Mainak Sarkar grew up in the industrial town of Durgapur in West Bengal. In the early 80s and 90s, the town was buzzing with industry, mostly steel. Now only the Durgapur steel plant remains.
Considered one of Bengal’s larger townships, Durgapur has always been seen as “cosmopolitan’’, say its residents. Families from across the country and professionals would come here in search of employment.
The education system has therefore been quite vibrant in the township. And St Michael’s School, a co-education English medium school where Sarkar joined as a young boy, is considered one of its better schools.
“It isn’t just Mainak. There were lots of boys and girls who did very well in school and continue to do so. Many of our students go to IIT-Kharagpur and other IITs. Many students are now working and living in the US or in Europe,’ ‘says school teacher Goutam Biswas. He has been with St Michael’s since 1984. “I am really very very shocked to hear about Mainak. Anybody who knew him would be. He was an ordinary boy. Very quiet. Extremely well behaved and obedient. Never causing any trouble to anyone,’’ says Biswas.
Quiet in class, Sarkar was never friendless however. Not sporty by nature, he had a number of good friends. Sarkar’s inclination was always academics, says Biswas. “I used to teach him Maths and Chemistry from Class IX onwards. He was very good. But he left the school after Class X and joined Durgapur Bidhan Chandra Institute nearby,” he says.
Despite being a bright student, Sarkar’s academic performance, like his demeanor, was always quiet. He was never “top of the class’’ but he always did well.
From a middle class family, like most students in the school, Sarkar’s elder sister studied in a school nearby. His sister is thought to have relocated and settled in Kolkata since. His family left Durgapur “many years ago.’’
Mainak had for around 18 months in 2000-2001 worked as a software developer at Infosys in Bangalore. Some employees who worked in the company at the time could not recall Sarkar.-with inputs from bengaluru