Our Founding Parents
Biren Sen and Smt. Sisirkana Sen
|Shri Biren Sen
|Smt. Sisirkana Sen
fitting tribute was paid by late Shib Chandra Banerjee, the then Trustee of the Bengali Education Society and himself a doyen
among Bengalees in Bombay, during the opening ceremony of the new school building in 1940, when he said – “Friends,
if you break down the walls of this new building, you will find the legend “BIREN SEN” embossed on each and every
brick that this building is made of. So “Himalayan” was his contribution to the inception of the School that it
would be impossible for any one of today’s generation to even attempt to grasp, but for that telling statement at the
on 15th November, 1892, in village Madhyapada of Bikrampur sub-division, District Dacca, he lost his mother very
early and was brought up in his maternal uncle’s house in adjoining village of Sonarong.
He passed his entrance examination from Dacca University
in 1909, and shifted to Calcutta the same year to pursue higher studies and joined the just
started National Council of Education (later converted to Jadavpur
University ) in Manicktola. There he passed the four year diploma course
in Metallurgy in 1913 and joined
M/S Tata Iron and Steel Works, Jamshedpur in 1914. In 1916,
he shifted to Bombay and joined as Chemist and Metallurgist
in the Parel workshop of GIP Railway ( now known as Central Railway ). After half a century of life dedicated to the welfare
of the Bengali Community in Bombay, he breathed his last on
11th June, 1964 at his Dadar residence.
Biren Sen was already associated with every Bengali social and cultural activity in Bombay
during the twenties and through the forties of the last century. In fact, he was the main driving force behind starting the
Bengal Club ( 1923 )and more particularly the Bengali School in 1933. That, a School started as humbly as ours in a rented room in Haroon
Building at Parel, with six little children, of which two were his own sons, would shift to its own new premises at Morbaug
Road in a matter of only six years and which today proudly nurtures the dream and ambition of more than 1500 young future
success stories is a tribute to this pioneer’s single minded determination and devotion to duty, courage of conviction
and organizational ability.
of Late Biren Sen and co-ordinator to The Bengali School, Late Sisirkana Sen
was born on 27th May, 1905, in Calcutta. She did her schooling in Diocessan Girls School
from where she passed her matriculation in 1923. Throughout
the formative years of the Bengali School
she stood rock like by the side of her husband, not only helping him but in some cases taking up certain responsibilities
independently. When the School started in 1933, she took the responsibility of teaching the six little children, which included
two of her own, and whose parents had the courage of conviction to send their wards for their first lessons to a School with
no past history or credibility – only the hope of a bright but somewhat uncertain future.
appreciate the greatness of this lady, please try to imagine the following scenario:
lady in her late twenties staying in old railway quarters, where even electricity was not available in 1933. She wakes up
in the morning and besides the usual household chores of cooking breakfast and lunch, makes everything available for the husband
to leave for office at 9 ‘O’ clock. Next
she has to get her 8 year old eldest son ready for school – he goes to a nearby convent school, starting at 10. After
this, she gets her 4 year old twin sons ready for school, including packing their lunch ( as also her own ). The youngest,
a six month old son is now neatly wrapped up in bed sheets and blankets with enough spare changes in the bag to last the day.
Now she troops out with the twin sons and the maid servant in tow, carrying the small baby and heads for Haroon building which
is good 15 to 20 minutes walk. There, while she teaches alphabets and numbers to the 6 little mischief makers, the maid servant
looks after the little baby in the corridor outside the class room. From time to time, she has to leave the classroom to look
after the feeding needs of the howling baby!
a full life caring for the family as well as giving a helping hand to the husband in all his social activities, she breathed
her last on 23rd November 1994 in Calcutta.
that is the way lasting institutions are built from scratch! We are sure she is now overseeing from heaven above our Platinum
Jubilee Celebrations and showering her blessings and good wishes on us.
- Alumnus Samir ( Nobul ) Sen,
( That howling baby of six months
at Haroon Building!
|Shri Gokul Chandra Pain
We knew that Headmaster
Moshai, Shri G. C. Pain, was a very versatile teacher. He was outstanding in the languages, be it Bengali, English or Sanskrit
and formidable in Mathematics and Science, even Geography and History. But did we knew enough of his versatility to make merry
at the absence of teacher of a lesser subject?
There we were in
class one day, waiting for our drawing teacher, Shibu-da, to inspire future Jamini Roys and Pynes. Normally prompt to “hold
fort”, we realized soon enough that something was amiss when
Haripada-da, our school peon, stood outside the class to inform that “Drawing Sir aaj aashe nai” – Drawing
Sir has not come today.
It was at the fag
end of the day and we were all hoping that some one would pluck courage to suggest to some teacher that we be allowed to spend
the period at the adjoining G. S. Medical
College ground where we conducted our sporting activities. There was a lot of cacophony going on and, short of jumping from bench
to bench, we did everything.
