Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Diary Of An Armchair Activist

As the whole of Calcutta and other parts of the Nation took to Facebook to voice their rage against everything that happened in the Jadavpur University campus, Zuckerberg Land faced a similar fate as that of Kashmir's; only this was a flood of myriad voices and opinions. While going through many of these posts/articles, I came across one which was going fairly well till I came to the end where the writer signed off with a 'Laal Selaam'. The whole point of an Independent Students Movement gets diluted with mistakes like this one. Why is it so difficult to stay away from those colours? I find it completely justifiable to blame the present Government of West Bengal for everything that happened, for it has not done anything (apart from building cultural centers and tourism parks) regarding one of the most pressing issues of the country: women's safety. To top it, they have to their glory, dialogues ranging from 'Shajano Ghotona' to Tapash Pal's psychological disorders. They have not brought anything close to the 'Poriborton' they promised. But that does not mean that the previous Government was of any good either. Wrong on the present's part is not an invitation for the former to use an independent movement and smear as much red as possible when the timing is so apt.

Now, of course why am I getting bothered with such a small part of a post when there is a sea of posts out there and even a page which will make little sense to a sane mind: opinions like the women of JU provoke men to do whatever they do because of the kind of clothes they wear, or the fact that a good many of them smoke and quite a bit of more nonsense? I choose at this point to feel bad for such people because they are one-organ less than most of us here; that organ being The Brain. But the reason why I am bothered about the post I mentioned at the beginning of this article is because the rest of it made sense, is because it is likely that no one would disagree with an opinion like that: The opinion being right over wrong, justice for the girl who was molested as well as the students who were brutally beaten in campus. Of course, that is what the fight is about. Therefore there is little need for that Red Salute because that my friend, is also not the solution. What makes me happy though is that I know plenty of others who have been closely associated with SFI be a part of the movement and they have not tried to politicize the movement at all and a few others who voted for the new Government and are protesting against it now (because that is the right thing to do). The next party that will be born will be of no good either if we think that 'Nothing will ever change', so let's just accept it and peacefully vote for the best out of the worst. That is precisely what this movement is NOT about. The movement is not sure either, of the way to the best solution. It has only promised to wake the nation up and take heed. It has brought the much-needed chaos to our daily lives. It is at every point living up to its catch-phrase 'Hok Kolorob (Let there be some noise/chaos)'.

I have been seeing the honest efforts of thousands of students to protest against wrong and I am proud of them. I have been quite restless to not be a part of it physically (for reasons) but I have backed  the true essence of the movement with every part of my being. Just one thing to keep in mind: The Nation and future pages of History are looking at you with starry eyes. So, make sure you write it right. Because if there is anyone, it's you who can.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Answering My Beloved Bengali Society

I have realised that weekends really do not mean anything when you are trying to build something of your own. You start putting your work before weekend plans of meeting up for Beer or Coffee. Free-riding and desperation for Friday Night to arrive are things you can not connect to. When so much happens, your work becomes you after a while. Different aspects of your business creep into the way you live unknowingly and sometimes, well, a little creepily.

One example might do this post a lot of justice. The work I do involves quite a bit of product customization. We try to provide what our clients like and what exactly they want because they clearly are The Boss. I have adopted this simple strategy and have started customizing my answers according to the people who raise the questions and sometimes according to my mood and the weather.

I'm 24 and have taken a break from Academics to try my hand at something else. To be honest there have been times when I have thought of giving it up or worse still, save it up for later thanks to a considerable amount of ridicule and bitterness from a battalion of extremely concerned and risk-averse Bengali Society led by an equally but (for a change) genuinely concerned Bengali Mother. But it seemed like I'm kind of possessed by my dream. It does not leave my side even when I'm awake. So, I thought of seeing the end of it either in success or in failure. And there was just one time to do that: That time was NOW.

Gradually I started accepting questions from people and answering them to the best of my ability. The questions are more or less the same and can be generally put as: What are you doing now and what are your future plans?

Here is where I put my business to use and click the 'customize' button:

  • If the question is asked by someone who thinks it's a shame to be just a Graduate and one should go to college to finish that Masters degree before you turn 25 (even if you do not know why exactly you are doing it. Well, everyone else is doing it. Is that not enough?), then my sample answer is:
Answer: Right now? Right now I'm not doing anything. Was thinking of doing my Masters. Tried going back to University but seemed like I do not know much of Economics. Didn't get through though almost everyone else did.

Note: This is the most brilliant answer that one could give if the question was asked by that distant relative or neighbour who is always curious about your whereabouts. If you can bring a Bengali to a point where they can pity you, they will continue to do so for a long time to come while you are saved to do what you really wish to. Except , whenever you meet them, greet them and say 'Kemon achho go? Ami aar ki? Ekhono cheshta korchhi jodi MA ta korte paari' (How are you doing? I'm still trying to get that Masters degree). Pity Button hit. You are saved for the next two months till you meet him/her again.

  • If the question is asked by someone who thinks the only follow-up to growing up is doing a safe and secured job, then I'd rather go for this one:
Answer: I'm sitting for a Bank Exam next week. Do not think I can crack it but I really hope I do. Let's see what happens.

