Sunday, 6 May 2018

Soro Mhaka Di Poilo


-Brian Mendonça

Nunc vino pellite curas
Cras ingens iterabimus aequor.*

-          Horace Odes

On a day when the spirits were balmy in the tepid April air we decided to take a leaf out of the Roman poet Horace’s philosophy. Yes, all we had was today and today must be celebrated with wine.

We were at Grape Escapade 2018 at the spacious Campal grounds. The stage set was amazing and Lorna even more. The area near the venue was overflowing with cars. The crass drivers thought no better than to haul their 4-wheelers over the delicate pavements blocking the pathway. This left pedestrians to their fate risking their lives in front of the speeding traffic on the road. We parked mindfully at the yawning parking slots at Panjim Gymkhana.

We reached after 9.30 p.m. and Lorna was on a home run. Her robust voice held the evening in thrall, even if she hit the high notes on thin ice.  Dressed in a shimmery peach gown Lorna belted out her by now legendry songs. But she slipped in one new song, I had not heard before. It was a kind of swan song, thanking God for the music in her life. All of us have to die some time, the lyrics went. But my songs will go on forever.

At 72 years Lorna, the spectacle in front of me, was doing what she does best.  She was bringing music to her listeners, enfolding them with the Konkani tunes they were so familiar with. She saved her piece de resistance for the last. In her husky, hoary voice she impersonated the drunk husband singing ‘Ieo baile ieo/ Soro mhaka di poilo /Soro mhaka dinam zalear / Tuzo foddtolom toklo. This song ‘Bebdo’ was composed by Chris Perry in the 1970’s. An enduring favourite, the song perhaps tells the tale of many a Goan household devastated by drink.  Lorna’s energy was unsurpassable. She ruled the stage even when the curtains came down dutifully at 10 p.m. She would sing for another day.

And this was the day we were coming to terms with the death of Swedish musician Tim Bergling aka Avicii who was only 28.  Avicii was the prince of global Electronic Dance Music (EDM). However, in view of the drink and drugs, Himali Thakur writes, ‘Avicii becomes a segue to understanding the neon-coloured “live fast, die young” message of EDM.’  News of the doings of Rhythm & Blues singer R. Kelly was still to trickle in.

For dinner at the Grape Escapade we quite fancied fare from the stall quaintly named House No. 2. The rates were more reasonable and the food well-done. (I could say that for the pork ribs). For a dash of spirit I braved a Sangria which is usually made of wine, fruit juice and fresh fruit. We called it a day by coming away with a bottle of Dia from the Sula vineyards, Nashik.
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*Now drive away your cares with wine / For tomorrow we sail once more on the boundless sea. Published in Gomantak Times, Weekender St. Inez, Goa, on Sunday 29 April 2018. Pix of Lorna taken by Brian Mendonca at the venue on Saturday, 21 April 2018.

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