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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Usage of 'double rhyming' words in Konkani - A humorous write-up

One fine morning, my friend Gulgulo invited me for a coffee and panchadik (chitchat). Gulgulo is his nick name, since he is fond of gulgule (earthen pot) water. He pours kiTikiTi (boiling) water into the pot and allows it to cool overnight. As I entered Gulgule’s home, a ghamgham aroma of freshly prepared coffee welcomed me. Then a bowl full of hunihuni chakkuli straight from the frying pan, arrived. Ekek (each one) tasted differently. If first one was nurnuri (crispy), the second one was kurkuri (crunchy), and the third one was kaTkaTi (hard nut) that I felt my teeth would break off. I had churchur (worry) about tooth damage for a while. The last chakkuli was chivchivi (soft) specially pulled out of the frying pan when it is half fried.

Image: Chakkuli - Nur-Nuri, Kur-Kuri or kaT-kaTi?
© mysorecoconut - licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Please note the specialty of the Konkani language. It is enriched with many double rhyming words (English examples: murmur, pompom, tartar) wherein the first half of a word is repeated within the same word. Moreover these words express what our senses feel. Now, let me continue with the article.

Slowly my friend opened the topic of interest: “Come on, listen to me” he did gusgus (whisper) into my ears – “marriage date fixed, it is on 4th Sunday, and you are my doDDo” (one who sits besides bridegroom in the mantap until bride joins - a sort of a best man). Haahaa he laughed and served me a sweet: sheera. It was pichipichi (soft), and I felt the guLiguLi (globules) in my mouth, but it was very tasty.

Just as I emptied the plate, the bride walked in. The KuTkuTi (hefty orwell built) bridegroom, my friend Gulgule had selected a saTsaTi (brisk) walking bride. Ms. SaTsaTi hoom galgalthaa (was sweating profusely). Her mother proudly said “She drinks 8 cups of water, and walks aaTaaT (8) kilometers daily. She is dieting, eats thode thode (little quantity at a time). This is all to get into a great shape, before the marriage.” I thought “All this will be short lived. She will be back to her normal gulguli (plumpy) shape within a month after marriage.” But then, it is called a sign of progress, happiness, and prosperity.

On the day of marriage, we got up phalphalleri (before sunrise). The skywas cloudy, typical weather in west coast of India during monsoon. We experienced piripiri pavsu (drizzle) at the beginning. In minutes the sky wasovercast, exhibiting nature's wonderful light and sound show jhagjhagu(lightening), and guDuguDu (thounders) followed by dharandhar (continuous downpour). We prayed, deva deva (O God), please spare this day for the marriage.

It seems Rain God listened to our prayers as there was no rain after 7am. However we had to use the muddy pichpichi (slushy) walkway. The mud that splashed and created a permanent artwork on everyone's ceremonial attire while also leaving the lower portion vallevalle (wet). It was very windy and cold. A few had kaDkaDo (shivers). By that afternoon we went to temple in the raNraN vath (scorching sunshine), did pradakshina on bare foot, and resulted in saNsaN (burns) on the soles of our feet.

The bride, SaTsaTi, walked in with kilikili (sound of gingle bells) attached to the anklets.Bridal decoration was super. Head was fully covered with jasmine that wascontinuously emitting ghamgham (fragrance). Garland was made of rangarang(colored) flowers. Jewels and zari borders were zagzagi (shining). Next five minutesall ladies had gusgus (whispers) only about the bridal jewelry. Bride had tough time in maneuvering vilivili (slippery) silk saree and walking into the mantap. I am sure she and the groom were much exited and their hearts were beating DhadaDhada.

Ceremony was quite traditional as usual we enjoyed the marriage galgalo. The loud cherencheren and paranparan talking by the guests was competing with the welcome band’s dhamdham (drumbeats). I could hear a lot of ‘vhai-vhai’ ‘nhai-nhai’ and ‘na-na’ in the conversations. The music was fantastic, but for the defective sound system that added karkar kirkir (noise) giving me mathek kankan (throbbing headache). The Priest was in great mood pouring ghee profusely into the havan getting the flame into bhagbhag (glow) while ringing the bell TanTan. Photographer focused on all events very well and was busy doing chikupuku with his flash.

