Confession of a lawyer who went from hero to speed zero

Confession of a lawyer who went from hero to speed zero
Exclusive Profile Interview with Subhas Anandan - a prominent criminal lawyer in Singapore

SINGAPORE -The man that rivals feared and clients pinned their hopes on has a confession to make.

"I got all my priorities wrong," says prolific criminal lawyer Subhas Anandan, now 66 and looking gaunt, at his Leonie Hill home.

"I spent too much time in my life chasing after fame and recognition," he told My Paper, his piercing gaze trained somewhere in the distance.

And as regrets go, he has one that goes decades back - the excessive drinks, the cigarettes, and all the stress that resulted in his dire state of health.

A few months ago, Mr Subhas found out that he was suffering from kidney failure. He has had heart failure from 2008.

"It was drastic, sudden. If I was going at 120 miles/h, I am at 0 now. But I am starting again," said the man who has always had a thing for fast cars.

He now goes for dialysis thrice a week. It leaves him tired and, from a robust 81kg, his weight has fallen to 64kg. "I have to wear all sorts of belts to keep my pants up," he said.

Sipping on a mixture of Perrier, water and lemon in an effort to satisfy a palate now used to Coke Zero and juices, he thanks his doctors at Singapore General Hospital.

Lying on a bed in the intensive care unit in hospital, not knowing whether he was going to live or die, he "cried a lot", he said.

And the reason? "Sometimes, you have no more strength to control your emotions." But he is no stranger to the hospital.

He has had three heart attacks since 1978, and lost one kidney to cancer in 2001. He also has diabetes, and blocked intestines.

But it was in 2008, before he was wheeled into the operating theatre, that he thought he was on his death bed.

He called his son, Sujesh, then 18, and told him to listen to his mother, and always to be with her.

Next, he called his wife, Vimala. He told her: "I see your face in every rose. I see your smile in every cloud."

And without another word, he succumbed to anaesthesia.

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