Balu mama had overseen the construction of so many temples, attended so many pujas, was the first person to be there for someone in their time of need. The Gods decided they wanted him on their side.
Balu mama was such a wonderful man, treated me like his daughter, gave me so much affection. How can I forget those beautiful days at Chamraj at the summer house in the hills with Balu mama and the entire family. I got some of the finest shots, had him sign my friend's birthday gift, it almost seemed like a calling.
He looked peaceful, with his mother's japa maalai around his neck, ash on his forhead, his eyes closed, peaceful, tired, and finally resting. I cannot believe that he is gone.
How many times I would have seen him off to work in the mornings...how many jokes we shared in the living room sofa watching television, sharing comments, his voice resonating throughout the house. I had the privilege of taking his seat in the living room sofa which he would not even give up for anyone. I'll miss his voice, his affection, and his presence.
Forever, until my time comes to join him. Rest in peace Balu mama.