May 23 - May 29, 2003


 Coastweek   Kenya

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HEr one passion in life was 'Rangoli'

Coastweek - - Mombasa has lost a diamond. On 16 May 2003, we were plunged into utter dismay by the sudden and untimely demise of Mrs. Pushpa Gulabchand Haria.

In her short span of life, she touched so many hearts and influenced so many people.

That anyone could grasp so many aspects of life so tenaciously and with so much success is a wonder.

Late Mrs Pushpa Gulabchand Haria Pushpaben was born on 8 December 1947 in Nairobi.

She married Gulab, or 'Batuk' as he is more popularly known as, on 1 May 1966.

They were blessed with one son, Kunjal, who is married to Neera, and one daughter, Deepa.

Coastweek - - Late Mrs Pushpa
Gulabchand Haria Pushpaben.

Pushpaben's one passion in life was Rangoli - that traditional Indian art of painting the floor with powder colours.

Originally, the purpose of rangoli was to drive away demons and bring light into one's life, especially during the festive season of Diwali.

Every woman used to make a rangoli at her doorstep.

Gradually, this developed into a fine art.

Pushpaben honed her skills and raised the level of this art enormously.

The simple patterns became intricate designs and life-like religious figures took shape in her rangolis.

She created huge rangolis depicting religious and cultural themes at Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Portugal, Canada, Dar es Salaam and every major town in Kenya - Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu.

She also conducted rangoli classes at all these places.

Pushpaben released a video-cassette "Teach Yourself Rangoli" in the UK, and it proved very popular.

Pushpaben was very famous for her culinary skills and conducted cooking classes locally as well as internationally.

She also dabbled in painting, and was accomplished in craft-work, interior decoration and flower arrangement.

Besides these time consuming hobbies, she found time to do a lot of social work.

She was the Chairperson of Oshwal Mahila Mandal for two years, and had just been appointed as a trustee.

She was instrumental in starting the Ladies Wing of the Hindu Council of Kenya, Mombasa Branch, and was the Chairperson for two years.

During this time, she convened two huge cultural programmes "Utsav Darshan" and "Mera Bharat Mahan", which enjoyed phenomenal success and are remembered even today.

She has served on the Committee of Shree Visa Oshwal Community Mombasa and was presently the Joint Secretary.

She has served on the Committee of Shree Jain Shvetambar Derawasi Sangh.

She served as Chairperson of the Ladies Wing of the Saturday Club.

One worthy lady, a gentlewoman to the core, Pushpaben was taken away from us in a few minutes.

Pushpaben was more than a friend to many of us.

She was our guiding light and force, and our mentor.

We were always confident that any task, however complicated, would be accomplished with her help and advice.

She was a woman of the people for the people.

Forever smiling, Pushpaben never learnt to say no to anyone.

She was very hardworking, and never felt any job was below her dignity.

Caste, creed, colour and status were never her criteria for building relationships.

Humble and unassuming, she was not one to seek the limelight.

That, we believe, was the secret of her success.

Pushpaben had a charisma that endeared her to everyone, from a child of 8 years to the elder of 80 years.

She had a knack of forging and maintaining relationships.

To her, family was not just Ba, Batuk, Kunjal, Neera and Deepa.

The entire Haria Parivar and their friends and relatives were her extended family.

Everyone turned to her for guidance.

The strength and courage she showed in times of difficulties was remarkable. Pushpaben has left a legacy of good deeds, words and thoughts.

May God give strength to her family to uphold this legacy.

Let us all learn from her to live this special occasion called life to the full. We know it will not be easy, but let us try our utmost.

- from a Friend in Mombasa.





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