Veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar had written a tribute piece on Atal Bihari Vajpayee after the former Prime Minister's death, but as fate would have it, Mr Nayar's obituary has overtaken his unpublished article on the poet-politician.
"He was in 90s and yet working till his last day. His loss is irreplaceable, but, at least he died peacefully," his son Rajiv Nayar said.
The noted journalist and author died on Thursday at age 95 working till the very end indeed - his last column appeared in the Lokmat Times this morning, hours after he breathed his last around 12.30 am in a Delhi hospital.
"After Vajpayee's death, he (Nayar) was working on a piece on him. He had finished the article and it was to be sent to all the syndicated publishers, but the inevitable happened. Irony is, his obituary has been written even before his planned piece could be published. Such is life," Rajiv Nayar told news agency PTI.
Kuldip Nayar was suffering from pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital five days ago, after he had complained of chest pain.
"He was a deeply determined man. And so, even in his old age he was writing. Last Friday, we took him to the hospital, not knowing we were going to lose him. But, he was spirited till the end," said Ratish Nanda, who is married to Kuldip Nayar's granddaughter Mandira.
The veteran journalist, a proponent of India-Pakistan peace, is survived by his wife and two sons. His last rites were performed at the Lodhi Crematorium in New Delhi at 1 pm.
"He wrote the piece on Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but it still lies on his desk," Mr Nanda said.
Mr Vajpayee, 93, died at the AIIMS hospital in Delhi on August 16 following a prolonged illness.
As Mr Nayar's mortal remains were consigned to flames, amid a mournful gathering, many described his departure as an "end of an era" in journalism.
Delhi University professor Ajit Jha, who also attended the funeral, said, "I had worked with him as part of his various initiatives, including the civil society ones."
"His personal relationship with Vajpayeeji was warm but as a journalist he was also critical of him as a politician," he said.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Kuldip Nayar, both born in 1920s, died one week apart, and leave a wealth of legacy behind for the posterity.
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