Boro Kaka was my most favorite person in the whole family. We lost him last year to a long strenuous battle against diabetes.He was diagnosed quite early in his life but that did not stop him from doing what he loved most; cherish all lives around him and celebrate it. His charisma was so strong that anybody who ever met him, never forgot his benevolence. He helped the poor and the rich. He supported friends and family through thick and thin. He had the extraordinary power of giving unconditional love.
He brought everyone together at family gatherings, festivals and the likes of it. He didn’t require much of a reason to enjoy a feast where everyone was invited, be it the plumber or the errand boy from two decades ago or the rich business man who happens to be his long time friend.
His eyes twinkled with kindness and empathy. He was stubborn yet managed to please others. He could make anyone feel at home in no time. In a conservative society where people are often discriminated by their jobs, he had respect for one and all. He never judged them for their profession, their past or their acts.
In a traditional society, worshipping God is set at default and people act in fear of god/goddess or face the wrath. In such an era, he was not a god fearing person but a god loving person. His faith was blind and he worshipped from his heart, not in need of miracles.
Loud music moved him, and thats how he used to start his day even in the early hours. Dancing around with his mother, wife and kids ignoring their plea to let go…. As a kid I was fascinated to see his love for animals, a rare sight from where I come. First ever that I came across in life. He cared deeply for the stray and homeless, adopting dogs without a second thought.
He always put others’ problems before his own, almost to a fault. He had met with an accident that costed him a knee. It gave him a permanent limp. He recuperated from it in no time and mostly because of the constant care from his wife.
I fondly call her Boro Kaki. They fell in love when she was just eighteen and married soon after. Love and trust was what held them together. I strongly believe that Boro Kaki helped him to be the better person in every step of the way. Boro Kaka was complete when he had her beside him. Both of them made a beautiful couple with enormous heart. Their children, needless to say, are gems in our family.
He was a father figure to me. He helped my parents raise me when I was little. Not sure why, as a child I was deathly scared of him. The sound of his Enfield made me drink milk in a jiffy! He was an amazing photographer and children made him happy. As I was the only little one around for few years, he spent innumerable camera reels on me. Its refreshing to look at those funny photos of both of us. I have quite a few as my favorite. He adored me. And I loved him to death.
When I got the news of his death, I was living at the other end of the world. There was nothing that I could do. All I wanted was to be there next to Boro Kaki and my cousins.It was painful for all of us. Having lost their brother, my father, aunts and uncle had trouble coming to terms with it. It is never easy to deal with the parting of a loved one.
It is curious how he creeps into my conscious mind every now and then. I find myself staring at his photograph quite often. Deep within, I am still mourning. I can almost imagine him calling me “Naak-chapt” when I visit Kolkata next time. You see, he liked to make fun of my stubby nose, not in an annoying way though. Nothing he said or did could ever annoy me! Sometimes I like to think that an imaginary thread connects me with Boro Kaki or with either of my two cousins whenever his memory crosses my mind…
It was my wish to invite him over to experience my life in a foreign land; tour the world with him. Alas, some wishes are meant to be unfulfilled.
I think I speak on behalf of family and friends that the world was a much better place with him. It was just magic.