On the 11th of December 2007 at 3 in the afternoon, Mr. P.R.Krishnamachari passed away. He was 88.
As I write this, I realize how little I know about him. But I will try and put together as much as I can. I know he served in the Indian Air Force for many years, just after World War II. Then, he got married to Jayalakshmi and decided to settle down. He also realized that being in the Air Force would mean that Jaya and his family would not have the security they needed. So, he sacrificed his career goals and quit the Air Force, putting his family above everything else.
He then joined The Hindu as a journalist. He had a degree in literature that helped him do this. A very bold and outspoken man, he had opinions about a lot of issues. And he made sure his voice was heard. He continued working with The Hindu until he retired. During the course of his career at The Hindu, he encountered many politicians and had many offers to serve under them and enter Tamil Nadu’s political arena. he refused every one of them and considered the dirty game of politics beneath him.
He had 4 children, 3 daughters and one son. All his children are very intelligent and are all very successful in their respective jobs. He made no distinction between his son and daughters and made sure that all of them got their Masters’ degrees. A concept uncommon in those days. He married them all off and they are all very happy. They all have children, who are successful as well. He even attended his grand-daughter’s wedding and played with his great grandson.
He retired when he was 60-ish, but continued to have a very active social life until very recently. He wouldn’t sit at home idle even one day. There was always some place to go, something to be done, something to be taken care of. He never thought of children as children. He always said that they had a mind of their own and it is upto the adults to foster their thinking.
He lived a simple life. He had 3 sets of clothes and he had issues with wearing underwear. He always wore a komanam or a loin cloth because he said the elastic on the new-fangled underwear brands bothered him! He was a voracious reader and was always surrounded by books about politics, the concepts of which boggle the mind.
He had a hip replacement surgery a few months ago, that restricted his movements, preventing him from going out and traveling. A month ago he developed esophageal cancer, that prevented him from eating and speaking. His food intake began to decline and he became bed ridden. Two days ago he completely stopped any food intake and stopped responding to people. This morning, at 4.30 am EST, 3 pm IST, my grandfather P.R.K, as he was fondly called, left us.
He lived a full, satisfying life. May his soul rest in peace. Bye, thatha. I will miss you.