Adieu Putu Da alias Shambhu Burman…

Memory flashes back to Chakradharpur where my Father was posted in SE Rly in 1959. I was in Class I in a Rly convent. The migratory nature of a rly job had my Dad looking for a good boarding school to ensure continuity of my studies. Mr Burman, a colleague in RPF, had his two sons Shankar(Bapi) and Shambbu(Putu) studying in Oak Grove, Mussorrie. Both were outstanding sportsmen and brought home heaps of cups and medals during their winter holidays. Mesmerised by the glitter of trophies that adorned their home my Father decided to put me there. In 1960 we made our first visit to the school, and I joined the next year.

It was on the sports fields that I witnessed their unmatched prowess. Shankar(Bapi Da) was a legendary sprinter whose legs faded in haze in 100m and relay races. Shambhu, the younger brother, was an all round sportsman, and left his mark wherever he trod. Smiling, effervescent and friendly they were legends of our school days.

Time flies, life moves on. Our Fathers moved on into the afterlife, and Shambhu has now joined them in the trail that Covid leaves behind. Farewell Putu Da, may you find your peace in heaven. Though I did not exactly match up to your level of play, I did learn to play in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the honour of our school and the glory of sports.

– Partho Paul (1969 Batch)

This eulogy was shared on email by Parthasarathi Paul on his Facebook profile on November 10, 2020.


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