Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Birthday Bumps to Big Sister

When you come from a big family like mine, you have a birthday practically everyday. But then there are some birthdays more important than others. And this is one of those weeks. Just two days ago, I carried a post to my Aunt who completed the Enormous Eighty.


The birthday wish today goes out to someone much nearer and dearer. A person whom I’ve learnt such a lot from - a dear Big Sister. 



Image result for happy birthday big sister




Since they say“Don’t ever ask a woman her age”, I’m not going to do list of songs from the year of her birth. Being a music blog, it surely seems more appropriate to steer through the various songs she’s sung over the years. This was the family Anthem in 1985-86. We even sang it on stage at a couple of weddings...



Being a family of six children, we usually got grouped as the elder three and younger three. In days before satellite TV or even National TV, we spent a lot of time together as a family. I remember one particular Saturday morning or maybe a holiday when Mum was doing the chores, the elder three of us were seated on the sofa in the front room while Dad had his guitar in hand, as he taught us a song that his Pinto family did so very well. Greenfields.


Not to the Greenfields, but to the brown mountains of Khandala.... That's a trip a remember taking with Sarita, a few days before her engagement... For the first time ever, we headed out without pre-bookings or reservations... We just walked down to the nearest State Transport Bus Stop and hopped into the first bus that was headed up there. After a gruelling journey of four hours we reached our destination.... St. Mary's Villa at Khandala where we met the ever vibrant Rev Fr. Robin Selwyn... who graced the wedding a few months later with a beautiful song - True Love... 



While I remembered that trip fondly a couple of months ago, when along with the wife and kids, we made a getaway to St. Stanislaus Villa in Lonavla going up those very same hills. 

My big sister and I made one more bus journey through the Western Ghats soon after my SSC examinations, when just the two of us travelled for a month-long vacation to Mangalore. We spent the first week of that trip with my Mum's sister in the convent. 

On my previous visit to Mangalore, some seven years earlier as well, we (the entire family) had spent our first few days of vacation at the Bethany Convent in Kulshekar where my aunt - the same one - was posted. And that's where Dad taught the three of us this song... Green Green Grass of Home



My next visit to Mangalore after that memorable trip with my sister was a good twenty-six years later for a family wedding. My sister had made many many trips to our hometown in the interim, by virtue of having in-laws in that wonderful city.... 

She's in another wonderful city now... the city of Auckland... and she has a wonderful lawn around the house.... While she has the green grass around home, I'm get to enjoy the wonderful rains at home... right here in Mumbai.... and watch this island (Mumbai) turn into a stream. 



And the rainy days remind me of her 21st birthday, when we all had her friends who had recently graduated from St. Xavier College get together for a party at our house... only for a couple of them to be stranded at our place for a couple more days. 

The rains of Mumbai have a special calling. How happy we'd feel during the one odd day of the year while in Dubai, when the heavens opened up there... What's your favorite season... Here's some more nature to think of... 


All Kinds of Everything... this is one of the earliest songs I remember Sarita singing solo, as a seven- or eight-year old. Another song I fondly remember her singing as a young girl is Paper Roses.


Have you ever noticed that for every song about loving relationships there are two about broken ones. Sadly, that song was not the only one in the repertoire. Others that made it there included Killing Me Softly... 



and a few years later... Everybody's Somebody's Fool.



Growing up as the eldest of six, Sarita was extremely shy and soft spoken, a little nervous as well of taking on new things... But with every new stage in life, that fear diminished. From a shy school girl, to the average teenager she put in her heart and soul in everything she did... a perfect example for us two boys who were next in line at home to follow... Nominated the first ever Catholic Leader in her school was one point of recognition. Many years later she nearly single-handledly managed the Summer Camp at the parish including a host of events for a whole month. 

And life brought her a whole new string of opportunities right after she met this incredible man that was just made for her. Anil and Sarita have perfectly complemented each other over the past 26 years of marriage. 



When marriage took her to the foreign land to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, it was over to the two of them to set the foundations for their lives. They both excelled in everything they took up. In the first year of their marriage, the spent a lot of time making music together while performing in the band - Deja Vu, where she would have performed this song - Simply The Best.




The years have seen the both of them soar to great heights and excel in whatever they reached out to do. From being supportive and encouraging to all their siblings and families, achievement in their jobs and careers, and caring and nurturing two sons - Keith and Karl - to be the wonderful youngsters that they are... and talented as well. I'm quite sure when she looks back down the road of life, this song would definitely be a secret to success... I Have A Dream.


A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. - Colin Powell

Looking back on the years of my big sister, that's what I see... The determination and hardwork that she's put in to be just PERFECT.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARITA


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