Saturday, December 22, 2007


It is about one year I retired from a 9am-7pm job. I did not feel like going back to this routine. So, I did not try hard enough for another assignment.

I have deviated from my initial plan.I never thought that I would spend time reading story -books, which was my favourite pastime when I was working.If I go back to my blog written 3 months after 'retirement', I find the following:

'A great thing will be brush up my knowledge of : Photoshop, MS Project, MINITAB & Six Sigma and learn a bit of : Coreldraw/Pagemaker, HTML (Elementary) & Web hosting, PRIMAVERA during April and September,'07.'

My time this year has gone into other areas.

  • I have done good amount of reading on terracotta temples.... though not enough.In this process, I have been associated with 3 major libraries of Calcutta.Quite an enriching experience.
  • I have come in contact with members of 'AISHEE', an NGO engaged in restoration of a Terracotta temple of Hooghly district.Now, I have been invited to join this group.
  • I have visited numbers of Terracotta temples @ Hooghly district and Bishnupur, have taken hundreds of snaps and can start writing my 'OWN' articles.
  • I have been an active member of PANIIT's 'IITians for ITIs' Project.
  • I have entered into a contract with a company publishing articles on net.I have started @ the ground level out of my choice.I have now offer for shifting gear.
  • I have made friends with Iftekar of While I have no commercial interest in 'walks', Cacuttacanvass will grow.
  • I have remained active in Flickr through out the year.May be my skill for taking and editing photos has improved !
  • I spent time with and for my family.

All these are activities with long time horizon.I learnt during my 40s , from lectures of and articles by Sharu Rangnekar, that a person must plan for post-retirement life.......s/he need have one or more hobbies to remain 'meaningfully occupied.I took that advice seriously though these activities are what I thought of doing much later in my life.

Publishing in net does give a person a lot of satisfaction. A person can always find friends , if he tries seriously, who enjoy similar interests and can contribute to his knowledge and ideas.I never could imagine such a pastime during my 40s!

I have regrets too.

  • I lost my friend Knight, our black Lab.He was 8 1/2 years old when he left us on 12/10/07. We expected him to be around for another 1 1/2 to 2 years.A loss I am coping with.
  • I have not learnt enough of Photoshop and 'Moviemaking',ie digital editing of my video shooting.
  • I have lost the habit of reading novels.Night-time,my time for reading books, is now devoted to Internet.

All-in-all,this year , I have entered a different phase of life. Capital market has definitely added to my I do not yet have a reason to worry in the financial front.

An enjoyable period of my autumn indeed !

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Will our children read Epics ?

I read an article in the Calcutta edition of Times Of India , published on 1st December,2007 that a US poll finds more believe in devil than in Darwin.This article is in page 17 of TOI,taken from a report by Reuters.

A quote from the report :" It is the latest survey in the US to highlight America's deep level of religiosity,a cultural trait that sets it apart from much of the developed world.".

A lot of statistical analysis follow.Those who are interested may please read the article in the electronic version of this publication.A lot of persons surveyed believe in God and devil.I believe if we conducted a similar survey in India, similar trait would have been noticed, but,percentages would surely have been different.

I believe that at the base of such findings ,we have Man's recognition of good and bad as well as his belief in powers beyond .While,the age-old debate continues for and against these beliefs, we have seen often beliefs acquire hues of superstition and turn ugly.Sometimes ,very ugly.

Parents can help their child to grow up with a strong and positive sense of good & bad . I believe,age-old stories of Epics can attract their imagination ,at the same time, build their sense of ethics.The characters , often larger than life,are never dull to a child's mind.The characters, Krishna, Ram ,Sita, Arjun, Ravan ,Karna and Yudhisthir ...... or their Greek and Roman counterparts .....stay at the heart of the child while s/he grows and steps into the world of adolescence and adulthood.

I believe , together with funstories , cartoons and adventures, 'stories' from the age-old tales of our civilisation can be an important part of a child's reading material.A big question : are there simpler editions of these Epics for children? There are.If the parents and more importantly , children demand , there will be more. So many adults reach out to 'Gurus' for 'Yoga' and "Gita' classes..... do they help their children or grandchildren with character building with the insight they acquire ? Does a question come to their mind....had they read Mahabharata in their childhood ,they would have understood 'Gita' better? Or,they would have dealt with their lives' major questions in a more matured manner?

Dear friends,just think about my suggestion. May be you will find it worth pondering.

A child in the company of his grandma

Friday, November 02, 2007


What is more exciting ....... a rise to a stature far above average OR a comeback , after a drop from the pinnacle ?

