Monday, December 20, 2004

A ‘Bitter’ – Sweet Experience

I come out of the main institute building. I see some friends near the Central Library gate and talk to them for a while. After taking my cycle, I see another group of friends sitting on the circle just outside the main building. Azem looks very sad. I go over and enquire. Rolly, who is sitting behind him, explains. Azem is leaving for US tomorrow and is thus sad to leave kgp. Rolly is also leaving soon but after Azem. To cheer Azem up, I kiss him on his cheek. He seems to get some heart from this gesture so I kiss him on the other cheek too. At this point, somebody from the crowd passes a comment. It probably is 'sure-aan'. He points to the lady in the white dress who is cycling by at that moment and asks me why she is being left out. I say that the lady deserves a kiss on the lips and not on the cheeks. Everyone laughs. While we enjoy the joke, I notice a boy peeping at me from amongst the crowd. Till now, the other boys sitting side by side had kept him hidden from my sight. As he smiles mischievously at me, I recognise him. It is the boy who had committed suicide a few months back. I am terribly scared. I know he is a good friend and means no harm. However I look away from him and try to escape. But something is pulling me back. I feel myself sweating.... my dream breaks.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

A Spot of Green, A Dash of Blue

My house overlooks a garden.
It is not a brilliant one, but
It is nice and green nevertheless.

There is an old man.
His house rises from where the street ends;
A thin wall tries in vain
To protect his privacy.

I and other passers-by
Add to the din and smoke
Which are his constant companions.

I wonder whether his window
Shows him anything green.

There is a child
Whose house is in a by-lane
Of a busy market area.
His house is small and damp,
With windows staring into blank walls.

When he has to stretch his limbs;
He comes out of his house
And through the alley,
Goes into the bustling market.
He sees the shopkeepers
And the customers
Cussing and bargaining over trifle things.

The boy looks up,
Away from the crowd
And through the banners and tarpaulins;
To catch a cloud floating away.

His daze is broken
By a honking car
Or the rickshaw-walla's curses.

His dreams are thus not very long.

Every one deserves his landscape;
A spot of green, a dash of blue.
Some people do not get it
And some who do,
Do not see it.

- Kriti Sen Sharma

Monday, October 25, 2004


It was OP time. Among the many funda passed diligently from seniors to juniors was the one about Patel ka 'Lund'. It was a water tank named so because of its position between the two legs, the B & C blocks of Patel Hall. Reportedly, a Professor of the Civil Engineering Department of IIT Kharagpur had designed it. While designing it he had forgotten to take into consideration the weight of water in the calculations. Due to this significant 'silly mistake', the tank was nonoperational. Such reports made me think about the superficiality of the IIT Professors and the system in general. We even speculated that the guilty person was the Professor whom we popularly address as Ramu.

There was an irony in the name of the water tank that struck me as odd. Patel was supposed to be the hall that symbolised all things macho. Why then was it so proud to boast about an organ, which suffered from the worst case of 'impotency'?

As the year progressed we made quite a number of night-outs for hall activities. On any of those night-outs, the sight of the tank as seen from the catwalk was an eerie one. With the open sky behind it, the tank appeared monstrously large and strange. It stood there, completely still, taking up the good part of our view.

My third year room was allotted in the top floor of C-block just beside the water tank. For most part of the third year the sight of the tank did not arouse any emotions in me. It was during the campaign for President-ship of the hall that I discovered that the tank was actually a working one. It provided water to three halls including ours. After gaining this piece of knowledge I noticed that people came to operate it at the allotted times everyday. Somehow I had never noticed them before. This made me think about the shallowness on our parts, the students of IIT, accepting blindly cooked up half-truths which were dished out to us.

Now into my fourth and final year, I view the tank with a lot more reverence. It has become an important feature of the landscape that I can see from my balcony. I see workers taking shade under it for a quick nap or to have lunch. Sometimes I even notice some people using the vicinity of the tank (hopefully not very close) for the ultimate result of the eating.

A huge hostel is being constructed just behind Patel Hall. Throughout the day, female construction labourers come to relieve themselves in the field beside the water tank. It is quite an embarrassing sight. Initially I resolved to shout to them from above so that they went behind a wall to preserve the mutual decency. On my doing so once, they giggled among themselves before obeying my instructions. Later on I gave up as there were too many of them coming throughout the day.

Many of these labourers are quite young, probably very near the ages of my sisters. But what a difference lies between their lives and those of my sisters brought up in well-to-do families.

