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.

The master quizzer, now a Member of Parliament, took up the initiative to show his concern for his city. The whole session was in the form of an informal meet, where the exuberance of youth combined with the wisdom of experience to bring out ideas and opinions that would prove beneficiary to the promotion of culture and the way of life in Kolkata. Derek O’Brien himself pitched in with his views, and was thoroughly encouraging as he too seemed positively enthusiastic about paving the way for the city to move forward.

He told us about a sewage disposal system that has been undertaken by the government, wherein ninety Garbage Compactors will be placed at different points of the city – a project that would wipe out the existence of open garbage dumps along roadsides. Six such Garbage Compactors already are functioning in the city, and 84 more will be added by the turn of the new fiscal calendar. In fact, general cleanliness of the city was a stronghold of conversation throughout the discussion.

A constructive brainstorming session followed, with different people sharing their different perspectives. We had amongst us people from professions as diverse as teaching, writing, professional blogging, event managing, radio jockeying, college-goers and even a couple of blokes fresh out of school, including yours truly.

The cameras caught me unaware here.

Eyes and minds were both widened by the issues brought up by some of the people participating in the meet. Pressing issues such as providing education and ensuring the safety of women – subjects considered in almost every meeting for Kolkata’s progression – were also considered. Emphasis was laid on how so many prospective bright sparks fade into oblivion because of highly improper communication faculties between creator and the masses. Communication is more important now than ever before, and as bloggers and representatives of the social media, the onus is on us to ensure the implementation of the web for the best of purposes.

Pertinent points were raised, noteworthy issues were deliberated, opinions were shared, and necessary agendas were made to formulate a plan to work towards. Inspiration and anticipation fall flat without proper execution, hence the biggest challenge ahead for the attendees of this meet would now be to carry forward with the plans that have been laid out, slowly but surely. What has been put into motion must go on. Only then can we hope to provide the impetus for Kolkata to move further forward. Only then can we hope for a better “Brand Bengal”.

The team of enthusiasts with Derek O'Brien

Find out more about the Kolkata Bloggers initiative here.

Pictures : Anirban Saha (
               Soupayan Dutta

1 comment:

  1. It was a great session. I personally got to learn a lot. Thinking about newer ways to promote the city.