Monday, July 6, 2009

My last meeting with Manichand Bothra

It is very difficult to believe that my friend Manichand (Manish) Bothra is no more!!

He was a loving and caring personality. He had friends but no enemeys.

He was my childhood friend though much younger. We worked together in Azimganj Mahavira Mandal for long time in seventies and eighties while living in Azimganj.

We could not meet since several years as I live in Jaipur and he was in the native place Azimganj. I could meet him on the occasion of Chaturmaas Pravesha. It was June 30Th night. I reached Azimganj. My friend Sunil, presently secretary, Azimganj Shreesangh called me in the midnight. While meeting him he asked me to conduct the ceremoney next day. Manichnd had been assigned for the same originally. I told Sunil to continue with the original schedule but he forced me to take the charge. Manichand also insisted me to do so. He briefed me about the programme in that night.

On July 1st, morning hours, Sunil had asked me to start the programme but Manichand had some thing else in his mind. He told Sunil that he would rather call me and hand over the charge of announcement. He invited me to conduct the meeting and handed over the charge.

There were several singers in the programme that had to take long time. Due to time constraints I requested him not to sing. He accepted it without opposing. I could not forgive myself if my proposal was carried out. Pujya Maharaj Saheb asked him to sing his bhajan and we all could hear his voice for the last time.

While returning back to Kolkata in the same night, I incidentally met him just outside his shop. I requested him to come with me to residence of Suraj Nowlakha where my baggage were. He denied once as he had to close his shop. I had requested him again to be with me for a while and he accepted. We went together to Suraj and from there to Pujya Maharaj Saheb. While walking I told him to provide me with an audio cassete of Satraha Bhedi puja. I also requested him to collect stories about Azimganj from his father Shree Shitalchand Bothra for this blog. I wanted to get something about Azimganj from his father that could be lost due to his old age.
Who could imagine that Manichand would leave us in two days!!!!

I left Azimganj that day. The next afternoon, in Kolkata Dadabari, the bad news came in. Manichand was hospitalized out of cerebral thrombosis. Sunil reported me in the evening that Manichand was recovering and nothing to be worried. But the next morning he was brought to Kolkataas situation deteriorating. Doctors could not control situation and he was put in ventilator. Situation continued to deteriorate and he was shifted to MRI, Gariahat on 4th of July. He went into deep comma and breathed his last on that very day.

I have lost my loving friend!~! This is an irreparable loss to Azimganj sangh.


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