Rupla Oberoi: Illuminated Lives of Many Lucky Enough to Know Her

HOUSTON: Rupla Oberoi was born in Lahore India, pre Pakistan. She was one of four sisters that were all raised to be strong and dynamic in an era where women did not have much of a voice. She met her future husband at a young age, marrying him at the age of 20 and eloped to the UK where they began their married life. She positioned herself as an elementary schoolteacher and became a trailblazer when she was eventually appointed a she was one of the first women of color to be granted such a title.
She became a mother to two children, a son, Ricki, and a daughter, Gita. In 1982, the family moved to the US. Although the first restaurant they opened here, called Blazing Saddles, was more of an American diner, it paved the way for their legacy of Indian restaurant ownership they became so widely known for. Rupla, along with her husband Mahesh, constituted the proverbial dynamic duo team. Their devotion to one another was legendary, as was their style of working side by side in the businesses. Their first Indian restaurant was Natraj, located in what is now Highland Village. Their flagship restaurant, Shiva Indian Restaurant, opened next and graced Times Blvd in the popular Rice Village area. Here, they catered to a large majority of medical professionals and gained traction as both an in house dining as well as a catering restaurant concept. Rupla and Mahesh went on to establish multiple Indian restaurants in Houston and surrounding areas..Shivani, Monsoon, Clay Oven in Bryan and Mantra in Katy.
Rupla was instrumental in developing client relationships and was known for her warmth and generosity. Her fondness for people and her desire to do every job to the client’s utmost satisfaction earned her a place in everyone’s heart. Her empathetic nature allowed her to weep with people as if their misfortune was her own and also to laugh and rejoice with them as if their good fortune was hers.
She loved to dress colorfully, with opulent jewelry, and was ready to dance to any kind of music with admirable confidence.. she was truly the life of the party. She was an avid devotee of Mata and relished hosting and attending Chowkis ( 4 hr long prayer sessions), soulfully singing her favorite bhajans. Those who knew her always remarked upon her kindness, which , literally, knew no bounds..she would give money, toys, food, and advice, all with love and no expectations in return. She gave liberally to many charities over the years, including St. Jude’s Hospital, and received multiple commemorations from them. Though she was a supreme “people person”, her family will always remember her for the infinite love she showered upon her children and grandchildren.
No grandchild had a better ally or partner in crime than Rupla Oberoi. She was a shining star that illuminated the lives of so many lucky enough to have known her…and though her absence leaves trails of tears in its wake, her legacy of love, devotion, beauty, strength, and confidence will endure in our hearts forever.