Poet Melvyn Rodrigues Conferred with “MCA Kala Puraskar” in Unique Programme

Pictures by Jerald D’Souza

A unique evening, a spectacular programme, august gathering, talented artistes and the best known Konkani poet, writer, lyricist and speaker of the generation. All these came together at the Hilton Hotel Doha here on Friday October 18 evening in presenting one of the most memorable and special events in the history of Konkani speaking community of Qatar that ended with the conferring of “MCA Kala Puruskar “ Melvyn Rodrigues, Konkani’s number uno poet and the winner of the prestigious Central Sahitya Academy award.

Originally Mangalore Cultural Association had planned to organize Wilson Olivera nite as part of their annual bash and Melvyn Rodrigues was to be conferred with the MCA Kala Puraskar during the event. However due to unfortunate and unavoidable reasons, Wilson Olivera nite had to be postponed to January 17, 2020 just couple of days before the event. Any organization struck by this setback would have cancelled their event. But Mangalore Cultural Association isn’t any other Association. It took the setback in its stride and thought of using this opportunity to   throw up a unique and never-thought-before event in honour of Melvyn Rodrigues, the brand ambassador of Konkani poetry. The entire evening was meant for the contemplation and celebration of Melvyn Rodrigues’ poetry and lyrics. It was a spectacular two-hour fest dedicated entirely to Melvyn Rodrigues and his contribution to Konkani.

The evening started with the informal welcome and keynote address by compere of the day Gladson D’Almeida, followed by the rendition of MCA Geeth. Thereafter MCA president Veena Rebimbus Pais extended a formal welcome to the gathering and provided a glimpse of future events of MCA. This was followed by a unique yet meaningful programme lasting for an hour during which young and talented locals singers rendered some of the best known songs of Melvyn Rodrigues.

First song of the evening was ‘Mujhai Angnnant Polle’, a literary masterpiece penned by Melvyn Rodrigues. It is part of Melvyn’s musical album Dini Dini. It has been set to tune by ace musician Alwyn Fernandes and sung originally by Bollywood actress and singer Vasundhara Das. It was presented by Qatar’s most-loved female voice Carol D’Souza. She did complete justice to the meaningful lyrics and rich composition with her superb rendition. As she wound up her rendition, the audience in the majestic ballroom acknowledged her singing with thunderous applause.

The second song of the evening was ‘Kulkulta’, a foot-tapping number from Melvyn’s musical album Dini Dini. Tunes and music for this song are by Alwyn Fernandes and it is originally sung by Sandalwood singer Soumya Rao. Preema Pinto, two-time first runners-up at Konkani’s best reality singing show ‘Gulf Voice of Mangalore’ had the audience asking for more with the scintillating presentation of the song.

After the two solo songs, it was time for a medley of Melvyn’s few songs. The medley was presented by Qatar’s Golden Voice Clement Fernades, the reigning Gulf Voice of Mangalore and Preema Pinto, one of Qatar’s best female voices. The medley contained Melvyn’s best songs such as ‘Naka Naka’ and ‘Tho Suryo’mu Budlo’ from Dini Dini album and ‘Jalma Disa’, ‘ Haanv Kobu Tum Mujhi Pali’, ‘Matyar Soro Astana’, ‘Katte Bhitarlem Narlachem Vollem’, ‘Punve Chandne Tujya Angar’, ‘Ye Moga Thodem Ulovyam’ and ‘Umyani Vhont Tovlyat’, composed by Eric Ozario for Mandd Sobhann. Every time Clement picks up mike to sing, he mesmerizes the audience with his soulful and spectacular singing. He was at his best again as he sent the audience in trance with his amazing singing. On the other hand Preema Pinto too was at her best emoting every emotion penned by Melvyn in his songs. The dazzling performance by the melodious duo of Clement and Preema was the highlight of the evening as the audience was given a delightful musical treat in honour of Melvyn Rodrigues. The unceasing applause that almost had the roofs coming down as the medley ended was indeed proof as to what extent the audience appreciated performance of the local artistes as well as the lyrics of Melvyn Rodrigues which were displayed on the LCD screen.

The live music for the evening was provided by Qatar’s well-known musician, guitarist Kirthan Rodrigues and Royston Lobo, a new entrant to the Konkani music club of Qatar.  Royston Lobo, an ace lead guitarist has the distinction of releasing his own Konkani album ‘Mothiam’ at the young age of 18 and running his own musical band ‘Prophecy’ while he was in Mangalore and Kuwait. He has recently shifted to Qatar and it was his first stage performance here. For sure he is going to rock Doha in the years to come with his amazing musical skills.

