S: Going On A Journey
BC: OCTOBER 2011
FC: Happy Birthday Sunju
1: On a special day like today I know you would like nothing more than to have all your loved ones with you: parent and parent like figures who have brought you up and infused you with their love and guidance, uncle and aunts who have held you in their arms as a baby, sisters that simply adore you and would fight ferociously with anyone that dared say anything against their brother, cousins that shared in your naughty adventures, friends who were cohorts to your romantic exploits and other youth madness, shippies that shared your love for the sea and wild tales, nieces and nephews that look up to you and of course your two adoring sons for whom Dad is the most amazing guy in the world! Physical dimensions of time and distance however stands in the way, but their love transcends this limitation as evidenced as you flip through these pages........!
3: Happy Birthday Hubby! | God gave a gift to the world when you were born— a person who loves, who cares, who sees a need and fills it, who encourages and lifts people up, who spends energy on others rather than himself, someone who touches each life he enters, and makes a difference in the world, because ripples of kindness flow outward as each person you have touched, touches others....
4: Childhood Memories
6: There are number of similarities between Sunju and Ashok Ji. Both of them love their families more than anything else. Both are traditional and also enjoy giving pleasant surprises. I remember when I was in Varanasi, one day there was a knock at the door. When I opened the door I found a young boy standing there with hair like Shaurya's falling on his forehead. I thought he was a foreigner who was looking for his room, for I had no inkling that Sunju would be coming. So I said “yes?” not recognizing him. I had a friend in my room who had seen Sunju’s photograph. So he called out from behind me” It’s your son” and Sunju picked me up! So you cannot imagine the joy and delight I experienced by his surprise visit. Both of them are very traditional – Ashok did not like me wearing sleeveless; Sunju does not like Seemaa wearing short skirts. Sunju is very fond of latest and beautiful gadgets. In 1982, when he was just a cadet, he brought a color TV from abroad which cost Rs. 60,000 ( it was the first color TV in whole of Varanasi) with 2 videos of Silsilla and Umrao Jaan- my room became a mini theater for the next 2 months till I sold it and retrieved the money. Sunju, you are a wonderful human being, a very loving son who has grown to be a mature and wise man today and I’m very proud of you. May God bless you with all the happiness you deserve and peace you have earned. Mom
7: Poety's piece
8: Fun memories!
9: February 21st 1992 Seemaa add wedding photo here
11: God bless you Sunju beta! You are a good boy and I love you a lot. Biji
12: Those were the days!!!
14: Vacations in the Caribbean
15: Hawaii | Cancun | Paris
16: Christmas in Miami !
17: Disneyland | Mexico | Spain
19: When I think of all the times Bhaiya was there for me I cannot begin to count..He was always there to take care of me, surprise me when it was my birthday, get me all these wonderful gifts from his trips. I remember when we were growing up it was quite the task to wake him up. We would spend hours playing badminton, monopoly.....Every day in the evening we would bike over to the RSI club and go swimming, those are some of my fondest memories...After we lost our Dad overnight Bhaiya became the protector..He was always worried about me and Mom. He wanted to provide for us and wanted to be happy and get everything we wanted. I still remember he bought us this huge TV and VCR and we were the envy of neighbors, he would spend extravagantly for us and the house. He loved spending time with the family not that he didn't spend time with friends..Everybody in the family dotes on him, he is Papji's Sunderlal and Biji's favorite ....He was quite the dashing, handsome shippy that had a following of girls and he knew how to treat them well...All of them including my friends were always in awe of them..Just as he was protective of me so was I. I still remember the time when Rajiv tried to take the hat away that Bhaiya had put on his face to shield his face from the sun as he was taking a snooze and I punched Rajiv....Just coz he was disturbing my Bhaiya...On my 18th birthday he came to Delhi with his friend Jeetu and totally surprised me, took me shopping all day to find a dress I would like to wear to the Disco night he had planned for me and my friends....We had a blast and stayed out till the Wee hours of the morning...Thank you for being there for me, even though we cannot meet that often I know you are just a call away and I can count on you for anything at anytime..I love you Bhaiya and Many Many Happy returns of the day ---Happy 50th..... Poety
21: Dear Mamu The man who sailed above Shamu You give lots of love and hugs And have many marvelous rugs You tickle all of us a ton Its always a lot of fun You are extremely handy Maybe you should help our electrician, his name’s Randy You are a great husband, uncle, and dad Though we cause a lot of ruckus, you always are glad, And we know you love us lots, Which is obviously evident in your great brought. On any day We know you are the man to come to for croquet This may seem like the time to end with a happy b-day, but no its not We still have a few more thoughts You were once the captain of a great big ship And you have every possible movie clip Mamu you are the best uncle/dad us 4 nephews /sons could ask for Unfortunately for you, you have to deal with the 3 of us for at least a year more You are and always will be a great inspiration, with your compassion, intelligence, and awesomeness. Apparently we failed to think of something that rhymed with awesomeness. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mamu Chirag/Arjun
22: We are fortunate to have you as our son in law. You are smart, intelligent, caring .you look after your family very well. We wish you all the happiness and success in life. Many Happy Returns of the day! Mom/Dad
