Thursday, December 31, 2015


2015 is drawing to a close... and what an eventful year it has been... 

While the newspapers and a host of websites are looking back at events of the year gone by, I did a quick look back at my year and realized how truly amazing it has been for me. 

This has been an absolutely Mumbai year for me... with Pune being the farthest I got away.

Been back to school... as a student (updating skills and getting certified)... as a teacher/lecturer (teaching Digital Marketing and CRM to students in premier MBA institutes)... and as a parent volunteer (having coached the school choir to sing for the school feast).
OLPS School Choir at School Feast (27 June 2015)

Changes in the workplace... worked on new and interesting projects as a strategist and consultant... and back to the full time schedule with a leading global media agency.

And through all this music and entertainment has had a integral role to play. I started the year playing music at the midnight Mass at OLPS Church Chembur... and the last weekend of the year entertaining the best of audiences in the adjacent grounds.

At the end of this crucial year... I take this opportunity to thank all the people who have had any role to play in my life over the past year... the family, relatives, friends, students, teachers, colleagues... and those I know and those I don't that consciously or unconsciously have contributed to making this year so special.

As as the end is near to this year, I leave you with wishes for a blessed year ahead. 

Look forward to the opportunity to help entertain you in 2016, either in person or in the virtual digital world.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

They're Playing Our Song

Earlier this year, I attended the wedding of a friend at the St. Anthony's Club Grounds (OLPS), Chembur. As the evening progressed, it was time for the first dance. And my wife got super-excited when they played Our Song.

On our fourteenth anniversary today, I thought I'd share the same song with you all - in fact I have the same track that was played for our very first dance together as man and wife. 

The Wedding Special is among the most important song of the wedding reception. The song that we first danced too tends to be the anthem of our marriage. Since we're on the topic, I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite songs that I've heard and sung as wedding special over the years. 

An eternal favorite and possibly the earliest one I've heard is definitely "Pledging My Love"  by none other than Elvis Presley. 

Pledging My Love - Elvis Presley

Though sung by the legendary Lobo, I remember hearing this song only in the mid to late nineties as a First Dance song. 

Faithful - Lobo

During my band days in the early nineties, a favorite of mine was "I Swear" by the chocolate boy band, 'All 4 One'.

I Swear - All 4 One

Shania Twain dominated the Wedding charts in the late nineties, with not one, but two songs that qualified for the spot.

From This Moment On - Shania Twain

You're Still The One - Shania Twain

In the more recent times, there have not been enough of these committed love songs. One of the few songs I can think of is 'All Of Me' - by John Legend. 

All Of Me - John Legend

And the bridal special at the most recent weddings I conducted were 'Original Sin'  by Elton John and 'Beautiful In White' by Westlife. 

Original Sin - Elton John

Beautiful In White - Elton John

If you getting married soon and looking for a song, I hope this helped...

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Nineties...this week

The Christmas weekend was truly lovely. Besides the Christmas lunch and celebrations with the family, it was also a weekend for some great parties.

St. Anthony's Homes Co-op Society celebrate their 90th Jubilee Year. I was called upon to emcee their annual Member's nite last Saturday. The get-together was absolutely brilliant with live music by the legendary (as Barney would say in 'How I Met Your Mother') .... Walter's Duo. 

As part of the celebrations,  a commemorative gift was handed out to all the known nonagenerian members of the society, including one gentleman who will be a centenarian in just 17 days time.

Still in the nineties, today is the 93rd birthday for a legendary author, writer, editor, publisher, producer, actor, television host. And what's more, a lot of this in the 'comic' world. Any guesses?


Happy Birthday to Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber), former President and Chairman of Marvel Comics, and co-creator of Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four.

Besides all his fantastic work, I must say that I observed something truly remarkable in his personal life. In this world of complicated relationships, he is the first personality that I have come across who has been married only once in his lifetime. His wedding anniversary was earlier this month - 5th December (the day I compered the wedding of a young advertising couple - Eldon and Pooja). He married Joan Clayton Boocock in 1947 - 68 years ago, and they have a lovely daughter J.C and grandchildren as well. 

