(14 April 1946 – 16 April 2022)
You can leave your tribute by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org (pls add ‘Akhila’ in the subject field).
Tu stella splendente nel buio
ci lasci la tua luce
che ci riempie. Ti amo.
You are a star twinkling in the dark.
You leave behind the light
filling us all. I love you.
To my soul sister: Gone but always here
First of all, I want to say that what I am doing here is an impossible task. No one can put your life into a few paragraphs, especially a life as rich and diverse as yours.
Thank you, beloved soul sister, for opening your mind, your heart, your voice, your love, your anger, your certainties, your doubts, and for having shared with us so many adventures, especially in the last part of your journey, the ultimate adventure: the great pilgrimage from here to here.
Dalla strada alle stelle… (From the streets to the stars…) You knew how to connect people that otherwise would not have met each other, deeply touching so many from diverse realities. With Cavalli e Nastri, you created a space where many magical meetings were woven – and you were the master weaver, the catalyst combining so many threads of different colours on your loom. Your family of origin, the fashion tribe, meditators, intellectuals, and artists all met within you.
An invisible thread unites us all through the love we feel for you. And wherever we are, we feel your presence in this transition. Each one of us is connecting with you in their own way. I would like to join together the many who cannot talk or say anything but are just crying or laughing and feeling your presence. Brothers, sisters, cousins, friends from the whole universe.
You came to Osho in Pune in 1978 with the love of your life, Stefano, who then became Lokesh. He followed you from the streets to the stars, from life to death, and he continues to be with you into the beyond. You are among the few couples who came to Osho together and stayed together all these years; your love only becoming stronger through countless transformations.
Daughter, wife, mother, sister, grandmother, friend, sannyasin, atheist, believer, non-believer, feminist, architect, even carpenter when you made dolls’ houses together with Lokesh. World traveller and nun, artist and businesswoman, seamstress and stylist, you finally bloomed into a vintage fashion icon. You were constantly reinventing yourself, yet always remaining friend and sister to all those who needed you.
You recognised art in all its forms and colours. And from your travels you brought back different colours, fabrics, cultures, dances, and customs, mixing them in your magic cauldron as only you knew how to do. You have been able to find the essence of truth in the sacred and in the mundane.
Until the ultimate journey came through an ‘illness’ that has led you to experience everything and more, and to discover that you are not the body, you are not the heart, you are the essence that is always there – and ultimately you knew that you are none of these multiple characters that you played in life.
This last challenging adventure has taught you to love and to let go – to the very end and even beyond death.
You have lived a thousand lives. You burned the candle not only at both ends, but from all sides. You went beyond your physical strength to say goodbye to those you loved, on the very last day that you were still conscious. Many more felt you visiting them after your body left you. So many friends feel your presence still today. And we are coming together, telling stories about you that will forever stay in our hearts.
On your last day in hospital, your last conscious day, you called me. “I am leaving,” you said to me, and my tears wanted to come but you stopped them immediately. “Don’t cry,” you said, “you have been close to me in this difficult journey, and I wanted to tell you how close I feel to you… and pass me Bhikkhu, as he is the only German I love.”
“Send me your beautiful music,” you said, “and the Osho quote you shared with me earlier.” So I did. And on the last day, when you were moving in and out of consciousness, we asked if you wanted to hear Osho guiding you into the Bardo, and you said yes. It may have been the last sound you heard.
Fly high, beloved one.
Akhila (Claudia Jesi) was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after her family had fled the Italian fascist regime in Rome to join another branch of the family, the Soria. She soon made a special bond with her cousin Lorenzo, who later also became a lover of Osho and one of the travellers on the path.
She studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Milan where she met Gianfranco Ferrè, who, like her, eventually transferred his aesthetic sense of beauty from designing buildings to designing fashion.
Akhila’s first journey to Pune was to take sannyas. She travelled together with Stefano, love of her life, who then became Lokesh. She never forgot the day they flew with Polish Lot from Milan to Mumbai and got a Mumbai-Pune taxi, a Fiat 1100. She was initiated by Osho sometime in the beginning of 1978 and given the name Akhila, meaning ‘whole, complete’. When she and Lokesh left Pune and returned to Italy, she was already pregnant with Luca/Shanti.
Akhila became involved with everything ‘sannyas’. She helped her friend Pratiti to find a suitable property for a commune, setting out from Milan with a group of sannyasins in an orange Ford Transit and roaming the Tuscan countryside. Eventually they found the Podere San Giorgio, which later became the internationally known Osho Miasto.
During the time she was involved in the Akshaya Meditation Centre in Lugano, Switzerland (1983-1984), she won first prize in the Chance-of-a-Lifetime Sweepstakes, which was a Rolls Royce Silver Spur! The raffle, drawn on Osho’s birthday in 1983, was advertised worldwide to collect funds to help build Rajneeshpuram. Akhila then flew to Rajneeshpuram in January 1984 to collect the car (see Rajneesh Times article).
In 1985 she managed Fiorucci’s main store, an iconic fashion outlet in Italy. Two years later, together with her friend Annapaola, she opened the atelier/shop Doll House. Then in 1988, together with her partner Lok, she opened the first of her Cavalli e Nastri vintage fashion shops in Milan, eventually expanding into three more locations in later years.
In June 2021, she reconnected with her Jewish roots by officially marrying Lokesh in a Hebrew marriage ceremony performed by the Rabbi Martina in her Milano home, attended virtually by close friends around the world.
For her death celebration, held on 17 April, she chose to have a Jewish memorial ceremony with only her close family in attendance. Later there was an open celebration at Cavalli e Nastri.
On the day Akhila left her body, 16 April, Osho Miasto dedicated the Evening Meditation to celebrate her departure, and many friends gathered on social media for a spontaneous and heartfelt farewell.
In loving memory – Lokesh, Paco, Shanti, Bibo, Diego, Mario, Anna, Fulvia, Silvia, Alberto, Lorenzo, Azzurra, Donatella, Anita, Xochiti, Elena, Martina, Marcella, Max, Waduda
You can leave a message / tribute / anecdote / photo by writing to email@example.com (pls add ‘Akhila’ in the subject field).
Claudia e le sue vite,
Claudia e l’Oriente,
Claudia e il fare sentire tutti a casa,
Claudia e i fiori,
Claudia, il suo sorriso, la sua leggerezza,
i colori – una continuità famigliare.
Claudia e il non attaccamento,
Claudia e la continuità famigliare,
il suo essere un mondo
il suo sorriso
l’eleganza, la femminilità, i massaggi, i viaggi
…un papavero amore
Claudia and her lives,
Claudia and the East,
Claudia and making everyone feel at home,
Claudia and flowers,
Claudia, her smile, her lightness,
the colours – a family continuity.
Claudia and non-attachment,
Claudia and family continuity,
her being a world
elegance, femininity, massages, travels
…a poppy love.