Friday, November 12, 2021

The Wedding Season 2021

 The Wedding Season has begun!!!

After a washed out wedding season in 2020 and the first half of 2021, young couples are looking forward to better celebrations in the current season that is just starting.... thanks to the prospect of life returnng to normal - at least in India. In fact, this last Sunday, I witnessed not one, but TWO weddings in my local parish. With some of the regulations still in place, I was requested to provide music at the Church service for both these weddings. 

I couldn't help remember my teenage days, when I was part of this choir group that used to sing for weddings - mostly at Don Bosco's Shrine (Matunga) and Our Lady of Dolours Church (Wadala)... sometimes we got requests to sing at some other churches as well. I once landed for a wedding at Our Lady of Fatima Church Sewri and noticed many familiar faces.... turned out to be the wedding of one of our parishioners there.

Coming back to the music, a favorite song at the Entrance of the service was "The Wedding (Ave Maria)" - by Julie Rogers (1964)

And after the nuptials, a favorite would be "Song of Ruth (Wherever You Go)". The lyrics of this song are from the Bible - the book of Ruth 1: 16-17. In fact the song is not a dedication for marriage. 

The Book of Ruth opens with the death of Naomi's husband and their two sons in a foreign land. Naomi decides to head back home and tells the daughers in law to return to their maiden families. This song is Ruth's reply to Naomi. And rightly so, as the story goes on, Ruth returns to Bethlehem with Naomi and eventually remarries. She is listed as an important Biblical Woman - the great grandmother of King David. 

The song we sang for the current weddings was "But I Wish You Jesus" by Scott Wesley Brown 


And for the Finale - was a beautiful song from The Seekers - again from the 1960s - "I'll Never Find Another You". I really enjoyed playing this song which has been adopted by the Marriage Encounter Program as its anthem. The Program orients couples to prepare for marriage and after the wedding to strengthen their commitment. I've uploaded my rendition (cover) of the song on my YouTube Channel. Inviting you to subscribe if you like it. 

I hope you liked it.... If you are a musician, you may be able to benefit from another video I've posted for the song, with the chords of the song.... Do share your feedback. 

Thanks for reading the blog.... I hope you liked the music.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Getting back - Fathers Day and World Music Day 2020

I never realised that it has been such a long time since my last blogpost here. Thinking of getting back to it, today seemed to be a good day to start with the celebration of World Music Day and also Fathers Day in some parts of the world. 

This blog has been about sharing my experiences of growing up with music. And the credit for introducing me to the world of music right from my early years goes to my Dearest Dad. From the very earliest posts on this blog, I have paid rich tributes to Dad and his efforts in making us a musical family to reckon with. As we celebrate Father's Day today, it made sense to me to list down some of the Dad songs that have appealed to me over my lifetime.

During our growing up years, we participated in and attended many singing competitions in the locality. And this soulful dedication to a Dad was put up by many a guy about seven to eight years my senior. 

My dad was really proud of my musical pursuits in my teens and twenties - on radio, band and with instruments. Used to play this track by Boyzone regularly on FM in the late '90s. The original recording though is from Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) in 1970. This song is also recorded by Rod Stewart. 

Being a dad myself right now, I'm pleased to be able to pass on the wonderful gift of music that Dad nurtured in me and all my siblings. I'll sign off with a recent rendition of a song that won me a trophy at the age of seven and had my Dad absolutely thrilled. I performed this just last month on a video broadcast on the office network. This song has passed down with both my sons having sung it as well. 

Will be back with more musical updates right here. But for now, here's wishing all the dad's reading this post "Happy Fathers Day".

Monday, January 14, 2019

Fun with Maths

It's Exam time at home... My elder son currently doing his Prelims before his tenth standard board exams.... and the younger one in Grade Four. 

And as I opened up the Economic Times this morning, this article - Fun With Maths just jumped out at me....

 Fun With Maths

Manjul Bhargava is the first person of Indian origin to have won the coveted Fields medal in Mathematics for this path-breaking work in Number Theory. This professor of Mathematics at Princeton University discusses various issues with the Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy.

When I asked the students of the MBA class I take about Mathematics the other day, only around 10% of them said they like it. Most of the others detested it. Years ago, I recall another MBA graduate in my office struggling with basic Arithmetic. Maths is an integral part of our everyday life. From waking up to the alarm clock... to train timings... to the price we pay for breakfast... it's all about Mathematics. We work with sheets and charts.... and get a salary at the end of the week or the month.... for which we need to know our numbers right... Yes indeed, That's Mathematics.


You liked that song by Tom Lehrer... we'll get him to give us a lesson a little later on. But first we'll do it very easy... ABC is as easy as One Two Three...

Well, the number 'three' reminds me of this song, a song my uncle Denzil used to sing... back in the day, Jake the Peg (Rolf Harris). 