I was reading an article in TOI about 'Comeback' efforts in the Pop music world of Western world. The BIG names .... Britney Spears, Whitney Houston,the Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls.

And , then this question came to my mind.

In my opinion, Sourav is the biggest example of a 'COMEBACK' star. The way he scored to make his mark in the test at Lords . And, this come-back when the Coach was hostile, the captain forgetful + spineless and the selectors indifferent.

My score @

On 01/11/2007, I crossed 4500 viewers mark for my site :

I thought that it will be benchmark for my flickr site. So, I thought I should record this event with a joyous note. I have 163 photographs and 102 contact on this day. I have 7 photographs which have made to the 'EXPLORE' category.

My photos in EXPLORE till end-August,'07

Since I have been active in flickr, I have gained some good friends . Eduardo Amorim of Brazil, Loken Roychoudhury and Kanad sanyal of Calcutta are among them.The association with photography and flickr have added to my circle and my 'brand name' too.

I have certainly got some ideas for better photography.What I need now are a few sessions with experts of Photoshop.

Satyendu Sanyal, my friend from IIT days , wrote that I have developed a way of capturing and presenting those scenes which are around us and often overlooked....... 'dekha hoi nai chakshu melia'.

Now , I look forward to a score of 7500.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

How to learn 'cook'ing !!

I was shopping for a book , a Puja gift for my mother, at Ananda Publisher's outlet on RB Avenue the other day.

While I was browsing through the racks, I was noting how the other buyers were going the selection process and also enjoying the chit-chat around.

The most remarkable comments were from a father .The conversation between him and the Sales Executive was like this :

Father : Can you please suggest a good book on cooking? My daughter is going abroad and she knows no cooking.
SE : You can try xyz book. It has such good recipes of dishes like 'lau-chingri' and other typical bengali dishes.
Father : Oh no ! She will not be able to manage such complicated dishes.
SE : What kind of dishes you think your daughter will be interested in?
Father : Elementary dishes. Like, mutton curry, 'dal', may be one or two vegetarian dishes.
A lady buyer butts in : You may please try abc is wonderful.Also , very useful.
Father : (after a few minutes of browsing ) It is heavy and complex. Any other suggestion please.
SE : Please try mno book. You will surely find it useful and handy too.
Father : (after another few minutes of browsing ) Ok, I shall take this one. Hope my daughter can manage this.

When I completed my selection and went through the ritual of gift-wrapping, payment etc.,
I asked the SE how many such queries he face and added that my sons have learnt cooking without cookbooks !. SE , smiled diplomatically.The proud father and most of the buyers who were around when this selection process of a cookbook was going on had left. But , a lady from one corner overheard me and commented that this situation is a negative development of woman's lib !

I was about to leave the shop without delay as my wife was waiting in another shop with some selection problem ( I received three calls in my mobile) but this lady was very interested in sharing her life-story with me. Earlier, I would have left the shop without prolonging the discussion , but, now-a-days, after retirement , I have learnt to be more patient in social situations.

Well , I was told that :
  • she is a non-bengali.
  • she can read bengali without problem.Her schoolmates ' jeer prompted her to pick up the language.
  • her mother used to run a business in the neighbouring area.Jyoti Basu and other luminaries used to visit their place for 'adda'.
  • she now stays in a building near Lake Market which is 75 years old.
  • she is a science student and is a 'consultant' in Hazard Management .
  • she works not for money as she is from a very rich background.
SO, she spent 10 minutes with me to come to the last line of th dialogue.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Damodar temple @ Bahirgarh,West Bengal (India)

Restoration of Damodar temple , dt: Hooghly, WB
During 18th and 19th centuries, a no of terracotta temples were built in Bengal (currently West Bengal state of India and Bangla Desh) some of which are quite beautiful. Not only that the terracotta panels have artistic value and religious importance, but also they portray slices of social life of those days. Some of these temples have been restored through Archeological dept of Government.... you can see a panel from one of these temples among my posts : .Yet there are many more temples which need restoration and each monsoon eats into the life of these temples, heritage of our state.
A few days' ago , I visited the Archeological Museum of Bengal, located in Calcutta in connection with some work I am doing on terracotta when I learnt from Mrs Sumita Guha Sarkar ,an Executive of this Museum , that she is a member of a NGO named 'Aishee' which is engaged in restoration of a terracotta temple ( Damodar temple @ Bahirgarh, district Hooghly, West Bengal) built in the 18th century. The cost of restoration , estimated by a professional colleague of hers is Rs 200000/- which is approximately $5000/-.
On learning about my interest in terracotta, she and other members of 'Aishee' have requested me to appeal to persons who are intersted in this form of art for suport for their endeavour. I write this blog on behalf of members of 'Aishee' addressing to persons interested in this form of art.. I shall seek the Reader's help in two counts :
#Can you please help 'Aishee' through your like-minded friends , associates and colleagues ? Even if only 20 persons contribute $20/- this 'cause',the contribution add to the local support for the budget for restoration of this temple.
#Can you please help by suggesting other avenues for raising support for restoration of this temple? Please view my page @ Orkut (
to go through 'Aishe's brochure.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I requested the administrator of a group @ Flickr to publish the following collage of Behula.

