Tribute

“My dear Manu, Pampi and Mimi,…

It is not fair that we, belonging to the elder generation should be mourning for Gopal, who was like a son. We have never seen a more equable and affectionate person than him. He was like a soothing balm.

Among Gopal’s many qualities what amazed us was his strong attachment to his roots. A few years ago, Manu told me that after his retirement Gopal was taking classes, that is instructing himself in all varieties of Bengali music – Rabindranath, Atulprasad, Nazrul etc. having spent almost his entire life out there in the States, this was remarkable.

Much earlier I used to send Bengali books. One I remember, – Kolkatar Bonedibari – to him, and he profusely thanked me for it over the phone. Even earlier, he used to write letters in Bengali – we have treasured those letters. It was summer and he asked us “How are you enjoying the Aam paka gorom ?” He did have a literary flair. And then I remember his and Manu’s travel notes from Greece. they were taking a break and camping by the Aegean Sea.

You will come through.Take care,”

– Bochamashi/dida + Tuki/mashi and family

“Mallika and I often talk about the good times we have with all our friends in the BAGH community. Those thoughts and memories of course include you and Samhitadi. Here is a photo I found from the 2016 Durga Puja – I think it was me the year I took over as President  and introducing my committee.

Over the several years that we worked together starting from Saumitrada’s time, you were always there to help, participate, contribute, advise and guide. I never heard you say “no” to anything we collectively decided – like cooking Labda for Puja Friday’s or Saraswati Puja or the Mudimakha for picnic. Oh the Mudimakha – heavenly! Mallika sitting next to me just reminded me how you would bring all the ingredients and condiments in boxes – ready to be mixed. Bagh Picnic was incomplete without that touch from you. You were always so encouraging and loving to all our kids – Moon, Mina, Trisha etc – who were always so eager to work with “Gopal Mesho” – be it to serve dinner or prasad. And then they all grew up and went to college . .. You and Samhitadi [came to] Moon’s graduation party.

This Saraswati Puja we indeed missed your ever smiling presence.Over the years we talked about your work with Gamma alloys. I learned quite a bit from you about metallurgy and it still helps me in my work.”

– Arindam

”He was blessed with two beautiful daughters and he doted over them.  He was a person of admiration for me with his soft personality. A man of diligence and honesty in whatever he did. A personal loss for me because I always knew that there was someone there for me if I was ever in need.Thank you for touching his feet on behalf of us.  May his soul rest in peace.“

– Babu mama and Mamima

“Gopal,

We love you, dear friend
Living down the street
You share a bright smile
Every time we meet.Let us now celebrate
With hearts overflowing
Your 75 th year
Joy and love ever growing.Each day you awake
With humble gratitude
For the people you love
And the life you pursued.We admire your intelligence,
Your kindness and humor.
We thank you for songs,
Wishing we had met sooner.Ever grateful to God,
For memories we made,
The stories and laughter,
Our bond will remain.May God be with us
In this time of distress.
Give us strength and grace
And our spirits be blessed.

– McGarth family, Simsbury, CT

“Hello Gopal,

I hope, you are doing well despite the present difficulty. You always have – in happy and in challenging times. And you will in your next Journey!

… My memory is clear. I will always remember you as a cheerful, supportive and enduring true friend from the time we first met in 1969 at Case.

At that time I struggled speaking and understanding English, but no matter, that did not deter you from talking to me. Your enthusiasm and joy of everything in life were palpable.

I recall our times together in some classes, at the electron microscope and, later on, in your seminars at Case and your guest lecture in my class on material processing.

It is as if we never were apart for any length of time, even when we travelled in different directions an spent time in different places.

… We reminisced at length about your collaboration that provided us with ideas and with titanium aluminide materials that kept us and many others busy, e.g. during my sabbatical stay at DLR (Cologne) and beyond. I recall your visits at Case as well as my visit at P&W and the many phone conversations in which you always provided ideas on how to further advance our art.

Gopal, I wish to continue to cherish our friendship beyond the present lifetime, hopefully with minimal interruption.
Although it is difficult to say Good-bye for now, I hope and I’m confident that we will meet again to enjoy your cheerfulness in the next journey, where ever and whenever it will be.

Sincerely yours,
p.s.: if possible, can I talk to you on the phone one more time!?”

– Gerhard

“We will all miss Gopal – as a great family man, friend and scientist.

=== earlier

I hope my friend Gopal is doing well according to the circumstances. …

Today I looked through all of my photos. Here is my collection. I am sure that Gopal will be very happy when he looks at the photos. I always look at these pictures when I think of my friendship with Gopal.

You’re right – he’s pretty weak, so we always ended the call after a few minutes. If I think of earlier – a talk with Gopal under 45 minutes was nothing!

We are always with Gopal and you in our thoughts.
I didn’t know that Gopal was so sick. It just makes me sad!

