Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Losing a friend

October 9, 2014: The Pujas are over and after the holidays Kolkata is slowly getting back to its normal routine again. Our work, however, continues during the Pujas with various commitments and targets to meet during the festive season.During the Pujas, I received a message that Mr William Shija, Secretary General, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is no more. During my last trip to London I met him three times and I have known him for a long time. 
During my meeting with him in London, he told me that he had plans to visit Delhi in the first week ofOctober. Last week when I spoke to him over phone he told me he wasn't keeping well. 
I was supposed to attend the 60th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Yaounde, Cameroon, between 2 to 10th October, 2014. But because of my other commitments in puja festival and as William Shija himself deciding not to attend the conference due to ill health, I had called off my trip although in my last meeting with Ms Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, I had confirmed to her that I was going to Cameroon. 
As his mobile phone was switched off, I phoned Mr Shija's office to find out if he was in Delhi, I was told that he was on leave as he was unwell. I asked his office whether he was coming to India and I was asked to call up the next day. Before, I could call up his office, I got a call from a common friend that he had expired about an hour back. I lost a friend and I pray his soul rests in peace. 
During the Pujas, I also received a text from my cartoonist friend Sudhir Tailang that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and had a brain surgery scheduled for tomorrow. He also joked with me that if he comes out safely, the first cartoon he would draw would be mine. The news of his brain surgery really got me worried. 
Today morning I called his cellphone and spoke to his daughter Aditi while he was in surgery. A couple of hours later when I spoke to her again she told me that the surgery was over but they still waiting to meet him. 
Life is so full of uncertainties and can, in a moment, swing from happiness to sadness or the other way round. But life, good or bad, goes on. I am leaving tomorrow for Rajasthan for the weekend.
ess bee

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