Obituary of Mohan Balgobind
It is with immense sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of the patriarch and leader of our family, Mohan Balgobind, at the age of 79. Sadly, Mohan fought a 5-year, difficult battle with several diseases which included rheumatoid arthritis, dementia and a very rare form of Parkinson’s disease. He passed away silently and peacefully while sleeping on December 12, 2022, at his home. His last moments were befitting and characteristic of the gentle and soft-spoken man that he was, never wanting to make a fuss or burden anyone around him.
Mohan was born on July 8, 1943, to his father, Lalman Balgobind and his mother, Kumarie Balgobind. He was born in a small village in Guyana called Canje, where he grew up with 11 other siblings, being 6 sisters and 5 brothers. He was the youngest of the brothers and he was treated like the baby “Prince” of the family as a result. He had a great love and respect for his family, and he was adored by his parents and his siblings, especially his sisters who spoiled him.
From a young age, Mohan showed a curiosity for academics and the world outside of the small village in which he was raised. He was inquisitive and interested in all the beauty and greatness that life had to offer. He saw the world as his paradigm which would allow him to build a beautiful life for himself and his family one day. He chose to not follow in his family’s footsteps of working in the sugarcane fields or at his parents’ bakery shop, but rather to pursue his studies and passion for reading and writing - a love which he carried into his older age until he became sick. Mohan was a dreamer and always viewed life with optimism and positivity.
It was with that hopefulness that he set his eyes on the love of his life, Bhagwatie (Lovelyn) Purushuttam, who he first saw at his parents’ bakery shop buying bread. As he always said, he knew that Lovelyn was his “Laksmi” from the moment he laid his eyes on her. With his quiet determination, he asked his now father-in-law, Joseph Purushuttam for her hand in marriage. On January 3, 1971, Mohan and Lovelyn were married before their entire village in a beautiful and lavish wedding, with the many blessings of both their families and their community.
Having found his soulmate, Mohan was emboldened to pursue his dreams and brought his young wife to Canada to start their journey of life together. They arrived in Canada on a very cold and snowy winter day on January 21, 1971, in nothing but sandals and a few dollars in their pockets. The very next day, Mohan purchased winter coats for him and his wife, and went home shopping to find the cheapest place to rent. And so, their journey began. Mohan was always such a hardworking man and provider for his family. He worked several jobs in his days, while attending college at night barely sleeping, to keep pace with his dreams of achieving a better life for him and Lovelyn.
In the midst of his pursuits, came his first-born son, Stephen Balgobind. Mohan was a loving and devoted father. He cherished Stephen so much that he barely made him walk on the ground as a child, because he was always holding him or carrying him on his shoulders. Several years passed and Mohan was again blessed with his second child, Bryan Balgobind. Again, Mohan was elated, and he felt complete and content with the little family he created with his wife. He raised his boys with tremendous love, joy and a sense of peace, often teaching them that with inner serenity all things can be achieved and overcome.
His young family served as a great motivator for Mohan to continue to chase his dreams. Through his perseverance, hard work, education and lessons learned through his work experience, he fell upon an opportunity to manage a lighting store. Ironically, it was at this job, that his “light” and “spark” to create his own business was ignited. His ambition led him in 1986, to open his own independent lighting store – Ultra Lighting - located in Mississauga, Ontario. It was instantly a success. All the years of working multiple jobs, attending night school to learn business and accounting, and bearing sleepless nights, had paid off. He started to provide for his family the way he always dreamed of. While his humility never wavered, he experienced pure joy and happiness knowing that he was blessing his family with the best of everything life had to offer. He opened 3 more stores over the next 20 years and always worked hard to continue to grow the business. He achieved his dreams of success!
It is with this peace that he enjoyed watching his sons grow and embark on their own journeys in this life. He was an inspiration to both of them, and a pillar throughout their successes and challenges in life. Mohan was by their side beaming with happiness and pride at each of their weddings, when Stephen married Adriana and Bryan married Zein. With each person that came into his life, his heart grew. From the first moments he welcomed them into the family, his daughters-in-law felt his love and respect, and they shared a special bond with him.
However, the greatest of moments in his life, came when he welcomed his grandchildren, Sienna, Stephan and Sophie into his family. He truly loved them with a deep devotion and adoration and cherished his role as a grandfather. Sienna, Stephan and Sophie loved their “Aja” and will always remember him as a sweet, gentle and the most peaceful man.
While Mohan was at peace with his family and his success, even in his older age, he maintained a continued dedication to learning and remained an academic at heart. Due to his great love of reading and writing, Mohan taught himself how to write poetry and prose in his 60’s! He would wake up every morning at 5:00am over the next decade to write, and he ultimately published several books which, not surprisingly, spoke of the great love for his wife, sons, and grandchildren.
It is unfortunate that the end of his story was marred by sadness and suffering. However, Mohan would never want to be defined by those moments. He would want to be revered as the wonderful husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend that he was to so many.
Mohan would want to be remembered as a man who lived his life with passion, grace, humility, and dignity. He would hope his kindness, respect and compassion towards others, were exemplary and served as an inspiration to those around him. In the eyes of his family and friends, Mohan was truly a gentleman, and he will be gravely missed.
Mohan is survived by his loving wife, Lovelyn, his two sons, Stephen and Bryan, his daughters-in-law, Adriana and Zein, his grandchildren, Sienna, Stephan and Sophie, and his sisters, Ivo and Esta.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Hari Om.
May you rest in peace and paradise.
In Loving Memory
1943 - 2022
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