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THE BANDOPADHYAYA FAMILY OF DEEGHALKANDI

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

12. FRIEND OF FRIENDS

 

Yogamaya lifted her child up for Sri Sri Thakur to see. She was confident that her daughter had the fortune of being blessed by Thakur and hence would lead a long and happy life. But soon after Thakur left the house, the new-born baby also died. Yogamaya broke down. All her expectations and beliefs were crushed. With deep anguish, she prayed to Thakur to bless her with a son. Thakur replied that in her horoscope, the planet Mars eyes the offspring-house and hence they don’t survive. But he also said, “Inform me when you conceive next. If I would have already left this body by that time, then during evening prayers, chant when you sit down and meditate. Bow down at my feet and pray for a son.” Later on, Yogamaya gave birth to three kids and all of them had long lives.


When Malati and Suradhuni came of marriageable age, the search for grooms began. Malati was dark and hence it became very difficult to find a suitable groom for her. But Suradhuni’s wedding had already been fixed. When Thakur was informed, he said, “Arrange for both the weddings to take place on the same day.” After searching for so long, the result was negative. Their father, Dhiren was disappointed and went to meet Thakur in Kolkata. Thakur gave them solace that everything would materialize at the right time. A few days later, the family found a groom for Malati from Kolkata. Both weddings took place on the same day. Suradhuni had a pleasant life in her husband’s house but there were disturbances in Malati’s married life. Malati’s husband didn’t show much interest for her and Malati felt unloved and uncared for. She spent her days in misery. During her younger days at home, Malati was adored and was very close to Thakur. She always used to go to Thakur with her complaints, grievances and demands. When she met Thakur for the last time, she said, “Thakur, why did you get me married to such an owl?” Hiding a smile, Thakur replied, “You were a perfect match, that why.”

“You know he always threatens me that he will get remarried. He even refused to come and see you. He is not devoted to you at all.” Thakur looked at her with his eyes full of compassion, advised her about the duties of a Hindu wife and said, “Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.” Malalti’s eyes, already filled with tears, widened as she asked, “Are you telling me the truth? Will my marriage really work out? If not, I will not leave you.” Thakur reassured her, saying that everything would soon fall in place. Later on, Malati’s marital life blossomed and the couple lived happily.


During Thakur’s stay at their home, everything revolved around him. One day, a boy came running and announced, “Thakur! A Marwari gentleman wants to meet you.” Thakur asked him to bring the gentleman in. A handsome man dressed in a suit with a turban on his head came in and touched Thakur’s feet as a sign of respect. Thakur asked in Hindi, “What do you want?” The visitor answered with a smile, “I am a poor man and I seek your blessings.” Thakur smiled back at him and said, “Go to Bombay. Everything will work out for you there.” In actuality, Suradhuni had decided to dress up like a Marwari that day and come before Thakur to have some fun. Thakur caught Suradhuni red-handed but continued to play along. Suradhuni’s husband resided in Bombay and so he hinted her to go back to her husband. The next day she was there again, in the guise of a Kabuliwala.

Everyone becomes a part of all the drama, all the festivities and all the celebrations that take place during Thakur’s stay. There was excitement, adventure, exhilaration and the one who lead the family and came up with all these creative ideas was the wife of Sri Dheerendranath. She dressed the children up in different costumes and sent them in front of Sri Sri Thakur to make him laugh and for the whole family to get drenched in that wave of laughter.


Once during, Thakur’s stay in Deeghalkandi, the father-in-law of Dhirendranath arrived at their home and was given ‘deeksha’ by Thakur. That day Thakur became the all merciful one ‘Kalpataru’ and granted everyone’s wish. He gave initiation to everyone in the family including their workers. Their aged mother wished for all four of her grand children to get initiated. But Thakur replied that he could only do that after their thread ceremony. But the same year Thakur left his body and could not keep his word.


That very day Thakur had given initiation to another devotee too. This gentleman was not known to the Deeghalkandi family. He was in his mid-thirties, a resident of Mayamansingh district. He was well built and had a calm and peaceful countenance. A couple of days after Thakur’s arrival, he came almost every day, sat lost in meditation outside the prayer room and took prasad along with other devotees. He never used to talk with anyone. In the beginning, everyone thought that he must have accompanied Thakur along with his entourage. But soon they found out that he was a complete stranger. That gentleman attracted Thakur’s attention.


…to be continued

Inspired by Krushnapriya Mohanty’s essay, “Deeghalkandi Parivar.”








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