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Sam's daughter: He was always there for us
June 27, 2008 17:41 IST
Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who passed away in the wee hours of Friday, was a professional soldier and a career person but he always gave equal importance to his family.
"The army was his life. Yet, his two daughters and three grandchildren were more than life for Sam Manekshaw," Shelly Batliwala, daughter of the Field Marshal, said. "He (Manekshaw) was always there for us and later for his grandchildren. Regardless of what his career demanded from him, he was always a good father," she said while attending the funeral of the decorated soldier. "My father was a very intelligent and a charming person to the family too. He was very good to us and great fun to be around with," Batliwala said.
Manekshaw's other daughter Maja Daruwala, who is settled in Delhi, said her father had taken a decision to settle down in Coonoor on the insistence of her mother. "We are lucky that our parents lived in the pristine surroundings of Coonoor, where they settled in 1973, after my father retired from service," Daruwala said. "The military hospital doctors and staff members took great care of our father in his last days. I must say both our parents led a peaceful retired life," she said.
On Manekshaw's legacy that the family had to carry forward, Daruwala said: "We used to hesitate and were careful in using the Manekshaw name for any purpose, but seeing the crowd gathered here to pay their last respects to our father, we are honoured to be part of the Manekshaw family."
Manekshaw's grandson, Jehan, said whenever he went out to shop, those who knew his background used to enquire about his grandfather and request him to convey their wishes to the Field Marshal. "When I was younger, I used to feel slightly irritated when others referred to me as Field Marshal Manekshaw's grandson. Then, I wanted to be my own person and make a name for myself, instead of falling back on my grandfather's legacy". "But now, I realise that the individuality and the drive to be my own has come from my grandfather," Jehan added.