Bala chitpa to me is ( sorry, was) the toothy manifestation of selflessness. A seamless wide grin that was as disarming as infectious... ever clad in his shapeless elbow-sleeved white Kurta ( we named this Bala chitpa kurta every time we saw anyone wearing a sleeve that reaches the elbow) , his very presence brought me a sense of warmth, care and a strange sense of being safe and protected. Not a single wedding or function seemed complete without his imposing, assuring yet unassuming presence. Particularly during my school and college days I recall how he was not only a caring, concerned elder but neatly rounded off as a friend in whom I could confide in. He caught me smoking when he appeared out of the blues on a summer afternoon and I promptly dropped the butt and pleaded with him to forgive me...by tugging on to his elbow-long white sleeve as he kept walking the length of the Trichy Main Guard Gate. And I remember how with misty eyes he spoke about my late dad and all the while consciously led me to Vasantha Bhavan and ordered puris which he knew were my favourite... His emotion had a mystifying quality!
Cut to NOW! I knew he was bedridden and I knew he would have loved to see me by his side visiting him and I knew he was in his last miserable days and yet I could not visit him. I will not be able to get rid of this guilt. And as before he will forgive me again...not with Vasantha bhavan puris... but with his blessings from the Peaceful heavenly abode he finally will be in now...
Love you and will miss you Balachitpa...there will be none like you again on this earth..!
Will ever remain your dear Ravi.
Chitpa...Do you hear me?