Happy Birthday Stan Lee. Enjoy the year ahead and this parody - 'When I'm 94'.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Farms, Roots, Vegetables - and Music as well.

Christmas is round the corner. And a friend of mine just posted a Christmas song she wrote and composed, spoofing Mumbai's beef ban - titled 'A Vegetarian Christmas'

Today, 23rd December is celebrated as 'National Farmers' Day' in India. Marking the birthday of a departed farmer leader, Chaudary Charan Singh, we celebrate our farmers today who grow our grain, fruits, vegetables, etc. In today's challenging times of global warming and climate change, we salute all India's farmers with this memorable dedication from Bollywood.

It's ironical though that in the US today is observed as Roots Day - not for the plant 'roots' but more about tracking your family 'roots'. While doing an internet search recently, I landed on a site that traced my family roots back to 1770. Interestingly compiled. How much do you know your Roots? Go ahead, find out... 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Favorite Pastimes - Crossword or Story?

Living in Mumbai requires a lot of travel. Even after a year in the city, I'm still too nervous to drive on the crowded city roads. The best mode of public transport in Mumbai and extending further than ever before is the suburban rail network. 

Travelling by train today, the only way people seem to pass their time is on the internet - (I'm as guilty as about anyone). Most of us are interacting online on social media - Facebook and WhatsApp being the most popular. 

I did a quick retake to the days of yore - not too long ago - when people spent their travel time on a more intelligent pursuit - KNOWLEDGE.

The morning hours would see most people poring over their newspapers or the Readers' Digest and sometimes novels in English, Hindi and Marathi - checking out news or reading the classics or popular stories. In the evenings, the paper would more likely be the smaller tabloid when there would be less reading and more racking of brains to solve the word jumble - while the more articulate would try to crack the crossword - mostly the simple but sometimes the cryptic. 

Today the 21st of December celebrates these two intelligent travel pastimes. 

21st December is

In keeping with the theme of the day, I thought I'd share with you exactly that. With Christmas later this week, just stay with the theme. 

First the story about the "Real Meaning of Christmas" - The True Meaning of Christmas

And to help you celebrate Crossword Puzzle Day - here's a Christmas Music crossword puzzle just for you... Christmas Crossword Puzzle.

So read it and solve it...and if you like it, share it as well.

Monday, December 14, 2015

World Choral Day - Music Makes the World Go Round

I started this blog to celebrate the universal language of mankind. And how appropriate can it be, that I compile this Golden post to celebrate a special day in music. 

The Second Sunday of December is earmarked as World Choral Day. And with Christmas  less than two weeks away, choirs are busy practicing or performing Christmas Carols at various venues ranging from homes, churches, malls and even concert halls.

For more than 30 years, Mumbai has been celebrating the "Festival of Festive Music" organised by the Stop Gaps Cultural Academy (under the guidance of Alfred J D'Souza) at the National Centre of Performing Arts with Christmas performances from the best choirs in Mumbai and beyond. This year, was no different. In fact the wonderful festival coincided with the World Choral Day celebrations.
Over the last year, I have received umpteen invitations to join this top choir of Mumbai. Also I have been fortunate to attend their performances  with the Hohenlohe Brass Ensemble in August 2014 and again the opportunity to introduce them as they performed the best of Festive Music at the Sevadaan Entertainment Extravaganza in Chembur on this very weekend last year. And they did sound absolutely out of this world. 

As part of the World Choral Day celebration, I had my own part to play at a much smaller but nevertheless important event that got together young musicians from various parishes of our Deanery for a choir festival of our own. The children from Sunday School put up some wonderful Christmas Carols, Christmas skits and more to share in the joy of the season. We even had a violin performance by a young girl, Sharon Joseph from OLPS Parish playing "O Come All Ye Faithful" to celebrate World Violin Day (celebrated on 13th December every year). Beautiful, truly beautiful... (More pictures of the event here

If you enjoy Choral Music, I'm sure you would have heard and enjoyed one of my favorite Christmas Carol albums (also possibly among the first I ever heard) - The Gunter Kallman Choir. Enjoy the Medley.

