Today morning at 10.45am in Kolkata, the last bastion of my Mama Baari fell. Mrs Pratima Sen (Chhanu), whom we fondly called Bhalo Mashi, passed away at the ripe age of 90+ years. My mother Kalyani was the eldest of six siblings. In our generation, she was the BORO MASHI. She was followed by 5 more siblings, Benu (Boromama), Geeta(Mashimoni), Pratima (Bhalomashi), Nileema (Lal Mashi) and Sadhan (Chhoto Mama). Collectively, they had 15 children. From our childhood days, I remember we were exceedingly close and very happy to be with our Mama Baari. They were very friendly, informal and kind of “BINDAAS”. Nothing happened on time there. It suited us. Dinner was served late and had no fixed time. My mother Kalyani was the eldest and she controlled her siblings. Everyone listened to her and in fact they were mostly scared of her.
Today with Bhalo Mashi going away, that era has ended. None of them are there now. They leave behind a strong legacy of Shona Ronger MUNSHI BAARI. None of us understood the meaning of that, but we were quite impressed by the name. Lal Mashi and Chhoto Mama were very young when Dadu passed away. So my Dad or Jamai Babu as he was called by them, took charge of these two kids and took them to his house for education. He automatically became their defacto Dad for them.
Mashimoni(Geeta) passed away early, with child delivery complications. Bhalo Mashi married to a doctor lived in Mumbai, Lal Mashi lived in Chittaranjan and her husband worked in CLW. Both my uncles worked in Hindustan Motors, the House of Ambassador Cars in India. Today clearly we can say, an era has ended. All of them are gone. We thank them for their love, affection, care, wisdom, which has helped us a lot all these years. This blog is a tribute to all Sen siblings, but specially for Bhalo Mashi.
A big thank you and love you all.
OM SHANTI !!
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