Our Brother Prasad

My brother Prasad and his wife Seeta at wedding reception

My brother Prasad and his wife Seeta at wedding reception

We were a peaceful, close knit family of 8 siblings- 4 brothers and 4 sisters. We had managed to recreate a contented, harmonious atmosphere after the sad demise of our father in his 49th year. With a father expiring even as he was in service, we were not very well placed financially. But our mother had managed to keep us all together and nurture a unit with good values.
To this happy family Fate dealt a shock literally through an electric shock. Our second brother Prasad who was in charge of the Thermal power station in Bagalkot was electrocuted while on duty. Death was instant.
The first distinct impression of my dear brother on my memory was on the one on the day of our father’s death. A precocious 7 year old, I asked a tactless question bringing tears to the eyes of those gathered, “Now that father is dead, who will earn for the family and look after us?”. I remember Prasad gathering me in his arms and consoling me, “Don’t worry dear. We are all here. We shall look after you” little knowing that he himself would be leaving his young family in lurch in his 39th year.
Prasad was a handsome man, with a broad forehead and naturally well penciled eye brows, almond shaped eyes with long,curved lashes, a delicate, sharp nose and a pinkish, fair complexion enhanced by a trim moustache over pink lips. In fact his looks being somewhat similar to Hindi film actor Pradeep Kumar, he had been christened ‘The Moghul Prince’! He himself had been a great fan of Hindi films and Hindi film music. But he was not much of a talker. He would prefer to lounge in a corner and enjoy all the family chatting around him.He had a puckish sense of humor though. One day, a wolfish whistle followed me and my sister down the road. When we turned back irritated, we found that the Road Romeo was none other than our brother Prasad 🙂
He had a pearly, neat handwriting and I still remember the chalk portrait he had artistically drawn on the wooden pane of the dining room window.
His first job after completing his Engineering education was at the Thermal Power Station at Basin Bridge, Madras, a city he hated with his whole heart. He was a person who liked to dress well and the sweaty place was hardly conducive to that. He was just waiting for an opportunity to leave his job there. But he spent quite a few years of his career there, taking every opportunity to sneak out to Bangalore.
How we looked forward to these visits of his! The enameled toffee boxes he used to bring us every time and which we would keep perched on our college books to show off to our friends! The movies he would treat us to during his stay!!
Prasad cherished a secret wish to marry some Bangalore college educated girl. But as an obedient son he had agreed to marry a girl from another town. Fortuitously, the alliance broke off after father’s demise due to some reason. How relieved he was! But as luck would have it he did later marry a pretty girl from Mandya, choosing her from the spate of proposals he had after the breaking of the first engagement.
I still remember his acute embarrassment when he was taken in an open car in the city of Mandya before his ‘Vara Pooje’ (A ritual prior to marriage). But later he adjusted himself well to his in-laws and their conservative ways.
He was the first one in the family to spot the flair for writing in me. He was so proud of my academic achievement; I still remember how he carried me and paraded me all over the house when he came to Bangalore after my degree results. He wanted me to become an IAS officer or a Doctor in Science from Indian Institute of Science. But my mother vetoed the idea as she was scared that an ‘over educated’ girl (that too fatherless) would be a misfit in the matrimonial market.
He was very happy when I got engaged to be married as he had already seen Ramu in Madras and had hankered after him for his sister.
After a long tenure at Madras, destiny tempted him with an offer at Bagalkot Power Station. He was so happy that for once he could dress well to his work and for social activities.
On that fatal day of power outage he told his young wife that he would soon be back after rectifying the fault at his work station and to manage with an oil lamp till he returned not foreseeing that when fate dealt him the fatal blow, his wife would be left in perpetual darkness with 4 very young daughters to bring up.
After this sad accident our family never felt complete again.
But my brother would have been certainly happy to know that his four little darlings grew up, got educated, got good jobs and husbands. I wonder what type of father- in law he would have made for his 4 sons – in law and what type of grandfather he would have made for all his smart grandchildren. A question left unanswered for ever.


