Dear Bukuma

— Bina Dey

Bina Dey and Manjari Ukil (Bukuma)
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
A collection of letters from Bina Dey to her daughter Manjari (affectionately called Bukuma) composed in August 1946, on a journey from Bengal to Gandhi’s Sevagram Ashrama near Wardha in Maharashtra.

[Day 1]

Bombay Mail
B. N. R
6. 8. [19]46
7:15 evening

Dear Bukuma,

Today, after our visit to you, we packed and left [for the station] exactly at 3 in the afternoon, Bengal time1. Your father2 went for a cab himself…couldn’t get [one] and brought-in a hackney carriage instead. While loading the luggage in, it reminded me of Suri—there also we used to hire a hackney at the bus station.

  1. 1. During British regime there were different time zones in the Indian subcontinent.
  2. 2. Artist Mukul Dey [1895-1989].
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Bina Dey: An introduction

— Satyasri Ukil

Bina Dey and Manjari Ukil (Bukuma)
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
Bina Dey was born on February 12, 1906 in the family of the Roys of Khanakul in Bengal. Her father Gagan Chandra Roy was an officer in the British-Indian police service. Bina spent her childhood in various districts of Bengal and Orissa where her father held his postings.

In accordance to the custom of the day Bina was given in marriage at the tender young age of eleven, to the Chattopadhyay family of village Maluti, which lies tucked away in a quiet undulating location on the border of Santhal Parganas and Birbhum.

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Mukul Dey's Letter from Sankeien

— Mukul Dey

Facsimile of Mukul Dey’s letter
Photo: Mukul Dey Archives
English Translation and Facsimile


Dear Father,

Couple of days ago we came here from Tokyo. Gurudev and the others have arrived as well. We are staying with a very famous Japanese millionaire here.

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Keisuke Inano's Recollection of Mukul Dey

— Keisuke Inano

Mujul Dey at the south verandah of Chitralekha house, early 1980s photograph
Photo: Keisuke Inano
About twenty-two years ago young student Mr Keisuke Inano was Mukul Dey’s last Japanese friend. Dey’s relationship with Japan, which started with his association with Yokoyama Taikan, Tomitaro Hara, Shimomura Kanzan, Kampo Arai, Yukio Yashiro, Okiyo-san, Sentaro Sawamura, Tetsuro Sugimoto, Kiitsu Sakakibara and Kosetsu Nosu, had continued till his very last with his friendship with Keisuke Inano.

During the 80’s of last century, Keisuke Inano was “very old” Mukul Dey’s last and “very young” Japanese friend, with whom the aged artist was intimate. We, all of us at Chitralekha deeply appreciate Mr Inano’s love towards Mukul Dey when he was old and, probably, lonely. We are happy to reproduce below Keisuke Inano’s recollection of Mukul Dey along with a superb photograph of the  artist by him. It is interesting to note in the following article, the author Keisuke Inano mentions “R. Tagore”, instead of Rabindranath Tagore whenever any controversial references were made. - Satyasri Ukil, January 2004.

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