Pemi Mithal (neé Bhaga) was born in 1922 in a small village called Ambeti in the Gujarat region of India. She was the youngest of three children, and was adoringly called “ma” by her 15 grandchildren.

As a teenager, she married Bhupat Mithal of Johannesburg, South Africa, and promptly migrated across the sea on a month-long journey by ship to South Africa from India. She started a family there, and spent her days as a housewife, taking care of her five loving children, and tending to the home she helped build. Life in South Africa was not always easy, due to apartheid, and other issues happening at that time, but Pemi’s resilience was always undeterred. After spending seven years in Canada and 17 years in San Jose, she settled in Montara.

In Montara, she spent most of her days gardening, cooking and taking care of her youngest grandchild, Krishan.

Pemi came from a time and place where she had limited options. Therefore, little is known about her dreams and ambitions.

Pemi’s legacy will live on through her family. She was most close with her son, Rajendra; her daughter-in-law, Nayana; and grandchildren Arti, Rajesh and Krishan. Though she may not have had the opportunity to pursue her dreams, she found fulfillment and comfort in being surrounded by loving family. Her spirit will forever live on in our hearts, and we have faith she has been reborn into a life of love, freedom and joy.

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