Shalila's father Sudhir Kumar Mukherjee was a PRO in an Institution run by Britishers in Murry Hills ( now in Pakistan ) where her mother Amiya died within two weeks after giving birth to Shalila's sister in 1943. Since there was none to look after the children Shalila's maternal grand father arranged to bring them to Nagpur. Her Dad did visit them after marrying a lady from whom he had a son. However her Dad's apparent standard of living and having married so quickly was not acceptable according to family values of those times. The children stayed with maternal grand father's family. Shalila was so young that it seems impossible for her even to create her Mom in her dreams. She faintly visualizes her Dad alongwith a bride and child who had left them with a gnawing void in her life. Someone did visit her in her Office in 1965 where she worked to stake a claim that she was her daughter ! Shalila felt anguished that a person appeared from nowhere just when she got a good job and refused to meet him.
Years later she could stumble into a few moth-licked B & W photos; from those photographs she selected one and gave to her father-in-law who was an artist to enable her parents to get resurrected. She feels strange to think of her lost Dad who strayed into oblivion without a trace, though quite often she felt that someone resembling her Dad in the photograph had tried to collect information about her from her relatives of her in-laws at Patna. She always expected that oneday her well-heeled Dad may suddenly appear from some where but it never happened. She gave up the pursuit. She is of the view that she got her parental affection from her Pa-in law and Ma-in-law after her marriage
The only way out was to dream a dream that like all children she is playing a toddler-game lying between her Mom and Dad in a winter afternoon or a moonlit night in spring. Her maternal uncles and aunts did their best to rear her up as an educated lady but could not fill this space which probably were meant for their own children.