In Shock, New Englanders Pay Tribute to Indian Wedding Décor Icon Shobha Shastry

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WALTHAM, MA—Indian Americans across New England took to the Social Media and Facebook to express their shock and grief on untimely death of Shobha Shastry (1957-20220), one of the first female Indian-American entrepreneurs who followed her wedding décor passion for serving the community in New England for more than two decades. She passed away on Wednesday.

In addition to devoting her time to her wedding business and numerous charitable work for many non-profit organizations, Ms. Shastry was also closely associated with Ashland, MA-based New England Lakshmi Temple.

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“She served as a trustee of the temple during the ‘90s and was involved with almost every temple activitiy” said Jay Srinivasan, a close friend of Ms. Shastry. “I met Shobha 31 years ago and have known her since then. She was the pillar of the Indian-American community and the wedding planning. The Indian community will always thank her.”

Shobha Shastry with her father.

Mr. Srinivasan said that Ms. Shastry was an extremely meticulous person in her wedding planning business.

“There is only one thing negative about her and that is that she did not take care about her health,” added Mr. Srinivasan. “She only cared about her clients.”

Ms. Shastry was founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners & Decorators. She had provided wedding services, decorations and mandaps in New England for about 25 years. She provided her services for free for charities and the needy, helping thousands of couples get married in New England.

“Shobha Shastry was our best Alankar. She made us all look good. Our events glittered and dazzled because of her,” said Dr. Manju Sheth, MD and host of Chai With Manju celebrity series and director of Woman of the Year and New England Choice Awards. “It is hard to imagine our events and our community without Shobha. I am so grateful that we had the privilege to honor her with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Woman of the Year Gala. We are a community in mourning today.”

Here is how other community members paid tribute to Ms. Shastry on Facebook. The text below us unedited but is shortened because of space.

“So very sad. Great loss to all of us. Such a vibrant positive happy person. So shocked and heartbroken. May she attain Satgathi.” –Aparna Ramasundar.

“Really sad. She provided the decorations for 2 weddings in our family and was also a client. got to know her reasonably well.” –Dinesh Tanna.

“Very distressing. She was young, vibrant and full of life. We will all miss her. Prayers and condolences to her loved ones.” — Sandeep Asija

“Hard to believe ! Wonderful lady with great spirits ! We will miss her dearly!” — Sanjay Kaul.

“This is a very sad day for all of us… deepest condolences to her family .. she gave freely to nonprofit causes and never hesitated to help us out.. her passing will create a deep void in our community .. May she rest in eternal peace.” –Meena Sundaram.

“It’s heartbreaking. May God bless her beautiful soul. Got to know her when we organized the fashion show. Shobha jee was such a kind and loving soul . Our deepest condolences.” — Durre Kidwai.

“So sad & shocking.. tremendous loss for the community in the Boston area. Enthusiastic, energetic and cheerful, she was always ready to help & was an asset to the community. Deepest condolences to her family. May she Rest In Peace.” –Chand Sripad.

“So shocked and saddened to hear the news! She was so full of life. Our heartfelt condolences to her family. May she rest in eternal peace.” — Pratima Srinivasan.

“Can’t believe she is gone. She had so much joy, energy, creativity and warmth. Deepest condolences to her family.” — Nandini Bajpai.

“Unbelievably shocking! A great friend, a great person, a person with a big heart, it is a devastating loss to everyone and community. Peace!” — Satya Mitra.

“NESSP deeply mourns the passing of Mrs. Shobha Shastry, who helped NESSP during the temple inauguration, by offering very helpful decoration guidance, as well as donating numerous decoration items. Please spend a few moments of prayer, for her soul to rest in peace.” –NESSP.

“Cannot believe Shobhaji is no more with us!” –Dyuti Majumdar.

“Shobha Aunty will be missed dearly. Worked tens of dozens of weddings with her over the years and it was always a learning experience. Learned so much about Indian culture and customs from her. She was definitely a unique personality like no other. RIP.”– Sorabh Kapoor.

“Shobha Aunty, where do I even begin. You were a second mom to me. During setups, you’d always asked me if I had eaten, got enough sleep, made sure I didn’t strain my back, and had your team lift speakers. Even though you never ate on time, I don’t think you ever slept because no matter the time, you always picked up my calls. Your hard work and passion for making people’s dreams come true was a work of art, and no one could or ever will compete with that. Just last week we were laughing and talking about my sister’s wedding, there’s so much I wish I could tell you right now.  I’ll miss you so much Aunty. Rest In Peace.”—Lav Patel.

“What???” –Prashanth Palakurthi.

“Community lost a leader. And woman entrepreneur who serve so many selflessly. We will all miss her.” –Samir Desai.

“Sad day. Miss my friend.” –Subu Kota.

“So sad and shocking. She was a wonderful, caring person and a cousin of one of my best friends from childhood. Her passing is a huge personal loss for all of us. May she rest in peace.” — Raj Sharma.

“Absolutely heart broken! She was such a beautiful person inside out! यारों की यार! बहुत याद रही हो शोभा Will really miss you! Om Shanti!” –Arsh Mehrotra.

“Have known Shobha for 2 decades now.. Have worked with her both at weddings and events..she almost worked 24/7 during wedding season.. A carefree person, loved good food.. Anytime I approached her for decor for charity events she would say – warehouse khula hain just take what you want. A selfless person hated limelight.. I am heartbroken that I have not met her in 2 years and could not say a last goodbye. You will surely be missed by NE community at large..May your soul rest in peace.. You will always be in our hearts.” –Eshani Shah.

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