Monday, 24 November 2014

Kiss And Tell

Protesters in Delhi celebrate love. Picture - Youth Ki Awaaz

Welcome to India, the hotbed of ridiculous controversies. The latest to hit the streets is a protest against moral policing, that originated in Kochi and rapidly spread to other parts of the country - including Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata. The protest, being called the "Kiss of Love Campaign", was sparked off when members of the youth wing of the BJP reportedly vandalised a cafe in Kochi, following reports of a young couple engaging in kissing and hugging at that place.

Why #KissofLove?


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Let's Football

The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata lights up during the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural Hero Indian Super League. Photograph - DNAIndia

The Indian Super League is here, and off to a flying start. The much-awaited football tournament, consisting of eight newly-formed teams, is set to become a part of the sport's annual calendar with its two-month-long inaugural season garnering more popularity than ever anticipated. With bollywood personalities owning various teams, and cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly doing their bit to promote the game, the glamour behind the tournament was never in doubt. The stupendous amount of revenue invested in every team too is an indicator of the sort of popularity this League was earmarked to achieve. With an average 15 crore rupees being the annual franchise cost, this league has got the economic backing that so many other Indian leagues in other sports did not.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Freshers' Tale

CSE during their Ten Minutes to Fame. What you cannot see in the picture is how loudly the crowd cheered for Suchismita. Photograph - Ankit Mukhopadhyay.

Eagerly anticipated, strewn with controversy, yet enthusiastically executed - Freshers' 2014 has now come and gone. The single greatest night for a college student in freshman year is inevitably looked forward to with unmatched anxiousness. With pieces falling apart from the puzzle that held the picture together, the fire ignited in hearts and minds culminated in a blast on stage that saw each department fighting it out against the other in a quest for supremacy. 
Huddling around my mates, cheering for CSE, dancing my heart (and legs) out, shouting till my throat got sore, it was a pretty eventful day. Freshers' is the day to celebrate being a first year student in the college. Disregarding all the culture, or the lack thereof, on display, it was always going to be an event to remember for freshmen like myself.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Let the Festivities Begin! #DurgaPuja2014



Photograph: Saimantick Bhadra | www.saimantick.com

"Maa ashchhe!"

If you're a Bengali, or you've lived in Bengal at some point in your life, or been here in the city at least once during the festive season, you know exactly how much passion and excitement those words carry.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Decoding the Collegiate Jungle

"Remember the words Arjyak, these will always be the best days of your life. These will be your best classmates. You look around now and you can see men with ambitions of becoming sportspersons, musicians, scholars, you name it. In six months you'll be in college, and all you'll see around you will be careeristic engineers. Enjoy your days."

Heritage Institute of Technology. The Central Block.


When I first walked into Heritage Institute of Technology, I had a fair idea of what the wanted my college life to be. I also had another idea of how I would have to juxtapose that with what it would realistically turn out to be.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Nineteen to the Dozen


Nothing is as self-reflective as a selfie. :)

When the clock strikes twelve, I will officially be nineteen years old.  Even though that is a far cry from my hair going grey, I feel like I have learnt quite a lot of stuff. And, like every old person, I feel the need to share my wisdom. So here are five things I would like to pen down about the year gone by. (Because I could not think of a sixth point.)  Some of this may be clich├ęd, some of it might still be in the unfinished stage (because I need something to talk about next year too, right?) and all of it will be pertaining too personally to me. But here goes.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Ganguly Way

To the man who dared to play out the scenes from a local derby at the oh-so-proper Lords balcony.
Bengal’s favourite son turns  42 today.

As an exponent of a generation that grew up in awe of his batting, along with his captaincy, I find it irrestible to admire Sourav Ganguly. Never mind the fact that he was only the third person in ODI history to amass 10,000 runs. Never mind he still shares the best ever World Cup partnership of 318 runs.  Never mind again that he is one of only three players to ever achieve a treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches. Notwithstanding the pile of records that follows his name, “Dada” was just a joy to watch on a cricket pitch. Better than God on the off-side, and a daredevil captain to boost, Sourav Ganguly is the reason millions flocked to their TV screens, and thousands bought match tickets for an Indian match.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tech That!



“The year we stopped talking to one another.”

That’s what USA Today dubs 2010, in light of the unprecedented rise of technology.

The modern world is one of gadgets. We are a people seeped in the technology that we have created for ourselves. With the advent of easy access to the internet, and the power to send and receive messages via numerous social platforms, we seem to have shut out what once was the very core of our existence – the human touch.

Monday, 2 June 2014

All The World's a Cup



It’s here, it’s here! Speeding towards our collective brains like The Flash on steroids, the FIFA World Cup is here to unleash some glorious fanaticism, thus making it okay for a straight man to say stuff like “Cristiano’s ball-control is sexy.”

