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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Vijay Jadhav: Abrupt End To A Promising Career


December 13, 2010. We had been shooting for a program at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. Around lunch break we got the shocker—Vijay Jadhav was no more. Too shocked to believe I phoned the Director of Pune Press Information Bureau (PIB), Prashant Pathrabe. Prashant hesitatingly confirmed the sad demise of the young Director of National Film Archives of India (NFAI), Pune. And I had to accept it.  

For the few times that I met Vijay Jadhav his hyperactivity and high energy was very hard to miss. He was always working on some new projects and one job at a time was never optimum for him. For NFAI he was traveling the whole of India with film packages. Once on a holiday at my native city Guwahati I was amazed to find his name in local Assamese newspapers. For the Goa International Film Festival he always had something new and exciting to offer. Vijayji also had additional charge of PIB and had been actively involved in all its Public Information Programs throughout the state of Maharashtra. He had been fond of media attention and deservedly so. On many occasions he instantly obliged us with information and bytes.

And more. He found time for his musical sessions too. He practiced tabla even on tours and in my wife Ragini’s musical circles his name was often mentioned.

I last met him at the Government of India’s two day Western Region Media Conference at Baramati. He had been constantly running around with errands ranging from organizing hassles to delivering speeches. On the first night he arranged a dinner for all media officers at a country house of one of his friends. In the dead still of night in a typical Maharashtra village surrounding that experience was unforgettable. But something happened that night which I just feel now to blurt out.

When we finally sat down on the ground in typical village style to have our main course I found to my consternation that there were exactly 13 people having dinner. Well, I take the risk of being called superstitious and I take it just to make a small observation. My father studied astrology scientifically and  combined with mathematical calculations plus intuition his forecasts always had hundred percent accuracy. He told me once that 13 people should never have dinner together because fatal forces are created in the process making one of the 13 people most likely to die within one year. I took it lightly and as is our pride never believed it, but it remained in my subconscious permanently. I tried to prevent such situations if there was a possibility without being noticed, but that night it was just not possible. In the presence of all responsible media officers such superstitious thoughts were just not the norm. That was April this year.

Vijayji died within one year and on the 13th .  Still it could be just superstition. Still I may or may not believe it. I am not asking you to believe me either. I am just crying out my pain aloud with just a small point. Why not avoid such situations from happening—if 13 people are there for dinner one can easily sit out for some time and join later without having anything to do with superstitions or some other avoidable situations created by some other rules. Why should we always associate our pride in such decisions?

We pray for the eternal bliss of his noble soul.
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