REMEMBERING ALLWYN TODAY!
-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
Some people come into this world and leave it after impacting profoundly on the lives of several. Allwyn Fernandes was certainly one such gem who believed in doing all that he could to make of our world a more equitable, just and humane place.
Allwyn left us exactly one year ago on December 2nd 2014. His death cut short a life full of promise; though he suffered much in the last month or so, he was still very focussed on his mission here on earth and he continued the struggle for survival till the very end.
Today, his absence is felt by many. Last night as I thought a great deal about Allwyn: our warm relationship, the emails to and fro, the long telephonic conversations, our meetings and arguments in rare places like the Cafeteria in the Andheri railway station - I realised how missed Allwyn is today; yes, not only by me but by many, many more! I couldn’t help but pen this poetic tribute to a great soul and a dear friend (it needs editing but I prefer to keep it as it is)
“One year ago dear Allwyn you left us for eternity
Plunging the lives of many into deep uncertainty
A loss that is so painfully felt by those who knew you
As husband, father, brother, mentor, guide, friend so true
The void that filled our hearts, with your untimely departure
Grows bigger - as memories of you we today try to capture
If Allwyn was here today: what would he do? or write ? or say?
Are questions that crop up for many - be it night or day!
The Church and our country - and folk big and small
Miss your leadership, guidance and clarion call!
Our remembrances of you give us hope and inspiration
To go on with the struggle for Church and for nation!
Thank you dear Allwyn for being a human so rare
Precious and sensitive; with the courage to dare!
Now that you are there - in our Father's loving caress
For us below, we ask that that you pray and bless!”
“Allwyn, the Church in India and in fact our entire country needs you more than ever today! As I mentioned in the last two lines of the poem, intercede for us and bless us from above!”
2nd December, 2015
* (Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)