Bakibab Borkar , as he is lovingly know by every one in the world of Marathi and Konkani poetry is one of the finest gems that Goa has ever produced.
Bakibab whose original name is Balkrishna Bhagwant Borkar was born on 30 November 1910 in the in the then very small village of Borim, Goa. This village stands on the banks of the Zuari river.
Born to a very simple and devoute Goan couple, Balkrishna was a very pious and god fearing boy.
As was the ritual of the yesteryears bhajans, kirtans, holy scripts and songs of saints of Maharashtra used to be taught to and had to be recited by all the children of the household and so were they taught to Balkrishna.
Once it so happened, that during a public function Balkrishna forgot the wordings of a new Album he had learnt and when it was his turn to recite, he didn’t know what to recite, so he composed an Abhnag on the family and recited that Abhang.
Thus started his journey into the world of writing poetry.
People who were listening were astonished and could not believe that young Balkrishna could have written and recited an Abhang on his own so asked him to compose one more Abhang. Not only did he write and recite another Abhang but he end the verse by saying… “Baki Mhane” (so says Baki).
Ba Bha Borkar or Bakibab, as he was known as, lived in Borim . His mother tongue was Konkani but he went to a Marathi medium school.
Our State was then under the Portuguese Rule, as result of which Bakibab’s later education was in Portuguese.
After having acquired Diploma in Portuguese Teachers Diploma Bakibab had to discontinue his further studies due to lack of funds for higher education
He initially worked as a teacher in different schools in Goa from the year 1930 to the year 1945 and thereafter moved to Mumbai.
In Pine, he did the work of editing many magazines like AMCHA GOMANTAK and finally in November 1955 he joined Aakashwani (All India Radio) and worked there until his retirement in 1970.
Bakibab was known for his knack of blending himself in any kind of environment and would easily showcase joys ans sorrows of life effortlessly and with great ease.
The works of Bakibab Borkar included everything from nature, patriotism to mind body soul meditative ness individuality and society.
During the time of the freedom struggle when Ram Manohar Lohia came to Goa, Bakibab Borkar was so motivated by the freedom struggle that he left behind a family of ten who depended on him, even sacrificed his government job and wholeheartedlty took upon him the mission of spreading the word of patriotism through what he was best at… poetry. One of his most famous compositions of that time was C Goyan Lohia Aaylore (Lohia has come to Goa)
The list of his Marathi and Konkani poetries and songs was innumerably long and easy to recite.
Such was the nature and individuality of this man that he was called the poet of Goa, he was called the poet of Maharashtra and he was called the poet of India.
Bakibab was awarded Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award, by the then President S. Radhakrishnan for his distinguished service in the field of Literature & Education.
Government of India also awarded him with the Tamrapatra (Copper Plaque) for his meritorious services to the cause of India’s freedom.
Besides poetry Bakibab Borkar published innumerable short stories, novels and short stories and did a lot of editing works.
He became the recipient of a number of state national awards like the
Gold Medal Marathi Sahitya Samellan for Poetry
1950 – Gold Medal Gomantak Marathi Sahitya Samellan for Novel “Bhavin”
1950 – President – Kokani Sahitya Samellan
1957– President – MarathiKavi Samellan, Solapur
1961-President – Tagore Centinary Sahitya Shakha
1956 -President – Gomantak Marathi Sahitya Samellan
1963-President Sahityakar Sansad, Allahabad
1964–1970 – President- Institute Menezes Braganza, Panaji, Goa
1963 – Member of the Sahitik Shistamandal to Sri Lanka
1967 – Padmashri – Government of India
1968 – President – Akhil Bharatiya Kokani Parishad
1970– President-Second Marathi Sahitya Parishad’s Sahitya Samellan, Mahabaleshwar
1970 – President- 72 nd Annual Function of Mumbai Marathi Granthasangralaya
So beautiful and easy to understand was his poetry, may it be in Marathi or Konkani that he could keep his audiences glued to their chairs for hours together at a stretch.
Maza Gao (My Village) was one of his alltime favourite poetrys.
His composition Goyan Lohia Aaylore (Lohia has come to Goa)
Tya disa vada kaden…is another beautiful konkani song written and recited by bakibab
Majhya goyachya bhoomita gadya narala madhache …is yet another beautiful marathinsong written and recited by him…
Some of his songs like these have made him so fanous that even if a person dosent know who bakibab is when he listens to the songs he can corelate to this great poet of Goa
After having lead a long and fruitful life B.B.Borkar, Bakibab as he was lovingly known by people finally passed away on 8 July 1984.
This year on the 8th of July on the day of his punya tithi, his daughter Bharati Hoble recited one of his famous poetrys in his memory…”Ho Nandacho por”….thus was BakiBab who is fondly called Aba by his grand and great grandchildren