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Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Indian Public Deserves!

This article would segregate the Indian public into many sections. So, I start with this caution, because it is nothing illegal, as the Indian public is already segregated... by religion, by caste, by creed. India is one, but the public... well, lets move on!

There is a popular saying that the Citizen deserves the Government. If the former is not right, the later will be just a reflection of the former. So, if you shout and forget, the governance will pinch and wear away the mark. And then comes the word corruption! How can you point only at the heads when the whole body is corrupted? Given an opportunity, you would rather take a short cut with a few paisa... Oh! Sorry, hard to see those... with a few rupees! I feel this every day almost at the Sealdah station, where a small gap in the queue would invite onlookers to take the spot, even if there are heads waiting behind! Short cut to the destination, when there are legal cuts means corruption. So, the Indians being segregated to corrupted and straingt forward. Again, I would re-phrase the caution! Indians have several layers of segregation, so I guess no one will shout at me for dividing the nation!

And then, respect! Foul words and foul smell is part of the daily routine of every Indians! Some deodorize them with strong fragnance other just like to linger with them! And that becomes eminent when you treat your National heroes with stones after a failure! The psychology and proverb seems synonymous here "You give the Dog a Bad name and Hang him!" The truth came upfront when the stones were pelted at Yuvraj Singh's house by a few "Indians" who protested against Yuvi's failure in hitting the Lankan Balls! So they made merry with their "excited balls" and became stonemen! It would seem even funnier if some of these guys would have "prayed" for Yuvi's recovery from cancer or celebrated with bottles of Beer when Yuvi became the Man of the Series in 2011 ICC World Cup! A note of caution! Indians are segregated to "Show Off Pomeranian" or  "Simpletons". Well than can be hell lot of other adjectives to share on! 

The worst part is, that it is for these Indians, the whole nation has to suffer!

Courtesy: Wikipaedia

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Authors, Ink Strokes and Myself

A friend of mine had recently started a thread online through the popular social media called facebook. The tagging thread reads like this:

The rules: copy this introduction then take fifteen minutes and try to list at least fifteen authors (poets included) off the top of your head who have influenced you in your life. Tag and share with fifteen of your friends including me, because I'm interested in seeing what authors you like, too.

I thought, it would be a great idea to type the names of the authors, their works and how their ink-strokes inspired my life, helping my eyes to look it the way I do today.

My love with books started from a very young age. Coming off the twinkling stars and the black sheep to the childhood of Tom Sawyer, where I took the flight on a journey through the world of books, taking me through the pages, flapping in the breeze of age and time on that old recliner in the corner of my room warrants those wonder years...

1) Mark Twain: His character in Tom painted the picture of a quite countryside where the boys used to play their tricks in the dust of nature. I grew up as a single child. Didn't have much time to play in the locality, as most were above my age to be with me. So, books were my faithful accomplice in the "game of skipping home-works". Tom Sawyer and his friendship with Huckleberry Finn and the adventures they had together, helped me to realize the fun of nature and the fun you can have with her as well. In Kolkata, to be amongst the brick walls and concrete pathways seldom gave you the spirit, except for the rain, when the smell of soaked soil still makes me run outside and get soaked. Wish I had  friends like Joe and Huck back then. Thank god, I have a handsome now though! Twain's series on Tom Sawyer was more than an inspiration. It started to build my love for the country side and wish to have a cottage somewhere in the remote village, at some corner of this earth. May be Mongolia!

2) Thomas Hughes: Since school was the time when I had enjoyed the maximum time to enjoy story books, Tom Brown School Days, part of the school curriculum, but inspiration beyond doubt. Coming from a methodist institution, where once, boarding was a norm; long before my time, I used to visualize Tom Brown in me. Oppressed in the beginning, Tom developed into a brilliant student and clever with the tic tacs of life. Life too decided to trod in such a path, bringing me to where I am. I never had the option to read other works of Hughes, but his work on Tom Brown inspired me to learn from experiences and recapitulate on the past.

