August 19, 2014 – Anjali, our Princess Anji, would be celebrating her 32nd birthday today. Every year since her birth, this was a day that was filled with love, joy of life and lots of friends, just the way Anjali liked to celebrate her birthday.
We remember each year we had her with us and the sevenyears since we had the joy of celebrating her last birthday on this earth, her 25th, with both her mom and dad. These are memories to be cherished forever, for now August 19th is marked with tears of our loss as much as the virtual celebration of her very special, albeit all too brief a life.
Much time has passed by – we thought the pain would subside. However, while life goes on, the pain of our loss never diminishes. There are so many wonderful events in the lives of her friends (and ours) that she has missed and many more that she will miss.
We take comfort in the thought that wherever she is, she is exuding her positive energy, being a friend to so many, and bringing joy to all with whom she interacts. We take comfort in her memories and the good times we had. And long for more.
We only wish we could say to her Happy 32nd Anji.
With hugs and kisses from Mom, Dad, and Tanya.
19th August, 2014
Our darling Anjali,
Six years ago on this fateful day was the last time we heard your beautiful voice with the words “I love you”.
You were on your way home to spend your spring break with us. Our excitement had been rising all day as we awaited your arrival home, with your precious computer in your back pack, arms outstretched to give each of us that wonderful big bear hug you were famous for, and your big smile lighting up your whole face.
Alas, that was not to be. That night you suffered massive injuries in a car accident that robbed you of your life, and it took away your future. Tanya is left without her big sister, and we are left without our princess Anji.
We are moving through the pain of this terrible loss one tiny step at a time. Sometimes we take bigger steps backwards wondering how we will endure this loss. Some days we are able to go through almost a “normal” day. Every young vibrant person reminds us of you, every beautiful smile brings to mind your megawatt smile, every hearty laugh has us reminiscing about your innate capacity to see humor and joy in everyday incidents.
The last six years have taught us very important lessons – no, not taught as much as reinforced them.
Life is a precious gift. It is to be enjoyed each moment, each hour, each day - for the next moment is not promised to us.
Love is eternal. Even as we continue to feel the devastating sorrow of your loss, we find strength in the bond of love that will unite us always.
Laughter is essential. We had lost our ability to laugh for a long time. But in our mind’s eye we see your beautiful smile that lit up your whole face. In our ears ring the lovely sounds of your belly laugh and we cannot help but join us.
Such a gift you have left us, and such a huge hole in our hearts. We miss you darling Anjali. We miss having you in our midst, enriching our lives with your wonderful gifts of laughter, music, and all things unique.
With all our love forever,
Mom and Dad
March 30, 2014
August 19, 2013 – Our Princess Anji would be celebrating her 31st birthday today. Where would she be living? What would she be doing? Would she have found the love of her life by now – someone who accepted her, cherished her, and loved her for who she had grown to become?
Alas, as her parents we cannot answer any of these questions except in our own imagination. Of the one fact we are extremely confident. Wherever she is, whatever she is doing, she would be spreading sunshine and joy through her positive energy, her megawatt smile and her infectious laughter.
We have imagined many times that Anjali would have found her home in Japan and perhaps decided to live there among her students who learned enough English from her and she had learned enough Japanese from them to carry on long, involved philosophical discussions with ease in either language.
Or perhaps she would have returned to Santa Fe, New Mexico to live in the beautiful hills to continue her work with the AVID program and the students she loved so much, watching proudly as each graduated from high school and with her encouragement took the giant step to attend college – the first ever in his or her family to do so.
Her music – the singing, the piano playing, the violin playing, and perhaps the cello she wanted to learn to play – would have brought her into contact with the eclectic world of musicians not simply as an admirer of their music but as a fellow performer. We wonder if her TAMS group would have reunited to perform RENT once again to the delight of all the families who were just blown away that first time they witnessed the amazing talent of these young people way back in 1999-2000.
Perhaps she would have moved to Washington D.C. to live close to her sister Tanya, going to Coachella and Bonneroo with her and a group of friends. We know she would be totally at home in that environment.
Alas, none of these are to be reality –just imagined in our minds and hearts. And yet sad as we are at not being able to see her, touch her, hear her voice, something tells us she is okay. In fact more than okay – she is happy in her new world, achieving the long list of things she planned out for herself and when we see her again each of us will be welcomed with that enchanting smile, hugged with those all-enveloping arms, and hear her voice saying:
“Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hey Tanya!”
