My new found German friends

It is a new experience for me—my two German friends. Recently, there was a marriage ceremony in my family, that of my nephew, who is on a post-doctoral research in America, soon to move to Canada. I am not writing this article to narrate the marriage ceremony-main, for, by the time of my age this has become a stale repetition of what I have seen over hundred times, including my own. My nephew, here the groom, is a high achiever, and has internationally well placed friends. But my article is meant for his two German friends—Simon Hustler and his mother, aged 31 and 63, who amongst others, attended the wedding. This German Mother- son duo took the centre stage of attraction, by their involvement and participation; they studied the minutest part of our traditional rituals and took part in it wherever possible. They are strangers to our culture, but their desperateness to be part of it/ grapple it, provided us a lot of mirth and enjoyment. Although, there were other three Portuguese girls as invitees, they were not able to attract public gaze as they did not take part in the ceremony actively.

I won’t forget the friendship established between us. In the marriage ceremony, there was a great attendance of invitees; these two foreigners won the heart of all. Simon is a research scientist, in a German institute, his mother was a practising doctor. I had endless talk with him. I am basically a curious man, which my age of 68 has not been able to deem. Out of my curiosity, I asked them a lot of question. Communication was not difficult as Simon’s English was very good for our standard while his mother, an assistant to a dentist, did not know English. Simon told me that after completion of his schooling years, he did job for two years; then he went back to studies for 3 years; again to work for a restaurant for one year, after that he is now on a research. All these jobs in between, was to finance his world tour. … While my nephew who was being married, was finishing his research, Simon joined the research in his institute, thus they became friends. His topics of research, as I understood, is on mitochondria, which is the power house of a human cell. This sort of taking breaks in studies, to go for job for earning money, is not possible in our Indian system, had it been so, our people would find opportunities to continue studies. I understand this would enrich the individual, similarly the nation. Providing maximum opportunities to students by the Govt, only strengthen the nation. A nation is great because its people has greatly achieved education.


While writing this article, mother and son duo, after completion of their attendance in marriage ceremony, moved to Darjeeling, and then they will go to Assam, all for travelling. They have a healthy habit of travelling; in his young age of 31, he already travelled Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Morocco, rest I do not remember. As he said, everywhere he mixes with local people intimately, to study their culture. I asked him to write a book on travelling recording his experiences. People will like it. I shall be first to buy the book.

In the course of four days they have won our heart,  I have understood again that human being from any part of the world is capable of same emotions, which is a great hope and have all the potential to  save the mankind in spite of many animosities. The complete marriage ceremony has been widely photographed by professional photographer; add to this scores captured by mobile phone of various denominations. Their mingling with us, and memories, have been recorded in the photographs. Un-knowingly, these two foreigners have become our family members. I learnt a lot from them, some of which will help me shape our Youngers.















Yesterday I attended the Vijaya sanmilani of Milan Mancha at the Kalpataru club house adjacent to MIG cricket club in Bandra East. The venue, strategically located for the convenience of members to attend, was arranged by Renu Swamy couple, like they had done  last year. It was a compact 4 -hours happy gathering of the members of Milon mancha, primarily, it was a cultural meet exchanging good wishes after Durga puja, followed by song, dance, drama etc where children also participated in a major way. There were many artists from many fields to perform–mentioning there name individually will eat up all the space here, naturally that is not my intention here in the interest of brevity. only a few of those present actually performed because of paucity of time. Rudra Mondal rightly said many of our artist-members are so popular that they alone can carry a program single handed whole night successfully.  Not to be surprised, many are nationally  known, one is even PADMA SHREE awarded. Some of our artists  often give international performances. Do you want to be on-board next time? if you are of like mind and have innovative idea on travelling, you are very much welcome, in fact, MM is long in search for you, please contact Sri Rudra Mondal at Milon Mancha…………………………………… Program started at 6.00pm, and I left after dinner at 11.00 pm.


Primarily credit  goes to Rudra Mondal and Sharmistha, they created the platform Of MM wherein they pulled in, such accomplished artists from all fields. This platform is gradually becoming the centre-stage, of all like-minded cultured Bengalees in Mumbai. I am grateful to Shivaji Sanyal–actor, poet, writer, model, author, a multi-disciplinary man, who referred me here, but for whom I could not have made accessed to this bunch of wonderful, and magnificent set of people.

