February 3rd, 2017

To her father she was referred to as Joginder, to her brothers she was referred to as Bibi, to her husband she was referred to as Jindro, and to all others: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends she was simply referred to as Biji. A short name, she was tiny in size, but she was a woman with an enormous capacity of love and generosity. Right from the start and all the way to the end of her life she spent her time caring, loving and nurturing all her family. She was a true icon and matriarch of our family and she had a wealth of life experiences that she shared with us as well as all her wisdom.

Biji, was more than just my grandmother. She was my inspiration, teacher of life, and my best friend. We could never explain the bond we shared but it was genuine and it was love in its purest form –  unconditional and non-materialistic. We had a special connection, we always joked that it was because our birthdays were one day a part! Biji could always read my mind and know what I was thinking and feeling. She was always one step ahead of me and guiding me at all times. Biji was smart, I taught her how to read some words in English when she was in her 70’s and every day she would read the weather forecast back to me while I got ready for school. She would tell me its flurries outside today and to dress warm and wear a scarf, one that she knitted. She was an incredible and talented knitter, she made countless blankets, sweaters, scarves, hats etc… for everyone all with her delicate two hands. Whenever she was in the kitchen cooking I always found myself to be right next to her, helping her and learning from her, taking notes so I could one day cook the same way she did. We share countless memories and laughter while we cooked together.  She had no vices except for one…junk food and coke. She loved her pizza and French fries, khatta-meetha all with a cold glass of coke.

Biji and Pitaji were blessed with over 76 years of blissful marriage. Their love, support and dedication to each other was evident to everyone that knew them. They were inseparable & complimented each other, where Pitaji has the ultimate sweet tooth, Biji loved salty foods. Together they faced anything & were a true inspiration to us all on how to live together in peace and harmony. Prayer & spirituality was the essence of Biji & her constant teaching to all her kids to always be thankful to God for what we have, to do good things and always remember God’s name.

Biji passed at the incredible age of 92. When I stop to think about that and her age I truly understand how blessed our family was to have her with us for those many years. I know that today we should celebrate her life, her great accomplishments and the legacy she leaves behind. But that’s when I think with my mind. For my mind knows that she was of age to go, that she lived a full life. When I think with my heart, I don’t know her age, all I know is her value and significance she had in my life. When I think with my heart, all I know is that I lost my best friend on Jan 25th, irrespective of her age. My heart doesn’t think the way my mind does so I find myself balancing my emotions with logic at this time. When I think with my heart, I know I will never be able to give Biji one more hug or kiss. When I think with my mind I know that although the physical form of my best friend is gone, the light, the energy, the being that she was is eternal and will never die. So I take comfort in knowing this.

When Biji was alive we talked about everything, you name it, life, death and all types of experiences in between. She always told me that when she dies not to cry over her. I told her I would be lying to her if I said that I wouldn’t cry when she passed so we a made a deal that I would hold off for at least 3 days after she dies to cry to ensure her soul merges peacefully with God without any distraction or pull from me trying to bring her back. On the 4th day I told her not to stop me from crying to which she replied back to me “you can cry but I won’t be there to see you so do what you want to” to which we both laughed. I wake up and I don’t feel that she is gone, I feel her with me, with us. I am blessed to have a lifetime of memories with Biji which I will be sharing with my kids and hopefully their kids. Through her memories we will keep her always alive and in our hearts. Take a moment and close your eyes. Think of a memory that you shared with Biji. That cherished memory is forever yours and will never fade away if you don’t let it.  Thank you to each and every one of you for coming today. Thank you for your continued well wishes, love and support. Our family is truly blessed.

canCertainly live life!

3 Responses to “Biji…”

  1. Ranjit Singh Bhogal says:

    Great blog Paul, biji was an inspiration woman and touched everyone that met her with her warmth, kind heart and love! I have many memories of biji that will stay with me for a long time, from her hospitality and love everytime we would visit Canada, to the times she came to London to see my granddad her youngest brother who she loved very much! She would always talk about you, rinku and ranni and it was clewr that guys were the light of her life.. now she will shine on you guys from above :) God bless biji

  2. Satinder jhita says:

    Wow! I am speechless! I have never met your biji but felt I know her very well, through you! You are one lucky grandson! May you always be surrounded by peace & love! And I love you biji too xoxo May her soul rest in peace.

  3. Kulwant Jutla says:

    Hanspaul, Bete Biji was very special human being.
    Your words touch our souls.
    I will always remember Biji’s smile and words of wisdom. It was always so great to see both Biji and Pita ji together. They always gave blessing to everyone. We were very blessed to be part of her life. We will miss her very much. Truly, an amazing woman. Sending you all love and hugs. As for Biji I know we will all miss her but she will shower us with her blessings from up above.

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