He is a former Sapper officer, with a basketful of hair-raising tales of terrorist attacks and narrow escapes, as he completed numerous daunting tasks of road-building in the mountainous
area. She is the quintessential Army wife, all hospitality and smiling charm,
even in the most difficult situations, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with her
husband, and facing the terrorists’ bullets with courage.
Our nearly-two decades of friendship began first with our respective daughters, but even when they married and moved on, we continued…our friendship growing stronger with the passing years. Theirs is a family which is exuberant in its celebration of life. Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and any festival becomes an occasion for music, dance and a bountiful spread on the table, where everyone is welcome.
But ever-present under this cheerful exterior is the other side of their personalities – the sensitivity to the pain of others, the philanthropy, the caring and sharing, the sense of giving back, not just to society at large, but especially to the brave soldiers, whose fraught-with-danger lives they shared for so many years.
Both Col Ashish Dasgupta (or ‘Ashishda’ as I call him) and Sima have been pillars of support for our Team Miracle activities. And just like their marriage, their ‘helping styles’ reflect a perfect teamwork. While Sima plunges in at the ‘micro’ level, Col Dasgupta takes a ‘macro’ attitude.
PRC (Paraplegic Rehab Centre) needs fans? Gifts for the attendants? Nutritious diet items for the poor cancer patients at CPAA (Cancer Patients Aid Association)? As I send out an appeal, Sima is one of the first to respond, with a generosity and amount that never fails to stagger me.
As for Col Dasgupta … I am amazed at his zeal in spreading the word and motivating others to donate to our cause. Retirement has not stopped him from doing the job he loves so much – building good roads – although it’s now in the civilian sector. And as he works as a Senior Consultant Engineer in prestigious road-construction projects, he has been instrumental in collecting huge amounts of donation funds for Team Miracle’s activities.
When PRC needed a Desktop Printer-cum-Scanner worth Rs 25,000, I’d never imagined we’d be able to raise that kind of money. But a word to Ashishda …and in a week’s time, the device was perched in the office of PRC. He had motivated two young contractors (brothers) to do the needful. And it was Col Dasgupta who helped Team Miracle collect a record-breaking Rs 1 lakh for PRC’s corpus fund. It speaks highly of the respect he commands in the Organisation he now works for !
This is just Part I of the' Dasgupta Family Saga'. Sima and Ashishda have, by their own examples, been a source of inspiration and motivation for their children, and now the Generation Next, including their children and respective spouses are fervent members of Team Miracle, bringing in newer ways for us to reach out. But that calls for another chapter later!
Till then...thank you both, for the important role you play at Team Miracle!