Centenarian Is An Example Of A Life Well Lived

Centenarian Is An Example Of A Life Well Lived

Photo: President of Barbados, Her Excellency The Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason (right), presents centenarian Mohini Kessuram with a bouquet of flowers. (T. Barker/BGIS). Courtesy: BGIS

By Barbados Government Information Service

It was a dream come true for Mrs. Morhini Kessuram, who celebrated her 100th birthday, on June 15, 2024, at her home, surrounded by family and friends.

The day was even more memorable for Mrs. Kessuram, as one of her specially invited guests, President of Barbados, Her Excellency, The Most Honorable Dame Sandra Mason, joined the celebration.

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In a tribute, one of the centenarian’s great-grandsons, Akshay Thani, said: “Your kindness, your wisdom, [and] your grace have left a mark on all of us.  Grandma, we are surrounded by loved ones and honored guests…. You are the best example of a life well lived.  I will always be grateful for you and everything you have done for us…. I love you grandma.”

Mr. Thani also noted that as the matriarch of the family, Mrs. Kessuram would have passed on skills and witnessed many changes and events over time, with one notable event being “the invention of sliced bread (in 1928)”.

One of the centenarian daughters, Sarita Boolani, remarked: “Today, we honor her and all that she is, her love and her faith and her strength. May God always continue to bless her and allow her to shine in this world and in our family…love you mummy and happy 100th birthday.

Another of the centenarian’s daughters, Soni Kessuram, shared that her mother, until a few months ago, would be standing packing “everyone’s lunch boxes for them to take to work and make sure everybody is fed”. “That is her passion, that is her love language, feeding everyone,” she added.

One of the centenarian’s caretakers, Angela Sawh, noted that when she met Mrs. Kessuram, she felt welcomed, not as a caretaker but “as part of her family”.

Ms. Sawh further noted that the centenarian is always taking care of everyone. “She always makes certain she feeds everybody. She has a big heart; she is a very loving and caring person,” she said

The centenarian is a vegetarian but would prepare meat dishes for her family, never tasting them in the process.  Her favorite foods include vegetable rotis, rice, pasta, and Chinese, Italian, Indian, and Thai dishes. 

Born in present-day Pakistan, Mrs. Kessuram migrated to India during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1947-1948 (also known as the first Kashmir War) and then to Hong Kong.  After her husband passed away in 1978 and at the invitation of a family member, she migrated to Barbados and looked after her immediate and extended family. 

Mrs. Kessuram had seven children (three are deceased) and has 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

In her closing remarks, Dame Sandra stated: “I would want you to continue to celebrate this goodly lady, who is always smiling and is very happy because you are good, keep remembering that.  You are the ones responsible for keeping her going because when she looks out on you…she is saying…oh these are my children, and they are all good.”

Her Excellency noted that while people may not be ungrateful, what may be missing is understanding the concept of gratitude, where you have to be grateful for whatever you have, even if it is sunshine.

“Things that we are grateful for, we take for granted, so don’t take her for granted because she isn’t taking you for granted.  Once you are good, she is good,” she said.

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