Tuesday, September 21, 2010



By Walter Menezes

After Vozram, a treasure trove of Konknni adages with English interpretations,
Isidore Dantas’ second book on Konknni Cinema will be launched in Goa today.

Ten years ago, an article on Konknni Cinema appearing in a newspaper caught Isidore Dantas’ attention. Not satisfied with what he read, the Pune-based Goan writer was soon on his feet, determined to dig deeper and set the record straight. Ten long years later, his search was complete: Konknni Cholchitram, a 276 pages rich, hard-bound chronicle of 31 Konknni celluloid films, funded by George Pinto & family and sponsored by other Goans whose names are duly acknowledged, was released during the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of Goa Sudharop on April 4, 2010 in California, USA.

The first Konknni film, "Mogacho Anvddo" was screened on April 24, 1950. Collecting information spanning a period of 60 years may look easy to the eye but the task was daunting. Oso sod ghetana sabar oddchonneo dolleam mukhar aileo (I encountered many obstacles in the process), Dantas discloses in his preface, Mhojem Utor. From Doordarshan in Mumbai to National Film Archives of India in Pune to many producers, his journey ended in dead-ends. Even records of old songs were difficult to find at the Akashvani offices in Mumbai and Panaji.

Inspite of all these odds, Konknni Cholchitram stands out and not only provides various information on the films listed in the book in easy and lucid Konknni but includes 269 photographs, some rare, and lyrics of 109 songs with as many as 85 of them complete with kantaranchi surlipi (music notes).

Konknni Cholchitram sets off in earnest with Mogacho Anvddo, the first film ever to be made in Konknni. Produced and directed by Al Jerry Braganza (Antonio Lawrence Jerry Braganza), Mogacho Anvddo was based on Dioguinho De Melo’s novel, Mogachi Odd with Al Jerry himself playing the lead role opposite Leena Fernandes, then working as a telephone operator / receptionist in United Artists, an American company in Mumbai. Presented by ETICA (Exchange Talkies of India, China and Africa), the film was simultaneously released on April 24, 1950 at Mapusa’s Dashrat Cinema, Matunga’s Rivoli and Star in Mazagaon.

April 24 is celebrated as Konknni Cinema Day every year but the Day and the Father of Konknni Cinema, Al Jerry Braganza are, on many an occasion, sidelined and forgotten. A week after the curtains came down on the 4th Konknni Film Festival in May 2008, Tomazinho Cardozo writing in Vavraddeancho Ixtt (June 7, 2008) made a candid observation, “... puroskar vanttni hea dobajea vellar nodrek ailoleo kaim chuki. Survatekuch kariavollicho sutrdar vo ‘compere’ hannem thoddkean cholchitracho itihas sanglo. Bharotantlo vhoddantlo vhodd cholchitrkar sorgest Dada Saheb Phalke hanchem porian nanv ghetlem. Punn Konknni filmanchea itihasachi matui khobor kelina. Konknni cinemachea itihasachi taka mahiti asa vo na hoch mhaka dubhav poddlo (…and some mistakes which were noticed during the presentation ceremony. The compere, at the start of the function, gave a brief history of cinema. Even late Dada Saheb Phalke, one of India’s tallest film personalities, was acknowledged. But no mention was made of the history of Konknni cinema. Was he even aware of the history of Konknni cinema? I had my doubt).

It would take another 13 years before Frank Fernand produced the next Konknni film, Amchem Noxib in 1963 and followed it up two years later with Nirmonn. So successful was Nirmonn (awarded Certificate of Merit by Central Govt.) that a Hindi edition, Taqdeer soon rolled out with Shalini Mardolkar playing the lead role in both the films. It is said that this movie was dubbed in seven other languages: Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Malyalam, Bengali, Assamese and Oriya. (Source: 50 years of Konkani Cinema edited by Andrew Greno Viegas, Vol I, Issue I, 2000). Some of the songs from these two films like Mollbailo Dov, Claudia and Nhid Mhojea Bai still do the rounds at Goan get-togethers and wedding receptions.

From 1966 onwards, there is a marked change with Konknni films making their presence felt at regular intervals not only in Mumbai and Goa but Karnataka as well. Sukhachem Sopon (1966) is followed by films like Mhoji Ghorkan’n (1969), Kortubancho Sonvsar (1970), Jivit Amchem Oxem (1972), Tisri Chitt (1973) and two films in 1977:Boglantt and Mog Ani Moipas (remember Konknni Kogull Wilfy Rebimbus’ unforgettable song, Mog Tuzo Kitlo Axelom sung by P B Srinivas?)

For lack of space and no other reason, I will randomly sift through the remainder of 21 films which makes Konknni Cholchitram at once out of the ordinary. From K G Nayak’s Toposvani and Dr K Ramesh Kamath’s Jana Mana to Prince Jacob Productions’ Padri and Rajendra Talak Creations’ Aleesha, Ontornad and Sawariya.com, Dantas takes the reader through the finer details of the films, including its cast and cost and lyrics and locales. There are others, too. Like Dnyaneshwar Moghe’s O Bai, Sanjeev Prabhudesai’s Sudd, Tiburcio Fernandes’ (T-Bush) Black Nhesop Fashion Atanchem, Fatorda MLA Damodar Naik’s Zagor and of course, Laxmikant Shetgaonkar’s much acclaimed film, Poltoddcho Monis.

Not many will know that the hymn, Sogott Sangata Melliam sung during the house-to-house visit of Mother Mary’s statue is actually a creation of Wilfy Rebimbus and finds place in Dr. Richard Castellino’s Bhogsonnem. Similarly, the story of Muthu Krishan Das’ film, Girestkai (1983) drew its inspiration from Lambert Mascarenhas’ Sorrowing Lies My Land. “Tantunt tontrik dox aslolean, tem borem cholunk pavunk na. Tem porot dub kelear taka boro protisad mellunk xokta (There were technical faults, reason why the film did not fare well. If it is dubbed again, it can get a good response),” observes Isidore. Is anybody listening?

Finally, it is ‘The End’ of Konknni Cholchitram with Sucorina D’Costa’s Dumiana Niagara Motion Films and Bonifacio Dias’ BV Films joint venture, Mogachi Zhor screened in Goa and Niagara in the last week of December 2009.

With a list of personalities from the Konknni community who have enriched Indian cinema in various spheres and a glossary of difficult words explained, Isidore Dantas’ chronicle is a glowing tribute to the fraternity of Konknni Cholchitram.

[This article first appeared on Gomantak Times dated 21.09.2010 - the day 'Konkani Cholchitram' was officially released in Goa under the auspices of Goa Sudharop - USA, www.goasudharop.org]

Saturday, August 14, 2010



- By Dale Luis Menezes

The brass band (accompanied by a few electronic instruments today) strikes up for the third time. The auditorium fills with the vibrations of wind and percussion instruments. The curtains rise to reveal a suited man, wielding a mike, he paces the stage. The backdrop painted to resemble a garden or a park. Thus begins a tiatr, familiar and cherished by many Goans. Most of us are acquainted with this scenario, but what about the history of tiatr? Many of us don’t know much. As for me, I vaguely remember a Konknni textbook chapter in the VII standard highlighting a (brief) history of the tiatr.

