Sunday, January 4, 2009


the editor.

find below my article, 'a dramatic exit', which
appeared on gomantak times dt 11/12/07, for your kind

thanking you,


By: Walter Menezes

Sanny de Quepem’s second album of Konknni gitam simply
titled NRI, contains a memorable track. The last song,
Flight Kuwait-Goa (Part 2), continues to echo in the
corridors of your heart, long after it is over. And
only Sanny, who had lived in Kuwait and knew what it
meant to be away from home and loved ones, could have
penned such lyrics of love and longing. Your heart
bleeds when the beloved, all alone at home, sings:

Kuwait than tum phone-ar uloita, ast bhagonam
Ghara ken’na ietolo, vincharlear sangonam
Uxem vengent dhortam, tuzo hat lagonam
Ugddas ietoch, phone-axim bostam
Phone vazonam!

In the early hours of November 10, when the cell phone
rang at Sanny’s Goa residence at Sonar Bhatt, Quepem
and his daughter, Streisan picked up the call, she
would soon realize that her world would never be the
same again. She would also realize that from now
onwards, she would require nerves of steel to comfort
her mother who was fast asleep, oblivious of the
tragedy that had befallen the family.

A few hours earlier, on the previous day, Sanny had
been at the Goa Day 2007 celebrations in Kuwait and
had sang, what would later turn out to be the last
Konknni solo of his life, before a captivating
audience. Sometime later, on his way back to his
residence, he would complain of chest pain and before
his brother, Vicky, staying with him in Kuwait, could
rush him to the hospital, Sanny had returned to the

The news was shocking and Goanetters condoled the
untimely death of a true Goan who ‘promoted Konknni,
Konknni music and the tiatr’. A day after his death,
Goanet was full of tributes and condolence messages.

Frederick Noronha wrote, ‘I was very much taken up by
his determination to share all the Goa-related news
he came across. In these fading days of
community-spirited individuals, Sanny was a welcome

‘He stirred our imagination by his postings’, said
Venantius Pinto.

In the good old days when possessing a motorbike was
considered a luxury, I remember seeing Sanny on his
‘Yezdi’, zipping through the narrow roads of our
village. Tall, thin, and bearded, he looked every inch
the creative and imaginative person that he really
was. Although we both hailed from Quepem, I knew him
only from a ‘distance’, until one day, just a few
months ago, ‘we met on the net’.

It was such a pleasure to open the ‘inbox’ everyday
and find, without fail, Sanny there with his
interesting posts. I never realized how greatly he had
touched the lives of Goans all over the globe until
his passing away. I suddenly felt the need to know
more about my fellow-villager who had made such a
‘difference’ in everyone’s life.

At the Mandovi Stores in Quepem, Sanny’s second album,
NRI (April, 2007) as well as his first, Saibinnicho
Tisro Segred (Nov, 2005) were not available. However,
Evangelisto D’Costa, the proprietor, was kind enough
to give me NRI from his private collection so that I
could copy and enjoy the songs. Silviano Barbosa, who
reviewed both the albums, said that they deserved to
be ‘in the top list of his collection of Konknni
albums’ and praised Sanny as ‘a great lyricist’ and
one who ‘uses beautiful Konknni idioms and proverbs
with his nigut bhas and modhur voice’.

It was this voice that enabled Sanny to set the stage
on fire. Gaspar Almeida, who penned his profile,
shares some interesting facts about the various stages
of Sanny’s life. He was Kala Academy’s ‘Best Singer
Award Winner’ for a record number of eight times and
had acted in tiatrs of Nelson (of
Nelson-Anthony-Conception fame), Caesar D’Mello and
others. For some time, he was also part of a dance
band called the Young Challengers.

Felix Pereira, a writer-director of yesteryears from
Quepem, fondly recollects the time when Sanny had
acted in Beddi in 1980, ‘In this tiatr, he played the
role of a villain and did an excellent job. But more
than that, I remember the encores that he and
Constancio D’Silva received for their duo on a child
who was abandoned at birth’.

His death, as was his life, was full of coincidences
and ‘drama’. Like the title of the last track in NRI,
his body arrived on a flight from Kuwait to Goa. He
was laid to rest on November 15, the day of his
wedding anniversary. Great singer that he was, Sanny
had sang, I’ll Be Loving You Eternally, holding his
young life-partner in his arms, during the wedding
special, twenty six years ago. And it was the same
song that was now played again, as per his wishes,
when the lid was placed on the coffin and his ‘last
journey’ began, from his house to the Holy Cross
Church in Quepem.