A Big Thank You to all of you who read and listen to this blog. I'm happy writing it for you. Do feel free to share your comments and feedback with me. Or even suggest a topic I should cover or music I should post here. Do go out this Christmas and do something special. I'll be with you from time to time with more musical thoughts in the next few days and into the New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2015

O Play Me Some Mountain Music


Towering, majestic, and beautiful... Mountains stand tall for all to see and admire. They there for us to conquer. 

With this blog dedicated to music, I just could not resist thinking of all the songs I knew about mountains. And we get started with 'Mountain Music'

Singing of mountains can be about the specific ranges and what they've meant to the singer. 

John Denver - Rocky Mountain High

John Denver sang about the "Rocky Mountain High". The other American range, the Appalachians include the Blue Ridge Mountains. I've heard some great Gospel Music from the 'Blue Ridge Mountain Gospel'. and also like the 'Blue Ridge Mountain Blues' by John Fogerty.

John Fogerty - Blue Ridge Mountain Blues

While those singers have sung about the mountains, others have related it to life and love. 

Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High

While Tina Turner is all about love, B.J. Thomas is sentimental in "You Call That A Mountain" (could not find a video). And Elvis says "You Gave Me A Mountain".

 Tina Turner - River Deep, Mountain High

My favorite 'mountain' song is the inspirational message given by Sr. Superior to Maria in "The Sound of Music".

Climb Ev'ry Mountain - from "The Sound of Music"

And being in the Christmas seasons, we'll end this mountain of a post with a Christmas Carol.

Go Tell It On The Mountain - Sara Evans

And as Christmas draws near, it promises to be a truly Musical Christmas for me. Our Deanery has organised a Christmas Carol Fest this weekend and I have been called in to help train them.

Go ahead, scale new heights...and keep singing...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

World AIDS Day - A Tribute to Musical Greats

Yesterday (December 1) was World AIDS Day. And there were events organised across the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Charlie Sheen made the shock announcement that he was HIV-positive. On this post, I thought I'd pay tribute to a couple of great musicians that we lost to the disease...

Liberace (1919 - 1987)

The flamboyant pianist was among the highest paid performers in the world in the 50s and 60s. Michael Douglas played Liberace in the 2013 movie, "Behind the Candelabra". I heard "The Love Album" in the 80s and fell in love with the piano.

Freddie Mercury (1946- 1991)

Among the most versatile and engaging performers of the Rock world, he was the front-man of Queen. We've rocked on his "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", screamed to "I Want To Break Free" and been absolutely awed by the mock-operatic masterpiece, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Getting to zero; End AIDS by 2030 was the theme of World Aids Day this year. What will you do to help?

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Hello to December - always my favorite month of year.... and yours???

DECEMBER has always been a fairy-tale month.

Once Upon A December

DECEMBER is a winter month for us in the Northern Hemisphere. Though we do not have smow, the nights are still colder than most of the rest of the year. And as we get ready for Christmas, possibly go around the neighbourhood singing carols, or doing late shopping pre-Christmas and parties post-Christmas.

Cold December Night - Michael Buble

The nights may be cold, but they still may be special. I've had very special nights in December - but the most special night in December was the one I got married - not in 1963 (I wasn't born then). 

O What A Night (December '63)

What do you like about DECEMBER....Come on tell us, don't be shy... And go ahead enjoy DECEMBER...cause "It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year".

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams

Sunday, November 29, 2015

O Come O Come Emmanuel

Today we start the season of Advent - a period of waiting and preparation for Christmas. While the kids would have made the list of toys that they want, most of us adults would have probably started listing out all the things that need to be done. Time to get out the collection of Christmas music....But wait, what about Advent music?

One of my favourite Advent hymns is 'O Come O Come Emmanuel', and I thought I'd share a couple of versions that I really like. 

