India’s Tallest Christmas Tree Dazzles on Diwali


Its proud homeowners, Douglas Saldanha, 60 and his mom Grace Saldanha, 88, watched with delight the 50,000-plus lights that forged a heat glow on the large Christmas Tree.

With moist eyes, Douglas remembered how, as a 12-year outdated child alongside along with his elder sister Twila, 14, had purchased the tree from a neighbour, lovingly tended it for years, and together with their dad and mom Henry and Grace, watched it develop and department out majestically for over 5 a long time.

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It was in 1991 when Twila married an NRI Jude Bellow and settled in Houston, USA, the place she educated and labored as a nurse, leaving her child brother Douglas to behave because the ‘Guardian Angel’ for her favorite Christmas Tree.

Suddenly, tragedy struck in 2002 when Twila was detected with most cancers, however she appeared to have miraculously recovered until a extreme relapse two years later and she or he succumbed in June 2005.

“Before passing, she made me promise to decorate our beloved Christmas Tree so beautifully that she could view it from Heaven. I have kept that promise for the past 16 years as a tribute to Twila,” Douglas informed IANS, because the specially-created multi-colour signboard winked its “Happy Diwali” as an alternative of the standard “Merry Christmas”.

In reality, that is the third ‘avatar’ of the tree up to now one yr ? after its conventional decorations spanning the Christmas 2020-New Year 2021 season, the lightings had been prolonged to have a good time India’s Republic Day – 2021, and now Diwali too.

“We lit up for R-Day as our tribute to Twila and millions of health care workers like her and world over, battling the horrors of the coronavirus pandemic, and beam as a ‘shining beacon of hope for humanity’ facing the crisis courageously,” defined Douglas.

Now, the mother-son duo say they won’t dismantle the Diwali lighting, however proceed until Christmas with a number of modifications, and hopefully even until the subsequent R-Day in 2022 and doubtless the seventy fifth Independence Day anniversary in August.

A pine conifer, the Worli tree has already entered a number of report books like Limca Book of Records as India’s tallest, fully-decorated and pure rising phenomenon.

In its maiden Diwali decor, the tree has 1000’s of tiny lamps (diyas), small paper stars and lanterns, streamers and festoons, twinkling multi-coloured fairy lights, all including to the festive season’s heat pervading throughout.

Douglas mentioned he and Twila tended to it for practically 35 years however after her demise, he continued the custom since 2005, with assist from his mom Grace and his late father Henry Saldanha, who handed away in March 2017.

“We had a neighbour nearly five decades ago who grew this tree on his verandah. But, at five feet, it became unmanageable for him, so he sold it to us for a paltry Rs 250. This was peanuts considering Christmas trees were very expensive even in the 1970s,” Saldanha recalled with a smile.

The overjoyed siblings fastidiously replanted it of their backyard, often watered and watched over it because the little plant grew sturdy, wholesome and straight up.

Whenever the household visited Twila within the US, or she flew all the way down to India, her first concern was for her beloved Christmas tree and she or he would ask them the whole lot about it, having fun with each titbit.

“We feel that our Twila’s spirit resides in the Christmas Tree. It exudes so much love and warmth for all those who see or touch it. Absolute strangers walk in and after admiring it, walk out as old friends… This time, some people even offered us boxes of Diwali sweets,” smiled Douglas.

A monetary marketing consultant with an MNC, Doughals spends over Rs 1,00,000 annually to embellish the tree for his sister and his dad, who mentioned earlier than dying: “Celebrate my life, don’t mourn for me and Twila and I shall see our beautiful Christmas tree from Heaven.”

Now, he needs some sponsors to chip in with the massive expenditure and the revenues would go to teach road children and different social actions.

Source: IANS

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