Remembering Stalwart of Konkani Literature

July 5, 2014

The late Victor Rodrigues, a powerhouse of Konkani Literature, husband of Celine bai, father of Lolita, Veena, Santhosh; my wife Flavia’s close relative and my uncle too. July 5, 2014 will be his 4th death anniversary. On his first death anniversary, family of Victor Rodrigues had installed a Memorial Fund with an intention of rewarding one deserving individual involved in contributing towards Konkani literature on annual basis. On July 20, 2014, the 4th memorial award ceremony will be held; surely to be bestowed upon any popular, well-known ardent Konkani poet, writer or novelist.

From the past human history, one thing I have noticed earnestly is that any humble person intermingled with brilliance and hard work can be remembered easily. My point of discussion here is the late Victor Rodrigues. He was a household name among Catholic Konkanis, known for his kindness, generosity, soft spoken, for his humanitarian works and above all his make-believe stories for all age groups. Even after his demise, his stories were still appearing in Konkani weekly “Kutaam”, and monthly magazine “Amcho Sandesh”. 

From the onset of his literary venture Sri Victor was not an ordinary writer but he was baptized a "kranthikariborpi" for his revolutionary thinking and pure innovative, radical writings against the social evils and degrading. Carmelite Fr Alwyn Sequiera in his homily said that Rodrigues was not only a Konkani litterateur but a crusader of justice. On the day of his demise, Dr Edward Nazareth had paid the rich tributes to the late Victor Rodrigues, I have reference for those tributes. 

Vitorbaab was a Konkani novelist and a short story writer too. He was among the most prominent novelists in the field of Konkani literature. Rodrigues specialized in writing serialized novels of extraordinary length running into more than 150 chapters. His novel, 'Pratikar' was serialised in the Konkani weekly 'Poinnari', for almost 198 weeks, while 'Paap ani Shiraap' ran for 219 weeks. Apart from his novels, he wrote six plays and two biographies of Catholic priests, Fr Sylvester Menezes and Fr Marian Fernandes. Rodrigues also wrote a book on traditional medicines, entitled 'Bholaike Daiz' (Treasure of Health). 

The famous Konkani serial story titled 'Paap ani Shiraap (sin and curse) written by the renowned Konkani writer Mr. Victor Rodrigues, Angelore and published in the 'Poinnari' Konkani weekly from 1991-1995 with 220 episodes, was selected by 'Mangalore Tele Films' as the first Konkani TV mega serial. The film shooting ceremony was inaugurated at "Lan Max" Villa, Bajjodi on June 10, 2005.

Victor wrote his first novel "Vibhadlelen Gharane" in 1967 and he approached Shri Jo Sa Alvares, the then editor of 'Mithr' and 'Jhelo'. Since, this was the first novel by Victor, Jo Sa suggested him to start writing short stories and articles in Konkani periodicals. He wrote his first health related article about breast cancer which was published on 'Jhelo'. From then onwards there was no looking back for Victor and he wrote another serial story with 6 episodes "Bonglyanthli Khun". With this story Victor won the hearts of Konkani readers and he got the inspiration to start writing more novels.

His second story "Mayakachenbhunyar" was first published by Shri Andrew Mendonca, the then editor of 'Kannik' Konkani monthly periodical. This story was admired by the readers and during this time Kannik received maximum number of readers. His literary works have been published in 21 papers and magazines.

Usually a person is found selfish while sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others. In the Konkani book – 'Kanoon Daiz', authored by city lawyer Stanley R D’Costa Victor Rodrigues had written a foreword where he says ‘anyone who keeps his wealth of knowledge to himself is like a servant who has hidden a coin given by his master in the soil, which is of no use for anyone. There is genuine dearth of generous people who lack the thinking that the god-given free gift of knowledge should be shared freely as it would bring about enlightenment of the people at large’. Victor Rodrigues made the best of his talents for the welfare of the community by authoring several Konkani novels which have immortalized him in our midst. He is dead and no more with us but his literature will remain forever. His novel “Paap ani Shiraap” which is once again being published by “Kutam”, a Konkani weekly published from Mumbai, in series form, stands testimony to his popularity. 

