The East Indian Awards and Cultural Food Fest at St Stanislaus School Grounds in Bandra (W) late last night, was a mix of culture and cool
The East Indian Awards and Cultural Food Fest at St Stanislaus School Grounds in Bandra (W) late last night, was a mix of culture and cool. The big draw of the fest, an 11-person all East Indian band Eastiria, belting out East Indian numbers that rocked the Western suburb gave its first ever public performance. They sang East Indian evergreen songs like kalza cha tukra (piece of my heart), maiyeche chandni (moon of my love) and yera kails mana (crazy little thing called love).
Eastiria gets into the groove at St. Stanislaus Bandra (W). Pics/Syed Sameer Abedi
“The name Eastiria comes from East for the East Indians and Iria which means an orchestra. We had an idea of forming a band two years ago, we have performed at community events but this is a first public performance,” said Welbour Gomes, one of the lyricists and singers.
A selfie is must during sound check
Alphi D’souza, sarpanch of the Mobai Gaothan Panchayat (MGP) which organised the awards and food fest said, “The group, by its very formation, pays tribute to our great senior East Indian singers. We hope to make a youth connect and lure back those who have drifted away from our culture. It is an effort to keep the East Indian dialect too.”
The band comprised musicians Kevin Jacinto on the keyboard, Terry Coutinho (drums), Michael Pinto (Bass Guitar), Leroy Jacinto (Rhythm/Lead Guitar), Clint Caston (Alto sax), Jude Gomes (Percussion) and Rosen Gonsalves on the (Tenor Sax). The singers were Welbour Gomes, Marina Gomes, Anisha Antony and Lysllan Gomes.
Kevin Jacinto said, “We came together in November 2015. We were musicians and singers from choirs like Malad, Kurla, Vile Parle and Kalina churches. We first performed at an East Indian wedding in November. We have been practicing twice a week for the last six months.”
The practice paid off, as the crowd was grooving in sync to the songs. Lysllan Gomes, singer said, “It is very exciting to see the response. Many friends have come to hear me sing.”
Patricia Pereira (20) from Marol said, “I have always enjoyed East Indian songs, but, often, I have felt ashamed to admit that I listen to them. Eastiria is adding a new cool quotient to the music. I would love to see the band in concert that is how good they are!”
The old were reminded of the hey days when every East Indian was proud to be from the community. Mary Kinny from Malad (70) said, “The songs were beautiful and most importantly, they retained the authentic East Indian flavour. I am happy we have a band. but consistency is important. Here is hoping to see and hear more of them.”
Eastiria is hoping to perform at weddings, communion parties and other East Indian events. “MGP has given us this platform to perform and we hope to break the stereotype of women singers in lugras (traditional East Indian women's wear). We want to appeal to youngsters and inspire them to join us or to start their own band. I have always had this dream and today it has come true, an East Indian band has been formed. We are open to concerts and bigger performances,” ended an elated Marina Gomes, lyricist and lead singer of the band.