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Sanjay Turlapati
Death Date : 23-Jun-1985
Deepak Turlapati
Death Date : 23-Jun-1985

Toronto
Ontario
Canada


Sanjay and Deepak were victims of terrorist bomb placed by sikh terrorists living in Vancouver area of Canada on Air India plane (Kanishka) travelling from Toronto to Delhi which exploded in mid-air off the coast of Ireland on 23rd June 1985.

They were innocent young men aged 14 and 11 years and were our only children.

In their loving memory inserted by their parents (father and mother) Turlapatis

Deepak and Sanjay


Padmini's speech at Ahakista, Ireland on 23 June 2015

Dear friends,

We have gathered today on the 30th anniversary.

It is hard to believe – that both you and we have borne the yoke- when in a lightning flash our lives were shattered for ever---- and your lives too were touched deeply as you reached out in love and true friendship.

It is hard to believe - that over the last 30 years, year after year, whether we be 5 or 50 or 100 representatives of the families, you have made time and effort to come out and share our grief and healing. Your spontaneous generosity sustained us.

It is hard to believe- that you chose this most beautiful place in the world(just 80 miles away from the crash) that you procured, created and maintained this memorial for us and history.

I came here full of pettiness, burdened with thoughts of the world’s turbulence, troubled by ongoing senseless acts of violence in the world over, saddened by lack of mercy in human hearts, lack of pity in faces, lack of peace and worst of all imprisoned by a sense of helplessness. Once here, I am in the presence of your Celtic wisdom. The mountains are huge and still.The waters carry tears of earth’s joy and sadness---the trees, plants, gardens- this whole landscape speaks to me- with a soul in silent seamingless prayer. As I walk in wonder, every stone and everything is unique and different. I realise what a privilege it is to actually be here.

When things go against you, and the rhythm of life takes you to awkward and lonely places, you can still maintain a stillness, which is your soul. I stand back here and let the mystery- envelop, extend and deepen in me. This is a safe place full of understanding and acceptance, where you can be as you are without the need of any mask, of pretence or image. The very earth we are on is linked to the heaven above. I hear Deepak’s voice from the waters and his voice calms my fears.’ O mom!’ he sighs---his hearty laugh-when I told him of how in his concert( a day before he left) as he played his trumpet, he pushed his friend aside so that his mom could see him better. His laugh banished my tears. ‘Your destination is not yet clear, trust the promise of this rhythm.’

I breathed in and I breathed out. I was alive. To be truly alive means to fully engage in the moment. This moment here, and now, with an open heart filled with compassion and love. We are all human kind, we are sent into each other’s lives to help one another. The past is gone, we have no future, but we have today and the peace I feel when I realize this is a gift .

When people come together an ancient circle closes. They do not come with empty hands but with gifts that awaken a new dimension of healing within love and shine the light of one’s soul on another.

Mareth, my anam cara, taught me so. 

This year, we have more families. We lost Sanjay and Deepak. Ashok and Neena their nephews. Murthy lost his wife Lakshmi and daughter Veena. Prema and Sumant their cousin and their aunt. Kriselle lost her mother when she was only one year old. Her mother was an air hostess. Saroj lost her father and Sunil lost his father-in-law. Hari Shukla, lost his friend Mehta and his entire family. Bruce and Joan Mann from Canada lost their neighbours, the entire Jain family.

With us this year also are our best friends, Sarla and Kris Ramachandra, Shashi from USA, Nisha and`Subhash from UK, Lynne from Canada. Also this year with us, are Gary Bass our dear friend from RCMP and his wife Ruth, precious Mark with his son from UK . Also with us are Ashok and Nina. Ashok was born on Sanjay’s birthday and got married on the same day. They were their most beloved uncle and aunt. Nina is responsible for the concept of these pictures and the decorations. 

We wouldn’t be here standing today without Michael Murphy, Nuala O Donovan, and Agnes Hegarty. John Carey, Breda, Margo, Mary and James Hegartys, Bonnie and Pat, Roshin, Frank O Donovan, Ruth O’Brein for their affection. I miss Mareth, my anam cara but I have Angela. These are, and you all are my blessings, God send. 

I could with stand--- the day when our world collapsed. I could withstand---- the next day the media asking if we would retaliate. I could withstand---- when the Indian Canadians were unacknowledged, forgotten by our government. I could withstand----- when, year after year requests by the families for a public enquiry were turned down. It took 25 years for the Canadian Government to accept it as a Canadian tragedy.