It is not easy to sum up the literary achievements of Victor Rodrigues, a writer of repute in Konkani in this form by this small article. He had authored 23 novels most of which were published by several Konkani periodicals for many years. He also authored two biographies, 4 plays and thousands of articles on a variety of subjects. Veteran of Konkani literature, the late MickMax had lauded his literary expertise as he gave Konkani literature unparalleled masterpieces. Many Konkani readers offered to subscribe for Konkani periodicals only because they carried his suspense filled thrilling novels in serial form. It should be noted here that “Poinnari” weekly published from Mumbai created a record of sorts by publishing only his novels in series for 31 long years. There are instances of his novels being published simultaneously by 5 Konkani periodicals while some of the periodicals published his novels in serials 2 or 3 times. It cannot be denied that 'Poinnari' weekly survived longer by publishing the series of his novels. However, it must be borne in mind here that Victor Rodrigues did not get much benefit, financial or otherwise from these publications. But that did not deter him from writing. He used to author his novels or stories with the sole intention of reaching out to his committed readers without expecting any monetary returns. 

Highlighting this trait of Victor Rodrigues, the late Konkani legendary musician Wilfy Rebimbus in his foreword on the book authored by Victor Rodrigues “BangarachiIstri”, says: ‘Although Victor Rodrigues was an accomplished Konkani litterateur, he was humble, honest, soft-spoken and never craved for publicity. He penned his novels or stories only for his satisfaction and because of his ardent love for Konkani language, without expecting any monetary returns.’

He was a humble, friendly and honest man. He would forthright in condemning any wrong-doings that came to his notice through his writings. He could not tolerate injustice from any one, not even from the religious groups or top officials of the community. He was not afraid of the consequences of his acts. 

He had the gift of writing and he made the optimum use of it till his death. He was helpful to those who were good and sincere or those who deserved help. He helped a few publishers of Konkani periodicals and secured contributions for them. He was always there to render a helping hand to those who were in financial difficulties. A large number of people who benefitted from his largess would vouch for the financial help they received from him. A poor Catholic family in Karkala received his generous help for many years and he used to personally handover it to the family despite not keeping good health. He also used to visit and offer financial help to poor families admitted to hospitals. But he never craved for any publicity for the help he rendered and always preferred to keep a low profile. 

Since those years I was residing in Qatar, I had met my uncle Victor only on three occasions. The memories are so sweet and lasting. He would walk any amount of extra miles, if it was required to help any needy, near or far. His soft voice was so deep and heart-touching, I remember him very fondly. Three days prior to his demise, I had called him from Qatar. His last words to me were ‘suffering is a bit of concern Cony but I am not afraid of death for I have completed well the work assigned to me by my Lord. Please uphold my family with your prayers to strengthen them. The loss would come soon”.

Manest Rodrigues was honored by Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Akademi for his contribution to literature, in the year 2000. He also received the Daiji Dubai Award in 2006, and Francis Danthy Literary Award the same year. Inspired, dedicated Konkani readers gave him various titles, such as “King of Novels, “Samrat of Konkani literature”, “Konkani Hero” , “Vi Ro” and Century Writer Bestowed with a number of titles including `Konkani SahityaSamrat', `Century Writer', `KadambariSamrat', `SankallKanianchoRaai' etc., Victor Rodrigues Angelore - the chieftain of Konkani novels.

Victor Rodrigues was born on February 8, 1944 in Guardian Angel parish, Angelore, Mangalore, as the eldest son of the late Anthony John Rodrigues and Carmine Rodrigues. Due to the poor economic condition of the family he was not able to pursue further studies after completing his SSLC despite his earnest interest to do so. He was a voracious reader of Kannada detective stories which gave him an insight to write novels in Konkani and also fictional stories. Needless to say his unique style of narration in the novels inspired many budding writers to start writing literature.

Literary accomplishments: Any article attributed to baabVitor would be unjustified if his Literary accomplishments are not highlighted.

1968 "Bonglyanthli Khun" published by Jhelo
1968 Maayakache Bhunyar published by Kannik
1971 Vidhicha Davlenth - a story with 62 episodes published by Mithr
1972 Phudarachi Deswat which he completed within 24 hours, published by Poinnari
1972 - Madthir Sunn published on Poinnari
1973 - Andhkaracha Khandkanth(81 episodes) published on Poinnari
1975 - Shirapachi Bali (127 episodes) was among the one of his best stories which was again published in 2000 on Poinnari
1980 - Ragtachi Bobaat (124 espisodes) published on Poinnari
1982 - Don Max (64 episodes) published on Poinnari
1984 - Dev Boren Karun (33 episodes) published on Kannik
1986 - Prathikar which was published on poinnari for almost 4 years in 198 episodes
1986 - Charles Shobhraj (18 episodes) was published on Poinnari
1991 - Paap ani Shiraap created the record of longest every story in Konkani literature with 129 episodes.
1992 - BhangarachiIstri (25 episodes) published on Ummalo
1996 - Haun Parikpon Ghetelin (64 episodes) published by Poinnari
1998 - Farikpon (24 episodes) published on Raknno
1998 - Dev Poleta (24 episodes) published on Raknno
2000 - Sukon Gellyo Shelio (32 episodes) published on Poinnari
1998 - Jaathi Bailen Kazar published by Poinnari
2001 - Jivatachi Desvat (40 episodes) published on AmchiMaai
2002 - Ravan Rajyanthlo Veerappan published on Poinnari

In the year 2010, Victor Rodrigues left us for heavenly abode. He was a complete family man and a 'Person in Service' without any strings attached to it . Those who knew him from close range will surely agree with me. It is my humble hope and belief, let us continue to pray so that our Heavenly Father may give him the ever lasting peace and honors that he hoped for while living among our midst by leading a simple and honest life with unwavering love and faith in the Lord Jesus, for he was a totally God loving and fearing man. May his soul rest in peace.

By Antony Cony D'Souza, Karkala/Qatar
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Comment on this article

  • Wilson Saldanha, Shirthady/Kuwait

    Fri, Jul 11 2014

    Good tribute Antony Baab. When I was small, The POINNARI was brought to our house only because of serial story by Victor Rodrigues Anjelore. He had thrilled the Mangaloreans during those days when TVs were not there and people used to bribe postman's to the weekly to deliver first in the morning.

  • Antony Cony D' Souza, Karkala / Qatar

    Thu, Jul 10 2014

    Thanks to everyone for offering your loving Tributes to late Victor Rodriguez.

    I agree slightly with Mr. Ivan Menezes' comment for I should have remembered few of Konkani founders' names, novelists: A.T. Lobo, V.J.P. Saldanha, ChaFra, Mic Max..etc., May their Souls Rest in Peace.

    One day an interviewer questioned to ‘Mataro Chorbela’ playwright Francis Fernandes Cascia, "why you are so much eager to receive facilitation on the stage". His answer was very swift, " Yes. You are right. If people recognize an artist continuously it will impute within us zest for greater performance. However, once any artist dies who will remember him to offer him some required prayers, loving tributes or to give him due glory for his past contributions ? Therefore, while we are alive, we must draw some pleasure from the facilitations which induces us for robust commitment for the stage".

    Mr. Francis is very much right. Moreover, even our most decades old loved Konkan Kogull, Wifly Rebimbus is almost on the waning side with the exception of Jeppu Parish and few fans. May His Soul Rest in Peace. Amen.

  • Bonaventure Govious , Shirva/Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 10 2014

    Surely a wonderful Tribute Paid to our Konkani Great Author. Those were the days without Information Technology..Internet..Yet amazing talent was shown by Late Victor Rodrigues. 'Salam Salam Viro'. May you Rest in Peace in the bosom of our Lord and Savour'.

  • Lance D' Costa, Mangalore / Abu Dhabi

    Thu, Jul 10 2014

    Late Victor Rodrigues was in fact an eminent author. This article is a wonderful tribute to this great personality. Stories penned by him which were published in various Konkani periodicals were mesmerizing, which all of us eagerly used to wait for week after week. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Donald Pereira, Belthangady/Mangalore

    Tue, Jul 08 2014

    Thank you Antony Cony sir for this article. You have presented the brief history of Victor Rodrigues’ life and his achievements. Yes, he was very simple and a humble person. For the matter of writing, as was said before, he was really a factory of novels. It is unimaginable what force he had in writing such huge novels in record speed time. I was also associated with the TV serial making on his novel ‘Paap ani Shirap’, but unfortunately the project was not successful due to few person’s stupidity. Victorab was very happy to see his novel’s filming, but at the end he got very upset. All the things Antony mentioned on him are very true. He was a fighter and had the daring to tell loudly what he believed. Konkani literature was enriched by him through his contributions throught many decades. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Ivan Menezes, Valencia / Muscat

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    Mary Wortley Montagu said, “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.” This was indeed the case for me growing up in the 1970s – a decade that had witnessed an explosion of Konkani literature. Some of the works came from the late Victor Rodrigues, one of my favourites. Others were aplenty, including A.T. Lobo, V.J.P. Saldanha, Edwin D’Souza (Vasu, Valencia), Dolphy-Cascia, CFD Costa (ChaFra), Sirivant, Stan Ageira, CGS and numerous others. Pen to paper, these writers scraped their brains, spent hours a day and wrote reams and reams for a mere pittance or for nothing – solely to realize their passions and entertain and enlighten the masses. No-one would understand this craze other than the writers themselves. They pursued writing hobby while simultaneously juggling family and career. Whilst many a writer faded as time slipped by, these writers continued unabatedly. Victor Rodrigues’ death anniversary enabled me to reminisce the golden era of Konkani literature. May his soul rest in peace! So also the souls of all deceased writers! Last but not least, hats off to all living writers striving to keep Konkani language alive.

  • Ramesh D. Shenoy , Manasagangotri, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    Brilliant David Marcel Lobo.
    Very rational is your comment.
    While living we glorify our artist or writers and in
    death we crucify them completely. On other other days we are least bothered. It is okay. However, while opportunity comes like paying tributes or memorial, at least it is good to say few words about them and to pray for their departed souls. Value of any writers, poets seen in theIR humble gratitudes /attitudes and NOT IN THEIR WRITING ALONE.

  • praveen lobo, mangalore

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    VIORO your are real Konkani HIRO. Nice article, thanks to the writer and daijiworld. Vithu Uncle we will remember you through your great work for the society . we are missing you.

  • David Marcel Lobo, Urwa/Mumbai

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    One of the magnificent suspense serial story writer, poet and novelist of our time of Konkani. Preset Konkani writes neglect to pay him tributes when opportunity arises like this by setting a stage of bad examples for themselves how good are those konkani writers in future others to remember them..disgusting hopeless attitude carriers they can never be a complete writers of Late Victor Rodrigues caliber for He was humble despite his all achievements highlighted in this article...are present konkani wrtiers can match humble to learn from his to pay due tributes he owes for Konknai.

  • Hilary Tellis, karkala/ Bahrain

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    Dear Conybaab, Very nice Article about the Great poet Late. Victor Rodrigues. I remember those days, all at our houses were waiting for the Poinnari, specially to read the serial stories of Victor. We can't forget his contribution for the Konkani Literature. May his soul rest in peace.

  • CGS, Mangalore

    Mon, Jul 07 2014

    Its a respectful and loving tribute to an eminent writer,the late Victor Rodrigues.Thanks to Antony C.D'Souza for his exclusive write up!

  • paul dsouza, balakunje

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    This is the way at least nice to tribute to our loved ones. Our Dear VICTOR RODRIGUES has brought revolutions in konkani literature. He is always alive. MAYAKACHEN went so many episodes & i was just very anxious, thrilled to receive the weekly. Also he was writing best out of best articles to POINARY WEEKLY. He was almost in all kONKANI papers. Simple in person, straight forward talks & i am sure he really enjoyed his life in this world & he lived worthy life, last days in fr. mullers hospital & finally peaceful death. Blessed by god. He is the example us like birds, let us leave behind what we dont need to carry pains, sorrows, grudges, fears, always fly light, life is so b.e..a..u..t..i..f..u..ll...!!!

  • Priya Das, Karkala / Mumbai

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    It is heart breaking with the feelings of missing the great author Mr. Victor Rodrigues. Beautiful article, fit for such a great personality. May his soul rest in peace. Best wishes and sincere prayers to God for his family members (Lolita, Veena, Santhosh and Celine bai).

  • Vivian Tauro, Puttur/Qatar

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    exalting late Victor Rodrigues and can do justifying in the words of the late Konkani legendary musician Wilfy Rebimbus in his foreword on the book authored by Victor Rodrigues “BangarachiIstri”, says: ‘Although Victor Rodrigues was an accomplished Konkani literature, he was humble, honest, soft-spoken and never craved for publicity. He penned his novels or stories only for his satisfaction and because of his ardent love for Konkani language, without expecting any monetary returns.’ RIP Uncle.

  • Ajith Peter Dsouza, Udupi/Dubai

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    wonderful Tribute to a great author who lives amidst us through his works. Nice Article Mr. Antony. Keep it up.

  • Reshma Lobo, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    Wonderful article Antony Sir on Late Victor Rodrigues ..I am very fortunate to read his stories Ragtachi Bobaat and Paap ani Shiraap though my 3rd language in school was Kannada..I somehow managed to learn to read Konkani and used to read his stories. Nice tribute to a great writer. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Marcel Michelaab, Mallikatte, Walada

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    Yes, Late Victor Rodrigues was a great poet, novelist and a wonderful human being. Glad Antony has brought out best of his life. Sorry situation is a great son of mother Konkani is lost. Surely it is good to remember at least once in a year and to Pray for them. I was his fan of his suspense filled stories. RIP.

  • Cliffy, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 06 2014

    During 80's we used to eagerly wait every week for poinari just to read his novel Rogthachi Bobat. His imaginations and writing style of a story is fantastic and made us very anxious.
    I met him few times in Mangalore, he was so humble and kind person. Thanks victor for your valuable contribution for Konkani literature. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Ronald Crasta, Mangalore/ Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    This is a lovely tribute. I miss my Papa more than anything else for he was such a lovely person, his contribution and dedication to Konkani is not measurable by any words. May his soul rest in peace.

  • Pascal Lorry D Souza, Angelor/Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Dear Uncle, You are not with us but you are with us through your various literary works. Very often we refer 'bolikedaiz. We missed you a lot. With Love. Pascal and Jessi.

  • Roswald and Ancy, Dubai/ Mumbai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Lolita Veena and Santosh are the children of the brightest star in the sky.. RIP Victor Uncle ~ We Love You for your simplicity & Miss You More with each passing day~ You will Always & Forever be in our Hearts ~

  • santosh rodrigues, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thank you so much uncle Cony for this tribute.
    We will always miss you papa..
    May your soul rest in peace..

    love, Always
    Mummy,Santhu, Reenu & Calista

  • renston crasta, Mangalore/dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thank you cony uncle for those touching words, miss you papa, may your soul rest in peace..

  • Glany Fernandes, Mangalore / Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thanks to Cony sir for letting us know about Konkani's great poet and novelist late Mr. Victor Rodrigues. Literary accomplishments are really helpful for reference and further readings.

  • Magdelin Precilla Bai, Kadri/Mumbai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Great Tribute. Apt description.
    Opportunity to say, humble was he and he had brought up his entire family even humbler than him. Humbleness is a Great Virtue hard to find anywhere.

  • Abdul Rehman, Kasargod

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    May His Soul Rest in Peace.
    Great Human Being, as was he...
    Victor Uncle was our neighbour in Anjelor.

  • Roswald & Ancy Dsouza, Mumbai/Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Beautiful article, fit for such a great personality. May his soul rest in peace. Best wishes and sincere prayers to his family members (Lolita, Veena, Santhosh and aunty).

  • Lancy Henry Moras, Moushmi Creations

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Dear Cony Baab,

    First of all let me bow my head to you.

    A true article on a mighty Konkani writer and a life-time humble man today on his right good-bye day you have dedicated to him. Everything is smoothly and emotionally written by you and Dr. Edward Bab has closely commented too. One of the GEM kind of person he was. I met him few times and shook his awesome literature hand and felt myself in Heaven for few seconds. His talk and words were to be remembered throughout in my life.

    He was from great Angelore Parish later shifted his house to Bikkarnakatte and that day onwards he was a magnificent gift to my Bendur Parish. My bad luck, I could not attend his ritual rites but my tear s from a corner of this world spoke to me what GEM Late Victor Bab was during my school days. Furthermore, "Ragtachi Bobat" that ended in 124 episodes, missing a single weekly poinari was as good as no food to me in those days.

    Long live our Konkani Mai Bhaas. May Late Victor Bab's beloved soul RIP Amen.

    Cony Baab, may you please accept my sincere thanks on this awesome article. You truly made our Late Victor Baab proud and alive today. May God immensely bless you and pour you His more and more wisdom.

  • Ralston Crasta, Mangalore / Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thank you cony uncle for this tribute..
    Missing you papa.. May your soul rest in peace

  • Donald Gracian Pereira , DeralaKatte

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    May His Soul Rest in Peace.
    Thank you Victor Sir, even if you are not in our midst. People must have forgotten you but your novels, 'bolikeche daiz' are kicking us to remember you.

  • Mark Denis Dsouza, Niddodi/Sharjah-U.A.E

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Late Victor Rodrigues was contributed to the konkani literature a lot and deserve to remember him as far as konkani prevail,not all of us can do great things but all of us can do small things with great love remembering those who left great things behind.
    May he be rest in peace in heavenly abode.
    Mark Denis D'souza

  • Veena Rajesh, Mangalore/Dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thankyou Uncle for the beautiful article.RIP papa.

  • Dr. Edward Nazareth, Mangalore

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    This is an apt tribute to Victor Bab, who was very close to me during his last years. It was I who first saw the impending death in his chest X-ray which he took at my insistence he underwent surgery and lived a real painless peaceful life of nearly three years after the detection of the lung cancer.
    He was not a smoker, but was telling me how he became the prey of indirect smoking because of his room mate in Gulf who was smoking inside the house with all windows and doors shut.
    As narrated by Mr.Antony Cony Victor Bab was a simple, humble person and was ready to help the needy. I remember how he was traveling to Miyar, beyond Karkala to help a family in distress inspite of his bad health. Victor Bab was always intolerant to injustice and when it came to condemn injustice he was not bothered whether it was religious or politician, foe or friend-he used to condemn injustice in his writings. He believed in certain principles and he followed them in his life as well as in his writings.
    We miss him a lot.
    May his soul rest in peace
    Thank you Antony Cony for remembering this great person of Konkani.

  • Ronald Lasrado, Kudapura, Doha

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Good tradition to remember our own family members of Konkani Literature. Many must have dead and gone, today on his 4th death anniversary, Late Victor Rodrigues comes alive in this article. What a Kranthikari, magnificent achievements he must have he had in those days. God Bless his Union. RIP.

  • lolita crasta, mangalore/dubai

    Sat, Jul 05 2014

    Thank you cony uncle for remembering my papa on his 4th death anniversary, and writing such a beautiful article.

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Title: Remembering Stalwart of Konkani Literature

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