Sunday, January 20, 2008

DOMINIC ARAUJO - The dynamic all-rounder

DOMINIC ARAUJO - The dynamic all-rounder

Domingos Caetano Araujo, better known as DOMINIC ARAUJO. A Gemini, born on 20 June 1965, is 42Y/25D hails from St. Agostinho Vaddo, Santa Cruz–Ilhas, Tiswadi, Goa, one of seven siblings of Late Joao Francisco de Araujo and Annalia Inacia Araujo (Anul). Araujo’s primary education was at Government School and in 1982 he passed SSCE from New English High School, Santa Cruz.

After passing SSCE examination he was misguided by his relatives. “Xinkkon Konn Voir Sorla? Passport Kor ani Kuveit Voch!" (Who has benefitted from education, get your passport and go to Kuwait). "It was at that time when multi-coloured shorts, t-shirts and jean pants were in demand", he smiles mischievously. "Not only that the temptation was so, whoever comes from Gulf was called "Kuveitkar"". Araujo’s father worked for the Public Works Department PWD Div IV - Panjim for nineteen years up to 1977, and later worked in Bahrain until 1992.

Araujo narrowly missed the admission for Goa Polytechnic College at Farmagudi, otherwise he could be top notch! He laments, "I was not favoured by lady luck. That’s how I landed in Industrial Training Institute (ITI) at Atinho Panjim, where he spent two years for a trade certificate". There was less training, not-up-to-the-mark facilities and more leisure at the ITI. Araujo took good advantage of this and along with his colleague Bonifacio Dias from Penha de Franca (Britona) got themselves involved in the persuit of Konkani articles and news clippings. Soon, Araujo's leadership qualities sprung open and formed "Jolly Boys of St. Agostinho" club, and in the very first year organized record four football tournaments. 72 teams competed in a single tournament and was the biggest success of his leadership, that’s happened in mid eighties at Green Field Football Ground in Santa Cruz - the facility offered courtesy Dr. Alvaro Pinto.

As a tiatrist Araujo has something different that any other tiatrist! Every second tiatrist made wonders at a tender age of 7, 8 or 10, 11 on stage! Araujo clocked it in little less time at the age of six. He recalled: “Tiatrs were staged using oil lamps (Petromas) when there was no power in villages”. “Araujo witnessed tiatr in the absent of either oil lamps or power lights”!!! Yes it’s true, it was in early seventies during the Indo-Pakistan war, he was visiting his Banda-Mai (great maternal mother from St. Cruz village of Bandar linking to Teleigao). He recalls on his way not far from his house at Marod/Maddir the traditional annual tiatr for the feast of St. Agostinho scheduled for 4 p.m. to escape black out during the night. Araujo discovered the art in broad daylight! He returned home without visiting his Banda-Mai, and to prove himself, enacted the same tiatr performance he witnessed, his maiden off stage acting in sheer pursuit of being a tiatrist and managed to convince his parents. But it was not easy, it took him another nine years to prove his hidden talents when he was offered to enact the role of a honest cop in the school play. His maternal mother, who witnessed his love for Konkani, cheered him. Araujo feels proud and claims "It’s his Banda-Mai, who opened him the path of acting". Araujo’s success owed to his Konkani subject teacher Shri. Bharat Nayak, hailing from Goa-Velha - a theatre personality and writer/director/actor of numerous Konkani plays and dramas. “Khaxi Pondak” is one of Bharat Nayak's best suspense plays staged for his school concert, he recalls.

As far as acting is concerned Araujo believes he's rusted steel, but will not throw away for cheap price. He is very innovative and creativity runs in his viens. In 1986 under the banner of Jolly Boys of St. Agostinho, he staged his maiden tiatr "MHOZO BHAV" without acting in any tiatr even at village level. Araujo later presented “MHOZO BHAV” at the Kala Academy Tiatr Competition which was performed on the very first day of competition at Kala Academy Open Air Hall with his upcoming budding teenagers.

Araujo’s prowess as writer/director/actor was recognized by noted local tiatrist Peter Barbose (Father of Carmin/Elvis, who was recently awarded KALA GAURAV AWARD by Chief Minister of Goa, Digamber Kamat for his meritorious service in the field of tiatr, he has written more than 50 tiatrs), Brazinho Soares Kalapurkar (writer/collector of Konkani literature) and Anthony Fernandes (Bollu Anton). It was Anthony Fernandes who gave Araujo the opportunity to perform in the title roles in his tiatrs namely, "DUDDVANCHE AXECHO" and "NIDDUKAI". Araujo’s singing capacity is equally the same as his acting! He has composed a few songs. Araujo formed his own trio with his close friends Anthony Fernandes and Socorro Bocarro. A song composed to praise the only Konkani monthly magazine "GULAB" was well applauded by audience. Araujo’s colleague Anthony fired one political solo on Goan MLA’s “AMDAR AMCHE AMKAM SANNAM KHAVOITA, ELISANVAM VELLAR FUGHE FULLOITA” sung for one of his tiatrs. As was the censorship trend then, Araujo was summoned for enquiry by then Deputy Sarpanch, Late Dr. Antonio Gonsalves on the instructions of then Santa Cruz MLA Michael Fernandes. An explanation was requested and in his own immitable way, he smiled at Dr. Gonsalves and presented him some newspaper clippings! Araujo acted with Peter Barbosa in his tiatr "CUSTOM OFFICER" staged near Sao Gonsalo Chapel, Cujira on 27th November 1986.

