It was way back in 1975….we shifted to Chandigarh for a year as my father was posted to a field area where families were not allowed. We shifted into a rented house..new neighbours …new school…new friends…new teachers..the usual anxieties of a 12 year old fauji kid who has to adjust every now and then.
It was one of those evenings and I was playing outside with a ball on my own when suddenly I saw a beautiful face with a warm smile pop up across the wall! Here, was a beautiful young lady with long, flowing tresses saying “hello” to me and I shyly replied back. Her warmth made me comfortable and we chatted like long lost friends for about half an hour. And then began a long association and I would spend endless hours with her, sitting, doing my homework, watching her paint or listening to her playing sitar! We became inseparable – Me a 12 yr old and she was doing her post graduation!
Neetu didi possessed a warm sense of humour, a gift for music, compassion unlimited, and love for all things beautiful and a great Indian charm. Throughout her life, she modeled love and compassion. Forever laughing with joy even though she had untimely lost her father and I, till today admire her mother (we fondly call her Biji ) who brought up three amazing kids against all odds.
As a kid I learnt the lessons of life from Didi …the greatest one was to love unconditionally and to always smile(I sincerely try and imbibe it in my life till today). Once she took me to her college on her bicycle and on the way back some road side Romeo started following us and I was so scared being a kid and till date I remember the cool confident look on her face and I admired the confidence with which she handled the situation. And here was a lesson again face the world bravely !
Time passed by and she married an equally nice guy and I would admire them as they walked hand- in – hand and wondered if all couples were like this …so adorable! My faith in the loving relationships began here.
She was a woman with a great aura around her. She was a woman whom everyone would want in their life as a sister, as a mother, and as a friend. Her eyes sparkled like a bright star in the sky. She had the stamina, beauty and courage one could admire easily, a woman one could count on. Her beauty shined from inside out, her smile beautiful like the sun rising over the horizon and her intelligence, wisdom was par excellence. She was a genuinely caring woman who would go an extra mile to help one in need.
Wondering why I am talking about her in past tense? Yes this great lady left us before we could even realize..leaving behind an ocean of love ….she was indeed a woman of compassion and love. A few days ago her husband posted her pictures on FB which overwhelmed me, memories came flooding back-the face that was always admired right there in my moistened eyes-memories of my chilhood uplifting and here I am making an humble attempt to write about her. .
The world knew her as Anita Wahi, the actress who worked in few bollywood movies and Television but of course theatre was close to her heart!
Rest in peace Neetu didi …we miss you and always feel your presence around. You are my role model….I am what I am because of you! Each day I have tried to life the life the way you taught me..with love & compassion. Hope I make you proud each day didi.