First the Piano Guys for a fantastic instrumental duet, and the next by country star, Kelly Clarkson.

I will try to post a song daily this season, but might not always be on the blog. Do like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

In the meanwhile, do start the preparations for Christmas - not just externally but where it really needs to be - the SOUL.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Doodh Doodh Doodh Doodh (Milk Days)

Today 26th November, the last Thursday of the month of November is a Thanksgiving holiday in the US. In India, we celebrate Constitution Day - the anniversary of the adoption of the Indian constitution, which came into force two months later, on Republic Day. 

Opened the newspaper this morning, and noticed that there is another designated day today. It celebrates an item of food that we cannot start our day without. Whether consumed by itself in a cup or tall glass, or in our 'cuppa' - coffee or tea, or we apply a processed form of it to our bread or toast at breakfast, or as an ingredient in our dessert, MILK is an important ingredient in our diet, whether little babies or old.

In commemoration of the birthday of the "Father of the White (read, Milk) Revolution" - Dr. Verghese Kurien, 26th November has been designated as "National Milk Day" in India. A man of great vision, he has been honoured with the Google Doodle of the day.
Dr. Verghese Kurien - in the Google Doodle
The creation of the Milk Co-operative movement pioneered by Dr. Verghese Kurien is the subject of the 1976 multi-award winning Hindi film by Shyam Benegal, financed by 500,000 milk farmers of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF).

I have heard stories of interactions with this great man from my bosses and colleagues at FCB-Ulka Advertising that managed a part of the AMUL account. While I personally was not associated with the brand, the ad jingle that was worked out by my good friends at the agency still rings fresh in my mind. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Baby Baby

Received quite a few baby announcements in the last few days. Also receiving calls seeking my assistance to compere Christening parties. 

The first baby song that comes to my mind is "Baby Baby"

While it is pictured around romance, the song was inspired by the the birth of the singer's daughter. 

Celebrating the #MusicalBirthday of Amy Grant, the Christian singer turned Pop now supporting hubby Vince Gill in Country music as well. 

The other Baby song she sings is related to the festival that's exactly a month away... Christmas. Just take a deep breath... a 'Breath of Heaven'.

Happy #MusicalBirthday to 


Saturday, November 21, 2015



What's the word you say most often? Think about it...

My guess would be Hello...or a version of it...,depending on which language you speak.

And considering it's such a popular word... there is a special day dedicated to it... TODAY (21st November) is World Hello Day.

What's more, Hello is also the song at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 this week.

Hello - Adele

Which Hello song do you think of?
Hello by Lionel Richie is possibly the first one that comes to my mind.

Hello - Lionel Richie

For those of you in the DJ generation, it may be Martin Solveig

Hello - Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette

As a greeting, Hello may been used as an identifier. "Hello, It's Me."

Hello It's Me - Todd Rundgren

Or a salutation followed by a name... maybe Dolly or Mary Lou...

Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong

Hello Mary Lou- Creedence Clearwater Revival

Or as part of message like "Hello, I Love You" 

Hello I Love You - The Doors

So, whether you like these songs or not, just pass on this message or a big HELLO to at least ten other people...maybe someone you haven't greeted in a while.


Friday, November 20, 2015

All about the Windows...

As soon as we stepped into the bus the other day for a family outing, the kids started looking for a window seat to sit at. I remember doing exactly the same when I was a kid. What about you. 

The first window I've known was the opening the wall of our house from where we looked out to see the people on the streets, rushing to their chores. Also the place where we looked out for our parents returning from work, and waited for that wave of recognition.

Lookin’ Through The Windows – The Jackson 5

While the Jacksons were looking out of the window, like I was, many others have been looking into them to see people, animals and things.

Patti Page saw a doggie there. 

And Bruno saw a lovely girl. 