I am reminded of a morning in Navi Mumbai when I had gone jogging; I was going through a new area when I saw two kids, a girl and a boy, throwing stones at another young girl. All of them must have been below the age of ten. Between the two kids, who seemed to live in a building nearby, the girl seemed to be the more active participant in the stone throwing. The little girl who was the object of their anger was in a squatting position trying to complete her morning rituals. She must have been left there by her mother. Not suspecting anything, the mother must have gone into a nearby public toilet. The unfortunate girl was all alone and at the mercy of these spoilt kids. I rebuked the two 'well-off' kids for their behaviour, well knowing that they were too young to be blamed for their actions. Having driven them away I went near the young girl. She was crying. She showed the traits of a kid brought up in less fortunate environments. Her hair was rough and she obviously was not bathed regularly. Nevertheless she was very sweet. I told her to stop crying and then asked her her name. She said her name was Pooja. I have an elder sister who has the same name and who is now settled in Antwerp after marriage. How different their lives are!

Anyway I will get back to the main issue of the water tank. The water tank is also associated with a bad memory. At the end of the first year in college, students go through a process in which allotment of the Hall in which the student is to reside for the next 3 or 4 years is done by lottery. In my first year I had been stupid enough to try the backdoor route to go to one particular hall. For this we had to stay under cover for a few days in the hall that we were trying to get into. One night during our stay we were told that authorities might be making a raid anytime. So in that unearthly hour we left our secret hiding place in the senior hall and clandestinely made our ways back to our original hall of residence. To avoid being seen we went through roads which were seldom used. Within that journey we passed through the field beside the water tank. If I were in more casual a mood I would have enjoyed the midnight stroll and the non-conventional surroundings. However with the thought of seniors and authorities breathing down on our necks, it was a feeling that is best forgotten.

That memory however is a part of the past. Now the water tank is a constant companion. After studying for a while in my room, I come out to the balcony for quiet contemplation. As I lean on the balcony looking at the landscape surrounding me, I think very often about the so-called 'information environment' of IIT in which we are living. Usually I am alone in my thoughts except for times when a wing-mate spots me and cares to start a discussion session. The water tank however is always there. Recently due to the lights from the construction site, the tank has got its fair share of illumination. It reminds me of Tintin's rocket in "Destination Moon", looking as if it is going to take-off any moment.

There is another water tank of similar shape and size, which is inside the institute area. As I looked at it while walking underneath it, it seemed to be of more grand dimensions. However the water tank beside Patel Hall as seen from my vantage point on the third floor is definitely friendlier.

PS : Here are some pictures from Tintin's "Destination Moon" :-



Friday, October 15, 2004

What Will I Write Tommorow?

It's been quite a while since I last posted something on the blog. I have been treating it like a step-child.

I have allotted Saturday mornings for writing. It happened for the last two Saturdays that I was writing a short story. I finished it last Saturday after much deliberations and effort. After which I mailed it to my parents and some close acquaintainces for reviewing. Got some praise, got some 'constructive' criticism.

That is exactly what I had asked for. But the fact was that it was quite difficult to digest the criticism even though I agreed with the 'critics'.

I am a person who is usually doing all things the 'right' way. Criticism is not something that normally comes my way. I am more used to praise. I succeed almost whenever i put in effort. The last two weeks passed with me getting a lot of 'stick' from my project guide. Made me feel bad sometimes but mostly I knew that it would at least keep me from diverting the focus from the job at hand. I realised that it would push me to finish what I had started.

So the criticism in the project thingie is good. But when it comes to writing, I do not like to listen to others. Sometime in the past, a teacher had said about a piece that I wrote that it started off brilliantly but faded away towards the end. The diagnosis was ditto as I had been hurrying to complete it.

This time however I am at a loss. I wrote this story keeping a simple plot in mind. It had come to my mind and I had developed the plot as it came to me. I wrote it over two Saturdays placed in Kolkata and Kharagpur. I took quite some effort firstly in Kolkata to find time to start writing. And then in kgp to complete it. After all that, all I expected was praise and more praise.....

Funny how we know what the ideal situation should be but fail to cope up with it when it comes along in real life.


PS: I was asking RA how Salman Rushdie's parents feel when they find their son writing intimately about sex. "They probably do not know how to read English", is what I said as an afterthought.

Anyway here goes :-

Q: What do you call a man who has a delayed orgasm?

A: A Late-'cum'mer

Saturday, October 09, 2004


Q: What did dohn denver say when he got lost and met Jhonty Rhodes?

A: "Jhonty 'Roads'...........
Take me home
To the place I belong........."

PS: Could not restrain myself from posting it.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Down Scholar's Avenue

It had been a very hectic day. I had just returned from Kolkata. After that I had gone out to the 'placement' treat of two wing mates. The party ran in a high vein. I had a great heart-to-heart with PP.

Soon it was time to return. We decided to walk back to our hostel. It is a long distance and on other days, I would have enjoyed it quite a lot. It usually aided the digestion process. But today I was too tired. It added to my woes when we met up with some other hall-mates at the paan shop. RA decided that he too should have one. After some delay we moved on (without the paan).

I was not in the mood of much discussion. I was just listening to my wing-mates talking about this and that. I trudged along towing my cycle beside me. I was desperate to reach my room and crash into bed for a deep, peaceful and well-deserved sleep. We had covered almost half the distance when the hall-mates that we left behind at the paan-shop (Jha and Shukla) passed us on their bikes. They stopped a little ahead of us. They had brought paans for us. So everyone stopped to take their share. On any other day, I would be praising the virtues of friendship and camaraderie. But today I had had enough. I decided to walk ahead, leaving the others behind.