The church was full. Some, like me, probably
questioning the Lord why He had to ‘call’ Sanny to His
heavenly kingdom, so soon. And as if in answer, there
was Elvis Goes, another famous son of Quepem, singing,
Trust In Me, just before the Eucharistic celebration
was over.

That night, after the funeral, I sat before my
computer, words flowing like the gentle Kushawati
river and a tribute was soon ready, which I mailed to

Goodbye, Sanny

There is mail
In my mailbox
But without your posts
It looks empty
And sure we miss you

You did your bit
And more than that
And gave your very best
To everyone around
For to give is godly
And all that is not given
Is lost
Says an Indian proverb

The Bard of Avon once said
Life is a stage
And that is where you stood
On Goa Day
Singing your heart out
Before a captivating audience

But only the Lord knew
And none
How sudden
And ‘drama’tic
Your ‘exit’ would be

Goodbye, Sanny

Photo credit: Dale Menezes

Tribute to Sanny de Quepem
Goa's Pride
Tue, 27 Nov 2007 07:34:00 -0800

Tribute to Sanny de Quepem

Cruz Sanny Vaz (well known as Sanny de Quepem amongst the tiatrists
fraternity and the tiatr lovers in Kuwait, Goa and worldwide) was called by the
Almighty God to His Heavenly Abode on 9th November 2007. With a smile on his
lips and eyes focused on God’s will, he was laid to rest at his native place in
Quepem. Attended by scores of his close friends, colleagues and manager from
Mustafa Karam Firm, tiatrists and tiatr lovers and his well-wishers with tears
in their eyes and a prayer, the requiem mass was offered by Kuwait-Goa
Tiatristanchi Sonvstha (KGTS).

Bab Sanny was one of the rarest jewels produced by the Konkani stage and
known among the tiatr lovers for his scintillating songs on social and moral
subjects. His specialty was in composing and singing songs in a unique way. His
songs served as a whip to all types of injustice in the society and for the
Goan causes. He mesmerized Goans as an actor, composer, singer, and writer.
Though in his fifties, he had the style and caliber to perform as an evergreen
singer with his youthful looks and his trademark shaved torso. His last song
will be much cherished on his theme of fostering unity among mankind. Always
eager to assist and help, the tiatrists fraternity will feel the void left in
his dealth. The death has snatched away a dear friend and an entertainer from

A meeting was held at the Royale Terrace Restaurant, Salmiya on 17th November
2007 and KGTS members took this opportunity to offer prayers and poignant
tributes to this Konkani stage artiste and singer and conveyed heartfelt
condolences to his bereaved family. May his soul rest in peace.

Kuwait-Goa Tiatristanchi Sonsvtha (KGTS)

Xabas Kala Mogi !

Vachpi Boroitat

Xabas Kala Mogi!

Setembrache 12ver, 2007, Ponnjechea Kala Akademint “Odruxtti Jivit” ho Joao Cardoz-baban borovn digdorxit kelolo tiatr ami pollelo. Kala Mogi, Candolim ani kherit bhaxen Tomazinho Cardoz-babak amchim porbim ani xabaski!

Ho tiatr 50 vorsam fattim Saipem, Candolim hanga dakhoilolo hem sotmanunk khub avgodd lagta. Tiatrachi kotha, tantuntlo vinod ani machieveli manddavoll
monam dipkaita. Bhattkar ani munddkarachea jivita bhonvtonnim hi kotha ghunvta, torui ek dis oso udeta….tujea kallzak samko pill ghalta!

Dusre pavtti khuimsorui ho tiatr machier haddlear, konnench pollevnk chukovcho nhoi.
‘ Odruxtti Jivit” ho tiatr pollevn ghora pavtoch, SMS korun, hanvem Tomazinho Cardoz-babak porbim dilim. Aiz portun ek pavtt Kala Mogi, Candolim he sonvsthek mhojim porbim.

Walter Menezes,

"Noxibant Nirmilelem" Kotha Jhelo

"NOXIBANT NIRMILELEM" kotha jhelo hem Romi Konknni pustok halinch uzvaddak ailam.

