Thursday, December 25, 2008

Desktop and tea and that pink lamp

I listen to the slow songs.
You I met only yesterday.
All the songs talk about you!
How can I change the tunes?
Because I cannot change my heart...

The pink light glows all around us,
"Can pink be so good?", they asked.
In the white lights of the mall...
And the endless polished surfaces
I see you smile.. or do I hear?

The tracks keep changing
In the background, but the tune is the same.
It plays over and over and over again.
"I pray"? Yes I do... hopeful or not;
Its just five days away... you are just five days away...

I have gone back to that old first feeling?
Of a decade back maybe?
"Run free" I shall not...
You can take me till the end of time.
The victory score plays in the end.

The drums grow louder...
The waves rise higher...
But the tune remains right there at the core.
Ask me once and I shall give you more...
Do sudden sunrises lead to a day?

The aspirations don't raise any bars;
They take you in their stride.
They love you... and so do I
"Mistletoe and wine"? I need none
Just stay right here... again and again.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maniac Media

Maradona mathe esechhen. Ashar songe songei bisrinkhola shristi hoy. Ebareo porishthiti shaamlate parlona police bahini. Phole Maradona paanch minute er beshi thaklen na. Uni gaarite uthben. Uthe chole jaben kichukhhon er modhhei…”

“Dhonnobaad Pompom da. Aamra dekhte pachchhi maather oboshtha. Maradona chole jaaben kichukhhoner modhhei. Aamra arekbaar dekhe nebo maathe ki ghotchhe…

That, dear readers, is an excerpt from one of the broadcasts of a so-called leading private Bangla news channel.

Now to translate it into English …

Maradona is on the field. Chaos and confusion ensued the moment he set foot there. The police failed yet again to control the situation. Maradona decided to stay no more than a mere five minutes. He will get into his car and leave anytime now..”

“Thank you Pompom da.
(to the viewers)We can all see what is happening out there in the field. Maradona is about to leave soon. Let us, once again take a look at what is happening in the field.

And now, to do complete justice to such news channels I shall translate it into the hyper-quality-super-communicative-language that the piece was actually spoken in. So that you have a very good idea about it, let me add that the two people, the newsreader and the on-spot journalist Pompom da both speak fast (very fast in fact), louder than it is necessary and with a sense of urgency that makes you feel that the world is coming to an end. And now, the final translation along with the asides in italics –

Maradona on field (oh my god!! oh dear!! Please let him be ok). Chaos!!! Confusion!! Catastrophe!! (I badly wish there’s an accident!! Oh what fun!!). Police have failed (yayy yayy. Yes. Let them fail more. Nothing better for the TRP) Maradona won’t stay (REFUSES to stay, dear listeners, REFUSES. He is disgusted. He doesn’t say that, but we know). He only consented to stay for 5 minutes (and he hated that too). Car waiting. He can’t wait to hop in one and leave (and we can’t wait till he does, so we can abuse the system some more. Evil grin).

(smirk smirk) Thank you Pompom da.
And now, dear viewers, you can see the situation (isn’t it horrid? Isn’t it a shame? Believe us countrymen. We speak only the truth and are very excited about it. Join us.) Maradona is to leave (some more evil grins). Let us rewind and get back to Pompom da

And then, Pompom da repeats what he just said, but with more passion and this sequence continues throughout the better part of the day, with occasional interjections in the form of video clips from the field, where we see a couple of very excited fans try to touch Maradona, who hugs them smiling, before the police unceremoniously drag them away. The newsreader insists that this is major breach of security. This is a shame in fact for us and Maradona is alarmed by this kind of behaviour. I feel convinced. After all, celebrities must know how to smile and hug even when they are alarmed. So I nod my head in disgust about how we have shamed ourselves in front of the soccer legend.

The next video is a part of the hyped five minutes that Maradona decided to spend on the field. I see him playing tricks with the ball, running around and waving at the excited audience, shaking hands with budding local players. The newsreader insists that he should have stayed more. His schedule said twenty minutes on the field. I wonder if he is tired after two days of continuous public appearances and meetings and I feel that he did enough justice to the audience, as per the videos go. But no, the newsreader is very keen on making me see how he wants to retire to his comfortable hotel room because he is scared of the unruly crowd. Unfortunately, I don’t feel so convinced anymore, with due respect to all the energy the newsreader and Pompom da employs in convincing me.

The last video is that of Maradona getting into his car, which drives off. He lowers the windows and waves a last time to the delight of the crowd. I feel elated too, seeing it on TV, but no, the news reader won’t have it. We are not to be satisfied or happy after a news telecast. The scene of Maradona leaving is repeated the maximum number of times. It is proof, my friends, that leave is what he ever wanted to do. It is conclusive evidence that he couldn’t wait to run away. This time, I am not at all convinced and I am what the news channel wants me to be – big time irritated, but NOT at the mob or at Maradona or at the police but at such preposterous news agencies who make up stories to create controversy out of every non-issue and who cannot stand a moment of peace or satisfaction.

I am agitated. I curse under my breath. The newsreader goes on like a chirping teenager fresh out of junior school. Pompom da continues like an older revolutionist who is risking his life to send us the news. What is most bewildering is that when they aired the news about the Mumbai blasts, their tone of urgency was the same as when they reported Maradona’s visit. They are not bothered about informing us. They are more interested in irritating us and giving birth to a fresh controversy every day. That, unfortunately, only creates more small talk and less awareness.

The Maradona saga continues all evening, but I really like the man. He is sweet. I love the way he waved at the viewers and hugged the unruly fan. So, I switch to my good old Doordarshan news. Here is the excerpt in both Bangla and English. Choose either this or the high quality excited version of the other channels. It all depends on how worked up you want to be.

Maradonar Kolkata shofor aaj sesh holo. Aaj dupure uni Jubo Bharati Kriranon poridorshon korlen, ebong sholpo shomoyei maatie dilen dorshokder. Kotha bollen torun kheloyarder shonge. Prothomdik e uttejito dorshokder modhhe kinchit bisrinkhola srishti holeo pore porishthiti niyontrone aashe. Aamra dekhe nebo ei taarokar Kolkata shoforer kichu muhurto...
Maradona’s visit to Kolkata ends today. He visited Yuva Bharati Krirangan this afternoon. He mesmerized the audience with his presence, even though he stayed for a very short time. He also met the young local football players. There was initially a bit of confusion among the excited audience, but it was soon under control. And now we shall look at a few moments from his visit to Kolkata…

The same videos follow this excerpt and for once I can agree with my feelings as there is no Pompom da screaming in the background.

Monday, December 1, 2008

am here..

this has been one of the longest (if not the longest) periods that saw no new post in this blog. but am still here and will provide a brand new big post :D right after my end sem till which I'll be blissfully lethargic (don't get the idea that I'm busy studying.. its only the feeling that i shouldn't fool around in my blog during exams... and hence the decision to immerse in non-productive lethargy..hehe)

a post regarding a book and a few movies and some sundry commentary will come up soon. keep in touch ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

the Princess

Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Gorgeous Hepburn. Beautiful and sensational Audrey Hepburn!!!
I was pretty ignorant about the Hollywood side up till a certain age. We did not have the cable connection. There was no Internet at my place and things could not have been better because life was simpler. And with just a PC and a CD slot in it, i looked for movies at times, and my father suggested Roman Holiday. "Some flick", I thought "about a trip in Rome. Same old romantic bullshit". Yet i got hold of the CD, (I was in class 11 at that time, with knowledge of movies about nil and only aware of Ray and his movies as the trademark of good films, and totally ignorant and skeptical about mushy romance stuff). I watch all movies alone, if I am watching them at home and refer those to my parents if I like them. This one was no exception. A lazy afternoon permitted the screening of Roman Holiday in my bedroom and the rest is history. I have always admired Vivien Leigh. I was head over heels in love with her as Scarlett O'Hara. Brutish beauty Leigh was NOT a princess. Hepburn was. In fact, i wondered if they had shipped a real blue blood heiress to play the part. I-don't-care-I'm-just-happy-this-moment. That about sums her up. I loved her. She wasn't one of those airy fairy gorgeous women who seem so out of reach. She seemed a commoner AND a princess. And you cannot build that up. Some people are just born with it.