23: I remember the day you were born, your 1st birthday and how you developed over the years, from a happy go lucky to a free bird during your teen years, with nearly no cares in the world.Then the change in life, circumstances, to a responsible caring young man. I specially have very fond memories of you living in NY for a few months and seeing you every week and reconnecting with you. The trip to Chicago, a few evenings out for dinner, it was a special time for both me and uncle. Now you are having a milestone of a birthday we both want to wish you a very very happy one. May God bless you with many many more to follow, may all your wishes come true. Live long happy healthy and peaceful life. With all that is said above I wanted to add , I very fondly remember a couple of days spent one on one with you in Bombay in 1975. I think very highly of you. The success you have achieved and keep on moving forward in life. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SON! Lots of love and god bless you. RenuAunty/Amrit Uncle
25: Congratulations on reaching the milestone! The first thing that comes to my mind is that we are not far behind in reaching this landmark. Seemaa sure knows how to make this day momentous for you. The first time I met you was when I had gone to pick up from Kwality Motel way back in 1991. We stared chatting about sports and the subject of Golf came up. When asked, I said I indulged in Golf. And then you asked me my handicap! I wondered-Here I am, with both arms and legs intact, driving the car....what handicap? So I decided to say what I am best at –the truthI play golf but kabhi kabhi. Another first was that you gave me my first drink. After I finished my vodka with great difficulty, you smirked and said that one drink was for the enemy! Phat gayi man. Thanks to your persistence we finally got passports done, organized the US visa etc. and had the most amazing holiday...though the steak, sea food is still due. I think it is the right time to sit back and reminisce the good times one has had, the pleasant memories of youth, the heart breaks and all. It is the time to think of your achievements, family and people who have been in this journey with you. Once again have a great day full of joy. LOTS OF LOVE Sachin
27: Heartiest congratulations on your SPECIAL Birthday.!! When Seemaa asked me to write something characteristic about you, I was flummoxed. What do you write about someone who is YOU? Where does one begin? Well, Let me start by stating that you are credited by being the first one to offer me a drink and not only that making sure that I gulp it down..Happy memoriesGood times. You and Rani Aunty are instrumental in my being where I am so thanks for that. You have always directly or indirectly encouraged me to pursue my goals. I remember the times we had in Som Vihar , your visits to Dehradun ,discussions with Dad and our recent trip to the US. You were always the one with the wit, the humor, sometimes dark and the ready replies. Enjoy this day to the hilt. Wish we were there to celebrate it with you but I know Seemaa will make it so very special for you. From Shreya and Siddharth too a Very Very Happy Birthday. Shalini
29: Sanju – where do I start? I still remember the day you were born – you are my nephew, but with not a huge age difference it was like I had a brother. I still remember, when most of my friends would like to play with each other, I spent time playing with you or holding you while I watched them play from the side lines. I did that because even at that age I preferred to spend time with you rather than my friends. Then came Poety and my protective motherly instincts shifted from you to her. We started fighting like 2 siblings – you would trouble Poety and we would get into fights. Remember the days when after the fight you would hide under the bed and I would drag you out from there. As we got older, we spent so much fun time together – even getting chicken pox at the same time. Devlali, Pune (Tarapore road), Delhi, Bombay and then Chicago – time spent with you has fond memories that if I start writing, I can write a book. However, all I want to say our relationship has matured over the years with love and mutual respect for each other. I know if ever needed you are someone I can always depend on without hesitation. Lots and lots of love and blessings for another 50 years (our genes of long life) Masi
30: Sanju, Obviously, I don’t know you as well as Pinky does, but having known you for the last 35 years, I can also claim to know you well! Having seen you evolve from a teenager when we first met, to the husband/father/son/relative/friend that you are today, I can safely say that your evolution has been very positive and has earned the admiration of all who know you. It has been a pleasure to have been part of your growth.....saw you go through high school ( we will not divulge details here:)),join and work your way through your merchant navy years ( had a great time on the ship ride from Detroit to Columbus, OH), and of course, your struggles and successes after you migrated here. In between, you found time to get married to Seemaa (a wonderful partner to you), have two wonderful kids, Mehul and Shaurya, and have a great life in Chicago! It has been a great journey and wish you the best as you grow to becoming eligible for Social security checks! Lots of love and blessings from my mom and myself! Rakesh Uncle
32: add story | Here is a bouquet of best wishes and warm greetings to dear Sanju for very happy, memorable and joyous 50th Birthday and many happy returns of this auspicious day. To me, it appears as if it was just the other day when dear Rani Bhabi brought him to her home from the Military Hospital cuddled in her lap. He resembled his Father so much and we all said to ourselves that here is Baby Ashok! Over the years, I have seen Sanju grow and blossom in life and I would like to say that he has a happy blend of all that is virtuous in human nature. He is dynamic, noble, kind hearted, generous, gracious and hospitable, and it is so easy to notice and realize that he has good mix of all the noble attributes of dear Ashok and Rani Bhabhi. Sanju’s 50th Birthday is indeed a special occasion for all of us to celebrate, enjoy and rejoice and we want him to know how special he is and how much he means to us all! Our warmest and most loving thoughts about him are being expressed not just because it is his 50th Birthday, but because he has carved a precious niche in our heart. We all love and admire him and wish him well in life. We pray to the Lord to shower his choicest blessings upon him and to bless him with a very happy, healthy, prosperous, blissful, and joyous life. Have a marvelous 50th Birthday. May this day herald the beginning of a wonderful era - full of enhanced fame, glory and achievements!
