Sivaranjan Nitchingam, my little cousin ‘Chutty’

We understand death only after it has placed its hands on someone we love. I felt this, when from Sydney daughter Nilani called and said in a sober voice “Chutty Uncle passed away peacefully”.

Sivaranjan Nitchingam, whom I fondly called ‘Chutty’, was 12 years my junior. As his parents were my guardians, saw him through his childhood years, resulted in a bond that lasted throughout our life time.

Chutty with his good academic record was a top badminton player, as a teenager grabbed an opportunity and arrived in Rochdale, England to follow an engineering course. I was then living in UK and remember him cutting a cake at our apartment in Aberdeen to celebrate his 20th birthday. He always made a point to spend time with us; and my wife Kamala cared for him like her own brother, who enjoyed her home cooked meals. He choose to spend his vacations with my family in Brighton and always enjoyed our company.

On completion of his training, Chutty was sent by his employer to the Far East on assignment and was stationed in Singapore. We met up with Chutty, many times during his short visits to Malaysia, where I myself was on an assignment for two years, with my family.

Both my daughters Nilani and Kalani still have fond memories of meeting their ‘Chutty’ uncle. Later Chutty with his family immigrated to Australia, and in 1986, while I returned to Sri Lanka with my family. When Nilani immigrated to Australia after marriage to Guna and living in Sydney, met up with her uncle Chutty and both families enjoyed each other’s company. During our many visits to Sydney, Kamala and I always enjoyed our reunions with Chutty and his family.

I remember Chutty, as a responsible father, who took extra care of his children Shan and Sagu in their teens, to provide them with whatever needed to be successful with their education. He did confide with me many times, how much he missed his father; for my uncle passed away when Chutty was still a teenager. In spite of this early set back in life, he as I said earlier grabbed the opportunity and made most of it, worked hard and had a successful life; and made us proud of my little cousin. Chutty kept in touch with me and exchanged greetings. Sadly, past few years have been painful to me, with fatal accidents occurring in his life.

We gathered via zoom with his family to say farewell to ‘Chutty’; I knew him as a man with a big heart and full of kindness. I have fond memories of my little cousin, as a child he was my adorable little brother, who looked to me for guidance. This relationship never diminished even though years rolled-by and us living in different countries most of the time. Kamala and I always will remember all the good times, we had over the years. Our deepest sympathies goes out to Sumathy his beloved wife, his proud son Shan, daughter-in-law Sharon and loving daughter Sagu.

May his soul attains “mochcham’.