3) Enid Blyton: Even before Doyle, Blyton made her ever lasting impact in my mind with the colourful countryside plots involving the Famous Five, The Five Find Outers, The Secret Seven. Be in a group makes you win. United we stand, Divided we fall or may be our classical texts of Mahabharatha (refering to the Pandavas). Blyton's variant team infused the hues of mysteries and my love for the unknown. That's why, an old dilapidated place or a barren hillock or a deserted place paints the lovely colours of the unknown in my mind. My friends would warrant this fact ever working and that's why I prefer to go to the jungles and if given an opportunity, would love to play with the ambiance.

4) Edgar Allan Poe: The Masque of the Red Death, a plot with enormous fiction into it, it makes me startle to the fact of the exquisite capability of Poe to absorb the lover of unknown mystery be engrossed with the story line. This story and the subtle works of EA Poe still lets my imagination loose when I see the dark night sky or travel in train, at night. In the modern context, I travel between Jadavpur and Sealdah by train and every night, my imagination tries to penetrate the epitaph of the islamic graves that falls enroute, specially at night. These inspirations are for ever I guess!

5) Guy de Maupassant: The master of Short stories and stories that lets you think beyond, exercising your capacity to deliver practicality in your life. His literal works on "The Necklace", "The Gamekeeper", "The Patron" are worth to mention. I will put the necklace as his best, I have read where he makes his point clear as to how your own greed will make you pay in this life itself and if you become humble, you will survive a respectful life!

6) Sukanta Bhattacharya: One of Bengal's jewels, went to his heavenly abode at an untimely age. His poetic works not only enlists words that mostly didnot rhyme, but spoke the soul's sentiments. Of them Charpatra, Ekti Moroger Kahini, Agami and Lenin are my favorites. He penned down the hope of Communism and Bolshevist ideas. He dreamt of equality and his work of "Ekti Moroger Kahini" was a satire to the system of Capitalism; feed for a need...! But, he died too young and too early!

7) Altaf Fatima: The goodness always suffers and I have taken that as a fact.... Geeti, the character proper from Dastak Na Do made me see to the fact. Although prior independence, this Novel snaps into the life and lifestyle of the people pre-independence and how your life can be bamboozled by the people around you, specially whom you rest your faith into!

8) Durjoy Dutta: Modern life and livelihood... feels great to see that others too have something that I have, it helps to be compassionate to the characters, at least. Durjoy Dutta is coming up with some of his finest works in Of Course I Love You, If Its Not forever, etc. His read gives a crispy feeling to the day to day life style...

I have said a lot about how some of the writers have influenced me, but there are many more, who more or else fall within the criteria that the 8- points I had discussed. But I have to list 15... difficult, but I guess this is it:
9) Satyajit Ray
10) Samaresh Basu
11) Agatha Christie
12) Mark Billingham
13) Arthur Conan Doyle
14) Alfred Noyes
15) Saratchandra Chattopadhyay

.... many more!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Yuva Music Festival 2014 : The Cords for Peace

Inspired by the verse of Swami Vivekananda, Music is the highest form of art and for those who understand it, it is the highest form of worship, the upcoming seven day Yuva Music Festival, 2014 expands it's wings to flutter like a dove of the Trinity and spread the message of humanity through the right cords; the Cords of Peace.

In a world of social unrest, music have always played an important role as a reformer. The tool to find solace, Rajanikanta Sen wrote: mayer deowa mota kapor mathai tule ne re bhai, din dukhini ma j  toder r j kichu sadhya nai; (Translated from bengali): Feel great to clad in the coarse clothes stiched by your mother, since she has done what she could from her resource. A song that was part of the Bengal Renaissance, waking up the social sentiment to relate with the fact that being proud part of the land means more than  serving the foreigners, the then ruling oppressive British. History also earmarks a verse-transformed song " I have a Dream" by ABBA and WEST LIFE that still to this date, taps the feet of the standing audience. The speech from where the song originates once made headlines and shattered the very foundation of society, demanding for a relief from the social disease of racism. 

Martin Luther King Jr, he had a dream... so does the people walking on this earth. The disease is not yet banished and it was time to retrace the paths trodden. To retrace the evolution of mankind. Literature holds the testimony, even Nero played the harp when Rome was burnt,  the Piper of Hamelin drove the mice away, Tansen could light the fire with Raag Deepak and bring rain with Meg Malhar. Such is the power of music.

