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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Bus Fare Hike in Kolkata and West Bengal

Revolutions of public & private transport wheels are costing us dearer. Recently, from 1st November, 2012, the bus fair has increased in Kolkata and rest of West Bengal. On working days, I travel from Lake Town to Theatre Road by bus. Previously the bus fair was Rs. 6. Do you have any idea how much I have to pay now? Any guesses? It’s not 7 or 8. It’s Rs. 9! Don’t believe it? You should. The new fair chart of 2*1 bus route shows me that. Is there any base for that ridiculous price hike?

From the year 2009, the petrol and diesel prices have increased for many times. But the bus fair has not “significantly increased”. Even right now, the bus owners are claiming that this price hike was not “enough”. Aren’t these controllers of bus price shameless? Everyday, we see overcrowded buses at office time. And they are saying, they are loss making.

How television media reacted after the price hike?

Just after the price hike, both print media and television media gave importance to the bus owners, who obviously gave reaction in their favour. They were less bothered about common people’s problems in paying the bus fares. No television channel asked common pedestrians about price hike in buses.

Where the conflict is happening?

With the changing price of bus fares, petrol price, diesel price and train fares, our salaries are not increasing. Now somebody can say, that increasing Rs. 500 as salary would take care of the fair price well. But the fact is that won’t. Because, the transportation cost is increased, the common man’s daily expenditure gets multiplied. How? Suppose, some vegetables are coming to Kolkata through other parts of West Bengal. Due to increased train fares, the cost will be more. A milk-butter & cheeze which are coming to Kolkata through road or rail transport will be more expensive.

A sample multiplication-effect calculation

Let us take the example of a family of 3 (father, mother and a kid). The family members buy 100 items per month. Suddenly, top due to increased transportation cost 80% of the items’ priced got increased by 2. also, suppose, among those 80% of the items (i.e. 80 items), 25% of the items are purchased daily and 50% items (i.e. 40 items) are purchased weekly and 25% items (i.e. 20 items) are purchased once in a month. So, how much rupees the family has to spend?

Here is the result:

Daily items: 20 x 30 = Rs. 600/-
Weekly items:  40 x 4 =  Rs. 160/-
Monthly items: 1 x 20 = Rs. 20/-

Extra expenditure:  Rs. 780/-

Now, suppose, the father of the family goes to office by a bus where the “Rs. 3” bus fare hike has happened. How much extra he to pay for bus fares?

Extra expenditure to go to office and returning home:  3 x 30 x 2 = Rs. 180

In this way, the transportation makes an impact and the effect gets multiplied. What if the father of the family does break journey to reach the office? Then the cost will be more. Also, for sake of simple calculation, we have taken Rs. 2 increase for each item. Last year, a cost of a 600 ml cold drink was Rs. 17. Right now it costs Rs. 28. Although, such price hike is not only due to transportation cost but transportation always play important role in steep price rise.

As per my observation, I see that the lots of changes are happening in Kolkata. Ordinary cinema halls are vanishing (where movie tickets had been Rs. 40 normally) and multiplexes (where ticket prices are of the range Rs. 90 - 200) are replacing them. Ordinary grocery stores (with low priced items) are losing preference among upper class consumers. Shopping malls with daily commodity store (containing high priced products) are gaining popularity. May be, by the year 2020, grocery stores and ordinary movie halls will become extinct in Kolkata or, even if they exist, their services won’t be available for middle class and lower class of the society.

The recent petrol & diesel price hike, bus fair hike (with ridiculous kilometer distance arguments), price of cooking gas increase are not common steps of government. These are NOT burdens of common people. These are actually open conspiracies to abolish middle and lower class people from our society.

In the future, Kolkata will remain as the city for only Upper Class and Upper-Middle class people. Those few middle class families who will manage to fight the situation will be like that:

1)      Husband and Wife both will be working
2)      Husband will have a second income (he would work for some extra time)
3)      They will buy less and save more
4)      They would put money in a banking scheme from where they can get return
5)      The future middle class families will always compromise in amusements

If you agree with me in the points stated in the article, please do me a fair. Please protest against the price hike and cumulative bus & train price increase, cooking gas price increase.

