Wednesday, December 7, 2011
paona baki tar.
shude ashole pherot chai,
eksho taka chhar.
tv channel biggapon,
anondito shobar mon,
eksho loker bhirer majhe
jibon mane treadmill.
gacher patar chlorophyll
kokhon geche jhore.
drishti-bihin shobde shonar
eksho badur ore.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
And there's no time to waste.
She can cry if she wants to,
But she can't afford to rest.
Don't let go of any label,
Any stamp to put on her face-
Stamps of religion, class, and caste,
Of country and race.
She'll carry all the tags
Till the day she's dead.
Don't leave her any choice,
And there's no need to be afraid.
The world is a big cellar, and each one of us -
A bottle of wine.
Be proud of your labels -
For they taste divine.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
shohorer hakdak, haranor sriti,
jhoro haoa, bhije kak - chirodin beche thak -
pakhi-der bari fera - hashi-mukh kore,
beche thak shopnera - ghumer bhetore.
ami khali hete choli hati hati pai,
kichu asha, bhalo-basha dana jhaptai.
ekfali prithibi-te - kate din nibhrite,
ar beche thaki.
jekhanei thako dure - tumi theko roddure -
amar raater jonaki.
paliye berai raat.
ghum hoyeche griho-tyagi,
tik-tiki-der tik tik tik
shobdo korar bhishon batik,
ektu-khani shanti khoje
shopno-gulor mathar byamo -
shun-shan shob shohor-toli,
shongo-pone shamle choli;
tobuo chena mukher michil
Saturday, October 22, 2011
ajker din byasto-bagish --
chole bhobishhot-er dike;
pechon phire takai na je
bortoman thakuk shathe.
ekla kaduk kal --
ondhokar-er ghupchi kone
goto sheet-er shordi-kashi,
ajker gan gaibo ami
ajke akash jure.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
ektukhani bhalo-basha, ektu oboshad,
kath-biralir khun-shuti, ar chorui pakhir dak -
akash-nile miliye dio, kanna-tuku thak.
ghorir katar boyosh bare ochin niruddeshe;
boyosh bara thambe jani dukhho-shukher sheshe.
bosta-pocha onko joto, mitthe shotorkota -
hariye jabe, shobar hobe - ononto Kolkata.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Piprera kano khai arsholake?
Kano hati hata-hati kore gach niye?
Bok-bok kore bok classroom-e giye!
Kano khali mone hoy "I am bad"!
Kalker theke ar khabo-nako lyad.
Huko-mukho hyanglar huko-mukho mukh
Dekhbena ghono ghono ar facebook.
Pore pore jano hoy matha-bhora tak;
Kobitar chochh'ori goragori khak.
Koto kichu roye gelo adha-khapcha;
Kolkata chute chole bhishon tara,
Mora-bacha, kena-becha, koto ishara;
Kano eto byastota, eto kolorob!
Nistobdhota niye bondhura shob
Paliyeche kon dure - ek mutho prem!
Shohure akash jure baje siren.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Byartho premer alpona aka udashi bishonnota,
Oshomoye nama brishtir jole dhoano moner sur,
Ontobihin raater akash anonde bhorpur,
Jontrona joto manusher haate manusher opomane -
Shob-kichukei korecho prokash shorbo-jonin gane;
Hajar onubhutir agun - ekti kebol chita;
Jolte thakuk buker bhetor tomar shon-choyita.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Kichu sotti bhoi, ar kichu mitthe ojuhaat
Japte dhore thake janlata - ghore jano jol na ashe;
Sei chotto ghorer bodhho batashe
Jege thake ak prani;
Aj raate tar ashbena ghum, khali britha janla niye tanatani.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
যখন খুঁজি তত্ত্বকথায় বেঁচে থাকার মানে;
মলিন ধুসর পাতার ফাঁকে অনেক খুঁজেও পাইনা তাকে,
পালিয়ে বেড়ায় আমার থেকে নিভৃতে সাবধানে।
অন্যজনের অনুরাগে আমায় খুজি তাই;
পৃথিবী বড় সবুজ লাগে বাইরে যখন চাই।
গাছের ভিড়ে, ট্রাফিক জ্যাম-এ বেঁচে থাকে বাঁচার মানে --
অবাক চোখে চাই সেখানে জীবন খুঁজে পাই।।
Thursday, August 18, 2011
sei chobi chilo monete lukono - dekhini moner bhule;
sei chobi jure ekla akash, onto-bihin poth;
sei chobi jure harano otit, ochena bhobishhot -
din chole geche onek onek, din chole geche dure;
sritir shohor matalo se din - jibon gaaner sure.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I have many friends - all of them belong to the same social category. Some are software engineers in India, some did their MBAs from reputed institutes, some will settle in the US for the rest of their lives, and some will stay back in their home country, joining the same herd of software engineers, bankers and university professors.
