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Bangalore, Jun 16: Legendary Konkani singer, Wilfy Rebimbus, who has endeared himself to the Konkani speaking people all over the world, especially of the Mangalorean origin, through his multi-faceted activities as singer, lyricist, musician, drama and short story writer, continues to cast a spell on the young and old alike and the 258th Wilfy Nite organized by the Konkan Catholic Association proved a big hit and captured the hearts of the Bangalorean Konkani people.

As some of all-time hit songs and other melodious numbers that had made the popular 'Konkan Kogul’ (Nightingale of Konkani) immortal and some lilting new songs were sung by his wife, Meena, who is known as 'Konkan Maina,’ and his children Vishwas and Veena as well as some other singers like Ivan Sequeira, Babitha Pinto, Claude D’Souza, Prem, Ivan Sequeira, Stany D’Souza and Munita Veigas, the jam-packed Chowdaiah Memorial Hall came to life and helped many in the audience, who had heard Wilfy when he was alive, go down memory lane.

The nearly three-hour-long musical extravaganza, interspersed with dances by Studio 5678 artistes and mimicry and jokes by Melwyn D'Almeida, Jerome Moras, Richard Sequeira (of MEMORY fame) along with Dolla Manglur organized by the KCA that is nearing its golden jubilee in aid of its ambitious medical aid fund, captivated the audience.

The Wilfy Nite got off to a singing start when the Jesuit priest Rev Fr Stany D’Souza, Rector & Director of St Joseph’s MBA College, slightly altered a song sung by the late singer in a melodious voice taking the audience, including the Archbishop of Bangalore Dr Bernard Moras, who had just returned after a month-long tour to US, Canada and Gulf countries, by a pleasant surprise.

''I know I might be accused of plagiarisation," confessed Fr D’Souza, pointing out that the ''blame" if any must be laid at the doors of the legendary singer as he had helped in inculcating the habit of humming his songs or modifying them to suit the occasion among almost all the Konkani speaking people even though they may not be as talented as he was. ''All of us, Konkani speaking people, especially of Mangalorean origin, owe a lot to the maestro Wilfy as he taught us to live life in its myriad facets and inspired almost all Konkanis either directly or indirectly to do something for our mother-tongue and its culture," he said echoing the sentiments of most people.

''I am not exaggerating when I say that Wilfy has inspired many a youngsters to develop their innate talents and abilities and express themselves either as writers, singers, dancers or dramatists or even to do something for others, the very message that Jesus Christ taught his followers to love thy neighbor," said Fr D’Souza. The Rector sang a stanza from another Konkani song of Wilfy on motherhood, and said the several songs by the late singer on the virtues and greatness of mother had helped the people to realize the importance of their own mothers and how they selflessly nursed and nurtured them. ''Wilfy is like the river Nile or our own Ganges, which has given rise to innumerous tributaries. The rivers sustain civilizations and also enrich the soil with fertility and thereby sustain the people in different forms," he said pointing out that the river Ganges is believed to be a confluence of three rivers, including Yamuna. ''The third river is not visible but is believed to be the famous Saraswati, which is underneath. The offshoots of Wilfy are innumerous in diverse fields and all have contributed to enriching society, Konkani language and culture," he said.

The Archbishop, in his presidential address, confessed that he was not a singer like Fr Stany D’Souza. ''I have been and continue to be an admirer of Wilfy Rebimbus and the singing by his wife Meena and children. I am especially fond of many of Wilfy songs on mother and always like to hear and enjoy listening," he said pointing out that Wilfy’s songs also had reformist messages and provided valuable insights into many social evils.

Warmly appreciating the diverse activities of the Konkan Catholic Association since its inception 47 years ago and the initiative of its founding members in constructing their own Konkan Bhavan building with a spacious hall as well as providing hostel facilities to over 1500, the Archbishop lauded the efforts in helping over 500 deserving poor students through its Education Fund and also the gesture of raising funds through the Medical Aid Fund to provide assistance to the needy patients. The Association’s activities in organizing various Konkani programmes including staging dramas and musical shows and other social service initiatives were highly commendable, Dr Moras said.

One of the highlight of the Bangalore Wilfy Nite show was a special song composed and sung by Wilfy's daughter Veena on fatherhood, ''Bapaaycha Manaak," with lilting words, 'Mhaaka Janam Dillyaa Dataara..’ which incidentally fulfills a void or rather absence in Wilfy’s huge repertoire of songs on various subjects, including mother. ''Aami Mog Kelo Sangeetacho," the song that became quite hit and marked the narration of the life-story of Wilfy and his family, was the first rendering of the Wilfy Nite and was sung by his illustrious children Vishwas and Veena. It was followed by a mellifluous song sung by Meena, ''Kuhoo Kuhoo Karun Kogule. ''Haanv Tujya Mogaar Padlyaam," ''Veera, Veera," ''Moga Ye," ''Kadhel Sambhaala Kasalo Khell Ho," ''Vanitha Vandana Shalini," ''Zuavana," ''Drugs," ''Maatem Bhaor Paangor Dorina" and ''Zaago Zaagore" were some of the songs that mesmerized the audience.

The angelic trio of girls from the Rego family – Aurelia, Ann and Scholastica – rendered the all-time popular Wilfy song devoted to girls, ''Chali Vorthotva," and thereby captivated the audience. With the 258th Wilfy Nite being staged in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, it was perhaps in the fitness of things that none other than Meena led a group song as the grand finale with a song – Chandada Uru Bengaluru -- in Kannada, the State’s official language.

While Daijiworld.Com is the media partner of the show, Brilliant Printers and ATC Publications were the main sponsors. The various sponsors and donors were honoured on the occasion along with Meena Rebimbus. Konkan Catholic Association President Naveen D’Souza welcomed the gathering while Secretary Michael D’Souza proposed a vote of thanks. Lionel D’Souza compered the main programme, while Lesli Rego did the honours during the entire music show with aplomb.

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