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.