33: I remember PAPAJI had once told Sanju that he had kept crisp new Rs 1000/notes in the drawer, which he could take if he came 1st in class. Sure enough Sunju did! God Bless Shanta Masi/Raj Uncle
34: SUNJU, the SUNJU, I have known for the past 47 years. The first time I met him was in 1964; that is if you can call a 28 years old man meeting a three years old child a “meeting”. Ashok and I were attending the Long Gunnery Staff Course at School of Artillery, Deolali in 1964-65. To start with, both Ashok and I came on the course without our families. Reason, we wanted to do well on this very important course; and we thought that the families would be a hindrance. We both stayed in neighboring rooms in some barrack. Luckily, soon good sense prevailed on both of us, and we got our families to Deolali. As luck would have it, we became neighbors again at Depot Battery Road; with just Harsarans in between. What I distinctly remember about this 3-4 years old child is the way he was dressed. He was always dressed in a most immaculate fashion. A very very sweet and handsome child, a chubby one, sitting in a pram, wearing a three piece suit, complete with a bow tie going to parties, which was a very frequent happening in Deolali. I do not know as to how many suits he possessed, but he was always the best dressed child in any party.
35: Next thing I remember about Sunju was that he was a “Leader”. Agreed, he had the “age advantage” over other children in the neighborhood; he was 4 years old when other kids were only 2 or 3 years old. All the other children accepted him as a leader and a trend setter. He still retains that quality of leadership in him. Unfortunately, God snatched away Ashok from us in prime of life. I have seen Rani, Sunju’s mother, struggling to put life together after Ashok’s demise. She brought up Sunju and Poety in a very brave fashion. I wonder if Sunju really remembers the hardships his mother had to bear to bring up the family. But results are there for all of us to see. It may be best to forget all those difficult times, as we must live in the present. The entire Gilani family has been blessed by God. They are all doing very well. But Sunju and Poety, at least the two of you should never forget what your mother had to go through to bring you to where both of you stand today. Kulbir Uncle/Jeeti Masi
37: re | R | re | Sanju had recently got engaged to a charming girl called Seemaa. He was excited when he returned from the ship and was on his way to meet her in India .We met in New York year 1998 ( am i right?) or so . Having just come off the ship he had wads in his pocket .He took me to TIFFANYS to buy something for his fiancée. We both spied a bracelet which was gorgeous so asked the shop assistant to show it to us . He looked at us up and down and then again up and down and made at least me feel silly. He said the bracelet is for $35,000, did we still want to see it? Needless to say we didn’t want to see the uselessly expensive object and made a quick exit from that floor of the store! (We had both read the price as $350!!), then Sanju went to the top floor and bought a silver artifact for Seemaa, as he was determined to buy something for her from TIFFANYS. Next stop was a store with the skimpiest of dresses and he wanted one for her. Of course I dissuaded him from buying a dress which seemed so exorbitantly priced I must have been convincing at the time or he just let me believe that then though he has never forgiven me for it .So I owe an apology to both of you . Sanju is the Flagship of the Gilani clan till he is overtaken by his very competent sons. We are blessed to have a brother like him. Wishing him many happy returns of the day. May each moment of the years ahead be filled with divine blessings and every happiness. God bless and keep Smiling. Love Vanita.