For the purpose of this blog post, I will refer to these people as "We". To put it briefly, "We" denotes the urban middle class. Of course, I belong to this set of people. Every statement about "We" also applies to me.
We are Indians, and we love our country. Typically, our patriotism takes one of the following forms: 1) Cheering for India during cricket matches. 2) Appreciating movies like Rang De Basanti. 3) Admiring the Indian Army. 4) An intense disdain for corrupt politicians, as if these politicians are the only people who are ruining the country. 5) Adulation for "apolitical" activists like Kiran Bedi and Anna Hazare. 6) Anti-reservation views. Specifically, the claim that we have advanced in our careers because of "merit", and the accident of birth had no role to play in our lives.
I could go on adding more items to the above list. However, one item will remain conspicuously absent, namely, the item concerning the majority of Indians - the people living in the villages, the farmers, the dalits, the village women, the landless laborers and millions of others who had never been to Mcdonalds or the university classrooms - those 836 million Indians who live on less than 50 cents per day.
For people like us, it is common practice to cherish the Independence Day by watching movies like "Lagaan" or "Rang De Basanti". For a change, this time why don't we watch a documentary called "Nero's Guests"?
If you are an Indian and reading this blog (the people belonging to the second category have become an endangered species on the verge of extinction), please check out this one hour documentary. Unlike Lagaan or Rang De Basanti, probably you have never heard of this movie, let alone watching it. I guarantee that you will not be wasting your time.
We are the Nero's guests. Today I wish all of us a very happy Independence Day.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Ogunti manusher bhir,
Kobekar bhule jaoa kotha,
Okaron mon osthir.
Jan-jote jome thaka rasta,
Tip-tip brishtir jol,
Miss kora CTC-r bus-ta --
Dai ni to kono missed call.
Fele asha jontrona gulo,
Nesha dhora jiboner gho(o)r -
Hariyeche colleg-er dhulo,
Harai-nee amar shohor.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
amar ami hariye gache ajke prothom bhore.
koyek bochor ageo chilo, ache sara-khhon -
ekti mon noyto e je, e to onek mon.
somoy ashe, somoy jai, somoy nirobota,
moner bhetor bujhte pari moner gopon kotha.
amar ami hariye fele pelam sobar gaan,
abeg-ghono praner khelai pelam notun pran.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
pen, pencil, khata - se to ami noee.
amar janlar fake ek chilte rode
mishe thaka kanna, hotasha -
tai niye beche thake bach-bar asha,
amar moner majhe joto bhalo-basha
tomakei ghire thake poloke poloke,
amar lukano batha hashir jholoke.
jokhon pelam ami -- tomai du-chokh bhore,
pelam bachar mane -- nijer moton kore,
pelam hariye jaoa nirob shopno koto,
pelam jibon-take -- obiram, obiroto.
amari hater lekha kobitar soee
ar bolbena jani - " e to ami noee".
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
tomar chokher kone ekante nirjone
udashi bikel-bela sonali roder mela
jirno garir chaka koto poth aka-baka
korlo je par-
paoa na paoar sheshe tomakei bhalo-beshe
doinik protidin, office-er canteen,
doinik bastota, kolahol-mukhorota,
shob-kichu bhule giye keboli tomai niye
chole jete chaee,
tobuo jibon-khani okaron hoyrani-
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
kukur poshe biral chana,
tapur tupur brishti pora,
chonno chara chinno chora,
dupur-belar olosh ghum,
ratri nama nijhum jhum,
bhorer alo mon bholalo -
sharata din katbe bhalo -
traffic jam-e golok dhadha,
borsha-kale rasta kada,
bhirer majhe thamlo gari -
poddo bojhai bolihari.
