Friday, 7 April 2017

RIP: Fr Gopu Anand

Fr Gopu Anand sdb of the Salesian Province of Hyderabad (INH) passed away this morning.  He was diagnosed with some lung disease a couple of months ago.  He breathed his last in the early hours of this morning.

I never lived with him, but was always in touch with him.  My first real contact with him was just when I began my first year of practical training.  I was sent to Kondadaba.  Only when I reached there did I come to know that it was Fr Anand who demanded for me to be there, with him.  He was the principal and the dean of studies.  Normally it would have been that I was to go to Karunapuram for a year and then after gaining some experience of assistance, be posted at Kondadaba.  However, Fr Anand was not comfortable with the one who was supposed to move from Karunapuram to Kondadaba that year.  He preferred me to be there with him.  However, as per his insistence I was posted there but he was moved out!!

After that over the years, we have been meeting each other mostly during meetings or retreats.  It was mostly minor chats and discussions.  But sometimes he did speak freely and boldly too.  Me being in the provincial house was not very good sign of those with whom I had equations with. But Fr Anand knew that I was not one to be easily taking sides, for or against someone.  Therefore he never felt ill at ease in relating with me, even though with some he maintained a distance.

It a couple of weeks before I left for UK (perhaps in the month of September 2016) did he undergo an operation for tonsils at St Theresa's hospital, Hyderabad. Immediately after the operation, his condition deteriorated and he almost died on the operation table.  It was only then that they discovered that the real issue was with his lungs.  He had long been receiving treatment from different doctors and places for his cough and throat, but never really got to the bottom of it.  His lungs were functional only for 20% of their capacity. He was strongly told to be on oxygen for atleast 10 hours a day. Since then he has been in and out of the hospital basically for the same reason.

God rest his soul!

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