Monday, April 09, 2007

Thirty-One Years Ago

Anuj a few weeks after he entered this world. Spring 1976.
Thirty-one years ago, Aditya and Deepa Mohan were a young couple who had just moved to Boca Raton, Florida. On April 9th, at 2:07 PM, they were blessed with the birth of a beautiful baby boy. He was born at Bethesda Memorial Hospital in the neighboring town of Boynton Beach on Florida's Atlantic coast.

Mom and Dad named him Anuj, on the advice of his grandfather, because he was their second son and was born on the Hindu holy day of Ram Navami. As we described before, Anuj means "younger brother" and often refers to Lord Ram's devoted and heroic younger sibling, Lakshman.

It is said that a soul is a detailed, elaborate pattern that exists very clearly in one's brain. When a person dies, the original is no longer around. But there are versions of it in all the people that one impacted in life. The soul remains deeply embedded, albeit as a less detailed copy, in the hearts and minds of those that knew that person. Thus our lives end not when we die but when the very last person who knew us dies.

It's been ten months since Anuj physically left us but on his special day, the day we expected to celebrate his thirty-first birthday, we know that he lives on in all of our hearts.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anuj birthday always reminds me of the day the he was born and how it was the auspicious day of Ram Navmi. He was born with a prominent "V" mark on his forehead, and was the lucky charm for our family. Good times always walked hand in hand with Anuj. It was exactly 5 years ago when Anuj landed in India to get a job done. His presence acted as the much required catalyst in expediting our immigration process and getting his dad the medical help required for his kidney ailment.

-Mom

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anuj's birthday almost always brought the onset of summer heat in India . The scorching head made many fresh juice stands prop up by the side of the road. One of those was that of ganna. Anuj's 17th birthday was the first time the two of us ever tries it out. Anuj got his water bottle filled with it and I still remember it as being one of the most refreshing things I had ever had. Today on his birthday I am reminded of that glass of juice we had for the first time and how happy we were.

-Kapil

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Hema said...

My very first encounter with Anuj was on his birthday. It was 2003. Mom and Dad had traveled to New York to visit Neal and meet me and my parents. Before heading back to California, Dad told me that it was Anuj's birthday on April 9 and suggested that I call him to wish him a happy birthday. I called, and we had a great chat. While we had never met, I felt as if I had known Anuj for years. He connected so effortessly with others. Today, I'm reminded of that first call and all the other wonderful conversations with Anuj.

Anuj, we miss you always, but today carries a pain sharper than on other days.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dearest Deepa Mausi, Neal, Hema and Kapil

I know that each and every day without our beloved Anuj is heartwrenching, and filled with an aching emptiness for the loss of such a loving, compassionate son, brother, and friend. On this day of April 9, how I wish our dearest Anuj could be celebrating his 31st birthday. I am sending you all my love today and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I know that the memories you hold of celebrating so many wonderful birthdays with our dearest Anuj will be painful; however, I hope that these enduring memories will provide you with some sense of strength. As you so beautifully said, our beloved Anuj lives on in all of us. He is loved by so many and today we remember and honour our beloved Anuj.

With love,
Ruby, Shamir, Raina, and Ria

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even before I opened my computer and saw your email, we noticed that today is Anuj's birthday but, felt deeply sad that he is no more among us.

Madhu, and all of us here, have still not overcome the grief of Anuj & Aditya leaving us.
We pray to God almighty to give all of us (especially you, Neal, Hema & Kapil) the strength to bear this tremendous loss.

With regards,
Jiji & Jija ji

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today is your birthday dear beloved Anuj - we are extremely sad and thinking of you at every moment. You are an extraordinary, intelligent, generous, and the most loving person. Though you are gone physically, you will live on in our hearts and memories as long as we live. You have gone on to become an angel, secure in our mighty God's care. Today I will light a candle and close my eyes during puja and will see your image as I often do.

In your loving memory,
Mohini Mausi and Raj Mausaji

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My beloved dearest son Anuj,
You came with your mom, dad, and dear Neal in Grande Cache as a little baby bundle of joy, a beautiful doll wearing a white diaper shirt. I played and played with you; I am remembering those most precious moments on your 31st birthday. I held you, cuddled you; you giggled so much! When you all left to go home I cried and cried. But little did I know what the future would hold, and here I am today crying and crying for you and longing to hold you again.

