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THROWING LIGHT ON THE WORKS OF BAKIBAB BORKAR

THROWING LIGHT ON THE WORKS OF BAKIBAB BORKAR

Poet Balkrishna Bhagwant Borkar also known as Bakibab Borkar was a great poet whose works have been unmatched in Goa. His youngest daughter, Mukta Agshikar, recently released a coffee table book in Marathi, ‘Akshay Kavita Bakibabanchi’ which sheds light on his life. Café speaks to Mukta on Bakibab as a literary figure and a loving father

The smile on the face of Chimbel based Mukta Agshikar is enough to understand the joy she feels on ‘Akshay Kavita Bakibabanchi’, a coffee table book featuring the works of her father, Goa’s renowned Poet Bakibab Borkar. The book features poems on the themes of nature, love and philosophy and most importantly his favourite, Goa. “Once he wrote a poem, there were never corrections, just one final copy. I have kept his original handwritten poem in the book as well. All his poems were written with the date till he was 74 years old. He was writing poems till his last days and they were all of the best calibre,” Mukta introduces the book.


The book which is a literary gem contains 50 poems in Marathi, six each in Konkani, English and Hindi and two in Portuguese. It also has photos of Bakikbab with various eminent personalities including Ram Manohar Lohia, presentation of the Padma Shri in 1967, a Special Postal Cover with Special Cancellation on Centenary Celebration of B Borkar in 2010, Sahitya Akademi Award presentation, his cartoon by Mario Miranda and family photos.

Besides his poems which have been beautifully chronicled, the book also contains his articles on the process of writing poetry and quotes by many literary figures like Mangesh Padgaonkar, P L Deshpande and V S Khandekar on what they wrote about my father. These quotes were earlier incorporated in a book which was written on his 60th birthday. I have dedicated this book to my late brother-in-law, Vajram Iyengar. The value of the book in the literary sense is very high,” explains Mukta.

The book also pays tribute to Dona Propercia Correia-Afonso De Figueiredo. “From the age of 10, he read the best books that helped him as a writer. Dona Propercia, during 1933-36, taught him everything. She was a poetry lover and knew he had potential. She saw to it that he read French and Portuguese poetry. She even translated Latin poetry for him in Portuguese. She wrote a lot of letters to him later in life. The curator of Goa State Central Library has taken the letters which will be translated it in English from Portuguese and released in a book,” she informs.

As a family man, Bakibab Borkar was very close to his wife Rukmini and his eight children, six daughters and two sons. “He wrote many poems on his wife Rukmini. He was very nice and jovial. Even during that time, he was broadminded and I was his sixth daughter but he was so happy to have me. He had a broad vision and my sisters did love marriages at that time and his first son-in-law, Vajram Iyengar, was a South Indian. My father used to call him son-in-love not son-in-law. We had a very good relationship with our father and we could talk with him about any subject,” she says. Mukta was only 11 years old when Bakibab Borkar returned to Goa after Liberation with the family from Pune.

Speaking about the response the book has received so far, Mukta says, “Whoever sees the book says I have done an excellent job. Somnath Komarpant, a literary scholar, has written the foreword for the book. Madhav Borkar, Konkani poet, guided me after I showed him my selection of the poems for the book. He added two more poems to it. Fabian Gonsalves has done a great job with the front and back cover of the book.”

With the hardwork that has been put in these 96 pages, Mukta hopes that the book reaches the right people. “All libraries and schools should buy this book, not to read it as a story book but to understand the deeper meaning of his poems. It can be very beneficial for language students who want to do research and PhDs in the future. Varsha Book Stall in Panjim has the book for sale. The older generation and my generation loved his poetry and this love should go to the younger generation,” concludes Mukta, as she mentions that the book release in Pune will take place on July 29, 2018, “There are a lot of poetry lovers in Maharashtra who love him.”

 

This article was first published on Herald Cafe on 7th June 2018

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