From Papiya’s youngest sister and soulmate for all times.

The real connection between Bihar and my sister, Papiya, has puzzled many who knew her socially and professionally…

I believe Papiya should matter to Bihar- at least now- as Bihar did to Papiya in her short well-lived life.

Papiya, and professional, dedicated, single women like her who have the resilience and spirit to stand up for their principles and values and who struggle in not very congenial surroundings to leave their imprint and sterling contributions , must not have the State turn its back on them.
Papiya worked in and for Bihar. Papiya’s life was taken in Bihar.

Only a resurgent Bihar can undo this most grievous injustice..

I look forward to that!

Dr. TUKTUK GHOSH, Papiya’s youngest sister and soulmate for all times.

( Excerpts from , Bihar and Papiya, in “Resurrection of the State- A Saga of Bihar: Essays in Memory of Papiya Ghosh” , 2013).


From Jaya Ghosh

It is very difficult for me to think of Papiya in the past tense. She was seven years younger than me . I treated her as one of my kids in many ways. I feel blessed to have her as my sister. She was also my friend, philosopher, spiritual advisor, counselling for dealing with life’s adversities and much more. Her hearty laughter still rings in my ears….
I am borrowing a poem by Constance Parker Graham to convey my feelings…

“Some people
Have a special gift
Of giving other hearts a lift,
Roses, rainbows, a sunny smile
Whatever makes a day worthwhile.
They give warmth
And understand,
The art of lending a friendly hand
They always know
What help you need
They are very special people indeed
Who somehow always seem to guess
Just how to bring you happiness”.

Constance Parker Graham

Papiya’s loss is an irreparable one.

Our family will carry forward her legacy and honour her memory in as many ways as we possibly can.

JAYA GHOSH ( Papiya’s eldest sister)

(Excerpts from , My Very Special Sister, Papiya-Bumble, in “Toast to Papiya ”, 2008).


My Very Dearest Sister

“Karmayogi” is a description that would aptly describe Papiya – a believer in service, rather than a follower of religious rituals. She had a deep and abiding faith in the Divine Presence and whatever she did, it was with complete truthfulness and honesty and to the best of her ability.

She was the most caring and dutiful of sisters. Always positive, optimistic, with ready wit and sparkling intelligence, Papiya could not be put down for long. She was not afraid of voicing her opinions and would not tolerate injustice.

Through our deep grief, we will honour and cherish our brave and courageous sister for the very high values she epitomized.

I appeal to you to help securing justice for Papiya. Else it will be mockery of all that our Constitution and legal edifice stand for.


My Historian Friend

Though married to a family of historians, I had tried to keep my distance from History, with a typical Technocrat’s arrogance, which held that History dealt only with past.

It was Papiya, who successfully changed that over the years as she discussed her riveting research work with me, especially her work on Partition. Her passionate involvement and commitment to academics made me very proud of her. Her last book will tell the story of millions of displaced lives, but will not tell the story of the dedicated person who was always game to negotiate the uncharted course, unescorted!

Cruel hands of destiny have taken away my favourite sister in the prime of her life through an unspeakably terrifying ordeal. I have lost a caring friend and one who made me feel good just by being around.

Friends, Papiya’s mission will not remain unfulfilled and I am confident that Papiya will remain in our hearts forever!




I don’t have words to express how much Papiya – our dearest ‘Bumble’ – meant to me and how much I will miss her. From feeding me Farex on the window-sill of her room, to indulging my amateurish efforts at scholarly discussion, to the subtle ways in which she exposed and corrected my prejudices, and of course the innumerable disputed games of Scrabble and in the way in which she came up with some of the best nicknames I have ever had, she is always going to be in my fondest memories. She was a confidante and a true teacher. Her praise was true and her criticisms fair. She wanted me to really be all that I could-encouraging me to develop what she called ‘real’ interests beyond the Science and Maths that were my daily bread. In her vast Library I could always find something new and interesting to immerse myself in. Literature, Music, History, Politics – everything I know about these and several other more eclectic subjects can be traced back to her inexhaustible collection in Patna. I never ceased to be amazed by the depth and breadth of her knowledge, but more importantly, how humble she was and how lightly she wore all her accomplishments. Her professional achievements are well known, but to me her love, warmth, sheer selflessness and the pure resolve by which she maintained our house in Patna as a real sanctuary was truly remarkable. She really was noble and lived by her principles, qualities that are to be cherished because they are too rare in our world. The manner of her death could not have been less befitting of the way in which she lived her life. I pray she is at peace now. Whatever I am and whatever I may become will be owed in no small part to her. After all, as she would say ‘aakhir tumko Farex kisne khilaya hai?'  


Bumble used to call me “son”

Bumble used to call me “son”. How fortunate I was all those years, and I did not know it. I had a second mother in Bumble Mashi. She knew it and every interaction she had with me reflected this maternal sense. Virtually every phone call and e mail, as well as those precious personal visits, began with a simple salutation: Hello, son! Hearing those words always cheered me up….

Bumble’s love and encouragement made her one of the most giving individuals I will ever encounter in my lifetime. I regret that I never returned to Bumble the sum total of the love and affection she gifted to me. I suspect I am not alone in this sentiment. And while words fail to adequately address her loss to me, I am proud to carry on a small part of her legacy.

GAURAB BANSAL , Papiya’s nephew.
(Excerpts from, Son, in ” Toast to Papiya”, 2008.)


I Miss you

I am like you in so many ways.
There’s no better way to remember you than to see so much of you in me.
Thank you for all you did for us .
Thank you for being the jaan of the family.
Thank you for being you.
Bumble, you’re ‘ my immortal’.
I miss you!!

JAGRITI  KUMAR ,  Papiya’s  niece 

(Excerpts  from  , Bumble- Sadabahaar, in  ” Toast  to  Papiya”, 2008).



Goodbye my friend
May you ever grow in our hearts,
You were the grace that blessed us all.
You used to captivate me
By your resonating life
Now you belong to heaven
And the stars spell out your name

And it seems to me
You lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never fading with the sunset,
When the rains set in.

Loveliness we’ve lost
These empty days, without your smile, without your laugh!
And even though we try, the truth brings us to tears
All our words cannot express, all the joy you brought us through the years

From us, who are lost without your soul
And who miss the wings of your compassion,
More than you will ever know.

And it seems to me,
You lived you life,
Like a candle in the wind…..
Never fading with the sunset, when the rains set in

Your footsteps will always fall here…..
Your candles burned out long before, your legend ever will.


Bihar Legislative Assembly

Dated 8 Dec 2006

President of India

A. P.J. Abdul Kalam

Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi- 110004
3 January 2007

Dear Ms. Kumar,

I would like to thank you for giving me the book "Partition and The South Asian Diaspora" written by Prof. Papiya Ghosh. I have found the book to be an in-depth study of real life cases of the people of Indian subcontinent who were affected by the partition and many of whom have now spread to other countries and continents. 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.

With regards,
Yours sincerely,
(A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)

Ms. Tuk Tuk Kumar
Principal Secretary to the Hon'ble Speaker,
Lok Sabha
Lok Sabha Secretariat, Parliament House
New Delhi-110 001