Malony Shrivastava Memorial Foundation - Menu
was fortunate enough to know the many sides of Malony
was a caring and fun mother, a strong and loving wife, an
affectionate friend, a playful Nani, a memorable teacher, a
decisive manager, a responsible daughter, and a truly amazing
and tender person.
value diversity and being well-rounded because of her.
She had the amazing ability to relate to all types and
ages of people. She
was a very cultured person as well, supporting Surabhi and I
in dance and art and taking a keen interest in performances.
Throughout her community of friends she was known to be
someone who supported everyone’s talents. She truly felt alive while dancing, sowing, cooking,
decorating, or even watching others perform.
also taught us the meaning of respect and duty.
Even though she left India many years ago she was very
aware of her responsibilities as the eldest child of her house
and oldest bahu of her husband’s family. She made it a point to educate Surabhi and I on the duties
that we have by being a part of this family, and that was the
theme of many discussions with Rashmi as well. She loved her
friends, and respected her elders very much – something that
she’s worked hard to teach me.
was very responsible for herself and her family.
When she was first diagnosed many years ago, she made
self-education very important – she was always reading books
and listening to CDs that would help her in her fight.
She always taught us to think positive, take charge, to
be in command of the things that matter: whether it be her
health, our education, or my wedding.
Trust me, there was never any time for complacency when
confronted with boundless
energy and spirit.
was a great listener and very honest with everyone, which is
one of the reasons there are so many of you here today with a
special story or memory of her kindness and spirit. Over the past few days Rashmi, Surabhi and I truly came to
realize how profound an impact she made on those she
was a role model. For
her family, for her friends, for those who only met her a few
times. She will
be missed by those young and old.
We were fortunate to be around her and to care for her
and to love her. We were blessed to learn from her, to laugh with her, and to
celebrate with her. I
speak not only for her family but all of her friends as well,
when I say: Even though there will never again be anyone like
you we will try our best to live our lives the way you taught
us. I love you,
and we all love you.
is an honour to be asked to say a few words about a departed
soul who has had such a profound influence in so many
peoples’ lives. Although Malony’s life was severely
shortened by an unfortunate illness, she has made a memorable
impact that will leave her legacy for the future generations.
She was an amazing individual: full of life, full of vigour,
full of energy, full of enthusiasm and full of happiness that
she contagiously spread around to everyone.
was an individual who was passionate about life. She lived for
the moment. She had full control of those moments. She chose
her moment to enjoy, she chose her moment to party, she chose
her moment to organize other peoples’ lives and most
importantly friends (pause), she chose her moment to depart
from our lives. How else can you explain that she did
everything for Saurabh and Rashmi’s wedding to the last
moment when she danced for 2 hours at the reception in Toronto
in late December, came home to Vancouver and started to
deteriorate in early January, how else can you explain that
her last breath was taken at the Paap Vimochani Ekadashi, one
of the holiest moments in the Hindu calendar during the Meena
Nakshatra which is her birth Rashi. How else can you explain
that she spent more than an hour with her family members
before saying the eternal good bye, how else can you explain
that after not being able to swallow for a long time she
sipped and took in the Maha Mritunjai Ganga Jal from Praveen
and heard the last words “Jai Gurudev” from Maharishi. All
these cannot be coincidences. She was in full control and she
chose this moment.
was many things to many people
Malony personified inspiration. She encouraged everyone,
particularly the younger generation to reach their full
potential. She truly believed in the philosophy which says
“obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the
goal”. No hurdle could dampen her spirit to reach her goal
and her words provided uplifting and soothing comfort in the
gloomiest of moments. Her TV interview with Anand Atal during
her battle with cancer stimulated hope and instilled courage
in the hearts of thousands of audiences.
Malony was an icon dignity and grace. By every measure her
appearance at an event infused life into the occasion.
Everyone was anxious to see what Malony was going to wear for
an occasion. She planned an event to the last detain and
exhibited class in every step of the way. I am sure that
Anjali, Mini, Nikhil, Ami, Aarti, Alka, Sharad and Tina will
testify to that as she planned their weddings, showers, in
some cases kid’s birthdays. Even during her bout with cancer
over the past six years, she conducted herself with no sign of
sorrow or pain. As an example, Praveen, Malony, Saurabh and
Surabhi visited us in Toronto a year ago in December. When
Malony found out that we had planned a New Year ’s Eve
party, she immediately took charge and started directing
Chitra, Surabhi, Saurabh, Nitin and even Daisy, who she had
just met in carrying out their assigned tasks and
interestingly enough, Daisy seemed to enjoy it- something only
Malony could do! The menu was totally modified, the event was
turned around and we ended up with an excellent party.
Everyone in this room knows her talents in organizing the New
Year eve parties and annual Akhand Ramayan were unmatched. She
was the only one who could set Kailash Gupta straight when he
got out of line and politically incorrect with his remarks and
again that’s the only time I have seen Kailash speechless.
Malony radiated enthusiasm and energy to her many friends
around her. Her unique style and positive attitude imparted
happiness and excitement everywhere. Her sense of humor and
her incredible laugh made it a joy to be in her company.
Suresh and Nimmi, Chitra and I, Ravi and Shobha, Asha and
several others met Malony, Praveen and Saurabh for the first
time in the early eighties at the VHP picnic at Whytecliff
Park when she was carrying Surabhi. Since then the bond has
become stronger with the passing of each day and we continue
to cherish each moment.
