Communist with Nationalist Sympathies- Mohit Sen

There is a belated review of Mohit Sen’s memoirs ‘A Traveller and the Road’ by Mahmood Farooqui, who captures an important aspect of Mohit’s ideological moorings. Mohit met Jawaharlal Nehru only once, and Nehru wrote a note to his staff stating that Mohit was a communist with nationalist sympathies, a statement that he treasured till the end of his life.S. Gopal found the note while researching Nehru’s archives and Mohit regretted that S. Gopal never actually showed him the note to which he had access. Solely for that reason, he did not speak at the obituary meeting held after the demise of S. Gopal at the India International Center in New Delhi.

The otherwise excellent review by Farooqui significantly misses out on the other, and equally if not more, important half of Mohit- Vanaja Iyengar, whom he met and married in England.

It was her portrait photograph that hung on the wall opposite the sofa where Mohit slumped on that dark night of 3rd May two and a half years ago in his middle- class apartment in Somajiguda in Hyderabad.

On the table, next to the TV stood a replica of the famous Indus Valley man. I am certain that as he suffered the stroke while watching the late night news, his eyes must have looked at her face- in a final farewell glance.

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