By Anitah Aujayeb
After the assassination of the Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the then prime minister of India stated in his address to the Indian nation “The light has gone out and there is darkness everywhere”.
I thought there would be no better sentence to start this Billet d’Adieu to my brother Rajbuns Pulton who left his home at Lady Twining Street, Beau Bassin to reach the supreme abode of eternity on 24 February 201. As soon as I put down the receiver which had announced the news of his parting, these lines of Pandit Nehru flashed into my consciousness. But then after the initial pain, wisdom dawned upon me to scribble today instead that “He was the light in our lives and the glow of the light that he has left behind, will always shine. So there cannot be darkness.”
My brother Rajbuns was such an entity who walked with light, his
advices were enlightening, his life was light, so how can there be darkness?
I will not today, dear Bhaya, grieve in pain of your demise; I will celebrate your life.
In the words of Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita Gita, I will say: “Kaunteya pratijanihi na me bhakta pranasyati” — O Son of Kunti, I declare it boldly that my devotee never perishes.
In the words of Shakespeare as fell the great Caesar — “When beggars die, there are no comets seen/Heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” And a prince you were, and a princely life you had.
Rajbuns Pulton, son of Ganga Maraz, illustrious figure of the small village of St Julien village, who had migrated to the town of Beau Bassin, was till last week the “doyen” of our clan, the “rassembleur” par excellence, and an intellectual of great calibre. He was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) for his meritorious acts in his professional as well as social life.
A man of great endeavour he reached to be the commissioner of the Rural Development Unit after going up various rungs of the ladder in the public sector.
I celebrate today his Olympian strength to help ever and hurt never, and who never let down any of those who depended on him.
I recall today his sense of humour which brought smiles on all lips. I bow down today to the great reader that he was who could not be taken for a ride in any subject or about any book.
What I will celebrate today through these lines is his image of the perfectly attired gentleman in front of whom we felt so unkempt and his great sense of elegance — he told me once how he was disturbed as I presented a TV program in the hair style he didn’t like.
I honour today your sense of commitment to the family with the principle of “why fear when I am here”, to your being a great father who made not only his children but all children in his surroundings, good intellectuals and civilised citizens of the country.
I applaud today your greatest achievement, that of being a good husband to my sister in law, who saw in you a father, a guide and a friend, and to your spiritual convictions which believed that service to man is service to God.
Such a complete man, such a full life deserves not to be mourned, such a great soul needs be celebrated, so we will surely celebrate and sing your glory.
But I cannot help adding here, the thing which moves me tremendously, that I have lost my role model, the one whose hand remained on my head in pain and pleasure alike, whose influence and motivation made me climb the ladder of progress. I kept going up because I knew he would be there in the end to clap for me.
I will miss you very much on the launch of my latest book quite soon, You never missed any of them before.
I will end here quoting Lamartine: « Le livre de la vie est le livre suprême qu’on ne peut ni r’ouvrir ni fermer de son choix. On voudrait tant revenir à la page que l’on aime. Mais la page où l’on meurt est déjà sous nos doigts. »
* Published in print edition on 3 March 2011