From Dilip D'Souza's blog:
"The email, messages, calls and letters have overwhelmed us. But perhaps none more than the man who wrote to the Times of India (September 7):
I was saddened to read about the death of JB D'Souza, ex-chief secretary of the Government of Maharashtra. ... I have not come across another civil servant like him. I served under him when he was Director of Relief and Rehabilitation, Chandrapur, for the resettlement of Bangladesh refugees.
He was ... dedicated to the welfare of the common man, a visionary but practical, unassuming but bold, strict but friendly in and out of the office, patient and well-organised. He never lost his cool: and his respect for subordinates was exceptional. ...
We had never heard of this Joshi, never heard my father mention him. But after this letter, we tried to reach him via a friend in the Times, then via another friend who knew whom to call at the hostel accommodation Joshi had listed as his address. Drew a blank. "Give us his room number", they asked, and we were lost right there.
Then, after dinner two days later, the bell rang. At our front door, a slender scruffy man with twinkling pale eyes, unshaven and tired, 78 years old and pants torn at one knee. "I am Joshi", he said, and we knew at once. He had taken the train from town, then walked from the station -- two km, near enough -- searching for the building, asking all the way. Sat with us, switching from fluent English to fluent Marathi to fluent Hindi. Has a son in the Army who has abandoned him. Lives with a friend in Nagpur. Felt he had to come see us, to "pay my respects". Looked often at the framed photographs on our table, affection and sadness in soft eyes. We told him, your letter brought tears to our eyes. Just telling him so brought more."