The news of my uncle, Raj, woke me up this morning, leaving me in intense shock and disbelief that words cannot explain. My mom’s cousin, whose father was instrumental in providing my mom with the financial and moral support to complete her education of three graduate degrees in the 1970 India. Since then, my mom and us have ever been in close ties with their family, silently honoring the great man with our gratitude. His son of mere 50 years passed away this morning due to a cardiac arrest after a complaint of stomach indigestion.

The cyclone ‘Varadah’ had begun its way storming through the streets and shores of Chennai, leaving hundreds of homes without power or phone connections. Raj’s octogenarian parents had gone to his room with a glass of hot milk to soothe his stomach, only to witness the horrific sight of their son who had already passed away. No symptoms, no sounds. Silently, unknowingly, and abruptly. In what was a worse case scenario, the storm that had just reached in-land, had slashed their telephone lines, rendering them helpless. The couple stayed alone for over 3 hours, with their son. Only, their son wasn’t there anymore.

A brand new mom had been born. My best friend had delivered her son late last night. Prayers had been answered. Tears merged with smiles. A baby’s cry reverberated the hospital floors and in the hearts of my friend and her husband. A new life is welcomed. Life feels hopeful and beautiful. I leaped in joy as I saw the text message. I’ll call them first them in the morning, I had promised myself.

Today, the full moon is in conjunction with the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades). One of my all time favorite Indian festivals of light, called Karthigai Deepam. I pray for Raj Uncle. A simple man, ever helpful and ever radiating the positive spirit of life amidst the many challenges life kept repeatedly throwing at him. He deserved lot more happiness and love. His octogenarian parents sure do not deserve to experience this agony of watching their son pass away. I pray for their peace. For their strength. I pray for the new little bundle of joy a fulfilling happy life.