With Ma’s blessings,Mamata steps out to enter Writers’https://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/with-mas-blessings-mamata-steps-out-to-enter-writers/

With Ma’s blessings,Mamata steps out to enter Writers’

However,inside Mamata Banerjee’s house,30 B Harish Chatterjee Street,it was a calm morning

Outside her house and all the way to Writers’ Buildings,thousands thronged Kolkata roads on Friday in a frenzy of excitement and celebration. However,inside Mamata Banerjee’s house,30 B Harish Chatterjee Street,it was a calm morning.

West Bengal’s Chief Minister-in-waiting woke up at the usual time and performed her morning chores,before poring over a bunch of official documents. Other members of the house also went about their usual business,with Rabindrasangeet playing in the background.

“No over-the-top celebrations are ever held in our house,whatever the occasion. Being the simple person that she is,Didi does not like it. But of course,we all are superbly excited about the ceremony. We still cannot believe Bordi is going to be the Chief Minister,” said Mamata’s youngest brother Subrata Banerjee.

With Mamata’s permission,all members of her family — her six brothers,five sisters-in-law,three nephews and one niece — were getting ready to attend the swearing-in. “My son Ankesh is extremely fond of her pishi,who regularly keeps track of his studies. All the kids of the family,Aabesh,Ankesh and Abhishek,have been waiting with bated breath,” said Subrata.

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Once she was ready,Mamata placed a garland on the photo of her father,the late Promileshwar Banerjee,and stood in front of it with her eyes closed for a few minutes. Next she went to mother Gayatri Devi and touched her feet. Ailing,her mother was not going to be present for the ceremony but would watch it on television. Gayatri Devi blessed her daughter,murmuring “Joyi Hao (Be victorious)”,and then planted a kiss on her forehead.

Outside the small,tile-roofed house,the crowd of people waiting to see Mamata kept going up. “Her victory has made me so very happy that I could not hold myself from traveling all the way to catch a glimpse of her,” said Kishori Mohan Laha,a retired government employee from Memary in Burdwan.

“She is Devi for us,no doubts about that. We admired her equally when she got beaten up at Writers’ 17 years back,as we do today,” said Mira Chanda,a next-door neighbour of Mamata.

When Didi finally emerged at 12.20 pm,the crowd burst in applause,with women blowing conch shells. Mamata thanked them all: “You are the root cause of change. You created history. You are everything.”

She announced that for the next one week,she would not be able to meet anyone as she would be busy setting things in place at Writers’ Buildings — working day and night,Saturday and Sunday. “But do not worry. I will not stop meeting you. I will fix one day of the week only for meeting ma-mati-manush,” she said.

A black Santro parked in front of her house waited for her. Mamata got in,then got down again. As the driver fiddled with the keys,she said: “Tumi start koro. Ami jai ma-ke arekbar pronam kore ashi (You start the car. Let me go and touch mother’s feet once again).”