In loving memory,
Mohini Mausi

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I found this site while looking at other blogs. This is such a touching tribute. I thought it might interest you to know that J. William Fulbright was also born on April 9. As you may know, the famous Fulbright Fellowship program was founded in his name. Just as it's provided opportunities to countless people around the globe, I hope your scholarship fund will also do the same.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anuj is in our hearts and thoughts every day. On this special day, we reflect with even heavier hearts, and continue to be moved deeply by the way Anuj seemed to celebrate life so fully. We are also thinking of you all and share in your loss of such a rare and beautiful spirit.
Love,
Harinder, Archana, Rohan and Arman

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Auntie, Neal, Kapil and Hema--may you all continue to have the strength to celebrate and cherish the wonderful lives of Anuj and Uncle.

On Anuj's birthday, let us all remember the selfless gifts he so eagerly gave us.

-Chaitanya

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mohan Family,

Anuj will always live on in our thoughts not only because we knew him as an exemplary son, brother, devarji, and friend but also because of the legacy he left behind. It is so very true that one dies only when the last of those who knew it dies. The Anuj Mohan Scholarship Fund will, as it grows, continue to reinforce his legacy among the future recipients of scholarship and its supporters and keep Anuj alive in all of us forever.

Krishna & Prem

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chachi, Neal, Hema, Kapil

We all can't forget Anuj. He will always be in our heart. I can only say that it is so sad that he is not amongst us.

I can only pray that God give us enough strength to bear this unbearable loss. Please don't find yourself alone, we will never forget our brother/son.

With lots of love and regards

Manoj/Priya/Arjit

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We remember Anuj today on his Birth Day. We also remember the time we all went to an Indian restaurant to eat Dosa in Mountain View.We had the great company of Anuj & the Mohans. We cherish those happy memories.

Mira & Umakant Dash

9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mohan Family-
I knew Anuj from the MIT Club…while not so personally…I do clearly recall him as a sweet and humble young guy…always patient and careful to treat people nicely. Admiral qualities, not so common.
I just wanted to wish you all well…and share my hope that good things will come to pass for you all.

Sincerely,
Scott Globus

9:31 PM  
Blogger Meena said...

Dear Deepa Mausi, Neal, Hema and Kapil,
Thank you for sharing these most beautiful photos and memories of dear Anuj. His soul forever is a part of our lives because he touched each and everyone who ever knew him. Today is especially harder but today we also celebrate you, your dedication and compassion, your humanity and generosity, and the love, hope, motivation and happiness you gave to everyone, Anuj. Yes, a birthday brightens the world, especially when it is yours because a second sun has risen. You, dear Anuj, are the light that shines upon us all, always and even brighter today on April 9th. Today we honor our dearest Anuj and everything he stood for.
Love, Meena and Walid

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mohan Family,

I wanted to share a memory of Anuj's 21st birthday, which was 10 years ago this April 9. A bunch of us from the ADP fraternity (Sanch, Bill, Peter, Grant, Ribs, Fabio), including Anuj, were all turning 21 during the fall of 1996 and spring of 1997. So we were celebrating someone or another's birthday almost every other weekend. I remember Anuj's birthday during April 1997 in particular because a bunch of us descended on Faneuil Hall to celebrate. I think the attached pictures were actually taken that night of his birthday.

To an outsider or someone who wasn't there that night, there's probably nothing special about a bunch of college guys going out to celebrate a friend's 21st birthday. But to me, that night will always remain a special memory. Although it was just one of the many happy times that we all got to spend with Anuj, I feel like that night captured the spirit of the fun and camaraderie we shared in college. I just remember how happy we all were that night, and it makes me happy even now--10 years later--to reflect on it.

Another remarkable thing about that night--Anuj's birthday was one of the few times that he was actually the center of attention--he was so modest that he rarely took the spotlight.

Ten years on from that day, I still remember Anuj's warm smile and laughter as if it were just yesterday. I really wish that he were here with us today so that we could celebrate again. Happy birthday Anuj, we miss you very much and we will always love you!

- Ameet

8:32 PM  

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