A very sad beginning to a gloomy day. A call at 6.50 from Premjit to inform that Inder had passed away early this morning, 21 Sep 17. Lolly was in Pune on Monday and spoke briefly to Roshan saying she was in a rush and would call back. Later her sister called up to say that Inder had been admitted to the MH in Lucknow and Lolly had flown back. Then the dreaded call this morning. Laid low by an aggressive bacterial infection, was taken into the ICU last afternoon and it was all over by 0115.
A bit of a gentle giant, emphasis on gentle. A thorough gentleman to the tip of his toes. Always a smile or at least a hint of a smile on his lips and never a cuss word that I can recollect – truly a rare breed. We lived 2 rooms apart in Pathankhot and quite a few Sundays were spent playing scrabble, his favourite, in his room. His only flaw – he made up his own words – dictionary fictionary notwithstanding. Later in Jodhpur, we were neighbours at Golf Links – two tiny cottages adjoining the golf course. Most nights, after putting the bacchaas to sleep, Lolly and he would stroll over to play a bit of bridge. I have been desperately trying to think of a single moment when Inder lost his cool and I simply can’t recollect. He did of course get a little testy at bridge, till one day Lolly exploded, and that was the last of the testiness too!
About two years ago, Lolly and Madhuri were in Pune and a few of us had a bash at the Turf Club. Towards the end, cheeky Madhuri, with a twinkle in her eyes, came over and asked “Uncle, please give me some low-down on Baba, I’ll have some fun with him.” I sat back and thought. All I could tell her was that really, I don’t remember a him ever being naughty, impulsive or silly. He was the good guy – always. His only flaw – conjuring up words at scrabble and then objecting, in his typical cool drawl, when subsequently the other person used it.
Inder, my friend, you went off too fast and our hearts go out to your beautiful family. Will always think of you with happy memories and keep that smiling face in mind.
Rest in peace and may God give Lolly, Madhuri & Premjit courage and strength.