Buildings have windows, though nowadays with glass claddings, we cannot make out where the windows are. The only windows we see are at the bottom of the building area or inside of buildings in the shopping area - all decorated to attract our attention and get us to walk in.
Window Shopping - Jackson 5

Having worked in the Direct Marketing industry, an important window was the one on the envelope. But growing in maturity, we need to constantly look out for the "window of opportunity". And getting philosophical and possibly religious, we need to look into the "Window to the soul"

Window To The Soul – The Kooks

Do you know of any other WINDOWS?

Windows in the Sky, perhaps...

Thirty years ago today, a new series of windows was introduced to the world. Windows in the world of computers and IT - Microsoft Windows. If you are a techie, you could well delve into InfoWorld's report on the Windows they've loved through the years. Even if you're not a techie, I'm sure we all are grateful to Bill Gates and the team at Microsoft for opening for us the windows that we spend most of our time glaring into - our computer screens. And kudos to all the other companies and their programmers and developers, who contribute to the constant evolution of IT and technology. 

From Windows 1.0 today in 1985 to the future...

Monday, November 16, 2015


I've been absolute appalled by the recent happenings in Paris. Even more horrifying are the comments about terror in Lebanon the previous day. Much closer to home, there is the constant debate on the 'Beef Ban' and other various other issues. And the one word that seems to be on everyone's lips these days...and on all the newspapers as INTOLERANCE. 

20 years ago, the United Nations designated today (16th November) to be observed as the International Day of Tolerance. 

And looking through the musical glass, I'm reminded of this beautiful song from the 1980s referring to how the keys of the piano - black and white - work together to produce great music. 

Ebony and Ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Why can't we?

Just returning back to work today, after an extended weekend of Diwali holidays. As I travel in Mumbai's public transport system, jostling for the just enough space to place a foot, walking shoulder to shoulder and trying to find enough space to walk, neither I nor the hundred and thousands of people care about what religion, community or economic background the person standing next to us - or ahead or behind of us belongs to. We all have a destination to get to and a time-frame within which to reach. All of us work together for our homes and families and together for the economy. Work may take us many places - even across the globe. And we still put our efforts together to make the world a better place. 

Early in 1985, a group of musicians got together under the banner of USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) to record "We Are the World". The song bears a special significance for me and the family, since it is one of the songs that we've sung together. My grandmother celebrated her 75th birthday that year, and the around 40 of us who gathered to celebrate this occasion at her home, joined in perfect harmony to sing this song - from the little to the oldest. 

While we speak of the importance of tolerance on the macro-level, we possibly face greater challenges with tolerance at the micro-level, starting with our own homes and families - the spouse, the in-laws, the children - extending to our place of work, there may be someone or something that just tend to wind us up the wrong way. In these times, we many need divine assistance or help to keep us tolerant.

Irrespective of each of our religious beliefs or orientations, I invite one and all of you to pray for ourselves and others - strongly believing that "God Will Make A Way".

I invite you to look for an opportunity during the course of today to excuse something that you normally wouldn't. Let's make sure we have a tolerant achievement for this day. 

And share this thought with all the people you can today on this International Day of Tolerance. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Happy Childrens' Day

Being in the midst of Diwali holidays, I celebrated Children's Day bonding with the kids. In fact the celebrations started yesterday as we went off to an ISL (Indian Super League) Football Game in Navi Mumbai with a couple of their friends (the 12-year old kids sourced complimentary tickets). Got home close to midnight.

A late morning for them today followed by a round of groceries and a favorite meal of the South Indian Thali at our favourite Udipi joint in Chembur called Cafe Udipi. (By the way, did you know that Udipi is possibly the only place in India that does not have a restaurant called "Udipi" - comment from Rocky and Mayur - Highway On My Plate).

Children are a beautiful gift. And all parents I know rejoice and celebrate the moments through their children's years. We often cherish the wonderful memories rocking them to sleep as little babies. 

Sleeping Child - Michael Learns To Rock (MLTR)

Children today are full of knowledge. And our role as parents is to constantly feed that urge to learn. The most successful people in life are those who never stop learning. So we put all our energies to 'teach our children' not just what's written in their textbooks but much more - valuable lessons in life. 

