In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.
Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.
A product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy [or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it], Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustached high-falutin Colonel Blimp type of Officer. He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.
Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi didn’t suffer from the Auld Lang Syne Complex. After retirement he didn’t live in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”, but moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.
Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.
Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.
Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our Doberman girl, when she was a baby.
He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! He laughed, and made others laugh.
I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advice and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him. My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. It was a pity he couldn’t be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas. Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.
We will miss you dearly “Daddy”. You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode. You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. May your Soul Rest in Peace.