39: Can’t remember much of our childhood, but what I do remember is that it was loads of fun.. And Sanju and I were partners in crime. As we grew older there was a fabulous bond that grew into a beautiful relationship. We did not meet often but there was this deep silent love. One incident that I will always remember is when I had hitchhiked on a truck to Devlali to spend the weekend with Sanju. I remember sneaking out in the middle of the night on Sanju’s scooter, which we had to push for half a kilometer before he could start it, lest his parents woke up ..and then we went riding all over town at two in the morning. One of the most cherished gifts at my wedding was a hair dryer that Sanju had got for me when he was a cadet, 31 years later --- I still have it and it still works because it was bought by my brother’s hard earned money. God Bless you Sanju with good health and all that your heart desires Love you loads Poonam
40: Love and blessings and another fruitful fifty of vibrant life all the way to score a century with standing ovation from family and friends!' from our side. Love Rama Masi/Khanna Uncle
41: Wishing you a very Happy Birthday, hoping you have a wonderful year with all the good things you deserve.. Good Health, happiness, Success, Luck and lots and lots of love, Babli didi
42: Wow can't believe 50 yrs have passed by. Welcome to the generation of reverse aging where we get younger every year. Soon you will be celebrating your 21st again at the bars. Remember the illegal scooter ride, the staying awake all night talking, talking and more talking, not sure what major world issues we were trying to solve, but it was fun and good memories. Heres's to the next 50years of great moments. Rajesh and the kids join me in wishing you a wonderful birthday and many more. Lots of love, Rajesh, Meenu, Monica and Neelu
44: As I sit here trying to thin k of something good to say about this brother, I find myself at a loss (just Kidding) greg and I met about twenty six years ago, although we kenw of each other and all the same people we were never raeally clse until one day at work i the lunch room. We were both working at Talman Home Savings and Loan at the time. A water pipe had | Sanju, I can say with absolute certainty that you are are quite possibly the least respectful nephew that I have, but on the other hand, you do make an exceptionally fine brother and friend! We have had great times together, and I know that there are many more to come. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and my fondest best wishes for your next 50 to be healthy, happy and prosperous. Lots of love Deepak ..
45: Sanju...can't believe you're turning 50 already! Didn't know you were soo much older than me :) We haven't spent much time together lately but I always feel we have stayed as close as we were in Delhi...you certainly have stayed just the same! My favorite/not so favorite memory of our time together will always be you banging on the door the morning after our wedding...AND you better not share this with everyone coz I will come and find you! Also, that book about the birds and the bees that you picked up for me so thoughtfully :) All the best always...and I hope we see you much more of each other! Happy Birthday! Love, Tonda
46: Sanju and self have spent most of our summer holidays together doing what young boys grow up doing,basically playing,reading,eating ,getting naughty and scolded.There are a lot of things we did but two incidents come to my mind readily.We used to have a friend in our lane in South Ex called Pinky Chopra,he was a little elder to us and we used to play together may it be cricket,badminton,making tanks out of bricks and dashing them against each others' in sand(Sanju's fav game) or playing TT at Pinky's home or flying kites from his roof,we were basically pile ons' and free loaders' then.Now the moment we got to south ex Sanju's first job was to get in touch with Pinky and our TT would start with him. Sanju and self played it well . We used to play winner to continue, needless to say self and Pinky being better players,we used to be playing and Sanju ji disappearing .( being magnanimous enough in allowing us to play continuously) .Oh! I forgot to mention that Pinky had two beautiful sisters,who were impressed with Sanju and he was away chatting them up.I always used to wonder,how the hell all the good looking girls got so friendly with him????He has a Way of making people feel special,especially girls and don't they just love him..
