Sunday, 27 November 2011

Boys will be Boys

Disclaimer: Reproduced and edited from CartoonStock.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Why Kishenji's death is so important?

Disclaimer: The following post is my personal opinion. You may point to differ. 

Kishenji has been killed. Encounter or not. This Maoist leader had seven to eight states under his control and in the name of being a people’s leader terrorized and brutalized people. When one section of the society applauds his death, another section cries about the foul play by the Joint Forces and the state government faking it to be an encounter and stating that it is a cold-blooded murder.

Let us see and judge ourselves why it was necessary to capture this Maoist leader – Dead or Alive.

The problem of Maoism and the terror acts started full-fledgedly since 2009, just after the Nandigram incident. The CPI (Maoist) with their alliance People’s Party killed many CPI (Marxist) supporters and workers. They were literally terrorized, some were forced to join the Maoist movement and most were killed in broad daylight.

Twenty six CRPF jawans were killed at Shilda camp, the areas under their control were nothing different from Taliban dominated Afghanistan. People didn’t dare to set out of their houses after 6 P.M. Young men of the house were sent to join Maoists, much like the Jihad training system in Kashmir.

And what about the Jnaneshwari accident?

This isn’t yet. One can Google and find out the numerous brutal attacks by Maoist.

Which stable party or group does such act?

Now why it is important to kill the entire Maoists on the spot? Surely we don’t want another life-long trial happening like 1993 blast case or the present Kasab trial! And you leave one Maoist alive, you will see them regenerate.

Why this encounter shouldn’t have happened or even if fake why it should had not. For instance every person has the right to undergo trial and justify his/her act. Secondly a lot about the Maoist movements could have been deciphered.

Plus the killing of Kishenji will trigger counter attacks by the hostile Maoists, as an act of revenge. The immediate effect will on the locals, endangering their lives.

Having said all these, if it has been a scripted encounter then it is sure that the TMCP which is said to have been in contact with Maoists, there will be series of such incidents. And personally I don’t mind such incidents. Go judge me.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Satisfaction - Through A Beggar's Eyes

I had set out to work like any other day. As I was crossing the seven point crossing of Park Circus, a man begging at one of the road sides came to my notice. He was like any other well defined, well bred person. Quite a gentleman and most unlikely appeared to me as a beggar. But there he was, begging at the side of the road, near the petrol pump. I decided not to pay attention and move on. However the conscious inside me took over and I simply couldn’t walk on. I turned around, crossed the road and walked towards the man. 

I stood there in front of him and straightway asked him, “You seem to be a well-bred, well brought up, educated, distinguished and physically stable person to me. Then why are you begging? You could simply go and get to work somewhere!”

The man stood up, looked at me for some time and replied, “Who said begging is a substandard and cheap profession? Who said it is not worthy and reputable?” And a smile slowly appeared on his lips, making me wonder whether he was smiling at my question or at me. His smile sent a chill across my spines. I stood bewitched. 

He then moved sideways and asked me, “Do you want to have a cup of tea? Come we will have some tea.” I was too paralyzed to say no or say anything at all. I followed him as he went to a nearby tea stall and ordered two cups of tea. He pointed out to a flyover nearby and said, “You see that flyover, I spent at least one to two hours daily. In that one or one and half or say two hours, I earn an average of 150 daily. Which is enough for me to live a day.” 

The man calculated again to check whether he had mentioned the exact figures. I was so deeply engrossed in him. I wondered how a man so well knowledgeable could beg to live. I wanted to know more. I paused but asked again, “Don’t you think begging like this is not right, is a crime you doing? What service are you providing in return of this? Don’t you think you are bluffing and taking away all these people’s hard earned money?” However the reply he gave wasn’t expected from a man, who had spent the previous 28 years of his life begging.

 “Young man, do you know how begging was introduced in our culture? In this world?” 

“The moment a person donates 2 to me there is a certain satisfaction I provide him. The moment he donates me that money, he or she is happy that he or she has done a noble thing. This is the service I provide – satisfaction, a service that comes so cheap and leaves a person so appeased. Find me a person, a profession or an industry which provides satisfaction at such a minimal rate and at such a low cost. There is no production cost involved also.” 

He didn’t stop there. “When a person is donating me he is balancing himself with my status. How? Let me explain. Suppose you have ten rupees. You need five rupees for the day and you make a profit of five rupees. You decide to give away those five rupees to me. In that way you turn equal with me. No more you earn more than me or you are richer than me.” 

“A person, who donates, finds himself in a much tougher situation than a person who begs. You know why? Because he or she has to give away the extra necessities which differentiated them from the rest, but when they do so by giving away a small portion of their earning, it leaves them quite happy. Then what’s the harm in begging?”