With the lasting impression I returned home at around 1.00 am in the night. LONG LIVE MILON MANCHA!!!!!!

Continue reading “VIJAYA SANMILANI AT MILAN MANCHA-2018 .”


We in the JAJABAR GROUP, comprise a small number  of like minded people, visited Lonavla to celebrate monsoon, from 18.08.2018 morning  to 19.08.2018 evening. There were many new faces –old, young and children, who are still studying or just waiting a launch of their promising career ahead, as a reward of their hard work. They were determined people and full of energy to enjoy monsoon with their abundant energy.  Seeing children enjoying in front of us, the elders, is satisfying.

We were twenty in number, our group was led by Sri Mangal Chowdhury and Debasis Saha–they made all the arrangement of our food and lodging  in advance, and were in charge, in conducting the whole tour. Sri Abhijit Sengupta and and his wife Sudeshna, are my new discovery, they are gentle man and woman, made our team enjoy the tour better.

We travelled to Lonavla, by train from Dadar. Some of our members, reached there in their own vehicles, but most of us caught The Deccan Queen, at 7-00 am, from Dadar. At around  9.30 am, reached Lonavla, from there we reached NUSI lodge of Bombay port trust.  Food and lodging provided to us was at unbelievably low price. Our stay was cosy and comfortable, and this helped us to enjoy Lonavla to the most.  During our stay , weather was cold due incessant downpour of rain; heavy cloud enveloped us; with this wind was blowing hard. A comfortable accommodation, with all necessary paraphernalia, our tour would not have been so comfortable.

After reaching Lonavla, we were led to our rooms. Then we took lunch; soon after, made for tiger point. Earlier occasions also, I visited the same place. But this time it was different; a heavy rain, constant high speed wind and a heavy cloud looking as dense fog, made the whole surroundings invisible, virtually was unable to come out of our vehicle. To make the matters worse, I was overpowered with a strong headache. Still, I ventured out, but strong pelting of rain dissuaded me to go far away from our vehicle, I rushed back to our vehicle and took shelter inside the vehicle, inside the car I was shivering to the bones. Here umbrella do not work, one or two of us tried to defy the nature with their umbrella, and paid the price —strong  wind either broke theirs, or blown it away.

Due to heavy rainy weather, we could not stay there for very  long time. Yet there were difficulties, and a sense of adventure with it. On our way back, we visited Durga Mandir. Rain and wind, continued, pursued us there also. After staying there for an hour, we made wayback  to our lodge. Then, we enjoyed hot tea and snacks in the lodge. The cold weather, chilly wind made the warmth of afternoon snacks, more enjoyable. In evening, all of us met in a meeting place, and shared our experiences excitedly. Here topics of discussion , were endless; as there were many new faces, they brought in many anecdotes from their life, to make the discussion lively.  I found a new friend in Abhijit Sengupta, an electrical engineer, working with solar energy; true to my nature, I made endless query with him on solar energy. He replied to all those patiently and knowledgeably, added to my knowledge.

We had a good dinner in the night. Our women members are full of artistic qualities. They sang, danced, and made the evening interesting, and unforgettable.

Next morning, we left for Narayani Mandir in Lonavla. It is very spacious place. All of we believers visited the idols, took prasadam, and saught the blessings of God. Naturally, there were unbelievers as well, who were not so eager to seek the blessings of God.This was an occasion that I tried to measure myself whether I am a believers or non-believers. Actually, I could not decide. Often in the past, with lot of energy I took part in intellectual debate over whether God exists or not; soon after I fell on the feet of God to save me from danger–real or imagined.  Here we had two octogenarians, who did not believe in God, and he has deep conviction in his belief, which at this age generally not seen, because at this position of life people starts softening.

But, unlike this very  old and strong man, I do not have a strong heart, mine is made of weak material. To be an atheist, one has to have a strong conviction, which I find in very few.  Here a look at  Jyoti Basu, a great communist leader, is worth. As a communist in red shirt, he has to be; he was an atheist, but his wife, was overwhelmingly theist, whole day she would worship goddess Kali–may be a part of her duty went to make amends for her husband as per his instruction. This is hypocrisy. Similarly must be the case of all atheist. About me, I admit that I am a weak soul, for my survival I need the support of God, so I always seek his/ her blessings. At Narayani Mandir, I prayed to God to keep the whole mankind and me, safe and sound. Did God listen to me?–only future will tell.

