Monday, February 13, 2012

Miri -- Miss Ya, Remember Ya

Raji Shanker, blogs at Peppermill Recipes. I call her Miri.Even after I knew her real name, I called her Miri. Today she is no more with us. I cannot believe it.All I have done today is thought about her. And then I decided I needed a closure. For Peace. Rest in peace, my dear friend. This post is for you and the Goshtu recipe that you mailed me will be for dinner tomorrow.


This was from a feature in Femina done on her in 2008. I think she had moved back to her financial career by now but as we all know she loved writing and excelled at it.

I had connected with Miri through the world of food alone which then transcended to motherhood, career, work-life balance and even dance classes for the kids. Her Blog tag line said "Mothers, Food, Love and Career" -- four guilt groups.So true.

I never met her in real life and yet I knew she was a vivacious, upbeat person always positive and full of life. Hers was one of the few blogs where I could leave a comment that went way beyond food and always looked out for her view on my posts. She rarely ever talked about her health on her blog and it was always a comforting place warmed by the colorful food.Even when she talked about her surgery (in her e-mail) she pointed out how the time off from work gave her more time to spend with her little girl and how her friends pitched in to make the summer special. I never once thought that her health issues would take her away.

She touched my life in many ways and maybe I never acknowledged the way her e-mails actually cleared my thoughts.Today I owe it to you Miri.

The e-mails with her discussing balancing blogging with real life had made me go back to my blog with more confidence beginning of last year. She had said in that long mail of hers "Blogging is something which stimulates me and keeps me happy. And when I'm happy then family is happy too I guess.". That she loved cooking and sharing it with people was clear from her blog. That she took the time to inspire the same joy in others is special.

On a mail in which I was hyperventilating about summer vacations and the kids she had said "our children are fine and actually manage to keep themselves entertained while enjoying themselves - so don't beat yourself up about it too much - they are doing fine! :) " You see the saneness. This could only come from a Mother who would spend time cooking and baking with her little girl, doing craft activities and reading books. It loosened me up.

On discussions about the work-life balance she had said "in this day and age I thought it was ridiculous that I had to "choose" between home and work - whatever happened to the work life balance philosophy spouted by all these MNCs? And how dare they ask me questions they wouldn't dare ask a man I used to think". I was secretly happy to know that right there was a fierce Mom who loved her profession and yet did not want any compromises on the home front.

On the Goshtu recipe that she sent, she clearly specified "You need to fry the eggplants first (after the tempering) and cover and cook to make sure they are 3/4th cooked before adding the tamarind....since the tamarind doesn't allow it to cook...". My eggplant with tamarind did have this problem always. I never did get a chance to try it out after she told me how. My Goshtu if it gets better will be only for her.

I will miss you so much Miri. You be happy and take care where you are.


Manisha has shared a beautiful picture and words about her time with Raji.

Kalyan shares his warm memories of Raji

EatWriteThink, Beautiful memories from a close friend of Miri

Arch shares her own memories of her close friend Raji


  1. All day all I can think of is her smile. Never ever for a single second did I know she was this sick.. i feel so much at loss as if so much is left unsaid, and I never even met her or did more than what bloggers exchange and an email or two.

  2. She's one of my best friends and reading all these pots just makes it easier for know that she'll always be remembered...thank you

  3. Hope you're feeling somewhat better. I knew she was unwell but not the extent of it.

  4. I too had to get it up on my blog, as some form of closure, and to try and come to terms with what has happened. She's been a close friend and she was a true woman of substance, mature beyond her years, sensible, intelligent and amazingly warm. She beamed this happy spirit wherever she went, whoever she met...Hugs to you too, it feels good to see the impact she has had on people she interacted with, she will be missed so much...

  5. I have never even thought she was sick, totally shaken reading this morning about this news. May God give the strength to her family and friends.

  6. I was reading through the few emails we had exchanged and remembering her posts ....and then thought of the the struggle she was going through...I guess we never know all the stories that go behind a blog...Miri was a real strong woman and just doesn't feel right that she won't be commenting on this's hoping that her family gets the strength to cope

  7. I just can't stop looking at the picture you have shared.She was such a beautiful lady and so young. Never met her, never interacted with her..just saw her name and comment on other bloggers post....I never realised one would get so much used to a name and associate it in such a way. All I have done since last day is think about her, read her Kalyan's post for her and in a day I knew her as much as any of her old friend would..I even showed them to my son..who quickly queried..."ani tichi mulgi"...meaning what about her daughter? May God give strength to her family and friends. RIP my new friend.....

  8. That is really sad to hear about Miri.. I did not follow her blog but reading your tribute, she must have been a wonderful person. Wish I had discovered her blog sooner.. RIP Miri

  9. How shocking is this! and that too at such a young age..Miri as I knew you by this name..You will always be remembered through the work you have done in your blog..Rip heart goes out to the family..

  10. This is so heartrending! I'm not a blogger myself but my love for cooking has had me following a lot of food blogs (one of which is urs too..) I don't know Miri but reading your tribute certainly makes me feel how unfair life can get esp to a wonderful young person like Miri. During rough phases of life we forget to appreciate what life's given us...but today I've realised we need to make the most of what we have - live life & spread joy! RIP dear Miri...
    love, Maya

  11. She sounds like such a warm and head-firmly-on-her-shoulders kinda person. Had not realized she was that young. Such a terrible loss. May God give strength to her family, esp her child and to all her friends. Nicely written tribute, San. I hope it also helped you somewhat in dealing with this.

  12. Sandeepa, I did not know about this at all. After reading this post, I had to go back to her blog. Not a single post, not a single word anywhere will tell you what she was going through. Always so much full of life, she and her posts. I did not know her personally but read her blog to know this much about her. May she rest in peace! She will live with her readers always through her recipes.

  13. Sandeepa, I'm wrapping my arms around you in a huge hug. You knew her in the best way possible - through her thoughts and writings, unencumbered by her illness. Her illness never defined who she was. We were all very lucky that Raji reached out to us and included us in her circle of friends. Much love to you!

  14. Sandeepa, Hugs to you. I knew Raji only through email but she was special.

  15. its amazing how little we readers knew about her illness..

    all I have is respect for her... she'll be missed but like I said in my FB post she'll live in her food always

  16. Oh god! I have only read her comments in blogs but this is such terrible news. A few months back I had read of blogger who passed away at the same age leaving behind a small son. My heart goes out to her family especially her little girl.

  17. RIP Miri. My heart goes towards her little daughter and family. May God give them strength.

  18. Though never met her personally and besides her few comments on my blog. But through your post I can imagine she was full of life. May God give strength to her family. RIP Miri

  19. Hi Sandeepa,

    Blame it on my long struggle to balance work and life@home, I had never actually visited Miri's blog before today. In fact as I just navigated my way through her blog, a lump knotted somewhere midway between my stomach, chest and my throat.
    I have lost quite a few people last year, family, friends, former colleagues, people we just knew....and each time my recovery cycle has been more painful than the other. My heart goes to you to hold you tight and give you a hug and handhold you to overcome this irrepairable loss.
    Take care and give the kids a bigger hug.

  20. What a beautiful tribute, Sandeepa. I never knew her, but now her page stays open on my browser. RIP, Miri.

  21. Thanks to all of you for your kind words for Miri.

  22. From your Note I comprehend what a wonderful person Miri was. I am touched by your description of her and what a charming personality. I hope her sould rests in peace and her family gets the courage and strength required to cope the loss of such a wonderful person!!
    I had never visited her blog before but now I am headed there...wish I had done this before.

  23. Hello! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the
    fantastic work!


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