“Now hear this. Begging was introduced in our culture so that the people who were engrossed in spiritual salvation, who didn’t have time to collect material earnings, who didn’t have time to cook, begging, in your term, was introduced for them, by them. People who used to live a domestic life they provided food and other necessary stuff to these people who were engrossed in spiritual salvations and they only took what was needed to live for that particular day. They didn’t take more or less. That is why begging was introduced.” 

“You think we are the only one who begs? What about you? When you work, don’t you expect something in return? You inside yourself, beg to the person to whom you provide service, to pay you your benefits. That is one type of begging.” 

With that, without waiting for me to reply back, he went away. I was spellbound. 

This is a story narrated to me. There are two reasons why I wrote this. One – Satisfaction and Two – No work is less or great if it provides satisfaction. 

About begging I have very little idea but whatever was told by this man, I find it hard to reject. Yes it does satisfy me when I donate or when I provide 2 to someone. 

Plus there are so many things in this world that we are so ignorant about instead we concentrate ourselves on many unwanted teachings.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Women Are Complicated Coz' Society Made Them So

“A world clouded by conflict, hypocrisies of philandering men, impassioned strains of domestic life and the seething silences of women. The only solace in a woman's life is her children. The constant support of the children remains a touchstone in life until their own revelations sends her beliefs into a spin. Most stories are about broken household followed and accompanied by chasing happiness and restoring beauty to one’s life.”

This is an extract, edited and constructed in my own to present the story of most houses where violence is just a passing phenomenon. A woman’s life is about being born into a patriarchal society dominated by culture and ethics, growing up pleasing her parents and then getting married and bringing up her children to please her husband and her in-laws. Where growing up means compromising one’s own dreams to that of her parents’ and societies’ so-called manners, marriage is about adjusting. However not every women face such a life but most of them do.

A lot has been said, written, discussed and argued about the way women are treated. A lot of organizations have come up trying to help and aware not only women about their rights but the people too. But violence or the way women has been living cannot be eradicated unless women themselves want it to. It is this area where no one, one outer force can help. A person unwilling to be helped cannot be helped.

Let us put forward a small story of a woman who is respected in the society and been brought up in the most liberal way yet her married life is one secret and the daily emotional turmoil she faces.

She came from a well to do family and has been brought up in the most liberal way compared to other girls who grew up with her. She trusted her parents and their decisions to marry the man of their choice. Soon after she settled in her job, she was married off. Everything seem fine, two children were born until she discovered that her husband is one abuser and drunkard. He abused her emotionally for every failure be it about a small water leak in the kitchen or unable to pay the electricity bill. She was bashed up from first to last. Her children saw this. One grew up to leave the mother alone with the abusive father and the later stayed on trying to save the mother. However she refused to be helped. She said it is for what society will say she stayed on, it is for the betterment of the children and their future and lastly she chased happiness in small things and hoped of a better life like once it used to be before the children were born

The effect of such a house had its mark on the children too. The one child who left turned out to be like the father, adapting the ways of the abuser and for the younger one, it was like the mother, silence was the best weapon and adjusting and compromising to abuses, hoping that later the younger one will have a better life, away from this place.

However such has its effects on the future that can’t be changed. Such are women who give in to this abuses and violence in the name of ‘what society will say and for the better of the children. ’

That is not the end. Then there are women who treat women badly and inflict the same amount of pain which they had gone through once. It is the theory of “I have gone through it and now you will to, it is a ritual.”
I strongly believe women have no respect for women more than men. However not all; generalizing would not be right. There are women who treat their fellow sex in such a rowdy way those men who witness such feels disgusted and sick. And what about these children, daughters who are brought up in dysfunctional houses and grow up to treat both the parents in abusive way and daughters who hold the mother responsible for all the faults and blames that she hasn’t been able to bring them well and she failed to adjust.

Be it domestic or foreign, violence and abuses against women should be put end to. Even society treats women in a stereotyped way as if women were born to face such atrocities and if any women have any problem in their life it is because of her fault. Sometimes it is but not always.

Having written all this I would like to conclude, women who face such situations still and succumb to it have their own reasons. However this shouldn’t be the case. The future should learn from the mistakes and wrong doings of today to make sure they don’t the same life like their past. Some are affected while growing up in such unfit environment which takes a long time to disappear. But it is these from which they should learn and make sure they don’t provide such unhealthy future to their future.

P.S. This post is not only for Violence Against Women but for the young who should learn to make sure their future isn’t as regretting as they have witnessed. The future entirely depends on their own actions and decisions they make.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Twitter – The new search engine?

I have a tendency of Google’ing everything on this Earth. Be it lipsticks, shoes or mobile phones. I Google about movie timings, ongoing sale offers, sunglasses, people, technology, just about everything. Whenever I need help I just Google. So much so that I don’t find it necessary to ask anyone about where to head for a nice lunch or where to watch movies. Although there is one problem that I face continuously. That is the numerous search results it returns. For example if I Google ‘movie timing of Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’ it returns about 9,330,000 results to me, enough to confuse me and scroll and read through most of them. It is a tiring and time consuming process. Not only a tiring process but something that really irritates me.

