My Exemplary Nona

By archnehas in Experiences
Updated 13:27 IST Jan 03, 2017

Views » 672 | 5 min read

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.” 
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

Thanks to my Nona , I witnessed and experienced everything as mentioned in the quote above, very closely with her. An excerpt on her life.

I received the disheartening news of sad demise of my maternal grandmother Shrimati.Gokulbaiji Ramnarayanji Mantri on 30th Dec'16.She was 80 years old. The purpose of writing this is to appreciate and spread the message of a great deed that she performed even after her death. As per her wish, her body was donated to Godavari Medical College and research centre in Jalgaon .The body is being preserved and will be used for medical research and study purpose by many a students. This indirectly is a service to humanity, as hundreds of doctors will study and in turn serve many thousand patients recover from their ailments. Indeed a very noble and dignified gesture. She is also one of the first women to do "Dehadaan" in North Maharashtra. As her family, we are very proud of her honourable thoughts.

 A little background about her which will enlighten us about her life. Born in a remote village of Jainabad (Jalgaon district) in 1936 to a farmer couple, she was 8th child in family of 10 siblings. She attended school up to 7th std. Very beautiful and with a charming persona; she was married in her teenage to Shri.Ramnarayanji Mantri into a conservative Marwari business family from Jalgaon. She was the eldest daughter in law and took entire responsibility of all her husband’s siblings and family's well being on her tender shoulders. An excellent cook, a very supportive wife, a very kind sister to all her siblings, a dedicated mother and very loving grandmother, she played all roles effortlessly and with utmost zeal. With a strong clarity of thoughts and decisiveness, she was a woman of strong character and will.

She gave birth to four daughters. In spite of being in a male dominated and conservative Marwari society back then in 1960’s, wanting sons to be their heir, she proudly brought up four daughters with equal vigour and support from Ramnarayanji. Though formally not highly educated, she was always a visionary and a rational thinker. She never followed any traditions or customs blindly. She believed in humanity and used to make sure every person known or unknown to her, never went empty stomach. Very amicable, affable, caring in her nature, she was very popular among all family members, old and young alike. Even for us, all her grandkids she always preached and maintained getting educated and being financially independent is essential.In true sense , she believed  and preached  gender equality. She used to treat all daughter in law's in the extended family like her own daughters and her own son in law’s like her son’s.

Her strength was tested yet again, when Shri.Ramnarayanji passed away suddenly in the year 1993, very early at a young age of 63 following an acute health issue. She was only 57 years then, with 4 married daughters and no son. She was an exception; she chose to stand strong and lived her life independently. In last 3 years owing to health issues and family’s insistence, she shifted in a residence nearby to her daughter in Jalgaon.Even then she chose to stay in a separate house and not with her daughter.

 Her decision of body donation was also conveyed to the family well in advance when she was in good health. She was a very strong support and inspiration to us all in the family. I was extremely fortunate to have spent many a vacations and precious time with her. My memories with her range from my childhood to me become a mother. She was always there to teach, appreciate and guide us all.

For a lady with so little exposure to modern world, I am so proud of her open mindedness, her attitude to adapt and willingness to change with the rapidly moving world. She was always ahead of her time and approachable. Her quality of making anybody her friend, was something amazing. She lived her life with strong ethics, discipline and courage. Always positive, she was never the one to get bogged down with a  problem. I am very fortunate to have been born in a family, where the family was headed by an iron lady like her. She is real life hero for me and many more who knew her closely. She earned respect and love of all family, friends and kids alike. But today with this great gesture, she earned admiration and respect of many more and she will be remembered in a very special way for many more years to come.

 I request you to please read this message and pass this inspiring true life story. If this could motivate some of us to be more human and kind ,we can help her cause of  spreading love ,warmth and goodwill and most important - to serve fellow humans beings. God bless her soul, we salute you Naniji.

You have always been extraordinary in your demeanour, but now you are immortal and continue to be a source of inspiration to us and the society. We love you lots and will practice the great virtues you instilled in us.

Thank you .

Ar.Neha Soni.


P.S: More about body donation can be found out on-  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_donation

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Kalamwali 03-Jan-2017 12:16

Bless her soul!

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