My Dad was born on the 23rd December 1919.
Being a few days away from Christmas it was the ideal time to throw a party and over time ‘Leon’s Birthday’ become a permanent fixture on many a calendar. So much so that in its heyday invitations never needed to be issued. It was always taken for granted that the party was on. And believe me, our large ground floor flat at Bode House on Ormiston Road, Colaba was packed to the rafters on that day with the festivities going on till well into the wee hours of the morning.
Incidentally it was not always held in Colaba. In 1967 it was held at the Mayor’s Bungalow at Shivaji Park and in later years it moved to the terrace of Laburnum on D’Monte Park Road, Bandra.
Dad passed away in 2007 but till today day old-timers still reminisce about the D’Souza parties on the 23rd of December…
Our farmhouse in Goa was build by my Dad in the late 90’s and was his pride and joy. Ever since he died I took over the role of looking after the ancestral property and visit it once a month.
Dad’s passion for wildlife rubbed off on me and whenever able I try and club my visit with a birding tour.
In December 2018, I had just finished a great trip to Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa and needed to spend a morning at the farmhouse before returning back to Mumbai on the 23rd of the month – Dad’s birthday.
I had an early afternoon flight to catch and in Dad’s memory, I planned to sit out on the front porch with a cup of coffee and watch the birds before packing up to make my flight.
The birds on most mornings are a treat to watch, but on that particular morning the variety of species on display were nothing short of amazing.
Below are a small selection of images I took that day. If the ol’ man is watching from up there – and I’m pretty sure he would be – he’ll be tickled pink!
Happy Birthday Dad!