Also, I have alternative solutions for not hiking the bus fares:

1)      The walls of our buses and trains are kept almost blank. Our private bus owners can ask corporates to show brand ads on vehicle’s walls and ask charges from them. That can generate alternative revenue for the private bus owners.
2)      Government can issue special cards for the private bus drivers which they can show at petrol & diesel stations. By showing those special cards, they can get petrol or diesel at cheaper prices. That would decrease the cost of operation for private bus owner and they won’t have to hike the price.

These two solutions are given aiming the private bus owners as because the private buses are run more in Kolkata than government buses. But where the above solutions would be implemented or not, one thing is quite clear. Government won’t change the new, “irrational” bus fare rate charts and common people have to unnecessarily spend more money for bus fares. And not everybody’s salary is going to be increased because of this price hike. So, harder says awaiting for common people like me.

Addition on 9.12.2012:

The good news for bus fare hike is that the present government and private bus owners have brought down the bus fares. I thank them for their good initiatives. The bus fare is now taken as Rs. 7 instead Rs. 9 (last hiked) or Rs. 6 (old fair). So, literally Rs. 1 increase has taken place. I find the hike as reasonable now and think that the new fair chart will do justice to people's miserable economic conditions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Super Hero within Biswajit

Imagining Mr. Unimaginable!

After I return home from office, I just pull off my shirt and I transform into Super B!

But instead of saying, "Up, up, and away", I have to sit "down" on a chair and wait for a dinner!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Poems on Rain or Monsoon by Biswajit

A relief

My school education
Snatched my childhood,
Media took away
Mind’s stability,
My lady-love took
The trust of love,
Workplace demanded
My long cherished skills,
Politics took away
The art of protest,
Money changed
My concept of value,
Finally, one day,
Rain came,
And took away
All the pain & sufferings I ever had.


Again it rains

Again it rains,
Again I feel so alone;
I believe,
One day you’ll come,
You’ll appear from the
Moistness of pregnant clouds,
Freeing the cage of  my
Emotional jewel box,
And I’ll welcome
Your random kiss of water drops –
Hot, sharp kisses from
Cold water drops,
Tasting my body at will,
Am I not tasting their freshness?
Ask rain for answer…

Song of Varsha

Let the song of your voice
Be the song of rain,
Varsha, I know,
How your heart feels for monsoon,
And how the monsoon feels for you,
Melt the robust heat of heart
With the soothing tunes of rain,
Let your sweet melody touch
The passion of rain,
Let the natural music accompany
Your God gifted voice,
Let my voice
Make love with yours,
Together we’ll sing all night long
When nature relaxes
And become our audience.


It is raining outside

It is raining outside
And in the room
We are lying on the bed
And scanning our bodies
Like reading an ancient poem,
Your resting head is on my chest,
And you are thinking about
Drops of water,
Falling on a dried pond,
Filling it up again,
I am lost in the
Drizzle of darkness,
Only lightning sparkles sometimes,
To make me see clearly,
It is raining outside.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Make Kolkata A Better City

The present government of West Bengal has vowed that Kolkata will be soon transformed to a city like London. Whether Kolkata will be transformed to London is a matter of great debate. But government officials can at least make their city better. I share some tips here to make our city better.

