Brian Nazareth – Unsung Hero
By Antony D’Cunha
He is called the original Rolling stone by his daughter, a Rocker by his son. To those who know him, a silent worker, a brilliant organiser and a friend of the poor. Known for his unbridled enthusiasm in promoting and executing activities that benefit the community, his no nonsense style of functioning is what he is remembered for in community circles. A team member to the core and a gentleman at heart our choice for this month’s edition is none other than our own Brian Nazareth.
Born to the Late Francis and Elsie Nazareth on the 6th of October 1958, Brian had the good fortune to be touched and baptised by the Servant of God Msgr. RFC Mascarenhas who also happens to be his Great Grand Uncle. Brian had his early education at the St. Mary’s School Mazagaon Mumbai, a school run by the Jesuits and known for its high level discipline and leadership grooming. The meaning of hard work, endurance and assertiveness was ingrained in his psyche at this institution.
Relocating to Mangalore in 1970 Brian continued his education at the Milagres High School Mangalore. It was here that he put his leadership training gathered at his earlier school to full use. Milagres at that time was a bit different from the vibrancy that you witness at the institution today. Brian organised student groups to take part in inter-school Scout meets, singing and elocution competitions in which he also took part. His foray into western music was to be another one in a series of twists in his life. Brought up listening to Elvis Presley and the Beatles on an old Gramophone, Brian’s talent was recognised when he crooned for fun at a cousin’s wedding. The band members were at his house the next day asking him to be a lead singer in their Band, ‘The Generation Gap’ of Bendur. Brian’s was then 14 years old. He was the youngest musical professional at that time.
The growing years were tumultuous and the passion of using Politics as a social tool took its toll and left him battered and bruised after a short flirtation with left wing politics. Having lost a year of College he surrendered to another great soul Rev Fr. Bernard D’souza. This was the beginning of yet another learning curve and a two year stint at St. Joseph’s Junior College Bajpe, under the great teacher, academician and administrator reinforced in him the values of dedication, discipline and a die-hard attitude. His mantra of life continues to be guided by the cliché that Fr. Bernard always repeated ‘Impossible is found in the dictionary of fools’.
Back in Mangalore to continue his degree at the St. Aloysius College, Music continued to be his soul mate. He brought together a group of talented musicians and together formed a highly successful musical ensemble called the ‘Nuclear Orbit’.
Although Country/western and Pop were his forte, he was equally at home with Rock music, and then going full circle into the Konkani baila and bringing the crowd to their feet at wedding receptions and gathering. A chance call up by Jawahar Pinto of Paradela Bijey saw him entering into serious Konkani singing. Developing his own inimitable style with the backing of Paradela and the guidance of Gerry D’mello Bijey and others Brian rocked the Town Hall stage with his scintillating performances at the Paradela Nites of the early 80’s. Konkani music aficionados still recall his lively rendering of ‘Zaithe Tharnate’ and ‘Taxi Taxi’ among others. Sitting in the audience at one Paradela Nite was another stalwart of the Konkani literary world Cha Fra Dacosta, who summoned Eric Ozario and indicated that Brian sing his compositions at the first CHA FRA Nite. It was a case of ‘Mile sur mera tumhara’. A nite which produced evergreen Cha Fra hits like ‘Raananthelyamaankda ye kushipaauv’, ‘Somari Paapari Laachari’ , ‘Tu Konali go Por’, ‘Konali go nath’ etc. All India Radio was the next step and it was a proud moment for his dad to listen to his son’s voice on the radio rendering ‘Zaithe Tharnate’.
Completion of his graduation in 1980 meant exploring greener pastures and yet another twist of fate saw him landing a good job with an International Airline in Mumbai. The Gulf boom was at its peak and Brian was not to be left behind, packing his bags he set of for Muscat in 1982 to start a career as a Travel agent.
It was all work and more work for this young man in Muscat until he decided on one leave that he needed someone to share his joys and happiness as well as the down phases. Now who says that the girl meets boy in a shopping mall is a recent phenomena. Brian met his future bride Jovita one late evening under a flickering tubelight at Gokul market opposite the old bus stand in Hampankatta. As they shook hands after being introduced the tube light fused. It’s now 25 years and after two kids, Priyanka and Pritish, they continue to hold hands more tighter, each one guiding the other. Priyanka now is employed with KPMG Bangalore and Pritish is studying in the 7th standard.
A community meeting one evening saw him being propelled into the Vice President position under Mr. Walter Monteiro, They were trying times Brian confesses and in his own words “ego clashes, and personal agendas led to a community in turmoil and confusion all around. If History has to be placed in its right perspective, it was at this trying times that stalwarts like Oswald Soares and Walter Monteiro took over the helm of affairs and under the guidance of the Late Fr. Augustine Antao, sturdied the rocking ship and MCCP hasn’t looked back since”. Brian took over the mantle of President in 1995 streamlining the organisational structure, increasing membership and bringing in confidence and camaraderie within the community. He continued to serve in the Executive committee in various positions so that the organisation got stronger.
Not one to hanker after appreciation or bragg about achievements Brian continued to work for the community in the Ghala Church of which he was a parishioner forming the Ghala Mangaloreans for assisting the Church in its functioning that is going stronger by the day.
Brian moved to Sohar a few years ago to set up operations for the Travel agencies he was employed with and has now relocated to India basing himself at picturesque landscape Koppa in Chikmagalur district looking after his various business interests.
Besides all these activities, he takes time to report community and socially relevant issues to www.mangalorean.com and other media channels.
Jovita and Brian complete 25 years of married life on the 27th of January 2012.
We at MCCP while congratulating the couple as they celebrate the silver jubilee, wish them many more years of Happiness together, may the Silver mellow into Gold. Yes, Brian Keep Rocking…….