The next best option is to ask people. However your buddies and your acquaintances won’t have the correct answer of your every query. It is impossible that they will know each and every matter. So what to do? Ask random people! That is what I do.

Twitter is a micro-blogging site. Although it is more powerful than large blog sites. One tweet can change the world. Change views. Become news. In the last one year every major news channels and newspapers have entered social networking with Twitter. Recently Delhi Airport registered itself. Then there are celebrities and country heads. 

I found Twitter really helpful when it came to enquiring about different stuff. In the last one month I have enquired about mobile phones, books, movies, beer bottles, people, places and what not. I have never been disappointed with the suggestions and replies aka mentions. I didn’t have to go around and Google about them. In between the numerous replies I selected the ones that seem quite to the point and went ahead with it. What did I gain? Time and the trouble of going through each and every link that Google return, to know which will be the most helpful to me.

Yes there are times when I Google twitter replies too but my search gets narrowed. For example if I tweet about “which is the best android phone, budget 10k”; plus I add the technical term “Plz RT.” In minutes, although not seconds, I get my replies and reasons too. These reasons are short and to the point. I then know which can be trustworthy and influential. If I feel there is a need of doing a bit more Google search on the given replies, I do but by that time I have already got my answers.

There are limitations. Just like I don’t expect my friends to know the answer to every query there are matters which random people cannot answer also. That is where these search engines power over social networking. Also the way SEO folks work on making their results visible to the extreme level, it is expected that twitter or any other social networking site may not live to defeat them.

Still, imagine Twitter, a site where people are answering to your queries and not mechanical search engines where people are hired to work on improving search results. Imagine the power behind such a site which if they try can overpower the search engines.

One would argue that different firms are recruiting men to open their social media accounts, mostly twitter accounts and promote themselves through it. But there is a difference. When HCL replies to my random query about icore5 based laptop reviews, I will instantly know it is because they want themselves to be promoted. However at that moment if someone I don’t know or even know and is using such a product replies to me and updates me some reviews I will know which one to follow. Again the difference of Social Media folks is there main job is to attract visitors through socializing with them on different social media platforms, here Twitter. 

Now it depends upon Jack Dorsey (Executive Chairman), Dick Costolo(CEO), Evan Williams (Director) and Biz Stone (Creative director) how they creatively use Twitter and how tweeters use this platform as a search engine. Whatever may be the future, Twitter and tweeters surely seem to help people in deciding about holiday plans, vacations, mobile phones, books, movies, etc. more than Google or any other search engine these days. 

P.S. Google has a Twitter account. And Google’s reply to Twitter is Google+ which hit off quickly only to disappear slowly.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sms – Petrol Bhai Bhai

In the last three months petrol prices were hiked almost five times, if I am not wrong. Everyone, just everyone went on ranting about it. So much that it became a trending topic on Twitter. The whole world was wondering what exactly Rs. 3 meant! Petrol prices affected us or not, whether we were driving a diesel or a petrol car or traveling all over the nation in flights, all of us were cribbing about it. However little did anyone pay much importance to our dearest service providers treating mobile phones like cars/airplanes and the sim as petrol tank and the balance as if PETROL.

Name it – Airtel, Vodafone, Docomo, Aircel… Each and every one of them who came out with lifetime validity, one paisa per second schemes, unlimited SMS packs, internet packs suddenly and secretly changed schemes.

First of all they changed lifetime validity scheme. No more your sim will be valid for life, so no, you don’t have to laugh along with Ranbir Kapoor when he cracks joke about your late grandma has recharged a new lifetime scheme. Rather your life is now limited to six months. So after every six months you start panicking about life being really short!

Then about the epic “ONE PAISA PER SECOND” scheme. I still remember when Aircel launched free calls from Aircel to Aircel. People sitting side by side were calling each other to know “Time kya hua”. But then Airtel and Vodafone went against Aircel, blocked calls from Aircel and Aircel introduced one paisa per second along with Docomo. Every one of us fell for Docomo’s schemes. So did I. Plus their lovely SMS scheme of pay for first two sms and then 100 free. And now, all this is history.

It is either 1.2 paisa per second for same provider calls or 1.4 paisa per second to others. (If am not wrong) So you can laugh your heart out at our own tomfoolery.

Yesterday I went to recharge my internet pack and the next shocker came when the shop owner told me 1GB for 98 and 2GB for 149. Ok Fine. I understand that our internet packs never get finished. But WTF?!?!? 1GB for 98? I remember pulling my friend’s leg when Docomo did the same and now I became the “Bakra”. Either you shut the 1GB scheme or lower both the price and the data charges. Seriously you guys are already so rich! How much do you want?

