"Chandu uncle" or Chandu kaka, this is how I called "Chandrashekhar Vairale," we knew each other for almost a decade, but the length of acquaintance may not be able to define the depth of relationship we have. My younger brother Umesh introduced me to Chandu uncle when we moved to our new home and it was an instant connection and beginning of a strong bond from that day onwards. We used to meet during my every India trip and discuss various social, political, and personal issues. His advice and opinions were always balanced and he never hesitated to criticize whenever it was required or whenever he thought it might benefit me. Even though we lived in different continents, miles apart, this distance never affected the strong bond of friendship which we formed. I cannot find a better term than friendship to define it, he was sort of a mentor, but also a great friend, with who I can discuss almost everything and expect rational advice. He took a personal interest to take me to places like "Snehalaya" and "Maher" where great social work is being done by some great people, introduced me to some aspects of society which I was not aware of and also showed me how one can help people as much as one can without expecting anything in return. His friend circle is very vast and diverse. I was impressed to see that he knew so many people and had direct access to them. He always encouraged me to take up new challenges and also helped me as much as he can. When I started writing my blog, he was one of the first who started reading it, offered suggestions to improve and commented on posts which he found interesting.
I heard about his illness a couple of months back and also chatted with him about it, but never knew it was so serious. His sudden demise is a personal shock to me and may of his friends. I left a vacuum which is hard to fill. It is true that the world will move on and it should, but there are some people who leave a permanent mark on lives of people with whom they interact and I think Chandu uncle is one of them. It is hard to explain some feelings and some losses as one cannot describe them in words or quantify them. I will miss him for sure, but his memories and suggestions will always be with me.
Thank you for reading.
Thank you for reading.