All of a sudden,
in walked our Headmaster Moshai. There was a pin-drop silence resembling the ambience at Wonderers a few hours after the boisterous
T 20 Indo-Pak cricket final. “Eta koun period?” –
what period is this one? – he asked. Some one muttered “Drawing”. He asked whether Drawing Sir had come
in to which we said “No. He is absent today”. Oh I see,
he said. Let me see how good you are at drawing. Do you know what
is “Saral Rekha”? “Straight line”, he clarified, as if to imply that “Rekhas” are not straight forward anyway. Take your note books and draw
straight lines with only a pencil and no other implement, he said. He promised to come back after some time to check our drawing
skills and aesthetic values.
We did not see much
of a challenge in this simple exercise. In fact, the better artists among us thought they had a head start. It was only after
a few attempts that we realized the import of this exercise, or so we thought. All heads were down, concentrating on the whites.
Soon enough, the over-smart amongst us took out their six inch ruler, eraser and some even placed a printed straight line
below to copy upon. Yet, no one was really claiming to have made it.
Almost at the end
of the period the “Master” returned. He had a cursory look at a few attempts and shook hid head of disapproval.
He had not come to approve our efforts any way. He then turned towards the black board, picked a stub of chalk and in one
sharp stroke slashed a perfect straight line to amaze us at his dexterity. “Speed is the essence of this exercise”,
he said and walked out. His purpose was served since he had not come to teach us drawing but to extract silence and discipline
while the teacher was away. Distance learning indeed!
-Debiprasad Chowdhury, Alumnus ( 1961 batch )
( Head Master Moshai )
Being among the most
mischievous boys in class, I was privileged to develop an active relationship with our beloved Headmaster, Shri G. C. Pain.
My ears were enriched by frequent and sustained attention from his long bony fingers.
One fine day, I was
hanging like a bat from a horizontal water pipe in the school premises when some one alerted me about the Second Coming! This
had direct reference to Headu’s post lunch walk from his residential quarters, to his den in the school building, cutting
across the dusty compound with long and graceful steps.
Much of that grace
of course was lost on me that afternoon, as I leapt like a monkey and ran for cover, wondering anxiously if he had seen me
My speculation was
put to rest as soon as I found my right ear in the wrong place!
After a few well
directed strides, Headu had, as usual, taken possession of the most obedient part of my exposed anatomy.
“What were you doing there?” he enquired, while his fingers were too busy to show much expectation from my answer!
At the risk of stating
the obvious, I muttered, “I was merely hanging!” putting ample emphasis on the word ‘merely’.
his voice betrayed the seriousness of a philosophical enquiry.
“I want to
grow tall!” I said, hoping that my indisputable small stature would make
him see reason.
I can’t tell
after so many years whether it was the pathos or the frustration in my voice that made him suddenly smile and release his
grip. But what he told me thereafter was memorable.
“Try to grow
tall in wisdom, and in deeds!” he said. “The rest will all fall in place!”
-Ashok Roy ( Batch 1964 )
After cutting our
teeth on Mrs. Tytus’s accented English, we were promoted to further our proficiency of the Queen’s language under
the tutelage of a rather serious looking Nalina-di.
I remember the day
when she introduced us to the word ‘another’. After giving us a host of
examples and instances where the word ‘another’ could be gainfully employed, she proceeded to put us to
test with a twinkle in her eye.
“I am shutting
one eye,” she said, “and opening ….?
the whole class chimed in unison, “Another!”
her head and enjoyed the stunned silence for a while.
………the other!” she declared smilingly! “We have just two eyes, don’t we?"
It was only later
in life that we learnt about the third eye. But that is another story!
-Ashok Roy ( Alumnus 1964 )
who can count its worth,
Or measure its imprint
on one's soul?
It's movement unseen,
Yet it comes quietly
As a soft breeze.....
Brushing against the heart...
Making known it's presence,
Whispering," I'm here,
take my hand
And walk with me.
we will climb
where one alone
has not the
Nor the courage to go"
- Manojit Lodh
Down memory Lane
Memories down the mist of time,
Of Mastar-moshais and Didi-monis,
Of Pondit and Deba and Bibhadi and more,
Maths tests failed and zeros galore.
Of Pijush and Lina and Ashoke and Shibnath,
No longer there to call and laughter share,
Of schoolground rumpus and catcalling bouts
Bring back Bangla-school from the depth of time.
Life's sweet challenge that is youth,
The road to discovery of life and people,
But for Bangla's walk down memory lane,
Where would I be, know not sure.
- Venk Shenoi
roof nor walls remain.
There is no children's laughter
To echo 'cross the plain.
But memories still linger on
help us all recall...
The good times and the bad times
That started in the Fall.
We'd hustle to our empty desks
the bell began to ring.
allegiance to the Anthem
And then begin to sing.
Another year would come and go
As quickly as a wink...
teachers all inspired us
And taught us how to think.
So come on back to Alumnibes
Old friendships to renew...
talk about the old times
and give our school its due!
- Manojit Lodh
Bombay I like you
You gave me a wonderful
Full of fun, full of play
Kept my worries , all
Bombay I like you
You gave me an exciting
Full of lovely touch ,
full of emotions
Sweet dreams at night
and joyous occasions .
Bombay I was back
Where I belonged
To the family and friends
With all it's glory and
enchanting song .
Bombay I'll miss you
When we drift apart
Lonely I'll feel
Deep inside my heart
- Manojit Lodh