Doha, May 26: ‘Konkani Comedy King’ Francis Fernandes Cascia, one of the finest and best Konkani actors and playwrights ever, was conferred with the prestigious Kala Puraskar-2022 by Mangalore Cultural Association (MCA) during MCA’s annual gala event Kalotsav-2023 held at the DPS MIS Auditorium, Al Wakra here on May 19.
It was a perfectly planned and executed event as MCA dished out an out-and-out entertainingly scintillating evening that was witnessed by a large number of audience who had been waiting eagerly for the mega event ever since pandemic had taken control of the fortunes of the world. Kalotsav-2023, as promised, proved to be a perfect blend of music, dance, comedy and entertainment.
The mega evening began with the rendition of MCA anthem by association’s members. This was followed by showers of entertainment comprising of Konkani, Kannada and Tulu songs, scintillating dances, rib-tickling humour and variety of other entertainment. Konkani’s newest singing sensations Velita Lobo and Jason Lobo specially flown in from Mangaluru, were at their best as they belted popular Konkani and Tulu numbers ‘Saad Tugelo Aikuk Ailo’, ‘Konknne Ami Gavunya’, ‘Mai Tuka Sodhun’, ‘Kori’, Uzwad Chandremacho, ‘Whistle Maar’ etc leaving the audience in daze and asking for more. While Velita’s versatility and mellifluous voice enthralled the audience, Jason’s soulful renditions came in for special praise from the ever-supportive spectators of Doha.
Jason and Velita were joined by Doha’s local popular singers Veena Rebimbus Pais, Clement Fernandes, Rupert Lobo, Carol D’Souza, Christle Pinto, Anjali Andrade and Milan Arun. Doha’s audience had been waiting to listen to their favourite singers for long and these entertainers did not disappoint them while presenting popular Konkani, Tulu and Kannada songs such as ‘Anna Marina’, ‘Ghova Ghova’, ‘Gaon Go Chedwa’, ‘Vollu Ye’, Rama Rama’, ‘Dennana Dennana, ‘Tum Yetai Munnon’ etc.
While live singing enthralled the audience, scintillating dances by Doha Dance Squad choreographed by Vijaya D’Souza were one of the highlights of the evening. While Vijaya’s unique choreography and creative use of props was a delight to the eyes, Doha’s best dancers Shown Fernandes, Sean Fernandes, Elena Noronha, Naveen D’Souza, Raison Ferrao, Derrick Crasta, Roshan Britto, Arvin Pais, Jeevan Ferrao, Lynet Britto, Pratheeksha Ullal, Elvita D’Souza, Jovial D’Souza and Christle Pinto mesmerized the audience with power-packed performance with their elegant dances and silken movements.
Sangon Mugdana Kalaakar, Dubai, led by renowned actor-director Pradeep Barboza Paladka were specially flown in from Dubai to take care of the humour quotient of Kalotsav and they proved why they are one of the bests when it comes to Konkani comedy. The troupe comprising of Pradeep Barboza, Royston D’Souza, Godwin Castelino with local talents Merlyn D’Souza, Jovial D’Souza and Sweedal left the audience in splits with their matchless comic timing, peerless dialogue delivery, powerful script and wonderful acting.
Another high point of the Kalotsav was an inter-association, first-of-its-kind fashion show ‘Ms & Mr Karnataka. As young, beautiful and creative competitors walked the ramp and presented themselves creatively on stage, the majestic DPA MIS Auditorium reverberated with thunderous applause by the audience. The ‘beauty-with-brains’ pageant was judged by fashion expert Hina Faisal, Doha’s popular RJ Priyanka of Radio Olive fame and Walter Nandalike, MD of Daijiworld Media. After two glamourous, entertaining yet grueling rounds, Divyashree and Anvith Shetty from Tulu Koota, Qatar (TKQ) were crowned Ms and Mr Karnataka respectively and Shamya Shetty from TKQ and Jeevan Rayan Ferrao from MCA bagged the first runners-up honours. Akshini Shetty from Bunts Qatar and Sumanth Shetty from Tulu Koota Qatar bagged the second-runners-up honour.
Earlier, Francis Fernandes Cascia was presented with the Kalakar Puraskar in a glittering stage programme. While MCA Ex-Com members Jovial D’Souza and Robert Coutinho escorted Francis to dais, Hema Fernandes read the citation. He was presented with a peta and was draped in a shawl by Walter Nandalike and Fr Nelson Lobo presented the garland and citation before MCA president and vice-president Aloysius D’Souza and Sandeep Noronha presented Francis with gift hamper and memento. Finally MCA advisors Felix Lobo and Wilfred Fernandes presented a cheque of Rs 1 lac to the Kala Puraskar awardee. Acknowledging the award Francis Fernandes thanked MCA for recognizing his contribution to Konkani language, theatre, literary world and Konkani-speaking community and entertained the audience with his usual humorous speech and standing comedy.
Ravi Shetty, a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist, a leader and backbone of many Karnataka-based associations in Qatar was felicitated by MCA on the occasion bagging the prestigious Karnataka Rajyotsava Award-2022. Doha’s top-most and renowned singers Clement Fernandes and Carol D’Souza, who are also are the active members of MCA, too were honoured on the occasion for winning the Mozho Tallo Gaitalo Gulf edition in the year 2021.
Daijiworld MD Walter D’Souza was the chief guest of Kalotsav and Fr Nelson Lobo, spiritual director of Konkani-speaking community of Doha graced the occasion as guest of honour. MCA president Aloysius D’Souza welcomed the guests on stage and off stage including the sponsors and audience and also acknowledged the excellent team work put by the MCA committee members in staging this mega event. The MCA president also acknowledged the presence of MCA past vice-president Clement Saldanha, currently retired and settled in Mumbai and invited him to the dais. He was specially flown from Mumbai for this event in recognition of his dedication and selfless service during his tenure with MCA.
Prime sponsor of Kalotsav Technor Industrial Trade WLL, co-sponsor Pearl Dermatology & Laser Center, all the support and associate sponsors were presented with mementoes along with the all the artistes.
The stage programme was compered by Doha’s best Reena Castelino. The entire entertainment programme was compered by Konkani very best, popular and versatile Komal Jenifer D’Souza who had been brought in from Udupi for Kalotsav. She again proved why she is considered so highly in Konkani circles and why her popularity has skyrocketed in the past couple of years. She cast a spell over the Doha audience with her mastery over different languages such as Konkani, English, Tulu, Kannada, her million-dollar smile and crisp, spontaneous and superlative compering.
The event was attended by members and office-bearers of various Karnataka-based associations such as Naveen D’Souza, president of MCC Qatar, Kiran Anand, president of Tulu Koota Qatar, Dr Padmashree Shetty, president of Bunts Qatar, Deepak Shetty, past president of Bunts Qatar, Karnataka Sangha Qatar and current member of ICBF Qatar, Raghunath Anchan, Ppesident of Billavas Qatar, Asmat Ali, past president of Tulu Koota, Abdul Majed, past president of SKMWA, MCA advisors Felix Lobo, Wilfred Fernandes, and other community leaders from various Karnataka-based associations.