This first part of the evening was aimed at providing glimpse of Melvyn’s literary and poetic magnificence to the audience in the form of his songs and the entire part was dedicated to Melvyn.

The second and the most important part of the evening was again dedicated to Melvyn as he was bestowed with the prestigious  MCA Kala Puraskar” in a meaningful stage programme. The stage programme began with the compere inviting MCA president Veena Rebimbus Pais, vice-president Clement Saldanha and Advisory Committee members Felix Lobo, Wilfred Fernandes and Jerry Pinto to the dais. Following this Melvyn Rodrigues was escorted to the dais by former presidents of MCA Harry Lobo and Arthur Pais while MCA General Secretary Hema Fernandes escorted Melvyn’s wife Averyl to the dais. A citation highlighting Melvyn’s literary achievements was read out by Arthur Pais. Following this Melvyn was conferred with the “MCA Kala Puraskar”. While Felix Lobo draped Melvyn with shawl, Jerry Pinto presented him with the floral bouquet, Wilfred Fernandes presented the memento and Clement Saldanha presented fruits while Arthur Pais and Harry Lobo presented the Maan Patr and cheque of Rs 1 lakh. Averyl Rodrigues too was presented with the floral bouquet by Veena Rebimbus Pais on the occasion. Presidents and office-bearers of various Karnataka-based associations of Qatar who were present on the occasion, then felicitated Melvyn too. The entire audience rose on its feet and gave a rousing applause appreciating Melvyn’s achievements and MCA’s initiative to honour Melvyn.

Acknowledging the honour Melvyn addressed the gathering in his own spectacular style that was laced with chaste Konkani. It was a meaningful speech during which audience could sense the glimpse of Melvy’n poetic language and his vast knowledge as well as his revolutionary thoughts. He explained to the audience how poetry has nurtured his personality and helped him form his own identity. He ended his speech with the presentation of his well-known poem ‘Pirluk’ (Flute).  Again the audience was on its feet as they were given a literary treat and masterly oration by Melvyn through his speech.

After this MCA presented the prizes to the winners of Konkani Bhashan Spordho (Public Speaking Competition) and Konkani Inquizitive Quiz Competition that was held on August 30, 2019. MCA Event coordinator Jovita Pereira D’Souza read out the names of the winners while Melvyn Rodrigues presented the prizes to the winners. Judges for the Bhashan Spordho Alfred Cyril Crasta, Freeda Lobo, Merlyn D’Souza and Reena Castelino and Quiz Master Gladson D’Almeida too were presented with mementoes on the occasion. This was followed by short message by MCA advisory Felix Lobo to the audience. In his speech Felix Lobo touched upon the achievements of Melvyn and bestowed praises on his for taking Konkani poetry to national and international level. Clement Saldanha proposed the vote of thanks.

Once the stage programme was over, MCA had organized dinner in honour of Melvyn Rodrigues. During the dinner a few local singers Naveen Pinto, Naveen D’Souza, Jeevan Ferrao, Melita Lobo and Wilson Mendonca enthralled the audience with some popular yesteryears Konkani  numbers ‘Jasmina’ ‘Mog Dollyancho’, ‘Kenna Kenna’, ‘Thana Dim’ and ‘Vanitha, Vandana, Shalini.

Noted entrepreneur, community leader and KSQ Vice President. Ravi Shetty, President of Karnataka Sangha Qatar Venkata Rao, Tulu Koota Qatar President Chaitali Uday Shetty, Bunts Qatar President Deepak Shetty, South Kanara Muslim Welfare Association President Abdul Majeed, Qatar Billawas President Raghunath Anchan, MCC Vice President Joachim D’Souza, MCC ex President Prakash Noronha, KSQ Coordinator Dinesh Gowda, TuluKoota Qatar Vice President Seetharaman Shetty, Director Daijiworld TV  Alexis Castelino & Versatile & Talented MC Ronald Olivera were also present on the occasion.

The entire programme was compered by Gladson D’Almeida.

It was indeed a unique, meaningful and first-of-its-kind Konkani programme in Qatar wherein an entire evening was dedicated to a Konkani great, to highlight his achievements and honour him for his unceasing and unconditional contribution Konkani in the last 4 decades.



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