Sadashiv (Balu) Jatar – a daughter’s perspective

Written by Madhavi, the daughter of Sadashiv Jatar (popularly known as Balasaheb) and grand-daughter of Bhausaheb.

A father is his daughter’s best friend. So was my father. He was my friend, philosopher and guide.

My father was a gentleman. He was very social and had friends in all walks of life, from all age groups and social strata. He helped everyone selflessly and never expected anything in return.

IMG_6052He had flair for languages. He was an avid reader. He was interested in many subjects. That’s why he was a life member of many institutes like MCA, Bharat Itihaas Sousahadhan Mandal to name a few.

He was interested in politics, and very much against corruption. He helped others to expose it. As he was a government servant he could not do it openly.

He was a philosopher and thinker. He used to do meditation daily. He was a man of vision.

He always wanted to join the army but unfortunately could not do so. He was selected for the first Republic Day NCC parade.

He was good in sports too and was a great cricketer. He played as a wicket-keeper. He liked Sachin Tendulkar very much. He used to say that Sachin is going to be the greatest cricketer of all times and that has come true. Sachin was just 13 when my father expired.

My father was full of life. He liked music, dramas and good movies.

He died early, and maybe be God needed a person of his calibre, so he took him at a young age.

Related Reading: S.N Jatar from a niece’s perspective.

Sadashiv (Balu) Jatar

Balu Kaka – from the point of view of his niece.

(Sadashiv [S.N Jatar] or Balu Jatar [popularly known as Balasaheb] was the third son of Bhausaheb, and the grandson of Shriram Jatar. He worked with the Maharashtra government in a senior position.)

Kaka (my father’s elder brother) was my first mentor. My father used to be away in field area due to his service in the Army, and Balu Kaka filled the gap. He was like a father to me. We all lived together in a large joint family in Neel Sadan, which was the house belonging to my grandfather, Bhausaheb.balu

Balu Kaka was an intellectual. As you can see from the photograph on the left, there was a brightness in his face, a twinkle in his eye.

He had a library full of books on all subjects, including philosophy. I remember fondly the hours I spent with him discussing ideas, philosophical theories of Western, Indian and Chinese philosophers. I devoured all the books he had and we would talk about each book for hours! I was in school, and Balu kaka opened my mind to thoughts which not many school going children are exposed to. We discussed everything under the sun…religion, politics, relationships.

He had a great sense of humour and a sense of fun. I remember that when there was a wrong number on our landline he used to pretend to be that person and chat just for fun!

There are early childhood times with him which I don’t remember clearly, but my parents and aunts have told me as to how he used to take care of me when I was a child. And he used to take me to school on his red scooter on occasion! I am told I used to be deliberately late so that I would miss the school bus and he could take to school!

He had a very nice mustache! Knowing how fond I was of him, sometimes the relatives from my mother’s side used to tease me about the mustache, trying to be funny, and I used to flare up and defend his mustache!

He encouraged me to write. He read all the stories I wrote. Most of them were silly science fiction stories…I am amazed as to how Balu Kaka read them patiently, gave me his critique and suggestions!

My first ambition was to be a writer of fiction. I became a journalbalu jatarist instead. And now a hand reader. But the love of writing remains. Writing has always played a big part in my  life, and it helps me in my hand reading too as I write reports and also maintain a website.

Kaka helped me get admission in the working women’s hostel in Colaba, Mumbai.

I was not there when Balu Kaka passed away in Mumbai, much before his time. In his fifties. My greatest regret is that I never told him how much I loved him and how important a part of my life he was. In some ways he shaped my personality.

Today is his birthday. And I wish him peace wherever he is.

(Written by Nita Jatar Kulkarni, daughter of Sudhir Jatar, Balu’s younger brother)

Related Reading: Balu from a daughter’s perspective.

Suman, Ashoo, Sudhir with Suniti, Balu, Bhayya (1949)

Suman, Ashoo, Sudhir with Suniti, Balu, Bhayya (1949)

Cousins gathered in Neel Sadan, an old bungalow belonging to Bhausaheb in Sadashiv Peth, Pune, which has since been torn down and replaced by apartments. Suman Kirlosker and Ashu Lambe (sisters) are the daughters of Bhausaheb’s brother-in-law Mr. Dixit of Nagpur (he was his second wife’s) brother. The girls are first cousins to Sudhir, Balu, Bhayya and Baba. Though this photograph was taken in Neel Sadan, the house in the background is the neighboring house known as the Pavgi Wada which is still standing. The photo was taken with the teenagers sitting on a small fountain in the garden of Neel Sadan. The girl in the lap is a cousin from the Jatar side. Suniti, the daughter of Dasukaka, the son of Bhausaheb’s sister.