‘Melanie’, Chota Packet, Bada Dhamaka….
This popular jingle….. Suitable to this young lady, says it all. Though small in stature, when I met Melanie I quickly realized, we should not under estimate the capacity / dimension or aptitude of a ‘common man’. It was a very interesting moment, when I came across Melanie, from whom I always experienced positive vibes, and personally learnt a lot watching her. In my opinion, every person is blessed in a unique way. The volume of positivity to clinch the world in such individual’s arms is to inspire and spread happiness to every single person they meet and all those who touch their lives, therefore they can be advantageous with full of confidence to chase their dream and live their life. Surely, it is my privilege to share with every youth, how ‘Melanie Crasta’ a ‘Dream girl’ chases her dreams despite the steeplechases come her way and strives to convert every hurdle into a victory.
From a very young child, Melanie has always wanted to be the source of change in the world, in however small a way she could do so. Singing since the tiny age of 3, she had the talent to memorise lyrics in a few minutes. Using this skill, she aimed to join choirs and sing to her hearts content. Unfortunately, this dream was not a bed of roses, starting from rejection after rejection; she got very discouraged to continue. This was further sealed by a relative who had told her to stop singing, because she could never be a good singer.
Therefore, she then diverted her attention to sports and earned many accolades and championships for and within her school. She also took part in debates and other speaking activities, winning best rebuttal and other such awards. But she still couldn’t find her identity. She yearned for something more, something different, and renewed her want to sing. She took it as a challenge to her relative to show him that she CAN sing. Melanie; moreover, wanted to make a difference in the lives of youth by talking to them through personal experience. What was her identity? THIS, she was determined to find out.
Growing up in the company of boys, she had a hard time making friends with girls and therefore was more shunned by them. This left a lasting impact on Melanie’s life but she joyfully says, “Teenagers can be spiteful, but it also helps you recognise your real, true, friends. Because, when all else fails, out of the hundreds, The true 1 will always come and stand by your side and lift you up out of all the bad stuff. Frankly, being a youth is hard, and being a youth without friends, can be even harder. I am so thankful to my one true friend who was with me through it all. Though it was just one, and it may seem sad, he made up for all the hundreds of friends who pretended.” This made Melanie stronger in the face of adversity and stronger at the hint of pain. Looking back…now make’s her happy and laugh more.
Nevertheless, this strength helped Mel (I address her usually) realise her dreams, one at a time. She finally gathered the courage to join the youth choir in church, who she ultimately became the conductress of, and she has an impressive 9 years in the choir under her belt. For, 4 of which, she was conductress. She has grown and maintained the choir as one of the best in the church and aims to make it THE best. She further proved her singing prowess by being one of the semi-finalists for Gulf Voice of Mangalore – Season 4 (Konkani Singing Competition in the Middle East – Oman Chapter) winning the hearts of many and has partaken in many singing competitions and other challenges where she has proved that she can more than perform.
Notwithstanding the singing, Melanie is also an avid choreographer and dancer. She has danced for many recognized shows, as well as won many accolades for them. She has also choreographed for a number of shows including two of the three dances put up for the Gulf Voice of Mangalore – Season Four Grand Finale held in Oman which she choreographed with a friend. Melanie makes time to actively involve herself in church activities where she is the member of the Legion of Mary and had actively volunteered for Summer Camps for the past 4 years. Summer Camp Anthem written for 5 consecutive years is to her credit.
Melanie belonging to ‘Crastas’, her family is size of 4. Papa Alex Crasta Mom Clita are well known people in the community, for their active involvement and service. Only brother ‘Malcom’, is elder to her, is a vibrant and intelligent youth, from whom Melanie derives her most of the progress she says.
When it comes to family, blissfully she admits, “I have been blessed with the best family in the world. My parents never forced me to be someone I am not, and for this I am very thankful to The Almighty.” In turn, her mother says, “We have been blessed with this glimmer of light. She is the life of the house, always making a fool of herself and in turn making us laugh. She lives to make us happy, and I couldn’t have asked for another daughter.” She wants to be the best daughter she can be to her parents and the best sister to her brother. Melanie says with a giggle …
My brother and I are quite close, we game together and both have a shared love for cars. It is easy being his sister.” She loves her family, and she aims to instill in all youth, that “no matter what problems you may have, your family still loves you and only wants the best for you.”
In the study sector, being born and brought up in Oman, she has done all of her studying in Oman. She is an ex-Indian School Al Wadi Al Kabir alumnus, and further graduated with honours from The Bayan College for Media and English studies. She has produced and directed two documentaries as well as a music video parody and a short art sketch. She also has written a novella at the age of 14, which she is still hoping to publish someday. She has also written for a variety of magazines and other publications and websites, including Mangalorean.com. This proves her added attribute of honing literary skills.
Melanie is on a new endeavour to hopefully start a web series for the youth, where she would like to help them through her experiences. Moreover, she has already begun a journey of music and has begun making covers with her friend on social networking sites like Instagram and YouTube, under the name of Last Night’s End.
“I always strive for excellence; you cannot achieve that excellence without strife. It is a hard truth I had to learn early on, but is a truth I want to make youth realise early on.”
