Suren Chhetri was settling at home after a joyous but tiring wedding ceremony of his daughter Diksha on Thursday when chief minister Mamata Banerjee decided to surprise the family by visiting them at their Naya bazar residence in Kurseong on Friday.
“I was completely unaware of her visit. I was settling in the house after yesterday’s marriage when I suddenly got a few calls saying the chief minister was on her way to our residence,” Chhetri told The Telegraph.
It is not every day that a chief minister pays a personal visit.
Mamata’s nephew Abesh married Diksha at a ceremony held at the Kurseong community hall on Thursday. The bride and the groom are both doctors.
Diksha had studied at Dow Hill, Kurseong, and St Joseph’s School, Siliguri.
“I will go and visit Diksha’s house. Her father is alone as her mother passed away. The daughter has left for Calcutta as is the custom. I know how lonely a father might feel when the daughter leaves after marriage,” said Mamata, who expressed her happiness about the new “blood relation” she has in the hills.
The chief minister decided to visit the Chhetri household around 2.15pm after attending the public service distribution programme held at Monteviot Ground in Kurseong.
Mamata did not attend the wedding but her nephew and Trinamul Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee was present at the ceremony, along with other relatives.
“She (Mamata) said she had visited us to invite us to the Preeti bhoj which will be held in Calcutta on December 10,” said Chhetri.
The chief minister has difficulty in walking because of an ailment on her legs and usually, a ramp is set up if she has to negotiate an elevation. Mamata, however, decided to walk the steps to Diksha’s place to meet the Chhetri family.
“When she came, my younger daughter Subeksha was there along with other relatives who had come over for the wedding,” said Chhetri.
The bride’s family will host a marriage reception for guests on December 16.
Mamata spent around 20 minutes at the Chhetri household sipping a cup of Darjeeling Tea.
“It is definitely a matter of great honour that the chief minister visited our house. We are very happy,” said Chhetri, who is a head clerk at the Kurseong municipality.
The chief minister said it was a “sheer pleasure to visit the hills and find myself surrounded by the love and warmth of people.”