That version did not have my favorite verse of the song.... the one about counting.... on fingers and toes...

Are you ready for the Maths lesson with Tom Lehrer.... on the New Math...

Didn't that song make Maths fun.... 

I put some thought into it... and recalled that I knew to read the time at age 5.... I learnt my tables in regular school.... and in class VI when I opened up a chapter on Bills and Receipts, I instead said Rec-i-pes, and had the entire class burst into laughter.... I was fairly good at Maths through school... though I slipped up when it came to Maths in college.... My Stats teacher in First Year B.Com was quite a terror and predicted based on past experience that more than half the class would end up struggling to Pass. I put my head down to it, and did extremely well. In B=School, I was actually coaching some of my weaker batchmates on Statistics... which made me one of my closest friends in the batch, that I'm still in active contact with. Working in data has been an absolute treat and the current trend of analytics absolutely amazes me.... 

I could go on and on.... which my stories on numbers.... but I'd rather just leave you with this song on advice for life... a sure formula to get the maximum out of life.... 
Acc-en-tu-ate the Positive. 

P.S. I've got another post on this blog on Maths... in fact the very first one.... Check out Music and Math

Sunday, January 6, 2019



Another year has gone by... 2018 and what a year it was.... Lots of work, opportunities, music, events.... but a lot less blogging. 

2018 for me took me to a lot of new places. While ten years ago (2008) was the year I did the most international trips (from Dubai to London, US and Canada), 2018 was a year of a different kind of journeys... My travel in 2018 was all within India and related to work and learning. During this year I visited Gurgaon, the foothills of the Himalayas (in Dehradun) and the serenity of the Gandhi ashram along the banks of the Sabarmati river (in Ahmedabad). While the first trip was part of an official assignment, the latter two trips were related to sharing knowledge and education - the first at UPES (University of Petroleum and Energy Services) and the more recent to MICA - The School of Ideas. Before we take off on the year 2019, let's take a little Sentimental Journey.

That song first released in the year 1944 (that's 75 years ago)... That's a year during World War II. And while there was death looming all over, the year also saw births of some really famous people. Among them Erno Rubik (inventor of the Rubik cube), officials like Ban Ki-moon (former Secretary-General of the United Nations), Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor of New York city). But before them all, on the first day of the year, in the little town of Mangalore was born a wonderful teacher of Maths and Science (who spent over 25 years in St. Anthony's Girls High School Chembur), but a great teacher on the values of life to her six children (me and my siblings). 


Living in my childhood home at present, everyday I come across someone or the other who has been touched by my mum. Last week I was traveling by bus to work and happened to meet another student. The previous week one of her superstar students conveyed their regards to my mum to my wife when she visited an event organised by the alumni. 

Over the past 250+ posts on this blog, I've made a few honorable mentions of my mum. Thought it would be a good idea to recount these on this special day. 

Music and Math (2015)

Was a casual afternoon, and I had to put together a short article as part of an exercise at the Digital Marketing class I was taking. Bang! out of nowhere came this post on Music and Math.

My Radio Days (and Nights) - Remembering Saturday Date (2018)

During my days as a Radio Jockey on All India Radio, my best constructive critic was none other than my dear Mummy. Though not an authority in music, she shared some interesting inputs to help me improve my clarity and diction on the show... and across life. Now 30 years later we've had an interesting reversal of roles.... While I've spent a fair amount of time teaching (what she did for over 25 years), while she had her moment in the sun as a guest on Susegad Danpaar on 104.6 FM

Earlier today, my siblings in Auckland got together to celebrate her birthday with some of her new friends in the land where she now resides... Saw some glimpses of the get together, a celebration of her seventy five fantastic years. Saw some glimpses of the party including some of the toasts raised by my siblings, paying tribute to her commitment and dedication over the years to give us the very best. 

We thank the Lord for our Mummy, who truly called the shots to make our family and each of us - her children - what we are today. of my Pistol Packing Mama



Sunday, November 4, 2018


Woah! it's already November.... I heard the Calendar Song after ages - it used to be a regular on Saturday Date in the late ' 70s and early '80s. 

In the nineties, when satellite TV invaded all of our households, this November song was on everyone's lips.... November Rain.

While Mumbai recorded it's hottest ever November day yesterday, the Met Department has forecast some November Rain next week.... Let's wait and see... 

Do you know of any 'November Songs'? Share them in the comments....

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Konkani Muji Mai Baas

Konkani Muji Mai Baas... translates to "Konkani is my mother tongue..." and this past month of September reminded me of this on several occasions. 

