A Death And A Reconnection.

My sister in law Sudhira died last Sunday in a hospital in Chicago. She had been in hospital on a support system since the 18th of December. I was kept abreast of her hospitalisation and death by her daughter Nina and other relatives in India who too were getting bulletins.

I had known Sudhira longer than I had known my late wife. Sudhira married my then best friend Kittu in 1961. I was present at the birth of Nina and Nina was the first infant that I ever carried in my arms.

Kittu and Sudhira were also my great support system during my bachelor days at Hyderabad and naturally, all my friends knew them as well. Among them was a group of four sisters who were all part of my life then and about who I shall write another post some other time. Without me being aware of it, Sudhira had been in touch with two of them all these years though I lost touch with all the sisters from around 1964 when I had shifted to Madras now known as Chennai.

One of the sisters, now living in Canada had come to know of Sudhira’s death early yesterday morning and had rung up one of the sisters in India to pass on my phone number obtained from Nina with a request to call me and tell me about Sudhira’s death. So that sister Theresa, rang me up from Kerala and spoke to me after almost half a century and we caught up with all the news about our marriages, children, grand children, careers, etc and also about the where and what-abouts of our respective family members.

For me it was like a flash-back in cinemas taking me back to my youth and a time vastly different to what it is now. It took me the whole day yesterday to recover from that surprise reconnection.

The death of a loved one and modern communication devices put two old friends back in touch with each other after half a century!

24 thoughts on “A Death And A Reconnection.”

  1. I am saddened by this news. Sudhi was part of an important step in my life and career. Amma and I stayed with Kittu and Sudhi in Guntur where I had gone to write my Andhra Matric. I had taken this private school leaving exam after a debilitating illness that kept me away from school and house bound. It was March ’64….god almighty hot in Guntur Andhra Pradesh. But we did not obsess over the climate in those days. Kittu and Sudhi were strangers to Amma and I with only RR as a connection. But they treated us with so much affection. I remember they lived on the first floor and water had to be drawn from a well below ground level and puled up with a block and pulley devoice in aluminium buckets. Kittu performed this chore to save me and Amma from the strain.

    Sudhi was so fair and pretty and had a laid back attitude that was fascinating. Kittu was in despair as he was a kind of guardian for me and was expected to supervise my studying for the Board exams. I was in seventh heaven as he had a great collection of murder mysteries–I remember some James hadley Chase…and I dipped into them gladly. he was in shock while Sudhi took it cooly…she had great faith in my getting through the exams without swotting….and I did! Amma learnt to cook that wonderful raw green tomato, onion, garlic, tamarind and red chilly curry from Kittu and Sudhi and it became a favourite dish…it was called ;’kuruvi’ which translated into sparrow in Tamizh. hen Amma cooked this (without garlic) in the village she was looked at as a great inventor as the backyards were full of green tomatoes and nobody knew what to do with them.

    I was delighted to meet Sudhi some years ago and again speak to her when she was visiting Tutuma and RR in Pune.

    I remember her with great affection and though I was not in touch at all, I am greatly saddened at her demise. My deepest sympathies go to Kittu and her daughters.

  2. there is always a sense of disbelief when an old friend dies.
    i was very close to a classmate of mine in high school. i accidentally found out not long ago that he had died when he was only 58. we were the same age. even though he’d been gone for years when i heard of it … i was deeply saddened as if it were yesterday. and as with you …
    it brought back a whole world of wonderful memories for me.
    a bittersweet moment.
    so i guess i understand a bit what you’re feeling.
    tammyj recently posted..hark!

    1. Tammy, this is more than just an old friend. Two friends married two sisters and both marriages lasted for long with a lot of toing and froing between the two families. Kittu and I are now back being single which is how we first became friends and now we will have a great deal to share with from a friendship that goes back to 54 years.

  3. Full agreement with Grannymar…

    It is interesting when that happens, and you get to talk on similar “last seen” terms and then add more memories that may or may not link together…

    Sometimes in the course of those chats another “name” comes up and it is not until later when you are reflecting at leisure you see that connection as well.

    I can see why you would have to recover, so much to take in, put together and so on…may you continue the connection.
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Arriving at Auckland!

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