Yeta tea Budvar-a thavn, char bhagamni, hea pustokantli xevottchi kotha, NOVO PORZOLL GHARABEACHO, tumkam vachunk melltoli. Pon'nas vorsam fattim boroilelea kanniamchem koxem pustok zalem, hem Dale Menezes pustokachea survatek sangta:


Camilo Menezes, ho sov bhurgeam modlo Sebatiao ani Pascoela Clara ˜Cassiana" Menezes hancho poilo put. 19.07.1938 vorsa to zolmolo. Camilak tin bhoinno ani dog bhav. Tantuntlo nimnno bhav, Walter, mhozo papa. Hanv Walteracho put. Mhonntoch, Camilo mhozo titiv. Punn ghorant ani ganvant, papak dhorun, Camilo-k soglle ˜Babush" hea nanvan vollkhotale. 28.07.1998 hea disa to hea sonvsarak ontorlo.

Camilo "Babush" Menezes, ho Konknni bhaxentlean khub boroitalo mhunn amkam aiz unneant-unnim pon’nas vorsam fattlean kollon ailem. Mhojea papan, halinch aplem dusrem pustok, ZOIT ani her kovita, Goa Konknni Akademiche arthik palov yevzonne khala uzvaddak haddlolem. He yevzonne khala, tannem Akademik pon'nas proteo divpacheo asleo. Ani heach kamank lagon to Goa Konknni Akademint gel'lo. Thoim taka Brazinho Soares bhettlo.

Brazinho-babak Babush mhozo papacho pai dislo, ani tannem hem khorem kai mhunn mhojea papak prosn kelo. Mhojea papan taka Babush aplo pai nhoi, punn aplo vhoddlo bhav mhunn sanglem. Tednam Brazinho-baban taka, Babush khub vorsam adim ˜A Vanguarda" satolleacher neman boroitalo mhunn sanglem. Brazinho-bab tachim borovpam neman vachtalo, hem-ui tannem sanglem.

Hi gozal papan ghara yevn amkam sangli. Tednam mhoji baravechi porikxa niktich suru zaunchi asli. Hanv Babushachim borovpam, kovita ani kannio sodun kaddunk volunteer zalom. Tache uprant hi gozal thoinch thondd poddli. Mhoji porikxa sompli ani suttio poddleo. Punn hanv Babushak visronk nam ani rokddoch dusrea disa Ponnjechea Central Library-nt gelom.

˜A Vanguarda"-che char motte, dhull boslele gronth (volumes) thoim kam' korteleamni mhaka sodun dile. He gronth 1955 tem 1958 vorsantle asle. Sokallchea adesak kainch mellunk na. Jevonn korun yetoch ani thoddim dhullan bhorlelim, holdduvim zalolim panam challun xekim tachem poilem prokaxit zalelem borovp mhaka mell'lem. Charantle-char-ui gronth challtam mhonnosor sogllo dis somplo.

Poilim-poilim mhaka tachem borovp khub thoddem mell’lem. Punn zoxe ‘A Vanguarda-che ank prokaxit zait gele, toxim tachim borovpam sohoz dolleamni bhoronk laglim. Hanvem tachea borovpache digital camera ghevn fottu kaddle. Tacho written output pollevn hanv thottaklom! Tachi ek kotha "˜Noxibant Nirmilelem" tor att bhagamni serialize zaleli! Kednam oxem zatalem ki eka panar tachi kotha astali, zalear dusrea panar tachi kovita. To kednam-kednam borovpam-i boroitalo.

Digital camera-cher fottu kaddun mhojem kam sompunk nam. He fottu computer-acher ghalun, tantuntlim utram hatan borounchim aslim. Tachem sogllem borovp hatan boroitam mhonnlear sumar ek mhoino laglo, ani don motteo diaries bhorleo.

Magir, ek kall oso ailo, ki Babusha bhitorlo borovpi xant zalo. 1958 vorsa tannem ekuch borovp kelem. Ghoddie tannem tiatr borovnk survat keleli asot. Karonn, amche Kepemche ganv-bhav je Babushak tornne pirayer savn vollkhotale, te tachea tiatranchi azun yad kaddtat. Favonam Tem Mevonam, Mhozo Oprad he tache gazlole tiatr khoim. Punn tachea tiatranchim hatborpam amkam aiz legun mellunk nant.

Apunn khub boroitalo mhunn tannem kednach amkam, kuttumbantlea vangddeank, sangunk na. Uprant papa borovnk laglo. Torui to ogich ravlo. Amchea ghorant ek vhodd Konknnicho put aslo hi konnakuch khobor nasli. Papak dhorun!

