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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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

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 streets of Calcutta. India defeated Pakistan by 43 runs and the little guy named Sachin, was lauded as the "Little Master"; he just concluded his game with a score of 54.

29th November, 2004. I get slapped for the first time in my life by a girl, for undermining Sachin's rate of scoring century with Ganguly's!

14th November, 2013. Wankhede gears up for the grand finale.

He had never been my idol. In fact, I have aversions from ideas which is owned by many. But, yes, I have been an admirer for his name and his stature; the hope and strength that he brews in me when I see India play. Till now it's present; five days from now, it will be past. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar >> Sachin >> Little Master >> Master Blaster >> 10dulkar; whatever way you put in; I have seen a legend in my life time. Infact, to add upon my list, I have seen Tendulkar come and go. I had seen Maradonna go, seen Pete Sampras leave, seen Dhanraj Pillai, Haikkennen, Jan-Ove Waldner play their last.

No persona is better than the other and demands respect for their own cause; but to me, Maradonna and Tendulkar are two God's of the Era; who took national pride to a new level. Just like Maradonian Church, I won't be surprised with the advent of Tendulkar Cult or Temple!

Whatever it may be; the blade of the bat will not talk fluently in every language known to the Wisden Book of Batting. Thank you Sir. Thank you for the faith and hope of nationality instilled. Thank you for the moments shared on air.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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 our conference center at Trivandrum or Thiruvananthapuram. My colleagues did put up some brave show, but the beaches of this great place stole everything.

                     Although not in Kerala, but the Marina Beach at Chennai, Tamil Nadu opened the windows of the travel heart gang to what will be on offer for the next few days. The Dr. Ashok Kumar Giri research group found solace in wet sands and wave sprinkles of of Bay of Bengal. And the giggles were carried across the beach (one of the longest few in India), implied of a long time freedom from the snubs of research life. But again, as it is said; its better to realize a profession as your lifestyle rather than burden it as worthy work pressure and nothing else!

                      To top it all up, I did not take my camera. Did not feel like, but I missed that love of mine on a serious note! But then, there are others who always love to click the moments. All credits for images in this article goes to JKD (Mr. Jayanta Kumar Das).

                    Into Kerala, the beaches never ended. Thiruvananthapuram offers a sunset marvel in Kovalam. Clean waters of the sea, the Arabian Sea. I smile as I write the name, as in facebook, I attracted several comments and mis-conception of many people when I wrote "From Bengal to Arab..." People literally took it as if I was going to some Arab nation for some work. My niche of science is stable on Arsenic toxicity in humans and one friend of mine commented: "Arsenic in Arabia?" Well, the Shiekhs would surely pay me a Goldsome grant for any work as such! Getting back to Kovalam, the view prior sunset was a beauty; with the fond memoirs of sunset in 2007.

                       The same day, we ran for the sunset view from Backwaters. The famed water body of South India, we ran literally to catch hold of the Titanic. But, we were late by miles. Alleppey, is the famed destination for Backwater trip. Its a great view and a ride from Kollam to Alleppey takes 3 hours. If you are based in Trivandrum, then it will fetch a healthy 4 hours to reach Kollam, on road and then start off for the backwater sojourn, for the beauty of experience. Imagine, nearly 570km of waterways, broken and reconstructed in places, formed by rain waters and no rivers or sea to meet anywhere, although the thinnest distance from the sea, for the backwaters is just 20 meters. According to the local Malay guides, this is a wonder; but geography tells you a different version of wonder. Its a water fill of the crack formed when the Indian plate crashed into Asia. But there are several beliefs, which I dare not to break! Even Parashuram is believed to create the creaks, with a single jolt from his famed Shiva-axe! Mythologically fearful! Be it being axed or cracked or naturally riddled, the sun set from the place called Kappil, a place that is 10Kms from Varkala Rail station (by auto), is a treat to the eyes.... Varkala is 30 minutes by train from Trivandrum Central. But be at the Central Station prior 1:30PM, or else you miss the trains that would go to the place. It's a long wait after 2:30PM.

