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Leslie Hogya, of Victoria BC, has practised Iyengar yoga from its early days in Canada. In this tribute, she takes us behind the scenes – into the kitchen – of several visits to Canada by Mr. Iyengar and by Geeta and Abhijata.
Khairoon Quadir – Generosity personified
We are saying good bye to a dear friend, a beautiful soul and a friend of Iyengar yoga. Khairoon was generous, to a fault. You could not stop by her home, when she would not feed you, and give you a packet to take along for later. She always had the most positive outlook, and words of inspiration to share. Devoted to her family, her friends, especially those of us who knew her through yoga, she will be deeply missed.
When Guruji came to Canada for the big conference in 1993 in Toronto, there was a question of who would cook for him? Khairoon Quadir was the one! When Geetaji came to Canada in 2001 to Vancouver and to Penticton in 2008, who would cook for her? Again it was Khairoon.
In the kitchen in Toronto, I was given the job of chopping vegetables. What a thrill to be there in the early morning when Faeq Biria arrived to make Guruji’s coffee. Guruji would tease that Faeq was King of coffee and Khairoon Queen of chapatis. Khairoon would laugh but keep at her task of measuring out the right amount of turmeric.
Again in 2001, when Geeta stayed at the Derek and Shirley French household, I was chopping vegetables. I was always honoured to be part of the people on hand to cook for Geetaji. In Penticton, it was a little more complex, as the kitchen was in the hotel, so not very well supplied with cooking utensils. But, Geetaji and Abhijata showed their gratitude for all that was offered.
One happy memory of her happened when Kairoon was visiting in Victoria in 2004. A few of us made a wonderful meal under her guidance. In my note for one recipe, she said, “the right amount of generosity balanced with bossiness.” Always generous, always loving.