Rita Manchanda


I came to know Daya much later after Tapan had worked a mystique around him of the Bhopal days of someone with rare commitment a soul mate of sorts in politics, in idealism, in living life to the full ….. For him he was the repository of the last resort of all knowledge – medical, scientific and Tapan would constantly refer to him and .the wonderful days spent together. He was Tapan’s elder brother. 


And then I met Daya on a trip to Kashmir when to my surprise he would be my companion at day break when he – turned insomniac as a result of the claustrophobia induced by the oppressive militarisation of Srinagar – would be pacing the common hallway of the Hotel. Then again there were lighter moments on the houseboat- sans souci – when he would playfully rebuke the still dazzled couple- Sahba and Gautam to reserve their ardour for more private moments.


That day we were lunching at the IIC and Neeraj and Javed came by to say Hello and the conversation turned to Daya and friends who were and had been part of that charmed circle  – known to Javed and Tapan. Returning home -there was an email from Sushil Khanna.

Daya touched so many lives in so many ways. I wish I had known him better, Big men leave such huge gaps in our lives. But we are lucky to have known and loved them.

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