I love to watch mass cooking. In the kitchen, helpers were busy barbari (liberally) cutting vegetables into desired pieces. At the final stage, the phaTphaT sound of mustard seasoning and the rising aroma welcomed everyone to the dining hall. Dinner was fabulous with chaar-chaar (four) varieties of sweets, savories, dishes, papads, etc. While chewing bijbiji (soft) paan we got the feedback on the feast. Dab-dabi (thick) valval got the first prize. Khatkhatho won the second prize. Bibbe thendle upkari lost the prize all because it was half cooked and tasted kachkachi (raw). Among kurkuri eatables crispy bhindi fries were outstanding; they were not at all buLbuLi (slimy). The youngsters were eager to serve food on plantain leaves for those seated on the floor in the traditional way. The elders were instructing the boys “Don’t serve Bhasa-bhasa (too much), serve yede-yede (small quantities) only, serve more only if asked for”. The boys agreed saying “jaaith-jaaith”.

In the afternoon, mirimiri (tingling) spice tea and chowchow (mixture) was served before it is time to say bye-bye which was followed by a concluding session drenched with baLbaLi (flowing) tears. But the bride appeared quite cheerful, had a doublewide smile while walking away comfortably with her husband and in-laws.

One year passed. Gulgulo was busy with baabbaak nunnu, kokko, mammam etc.(feeding milk, rice, eatables to AmmaNNu the baby), cleaning up the jijji (mess). This was followed by a jojo (song) to induce thaathi (sleep) to the baby. Soon the baby learnt to speak words such as amma, ajjo, mamama etc. Probably Konkani is the only language with a voluminous vocabulary specially constructed for toddler’s use only. Child loves to wear bamba (jewels), place a colored thitho (dot) on the forehead, apply theththi (oil) onto hair, comb and decorate with puppaa (flowers), put on colorful chocho (dress), and go to the temple to do pampa (namaskaar). Now AmmaNNu’s taste buds are active, she says mimi (chilli) is hot, bobbo (dosa) is tasty, kekke (banana) is sweet etc. She likes to go peppe (outing), loves to watch memme (fish) in the pond, gaayi (cow) feeding nunnu (milk) to buchchi (calf), kaakkamam (crow) picking the food spilled on the deck and then go burraa (flying away), kokoko (chicken) following its mom, bowbow (dog) wagging its baala (tail), meowmeow (cat) drinking milk and then sounding purrpurr. Children catch jigjigi (twinkling) fireflies in the night, and scared to see the eyes of gugumu (owl). Generally babies are afraid of gongo (strangers) with gugum (long gowns). Children are fascinated to see large animals like elephants, whale, or a jugjug train. They love to play kuku-achchi (a hide and seek game) that starts with a kukkuli (whistle).

As AmmaNNu turns one, she eats fast gabgabi khaathaa, then tries to ibbi ibbi raab (stand up), and doing chant chant (taking baby steps). She tries to dhavnu dhavnu vaggi vaggi (run fast) but falls down bumma and gets bubu (hurt). Watching her we, poNu poNu. haasta i.e ROFLOL, Rolling On Floor Laughing Out Loud.

What is the origin of word Konkani? I guess, it is koNikoNi, easy to speaklanguage by koNi (any one) to koNi (any one) with great flexibility and high level ofblend-ability of any number of local or foreign words. I have a bunch of friends who speak Konkani, start with a few words in Konkani: haava sangthaa,then fill entire sentence with gaDbaD (hurry burry) English. We are proud to have Konkani jibbe ruchi taste, culture and traditions.

Probably names such as Kaikai in Ramayana, Dumdum airport in Kolkatta, Murmura Sea in Turkey, Tsetse insect of Africa, Alfalfa grass, must have Konkani influence. Let me stop this karkari write up or baDbaDi talk at this stage lest readers might get maththek kaNkaN.

Please feel free to DabDab knock at the author’s door to provide feedback.

© Dr. Manjeshwar Ganesha Kamath

The author is based out of North Carolina, USA. He does look forward to your comments. Post them below or send them to and we will forward it onto the author.
Wordtag Images used in the article (2nos) are courtesy of

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Regional movies don’t get multiplex screens

Konkani award winning movie, Paltadacho Munis won laurels at an array of film festivals abroad but it failed to make the cut at home. The director of the film is quite hurt because the biggest multiplex in the state refused to screen the movie.

