ForeverMissed
Sudha, Basu, Mummy, Amma, Mausi, Chachi, Taiji, Dadi, Nani, Mrs. Joshi. Joshi M'am 

– so many different names for her, and so much love infused by her into each relation.

It was an honor to be part of her life and to have our lives impacted by her positive influence.

She was a courageous woman, for whom, struggles started early in life. She bore it all with her characteristic fortitude and faith, and became an example of how difficulties could be surpassed with inner strength.

In her multitudinous roles across her family, neighborhood and school, she was respected and loved greatly by all those who got to know her.
We have all experienced her love, firmness, discipline, guidance......... and have stories to tell.

With a career spanning 32 years, she strived for excellence in her profession as a teacher and gained the respect of her students and colleagues. In spite of having been dealt a cruel blow very early in life, when she lost her husband, she displayed immense fortitude and discipline, and a fierce fighting spirit - and soldiered on for all her life, to overcome her challenges and to provide a good upbringing to her children. 
A pillar of support to family, friends and community - she was always someone you could depend on in your hour of need. Friend, mentor and guide, she taught generations and took immense pride in her students' achievements.
With broad ranging interests in gardening, travel, food, arts, culture and entertainment, she was an accomplished conversationalist and loved spending time with family and friends. 
With a larger than life personality, she remembered everything about everybody, from the smallest personal details to the largest accomplishments and never failed to connect with them on special life occasions. 
She had near perfect recall of people and events and frequently amazed her students, when she remembered their names and batch years & what they were notorious for. Each discussion would trigger multiple connected strands and the entire conversation would become a kaleidoscope of memories. 
She tested positive for Covid on April 25, 2021, at the peak of India's deadly second wave. 
As was her way of disregarding her own discomfort since early youth, she ignored what she felt was a cold brought on by eating cold fruit & yoghurt.
She was hospitalized at the Metro Hospital, Noida on April 26th, when there were no beds available in Delhi hospitals and total mayhem in Delhi over oxygen supply.
With family, colleagues and her immensely supportive students rallying around to help, she was admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre on April 28th. Unfortunately, the damage to her, a totally healthy person before Covid struck, was unrepairable, by then.
She passed away on May 12, 2021, after a good fight - soldiering on till the end. She was almost 76. 
She is survived by a son, a daughter, four grandchildren and countless family, friends and students, who carry forward her zest for life and learning.
This memorial is created to help us share those stories with each other and in so doing, give us the strength to deal with the pain of her passing.
Do share stories, incidents and interactions with her ..! 
1. leave small TRIBUTES (on this page, after this section) or
2. write  stories of moments you shared or the paths you have travelled with Sudha under the 'STORIES' tab or
3. upload any photosvideo clipssongs or audio messages that you may want to share in memory of Sudha under the 'GALLERY' tab above.

Remembering her,
The family of Sudha Joshi
Posted by A5H0K J on May 14, 2022
Shradhajali to our beloved Hindi & Sanskrit teacher - you shall be remembered forever in our hearts & mind.
Posted by Rina Dolwani on May 12, 2022
From Mr. P.K. Vyawahare:

I had the good fortune to work with Madam Sudha ji . As a matter of fact, my initial years in MIS were spent in the company of teachers like her - Mrs. Surender Sharma, Mrs. Flavia, Mr. Shekhar, Mrs. Bhalla, Mrs. Chandra, Mr. Karim, Mrs. Jairaman, Mrs. Juneja and many others.
I was assigned to teach students of class XI and XII. During my free periods, I would sit in staff room in front of library and interact with Mrs. Joshi. As I came to know, in due course, about her and her students of class VI who would crowd around her. I understood that she was very popular with her students .
She was a disciplinarian and yet, very jovial, and enjoyed great rapport with her colleagues. It was a pleasure to converse with her.
In due course, she became the co-curricular activities in-charge and conducted the proceedings in the old assembly hall. She gave ample freedom to her own children and to her students.
She had the strength of steel and carried the role of mother admirably and raised her children with great love and care.
I would always miss her as I had enjoyed her company. Rina and Sandeep are lucky to have such mother as they would be guided and inspired by her bond.
May Madam Sudha ji find her rightful place in Heaven !!!️

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by A5H0K J on May 14, 2022
Shradhajali to our beloved Hindi & Sanskrit teacher - you shall be remembered forever in our hearts & mind.
Posted by Rina Dolwani on May 12, 2022
From Mr. P.K. Vyawahare:

