Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History

Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History

To commemorate the 156th birth anniversary of Msgr Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado, the great son of Goa and a scholar of international repute, Dalgado Konkani Akademi (DKA) released the much awaited scholarly book, Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History written by eminent Konknni stalwart late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes, at the hands of Vinayak Naik, editor of ‘Goa Today’ at a special function organized by DKA on 8th May, 2010 at Kala Academy’s Black Box, Panaji.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vinayak Naik said that the late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes was the extraordinary Konknni person. The profoundity of his knowledge of every aspect o Konknni language was simply incomparable. He was the ultimate in the field of Konknni language and literature, Mr. Vinayak commented.
Mrs. Eslinda Gomes, wife of late Prof. Dr. Gomes was the special invitee.
Mr. Vinayak did not hesitated to take a potshot at the script controversy of Konknni. He said that he is entirely in agreement with all those who suggest that one script and one language could be the norm, but in some cases like that of Konknni making an exception is a must. “By that I mean, more than one script should be unhesitatingly permitted. Those who think that if Konknni is allowed to write in multiple scripts will affect the language are all wrong. Konknni will not be a unique case of one language and multiple scripts. Because there are already so many other languages written in two or three scripts, and they are flourishing. Therefore, the argument of the Devnagari script votaries that Konknni will make way for partition if Romi script is given recognition has absolutely no foundation.”
He further said that actually by refusing to give Romi script its rightful place under the sun, the Devnagari script adherer are unwittingly contributing eventually towards the doom of Konknni and that would be very tragic indeed.
A writer is a writer regardless in which script he writes. It does not make him inferior if he writes in Romi script. What is important is his thoughts and not the script, Mr. Vinayak said.
He further said that it pains to see that the advocates of Devnagari script talk about setting time frame to Romi script writers to change over to Devnagari script. This type of thinking is not very much different from the time bound resolution policy of Government of India for the dalits. If this view is accepted of Devnagari votaries then it will mean dalitising the Roman script of Konknni.
Mr. Vinayak Naik expressed the need for harmony between both the scripts of Konknni and also to officially accommodate the Roman script in Official Language Act.
President of Tiatr Academy and former Speaker of Legislative Assembly Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo spoke on the book and said that the book covers the literary works printed right from 1556, when the first printing press came to Goa.
The president of DKA, Mr. Premanand A. Lotlikar presided over the function. He said that the Konkani Literature in Roman Script – A Brief History written late Prof. Dr. Olivinho Gomes will be translated in Konknni and will be released next year on 8th May, 2011. He also announced that DKA’s another important publication, the history of Konknni Novels is underway.
DKA Secretary, Mr. Jose Salvador Fernandes proposed the vote of thanks. Mr. Walter Menezes welcomed the gathering and Mr. Daniel F. de Souza compered the function.

Source: Dalgado Konknni Akademi
[As forwarded to gaspar almeida, www.goa-world.com]

What’s in a name? For M. Boyer it’s his identity

What’s in a name? For M. Boyer it’s his identity

If the famed Goan tiatrist M. Boyer, 74, (born Oct. 11, 1930) honored on Republic Day with a Padma Shri, were not humiliated in school by his principal, would he still have turned out to be the darling of the tiatr fans at home and abroad? And if Manuel Aguiar were not prohibited from participating in tiatr while in school, would the tiatr-loving world still have celebrated his talents on the Konkani stage?

I was thinking about the septuagenarian Manuel this week as another highest honor was bestowed on this son of the Goan soil in the sunset of his years, indeed in the twilight of his weakened voice and awareness.

What’s in a name, asked Shakespeare, another celebrated English playwright of the Renaissance, who wrote and acted in as many plays (over 30) as are attributed to
M. Boyer in the 20th century. In the play Romeo and Juliet, upon discovering that his love interest, Juliet, comes from the household of his inveterate enemy, Romeo declaims that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Indeed it would.

However, in the case of young Manuel Aguiar, it was a question of identity, a question that continues to gnaw at the consciousness of Goans, long inured to the Portuguese domination, even after 43 years of Liberation. It was a similar angst of identity that played upon the consciousness of a teenaged Manuel who simply wanted to sing his heart out and have some fun on the Konkani palcao back in the 40s and early 50s.

