Thursday, August 29, 2013


We usually study parables when young - in our teens or pre-teen days. The lessons often are not fully understood as we do not get exposed to different facets of life at that age. That which are supposed to be etched in our memory, often ends up in stories that we can afford to forget. I was told that a management school (not of IIT Kharagpur but one of the IIMs) used parables from Ramakrishna Kathamrita (Gospel of Ramakrishna Link) to educate their management cadre who go for administrative jobs. Here are few parables that I studied in young days. It is always worth revisiting the parables of different families even if we consider ourselves grown-ups now and educate ourselves once more. ... refresher's course?!! :-)

From parables of Sri Ramakrishna (Link), on what we consider as reliable information:

A man said to his friend, "I have just seen a house fall down with a terrific crash." Now, the friend to whom he told this had received an English education. He said: "Just a minute. Let me look it up in the newspaper." He read the paper but could not find the news of a house falling down with a crash. Thereupon he said to his friend: "Well, I don't believe you. It isn't in the paper; so it is all false."

Panchatantra is treasure-house of such wisdom. It used animal characters to drive home the message, perhaps to avoid offending high ego of human species! There are several cartoon films on it which are quite popular. The following story is available as narrative in this youtube video (Link). This shows how a foolish friend can harm more than an enemy.

There lived a king who had a monkey as his pet. He loved him very much. The king gave him all freedom and treated him as his good friend. The monkey used to be with the King wherever he was. One day, the king was taking a walk in the royal garden. As usual the monkey was walking with him. Suddenly the monkey started to jump here and there. 

King: What? What happened? Today his action doesn't look normal. Hey what's the matter?
King: What happened to you today? Why are you doing this? There should be a reason for this weird kind of an act. hmm...
The King looked around and was shocked.
King: AH... snake.
The monkey leaped across and killed the snake.
King: I am alive because of you. Thank you so much.

Next day the king narrated the whole story in the court.
King: Since he has saved my life he is been appointed as my chief guard.
Minister: Oh king! A monkey is a monkey. He cannot think and act. You may kindly think it over and decide.
King: He has saved me once and I believe that he will save me in the future too. 
Since no one could question the king everyone of them remained silent.

One day...
King (to monkey): Hey my dear. I am going to teach you. Say A for apple, B for boy, C for cat, D for dog.... good boy. Ok I am going for some rest. Make sure no one disturbs me. If some one or something disturbs me just say shooo.shooo and get rid of them. Got it.
King: Wow intelligent.
The king was asleep. A little while later a fly came near by. At once the monkey said shoo.. shoo. The fly flew away. After some time the fly sat on the king's hand. Again the monkey said shoo shoo and got rid of the fly. The fly came back and this time it sat on the king's neck. Looking at this the monkey got wild and drew the sword to kill the fly. 
Poor king. The fly escaped from the blow but the king.... 

Aesop's fables find its way to become a must-read for all kids. This fable says why one should be careful about flatterers (Link).

A Crow, having stolen a bit of meat, sat in a tree and held it in her beak. A hungry Fox, seeing this, envied the crow and wished to have the meat for himself. So he came up with a cunning plan.

“How gracious you are,” he exclaimed, “how beautifully your feathers shine! Oh, if only your voice were equal to your beauty, you would deserve to be called the Queen of Birds!”

The Crow was really flattered by these words, so, anxious to be called the Queen of Birds, she gave a loud caw and dropped the meat. The Fox quickly picked it up, and thus addressed the Crow: “My dear Crow, you have a nice voice, indeed, but I’m afraid you have no wits.”

I shall end this post with a parable of Jesus. This is the famous story of good Samaritan. It tells who actually is one's neighbour, the one who cares (Link).

 A lawyer stood up to put him (Jesus) to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live." But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 

Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.' Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sound of Kharagpur

While returning from Brahmakumaris' centre on Rakshabandhan evening, got stuck in one place at bungalow-side near railway station. Few snapshots at the end of the video shows what the place looked like once upon a time (1938-1940). I shall write about this old Kharagpur town later. Coming back to present time, there was ceremonial parade on the road. And true to Kharagpur tradition (Kharagpur town, different from IIT Kharagpur) there was loud-speaker and music. And the tune that was played made me feel that I am frozen in time. This is the Kharagpur of my childhood in railway quarter of old settlement area (Link). The same song that was one of the most popular at that time is played with similar musical accompaniment. A short clip was recorded and is available as background music :-) of following video.

