Konkani and Me
mother tongue. For many it may be an issue of mode of expression but for me it is little more than that.
It is that sensitive issue that makes me sentimental, emotional and at the same time concerned!
Concerned because I belong to a sweet language that has been struggling to assert its identity as a rich language from a
very long time and it is none other than Konkani – the state language of Goa.
activist who has contributed immensely in Konkani theatre made me a natural addict of this language.
Even when I did my primary education in neighbouring language Marathi, I would write poems in
Konkani without anybody asking me to write in it.
off those roles easily. But…as I began to expand my horizons and left my rural school to study higher
secondary, I realised this is not the language that is going to make me get noticed. But that love for my language was getting stronger! I remember having fights with one of my classmates who would
call my mother tongue, a fully independent language, just a dialect of another language. I have even had
such fights on social media as a young angry teen to assert that my Konkani is not a dialect but a strong
and rich language.
itself . But something made me take up English literature as my B.A. specialisation and people rose
their eyebrows! “I thought you were totally into Konkani”, they would say and mock my decision but
finally I came up with an answer, “English is a rich language and my Konkani is still a young language in
comparison with English. I want to learn that language and literature to learn what needs to be done for
my Konkani”. I still have to use this answer when people are surprised that I teach English!
realise how much we still need to do for my language. I happened to get into translation because of a
part time job that I am doing at All India Radio as Casual Newsreader and Translator and did not lose touch from writing Konkani. Because I believe as much as speaking in the mother tongue is important, it is
also important to retain its written form. The same reason made me also learn to type in Devanagari.
published some of them in newspapers. One of the local dailies, Sunaparant (which unfortunately shut
down a few months ago), provided me a platform to publish my write-ups in Konkani since a very young
age. It actually made me get noticed in the Konkani circle. I am not recognised only as the daughter of an
eminent personality but now also as someone who writes in Konkani, and that is a good feeling.
politics in the language movement. But, at the same time my optimist heart looks at it this way. It was
Konkani that gave me a chance to translate Pratham Books’ stories for children. Konkani is slowly making
its way on digital world. And I am sure it will spread its wings more and more. I would like to be a little
feather from those wings. More power to my language! More power to all the mother tongues around
the world! 🙂