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Monday, December 28, 2015

Watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens and spending Christmas

25th December, 2015 is a big festive day and everybody loves to spend this day in a grand way. For me, there was no travelling plan outside of the city. So, I planned enjoying my time in Kolkata only. Star Wars movie was released in Kolkata’s cinema halls and I thought about watching it at PVR multiplex, Jessore Road (minimum ticket price Rs. 225/- including everything). If I forget about Jaya multiplex for a second, PVR was the first one where I had the experience of watching a movie at a multiplex.

About Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The showtime was at 12.15 pm. I had a plan of taking few snapshots of the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens , so I took my camera. When I reached there, they said that no camera was allowed inside the hall for some unknown security reasons and they asked me to submit the battery of my camera. Hence, I was left to enter inside the hall with a non-functioning camera.

For the first time, I was allowed to wear a 3D spectacle. But, as I have a high minus power, the 3D spectacle was useless for me as everything looked hazy after wearing it. I watched the whole movie with the spectacle I wear for all the time. The movie transcript of dialogues seemed hazy anyway.
The movie should be remembered not only for the Good vs. Evil universal battle, but also for the appearance of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in the Star Wars series. Watching Harrison Ford on silver screen is a beauty that movie fans should agree with me.

In the movie, the way Dark side destroyed the planets of the Resistance government, was absolutely shocking! Destroying 3-4 planets! You are kidding me. That was equivalent to 20 world wars on Earth.

There were some funny dialogues in the movie. There were moments of love & relationship shown in the movie between Han Solo and The Queen. It was really unfortunate that Han Solo was mercilessly killed by his own son (as because he was the main representative of the dark side). I could not withstand the murder of Harrison Ford on screen. He has been one of my favourite heroes since my childhood (remember Indiana Jones!).

From this Star Wars movie, the audience won’t be able to see lots of special effects. The robots in this movie have no change in comparison to the previous Star Wars movies but they look ridiculous at a time when sci-fi movie series like Transformers are making news at the box office. I think the appearances of Star Wars characters have to change with time. Despite these negative things, the movie seemed to be successful because of people’s love for sword fighting (meaning fighting with lightsabers!), nice storyline, amazing landscapes of different planets, aliens, larger-than-life-characters (e.g. Han Solo) and Jedi Knights.

I think in next Star Wars movies, we are going to witness some major changes in terms of new characters, looks or appearances and technology.

So, that was all about my thoughts about watching Star Wars. Below is the inside picture of PVR multiplex. However, after coming out of the movie hall my first thought had nothing to do about Star Wars. All I was thinking at that time was to go to the multiplex front desk and collect the battery for my camera.

After coming out of the multiplex, I went straight to a KFC ( Kentucky Fried Chicken ) outlet, because I was feeling hungry and I ate chicken popcorn (price Rs. 71/- including value added tax). All I can tell you is the food had a heavenly taste. Yes, the finger licking was good!

Spending 25th December Evening at Park Street
Watching Star Wars was how I spent till the afternoon on the day of Christmas. In the evening, I went to our traditional place for Christmas celebrations, Park Street in Kolkata. I think, there were thousands and thousands of people (mainly youths) who were expressing their joys with “hooooooo” and similar sounds. 

I went inside the crowded cake shop Flurys Swiss Confectionary Pvt. Ltd. and ordered a Black Forest Cake (price Rs. 88/- including value added tax). The taste was amazing. I expected to see one live music concert at Park Street but one police constable told me that the function happened on 24th December. That was frustrating.

While returning, the metro was overcrowded at Park Street. So, I had to walk a few miles to catch the returning train from Rabindra Sadan. That was how I ended my day on Christmas 2015.

Let me wish a very happy new year 2016 to you and my other blog readers. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Thank you the Readers of the book B3456

B-3456 was my first published paperback book. It was published during end of January 2015 ( during Kolkata book fair). After the book was published, the publisher took no responsibility about selling it further and since then, the book’s only marketing person has been myself. 

