Konkanni Kavita Sankhall (Poetry Chain) reaches 500 mark within a month of Launching

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By Alphonse Mendonsa
Bellevision Media Network

  • Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.  It lays the foundations for a future of change, A bridge across our fears of what has never been before.(Adure Lord,- American Writer/Poet)


Udupi, 15 May 2020: Poetry is a bridge, an immediate path to becoming better people and being the change in the world. Poetry has been creating a world less about tearing each other down and apart, and more about coming together. Poetry has been helping us to realize that we’re not as different as we think. and despite our differences, we are not alone in our grief, pain, joy or happiness.



Reading and writing poetry has been for greater good. Whose benefits have been  the rebuilding and forging a more connected and caring world.


Prior to COVID-19 Lockdown, poets from Mangalore/Udupi diocese had been holding Kavita Poetry Recitation(Kavita Gosti) regularly at a specified venue, especially at a village house or community hall.  Maximum 15-20 poets would gather and mostly recite their own poems and occasionally poems written by other poets.  It had been quite inconvenient for many poets to  meet regularly due to work or other commitments and most importantly travelling from distant places.


However, since Lockdown began this Kavi Gosti was stopped as people could not meet each other. A vacuum was created and poets were at loss on how to carry on.  Suddenly a bright idea occurred to a young poet Lenard Fernandes who has been residing in Israel and rest is the history.


Since this idea was accepted and implemented by Fr. JoCy Siddakatte (Carmelite Priest and a well known poet) as Kavita Sankhall on FB page Kavita Matov, Kavita Sankhall has been  quite active. This popular poem reciting chain in Konkani has reached its 500 mark within a month from its implementation on 13th April 2020.  Fr. JoCy is confident that it will reach 1000 mark very soon as more and more poetry lovers have been taking part with enthusiasm especially the children.


What has begun as a small stream has been now flowing like a mighty river.  Along with Konkani poetry enthusiasts, Konkani poets   from Mumbai, Karwar, Goa, Chikmagalore and Shimoga have been taking part and many participants from many countries such as Germany, Argentina, Israel and mainly from all Gulf Countries.


All the poets were informed via social media especially WhatsApp groups and it spread like  wild fire and Konkani poets and poetry lovers from all over the globe began to contribute to the poetry reading exercise.  This poetry chain titled Kavita Sankhall in Konkani became overnight popular which began on 13th  April 2020 with  first poetry recitation by Fr. JoCy D’Souza himself and 500th poem was read by a little girl Chrisel Rhea D’Souza.


There is also another popular WhatsApp group called POETICS (managed by Wilson Kateel) wherein a large number of Konkani poets regularly contribute their poems and occasionally a few Kannada, Hindi poems also shared in this group.


Our representative contacted Fr. JoCy Siddakatte (Creator of poetry page titled “ Kavita Matov in FB where all the poems recited are uploaded) and  Wilson Kateel (A leading Konkani poet) and the man of the moment Lenard Fernandes who initiated the idea of  Kavita Sankhall for their views for our readers.


Fr. Jocy Siddakatte (Carmelites Priest & a well know poet and play write)


We began Kavita Sankhall (Poetry Chain – One presents a poem of any poet and gives challenge to 3 more persons to do the same) on Kavita Matov on 13th April 2020. Originally the idea was conceived by Lernard Fernandes, an Cine artist, presently working in Israel.  I was curious to find out whether any other group has made this unique attempt.  I found there were attempts made in regional languages like - Arebhashe (a separate dialect spoken in Kodagu), Kodava & Tulu languages but it was Kavita Mattov had made the first attempt. Poetry Chain that begun in other languages either have ended within few days or still going on. But Konkani Chain continues without a break. I wouldn’t say poets from other languages have imitated us, definitely not. But this concept has strongly influenced others as well. So far 500 proud Konkanis have participated in the Sankhall. The success of Kavita Sankhall involves poets and poetry lovers from Mangalore, Karwar, Goa, Israel, Germany, USA & UAE. People of different dialects have joined together under one Mattov.


The present-day trend is to participate in Dance/Singing reality shows. During this Lock Down period the children also took interest in presenting poetry in KM. Children had difficulty to express themselves specially when they took serious poems. Hence, a group of poets joined hands to produce simple poems for the children to recite, which gave way to another movement of creating Bal Sahitya.


Now the chain has reached the third stage, I mean, when the Sankhall was begun it was within the poets from around the world. Later, the challenge moved within colleagues and friends. Now, the challenge has moved to inner circle of the family and smaller regions. Many people from villages taking up the challenge, which shows the craze for Konkani poetry is touching the thresholds of common folk.  Isn’t it a proud movement for us all Konkani community? This is not a small attempt, it is a miracle and it is going on rapidly. Every day 20-25 new people accept the challenge and upload the videos. Now the real challenge is to provide them with good poems to recite.


