Melvyn Rodrigues is admired by konkani people for his humble attitude. It was he who guided me to find new paths in writing poetry. He is undoubtedly one of the top poets in konkani walking on the footsteps of Cha.Fra.D’Costa whom he considers as his mentor. It is our great pleasure to feature such person in Konkan KALAKAR on behalf of Konkani Abhiyan Samithi. Special thanks to Naveen Sequeira, Andrew D’Cunha – for assisting me for Melvyn’s profile for Konkan KALAKAR.
Melvyn Eugine Rodrigues was born on July 8, 1962 at Derabail, Mangalore and his permanent place of residence is Kulshekar, Mangalore. However, presently he is residing in Dubai, UAE for employment. He is a B.B.M. graduate and persuaded his studies in M.A. Sociology.
Mr. Rodrigues has published 6 books and they are:
- Bhesam Zallem Kallz, a Novel published by Punav Prakashan in 1983
- Mogapello, an Anthology of Poems, published by Pragati Prakasan in 1989.
- Kanni Zali Chali, an Anthology of Short Stories, published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, in 1995. this is Konkani translation of Kannada Short Stories by Yashwanta Chittala in Devanagari script.
- Fintam, an Anthology of Poems, published by Mandd Sobhann in 1996, written in Devanagari.
- Shabdulim - variety of Articles, published by Kavita Publications in 2003.
- Vaatt – an Anthology of Poems, published by Kavita Publications in 2003.
Mr. Rodrigues has edited 4 books: 1. Vovllam (1990) - Anthology of Poetry - Fred Kumar; 2. Kalza Gaaz (1990) - Anthology of Poetry - Panchu, Bantwal; 3. Kupam Pondlim Mukham (2003) - Anthology of Poetry - Fifty Poets; and 4. Chindiyaache Gombe (2005) - Anthology of Poetry - Shabbir Bayda
He published Columns are:
- Konkani Quiz (Raknno Konkani Weekly)
- Mhoji Konkani (Raknno Konkani Weekly)
- Shabdulim (Udev Konkani Weekly / Umallo Konkani Monthly)
- Foddafoddi (Raknno Konkani Weekly)
- Gurfollem (Raknno Konkani Weekly)
- Chirmulyo (Poinnari Konkani Weekly)
- Kavita Kullar (daijidubai.com) continuing till date
His serialized writings are:
- Godd’dechea Gavant - Umallo Konkani Monthly - Travelogue
- 365 Dees - Jivit Konkani Monthly - College Life
- Evarestacho Monis - Raknno Konkani Weekly - Translation
- Florence Nightingale - Divo Konkani Weekly - Translation
Mr. Rodrigues’s literatures are published in various books are as follows:
- Inclusion of short story ‘Patkam’ in an anthology of short stories published by ‘Umed’ publications, titled “Shirshiro Ani Her Katha”. (later this story was translated and published also in Kannada)
- Articles and Poems appeared in “Bhingari” – a research journal.
- Foreword to “Daktea Devachim Bhurgim” - an Anthology of Poems by Kishoo, Barkur. (1998).
- Foreword to “Motiyam” – an anthology of songs (lyrics) by Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award winning poet Late Cha. Fra. De’Costa.
- Literary Introduction of Cha. Fra. DeCosta for his one act play titled “Sunne Mazar Hasta”. Published by Apurbai Prakashan, Ponda, Goa.
- Literary Introduction of Cha. Fra. DeCosta for his one act play titled “Bhangar Monis”. Published by Thomas Stephens Konkani Kendra, Miramar, Goa.
- Literary Introduction of Cha. Fra. DeCosta for his one act play titled “Magirchem Magir”. Published by Thomas Stephens Konkani Kendra, Miramar, Goa.
- Literary Introduction of Cha. Fra. DeCosta for his one act play titled “Torne Torne Mornem”. Published by Thomas Stephens Konkani Kendra, Miramar, Goa.
- Foreword to “Ek Dentt, Ek Paan” - an anthology of poems by Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award Winning Poet J.B. Moraes.