My friends also started walking after some time. But I was practically alone, distanced from them by a considerable amount. I was thinking a lot of things at that time, most of which were the usual stuff - CAT, career, friends. But some particular things flashed through my mind which left a lingering effect on me.

One was a memory of me as a kid, returning home with my parents. Many a times, we returned by bus or were dropped home by relatives with cars. We usually got down at the bus stop and walked the remaining distance. And more often than not, I trotted ahead of my parents. I knew that they were behind me, watching every step of mine. But I liked the sense of freedom, the sense of being alone.

Today's situation was different. Usually I walk along with my friends. Sometimes I even find myself following them, listening to them and not engaging in active conversation. Today as I walked ahead of them, I knew that they might not be watching my every step due to their pre-occupation with the discussion at hand. A pre-occupation with the present which is a characteristic of our age. However it surprised me how the present had brought out a memory of the past. A memory which was related yet distinct; distinct yet familiar.

(Twice my friends joined me in my solo walk. Thanks to them for noticing that I was alone.)

Another was a more recent memory. It was related to a feeling that I used to get when I had just started jogging. While running the 2.2 km circle within our campus, I used to feel anxious whether I would make it to the end. The sight of the 'frust corner' symbolising the end of 2.2 km came as an inspiration to complete the task I had set out to achieve. With time I managed to complete it more comfortably. Thus today when I saw that the end was near and relating it to my memory of jogging, I knew I would make it.

Today's happenings gave me a funny feeling of 'deja-vu'. It surprised me how we unconsciously relate memories to our present life.

PS: This happened two weeks ago. I decided then that I would write about it. It took me two weeks of time to manage to write it. Is my present stand of allotting times for specified tasks justified...? Or should I live more in the present... Writing when I feel like it, or speaking in a more general way, do whatever I like whenever I want to. With regards to blogging, I claim complete independence. I can do whatever I like. But in life, I cannot do the same. Even though that is what I may want to do... or think that I want to.

Anyway, this kind of wondering aloud is ideal blogging. Ramblings, as they call it in this direction of the intellectual spectrum. Not my kind of organised 'article' writing. But I like my organised style anyway. After all I think I fall into the 'image building' category of bloggers.

All for today... bye

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A House for Mr. Bandyopadhyay

I usually write out of a natural urge to do so. But it is also a sense of duty that is influencing me to write this piece.

This article is about the Bengali author, Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay. He is famous for timeless classics such as 'Pather Panchali', 'Aparijata' among others. He is also remembered for a book called 'Aranyak', which I have just finished reading.

Before delving into the main topic of this article, I shall write a little about the book 'Aranyak'.

'Aranyak' is a description of the author's five to seven year long stint as the collector of a forest area in present day Jharkhand. Bibhuti Bhushan wrote this book after many years of having left the collector's job. An unmistakable sense of nostalgia is evident ever so often in the book. The author misses the different aspects of the place - the forests, the people, the lakes, the horse-back rides, the beautiful moonlit nights.

Above all he misses the people. Nowhere is it more evident than in the closing stanzas. There the author expresses guilt for not keeping any news of the people after having left the job.

Another characteristic of the book is the great amount of detail in the author's description of nature. Every leaf seems to spring alive from the author's words.

Bibhuti Bhushan repeatedly tells us about his helplessness in the face of human greed. He loves the forests and wants to preserve them for future generations. However, he has to obey his employer and auction these lands. Within years, beautiful forests are pulled down and dirty overpopulated shanties mushroom in their place. Bibhuti Bhushan foresees a desolate future for this place, a future with no hint of the glory it once held.

This was about the book. I had just finished reading it when I was entrusted with arranging a trip to Ghatsila with my friends and family. I had heard of Ghatsila only from relatives who had been there before. I was naturally surprised when the tourist brochure of Ghatsila mentioned Bibhuti Bhushan's house as one of the many sites to visit. This increased my enthusiasm to arrange a visit to the place.

In due time, the day of the trip arrived. Like any other group of tourists, we booked a car which would guide us through the important sites. We had visited some places, none of which had impressed us so far. The next stop would be Bibhuti Bhushan's house. We were busy chatting with each other when the car suddenly stopped. We looked out to see a simple house resembling a school more than anything else. It was then that our driver pointed out the actual house of Bibhuti Bhushan Bandyopadhyay. It was just opposite to the house we had been looking at. It was a sight to be seen.

The house was totally in ruins. There was nothing called a roof anymore. The whole house had been taken over creepers and vines. On closer inspection we found a worn out signboard. It said something about a Bibhuti Bhushan Memorial Committee. Obviously that had happened too long ago.

(Compare this with Rabindranath Tagore’s house in Mongpu near Darjeeling which has been converted into a museum.)

