Millennium Post

Enduring legacy: Leila Seth's family flooded with emotional letters

Enduring legacy: Leila Seths family flooded with emotional letters
The postman knocks at their door and their mail inboxes spill over, as friends, admirers and strangers alike recall how their lives were touched by the late Leila Seth, India's first woman chief justice.

Seth, 86, died earlier this month, but the outpouring of grief, love and affection continues.

"We have received so many beautiful letters, from noted personalities to ordinary people, who are sharing their feelings with us and the bond they enjoyed with her," her daughter Aradhana told PTI.

From President Pranab Mukherjee to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, noted personalities have written to the family. Many of the letters, such as Sen's, were addressed to her elder son, celebrated author Vikram Seth.

Some of the messages were sent through post, while others were emailed to the family.

"The gesture is touching, but more so, it has also given us a window into the life of our mother, which we didn't know about," Aradhana said.

It was when they received a letter from Katha, signed by every member of the publishing house, that the family got to know about the links that Justice Seth shared with the literary group.

"Then there are strangers, who had met mama sometime, and have recalled her persona," she said.

Seth's younger son Shantum, a peace activist, said letters were still coming in and from many parts of the world.

"People from the UK, the US and other places have written to us. We got beautiful and meaningful messages from (Buddhist nun) Sister Chan Khong and from the Plum Village Sangha of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh," he told PTI.

There were so many letters that some were still to be opened, he said.

"Even the letters sent by Dr (Amartya) Sen or Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi are written in a very personal way, and how mama touched their lives," he said.

Aradhana, a filmmaker, said the family planned to put old photographs up at the venue of a memorial being held for Justice Seth here on May 30.

"We wish to share the life of our mom with people, who have overwhelmed us with their show of affection and love," Aradhana said.

"Mama touched so many lives and now those lives are touching us," she said.

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