In 1987 Araujo was tempted by a lucrative job in Saudi Arabia when it was a peak time for tiatr and one act plays competitions in Goa. For seven years he could not think of tiatrs or anything related, as he felt that he has landed in an alien land where he could not even speak a single word in Konkani! He had subscribed to GULAB magazine, but that was also cut short due to non receipt of renewal notice in time. Following vacation time Araujo visited the GULAB office in Panjim to express his sadness and feelings to the founder/editor, Late Fr. Freddy J. Da Costa concluding: “TUZO GULAB VACHTOLE ZAITE ASSA, PUN VIKTO GHETOLE KONN NAM ”. In 1994 Araujo returned for good to Goa. He tried to carry forward on Konkani stage, but did not find suitable incentives. In 1995, just before he landed in Kuwait he had a last laugh in Cyril Almeida’ tiatr on stage in Goa!!

In June 1995 Araujo took a trade job in Ahmadi - the place well known as the cradle and birthplace of Konkani tiatr in Kuwait . From 1995 to 2001 it was a long journey - a height of patience when very few tiatrist were seen and performed tiatrs. He confesses "It appeared there were no tiatrists in Kuwait even after the big guns like Kuwait Trio of Cajetan-Marcus-Xavier, Mendes Bros: Felix-Derick-Xavier, H.Britton, etc. and no opportunity to display your talents". It was only when United Club of Utorda-Kuwait announced their first one act Konkani play competition when he met Alex de Consua. Alex offloaded his role just a week before the competition to give Araujo his first stage appearance in Kuwait". The play was written and directed by Estevan Rodrigues from Mandur, Ilhas. Later, Araujo climbed on new pedestal when he was invited as guest artiste for SONGIT SANZ at Kuwait City in Fakher Eldeen Palace in October 2001 organized by Konkani Heritage Kuwait. Araujo soon licked well within the tiatrists’ faternity. A man of action and grace, he continued his march towards his goal and formed "KALA MOGUI – KUWAIT (KMK)" and organized First Konkani Singing Competition and staged a well acclaimed short Konkani play “MAFI MAGTAM” on 28th December 2002. "Araujo - a man of strong voice is very selective, a little sensitive and the best critic"! Under the banner and leadership of Kala Mogui – Kuwait , he has shown keen interest and participated in various events held in Kuwait . On 13th April 2007, “KMK”staged Anil Olga’s MUNIS TUM the 75th Silver Jubilee show with a colorful celebratory ceremony. Araujo took centre stage as the compere of the show, later in a very first scene he was acting too. He has no hesitation to shoulder any responsibilities on and off stage! On the Soor football grounds you will see him distributing flyers, assisting to promote Konkani, helping tiatrists to sell Konkani materials like CD’s, VCD’s, Konkani publications, etc.

Araujo distances himself from controversial elements and avoids friction. He cannot bear the thought of any Goan put down by unsocial elements within the community. He says: Everything he does, in the interest of Konkani, in his point of view, tiatrists are not for Konkani, they deserve credit as the ambassadors without knowing the alphabets of Konkani. Araujo believes he is hundred times far than tiatrists, even though his admirer appreciates his dedication for Konkani and tiatr.

Araujo the victim of love & life follows pelican crossing, it’s really difficult for one man to handle all alone, he was deserted by unwanted incident. Today he is a proud father and a loving husband, his two years and four months old daughter DJ STACY and his wife MARIA has everything they deserve. Araujo is the professional Auto-CAD Design Draftsman works for Arabian Construction Company - one of Kuwait Fire Department’s Approved Grade “A” Fire Fighting Contractors. Today if Araujo is the perfect planner from oil field to commercial projects for mechanical/electrical works is only from learn-while-you-earn policy.

Araujo is the President of Kala Mogui – Kuwait (KMK) the organization created by him to promote art and culture. He is the General Secretary of Kuwait-Goa Tiatristanchi Sonvstha (KGTS), and also the elected member of Goan Welfare Society (GWS) managing committee (2007-08).

Araujo is very grateful to T-Bush for inviting him on the sets of the first Konkani e-cinema BLACK NHESOP ATANCHEM FASHION. Araujo, with his focussing eyes, enlightens " The first Konkani e-cinema is ready to behold - there won’t be any slip either from the shoulder nor from the waist which will undress to young or old, all the angles are well captured by T-Bush the man behind the lens too". For Araujo, T-Bush is the hero; the master of art, besides direction & editing T-Bush has written the script too. Araujo strongly believes and proudly mentions: "T-Bush is the man who can literally bring down the stars on earth. The quality of his art will prove millions of Konkani speaking people around the globe. T-Bush’s generosity is unbeatable. Why? During the formation of Kala Mogui, Araujo was looking for some one to design the logo for his organization. He was introduced to T-Bush by Nicholas Rodrigues (United Club of Utorda). No doubt his art work is marvelous, the greatness of T-Bush is his "smile n services". It’s beyond your expectation!

Araujo stars as one of the guest artistes, and wishes all the best for the co-artistes, the technicians, the musicians, the crew, the publicity coordinators, and above all the director T-Bush. The grand premier is schedule for 10 August 2007, at Mashra Al-Hawally A/C Auditorium in the State of Kuwait.

A couple of weeks to go and to coincide with this grand occasion Araujo takes the opportunity, on behalf of T-Bush Films International and the cast, to thank all Kuwaiti Ministry Officials, for the cooperation and support for the first Konkani e-cinema and the first Indian film entirely shoot in the State of Kuwait.

Action!..… Dialogue! … Cut!.… "BLACK" is ready to go on SCREEN!

Gaspar Almeida
"DOMNIC's GOA" To get your copy email
CREATING HISTORY! The First Konkani-E-Cinema by T-BUSH - Releasing in Kuwait on 10 August 2007.

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