Loss of My Mentor: The Momentary Loss of Faith Loss of My Mentor: The Momentary Loss of Faith

As a matter of routine practice, Dr Alex and I met each other on a daily basis, either at my office or at his place and had discussions on a lot of subjects. I also usually accompanied him when he went to deliver his talks and lectures. However, since my schedule had become a busy one during the months post our visit to Cannes, he didn’t want me to waste my time in going over to meet him and therefore, made it a point to come over to my office at regular intervals. By June 2015, we had moved on with the project and finalised the script and had almost spent all the money that Anil had invested. It was now time to move ahead and start finalising our casting, crew and all other technical expertise required to start the shoot, which also meant that it was time to mobilise the money required to sustain these activities.

The health of Dr Alex was not very great and we hadn’t met each other for about a week, though, we spoke daily. Every morning when I spoke to him, he mentioned that he was on a bonus day, which would make me feel very bad and I would tell him that each day is a bonus one for every one of us. On one such Monday morning, he called me up to get an update on the progress we had made with project ‘Maiya’ and asked if we could do that at his place. We met in the evening and spent quite a few hours together. I requested that he should come and listen to the final script before we go ahead. He asked me if that was really necessary and that his physical involvement in the handling of the project was not necessary anymore. He felt that I was independent enough to handle it and that come what may “he is always going to be there with me, all the way”. I insisted on his audience for finalising the script, to which he agreed.

On the day previous to that, he had been invited over by the ‘Malayalee Association’ in Chennai to deliver a lecture. As a departure from the norm he told me that I need not accompany him, as I have already heard him speak on so many occasions and must be bored by now. I’ve never been bored by his lectures and it had always been a soul-searching experience for me every time I heard him speak, even if there were repetitions. However, I did excuse myself on that occasion since I had some work to attend to. Talking to me about his interactions with the members of the association, as he walked me to my car that evening, he told me how a few people had suggested that he should consider getting back to acting in cinemas and that he told them that he would make a comeback through ‘Iris Green Films’. I was very happy to hear that and told him that it is a wonderful proposition and assured him that we would make it happen. He also wanted to visit Kerala the next day and asked me if I would like to accompany him. There was never a ‘NO’ from me for any matter that he would suggest, so I agreed immediately and proposed that I’ll call him in the morning, when we can plan the trip. The next morning, however, I had a rude awakening at 5 AM with a panic-stricken call from Mrs Alex informing me of his sudden deteriorated health condition, asking me to rush to the hospital. I reached the hospital by 6 AM and bore witness to his mortal remains being wheeled out in a stretcher and his family mourning the terrible loss. The nurse came and handed his belongings to me. Life just came to a standstill; the guiding light of my life had suddenly ceased to be. The strongest pillar of support that I depended upon had suddenly fallen, or so I thought, at that moment. That evening as I accompanied his mortal remains along with his family, as we escorted it to Kerala, the last moments I spent with him the previous evening and all that we spoke kept repeating in my mind. I was reminded of the irony of life, as the last thing we spoke about was a visit to Kerala and here I was, accompanying him as he had desired.

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