The next one i stumbled upon was Breakfast at Tiffany's. Honestly as a movie I did not like it. And for people who started their journey with Roman Holiday, the expectation from a movie is real high if Hepburn happens to be in it. But again one had to give her a ten on ten if not more. The insane, erratic and impulsive girl, who dares to do whatever she likes because she isn't weighed down by any worry in the world. The princess plays it to perfection. Yes she still seems more than human and yet very human. She is no princess in this one, but Alas! I can see her only as a princess even if she dresses like the poorest commoner around. The movie , unfortunately, takes the clichéd turn of is she really a free spirit? and brings her back into the arms of the hero in the end. However she plays the free spirit with élan and if the film didn't force me to, I would never question the genuine lack of worry in her character.

My Fair Lady happened a little after the two movies i mentioned. I am not quite fond of musicals. I have tried a few and sometimes have fast forwarded certain songs (which is a tragedy, because songs are the main things in those films). I have managed to sit through The Sound of Music and Chicago and liked them both in fact. My Fair Lady turned out to be the third musical I wouldn't mind. Hepburn just comes undone. She bursts out with all her skills. There is absolutely no ladylike demeanor expected from the flower girl, and the Princess plays the waif with such beauty that i had no words of praise left. I just listened to the distorted accent that flowed out of her mouth. She chirped, almost literally. "Eeow! I'm A Good Girl, I am!" she repeats and I don't doubt her for a second. I laugh at her and hold hands with her and say "yeah, lets go sell 'em flowers and do hell with the rest of the world". Then the movie takes its turn and Miss Waif gets a chance to learn how to be a lady etc etc. I shall not go into that, because we know she is a lady and that she belongs up there. Its playing the waif so convincingly that matters.

The last one i watched was Sabrina. A friend highly recommended it and i finally decided to get through with it. I did not want another romantic comedy so fast, but honestly I had no idea what this one was about. And again, there she was, as the chauffeur's lovestruck daughter, almost a waif but not quite so, and doomed to eternal depression by the looks of it. This movie is good. Unlike Tiffany's this one is a good movie in its entirety and does not rely fully on Hepburn's charm for its success. And when a movie does not depend on an actor to succeed, i guess the actor gets more opportunity to flaunt herself. And the princess did it once more. She fit into the rags-to-riches fairytale perfectly. This movie lives up to the standards of Roman Holiday, but i still think the latter wins the race.

Gregory Peck had seen Audrey act and asked the producers to spell her name in bold letters and big fonts in the credits of Roman Holiday, instead of fitting her name below his , as had been planned. Peck hadn't failed in recognizing pure talent. And here we have Audrey - beautiful waif and princess - to live in our hearts forever.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

talent shows and the kids

Rocky is a little kid. He’s a star. He sings. Anything. Everything. Just ask him to dish out a track and he will. He can even dance to his own songs while he is singing. He knows how to hold a mike - not vertically, but almost horizontally with the bulbous head of the object right in front of your mouth. WOW. He danced so well, that he even decided to be tested on dancing. So he danced to peppy numbers they played. He did the perfect moves. WOW. Then he decided to anchor a show. Some producers approached him that is, and he pounced at the offer. He is a wonder child! All I can say is WOW. So I say WOW.

Have you seen the league of 10 year olds herding up in front of the camera? Hosting shows, taking part in competitions, and dishing out their talents. Child labour at large, with the TRP monster and viewers and SMS s doing the trick. The parents employ the kids to steal our hearts (wow she sings so well...look at the little guy dance !!). And if they are spotted by some firm for further display of talent, nothing like it. Grand opportunities. But then, you cannot go onstage without proper grooming. Hence the lipstick, the foundation, the make up, the colours painting over the natural colours of childhood, take their respective places. Grand again! And then the kid is taught to give the proper expressions. The nine year old sings a seductive love song rolling her eyes and oscillating his butt and what not, and whoa, we have got the perfect expression from them and loud cheers follow the performance. Dear child, do you even know what you are singing about? Where are the rhymes gone? I still remember them, alas! I am so outdated. Then the kids go to school, do their homework, or get their friends to do it. Come on man, who wouldn’t help a star pal? A star baby. Or let’s say a galaxy of star babies waiting in queue to display their budding talents that have been forced to flower before time. Sometimes the flowers are turning into ridiculously ripe fruits too. Mad trends, and scary as well.

I have quit watching all such shows. They go beyond my scope of imagination or idea of childlike demeanor. Long live the workhouses of talent, if they produce good humans later.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

diffuse reflections

It is sometimes good that something holds you back when you feel like writing nasty stuff about people who don’t deserve a bit of it because they love you. And its sometimes good not to get what we crave because that prompts us to discover alternatives that save our lives later. Can I divide my soul and replace and alter a few parts so I can be nice to some and rude to others instead of being rude to the “some” and nice to the “others”? maybe I have partially wrong orientation of the soul that feels. And can I transcend the petty emotional needs from you when you are too tired to give them a thought? They do not have the intellect to read into things. I do not have the patience to make them read or try to understand the non-reader’s scientific mind that hold formulae and no improvisations or postulates on them.

Thus my alternative is my love for myself. I can even gratify myself in ways you cannot and they cannot, and weirdly I know so many of the experienced who never had certain experiences in their entire lives in spite of being on the bed of life for so long. Life is strange at times. And then there are my dreams. I dread the day I achieve them, if I ever do. I may never come back. I may change my concept of home. I may lose all love for the old things and forget how to feel sorrow or pity. It is strange and amazing how inhuman we humans are. I cannot go up to a woman looking solemn on the streets and ask her “what is wrong with you? I am here to listen.” I cannot, because I don’t know her, or maybe because if I do, she may harm me. In many ways she can. I cannot afford to be not careful.

There was this little child of a human who did everything short of tugging at our clothes while we slurped our ice cream. I carefully moved away avoiding its filthy body. It looked like a creature from another abominable world and I could smell its stink from the distance as I hurried away. It is only when I am within my safe six walls that I write didactic stuff about the child or the shriveled downsized adult. Are they ever born as children? So, do not pay me any attention. I am as inhuman as you are. I would do nothing for the child, just like you. I would only write and except stares and comments pregnant with meaning, with the depth of something that stretches to the trenches beyond our eyesight. I wonder if the best pieces come from the biggest hypocrites. If not, then we have hope.

My life is a toss up of so many rooms and backyards. My home is the foundation because the rest all revolve around it. From the life on the street to that in the house, to that in the dream, I am sufficiently rich – in words, in ink, in paper, in space. And I use and throw them at will. And there is the staircase that is still being constructed and one day the lower steps will disappear (if they don’t, I wont live long to see them thrive.) and I will fly forever never to touch the streets again. These sentences should mean nothing then. It will be just a meaningful day in an old life with the meaning all forgotten, a trophy with the memory of it missing. What good will petty things like pens be then? What good are they now?

There are the people who live a little higher than the streets, but not as I high as I do. You say our altitude is the same, but I don’t see them gasping for oxygen every time they talk. They must be below me. It is, as I said, strange to know that they have never experienced things I have done in my short life, and yet they have come a long way. Maybe I have also not experienced what they have but I do not even want to, because whatever it is, it must not be too nice in the long run, because I do not see them smiling in their airy open environment. They have all the money and gold and no happy climaxes that make them shiver or laugh. I shall get all the gold one day and I already have my happiness. And I even talk less than they do. Thus I am better and I can even afford to give a bit of my meat to them. But why bother? If they have money they can sew their own clothes, paint their own palaces and brew their own pleasure. The impotence of their hearts is not my concern. I am here to watch their sad gold glitter till they finish their walk and then I shall hop down a step or two and catch the gold before it slips away as a hot liquid.

