Friday 26 March, 2010

Netra Ballabh Joshi is no more

There are few people who are not considered 'great' and they are not revered and admired by thousands but, they continue to do things which presereve whatever greatness is in our culture. Netra Ballabh Joshi is one of those people who had made a remote village of Almora- Kukuchhina  a place where one can go and experience something which is divine. I am grateful to historian Lal bahadur Verma for suggesting to go to this place and meet two wonderful people- Netra ballabh Joshi and Ravindra Shukla. Joshi was a remarkable man- full of energy and love. I can say that he was a unique man who was a spiritual and worldly in a unique way.
I met him every year in May when I go there to spend two weeks. Here, in the hospitality of Joshiji, I wrote a book- Haaril which earned me a name among Hindi writers. I recollect how this book was written in two weeks. The concluding part was written and I sensed that this is it, and I found Joshiji standing on the door of his cottage with a glass of tea.
I deeply mourn the death of this man who single handedly changed the face of Kukuchhina with the help of a remarkable lady from France Catherine 'Parvati'.
They ran a lovely school for local children, organised annual cultural functions, ran various projects for the benefit of local people and did wonders by providing hospitality for any visitor to this area.
No words can describe sense of loss I, along with my friends and my family members, feel at this moment. He passed away on 22 March, 2010 at around 12.30 at the age fof 70 something.
The place will not be the same again.
Joshiji's tea shop, the last point where from one starts the tracking for Babaji's Ashram and Pandavkholi, would be there but the man seated there (in picture) would not be there.
He would be in our hearts. We can never forget this man as long as we are alive.  God bless his soul!
He was the man who was down to earth. He was equally comfortable with any body. He was a lover of scholarship, he was ready to listen to schoalrs' opinions but he was a firm believer that this ancient land and its wisdom is what would lead us through in life, and after...
(In this picture he is with Rupa Gupta in May, 2008 when we were staying in his Mrinal Kanta Bhattacharya Ashram, Kukuchhina)

1 comment:

  1. Good to see my picture featured here on the site. Joshi Ji indeed was a good man. I held detailed discussion on Ashwatthama once and visiting Joshiji again (his son) in few days.