Dhruba Goswami: As I knew him
My earliest memory is of a 10-year old Dhruba in 1960, crying profusely at our doorstep in Upper Lachaumiere, Shillong. We lived close by and his father Mohini Mohan Goswami (my peha) had just died.
Dhruba was fiercely independent, courageous, and flamboyant, always daring to do something different. After college at Hans Raj, Delhi, he started a fashion boutique, “The Turnstile”, creating ripples with his models walking the ramp at an age when Guwahati was still a conservative town. He never ran out of ideas or style, even as he struggled for finces. Memories of glorious days spent with him include drives up to Shillong in his Vokswagon Beetle, chilling out to great music and food at his wonderful café ‘Bohemia’, or enjoying The Golden Horn”, a multi-cuisine restaurant at his “The Regency Hotel” in Panbazar, Guwahati. The tastefully constructed hotel at his Guwahati residence is the last testimony of his creativity and distinctiveness.
Besides running his enterprises, Dhruba had to fight many a long legal battle. Amazingly, he also found time to study Homeopathy, in which he excelled and become a much sought after doctor. Through all this, he received unstinting support from his mother, and his wife Roshmi, who kept the home going and looked after their two bright and loveable children – Varun and Tara.
Dhruba was forthright, true to himself and last man to be cowed down. He had no time for mediocrity. Underlying his tough exterior (he rarely asked for help till the last day), Dhruba had a loving ture, understood by those who were close to him. I have lost a brother, a friend and a gentleman. I salute him for all the good times and all that he stood for, but I dare not cry because he would not approve. Adieu Dhruba, rest in peace.
—Nilutpol Kotoky (Rubul)
(A tribute to Dr Dhruba Jyoti Goswami)
A man ahead of your times,
Fashioble, charming, a trendsetter.
“To the revolution!”, you would toast;
Your bohemian spirit, filling lives with colour.
You were a leader.
Strong, commanding, fair.
You set up establishments,
Others followed in your footsteps.
You were held in awe, you were held in respect.
You were a man for the proletariat,
And a man for the gentry.
You lived by your terms,
You called aspadea spade.
You were a man with dreams,
A man of art, fashion and theatre.
But those dreams you sacrificed.
Tirelessly you toiled, and the years went by.
For family, dreams gave way to reality.
You were but an artist at heart.
The canvases, they were a changing.
Yours,truly, was the art of the cure of homoeopathy.
You may not have been Merlin the magician,
But you touched many a life, with your healing.
Foundations and facades were also your canvas.
Brick and mortar:your paint, your charcoal.
You built with passion,
Sometimes,as though it were an obsession.
You built, with the flourish of a Dali or Monet.
You were a man misunderstood;
Yourtough exteriormasked the softness within.
Till the very end, that dark April night,
A brave front you presented.
Blissfully you let the world sleep, as you drifted quietly away.
You were a philosopher,aguru.
Many an evening I spent, by the fireplace, by your side.
You taught me that truth is beauty, constant and eterl.
That it is ture’s law,
That truth is what prevails.
You were…my beloved father.
You told me when to run,
So I don’t miss the starting gun.
Abo, I called you.
Abo, the first word I uttered.
—Varun Rshav Goswami