- Foreword to “Char Mukham” - an anthology of poems by Valley Quadras.
- Inclusion of poems and profile in “Kavyaa Pello” - an Anthology of poems by various poets published by St. Aloysius College as part of their Konkani Syllabus prepared for the university students.
- Inclusion of short story ‘Jujechea Peramchi Kanni’ in an anthology of short stories titled “Konkani Katha Pello” published in 1998 by ‘Raknno’ Konkani Weekly.
- Inclusion of an English translation of a self composed Konkani poem with profile in an anthology of English Poetry titled “Clouds Across the Stars”. Published by the International Library of Poetry.
- Inclusion of translations of two Konkani Poems in a Mumbai based poetry magazine “The Pearls”. Translator: Jerry D’Cunha, Mumbai.
- Foreword to “Chindiyache Gombe” – an anthology of poems by Shabbeer Bayda.
Books Published, as a Publisher are:
- “Khel Aani Her Katha” - Translated Short Stories - Yashawanta Chittala (Pragati)
- “Akaant” - Story Collections - Nandini (Pragati)
- “Mog Matr Pavana?” - Story Collections - Na. D’Souza (Pragati)
- “Moga Pello” - Anthology (Poetry) - Melvyn Rogrigues (Pragati)
- “Abramvchem Yajnadaan - Poems & Criticism - Louis Mascarenhas (Pragati)
- “Sonshyache Kan” - Anthology (Poetry) - Cha. Fra. De’Costa (Pragati)
- “Mhojem Antaskarn Visorchem-na” - Novel - Irene Pinto (Pragati)
- “Ek Sapann Adhurem” - Anthology (Poetry) - J.B. Sequera (Pragati)
- “Fintam” - Anthology (Poetry) - Melvyn Rodrigues (Mandd Sobhann)
- “Shabdulim” - Collection of Articles - Melvyn Rodrigues (Kavita)
- “Kupam Pondlim Mukham” - Anthology (Poetry) - Fifty Poets (Kavita)
- “Vaatt” - Anthology (Poetry) - Melvyn Rodrigues (Kavita)
Mr. Rodrigues’s contributions to Konkani Journalism as a:
- Sub-Editor -‘Mitr’ Weekly and ‘Jhello Monthly’ - 1983-84. Editorial works rendered to both ‘Mitr’ and ‘Jhello’ magazines mainly edited by Dolphy Cascia and has edited literary works of many popular writers in Konkani, viz. Jo. Sa. Alvares, Cha. Fra. De’Costa, V.J.P. Saldanha, Gabbu Urva, Edwin J.F. D’Souza etc.
- Sub-Editor - ‘Jivit’ Monthly/Fortnightly – 1984-87. Published many investigative/literary works in ‘Jivit’ magazine which was edited by Cha. Fra. De’Costa.
- Sub-Editor - ‘Udev’ Weekly - 1988-90. Published many literary works and co-ordinated with writers for ‘Udev’ magazine which was edited by Sylvester D’Souza.
His lyrics/Musical Albums – Cassettes and CD’s:
- Written lyrics for more than 50 songs for ‘Mand Sobhann’. Music composed to these songs by popular musician Eric Ozario. These songs are being sung by ‘Mandd Sobhann’ for their musical programmes.
- Composed song for ‘Patrao Brothers’, which won the prize from “Konkani Natak Sabha”.
- Composed theme song and prayer song for Sports Meet conducted by ‘Catholic Sabha’ Mangalore. Music provided by musician Bennett Pinto.
- Composed song for the inaugural function of the ‘First International Konkani Convention’.
- Composed 3 songs for Konkani Cultural Organisation, Abu Dhabi for the Independence Day celebrations held at the ‘Indian Social Center, Abu Dhabi’. Music pro vided by Gerry D’Mello.
- ‘Maan Mhoji Payam Tujea’ inaugural prayer song composed for ‘Kalangann’.
- ‘Baila International 1995’, Dubai and Abu Dhabi – composed welcome song.