Justice Major’s report was scathing and pointed out the neglect endured at every level, that could have prevented the tragedy. He also was critical of the callous treatment of families. Our Prime Minister apologised and though all the recommendations were not implemented—at the request of families, four similar sundials were built by our government. The families are holding services there now in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa.Today has been declared an antiterrorist day. The government has setup a Kanishka Research unit to ensure that a tragedy like this will never happen again. Amen.

I cannot accept that the wicked, powerful persons, who the RCMP and journalists etc say that they know who they are, have been scot free unscathed and untouched. The man who made the bomb will be freed having served 15 years now. To this date witnesses were either murdered or manipulated. And no one from the community has ever come forward to right the wrong or claim responsibility.

I cannot accept that my children and all the innocent victims deaths are in vain, as justice has not been served yet. To add insult to the injury, to justify this heinous crime as payback for some grievances in India is very evil.

I cannot accept that the Indian Government, who were made aware of the threat by the intelligence, ignored it, and allowed the Air India to fly from Toronto for the first time.

I cannot accept that Air India did not listen to the threat, and have neglected their crews families, and have not sent any representative for their own crew in 28 years.

I cannot accept that to date, the Indian Government has not acknowledged or admitted to their responsibility . The victims families in India, do not have a place to pay respects to, in India.

I have always seen Deepak in these waters, and felt Sanjay’s spirit in the air. Here is everything that I ever lost. I ask myself, would it wash up if I wait long enough. In three days time, I will come here and wonder--- may be an Irish miracle-- will happen and the tiny figure of Deepak would appear in the horizon across this bay and come to me. The wishful fantasy never gets beyond that. I won’t let it. Even though the tears will roll down my face, I will not sob out of control. I will wait a bit---- a bit longer----- a little bit more----- then turn back to the car, to be driven off to the airport, back to Canada.

Until next year then, I love you all.

Padmini Turlapati


BBC interview


Padmini's speech at Ahakista, Ireland on 23 June 2014

Dear friends,

29 years ago , our journey began with destruction, catapulted us here and begat a destiny that irrevocably entwined our paths and drew us all together. I am completely humbled by the number of incredible people who played a vital role in helping us grow. The deep innate sense of compassion, hospitality and generosity of the Irish for us all is a testament of their humanness and friendship. The creation of this pilgrimage place that I/we can come back to year after year, that permits me to become a mother once again, that allows me to give thanks in prayer is sheer magic.

Mareth my anam cara, Angela, Michael, Agnes, Nualla for your sustenance: Mary, Ruth, Frank and Bonnie for your kindness: children for your inspiration--- how can I ever thank you? Our families Babu Pulle, my classmates and BFF( best friends forever) Nisha and Shashi for your unconditional love and devotion how can I ever thank you? To Gary Bass, Mark, Brenda for your unending friendship how can I ever, ever thank you?

This year it is only Babu my husband and me representing all the families supported by Babu Pulle, Gary, Mark, Nisha and her husband Subhash who have graced the occasion. Murthy who is always here is due for a surgery, Ron Kalsi (who was here till 2008) had cardiac bypass surgery for heart attack sustained when his wife Harbhajan (Jean) died in May could not come here. Jean was always smiling. We families lost Mohan Patel to cancer and a few others send their regrets. But their families and many others will come next year for the 30th anniversary in June 2015.

I am deeply saddened at the loss of Margaret with her smile and the mischievous glint in her eyes: at the loss of Anne O’ Keeffe and her simplicity: at the loss of Breandan O’ Tighearnaigh for his continuous presence and support to all families:at the loss of Harbhajan (Jean) and her fortitude. Joyful memories are all that we have left and they do not die. 

Unable are the loved to die for love is immortality.
Nothing can fill the gap
when we are away from those we love
Having the gap unfulfilled preserves
the bond between us and 
God keeps it empty so that our communication
with another may be kept alive even
at the cost of pain
I keenly anticipated our return. When I heard of the storm that hit west coast of Ireland including Ahakista I was scared…what if…?

Enroute, calmed by the evergreen landscape, warmed by the sun, I learnt a lesson of humility when I saw the wild flowers swaying, wild flowers caressing the earth with blessing. Pulling them up they grow again in unexpected places, on pavements, rooftops, tree stumps- they find a way through. Trampling them down under foot, they find away to blossom and bloom.