Academy for Musical Excellence and Communications (AMEC), believes in that idea, nurturing talents to harness the power of tunes to soak into the souls and Yuva Music Festival, 2014 looks forward to that. Come July and August, 2014, AMEC shall bring forth India's Biggest Western Music Festival for the Youth, the future of the Nation at Kolkata.


IF YOU DO... Then do be a part. 

After all Swamiji said, Everything must be sacrifices, if necessary, for that one sentiment: Universality. 

Music is Universal... Come, Lets Celebrate!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Scientific Jargon.

I came across a post today on facebook, regarding the 21 great contribution to the World by Indians; ancient Indians I mean. I knew a few like metallurgy, ocular surgery, plastic surgery and microwave inventions that Indians contributed and that changed the face of Human Civilization. I didnot knew that flush was an Indian invention, dating back to Mohenjodaro Harrappa. You all can have a look into these facts and admire, then click on below:

But in the present context, you have your limitations. Inventions and discovery cannot come without research and today, you stare into the world of uncertainty with no money to work with and research slumping into the dungeons. Notifications like a blue moon flickers "NEW" on the webpage, announcing a sudden change of plans to delay the fellowships. A recent event will ear mark down the memory lane.

And still we bask in the glory of science and arts, inventions made by our forefathers! They were simple and political free? Well, they were clever and they knew how to live through the ages with their work and contribution. Today's godfathers know they won't. So they are eating merry as much as possible, possibly stuffing before their journey to Hell! And the door for the Hell opens in May 2014.

Till then...

Lick on the history!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Great Indian Circus.... Again.

It started and carried over half of a decade ago; and it has started off now. The great Indian circus of election, in the largest democracy of the World. With that starts the commotion, hints of violence and marring images, where only the common man gets hurt or delayed!

I condemn the incidence that occurred in Delhi (Again!!) where a student from Arunachal Pradesh was man-handled and literally thrashed to death. I pray for Nido's peace; but the circus lies in everyone jumping the gun to take the lime light in condemning the act and then there are images of people self-declaring that they are Indians and not Chinese! Demographically and genetically, the North-east population of India has a developmental outlook that has similarity with the mandarin cult. But, they are no doubt Indians...equal! Ahem! I have a point to establish! Are they... why only they....? Are all Indians equal?

I am not talking of financial equality! That cannot be achieved as there is and will always be a socio-economic divide as long as civilized urban life style exists! But are we equal? If so, then being a General Candidate, I wouldn't have had to face such a dubious debacle in getting a position...

As long as Indians don't come out of thinking in the community lines, such divide shall persist! And then...there will always be some lakhs of fools who will crowd the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata... making life of the common Kolkattans difficult!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Grew Up Thinking They were Couples...

Till I came to know the difference between screen couples and the real ones.

Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen, both have late infront of their names now, but to a Bengali household, they still are arrive through the days of black and grey! One of Indian Cinemas most successful pair, Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen were no less than the on-screen Romeo and Juliet. Those days were really funny for the young mind of mine. Then, in the 80's and the early 90's, spiked antennas used to capture the feeds from Doordarshan, where every Sunday would mean a Bengali Matinee showtime and of the four Sundays of a month, two movies would be a Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen starrer. Back then too, my mind used to believe them gods; because they popped up into your room from thin air and with the spiked antenna being on the roof top and with the unusual commotion when the wind would propel it off it's position; my dad would jump atop the fence to fix them. I believes that they ought to be coming from the skies; which to me was heaven! So God! The "Godly Couple" or "amar-jooti" (as in Bengali means Eternal Pair)

But things became clearer with the age growing up the steps. Mrs. Sen passed away on 17.01.14, just moving up the stair of age; her age being 83 years at death. When Uttam Kumar died; I never was there. In fact wasn't born even. But I have seen his last film the most: Ogo Badhu Sudari, being one of my most favorite Bengali movie. The other half of this eternal pair passed on last Friday.

