Where do I begin to write about my nephew Suresh?
Suresh came into my life at a tender age, being my nephew Hishan’s college buddy and neighbour. They grew up together in Mount Lavinia and attended S. Thomas’s College. This shy little boy I would see in our home as Hishan’s buddy soon won the heart of his sister Yoshini and they became fast friends. Friendship blossomed into romance and ‘Nanga’, as we fondly call her, went on to become Suresh’s wife.
It has been 25 years since Suresh joined our family when he married my favourite niece. Niraj and I watched him grow from a shy little boy to a wonderful, confident young man. He would mischievously refer to me as his ‘mad aunt’, but lovingly called me ‘punchi’. A few years after their marriage, Suresh and Yoshi travelled to London and made it their home, but visited Sri Lanka often to visit with his mum Shanthi and his little brother Ramesh - he was a very dutiful son and brother, and he absolutely adored them. He lit up any room he walked into with his charming personality - always laughing, always happy!
Suresh had the ability to touch any life he encountered in a matter of seconds, which is evident in a letter written to Yoshi by the doctor who performed CPR on him that fateful day. To quote him, “I remember talking to Suresh in the pro shop before he went out to play, and I could tell he had a good sense of humor. I was talking to Lewis who is one of the golf professionals in the shop about my daughter, when she walked in and said “what’s he saying about me?”, and Suresh said, “nothing to worry about, it was all good” with a beaming smile. I also spoke to him before he teed off and I could just sense what a nice man he was, and all that Glenn told me about him since, confirmed that”.
"Suresh lived life to the fullest, just the way he wanted to. He travelled the world, enjoyed the best cuisine, relished the company of his friends and family, and played his favourite game of golf all over the world… but never failed to make sure that he shared the best with his family"
Suresh lived life to the fullest, just the way he wanted to. He travelled the world, enjoyed the best cuisine, relished the company of his friends and family, and played his favourite game of golf all over the world… but never failed to make sure that he shared the best with his family. He was a very loving husband to Yoshi and a wonderful, inspiring dad to Zidan, always challenging him. To put it in Zidan’s own words, “dad always challenged me to become the best version of myself”. Suresh was an extremely proud dad when Zidan received an offer to attend Kings College London to pursue his higher studies. He would have been elated to see him attend university next month. I have no doubt that he is watching over Zidan, and will guide him all his life.
Suresh was, as many people would recall, an exceptional cricketer. He followed in the footsteps of his dad Premalal in captaining his alma mater, the college by the sea. I still recollect all those years gone by, the laughter we shared during the annual Royal-Thomian encounter, with Niraj being the lone Royalist on my side of the family and Suresh spiritedly championing the Thomians - all great memories that will remain with us forever. Suresh, we will always miss your laughter in our home and hold you close in our hearts till we meet again. You left us far too soon.
I will be failing in my duty if I didn’t mention my sister Shirani and brother-in-law Lincoln who loved Suresh like a son and miss him terribly. To Niraj and I, you were our own. To your Ammi and Malli, may God give them the strength to carry on without you until you meet again, on that shore!
“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough” - Rabindranath Tagore