My brother Rajeve Mahandru, who died at the age of 49, worked as a psychiatrist in London for more than 10 years. He committed suicide as he suffered from depression and mental health problems for more than five years. He found it difficult to accept the help offered to him.
Rajeve was born in Birmingham to immigrant parents from the Chandigarh region of northern India, Raj (nee Kohlei), a former teacher, and Mohan Mahandru, a shopkeeper. Bobby was his nickname in Birmingham and for the past 20 years he lived in Little Dunmow, Essex and was known as Raj.
My brother would light up the room as soon as he entered. Smiling and laughing, he was always the joker. He was educated at the City Road School and the George Dixon School in Birmingham. He had a happy childhood – our family worked together to run the convenience food store. It was a community shop where we worked, ate and talked like it was our living room.
After graduating from high school, Rajeve spent a few months in summer camps in the US and spent time building roads in the US. He reminded us of that time as one of the best of his life. I remember the time when he ran out of money and called mom to send him some money so he could come home – he had no worries in the world.
After traveling to the USA, he moved to London to take a course in psychiatry. He fell in love with Fiona from Co Sligo, northwest Ireland, while they were both studying at South Bank University and married in 2001. They had two children, Rian and Ava. Rajeve worked as a community mental health nurse in Walthamstow, east London, and traveled from her home in Essex.
A tragedy struck our family when our mother and father died in a car accident in 2004 on returning from a funeral in Chandigarh, where they were living part-time. When his father-in-law died of a heart attack five years ago, Rajeve deepened with depression and mental health problems and retired from his job. He and Fiona broke up.
He is survived by Fiona, Rian and Ava and by our younger sister Manjo and me.