In the modern world of cosmetics, where your real skin tone is not understood, Mrs. Sen was a fairy out of the blues. Her eyes, brows, smile... all measured proportion, donated by God to the mesmerizing human soul, rarely walking on this planet. Not bacause of her celebrity status, she was kind and generous; as people used to say or hear may be. I say hear, because no one has seen her after her age of 48 years, when she acted in her last film Pranoy Pasha in 1978.

But, with the several co-actors spinning around each other, Uttam and Suchitra were complimentary and some characters wouldn't have got so lively without them playing it! But, the chemistry was strictly onscreen, unlike others like Tracy and Hepburn, who married off; a news hidden from public for over decades.

To the beauty, its my final sentence...

I knew your name as a Brand of Bengali Cinema and definition of Beauty, R.I.P Rina Brown.... R.I.P Mrs. Sen; letting your aura mesmerize all, for-ever!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Dent

Not the text form of the Dentist. Its a dent and I am referring to the beautiful illustration by Matt Might regarding the "concept" and "reality" of PhD. After going through those cheesy comics put forward by phdcomic, this read was a really innovative. You can just flash through though:

On the practical front, it looks like a small achievement, that looks a big game in your point of view. After re-reading the Hindu Mythological texts, I have realized that it's better to pursue your work rather than thinking as to what impact it shall bring. It's not important to be recognized by all, but important to be recognized by yourself as it is you who have come to this world in your skin and will leave without the same. Its you who is important to realize the work you do and the extent of pleasure you get from it. It is important to keep working.

The above link illustrates such. In the sphere of human knowledge your achievement may be negligible; but there will be people who can use the dent as a stepping stone to climb. After all, science and knowledge should build upon themselves rather than get stalled. Once it's stalled, realize it to be the end! In my daily life, I come across several scientists and budding ones who want to serve science. Their fields are varied; similarly they shall know the names of "big shots" in their field, whom I may not know and vice versa. I had realized that in the uncountable conferences that I had attended in this 4 years of PhD. There could have been a few more, to increase this field of unknown.

Hence, its a dent in the thought. I am not thinking as to why is there any requirement for making the dent! I can never think like that. Infact, I love making it. Just that I need to think hard as to how I can sustain the enthusiasm to keep on working like this. May be, I have my answer; my way... Infact everyone has it in their way. It's just a matter of time that one realizes about it.

Till then....

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Time Pass...

The start of 2014 happened on a different note. One week and over eight movies digested, both from India and abroad; all thanks to the pre-set downloads from These 8 movies includes BA Pass, Chader Pahar, Sherlock, The Conjuring, Satyaneshi, Meghe Dhaka Tara, Gravity and The Cave. And as the saying goes, there are good as well a bad that exists in this mortal earth, movies does fall withing that classification.

I would not like to talk on with all the eight, because that would classify my blog from 2014 as Movie Critic one; which barely is true. I am just a commoner, who happens to watch good movies and whose likes include Saving Private Ryan, The Bridge Across River Kwai, Band of Brothers, Independence Day, The Patriot to some more classics like Agantuk, Pather Pachali and Kuch Kuch Hot Hai.... the list continues. The movie buffs who have seen these will instantly know that I am a movie scrambler, rather than an assembler!

On a personal note though, these days; the unknown adventure movies are letting my expectations down. The same old concept follows, where a band of fellows move forward to excavate unknown, but ends up dying to about 80% of the starting group. The Cave is one such example. No wonder the underwater photography that they came out were brilliant, but apart from that, there is nothing new to the storyline.... except that it's a cave expedition rather than a Jungle as in Anaconda or may be a lonely Island. So, to me; The Cave is not worth an adventure. I believe, Ace Ventura the Pet Detective would bring in more adventure than The Cave, given the two are not from the same genre!

Gravity, a Sci Fi is no Hi Fi. Same old space mission where the crew faces an accident.... I encounter no other words to write about it... actually all the vocabulary is lost in an accident!

I loved Sherlock: The Sign of Three. It was really refreshing to see such an "iTech" Sherlock. The catch is, Sherlock was always ahead of time in his way of crime solving. But, the cinematography and direction was flawlessly realistic. Never at a moment it felt that it's being dramatized infront of you. This is a movie, which had stuck me to my seat from the word go! It never happens for many movies!

