Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Konkani Cocktail

From Francis Noronha

A Konkani Cocktail
Dear friends,

I received the information below from my friend and fellow-villager (Chorao, Goa) Joe Fernandes. Some of you may have read his first book, "Requiem for a Goan" and so needs no further introduction to Joe or his writings. But, if you haven't read Joe's first book, Joe has made it his mission in life to maintain Goan culture and keep amchi bhas, our Konkani language, alive. In "Requiem," we were treated to several Konkani words, phrases and idiomatic expressions. My knowledge of Konkani is very limited as my opportunities to speak the language were very limited when I was growing up. It was good, however, to come across Kalchi Koddi that we have all enjoyed on our visits to Goa, and dozens of other Konkani expressions. Also, should the need arise (highly unlikely in the depths of a Canadian winter with temperatures below -40C!), Joe provided us with detailed instructions on how to tie a Kaxtti (our  national male  costume - the loin cloth!).

From his notes below, I see that Joe has gone one step further in "A Konkani Cocktail". He actually tells the story in Konkani and then gives an English translation for the benefit of Goans and others like myself whose Konkani is limited or non-existent. What a good idea! I look forward to trying to understand the story in Konkani, and turning to the English translation when I am completely at sea (which will be very often, I have no doubt).

Those of you who have read "Requiem" will, I am sure, have enjoyed the illustrations of Goan artist and writer, Mel D'Souza. I was pleased to learn that Mel has collaborated with Joe once again and we can look forward to more of Mel's delightful illustrations. With Joe as the story teller and Mel as the illustrator, you can be certain that the book will be a keeper as well as a great stocking filler for friends and relatives with Christmas around the corner.

Check out the promotional information below. For the modest price of $10.00 (plus postage) you are assured of some glimpses into our traditional Goan ways of living, some gently amusing looks at our Goan foibles - and stories in amchi bhas as it is spoken. Thank you, Joe, for this second step in the preservation of Goan culture, traditions and language. I end with a blessing on Joe and Mel taken from "Requiem" : "Devachem bhesaun tumcher poddom re" (May God shower blessings on you.")

Francis Noronha
Lethbridge, Canada, 
November 10, 2019

P.S. Please feel free to pass on this information to anyone you think will be interested.

My Dear Friends and Fellow Goans,

LAUGH and recollect Amchi Bhas while sipping –

In the humorous ‘Requiem’ I had brought to your notice the slow death of our traditions. The same thing is happening
to Konkani in the Romi script. Our children speak in English.

Should we remain bystanders?

Without literature Amchi Bhas cannot survive. The last one and a half years I have spent as a recluse to do exactly 
that. I wished to show what can be done even with a limited vocabulary. Please excuse my silence.

The result is A Konkani Cocktail - A textbook of 40+ humorous original tales of life in Goa told in colloquial 
Konkani with each story translated in English side be side, so you can savour the words that were once on the
tip of your tongue.

The stories narrate hilarious situations- tips for negotiating a dowry, the panic of a mother who learns that her 
son in Washington is getting married to a khapurlem. The reason priests in Goa become abalar once every three 
years. Meet a parrot who speaks Konkani, a monkey that rings the church bell and the implications of visiting a doctor 
who is cockeyed!

All this for 10 dollars plus shipping. The book is 160 pages. Currently available in Goa, USA and Toronto only. 
Before the end of the year we hope to have it in Abu Dhabi and Sydney. Or you can pick the book for only 5 dollars post paid for delivery in India. It makes an excellent Xmas gift for seniors.

Here is what makes this book different! Languages are no longer taught using grammar. No Present Participle and Present Continuous. Speak and learn is the new method.

There’s more! Those who desire will get my WhatsApp number! When you phone I shall read a lesson of your 
choice which you can then record. Each lesson is not more than 5 minutes.

Please contact Cassy mob. 932588 2570 (Goa) or me at Mississauga Tel no. 647 794 7061 or my email

Finally, each piece is with Mel’s impeccable illustrations. Like ‘Requiem’ it makes the book breezy and light reading.
A PDF of the cover and a sample piece titled EC VHODDLI CHUK is attached to liven up your day. The English 
version 'A Big Mistake' follows the Konkani PDF.

Could I request you to please forward this mail and the PDFs below to your friends.  Thanks and God bless,


PS : I am pleased to inform you that the Goan Authors Association will do me the honour of launching the book at their Book Fair in Goa next month.

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