"It's not a goodbye but farewell till we meet again, Jayati Di!" - By Sanghita Pal
May 6, 7.11 pm…
…a message from a friend flashed on my mobile screen, “Jayatidi of Women’s College, Silchar succumbs to COVID”. That she was unwell and admitted to ICU of Silchar Medical College & Hospital I was aware of but that she would pass away was the last thing for me to accept. I went into that denial mode but a call came from Silchar confirming her death. And then calls started pouring in. So many fond memories spent with her started rushing in. I was weeping, heartbroken, feeling helpless, and unable to console myself.
May 8, 9.20 pm…
A call came from Barak Bulletin asking if I could share my memories with Jayatidi in writing. I readily accepted saying that I could also share some memorable clicks with her without actually assessing if I could do justice to her pleasant personality, the genuine human being that she was, and the indelible mark she has left on the sands of time.
May 9, 10.00 am…
It’s Tagore’s 160th birth anniversary and Mother’s Day as well. Recalling I have a deadline to deliver the write-up, I sat down with my laptop on. Realising that I would never hear her calling me SANGHITA in such an endearing manner, tears welled up— the smiling, cute face of Jayatidi flashed. I remained blank for some time. Just then, my son came near to me, hugged, and wished me a happy Mother’s Day assuring that everything would be back on track, the maddening mess all around would subside soon and the world would again be a better place to live in.
While the world is celebrating this beautiful day, my heart goes out to the innocent son of Jayatidi who must be still waiting for his mother to return from the hospital, hale, and hearty. My heart goes out to Rajadada who might still have the slightest hope of his beloved wife to return from the hospital, hale, and hearty. I am still mustering the courage to call him and find out how they are coping up. My heart goes out to her younger sister who ran pillar to post to save her elder sister. My heart goes out to her mother—how could she accept such irreplaceable loss—her daughter gone too soon. My heart goes out to the entire fraternity of her well-wishers, her students, her colleagues who used to love and adore her for her amicable nature.
Although the entire world has gone into a global catastrophe with SARS COVID-19 creating havoc all across the world, we have been accommodating and adapting to the new normal for the past year. This tiny little monster has challenged the whole human beings but it has also taught us to celebrate small things and value relationships. Suddenly, we realise that power, beauty, and money are worthless, and can’t get us the oxygen we are fighting for. We should respect this planet and take care of it, and focus on peace, healthcare and education. The blind race of economy and weapons can’t save lives.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful. However, it has put humans into cages sending us a message that we are not indispensable. The air, water, sky, fire, and earth are just fine without us. When we return, we should remember that we are guests. Not the masters.
Jayatidi was an Assistant Professor, Department of Bengali literature in Women’s College, Silchar. Apart from that, she had a cultural bent of mind and was a popular anchor and elocutionist of Barak Valley. She anchored many shows at Doordarshan Kendra, Silchar, and All India Radio, Silchar.
Sharing a solo presentation in 2020 by Dr. Jayati Chakravarty to commemorate the supreme sacrifice by the language martyrs of Barak Valley, UNISH NIYE MUKHOR STHOBOK, on behalf of Suramya Chhandabasar:
The following is the YouTube link of Suramya Chhandabasar with which she was closely associated where a few poems of Jayatidi (solo and chorus) are uploaded:
I am still clueless as to how to describe the unadulterated relationship that I used to share with her—a loving, caring, hospitable, happy-go-lucky female, she was more than an elder sister to me. A warm-hearted well-wisher who never cared for what would the world say…she was the fearless queen of her own will, who could laugh heartily at any given situation, perhaps she embraced death too in that spirited manner.
Your memories will be always cherished, Jayatidi till we meet again!
In the words of Tagore quoted in Gitanjali:
“Death, thy servant, is at my door. He has crossed the unknown sea and brought thy call to my home.
The night is dark and my heart is fearful—yet I will take up the lamp, open my gates and bow to him my welcome. It is thy messenger who stands at my door.
I will worship him placing at his feet the treasure of my heart.
He will go back with his errand done, leaving a dark shadow on my morning; and in my desolate home only my forlorn self will remain as my last offering to thee.”
The author of this article, Sanghita Pal is a content writer, editor.