Posted by: deblinaganguli | March 1, 2019

The True Friend

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Posted by: deblinaganguli | February 16, 2019

Memories – A Smart Question

Have you ever seen the parents waiting at the reception area of a “Big” school? If yes, I am sure your eyes have not missed the stressed faces. It’s a matter of reputation these days to get our children enrolled in a famous English medium school. Yes, English medium only. Who cares about mother tongue? Even if you don’t know your mother tongue properly, it won’t spoil your social position. But not to know English is no less than a crime. It is definitely something to feel low about. It’s a weapon for others to make you feel humiliated.

How foolish it is to judge someone’s intelligence and smartness depending on their knowledge of a language. But unfortunately, we Indians, till date, could not decolonize our minds.

So, right from the birth, we start speaking to our kids in English and put immense pressure on them to ensure that they succeed in the interview which they need to pass in order to get admission in pre-primary. I feel sorry for those budding flowers full of potentials.

We were fortunate enough not to be a part of this rat race. Our parents never considered us to be the tools for maintaining their status. So, they had faith in our abilities and they never put us under so much stress just to get admission in a well known school.

When I was in class 1, my mother decided to let me appear in an interview for getting admission in South Point, definitely one of the most reputed schools of Kolkata, but I am sure she would not have mind, had I not cleared the interview. I could successfully answer most of the questions in Bengali. Then the teachers asked me how I could expect to get admitted in an English medium school when I was not able to answer all the questions in English.

But, I outsmarted them asking how could they expect a child of my age to answer everything in English before getting enough knowledge of the language. I was there, willing to get admission in their school, so that I can learn good English. Was it fair to test my skills of the language even before teaching me? No doubt, after this they didn’t ask further questions and I got a smooth admission. Alas! If only modern parents could have faith in the abilities of their wards.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | February 5, 2019

Memories – The Red Cap

Isn’t it disgusting to know that a long wait is going to result into nothingness? In fact, it is even more disheartening to know that the person you were waiting for has planned to send someone else completely unknown to you requesting you to treat him well and undoubtedly it will kill all the char of the prolonged waiting.

I was further annoyed as it was the time of Durga Puja and my friend had promised me to visit Kolkata during that time so that we could have fun together. I had made thousands of plans to ensure that he was able to enjoy every bit of it. Be it pandal hoping or shopping, food or fun rides, I wanted him to cherish each and every moment in my hometown especially during a time when festivity is in the air.

People of Kolkata go mad during Durga Puja and though it might sound weird, it is a fact that they start preparing themselves for this big occasion at least 6 months prior to the actual festival. I am no exception and that particular year was going to be the most special Durga Puja of my life as my best friend was about to come. I was on cloud nine, when my dream collapsed completely hearing that he had to cancel his trip due to some urgent work. I felt like screaming and crying inconsolably. But that was not the end of my misery. The breaking news was that he was sending one of his friends to experience the fervour of Durga Puja.  On top of that he told me to be his guide. Now, I really felt like scratching my head and punching my friend.

Any way, I comforted myself saying that life can’t be fair all the time. I wanted to make my friend happy and if this gives him happiness, I will do it for him. That devil was supposed to arrive on Sasthi. I requested my friend Tania (who neither knew my friend nor this ‘new problem’ by face) to accompany me while I meet the stranger. She obliged me with a positive response. Oh God! What a relief.

I was told that the ‘unwelcomed guest’ would wait for us at Deshapriya Park, a very popular destination of South Kolkata. I was told by my fried that the stranger would wear a red cap so that I can easily identify him in the crowd. With a broken heart, fiery head and artificial smile on my face, I went to the spot and started looking for our ‘guest’. It was maddening to try to find out an unknown person in such a huge crowd and that is precisely what we were doing.

Suddenly, I saw a man talking to my friend and asking her if Tania could recognize him. My friend looked absolutely bewildered, her expression clearly stating that she had never seen the man before. Since, the man was facing my friend, I could not see his visage but definitely I didn’t like his approach. Why did he have to talk to Tania ignoring me if there is nothing wrong?

