Routinely, I scan book covers, mostly to go along with reviews of the same. Here is a collection of some of my covers. You could find many more at http://photosfromgoa.notlong.com If you find an interesting Goa-related book cover, of a rare or out-of-print book, please send me a scan. Many thanks in advance.
Goan Catholic literature is diverse.
 Missionary literature
The indigenous population of the erstwhile overseas Portuguese colony of Goa underwent a large scale conversion to Roman Catholicism after its conquest and occupation by the Portuguese Empire, which was led by the famous voyager and adventurer Afonso de Albuquerque on 25 February 1510. It was necessary for Catholic missionaries to learn the local Konkani language in order to carry out evangelic activities. Hence, during the 16th and 18th century, Catholic missionaries and priests contributed a lot for Goan Catholic literature by composing and publishing books in Konkani, as manual of devotion for converts.
The origin of their literature dates to 1563 when the first Konkani grammar was published by Fr.Andre Vaz at St.Paulo College at Old Goa. Konkani language had its first Konkani-Portuguese dictionary in 1567. Missionary priests of Rachol Seminary compiled the first ever dictionary in any Indian language giving 15000 Konkani words and their vocables in Portuguese. Konkani was known as Canarim in early Portuguese writings on Goa. In 1622, Thomas Stephens (1549–1619) an English Jesuit published Doutrina Christam em lingoa Bramana Canarim, ordenada a maneira de dialogo, pera ensinar os mininos, por Thomas Estevao, Collegio de Rachol 1622 (Christian Doctrines in the Canarese Brahmin Language, arranged in dialogue to teach children, by Fr. Thomas Stephans, College of Rachol, 1622) which was the first book in Konkani and any Indian language. Mariano Saldhana published a facsimile edition of this book entitled as Doutrina Cristâ em lingua Concani pot Tomás Estévão in 1945. Thomas Stephens also published the Arte da Lingoa Canarim (A Grammer of Konkani, 1640), with its second edition the Gramatica da Lingua Concani Composta Pelo Padre Thomas Estevão (A Grammer of Konkani language composed by Fr. Thomas Stephans) published in 1856. and Declaraçam da Doutrina Christam (Exposition of Christian Doctrine in Konkani, 1632) in Goa. Jesuit missionaries also produced works during the seveenteenth century in a mix of Marathi and Konkani like the Krista Purana (The Christian Purânna) in 1616, 1649, and 1654, but no copies of any of these editions are extant. The ‘Krista Purana’ (The Christian Purânna) is a Marathi-Konkani metrical composition, consisting of 10,962 strophes; divided into two parts treating of the Old and the New Testament respectively. Paixao de Cristo (Passion of Christ) known as Christi Vilapika in Marathi, written by during the 17th century in Marathi language and Roman script, based on sublime pathos of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Chilayabal Vilapika.
In 1626, Diogo Reberio (1560–1633), a Portuguese Jesuit, compailed the Vocabulario da lingoa Canarim (A Vocabulary of Konkani language) a Konkani-Portuguese and Portuguese-Konkani dictionary at Salcette, Goa, its mauscript is found at the Central Library, Panjim, Goa. It comprises 14,000 principal lexical entries. It was in the form of three manuscripts, each different from the other. In 1973, Junta de Investigações do Ultramar published in Lisbon a seventeenth-century Konkani dictionary called Vocabulario da Lingoa Canarina Com versam Portugueza, which is a revised and enlarged version of Reberio’s Vocabulario. A manuscript at the Ajuda library in Lisbon entitled Vocabulario (Canarim) da lingoa da Terra, Composto pelo Padre Diogo Reberio da Comphania de Jesu do uzo do Padre Amaro de Azevedo tresladado a sua custa also based on Reberio’s Vocabulario. In 1982, professor L.A. Rodrigues of Santa Cruz, Goa discovered the Vocabulario da lingoa Canarim, feito pellos Padres da Comphania de Jesus que residião da Christandade de Salcete e novamente acressentado com varios de falar pelo Padre Diogo Reberio de Comphania. Anno 1626. However it does not differ from the Central Library Vocabulario copy and hence is considered the second copy of Reberio’s Vocabulario. Christovão de Jesus wrote the Grammatica da Bramana (1635).
