The Wire : Remembering the Unfinished Work of Papiya Ghosh

Article Published in The Wire dated 26th Sept 2017

Whenever one hears the famous historian E.H. Carr’s remark about history being an ‘unending dialogue between the past and the present’, one is reminded of an untiring historian, Papiya Ghosh (1953-2006), who did not live to see the traction her works could potentially generate. Her nuanced understanding of the past, and how the past interacted with the present, together with her socially-relevant research canvas – Bihar, Muslims, Partition, communalism, diaspora, nationhood, refugees, citizenship – continues to keep her alive in so many ways.

The making of a historian

Why did Papiya choose such areas of research? The answer perhaps mostly lies in her negotiations with the world of her parents and their experiences. Born on October 8, 1953, in Dumka, Santhal Parganas (a tribal area now in Jharkhand), in a family of bureaucrats, she grew up listening to real-life stories of wars, violence, nation building, Partition, and of the marginalised, dispossessed and minorities. Her father, Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, who had also studied history at Patna University, did a short stint in the army during the Second World War (1939-45), which saw him in action in Quetta, Pakistan, and Myanmar. He would share with Papiya insights related to the brutalities of hostilities and their impact on the ongoing nationalist movement. Thereafter, he joined the Indian Administrative Service and was allotted the Bihar cadre. He worked tirelessly to build the newly-independent nation from the grassroots up, always seeking to bring together strands within communities – especially the minority and marginalised. Tragically, he fell victim to a sinister political plot and was taken away very early in life. His unfinished work inspired Papiya immensely and she vowed to get back to providing a strong, academically-bolstered voice to the less heard, misunderstood and the voiceless as a befitting and enduring tribute to his memory.

Papiya’s mother, Purnima Ghosh, shared with her the tragic stories of Partition. Hailing from undivided East Bengal, Purnima was separated from her family and forced to leave all she knew as her own behind, never to go back again. Partition and its violence had left an indelible scar on her consciousness and imagination. Her interactions with Papiya centred around dark narratives of pain and destruction. However, the budding historian wanted to dig deeper – she was determined to understand the historic event in its myriad complexities. Soon, Papiya began to question popular and stereotypical constructions of the minority community. In fact, this was a recurring point of divergence in her discussions with her mother and perhaps, the only substantive one.

While academic pursuits brought her to Delhi – where she did her post-graduation and doctorate, followed by a teaching career at Daulat Ram College and Hindu College – Papiya’s research interests saw an efflorescence once she was back again in her field Patna, this time as a trained historian and a restless thinker. Her academic and research skills got further sharpened, thanks to stints with some national and international institutions including Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and universities in the US and the UK. She began to better understand and articulate the larger dynamics behind historical processes and the connections between the margins and the mainstream – more specifically, how events could have ramifications beyond immediate social and geographical locales.

Region and nation

Papiya was a cosmopolitan intellectual whose research seamlessly and continuously transcended geo-cultural boundaries – she was in Bihar at one moment and out of it in the other. An unabashed Bihar enthusiast, her enduring legacy was to foreground the region’s complex interactions with the past and how they impacted a much-larger world. As historian Kumkum Sangari points out, her work moved ‘both outwards from and inwards to Bihar’. It examined the ‘articulation of nationalist struggles with the political history of Bihar as well as the regional recasting of nationalist politics.’ It had ‘the depth, immersion and inwardness that characterised the best of regional historiography’ but ‘none of the parochialness associated with regional history.’ Papiya’s Bihar was different in other ways as well. It was an intricate amalgam of various elements – community, class, caste and regional politics – and how these intersected with wider nationalist and communal politics. Herein lay the historian’s craft as she dexterously peeled off layers of a complex being, completely mindful of their specificities and interdependencies. The fragments were important to her – as were their inter-connections and their relationship with the wider socio-political contexts. In the process of understanding the fragments, she consistently questioned stereotypes or categories considered monolithic.