I decided to act like “Jhansi Ki Rani”, (a title bestowed upon me by my best friend considering my temperament) and teach this man a lesson. I would not have even mind slapping him hard if required but as soon as I intervened the conversation and went forward to ‘save my friend’ from the clutch of that person, my whole being was shaken. Was I dreaming? Was I hallucinating? Was I imagining unreal things? I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt like screaming at the top of my voice once again but this time it was out of joy.

My happiness knew no bound. In my excitement, I couldn’t decide how to react. The person was none other than our guest, but not the man with a red cap. He was rather wearing a black cap and the story of the red cap was absolutely fake, created to divert our attention. Well, the man with the black cap was none other than my friend who had framed this entire story to give me a surprise. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and needless to say that it was the best Durga Puja ever.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | February 5, 2019

Memories – An Act of Honesty

“Honesty is the best policy.” We must have heard it often but do we really follow this in our life? Most of us will agree that we don’t. In fact, at times we even lie even if the situation doesn’t demand. In such an age, when greed and jealousy have overpowered our conscience, expecting honesty from somebody is like a mirage. The worst thing is that even the children are not able to be honest in their approach ignoring the trap of greed.

However, if the world is still inhabitable, it is because of good human beings like Jevin, a child probably 10/11 years old. He is my student and quite a charming, obedient little boy. Yesterday morning, one of my colleagues gave me a certificate and asked me to hand it over to Jevin. I did as I was instructed and while giving him the certificate, I noticed that he had received it for being a part of the Pragati House Football Team which came 2nd in the Inter-House Football Tournament. He took the certificate with a confused expression. But, I ignored it and moved on to regular teaching.

At the end of the day, I discovered the reason behind his puzzled face. During dispersal, he came running to me saying that he doesn’t deserve the certificate as he didn’t participate in the match though initially he had got his name enlisted in the Pragati House Football team.

I took him to his House-Master and we all had a heart laugh realizing the irony of the situation. One teacher even suggested him to keep it. But the child refused politely and kept the certificate on the table.

I couldn’t help being impressed with his honesty and decided to give him a chocolate the next day for this apparently ‘trivial sacrifice’. (I believe at this age of greed and jealousy, it is not easy to get rid of materialism especially for a child of his age.) I shared this incident with the other students in my class the next day hoping that this little boy and his act of honesty will set an example and work as an inspiration for others.

 

 

Posted by: deblinaganguli | February 5, 2019

Memories – A Brilliant Actor

“Practice makes a man perfect.” My friend, Pushan has taken these words too seriously. He used to keep on delivering his dialogues again and again until he was satisfied and I must tell you that he was a boy who was hardly satisfied with anything in this world. Even if our mentor approved his acting, he would doubt the authenticity of her comments.

If I am not wrong, it was the year 2007 and we were rehearsing a play which we were supposed to perform in a cultural programme organized by the puja committee and it was to be held after Durga Puja. We all took it very seriously considering ourselves to be no less than Amitabh Bachchan. Most of us were in class 6 /7 /8 and obviously each of us wanted to surpass the other with his or her acting skill. But no one was as crazy as Pushan.

Our mentor Mrs. Lina Ghosal tried her best to convince Pushan that he was playing the character of the flautist of Hamlin perfectly fine. But he didn’t want to give any opportunity to his audience to criticize him.

On the day of our performance, all of us were very excited and played the role assigned to us as nicely as possible. But, Pushan was always a step ahead. He decided to make the audience realize how dedicated he was. Hence, he entered the stage, delivered a few dialogues and turned towards our director who was sitting beside the wings to prompt in case any of us forgets the dialogue. She could immediately sense that something is going to be terribly wrong. Turning her guess into reality Pushan announced infront of the audience that his performance was not up to the mark and asked her if he should start from the beginning again.

I am sure that he was heart-broken when the audience broke into a loud laughter. Pushan was disappointed to realize that the audience didn’t appreciate his sincere effort to do better and instead of applauding, laughed at him. On top of that…..let me keep it a secret how our mentor treated him after the play was over.

 

 

Posted by: deblinaganguli | January 29, 2019

A Misjudged Little Soul

She is an angel

Is what everyone thinks,

What they don’t know is

She can perfectly hoodwink

Anyone with her innocent smile,

Because apparently she is fragile.

But her strength lies

In her curious nature,

Which will surely

Shape her future,

The infant could easily crawl upstairs,

Leaving behind the elderly cares.

