C Pallavi Rao RIP

Dilli’s favorite RJ. My favorite teacher and coach! Pallavi Rao, whom I owe my career, my public speaking skills, my extempore skills, and my creativities to, is no more. I never imagined a day when I’d be writing this.

I cried bitterly all morning and let it out. I cried over all those debates she made me practice. The question she made me think through for my rebuttals. The smiles she gave me when I brought yet another certificate and trophy and went straight to her as soon as I got back to school after a tournament.

I cried for the confidence she raised in me. For the belief she had in me when I didn’t know what it felt like having one. For the days she saw through my weakness and days she raised my strengths to my awareness. For the days she was mad at me for something she knew I had not done. For the joy she got from seeing our little gang in school being nastily mischievous.

I cried for the note she wrote to me after I lost Papa. The messages she sent to me off and on when she’sld read one of my blogs.

I cried for all those selfish reasons. I regretted not telling her that I love shawls and bindi, and jhumkis and juttis because she wore them. All I wanted to be as a child – was to be as smart, brave, selfless, and beautiful from the inside, as her. My idol. My role model. My coach. My friend. You were too young to die. 48 years of awesomeness wrapped in one person. You were a super human. You didn’t belong to this planet.

Pallo from bumper to bumper! Pallavi Mam from St Mary’s, and author of ICU love stories, podcasts – I salute you and the life you lived. I was blessed by your grace. I owe my voice to you! You helped me find it. And there hasn’t been any looking back every since.

Love you so much, Mam!

Today, I resolve, to tell all those people that I love and I am thankful to, how much they mean to me. And I will do that while they are alive and with me.

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