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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…

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 o…

Legion of Legends...

1st March, 1992. Benson and Hedges Cup. It was nearly 5AM. Calcutta was chiller compared to what it was today. The Victorian antenna was tuned, to receive the correct frequencies. All the television sets were tuned to Doordarshan. I rubbed my eyes, to the commotion created by my dad; watching something being aired, from Brisbane, Australia. I watched a tiny little guy, claded in navy blue, walk through the whitewashed fence into lush green. My dad was ecstatic, shouting at a ray of hope against Australia. Sleepy, I saw the guy walk back the same fence, dashing down the "hopes" that dawned a few minutes ago!

4th March, 1992. Another match being aired from Sydney, Australia. To a second grader, it seemed awkward, as to me Sydney refers to my strict english teacher at school, Mr. Peter Sydney. Geography was  big zero for me; only thing, the world was much bigger shaped than my assumptions of the age. That day, I remember the celebrations and crowd that sprawled down the street…

A Visit to Eden | Kerala

Mushroomed through out the landscape; the coconut and banana shades blends in with the eye soothing patches of greenery. Undoubtedly, self proclaimed as "God's Own Country", the state stole my awe, even though it was my second visit. As it is said, vision is the most beautiful wonder that the creator installed beneath the forehead of every animal, the slim state of India remains as one of my favorite destinations, of the several places I had paid a visit in these three decades of my survival.

                     This was my second visit to this well known, internationally acclaimed region of the Indian sub-continent. Kerala.Since 2007, when I visited the place for the first time; a lot of winds have blown across the green landscape. This time though, I had a career commitment to make. The 16th All India Congress of Cytology and Genetics (aka AICCG) asked for some scientific acumen to be spent, in exchange of some sporadic trips to the in and around of o…

The Truth is Now Binary

There was a time, when people used to savor the flavor of their morning cup of tea and biscuits with the news that would flash in the headlines. There were times when the family sibling would share the papers and read their own liking. Then came the era of motion pictures, the silver screen framed in wooden boxes and the CRT would flash some pixels encrypted for NEWS. They were authentic times.


Till then the binaries were understood in simple terms. Every frequency did utter the same news; with minor modifications which were significantly not high (p>0.05). But with the advent of commercial and private news channels, many feeds were on offer (technically and personally). People has different versions of everything. The maximum variability comes with politics. The least variability comes with sports. If plotted with an ANOVA between the two variables in cohorts, even the statistical tool would shy off in showing any result. And then, it dawns on the general public... "that'…

What it Takes...

"The grass is always greener on the other side", is a famous phrase that most of us have heard or uttered, in the context that "I hate my Job; Wish I was...." Dear friends, each and every one has their own perspective and I would not undermine it. It just takes the correct idea and mindset to appreciate that what you have may be envied by others, because these few others might wish to be in your shoes as well.
I have come across many, who have said the same thing in my profession; PhD. The hardships come without warning and sometimes stays there to extend your misery like a never-ending tale. A cup of coffee seems to cool down, but it always seems to be less, always, when such a spot of bother patches with your very existence. I also, sometimes used to utter, "I hate the situation", or "How I wish I had pursued engineering", etc, etc. But as the Reverend says, "God has offered you the most valuable gift, your Life and it's style. Many do…

Hannibal | The One Who brought Fear in the Mortal Romans

A story, encrypted in the tell tales of time immortal, Hannibal; one of the greatest general, who said to have brought fear in the minds of the Mighty Romans. Creeping over the Alps, Hannibal made Rome and the mortals who inhabited there, that fear is for every man; death was bigger truth than the heads of pride fallacy. And, then; one thing made me realize that same - I am vincible, hunger has a different pang, if you don't heed to it early.
House arrest with weakness and Malaria, I realized many more things; just like The Banker made the Prisoner realize the value of corporal punishment nor life sentence was never sweeter than the juice of knowledge; it saved the mortals and the soul. I realized, in my week of house arrest, after a long time, that health is the actual wealth, that will earn your the green back and at the same make you play skilfully with your smile and sense. I realized the difference between care and words that say they care. I realized the shades of human fac…

Celebrate Awesomeness | Celebrate Being An Indian

Recently, there has been an advertisement, aired in all the major TV channels available through cable networks, regarding celebrating awesomeness, youthness, kickassness, etc with Tata Nano (Click here to view). But, I guess we Indians are forgetting to celebrate being an Indian. Well, I don't blame solely all except me, I am also a part of the herd. If we would reflect back that what we just missed, we would never say; it happens only in Bollywood... It happens only in India.
July 13th, 2013, 18 young girls from Jharkhand made their way to beautiful Spain and make their team's name as well as India's name shine, by standing Third in the tournament. People might say as what is so great in it? They were not champions... but to remind those "self-extraordinary" gentlemen, it is an achievement, given they come from backgrounds of being maids or daily wage earners, among the billion poor Indians. Just by scratching Telengana or applauding Chak De India is not enough…

Sinister or Real?