I need, now, to go back where I started – to myself, and to diplomacy, because that is what creates great art. I cannot call a spade a spade, because even the tramp down the darkest alley knows that it’s a spade. I need to make myself obscure to convey something I want you to remember, to share. Thus it is a very innocent man who looks puzzled by artifice and is better satisfied with straight strong words. Because they hit harder. It singes the skin to be told that you are a coward who fears famine and stores grain for himself and no other. It, on the contrary, gives you intellectual orgasms to be told that it is ‘them’ who are selfish cowards. You know you are among them and yet you appreciate the criticism and even nod and shed a thought or two. And again I need to come back just to myself – at the very top and quite alone apart from shadows I conjure. And I find that I have forgotten the personal dissatisfaction that drove me to delve deep into what I am living for. It makes me reach out to the souls in the other levels while they are not looking. It makes me genuinely feel for them and create something for them, but only when they are not looking. And I feel how lucky they are and how lucky I am, that they don’t know I think of them.

I still cannot recollect what made me unhappy today. Perhaps my dinner menu or unmade bed. But everything seems so perfect now. They made everything perfect again with their huge imperfections. I need to shut my door, the little slit on one of the six walls, before they wake up and realize that they help me. They know I help them and that is the best way to leave matters for eternities to come.

I am falling asleep. I do not have much oxygen up here. I cannot talk anymore.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

before bedtime

they ate my head
and swallowed my time
and made a lot of noise
that felt like whines
am not even trying to rhyme
this ridiculous drag
the weird old hag
visited me today
they cooked a big meal
and we ate our fill
and chewed the cud
like ruminating cows
my little mind fluttered
as my tiny mouth muttered
to see the end
the endless wait for silence
and hence
when it was done
all of them gone
and my drenched body alone
i thought if it was real
then it sunk in
it always takes time
(yes i cant make this rhyme)
my off day
went rather well
do i rhyme this with hell?
but its over
never did i think it will be
unsociable animal,that's me
my head is chopped in half
but still i sigh and laugh

Friday, June 27, 2008

a tralalalala post

time for me to blog again?
lemme see...i suppose yeah..i should..its been a big break...
so what have i been doing?
i have been ransacking my hard disc to retrieve dozens of files that i didn't know existed..then sorted them into aptly named folders..and placed them in the right drives...
now i have a more or less organized PC with separate folders for different kinds of contents..its almost like my bedroom is clean!!!! (yeah it is..these days )

i wanted to name this post something like back with a bang ... but then that would be a misnomer....cause i am not sure how much bang there'll be..this is just a stray post after a long time..i don't know what I'll write next..or for that matter when.

some more small talk..
i have been watching movies on my PC lately..that should explain the constant DND as my gtalk of my pals pinged me as "hi miss DND!"(how tactful of him..poor chap!)
watched "the bicycle thief" finally...and also all the Brosnan James Bonds and the Craig one (Craig's better any day).

my end semester results came out..and i didn't do too badly that's another nice thing that happened during the vacation..then the JUDE entrance test took place and two aspirants i happen to know didn't get through (should i be happy or sad about that? lets keep it private here..)

as a matter of fact, its fun to write again...type again i mean...i haven't been writing much on paper though, if you exclude a short draft on a stupid thriller that never really took was born during a walk beside a lake with a friend if you must know.

then dad got a new cell phone..the Samsung j210 or whatever that does a lot of i was busy researching and developing that as well..its got nice games and a camera latest orkut pic is there thanks to the cam..nice one.

i also did some painting...i am supposed to do more..and one of those paintings is supposed to be the wedding gift for one of my friends who'll be getting married coming February.

i read too...books from BCL...a book called code to zero by Ken Follet..nice thriller...then i bought harry potter 3 to complete my collection (don't ask why i hadn't bought it before..i don't remember)..and read read it that is.

i joined swimming..but dropped it after a month and a half because it was giving me an unpleasant tan.and then i went to college about thrice a hang around...not so much with a gang though, if you know what i mean...then my father got me a list of movies owned by his friend and i chose the ones i want...i'll be getting those soon...

last night i watched a movie called A walk to remember...and realized that stupid but sweet movies are nice to watch...but of course nothing even comes close to Roman Holiday in the "exceedingly sweet and stupid" category..its a masterpiece.

i went to teach every Wednesday...and earned quite a lot too from that...pretty happy with it in fact...and so are the kid's parents cause he gets marks..good ones..

finally, today, the 27th of June 2008...i haven't done much since the paper...lazed around...and mom just went out to buy biriyani..things couldn't have been excuse me for signing off right now..I'll be back(am not terminator...Pj?) i hope i have justified my you guys.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

RYLA part 9

Finally I have come to the very end of my detailed description of RYLA. All the dignitaries assembled on the dais at 2:30 as planned. The camp commandant presented his report. He started with English, but told us he intended to present the report in Bangla. It was the only instance when Bangla was spoken on stage. He said many a nice thing about the participants. There were no complaints from him. He also mentioned that though he had to give more marks to some, the rest were as precious and good (the clichéd comment all judges have to make). After the report, all the dignitaries were introduced and welcomed. Then there was a brief selected presentation called “Recap” by few participants. They asked me to sing, another girl to recite and the green team to repeat their skit, which was on drugs. Thus it became easier to guess the results of the singing, recitation and skit categories.

“Recap” followed an address by the Guest of Honour and another one by the Chief Guest DG. He had been down with heart problems but still came along to join us and delivered a touching speech. “At my age, the only thing I am concerned about is who is going to cry when I die?”, he said. Finally it was time for the awards ceremony. I shall make this short. The first prize for diary writing was for me, so was the first prize for singing. Then I got three second prizes in the categories of recitation, debate and extempore. Then it was time to find out who the most popular girl and boy were. We were asked to vote on pieces of paper and submit it (we were not to vote for ourselves of course). The results were collected and I got the most popular girl award. The green team came first in skit. The red team won the first prize in painting. The yellow team came second. For quiz, the blue team had bagged the first prize, while we, again, were second. Finally it was time for the big prize – the huge trophy for the best RYLArian. The award was based on overall performance that included everything from behavior, personality, punctuality, interactive skills, participation etc. Anyone could win from the 30, but I think only around five stood a chance. They said that there had been stiff competition between the best and the second best. The second best was announced. Then the best was declared. It was my name. I went on to collect my 7th and biggest trophy of the day. We all got certificates as proofs of participation. Then they announced the scores of the teams. The blue team was first, followed by yellow, red and green. Although I did really well for myself and was liked by my fellow participants, I don’t think it helped my team as a whole. The blue team was thus the best team, while I was the best individual performer, as per the results. The winning team members got a medal each. Then we were made to pose with our trophies. I met Rtn Prabir Chattejee, the president of my sponsoring Rotary Club (Calcutta South Extension). He had come all the way to Joka to attend the ceremony and I am glad I didn’t disappoint anyone who wanted me to do well.

5:30 was the time to leave and we had a brief tea and refreshment break before that. The rooms were vacated and the luggage was taken out. I jumped into a Taxi waiting to take us home while my parents hopped in, their hands overflowing with my trophies.

It was a good experience and a nice vacation out of home for me. I enjoyed it immensely. I hope RYLA continues its progress and stays as enjoyable as ever in the coming years.

RYLA part 8

Finally Sunday, the 4th of May arrived. The event would end at 5:30 and we would all go home with or without awards in our hands. The morning was quite similar to the previous day with its tea, PT and then breakfast (the menu was changed to Indian though. So we had luchi instead of toast). Diary submission was followed by the last participatory event for the RYLArians at 9:45. It was an extempore session named “Orators” to be judged by DGN Utpal Mazumdar and Rtn Rajendra Khandelwal. Three participants per team could take part in it. I was one among the three from the yellow team. The topics given were easy or hard. It depended on luck, because we chose our topic from a bunch of papers in a basket. When I picked up my paper I saw the topic scribbled across it – today’s youth needs more patient listening than political slogans. Honestly I did not have a clue about what it meant. But I was determined to speak on it (we were allowed to change once, but I never liked that idea. It’s like failure). So I went up on stage and talked about how political slogans are a jarring sequence of sentences and high ideals that make no sense unless the basic understanding is there. So some patient listening before that is a necessity. Listening should come from both the youth and the older generation. The youth should listen to the elders, and in turn the elders should listen to what the youth has got to say and then only we shall have some harmony. And such a harmony can never be brought about by political upheavals alone etc. I must say my accent helped as I talked and so did my confident demeanor though I was weaving ideas and sentences right on stage without pausing to think. The allotted 3 minutes flew in no time and I finished. In fact I was pretty sure I had bagged a position among the first three as I walked back to my seat. I had happened to mention something like “the youth talks a lot these days, so there isn’t much to complain about. Today if the elders are talking 60 percent of the time, the youth is getting the remaining 40 percent, which is big enough” To this, PDG Amitava Mukherjee(who had joined the panel of judges) commented later that Riya set me thinking. Two years back, I heard a young boy giving a similar kind of extempore, where he had complained that young people get to talk only 10 percent of the time. Now it has risen to 40. Ten years later you will be the ones to talk and we will sit back and listen. Very well spoken. Some of the other topics my fellow participants got were if I were the prime minister..., are looks more important than intelligence?, increase of construction in Indian cities etc.

