Tuesday, August 07, 2007


1983 - 2007

1984 - 2007

To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die

Last year at around this time, I was teaching a course in Financial Accounting for PGP I at the Indian Institute of Management, Indore. Among my students were Nitesh Agarwal and Neha Singh. Fondly, I referred to Nitesh as 'bitcom' and to Neha as ''lil one'. Nitesh was a vibrant youngster with boundless energy while Neha was prim and proper and a stickler for neatness. I had continued my association with Neha through an occasional call or a chat on the net.

It was with dismay and a deep sense of regret that I received the news of their passing away on Saturday, 4th August 2007. Two young lives were taken away from us. I could not believe it. One of their classmates sent me a scrap, which said "Bit com and 'lil one are no more...." and when another called on my cell to convey the news, it sank in. A tragic incident had snuffed out their lives.

They were both happy people and no one can take that from them. They saw the world as it was and were content to approach it with a practical mind.

They were both too young to have left this world. We may ponder and ask, why? Feeling helpless we cry out; "Why God? Why?" Even as I write this post, my mind cries out the same refrain.

Death comes like a thief, unannounced. Death takes away people whom we love. Perhaps this is the way God works - in mysterious ways. Perhaps there is a need for a Nitesh and a Neha in heaven where they will be happy. Perhaps God has some other plans for them?

As I grope for answers I get this message – This is not a time to grieve their deaths but it is our time to celebrate their life. Don't ever forget these two young people. I don't think they ever wanted people to cry. They would have wanted everyone to be happy. So, at this moment when we have laid our friends to rest, let's all think back and remember how Nitesh and Neha touched our lives. All the memories we have shared with them will forever be cherished and remembered. Nitesh and Neha will forever live in my heart… In our hearts. This is not the moment to shed tears but we should be thankful that we were given a chance to have known these two wonderful people.

For just over a year that we knew them, we reveled in their company. Happiness & laughter has flowed in their presence. Let not grief and tears wash away those sweet memories. There is no doubt in my mind that Nitesh and Neha are watching down on us from heaven right now.

Nitesh and Neha will forever be missed but I know in the right time, I will meet them again. We will all meet Nitesh and Neha again and then there will be happiness and laughter once again.

Adios, sweet friends, till we meet in paradise!

My thoughts go to the parents of Nitesh and Neha. Words alone cannot give them comfort for their loss is immense. I can only convey to them that our thoughts are with them in this hour of terrible tragedy. I can’t help but remember this wonderful poem, entitled ‘Ascension’ by Colleen Corah Hitchcock

And if I go,
while you're still here...
Know that I live on,
vibrating to a different measure
--behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
so you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
--both aware of each other.
Until then, live your life to its fullest.
And when you need me,
Just whisper my name in your heart,
...I will be there.


Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon them and may they rest in peace, Amen.

Photo courtesy: Shalin Shah & Manas, IIM Indore


Adi said...

Professor Lionel,

I am Aditya. I was with Neha during the same time while she was in Bangalore pursuing her engineering. Its been 4 months today since she left us, and i just happened to read your blog. I don't know why i was searching for her on the net.

The blog you wrote for her flooded my mind with all those wonderful moments I spent with Neha. Thank you for those kind words!


Anubhav Jain said...

Still miss them whenever those college memories come to my mind - Anubhav

Anubhav Jain said...

Still miss them whenever those good old college memories fill the empty spaces in life...