She was God's bright flame,
Kindling the sacred light,
In the midst of life's crowded lanes,
In many hearts she made one
With love she silently poured
Out of her spirit's infinite wells.
She was God's loud laughter,
A divine sound from deep within,
Once heard, never forgotten,
Aural seeds of joy, destined to bloom,
Today or tomorrow, in the Nursery of life
Where she nurtured beings as flowers.
She was God's fiery sword,
Striking at falsehood and its many heads.
Fearless, outspoken and forthright,
Her spirit’s force shone in daily life.
God’s Truth was her very nature;
Spared was none that stood against it.
She was God's humble servant,
She lived and worked only to serve;
Bearing the flag with the Divine name,
A magnificent prayer was her life,
Bestowed with untold inner riches,
Because to serve was all she asked.
She was God's spiritual warrior,
Rising from level to higher level,
Led by the inner guide on the sunlit path,
To the sealed door guarding earth’s future,
With the dread spiritual test as key,
Ordinary seekers never ask for nor are asked of.
She was God's daring soul,
Her body she gladly surrendered
As battleground for God’s war with death.
The physical ordeal a secret between her and God,
She fought as God’s soldier, with god-given courage;
Her most potent weapon her celestial smile.
The occult battle raged in the body’s very cells,
But earth’s laws were cast in iron and victory was not yet to be;
Leaving behind the fallen body - death’s poor trophy,
And the life she had celebrated with every breath,
She left for a greater life, heeding the Divine call;
There was much to be done still.
The one who chose to be the soul’s conscious defeat,
She was Shikha, God’s victorious flame.
Shikha di was born on 13.April.1948 in Jamshedpur, to Shri Tapas Kumar Ghosh & Smt Gayatri Ghosh. She did her schooling from Sacred Heart Convent, Jamshedpur and her graduation & post-graduation from Ranchi University. She excelled academically, winning a Gold Medal at the post-graduate level. She taught at Jamshedpur Women’s College for a year before she got married to Shri Arun Kumar Guha on 23.January.1972.
A meeting with The Mother in 1972 at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry completely changed the course of Shikha di's life. She went on to immerse herself in selfless service to The Mother at Sri Aurobindo Institute of Culture since January 1994. Although she was most closely identified with the Arun Nursery School in her position as Head-mistress, she contributed at various times to The Future Foundation School, the Public library, Galerie La Mère, the sales counter, the Research wing and in effect, to the entire Institute in countless unseen ways.
To Maa, with Love
I was always proud of Maa. I loved, admired and respected her for the person she was - as daughter, sister, aunt, niece, wife, and above all, as mother. I admired her sense of equanimity, her ability to remain practical, her amazing dynamism, and her unbelievable EQ. What I have discovered - to my immense pride, is that not only was she a mother to me and my brothers and sisters, she was a mother-figure to hundreds (or is it thousands?). I always knew she was immensely popular - but the last two days, a substantial proportion of which has been spent in going through thoughts shared by her extended family members at ANS/TFFS/SAIOC, have been truly an eye-opener.
During her last 1 month, when she was really suffering from that dreaded disease, she often told me : jaanish, aamake kotto lok kotto bhaalobaashe. And I would give an expression like, huh, as if they have a choice. Honestly, I’ve never known a person as radiant, as effervescent, as warm as Maa. Her energy was so contagious... once in a while she even managed to infect me, sadly for her, that was barely once in a blue moon frown emoticon It is only with her transition that I am realizing how blessed I have been to have been born her son. I always counted being born as her son one of my greatest blessings - but to this extent, I honestly had no clue.
Last night I was chatting with Anasua-di, during the course of which she commended me for being able to remain strong. I told her that 41 years of education at the Shikha Guha School of Learning had given me this strength. It is this education that I will fall back on for the rest of my life.
Thank you Maa for everything. Am not going to say I miss you - for I know you are very much around me, watching over me every step of the way. And I have your memories to guide me for the rest of my life.
Love you always. ~ Aumlaan
She was Mother's hero warrior in the true sense of the term.
