A TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER
I started this tribute, several times, since my father Dr Mehta Vasishtha Dev Mohan, (http://ancientindia.co.in/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 my father, 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 Haryana state. He had to discontinue his job, as a Principal of a large college. And the major reason was he had appointed adhoc basis lecturers/peon based on merit in his college and therefore did not care recommendations of the then chief minister of haryana. (He rejected an individual who was from the village of the then CM. The individual had misbehaved with the selection board members)
I understand the government of haryana especially higher education department placed him in lower grade all of a sudden, ( consequent to this incident at the instance of the then Chief minister of haryana) The Congress government of haryana, did not stop here only and further halved his pension, consequent to his retirement without following any rule or regulation. ( It is pertinent to mention here that present BJP government of haryana has also not bothered to correct the injustice inspite of my several representations and has not provided me complete information under RTI act inspite of several reminders. I feel my tribute shall only be complete if I force BJP government of Haryana, to be judicious to my 90 year old mother
and disburse her due pension and therefore address her genuine grievances.
My father continued with his passion ie research work in Ancient Indian History at Sadhu Ashram Hoshiarpur simultaneously shouldering his responsibility towards his children ie we the three brothers, who were studying those days.
This becomes difficult for me to hold my tears when I put myself in my father,s shoes and wonder if I could shoulder my responsibility under similar circumstances.
At times I do wonder whether we the punjabi hindus and sikhs, are ethnically different people especially different from the seculars ie Gandhis, Jinnahs and Nehrus & their admireres, who were instrumental in uprooting our communities during 1947 and subsequent period so as to prove their so called secular credentials or appease some communities.
Every time when i read/recall the events of partition and the events of early seventies and eighties, when the then political leadership of India, harmed our interests, I am forced to believe that we are different people ie ethnically as well as all other standards. We are not similar to the rest of the people of India.
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.”
As I’ve always been thinking about my father, . 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 hindu 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.
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.
Once, I had faced the most difficult period.. 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