˜A Vanguarda"-cho Konknni vibhagacho sompadok aslo Prabhakar-bab Tendulkar. Hea satolleacher nodor marli zalear konnak-ui gomon yetolem, Tendulkar-babak vision ani upatt mog aslo – Konknnicho!

Him sogllim borovpam adle pod'dotin boroilelim asat. Tanchi vakea-bandavoll toxea toxich dovorlea khori, punn xud'dh lekhonache nodrentlean zagear ghaleant. Punn ami mathalle (titles) toxech dovorleat. Hache fattlem karonn itlench: amkam hea borovpantlean vachpeak tea kallacho Konknnicho pormoll divnk zai. Hea kanniamni khub Purtugez utram / Purtugez loanwords asat tim ami toxinch dovorleant ani pustokachea xevottak tanchi utravoll (glossary) dil'li asa.

Babushachea pustokachem nanv ˜Noxibant Nirmilelem - Kotha Jhelo". ˜Noxibant Nirmilelem" hi tachi mukhel kotha. Pon'nas vorsam adim boroileleo kotha khoim tori xirkon asleo. Teo ami chukun (by default) Brazinho Soares-achea eka utrantlean sodun kaddleo, ani pon'nas vorsam uprant Babushacho sompadok tachea pustokachi prostavona boroita - hem oslem bhangarachem bhag, mhaka tori dista, amchea NOXIBANT-uch NIRMILELEM!


Pustokachem Mol: 60/- Rupia

Pustok hanga mellta:

Moddganv: ZITO'S, Cine Lata lagim

Ponnje: BROADWAY BOOK CENTRE, St. Inez, Caculo Island -a lagim


Kuwait ani Gulf: Goa-World.Com Team

Uzvaddavpi: Walter Menezes

Cusmane, Quepem, Goa - 403 705

email: cindypublications@...

Goa's Pride -
Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter is presented by Ulysses Menezes, and moderated by Gaspar Almeida (since 1994)

Konkani Amchi Mai Bhas Sogglea Goenkaranchi - hench amchem herans.
For all Goans, our mother-tongue Konkani, is our pride!

Promoting written Konkani, how?

Promoting written Konkani, how?

Konkani enthusiast Walter Menezes from Quepem
is into poetry, writing and even sketching.

He talks of his work, and how even a couple of cross-language book
reviews (of Konkani books, but written in English) had their good

Of Konkani, writing, cartooning..... and reviewing

Of Konkani, writing, cartooning… and reviewing

Quepem-based Walter Menezes has been working to promote the tiny Konkani language for a long time now. Some of his experiences.

"Zoit ani Her Kovita" uzvaddak yeta !

Walter Menezes-achem pustok, “ ZOIT ani her kovita” uzvaddak yeta

Somar, 25.02.2008, Pope John School Hall, Kepem- hanga sanjechea 6.15 horancher ho suvallo zatolo. Shri Pundalik Naik, Odheox, Goa Konknni Akademi, Mukhel Soire zalear Shri Chandrakant (Babu) Kavalekar, Kepem-che Amdar ani Chairman, Goa Industrial Development Corporation, Manache Soire astole.

Pilarche Fr. Agnel Kolegint Konknni xikoupi ani boroupi, Shri Jose Salvador Fernandes hea pustoka vixim uloitole. “Koddu Sonvsar ani her kotha”- hea Walter-achea poilea pustokak Konknni Bhasha Mandal-acho Sahit’ya Puroskar favo zala.1991-1993 hea don vorsam khatir taka Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resources, Govt. of India-chi ‘Junior Fellowship in Literature’ mell’li.

Pon’nas kovitancho aspav korun toyar kel’lem ‘Zoit ani her kovita’ – hem Walter-achem dusrem pustok. Pustok uzvaddak ailea uprant lhan Konknni karyavoll astoli zantunt vantto ghetat: Elvis Goes, Director, Kepemchim Kirnnam; John Rodrigues, Music Teacher, Agacaim ani Pramod Mhadeshwar-an choreograph korun Vivekanand Kala Sadarikaran Manch, Keri-Sattari hannim sadar kel’lo, ‘NACH GOA NACH’.