We used to have full volume music in our locality on all occasions - for birth, death, marriage, retirement (not exaggerating!), all social, religious functions  for family and youth clubs. It included lottery draw and orchestra nights on make-shift stage.True to its cosmopolitan nature, we had such occasions almost everyday. Every year one company used to come with traveling kiosks and stationed in the ground in front of our quarter. For about a month they used to play loud music and sell cloths to customers, "Cali Cloth asuchi / Koun koun anuchi / Shirting anuchi, Suiting anuchi ..(Cali Cloth has come. What are the things brought? Shirting, suiting ...)" Once my chemistry private tutor of class XI-XII who used to stay at IIT side came to our quarter. He got scared how I could study with loud speakers blazing like that. It was all but practice. I would rather say, my concentration increases if songs are played in the background :-)

The following are some of those sounds of Kharagpur that I grew up with and that make me feel nostalgic.

The original Sambalpuri song that I heard minimum 500 times and relived in it on 22nd Aug. evening.

The famous Bagh / Sher (Tiger) dance during Mata Puja.

The Ravana Pora (burning) is still one of the biggest event (another link).

We stayed next to Bara Maszid (three tombs in the google map of 1st video) and grew up listening to beautiful azans. The following rendering, the voice is similar to what we used to hear everyday.

Attended many such kirtans with my mother in Bhowanipur, Subhaspally area.

Finally, the sound of mela - this year's Rathayatra Fair.

And Bengali version of following prayer and Swadesh Mantra of Vivekananda every afternoon at B.N.R. ground before P.T. and play.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Rakshabandhan

This time it was spread over two days. My sister telephoned yesterday and wished in that distant mode. One old acquaintance, now a monk at Ramakrishna Mission centre reminded in chat how we used to celebrate in our younger days!

Yesterday evening, one student came to my office and invited me to today's evening function at Brahmakumaris' local centre. I said that I would be able to go this time and regretted that in an earlier function (Shivaratri) I was occupied. The student reminded that it is Rakshabandhan day and said, "If you do not go, Didi (elder sister) will come here." I knew that the threat was real :-) and it would have been unthinkable for me to make the revered Didi come all the way.

It was a 6 PM function. I had my grounds fully covered by that time here! The drizzle also stopped as I set off. On reaching, I found that a meditation session was going on with Didi  at centre and also other sisters were there. There were few IIT Kharagpur students there. After some devotional songs, Didi explained nicely the significance of this function - the Rakhi, the central flower of self, attached on two sides by two strings of affection and purity. Didi quoted Vivekananda's Chicago address and how his address that started with "Sisters and brothers" touched every heart. It is the life behind that gives power to words. She talked about importance of character buildling. Yesterday, the sisters went to district jail and tied Rakhi to inhabitants there. After the talk, she and another sister tied Rakhi to me. While doing that she also blessed me. I also received a book and sweets.

It was great to see executives of local Satya Sai Trust and Patanjali Trust also there and Rakhi were tied to them and also to all those who gathered. Promised to visit again before leaving.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


The facebook friends request list was swelling up! It was time to take action. I need to be particularly careful for requests coming from IIT Kharagpur students who are still on roll. It is a strict - 'No', 'No' for Dept. students till they graduate. For others, I need to visit student database, check if there is any possibility of intersection somewhere in their remaining stay here where I shall be awarding them grades. If not, then I go ahead. This is because, to me, we not only need to be impartial, we should also appear to be impartial. We are surrounded by students, young and intelligent, the competent and confident, the makers of our country's destiny. The perception is important. As much the foot-print that we leave.

Often, this leaves us with limited choice or has the potential of breaking heart! My batch-mate's son has taken admission in our institute this year. Had a session with her entire family when they came for document verification. Told the son what we tell all freshers [Link to Fresh Blood] - that clearing IIT-JEE and getting into an IIT is an important step, but only a step, may be a big step. It is not the destination but a part of one's journey. It is important what one does with the best of the facilities the country can give to its young people. Our country is not rich enough to give similar facility to all. Thus, a student here has to take more responsibility and make the most of what he gets. If one does not feel for the country or not interested to take responsibility then why one deserves more facility than others? In that case, let nation's wealth be spent equally for all with no exception!

