Remembering Selvaraj Carvalho, once again...

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Chris Carvalho (Christy as I know him), about whose father, Selvaraj, I had written in an earlier blog, titled, ‘Requiem for a neighbour and a gentleman’. I’m reproducing his note so that others who know Selvaraj and Chris and their families, will get to read and understand Christy’s sentiments. I felt quite touched, and swallowed hard as I watched the video that shows a young Selvaraj and the place where he worked. This is what social documentation is all about. If only we had more Christys… Here’s the email he sent me:


Thanks for this blog. You have said so many good things about my dad.

I received this email while I was traveling and read this in KL airport.

Life in Sangeetha Colony is a remarkable one. We virtually grew up with the likes of Anita (D-107E), Kiran & Kishan (D-113F), Praful & Pravin Nair (D106F), Bindu, Binny, Bobby and many others who moved into the colony back in 1978. And we were all so well connected during those days, which seems lacking a bit now.

Mum & dad were planning to visit Oz & NZ back in 2001. Dates fixed, tickets purchased, when dad came to know that the insurance does not cover his heart condition. I tried convincing him that we can meet the expenses in case of an eventuality, he was not convinced; he did not want to burden us. This sealed the fate of any chance for him to visit us. And, mum couldn't leave him to visit us. However, I'm glad that we were able to visit them 6 times in the last 4 years, thanks to our stay in Brunei which is much closer to India. And, we were able to host a fantastic 50th wedding anniversary celebration for them, which was probably the last time that mum, dad and the 4 of us were together.

Retirement is a fantastic portion of our life and my dad lived this very well. He was positive about it. Usually, sickness in old age can be attributed to loss of hope and uncertainty. He was never sick. And his prayer, life and his relationship with God was the pillar of his hope and strength. It was only in the last few days that he was getting frail and Angelo's demise could have been a major factor.

His life has taught me a lot. Your blog has certainly been uplifting. Thanks for sharing this with me.

I am emailing a YouTube link which might interest you. We were in Tudiyalur for 5 years where Franky was born. In fact, the old photo was taken even before his birth. Dad was the factory manager for that T.Stanes fertilizer factory. I briefly visited this place on 29-Dec-10, less than 3 months back! Showed this video to dad and he was very happy. He had shared his feelings about this video to the neighbors.

BTW, dad's name is Ambrose Santiago Carvalho, as on the baptism certificate. Selvaraj is what his mum called him and eventually made it to his SSLC certificate, his passport etc. For all purposes, his name is Selvaraj Carvalho.

Chris Carvalho


Anupama said…
Hi Sashi, I read the obit you wrote on Mr. Selvaraj int eh Journalism Online weekly newsletter. Loved it. Keep up the great work. It makes one realise that it is the everyday people one meets and deals with that really are the greatest subjects one can ever find to tell stories about! Hope all is well. Will catch up when I am in Chennai next. Take care, Anupama

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