Papiya Ghosh (right) and Malti Devi (left).
Muslims and the Pakistan movement

Papiya’s research on community-oriented formations and politics – anchored in her books, Muhajirs and the Nation & Community and Nation – departed from the existing scholarship in more ways than one. Unlike Punjab and Bengal, where Muslims were in a majority, her research pivoted around Bihar – an area where Muslims remained a minority. She strongly questioned the foundational role of religion in communitarian politics and her canvas highlighted the regional, class, caste and gender dynamics. She also argued against, as late historian Biswamoy Pati points, “the construction of a homogenous and exclusive ‘Muslim identity’ based on pure and unadulterated Muslim/Islamic consciousness”; instead, she revealed the diversities and pluralities within Islam and Muslims. One manifestation of this was the contestation of the Pakistan movement from within different Muslim groups, particularly the Imarat-e- Shariah and the Momin Conference (MC). Jamiyat al Ulama, for instance, developed a framework of Islamic nationalism directed against imperialism and later against Muslim League’s communalism. Her work also brought out the differences and interactions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ politics – the Congress and Muslim League vis-à-vis others. Within the Muslims, as the MC argued, this got reflected in the politics of the sharif (upper sections) – best represented by the Muslim League – as opposed to that of razil (labouring men) – whose aspirations were best articulated by the MC. Papiya juxtaposed different kind of politics – those of qaum, mazhab, biradari as well as Hindutva – to interrogate the colonial classification of the putative ‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ communities into communitarian identities.

Diaspora, refugees and the making of South Asia

Papiya’s work on the Bihari diaspora (The Partition and the South Asian Diaspora) reflected her deeper engagement with ideas of nation-ness, nationhood, denominational homelands and citizenship. The deep-rootedness of partition and diaspora exemplifies the brilliant play of history across time and space. Partition persisted not just across the Indian subcontinent, but at several diaspora sites across the globe, and way beyond 1947 into the recent decades. Her book, however, also delineated how ‘partition’s refugee histories and two Muhajir formation in East and West Pakistan had their roots in the aftermath of killings of Muslims in Bihar in 1946’, several months before the great divide. ‘The emergence of Bangladesh’, she wrote, ‘interrupted this homeland and mapped out huge number of Biharis into the sixty-six refugee camps, where they still languish, awaiting repatriation to Pakistan.’ This long wait saw the refugees appeal to the United Nations for refugee status under categories like ‘Muslim refugees’ or ‘Stranded Pakistanis’ for the purposes of funds. Such refugees received support from Bihari diaspora in London, New York and Chicago and the subcontinental Jamaat-I-Islami. Many Bihari migrants later deployed their diasporic sites for their redefined and ethnic politics. She showed how, between 1992 and 2002 (Gujarat riots), Muslims and Dalits organisations in the UK and the US contested the idea of Hindu Rashtra based on stereotyping of Muslims around the making of Pakistan. After 2002, many such organisations tried to broadbase their support by forging connections with the Christians, Sikhs, Dalits, feminist and liberal and progressive groups as well as with subcontinental organisations dealing in human rights, peace and democracy.

Diasporic sites, networks and activisms, she argued, were also important at other levels – Partition’s minorities including ‘Indian Muslims and Pakistani and Bangadeshi Hindus facing subcontinental majoritarianisms’ and the ‘Hindutva formation aiming at a Hindu Rashtra and/or Akhand Bharat by bonding a Hindu diaspora.’ The long-distance remaking of South Asia formed an integral part of the diasporic politics.

Negotiating barriers

Papiya continuously and creatively negotiated barriers in other ways as well – whether it was the disciplinary boundaries or questions regarding periodisation or evidence base, to name a few. She was a historian by primary training but always worked at the intersections of history, sociology, anthropology, politics and what now constitutes migration and diaspora studies. Such an approach naturally widened her evidence base. Books and archives would always be supplemented with field visits, interviews, conversations and solid empirical work. Her research on diaspora also included refugee reports, family histories, archives of diasporic repatriation activists, camp narratives, web exchanges and accounts of asylum-seekers. And, the stories that came out had to be told convincingly but also interestingly. As scholar Jyotirmaya Sharma says: “She needed every detail about colour, texture, smell and sound to be a part of the narration.” The idea of periodisation in history made her uncomfortable. She loved the aftermath just as she loved the incident. Her canvas went beyond events/milestones considered sacrosanct by most historians. Should modern history end at 1947? For her, the answer was mostly, perhaps always, no.

