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Deorai Baindoor Aiyagal

By Vinaykumar Baindoor 

My father, Devidas Ganpatrao Baindoor, a.k.a. Baindoor Deorai Aiyagal was widely regarded as one of the most eminent Konkani dramatists and playwrights. An accomplished stage actor, music composer and singer, he is remembered today for his plays and epigrams. His book “Konkani Self Taught”, is considered to be a ‘Bible’ by the non - Konkani speakers, and has found its place in the Harvard University library. He was honoured and presented with a medal, in appreciation of his achievements in enriching Konkani literature, through his Konkani Drama “Kauravanlo Krishnu”, by Dr. T. M. A Pai Foundation, Manipal on 13th April 1987. 

Born 1910 in Honavar, (then) Mysore State, the youngest of three brothers with two younger sisters, he unfortunately could not pursue higher studies due to financial constraints. He joined Madras Railway Company as a clerk in the Administration Department, and subsequently worked for the (Govt.) Directorate of Supplies and Disposals in Bombay in 1937. It was during this time he started learning Sitar as also Hindustani Classical music with Ustad Latafat Husain Khan, giving many stage performances as a vocalist.

 A voracious reader, he read the works of many eminent English writers like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, and adapted many English Plays to Konkani. Thus were created “Sukha Sansaru”, the adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s famous play “An Ideal Husband”, followed by “Soyrike Sambhram”, an adaptation of Oliver Goldsmith’s Comedy “She Stoops to Conquer.” My father was also an ardent fan of Moliere, the famed French playwright. All his subsequent plays written before 1944 “Preeti Khatir” (printed), “Doni Horan”, “Appulen Atharvan”, “Dudva Dhyasu”, “Phondulen Pannambar”, “Ubgani Udyogu”, “Baveesari Barso”, and “Lachari Lat” were adaptations of Moliere’s English translations. Post 1945, his passion for Sanskrit encouraged him to translate plays like ‘Satyavrat Karnu”, “Panch Ratna - Pandav Prakatan” and “Madhyam Vyayog” from Sanskrit to Konkani. 

In the early sixties, Konkan Cultural Association launched a vigorous campaign for the development and standardization of Konkani. When a request came from them for a “Konkani Self Taught” my father worked hard to create such a work.  “Konkani Self Taught” was published in 1968. After retirement from Govt. Service in 1968 he continued working on a Konkani -English Dictionary and One Act plays like ‘Patal Yantri’ and ‘Rastya velo Romeo’, besides several articles in Konkani. 

In 1981, he wrote a skit “Parvati Kavad Kadi” which was well appreciated by Parama Pujya Shrimat Parijnanashram Swamiji. It was enacted every year by my parents from 1981 to 1990, during the Rathotsava at Shri Chitrapur Math, Shirali. This book was printed in 1983.

My father passed away on 21 August 1996. Till his last, he kept himself occupied working on his Konkani-English Dictionary, and improvisation of his earlier works. is grateful to Sh. Vinaykumar Baindoor for introducing his father`s literary achievements and efforts to our readers. We hope many will profitably read Baindoor Deorai`s “Konkani Self Taught”.

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