AND finally TRAI oh TRAI I love you like I hate you. How do you bar people from messaging? Just few months back I met a lovely American who was going all gaga about how much we use sms and what lovely schemes we have and how lovely is the network here and then you just have to do this? Tell me all of you in TRAI, were you guys having problem managing your kids? Like staying wake whole night and messaging? You put a stupid limit by giving no-valid-reasons!?! You want to stop bulk sms? Fine stop them why stop us from messaging?!

Having said all these, we will all get used to it. Now if by chance MTS or some stupid provider puts on a commercial of free more SMS or balance I am straightaway going to slap the people who made those commercials.

So forget ranting about transport and wonder what you are going to do with your mobile bill now. Communication is now a pain in your ass. Your mobile phone is nothing less than a car. Petrol and your SMS or any balance is same. Yes Indo-China is not the only Bhai-Bhai but SMS and Petrol too. :-x

P.S. The pictures are downloaded from the internet and then edited.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Dear Bengali boy, what’s with the accent?

Before you give me a stupid reason that you studied in some St. Bla Bla School or some convent where the brothers and their fathers made you pay fine if you didn’t talk in Angrezi, let me tell you something, I studied in one of those St. Bla Bla Schools too. And if you say my English is poor and I don’t speak proper English, well let me tell you once again, I did my grads with English Honours and I came 1st among girls and 2nd in the whole class, so cut the crap.

What’s with the fake accent my boy? Like “I-Am-Soon-To-Move-Out-Of-Bengal-Soon-To-Be-A-NRI” accent. When you pronounce “What” it sounds like “Howot”, your fake English makes it hard for me to wonder in which part of the city you come from. I am damn sure Prof Higgins would have quit his hobby cum profession hearing you ‘speek’.

And what is wrong in those Jeans that never seem to fit your waist. Are you trying to become one of those zero-figure models or is it that you are out of belts? No matter how fat you are, they always seem to go down, down and down. Gives me a feeling that you guys are more desperate than the porn stars who are always ready to drop their pants!

I don’t get the point of you all wearing fake Puma, Adidas, Reebok apparels and trying hard to convince your friends that it is “O-ri-genal”. I know you guys are real jealous of your North Bengal species whose style of dressing and even the way of their upbringing has made many girls go gaga. But dearest I would prefer my Bengali Boy and not Bong Dude to wear a simple White Kurta-Pyjama rather than a Levi’s t-shirt whose fabric has faded with the first two wash or the Gucci jeans whose print spells – GUCHI.

And please note, even I love wearing flippers to work or classes but I seldom give in to the idea. Thanks to our SOOOPER CLEAN city. So please stop wearing those flippers that never get cleaned and whose red colour looks like some copper artwork on your feet. Please note, girls have a fascination and obsession about clean shoes and feet, so next time you come with long nails, dirty feet, I will probably end up buying you a Vim Bar and Scrotch-Brite.

And gosssssssh what is wrong with your choice of tattoos? Being Human t-shirts were sustainable but a Being Human tattoo? Are you a human being?

As for the hair part, not everyone looks good with those long spiked hair. Please note in this whole world there can be only one JIM MORISSON or Kurt Cobain. And Dhoni isn’t your distant relative and neither is John Abraham. Even they have cut down so please go to some Salon and fix those oily swallow’s nest on your head.

Boy, I know you earn around 30K a month. Which is quite good if you are living in Kolkata however it goes beyond my imagination when you flaunt your ID card of that IT industry where all of you want to work? And the next time you try flaunting to me that “Look I work in IBM”, let me tell you, no girl is interested in your profession; at the end of the day all they want is their guy is well settled and has a respectable job.

We all would love to see a simple, down to earth, no wannabe-desperate HUNK guy instead of a guy who seems like as if he is going on a national level competition of “I got to compete with DELHI-MUMBAI-BANGALORE DUDES”. For god’s sake, we are all Indians, born into different cultures. You don’t like Rabindranath Tagore, cool, there is no harm in that but please don’t have to fake that you know so much about him and love his songs and lyrics so much that you mix Bideshini or Bhindeshi.  Bhindeshi is Chandrabindoo’s song and yes Chandrabindoo, Cactus, Bhoomi and Fossils aren’t the only bands in Kolkata. There are more.

No I don’t want to go with you to the same Park Street restaurants every time we go on a date. Park Street is not the end of the world. It is no Hogwarts and the only sustainable place in Kolkata. I love Park Street but am tired of your Flurys, One Step Up, The Street CafĂ©, Oly Pub dates. I prefer a Babu’s Hotel now. Gosh we have gone there so much that every time I visit those places with my friends now, the waiters come and ask, “Madam how are you? Sir kaise hai?”

