Ashoki Sujanani

(August 2, 1952 - November 7, 2010)

Ashoki Sujanani

A Summation:

We just came back from the fabulous celebration of Ashoki's life in Fredericton by so many people he knew throughout his life, particularly from his high school and university days. The service was very well planned by Chris and Roy Ballieul from Moncton, together with their old bud, Father Monte Peters from their UNB days. So many people got up and spoke about great memories they had of Ashoki (mostly around food!) and Monte did a lovely mass, making room for all faiths, including a gift to Ravina of a Hudson's Bay blanket from some of Shok's First Nations friends. Then we went to a lovely foot bridge and Ravina cast his ashes into the St John River, a la Hindu tradition, following which she was given a special Tibetan prayer flag that Nancy Jacobs (Srinarayan) had painted for Shok. It was snowing gently, and while Shok would not have liked the cold, he would have been very moved and satisfied by the ceremony and its scenery, I think.

After that we (the Community of Ashoki, as Roy had dubbed his huge aray of friends all over the world) all retired to a pub where much was imbibed and many, many more stories and memories were shared. It was a wonderful celebration, and it felt so Ashoki-like in all its spirit and heartfelt conviviality. We even all got up and sang a full and resounding Oh Canada at one point! Fortunately, it was only a short walk (i.e. stagger) home in the snow to our hotel. Even in his death Shok has succeeded in bringing so many good people much closer together. We may have to co-ordinate annual celebrations of Shok about this time of year (in a Chinese restaurant?) between Toronto, New Brunswick and maybe even Alabama, eh?

One of the most touching parts of the official memorial was a video about Shok that Ravina's son, Manoj, put together. For the narrative, he used wonderful words that Gordon had written in response to my plea for scrapbook material last Sept. They were so perfect in summing-up what was so special about our dear friend. I understand, now that the last memorial service is complete, the video will be posted to the ashokisujanani website, and I urge you to watch it. You will recognize many pictures of yourselves with him in the album that it represents. And I know you will share my gratitude for having been blessed with Ashoki in our lives.

Karen Perry

A scholarship has been established at the University of New Brunswick for Ashoki. For more information, click here.