Haresh Chandra Phukan, my maternal grandfather, was a senior tea executive, who retired from the Gobindpur Tea Estate in the year 2000. He started his career as a teacher in the DCB Girls’ School, Jorhat, and later joined the Assam Tea Corporation (ATC), where he worked for 14 years before joining the Gobindpur TE in 1985.

Born on the 15th of April in the year 1933, he was one of seven siblings. He pursued the BSc degree in JB College. He was a good sportsperson and a regular member of the school and college football teams. He was also associated with the National Cadet Corps (NCC).

We used to lovingly call him ‘Papa’. He was loved by all for his selfless personality. His caring nature and integrity are a constant source of inspiration for all of us. He always tried to help people and was a go-to man in our extended family, as he always had a solution to all problems. Papa’s straightforwardness was always appreciated by all who came in contact with him. He laid great stress on the need to have good education and inspired us all to do better in our academic careers.

He was a very popular figure in his neighbourhood and was associated with many social and cultural organisations. He was always there for his extended family, his neighbourhood, his colleagues and friends. He tried to help all the people he came in contact with, and, with his disciplined and honest approach, became a name to reckon with in the tea industry.

He passed away on January 15 last at his residence in Malow Ali, Jorhat, due to old-age ailments at the age of 88, leaving all of us in tears.

Today, on the day of his adyashraddha, we pay our homage to the departed soul.

– Angshumita, Devasmita