A TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER
I started this tribute, several times, since my father Dr Mehta Vasishtha Dev Mohan, passed away on 12 Sep 2003. During the last few years , I could not gather confidence to write this tribute, so as to be able to stand as a monument, to what, I have been carrying since 12 Sep 2003.
I remember on 12 Sep 2003, an old friend of my father, from Ludhiana Kavi Raj Vaid Beni Parsad told me that some one must write a book on him as he was a very tall personality.
As I am not a writer, , I’ve faced my deepest regrets. I always stand looking down into the chasm always hoping that my family could see the chasm into my tearful eyes. I always stood witness to the hard ships faced by my father, during his entire life. The story of my turbulent life, had no parallel with the turbulences the noble soul faced during his life & service career. After he had recovered from the after effects of partition of India during 1947, which had brought many families, including his family, to streets, he had to face worst ethnic discrimination during early 70’s due one of the most corrupt leadership of the state. He had to discontinue his job (premature retirement) as a Principal of a large college. However he continued with his passion ie research work in Ancient Indian History at Sadhu Ashram Hoshiarpur. .
This will not be my last mourning.
Before I start writing a tribute to my father, I would like to recall a poem written by an un known author
“Children of God, smile and rejoice, a loved one has gone to heaven. Listen carefully with your hearts, let’s give God praise and thanksgiving.
This parting is a celebration, sorrow now is all past. The suffering is done, the victory’s won, his reward has come at last.
He chose God as his Savior and Lord, he repented and asked forgiveness. As people came and went through his life, he did what he could to bear witness.
Now he is reaping his reward just as God’ promise was given:”Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in Heaven.”
He has become a part of that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on.He wants us to smile, just as he does now that his victory in God has been won.
“Don’t weep for me, dry up your tears, I’m in the midst of great glory.Remember…weeping endureth for a night,but joy cometh in the morning.”
“How could I start saying a few words on the fateful day of 12 Sep 2003, words that could do justice to all of the years of love and strength that my father Dr Mehta Vasishtha Dev gave to me so as to face this world.”
Before I write about my father, I wanted to relate to you a bit about the strength behind him – my Mother Dr L D Mohan.
As a son I never realized the dedicated love that she had for my father during his turbulent days of life & till his last days of life journey. What I realized during last days of my fathers journey of life. The dedicated love for my father that I never saw before in her – but I knew, this was always there..
As I’ve always been thinking about my father, after I had lost my sister Pratishtha . Finally coming to grips with the inevitable, I thought “How can I tell a story of my Dad that conveys the message of what his love and strength has meant to me. Every son idolizes his father. I am fortunate to have a father, who was a legend. I know this and I will not forget this.
He was a Gold Medalist of Panjab University ( not once but twice ie BA and MA ) He also Stood Second in FA and had bagged a bronze medal during 1940s. He was also a Gatka Champion of Lahore.
Being a fellow member of ICHR, his contribution in the field of Ancient India History is unimaginable. He authored a few Ancient Indian History Books. During the last phase of his life, when he was an 83 years old cancer patient, I saw him writing on his subject. Till last moments of his life, his Brain was active and he knew what was good and what was bad for him.
I understand from my mother that during 1945, one delegation from China invited him to join Research work with them. But being a nationalist, he refused.
I could deeply See a noble soul into him. A soul which was hurt several times by the incompetence of his own kiths and kin’s. A soul which had faced hurricanes of Partition 1947, where in, he had not only lost his parents but also all movable and immovable possessions. A partition which brought miseries to several of his surviving relatives. The noble soul in him gave his shoulders to the survivors of Hindu genocide of 1947, so that they could cry. A soul which not only provided his shoulders to the survivors, but also became an inspiration for our several community members, who were also betrayed by the then political leadership. He motivated them to develop skills to survive and face the cruel world.
There was a lot that I wanted to ask him about Partition 1947, before he died. I wanted to know more about our family roots, but I never had that chance…My father was a gifted man. He shared what he could with who he cared for. Sometimes he gave until it hurt, but he never publicized it.
Towards the end, he lived alone at Gurgaon – by his choice, mainly because my mother and he being writers could get enough time for their Research/ Innovative work. However he had made it a point that he must visit me during his last few Winters of his life, for at least three months every year to share with me his rich moments of life.
After the funeral on 12 Sep 2003, I was almost left all alone and some how come to an understanding within myself about things.
Maybe He was simply around when I needed him, and he left when he thought I didn’t need him anymore.
My father had confidence in me and the only regret, I had was that he never told me. Maybe he didn’t want me to quit improving
In the end… he’s gone. The depth of that absence will be felt for the rest of my life, but it won’t be mourning. It will be a joy, because without his life I would not be – and without his death, I would not continue growing at the same rate.
My father once explained me about Pictures memory. He told me that at times Pictures memory of our elders guide us when we are in difficulty. In fact I had faced the most difficult period during my service career. Those were the days when my own shadow had refused to recognize me. My father stood like a mountain to help me and assured me his support. Had he not given the moral courage to me during those moments of distress, I would not have been here, writing a Tribute to my father. my father was a tall personality, a personality which, my family could ever ever produce.
I know my grief is too large, larger then any of these words, written here.
I am and I was always inconsolable after his death on 12 Sep 2003.
I have Picture memories of my family Tree ie my ancestors, guiding me, motivating me. Whenever I am in difficulty, I create Picture memory of my beloved ancestors and they show me the path.
I hope I have submitted my tribute to my father ie Papaji without breaking down too much and could relate some of the simple, happy things that He brought to our family and friends.
Cdr Retired Alok Mohan