17th April is the birthday of my deemed sister (in Hindi – Munh Boli Behan) – Moon Moon Didi whose real name is Indrani and whose parental surname is Mukherjee, post marriage surname being Mehraaj. In December 1991, when I was returning from Nagpur to Kolkata (then Calcutta) after the audit of Nippon Denro Ispat Limited, I happened to meet a Bengali youth in the train who was also a chartered accountant (I had appeared in the final examination by that time and became a chartered accountant when the results were declared after a few days in January 1992). The name of that Bengali youth was Jayanta Mukherjee. We befriended each other and talked a lot. When the train reached Howrah station, Jayanta introduced me to his elder sister who had arrived at the station to receive him. She was Moon Moon Didi.
After a few days, I visited their house (I have forgotten the name of the area where their residence was situated at that time). Their father’s name was Gopa Mukherjee. When I reached there, I did not find Jayanta at home but Moon Moon Didi was there. And I conversed with her for at least two hours covering different topics. Herself being ten years senior to me in age, she was Didi only for me. She introduced me to her daughters – Ninni and Taani. She told me that she had married a Kashmir-based businessman against the will of her family (and the will of his family as well). Post marriage, she preferred to live with her parental family only in Kolkata while her husband kept on visiting her and the children there almost every month. When our meeting was over, I was more a friend of Moon Moon Didi than her brother Jayanta. Since I was doing my C.A. course through the sponsorship of a charitable trust and the trust only had arranged me the accommodation at Kolkata (at Chittaranjan Avenue), I was having telephone facility at my residence (the telephone connection belonged to the trust and the bills were paid by the trust only). Hence her residence being quite far from my place, I kept on talking to her over phone instead of visiting her personally. Before leaving Kolkata finally on 15.04.1992, I could meet Moon Moon Didi only once more.
I joined service of a cement plant of JK group at Rajasthan (situated near Mount Abu) in May 1992 and wrote a letter to Moon Moon Didi. Thereafter our contact through (lengthy) letters continued for years. I could not read Bangla and she could not write in Hindi. The correspondence, therefore, took place in English. On every Rakshabandhan, I got the Raakhi card from Moon Moon Didi who had started considering me as her real brother only. In 1994, she gave me a shocking news. Her husband and his brothers visited her parental house when the males were not at home and took away her daughters by force. She reported that abduction of her little daughters to the police but got no reasonable help. Coming to know of it through her letter, I could do nothing but to console her through my words and that only I did. However I advised her to seek the help of Mrs. Kiran Bedi, the high profile woman IPS officer of India. She told me that she had sent a letter to her in this regard but got no response. I also discussed this issue with a senior IPS officer (known to my father) at Jaipur and sought his advice but quite shockingly, got the reply from him that the police could do nothing in that matter as it was a ‘husband-wife spat’. I got married in 1995 and Moon Moon Didi sent her blessings to me through letter. However I was not able to find out some soothing unction for the wound in her life, some effective remedy for her heartache.
I visited Kolkata with my wife in July 1996 and reached the residence of Moon Moon Didi but came to know that the family of Gopa Mukherjee had changed its residence and nobody in the neighbourhood could tell me the changed address. Coming back to Rajasthan, I got Moon Moon Didi’s letter giving her new address (of Barisha, Kolkata-700 008). Had I got that address earlier, I would have met her but … that’s destiny. it wasn’t practically possible for me to go to Kolkata again so soon. I left my job shortly thereafter and started pursuing Indian Civil Services by living at Delhi (at Dr. Mukherjee Nagar, near Kingsway Camp). I got one more letter from Moon Moon Didi at my Delhi address in which she appeared to be highly depressed and longing for death. That was her last letter to me. Thereafter I sent letters to her and also sent her the birthday cards, new year cards and Diwali cards. All the greeting cards came back to me by post as ‘undelivered’.
Thus for the past 19 years, I have got no news of Moon Moon Didi. I could not visit Kolkata also during this period. My life also has faced several ups and downs during this period. I miss my deemed sister very much and wishing her birthday, I pray to Lord that she is alive and in good health.