Happy Birthday Anjali! With all our love, hugs and kisses,
Mom, Dad, and Tanya
Dear friends of Anjenue,
Today, March 30th, it is 5 years since the dreadful day that befell us. While not a single day goes by without us going through painful moments, this particular day of the year is singularly hard on all of us.
As a memory, and a tribute, we have been writing something on this Journal every year at this time of the year and on her birthday.
As a five year anniversary, we'd like to take a slightly different approach. We want to request you, and perhaps other friends of her, to write something that rekindles her memories - the things we remember her by, the influences she had on her friends and us, and even more to the point what you and her other friends are up to (life of course goes on).
In the mean time our three-legged stool of life without Anjenue's presence continues to wobble along. All three of us strive for the new balance, the new reality, the new life we must learn to live.
With all our love to darling Anjali.
Mom and Dad
Today would be the big day for our Princess Anji – Yes, the big 3…0. With her absolute love of parties of any kind, especially birthdays, Anjali would have planned this event with all the excitement and energy she gave to anything she loved.
The guest list, the invitation, the food she wanted to serve, the birthday cake and how it would be decorated, the clothes she would wear……..every little detail would be planned out with glee.
The party would have been fantastic – she more than likely would have returned from Japan – steeped in the far Eastern culture. She would have been invigorated with additional enthusiasm for the youngsters she so loved to teach.
Whatever she had planned for this, a significant life event, now is being done somewhere else – where we know she will be celebrating to her heart’s desire.
A few changes have occurred in the lives of some important people. Steven and Lisa Giles now live in Atlanta with their baby boy Ethan. We heard that Jessica and her husband have moved to New York to pursue their acting careers. Anand is in San Diego.
Alastair and Stephanie exchanged “I Do” earlier this year in an intimate outdoor wedding ceremony at a beautiful vineyard in Virginia, surrounded by family and friends from Scotland, California, Maine, Texas and all over the world. Ananth and Arpita were married in May in England in a colorful, beautifully orchestrated Hindu ceremony in a temple. Family members from all over the world flew in for this very special occasion. Oh how we missed Anjali, her beautiful presence, her infectious laugh, her angelic singing.
Tanya is adjusting to life in Washington D.C. Determined to find an apartment that felt more like a true home than a converted hotel, she moved to a place in a quiet neighborhood with families, trees, and gardens. She seems happy with it. We were her first visitors for dinner not so long ago. Anjali would have approved. While we visited her, we visited St. John’s campus in Annapolis. We had the privilege of being escorted by Jo Ann, who was referred to us by Jim from St. John’s in Santa Fe.
Anjali, we will do our best to celebrate this important day and try to focus on the happiest memories of some of the best times with you. Family time with you and Tanya was all we ever needed to feel completely and utterly happy. How fortunate we have been as parents to have these memories and how bereft we feel without you. We will celebrate and toast your day with a glass of Fetzer Gewurztraminer.
With all our love, hugs, and kisses
Mom and Dadhttp://www.mediafire.com/?khdkrbwp777pc9j
PS As a special treat for the big 3-0, we were hoping to attach in-line a recording of Anjali singing a track from her most favorite musical, and her reading of one of her novelettes. We have followed the advice of friends and uploaded the file on mediafire (the link above). This clearly will require downloading before you can play it - an extra step that we were hoping to avoid. All the same - Enjoy.
Our dearest Princess Anji,
Four years ago you were forcibly taken away from us. We had you for a mere 25 years during which time we proudly watched you grow from a delightful baby into a wonderful person, a very talented yet humble young lady, an assertive yet compassionate human being. Your passion for life was incredible as was your intense drive to help those around you. We watched you with immense pride as any parent rightfully would.
We have to accept that your challenges were destined to be somewhere else. Now there are others who are benefiting from your company, enjoying your infectious laugh, your zest for life, your curiosity and thirst for knowledge. You probably are making even more impact than you have demonstrated in the time we were fortunate enough to have you in our lives.
We miss you terribly. It is an ache within us that will never go away. Yet we must go on. Life around us keeps on keeping on. While we cannot help feeling that a large part of our heart is missing, we take our solace in seeing others around us, those we love so much, make strides in their own lives. We try to stay in touch with as many of the friends we have, and those we were fortunate enough to get to know because of you. Inevitably, we are losing contact with some of them. We think of them often, and wonder if our paths will cross again.