This is also the time you get to see the true colours of India – i.e. whether you unfurl the flag of Spain or Germany or Brazil or some other country whose only memory of India is a study in mismanagement. But enough about the Parliament.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Let it rain

“Into each life some rain must fall” – H.W. Longfellow.

Through the looking glass | www.anirbansaha.com

There is just something about the sight, sounds and smell of raindrops falling from the sky that appeals to the senses more than any other natural phenomenon ever can. Rains make you realize the wealth of emotions that you carry. Rains make you introspect and retrospect, and bring you closer to understanding yourself. Put very simply, rains make you happy.

After braving the tumultuous heat of the Great Indian Summer, the rains come with a cathartic appeal – helping you transcend your dilapidated state both physically and mentally. The rains are nature’s way of asking you to let go. Let go of the soggy grimness that accompanied your summer. Let go of the exhaustion in your mind and in your limbs. Let go of your inhibitions and rise again, for the rains have washed away the sorrows of yesterday.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Hanging out with Derek O'Brien

Every Calcuttan has been a fan of TV's most popular quiz contest, and consequently a fan of the quizmaster Derek O'Brien. We have grown up watching the man carry on the legacy of the O’Brien family, and at some point or the other we have all attended a Derek O’Brien quiz. It was, therefore, an immense honour to be given the opportunity to discuss ideas face to face with the man himself.

O'Brien wants Kolkata to fly high.

On Sunday the 25th of May, 2014, Kolkata Bloggers collaborated with other bloggers and concerned minds around the city to discuss with Derek O’Brien the way to further the image of our beloved state of Bengal.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Baari Tar Bangla: Bloggers' Meet

On the 18th of May, 2014, a team from the movie “Baari tar Bangla” conducted a Blogger Engagement program and Google Hangout, streamed live, in collaboration with Kolkata Bloggers and Google.
The event was a one-of-its-kind “Virtual adda”, as SatrajitSen put it. You can watch the recorded hangout here.

Raima Sen defends a googly. Picture: www.anirbansaha.com

For well over an hour and a half, actors Saswata Chatterjee and Raima Sen, along with Satrajit Sen and direction Rangan Chakravarti, fielded questions from us bloggers, shared jokes, narrated stories from incidents during shooting of the movie, and just generally participated in a fun interaction. From candid jokes, to memorable moments, the evening had it all.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Desires

Note: This is the first guest-article on this blog. The story is written mostly by Rupsha Bhadra, a woman of myriad talents (I'm whipped) who took a paragraph I had written and gave it a plot. She refused to share the story herself, for some inexplicable reason, which is why it finds a place here. Check out her blog here

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Love. A strange word indeed.

Suchitra was tongue-tied. She tried to tell him, but she was too shy. Her mind conjured up all possible responses that would amount to rejection on his part. At the same time, she knew now was as good a time as any to tell him how much she loved him; how long she would wait each day for him to arrive just so they could travel the remaining distance together; how the sound of his voice was music to her ears. “I love you, Sid”, she whispered. Its easy, she told herself. She’d practiced this way too many times already.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Our Dysfunctional Democracy

Your right. Your responsibility.
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” At the stroke of the midnight hour, a torn blouse, a frantic scream, a red stain on white sheet. Just a mile away, the tryst with destiny had begun.

The largest democracy in the world was always a troubled daughter. She was the pinnacle of glory and culture, revered by the world. Then she fell from grace, and her body was torn apart by emperors and rulers out for blood. This went on for far too long. And just as she could smell a hint of relief, the British came in and entered her coasts, ravaging her, violating her dignity for centuries.

Monday, 5 May 2014

#Vote4Children - This Time For Education

She looks up at the skies in hope – a hope of liberation from the shackles of labour. But soon, her master’s screams send her crashing back to reality. She is only ten years old, yet forced to work as a servant. Her family needs the money to survive. In her heart, she wonders what she did wrong to fall into this punishment. She looks up at the skies again, but all she can see are dark clouds, echoing the gloom in her life.

Such is the story of over 126 lakh children in India today. In addition, roughly 140 lakh children in the country have never seen the inside of a school. We are a land of contradictions – India dreams of becoming a superpower, yet a third of the world’s poor still reside here. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, yet home to the most number of malnourished children. Indians are part of the most educated circles in the world, yet the country is plagued with illiteracy.

