In another loss of celebrity life this April, Twitter mourned the death of its beloved Delhi historian, Ronald Vivian Smith who died on Thursday morning in the national capital. A city reporter for Statesmen newspaper in the 1970s, Smith is best remembered for pulling out “stories from the city’s lanes, bazars, monuments and graveyards as lightly as a magician bringing out pigeons from his cap.” Also Read - Coronavirus: Amid Surge in Cases in Capital, Delhi Government Issues New SOPs For COVID Hospitals | Read Here
Taking to his Twitter handle, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, expressed his condolences. He tweeted, “RV Smith, the chronicler of our great city Delhi passed away this morning. His work kept alive the stories and memories of our city. It’s a huge loss especially for Delhiites. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. RIP (sic).” Also Read - Maggi Pani Puri Divides Twitter on Taste Buds Preference as Dish Goes Viral Across Internet
Born in 1938 in Agra, RV Smith was a descendant of Colonel Salvador Smith (1783-1871) of the Gwalior Army during the British rule in India. He began writing for the newspapers from 1956 after obtaining a masters degree in English Literature and later went on to work for the Press Trust of India and The Statesman. He retired as a news editor from The Statesman in 1996 and had authored several books, mostly on Delhi’s history, antiquity, Egyptology, mysticism and the occult.
A recipient of the Canon Holland Prize and the Rotary Award for general knowledge and the journalism award from the Michael Madhusudan Academy in Kolkata (1997-1998), Smith left the Twitterati in deep sorrow with his demise. While one user tweeted, “RV Smith, Delhi chronicler who pulled out stories from lanes, bazars, monuments and graveyards as lightly as a magician bringing out pigeons from his cap, is dead. Mr Smith, you’ll live forever… saw him once working on his typewriter… at his home… somewhere in Delhi! (sic)”, another wrote, “His last piece was all that RV Smith’s column represented: his Anglo-Indian hertiage, his love of lore, his attachment to his hometown Agra, his understanding of Urdu, and might I add, his interest in women. RIP Mr Smith (sic)” and yet another shared, “‘m gutted. RV Smith — author, journalist, city chronicler, and the funniest old man I knew — is no more. He was in the hospital for two days, passed away at 7.30 am. (sic)”
Check out Twitter’s condolence messages for their favourite writer here:
May his soul rest in peace!