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

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., +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 � 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, 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.
subuyao at

As forwarded to

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. team wishes Fr. Nixon D'Silva, the students and teachers all the very best on the occasion of its Annual Day]