In 1857 Dr. Joaquim Heliodoró da Cunha Rivara (1800–79) published the Ensiao Historico da Lingua Concani (Historical Essay on Konkani language). Mgr Sebastião Rodolfo Dalgado (1855–1922) procuded works such as A Konkani-Portuguese, Philological and Etmological Dictionary (1893), A Portuguese-Konkani Dictionary (1905), A Bouquet of Konkani Proverbs (1922) and the unpublished A Grammer of Konkani language (1922), with its manuscript preserved in the Central Library, Panjim. Gaspar De Sam Miguel’s undated Sintaxis Copiozissima na Lingua Brahmana e Polida with its manuscript in the University of London. In Goa, Amcho Soddvonddar (Our Saviour, Jesus the Messiah, 1952) was popular. In Goa, the Salesians started Aitarachem Vachop, a Konkani weekly.
 Other literature
Goan Catholics have immensely contributed towards Media Activities in Goa, Bombay, and Karachi. In 1556, the first printing press was established in Goa and on December 22, 1821 the first periodical Gazeta de Goa (Goa Gazeteer), was published with Antonio Jose de Lima Leitao being its founder-editor. On 22 January 1900, the first Portuguese newspaper in Goa, O Heraldo was started by Prof. Messias Gomes, which was transformed into an English daily in 1987. Popular Konkani periodicals published in Goa include Amcho Ganv (1930) by Luis de Menezes, Amigo do Povo (People’s friend, 1916) by S.X. Vaz, Antonio V. De Cruz’s Ave Maria (1920), Amcho Sonvsar (Our World, 1928) by J.C.F de Souza, Goencho Porzoll (1982) by Joao Inacio de Souza, Goyche Xetkamoti (Goan Farmers) by J.A. Fernandes, Sangatti (1934), a magazine by F.P. Martryer were published. In 1911, the first Konkani novel Kristanv Ghorabo (Christian home) by Eduardo José Bruno de Souza was published. His also produced various works such as Kristanvanchi Dotorn Goyenche Bhaxen (Christian doctrine in the language of Goa, 1897), Eva ani Mori (Eve and Mary, 1899), Piedade Saibinichim ani sabar dusrim Gaenam (Our Lady of Piety Hymns and Several Others, 1901), Primeira Cartilha do Alphabeto Mariano (First book of Marian Alphabet, 1905), Monti Saibinichim ani sabar dusrim Gaenam (Our Lady of Mount’s hymns and several others), Ressurecção do Concani (Resurrection of Konkani), Khuxalponnacho ghorabo and Ponchtis Kunvor (Happy family and thirty five princes), and Sorgacho Thevo (Treasure of Heaven). According to R. Kelkar author of A Bibliography of Konkani literature in Devnargri, Roman and Kannada characters (1963) lists that there are over 1000 Goan Catholic Konkani works in Roman script.
From 1892 to 1897, bilingual Konkani-Portuguese weeklies such as A Luz, O Bombaim Esse, O Luo, O Intra Jijent, O Opiniao Nacional, while Konkani-English periodicals like Goa Mail (1919) by Dr. Vasco da Gama and F.X. Afonso, Goa Times (1919), which later only Konkani were published. Popular Portuguese-Konkani periodicals included Porecho Adhar (1932) by Joseph Baptist Vaz and Padre Jose Vaz by Francis Xavier D’Costa. In 1919, Amigo do Povo (1916) and O Goano (1916) were combined and named O Amigo do Povo Goano. Popular Konkani newspapers and magazines like Vauraddeancho Ixxt (The worker’s friend, 1933) by Fr. Arcenio Fernandes and Fr. Graciano Gomes. It was then edited by L.A. Fernandes and later by Fr.Lactancio Almedia, while it is presently ran by the Society of the Missionaries of St. Francis Xavier, Pilar, Goa. Other newspapers included Konknni Bulletin by Antonio Vincente D’Cruz, Gulab and Goencho Avaz, which became a fortnightly after one and a half year, by Fr. Freddy J. da Costa.
