She had called me, and my dad when my mom suddenly passed away 4 years ago, and I will never forget how encouraging and supportive she was.
I called on her birthday on the 31st of December 1997 and was tickled to hear her cheery voice- ticking me off for not taking enough care of myself. It was a nice long chat... and the last one we ever had. She had cancer but didnt want a soul to know. Few months later I heard the news, and visted her in Madras in Apollo hospital. I was not sure whether I would see her again, and I needed to see her one last time.
There was her husband Prem - thin and gaunt, and heartbreakingly sure she would make a recovery (she was Megha, and people like Megha fight-they don't give up. And they don't die. And I could understand).
She was comatose - she had a brain haemorrhage too, but her eyes opened and looked at me, though she could not speak. I don't know whether she recognized me, but I hope she did. We chatted in that hospital - Prem, Megha's mother, sister and I - of good times, of the funny things in her day, Megha trying to duck her medicine and shots, and things of no consequence. And all the while Megha lay there on the hospital bed- active , laughing, vivacious Megha, the Megha with that beautiful smile , magical laugh, and kind wisdom. She couldnt say a word, with all those tubes and wires .. ... and we kept speaking over and around her...but I hope she heard the love and hope in the voices, and I hope it made her feel better. I hugged her a couple of times, kissed that warm cheek for the last time, ruffled her hair - she always hated that - and left. And I prayed that day in Madras, I made my family pray that she get better soon, and recover. And I prayed for poor, tortured and loving Prem, who was doing all he could, and hoping where hope was dead, because he believed in Megha. A candle in the Infant Jesus Church, a pooja in the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple.
And now she's gone, God rest her soul. She suffered, and I hope she is in peace and comfort wherever she is. I pray that Prem has the strength to take from this loss, and carry on with his life- I know that's what she would have wanted .
When I told my colleagues - the older ones who remembered her, they were very very sad - even the office boys who remebered how kind and helpful she always was. My dad and husband remember her with affection.
We will miss you Megha. You touched our lives.