Anthony Gonsalves

26 September 2010, Mysore Association, Matunga, Mumbai


Sunday, September 26, 2010 marked the occasion of felicitation of senior music arranger Anthony Gonsalves which was followed by book launch of "The Unsung Heroes". Dinesh Ghate escorted the main personality of the evening, Anthony Gonsalves.

The legendary arranger was infirm, not in good health and hard of hearing but to the key question about with whom he found the best working style, he recited many names but specifically mentioned "Salil Choudhary - very special, Madan Mohan - very special". Others gave him freedom to work and so he worked with S D Burman - e.g. Hum aapki aankhon mein from Pyaasa '57, Khayyam (not that much) - Shaam-e-gham ki kasam, SJ - the famous dream sequence from Awaara '51 tere bina aag ye chandni, and so on.

The actual book - a compendium of some of the best interviews of the past by Swar Alaap - was released by ace comedian Johny Lever who shared some truly moving incidents in his life where music gave him life. He shared that as he was about to commit suicide by moving onto a train, at the last moment he jumped aside and went and sat at a barbers shop where he heard the song main to tum sang nain milaake haar gayi sajna. He said 'saala, main is music ko chhodke marne jaa raha tha'. In his inimitable style he also paid tribute to the music of yesteryears thus : "I know aajkal achha music ban raha hai. Lekin lagta hai ....... (pause) ....... China ka maal hai'. The audience of course applaused these comments.

Also present were the Lord brothers Kersi and Burjor, lyricist Naqsh Lyallpuri, Homi Mullan and some other famous musicians. Kersi in his own style said "two people made me cry in my early days. One was my father (Cawas Lord), as he always told us we were not good enough so we tried to excel more - which was somewhat negative way of doing it. The other was Anthony here who did it positively - always in a suit, he would touch his moustache, look at us and say 'difficult no?' This always inspired us to get better at music".

A wonderful Sunday evening.