Mirati (WB), August 31
He strode the corridors of energy in New Delhi like a colossus, however at all times craved a slice of his village.
Mirati, the sunswept village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, some 200 km from state capital Kolkata, was in mourning on Monday following the dying of its most well-known son—Pranab Mukharjee—the 13th President of India.
From the dusty lanes of Mirati, life took the scholar politician to the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan by means of a warren of highly effective workplaces he held, however the village caught, the bond solely grew stronger.
It will likely be for the primary time in a few years that his absence will likely be sorely felt at his ancestral village throughout Durga Puja festivities. Clad in dhoti with a stole thrown round his shoulders, Mukherjee would carry out ‘aarti’ of probably the most revered deity in West Bengal.
He was there even final yr, months earlier than the lethal coronavirus unfold its tentacles throughout West Bengal and the remainder of India. Mukherjee, too, contracted the illness earlier than present process a surgical process after which he slipped right into a coma by no means to get up once more.
“For the individuals of this village, he was Pranab da, Pranab Kaku or jethu (uncle). A all the way down to earth man, he by no means made us really feel that he was a senior minister or the president.
He cherished kids,” stated Susmita, a resident who made a touch for Mukherjee’s ancestral house on listening to the information of his dying.
Susmita, like virtually each villager, was a daily at Mukherjee’s Durga Puja.
“Durga Puja at his residence was the biggest annual event of our village. All of us would have lunch or dinner at his house during the five days of the festival. He was our own. Durga Puja in Mirati will never be the same again,” Rabi Chattoraj, an in depth affiliate of the Mukherjee household informed PTI.
He stated Mukherjee would personally name from New Delhi to ask if every thing was in place.
“Every yr, two months earlier than the puja, he used to name us and sought to learn about each element. During the 5 days of puja, he himself used to recite Chandi Path (hymns to Goddess Chandi), he stated.
Eyes closed and prayers on their lips, the villagers of Mirati collected each single day over the the final fortnight so he might be of their midst as soon as once more this Durga Puja. But that was to not be.
Mukherjee died whereas in coma on the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital within the nationwide capital on Monday.
“He was seriously ill but we thought with his indomitable spirit and by the grace of Ma Durga he will survive. We have been praying for his recovery but finally, he left us forever,” Chattoraj stated.
Mukherjee, who did his education at Shibchandra High School in close by Kirnahar, visited his alma mater thrice after changing into the president.
“In 2012 (the year he became the president), we had felicitated him. He again came in 2013 and 2014. Whenever he visited the school, he would come and talk with teachers and students. He was always affectionate,” Nilkamal Banerjee, the headmaster of the college stated.
Mukherjee’s son Abhijit, a former Congress MP, lately informed a nationwide newspaper that his father, earlier than he was placed on ventilator help, had requested him to deliver some ‘kathaal’ (jackfruit) from Mirati.
Abhijit Mukhherjee went to Mirati from Kolkata, purchased a 25 kg ripe jackfruit and boarded a prepare to New Delhi on August 3.
Pranab Mukherjee savoured the pulpy, juicy deal with from Mirati and was very glad, Abhijit Mukherjee had informed The Times of India.
Life’s journey took him out of house however couldn’t take house out of him. — PTI