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So how does Sabina Yasmin feel about her birthday coming around again?

“It feels good,” comes the reply. The gifted singer with the golden voice quite enjoys her birthday. Then again, it’s a reminder that she’s a step closer to the ultimate destination. “So it’s a mixed feeling,” she elaborates, “Happy and a bit of concern. Not even a quarter of what I have crossed so far is left. That is life.”

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What about birthdays of the past, her childhood?

Those are all sweet memories. “When I was very small, then a young student and for some time after that too, I used to celebrate my birthdays in a big way. Many guests would come and I would really enjoy myself,” recalls Sabina Yasmin.

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She recalls her birthday seven years ago. She had been in Chicago at the time. That was the first time she had the Japanese hibachi meal. “A hibachi meal is so tasty, there are no words to describe it!” she exclaims.

Hibachi is a Japanese method of cooking, she explains "They cook at the table in front of us, preparing whatever we want – rice, fish, beef, everything. They even have a fun way of preparing egg, almost juggling it with dexterity. I was entranced!"

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Sabina Yasmin readily admits she’s a foodie. When it comes to non-local dishes, steaks are her favourite. As for local food, she’s a true Bengali rice lover. “There’s nothing like dal, rice and fish!” she says, “I love fish. I just can’t do without fish.”

Hilsa is her favourite and nowadays she had developed a liking for mirka. She also loves koi, but the local variety.

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Is this talented singer a talented cook too?

“I like cooking, but I can’t cook,” she admits laughingly. “I cook with the mobile phone in one hand, following directions on YouTube. I follow the instructions with precision. If they say turmeric first, I put turmeric first, not chilli. I don’t take any chance at making a mistake! I really like cooking but am scared of making a mess! Then again, I have to cook dal and rice.”

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What do others say about her cooking?

She laughs again. “They don’t get a chance to say anything. Only my daughter likes my cooking because she’s the only one who’s eaten it. I don’t give anyone else food which I cook. Even if I do, I don’t tell them who cooked it!”

Sabina Yasmin’s two children haven’t taken up singing. Why?

“That’s their choice,” says the singer, “I left it up to them. My daughter has a good job in a bank. She is happy with it and I am happy too. My son is studying in London. I have often noticed that most children don’t follow in their parents footsteps when it comes to their choice in career. Even if they do, they don’t usually achieve that level of success.”

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She explains, “Actually such parents are often so caught up in their work, they can’t give that much time to their children. I couldn’t give my children the time my parents gave me for my singing. I also hear that when the parents’ achieved such a height of success, it is difficult for the next generation to step into their shoes.”

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