There was a time when Bengalis had reined the economic, political, social, educational and even the culinary sphere of the country. Calcutta mustered such political prowess giving everyone an opportunity to assemble their respective share of fortune.
This caught the fancy of two placid, cultured and erudite youth from the canton of Hooghly and Howrah to test their fate in this El Dorado. Straying away from the antecedent profession of farming. Belonging to the caste of Yadav’s they were well versed with the homemade traditional sweetmeat. Hence the foundation of two sweetshops were laid in close proximity to each other in Calcutta’s sutanuti area, shyampukur locality. Catering to a wide range of customers from aristocrats to middle class babus, whose affluences were a result of their dealings with the thriving shahibs. Not just the Ghosh, Bose, and Basack’s the locale also saw the Thakur’s and Deb’s gleaming presence.
It all however is history today. Hiralal Ghosh remained confined with his business, in the place of its commencement. This proudly stands in the present day as Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar. The other auspicious entrepreneur, Dwarik Ghosh, gathered fame as an eminent confectioner. Still engaged in the same profession with their individual identity and excellent family relations, both of them continued the lineage.
Hiralal’s second son Sadhan Chandra, a Calcutta based student, took up the vocation of be of assistance to his father in their family line of work, isolating his time between work and education. Calls of Deshbandhu and Mahatma Gandhi to unshackle the motherland from Imperial rule revolutionized all. This led him to discontinue his education, like many in those fiery days. With rebellious goals and Deshbandhu as a mentor, he abandoned his family trade and education. Setting books and foreign made goods to fire were their first radical action in the fight of freedom. Conversely Deshbandhu’s demise in the year 1925 left them politically orphaned, leaving Sadhan Chandra in a state of shock forcing him to take refuge in Karmyog, tracing his path back to the family business. Thus renamed it Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar. He exercised ahimsa, and practiced life long gaudiya vaishnav pledging vegetarianism which deserves a mention.
Sadhan Chandra’s eldest son, Sailendra Nath was generous at heart and an erudite. Family responsibility compelled him to give up his education in medicine in the final year of his course. Sadhan Chandra,with an ailing wife, family business became a liability for him. But financial needs to keep up with medical expenses and family expenditures couldn’t be ignored. Thus family interest became priority to Sailendra Nath. Year later Sadhan Chandra after his wife’s death, blessed this son by handed over the family business to him.
With the basic perception of sincere service to every mankind be it customers and all. Salinedra Nath took up and faced the challenge of mend the business which endured the difficult family times. With firm resolve and good spirits he triumphed over, and carried on the legacy, till Sadhan Chandra’s last breath in the year 1977.
The present day Chittaranjan enterprise architecture was designed by Sailendra Nath himself. His vision concerned more of a philanthropic endeavour than profit making. Along with other social liability, he headed The Calcutta Orphanage, the oldest orphanage in India, till he breathed his last. To give honour to this departed soul one part of the orphanage was named after him. It was inaugurated by then honourable Governor, which gives and suggests the measure of the respect he commanded. This positive zeal attracted many, from genuine friends to opportunists. Nevertheless all wished him well. He also projected a scholastic mind and devoted himself to the venture completely. His premature death in the year 1990 left many us being orphaned.
The two immediate descendants, Sailendranath’s two sons, Gour Mohan and Nitai Chandra, had been engaged with Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar, as early as their school days, in order to lend a hand to their forlorn father. Reinstating the refurbished shop took over its significance over fun times with friends. A sense of responsibility instilled in them since that age, lead to a compromised academic life, but was soon compensated with a prospering business.
Few years after Sailendra’s death the two brothers mutually segregated their area of business. As a cosequence, Nitai Chandra, who became the sole proprietor of Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar, continued to expand the business to form improved facility.
Keeping up to the tough and confident ambitions of growth of this precursor legacy was pretty challenging. But with a blend of philanthropy and revenue the heritage of the organisation successfully lingered. Comprehensive understandings of the framework lead Chittaranjan to address some unique challenges taking the path of scientific research, absence of which kept the Bengal sweet industry remain limited to being a cottage industry. This vision was perceived by Sailendranath but his involvements in community service and untimely death came in the way of turning it into reality.
Scientific analytical research of the process and products was the area of commencement. On the other hand receiving assistance for the understanding of this unconventional path still remained a challenge. Prominent institutes were found to be ignorant of Bengal’s indigenous dairy products. It took years of scattered efforts and privation to finally fire up the initiative.
Professor Bijoy Kumar Chakroborty, living legend of dairy technology in India, was impressed to see the sincerity of Chittaranjan and in consequence joined the company as its Director.
Thus took place the inception of hard-core research work in the novel laboratory, with an assortment of customised tools, instruments, glass wares etc. A team of newly procured dexterity along with Professor Chakraborty, with his forty years of experience in the dairy industry, devoted their every waking moment in different areas of processing in the industry.
Professory Chakroborty, who did his masters, doctorate and post doctoral from the United States Of America under eminent personalities, served as the head of Department of Dairy Technology,N.D.R.I, Karnal and held the designation of Director, Analytical Reasearch and Development(A.R.D) of N.D.D.B. He also toured the world as the representative of F.A.O, informing the mankind about the history of Indian Dairy.
Having such a personality, with his insatiable thirst for knowledge to work for this cottage industry was a dream comes true. His endeavours benefitted the entire Sweet industry as a whole, opening up new horizons on the front of Mistanna products and their processing. Chittaranjan completed its centenary in the year 2006, and out of gratitude, this research team presented the sweet lovers with “Madhuparka”.
Chittaranjan Mistanna Bhandar pvt. Ltd. is currently reined by the sixth generation of the family lineage. Nitai Chandra’s two enthusiastic sons’ shri Sumit Sundar and shri Suhrid Sundar has already made their well-timed entry into the business. Sumit Sundar, a commerce graduate was appointed to be the Director, after completing two years of apprenticeship. The younger son, Suhrid, after his relevant contribution in the field of quality control and dairy processing, left to complete his masters and doctorate program in dairy microbiology to progress the organisation.
The Chittaranjan family therefore assures further developments in the future keeping the sparks ignited by our ancestors alive.