At Ahakista, I learnt that the adjacent area, fields and road were all destroyed by the storm. It was a miracle that this memorial site stayed on so said the locals. The garden place looked a little subdued and bare with the burning of the two big trees (planted years ago by my brother and sister) and of shrubs that have since been cleared. I tentatively stepped through the gate and- lo- the Azelias blazed welcome. The monument and plaques were there. Look, look- oh look at my azelias planted 27 years ago (to the astonishment of the horticulturist who said they couldn’t live so into the sea). They have lived through the storm, dried and shrivelled and must have been in pain. Yet in defiance they have bloomed. They knew I was coming with my heart and soul in my eyes. If this is not a miracle and if the pathos does not strike a chord of tenderness deep within I do not know what else will bring tears. I count my blessings and offer thanks.
The sun flows through my senses and transforms me with zest, gracefulness and gratefulness. I feel safe, protected and cared for. I turn to the sea.
The tide was in—waves were coming in soberly and solemnly. I did not recognize Deepak coming to greet me so
“ Have you forgotten me? I asked
“How can I “said he… 
Listen let your heart guide you
It whispers softly, so listen clearly.
The wise composer of the waves allows music to crescendo to reach a climax and then 
Pause,
a rest,
silent,
nothing, 
Listening in silence… I hear music The shape of your soul is unique You have a special destiny here behind the façade of your life there is something beautiful, good, eternal happening.
By facing my tears, expressing my feelings, releasing my energy, feeling my enthusiasm—feeling --just feeling---joy.
The sun set, evening descended and darkness fell. I lit a lamp for Deepak and Sanjay, Setting aside the day. I enter the serenity of the evening.
As I leave for the night-- I stop and look back. I give thanks and ask for forgiveness. I ask for forgiveness and give thanks.
    To see the world in a grain of sand 
    And heaven in a wild flower
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    And eternity in an hour
Have the courage to trust love one more time and mom (Deepak says) always just----just one more time.
Thank you all
Adieu

Speech by Dr. Padmini Turlapati at Ahakista, Ireland on 23rd June 2013

Dear Friends,

Another year older and deeper in debt in gratitude to you all for coming to share of yourselves even on a Sunday morning as we continue to come representing all families.

I married when I was 28years old in another lifetime, and am today counting the 28th year of the death of my children and others. This year Sirish (two months younger than Deepak to the date, their first cousin) has come with his wife Vera for the first time. I remember to this day when Sirish an eleven year old then, came to me 28 years ago and said “You call me Deepak. I will be Deepak from now on”. I said “No Sirish you remain Sirish and I will see my Deepak in you”.

During my visit to India I went to Sanjay’s tombstone. A beautiful garden has been tended in that small area and his grandparents rest there with him. When I saw my inscription condemning the death of them due to Indian negligence of human life totally erased - maybe it had to be politically correct or whatever correct ----I know how much it hurt. Only this, and none of this can I say because feelings are like the sky seeing nothing in it to see. 

Once the plane touched down, tears welled in my eyes as I saw the Irish soil. All my misgivings and fears evaporated and instead there was a feeling of homecoming of bliss and joy. My world righted itself in a second. I was free to be a mother again and see Deepak.

Sometimes even now, I dream that Deepak was saved and one day he will come walking with you all and say “Hi! Mom. My eyes continue for just that moment, for just that one glimpse. Hope lingers, while reality dawns.

Looking at this garden, blooming with flowers and beautiful scenery a peace steals upon me. The first day was raining, next day dull and windy, third to fifth were sunny, yesterday rainy and today we have had rainbow, sun, rain and wind - you see testy pesty Deepak had come to say “Hi!” after all. That is all I need, a glimpse of eternity.

Sitting here, I look back and wonder how far have I come and grown. Deepak seemed to say “Blessed be the longing that brings you here and quickens your soul with wonder.” As I look on tenderly and silently, motherly tears threaten to flow. I still ask why they had to die. Let go— letting go - is signed in the tears that I weep but no hurt could steal the love my heart keeps.

Be like the silent river mom
Silent in the night
do not be afraid of the dark
If there are stars reflect them back
if there are clouds in the sky
Remember clouds, like the river, are only water
So gladly reflect them too.
Deepak, the flow of your voice 
loosens all pettiness from my skin, 
soft and warm you encircle me 
and whisper into my ear over and over again. 
I am Love and so are you.
As you are I used to be 
As I am you will be. 
My son, a spirit in the wind eases with his talk the solitude in my heart.

Mareth, my anam cara, with her love, smile, compassion witnessed every step I took and faltered. From sadness, to acceptance, to surrender. Her last words to me as she lay dying my hand in hers “I can see you have grown and you will be at peace when you round the corners and dare to dream again”.  Over the years she introduced me to so many wonderful friends.