Dance of Behula

He normally does not allow a collage but said he can make an exception if he finds the story interesting. I sent the following note ... which is quite long... and told him that I can shorten the note if he agrees to my publishing the collage.

Here is the story :

It is a story from Indian folklore - a story of human courage against celestial wrath.Behula is the daughter-in-law of Chand 'saudagar' ( = merchant).Chand , a devotee of Shiva , refuses to offer his prayer to godess Manasa and thus earns her wrath.He loses all his merchandise and wealth during his return trip home after a very successful business trip.But, he does not yield.Godess Manasa , with her control over the snakes, strikes next by killing his son Lakhinder on the night of his marriage with Behula by a snake bite.Behula was a very courageous woman.She places the dead body of Lakhinder on a raft and starts for the heaven .On her way, she faces lots of problems but she reaches her destination without being cowered down .She manages an entrance to the court of god Indra ( Zeus of Indian mythology) and pleases all the gods by her song and dance. She earns back the life of Lakhinder and persuades Chand to offer godess Manasa a half-hearted prayer .Chand complies reluctantly and gets back all his wealth. Goddess Manasa gets her recognition as the deity only after Chand 'd offering the 'prayer'.As a footnote , I shall add that Indra and Shiva were the gods of Aryans' mythology and Manasa was a goddess of the aboriginals.Snake was their 'totem'.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


New path ahead of me.
towards a new vista.........

New rhythm . new friends.
New revelation... a 'chetana'.
A God's gift.

I dream again... new dreams !


Well, I was told that life will be very boring if one does not go to Office.
But , I knew that family and hobbies are what support you when suddenly office-going stops !!

Flickr, camera, the work for Subrata Chanda and most importantly , ttob project have helped me a lot. I hardly felt the void . And ... the family has given wonderful support.

And , I feel great that I do not have to work with people like DB ,BD or PG .

Only thing I feel bad about is that : I cannot make my outstation trips with my camera now because of the heat of March2August sun. Certainly , a visit to Bankura and Birbhum is not in my agenda now. But, my writing can progress.

A great thing will be brush up my knowledge of : Photoshop, MS Project, MINITAB & Six Sigma and learn a bit of : Coreldraw/Pagemaker, HTML (Elementary) & Web hosting,PRIMAVERA
during April and September,'07.

I hope , by year end, I shall be a content writer too.It requires a lot of brushing up . While I am writing messages and mail, as well as prose in ttob, I have lost a bit of my flair and vocabulary.


" Now, Flickr itself - there's a phenomenon, I'm not sure I love or hate - since it consumes all of my free time and more. Not to mention it makes me astonished, bewildered, envious but also quite furious on daily basis (even when it doesn't act up :) ).

Well, this (minutely altered) Natalie Merchant's lyrics very much describe how I feel about it:

I've walked these streams
In a spectacle of wealth and poverty
In the diamond markets
The scarlet welcome carpet
That they just rolled out for me

And I've walked these streams
In the madhouse asylum they can be
Where a wild-eyed misfit prophet
On a traffic island stopped and he raved of saving me

Have I been blind, have I been lost
Inside myself and my own mind?
Hypnotized, mesmerized by what my eyes have seen?
What they have seen...

Have I been blind, have I been lost?
Have I been wrong, have I been wise?
Have I been strong?
Have I been hipnotized, mesmerized, by what my eyes have found
In that stream carnival?
In that carnival..."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Changes - 11/27/2006 : my article for "OUR STORY"


How did the world change, in reality or in your perception, during your young adult years?

The world changes. Every day . Imperceptibly.

At other times , it changes extremely quickly , much more rapidly than human psyche can stand.When we have a war, a holocaust, a sunami, people affected are devastated.

The reverse can happen too. A leader transforms the society beyond recognition . A new nation is born , with new ways and meanings of life .

A man is a small part of this flow. A turbulent flow.

