It was a rainy evening of August 2003, a Sangh pracharak hailing from Kerala, P. Pradeepan, came to me. He used to often visit me. That day he presented a couple of brochures to me for reading, and the book, The tragic story of Partition by Shri H.V. Seshadri and asked me to translate the book in Assamese. I asked him ?What for?? He replied, ?to publish?. He added, ?this book has been translated in many languages but not Assamese?. I could not refuse. He gave me a time of about two to three months.
As I had committed, I went through the book. After reading a couple of pages I came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for me to translate the book, as I was a student of science from class VIII onwards, I had no knowledge of history and geography. Moreover, the author had used so many words for a single meaning.
I was waiting for Shri Pradeepan. He came and asked me whether I had started the translation of book or not. I asked him, do you know the author? I want to write a letter to him regarding the book. Will you give me the address. Look Pradeepan, I have no knowledge of history and geography, and you have found nobody except me to do this tough job. Anyway, I will write him a letter first.
Giving the address Pradeepan said, ?What would you write?? I answered, Well, I will show you. As far as my memory goes in the letter I first gave my identity. I wrote that I am not a swayamsevak. I am an Assamiya. I love my Assam much more than India.
Then I added, ?I have no knowledge of history and geography and I am very poor in English. I would be happy if I get a reply from you.?
In the meantime, I came to know a lot of things about Seshadriji from Paradeepan. It was a matter of surprise that within a few days I received a letter from Seshadriji. It was so sweet and so charming; I was prevailed upon to take up the arduous task.
The letter follows and it impressed me:
?Affectionate good wishes and namaskar,
A couple of days back I received your September 11 letter. It was indeed a pleasant surprise that you could write with such utter frankness to a stranger like me!
As to a few problems mentioned by you, I can only suggest that nothing is out of reach if only we make sincere, hard and persistent efforts to overcome them. Whether it is changing one'snature or overcoming our dislikes in any particular aspect, which is necessary to eliminate our inner mental conflicts and resulting unhappiness.
So far as your diffidence in translating, The tragic story of Partition is concerned, you can start doing the effort for a few, say, 8-10 pages, and send the piece to a person proficient both in English and Assamese languages and seek his advice whether you should continue the exercise. And inform Shri Pradeepan also accordingly. You can also tell him that I have suggested this course to you.?
Days and months went by, a few correspondence took place between us through the medium of letters, which are preserved in the golden box of my memory. I had two occasions to send compliments to Seshadriji. One was through, Bihu-aan and other Bihur-olog. I had not mentioned my address in the letters. The great man whom I respect very much sent his reply via Guwahati Sangh Karyalaya. In the letter he wrote to me that ?since you had not mentioned your address in the letter I am replying this way?.
Yes, a great person of rare personality?who was so busy, had to correspond so many persons, never forgetting to reply. It is the broadness of Seshadriji. So great a person he was that he congratulated me on completion of the task.
Last year when a Zilla Pracharak, Shri Gauranga came to me on the morning of August 15, and informed me about the sudden demise of Seshadriji on August 14, 2005 in Bangalore I remained silent for a while. For a moment I felt that I had become an orphan, as I had lost my mentor and guide with whom I could share my feelings.
After the translation of the book, The tragic story of Partition, I earned knowledge of my country, the story of pre-Independence followed by the Independence of Akhanda Bharat. Yes, it is a satisfaction to me. The great soul departed on a day prior to the sacred day of Akhanda Bharat'sIndependence Day. The great man who was a rare personality is no more. For me it is a sweet remembrance. And I remember his advice whenever I face any problem.
At his first death anniversary I bow my head in his honour.