The house was a depressing sight. Before reaching it, I had planned to tell my 'Non-Bengali' friends about the writings of the great author whose house we were visiting. But after seeing the place, they were obviously in no mood to listen to any such stuff.

Initially I blamed the state of the house on its location. You could not expect the people of Jharkhand to uphold our (Bengali) culture and tradition, I told myself. However as the trip progressed I noticed that the majority of the population in that place comprised of Bengali-s. And it was obvious from the political graffiti on walls that the Bengali-s threw their weight around quite a bit.

Many questions remain unanswered in my mind. Who is to be blamed for this? What should be done? Nevertheless, the house deserves immediate repairs. The state of the house is a mark of disrespect to the author. As far as the greatness of the author is concerned, I think there is no question about that.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Written 11th July, 2004

3:30 pm

Just returned after watching Harry Potter III. This time, had gone with family.

Tomorrow, have to return to Kharagpur. Returning early in order to do some project work. Final year to begin in one more week.

I had invitations from Professor's home (a friend) for lunch and also from Vatika for a meet-up. Turned both down so as to spend some time at home and avoid eating the lunch outside.

Seems it was a good decision. Did some packing, called up a few friends (including a nice chat with Pamela), had a nice lunch. And finally went for the movie. (Kakima, didi and Vatika – please do not get angry).

There was this scene in Harry Potter III where Harry rides a giant bird. He flies high into the skies and then swoops down. The effect on Harry, as is made obvious by his expressions, is one of total thrill. Somehow while watching this scene, I too could feel the thrill within me. It was a sense of freedom, of joy – like a surge of happiness rushing through your body.

I read this short story the other day (in a book called ‘Favourite Indian Short Stories’ compiled by Khushwant Singh and another famous Indian author). It was about a young mother. She was returning home by train along with her husband and three children. The story was about her life – how the responsibilities of early marriage and early motherhood had become a burden for her and how she longed for the love of her constantly rebuking husband.

It was about her desire to be more than just a machine fulfilling the needs and desires of her husband and children.

In the end she wanted to break free. Free from all the shackles that held her down and had led to a premature end of her childhood.

That scene from Harry Potter would have made her squeal with delight. There was an unmistakable sense of freedom associated with that scene. A taste that many of us have forgotten and many not acquainted with at all. I am lucky to have got that taste on numerous occasions.

(Today was one such day - a sunny Sunday spent with my loving parents.)

PS: Cinema has a mass appeal which books do not have. After all, two people can watch a movie together. But they can never read a book sitting side by side.

However you cannot choose one over the other. In the end, there are just too many good things in the world and too less time to experience them.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A 'Campus Placement'

On some of my visits to the north wing toilet in our institute I noticed a man sitting in a makeshift closet beside it. I wondered how a person could continue sitting there for the whole day every day. The toilet had just been renovated and so it did not stink. However the thought of having to sit beside a toilet without anything to look at except bare walls convinced me that this job was a highly depressing one.

During the ongoing process of campus placement in our institute, I have had to visit that particular toilet quite often. (Not very surprising, that.) I kept bumping into that fellow a number of times. I noticed, to my surprise, that there was always a smile on his face. On asking him I also found out that his job was to regularly clean the toilet. He had to do it a number of times in the day and saw to it that the toilet was spick and span. True to his words, the toilet was always superbly maintained.

I observed that that when this fellow told me of his duty, there was an unmistakable sense of pride in him. I tried later to rationalise that he was mentally unstable and that people had given him this 'lowly' job out of charity. And assuming him having retarded faculties to be true, he was thus happy with even such a job.

I recently applied for a position in a company that sells cigarettes. (No prizes for guessing the company correctly.) While preparing for the interview I was wondering how it would feel to sell cigarettes and be totally against their consumption at the same time. I wonder now that if I had got the job, would I be able to speak as proudly about it as that fellow in the toilet.

It is surprising how one can be totally content with one's job while another cannot. The crux of the matter lies in the fact that one must be happy with what he does. And that one must do his job to the utmost perfection

I hope that when I get a job, I shall not have to envy that fellow in the toilet.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Behind Every Closed Door

IIT Kharagpur was my first taste of hostel life. I have always liked to interact with people. For the first few months I used to roam a lot regarding some activity or the other. Through this I got to meet lots of people. There were a large number of boys in my first year hostel. The sheer variety of cultures, economic backgrounds, behavioural patterns that I got to experience by interacting with them was amazing.

Three years have passed. Yet the people here continue to fascinate me with their stories or just by their personalities. All this gives me an idea. What if I went to each and every room in IIT Kharagpur, interacted with its occupant, observed him and his room and got to know his feelings, his ideas, his emotions. What a wonderful achievement that would be.

Experience has made me wiser. Let alone the whole college it is impossible to know the inhabitants of one whole hostel. The deterring factors are many - personal ambitions, academic and social obligations, time constraints and the magnitude of numbers involved.

