On Monday morning I received the sad news of M. R. Pimpare’s passing just the evening before, on 7 April. He and his family had been fresh on my mind, as we had done an interview for Buddhistdoor Global only a few weeks ago. His life’s passion and enduring love, the ancient caves of Ajanta and their unmatched Buddhist murals and friezes, shine on, restored and beautiful, in his art and restorations. The sadness his wife and his daughter Mayura (who has been a loyal and effective ambassador of her father’s work bridging the worlds of religion, art, diplomacy, and culture in the name of his paintings) are enduring is no doubt profound.
In this world, it is a frequent and heartbreaking fact that those who depart unexpectedly are often those who embody something greater than themselves, and have devoted their lives to a transcendent cause. In other words, the most selfless ones, and those who are most passionate about things bigger than petty concerns and scraps of ego, leave us too early. My friend, photographer, and curator Kshipra Simon, who is Mayura’s friend and professional collaborator, summed it up best in her own tribute, which she has given me permission to leave here as the final sad word:
“I met eminent artist M. R. Pimpare-ji for the first time on the very auspicious day of Buddhapurnima Divas in New Delhi, where I was to curate his work for the group painting and photography exhibition, where our Honorable PM Modi-ji was supposed to inaugurate the show. We had a very nice conversation about the paintings and how he meditated through the caves of Ajanta with his canvas and paints, we sat for hours to paint the little details of paintings for the restoration. He was a blessed man.
Today as his soul departs for a heavenly adobe, may his soul rest in peace.
Mayura Pimpare, at this time I cannot be there with you physically but please accept my sincere condolences. Please know that you have my deepest sympathy on the loss of your father. I know that there is little I can say to console you, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May Buddha bring you comfort and hope during this difficult time.”