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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Plasmodium Injunction

A relapse or not, this is the second time in two years I have been kissed by the dreaded female (read anopheles) to fall back and follow the injunction to refrain all my activities for some "good" motif... get well!

And in these dreaded hours I became more health conscious (to relief of many) and craved for the 26th element of the Moseley's platter. Even Steve Jobs would loved to make me the brand ambassador for the bites I made, resembling his logo; so what you have to sell your kidney to buy the iPhone 6! Well.. I will buy iPhone 6...when iPhone 7 comes out! With another hope against hope... I will be doing my foreign Post Doc by then!

This injunction was too much of a burden on the hepatic system and the medicines are still on to kill the last remnant of the parasite, from their latest visit for a picnic within me. But at the same time, some of the great events took place; a movement got heed and that reminds me to share one of my posts a gew months back, regarding fellowship hike. The Government of India heard to our pleas and it was done with handsome rewards, but there are still some demands to be considered and met, to which they have had mentioned that they would do the needful in due course. The plead post regarding the need for the hike can be found here.

A week over with house arrest, is about to be broken today; but there are many more things that needs to be taken care off when I walk into IICB. But, I missed some precious moments like Bhaifota and Diwali parties. Anyways, happy Diwali to all of you...

Sunday, September 21, 2014


Silence prevails before the storm,
The rainbow curls up at the bottom of every fall,
A place, where there is full of turbulence, splatter and patter.
The water drops chills your cheek, your eye lid and your lips.
Come thou the wind,
The spine becomes stiff,
It breaks, but never bends!

The recent events at Jadavpur have been several such turbulence that I have seen and gone through in my student life. It pained to see the whacks that were delivered upon the torso of the silent protesters, bring up the bitter visions of #Nandigram, back in 2007. There was a wind of protest, a chilling breeze of death that dropped the establishment of Red Bastion into the dust! Dirt Bite!

Today, the colour have changed (#Poribortan), a change that  majority wanted... but the colour is not the only change desired! Colours can have bring no harm. They make the life beautiful. The change we wanted was in administration, but unfortunately that went unheeded.

#HokKoloRob is the tensed hash tag, that warrants for a new revolution brewing up. After all, in the words of McGannon : "Leadership is action, not position"; I believe the voice of Jadavpur and the student fraternity as a whole shall be towards true leadership in all practical sense.

Till then, the storm will brew in the cup of coffee of the "leaders" from all clans. #HokKoloRob.

Photo Credit: Ronny Sen.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hike Research Fellowship

With the nation building up the voice of the scholars all over India, the ardent need to increase the research fellowship is nothing less than a national emergency; in it's true sense. I have been pursing the same issue and pleading to the Government of India to consider the scenario since it has been more than four years since the last hike. It was in 2010, the last hike was made trying to attract more and more into research. It did work materialistically, but people who have the passion is needed more into this field. But, with time things needed changes. 4 years ago, the Kolkata Metro ride cost Rs. 6 from Esplanade to Tollugunge (Maha Nayak Uttam Kumar). Now it's Rs. 10. So a to and fro means Rs. 20 compared to Rs. 12 back in 4 years. From Tollygunge to Jadavpur, an auto would charge you between Rs. 6-7. Now it's hiked to Rs. 10. So a to and fro would mean Rs. 20 again. The commuter charge per day would have been Rs. 11/day; now its Rs. 20/day for the past one and half years. Fellowship hike NIL.

The cost of food from a simple batten rice to even a sliced cake. Increase have been the word of the day. If calculated by a keen economist, which all middle class individual is, the daily cost now, in Kolkata is around Rs.110/day which would have been Rs. 75/day in 2010. Mind it, I am talking this about a research scholar who commutes by Metro to his work place, drink tea thrice, a half filled lunch and may be an evening snack. He works from 10:30AM to..... well it's not worth mentioning as he doesnot know till what time of the wee hours he stays back.

With daily commuter charge of Rs. 110/day; 30 days a month comes to Rs. 3300/- Then comes his house hold expenses that includes family medicines (nearly Rs. 2000/month); electricity bill (nearly Rs. 1500/month); food (incl. cooking gas/kerosine) for 3-5 family members (Rs. 10,000-12,000/month), telephone bill (Rs. 1000/month), house maintenance cost like cable TV bill, Internet payment, etc (Rs. 2500/month) and all from his fellowship. So whats the expense? Rs. 22,300 (approx). This considering a minimal fooding and clothing. Leave aside the family reunions or any celebrations. The meagre fellowship of Rs. 16000 +  30%HRA meets only 80% of the cost and the rest 20%, an individual goes through the grueling restless phase of asking help or begging money from friends and relatives thinking and promising to repay next month. But then too... the scholarship donot come in regularly.

The elite society of a country Begs! That's not a good image. Or is it like this....? 

Hence, on behalf of all the scholars, I request the Government of India to heed our reasons and increase our fellowships. I like all of the others are hopeful though that the Government of India, under the guidance of PM Shri Narendra Modiji will help us out of our misery.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

For the Archive | Football World Cup 2014

Hilarious for many...