She considered the kitchen her den,

Ignoring her mother’s face redden;

Music moved her since childhood,

She would create music whenever she could.

Throwing glasses and plates was her delight,

For her elders it might be a plight.

Whenever her granny

Kept the kitchen door ajar,

The little devil would

Whole-heartedly thank her.

Considering herself a better cook than her granny,

Would create situations, for her elders uncanny.

She would add extra taste

To that old lady’s dish

Pouring spices in them

Making the flavours even rich.

Still, I am sure that one day,

She’ll become a true angel, making her family gay.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | January 7, 2019

Memories – Believing The Bizarre

kid.jpg

What would you call a child like me who has always created troubles for her elders but could never explain that it was her curiosity to know everything, to try different things, to do new experiments that has led to all the so called ‘problems’.

This childhood story of mine dates back to that era when ‘Mahabharata’ was a very popular soap telecast by Doordarshan. All the family members would do their chores early in the morning so that they don’t miss this very engaging weekly telecast. In fact very few people were fortunate in those days to have televisions in their homes. They did not mind all the neighbours gathering in the living room to watch the serial.

I remember how everyone was merrily welcomed at my home and we all sat together enjoying ‘Mahabharata’. It really didn’t matter who got to sit in the sofa and who occupied the mattress on the floor. ‘Ego’ always took a back seat in those days.

I was highly inspired by one episode which showed how Guru Dronacharya picked up a ball from a well by making a rope of straws throwing the straws one by one inside the well. I was small enough to believe that all human beings possess power to perform such miraculous act and if god gives me an opportunity I would surely like to do similar things.

Whether you call it my good luck or misfortune, that the very next day I got an opportunity to show my talent in the school. I was in nursery and my classroom was beside a garden. My friend occupied the window seat and by mistake her pencil slipped from her hand while she was trying to show me a parrot sitting on a nearby tree. I grabbed this very opportunity and started throwing the caps of water bottles one by one out of the window having faith that it will help me to build a rope kind of thing with which I would be able to pick up the fallen pencil.

Some sensible child reported this to the teacher and she could not believe her eyes when she saw what I was upto. It is a painful fact that she slapped me hard considering it to be a mischievous act without giving me a chance to explain myself. Now tell me was it really my fault or should I blame god for not helping my teacher to understand my good intention.

 

Posted by: deblinaganguli | January 5, 2016

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: deblinaganguli | June 10, 2015

Jabalpur: A Land of Marble or Marvel?

IMG_20150605_125039636

A land of hills? A land of rivers? A land of waterfalls? Or a land of historical significance? Assigning only one title may not be justified when we talk of Jabalpur, M.P. One of the most favourite tourist destinations of Central India, Jabalpur has attracted people from all over the world since time immemorial. A place gifted with natural beauty, Jabalpur will simply leave you awestruck. I have always been looking for an opportunity to explore this treasure trove. Finally this summer vacation we could make it to the city of marble rocks.

We reached Jabalpur early in the morning and started exploring the city after relaxing for a while at hotel Roopa. It is a pocket-friendly hotel with satisfactory services. But as far as food is concerned, M.P. as a state may disappoint you.

Our first destination was Balancing Rock, which is situated on a small hill. The picture below will tell you why it is considered as a natural wonder. Quite close to this spot you will find a fort called Madan Mahal which was found in the 11th century AD by Rani Durgavati who fought against the Mughals to protect her subjects. However, due to unfavourable climate we could not dare to climb up the stairs to reach the fort on the hill top.

Balancing Rock

Balancing Rock

We headed for the Jain Temple from this location. This temple is dedicated to 108 Tirthankars (Jain Teachers). All the idols are made of white marble and the most interesting thing about this temple is the ceiling which is painted like sky with small blue spotlights which one may consider as stars by mistake if they visit the temple in the evening. Photography was not allowed at this place. So I am unable to share the pic with you all.

The next spot we planned to visit was Dhuandhar Waterfall. I have always been very fond of waterfalls and trust me this one was a real treat for my eyes. Narmada River doesn’t fall from great height to create this fall. However, there is no doubt that Dhuandhar Waterfall will simply fascinate you. Don’t forget to carry extra clothes when you visit this place because a trip to Dhuandhar Waterfall will be incomplete without enjoying a bath in the river water. It is quite safe even for non-swimmers. You can also enjoy a rope way ride here to get an aerial view of the fall. This spot is also the right place for shopping. Various artefacts made of marble are available for a reasonable rate.