After Liberation of Goa, Felicio Cardoso started a weekly named Goencho Sad and later changed it to Sot. In 1963, Ameterio Pais, started a weekly Uzvadd. In 1967, two weeklies were Sot and A Vida were combanied by Felicio Cardoso to form Divtti, a daily, which he later transformed into a weelky Loksad. Post-anexxion journalism flourished, through the advent of periodicals like Novo Uzvadd and Prokas by Evagrio Jorge, Goencho Avaz, and later changed to Goenchem Kirnam (1980) by Fr. Planton Faria. Currently, the Goan Review is the only Konkani-English bimonthly, operating from Mumbai, edited by Fausto V. da Costa, and the Konkan Mail started from Panjim, with Cyril D’Cunha and Jose Salvador Fernandes editing the English and Konkani sections respectively. Dacho Furtad introduced two new dictionaries, the New Konkani-English Pocket Dictionary (1930) and Concanim–Inglez dicionar (Konkani-English Pocket Dictionary, 1999).
In Bombay Konkani perodials such as O Concani, a weekly by Sebastiāo Jesus Dias, Sanjechem Noketr (The Evening star) (1907) by B.F. Cabral, O Goano (1907) by Honarato Furtado and Francis Futardo, divide into three sections: Portuguese, Konkani and English, Popular Magazine by first as monthly then a forttnightly and Ave Maria (1919), a Konkani-English-Portuguese trilingual edited by Antonio D’Cruz were published. On February 1899, Udentenchem Sallok (Lotus of the East), a Konkani-Portuguese bilingual by Eduardo J. Bruno de Souza, the first Konkani periodical was published as a fortnightly in Poona. In Sholapur, the first Konkani book in the Devanagri script Kristanv Doton ani Katisism (1894), by Dr. George Octaviano Pires was published. Other periodicals that took birth Bombay from 1936-50 included Udentechem Nektr (The Morning star), Niz Goa, Jai Gomantak, Gomant Bharti, Voice of Goa, Azad Goem, Sot Uloi, Porjecho Avaz and Ghe Uzvadd were published. Periodicals like Mhojem Magazin, Catholic Indian, Amcho Sonvsar, Novo Jivit, Goenkaracho Ixxt, Porjecho Ulas, Golden Goa, Konkani Times, Sontos, Aitarachem Vachop, O Heraldo, Konknni Journal and Tujem Raj Amkam Ieum were circulated from Bombay. In Karachi, Fr.Ludovico Pereria’s monthly Dor Mhoineachi Rotti (Monthly bread, 1915) was published.
- ^ Mendonça 2002, p. 67
- ^ Mendonça 2002, pp. 146–147
- ^ Borges & Feldmann 1997, p. 188
- ^ “Konkani Language and Literature”. Goa Konkani Akademi. http://www.goakonkaniakademi.org/konkaniweb/language-literature.htm. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- ^ a b c Miranda 1985, p. 196
- ^ Saradesāya 2000, p. 40
- ^ Lal 1992, p. 4182
- ^ a b Miranda 2003, p. 764
- ^ a b Sardessai 1992, p. 207
- ^ a b Sardessai 1992, p. 206
- ^ Tadkodkar, S.M. (2010), Goan Christian Marathi Vilapika : During the 17th Century, B.R. Pub., ISBN 9788176464987, OCLC 460868037, https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no63413.htm.
