Thursday, 25 August 2005

Puja by Veer Sanghvi

(Originally posted in on August 25, 2005)
This was a forwarded mail from article by Veer out what he writes about Kolkata...the city I love too much...

Vir Sanghvi is the editor of The Hindustan Times.Subject: Pujo By Vir SanghviWhat 'Pujo' means to a BengaliMost modern Indian cities strive to rise above ethnicity.

Tell anybody who lives in Bombay that he lives in a Maharashtrian city and (unless of course, you are speaking to Bal Thackeray) he will take immediate offence. We are cosmopolitan, he will say indigenously. Tell a Delhiwalla that his is a Punjabi city (which, in many ways, it is) and he will respond with much self-righteous nonsense about being the nation's capital, about the international composition of the city's elite etc. And tell a Bangalorean that he lives in a Kannadiga city and you'll get lots of techno-gaff about the internet revolution and about how Bangalore is even more cosmopolitan than Bombay.But, the only way to understand what Calcutta is about is recognize that the city is essentially Bengali. What's more, no Bengali minds you saying that. Rather, he is proud of the fact. Calcutta's strengths and weaknesses mirror those of the Bengali character. It has the drawbacks: the sudden passions, the cheerful chaos, the utter contempt for mere commerce, the fiery response to the smallest provocation. And it has the strengths (actually, I think of the drawbacks as strengths in their own way). Calcutta embodies the Bengali love of culture; the triumph of intellectualism over greed; the complete transparency of all emotions, the disdain with which hypocrisy and insincerity are treated; the warmth of genuine humanity; and the supremacy of emotion over all other aspects of human existence.That's why Calcutta is not for everyone. You want your cities clean and green; stick to Delhi. You want your cities, rich and impersonal; go to Bombay. You want them high-tech and full of draught beer; Bangalore's your place. But if you want a city with a soul: come to Calcutta.When I look back on the years I've spent in Calcutta - and I come back so many times each year that I often feel I've never been away - I don't remember the things that people remember about cities. When I think of London, I think of the vast open spaces of Hyde Park. When I think of New York, I think of the frenzy of Times Square. When I think of Tokyo, I think of the bright lights of Shinjiku. And when I think of Paris, I think of the Champs Elysee. But when I think of Calcutta, I never think of any one place. I don't focus on the greenery of the maidan, the beauty of the Victoria Memorial, the bustle of Burra Bazar or the splendour of the new Howrah 'Bridge'. I think of people. Because, finally, a city is more than bricks and mortars, street lights and tarred roads. A city is the sum of its people. And who can ever forget - or replicate - the people of Calcutta?When I first came to live here, I was told that the city would grow on me. What nobody told me was that the city would change my life. It was in Calcutta that I learntabout true warmth; about simple human decency; about love and friendship; about emotions and caring; about truth and honesty. I learnt other things too. Coming from Bombay as I did, it was a revelation to live in a city where people judged each other on the things that really mattered; where they recognized that being rich did not make you a better person - in fact, it might have the opposite effect. I learnt also that if life is about more than just money, it is about the things that other cities ignore; about culture, about ideas, about art, and about passion. In Bombay, a man with a relatively low income will salt some of it away for the day when he gets a stock market tip. In Calcutta, a man with exactly the same income will not know the difference between a debenture and a dividend. But he will spend his money on the things that matter. Each morning, he will read at least two newspapers and develop sharply etched views on the state of the world. Each evening, there will be fresh (ideally, fresh-water or river) fish on his table. His children will be encouraged to learn to dance or sing. His family will appreciate the power of poetry. And for him, religion and culture will be in inextricably bound together.Ah religion! Tell outsiders about the importance of Puja in Calcutta and they'll scoff. Don't be silly, they'll say. Puja is a religious festival. And Bengal has voted for the CPM since 1977. How can godless Bengal be so hung up on a religions festival? I never know how to explain them that to a Bengali, religion consists of much more than shouting Jai Shri Ram or pulling down somebody's mosque. It has little to do with meaningless ritual or sinister political activity.The essence of Puja is that all the passions of Bengal converge: emotion, culture, the love of life, the warmth of being together, the joy of celebration, the pride in artistic ex-pression and yes, the cult of the goddess.It may be about religion. But is about much more than just worship. In which other part of India would small, not particularly well-off localities, vie with each other to produce the best pandals? Where else could puja pandals go beyond religion to draw inspiration from everything else? In the years I lived in Calcutta, the pandals featured Amitabh Bachchan, Princes Diana and even Saddam Hussain! Where else would children cry with the sheer emotional power of Dashimi, upset that the Goddess had left their homes? Where else would the whole city gooseflesh when the dhakis first begin to beat their drums? Which other Indian festival - in any part of the country - is so much about food, about going from one roadside stall to another, following your nose as it trails the smells of cooking?To understand Puja, you must understand Calcutta. And to understand Calcutta, you must understand the Bengali. It's not easy.Certainly, you can't do it till you come and live here, till you let Calcutta suffuse your being, invade your bloodstream and steal your soul. But once you have, you'll love Calcutta forever. Wherever you go, a bit of Calcutta will go with you. I know, because it's happened to me. And every Puja, I am overcome by the magic of Bengal. It's a feeling that'll never go away.