1)      Don’t spit: Initially, I wanted to write, ‘Don’t spit on streets’. Then I thought that irresponsible citizens spit on office & building walls. I think that government needs to take stern actions against those who spit badly on nice places.
2)      Constructions: Streets of a great city should be perfect for walking. Here in Kolkata, when I walk daily on the streets, I see that the footpath is uneven. So much so that anybody can get his or her leg injured. Also, streets are accompanied by carelessly left garbage and cow dung. This should be stopped?
3)      Road construction: Road construction companies don’t have a sense of beauty. I am sure about that. They will dig out our city streets for various “repairing” & “maintenance” reasons. Once the repairing is done, they will leave the unused bricks, sands on the place of work. Nobody protests against that.
4)      Bus stops: On weekdays, I board a bus from Kalamandir bus stop for coming to Lake Town. I see no traffic cop near that bus stop. As a result, buses hardly stop at the proper bus stops and people rush here and there to ride on to the bus.
On Kolkata streets, auto-rickshaws and taxis intentionally stop at bus stop to pick-up passengers. Because of occupying space by these vehicles, buses can’t stop at the proper locations.
5)      Illegal parking: Also, I find that News media vehicles illegally get parked very near to Kalamandir bus stop in the evening time. Are media people above law? Don’t they care for city’s betterment? Who knows? I have seen some private cars and possibly cars of BPO companies stop only at bus stops to pick-up the employees. Can’t they choose a place “near” bus stops to do the same job? I have never seen any traffic police hardly objecting that.
6)      No private buses at night: Government must urge private bus companies to give special buses between 11 pm – 3.30 am at night.
7)      Think green not blue: The new TMC government once decided to turn Kolkata from Red city (as a symbol of earlier Left government) to Blue city. I think, painting government cars, houses with blue might be a loss-making idea as lots of government money will be spent on artificial paints. Rather, it would be better if Kolkata’s people plant more trees and turn Kolkata into a Green city. In this regard, I would to say, some people have cut the trees near Lake Town and Salt Lake (near both sides of canal). The density of trees have become very less there. The government must take throughout the year initiative to plant trees in and around Kolkata.
8)      Suggestion box: There will be suggestion boxes at public places where citizens can drop in their suggestions to make Kolkata a better living place.
9)      Role of police: Kolkata police says, they are our friends. They should work with Kolkata Municipality to make plans for the years ahead.
10)  Individual responsibility: We should not individually support city-life-slow-down activities like “Bandhs”, “Chakka Jam”. Also, throwing a pile of garbage in a plastic bag on adjacent road won’t make us responsible citizens. We can’t make our city dirty and give a lame excuse, “Thank God, we have not grown up!”. We must rethink about our activities as Goddess Kali of Kalighat temple might expect us to grow up and care for our city!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Consequences of looking beautiful

[following content is for matured readers only]

Last Saturday night I got some spare time out of my busy schedule. Watching TV in my free time is one of my favourite activities. So, I started surfing the TV channels. There was one show that drew my initial attention. The programme was named as, “Another Beauty in the World”. The idea about the programme is that a gorgeous looking person would come at every episode. Then he or she would talk about his or her self-proclaimed beauty. The interviewer would ask questions to him about his early years, career, life and about the beauty, fashion & sexual attraction that the person possesses.

Since, nobody calls Bishnu Kumar Ganguram (that’s me) a handsome guy, I have a natural curiosity for how to become more attractive. By listening to their talks on beauty secrets, I try to find tips that I can use to improve my looks. So, I felt a natural curiosity about this programme.

On last Saturday’s show, the guest was Mr. Milkshake Sikhwal.

Host: Welcome to the show Milkshake…
Milkshake: Hi Romit. It’s good to see you again.
Host: Milky, tell me about how your ‘good look’ has caused impact on your life.
Milkshake: It all started when I was born.
Host: What happened? I guess you were born at night and at that time, there was power cut in the hospital. So, nobody could see your beautiful face…
Milkshake: No, no I was born in the morning. Actually, there was another beautiful baby in the same maternity ward. Today she has become a successful film star with international fame.
Host: And you have become just a beauty sensation (and nothing else)?
Milkshake: Hmmm. But the fact was everybody in the maternity ward wanted to see me but not to her. So, it seems to me that I stole the show from her.
Host: But she has stolen the show in the long run. She has more admirers than you now.
Milkshake: I also have had many admirers. When I was a kid many women tried to get cozy with me.
Host: Like?
Milkshake: Like when I played in the garden, many cows whistled at me (in their own language).
Host: So, you treated animals your lovers?
Milkshake: Why shouldn’t I? Even today I am called a sex animal.
Host: We shall take a break and then shall come back for more talks with Mr. Milkshake.


