Monday, June 29, 2015

Back To School

Working with the boys of OLPS last week preparing the choir for the School Feast took me back 30+ years when I was one of them. And reminded me of the small group of us who would be a part of every celebration in school including Teachers' Day, Principal/ Headmistress days and to bid 'Farewell' to all the retiring teachers over the years. 

From planning the songs to sing, to working out voice parts and accompaniment, there was perfect collaboration on every aspect. Besides practices in school, we also got together some evenings to practice at the house of Neil D'Souza right across the school (now Alexander Heights). Over the years we worked out some great songs from the Everly Brothers, John Denver and others - the most memorable being the collection from "The Sound of Music".

Over the years, the group has moved across every corner of the world, and lost contact. Over the recent years we have had a chance to connect online with Facebook. 

A few years ago, I saw a familiar face at a conference, in Dubai and was trying to recall the name. We both approached each other, and the moment we said "Hello", our memories raced back all the years to the wonderful times we had in our school years. 

Thanks to our teachers in school - a special mention to Louella Silva Pinto - who gave us all the opportunities to nurture and grow our talents. 

Greetings to all the guys who were part of the OLPS Chembur Music Troupe including Pravin, Mervyn, Neil, Darren, Rocky, Gary, Oniel and others. Trust you all have continued with the music and passed it on to the next generation.

Look forward to the opportunity of jamming. And if you see this message, would be great to connect...Maybe we could jam up together over the internet... 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Green Songs from The Past

A friend of mine who runs a gardening company mentioned that today is 'World Environment Day'. The mention triggered a trail of songs that I heard and loved in my childhood about plants, gardens and the environment. 


The very first time I heard this song was as a little toddler. There was some party at home, and my dad and his very musical siblings got together and sung in fantastic harmony this beautiful melody. A few days later, my dad was in the mood for music. He pulled out the guitar, got my eldest sister, brother and me together, and started strumming this song.

We were quite confused with what was happening, but about an hour later, the three of us got our parts quite well set in. And showcased this song, at many many events that we were called on to sing. I can still visualize myself at 7 in this trio, singing to an audience of at least 200 to 300 people and the applause we received.   

Green Green Grass of Home

A warm summer day in 1979, the first days of our family holiday in Mangalore, staying in the guest room of a convent, we got together again to learn this song with two 'greens'. The Green Green Grass of Home. I've heard the song many times on radio and everytime I hear it, I'm transported back into that room, working out the song. 

And how true that feeling is to be back home. Shifted back to Mumbai after 15 years in Dubai, and wow, what a feeling it is. The greenery around, the birds chirping all day and even at night, and lots more to make you feel at home. 

Let us all pledge on this World Environment Day, to do our little bit for the environment so that the Greenfields are not lost, and our children too can enjoy the Green Green Grass of Home. 

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