Sometimes this reminds you just how insignificant one is in the greater scheme of things. Since the inception of IIT Kgp, about fifty people have lived in the room I am presently occupying. Fifty hall presidents have presided over GBM-s in Patel Hall and an even greater number of people (like myself) have contested elections unsuccessfully for the coveted post. For quite a few decades now the department of Electronics & Electrical Communication Engineering has been grinding out engineers just like me. Many of them must have had the same queries at this stage of their lives as I am now having. Several thousands of young minds, in the course of these many years, must have travelled down Scholar's Avenue thinking some thought or the other. What were they thinking? Shall I ever know?

It is just like reading books. You can never complete reading all the books in the world, however much you may want to. You should consider yourself lucky if you have come across a few good books that you will remember all your life. Similarly it is through some select friends that you get a sneak-peek into this vast multitude of thoughts. I consider myself quite lucky to have got friends as I have...... but more about that later. posted by Kriti Sen Sharma on 09:06 AM 1 Comment

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The 'Final Year Feeling'

The final year of our college life in IIT Kgp is upon us..... However it does not feel too much different yet. Except the following things:

1. Writing lengthy, trying, repititive applications to companies
2. Gazing at the beautiful sky and wondering whether we will get to live in such beautiful surroundings in the future
3. Quizzing each other on words.. as preparation for CAT or GRE
4. Putting up the impression that you are above it all... that everything is 'maaya'

I feel there is a long way to go before we actually feel the final year feeling. Probably when we have got a job or a schol, we will realise that our paths are different. That these last few months in college are the last few months that we are going to spend together.

My hall president 'Ghaasi' told me the day he was leaving that this might just be the last day we were seeing each other 'eye-to-eye'. I have kept in touch with him over the net but do not know when, if at all, i will see him.

The point I am trying to make is that we are going to miss our friends. And very soon we will start missing them. We will realise that the person who we avoided for his nagging traits will not be beside us to nag us anymore. We will realise that some friends will have such varying paths in life that their trodden paths will seldom coincide with ours.

That is when the final year will truly start.

Friday, July 16, 2004

5th July 2004 8:03 pm

There was a time in life when I thought that all I needed to realise all my dreams was to have a computer on my desk. I have one on my desk at home, one in my room in IIT with 24 hours internet connection and am almost constantly surrounded by them. So have my dreams come true.

I try not to be the complaining types but dreams are dreams... they are not the ones to be fulfilled so easily. And if they are fulfilled so easily then what sub-standard sort of dreams were they in the first place.

Anyway I read in a Rebecca Blood article (for the uninitiated she is the god of blog-world) that one maintains a blog for mainly three reasons: -

1. self expression
2. image building
3. listing links to good sites

I think I fall in the second category. I write or at least aim to write some pieces to be appreciated by critics. That is not something which comes quite easily or at least not instantly with the starting of a blog. But what the heck at least this gives me an excuse to write. And maybe somebody somewhere is reading. Who knows.....? Rebecca Blood says that even if one starts a blog for only one of the above 3 reasons, maintaining it for some time ultimately fulfill all the 3 reasons. And is not that justification enough to keep maintaining one.

There are so many things to write. Sometimes a hundred things come to mind and I really have to force myself to focus on the topic at hand. Today there is no such binding.

Addendum: I am adding some links to Rebecca Blood articles here. I might have gathered the above mentioned information from some other articles also.

Monday, July 05, 2004

There was a time in life when I thought that all I needed to realise all my dreams was to have a computer on my desk. I have one on my desk at home, one in my room in IIT with 24 hours internet connection and am almost constantly surrounded by them. So have my dreams come true.

I try not to be the complaining types but dreams are dreams... they are not the ones to be fulfilled so easily. And if they are fulfilled so easily then what sub-standard sort of dreams were they in the first place.

Anyway I read in a Rebecca Blood article (for the uninitiated she is the god of blog-world) that one maintains a blog for mainly three reasons: -

1. self expression
2. image building
3. listing links to good sites

I think I fall in the second category. I write or at least aim to write some pieces to be appreciated by critics. That is not something which comes quite easily or at least not instantly with the starting of a blog. But what the heck at least this gives me an excuse to write. And maybe somebody somewhere is reading. Who knows.....? Rebecca Blood says that even if one starts a blog for only one of the above 3 reasons, maintaining it for some time ultimately fulfill all the 3 reasons. And is not that justification enough to keep maintaining one.

There are so many things to write. Sometimes a hundred things come to mind and I really have to force myself to focus on the topic at hand. Today there is no such binding.

Monday, June 28, 2004

The Many Parks of Kopar Khairne, Navi Mumbai (Part 2)

(Read Part 1)


I discovered park P4 on my first day at jogging. The road seemed to be leading to a jogging park. The gentry here was much more up-market. Health-conscious people, a few youngsters. Another few practising yoga too. And then the odd couple who were real old and their energy inspired me.