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[back to the show]

Host: Welcome back to our show. So, you were telling me that something happened in the school? What was that?
Milkshake: Well the girls in my batch fell for my beauty. But they feared to propose me. After all, we were only kids. They waited until we were in the class XII.
Host: What happened then?
Milkshake: One day, they stood in a line after the classes and one by one they came near me. Each girl told me that she was in love with me.
Host: What you told them in return?
Milkshake: I said, rather than Romance activities, I was more interested in “MMS Clip” kind of activities.
Host: What happened then? Did the girls like your concept of attraction?
Milkshake: Well, they became furious. They beat me up with their best possible strengths.
Host: Many bad things people like you have to suffer in the name of Sex.
Milkshake: Oh no. That was in the name of Beauty.
Host: Anyway, have you found any positive side of your physical beauty?
Milkshake: Yes, plenty of them. The lady teachers of  Maths & English gave me 80% marks in all through my school life. Because I was always very cute looking. So I guess they also fell for me. Otherwise, I could not have passed in those subjects after class V.
Host: Okay, let’s proceed with other matters. How was your experience with foreign girls while studying at a foreign university?
Milkshake: Well, I tried to impress girls with my different hairstyles. In the first year, my friends used to call me “Bowl-head”, in the second year, “Towel-Head” and in the third year, “Gargoyel-head”.
Host: But you were still successful to impress them, right?
Milkshake: Yes, of course. In fact, I take their comments as compliments about my beautiful hair.
Host: You must be kidding…
Milkshake: No, I’m not.
Host: Let’s move on to other topics. We have heard that you sported moustache and beard sometime in your life. What was that for? Did you tried to reduce your handsomeness?
Milkshake: No, actually before keeping my beard and moustache, girls understood me as half-man-half-woman. I used to receive hot proposals from trans genders and bisexuals. To bring a feeling of masculinity I grew hair on my face.
Host: What happened after that?
Milkshake: My foreign job was not renewed. Seeing my bearded face, employers treated me as some kind of terrorist. Being jobless, I tried my luck in the adult film industry.
Host: What did adult filmmakers say?
Milkshake: They said that they were looking for some strong looking men. I am a thin man weighing just 64 kg. My films would promote a thief or beggar having sex with a gorgeous lady. That thing they didn’t want.
Host: What did you say?
Milkshake: I fought back with my arguments and histrionics. I said, at 64 kg., I was nimble like a cheetah.
Host: And how did they respond to that?
Milkshake: They said, at 64 kg. of weight, I was more like a monkey to them. They told me to get lost. So, I came back to India. Here, astrologers of Bongaon (my birth place) predicted that even a malnourished person like me would become a future sex siren in India. They gave me their reasoning that fat Indian girls prefer husbands like me because they can dominate my thin body with their overweight torsos. 

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[back to the show]

Host: We have heard that you posted your proposal on (India’s popular matrimony site).
Milkshake: Yes, just after I posted my marriage related bio, all girls started looking at my profile and so, the site got crashed.
Host: But a cyber crime data shows that a hacker group was trying to hack that site to access people’s personal phone numbers and emails. They made the site crashed. Anyway, I would like to ask you a final question. How are you planning to attract more women in this Summer?
Milkshake: Well, I plan to move here and there by wearing a skin-tight thick Blue Jeans trouser.
Host: Man, Kolkata’s temperature has just crossed 39ÂșC and you are planning to wear such outfits in this season!
Milkshake: That I have to do for being too attractive. You see when people like Samantha Brik and me do something attractive and trendy, you guys just become “jealous” and you guys criticize us.
Host (with a smile): May be we are not jealous about you, dear Milkshake. I wear my cotton outfits, do decent behaviour with women, plan to have a body like Salman Khan, John Abraham or Hrithick and somehow manage to get my own women fan following. Why should guys like me envy you?
Milkshake: Well, I’m not sure. But I insist that you guys are jealous of me.
Host: Well, without going to further controversy, we end our show here. Thank you for being with us on “Another Beauty in the World”. We wish great going for you (and your histrionics, too).