I had the good fortune to work with Madam Sudha ji . As a matter of fact, my initial years in MIS were spent in the company of teachers like her - Mrs. Surender Sharma, Mrs. Flavia, Mr. Shekhar, Mrs. Bhalla, Mrs. Chandra, Mr. Karim, Mrs. Jairaman, Mrs. Juneja and many others.
I was assigned to teach students of class XI and XII. During my free periods, I would sit in staff room in front of library and interact with Mrs. Joshi. As I came to know, in due course, about her and her students of class VI who would crowd around her. I understood that she was very popular with her students .
She was a disciplinarian and yet, very jovial, and enjoyed great rapport with her colleagues. It was a pleasure to converse with her.
In due course, she became the co-curricular activities in-charge and conducted the proceedings in the old assembly hall. She gave ample freedom to her own children and to her students.
She had the strength of steel and carried the role of mother admirably and raised her children with great love and care.
I would always miss her as I had enjoyed her company. Rina and Sandeep are lucky to have such mother as they would be guided and inspired by her bond.
May Madam Sudha ji find her rightful place in Heaven !!!️
her Life

Early Life & Education

Vasudha Dhasmana was born in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh to parents Kedar Dutt Dhasmana and Bhuwaneshwari Dhasmana, on 11th November, 1944. She was the 4th in a family of 8 children, with 4 sisters and 3 brothers.
Affectionately called "Golu" by her father, on account of being chubby and pink, she was called "Basu" by her siblings and eventually, shortened her name to Sudha.
She had a pleasant disposition and had a happy childhood with 3 siblings elder and 4 siblings younger.

Her father, K D Dhasmana, was from a family of Purohits based in Landour in British India. With his younger brother taking on the mantle of continuing the family occupation by studying Astrology in Benares, he came to the plains, to Delhi and worked for the Ministry of Defense in various positions, eventually retiring in 1968, as Deputy Director in Naval Intelligence wing. Post retirement, he worked in Jawaharlal Nehru University as Registrar for 3 years.
Till 1950, the family used to stay in Shimla  for 6 months (from April till October) and in Delhi for 6 (November to March), as was the norm for the British Administration in India with Summer & Winter Capitals. Once the Constitution of India came into force, this practice ended and the family stayed at various government accommodations in Gole Market, Maan Nagar, Kidwai Nagar, Safdarjung Enclave, Green Park and finally, in Sarvodaya Enclave, after retirement.

As a child and young woman, Sudha remembered the household as being a large bustling one, with her father ruling the roost, with a firm hand and yet, in a very affectionate and caring way. There were always relatives and acquaintances from Garhwal, who needed a base in Delhi while studying, or looking for employment or just visiting, and her father always took care that his wife had ample help to cope up. He himself used to take care of many aspects - getting groceries & fresh produce, and taking care to ensure that the children got sufficient nourishment. 
For his troop of 8, he had a system of lining them up and administering tonics, individual rations of milk, ghee, curd and treats. Mummy and her siblings used to laughingly discuss, in particular, Nanaji's daily spoonful doses of Brandy, to take care of coughs & colds, when the family was stationed in Shimla. 

Sudha and her sisters used to help their mother in household chores and a usual day would have them getting the younger siblings ready for school with meals packed and then leaving for their own school at 12 noon.

She did her Bachelor's from Lady Shri Ram College, in South Delhi, with 3 languages - Hindi, Sanskrit and English. She was at ease with all 3, conversing and communicating fluently and passed on her love for languages and expression to her children. Later, in life, she would become a teacher of Hindi, in the Mother's International School.


Married life - a fleeting span of happiness

Sudha married Ishwar Chandra Joshi, on 11th May, 1965. He was a bright young officer of the Provincial Civil Services (PCS) of Uttar Pradesh. At the time of his marriage to Sudha, he was posted in Mainpuri, as Sub Divisional Magistrate.
He was the son of Gopal Dutt Joshi and Shambhavi Joshi, the 5th child among 9.

G D Joshi was a scholar, who had done his schooling in Shimla and higher education in Lahore & Allahabad. An MA in History, with Licentiate in Teaching, he got multiple offers to work in cities in the plains and overseas, but his love for the mountains held him back. His teaching career took him instead to Jerikhal, Karnprayag, Dwarahat and finally to Srinagar (Garhwal) where he retired as Principal of Srinagar Government Intermediate College, in 1955.
He was a voracious reader, who used to read multiple papers daily along with books and  academic publications. He was very interested in learning new languages and had good knowledge of Hindi, English, Urdu, Punjabi, Nepali, Kumaoni & Garhwali. 
Concerned about education for children in the village, he often provided for their study. His home was frequented by people in the community around for guidance and discussions.

It was this environment of erudition, community service and love for languages that shaped Ishwar Chandra Joshi and led to his immediate connect with Sudha.
For her, it was like a fairy tale - she was swept up from her sheltered and very down to earth life into a very social life, as the wife of a senior official. She had a household to manage with a team of people to help in everything.
In her words, she used to feel "like a princess" and she had everything done for her.