                    It's a long journey.... so there are some more blog articles coming on this! Till then, be happy and enjoy reading!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

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's XXX party's channel" or " that's against XXX". (No porn intended!)

The electrical pulses onto your LED or LCD now becomes real binary. It was binary since it's inception, but the contrast has increased so much that it's difficult to comprehend the truth. And then, through different frequencies, you search out different codes and if you have time and zeal to know more about it; you can decode to see the full picture. But again, its a hard time...

And with polls 2014 coming upfront, the TRP-hunters would love to impose more variability and colours. Sometimes the red will be invisible and to some, it will be of highest hue saturation! To me, a general public, it's never any important. The news makers and givers have all lost their trust under the pile of currency notes. I am sorry to say that responsibly!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

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 don't have it your way. So appreciate it's essence and freedom." Not believing it all, but with my passion overtaking my vices, I have photography and cultural toasts to go with the bitter ale. And well, the books also come to my rescue.

This happened yesterday, a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery. I was going through my book store, in a small cupboard, packed with Holmes, Poirot, Blyton classics and the bengali Masterminds of Byomkesh and Feluda. My fingers were browsing over the dusts that have settled in there for the past 10 years, may be more. My childhood friend, my classic brain teasers and something that always had drove me through the lonely alleys. A single child, a Bengali Kid... had some deprivation. With the golden sun of the 90's, pouring it's warm rays through the south-western window of my room, the "mesmerizing sound" of rusted decade old fan, a child in a Bengali household played with those pages in front of my eyes. I always had an unsung aspiration to be a Private Investigator... Solve cases similarly like the "Hound of the Baskervilles "or may something like the "Curtain".

Infact, the friend circles that I had and still do are always bound with five or six core group. Take for example, S5; comprising Sangbaran, Sandip, Soumillo, Sourav and myself. Or may be the M.Sc group with Budhaditya, Joydeep, Arijit, Avisek, Kanad and myself. We never had a common aspiration of becoming Famous Five or the Secret Seven; but somehow, the subconscious mind weaved us together.

Curtain fell and facts arrived. A self analysis made me realize that may be, I am not totally abstracted from my fascinating dream. I am still running behind the Biological mysteries.... I was doing a PhD (!!!)... and if I am on the right track, I will become a Project Investigator, a scientist or an academician... Abb. PI... its almost equivalent to becoming a "Private Investigator".

May be...

After all, what it takes is you always need a positive look towards life, because, whatever is taking place with you, has a bigger cause.... It's best done by you, with you and for you!!!

Photograph: Sinchan Sinha, May 2013.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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 faces, lips and words all alike. I realized who is for whom and where time settles. Just like the little sparrow that sings to itself, I believe in the tune of time... for me... I should cherish!

Given the realization, I felt happy. I felt that I can never be selfish and that I am happy that way. I realized that I might never the wealth to do what many people does; but what I do, I shall be happy to my soul. Desire to crave for more is the greatest enemy of human peace; I realized to seclude that from my heart. And the Hannibal assured me that I am dear to the one who matter; so let's not run with the thought that I wish I was dear. The Hannibal of determination defeated the Romans, who wanted more.... And then there was sunshine!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

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. For the news, which ought to have been covered on National Interest, I discovered it on Facebook today. So, I thought of taking the brunt in posting it. Let's play Media!

Congrats girls, for your achievement:

And for Yuwa.... Hats Off!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

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.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

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 establishment of this group, several actors came and went, until it stalled into ten; who supposedly thought would take the bat along, but had to change the team just in the eleventh hour for two members had unavoidable problems at hand. But as the Great Showman of India, Raj Kapoor Saheb had mentioned, " The Show Must Go On!", the team members took every effort to bring the masterpiece with their potions of edits; which we hoped the audience of the day (May 15th, 2013) at Tapan Theatre, Kolkata, loved to applaud for.

