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Tribute from Pratap Naik SJ

Goa, April 16: Goa Shahir Ulhas Buyao left for his heavenly abode on Monday 16 April after a brief illness.  Thomas Stephens Konknni Kendr  (TSKK) condoles the sad demise of its friend benefactor and Antonio Pereira Konknni Puroskar (APKP) winner  Buyao.

TSKK had chosen the veteran Konknni singer Ulhas Buyão popularly known as Goa Shahir, as the recipient APKP for the year 2006.  He was chosen for his valuable contribution to Konknni lyrics, music and stage performance for the last forty years.  Eric Ozario, the President of Karnataka Konknni Sahitya Academy of Karnataka Government conferred the award on him.  The public function was held on Friday, 25 August 2006 at Grace Church Hall, Margao.  He also received the Goa State Art and Cultural Award in 2006.

Ulhas Buyão was born on 21 June 1944 at Zambaulim, Goa.  He was passionate about his music and compositions and they played an integral role in his life.  Over the years he had created his own unique identity in Goan Music, whether it is Bhajan, kantar or a folk song. The hallmark of his composition had been his ability to communicate a feeling of strong emotion and message through his renditions.  Through his Buyão Theatre’s Gõy, he had produced audiocassettes and CDs.  Since 1963 he performed approximately in 500 programmes on All India Radio, Panaji.  He has given a number of programmes on Goa Doordarshan. His ill health did not dampen his spirit or kept him away from singing and composing music till his death.  

Ulhas was a person of multiple dimensions.  He was a stage artiste. He has acted in Konknni and Marathi plays and tiatrs.  Besides his own Konknni plays and tiatrs, he has acted in M. Boyer’s “Ekuch Rosto” tiatr 65 shows; Prem Kumar’s “Visvas” tiatr 20 shows and Mike Mehta’s tiatr “Sunita” 20 shows.   As an artiste, he has supported and encouraged a number of other artistes to develop their talents. 

Ulhas Buyão took an active role during the opinion poll to preserve Goa’s identity.  He moved from village to village to concentize the people through his songs and speeches against merging Goa with Maharashtra.   For this mission he organized more than 75 programmes in different parts of Goa.  Similarly during the language agitation in 1986 he was active to support Konknni as the State Language.

He was the publisher of “Rat Ranni” Konknni periodical in Roman script.  He has published his Konknni books “Ram Gita”, “Hanga khun zala” and “Yo go tum manddar”. On 25 August, during the APKP function at Margao his Konknni novel “Novi Fantodd” in Roman script was released.

Out of his own conviction he was fully involved with the agitation to get equal and official status to Konknni written in Roman script in the Official Language Act.  In this context he has written extensively in Marathi and Konknni.   He has selflessly served Goa and Konknni without expecting anything in return. Ulhas is an artiste, singer, writer and moreover a man of convictions, values and integrity.  Goa and Konknni lost one of its beloved son and soldier of justice and truth.

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