It is Paltadacho Munis that won the best film – Grand Jury award beating all other Indian entries including mainstream Bollywood movies at the Indian Film Festival in Los Angeles. Not only that, the film got acclaims at the Toronto Film Festival by claiming the Discovery award and went on to get selected to be a nominee at various international film festivals at Cairo, Hong Kong, Berlin, Palm Springs, and Istanbul.

The film’s director claimed that Inox asked him for 70 % of the ticket earnings for slotting the movie and that such a huge amount was not feasible to be doled out to the multiplex. He claimed that he offered 50% but Inox was doubtful that such regional movies might not click at the box office despite all the recognition and honours that the movie could garner around the globe.

Inox on the other side of the coin refuted the allegations about 70% revenues and said that the movie could not be screened because of non-availability of slots. Inox screened a Konkani film Jaagor also last month for 25 days.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Asia's first artificial Sea World to come up in Konkan

Maharashtra could set itself apart from others, thanks to the state government’s announcementto set up Asia’s first ever Artificial sea world by next year. The sea world will have marine life in the artificial sea.

The state’s tourism minister stated that the feasibility report for the Sea World should be out in 6 months and that the actual work on the project will start in another six months.

As per the initial feelers, it would cost Rs150 crore to set up the artificial sea world on a 150-acre land. The plan is to urge the central government for funds once the feasibility report gives it a go-ahead. If the centre denies funds, the state would take it up with Public-Private partnership to complete it in 2 years.

The feasibility report work is entrusted to the Pune-based Science and Technology Park which signed an MoU with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) in the same regard.

The report, estimated to cost the exchequer Rs27.83 lakh, will recommend Konkan as the project location. It will be between Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg to get the sea world.

Konkani Lokved Kala Sambhram at Suratkal on Apr 25

The Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy along with Catholic Sabha Mangalore Pradesh, Suratkal will conduct ‘Konkani Lokved Kala Sambram’ on Sunday April 25 at the Sacred Heart parish, Suratkal, premises.

Vittal Prabhu, former municipal councilor from Suratkal will flag-off the proceedings while Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy president Kundapur Narayan Karvi will preside over the function.

Kundapur Narayan Karvi will hold a seminar on Lokved from 4.00 pm to 5.30 pm after the inaugural ceremony. Lokved arts of Konkani flavor will be performed between 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm. Krishna J Palemar, the district in-charge minister and the city mayor Rajani Dugganna will be the chief guest.

The array of performances includes Gumta singing by Charles D’Souza and group, Managalore. We also have Kudmi dance by Gopal Gowda and group and Yedapadav based Kudubi Janapad Kala Vedike. And then there is Suggi (Khareef) dance and stick performance by Narayana Vasu Marathi and group along with Fire Gymnastics by Chandrashekhar Karvi and group.

Book on Vibrant Konkani Theatre by Dr Andre Fernandes published

Tiatr Academy of Goa provided financial support to Dr AndrĂ© Rafael Fernandes so that his book, ‘When the curtains rise, understanding Goa's vibrant Konkani theatre’ got published.

The book is based on a PhD thesis and delves into the diverse origins of the tiatr ( also called tiatro ) and proceeds to talk about its growth. References to the early Portuguese plays are also provided. The book helps you understand the theatre scene in Goa, the cultural history of the region and the role played by the Konkani Diaspora in keeping the language vibrant.

Some rare examples are provided in the book. The front cover shows a handbill for the performance of Batcara in 1904. The characters list confirms that women participated in tiatr, even a century ago though such practice was not prevalent in other Indian theatre forms.

TAG sponsored the printing costs in full as a part of its scheme to publish tiatr related books. The book is priced reasonably so as to allow easy access to everybody.

A distinct feature of the book is that the author has published it under a Creative Commons 3.0, non-commercial license thus making it available for reproduction of the work for non-commercial purposes. The book can thus be accessible over the net also for free.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

400 Miles From Goa - Konkani Humour Prospers

How does one define the 'richness' of a particular language?

This question has long haunted me and I went about looking for the answer. Linguists might argue that a language is 'rich' only if

* It has a lot of unique words in circulation and can express itself in various ways to convey the same meaning

* It has its nuances, the ability to express a situation in different words, each of which conveys a different meaning when used in a different context.

