saumyaIf you knew her, you would exactly know what I am saying but if you don’t then this is just a skimp attempt of even beginning to talk about her.

Saumya had a unique personality; I still have to meet someone else like her. It is hard to describe her in a few sentences but I will try.  She was bold, gregarious and a beautiful person both inside and out. She was someone who loved to dance at the beat of the music no matter what time of day. The other fine ability she had is to imitate people (especially me which she enjoyed) and movie dialogues. I remember many nights when she can run the show and amuse all of us.  But what has touched me personally is her love and care for all animals. I hate to say but I have a phobia of animals.  I am really scared to be around most pets. I am fine if they are in my friend’s home leashed but I can’t imagine getting them to my home.  The only animals I can handle in my home is the fish in my aquarium, or a tortoiseJ. But anything beyond that is out of my comfort zone. But all this changed after I met Saumya…

We met Saumya in Tulsa Oklahoma in 2006 where she came to pursue her PhD. My husband and I along with some other friends lived in student apartments and got to know each other very closely. We used to meet regularly on weekends and spend time together. In a few months she decided to rescue a small kitten from the street. She named her Coffee and was very fond of her. She would bring her to my home most weekends. I and all our friends were so fond of Saumya that we would let her bring Coffee in spite of my fears. But Saumya knew me well, slowly and gently she would hold my hand and help me to pat Coffee on her back. I still remember the first time I was so scared but she would encourage me and help me to deal with my fears. She genuinely cared for all animals and would share with me many interesting pet stories. She would always be an advocate on behalf of all the pets and urge me to love them instead of being afraid of them. I still remember the moment very well when she held my hand to feel Coffee breathing and help me to hear the “purr sound” the cats make. I had never experienced that before and it was new to me. Slowly, I did not even realize but I started loving Coffee, it did not bother me to have her in my home as much as before. Saumya then adopted 3 more cats and she would distinctly imitate each one’s voice and explain us how they are different from each other. Being her close friend for 4 years helped me to see life from her perspective and love all the pets.  She always dreamt that someday she will open a shelter for animals in India and take good care of them. She had a kind spirit. She reminds me of a verse in the Bible. “A righteous person cares for the needs of his animal. (Proverbs 12:10)



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