When you see a five-rupee postage stamp depicting Gandhiji working on a charkha, Ustad Bismillah Khan playing the shehnai, J R D Tata’s historic flight, Shivaji the war- rior, Sherlock Holmes busy detecting a case, or Jai Bangla flag on a 20-paisa stamp, you may not realise that these and scores of other stamps were made by artist Chittaranjan Parkashi (who died on 16 March in Delhi aged 95) long before the computer came and made things easy.
Stamp designer, artist, writer, editor and chron- icler, Parkashi was the universal “Dada”, says Ajan- ta Dutt of Hindol, a quarterly of which he was found- ing-editor. Better known as C R Parkashi, he worked with the Central Ministry of Industry till retirement in 1981.
However, he actually found his niche in 1956, when he won the all-India competition for design- ing the postage stamp marking 2,500 years of the birth of Lord Buddha. Besides India, he also designed stamps for Mauritius and Laos. Parkashi then went on to publish a book on postage stamps, an autobiogra- phy and a book on the Bengalis of Delhi, many of whom came after Calcutta ceased to be the Capital following the Delhi Durbar of 1911.
Meshomoshai, as he was known, celeberated his 64th wedding anniversary along with wife Mashima, who made the cakes served at the nostalgic party, according to granddaughter Shibani. His training in Hindustani classical music inspired his daugh- ter Madhumita to become an artist in her own right and give concerts at which Parkashi was prominent among the audience. Such a personality will be sorely missed at this year’s Durga Puja, says Hindol’s edi- tor Nandan Dasgupta. Surely so, for Parkashi, the evergreen artist, left his stamp on everything he did.(Source-Thestatesman.)