The Konkani connection with September comes from the way Monti Fest is celebrated in Mangalore. Monti is Konkani for Mount... and so the celebration of Monti Fest is the celebration of the Feast of the Mount... or the celebration of the birthday of Mother Mary. However the Birthday celebrations in Mangalore is combined with the celebration of the harvest. In our growing years, the usual Inland Letter formats in India were replaced by enveloped letters in the month of September containing a few ears of blessed corn. The blessed corn we received was mixed in with milk or a sweet and consumed with a Thanksgiving prayer. Further the celebration includes the Novem meal including an odd number of vegetarian dishes (five, seven, nine...) along with rice with the dessert of waran (payasam). 

While I attended a Konkani church service for the first time in Chembur, it was a perfect connection to my roots. But even more special on Saturday 8th September was to hear my mother tell the world (definitely the whole of Auckland) about Monti Fest on the radio - Susegad Danpaar on Planet FM 104.6

The other Konkani event for me this month was the nomination of my son from school to participate in an inter-school Elocution Competition organised by the Goan Institute in Mumbai. While my son participated and was shortlisted among the last 15 in the senior category in the English Elocution, the highlight of the competition was the Konkani Elocution. In the age where the Konkani language is dwindling, this initiative truly saw some great performances paying rich tribute to Goa and Konkani in poetry. 

The Chief Guest to the wonderful afternoon of poetry was Dr. Elaine Charles, a renowned Mumbai educationist who shared her A to Z of public speaking. Among the special guests at the Elocution Competition was Odil Madeira - a prominent writer and speech and dramatics trainer from Mumbai. She was honoured even more by the fact that quite a few students recited pieces written by her. 

The Goan Institute is committed to encouraging talent and development among the Goan community and besides handing over trophies to the Goan kids who performed at the competition also felicitated Goans who excelled in the recent Xth and XIIth Standard exams. Was really privileged to see one of my parishioners get a scholarship at the event. 

The Goan community has a long history with Mumbai. The area where the Goan Institute is located in Dabul around the Kalbadevi area of Mumbai (close to Metro Cinema and St. Xaviers College) has been home to Goan Clubs or koods which became home to Goans migrating to Mumbai looking for job opportunities. Check out this interesting documentary about Goan clubs in Mumbai.

And the last of my Konkani interactions of the month was with the Indian Express Film Club at the screening of the Konkani movie 'Juze'.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

The film depicted the realities of life in the villages of Goa and the fight for survival of a young teenager against oppression and other challenges of life. An excellent film put together by a young director was an eye opener that however much progress has been made, life continues to throw up challenges for one and all that we have to win over in our quest for survival. The movie set in the remote villages reminded me of the stories I myself have heard about the challenges that various family members have faced in their journey of life and how they made their choices. Among others I recalled visits to relatives homes in Mangalore where there was no electricity in their houses in the 1970s and the 1980s. I seriously wonder what the progress has been in the villages that they lived over the years and how much progress they have seen. 

Konkani to me has been my 'Mai'-baas or the language of my Mai (meaning mother, we affectionately addressed my maternal grandmother as such). Since she only spoke in Konkani and other Mangalorean languages (Kannada and Tulu), we had a compulsion to speak to her in Konkani. However after her passing away, I lost touch of the language. My wife's family though are strong proponents for the Konkani language and she stays in close connect with Konkani by her participation in the Konkani choir (which is led by a young 20 year old girl). 

I am thankful for the reminder to my mother-tongue and look forward to many more interesting interactions in Konkani going forward. Over the years, I've enjoyed some of the very best of Konkani music and have had my own opportunities to sing in Konkani during my days in the Mumbai band circuit in the 1980s and 90s. Signing off this post with this medley of traditional mandos. 


Monday, August 13, 2018

Daddy Dearest

I just penned my 250th post yesterday... I realised that only today... And a very special day at that... Cause today's a day to celebrate the person who has by far the most mentions on this blog... That's my Daddy.

Sammy Kaye released that song in 1941 within a year of when my Daddy was born. Going back to this blog, it began as a simple submission at a Digital Marketing class I was taking to enhance my skills. Music and Math celebrated the things my parents loved - a love I inherited from them from my very early days.

Moving forward, this blog provided me an outlet to share my love of music with the world. As I moved on to the second post, I recalled wonderful times learning singing with Dad... recalling our first few songs that also happened to be Green Songs From the Past...

Exactly three years ago to this date, as we celebrated my Dad's first birthday in absentia, happy memories made their way to this blog in Laugh Aloud... 75 times over. My dad could add joy to absolutely any situation... He'd bring sweetness even to the most boring day.... He was an absolute Sugar Daddy.

Attended a party for my Aunt's 80th birthday a few weeks ago... and had a lot of people tell me I look closest to my Dad in the family. But the best thing I inherited from my Dad was the gift the music and the same choir voice.... Daddy Sang Bass.

And as I follow his practice of leading the singing in church at the morning Mass, this is one hymn I'll probably be singing tomorrow... one that reminds most people around of my Dear Daddy... God Will Make A Way.

Visit to discover Indian blogs