Goencho ‘Padri’ Mesmerizes Crowd at KPS Decennial Celebration

Goencho ‘Padri’ Mesmerizes Crowd at KPS Decennial Celebration

Goencho ‘Padri’ mesmerizes audience at the Decennial Celebration of Konkani Prachar Sanchalan held at Don Bosco Hall on 9 October 2016

Mangaluru: Konkani Prachar Sanchalan which has been working with the motive of Konkani education in schools since its inception in 2006, had its Decennial Celebration on Sunday, 9 October 2016 at Don Bosco Hall-Mangaluru. After invoking God’s blessings through a prayer song, President of the Sanchalan Lawrence D’souza welcomed the gathering, followed by reading of the lengthy decennial activities report by James D’souza- Secretary of the Sanchalan. Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, along with MLA JR Lobo, Roy Castelino- president of State Konkani Sahitya Academy, President of the Sanchalan Lawrence D’Souza, among others inaugurated the programme by stirring Vorn (traditional Catholic dessert) in a clay pot in a traditional style, and served it to the dignitaries on the dais. Even the guests had the privilege to enjoy the ‘Vorn’ which was also served to them. Yummy!

Addressing the gathering, Bishop Aloysius said, ” At the outset I want to compliment Roy Castelino for his hard work, determination, dedication and commitment towards this Sanchalan and for raising it to greater heights, thereby also promoting the Konkani culture, language, music, tradition and literature. It’s sad to note that due to rise in English/CBSE schools, Konakani language has been neglected by the children since it is in Kannada script. One way to encourage Konkani among children is to switch it from Kannada script to Roman script. Parents should also play an important role in inculcating Konkani language among their children-they need to communicate in Konkani at home, thereby keeping Konkani alive.”

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“We also need to appreciate all the good deeds done by Roy Casteino in promoting Konkani, not to mention his efforts in introducing Konkani in school and colleges, and lately starting a MA course in Konkani at Mangalore University. We see only a few Christian institutions that are promoting Konkani, but I would insist on every institution managed by by Catholics start teaching Konkani, thereby Save the Konkani Language.I wish the Sanchalan all success in their efforts to raise Konkani to higher level in the society” added the Bishop.

The founder president of Sanchalan, Roy Castelino addressing the gathering said, ” It was Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza that supported the Sanchalan when it was just started, during which time many Catholic schools/colleges were reluctant in teaching Konkani language. It was also during the time when government gave permission to include Konkani in the syllabus, but sadly there was no help, no funds, no proper Konkani teachers nor translators and so on. At this juncture, Eric Ozario, who was the president of State Konkani Sahitya Academy stepped in and insisted that it was time to start a organization to promote Konkani. It was not an easy task, as many schools/colleges were not too supportive to our plans. At this moment we thought of seeking the help from the Bishop, who readily agreed and offered his full support and encouragement to our project”.

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“So, in the year 2006, about 1500 students came forward to learn Konkani, but in the next year the number decreased by 400 students, which made us to worry. But God was on our side, as years went by Konkani was accepted by many. At present there are about 75 schools in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts who teach Konkani to nearly 1500 students, whereas nearly 400 students are learning Konkani in Uttara Kannada. To preserve Konkani language we have been striving hard to retain Konkani language through various programmes. We are also working hard to introduce Konkani as a third language in many schools in the district, and also try to take up many initiatives to reach Konkani to greater heights. Some of the projects are: During the months of April, May and June, we visited schools of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi and held meetings with Headmasters and students. We also stressed the importance of Konkani to be inculcated among students. We have also organized four Konkani Education Awareness Campaigns in UK, Udupi and DK, through street plays, brochures and banners/hoardings.” added Castelino.

While concluding, Roy said, “We have also organized two training programmes for teachers along with Public Education Department and DIET. Also organized cultural programme for children to create Konkani learning environment in schools, including Konkani Children’s Day and other cultural events. We have also distributed free school text books, and during Konkani Teachers Annual Convention, we honored few teachers under the Mandd Sobahan Konakani Shresta Shikshaki awards. For all these activities and campaigns to bring awareness about the Konkani language, we spend nearly Rs 12 lakhs every year, including incentives to Konkani teachers since government doesn’t give additional incentives to them. But we never stopped, we have continued our work by taking bank loans, in order to preserve the Konkani language, its tradition and culture. But sadly there are a few hate-mongers who are spreading rumours, also questioning our work.”