More to uncover ….. lets’ have a chat with Melanie.
A chit chat with you Melanie… lets’ chill at this time.. as we sip this coffee>>>>>>
Mel… I was not satisfied, thought will unfurl more of you… so I am here with more questions to feature it in your own words rather narrate.
My 1st question to you Mel.. Have you gone on your dad Alex Crasta or Mom Clita, by nature? I think you are a cusp … meaning… quiet as your dad (prima facia) but a fighter, and talented like your Mom? How does your brother Malcolm fit in here?
I do get that a lot, that by face I look like my father, but by action, I am my mum’s girl. But to be completely honest, I guess I am more like my brother. To me, in a way, he was the one who brought me up and made me strong in who I am today, to face challenges and not back down in the face of adversity. So he actually fits into a huge part of my life. But when it comes to my very character, I believe I am a mixture of both my mum and dad. Dad is more calm and thoughtful; whereas, mum is joyous and energetic, both of which I tend to recognize in myself.
As you know, I am mostly associated with young minds and so seeing you active in all spheres…with all the youngsters grouping around, thought you were an easy go lucky types….???
Actually, I still am a very easy go lucky person. I have this mantra I believe in, ‘Take life as it comes at you. You only have one life, so live it to the fullest.’ The only thing is, when I am actually involved in doing something, I put my all into it. This mostly has to do with my perfectionist side. To make sure there are no flaws. However, as soon as my project is over, you will see me legs rested, drinking apple juice and watching movies in a marathon.
A common question I pose, in today’s day and age, youngsters mostly have other priorities away from the church! But I see the church premises for you as your second home! How are you attracted so much towards spiritual commitments???
Well, I guess in a way, my miracle of life played a huge role in my renewed faith in religion and God. You see, if it wasn’t for our lady, I wouldn’t be here today answering your questions. Of course, not all youth are so lucky as to have the privilege of experiencing God’s miracles first hand, but what they fail to catch on is that, that beauty and privilege exists all around us and that it just take one calm look to find it. Youth can be head strong and refuse to believe, mostly because of all the problems they face, and I can relate to that, because at a point in my life, in spite of my miracle, I’ve been there too. All I can say is, ‘Hold on and believe. It will all be alright.’
Young boys and girls feel proud to talk about their 1st crush, date….which make them feel they are with the moving modern pace of the society. Can I ask this personal question…what about you? Don’t you get distracted with this aspect that takes you away from your commitment? Is it good for the teens to get into such involvement that distracts them & getting glued to the media / phones for messaging… which keeps them apart from their normal routine life and compromise on a lot of things that should be on priority otherwise???
Well, to be brutally honest, it completely depends on the youth in question. It will not be a distraction unless you make it a distraction. I will tell you from my own experience, that I have experienced my biggest heart aches and yet still become an honour student from college. I always gave my assignments on time and it was never a distraction, because I understood that dating and your career are two completely separate entities and they should never collide. It is completely natural and very human to want for affection, and when I fell for it, I told my mother. She didn’t shout at me or bar me from it. She said it is the process of growing up and you WILL experience pain. Of course it isn’t the best age to fall in love, but you will learn, you will mature. And that is exactly what happened. Love at this age will come and go, and it WILL happen. The point is to recognize your priorities and where they lie.
(In an apologetic manner)… seriously Melanie… though I watched you from a distance very often and quite impressed… I did not venture to speak to you for a very long time, because of your busy reserved nature and sharp blunt dialogues at times, which kept me a far …. Is this the other side of you???
Hahaha, nothing of the sort but yes, I tend to give that impression to a lot of people. This is mostly because my stature and face, though tiny, can be quite intimidating and unfortunately, people find me unapproachable. Believe it or not, in spite of how I dance, I am always the last girl to be picked, or not picked at all when it comes to couple dancing to this very day, mostly because everyone is too afraid to ask me. My blunt answers are because I do not like to hide how I feel about people. I would rather speak to their face than talk behind their back. I guess, in a way, I have inherently built that sort of aura around me because of all the pain I had to go through to get to where I am today. Like a coping mechanism to avoid getting hurt; but obviously, when people actually finally approach me, they get surprised by how much of a nut case I am, and how much they can laugh when they are around me.
I relate myself very easily with you to a great extent… because of our nature. Specifically, Yes, I am talking about the upfront approach… because of which many dislike and disconnect. Do you agree with me??? Have you any time felt lonely or ignored because of this nature??What is your stance???
The truth is bitter, and unfortunately it is bitter on both sides. I have always been a bit of a loner in spite of being so friendly and jovial to people, because I feel being alone gives me peace of mind. Which is also why I love gaming and reading so much, because it allows me to be alone with my thoughts and imagination. It gives me an escape from the drama of real life. That is why being shunned by my fellow peers never affected me that much; it gave me more time to be a queen who wielded a double edged sword.
What is your style statement???