Then we had our meals as prasadam at Narayani mandir, soon after left for Dadar, and from there by train reached home at around 6.00pm. With a sweet memory we came back home. Thanks to JAJABAR, MANGAL CHOWDHURY AND DEBASIS SAHA.

I have given the account of my journey above.  More information about the journey can be had from photographs taken by our mobile phones, which are published in this post. Here we had the requirement of ace photographers like Sri Rudra Mondal, and  Sil da of Milon Mancha. They use expensive cameras, and other special requirements for photography, between them they have by this time taken several lakhs photographs.

But now look at our photographs below with our mobile phones. Although our photographs are not so rich in qualities but will give you a great account of our tour. Photographs will give an idea of what happened in our tour which we enjoyed a lot. Thanks for reading it.


Milon Mancha, has just completed a week’s tour of Rajasthan. As usual, they have done the tour quite effectively. Touring with MM, is a different experience. A  great leadership, excellent team work , understanding members, leaves a lasting experience. Moreover, the tour is done unlike the tour operators, at a minimum possible cost and time, without compromising comfort. Tours are financed strictly on a cost sharing basis.

It was a one week tour, visiting places of interest in Jaipur. For full account of the tour, you may look it up MM’s main face book page. Here, only some random photos of the tour, taken by their two professional photographers–Amalendu Sil and Rudra Mondal, are given to just give an idea as to how was the tour.

Those who have not toured with them, for them making an idea of tour will be difficult. During tour, you may get a bonus also for which you do not pay. Its members are not ordinary people, they are special people because they are singers, actors, recitationists, poets, writers, models, playwrights, theater activists. Most of them are well known people of Mumbai. Naturally, when you are in company with them during the tour, your time spent becomes very entertaining and unforgettable–only because they are all special people….




mile-long book stalls on college st in calcutta

Milon Mancha’s visit to Khargar, Navi Mumbai.




Milon Mancha knows the art of travelling, creating pleasure and  happy experiences for its members. A constant research goes on in the mind of its leaders to create pleasure for its members within available resources. Those are travelling, and holding cultural functions/events.Tours are conducted for long, medium and short duration throughout the year. When none of it can be conducted immediately, at the least, a visit to a member’s place in group, is an option. Such a thing happened on 21.7.2018, a saturday.  This time a group of 15 members of MM, visited the home of  Kakali and  Biman Bose in  Navi Mumbai, a place with an abundant nature.



Biman Bose, although a Bengali, he is a local man. He is  an artist,  actor, writer, dramatist, and a social worker. As we know, a  successful artist understands people’ mind, and this makes him an excellent communicator. Without using a word, he can tell you a big story. He can create fun and  laughter without notice, and almost out of nothing and instantly. When you come back home, his words and actions rings in your mind……   A play written by him, will be staged in MARATHA SAHITYA MANDIR , Navi Mumbai, in the evening of 5th August, all of us invited.




He owns a flat in a picturesque tower in the midst of nature surrounded by high hills which presents beautiful water falls in this rainy season. See the pictures in the post where members are enjoying rainy season. Members also sang, dined to their heart’s content in their spacious 14th floor residential flat. Their loving pet dog –nick named Puchi,  gave the members of MM a happy time.

Next day evening, members of MM left for home with a happy memory. LONG LIVE MILON MANCHA !!! DO YOU WANT TO JOIN MILON MANCHA’S TRIP NEXT TIME??? If in the affirmative, you are welcome.




Bhraman ADDA of Milon Mancha on 14th July, 2018.

On 14th of July, after a month’s stay in Kolkata, me and my wife –while in kolkata was restless for it, attended the Bhraman adda  in the mini and unique home auditorium, of Milon Mancha. There were nearly 70 members who was in the meet. It was a pure adda, but not without a serious streak in it.

