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Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Pal

Mumbai The City of Dreams & Illusion

October 2008

My present home is in Mumbai. I never in my wildest dreams thought that Mumbai can become my home. I was very afraid to stay in a metro because the quality of life is not so good in big cities. I always wanted to stay in small cities and avoid big crowd. However, you cannot change your destiny. When I was in Dehradun, I happen to meet Vaidya Balendu Prakash. He was known to me earlier, I first met him in an Ayurvedic conference held at Sewagram in 2002. For his work on treatment of haematological malignancies with Ayurvedic Medicines he was awarded the ‘Padma Shri’ in 1999. He wanted that I should also do the similar type of compilation that I have done for Dr. Chatterjee and Dr. Hina Fatima and present it to the National Cancer Institute, USA. He promised me that he will arrange me a proper position and place from where I can work.    

I was doing well in the Sardar Bhagwan Singh Postgraduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences (SBSPGI), Dehradun. In mid June of 2008 Vaidya Balendu informed me that Ipca Laboratories, Mumbai is opening a new company called Ipca Traditional Remedies Pvt. Ltd. He was appointed the Director of this company and wanted me to join him. So during my summer break in July I went to Mumbai and was interviewed by Mr. P C Godha the MD of Ipca Laboratories. He was convinced with my research work and offered me the double the salary which I was getting in SBSPGI. That was a good offer; however, my main concerned was house. So when I was asked if I require anything else, I promptly told I needed a house near to my office. Mr. Godha told his secretary Ms. Madhu to arrange the same for me. She informed that a house is vacant nearby, though under renovation but will be ready in a month. So I went to see the house which was a decent two bed room flat, but the rent was around Rs. 15,000/-. This was a shock for me as so far I have never paid house rent over Rs. 4500/-. But anyway the house was about 10 minutes walk from my office and the land lady Ms. Rekha Desai was a nice lady staying in the same building [Gangotri] with her mother. So I grabbed the offer and shifted to Mumbai in the first week of August 2008.  Initially, I stayed in Andheri with Tunudi and Milli as Jamaibabu was in Chennai. Then, as our luggage & furniture arrive after few days we shifted. One person that helped us immensely in the shifting process was Mr. Bablu Sutradhar. He and his son Bodhon helped us in the unpacking and settling in our new house.   

The city of Mumbai derived its name from the Goddess Mumbadevi. It is a very old and historic city. Mumbai is built on what was once an archipelago of seven islands: Bombay Island, Parel, Mazagaon, Mahim, Colaba, Worli, and Old Woman's Island (also known as Little Colaba). The place where we stayed was Kandivali west, it was in the outskirt of northern Mumbai. The place was quite different from the down town. It was quite green and clean and close to the ‘Turzon Point’ the creek was visible from the roof top of our building. The pollution level and traffic was less. But the noise made by passing traffic was terrible. It took almost some months to get adjusted with the background noise. And contrary to my expectation no one came for collecting ‘Hapta money’ that we see in movies. In fact no unwanted persons were allowed to enter in our building.

My daughter Sneha got admitted to Ryan International School located in Kandivali East. Within few months my wife Sanghita also got a teaching position in the same school. As we all got settled down Mumbai seemed to be quite charming. We made new friends and the most notable among them was the parents of Avinash Mukherjee, Mr. Dev Mukherjee & Kavita Mukherjee. Mr. Dev took us in the sets of ‘Balika Badhu’ where we could see the shooting of the TV serial. He also arranged VIP passes to attend the TV & Cinema award functions. Not only me but many of my family members were thrilled to attend those functions. We could see many cine stars in person. A real delight for all of us and altogether a different type of experience. The next family that we became close with was another Mukherjee family staying in the same building. Sudip da and Mauha with their two children (Riya & Tinku), sister Rupa and Mesomosai (father of Sudipda) was staying in the same house before us, because of the renovation work they vacated. Sneha did not have any friend other that Riya. Madhu & Santosh Pathak was very helpful and assisted us in many matters. Rekha di took care to Sneha when ever we left her alone. She was just like our elder sister. In all the Mumbai I was so scared off gradually became my home.

Pictures of Mumbai