Friday, August 8, 2014

Just A Story series: JAS2: Lost & found (or Dream de la dream)

While crossing the Theater  road-Cathedral road  junction and  pushed by a large on-rushing crowd; I was guided past the junction into a deserted semi-lit street off it. I  found myself alone on a street looking at  what seemed like the closed-down Central Services Club (CSC) situated off Belvedere Road where most of my childhood evenings & Sunday mornings were spent. But then this was not the weed-covered dilapidated CSC building but a wide three storied palace of beige-coloured walls  and brown-coloured parapet-edges.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Indian Table Tennis needs a fresh start

Indian table tennis failed to  flatter  at the ongoing Commonwealth games being played in Glasgow in Scotland. Like the earlier edition in New Delhi, 4 years back,  the men’s team lost the semi-finals . England beat India  3-1 and eventually lost to the reigning champion Singapore in the finals by the same margin. Subsequently India lost out the chance of retaining their bronze medal when they succumbed to Nigeria by again the same margin.
Sharath Kamal exults after defeating Drinkhall in the QF
The Indian challenge was led by the veteran paddler Sharath Achanta Kamal, ranked 44th in the world, who lost not only both

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Boycott all ITC goods

Its been nearly a month since the announcement of the general budget of the government of India announcing hike in excise duty of cigarettes by 11 to 72%. As usual cigarettes were selling in black nearly a week before the budget expecting the hike and now almost 3 weeks after the budget the disgusting practice continues. The government washed its hands off (after displaying their lack of imagination by listing taxes on the cigarettes as the first item in the national budget for  generating revenues) after presenting the budget while there is no announcement from the company ITC Limited , a near monopoly in the cigarette market, about its intention to raise or not to raise the prices leaving its own supply-chain partners ( the wholesalers, dealers & retailers) to make merry while the smoker puffs. If the Supreme Court of India couldn't find Narendra Modi guilty for not doing anything for three days while marauding rioters enflamed lives and houses in Gujarat in 2002; ITC is surely more than an arm's length away from the long arms of the law for not doing anything to inform the consumers about its position and location of fair-price shops to stop black-marketing. Their website gives no information nor are there any ads in the paper leaving consumers to suspect ITC the same way as they had suspected Modi nearly a decade ago of intimate involvement in the fracas.


কত সখা আসে যায় বাড়ীতে
কত নারী সুন্দরী,শাড়ীতে
ঢেউ এসে মুছে দেয় বালিতে
ফুলদানি গেছে ভরে ডালিতে।
তবু তুমি এলে আশেপাশে
মনমেঘে নাও  ভাসে;
ক্লেদ, সে তো সবই আছে
বয়সের জমা গাছে;
একটুকু ভালো লাগা, ক্ষণিকের সুখ
মন আলো করে থাকে তোমারই মুখ।

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

ছড়া , আগের মতো

আগের মতো ,

ইচ্ছে করে গল্প করি বসে ;

আগের মতো ,

ইচ্ছে করে উড়িয়ে দিই হেসে

Thursday, July 10, 2014

10 new things in Union Budget 2014

For a post-interim budget presented by the new finance minister of the new Indian government ; the speech may have been a tad lengthy bordering on being called 'dreary.' But the annual document has its own charm in communicating a sense of direction that the country's economy should charter carrying along with it the  political chatter from the minority opposition. Leaving it to the experts to make a sense of the large figures of receipts & expenditures , I intend to provide the readers ten new schemes & activities that the new government has earmarked in this year's budget even though the actual allocation in some of the schemes may have been paltry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bandhan : From a NGO to a bank - A success story in rural Bengal

Riddled with inflation, unemployment, corruption, falling growth and high Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of Public sector(PSU) banks; the Indian Economy hasn’t had much news to cheer about in the last 3 years excepting for some overheating of stock markets. On the redistribution front the marquee scheme of the preceding government, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Assistance (MRNEGA in short), has had problems of  low utilization & partisanship  in majority of the 28 states. One of the main way outs suggested was to increase the coverage of  PSU banks in the remotest corners of rural India to enable financial inclusion for the beneficiary community. The PSU banks have shown lukewarm response to such a measure adopted for the sub-prime market fearing large defaults. In some states the space not filled by the PSU banks had also been usurped by different ponzi scheme masterminds who have siphoned away the savings of millions of people. In this context; the approval of new banking licenses by RBI , as per the guidelines of the Vimal Jalan committee, has been granted to only two entities whose business models show promise for financial stability & inclusion. One of them is an erstwhile  NGO , Bandhan, which started off in 2001 with micro-financing activities in Eastern India complemented by developmental work in health, education, livelihood among the beneficiaries with the twin objectives of poverty alleviation and women empowerment.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dispersed Radiance by Abha Sur - A book review

Western scientists , newspapers in the late 19th-20th century created through propaganda an European  knowledge-is-power brand that ascribed little credit to the works of Indian scientists. JC Bose , who didn’t seek a patent for discovery of wireless telegraphy due to his strong anti-commercialization stance, was overtaken by the Italian scientist Marconi who claimed title to its discovery although it was dated by more than an year of Bose’s. Even recent literature on history of Indian science , written by western authors, do not mention Raman, Chandrasekhar, Saha or Bose although standard physics textbooks will still have a chapter on Raman effect or white dwarfs and Saha’s ionisation equations.
Abha Sur, the author of Dispersed Radiance (published from Navayana)   looks at the impact of caste, class , gender on the history of modern Indian physics through the lives and works of two of India’s greatest scientists –CV Raman & Meghnad Saha. An interesting selection since Raman is a Brahmin, conservative , taciturn while Saha is a low-caste, active in politics & vocal.    

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Ode to NOTA

When you decide to vote

You can refuse that note

-(or take it anyway)-

When the candidate gives them away.