13 June, 2021

Bahuguna Diary: 'Sunderlal Bahuguna, My Father, Is No Longer With Us…'

Need one say more? Read the iconic environmental activist’s life as the son saw it.

Illustration by Saahil
Bahuguna Diary: 'Sunderlal Bahuguna, My Father, Is No Longer With Us…'
Passing By Nature

Sunderlal Bahuguna, my father, is no longer with us. He breathed his last at the age of 94 on May 21. I began to feel his absence only when I started receiving hundreds of calls from well-wishers offering condolences. But his absence is just physical and insignificant. Way back in 1996, while my father was sitting on his longest fast, 72 days, and his health was deteriorating fast, the Dalai Lama had sent a message telling him that death is inevitable, but it should be natural—like a ripe fruit falling to the ground from the tree. In keeping with my father’s innate spirit and nature, I consider his passing during a national calamity a natural one.

Like a Commoner

Let me recall an incident in my father’s life to explain exactly what I mean. Long ago, he was once returning to his village in a bus when one of its wheels suddenly came off on a narrow and muddy road. The bus, crammed with...

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