As a fellow Goan I salute M. Boyer’s achievements; as a former schoolmate of his in Margao, I’m saddened to recall his struggles with the principal who tried to block his tiatrist ambitions. I was a student of Instituto de Educacao Catolica (Catholic Educational Institute) from 1946-52 and the principal, Mr. Almeida from Assolna, would boast that our school was centro numero uno in Mocidade Portuguesa in the whole of Goa.

I wasn’t aware of Manuel Aguiar, a few years older than me, until 1949 when I heard him play the bugle before the start of the 40-minute morning drill for mocidade in the rectangle of the Holy Spirit Church. Well-built with a prominent nose and handsome, he sounded happy as he pressed his lips to the bugle that held the attention of boys and girls assembled in the red square in platoons of twelve.

The school was run from two buildings—campus would be too fancy a description. The elementary section stood on Agostinho Vincente Lourenco Road across from the left side of the church and the high school was at a jog in the Largo da Igreja and Abade Faria Road. Last year when I visited Goa I was shocked to see the two buildings still there, albeit shriveled up and dilapidated, mute specimens of dark memories of long ago.

Now Manuel came to school on his bicycle from the Fatorda side and at both the drills during morning and afternoon, his presence was conspicuous as if he loved Mocidade Portuguesa which, of course, was the grand passion of the principal. Mr. Almeida, a martinet of a disciplinarian, put his student body of about 100 or so through a rigorous workout of marcar passos in efforts to curry favors with the Portuguese administration that indulged him with funds.

Once, for a couple of weeks in 1949, Manuel attended one class in my Standard IV classroom in the elementary section. Being a monitor of my class, I took more than passing interest in this older student. However, a year later I was shocked to hear the principal reprimand Manuel at a student assembly. Mr. Almeida had attended a tiatr the previous evening where he saw his student singing a clown when he had expressly forbidden him to do so.

“Aum tuca funkiac xincoittam murre, kakut corun tujia familicher ani iskoll xinkpache suater tum tiatrant nachotta,” Almeida told him. (I am teaching you free of charge, having pity on your family, and instead of studying you are wasting your time in tiatr.) A pin drop silence fell upon the students. I craned my neck to see Manuel who was sitting on the last bench at the rear by the door. His head was down.

“And you could not even remember your song,” Almeida taunted him in English. “I could hear the prompter but you could not. And then I saw you again, peeking from behind the side curtain, like a fool. If you do that again, I will expel you forever from my school.”

At this point, Manuel bolted out from the room, causing whispers and moans in his wake. As if that was the only reason for calling the assembly, the lean, gray-haired principal ended the meeting with a short prayer. Shortly afterwards Manuel dropped out of our school.

At this time I too was getting interested in tiatr after singing a bikari song in a play staged by a talented playwright and song writer from Baga, Velim. Then a Konkani film Mogacho Aunddo by Jerry Braganza opened in Margao, a film that impressed me so much that I would write another version of it called Mog Jiklo in six pordhe with complete songs bearing on the theme.

Then one day in 1951 I saw handbills being distributed in the old market near our school. The flyer called attention to a tiatr titled Boglanti written by M. Boyer and carried a halftone photo of Manuel Aguiar. I gazed at the paper with surprise and joy and realized what Manuel had done. I had seen a movie starring Charles Boyer, the Hollywood comedian. The handsome photo proclaimed to me that he had arrived on the tiatr scene.

Until then Kid Boxer, Young Menezes, and Minguel Rod were the main attractions at the Damodar Vidya Hall in Comba, Margao with flyers featuring Kid-Young-Rod. Soon I began to see Boyer’s name among the hyphenated trios, Rod-Young-Boyer, Boyer-Mendes-Vaz (Anthony Mendes and Jacinto Vaz).

Curious to see and hear M. Boyer on stage, I went to a tiatr in Comba where Minguel Rod was featured among the other notables. I was able to get in free as if I was part of the stage crew and I hung around the perimeters of the backstage to see the stalwarts of the Goan tiatr at close range. M. Boyer came in at half-time and approached the business manager and promoter of the show.
“Vis rupia ek clownanc,” Boyer said. (Twenty rupees a song)
“Magir farir kortam tuca,” said the manager. (I’ll pay you later)
“Na, na, poile poixe dhi maca ani magir aum cantar kortam,” Boyer replied. (No, no, pay me first and then I’ll sing.)
From five feet away I watched this with amazement, surprised that Boyer would be so bold and business-like.
“Tumi he triatists kednai satisfeit zainai,” said the manager and gave Boyer 20 rupees. (You tiatrists are never satisfied).
Boyer sang his clown and departed immediately afterwards. This little backstage by-play has remained with me all these years, like an indelible first impression or the memory of first love-making.

