Prof. B. Sheik Ali lived an active and purposeful life
Voice of The Reader

Prof. B. Sheik Ali lived an active and purposeful life

September 5, 2022


The death of my dear friend Prof. B. Sheik Ali on Sept. 1 came as a shock to me. By any standard he was a remarkable person and lived an active life till the end except for a few days of sudden complications in his health  when he died at the age of 98. 

At an advanced age when most people would suffer from several ailments and loss of many physical faculties like hearing problem, memory, eye sight, lack of interest in intellectual pursuit etc., he was a complete contrast living an active and purposeful  life.

 It sent me on a memory lane recollecting my experience with him. We both along with Dr. G.V. Gopinath (formerly the Director of AEC) were three elders  going regularly for walk in Manasagangothri for several years. I knew him since 2002 as he was the member of the Mysore Agenda Task Force when I used to take him in my car for the meetings. 

When we went for a walk we would hold his hands in turn. He was very punctilious in his habits. He would leave his house to be at my place exactly at 6.30 in the morning. I would take his hands and walk to Manasagangothri where Dr. Gopinath would join us. We must have made a pretty picture and many persons would ask us to pose for the picture. There used to be several groups of runners gathering at the clock tower and ask us to join for a group photo.

 While walking, we would discuss many subjects and it was such a lively time. Dr. Gopinath is a good writer in Kannada  and he would regale us with stories. Prof. Sheik Ali would recount lot of  Urdu Shairies while I would sing Kannada songs.

Amongst us no subject was a taboo. Politics of course was a frequent subject of our discussion. For Convocations or any function I would go with him. I also accompanied him when he went to Ramakrishna Mission to deliver lectures. I was invited as chief guest at his school several times.

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His graciousness is that he would acknowledge in his book any small information I supplied. Since many aspects have already been covered in SOM, I would not like to repeat them.

Prof. Sheik Ali never used computer or typewriter and he wrote everything in his hand. When he writes it is like hieroglyphics, so perfect.  He said it is due to the fact that he used quill in writing during his childhood days. Not many people are aware that all the seven printed volumes of the ‘History of Karnataka’ was written by his hand! Also, he said that he was the person who introduced Kannada in History class.

Just before Covid, he was advised not to go for walk as his bones are brittle. Confined to the house he was active. We used to visit him frequently. I can only say goodbye my dear friend and rest in peace.

– H.R. Bapu Satyanarayana, Saraswathipuram, 1.9.2022

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