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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Durga Puja Navami update

Durga Puja Navami update from Bishnu Kumar Ganguram

Whenever I have tried to usual stuffs, unusual things have happened and the reverse is also true. This Durga puga, I thought that my pandal hopping will be very usual. But as you know, the unusual rainy clouds were all over our autumn sky. Anyway, on the day of Navami, I thought about going out without an umbrella. My reasoning was, since there was a downpour in the morning, it might not rain anymore. My intelligent hunch was hardly supported by the dull sky.
First at the bus stop, I had to board a bus. I was heading towards Dum Dum Park, where 4-5 pandals are crowd pullers. I stood at my usual bus stop with many others. Then one traffic guard came to us and said that bus won’t stop here. Either we need to move forward or backward to find the new bus stop. I was surprised. Our North 24 Pargana’s traffic changes the road map and traffic direction during pujas, that I was aware of. But they also shift the bus stops! That was something new for me.
I got the bus after walking a while. Meanwhile it was drizzling. You know, I don’t really dislike rain. In fact, I once thought to write a whole book of poetry on rain but unfortunately for me and fortunately for you, the plan got cancelled and the world of poetry was saved!  Anyway, I was talking about my pandal visit on Navami evening.
The first club I visited was Tarun Sangha. The people were finding a path to enter but they could see it. The path is generally separated from the main road by bamboos. One husband was instructing his wife to bow her head down and enter inside that bamboo surrounded procession. She did so, although not willfully. After we moved a little forward, the row of bamboo was cut at a place, such that people can normally enter there. Then the wife shouted on her husband, “You idiot, couldn’t you find this normal entrance?”
Dum Dum Park - Tarun Sangha’s idol & interior decoration was truly awesome. While entering from there I wanted to ask someone the Theme of this year’s puja. There was a pump room on the exit side. Three people were sitting over there. I asked them, “Can you please tell me the theme for this year’s puja? One of them smiled at me and showed me a poster on the wall. The caption in that poster was, “We don’t know anything. Please don’t ask any question.” [Believe me, it was written!]
I asked the other puja visitors in which direction I should move to visit the next puja pandal? I got the the usual direction from many helpful people and I understood that I am just lost when walking for a while I again came back to Tarun Sangha’s entrance gate. Fortunately, after that, another group of helpful people gave me the right direction and I headed towards the next puja pandal, Bharat Chakra. As I have told you, our autumn sky did not have hangover of  monsoon and the rain again started. Being very intelligent, I forgot my umbrella and I noticed that most of the visitors took it with them.  I took a shelter to get rid of the rain water but after waiting for nearly waiting for 10 minutes, I saw that our romantic rain was showing no sign to stop. So, quite impatiently, I started walking towards the Bharat Chakra club. Within the pandal there, I could not see the Idol first. No, there was enough light, only my spectacle was covered by rain waters. Inside the mandap / pandal , there was a huge crowd gathering, partly because of the heavy downpour outside and partly because, Kolkata’s visitors love to exit from the door of entrance only but as half drenched people were continuously entering from Entrance door, there was a jam. I found the Exit door and got out of there.
When I  reached the next club, Dum Dum Park Sarbajanin, I was feeling like I just came out of swimming pool. The Sarbajanin’s pandal was a mixture of Enthic Durga and Theme based modernism. The sculptures inside were finest art forms. I spent some time there. I was a bit surprised after seeing the Dhakis. instead of standing, they were sitting on the floor carpet and playing drums (not drums actually, Dhak is a completely different music instrument altogether). Obviously, it’s because of human tiredness of four successive days of playing drums.
When I got out of Dum Dum Park Sarbajonin pandal, rain stopped. I was the trend of rain. It was like playing a game with me and others. For five minutes it was raining heavily and then  for next five minutes, there was no rain and then again in the next five minutes, there was heavy rain. So, in this game of playing “musical chair” with rain, my strategy was to walk, then take shelter, then walk again & then again take shelter and so on. Now I was not alone as the contestant. A family which was also heading towards VIP road like me was using the same path of proceeding. When for the second time, I met the family within a shelter, the old lady from the family said, “Here we meet again”. I smiled and other family members of her family laughed. Then after the rain just came down a little, they moved forward and I did not as I expected the rain to completely stop. Then after 2-3 minutes, I also strted moving. After 2-3 minutes of walking, it again started raining. I took nearest shelter and saw that very family has already reached there. The old lady just repeated, “Here we meet again”. The rain was again showing the signs of stopping and this time, I moved first. When for the fourth time, the old lady repeated the same words by standing beneath a car shed, I could not bear it anymore and told rain silently, “I quit from your game. I will rather in rain than playing this musical chair and hearing the same dialogue from this old lady.”
Before reading my returning the bus stop, I saw another pandal, perhaps, the finest among all the pandals, I saw. It was the pandal of Dum Dum Park Jubak Brindro. The interior and exterior decoration was truly unbelievable. I saw that loads of prizes the club has won.  Finally, I reached near the VIP road bus stop of Dum Dum Park. I needed to cross the road. I saw that I was crossing the street with a crowd and plenty of motorbikes. Here, at Dum Dum Park & Baguihati region, motorbike and human being are close friends and may be that is why they cross streets with a so close distance. I wonder, why accidents can’t happen. May be because of goddess Durga’s blessings, who knows?
I finally reached Lake Town (my locality), after spending 45 minutes in a bus for crossing one and half kilometers for a massive traffic jam. And of, I forgot say, none of the bus tops of Lake Town & Dum Dum park got shifted like Manasa Mandir bus stop, so I got in at the right place. Fortunately rain had stopped by that time. But it did not matter for me by that time, or did it?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Few words about Tablets

