I had never noticed the short elderly gentleman during my previous stint at NJH. It was only after I rejoined work in June 2010 I took note of him. Mainly because of his very rugged renditions of very traditional Christian songs in Sadri . . . It was very attractive to hear. Although I did not understand much about what he sang, it was not much difficult to guess the meaning as he peppered his songs with Biblical character names.
I remembered many of the traditional Malayalam Christian songs which we don't happen to hear much these days as I looked forward to regular hear his renditions of Sadri songs every Sunday.
|Mr KD Lakra unveiled the redesigned logo of NJH during the start of the Golden Jubilee celebrations
About 2 months back, he came in quite sick late in the night. I was a bit upset with his relatives as they were trying to do symptomatic management at home. The blood tests were very bad . . . Hemoglobin of 3 gm%, Total count of 700/cu mm. It was malignancy or a bad infection which was overwhelming his system.
I told the family of the prognosis . . . I also gave them the option of going to Ranchi, which they ultimately did. I was leaving for some meetings the same night. I went to meet Mr. Lakra . . . knowing very well that I may seeing him again only when the Lord comes back.
I told him how much I enjoyed his songs and looked forward to hear them every Sunday. He was smiling. I requested him if he could sing me a song one more time. He told me, 'Doctorji, I have sung enough. I'll sing when I'm back at my Father's house'. He very well knew that he was on his way.
The family took him to Ranchi. They had diagnosed him to have Myelodysplastic Syndrome. He was in and out of consciousness. I did not have the opportunity to see him again.
He passed away in his sleep last week.
It was only some days later that I came to know what K D stood for. . . Krus Dhari Lakra. That was his full name. Means 'Cross carrying Lakra'.
He was the last of a generation of hospital staff who gave all their lives for the Lord through the NJH. Mr. Lakra served in the Registration Department till his retirement in the early 1980s.
|KD Lakra being felicitated during the Golden Jubilee celebrations
I don't think anybody of the present generation would even remember the Sadri songs he sang. In fact, I used to feel sad when the rest of the congregation giggled when he went up to the pulpit to sing. It is unfortunate . . . Somewhere there has been a break . . . You may call it a generation gap. But, I wonder if it's something beyond a generation gap.
I wish we had staff like K D Lakra . . . I look forward to the day I'll meet him at heaven and listen to him worship the Lord through his rustic Sadri songs . . .