A tribute to my Dadima

Yesterday, the only grandparent I really did know and was close to – my grand mother (Dadima) passed way. I wish I could have said that it was a pain free death, but I can’t as it wasn’t. She was 94.

A daughter of a Sir, she was one of the pioneering women who went to Sofia College to study back in 1930’s (a time when women weren’t sent for higher education, even in the West).

Fluently multi-lingual she enjoyed reading, traveling and singing . Later she fell in love with my grandfather — an entrepreneur who pioneered setting up chemical dyestuff industries collaborating the latest German and Japanese technology. She had two sons and three grandchildren – I am happy to be the first one of her grandchildren and knew her for the longest (my way to saying that i was her favourite -Cheeky i know ! )

Tonight, I sit and think of her and know that her memory will forever be in my heart.

There are many things I’ve learnt and observed from her but here are a few that I will cherish for life:

  • Look at the bright side of life .. in the last 10 years, she wasn’t really very mobile or in good health.. but she was always positive and happy to meet you and talk to you.. very rarely would I hear her complain.
  • Having a large house is not enough.. it’s important to have a large hospitable heart.
  • Don’t pray for a long life, but for a healthy life filled with purpose, family and friends.
  • Treasure the memories … I loved the stories she used to tell me about her travels to England, Japan, Germany, Kenya and other parts of the world.

Yesterday, when my parents informed me about her passing away.. my immediate reaction was to catch the next flight from London to attend the funeral in Sea Face Park at Breach Candy where she lived in Mumbai.

But to my surprise, the funeral was already over .. few hours after her passing away!

Super- surprising , I know !

Well, in the Hindu culture (also in the Jewish and some other cultures), it’s believed that the sooner you cremate the body , the faster the soul gets detached to its earthly attachments.

Knowing that she was now pain free and had transcended into another form .. from body to spirit .. it makes me feel a lot calmer & happier.
I am happy to have had a loving grandparent and the thought of whom will inspire me in the times to come.

I write this post in the memory of my dadima – Saroj Shah. I hope it makes you reconnect with a loved one that isn’t lost, but remains in your heart!

  • Diane Priestley
    February 25, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, touching tribute to your beloved Dadima. What a remarkable lady she was; pioneering education for women, multi-lingual and a sitar player! She must have been a joy and delight!
    I really appreciate the life lessons you learned from her and shared with us. Precious and profound.
    Yes, her spirit is free now but Darshana she will always be in your heart. You will always be blessed to have grown up with such a loving, kind and inspirational grandma.

    • Darshana Ubl
      February 26, 2014

      Diane, thank you for your kind words of support .. I am grateful to have had such love, affection and wisdom surround me..

  • akismet-07cd4df357fbb080c88126a51d31c72dohn
    February 25, 2014

    This was beautiful, Darshana. When Kalpna and I saw your post on Facebook, our heart’s both sank for you. I love that you shared such great memories and learnings from her. Grandparents are special people for us to know. They remind us that we’ve each been a long-time in the making. When I look around at all my cousins I always think of how amazing how a little piece of all of comes from our grandparents and that if it weren’t for them and their love, we would have never been.

    Sending you lots of love and can’t wait to see you guys.

    • Darshana Ubl
      February 26, 2014

      Thank you JP & Kalpna for sharing my sentiment. I look forward to catching up with you both soon. Too much has happened in our lives since we last met …

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