A glimpse of Konkani literature
Damodar Mauzo is a well-known author and a giant figure in the Konkani literary circles.
Damodar Mauzo is a well-known author and a giant figure in the Konkani literary circles. He has five short story collections, movie scripts to his credit and won a great number of awards including the Jnanpith Award,2022. He has worked with the Sathiya Akedemi for long years in various posts and positions Of late he faced a life threat from the Sanathan Sanstha for his active role in the fight for the Freedom of Expression of writers.
This anthology of 14 short stories titled, "The Wait and Other Stories" is his latest work published last month which presents the rich Goan cultural ambience and its life in varied hues and shades.
Viraj, the protagonist in the title story "The Wait", is seen in a world of his own for his lover whom he hasn't met with for six months.On the day of her birthday, however, his trying waiting reaches the breaking point but some unforeseen developments make both the protagonist and the reader long to end the waiting.
It is said that barbers are very talkative and informative. It is because their customers talk to them a lot about who's is who in the town and about what is happening to them .To this category belong the drivers at tourist places and locations. We meet such a friendly cab driver in Goa in the story, "Yasin, Austin, Yatin". He is deft at impressing his customers with his talk, manners, and fund of information about places in Goa worth seeing. As he takes his customers and the reader on a trip,this story reads like a tourist guide. Thus he makes lots of business and tourist friends. He moulds his sweet talk according to the needs and interests of his customers. But one day this craftiness lands him in trouble.
Goa is one of the places where we come across close cross-cultural bonds and connections between votaries of different faiths, a strong token of our unity in diversity. The story," Burger" presents the sense of guilt of a devout catholic teenager when she shares a beef burger with her Hindu buddy in school, not knowing that most Hindus don't eat beef. The Christian family expects some dire consequences of the faux pas, however the episode ends on a happy note. Who doesn't like family fun and journeys down the memory lane? For this reason you love to read the story, "The Jalopy". Especially its climax, which in a tender way tells us how important it is for a wife and a husband to cement their bond with honesty and openness.
"I Was Waiting For You" is a long story where you find Mini, a young, bold, and independent woman, facing and overcoming many problems and hurdles and teaching a bitter lesson to the man who didn't back her in bad times the way she expected him to do.
" Night Call" is a story about a married doctor tempted by a vivacious and willing nurse one night when her doctor husband was away. Its 'O'Henry ending' definitely leaves many readers disappointed!
Have you ever met a thief in your house at night? In the hilarious story, "The Gentleman Thief", a writer finds a thief at his house, treats him well and befriends him. The thief keeps frequenting the house not for stealing anything, but to take the writer to a place where the latter doesn't want to be.
Every story in this collection offers you a whiff of fresh narrating techniques and ideas. A translator can make or mar a writer in the target language. But Xavier Cota, an award-winning translator does his job well in translating this book into English. In serving out a helping of Konkani literature and ethos to us, Xavier wins over readers and admirers for Damodar and for himself. It makes a good read, indeed.