23-9-1940 to 1-10-2019
My father-in-law Utanpad Doodnath Maharajwas a giant of a man. I came into this family 35 years ago thinking I was just joining a family, but it was much more than that.
My father and "Doo Doo", as he was fondly called, were friends from teaching, so they had a background. When I came into this family and I realised the metal of the man, I came to love him like a father.
He has done so much for his family with his love and that’s one thing I must say, there was no hatred. He had a love for his family.
We all know he was an educator, sportsman, musician, an avid writer of letters to the editor and politician, who would tell us many stories of his exploits. If you ever doubted him, he would pull out an article to back up his stories. He neatly kept all the clippings. He had all the relevant information to back up whatever he would say to us—There was evidence for everything he spoke of.
He delighted in speaking about politics, cricket, religion with his extended family as though we were all one; and in his eyes, we were one. He inculcated values with his discussion with his grandchildren. He loved his family and labelled his children his 'sperm count'—Every last day of the month we were invited to gather at his home for this get-together which he personally called everyone to attend.
He was an excellent cook, the best oil down, and his famous lamb (Doods lamb). He looked forward to having his children, their spouses and grandchildren to share in laughter, meals, desserts and great conversation on all subject matters.
The love for his grandchildren was evident in the way he took personal interest and care of them.
His exploits as he would relate it to us are very important to note—he was a foundation member of TTUTA with Mr Anthony Garcia and Mr Martinez, he taught at St Helena Hindu school (where he met his wife, Darosh Permanan), Spring Village Hindu school and Mt Hope Junior Secondary. It was one of his standard jokes to say he worked at Mt Hope. If a person thinks it was the hospital, that was their mistake.
Later on, in my life, I met some of his students who all had something positive to relate to me about him and his ability as a teacher to touch their lives.
He was the live wire of the Supermarkets' Association, and as the secretary of this association he commanded the respect of one and all. He would organise many events to highlight the association and he was instrumental in making it a success by having the most paying membership. The respect others had for him was shown to us, his family. You mention his name and you were shown respect, that was the power of this man.
His pride and joy was his children, he would wait at the gate for our arrival and if anyone was running late he would constantly call to find out where you were. He believed in that love—brotherhood and sisterhood—and making sure his grandchildren were shown his brand of love.
I need to thank three persons who were instrumental in taking special care of him in time of illness—Delicia, Claudia and Sandy together with his son Vishnu. We are thankful and recognise their commitment in his time of need.
A particular incident took place two months ago, his two daughters Charmaine, Shoba and myself came to visit because we heard he could not walk. He heard their voices and speedily walked through the corridor to meet and greet them. He loved them so much that it made him rise and walk. Vishnu commented, "that was the medicine he needed."
He never liked to depend on anyone, he missed his deceased wife and spoke of her often. He was not religious but practical about religion. He said if you want to be a true Hindu you have to give up eating meat, you needed to constantly fast because in Hinduism every day was auspicious. That was his practical way of seeing things. He said it in such a way that in flowed with love and helped us to understand his pathway towards Moksh. He had his own philosophy and when examined it was based on his ways and belief, it made sense. His independence showed in his movement. That, I respected.
It is indeed an honour to speak on behalf of my brothers-in-law Aneil, Vishnu, Roshan, their sisters Charmaine and Shoba, all the in-laws and the grandchildren of this wonderful soul.
The eulogy was delivered by his son-in-law Dr Giriraj Ganesh Ramnanan.