An Ode to Eternal love
It is said that 'Actions speak louder than words', yet we find ourselves craving for a word lost somewhere in the depths of extreme actions. Normalcy is more often a surreal camouflage, than a sign of self-belief. Somewhere in the dark caves of the human mind, still lies a thought that tries hard to not reveal itself and when it does, shatters everything surrounding it.
It takes far more courage to have oneself dissolved into nothingness. These are not anyone's words, but sentences that only begin to describe the void that I felt on a bright Friday morning (Friday, the 20th). For a man who valued his principles more than anything, for a Professor who viewed things in a dimension that can only be described as 'visionary', for a mentor who not only inspired but also shared his exquisite wealth with more people than the number of mobile models currently available, for a friend who would smile even if the Apocalypse were to happen before his eyes, for a person who regarded every petty aspect of life a challenge to be overcome, for a Vidwan who didn't think science and music were any different from one another and for a scientist who never gave up learning and learning more even if it meant he had to spend an eternity doing the same, Dear Professor Parag Sadhale couldn't have thought of a better way than what he did to himself to create an atmosphere so charged with a devastating lull that it threatened to consume everyone and everything around it into oblivion.
He came, he taught, he taught more, he directed, he laughed along and then, when we were 'Family', he left us with his characteristic smile.
I have personally known Dear Sir only for a month and a half as a trainee, but in that short period of time, I have learned a great deal of aspects, like 'Questioning everything', for one. Had Socrates lived long to see the 'number of questions' that he made me ask, he would have left a gallon of flesh in dedication. Every time I passed by his office, a unique force would draw me in and stimulate an interaction. 'It wouldn't suffice if you just know, you have to learn how to improvise', he would often hint.
Dear Sir's company was always something I looked forward to. Be it, being the first to fetch him a cup of tea just so I could have a casual chat with him or to sit right next to him in his car to listen to the sweet 'Hindustani tunes' that he hums, Dear Sir's company has always been compelling. On a warm afternoon during a certain Neurobiology Seminar on facets of memory, Sir called out, 'Shankar, here. Sit near me'. I was a little hesitant to sit with Dear Sir during a lecture, fearing his 'Quiver full of Questions'. At the end of the lecture, Sir commented, 'Did you get that fully, because frankly speaking, I didn't'. I laughed and told him 'No, not a single word except the videos'. He laughed back. That made my day. On another day, he would ask me: 'What do you mean you didn't get it?' I would go pale and he would laugh again. It was a to-and-fro that I looked forward to every day.
A few days later just before he decided to strip us off into pieces, he took me to a Carnatic concert. On our way back, I was commenting on the various Ragas that the Vidwan rendered in the course of the concert and Sir pointed out, 'Well, you see music is no different than Science. One small change and it can lead to something totally new.' I was flabbergasted at the analogy.
Now, that I think about that episode, it comes back to me as 'Life is no different than science. One small change and it could lead to a totally all-consuming result'.
Will we all in the lab ever get over this void? Will we ever stop wondering what we could have done to prevent this crude happening? Will we stop looking at his office every two minutes or so and wonder if he has left us something? Will we stop shedding tears every time we look at his 'lab slippers'? Will we ever stop anticipating?
Well, like they say: 'When one door closes, another opens'; but what if the door that just closed took away all possibilities to open 'other doors' along with it?
Amidst the hum of the refrigerator nearby, we all just heard a rumble in the silence. The doors of heaven just opened!
The author, Shankar Chandrashekar is a final year student at Center of Biotechnology at Anna University in Chennai. He is currently occupied with his undergraduate dissertation program at Indian Institute of Sciences (IISC) Bangalore.
A tribute to Professor Parag Sadhale FeaturedBy : Guest Author
Professor Parag Sadhale an assistant professor with the department of Microbiology and cell biology at Indian Institute of Sciences (IISC) Bangalore passed away on 20th January, 2012. Professor Sadhale was a mentor and inspiration to Shankar Chandrashekar, a regular writer at GyanCentral. Shankar has penned an eulogy for Professor Sadhale which he wants to share with the readers.