Lockdown period was a time to introspect our own being. Poetry speaks the inner mechanism of man. 500 participants and thousands of people who have listened to the poems every day have definitely  made a journey within and refreshed themselves.


I would like to thank each and everyone who voluntarily became a part of this poetry chain. Kavita Mattov appreciates the enthusiasm of all who made Konkani proud.


Wilson Kateel (Leading Konkani poet/Song Writer, Winner of State Award for Kannada poetry collection “Nishedhakollapatta Ondu Notu”)


The main point of this Kavita Sankhall is that the recited poem is not our own poem but poem written by others.  If we read our own poem there is no relationship to poetry, there can be relation to challenge on Kavita Sankhall.  When we recite poems written by others we search for new poems and poets.   In order to recite a poem under the challenge in Kavita Sankhall one need to search for many poems, read and recite  them. As a result many poets and their poems have been introduced to the public and children.  The knowledge of poetry increases even though only a single poem is recited at Kavita Sankhall but many poems were referred prior to that.   Kavita Sankall has provided us the golden opportunity to look for many poems and poets if otherwise totally neglected and never known and I would say this is very important achievement of this Kavita Sankhall.


Secondly, when a Kavi Gosti was held (which was held regularly before the lockdown), many poets did not attend due to many reasons.  However, this obstacle has been done away with  in Kavita Sankhall.  People of all walks of life participate in this poetry reciting chain, keeping aside their fields of music, singing, literature, news media and their  work. One dedicates to video recording at their own peaceful environment without any distraction.  I call it a greatest achievement to Konkani poetry/literature.  I must say that poetry has reached to the reach of the villages.  This in itself is a great achievement.  The participants may not know the purpose of poetry reciting in Kavita Sankhall but they have learned about poetry and poets.  Now they know which are the poems they have read and which poets have written which otherwise were totally neglected previously.


Finally,  I would like to point out that whoever participate in the future poetry reciting in this Kavita Sankhall is very profitable for Konkani literature.    Since more and more children and new participants have come forward to challenge in Kavita Sankhall, it is very important to find ways to provide them with proper poems conveniently.  Earlier, the poetry collection books were available only at a very few outlets that too in the city and usually the poets took much pain and efforts to reach out to public to buy their works, but now the demand is increasing. Naturally, we have to have a mechanism to organise proper distribution of books.   Now this poetry chain is expected to reach 1000 mark and as such people will look forward for poetry books to refer.  The next important stage is to write poems to cater all walks of life especially for children. Wishing Kavita Sankhall great success.


Lenard Fernandes (Lennu Vamanjoor, Poet and Cine Artist and Journalist, Israel)


Currently, there are loads of challenges/reality shows going on social media especially, singing, dance, etc. Why not similar challenge can be organized in Konkani? This thought germinated in my mind.  But I was not sure and then it occurred to me why not Konkani poetry reciting challenge which has been very close to my heart.  This thought I posted on FB without expecting much response.  Also I suggested to recite others’ poems and not their own.  This might have clicked very well and it must have attracted people from all ages and walks of life to participate in this Kavita Sankhall.  This is fact helped non-poets and also they took interest in challenging many more of their friends to recite.


This concept was first accepted by my poet friend Carmelite priest Rev. Fr. JoCy Siddakatte and gave super lift by uploading on Kavita Matov and in a lightning speed it was spread widely like fire. I am really grateful for him for materialising this concept into reality.


I must applaud all the poets and participants accepting this poetry challenge and recommending others to recite which is very unique.  My especial thanks to all of them and it in fact shocked me that it has already crossed 500 mark.  My heartfelt thanks to each and everyone who took part in this Kavita Sankhall and I’m sure it will reach 1000 mark very soon.





















As we can see how this tiny concept from Lenard was successfully implemented and gave a lift to this poetry challenge and it is moving at a lightning speed.  Though it took almost a month to reach 500 mark, Fr. JoCy feels it will reach 1000 mark within probably 20-25 days.  We hope his prediction will come true and we Bellevision Team congratulate KAVITA MATOV Team for this success story.


Also our thanks to Fr. JoCy Siddakatte, Poet Wilson Kateel and Lenard for their views and we also request Bellevision readers to take active part in this Poetry Recitation.






Comments on this Article
Alwyn Pinto, Derebail / Dubai Sat, May-16-2020, 11:13
Very well written article about Kavitha Mattov. Hats off to you Mr. Alphonse Mendonsa. Keep it up. May God bless you.
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