If you were not at Alto Porvorim on Wednesday, here’s a 97-minute recording of the event held at the Xavier Centre of Historical Research. It was a tribute on the 100th anniversary of Professor Lucio Rodrigues, writer and man of many roles.
TUNE IN TO THE ENTIRE AUDIO RECORDING: https://archive.org/details/lucio-100
After a brief welcome by XCHR director Dr Savio Abreu SJ, Doriacher Lalari (around 2:15) comes to us with tasteful guitar accompaniment, by the noted singer-guitarist Chico Fonseca of Fontainhas. Incidentally he was Prof Lucio’s student! This is followed by Undir Muja Mama, the dulpod with such a catchy tune that almost everyone in Goa, and from Goa, remembers it (4:55).
An introduction to the programme follows at 7:05. At 11:38, the moderator Prof Isabel Santa Rita Vas, a former student and former colleague of Prof Lucio (at Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Miramar), makes some preliminary observations.
Dr Maria Aurora Couto (15:30) argues that it was very important to have Prof Lucio’s work republished. She added: “As a 14 year old girl, he made such a profound impression on me.” Her reminiscences of Karnataka College, its flood of Goan students, and its one time English professor (Prof Lucio) were interesting and drew some laughter from the audience.
Prof Lucio’s role in starting a branch of the Victor Paranjoti’s Madrigal Singers Choir in Dharwad was
remembered too. “Lucio extending my musical life, beyond the sacred music of my father, with madrigals and spirituals. It was not just Konkani music [that he was proficient at],” said Dr Couto, now an award-winning litterateur whose recent book is on the Crossword shortlist.
His transformation from a “suave and poetic figure” into a khadi-clad Congressman in the first election of 1963 in Goa was also recalled.
Prof Ramola Antao (24:24) talks about her experiences as a student in the very first batch of Prof Lucio’s at the Dhempe College, where he played an instrumental role in setting up the Department of English. His informality but thoroughness in his classes was commented on with nostalgia. His kindness and fairness was noted in particular.
Prof Rabin Pinto (36:25) had his own story of what helped him to survive and continue as a 24-year-old young professor at Dhempe’s in the 1970s. In those days, incidentally, Dhempe College had morning, afternoon and night classes!
Prof Lucio’s essays were recalled — on caste, on crackers (and tradition), on mangoes, and more. Dr Isabel Santa Rita Vas called Lucio “familiar but also very professorial… well dressed, and with a fob watch he pulled out of his pocket and read with great style.” He talked, she said, “with a very, very genuine knowledge of the soil, which you cannot fake” (58:20).
“If this (compiling) is not to be done now, what is to happen to our folk tales? They will vanish!,” warned Dr Vas.
At least three persons mentioned Prof Lucio’s essay on caste (specially among Catholics) in Goa, To Konna’lo.
Ann-Marie, a student of St Xavier’s College, Mapusa, read (1:04:08) from the writing of Prof Lucio. This essay on mangoes, a fruit right now in season here, says: “Your Afonso is an aristocrat. He believes in civilised table manners…”
Next came excerpts of Lucio speaking and singing Konkani folk to students in the United States, way back in the late 1960s. The entire recordings are available free online, so best to tune in to it there: http://bit.ly/luciorodrigues
At 1:16:00, Prof Edward De Lima praised his former teacher: “He was a very good teacher. We never missed his lectures, although we would bunk others.” Lima said that if there’s a tradition of symposia, elections and the like at the Dhempe College, it was a legacy of Prof Lucio. “He loved Goa and he’s one of the Goans who decided to come down to Goa after Liberation to work here,” Prof Lima noted.
Dr Varsha Kamat (after 1:22:00) commented: “I was in the Central Library reading the *Goan World* of 1938, and I found such wonderful stories written by Prof Lucio Rodrigues. Since then, I’ve been telling these stories to everyone in the Central Library. And when I went home, my husband told me that he was his teacher too”. She mentioned that she was excited to know of this tribute to Prof Lucio.
Prof Lucio’s sister, Margret Fernandes (1:23:24) noted that the Rodrigues family was from Piquen Chinvar, in Anjuna. She called “Ma’an” [Elder Brother] Lucio a gentle, loving son and kind sibling.
Further, 1:26:30 has a ghumot performance of a mando by Lourenco. Former Jesuit provincial Fr Tony da Silva (Tony-da) 1:32:35 says a thank-you. At the end (1:35:48), Chico Fonseca charmingly strings his guitar once again.
With that ended a memorable evening, dedicated to a person who left many tracks behind.