The show ended. I switched off the television set. I don’t know about others. But at least I don’t need to be like Mr. Milkshake Sikhwal. May be treating myself as a human is a better option than treating myself as a piece of sex meat. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Travel: Picnic at New Digha or Bag Danga

Nature is not close to our cities. To have a glimpse of perennial beauty of nature, you have to visit the rural side of West Bengal. Fortunately, I got a chance on 15.1.2011 to go closer to nature. In simpler terms I got a picnic to enjoy for a day in the vicinity of nature.

The picnic spot was at New Digha (Bag Danga), governed by Hoogly Zilla Porishod. The picnic was organized by my language learning institute.

On the evening before the picnic, our team of 5 students went to market. It was not a very nice experience as we had to carry lots of vegetables from the market to the institute and our bags became really heavy.

On the very day of the picnic I had to get up at 5 pm. It was not possible for a lazy guy like me to wake up on a winter morning unless my mother took the responsibility. Our reporting time was 7.30 am. I reached in front of the institute much before that and saw nobody. Thankfully, the wait for others was not long as my brother-like Bonodeep came early. We went inside the institute and others started coming. Two cars arrived just at 7.30 am. By 8.00 am, we were all inside the car and our two cars got traffic-free roads as morning’s natural advantage. Sitting in the car and watching the pitch-filled road running backwards from the window was a nice experience altogether.

Our cars quickly touched places like Dunlop, Konnogor etc. until we reached our destined ground of New Digha. If you are familiar with the place, ‘Digha’, you must be wondering about the sea. But you are wrong this time! Because New Digha near Chandannagar has nothing to do with New Digha sea-beach. They are two distinct places.

Anyway, we got off our cars to witness a long queue in front of the picnic spot. The entry fee was Rs. 10. It was a large area near river-side divided into several picnic spots. We approached towards ours. Generally, I prefer to choose a picnic spot that is very calm and quite. But New Digha was full of chaos as lots of picnic lovers gather up to the same place. It was like many birds put inside a small cage  - all chattering in their highest scales and making cage look like a parallelopiped of noise. The situation got worse as some other picnic candidates came next to us and they started their booming sounds of music boxes. 

The students got distributed for various activities. Some played cricket and badminton, some started helping the cooks, some started move here and there to get an idea about the whole place. I was among the last people. We came outside the picnic spot (out of the whole chaotic place). The lovely river was flowing beside it. We moved towards the other side of the river. In the other side, there were bushes of bamboo trees. We went through the path filled with dry leaves. It was a kind of adventure for urban people like us. The look at the picnic spots from bushes of bamboo trees was not a picture perfect one. We saw that lots of dishes were dumped on the sides of the river. “Can’t authorities make a better disposal to human wastes?”, I thought to myself. 

Anyway, the bushes of bamboo were not filled with so many abandoned dishes. Me and one senior student, Ranju-da spent quality time there. I suddenly saw one big black bird was in the leaves-covered-boroughs of bamboo trees. I meantioned that to Ranju-da. He also looked at it and said it might be a crow. Upon close observation, we understood that it was not a crow. The bird had red eyes.

I certainly related the bird’s identity with mine. The bird was very away from noisy picnic spots. Here amidst the calm flowing water of the river and in the yellowish greenery of bamboo trees, it had found its supreme abode. Also, it was certainly lonely like me. I had the camera to take photos of that bird. But I did not intend to do that. Not every beauty of nature should be caught by camera. Let mind have its own camera to catch something. That was the best part of the picnic.

We returned to our picnic spot. The lunch was right on time. The Bengali / Indian menu included Bhat (white rice), Muger Dal, Alu-Kopir torkari, Beguni, Murgir Mangsho (meat of Chicken) and chatni. Some said, Beguni could have been more crispy and Alu-kopir torkari could have been tastier, but I really enjoyed all the items. After having my lunch, I served others with my limited capabilities.

After lunch, we stayed long to our allotted spot. We packed up our remained goods and reached to our institute by 7.00 pm. The things that were biting me were not only fact that humans are polluting the river sides but also the chilly wintry wind of an evening.

Hope, you enjoyed my picnic virtually.