Michael Murphy is our pillar of strength and rock. Margaret, Agnes, Nuoala are our anchors. Mark Stagg, Gary Bass , Brenda are our devoted  friends. Children and students our inspiration. Starting from the immigration officer “you are back, I remember”, car rental guy “welcome back”, super value “glad to see you again”,  at the library, to Breda who volunteers to make wreaths from her home even though she has now a fulltime job, to Raina at the Deelish Garden centre who gives me a free plant, to Ruth who gives me a hug of welcome,  to Angela , to Mary and James Hegarty , Pat and Bonnie, Agnes and Joe, Michael and Margaret who welcome us to their homes, and to all the rest of you - Love and giving seems to come naturally to and from all of you.

I believe nobody comes here by accident, each of us have been sent for a special destiny. Receiving so much love humbles and flattens my ego. I had fought with God and was angry with Him. I stopped praying while my husband became more religious, disciplined and charitable. I would say “well, he is praying to you and some of that is on my behalf too”. I have since learnt that God has no why but is the why of everything and is everything ‘to be’. Can you all see how he has gently, sternly, patiently stayed with me and sent you all - in my eyes, in the likeness of Him.

Thanks for the opportunity to experience and to continue to learn from Irish Celtic and Christian wisdom, culture and music. I realise now everyone has a temple within and God wants the tiny light to grow bigger and bigger till it comes out and connects with another’s energy. Negative thoughts and attitude makes the light grow smaller but every time we think positive and lovingly reach out it grows larger.

So much turmoil is happening in this world and none of us can remain unaffected and undisturbed but we can become frozen. Much can be done and even though I hear cries for help- I pause- waiting hurts, forgetting hurts, not reaching out hurts but not knowing what decision to make is the worst suffering. Man needs to choose not just to accept his destiny. To that end I admire Ashok, the Babus and Murthy for their courage to act.

When my boat Lord is storm tossed and sinking
When fear in my heart takes control
Say’ be not afraid’ to my spirit
And your answer will calm my soul

When I flounder in deep waters
When the stresses of life take their toll
A sudden deep hush steal upon me 
Your gentleness calms my soul

When my life seems full of confusion
And I have lost sight of the goal
As I stumble about in darkness
May your gentle light calm the soul

I often live life on the surface
Sometimes I am playing a role
Help me cherish my own inner beauty
May your tender love calm my soul

When I struggle with sickness and sorrow
And eagerly long to be whole
I call your name to bring healing
And the touch of your hand calms the soul

Let us all think of Anne O’Keefe who I understand is very ill. When all of us pray for her recovery and also for all those who are suffering from loss and sickness at this pilgrimage spot (there was a monastery here before they moved away) this sacred ground, our prayers will be answered. 

Peace be with you.

Sanjay


Deepak



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Messages
From Kumar Lakshmi Vajjhala...
Son of Rama Rao Vajjhala (Who worked for Telco at Kano from 1979 - 1984)

Childhood friends......
I remember when i came to Kaduna along with my parents and could not play cops and robbers properly

Deepak to Sanjay.... This Boy (Myself) Does not even though how to play any game......

Deepak was more aggressive / outgoing / quick-witted while Sanjay was more calm
Also remember the time when Sanjay left from Kano to join a school in India 

My Regards to my childhood friends... God be with them.

By : Kumar Vajjhala ]
I had the good fortune to visit the site of the memorial in Ireland in April of 2006.  While there I left a pebble from Woburn and Woburn Junior on the memorial sundial.

By : Terry Flahiff ]
Beautiful souls who were snatched away from us too soon. While this deep void will never be filled, we will continue to fill it with love, prayers, and hope. The disaster showed the worst of humanity, but also the best of humanity (our several friends and well-wishers in Ireland, Canada, India).
By : Nikhil/Lavina Rao ]
Sanjay and Deepak were my cousins...although I was still young when this heinous crime occurred and they were taken from us at their young age, I remember fondly the times when we used to all play together as children. While I miss them dearly, I am confident that they are at peace and looking lovingly down on us knowing that no one can ever remove them from our hearts and our memories.
By : Nishant Rao ]
May they rest in peace and god bless them
By : Krishna  Dave ]
Two very talented handsome boys will be missed forever. Now we pray for peace for their souls.
By : Ravi/Shashi Sharma ]
May they rest in peace and be remembered in our prayers
By : Frank & Angela O'Donovan ]
We and our children knew Sanjay and Deepak for several years while we were in Nigeria . Our children played with them during our visits or when they were visiting us. We and our children miss them very much. May their young souls rest in peace.
By : Kris and Sarla Ramachandra ]

 
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