This park is also built on the 'half grass- half bare' concept. However the park for jogging was much more well planned with a well designed path around it for walking. And the playing field much larger.

The beauty of the park is that it is at the end of KK. It is located at a corner with the swamps surrounding it on 2 sides. The swamps give way to the creek and in one direction one can see the new developments in Ghansoli gaaon. This guarantees a supply of fresh air to the park.


Now I have this strange feeling that I love my city which is Kolkata. Now that has come amongst other things with years of roaming around in the streets of Kolkata.

2 months is too small a time to love a city but nevertheless I decided to roam as much as possible within KK, Navi Mumbai. The experience was quite nice. And it was in one such aimless venture into my neighbouring area that I chanced upon park P5. Now park P5 (thank God) is an 'all-grass' park. The very first day I was greeted quite rudely by the maali for stepping onto the watered area. But that did not deter me. I liked the park the very first time I saw it.

It is hardly used by anyone. The people who use it are not the well-to-do people and thus do not have much time in the morning. So it is almost a private park for me. I have to jog in a to-and-fro motion which I have learnt from Hostel-Room-Neighbour and which is equally purpose-fulfilling. It is the nearest to my place and hence I visit it regularly.

I go jogging alone these days. This park gives you the feeling that it is your very own private park. I like being alone but sometimes it gets to me. One day I was wishing I had a jogging partner. One with no complaints, no talking while jogging, no hassles.. just to be there with me. Asking for a bit too much I guess. I guess just a partner will do... one with hassles, with complaints, but is there to jog with me.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Then and Now


If there were something called as a 5-star office, my present training stint can be said to be in such a place. A huge complex, beautiful roads, a lake replete with an adjoining mandir, grand food courts (Training Partner takes objection: no non-veg = no food), centrally air-conditioned.. the list goes on. Now I know what a white collar job means - it means that your collar remains white no matter how much you slog it out at office. Here I long to get a feel of the sun, to have a walk outside. I hate the conditioned environment. I feel that one should get to hear when it is raining while one is working. I pulled up the curtains one by one so we could have a better view of the outside.


I visited my father's previous office once (He operates from home now). It was in a famous office address in a busy office area in Kolkata. However it was office to about a dozen people or more. Computers were few, the AC was restricted to a few chambers. You had to go down into the busy street to get a snack.

A list

1. Bhelpuri wala-s
2. Vendors with sweets in glass-covered trays
3. The regular sweet shops (Ganguram etc)
4. Jhal muri wala-s

I cannot say which one of the two is better. But one thing: am thinking what is to come next. If I can foresee, then maybe I can start something to cash in on it.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Many Parks of Kopar Khairne, Navi Mumbai

I am currently doing my training in a company in Navi Mumbai. I am living in a flat in Kopar Khairne.

Firstly, Navi Mumbai is not Mumbai. Not yet at least. 'Navi' means new. For some reason or the other, the idea which we had conjured up about this place was that this would be a town just like the famous suburbtowns of America. Neat rows of houses, wide but empty roads, shopping malls, with our offices within walking distances.

Fortunately this place was nothing like we imagined it to be. Far from being a slice of America, it had India written all over it. Need I list out what that stands for.

I can proudly say that I witnessed this area at a time when it is growing. Probably many years later this area will have a completely different look.

This place called Kopar Khairne is removed by 2-3 km from Vashi, the main business centre of Navi Mumbai. For some reason, Kopar Khairne abounds in the following things:

1. saloons
2. parks


Every step in KK leads you to the door of a new saloon. They are variously termed as "Hair-Cutting Saloon", "Hair Art" or the encouraging "Hire-Cutting Saloon". They cater to all strata of clientele with rates ranging from Rs 5 to Rs 50. The funny thing is that none of these are to be found empty on any day of the week at almost any given time. And weekends mean lining up for 10-15 minutes before finding your turn. (We guessed that people here avoid shaving at home and land up in a saloon whenever the need to shave arises.)

The barbers take up an eternity snipping at your locks, give you a real good champi maalish and spoil you like anything. However the net hair that is removed from your pate makes sure that you visit the saloon at the end of every fortnight.


This area is relatively new and if you observe closely has some planning behind it. This is proved by the presence of numerous parks within a small area. (Refer to Figure) Parks P1, 2 and 3 came in the way of our going to office, shopping or eating out. The others, we discovered during our morning jogging.

P1, P2, P3

KK is divided into square shaped sectors which have wide roads running around them on which buses ply. At the centre of each of these sectors lies a park. Now these parks are quite funny ones. Half of them are covered with grass and the other half is left bare. The green half is meant for evening walks or chat sessions because evening is the only time when the people get time for leisure. The crowd comprises of what I presume to be the lower middle class type of people.

The other half which is barren is busy all day with budding Tendulkar-s perfecting their skills (most are hopeless fielders) and very rarely some budding footballers. You get the occasional kite fliers too.

We decided that grass growing must not come naturally in these parts which would explain the nature of these funny parks.