- ‘Baila Masala 2002’, Dubai – Composed welcome song.
- ‘Mandd Sobhann’ Music Album Volume 1 – Lyrics for one song
- ‘Mandd Sobhann’ Music Album Volume 2 – Lyrics for 3 songs
- ‘Mandd Sobhann’ Music Album Volume 3 – Lyrics for 4 songs
- ‘Mandd Sobhann’ Music Album Volume 4 – Lyrics for one song
- ‘Mandd Sobhann’ Music Album Volume 6 – Lyrics for one song
- Inclusion of recited poem in a compact disc titled ‘Sound of Music’ by the International Library of Poetry along with an introduction.
- Many songs telecasted on Bangalore, Delhi and Goa Doordarshan (TV Channel) through ‘Mand Sobhann’.
- Poetry recitals, story reading and essay presentations on All India Radio Mangalore, Goa and Mumbai for about 75 times.
He has also participated in Literary Workshops and Seminars. They are:
- ‘All India Lexicography Conference’ hosted by ‘Rashtra Kavi Govinda Pai Center for Studies and Academy of General Education’, Manipal in 1988 for 15 days. In-depth study of Linguistics and Lexicography done and met about 30 multi-linguists.
- Evaluation Study on Theatrical Films – Conducted interviews for a period of 5-days for the ‘Films Divison’, Govt. of India in 1984 at Mangalore.
- Literary Translations in Konkani. Took part in a 6-day workshop conducted by the University of Goa in 1991.
His major Poetry Recital Sessions Participations are:
- 14th ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Parishad’, Bangalore (1984)
- 15th ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Parishad’, Cochin
- 8th ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Sammelan’, Ramanatim, Goa (1985)
- 9th ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Sammelan’, Sankllim, Goa (1987)
- Participated in Poetry Recital Session presided by Konkani Poet Nagesh Karmali on the occasion of Cha. Fra. DeCosta’s felicitation ceremony held at Mangalore Town Hall (1989).
- Participated in Poetry Recital Session held in Dubai, presided by popular Kannada and English poet B.A. Sanadi under the banner of ‘Tulu-koota’, Dubai.
- Took presidency of Poetry Recital Session in five languages (Pancha-Bhasha Kavigoshti) held under the banner of “Daiji Dubai” Writers Forum, Dubai (2001).
- Participated in many poetry sessions held in Mangalore, Goa, and Dubai on different occasions.
Andrew D'Cunha, Melvyn Rodrigues, Valley Quadras
Melvyn Rodrigues’ contributions to the Konkani Associations is incredible. Here are his various positions held in Konkani Associations:
Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Karnataka - Joint Secretary (1983-84): Assisted Cha. Fra. DeCosta, the secretary for the success of the 14th ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Parishad’ held at Bangalore. Taken representatives to participate in the above from Mangalore in two buses.
Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Karnataka – Secretary (1984-85): Worked for the success of ‘All India Konkanni Sahitya Pareshad Meet’ held at Cochin. Taken representatives from Mangalore to the above meet as well as a troupe to perform a stage play, and conducted various Konkani gatherings for students of St. Agnes College and Besant College, Mangalore to keep alive Konkani language. Increased membership of “Bhasha Mandal” for the first time to 500 numbers and assisted writers to get enrolled to the same thereby improving financial position of “Bhasha Mandal”.
Cha. Fra. Sanman Samiti - Member of Executive Committee: Taken lead in organizing a full day literary event in 1989. Compeered the cultural event held in the evening where Goa’s Chief Minister Churchil Alemao was the Chief Guest.
St. Aloysius College, Konkani Department, Mangalore: Given lectures to Konkani students on the subject “Basics of Linguistics” during the initial stages.
Kala Sampat, Mangalore - Joint Secretary & Secretary: Played an important role in keeping Konkani theatre alive by organizing Inter-Parish drama competitions. Organized inter-family music competitions for the first time and was Responsible in finalizing the constitution of ‘Kala Sampat’ in Konkani.
