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Doha   :  Naveen-Vijaya from Qatar crowned first-ever Baila Jodi at MCC 25th anniversary bash

Naveen-Vijaya from Qatar crowned first-ever Baila Jodi at MCC 25th anniversary bash

Doha    April   30:

In a first-of-its-kind, glittering and historic celebration hot favourite finalists of host country Qatar Naveen D’Souza and Vijaya D’Souza were crowned first ‘Baila Jodi’ at the Gulf Baila Naach finals, held as part of the culmination of Silver Jubilee celebrations of Mangalore Cricket Club (MCC) at the sprawling Regency Halls here on Friday April 28. Naveen was conferred with the title ‘Gulf Baila King’ while Vijaya D’Souza was conferred with the title ‘Gulf Baila Queen’.

It was indeed a nail-biting finish with 6 couples, representing GCC (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, KSA and UAE) countries dished out a sparkling performance with each couple trying to outweigh their opponents. At last it was Naveen-Vijaya pair who walked away with the crown and cash prize of Rs 1 lac in a photo-finish quelling the challenge by formidable pair from Oman Deepak Ranjan D’Souza and Glenda Castelino who had to be satisfied with the first runners-up trophy and cash prize of Rs 50,000, while Nicksan D’Souza and Sharal D’Souza from UAE bagged the second runners-up and Rs 25,000 cash prize.

The much anticipated evening commenced with a short introduction and welcome by one of the comperes of the evening Hera Pinto who had specially been flown in from Mangaluru for the occasion. Following this, guests of the evening along with the past presidents of MCC were escorted to the dais by president, vice-president and executive committee members of MCC. Thereafter 6 finalist pairs of the Gulf Baila Naach Anugraha D’Souza and Pramila Pinto from Bahrain, Harold Mathias and Reema Mathias from Saudi Arabia, Deepak Ranjan D’Souza and Glenda Castelino from Oman, Nicksan Vishal D’Souza and Sharal Carol D’Souza from UAE, Patrick Ancil Benito and Laveena Thelma Rodrigues from Kuwait and Naveen D’Souza and Vijaya D’Souza from host country Qatar, along with coordinators of each country were welcomed into the venue in a unique style. Each pair was welcomed with a different dance form such as Kodava, Kharvi, Kudmbi, Arabic etc.

Stage was then thrown open to famed Band Charitra, Mangaluru’s highly sought after Desi Rock live band. True to their reputation, they had a rocking opening with leader singer, Konkani Youth Rock Star Melwyn Anthony setting the tone for the evening which was followed by mesmerising performances by female lead, fame playback singer Akshada Talaulikar and Konkani’s showman Patrick Pereira.

The all important part of the evening Gulf Baila Naach finals, then started with the entry of compere Roshan D’Silva. He is known to be one of the best comperes going around in Konkani world these days and has acquired fame for hosting numerous successful mega events including Gulf Voice of Mangaluru, GCC region’s first Konkani reality show. He was given a thunderous welcome by cheering audience. Right at the onset, the judges of the finale Avid Deepak D’Cruz, Cecille Rodrigues and Elton Mascarenhas were introduced to the audience through a video presentation as MCC ex-com members led them to their seats.

With audience picking up their seats, judges occupying their chairs and compere ready to go, the finale began with the first round of performances. In the first round each of the 6 pairs was supposed to present their dance for fast baila numbers. It was a scintillating and exhilarating session with each of the pair giving their best to impress the jury and the audience. Their dancing talent, hard work that they have put in for this historic event was visible as each pair entertained the audience with their elegant moves and charming smiles. For sure judges too had a tough job in deciding the best among the 6 pairs as each pair gave their best on stage. Going by comments of the judges it was very clear that MCC’s initiative of hosting the first-ever baila dance competition was indeed successful and this competition is there to stay for long.

