Solveig Zarah Keshavjee, Always loved, never forgotten.

Last year in January, Solveig Zarah Keshavjee, my beautiful wife and mother to our two incredible daughters became an angel. I am not going to cut and paste platitudes from the internet or funeral poems, but I will write in earnest…we miss her, think of her and love her everyday single day. Solveig still lives in our hearts and I see her in everyday my children…this is a blessing that I cannot ever begin to articulate properly – to be able to see her still in our children…her laugh, her smile, her strength, her wisdom, her courage and her compassion…it truly is God’s blessing. Sometimes I look up, and there she is, a reflection in our daughters, guiding and loving. I see how many people she touched with her kindness and joy… and in this way she still lives on. We have beautiful photos and video, music and song…we are so filled with gratitude. Solveig is honoured now by us living our lives to the fullest and continuing to live everyday with love. My family is deeply grateful to the incredible support and love we have been shown from friends and family across the globe and still receive this kindness daily…we are truly grateful.
Cherished and forever loved, Solveig Zarah Keshavjee, we miss you and love you, we smile and are filled with gratitude always as we ALWAYS remember you… beautiful wife and mother, loved by all, voice of an angel, forever in our hearts. NEVER FORGOTTEN. Azim

Solveig Zarah Keshavjee
Solveig Zarah Keshavjee

Bunter Teller

Bunter Teller
Special thanks to:

Solveig introduced us to this beautiful German tradition back in 1993 when we first met and the tradition has continued to this day. Even though Solveig is not physically here, her presence, in all we remember and honour her with is deeply felt. We feel her all around us like a gentle whisper, supporting and loving us as she has always done. Our plates are ready!

What is a Bunter Teller?
Bunter Teller translates as “colorful Plate”… but it’s much more than that. It is a plate of colorful goodies like cookies, fruit, candy and chocolates that is given at Christmas. A special cardboard plate decorated with pretty Christmas images… loaded up with our favorite cookies and other special treats. These were ours to eat, and not have to share. Solveig also set out a BIG Bunter Teller on the table LOADED with home baked cookies, candies and other treats… and spent the whole season replenishing it daily. Domino Steine, Spekulatius, Lebkuchen, Chocolate Glocken, Eiskonfekt, and MORE.

Where does the tradition of the Bunter Teller come from?
The Bunter Teller is mentioned in a song from the 19th century, “Lasst Uns Froh und Munter Sein” While we associate putting out Shoes for St. Nicholas, somewhere along the line, a plate was added to collect goodies.

One theory goes like this…Originally, Christmas trees were decorated with nuts, fruits and cookies. Kids loved that they could help themselves to these special seasonal treats… and then glass ornaments and lametta started showing up on trees. More and more families began using them, and the treats were crowded off the tree in favor of these beautiful and re-usable decorations. But the kids still wanted treats (glass balls are beautiful, but you can’t eat them) … so a plate was set by the tree, loaded with the cookies that used to hang from it. In a sense, the treats moved from shoes to tree to plate… Today kids get treats in shoes on Nicholas Tag, and on plates for Christmas.

German Paper Cookie Plates
The cookies and treats on the plate are special, but the plates themselves have a story too. Paper plates were invented around 150 years ago by a retired museum director, who was also a master Bookbinder, in the Brandenburg town of Luckenwalde. He had read an article about how unhygienic it was to put food on old newspapers, so he did some experimenting with pulp made from sawdust. In 1867 he got his first patent, and before you know it, paper plates were in use. Picture plates came soon after this, and by the 1880s, special Christmas plates for Christmas confections were being offered. Colorful plates with pictures of Children playing, the Weinachtsmann, and the Bethlehem stable. What’s interesting is that the pictures in the advertisements for the plates held mostly cookies and sweets instead of the traditional fruit and nuts. People loved the look… and started filling their plates with more calorie bomb sweets and fewer apples, oranges, dates and almonds.

Today, it wouldn’t be Christmas in a German Household without a Bunter Teller on the table, filled with all of your favorites. Whether you use the vintage paper plates, or you use regular serving plates, it is certain to become a favorite tradition in your home too.

Bunter Teller for New Year
Another time to have Bunter Teller is New Years Eve. The bounty of sweets on the plate represents the best of the past year, and is a hope for a plentiful New Year!