I discovered park P4 on my first day at jogging. The road seemed to be leading to ........

to be Part 2

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Lazy Sunday morning 13th June 2004 - (Part 2)

(Actually written on a Sunday morning, posted the next day.)

Blues -

The training period of mine has (touch wood) gone very peaceful so far. The last time I remember being so at peace with myself was in NCC camp. Usually my college semesters go along with some thoughts at the back of my mind. The issue might be related to some people, academics, or my attempts to fulfill my overbearing ambitions.

The result is that I feel I do not enjoy life as much as I think I should, and end up screwed up about those issues. Maintaining hobbies becomes a forgotten thing (they are reading and writing).

And then again I cannot exactly point out the circumstances which are making this training period or made the NCC camp so peaceful, yet enjoyable. Otherwise I would make sure they persisted for eternity, would not I?

Probably life is like this only. Giving me a vacation which I am loving a lot. I will list down a few things which are making this vacation a real cool one.

1. Workload - It is presently less. So was it in camp. Not like a college semester. However, Neighbour-friend says our college semester is a load only because I make it so.

2. Company - Must thank my training-mate. I can learn from him how to enjoy life. Similar learning from Friend-on-Neighbouring-Bed in camp. Kudos to you too.

3. Decisions - I hate them. Favourite-College-Seniors' blasting on my habit of indecision has helped me in making prompt decisions this summer.

Bye 4 now

PS - I feel good when writing. I think I am passionate about this. At least this. Why don't I do this more often.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Lazy Sunday morning 13th June 2004 (Part 1)

(Actually written on a Sunday morning, posted the next day.)

It is a Sunday morning. Again there are pressing matters at mind. I am beginning to doubt how great the piece about the parks in Koparkhairne will come out to be. It is a bad thing for an amateur writer like me. The appropriate mood or the previous intensity of feeling just does not seem to come back.

I had a nice dream today. Two friends and I were in top of a hill which provided a good view of Mumbai city. 1 said he could see Kanheri caves in the distance. Looking in that direction, all I could see was a big mosque and a lot of forest like area after that. Must be Sanjay Gandhi National Park, I said.

Friend 2 had earlier raised a point on the presence of colour in dreams. That time, while recollecting a dream and relating it to him, I could not remember any. But this time, I clearly do remember the green of the forest. A few days back I woke up and was sure the oblong shaped watermelon which is found here in Mumbai was hanging from a shop in dream-land. And in exactly the colour it is supposed to be. I am yet to point this out to Friend 2. be continued

Saturday, June 12, 2004

excerpt from Good-Wingie's mail


aur 1 witty ques other than what it stands for why is(or y it may be) e-mail called so?


humko bhi nahi pata...kabhi koi bataye to humko bhi batana


jokin yaar,i know the answer.dont u?

are kyunki e-mail to eeee (sounds as in kEY) waala mail hai na. ooooooo(as in mOO) waala thore hai.
koi aage is ka mention appne mail me karke aapna time barbaad na karna. mere paas tumhaare sawaalon ka (if any) koi jawaab nahi.
aur bakkwaas nahi sujh raha
chalte hain.fir milenge jaldi hi


PS: if you have not understood the above piece then try to read it keeping something Bihari in mind.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Sometimes you think that something just has to be written down and preserved for posterity..... Later when you sit down and there are more pressing matters on your mind, you just do not have the 'mood' to write the previously thought out things down.

What do you do? Force yourself to pen down the once intense thoughts or go with the mood of the moment. I am opting for the latter.

I have taken a step differently this time. In stark contrast to my previous two attempts at maintaining diaries, I have made this one freely available to my mom. And to some other elder people. Now a public web log is not really a diary. But at least one is supposed to have total and complete freedom of expression over here. The thing that is bothering me is that whenever I think of writing something I imagine mom reading it. And that is like censors breathing down your neck....

And that's not good. Which made me think of maintaining an alternate, actually free from censorship, second blog. Then I thought otherwise. I imagined the case of a serious writer who has embarked to publish some text involving passionate love-making, or an idea which in itself might be path breaking or addressing the aspirations of the country yet makes him feel a little 'weak-in-the-knees' in front of his mom. And I decided that this blog will have to do. This shall be my medium.

tata for now

PS: A confession. I am using office time and office connectivity for maintaining this blog. And no Mom, my company does not encourage this. But if people can chat on hours with girlfriends using the office phone then I can do this too. I agree citing others' examples is a vague excuse. But that's the best I have right now.

To myself:"Better not waste too much time thinking on this.... get prepared to face the wrath of the 'censors'.

A good idea!!! Fix up a time everyday. Or every alternate day. Do not keep thinking about it all day. DO NOT think that this is a crime."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

....times were changing

I've been wanting to say this for quite a while now... but probably never got the right forum to express it. This blog, I guess is a nice place to do so.

I have just completed my 3rd year in Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. Presently I am doing my summer training in Navi Mumbai. The total duration is of 2 months of which half is already over.