It was a meet continued for compact three hours, full of talk, song, dance and sharing experiences, and carefully prepared home food brought in by the enthusiastic members–there are luckily many.  Those of the readers who are interested in details of the adda they will be disappointed for I wont carry the details of what happened in the adda, here. They may click into Milon Mancha’s Bhraman adda in face book page. I shall deal with only a few major items which impressed me most.

First, Rudra Mondal, reviewed elaborately the travels done so far, their focus on the many aspects of travelling. As he said, anybody is not included in the travelling group of MM ; in brief, as a member one must be accommodative and understanding, of least complaining nature, they must enjoy themselves and help other to enjoy the tours equally. Not only this , if possible, they may bring new ideas to explore new places. Their focus is not on tradition bound tour operator-type leisure trip,or honeymoon tours, those have to be of exploring and educative type.

Many spoke their experience in their own way. The particular one by Biman Bose impressed me most. He is a theater actor. His speech took everybody to splits. He has shown us how without speaking, only by gestures alone, one can communicate to the mass with ease. He was appreciative, critical, supportive, and created a lot of fun. I have turned into his admirer.


Shri Rudra Mondal and his wife, Sharmistha provide the perfect leadership to ease everybody. Sharmista Made, as always. everybody feel important. Shivaji Sanyal, poet,spoke of an incident during their trip to Hampi, there was one seat less in the Bus, Sharmistha continuously used a stool for her seat in spite of many others offering their seat to her. A perfect leadership requires perfect sacrifice. Look at the photographs in this post, you can catch the mood of the members throughout. This is a memory we will cherish for a long time to come. Even since coming back home, we are looking at the photographs and discussing those pleasurable moments endlessly. I believe many of you doing the same.


It was a compact three hours full of performances of various items. An item I cannot forget, ringing in my mind endlessly, is the a medly dance to medley tune, in an uncomfortably short space of a home auditorium. I liked it very much, I was fully absorbed in it. The work is creative indeed. I request you to click and enjoy the the video of the dance, given below —


The dance sequence was rhythmic, made me sway side to side, desired it never ended. It was akin to a feeling I had during reading a poem of ‘palanquin bearers’ by the poet Sarojini Naidu, which I give below–

Lightly, O lightly we bear her along,
She sways like a flower in the wind of our song;
She skims like a bird on the foam of a stream,
She floats like a laugh from the lips of a dream.
Gaily, O gaily we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.

Softly, O softly we bear her along,
She hangs like a star in the dew of our song;
She springs like a beam on the brow of the tide,
She falls like a tear from the eyes of a bride.
Lightly, O lightly we glide and we sing,
We bear her along like a pearl on a string.



A visit to Kanheri cave by Milon Mancha, in a rain soaked day

In this month of July, people in Mumbai enjoy a heavy rain .  In such a time, the favourite  monsoon beauty spot is Kanheri Caves located  in the National Park, Borivili , not far off from my home, only 5km .   It is a Buddhist rock-cut caves, believed to be the largest on the Konkan coast, were chiseled out of basaltic rock between the first and ninth centuries AD. Tiny spartan cells with only a plinth as the sleeping  area are embedded into the rock face. There is a main congregation hall with the stupa.  After the first showers of the rainy season when all gleams, fresh and washed, it becomes a dreamy place to visit.



Milon Mancha knows best how to extract the tourists potential of a place for its  disciplined team of tourists, MM took its members on a one-day trip to Kanheri cave on 08.07.2018.

If you are new to MM, it is good to know that MM conducts its all programs—tours/ cultural event -any, on a no-profit basis or better to say that on a cost sharing basis. MM always welcomes new travel ideas, towards seeing unexplored areas and new experiences at a less cost–if you have one, write to him.

I am not writing more fearing that you might get bored with the long account, better see the tourists in action, in the rain, in the forest, in the beautiful photographs taken by Sri Rudra Mondal and Amalendu Sil. In many cases, photographs of rainy tourists, may drive you to unconsciously run for your umbrella, be on your guard !!!!!

[ Don’t forget to visit MM page in face book, you will get their details of all past tours. Those beautiful pictures will take away your depression and blues if you ever drift into -God forbid, those human malaise]. Thanks for reading.

Continue reading “A visit to Kanheri cave by Milon Mancha, in a rain soaked day”