I believe, that coming days of the year, would be enriching me through a myriad of movies... enlivening my neurons with the old intellectual days...

Monday, December 23, 2013

How it Started : Bihar-nama.

Back in 2011, I was given the opportunity to be part of the wing within our research team, designated to dig in and pump in samples to our laboratory, as part of the elaborate project funded by CSIR. I had heard a number of tales of the previous few journeys where Mr. Jayanta K Das (JKD) was accompanied by either Dr. Mayukh Banerjee or Dr. Babar Ali Shah or Dr. Anirban Banerjee. For an epidemiologists, field trip is always exciting, not only for the purpose of getting the precious samples on which the project or rather say, the bread and butter depends on; but is also full of experiences!

The project spanned over four different regions in the Eastern and North Eastern part of the nation, encompassing the far end wing of Silchar, Assam; Ara, Bihar; Behrampore and Chakdah in West Bengal. I was assigned for the longer trips and with JKD, it was always a peaceful journey regarding the accessory travel stuffs like dry foods. I am not a food junkie, but when outside Kolkata, I tend to turn out one, with exception of Bihar!

My first trip was in Bihar. November, 2011. I tripped the Ara township, whereby we would be getting soil and water samples for subsequent laboratory tests for arsenic and other biological analytic work. The first trip was an experience, as our contract driver, Mr. Shahbuddin brought in a car. An ambassador full of cobwebs and spiders. A car that would cost bare minimum and with a restricted fund flow, we made it as if it were a SUV! Vividly, some scenes come upfront when the seat dipped under my weight! (friends say that I am not too bulky!) Even JKD slipped through the crevices in between the back seat.

One passion of mine when I go out of Kolkata, is to try the local food. In Bihar, the speciality is Litti, which I seldom touched after seeing the way they were manufactured! Come one! Can't explain! There can be some Biharis who may sue me in court if I wrote anything of that sort in here. It just baffles my imagination, how a land, which once gave great insights to Indian Arts, Culture and Education like Nalanda; could deteriorate in their habits and attitude. 

I don't have enough pictures to the audience of this Bihar experience, but am lucky to visit  two places nearby. The Sher Shah Suri's tomb at Sasaram. We had an off day and we went there by bus; it was a real leaning across the inner tide experience there! I believe, the Central Government could have done something better with the shrine, given that he was one of the greatest builders of all time building the Grant Trunk Road from Peshawar to Howrah. It is still one of India's highly accessed and highly congested National Highway.

Apart from the GT road, the emperor had developed the firs postal system in the world, which has transformed since ages long. The postal address and demarcation was one his indigenous idea that transformed his short reign a success; given the jolt he had provided to the Mughal empire. In fact, this one man made Tagore's verse sound so true, even before Tagore shouted his post-natal cry: "Where the mind is without fear" or "চিত্ত যেথা ভয়  শুন্য। "

There are many more interesting incidents to follow.... soon.

Travelogue Series: The Left Over Trails.

I guess, this would have been a very long one, but then I decided to cut short and break the tales to a Series format. After all, these series are a big hit to the general mass and audience.
In this section of my Travalogue Series "Left Over Trails", I would simply talk about the experiences of field trips that I had to undertake for collection of samples, for my colleagues to work with. Although the project funded by the CSIR under the head CSIR-NWP-0052, made me learn a lot of aspects from various parts of Eastern India. But, the experiences made me learn a lot of things, especially the way the people outside the city lives and what most of them thing of the city dwellers. These trips made me realize that it is very important to value your money, or else many things  will slip off places.

I would love to keep this post  as a Preface to the upcoming series, which I believe would be completed in 3 to 4 sections. And I also believe that it would bring forth a greater sense of awe as to how these people survive, even after 66 years of Indian Independence. Till then , its a look back through the mirror, to the roads yonder!

(c) Somnath Paul, Meghalaya, Nov 2013.

Somnath Paul Photography


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The author holds all the rights to publish the contents and the specially earmarked materials. Any breach of this can lead to Indian Penal Charge, under the Act of Intellectual Property Rights, 2007.

The articles are not to be considered promotional neither detrimental of their credits. Its just opinion of a Free-lancer at Free time.

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