“যতই বড় হও , তুমি তো মৃত্যুর চেয়ে বড় নও, আমি মৃত্যু চেয়ে বড় , এই শেষ কথা বলে যাব আমি চলে। “
“Jotoi boro ho-o, tumi to mrityur cheye boro no-o. Ami mrityu cheye boro, ei shesh kotha bole jabo ami chole.”
“However great you may get to be, you can never surpass Death! I am greater than Death, with these words I shall bid adieu…”
The 22nd of Shraban, one of the few days of the Bengali calender people tend to remember. (others being the 1st of Baisakh or Poila Boisakh, the Bengali New Year, and of course the quintessential goosebumpy day, Ponchishe Boisakh, Rabindranath Tagore’s birthday) But why a death day, why is death celebrated? Hinduism doesn’t celebrate death, men tend not to. What is inevitable, is an adventure in itself and is the culmination of events throughout something as big as life itself.
On this 22nd of Shraban , my school lost a great teacher – Prabir Sir. Someone who loved to bring out the interesting things in mathematics and teach them to lower mortals like us, Prabir Sir had carved out a niche for himself in the hearts of innumerable pointers. His stylish demeanour , French-cut beard and sunglasses, T-shirts and jeans made him all the more acceptable to the students, all the more free and joyful. But he would always stick to his trusty rusty scooter. Something we made fun of. Something we were going to regret later, as this scooter would be his undoing, this scooter would betray him and land him beneath that bus on the fateful day.
One life lost amidst the teeming millions that make up the city, the country, the world, the universe. An insignificant collection of molecules in the infinitude that is the cosmos? But he meant the world to a lot of insignificant people here on Earth, those whom he taught the ‘mojar byapar’ in mathematics.
As long as that ‘moja’ exists, the legacy of Prabir Sir will be carried along in his students. He has become Mrityunjay – the conqueror of Death, for Death has dealt its worst blow to him, extinguished his life, but it can do little more to remove the marks he left on the hearts of so many.
He has gained to a certain extent what many choose to gain in their lives – immortality. Not literally, in one’s creation – কীর্তির্যস্য সজীবতী !