Friday, June 24, 2011
basto-bagish amar shohor, purono sriti harano prem,
amar school, amar college, bikel-belar local train,
bus-er bhire badam-ola, pother more bhikhari,
olosh sheet-e roder choa, notun alor dishari,
nostalgic adda kichu, prothom tintin,
tomai niye shopno dekha - abchaya sei din,
chokher kone hashir jhilik, moner koner obhiman,
hariye jaoa kanna kichu, cha-er stall-e hindi gan-
jani sobai akash chire, amar kache asbe fire;
jibon mane chaoa-paoa dukhho - shukher kolotan.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Notun haowai uriye diye itihasher pata;
Sokal bikel obiroto
Somoy chole somoy moto,
Diner sheshe purno hobe karur jibon-khata.
Ekti chele korto khela hajar bochor age -
Office niye firche bari gobhir onurage;
Bhobishhoter sritigulo -
Neiko tader chal-chulo,
Badhon-bihin okarone ajke mone lage.
Friday, May 13, 2011
I don't buy the perception, however, that West Bengal was ruined by 30 years of left-front rule. Contrary to the urban middle-class world view, the Left-front had some spectacular achievements in the early eighties, especially with regard to land reform; and some of the states that are touted as success-stories by neo-liberal propaganda have witnessed mass suicides by farmers. If we are to judge the progress of a state by the improvement in living standards of the overall population, rather than the number of shopping malls and high rise buildings in some urban pockets, CPM rule has by no means been pathetic. It is not a coincidence that the residents of Kolkata and non-resident Bengalis are traditionally opposed to CPM, whereas the party's main bastion used to be rural Bengal.
At the same time, I don't believe that the Left-front has done anything substantial in the past decade. If we rank the Indian states according to social indicators such as literacy rate and access to basic health-care, West Bengal falls somewhere in the middle of the list. There is one word that precisely defines today's Left-front - mediocre.
I resent the way the Left-front compromised the state's education system. All the appointments in the state universities, ranging from the administrative stuff and faculty members to the Vice-Chancellor, were influenced by CPM. The schools and colleges also came under the control of one omnipotent Party.
It is unfortunate that Mamata Banerjee is not a better alternative. Admittedly, she is an honest person who worked hard (and alone, for quite a while) to end CPM's dominance of West Bengal politics. But apart from her anti-left rhetorics, she doesn't have any constructive policies - economic, educational or otherwise. And to put it mildly, I don't respect the people around her - her inner circle of advisers who helped her stop the CPM juggernaut.
I consider myself to be a social-democrat. Yet I feel it was time for the CPM to go. To conclude, it is a pity that the only thing Mamata Banerjee has to offer is the end of CPM's hegemony.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
bhalobasai, opekhhate amai chere gechile.
basto office moner fake kanna kichu lukiye rakhe;
bus-er bhire, nodir tire, akash chire dakche kake.
anmona mon amar shohor kon se tale dichhe tali -
shohor jora traffic, kebol obhimaner rasta khali.
udashi mon amar holeo noyko se je obhimani -
rasta jam thakle pore ajke ami hat-te jani.
tomar chokhe dekhuk loke rater tara, bhorer alo;
chawa-pawa, kanna-hashi, noile jibon shada-kalo.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
There is a tragedy in every person's life. We experience heartbreaks, failures, remorse and pain. We experience the fleeting illusions of achievements and glory. The biggest tragedy, however, is death.
At the same time, there is a melancholic beauty in each one of us that transcends the mundane chores of our day to day lives. I feel this in times of happiness, friendship and love, and try to discover a sense of purpose behind my transient existence in this vast universe.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I came to realize that US is a strange country: She has nurtured an extraordinary number of great scientists, philosophers, thinkers and political activists - Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Richard Feynman, Martin Luther King Jr., Noam Chomsky - the list is endless. On the other hand, there are crackpots like Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza and Rush Limbaugh. How astonishing it is that a significant proportion of US citizens still dispute Evolution by natural selection and believe that the earth is only ten thousand years old!
