I’ve often been obsessed with leaving a legacy behind me. I’ve never really thought why I want this and I’ve also been told that since we’re just a speck of dust in the universe, leaving a legacy does not matter anyway.

Those who love us will remember us.

But then again. People die two deaths, once when their soul leaves their body and the second when their name is uttered for the last time.

I just met a person who has not yet died his second death yet. The person is Sevak Raam Yatri, the father of my maternal grandfather.

A few days ago, my maternal grandmother gave me this book:

This is an autobiography of Sevak Raam Yatri, a story of a life consisting of unfortunate disasters, and how this man persisted through it all.

This is not just a story of a man, this is a history lesson through a common man’s life.

This man was a person I’ve always aspired to become. I would never have known about his existence or his greatness if I hadn’t read this book. As it turns out, the original version of this book, a handwritten manuscript also existed but was destroyed by one of my family members as they weren’t aware of its importance. The original book could not be published for financial reasons, so the book I read was only an abridged version of the original, and the original content was summarised by my maternal grandfather. I was sad that a great work of a great man is now most probably lost, so I made some attempts to find some information on the Internet about him.

I found this page on geni.com, a genealogical website, and when I realized that all of the information provided there about other family members was correct, I asked my mom about the person who had added that info and lo and behold, all the dots connected and soon I was on the phone talking to a very distant family member about my escapades involving the quest of more knowledge about my ancestors.

For the history geeks like me, here is a glimpse of some of the events mentioned/described in this book.

- Life in cities like Abbottabad, located in erstwhile India, now in Pakistan

- India’s Freedom Struggle

- The war for Kashmir’s succession

- The refugee crisis caused due to the partition of India.

- The early days of the Arya Samaj

- The humanitarian efforts of Lala Lajpat Rai

And much more.

Anyway, since I don’t want to lose such a wonderful work of literature again, so I’ve uploaded the book to the Internet Archive.

There are very few days in life like today. Will I be able to ever match the legacy of this Great Man?

We came from far lands,

Where we left our friends.

Not a penny in our pockets,

Not a ray of hope in our hearts.

We earned our bread,

With life, we tread.

We’ll now be gone,

We’ll sleep on God’s lawn.

Where are we coming from?

Where will we go?

We came from the land,

We’ll rest in the sand.

One day my son,

When your work is done,

We will be one.

Keep walking till then,

Keep walking till then.