Rani Nautiyal, 91, of Northborough

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Northborough – Rani Nautiyal – Zinda Dil! (Lively soul!) There is no better way of describing Rani Nautiyal, who passed away Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 at 91 years of age.  She was never 91 years “old” because if there was one thing she hated; it was being old!

Known as Rani by all; called “Mumma” by many, she also answered to the chants of “NAN-I-JI!” from the dance floor. Nani-ji was an exultant spirit who was out on the dance floor as recently as New Year’s Eve.

Her spirit is carried on by her three siblings, six children, 13 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, and an extensive list of relatives and friends here in Massachusetts, Houston, Chicago, California, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, India, Dubai, and many other fun places.

Nani-ji was born Rani Capur in “the city of Nawabs” Lucknow, in Northern India on May 19, 1925. From a young age, she very much loved to sing and bring melody to even the most mundane settings living up to her nickname “Kokila” or Nightingale. Nani-ji got the chance to share this gift with her many fans when she studied music at the renowned Bhatkande Music Institute in Lucknow and performed on All India Radio.

At the age of 18, she married Prem Shankar Wadhwa, an engineer with the Indian Railways. They enjoyed a wonderful marriage for 21 years until his untimely passing.  She met and married Brigadier Sita Ram Nautiyal in her early 40s and they were together for over 40 years, sharing in each other’s joys and adventures raising their six children.

After working for over 20 years as a social worker for the Indian Railways, they both moved to the U.S. in 1985. She then began a new career and worked at Digital Equipment Corporation for 10 years.

Nani-ji was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and absolute inspiration to everyone who knew her. She was a warm and affectionate host, gifted with skills to make the most wonderful Nawabi khana. Her stories and anecdotes about all the things she liked and loved were as enjoyable as her food. She was famous for traveling to new places, her shoes, her Silver Sneakers classes at the YMCA, loving good Chinese food, and sharing great scotch!

In her passing, her fans know that she found her latest adventure and is cruising around, singing, and dancing amongst the stars.

Cheers, Nani-ji! We miss you but your spirit will be with us forever!

Hays Funeral Home, 56 Main St. Northborough is directing arrangements.

For service information and online condolences, please visit www.haysfuneralhome.com.