Elegies on Padma V.Sundaram.IAS(R) 09/05/2014

In his  Preface, Mr.Sundaram  writes ‘ My beloved wife Padma passed away suddenly late in the night on October 2011. A great light—indeed, a celestial light —that shone so brightly and so resplendently for more than  Forty One  years  went out of my life that terrible night, leaving me in a state of forlorn and desolate lonliness.’

‘For nearly more than 5  months  from that date of that grim personal tragedy , my endeavour to carry on intimate spiritual conversations with the departed soul every day has resulted  in these ‘Elegies on Padma.’

I would like the reader to know this post of mine is not a book review in the strictest sense because book reviews are objective and also critical. I can’t but begin this piece  on a very personal note when I happened to meet  Mr.Sundaram and  Padma at a function of a common friend. I still remember when she was introduced to me, she greeted me with a whole hearted childlike smile which captivated me no end.  Subsequently I  met  the couple a few times  at their residence and  on one  such occasion knowing my fondness for a good cup of coffee, Padma  offered  it  in a tall mug and I noticed the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee  permeated  the whole room. Blowing away the froth lightly I went on sipping the hot beverage  even as we were conversing  on topics  of mutual interest.

I always invited  Padma  for  Haldi Kumkum  at my place on the occasion of Vara MahaLakshmi Puja and she made it a point to attend the function and it was a pleasure  to see Mr.Sundaram accompanying  her. My husband and I  literally seized  the opportunity to enrich ourselves with the vast knowledge he had and the spontaneous literary quotations that flowed  left  us spellbound and  breathless!  Padma never spoke much but listened to her husband  with rapt attention  as we did. Therefore  I found it strange when Padma  came  alone  in   August 2011 and appeared  to be in a  tearing  hurry to return home immediately after  receiving  the ‘tamboolam.’ She said Mr.Sundaram was unable to accompany her as he was  slightly indisposed and she had to go back home to  take care of him.  Little did I know that I would be meeting Padma for the LAST time.

The table of contents include a Prologue composed by Ajith Ranganathan, endearing and  immensely moving elegies by Sundaram  and  extremely touching  messages from  close friends of the couple .

I t would be apt to quote Alfred Lord  Tennyson  in my conclusion  though with a slight variation : ‘—For Men may come and Men may go, but Padma and her childlike smile will be etched in our memories for ever.’

n.meera raghavendra rao 


One thought on “Elegies on Padma V.Sundaram.IAS(R) 09/05/2014

  1. I am Mantha V Sharma from Minjur, Near Chennai. Myself and Sri V Sundaram met for the first time in 1996 and we and our family are always get a great welcome whenever we go their home. They both have visited our house in Virugambakkam and also attended my son’s marriages and in some other instances. Our interests and thinking are same. It is a Great Loss for me and my family on the bereavement of both of them from this fragile world. Ever memorizing our meetings for our lives. Mantha V Sharma – vsmantha@gmail.com

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