In early September, before my departure to Dhaka, I wrote to my good friend and mentor, Mike Udabage, about my forthcoming assignment in Dhaka. I used to call him Purohita and was looking for some approval when I wrote to him. Mike had spent a life time in media and his opinion was of value. When most were questioning my decision, prompt came this reply from Sydney:
This is very exciting your assignment in Bangladesh. Everything will be alright provided you don’t give people more than two options, talk less listen more. In Dhaka don’t dress several steps ahead of your audience, only just one step ahead. Pls keep us informed
Exactly a month after my arrival today, as I sat down to write my one month anniversary blog I got news that he had passed away. Death took him so fast away from all of us who loved him – he tailored his friendship in a unique and exceptional way to be that unforgettable friend …I can’t believe we’ve lost him forever – no more jokes, no shared laughter, no more recollections of the good old days, no more debates, no nothing now . … We talked about the book he would write about his life. … now it is left to his friends to write about him. He the editor, who helped others to get their books published is no more.
When my father died Mike wrote to me “It’s OK to grieve for a good man.” We do grieve for you Mike.
Yatha idam tatha etam – Yatha etam tatha idam
As this (living body is), so that (dead one was)
As that (is), so this (will be)