Arijit Bhattacharyya

LIFE STORY: The Manga animation work

Year 2000, while working and teaching I got a sudden call from a person from Delhi, he asked me if we can do Manga Animation, it is a Japanese style of animation. I used to draw in Manga out of passion, never thought there will be an option in life where I’ll be asked to do manga animation.

After few days of talk, they asked me to go to Delhi and have a discussion. I took a train ticket and went there. The fun part was I didn’t book any hotel. I never thought that I have to stay for couple of days there, and took small cash with me which I thought will be enough to sustain for two days in Delhi. After the meeting, I got to know they are trying to take some work from Japan where they need to produce several hours’ manga animation for a TV show. They are looking for skill-sets. First day, I took a hotel and went for the meeting. Second day, I realized they need a demo and someone from Japan will talk to them, and they asked me to stay for few more days.

Now the question is how do I sustain with limited money? I went back to New Delhi Rail station, talked to a police officer that I want to go to the general waiting room. I took a platform ticket and met the woman who is taking care of the waiting room. I greeted her as "Aunty" and asked her if I can spend the night in the waiting room, use the toilet in the morning, get ready and go out. She asked me why do I need this, I explained her my situation, I feel, people are good, she understood the problem, and said, "Beta, Subha hote hi nikal jana, main tere liye jagah rakh dungi". I honored her; I stayed there for two days, used to eat one time in a day. The last night when I got the order for several minutes animation job, and was happy and telling her that I am going back to Calcutta, she asked me – "For how many days you are not taking food properly?".

Women are really god’s gift to men. How an unknown mother feels for an idiot young person like me, how did she realized that I was not eating? I was smiling as the company asked me to make a demo within few months and we were supposed to get the order. The contract will be for eight months. With all those happiness, with all those excitement, I was telling her that I will go back home. But she asked me how many days I was not eating! She gave me her own food, two bread and vegetables fry. I asked her what you will eat then. She smiled and said- "Tu kha le, main marungi nehi but tu kal pura din train travel karoge." ( You should eat, you will be travelling tomorrow, I’ll not die if I don’t eat at night. )

I’ll never forget her in my life, when I made money(2007) I went back to see her, searched her for a long time, asked people where she is, they told me she got transferred to another town near UP, which is far from Delhi, I went there to meet her. I gifted her saree (Indian traditional dress). She smiled and at the same time she cried, she never thought I’ll come back for her. I took her phone number and we used to talk. When my press news came she said she saw me in news paper. She said "Tu toh bara aadmi ban gaya, bahat tarraki karo" (You became big, keep growing).

The same inspiration came from one of my uncle from TATA nagar, who once upon a time he gifted me a mouth organ. After my first press news, he said "Yeh Dil mange more " .I'll talk about him in my next writing.

It was not a simple manga animation work that I got from Delhi, I was touched by real human, another mother who feed me at night, she gave me a place to sleep, who trusted me. I’m sorry mother if I couldn’t go and visit you every year, I am sorry if I couldn’t do much for you. I’m sorry when you died (2013) I was not there for you.

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, narrating my personal entrepreneurial journey. While on this long journey, I have come across different people, companies and unexpected quarters; each of whom have helped shaped my life. My writing is an attempt to reflect and capture some of the moods and emotions that have occurred over the last two decades.

Kindly excuse any grammatical errors, typos or mistakes of any kind. This blog is written from the heart and is purely an expression of my experiences.



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Arijit Bhattacharyya