After the first round of competition, a stage programme to mark the Silver Jubilee celebrations of MCC held. Chief guest of the evening P Kumaran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar, guests of honour J R Lobo, MLA Mangaluru South, Ronald Colaco, NRI entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader, Walter Nandalike, managing director of Daijiworld Media Network were called upon to the stage along with the MCC president Prakash Noronha, vice-president Ronald Saldanha, MCC founding member and Advisory committee member Jerald D’Mello, secretary and Gulf Baila Naach convener Riana Pinto. The stage programme began with the welcome speech and keynote address by MCC president Prakash Noronha after which MCC Silver Jubilee celebrations logo was unravelled by Indian Ambassador P Kumaran.

Daya Samrat title to Ronald Colaco

Ronald Colaco was felicitated and conferred with the title of Daya Samrat by MCC president and advisory committee members. He was introduced to the audience by former president of MCC Richard D’Souza.

Acknowledging the honour, Ronald Colaco thanked MCC and wished them on completing 25 glorious years of existence. In his address he highlighted the Mangalurean spirit and affectionate bond shared by various communities with each other in Mangaluru. “Just about a decade and half ago, we were known for our peaceful and harmonious living. But of recent a few vicious forces of each community and religion have tarnished the image of our city. These fringe elements are small in number and could be found in every community. They need to be checked by the leaders and people of each community. Priority must be given for peaceful living. I specially call upon Mangalurean Christian community to take active part in politics and get involved in the society. We have already begun this process and J R Lobo getting elected as MLA shows that we have upright and able people in our community who can take plunge into politics, thereby giving a voice to concerns and fears,” he added.

All the past presidents of MCC were felicitated on the occasion, Founder president Lawrence Vas, visionary and charismatic Felix Lobo, untiring Vivian D’Souza, multifaceted Richard D’Souza, man with mass appeal Norbert Corda, loving and affable Alwyn D’Souza, silent yet creative Sunil D’Silva were honoured by guest of honour J R Lobo for their contribution in building MCC and leading it through these 25 successful years.

Addressing the gathering J R Lobo called upon NRIs to return to Mangaluru instead of settling in Canada, US, Australia etc when they think of leaving gulf after years of hard work. “My motive of visiting you is to encourage you to think of relocating to Mangaluru. We have and will create job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship and provide you with support from government so that you come back to your native and contribute in building our city,” he said. MCC’s souvenir containing the history, achievement and path trodden by MCC from 1992-2017 was released on the occasion by Walter Nandalike along the president and executive committee members of MCC. Addressing the gathering, chief guest of the evening P Kumaran, Indian Ambassador to Qatar lauded the efforts of MCC in providing platform to Mangalureans working and living in Qatar and congratulated all the past presidents, committee members, present office-bearers on the occasion of the silver jubilee.

After the stage programme, the second round of the Gulf Baila Naach commenced. In the second round the contestants were to dance to slow baila numbers. Having set the ball rolling at the first round and having been given rousing applause by the audience, buoyed contestants came up with eh stunning performance, each pair outdoing and outclassing the other. The suggestions given by the judges during the first round were implemented in the second round and this helped them in raising the standard of the competition by several notches. It was not just entertainment but pure treat to watch the finalists. None of them is a professional dancer yet everyone put up sterling performance that took them a step closer to be crowned first ever Konkani Baila King and Baila Queen.

This was followed by a short stage programme again during which representatives of various Mangalurean associations based in the Gulf countries, sponsors of the event Gulf International Enterprises, JJ Infrastructure, ATS Group, Integral Trading and others were presented with mementoes by the MCC advisors and office-bearers. Other GCC-based organizations also took this opportunity to felicitate MCC on completion of 25 years of its existence.

With this the final and most awaited round of the finals was commenced. This was Baila Masala round wherein each of the pairs was asked to pick a chit on the spot containing a number in the first part. Each pair was supposed to dance to 3 numbers on the spot for 3 minutes. It was a live music round and Band Charitra belted out the baila masala numbers in their usual rocking style. This proved to be the most entertaining round and the contestants came up with the on-stage choreography to the given numbers and provided a glimpse to the judges into their coordination, dancing skills, impromptu choreography etc. It was such an entertaining and energetic round that even the audience stormed to the dance floor creating a fantastic atmosphere in the majestic Regency halls. Once each of the pairs finished, the second part of the Baila Masala began. In this second part all the 12 finalists were given 5 minutes on stage to dance together to the live baila singing by Band Charitra. Again this was the crescendo as not just the contestants but the audience too were seen dancing with gusto and zeal.

