‘Konkani Natak ‘Kedi Bona B A’ Enthralls ‘Konkani Natak Lovers’ on the 78th Anniversary Bash of KNS

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Konkani Natak ‘Kedi Bona B A’ Enthralls Konkani Natak Lovers on the 78th Anniversary Bash of Konkani Natak Sabha (KNS)-Mangaluru founded in 1943

Mangaluru: For seven decades the iconic DON BOSCO HALL on Balmatta Road in the City was an ideal place to stage Konkani, Tulu, Beary, Kannada and other language programmes which were RENOVATED at a whopping cost of Rs two crores, was inaugurated on 27 January 2022. During the renovation, care was taken not to make any alteration to its original glory/look, and now after 99% of completion of work, the hall has a New Look par Excellence in design! Don Bosco Hall was constructed in the year 1951 by the Konkani Natak Sabha. The Konkani Natak Sabha is the mother institution of Mangalore Konkani theatre Don Bosco Hall. It has served as the venue to showcase Konkani drama and performing arts. Konkani Natak Sabha was the brainchild of the Jesuit priest Rev. George Albuquerque Pai.

On September 19, 1943, he had successfully staged a Konkani drama ‘Vignant Jeeth’ at the Academy Hall of St. Aloysius College by mobilizing a few enthusiastic budding youths of Mangalore. This occasion proved to be the initiation for establishing the Konkani Natak Sabha. Hence it is considered to be the Foundation Day of Konkani Natak Sabha. ‘Natak Dwarim Dharmic Saadhan’ is the motto of Konkani Natak Sabha.

Over the last 70 years of its existence since 1951, Don Bosco Hall has provided a platform for thousands of artists, dramatists, singers and music composers to introduce and showcase their talents. This hall, which has a history of seven decades, is now renovated into a stunning modern theatre, all set to host artistic performances by the exponents of theatre, music and dance. 272 Drama and performance artiste’s of 14 different units are members of Konkani Natak Sabha. There is also a women’s unit. And after a long break during the pandemic time and also during the hall renovation period, Konkani Natak Sabha on its 78th Anniversary staged a Konkani Natak “KEDI BONA B A”, which was written by melodious Konkani Singer “Konkan Kogul” (Late) Wilfy Rebimbus, a few years ago.

Stage Artist Jeevan Vas felicitated by Fr Melwyn D’Souza for his talents

It should be noted that the Konkan Artist of the Century, Wilfy Rebimbus, born on April 2, 1942, in “Rome of the East ”, Mangaluru, in 1956, at the age of 14, started composing and singing Konkani songs. In 1957, at the age of 15, he wrote his first drama – “Poishanso Sounsar” and staged it through St. Joseph’s Natak Sangh. His other plays are 1. Modern Nouro; 2. Beshto Dubav; 3. Dhot Maka Naka; 4. Mai Maka Adainaka; 5. Bebdyachi Dhuv; 6. Tisri Chit and 7. and Kedi Bona B.A., which was staged again on 13 February 2022.

On the occasion of the 78th Anniversary of Konkani Natak Sabha, which was held on Sunday, 13 February 2022, Four persons who had played a vital role and contributed their service in a big way were honoured- they were Charlie Sequeira aka Charli Sikher (drama artist), Ms Gretta Rebello- past Vice President of KNS; Alwyn Fernandes (Prompter during dramas) and Ms Mary Lobo (Promoter) were honoured with a shawl, peta, flower basket, citation and Rs 10 thousand cash each, by the chief guest of the occasion Ron Bantwal- a multi-talented journalist, Founder and honorary chief secretary of Kannadiga Patrakartara Sangha, Maharashtra, joined by Fr Melwyn Paul D’Souza- President of KNS, and Konkani Nataka Sabha Board Members- Liston Derrick D’Souza-Vice President; Floyd D’Mello-General Secretary; Gerald Concessao-Treasurer; and Praveen Rodrigues-Joint Secretary.

In his inaugural address Ron Bantwal said, “I usually don’t accept any invitation to be a chief guest, but since KNS has helped me to come up in Konkani field of art and culture, I readily agreed to come here from Mumbai to be a dignitary on this auspicious occasion. I had been to this hall numerous times when my mother used to drag me to watch the dramas, and eventually, I made friends with Konkani artists who performed at Don Bosco Hall. For the last seven decades, Don Bosco Hall has provided opportunities to the artists in singing, dancing, acting and other talents to explore their talents on stage here. The theatre was backed by the concept of religious achievement backed by moral values and lifestyle through plays. The hall has provided opportunities for plays, musical programmes, Yakshagana, different dance forms etc.”

“With the digital age invading and lots of entertainment being browsed on the Internet, the present youth have neglected their mother tongue Konkani and its culture. Konkani lovers should support KNS in order to reach higher levels, promoting and bringing awareness to the dying Konkani language and culture. The Konkani community should extend their support and encourage the younger generation not to forget the Konkani and its heritage. I have done my part in promoting and taking the Konkani language and its culture to a greater level in Maharashtra, and I feel proud of it. We need our local Kodiyalgars to involve themselves in more Konkani related activities, and reach our “Mai Baas” to greater heights” added Rons Bantwal.

Fr Melwyn Paul D’Souza extended his heartfelt gratitude to all the donors and well-wishers who have supported KNS and the Don Bosco Hall throughout the seven decades and requested their future support to continue in promoting the Konkani language through art, music and stage acts. Following the formal programme, the house-packed audience were eagerly waiting for the appearance of “Kedi Bona BA”, which was superbly performed by Jeevan Vas of Kulshekar, Mangaluru- and I feel proud to say that he was my College Mate in St Aloysius College, Mangaluru. Bravo, my buddy! Along with Jeevan, nearly 40 artists put up a great performance, which lasted for nearly three hours-which these days not many theatregoers can hold on for so long- but surprisingly our Konkani lovers gathered at Don Bosco Hall were glued to their seats till the end of the drama. A superb performance and job well done by the 40 plus artists and by choreographer and Comedy King Mangalore’s bundle of talents Avitas Adolphus Cutinha, popularly known by his nickname “Dolla”!

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