* It has a highly developed grammar system

But I beg to differ. There is one additional aspect that is missing in the above list. The lacuna in the above argument is the essence and importance of humour in a language, especially in its day to day usage. On a lighter vein, the ability of a language to entwine humour into it is what appeals most to me. That according to me is the most important factor that makes a language rich.

The South Canarese Konkani speakers are a lucky lot. They are blessed with the most fertile of soils, ample rainfall, pristine natural beauty and the gift of the sea. In this microcosm, they are a humorous lot. The gift of abundance has helped them take life lightly. They call themselves the Amchigele or in short the Amchis. This literally translates to 'my people'. Humour is an important part of an Amchi's life. Every alternate sentence spoken is assuredly funny or sarcastic in some way. Effortless and spontaneous humour is their speciality. There is humour in happiness and sarcasm in sadness.

Take for instance humour related to food, a real passion among the Amchis. When it comes to food, nothing less than perfect would do. Imagine serving him stale food. He would immediately retaliate with a cryptic verbal weapon of mass destruction. Take for example the saying 'raa.ndayi ullaitaa aassa', which literally translates to 'the curry is talking'. This saying is generally used to describe a curry that is spoilt or soured, especially so when it is served the day after it is cooked. It’s kind of funny and takes the weight off the situation of having a curry that is no longer edible. The pain of the loss of the curry is lightened and the humour ensures that the loss no longer hurts.

When an Amchi lands himself into problems while having good intentions, he describes it rather strangely as, ‘baDDi diivnu peTTa khaavche’, which literally translates to ‘give a stick to someone and in turn get beaten’.

Another saying that needs mention is 'raatri paLayile baayi.ntu, disaa vachchunu poDche', which literally translates to 'fall during the day into a well which was seen in the night'. The context of this usage is that of committing a mistake in spite of having foreseen the consequences. This is just one of the many ways of putting the point across in the most humorous way possible. The list of sayings is seemingly endless.

Two Amchis talking to each other in the ubiquitous tea stall are like stand-up comedians taking part in any of the numerous talent search competitions. They entertain not only themselves but also the people around them. The more humorous an Amchi is discussing his mundane life, the more popular he gets to be in the community.

The Amchigele society too does its bit to encourage humour among its fellow men and women. A particularly funny Amchi is spoken of in high regard, 'he's a glib talker', 'she's a funny woman', 'don't mess with him, as he will verbally tear you to bits'. This social backing ends up keeping the tradition of humour alive. Other societies might dislike or put down humorous talk as arrogant, uncouth or bordering on the rude. Other societies frown upon this kind of witty and spontaneous humour. However, this is not so with the Canarese Amchis. They know how to take it with a pinch of salt. Given a choice, they prefer to encourage this sort of behaviour, instead of discouraging it, like other societies would normally have done.

In retrospect, there are historical reasons explaining why the Amchis mastered this art form. Far away from Goa in the midst of the Tulu and Kannada speaking majority, it does make sense to use cryptic descriptions of situations. When in the company of the non-Amchis, the message would be conveyed but the literal translations would not mean much to the uninitiated, even if the words are comprehensible. Much like the Cockney rhyming slang that originated in the East End of London. The words get across, but to the crowd which is not 'into' it, it makes no sense at all.

The Amchis might own Formula One teams, IPL teams, run the best of banks in India, be an archetype of entrepreneurship, but serious talk is left behind at the work place. When an Amchi meets another Amchi, there's always time for some humorous and senseless banter. This of course can only happen with the aid of a 'rich' language. 400 miles away from Goa, the motherland of the Konkani speakers, humour prospers!

© Roshan Pai Ramesh


The author is the Chief Editor of the ‘Konkani Dictionary Project’ hosted online at <>. A comprehensive list of South Canarese Konkani sayings, proverbs, metaphors, idioms and euphemisms can be found on the site.