I'll be lying if I say that I was not worried about the consequence of this lecture :-) to a young incumbent of IIT family, specially when his parents and sister was with him! But the more I spend time with young generation, the more is my confidence in them. And I was proven right again! My friend rang me after return and told me that the son has become a kind of fan. And then came what I started with in this post - 'friend' request in facebook from him. I rang and told that I am sorry and I would keep the son waiting for few more years. Today, when I accepted the 'friend' request of G. Sec. of one hall, a senior student but still a student, I first went to his student profile and assured myself that he is from a dept. which is far enough!

Perception is a not-so-small issue for a person who holds an office of responsibility. One of my colleague was freelancing in one student activity (extra-academic, link). All other colleagues who held the official responsibility of that activity, were in praise and felt grateful. When a new position was created there, this colleague assumed the responsibility officially. And one morning, he had a pensive look. For some reason, he needs to be away for two consecutive weekends (the activity takes place on Saturday). Others were there to do little extra when he or someone is away. But he was feeling bad. As a freelancer, his engagement was far more enjoyable. If he had done one unit of work that time, it was getting noticed and he used to feel good about it. But now with official responsibility, if he does not do one unit of work, he feels that it is getting noticed and feels bad about it. Take this for example. A person was giving lift in his car to waiting passers-by almost always whenever he was going to station from campus. He used to be applauded by passers-by. The day he takes the official responsibility of ferrying people from campus to station, every single refusal (even if he has some issue) would receive discredit, criticism from same passers-by and no-credit for doing the job well rest of the times.

No wonder that a person's life changes a lot when he assumes a responsible position. I may feel grateful to the service offered by a person. But, as a responsible person, I have to go by merit and show my gratitude at personal level. My mother was cared very well by two attendants when she was hospitalized weeks back [Link]. They come from a poor family background. I gave them my cellphone number and told them to contact me if they need any help which I can offer in my personal capacity. One of them expressed something for her children's study. But the other's request, she herself might not have been knowing, was something that enters a different territory. And I politely expressed my inability for the second.

Often, it is easier said! Over the years, our dealing with people develops a standard for ourselves - a perception, an image. It is not always possible to maintain that standard or one-to-one relationship with new role and new responsibility. We fall short. If we try to reach out to maintain old norm, we may fall short in new role. I used to spend a lot of time with some local youth encouraging them, counseling them etc. One of them after completing engineering, is now engaged with a telephone service company at Guwahati. He came to Kharagpur this weekend (to return on Monday) and wanted to meet me today morning regarding job issue he is facing there. He cannot discuss it over phone and needed to meet me for sometime. But our house-maid had taken leave today and I was at the disposal of Her Highness :---) at home, helping her as and when needed. The young person was waiting for my call, and I had no option but to tell him that I have job queued  up at home where I do not have the control over sequence. For example, only when Her Highness finishes brooming (I am not allowed to), I can start mopping work assigned to me. I asked him to wait at home and spend time with his son, now that he has returned after a month, I shall catch up with him at his residence.

Amongst all these, I could dispatch the first set of the manuscript of new edition of one book yesterday. Feel relieved to be able to meet the deadline. But on Independence Day evening, was torn apart for not being able to be a part of the audience where our students were putting up a play. And one knows how much effort goes behind a stage performance like that! That evening it rained heavily, and I got immersed in an important segment of the manuscript preparation. Sorry folks! Anyways, the new edition of other title is just published. It was supposed to be an international edition with review done by faculty of US universities in the beginning and again at the end of the work. And it earned very good review. The publisher was very happy. They were at final stage of releasing it first in US. But something funny happened and I respect the confidentiality of all concerned and have absorbed the feelings for things not going the way it should have been, for something beyond control! Happy to see that new edition is released now and here. There are few more stories cooking! But let the chicken get counted only when the egg is hatched :-)

[Endnote: Met the young engineer. Discussed his issues. At the end he said, "How come that what appeared as all negative then, appears positive now!" :-) For me it was great to find that within two month's of his job, he has earned respect from his employer who are frugal in all count and for his hard work and honesty. While I was talking to him, Nibedita and her husband rang from Zlin, Czech Republic. They talked about the progress made on the foundation work (Link). Also, they said that Mayo Clinic, USA personnel have gone through the post and appreciated how it was woven. Thanks to all for kind words.]