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
As far as political ideology is concerned, the star anchors of NDTV purport to be secular liberals. This information, coupled with the fact that it is a channel founded and run by Pranoy Roy, should have been sufficient to convert me into a regular viewer. However, I stopped watching NDTV long time back, even before the Radia tapes broke out, for a simple reason.
Today I visited their website after at least a few months and this is what I found.
1) Vikram Pandit on Citigroup turnaround.
2) Irish giant killers live up to reputation.
3) Vidya's SRK dream come true?
1) Is Twinkle Khanna pregnant?
2) Spotted: Amir, SRK, Urmila
3) Oscar 2011: Red Carpet
4) Anushka, Ranveer at Shahid's birthday bash
And here comes the editor's video picks:
1) Desparately seeking attention.
2) Item numbers: kiss of life.
3) Oscar 2011: The hope and the glory.
Finally, the list of top stories include gems like "Dandi March in US against corruption in India".
Is this some kind of joke?
On a serious note, I will suggest anyone with a tiny little bit of interest in politics and society to subscribe to Economic and Political Weekly.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
1) The last time you dreamed was one month back, and that too was about getting more citations for your previous research paper.
2) You prefer to read history and philosophy rather than detective or romantic novels.
3) Your favorite music is Rabindrasangeet (songs composed by Rabindranath Tagore).
4) All the problems in your life are related to Algorithms and Game Theory.
The journey continues :)
Friday, January 14, 2011
ke ashok borolok hoy ratarati.
bhalo-jone ano-mone kore becha-kena,
nei tar day-bhar, manobik dena.
amrai kore khai, amrai dami.
kono dosh, apshosh nei, achi ami.
koto shoto holo goto, shopner pur
roddure ache dure, ajo bohudur.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
kobita tomar gaan shunechi hajar tarar bhire.
kobitar naam shalik pakhi, kobitar naam college faki,
kobitar naam prem,
kobitar naam golper boi, ochenar siren.
bikel-belar udash robi, chotto-belar mishti chobi -
kobita tomai ghire,
gobhir raate abchaya-te gopon alor nire.
Monday, January 10, 2011
I am reproducing below excerpts from a chat. The persons involved begin with the philosophical implication of quantum mechanics, debating the dichotomy between causality and the inherent random nature of the universe at the scale of elementary particles, and end with a discussion on the relative merits and demerits of Indian and Western music.
I would urge you to reflect upon the quality of the conversation. The identity of the persons will be revealed at the end of the excerpt.
A: I was discussing with C today the new mathematical discoveries which tell us that in the realm of infinitesimal atoms chance has its play; the drama of existence is not absolutely predestined in character.
B: The facts that make science tend toward this view do not say good-bye to causality.
A: Maybe not, yet it appears that the idea of causality is not in the elements, but that some other force builds up with them an organized universe.
B: One tries to understand in the higher plane how the order is. The order is there, where the big elements combine and guide existence, but in the minute elements this order is not perceptible.
A: Thus duality is in the depths of existence, the contradiction of free impulse and the directive will which works upon it and evolves an orderly scheme of things.
B: Modern physics would not say they are contradictory. Clouds look as one from a distance, but if you see them nearby, they show themselves as disorderly drops of water.
A: I find a parallel in human psychology. Our passions and desires are unruly, but our character subdues these elements into a harmonious whole. Does something similar to this happen in the physical world? Are the elements rebellious, dynamic with individual impulse? And is there a principle in the physical world which dominates them and puts them into an orderly organization?
B: Even the elements are not without statistical order; elements of radium will always maintain their specific order, now and ever onward, just as they have done all along. There is, then, a statistical order in the elements.
A: Otherwise, the drama of existence would be too desultory. It is the constant harmony of chance and determination which makes it eternally new and living.
B: I believe that whatever we do or live for has its causality; it is good, however, that we cannot see through to it.
A: There is in human affairs an element of elasticity also, some freedom within a small range which is for the expression of our personality. It is like the musical system in India, which is not so rigidly fixed as western music. Our composers give a certain definite outline, a system of melody and rhythmic arrangement, and within a certain limit the player can improvise upon it. He must be one with the law of that particular melody, and then he can give spontaneous expression to his musical feeling within the prescribed regulation. We praise the composer for his genius in creating a foundation along with a superstructure of melodies, but we expect from the player his own skill in the creation of variations of melodic flourish and ornamentation. In creation we follow the central law of existence, but if we do not cut ourselves adrift from it, we can have sufficient freedom within the limits of our personality for the fullest self-expression.