"Zoit ani Her Kovita" released in Qatar

A Konkani book, ’ZOIT’, written by Walter Menezes of Quepem, Goa, was released by Hazel Rodrigues, general secretary of the association. High energy pulsating dance beats, loads of prizes, Bollywood celebrities, beauty pageants and interactive Qatar audience were all the part and parcel of the colossal 8th May Queen Ball of Goan Welfare Association held at Diplomatic Club Doha, Qatar..

"Zoit ani Her Kovita" released in Kuwait

Konkani Book Released

Another remarkable feature of the program was the release of a Konkani book titled "Zoit ani her Kovita" (Victory and other poems) by Walter Menezes (Quepem, Goa). The book was released at the hands of Mr. Ashley Rigde-Cooke. This is the second year in succession that a Goan author/poet's publication has been released in Kuwait at the Summer Queen - the glittering dinner dance social organized by Goan Cultural Centre (GCC-Kuwait) at Crowne Plaza on Friday 25 April, 2008.

Quepem's Stars from Goa Sparkle at Kalaangann

Mangalore: Quepem's Stars from Goa Sparkle at Kalaangann

MANGALORE , Jan 6,2008 : It was certainly a refreshing change for the Konkani music and art aficionados of the city, when 'Kepemchim Kirnnam', a musical and performing group from Quepem taluka of south Goa, presented a scintillating show at Kalaangann, Shaktinagar in the city evening. Quepem or Kepem has earned its own place in the art and music world. 'Kepemchim Kirnnam', headed by its director Elvis Goes, is not new to Mangalore. This group had taken part in the historic 'Manddo Fest' in 2003 in Mangalore and had won the hearts of Konkani art-lovers of the city.

Walter Menezes impressed with his flowing style of compering.

[Richie Lasrado"Gulf Goans" ]

Goa's Very Own 'Wren & Martin' - by Walter Menezes

I was happy to see the following article in the GT the other day. I am
posting it here for wider reading.

The book, with an uninspiring light blue cover, is really the most
useful book I have seen to date for learning to read and write Konkani
in Roman script ....specially if you are familiar with spoken Konkani
or written English or both. The English-konkani and Konkani-English
vocabulary is also very helpful. The book is available at
TSKK-Porvorim, Varsha Book stall-Panaji [near Panaji-Betim Ferry
jetty], Broadway Book store-St. Inez [opposite Caculo Ford] and St.
Paul's Book store -18 June Road, Panaji. In Margao it is available at
Rhythm House opposite Hotel Meenaxi. The book is priced just Rs.250/-

Those who do not know to speak Konkani, may find it helpful to buy a
CD that comes along with Mr.Edward D"Lima's book "Learning Konkani"
available at Singbal Book Stall, near the Church, Panaji. The pair
costs Rs.200/-

Mog asundi.


Gomantak Times, Wednesday, dated: 02/01/2008.


