Dehradun after 23 years..

Posted By Author on November 2, 2011

19/4/2000:

Road Dehradun, boarded bus for Nagpur at 7.30 A.M. Got berth No.28 in three tier, 2nd class, S-7 bogie of the Gondwana Express.  Daughter Vaidehi met at Bhopal station and she handed over Tiffin to a person in my compartment who had it himself.  So I remained without food.

22/4/2000:

I reached Delhi at 7-30 A.M. By bus went to Gaziabad at Vaishali’s in laws Walias, and wife Vijaya at B-31, Nehru Nagar. I took lunch but Mrs Walia was on fast of Karwa Chauth.

At 4 P.M.  Mr. Kulwant Singhji took me by car to Modi Nagar and I boarded the bus to Dehradun, which was jam-packed.  I had to travel standing for two hours.  Mr. Kulwant Singh rang his wife’s brother, ‘Mamaji Ahluwalia who resides at Dehradun.

At 10-30 P.M. Mamaji came to receive me at Dehradun and took me to his home.  His house is a palatial mansion.  Having two cars and lot of agricultural land in and around Dehradun.

23/4/2000:

It looked like raining cats and dogs. Weather was chilly.  Went by an autorickshaw to Ghantighar and then boarded local bus to Rajpura road.  Got down at Kath Bungalow stop and reached 194 Bungalow after 23 years.  At the entrance there was banner welcoming.  Snapped photos. Gobind Shah received me. We had bonhomie after two decades. We embraced and wept. Lot of change was in him.  He lost all teeth. And his pronunciation was a mix up and my hearing was impaired. Consequently our conversation was a funny ‘Jugalbandi’ (competition) Dinbandhu Dutta’s (Shaulmari Ashram) daughter was married to son of Dehradunwalla R.L. Sharamaji.  Husband and wife lived there and looked after the Samadhi room.  Her two brothers, i.e., Dinudada’s sons were also engaged in job in Dehradun and lived with sister.

Col. Pritam Singhji came.  We exchanged pleasantries. Took lot of coloured photos by automatic camera.

In 1976-77 diaries I have mentioned officer Jawaharlal Sharma of Delhi.  He looked after grandchildren of Ramani Ranjan Das.  His son and daughter in law came and performed Yadnya ceremony. Sharma couple is rich and financing maintenance of the Samadhi. Ignorance is bliss.  He knew not Baba was Netaji and that Samadhi was of Netaji.

Came to know eldest daughter of Gita and Baba viz. Chinu was in service at Naini in telecommunication department. She had married Mr. Pradhyot .  The couple left for Uganda and later shifted to Australia. Anu did journalism and was married to Mr. Sourab. Her husband too is journalist in Delhi. She writes her name as Anupama Devi. Tanu did M.A. in English Literature from Jadhavapur University.  She was unmarried yet. She lives in Delhi. She too is a journalist looking for a job. There is confusion whether Anu or Tanu is Mrs. Bhattacharya because of two different versions by Chinu and Gobinda.

There was ‘Bhandara’ i.e. lunch for all.  About hundred people came and seven cars were there. Rest of the information about concerned people is on a separate sheet as follows:

Shri Gobind Shah’s new address is 22/2 Canal West Road, Maniktola, Calcutta – 6. Both husband and wife were present for the function. His phone number is 033-3506824.

Virendra Sharma, son of late Amarnathji Sharma of Dun whom I knew well. (There is confusion about his name as earlier it is mentioned as R.L.Sharma of 109 Idgah, Chakrata Road, Dehradun) Virendra is married to Dinabandhu Dutta’s second daughter Nehra and both were caretaker of Netaji’s Samadhi. They were on salary basis. The couple was staying in Samadhi building, which is like outhouse and they were looking after everything. The couple had no child and Nehra’s two brothers, Babu and Mulu, joined them as staff.

I was in close contact with Jawaharlalji Sharma of Delhi. He retired as Labour Commissioner. He died. His son Rajesh Sharma and his wife performed Pooja. The couple was financing maintenance of Netaji’s Samadhi. He seems quite a rich man living in Delhi.

Ramani Ranjan Das expired at 194, Dehradun in 1983. Gobind was present at the time of his death.

