THANK YOU FATHER
My 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 !!