This article was originally written by the author for 'Goa Info' a quarterly magazine published in Goa.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Konkani Literature Today

Konkani Literature Today

A Research Paper read by

Dr. S. M. Tadkodkar

(1) 1/B, S-5, IInd Floor,
Kamat Plaza, Panaji, Tiswadi, Goa – 403 001
Phone: 0832-2423577
(2) Head
Department of Postgraduate Instruction and Research in Marathi,
Goa University,
Taleigaon Plateau,
Tiswadi, Goa – 403 206

Presented during the Meet of the North-Eastern and Western Indian Writers
organized at Pune (Maharashtra) on October 18th and 19th, 2008 by

Sahitya Akademy

On the outset, let me thank Shri. Sunil Gangopadhyaya, the Chairman of Sahitya Akademy, Shri. Pundalik Narayan Nayak, Convenor of Advisory Board for Konkani and Chairman of Goa Konkani Academy and Shri. K. S. Rao, who is Regional Secretary of Sahitya Akademy for giving me an opportunity to present my research note amidst an august audience,

The Konkani language is spoken along the Western coastal land of Arabian Sea. There, we come across varieties in spoken structure of the Konkani. Obviously, all that is being written in these varieties could have been termed as Konkani literature. Regretfully, one has to mention here that due to political ambient – surrounding – a large number of Konkani speakers cannot embrace the Konkani language officially, which has been included in the eighth schedule of Constitution of India and which is the state language of Goa.

Karmelin, by Shri Damodar Mauzo.

This book is the English translation of the original Konkani novel. Translation by Vidya Pai. ISBN-10: 8126019182

Today, when we say about literary language of the Konkani, then we have to consider the literature produced in Kannada, Malayalam, Devanagari and Roman scripts, which is spread in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra. I am not aware of any other fact about such a language, which has as many as four scripts that are being adopted at various places for reading, writing and publishing valuable literary books in a quite large number.

Whenever we mention about standard Konkani literature, then we just cannot overlook the literary contribution in the scripts, which are mentioned above. Quite often, we come across these two terms ‘Modern’ and ‘Modernity’

Literature in this, which is one of the most beautiful languages in India, can be viewed in sequence of the concepts ‘modern’ and ‘modernity’.

‘Modern’ is the concept, which relates to the specific times, which identifies to latest style of life. It may also be defined as “contemporary or characteristic of the present moment in time” or “modern is applied to writing marked by a strong and conscious break with tradition”.

The term ‘Modernity’ indicates to the values based on rationalization of thoughts. It is believed that the modern sociological thought begun with Ibn Khaldun, an Arab sociologist from North Africa. His Muqaddimah was written in 1377. Modernity is a term that refers to the modern era. It is indeed distinct from modernism; this term is viewed in different contexts viz. cultural and intellectual movements of between 1630 and 1940. Modernity is a term, which also indicates to the universal values of life accepted in modern era. One may hold an opinion that the process of modernity ended in last phase of the 20th century. It is replaced by values of post-modernism. One might stretch the concept of modernity “to cover the developments denoted by post-modernism and into the present”.

Well, on this backdrop modern period of the Konkani literature could have been viewed simultaneously in terms of advent of values of modernity as well. If this view-point is accepted then the day of liberation of Goa on December 19, 1961, from the 450 year colonial oppressive rule of Portuguese regime can be said as the beginning of modern period and modernity in the Konkani literature.

Late Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of the then Goa, Daman and Diu, (which was union territory in the Union of India) and his able lieutenant late V. S. S. Karmali, who was Education Minister of the government, opened primary and secondary schools at every nook and corner in the newly liberated part of Goa. This enhanced literacy among the peasants and other working class. Generation after that educational upheaval offered a special flavor to Konkani literature.

Pictured: Shri Padmabhushan Ravindra Rajaram Kelekar
Update: Since Dr Tadkodkar's presentation of this paper, Shri Kelekar has been awarded the prestigious Jnyanpeetth Award.

The much honoured writers in Konkani today are Padmabhushan Ravindra Rajaram Kelekar, A. N. Mahambro, Damodar Mauzo, Chandrakant Kenny, Hema Naik, Mahabaleshwar Sail, Ramesh Veluskar, Madhav Borkar, Edwin D’Souza, Devidas Kadam, Dilip Borkar, N. Shivadas, Sheela Kolambkar, Meena Kakodkar, Gajanan Joag and others.

Among the research scholars are Suresh Amonkar, Harischandra Nagvenkar, Mrs. Priyadarshini Tadkodkar, Dr. Kiran Budkulay, Dr. Ram Bhat, Dr. Maria Aurora Couto, Dr. Madhavi Sardessai and others.

