A second act begins


Tiatrist Jose Mascarenhas has returned to Goa and to the Konkani stage after many years in ‘Nizache Goemkar Ami, Baddeache Goemkar Tumi’, the latest tiatr by Menino Mario

JP Pereira

A veteran on the Konkani stage, Jose Mascarenhas was noted for his performances before he left for Dubai to earn a living. Indeed, his songs that were recorded on various cassettes and discs are appreciated for their lyrics and moral values even today. And now, after 25 years of service in the Gulf, Macarenhas is now back in Goa and has made quite an impression in the latest tiatr by Menino Mario, with his acting and the solo he renders.

Hailing from Benaulim, Mascarenhas loved performing on the Konkani stage from a young age and would grab any and every opportunity that came his way. In his school days, the boy would render Konkani and Hindi songs at concerts and functions aided by Menino Afonso from Benaulim who would write the lyrics and help the young singer to render these songs. “In fact, this gentleman was the one who encouraged me as he was always ready to compose the lyrics. I am always grateful for the trouble he took,” says Mascarenhas, who began acting at the age of 10, in ‘Haath’ a tiatr written and directed by Mingu Fernandes.

Some years later, he was cast by Menino Mario as a comedian in ‘Mhoji Goroz Poddli’. The character was of a Hindu and he performed in style. In the same director’s ‘Ghontter’, he played ‘Black and White’ another funny character that had the audience in titters.

 “I got a chance to act in Jose Rod’s ‘Satvo Mandament’. I have great regard for this director and getting an opportunity in a show directed by him was a great blessing. I also have a high esteem for Roseferns, who inspite of knowing that I was good at comedy cast me in the main role of a blind man in Mhoji Bhett Tuka’. This was a wonderful challenge as I realised my potential to play different roles,” he says. The non -stop show also gave Mascarenhas an opportunity to visit the gulf countries like Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and others, when the show was performed there. Later he acted in ‘Somdir’ and said goodbye to the tiatr stage in 1995, when he left for Dubai to work in the hospitality industry. Alongside however, he rendered songs especially for Edwin D’Costa, the producer and composer and has rendered songs for more than 15 of his audio releases. “I have also rendered songs for albums released by Menino Mario,” says Mascarenhas, who has helped some directors with lyrics, direction and comedy.

In the latest tiatr ‘Nizache Goemkar Ami, Baddeache Goemkar Tumi’ that is making plenty of waves, he plays a greedy migrant who along with his smart scheming sister (played by Elaine Pinto) grabs properties owned by Goans, whenever they get the opportunity. The two have been appreciated for their acting, dialect and dress sense, by the audience as well as the critics.

“God has blessed me immensely with this talent to compose songs and act in various roles,” he says. Indeed, Mascarenhas has composed and sung around 100 songs till date and has set these to music. His lyrics mostly relate to real life incidents. This includes a tribute to the late Fr Savio Gama, who died in tragic circumstances while ‘Goonda’ one of his superb solos recounted a happening witnessed at the Divine Retreat Centre where a goon entered the centre to escape the police net and began misbehaving there. One of the brothers there however patiently changed the attitude of this man who now tries to help others mend their ways. “I had to proclaim this. I did it with a song,” he says.

 His audio disc ‘Sasumaim’ was well received and now he is all set to release ‘KTM Mhoji Bhett Tuka’ a collection of songs to be released on both audio and DVD.

“I am thankful to God for this gift given to me free. I try to tell of the goodness of the Lord through most of my songs. My directors have been helpful and always encouraging. Now that I am back in Goa, I want to continue in tiatr for a long time and help in raising the standard of the stage and our songs,” he says.