Michelle Parlevliet

Next week, 27 May, is the day Chandra would have turned 49. She’s often been in my mind in the past 1.5 years and even more so in recent days with her birthday coming up. In previous years this would always have been an opportunity to touch base with her. Not that an occasion would ever be required to connect with Chandra – it’s just that our contact was irregular, ranging from the very frequent to months going by before we reconnected again. There were several times in the year that contact was a given – her birthday being one of them and the 4x per year I travelled to London for meetings.

It’s hard to believe that so much time has gone by since she passed away. After meeting professionally in New York in the late 1990s/early 2000s, we gradually became friends – bonding over shared interests, good food, brilliant wine. Even so I looked up to her and benefited from her support and encouragement when I moved from my practitioner world into the world of academia where she was so firmly and rightfully established – and from where she so firmly and usefully linked to policy and practice. She brought so much to the world – passion, humanity, such sharp thinking, innovative ideas, willingness to ask difficult questions, humor.

I miss you, Chandra. There are so many times I wish I could bounce something off you, briefly check in, pick your brain, hear what you’re up to, see if we can concoct a joint effort. My trips to London are tinged with some sadness these days as I know I won’t be able to hang out with you anymore. It was a terrible shock to lose you so suddenly in September 2018 and you continue to live in my heart, mind and bookcase for as long as I am around.