In another year Boyer made his debut in Bombay at the popular Bhangwaddi theatre in Cavel, and truly launched his career as a tiatrist. I watched him here in late 1954 and noted for the first time his comic talent. Sometime in 1956 I ran into him again in Dhobitalao.
“Arre Herculano, kess ass tum?” Boyer said and shook my hand in Third Marine Lines.
“Aum boro assam.”
“Goeam guelolo? Almeidac meulolo?” he asked looking handsomer than ever with his moustache.
I was taken aback that he would ask about his old principal.
“I was in Goa last year for a month,” I said switching to English. “Now the border is closed as you know. You still remember Almeida?” I didn’t want to tell him that I too had left his school in 1952 out of frustration and went to New Era for my final SSC year.
“He was all right,” said Boyer showing no tinge of spite.
“Glad you’re doing well in tiatr. Almeida couldn’t keep you down.”
“Borem, kednaim yo mugue tiatrac, aum tuca pass ditolom,” he said. (Well, come to my tiatr sometime, I’ll give you a pass.)
As it happened, I never took him up on his offer.

Flash forward to January, 1966. I was working as a reporter for the Indian Express in Bombay. In the intervening years Boyer had become a huge success and popular with tiatr fans in Bombay and Goa. He had also appeared in a couple of Konkani movies.

At the intersection of Second Marine Lines and First Marine Lines near the Kit Kat restaurant stood a building where a Goan was running a gambling joint. Here on the first floor I often played rummy whenever I was on day call duty from 3-10 pm. One day I saw C. Alvares there, looking bored and sitting alone at the round table.

When I entered the room around 1:30 the owner promptly brought out two decks of cards and said, “You two can start playing; people will join you later.”

The handsome bearded face with green eyes that I had watched with delight in Margao with Mohana in 1953, looked at me and said, “You deal.”
“Paisa a point okay?” I asked while shuffling. He nodded.
We must have played about five hands when I noticed the time: 2:30 “Sorry to leave you, but I’ve got to go to work,” I said.
“Fine,” he said.
I left a rupee in the kitty box from the four I’d won and said, “I’ll be here tomorrow at the same time.” He merely shrugged as if he cared.

I had heard stories about his breakup with the Hindi film star Mohana, a Goan
from Porvorim, who’d brought sexy allure to the Konkani stage and oodles of money to the Romeo from Saligao.

When I came to play the next afternoon, he was sitting alone at the table. He looked up as soon as I entered and smiled. “Koho ai tum?”
“Boro assam,” I said.

The previous day we didn’t make any small talk other than about the play. He played cards out of boredom, I thought, not to win. He seemed knowledgeable and interested in rummy, though, from the manner he discarded the cards. He was 10 years older than me and at 40 and a bachelor, he strutted on the Konkani stage like a rooster exuding charm and sexual energy in duets with Remmie Colaco and later with Mohana. He also distinguished himself as a director and actor in tiatr and movies.

“M.Boyer and I went to the same school in Margao,” I said. “I am impressed by his success.”
He held my eyes for a long second as if he didn’t like my comment. After we finished the hand, I looked at my wristwatch.
“Where do you work?” he asked.
“At the Indian Express. I’m a reporter there.”
“Oh.” The green eyes glittered and another smile played about his mouth framed by a beard styled in the manner of Robert Taylor in the movie Quo Vadis.

I thought he was impressed with the idea of a hotshot tiatrist playing rummy with a newspaper reporter, and both Goans.
I brought up M. Boyer’s name again. This time he said, “Tho boro cantor.”
“And as an actor?”
C. Alvares shrugged his shoulders as if to say he can’t hold a candle to me.

Shortly afterwards, while riding the red BEST bus to Sassoon Docks, I pondered over that comment, which today I consider a fitting tribute to M. Boyer by a fellow tiatrist, himself a charming celebrity of his time.

As published in Goan Observer when M.Boyer received the Padma Shree Award
at the hands of Indian President Abdul Kalam.

