Monday, August 4, 2008

CARMO ROD, Accredited Singer

GOA POST - THEATRE /ART 17-23 Nov. 1995 (Page 8)


CARMO ROD, Accredited Singer

By John Gomes (Kokoy)

The coupling of Carmo Rod’s voice in the song ‘Nach Atanche’ with Souza Ferrao’s lipsync was a serendipitous occurrence that lent luster to Konkani feature film ‘Nirmonn’.

Carmo was born at Orel, Assolna (Salcette) in July 16, 1939 and was baptized as Carmo Piedade Rodrigues. He died on August 13, 1975 in Bombay and as per his last wish, the body was flown to Goa for the funeral to be held at Assolna which was well attended. Mourners did shed tears when the band in attendance played that piece of music on which the everlasting song ‘Opinion Poll’ was based. He left behind his wife Maria and a daughter. His brother, Jennifer Rod, is also a tiatrist and presently based in Kuwait.

Carmo made his dramatic entry (prior to that he was already an established crooner singing English numbers and acting in playlets/concerts in and around A-V-C on the Konkani stage at Princess Theatre, Bangwadi when the Goan Dramatic Group had organized an open signing competition. Both, amateurs as well as professionals were in the fray. Carmo won the contest defeating one and all prominent vocalists hands down, with a song on the eminence of ‘vol’ (a pair of dress sheets worn by our women).

This thumping success paved him the way to appear, act and sing in C.Alvares, Robin Vaz, Alfred Rose, Jacint Vaz, John Claro (who could be spotted on the day of Carmo’s funeral), Jephsis Hitler’s and other countless dramas over a decade. Side by side, he was crooning for Salcette’s then topmost band Radio Serenades led by the renowned maestro, Carlito Rodrigues from Chinchinim followed by another upcoming band AVC Pops.

During his tiatrist life, he staged and directed following dramas: Somdiran, Africa, Avoichi As, Devacho Hukum-Padricho Ghutt (completed overnight), Girestkaiek Lobdon and Tegankui Faxi Favo – the last three were this writer’s creations. Opinion Poll, Independence, Bhangarachem Xit, Xikop Gorjechem, Barlon Brando and Voni-Deor are some popular songs rendered by this accredited singer.

It may be noted that Opinion Poll was ably composed by late Phillip Antao (ex-footballer and referee from Chinchinim) based on original tune by M.Boyer. On this very catchy and legendary tune, we could hear as many as half-dozen songs composed and sung by M.Dod, Joffy de Majorda and others. As Carmo was very fast in catching and picking up any new and even complicated tune, I gifted a dozen compositions of my own to him. I was always delighted to compose songs for him for which he was ever grateful.

Carmo, 23 years my junio, became specially close to me. We were perhaps drawn to each other by the temperamental similiarities between us: the same internal drive to get things done, the same air of independence and the same imperiousness. In October 1965 as I was coming down from Bombay to Goa to be betrothed, Carmo had come to Bombay V.T. to see me off. Emotionally excited, he hugged and kissed me as the train was whistling out. In the bargain, suddenly he decided to accompany me. He was a great source of help and cooperation until I tied the marriage knot on 31-10-1965.

Carmo was born low, but became an opitome to social graces. The sobriquet, Pat Boone of the Konkani stage, deservedly stuck on him. His obvious and discernible inner inspiration propelled him to unmatched levels of excellence in Vol, Opinion Poll and Nach Atanche – the immortal songs Goans cannot afford to forget.

He migrated to Kwuait in search of better pasture. Once in the Sheikhdom, Carmo fell sick and had to come back to India to undergo a brain operation in Bombay. The operation was successful and he happily went back to Kuwait – only to return soon with further complications. He breathed his last in Bombay Hospital (where Springman of the stage – Anthony Mendes also died on 21-3-1964). As a close and bossom friend, I gave a sorrowful song on 15-8-1975 in B.Salcette’s tiatr at Cuncolim, eulogizing his singing qualities.

Carmo Rod displayed his acting talents in varied roles (lover, hero, villain, comedian, old man, landlord, a lady, etcetra). He was neither a composer nor a playwright, but he was definitely a great singer and actor who could be vouched for. He was last seen in Jephsis Hitler’s Bhav ani Zav.

------------------ from the archives of www.goa-world ------------------ courtesy: Jennifer Rod -----------------------

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