Relatives brought the family’s dog Rex to 107-year-old Sajo Jahagroo casket during the final rites at Deonanan Avenue, Penal Rock Road yesterday. Family said Rex was always around her during her living years.

Sascha Wilson

Born to indentured labourers, 107-year-old Sajo Jhagroo came from poor beginnings and worked hard, but her life was rich with love, devotion, and culture.

While her death has plunged her family and community into sadness, she has left a legacy that would live on in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She died peacefully in the arms of her daughter Indra Mohess at their Penal Rock Road home on Sunday.

Tributes flowed for the matriarch yesterday during her funeral service at their Penal Rock Road home under Hindu rites.

Her pet dog Rex which circled her and placed his head on her feet when she passed was also given an opportunity to see her for the last time.

He was lifted close to her face for a few seconds during the service. Remembering her grandmother’s beautiful smile, Raveena Mohess said, “No words are sufficient to describe the woman she was and surely she was a reflection of God Himself and nothing less.”

She said Jhagroo lived a life of devotion, culture, and tradition and carried out God’s work in everything she did until her last breath. “It was an extreme privilege to grow up under her care. She was my source of inspiration, comfort, and lovel,” she added,

Even though she is no longer with them physically, she said her grandmother would live in their memories, and through all the values and lessons she taught them.

Family friend Neela Seerattansingh gave a synopsis of Jhagroo’s life during the eulogy. Born on December 13, 1912,

Jhagroo was the mother of 13 (six deceased), grandmother of 42, and great grandmother of 52.

A devout Hindu, Jhagroo worked hard doing gardening and rearing animals to care for her children.

As a member of a ladies group, Jhagroo was not only a singer but she played the drums. The group performed at Chittis, Barahes, and Phagwa celebrations throughout the country. She passed on her talents to her children and grandchildren.

Well-loved in her community, Seerattansingh said Jhagroo was vibrant and always told stories from her own experience or religious texts.

“Up to the very end, Nanny retained full recollection of her life and everything she learned, and her voice remained clear and powerful until her demise. In fact, she was capable of singing an entire Bhajan on the day before she passed, which the family was lucky enough to record.”

She said the last weeks of her life were spent in devotion with daily satsangs and mantras.

Jhagroo was recognised by the High Commission of India for her contribution to culture and was featured in the T&T Guardian on Indian Arrival Day.

In honour of Jhagroo, pallbearers, followed by several mourners, carried the casket from the house of mourning to the hearse that was parked a distance away along the road. She was cremated at the Shore of Peace