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.
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
From today’s Gomantak Times
GT NEWSROOM: Sebastian D’Cruz, popularly known as the ‘Chronicler of Siolim’, died early Monday morning, September 7.
The researcher-writer-musician brought out his first publication ‘Know The Parish and Village of Siolim’ in 1982.
Sebastian, fondly remembered as ‘Club Uncle’ for having worked as a caretaker of the famed Football Club of Siolim for two decades, also published ‘The History of the Siolim Church’, ‘Parish and Village of Siolim’, ‘The Churches of Bardez’, ‘The Life of St Anthony and Siolim’ and other publications, which included two highlighting the celebrations of the Sao Joao feast in the village. Continue reading
This is a 2008 or 2007 listing of Goa books then available. FN
Latest 10 Goa-related books on the stands
[List as made available by Broadways Book Centre, Sant Inez]
* Tales from the Attic (Savia Viegas)
Xaxtti Foundation, 2007 Rs 200
* The Mahmai’s and Goa’s Neighbours: Commercial LInks and
Allied Interests (Dr S K Mhamai, ed).
191 pp. Rs 300. 2007
* Domnic’s Goa (Domnic Fernandes)
Pp 247. Rs 350, April 2007
* My Journey (Tomazinho Cardozo)
Pp 261. Rs 200. 2007
* Fragments (Darren Christopher Pereira)
Poetry. Pp 56. 2007.
* Careers: The Complete Guide (Plus Publications)
Rs 150, pp 178, 2e 2007
* The Goan Catholic Wedding Guide
Pp 84 Rs 100.
* Snapshots of Indo-Portuguese History 1: Pangim
(Vasco Pinho) Rs 350, pp 132. Hb
* Guardian of The Dawn (Richard Zimlers)
UKP 5.95 (Rs 450) Pp 371
Fiction, set in Goa and the Inquisition
2005, recently received in Goa
* Walking with Angels (Heta Pandit, photography Tushar Rao)
Pp 152, Hb, large size. Rs 2400
PANJIM, NOV 18
Historie Der Inquisite Tot Goa by Pieter Mortier (1697) is amongst the oldest books at the exhibition of rare books by the Directorate of Archives and Archaeology as part of the National Book Week that ends on November 20.
The books on display are from the reference library of the archives department and Historie is one amongst its collection of approximately 55,000 books and date back to the 18th, 19 and 20th centuries. Majority of the books are in Portuguese, French, English, Hindi, Marathi and Konkani. Historie gives the narration of the Portuguese inquisition in Goa.
Athaide Municipal Library to complete 125 years in Nov
PORVORIM, SEPT 3- Athaide Municipal Library situated in the Mapusa Municipal Council (MMC) will complete 125 years of its existence in November.
It may be recalled that when Goa was under the Portuguese regime, Dr Joaquim B Azavedo constituted a committee under which Athaide library was established on November 12, 1883.
Fr Francis Athaide had devoted his life in imparting education to thousands of youth in Bardez and in his memory a library was named as Athaide Bibliotheca (Athaide Library).
On April 9, 1897, the library was handed over to Camra de Bardez. After the liberation, Municipality Act came into force in 1968 and the library was taken over by MMC.
Speaking to Herald, Librarian Dyaneshwar Parsekar said that Athaide Library is the oldest Library in Mapusa, which subscribes 24 newspapers and 56 magazines, national and international covering politics, social science, health, information technology, entertainment, cookery, automobiles, economics and sports.
“Library serves about 5,700 members with a membership fee of Rs 10 for students and Rs 25 for adults. We have done the digitalization of old documents such as Government gazettes,” said Mr Parsekar.
On November 14, 2007, the children’s corner was opened in the library with the assistance of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Kolkata, where educational CDs and computers have been kept for the children.
“Library has also set up separate reference section for the benefit of students of schools, colleges, universities and other readers who are doing research work and preparing projects,” he added.
Library is automated with e-granthalaya, a digital agenda for library automation and networking form National Informatics Centre.
MMC has earmarked Rs 1,15,000 for purchase of books, newspapers and magazines for 2008-09.
“Existing space is not sufficient for the library. Since library is completing 125 years on November 12, we will get Rs 1,50,000 from the Central Government for the purchase of computers, books and organize competitions,” said MMC Chairperson Sneha Bhobe.
“However, library does not receive any grant from the State Government,” she added.
Mohan Tendulkar, a library member, said that since 1980 he has been coming to the library regularly.
“This is a unique library where all types of books and journals are available and with the setting up of the children’s corner, this library has fulfilled the demands of children,” he added.
MARGAO, SEPT 5
Library movement in the state is set for a big boost with Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat announcing on Saturday that a modern central library will finally take shape in Panjim in the next 4-5 months, besides the ultra modern library under construction at Navelim.
