Small cameoes,as gathered from reminescences , remain etched in mind.When Ma was in class four, one of her classmates,Dulu Rani got married. Ma was driven in a Whippet car by her father to the wedding and her gift was an embroidery kit in a blue velvet box. It was this same Dulu Rani who wiped off blood from my mother’s head when she was throwing stones and hurt herself.. Ma joined Bangla Bazar school and later Kamurennesa school .Another cameo which is my favourite is of Ma as a small girl in a slip bowing in front of an ustad who would come to give lessons to one of her uncles and saying ‘Ustadji, adab. adab’.
My mother was born in Dhaka, now in Bangladesh, to a family of zamindars. She did not grow up in the ‘lap of luxury’ as such for there were several contenders to the estate but on the whole it was an ambience of financial well-being. As a school-girl she would everyday buy one Nestle chocolate. Along with each chocolate came a poster of famous film-star,which was her main attraction. Later,when she was in college, her taste became more expensive. In those days there was a family goldsmith who came every month. Of her five sisters my mother was the only one to get new ornaments made every month, dangling ear-rings mostly. For her marriage she embroidered about fifty blouses and much later when macaular degenaration had robbed her much of her eye-sight, she embroidered her pillow-cases ,table-cloths, legacy of a by-gone ,gracious era.