I don’t really have much of a style statement. To me, I wear what I personally feel I look good in. Growing up with boys, you tend to care less about fashion and more about which superhero you would become when you grew up (I personally wished to be ‘Hawk Girl’ and thought of a whole generator that would help me fly). Nonetheless, there has been one constant girly love for me, and those are high heels. I feel an unstoppable love for shoes, and I guess that mostly has to do with my tiny stature. Other than that; however, I’m not much of a ‘Fashonista’ so to speak.
Did you not have nick names? Spell a few? Which did you like best? Do you think it makes an impact on a person? How?
I had quite a few nick names, and they all were fashioned around the beginning of my name which also happened to be the name of fruits, namely, the ‘Melon’. So I had a variety of nick names in the fruits honour: Melon, Le Melon, Water Melon, Mallu-nie, Mellu, Melli, Mel (which is what everyone usually tends to refer to me as) and my personal favourite, Lemony. I guess a nick name gives a certain amount of chill and recognition to a person as having been given a nick name by other people, makes you feel recognised, and in some ways, special.
If am not wrong, only few of your blessed talents are highlighted here? I know you are good at creativity and art too… What else do you enjoy doing… and how do you make time….???
I do in fact love to draw and work my hands on other types of handiwork. Other than that I do love to game, I play lots of them, but I won’t list them here, as it may just seem like gibberish to your readers (lol). I also enjoy reading or watching movies, as I have mentioned before, as all these things help me calm down and collect my thoughts, while also lets me escape the perils of real life. I usually do all this in the nights or after work, whenever I get the time.
The best thing I liked about you is… you take things seriously and utilize them in the best possible way at any given opportunity whether it is an academic project or for the Community. To prove my statement….. I would like to highlight here the video, ‘Seven Sorrows of Mother Mary’ on which we worked together for the spiritual event of the MCCP, which was well acclaimed. Also, the video you compiled for the Summer Camp finale was one of the best I had ever watched. What inspires you to be indispensible in this manner????
Thank you very much for your kind words. Again, as I mentioned before, I guess it is the perfectionist in me that just strives for all things perfect and in sync, and I will not rest till this is realised. My mother has often complained about how I don’t even eat when I am engrossed in something, because to me, the rest of the world is dead till I finish my task, and it is perfect. I have gone whole days without sleeping till I have finished what I have wanted to do.
I guess it is my selfish perfectionism, more than any inspiration
Has M C C P played any role in your journey of life, owing to your success or identity??? Also, do you believe, the youth power and their active involvement will only make the church or community stronger, which will take a step forward to bring the desired change and bridge the gap of generation?
MCCP has indeed played a big role in my life in view of opportunity, recognition and, even other things. In relation to bridging generation gaps and stronger communities, I strongly believe it is a two way process. One cannot function without the others, and one cannot succeed without the cooperation of the other. The youth may be head strong and stubborn, but unfortunately, so is the generation that raised them. We have grown up in a culture that teaches us to respect our elders regardless of their action, but do not teach MUTUAL understanding and respect. I am not bashing adults, but it is just my own personal opinion that the youth must respect and speak out (and when I say speak out, I do not mean angrily back answer, but gently speak of what may be bothering you), and the adults must respect and listen (your children want to speak to you, give them a chance).
Who is your Role Model and why???
I personally, do not really have a role model. I just draw inspiration from inspiring people. In a way, I have too many role models to list. Jesus, Papa Francesco, Marie Curie, even Lady Gaga, just scratch the surface. However, I guess, you can draw inspiration from ANYONE if you are willing to give them a chance.
Do you love pets??? Cooking isn’t enlisted in your hobbies? (Laughs….)What interests you more when you are with your family? Do you agree, quality time with family nurtures a person completely?? How do you compliment this?
(… She giggles endlessly….)
I absolutely adore pets. I have a dog of my own and I love her more than I love human beings. She is also part of our small family of 4 and whatever quality time is spent, has her included. My family is very talkative, so we are always talking to each other about our days and how we have fared. It comes naturally to us. Quality time does nurture a family, but I believe it shouldn’t be done just for the sake of it. I believe that, when you make quality time for each other, it needs to have meaning and must be done with the utmost love. Not just for the sake of it. You may see families who spend quality time every day but can still be more broken than families who spend time, say, once in a week or a month.
Your parents are renowned Toastmasters, especially your mom Clita has achieved the optimum position in Toastmaster’s fraternity, who is one and only woman in Oman having achieved this success. Are you not inspired to leave your footprints in this prestigious fraternity of international acclaim???
I am not much for public speaking on that scale. Yes, I do love to speak, but I love speaking impromptu and helping other people through my words. I am not saying being a toastmaster is a bad thing, but you have to be committed to it and between my choir, video work, actual work and other things, I really don’t have the time to make that kind of a commitment.
Final word from you Melanie…., your message to the youth of today who are boiling like a pressure cooker with the stress of studies and career??? To those with complex and low esteem.
I just repeat my mantra, ‘Take life as it comes at you. You only have one life, so live it to the fullest.’ Be yourself no matter how much you think it is better to be someone else. Trust me, I know I’ve been there. However, it is a lot easier to put time into being yourself, than wasting it to be someone you are not. Unless you are an actor and get money from it 😛 (That is a joke btw). At the end of the day, there is only one you in the world, and that you is unique, THAT you, is special.