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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Mathias

Singing away their blues

With travel coming to an abrupt halt, people are spending a lot of time online. Thanks to social media, friendships have been kept alive despite the miles. A group of enthusiastic friends and singers have rekindled a bond that began nearly 40 years ago. Former residents of St. Theresa's Parish in Bandra, Mumbai, they are still in touch thanks to their love of music.

Through Whatsapp messages, they collaborated on a new project. The group usually sings in English but decided to challenge themselves to sing in Konkani. A few of the members don't know the language, but soon learned the popular song, 'Hanv Saiba,' and dressed in completely Goan avatars for a recording which is now on Youtube.

Led by musician Alan de Menezes, 18 singers shed their inhibitions and donned their best for this venture. The different time zones did not faze the group who gladly practiced their part in small teams. Members from Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, India, the USA, and the UAE were all a part of this collaboration.

The group enjoyed the process of learning the song and getting the pronunciation of the words just right. It took them a lot of practice, amid a lot of laughs but they were able to pull off the performance in a record of 14 days.

As some of the singers are based abroad and do not have access to Indian attire, they ingeniously used table runners and other decorative cloth to drape themselves in costume. "I was simply responsible to herd the entire team back during the lockdown," says Bernard D'souza, a member of the group. "Though we were all scattered and lost contact, we made it work. Alan guided us to continue singing irrespective of where we are from."

The group used to sing together in the '80s and evidently continue to connect. They hope that the younger generation will appreciate the music and sing along.

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