Ha..ha..ha..! Comedy King ‘Dolla Mangaluru’ Conferred with 14th ‘Mandd Sobhann-Kalakar Puraskar’
Mangaluru: Ha…ha…ha..ha…ha…ha..ha…ha..ha..ha..ha..ha..ha…ha…ha..!!!! I have been laughing since last night and I can’t still resist my laugh after listening to a few jokes cracked by ‘Dolla Mangaluru’ while he spoke after receiving the prestigious ‘Mandd Sobhann-Kalakar Puraskar’ at the award ceremony held at Kalaangann-Shakthinagar, Mangaluru on Sunday, 4 November 2108. ‘Dolla’ ended his speech short since he had to rush to Don Bosco Hall, Mangaluru, where a drama directed by Him, along with Assistant Director Claud D’souza named ‘Ashi Tashi Tashi Ashi Ashi Kashi Zali Pischi’ was staged there on the occasion of Platinum Jubilee Celebration of Konkani Natak Sabha. But why would someone organize this programme at Don Bosco Hall on the same evening, when they knew that ‘Dolla’ had to be at Kalaangann to receive his award? Oh well, that’s one more joke! Ha..ha..ha..ha..ha..!
Sunday evening was a great moment for Avitas Adolfus Cutinha, fondly known as ‘Dolla Mangaluru’, the eminent director, actor, theatre artiste and comedian, who had been aptly chosen to receive the ‘Mandd Sobhann – Carval Gharanne’ Kalakar Puraskar, for his unparalleled contribution of six decades to the field of Konkani Theatre. The award was bestowed on him at a ceremony held at Kaalangann, which was presented to him by the chief guest of the occasion, Fr Dr Praveen Martis SJ, the principal of St Aloysius (Autonomous)-Mangaluru, along with other dignitaries on the dais, namely- Fr Pratap Nayak from Carvalho Gharanne, Mandd Sobhan gurkar Eric Ozario, president Louis Pinto and secretary Kishore Fernandes, both of Mandd Sobhann. The Award consisted of a cash amount of Rs. 25000/-, a Citation, a Memento and Public Honour.
Receiving the award in his witty acceptance speech Comedy King Dolla said, “This award conferred on me is because of the love, support and encouragement shown by all you people, and I owe a big thank you. Hope you all know what my real name is, if not, here it is- my birth name is Avitas Adolfus Cutinha, but people fondly refer me as ‘Dolla Mangaluru’. But all the cheques are written in my original name, including today’s cash prize of Rs 25,000- and my wife has escorted me, fearing that I may run away with the cheque. Sorry that I won’t be cracking any jokes tonight, since I have to attend yet another event where my very own drama ‘Ashi Tashi Tashi Ashi Ashi Kashi Zali Pischi’ is staged at Don Bosco Hall. My soul can’t be at two places, so I am taking off. Thanks for Mandd Sobhann for commencing this programme in time, like they say , “Where there is ‘Kristh’ there is ‘Shisth’?. Thank you all for your blessings”.
In his address to the packed audience at Kaalangann, Fr Dr Praveen Martis SJ said, “We all need to commend Avitas Adolfus Cutinha aka ‘Dolla Mangaluru’ for his love towards Konakani culture and literature and taking our mother tongue Konkani language to greater heights. I ask families to groom your children in an atmosphere of Konkani by transmitting the language and the cultural heritage. You need to teach your children to read and write in all three major scripts ( to put an end to the politics of script ) and speak ‘fluently’where basic Konkani greetings, colours, human relations must also be taught to discourage children from words and phrases from other languages”.
Fr Praveen SJ further said, “Since Konkani is included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution, and therefore it can also be spoken in the parliament. This reflects the richness of Konkani language. If we don’t promote Konkani we will be questioned about whether the language deserves the status. People have already started calling Konkani a dying language. We need to work hard and preserve it. It will not happen automatically, but through our efforts and hard work it will. The present youth should follow in the footsteps of “Dolla Mangaluru” and try to imbibe as much Konkani language and culture, thus retaining our dear Konkani language and heritage. I compliment Mandd Shobhann for their keen interest in trying to promote Konkani art and culture through various programmes, and it was nice of them to award “Dolla” with this prestigious award for his enormous contribution in the field of Konkani language”.