In Shaulmari Ashram Dinbandhu and Rajat reside. Probably Rajat has shifted to Falakata town. Kolyani with mother resides in the old house at the Ashram. She remained unmarried and served as teacher and looked after the family. She is third daughter of Ramani Ranjan Das. Her elder sister Dipali and younger sister Debyaninee are married and at present live in Calcutta. Dipali’s husband is in Police department.

Shomu is now Dr.Samareshwar Dutta. He is orthopedic surgeon at J.N.Chaudhari Medical Hospital, Kalyani. 24 – Pargana District. West Bengal. He is married and has one daughter.

The rent of the outhouse with Baba’s Samadhi and other rooms is Rs.4oo per month. The main bungalow is vacated and surrendered.

The Samadhi room is well maintained. His photograph and His meager belongings are preserved consisting of his walking stick, umbrella, shoes, asans, Bhagvat Gita and two volumes of Life Divine of Aurobindo. Baba’s photograph from backside with Chinu on shoulder taken by me at Amrkantak is there. Photographs of Christ and other Gods are there. Portraits of Ramkrishna, Vivekananda, and Gitamasi are also there. I had sent this Gita’s portrait. There is Baba’s photograph from backside with probably Tanu overlooking his shoulder and she is facing the camera. Now scientist can take DNA from mouthpiece of phone after one talks into it and hence to collect DNA from Baba’s personal things is possible.

I was happy to see the mark of cut off branch on the Jackfruit tree.  Took photo.  It was cut because it was obstructing Shri Baba from taking sunrays in the evening. Lot of photos snapped. Hira of Shaulmari was residing here since 1976 or so.  He recognized me. The originator of imbecile idea of Trikon Mudra and Baba in Samadhi, Purushottam Arya was there. Delhi’s Kishanchand of I.N.A. and his wife, old acquaintance, were present. Col.Pritam Singh met. About hundred people assemble annually for ‘Sri Shrimat Saradananda Santan Sangh’. {Association for progeny of Saradanandaji.) On 23rd April every year the devotees celebrate ‘Bhandara’ meaning giving free lunch and pooja. Priests were given food and clothes. I met people from Kanpur, Delhi, and Lucknow. Seven cars were there. Rani of Biyawar was seriously ill. The ‘litchi’ plants planted by her were five feet tall in 1976. Now they were thirty feet tall. The adjoining Tibetan School is still there.

Gobind Shah was there with wife since two months. He would be leaving for Calcutta on 30th April. He informed Niharendu Dutt Mazumdar died in 1994 and within a few months his wife Sarma passed away. Both were above age of 94, His son is practicing lawyer in Kolkata. Shibath Bose of Calcutta died. Ramen Roy is fit. Algu our servant is no more. Uttamchand Malhotra, Sohanlal Kapoor, and Sablok perished two years ago. Ramesh Saxena was transferred to Hariyana and on way popped off in accident. The inventor of ‘Samadhi in Trikon Mudra’ was active in arrangements. The address of ‘Sri Sri Shrimat Saradananda Santan Sangh’ is 194, Rajpura Road. Dehradun- Pin 248009 (Uttar Pradesh). Phone- 0135-735978

Photography remained no more skilled job. I had an automatic camera and I snapped lot of coloured photographs.

24/4/2000:

Via Saharanpur I reached Delhi at Vasantrao Oak’s house.

25/4/2000:

Vaidehi and her husband left for U.S.A. from Delhi at night.

I reached Nizamuddin railway station. I waddled and toddled on the platform to while away time. It was hot. I had turban and yet Mrs. Pratibha Patil surprisingly recognized me and she intimated her husband Dr. D.R. Shekhawat about it. He caught me unaware on the platform and together we travelled.  Had fine time. I discussed with Pratibha bhabiji about Netaji’s survival. I gave her a copy of letter addressed to then Home Minister L.K.Advani for reading. She was seriously reading. I posed a question to her that suppose she was President of India and I submitted all evidence about Netaji’s survival what would she do? She was suave and savvy to laugh it out by assuring that let her first become President of India. What a quirk of fate! She is President of India. We reached home next day by Gondawana express.

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