[Grateful thanks to Mr. Ben Antao (Canada) for forwarding the article to gaspar almeida, www.goa-world.com].

DKA activities


The name

Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) was established in 1988. This Akademi is named
after Mgr. Sebastião Dalgado, for his various contributions to enrich Konkani
Language. Mgr. Sebastião Dalgado was a scholar of Konkani as well as many
other languages. Dalgado was born in Assagão, a village in Bardez, Goa on May
8, 1855. Mgr. Dalgado devoted himself to the study of Konkani in scientific
and systematic manner. He was the first person in Goa to use Devanagari
script for Konkani and to print the first Konkani book in it. He compiled two
dictionaries Konkani-Portuguese and Portuguese-Konkani; Konkani was then
written as well as spoken in various dialects. Mgr. Dalgado found his own
Bardexi dialect the most suitable to standardize Konkani. Mgr. Dalgado's aim
was to show that Konkani was a full-fledged independent language.

Mgr. Dalgado's contribution to the development of Konkani language is immense.
He rightfully deserved a prominent place but in vain. In order to keep the
name, the works and sacrifices of Mgr. Dalgado alive for the present and
future generations, the Akademi was named after this great son of Goa.

The first phase:

For the first four years DKA was very active. Fr. Freddy J. da Costa was the
President. Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo was the secretary and Mr. Prabhakar Tendulkar
the treasurer. During this period, DKA published 'Konkani Orthography in Roman
Script' with the intention of bringing about a desirable unity among the
writers, so that the writers could understand the principles and rules of
writing Konkani in Roman script. A number of programmes were conducted in
various parts of Goa to popularise Roman script and Konkani written in it.
Subsequently due to various reasons DKA slowed down and remained stand still.

The second phase:

It was observed that the writers of Konkani in Roman script were totally
neglected as they were not getting any financial backing from any quarters to
carry on their activities. In fact, after the passing of Goa Official Language
Act, the Government and the institutions working for the cause of Konkani in
Goa, supported Konkani in Devnagiri script only. Publications of books in
Roman script suffered. Institution like Kala Akademi stopped giving awards for
Konknani Books in Roman script.

In order to support and to give boost to the creativity of Konkani writers in
Roman script, some well wishers of Konkani in Roman script came together and
decided to revive Dalgado Konknni Akademi. Presently Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo is
the President, Mr. Jose Salvador Fernandes and Mr. Prabhakar Tendulkar are
the secretary and treasurer respectively. Besides there are other 10
prominent persons as members of the Executive Board. Various sub-committees
have been formed to popularise the activities of the Akademi. Literary
Committee is headed by Fr. Peter Raposo, Editor of Vavraddeancho Ixtt, while
Wilson Mazarello, popular stage artiste, is the chairman of Cultural
Committee. Dr. Olivinho Gomes, former Head of Konkani Department of Goa
University, is the Chairman of the Committee to frame the Constitution of the
Akademi, while Dr.Pratap Naik, Director of Thomas Sthepens Konknni Kendr will
head the Awards Committee. The present membership of the Akademi is over 200.

Aims and Objectives:

The present Executive Board has set a few aims and objectives and activities
to strengthen Konkani in Roman script.

The first and foremost objective of DKA is to promote Konkani language in
Roman script, which is neglected, side tracked and given step motherly
treatment. Konkani written in Roman script goes back to 1560. Without its
Roman script history, Konkani would not have got the recognition by Sahitya
Akademi, New Delhi in 1975. It has the rich cultural heritage and it has
become integral and unavoidable part of Goan culture, specifically of
Christians. The vast majority of Goan Christians read Konkani written in
Roman script. Hence it has to be preserved fostered and developed.

DKA will make all efforts to provide support, financial and otherwise, for
writers of Konkani in Roman script. It will work untiringly to obtain for them
their just and lawful demands, dues and rights. DKA will recognize those
institutions, which are working for the promotion and development of Konkani
Language, literature and culture in Roman script. It will initiate various
activities in literary, cultural and social field through all the modern means
of social communication.