Can you please stop being the DJ or the RJ while traveling in the bus, train or auto? It’s really irritating. Already there is so much of noise and then you come out with your TWO SPEAKER WALA CHINESE HANDSET playing some KUMKUM title track which I'm sure your mother has also stopped watching.

You want a girlfriend? Please find in your close circles. Stop courting people in the metro or while she is crossing the road or waiting for a taxi. You will probably get bashed up by her brother’s hooligan-friends. Yes you never know which family she might belong to.

And no you are no intellectual and the only educated chap in this city. Please stop watching only those faltu BODYGUARD types of movies to prove how much you know about cinema. Also if you don’t like metal songs don’t go to metal concerts and mosh to break chairs, desperately trying to prove what a BIG metal head you are. This act of yours will only prove what big ARSE you are.

Stop complaining that you’re EX was a dumb. I have finally discovered why there are plenty of dumb girls in Kolkata. They were invented to cater your sick minds. So you deserve them more than anything else in this world. They are your personal trophies. Equal to Oscars. And before you start bashing up those real nice guys, the rare species who are sadly already engaged or have fled away from this city or has grown up in a different city, DUDE, zip your jeans and wash your hands, they stink.

Thanks to you, Kolkata is going from red to green, green and greener. Very soon, we will have to travel on cow pulled cart coz sincere thanks to your great knowledge in politics you have selected such beautiful leaders who are damn busy about degenerating Kolkata. Thanks to you, I think twice before asking my friend to come down and live in this city which was once a city full of joy.

Lastly, no, PoBo isn’t the sister of SoBo and neither South Kolkata is the only sophisticated posh area of Kolkata. FYI, I can find you the most sophisticated lads in Burdwan too! Who has much more better knowledge of women than you do!

I don’t have any personal grudge against you. You just disappoint me to the lowest level of humanity. I am so disappointed that I will have to disappoint my parents by never agreeing to marry a BONG dude. Thanks. And please shave you arm-pits, they stink more than a girl's!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Society that lives on 'Spiral of Silence'

If you think that this revolution lead by Anna and his team gives you the freedom now to go on and preach or express whatever you feel like and believe it will be heard, think again, you might be wrong. Nothing changes for the common man, especially the society which lives dependently on each other's action. What does that mean?

We live in a country which is divided into two sections - India & Bharat. What is the difference? India being the civil society, the mass of people who can tweet, update their opinion, push forward a blog, make the society feel of their presence by appearing on prime time television shows. Whereas Bharat is that mass of people, whose daily lives are dependent on the actions of civil society, whose opinions are minutely listened by the mass of people who can recognize themselves with each other, who believes in living life as it comes, whose life is little affected by some Lokpal or Janlokpal bill.

Am not being cynic. The Bharat whose population is more than that of India live their life on daily basis rather seeing or planning for the future and hoping that they won't have to pay a bribe to get their work done. Rather the Bharat will be much more interested in paying little extra to get their work done than going to some police station or court to file case against corruption. These group of people no matter how many time they go to Pragati Maidan or Ramlila to support Anna Hazare or his team, will at the end of the day prefer to bribe the ration shop dealer to get his list of things out of the shop more quickly than waiting in the queue.

Society runs on actions rather than views or ideas. A major reason for this being a person's fear to getting isolated for being an innovator or being a person of different views. In Mass Communication, we call it - Spiral of Silence. What exactly is this spiral of silence? Formed by Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann, this theory states that the society/media publicizes opinions that are mainstream and people adjust their opinions according to the perceptions of that society/media to avoid being isolated. Individuals who perceive their own opinion as being accepted will express it, whilst those who think themselves as being a minority, suppress their views. Innovators and change agents are unafraid to voice different opinions, as they do not fear isolation.

A common man whose daily life depends on his daily earnings will never dare to go on to a police station to complain about a local babu who might be harassing or making his life miserable. He will rather chose to stay  silent and get used to it. The reasons which usually comes up - "Police and Babus are friends", "I should but police won't listen", "No one voices why should I", "Why waste time in such stuff, I will get used to it or do as the babu wants me to".

This happens when over the years communications fail. A good society is a result of good communication between two persons or a group of people. A good communication happens only when there is a feedback. In the country we live in a feedback rarely comes. As a result the Spiral of Silence governs our life and will be for a very long time.

How can we change this? Well firstly a simple Janlokpal won't help. Our system needs to loosen a bit. A person will chose to bribe and get his or her work done if we have such tight rules and regulations. Also we need a system that works fast. Complain about our Judiciary taking ages to solve cases? Let us talk about the time it takes to make a passport.

Also If you have noticed, there is no feedback at all of how any work is progressing around you. The system should look upon the task of letting people know about the situations. So when someone asks you something its better to reply back. This way the difference and gap between classes and variety of people will lessen.

