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For Papa with love

(Eulogy for Paban Kumar Sharma)

My father–in–law, my second dad, papa, passed away on December 31, 2014. A fun–loving person he was, God possibly took him away from us as he wanted to party with papa!!

Papa was one of the strongest men I know. Into his late 70s he could outlook most men in their 20s, in terms of energy, enthusiasm, confidence, perfection, and not to forget — sense of style. A completely self–made man, he made a praiseworthy life for himself and earned respect from people around him. His me, influence, advice and friendship— all valued and sought by people around. We know of countless friends and admirers who formed the web of his life who have shared the profound impact papa had on them.

His sigture way of making people laugh, his selflessness and generosity will be remembered and missed. He had a big heart and showed his love in the most subtle ways— sending us our favourite evening scks, chips and chocolates for the kids, dry fruits— all made him very happy.

I often used to wonder what was his secret when it comes to dealing with people!! He could talk to someone and read that person like a book from cover–to–cover immediately. He had a charismatic effect on everyone he comes in contact with. He could just be at ease with leading dignitaries and business people as he could be with those of lesser means.

Papa used to relish the good things in life— art and music, travel, food and wine, friends and family. He would never let another man down, he fulfilled every obligation he undertook. His word was his bond.

We speak of life as a journey, Papa’s journey was a wonderful one. Not always an easy one though, he had his share of hardships and struggles, but he persevered. Even during the most difficult times he stood like a rock. He carried the joy of living, a happiness he freely shared with his wife, his sons, daughters–in–law, friends, relatives and most importantly, his pampered grand–children.

Papa has always enjoyed father–child relationship as true, pure friendship. He raised his sons (So da & Mo) as friends, while also remaining their leader. I thank him for making Mo a gentleman that he is today. Perhaps because papa missed his times with them as a father in their early years, he always encouraged Mo to give his time, support and presence to both Dia and Tuhin.

When I first met him, I could not foresee that we would forge a profound bond. He was the liveliest man I have ever met. “Papa, you were the best father we could have asked for.” Yet now, we all suffer an inexpressible feeling of loss.

On the evening of the 31st day of December, 2014 he left us all quietly, he left way too soon, his absence still startles us. This was the last thing we ever expected to hear or imagined. We are still in shock but we cannot question God as He knows the best.

The first day of 2015 was the first day of the rest of our lives where we all shall build a bonfire full of his memories to fill and warm the cold void in our hearts that represent his loss.

If anybody had the ability or took the time to count all the stars just before the sunrise on the morning of January 2015, they surely would have found a new bright shining star in the pre–dawn sky— that’s our PAPA!!

—Dipshiekkha ‘Pranjal’ Sharma

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Ankur Kalita

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