Sunday, 3 June 2012

'Goodbye Summer'

Yesterday we went for a musical evening at Navelim breezily titled 'Goodbye Summer.' Setting off from Vasco at 8ish, we reached the majestic Navelim church at around 9 p.m. A breath away from Margao railway station, the church hits you as you ride on NH 17. Most events in Goa are ranged around a church, the last one we attended was the concert of sacred music at Santana church Talaulim during Lent. Since the location was 'Behind the church' we looked out for some indications of an event happening in its vicinity. The motorcycle pilots directed us to the venue. Driving down a dark road we came to a fork - after what looked like a home for the aged. Not a sound in the air. We were wondering if we had missed the action - the ad in the Herald said the event would start at 7 p.m.

We moved up a bit more to see, in what looked like fields to the right, a few small canopies being set up and the sound of some music. But not a soul on the maidan. The evening started to kick in around 10 when Bandwagon,  the group slated to play, did just that. The lead singer was most comfortable on the vocals and got us all rocking with covers from the Doors ('Let it Roll) and Santana. They did some fine Dire Straits too and ended with Kolaveri Di. By then most were high with the Budweiser beer and Signature whiskey stalls full up.'Senorita' packed a lot of punch and we enjoyed the evening under the open sky fringed with coconut trees. The snacks were unimagnative though with the entire menu outlayed with chicken items. What I also found unpardonable was that there were no garbage bins to stow the trash. I should have mentioned this to the amiable DJ, Telles, who did a fine job setting the mood - even if he repeated the same announcements throughout the show. Towards the end of their set Chinese lanterns lit up with flames from within rose into the night sky like haikus.

Black Slade, up next from Delhi were a disaster. I felt. They began promisingly with Queen's signature 'The Show Must Go On' but faltered in the mid-section with the lead singer imploring for more bass. What was most surprising was that Slade completely lost the rapport with the crowd that Bandwagon had built up and leant into so successfully. Desperate for a reaction the lead singer railed at the crowd -'Have you been drinking?' 'Don't you drink?' and 'Just because Summer is over, it doesn't mean you shouldn't drink' and so on. As if a few drinks would make up for the band's lapses. (Some wondered how drinks were served  in the open with no regard for the consequences.) It is a sad comment that even in the ad Slade was projected as the main event, while Bandwagon was just filling in the space, so to speak. We need to give a hand to the local boys, I felt.

Dad sat around holding baby, waiting as he said for the 'music' to start. Rock and Metal somewhat did not make the cut. As we neared midnight and baby called it a day, we left. The crowd was thinning out. We were happy dad got his chicken lollipops to eat as he nursed his chotta of Signature whiskey. As I parked the i10 at Mangor, I could still see the same moon above me and the silhouettes of a few coconut trees bordering our area. Yes, time and space do collapse at times. Travelling together made us bond as a family and Queenie even served baba his feed in the fields. In the tumult of noise, baba slept on unperturbed - a lesson on how it feels when one is in safe hands. It was an evening to remember.

Photo of Navelim church, Goa; courtesy Goanchurches(dot)com

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