[House of memories: Rajbati, where Ashok Kumar was born. Picture by Amit Kumar]
Residents here seemed unaware that an illustrious son of India — Ashok Kumar to some, Dadamoni to many — was born in Bhagalpur more than a hundred years ago.
Ashok Kumar was born at Rajbati, the house of his maternal grandfather, on October 13, 1911. He even spent his childhood in the city, later marrying Shobha Devi, daughter of Sudhirendra Nath of Kharmanchak.
All that remains of Rajbati now are broken walls and the glistening white sand of the Ganga diara. Even the house of his in-laws has disappeared. So has, it seems, his memory among residents.
There were no functions to mark his birth anniversary on Monday. “It’s a generation gap. The new generation is familiar with contemporary artistes. Why should they remember Ashok Kumar,” asked Ratna Mukerjee, senior professor of psychology at Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University, and the daughter of Ashok’s cousi…