47: .I remember learning swimming at Yol and it was thanks to Sanju again.Our Yogi uncle( God Bless His Soul)used to be give me the short shrift over many things (swimming being one of them)including putting me at the deep end,when I was small and scared.Sanju took time out during our hols in Yol and spent quality time with me in teaching me the basics of swimming,correcting my strokes and infusing the necessary confidence in me. He was so understanding,loving and showed ample amount of patience for which am extremely grateful.Infact,I want to Highlight the fact that inspite of projecting a rough and tough exterior,at heart Sanju is an extremely loving, caring and affectionate person and we all love him for that.On this golden birthday I Pray,God Bless You with a long and happy life,surrounded by the love and affection of near and dear ones in equal measures. Love you. Nitu
48: OK, the first memories that I have of Sanju Mamu are from when I was a really little girl, mostly related to him being the only person that I knew at that time that was coooool enough to have a motorcycle, which I believe he continues to have one today!! I always used to think that his job was super glamorous, traveling all over the world in high style and living the good life! Have to say that coming to the US to study right after dental school seemed quite overwhelming, specially moving to a middle of nowhere place called Oklahoma City. The most helpful generous and wise person I know, that's the birthday boy! With all his help, the move here was so easy. One day Sanju Mamu called me and said that he would be in Dallas for some work and wanted to come and visit me for a few hours to have dinner in Oklahoma City. Seems perfectly reasonable, I guess, promise you, the food here was nothing to write home about back in the day. (It's pretty good now!) Come to find out, I think, and this has not been confirmed by either source, my mom may have put her dear brother up to drive 4 hrs each way to check out my then boyfriend and to see if he was good enough. Well, things worked out, we have a little daughter now and another on the way. Good scouting.......Happy Birthday to my favorite Mamu ever!!! Srishti
50: Happy birthday Sanju mamu , I'm so privileged to have you around, only I know when I was young whenever Sanju mamu was coming back it was like santa was returning it was super , as I grew older all my advice came from him about music systems about technology about all the little things I didn't know about i'd say lemme ask Sanju mamu !!! Even though I know I wasn't able to come too often to Chicago I knew I had support from both of you at all times.I knew if anything happened if I ever was in a situation I could call him and he'd be there ! What else can I say !!! He is a solid pillar which supports us all with his affection and advice. Have an awesome year , with all our wishes and prayers ! Much love Srijan and Radhicka
52: I remember visiting India when I was just a kid and Sanju Bhaiya was home for leave from the ship. His stories from the ship seemed so cool. The adventures as he told them from the different ports he visited sounded amazing. I thought he was so cool for being able to do all those things. Happy Birthday! Gaurav
53: I was browsing through a dictionary looking for the exact meaning of a friend, but could not find it in the “F” section. Decided to keep looking and found it in “S” under SANJIV. Known Sanjiv for over 20 years now since my Bombay days, and got a chance to really know him in the last 10 years in Chicago. Trust me you really don’t want to “REALLY KNOW HIM” Jokes aside, one of the best friends I have and his apples have not fallen far from him, his qualities can be seen in his 2 sons Mehul and Shaurya. Wish you a great 50th and 40 more great years ahead. Promise, I will give you company. Love always Devang
54: There was once a young shippie boy who always had innocent pranks up his sleeve. He could date girls of different nationalities, different professions (including air stewardesses) at different locations (including "Ghungroo" @ Maurya's) and could even cause a broken leg bone or two on the privileged ones who would dare to pillion ride with him on motorcycle bought from writers of this absurd memoir - when they would go for a picnic towards Faridabad on Mathura road - even starting up a small fire on the bike in the process (guess due to the excess heat generated between the rider & pillion company. Trust the Shippie is still young @ heart like his buddy of 1980's/90's. The buddy went about east seeking oriental beauties, while the Shippie went west bringing up an intelligent, pretty & witty wife and few kids. Please note that the lucky ladies mentioned above are only the ones the writer is aware of - please DO NOT underestimate our Shippie about those being the only ones whose lives he added value too! On a serious note - the writer has always known the Shippie to have a very responsible side - which no doubt he has well displayed over past several years and seems to have helped his wife bring up two bright & handsome boys.............this update comes only from the miracle of this century "F A C E B O O K" as that is what brought the threesome in the photograph together again after a gap of almost two decades! Great to know you Sanju and looking forward to a Grand Reunion in US very, very soon...... Jackie Rajeev Chan from Hong Kong
56: The man who defies logic I have had the good fortune of knowing Sanjiv from the young age of eighteen when we started off as Cadets, although we were twenty one of us in the batch the two of us have been very close all these years. Some months ago I had a batch mate of ours visiting me and it so happened that I was explaining to my sixteen year old son the importance of focusing on studies and not being after material things and other usual things that a sixteen year old should refrain from; At that point my batch mate told me that I was not giving the right advise to my son, I was quite astonished and asked him why he did not agree that a young boy should focus on his studies; The explanation that he offered made me really think; He said,,,Tu Capt Sanjiv ko janta hai na,, oska case le,,,, he is an living example that plain fundas which we grew up with don’t work anymore,,,Mera example le,,,Sanjiv and I used to study together, I used to wake up at four am to study and that’s the time he used to return back from his parties ;I used to have a bath three times , tie a band on my forehead so that I remained fresh to study; I used to do two hours yoga and eat only vegetarian, and there was Sanjiv who ate whatever he liked , had all the majja, only drank malt whiskey and never touched his book; yet he cleared his Masters , got the best girl , great kids and now lives in a mansion in the posh area of Chicago,”, mi sochta hu ke hum he bevakoof nikle,,,,”,
