18 October 2014

You just don’t know when and where your paths will cross…

Last night, Sharmila and I went out with a local Bengali couple – Soumya and Tumpa – for a couple of drinks. Not exactly being the party animal myself, I rarely get to see the local Bengali families other than occasions like Durga Puja and such. And my guess is that I have seen Soumya and Tumpa exactly twice every year – during Durga Puja and during Saraswati Puja and exchanged pleasantries. This Puja, we had agreed to meet up some time and go out.

It was a great evening. Unfortunately, I do not have any picture to post – which is a break away from tradition 🙂 Anyways, during our conversation, as is my wont, I was able to establish a very unique intersection point. Let me see if I can reconstruct the threads.

Thread 1:  Nearly seven to eight decades back when the British broke up India by religious lines before they left, there was a huge upheaval of violence between the two primary religions in that area: India, Pakistan and East Pakistan – which eventually became independent and is now known as Bangladesh. There were innumerable families that lost their homes and were uprooted from their country and had to take shelter in another country. I count many of their descendants as my friends and family today.

In any case, one such family moved from Jessore in Bangladesh and eventually settled in Bahrampur in West Bengal (India). Many years later, the lady of the house and her son – who was probably about 10-15 years old then – got into some legal dispute with the tenants in their house. That young son was none other than Soumya’s dad. Anyways, to seek legal help, they went to a well known lawyer in that town. The mom-son duo approached this aforementioned lawyer gentleman in his residence to seek help. This was circa 1950.

In a complete aside, the same lawyer had a nephew (younger brother’s son) who also lived in the same house. Now, hang on to that nephew for a second as I finish up the second thread.

Thread 2. As you know I grew up in a small sleepy town called Durgapur during my early childhood. Incidentally, there is a Mr. Ashoke Dubey from Durgapur who always takes me to task for calling Durgapur “sleepy” 🙂 In any case, his daughter – Aditi and I were classmates from very very early age and we have remained great friends till this day. And her dad – Mr. Dubey – was my local hero. He was one gentleman that I could always rely on to give me some unbiased advice. He was one of the top executives in Durgapur, but he would always find time for me if I needed to discuss something with him – even after I had long left Durgapur. Till this day, I try to meet him once a year when he comes to US or when I go to India.

Last night, after Soumya started talking about Gorabazar area in Bahrampur, something told me that we might have an intersection point here. A few calls to India and Soumya this morning later, it was established that Mr. Dubey is that same little nephew from the first thread!!!!!!

And get this – in 1985, Aditi, myself and a few of our common friends had gone to visit Mr. Dubey’s original home for a couple of days. YEP! It was the same house that Soumya’s grandma had gone to in 1950!!!

Who knew that I will be having drinks with somebody in 2014 whose grandma and I were at the same spot – separated by 35 years!! And we would find that out another 30 years later??


Posted October 18, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points


  1. By Soumya Bhattacharyya on

    Amazingly articulated Rajib. Thanks for having the passion and patience to document such life stories. I will share this post with my father when I visit him in November. Hopefully I will be able to gather few more events of that time.

  2. By Sanghamitra Saha on

    Hats off to you for being able to spin these webs. You can be a much better Sherlock Homes with this power of association. Have you ever thought of owning a detective agency on the side and getting started with solving some of the unsolved mysteries in the world.

  3. By Aditi Dubey on

    Wow, quite a story! It must have been my mejo-dadu who was a very charismatic lawyer. Thanks for connecting the dots so meticulously and letting the rich tapestry of life emerge!

  4. By Amitesh Mukherjee on

    Amazing. Not just the story, but your ability to dig up the connection/intersection points behind the story and your ability to narrate the story. Everyone has a story. But how many can listen and find out the details like you do ? Absolutely amazing and thanks for sharing.

  5. By Rajib Roy on

    Sanghamitra, I started solving an unsolved mystery long time back. I have made no progress whatsoever. The mystery is “What do women really want?” 🙂

  6. By Sanghamitra Saha on

    Wrong start “What do woman really want” is destined to remain unsolved eternally 🙁 . Move on to the next unsolved mystery to be able to cherish some progress….


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