Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Konkani book "TURO" - A review by: Walter Menezes


VINCY QUADROS' KONKANI AWARD WINNING BOOK OF SHORT STORIES "TURO"
STORIES OF LOVE AND LUST, FAITH AND FORTITUDE


 A review of the book by: Walter Menezes

(first appeared on Gomantak Times dated 25.01.2011)

An unusual cover design: a combination of flowers, the main altar of a church in all its glitter and the writer himself, greeted me when I picked up a copy of Turo, Vincy Quadros’ award-winning book of Konknni short stories in Roman script and I wondered why. Two pages into the book, I found it was Vincy’s way of dedicating his collection to Neves Saibinn (Our Lady of Snows), the patroness of Raia parish. “…zaitea kalla thavn mhoji itsa asli mhojem ek tori pustok Neves Saibinnik ompunk. Aiz hi mhoji itsa purnn zata mhunn Neves Saibinnik hanv din’vastam ani noman kortam. (I have been nursing a wish for a long time to dedicate one of my books to Our Lady of Snows. I thank and praise Neves Saibinn for having fulfilled this wish.),” he says in his introduction, Kothancho Turo Bandtana… Incidentally, the book was released on 5th August, 2010, the day of the feast of Our Lady of Snows.

Like the finely crafted main altar on the cover, the hundred plus pages that make this book gives us a glimpse of Vincy’s craftsmanship as a storyteller, encompassing a variety of subjects ranging from love and lust to matters of faith and fortitude. “Protek kothent ek nirop asa, dekh asa ani jivitachi somzonni asa…(There is a message and a moral, and the meaning of life in every story…),” is how Fr. Cipriano da Silva has summed up the ten stories in Turo.

The first, Olem Mon, is a touching story of Salvador who returns home after 5 long years in Kuwait and goes to visit Sabina, the girl who holds a special place in his heart, that same evening with a bag full of imported perfumes and soap. But is Sabina waiting? Towards the end of the story and using minimum space, Vincy not only creates a tragic twist in the tale but a remarkable story as well. Mukti, on the other hand, focuses on a young and educated Sunita’s journey into the rough and tumble of politics and her determined fight to free her village from the clutches of soreachim dukanam (liquor shops) and tavernas. Moved at the sight of male members addicted to liquor and families in ruins, she makes ‘hea ganvant bhouxik lugarancher soro bond (ban sale of liquor at public places in this vaillage)’ her one and only slogan during the panchayat elections and she not only wins but goes on to become the Sarpanch as well!

In Svatontreo, Vincy uses Meena to give a new lease of life to her mother while elsewhere his heart bleeds at the sight of atrocities and injustices heaped upon women. Ruchika is not only a stark reminder of the ‘games’ powerful people play but a reconstruction of sorts of the infamous Ruchika/Rathore saga that hogged the limelight not so long ago.

In Ostori Dis, when Sumitra conceives for the third time and goes to her mother-in-law to inform her of the doctor’s advice and the risks involved if she continues with her pregnancy, her sasumai rubbishes her saying, “Amger zaunk nant go bhurgim? (You think we have not borne children?)” Clearly, Vincy is a man with his ear to the ground and uses such crisp dialogues, like tea-bags, to flavor his collection.

At times, however, one does notice this need not only to fine-tune the stories (Zatra, Devacho Gutt) but add a dash of colour too. In Kurpa, where the story unfolds on 5th August, the day the Raia parish celebrates the feast of Neves Saibinn, Vincy only makes a passing reference to the cutting-of-the-corn ceremony (hech disak Gõyant poilem konnos katortat) with which the feast is associated. Also known all over as Konnsachem Fest (Harvest Feast), Vincy could have done well to include a para or two detailing the pomp and pageantry as the first corn is cut by the priest, heralding the beginning of the harvest season. And in Devacho Gutt, the word horaunk (to plead) seems a little out of place, especially from a Catholic’s point of view. [“Devak horaunk hache poros dusro lugar khoim asa Padr Vigar? (Father, can anyone find a better place than this to plead before God?),” Maria asks the parish priest when questioned about her presence inside the church.]

Published under the Pikavoll scheme of Dalgado Konknni Akademi, Turo could have been a shade better if Vincy had done another round of spell-check to weed out some unnecessary mistakes.

While complimenting Vincy on being awarded the Konknni Martir Floriano Vaz Puroskar instituted by Thomas Stephen’s Konknni Kendr, Porvorim for Turo, here’s wishing him Neves Saibinnichi kurpa to scale greater heights in the years to come!

Walter Menezes


About the book:
TURO (a collection of short stories) by Vincy Quadros
Published by Filomena Quadros for Snows Prakashan, Arlem, Raia
Pages: 114, Price: Rs.60/-

[ The author can be contacted via email: vincyquadros at gmail.com
Vincy Quadros is the recipient of the 2010 Konknni Martir Floriano Vaz Puroskar, the literary award instituted by Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr, Porvorim for his collection of short stories, Turo.
The award was conferred on him on Republic Day, 26th January, 2011. Vincy Quadros is also the Vice President [Op-odheokx] of the Goa Konknni Akademi and his postal address is:
"Snows Krupa", Arlem, Raia, Salcete Goa and can be contacted on his Mobile - 9822587498.
Visit me at http://vincyquadros.blogspot.com/ ].

Related pictures:
1. Vincy receiving the Konknni Martir Florian Vaz Puroskar from Chief Guest, Shri Cyriaco Dias. Dr. (Fr.) Pratap Naik, Director, TSKK is also seen.

2. Vincy with Smt. Ophelia D’Souza (recipient of Antonio Pereira Konknni Puroskar) and Jose Salvador Fernandes (recipient of Dr. Jack Sequeira Puroskar). Fr. Pratap Naik, Shri Cyriaco Dias and Trupti Naik are also seen.

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