57: Sue | It’s all because our parents gave us wrong advise,,, I kept pondering over this and fully concurred with my batch mate and since then to the bewilderment of my son ,, I have never chased him and forced him to follow age old tenets ,, Sanjiv truly defies logic,,,he is such a cool guy that he would give an igloo a complex; I have never seen him get upset or perturbed , he sets his own standards and ethics and lives by them, he is truly a king in his own rights; Today I am proud to have a man who defies logic as a friend and sincerely wish him all the health, wealth and prosperity today on this milestone in his life and for many more years to come . Bon Voyage,,,,, Alan
58: For sure I'm never gonna win a Pulitzer but here goes.....More than a specific incident am penning a few lines/thoughts from all that time back: "My clearest memory of Sanjiv from all those years ago is the beauty and of the girls he used to date!! For an aspiring medical student, perennially rushed for time, for whom stepping out of the AFMC uniform and into civil clothes made me feel like a supermodel, meeting Sanjiv and his current flavor was a bit of a reality check. Making me feel I shouldn't have bothered to leave the hostel at all!! And of course Sanjiv looking super smug and most blasé like ok that's not a big deal. Mehul and Shaurya,eat your hearts out! your Dad was the super stud of The Times....Of course when it came to settling down, Sanjiv's bagged the best of them all-Seemaa, who I feel has been just what the doctor ordered for Sanjiv. Another striking thing about Sanjiv was the deep concern and care he showed towards the girls in his family- Poety, Aunty and Biji. Sometimes I felt he took on his role of the "male of the house" rather too seriously! But that's just Sanjiv. Very affectionate, would go out of his way to make life easier for the special people in his life. I know its crummy and Bollywoodish to talk of " tying Rakhis ," but i know if there's someone I'd like to adopt as a brother it would be our very own SANJIV. Happy birthday mate, they don't make them like u anymore. Look forward to catching up with u guys soon in Chicago". Sue .
60: To a vibrant man! Wishing you a life full of love, happiness, good health and sunshine. When I look back, I think you are a perfect example of a wonderful son, loving husband, good dad and most of all a fabulous friend. I am so glad you are my friend. Happy 30th Anniversary of your 50th birthday! Cigars on me!! (for everyone) I will always remember the first time we all met in Detroit and I was so excited to show you and Seemaa my first ever home in Ann Arbor and then I wished the roof would fall on you! With all your suggestions and changes and recommendations on wasted space and incorrect architecture... what a bubble burst! only you could Sanju! I expected you to say ' How beautiful" but you were no where close to such pleasing words that most people say. But that's the Sanju we love! just be yourself always! Tina xoxoxo
61: I have good memories with Sanju - trips to Khandala - parties with food and drink. He always had a girls around him. Two instances come to mind - I got a hold of an x-rated movie an no one was home - and Sanju stopped by the house with one of his friends - and dad returned from Bombay at an unexpected time. There was also the time he borrowed my relatively new Maruti 800 - and had an accident in it - He always had tall stories - since he travelled so much - I think he is the one who told me about this car that in a certain gear travelled a couple of inches off the ground. I am still looking for that car. Age and marri(age) has sobered him down - he is much more of a family man - than the sailor he used to be.... Babla
62: What can I say about Sanju?? The first I heard of Sanju was when he was one of the “young men” being reviewed for Seemaa by her family. The minute I heard Seemaa’s Dad did NOT entirely approve of him as a prospective match for Darling Daughter, I knew he had to be THE one!! And he WAS!! Proof in the almost 20 years of a rocking relationship!! Our first meeting: THE BISTRO- Hauz Khas village Having Biryani-Raita (somehow its always the food) and thinking Sanju to be a serious sort of guy for my madcap friend . The Wedding: All I remember is Sanju wearing white socks with his Sherwani and looking handsome- cannot for the life of me remember what Seemaa was wearing- and they say it’s the BRIDES dayshows how much the groom STOOD out! The Honeymoon : Crisscrossing Nepal and bumping into each other - Kathmandu to Chicago has been quite a journey! Vinay particularly remembers Sanju the Fearless tramping into the tall grass to click Rhinos- while the three of us perched safely atop our elephants. I remember Seemaa and I giggling and almost falling off our elephants while crossing the river! I actually have a suspicion Sanju thought we were too immature.(:-0)
63: The Years Thereafter: In an effort to show Sanju the “Latest and Liveliest” in Delhi on one of his trips, we spent an entirely BORING evening at the F-Bar much to Sanju’s disappointment AND our chagrin! Not to forget going River Rafting down the Ganges- an unforgettable experience and a happy memory to hang on to especially with all the creaky knees and other issues now! The BEST time we had together was in Chicago- I have to thank Sanju for initiating it and Seemaa for everything else. Here I MUST mention the Night on the Town- we had planned to see Chicago nightlife- and WAS it a night on the town! By the time we finished our drinks and got into town- the night was OVER!! Wishing Sanju on a milestone date: Hope you have the greatest years ahead and a big thank you for being part of our lives and for being THE man in my best friend’s life ! God Bless and Lots of Love Tina
64: Woh jiye saal hazaar hai yaaron ka woh yaar Jiyo to shaan se Hai uska usool Akele shaam bitaanaa Nahin use kubool Accha khaana, accha peena hain dono usko pyaare dostana baaton se jeete dil woh saare sabke jeevan mein le aaye pyaar kee woh khushboo naam hai sunju naam hai sunju....
