Sunday, May 16, 2010

When the curtains rise... by Dr. André Rafael Fernandes


THE TIATR ACADEMY OF GOA is pleased to publish this book, When the curtains rise... Understanding Goa’s vibrant Konkani theatre, written by Dr. André Rafael Fernandes.

In fact,this was the thesis written by Dr.Fernandes for his doctorate. For the TAG, it is a matter of pride that Dr.Fernandes obtained his Ph.D. on a subject –the Goan tiatr – which is the most popular dramatic form of Goa.

The Goan tiatr has progressed in all aspects during the last 118 years. Year after year,its popularity too has reached greater heights. Yet, up to now,there has been no authentic documentation on the tiatr. This vacuum is being filled with the publication of this book.

Dr.Fernandes goes deep into the roots of the origin of the tiatr. He analyses the tiatr,its song and its music and he makes a sincere attempt t o depict it in an authentic manner. While doing this, he also attempts to widen the vision of the reader by providing additional information about the drama of that time enacted in some vii
of the other languages in Goa and Bombay. While dealing with the Kantaram, the songs that form an essential part of the tiatr, he also enlightens the reader with details of numerous Konkani folk songs and folk music.

When the curtain srise... is definitely an important work of doc-umentation on the tiatr, its song and it smusic. The TAG thanks Dr. André Rafael Fernandesf or his superb presentation of the history of the tiatr and hopes that this book will go along way in preserving the authentic history of the Goan tiatr.

Tomazinho Cardozo
President Tiatr Academy of Goa,Panjim,
March 29,2010

A debt of gratitude

WITH A PROFOUND SENSE of gratitude,I acknowledge my indebtedness to Professor A.K. Joshi, former Head of the Department of English, Goa University. It was under his guidance that the thesis that went in to this book was begun and completed.

Without his scholarly supervision and perceptive criticism the work would surely not have gained in intensity.
Thanks are also due to the Goa University authorities —the Vice-Chancellor, the Registrar,and other officers and staff. To all of them, a thanks for their help and cooperation.

I also thank Prof. A.V.Afonso, Dean, Faculty of Languages.

To all my colleagues in the Department of English —Dr. Sripad Bhat, Dr.Kiran Budkuley, Dr. Anita Vashishta and Dr.Nina Caldeira —a genuine thank you for their support. I am grateful to the late Doutora Selma de Vieira Velho for her encouragement and assistance in documenting and translating original sources in Portuguese.

My gratitude goes to all the Goa University library staff for
their co-operation,help and assistance intracing out reference material that went into the making of this work. I wish to thank the staff members of the University Office, as well as the Faculty Office.

I am indebted to João Agostinho’s son, TonyBab,his wife Ana Maria Carolina Quadros, daughter Sharmila and family members, for all the generous help and material they have been able to extend to me.

My thanks also go to all the tiatrists who have beenvery co-operative in discussing the topic and giving me invaluable inputs. Among them specially are John Claro(with whom I had several enlightening conversations over the years),Tomazinho Cardozo, John Gomes Kokoy, Fr. Dominic Alvares, Remmie Colaço, Master Vaz, Antonio Piedade Moraes, Luciano Dias, C. da Silva,the late Felício Cardoso, Anil Kumar and Bai Fatima,Sharon and Wilmix Mazarello, Freddy Barboza, Fr. Antonio Pereira and all others whom I might have missed thanking inadvertently.

I am indebted to writer-publisher Frederick Noronha of Goa 1556. Though the Ph.D. examiners had recommended early publication of the thesis,I was unable to start the task for a long time. Frederick’s persistence and editorial prowess were indispensable in ensuring this publication in Goa itself. Without the help and en-thusiasm of Tomazinho Cardozo,and the Tiatr Academy of Goa -formed after the thesis was completed - as well as Premanand Lotlikar and the Dalgado Konkani Academy,this publication would have not seen the light of day so quickly and with the minimum amount of hassles; my thanks are due to all those associated with these organisations and who made this publication possible. I must also record my gratitude to Prof. Paulo Meloe Castro,(Professor of Portuguese, University of Leeds) for his close reading and pointing out several corrections of Portuguese and French words.

My thanks to Pundalik Narayan Naik, Jayanti, Maria, Sabita, Phadte, Seby and all the staff at the Goa Konkani Akademi. I also thank the staff at Konkani Bhasha Mandal at Margao, Kala Academy and All India Radio and the late Andrew Greno Viegas —who in his unfortunately short life became wellknown for painstakingly documenting the history of Konkani film.

My sincere thanks to Santan and Elaine, Fr. Eufemiano Miranda, Fr. Mousinho Ataíde,Perpetua,Tony,Guilly and Peter.

Finally,I thank very sincerely my wife,Nirmala,and my sons Krish and Joshua for their tremendous forbearance,their loving concern and cooperation. Without them, this work would have been impossible. I thank my brothers John Piety, Antonio and Joaquim and sisters Rita, Mereciana, Shanti and Annie for their encouragement.
I thank all others who have helped me in some way or the other,and seek their understanding for not being able to mention each one by name.

Above all,this work was made possibleby God’s grace and strength, and particularly His faithfulness and comforting spirit in the toughest of times.

André Rafael Fernandes,

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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.