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!
Truly a loving son reminiscing about one’s gregarious Dad. A chip of the block in many ways. The birds too come out in large numbers from wherever in fond rememberance. Cheers🥂
Thanks Trevor. A splinter rather than a chip from the old block I’d say would be a more realistic representation!
Anil Gadre says
Today is my dad’s birthday too. He would have been 90 today. WISH YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR !
Wow, that’s quite a coincidence. I remember your Dad well. Thorough gentleman if ever there was one.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you too!!
Makarand Saraf says
Fantastic narrative and fantastic shots as always
Thanks Makarand. So glad you liked it!
Lisa Lobo says
Boy – do I remember those parties!! Sure your Dad is grinning now saying “ you know son in my days I did not fly to Goa but spent hours driving…..just to smell the air and sit out in the balcao…….”
Ha ha! You think?…
I think it would be more on the lines of:
“Bloody hell! You buggers have it easy. In our day we had to drive the bloody car down to Goa to sit our on the balcao and enjoy the fresh air with a shot of good goan grog!
Gia Maria Aranha says
Hey Ian,Complaints of the season as it were!!Fantastic read, we are all richly blessed love to Vanessa
Thanks Gia!! Compliments of the season to you and all at home too!