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Independence Day

The daughter told yesterday evening that she would be accompanying me to Independence Day flag-hoisting function. Many of her class-mates would be performing there in a dance program on patriotic theme. It was
not possible for me to take her in earlier years as I had to go quite early and remain engaged with NSS team, food-packet distribution to school children and other responsibilities. With baton passed to next in line there, it was possible to say a big yes this time.

Listened to Prime Minister's address on television and then we two joined the audience of institute function. While my daughter paid a brief visit to her school-mates who were ready for performance and greeted them, I did the same to my NSS, IIT Kharagpur colleagues and student the team. Unfurling the national flag, Director, IIT Kharagpur said the following among other things in his address (Link), 

"Independence gave us the freedom to shape our own destiny. On the altar of sacrifice of our countrymen, our founding fathers handed over to us this Institution to build, where the Indians of the future will be developed, who can transform the country to one where equality and prosperity go hand in hand. We at IIT Kharagpur are privileged and have been empowered by the citizens of India to do so. It is therefore our onerous responsibility to live up to their expectations. The people of this country pay for our sustenance in the hope that we shall change India and usher in a better future for them. We cannot afford to destroy the hopes and faith that they have bestowed on us.

What India shall we build my friends? What sort of Indians shall we become? How shall we ensure

that this gentle giant, as our country is historically known to be, is able to avoid the pitfalls of intolerance, belligerence, falsehood and timidity that challenge us today and help give its citizens, especially the illiterate, poor, oppressed and helpless, the education, empowerment, happiness and quality of life that they deserve?  How shall we become great not only in expertise and experience to make our people and the people of the world prosperous but also display qualities of fearlessness and sacrifice that will sanctify and guard our prosperity and happiness with the fence of virtue?
We, the fortunate, owe our forefathers for whom we are able to celebrate this day, a great debt  - to make the poorest of the poor smile, the oppressed empowered and help our fellow countrymen meet their dreams. Let these be our dreams. Let us strive to do our bit with the courage, devotion and dedication it deserves. Let us build the India that will make people like Swami Vivekananda

happy to see that his beloved people have again arisen and will stop not till the goal is reached.

In this year's Republic Day function the then Director quoting Vivekananda said (Link1, Link2), "No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses in India are once more well educated, well fed, and well cared for. ... three things are necessary to make every man great,every nation great. (i) Conviction of the powers of goodness (ii) Absence of jealousy and suspicion (iii) Helping all who are trying to be and do good ... The road to the Good is the roughest and steepest in the universe. It is a wonder that so many succeed, no wonder that so many fall. Character has to be established through a thousand stumbles...Be determined not to curse anything outside, not to lay the blame upon any one outside, but be a man, stand up, lay the blame on yourself. You will find, that is always true. Get hold of yourself."

The goal is clear. The road is cut out. We need to make us move avoiding all sorts of procrastination.

After dropping the daughter at quarter went to a place called Bhowanipur (about 7 KM from campus) where a group of young people from local colleges organize themselves following ideals of Vivekananda. On a holiday like this, they held an extended study-circle. On the way felt proud to see many colours of Independence Day celebration.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mother Nibedita

This post is about Nibedita, mother of Kanishka Binayak. On 28th July, myself, and two senior faculty colleagues went to Midnapore Zilla Parishad Hall to attend the inauguration of Kanishka Binayak Memorial Foundation. District Magistrate (D.M.) in his opening note mentioned that he was mistaken initially to fathom the earnestness of Nibedita, her desire to start this foundation. The foundation aims to work for identification of a rare disease called hyperoxaluria. If not detected very early, death is inevitable. The son Kanishka Binayak met this inevitable on 22nd of May, 2011 when he was only nine and half years old. Besides D.M., renowned doctors from the district, Kolkata and Hyderabad came forward to support the foundation. In return journey, we remembered Laxmibai of Jhansi fame who fought war with her baby tied to her back.

