24 April 2018

Dip Sengupta!! After 33 years!!!

My usual routine coming back from India entails taking an evening flight back to Delhi and then catching the night flight back to US. This time though, I took the morning flight – I needed a few extra hours to go see Dip, his family and most importantly, his mom.

Last time I had seen Dip’s mom – and I believe Dip too – was after our Board exams in twelfth grade. That would be 1985 summer. Navin, Rahul, Rakesh and myself had taken a train from Kokata all the way to Siliguri where Dip was waiting for us to take us to his home which was on the way to Darjeeling. They lived in this beautiful house in an even more beautiful scenic setting. New Chumta Tea Estate it was!

I remember having the time of my life there. Dip’s mom showered incredible attention on us. She had arranged for a lot of local trips to see some idyllic sights in the mountains. We had taken quite a few pictures during that trip. Much later in life, I had digitized them and sure enough – I carried them with me this time!!

I forgot to tell you how I know Dip. We were classmates in Narendrapur Ramakrishna Mission College. That was for our eleventh and twelfth grades (junior and senior high school years). It was a residential school and Dip and I were in the same hostel (dorm). For quite some time we were even next door neighbors. However, our streams were different – he did English, History, Economics and such and I did Physica, Chemistry, Math and all that.

In the past I have told you about two of the teachers that I admire most when it comes to learning English as a subject – Sir Donegan (from fifth grade) and Mrs. Biswas (from ninth and tenth grade). If you were to ask me to name similarly two of my classmates whose English I admired and still admire the most – without even a shred of doubt, they would be Dibyendu Dutta (I wrote about him once) and Dip Sengupta. If you read some of his Facebook posts even today, you will be completely taken in by the lucidity and natural flow of words.

It was great to see Mrs. Sengupta after 33 years. That would be actually two-thirds of my life so far!! Unfortunately, I did not visit quickly enough to see Mr. Sengupta too but I was glad to see that Mrs. Sengupta is in great health. In fact, one of the rare cases of any of my friends’ parents keeping up with excellent health. Touch wood!!

We talked endlessly about that trip we had made and exchanged notes of what we remembered.

I have to say – from that initial scream and hug once I saw Dip to his insistence on going out for lunch and adda – it was as if those intervening 33 years never happened. The camaraderie and joi-de-vivre was untouched and intact. It was like we had seen each other just the other day.

Speaking of going out for lunch and adda, Dip took me to a local place and we had some outstanding animated discussions – as you can see in the picture. Dip has an unique perspective – what with he being a very successful business person in Delhi. Additionally, his professional area of interest being marketing (specifically advertisement) and his educational degree being in history, he brings a lot of fresh perspective to a person with my background. Our topics of discussions ranged from geopolitical events to consumer marketing.

Apart from the fresh perspective that I talked about, one unmistakable trait of Dip you just cannot miss is his positivity. His observations of some of the concerns across the world and in India on economic and geo-political issues never left the moorings of an underlying framework that on a macro basis, the world is getting better and better. This is something that I absolutely subscribe to. And am sometimes amazed by how we can get into the microscopic details of analysis of an event – and assign motivation or judgment to it immediately – and yet not be able to step back and see the larger (and slower) trajectory the world is on.

Perhaps learning deeply history gives him the advantage of setting perspective to things. On the other hand, I think that positivity is just sheer Dip. He was like that even when he was 16 years old.

I love spending time with such people! May your tribe increase, Dip Sengupta!!

Posted April 24, 2018 by Rajib Roy in category "Intersection Points", "Vacations


  1. By Dip Sengupta on

    Rajib, That was a magical, heartwarming afternoon that affirmed the simple truth that old friendships make short work of time and distance.Thank you for taking the initiative and the effort to meet up in real life after all these years.I am a big fan of your posts where you retrace your steps but I could never imagine that this is the kind of impact your travels in memory can have.

  2. By Dip Sengupta on

    Rajib :That was a magical, heartwarming afternoon that affirmed the simple truth that old friendships make short work of time and distance.Thank you for taking the initiative and the effort to meet up in real life after all these years.I am a big fan of your posts where you retrace your steps into the lives of people you have known, but could never imagine what happiness such journeys bring to those you visit. Now I know.
    It was great to meet a friend who, in so many ways, has not changed across all these years – you remain that same Rajib – super sharp, focussed,sensitive, witty that you were in Narendrapur. I did not know then that you wrote so well and you could travel at will between memories and peoples and places with such easy grace. Every time I read your posts, I am in awe of this gift.
    Ma was very happy to see to see you and it brought back a lot of memories of your trip to New Chumta.It was an afternoon that will remain with her for a long time.
    I was also glad that we met and I could ask you in person to solve that great mystery for me- namely , who takes those pictures while you run on endlessly. Now I know 🙂
    Lets meet soon again and make up for these 33 years.
    And regarding the larger ( and slower ) trajectory the world is on, I think we look better today than we did in our Mirik pictures.I’m positive about that 🙂


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