On 4 February my other Indian friend Joydeep picked me up from the Das house. I am staying with him, his wife Satabdi, son Babul (14) and daughter Boni (9). They have a lovely house in LIC Town, Madhyamgram in a very quiet neighbourhood.
I know Joydeep since 2002 through Chris. “I know Chris since 1987. He taught me swimming in the Calcutta Swimming Club when I was 11 years olld, Joydeep says. He had six or seven boys like me”. I remember that Chris carried back a bag full of swimming gear to Calcutta after every home visit he made in the early years of his 12-year work there.
Joydeep is a Relations Manager at the Axim bank. He took me to Chinsurah In 2002. In 2016 Satabdi joined us for the first time, meeting Mr. Ganesh Nandy and members of the India-Netherlands Friendship Society. While driving back we started discussing the idea of making a school project involving various departments. They interviewed local people and were tasked to do some assignments about the Dutch presence in Chinsurah. The report that was produced is available on my website dutchindianheritage.net
Satabdi teaches at a college. She called me a few days ago at the Das house that her Principal invited me to do two presentations for their students. One on the Dutch in Chinsurah, and one on my journalistic carreer with highlights from my 30 years working on water, sanitation and hygiene.
Last night I did my Dutch in Chinsurah presentation for members of Intach Calcutta. I changed quite a few older slides with a selection from the ones I took a few days ago.
Next day I did my presentations to 175 pupils and teachers at the under graduate college Mrinalini Datta Mahavidyapith, in Birati, Kolkata. In two lectures I shared my experience and knowledge on journalism, my Bangladesh work with UNICEF, water, sanitation and hygiene with the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and the shared Holland at the Hooghly. This is how the Principal who lives close to Chinsurah called it. It became very lively and I had to answer a lot of questions (and requests for selfies).
I was flooded with pictures, so I share a few.