Special thanks to:

We miss you…everyday, every minute…

We miss you…everyday, every minute…

It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
Nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did
This flesh and bone
Is just the way that we are tied in
But there’s no one home
I grieve, for you
You leave, me
So hard to move on
Still loving what’s gone
They say life carries on
Carries on and on and on and on

The news that truly shocks
Is the empty, empty page
While the final rattle rocks
It’s empty, empty cage
And I can’t handle this
I grieve, for you
You leave, me
Let it out and move on
Missing what’s gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on

Life carries on in the people I meet
In everyone that’s out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on
Just the car that we ride in
The home we reside in
The face that we hide in
The way we are tied in
As life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on

Did I dream this belief
Or did I believe this dream?
Now I will find relief
I grieve

Hypocrisy…our Mom detested it.

Our Mom stood by her word, her ethics and by her loyalty to all those she loved dearly – she was fiercely loyal and loving to our Dad throughout their 26 years together and to us, her children for our 20 years. The one thing, more than anything she absolutely detested was hypocrisy – she couldn’t stand folk ‘showing up at the nth hour’ so to speak…she would always say, “if you can’t be bothered with me then don’t show up when it looks good just to make an appearance or when it’s convenient – or because it’s self-serving”…we knew and still know a few sad folk like this…even now there are still those ‘folk’ that act like they’ve known her well…like they knew her throughout her amazing marriage with our Dad, through raising us, and through her growth as an amazing independent and strong religious woman who chose her path definitively without doubts…and yet ‘these folk’ have not spoken to, or have had any involvement at all in ANY aspect of Mama’s life, our Dad’s, our family’s or otherwise for LITERALLY 26 years – and yet feign this ‘am so sad and so shocked and deeply grieving’ – We don’t begrudge anyone expressing their sympathy, but to act and write like they were ‘close and tight-knit’… yes, grief and loss are very individual and grief is a journey…trust us, sadly we know all too well how hard it is… just look at our Dad and how much he misses Mama…but seriously if you haven’t seen or heard from someone in over 25 years…come on…the hypocrisy… these are Mama’s least favourite people…she loathed this type….that is fact…she even wrote a song about it (called Hypocrisy which is on her album together with our Dad (The AK/SK Project – a thunderous exchange of silence)…we also have a number of hand-written letters she wrote on this matter …we have asked our Dad to put one in the gallery so you can see first hand…it’s clear and precise.

Mama’s life and memory are pure and it will remain that way, untainted by fake, phony and frankly deluded acts by those in their guilt or their hypocrisy.

Our song…now and forever

On our wedding day, when we danced our first song together, Solveig looked me with such love and respect, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was…I couldn’t take my eyes off her either – I knew we were meant to be…our pasts were silenced and the joy of a new day and all the new days that would follow filled us with such love that did not waver – not once in our lifetime together. Solveig may not be here with me anymore physically but she IS always with me and our girls looking over us now and forever. I will be with her again when it is my time, until then I will live as she lived, with love, passion and with unwavering love for our girls.

Our song…”You’re the Inspiration” (Chicago)

You know our love was meant to be
The kind of love to last forever
And I want you here with me
From tonight until the end of time
You should know
Everywhere I go
Always on my mind
In my heart
In my soul

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration
Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”And I know (And I know)
Yes I know that it’s plain to see
So in love when we’re together
Now I know (Now I know)
That I need you here with me
From tonight until the end of time
You should know (Yes, you need to know )
Everywhere I go
You’re always on my mind
You’re in my heart
In my soul

You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration
Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”
(No one needs you more than I)
Want to have you near me
I want to have you hear me saying
“No one needs you more than I need you”
(No one needs you more)
You’re the meaning in my life
You’re the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You’re the inspiration

When you love somebody
‘Til the end of time
When you love somebody
Always on my mind / No one needs you more than I
When you love somebody
‘Til the end of time
When you love somebody
Always on my mind / No on needs you more than I need you

Solveig and Azim’s song…the first dance

In loving memory…

Solveig Zarah Keshavjee and Azim's Guitar.
Solveig Zarah Keshavjee singing, her hand gently placed close to Azim’s guitar.

über mir Dein Segen walte alle lage…

A picture of our German wall art that Solveig has in our home – it is still here.

This is the meaning (as explained by Solveig and our German friends) beyond the literal translation of the words and reflects more the spirit of the saying:
“Your blessing is with me every day, mornings and evenings, that I happily spread my wings wherever my path may lead me

Translation (loose translation, as it is written in literary German):

blessing prevailed (not exactly the right word) over me in every situation (or circumstance), early and late, so that I happily unfold myself wherever my path leads me

“Prevailed” – more like ‘protects’ or ‘covers’.

