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Gabriel keeps his Tiatr passion on track in Qatar by writing and singing Konkani songs

Gabriel keeps his Tiatr passion on track in Qatar by writing and singing Konkani songs



 By Armstrong Vaz

From a young age Gabriel Fernandes had a liking for the stage, whether it came to singing songs or watching Goan tiatrs in Mumbai, he used to be ready at the drop of the hat.

Like all Goans he yearns to see live performances of Goan actors on stage in Qatar, where he has been based for several decades. Those come once in a while, blame it on the high costs of halls and several other factors.

For Gabriel the show must go on, music and the beats cannot stop. He has set his own agenda to promote and keep the Konkani language and songs alive in Qatar in his own unique way.

The 2022 World Cup presented a unique opportunity for him to portray Qatar and its achievements through his songs to a larger Konkani speaking audience.

It was 2nd December 2010 when I was watching the live broadcast of the announcement of the hosting of 2022 FIFA World Cup and when it was mentioned Qatar, I was overjoyed since we were working here. Immediately on 3rd December 2010 I thought of writing this song and I continued writing and completed it the same day,” said the Canangium-born Gabriel.

He did not stop with just one song but went to write more songs all centered around Qatar and the football World Cup.

“I had a few songs written before (2nd December 2010) and I added some more and made around 12 songs. Then in 2011 I thought of getting these recorded into a CD with professional singers and then to do the videos but unfortunately the cost was high,” added Gabriel.

Gabriel did not feel discouraged but continue to pursue his project

 “Since The CD was only for distribution to family and known people and not for commercial selling. So, I thought why not I only sing and do the videos with my wife and son,” he added.

 “I finally got in touch with Lenoy Gomendes in Goa and recorded all the songs at his studio and later did the videos in Qatar. In 2011 I uploaded the videos one by one on YouTube.”

Although Gabriel has been staying from a young age in Mumbai, the Konkani dramas held in the metropolis have had a deep impact on him.

“I am from a beautiful place in Goa called Cananguinim and from a young age we have been staying in Mumbai at Marine Lines which is close to the Bhangwadi Hall. From a young age, I had the interest to see Tiatr which were mostly held at the Bhangwadi Hall and we used to attend almost all Tiatr at the Hall.”

Further recalling his Mumbai days, he says: “Our building was called Goan Society Building with all families being from Goa and some Clubs of different villages of Goa. We had some artists from Konkani Stage staying in the building and even Tiatr rehearsals were held there.

On the personal front and in the home settings he was deeply influenced by his parents.

“My father used to write songs but not on a professional basis. It was my mother who would convince me to write and the World Cup song was the last one I wrote as she then passed away and I stopped writing.,” he recalls in an emotional tone.

Going down the memory lane Gabriel said some of the Konkani singers and actors were his favorites and he made a point to memorize their songs and sing them at parties. which earned him appreciation.

“I used to be very fond of M. Boyer and Alfred Rose and sometimes by heart and sing their songs for building parties which people appreciated. My first song I wrote when my sister was getting married was mostly for the family members and then writing followed mostly based on family members. “

Recalling his experiences during the 2022 World Cup Gabriel, who works for M Grand Hotel now rebranded to Treffen House Hotel next to Msheireb Metro Station as Director of Sales and Marketing, recalls with pride that it was privilege to serve guests from different parts of the world during the football extravaganza two years back.

“It has been a pleasure to serve guests arriving from different countries to watch the matches of the World Cup.”


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