- ^ a b Miranda 1985, p. 197
- ^ Datta 2006, p. 1479
- ^ a b Saradesāya 2000, p. 110
- ^ a b “Moreno de Souza SJ 1923-2007″. Society of Jesus, Goa. http://www.goajesuits.in/events/20071014morenodesouza.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
- ^ Saradesāya 2000, p. 241
- ^ a b c d e Noronha 2008, p. 185
- ^ a b Saradesāya 2000, p. 242
- ^ a b Saradesāya 2000, p. 102
- ^ Sardessai 1992, p. 208
- ^ Miranda 2001, p. 53
- ^ a b Noronha 2008, p. 184
- ^ a b Noronha 2008, p. 186
- ^ Noronha 2008, p. 187
- ^ Pratap Naik (2008-09-05). “Long History of Romi Konkani”. Navhind Times. http://www.navhindtimes.com/story.php?story=2008090520. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- Borges, Charles J.; Feldmann, Helmut (1997), Goa and Portugal: their cultural links, Concept Publishing Company, ISBN 8170226597, http://books.google.co.in/books?id=fWlMV5lVSpYC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=&f=false.
- Datta, Amaresh (2006), Datta, Amaresh, ed., The Encyclopaedia Of Indian Literature (Volume Two) (Devraj To Jyoti), Volume 2, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 8126011947, http://books.google.com/books?id=zB4n3MVozbUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=&f=false.
- Miranda, Rocky V. (1985), “Diogo Reberio’s Vocabulario da lingoa Canarim and its historical sighnificance”, in de Souza, Teotonio R., Indo-Portuguese history: old issues, new questions, Xavier Centre of Historical Research, pp. 196–202, ISBN 8170220963, http://books.google.com/books?id=yjXJOFEIIMkC&lpg=PA196&as_brr=0&pg=PA196#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Sardessai, Manoharrai (1992), “Modern Konkani Literature”, in George, K. M., Modern Indian literature, an anthology, Volume 2, Sahitya Akademi, pp. 205–218, ISBN 9788172013240, http://books.google.co.in/books?id=m1R2Pa3f7r0C&lpg=PA205&pg=PA205#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Hunter-Blair, D. O. (1913) Thomas Stephen Buston in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Lal, Mohan (1992), Sahitya Akademi Inde; Lal, Mohan, eds., Encyclopedia of Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 8126012218, http://books.google.com/books?id=KnPoYxrRfc0C&printsec=frontcover.
- Mendonça, Délio de (2002), Conversions and citizenry: Goa under Portugal, 1510-1610 (illustrated ed.), Concept Publishing Company, ISBN 9788170229605, http://books.google.co.in/books?id=Mh3kKf0VSfQC&lpg=PP1&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=&f=false.
- Miranda, Rocky V. (2007), “Chp. 20. Konkani”, in Jain, Dhanesh; Cardona, George, The Indo-Aryan languages Volume 2 of Routledge language family series, Routledge, pp. 803–846, ISBN 9780415772945, http://books.google.com/books?id=C9MPCd6mO6sC&lpg=PA803&pg=PA803#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Miranda, Rocky V. (2003), “Chp. 20. Konkani”, in Jain, Dhanesh; Cardona, George, The Indo-Aryan languages Volume 2 of Routledge language family series, Routledge, pp. 729–765, ISBN 9780700711307, http://books.google.com/books?id=jPR2OlbTbdkC&lpg=PA729&pg=PA729#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Miranda, Rocky V. (2001), “Portuguese influence on Konkani syntax”, in Abbi, Anvita; Gupta, R. S.; Kidwai, Ayesha, Linguistic structure and language dynamics in South Asia: papers from the proceedings of SALA XVIII Roundtable Volume 15 of MLBD series in linguistics, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., pp. 48–61, ISBN 9788120817654, http://books.google.com/books?id=tcfJY7kANo8C&lpg=PA48&dq=%3D&pg=PA48#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Noronha, Frederick (2008), In Black And White: Insiders’ Stories About the Press in Goa: Insiders’ Stories About the Press in Goa, Goa1556, ISBN 8190568205, http://books.google.com/books?id=11rRjnzhJQIC&printsec=frontcover.