It will provide financial assistance, and scholarships to writers, dramatists,
talented important people, scholars and students to carry out research and
other undertakings in the field of Konkani. Holding and organizing seminars,
conferences, workshops, exhibitions, lectures, competitions of different
types; undertaking and editing Konkani folk songs, music, folk literature,
stage performances and other expressions of Konkani culture; Library and
documentation centre facilities to the students, writers, teachers, producers
and actors/actresses of Konkani; collecting and preserving Konkani documents,
records, books and objects scattered with individuals and families which are
related to the cultural and literary development of Konkani are other

The Akademi will focus on promoting, assisting, and undertaking publications
of children's literature in Konkani along with providing books or magazines in
Konkani language to the libraries and institutions.

It is a fact that many Christians in Goa are going away from Konkani language.
They do not send their children to Konkani schools. They hesitate to talk in
Konkani language in their daily life. In other words they are in the process
of loosing their Goan identity. DKA will make untiring efforts to preserve our
identity through Konkani language irrespective of the scripts in which it is

Action Plan for 2004 -2005:

DKA has set an Action Plan for the Academic year 2004-2005.

1. To register DKA under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860.

2. For giving publicity to DKA, it has planned to hold a seminar cum
cultural programme in Konkani at Margão in December, 2004.

3. Publication of 10 Konkani books in Roman script that will include novels,
short stories, poetry, translation, tiatr, khell tiatr, and essays. These
books will be released in December, 2004.

4. Publication of its annual magazine " PORMOLL" during Christmas.

5. DKA plans to enroll 2000 people as members for the current academic year.

6. DKA intends to finance partly the Konkani writers in Roman script to
publish their first book in Roman script.

7. Plans in collaborating with various other institutions who work for Konkani
in Roman script and work hand in hand.

8. It will celebrate Dalgado Jayanti on 8th May 2005 to commemorate 150 years
of Dalgado's Birth on a large scale. On that day a senior Konkani writer in
Roman script will be honoured with "Dalgado Konknni Puroskar". Dalgado Jayanti
Celebrations will continue throughout the year ending in May 2006.

9. To launch DKA website.

10. To start fund raising campaign to promote Konkani in Roman script.

11. To launch the village-to-village programme " Speak Konkani, save
Konkani". Through this venture we hope to unite Goans, particularly
Christians, in order to strengthen their roots of Goan identity.

Our aims and objectives in reviving Dalgado Konknni Akademi are very clear. It
is our duty to support writers of Konkani in Roman script and to provide
qualitative literature to thousands of readers of Konkani in Roman script. It
is also our paramount responsibility to see that our Christian community loves
their mother tongue Konkani and is proud of its Goan identity.

We request all like minded Goans to support Dalgado Konknni Akademi in its
mission. We are open for any suggestions if they are going to be beneficial
for writers and readers of Konkani in Roman Script in particular and Goans in

Tomazinho Cardozo

Dalgado Konknni Akademi
Candolim, Bardez, Goa.
Phone: 9822170102

(As posted on 20/11/2004 and archived by gaspar almeida, www.goa-world.com]

GEMMS Musical Evening held at Andheri, Mumbai


GEMMS Musical Evening was held on Sunday, 2nd May 2010 at Good Shepherd Church Lawns Andheri by FC Global Music Co. The show comprised of Goan, Mangalorean and East Indian songs and music.

The Chief Guest was Mr. Lawrence D’Souza - Producer, Director and Cinematographer of Bollywood fame. On this occasion, Kenny presented Bombil Mary and Maria Concessao, Sucurine belted Barbie Doll and Tisreokan, Reena daughter of Mangalorean singer late Jerome D’ Souza sang Nach Moga Nach and Chinchpokli. GRAF presented Portuguese dance, Kunbi dance and Fugdi.

[A Kunbi dance in action]

Couples for Christ, Uttan also presented an East Indian dance. The audience danced to the music which was well compered by Ryan Albuquerque. Sandip Bhandari of Saregama and Felix Sequeira-a renowned builder were guests of honour.

The guests released two Konkani albums Konkani Classics Revisited Vol. I & II comprising of songs of Alfred Rose, Frank Fernand, Chris Perry and M Alphonso.

[Photo shows Felix Correia, Cyril Santamaria of FC Global along with Sandip Bhandari of Saregama, Felix Sequeira and Lawrence D’souza (extreme right]

Info source:
isidore dantas
isidordantas at yahoo.co.in

[as forwarded to gaspar almeida, www.goa-world.com]


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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.