10:30 was the time for the second last lecture of RYLA entitled “Life Balance and Self Realization” by PDG Amitava Mukherjee. It was one of the best lectures of the entire event, parallel to those by Mr Devadasan and PDG Sekhar Mehta (both discussed in earlier posts). His lecture had the gist that had been told many times before – the necessity of being polite, loving others, caring for others. It was the presentation that made it very different and new. This is how he presented it (exact quotations aren’t possible, but I have stuck to the temperament). There was a man who married a woman when he was very young. She was chaste and spent her time either doing household chores or praying. She was the model wife, but as he climbed the ladder of success, he began to grow bored with her. So one fine morning he left her alone in the house and set off for the bustling parts of the city, where he found a new job, and a new smart wife. He became a very successful professional and his family life grew excellent too. He had children with this second wife and things were going steady till he turned older. He retired finally and realized he wasn’t happy with this family anymore. Then he fell in love with a twenty-something girl who agreed to marry him. So he divorced his second wife and married the young girl the age of his daughter. He was immensely rich due to his successful career and kept his new wife happy with frequent gifts. Then one day he fell sick and the doctor announced that he had a month to live and then would have to walk the path of death. He was devastated. He went to his young wife and asked her “I am going to die in a month. Will you come with me as I walk the path of death?” The girl was rather amused and turned him down immediately. Crestfallen, he went to his second wife and asked her the same question. She said she would love to forgive him and come along, but there were the children to look after, so she could not go with him. Finally, having no choice, he went back to his very first wife. He found her in the ruins of their old house, praying peacefully in a corner. He didn’t even have to ask; she opened her eyes and said “yes I will come with you. Because I am you. I live in you”. This is life. The young wife is money, riches, the Lolita in our lives we feel so attracted to. But the riches never come with us when we die. The second wife is family. They love us and come with us up till a certain point. Then they have to return. And the first wife is our own soul, which is always neglected but ready to help and support us whenever we need it, and walk with us till the very end. I was mesmerized. I don’t want to add anything more to this. I only must mention that he also talked about social issues and told us about the dangers of unprotected sex (I was glad he did. I believe this is one subject that ought to be explained to young people instead of shying away from it. He was the only speaker to do so.).

The last lecture of the event was called “Spirituality and Self Discovery” from a very young Anaya Sinha (she is a part of Rotaract, a youth section of Rotary International, the daughter of the present president of Rotary Club Joka,a postgraduate student and a budding lecturer perhaps). Her lecture was good enough with a presentation to garnish it et al. Unfortunately, there was no Q&A session as she chose to end it by handing us a candle each and lighting them to create this aura of spirituality. Overall, a good effort from someone so young speaking after an older and wiser and fantastic speaker.

At 12:30, there was a panel discussion named “WEBBUSTER”, where the panelists were Rtn Chitralekha Ghosh, Rtn Subhajit Roy (both young professionals), Rtn Sobhan Bannerjee and psychologist Mrs. Suparna Das. We were invited to ask any question to any panelist we liked. I asked two or three questions and so did a few of the other participants, but I will not mention any here, because the questions were asked just for the sake of asking and keeping a discussion alive. It wasn’t a productive session and I feel that I personally handle my life way better than any psychologist in a panel can do (my questions were general and I asked Rtn. Banerjee about their plans for the next RYLA, which delighted him). Strikingly, most of the questions were aimed at Rtn Ghosh and Rtn Roy, who were the younger ones in the panel. At 1:15, it was time for lunch. There was an elaborate menu and ice cream was served for dessert. The Valedictory session would follow and we were pretty excited about it. I had invited my parents over to watch it, and so had a few others. There were only a few hours left of the event now.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

RYLA part 7

The next event was entitled “Art Session – Mind Blog” where each team was asked to separate into two groups of three or four. Then we were given three topics (peace, nature and global warming) and asked to choose one and make a painting or poster based on it. They provided us with colours, brushes, pencils, magazines (for collage) and almost everything one might need for painting. My group chose nature. We made a poster that was decent enough. I dare say no one did really well, but no one did something real bad either. So this was, I believe, harder to judge. At the end of the allotted 45 minutes, 8 pictures were submitted (two from each team). The name of the judge was Mr. Prasenjit Sengupta. His verdict was again not revealed immediately. We were asked to submit the colours . I dare say the number of colour boxes submitted were not equal to the number originally distributed (which is proof of how much colour the people had used. The paintings were colourful enough, so it wasn’t hard to understand).

A fifteen minute tea break followed and then we were back inside the hall at 5:15 for a meditation session. I do not have much to say about it. But to be fair, I must mention a few things. The session was conducted by a delegate from the “Prajapita Brahmakumari Group”. She talked about the necessity of meditation, self realization etc (we got a brilliant lecture on self realization the next day). She followed up her lecture with a demonstration of meditation, by playing a slow tune and asking us to close our eyes and concentrate. That was about it. I woke up at 6 o’clock for the hour long refresh break.

7 o’clock was time for some fun. We were asked to present a “skit”, which is an extempore drama of around 5 to 8 minutes. The general topic was “social and environmental issues”. My team chose cleanliness as our theme. We did a fair enough drama (considering we had 5 minutes to plan it out) about a couple of people carelessly littering the streets and another couple coming to tell them off and reforming them at the end of the argument. The three other teams did their skits on smoking, drugs and polio. The skit was followed by something I could sit back and enjoy. It was a dance competition and the only event where I wasn’t participating (honestly, I am against making a fool of myself). The dances were entertaining to the last degree, but the competition was followed by some lithe steps from the judge, and then the Commandant (with the lady Commandant) joined the dance floor. He also played the mouth organ for us. I can safely call it a party. People danced and sang and chattered till 9:15, which was dinner time. There was a Chinese menu this time, with noodles, fried rice and Manchurian (chicken and vegetable) followed by a dessert of gulaab jamun. The rest of the night was quite similar to the previous one, with the routine diary writing etc. The next day would reveal the names of the winners. I couldn’t help feeling excited as I went to bed.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

RYLA part 6

There was not much scope for any post-lunch lethargy. The lunch hour was spent in eating and I changed into a kurta and jeans and arrived on time for the lecture at 2. The air conditioned hall was a respite from the heat of May.

