Meena is the one and only daughter of Late Baptist Pinto and Late Mary Pinto of St. Joseph Nagar, Jeppu, born on November 21, 1946. Her birth name is Mural Gratia Pinto and was lovingly called as Meena at home. Later on her husband, “Konkan Kogul”, Mr. Wilfy Rebimbus, permanently changed her name to Meena in all records.
In 1963, for the first time, she got an opportunity to sing with Wilfy Rebimbus for his Music Party “United Youngsters”. This was on the occasion of his Konkani Play “Doth Maka Naka”. It was the beginning of her singing with Wilfy, and since then she has been the back bone of Wilfy Nites for more than 55 years.
In the Sixties Meena took part in various categories including solo, duet, and group in the inter parish singing competitions, which were organized by Konkani Natak Sabha Mangalore, and had won many prizes for her Parish.
Jeppu parish had won many trophies, mostly were first place. At the Silver Jubilee year of the Konkani Natak Sabha, Meena won first place for the song – “Nehrucho Ugdas’. Also, Meena together with Wilfy won first places in Duet and Group in both male and female categories. Hence Jeppu Parish won the permanent Trophy with 33 points while the parish which got 2nd place secured only 11 points. This was before the introduction of Wifly Nites.
On January 25, 1970, Wilfy and Meena were united in the sacrament of Matrimony. They are blessed with two Children Veena (1971) & Vishwas (1978). Both of them have given their stage performances at a very small age. Veena’s song ‘Muji Mummy’ has been recorded by the HMV when she was 5 years old. Vishwas' first song is “Chandamama” and his first recorded song is – “Mog Zaina Matharo.” Ever since then they have been performing in almost all of the Wilfy Nites
From 16 years of age till date, Meena has sang more than 2000 songs, sang as a background singer for more than 300 plays, and sang for Wilfy’s 46 Cassettes & 6 Devotional Cassettes, 4 Konkani Films and been a strong backbone for 270 plus Wilfy Nites.
Meena’s father was a popular singer & also a well-known Guitarist. He used to tutor people with his guitar skills. He has also composed many songs to his credit. He played an active role during the Second World War. When Meena was just 9 years old, he was called to serve in the country and never returned. Her Aunt Mrs. Lucy Rosario, who was the elder sister of her mom, gave helping hand in raising Meena.
Then, began the Era of “Wilfy Nites” from 1971, and so far she has performed in 274 Wilfy Nites & Wilfy Day (together). These nites covered all the places in and around Dakshina Kannada, Honnavar, Shirshi, Karwar, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore and Delhi. In the Middle East - Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Kuwait and the latest performance in Canada. She has rendered her voice to 46 Volumes of Wilfy’s CDs, 6 Devotional CDs & 4 Konkani Movies
She has also composed many songs. To name a few popular ones -“Nach tuka eatha ter nach Moga”, “Ya Sounsaranth”, and “Asha ”. Delhi & Bangalore Doordarshan & Akashavani Mangalore have telecasted her performance.
Meena was only 16 years old when she started singing with Wilfy Rebimbus, during that time most of the composers were using popular Hindi tunes for their Konkani songs. However, Wilfy had started a new trend of composing songs using his own tunes. Meena was very fond of Hindi movies, especially the songs. She would watch the movies for the sake of learning the songs and then sing them for any occasion, this was her hobby.
Wilfy had composed some new songs for a play and one of the songs was 'Vrindavananth sugandh ubtha thand vare valthana'. This was a duet and Meena was called for the practice. After Wilfy trained her, she asked a common friend to find out from Wilfy about the movie from which he had taken the tune so that she could watch that movie and also learn the original version of the song. When Wilfy heard this he got very furious as it was his original tune and Meena thought this was a copy from one of the Hindi song. He shouted at her and then Meena never dared ask him anything.
Meena is a very devoted person and attends the first mass at 5.45 am and leads the choir in Jeppu parish daily, except during out of town shows. This has become a routine for her she says. Her melodious voice truly adds a zing in the choir. Whatever we have achieved is only because of God's blessings on our family. He has always protected and blessed us in every way she says. Meena has strong faith in St. Joseph the patron of Jeppu parish. Every program Meena and Wilfy began in the name of Jesus through St. Joseph. Meena says that it's their duty to praise and thank Him for his blessings showered upon them. So, whenever she's in Mangalore, without fail she attends the first mass and praises God. Meena is an active member of Jeppu Choir for the past 30 years. She also loves cooking and gardening.
Meena's songs are selected for the 3 Discs produced by HMV, and have been telecasted in Bangalore and Delhi Doordarshan. She is also an auditioned artist of Akashvani Mangalore.
She sang for the following films:
• 1977 - Mog ani Moipas
• 1988 - Kazara Upranth
• 1986 - Bogsane
• 2005 - Padri
For her contribution towards Konkani Music, she has been felicitated by :
1984 - “Konkan Myna” From Benar Production & also a Gold Medal
1996 - “Konkanni Podanchi Rani ” From Broad View, Kala Sampath Lions
1999 - “Shatamananthli Adarsh Potin ” from Chintpachi Manchi Kuwait
1999 - “Life time Achievement Award” from MCC, Association Doha Qatar
2003 – Felicitated by Kuwait Farwania Friends Circle.
2006 – Felicitated By Jeppu Parishioners & St. Joseph Natak Sangh.
2011 – Felicitated by the Mangalore Cultural Association, MCA Doha Qatar.
2011 – Felicitated by various associations in Mumbai on the occasion
2012 – Felicitated by SMKC, Dubai
2013 - Felicitated by Konkan Catholic Association, Bangalore
2014 - Felicitated by Canara World Foundation Inc. (CWF)
2015 – Felicitated by Parichaya, Pamboor
2015 - Felicitated by ICYM Bajpe
2015 – Felicitated by Konkani community of Sacred Heart Church, Bahrain
2015 – Felicitated by Konkani Kutam, London
2016 – Felicitated by Konkani Community Kuwait (KCK)
2016 – Felicitated by Konkani speaking community of Doha
2016 – Felicitated by SMMKC, Sharjah
After Wilfy’s death, Meena is left alone with his memories and spends time listening to his songs. Even though shattered by his exit, she encourages her Children to move forward and continue Wilfy’s work by organizing Wilfy Nites. Although she misses singing with Wilfy, she has taken the bold step of continuing her singing just to encourage her children and keep the torch of Konkani shine brightly in the music world. After Wilfy’s demise she has continued his work with the help of her children
Veena – Arthur, Vishwas – Charleen, Grandchildren – Arvin, Anna and Roger in different ways.