Sunday, 11 August 2019


-      As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. Leonardo da Vinci 

-      Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there is no such thing as separation. Rumi

-      Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. Rabindranath Tagore

-      Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride! Hunter S. Thompson

The above are a few quotes that epitomise the glorious Life lived by our Dear Rajendra Bakshi Ji. He was a ‘King for all Seasons’, an empathy-driven leader, loved by his Zuari factory workers. The respect that he earned from them all can be gauged from the fact that thousands of them turned up for his funeral procession and walked from his home to the Vasco Hindu cremation Ground.  In his demise, He’s not gone alone, but a part of us all is gone with Him. The Best tribute that one could pay to a departed loved one is by remembering him through his memorable noble past. Let's revel in and relive those moments with his near and dear ones.

                   I first met Meena’s Mama, Mr Rajendra Bakshi (affectionately called Raju Mama) in Goa in early Jun 1990, when Meena and I were transferred to 315 Sqn, INS Hansa just after we tied the knot on 02 May.

             The first Sunday morning after we arrived in Hansa Wardroom, awaiting allotment of temp Accom of 80-C Wardroom Area, we drove on our Bajaj Cub over the narrow battered road leading to D1, Executive Offrs colony in Zuari Nagar (10 km from Hansa) to meet Raju and his family. As we turned to Bungalow D1, we were delighted to see Raju Mama and Kids (Vinni, Shweta and Rohit) playing cricket, as Anu Mami was intently watching them seated on a chair from their Veranda, as an unofficial Umpire shouting decisions. The Game was halted briefly, as we parked our scooter in the compound paid our respects to Mama-Mami, Raju Mama hugged us and introduced us to the Kids and we too joined the Game of Cricket. It was Fun with intermittent shouts by kids, “Cheating, Cheating” and Anu Mami the Umpire handing out expert decisions.

          After the Game, we went in their Bungalow.  Raju told us how he had just shifted job from Reddy shipping (North Goa)  to Zuari Agro Chemicals. He joined as  a Manager in the Packaging Dept. He once took me to his factory for a walk around and I was amazed at his style of L&M, that he imbibed from RIMC / Navy. All his workers seemed to be fond of him as he addressed all their concerns individually with empathy.

(Flashback: Prior to joining Reddy shipping he spent 10 yrs in the Indian Navy as a robust communication sailor after passing out from RIMC in 1967. He cleared SSB first go but was down in Medicals. But later enrolled as a naval Communication Sailor. I said Robust because he narrated to me a harrowing incident of him sailing on a small naval ship in very rough weather with LtCdr Chikodi (who was his CO). Rajendra Bakshi, LRO(TEL) as the Quarter Master and his CO, were the only two persons on the bridge negotiating the ship in heavy swell when all the other 10 ship’s crew were vomiting in lower decks due to seasickness in heavy rolling and pitching...The CO was all praise for him after the sortie and granted him 2 days off…..)

        Most Sundays either they dropped into our 80-C Wardroom Area First floor house or we drove to their place. Weekends were for fun and frolic. We have ventured out into the nooks and corners of Goa on our scooters initially and later on the second hand Fiat that Raju Mama bought. Our first Picnic was at Doodh Sagar by train from Vasco. The ladies carried the Lunch and we carried a Bottle of Rum and snacks. The additive was the direct splash of Doodh-Sagar fall into the glass. The two of us have driven down to Beach bars a number of times for Fenny, Fish and Chips. He relished Coconut Fenny. We’ve been on a Picnic to Old Goa, Ponda, Madgaon, Panjim  Mandovi, North Goa. He took us to Reddy his previous location. I still remember the delicious dishes his cook made for us all in the Guest House. By his friendly nature, he had ensured a lasting rapport with locals where ever he went. I remember he used to prefer Mutton over chicken and relished the Gravy in a separate bowl. He favoured a particular Biryani joint between Goa and Mumbai. Lately, it so happened that Rohit was driving him to Pune to be with his elder brother and all three sisters. They, unfortunately, crossed that Biryani shop and when He asked Rohit about it, the reply was, “Dad we have left it 55km back”. Raju said, “But I told you to stop there, Turn back right now.” So, Rohit had to turn back to comply with Dad’s unquestionable religious orders for a delectable chicken Biryani Lunch. Sarita Masi has rightly described her Brother Raju in one word, “FOODIE”. 