Teach Your Children - Crosby Stills Nash and Young (CSNY)

Those of us who are parents know that children learn less what they are told, and more what they see. I get instructions and suggestions on IT and even ideas for this blog from my younger son who is just 6 years old. Last week, I wanted to forward a video on WhatsApp from an app that wasn't linked to the network. And yo, comes little Mr. IT, insisting: "Just listen to me, I will tell you what to do". And right enough, it worked. When later asked how he knew, he admitted "You did this last time. I remembered." Are we teaching our children? Or is it the other way round?

Still on the topic of teaching, this is what my little son's first keyboard lesson turned out to be - a jam session with big brother.  

Happy Childrens' Day to all the children...and also to the child in all of you...
today if you're in India and on 20th November if you're anywhere else in the world. 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Diwali....

Wishing one and all of you and your families
A Very Happy Diwali. 

Celebrating the festival of lights with
a #MusicalGreeting from the movies.

Have a truly wonderful day today...and everyday of the year...
Enjoy your time with family...
and may every Gham be turned in many many Khushis

Monday, November 9, 2015

Gold and Diamonds - The Highlight of Festivities

Mumbai is all aglow. The Diwali festivities have begun with Dhanteras today. While the focus of the day is on gold and precious jewelry, I thought I'd keep this post all glittering with a peek into some precious songs.

I asked my friends on a couple of Social Network groups to list songs they know with 'Gold' or 'Diamonds' in the title. I was surprised at the number of party and Mumbai Masala songs they came up with - "Golden chains around her neck, whose lovely daughter is she?" and "Golden tiles on the top of the house" - songs I know sung in English, Marathi and Konkani at least. Other contributions includes some of Bollywood's tunes that I don't quite recall. And talking about movies, I can think of two James Bond 007 movies with Gold in their titles - Goldfinger (1964) and Golden Eye (1995).

Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey

Gold was not sufficient for James Bond and they even had to go for Diamond. "Diamonds are Forever"

Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey

Leave the spies alone, Diamonds were also a topic of discussion in the romantic comedy of the 50s, "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" - featuring Marilyn Monroe telling us that "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" - a song covered more recently by Madonna and Nicole Kidman and so many others. Do you want to know why

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend - Marilyn Monroe

In 2012, 'Diamonds' was a big winner for Rihanna.

Diamonds - Rihanna

And while on the theme of Gold and Diamonds, the 'true gold' is what we see in the fields of a good harvest. 

Fields of Gold - Sting

Have a wonderful festive season. And enjoy the holidays...

(Thanks to all my friends on MCI and FB who listed possible songs for inclusion in this post)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Nothing...but the BEAT

In the last few posts, I touched upon how satellite TV changed the music industry. On this Saturday Night, I thought I'd do a quick run-up on Dance Music and how it has changed through the years. 

We did 'The Bump', 'Boogie', 'Disco' and 'Funk' in the 70s. But it was the BeeGees that kept us "Stayin' Alive' on the dance floor. 

MJ ruled the dance floor through the 80s. Still recall the excitement all around when Michael Jackson first came on the scene with "Beat It". Everybody was doing 'BreakDance'.

Dance Music went 'Techno' in the 90s. Was very involved in Mumbai circles through the decade - on radio, in the band and as a Wedding DJ in the latter part. It was all about 'The Power' and a little bit of 'Vogue' and lots of 'Sweat'

In the late 90s, Dance Music saw development of a new trend - the Producer DJ. The DJ moved out of the Disco into the studio and produced great mixes. One of the first in this genre I recall is 'Norman Cook' aka 'Fatboy Slim' - Right Here, Right Now. 

Over the past decade and half, the Superstar DJs have carved a niche of their own. They're doing concerts to absolutely packed houses. Check out this rage from 'Avicii'.

High on the list of world acclaimed DJs is this Frenchman who celebrates his #MusicalBirthday today...David Guetta. He's all for Titanium...

Let's have your thoughts on Dance Music and a comment on your favorite DJ...Go on, dance the night away...

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