It was October 9 at 6.44 am when our father, Ramani Kanta Deka, took his last breath at a local nursing home in Guwahati, after a brief spell of illness, making it the saddest moment of our life.
A very amicable and plain-spoken person, Deuta, as we called him, was an avid learner, who could hold forth on any discussions on any topic, be it about the environment, cinemas, sports, economics or politics. He was a punctual man who valued discipline and freedom at the same time. He was someone dedicated to his immediate as well as extended family; the one thing that was sure to bring an instant smile to his face was the mention of his grandchildren.
Deuta came to Guwahati from Kaharpara, Tihu. He matriculated from Tihu High School and did ISC from Cotton College. He got his BE from prestigious Victoria Jubilee Technology Institute (VJTI), Bombay University, one of Asia’s oldest Engineering colleges, followed by his ME from All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Calcutta University.
He worked in several organizations, beginning his career as an Assistant Engineer in BEST (Bombay Electric Supply and Transport Co), followed by a brief stint in ASEB, Shillong, moving to Guwahati Development Authority in Guwahati, before joining Guwahati Municipal Corporation. He retired as the Chief Engineer of the Corporation in 1994, after working there for 27 years. An ardent environmentalist, he earned numerous felicitations for his outstanding and lifelong contributions to the engineering profession.
After his retirement, Deuta became active in other areas as well. He contested but narrowly lost the Lok Sabha elections in 1999 from the Barpeta Constituency as a BJP candidate. He served as the State president of the State Kisan Morcha, Assam, in the 1990s. In addition, he was actively involved with many literary and social organizations. After his demise, one of our friends said, “Uncle was the only person whose visits Daddy would look forward to. It is indeed a huge loss for us all.” It is a loss that nothing will compensate for. On this day of his Adya Shraddha, we all pray for eternal peace of his soul.
Prabina Tahbildar (eldest daughter)
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