RAMKANT DINANATH POULENKAR
A passionate Konkani writer passes away
By Alfonso D. Braganza
Ramakant D PoulenkarRAMAKANT Dinanath Poulenkar, a prolific Konkani writer and journalist breathed his last on July 29 due to heart failure, at the age of 68 years. The veteran writer was cremated the same evening.
Poulenkar, originally hailing from the island of Divar, made Mapusa his home when his family came to settle in the Bardez town. His profound love for literature inspired him to write, which he did in Marathi as well as in Konkani. In fact, Poulenkar figures prominently among the few Goan writers, who are adept at Konkani in both Roman and Dev-nagri scripts. Precious few writers from the Hindu community, prefer the Roman script for Konkani. Poulenkar devotedly did it and thus endeared himself to Catholic Goan readership.
For several decades, he remained a household name for Konkani readers. Poulenkar penned excellent short stories, which appeared regularly in Vauvraddeancho Ixtt, Goykar, Goencho Pormoll,Gulab, A Vanguarda and scores of other periodicals. A veteran jounalist, he was the Mapusa correspondent of Marathi daily “Gomantak”. Until a few years ago, he reported for Marathi daily Pudhari and Margao-based Konkani daily Sunaparant.
The general public too were well acquainted with soft-spoken Poulenkar. He was a permanent figure, who was always seen with his portable typewriter at the entrance of the building housing the government offices in Mapusa. Every morning, for several years, people would wait expectantly for him, with documents in hand, to type their affidavits, applications and other documents.
He has several books and novels to his credit. His rich talent for literature earned him several awards. He was duly honoured by various comanizations in Goa, including the Konkani Bhasha Mandal, Konknni Kendra, Vaishya Mandal, Lions Club of Mapusa City and others, for his immense contribution towards literature.
Poulenkar was closely associated with late Evagrio Gecome (editor of the now defunct Konkani daily Uzvadd), Prabhakar Tendulkar, Fr Moreno D Souza-s.j. (editor of Konkani monthly Roti), Fr Antonio Pereira-s.j., Late Fr. Correia (who was famous for the novenas of Perpetual Succour in Tivim, in the 80s), Tomazinho Cardoso, Fr Freddy Da Costa (editor of Konkani monthly Gulab) and other Roman Konkani writers including myself.
He had a great devotion for Our Lady of Perpetual Succour and would often attend the Wednesday novena at St Christopher’s church in Tivim.
Poulenkar always remained a simple and lovable person, and for these admirable traits, he will be always remembered. His absence will be felt by many of his readers, admirers and others for a long time to come. May his soul rest in peace.