Daddy – The Great Connector and My Guru

My connection with daddy (as I lovingly called him) started long before me and Aneesh were married...
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When you lose not just a father (I mean my Father-in-law), but a best friend, a mentor, an encourager and the partner in crime, no amount of grief can hold you tight. Still, I need to stay strong and striving for the closed ones. Because, it’s important to hold others with your strength who are more vulnerable at this point. Because, I am the chosen one.

Daddy (as I lovingly called him) lived a peaceful and content life, now Rest in peace Daddy. He chose to be born on the day of auspicious festival of Holi and leave the mortal world on Diwali in search of a better world.


Wishing him a great stay there. I wish he will be able to spread his charm there too. We will miss him and celebrate him in each and every happiness of ours. He loved spreading happiness and connecting with people, so will we. It’s a promise to be his chosen flag bearer of happiness and connection forever. We Hope he returns to this world in some form and will find this world better than before!

My connection with daddy (as I lovingly called him) started long before me and Aneesh were married. Our gang of college friends were visiting Ooty, Aneesh was part of the group, hence he offered us a pit stop at Coimbatore, where his family lived. I am ever thankful to him for introducing me to Daddy. A man with impeccable sense of compassion towards others and unique sense of humor. He had an uncanny ability to connect with anyone from any walks of life with his outward focus.

I was enamored by his simplicity, positivity and fun nature in the first interaction itself. This was the first time I had seen an Army Officer so jovial, easy going and open to hear other’s perspectives. Even before I could realize he had connected with me at a larger level. I was changing as a person for good, becoming more compassionate, and accommodating towards others. He had already become my favorite uncle among all of my friends’ parents.

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When he offered to give us a tour of Raksha (his place of work and worship, a Palliative Care unit for terminally ill patients of Cancer, Aids etc. He was an Army Doctor, who chose to devote his career to care for the terminally ill patients.), I was imagining the place to be a gloomy and sad looking one. What else can we expect from a home for terminally ill patients! Guess what, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lively, fun and positive atmosphere in Raksha. The patients whom we met were in immense pain and were in their final days, but they were happy, they were laughing and they had positive zeal in them. I saw Daddy joking with them so that the fun atmosphere doesn’t die down.

The connection he established with the patients and their families was remarkable. Everyone happened to be happy around him. They loved being around him and always looked for him when they needed help. He had become their messiah just because of his thought process, genuineness and dedication towards them. I felt as if magic was unfolding in front of me. As an young adult, this experience shaped my mind, my thinking and my approach towards life.

That visit to Raksha changed me as a person completely. I kept thinking how can a person be so positive and full of life even after seeing death every single day! This profound thought prompted me to idolize him in my heart, so that one day I could be like him. I became his Ekalavya and he became my Dronacharya!

Thanks to daddy for showing me the ways unknowingly through which I can connect with anyone. How to have an outward focus, how to be compassionate and open minded. He was my first guru who taught me that it’s not necessary everything around us needs to fall into a stereotype. Possibilities are endless, we just need to be open to unusual things in life.


We will miss his guidance, however it’s a promise to continue his legacy in the best of my abilities. It’s a promise to enable people connect with each other better and lead a much happier and fulfilled life.

Love you Daddy!

Certain digital footprint of his work:


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0 Responses

  1. I have become a big fan of your blogs (browsed through couple of them already)… Srijata Bhatnagar.. Well connected stories (Liked the earlier one Kashmir journey with bollywood songs recorded as part of your memories) and now a deep connected story of your father-in-law with some memories (photos+videos) makes it feel that we are experiencing witnessing it live while going through every sentence of your blog.

  2. Srijata, aren’t you assuming wrong that your Daddy is not with you? He is very much there in what he taught you and introduced you through his NGO Raksha? The empathy that you have for people, the positive outlook you have for life, the way you relate to people, are all signs of his living in you. May be he is not there in body, but he is in you in spirit.

    This is the best tribute a father can ever expect from his daughter – whether biological or in-law!

    1. Thank you Surendro Ji. You are absolutely right. I was, is and will be there in my spirit. I would love to imbibe each and every quality he had. That would be my true tribute to him 🙂

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