From Mainpuri, in UP, they were posted next in Dalhousie, where her husband had been selected for a course in Tibetan language, followed by Didihat, in Pithoragarh. I C Joshi was a very dynamic, active man with a love for languages, horse riding and tennis.

In 1966, their first child, Sandeep was born in Lady Hardinge Medical College Hospital in Delhi, followed by a daughter, Rina, born in Aligarh, in 1969.

This idyll was torn asunder early in 1970, when a sudden heart attack claimed his life. He was just 32.  
They had been married for just 5 years.

(years later, I would learn from her siblings, about her happy trips to Delhi, in their light blue ambassador and her effervescence that used to spill over to everyone around. A cousin recounted an incident when she had come to Delhi in 1969, and wanted to take the family out for a movie - It was a show of 'Ek Phool Do Maali' in Kamal theatre in Green Park. It was running packed and balcony tickets were not available for everyone. Sudha bought tickets for the Box which was a first experience for all of them and something to talk about.

It was such a curious bit of information for me - for I was brought up in an austere and frugal environment and this was the description of a woman who was totally unlike the mother I knew.... But more on that later)

Just after...

Sudha came to Delhi, to her father's house, soon after her husband's death. After the initial days of grief, which never ended for her and Ishwar Chandra's family, she started to piece her life back.
Her father and mother were her pillars of support - and she needed a lot of bolstering, with 2 very small children and a life to rebuild.
Kedar Dutt Dhasmana was a very proud and upright man, and he did not want his daughter to be dependent on anyone. Discussions on a possible career option resulted in Sudha's going to Dehradun in 1971, where she did her B Ed from DAV College. 

Her sister, Shakuntala (herself a young mother of two) came to stay with her for a year, looking after the 4 children, while Sudha studied and completed her B Ed.

She returned to Delhi and joined the Mother's International School on 5th July, 1972, in the primary section. 
Subsequently, she became a PGT and taught in the Middle school from 1978 onwards, and was also the Incharge of Co Curricular Activities for many years.
She retired on 31st December, 2004, after a long and fulfilling career of 32 years.

(This was the part of her life familiar to my conscious mind - and will take a lot more out of me - to be able to do justice to it.  This will be updated)
Recent stories

Teacher & Anchor for my lifetime

Shared by Rina Dolwani on September 11, 2022
Remembered Mummy so much on 5th September, Teacher's day. Opened this page to write something, but couldn't - going through all that is already on this memorial, brought back too much of the distress we went through last year.

"Mummy, I hope you are well and at peace, and looking out for us. We still need your hand on our heads, blessing us and giving us strength."

Mummy was a person of action, and more importantly, whose actions and words were matched in all ways. She maintained a straightforward approach in speech, as well as in her actions. I have had the misfortune of having people in my life who are glib talkers, who talk of principles and values, while being totally duplicitous in their actions and life. And I am so thankful to Mummy, who gave us such a direct and unapologetic approach towards not accepting grey and black.

Another thing that Mummy was very particular about was living within her means - even if it meant extreme frugality. She was not in the least concerned about appearances. I would like to explain via an example:
Mummy purchased her house in Sarvodaya in 1978. It was in the same lane as Nanaji's, but in block D. When we acquired it, it had one and a half floors constructed. The Ground floor was empty and the first floor, which was half built up, already had a tenant family, by the name of Chatterjee - a merry family of 4 and a dog named Julie.
Sandy and I were thrilled, as she was too, I am sure. For her, it was a big step forward. After widowhood in 1970, she had already spent 8 years in her father's house. It was a period of struggle and coming to terms with how her life would be like and she had had time to regather her strength and make up her mind to be strong for herself and her children.
She sold off all her jewellery, keeping only 2-3 items, that reminded her of some happy events of her married life: her engagement, Sandy's birth and mine. She also took some loans from her siblings and accumulated the amount needed for the purchase.
Right from the start, she had a plan for saving money, to pay off these loans. She decided to live in the front two rooms of the Ground floor, renting out the rear two rooms. A small kitchen was built in the rear of the house for the next tenant family, that would live on the ground floor. 
I remember the shifting even now - everyday, after returning to Nanaji's from school and finishing lunch, we would run across to the new house with hangers and packets full of our clothes and other belongings. The first few days were full of scrubbing the house clean and organising our lives. Mummy, in her typical quiet and self-sufficient manner, took charge of everything, doing most of the hard work herself. I do not remember much hired help being around for anything, for some years. No school days were lost, either for her or us, despite the added load that came for maintaining a separate establishment, with its own chore, and life in the new house gradually settled to being normal. 
We got used to coming back to a quiet house, that was our domain - in which to do as we pleased. Mummy's house was a pillar of support for her - a place she owned, where she and her children could have her own routines, we could be noisy at will... - it was really like a third, adult child for her - that sheltered us and provided her the much needed additional resources to pay off debts and secure our future.