- Saldhana, Joseph. (1913) Thomas Stephans in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Catholic Encyclopedia.
- Saradesāya, Manohararāya (2000), A History of Konkani Literature: From 1500 to 1992, Sahitya Akademi, ISBN 8172016646, http://books.google.com/books?id=1YILeUD_oZUC&printsec=frontcover.
Some Goa-related books which I picked up from the Golden Heart Emporium (near GPO, Margao) just last evening, for my collection:
- Konkani Folk Tales, Retold by Olivinho Gomes. NBT, 2007, reprint 2008. ISBN 978-81-237-5083-5. Great VFM (value for money) at Rs 75 only for a 232 page book. (Today, books in India, paperback ones, are roughly priced at one rupee a page.) Grab it if you can. Not easily available, perhaps because NBT commissions work out very low on their low-priced books!
- Landmarks of Goa’s Liberation. A Goan Observer Tribute. ISBN 978-81-89837-08-2. Rs 150 . Pp 82. 2010. Somehow I had not seen this book earlier, or did not know where to find it.
- World of Birds. By Anthony Carvalho. By Anthony Carvalho. 78pp. Rs 45. nd. Interesting listing of birds of Goa. Originally in Romi Konkani, translated. Probably have a copy of this book, but no problem in having an extra one, specially since it is a self-published book and these can soon turn hard to locate.
- Kaleidoscope of Women in Goa. Fatima da Silva Gracias. Pp 166. ISBN 81-7022-591-4. Rs 250. “This study provides a picture of the life styles of women both Christian and non-Christian in Goa (a tiny state in the west coast of India) during Portuguese rule.” This is for a member of the Goa Book Club who requested a copy!
- Francisco Luis Gomes. By Olivinho JF Gomes. Rs 90. ISBN 978-81-237-5801-5. Pp 260. Another interesting NBT book! Published posthumously after the untimely death of former acting Goa University vice chancellor and prolific writer Dr Olivinho Gomes. I have another reason for reading this book currently!
MEANWHILE, just to say that Goa,1556′s latest publication THE LAST PRABHU is now available at Broadway (Panjim), Varsha (Panjim), Golden Heart Emporium (Margao) and the Other India Bookstore (Mapusa). Also by mail-order via http://bit.ly/kxRUBC
You might run across Damodar K.K. Ghanekar cycling in Panjim, quite absent-mindedly and lost deep in thought. Without much ado, and spending half-a-dozen years over the task, Ghanekar recently put together Konkani’s most ambitious dictionary, one which spans over two thousand pages! To undertake a task of this scale, perhaps one needs to be lost in a world of one’s own!
But appearances can be deceptive. Ghanekar’s visiting card describes himself as a Konkani teacher, lexicographer, encyclopedist, journalist, and a legal and technical translator.
Augusto Pinto, the Goa-based translator, book reviewer and educator called this “The Most Elaborate Konkani Dictionary So Far”.
Pinto drew our (belated) attention to the work, saying:
Says the publishers Rajhauns about this book: “Thousands of people, both Goans and from beyond Goa, use Konkani for various purposes in education, literature, journalism, and publishing. This dictionary was created for them to get access to the needed information. It offers meanings of the words. To enhance their knowledge of vocabulary, a number of meanings have been given. Not just this, in some cases, even the opposites have been given. To understand the language’s vocabulary without trouble, the ‘samanyaroop’ and ‘kriyapads’ (verbal nouns) are also offered in quite many cases.”
Ghanekar is modest about his achievement, which has been out in the market for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, like many made-in-Goa
products, is probably not recognised adequately recognised in its own home.
“Five minutes are sufficient (to explain the concept),” says Ghanekar. He translates the tongue-twisting title of the book to mean “Konkani Illustrated Eight-Fold, Learners’ Dictionary”. Why is it called eight-fold?