When Tablet was introduced as a new gadget, I was thrilled. I thought that they will take the place of PCs and laptops. In fact, I was sure that tablet was the merger of mobiles and PC / laptop. I was wrong. Despite the Indian market and global market is flooded by tablets from top brands and plenty of apps and features are in-built with every tablet, the tablet’s “hardware” have not really improved. When I bought my personal computer almost 5-6 years before, it had a storage power of 80Gb. How much storage power the tablets have till the mid of 2013?

I was searching on internet about maximum storage power of tablets. I found that the max storage power is only up to 64 Gb. Is that enough?

From a tablet, you can watch high definition movies. What may be size of a really high definition, full length movie? May be more than 1 Gb. What can be size of a full version video game? Is your tablet really capable enough to play every exciting video game (compatible to tablet OS) with 1 Gb RAM and 4 Gb of default memory?

So, the debate lies whether tablets will be positioned as mobiles with better social media features or, the next gen computers? Now a days, a good pen drive can have 32 Gb or 64 Gb storage power. Are these gadgets competing with pen drives in terms of storage?

It seems to me if a Netbook or mini-laptop comes with disposable keyboard and with camera, mobile SIM slot and touch screen, it can really move the technology forward. Are tablet and mini-laptop makers listening? 

Latest addition:
What I expect from a modern day tablet made in 2013?

At least 1GB RAM
At least 16GB internal storage and expandable upto 128GB
Long batterry life and running on alternate green energy
5MP camera
External keyboard & mouse support
Running on 4G technology
Supporting dual SIM
Running on latest version of Android / Windows 8 mobile version with facility for software update

Hope tablets with such specifications will soon be available in the market (say, within the year 2013 )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blue Lotus

In some Hindu pujas, we see the presence of Lotus. Mainly the lotus flowers are available in the shades of red (or pinkish) and white. Last year, my maternal uncle was telling me that Blue Lotus is also available in rarest of rare cases. I even asked my office colleague Pralay and Dwaipayan if they can bring me a blue lotus. They clearly said that it was out of their reach.

Thankfully, computer technology was available to get a Blue Lotus. With Photoshop it was just a 5 minutes job. Watch my Blue Lotus!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Street blockages and other city problems in Kolkata

They say that they can transform Kolkata to a city like London. And I say that they are saying wrong. Unless Kolkatans can’t understand the definition or perception of a clean city, then forget about London, we don’t even deserve to call ourselves citizens of a modern metro city like Kolkata.

My office is near Rabindrasadan. Every weekday, I set a journey from Kalamandir bus stop towards Rabindrasadan through Theatre Road, Camac Street. There the streets are meant to be cleaner as many top notch companies are located near Minto Park, Shakespeare Sarani and J. L. Nehru Road. The bricks in the footpath are uneven such that one needs to be careful about s/he can stumble at any moment. But the main discussion is not about footpath bricks. It’s about footpath stalls.

