Dubai: ’Aami Nathlyaa Vellar’ Thrills Audience, Creates Landmark

Pic: Alex Lewis

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Dubai, Apr 14: Daiji Dubai, a forum of Konkani Writers in the UAE celebrated its 13th anniversary, incidentally on Friday the 13th April, with a truly entertaining and meaningful event, held at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Indian High School at Karama, Dubai.

Daiji Dubai has been instrumental in encouraging veteran and budding Konkani writers from the time of its inception back in 1999. The annual award ceremony is a key element of the celebrations every year, as this is one of the most valuable and prestigious awards in Konkani literature.

The award for 2012 was presented to well-known Konkani writer Gratian Pius D’Silva (nom de plume HEROLPIUS). The writer could not attend the event due to his assignment with the Government of India’s central department. His son Glester D’Silva received the award on his behalf.

In a brief award presentation and inauguration ceremony, Sudhir Shetty of UAE Exchange, Michael D’Souza of Dunes Apartment, James Mendonca of Reliable Fabrications and Joseph Mathias of Merit Freight were guests of honour. Daiji Dubai convener Stany Pinto Nirude and Daiji Rang Mandir convener Alwyn Pinto were also present on the dais.

The award comprising a cheque of Rs 50,000 was presented by Michael D’Souza, while Joseph Mathias presented the memento and Sudhir Shetty the citation, James Mendonca presented flowers.

Earlier, the event was formally inaugurated in a traditional style with the beating of the drums by guests on the dais.Former convener and noted Konkani and multi-lingual writer Stan Ageira’s ’Hi Moji Daavni’ Konkani novel, published by Daiji Publications was released by entrepeneur and Daiji Dubai well-wisher Ronald Pinto of Hyssna International, Abu Dhabi.

The stage programme was been ably compered by Daiji Dubai member Ronald Nazareth (Rony Byndoor).

The prime attraction of the event, staged as part of Daiji Dubai’s 13th anniversary, was the much-awaited Konkani play ’Aami Nathlyaa Vellar’, translated by Richard Pereira Derebail. The play, based on a true life story of navy commander Nanavati and his foreign-origin wife Sylvia, was originally written by Madhusoodhan Kalelkar in Marathi, and later translated by Ramananda Choorya to Kannada. The thrilling drama succeeded in keeping the audience glued to their chairs for more than 215 minutes, with a small break in between.

The play was every bit what it promised to be - exciting, thilling and entertaining, and indeed, created history by proving to be one of the best plays staged in the UAE in recent times.

The stage setting by by Chidananda Poojary was unique and one of its kind. The two settings including the commander’s house and the judicial court were fantabulous.

The third location, house of Sunil Kumar (played by Alphonse D’Souza) was captured in film format. A scene of about 14 minutes duration was completely shot and edited in a professional way. Ashwath Samuel, a young and creative expert edited the scene which was screened on a giant screen during the play. The scene was highly appreciated by the audience.

The amateur artistes of Dubai, who spent their valuable time in practicing for the drama for the last two months did justice to the play, and all credit goes to team’s mentor and director Dayan D’Souza, who spent sleepless nights and put all his energy into the drama. His able direction and impeccable acting as ’Nazareth Mestri’ were key reasons for the success of the play.

Commander Herman Sequeira’s role was played by Walter Nandalike, who was back to the stage after about 20 years. Walter who had acted in plenty of Konkani and Tulu plays during his college and CYM days, did justice to the role.

As Gloria Sequeira, Asha Correa, a well known actress who can do justice to any role was superb. As the commander’s wife, she showed wit, perfect emotions and added a touch of glamour.

Aphonse D’Souza, in the negative role of Sunil Kumar awed the audience with his unique style. His natural acting even prompted audience to ’hate’ him for his role !

The supporting actors like Cynthia Pinto as Florine, Nanu Marol as retired high court judge, Ramcy Fernandes as public prosecutor John D’Souza, Alwyn Pinto as high court judge gave life to their roles, proving their acting abilities and utilizing their roles to the full extent.

Godwin Castelino as Benna, and Laveena Fernandes as Minna entertained with thier comedy in supporting roles. The dance sequence by the duo was superb. The dance was choreographed by Arun Lobo.

Little master Regan Fernandes as Bunti gave a glimpse of his talent on the stage. He made full use of the opportunity that came to him for the first time, and did a wonderful job as the son of commander Herman and Gloria, impressing all with his fluent Konkani.

Other supporting roles in the play were enacted by Santosh D’Souza, Stany Kemmannu, Sunil D’Souza, with backstage support from Wilfy, Paul, James Pius, Dinesh Correa and specially Pradeep Barboza, Sandeep Dsouza. The backbone of the play was music provided by Ketan, who is familiar with the audience of UAE in Konkani, Tulu and Kannada plays. His music arrangements supported by Arun Almeida of Radio Spice gave life to the play.

The title song for the play was exclusively composed and sung by Melwin Peris, the popular Konkani composer-musician from Mangalore.

The lighting, stage arrangements, the super sound effects by Prasad and his team and other additional factors complimented the drama well.

The memorable play came to an end at around 11 pm, with the sell-out house of 1500 drama enthusiasts from around the UAE breaking into rapturous applause.

The play which conveyed a moral was mixed with thrill, suspense, emotions, comedy and laudable dialogues. The sponsors of the event were felicitated by the organizers during the interval.

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