By: Walter Menezes
Great persons, someone said, are no different from the
rest of us. They only do things differently! On
September 29, 2007, Fr. Matthew Almeida did just that.
He celebrated his birthday differently. To a ˜sizeable
section of Goan society and a ˜great number of
Indians and foreigners who wanted to learn Konknni
without having to learn a new alphabet, Fr. Matthew
gave a precious present: ROMI LIPIENT KONKNNI KORS.
For nearly two months the book remained on my bedside
table, always staring at me.. Then one day I had to
leave for Baroda and I picked up the book, dusted its
cover and said, You are going to be my companion for
the next few days!
All through the days of the journey, the book remained
my constant companion as I leafed through the pages
and found that ROMI LIPIENT was indeed a precious
present. The amount of time, energy and midnight oil
that must have been burned by Fr. Matthew and his
"textbook team" of Fr. Pratap Naik, S.J., Joanita
D'Silva, Fr. Ave Maria Afonso and Shilpa Salvi to
complete the Konknni Course can best be summed up
thus: the book is simply outstanding!
The Konknni Course is primarily meant for beginners
and uses the Bardeshi dialect which is adopted by all
the Church publications in Goa. The graded lessons are
based on grammatical structures of Konknni. The
grammar is explained in English and there are
extensive exercises for the learner. With structural
table drills, vocabulary at the end of each lesson and
50 pages of Konknni-Inglez / English-Konknni
dictionaries, the book at once reminds you of ˜Wren &
Martin, that old classic for a generation of students
and teachers alike.
In a brief write-up in the Nov-Dec'07 issue of The
Goan Review, the magazine highlights the advantage of
Roman script being ˜universally used script and any
one who wishes to learn Konknni can make use of this
book. This could well be the reason for ‘an
enthusiastic response that the book has stirred up.
According to Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr Report
2007, the publishers received ˜pre-publication orders
coming in from all over the world.
The course uses all the letters of the Roman alphabet
except q and w and an additional symbol â called
tilde or til with a or o to give the accurate Konknni
nasal sounds, e.g. pay (foot), and teaches one the
typical patterns of sound, forms, words and sentences
found in Konknni.
Fr. Matthew informs us that ‘the optimum age for
language learning is from birth up to eleven to twelve
years of age. But that should not discourage anyone.
Though not written as a ˜teach-yourself-tutor", the
course, with certain adaptations, ˜can be used to
learn Konknni by oneself.
Once the introductory lessons are behind you, Fr.
Matthew takes you through everything that is so
special about Goa. In Lesson 5, the children get a
taste of ˜ambeachim kapam and˜ponnsachim sattam"
when they go to Saliganv. Up the hill, they find
˜zambllam, bhennsam, churnam ani charam" and I
couldn't but remember my own childhood days when we
went in search of such berries during the summer
˜Sobit Ghor" is another lesson that gives you an
inside view of the ancestral houses we grew up in,
complete with ˜zollvachi khomp ani dukrancho ghudd".
And with the kind of frenzied development that is
taking place all around us, we may very soon find such
houses only in history and coffee-table books.
There is a beautiful line in one of the lessons:
nisteachea nanvan mel'lim jitim zavpi ami! It means,
without fish, Goans really feel like fish out of
water. Even to read the very mention of such words
like sungttancho balchanv, sukea bangddeancho parra,
nisteachi mol ani rexiad in the book, is to leave a
tang on your tongue.
In some lessons there is sadness also. Sadness at the
way Goans are selling off their houses and properties.
At the way we celebrate our wedding receptions, where
time is always the first casualty. And sadness to find
that more and more players from Africa and Brazil are
signed by the football clubs in Goa.
Konknni uses are, ago, aga, age and the dependent
forms re, go, ga, ge. Fr. Matthew cautions us that
˜care must be taken to find out the social
acceptability of the forms to a particular group"..
Rather than run the risk of insulting some person, ˜it
is best to avoid them altogether", he suggests.
Saying numbers and fractions, too is made that much
simpler by using the old, decimal oriented practice as
in English. 23 becomes vis ani tin and 1/3 is tinantlo
ek vantto.
>From Lesson 23 onwards, if the narrator or speaker is
Hindu, Antruji dialect is used and if he is a
Catholic, Bardeshi dialect is used to prepare the
learner ˜for the real life situation in Goa.
One cannot help but notice a few slips. Xarak vortolo (page
149) should be xarant. And is dovornnem the right word
for a bus-stop?
Apart from being a basic course for learners, Fr.
Matthew Almeida's book takes the student through the
hills and houses, the customs and everything that
makes Goa truly fascinating. Like the good earth after
the first showers, the pages literally ˜smell" of the
Goan way of life as seen through the discerning eyes
of a great educationist like Fr. Matthew.
Porbim tumkam, Fr. Matthew Almeida. We eagerly look
forward to your next birthday and your next present!

Pages: 252
Price: Rs.250/-

Walter Menezes,
42, The Mustard Seed,
Cusmene, Quepem,
Goa 403 705
Mobile: 9370569296

Miguel Braganza, S1 Gracinda Apts,
Rajvaddo, Mhapsa 403507 Goa
Ph 9822982676

"Natt'yangan" - collection of one act plays in Konkani

Konkani’s humorous plays… (review by J.P.Pereira)

By J P Pereira

‘Natt’yangan’ is a collection of humorous one-act plays in Konkani, written by Brenda Menezes and published by Cindy Publications, Quepem through the sponsorship of Goa Konknni Academy. The book comprises of five plays, written in a simple yet delightful language that is normally used everyday.