65: Hey Sanju Mamu, Wish you a very Happy Birthday.. I did'nt believe Seemaa Mami when she told me it was your special 50... I always fondly remember you coming over for one of my parties, when I was 16, maybe 15 and you rocked:)Do you remember all the dancing you did that nite...If I remember correctly, we went to the disc as well.... I always thought until then that you were a boring uncle.... and then I saw the Real you..... Left quite an impression on me....Felt good to know that madness was in the genes...hahahahaha;) And I have to say, that you still rock...When I think of you that's how I always remember you.. And that memory has been revived when we spent a little time with you this trip... Wish you good health, happiness, lots of love and luck for you always. A happy birthday from all of us. Onika
66: From Mom: 1st of all, we send dear Sanju all good wishes for a vey Happy Birthday, long life and good health and happiness always. We remember the loving and caring habits of dear Sanju, he had and has great regards for elders and named South Ex K-31 house as Gilani Headquarters. Everyone loves him fondly. He shocked us once when he came back with his face and clothes covered with black soot from a Truck that almost over ran him when he was returning from Faridabad, he was so brave that he drove back on his bike. Akhil; followed his advice to keep a French beard since Sanju advised that he looked best with it. We wish him A Very Happy Birthday.. Chachi ji, Dhruv and Akhil
67: Where do I start ....... I remember growing up with Poety and spending the weekends with Biji from the all girls boarding School..... And of course the Merchant Navy boys were always there...... it was an eye treat for us..... Sanjooo Baba that’s what he was known as..... Sanju was very protective about us since we were not allowed to be around the merchant Navy guys..... .... All the girls used to swoon over him......I mean literally drooool over him including some of our friends... I remember one incident when one of his girlfriends.Biji and us never approved of her..jumped over the fence in the middle of the night to enter the house. That was a night to remember.....we were scrambling to hide her and guess what Sanju was doing..he was least bothered.and told us to take care of the issue! Now look it’s a complete circle, the gals are running after his sons.history repeats. Sujata
68: I have a very interesting and fond memory of dear Sanju. It happened in 1968, it was summer and my father who was friend of Mr. Mehara and also our company used to buy Liquid Ammonia from him. My dad asked me to go Mr. Mehara’s house to request him that we require 2 Bottles of Liquid Ammonia immediately. Where, I went to Mr. Mehara’s house, the following incident took place. I rang the bell of Mr. Mehara’s house, Sanju’s Nani open the door and she told me she is calling Mr. Mehara. In between, Sanju came holding his pajama by one hand running into house, he saw me and he just started running into the house. While doing so, his hand from pajama came off and he also tumbled. Then his Nana, Nani and I were all trying to stop his crying and so in the process we all were given wonderful Gava to eat by Mr. Mehara, who also he told me Gava consist of 4 times more ‘Vitamin C’than Lime. This has become a memorable to me as it was a really wonderful site of Little Cute Sanju’s Pajama falling off and getting knowledge from Mehara Sahab regarding Gava having so much ‘Vitamin C’ which I’m unable to forget till the date. Wish dearest Sanju, a very ‘Happy Birthday’ and thank god he is born on 3rd October and not on 2nd October, then he would have born on Mahatma Gandhiji’s Birthday and the poor Ship Captain would have remained without dear Vodka in his Life. Wish both of you a very happy peaceful and prosperous life. Shiv/Neeta
69: How the time passes, I remember when Sanju was born and Jija ji was posted at Jalandhar, Punjab. Col Ashok Gilani (then Capt) received his posting and we all went to the station to see them off. I was very fond of him and he was also very much attached to me. He was in my lap and both of us were very happy, not realizing that the train had started moving. Jija ji realized that and straight way jumped from the train, took him from my lap and ran to board the train. This shows how much I loved him and how comfortable he was in my lap. Sanju still loves me a lot, has grown up a good human being, who is always very helpful and under stands others problems/difficulties well and ready to extend helping hand. It reminds me of the incidence when Nipun my son was doing engineering and my husband Om lost his private job, he on hearing this came to my house and offered to support his studies and asked me not to worry at all, but luckily Om picked up another job in next few days only, but we all still remember his gesture and appreciate the same. We wish you long happy, healthy and prosperous life. Babli Masi and Om Uncle
