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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.

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