God’s greatest gift to mankind is the mind. The stature of any individual depends on how they exploit memory and intelligence. My daughter made full use of her mind in the short span of 20 years given to her by God. This is her story.When she was a kid, from five to 14 years of age (1966-1975), I was working in Bokaro Steel Plant, a Russian-aided venture, during which I was deputed to Moscow for six months.
In the absence of any entertainment during that period (even TV came during the 1980s only), the pastime for the children during birthday parties, was only playing games. They invariably played memory games.
When the kids played the memory game, everyone present would admire my daughter’s skills. She also bagged prizes when such tests were conducted by our Tamil Sangam, Chinmaya Mission, etc. She had won prizes for chanting the Bhagavad Gita and devotional songs from the Chinmaya Mission.
She was talented in music too. One of her wishes was to sing a Russian song at the Russian club in Bokaro. She learnt the song, the pronunciations and phonetics from me within a couple of days. And true to her dream, she did render the song at the Russian Club in 1970, when they were celebrating October Revolution Day. The audience of around 400, including a hundred Russian families, was stunned and spellbound. They gave her a standing ovation. She was just nine then. Needless to say, my wife and I were transported to seventh heaven with pride.
Then, we were overjoyed when she got first rank in the Madras University Pre-University exams in 1979. She was in Meenakshi College, Madras, then. For this, she was honoured by R Venkataraman, who went on to become the president of India. He presided over the prize distribution function.
When she was studying B.Com, she participated in competitive exams held by the Trichy Chamber of Commerce and won a gold medal. In addition to all the above, she was good at tattooing and embroidery. She was also interested in cooking and indulged in extra-curricular activities in her college. She fell sick in 1981 when she was doing her B.Com. By the end of that year, she succumbed to the illness, thus sealing off a sparkling saga much to our perennial grief. She was the spring blossom and pride of our family. The light has been extinguished. But it is etched in our hearts. Our son, four years younger to her, who is now taking care of us, is in no way lesser to her.