Addressing newsmen after inaugurating e-library at the Margao Municipality on Saturday, Kamat said “one of the best and modern central library will materialize at Patto, Panjim in 4-5 months. Similarly, an ultra modern library is slowing taking shape in Navelim”.
Emphasising on the need to strengthen the library movement in the state, Kamat said people should be made aware of the library facilities so that the infrastructure is used by students, children and adults to enrich their knowledge.
“There’s a need to inculcate reading habits amongst the younger generation, who are switching over to watching TV serials”, he said, adding that he takes time off even today to go through books to enrich my knowledge.
Complimenting the Margao Municipal Council for computerizing the library records, Kamat said reading is the most important factor to acquire knowledge, saying “knowledge remains with you if one looses any position”.
“Now, the MMC library section really looks like a library. The government intends to support the library movement in the state”, he added.
MMC Chairperson Savio Coutinho the e-library concept will help the readers, especially children and students in a big way.
“A lot needs to be done for the Municipal library. We want to increase the membership. There are reference books which should be taken advantage of by adults, teachers and even students”, he said, promising to procure the latest books from time to time.
Coutinho also made a mention of the Portuguese books, besides books in Hindi, Marathi and English available in the Municipal library.
The Margao Municipal library has around 21,000 books of which details of 3000 books have already been fed in the computer as part of e-grantalaya project.
Goans lived in misery under Portuguese: Teotonio
Written by RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR
Friday, 21 August 2009 01:16
Well-known Goan historian and head of the department of history, at Universidade Lusofona, Lisbon, TEOTONIO R DE SOUZA speaks in an exclusive interview with RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR about the second edition of his book ‘Medieval Goa: A Socio-Economic History’, which will be released in the city on August 21.
What made you write ‘Medieval Goa’ three decades ago?
The story, as historians would say, begins during my childhood. I got to hear lot of village stories from my grandfather, who though illiterate was a man of village and popularly known as ‘Lamb Jaco’ (Tall Jaco), as well as my grandmother. My grandfather, who hailed from the village of Moira would be immaculately dressed in a suit when he visited Mapusa town, but always wore a loin cloth once he returned to his village. He would even abundantly use his vocabulary of bad words in Portuguese language to denounce the colonial rule. He, like many others in the village nursed anti-colonial feeling. All these things stayed with me. Continue reading
I liked this photo of Literati. It says something about the bookshop’s cosy … and cosmopolitan nature!
Check this post from the Guardian Books. It is a review of “a biography that deals sensitively with William Golding’s private life” and says Golding “once refrained from wind-surfing on holiday in Goa because he thought £3.50 an hour too expensive. As Carey says, over-generosity wasn’t among his faults.” Wonder which year that could have been in!
By Frederick Noronha
Selma Carvalho spent part of her Goa holiday trying to finish a book dealing with stories of Goan migration. The UK-based mother of a three-year-old believes her work has inputs that could help Goans better understand their own complex reality.
Carvalho is one of a growing trend of writers bringing Goa-centric work to the fore. An increasing number of books on Goa is getting into print, here and elsewhere. Goa, the size of an average Indian district, has an amazing set of numbers on its side. Outside of the metros, it is probably the most intensely published region nationwide, given its size.
Fernandes, a soft-spoken man with a reputation for his quiet efficiency, sits at the helm of the oldest public library in South Asia. The Central Library was set up as the Publica Livraria in 1832, but has been overtaken by the metros across India. Formerly with the Goa Engineering College, Fernandes believes that good writers can help sell books in a world where a market exists and technology has made things simple — you can layout a book on your desktop computer at home.
The trickle is turning into a flood. Old-timers remember the situation in the 1980s, when there would be just a handful of Goa-related books visible at exhibitions and sales. Today, there are literally dozens, if not a few hundred books on Goa in print. That is, if you know where to find them.
Miramar-based Menezes, who can be often found in the mornings working hard at writing from his office near Panjim’s municipal garden, sees Goa as a “potentially large and lucrative market”. He points to the tourist purchases of local books. Besides, “Goa is on top of the national food-chain in terms of interest and visibility.”
GoaWriters meeting underway. Photo: from left, Rahul Shrivastav, Willy Goes, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Jose Lourence and Vivek Menezes. More GoaWriters below, from left, Xavier Cota, Cecil Pinto, Alito Sequeira, Damodar Mouzo, Jose Lourenco and Augusto Pinto. Women members are absent from photos for some reason!
Menezes argues: “You have all the ingredients in place for huge growth; but we’re told that Goa is too small and cannot sustain! We have a huge captive audience. In the last two to three years, due to the presence of (top national writers like) Amitav Ghosh (who have homes in Goa), the writing community is also getting built up.” Continue reading
An official press note from the Department of Information and Publicity (Government of Goa) says: