What a spectacular moment! What an outstanding achievement!! It was not anybody stealing the limelight, but Konkani taking the center stage as it became the obsession of thousands for an engrossing 40 odd hours. You were forgiven for having tremors in your lower abdomen, frenetically logging on for quick updates on Daijiworld and getting immersed in the Guinness count down. That was probably the state of affairs with all Konkani buffs miles and miles away from the action-packed ‘Maandd’ at Kalaangann, Magnalore.
It was fitting that all and sundry converged on Mangalore, the place that has been the hub of so much of Konkani activity, unabated by the unjust indifference shown by the powers that be, to celebrate Konkani, to manifest Konkani culture. Konkans were understandably cock-a-hoop as they erupted in spontaneous dance and why not? They deserved every bit of that and more. After all, they had weathered all the challenges to send crashing a major Guinness Record, and with that their fears and loads of sceptics too.
‘Not just a matter of Guinness Record’ echoed Walter Nandalike wisely, with a timely dose of perspective. I confess, even I wasn’t as much sure as to what this gigantic event would do to Konkani. Quickly, I was made to eat humble pie as I myself became an avid supporter when the event finally began to roll. Lo and behold! All of a sudden it dawned on me as to what this was doing for Konkani and the Konkans!
At Konkani Nirantari, Konkani was showcased, so were its verses and tunes, its poets and musicians, its seasoned talents and budding ones. In sum and substance, Konkani Nirantari showcased Konkani culture and its people. What a feat that, and that too with admirable precision and workmanlike planning. So, it wasn’t just a matter a Guinness Record, was it?
Konkani Nirantari showcased the dire need of leadership and the power of it; Leadership with vision and leadership with a penchant for making a difference. Fr Denis D’Sa couldn’t have been more correct when he said “those who dream big make a difference. Eric and co have always made a difference”. Eric Ozario and his team need to be given a standing ovation for this unparalleled feat and unprecedented leadership. They have dared to dream big and achieved it big time.
There sure was more leadership all through, most of all, in willing to work behind the screen, letting your precious voice merge with that of the multitude. For once, Konkans were proven wrong. Who said, we have serious handicap in working with our tribe? Thousands, throwing in thin air their egos were up against the monster. They sang and sang and the wall came crashing down. It was a mere chance that Nirantari had to be cut short at 40 hours, for one could sense that there was all the enthusiasm to go on and on!
Thank goodness, there was daijiworld to splash the headlines in quick time and keep the ones in the diaspora passionately involved. Otherwise, we would have been the unfortunate lot as the Indian media was caught napping. And why would they, after all, there weren’t any celebrities that could boost their ratings!
A Guinness record has been set. How long will that stand? That’s some question pal! But why should that bother anyway? Records are meant to be broken. Someday – well, I pray not that soon – may be even this one will have been wiped out. But what it did for Konkani will not easily be erased from the psyche of Konkans for a long, long time. So there you go: let that joy be Nirantari as it spurs to unleash the Konkani love and pride with some concrete deeds.
Long live Konkani Nirantari.