With my teacher 29 July, 2017

I was with my teacher the whole day

It was a beautiful day, his 93rd birthday

We talked and talked and talked

Reminiscences of a beautiful past

He reminisced about his Jadavpur, Zurich, IIT days

Recalled the ETH days, the Swiss Alps,

The Swiss Fondue, the French wine

The good things of life

He so fondly remembered his closest friend

Recalled the last time he met this friend

Gripped with dementia, the friend

Could not recognize his best friend

My teacher can’t forget the pain, he saw

On the face of his friend

When my teacher was leaving home of his friend

His friend of more than six decades, came to see him off

As a parting gift, he gave him a piece of paper

In one part of the paper was written my teacher’s name

And on the other was written name of the friend

Written by a friend, to a friend, with trembling hand

I saw tears in my teacher’s eyes

Though it was time for him to go to sleep

That day, it seemed, sleep ran away from his eyes

He did not feel the need of medicines

He did not feel the pain in his knees

My teacher wanted to tell me so many stories

Stories of Natick, Pentagon, BBC, Delaware

Symposia, books, students, Kolkata, the city he grew up

He wanted to tell me stories of his mother, his brothers

He wanted to tell me stories of his wife and children

He wanted to tell me stories of his successes and failures

He wanted to tell me story of marriage

Of his favourite student with his favourite niece

He wanted to tell me stories of 9, West Avenue

The place we had so many sumptuous lunches

That day I saw so much hope in his eyes

There was despair too

They wanted to tell so many stories

I informed him about the conferment of

Life Time Achievement Award by the INAE

He said, what will I do with the awards

My students are my greatest awards

Now my students are my best guides