THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY

On the 13th June 2010, we had the first Anniversary prayers for Bala. It was well attended by about 200-250 friends and relatives. Lakshmi and Vara were down with their family. And so were Lakshmi's in-laws from India. I was overjoyed with their presence.

Bala's photo was beautifully decked with a lovely jasmine garland, white lilies, orchids and red roses just as Bala would have wanted. Bala always loved simple but meaningful ceremonies, and neat arrangements.

The priest from Sri Ramaligeswar Temple in Bangsar conducted the ceremony very neatly. Srithar, my younger son, performed the rites as tradition would have it, while his siblings, nieces and nephews participated in the rites.

Though we miss Bala very much, we know he is in good hands and our prayers are  with him. All Bala's friends were present and it was very touching to see their love and respect for him. I realised how much their friendship mattered to him and his to them. Each of them had a little story to say about him. These are moments you can't help but let your heart go and your tears flow. Bala's love for his friends will always be there and I shall do my best to keep that going by keeping in touch with as many as I can.

And as Bala would have wanted, there were good dishes carefully selected for lunch. Everyone was happy. Some rang me the next day to say it was a good anniversary. That gives me a lot of consolation and satisfaction. I know Bala is pleased too.  I thank one and all for their presence and contributions that made the anniversary a meaningful one.

GIRIJAH BALAKRISHNAN