By Sirshendu Panth
Kolkata, Oct 21 (IANS) Waiting eagerly for her son to come home after winning the Nobel, Economist Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee’s mother says it is his late father’s rationality and sobriety which has rubbed off on his son making him so balanced and matured in handling criticism as also fame. An award like Nobel, she says, is recognition for good work, but not something “one should go on dancing about”.
Showing excellent composure, Banerjee last week went to sleep for an hour after getting to know that he had got the coveted award in Economics jointly with Esther Duflo – his wife – and Michael Kremer.
For his mother Nirmala Banerjee, a retired professor of Economics, that’s how it should be.
“I don’t thing that is something one should go on dancing about. Ok. He’s got some good work, he has got some recognition. We’re all happy about it. That’s it,” the octogenarian Nirmala Banerjee told IANS.
On the family, especially Abhijit, showing great equanimity in reacting to attacks – some of them personal and below the belt – mainly by centre’s ruling BJP leaders, she said it was because of the influence of her late husband Dipak Banerjee, a London School of Economics alumni and legendary professor of Economics in Presidency University.
“Abhijit’s father was also very rational, very sober, very matured person. And we all in our way try to model ourselves after him. He was a very wonderful man. And we are a close family, that’s it, she said.
The Nobel winner landed in Delhi on Saturday – his first visit to the country after claiming the prize. Since then, it has been a hectic routine for the Presidency College and Jawaharlal Nehru University alumnus, with a series of interviews, programmes, a book release function and meetings lined up.
Banerjee will be coming on a short visit to his city from late Tuesday. He will fly out in the early hours of Thursday.
Nirmala says she hasn’t been able to speak to her son after he arrived in the national capital.
“Sorry. I have no ideas what his programmes are. I haven’t talked to him since he got to Delhi. He hasn’t had much time, she said.
“Oh yes. I am looking forward to meet him. But I had met him in July also. So that’s not a long gap”.
Banerjee is a foodie, and relishes fish whenever he is in Kolkata. Nirmala has decided to treat him a delicious home cooked spread. On the platter will be fish kalia, mutton kebab and rosogollar payesh (Bengali styled pudding made of the sugary syrupy, rosogolla).
“It’s nothing very special, I’m only ordering whatever he likes, home food.
“Both my sons meet me regularly. When they come I try and think about what they like to eat and get it done. But it is not that I am making hordes of dishes. Just I make the dishes they like,” she said.