She never grudged any task assigned to her, whether she knew how to do it or not beforehand. In her association here spanning two decades, she straddled many roles with ease and grace. Nothing was too small or big for her. It was all a labour of love - love for the Mother.
She will remain a shining example of what it means to work for the Mother, to serve egolessly.
I have highest admiration for Shikha, for her selfless service, dedication, and working for The Mother, in Lakshmi's House and TFFS, for many decades. She has touched many hearts by her genial manners and smiling face. She was a symbol of motivation and inspiration to all those who came in contact with her. She was evergreen. Her untimely demise is a personal and collective loss. Her soul will rest in peace with Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
Even after one whole day, I’m not sure how to put my thoughts down in writing. To me, Shikha miss seemed invincible and eternal - to the point that I had never, ever so much as imagined a world without her presence. I remember her from my very first visit to the school, even before I had taken admission - and I was blessed to know her for the many years that followed. I left school in 2005, and eventually moved out of Calcutta a few years later, but every time I visited school on my trips home, she was always there to welcome me, no matter how many years had passed since I graduated. Shikha miss would always remember what I was studying, where I was working, and how I had been - bringing up little details from our earlier conversations that even I no longer remembered. I was fortunate to have her love and attention in all the years that followed, and she always made me feel like I had never left TFFS. To me, Shikha Miss will always be there, an inseparable part of Lakshmi’s House and the values that it represented. I will miss her terribly, but at the same time, I feel honoured to have known and learnt from her, in so many ways. Shikha miss gave so much to enrich the lives of every single student at TFFS, and I think we will all carry some part of her with us, no matter where we go from here.
Ami jani aaj amar ei lekha porar jonno apni nei .....Aaj porjonto tffs er amar protyek ta experience er shonge apni jorito.....
Ami janina aaj shokale ami keno kauke haranor bhoy ekta shanghatik durshwopno dekhe kende kokiye ghum theke uthechi.....
Ami janina aaj hothat eto gulo din pore school er pash diye hat te hat te ichhe korlo ekbar Ashram e giye Mother er shrine e pronam kore ashi.....
Maybe you were with me..
Might be so that you guided me..
Aaj holo amar school chharar por tffs e prothom jaowa....
Ashram e apnar chhobi dekhe ami prothom ta bishhash korte parini. Hoy toh ekhono bishhash korte parchina. Apnar sathe amr sesh dekha hoy ISCE r agey. Apnake ebhabe hariye felbo kono din shwopneo kolpona korte parini....
You were, are and will always be a legend. A soul closest to my heart. One of the most Motherly personalities I have ever looked upto.....Maam I think you are a heavenly soul. With a hand on my heart I wish you always be happy wherever you are. Shikha maam u will always remain in our hearts..
Reading the tributes to Shikha di from students, it is no surprise to see how loved she is. She is the kind of teacher and mentor who taught life lessons, not from books, but just by being the human being she is - a firm disciplinarian full of love and caring for those under her care. I knew Shikha di first as an educator when my nephew, newly arrived from Delhi, wrote his entrance test for TFFS and got admission, and later as a colleague of my sister Anasua's. Sikhadi and I bonded over my dog Shadow. Since I live in Canada Sikha di has only met Shadow through his pictures but always had a witty, loving comment about him. Today I was remembering the many funny and touching dog videos we used to exchange! A quintessential animal lover like her and her joy in sharing was very infectious.
Whenever I visit Kolkata I drop by the institute once, and next time I will remember her welcoming smile with fondness, yet with a profound sense of loss. My deepest respect to her soul and heartfelt condolences to her family at home and at the institute.
If we were to boast of few of the strongest pillars of our Mother Institute, one of them would most certainly be Shikha Ma’am. What made her different, what made her special to us students, was the aura she possessed, a beautiful warmth that she always radiated. I remember the way she always put one arm around my neck when we talked, and the moment she did that, she broke that wall of reserve, and made the student a friend. Even though she is no more physically with us, we are all certain that her love, her blessings, her good wishes, live on.