I was aware of Kanishka's deteriorating health and Nibedita's struggle when she was simultaneously working towards her Ph.D at Tomas Bata University, Czech Republic. We had occasional mail exchanges since both of us left our previous work place where we first met. The interaction was brief but I have fond memories of many people there across the vertical and feel at home if I visit that place even after 10+ years . 

There was no communication from Nibedita for some time and I was not aware that Kanishka was no more. In July, 2011 Nibedita was at the other end of a chat. She just read my blog post 'Rainbow Week' (Link). Thee quote of Arthur Ashe there in the section "A friend in need' gave her answer to thousand queries / doubts. 

"Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease"? To this Arthur Ashe replied: "The world over -- 50 million children start playing tennis, 5 million learn to play tennis, 500,000 learn professional tennis, 50,000 come to the circuit, 5000 reach the grand slam, 50 reach Wimbledon, 4 to semi final, 2 to the finals, when I was holding a cup I never asked GOD 'Why me?'. And today in pain I should not be asking GOD 'Why me?' "

And Kanishka was strong believer of God. He used to be always smiling, energetic, positive, full of love and compassion. He wanted to be a doctor. He used to do things fast as he knew that his days were numbered. Due to his proficiency in Czech language in such an early age, he got citizenship there and participated in international functions (Link1, Link2). In fact, doctors were not only surprised, but used to be worried to see his enthusiasm!

Nibedita was always inquisitive about NSS (Link) or similar socially relevant work I could find myself in. She was convinced that she would do something relevant to the society at large. She took sometime to gather herself and in March 2012 successfully defended her PhD thesis (Link). In communicating the same, it was Kanishka's thought which she wanted to keep alive. I told Mother Nibedita to go through what was told to Sister Nibedita (Ms. Margaret Noble) (Link).

Nibedita did the entire ground work of this Kanishka Binayak Memorial Foundation by herself. She brought Mayo Clinic, USA, specialists from Hyderabad and local doctors in same platform to serve the people.  
In Kanishka's old school she started a memorial prize. We wish that Nibedita's mission, a mother's wish will be fulfilled. The foundation will act as a vehicle to to serve people. Once Nibedita wrote stating how valuable are the of blessings and support "to go ahead , even though the path and way of my life is full of pain." Request all to bless and support our sister Nibedita, nay, Mother Nibedita in her endeavour. A Times of India report (Link) on Nibedita's effort is pasted below. And if you want listen to Nibedita directly here is what she speaks in the foundation opening (Link).

[Endnote: Got a phone call from Nibedita after this blog post. District Administration is helping them a lot. The trust which is now running from home is asked to select a suitable land from options available.]

Son Lost, NRI Kindles Hope Back Home
From Times of India | World | 
Jayanta Gupta, TNN May 28, 2013, 01.39AM IST
KOLKATA: Hers is a loss that no mother can ever come to terms with. But her zeal to bring about a change in the lives of other people has certainly helped Nibedita Saha to cope with her grief. In 2011, this lecturer and project manager at the Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic, lost her nine-
and-a-half-year-old son Kanishka Binayak Saha to an extremely rare, enzyme-linked metabolic disorder.
She plans to visit her hometown Midnapore in July and set up a medical foundation in Kanishka's memory, where children and adolescents will undergo screening for the deadly Primary HyperOxaluria