The first play titled ‘Eka Lognak Sotra Vidhna,’ narrates the tale of an elderly spinster who refuses all proposals and when she finally accepts one, other hurdles crop up. ‘Aai Bhandavelean Dhanvli,’ is about a mother, her naughty kids and a ‘good for nothing’ husband. Frustrated at not being able to control the misdeeds of her family, she contemplates suicide…

In ‘Hantrun Polleun Paim Soddunk Zai,’ a poor peon, in an office, is under tension. His sister-in-law is getting married, his children want new clothes, and his wife wants to buy an expensive gift and he has no money! ‘Eleisanv’ tells about corrupt politicians and the new candidates who also will become corrupt while the last play, ‘Aplem Thoddem Chintchem Papia,’ warns a retiring employee to save the terminal benefits or face the consequences.

Written in Devanagri script by a lady who was weaned in Konkani from her childhood by her parents and uncles, especially a maternal uncle who won laurels for his poetry, the five plays make for great reading. Besides the humor that is present, there is also a message in each play. The book would be a great buy for individuals and schools, which could perform the
beautiful plays for variety entertainment programmes and annual days.

With great support and encouragement from her husband, Walter Menezes, who is also a writer, Brenda will continue writing more plays. Maybe someday, the will write a full-fledged Konkani drama. All the best to Brenda, keep on writing.

More details of the book from Walter Menezes

Book Review of "Rendermam Ani Tachem Jivit" - By Walter Menezes

Book Review of “Rendermam Ani Tachem Jivit"
Author and Publisher: Fr. Ave Maria Afonso
Pages: 64
Price: Rs.60

By: Walter Menezes

I met Fr. Ave Maria Afonso at Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, Alto Porvorim on a day when Fr. Mathew Almeida, SJ was celebrating his birthday. The book release ceremony of Fr. Almeida’s Romi Lipient Konknni Kurs was over and we were helping ourselves to a piece of cake and a cup of tea when Fr. Ave Maria presented me with a copy of his book, Rendermam’ ani Tachem Jivit.

This book was released in Margao a couple of days earlier at a function organized to celebrate the first anniversary of the Konknni magazine, Jivit, and although I was present for the same, I had to leave the function half-way through, without buying a copy of the book, whose seeds were sown when Fr. Ave Maria was pursuing his post-graduate studies at TSKK, Alto Porvorim.

I finished reading Rendermam’ on a relaxed Sunday when the nation was celebrating the triumph of good over evil and realized how little I knew about the toddy-tapper who, like the poder and the pagi, (baker and traditional fisherman) has been an essential part of every Goan household. For who can imagine a life without our daily bread, our fish-curry and a peg of feni? Or our feasts without sannas and our mouth-watering dishes like sorpotel, sausages, vindaloo, fish parro and mol without vinegar?

My father-in-law had a bar in Kepem and, on days when he was indisposed, I was the one who was summoned to help him out on such occasions. We normally catered to the aam admi who would flock to the bar in the afternoons and the evenings and help themselves to their favourite drink. I had the opportunity to interact with some of the rendermams, and in one case the wife of a rendermam’, who would come from as far as Sanguem with their kollxo (earthern pot) of feni and deliver the same to Ruzar-irmao, as my father-in-law was respectfully called. He would then measure the grau of the feni by dipping the alcohometer in the bottle, nod his head when it showed 18 degrees, and then make the payment.

A kopin of feni is what I normally had in the night just before supper was served. And on days when I was too tired after a hard day’s work, my wife would not mind at all if I had some ‘extra’ ones! What she never knew was that sometimes I would join my friend at a village bar, where dukhsiri, a strange combination of feni and medicinal roots, was a great hit at that time. Meant for those who labour and sweat it out in the fields, dukhsiri is a soothing drink and like vodka, there is not a trace of smell at all. But just to be on the safer side, once the bill was settled, my friend would remove a couple of cloves from some secret chamber of his trousers and off we would go, munching them merrily on our way home. We were happy and so were our better halves!

Fr. Ave Maria’s book is a treasure of information. The tools that the rendermam’ uses, the sign of the cross that he makes on his forehead before the risky climb to the coconut tree-top and the process of distilling feni, these and other details make the book interesting. It is a male-dominated world, but, strange as it may sound, Fr. Ave Maria reports of the only lady-render from Verna who once did the job. With a colourful ‘dose’ of photographs by Egidio Fernandes and a cover designed by Willy Goes, Rendermam’ ani Tachem Jivit is a great offering in Romi Konknni.

