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Mukesh Ghatwal

The Man Who Wrote the Lusofonia Theme Song

Viva Lusofonia’, the theme song for the international games Goa hosted last month, is almost as worldly as the sports event itself. Moving seamlessly between Portuguese, Goan and Indian tones and beats, it’s an extremely fitting tribute to the games that brought together Portugal and its former colonies – and earned Goa wide praise for hosting them successfully.

And who is the man who composed this wondrous melody? None other than our own Mukesh Ghatwal, one of Goa’s most promising talents when it comes to making magic on the keyboard. He was born and brought up in St. Estevam in North Goa.  Music director, arranger, programmer and composer, he has mixed and recorded many beautiful pieces, won many awards and made quite a splash on the local, national and international music scene.

His father Madhav Ghatwal was a teacher of the harmonium, a pump organ, at the Kala Academy. Is it any wonder that Mukesh, too, fell in love with music? His father was into Classical, though Mukesh always tilted toward Western and more modern genres. Before starting his own recording studio, he spent years moving from band to band.


By the river Mandovi


“Music is something for everyone living and has emotions. Sometimes music can express much more than spoken words”, says the 36-year-old Mukesh.

Mukesh is a cool, calm and understanding person who doesn’t care much for musical imitation. He’s an original, and prefers original music.

Mukesh has arranged and composed albums in Hindi, Marathi, English and Konkani. His pieces include Laraham, Shree Gajantakshmi, Sai Daivat Mojem, Mahan Mojo Des, Peheli Nazar, Sundor Goem, Bore Christavem, Jezu Bogos Maka and Mariola.

He’s performed with Remo Fernandes and represented Goa in ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Band Special’ for Zee TV, held at Delhi in 2000. He composed the music for 26th Jan floats representing Goa at Delhi in the 2012, bagging  2nd prize.


Mukesh Ghatwal performing at the Heritage Jazz Festival


Mukesh studied audio engineering at the ‘SAE Technology College’ and theory of music at the Trinity College of London.

He’s noticed some positive changes of late when it comes to music in Goa. “The future of music in Goa is bright and this can be noticed from the fact that previously for any function or event people used to play recorded music and now prefer to have a new composition done for that particular event.”

Case in point: Lusofonia 2014.

Mukesh’s “ Viva Lusofonia” was quite a hit during the games, incorporating three separate styles with a distinctive Goan tilt.

Mukesh plays over a dozen instruments, the main ones being keyboard and base. His other instruments are synthesizer, violin, tabla, ghumott, drums, keyboard, harmonium, guitars, flute, recorder, dholak, drums, harmonica and mandolin.

Mukesh has judged band and singing competitions and dance choreography  for different events at places such as Dempo College, Goa Medical College, All Goa, Maharastra & Karnataka ‘Battle of Bands’, ‘Kingfisher Voice of Goa’, ‘Mirch Sound Check’ By Radio Mirch, singing and dance competitions organized by tiatr academies and a few more.


Recently he was presented the ‘Yuva Srujan Puraskar 2013-14’ at Kala Academy, Campal, Panjim at the hands of Minister for Art and Culture Dayanand Mandrekar along with MLA and Chairman of the Kala Academy Vishnu Surya Wagh. The award was for his contributions in the field of Art and Culture.

He has also won the Tiatr Acadamy Award  for `best music composer` for  the year 2012, the best ‘All Round Musician’ from YBV cultural association – Goa, in 1998 and the 4th place in music arrangement competition at IFFI Goa 2007.

He has composed and arranged music for films with Dolby digital mix, and Songs for Marathi/Konkani films: – ‘Gadya Apla Gaon Bara’, ‘Digant (selected for IFFI 2013)’,  `Ek Ass Anterichi’(Marathi)  ‘Chakra’, ‘Sood’,  Kalok and others. He also composed the background  score for animated movies and documentaries like  Bondla Zoo and Malaria, in addition to Tum Kitem Kortolo, Gadya Appla Gaon Bara(Marathi) and others.


 Besides India, he has performed in the U.S.A (New York), Brazil, Malaysia, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat, Macau and Hong Kong.

One thing we can learn from musician Mukesh is that life is a beautiful melody. When asked what he’d do if it wasn’t music, he replies: “I know nothing else.”