A  friend and comrade


Sunder always had a problem. But he always had a solution too. It was amazing how he handled matters, you could almost see his mind whirring away in thought. He was one of the most intelligent persons I ever met. And one of the best friends I ever had….

Sunder was at his best with a glass of single malt in his hand. Whenever I visited him in Delhi from Bangalore where I was then posted, now so many years ago, he would open a special bottle and expound on the flavours of the liquid. He was probably not a person who would win a Scotch tasting competition but he always felt he could win. Some of my favourite moments were in his company with a glass of something special and sparkling conversation while Raji, and my wife Poile, would look on amused.
We did not meet often when they settled in Bangalore. They were travelling often. But we always picked up from where we left off, and our standard joke was “Why are you dallying around?” He is still around in our hearts, but not dallying the way he used to. Take care, Sunder….


The last meeting


We were very happy that when we celebrated our granddaughter’s first birthday in Bangalore, two Aprils ago, Raji and Sunder were here. It was heartwarming to see them both looking relaxed, and we had a grand time. My ninety- year- old mother was also at the lunch party and you can imagine how delightful the afternoon was. Sunder was at his best, teasing the young children about their names, which he claimed were inferior to his own. His name, he said, was really beautiful. Oh! There were such shrieks and giggles of protest. Sunder smiled his most wicked grin and continued to tease them and me too when I joined in.

I remember, so sadly now, that he loved the food that was served. That was the last time we saw you Sunder. Your face was creased with smiles that day. How we miss you.

[Abhijit and Poile (Ambika) Sengupta, and their children Adit and Anusuya, are old and dear friends from Delhi whom we followed to Bangalore. It was to Abhijit that Sunder turned for advice and help when he needed it, and it was he and Alo who helped us find our houses in Bangalore. No one teased Sunder more relentlessly than Poile, and how he loved it!]