Goan pop-rock icon, Remo Fernandes mesmerised the audiences with both his prose and music, as he brought down the curtains on an exciting, 11th Goa arts and literature festival 2023 at the International Centre Goa in Dona Paula on Saturday evening.
It was an evening most people attending this session would not forget for a long time. In conversation with Vivek Menezes, co-curator of the festival, Remo discussed his autobiography, “Remo” by stating, “Writing one’s autobiography is like a therapy session. I would urge everyone to attempt to write about their own lives.”
In a freewheeling discussion, which ranged from his happy childhood in the pre-liberation, Portuguese era Panjim of the 1950s to his architecture studies in Mumbai, his backpacking and busking journey across Europe, his home-coming in the early 1980s and his eventful musical career, he had the audiences glued to the edge of their seats.
Recounting his earliest musical influences, Remo said that listening to a group of college students from Daman singing the popular Portuguese song, “Maria Pitache” as a schoolboy was clearly one of them.
Remo said that his opera on the life and times of Mother Teresa, “Teresa and the Slum Bum” (48 songs sung by 35 singers) was the best music that he had e ever produced. Recalling his memorable meeting with the saint several decades ago, the icon said, “Mother Teresa held both my hands in her hers and I could almost sense an electric current pass through my body. I promised her that I would compose a song on her work and that all proceeds from that song would go to her Missionaries of Charity. I am happy that I have kept that promise,” Remo said.
Remo ended the evening by singing a medley of his most popular songs: ‘Maria Pitache’, ‘Undir Mama Aiylo’, ‘O Meri Munni’, ‘Bombay City’ and insisted that the entire audience sing ‘Ya Ya Maya Ya’ with him. He got a full-throated response from the audience.