70: It always seems strange to me to hear stories of dad. Rumors of his romantic prowess and his drunken exploits are common place amongst all his friends and relatives, but I’ve never seen that side of him. Dad, for me, has always been very stable; static as to what he believes and does. I cannot imagine him as a teenager just a year younger than me having to deal with the loss his own father. Or living on board a ship and earning his own money. In fact, there is a lot about dad that I don’t know. I remember he once told me a story of how he was captured and threatened in Africa by a band of men, only to turn it around and befriend them. It was shocking! Dad is homely guy; his “birthday parties” involve lying in bed and watching a movie with us. I had never known the rough sailor that dealt with the perils of sea. Similarly it is hard for me to imagine him out partying every night when only year or two ago I remember him threatening to throw me out of the house if I so much as sipped alcohol!! The thing about dad, though, is that he has the ability to fulfill his each and every role in its entirety. As a sailor he was captain, as a consultant he works for the 7th most profitable company in the world, his sister still calls him “Bhaiya”—something I couldn’t even imagine Shaurya doing, and as a father there is no one better. His friends may remember him as one of their closest companion. His sister will always know him as the brother that was always there for her, and his employers will squabble and spar with each other vying for his attention. But I, dad, will always know you as my father. The person that keeps me in line and makes sure my room is clean every time you step in. The one that hides my things when I leave them carelessly scattered around to show me what losing it would be like. The man that insists on dressing even the smallest of my cuts and bruises. I love you dad, and I hope you have an incredible 50th Birthday! Mehul
72: I’d like to talk about the reasons I love my father. There are infinite reasons I love him, but I’d like to narrow it down to four general reasons that should compensate or will be broad enough to fit some of the many smaller reasons I love him. Some of the main/ biggest reasons I love him are; he’s caring, selfless, intelligent, and hardworking. I think since he lost his father at a young age, Dad tries to compensate for himself and his father by being a very caring father. Whether it’s the small things like texting him that I’m on the bus/at home, or completely dressing the smallest cut with antiseptic, cream, and a band aid, or the big things like enrolling me in Kumon/ pushing me get into the highest classes with straight A’s, or pushing me to be a better human, Dad is always caring. Dad cares for everyone but himself which is what makes him selfless (and as we know, it must run in the family; Poety Bua, Banna). He’ll buy Mehul and I the most expensive guitars and drums, but as I realized on his birthday, the reason it’s so hard to buy Dad a birthday present is because we’ve never really see him buy anything for himself, so we don’t know what he really likes.
73: Dad is definitely a very intelligent and capable man, but when I say ‘intelligent’, I really mean he knows so much about everything, whether it’s help with my Kumon, or help with kids at school, Dad always has the right answer. In fact, he proved Mehul wrong just last night on a controversial new topic on whether there is something faster than the speed of light, and as far as I know the only science Dad has studied is nautical science. And although he may not have been considered the most intelligent student in his school, we all know the story of how Dad got the highest grade in his class (and some money from Papaji) when he set his mind to it, which shows that he is hardworking. Dad works 12 hours a day, and yet he comes home just to do all the housework and more office work. When Dad has a day free, he'll spend it vacuuming, or cleaning the garage. Dad not only painted the garage, but he turned an empty room into a state- of- the- art home theater single- handedly. Not to mention, he took care of his family when he was only seventeen. Now that I’ve written this, I now realize that these reasons can’t even begin to summarize why I love you and don’t do you any justice, but I don’t think anything I write can. So, for now all I can say is I love you and happy 50th birthday, Pau!!
75: There are certain moments or words that are imprinted in one's memory indelibly. One such occurrence was in the early days when Sunju and I were in the awkward stage of meeting each other and the families, before deciding on permanent partners. Rani Mummy, Sunju and Pimi Buji had come to the house in Dehra Dun to move on to the next stage in arrangements. We were all seated in our drawing room in the blistering cold Dehra Dun winters, huddled in our shawls and sipping hot tea. Pimi Buji, sitting erect as she always did with an extremely proud expression, hands clasped tightly said, “ Yeh to ji, hamare Gilani family ka tikka hai” and of course Buji went on to extol Sunju’s many other qualities. She was so very fond and proud of him and there was little he could do wrong. And from a marketing aspect, she had us all in those words- basically it was clear to the Suris – you cannot go wrong here, you are getting our best, grab it – you don't need to think twice! And boy, was she right! The “Tikka” “Tilak” besides signifying pride, symbolizes the third eye for spiritual enlightenment. But Sunju in your case, I think it goes even beyond that. There’s little that misses you and it’s hard to get away with things!!! You have us constantly on our toes ....and though you have mastered the art of surprises but it’s almost impossible to surprise you, but hopefully this time I have learnt from the master! Happy 50th Birthday and loads, loads, loads more to come! Seemaa