Dhuandhar Waterfall

Dhuandhar Waterfall Our next destination was Chousat Yogini Temple. Located on a hill top, this temple got its name from the 64 beautifully carved statues of Yoginis. Built by the Kalchuri rulers in the 11th century, this temple is yet another example of the marvellous Indian architecture. Lord Shiva and Parvati are the presiding deities of this temple. Other than appreciating the architectural excellence of this temple, you can also get a lovely view of Bheda Ghat from the hill top. The peaceful ambiance of the surroundings will compel you to sit inside the temple for a while.

Chousat Yogini Temple

Chousat Yogini Temple The final and the most rewarding location we headed for was Bheda Ghat. This is a must see spot of Jabalpur, M.P. River Narmada flowing between the marble rocks is a scene not to be missed at any cost. The major attraction here is boating in the river and the gleaming marble rocks on both sides will simply take your breath away (Boating is not allowed from July to September). If you are gifted with an imaginative mind, you may notice several figures on the rocks. This spot has served as a location for many films like Ashoka, Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain etc.  The boat ride may take you near Dhuandhar Waterfall if you are ready to pay a little extra.  It is said that enjoying a boat ride in Bheda Ghat on a full moon night is a life time experience. The white marble rocks bathed in silver moonlight create a heavenly scene. The unparallel beauty of this place will compel you to nurture a secret desire to visit this place again and again.

Bheda Ghat

Bheda Ghat Our Jabalpur trip came to an end with sweet memories and refreshed soul.    

Posted by: deblinaganguli | March 19, 2015

Memories – A Revolutionary Act

rich-beggar

Childhood memories are something, you cherish throughout your life. The innocent thoughts, the simple wishes, the even simpler demands, the silent tears when no one pays attention to the desire of your tender heart – this story travels back to that time of my childhood when my logic didn’t seem to be reasonable at all to my elders. The poor ‘I’ could only blame God for not making the grownups a little sensitive to the thoughts (which seemed to be superb logic to me) of a young mind.

This story will take you back to that era when 5 paisa or 10 paisa existed. When getting 25 paisa as pocket money meant, you could easily fulfil your dream of having a Kesar Kulfi. And guess what? The Kulfiwalas were even kind hearted enough to give you the Kulfi for 20 paisa which means your savings could earn you a Hajmola. Those simple things used to given us immense pleasure and asking for something more was beyond our imagination.

You must be wondering why am I emphasizing so much on ‘chillars’? Here is the answer. I think there must have been some strong connections between me and beggars or they must have strongly believed that I was the right person to be hoodwinked. But what they didn’t know was that my master mind could have easily resulted into more misery than what they were already facing.

I was busy watering the plants infront of my house when a beggar came to me and asked for some alms. This time I didn’t make the mistake of bringing misfortune by annoying my mother. So, grandfather seemed to be a better choice for me. I went to him directly and snatched away his newspaper (without doing so, he would have never paid attention to what I was saying). Then I told him the reason for which I had taken away his paper. He readily gave me a few pennies to give the beggar and again dived into the day’s news.

I was cherishing my victory but as soon as I went forward to keep the alms in the bowl of the beggar, my innocent heart protested strongly and my hand resisted the action of giving alms to a person who was already so rich. His bowl was full of coins? How could he make me fool? How could he ask for money when he already had so much of it in his bowl? I was upset. But, this could not be the end. “He should learn a lesson”, my mind told me. Yes, I would distribute his money among other beggars and this would be his punishment for cheating me.

Before he could understand what was happening, I took a hand full of coins from his bowl and ran inside the home. He started complaining to my grandfather who by the time was aware of the fact that something went terribly wrong. He called me and tried to explain things. But I denied to return those coins absolutely convinced that the beggar has succeeded deceiving my grandpa as well. All my efforts of convincing my grandpa seemed to have wasted as no one appreciated the little revolutionary soul. Rather they condemned me for my action. My heart knew I was absolutely right. God knows why the grownups always fail to understand the logic of the young minds. 😉

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