Born with a natural smile, a God's gift, Pathak Chacha was one of the beautiful human being, I came across. The cleft lip, a disorder since his birth, always attracted people, definitely for wrong reasons. I must confess, I too noticed it first and found it weird, but I was a kid then. But that weirdness went away as we came to know him more.
Pathak Chacha, often visited our place during morning tea, to the discomfort of the people living around us, the neighbors, who considered him a bad omen, if sighted during morning. Weird, as he was also the creation of the same God, they believed in.
Anyway, we enjoyed his light hearted interactions of 15 or 20 minutes of short stays during his morning walk break at our place. For others, he may was a bad start of the day, for us, his visit used to bring morning joy.
Pathak Chacha, was a colleague of my father. Born in a family with humble financial background, he achieved a lot he could. He joined the Education Department Engineering Cell, in Ranchi, when my father was posted over there. However, my interaction with Pathak Chacha was of the days when we shifted to Darbhanga after transfer of my father. Pathak Chacha was one of the other transferred employees, and hence the friendship with my father grew.
Their friendship further strengthen, when they both were posted in a remote area, Supaul, where it was difficult to travel and find a proper place to stay. They along with some other colleagues, spent time like brothers in arm.
When I was preparing for my final years of studies and my father was in need of financial help and we were struggling for education loan, his was the first hand, which reached for help. Whereas some of my close relatives denied guarantee signature for education loan, he offered direct help. It was humbling experience for me, as he himself was in financial crisis, thanks to the government of state of Bihar those days.
In his final years of service, God was unkind to him. A heart attack paralyzed him. Paralysis took away all his zeal and grit to live. Somehow, with the help of family and friends, he recovered to a state, where he can again go on morning walks, with a walking stick thou.
He as usual started giving visit to my father, not as frequently. But he was still in depression, as my father noticed. One day he broke down for no particular reasons.
Within an year he left the world, the world which was not as good towards him as it should have.
We often make fun of disfigured body parts of people. We never know how beautiful soul is inside that disfigured and not so attractive body.
Pathak Chacha was the nicest person, a great friend and above all a great human being. I never saw him during his depression days. So his smiling face is the last memories I have of him.
The cleft lip of Pathak Chacha was never a bad omen. It was a permanent smile put on his face by the almighty, the nature.
In memories of Pathak Chacha!!!