Wednesday, July 4, 2007



Everybody, sometime some of you keep me asking about my days and time at Chittaranjan. This is natural, after all there are gaps of decades between most of you and me ! This has prompted me with an idea of writing this to share my old good days with those of you who are interested.

Indian Railway under the British colonial rule was another group of companies with different British Managements. Since the different railway networks under all of them were used mutually for their own benefits. At places, different railway companies had the facilities of repairing and maintenance of their locomotives and passenger and goods carriages. To name a few, like Anda, Adra, Howrah, Liluah, Mughal sarai, Jhajha , these are they places I mention since they are quite closed by our loving Chittaranjan. The locomotives were imported from Manchester, England and few from Canada and Australia , all under the Union Jack. A good number of railway operational staffs were anglo Indians, in fact they were given privilege for employment as most loyal subjects to Queen or King. Bengalis were mostly engaged as babus and others as maintenance staffs.

After Independence , Pandit Neheru was struck by the idea of 5years plan for the development of India. Chittaranjan saw the light of reality through the 1st 5years plan of Pf Neheru with many of other projects in India. I am not sure , possibly the foundation was laid in 1948 in the adjoining area of Mihijam in Santhal Parganas under Dumka district of newly formed state of Bihar. The village Mihijam was famous for it`s healthy weather, digestive water and Dr Paresh Banerjee, the great homeopath, who invented Lexin, an inhaler to detoxicate the snake bite victims

Where the township is now, there were few Santhal villages surrounded with patches of cultivable lands, mostly owned by local Bengalis with title Mondal. Later few of them were offered jobs with the locomotive factory.

In late 40a and early 50s, India was still under it`s colonial hangover ( in fact it is yet to get over it fully) strongly. In our childhood, there were good number of Anglo Indians still serving with railway and were scattered at Chittaranjan. But they were maintaining a distance with native! I believe,(since I was too young to understand it fully), even higher ranked Indians were holding them with awe and venerations. Gradually, with the passage of time most of them left for unknown destinations. Much later we came to know that most of them either migrated to Australia or Canada. I had the opportunity to mingle with a few of them as a boy of 6 or 7 years old. However, their parents were not in favour of their playing with us seemingly.

The sole convent school, St Joseph`s was their school, was located in the fringe of Officers Colony, closed to railway station later named Chittaranjan. Few fortunate of us also was schooling with them. Mostly the wards of railway officers, or higher officials. For me, it was Buniyadi Vidyalaya, Paschim Amladahi, more famous as Jana Babu r school. It was closed to Srilata Institute. I joined there in 1959, the year the morning section of the school started. I belonged to the first batch of the morning section of that primary school. Our didimonis were Vijaya , Helen, Meera, Indu by name and all of them were quite motherly. I still remember the sweet voice of Meera Didimoni, who left our school after her marriage. She was dwelling on st no 11 in Hill Colony, her father`s name , still I remember Bhubaneswar Mukherjee. She was at times singing with her mellifluous voice `CHHOTO PAKHI CHANDANA`, drawing us away to the world of wilderness from the four walls of class rooms. I know not whether such teachers still exists.

I think the story is long enough to make you feel bored. So for time being here I stop but promise you to write again from down the memory lane if you like it. So , let me know hew do you like this /

Best wishes for all of you , wherever you are.



Anonymous said...

Very interesting story. I try hard to imagine how it was to live all those memories of you. I grew up as well like you did but in the other side of the world.
But memories are always sweet. Even the worst.

DeB said...

khub sundor..almost felt like am going by to my childhood days where my dad used to tell me very interesting stories about CRJ (which u also shared), ganapati hut was almost like a treasure trove those days. Thanks a lot for putting words to our thoughts

somnath said...

Dear Arabinda sir,
i don't know u personally,but i like your story.I stayed far away from CRJ but u made me feel closer to my home.Thank you.Waiting for ur nxt message.

hello2jit said...

Thanks Arabinda was nice to read your blog.please give some more feeds.

hello2jit said...

soooo nice.

deadlymanish said...

thnx for enlightening me abt crj. Although I hv been living in this place since childhood I had very little insight into crj's childhood. The narration was very interesting, thnx again

Soumita Ray said...

I hv spend my childhood in Chittaranjan & have studied in St. Joseph`s Convent High School...nice to know the history of MY OLD SCHOOL....& MY CHILDHOOD PLACE CHITTARANJAN..

bibhas said...

Dear Aurobinda,
To read anything about CHITTARANJAN,to me, is pleasant and joy for ever.So,I'd request you to go on writing in phases about this small township but big heritage in the lap of greeneries and charming Ajoy. Thank you.