P.K. Mehta In Memoriam (1930 - 2019)
Posted by Rahul Brown on Aug 15, 2019
Dear Friends - we've gathered today to remember and honor a rare and luminous soul. Kumar uncle had the head of a brilliant scholar, a heart full of compassion for the poor and needy, and the hands of a gifted organizer who founded and seeded many enduring institutions and NGOs. I was fortunate to meet him over a decade ago when I interviewed him as part of a film for ICA’s 50th anniversary. Our 1 hr interview turned into a 4 hour conversation, and blossomed into a friendship where I saw him as a mentor and exalted elder but where he saw a spark of himself in me. What struck me most was his humility—how he described himself as mostly an observer of an organization that he co-founded.
Spirituality infused everything about him. His home had the vibe of an ashram- simple, functional, and serving as a base for inner practice. For a man who held 9 patents and collected royalties on his groundbreaking inventions, he never ramped up his personal consumption. In a culture where success is defined by a ‘winner takes all’ attitude, his example reminded us of the way of saints and Mahatmas—where ‘winners give all’. Unencumbered by selfishness and dogmatism, his generosity supported people across denominations, with clear recognition of how these were all flavors of universal goodness. Though the academics may claim him as their own due to his weighty contributions, to me he was undoubtedly first and foremost God’s man. If you knew Kumar uncle, you had the sense that he had angels working for him. That the universe itself would bend to accommodate his prayer. If Kumar uncle knew you, it meant he saw the best in you, and you were better for it as you rose to emulate the shining example he lived every day. In this sense, he lives on in all us—and in the many organizations he seeded which outlive him.
The Sufi saints celebrate the passing of those who carefully guarded their sense doors as a transition from bounded love to unbounded love. Kumar uncle is one such man who is now part of that unbounded love, and I feel grateful for having known him and to live in a world that he’s brightened.