Tragically, Papiya was brutally murdered on December 2, 2006 in her home at the dead of night by six armed assailants. Eerily, her father had met his end on the same day, in the same city, 50 years back. Though 11 excruciating years have gone by, justice has still not been delivered. The academic fraternity and others are yet to know why such an intensely committed intellectual had to be silenced in such a macabre manner. With her death, ended a great intellectual journey – a voyage which needs to be adequately mapped in mainstream academic research. Her works remained unfinished, as did her quest. The third book in her planned trilogy will wait forever; in addition to Muhajirs and the Nation and The Partition and the South Asian Diaspora, she was also working on a third book on Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Dalit Muslims. Her incisive work on gender – particularly how women and their bodies became signifiers of communitarian conflicts – had huge potential. Her forays into popular culture, particularly Bhojpuri cinema and songs, were also nipped in the bud.

Papiya now mostly dwells in footnotes and references; memories of family, friends and well-wishers; and, in the intellectual initiatives of the Papiya Ghosh Memorial Trust. However, her works remain relevant, perhaps more than ever, as India and South Asia grapple with issues of communitarian and identity politics, refugees, hangovers of Partition and conflicting ideas of nationhood and belonging. Had she been alive, her advice would have remained the same – look deeper and holistically; question monolithic assumptions; see the layers and their interconnections; understand the wider socio-political contexts; and, engage creatively.

Shashank S. Sinha has taught history in undergraduate colleges at the University of Delhi. He does independent research on tribes, gender, violence, culture and heritage. Tuktuk Ghosh is a retired IAS officer with a deep interest in modern Indian history. She also comments on and analyses contemporary governance-related issues.


Memorialising Papiya

For Papiya’s family, friends, colleagues, students and admirers, she lives on. She is FOREVER. To memorialise her appropriately and hold aloft her legacy various initiatives have been taken over the years following the incomprehensible tragedy that befell her.
Some glimpses are provided here.


PURNUJJAL PAPIYA GHOSH MEMORIAL TRUST ( was set up by Papiya’s family in 2007 to promote the enduring values of excellence and equity that Papiya so beautifully embodied.

The Trust Brochure

It has instituted the following Awards in various academic and educational centres/ organisations with which Papiya was associated, since 2008.

  1. Annual Inter- School Debate Competition at St. Joseph’s Convent, Patna.
  2. Merit-cum- Means Stipends for select, needy students of St. Joseph’s Convent, Patna,
  3. Annual Award for BA History Topper in Patna Women’s College.
  4. Annual Award for MA History Topper in History Department, Patna University.
  5. Annual Award for MA History Topper of Hindu College, University of Delhi.
  6. Annual Award for Most Promising Young Scholar presented at the Indian History Congress.

The particulars of the Awardees can be seen in the respective websites of these centres/ organisations, as they are often not intimated directly to the Trust as they should.

Further, the Trust takes up regular philanthropic work , including extending family support to indigent families, scholarships, donations to Libraries and related socio-cultural outfits.

More Initiatives

To celebrate her truly inspirational life, a book, “Toast to Papiya”, with unique insights and wide-ranging memories with contributions from Family and friends and some of her own writings has been published in April 2008 by Dr Tuktuk Ghosh.

Celebrating Papiya : Video Vignettes

An Annual Award was instituted in Papiya’s memory by Saurav Sen, her nephew, from 2008, in the Department of International Development, Oxford University (UK) for the best M. Phil Dissertation. View the List of Awardees

Various Workshops, Seminars and Discussions on subjects related to Papiya’s field of study were organised by Dr Tuktuk Ghosh in cooperation with reputed institutions – Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, CSSSC, Patna University, ADRI etc

Jaya Ghosh, Papiya’s eldest sister has donated some of her academic work to the globally renowned library of US Congress, Washington DC.

A Treatment Facility, in memory of Papiya, was dedicated by her sister Keya and brother-in-law, Manas Kumar Sen, at the Indo-American Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh, India).