The big news to share with you is the news of two happy events in the lives of your peers – your cousin Ananth, and your buddy Alastair from your very young days. Preparations for Ananth’s wedding are in full swing. His fiancée Arpita also is a medical practitioner. We have not met her yet. But all the reports we have received so far speak very highly of her. And of course, you well know Ananth – if he has bestowed his heart upon her, the rest just follows.
The wedding is in the UK to take place later this year and has been planned in three separate parts. The first one is on the day before the wedding, where there will be a musical festivity – called Sangeet, a Sanskrit word for Music. You would have fitted in there perfectly. This part seems usual in the North of India. We never had such an event in our community. I did ask whether Ananth would be riding on a white horse. Turns out that while this is often an accepted and expected ritual in a wedding, the couple have decided against it. The wedding itself is on the Sunday as a religious ceremony. From what I gather people from various corners of the globe are invited. We don’t quite know how many will be able to come, but it is going to be a pretty large gathering. And then in the evening there will be the formal dinner, followed no doubt by dancing.
Mom will have a role as the MC for the evening. She will be handling the minute by minute logistics to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can. And of course with mom in charge, it will be. Tanya and Meghana have been asked to be the flower girls - handing out flowers to the guests at the wedding ceremony.
After we return from that wedding we will travel to Alastair’s wedding. Alastair’s fiancée Stephanie is a Harvard graduate also. They are living in Washington DC and both seem to love it there. They have chosen a wonderful winery in Virginia as their wedding venue. From the pictures it looks just beautiful. Alastair and Stephanie have chosen to go with a Scottish ceremony – at least as far as their outfits are concerned. Not quite sure where I will find a McPai kilt for myself.
Tanya, your beloved sister is settling in DC – we well know that for her DC has not won her heart as Boston did as soon as she got there. However, she is making progress and doing her best to have a full and rewarding social life. Shivali lives not too far away and the two have rekindled their high school friendship. Tanya is working long hours, She recently wrote an article on her experience at a pole dancing class – just wonderful to read, and gives you a pretty good insight into what those pole dancers have to go through.
We have heard from Rachel – she has received a promotion. Her grandmother is working, still, at the school and from what we can gather enjoying every minute of it.
Lisa and her husband Steve are the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy and seem to be enjoying the parenting responsibilities very much.
Anand has moved on to San Diego. Mom took him out to dinner just before he moved there, and based on his facebook posts, he appears to be doing well. Perhaps he will make a visit this summer and we will get to know a lot more.
Mr. Venkatesh is really enjoying life in Santa Fe. He enjoys the freedom to do what he wants to do and when he wants to do, He does not enjoy the separation from his daughter but that is a just a fact of life. He visited her over Christmas and apparently she is doing very well at school. Because of language she was held back a year. She has made up that missed year and has been promoted to the correct grade for her.
Occasionally we get a very pleasant surprise when Jim O pays us a visit. You probably never met him, but he is just a delight to be with, so full of positivism and enthusiasm –just a fun person. He also is the person who shepherded us through the setting up and funding of the Memorial Fund. And we gather that fund is serving its purpose well.
We – Tanya, Mom, and I do not often get to be together under one roof much anymore since Tanya gets so little vacation time. Mom and I are working long hours too, but we three stay connected as much as we possibly can. Not being able to see you, hear your voice, see your megawatt smile, get caught up in your infectious laugh, feel your arms around us as you gave us your famous bear hugs, just watching you live your life to the fullest…….Alas, none of these are possible any more.
We love you our wonderful daughter! Life must go on, and so we find solace in the wonderful memories of happier times when Anjali, Tanya, Jyo, and Dinesh believed together we could tackle anything in life because we had each other. Our three-legged stool of life without your presence is wobbly still and quite unbalanced. We are trying to teach Tanya that we will and must continue to strive for the new balance, the new reality, the new life we must learn to live.
With all our love darling Anjali,
Mom and Dad
Welcome to Anj's playground. Kick off your shoes and stay awhile!
Er. So long as you have clean feet.I am...A writer.
Long fics, tonnes of description, character focus, psychology, poetic prose, nerdfic (i.e. meta, technical language, etc.). Slash
, and boys being boys.An RPer. wanderlustrum
, and nekozame
Prince of Tennis, Harry Potter, various other animes, musicals, a couple TV shows, and very
occasionally some RPS.A student.
Just graduated with a second Masters degree - subjects are biology/chemistry, music, and philosophy/liberal arts, though I'm interested in just about everything.A teacher.
