| The verandah of the Lahiris’ flat in Salt Lake’s Labony. Picture by Pradip Sanyal
Calcutta, Dec. 23: Three days ago, Adhip Lahiri had called his uncle to wish him “happy birthday” and say “I will be among all of you on Sunday”.
He won’t be returning home to Salt Lake from Bangalore tomorrow. His Ultadanga uncle will only have the memories of Bubai with him on a day that his family is used to celebrating.
The 32-year-old IT executive was killed in the country’s tech capital.
Former neighbours and friends here described him as soft-spoken and studious.
“Bubai was in a great mood when he spoke to us and we were all looking forward to meeting him on Sunday. After that he was scheduled to go to Germany with a project,” said Sanjukta Maitra, his aunt.
“On his uncle’s birthday, he spoke to each one of us. Every time he called up or spoke through the webcam, he spoke to all of us,” she added.
The conversation on Wednesday evening had lasted half an hour.
“The last time he came to the city — in May — he was accompanied by wife Aparna,” said another uncle, Ashit Maitra, a bank officer in Varanasi.
“Then he had attended a wedding in the family and stayed for a week…. He usually stayed for a week,” said Ashit. “Then he went to Germany and returned to Bangalore in September.”
Adhip’s uncles, aunt, cousins and grandparents were reliving his memories at the first-floor flat in Ultadanga as a private television channel was showing his funeral “live”.
“When Bubai came to Calcutta, he preferred to spend time with his parents and family. He liked to eat home-cooked food and rarely ate outside,” Ashit said.
“He used to live with us till he was four. He would not leave me for one moment,” said Adhip’s grandmother Rama Maitra.
As a child, he was a fan of footballer Shyam Thapa. “He used to make a ball out of torn pages and play with it pretending to be Thapa,” she said.
Labony Estate in Salt Lake, where his parents live and where he spent his childhood, is in a shock. “He was a studious boy. When his parents went out, little Adhip stayed at our place,” said Anjali Chowdhury, who stays on the ground-floor of the four-storeyed apartment. The Lahiris stay on the second floor.
The C1/5 apartment is now under lock and key.
“No one had ever heard him shouting or speaking loudly,” said Anushtup Lahiri, who stays in the apartment opposite Adhip’s.