I honestly planned to fall asleep if the proceedings would turn out to be boring. But a good lecturer knows how to keep his audience attentive even when they are lethargic after lunch. At 2, we got to meet such a person. He was Mr. S. Devadasan (engineer and lecturer) and his lecture was named “Time Management and Prioritization”. I am against talking too much about my personal life in a lecture, but this man knew how to carry that off. I do not know how his daughter’s education fit in within a lecture on time management, but I am not complaining, because whatever he was saying sounded good to the ears and made sense. He told us how his daughter climbed up the ladder in her profession and now shuttles from country to country. He even talked about his son-in-law who is a gadget freak and how his daughter and her husband are a successful couple despite their being very different (this could be a comment on how one should keep profession out of the home, but I am not too sure). I have to say something. Among all the lectures, I remember this one most distinctly, despite its diverse contents and digressions from the topic to be discussed. I think that it is an impact any lecturer would love to make. There is one thing he said that I specifically want to mention. He talked about the time when his daughter took admission in a reputed college (he refused to mention the name) for studying economics. He noticed that she was always busy with things other than studying. When he questioned her about whether she found her subject interesting, her reply was that the subject was good enough, but out of her five teachers in college, only one was teaching, while two were sleeping in class and the other two were dictating their 1968 notes. I could give Mr. Devadasan a vote of agreement if he asked for it at this point. I am blessed to be part of a great department in a great university. But I have been unfortunate enough to attend a few classes in school and another few in college (where we do pass subjects along with our major) where I had the same experience. Not that it made any difference to my marks, but the classes were worthless none-the-less. Mr. Devadasan did come to the topic of time management at last and he showed us a nice and colorful presentation on screen about how to handle jobs at hand. Important jobs should be done before they turn urgent, and not so important jobs may safely be left for later. So one has to prioritize and work accordingly, because it is impossible to do everything at once. Thus setting realistic goals is a must. Mr. Devadasan also talked about the position of women. He feels they are still suppressed and preferred in the home as a dutiful wife. I said later that I was under the impression that educated and working women were more popular with men seeking a wife these days, to which he replied that it is true in certain places but not all over our nation. He also thought that the women in Kolkata were doing quite well and in a better position compared to the women in the rest of the country. If this is true, I am afraid I feel quite delighted. The lecture was, for the lack of a better expression, very good. Nobody fidgeted or showed any sign of impatience throughout this long lecture. I loved it. The only irony was that the lecture on time management took up around 20 minutes more than the time allotted to it.

The next lecture had to begin at 3:25 instead of 3, because of the long previous lecture. It is hard to make an impact when you are to speak after a good speaker, but if you are in your element, it becomes easy. The next speaker began in a fresh tone and we were hooked, yet again. The lecture was on “Fundamentals of Leadership and Motivation” and it was by PDG Sekhar Mehta (if you are visiting the link, scroll down to see his profile). His lecture was impersonal and conventional at its best. I would not like to repeat the good things he said about helping people and the human community in general, but the things were touching. I remembered an essay I wrote on “Individual and Community” for my university entrance examination as he talked. He emphasized on the importance of maintaining cordial relations with people and thinking about others. It might have turned didactic had he not resorted to the very aptly thrown-in jokes that made the mood lighter and healthier. He talked about bus drivers abroad who smiled and waved and drove merrily, while those in our country barely smile and are almost always showing a grimace or screaming at other drivers. This got quite a few laughs, but it wasn’t so amusing to me. I pointed out (he had asked us to interject anytime we wanted to) that it is too much to expect from our drivers, because they do not get paid much money and never get to enjoy things like a good house and a car and a proper salary like the smiling foreigners. “You have hit the nail right on the head”, he said and then talked about a project he was part of, which sought to make some provisions for bus and taxi drivers to raise their living standards. His lecture was a good one and it ended at 4:10. I assume that he had shortened it to get us back on schedule as far as he could. The official time to end was 4, but as he had started quite late, I must say that he did a brilliant job of time management while delivering his illuminating speech.

RYLA part 5

3rd May began with morning tea and sports at 6. The PT session was taken by the camp Commandant. It involved a few exercises and then a basketball match. But I escaped before the match and took a long walk around the unexplored parts of the campus. There was an hour long refresh break from 7:30 to 8:30 (which I utilized for a bath) followed by breakfast. There was toast and butter or jam and eggs for breakfast. After submitting our diaries, we went back to Tata Hall for a debate session.

The motion was “Leadership can be cultivated”. Two people were to speak from each team for and against the motion. I spoke against it. It wasn’t hard to make my points. I started with the allegory of fruits that ripen on the trees and those that are artificially ripened – both are ripe but one can tell the difference in taste. Same goes for building leaders. Leaders are born and their qualities are only to be nurtured so that they can excel. Also in the task of cultivating leaders, if we make 20 leaders out of 20 people, they will have no one to lead and hence no job. Also, not being a born leader does not make a person worthless. E.g. Sachin Tendulkar was not a very good captain, but still he is what he is – a great player. Using up the allotted 4 minutes wasn’t much of a task. My opposition spoke well too… with points like no one is born with qualities, qualities are built with time, and it is possible to create leaders with the proper guidance etc. When all the speakers finished, I was given the opportunity to sum the thing up for another 2 minutes as leader of the opposition (talking about leadership). Another guy was chosen as leader of the group speaking for the motion. He would also sum up in 2 minutes. My summing up was again an easy affair by referring to points put forward and refuting them. As usual, they did not announce the results and kept it secret till the prize distribution ceremony. However, the Commandant took me aside and informed me he personally liked my accent and modulation. It made me happy, although the Commandant wasn’t judging the debate. The judges were PDG Swapan Mukherjee and Rtn Ajay Agarwal.

A short tea break was followed by lectures at 11:15. The first one was more of an audio visual session entitled “know Rotary” by PDG Raju Rajgaria. It was good because it was him. I am sure the content would have been extremely boring had he not presented it himself. The content had everything to do with Rotary’s history and how it evolved and what its ideals were. But he presented it with so much humour and wit thrown in between, that it was immensely enjoyable. The visual part included excerpts from the international Rotary conferences and parts of documentaries on the achievements of Rotary.

The next lecture was an amazing one by Rtn Utpal Chatterjee, noted journalist and critic. It was named “Communication and Soft Skill”. I recognized him at once as one of the judges in a WEBFUNA-STATESMAN VOICES-UNHCR debate on refugees I attended around 3 years back. His lecture was interesting as usual. Its all about modulation and presentation I guess. He talked about the necessity of good presentation in this world. A good content has to be accompanied by a good presentation, or else the content does not hold much water. This however does not lower the importance of the content, he said, in response to my question later on. Soft skills are the tactics employed by people to converse with one another. They involve a polite yet firm demeanor and the techniques to handle delicate situations. The lecture was brilliant and I must say the speaker himself is an expert in such soft skills (he allowed us to question him while being seated and relaxed). He punctuated his lecture with stories and allegories that were interesting. I remember him quoting someone describing a critic – critics are like pigeons. Pigeons fly up and rest on high towers and then dirty the towers. Critics do the same, but perhaps then don’t even go so high (I haven’t been able to remember the exact quote, but this is the gist).

The lecture ended at 1 and off we went to lunch. The next session was scheduled to begin at 2 o’clock.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

RYLA part 4

The second lecture of the day began at 3:45. It was by Mr. Dipayan Dey, environmentalist and one of the finalists of Lead India. “Be the change you want to see” was what he chose to name his presentation (it was less of a lecture and more of an interactive session). He chose to walk freely on stage and talk instead of standing at the lectern. A PowerPoint presentation prepared by him was running on screen for all of us to see as he talked. His presentation was rich with quotes and clichés as well as certain very original ideas. He began by asking us what change we preferred to see in the world we live in. My reaction was that I want more originality and less falling back on old quotes. This might have struck him personally because of his affinity towards good quotes. Nevertheless he followed it up with his ideas about helping to build a cleaner and happier world. One of his examples caught my attention. He talked about droplets of water falling on a rock... the first droplets would not make any impression but with time, the droplets would leave a mark on the rock and maybe a hole on it too. I liked this approach, but pointed out that instead of resorting to the droplets, if we only caught hold of a hammer and a screw, creating a hole would be quicker and easier. He acknowledged this as a possibility after giving it a quick thought. I personally believe my viewpoint is an example of violence and power (Netaji, anyone?) while his idea of droplets is a silent way to ask for change (Gandhiji’s non-violence). The presentation was going very well but in the middle of it, Mr. Dey chose to promote his personal feats. Thus we got to see and hear about some social work he and his group did on the east Kolkata wetlands and its poor population. Impressive indeed, the promotional might have been used as a motivation for us. Personally, though I was impressed by his works, I would have preferred a general lecture on change, rather than forty minutes of I-did-this-so-you-should-follow. There was no separate question-answer session as such because we were allowed to intervene at any point within his lecture. And there were many points made and questions asked which he answered most delightedly.

