Monday, August 03, 2009

Thoughts About Kala Kaarthikeyan

To call Kala Kaarthikeyan one of the best friends of our family is to
make an understatement. It is the same if I say she was an exceptional
person. She was much more than a friend and much more than an
exceptional person. She personified in her all the qualities, talents
and charms that a friend, a wife, a mother and a grandmother should
possess. Every one in our family has been deeply touched by her and
each one of us lost a little of ourselves when she passed away in

Perhaps all her goodness, all her godliness, all her service and all
her discipline gave her a most peaceful journey to her heavenly abode.
We, who have been left behind, particularly her hero, Kaarthi have
become poorer by her departure.

I cannot recall here all the acts of kindness she has shown us
beginning in Moscow and ending in New Delhi over the last 35 years.
Like Kaarthi, she was there at every important moment in our lives,
happy or unhappy. Shri. Hamid Ansari, the present Vice President told
me once that however much we may try to reciprocate their friendly
gestures, we will still owe them more. I felt the same again and

It was in Moscow that we first met when we arrived there more or less
at the same time. We lived in the same building and shared many many
hours together. One thing I can never forget is the opportunity I had
to drive Kala and her newly born daughter, Kanchana, from the hospital
to their apartment. not because there was no other car or driver, but
because I very much wanted to do it. Compared to all that they had
done for us, this was but a trifle, but I was proud of that privilege.

As we moved around the world, our paths crossed and our children loved
each other. One thing that did not change was Kala's smiling face, her
humility, her cooking skills and her hospitality, which nobody could
equal. She did not speak much and did not disagree with Kaarthi about
anything. She trusted him so much that she would not even ask him
where he went even at unearthly hours. She was not hesitant to say
that she really did not know where Kaarthi was at a particular time.

I wish she had lived longer, not because she should give more of her
love to us, but because we could give her little more in return to
her. Lekha will never forget how Kala took her from the dining table
straight to a hospital as she felt Lekha did not look well. Kanchana
and Kailash are her best gifts to the world.My two sons considered her
their godmother, like many others of their age.

Kala was slim, very disciplined, adept in many arts of living, not at
all a candidate for untimely demise. The only explanation is that God
needed her more than all of us. That thought should give Kaarthi,
Kanchana, Kailash and all of us some comfort at this agonising moment.
The prayers of many, who she helped in many ways, will guide her on
her next journey.

Sreeni and Lekha