But the First Semi Final have offered me a comic relief to share with all my friends and Gen Next for the years I will stroll this planet.

Miroslav Klose, the man who scored his 16th, over took Ronaldo to create a new platform of scoring goals in World Cup history. As it happen, I took a snapshot and was about to put on my facebook Wall. An in action (but hazy) picture of the Ball getting past the Brazilian Last Line and across the Goal line. As I was processing the image, I heard the commentators shout! 3:0. Remember, Klose's 16th made the score 2:0. It was just a few seconds.. Very few seconds. I peeped through the screen, it was 3:0. Well. Brazil would be losing for sure... but what followed next was really inexplicable.

My broadband was fast to upload the processed image. I clicked back into the full screen and the score line was 4:0. Amazing. At the moment, I was mused with the incidence... But then Brazil lost the game 7:1. A scoreline, that not many expected for this gigantic name in the World of Soccer. As it is... since the era of International football in 1914 it has never been so. So, it was a moment in history and I am proud that I can archive it as well...

As for the religion of football, its a beautiful game. A game that brings back every one... to their roots, digitally, verbally and even physically. Its a game of guts, gust and lust!

WC 2014 will be memorable, since it is the WC that I could follow without any exams or any thing lurking behind. Maradona is the name that developed my Loyalty to Argentina. It was back in 1986, when I remember vaguely my Dad dance with his local friends, taking me to the tunes of Bengal's traditional drums... Dhaak...

1990... I did develop some senses to identify the happiness... It was then I recognized the curly haired Maradona.

24 years... its a long time wait. Today, Argentina will face off with the Dutch. The world looks towards the magic  of LM10 (Messi). But the flying Dutch will be hard to tame.

For the archives. Argentina Vs Netherlands.

Pray the sky gets Azure even at Sunset!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Recuerdos lloran "Orkut"

Memories Cry...

The first ever stampede of social media vibes, the scraps that were then digital... The scribbles that made testimonials, craving for more fun every night, near the computer. The start of the Social Networking Age... The protagonist, the pioneer will expire on September 30, 2014. I came to know it from it's murderer, the Facebook share.

Many memories will linger around; hence, I make my little effort to recollect some and put up the last image of my Orkut Homepage for the Archives.

Back in 2005, the craze came into my life. A place where the social networking was buzzing and my college mates introduced me to it. Initially it was hard but then the meaning of the Wall and the Scraps became more succulent. New friends... good looking and you always have that freedom to change your name and announce of being a Rock Star, a Cool Dumb head... I remember, I once renamed my profile name with Mr. Xhang-- The Warrior. A request from my student (who apparently is a doc now).

But then, there were good feelings too. The first ever sentence conveyed to my life partner was through the Wall. We had our classes together, but never spoke to her for 1 years... but then Orkut Wall was so very good, throwing back all the inhibitions...and then the story is known by the world around.

Orkut. A Social Networking Pioneer. My last profile pic and wall paper is here for the Archives; as long as the blogspot exists; I guess. I will not say I will miss you, because I seldom visited you after the advent of Facebook... I admit. But you had been a good teacher and that is what I shall remember about you.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

The Cuspless Cup.

Never know why it's called the World Cup. A trophy would better suited given the modern perspective when the cusp within the cup has been replaced. Yet, Brazil wins it more than any other country, in the World of Football and to look into the fact, a combined population of humans might be higher in the Northern Hemisphere, but Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and also Australia to some extent has more World Cups (Football and Cricket) pulled into the Southern Hemisphere. Being an Indian, the last time the nation got a chance to play in this prestigious event was nearly a decade before my birth; but when ever the knowledge of the game befitted my senses... It had been only one name: Argentina... Maradona. 

24 years ago, 1990, the blue brigade crossed the hurdle of the Quarters. They lost out eventually to West Germany, the ultimate winners of the cup in the Finale. Then again... every time it has been so. I have been very jittery with the fact that Argentina faces the Germans. In 2006, Ayala scored a beauty within the 11th minute or so, of the match. Lahm took the momentum away with the pace from the wings, I guess Ballack made it through. Then Miroslav Klose closed the chapter with his header. My second best overthrew the facvorites from the Quarters.

24 years.

24 years have been going around for quite a long time, prior to teh WC. It's said... Brazil's 4th was after 24 years. So was Italy's... This time it's Germany on the verge of getting 4th title.... as it's 24 for them... But... the magic of 24 gets initiated by Argentina... so it's 28 years... the 3rd to be Blue-White...

Pray... so!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Modified Sensation

27th February, 2002. "I was getting ready, brushing up and ready to engulf the last left overs as my Maths exam would start around 9:00 AM. Dad had been very ill today. His pulmonary infection relapsed and I was doing everything on my own. I never thought I would be writing such an incident. But God knows his mercy and may be I shall read my own lines some years later...."

This is the excerpt from my diary, that I wrote 14 years back.

"... suddenly mom came running back. She asked me not to go to school today (I was surprised as there was Maths Exam!); as the musalman patti (muslim colony) has some commotion near Lord Para, just behind my school. Some muslims had burnt hindus in a train in Gujarat." 

I remember how she frantically looked into the Anandabazar Patrika. There was something in it. There was something in it.