James Lopez, the man behind the ‘Mother Teresa Brass Band-Honnavar’ had the honor to inaugurate the 203rd Monthly Theatre of Mandd sobhann which takes place First Sunday of every month, by ringing the tiny ‘Gant’ (Bell). Now it was time to “Udi Udi” and rock to some of the pulsating and heart-thumping Konkani hits by singer-musician ‘PAD’- Prajoth Anthony D’sa, who performed some of his best numbers from his recently released album “UDI UDI”. However his songs were too rough and hard on some of weak hearts of old-timers, but the middle-aged and youngsters swayed and enjoyed every bit of Prajoth’s music. The highlight of their performance was an Acappella ( that’s Italian for “in the manner of the chapel”, a music which is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment)- and Prajoth was backed by the members of Blue Angels Music group.
While the formal award ceremony part of the programme was compered by Vitori Karkal, the musical entertainment session was compered by Alwyn Danthi, who mesmerized the crowd with his witty punchlines and smooth vocabulary.
Speaking about Dynamic Comedy King ‘Dolla’, from a very young age he was involved in theatre, writing, directing and acting in Konkani and Tulu plays. As a little boy Avitas watched the circus jokers and comedians perform with keenness, thanks to his father who was associated with Circus. This, in turn, evolved him into a good comedian at a very young age. At the age of ten he was given an opportunity to play a speechless role in a play Konkani drama “Kalloka Pattlean Uzwad” and subsequently in a Tulu play “Kaljigada Madimal”. Since then, there has been no looking back and Avitas has played comedy roles in a number of Tulu and Konkani plays. He has presented shows not only in DK and Udupi but also in Bangalore, Mysore, Mumbai, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and other places.
He was the architect of Konkani’s first comedy trio – ‘Dol-Fel-Chal’. Under the title of ‘Professor Saitan’, he had also presented magic shows. He has released Three albums – ‘Dol Fel-Chal’, ‘Fokanna-Fokanna-2000’ and ‘Hip Hip Hurray’. Dolla even donned grease paint for Konkani movies ’Bhoglant,’ ’Mog Ani Moipas,’ Kannada films ’Tuvvi Tuvvi’, ’SMS 6260’, and Tulu telefilm ’Sahana’. He has also published Three books – ‘Hip-Hip-Hurray’, ‘Kuch Kuch Kuchilyo’ and ‘Has Has Haskulle’. He has also acted in Konkani and Kannada movies. He has directed many social and religious plays. He has performed all over India and in all the countries of the Middle East. He is the recipient of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Acadamy – ‘Kala Gaurav Prashasti’, ‘Konkani Kutam Prashsti’, ‘Karavall Konkani Kala Prashasti’ and many more.
And about ‘Kalakar Puraskar’-it was instituted, in the year 2005, by the Konkani linguist Rev. Dr Pratap Naik, S.J. in the name of his family (Carvalho Gharanne), to encourage Konkani performing and folk Artistes of Karnataka origin. The recipients of this Award so far, are Arun Raj Rodrigues (Theatre), Joel Pereira (Music), Harry D’Souza (Brass Band), Rev.Charles Vas, Mumbai (Devotional Music), Anuradha Dhareshwar, Dharwad (Music), Sant Bhadragiri Achut Das, Bangalore (Harikatha), James Lopes, Honnavar (Brass Band), Norbert Gonsalves (Music), Francis Fernandis Cascia, Mumbai (Theatre), Roshan D’Souza (Music), Christopher D’Souza (Theatre), Avil D’Cruz (Dance), and M. Gopala Gowda ( Folk-art).