My brother and I were three years apart. Raji and his friends called him him Raju; my friends in the US called him Raju anna; to everyone else he was Periappa. He went to boarding school at Rishi Valley; I went to the local school in the village. We only met during the holidays. We were engrossed in ourselves while at college. Later he moved on with his job and I left for the US.
We were poles apart. He was bubbly, happy, confident and an extrovert. I was shy, moody, diffident and an introvert. My children got to know him during their India visits and became attached to him. My children used to rib me: “ Dad, Periappa is so much fun; why can’t you be like him?” When we spoke on the phone, it was in monosyllables. Not much was said. There was however the mutual affection and respect that only grew with time. Our entire life, we never had an argument or squabble.
One July day I was informed of his illness. Our world started crashing around us. He went through his surgery; a week later I was informed of his untimely death. He was a simple and decent person. His death has left a void; I dearly miss my big brother. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
[Sekar, (n. Chandrasekar) Sunder’s only surviving brother, lives in New Orleans with his wife Neeraja. They have two daughters Somya and Saisha. As a doctor and an oncologist, Sekar was monitoring Sunder’s illness closely and had plans to bring him to the US for further treatment. But that of course never came to pass].