LYRICS OF LOSS AND LONGING
A preview of Apurbayecho Kunvor, Dr Francisco Colaço’s tribute to his departed son.
By Walter Menezes
He was bestowed with exceptional qualities of head and heart. Gentle, kind and humble, he was always full of compassion for the poor and the needy.
All through his school days at Loyola’s, Margao, he remained steadily focused on his goal. Two years in Chowgule College thereafter, when the doors of Goa Medical College opened up for him, he knew he would one day follow in his father’s footsteps.
But God sometimes has other plans…
After three consecutive night-duties in his first year post-graduation residency in Medicine, he was returning home on his motor-bike when the two-wheeler skidded at Kesarval and he suffered multiple head injuries.
A week later, on 17.11.1996, his ‘wheel of life’ stopped.
Melvin Pablo Colaço returned to the Lord!
The death of his bábá in the prime of his life left a horrible hollow in Dr Francisco Colaço’s heart. He was shattered. And so were Fernanda, his wife and Elaine and Anabelle, his daughters.
Losing a son around whom our lives - and our dreams - are built and centered is never easy. It was not easy for Dr Colaço, either. In a touching article on GT last year, he wrote of those final moments of Melvin’s journey on earth, ‘Friends, relatives and admirers, who had smiled and laughed with him yesterday but never thought he would say goodbye so prematurely - dutifully and heartbroken - came to be now his gentle pall-bearers. I vividly remember the awful empty feeling in the pit of my stomach when his casket was being lowered into the grave. The thoughts of ending my own life were uppermost in my mind, as friends and loved ones jostled to pull us – his inconsolable parents and his two sisters – away from the graveside.’
Time, sometimes, does not heal all wounds. As Dr Colaço confesses, ‘years of depression and sleepless nights followed…sometimes waking up early morning, and for just a blessed split second, thinking that everything was just like before.’
Thirteen years since that tragic night, Dr Francisco Colaço has been bravely carrying his cross, immersing himself in his Echocardiography & Ultrasound Centre at Margao, contributing articles to local newspapers and lending his voice in support of various social issues at public forums.
But when the day is done or when there is a pause and a quiet moment, through the cold recesses of time and tide, Melvin returns: sometimes as a star, shining brightly in the sky and sometimes like a prince from the fairy tale.
Dr Francisco Colaço’s VCD, Apurbayecho Kunvor (Beloved Prince), to be released on 29.12.2009 at Daddy’s Home Auditorium, Gogol, Margao, is in essence not only a tribute from a father to his departed son but is also a mirror of the special bond that existed between them and the lasting love residing in the secret chambers of his heart.
A great musician and singer, Dr Colaço’s lyrics, set to memorable music by Daryl Rodrigues and Tony Fernandes with Braz Gonsalves on the soprano sax, are sure to tug your soul-strings, long after the track is over.
There is an unusual prelude to the title song, the appearance of a prince on a white horse. There is anguish and pain, Dr Colaço’s voice choked with emotions, as he begins:
Dhovea ghoddear bosun dislolo
Sopon nhoi mhunn
Konn mhaka sangtolo
(The prince from the story
I see him, there he was
Riding on a white horse
Oh! Will someone tell me but
That a dream it was not?)
Dr Colaço then wakes up from his dream and he knows that even as he relives the memories of his son, kalliz kitlem doyall / utor kitlem mogall (how kind was your heart / how sweet your word), he must rise and face the world. Again and again. In moments such as these, he turns to his Lord and asks:
Di Dhonia mhaka
Zodd zal’lo sonvsar
(Grant me, Oh! Lord
Some comfort I pray
My world is burdened
Help me to face the day)
The deepest thoughts, the fullest emotions of loss and longing find their outlet in the words and voice of Dr Francisco Colaço in Apurbayecho Kunvor. The tribute and the track will leave you with tears in your eyes!
(This article first appeared on the Gomantak Times (Goa) - English newspaper
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