Most importantly the society which shapes the views and publicizes opinions should consider to take up the views of the billions than a selected group of people, over and over again. Why only Anna as a change agent? Why not talk about the mass who visited Ramlila to support Anna? Anna communicated well, fine. He had a good PR team working for him but how about the billions of people who communicated back by visiting Ramlila and each and every city's protest points to show their support and become the agent of innovation along with Anna?

Lastly if someone feels like a minor person in this world, help him or her to overcome it.

Till then our society will be run by Opinion Leaders and their supporters.

P.S. Views are my personal and not directed towards anyone.

Monday, 22 August 2011

West Bengal, Thou shall be missed.

"And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow, 
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings; 
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, 
And evening full of the linnet's wings. 

I will arise and go now, for always night and day 
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; 
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey, 
I hear it in the deep heart's core."

Yes, I feel like Yeats. I feel lost, living in a land that I don't know of. I miss my land, my city and the all the glorious its and bits of history that kept me alive. I miss my Calcutta and now of all, my Bengal.

I feel the end of world has happened. There was a big bang and another new state was formed. I here remain a survivor who has traveled through a time machine, that kept her alive to see the new state.

As soon as the news of Poschim Bongo reached my ears, I feel a part of my heart go more inside and glued more badly to the pericardium, in fear of getting snatched away by fake, desperate, wannabes of my state or the new state that it is now. It is not the name that hurts me more because the name was already there, in bengali, we used it but it is the height of discrimination and madness, the extent of desperate measures to create a new state rather than building from the remains.

Poschim Bongo. I feel our dearest CM is no less than Lord Clive. I as a person whose roots are in Bangladesh, East Bengal, precisely, feel discriminated. I feel just like Lord Clive, our dearest CM is making sure that we be seen differently than those of East Bengal. I wonder if it has come to any one's mind how brutally Bengal was divided and how even Rabindranath Tagore, the poet whom our dearest CM praises so much, tried to overcome the partition through the auspicious Rakhshabandhan to strengthen the relationship of both the Bengals.

The renaming of the state doesn't seem to be in any way good to me. Or a progress, if so ever they had in their mind. This 'namkaran' just signifies from what to where Bengal has degenerated. We have turned into a race which remains on the past, hanging on the glorious cultural that is getting slowly westernized, how we remain insecure about ourselves and try desperate things and in the end appear as wannabes to the other states. Yes. This might sound harsh but that's the truth. Changing names didn't change anything for good. 

We have changed into a set of people insecure about losing our heritage and culture rather than building up new ones. We have changed into people who wants to progress for mere self-satisfaction, so that they can compare themselves with others rather than share. We have changed into a bunch of so-called intellectuals who prefer sitting in a studio, discussing or arguing about the future of our state rather than getting their ass up and working on it. We prefer to plan more than work.

Someone asked me - Give me ten differences between Bengal and India.

Ok here you go -

1. Bengal is full of people who loves sweet more than anything,
2. Bengal is obsessed about Rabindranath Tagore, even though half of them don't know the real surname of the Tagores.
3. Bengalis are supposed to be soft-spoken, friendly people. They have practically forgotten people like Netaji, S. N. Banerjee, etc. hail from Bengal. Bengalis don't fight. They only complain and shout.
4. Bengalis or Bengal is obsessed about Dada and Didi. They care ZERO about Bengal.
5. Bengal has seen no major industrial progress in the last 5 years, Yes right, we lost Nano to NaMo.
6. Bengal is totally dependent on the political netas and netris. If nothing works, we depend on Strikes and Hartals.
7. We had phutchka. Now we have KFC. *Please note Phutchka-Pani Puri and Gol Gappas totally different in taste*
8. We have KKR ran by SRK. I wouldn't be shocked if some KRK shows interest in Kolkata or PoBo.
9. We are a proud State whose people are preferred to be called Bongs and then Indians.
10. We have only one college & university - Presidency. All others are just useless time-pass.

And the list can go on and on.

Why I have put on the list in this way? Practically to show how bengalis or the 'bongs' are treated and lets just accept it, its all because we have given others the opportunity to mock us.

Someone said the word Bongo appears in the National Anthem so its well justified. Please excuse me but does Poschim Bongo appear anywhere? And if that is the way, then why not regionalise each and every state in India. Let us call Maharastra as Maratha. 

West Bengal always came last in the list. Alphabetically. Poschim Bongo elevates them a bit. Darlings, had you selected Bengal, you would had gone straight UP in the list! 
We had IIM-C, third in the list. Now, even though it hasn't been changed, we are IIM-K. How many IIM-Ks we have?