No, we do not want to miss you Shikha Ma’am, for we know, that you are and will always be with us, part of us, and part of the Institute.
To Namma, with Love
A woman of enormous courage, strength and love
Soft, beautiful and brought peace like the dove
Someone who was thoroughly admired by all
Someone who had been very sweet like a doll
Dear Grandma, we will never forget
What you were to us,
For you did many a things
Which no one does
Your strength as a superb mother
To my aunts, uncles and mother
And also as a lovely grandmother
To me, my sisters and my brothers
Is something I wish I could learn from you
For such dignified and caring ladies I met very few
My dear Grandma, you are taking a little part of us
As you follow the angels who take you along
Let me tell you one little secret for once and all
The memories of you will last lifelong
May you look down with pride
When you look down at your little ones
May you and your soul rest in peace
And your radiance spread like a thousand splendid suns
We love you so much and will always do
We’ll pray to God that he’s always with you
From your loving grand-daughter Rimlee
You are AWESOME. No, I won't say 'were', because I don't believe in goodbyes. Somewhere hidden is always something that is alive, awake and active.
You are forever young now. Can you imagine it? You won't grow older anymore!
That beautiful face of yours that always bears a smile is the first thing that comes to me when I think of you. And then I can hear you calling out "MAMAN!" (only you have that tone of calling me, and I can hear it whenever I think of you).
I am proud to say, and will always be proud to say is: you are my grandmother.
I love you, we all love you.
Rest in Peace
Shikha Maam had once told me (after I finished school and went to law school) that I was in the hands of The Mother and once The Mother takes charge of you She guides you throughout your life and therefore I need not ever worry about my future or decision making - The Mother will take care of everything - I only need to continue working hard. I still remember those words almost everyday and trust me, that's the most reassuring belief that I have in anything thus far and probably is what keeps me going even in most difficult times. Maam also said the same thing to my mother when she visited the ashram once when I was in Bhopal. She is now United with The Mother. May her soul rest in peace. She will always remain in my heart and prayers.
That vibrant smile, that twinkling eyes, that captivating voice and that awe-inspiring personality...Shikha Miss you can never be gone from our lives..I will not say you have taken a part of our childhood along with you, but rather you will remain forever within so many of your students. You have left a bit of you in all of us. Miss Thank You for your selfless contribution of making us what we are.
People say parents' love is the only selfless love that you get in a lifetime.. "Don't expect that from anyone else"..How do I make them believe that I got that from you as well Shikha Mam like all the other students of yours..? I am still fighting with myself to believe the reality as my heart's bleeding every time am trying to accept it...
We, your kids love you Mam and always will.. we are and will be whole heartedly grateful to you for your contributions in our lives and the love you had showered on us through those scoldings and humour of yours...R.I.P. Shikha Mam...
Very few people touch the heart. You were one of them. You live on Ma'am. At your grand farewell today, we laughed and cried but we did not miss you, for you are there with us always, with all the love, all the blessings you have showered on each one of us at Sri Aurobindo Institute Of Culture. Love you Ma'am. You were, you are and you'll always be our guiding light. Rest in eternal peace.
Can't believe you won't be smiling at us again, can't believe your chirpy presence will not lift our spirits again, can't believe your sense of humor won't enthrall us again ........ well let me be wrong, Let your charishma and presence be always in TFFS and in our hearts. Rest in peace Shikha aunty and keep smiling and blessing as always.
Till the last day she looked the same as i had seen her when i was in school years ago- happy, cheerful n full of life. I remember at times she used to be more excited and involved about an event in school, than the students who were participating in it.. Recently I met her in our last Alumni meet n she was just there- just as i remembered her in school.
Shikha Miss you have always showed us "how to live"..
May your soul rest in peace!!
Monima, I love you and will always love you. Thank you for your mother's love. You and Monikaka brought me and my siblings up with loads of love and affection. I will miss sharing stories of my daily life with you. I hope that I live up to the principles of love, respect, generosity and simplicity that I learned from you. You will be always in my heart and mind. And I know that you are now free from all pain and are surrounded by lots of love and light wherever you are.
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