The premature death of young promising person always shocks us. It makes us slip into a depressive mood. It also makes us philosophical, making us aware of transitory nature of the earthly happenings. Though the feeling of detachment does not stay with us for long, it still manages to evoke sensitivity that makes us face to face with reality of our vain pursuits.
I am talking about death of Sandeep Banerji, an ex journalist, who died recently when his motorcycle rammed into railing of the Curzon bridge at Phaphamau with full force. His body remained on the bridge in the mutilated state for quite a long time until the police was informed who carried it to the mortuary room. Later, the members of Allahabad Press Club paid customary tribute to the departed. I don’t know is that sufficient enough to calm the pain of his family comprising of her wife, old mother and two year old daughter?
I am really taken aback by the way life comes to deal with bright faces. Two more such deaths flash across in my mind. My one of the aunties who lived in New Delhi had always been my source of inspiration. She had been living there all alone with her daughter for past many years. One day I heard she is no more. A lady who for the most of the time was caught in the struggles of life passed away silently. No news. A good soul passed away but the world around us remained alive to the glamour of life! Similarly, I always admired father of one of the close friends. I never entered in conversation with him but whenever I met him the love and affection in his eyes always made me drawn towards him. One day while taking an early morning walk, I met my friend sitting in pensive mood at one corner of the Khusraubagh. He came to inform me that his father is no more. I don’t know why tears hit my eyes and I remained sad for many days. Such is human life. Good souls pass away and we the survivors remain engaged in petty concerns as if they are life-and-death issues.
Coming back to my friend Sandeep Banerji, I met him a decade ago. I was then involved in contributing articles to national newspapers. A chance meeting with him led to increased friendship with him. That time he was working as crime correspondent in The Times Of India. I used to give my articles to him for publication in the weekend supplement of The Times Of India. I wrote on issues which were not of his taste but then he ensured that they managed to see the light of publication!! From him I came to know how thankless the job of crime correspondent or, for that matter,any correspondent really is. Barring few of them, they are the most exploited lot. Even the most known brands in field of news world are unprofessional in heeding to the monetary needs of the scribes. If that’s the state of people working in top brands, one can easily imagine the plight of stringers working in Hindi newspapers. However, I always found Sandeep smiling amidst the ups and downs of this profession.
Ironically, I was about to meet him in coming days after a long gap. I would have never postponed my meeting had I been aware of the cruel turn of events. I pray for this departed soul. May Lord rest his soul in eternal piece. I shall always remember you Sandeep.
“If man were immortal he could be perfectly sure of seeing the day when everything in which he had trusted should betray his trust, and, in short, of coming eventually to hopeless misery.He would break down, at last, as every good fortune, as every dynasty, as every civilization does. In place of this we have death.” (Charles Sanders Peirce)