Sunday, July 26, 2009
Goodbye my friend Karthik!
I was shocked when a close friend of my mine, Patrick, called me a few hours ago to say that former Barcelona Olympics squad and Kuala Lumpur defender, G. Karthekayan (read here), had passed away earlier in the evening in Langkawi.
Patrick, a former working mate of Karthekayan at the Immigration Office and a dear friend to him, was sobbing on the phone and kept repeating he could not believe the news.
Initially, Patrick said that Karthekayan had passed away in the car accident. Later, Patrick said that he got information that he had drowned.
Karthekayan, 40, had gone to Langkawi with his family for holidays. It is said that he was walking along the beach when he decided to walk into the sea as it was low tide. But he got into difficulties when the tide was coming in fast and drowned.
The picture of what actually had happened is still sketchy. But whatever happened, it is a tragedy. Karthekayan, who has left the Immigration Office and runs his own business, was a well-liked person. Many referred to him as the Gentle Giant, because of his towering built, but was a kind hearted person.
I even remember, how Karthekayan used to ferry an "uncle" - an elderly man who lived in his neighborhood - who was involved in a hit-and-run accident and needed physiotherapy, to Brickfields almost every morning of the week for a good year and half.
And that was where I met Karthekayan again after having lost touch with him for sometime. This was about four years ago when I used to go regularly for morning workouts at former Kuala Lumpur physiotherapist, K. Prabaharan's gym.
I had known Karthekayan who hails from Pahang, from his playing days with the Barcelona Olympics team in 1991 (Read this story) and then later when he had a brief stint with KL.(Read this story).
Although I used to occasionally keep in touch with Karthekayan with calls from time to time, the last I saw him him was last month on June 15 - my birthday - when another long-time friend, Guna, organised a small get-together at Bangsar Village's Outback restaurant.
It was meant to be a small gathering, but it grew to about 15 people.
And Karthekayan was the surprise guest that night. Patrick has brought him along.
It was indeed a pleasant surprise and we spoke at lenght and told him that I wanted to meet the "uncle" who he used to bring to Praba's gym, as I had not seen since.
Karthekayan, promised me that he will call me and we go together to see the "uncle".
"I have not seen the "uncle" for a longtime too. We will go together," Karthekayan had said that night.
I called him a few days later to remind him of visiting "uncle" and he told me that he will get back to me.
I suppose that will not happen now. I am sure "uncle" will be at his house to pay respect to Karthekayan and will get to meet him afterall, but in a very difficult and sad situation.
Goodbye Karthik (as we all call him). You have touched many people in your short time on earth and you will always be remembered.
My deepest condolences and sympathy to his wife, Priyadeshini, and his nine-year-old son, Keshin. I know no amount of consoling can replace a person like Karthekayan in their life, but they have to remain strong and make Karthekayan proud.
Karthekayan's remains will arrive from Langkawi late this evening (Monday) and brought to his residence.
NO.2, JALAN SG 7/19, TAMAN SRI GOMBAK, 68100 BATU CAVES, SELANGOR
The funeral services will be on 28/07/2009 (Tuesday) starting at 12.30pm at the residence and leave for Cheras Crematorium at 2pm.