          Another incident that comes to mind was Meena’s first delivery. On 09 Oct 1991, Meena complained of labour pains a week prior to the due date. So I took a day off from squadron, escorted Meena and her mother in Ambulance to MH Panjim as the Gynaec at Jeevanti was away. Raju Mama had been informed, so when we reached MH via Jeevanti, Raju was already present there. After Meena had been taken to the Labour room, I went across to the Army Offrs’ Mess for Accom booking. When I returned, Raju Mama hugged me with congratulations, “Oye Munda hoya ee”…I went and had a look at the pink bundle of joy beside Meena and the beaming Nani of the newborn. Raju told them, “Assi hun aande aan”….He took me to the Zuari river side Bar shack and ordered for two congratulatory drinks with snacks. As we uttered cheers with the clanking of Pegs, he asked me,” Naam kya Socha hai”….I  took a sip, looked up at the crimson clouds in the reflection of the red setting Sun in the Sky and dreamily uttered, “Aakash”….The name was unique in those days. Raju loved it and recommended it to his Sister and Meena…Well, that was it….Aakash (28) today is away sailing in SCI’s SS Disha (VLGC) and pays his tearful tribute to his Raju Nana. 

        Empathy-driven Raju Mama had been a source of moral courage and strength to my cousin Sangeeta Dutta, after her humble husband Lt Jaydeep Dutta (O) was snatched away from her and two adorable kids by the cruel fatal collision of  IL-38s over Goa 18 yrs ago.   

    My Brother and Me: My association with my younger Brother Raj started with the News brought home by my Sister Sharda that I had a younger brother now lying next to my Mother. My dominance in my Mother’s lap was the domain of my younger brother. I was thrilled that now I had someone to play with or rather bully right at home. Our association took a turn when Raj started to walk and talk. Life became better and better for both of us. We could now confide in one another, share secrets, an enemy of either had to face grudges of both. Of course, we had our differences. Take eating habits, for instance. I could eat anything prepared by Mom, whereas he was very selective or rather preferred to eat food that wasn't prepared by Mom. We tried all the tricks to make him eat home food.  

          I joined St Helena’s for my class I and II, while he was enrolled in St Mary’s for the same. Ultimately we both grew up studying in Bishop’s Pune. It won’t be justice on my part if I don’t touch upon his first day in School. After the School finished our Hero decided to walk back home, rather than wait for me to escort him back safely. He walked and walked and then and there decided to become the Southern Army Commander. Since he felt tired, He entered the Army Commander’s Bungalow. Meanwhile, we all were hunting for him from home to school. What a sigh of relief we had when the Principal declared that the Kid had been found and was coming back in Army Commander’s Staff Car. So you see, his standards had always been high.

        We used to go to school on a cycle. I used to drive and he used to sit on carrier. One day we decided to take the route via the Bund Garden. Least expecting our father to be following us. Is till remember the spanking we got for every two slaps I would get he would get only one. The privilege of the younger brother. I joined RIMC and moved to Dehradun. He continued to study in Bishops. Now we did not have a cycle to go here and there,  we used yo borrow our father's cycle. One day, as usual, we were getting late to come home. Raju the ever-resourceful person came up with a short cut to go home. We just took of merrily paddling away, Raj singing a song so that we don't scared. What a scare we got when we just took off, both flying in the air cycle lost from under us, both landed on the ground, both got up asking about each other's injuries, half expecting yo have some bone fractured, but luck was on our side. No injuries,  no damage to the cycle, so we took off for home. Parked the cycle had dinner and went off to sleep.imagine the shock we got when we were woken up with father yelling away at us and we both pretending to sleep. The Fork of the cycle was broken. We were not being yelled at for breaking the fork but for not checking the cycle after having a fall. We could have got injured badly if the fork had given up completely. Those were the days when we two were one soul with two bodies.

