It was in 2000 that Mukherjee first invented a ‘micro-microscope’ as he likes to call it. Over 50,000 of them have since then been sold by Mukherjee’s company HMRC, based in his home-town. Howrah has always been a hub of engineers and some of the finest workmen in the world. Legend has it that workmen in Howrah can reverse-engineer any metal part even without the original design.
The micro-microscope too has a remarkable back story that going all the way back to 1975 when he was a class-9 student in Shibpur SSPS Vidalaya, a Bengali-medium school. While toying with two pieces of lens, he discovered that things could be enlarged several times when they were coupled at a certain distance from each other. However, they had to be held steady.
‘Cuty,’ a popular brand of talcum powder at the time came in a tin tube. A contraption soon took shape as the lenses were fitted into the tube, which formed the body of the microscope. Batteries powered the light under the glass slides to illuminate and enlarge blood vessels of a mosquito. He had entered the big world of small things. He was 10 years old then. A career in electronics engineering was a logical progression, followed by a series of jobs in different organizations. But on Christmas day, 1997, he gave up his job and career in HCL to devote all his time to his passion and pastime.
“Jobs are extremely important for a middle-class family like ours, but we knew that we would lose him if he was kept away from his…