(Prakash, 09.09.1953 – 08.09.2018)
Tuesday, September 4th: The hug was tight, the words were warm, ‘I have to come and give you some things I want only you to have.’ No matter I don’t have the ‘things’ but I don’t have Prakash either. Our telephone conversations were long, very long. They touched everything from sausages to salsa dancing. They always, but always ended with, ‘love to Naushad, love to Alisha.’
We go back a long way, Prakash and I; fifty plus years. We were in the same class and went to all his ‘dance parties’, as he called them. Prakash loved to dance, he loved jazz, he loved food. Prakash loved life. Man, did he love life. How else can one explain his indomitable spirit and courage as he battled his illness?
But my strongest memories of him are of when we were trying to amalgamate the Old Boys Association and the Old Girls Association to form the present Alumni Association. This was but a natural progression as we became a co-ed school. Prakash worked tirelessly. It was not an easy task but we battled the forces that were stuck in their complacency. No status quo for Prakash. He wrote hundreds of letters, got a constitution done, hounded people to join and we finally formed this Association after years of hard work.
To say that Prakash was a true blue Cathedralite (albeit from Savage house) would be an understatement. That hue of blue is off the charts, outside the spectrum. He didn’t miss a trick. At every Alumni function Prakash was at the entrance welcoming people, introducing himself in his inimitable style, sporting the old school tie. Not the ersatz one but the real thing. In fact, the last time we met at the Alumni AGM four days ago, he was lovingly showing me his frayed tie. Too short for an alum but just right for little Prakash in school.
The outpouring of love will be huge, the sense of loss too. He touched far too many lives to ever be forgotten. His last message three days ago was a country song called, ‘The Older we Get…’ it brought tears to my eyes but they dried fast. These might take a little longer.
So buddy, farewell. I guess your rendition of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ will forever ring in my ears as you enthrall the angels with your moves.
Shyla Boga Patel