India, in general, and the Legal World, in particular, became poorer with the passing away of Shri Ashok Desai, fondly called as Ashokbhai by all.
A Legend in Legal Circles, he was the former Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India, and Advocate General of Maharashtra. As a Senior Advocate, he was par excellence and admired by all in the Legal World.
In more than one sense, Ashokbhai was a Spiritual Philosopher, possessed of unselfish Love, Chittshuddhi (cleansing of heart) and achieving Moral Upliftments of highest levels.
There are very few people in life one can come across like him- ever so smiling- ever so helpful- ever so kind- ever so loving.
As a Lawyer, he was simply one of the most outstanding of all. Extraordinarily brilliant, very well prepared in Law and Facts, extremely polite to the Bench and to his opponents. Yet, with his fair presentation in a very soothing voice, he could win over both the Bench and the Bar. Also, as a human being, he was highly accomplished. Possessed of noble virtues derived from his great Parents, highly educated, extremely well read and well informed, and widely travelled, Ashokbhai was an intellectual of a very high order. A great speaker and a patient listener; that made him an extremely enjoyable conversationalist, full of wit and information. Evenings spent with him would be treasured for a life-time.
He had a very deep love for humanity and the Nation. He never missed reminding all who knew him, as to what was right and what was wrong in Public Life. His observations and remarks were a good guide to understand the state of the Nation.
His humour in such conversation was lethal and apt. He could regale Friends for hours with his stories from his life time’s experiences.
Ashokbhai had a deep understanding of Religions and was highly spiritual. He followed tenets of Buddhism and practised them in his own life. His beliefs were never dogmatic or rigid, but were very moderate and humane.
Ashokbhai’s life journey is a classic example of what was said once, “Do not seek death… Death will find you… But, seek the road which makes death fulfilment.”
Ashokbhai passed away peacefully and gracefully, today morning. Even in Death, he chose the Buddhist Path of Renunciation. But, Ashokbhai will never be forgotten for all his Deeds. His life will be an example for generations to come.
He leaves behind his wife, Suvarnaben, also an accomplished human being in her own right and a true life-time partner, his sons, Jai and Harsh, daughter Ami, and grandchildren on whom he doted.
He also leaves behind large number of Friends and Admirers who will never forget him for all that he gave them.
For my wife Ami and me, Ashokbhai was a source of nourishment in our lives, and a constant Friend, Philosopher and Guide.
As Tagore famously said, Ashokbhai’s, “Life was beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves.”
May his soul Rest in Eternal Peace.