Today, after a long time, it was really refreshing to go through some of the presentations by my fellows at CSIR-IICB, during the concluding sessions of the British Council Library's Seminar Preparation workshop. While some beautiful presentations on various aspects of society and civic senses, conservation and environment were put on the roll, I had a different thing in mind.
With one of my past blog post, entitled: "Ramayan and Charles Darwin",  having a huge success, with more than 2,132  hits (till today) since it's publication, three years ago; anthropological aspects as well as extra-terrestial conglomeration always fascinated me. And what more could draw the lineage between these two fields, than the pyramids. Do they have something else to say to us? I think like many other astro-historians, anthropologists and historians believe, the extra-terrestrial connection between the Pyramids and The Cosmos. I am sure you like my presentation.


Pyramids: Do They Have a…

Ballavpurer Roopkatha | MK Production : In It...

With the first success in form of Prahuti, Maniktala Kolpokatha team moved onward for their next production. After a long interval of six months, and I thought I would be good in writing my blog too... after an interval of around two months.
The second production put forward by Maniktala Kolpokatha, was supposedly the earliest brainchild of the group, but due to certain logistics problem, Prahuti pioneered the pavement. I, though being an office bearer through both the performances, would like to speak something in depth about the sweats and calories burnt out, to bring this show together.
Mind it! All the actors in this classical drama by the late play-writer, Badal Sarkar, comes from a regular background of service men and research scholars, who, as per the theme of the cultural group; tried to do something different from their own normal daily chores. And we tried our best.
A collage from the Stage Rehearsal
The journey started in August 2012. Just after the resolution of establish…

Lepchakha : The Nature's Cradle (Part 1)

The colours of the tripping season had started; and it took our steps to the beautiful hues of un-explored Himalayas. Its a general belief that the mountains will always have a different picture, in every nook and turns you take and Lepchakha was not a mistaken choice by the team of 14 strong members. Difficult to forget but again difficult to remember all the spots; hence it's better to go there by yourself and experience the beauty of nature. The beauty of Lepchakha.
We contacted a domicile resident, Mr. Ram Kumar Lama (8016671734). The unknown alleys of Lepchakha, to be reached touching the heart of Jainti, a small village within the Buxa Reserve forest, seemed quite exciting. The majority of the members were first timers in trekking, but to stay on in the flattened jungle, beside the Jainti river was an experience without recall. It was second to nothing and with the full moon shining, the pebbles of the dried up river bed shone like calcite deposits, making a trail up into the…

Project Travels: A Diary

Thanks to PhD at CSIR-IICB, I have cherished the opportunity to see Incredible India. A travel heart by birth, exhaustive field work in Assam, Bihar and West Bengal have yielded loads of tough memories with sweet tunes in between. I remember the humming tunes of "Country Roads" and its full of unparalleled experiences.
Starting from the dusty roads of Bihar and Assam plains to the lush green heritage of Bengal's Murshidabad, I have seen it all. Made friends for a day with several unknown passengers over discussions ranging from Politics to Cricket; even a few passing around the cards at 29. Project travel have shown me all. I would like to share some excerpts in this space, where I feel would be apt to exhibit that Epidemiological Survey work has its pros and cons, if considered that way.

(c) Somnath Paul. 2012. Borring in Bihar.
My travels started in 2011, November. Assam. The first going was exciting, as I had mentioned earlier. But the access through to Silchar from Guw…

Excuse Me India : They are FEMALES and not FREE-MALES!

I have always said so, heard being said so; to get touched at free will, to fulfill the malicious desires for free, to be kept for torment and played with your masculine power for free; Excuse me India, I am a "Female" not a "Free-male"!!
Sometimes, I guess why is Delhi still the capital of this country? But again, where would you make the capital of this nation, which has many eunuchs crossing the streets at free and then pouncing upon soft targets for soft meat? You have Kolkata? It had it's sporadic episodes of being raped! You have Mumbai, it too has her own story lined within the shabby dark corners of the city that never sleeps! You have Delhi, highlighted like the role model... come on! If the capital can have so many, then it comes to be licensed by all! And then you have the enlightening leaders who have their excuses against the ladies of the nation! Provocative dresses!! Oh yeaahhh.... Seductive walks!! Yeaaahhh Yeaaahhh Yeaaahhh... come on! These a…

A Circus Called Bengal

To a Bengali research scholar, field trip means loads of knowledge explored from the unknown corners of the world. Work, mixed with intellectual visualization and realization of the senses, fulfills the thirsty mind of a bengali. But sometimes, the intellect can face a dumb road block called over-thinking and mis-management of thoughts, that makes Bengal and Bengali, the most colourful Circus of the present era.