But I encountered a welcome light on this vibrant and most loved Konknni drama in the form of Dr. André Rafael Fernandes’ researched book When the curtains rise…Understanding Goa’s Vibrant Konkani theatre. Dr. Fernandes reveals the history of tiatr: its birth and maturity, the challenges it faces and the numerous personalities (past and present) who have contributed to enriching this uniquely Goan art form. An interesting feature of this book is the exhaustive list of present day tiatrists given at the end of the book. Although the tiatr is 118 years strong and though roughly ten shows of tiatr are held every day in Goa, Dr. Fernandes cautions us about the onslaught of more glittering multimedia like cable and television making serious dents.
This book is important because it has given tiatr some (much needed?) legitimacy in the scholarly word. Dr. Fernandes traces the development of theatre in Goa. Theatre in the medieval times in Goa was mainly in the Portuguese language and themed on enacting the biblical scenes. The College of St. Paul’s took the lead in organizing plays in vernacular language in Goa.
Dr. Fernandes traces the origin of tiatr to the traditional khells/phells/fells and zagors performed in Goa from time immemorial. This khells traveled to Bombay with the immigrants and it is here that the tiatr was born. Exactly how the tiatr was born, I leave it up to you to find out (in the book)! Tiatr took birth due to the efforts of Lucasinho Rebeiro and João Agostinho Fernandes, who were disgusted by the vulgarity and ‘washing-the-dirty-linen-in-public’ attitude of the zagors. A history of theatre of Bombay is also traced to buttress the point as to why Konknni tiatr had to begin in that cosmopolitan city.

How can any Goan activity or festivity be complete without music? This reality comes forcefully to the fore, as the Goans’ love and mastery for music had a major role to play. A large part of tiatr (past and present) contains music and song. Tiatr (and Goan musicians) did benefit from the parochial music schools set up by the Portuguese as well as the more traditional forms of ovis.
Dr. Fernandes tells us about the various famous musicians of Goan extraction, who were sought out by the many bollywood producers and starred hotels in Bombay. Although the Goan musicians had a large part to play in Bollywood and the jazz scene of Bombay, they were sidetracked as mere ‘arrangers’, lements Dr. Ferrnandes. More terse and blunt words in the context of this injustice would have been welcome.

The single greatest contribution of tiatr, in my opinion, is the admittance of women on the stage. Regina Fernandes (wife of João Agostinho Fernandes) became the first woman in modern history to appear on stage, preceding Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati theatre by twenty-seven years. This means that Konknni tiatr was far ahead of its time. It had brought in social reforms, which were easily accepted by the conservative masses. Batcara I was the play in which Mrs. Regina Fernandes made her historic appearance.
Dr. Fernandes does not dwell on this subject for much long, mentioning it only cursorily. What I was hoping for was a rigorous assessment of this situation, perhaps even a full chapter, was called for. If Mrs. Regina is the first woman to appear on stage at a time when women appearing on stage were frowned upon then isn’t she a role-model deserving recognition not only from Goans but also from the whole country? We should also not forget that in the same play, two other women had accompanied Mrs. Regina on stage: Mrs. N. Gomes and Mrs. Carmelina Fernandes.

Dr. Fernandes analyses the plays of João Agostinho with keen understanding and finesse. João Agostinho is important in tracing the history of tiatr as he has been rightfully called Pai Tiatrist (Father of the Konknni tiatr). In plays like The Belle of Cavel, Batcara I & II and Kunbi Jaki, Dr. Fernandes paints a mental picture of João Agostinho. Pai Tiatrist had vociferously opposed casteism and alcoholism. His plays always ended with a moral or homily (a hallmark of tiatrs in those times).
Dr. Fernandes informs us about the deeply sensitive and honest personality of João Agostinho. He showed empathy to the sufferings of the poor. He can rightfully be also called as a social reformer. João Agostinho published some of his plays, something that most of the tiatrists have not done. In fact Dr. Fernandes complains about the lack of documentation of tiatr. So tiatrists heed the advice of Dr. Fernandes and start publishing your work!

Dr. Fernandes divides the tiatr into three phases of development: 1. The Early Phase (1892-1930s); 2. The Golden Phase: a. 1930s-1961, b. 1961-1970; 3. The Contemporary and Non-Stop Tiatr Phase. This is a novel idea as a simple taxonomy puts the development of tiatr into proper perspective.
The chapter about the challenges of today that the tiatr faces, it seems, is hastily written. Dr. Fernandes has also kept out the perceptions of Hindus regarding tiatr as well as the Catholic view or perception about the nattok. It is an open secret that one community does not view the art form of the other community favourably. The thesis is confined to a few present tiatrists’ views and opinions, an extensive survey (through questionnaires or interviews) would have enriched the same.
Nonetheless, this book will be an enlightening read to all tiatrists and tiatr enthusiasts. One only hopes that this book will raise the curtains on further scholarly works on this dynamic and vibrant art form of Konknni theatre.

Name: When the curtain rise… Understanding Goa’s vibrant Konkani theatre
Author: Dr. André Rafael Fernandes
Published by: Goa 1556, Saligão with support from the Tiatr Academy of Goa
Price: Rs. 195/- (in India)
ISBN: 978-93-80739-01-4

Note: First published in Gomantak Times, dt. 13 August, 2010.

In the article published in GT, there was an error in the title of the book.
Instead of When the curtains rise… it read As the curtains rise… The error is regretted - Dale Luis Menezes.



15ver Agostachea 2010 DESH BHAKTI, DESH SHAKTI hi kariavoll

ghoddun haddlea. Tantum Kepemche kovi ani borovpi desh-bhokticher apleo kovita sadar kortole. Heo soglleo kovita ekttaim korun heach disa pustok rupan uzvaddak yetoleo.

Tech bhaxen bhurgeam khatir Fancy Dress (vixoi: suttke chollvollintle amchea desache fuddari) ani Inter-School Patriotic Singing Competition astolem.

Walter Menezes
Kepem, Goa

[Exclusive to goa-world.com]

Friday, July 30, 2010

Story book for children ‘One eyed Ogre and other stories‘

Story book for children released


BANGALORE: A unique book for children ‘One eyed Ogre and other stories‘ was re-leased at the Catholic Club, Bangalore on Friday.

The book has been authored by Marianne Furtado De Nazareth, a journalist and academician and published by ARC Publications

Releasing the book Fr Am-brose Pinto, Principal of SJC said, “There is a child in each one of us. We need to be a child to get the creativity out of us.
“ If we read this book we will discover how imagination and creativity have been conglomerated in this book.”

Addressing the gathering, Marianne De Nazareth, the author said, “The stories were written over a period of time. I took over three full years to illustrate them.
“I am extremely grateful to my parents who inculcated the passion for books in me at a very young age.”

