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Good bye, Chandu – an obituary

‘One more vadi ( stick) has fallen,’ commented Chakku( C.M. Jacob) when we were discussing about Chandu( M.C. Chandrasekaran’s passing away, this morning. He didn’t forget to add, ‘only two more sticks are left, you and me!’
Last night, I had called Chakku, to greet him and enquired about Chandu.
‘He is fine, but for a minor memory problem,’ he said.
That was exactly the morning time in India, when our former roommate and colleague quit the world.
Chandu was one of our co-boarders in ‘Panchavadi’, our bachelors’ palace in Seethafalmandy, which we shared for almost a decade. He joined the Institute at Coonoor and we were friends from October 1959.
Ideally, one should be lucky in life as well as in death. Chandu was both and that is why me and Chakku are envy of him. He was lucky to get a wonderful wife in Padmini, to have had two brilliant, affectionate, caring children, a hassle free carrier and above all, an amazingly sudden, peaceful death.
He did a favor, while dying, to his mother in law. Waited for a day or two to quit, after her departure.
Well done Chandu. Repeat the performance in whichever world you are. Wonder, however, wether you will be able to find a girl like Padmini there.
———–
It  is not that I’m not sad in the passing away of my bachelor friend Chandu, whom I knew closely for the past several years. I’m, indeed. But, what brings me satisfaction is that he could drop his body with as ease as a tree branch would drop a ripe fruit or leaf. I have been seeing people begging for death, a plea endorsed by their kin, who have been watching the struggle of the sick relative for months and even years. I have seen people, at advance age, compelled to do the last rites of their much, much youngsters, a trauma, which myself underwent not long ago.
Chandu, spent the previous night, chatting and laughing with his friends and the next morning he was alive, when his wife went to the kitchen for making tea, at around 6.00 am. Hearing a loud sound from the bedroom, at 6.15am, she rushed in, to find him lying on the floor, lifeless.
His living too was very smooth. Unlike some of our colleagues, his letterhead didn’t have the decoration of a chain of educational degrees. He was not a suit- boot senior executive or a thick glass wearing scientist. He could have improved his qualification and job prospects, but he didn’t bother about it. He didn’t have a fat salary too, but his daughter and son have all those.
He was tension free throughout.
I won’t say that Chandu was not ambitious. He was once, when he grabbed a lovely girl, younger to him by 16 years, who served him with utmost love and sincerity, till his last breath. That was a golden catch.
He never suffered the pangs of poverty. His earning was enough to run the family and educate the children well.
Later he could share the luxury of wealth of his children too.
He was the typical example of
‘Anaayaasena Maranam,
Vina deinyena jeevanam’ Prayer.
He achieved it, though I have never seen him praying at home or entering a temple!
‘Aditchuvada prize,’ we, his roommates, greeted him seeing him along with Padmini, for the first time.
Now, hearing his comfortable death, I tell him,’ Aditchuvada prize’
‘You are damn lucky!’- that is a poor translation of the above Malayalam words.

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