March 12th, 2008 will be a date which will be indelibly etched on our memories and that is the day when a very true and dear friend, Vinod Roshan Nathan, left us.
Vinod left us so unexpectedly and his loss is something which hurts deeply until today. However, whilst Vinod may no longer be with us physically, his memory will always continue to be cherished in all our minds and hearts and it would be good of us to remember the effusive warmth, the ebullience of this kind and generous person.
Vinod read law at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom and graduated in 1996. He was admitted to Lincoln’s Inn and called to the English Bar in 1997. He returned to Malaysia and chambered in his father’s firm, Messrs Nathan & Associates. He was subsequently called to the Malaysian Bar.
Whilst this is a sad occasion being a reference to remember members of the Bar who have passed away, I am confident that Vinod would want us to move ahead. He would want us to forge ahead and be a support to his Mother, Mrs Kumari Nathan and his younger sister, Jyotsna.
We shall nevertheless use this occasion to remember the numerous acts of kindness which Vinod carried out; his dedication to the legal profession and his service to the cause of justice.
We shall remember his many appearances in Court and the camaraderie that we enjoyed with him as a Member of the Bar. He will be sadly missed by Members of the Bar, Clients and opponents alike. He was always a gentleman and a man for all seasons. He was an exceptionally hardworking and intelligent young man and a person who was unfortunately taken away from us too early in life.
We shall always remember the larger than life character that he was. He would bound into a room and immediately fill the room up with his warmth and personality. The room would reverberate with the sounds of his laughter and he would gladden the hearts of many with his infectious smile.
Vinod was a great raconteur of stories and would regale all of us with his exploits either in Court, or of his varied travels in England, Europe and Asia. Life will certainly be less colourful and dramatic without these unique anecdotes which will be irreplaceable.
Vinod’s untimely departure from this world marks the end of an era or chapter in our lives. His untimely demise brings home to our minds the cruel fragility of human life. It brings us to a realisation that life is ever so precious and we need to live it gently but with passion and always with hope. It teaches us to value our friendship and the people we love and to always make sure that they know how much they mean to us as we may not always have the chance to say goodbye. It is in this life that we need to communicate our feelings and sentiments to those whom we love and care about.
We shall miss you dear friend. We shall miss you dearly Vinod and until we meet again we hope that you will find the eternal peace and rest that you deserve.
We would like to dedicate a poem to Vinod which was read at his Memorial service at home.
An African Elegy
We are the miracles that God made
To taste the bitter fruit of Time.
We are precious.
And one day our suffering
Will turn into the wonders of the earth.
There are things that burn me now
Which turn golden when I am happy.
Do you see the mystery of our pain?
That we bear the poverty
And are able to sing and dream sweet things.
And that we never curse the air when it is warm
Or the fruit when it tastes so good
Or the lights that bounce gently on the waters?
We bless the things even in our pain.
We bless them in silence.
That is why our music is so sweet.
It makes the air remember.
There are secret miracles at work
That only Time will bring forth.
I too have heard the dead singing.
And they tell me that
This life is good
They tell me to live it gently
With fire, and always with hope.
There is wonder here.
And there is surprise
In everything the unseen moves.
The ocean is full of songs.
The sky is not an enemy.
Destiny is our friend.
~ Ben Okri ~