A collage from the Day of The Show

Maniktala Kolpokatha is preparing for their third appearance on stage, by the year. I hope you all will be there to inspire us to let our gray cells work wonders in a world of smoke; to make three hours of your life, magical and memorable, every time. That is our endeavor; hope to see you in your seats the coming show.

For details, contact:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

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 mountains, that would lead to Lepchakha, a journey that would be par an ethereal experience!

Jainti River Bed, Jainti, Buxa Tiger Reserve. (c) Somnath Paul.

Day 1 was full of journey. We reached the base camp, at Jainti. Since, it was the season of colours, it was beyond doubt we would spare it from our lives! That lead us to be at the dried river bed, where we did have some bath in the staggering water, most of which drizzled through the crevices of the pebbles galore! Post lunch, we took a trek to Pokhri Mai, a sacred rain fed lake, about 800 meters high, 4 Kms from Jainti village. The first taste of trek was good and people managed to gather strength for the next day, which we had no idea as to what it would offer us!

Travel of 4Kms to Jor Pokhri (In Lepcha term, Pokhri means Lake). (c) Somnath Paul.

The journey ended on a blunt note, when we had to stop abruptly and walk our way up!

800m Climb to Jor Pokhri. (c) Somnath Paul.

The secluded lake at Jor Pokhri, the cat fish growing in isolation  was huge, feeding upon the puffed rice (muri) and two Ma Kali idols to worship. It was a virgin trod, within the remote place of the nation, where mobile towers failed to kiss. Technical reason: its a reserve forest!

The lake at Jor Pokhri. (c) Somnath Paul.

(to be continued....)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

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 Guwahati was dusty like nothing before. An almost 14 hour ride through the bumpy road, after we crossed Shillong. Food was scarce and if any, were more dust than quality. But a Bengali can digest any thing, I was no exception! Drilling for soil samples at Silchar's outskirts is persuation and quarel. The quarel was not for why, but where! The places are so sparsely located that it took us to tribal areas where Bengali was not the dialect proper and we faced difficulty in communication. A house or two away, you will find a Naga or a Manipuri or a Mizo. The vibrance of the nation was pouring out but in the Sun, we too were draining without a cause but delay. 

(c) Somnath Paul. 2012. Sample Collection in Assam

Where tribe is a problem, caste system comes upfront in Bihar. Higher castes wouldn't allow any driller to drill for sample in his courtyard. He would check the caste criteria and truly speaking it burns your senses when you come across such divide, 60 years post independence and into a century where we, scientists are trying to prove a co evolution at the molecular level. Guess arsenic will not affect a Bihari differently than an Assamese! Will it?
But, the sweet tunes mostly lie enroute Guwahati to Silchar and back. The mountains; the Garo, Khasi n Jaintia ranges weaves a miracle of green and colours. After 3-4 days of hard work amidst dialect problem, it was always a welcome relief. A small note to add; it was blazing hot in Silchar, April 2012. But on our way back after work to catch train from Guwahati, passing through Shillong made us shiver. It was cloudy and mist set on, making our clothes wet. I realized the success of the name Meghalaya and thanks to Rabindranath Tagore, it was really cold at 'Chill-on', Shillong.

(c) Somnath Paul. Mr. Jayanta Das, Assam, 2011.