MCC also felicitated and presented the mementoes to Band Charitra members that consisted of Melwyn Antony D’Souza on lead vocals with Goan mesmerizing singer Akshada Talaulikar and Patrick Pereira, Loy Valentine Saldanha on keyboard and vocals, Patson Pereira as lead guitarist and vocalist, talented yet unsung Rikith Soans on bass guitar and Ian Sachin Saldanha on drums percussions, judges Avil D’Cruz, Elton Mascarenhas and Cecille Rodrigues, media partner Daijiworld team Dayanand Kukkaje, Narayan and Praveen Tauro, technical director of Gulf Baila Naach Eric Ozario, the Gurkar of Mandd Sobhann and technical advisor of Gulf Baila Naach Louis Pinto, the president of Mandd Sobhann, comperes of the evening gorgeous Hera Pinto and charming Roshan D’Silva.

While Gulf Baila Naach was the centre of attraction of the evening, it was the performance of Band Charitra that was the icing on the cake. Charitra has already performed in Oman and UAE and in Qatar they again proved as to why they are given top billing among the Mangalurean rock bands. Charitra has an outstanding ability to set floor on fire with their exhilarating and spectacular performances. It has set the music world in Indian and abroad ablaze with their sensational blend of vocals, instruments, rhythm, visual technique in trend, and showmanship. Their extensive repertoire of music such as Konkani, Bollywood, and rock music is what makes every party a big success and today was no exception as they kept the audience entertained throughout with their superlative performance.

A special word must be said about comperes of the evening. Roshan D’Silva needs no introduction. The charming ‘Vamanjoor Halwa’ is the most sought-after Konkani comperes these days due to his ability to keep the audience gripped throughout the mega shows, spontaneity, wit and charm. He was at his usual best again, living up to his reputation.

Hera Pinto has already carved a niche for herself in Mangaluru, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa and across India as one of the most promising multi-lingual corporate comperes. Tagged with a punchline “Spreading Smiles”, she has been creating waves in the entertainment industry. Known for her abilities, to convert any event into a fun-loving and entertaining event, Hera was at her best at evening’s proceedings and her compering came in for a lot of praise from the audience and the dignitaries who graced the occasion.

The silver jubilee celebrations of MCC were also attended by the office-bearers of various Gulf-based and local organizations. Austin D’Souza Prabhu Chicago, veteran Konkani writer and vice-president of Jagotik Konkani Sangatan, Arun Palimar, Gurkar of Aangann Konknneche, Riyadh, Dilip Correa, president MCCP, Muscat-Oman, Stanley Fernandes (Dattu), MCCP Core Committee member and chairman of Silver Jubilee Committee, Muscat, Henry Almeida, president Konkani Kuttam, Bahrain, Louis Pinto, president Mandd Sobhann and Eric Ozario, Gurkar, Mandd Sobhann, Arthur Pais, president of Mangalore Cultural Association, Qatar, Ravi Shetty, president of Tulu Koota Qatar, Seetharam Shetty from Bunts Qatar etc were also present on the occasion.

While Gulf Baila Naach was organized as part of Silver Jubilee celebrations of MCC, its success and the way it was embraced by the audience and the contestants, most of those who attended this event were of the opinion that it should not stop here but should continue, perhaps in the way first Konkani reality show of the Gulf Region Gulf Voice of Mangalore has gone on. This feeling was given wings when MCCP Oman under the leadership of Dilip Correa and visionary Stanley (Dattu) Fernandes decided to host the second edition of Gulf Baila Naach in Oman in the year 2019. An announcement in this regard was done by Walter Nandalike much to the appreciation of the audience.

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