7th-12th grades, the AVID
program. I love my job.A nomad.
I love to travel, and I move a lot
, so chances are I'm not in the same place as I was when you first met me.A person.
I talk about myself and my life as much as I talk about fandom.Still interested?
Today our Princess Anji would be 29.
Today also is the day, her sister is in the throes of moving from her current apartment. We can only imagine the level of sisterly dialogue that would have ensued between them - whether it related to the move itself or the next step in life, or whatever.
Perhaps they would have been together heading a big party - she could have named it her birthday party, or her sister's moving party, or just another fun party. Life is to be enjoyed, and she lived it to the full in her short life.
Wherever you now are, Anjali, we know you will celebrate to the full. We will do our best to celebrate too.
With all our love, hugs, and kisses
Tanya, mom, and dad
Today is the third anniversary of the fateful day in 2008 when a reckless driver stole our Princess Anji forever. No one has ever found the person responsible – and even if the driver was found and served justice, it will mean nothing to us, as we never will be able to hug our dear daughter.
No doubt about it …….life is going on – we do have our moments of laughter and excitement, but all too often we realize how close to surface that feeling of sadness is. As we read through the entries from the past, and your kind comments – all the feelings just flood us.
Let us focus instead on some of the happier moments that have come our way – well we all know that Lisa – Anjali’s best friend from TAMS is now a mom to a boy – a Michigan baby. Now, the whole family is moving back from Ann Arbor to Atlanta to be close to Steve’s (Lisa’s husband’s) family.
Linds – now is in Japan. We gather her dad is visiting with her. For a while we were very apprehensive that she might have been in the area of the recent earthquake and tsunami. But we have heard from her and she is fine.
As we thought of Linds, and of Japan, all too easily we also realized that if Anjali still were around, she would have been in Japan. She would have completed two happy years, and she would have fallen in love with the place, enough to want to spend at least a couple more years. And who knows she easily could have been in the area – all supposition however.
Another milestone is forthcoming, for Anand this time. He is due to defend his PhD thesis on May 22 this year…….yes. THIS year. One could say he is tired of Pennsylvania and wants a change of scenery. Hence he has decided to be done with the thesis. Well, the event is about to precipitate, and we feel pretty certain he will do well, and on to his next venture.
Alastair has all but finished with the Harvard program. We understand that the coursework is complete, and he is biding his time before graduation. Then he is due to move to Washington DC, on to his next phase in his life. We are so excited for him.
Jessica, also her best friend from TAMS, got married last year. We were honored to be invited to her wedding in Phoenix and represent Anjali. It was a lovely occasion, and we also had an opportunity to look around the beautiful city of Phoenix.
Our grand-niece, Anju, the first in either of our families turned 2 this year. And she now has a brother, Jay. While we have not had the opportunity to see Jay in person, their grandmother, my sister, certainly has done the honors with tons of pictures on the web.
A milestone for us was that we reached our first goal of Anjali’s Memorial Fund. The fund now can support one person through his/her program at St John’s for about 50%. Our next goal is to build this fund to support at least one student for the full year.
Another milestone for us was that St, Johns College, Santa Fe, voted us into their alumni as honorary members. And we were inducted at a small but beautiful ceremony. There we met some very wonderful people spanning decades of St. Johns studentship, as well as many of the faculty. On that Sunday we were invited to an alumni breakfast/brunch at the home of President of St Johns.
During the same weekend, we also had the opportunity to spend a lovely afternoon with the wonderful couple Tony and Terese, who have sponsored a young lady, Sianapei, in Africa – she was the one who wore Anjali’s gown and cap at her graduation. We now have learned that Sianapei is readying herself to join a medical college.
Tanya – Anjali’s sister, graduated from Emerson last year. She went through a down patch for a while, when she along with many other graduates, were struggling to get employment in their field. She had her heart set on working with a magazine publishing company. Her break came in August, when she joined Boston Magazine as the Assistant Managing Editor. As any business there are normal times, and there are stressful times. Just before an issue is published, she spends an inordinate amount of time gathering everything together, and making sure that the magazine is ready for publishing – a very critical phase, and yes, it is very stressful and involves long hours. All the same she appears to be enjoying her job.
As we noted earlier, life goes on, and must go on. If only we could reverse the time and take that fateful day back……
With all our love our darling Anjali, our Princess Anji, we miss you so much. Wherever you are, we hope you are happy, exploring new territory, and blazing new trails.