Recently, I came across a biography of Braj Kishore Prasad – the foremost, but forgotten enlightened leader of Bihar. I would like to introduce your readers to the life and times of this patriot. The book - Shri Braj Kishore Prasad - The First Associate of Gandhiji in Bihar - is written by Surendra Gopal, Retired Professor of History, Patna University, published by Bihar Vidyapeeth Patna, 2012, $12.

Nalanda University was one of the first universities in the world, founded in the 5th Century BC, and is located approximately 90 kilometers of the city of Patna. It was a Buddhist center of learning from 427 C.E to 1197 C.E. It has been called "one of the first great universities in recorded history."

Patna's Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport has been much in news lately, mostly for its short runway surrounded by the towering Secretariat Clock on one side and the Botanical Garden with hundreds of tall trees on the other.

Five years have passed by after the senseless and tragic loss of my sister, Papiya.  Over this time I have had to accept that I will not be able to see her or get a bear hug (as she used to call her hugs) from her. Yet it is difficult for me to think of Papiya in the past tense.

I do not remember the precise moment when we became friends. We went to the same college and she was a few years senior. Most juniors silently admired this affable and bright student, the Premier of Patna Women’s College.

The brutal murder of Patna University’s Prof. Papiya Ghosh and her elderly maidservant at her home in Patna on December 3 shocked the academic community in Bihar. A brave and popular singleton, Prof. Ghosh taught history to postgrad students at Patna University.

It has been almost five years since my aunt Papiya Ghosh and Malti Devi were brutally murdered in our family’s home in Patna. Though several years have passed, the pain and injustice of their murders remain raw. Every time a birthday or holiday passes without hearing Bumble’s voice, the harsh reality that she is gone sets in.

Bumble used to call me "son." How fortunate I was all those years, and I did not know it. I had a second mother in Bumble mashi. She knew it, and every interaction she had with me reflected this maternal sense. Virtually every phone call and email, as well as those precious personal visits, began with a simple salutation: "Hello, son!" Hearing those words always cheered me up.


Goodbye my bumble,
Goodbye my friend
May you ever grow in our hearts,
You were the grace that blessed us all.
You used to captivate me
By your resonating life
Now you belong to heaven
And the stars spell out your name