There are some moments in every body’s life when they are overwhelmingly nervous . I am exactly having that strange kind of feeling right now as I am trying to pen down a thing or two about my Bapa . This is because his stature is way-way bigger than my mind can perceive and my words can describe. I have always felt fortunate to be born in a family which has Balaram Dash in it’s lineage . I am blessed to be his grandson.

For every one , the memories and emotions that weaves this sweet bond with their grand parents comes from their childhood days. We were no exception . Every summer , we would wait for the holidays to come so that we can go to our village and that wait was real sweet as it would end up in the most serene laps of my Bapa and Maa . Their delicious smile would engulf us in their utterly lovely world and we would feel as reborn again..Every small activities that we did with our Bapa and Maa have been etched deep in our mind and has enriched our childhood . To name a few would be Durga pujas , Rajas, our thread ceremony and the most special one would be those story telling sessions with Bapa , where by means of stories , Bapa would teach us some deep lessons on various subjects . Now we realize how fortunate we were to hear those stories from the great man himself .. Just as the start of the holidays would give us the joy , the end would make us gloomy . The parting with our grandparents were always sad . Their teary eyes filled with affection would make us long for their presence more and more . Till today , when we go there , the subconscious mind searches for them . It just secretly wishes that Bapa and Maa would come from some where and would embrace us with a smile reserved only for grandchildren .

As we grew up , Bapa was very keenly following how our career was shaping up . He gave top most priority to our education and wanted us to to pursue higher education. Every one in our family knows , how keen he was for my marriage . And hence no wonder , Mona and Bapa also shared a special bond .

Bapa had many qualities to be revered for . If I would sketch some , they would be knack of finding talented young promising students and shaping up their career , immaculate discipline and principle , integrity , attention to physical fitness. But the one that deeply moved me was his mountain size determination . He was 86 when Maa left us . Village temple was in final stages . Any one in that situation would have been shattered . But not Bapa . He told “ Kalia tu ee ki parikhya nauchu mora .. Kintu mu tathabi mandira thia karibi . “ ( O Lord Jagannath , how hard are you testing me ..But no worries I will make sure that the temple’s flag will be hoisted nice and high ). Impossible determination he had .. If iota of that quality would come to us , that would do us a world of good .

Finally , any mention of the final stages of Bapa’s life can not be told without mentioning Sunil Piyusha and Tuli nani .. Bapa lived his last phase of the life in the happiest possible way . Every one who knows a thing about Bapa , knows that how deeply he loved Sunder gaan and not any force could move him from there . But for Piyusha and Nani’s love , Rourkela was his second home. No surprise here , Bapa breathed his last in the arms of Nani and Piyusha .Nani and Piyusha are the daughter and son every family will be blessed to have . They are the angels , we can all be proud of .

Finally , when during our childhood days in Durga puja , he would carry us in his shoulder , we were filled with boundless joy and excitement. And now , when we carried our Bapa in our shoulders during his final journey , we felt a sense of fulfillment and I am sure he would also be smiling from heaven .

Love you Bapa..