Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 22:
Former Odisha chief minister late JB Patnaik, who passed away in a private hospital in Tirupati on Tuesday, was a bibliophile and connoisseur of books, recounts his daughter Sudatta Patnaik.
“Since my childhood, I have seen my father’s library grow bigger with time. When my father was working as an editor of Odia daily Prajatantra, we were staying in a small house inside its campus. There was a small room in that house where he used to keep his books and magazines. He was a voracious reader and most of the time I found him reading books.”
Citing an instance of JB’s immense love for books, Sudatta says, “During his stay in New Delhi I had offered him something as gift which he rejected saying I would ask you when I feel like. At present, I don’t have any requirement. But moments later, he moved out in search of a book from the market,” she added.
“After about half an hour, he called up an attendant to accompany him to a book shop. All this shows his desire for books which he had maintained till his last breath. What was more remarkable was that he used to give reference to the contents of the book in his public addresses and talks. Though I don’t get much time to read, I have a lot to learn from him,” she expressed.
The huge collection of books has been treasured in a personal library at his house in Sishu Bhawan area here.
“We have to maintain the library which has been created by him. He used to pick books wherever he went. The library houses variety of books on varied topics,” she said.
With the legendary leader’s death, a void has been created and his absence will be felt, Sudatta said.
“My mother is in a state of shock after the sudden demise of my father. It will be unbearable for us to cope up with the situation,” she said in a chocked voice.