"And there was in the headlines that reaffirmed her overheard news."

That day, the exam did take place, but the school was let off early. Doctor did not come in his chamber and dad coughed harder over the night. The nation was too busy to hear his cough. I, a standard eleven heard them, soothing his back for relief and saw in a flash, the face of a man who portrayed like a Demi-God to many, Satan to others.  And there is always two sides of the story. In this case, there were many lives into it.

Diary. I smile back to those pale yellow pages scribbled all along. The chronicles of a growing soul. The chronicles that after more than a decade, would re-open to think that a Satan back then can even be praised a Demi-God. And then there would be many, to salute or kick., a "Modi"fication. So, this is what I think of the"Modified Sensation".

14 years back, Modi was a name of terror. But the name turned into an Iron Fist to convert Gujarat? I don't believe that completely. Gujarat was booming, well before Modi. It's greatest asset was in Anand. The milk industry with it's greatest pleasure all over India as well of International acclaim. Brand Amul. Even before Mr. Modi had taken his office in 2001 as the CM of Gujarat, Gujarat was self dependent and economically strong in textiles, gems and jewellery, petrochemicals (Reliance leading the way). Mr. Modi didnot start all these? Development was rooted, Mr. Modi just harvested and irrigated them.

Then why Modi? A Modi Model? A Gujrat Model!! In this context I would like quote some leader in the recent elections (LS'2014), saying that "Gujrat Model can be for Gujarat, not for Bengal, Assam, Odisha or else where." True! Geospatially not possible.

Then why Mr. Modi and that too with a seat for BJP that counts a staggering 280+? Not in recent history it was possible and no body could get it. I have a small notion to it. It's not models... not only development... This time the Indian Citizens voted for the attitude and persona of this person with white beard (animated looks cute!). Its about a Prime Minister who would be known and heard and not asked by failed by Rajnikant to open his mouth (facebookers know the joke).

Mr. Modi brought with him persona. He represented a National Party and so he made inroads all over the nation. There is another leader with the persona... I will come later on with that.

Prior to the elections, I have been a frequent viewer of debates of better say political speeches. Hailing from Bengal, I would like to ear mark some aspects that I believe made a mandate in Bengal.

1) Mr. Modi. BJP won 2 seats. His speech had versions of development, but also had adverse versions of communalisms. In Bengal we don't like the latter, but former.. we always want so.

2) Mr. Gandhi: He only criticized Mr. Modi. No remarks on his vocal performance.

3) Ms. Banerjee: The present CM of West Bengal, the TMC supremo had development. She has achieved some and promises to achieve some more for the state in near future. Pleasing to hear. She wanted to be a force at the Center. Federal front or not, Bengal gave her mandate. She is a force, with 34 MPs. She can ask or argue for many aspects.

4) Mr. Bhattacharya. Ex-CM of Bengal was all but dissappointing. An alumni of my Alma Mater had nothing but Sarada corruption to hold upfront to criticize TMC. Bengal gave them their toffee... 1 seat!

Just by taininting someone is not politics. Policies and Implementation is Politics like implementation of Biological knowledge is Biotics, so is the former! Modi gave hope of a strong economy and stronger India. Atleast, we will have a stronger PM to seat at the PMO. Mamata Banerjee gave her words and she is believed in Bengal. She got her lion's share while people like Mayawati, Mulayam, Nitish didnot have such a lucky poll this time.

I just wanted to express my congratulations to all the candidates. We expect a lot from you. Hope you will not dissappoint us, just as us, the Indian citizens have not disappointed you.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Perplexed Purple.

Not about Kolkata Knight Riders. I have stopped viewing IPL at random. The colour is of the dried sweat, blood and skin admixture. And more purple it gets with the summer heat.

A decade back, elections was different and this time round; its full of Maggi Hot and Sweet- Its different.

A decade back there was all Red; pompous and pride... people decided to cool them down and brought a green serenity to the state of West Bengal, a few years ago. It was a change and so will it be in the center this time. Or atleast the common humbled good for nothing futurists think so and the leaders will sip in champagne within the Limo!

And I being a general public feel so perplexed. Politics and leaders are one who has got a good grip over their vocal cords! History knows how Hitler overturned the German sentiments, how Napoleon over took the Chapel, how Netaji boiled the blood of the masses. A few years ago, your decision would be partially influenced by the speech delivered by the political maestros! But today, given it any colour or any symbol, I feel so perplexed to realize that there is nothing but waste of time to listen to them. May be the Election Commission of India sensed the inability of the leaders a little bit earlier and so deviced a No Vote button in the EVM. But, again.. given all odds into the offering, to press that would mean no use. It will not stop the bad to go ahead. (Bad has got different layers; some are good too... Lim->good). I will vote for a proper candidate, but that might reduce the purple, but perplexed mind will eat but the banana after May 16th, 2014.

So... DO VOTE! Many will say what will it matter or how will it matter. But believe me, if your vote goes against the winner, the winner will win by lesser margin  and that will play a phsycological aspect to atleast do some work, otherwise next time would be a tough time. 


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!

Somnath Paul Photography


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