  • As a befitting tribute, the Syndicate of Patna University approved, on 3 May 2007, setting up of the ‘PAPIYA GHOSH CENTRE FOR GENDER STUDIES’ to promote research in this area of topical importance. National Research Late Prof. Vina Das of the Centre for Development of Women’s Studies, Delhi formally inaugurated it.
  • A Memorial-Debate on “Judicial Activism is not the Solution to India’s Governance Problems” and an Essay Competition on “India’s Role, as the World’s largest Democracy – Future Prospects” were organised by St Joseph’s Convent, Patna, Papiya’s Alma mater in October 2007
  • A 3-day Commemorative Programme was organized to honour Prof. Papiya Ghosh in Patna University, between 3rd – 5th December, 2007. It comprised a Memorial Lecture by former Professor of Delhi University, Prof. Uma Chakravarti on “New Scripts : the Nineteenth Century Educational Project for Women”.
  • A Memorial Fund for Ph.d and Short Term Fellowships in Papiya’s memory was set up at the CENTRE FOR STUDIES IN SOCIAL SCIENCES, CALCUTTA (an Institution under the Govt. of India) for young women Academicians from non-metropolitan areas of the country, at the initiative of Dr Partha Chatterjee, Dr Indrani Chatterjee and few colleagues. It was supported by, among others, the Dorabji Tata Trust. Four scholars received the fellowships between 2008-2010.
  • Papiya’s vast collection of Books and Journals have been donated by to the Department of History, Patna University and the East-West Centre, Patna.
Upholding her family’s Legacy : Purnujjal

Purnujjal Papiya Memorial Trust released a book in memory of Papiya’s parents, Ujjal Kumar Ghosh and Purnima Ghosh .

The Flipbook : Purnujjal is available for your to read


About Papiya

Papiya was an accomplished Academician and a feisty single woman, who was totally committed to the highest principles of integrity, honesty and dedicated service. For the Family and those who knew Papiya well, she will doubtless “BE FOREVER”! Papiya’s life, values and contributions are truly inspirational and anything short of a continuing CELEBRATION of it, can never be contemplated.


Papiya was born on 8th October 1953, at DUMKA (Bihar, India), third of the four daughters of Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, an IAS officer of the Bihar Cadre and Purnima Ghosh. Her father was a victim of, what was widely held to be, a Political Murder, in 1957. She, along with her sisters, was brought up single-handedly by her mother, Purnima Ghosh, who took up a job as a School Teacher after the ghastly murder of her husband.

She was a Topper and the School Head-Girl, earning laurels in Debating, Dramatics, Elocution, Essay-writing etc. The winning trend continued in Patna Women’s College. Here, too, she was elected the Premier of the Students’ Union and stood out in all spheres. She, with her sister, Tuk Tuk, were the duo who contributed regularly to the ‘KOOKIE KOL’ Column of JS, a well known Youth Magazine and became a house-hold name, as a result.


As Patna University was closed down indefinitely in 1975 during JP’s Agitation, Papiya moved to Delhi University to pursue higher studies, where she completed her M.A., M.Phil and earned a Doctorate Degree in Modern Indian History. The subject of her M. Phil and Doctorate Degrees was “Civil Disobedience Movement in Bihar, 1930-34”.

Papiya taught History at Daulat Ram College from 29 October to 26 November, 1977 and at Hindu College, University of Delhi, from 26.11.1977 to 8.2.1979. Although she had a permanent job in one of the best Colleges of Delhi University, she chose to come back to Patna Women’s College. This decision was not only driven by her commitment to provide support to her widowed mother, who was alone (the other sisters having, by then, moved out of Patna), but also because of her abiding conviction that she could contribute actively to the resurgence of Academics and Research in Bihar, which were not receiving proper attention at that juncture for various reasons. In fact the best brains were leaving Bihar, when Papiya took the bold decision to go back there. Papiya devoted 3 decades to her profession to Bihar. Nothing could deter her from her determination to give of her best, in spite of many frustrations and lack of suitable facilities.

After a tenure in Patna Women’s College from 12.2.79 to 30.11.91, Papiya, on promotion, moved to the Department of History in the Patna University, to take Post Graduate classes, as well as to guide, evaluate and conduct research. She brought updated course material to the attention of her students, stocked the Library with the latest publications, often at her own cost and taught in fluent Hindi, which was not her mother tongue or the medium of instruction during her School and College years. That the syllabus of the University was in sync with other Central Universities was Papiya’s constant endeavour. Her teaching methodology was also very innovative and she always tried to weave in contemporary themes and ideas to make “History” more relevant for her students. She taught several Papers, though her specialization was Modern Indian History. Patna University, because of various financial problems, often did not pay its Teachers and Staff for several months, but Papiya always kept the flag flying and did not let up on her academic pursuits!

