| Three months without the Webmaster-in-Chief|
It is three months since my father (Bappa) passed away.
The void is indescribable.
I no longer call Bangalore to hear the affectionate "Suprabhatam"
(that's how father answered my phone calls), or to discuss
the new stories to be added to Kamat's Potpourri. The weekly yellow
manila envelopes have stopped arriving, and the hundreds of thousands
of photographs are exposed to heat, humidity, and insects in our locked
flat -- unpublished, unappreciated, and abandoned.
Bappa's Scientific Photo Lab, where he served the scientific community
of Bangalore since 1970 is also closed. The chemicals are expiring, and
the cameras are rusting. It is unbearable for me to sit in Bappa's
shop where I spent so many evenings enjoying ice-cream or admiring
the customers (Bappa's customers were highly qualified scientists
and intellectuals), or in Bappa's dark-room where I would
develop film or flip the photo prints.
I have said in public before, that the greatness of my father is not
in his books, photographs, or in the gigantic website, but in his
austere and almost holy living. While I miss Kamat the artist, Kamat the writer, Kamat the cook, Kamat the philosopher, and Kamat the Guru, it is Bappa the father that I miss most.
Late Condolence is a Great Condolence
I must say that a late condolence message is a great condolence message.
This is because one receives so many of them within the days of the loss
that they don't quite sink in. But a couple of messages we've received in the last week have touched my heart. One is from Sharad Soukoor who
was in the audience in a school meeting thirty five years ago where Bappa spoke!
He mentions a poem --
I didn't know Bappa ever wrote poems! (This was before I was born...). The other is from
Dr. Seshasastry, a close friend (or disciple as he has called himself) of Bappa.
"..The life of Kamat is like Bhagawad-Gita to me." -- Prof. R. Seshasastry
"..We were too small to comprehend the simplicity and humility of Mr. Kamat" -- Sharad Soukoor
Another message from family friend Suresh Kulkarni said it so well -"Kamat is one
of the great souls who found peace in this life itself; so asking for peace in his afterlife seems absurd!"
How We Are Coping up
My mother is fighting the survivor's guilt.
A day doesn't go by without her lamenting Bappa's sudden death.
She also has to fight the age-old stigmas attached to widowhood in India.
I have asked her to visit America for change and healing, and have
talked her into starting a blog.
Some friends and admirers of Bappa have gotten together to bring out
a memorial volume in his honor. Very limited copies will be published.
If you are able to contribute, please write to me at .
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, May 24, 2002|
Last Modified: 2/21/2003