Sury writes to you
Dear Patti (as we all call you thanks to Vidur),
I can’t believe that it is just 2 and a half months since you left us.
It seems much longer. I still feel unsure (and even a bit guilty) as to
whether we were right in not forcibly taking you to the hospital on the
2nd (of February) night itself. I can hear you say, “neenga mudinjada
ellaam pannaill” but I am not convinced — Vidya and I have talked
on this innumerable number of times without reaching a satisfactory
Another thing I feel unhappy about in all these years is not having
been as patient as I could have been (even if I could never equal your
lofty levels). When I think of your life as a whole, simply put, I can never
imagine a person in reality who is as pure as you were throughout your
life despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as they say. I
needn’t say any more because as you know, I don’t go ga-ga with praise.
On the other hand, you were always generous with yours. I always felt
sure of counting on your appreciation in all my endeavors. That reminds
me — you would feel proud to hear about a new paper which has been
accepted because it has my new student Ambily as an author.I can clearly
imagine your reaction in my mind’s eye.
It is so difficult to bear the fact that you are not here to see how Vidur
earned laurels in school and how wonderfully sings the old Hindi songs
that I love so much. Furthermore, there are those little things that I don’t
expect appreciation from the outside world but merely share at home —
so to say “write home about” because I can always find fulfilment from
your reaction even more than Vidya’s. For example, here is a `thanks’
mail from the American Mathematical Society which I share with you
now. Indubitably, you would have proudly repeated it ad nauseum
to Vidya (always as though I and not she, were your child). Although
it is a bit embarrassing (seems self-serving) to share it in a blog,
I am nevertheless writing it for you.
“Dear Professor Sury,
This is a short note to thank you for your excellent
review of the article “Weakly commensurable arithmetic
groups and isospectral locally symmetric spaces” by
Gopal Prasad and Andrei Rapinchuk, which is now available
as item MR2511587 on MathSciNet and will appear as item
2010e:20074 in the May issue of Mathematical Reviews.
We at MR are well aware of the effort that it requires
to write such reviews and are very proud to be able to
publish them. Such reviews are of great value to the
mathematical community as well as first class works of
People may not have completely known you for what you were —
an unconventional person, a rebel who rebelled firmly but managed
to do it without giving offense to anyone, a person who truly did
what she deeply believed, a person who thought of good in ALL
people (that was simply unbelievable !). Of course, everyone whose
life has been touched by you, knows what you were.
You proved it in life and even more in death. I feel glad that we
were able to carry out your last wish.
P.S.: Here is a song for you. I always thought you sang it better than Rafi