May 15, 1990…
I went to work early as always. I was not sure if VG could call me today as all the phone lines were down. He had spoken to me yesterday and I was very upset because he couldn’t come over to Vizag to celebrate his birthday tomorrow. Well, the cyclone has disrupted our plans … all trains and buses to Vizag from Chennai have been stopped. The Vizag airport is in 3 ft of water, so getting onto a plane is out of the question. While I understand all that, I am crying because I want to us to be together to celebrate his birthday.
I took my first class and had one more class to go in the evening. While I was in the faculty room getting ready for my 5.30 pm batch, the office boy came and said someone was at the gate asking for me. I went out and it took me a few seconds to register that VG was standing there!!! I ran out and hugged him and was almost incoherent because I just couldn’t believe my eyes. VG had taken the first train out of Chennai and reached Vijayawada and from there had stood in the luggage compartment of another train to reach Rajahmundry and finally some folks working at a cement plant in Vizag were hiring a car and he shared the cost with them and reached Vizag. I obviously requested one of my colleagues to stand-in for me for the evening batch and we went home so VG could shower and change.
The next day we celebrated his birthday with my dad and mum at Hotel Daspalla. For me, May 15th 1990 will remain the happiest day of my life because Krishnan kept his word to celebrate his birthday with me inspite of the cyclone and all the challenges in reaching Vizag.
Today – May 16, 2017
Well, today we are in the same city, Vizag, sans the cyclone and we will celebrate by having lunch or dinner at Hotel Daspalla after 27 years :). Its a special feeling to celebrate Krishnan’s birthday today in the same city which has such special memories … As we went around the city yesterday meeting folks for ShikshaDaan, it was really interesting to see how well the city has developed. The roads are wide and there are lots of parking spaces and of course the stunning sea views as you drive on the Rishi Konda road. The city has obviously expanded and feels like a large city. I remember it as a much smaller city and much less crowded but its also a long time ago.
Happy birthday VG (as I called you then) and wish you many many many happy returns of the day. Here’s to the best man I have known and the one who makes the world go around for me. Love you sweetheart.