Panaji: Septuagenarian Sandip Naik still remembers losing a carom match with then chief minister Dayanand Bandodkar exactly 50 years ago at Panjim Gymkhana. That was the last match he played with Bandodkar, who died within hours after that.
The state is commemorating 50th death anniversary of late Bandodkar, who was the first chief minister of Goa after its liberation from Portuguese rule in the year 1963. Bandodkar succumbed to a heart attack, ten years later, on August 12, 1973.
“Bandodkar was a founder of Panaji gymkhana and he was regular there to play carom, table tennis and cricket. Everyday, without fail, he used to be at Panjim Gymkhana by 4.30 pm even when he was the chief minister,” recalls Naik.
“On that day, we played couple of carom matches. The last match I played against Bandodkar, I had lost it and then I left Gymkhana to come back home,” he remembers. “It was after that Bandodkar developed some pain in chest and he left the place to go to his home,” Naik said.
Exactly 50 years down the line there are very few people who can exactly recall what happened on that day.
Naik stated that Bhausaheb went home from Gymkhana from where he was admitted to Goa medical college same night as he complained of chest pain.
Bandodkar’s grandson Yatin Kakodkar, who was then nine year old, recalls that on the last day, when Bandodkar complained of the chest pain, three doctors were summoned at the residence at Altinho in Panaji.
“The doctors adviced that he should be immediately shifted to GMC. There was no time, so doctors started treating him in the general ward of GMC amidst all the other patients,” he said.
Kakodkar, whose mother Shashikala Kakodkar went to become the successor for Bandodkar, claimed that Bandodkar uttered two words “Shiv Shambho” before he breathed his last on August 12 night.
“Bhausaheb was an ardent devotee of Lord Mahadev. He used to perform puja at the sanctum sanctorium of the home every Monday,” he said.
Historian Sanjiv Sardesai remembers how people from all across Goa thronged at his residence in Panaji to pay last homage to their leader. “There was a long line from his home up till Mahalaxmi Temple (almost three kms long distance),” said Sardesai who along with his father went to pay respect to Bandodkar.
When funeral procession started, there must be at least 20,000 to 30,000 people who participated in it, walking from the main road up to Miramar beach where he was cremated.
The Samadhi of Bandodkar is currently situated where last rites were performed on him.
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THOSE LAST HOURS BHAUSAHEB BANDODKAR