Bidhan Chandra Prakash Pradhan (1944-2017)
A Tribute to my Mama, a friend as well
1. 'Nirvana' (1932) Ancestral House
2. Obituary by SFAS Association
3. On the lawns of 'Nirvana' Binod Kumar Pradhan*, Author, Bidhan Chandra Prakash Pradhan*, Bijoy Pratap Pradhan, Sunil Prakash Pradhan* and Subodh Kumar Pradhan*
4. Members ofthe Nav Jiwan andhya Club Author, Mohan Prasad Pradhan*, Shyam Sunder Pradhan,
Principal Administrative Officer Government of Sikkim R. N. Haldipur*,
Sita Pradhan*, Shanti Pradhan, Binoy Kumar Pradhan* and mentor Jai Shanker Lall Shresta*
5. Author with Bidhan Mama with a copy of Maniraj Kayastha Smritigranth and
6. At residence of Keshab Chandra Pradhan – Neera Pradhan, Ranjana Shresta, Shanti Maiju, Author,
Keshab Mama and Bidhan Mama.
We had first met in Calcutta in the year 1955 as young lads attending the marriage ceremony of Sanu Mama Mohan Pratap Pradhan* with Laxmi Devi at Lower Chitpore Road now Ravindra Sarani. Known each other through a scuffle when he called me Madhisey. I was then in Banaras while he already in St. Augustine School at Kalimpong. I do not remember meeting him before though he once recollected of seeing me first admitted for Dhungey class in the Missionary Primary School Rhenock. Later I was in St Joseph's Convent for a while doing my primary reading Sing mother sing, as my Buba used to look after our business there running the branch office of Harishanker Lall Ramshanker Lall Nepali (established 1886) in Banaras. Nirmal Mama had then running his Chandra Orchid and Bulb Nurseries at 8½ Mile where Cluny's Women's College is established.
Bidhan Mama was born on 28 September 1944 as the youngest of three brothers (Nirmal and Manohar) and six sisters (Kamala, Pratima, Malati, Sarala, Pramila and Saroja) to Bijali Devi and Babu Durga Shamsher Pradhan, younger brother of Rai Saheb Ratna Bahadur Pradhan of Rhenock. Together they had started the world famous Chandra Nursery in the year 1910. Born as the youngest of five sisters and three brothers, he lost his mother while he was still a milk feeding baby taken cared by an Ayah. He had two more sisters Shiela and Kalpana and a brother Uday from his step mother Jamuna Maya Pradhan, who is 94 years old now.
After doing his initial education at the Missionary Primary School at Rhenock, he joined St. Augustine's School at Kalimpong as a boarder in 1954. He passed his ISC examination from there in the year 1964. He remembered among several others Palden Dorji Khangsarpa, Karma Gyatso and Norbu Dadul Chingapa as his contemporaries there though last named was a few years junior but familiar as his hostelmate. He was quite chummy with colleagues like B. Tsering* and Sonam Tenzing* though not in school together and used to speak each other using common words only found with too close/familiar buddies shared with.
He joined St.Joseph's College at North Point, Darjeeling and did his B. A. with Honours in English along with C. K. Pradhan and C. K. Shrestha, if I remember correctly, in 1969. He stayed as a paying guest with Prof. Tulsi Bahadur Chettri near Dheer Dham Temple (1964) with Deo Kumar Gajmere, Kharga Jung Chettri*, Rajendra Kumar Khati and Mani Chandra Khati*. Thereafter he stayed at the College Restaurant (1965) with many other students from Sikkim like, Deo Kumar Gajmere, Ganesh Kumar Subba*, Nar Bahadur Tamang, Nar Bahadur Bhandari*, Tensung Gyatso*, Tsering Gyatso, Tsering Pintso Bhutia, N. K.Subedi* from Sikkim besides C. P. Mainali of Nepal among others. In 1966 when I moved out of the Bellevue Hostel (of Darjeeling Government Collge) at Chaurasta, I shared a room with him as paying guest of a Gurung family (son-in-law of Pudke Jarnail younger brother of Nandu Babu of Algarah) near Sharadeshwari Girls' School at Hermitage Road. Tanka Ram Sharma and Dilip Kumar Chettri were among others also stayed there.
Like his father Babu Durga Shamsher Pradhan* he was fond of good things to eat as he introduced me canned stuff of pork hitherto not cooked in our home that used to come from Rajniklal of Calcutta and other sources by mail. His height did not come to his actual upbringing true to the Taksari Family he belonged. Thulo Mama Bhishma Pratap Pradhan* once narrated me of some high ranking military officers visiting their Woodland Nursery and Chandra Nursery. They took fresh from School young man otherwise that Bidhan Mama paid back in the same coin using choicest word like bastard. The Army officer was someone of the kind/breed who deserved such a befitting nomenclature, otherwise such people do not command such disrespect in the young mind. Fond of entertaining friends, we used to meet in evenings at the restaurants at Park Street Calcutta. Year 1973 I was there for remaining six-month course of I.A.&A.S. Probationer in the office of the Accountant General (Central) in the Old Currency Building of Dalhousie Square. Of the seniors there I remember ever helpful A. K. Deb, who later came to Gangtok as the Accountant General Sikkim while S. Saha served on deputation and after retirement for a long time giving me oppotunity to work with him and continue getting his valued advice on official matters. My batch mate B. K. Chattopadhyay served as Accountant General Sikkim while S. P. Singh frequented whenever he/someone was on leave and later in supervisory capacity brought him my home with his wife once. Obese wife working as a senior offiicer in the Income Tax Delhi had tough time climbing up the stairs and get through the roller shutter at my residence.
While in Calcutta we used to visit his sisters Pratima-Tulsi Lal Shrestha and Malati-Punya Lal Shrestha at Bada Bazar/Lower Chitpore Road now renamed Ravindra Sarani occasionally. Together we used to see movies like Rajesh Khanna-Nanda starrer 'The Train', Devanand-Zeenat Aman starrer 'Heera Panna' and Shammi Kapoor-Zeenat Aman's 'Manoranjan' to name a popular few from those days. Best remembered was the earlier incident and often recalled the fun we together had while watching at the Rink cinema Darjeeling Devanand-Nanda, Kalpana and Simi Grewal starrer 'Teen Deviyan'.