the lighting of the traditional lamp at the hands of the ambassador and other dignitaries present. Anjali Amonkar of Kala Mogui Kuwait compered the function.

Earlier, at a privately held get-together of Konkani writers and Konkani literature lovers, Pio Esteves’ Konkani book of short stories titled ‘Kaddyo Boddyo’ was released at the hands of Gaspar Almeida as part of the anniversary celebrations of Kala Mogui Kuwait. The ceremony was held at the premises of Kuwait Continental Hotel, the main sponsor of the drama. Others who co-sponsored the show were Gulfmart, Winners Restaurant, Exotica Beauty & Spa, Expression & Weddingsetc.com, etc. Qatar Airways, world’s 5-star airlines sponsored a return Kuwait-Goa-Kuwait air-ticket (won by Xavier Dias) for a housie game. A power-point presentation highlighted the sponsors of the event throughout the evening.

During the interval, a memento was presented to the director of the drama Prince Jacob at the hands of Albano Pinto. A memento was also announced for Kamal El-Din Hussein of Kuwait Continental Hotel.

Prince Jacob is known for directing Konkani tiatrs beginning with the alphabet ‘P’ doing dramas from ‘Pinzrem’ to ‘Padri’. After exhausting with ‘P’ he went on to ‘R’ starting with Rodonaka. Today he commands a dedicated fan following not just in Goa but across India, Gulf, UK, etc. To tiatr loving Goans spread over the world, Prince Jacob represents a vibrant brand ambassador of contemporary dramas. He has dared to bring bold innovations to Konkani stage and tiatrs – from making a doberman act in ‘Pavnnek’ to doing magic in ‘Raza Raani’ and four roles in ‘Rupnem’. Jacob's works include 16 centuries (100 shows) in tiatrs which have been appreciated by his countless fans who have helped him bag recognition in the form of prestigious Goa Post Award, Gulab Award and Kala Academy Awards.

Surprisingly, it was after a gap of 12 long years that Prince Jacob with his full production troupe has performed in Kuwait. It is to be highlighted that it was Kala Mogui Kuwait who had screened Prince Jacob’s much acclaimed Konkani film ‘Padri’ in Kuwait. One of the major activities of Kala Mogui Kuwait in previous years have been the Konkani monthly magazine Gulab’s 25th anniversary celebrations which took place in a series of three events – a Konkani drama presentation by Mario Menezes, a Konkani Variety Show and the 1st Konkani Carols Singing Competition. Mr. Fausto V. Da Costa, GULAB’s editor was the specially invitee from Goa.

The drama ‘Zaiat Zage’ (Wake up!) is a complete entertainment with excellent performances from Jacob, Humbert, Annie, Alice, Rafael, Eknath, Joe Rose, etc. It was indeed a delight to watch this ‘established’ show with good direction, fine script and songs on various themes and subjects relating to Goa and Goan lifestyle. The drama has attractive settings and a huge star cast.

Annie Quadros heads the cast as the panch of the village with her strong acting and charming dressing. The only thing that demeans her role on stage is perhaps her diction of the ‘Saxttikar bhas’; a ‘Bardez’ accent would have brought much more richness and beauty to her acting. Diana’s acting as Saku is super while Alice with her Bihari and alien Konkani was perfect as the migrant Rabadi. Humbert is seriously super as the ‘Susegad Goenkar’ while Jacob is ideal in his act as the migrant Bihari. Both the comedians have kept the chunk of the dialogues for themselves and provide plenty of laughter with fine timing in the humorous sequences.

The entire drama runs on the sets of a village ward where two brothers played by Mario and Jacinto are seen arguing with each other over their share in the ancestral property. Padri fame Newton plays the role of Mario’s son who in love with Joe’s (Joe Rose) daughter Sonia played by Filina. Their neighbors include Rafael in the character of Subramaniam, a Keralite settled in Goa, and a Hindu couple - Jairam and Saku. Their son Anil, an electrical engineer does not want to work in Goa but dreams only of working on a cruise liner.

Maria, played by Annie Quadros, as the panch, rules over the villagers and her husband Salu (Humbert) with an iron hand. Into this neighborhood enters Jai Prakash Yadav, a migrant from Bihar who starts a small store in the area by bribing the panch. Soon he is joined by his wife Rabadi and their trade flourishes. The play continues to end with forewarnings of unthought-of predictions on the fate of Goa and Goans in years to come!

The opening song, fantastically choreographed will bring about memories of Golden Goa to any Goan living abroad with the traditional ‘gummot’ drum rhythm. In between the acts there are songs by Joe Rose, Rafael, Sanyo, Annie, Alice, Filina, Jr Reagan, Jacob, Humbert, etc. Joe Rose’s song on the tunes of M.Boyer’s ‘Bhurgim vo Baulim’ was the pick of the songs with some philosophical lines. Musicians Dominic de Arambol and his troupe were loud and clear. Full marks for Anand D’Souza for his excellent sound system.

The unique stage set presented for the drama needs a special mention too. People who worked behind the scenes to make this possible for a one off show in Kuwait included Felix de Merces, Benny Rebello, Lorry Fernandes, Joaquim Rodrigues, Sushil Amonkar and Dominic Araujo. It took hours of ground work, carpentry, decor and painting and a full day’s erection labor and a touch-up till the dawn. Agnelo Rebello, Benny Vaz and Nicholas Rodrigues were some of the other field supporters who worked for the success of “Zaiat Zage”, together with the goa-world.com team responsible for press and publicity.

The organizers Kala Mogui Kuwait have gratefully acknowledged the generous support and cooperation of Kuwait Continental Hotel, Air Arabia, Daiya Fencing Club management, Gulf Mart, Winners Restaurant, Qatar Airways, Reaven D’Souza, www.indiansinkuwait.com, www.kuwaitsamachar.com, www.mangalorean.com, Arab Times, Kuwait Times, The Times, Q8india.com, Al Watan, B.M. Viegas, Lino B. Dourado, Goan associations, and all Konkani lovers in Kuwait.


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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 www.goa-world.com 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.