Penny Abraham, Vice Principal of the Canadian School, Bangalore said, “The stories in the book not only appeal to children but also appeal to the child in every adult. Personally I loved them a lot.”

Children enacted these stories with great motivation and enthusiasm.. Parents were de-lighted with their children’s performance of a couple of sto-ries in the book. Bhavani, a homemaker said, “One can easily relate to the stories, as we were told similar stories by our grandparents.

“These stories are written in a simple language which makes it more interesting.”

Various programmes like story enacting by the children, group dance and juggling added to the excitement and color to the event.

Francisco Sardarha, who is the President of the Catholic Club and R.V Pandit, a film maker, were also present at this event.

Courtesy: The Beacon. 27 July, 2010.

Marianne Furtado De Nazareth is a:
Fellow with UNFCCC, UNEP & Robert Bosch Stiftung
Former Asst Editor- The Deccan Herald
Freelance Journalist
Adjunct faculty St. Joseph's College & COMMITS

The author can be contacted via email: mde.nazareth at gmail.com

- Forwarded by Dale Luis Menezes.

Other links:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A THINKER TRANSLATED: Noted son of Goa made available to its people

Noted son of Goa made available to its people

By Dale Luis Menezes

Writings on Goa – in any language English, Konknni or Portuguese – are seldom popular and discussed or debated. They are published, they adorn the bookshelves of Goa’s scant bookstores for a while and eventually they are forgotten and if Goa’s history is recorded in Portuguese then we should consider it lost owing to the meager translations and the lack of command of Goans in that language. The reasons for such misfortune are many and varied; this however, is not the place for their enumeration or discussion. The fact that I am reviewing a book published in 2007 should be a case in point.

It was a few months ago that while in Panjim, I picked up a copy of José Inácio Candido de Loyola alias Fanchu Loyola’s essays titled Passionate and Unrestrained translated by journalist Alexandre Moniz Barbosa. Personally, I had heard of Fanchu Loyola as someone associated with Goa’s freedom struggle but anything more; I was blissfully unaware. Fanchu Loyola wrote in Portuguese – a language in which he had mastery and fluency. He was an outspoken and fierce critic of the Portuguese government – the one under Salazar especially. He was arrested and incarcerated in Fort Peniche jail in Portugal for fifteen years.

The writings of Loyola reflect problems society faced such as alcoholism, casteism and corruption. Reading through his essays, one gets the impression that what really bothered Fanchu Loyola – apart from the corruption in the administration – was alcoholism and casteism: evils that still plague the Goan society.

The essays are divided in two parts: Socio-Religious and Socio-Political. In the former section, Fanchu Loyola’s essays are deeply rooted in Catholic teaching. However, he was not communal but rather advocated the universal principles of love and brotherhood (enshrined in Christianity as well as other religions). It was also interesting to read his musings about the Universe – its origin and purpose. I should particularly mention one of his essays on the New Year’s Eve where he personifies the “Old Year” as an old man who walks into his office and when the clock strikes twelve (the New Year) the old year vanishes into thin air. The old man is a gentleman (of British temperament, to borrow Fanchu Loyola’s words) and cordial; he makes Loyola realize the importance of Time. In this essay Loyola displays innovation and imagination.

He also shows a deep understanding of such abstract concepts like happiness and renunciation, humility and charity and the like. He was a seeker of truth; he wanted to know the mysteries of the universe. He had a deep love and compassion for the poor. More than anything, Fanchu Loyola has to be singled out as a social reformer.

In the Socio-Political section Loyola is as eloquent as in the Socio-Religious one. He never hesitated to take sides in the elections of October 1926, as he asked the people to elect Mr. Mariano Martins over Mr. Prazeres da Costa. Fanchu Loyola also expresses some terse and stern views on the Press Laws and the colonial politics. He minces no words in pointing out the flaws and short-comings of the Portuguese administration.

I must confess that my first impulse in picking the book off the bookshelf was not so much due to the indomitable personality of Loyola but because it was a translation of a potential supplement to the history of Goa. As a person interested in Goa’s past (and a student of archaeology also), I regret for not being able to read the voluminous records left by Portuguese, who were arguably the best record keepers in this country. Many a time, a (present day) historian of Goa is left at the mercy of an English translation of a Portuguese record.

The reason why Alexandre Moniz Barbosa should deserve our praises and approval is because he has used his fluency in Portuguese and English to make available certain writings that otherwise would have gathered dust for posterity! Not many Goans know Portuguese and under such circumstances we just hope that the tribe of the likes of Barbosa grows and prospers. I too had the experience of finding a long lost writer and writings (in this case it was my uncle) and the joy is exhilarating when the task is completed! (See my article Destiny’s Book, GT dated 28.08.2008) May I suggest to you Mr. Barbosa, to take up translation as a full-time hobby with a book to your credit every year? I hope that it is not too much to ask!

Another thing that I liked about the book is the retention of the original essays in Portuguese along with their English translation. In my opinion it would reduce the lacunae caused due to arbitrary interpretations as very often happens unwittingly in translations. However, in the book the Portuguese text should have been distinguished from the English text by using a different font.

Since the book is published in a dual language (which is a very innovative approach in a translation having potential historical significance) I have a suggestion for Mr. Khalil Ahmed of Broadway Book Centre, under whose aegis this book is published, to market it in Portuguese speaking countries as well. Goa needs the audience which it rightfully deserves.

Should we be content just by having the knowledge that Loyola was a nationalist or should this book serve as a stepping stone stimulating further research and to challenge conventionally held views? As informed by the blurb of the book, Loyola chose to settle in Lisbon following the Liberation of Goa. Can further research answer such questions as to why he chose to immigrate to Portugal leaving his dear Goa, for whose liberation he had so vehemently fought for?

Fanchu Loyola evidently had a good command on Portuguese and the translation done by Barbosa lives up to that level. Neatly printed and bound there is no doubt in my mind that a student (like me) as well as any enthusiast of Goan history would find this book at once interesting.

Passionate and Unrestrained
Author: José Inácio Candido de Loyola alias Fanchu Loyola
Traslated by: Alexandre Moniz Barbosa
Publisher: Broadway Book Centre, Panjim
Price: Rs. 225/-

[This review first appeared on Gomantak Times dated 21 July 2010].

Forwarded to goa-world.com by the writer who can be contacted
via email

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



- Walter Menezes

Hanv ekloch ambea mullant ubo asam. Mhoje voir suria loklokta. Punn mhoje mukhar kallokhuch zhollkota. Mhoje fattlean rnhojinch pavlam. Mhojea kal1zant ugdasachim lharam. Ugddas mhojea bapaicho, mhoje avoicho, ani ugddas tuzo, Kavita.

Donparcho veIl za1’lo asa. Torui jinnent kallkhe ratin biradd kel'lem asa. Uzvaddacho suria jinnent hanstolo zalear mon'xak khoim noxib asonk zai. Futtkea noxibacho hanv! Mhozo zolmuch kallokhant zal'lo. Hi soglli tuka khobor asli Kavita. Magir tum he jinnent ailench kiteak?