Her Research Subjects related, inter-alia, to impact of Partition, plight of Dalit Muslims, Peoples’ Movements, Popular Syncretic Culture, Secularism, Contribution of the Underprived to Political Processes etc. Since she had a penchant for collecting data, she spent much time travelling to remote areas, meeting key sources (within and outside the country), spending her own limited resources. She would devote hours on translation, roping in friends and well-wishers in her endeavours! She also learnt Urdu to be able to do full justice to her Research work.

Papiya published various scholarly Articles in reputed Academic Journals. Her seminal book is entitled, “Partition and the South Asian Diaspora- Extending the Subcontinent”. Unfortunately, she did not live to see its formal launch on 1st January 2007. Both the Hon’ble President and Prime Minister of India, who were presented copies of the book, greatly appreciated it.

Prof. Ghosh has brought to bear the force of her intellect on this unique and interesting subject which would prove to be of great value to all those interested in the subject of the South Asian Diaspora. It is unfortunate that Prof. Ghosh is not with us to see the fruit of her efforts in writing this book

President Kalam, in a letter of 3rd January 2007, to her sister, Tuk Tuk

So meticulous was Papiya that she not only acknowledged all her friends in the book but also our domestic support who had passed on several years ago! And as the ever-dutiful daughter, Papiya dedicated her labour of love to her Parents and our “Kaku” (Uncle), Col. Arun Kumar Ghose, who stood by us, rock-solid, in the dark hour of grief after our father’s murder, till his death in 1991.

Papiya was a Merit Scholarship holder of Patna University. She was awarded the prestigious Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (University of Chicago, in 1994 and Triangle South Asia Consortium at the North Carolina State University from 1996-97) as well as the Indian Council of Historical Research and University Grants Commission Fellowships (for M. Phil, Ph.d and Post-Doctoral work), being attached to the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla between 1988-91 and 1993-96 respectively. She was Adviser to ADRI (Asian Development Research Institute), Patna and Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. It will not be an exaggeration to state that she was among the most academically accomplished in the Department of History in Patna University and was often invited to addressed important Seminars and Conferences in and outside Patna, where her insightful inputs were greatly appreciated.

Papiya could have got a befitting assignment elsewhere but she chose to stay in Patna, in an environment which was not the most congenial. Papiya shouldered the entire responsibility after her mother’s demise in 1997, without in any way disturbing her sisters. In deference to her mother’s memory, she kept the house unchanged and in perfect condition, as she knew what it had meant to her and how much of her life had been invested to make it a beautiful haven and sanctuary for her children

Papiya so looked forward to the visits of her family especially her nephews and nieces, Saurav, Gaurab, Madhur, Jagriti and Snigdha, for whom she was the most lovable and effervescent, “Bumble”! For Manas and Sujit, her “Jijas” (Brothers-in-law) there couldn’t be a more worthy sister-in-law! Papiya was ever-ready to move heaven and earth for Jaya, Keya and Tuktuk and was without doubt the world’s best sister! She was generous to a fault and treated them royally, making each get-together a truly memorable occasion!

For many years, Papiya kept indifferent health, suffering from chronic asthma. She underwent surgeries, too, which took their toll on her physical well-being. But these impediments could not dampen Papiya’s spirits! She used to be called the “Chiragh” (Lamp) of the Family. Her courage and fortitude knew no limits ! She was a true seeker and a “Spiritual Warrior”!

Though a very open, fun-loving, gregarious person, Papiya chose to remain single. The right to choose and decide according to her beliefs was very important to Papiya. She would have said, in her inimitable manner,

Kyon kahte hain ki jeene ka andaz badal de; aur hai hi kya is apne andaz ke siva? (Why should I be asked to change my style? I stand by my style and am proud of it!)


It is difficult to come across some one more caring and affectionate than Papiya. She had time for everyone, regardless of age and background, often putting aside her own needs and requirements! She remembered everyone’s Birthdays and Anniversaries, even illnesses and took time out thoughtfully for them. Indeed, Papiya was a friend, par excellence and a peoples’ person, who touched many lives, so gracefully and unforgettably. For this she will be remembered for very long, with deep love and gratitude!

Papiya with Ma

Papiya had a very simple, disciplined life style and combined it creatively with a lofty world view, always exuding radiance and well-being. “Maharani of Kuch Nahin” (Queen of Nothing) is what she used to jokingly call herself! Her way with words and people was simply unbeatable.