       Slowly but steadily we started to grow, taking responsibilities as they came our way. Then Raj joined me at the RIMC and the authorities decided to put both of us in the same section that us the Ranjit Section. Imagine two brothers in the same Section one about to pass out and the other just a First termer. That is the time when he wrote to father that he does not have a brother but the biggest enemy in the school. But I knew him well I knew all his habits and tried my best to get him into the right track before I leaving the school. I think that was the only time he ate whatever was given to him. But then I went  off to NDA and he continued to study in RIMC. He picked so.e good sporting habits there. He became a loving brother and a helpful friend. Earned a lot of praise from his course mates, juniors and the Teachers. It is here that he became a very good boxer. He showed his talent in dramatic activity and singing. Unlike me, he became a very handsome man.

        He was looking smarter and smarter. A lot of mischief in him. We had a lot of fun during this period. After I passed out of IMA  Raj did not make it to NDA. This is where his life changed completely. He went into a phase of life where he had no aim in life, did not know what to do. Study or look for a job. That is how he started making friends who were not good for him. By then we got into touch again. I was posted at NDA so he could come to my place whenever he wanted.
He would take my scooter on Saturday and bring it back on Sunday evening with no petrol in it. He tied to help Papa to run his business but failed. Picked up habits like smoking etc. These habits did contribute to his getting sick in the end.
My elder sister did help him to join the Navy hoping that he could become an officer, but by then did not care much about his future. Meanwhile, he got married and after putting in 10 years of service he resigned. Throughout this period we were not in touch as we used to be before.

         After his resignation, he got a job in a God-forsaken place called Reddy. I believe the job was tough but he managed it well. That’s  how he came to Goa.



             I first met Raju mama in Kochi in 1969 when he came to meet his sister ( my future mother in law). I was a 10 a year-old boy who had just come to the city and he had just passed out of RIMC one of the best schools in the country. Needless to say, I was very impressed by his English and by his style. A handsome young lad of about 18 years he was all that I wanted to be. Thereafter we met occasionally though they were brief encounters at the Bakhshi residence. But whenever we met his jovial nature and warmth always came through. After I got married to his niece also we were more like friends than relatives. I normally called him Raju changing over to the more polite Raju mama in recent years. During his last two visits to Mumbai, I called him home. Though he was not in very good health he came and we spent some quality time together. Since we are vegetarians and my son Varun is non-veg he ordered non-veg food for him on both occasions. He managed to connect well with Varun. He wanted to visit my office n we spent some time there too. Despite the fact he was so unwell he remained cheerful always. when I visited Goa for a friend's sons marriage he picked me up from the guest house and dropped me back. But I don’t believe I knew him well at all because there was a part of his personality which I was exposed to only during his funeral. It was amazing to see how popular he was with the workers who worked under him. Thousands of workers poured out to pay homage to him during his last journey. Many of the women were crying profusely. Several hundred attended the funeral. The farewell speech by the workers and the management of his company was very touching and spoke volumes about his humane nature and love for his subordinates. I shall miss him. Goa shall not be the same without him. Dear Raju mama May you rest in peace and keep smiling that wonderful smile where’ve you are.



          One word which describes my brother other than being caring n jolly is "FOODIE". He was the perfect example of "living life to the fullest". A complete foodie by heart n also ever-demanding nature ordering me to prepare "paya"(A lamb’s Leg) whenever he visited us no matter which season it was.

I remember a few instances about my brother.

1)    When we were small he uses to help me in maths by prompting answers standing behind daddy, when daddy use to ask me dodging tables.

2)    He used to flick chicken from my plate when we use to have meals together, a habit that used to annoy me then n makes me smile now.

3)   Whenever he wanted to have "paya" we had to search mostly all places in and around Kandivali n Borivali during rains to find it in Mira road n finally cooked for him. His satisfying eyes after having what he likes the most was fulfilling to me as a sister.

              There are many such memories,  where I remember him n it leaves tears in my eyes n also smile on my face. It's said that we all will meet again in another world in future. I love u my brother n I will surely miss u lots.


