This is post written by my husband who is editor-in-chief of this blog, his dad passed away yesterday. He was very upset and wanted to put his emotion in words. This is in his own words.
Yesterday it was slightly before 4 in the afternoon when I received a call from my wife saying that my dad had passed away a short while ago. He was 84. My dad lived in Mumbai and was suffering from stage 4 COPD. He tried to enjoy everyday using nebulizer and for the last 4 weeks using an oxygen tank to help with his labored breathing. At times when he was worried he would take his notebooks and constantly write “Hare Rama Hare Krishna” to take his mind off his health worries.
I did spend some time with him (ten days) in the second half of June. On an early morning on the 14th of June I got a call from my sister Renu saying that dad was admitted to the hospital and it would be nice to come to India for a chance to see him. I left the next day. Usually he would ask my mother and sisters not to give the details of his health and worry me. But this time he was very happy to see me and I spent the next ten days by his side. We talked a lot whenever he could, to try to catch up on all the time we had spent away from each other. He talked about my grandfather’s passing over 60 years ago, and his impending death. We talked about my kids and he wrote to them to read in a few years and dated it. He had glorious calligraphic hand writing and I wanted to preserve it for posterity. Which none of his kids got that ability?
My dad grew up in Kerala and came to Mumbai at a very young age. Even as he worked, he put himself through law school (Government Law College, Bombay) to get a LLB and LLM. He wanted to be a lawyer but soon realized he could not lie about anything, or twist words. Thus he spent the next 3 and half decades being a clerk. He spurned promotions so that we could stay in Mumbai. He was a simple man and truth mattered to him the most. His favorite pant was black and the shirt white (and those were the only colors he owned). When I was young I asked him why he had only those colors and he said that then nobody would then know how many pairs he had. He meticulously kept records of the money he had and how much he spent. Even during the last weeks he wanted to know how much money was being spent on his hospitalization and medical bills (my sister Indu would not let him know, even though he constantly asked her).
On the last day when I was coming back to Houston, I said I will talk to you when I see you again, and he said the same. But in that moment we both knew we would not see each other again.
As my four and half year old son says Grandpa gone to Swamy (God); he will be in Heaven and looking over us from there.