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Senior Counsel | A Poem in Honour of Fali Nariman

Eminent jurist and senior advocate Fali S. Nariman passed away at the age of 95.
Fali Nariman. Photo: X/@kaali02

Eminent jurist and senior advocate Fali S. Nariman passed away at the age of 95 on February 21, 2024.

Nariman argued several landmark cases during his illustrious career of 70 years and was appointed the additional solicitor general of India – but resigned in protest when the Indira Gandhi government imposed Emergency rule in June 1975.

He received the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007.


For Fali Nariman

Fali met his maker in his sleep.
A good way to go, someone said
The last brief still unfinished
For the Constitutional Bench.
A chuckle from the other side
As he firms up his final arguments
In a booming, frail voice.
There’s no easy path to liberty
And once you find it, you have to keep at it.
Freedom of speech, but also freedom after speech.
All green, he once said to me, twenty-five summers young
So full of heart.
Do not lose heart, he said
Though the ocean is turbulent
Do not lose faith.
Blessed with principle, but also someone who knew
How to laugh.
Who enjoyed a joke like no tomorrow.
Old lawyers don’t fade away, he said
They just lose their appeal.
He understood, how things pass,
How time makes way for no one
But that page had to be written, and that argument
Had to be chiseled to perfection.
He liked the pen and signed his letters, to old and young,
Simply Fali.

Amlanjyoti Goswami is the author of River Wedding (2019) and Vital Signs (2022), published by Poetrywala. 

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