Sunday, September 17, 2017


Detailed to serve a second tenure in the tribal district of Kinnaur, , in December, 1996 albeit on a higher post , as my vehicle stopped at the gate of Deputy Commissioner’s office at Rekong Peo, the first person to greet me or rather welcome me with a smile in Kinnaur was Gopal, the driver. His words ‘Sir, dubara aa gaye Kinnaur !’ still ring in my ears. He knew me from my days at Pooh, where I had served a full tenure as Tehsildar from 1986 to 1989. Gopal was the driver of ADC Pooh and a few times ferried me too, as I did not have the facility of a Government vehicle at that time. Pleasantries over, he told me that he was attached with SDM, Nichar ( Bhabanagar ) and had come to the district HQ with him . My office being in the DC office building itself, he routinely met me whenever he came to Peo. After some more than two years , came the shocking news of his sudden death.. I felt duty bound to offer my condolences to his bereaved family . The day came too soon.. We had gone to attend the cremation of local soldier martyred in action in J & K , at a place marked for the occasion and it was a ceremonial cremation with customary military gun salute . After the ceremony was over, Sonam ji, an XEN of the PWD at that time , who still happens to be a close friend and who knew and was familiar with Gopal as much as I was, proposed that we go to offer our condolence to Gopal’s family. Off we went to his place at village Taranda , a steep climb above the Taranda Dhank, which is famous for a temple on the National Highway. It transpired that Gopal had slipped down and had hit himself while assisting the Telephone people in pulling the cables on a holiday. Misfortunes never come alone I later learnt that his brother too had expired within days. 
But then, life goes on …………

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