21-12-2017 08:30 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
India’s tallest Christmas tree all set to be decked up for Christmas
A tiny garden in a private residential society attracts numerous visitors during Christmas. None can leave the place without being awestruck by the gigantic Christmas tree that stands in its tiny garden, lavishly decorated for Christmas.
The pine conifer has also entered the record books as India’s tallest, fully decorated, natural growing Christmas tree. Douglas Saldanha, the proud owner of the magnificent Christmas tree said that he had been tending it for the past 45 years.
The Saldanhas’ family history is deeply entwined with that of the popular Christmas tree from the day it was handed to them by their neighbour who found it hard to manage the then five feet tall tree growing in their verandah.
Saldanha and his elder sibling Twila lovingly re-planted it in the ground, regularly watered it and joyfully watched it grow healthy and strong. He said that the tree was growing straight into the clouds, with the lowest branches spreading out from around 12 feet.
The tree brings happy memories of Christmas as, during that time, the Saldanha family lavishly decorate it, starting at least a fortnight in advance, with friends and relatives occasionally joining in.
Tragedy struck the family as Twila succumbed to cancer in 2005. She had settled in the US after marriage and would often inquire about her favourite Christmas tree, how it was growing, and whether it was being cared for properly — and all other stories associated with it in her absence.
Saldanha reminisced her dying wish that he should decorate the Christmas tree so beautifully that she should be able to view and enjoy it from Heaven. Since then, he has left no stone unturned to ensure that Twila’s favourite Christmas tree is not only the biggest and best in Mumbai but all over India.