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In MemoriamMysore S. JagadishSept. 13, 1941-March 30, 2004Eulogy written by his daughter Padmini JagadishThey say the only things that are inevitable in life are birth and death. And while I recognize this fact, I never dreamed that I would have to eulogize my father at the age of 24. Life seems unfair at times- and the question has been asked time and again- “why does God let bad things happen to good people?” The answer has escaped me many times. For though I know that the law of karma cannot be escaped, I can’t think of a single reason why my father, the best person I ever knew, had to be taken away at the age of 63 from a devastating disease. But as I ask myself this question, I remember one thing- that my father never questioned why he had to suffer. He took it bravely, calmly, and with dignity- he was the same in death as he was in life. And then I know that I should not question why my father was taken away from me- my father was the one suffering, and he did not complain- what right does it give me to complain? And at the end of the day, life seems much less unfair when I realize that God gave me one of the most wonderful people to ever have lived- as my own father. I don’t know how I can summarize in words what my father meant to me and to countlessothers- to my mother he was a devoted husband, to many he was a teacher, and above all, he was a sincere friend. He was not only my father, but my best friend, and both my inspiration and aspiration in life. Everything I have learned in life, I give him credit for- He was a professor of mathematics but he was a teacher of Life. He taught me how to doeverything from counting numbers to counting blessings. Many times my mother has told me that I am my father’s daughter, sometimes in adoration, but other times in frustration. We shared so many similarities- from never being able to close a book to never being able to close a closet door. It was these similarities that made us able to sit with each other for an hour in complete silence and still say it was the best conversation we ever had. Looking back, I can truly say that I am a product of my education, but I donot measure this in terms of the schools I have attended or the degrees I have earned. I am a product of all that my father has taught me through his words, thoughts, and especially by his actions. Some people search their whole life looking for a guru- I was lucky to find mine in my own family. Some people, when they die, leave their loved ones millions of dollars or priceless familyheirlooms. But my father has left me something much better- he has left me with the tools I will need in order to live a life without him. What are these tools? Peace of mind,strength of spirit, and a relentless faith in God. It is the best gift he could have given me-and indeed, in this sense, I feel like a millionaire. Many of you do not know this, but my father was lucky enough to have been born on Krishna Janamashtami day, and passed away on Rama Navami Day, both extremely auspicious days in the Hindu calendar. It is only fitting, since my father was a deeply spiritual man who believed strongly in Hindu philosophy and the preservation of sanatana dharma, though not in an absolutist sense. He firmly believed that all religions of the world were essentially pure and any fanaticism that arose was a consequence of distortion rather than defect, and as a result did not judge anyone. Many times he would talk of the Hindu poet Narsinh Mehta and his composition “Vaishnava Jan To”, which essentially articulates that in order to be a Hindu, one needs only compassion and the capacity to understand another’s plight. Indeed, one line from this song stands out to me:par dukhe upkaar kare to ye, man abhimaan na aane re. Translated, it means that a truly spiritual person helps those who suffer, without an ounce of pride in his heart. My father truly lived this way- he gave of himself relentlessly without expecting an ounce in return. He sacrificed his happiness for the happiness of my mother, my brother, and myself. I only hope that I will be able to live my life in such a fashion. My father had endless good qualities, this is true. But it is also true that he had faults, and though we loved each other very much, we definitely quarreled. Usually the fights were about when I would come home at night. My dad believed that nobody should leave the house after 7:30 at night, and sometimes I would come home at 9:00 pm or soonly to find him with a furrowed brow and a glare that focused back and forth between me and the clock. I remember once going to a 9 pm show of the “Harry Potter” movie, towhich my father responded that I was “living a dangerous life.” Not to be outdone I said “good Dad, It’ll prepare me for when I start my career as a spy for the CIA.” He didn’t like that too much. Then there were the quarrels we had about academics. While most kids got fun birthday presents, my brother and I would invariably get some kind of science kit or the other. Instead of having normal summer vacations of going to pool parties and whatnot, I had to spend them learning math. Then there were the quarrels about privacy- my father believed it didn’t exist. I remembered he opened my GRE scores before I left for grad school- his argument was since he paid for the test, he should get to see the score first. But now I see what I never thought I would admit- that when hequarreled, he was usually right. I am grateful to have had the chance to quarrel with my father- looking back, it was a joy. All of you have come today to pay your respects to my father and to remember the joys that he gave us all during his life. It is only fitting that in his hour of need, each and every one of you helped him and helped our family so selflessly and expect nothing in return. I know my father was grateful for this and we will forever be indebted to you all for all your help. And while this memorial service is indeed a tribute to my father, I feel that there are better ways we can pay tribute to his life. My father told me before he died that in order to live a good life, all one needed to do was to be pure in thought, word, and action, have faith in God, and to serve others selflessly. If we truly wish to honor my father’s life, we can do these three things, not just when …


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