ForeverMissed
His Life

The Last 30 Days

He took the vaccine on April 22 at 5 PM. Next day he had mild fever and we all felt it was a reaction to the vaccine. These reaction like symptoms persisted for 5 days and that is when we began getting worried. Not a man to take kindly to any disease or fever, he reached out to his physician for support and began more aggressive medication. He was clued in and raached out to his nephew Dr. Satyajeet Bhatia in the UK to keep him in the loop. 

By May 2 it was clear that he needed a CT and Brig Anand encouraged him to come to his Dept on a Sunday and quickly gave him the reports. By Sunday evening on May 2 his oxygen began dropping below 94 and we arranged an oxygen concentrator (thank you Nagma auntie's children) and an oxygen cylinder (thanks Kin) for him. He began using the oxygen cylinder and the speed at which he consumed oxygen, it was clear that we would need a hospital the next day.

This was peak bed shortage in Delhi and we began making calls. AIIMS was kind enough to call back and say we can bring him and they will try and arrange for a bed. And on May 2 at 10 PM we headed to AIIMS. He kept saying, "a poor man needs that bed, not me!" At the triage we saw so many patients that we were afraid to even get him out of the car. It was clear that finding a bed would be close to impossible here. Shitij brought papa home and put him on the oxygen cylinder again while Saloni and Priyanka reached out to hospitals for a bed. We finally got a response from the DRDO facility near the airport. at 1:30 AM. They said a bed is ready and we should drive straight to the facility. We reached there at 2:30 AM and he felt so confident that he would be taken care of. The doctors provided the adequate support and at 5:30 AM it was mutually decided between him and the doctors that going back home would be better than going to the ward. They all though that hospital acquired infection was more of a risk given his status. My cousin Dr. Bhatia and Mausa Dr. Chawla were on the phone with us every step of the way to provide a professional point of view as we took these decisions. He got up from the wheel chair and thanked the doctors and assured he will be fine at home. It was also freezing there and he wanted to sleep. 

We reached home at 6:30 AM and he went to sleep but by 8:30 AM his SPO2 began dropping again and we felt we needed a hospital again. He was not in favour of a ward (hospital acquired infection) while we kept looking for something - a pvt room, ward or anything else. 

Dr. Vineeta Jha at Max Gurgaon (also related to us) confirmed a bed at Max and we rushed there but his SPO2 had fallen to 85 by the time we reached and as per their protocol that meant an ICU bed which was not available. Medanta was kind enough to confirm a bed by 1 PM and we rushed there. They swiftly took him inside and stabilised him before we could complete the registration formalities. Shitij and I felt assured that our fighter had the right army to fight this battle. 

However his Higher Power had other plans - while we prayed and he fought hard, slowly his body began giving up. On May 26 the doctors called us to come and spend time with him. Priyanka, Shitij, Saloni and Sushma all met him one by one to say our good byes. At 12:45 while Shitij was next to him, his BP began falling rapidly and he asked for mummy to come in. 

Mummy held his hand and stood by him when he breathed his last breath. Isn't this a special gift to God's Child .. to have his wife besides him holding his hand as he left! 

It was also Budhpurnima and the same day his father passed away. His Higher Power chose a beautiful day of signifiace for him. 


This Too Shall Pass

"The Spiritual warrior explores the depth of their soul with the lightness of a curious child" Aburey Marcus 

This was a side of him a few saw. He wasn't spiritual like the conventional spiritual seeker is - meditation, prayer, silence, tyag. He believed in action, in using desires to take you to a better place, to live life on life's terms. 

We often joked at home that he was God's Child. HIs Higher Power always took care of him. He would make his gratitude list and it would have blessing of so many kind.

For instance in the last few days a young nursing student spotted him in the hospital ICU. She had seem him on the campus of KMC Meerut where he would go twice a week. She didn't know him but she had seem him on campus and went to introduce herself. She got herself assigned to his care and for him to find someone who would sit and talk in the last few days was most important. He told her about his family, how he didn't llke ICUs and everything else. There are many such stories where magically a person or event would present itself that would make things easier for him. 

He would have said, "This too shall pass" to each of us and consoled us  if he had the opportunity. I will repeat the Serenity Prayer, which we both shared often with each other, especially when we had to make large or difficult decision in our lives. 

God, grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference

Many of you may have also received the Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta as a gift from him. He had ordered several copies and encouraged everyone to read the same. For those of you interested in the audio version, pls message me and I will share the audio version with you. We are playing the same from start to end in his memory. 

Husband

Arun's charming persona was larger than life and cannot be described in words. Very simple at heart and very confident. He will never put his foot backwards. I always said that if you need to find him, look ahead! He loved life and loved interacting with strangers too and charmed them with his natural grace and wit. He joked, he laughed but inside he was a very thoughtful and serious person. Extremely hard working and fun love - his motto was work hard, party harder! 
A very loving husband who would tell most visitors "You know I love my wife!" with a twinkle in his eyes. 