The name Murshidabad infuses history of Bengal in the chain of thoughts of any person concerned. But, thats for those who make leisure trips to the place. Ours was always scientific business, but to go in an arsenic infested area and if people know we are in for the work, they will treat you lord almighty. They are so simple. Starting from countryside fruits to tea and what not, they would offer anything, but with a request in local dialect: "When will we curb their arsenic problem?" It feels very bad see their conditions, affected with arsenicosis symptoms; old & young. And we offer the only answer to their dismay; we only analyze and are not implementers of policy or remediation! Still they offer a smile and replies, "abar asben". (Come Again) It touches the core of your heart.
Epidemiological work creates a good interactive spectrum within you. If you are clever, you will know how to enjoy it. This excerpt I am writting from my present travel to Assam again. I hope to gain some more into it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

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 are the licenses of the being preyed upon, have the freedom to be inserted with anything; personified with the drop coin  weighing machines!!! You insert a Rupee coin and the you get your weight! Here too, you have rods, candles, knifes and what not to be inserted for free and let all the blame be on the victimized girl, for she was seductive, provocative... you have your cards!!! Some banners will rise high for few days and then everything shall be pointed towards the girl... for she was freemale. Excuse me India, they are FEMALES and not FREE 4 MALES!

But the incident reported nationwide about the 5 year being raped! She was wearing a frock! Thats provocative!!! She tried to get a hug from you or ride your back! Come On! That's very much seductive! How can you resist your leaking pipe from being opened up, pouring the white filthy fluid upon her! She tried to hug you, I do remember!!! Or may be she was licking the lollypop that you bought her on her 5th birthday and reminded you of some good licks and sucks of your... you know what! Come on, how can I mention that on the public portal, you have your honour nah! The 5 year old punter's honour is FREE for sale!! She is a FREE-male for you; but not for us... the many Indians who would like to lick your balls with acid!!! Don't worry, we taste better things, I think acids are better your scrotum! Too much hot! needs to be hotter I guess... Nitric Acid would suffice, right?

I am sorry.... Sorry that you were present in the wrong place. May you get on with life and believe me, the Indian Government should make a new law... Acid Test! For advice, see Ajay Devgan starrer, Gangajal.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

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 great minds like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Rabindranath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Vivekananda, Ram Krishna Paramhansadev, etc have come up from? You fight on... for no reason! I know, it is Bengal who showed the violence against the British, that muscle can be an option to free the Motherland, but here? Muscle to voice as to who is powerful?

I condemn!

Be it Red or Green or Orange or any damn party, you cannot come to violence as an answer that will turn as a question for the next day which will be answered by violence again! I believe, the minds are in good place and the party leaders will "train" the dogs to be responsible. If not, then you will be the loser, because if Nasiruddin Shah can kill terrorist being a common man, another common man will do the same, by not voting for you. As it is, all political leaders are great... its the perspective you look into.... I look into....

Well its highly condemned!

Monday, March 25, 2013

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: All the Best for your endeavours.

Me too. At the end of my PhD, I shall move along outside India, for a better post doctoral opportunity. Then too, their and mine hearts will pump a little more blood full of adrenaline. May be, the meat was roasted and eaten, digested or excreted; but friendships shall never pass away so easily. 

The clear sky and the virgin beachline made me realize, wishes will always be pinned down with the desire to meet in such a manner, many a times in future.

Tajpur Beach: Virgin.

Luck offered me an opportunity to silently place the wish. With thousands of stars shining within a dark background and my camera trying to eye the star trail; it captured a shooting star. People believe it to be a wish filling sign. I had several things in mind. The fire was warm, so was the rum and the friends beside made it warmer. I could have wished many a things; but then, I realized; its better to leave in the hands of time. When the tooth will be lose, hanging as the last man stand; I know, my friends will be there; tucking my problems within their cusps; just like the way, I try to do it for them!

Monday, February 25, 2013

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 behind the path he has taken. There was a bifurcation or may be more than one, which he now couldn't see behind. Unfortunately the cycle wouldn't budge from it's onward route, so the thoughts clouded his mind. It was an assorted congregation from cries of birth to the squeaks of baggage that has his degrees and diplomas. A thunder or two burnt his desires and showers that drained away his passion. But, flowers bloomed in his meadow and he kept them untouched, locked away from harm's way! The rider also foresaw his aspirations brighten ahead and smiled. 

