We are popularly called the Baskaran’s.The family returned to India from Burma during the 2nd world war at the time of the Japanese attack on Burma.The story of their return reads like a thriller and I’ll share Dad’s diary entry on the same shortly. I was born shortly after the family relocated to India and Dad got a job in Delhi.We lived in a one roomed lodging on Curzon Street and it was here that I was born.We moved to Chennai when I was a few years old and we continued to stay there for several decades .I did all my studies , barring the PGDM ,at Chennai.InSt Kevins till 4th standard , thereafter St Mary’s ,on to Loyola College for Pre-University and finally College of Engg , Guindy.We were a family of six ,the eldest was my sister Hema and then came Venu,Ravi,Jaya ,Gopi and me in that order.
Ours was a well knit family and a talented one too.Venu studied MBBS at Stanley Medical College and went on to join the Army Medical Corp.He was a good cricketer and captained the Stanley cricket team.Also was probably the most studious of us all.He married Geetha and they have a son ,Anand.Ravi ,studied BCom & Law and was for most of his career in sales .He was the best cricketer of the family ,represented Loyola College and also played for Tamil Nadu Junior State team.Ravi is married to Marie and they have three kids Bobby ,Nicky & Sandhya.Jaya was the soldier from the very beginning and after graduating from the Indian Military Academy , went on to serve in the Armoured Corp.He took part in the 1965 war with Pakistan and was in the Armoured Division that crossed the International border and drove in ,all the way ,till the out skirts of the city of Sialkot He also was on the battle front for the ’71 operations.Jaya married Prithi and they have two sons , Sanjay & Rajesh.Gopi was in many ways the most talented of us , however he suffered a polio attack in his school days which left him crippled.He had an indomitable spirit and his disability did not stop him from actively taking part in sports and leading a fiercely independent life of his own.He married Marie Celine ; they had no kids. Gopi was a journalist and was part of the pioneering team that launched the Mid Day newspaper ,whose success lead to the formation of a niche mid day or afternoon newspaper segment.Hema was the soft spoken and extremely loveable sister .For me she often switched roles and was a mother ,I was just nine years old when she got married.Hema married Vijayaraghavan and they have three daughters ,Vidya,Reena & Deepa.
I always thought our family was invincible and so it seemed , however we lost almost all one by one .Dad first passed away;for me it was the first time I came face to face with death and as I was the only one at home with Mom ,it was a defining moment and a time when I grew up. Then Venu & Gopi passed away within a space of 45 days both to Cancer.Cancer would continue to be a scourge of the family as it felled Hema and then Jaya.Now only Ravi & I remain .But we have our sisters in law , and children and the Baskaran tradition lives on.