I was realizing the variety of Bengali dialect that is present from the Sundarbans to the hills of Jalpaiguri and then spanning across the border, into Bangladesh and re-entering the region of Assam and Tripura. The dialect varies in term, tone and mode of speaking that will always ear-mark from where the Bengali comes from. But, that's a cultural variety, loved by all and called as one of the sweeter version of human languages ever evolved from Sanskrit.

But, to think of the thoughts that run under the political banner, it is can be believed that is this the place where …

The Shells at Tajpur

Another destination explored. Starting from 2011, it has been a constant movement onward, to places and marking my footsteps on google map. But as the commercial says, every trip has a reason, let leisure be the reason for this one. Celebrating the anniversary of my friends, a pair of couples on the beach was beyond doubt; enjoyable. Friends from the root hold, past as in Masters, the congregation upon the beach was nothing more than breach of the notion of boredom!

Budha-Ankita and Avisek-Soma; they were the reason and alcohol made it prominent across the bon-fire roasting the meat!

(l-r) Avisek, Budha, Ankita and Soma
The toast was on them and some of rum in the Bonfire!
A one day trip, it could have been hectic as we never stayed back in the hotel for more than 24 hours. But, this trip made me realize some aspects of being happy together. Yes, there were news of few parting friends, who would move along in their life. It did hurt a little, but then the smile always made it sure: A…

The Bicycle Rider

The spikes of the bicycle have been revolving for 10,791 days; and it has gathered the dust of time from all routes the gears of life have steered it through, and it will run many a days, alike.
Dusts and mud, washed sometimes by the clean water of the juvenile stream or by the old stagnant ponds. The lakes and the seas have had their role to play, waving to it an adieu as it heads along through the lush green jungles. The rider would never boast that it ever missed a slip, when the roads were slippery with moist moss. Nature, still he loved and still he strives with his gears of life holding the push-bell firm. There, it still has new in roads to make.
The back seat, well it's smeared with the touch of several soft hands. But, it never missed it's share of being roughed by the barb wires. With all the greatness bestowed upon the lord almighty, it still has the strength to carry on.
Today, the spikes stopped for a while. The rider had put on the brakes; rare one and looked be…

When Hibiscus was Red...

.. and the Leaves were Green; I left my studentship. I left as a we and We never felt happy to step out of the aisles, for there was life and memories that we were leaving behind. Together we sang the bengali numbers and english alike. A point of time, we really felt that "those were the best days of OUR lives!" Then there were cultural programs, alike; and we stood at each other's side, trying to make it a success. That time, the reds and the greens mixed, to give an aura of flora, that would hug the memories for ever.
But today, that same garden is tainted with broken petals of red falling apart from the green leaves! Today, life seems so much red, smudged in the viscous liquid called blood and people die for the farce, named college election. Fashion? Is it? Duty! I say my foot and then the loud speakers blare aloud; exercise your democratic right!
The recent incident at Garden Reach, Kolkata, made me realize it further with the grave shadow of concern; the machinery…

Research: The Path For New India.

People say, facebook is a platform that is worth a time machine, that makes you lose your time. In most of the cases, it is taken with the negative mindset. But sometimes, facebook does help you to learn new things; but this is not the New India that I am talking about.


The world states that India is shining and time is not far away, when She will yield gold. But then, there are confounding factors that try to portray that She is still in the darkness of illiteracy and poverty. But, I being a researcher, in the field of molecular biology came across a world report published SIR (SCIMAGO INSTITUTION of RANKINGS), that details how the nations fared all over the world with their resource and scientific mind, pooling in more than 3000 institutes all over the world and providing the critical analysis and associated ranking for the institutes. The aspects that they considered included publications, progress and contribution towards the society. I have gone through the aspects and found out …

Entangled Twine, Evening Wine: Prahuti

The onus was on the human shoulders, when the society demanded to be civilized and Maniktala Kolpokatha decided to do it in a tune of it's own. Kobikatha and Nohi Samanya Nari stood to their notes and expressed the culture and epics of thousands of years, amidst the barbaric heinous act that India witnessed; with pain, our journey started...                   .... and it was a journey to remember.
Living amidst the shackles is never approved by us,     We decided to come out into the air, Work and Livelihood made us jeer,     Music is what that tuned our hearts! We came together,     We formed together, Laughter issued us the certificate of joy,    From dew of the dawn-        To the water of the ocean,          We bid to cover it all, Slowly....                  Maniktala Kolpokatha was a figment of imagination. I remember the inception of the concept. IICB, May 2012. After a cultural program, Nandana came up with an idea to me: "Somnath, how about setting up a group th…