There is one chapter dedicated entirely to Rendrachim Gitam-Kantaram. The toddy-tapper leads a lonely life, hopping from one coconut tree to another, three times a day. Seated on one of the palm fronds high above the ground, sharp-edged kati, dudinem to collect the sap and the clay pot, damonnem, firmly in place, the poet in the rendermam’ awakens and he

Jivit chintlear

Xirxirta ang

Maddar choddun

Jivit amchem

Yes! Life is a hard grind for the rendermam’. And very risky too. Fr. Ave Maria informs that the All Goa Toddy-Tappers’ Association, headquarted in Margao and established in 1961,
has been in the forefront to protect the interests of the render community. A few welfare measures are in operation and a “Pension Scheme” formed by the Goa Government for
toddy-tappers above 60 years of age, awaits implementation.

The rendermam’ is a fascinating person and Fr. Ave Maria has observed him from close quarters. Even going to the extent of spending a night and a day with his family. The rendermam’ is a god-fearing man. There is rosary in his house every day and once a year, villagers gather at his residence for the ladin (litany) in honour of the patron saint. On the last
Sunday of February every year, he attends, along with his entire community, the Thanksgiving Mass at the Basilica of Bom Jesus.

Like any niz Goenkar, he loves football, khell-tiatrs and tiatrs. His breakfast consists of pez with kalchi koddi and kharem nustem and his house is full of Konknni cassettes. He gambles a lot, plays the moddko and has, on many occasions, squandered his hard-earned money on such vices.

Arthur Hailey, best-selling author of such ‘subject-specific’ novels like Airport, Hotel, Wheels, Overload and Final Diagnosis, who used factual research to his advantage, once said, “I don’t think I really invented anybody. I have drawn on real life!” Perhaps Fr. Ave Maria’s next ‘stop’ should be a novel, with characters drawn from real life.

Prof. Jose Salvador Fernandes, in his foreword, shares his own experience of maddar choddpachem when he used to assist his father in ‘toddy-tapping’ whenever the manaim-render (helper) used to be absent. Both, Prof. Jose’s father and the rendermam’ where Fr. Ave Maria spent a night, felt that this is not only a tough job but one where there is no respect at all. “Ami tras-koxtt kaddtat te puro. Amchea bhurgeank tem naka”, they said, expressing in a way, the sentiments of the entire community.

Such a view may just be the reason why the population of toddy-tappers has reduced drastically from a strong force of around 22,000 in 1964 to only around 1100 in 2006. The death-knell has already sounded for many such ancient traditional occupations, Prof. Jose laments in his foreword. In the distant future, books like Rendermam’ ani Tachem Jivit will become a rich repository of information and a window to our fascinating past.

As a critic “par excellence” you have done great justice to Fr Ave Maria Alfonso and his fascinating book “Renderamam ani Tachem Jivit”. You’ve crafted an glowing overview within a lovely idyllic setting, exquisitely framed with folk lore and consuetude. While focusing on the toddy tapper your remarks are astutely enriched with also discussing cognate trades.
This added feature gives a robust, well-rounded picture of rural Goa in its pristine glory.

Although an expatriate native of the Konkan coast, it’s the first time I’ve been introduced to the indigenous word “Renderamam”. Recalling rustic Mahim, Bombay of yore, I’ve scaled quite a few coconut trees in my salad days. I knew professional palm climbers fairly well too. But we referred to them as Bandaris. We had high reverence
for them as they could scramble up tall trees in a jiffy while we struggled even with mid-sized ones. Of course our climbs were mainly juvenile pranks to purloin a couple of the fruit to share among mischievous comrades. As part of the cult of amateur tree-hugging stegophilists, we not only had a lot of fun but were part of the culture and traditions of the littoral scene in the shadow of the Ghats. I’m highly obliged for stirring my deep visceral feelings with heartwarming nostalgia of my halcyon days of naughty innocence.

I’m surprised you’ve not yet autogenously undertaken writings of your own within our Motherland’s ambit of geography and ethnography. You seem to dynamically live, breathe, sweat and adulate our native soil’s ethos and topography so endearingly. Shades of the
genre of my eminent Goan writer friends-in-correspondence, Messrs Valmiki Faleiro and
Edwin Fernandes !!! So why not document this treasure from your seminal perspective? In conclusion, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your elegant tribute to Fr Ave Maria’s impressive work. Your generous cachet should make a big difference to its circulation and
special place in our libraries. Regards Arnold

mog asum di, walter

Comment by Arnold Noronha, by way of Walter Menezes and FN — September 7, 2008
& Walter Menezes