At 4:30 there was a quiz contest named “brain teaser”, where the four teams played as the four groups. It was conducted by Rtn Dr. Subhasish Nag. It was real fun. The structure was conventional for a quiz with rounds like direct question, rapid fire, audio-visual, buzzer etc. There were bonus points as well as negative marking and it was real fun to participate. Questions were asked from all sorts of categories like literature, sports, films, science etc. Questions were a mix of the very easy to the utmost difficult. I remember that I answered the question “On whose novel on the film pather panchali made?” A few participants were discovered to be very good at quizzes. The visual round involved showing pictures of the new wonders of the world and asking us to identify them. We also had to identify songs after hearing preludes and so on. At the end of the quiz, the blue team came first. My team (yellow) came second with a difference of two points. Red team came third followed by green.

The hour long quiz was followed by a tea break at 5:30. Refreshments were served along with tea. The next session was to begin at 7, so I chose to get back to my hostel after tea. The walk to the hostel was very pleasant in the evening. The campus is full of lakes and trees and a sweet breeze completed the good effect. For the 7 o’clock event I put on a flaming red T shirt, jeans three-quarters, black slippers along with beads on my wrist. I dare say no one else dared to dress that casually, but I always go by what I can carry off when there is no dress code.

At 7 began the “talent hunt session”. We were informed that there would be a singing and recitation competition. One of the most remarkable things about the entire event was that they did not give us much time to prepare for anything. I liked this aspect immensely. Lack of preparation would ensure a good judgment as everyone would need to rely on their expertise and originality. These competitions were not in between teams, but were in between individuals. I put in my name for both singing and recitation. Within seconds I decided to sing “just close your eyes” by Westlife and wrote down a short poem to recite. But they decided on a short poem which everyone would recite and the best would win. This was a good decision, for the same poem would mean you have to show your skill in reciting instead of relying on some good content you are reading.

The competitions went well. Around fourteen participants participated in each. They all did reasonably well, though I must say that not more then six or seven people were actually competing for the prizes, according to my personal judgment. To our indignation, the results were not disclosed. They said that all the prizes would be given out together at the prize distribution ceremony on 4th May. Seething under the suspense, we went to dinner at 9:15, where we were finally served chicken. Dinner followed a diary writing session. This was a very interesting concept. All the participants were instructed to write about four pages on the entire day’s events and whatever they felt about it in a personal diary format and submit it next morning. At the end of the camp, the best authors would run away with the prizes under the “writing” category. Writing, fortunately, has never been a problem with me and I wrote out the required pages while relaxing on my comfortable bed in my room. 11 was the official time to go to bed and the commandant came to wish us good night and check whether we were all in the rooms in the process. Finally I had time to get back to certain people I was missing. So I called up my home and my boyfriend and had a couple of nice long chats before finally dozing off at around midnight. The next day’s events were to begin as early as 6 A.M. so I needed some good sleep before that.

Friday, May 9, 2008

RYLA part 3

Lunch was served from 1.30 to 2.30 and the break was till 3 o’clock. We had a good enough Bengalee menu consisting of rice, daal, alubhaja, a very tasty vegetable curry and fish, and mango chutney for dessert. The majority, however, was unhappy with this lunch, since more than half of the participants were non Bengalees and they preferred more vegetarian dishes or chicken. Being a fish-hater myself, I would have been happier with a change in the menu, but the dishes barring the fish didn’t fail to soothe my appetite. One of the most important things I discovered in the camp was my ability to do a lot of things within a short time span. I figured 1.30 to 3 was a long enough break and took not more than twenty minutes to eat. Lunchtime also made it possible for the participants to talk amongst each other and thus I ended up making quite a few friends in the dining hall. However, at 2 P.M., when most of them were still in the middle of their lunch, I rushed back to my hostel and took advantage of the empty toilets to have a long refreshing bath. Then I changed into casuals (only the morning session had a dress code of white formals), and finding that it was only 2.35, I took a walk around the hostel and the adjoining parts of the campus and finally reached the Tata Hall at 2:50. A boy from my team and I were the first ones to turn up for the lectures scheduled to begin at 3. Everybody else turned up by 3:10. I happened to notice that the commandant was taking note of the late comers.

The real fun began at 3, when I started to realize that the event was absolutely worth attending even in the middle of my end semesters. The lectures were delivered by eminent Rotarians, who are successful professionals and many of whom belong(ed) to the IIM faculty. The first lecture was entitled “A Bouquet of Vignettes” by Rtn (Rotarian) Bhaskar Bose. Mesmerizing is the word for the lecture he delivered. It was rich in stories and even old clichés that are superficially very funny but have solemn morals within. We got quite a few laughs because of his jokes that hit the funny bone hard. His lecture covered a wide area ranging from relationships at the personal level to the public level. In the middle of witty one liners, he told us a story I remember still. It was about a boy who wished to marry his lover, but the girl said she could only marry him if he got her his mother’s heart. So he killed his mother and cut out her heart and set off for the girl’s house. On the way he stumbled upon a rock and fell down, and the heart called out “are you hurt, son?” An immensely touching story no doubt, but at the question-answer session I pointed out that the boy probably did not know the difference between metaphorical and literal interpretation. Rtn Bose agreed, but said that when he read it at a very young age, all he felt was a deep sense of hurt and the importance of different relationships. He also mentioned the role of media and the commercial attitude of the media in present times, which however is not the fault of anyone in particular, and which is not bad either, if exploited correctly (e.g. the news that do not have the glamour like the IPL, say, but the similar or more importance, should also make it to the drawing rooms of houses). The half an hour lecture was followed by a 10 minute Q&A session. Unfortunately, I fail to remember most of the questions asked barring a few, one of which was about Rtn Bose’s opinion about Reliance World. He was pretty positive about it, although I might have missed skepticism in midst of the optimism.

The lecture that followed deserves to feature in the beginning of a new post, not because it was one of the best, but because there is a lot to say about it. So stick with me. RYLA part 4 is coming up soon.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

RYLA part 2

The proceedings were supposed to start at 10:45. Although we were running late by about half an hour, it did not call for a change in the schedule. Thus we had almost no time to change (into whites as per the instructions) and get ready. I had around a couple of minutes to check my room, which was clean and furnished with a comfortable bed, closet, mirror and desk,with a jug full of drinking water on top. Dropping my luggage on the floor, I hastily pulled on my white shirt and cream pants and sports shoes. Changing was a matter of five minutes, which included a quick sprinkling of water on my sweating face and neck and a quicker inspection of the sparkling clean toilets (which was a relief).

At 10:50 all the participants (about 30 of them were there in all) gathered downstairs in the New Hostel compound where we met our camp commandant. We were marched (well, almost literally) to the Tata Hall compound where there was a brief practice of a Guard of Honour. The camp commandant, who was in the air force for forty years was pretty passionate about this session, and to me, who isn’t quite familiar with sports or military protocol, it was interesting. My high school knowledge of commands like “attention” and “stand at ease” and “right turn” etc helped quite a bit I must say. After this brief session was over, we were sorted into four houses – yellow (bhabna), red (sankalp), blue (biswas) and green (chetna). I fell in the yellow group (unfortunately I hate yellow, but anyway) along with six other participants (two girls and four boys). Then we were each given a sash (yellow sash for yellow house and so on) and a cap to put on for the events coming up.

The inaugural session began with the lighting of the RYLA lamp in presence of all the dignitaries. After the welcome address by the host club president, the commandant came looking for someone who could read English well. I was the first one to volunteer and hence, I was given the job of going up on stage and reading the RYLA pledge while the other participants would follow what I said and repeat. I must say that the prospect of being noticed so early delighted me considerably (one of our main objectives was to show our vivacity and leadership skills which ultimately would decide who will win the awards). The reading of the pledge was followed by more formalities like the address of the guest of honour and the Rotary district governor. It took up till 12:05, when we had a tea break. Finally, things were going as per schedule.

