'Optimistic, Straightforward': What Abhijit Banerjee, His Mother Admire in Nobel Laureate Esther Duflo

File photo of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

File photo of Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Being an excellent chef, Abhijit Banerjee shared that Esther just love fried moong dal with cauliflower made by him.


Sujit Nath

Kolkata: Nobel laureate Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is scheduled to visit Kolkata in March to attend a memorial lecture started in memory of his father Dipak Banerjee by the Presidency University.

A graduate from the London School of Economics, Dipak Banerjee was one of the most reputed teachers of economics at Presidency College. After his death in January 23, 2007, a memorial lecture was initiated in his name. Last year, the memorial lecture was delivered by Esther Duflo, Co-Founder and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty action Lab and wife of Abhijit Banerjee.

Banerjee was awarded with the prestigious Nobel Prize this year. He along with Duflo and Michael Kremer won the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.

Speaking Exclusively to, “Yes, I will be coming to Kolkata in March to attend my father’s memorial lecture at Presidency University.”

When asked whether Esther will also accompany him, he said, “Hopefully...she will.”

While sharing best thing he likes about Esther, Abhijit said, “She is very optimistic. She is always willing to try new things. Excited about new ideas. She has many admirable qualities.”

Being an excellent chef, Abhijit shared that Esther just love fried moong dal with cauliflower made by him.

“She likes ‘phoolkopi’ (Cauliflower) with bhaja (fried) moong dal,” Abhijit said while adding that if he was asked to choose between Rosogolla and Ilish (Hilsa), he certainly misses Ilish in US.

Abhjit's mother Nirmala Banerjee too believes that Abhijit is a good cook. “He is a good cook. He makes everything and eats everything,” she said.

She said, “When we got the news of Nobel, I spoke to Abhijit and he said nothing. Then I spoke to Esther and she said she is very happy. I asked about her mother who is a paediatrician and presently living in Guatemala for some work.”

On Esther, she said, “She is happy and she is happy that I am happy. It’s like a win win situation. Esther and I are fond of each other. She is an extremely straightforward person and she is an extremely a good mother as well.”

On Friday, BJP National Secretary and the party’s former West Bengal unit president Rahul Sinha stoked a controversy as he mocked the credentials of Abhijit Banerjee, days after the Indian-American was presented with the prestigious award.

Reacting to Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal’s comment earlier in the day that people of the country have rejected Banerjee's ideas on NYAY, Sinha said that people whose second wives are foreigners are mostly getting the Nobel Prize.

He also wondered whether having a foreigner as the second wife was a “degree” for getting the Nobel.

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