Mumbai: Mumbai: “Jyoti, uth na. Dekh, mera paon theek nahi hua hai. Uth na,” (Jyoti get up. See, my legs have not got well) Bina Nirpendra Kumar kept pleading, hoping that Jyotirmoy Dey, her son and outstanding crime journalist at Mid-Day, who was shot dead on June 11 in Mumbai, will get up.
Frenzied with sorrow, Bina, like her son, has shown a fierce resolve. Between tears, she pledged before the body of her son to not rest until his slayers are brought to their knees begging for forgiveness in a prison, a sentiment shared by most of those who knew the humble reporting giant.
“I promise you son, I will not breath my last until I see all the murderers behind bars. This is a promise of a Bengali woman,” she said, cursing the despicable creatures who killed her son, and vowing to avenge the mindless murder.
Bina, who has been suffering from a prolonged skin disease, recollected how Dey would rebuke her lovingly for not eating properly. “He’d say, ‘If you don’t eat properly, you won’t recover soon enough.'”
Every morning, we’d drink tea together. Yesterday, he brought a new windcheater for himself. He showed us how snug the fit was. Then, he told me how he would to take me on a trip to Shimla and Darjeeling. But he has left us alone,” Bina wailed.
Damning the accursed killers over and again, Bina said that Dey had been thinking of retiring for some time now. He planned to write another book, or even a movie script, she said. ‘Mummy, I will start working from home one day soon.”
I have thousands of things to do’, Dey had reportedly confided in his mother. “He was always on his toes, running here and there. At home, he was either in front of the TV or busy typing away on his computer,” Bina said, depicting how devoted Dey was to his work.
Speaking to a friend, Bina said, “Jyoti wanted to make this house as good as new. The renovation was supposed to start in two days. He told me, “‘Mummy, dekhna ab ghar ekdam chamka denge.’ (Mummy, you will see, I will renovate the house.) Now all has been lost.”
Every time his concerned family attempted to persuade Dey to quit the perilous crime beat, he would dismiss their arguments with an axiom he has proven to be a by-word of.
Said Lina, Dey’s sister, “He never shared the pressures of his work, or told us what stories he was working on. When we asked, or tried to dissuade him from doing such dangerous work, he’d say, ‘Jab tak jeene ka, shaan se jeene ka.’ (Live with dignity as long as you live.) And indeed, he did.
Of his considerate outlook, Lina said, “He was the sweetest brother. He took care of me at all times. The last time I had a pain in my legs and couldn’t walk, Jyoti carried me in his arms and brought me home. I told him he did not have to, but he didn’t listen.”
Attesting to Dey’s dedication to work, and also cursing it, she said, “We’d always tell him to take a break from work. But he never listened. I can’t remember the last time he went on a holiday, or even took a day’s leave from work. He was passionate about what he did. It was this obsession with work that took his life.”
She added, “We were waiting on him to have lunch with us on Saturday. He told us he’d return in half an hour. Why didn’t anyone, any of us, stop him from going out? It was his holiday.”
Then she couldn’t hold back. “I want my Jyoti back. Jyoti, please hold my hand. Look at me. How am I to survive this? We won’t be able to live without you. Please don’t leave us alone.