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Mrs. Rani Garg (Mama) was born on September 12, 1937 in the home of her maternal grandmother in Jhansi, India. Due to the early demise of her father, she grew up in the family of her uncle, and graduated with Bachelor's degrees in History, Economics and Political Science and Teaching from St. John's College, Agra. Following this she taught High School in Aligarh, and completed her Master's degree in History at Aligarh Muslim University in 1959. It was during this time in Aligarh that she met our father Mr. Ashok Garg, the love of her life. They married on May 16, 1959 and started family life in New Delhi shortly after. She continued teaching high school until the arrival of their first born Anurag in February 1960. Our parents moved to Calcutta in early 1963 where Aditya was born in October. It seems that they carried a keen sense of adventure, because they shared values, enterprise and their faith in a number of places in India and overseas. Mama followed a long tradition of community-builders in our family… New Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Pune and Lusaka were homes for many years. In between, she travelled to visit friends and relatives around the globe, and leaves fond memories in Saharanpur, Lucknow, Mathura, Agra, New Delhi, Baton Rouge, Winnipeg, London, Chicago and many other places. Mama cherished gardening and was most happy talking about the flowers in bloom depending on the season. In the close circle of family and friends, Mama was also known as Annapurna. Get-togethers and family events revolved around food, whether a quiet evening with her grandchildren or an Akhand Ramayana in Lusaka with 200 people. She was an active participant of the Inner Wheel movement, holding leadership positions in both Pune and Lusaka. It seems that there was never enough energy nor time to do all the things that she could. Niwara (a home for the elderly), and NGO Disha are testimony to her involvement in community welfare and charitable institutions. Since our parents retired from an active work life in 1996, afternoons were quiet, and late nights reserved for her favourite TV serial. Mama passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 in Pune, India. Her values and sense of charity will endure in her grandchildren, Anshuman, Aditi, Shivani, Avni and Aneri. The love and memories that she shared with our father will last forever.
Anurag and Shalini
Aditya and Smita
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Apr. 12, 2014