Subarata and I first roomed together on a Christmas vacation with Sri Chinmoy in Sri Lanka. Somehow neither she nor I were ever to forget the experience in our beautifully decorated pink room in the hotel in Colombo.
Subarata – My Good Friend
Our friendship magically blossomed from then on and we became fast friends. For 10 years we roomed together on Christmas trips after that and each year was such a joy – such a wonderful blessing for me. Every moment with Subarata was full of fun. But it was for me more than that. I remember hearing her on the phone planning new ways to encourage people to come to meditation classes and to find people who were meant to be on our path. I remember how she soulfully treasured her every experience with Sri Chinmoy. Each evening when we returned to the room, Subarata would become very quiet and would carefully record in her book all the things she remembered that her Guru had done and said during the day's events.
Subarata the Shopper
Subarata was always an inspired shopper. On the Christmas trips she would carefully plan her strategy. All her dreams were planned to set in motion the very moment Sri Chinmoy would leave our function room. Zoom! Subarata would be right out the door, off to her selected shopping. She would return like a race car driver, crashing back to her seat, just in time for Guru's return to the function room! Later, when it was time to change for the evening, you would find Subarata admiring her new purchase before the mirror in her room. New clothes and gifts gave her so much joy! She would twirl in front of the mirror with her Punjabi skirt flaring wide. "When I walk into the function tonight, I am sure Guru will look up and exclaim, 'Oh Subarata, you look so beautiful in your new Punjabi!'" As with everything else in her life, Subarata dedicated much of her shopping and activities to other people. I remember the blouses she purchased in the mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand. "They were so cheap," she would say, "What a bargain!" Those blouses gave her so much joy as a shopper, but even more so as a centre leader. They would be used as gifts for many a new girl at the meditation centre in Auckland.
Subarata the Runner
Subarata was an excellent runner – a very strong runner, but the 700-mile race was never an easy event for her. I remember how she lightened the burden of each runner on the course with her non-stop hilarious quips and jokes. After attempting the distance several times, her victorious finish left us laughing, crying and smiling all at once.
Nishtha and her sister Pranika own and manage Annam Brahma – a vegetarian restaurant in
Queens, New York. Both were Subarata's very good friends.