Malony’s abilities to converse are well known amongst all
her friends. Could she ever talk…. And talk…. And talk.
Her all night conversations with Chitra every time they met
are well documented. Even Madhu and Gayatri were partners and
accomplices in this crime in Victoria when they chatted about
anything and everything till the crack of dawn while all of us
men snored heavily. Once during such all night chat, both
families stayed up while Malony affectionately but firmly laid
out her expectations to Nitin and Saurabh of their future
Bahus. Ability to make Chaklis, cook good Indian food and
arranging their wardrobes were the minimums.
Malony’s affection was unparalleled. She was a wonderful
mother and lately a mother-in-law, a perfect wife, an amazing
friend and the favorite aunty to all the younger generation.
She was selfless and always thinking of others. She has
brought up two lovely kids in Saurabh and Surabhi and a
daughter-in-law Rashmi and has even straightened out Praveen.
finally my friends… above all Malony loved life. She lived
her life to the fullest encouraging everyone to come along
with her. No obstacle was big enough to curtail her desires in
living a full and busy life. During her final years, she
demonstrated extraordinary courage and incredible strength
setting an example and becoming a role model for all of us.
She was affectionate, courageous, energetic, joyful, graceful,
and a privilege to know.
we all know, Malony was diagnosed with cancer during Diwali of
2000, just over 6 years ago. She fought the battle for six
years with courage and dignity crossing the six dwars or six
gates of the Chakravyu that was created for her. It was the
seventh gate, just like Abimanyu in Mahabharat that was the
hardest to cross and where she lost the battle. However, Just
like Abhmanyu she may have lost the battle but she has
definitely won the war, she has won the Mahabharat through the
legacy that she leaves for us to follow, through the
inspiration that she infused in all of us, through the charm
and courage she displayed during her final six years. She has
left some unfinished business for us to complete and I throw a
challenge to all of you family and friends to follow her
legacy, to follow her teachings.
friends and family, this is a day full of sorrow for us
because we will miss the company of such an extraordinary
person who made a memorable impact in so many people’s
lives. However, her life is the perfect example for
inspiration and admiration. I can assure you that Malony would
have wanted us to celebrate her life and toast her
accomplishments. She wouldn’t want it any other way.
According to our scriptures her atma has now departed to a 430
day journey to the next destination and this journey will be a
lot smoother if we all collectively prayed for her, celebrated
her accomplishments and nurtured her legacy. We all saw her as
she rests in her final bed in full peace and tranquility as
she makes this journey.
Malony… what can I tell you? She has
touched all of us in a very special way. It was a special privilege
to have her as a life partner. Her sense of propriety, determination,
and resolve were unmatched. No challenge was too much for her.
adversities were simply there to be overcome. The word “impossible”
was not in her dictionary. She did everything with full conviction and
lived life to the fullest. Running a daycare, catering parties of 100
or more guests, and interior decoration were all her hobbies, Yet she
gave each project her 110%.
She had children under
the age of 4 not wanting to leave her house at the end of the day when
their parents came to pick them up. She arranged food for a meeting
where 70 people showed up, though only 14 had sent RSVPs, and all were
fed by the end of the meeting. She was extremely concerned with our
culture an spiritual heritage. Teaching Hindi was as important as
doing Pujas in the right way. Even priests were corrected on
occasions. She believed in learning and was an avid Internet surfer.
When she was hit with news of cancer seven years ago, her first
reaction was to learn all she could about the disease. Within a few
months she knew more than many experts in the field. She went on to
understand conventional and alternative cancer therapies, and Malony
decided to deal with the challenge head on and fight it. She lived
life to the fullest and on her own terms. .
How else can you explain
the vitality and joy in these photographs, which were taken only three
and five months ago? She looks like a picture of pure health.
was dancing for hours at a time, arranging her son’s wedding, and
leading the Baraat procession less than six months ago in Jaipur,
India. Malony’s positive thinking was infectious and touched
everybody. Her zest for life was something admired and emulated by
all who met her. She had an eye for meticulous detail and made sure
that everybody around her was doing things properly. The way she
lived and the way she defied all odds on the cancer is truly an
inspiration and I am sure that many people can benefit from her
resolve. A few days ago, she asked me to put some funds aside for her
exclusive use. This request surprised me, coming from a woman who
never discussed money. Still, I told her that during the coming year,
I would put aside a sum of money at her disposal. Yet she left us all
suddenly without any further instructions. All at once, it became
crystal clear to me what she had in mind. She wanted us to continue
her work. So we have decided to create a “Malony Shrivastava Memorial
Foundation” and I am pledging $100,000 to this Foundation. We need
everybody’s help and support to make the Foundation a success and to
carry on Malony’s vision and spirit. Currently, we are actively
recruiting volunteers for the Foundation. We need to spread the
strength that Malony has shown us. Even if we show her interview
tapes just once to cancer sufferers, we may change their lives, and we
will have done something worthwhile.
I married her I gave her a song. I had never sang anything in my life.
Cleverly one day, she convinced me to sing that song in public. I
don’t think that I can sing it today, Malony, but I will say it:
chapter is just beginning. Let’s make Malony larger than life as she
truly was. Malony, I love you.