Cha. Fra. Drama Festival - Head of Publicity Committee: Worked for the success of a weeklong drama festival held at the Don Bosco Hall, Mangalore in 1985.
Mandd Sobhann, Mangalore - Co-founder: One amongst the 3 founders of the above association established in 1986 for promotion konkani music and preservation of konkani culture. Traveled to Bangalore, Goa and other places along with the team, compeered some events and has composed more than 50 songs for ‘Mand Sobhann’. Responsible in organizing debates, cultural events, publications, poetry sessions etc.
Louis Mascarenhas Birth-Centenary Committee –Member: For the first four years, taken complete responsibility of choosing nominees for the Louis Mascarenhas Birth Centenary Literary Award and has took complete responsibility in organizing award presentation ceremonies successfully.
‘Zage Kavi’ (A movement of Contemporary Konkani Poets) - Founder: Initiated and found the above movement to promote Konkani poetry. Inaugurated by Kannada littérateur Yekkooru Gananatha Shetty at Fatima Retreat House, Mangalore in 1990, and Within 2½ years conducted more than 50 poetry sessions in Mangalore and Udupi district. The poetry sessions conducted in halls, fields and underneath the trees gave birth to new talents. Has given classes about writing value added poetry, been responsible for the birth of a movement in Konkani poetry. Prior to this movement only 6 anthologies of poetry were available in Konkani Kannada script. Now this number has crossed 70 within a span of 14 years. The name of the above movement is being mentioned in every article related to Konkani poetry.
‘Konkani Sahitya Kala Samiti’ - Committee Member: Worked with Dr. Willy DeSilva in organizing Konkani classes, workshops, debates etc. Compiled poems of Late Louis Mascarenhas for his book “Abramvchem Yajn-daan’, Researched on Fr. Paul Buthello’s life and organized Fr. Paul Buthello Day celebration in Belmann, Mangalore.
‘Konkani Lexicon Project’ - Member of Editorial Board (1988-1991): Lead a group of 11 field workers as well as looked after office works related to the above project. Accumulated Konkani words throughout South Canara, Udupi as well as North Canara and recorded the same in audio cassettes. Worked amongst ‘Kudumi’ and ‘Are-Marati’ communities, and studied and published articles about their dialects. He was the first to introduce folk dance of ‘Kudumi’ community to the outside world. Learnt and danced along with them during their festivals. Also, Assisted Dr. William DeSilva in conducting Konkani classes.. Has arranged many debates related to Konkani literature and presented essays during several occasions.
‘Central Sahitya Akademi’ New Delhi – Member of the Advisory Board for Konkani: Though nominated for the above post in 1991, resigned due to traveling abroad. He served in the primary selection committee of Academi’s Konkani Awards twice and once in the final selection committee.
‘Konkani Cultural Organization’, Abu Dhabi - Secretary: Popularized the above as a ‘Konkani Organization’ in the English atmosphere, and established permanent trust in memorial to Fr. Sylvester Menezes for holding literary competitions with ‘Raknno’ Konkani weekly. He was responsible in organizing the annual celebrations completely in Konkani language for the first time in the history of K.C.O.
‘World Konkani Convention’, Abu Dhabi Committee - Vice President: Gathered financial support from Abu Dhabi for the convention, and responsible for conceptualization and arrangement of ‘tableau’ for the convention on behalf of Abu Dhabi committee
‘Daiji Dubai’ Konkani Writers Forum in the U.A.E. - Founder Member and Editor for 2 years: Responsible in bringing all Konkani writers in U.A.E. under one umbrella and inspiring them to carry-on with literary works. He has conducted workshops, debates, seminars on literary criticisms, poetry etc. and worked towards organizing fruitful Konkani events. Put efforts in popularizing Konkani during events by other associations and spontaneously conducted various poetry workshops and trained budding poets. He also contributed in forming ‘Daiji Literary Award’, written norms for this award and still actively involved in the same. Also, was responsible for conceptualizing ‘Drama Competition’ first time in the history of Arabian Gulf and was the convener of the event and for conceptualizing and successfully conducting “Children’s Konkani Day” in Dubai for the first time to encourage children learn and speak Konkani language.