Other renowned writers are Prakash Thali, Dr. Prakash Vazarikar, Prakash Parienkar, Dr. Jayanti Nayak and others.

I also should make a special mention of periodicals in Konkani. They relentlessly assisted the litterateur folk representing Konkani language and literature. Some of the names are ‘Rutu’, ‘Jaag’, ‘Kullagar’, ‘Konkani’, ‘Konkan Times’, Sunaparant, Vavraddeancho Ixtt (Roman-script Konkani, weekly), Gulab, Bimb .

It is very difficult to embrace all genre of Konkani literature, in such petit note. As such today, I will try to focus only on the Konkani poets and their sensibility in view of the modernity.

But, one thing should be made amply clear that when we make mention about certain Konkani literature, which belongs to modern period, some historians do not hesitate to mention Ligorio da Costa, Carlos Trinidad Dias and Arnold Menezes, who were the early Mando (a semi-literary folk song) composers of the 19th century and also Smt. Kamalamal, Narahari Prabhu, Suhas Dalal and Manjeshwari Govind Pai, who wrote devotional poetry during the late 20th century.

Konkani poetry began shedding its traditional skin after Kashinath Shridhar Nayak (1899-1983, whose pen-name was ‘Bayabhau’.). His ‘Saddyaavelim Fulam’ (1946) opened the doors for those who longed to break the shackles of traditional mode of writing. He is therefore known as the pioneer of Konkani modern poetry. Another attempt of shedding anxiety of influence is seen in the ‘Painzonnam’ (1960) of Padmashree Bakibab Borkar (1910-84), and so also Manohar Sardessai for the concept traditional exhibition of love and philosophical, introspectional trance, still remained at the core. Basically, he and his contemporary Pandurang Bhangui, Shankar Ramani (1923-2004) represent the poetic genre of the entire classical romanticism in the Konkani poetry.

Traditional patriotism i. e. love for country cannot be shed for it is omnipotent. It presents glimpses of anxiety of influence, in the poetry of Manohar Sardessai (‘Gomya Tuzya Mogakhatir’). Waman Sardessai (1923-94, pen name ‘Abhijit’) was a freedom fighter. He said, “Silent is my sorrow like nameless wild flower in forest” This element, indeed, represented the contemporary Konkani poetry.

This poetry was rich in idiom and had assurance of touch as well as touch of assurance. It had dipped in the realm of solitude and at times into recluse and silence. These and other poets were singing a swan song. When they came across the stark naked reality, they screamed saying that the contemporary ground reality was not the dream they had visualized. Their dream had shattered! Shankar Bhandari’s (1928-87) ‘Ganarajya’ is a satire which presents contradictions in the basic value systems of romantic and classical politics and stark naked ground reality. “Gonnachem ailem raj, khoyancho Gonna konn janna.” (We say, Ganna’s – Common man’s - rule has arrived, but who knows Ganna – the common man? Which Ganna?)

In this note, I have attempted to present, through a bird’s eye view, the glimpses of modernity in the Konkani literature today.

Sociological thought, which is omnipotent in the modernity, is distinctly visible in the poetry written by Padmashree Raghunath Vishnu Pandit (1917-1990). Pandit gave a war cry against social injustice and inequality, hegemony and hypocrisy. He, apparently, was the torch-bearer of this era from 1963. Earlier, stray instances did take place, which may have links with sociological thought, e. g. a poem by Adeodoto Barreto (1905-37). He addresses laborer class in 1937 in his poem ‘Bekaryanc’. He also longs for liberation of Goa from Portuguese rule and unification with India. His dream came true in 1961. But the spurt for sociological thought in Konkani poetry is seen only after 1963. Manohar Sardessai rightly said once that Pandit’s poetry is rooted in the Goan soil. His poetry brought in rustic language.

Pandit was followed by a rich generation of poets, which indeed brought the genuine touch of modernity. The first among them is Nagesh Karmali. Pandit did not foresee a classless society, but Karmali did and advocated for it. He opposed the measures, which are repressive in character. He adhered to force revolts and revolutions. This was only the medium for the creation of a free and democratic classless society, at least in theory. The transition from feudal institutions to modern institutions was marked by a series of revolutions, reference of which is found in the Karmali’s poetry.

Karmali, intuitionally a socialist, says,”Poetry had visited me in several forms, sometimes soft and silent, at times troubled and all at ease. At times (it came as if) roaring destruction like invading waves.”

