Monday, December 07, 2009
Tribute to George Thaliath
George was a great cheerleader of a wonderful, talented group of writers and contributors for his weekly e-mail newsletter called Monday Mail that reached just about every corner of the earth! He often featured different cultures and thoughts on his e-letter which intrigued many, and had quite a large and dedicated following. In November, we received some disheartening news about George. Unexpectedly, he passed away without any indication of such a tragedy to come.
This event has weighed heavy on many hearts and lives, not only because of his caring and far-reaching personality, but because of the family he has. Carrying on his legacy are his teenage sons, his wife, his brother and his mother, and many more I have yet to meet. In such a short life, he has touched so many, which in itself is a great tribute.
This week, in a series of two posts, I offer space to others to share their thoughts and experiences of George to bring us comfort and remembrance in this time.
Today’s posts features some thoughts from my father-in-law, BN Kartha and I. Wednesday, I will feature some thoughts and experiences from George’s internet and other friends. If you would like to contribute to Wednesday’s post, e-mail me your tribute. Photos also welcome, with photo credit included. Feel free to also leave your thoughts below in the comments section. We appreciate your time and thoughts.
An Open Letter to George’s Family
Dear family members of George Thaliath,
As usual I was trying for the issue of Monday mail on 16th Nov. and was disappointed very much not to see it but did not know the reason. Again next morning when I opened the mailbox to my shock I found a message forwarded by my daughter-in-law Jennifer Kumar intimating the sad news !! For a few moments I remained spellbound and did not know what to do - to believe it, to cross check with someone or contact the family, in short I could not think of anything. Finally I decided to ring him up - though I was told during his telephonic conversation the previous week that he would be in Malabar for official audit job. There was no answer on his mobile and finally I decided to ring up his house where I could talk to his brother-in-law who confirmed the sad news - I had no words to speak and somehow I conveyed my condolences to him and other family whom I had personally met along with my daughter-in-law and son when we visited the house some time back. For me it is not mere words or telling about Monday Mail, but in a very short time I and George had become very close friends and remained in touch on phone or mail and cannot even think of not getting the Monday Mail or talking to him. Now that everything is over the only thing of consolation for me is to pray for his Soul to rest in peace. The memories of my association with him will always be in me and my thoughts.
I was a little relieved to see the issue of Monday Mail today in the mail and really appreciate the thoughtful memorial plaque put in there.
My heartfelt condolences and I join the bereaved family in their sorrow.
Every Person is Blessed to be Touched by George
An open mindedness to learn about other’s lifestyles, cultures and spiritual paths with an open mind and heart characterizes George. When we had a chance to meet a few years ago, my husband and I, on our trip to Kochi while spending time with my husband’s dad, called George. We were so fortunate to spend quite a bit of time with them, going to their home, meeting his entire family – his wife, two sons, mother and family pets- a dog and a fish in a fish tank that had a cover turning the fish tank into a Kerala house! We also spent time driving around the area and visiting Cherai Beach in Kochi. His family and their hospitality were welcoming and accepting, adjusting to our comfort at all times. In all my interactions with George, in this in-person meeting as well as many e-mail exchanges and phone calls, one thing that impressed me most was his willingness and open-mindedness to learn about different cultures, ways of thinking about the world and sharing different ideas. He seemed to accept and care about people from all different backgrounds and even try to appreciate different cultures and spiritual paths by studying, learning or personally experiencing events, but then never veering from his deeply held family traditional beliefs. After meeting and being influenced by a person like George, and to unexpectedly receive a message about his sudden passing away, I was in total shock. In many ways, my reaction did not differ from my dad’s (Father-in-law, above) or my husband- left speechless, in total shock, as our hearts and breaths skipped a beat. I was at home, alone after my husband had gone to work for the day when I read the e-mail and was left frozen in a state of shock. I did not do anything or even move a bone in my body for about a half an hour. I did not know what to think, if it was real, it just did not seem real as I had recently exchanged e-mails with him just days before with knowledge of his recent, safe and joyous travels around Kerala. Even after my husband’s father called and relayed the news to me, I was in more shock as it seems life is so fragile, and to take someone from the earth who really united people, is such a shame for us all. But if one thing we should all do who have been touched by him, is to carry on his legacy- as Gandhi says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ George I am sure was doing this without the motto most likely, but we can carry on his spirit by carrying forth his appreciation for human spirit and diversity. We will miss you, George. We were all enriched by your presence in our lives. As you helped do God’s work here on Earth, you will carry on in Heaven.
See our photos of Cherai Beach.
Thank you for reading and spending your time on Alaivani.com
Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar
2 comments so far...
By Kishore on
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Re: Tribute to George Thaliath
I was shocked to hear this sad news. I never met George but talked to him over phone once and exchanged emails multiple times. He LOVED people. He had TIME for others. He was very well organized and had time to wish on special occasions like Birthdays and Anniversaries. He would send personal notes once in a while.
He was regular in publishing Monday Mail and was impressed by the network he has built and his Monday Mail was a collection of material from his network.
May his soul rest in peace.
By admin on
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Re: Tribute to George Thaliath
I agree, Kishore. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
You have summed it up perfectly.