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Berita TAC, Issue 1 2017

K.I.S.S (Keep It Short

K.I.S.S (Keep It Short Susan) A Eulogy of Mrs.Sarojini Thiruchelva Aunty Saro was born on the 7th of June 1926 to Rev.N.G Manickam and Helen Julia Gideon. So began her sojourn on this earth for 90 years 2 months and 5 days. The word responsibility was synonymous with Aunty Saro. The Manickam Family was a very big family. A beautiful young lass, she caught the eyes of many. To be equipped for a job, she took up short hand, and finally landed herself a job in the Inland Revenue Board, Suleiman Building, Kuala Lumpur. Secrecy was at the top of her list of virtues. 1965- Aunty Saro walked down Tamil Methodist Church Brickfields’s aisle, escorted by her father, the late Rev. N.G. Manickam , to wed my dear Uncle Chelvam, the tall, handsome man, then a teacher at MBS Sentul, who had swept her off her feet. Love knew no boundaries. Uncle Chelvam had a sporty 2 door maroon sedan and was so good looking with his red scarf tied around his neck,it reminded me of some of those golden movies we used to watch. Romance was in the air and I always envisioned uncle and aunty driving off in to the sunset. So much for my romantic heart! 1983- After 18 years of marriage, my aunty’s heart was ripped apart when her darling Chelvam died of a massive heart attack in the wee hours of the morning of 29th April 1983. Uncle Chelvam spoke little but when he did, one short sentence would suffice. I still remember his last words to Aunty Saro, ‘why so many church meetings on public holidays. Holidays should be time for families to get together, husbands and wives to spend quality time with each other, parents and children having a day out .He was called upon, very often, to serve as one of the adjudicators in the Labour Court. May 1st was Labour Day – and there was no rest or respite for the labourer. I leave you to deduce what he meant. Nostalgia- Christmas memories in Taiping. Uncle & Aunty would arrive at 1.00am on Christmas morning, every year. No choice- Uncle Chelvam was working with Matsushita and the Japanese work ethics is work, work and more work. After Uncle Chelvam’s death, Aunty Saro’s Christmases, New Years and Easters took a different direction. She spent them with her younger brother Arul Macroy and his dear wife Belinda in their home and Amachi’s home. TMC Brickfields played a great role in Aunty Saro’s life so did so many organizations of which my dear aunty gave her time, talent, tapestry woven to heal the fragments of her hurting heart. In 1970, when my mother was promoted as a dental sister and transferred from Seremban to Kuantan, lo and behold, it was Aunty Saro and Uncle Chelvam to the rescue. They looked after me, a skinny 10 year old and my 4 year old sister Sheila for almost a month until my mum had settled in. I lost my dad at the age of 12. Both Uncle Chelvam & Aunty Saro filled that void to some extent. I have lovely memories as a child of going to the Port Dickson beach with them. Uncle Chelvam never battered an eyelid when buying the most expensive dress in shop, as a gift for me and my sister. 12

- From a flat on the 4th floor in Walter Granier Road, Imbi, aunty & uncle went about their lives. - It was a dream come true for Aunty Saro when they shifted to a rented house in Jalan Maarof, Bangsar. Life took on a new meaning when finally they moved in to their own matrimonial home at 38, Jalan Pudina. Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar. 1983 to 2016 It wasn’t easy to move on after the demise of Uncle Chelvam but with grit, determination, the Lord’s strength, family support, church support, cell group member’s support, friends’ support, companions who stayed in her home – she moved on. Gosh! Aunty Saro always had a penchant for rearing cats and a dog as pets and they were pretty protective of her. I was terrified of them because they laid more claim to her than even I as her niece. Reflecting on how to describe my aunty, I came up with the acronym S.A.R.O.J.I.N.I. S - Stubborn A - Astute R - Refined O - Overcomer of all odds J - Jovial to those who knew her well I - Intimate with Her Heavenly Father N - Noble I - Inspiration to many I have always seen Aunty Saro as a strong person but on three occasions she wept uncontrollably when her darling husband Chelvam passed away, her one and only surviving brother Arul Macroy Manickam passed on to glory in 2014, and finally, in June 2016 when my mum held her hand, somehow, she sensed it would be the last time she saw her siblings Vasantha, Rammi, Kasturi and Esther .She was going home to Her Maker. I love you, Aunty Saro and I bid farewell to you. 90 Years. I’ll miss your famous quote you always threw at me “What took you so long to get here. I am here now, aunty! Pudina Road and the huge vepanai tree outside your house will surely miss you, dear Aunty Saro, stalwart of faith. The resounding chorus of the famous Wesleyan hymn ‘It is well, it is well with my soul’ rings in our hearts. Your Niece Susan Sharmini Devadass 3rd.Generation of the Rev.N.G.Manickam family Taiping 13

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