         RIP Mammu...You will always be missed. You were part of our childhood...Giving money to us kids for hiring a cycle and that way we learnt cycling...The love for special food items...Always remembered whenever I prepared finger fries. I always admired the way you enjoyed life...with all that pain you were always with a smile...I too admired the way you threw your tantrums like a kid...Will miss all this...I even recall that we as Kids addressed you as ‘Raju’, got scolded from Mom to call you Mama/ Uncle….When we called you ‘Uncle’, You never responded as you were used to ‘Raju’ (Questioned us, "Where's  Uncle?") and instructed us to address you as before, ‘RAJU’ !!…... Though we couldn't meet more often, I could feel that Something is missed from my life. The utmost care and attention that I got in those 3yrs in GOA can never be expressed...Miss you...miss u...Wherever you are in peace...wait for us day we too will be there...I wish the FB account goes wherever you go and am sure I would have rec'd instant response...Love you Mamaji....RIP... Om Shanti, Sadgati



              One Paradigm that defines the success of a Person’s Life encompasses on how he has brought up his children and how well they are placed in Society. From that angle both Raju mama and Anu Mami have been glorious in their lives.  They have wonderfully brought up their children and well settled them on their journey of Life. The ever dynamic Vinni (Vineeta Adpaikar) is an events manager in Goa and married to Sachin Adpaikar and blessed with 2 boys. Younger daughter Shweta  had specialised in  medicine and is married to a dashing Naval Officer Lt Abhishek Varshney presently posted to Goa. They are blessed with an adorable kid. Son Rohit is sailing in a cruise liner as a supervisor.

           Yet another Paradigm translated the Success of a person is the image that he has created about himself amongst his contemporaries. Raju Mama’s classmates in RIMC joined the 39th NDA course. And although he wasn’t an officer in the Armed Forces, yet he got invited to the RIMCOLIAN’s gettogether every year and rubbed shoulders with Generals and Admirals. RIMCOLIANs Unity defines the benchmark for human bonding…Jai Ho.  


            Of late Raju Mama’s and Anu Mami’s Diabetes had worsened affecting Kidneys and both were on dialysis. On 05 evening both had just returned home after dialysis treatment when Raju Mama complained of general uneasiness in chest and wanted to lie down. Anu Mami tried to help him to bed when he collapsed and breathed his last.

            The funeral was performed by his Son Rohit on 07th Aug at Vasco Hindu Cremation Ground. The procession was huge and thousands of his factory workers, friends and relatives had taken part in the procession to bid their final Sayonara to their most humble Leader. 

           The Spirit of Raju Mama shall never Die, the words of Douglas MacArthur always remind us, soldiers:

-      Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away! Douglas McArthur

But  memories of this noble Samaritan, an inspiring leader shall always remain fresh in our lives forever inspiring us in our times of adversity…He walked like an emperor. He was a King, ‘A King for all Season’….Salutes.  


P.S. -   FOOTNOTE - Raju was the fourth child of Shri Laxmi Narayan Bakshi (Army JCO) and Mrs Shrishthi Bakshi, after three elder siblings Mrs Urmila Bakshi (spouse- LtCdr VP Bakshi), Mrs Sharda Sharma (spouse- Mr Yograj Sharma) and Col Ashok Bakshi (spouse - Mrs Nirmal Bakshi). and later a younger sister Mrs Sarita Mehta (spouse - Mr Rajesh Mehta).  

             Raju's Jeejaji, Late LtCdr VP Bakshi, the First Diver of Indian Navy,  was instrumental in Mr Rajendra Bakshi's enrolment in the Indian Navy after his RIMC.


  1. A blog worthy for a brother, husband, father, father in law and the greatest Manager of men
    Proud of you Brother Raj
    No RIMCOLIAN meet will the same after this
    May your soul rest in peace
    Waiting for our next birth when we will again be together.
    Bye Bye
    Wait for me so that we come back again as brothers.

  2. Ramesh Rocky Bakshi writes .... Very sad demise of my dearest brother Raj,so many sweet memories of our childhood spent together during my stay with Taya jee.Atrue frnd Nd a loving brother he was.May god bless his noble soul.Ramesh.