G R Venkatesh, I know him as GRV. I met him a few years ago in a training session. He was obese, less than five and a half feet in height and his age should be nearing 60 then.

His interest in continuous learning at that age and his involvement during that session impressed me. Though I didn’t interact with him much except for a few occasional chats during breaks in the training session in which we briefly exchanged some thoughts and ideas.

To keep the learning of the program in existence, a WhatsApp group was formed after the program was over, and we enrolled ourselves into it. The group was active, and I kept posting my thoughts and experiences. GRV used to read my posts, and he would either respond with his views or acknowledge having read it. Our thinking’s synchronized most of the time.

While our lives kept moving, a week before there was a post from him, and I little knew at the time it would be his last. It read:

” Well, Ladies & Gentlemen, I have contracted COVID and got admitted at the Government Hospital today”

Many in the group wished him a speedy recovery, and I did too. Days passed, and there were many posts in the group as usual, but nothing came from GRV. Slowly concerns started to show up in the group about his status.

Some posts, as below from other members came to comfort the others

“There could be an issue with the mobile phone signal at the hospital, hence he may not be in a position to respond, otherwise he should be fine”

“He may have forgotten and left the mobile charger at his home”

A few of the group members volunteered to find out about his place and health condition through their contacts, and they walked their talk.

Two days later someone confirmed that the second floor of Tower A is where he is at the government hospital. There was no news about his health status. It gave a relief to everyone in the group that at least his whereabouts were found.

Everyone started to wish and pray for his recovery again, reassuring each other he would be fine.

Then suddenly there was a post which read

” Passing away of our dear friend G R Venkatesh aka GRV – heartfelt condolences”

This saddened me, and my thoughts were flooded with the little memories I had about GRV. I Searched and read some of his earlier posts in the WhatsApp group, including the very recent one he posted on the eve of the Tamil New Year’s Eve ten days back

“With yesterday we all ended with the Hindu year “Sharvari”. The meaning of Sharvari is darkness. It was a year of darkness. Hopefully the darkness is over with yesterday. The new Hindu year “Plava” started today. The meaning of Plava is crossing over. So, we will cross over from the darkness during this year. *A hearty welcome to the new Hindu year “PLAVA”*. WISHING YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY & PROSPEROUS THAMIZH NEW YEAR & VISHU”

My thoughts reflected;

would he have thought about his end when he typed the above message?

Has he already crossed the darkness?

I don’t know for sure, but one thing I know is wherever he is now, he will be giving light to others.

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