THANK YOU FATHER

THANK YOU FATHER

indubabuMy father Indu Bhushan Mukhopadhyay was a full fledged Bengali gentleman with an English prefix in the name “Stephen” ! So his colleague in the office only address him as Stephen while for the rest of the world he was Indu Babu.

He would thus go to office as seen in the old Hindi movies ,’ as munimji with dhoti and full sleeve shirt ‘ !
Son of a village Preacher for the Salvation Army he knew all the hardships of life. And therefore no doubt that his basic philosophy was “we are poor but you don’t need to be rich to be happy, for , God provides everything that you need.”

He joined as a lower division clerk and was putting up sincere most service to his office. He believed that one had to be sincere, honest and dedicated in his work….. Rest God provides ! Well, his faith never failed him, he kept on getting promotion in the office and achieved highest assailable position of assistant director. He was the only Gazetted Officer in the locality. In those days for all practical purposes you need a signature of this person….for all copies of marksheets of school and college exams (photo copying yet to make an advent then). Every morning was a comical one for us. During morning hours our man would be bare-body, preparing for bath and those signature seekers wouldn’t believe this to be the right person and insist “please hand over the papers to your boss !!”
He indeed was a simple, honest and
more a friend, less a father. Very often he would ask “which Class are you now ….let me guess, must be seventh”. “Come on, I am in the eighth standard now.” “Wow that’s very good I am so proud of you”.
While during college years I will often come to his office, (since it was near to most of the cinema theatres), and ask for money for the tickets. He will gladly pay the money with a caution-note “go for the cheapest ticket and with the rest of the money eat well , don’t waste money on expensive tickets.” I still follow most of his advice, and never had the reason to regret.

The bank manager was his close friend. After dad’s death the manager wanted to see me. When met he said ” this is just a formality, I have to trasfer his bank account in your name..” At this juncture both of us mutually winked !! Both of us knew what was it’s worth. I thanked him and came home back…till date nothing was done to that account. It was a few hundred only !!

VISWAKARMA – a celebration: DOWN THE NOSTALGIC LANE

VISWAKARMA : DOWN THE NOSTALGIC LANE

This is one Puja which always fascinates mvk004e. For several interesting reasons.

This is the only Puja which follow an English Calender and held every year on the 17th of September !! Therefore easy to remember the day.

  • – This is a very secular event which is celebrated ardently by one and all.
  • – Viswakarma is the god of machineries, in all forms, be it factory machines or automotive for that matter. Viswakarma will have a chisel in one hand and a hammer in the other
  • – Somehow, in this part of the land he is also the god of kite flying !.

Every moving or stationary machinery is offered a puja on this day – computers included ! Flowers are placed on the machine, a incense stick is lighted and the puja ends with distribution of sweets. If affordable, sometimes gala lunch for all dear ones.

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Deep is all excited about the day and could not sleep the night before, and, at least three times woke up and checked the wall clock – no, it was still time for sun rise. He got up from the sleep with the loud noise of a loud speaker playing hindi songs ! Ha, it is the Viswakarma Puja day, and, the local plastic factory is celebrating its first Viswakarma Puja . He is Mr. B Sarkar, an enterprising Christian young who started this factory recently. Soon there are noises vk003of many loud speakers playing songs and there is an air of festivity in the area. Deep took out his Latai (the wooden reel for storing cord) and a variety of Kites and went up to the neighbour’s roof top for flying the kites. The kite flying session went on till evening, with a short lunch break, for this Deep had to come down to his home and some how gulp something.

By evening Deep had a bath and came out on the street for a puja pandal (decorated arena) hopping. He was joined by three other friends, all teen agers. They went straight to the large factory near the railway track. This is the only day when the main gate of the factory will be kept wide open for a free for all entry. There was a very friendly worker of the factory who took them around the factory premises and showed them the huge machineries which make railway parts. A little later there was a film show and Deep joined the crowd gather there and enjoyed the movie.

vk001There after they came down to the medicines facotory. Here they attended a musical show. There after they joined the dinner ! It was an elaborate fare with rice, dal, curry fish and meat curry. A large number of people of the locality joined the dinner.

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vk002This year the Viswakarma was celebrated in the area, but, it was quite a different event. There was no kite flying. Even a couple of years ago there were still some boys flying kites with a lot of enthusiasm. The plastice factory has long shut its door and a housing complex has come in its place. The factory on the railway track is stands as a show piece and not much production. The medicine factory still organize a puja – the only one survived the test of times, but, held the puja with much less fan fare. New entrants for the Viswakarma are different now.

Early morning met the Sikh Sardarji early in the morning who informed that his car is washed early in the morning and decorated with flowers and a puja was held for his taxi.

vk007The high rise building staff organized a puja, especially for the machineries like Elevators, Water Pumps etc. used in the building. The Viswakarma idol was very nice here.

Every taxi held its puja with tender banana trees and flowers.

Well !! This is the hard realities of life….. there are many things which remain alive only in write up like this, and, we have nothing to complain. “Charei betee, chareibetee” ( lets move on and on )!!

 

Every house celebrating the puja will have a decorated earthen pot with a little banana plant and a tender coconut, it is the basic preliminary ritual.