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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Mathias

Jukebox records broken during lockdown

There are many theories on what you can do with your time in lockdown. I won't bore you with the details that many people are obsessing themselves with. Many have shunned our very existence, (by us I mean singers) wondering how you could celebrate or break into song, during a pandemic.

There has been one person that has defied all that. A singer par excellence that has collaborated with more people than I can count and relentlessly sung from his bedroom. That person is Carlton Braganza.

For those of you familiar with a jukebox concept, Carlton's Opus Jukebox Jammies consists of people from around the world. One can make requests a day or two in advance (or if you are lucky, on the spot) and have him serenade you with them.

He's done countless shoutouts for people from various countries, commercial get-ups too and his organisation began humbly in 2003 but has now a life of its own. Even the Archdiocese of Mumbai has collaborated with him to lift up the spirits of all and sundry. There was one for my alma mater, St. Xavier's College Mumbai. Couldn't believe that some of my former college professors could sing so well.

For me, people like Carlton are the true frontline heroes. They wear their hearts on their sleeves and show the world that indeed we can go on. My own circle of friends started a Mosquito Crooner group (formed by yours truly) and most of the time though preoccupied with life, when we do meet online, the music pulls us through.

Music is all-powerful. Be it in any language. Singers find themselves at the rough end with critics especially in these days when no one can congregate.

There was a moment earlier this year when one of my siblings dedicated a song on Carlton's live shows for our parents. There wasn't a dry eye in the large zoom room. At another time Carlton happened to meet my brother and his wife in Goa and came on a Zoom call. To my own surprise I couldn't believe it was Carlton talking to us.

None of us is immune to the virus of course but as I listened to Carlton's homage to the singer Engelbert Humperdinck for his 85th birthday it dawned on me that I ought to pay tribute to Carlton for bringing us the music. Keep rocking Carlton. You have a big fan in me.


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