Papiya cared for Malti- who was our domestic support for 40 years and was killed with her- much more devotedly than her own children could ever have, in good times and in bad. Such nurturing is indeed unparalleled ! Her every decision was dependent on how Malti would be affected by it. She always made her feel an integral part of the Family. The same held good for all the other supporting staff, who were, without fail, given “Treats” on all Festivals, and other special occasions!

Papiya and Malti Devi

In an almost rapid-fire elaboration, which scarcely does justice to her multifaceted personality, it may be said that Papiya had very wide, eclectic tastes – she loved writing poetry (haiku) and spinning zany descriptors, pampering and spoiling silly, her pet dogs, “Dumroo” and “Tum-Tum,” savouring a varied genre of music and a diverse range of books (she had a superb personal Library!), travelling to exotic places, dipping into Mainstream and Offbeat Cinema, culinary experimentation, trying out updated Fitness Programmes, delving into nuances of Sufism and meditation techniques, etc. (one could simply go on and on!)

Papiya was always game to try out new ideas and new looks and she gave herself several interesting make-overs in more senses than one! From one who shunned jewellery and anything even remotely fancy, Papiya lately opted for silk (of course, only khadi) and chunky jewellery, for those moments when she felt she should “liven up!” She indulged herself especially during her trips to Delhi, where she spent quality time to reconnect with her “ruh” (soul) in the serene, beautifully manicured settings of the India International Centre, watching with a sense of peace, the blossoming of the “kachnar” (flowers) from Room 35 and enjoying long walks at the historic Lodhi Gardens next door.

Papiya was so utterly law-abiding, honest, truthful and principled that she would never do anything that even remotely smacked of “irregularity”. She would not tolerate anything wrong and always boldly spoke her mind without any fear of likely adverse consequences. People- cutting across all strata and segments of society-have ONLY PRAISE for her distinctive and wonderful personality! She was equally famous for her tough exterior and very soft ‘dil’ (heart).

Vignettes of the inspirational life of Professor Papiya Ghosh of Patna (India), snuffed out too soon by a cruel crime and for whom justice is still awaited..




This is to record our deepest appreciation for demand for justice for Papiya Ghosh, whose promising and well-lived life was brutally snuffed out on 3rd December, 2006 at Patna, by a group of ruthless criminals for no apparent reason! It is also an earnest Request for consecrating her unforgettable memory in a befitting manner !

There are many tough, deeply troubling and complex questions about why the reprehensible crime happened, the way it happened and when it happened – exactly 49 years to the day, when Papiya’s father, Ujjal Kumar Ghosh, IAS, was murdered by poisoning in a Govt. Hospital at Patna. Perhaps we will never know the answers!

Papiya was an accomplished Academician and a feisty single woman, who was totally committed to the highest principles of integrity, honesty and dedicated service. For the Family and those who knew Papiya well, she will doubtless “BE FOREVER”! Papiya’s life, values and contributions are truly inspirational and anything short of a continuing CELEBRATION of it, can never be contemplated.

We can only consecrate Papiya appropriately by ensuring that the perpetrators of the unparalleled, heinous crime against an innocent, law abiding, upright and honest, professional woman, do not walk away scott-free. In fact, that’s the very least we can strive to do, for the future is at stake! The implications for civil society and governance are wide ranging and must be appreciated by all concerned.

To know more about Papiya and the crime to which she fell a tragic victim and to enable you to lend your support, you are invited to please browse along.

"I questioned the mystic emissary of cosmic law about earthly parting and soundlessly he answered :

" I am the pilot of ever evolving life often mistakenly called Terrible Death. I am thy up-lifter, redeemer, friend, unloader of thy gross burden of body troubles. I come to fetch thee away from the valley of thy broken dreams to a wondrous highland of life, to which poison vapors of sorrow cannot climb.

"I have removed thy soul bird from the cage of flesh attachment. Long imprisonment behind bars of bones madest thee used to the cage, but unwillingly; thou didst always yearn for liberty. Now, cast away fear; thou hast won thine astral freedom !

"O transitory visitor to Earth, re-enter the beauteous skies ! Explore once more thine ethereal home ! "
"Whispers From Eternity", Sri Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, 1946, whose deep insights provided much solace and strength to Papiya"