Here for the drama


Aires d’Souza popular as Aires de Arambol, has made a mark on the Konkani stage, especially at the competition

shows. He has also rendered some beautiful songs

JP Pereira

There is a tradition in Arambol where the villagers get together and perform a tiatr every year in January for the feast. Only people from this village are involved and this includes actors, singers, musicians, technicians and others who are required for a tiatr. As a kid, Aires d’Souza would watch these shows and a love for tiatr was born. “I never acted in school but was always curious and eager to act in the annual tiatr. I love to act and sing, so I requested the director for an opportunity,” he recalls. D’Souza went on to make his debut at the age of 19 in ‘Rakhnno’, a tiatr written and directed by Anthony Rodrigues from Arambol. “It began as a hobby and I continued acting at the village level and performed for nearly 35 different tiatrs,” he says.

Later, making a foray in professional tiatr he acted for Wilmix-Sharon in ‘Tiatrist’ and ‘Cheddum’ and also the humorous family drama, ‘Bailanchi Dadagiri, Ghou Ratnagiri’, by the late William de Curtorim.

His best performance came when he joined the group ‘Machi Mogi, Morjim’ a team of artistes led by Alexinho de Morjim. “Here, I proved that I could do a variety of roles, both positive and negative, of the rich as well as the poor,” he says, while crediting Alexinho for his hardwork. “Fortunately we have a director who has always extracted wonderful performances from all the artistes. We discuss the entire play and Alexinho is always open for suggestions and ideas, which he implements. It is good to be a part of this talented group. Today we are one of the prize winning groups in the annual Kala Academy Tiatr Competition as well as  the Tiatr Academy of Goa Competition for popular plays,” he says.

Starting with ‘Bhirant’ he went on to act with this group in ‘Sarpanch’, ‘Hanv Jikhlom’, ‘Amdar’, ‘Khell’, and the latest sensation ‘Sorry’, a stylish suspense drama. In this show, he plays the role of a poor fisherman who faces a great tragedy. He has been a part of this group for the last 13 years and has bagged awards in various competitions, for singing duets, duos, and other combinations. He also became popular by the name Aires de Arambol and till date he has acted for 50 different shows.

Besides this, he has written and directed his own tiatrs. These include ‘Moronn’, which was performed for the Kala Academy Tiatr competition, ‘Vath’, ‘Konn Guneanvkari, ‘Anj Boddvo’, and others, staged at the village level. In fact, ‘Anj Boddvo’ was performed this year for the annual tiatr festival in Arambol. A good composer of lyrics, he also sings on various subjects and has a good message to give the audience. He has rendered songs for video discs released by Alexinho.

And d’Souza knows that this talent is a gift from God. “I am thankful to God for this talent and a wonderful family. Sophea, my wife, is supportive and handles the home while my son Aaron already shows his love for the stage. I encourage him and want him to do well. He has sung a duo with me in ‘Citizen’ and renders songs for the village shows,” he says.

Continuing with some advice to youngsters, he says: “If you have the talent, please join the stage. Mistakes will happen, these can be corrected but, be open to suggestions. The audience should also encourage new entrants. Point out their mistakes, in private please! The new entrants need your support as these are the future of this unique Goan culture.”

“I am thankful to Alexinho for all the roles and support and I am extremely happy to be a part of this unique group,” he adds.