[Sh Surinder Mohan Nayyar, the ‘Wise Man’ of Nayyar Clan, my Dad]
(The given article has been written by CA Vikram Nayyar and edited by Lukshita Nayyar. Through this article, he has tried to immortalize the memories and thoughts of his late father who he has always seen as the ‘Wise Man’ of the family.)
Sh. Surinder Mohan Nayyar was born to Late Sh. Bihari Lal Nayyar and Late Smt. Ram Piyari Nayyar on 20 Jan, 1944 in Undivided India (Lahore). After independence and partition his family settled down in a small town Khanna (Punjab), which later on turned out to be the largest grain market of Asia. He blossomed in a family of 10 siblings, 7 brothers and 3 sisters, him being the eldest. Despite the initial adversities faced by the family (forced migration after partition, etc.) he successfully earned a diploma in electronics. His wish to pursue further studies could not materialize, as he was the eldest son and he had to join his father’s business.
Right from his childhood, he was a keen learner. Irrespective of the domain or sphere of knowledge, he tried to read and learn as much as possible. This trait of his made him a common reference point in the family for any and every kind of advice. Although he did not have a large friend circle, but the few dear ones he had always sought his advice. As a growing youngster, I witnessed that my father was being consulted by the family members across generations (right from my grandparents and my fathers’ siblings to the children of his siblings), especially over the matters concerning physical well being and medicines. Eventually, he became the ‘Wise Man’ of the Nayyar clan.
I wanted to be an engineer, but the ‘Wise Man’ advised me to pursue commerce and I followed his advice. I did my bachelors in commerce followed by CA and then I further pursued Masters and a degree in law. I used to have frequent arguments and clash of opinions with the ‘Wise Man’ on varied topics, be it family intricacies, social conduct, national/international issues, business/entrepreneurial insights and what not. Loaded with educational degrees, I used to push my viewpoint by any means. On such occasions, the ‘Wise Man’ would do the same thing, which a father normally does, that is to accept the view point of his child, obviously, because fathers take joy in the victory of their children more than their own. Although I used to relish the joy of winning over the ‘Wise Man’, but my conscience would know that on each of such occasion, the life experiences of the ‘Wise Man’ overweighed my arguments, which were based on the book learning.
The ‘Wise Man’ grew up as a grand old man of 77 years and his physical movements to and in the outside world were almost negligible. I too grew up as a family man and father of three children. Notwithstanding that, our arguments would continue. Then came the Corona era. It provided us another battleground for argument-war. I had been vehemently cautioning the ‘Wise Man’ to take all precautions for Corona. The ‘Wise Man’ somehow was relaxed, considering his negligible physical movements beyond his abode.
The ‘‘Wise Man’’ now is no more. He breathed his last on 25.4.2021 (4:59 pm) at PGI and the cause of his demise was Corona. The ‘Wise Man’ forgot that corona could come through visitors also. To perform the last rites of the ‘‘Wise Man’’, I being the eldest son, was taking him to our native place Khanna from PGI. This was the last journey that the ‘Wise Man’ and I undertook together to the final destination of ‘‘Wise Man’”. Entire time during this journey, I kept on thinking as to why this time also the ‘Wise Man’s life experience did not outweigh my views. At the end, I came to the sad conclusion that this disease, for the first time, outsmarted the eternal wisdom of my ‘Wise Man’.
Miss you Dad.
~CA Vikram Nayyar