‘www.daijidubai.com’ - Member of Editorial Board and Editor of Konkani Section: Member of editorial board since the beginning of this web site which was established 5 years ago bringing all Konkani people spread all over the world under one umbrella and he is the editor of all Konkani sections of the site and online poetry column “Kavita Kullar”. More than 100 poets’ compositions have been published so far. Also inspired many to write by guiding privately.
‘Kalaangann Abhiyan Samiti’, Dubai – Founder and Secretary: To support the construction of ‘Kalaangann’ in Mangalore - a Konkani Cultural Center, established a temporary committee for 6 months, meant for promoting ‘Kalaangann”. Accumulated approximately 12 Lakh Rupees in the first gathering itself, and donated additional 4 Lakh Rupees from the musical event organized in Dubai, which was lead by Eric Ozario and his 15 member troupe from Mangalore, India.
Mr. Rodriques has received many ‘Awards/Honours/Laurels etc for his unconditional love toward Konkani Literary and they are:
- ‘Moga Pello’ – won the Best book in Konkani (Kannada Script) in 1989 from ‘Konkani Basha Mandal’, Goa.
- Tour to West Bengal – 1990: On a travel grant given by ‘Kendra Sahitya Academy’, New Delhi. Visited ‘Shantiniketan’ and studied life of Late. Rabindranath Tagore. Written travelogue “Gaddechea Gavant’ and published it in ‘Umallo’ monthly in 12 issues.
- “Baila-Arabia” Dubai 1999 – Received recognition and laurel for contribution to Konkani.
- “Baila-Masala” Dubai 2002 – Received recognition and laurel for contribution to Konkani.
- Won ‘Editor’s Choice Award -2002’ from ‘International Library of Poetry’ for self-composed poem translated from Konkani to English.
- ‘Raknno’ Literary Competitions (1986, 1992 & 1995) – Bagged prizes during all 3 competitions – 1st prize twice and 3rd prize once.
- ‘Konkani Bhasha Mandal’, Mumbai – Won 3rd prize in Poetry Competition on Late Cha. Fra. De’Costa.
- ‘Konkani Kulvar’ Kuwait – Seminar organized in Kuwait exclusively on poetry by self. Essay presented by Valley Quadras followed by debate and discussions in April 2003.
- Article published on “www.maaibhas.com” by Mr. Andrew L. D’Cunha in 2003.
- An English poem by self published on www.dreamagic.com.
- DAAIZ.COM conducted Kavithapaatt-1 referring to the poem ‘VAAT’ on the 11th Feb 2005 in Kuwait.
His other literary works are as follows:
- Approximately 150 poems, 70 articles, 75 stories, 15 essays and 60 interviews published during the past 25 years on Konkani magazines from Mangalore and Mumbai viz. ‘Mitr’, ‘Jhelo’, ‘Kannik’, ‘Raknno’, ‘Poinnari’, ‘Divo’, ‘Jivit’, ‘Udev’, ‘Yuvak’, ‘Panchkadayi’ as well as magazines being published from Goa viz. ‘Sunaparant’, ‘Rithu’, ‘Kullaagar’ etc.
- Main speaker in the seminar held at Goa during ‘All India Konkani Sahitya Parishad’ presided by ‘Chandrakant Keni’ in 1990 on the topic of ‘Konkani Books and Publications’
- Since July 2003, conducted nine poetry workshops in Mangalore and Dubai on topics “Konkanni Poetry & Theme Building”, “Images in Poetry”, “Various Forms of Poetry” etc. for over 60 poetry students. Co-sponsored by ‘Raknno’ Konkani weekly in Mangalore. Poetry workshops still being held now and then.
- English translations of poems have been presented by prominent litterateur Gokuldas Prabhu during a seminar held at the University of Science & Technology, Cochin (November 2003).
Submitted by: Valley Quadras Ajekar