“We give the head-word, then the part of speech it belongs to, its gender, the oblique form of the word (for example, mez-mezak), whether it is used singly or without a plural, then the meaning, and then the oblique form of the plural (which can change slightly in Konkani), and a few English and many Portuguese words (which are frequently used in Konkani).”
Ghanekar notes that his dictionary defines verbs as transitive or intransitive. There is a root given, and sometimes even the negative form of the word.
Portuguese missionaries created impressive and path-breaking dictionaries and grammars for Konkani centuries ago; many were firsts of their kind among Asian and South Asian languages.
Goa had the first movable-type printing press in Asia, as far back as the mid-sixteenth century. Even if things came here by accident (and early Portuguese rule), this tiny region on the west coast of India does have many firsts to its credit.
The first Konkani grammar was published by Fr.Andre Vaz at St.Paulo College at Old Goa. The Konkani language had its first Konkani-Portuguese dictionary as far back as in 1567. Missionary priests of Rachol Seminary are credited with having compiled the first ever dictionary in any Indian language giving 15000 Konkani words and their vocables in Portuguese.
The English Jesuit priest Thomas Stephens also published the Arte da Lingoa Canarim (A Grammer of Konkani, 1640), as noted on the Wikipedia page on Goan Catholic literature.
Local language skills were also needed for religious purposes. And some deployed them thoroughly. Jesuit missionaries also produced works
during the seveenteenth century in local dialects of Marathi and Konkani like the Krista Purana (The Christian Purânna) in 1616, 1649, and 1654. No copies of these editions are extant.
The ‘Krista Purana’ (The Christian Purânna) is a metrical composition, consisting of 10,962 strophes.
At the recent book club meet, there was a discussion on how many ‘frequently-used words’ Konkani has and how many are needed to get a
rudimentary understanding of the language, for someone wanting to learn it. This dictionary plunges into the deep end of the pool, and has something like 50,000 entries (if I heard right!)
“All this was collated only while I was sitting in the office. If we had toured (the remote areas of) Sattari or Canacona, we would have got four more volumes,” Ghanekar adds, without a touch of irony.
He notes with pride that the dictionary has a number of illustrations too. The dictionary has illustrations of things which are not available today.
For instance, the adoli (adov), the local cutting-device which was once prominent in the Goan kitchen. Or tabulphalem, the table-based game made of wood whose outcome depended on the way in which the long sticks it deployed fell. “Now nobody knows the rules of the game,” he laments. Then, there’s the temflam… local seeds of sort that go into what could be called the Goan version of a pea-shooter.
All in all, an ambitious and useful contribution to the world of contemporary Konkani. Ghanekar’s work, when printed, is five inches thick. One hopes it serves many advanced learners of the language, and can somehow appeal beyond the divides of script and dialect, which still constrain the growth potential of a language like Konkani.
Konkani Sachitr Ashtangi Abhyaskosh
Damodar K. Ghanekar
(Technical advisor) Suresh J. Borkar
ISBN : 978-81-7810-534-5
Price : Rs. 3700 and Rs. 1200 (for individuals only)
Contact the reviewer 2409490 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Eunice de Souza has introduced many to the delights of the English language, writes on books, reading and writing
Shetty’s personal effects
The glow of the Goan’s poems comes from an unflinching acceptance of the changes time wrought
Eunice de Souza
Originally posted On Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 11:29:00 PM
In an early, autobiographical essay, Manohar Shetty who has just published his fourth book of poems, Personal Effects says, “I write poems because I need to. It is not an act of will, but must come, as Anne Stevenson says of love, as naturally “as a Ferris wheel to its fair.””
