Picturesque Goa

Picturesque Goa
NOSTALGIA - Articles,Poems & Photos


TONFERNS CREATIONS - Tony's Art & Hobbies

Friday, May 30, 2008

Blue Skies (Video)

Blue Skies - sung by Jim Reeves
Video adaptation by 'tonferns'

Jim Reeves

Jim Reeves was very popular in India during the 1950’s and 1960’s. His songs were frequently played on Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Emissora de Goa (a radio station in Goa up to 18 December 1961) and All-India-Radio Bombay. His records were pressed by HMV in Dum-Dum, West Bengal, India. They were available in Bombay and all other major cities in India.

Today in the west some people are surprised when I mention Jim's name, while others (born and brought up in North America) have never even heard of him. The first song by Jim Reeves that I heard when I was a kid was ‘He’ll have to go’. Ever since then I’ve remained hooked on to his songs. Jim Reeves was very popular in India and Ceylon for his sentimental songs since in the 1950 and is a popular choice in many Goan homes. His songs were aired daily on request programs of Radio Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and on Emissora de Goa’s (now All India Radio Panjim) Sunday afternoon listener’s choice programme.

In Bombay (now Mumbai), during my teens in the mid-sixties, I used to save on bus-fare by walking home from college. But on the way I used to spend it by listening to Jim Reeves 'Snowflake' on the juke-box, over a cup of coffee, at Cafe Mondegar in Colaba, near Regal Cinema.

In the 1960's and 1970's, many people in the Indian Sub-continent owned gadgets what were known as 'Radiograms' that played LP Record, 78's and 45's in addition to receiving radio programs on Short Wave and Medium Wave Radio. Walk into any Goan home in Bombay, from Colaba to Bandra, Byculla to Dhobitalo, or Mahim to Worli, you would invariably hear Jim Reeves playing in their home. Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Engelbert Humperdinck or Billy Vaughn and Bill Black Combo were also popular in many record collections.

During the time when I lived and worked in Dubai in late 1960's and 1970's, Jim Reeves' records, being an RCA label, were then not available in the Trucial States of Oman (now U.A.E.), but since the LP's were pressed in Dum Dum, India, folks who travelled to India on their annual vacation, often purchased them there.

Yeah...but most of all, and all this being said and written about the great Gentleman Jim, I'll never change anything that holds the memory of him. Oh yeah! (now, if you like Jim, try to sing those lyrics based on his song: 'I'm gonna change everything. Ageless tune, everlasting song!)

Click on the following link and give it a listen. Turn up the volume and enjoy the lyrics and the rhythm.

Among many songs by Jim Reeves in my collection, ‘Blue Skies’ still remains a favourite. Click on 'play' to listen. I hope you will enjoy it too. It was composed by Irving Berlin in 1926.


Blue skies smilin' at me

Nothin' but blue skies do I see

Bluebirds singin' a song

Nothin' but bluebirds all day long.

I never saw the sun shinin' so bright

Never saw things goin' so right

Noticing the days hurrying by

When you're in love, oh my how they fly.

Blue days, all of them gone

Nothin' but blue skies from now on.

Jim Reeves was born in Galloway, Texas, on 20 August 1923. He died in a plane crash during a violent thunderstorm on 31 July 1964. He was well-known for his warm, velvety, baritone voice and often referred to respectfully as ‘Gentleman Jim’. Among his various other numerous hits and touching songs were ‘Adios Amigo’, ‘Welcome to My World' and ‘Am I losing you’. His Christmas album still remains as the best of all time.

During the 1960's, if one walked into a Goan family home that had a 'radiogram' it would undoubtedly have been a Jim Reeves 12 inch vinyl record spinning on the 6-LP stackable record changer.

                In the 1970's compact cassettes arrived on the scene followed by CD's in 1980's. Some of his recorded tracks were released by his widow, Mary Reeves, after his death with additional instrumental back-up.
Incidentally, MARY REEVES was born on 20 Jan.1929 and died on 11 Nov.1999.
Today, walk into any Goan home at Christmas time, and it will be Jim Reeves' Christmas album, in all probability, a CD.

                Forty-fours years after his death, his songs still continue to sell on CD's. The inscription on the pedestal of his life-size statue at his memorial in Carthage, Texas, reads as follows:

"If I, a lowly singer, dry one tear, or soothe one humble human heart in pain, then my homely verse to God is dear, and not one stanza has been sung in vain."


