one passion in life was 'Rangoli'
- - 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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.