Born in 1953, and educated in Panchgani and Mumbai (he can’t believe he was once studying Mercantile Law and Statistics), he has edited a book of short stories from Goa, Ferry Crossing, works as a journalist and literary consultant. He lives in Goa, in Dona Paula, and his flat has a stunning view of sea, rock, and trees. Yet the first poem, Stills from Baga Beach, is a precise, venomously observed set of sketches of the kind of tourist who has made North Goa so tacky. “The German studies the Vedanta/In translation through chromax/Dark glasses, her oozing/Tattoo mobbed by/Bluebottles.”
So what happened to the Goa of “golden sunsets, opalescent seas, sinuous, silvery rivers and riotous green” that feature in the essay (along with the tackiness)? He rejects the popular idea that there is “intrinsic poetry in external beauty. The provenance of poetry lies elsewhere.” Beautiful things don’t automatically translate into poetry. Poetry lies in the poet’s ability to catch a “drifting wisp of thought and image, link such images, anchor them to a comprehensible reality tautened by language and the tug of emotion, so that they create a living identity of their own.”
Reading whatever he could get his hands on as a young man, he came across the poems of Ted Hughes and was stunned by them. “Their power and immediacy have left a lasting impression on me,” Manohar says in a recent note to me, about his extensive use of animal imagery from his very first book onwards. “His poems spoke unerringly about evil and the power and legacy of evil. In poems such as View of a Pig, Ghost Crabs, he depicts the innate savagery of modern civilisation. For me, animals and birds are extended metaphors for human behaviour, more social than primal.”
Find is about the disappearance and displacement of the last porcupine from the housing colony in which Manohar lives. “But this porcupine was a find,/Neither tame nor wild; trapped between/Root, rock and lit verandahs/And the fibreglass of steelgrey cars,/Bristling with a tough/Disregard for the human touch,/Never to be patted or leashed.” In Termite, he warns that the flattering image in the mirror is not really the person looking at it. True, the “the rakish cleft,/The ironical eyebrows—/They’re all yours./But open the door just / a fraction more (and don’t/Fly off the handle). Look/At the
arterial/Tunnels of mud./That’s you now: must/Dryrot and sawdust.”
In The Hyenas, Manohar brings together two themes about which he writes so well — his children, and animals. His little girl has a bad asthmatic attack. “Her tiny/hands are wet petals in my hand.” In contrast to this exquisite tenderness is the savagery of the attack, “the drooling/ packs converge: amidst red/Laughter, claws tear/at gizzard, sweating pigling,/Roe, soft brain, and lamb.”
One of the most moving poems in the book is called, With the children gone, an experience many will recognise. With the children gone, “rows of shoes grow/too big for our boots,/too scuffed to save./We leaf through frayed/textbooks (the stress, the distress!)/We are the small print,/the forgotten subtext/longing to be read,/longing to hear all/that’s left unsaid.”
Commenting on the poetry, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra says, “A spare richness marked his poems from the start and, over the decades, this hasn’t changed… Occasionally, the glow of Shetty’s poems comes from an unflinching acceptance of the changes wrought by the passage of time… This is poetry so naturally memorable that you don’t need to consciously memorise it.” Some of the poems have been translated into Italian, German, Finnish and Slovenian.
BORKAR, BALKRISHNA BHAGAVANTA (1910-1984) : Poet
Balkrishna Bhagavanta Borkar was an eminent Marathi and Konkani poet and novelist. Born in a family hailing from the village of Borim, he passed his Teacher’s diploma in Portuguese and Matriculation in English.
He worked as a teacher in various schools in Goa from 1930 to 1945. Soon after the Goa Liberation movement was started by Dr. Lohia, he left for Bombay where he edited the periodicals *Amha Gomantak* (Our Goa) in Marathi and *Porjecho Avaz* (People’s Voice) in Konkani, devoted to the Goan freedom struggle.
Borkar worked as a Spoken Word Producer at Poona (1955-1960) and Panjim (1961-1970) stations of All India Radio. Borkar was the Chairman of the Reception Committee, Gomantak Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (1957). He presided over the Marathi Kavi Sammelan (Solapur, 1958), was a member of the Indian Delegation of Men of Letters to Ceylon (1963), presided over the Konkani Conference (Bombay, 1967) and the second Session of the Marathi Literary Conference (Mahabaleshvar, 1970).