Sopnanchi rompi eka disa umtthun uddoitolem aslem zalear tunvern ti ximplich kiteak? Mogachi vateka disa palounchem aslem zalear tuvem ti pettoilich kiteak? Kiteak Kavita?

Mhojea kallza itlea lhan sonvsarant mhaka konnunch naslo Kavita, fokt tunch aslem. Mhojea bapain mhoje sovem aplo mog ken'nanch dakhounk nam. 'Baba' mhonnun tannen mhaka aple vengent ken 'nanch gheunk nam. Mog tannen fokt soreacho kelo. Rat-dis battlekuch veng marun ravlo. Bar-ant zhogddim, ghorant zhogddim. Hem fodd, tem modd. Mhojea bapaichi hi tor sodanchich karyavoll zaun gel'li. Sovostkay kitem, xanti kitem hi hanvem dusreanchea ghorant pollel'li. Amchea ghorant ken'nanch pollounk nam.

Mhoji avoi hem sogllem moneamni pollet ravli, sonxit ravli. Devi ti, mhoji avoi! Bapaik jen 'na nokrevelo nikhllailo ten'na khursar khillail 'lea porim avoik dislem. Koxi sambhallttoli apunn aplea ghoracheo chear vonntti? Tichem golleantlem bhangar chorun, toddun, bapain tor tika ken'na vinglli korun uddoil'li. Ghorant hansoi naslo, poisoi naslo. Avoichea dolleant mat sodanch dukancho somdir aslo. Kitleaxeach xezareanger avoin vavraddi mhunn apleo nakxeo zhoroitam-zhoroitam apli jinnunch zoroili. Ani eka disa.....

Koso visortolom hanv ti bhirankull rat? Hanv ten'na dha-bara vorsancho aslom. Ami tegaim rat-jevonn korunk boxil' lim. Bapui sarnko 'tight' aslo. Xitacheo unddio gillche suvater to avoik naka axil' leo gallio sovtaIo.

Jinnechem koddu omrut chakun chakun avoik tor ogi ravpachi sonvoy zaunuch gel'li. Magir okosmat konn zanna bapaicher khoincho devchar boslo to. Bapui jevtana modench utthlo ani udkacho glass kaddun nettan avoicher xevttilo. Avoin ekuch pavtti mottean bob marIi. Magir mostoka velean denvtolea rogta-zhorinchi porva nam kortam avoi utthli ani kuxik asloli petrolachi battli gheun nhidpa kuddant geli.

Bapaicher bosloIea denvcharak zagear haddtta mhollear khub so veIl geIo. Avoichi tor zag nasIi. Tichem kalliz pinzun kuddke zal'le hachi mhaka khobor asli. Khoinchea tori konnxak bosun pisuddlolea sopnancho ugddas korit roddtta astoli, oso hanven sumar kelo. Bapaik thoinsoruch dovrun hanv nhidpa kuddant vochunk utthlom. Kuddachem dar bond asIem. Hanvem pollelem tem polloun mhojer mollobuch tuttun poddIem!

Bhitor kuddant ujeachem agttem zal’lem. Sogllea dukhantlean meklli zaunk avoin apleakuch uzo ghatlolo. Je avoin mhaka zolm dil’l, je avoiche huntthient hanv vadlolom ti avoi mhojea dolleam mukhar soukas mortali. Hanvem bond aslolea darar mutti marleo, mhoji tokli pasun apttili. Punn tem dar ugttem korunk mhoje lagim ghoddlem nam. Atam jivitaeho ani mornnacho dhoni fokt hem dar zaun aslem. Hanvem bobo marun xezarchea lokak ektthaile. Punn dar moddun uddoita mhonnsor khub uxir zalo. Bhitor, nhidpa kuddant fokt ujeachem agttem aslem. Mhoji avoi nasIi.

Thoddim vorsam zatat mhollear bapaichi poristhiti samkich bigoddli. Eke rati bapui boroch soro piyelo ani rosteache kuxik khollient poddlo. Sokall fuddem jen'na suria udelo ten'na dusre pavtti mhozo jinne-suria kallokhant buddlo. Mhojea bapain tech khollient aplo prann soddlolo.

Oso eksuro, dukhachern vojem gheun bhovtana mhoji ani tuji bhett heach ambea zhaddachea rnullant zal'li. Yad asa tuka Kavita? Tea disa okosmat motthean pays ail’lo ani dogaim-lagim sotri naslolean amkam heach ambea mullant ubim ravchem poddlolem. Pays magir thambta mhonnsor mhojea dolleant, tujea dolleant, tujea kallzant, mhojea kallzant eke dusrech torecho pays poddunk suru zal'lo. To dis bhangaracho. To dis ojapancho. Tea disa khuxaIkayechea kupank pakham futtlirn ani suknnim zaun uddunk laglim. Kallkhi bontram pinzun uzvaddachim rongit kirnnam futtlim ani jinnechea mollbar ek novoch suria udelo. Suria sopnancho, suria mogacho!

Amchi dusri bhett, Kavita, heach ambea mullant zal’li. Tea disa pays poddlo na, mollob roddlem na; punn mhoji koddu kanni hanv sangtana tum mat roddlem Kavita, khub roddlem. Mhojea dukhant tum mhoji bhuzvonn zalem, mhojea pavlanchi ghottay. Tuzo mog, Kavita, mhoje jinnechi buniyad zali. Mhojea kantteamni guspol'lea jivita-zhaddak ful'lolo pormollit gulab!

Tum dusrea lagim logn zalem mhunn hanv tuka xinnona, Kavita. Jem kitem zaunchem aslem, tench zalem. Tujean tujea girest vhoddilanchea addkhollinchim doram toddun mhojea gorib ghorant yeunk zaunk na. Tum mhojea kallza itlea lhan sonvsarantlem pois gelem ten'na mhaka khub dukh bhogli, Kavita. Punn konnank sangum mhojem dukh?

Aiz nimnne pavtti hanv hea ambeamullant ubo asam. Zachea mullant bosun ami hozar sopnam sopnel'lim tea ambea rukhak faleam katrun urntthun kaddpache asat. Zanna Kavita, he vatten atam nogorpalikecho ek novo rosto zauncho asa. Hea ambea rukha bhoxen hanvui. go, Kavita. Hea fuddem hanv khoim astolom, khoinchea kantteak xirkotolom; futtkea noxibacheo kuraddi mhojea jinne-rukhacher poddun ken'na ani kitle ghave poddttole, hachi khobor Devak soddun konnak nastoli go, Kavita. Konnak nastoli!

Walter Menezes
KOTHAMALL (A Garland of Stories) pustokachea upkaran.