(PH) and other metabolic disorders. The world-renowned Mayo Clinic has agreed to carry out the necessary tests to ascertain if a child is suffering from metabolic disorders.
"I have already got the foundation registered. I want to inaugurate it in July. Last year, I got in touch with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and also visited Swasthya Bhavan. Kanishka wanted to be a doctor. He was truly special. Whenever I showered him with affection, he would ask me to take care of others as well. I want to use his memory to help others. My uncle already runs a diabetic clinic in Midnapore where he screens people and offers advice on management of the disease free of cost. Our foundation will deal with metabolic disorders," Nibedita told TOI from Ziln.
During her visit to Kolkata in July-August, 2012, she discussed the matter with Kusum Adhikary, who was then joint director of health services (planning and development). "She wants to open a foundation on rare congenital diseases. She did discuss the matter with me in detail and I did what was necessary before moving to my present posting," he said.
PH is a disorder in which high quantities of Oxalic Acid build up in the system resulting in kidney stones and complete renal failure. The liver also gets affected badly. Kanishka underwent both kidney and liver transplants at his tender age but could not survive. One reason behind this was the absence of a set protocol to treat the disorder. When Kanishka was diagnosed with PH, the disorder wasn't even fully recognized in medical circles.
"Doctors at Mayo Clinic renewed their efforts after receiving samples from me, Kanishka and his father. It was then thought that the disorder occurs in only one child in a million. Today, doctors think that the rate could be much higher. Apart from PH, there are other metabolic disorders that can't be diagnosed unless DNA and genetic tests are carried out. Such tests are inaccessible to poor people. My effort will be to facilitate such tests so that children can be diagnosed at an early stage and they receive treatment," Nibedita said.
The risk that children run of being born with metabolic disorders has been recognized in India as well. "Metabolic liver disease (MLD) is not a rare etiology and should be suspected specially in a case with relevant family history and clinical profile. Approach to a case with MLD should be protocol-based so as to avoid unnecessary investigations and improve morbidity as well as mortality," Seema Alam, additional professor, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, has written in an article published in January, 2013, in Child India, the official e-newsletter of Indian Academy of Pediatrics.
Nibedita says that she got the idea of setting up a foundation in Kanishka's memory after being invited to speak at the 10th International Workshop on Primary Hyperoxalaria in Bonn. At the workshop, she shared her experiences of her 'journey with Kanishka'. It was from this conference that several doctors came to know of the sufferings of somebody diagnosed with this metabolic disorder. After all, only a few cases are ever diagnosed
Doctors had told Nibedita that the last time they heard of a patient with such a disorder was 20 years ago in France.
"This is a disorder that kills from the inside. Nothing is evident externally. Kanishka was a very active boy. I am extremely thankful to the doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, USA and those in the Czech Republic who did their best to treat Kanishka. Along with a clinic to screen people, I would also like to
start a school in Midnapore in Kanishka's memory," Nibedita added.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Met Anjan on the way to hospital. He said that he would come in half-an-hour. Ma (my mother) is recovering from U.T. infection at IIT Kharagpur hospital. Osteoarthritis is there as company for quite sometime now. Knee replacement is planned at the earliest opportunity. That is when she comes over the present ailment. Both orthopedic surgeon and Ma are confident and keen to go ahead.

Anjan enters. Ma is very happy. She greets Anjan with "Kemon achho, Baba (How are you, my child)?" We laughed and took a dig at Ma. How come being a patient, she is asking the well-being of the visitor who comes to see her! Yes, Ma is stable now. As I type this at 7:30 PM from hospital cabin, waiting for the night-shift attendant Ritadi to come, Ma at my back is reading anecdotes from Ramakrishna Kathamrita aloud. And her active listener is the morning shift attendant Parbatidi.

Ma was admitted for one day in March, 2013 at Chinsurah Govt. hospital for fever and cold. Even there within one day she became very popular. She always carries positive vibration along with her and always thinks of well-being of all. Her motherly feeling extends beyond the family boundary. In fact, in my young days all my friends were at equal ease, if not more, in interacting with Ma.

Ma now is trying to teach reading and writing alphabets to Parbatidi. For want of notebook, the writing effort started on blank space of newspaper that Ma reads everyday. Happy to see this effort, the ward sister said that she would provide a notebook. Once Parbatidi's husband came to talk to her for some reason. Ma told the husband to take good care of the wife. Ma was full of pride when she narrated to me how Ritadi is raising her two daughters by earning little extra by this night shift hospital duty. Ma makes sure that both get adequate rest / sleep as they have families to look after when they go back.

In our family, it is no surprise that my daughter is closest to her. Her every arrival in hospital makes Ma forget almost all discomforts. They play ludo, gossip. Today the visiting doctor told that if her daughter is free he would bring her in the evening round to play ludo with Ma.

Feel proud and pray to be a worthy son. Feel blessed and remember my father too (Link).