Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Jyoti Basu.....The Great Son of Bengal
I don't remember the exact date, but probably it was in the month of August 1991. I was attached as a free lancer to a least know weekly “ The Democratic Forum” ; my fancy to give a try to my journalistic flair was the sole motive with that association. My editor, Late Mr M.L. Shah was the person who was encouraging me. That day he came to my office and asked if I was free in the evening. Fortunately I was and asked him back the reason. He said Mr Jyoti Basu would give a press conference at the press club, Kolkata and if I wish I could attend that. It was a pleasant surprise ; so I readily agreed.
In the evening Mr, B.L. Shah of “Dainik Rooplekha” , a Hindi daily from the same stable of my weekly, fetched me from my office to the press club. We were early birds, outside the club , on the lawn people were sitting making circles and chatting with each other. I felt a fish out of water, as none knew me and so I. Turning to my companion, I found he was enjoying my discomfort! He winked at me, took me to a corner and handed out a glass spilling with whiskey! I gulped it within no time and felt better, more at home in that unknown joint.
At last our wait was over, the secretary of press club came out to call us to take our sit within the club as the CM, Jyoti Basu was expected at any moment. We entered, took our seat at the back. In came the CM, Late Mr Jyoti Basu, that was the first time I saw him so closed. He was 78 then, still looked quite healthy and so sharp in his reaction while answering the questions thrown from our side was really amazing! The press secretary was selective allowing the reporters one by one to ask question to him; I too raised my hands just to ask “ Sir at this age, how long you think to continue to lead the state” but not allowed. Though disappointed then later I knew the answer ; it must have been “ …......as long the party wants me to continue”.
The great son of Bengal, at last departed without caring for the approval of his party!
Well his departure reminds me that not so close meeting where I could not salute him; now I salute his soul.