B: That is possible only when there is a strong artistic tradition in music to guide the people's mind. In Europe, music has come too far away from popular art and popular feeling and has become something like a secret art with conventions and traditions of its own.
A: You have to be absolutely obedient to this too complicated music. In India, the measure of a singer's freedom is in his own creative personality. He can sing the composer's song as his own, if he has the power creatively to assert himself in his interpretation of the general law of the melody which he is given to interpret.
B: It requires a very high standard of art to realize fully the great idea in the original music, so that one can make variations upon it. In our country, the variations are often prescribed.
A: If in our conduct we can follow the law of goodness, we can have real liberty of self-expression. The principle of conduct is there, but the character which makes it true and individual is our own creation. In our music there is a duality of freedom and prescribed order.
B: Are the words of a song also free? I mean to say, is the singer at liberty to add his own words to the song which he is singing?
A: Yes. In Bengal we have a kind of song-kirtan, we call it-which gives freedom to the singer to introduce parenthetical comments, phrases not in the original song. This occasions great enthusiasm, since the audience is constantly thrilled by some beautiful, spontaneous sentiment added by the singer.
B: Is the metrical form quite severe?
A: Yes, quite. You cannot exceed the limits of versification; the singer in all his variations must keep the rhythm and the time, which is fixed. In European music you have a comparative liberty with time, but not with melody.
B: Can the Indian music be sung without words? Can one understand a song without words?
A: Yes, we have songs with unmeaning words, sounds which just help to act as carriers of the notes. In North India, music is an independent art, not the interpretation of words and thoughts, as in Bengal. The music is very intricate and subtle and is a complete world of melody by itself.
B: Is it not polyphonic?
A: Instruments are used, not for harmony, but for keeping time and adding to the volume and depth. Has melody suffered in your music by the imposition of harmony?
B: Sometimes it does suffer very much. Sometimes the harmony swallows up the melody altogether.
A: Melody and harmony are like lines and colors in pictures. A simple linear picture may be completely beautiful; the introduction of color may make it vague and insignificant. Yet color may, by combination with lines, create great pictures, so long as it does not smother and destroy their value.
B: It is a beautiful comparison; line is also much older than color. It seems that your melody is much richer in structure than ours. Japanese music also seems to be so.
A: It is difficult to analyze the effect of eastern and western music on our minds. I am deeply moved by the western music; I feel that it is great, that it is vast in its structure and grand in its composition. Our own music touches me more deeply by its fundamental lyrical appeal. European music is epic in character; it has a broad background and is Gothic in its structure.
B: This is a question we Europeans cannot properly answer, we are so used to our own music. We want to know whether our own music is a conventional or a fundamental human feeling, whether to feel consonance and dissonance is natural, or a convention which we accept.
A: Somehow the piano confounds me. The violin pleases me much more.
B: It would be interesting to study the effects of European music on an Indian who had never heard it when he was young.
A: Once I asked an English musician to analyze for me some classical music, and explain to me what elements make for the beauty of the piece.
B: The difficulty is that the really good music, whether of the East or of the West, cannot be analyzed.
A: Yes, and what deeply affects the hearer is beyond himself.
B: The same uncertainty will always be there about everything fundamental in our experience, in our reaction to art, whether in Europe or in Asia. Even the red flower I see before me on your table may not be the same to you and me.
A: And yet there is always going on the process of reconciliation between them, the individual taste conforming to the universal standard.
A: Rabindranath Tagore
B: Albert Einstein
C: A common friend, Dr. Mendel
Sunday, January 9, 2011
eshechilo prem, hoyto abar ashbe konodin;
protikhhar por ashbe nari,
hoyto ashbe khyati, dombho-ke sathe niye,
tarpore mrittu, jibonke na janiye.
ki jano baki theke jay.
ami chay sobkichu, ki jano haray.
jibon choleche somoyer hat dhore ojanar khoje.
janinato kon dike amar bhaggo-je
niye jabe more-
shudhu kono bhore,
dakha hoy jano surjer sathe.