R.I.P. SARABJIT KAUR: Kirkby 1959-1960
It is with extreme sadness
that Iím informing the Kirkby fraternity of the
demise of our dear Sarabjit.
This morning Lean Aing called me at 10.13 to convey this very sad news.
She was informed by Amrit Kaur.
I contacted Amrit and was told that she received the news from Melbourne.
I called Sarabjitís daughter, Rina, in
just before six this evening and spoke to her for about ten minutes.
passed away on Friday morning (6-4-12) in the hospital. Rina
received the news from the hospital just after 8 in the morning. According
to Rina, Sarabjit was
mobile and could do her daily routine regularly but was suddenly taken ill
and was hospitalised.
recalls that Sarabjit and she studied at the Ipoh convent. Amrit recalls attending Sarabjitís
wedding in Singapore.
She and Parasakthi drove to Singapore
to attend the wedding.
In 2002, Rosalyn spent
three days with Sarabjit and she did her best to
comfort Sarabjit over the death of her son telling
her ďthat the one we love will always live on in our hearts.Ē
On 4th August
2004 Sau San and her husband visited Sarabjit on that Wednesday afternoon. They had tea and
they chatted for a while. Sau San gave Sarabjit a copy of the Penang Souvenir Programme.
In September 2004 Nagarajah visited Australia and stayed with Mimi
and Chong Lay for a week. Nagarajah chatted with Sarabjit on the phone.
I remember her
in college wearing her red cardigan in the company of Mohinder
Kaur. Sometimes she used to wear a yellow dress
with black dots. She was from Block 10. She belonged to the PE Option. She
played netball and hockey.
She was a
marvelous Indian dancer. She did the Anarkali
dance for the Malayan Medley 1960. Those still holding on to the Panduan, Number Nine, December 1960, can see Sarabjit on page 12, captured in that classic, majestic
pose while performing the Indian dance.
Sarabjitís close friends
were aware that she has been ailing for some years now. She lost her only
son in 1998 and that took a terrible toll on her well-being. He passed away
two days after his 32nd birthday. That emotional loss must have
hit her so hard that she shut off the outside world from her life. She was
never the same since then.
To add to her pain and
sorrow, she lost her husband 11 years later in 2009. It was a second blow
to her troubled life. You can imagine how she suffered. Two important males
in her life, all gone, just like that. That affected her emotionally and
she never recovered from this trauma.
Soon after the
Penang Kirkby Reunion in 2004, I rang up Sarabjit and had a long talk with her. She was indeed
very happy to receive that call. Even then I could feel her sorrow in her
soul and wrote to her. And I, in my own way, I tried to help her:
ďIím sorry that
you are no longer in touch with your friends. This is not good for you.
When you donít reach out to friends and keep in touch with them, you tend
to become lonely; you end up as a recluse. That is not healthy. We need to
have that occasional emotional support and rapport of some friends and
relatives to give us that extra boost to life.
ďThis is what
you should do. It is never too late. Keeping in touch with friends and
writing letters now and then is also therapeutic and good for the soul. It
helps you to come out of your lonely self; it releases you from your sad
situation; it promotes a healthier lifestyle; it gives meaning to life and
ďYou donít have
to write long letters. Even exchanging a few words will have a wonderful
effect on you. I hope that I will receive those few words soon!Ē
received those few words. She never wrote any letters. She continued to
suffer in silence and withdrew into her lonely world.
Death might rob
us of the person we used to know but it cannot rob us of the memories of
the person who was our dear friend.
Sarabjit used to be such a lovely and lively damsel in
college Ė very vibrant, bubbly and energetic, chirpy and cheery, always
smiling and playful. She made such an impression on all her friends with
her friendliness. She was very beautiful and charming. I can go on
describing her many qualities to no end. That was Sarabjit!
Now, she is gone forever.
Sarabjitís funeral will be on Tuesday. I donít have the
details at the moment.
Those of you
wishing to get in touch with Sarabjitís daughter,
Rina, can call her at
00613 5243 6441
or write to her at 37 Challambra Crescent, Highton, Geelong, Victoria 3216, Australia.
7 April 2012
very warm regards,