Archive for April, 2021

A letter to my departed brother-in-law

Dear SN,

An ever smiling SN!

It was a rainy evening in 1983 when you visited us for the first time. I was a purposeless college student then, keen on discussing politics than on studying my subject – Physics, given to watching cricket during the day and movies at night and was yet to see a computer. That evening you talked to me intensely about mainframe systems! I was flabbergasted, not by your domain knowledge of supercomputers that I obviously did not understand a thing about, but by your earnestness to make a reckless teenager grasp the basic nuance of an emerging science. My sister, who was a silent spectator to this one-sided conversation, obviously fell for the bright young man and soon we were brothers-in-law! 

And your expertise in computers was only matched with your farsightedness for the sector and you were soon in the limelight, hobnobbing with the leaders of the industry. Conversing with you, words like programs and servers acquired a new meaning while bytes and linux were added to my lexicon. Being hand-picked to lead many critical projects, our family members watched you make rapid professional strides with much pride and me, with a little envy. When you re-located to the capital city to take up national roles for your organisation, I too got an opportunity to be in Delhi and chart a career there and I can never thank you enough for being a catalyst for my first job.

That you were a propounder of science and scientific temper was much known to all of us but that you are a lover of words and of literature too came to me as a pleasant surprise much later. Tirukkural and Bharatiyar Kavithaikal flowed with seamless ease and listening to lyrics of Kannadasan from you was indeed a whole new experience. Remember, once you expanded to me the intricate meaning of the Bharati poem “Un Kannil Neer Vazhinthal” ruminating which still bring uncontrolled tears rolling down my cheeks! Your grasp of the poetic qualities of the Tamil stalwarts were fit only for the connoisseurs. SN, you indeed were a man of fine sensibilities and a combination of the rare qualities of head and heart!

At my wedding in ’97

Talking about the heart, what a noble one you had SN, always giving and ever forgiving. Whenever in distress, a call to you was almost an instinctive act to all of us and a relief was always assured and indeed delivered. You were the one I first reached out to when my brother was critically ill and you the one to respond first when our father was rolled in for that brain surgery. You always made it a point to attend every family function, flying from whichever country you were in then, and made each one of them joyous and memorable with your ever lively presence. And a rare family gathering without you around was certainly a dull affair. Such was the power of your persona that was truly infectious!

And your managerial and leadership skills are legendary in our circles and having observed them from close quarters, I can only marvel at the finesse of your planning and the precision of its execution. You had the knack to make everyone willing partners to projects and programs of common good and only an inspired mind could have ever executed them to near perfection, complete to the minutest details. Clarity of thought and firmness of purpose are the hallmarks of a true leader and you possessed them in great abundance. You made every stumbling block, an opportunity for growth and every challenge to be squarely met and decisively won!

But the one battle that you finally lost was to that sub-microscopic pandemic virus that seems to have now succeeded in snatching you away from us! But you fought the wretched thing valiantly for a fortnight before you finally gave up to its merciless onslaught! The Corona might have physically taken you away from each one of us but such were the noble deeds during your sojourn on this earth that, SNS, you would continue to live in the hearts and minds of all of us!

Thank you SN for coming into our lives and enriching them… and goodbye to you now, till we meet again on a different plane!

Forever in gratitude!



April 18, 2021 at 1:04 pm 35 comments

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