Debasish Bhattacharya was my classmate at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Barrackpore. He now owns a series of eye hospitals, Disha Eye Hospitals. I have been to his original hospital at Barrackpore and it is overwhelming.
He was a very popular student.
I was surprised when several decades he contacted me by email. He was coming to America and could he stay with me.
Why would I object. He came and enjoyed his stay in Irvine. I took him to Little India and he enjoyed samosa there.
Only worrisome was that he mentioned a few times that we were best friends, which we were not. Some midlife crisis perhaps.
A few year later he was coming to San Francisco area with a few doctors on his staff and wanted to stay with me in Oakland. He came, we saw (and drank) beer making, went to sea beach in Santa Crux. We really had a good time. I started thinking maybe we were best friends at Central School, its just that I had not realized it then.
Back to India in 2014. He invited me a couple of times to his house. Took me to the Kendriya Vidyalaya’s class reunion function where he introduced me as his best friend during school days.
A few months later he called me. He was frantic. He was organizing an eye doctor’s conference. He wanted Nandan Nilekani to be the chief guest. He asked me to call Nandan Nilekani ask him to do so. When I told him I don’t have Nandan’s phone number, he was surprised.
That was the end of our ‘best friendship.’ We haven’t exchanged a word since then.