Today, on the anniversary of his death, I pay tribute to my father-in-law, Jagdish Harihar Raval, a remarkable man who left an indelible mark on the hearts of all who knew him. I proudly called him "Dad". Born on December 27, 1935, in Karachi and departing from us on April 8, 2020, in Princeton, New Jersey, Jagdish's life journey is a testament to hard work, family values, and a deep appreciation for the joys of life.
Jagdish embarked on an incredible journey of immigration in 1974, leaving behind his family in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, for the shores of New Jersey. His determination to provide a better life for his family was unwavering, and he succeeded in laying the foundation for a brighter future for his loved ones.
For 55 years, he shared his life with his beloved wife, Nirupama Raval (née Trivedi), and together, they built a home filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories. Their union brought forth a beautiful family, including daughters Nilima Mehta, Bhavna Williams, Falguni Patel, and son Uday Raval. Jagdish took immense pride in being a grandfather to Shaan, Nandini, Kiran, Maya, Rohan, Rahul, Hazel, and Raina. Their laughter and presence brought him immeasurable joy.
Beyond his role as a family man, Jagdish embraced life in all its facets. He had an eclectic palate and relished Indian snacks, eggplant parmigiana, pizza, and ice cream. His love for Bollywood movies was legendary, and he enjoyed watching TV, playing games, and, most importantly, being in the company of his cherished family.
Jagdish harboured a deep passion for travel, a spirit that knew no bounds. He yearned to explore new horizons and experience the beauty of the world. While his physical journeys may have been limited, his zest for life and curiosity about the world were boundless.
In his 84 years, Jagdish Harihar Raval demonstrated dedication, perseverance, and love for family. His journey from Karachi to New Jersey is a testament to the immigrant spirit, the pursuit of dreams, and the enduring family bond.