‘For men may come and men may go…’ is a divinely inspired utterance by the great English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson (“The Brook”), not without sufficient justification. Some people don’t go away forever; their physical frame may be dissolved to dust, but their soul lives on in spite of the ravages of time, until eternity. Prof. Padukone was certainly one of them.
Prof (Dr.) Ganapati D.Padukone (Padukone Sir to most) left for his heavenly abode on 27th April 2021 after a brief illness. He was 79.
Born on 22nd February, 1942 in Mangalore, Prof. Padukone had a long and distinguished career as a Reader in the Mathematics Department at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He completed his graduation in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Bombay (Mumbai). He did his post-graduation in Mathematics (Pure Mathematics) in 1964 and later got his Ph.D in Mathematics from the same University.
Before joining St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai as a Lecturer in Mathematics in 1977, he had worked as a Tutor in Mathematics at D.G.Ruparel College, Mumbai from 1964 to 1965, then as a Lecturer in Mathematics at Dhampe College of Arts and Science, Panaji, Goa from 1965 to 1967 and thereafter as a Lecturer in Mathematics at Patkar College, Mumbai from 1967 to 1977.
Prof. Padukone was extremely knowledgeable and well versed in his subject and could teach Algebra, Calculus, Geometry, Statistics and Trigonometry with equal ease.
As an active member of the teaching faculty, he served the college in different capacities, such as member of the Pay and Placement Committee, Local Managing Committee and the Staff Council. He always helped the college and his colleagues with his profound knowledge of service rules and regulations. He always took up the issues of college teachers as an active member of the Bombay University and College Teachers’ Union (BUCTU). He also actively participated in the agitations and strikes led by the Union for teachers’ rights and interests.
Prof. Padukone was also a recognised postgraduate teacher. He remained an integral part of St. Xavier’s College for about twenty five years (1977-2002).
A confirmed bachelor, Prof. Padukone remained wedded to his subject and profession throughout his life. He was a simple man, down-to-earth, soft-spoken, patient and extremely helpful. Those who have been associated with him and have observed him from close quarters know that Prof. Padukone was a man of impeccable integrity and saintly character. He was a meticulous gentleman. He was known for his simplicity and helping nature. One could easily recognise him lecturing in the classroom, reading newspapers or simply enjoying a chat over a cup of tea with his colleagues and friends in the Staff Room. He was a person who was liked by everyone and was easy to get along with his colleagues. Anybody who had a professional problem would approach him for his wise counsel and he never disappointed anyone.
He continued his association with St. Xavier’s College even after his retirement and regularly visited the department and guided the students of the Mathematics department by conducting courses for the Hons programme for about four years.
Post-retirement, Prof. Padukone remained active as a Visiting faculty (B.Sc IT) at K.C.College, (2002-2005),
Sathaye College (2002-2003) and the University of Mumbai, where he taught a course in Numerical Analysis in M.Sc Part II for two years. He also offered his services as an Honorary Teacher for X Standard Mathematics at Rajda Municipal High School, Borivali (West) from 2005 to 2008.
In the passing away of Prof. Padukone, we at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai have lost a very dear friend, an esteemed colleague and a wonderful human being. Padukone Sir was a friend, philosopher and guide to most of his colleagues and students.
On behalf of the staff and management of St.Xavier’s College, Mumbai, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family of Prof. Padukone. We commend him to your prayers and pray that the departed soul of Prof. Padukone may rest in eternal peace. He will be missed by one and all.
Written by Prof. H. Naqvi
Vice Principal, Junior College