Arun, my love, my life ... you will always be with me in my thoughts and heart.

Love
Sushma 

Everybody Loves Arun

Without doubt he was the favourite guy in our lives and the room would light up when he walked in! Always present, always thoughtful and finding ways to positively impact those who he came in contact with. At a party he would always amongst the youngest in the room - laughing, chatting, teaching and learning. 

He had a joke in his hat for every occasion or a beautiful story or a parable if the occasion was not fitting of a joke. A man of few but powerful words, Arun would always share his point of view without hesitation and let you know what he thought. 

Always light hearted and present, he loved people and his interactions with him. His family meant the world to him - not just the immediate family but also his cousins, nieces, nephews and their families. He wanted to know what they enjoyed, what made them who they are and how he could be involved without being intrusive. 

One reason we all love him is because he made us face our fears and gave us the courage to grow! What was it that you most loved about Arun? 

Prof. Malhotra: A Teacher and A Lifelong Student

He loved to learn - about things, people, places, events, emotions. Most recently when the first lock down was announced he decided to do a course of bio gas preparation and enrolled for an online course taking classes on zoom .. he wanted to set up a plant and was constantly looking for a site for the same. 

Second to his love for learning was a love for teaching - he was by far the best teacher I have met! Never to preach but show you how it needs to be done, asking the tough questions and pointing you in the direction of experience, encouraging you to make your own mistakes. 

A Successful Life

Papa loved a good conversation, sharing of a different point of view and a perspective. We often spoke about what it meant to have a successful life, which could be divided into 4 large buckets - personal health, strong relationships, financial security and most importantly a passion for one's work. 

He lived a super healthy life with no health issues that held him back. We often joked that the strongest medication he took was Allegra - and he was allergic to BS people threw his way. :) 

He had strong deep ties to his friends and family. The extended family often said, "He just appears when needed!" His professional position as a doctor at AIIMS always helped this. He was that person who liked being there for you and of course he would always be there for a good party when he saw one :) 

Fondly called 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' he did well for himself financially and set a strong foundation for the family by ensuring everyone was independent on this front. 

As for a passion for one's work - we all know his love for Nuclear Medicine. You can take Arun out from Nuclear Medicine but you cannot take Nuclear Medicine our of Arun. Till April 2021, he ensured he was going to the hospital and engaging with his community. Not a day went by when he hung his boots or stopped learning. The irony was that Nuclear Medicine for COVID got approvals after he went to the hospital else, one would have seen youtube videos of him sharing his point of view. 

His heart always desired more - one more project, one more box ticked. His heart was restless for action all his life. If this isn't a successful life, then what is?

Dad

Behind every beautiful child is a truly amazing father who never gave up! And if there is one thing we know he was a wonderful father who gave us wings and taught us how to fly. He was always there - teaching, pushing, prodding, learning about us, listening to us and ensuring we were safe. 

The entrepreneur in him is the reason both of us and then Priyanka, set up our own companies and when we did so he gave us a strong foundation and launch pad to ensure the hardships that would come along with this decision. 

He instilled a love for travel in all of us - hungry to see one more place and experience a new country. When he went to Japan in 1998 for a 3 month training, he ensured we visited him and experienced the Japanese life. He was fascinated by the Europe Backpacking trip and ensured we got to experience it when we were teenagers. 2 vacations a year - one long and one short plus lots of getaways in between was the norm as we grew up. 

And then his favourite theme was "Face your Fears" ... god forbid he smelled a fear we had, he would ensure we overcame it. Small incidents which were truly life changing events: 

When he found Saloni on a dining table because her friend's house had 2 dogs who had had a litter of 7. The next week he brought home a puppy - Cuddly to ensure everybody overcame their fear of pets and learnt to live with animals. 

He ensured he took us to a 5 star for our birthdays because he wanted us to feel comfortable in that environment and not overwhelmed by it when we grew up. 

When Saloni came back to him with strange ideas of wanting to work in a village, at a time when all her friends were moving abroad, he didn't understand what she was saying but tried to listen and understand. He finally found her a safe space with Prof Jhunjhunwala at IIT Madras to build her dreams. 


A Fallen Limb 
A limb has fallen from the family tree.
I keep hearing a voice that says,
“Grieve not for me.
Remember the best times,
the laughter, the song.
The good life I lived
while I was strong.
Continue my heritage,
I’m counting on you.
Keep smiling and surely
the sun will shine through.
My mind is at ease,
my soul is at rest.
Remembering all,
how I truly was blessed.
Continue traditions,
no matter how small.
Go on with your life,
don’t worry about falls.
I miss you all dearly,
so keep up your chin.
Until the day comes
we’re together again.”

– Author Unknown