Busy Days Ahead

(Originally posted in on August 25, 2005)
The whole of this week and the last week was a busy schedule...not like bishal though...but it was hectic for a guy like me!! Dunno how am I doing this job over and over again again must be pathetic isn't it brain asks my soul.......soul gets irritated.."why don't you yourself feel how it feels to do a job like this?" brain laughs.."how will I? I go to sleep when you do all these scrap..after all I am not at all needed here!"Seriously...being in IT and doing some real fundoo job which I always dreamt of is a lot like going thru a desert and whenever u feel thirsty u get to find a lake sort ot thing...Never mind I keep on blabbering about this thing...and now it has become my habit forget I have to finish some work also but nothing seems to work out ...there are so many strange bugs appearing...Dunno what went wrong!! cya for now ...may b if I finish my job I will write a li'll more!

Wednesday, 17 August 2005


(Originally posted in on August 17, 2005)

tomorrow is my presentation...dunno what to say...this creepy process thing gets on my nervs. I do not know what the hell is CMM or PCMM or IPMS...all these technical jargons are nothing but disconnected alphabets who are roaming around my head like orphans...Oh great Lord bless me with mercy and make me clear this.Yesterday was my 2nd MockCAT in which I fared damn badly. I did some silly mistakes which will even make a 4 yr old kid cover his face in shame. But that's what I am once on top of 7th heaven and the next moment on the hard realities of ground....

My Hometown- The Waterbridge

(Originally posted in on August 17, 2005)
I still keep on remembering my hometown feel nostalgic…My hometown is Siliguri just like my roomy Bishal and like every other siligurian I also feel very much patriotic while talking about that serene Himalayan town…(sounds nice huh?? Go there once to understand the serenity which lives and dies with the horn of Rickshaw…This place holds the world record of rickshaw pullers density)..However everyone is nostalgic about their place!! I am a little bit more so. I found out some real good places there. Places to hang out with friends and places where you can light your first cigarette without having the tension of getting seen! The water bridge was such a place…A nice and huge canal under which a tiny river vanishes…Now this point you shall ask how?Well actually amidst the ranges of Baikunthapur Forest there appears this tiny river Baikuntha which goes on its normal whizzy whazzy way. But man had to dig that canal to reform irrigation and all. But somehow here they showed the tiny river a little mercy unlike many other cases. They built a bridge on which the canal passes bypassing the river. And when you go beneath the canal…stand in the knee dip water…take a cigarette in your hand …and feel that 40000 cusec of water is flowing over your head with thundering noise and tremendous energy …………..You truly feel like GOD!

Metamorphosys de Confirmacio

(Originally posted in on August 17, 2005)
Getting confirmed had a big impact on my room-mates and me..and to say specifically on Jha...his all day sleeps ...long night hauls into the adventures of Television (Put an 'F' before the word television)...and tiny moments at office seemed to come to an end. Time was changing fast...& so was Jha...He startled us first when one day he told San to call him up at dawn(well for us that is 7)...he startled us even more when he woke up himself at the scheduled time which was a first in his lifetime I guess ...(and Naidu who is a college mate of his, strongly confirms this)..then started a saga of long hours at office ...after returning, taking a usual sigh of relief( which me bishal or naidu normally have ...or san takes after a dinner!! )...If somebody asks me whether I have seen a living Paradigm Shift...I would say yes I have...!! CAT ran away by the backdoor...and the dreams of getting a good rating floated into his mind....which drove him towards working...well even if not working staying at office!!Then oneday me and Jha went to a bar...we took a large peg of vodka and toasted "To the well being of CAT which had flown away from our hands" and bid goodbye to CAT....

Friday, 12 August 2005

My Room Tata and sons

((Originally posted at August12 2005 in my other blog Eforeconomics which due to my bloody forgetfullness i have to abandone now... So I am copying all the notes from there to here))
Hi Guys...Paul here to welcome you on a journey from COAST TO COAST....Life is always kool and confused as well...That's why when God created me he created a person who on the course of becoming a poet lost his way and found salvation through the electrons and holes of transistors to an elien world of computers and softwares...And found poetry in the codes of SQL ultimately....So here am I your Captain for the journey through the pages of my life through the incidents and the accidents to take you on a road...that goes cross country from coast to coast........
posted by Paul at 6:57 AM 0 comments
Friday, August 12, 2005

My Room--TATA and sons!!
We roomies.. all are sons of don get suspicious about our surnames...I meant to say that for us TATA is 'my baap'! TATA feeds us and milks us also. I wanted to let you guys know who I live with...together in our appartment...(but do not think - we live together)!The First Person is: Bishal Sharma...well this is an alphabetical list that's why Bishal getting advanage of projecting himself at politics guys! This fellow is from my hometown that is Siliguri. What can we say about him?? One of the most prized employees of TCS. Works day in and day out to let "Poor Engine making company Cummins" make a little money!!Next:Santanu Ghosh... The CAT Freak! our dear san ..when he is not eating he must be preparing for CAT...and if he is preparing for CAT he must be snoring...!!!:-)Next:Satish Kumar Jha...The real business minded fellow in our group..(How can we forget the concept of E-Pan!) Shares and Mutual Funds run in his mind always...and he is the inventor of the plans of life(Plan A,Plan B,Plan C)...Started with Plan sleeps peacefully upto 10a.m with a simple variant of plan C in mind(Plan CC).Next:Satish Naidu...The real movie freak...and the confused kid in the block..He can watch 3 chimapnjees jumping around for 3 hours and find out great spiritual meaning out of it...Last is me: Well I should not be telling about every insane person thinks he himself is sane and I already proved my insanity by staying happily with so many insane people...!