Monday, June 29, 2009


It seems just yesterday that Rajaram was off to Muscat to begin a new career. I was very happy for him—I still am—though I was beginning to miss him from Day 1. Eighteenth June 2009 was another such day. Having gotten his family accommodation from his employers, he was leaving for Muscat taking his family with him. We were all there at the airport to see him off, and the “just yesterday” scenes were repeated, only in greater intensity.

I woke up on the morning of 18th June, hoping that it was not 18th at all. I would have been happy if time had stopped on 17th of June for perpetuity. That way, Rajaram would not be leaving Chennai, and I could have my cake and eat it too! But time never stops, and I was facing the harsh reality of sending off Rajaram in a few hours’ time.

The day itself was hectic. Office from 0600 to 1000 hrs, back home for a quick lunch and then hopping on to the van that carried us all to the airport. Tired I was, but the physical part of it was not a patch on what was going through my insides. Earlier that morning, as I was on a call to Rajaram on the mobile, I had to choose a secluded corner of my office, lest I betray my emotions.

We were cracking jokes, pulling Rajaram’s legs now, then his daughter’s and my daughter’s. All the leg-pulling is only a blur in my mind. Only I could understand what was going on, and putting up a façade of composure was not very easy.

After the check-in and the customary few minutes’ chat from across the barriers at the airport, an employee of Oman Air came in to remind Rajaram that it was time to get the security done and board the aircraft. I took Rajaram aside, and was the target of a joke from my daughter Sweta later. She reportedly told my wife: “Look, appa’s face is turning into a Niagara.” Not far from the truth, I found it extremely difficult to control myself—the separation will continue to pain.

Thank God for small mercies like Gmail, Gtalk, Mobile phones etc. We can still keep in touch easily and consistently. That could be one reason why I let him go in the first place 

If being away from home makes you homesick, read on. Keeping with times of the pandemic that has left so many fearing for their lives, being away from the lovable swine called Rajaram has made me swine-sick. When the lovable swine comes back in about 70 days for the Madras quiz, I will still be swine-sick—for, aren’t you seasick when at sea!

I am already looking forward to mid-August, and I must at least make pretence of keeping up the trust he has reposed in me. He has asked me to prepare well for the Madras Quiz, and I shall try my best. If he does not make it for Landmark, I am not sure what decision I take. Participate and dedicate to Rajaram whatever points we get or skip the event—I can’t dread to be on THAT quiz without Rajaram. If you are reading this, Rajaram, please tell me how it was when you took the ToO quiz back in Muscat.


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