While the world slept and India awoke to freedom, another event was taking place. Shrimati Savitri Shyam, later to become a prominent Member of the Lok Sabha and a Deputy Minister in Indira Gandhi’s government, gave birth to a baby boy. This boy was none other than Anil Kumar, later member of the 1965 batch of Special Class Apprentices.
Spending the bulk of his childhood in Lucknow, Anil Kumar was a student at the prestigious Roorkee Engineering College when he was selected as an SCA. After passing out of Jamalpur, he was allotted North Eastern Railway where he spent the early part of his railway life. In the 80s, he was at the RDSO in Lucknow and in the early 90s, did a brief stint with RITES. The marketing expertise gained in RITES came in handy at his next posting as Chief Marketing Manager at DLW, from where he returned to North Eastern.
It was while he was at DLW that ill health caught up with him. Suffering two heart attacks in 1993, he underwent bypass surgery later in the year. Although recovery from the surgery was complete, he was interested in being posted in a place like Delhi where he could continue effective monitoring of his health. As a consequence, he sought a posting in RITES and was posted to the organisation once again in April earlier this year.
I was still half-drugged with sleep when the telephone jangled in the small hours of 15th April this year. S.C.Saxena ’63 was on the line. His words woke me up with a jolt. Anil Kumar, he told me, had passed away. Not having recovered fully from the death two years back of another batchmate, Jayant Sinha, the news shook me up. Anil Kumar had just joined RITES and was looking forward to a peaceful stay in Delhi. Fate intervened and Anil breathed his last while the rest of the world slept.
Anil Kumar was never one to impose himself on others. Even considering that he was the son of a well-known MP, he was humility itself at all times. His characteristic nasal accent endeared him to one and all. In the later years of his life, particularly after his surgery, he took to painting and became fairly proficient in the use of water colours. He leaves behind his wife, a daughter and a son. May they have the strength and courage to continue life without him.