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Dr. Hemchandra Raychaudhuri was a unique man. Not only a scholar, researcher and teacher of the highest order but a fantastic human. His scholarship and research attracted admiration and accolades from leading internationally renowned historians; his brilliant lectures made him legendary among generations of students, many of them luminaries in their own right; and his caring, affection, approachability and willingness to give time and attention from the smallest child in his family to his post-graduate students, even when chronically ill as he was quite early in his life, made him unforgettable. A man who looked after over 20 members in his extended family, making no distinction between any, and lit the passion for Ancient Indian History in the hearts of countless students.
Below find some of these reminiscences – from his peers, students and his family.

I have known him since my school days and he was very accessible.I had the audacity to show him my school essays, and now I feel very embarrassed when I remember that. But you know he read it very carefully, gave very careful suggestions…
Dr. Tapan Roychowdhury
Renowned historian and author;
Professor Emeritus, St. Antony's College, Oxford;
National Professor, India
When I was a student of Calcutta University, Professor Hemchandra Raychaudhuri was the Carmichael Professor. Though he was our professor, we could not get him as a teacher. All our teachers were his students and we had heard a lot about him …

Dr.  Nilakshi Sengupta

First of all, I must mention that he was such a great scholar that many people do not know that brilliant person he was... not as a human being...

Sukumar Raychaudhuri
Nephew (Elder brother's son)

I remember him when I was very small …and because I lost my mother when I was 4 or 5 years of age, he was particularly very kind and very affectionate towards me and he tried to sort of you know, I mean ...
Amitabha Dasgupta
Nephew (sister's son)
As a child I had access to him whenever I wanted. Even if he was deep in his studies if I walked by and asked him a question, he would always take the time to answer me. In that context I would like to say that no question was trivial, he would ...
Ramola Raychaudhuri Bose
Niece (Eldest daughter of youngest brother)

When my grandfather Professor Hemchandra Raychaudhuri breathed his last, I was a little girl of ten years only. We used to wake up very early in the morning.

Sunanda Chanda (Grand daughter)

Every morning we used to sit along him and utter the Sanskrit shlokas he taught us. But sometimes I remember we used to go to the lakes with him in our old Austin car. Once on my birthday, he gave me, Deb Shaito Kutir's Debayon and wrote a small poem in it.

Sucheta Mallick (Grand daughter)
Dr. Raychaudhuri belonged to the school of Bhandarkar (Sir R.G.) and by his supreme effort tried to discover 'dry truth'
- Dr. A.L. Basham
  Renowned Indologist.
Hemchandra knew nothing but books
- Dr. Ramesh Chandra Majumdar
  Renowned historian, author,
  ex-Vice Chancellor Dhaka University,
  Co-author with Hemchandra Raychaudhuri
  and Kalikinkar Dutta of Advanced History of India
If adherence to truth, balanced judgement, clarity of expression and depth of knowledge be the marks of a historian, (then) Dr. Hemchandra Raychaudhuri is a historian par excellence.
- B.K. Majumdar
  Historian


Dr. Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri, the famous Indian historian and an authority on ancient Indian history, was my maternal uncle or "Mama" in Bengali.

The epitome of the classic scholar, he pursued a life of reading, writing, research and teaching throughout his life, with very little, I am afraid, of physical activity. Probably, as a consequence, he developed high blood pressure and heart problems rather early in his life. In keeping with the medical custom of those days, he was advised bed rest. So, most of my memories of him are associated with him lying in bed. However, though physically frail, I remember him as one of the most affectionate persons, with a tremendous attachment not only for the immediate but his extended family. My mother, the younger of his two sisters, was a major recipient of Mama's abundant love, especially after their older sister had an untimely death. But my mother too passed away quite young and this caused Mama to be even more affectionate towards us, as if trying to give us the love that his sister no longer could

Mama's familial attachment including the extended family, his concern for every single person that he had any relationship with, was incomparable. It was Mama who had bought the plot at 6, Mysore Road, off Rasbehari Avenue, and had a truly modern, beautiful, three-storied, spacious house built there, though when the house was built, you could hear jackals howling in the evening!!! As a small child, I did not realize what a great scholar he was, but I was always impressed with his big library. Oh, I remember something else. The one time Mr. Universe Monotosh Roy used to come sometimes to help Mama get some exercise. He also used to give Mama therapeutic massage.

In true close-knit family tradition, Dr. Hem Chandra Raychaudhuri though he himself had only one child – a son - but was to be able to accommodate every family member who needed to be in Kolkata for education, for a career, for family visits, for medical treatment – or for whatever reason. And at times as many as over 20 members of the extended family used to live in his Mysore Road house in Kolkata. Actually, I don't think there was a phrase called "extended family" in my Mama's vocabulary. Family meant family, and that included everyone, and he loved them all – from the bottom of his big, magnanimous heart.

- Dr. Jharna Chatterjee
  Niece
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