Remembering Martha


Dear Family Friends

It was on the morning of May 14 last year that we learnt about Martha’s death the night before in a terrorist attack in Kabul.
Though a year has passed, and we are taking our lives ahead, it does, at times, seem as if it was only yesterday.
During this long year, I have learnt a great deal about Martha, and myself. Most of all, I have found enormous ocean of love, care and support for me, and my children Tariqa & Suheil, from all of you. It is this vast, unending and spontaneous warmth from you all that has made it possible for the three of us to take our lives ahead.
In some ways, this enormous warmth and continuous support to us over the past twelve months is a reflection of Martha’s own journey in this world. We have learnt a great deal about her friendships, her generosity, her firmness, her sense of justice in everyday life over this one year. It makes me feel how little I knew Martha while she was physically with us. Yet, there are many of you, especially her family from birth (including her 92 years old mother) and childhood friends, who know so much more about Martha than my association with her of 30 years.
In this past year, I have been learning more about my two children, Martha’s siblings and friends as well. As I learn to relate with them entirely on my own, without the enabling and protective ‘shield’ of Martha, I have discovered many of their inner strengths and ways in which Martha influenced them to ‘get on with their lives’.
I am also learning a great deal myself in this one year---

  • how to be patient with others without ‘solving’ their problems,
  • how to arrange engagement functions at home,
  • how to be generous with my time and care towards others without them asking for it,
  • how to share gifts with others thoughtfully,
  • how to cook tasty food in large quantities,
  • how to maintain impeccable cleanliness and orderliness at home, office and every place I visit (including hotel rooms).

During this past year, with support from my colleagues in PRIA, and many of you around the world, we have launched Martha Farrell Foundation to carry forward the commitment and efforts of Martha towards gender equality and prevention of violence against girls and women.
yaaI am devoting myself to make the Foundation effective in Martha’s ways---practical, persistent, personally professional.

In memory of Martha, several friends, colleagues and family members are doing what they deem appropriate this weekend---attending a special mass, holding a conversation, visiting a temple, and just thinking of good times with her in this world. Martha is in the spirit world now, and I am only beginning to get a glimpse of her deep spiritual nature and connections.
In this journey ahead, we look forward to your continued affection, support and comradery. 

– Rajesh Tandon