Karnataka's lively coastal city Mangaluru, boasts of a lot of admirable things. The city houses a lady committed to liberation of women and her fortes include music and speech/sound based medical therapy, a rare combination indeed. Jacqueline, or Jackee for short, is a star by her own efforts, no doubt. Her life and activities are focused on achievements in her profession and the love of her life - Music, speech and sound. Jacqeline Fernandes, is a lecturer and Consultant Speech Pathologist at Fr Muller's Medical College Hospital. With a Masters in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology from the well known KMC, Kasturba Medical College, she is also the main stay of the performing musical troupe “ROL”–Rhapsody Out Loud. Her hobbies and interests are versatile: Singing, Oration, Compering and Creative Writing. These are not all! Dancing, Dramatics, Cooking, Fashion Choreography and a lot more! The only drawback she faces is "time", common crunch for most.
The Path of Jacqeline
Her love for working with people, children specially, in the field of speech and hearing, gives her the opportunity to work with all kinds of humans including differently abled. This gives her joy and satisfaction beyond her imagination to her. Hence being a Speech Therapist is profession that anchored her firmly. Music has always been a part of life for Jacqueline, ingrained in her because of her parents, grandparents and their love for music, a mindset which generally prevails even among the educated and professionally qualified Mangaluru liberals. The choice to take up two professions in equal measures was sparked because of this very challenge; to achieve, to be able to prove that being a woman, one can excel and one can live tall.
Perceptions of Family:
For Jackee, a “gifted child”, achievements began at the age of 3 years when she bagged the third place at the "Chitrahar" State Level Dance Competition held in Mangalore way back in 1992-93. From then on, there was no turning back. With academic proficiency, co-curricular recognition also started coming her way. To Jackee's parents she was the talent they were proud to nourish, nurture and most importantly keep rooted. As parents they took pride each time she won or achieved something and a lot has happened over the years which is difficult to quantify. Her parents now see Jackee as a self -assured woman, achieving laurels that have crossed their expectations. As parents they always continue to be her biggest support, strength and admirers, her fans. The outside world sure sees Jacqueline as an achiever but at home, she insists to be ordinary as anyone else can be. This she stresses, is one quality that will never change and a lesson that will remain with her all through her life. Jackee, is the daughter of Blany and Sophia Fernandes, who own the well known shop "Khazana" at Bendoorwell in the city, and it is an inviting place. Jackee and her parents recall their escapade during the Gulf War from Kuwait. However, they have never looked back at it as a dark hour and settled in well hear where their roots are. Since then they have grown exponentially with fond memories of the past. Jackee still has plans for a doctorate in "Voice Aesthetics" to round off her professional expertise. There is still a big part of her life ahead which has to be still navigated. But for now, the supreme power continues to guide her as always, as she says.
Dual roles / occupations:
As a speech therapist, the virtue of patience is the key. The journey in making a child speak or rehabilitate an individual in the field is a painstakingly slow, gradual process. Each time success with a patient comes, it marks a new milestone for Jackee and these are the most interesting and memorable moments that she appreciates and values as a speech therapist. As a teacher, when students look up to her and acknowledge the call to them, comes the peak satisfaction. As a singer, winning the title of “Queen Nightingale” and the standing ovation at "India’s Got Talent" along with her bandmates from ROL are her most interesting and memorable recently treasured episodes. In reality, life is never a result of chance and luck. Everything is hard work and the Almighty's firm designs, she insists.
The future for Jackee
A "way and journey'' that is filled with opportunity to learn more, achieve more and work more. Jackee is convinced that one's work speaks for them and she learns more in all her aspirations to polish and refine herself and prepare for the higher levels. She aspires to be an inspiration to all the young who are always in a dilemma to choose between their passion and education. Sometimes the choice is difficult but never impossible. Her life would be a lesson to inspire every girl who wishes her life to be a multipronged plan. An example to find their identities in a society that prompts them to seek one by taking up another’s name. She insisted, "You don’t need deadlines to be set for you. You aren’t a calendar planner. You have to stand up for yourself and choose to create that path of your own wherein you can achieve or create your identity and personality,"
She is sure and keen to see justice meted to women who have to face a lot of ambiguity in the closed society in the region also in the name of "Moral Policing". She calls it "immoral rowdyism." Asked about her very demanding roles she said, "My choice is two professions, music and speech therapy-both stem from sound, a divine noise. To live up well to both of them in greatest measure is the aim. I want achievement to prove that being a woman, one can achieve and one can live well and definitely take up multiple tasks amidst being career driven and ambitious. Life is not defined by the roles society forces on you. According to me, individuals define their own life and path, the way they choose to live." All this she said in one breath, perhaps enabled by her training. It would have made an ordinary person breathless.
To sum up, her well modulated sincere explanation and a cheerful relaxed approach are impressive. Before she signed off, she wanted to tell the readers of Karnataka Today exclusively, that books are her other "love" and fashion her second skin. She is a prolific writer mostly in her areas of interest at work. The band, “ROL” – started out as "Rhythm of love" in 2013, was lead by A&A- Ashish and his sailor friend Arjun. They wanted to go up in popularity and changed the name of the band to “Rhapsody Out Loud” which highlighted the diverse and varied music it produced. They had a target for "India’s Got Talent’ and Jacqueline's break came on a silver platter, along with well talented drummer Sanjeeth, Sanjay's young brother. Sanjay Rodrigues, was in the orchestra at KMC, and has given Jackee tremendous support on the musical journey; he has guided her and she performs best when Sanjay is in control. The auditions in Mumbai helped her to shape up. The band of eight musicians really put their heads together to make the special music that brought out talents, demand and reputation for "ROL" the band. Speech is silver, but then music is golden for Jacqueline who knows she can hit the high notes on and on.
Accolades and awards.
A few of the many accolades and awards she has won, is presented here as the entire repertoire is too vast to list here: Winner of the Title “Rani Kogull– Queen Nightingale" of Mangaluru at the SOAD- 4, Konkani singing competition organized by Mannd Sobhann in association with Daijiworld 24x7 in May 2015. Winner of The Western and Eastern Vocal Solo Singing Cultural Fest held by FMMC Mangaluru during October 2014. Winner of several Western and Eastern Vocal Solo Singing, at the inter class cultural fest held by Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru from: 2007 to 2013. Winner of several of the “Best MC” for fashion shows, variety entertainment programmes at the inter class cultural fest held by Kasturba Medical College Mangaluru, between 2007-13. Winner of The Creative Writing Event, at the inter class cultural fest held by Kasturba Medical College Mangaluru from 2009 – 2013, apart from many more. Remember she is also a medical professional where she has gathered much appreciation, admiration and gratitude from her associates, students and patients too.