October 28, 2008

Winning the Presidential Debate ain't the same as winning the Election

Heck, winning the popular vote ain't the same as winning the election as Al Gore found out to his distaste. And winning the presidential debates sure didn't win Kerry the popular vote or the election or anything but a forgotten place in the annals of history [ And yes, i thought he got the better of the exchanges in his sparring with Dubya, but then it'd be a real shame if ANYONE didn't]

So what with Obama being the feted winner of all the debates and ahead in the polls , I still think it's a long road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And I'll believe he can get there , when he does...

October 08, 2008

Thakumar Jhuli

Eons of Bengali youngsters have been weaned on stories from this definitive treasure trove of fantasia, which translated means "Grandmother's Bag" and we (my sister and I) were no different. For us however, more fertile memories are linked with the teller of these tales, our Thamoni (which is the nick/moniker by which we addressed our grandmother) whose bed time story telling sessions were a great hit with us.

This post is a long due tribute to one of my closest friends.

Dr. Rajlukhsmee Debee Bhattacharya was born in Mymensingh, Bangladesh in 1927. She did her schooling in Mymensingh and then in Calcutta. Being a stellar student and Gold Medallist in B.A and M.A from Calcutta University (which in her times for a woman, was a real big deal!!). She later earned her doctorate from Pune University in philosophy, and taught Philosophy at IIT Kharagpur, Fergusson College, and N.Wadia College,Pune , where she retired as the HOD of the Department of Philosophy. All this while she was also a very active Bengali poet , one of the few pravasi Bengali poets of note (Pravasi being the Bengali term for non-resident Bengalis-She was based out of Pune since 1952). She was a recipient of the Prestigious Bhuban Mohini Dasi Medal from Calcutta University for her contribution to Bengali literature. She was also a noted translator of poetry from Bengali to English and English to Bengali, and had traveled abroad extensively to many conferences where she shared her expertise and experience in the finer nuances of the very difficult but very critical art of translation.

She was tremendously dynamic,phenomenally creative, inspirational,a killer cook, brilliant, open minded, youthful and refreshing to interact with but most of all she was a very loving person. When I was doing my engineering at the College of Engineering Pune (from 1999 -2003), She was my confidante and counsel. Whether it was studies related advice, or guidance on extracurriculars or generally helping me sort out personal issues, from Applied mechanics, engineering drawing and quantum physics to texture of brush strokes in the artwork of certain artistes to heated discussions on whether R.K. Narayan deserved the Nobel prize in literature or not (I thought he did, she thought not), whether "Dil Chahta hai" was really the awesome movie I though it was (She felt that despite the well portrayed urban glitz the movie ultimately lacked substance). That there was almost a 60 year difference in our ages wasn't apparent to me at most times, when it did, it struck me with a mixed sensation of awe that said i-hope-i-have-half-the-energy-she-does-when-i-get-to-her-age.

And while this post is hardly adequate to convey the loss I or indeed most members of my family felt when she passed away on a February morning three years ago, it will serve to underscore that her memory lingers on, as does her legacy.

As I was rummaging through my files the other day I saw some handwritten translations of short children's verses by Thamoni. Interestingly, the illustrations for this work in progress were done by yours truly (and therein lies the weak link) way back during the run up to my Second Semester Exams at COEP. I searched the web to see if I could trace the originals which she translated them from. The source it appears might well be a work by Shel Silverstein dating back to 1964 a work comprising of a collection of illustrated children's verse called " Dr. Shelby's Zoo". Have given below the English originals of the verses along with scanned images of Thamoni's translations. Let me just say that the translations fantastically maintain the edgy humour of the originals as well as the extremely creative names that these beasts have, those of you who can read Bengali won't have to just take my word for it, and, ahem... my illustrations don't hold up too badly either.

The Man-Eating Fullit

Here is The Tail
Of the man-eating Fullit,
Let's not pull it


Don't pooh-pooh the Gru,
For if you do,
He'll bite you through,
And chomp and chew,
And swallow you.
But if you don't,
Don't Think he won't!

