Konkani poet and writer Leo John D’Souza passed away in Bangalore on Thursday, after an illness. He was 79.
Mr. D’Souza wrote more than 3,000 poems under the pen name Kaavyadaas. He used the name Liyab for other writings.
He authored Konkani poetry anthologies Dev Haaslo (God Smiled), Dennim Devaachim (God’s Gifts), novel Putaa Paatim Ye (Son, come back) and the autobiographical Zaantyanchea Paavlaanim (In the footsteps of the wise).
He translated several children’s books including Gulliver’s Travels, Around the World in 80 Days, Rip Van Winkle and Prince and the Pauper into Kannada.
He was Assistant Editor of Raknno, the Mangalore Diocesan Konkani weekly for several years and represented India at South Asia Catholic Press Association (SACPA) Catholic Editors’ meetings.
He taught in Padua High School from 1958 to 1982, worked in the editorial section of Gulf Daily News in Bahrain from 1982 to 1996, and in Sandesha Foundation of Culture and Education from 1967 to 2011.
Mr. D’Souza was the recipient of Sandesha award for Konkani literature in 2013, Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Award for Journalism in 2002 and Kavita Trust Award for poetry in 2010.
Melvyn Rodrigues, president, Kavita Trust, and a former student of the poet, said Mr. D’Souza wrote poetry the traditional way, with rhyme, rhythm and metre and was not particularly appreciative of modern Konkani poetry written in free verse. Mr. Rodrigues said, “He was the link between the old and young generations.”
Judy, the poet’s daughter, said the funeral would take place in Mangalore on Tuesday or Wednesday after the poet’s youngest son, a priest, reaches Mangalore.