A story of three titans


Neelima Raddi* has added another feather in her cap – she has written a book on three eminent personalities, two of them were her grandfathers and one, her husband’s grandfather (father-in-law’s father). Her book, written in Marathi, is titled “Sanchitache Tridal.” (संचिताचे त्रिदल). The book is about three great men – Sir Nilkanth Jatar, also known as Bhausaheb (1887-1957), Bandopant Bhajekar (1861-1927) and Rangacharya Raddi (1869-1943).

Neelima is the daughter of Indira Bhajekar,  the eldest daughter of Sir Nilkanth Jatar (Bhausaheb). Bhausaheb was the son of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar.

The book was launched on the 18th of February at Niwara, where the author spends much of her time today, in social work.

A well documented and well-researched book, it has a lot to teach us about the life and times of these three veterans. It tells us about the greatness embodied in these personalities, greatness of a kind quite rare today. The book is written in an easy to read style, full of anecdotes and personal experiences.  She has a way of capturing the essence of a person in a nutshell. Here is an excerpt about Bhausaheb:

book excerpt

Like Neelimatai, I too grew up hearing stories of the greatness of my grandfather, and was in awe of this man who died one year before I was born.  His integrity and bravery stood out in all the stories that I heard. There was one more thing. As a young girl, I couldn’t get over the fact that my grandfather, born in nineteenth-century India, was forward thinking when it came to women. No doubt that is the reason why my own father, Maj Gen. SCN Jatar (Sudhir), brought me up on par with my brother, Ravi. An example of Bhausaheb’s liberal thinking became evident when my father got married. At my parents’ wedding, my mother’s father, Sardar Balasaheb Purandare, offered a plot of land near Tilak road to my father.  Bhausaheb refused the gift, telling him that “Sudhir doesn’t need anything.”

Here is another excerpt from Neelima’s book:



*More about Neelima’s illustrious career: After 25 years of teaching French and rising to the position of the Head of Department in Fergusson college (retired in 2000), Neelima Raddi (nee Bhajekar) won a prestigious award from the French government in 1994. She co-authored the first Indian textbook for the French language, which to this day continues to be the official French textbook recommended by the Maharashtra State Board of Education.  She received an award called The Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Order of Academic Palms) which is an order of knighthood of France for academics and cultural and educational personalities.

(Contributed by Nita Jatar Kulkarni)

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