Mrs Irene Pinto – Mangalorean Star

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Mrs Irene Pinto – Mangalorean Star

“There is so much in the world that inspires me to write. A kind deed, a broken heart, a touching incident, a beautiful scenery, tears, nature. I really do not know why people like my novels. Maybe they appreciate my writing style or my stories. From the very beginning, people have encouraged me to write.”

Irene Pinto, finds it hard herself to pin down precisely the reason for the appeal of her Konkani novels and articles. At the tender age of 17, she had published her first novel “Balidan” in 1963. As young as she was then, her storylines were surprisingly mature in content and not limited by inexperience. She used her imagination, observation and insight to bring colour and drama to her stories, using eternal themes that resonated in all minds. With Balidan, she had explored the realm of sacrifice. Balidan was the moving story of a girl named Wilma who had to sacrifice her love because of enmity between the two families. The novel brought to light how easily two well-intentioned families can allow their dislike for each other to grow into hatred at the cost of the happiness of their children. In Stree (1963), she once again explored the area of love and sacrifice through the eyes of a woman. The critical acclaim from Stree brought her the attention of the Konkani world and garnered her an award for this novel from the Konkani Basha Mandal in Goa.

Several more books followed Stree and they were met with further critical success and acclaim for the young author. The complex characters in her novels combined with the suspenseful plots that were often laden with ample doses of romance and grit made Irene’s novels an instant hit with one and all.

If you ask Irene, she would say that Mujein Anthaskern is her most popular novel. A love story, Mujein Anthaskern, recounts the life of a man who wanted to take revenge on a family that sent his father to jail. He marries their daughter with those intentions but his hatred grows into love slowly. Irene was in 2nd year of graduation from St. Agnes College when she wrote the novel and she had written most of it in the classroom, often being reprimanded for doing so.

Using the Kannada script to write her Konkani literature, Irene produced a number of works.
i) Balidan – Published in 1963
ii) Stree – Published in 1963
iii) Mujein Anthaskern Visarchena – Published in 1965
iv) Pallali Bhas – Published in 1969
v) Hannv Chukon Padonk Na – 1969
vi) Thuvein Negar Kaelaine – 1972
vii) Mog Ani Bharvaso – 1979
viii) Asha Ani Nirasha – 1985

In 2003, Irene Pinto got the prestigious award from Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Award for Literature.

“It is God who gives me strength and courage to move forward with life,” Irene says simply. “God created this beautiful world and just to know he is near gives me hope and courage to face each day. I put my trust in him and hold him dear in my heart. But the things that I hold most dear in my life are my parents and my family.”

Irene Pinto was born in Mangalore. Her parents were the late Emmanuel Francis Pinto and the late Piad Mary Pinto. She grew up in Mangalore along with her other 4 siblings until she married Vincent Castelino in her mid 20’s, after which she lived in the Middle East for a period of time. Irene Pinto, currently lives in Mangalore with her husband. She has three married children, Jyoti and Jeevan who are settled in Toronto, Canada and Joshni who lives in Pune, India.

Irene’s message to readers:

“Where ever we are we belong to Konkan Community. Konkani is our Maai Bhaas (mother tongue). Konkan is our Maai Gaanv (native place). Our culture, our traditions, our language are our Konkan Daij (treasure). Let us be proud of our rich heritage and try to enrich it by contributing in whatever way we can. The simple way to show our love to our language is to inculcate a strong love of our Mother Tongue in our children. Children imitate their parents. Mother is the first Guru to the child. If the family is proud of its Mother Tongue, Tradition and culture then children will do the same. I am happy these days our Mangaloreans are unitedly trying their best to give the required love and attention to our language, culture and traditions. Where ever we are let us unite and be proud of our rich cultural heritage. I wish all the best to” wishes Irene Pinto all the very best in her future endeavors.

Submitted by: Tanya Pinto, Canada

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