Friday, May 28, 2010




In Goa all that glitters is not only gold but Marcassite as well. A phone call from a family friend in Baroda requests us to inquire about the price of Marcassite jewellery and although not interested in precious metals, I find myself in a joalharia, along with my parents. During the inquiry my mother makes a passing mention that such jewellery is unique to Goa and is found nowhere else in India. My curiosity leads me to Mr. Ashok Lotlikar of S.R. Lotlikar Jewellers in Margao. He is the third generation owner following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Mr. Raghuvir Vassudev Lotlikar and his father Mr. Shripathrao Raghuvir Lotlikar.
Mr. Ashok Lotlikar greets me as I enter his pristine shop lined with showcases displaying myriad intricately crafted jewellery pieces in gold and silver. The red velvet cushions in the brightly illuminated showcases, gives the gold an added touch of royalty. My eyes search for the pieces I have come searching for and I find quite a few. Comfortably seated, I start asking questions. Mr. Ashok Lotlikar talks passionately about his work and craft.
He informs me that the Marcassite jewellery came to Goa during the Portuguese time. “I don’t know exactly how old this art is. My grandfather and my father made such jewellery, so it should be at least three hundred years old,” he says. He finds questions like whether the Marcassite jewellery reached the Goan shores immediately after the Portuguese conquest or much later difficult to answer because not much is known about this jewellery which many believe is unique to Goa.

The Marcassite jewellery crafted in Goa is chiefly made of gold and silver metals. Zinc is used to harden silver. This hardened silver is then oxidized to give it the black colour, which is the hallmark of this jewellery. The metal is oxidized for about an hour and this process is repeated thrice with a gap of a few hours. This oxidized silver is locally known as ‘platinum’ but the actual metal is never used in the making of the jewellery. The stones used for Marcassite jewellery in Goa come from Switzerland and they are manually fixed by craftsmen. A large set takes at least three weeks to complete.
As far as the designs are concerned, the earliest craftsmen might have been inspired by the samples brought from Europe. This legacy was continued along with some original additions, Mr. Ashok Lotlikar disclosed. In Goa, Marcassite jewellery always has a base of gold unlike in foreign countries where a silver base is used. Elsewhere in India such jewellery is not crafted. Marcassite is hand-crafted and delicately worked upon and hence the big jewellery companies, who focus on machine and heavy work, may not have been interested in such jewellery, opines Mr. Ashok Lotlikar.
Marcassite jewellery is popular with the Catholics as such jewellery is given to a bride at the time of her marriage. The black colour of the set forms a stunning contrast with her white bridal gown. But since the last 10-15 years, according to Mr. Ashok Lotlikar, this jewellery has gained some popularity among the Hindus as well.
Mr. Ashok Lotlikar also proudly draws my attention to another unique type of Goan craftsmanship: the filigree work. By using finely drawn wires of gold, lace-like patterns are produced. This, like the Marcassite jewellery, has no rival in the whole of India.
I wonder why the Marcassite and the filigree type of jewellery are not popular despite their uniqueness. Mr. Ashok Lotlikar explains that this art is dying. It requires great patience, a virtue not compatible with the youngsters of the day. Mr. Ashok Lotlikar once had 7-8 workers, but today he has only two. “But they are good workers,” he hastens to add. Since such jewellery is unique to a particular geographical location, I ask whether the Marcassite and filigree jewellery deserve the much coveted Geographical Indication so that more popularity and encouragement will come its way. “Definitely,” he agrees. After all, should we not ask for what we rightfully deserve?
Mr. Ashok Lotlikar narrated an interesting story about people from north India, especially Punjab, purchasing Marcassite jewellery. Wives of army men, who were posted in Goa, purchased this unique and expensive jewellery. When they went home (or elsewhere) their friends and family members were fascinated by this jewellery and nursed a desire to possess a similar Marcassite set. This word-of-mouth publicity has led Mr. Ashok Lotlikar to send many sets of Marcassite jewellery to north India.
Marcassite jewellery is very expensive. Has the rising prices of gold affected the sales in any way, I ask. “Lok ghevpa asat tê ghetatuch. [People buy irrespective of the prices] The Indian mentality is such that it needs (at least) a minimum amount of gold on the occasion of a marriage. Gold always appreciates and people see the purchase of gold as an investment,’ Mr. Ashok Lotlikar tells me.
The smallest Marcassite set (pendant and earrings), without the gold chain, will cost anything between Rs. 18,000-20,000 and the purchase of a larger set will entirely depend on the depth of one’s pockets!


Pictures by: Dale Menezes

This article was first published by Gomantak Times (Goa)
exclusive on 28th May 2010.

Picture 1: Various types of Marcassite sets
Picture 2: Marcassite and filigree work on display
Picture 3: Mr. Ashok Lotlikar in his shop. Note his grandfather’s portrait which can be seen above the showcase

[Note: Although the 'Marcassite' jewellery is widely used in Goa, nothing much is written about it. Even a google and wiki search reveals nothing. The young writer requests to have feedback from the readers and can be contacted: Dale Menezes (Quepem)- [Email: dale_menezes at rediffmail.com]

The writer's recent articles as published by Gomantak Times:

- Forwarded by www.goa-world.com
28 May 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010




Note:The parishioners of Utorda are all set to inaugurate the new sacristy, mini community hall and prayer room of the church of Our Lady Of Lourdes on the 13th of May, 2010

Utorda, a village in the Salcette taluka, is immersed in the sounds of the Arabian Sea and the constant chug of the speeding trains passing through its surroundings. The 4000 plus parishioners of Utorda distributed in some 464 houses are all set to inaugurate the new addition/renovation done to the church of Our Lady of Lourdes.

[The façade of the Utorda church - Pic: Dale Menezes]

The church is more than a hundred years old and the move of the parishioners along with the parish priest can be viewed as an attempt to meet the present-day demands of the congregation while simultaneously striking a balance between the old and the new, in preserving heritage.

A little history
The Our Lady of Lourdes church was originally a chapel built through the efforts of Fr. Joao Jose Pereira, his brother Aleixo Piedade Pereira, with the assistance of other villagers. On the 30th of October, 1894 this chapel was thrown open for the faithful. In due course of time the flock of the Utorda chapel grew in number and as a result the chapel was elevated to the status of a church by the then Archbishop Rev. Fr. Raul Gonsalves on the 13th of May, 1976. Late Rev. Fr. Joaquim Dias Alberto was the parish priest at that time. Originally, the chapel was constructed having the bare minimal spiritual needs of the people in mind. With the railway route (which runs a few yards in front of the church) and private properties flanking on either sides, there is virtually no scope for expansion. Yet, the people of Utorda have learnt to manage their spiritual affairs within the limited resources.

[The Main Altar of the Utorda church - Pic: Dale Menezes]

The addition/renovation work In order to find out more about the addition/renovation to the church in Utorda, I contacted Rev. Fr. Britto Fernandes, the parish priest. It is under his leadership and guidance the parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes church have stepped forward to see their endeavour come to fruition. Thirty years after the chapel was elevated to the status of a church, the parish of Utorda is all set to usher change. The sacristy, as informed by Fr. Britto, was in bad condition. This led to the renovation of the sacristy as well as the addition of an air-conditioned prayer room (where the Blessed Sacrament will be available to the faithful throughout the day) and a mini community hall. A garage is also adjusted in the limited space.