The last time we spoke on the phone, we were happy to see us in the United States twice in 2020. Once at a conference in September that I invited him to. And then in Boston in early December… During the whole conversation he never said a word about his illness… I cry when I think of these conversations.

Gopal has always been like a fatherly friend to me. When I worked at the Plansee company, we got to know each other and have never lost sight of each other since then. I learned a lot from Gopal scientifically and I like thinking about the publications that we both wrote together. In every conversation we also talked about Indian culture, Indian music and private things. He always spoke with love of his wife and of course of his two daughters, who were his pride and joy!
Please keep me up to date! I will pray for him. You can’t do more with such a bad illness.

If he is approachable, please tell him that he is a true friend of mine and that I think of him every day!
With hopeful greetings from Austria”

– Helmut & Ruth, Leoben, Austria

“Gopal of all the “Host Students” Ed and I have met and known, you are the most memorable and outstanding. When you came to our home it was as if a member of the family.

We have shared many experiences mostly good thank goodness. But tell me, after all these years did you ever admit to your mother that you eat beef?

If I could come here to be with you I would sing for you. That would bring you on your knees with laughter and tears.
Gopal you are a wonderful man. my family love and care about you.

My best wishes and hopes for you all”

– Marilyn

===

a tender exchange between Gopal and Marilyn over phone, transcribed by Pampi

Dad: I enjoyed your love… affection ..
Marilyn: even touch… I love you.
Dad: Thank you

Poem for parents 45th anniversary, Feb 2020

Significant because a month later, in hospital by himself, with hands barely functional, he dug it up and wrote a poem in response >> Exchange below >>

odd birds together
pecking singing hammering
nest far away here
many nests fallen
infernal winds
what’s 45 years
a whole elephant
rooms all the fills
so alone together
balancing
too great of feats
one foot falls after the others
walking side by side
searching for blessings
receive them open palms
eat them
nourish your bellies
seeds planted
sewn long ago
nourish your bellies
those perfect days
nourish your bellies
happy bird blessings

His response, Mar 2020

amar poem (my poem)

what’s 45 years –> raising two beautiful daughters, full of grace, never listen, strive hard to find path of their own. Our only wish is their happiness, their sisterly bond. We come into the world with nothing and depart without anything. Only thing that remains is the love that we shared with each other. Even when I’m gone the other bird may not chirp much but I like her to be herself, otherwise it won’t be fun

>> My response
I cannot know how much you are suffering but if the cvirus doesn’t do us in maybe you have a chance to enjoy a few months of the one beauty New England offers: spring and summer 🦋

Unbelievably I even finally got a job so I could spend some time with you 🏾 thanks for believing in me all that time I was struggling

It’s been rough adjusting to the work. Just getting to know my responsibilities and trying to figure out how to re-enter that house -if for nothing else – than to go on quiet walks with you.

You’re wrong though: we come into the world with our greatest potential to love and our life’s work is to understand how we can leave the world making sure everyone we touch feels loved. And you, my friend, have managed that somehow 🏾

Maybe you aren’t what everyone expects but – as you wish for mum – you have been your tender gentle self most every day. Maybe that’s the beauty of being raised by women if the village when you were: you only know how to be yourself. And for that so many have been so blessed. everyone struggles with not showing up right day to day but there is not a soul in the world who knows you who can deny – or even be able to – what a light you are.

I know you know: you are the apple of my heart. My best friend. My soul mate.

The house is so completely changed- no song no food. I’m learning Bengali songs for you and I’m already reminded who ever will say me back in poetry all the delicacy in the words we eat like sweets however tender however sad? Who but you?

You are our songbird. Stay on a little longer so we can sing together – all of us – again in sun green and freshest air. “

– Pampi, Boston, MA

“I will miss my friend.  He was an excellent person to have as a research collaborator and more importantly friend.  My heart goes out to you.

— earlier

My dearest friend,

My thoughts, prayers, and love are with you.  I am so sorry that I can’t visit you due to this pandemic.

As I remember all of the good times we had over the past 20+ years.  I remember your thirst for technical excellence and the need for your work to make a positive impact to the world.  Let me start by saying you did make a difference. If you only knew where your research made a difference for the defense of this country.

We definitely had some good times when we worked together.  The knowledge you brought to the table was phenomenal. I also loved your loyalty and friendship.  You are one of my best friends in our small community of materials research.

I thank God that we had the opportunity of being friends and collaborators.  AS I look back at my 35 year career with NASA I’ve always considered you the best person I had the privilege to worked with.

I’ve been going through my boxes of from NASA and came across some photos of us (including Bob Warburton) at the R&D 100 awards ceremony back in 2000.

So I attached them to this email.  Likewise, I’ve found a picture of your famous gaterhide that proved to the world that your TiAl is creditable.

Just remember this you are like a brother to me.  An older one though.

