Month's Mind Tribute: To our resourceful colleague Richie John Pais

By Hemacharya

Mangaluru, Apr 1: The passing away of Richie John Pais on March 1, 2020, was quite untimely although it was not un-expected to those who were privy to his deteriorating health conditions. A 75-day ordeal brought him down, both swift and stunning. He fought an aggressive battle with cancer with indomitable courage and high hopes of recovery but sadly it was not to be. A true creative person he was, a master of many facets of creativity, a story teller, theatre person, film script writer, director, journalist, but a suave and loving human being who within a span of 51 years tried his hand in all the possible avenues of Art and Culture before succumbing to the irony of life.

Ahead of Christmas, I used to go to Mumbai every year to visit our advertisers and contributors, among them was a regular contributor Late George Menezes (a writer, columnist, Indian Ambassador to many countries and former vice president of the BJP party) who was living in Bandra. It was my practice to visit him with his favourite signature cake and a bottle of wine along, for he never charged any remuneration for his contributions. During one such visits, I happened to meet Richie Pais working in the bakery opposite George’ residence. He introduced himself as a Konkani writer and made a particular mention to his satiric writings in Raknno, Konkani weekly. Once back in Mangaluru, I read his articles and gave my positive feedback. This led to our camaraderie as we passed on pleasantries very often. By then he had become closer to George Menezes, to the extent that he volunteered himself in selling his last book, ‘The Naked Liberal’ which became a bestseller in India and abroad.

In my immediate next visit, to my surprise George described Richie Pais, as a bundle of creativity and how after many misgivings and misadventures in his life, the destiny has forced him to work in a small bakery. It was then I suggested Richie to contact Walter Nandalike, in case if there is a vacancy in our website section. Within soon I met him in our office in his new designation as a senior reporter. His hard work and commitment saw him being appointed as the head of news section. He had a penchant for reading between the lines, to grasp impactful lead stories and post them within short time, which was fundamental to his job. He offered to work from home to save his time from travel and other such hassles.

In my opinion, Richie came to the creative world much too late in his life, but once he got the hang of it he never retracted. He wrote essays, satirical on current affairs, he penned short stories and poems, which were published in the form of books, ‘Kolaveri’ (2012) ‘Vidhushak’ (2015) and ‘Fathor’ (2017). Even as he was ailing at the hospital, his much acclaimed short story collection ‘Fathor’ was selected for the T M A Pai award in January 2020.

As a playwright, Richie offered two of his best dramas to the Konkani world, the biblical story, ‘Tum Vortho Dhanya’ (You are great, Lord) based on the story of Job Patriarch from the Old Testament and ‘Paanch Mornam’, which became trendsetters in Konkani theatre.

In addition, he also produced two short films, ‘Terrific Sense’, a silent short film of 3.58 minutes on YouTube, and ‘Silence to Sound, a short film in black and white format on YouTube. The satirical and farcical silent movie based on mobile phone journey from 1940 to 2019 received tremendous positive reviews from viewers as well as from experts. It had only one single dialogue at the end of the movie.

The film has been chosen for many short film festivals around the world and will be premiered in Lift-Off Film Festival in New York, July 14, 2020.

It is the irony of life that a creative artiste like Richie Pais had to leave the stage even at the pinnacle of his success. During our late night chats at the hospital (my wife was recuperating in the adjacent room) he was explaining to me his future plans of writing more dramas and producing more short films. To our surprise, he even wrote from his death bed and circulated a few short poems on cancer on February 4, 2020 to mark World Cancer Day. It was his own resolve of describing his fight against cancer. Exactly a month later he lost his fight and submitted himself to his creator.

May I ask his large number of fans and friends worldwide to join me, in particular those who partnered with him in his different cultural ventures in a short span of life, in offering our last respects to a great artiste. Also I wish to ask our readers to join me to stand in solidarity with his dear mother Bennybai, his only sister Renita who were by his bedside all the days of his sickness and also his devoted wife Femina, children Dillon and Nia so that they come to terms with the tragedy and reality of life. We all ought to know, life is uncertain and death is certain for all of us someday.

I am told his friends have already planned to reproduce his dramas, in particular his historical play, ‘Tum Vortho Dhanya’ (You are great, my Lord) which I believe is the only avenue through which we can offer best tributes to our all-time great artiste Rich Pais’ everlasting legacy.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” - Shannon Alder



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Comment on this article

  • G. William D'Souza, Madanthyar/Mysuru

    Fri, Apr 03 2020

    One must imitate Richie for his simplicity and sincerity. He possessed a bundle of talents. Great loss to the Konkani literary/drama theater world. May his soul rest in peace. God's blessings on the family members to bear this great loss.

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  • Shubha Rodrigues, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    The Directors of Daijiworld have rendered all support to dear RJP and his family throughout his ailment and during his funeral. It is really heart warming to note that he is being remembered as a resourceful colleague. His demise is a great loss to us too.

    May God grant him eternal rest.

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Norbert, Mangaluru

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    Heart-warming to note that Daijiworld has not forgotten its employee even after a month. A great and real tribute indeed by you Sir. Inspite of his great talents found Richie very humble and unassuming whenever I met him. Privileged to receive his poems on whatsapp always till last. With his death a question remains as a question -Why is death so partial? Rest in peace.

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Antony Cony D Souza, Karkala/Kulshkara

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    Thanks Hemacharya for your wonderful ‘Months Mind Tribute’ to Richi. Yes, he was a great man, a wonderful intellect, precious soul of matchless bundles of talents, highly spiritual.

    Richi used to edit my articles to Daijiword, always used to encouraging me. Once he told me “Cony bab your articles almost reaching to one hundred; it is the time to write a book to convey your intended messages to the society as a great literary masterpiece; to touch each and every readers’ heart for now and future”.

    His contributions to the society are immense has Hemacharya bab rightly pointed out. Therefore, our society, his fans need to crave his name into their hearts as a ‘Grateful Offering’ to this Richi’s Rich Soul by assisting to his family. And this could become one of the fittest tributes to the noble soul than recollecting his name from the periodicals and tombstone.

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  • Maclean, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    One of among the creative , helpfull, best and humble person came acrossed my life... Thank you each and everything Richie Sir...
    May you soul Rest in peace

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Auldius Pais, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    How about starting a fund to help his wife & the education of his children?

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Apoli Alvares, Bajpe , Bahrain

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    He was very good gentleman ,I know RP from very long time humble and down to hearth man ,May RP ( Richi Pais ) Soul rest in peace ,

    A A
    Bajpe , Bahrain

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  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    Rest in Peace Richie ...

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Stephen Quadros Permude, Permude/ Kaikamba

    Wed, Apr 01 2020

    A good friend.

    Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Month's Mind Tribute: To our resourceful colleague Richie John Pais

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