Have you ever wondered why at a wedding, the bride (i.e. the protagonist of the day) is the last to enter the Church, where as in a funeral, the protagonist (i.e. the dear departed) is followed by the others in? it’s almost as if people are saying non verbally, this is one place that you have to go alone; we do not know what awaits you, we cannot welcome you to this life.
I was at a funeral this evening. The funeral of Mr. Sarath Sathiamoorthi, the smiling face of Coco Verandah. I have not known him personally. The most we have talked was two sentences. But I wanted to be there to bid him farewell today. Why? I don’t know. All I know is that I liked this man from the little I knew of him; I would have loved to known him better.
The very first day I met him was both my first day at Coco, as well as the day my boyfriend asked me out. When introduced to Sarath as “Minoli” by my boyfriend-to-be, he gave me a knowing smile, shook my hand and said “So nice to meet you. Enjoy yourselves!” I could swear there was a wink in the tone he spoke.
Since that day I have seen him from afar many a time, always with his trade mark smile. I heard of his work, his commitment and above all his love for people at large. I really wished I knew him better.
If anyone could have gone over to the other side to welcome him today, I’m sure there would have been many. But as things were, everyone who knew him it seemed wanted to walk with as far as their mortal flesh was allowed to. There were over 500 people gathered there at the Borella Cemetery. Many of them were friends of his, friends made online, friends made through his big heart.
There is a cliché that if a hero’s loved one dies, there will be a huge crowd at the funeral, many with the intention of getting in the good books of the hero. But if the hero dies, no one would actually care, because there is no use for any of them in coming to the funeral.
The extent of Sarath’s ability to touch people was summed up in what a friend at the funeral said: “There’s no point in us going and talking to the family. They wouldn’t even know who we are”.
People came today, because they truly loved the man he was.
I am not qualified to write him a eulogy. But from what I know of him, he’d have been happy today. Because today it was proved that there still exists real love in the world; that there still exists a world where a simple smile can change the course of life of an individual.
I won’t say Rest in Peace. Because from what I have heard, you are not one for resting. So I say, keep smiling and spread love wherever you are; the world – this one, and the beyond – sure need more people like you.
“When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget. .” (Christina Rossetti)