Sentiments & Tributes To The Music Legend Desmond de Silva – by Hussain Jayah
Hussain Jayah – The Former Sri Lankan Airlines Country Manager
Desmond De Silva the handsome Prince of Baila !
Desmond De Silva was first introduced to me by Mr Shanthikumar current CEO of the Ramada Colombo and who is also the President of the City Hotels Association, in the latter months of 1993. I was then heading the Promotions Department of SriLankan Airlines ( then Air Lanka). I still recollect the day he walked into my office and the conversation that took place therein. It was he who put all of us at ease and before long, we were chatting as if we had known each for many years. Eventually we saw him as our“ Ambassador “ and he performed at many “Air Lanka “ events overseas. The events that he perform was of high quality and was meticulously handled by him.
Meanwhile our friendship grew stronger than ever, and we always got together whenever the opportunity arose. Whenever he flew down to Sri Lanka,he calls me prior, and requests for “ pittu and baabath ”, a favorite Malay dish.
He was mindful that I loved music, and discreetly pushed me up on stage at forums whenever the opportunity arose . During a large gathering at a function in Muscat Oman, Desmond, Sunil with his band Gypsies coaxed me to come up on stage, and made me almost a star that evening.
On his visits to Sri Lanka, most evenings were spent together with Budrin ‘ Buddy ‘ Musafer. The 03 of us sometimes spent time together at hotels outside Colombo and chatted till the cows came home, and it was always a matter of continuous laughter. Desmond had a very soft and caring side to him. He never refused his fans when they wanted to take photographs with him. Another noteworthy characteristic in him, is that he was very generous with handouts or tips,especially to waiters and to valets at hotels.
Desmond was a rare wonderful guy who could magically transform a rather dull party or event, into a mega show and the audience loved him so Dearly for it.
He was also a great host, and took great care of me whenever I visited him when he was earlier in UK. I did reciprocate when I was posted to Thailand with SriLankan Airlines.
Coincidentally, this Sunday (09th Jan ‘22), I was feeling quite uneasy in the morning and exactly at 02 minutes after noon, I sent him one of the “forwards” on WhatsApp and followed up with an afternoon snooze. I was thereafter awoken to this sad and shocking news.
Meanwhile the heavens above is busy arranging a Gala event, with both Budrin and Sunil, in the forefront and awaiting the arrival for the “New Kid on the Block” for his sterling Performance.
Goodbye my Dear Friend !