With great love”

– Paul

“Please let your dad know that I love him very much

He was always kind to me and I always thought of as a father. Much of my time with you was defined by my time with him. Just the most genuinely caring and loving man I’ve met

I remember his cooking and impishness

I can’t overstate how clear my memories of him are”

– Sandeep

 

“I am so sorry to learn about the passing of Gopal.  He was a truly decent man and a dear friend.

Thank you so much for calling me to talk to Gopal during his last few days.  I will never forget the time that we spent talking about my interactions with Gopal and your family over the past 31 years.

Please know that I will always be here for you in any way that I can be helpful.  I look forward to hearing from you.”

– Wole

“It is one of my saddest part of my life when the news came in.

I and my family will surely missing your lovely inspiring words.

Last I spoke on the eve of new year 2020 it is still fresh and always coming in the mind.

The loss will never be replaced.

You will always be remembered through your work and achievement for the years to come.

My kids really enjoyed your conversation will be remembered and my family definitely missing your presence.

I pray to Almighty for your peace.

A great loss to Das family which will never be replaced.”

– Arnab Kumar Bhadury Bobby, Kolkata

“In loving memory of a kind and peaceful man, passionate about his family, his music and his lifetime work in metallurgical research. His industrial accomplishments and reputation will live on for years to come. While we did not share a blood relationship, he was my brother-in-law, an honor I will always cherish. Rest in peace my friend.”

– Mike Wexler, Medina, OH

 “In loving memory of a wonderful person, we celebrate a life well lived, we will love you and miss you always. You were a rocket scientist but so much more. You were the priest at our wedding .. blessed us in Sanskrit with your heartfelt love, cried with me ..we will never forget.”

– Sweta Wexler, Medina, OH

“He was one of the warmest, kindest, most loving men I ever met. The few times I spent in his presence were memorable and impactful. I am so sorry for the loss that his family are experiencing.”

– Jennifer Putnam, Medford, MA

“Proud of you mejomama.”

 – Sriparna Saha

“আমরা তোমার জন্য গর্বিত মেজমামা।😘😘😘“

 – Rupsa Biswas

“Pampi, your Dad was a gentle soul.Everytime I met him he left a long lasting smile and a memory of something delicious he and your Mom brought to the get together. So warm and positive….he will be missed. May your best memories bring you warmth and comfort in this time of sadness.”

– Tichu Sondhi

“তোমার তুলনা শুধু তুমি! To be close to such a unique personality, getting his affection, to be in harmony with his melody-I am feeling blessed, I am proud.”

 – Kasturi Senbhunia

“Dr. Das was a wonderful, decent, and kind person.”

– Sean Bradshaw

“The video is brilliantly made. What talented daughters he has left behind! And not to mention a beautiful wife both inside out! Gopalda is watching over you all in spirit! . You are one of the best families i have ever known. Please stay in touch! I miss you all soooooo much . Lots of love and best wishes”

– Anasuya Suchy

Gopal Uncle,

I am very sorry for what you are going through right now. I cannot imagine how tough the past few weeks has been for you and your family. My whole family is thinking of you and praying for you to feel better.

You mean so much to my family and we very much wish we could be there with you during such a tough time. You will always have a special place in my families heart for being not only my father’s best friend but also a wonderful light for our family.

We love you very much and are sending you all the good thoughts and prayers we can. Please feel better soon.

– Satabdi

We wish the near and dear have the courage to bear this loss….Gopal will always be remembered for his helpful, jovial and ebullience…

– Kanuda & Anuradha

Our sincere and deepest condolences to Samhita, Aparna and Ishani. May God give Gopal eternal peace!

We were classmate at B E College back in India. After graduation, he came to Case Institute of Technology for higher studies. I came to the States in 1971 for the same purpose (In Detroit). My wife and I met Goal in Cleveland at his college campus apartment.

He was a metallurgist’s metallurgist, i.e., we sought his guidance and knowledge even in our professional life. We last met face to face with him some 15 years ago in Florida. After that time, we mostly communicated trough phone and e-mails.
For the last ten years or so, whenever we talked over the phone, we talked about his ongoing work and progress on gamma titanium aluminide.

I still remember his signature laugh!

I last talked with him on March 28th – when he was still in the hospital.
He wil remain always my metallurgist’s metallurgist friend for ever!

– Dibyajyoti and Nilu Aichbhaumik

Gopal Babu,

I am already missing your contagious smile, your words of wisdom conveyed in a soft voice, your basic decency and,above all, your active “can do” spirit for the individual and the community. You will remain in my memory as a friend and a colleague till the end of time. May your family and dear ones have peace and tranquility.

– Sudhangshu Bose, Manchester, CT

Dear Sam, Pampi and Ishani,My sincerest condolences for the loss of Gopal, a very good kind man, a scholar, a superb father and husband and a dear friend that I will dearly miss. I am holding dear Gopal in my thought and celebrating as you said his liberation.

Again my heart goes to you his dear family while you’re going through this tough period …

Sincere love to all of you

– Fred