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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Need guidance: How to ask the question?

    Let me first mention the facts in details. I studied in a school of South Calcutta and passed my Xth Board examination in 1983 and XIIth Board examination on 1985. My younger brother also studied in the same school and cleared Board in 1986 and 1988. In our school, two brothers used to study. Both of them were junior to me and senior to my brother.

    Those brothers were brilliant. The elder brother R passed his Xth Board in 1984 and XIIth Board in 1986 with a dazzlingly brilliant result. He cleared the entrance examination and studied BE in Computer Science from Jadavpur University (this means he was placed among top-20 in the Entrance examination). His younger brother S surpassed him, got ranks in 1985 and 1987 Board examinations and studied Computer Science from IIT-Kharagpur.

    Although the younger brother performed better than his elder brother, I was more impressed by the elder brother R. He himself performed brilliantly without any guidance, and as his widowed mother could not afford to arrange coaching/tuition for her sons, he himself taught his younger brother and his brother surpassed him.

    I left Calcutta in 1989 but later came to know that my friend R. (the elder brother) died in an accident. But I could not get the details. I lost contact with them.

    After a very long gap of more than 27 years, last month I have come to know that the younger brother S returned to India from the USA after more than 25 years and is presently teaching at IIT-Kanpur.

    Now my question is: How can I ask him (after such a long gap) about his elder brother R? How can I raise this issue without hurting him or his very old mother?
  • #636709
    Reliving fond memories leading to recollect of grief and anguish that we suffer after losing a loved one can work both ways. Some of us, will appreciate that a long lost friend is aksing for details, some would be annoyed or even upset that we are re-kindling the sad memories of all a sudden by coming out of the blue and directly asking such questions.

    First would be to have a telephonic contact to touch base with this gentleman. Then if the response is favourable, then drop a hint of catching up at a restruant for lunch or dinner.

    Once you are comfortable and recollect what all has happened in life, the good things you all shared in collge days, slowly say a few good things about this brilliant student brother R and Offer your condlenscences saying that you heard that he is no more.

    Please add clearly that, can I ask a question related to your brother's demise? mention to him that he can answer only if he is comfortable to do so. If he is communicative and has no change in his interaction, then slowly ask How did it happen, was it a fault of a rash driver or was it just bad luck that the accident happened? On the other hand if it disturbs him to re-live the sad moments of losing his brother then just drop this issue.

  • #636716
    It is a difficult issue. Some people will get upset if we make them remember the past sad incidents in their life. But some feel relieved when they share their bad moments and sorrowful moments with others. It is purely an issue which depends on the nature of the individual. Before asking him anything about his brother or mother you should establish a contact and understand his mentality. Whether he is still remembering the days of losing his brother or come out of that sorrows and he is happy with his family and children. This should be known to you.
    So just try to establish a contact with him by getting his phone number and talking to him. Exchange all good things happened in his life and yours. You can also ask him about his days in the states and why he has come back to India so on and so forth. During the course of this discussion you can assess his mind and if anything comes during the discussion about his brother or mother, you can just tap in there and try to get the details,

    always confident

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