I had to go to college street, had to approach my friends and had conversed with few book selling stalls in the Park Street area( Kolkata ). Apparently, I felt very disappointed because all my friends, whom I expected to buy my book, just showed some lame excuses for not buying it. My book’s MRP is Rs. 88/- and I sold it at a discounted price of Rs. 50/- only. Still very few were interested about reading my science fiction. In west Bengal, few people write science fiction and I became one among them with my first book. I also submitted my book for review at Saptahik Bartaman, Ei Samay, Tathyakendra, Dainik Statesman, etc. I have not followed up with Saptahik Bartaman magazine, Dainik Statesman and Ei Samay newspapers, but I am sure that Tathyakendra magazine has not reviewed my book yet as I follow its every edition. May be, my book content did not meet their reviewed books’ standards and I did not mention their names to blame them at all. You see, they have complete right to reject my book ( or, just any book) for review. Anyway, I was feeling completely helpless and frustrated. Still through my references, I managed to sell few books of mine to people I know.

So far, following people have purchased my book:
Mitraa Ghosh (Chatterjee) – authoress of the book ‘Maple Mita’; Raj Kumar Ghosh – editor of the little magazine (Amader Lekha); Ms Minati Pathak - a relative; Amitava Dasgupta – whom I met at Nainital and is a very good human being by heart; Rohan Mukherjee – ex colleague; Salim Mandal (Editor of Tobuo Proyas little magazine); Soumi Roy – ex-colleague; Munmun Ghosh Das – ex-colleague; Dwaipayan Banerjee & Sreyoshi Banerjee  – ex colleague & his wife; Abhinaba Banerjee – employee of Intechnosys; Doctor Kallol  Banerjee; Saradindu Banerjee – editor of Iye Patrika; Swapan Roy – my ex-tutor at Vidyasagar College Computer Centre; Dalia Bose – my ex-tutor at Vidyasagar College Computer Centre

I owe to these people who have bought my book and helped a young budding author to shine. Some of the names I am not mentioning here for they were unknown buyers. They just bought the book without giving me their details. 

I have gifted my book to Anish Deb (eminent author of several science fiction books);  Chandril Bhattacharya ( eminent author and I consider him my guru; Arpan Ghosh ( my ex-colleague at NRL); Arnab Roy – RJ at Oye 104.8 FM – Kolkata; Pavel Chakraborty – Vidyasagar Evening college friend.
Anybody interested to buy the book can visit the link and send me personal Facebook message in Kolkata:

Professor Anish Deb has given the following personal feedback through email:

 Dear Mr Ganguly,
                   Don't be surprised by my laaaaate response. I truly apologize for the delay. I have looked into ur book B-3456 and spent some time on it. I have a few comments to make. Hope u would not mind if my comments are not all praises. The comments are :

1  Writing style should be more linear so that it can communicate with most of the readers. To me, the style seemed a bit complicated.

2   The novel introduces too many technological advances in social life. These may have been limited to less items so that the author could dig deep, indicating their implications in life.

3   Jargons could have been less to make the novel easy reading.

Any way, ur effort is noteworthy, but reading about a dozen SF novels and short stories always helps in the grooming of a writer. At least, it helped me. If u wish u may try it too.
Thanks for introducing me to ur SF novel. Carry on writing. With regards,

urs truly,

Anish Deb, Professor
B.Sc.(Physics Hons.), B. Tech. (University Silver Medal),
M. Tech. (University Gold Medal, Prof. P. N. Ghosh Gold Medal),
Ph. D. (Tech.)

Electrical Engineering Section
Department of Applied Physics
University of Calcutta

Apart from that I expected at least 15-20 people to buy my book but they did not. They can spend Rs. 50 for buying chicken chowmin, can spend Rs. 50 for a bus or metro fair but can’t use the same amount for buying a Bengali science fiction book. Bengali people are that much cultured!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Why did I choose an ordinary keypad phone over a smartphone?

In the busy metro city life, you will notice that there are lots of smartphone users. Their lives revolve around smartphones. They message, chat, read & send office docs, play games, do social activities like sharing photos & videos through smartphones. Two years before, I also bought an Android based smartphone.
The reason why I bought an Android phone instead of a Microsoft office phone or iPhone was that most of the Android apps were free at that time ( I mean, they are still free). So, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Young Duos S6312. First it was immense joy to download and use new free apps. But anyway, it was not that great experience in the long term for the following reasons:

