A song for Sanushi                

By Dilukshi Thomas
There’s nothing like sibling rivalry. Bickering, senseless fighting and endless arguments are all common in any sibling relationship. But for Tehan Perera, even that would be preferable to losing his only sister Sanushi.

“When my sister passed away, I was too young to understand the full of extent of what had happened,” said a sombre Tehan. “Now I really know what it is to lose a sister and I miss her dearly.”

Sanushi Perera, Tehan’s elder sister, passed away almost a decade ago due to complications caused by dengue fever.
“I don’t really remember much about that time,” he reflected, “But what I do remember is my sister’s sunny spirit and that she was loved by everyone.”

Tehan’s musings also dredged up memories of his sister’s kindness and affection towards him. “Even though I was younger, she was never deliberately mean to me,” he said, with a smile. “Sure, we had our differences, but we were also close.”

And so for Sanushi’s 18th birthday, the Pereras planned a very special memorial to honour their loved one. As a tribute to the memory of his much-loved sister, Tehan decided to do something extra special and wrote a song.

“When Sanushi’s birthday began approaching, the whole family got together and wanted to do something special in her memory,” said Tehan. “So after much consideration, I thought of writing her a song.”

The result of Tehan’s thoughtfulness was Wherever You Are, a beautiful ballad, sweet and simple, which is about sweet and sunny Sanushi, who always had a smile and kind word for everyone.

The song also evokes a lot of emotion from the Perera family, Tehan in particular. “This song is very special to me,” he said, “I’m really glad that I could do this for her.”

The creation of the song, lyrics and music was very much a collaborative effort. Members of the Sri Lankan band Magic Box Mix-up, also close friends and family of Tehan, offered their musical talents and creativity to the track.

“When I first presented the idea to Magic Box Mix-up, they were very eager to help and since then have shown their support for the idea and the song 100%,” said Tehan.

Band members of the TNL Onstage finalist Magic Box Mix-up offered to write the lyrics while a member of the same group produced the music, whilst Tehan lent his vocals to the recording of the track.

“Actually, recording the demo was an experience in itself,” he explained, “I really enjoyed the process.”
Wherever You Are was released a few weeks ago and is fast becoming a very popular tune on radio. “It’s too early to tell what the reception of the song has been like,” said Tehan, “But I genuinely hope that people will like it because it was something special for me to do.”

The reason why he decided to write this song was not just in memory of Sanushi. “This song offers hope,” said Tehan, “Hope to all those people who have lost loved ones, especially to dengue, with the message that they are not alone in their grief and that there will always be people like me who will understand.”

The song also aims to inspire people to take action against preventable diseases like dengue and find a solution to the world’s dengue problem. “For every person who has lost someone they love,” he said, with a faint smile, “This song is for them.”