Rabi Pattanayak: Unsung Hero Passes Away

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

At 10 in the first part of this day, the burning Sun at Bhubaneswar added utmost warmth to its rays to welcome an unsung hero into the folds of elements, though thereby a dark void is created, which can never be filled up.

Rabindranath Pattanayak, beloved Rabibabu of the people of Narasinghpur in the district of Cuttack in Orissa, object of love, affection and confidence of members of a very large extended family and relations and friends, whom thousands and thousands revere as the primary shaper of their lives, passed away in a private hospital at Bhubaneswar, fighting bravely against a lung disorder.

Bereft of his father in early childhood, Rabibabu was very ably guided by his mother to face the challenges and to become a man of distinction in society.

A brilliant student, he had to stay content with High School graduation, as Narasinghpur, a Princely State till 1948, had no College at that time and his widow mother had no strength to part with her only child, as College education at Cuttack or elsewhere was calling for.

He, in that situation, after matriculation, picked up a career as a primary school teacher and remained so till superannuation heading upgraded units for decades.

Career as a primary school teacher ensured his continuance in service at and within the area of Narsinghpur, that helped him with enough time to look after his landed properties and he emerged as a remarkable user of land in cultivation, even when all the schools he was working in were emerging as model schools because of his devotion to the institutions and dedication to the students. He had taught thousands of students in his long career, but had never stopped at any point in injecting into them the self confidence to proceed in any direction as they prefer in pursuit of knowledge. This made him unique.

Apart from being a teacher par excellence and a farmer of highest repute in the locality, he was the matchless man of culture in the area with dedicated devotion to drama and social events.

More than everything, he was a man, whom smile had never left for a single moment, even in moments of turmoil. In fact, if smile had any epitome, he was that epitome in life.

Very seldom such a man takes birth who becomes the beacon of inspiration and encouragement for one and all in his area.

I, along with my family, deeply mourn his demise and stand in silent respect in remembering him, even though I know, in my heart and ours, like of all the others who know him, he shall live till breathes continue.

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