Another tall descendant of Pandit is Pundalik Narayan Nayak. His ‘Bangarbaeel’ (the bull, which is not castrated) is the perfect and ultimate product of tyranny. As such, he appears to be oppressive. He would not listen to injustice and would surge ahead with might. Pundalik’s poetry worships equality and comradeship, but he is not canonically a communist. His, the then, poetry did not believe in popular democracy, but his plays have trust in it. While Pandit’s poetry brought in rustic language, Pundalik’s poetry nourished classical brutality. It is its forte.

He says, “You just cannot castrate the bull / You have no guts to sell the bull / Let my bull go, wherever he desires / Let him do that pleases him / The bull is the savior of fifty two generations / The bull is the descendant of my race.”

But even his staunch critic will not deny that Pundalik’s poetry is brutally honest. I strongly feel that his poetry destroys the unpleasant but uncanny, weird and necessities of the times in which he lived.

Vijayabai Sarmalkar did ask about woman’s stature in the then social matrix. But her voice does not appear to be dominating. To fill in the gap of strong voice of a woman, some of poetesses viz. Hema Nayak, Nutan Sakhardande, Shakuntala Arsekar, Jayanti Nayak, Prashanti Talponkar, Shanti Tendulkar, Maya Kharangate, Neela Telang ventured upon social inequality. Some of them are romantic feminists. Rather the number of female litterateur exceeds the male writers in Konkani literature as far as impact of modernity is concerned.

Glaring point of ‘modernity’ is that it postulates encouragement of advance or progress in useful sciences and arts. Surprisingly enough, Konkani poetry does not glorify this aspect of modernity. Especially, another modernist poet Prakash Padgaonkar does not have any admiration for ‘rapid, unplanned and senseless industrialization.’ This poet is a romantic modernist. Universally, sensibility about human agony lies beneath the essence of modernity. This is evident in the poetry of Padgaonkar.

While Shivanand Tendulkar, Arun Sakhardande, Su. Ma. Tadkod (pen name of Dr. S. M. Tadkodkar) have ardent faith on approach to the modernity, the other glaring names are of Sudesh Lotlikar, Jess Fernandes. Apparently, they do believe as the American Christian fundamentalists still agree with Martin Luther who recognized that "Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it struggles against the divine word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God."

Tendulkar (pen name – Kashinath Shamba Lolienkar) represents the vein of radical existentialism in Konkani writing. He believes in this context that man defines himself. Though this belief has a part of philosophical bearing, it indicates the presence of tenets of modernity.

Neelba Khandekar could have been one of the fore-runners as far as the concept of modernity is concerned. A strong germ of modernity exists in his poetry but it slips in the realm of radical existentialism.

Rajay Pawar could have been another descendant of Pandit, Karmali and Pundalik Nayak. Surprisingly, it is apparent that, the commitment vanished in course of time.

One cannot disagree that people have begun in believing that modernist shop has global implications. Reason is being searched to comprehend this failure. The approach, which is in the name of sociological thought under the pretext of humanism, has come under various scanners. Modernism is a flaw, corrupt in the name of modernism and humanist tradition and has played itself out and is now floundering and directionless. If Modernism is at an end, we are now facing a new period. The name given to this new period is Postmodernism.

But this viewpoint or commitment is not imbibed as yet in the Konkani poetry. But poets write for joy. An attempt of shedding anxiety of influence is not seen for the concept traditional exhibition of love and philosophical, introspectional trance, still remained at the core.

Uday Bhembro, Ghanekar Bhicajee, Tomazinho Cardozo, (1941), Yusuf A. Sheikh, Gajanan Raikar, Sharatchndra Shenoy, Ram Prabhu-Choddanekar, R. Ramnath, Dattakumar Vyankatesh Kamat, Paresh Narendra Kamat, Shashikant Punaji, Gulab Vernekar, Guadulup Dias and others, Suresh Borkar are the core romanticists of Konkani poetry.

Yusuf Sheikh says, “In these entangled threads there are knots, and many minds are entangled in these knots.” Suresh Borkar says, “What does my life lack? Receiving is joy. Giving is joy. Cup of my life is full of happiness.” Both these poets represent the poetic genre of the entire classical romanticism in the Konkani poetry.