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Lightning in Goa, India

Lightning in Goa, India
Photographed on Monday, 25 September 2000
Published in the Herald Newspaper (Sunday Edition)
Goa, 1 October 2000
(Streams of headlights created by passing vehicles
on the road from Mapsa to Calangute are seen on the right of the picture)
It was the time when I was on a 2-month vacation in Goa . It had been a normal day with the usual clouds that seemingly appeared to race through the September skies. Then at dusk there was a sudden calm and the skies darkened rapidly. There was sound of distant thunder and a strong wind blew across the village, accompanied by a light drizzle of rain. I happened to be at home that evening, sitting in the balcao (Port. for balcony) of my house in Canca-Parra, Bardez, Goa, just watching the traffic speeding by.
Inspired by thoughts of the possibility perhaps to photograph lightning, I realized about my chance of capturing it on film in Goa after a long time. So I rushed inside the house to get my camera and tripod. I hastily set it up facing south through the clearing among the trees in the direction of the faint streaks of lightning, that could be seen in the distance, more or less towards the lighthouse at Fort Aguada, Sinquerim.
After setting the aperture on the camera, came the long wait. I was hoping for the lightning to happen while I remained in the safe confines of the first floor balcony of my bedroom protecting both myself and the camera gear, from the wind and lashing rain. I lost a few exposures at first, as nothing exciting happened. I got a few exposures that I thought probably were not satisfactory. So I set the camera on 'B'. took the less cap off and waited again for a while. To my great satisfaction I was finally rewarded - or so I hoped till I got the film developed in Mapusa the next day to know about the final result. And here it is - witness lightning in Goa.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Village Wells of Goa & 'Deu Boro Dis Dhium'

Down by the Village Well
GOA - India
(Pen and Ink drawing by Tony Felix Fernandes)

In the old days every village in Goa had at least 4 or 5 communal wells. My house was located near one of such wells. These wells provided us with crystal clear natural water for drinking, cooking, bathing, watering plants in our garden and trees around the house. Winding narrows paths from neighbours' houses lead to the well. Long before dawn I would be awakened by the noise of copper pots clashing against each other or as they were placed on the ledge of the well. When I was very young this well did not have a pulley. It was installed in recent times and makes drawing water considerable easy.

The beautiful common greeting in Konkani: ‘Deu Boro Dis Dhium’ (May God give you a good day or Good Morning) were the first words of the morning to one’s neighbour who we met when we went to draw water from the village well.

Konkani is an Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages and is spoken on the western (Konkan) coast of India. It is one of the official languages of India, the official language of the Indian state of Goa and is a minority language in Karnataka.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


There will be a blissful morning
Beyond the Sunset

Words by Virgil P. Brock
Music by Blanche Kerr Brock © Word Music, Inc.
Sung by: Mary Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae

Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
When with our Savior heav'n is begun;
Earth's toiling ended, O glorious dawning,
Beyond the sunset when day is done.

Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather,
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy;
O day of gladness, O day unending,
Beyond the sunset eternal joy!

Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me
To God the Father whom I adore;
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.

Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones who've gone before;
In that fair homeland we'll know no parting,
Beyond the sunset forever more!

Main Picture: Sunset at Fisher Lake.
Near Kearney, Ontario.

Photograph by: Tony Fernandes

Thursday, May 01, 2008


It was way back in 1970 on a test transmission of an FM station in Dubai, then a sheikhdom in Trucial States of Oman, now known as the United Arab Emirates, where I first heard Anne Murray’s songs on the radio. Her records and cassettes, and later, CDs were available in music shops there.

My family and I hail from a music loving community of Goa, a Portuguese colony for 451 years in India till 1961. Anne Murray’s hits, 'You Needed Me' and 'Could I have this dance' have been the most popular songs sung at weddings in Goa and at dance galas in the U.A.E. where we lived and worked for many years.

My wife, my three children and I immigrated to Canada in 1998. And of course we brought along with us modest collections of Anne Murray's records, tapes and CD's.

Recently, my children presented to my wife and myself, as a surprise gift in advance for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day. These were in fact tickets to see and hear Anne Murray at the concert in Toronto on Friday, 25th April, 2008.

This was indeed a great moment for us. Through the corner of my eye I saw my wife crying at the concert - I don’t know whether she noticed me - while I tried to hide my own tears. For us it was like a life-long dream come true. It is a concert that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. It has been a long musical journey of sorts for us listening to Anne Murray’s beautiful voice - first on the radio, then cassettes and LP's (38 years ago) and later CD's and finally live in concert. In the 80’s we often saw her on TV in the U.A.E.

My children grew up hearing her songs that I played at home through the years. I was also a DJ playing at weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and first communion parties and 'Blue Bird' was my signature opening number on many occasions.

My youngest daughter, Dahlia Fernandes, 25, is a budding singer/song-writer. Presently she is competing in the Young Asian Idol Singing Competition in Ontario.

This is a tribute to Anne Murray, appreciation and gratitude for bringing joy in our life through her songs.

Tony FernandesAuthor of: GOA – MEMORIES OF MY HOMELAND
(Poems & Short Stories) Published in Canada