I remember that till the debts taken for the purchase of the house were paid off, she did not allow herself and us, any luxuries. Food was cooked on a kerosene stove, there was no television, not even an electric iron - there was a coal iron that was used once a week, for ironing the week's washing. She only purchased a fridge, since it was really essential for preserving food in the Delhi heat. We were too young to understand the import or intention behind what she did - we lived in a house that did not have most gadgets or paraphernalia that others had, but were too mindful of the fact that we needed to be aligned with her in her plan to emerge out of our struggles.
It was an evening in the middle of the week and my school uniform shirt needed to be ironed. Since we did not have a batch of clothes to be ironed, I asked mummy and went over to the Dhobi, across the park to get it ironed. But the Dhobi was winding up his work and had emptied the coal iron - I requested him to please iron only the 1 shirt I needed. He replied that he wanted to get home in time to see Chitrahaar, and no more ironing would be done.
I remember being really shocked by that - I came home and told Mummy that even the Dhobi had a television. It was as if our impoverishment had hit a new low!

She, of course, had explained that it was not an essential item to have and we would buy these when we had money to spare. But till then, we had to be content with having a roof over our heads, healthy food and being educated in a good school.

Spending our formative years witnessing how she bore all the challenges life threw at her, has contributed a lot to how Sandy and I shaped out. And I for one, am very very thankful of having been there for her - in the minuscule way that I could support her by only being around. She had a single focus - getting our lives on track (good values, good health, good education, reliable career). She did not want us to ever face what she had - and while life & death were not in anyone's control, she did her best to ensure that we would never be caught helpless, if ever life dealt us any blow.

Thanks, Mummy, for being you. You were, and are, the lodestar of our lives. I love you lots.

Mummy - the Consummate Story Teller

Shared by Rina Dolwani on May 29, 2022
In our childhood world, Mummy was the sun around which our lives circled - she was the friend, guide, father, mother, teacher.
It was a childhood filled with much love and surrounded by her parents, siblings and their families.
It was a childhood filled with stories, fables, mythological tales - all recounted by the master raconteur of our family. She had a strategy around it, in our formative years - she would start a story and with a very artful and clever use of words and looping in sounds, pique our imaginations to the extent that we would be hanging on every word she said, waiting for the next... and next...

And then she would stop! on some pretext or another.
She would leave the storybook with us and go on with other work in the house.

Sure enough, the next step for us would be to pore over the book in an effort to read how the story progressed and how it ended.

She would chuckle about it - it was quite a masterful way of getting her children to start reading and picking up language & vocabulary.

I still remember one instance very vividly - though there were no books involved in this. Mummy had returned from seeing the movie "Exorcist", and as was our demand from her after any outing of hers - we wanted the full story told to us.
So she started and as the story progressed, and the story got more ominous, we drew closer. It was evening & growing dark, and I remember, by the end, I was petrified of leaving the room.

I am 53 now and I have seen many horror movies over the years - But Exorcist? Nope !!
Never had the courage to see that movie - the feeling of evil, as portrayed in that move and that Mum created for us, when she told the story, still scares me.

She really had a way with words. :)

তবু মনে রেখো (Tabu Mone Rekho - Remember Me Still) - Rabindranath Tagore

Shared by Rina Dolwani on May 28, 2022
Playing in the background, on Mummy's memorial:
Written by Rabindranath Tagore in 1887, sung by Sourendro Soumyojit
তবু মনে রেখো যদি দূরে যাই চলে।
যদি পুরাতন প্রেম ঢাকা পড়ে যায় নবপ্রেমজালে।
যদি থাকি কাছাকাছি,
দেখিতে না পাও ছায়ার মতন আছি না আছি--
তবু মনে রেখো।
যদি জল আসে আঁখিপাতে, এক দিন যদি খেলা থেমে যায় মধুরাতে,
তবু মনে রেখো।
এক দিন যদি বাধা পড়ে কাজে শারদ প্রাতে-- মনে রেখো।
যদি পড়িয়া মনে
ছলোছলো জল নাই দেখা দেয় নয়নকোণে--
তবু মনে রেখো।
Remember me still, even if I go far away.
Even if the trappings of a new love shroud old ties of love and attachment, remember me still
If I remain close, yet distant from you, lonely & unrecognizable, 
Like the shadows, remember me,
Remember me still.
If tears drench your eyelashes, remember me.
One day, if play comes to an end on a dreamy night,
One day, if the journey of this life ends at the stroke of night, still remember me.
Remember me still.
One day, if my absence interrupts your chores on an autumn morning, remember me.
Remember me still.
If thinking of me, tears do not moisten your eyes,
Remember me still.