Family members and friends remembered the life and values of renowned author and journalist B G Verghese, who passed away last week, at a condolence meeting held at the India International Centre here on Sunday.
The meeting, attended by eminent personalities like Kuldip Nayyar, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Soli Sorabjee, saw different people reflect on different facets of Verghese, former editor of The Indian Express.
“I knew him well and for long. He was the right blend of intellect and integrity, and never compromised on his principles. He was a champion for the poor and downtrodden, and a man given to many causes,” said Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India.
Calling him a “man of conviction”, veteran journalist H K Dua fondly remembered Verghese as a man “for the lost and the lonely”. “For him, people mattered more than boundaries and countries. He wasn’t as concerned about physical boundaries as he was for the lost and the lonely. Lately, two things bothered him the most: the climate of intolerance that seems to have gripped this country, and the phenomenon of paid news,” Dua said.
Aged 87, Verghese died at his Gurgaon house on December 30. He was diagnosed with dengue a month ago and was suffering from low-grade fever and weakness for the last couple of weeks.
Verghese’s family, including his sons and grandchildren, also remembered his life and times. “He was a quiet man, and a humble one, and we probably learnt more about him from his books, than himself. He taught us that the pen is mightier than the sword, and that actions speak louder than words,” said Rahul, Verghese’s son.
“He was a man given to larger causes, and most of the time, he was out saving the world. He was unassuming, quiet, intelligent — a gentleman with a gentle spirit, and that is how we will always remember him,” said his other son Vijay.