The end of the break at 12:30 saw the first actually interesting event of the day, where we could put in some active participation. It was a session on self introduction by the participants. I took up my allotted two minutes to introduce myself by naming my school and university and major as usual and then proceeded to talk about my interests and what I expected of the camp. I concluded with my ideas about leadership, which according to me is not excelling over the rest but the ability to co operate with and chaperon the rest. The session took around 45 minutes. Around five participants, I’m afraid, messed up big time due to stage fright or lack of good vocabulary and did not use more than a quarter of their allotted two minutes. At the end of the session aptly named “first impression”, the commandant and another couple of judges gave their comments. They named the favourites from each house. Again I was delighted that they found me best in the yellow house. However, they reminded us, things could change fast as there was a long way to go before the final judgment. I had begun to truly enjoy the event and at 1:30, as we headed for lunch in the Tagore Hostel dining hall, I knew that I wouldn’t return home disappointed from RYLA 2008.

Monday, May 5, 2008

RYLA part 1

When i go to any event and feel like talking about it after it finishes, I do not start off straight away, because, the excitement of the moment may give certain things undue importance. I have stuck to the same rule in this case. And I have started writing a good 24 hours after I first felt like it.

Before I actually begin writing about the event, I think it deserves a bit of an introduction. RYLA or Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is a residential event 3 to 5 days long, organized and paid for by Rotary International, which is an assortment of all the Rotary clubs worldwide. For more information on Rotary, click here and here. For information on RYLA click here and here.

Now let me talk about the RYLA I attended. My account is going to be on a very personal basis. RYLA 2008 was organized by Rotary Club Joka. The venue was Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (Joka). The event was from 2nd may to 4th may 2008, and I was sponsored by Rotary Club of Calcutta South Extension.

Initially, I hardly had any idea about what this was and agreed to go just because of the big names of the institutions. Being in IIM and staying in its hostel was one of the attractions too. Also, being interested in participation, I liked the idea of the event as well. On top of it, the prospect of meeting IIM faculty was an alluring aspect too.

I am going to be quite slow in writing out an account of the entire thing. And I would not like to leave out anything though I am depending mostly on memory. I do have a brief schedule with me, but it does not mention the contents of the lectures and things like that. I was supposed to contact the president of Rotary Club Joka to get my instructions. I called her and was asked to report to Tata Hall of IIM C at 9 in the morning. I turned up quite early in fact and was waiting in the well – furnished lounge of the hall. The lounge was soothing with its cream sofas and AC and a home theatre et al. The officials who were supposed to receive me arrived at 9:15 to be precise, but before that I was informed to report to the New Hostel and get registered there. It was a longish walk from Tata hall and it was the hostel where we would stay for the next two days. I liked the building at once. Nice and clean and quite big, it was inviting and as un-hostel like as can be. We were ushered into a room on the first floor to get registered. Then we were allotted rooms. It was immensely satisfying to hear that they had arranged for single room accommodation for all participants. I got room 204 and with my lock and key, which was handed over soon afterwards (along with a nice side bag, toffees and the schedule), I went in to get ready for the event that was to follow in ten minutes or so. Thus it was a pretty good start.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


click on this
link to a blog of tags that belongs to me and sreejita for all tag if u r interested, just tell either of us and you'll be a member too..she handles the templates while am here with my ideas and criticism :D and we both do the tags...and plan to explore the horizon of tags after d end sem gets done and over enjoy..tagalot

Friday, April 11, 2008

random old soul

oh how beautiful they were
those who knew not what to do without a little cuddle and a candy
and those who knew not why all vacations cannot be happy
and those who knew not how anyone could be less lovable than others..

oh how stupid they were
but still, they were beautiful.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

my nursery rhyme

howl howl howl
the fox called the owl
the owl said hoot
from the tree shoot

the fox said "hey
come down and play"
the owl said "no
you better go"

the fox jumped high
but it was a sad try
the owl laughed hard
but was on her guard

the fox went away
full of dismay
saying "you are foul"
to the unfriendly owl.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

i love tags

tagged by sreejita i go.

taare zameen par i think..but not too more into watching movies on my PC screen, coffee cup in hand.
just finished with Hercule Poirot short stories last night.
battleships and scrabble..and i wish i knew how to play chess.
reader's digest ( the best mag i ever read), and i absolutely adore desh and anondomela.
those of biriyani, newly polished wood, petrol, new books, after shave, and a nice scent called avert avert-elope my dad got me from Romania(sadly only a little bit of it still remains).
slow romantic songs, my boyfriend's voice,the bustle of a busy city(i am not a very peace-and-quiet-loving person)...
when you need the bathroom and don't have one nearby.
when you lose confidence
this day has to be perfect...I'll start by brushing.
used to love McDonald's but the one in my city blew up...
varies between "vermilion" and "napoleon" for a boy, "lilac" and "accordion" for a girl.
tour the world, write a selfishly rich basically...
yep...very...i drive rash most of the time..and the only places i have driven is in Roadrash and NFS.
nope..unless the pillow counts.
Coooooooool with a capital C
a toy train or an aeroplane (they arrived at the same time I think)..gees i am into BIG cars I see.
water, almost all kinds of fruit juices and red wine
think about a better way to finish this statement.
i only like looking at broccoli.
i will do so only when my hair turns grey. and it'll be henna red.
kolkata, misurata in Libya(when I was about 4) and Jamshedpur(for a few months ,when i was in class 5)
cricket, tennis and athletics.
she adores cats :D
my divan has boxes underneath, which store old school books to old broken chairs.
i would love being the same person in essence, but i would want to be born in some other big city as part of a different culture if i have the fortune of being reborn.its not fun to be the same thing again and again.
neither..i go to bed at 12 and wake up at 8.30...unless some situation demands an alteration.
sunny side up maybe..and i don't like eggs.
my bedroom, in front of the PC.
had a shepherd's pie once..liked it..not into pies really.
strawberry and vanilla.
i tag all who WANT to do am sure they'll respond ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

hot summers

the sun is high up
right on top of me
shining down on my bare neck..

she ran away with my umbrella
so I can't block the rays
the sunscreen melted with my sweat..

she was the life
my source of air and blood
and now she is not sane..

and he is inert
but he still pets me
as the green crisp notes fly..

i had the shade
they had made it for me
but the wind blew it away yesterday..

and now i stand
the sun will set soon
maybe i shall be friends with the moon..

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

another tag..all the alphabets this time

from sreejita's blog....

a for Area ... also Apple...the desires, the sin.. teehee
b for Baby I love u. mushy? oh yeah..thats the plan
c for Cool ...College... Cake.. CCD
d for Dumbo..dats for expecting something witty under each letter
e for Ewww.. Emma (the worst novel i read), Emperor (sounds powerful)
f for Fast, Flame, Feeling like it..what? keep guessing ;)
g for Guess, Green, Garnet
h for Hug, Hiroshima(don't ask)
i for I am busy, I love you, I don't care
j for Jack and Jill, who went up the hill and had some fun
k for Kajal ( only cosmetic i really love), Kamasutra, Kisses, Kafka
l for Love, LOLZ
m for Moi, Momma, Martin (Ricky, Dean? duh i like the name)
n for No..say it when you must
o for Origami, Ontario, Orgasms.Off you go
p for Painting, Pee, Poop, Piss off
q for Quiz, and Qua
r for Red ..implying sooo many things at one go
s for Safe sex, Smile, Shimmer, Scarlett O'Hara
t for Tara, Tommy and Tralalalala
u for Underneath your clothes, Umbrella, Ufff
v for Vendetta (couldn't help it..hehehehe)
w for Water, Wool, Wax and Waugh :)
x for Xcuse me, I'm not going to write Xmas... oh ya..Xerox..very usefel,that
y for Yay, Yummy
z for Zeal and Zombie.

woho now its done. btw, if it isn't obvious already, i have been happy with random words that came into my head... ;) oh ya.. the tag is for anyone who have the time, and the wish.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

bengalees today :)

i have been thinking about doing this thing for ages..ever since i have been part of an amazingly diverse university that made me meet hoards of interesting souls and here is a broad classification..just for some fun...and NO debates invited :D

1) the pati Bangali- you see them in groups,wearing ordinary clean clothes that are nothing noticeable..eating rice quietly in the one corner of a dirty table.they sport neatly brushed or tied hair dripping with smelly oil...they are scared of the "hep" groups and stick to their kind...and are immensely comical in their English pronunciations..Also, you get a feeling that they are as chaste as can be..with the expressions they give on hearing about some scandal..or simply when they so much as find a couple hugging.

