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A Huge Loss: Arvind Kejriwal Joins Twitter to Mourn Passing of Loved Delhi Chronicler RV Smith

Noted historian and chronicler RV Smith  breathed his last on Thursday, April 30 | Image credit: Twitter

Noted historian and chronicler RV Smith breathed his last on Thursday, April 30 | Image credit: Twitter

RV has written dozens books including a romantic novel, a book of ghost stories and several books on Delhi itself and was known for his love for Mughlai cuisine.

If there was anyone who knew all the quant and crisscrossing lanes and bylanes of Delhi like the back of his hand, it was historian and columnist Ronald Vivian Smith. Known lovingly as RV, the noted chronicler passed away on Thursday morning, April 30, at his home in Delhi at the age of 81.

The former News Editor for The Statesman, RV started writing for newspapers over half a century ago in 1956. Since then, the historian has worked with several news organisations such as the Press Trust of India.

A descendent of Col Salvador Smith (1783-1871) of the Gwalior Army, RV was born in 1938 in Agra. A doyen of information when it came to hidden bits of trivia regarding the hundreds of historical monuments and ruins, graveyards, and galis spread across Delhi, he often wrote columns for leading publications, magazines, and websites.

RV has written dozens of books including a romantic novel, a book of ghost stories, and several books on Delhi itself. The man was known for his love for antiquity, the occult, and also Mughlai cuisine.

His demise brought forth an outpouring of grief on social media with even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal commemorating the loss of the award-winning academic. "His work kept alive the stories and memories of our city. It's a huge loss especially for Delhiites," the CM tweeted.

Other fans, colleagues and readers also expressed their condolences on Twitter.

During his lifetime, RV received many awards including the Michael Madhusudan Academy award fro journalism in 1997-98, the Canon Holland Prize as well as the Rotary Award.