Aug 17, 2009
“The next time you come down and don’t meet me – watch out!” he had said on his way back to Goa.
At the “The Asian Rock Fusion” in Dubai, Remo was at his best. What a performance – a true legend
Well, that was almost 2 years ago. Although we did keep in touch occasionally exchanging emails and text messages, I was not too sure if he would actually find time to see me, now that I was in Goa.
“Hi Ronnie, so good to hear from you. We must meet. Please make time to come over to my house for a meal or at least a cup of coffee. When is it convenient to you? My village is very close to Mapusa.
15 minutes drive. Want to come over right now? Most welcome! Please do!” Less than 30 minutes later, we were at Remo’s +/-150-year-old magnificent ancestral home.
A warm hug. “So good to see you again Ronnie, been a long time!”. I was at ease instantly.
We had warned Shane (our youngest) to behave himself; within seconds he ignored our warning and disappeared with Capitão, the 5-month old Great Dane, and Coronel, the 6-month old German Shepherd.
He Came running back a while later panting, “There is a swimming pool in the backyard!”
“Go guys jump!” Remo insisted. The kids wasted no time - within minutes all three were jumping and screaming in the well maintained big swimming pool, while we sat chatting over a cup of coffee.
We chatted about his childhood, about his father, about his strict grandpa who wouldn’t allow his kids to take up music, how his father was delighted Remo had inherited his love for music, and went out of his way to give Remo all the support which the father himself had been deprived of. Non-stop questions were answered with ease. Remo smiled about his ‘Hippie days’ in Europe; “They were the best days of my life!” he says.
'The Golden Key to Alexandria' award conferred on him by the Egyptian Government, as was the ‘Padmashree’ by the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam. He frowned upon the current political scenario in Goa. Answered questions about his refusal to accept award from the Goan Government, when he publicly quoted the Goan ministers’ corruption and criminal activities as the reasons for his refusal.
It was now time to venture into Remo’s home recording studio. Ceilings decorated with colourful Indian Sarees, guitars neatly placed in a corner. High-tech computers and microphones.
This was truly Remo’s world!
Awestruck and mesmerized, we had a sneak preview of “India, I Cry” - his latest piece of work about to be released for FREE download on his website www.remomusic.com in a few weeks. Watch out! This one is mind blowing!
“This song is not even a wake-up call; I tried to give those calls 25 years ago” he says. “This is a lament about the fact that we did not wake up all this time, and that now it is already too late.”
Interestingly 25 years ago Remo had released an album titled “Goan Crazy!” containing a song called “Goa, Goan, Gone”. He has re-recorded it a few months ago, and also made it available for free download on his website.
“People congratulate me at parties for my socio-political songs/activities, saying that I have lots of guts, but I don’t accept such congratulations” he says. “I want their involvement. Where are their letters to the editors? Where are their own guts?
I want them to make their stand public, not praise me in private and then go and polish the boots and palms of corrupt ministers in order to get their ‘work’ done!”
“We have to do something before it is too late!” they say. I tell them “Hello, wake up and smell the coffee!
It is ALREADY too late!”
Patriotism oozing from every pore of Remo – A True son of Goa, and of India. Sorry Remo, probably we don’t deserve you! As the saying goes, ‘we have learnt to bury our heads in the sand’.
Warm hug again as we say goodbye. “So nice of you to drop in Ronnie, please be in touch.”
Shane went back running to him from the gate: “Uncle, are you really Remo Fernandes?”
“Yes son!” he says with a huge grin on his face..