Note: If you can convince them that you are trying and yet not intelligent or competent enough to crack exams, wholla you have done it right again. Pity Zone: Here is where most inquisitive uncles, aunties and peers park their curious cars.

  • If the question is asked when I do not feel like talking and the June Sun is giving me a bad headache, I go simply 'Me? I'm jobless and will be for sometime to come'

  • Coming from someone who thinks it's really cool to take a break and travel: I'd say,
Answer: I'm on a break. Thought of just traveling this year. Just came back from 'put name of place where you went last' (doesn't matter if it was a month back) and planning to go 'some random place from the wishlist' next month (doesn't matter if you do not have the money to go there in the next six months)

Note: Expect to hear 'Oh wow. That's so cool' along with a few travel tips (save it up for later. Might need it when you actually make that trip)

  • If a deeply committed person asks you 'What's up? How you doing?' 
Answer: I am trying to cope with a break-up.

Note: All career plan talks get side-tracked and start building on why such a terrible thing happened to you. Result: Saved again.

  • If an alcoholic or a stoner asks you (less likely though), 'What are you up-to these days, buddy?'
Answer: I'm mostly high on something or the other off late. It's been awesome, man! You getting good stuff these days?

Note: This will be followed by all the latest high stories and the new places he/she has scored from and how smooth the stuff was.

Obviously, no offence is meant to anyone who finds resemblance with the kind of people who continue to ask me these questions and the answers they receive. Though taking a bit of offence might be a good idea. 
Also, if by any chance you happen to know what I actually do and in great details, chances are you know me for a long time/you work with me/I thought you'd understand/I really like you. As for me I do not know what exactly I do or will be doing except that I can't stop doing it till it's done.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Shit Happens

'You are late. I ran out of paper waiting for you'

'Erm, sorry. But what's the big deal? You could have just used some toilet paper to write on'

That stuck with me. I wondered about what she said for quite a long time. For a while it seemed like an insult to my already diminishing writing skills. But later it started making sense to me. I could not blame her for what she said. It was but natural. Thinking about it I have always compared writing or for that matter not writing to passing bowels. 

Often, when I suffer from tremendous writer’s block I usually say I’m constipated. Then a long yet bad piece is a loose motion. There is a lot of it but it’s all full of germs. The regular writer is the guy who suffers from neither of the above. He/she is the one who enjoys doing it everyday with much ease. Writing in more than one way is comparable to defecation. Whenever I empty myself I feel very relieved and happy.  Every word that comes out flushes the toxic out of my body- One of the many reasons why I recommend writing and doctors recommend the other on a daily basis. And by practice I do not look at what I’ve written before. I just flush it down the pages of this blog or my journal. Once out I abandon it. It is mine before it is penned, never after. But the best part is once emptied I feel invariably hungry to read. That’s the time when I read books to satiate my hunger and fill myself. But reading needs a good filter, maybe a good connoisseur friend. The bad ones or the bad part of the good ones form the greater part of what comes out. I realise it’s bad but I understand the necessity to empty myself too. 

To write this as a public post might seem like sacrilege to many. But if you think about it, I’m just joining the 638 million of my country who defecate in the open.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday

For You, Didi.

On your birthday a book you wanted
And for three years I daunted.
I'm much less of a writer
Than you are a fighter
And even lesser a poet
Yet today a poem is all you get.

Buying you a gift is reduced to a joke
As I'm unimaginably broke
Also, it is no easy task
As you never wear a mask
For you a gift is only fun
When it's a United Colors of Benetton 

For Three out of Twenty-Five
You had the most amazing drive
With a beautiful couple
Your life was perfectly supple
With close ones galore
A Russian baby they used to adore

Then Ninety brought a puzzle
And your baby fat gradually fell
You felt like the big one at three
Having the ultimate liberty
Of bossing over someone
Your ultimate childhood fun

For twenty-two years
There were few tears
But a lot of laughter
That would last many years after
Many a roads walked
Endless nights we have talked

From school to college
You always had an edge
Then, in white and blue a prefect
And now, in Biba you are decked
When they skip a beat
Because of all your heat
Don't blame hearts for playing darts
In the end, only choose lemon tarts.

Your talents, they feature
From financier to teacher
Be it lessons or Papercup
You manage to fill it up
Just the same way
I wish you many a happy day
To fill your walk of life
To play the perfect daughter, sister, wife.

For a day like today, a day which is a boon
Any fool would return from Doon
To wish you a 'Happy Birthday'
If my words may.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Truth is a gamble
All, nothing but a scramble
English, Math, Wonderland
A make-believe helping hand


Take the word fine
And think of a line
You have two in your mind
Separate meanings they bind
‘How you doing, Sir?’
Asked your chauffeur
‘I’m fine. Thank you
Take me to English Avenue’
For not obeying Traffic rules
He was one of the myriad fools
Who had to pay a fine
Which was worth a fine dine
He was then heard saying
After paying
‘That fine
Was not fine


He who had no (zero) money
Was now at Avenue Sunny
Started his journey
To earn some penny
He travelled a long round way
And made 360 bucks that day
At no other place but Avenue Sunny
Still none of us think that Math is funny


He had a date with Alice the same eve
Stories, that is what she loves to weave
Her best is named Wonderland
It had a queer reader’s band
It is written as a tale for the children
But is best understood by grown-up men
And women.