(Last Updated on : 14/08/2014)
Pundalik Narayan Naik Goan is a great dramatist. He was hailed as the most distinguished Konkani author of the late twentieth century. He was born in 1952. Without any formal educational degree, he started work as a teacher, and then joined All India Radio, Panaji, as subeditor. He began his literary career in the Marathi language. In 1984 he chose to freelance as a writer and now lives on a farm in Goa. Although he has handled several genres, his pioneering contribution to Konkani theatre is the most significant. In a predominantly Anglicized-Westernized artistic community, his mastery of folk songs and indigenous theatrical elements, and understanding of the rural polyphony make him stand apart.
The majority of Naik's structurally melodramatic plays focus on problems in Goan society, especially of the lower classes. Among his dozen full-length works, the shortest one was Chhappan thigali Yashwantrao or 'Yashwantrao of the 56 Patches' in 1980. This one delineates the tragedy of a coolie at a bus stand. Suring or 'Explosion' in 1982 depicts the conditions of road-construction labourers. His most controversial socio-political satire was Shabai shabi Balmjan Samaj or 'The Masses' Society Cries' in 1986. Often, the titles of his plays express their themes. Some of the names can be mentioned as Raktakhev or 'Incest', Dayj or 'Dowry', Khan khan mati or 'Dig the Soil'. This one was on the harsh life of Goan miners. Naik has paved new paths in the nascent Konkani theatre. In recognition, the anthology Chaurang or 'Square Stool' in 1982 won him the Sahitya Akademi award. He has also written radio drama, for which he has won international prizes, and plays for children, among them Ransundari or 'Beauty on the Battlefield' and Alsyak vag khalo or 'The Tiger Ate the Lazy One'.