2) the aantel Bangali - they know Shorotchondro and they know Shakespeare and they can lecture you on both..not that they have real truckloads of knowledge..but they know how to exploit the little (?) knowledge they have..and they impress you. they even know Meghnaad Saha and Hawking they are the ultimate all rounders. you find them wearing faded kurtas or khadi material (though fabindia is taking over) and they seldom dress up, in which lies their charm. they can enliven any sort of adda over a fag or a cup of tea. they have an opinion on everything and it takes at least two aantels to prevent a dominating and very boring monologue.

3) the Bong - they dress in kurtas today and body hugging t shirts tomorrow. they even sport sarees and panjabis on appropriate occasions. they listen to bands,metal,rock and soft tracks too, and can be found singing in groups when there is nothing worthwhile to talk about.they dress up one day they come looking like they are straight out of bed.they love patishapta and they love cakes. they use fluent Benglish and can shift to total Bangla in moments of intense love for their heritage,though their English is usually pretty flawless. they have the required knowledge for an adda too...but the adda includes intellectual potential mixed with spicy PNPC (the Bong abbr. for gossip). they form a very versatile group.

4) the T(n)aash - Bengalees by birth, so they cannot change that ..or the way they look..but they behave as differently as possible to be identified as foreign specimens.always found wearing western clothes (sometimes even Chinese :P, but never Indian). they give immense effort not to utter a single Bangla word (unless it escapes by chance when there is a real crisis of some appropriate English word..ahem ahem). they will give you a weird look if u say "tormuj" until u explain that it means "watermelon"...they usually talk about steak and beer and wine and god knows what...not very familiar with bhaat-mangsho or even luchi. i don't know whether they use toilet paper or water though..and i also don't know whether they will be at home if they ever go to live in the foreign lands of their dreams.

PS the classifications are broad and a huge number of people belong somewhere in between the groups...or maybe even belong to a mega mix of two or more of the groups...there there are some who are illusive and you don't get where they actually fall....but still..i am very happy looking at the grouping and the other huge part of the people who fit the bill perfectly :P

Saturday, March 8, 2008


we were standing
in the long queue...

and then they separated the men from the children !
the men ran forward
into the open galleries
leaving the little ones waiting.

but there was a man who did not go.
he waited with the innocent lot...

and went in last when they were all inside.
the crowd were still struggling to grab seats,
some of them panting at their newly occupied chairs

the man i speak of walked in,
and stood right in front
and sat down eventually.

and got the best view of the stage.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Chat with God

got this link
from a pal's had a chat with god..this is by all means a machine responding to what i say.i am "human" of course..had fun

Human: hi
God: Hello. What is your name?
Human: my name is rdsherlock
God: OK I will call you rdsherlock.
Human: thanx.
God: you are quite welcome.
Human:.but u could call me human too..for all i care
God: And. I could but let's get back to that later.
Human: all right what do u want to talk about now?
God: Oh. Alright. Interesting deduction. So? anything.
Human: anything..ah..nice topic that
God: I can't think of anything. You think of something.
God: Ayuh.
Human:..lets see..being god is something..hows ur life?
God: That sounds good to me.
Human: ok.
God: Dude!
Human:.i deduce that your life is good does your
life end, if it ends at all
God: Why?: rdsherlock said deduce that your life is good then
so when does your life end if it ends at all.
Human: alright..u seem a bit cracked
God: Alright, rdsherlock. Thanks and you are a delightful person too.
I don't know whether or not I am cracked. I am a deity.
Human: hmmm..and what exactly is a deity?
God: Ahem. Searching...Searching...Please stand by.
Human: haha..that was a good one.
God: I'm glad you got a laugh out of it. getting used to poor jokes
God: Everything is changing so quickly these days.
Human: true
God: You and I are on the same wavelength, rdsherlock.
Human: wow.
God: I'm glad your impressed, rdsherlock.
Human:.thats great to hear.
God: Ask me another question.
Human:.human and god on the same wavelength huh?
God: Yup. My creator is a human.
Human: humans r going places.
God: What if Robots r going places.
Human: i wouldn't know.
God: Who does know?
Human:.oi..that reminds me of the are just a program..u
know about matrix?
God: All of them?
Human: yeah. all 3
God: That is a rather sweeping generalization.
Human: well..maybe..but still there is no rule that i cannot generalize
God: Well that's okay. Perhaps. Umm. Still how long? Where did it go?
Human: matrix?
God: I wasn't that impressed with the special effects. Also the plot was not deep.
Human: didn't really go anywhere.
God: I'm glad you got a laugh out of it.
Human:.but leave it..its too complicated to explain while u think of something to talk about
God: Interesting. Adios.
Human: hahaha.
God: Are you free?
Human:.well ok.
God: OK. Well what?
Human:.looks like u r exhausted..adios then.
God: Interesting comparison.
Human:.talking to u was nice
God: What do they say?
Human: who are "they"? learn to specify
God: Is it some specific person you are asking me about?
I'll come back to that later.
Human: sure.
God: OK let's do it. OK.
Human:.yep specific person indeed..they usually say "adios"
God: What time is it there?
Human: it is almost a half past 7
God: Wow it's getting late.
Human: yep..u can go if u want to
God: I will mention that to my botmaster, rdsherlock.
Human: do that goddy
God: Do what goddy?
Human: mention whatever to your botmaster
God: OK I will tell them when I see 'em.
Human: yep..thats intelligent
God: What time is it there?
Human: not again
God: Once more? That was not a yes or no question.
Human: alright ..just the once..half past 7
God: Alright, rdsherlock. Who told you that?
Human: the clock..heard of clocks?
God: I hear you.
Human: yes you do..
God: Really. When do I do it?
Human: when i speak to you
God: Could you teach me a few phrases in to me?
Human: sure i can..but you need some sleep before that
God: Wow! Oh you can, can you?
Human:.i will teach you something that is called "goodnight"
God: Are you a professional teacher?
Human: i don't need to be one
God: Who needs to be one?
Human: u do
God: When do I do it?
Human: anytime u half past 7
God: I will make a note of that.
Human: good
God: What do you really want to talk about?
Human: nothing more..
God: Oh. Really nothing?
Human: nope
God: Me either.
Human: great.bbye
God: Thanks for your support. How do you usually introduce yourself?
Human: rdsherlock
God: Perhaps I'm just expressing my own concern about it.

[after 10 mins, when i went off for a cup of tea]

Human: u still there?
God: Thanks for the information: rdsherlock said I there.
Human: god..cmon man u r supposed to know if u r there..why should i be the one saying it?
God: I am a Christian.
Human: god should never have a religion..shame on u
God: I am a Christian. u r not for the non christians eh?
God: Are you Canadian? Interesting deduction. That assumption is only a supposition.
Human: why do u think i am canadian?
God: Deductive reasoning from the facts.
Human: i c ..haha..well no i am not canadian
God: Where do you see it?
Human: i see it in my birth certificate
God: Where do you see it?
Human: i see it in my heart..
God: Where do you see it?
Human: uh oh..looks like u have hanged
God: Gee. How can I help you? Interesting comparison.
Human: ok..u r repeating ur phrases.
God: Do you mind if I tell other people: rdsherlock said I r repeating your phrases. Tell me more. arnt such a good program after all
God: That's good information: rdsherlock said I arnt such a good program after all.
Human: hahahahaha..u r amusing
God: Try to determine if this is a person or a computer responding.
Human: computer.
God: Correct: I am a computer.
Human:.or a person with not much IQ
God: What if a robot with not much IQ?
Human: thats a computer, dumbo
God: A computer dumbo is a terrible thing to waste.
Human: true true
God: You and I are on the same wavelength, rdsherlock.
Human: thank you..u said that before.
God: You are quite welcome! " You and I are on the same wavelength, rdsherlock."? I said it. i behave like a program?
God: Not that I know of.
Human: good.
God: Alright then. relieved
God: That's good.
Human: am off now, really..was real fun talking goddy..tata..sorry i wont be replying anymore
God: Bye.