All in the family

From the albums

All in the family

This photograph was taken on December 16, 1974. It was my wedding day and our closest family members can be seen in it. My parents-in-law, LW Noronha and MJ Noronha, are two very important people to me.

   You can see six of my brothers-in-law (including my husband) and two sisters-in-law in the photograph.

The story of how I got married to Noel C Noronha is one that I will never forget. When my father, the late TW Kaunds, was transferred to Bengaluru in 1971, as the Divisional Manager of Central Bank of India, we (my parents and siblings) moved in to a house in Cox Town.

It was through my parents’ negotiations that I was then betrothed to Noel and got married at the Richmond Town Methodist Church.

Noel is the eldest son of  the late Minnie Jayanthi Karkada Noronha, who was my mother Mable Jathanna’s cousin.

   My father-in-law, the late Lewis William Noronha, and my father were class and boarding mates in the Basel Mission Boarding School in Udupi.

The wedding had the Basel Mission Choir singing its special rendition. It was directed by late Prof David Sebastian, the celebrated organist, at St Mark’s Cathedral.

 On the piano was the late Jean Fritchley of the Baldwin Girls’ School and a heart-touching wedding sermon was given by late Rev Dr Theodore Williams, a well-known international speaker. We were also fortunate to have late Rev Fred Gokavi, the then principal of Baldwin Boys’ School, as the host for the reception, at Woodlands Hotel. This was followed by dinner at my father’s house compound at Wilson Garden.

As this alliance was within the family, I never felt that I was away from my mother’s home, though I missed my younger sisters Silvia and Ivy. But since my parents lived in Wilson Garden, which is close to Shanthi Nagar, where we lived, I could visit them quite often.

We knew the Noronha family long before I got married. Since 1956, we as family from Hubballi (later on from Belagavi) would visit Bengaluru during vacations and weddings, and stayed with the Noronhas in their bungalow, which was adjacent to their factory, M/s Yenceyen Manufacturers, near Benniganahalli on Old Madras Road. The house, ‘Deepak Bagh’, presently belongs to the Gopalan complex.

The City bus services, Bangalore Transport Company, would only ply till the Isolation Hospital, a little beyond Ulsoor. So, the company’s cycle rickshaw would wait for us (otherwise we would engage a single horse-ridden ‘tonga’).

My in-laws were a couple who lived with dignity and grace. They always dressed well, especially my father-in-law, who never went anywhere without a suit and a matching tie or bow tie.

Going back to my college days, many of my classmates have settled in Bengaluru as well.  I graduated from PC Jabeen College, Hubballi. Out of those classmates (of whom I remember) are Usha Kathiyani, a freelance writer and Sudha Kulkarni (now Sudha Murthy of Infosys).

After moving here, I joined Central Bank of India and worked there for 30 years; I retired in 2009. I made some close friends there as well, including Mrs Hutoxi Tarapore, who is the wife of Shavir Tarapore, a cricket umpire; Fakheera Habibullah, who is the mother of Hakim and Mohammed, national swimming champions; Nestha Perris, Thimmaih, Diana Billimoria, PS Kumar, Sukumar Christy, Narahari and Daman Bhatia, the mother of Sabeer Bhatia, the founder of ‘Hotmail’.

Memories never pass, they linger and influence, long after the source of stimulation has faded.  Going back to the olden days and bathing in the beautiful memories of the past is a way to escape the unpleasant realities of life.

It is as PB Shelley said, “Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory.”

Joyce C Noronha
(The author can be reached at rainajoycenoronha@gmail.com)

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