Dr. Vijayamadhavan

     As fortunate as I feel to have met and known Vijayamadhavan, I realize that I missed a lot, not knowing him long enough.
    My acquaintance with him happened through a phone conversation. Sankaran Kutty, my college mate at Maharaja’s College, introduced him to me when I was visiting his residence in Kunnamkulam along with our mutual friend Rajan. After a sumptuous lunch prepared by Sankaran Kutty’s wife Sarada, he mentioned that I must get to know Vijayamadhavan, his long-term friend and an extremely nice gentleman worth knowing. Such an offer being a rarity, I grabbed the opportunity to talk to him, the conversation lasting several minutes. I felt that I had conversed with a long-lost friend and that we had so much in common to be shared. The intimacy, the warmth, simplicity, and cordiality of the individual were profusely obvious through his talk. I had just discovered a friend, a fascinating individual, and a wonderful human being.
          Our connection was reinforced through his son Vivek, his proud and precious possession, who was taking up a Fellowship in Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston where I happened to be an Attending Faculty for over thirty years. As destiny would have it, I got to first meet Vijayamadhavan and wife Rajarajeswari when Vivek brought them over to our house.
          We kept our sporadic communication over varied subjects of familiar interests. Three years ago, when I lost my mother, he wrote to me a kind and overwhelmingly consoling letter, reflecting his true self as the remarkable gentleman that he was. I have included that letter in a book that we created in honor of our mother.
        Then our ironic meeting happened. We were visiting Calicut, India in January 2011 to attend the class reunion of our 1956 batch of Trivandrum Medical College, organized by Roy Chally. I contacted our mutual friends Vijayamadhavan and Bhaskaran and expressed my desire to meet them. Rajeswari and Vijayamadhavan arranged a lunch at their house in our honor where Bhaskaran and Nalini joined us. We had a memorable three hours together in their lovely house, over delicious food, and intimately friendly conversation. The charming presence 91 and hospitality of Vijayamadhavan will ever remain fresh in my memory. As we bid goodbye, I never realized that it was our last meeting. When Nalini called just a few weeks later and sobbed about the sad news, it was beyond belief. Coming back to the house emphasized the fragile reality of life; without his living presence, it had changed forever.
        My association with Vijayamadhavan, though short and infrequent, remains a prized, precious, and beloved possession in my life. I remain honored and blessed by the privilege of having known such a great human being. As the chosen agents of the Almighty, they enhance our existence and enrich the human race. (December 23, 2012)

Author: Dr. Venugopal Menon

Was born and raised in a loving family in pre-independent India, became a doctor, served Indian army, got married, then came over to America with wife and a daughter, established as a successful Allergist, raised a family of three children, was involved in many social establishments, retired, and wrote memoirs, 'My Mother Called Me Unni, A Doctor's Tale of Migration'.

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