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...

Friday, November 6, 2015

'Saxy' Guitars

As part of the Digital Marketing course I was teaching at a premier MBA institute in Mumbai, also my alma mater, I was discussing a case study about how the concept of digital has disrupted the music industry. While the 1978 song proclaims "Video Killed the Radio Star", I personally need to be grateful to video and further to satellite television for bringing the music to us in the 1990s. 

In my blog titled 'November, Movember, Whatever', I mentioned one of the first songs that satellite TV brought us. And also around the same time, we were introduced to this song - 'To Be With You' 

"Mr. Big" is the name of the band - a quartet composed of Eric Martin (lead vocals), Billy Sheehan (bass guitar), and Pat Torpey (drums) and our #MusicalBirthday boy, Paul Gilbert (guitar). 

Paul is recognized as one of the fastest guitarists of all time playing a style called 'shredding'. Check out this sample from the track "Scarified" from his time with Racer X.

What is the 'dream' song of every guitarist? A few years ago - as DJ at the Family Fest of my parish - I played this track that raised eyebrows and also questions. But whatever people say, this is one of the my favorite songs for some fantastic guitar lead - 'Hotel California' by 'The Eagles'.

The bigger #MusicalBirthday boy is Glenn Frey (He and Don Henley wrote most of the Eagles songs) and he's turned up the heat with this solo from 'Beverly Hill Cop'. 

Did you hear that something blowing? Along with our top guitar birthdays, we join Google in paying tribute to Adophe Sax - the inventor of the saxophone - on his 201st birth anniversary. 

'Desperado' played on the soprano sax by James E. Green

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Peruvian Percussion and Delightful Duets

Just last week, a group of people I know visited the beach village of Manori for a pilgrimage. For me however, Manori has always been a great picnic spot with its lovely beach. Manori is also the place where I was first introduced to live Jazz. 

I've attended some fantastic Jazz weekends at Manori and on more than one occasion have feasted on the wonderful percussion from one of the best percussionists India has produced for the world - the Scintillating Sivamani. 

These days there's a new percussion instrument that we are beginning to see. Instead of the bulky drum kit, drummers are choosing a more compact box called the CAJÓN (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈxon] ka-HON) - a symbol of Afro-Peruvian percussion.

And for all the drummers and percussionists out there, here is a sample of percussion in this video of a Peruvian melody sung by a New York folk singer whose 74 today. 

Happy #MusicalBirthday to Arthur  - whom we better know as Art Garfunkel. He's been delightful to our ears with Paul Simon whom we wished for his #MusicalBirthday last month. Enjoy the 'Sound of Silence'.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015


It's getting cold (or maybe hot..if you're in the Southern Hemisphere). 

Travelled to Europe once at this time of the year. Autumn was just setting in...the trees were golden...the paths full of the fallen leaves...and there was a drizzle coming down.... Took me back to one of the first songs that we watched when satellite TV got introduced in India. 

And 'Down Under', they've started a new trend for November called 'Movember'. An awareness campaign for male cancer, it invites all men to sport a moustache and beard...

So what kind of man are you gonna be? A November Man or a Movember Man...


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oh When the Saints...

Today is All Saints Day. 

Spent the nice Sunday morning in church at Mass and then Catechism. And among other topics, touched briefly on all the saints - named and unnamed for whom we celebrate this feast. 

While there are many hymns to various saints and hymns written to sayings by saints, I think there is one universal song of the day. The most versatile song that I've ever come across. In fact this is one of the first songs I learnt to play on the piano as well as the guitar.  

Hope you enjoy the few versions below:  

Choral Music with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Barbershop Style by the Four Connors

Jazz with Louis Armstrong 

Pickin' up the Blues with B.B. King

The Pianist in 10 Classical, Pop and Dance Styles
And this final one goes out to all my pianist friends around the world. Share it with your pianists and tag them along the way. 

Share your comments on the versions...or even better give me a link to a version you like that I don't have here. Or your own version of this all-time popular tune. 

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