The Long Necked-Preposterious

This is Donald,
A Long-necked Preposterious,
Looking around for a female
Long-necked Preposterious.
but there aren't any

The Graveyark

See the Graveyark in his cage,
His claws are sharp, his teeth are double,
Thank heaven he's locked up safe inside,
Or we'd all be in terrible trouble!

and my personal favourite...


The Slithergadee has crawled out of the sea,
He may catch all the others, but he won't catch me,
No you won't catch me, old Slithergadee,
you may catch all the others , but you wo--

August 12, 2008

Three Medals at Beijing!!

All I ask is for three medals at Beijing this year.

Nothing fancy. Nothing impossible, given that India has already secured its first Individual Olympic Gold. Even two more Bronzes will do nicely, because, that would make for India's strongest showing in ever at any olympics!! That would not exactly be keeping up with the joneses in terms of golds though ( something we Indians always like to hope we are doing when it comes to any India-China Comparison) as the Hosts have already notched up 6 Gold medals with plenty more in the offing, and lead the current medals tally. As is quite likely,the Chinese might even end up topping the final medals tally,(Though I still think the US will rule the roost, but only just)
As for where these bronzes might come from for India One hopes for results from Saina Nehwal , maybe the Boxers, and Lee-Hesh.
FTR India's best performance at the olympics was at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, with a tally of 2 Medals, a Gold and a Bronze.Could this statistic change before the end of the Beijing Games?

One lives and one hopes...

Strike 1: Saina Nehwal goes down in her quarterfinal clash against the Indonesian shuttler whose name I forget for the moment

We're left wih the Boxers, and Lee-Hesh.

[Update 2]

Strike 2: Lee-Hesh bow out in the Quarter-finals to Federer and partner

Things are not looking too hopeful at this stage.

[Update 3]

Akhil Kumar bows out in the quarters. So does Jitender kumar.
Out of the blue, however, we have a Bronze from Sushil Jadhav, who had actually bowed out of the wrestling competition with a first round defeat but came back miraculously in the repechage to down three strong opponents and clinch the bronze for India. So the fate of my prediction now hangs on the performance of one Vijender Kumar

[Update 4]

Vijender Kumar through to the Semis, and with no third place bout in boxing, my prediction is clinched with atleast a bronze already in the bag.

It's India's best outing ever at any Olympics till date.

If Vijender clinches a silver or a gold, then that would be truly sweet. However, given that he's up against the Cuban Emilio Correa it would be truly phenomenal if he secured even a silver from here!!

Well here's hoping London 2012 becomes India's first multi gold olympics
Here's to atleast 3 Golds at the 2012 London Games

July 01, 2008

Some more Pics



Also @Manali

Posted by Picasa

Wedding Pics

Posted by Picasa

Missing Manali

Looking forward to times like these again.

Life here in Indonesia has been hectic and working with Olam is proving to be an awesome learning experience, but yes quite often there are times when I just wish it didn't have to come at cost of spending such a long time away from my baby...

Manna, I hope you know I miss you like crazy too!

May 30, 2008

The story so far ..in pictures

Since the last updated blog entry here seems to be the start of this year, and this has been indeed one the "the" most eventful years of my life ..if I discount 1981 the year I was born 1981, then I'd say it ranks right up there...and it isn't even half over yet!!

Events of Note:

I graduated my MBA
Got Married!!! .. :D
Joined OLAM

This deserves to be recorded in picturs and so here then is a string of events and post bringing my life back up to tempo till date

January 02, 2008

On New Year Greetings and suspended blogs

To everyone who wanders to this page on an unfortunate combination of keystrokes/links allow me to...


... and also here's hoping that in this new year, with my workload considerably reduced on account of almost being done with my MBA, the number and quality of my posts increase significantly. If not, well here's hoping you remembered that unfortunate series of keystrokes / links and know well enough to keep from repeating it !! :D