Now for the progress part. Since the name Kolkata came up, Bengal and Kolkata has been facing turmoils, one after the other. We have turned into one state, busy in cleaning the mess to create more MESS. The word stability has disappeared from our dictionary. Since 13th May, 2011, the city's transport has gone from hay to nowhere. And now Poschim Bongo. 

We are being tagged as the PoBo trying to be SoBo. Do we have an unique identity? Our name is all up for jokes. I thought Bengaluroo was the biggest joke. We just defeated them! People from abroad and nearby also doesn't know on which planet Kolkata is and now they will wonder what kind of instrument is Poschim Bongo. Talk about pronunciation, try and record your voice. 

The time our precious leaders spent in changing the name, if they had spent in changing the traffic situations, it would had been much to our delight. I seriously can't recognize with the name.

But even if we are a bunch of cribbers, we will get used to it. Like before. Although with the change of name, my identity of being a 'Bengal'i from Calcutta is lost. May be it is what we are. Sorry!! That's the people of Poschim Bongo are *am a person from Purbo bongo*. May be its right and well justified and may be it is easier for people who find it hard to pronounce West Bengal and end up pronoucing WASTE Bengal but we just changed into a bunch of people who loves dressing up to new fashion rather than changing their INNER SELVES.

Let me conclude by hoping am wrong. This isn't a hate-post but a post by a lost and hurt lover who has no idea what and how things will change for the betterment. I hope when am gone from here, and the state progresses(I just HOPE it does), someone comes to this post and replies - You were wrong, we did progress.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Independent to be a better person - Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day fellow Indians, living anywhere in the world today. As we enter the 64th year of our independence, I sit and look back to those 21 years I have spent celebrating this day, no not 21 years but may be 20 or 19 years(Lets leave the 1st year of my birth). 

What was Independence day to me? Waking up early in the morning, going with father to the quarter's flag hoisting and playing through out the day with other kids. Independence day meant sitting in front of the TV, watching Doordarshan endlessly, years after years, the same thing, over and over. Independence for me as a young kid was what our ancestors had fought to achieve, what the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji dreamt and hoped about. Independence day for me was hoisting the flag and feeling proud and happy about it.

As I started growing up, Independence day view started changing. I saw Nepali soldiers guarding my father's factory while the Indians made fun of the Nepalis. I saw people looking back to the glorious days of past, how they fought and struggle to make sure, we the kids have a better future. I saw men and women fighting on news channels, discussing the present status of our country, discussing about the corruption and comparing with the past.

And now Independence Day for me is all about hoping for a better future, trying to be a better citizen and doing something in anyway possible for my country. Even though there is much hatred, anger inside me, even though I am frustrated to see my India and my state go nowhere, angry to see people give up, sad to see the blame game, I celebrate this day, at least for the people who fought to free us. Think about countries like Sudan, who still struggle to rise, think about Afghanistan, messed up in their own fight.

Yes we live in a country where the people who are supposed to lead us are themselves corrupt. Yes we live in a country where terrorists roam freely and people are scared to step out after a certain time. Yes we live in a country where more than 50% of our population is homeless and poverty stuck. Yes we live in a country which feeds on false promises. But let me ask you something, would you have preferred to live under the British rule then? Would you have preferred to live being a slave for some Britisher, polishing his/her shoe, while they enjoyed a bright 15th August morning, doing luxurious thing, while we starred at them, admiring? Could you give up this life you live? And prefer to go back living a life without computers, television, Blackberries and Ipods? I really wonder.

Remember the Indian team that won the World Cup wouldn't had been there then, if we weren't independent today, neither you would get the right to point and blame the politicians whom you elect, who is as corrupt as the man who handles your ration shop at your locality.

Why would anyone want to think about some other country? Yes then why worry about the other states or even the other districts in your state? Why care about who is doing what? If you care about your country and countrymen so much, why not stop living where you live, in the most posh area of the city, stop going to mall, stop recharging your cellphone everyday, stop having meals four times a day and share it with the people who can't enjoy any of these.

Every year this day comes, to remind us of what we have done in the past, making me believe that with struggle we can achieve whatever we want to. With struggle we can make India a better place to stay, to live, we can try and make our country a better place for our future citizens. Stop cribbing, complaining, start doing something for your place, state, country. 

Its not so easy but who says there is harm in trying. Don't give up until you achieve. This day should remind us the BRAND we are, that we can be. 

Had not we achieved Independence, we would had got lost somewhere in the pages of time, a country yet to be independent. And for the corruption, struggle, cribbing and complaining, we are humans, living in a third world country, in a developing country, a little hope and belief will never hurt.

Always remember good things happen only when you think good. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

No more starting the day with Twitter

For my sister, the day started something like this -
6:30 A.M. - Get up from the bed
6:30 A.M. - Sit in front of the desktop, switch it on.
6:31 A.M. - Log in to Facebook.

