Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | March 28, 2014

Bondhu (Friend)

The term “Bondhu” in Bangla means a friend. When I was little and were living with my parents in faraway Sodepur, we had an occasional visitor. Dr. Bidyut Mukhopadhaya is my father’s friend, an adopted brother to my mother and my “Bondhu”. My association with Bondhu though is most special to him and it is because of me that he came to know my parents well. Bondhu was the doctor under whose supervision I was born. I am more special for him because I was the first ever child born under his medical supervision.

Bondhu lives in Shyamnagar, a suburb farther away from Sodepur and used to visit us quite frequently in those days. He would take a train from Shyamnagar to Sodepur and take a ride on a rickshaw to our place. As he got down from the rickshaw he would call out “Bondhu” in his boisterous voice. This was nearly 32 years back but the call still resonates in my ears. I called him Bondhu too and was always quite fond of him.  Bondhu loved eating, he was always a voracious reader and he loved talking about books for as long as one could. Occasionally, we too visited Bondhu’s place but our visits were restricted because of the presence of Bondhu’s pet Alsatian, who scared my Ma and me.

Once we moved to Calcutta, Bondhu’s visit became less frequent and we hardly ever met. Time passed by and because of my father’s frequent transfers at work we lost in touch. My parents were occasionally in touch with Bondhu, who never adopted the use of internet as such. As far as I am concerned, I met Bondhu again on the day of my marriage. Bondhu was very proud of my achievements and was very vocal in praising me. He is terribly biased though, about me.

My parents and Bondhu are in touch. Baba tells me that at times they talk about books on phone for long. Given the distance between Shyamnagar and Calcutta, they find it difficult to meet. Now retired, Bondhu spends lot more time reading. As far as I am concerned, I do not think I have the power to coax Bondhu to finally get connected on the internet. However, at times late at night in New Zealand, our phone will ring and more often than not I will hear Bondhu calling out in his usual exuberance, Bondhu!

It is an honour for me to be the first or special in someone as loving as Bondhu’s life. It is Bondhu’s greatness that he has retained this feeling and loved me as his son for so long. I wish him good health and great time reading books.




  1. Dear Tanmoy Da,

    A really happy and touching post I must say. I know and understand how special it feels to be the “first special someone” in your “bondhu’s” life. The doctor who helped me see the light of the world, (I called him, Daktar kaku), just passed away last week. And I was close to him too, and I feel the pain.

    I hope that you stay in touch with Bondhu for a long long time, and have may more happy hours of conversations on books and many other things.



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