New Delhi: We all know Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as the great revolutionary and freedom fighter that he was, and who led an Indian National Force from abroad against the Western Powers during World War II.
Born into a large Bengali family in Orissa during the British Raj, he was later sent to England after college, to take the Indian Civil Service examination. When he returned to India in 1921, he became a member of the nationalist movement led by Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian National Congress.
Talking about his childhood, Prof. Sugata Bose, son of Sisir Kumar Bose said to ABP Live, “At first, he went to the protestant European school but there he did not learn much Bengali and later went to Ravenshaw Collegiate School where he was helped by a wonderful headmaster there, named Benimadhob Das.”
He further added, “Subhas Chandra Bose was fond of nature, particularly by the banks of the Mahanadi in Orissa, but then again, he was a rather serious sort of a person. At the age of 15, he had read the works of Swami Vivekananda and he was looking for a mission in his life. Thereby, he had decided upon ‘Atmano mokshartham jagat hitayacha (for your own salvation and for the good of humanity) and that was going to be the motto of his life.”
“Despite being such a serious sort of a person himself”, Prof. Sugata Bose continued, “he always recommended his next generation, for example, like my father and his siblings, that they should also play sports or learn how to draw and paint.”
Netaji’s Love For Music:
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was also interested in arts and music and Prof. Sugata Bose shared a few interesting stories with ABP Live depicting his love for music. He said, “As a school and college student, he was very fond of the songs of Dwijendralal Ray and one of his closest friends in Presidency college was Dilip Kumar Ray, Dwijendralal Ray’s son.”
“Later in life, when he was in Mandalay jail, he had a prison notebook that he kept. He had named it ‘Gaaner Khaata‘ (Book of songs), and in it he wrote down his favourite songs. There were a total of 17 songs that we found that he had transcribed. Out of them, some songs were ‘Swadeshi Gaan‘ (Patriotic songs), like Rabindranath’s ‘Aamar Sonar Bangla‘ and ‘O Aamar Desher Maati’, and there were songs by D. L Ray as well, which were not Patriotic songs.”, said Prof. Bose.
Talking about the songs, he told that all seventeen songs were later recorded by professional singers as ‘Netajir Priyo Gaan‘ but there was a Bhajan among them, that could not be done.
He said, ” There was a Bhajan that Netaji had written down, which they did not know. It was ‘Kahaa Jibono Dhono Brindabana Prano, Kahaan Meri Hridaya Ki Raja’. Since, I was the only one who knew it, I had to record it as well.”
Netaji’s Love For Food:
Prof. Bose then talked about his love for food and how much Netaji enjoyed fish. Recalling one of his interviews with Abid Hasan he said, “Abid Hasan could never tell Netaji was a Bengali, except when he ate fish.”
He also went on to share, “When Netaji had dinner with senior INA officers, he did not like to talk about politics or the war. Instead, he would often explain how many different kinds of dishes can be made with karela (bitter gourd) and things of that sort.”
Talking about whether he was a good cook, Prof. Bose told that he was not much sure of it as Netaji did not get much chance to cook after he was out of prison and there were other people who used to cook in both the homes at Elgin Road as well as Woodburn Road, but he shared an incident that happened in prison itself where Netaji had to cook.
He said, “When Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Subhas Chandra Bose were in prison together for the first time, back in December 1921, he used to cook for Deshbandhu in jail. At this, Deshbandhu used to jokingly say, ‘I am in prison, but I have an ICS cook.’, as Netaji had previously served in the Indian Civil Service.”
Netaji Was Not Fond Of Cats:
Along with other humorous stories, Prof. Bose also shared that apparently, Netaji was not that fond of cats, but Abid Hasan kept pet cats, whom he tried to keep away from Netaji. But, the cats were not so disciplined, so Netaji had to accept the cats in the house as well because Abid Hasan was living in the same house.