>He came on Friday afternoon. He had informed me but I had forgotten. I came out, saw him, and got shocked to see his extraordinarily short hairs and masked face, Later on, he informed that the mask is to avoid infection. His body has lost immunity.
Tamal made me cry somewhere deep. Tamal came to me as a fresh draughtsman sometime in early 80s and worked for me when I was in corporate project planning in Hindustan Motors. He was tall, young, well-built, enthusiastic and innovative. To some extent, he was forthright or blunt bordering to be easily conceived as rough by some. Over some period, Tamal came closer. One reason may be my special weakness for the children of the old factory employee. His father was a supervisor in the factory where I had spent my best time. Tamal got married. His wife was smart and a school teacher. Pretty soon, they got a son who is now in the second year of a private engineering college.
I was again shifted to the operation activities of the Hind Motor factory to head all technical services. I had a selfish reason to agree for that. I bargained it for something for my dear one. Tamal remained in touch with me. I had to come back again to corporate planning because of my principled attitude to work. Some branded me as obstinate. The managing director wanted me to be a vice-president, manufacturing for mechanical division. I had done that many years ago as manufacturing manager. I was not ready and refused, as I considered the shift as demotion though with a high sounding position. The relation with Tamal became closer again. But then I left HM in 1997 after completing my inning. He kept in communication. Whenever we came to Salt Lake, Tamal used to visit us at least once. My visit to Salt Lake became rare after I took retirement as professional.
One day in Noida I got a telephone call. Tamal was on the other side after many years. I heard him sobbing badly. He had undergone major surgical operation for a serious brain tumour. He survived but only after spending all his savings and that of her wife. The family stood by him solidly. The wife sold all her ornaments to meet the costly treatment. His mother got the shock of her life and couldn’t survive long. HM unfortunately hadn’t come out generously for his treatment. Perhaps, it was because of totally aliens holding responsible offices in higher management. Perks in private firms depend mostly on personal relations with the effective superiors. While in office, I got some opportunities to help my known ones by going out of the way that gave me a real satisfaction in life.
Sometimes, Tamal used to call me at Noida. He once wanted me to request someone who had worked once as my subordinate for a job for him too. I did that. But it didn’t work. He kept on working with HM till 2007 and then perhaps was forced to take volunteered retirement.
When I informed Tamal that I have come to Salt Lake, he expressed his willingness to visit me. I told if he was having any trouble, he should not do that, instead I might like to come to his place so that I could meet the family members too. But he came and narrated the whole story in details. What a role the destiny has played with him!
Tamal had come after a medication schedule at his dispensary in Phool Bagan. As the regular medication is unaffordable, he has searched a doctor who does it as part of the some clinical research of some global pharmaceutical company. After his wife talked to him on phone, I could learn that she was waiting for him for lunch and he mightn’t have taken his lunch. We had just finished our lunch, but offered to get something prepared by Bharati. He kept on refusing. Yamuna then offered some curd and rice flakes, and then some sweets. His body has lost its resistance against infection. As he told, he had severe rashes on the side of his thighs that required very costly medication. A small wound on a foot took a lot of medication and time to heal. He has a small cancerous clot in lungs still that was the reason of the brain tumour too. He is taking the therapy for the clot that according to his doctor will reduce, but not get vanished. I found Tamal fighting with destiny. He still drives the motor cycle, as without that the transportation to various places will be difficult rather too costly. HM has not yet handed over his provident fund that would have helped him immensely. He says it is because of a change in system. Perhaps the privately held provident fund of HM has gone into government hand. I wished I would have been of some more help to Tamal and his family personally or through some agencies..
Before leaving, Tamal said, “Sir, I have some names including yours saved in my cell phone. I have told my son to inform all of them when I die.” It touched me badly.
While seeing him off, I gave a sandal wood Ganesha to Tamal and wished Him to make him hale and hearty. Will He do that and change the destiny of Tamal?