[Rev. Fr. Britto Fernandes - Pic: Dale Menezes]

Fr. Britto is a man all for heritage as he says that every precaution was taken not to harm the structure of the church in any way. “Ami adli igorz ji asa ti toxich dovorlea,” [We have not touched the church in any way] Fr. Britto informed me. In fact extreme care was taken not to demolish the exterior wall of the church while making way for the extension. The teak-wood doors which have stood the test of time were also re-used. The foundation for the new construction was laid on 11th February, 2009, the day of the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, during the tenure of the committee comprising of the Parish Priest (President), Mr. Jose Pereira (Procurator), Mr. Elvis Pereira (Treasurer) and members, Mr. Marcelino Braganza and Mrs. Linda Pereira.

Inside the church, the century old wood altars are exquisitely crafted and at once evoke devotion. Fr. Britto also told me about the efforts put into preserving the false-ceiling made of wood, as he showed me around the interior of the church. Fr. Britto has made prudent use of the limited space available to make room for the new structure. A generator room which existed and was slightly in the path of new structure was not pulled down as it could be used as a store room for the church.
Fr. Britto agrees that the Utorda church has set an example to preserve the old and the new. “Definitely heritage is very important as it is the wealth and health of Goan society,” he opined. “Ek pavtt kitem-i moddlear (portem) mellta?” [Once we destroy something, can we get it back?] are his parting words to me.
The inauguration of the new sacristy, mini community hall, prayer room and the garage will take place on the 13th of May, 2010 under the new committee which has the Parish Priest as the President, Mr. Domingos Braganza (Procurator), Mr. Elvis Pereira (Treasurer) and members: Mr. Tony Pereira and Mrs. Emy Pereira. Rev. Fr. Jose Remedios Fernandes, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman will bless and inaugurate the new additions.

[As published in Gomantak Times (today) 12th May 2010].

Pictures courtesy: Dale Menezes

DSC06431: Rev. Fr. Britto Fernandes

DSC06434: The Main Altar of the Utorda church

DSC06438: The façade of the Utorda church

Pictures exclusive to www.goa-world.com

Friday, March 26, 2010

Vijayadatta Lotlikar

Coconut: The Art of Coconut Craft
Vijaydatta Lotlikar (Master Craftsman)

Lotlikar 255/1, Arradi, Parra, Bardez, Goa Ph +91 832 2472067
M: +91-9423834208. Email vijay_lotlikar@yahoo.com

Released under the Creative Commons 3.0 license, non-commercial, attribution(except text copyrighted by others). May be reproduced for non-commercialpurposes, with attribution.ISBN 978-81-905682-34

Published by Goa,1556, Saligão 403511 Goa, India. http://goa1556.goa-india.org, goa1556@gmail.com +91-832-2409490.

Goa 1556 is an alternative publishing venture, named after the accidental arrival of Asia’s first Gutenberg-inspired printing press here.
Other publications: SONGS OF THE SURVIVORS (on Goans in Burma, Yvonne Vaz-Ezdani, ed, 2007), IN BLACK AND WHITE: INSIDERS’ STORIES ABOUT THE PRESS IN GOA (2008), GIRLS IN GREEN (alumni writings from St Mary’s, Mapusa, 2008) and MEDIEVAL GOA (Dr. T. R. De Souza, 2009), ANOTHER GOA (Frederick Noronha, 2009) � Cover design by Bina Nayak http://www.binanayak.com � Illustrations by Mahesh Naik, Assonora � Photographs from the collection of Vijaydatta Lotlikar and by Frederick Noronha � Printed and bound in Byculla, Mumbai by Rama Harmalkar, 9326102225 Typeset using LYX, http://www.lyx.org Text set in Palatino, 11 point.

Price: Rs. 195 in India.
Overseas US$ 19.95 or Euro 13.95

A review I did on Fr Ave Maria Afonso's Konknni book, Rendermam' ani Tachem Jivit forms part of this book on Coconuts.
Please see chapter 4, page 37 onwards.

Walter Menezes

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

14 Doyalleo Kornneo

Review of Brenda Menezes’ Konkani book…

By J P Pereira
Navhind Times, February 12, 2010

Brenda Menezes from Quepem, after penning a beautiful collection of humorous one-act plays titled, ‘Nattyangann’ in the Devnagri script, has released a collection of short stories, this time in the Roman script, for children and adults who are young at heart. The book titled ‘14 Doyalleo Kornneo’ has 14 short stories teaching morals for a good living, adapted from the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

‘Bhukel’leank Jevunk Diunchem’, ‘Tanel’leank Pieunk Diunchem’, Vinglleank Nhesunk Diunchem’, ‘Peleak Bori Budh Diunchi’, ‘Dukhestank Bhuzvonn Diunchi’ and ‘Jiveam Ani Meloleam Khatir Magchem’ are some of the stories from the collection. Recounted in a simple and lucid style, children are bound to enjoy and gain a lot of understanding on how to show love towards one another. The author in the foreword pays a fitting tribute to the late Fr Edwin D’Souza, ex-Principal of Pope John XXIII High School, Quepem, who was a mentor and guide to her and all the children he taught.

The book published by the Dalgado Konkani Academy is priced at Rs 50 and is worth much more than that. Buy a copy for your children and if you have time, read it yourself. It is never too late to learn a good thing.

The book is available at:

Star Book Stall, Quepem

Confidant, Margao

Zito’s, Near Cine Lata, margao

Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Vidyanagar, Margao; and

Dalgado Konkani Akademi, Campal Trade Centre, St. Inez, Panaji.


14 Doyalleo Kornneo

Boroupi: Brenda Menezes

(c) Dalgado Konknni Akademi
Poili Avurt'ti - 2009
Uzavddavpi: Dalgado Konkanni Akademi, John Paul Building, 3rd Floor,
Classic Commercial Centre, Church Square, Panjim, Goa - 403001

Chhap'pi: Shayadri Offsets, Corlim, Ilhas, Goa.

Bhailem Chitr: Dale Menezes

Bhitorlim chitram: Govit Morajkar/Vesley Carrasco.

Mol 50/- Rupia.

Hem pustok Dalgado Konknni Akademiche 'Konknni Sahit'yacho Prochar Yeuzonn' hache khal chhaplam.
Hem pustokant bhaxechea adhunik nemam pormannem bodol kelea.



Sunday, March 21, 2010



A review of Sidhanath Buyao’s Konknni album, Grateful to Jesus

By: Walter Menezes

A little bit of ash on your forehead, a subtle reminder that you are dust and unto dust one day you will return, and Christians from all over the world are enduring a forty-day period of prayer and penance. It is that time of the year to dust the cobwebs from the corners of your life, shift into ‘silent mode’ and recollect with a grateful heart the many gifts and blessings received from Jesus.

Two weeks ago, after more than a month of hectic activities which kept me away from contributing my regular comic strip to GT, just when I was trying to settle down to conduct a much needed spiritual exercise of ‘stock-taking’, I came across Sidhanath Buyao’s Konknni album, Grateful to Jesus.