He was the President of Institute Menezes Braganza, Panjim (1964-1970) and was honoured with the title Padmashri (1967).
Borkar started writing poetry at an early age. ‘Pratibha’ (Talent, 1930) is his first collection of poems. His second collection of poems ‘Jivan Sangit’ (1937) contains some of his best known and most popular poems, especially ‘Tethe kar majhe julati’ (Before I fold my hands).
His other collections are ‘Dudhsagar’ (1947), ‘Anand Bhairavi’ (1950, Maharashtra State Award), ‘Chaitra Punav (1970). As a poet, he scrupulously follows the traditional pattern of rhyme and rhythm and remains the most classic of modern poets.
The metrical forms he uses are extremely varied, ranging from the ancient Shardulavikridit to the modern Padakulak and passes through the popular ‘Pavada’ and ‘Lavani’.
Though his poetry has undergone considerable change during its course, it has resolutely refused to follow short-lived fashions. Borkar’s poetry can be sung; this intense musical quality is its hall-mark. Proudly proclaiming himself as a disciple of poet Tambe, he has lifted Marathi poetry to sublime heights of lyricism.
Borkar was an optimist. Though fully aware of the selfishness and cruelty that salk the world, he has unshakable faith in the essential goodness of human nature. His poetry abounds in colourful pictures of nature, especially those of Goa. He is inimitable as a master craftsman of words which, in his hands, become a source of aesthetic delight.
In him can also be found a happy blend of the spiritual and the sensuous. Some of his poems are highly philosophical and even mystic. The favourite themes of his poetry are: love as an all pervading novel passion, the happiness of a peaceful domestic life, nature as an eternal source of beauty and
inspiration, divine grace and the secret ways of destiny.
Borkar has left a deep impression on Marathi and Konkani poetry.
Borkar wrote a few novels, including ‘Mavalata Chandra’ (1938), ‘Andharatil Vat’ (1943) and ‘Bhavin’ (1950). His novel ‘Bhavin’ became quite popular due to its novel theme, lyrical language and racy narration. It depicts the pathos of the life of a ‘devadasi’. He wrote a biography of Rabindranath Tagore (1963) which received the Maharasthra State Award. Borkar wrote in Konkani also. He contributed significantly to the development of the Konkani language.
WORKS BY BORKAR
1945 *Jalte Rahasya’ (The Fiery Secret)
1950 *Amhi Pahilele Gandhiji* (Gandhiji We have Seen)
1951 *Kanchechi Kimaya* (The Magic of Glass)
1956 *Gita Pravachanam* (Discourses on the Gita, by Acharya Vinoba Bhave)
1957 *Bharatacho Distavo* (India of My Dreams, by Mahatma Gandhi)
1960 *Majhi Jivan Yatra* (My Life’s Journey) Konkani: Poetry: *Gitai* (Translation of Bhagvadgita)
1961 *Pamyinam* (Anklets)
1963 *Anandayatri Rabindranath* (Rabindranath, the Traveller of Joy)
1973 *Konkanichi Vatchal, Tiji Jodnuk ani Chadnuk* (Konkani Vocabulary, Its Composition and Formation)
1973 *Paigambar* (The Prophet, by Khalil Gibran)
1975 *Sansay Kallol* (Deval’s Marathi play of the same name).
Deshpande, A.N., *Adhunik Marathi Vangmayacha Itihas*, Vols I and II, 2nd edn, 1970.
Joag, R.S., *Indian Literature Since Independence*, ed. by K.R. Srinivasa Iyengar, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1973.
Pandit, Bhawanishankar, *Adhunik Marathi Kavita*, Suvichar Prakashan, Nagpur.
SOURCE: Encyclopaedic dictionary of Marathi literature By Sunita Deshpande