31 thoughts on “Our Brother Prasad

  1. Sneha says:

    I needed a catharsis, Vimala. You are one of the most articulate, sensitive and beautiful people I feel blessed to know of. Lots of love to you. Your brother and his family will be in my prayers. I’ve seen death from close quarters and you’ve taught me to remember memories with fondness. Thank you. Most cherished write, this. Am crying, and the tears will continue. . . .

  2. Namita says:

    Beautiful! Vimmu aunty! So wonderful to read the homage to Prasad Mama. Never having seen him, he came alive in front of me beautifully constructed through your words. He would be so proud of his dear wife and his 4 gorgeous daughters and their even more gorgeous and accomplished children. Not to mention his very talented sister(s).

  3. Seetharam says:

    I read this with a lump in my throat. Sad. Again, look at the long arm of God. He has looked after you and your siblings and Prasad’s children also !

  4. Vibha says:

    Thank you for this Vimmu Aunty ..This is probably the second best way to know a little more about our grandfather 🙂 Mixed feelings but feels so good to know how luvly a person he was 🙂

    • Dear Vibha,
      For a person who died when he was a young handsome man of 39 years, it feels strange to hear him referred to as grand father. Thanks for writing to me,dear.

  5. Dear vimmu aunty
    This is more touching and it brought tears . Miss him all the more today probably more than I did back then.This has given the kids an insight into their grandfather abt whom I didnt know much to tell them.
    Thank you for the experience.

  6. Thank you so much for taking the time to write about the person who gave me life but still remains a stranger and will continue to be one during this lifetime.A very good insight into the times you shared.Great reading.–Veena Purushotham-courtesy FB

  7. Vimmu, your writing brought back fond memories of both uncles. Actually, all 4 uncles were such gentleman and classy. I remember a lot of my childhood days spent in Akka’s house in the company of uncles, aunts and little cousins. What a wonderful grandmother Akka was!–Mala-courtesy FB

  8. Dear Vimu,

    I remember your dear brother Prasad. After reading your blog I felt emotional.Because I could recall his vist to our street 5 or 6 decades ago. I think by then he had working in the State Elec Dept and came to inspect a transmission tower near our house where we were living then. Thanks for your writing and you have nicely sketched his personality and character.


    Thank you Raghu – vimmu

  9. Vimmu aunty, Lovely recounting. I miss Prasad mama even though I never met him. First though mummy’s descriptions and now this,
    A belated Happy Anniv to you and Ramu mama- deepa

  10. Dear Shail,
    Thank you very much. I am so happy that my old friends are still reading my blogs though I get to know only when I see comments from them. It was indeed a pleasant surprise to see your comment on my WordPress site.Thanks once again.

  11. Mala says:

    Vimmu, our handsome Prasad mama had a quiet elegance to him and i still cherish memories of out trip to Mandya where he and Seetha manni got married. It was such a fun trip. He may be gone for decades now but his memory is forever fresh for us!

    • Dear Mala, I didn’t expect my friends apart from family members would appreciate this article. It is a pity that these repeat articles reach only the original set of fans,followers and readers and not the present set. But I did get Anjali’s response this time!

  12. NL Sriram says:

    My uncle G. Jayaram remembered Sri. Prasad as being the assistant engineer at Basin Bridge when he first started working as an electrical engineer.

  13. NL Sriram says:

    Perhaps I should have introduced myself before leaving the comment! I am the grandson of Ratnamma and Seshadri Iyengar, we lived on 3rd cross and your mother (Chokkanna Manni as she was called by my grandmother) was a regular visitor, I also remember visiting your house on Sampige road as a youngster. Roopa gave me your books Wind Chimes and Dew Drops during my last visit, I enjoyed reading them. Today Geetha (Roopa’s sister-in-law) had me read this to my aunt Saroja, and coincidentally my maternal uncle had brought up Sri. Prasad’s name just a couple of days back.

  14. Oh, you are not a stranger to me, Sriram. You are family! My cousin Nachu & Narmada’son. Roopa had told me about you liking my writing. Thank you for following my blogs. I remember your uncle Jayaram (& srilatha?) too. Thanks for your rejoinder. Love, vimmu aunty

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