Dedicated to a very close friend, Jose Rod (Kuwait), who recently underwent a major operation, Sidhanath gratefully acknowledges the gift of ‘a new life’ which Jesus gave to the famous tiatrist. ‘Dekhun kallzache kholayentlean Dhonia Jezuche upkar,’ he mentions on the jacket of the album released in December, 2009.

The album is a blend of two different backgrounds. Konknni poet John Aguiar’s inspiring lyrics which spring forth from a heart embedded in Christian faith and Sidhanath Buyao’s equally touching music which is a fusion of tabla, santoor, sitar and the western instruments. The result: a refreshingly different album of Christian devotional songs.

Grateful to Jesus sets off in earnest with Natalanchi Parab, the lines of the famous carol…Long time ago in Bethlehem / So the Holy Bible says…greeting you, in English, at the very beginning of the track. But like a train which slows down and gently changes tracks as it approaches a station, Sidhanath effortlessly changes gears and lets us on to the Konknni version of the Christmas story:
Aiz ami nachum-ia, aiz ami gavum-ia
Natalanchi Parab ami khuxalkayen monoum-ia.
(Let us dance today, let us sing today
Let us with joy, celebrate Christmas day)

Tum Mhojem Sharann-sthan (You Are My Refuge) is one song which I have been listening to practically every day ever since Sidhanath’s sister, Mandovi, a friend of my wife, gave the album to us. Like the waves of a calm ocean washing up on the shore, Aguiar’s lyrics, Buyao’s voice and the music score all combine to caress and soothe your soul. Listen to these lines from the song:

Tum mhoje dolle, Tum mhoje kan
Jezu Tum mhoji prernna, sharann-sthan
(You are my eyes, You are my ears
You are my inspiration Jesus, my refuge)

Likewise, in Povitr Otmea Yo (Come O Holy Spirit), the poet-musician duo cast a similar spell on the listener:
Povitr Otmea yo
Mhoje jinnent bhitor sor
Jezuchea paim-am lagim mhaka begin vhor
(Come O Holy Spirit
Enter into my life
And quickly lead me unto Jesus’ feet)

Jezucho Jai-Jaikar (Praising Jesus) brings about a fresh dimension at the way Christian devotional songs can be sung. Rendered in the bhajan style, this format could well be used by the Church to ensure the total participation of the entire congregation.

But the best of them all is the last track, Jezu Krista, originally written, composed and sung by ‘Goem Shahir’ Ulhas Buyao. Sidhanath breathes life into the lines and with his voice, which at times reminds us of his late father, captures the essence of the song:
Jezu Krista, Putra Devachea
Noman Rochnnara sorga-sonvsarachea
Zolm tuvem ghetloi gottheant gorvanchea
Upodre- koxtt sonsle angnnant Pilatachea
Sotak lagon prann soddloi dongrar Kalvarichea
(Jesus Christ, Son of God
O Creator of heaven and earth
Born in a manger
You suffered in the courtyard of Pilate
And died for truth on the Mount of Calvary)

There is no doubt that Sidhanath’s Buyao’s album of devotional songs, Grateful To Jesus will help us to come a little more closer to Jesus.

[John Aguiar, who wrote the lyrics]

(First appeared on Gomantak Times dated 22.03.2010)

Sidhanath Buyao can be contacted at:
Buyao Theatres Goem,
1761, Gogol, Fatorda,
Goa - 403 601, India.
email: subuyao@gmail.com
subuyao at gmail.com

As forwarded to www.goa-world.com.

Friday, March 5, 2010



He has established a Music School in Curchorem and has four albums under his belt. He was recently felicitated by Dalgado Konknni Akademi at the Dusrem Konknni (Romi Lipi) Sahit’ya & Sonvskruti Sommelon for his contribution to music. Walter Menezes catches up with Fr. Nixon D’Silva, Director of Fr. Agnel’s School of Music & Performing Art.

After fifteen long years of formation in the seminary when he finally said Yes to Jesus in 2000, the theme on his ordination day was: Make me a sweet melody, O Lord!

And ever since that day, for Fr. Nixon D’Silva, a young priest from Navelim of the Society of Pilar, life has been precisely that: a sweet melody! In 2003, he released his first album, Shirya Laira at the 3rd Asian Youth Day in Bangalore and three years later followed it up with his second offering, Francis, A Man In A Hurry.

‘Shirya Laira is all about praise and worship and reflections of one’s own life while Francis, A Man In A Hurry, is on the life of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of our society. Laced with commentaries, this album is the product of a play we had staged during the Exposition in 2004,’ Fr. Nixon informed.

Second album apart, 2006 is one year Fr. Nixon would always remember. Hand-picked by the Goa Province to head a mission of a different kind altogether, he packed his few belongings and, with his violin and his guitar in tow, headed down south and on September 4, 2006 established Fr. Agnel’s School of Music & Performing Arts in Curchorem.

‘Yes, I had my doubts when I set forth,’ he confided. ‘But they soon vanished. In the first year, I was amazed at the response. We had 140 students on our rolls! Today we have around 150 students learning violin, keyboards, guitar and drums. Some of the parents who accompany their children have joined in too. Rather than sitting out, waiting for their kids to finish, these parents are making optimum use of their spare time,’ he added.

Today, the school attracts students of all communities not only from Curchorem but from other places like Rivona, Tilamol, Kepem, Assolda and Sanguem. Classes are held in the evenings from three to six and the school assisted by six dedicated teachers, follow the Trinity College syllabus. Fr. Nixon is all praise for the students who learn the intricacies of the instruments in temporary premises located at Kakoda.

‘Music schools require a different set of classes and I feel for my students who work very hard, ignoring the difficulties they face because of classroom constrains. My superiors are seized of the matter and we may soon have a school building of our own,’ Fr. Nixon disclosed.

[Fr. Nixon being felicitated by Curchorem MLA, Shyam Saterdekar]

If the fruits of hard work are any indicator, then Fr. Agnel’s School of Music & Performing Arts has plenty of them in its kitty. Three of its students who represented their respective schools won prizes at the Talent Search Contest organized by Department of Art and Culture, Govt. of Goa, under the ‘violin’ category. At the Trinity College of Music exams also, the school has been consistently securing cent percent results since inception. Valerie Mascarenhas (2007) and Clint Fernandes (2008) topped the Trinity College results in Goa under Grade I Violin and Grade II Violin respectively while last year, Anjos Joseph just missed by a whisker to be on top under Grade II Keyboards. Elsewhere, the students are already proving to be valuable assets in the choirs and annual gatherings of their respective parishes and schools.

Fr. Nixon admits that there are no takers for the blowing instruments. When asked what could be the reason, he said, ‘Students have this wrong notion that blowing instruments are only meant for funerals and feasts. They do not know the depth of these instruments or the wonders they can work upon them. We have to change their mindset. This will take some time. Besides, nowadays we hardly see any commercial band making use of these blowing instruments. How will our children be inspired to use them?’

