Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Daddy - A Living History of Brahmapur.


Before you download this book on your Kindle, click on Nargis Natarajan  to get to know who the author is. 

As a personal story, and a dedication to her father, the book gives the reader a full view of ‘a now happy – now sad’, big Indian joint family with many characters, children and pets. And of course a good laugh almost all the way.

When I downloaded the book, I thought I would have a glimpse into a traditional Indian family which almost built Berhampur, also known as Brahmapur (Wikipedia) from scratch.  But what I fell upon is a modern, progressive family which was headed by a great visionary, a patriot, educated and progressive doctor, Dr Firoz Ali and the story of his large family and his contribution to a city he loved so much- Brahmapur. It is sad that he lives in every space we see today in Brahmapur, although his name has become unknown to most.  Daddy, A Bouquet of Memories is a history of his work as a Social Worker, a dedicated doctor, a poet and nation builder, as told by his daughter. It is the story of the man for whom, his Brahmapur was his life and light.

Better known as ‘the poor man’s doctor’ Dr Firoz Ali, gave up his Government Medical job to serve the people of Brahmapur. A freedom fighter, proud of his country and his city, Dr Firoz Ali contributed in each and every way to build the city, although if you google his name today, all you find is one or two references. Considering that at one time, the Brahmapur Railway Station was named after him, it is sad how names, persons are deleted from our histories as if they never existed at all.

Some mention:

In Arun Bhatt's blog

"I went towards Dr. Firoz Ali’s residence. A three storey building now stands there. There is nothing imperial about it other than the name “Imperial College.”

And Here

“It may be noted that due to untiring efforts of well-known social worker Dr. Feroz Ali, the long-cherished dream of Brahmapur citizens for an auditorium became a reality in 1977.”

History is built around people we want to remember, or what someone, somewhere thinks is worth remembering and passing on. Living histories are wiped out which is why, reviving old memories, writing facts that will stay forever, has becoming so important.

I would put Daddy, A Bouquet of Memories, as not only a memory but a living history of Brahmapur, facts, one does not get to read in the text book, Wikipedia or any other book about a place or city.

We in India, choose to remember a Gandhi, a Nehru and forget, even, try to wipe out people who we do not want our children to remember as builders of this nation.

Welcome then, to a Nehru look alike and a Gandhi at heart, a generous, kind and benevolent man, called Dr Firoze Ali, The Daddy you may certainly never forget, not if you are from Brahmapur, Orissa. 

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