Almost everyday I saw her following the same routine. Her life revolved around Facebook. So much that she spent more cell phone balance on Facebook than sms or call. So much that she sometimes borrowed my cell phone to Facebook.
Well all these wasn't something new, surprising to me. Myself being a twitter addict I understood her addiction for the social networking site.

For me my day started something like this -
8:15 A.M. - Wake up, still on the bed.
8:16 A.M. - Log in to Snaptu & then Twitter.
8:20 A.M. - Facebook.
8:30 A.M. - Get up from the bed.

Every single day passed like this. My day ended with a tweet, started with a tweet. No joke. Twitter become like alcohol to me. Twitterholic I became. There hasn't been one place from where I have not tweeted (except the bathroom!!).

Twitter has been a home to me. I felt safe, surrounded by wonderful people whom I used to believe can't be real. Met them, got close with them. Twitter just changed my view about life in a social networking site. Something that Orkut made me hate.

But like alcohol, everything has it's negative. And I just decided to get over it. Finally one day I deleted my account (also my Facebook, even though I will have to return to Facebook as my relatives have already started calling up and demanding I return).

Calling twitter off is like giving up smoking. You see it and you feel like once, just once, makes you feel weak in your knees.

Now I don't wake up to twitter. Even though the first thing I do is, check my cell after which I realize I don't have a twitter account to keep my mind glued to. I miss it. Yes I do. But it's something I have been deciding to do and then giving up the idea. Like a smoker, every time I decided I will constrain myself but in vain.

Life has turned slow without twitter, trust me but I don't regret deleting it. Someday I will return but only when am sure I am ready or when my mind is off too many things and I am sure I am in my correct senses. May be when my work calls for it. Or may be I never return to twitter. There are people who I know is living a life without Twitter.

About the wonderful people I met on twitter, I have Google + and Facebook that I will have to return to (my relatives I say their demands) and am always a call away.

Honestly every morning waking up without twitter, I feel alone but I guess that's what I want coz twitter was turning out to be my alcohol a bit! 

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Bon Appetit - Review

I am fond of hanging out in cafes and restaurants but none of the places I visit in Kolkata satisfy my soul. There are places like Flury's, KFC and MCDonalsds'. But they are there. They have been. I always felt something is missing in them. Either they are too open and loud or too conservative to make people cozy, at home types. In Kolkata there is none like Candies', one of my favourites! Nothing beats it. Not even Oly Pub (which recently has got little conservative, paisa do, peeyo, bhaago). I used to paint this idea, a dream of opening a cafe cum resto. Homely, cozy, where you can just hang over a coffee or something all by yourself, read on and no one to bother you. I won't say I found one but few days back I found one, which made me so cheerful, at home, laid back that I felt like sitting back and relating to my dreams of opening one during my college days.

I used to pass by this place, I have many times. I always ignored it. I used to think it's just a coffee parlour for young couples to hang out. However when this friend of mine took me there, I was blown off at first shot. Bon Appetit, a small cafe made out of the front extended portion of a bunglow type house in Salt Lake's AD Block. You get food at reasonable rate and you can lay back and kill your time. As you enter you find plastic chairs and tables kept. Nothing extraordinary decoration has been done. You have both self-service and ask the waiter options. There are books and magazines lying for you to pick up and read. A music system, the one's we don't use it anymore has been put up and the radio has been kept on. Normal ceiling fans and table fans put up across the corners with a hut-type ceiling made out of bamboo structures. There is an aquarium, transparent one, whose other side is the garage of the bunglow. 

Everything that has been used here has been taken up from the house. From the plates to water bottles. Just like home. The food is good. Some food combinations are great. You get Baked Beans on Toast which very few cafes offer. There are these speacial paranthas for the day. Like for Tuesday, you only get Aloo Aanchar Parantha. And Cheese Parantha is always available. The chocolate avalanche is huge! Three can't finish off! All in all, it's like your living room combined with your kitchen. The place is not big. At a time maximum thirty five people can accomodate.

The main point of this place the founder's idea of turning the empty front place of the house into a cafe for everyone. It's not that only young folks visit. I saw people around 50 years hanging out there!

The cafe has been decorated to match the sophisticated, posh nature of the area surrounding it, to the nature of the Salt Lake city folks. With City Centre mall so near, still Bon Appetit is having full house even at 3 o'clock in the noon. I felt if my house would had been across the street, I would had come frequently to have coffee or a snack and lay back and read over or scribe down something. 

Well the negatives, it's a small place and even for 35 people there is only 3 folks attending the services. And about the decorations, well you can put couches at the corner and increase the library.

My teen dream of opening a cafe was brought back again by this small cafe. I guess am gonna take my friends coming over from different cities at least once, not just for mere sight-seeing or enjoy the food but at least to make them wonder over how creativity works!