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MLA J R Lobo in spite of his busy schedule since CM Siddaramaiah was in town, graced the occasion and did the honors in felicitating Bishop Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza on behalf of Konkani Prachar Sanchalan for his support and his commitment towards Konkani. Renowned Goan dramatist Prince Jacob, who also staged his Goan Tiatr ‘Padri’ on this day, was also honoured at the occasion along with the students of the first batch of MA Konkani from Mangalore university evening college. Fr Alwyn Serrao proposed the vote of thanks, while the programme was professionally compered by Vithori Karkal. The formal function ended with a humorous Goan Tiatr “Padri” written by Prince Jacob from Goa- and this was his 338th presentation staged in Kodiyal.

To gauge the mood of a Prince Jacob play, one caught Padri – about people expecting divine things from priests and being merciless when they err – at Don Bosco Hall on a lazy Sunday evening. The audience was predominately mixed of young, old and middle-aged, more nuns and less priests, sauntered in with family or friends, relaxed and ready to enjoy the play. ‘Wows’ and ‘Awwws’, whistles and laughs were aplenty at the changing backdrops and sets painted in UV light, and dialogues and songs punctuated by a live band of saxophones, guitar and piano. Comic timing is king, noticed especially in the scene between Jacob, cross dressing as a Maharashtrian bride to besotted husband, actor Humbert (also Jacob’s elder brother), which drew the most laughs. Great Acting and Great Play indeed!

About Prince Jacob, and his Tiatr (Play)-“Padri” :

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Prince Jacob whose real name is Minguel Jacob Carmo Luis Fernandes, had made his debut in the field of Tiatr at the age of 13, in Rosario Dias’ tiatr “Chuk Hanvem Adharli” in 1973. Besides being a successful director and a comedian Prince Jacob is also known for experimenting and introducing novelties and innovations on the tiatr stage. For e.g., To make certain scenes very effective, he introduced magic or illusion for Tiatrs such as ‘Pidda’ and ‘Raja Rani’. In his tiatr ‘Panvnnek’ a living dog as part of the story, this unique move created sensation among the Tiatr audience. In another tiatr ‘Pavlam’ he introduced a real handicapped person.

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His first tiatr was ‘Pinzrem’. The tiatrs written by him were named in such a way that the initials of Tiatr were in the letter ‘P’ For e.g. ‘Pavnnek’, ‘Pordexi’, ‘Pangllo’, ‘Poltodd’, ‘Poixe-Poixe’, ‘Patkam’, ‘Pisso’, ‘Podvi’, ‘Put’, ‘Posco’, etc. In this way he wrote and directed and staged 25 Tiatrs; the 25th being ‘Padri’ which subsiquently became the first tiatr in the history to complete 315 performances. After 25 productions starting with letter ‘P’ as initials he started another chain of production but this time with letter ‘R’ as initials. For e.g. ‘Raja Rani’, ‘Rag’, ‘Rostad’, ‘Rupia’, ‘Rontto’, ‘Rogot’, ‘Rudan’, ‘Randponn’, ‘Rajvodki’ etc., For the first time in the history of Konkani tiatr, a full length Marathi drama ‘Sahi re Sahi’ was translated in Konkani and converted into a tiatr. ‘Sahi re Sahi’ was written by Kedar Shinde and was running succesfully in Maharashtra.

Besides being a director, writer and actor, Prince Jacob is also a good lyricist and a singer. So far he has produced 11 Konkani Albums. He has also produced two Konkain Films: 1.) ‘Padri’ (Celluloid Film) and 2.) ‘Roddonaka’ (HD film). Prince Jacob is not only an excellent artist, but an excellent human being too. He is a social worker with a difference. A patriot who is proud to be an Indian. He uses certain percentage of his earnings for human causes. He has helped children to undergo operations, he collected funds towards Road Activities Vitims Trust. From the profits of Tiatr ‘Padri’, an amount of about Rs. 2.70 Lakhs was donated for the formation of Priests and Nuns, during Kargil War, he collected Rs. 52,000/- and sent it for the welfare of the Jawans.

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Prince Jacob believes that to excel in any field one needs to work hard and any work produced due to hard work will never lose its importance. Sincere effort will pay you back. Prince Jacob is a living example of success through hard work. He is presently the President of Tiatr Academy of Goa (TAG) and RJ at Radio Mirchi. For Goans and the Konkani-speaking, this playwright, director, singer and actor is the Raj Kapoor of Konkani theatre.

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