On Shakespeare Sarani, Camac Street and Theatre Road, you can find, Tea Shops, Fruit juice shop, fruit selling shop and plenty of shops selling momos, parathas, samosas, kachori, veg / non-veg foods for your lunch / dinner. These stalls have both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is you can find food at a much cheaper rate than what big restaurants charge. The disadvantage is the food is unhygienic, dishes are not washed properly and foods are cooked / fried using harmful oils.

Major harm these people do is to occupy ½ or 1/3 of the street space such that you can’t walk. There are at least 2-3 passages in the streets mentioned where the passage is one-way. So, naturally two persons can’t walk side by side and lots of collisions happen.

Now, let’s get deeper in to this matter. If a shopkeeper is occupying 2/3 of the road width and his customers are standing in the rest 1/3 of the road width, then how can we walk freely? Then should we walk on the main streets with cars and buses. What is unfortunate is there are many civilized office goers who use the same path for walking as I do. They lack guts to speak against the evil. May be some big executives working at Camac Street have done lots of researches to make the interior decoration of their office to look totally modern, sleek and artistic. Many government employees in Kolkata plan a lot to keep their houses tip-top. But they don’t plan the same thing about their lovely Kolkata streets, or do they? One needs to plan carefully about convenience of pedestrians and street blocking by food stalls.

The ultimate solution can be to create Food Court(s) and rehabilitate the existing stalls there. The government officials from urban development department should walk on different Kolkata streets and should experience the problems that city walkers are facing daily.

Now, I can tell you the story of other stalls also. Near Park streets, Dharamtala, you can find several stalls. One month before, I experienced one incident.  One foreigner lady was walking from Calcutta Museum towards Park Street. She was telling her companions that how dirty city Kolkata is. Suddenly, a stall owner “shouted” towards her for a selling purpose. But his approach was so harsh, that the lady seemed had an electric shock (as appeared through her body language). The voice of the shop owner had a mix command and threat like, You have entered his arena and now you are forced to buy from him. Is this the behaviour that “civilized shop owners” of a civilized city are expected to do? What image we are going to promote in front of our traveling brothers and sisters from London, New York or Sydney?

Just forget for a moment about the heaps of garbage and excessive street blocking stalls at the heart of Kolkata. Are not we feeling sad by the stalls serving Corruption as junk food inside our mind? If your mind is not clean, you will accept dirty people blocking your city streets.

So, let’s act together with better thoughts and visualize a cleaner, greener city by taking proper actions. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Volleyball during winter : Noises & Problems

Outdoor playing is a good way to build your body and have fun. In the parks of Kolkata, I have seen that youths (and even middle aged people), enjoy playing Volleyball & badminton. The main purpose is to keep yourself warm and have fun together.

When such outdoor games should be played on?

There is no fixed time. But you can’t play such games by embarrassing other people at night.

Near my home, there is a park and a club associated with it named as “Nandanik” (previously called “Amra Sabai”). For the past ten years, I have seen that club’s youths believe in one simple principle : if we are having fun, we’ll force you also to have fun.  That means, if the club members are partying hard or having a football match, they’ll use loud speaker(s) such that everybody in the locality can mandatorily hear. I guess, they don’t understand the individual freedom of happiness & celebration.

The situation becomes worse when winter comes. In winters, they play volleyballs. Now everyday, when I return home at night, I expect a peaceful and silent environment. But thanks to this club members of Dakshindari Road, who don’t care about or respect individual mental peace. They start their play of volleyball at around 10.00 pm and continue it till 11.30 pm. Then after playing, the local youths (not necessarily the club members) use slang words and their unnecessary talks in a loud voice till 12 midnight by standing just beneath our building basement. The discussing time increases in summer. I would like to know, if anybody, whose house is near any city’s club, experiences the same problem or not.

These barbaric youths don’t understand one thing that their loud screams during play at night is a cause of deep mental agony & frustration for us. If any cops / activist of Lake Town, Dakshin Dari area or any North 24-Pngs based police can request such youths to show their “athletic abilities” in the day time, then at least I shall be really grateful to the person.