Thursday, August 03, 2006

A letter to Bulbuli

Dear Bulbuli,

I returned to Delhi yesterday from Mumbai, after helpinging Munia settle in her new place at the IGIDR. The Institute is located near Gokuldham in the Goregaon East area of northern Mumbai. It is situated on a hilltop with forrest on one side and new housing estates coming up on the other. The place is rather remote; one needs to walk a kilometer or so to reach the nearest shopping area. It is however quite picturesque and very quiet. I suppose Munia will have to get used to living and studying for the next two years in a serene academic environment. I think it will be a nice change for her, after the hectic last few years in Delhi, with St Stehens College, Artists Unlimited and other busy periods and what not.

Munia has been given a temporary room in the IGIDR Guest House, until she moves into a more permanent accommodation in the hostel (which could as well be the third floor of the Guest House itself). She will share the room with another girl, possibly someone joining the M Phil course, someone who did not arrive till yesterday. She is justifiably a bit nervous and lonesome, especially after the first lecture she attended on Mathematical Economics. She thought the professor was very good, but the subject she fears would be very tough too. We saw a big snake in the college campus, which terrified her, even though the gardener there assured us that there has not been a single case of snake bite ever since the Institute started some fifteen years ago.

Munia has however been very impressed by the overall infrastructure of the place, with technologically advanced class rooms, well stocked library, wi-fi connected computer facilities and so forth. She is quetly gearing up to working hard. There are in all hardly a hundred students in the Institute, including around sixty PhD and M Phil researchers,and some forty faculty members. By the way, our Shovan Roy (Cambridge PhD and Planning Commision employee, remember) has been in IGIDR for the last four years as a visiting Fellow. He stays in a very well appointed quarters in the campus, in the same building where there is a flat for Kirit Parikh, who was the Director of IGIDR until recently. Present Director is Professor Radhakrisha, who is also very well known and an accomplished academician. I spent sometime with Shovan in his apartment wth his wife Sumitra and his two year old son Ananda, and had some breakfast with them. I also went to his office in the research block in the Institute, where Munia came in and met him. In a way, the fact that Shovan is there, makes it a bit of a comfort for us and a little less worried.

I do hope that Munia will be very happy in IGIDR. Already, she told us that she wiil be watching "Padmanadir Majhi" today evening in the Institute film society. Pampa is planning a cousins meet this weekend at Bandra, where Munia will be invited.

I spent time with Deepa, with Lokkhi and also with Babi and Chotoboudi while in Mumbai for three days. Deepa and Swapan will be in Bombay possibly only upto December this year as Swapan retire from UTI Bank. Tutu is contemplating to relocate to the Bahamas in his new shore job in a couple of months. Neil, who came to see me at Lokkhi's place in Andheri East, has got a scholarship to do M Sc in Design Technologies at the Milan University in Italy, so he will be in Mumbai till September only. On the other side, Mitra has sought transfer to Mumbai in her ICRA job. I hear Samir may also move to Mumbai next year. So Munia will have enough relatives to go to on weekends, if she wants to.

I have received Sambit's last mail. The letter seems OK. I shall be meeting the Travel agent early next week to finalise our programme for UK in September/October.

I do not know if you remember that Atkins was the Company where your Bhanudada (Rangan's late husband) used to work at the beginning of his stay in England in early eighties. In those days, some of the top guys in Atkins were Bengalees. It is interesting that they are now planning to return to India in a significant way.

I am writing this long mail from my office at IMI. Time to go home, after picking up your Ma from her office.

So long. with love.