Perhaps this explains why Fr. Nixon invited Goa’s celebrated musician, Braz Gonsalves to perform at the First Annual Day of the school. Braz mesmerized an entire audience on his soprano sax but for the students and their parents, blowing instruments are yet to catch their fancy and their attention.

At the Third Annual Day to be held on Sunday, March 7, 2010 at Ravindra Bhavan, Curchorem, Fr. Nixon plans to introduce Goff, a Goan folk dance before the audience and then follow it up by making folk dances a part of the curriculum too from next year onwards.

[The students and teachers of Music School]
When I caught up with Fr. Nixon last week, a group of his students were busy rehearsing the Goff as they moved in and out of the circle, conscious of the design their saffron and white sheets of cloths were forming above them, while simultaneously dancing to the strains of chandr udela, go baye....Nandager aiz babu zala…aaz nach nachum-ia, goff ami khellum-ia…chandr udela..

Unlike the title of his second album, Fr. Nixon is a man who is never in a hurry, not where music is concerned. Strong in composition and production, he sits down to compose only when he is in the ‘flow’ or feels strongly ‘inspired’. ‘Everything comes from Him. It is His Spirit which inspires me. Sometimes I marvel. Is this from me? I ask,’ he told me with a humble heart.

In the thick and thin of establishing a new school in 2006, Fr. Nixon also released another album, this time in Konkani, Somudai Zai a compilation of basic Christian community songs to be sung during the meetings. Last year, at the Annual Day, Pilar Fathers Production brought out his fourth album, Where Can I Go, Lord?

‘This album is based on scriptures and the title song, Where Can I Go, Lord? literally became my passport for a performance in Dubai last October. Ellison Fernandes, a NRI Goan of Siolim had picked up my album in Mapusa and so touched was he by my song that Country Cousins, an organization he is intimately associated with in Dubai, arranged my trip. Alexyz, Goa’s famous cartoonist was also invited,’ Fr. Nixon informed.

When asked what it is that attracts so many young – and old – students to Fr. Agnel’s School of Music & Performing Arts, Fr. Nixon told me that there is no mantra. ‘On the first day of school, every year, I make it a point to show them a small power-point presentation of Tony Melendez (Toe Jam) of Nicaragua who has no arms but still plays the guitar with his feet. At the end of the presentation, I tell my students: If a man who has no arms can play so well, what about us, we who have hands as well?’

I did not ask Fr. Nixon about the response of his students. But I am sure it would be something like this: Yes, we can. Yes, we will!

[Note: Fr. Agnel's School of Music & Permorming Arts, Curchorem, a school which Fr. Nixon D'Silva established, is celebrating its Annual Day on Sunday, 7th March 2010.
An edited version of this article appears on Gomantak Times today, ie 06.03.2010. Goa-world.com team wishes Fr. Nixon D'Silva, the students and teachers all the very best on the occasion of its Annual Day]


Friday, January 1, 2010

LYRICS OF LOSS AND LONGING - A preview of Apurbayecho Kunvor


A preview of Apurbayecho Kunvor, Dr Francisco Colaço’s tribute to his departed son.

By Walter Menezes

He was bestowed with exceptional qualities of head and heart. Gentle, kind and humble, he was always full of compassion for the poor and the needy.

All through his school days at Loyola’s, Margao, he remained steadily focused on his goal. Two years in Chowgule College thereafter, when the doors of Goa Medical College opened up for him, he knew he would one day follow in his father’s footsteps.

But God sometimes has other plans…

After three consecutive night-duties in his first year post-graduation residency in Medicine, he was returning home on his motor-bike when the two-wheeler skidded at Kesarval and he suffered multiple head injuries.

A week later, on 17.11.1996, his ‘wheel of life’ stopped.

Melvin Pablo Colaço returned to the Lord!

The death of his bábá in the prime of his life left a horrible hollow in Dr Francisco Colaço’s heart. He was shattered. And so were Fernanda, his wife and Elaine and Anabelle, his daughters.

Losing a son around whom our lives - and our dreams - are built and centered is never easy. It was not easy for Dr Colaço, either. In a touching article on GT last year, he wrote of those final moments of Melvin’s journey on earth, ‘Friends, relatives and admirers, who had smiled and laughed with him yesterday but never thought he would say goodbye so prematurely - dutifully and heartbroken - came to be now his gentle pall-bearers. I vividly remember the awful empty feeling in the pit of my stomach when his casket was being lowered into the grave. The thoughts of ending my own life were uppermost in my mind, as friends and loved ones jostled to pull us – his inconsolable parents and his two sisters – away from the graveside.’

Time, sometimes, does not heal all wounds. As Dr Colaço confesses, ‘years of depression and sleepless nights followed…sometimes waking up early morning, and for just a blessed split second, thinking that everything was just like before.’

Thirteen years since that tragic night, Dr Francisco Colaço has been bravely carrying his cross, immersing himself in his Echocardiography & Ultrasound Centre at Margao, contributing articles to local newspapers and lending his voice in support of various social issues at public forums.

But when the day is done or when there is a pause and a quiet moment, through the cold recesses of time and tide, Melvin returns: sometimes as a star, shining brightly in the sky and sometimes like a prince from the fairy tale.

Dr Francisco Colaço’s VCD, Apurbayecho Kunvor (Beloved Prince), to be released on 29.12.2009 at Daddy’s Home Auditorium, Gogol, Margao, is in essence not only a tribute from a father to his departed son but is also a mirror of the special bond that existed between them and the lasting love residing in the secret chambers of his heart.

A great musician and singer, Dr Colaço’s lyrics, set to memorable music by Daryl Rodrigues and Tony Fernandes with Braz Gonsalves on the soprano sax, are sure to tug your soul-strings, long after the track is over.

There is an unusual prelude to the title song, the appearance of a prince on a white horse. There is anguish and pain, Dr Colaço’s voice choked with emotions, as he begins:

Kunvor kannyentlo
Dhovea ghoddear bosun dislolo
Sopon nhoi mhunn
Konn mhaka sangtolo

(The prince from the story
I see him, there he was
Riding on a white horse
Oh! Will someone tell me but
That a dream it was not?)

Dr Colaço then wakes up from his dream and he knows that even as he relives the memories of his son, kalliz kitlem doyall / utor kitlem mogall (how kind was your heart / how sweet your word), he must rise and face the world. Again and again. In moments such as these, he turns to his Lord and asks:

Di Dhonia mhaka
Alaxiro thoddo
Zodd zal’lo sonvsar
Korunk fuddo

(Grant me, Oh! Lord
Some comfort I pray
My world is burdened
Help me to face the day)

The deepest thoughts, the fullest emotions of loss and longing find their outlet in the words and voice of Dr Francisco Colaço in Apurbayecho Kunvor. The tribute and the track will leave you with tears in your eyes!

(This article first appeared on the Gomantak Times (Goa) - English newspaper
dated 22.12.2009)

Link article:
[Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994)]
Posted by Goa-World.COM