A look at the paddle- a balance between good and bad times. He has to step on both of them and steer ahead. He looked ahead; where the roads will meet one day and be bigger and brighter. Till then, he has to push ahead. And he will....

... I will; 2,58,984 hours....and counting!!!

(c) Somnath Paul | | 2012

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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 for which college union was devised for, is being utilized for all the wrong purposes. Purposes, that are not meant to be and facts that will always lure one's self estimation into the abyss of bitter bites! I call this system to be eaten to the core and needs a strong review, before the flowers of righteousness can bloom back to it's full glamour!

Let this short note be one, made as a testament, for the apathy that the young Indians are getting into and that will not take the nation any further, but have a bunch of "Young Politicians" who will not know about the bitterness of True Political Principles but the sweetness of making many simple lives bitter.


Friday, January 25, 2013

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 that the report encompasses subjects that includes health science, social science, humanities, physical and chemical sciences as well as biomedical research. The publication were taken from scopus citing system and the analytical survey spanned from 2006-10.

It is note worthy that India has some institutes within this 3000, but I will enlist the rank that they received from the survey, within the first 50%, i.e upto 1000th rank. The full report can be accessed here or downloaded from here.

The listing is as follows:
82- Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.
376- Indian Institute of Science BANGALORE
460- Indian Institute of Technology KHARAGPORE
536- University of Delhi DELHI
553- Indian Institute of Technology DELHI
560- Indian Council of Agricultural Research
600- Indian Institute of Technology MADRAS
602- All India Institute of Medical Sciences DELHI
636- Indian Institute of Technology MUMBAI
649- Bhabha Atomic Reseach Center MUMBAI
681-Indian Institute of Technology KANPUR
737- Jadavpur University KOLKATA
738- Benaras Hindu University  VARANASI
856- Indian Institute of Technology ROORKEE
859- Annamalai University CHIDAMBARAM
946- Institute of Post Graduate and Medical  Research KOLKATA
963- Indian Council of Medical Research
970- Tata Institute of Fundamental Research MUMBAI

BOLD are all India Organisation.
It is note worthy that out of first 1000, India only has a share of 1.8% and 2.9% in the first 1500 institutes.

This share is low, given that a huge chunk of Indian brain works all over the world. Being a researcher, it is not only out right to take burden and excel the nation, as it is the aspect where the name counts and for that good incentives also counts. The latter part and the flow of fund has ample opportunity in the nation, but the problem is, the opportunity has remained so for the past decade or more and has not been transformed into a reality.

I hope, this article reaches the correct mind and in correct manner.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

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,
                 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 that shall practice the art apart from the daily chores of life." I said, "Why not? We can make one. We know many who will be interested!" The words spread like fire and the members poured in like a blizzard wind. Within two weeks, Kolpokatha, as it was originally known came 50 strong members. But, officially, our journey started on June 1st, 2012.
                    ... and it was not easy.

But, we managed. On the following eve of the death of Damini, the unfortunate girl from Delhi Rape Massacre, we tried to celebrate the power of women through Nohi Samanya Nari. I mean to say Celebrate, with a satire; its a few who will ever understand why? The nation, which was posting protests on facebook and tweeter, now posts, Happy New Year instead. But, we at Maniktala Kolpokatha, tried to portray the strongest force of nature, Love; in a show that had the essence of classical blend with retro music, tossed up in a the colours of Indian Culture- our best for you.

                  For those who came to support us, we were greatful. Our dream was to do something other than our normal lives; we believed in each other and you all believed in us. Our next production is due in April, 2013. Hope, you all will help us and support in our venture, like the last one and hope we, at Maniktala Kolpokatha will not dissappoint you. 

                 Let the dew touch the blades, Let the Sun kiss the ocean...
                 We will be there,
                 Like the earth-
                                 Seasonally Vibrant!

Somnath Paul Photography


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