Grace's Anniversary Service, 12th April 2014

Please click here to view a copy of the Service for Grace.

This was read out by Kimberley at the Service:

"Grace spent a few years with us in India at Aditi. Our class was a very close class and a lot of us stayed on together till we were 18 and still remain close friends today. Grace fills a large part of our childhood with her unforgettable giggle, dimple smile and her loud enthusiastic chatter.

Being one of the only other little white girls in class it was inevitable that we became friends and that means sharing our lunch box goodies back then (she had some pretty sought after English snacks in there). Going over to her place to play was always a highlight for me because she had an incredible collection of toys including a play/doll house (if I remember right). As much as my mum made sure we had a bit of England in our home, going to Grace’s was the closest I’d feel to being in England. At mine, having had a dad with a band and a music room, we took full advantage along with another very dear friend of ours, Tulsi. In fact, we were quite the crew together. On Saturday’s my dad’s band would be over to practice and when we’d have one of our many sleepovers, we’d beg them to take more than their needed number of breaks so we could take over their mikes and lip sync songs, mainly the Spice Girls back then, with dance moves and much enthusiasm (think we could have given the Spice Girl’s a run for their money). We were quite dedicated to our performances and would practice up in my room before the band came. We’d dress up in outfits, splash on glitter make up and dance and sing in front of the mirror ready for the big, repetitive performances. We were quite the divas. Even if the band wasn’t over and we were having a sleepover, we’d get my dad to set up all the music and equipment and get my brother, Danny, to flash a torch at us while we sang. He wasn’t allowed to giggle at us either. We were scarily serious about our shows and the adults had no choice but to watch and applaud!

Grace Tulsi and I were pretty inseparable. Tulsi was pin-toed when she was younger, our PE teacher would give Tulsi lessons in walking and Grace and I would follow the lesson like blind bats even though we were perfectly fine with our walk, we just had to be together!

I reached out to our class a few weeks ago to try and dig up some old memories. Aditya (we called him Chinky back then) reminded us of his birthday party at Cubbon Park one year. Grace drank so much Gold Spot (Indian orange soda) that Aditya’s mum had to take her to the bathroom every few minutes over a whole three hours.

Vedika remembers one of her birthday parties where she waited for everyone to leave before she opened her presents but Grace was so determined to be there when she opened them she made her parents drive her all the way back to Vedika’s house at night so she could be there with her.

Grace’s leaving party was also quite a highlight and talked about topic in class. There were so many gifts, food and games, Rohit liked to describe it as being in Wonderland!

Vivek remembers the time we were all putting up a play in school, hazy on which year but it was set in the Dinosaur Courtyard and we were all animals. Vivek’s tights ripped on stage but Grace kindly lent him her pink tights. Luckily, he was the pig

These are only a few of the many things we did with Grace. Tulsi was pen pals with her when she left to England and I got the chance to see her at my parents 25th anniversary the year before she passed. It was quite amazing to see how much we’d grown since the last time we’d seen each other, now (almost) adults, she was gorgeous, same smile, same giggle, same Grace. She also introduced me to the world of Primark when I complimented her dress only to have her tell me how much the dress cost and that I could get it at Primark with great glee. Never got the dress, but did hit the store.

I didn’t get to see her much after she left school but I’m glad I got to see her one last time. That image of her will never be forgotten. She has left a scar on us all and she will always be a part of who we are today, even if it’s just in a little smile."