Was that so difficult to say that I needed a forum and all that... Of course not, that's not what I intended to say. But I think an introducton to my present whereabouts would be necessary anyway.

When I used to be in school, (I will avoid the phrase "When I used to stay at home") I always wanted to be independent. Being an only child I was always the centre of the universe as far as my parents were concerned. I somehow did not like that state of affairs too much. At least some things about it. I despised having to go to sleep at proper times, especially when I was nearing the end of a thrilling book or movie. I did not like being bossed over all the time.

I slowly developed this feeling that if I were to study in a hostel away from home, many of my woes would automatically go away. When I got admitted to college I knew it was near home but still quite 'far' from it, that is as 'far' as distance was concerned. I do not remember quite clearly what my feeling were at that moment even though it was just 3 years back. It was definitely a mixed feeling. I was sad at leaving home, leaving a beautiful neighbourhood, leaving a few things half-done or not done well. But I was leaving them.

And I was also eager to leave - I wanted a change. I wanted some adventure. Something bigger than just studies and expectations of people and routinely falling sick. I somehow thought that with the freedom that I would get in college, these issues would get solved. And so it did. At least for the first semester. It was easy going. Making friends was easy. Time sailed through. everything I touched, almost literally turned into gold. But then this otherwise beautiful
dream was awaken by exams, tension, illness, hurt ego-s, friends behaving otherwise.

And then came responsibility.

I remembered when I was at school I always fell sick the night before the last exam. This started here also. Only here there was no mother to spoon feed you to the exam.

I was free. I could wake up till as late as I wanted to. In fact I regularly remained awake till the break of dawn with nobody to force me to sleep. Which left classes either unattended or attended in half sleep.

I could sleep those extra 15 minutes in the morning. But who would wake you up after that?

I could get away without bathing for a day. I could skip it for months altogether. There would be nobody to care.

I could bunk labs as I wished. But could I. Most people did not do that. But again, some did.

..... times were changing.

As someone put it, "You can oversleep peacefully only if someone elder to you tells you its alright to do so."

But then who was there elder to us to tell us... We were growing..................older.

Friday, June 04, 2004

As usual I am finding the habit of maintaining a blog quite a tiresome one. My previous two diaries saw premature deaths due to this attitude of mine.Let us not dwell on this subject for long. There are many much more interesting things to write about. The funny thing however, ( just a little more dwelling) is that for the few days after I had just started this blog I was viewing all things with the eye of a writer. I made mental notes of many things and wanted to record it for readers. However when the question of actually writing them out came along, I had many other odd-jobs to tend to. These might include going to lunch, leaving office early for some other work or some work at office itself. Now one would have to do these activities anyway and is supposed to get time after that to maintain blogs and other such 'extra-curricular' ambitions. Unfortunately I find it exceedingly difficult to satiate my extra-curricular apetite. There are at least two things I must confess at this point of time to give the reader an idea about my self regarding this subject.

I am quite fussy about the work at hand, be it studies or the assignment I am presently doing for my summer training. I have this penchant for being perfect. You might call it a good thing but sometimes I am forced to think otherwise.

The second thing is not totally unrelated. My mom always pointed out to me that I needed to speed up my work. I disagreed with her on the ground that delay is a small price for perfection. But lately I am forced to disagree with my earlier convicitions. If I am to do all the things that I want to do and do all of them well, then I am afraid (sometimes) that it is impossible. Mom says that I must be absolutely and she means absolutely punctual to do so.

Which translates into having to end this blog dot at 7:10 pm. And being regular in maintaining it... Sounds crappy doesn't it?

Neways bye for now.

PS: My initiation to blog-dom was through a blog by a girl who wrote about:
1. how she knows she does not deserve her luxurious life,when millions are much less fortunate
2. her trip to singapore (most probably)
She was probably Bengali ( but might not be), but surely Indian
I read her on rediff (again, most probably). Got her link from another girl's blog which was titled "A Beautiful Girl's Life" or the like.

Have lost her in webspace. If anyone can help me, please do.


Saturday, May 29, 2004

I started maintaining my first diary when I got a cute little pocket diary as a gift which had a lock on its side. The lock was to keep my mother from reading it. I remember how I started that diary writing about the girls that were coming into my life... I was very young then and those girls happened to be my first foray into relations with the opposite sex. Those were the best of days, those were only the best of days. My mom however was not to be kept at bay by small teeny weeny locks. The diary did not last long. Now I have lost the key to it... and will hopefully break it much much later in my life. Probably when memories will be blurred, making the diary even more precious.

My next diary was in a simple school copy. I did not mind if my mother read it... but by that time she was much less inquizitive. Do not remember clearly what was in that diary. Though have read it quite a few times later. A little portions about my relation with my "girl"-friend. Dunno whether I should be picking names... new to blogging after all.

That diary also did not last too long.

And then this one... it's public. My mom can surf the net now.

Well that's all folks.... For now.