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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Mourning the Passing of Baba Durable Link to this BLOG

My maternal grandfather, Ganesh V. Burde passed away today in Bangalore. He was 97.

Portrait of Ganesh V. Burde
Ganesh V. Burde
1906 - 2002
Baba, as we affectionately called him, was a great influence on me as he was on my mother. He taught me English and tried very hard to cultivate reading habit in me. I attribute my grammar and sentence construction skills only to him, and only due to his efforts that I was able to compete with city bred, English-medium-educated students although I studied in an Indian language school till I was 15.

Baba had many other great qualities, one of which was his health. He didn't have any ailments (no arthritis, no blood pressure, no cancer, no heart ailment), and died purely due to old age. He was the most extraordinary scholar of Hindu scriptures I know and was a keen student of the Bhagawad-Gita, the Upanishads, the Sanskrit language, and of learning in general. At the age of 75 he took up learning a new language, Bengali -- He knew a total of nine languages including Urdu.

Baba is the only Hindu man I know who has read the Koran. He was well versed with the Bible as well, but led a very rational life sans rituals. During the India Freedom Movement, he sheltered the freedom fighters, although he himself was employed by the British Government. Since he could not get involved with the Indian National Congress, he had started a branch of the Arya Samaj to banish evil practices from the Hindu society. He'd attended Ambedkar's convention in Nasik to reform Indian society of the caste discrimination. He remained an agnostic till his death.

In Baba's death, we've lost a century's worth of history and knowledge.

See Also:
• The Call of Yama

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, July 20, 2002
Last Modified: 1/24/2003
Tags: obituary

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