While returning from their new factory at Deodarganj, the writer with his friend and business partner Aditya were driving along National Highway 40. As they reached a point of bifurcation, the author asked his friend about his willingness to take the road, that deviated to the right. That road leads to the ancestral home of Aditya, at Bramhapur. His father was a landlord there and later shifted to business at Calcutta. He was born and brought up there, also passed matriculation from the local school, after which he had left for Calcutta to continue his further studies. Aditya nodded for a positive response to go to the place. He tried to recollect old memories, of his two hundred years old big ancestral house , school, school mates, the tea stall of Nagen uncle. But also feared , they had changed with time and sweet memories of the past might disillusion him . They were driving in the month of Jan-Feb, around 3:30 pm. The Sun was on the western horizon , about to set in. As harvest was over , raw paddy fields were visible on either side of the road. Soon within 10 minutes, they reached the school, stereotyped with a big front iron-gate, playing field, and a two-storied building. Aditya explained the change- the old building had another floor now and a new had also been erected. They had a cup of tea with two nankhatai biscuits , sitting on tin chairs at Nagen’s tea stall, next to a grocery shop and opposite to a temple of Lord Shiva. Nagen babu was in mid-sixties with a typical Bengal- village look. Clean-shaven and neatly combed white hair, he was wearing a dhoti, and a blue-stripped shirt , peeping through his green shawl. They met a stranger there, referred to as Mr. Sanyal by Nagen babu. He was a peculiar man. He was neither eating, nor drinking tea, instead was sitting with head bent over the tea-table, as if daydreaming . He was short of...
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