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Make way for the Don

PRABALIKA M. BORAH
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Chat Don Moen enjoys being the voice that lulls babies to sleep and being the father in the kitchen with his five children around

Don Moen loves it when mothers come up to him and say, ‘I put my little one to sleep with your music.’ Don says, “My friends ask whether that upsets me? I tell them I feel flattered. It is a joyous thing to know that babies calm down with my voice.”

Singer, performer, and an orator, Don Moen who is a popular producer of Christian worship songs was in town for a show at the Lal Bahadur Stadium on Wednesday evening. The day also happened to be his youngest son’s 21st birthday. And since Donnie (that’s how he is called) was missing his son, the organisers arranged for a cake. “That was a very sweet gesture. I will show my son the picture of this cake and the little celebration miles away from home,” he says.

Don insisted that he wants to chat in the coffee shop of the hotel he was staying and no sooner than anyone could suggest another place, he said, “I want the south Indian filter coffee,” and gestured the act of pulling coffee which is done while preparing coffee in the South. On seeing the brewers and the imported steamers, Don insisted once again, “I want the coffee that flows from one tumbler to the other.”

Coffee arrives and he says, “It is indeed great, this is the first cup of the day and it has lifted my spirits. The act of making south Indian filter coffee is unique. I was surprised when I saw it for the first time in Chennai.”

Food — curries precisely, Don says is his weakness. Apart from that, he loves cooking for his children and writing his songs and singing. Don Moen the singer wasn’t at all keen at being a singer/song writer when he was growing up.

“Piano lessons came as a rule of the family, which later became the violin. And when I was forced to learn the piano, I told myself I will not do the same with my kids. I wanted to be a navy pilot, but I couldn’t go to college. I did have a backup plan and it was to be a forest ranger. I loved the woods and hunting,” he laughed. He quickly adds, “Oh! I made sure all my five boys went for piano lessons,” he chuckles.

Music he says is important to discipline children and develop a finer taste for music as they grow up. e realised the need for the compulsory piano lessons later when he started to understand music.

What about his dream of being a navy pilot and a forest ranger? “They are dreams.” His music scholarship landed him at music classes and then Don went to play in Opera groups. “My family couldn’t afford to send me to college. I was not disappointed as I was an average student,” recollects Don.

When asked how or what inspires him to write songs, he answers, “Gratitude to the almighty for all that he does to us. In moments of pain, a prayer out of helplessness becomes the lyric and in moments of joy it is a prayer expressing your gratefulness. When the prayer takes the form of a song we see that we are able to connect to millions and that is because we go through similar emotions. Time varies.”

PRABALIKA M. BORAH

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