Say­ing good­bye

The Sunday Guardian - - Nation -

Sush­mita Dev, the fire­brand Mahila Congress chief, held a prayer meet­ing for her fa­ther, vet­eran Congress leader and for­mer Union min­is­ter San­tosh Mo­han Dev, who passed away re­cently. At an event at­tended by So­nia Gandhi, Man­mo­han Singh, Pranab Mukher­jee, P. Chi­dambaram, Ahmed Pa­tel and a host of Congress lead­ers, young Sush­mita gave a very mov­ing speech. Speak­ing sim­ply but elo­quently, she nar­rated how she and her fam­ily were cop­ing with the loss of her fa­ther, draw­ing on in­ci­dents from her every­day life to come to terms with the loss. She also nar­rated how a friend of hers, who had lost his fa­ther in a vi­o­lent death, told her that “You never get used to los­ing some­one, you al­ways think you will see the per­son when you walk into the room. But over time, it will stop hurt­ing so much.” Later, when I asked her, she said the friend in ques­tion was Rahul Gandhi. And cer­tainly Rahul and his fam­ily have seen more than their share of vi­o­lent deaths in his fam­ily. Only re­cently at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, he had re­called how his grand­mother was gunned down by the very guards he used to play bad­minton with. It is hard to come to terms with any death, but grue­some as­sas­si­na­tions take their own toll.

Sush­mita Dev ( left) with the late San­tosh Mo­han Dev.

Congress lead­ers at the prayer meet­ing.

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