RIP Dr. Bhaktharaj P. Chelliah, CMC Batch of ’64


Dearest Anjali, Sushila, Premala and Padmini,

Thank you for letting us know the funeral arrangements. I am not sure how many of our 64 Batch live close by . I am sure if they can , they will attend on behalf of the Class to say goodbye to Mr. B , a friend and much loved and respected classmate.

Look after yourselves and dear Padmini. It will be a long and bumpy ride , but we are all reassured that you girls are with her and you will hold her close, in this her hour of need, as she will you.

Mr. B was extremely proud of you girls . Once, when the pesky boys in our class were teasing him and asked him how he had struck jackpot and got 3 beautiful daughters , he squashed them with his characteristic wit and said “Ah it’s obvious you haven’t met my wife Padmini … she is beautiful! “ . We all feel we know you all even though we have never met.

Your Dad was a giant in his own right and he has left you a Legacy, that you have every right to be proud of. He was a true Christian and shared his Time , Talents and Tithe unstintingly with those who reached out to him. He even trotted off to the unknown NE frontiers of India to Makunda and Dimapur to help our Alumni there as the opening Batsman for the Alumni Buddie Program. Who does this in today’s world of I , Me and myself ?

He was a good friend and a true blue Gentleman. Try as I will , I cannot remember a single incident when he had bad mouthed any one, in all the 50 odd years I have had the honour of knowing him. God knows there were several occasions, when even the strong willed in our batch would have let out a squeak. We were not an easy batch and we did not earn the title of the Disintegrated Batch of 64 overnight.

He was the established Computer wizard amongst us antiquated Fossils , of the 64 Batch. He compiled our year book and our Song book which was no small feat when it was done entirely in Cyber space Globally over Continents and in punishing Time Zones.

When I used to ring him up and nag him, at all odd hours of the day or night, to add a comma or delete a capital letter or something as trivial and stupid as that , he never ever lost his cool. He used to oblige, ever so willing when anyone else could and would have tell me to take a walk. When we wanted a Oldie Goldie from our era, he would surf and find it. And print it . And circulate it for approval. He was Patient with a capital P.

When a friend of mine Helene King , wrote to tell me that her daughter Lucy Willoughby had just had a preterm baby Olivia who was fighting for her life in the UK , I connected Mr. B, my Neonatalogist classmate , to them and he held their hand across the Seas. He was as altruistic as you make them.

He kept the birthday Calender of the Class. When he sent out our birthday emails we got ourselves a cake and blew out the increasing number of candles, that would have needed the fire brigade to extinguish them, as the years wore on . If Mr.B said it was our birthday, it was our birthday. Even if the midwife, who had attended our birth had risen up from her grave, to refute the date , we would have squashed her back unceremoniously and nodded to the date that Mr. B handed out to us. Now we will all grow old agelessly with no birthdays to nudge us down to reality.

So many memories, all good and happy ones as a tribute to a kind human being we are proud to call our Classmate , batch of 64.

Please be assured of our love and prayers. Hope the days ahead will be made easier knowing that your Dad is smiling down at you from the skies above.

With lots of love from Aunty Susie and all of the 64 Batch

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