A Report by Sanjoy Bandopadhyay [copied from ‘Family Wiki’]
It was 6:15 in the evening, the call-bell rang. I got angry because I told everyone to keep the house gate unlocked – we were expecting our people to come. I thought it was Rushai who locked the door and I was about to shout at him – just then Mim commented – “Kuttipishi [Apun] has come”. I looked down from the first floor balcony and a pleasantly surprised to discover Mim was correct. Yes, it was my sweet Kuttididi and my sweet sis was confident that the door was locked – which was actually not so. She is such a good soul, simple and true!
I gave some good thoughts on how we can observe this first day of 2009 in the family. It was not easy for me to plan and manage. Finally we decided that it may be a simple one. The first thing I did was to take the phone out of the cradle and start dialing the few numbers that were almost my own numbers. It was nice to feel the warmth. Most of them said that they will make it – a few said that they won’t be able to – I could understand – After all, it was January 1, this is a day to celebrate, to go naughty, to have a special free day — to prepare for the year long routine – But, sure I did not reach all to whom I should have – thinking formally — No, it was January 01 for me too – so ‘’ Bura na mano – New Year day hai – “ Still, I can easily see I missed many. I especially missed Apu [Sandipan Mukherjee] – I shall tell you why when the time comes –
The clocked ticked by – I started getting nervous – and praying for the next soul to arrive. To my great pleasure Dada and Didin came. We were so happy! But yes, I missed some souls here too – but took caution and remembered not to ask anything — after all it was January 01. After sometime this little house was full – and I forgot everything – and started enjoying the collective consciousness – the consciousness created in a group of similar minds. I am glad that Dadabhai [Pranab] and Didibhai [Sathi] also made it. I knew how important was the 01 January evening for them too – but they chose to join us, I was very glad.
Everyone took care to first go to the thakurghar and pay their homage. It was very simple at the Thakurghar where we garlanded Thakur and Dadu-Thakuma with thick ‘Rajanigandhar mala’. Papa’s photo was just there on the table where Rakhi spread a clean white cloth. A pack of India Kings cigarette, a match box and a 100 gram Cadbury Milk Chocolate bar were there on the table as a treat to him. Rakhi read the ‘Satyanarayaner Panchali’ before Thakur. Kuttididi [Apun] joined her during the puja.
People actually arrived after the pujas was over. All went to put their homage [Pranam] to Thakur, and also Peejush Prasanna. Then we enjoyed two and a half hours uninterrupted joy! We just forgot time – we talked about Papa, we saw 145 old photographs and tried to put our brains to discover who they were! They were all our near ones – but we could not recognize many – Here Didin was the champion, she knew many of them – Dada was not behind – he also knew many – Mejdi also tried to help – Chhordi recognized some of her own photographs – It felt so good – such an enjoyable exercise—I am happy that Didin could not leave us early – and almost missed her appointment— I thought – all must go crazy – it was January 01. In between we were served tea in small plastic cups – I don’t know from where these came – I did not get them this morning. Actually, Rushai and I went to Lake Market to buy a few things including disposables – but we did not buy plastic cups— it must be Rakhi or Ma’s magic from old stock. Then we were served ‘Bake Club’ packets. Then someone told that we should have the ‘prasad’ first. So, Rakhi started the Prasad distribution arrangement. I must not forget to mention Dipankar, my student. Let me tell you Dipankar is an excellent flautist. He came around 4 in the afternoon. Since then he was busy in all the arrangements – be it heating the Chicken Piccadilly, vegetable patties or repacking them in the box and serving us.
The day ended with many promises – we promised to assemble periodically – we should remember the dripping love and affections of our seniors and should get inspired – We should spread the message of Love. We also remembered The ‘Absolute Truth’, which Papa used to propagate amongst his closest ones.
Before closing I must not forget to mention that Rushai took all the photographs – so it has become possible to create this photo-report.
Finally us, who assembled on this evening [typed without any specific sequence]: Didin [Swagata Banerjee], Dada [Mahiruha Shekhar Banerjee], Banudi [Arundhati Chakraborty], Baudi [Suchishubhra Mukherjee], Mejdi [Sushanta Siromoni], Chhordi [Samapika Sil], Tuki [Tuki Banerjee], Aindri [Aindrila banerjee], Nandada [Nandan Sil], Kuttididi [Sharmila Sivadasan], Rajada [Sivadasan], Dadabhai [Pranab Dutta], Didibhai [Sathi Dutta], Suju [Sulata Ghosh], Arun [Arun Ghosh], Mityl [Mityl Chakravarty], Manali [Manali Chakravarty], Bubu [Kastoori Guha Siromoni], Babi [Sushmita Siromoni], Tuntu [Ashmita Siromoni], Johny [Arunima Ghosh], Ratu [Ritwik Banerjee], Soma [Soma Banerjee], Rahuli [Arijit Mukherjee], Ishita [Ishita Mukherjee], Mainak [Mainak Banerjee], Dipankar [Dipankar Mukherjee], Anjanda [Anjan Chakraborty – joined late] and we in the house — Maa [Leela Banerjee], Juam [Rakhi Banerjee], Mimmai [Shreemoyee Banerjee], Rushai [Rrik Banerjee] and I [Sanjoy Bandopadhyay]. To end let me type down Papa’s writing that I found in a tiny piece of paper. He wrote it on 13 September 1983 at Khairagarh. You may also find this included in the composed photograph above.
In universal religion
Relegare has to be found
And relegere is to be done;
It is holy and blissful,
The search for relegare
That which binds
Can nothing but Truth alone,
Not the relative, the absolute one.
Read again means repeatation
The absolute truth in meditation,
This can be had from one who knows
Otherwise there is no end of toils.
Peejush Prasanna Banerjee
I take the opportunity to write the meanings of two words those are not in common use.
relegere = to read or pursue together; the same root goes to legible and intelligent
relegare = to tie back, to bind fast
Aum Satyam Aum