I opened the e edition of today’s Sunday Times with great deal of apprehension whether my favourite Sunday feature “Ganesha says” by inimitable Bejan Daruwalla would be there or not! The reason for this apprehension was a news earlier this week that the world’s famous astrologer had fallen prey to this deadly Corona virus and breathed his last at a hospital in Gandhinagar.
Born in a Parsi family in Mumbai, he was an ardent devotee of Lord Ganesha and attributed his skill and ability to make accurate predictions to the power he derived from the elephant god.
What was so unique about Bejan Daruwalla in a land where every other person is either a mystic or a soothsayer or a God man? It was his ability to infuse tremendous positivity into the most grim of the situations. He would explain the problem clearly￼, highlighting its down sides and then invariably give a solution or at least show light at the end of the tunnel!
Am I an astrology enthusiast or an avid believer? My answer to both the questions is a firm “No”. But I used to eagerly look forward to his weekly column in Sunday Times as his forecasts generally were a perfect recipe for a person (whichever be his or her sun sign; though years of following his column gave me an inkling that he had some sort of liking for the sun sign Gemini, which incidentally is my sign too) to step into a brand new week on Monday with full confidence and optimism . In today’s Corona affected world, even a ray of hope would be welcome and Daruwalla’a prediction would bring a whole lot of sunshine!
I wanted to hear his forecast on Corona virus and that how soon or late would the mankind come out of this pandemic but alas the grand old man of astrology chose to make his eternal journey to his favourite lord. In his death also, he remained ever charming and ever enigmatic that he was all his life as his family refuted the official claim that he died of COVID ! The fact is that irrespective of the cause of death, the grand old man is no longer there; he will no longer be giving hope and optimism to million of readers of his weekly column “Ganesha Says” or to many others who read his annual forecasts or consulted him! Whether this week’s column was his last or he penned a few in advance for the coming weeks only Times of India would be knowing , but the fact is TOI would be missing another of its star contributor – Laxman, Girilal Jain, Khushwant Singh et al. But I have no doubt that he loved his life and the lives of the people of this country and whatever were his views on Corona or its longevity, he would have shown hope to the mankind as long
Rest in peace Bejan Daruwalla. Ganesha says, he loves you and will ensure that you continue to live in the hearts of your millions of readers and admirers.