(Please note that the dates given against some of the names need corrections.)
1. Bakibab Borkar (1910-1984), ‘Painzonnam’ 1960 and ‘Sasai’, 1980
2. Barreto Adeodoto (1905-1937), ‘Bekaryanc’ (the only poem), 1935,
3. Bhandari, Shankar (1928-1987),
4. Bhembro, Uday (1939), ‘Channyache Raatee’, 1966,
5. Borkar, Madhav (1954), ‘Chonvor’, 1969,
Vatacheo Sanvelleo’, 1972,
‘Uzvaddacho Rukh’, 1975,
‘Porzollachem Dar’, 1986,
‘Yaman’, 1999,
‘Avyaktachim Gaannee’, 2002
6. Borkar, Suresh (1938), ‘Vajrathikam’, 1985,
7. Bhangui, Pandurang (1923), ‘Odrushtache Kalle,’ 1972
‘Dixttavo’, 1972
‘Chanfelli Saanz’, 2000
8. Cardozo, Tomazinho - ‘Mando’ and ‘Pakllyo’,
9. Kamat, Paresh Narendra, ‘Allang’, 2000,
10. Karmali, Nagesh (1923), ‘Samvar’, 1974
‘Zoargat’, 1975
‘Vaunshvrukshanchem Dennem’ 1992
‘Thang-Athang’, 2003
11. Kharangate, Maya, ‘Kayapanjee’,
12. Khandekar, Neelba, ‘Vedha’, ‘Suryavaunshi’, 1999
13. Kelekar,Yeshawant, ‘Punzalelim Fulam’
14. Lolienkar Kashinath Shamba, Kashi Mhonnta’, 1982,
‘Kashik Mhannachench Paddtta’, 1997,
‘Kasheen Mhannapachem Soddunk Naa’,
15. Lolienkar, Prasad, ‘Mullam’, 1995
16. Naik, Kashinath Shridhar (Bayabhau) (1899-1983) – ‘Saddyaavelim Fulam’, 1946,
17. Naik, Bharat, ‘Mana Mana’, 1982
18. Nayak, Manoraya, ‘Kalp-Ful’, 1993
19. Nayak, Pundalik Narayan 1952), ‘Ga Ami Rakhanne’, 1976
‘Raan Sundari’, 1974
20.Padgaonkar, Prakash (1948), ‘Uzvaddachim Pavlam’, 1976,
Vascoyan’, 1977
‘Hanv Manis Ashwatthamo’, 1985
‘Kavita: Kaal Railwaychyo, Manharashyachyo, Pavasa- Pantyachy’, 1993
‘Ani Sarg Ghaddpak Dhartarecho’, 1994
21. Pawar, Rajay, Pawas-Fulam’, 1997
22.Pandit, Raghunath Vishnu (1917-1990), ‘Ailem Tashem Gailem’, 1963,
Mhojem Utor Gavdyanchem’, 1963,
‘Urtalem Tem Dhortolem’, 1963,
‘Dhortorechem Kavan’, 1963
‘Chandraval’, 1963
‘Darya Gazota’, 1979
23. Raikar, Gajanan, ‘Banwad’ and ‘Sumwari’,
24.Ramani, Shankar (1923-2004), ‘Zoglanchem Zadd’, 1987
‘Nillem Nillem Brahma’ 1993
‘Brahm-Kamal’, 1995,
‘Niranjan’, 2002
25. Sardessai Manoharrai, (1925-2007), ‘Aiz re Dholar Padlee Badee’, 1961,
‘Goyam Tujya Mogakhateer’, 1961,
‘Zayat Zage’, 1964
‘Zayo-Zuyo’, 1970
‘Pissollim’, 1978 (SA Award)
26.Sarmalkar, Vijaya (1924), ‘Gontthalam’,
27.Sheikh, Yusuf A., ‘Gantthee’, 1982,
28.Telang, Neela, ‘Kallzachee Bharatee’,
29.Veluskar, Ramesh (1947), ‘Morpakham’, 1977,
‘Matee’, 1983
‘Angani Nachata Moar moaraya’, 1988,
‘Savulgoaree’, 1989,
‘Hiranya-Garbha’, 1993,
‘Surya-Vaunshee ani Tanarjyotee’,1999

© Dr S M Tadkodkar

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