1) More apps I downloaded, they got loaded in the phone memory and that took a lot of internal space. Gradually the phone performance became slow. So, I had to uninstall few apps.
2) While in the 2G speed, pages like Facebook groups and Facebook Pages did not open. And while in 3G speed, the phone got heated up after half an hour.
3) A few days after installing the Facebook android app, the chat option was not available any more. The makers of the app told me that I have to download a parallel app called Facebook Messenger to use Facebook chat. That was ridiculous. FB app was already running out of phone’s internal memory. Anyway, I installed the second app on Facebook.
4) Another issue happened with app. Updating apps is a monotonous activity in smartphone. From time-to-time you have to update them. When I take a 2G/3G data pack, I do that for net browsing. But these new version download of apps ate up my internet pack data limit soon. That was really aweful. I think, as an user, I should have the right for not uploading an app. I tried that and some of the apps showed me, “The application won’t run until you update it”.
5) A new menace was created due to smartphone. Every time I did a new talk time recharge, a Rs. 5 /- international SMS charge will be deducted from my balance. I complained to my mobile subscriber and even uninstalled some of my favourite Android apps out of suspicion, that did not solve the problem. The problem still exist.

So, because of these reasons, I gave a thought about moving backward and last month, I purchased Samsung C3322i keypad phone. It is an old fashioned phone that people of my generation would be least interested to use. But I am happy with it. Because it is hassle free. The basic calling function, sending SMS and listening to FM music (which I love) is there. The only problem is that I can’t read any PDF or DOC in that. Apart from that, it does a good job. The battery life is also no worry. I like it. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Forward Together We Go

What factors will shape U.S-India ties in the next five years?

When two biggest democracies from two different continents want to have friendly ties, there will be many hurdles of political, socio-cultural, economic and nationalistic barriers to be crossed. But thankfully, in our case, the two democracies are India and U.S. Hence the hurdles can be overcome if the people of two countries are eager to have a deep emotional & cultural bonding in next five years. Also, U.S. and India should have equal respect in each other’s capabilities. In this post, I try to give some indications about that:

Cinematic bonding: Me and my urban friends are fond of Hollywood movies. But how much do Americans know about Mumbai film industry? A film is a great way to interpret a country’s culture. So, best Bollywood films should be dubbed into English. They should be shown regularly in the popular movie theaters in USA. Special invitations should be sent to the Hollywood’s top directors and actors for awareness. American youths should connect with Indian movies. Recently, the film p.k. made its entry into America’s top 10. So, the scope for cinematic bonding is always there.

Sports: Basketball, baseball and American football are very popular among Americans. And cricket has become the new religion in India. Our challenges lie in popularizing American sports in India and encourage Americans to play cricket. Then we shall have joint sports activities every year. That way, the sports enthusiasts can share their feelings by going beyond boundaries. What about a Wrestlemania or a World Wrestling event being organized in Kolkata? I am looking forward to buy a ticket for it!

Student exchange:  Top US varsities should have student exchange programs with their Indian counterparts. Indian students should enjoy American life and vice versa. There should be one country specific volunteer chosen for each university, who will be primarily responsible for improving bilateral relationship.

‘Be My Guest’ approach: The travel & tourism model can be revived between two countries. Instead of staying into a five star hotel, an American family can be invited to take the hospitality of an Indian family. If I visit America, I may look for an American family with whom I can befriend with. Hearts should be shared, not just the natural beauty.

Literature: I am sure that every year, new set of Indian fiction & non-fiction writers (writing in English) are coming up and most are unknown to American readers & media. We need to have a joint prize in literature where one writer from U.S. and one from India will be honored for their first book or, for their overall contribution to the literature. Governments should be made liable to popularize the contesting Indian & American authors in both countries. Also, NYT, WSJ should broadly cover book fairs like Jaipur Lit Fest and Kolkata International Book Fair.

Others: Governments should continue talking about health, tech innovation and business cooperation. For sensitive defense issues, U.S. and India should have a joint team of army.
The above factors or initiatives should be taken as the joint responsibility for both countries’ leadership. In Abraham Lincoln’s words, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
 Let Americans & Indians help each other to live better.


Note: The image used in this post is not used from a stock photo and is designed by the blogger Biswajit Ganguly. Only Mahatma Gandhi’s quote is taken from a third party site. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bengali poem on Holi or Basantautsab

Here is a Bengali Poem (Bangla Kobita) on the occasion of Holi or Basantautsav. Hope every Bengali would read and enjoy this poem on Holi. The poem is written by me, Biswajit Gangopadhyay / Biswajit Ganguly.