Friday, 2 May 2014

India's "Premier" League

The drama began in 2008 when the Board of Control for Cricket Internationally, I mean, in India (BCCI) decided that they needed something different to showcase their plans for future entertainment. Add a dollop of ideas stolen from the erstwhile Indian Cricket League (ICL), a generous flow of money poured in by businessmen and filmstars alike, a splash of semi-nude cheerleaders and extra-loud DJ’s, and you have the birth of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

One must admit that the tournament was inaugurated in unbelievable fashion – courtesy an unbeaten 158 by Brendon McCullum. However, six seasons and sixty thousand scandals into the proceedings, the event has now become less about cricket, and more about unadulterated entertainment.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Other Halves

(Inspired by another blogpost I chanced upon)

She looked down at her baby sister, smiling as she noted the excitement in her eyes. Only a gawky thirteen-year-old could be so excited about a visit to the local fair. Oh, the sweet little pleasures of innocent youth!

Clasping didi’s hand firmly, she looked around, scanning the place in wonder. Every other day of the year, this same field would have meant nothing but a sea of grass to her, a sight all too common. But tonight the place was abuzz with activity. Merry-go-rounds, car-rides, food-shops, handicraft stores, stalls selling everything from pins to clothes – you name it. Her eyes settled on a pet store. She tugged at her elder sister’s hand. “Didi, buy me a bird from there!”

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Voice in My Head

Sleep ends with the sharp sound of the alarm on my phone. With one eye lazily open, I check the time on my phone, 8:31 A.M. I reason with myself. If I sleep for another half an hour I could still have enough time to get ready, shower, have breakfast and be out of the house by 10 or 10:15 at the worst…

SNOOZE!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Have you ever been in love?

“Have you ever been in love?”

Clinching, isn't it? Put yourself in my shoes. Imagine being asked that question at three in the morning. Oh and that isn't all. Imagine being asked that question by a very cute girl who you hope likes you back. Yeah, I know you feel for me.

”Yes” is pretentious, “No” is blunt, and “Maybe” is ambiguous. Where do you hide then? There is no correct answer. In comes the reign of “umm” and “err” and “mhmm”.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Points of View

The crowd rises to their feet in a delirious frenzy of celebration. It was a great victory for the home team. I see the supporters standing all around me - there is absolute pandemonium in the stands. The ninety minutes of joy are over. I have to go back to reality now, return to an empty home, to the little pieces of my life that she left behind. Another week to go now, another week till I can be back here, amidst the smiles. Here, where I won't be reminded of what could have been, had I said or done things just a little differently. Will I ever get a chance to redeem? "This is madness", I whisper to myself.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Love is on the Cards

An idea pitched by Amit Shah.

You know how people claim they can foretell the future by reading cards? I'm rather a skeptic about the whole issue. But what if cards told you everything? What if, the circle of a man's love-life is inscribed in the suits that we deal with everyday, without a second thought?


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Till We Meet Again

21st March, 2013  A senior calls me up and says, “I don’t feel like taking off the uniform. I can’t believe it’s over.”

1st April, 2014 – I don’t feel like taking off the uniform. I can’t believe it’s over.

I will grow up someday, and I will meet youngsters enjoying their school days. I will point to the building in yellow (I’m guessing it will remain yellow) and say proudly, “This is where I went to school.”

Greatness has an address.


Class XII, as always, was piped as the beginning of the end. We all knew this day was to come eventually. We all knew it would end. That one day we would become ex-students of the institution that has been our home for well over a decade.

Don Bosco was where I made my first true friends.
Don Bosco was where I learnt my first life-lesson. 
Don Bosco was where I got my first reality check.
Don Bosco was where I loved to be.

Oppa Bosconian Style. Last batch Picnic, 2013.



Although every year spent under the Bosconian shelter has been an unbelievable experience, the final chapter trumps all. The experiences in Class XII remain unmatched, and so they will remain, I believe, for the rest of my life.

Above all, my time in Bosco has blessed me with the best of friends. Every one of my batch-mates has made the journey a little better. Some of these guys I have known for fourteen long years – and have never had a dull moment.

Amongst the in'quiz'itives - Ribhu, Ritwik and Bikramaditya, the mainstay of the school quiz team, are friends who have stood by me ever since kindergarten. 


The final Bosco Fest – what more can I say that has not already been said? The biggest event of the year capped by the moment of happiness when everyone came together to make the spectacle a success. We aspired, aimed, and achieved.

Up on stage one last time - Chiaros Quro 2013


The times spent in the classrooms, the auditorium, the field and every other nook and corner of the school will remain in my heart forever. The laughter and the tears will always ring in my ears. The people who have shared the journey with me will always be my best friends.

Teachers' Day Drama - our last performance in the DBPC auditorium.


I sincerely hope my juniors appreciate the time they have left. For it flows fast, and is gone before you know it.

To the Class of 2014, you guys are the best. Life will go on, but “Bosconian” will always be part of our identity. Keep being the wonderful people you are.


Till we meet again, brothers.

Aspired. Aimed. Achieved. - Moments after the conclusion of Bosco Fest 2013.