To My Dearest Family

To my dearest family, some things I’d like to say, 
But first of all to let you know that I arrived okay.
I’m writing this from Heaven, where I dwell with God above, 
Where there are no tears or sadness, there is just eternal Love.

Please do not be unhappy, just because I’m out of sight, 
Remember that I’m with you, every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you, when my life on earth was through, 
God picked me up and hugged me, and said, ‘ I welcome you’.

‘It’s good to have you back again. 
You were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they’ll be here later on.
I need you here so badly as part of my big plan.
There’s so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man’.

Then God gave me a list of things he wished for me to do.
And foremost on that list of mine, is to watch and care for you.
I will be beside you, every day of the week and year, 
And when you’re sad I’m standing there, to wipe away the tear.

And when you lie in bed at night, the day’s chores put to flight, 
God and I are closest to you in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on Earth, and all those loving years, 
Because you’re only human, there’s bound to be some tears.

One thing is for certain, though my life on Earth is over, 
I am closer to you now than I ever was before.
And to my many friends, trust God knows what is best.
I am not far away from you, I’m just beyond the crest.

There are rocky roads ahead for you and many hills to climb, 
Together we can do it, taking one day at a time.
It was my philosophy and please I’d like for you, 
To give unto the world, so the world will give to you.

If you can help someone who’s in sorrow or in pain, 
Then you can say to God at night, my day was not in vain.
And now I am contented that my life it was worthwhile, 
Knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

When you’re walking down the street and I am on your mind, 
I’m walking in your footsteps, only half a step behind.
And when you feel a gentle breeze of wind upon your face, 
That’s me giving you a great big hug, or just a soft embrace.

When it’s time for you to go from that body to be free, 
Remember you are not going, you are coming home to me.
I will always love you, from that place way up above, 
I will be in touch again soon.
P.S. God sends his love.

  • poem written by: unknown
In loving memory of Solveig Zarah Keshavjee, née Nikischer (1963-2019)
Solveig Zarah Keshavjee (née Nikischer)

Solveig-Angelique to Solveig Z. Keshavjee, the full story (part 2)

I’ll never forget that night when I met Solveig for the first time at my band’s CD release party (well the second time…read part 1) at the Topaz Entertainment Palace (Ottawa, ON). I was literally at the other end of the venue and I saw her come in with her, at the time, music manager – a close friend of mine then had said she would be coming to the show so I knew to expect her, but I didn’t expect what followed.

When Solveig walked through the entrance I saw her right away, through everyone else, like they were all invisible, she took my breath away…dressed in a black outfit, (skirt, heels and black top), she was just gorgeous and I remember that moment like it was 2 seconds ago – she was stunning! People always talk about her hair, and yes I saw that of course, but it was her aura and her eyes and her genuine smile and heart…I melted. My female singer at the time noticed I was captivated and said ‘Azim, snap out of it man, we have a show!’.

The band had a media room and we invited Solveig and the manager to come in and chat, and then before we went on to perform they came backstage, which was downstairs below the stage area – it was a very nice venue and had a great reputation, so he environment was good. Solveig’s manager did the usual ‘business chat’ and it went on for a bit, but Solveig and I were instantly attracted to each other and wanted to just talk alone – so we traded numbers and gave each other a huge hug before I had to go perform…I’ll never forget that either.

There were no cell phones, email, text etc at that time…no, it wasn’t the dark ages 🙂 but we made plans to call each other that week. I remember as her manager was talking just looking right at Solveig and she at me, and we knew there was magic…all the conversations disappeared and we were suspended in time right there – I remember being scared too as I knew in my heart, SHE was THE ONE, and always would be…I remember thinking ‘is this possible? Can I know this quickly?’, it’s like life started right there, right at that moment, our pasts disappeared and we started new…Solveig and AzimAzim and Solveig – those that have known us over the past 26 years know what I mean when say there was only us and then our girls…part 3 to follow.

Azim and Solveig Z. Keshavjee
Azim and Solveig, always and forever.

Montreal Expo ’67

Solveig was featured in ‘The Montreal Star’ on Monday July 3, 1967. The article was in regards to Expo ’67 and an event that happened at ‘Place Des Nations’. Solveig was an extremely sweet and adorable four year old and you can see her in the middle of the four children in the picture. I have the original newspaper here in our home, but I have taken a snapshot of the article and the photo that Solveig is in for the gallery. That page of the newspaper is framed and hanging proudly here at home as it has for many, many years. Please go to the gallery to see it.