Himanshu Roy's failed promise: I will fight back and return soon
Himanshu Roy was determined to recover and get back to duty, but wanted to pump up his body as it had started becoming frail owing to the illness and medication
Before writing this piece, I was told the story of a former cricketer named George Brown, who played Test cricket for England in the 1920s. Like Himanshu Roy, he was tall and well-built. When Brown suffered the last of several heart attacks which rendered him frail, he pleaded with his visitors, "I know you are being kind, but don't come and see me anymore. Remember me the way I was."
In April 2016, I learnt that Roy had applied for long leave. When I checked with sources, I was told that Roy was diagnosed with cancer. Trying hard to shrug off my disbelief, I called Roy to do a story for the newspaper I worked with then. He didn't deny it. "Ideally, I would have loved it if this story didn't appear. You go ahead with the information that I have applied for long leave, but please don't mention the illness. I will fight back and return soon," he told me. I received a call from Roy when the story appeared. He thanked me for keeping my promise of not mentioning the reason for his leave. Our bond grew.
Last September, I called Roy for a chat. He said he was doing well, but wanted to pump up his body as it had become frail owing to the illness. I asked him if we could meet. "You wouldn't want to see me like this," he said. Once, I noticed that his display picture (DP) on Whatsapp was that of a lion. When I asked him about it he said it was a reflection of his persona. I'm glad I didn't see him deteriorate. That said, this is no way to say goodbye, Sir!
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