Though we have learnt to live with the reality, however, harsh it may be, we do remember you very much and every day. In every nook and corner of Patna, Ranchi, Sikkim & Delhi you frequented, accompanied or shared moments with everyone. We make it a point not to miss A Block, Nivedita Kunj, the place of your painful departure between 4.30 to 5.00 pm on 22nd May, 2011. By this time, had you been alive, you would have seen 24th Spring of your life.
When we met a few Law Centre Interns in Nov. 2012 and very recently, amidst those bright and promising boys and girls, we saw you………for a moment and you disappeared. On some occasions you have figured in dreams. Last time was on 1st or 2nd May. As you knew, relationship of dream sequence both to animate and inanimate world cannot and should not be undermined. No wonder, Raj Kapur made it immortal and memorable.
On the personal front, you were quiet, helpful and non-demanding. You would strike a chord with anyone. Wherever you are, be happy, kind and considerate as you were. Perhaps this world was not meant for you or we could not make you comfortable. We could not look after you. In one of your poems, incidentally, you described this world as weird, dreadful and revengeful.
We had been to Ideal Nursery School, Mangan and Holy Cross, Gangtok where from you began and finished school education respectively. Saw also Sanskriti School where you spent four valuable years, including two interfaces with nature, so dear to you. Your actual first school- Rai School was also visited. None of us, however, could make it to S.B.S College or Venky, which fine-tuned your potentials and was pleased to give you the title of “Mr. Political Science”. Our sincere apologies. Nevertheless, we are in regular touch with Hemant, Raj & Priyanka, the Trio, who spared no efforts to trace you till the last moment. They give us regular company. Addy, the kinder-garden boy of yesteryears, dear Rashmi Mami’s loving kid, your cousin and childhood trusted friend has grown up to join one of the elite colleges of North Campus.
Though we have met Deb only twice, no success has been achieved in case of Net Ram. He was extra nice & caring when we made it to the Law Centre of D.U. last. Deb is engrossed in his absorbing job upon completing a journalism course. It would be impossible to forget 13th/14th May 2011 when being sick and depressed, you reluctantly had lunch with him, took rest in your bedroom together and cried vociferously when he decided to leave. We dropped him at a convenient point on an extremely hot day to enable him to reach his Dwarka home. You kept staring at him and shook hand only after being advised. Loving remembrances of not too distant past resurfaced, when your close college buddies came home a month ago.
Oh yes, with the help of Deepak Bhaiya once I was able to see several messages on Facebook for you and responded to some of them. This resulted into our meeting Mr. & Mrs. Ghosh, Debbrat’s parents. He was so pally, brilliant and affectionate. Some people still wish you a happy birthday through email. This includes Miss Sara Freder and Pandit Punarvasu, the noted astrological experts. I recall your late but avid interest in astrology. But for you, I would not have learnt computer or figured on the Net.
Weather wise, Delhi has faced one of the coldest winters in 44 years. 2nd January 2013 can not be forgotten for the misery it gave. In the same way, the summer which began late, is simply severe. Reference to weather reminds us of the inconvenience faced by you when we shifted from Gangtok in August 2007 and subsequently to two quarters within this vibrant, inspiring, yet heartless city. Going all the way in the blistering heat to your first college and being denied an opportunity to attend even one class a week, sometimes, was extremely painful and frustrating (Bus stop at UK High Commission on Shanti Path everyday takes one down the memory lane). We could read your face, yet were helpless. With your discipline, dedication and determination, you overcame most of the hurdles one by one, to slump again……………in May, 2011.
Perusal of your notes and books highlights your hard work, helpful attitude towards friends and being enticed by the dual charms of poetry and prose. Your sketches and paintings as a kid, how can one forget? Your ‘night scene’ got you a prize in Class II and your first and last glass painting also received an award in Sanskriti. We have cherished memories of your active participation in exhibitions, outdoor events, cultural programmes and top honours for excelling in Social Studies throughout School. An award photo with a former Cabinet Secretary we had to hide as per your wish. Raza Uncle and Ghosh Auntie were generous enough to get some of your stories and poems published.
A feature too was written on you when you had not even passed Class VIIIth. They wrote and we quote, “a self satisfied loner…….….he has boarded a train to the fascinating journey of creative writing”.Unquote. Soon after your untimely demise, Today’s Traveller and Indian Dominion have published your “Nature, the human” and “Violence, Tolerance & Innocence” poems respectively. They have not only published. They have honored us by putting you on the last page. Your following expressions at a tender age will always be relevant:
SECULARISM FELL PREY TO THE EVIL FORCES OF FANATICISM
LAND OF PEACE HAS BEEN BROKEN INTO PIECES
RIOTS WERE REGIONAL BUT THEIR EFFECT WAS NATIONAL
GOD IS ONE BUT PEOPLE LACK ONENESS
After Sachida Mama, Amma, Naren Mama, his daughter, Ballu Chacha, Rita Bua, Nani, one more person - Dhiraj Bhaiya too have left this materialistic world to join you in less than two years. Among my friends in this unfortunate league are Fr. Benny, Sahir and Paitandy. I learnt about Sahir Uncle”s pre-mature expiry on 30th December, 2012 from Masha, his little daughter. He was struggling with Dialysis for over three years. Like Jayanthi Auntie, Haider Uncle & Prof. Thakur, he would always encourage your writing, thoughts and communication skills.
One summer evening in 2006 when I was returning from Chopta Valley, North Sikkim, Sahir uncle had informed us that you had figured in the famous column of Khushwant Singh. When I spoke to him on reaching Gangtok, he could not pinpoint the exact week or month. I searched here, there and everywhere. Finally, managed to flick through Hindustan Times of four months in the house of Prof. V.P. Sharan at Ranchi but could not taste success. It will always remain a mystery now that both of you are residing in an alien world, much against your wishes. In the same way, your unfinished detective novel will continue to elude us.
Like Sahir uncle, Paitandy uncle too was fond of you and would admire you as a person and a budding writer. You were very much a part and parcel of the discussions, rather, discourses by him when he would visit us or vice-versa. I shared some of my thoughts, disagreements and late evening exchanges in North Block with his younger daughter and his wife when we offered our condolences to them in the evening of 2nd February.
Towards the end, a frank if not emotionally charged question- Is your world “beautiful, delightful and graceful” as you had imagined/thought it to be in one of your poems? Since it has a philosophical tinge, it should not hurt nor it may be necessary to answer. As per Hindu philosophy, you may have taken a re-birth and……………....
We do not know how to close, how to wind up, as we feel like writing something of substance, if not substantial on your second death anniversary. It is difficult to sign off. But the journey, here or there has to go on. Both, in times of joys and sorrows. Life has to flow and carry forward like a river. With this understanding, we withdraw and disconnect. As you watch us from the other world, please accept our homage and be pleased to bless all assembled here.
Mummy & Papa