He starts his life with some ideas and a lot of dreams. The reality teaches him at every curve of life . The process of maturing . If he migrates to another society , he absorbs other habits and ... more importantly , different sets of values.

That is the general background. I faced no sunami and I traveled a lot in India and visited other countries , I have remained in my state for a long period too.But , even as viewed through my 'small window' ,the world changed a lot during my lifetime while my view points changed too.

West Bengal of 50s and 60s did not touch me much. 70s .... I was conscious of the political events. But , social structure did not change perceptibly. But, I saw India changing , surging ahead of us.

I used to read a lot ....and in the eighties , I worked in a MNC , visited Europe and saw how they think and perform.Money started changing Indians and middle-class started rising. But , terrorism was still uncommon except for in border areas.

Nineties changed us totally. Rise ( and fall of ) share-market, rise and rise of commodity price , inflation, aspiration, migration for academic and economic reasons, hard work .... greed, rotting corruption pushing up cost of living and judicial activism .... I saw it all.

I faced VRS and the process of survival thereafter . I noted : Americans retreat from Afghanistan and the meaningless genocide in Iraq . Politicians looking at the market economics like the proverbial one-eyed deer, thinking Chinese model of growth and suppression are the best way out for the developing nations.

The good thing : Indian professionals are earning respect across the continents .... they are growing in wealth and influence wherever they are established.

What have not changed : the season changes are as beautiful, as it used be in 50s and 60s.Poverty and ignorance and greed ( both individual and collective) are still our greatest enemies.


I wanted someone to take me to the roof,
Of a tall building,
A clear navy blue sky, stars shining,
Show me the constellations one-by-one...
Down below,cars whizzing past,
Tail lamps glowing in the distance...

I wanted someone to accompany me to a lake,
A winter morning,crisp , clear sky,
Birds chirping,swirls on the water,
We glued to our binoculars,
Tell me about the birds I have never seen earlier,
Romance of the distance the birds carry in their relentless wings.....

I wanted someone to play her violin,
A quiet afternoon,
Play a cheerful raga ,and then another,
Tell me how to tune my ears.
In turn,
I shall tell her to read the unknown poems
Of Jibananda,Shankha Ghosh,
Explain the imagery,
Flavour of words,
Spreading throu' ether..............

Friday, February 09, 2007

... yet

.................... it is autumn of my life,
no more looking back
no more hesitation

yet, so many tastes to be savoured,
so many 'tasks' to be completed.
imagery, poetry,
applause, just being lazy.........

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


The National Library came into being in 1948 with the passing of the Imperial Library (Change of Name) Act,1948.In the same year, it was shifted to Belverdre Estate,its present location which was the former Viceregal palace.

The stately mansion with its varied facade evolved from out of the fancies of a no distinguishe
d owners whose names have made history.

the earliest name associated with this building is that of Mir Jaffar Ali Khan,the Nawab Nazim of Murshidabad.It was only natural that Alipore was named after him.Reportedly, Belvedre Estate was favourite residence of Warren Hastings.

Not a pure form of architecture ...Italian renaissance overlaid on an ordinary Anglo-Indian building,it is pleasing to the eye with the setting of lawns, trees ans a nice garden at its front.

Source : Information Brochure of the National Library.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


'My experiments with words'... blog of Mr Shashidhar. His pseudonym is VIRTUAL . But, he is a very real person with his sensuality . A quote from his poem :

Rain Rain

Wash out the lust in me
And cleanse my soul
With desire-less
Between entwined legs
And writhing souls
Fighting for a space
In the chaos
That is mind.

I remember a person with whom I developed a kind of friendship in NITIE Campus. It was 1984 0r 85. We both were between 35 and 39 years . He told me, while sitting on the bank of a lake in the night, he was getting drawn towards sattwik bhaba , giving up non-veg food habits , but was disappointed that his wife was not falling in line with him and that he was still sexually attracted towards his wife . I told him that he could explain the merits of his beliefs to his wife , but, cannot force his ways on her ( I always believed that life would be less interesting if all the people were alike ) and told him as explicitly as possible ( menfolks are shy about discussing intimate sexual details) that his wife had right of expecting sex from her husband . I felt that my friend was unhappy because his sexual urge which was very natural at that age !!

After a long time , I came across similar feeling in Shashidhar's poems! Read this one :

A rock solid thought
Plunged deeper
Calming with its force
The waves, the water, the earth
And the fire

Lake opened itself
Felt the rock submerged within
Unlocked the deep-set desire
And merged with the consciousness
The space within the thought
and its own deepest desire."