The Crusader of Mental Health

Turning 60, Losing Loved Ones

CRC turned 60 on 12 December 2008. To celebrate the occasion, Kannada Vaidya Sahitya Parishat and CRC’s friends organized a seminar on Kannada medical literature in Bangalore on 14 December 2008. Doctors from all over Karnataka, his fans, writers and people from all walks of life attended the program. There were lectures and panel discussions by doctors, psychiatrists and eminent people. The topics discussed were basic books on medical science, books on specific diseases, books on women’s and children’s diseases, books on mental and sexual disorders, books on ayurveda and homeopathy, and the contribution of such books on improving health. CRC was felicitated and his biography, ’Manasvi’, written by Dr. Na. Someshwara was released. There was a presentation on the contribution of CRC to Kannada medical literature.

CRC, Sarojamma (his mother) and his wife loved dogs. They had a Pomeranian called Guddu which lived for fourteen years. After its death, Rajeshwari felt devastated and vowed not to adopt any more pets. But within three months, some people persuaded them to adopt a three month old Pomeranian. They named this Junior Guddu. It soon became a member of their family.

On Ganesh Chaturthi day in 2010, his mother complained on severe headache. She was taken to NIMHANS the next morning and hemorrhage in the brain was discovered. She was operated, but could not survive beyond a few days.
CRC and Rajeshwari went to the US on a vacation in May 2012. Guddu was an emotional creature and very attached to them. They did not want to leave Guddu in a kennel. The volunteers of Samadhana offered to take care of Guddu while they were away. The volunteers took turns to come home in the morning and evening to their house, and prepare a meal for Guddu. This was the last vacation the couple took together.
Rajeshwari became very ill in 2013, and was effectively confined to home. She had to be hospitalized a couple of times. They discovered in December 2013 that Guddu had a growth in its nose; biopsy proved it to be malignant. Guddu became very sick but continued to be active and cheerful.

Rajeshwari passed away on March 12, 2014 of multiple complications. CRC accepted it with equanimity, for death was a relief to her from suffering. He did not get depressed, for it was expected. By nature he is a calm and detached person. CRC did not want to close Samadhana during the normal 14 days of death ceremonies. He resumed his work in Samadhana the day after the cremation.

In April 2014 Guddu died due to a cancer in the nose. CRC was now alone, but he did not allow himself to get lonely. Keeping house and cooking are not a problem for him. He has been independent even as a young boy. During the last three years of his wife’s life when she was ill, he had to help her in cooking and housekeeping. The transition to being a single person living alone has not been very difficult for him. The company of the counselors and friends, giving talks and writing have kept him contented and happy. He has managed to write 10 books on various topics during 2014-15.

On March 13, 2016, instead of the traditional ceremony, a function was held at Samadhana to honor the memory of Rajeshwari. A group of her former students sang devotional songs; a few Carnatic and Hindustani vocalists also performed. Prof.Gangadhar, the Director of NIMHANS, spoke about CRC and his wife. He sprang a surprise on everyone present that CRC had committed to build a relatives rest home in the name of Rajeshwari in NIMHANS campus.
CRC later revealed to me that Sri B M Rajannachar Smt. S P Sarojamma Charitable Trust would build and furnish the rest home which would accommodate 150 people in 30 rooms and dormitories. CRC plans to name it “Smt. Rajeshwari Chandrashekar Vishranti Gruha” and hand it over to NIMHANS. Patients’ relatives would be charged a nominal amount for accommodation.