Friday, September 29, 2006


This poem has a history.

On 20/9/06, Satyen sent this poem in roman script to my e-mail address as a contribution to this blog-site.It was written months ago. Probably years. I requested Satyen for a translation and a scanned copy of the transcript written in bengali, in his handwriting. The second did not happen ....the translationis here. The scanned copy of the poem, in Bengali script , I am afraid, is to be done by me.Here is the old text :

Ramapada-r shawngey gonta-gunti-te kichu kobita beroy. Nimnokto-ti shei rawkom. Likhey mowney holo eta pothitobyo, tai pathalam. "Ekbar nakshatra-r paney cheye, ekbar bedona-r paney" chhaya podechhey, shawmvaboto idaning kar mrityu-r jonno. P&S. Satyen.

Char-ti dawshok agey jey shawb balok-e /
Asposhsto swapno hatey hentechhilo Hijlee-r pathey /
Jeebon sayahney eshey bishonno alokey /
Mookh dyakhey paraspar, hat rakhey hatey /
Swapner awlpoi ar aboshishto achhey /
Mayabee alok tobu dekey nyay kachhey /
Abortito jeebon-er klanti, rawkto, swed /
Moochhey feley uthey ashey ashchorjo nirbed /
Kromo.bawrdhoman brittey amader lekha /
Ateet smritee te moda bhobitawbyo.rekha /
Amogh awnter agey ki gopon tan-e /
Tuley dharey sthir.chitro amader praney //

Now , we have the Engish translation of this poem , taken out of the old mail . The issue of ownership of the contents old letters stimulated a lot of exchanges between friends. A part of that also can be retained in this blog site.


All those young adolescent boys
Who, under four decade old skies
Filled Hijlee streets with noise
With nebulous dreams in their eyes
Are gathered now in this twilight
Of life's autumnal haze, a soft hue.
Seeking familiar faces in their sight,
Yearning again for a friendship true.
Those old dreams, alas, have faded away
But lingering memories hold their sway.
Amid evolving patterns of our lives ~
Grown up children and aging wives,
‘Staying Connected’ is a marvellous boon.
Old age blues cleared by our ‘High Noon’.
Before the curtain falls and we bid adieu
Let old friendships be rekindled anew.

23rd September, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

PULAK DHAR _ RK HALL , Electronics Dept

Pulak was my friend since we became neighbours in 1963. He had a wonderful collection of Rabindrasangeet which he still has with him in Canada.
I came in touch with him , after ages, through internet.... through the letters and jokes which circulate among IITians.
His family's photo graph , taken in november, 2006 is here:

I give below an extract from a letter I wrote to Pulak after my family relocated to Calcutta in December, 2003. A little of reminiscence .... smriticharana. And a little bit of my feelings during relocation. This situation will be known to many of us , who whave relocated after retirement or got themselves transferred during the last leg of working life.Please read on :

"Back to smriticharana. I remember your being fond of Dwijen and Sumitra Sen. In fact, you were the first person I came across who a collection of Sumitra’s songs………… I used to be very fond of Suchitra Mitra’s rendering of ‘Likhon tomar dhulay hoyechhe dhuli’ , did Dwijen also had a record of this song in the ‘60s ? I remember you had a record-player - did I hear Dwijen’s ‘ Ganer jharnatalay’ for the first time in your player ? You will remember – I cannot match your memory regarding IIT hostel days. And – yes , I had a transistor set by GEC . Sound was good. Did you have a good collection of Debabrata ? Akashbhara suryatara and Achhe dukhkha are the two numbers I remember. Esechhile tabu aso nai ? I can still visualise patay patay bindu bindu jhare jal .

Smrti ar bartaman baro jhagra karey.
Bhuleo giyechhi kato katha..
Jegulo mane achhe, segulo bekar .
Majar katha – bartamane ja ja bhuli,
Seguli baroi kajer ar darkari!

Calcutta, like all other metropolitan cities in India, is divided in two sections. Bharat & India.
Indian part is fab. New houses, shopping mall, entertainment ‘system’ , big housing complex -- one section of society will have them. The poorer section will crowd footpaths, jaywalk among honking cars and will shit as close to your ‘castle’ as possible. Bihar and Bangladesh will export their poverty to Calcutta for years to come – to the swelling milieu of “Bharat’."

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Amitava Lahiri... RK Hall, Chem Engg.

This was four years ago. I went to Amitava's place at Serampore on my way back from a tour .This is how Amitava looked like in 2002.

I have visited Amitava's plce many times since we met each other in IIT's hostel. He is famililiar among his friends as "Bhutu". The most memorable of these visits is the one when we went for a boat-ride on the Ganges in the evening of a Bijaya ... that was during seventies. Both Ruby , my wife and Indrani , Bhutu's wife were with us. The Puja festival was ending with immersion of devi pratima. The experience is still etched in my mind.

This is Indrani's photo taken when I visited their place in 2002.


Well , Satyen again. He circulated a big article on Annapurna Devi on 1st Sunday of Sept,'06.

The serious guys have read it and advised me publish the following :

Ha, ha. great. You have succeeded well in confusing everybody. How about a little more on Brahmanbaria links?
In the process, however, we should not forget Shyamal's BLOG requirements.
Till the confusion gets cleared, Sri's statement can appear there - say, on a provisional basis at least. Clarifications/amendments can always get added later. Sri may consider.

On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 wrote :
Awjana toththo nischoi bitawron kawra ucheet.
But I'm a bit confused. Baba had been a court musician at Maihar for ages.As such Annapoorna Devi should rightly be claimed by Maihar, having been brought up there. Her being from Uttorpara is somewhat like our feeling good if Nora Jones succeeds since she was fathered by Ravi Shankar.
Also the dates are conflicting. Baba had started the Maihar Band ( with orphaned children ) at the request of the Rajah in 1918. Which means he was well entrenched in Maihar by that time. Annapoorna Devi ( actually christened Roshan Ara ) was born in 1926 and married in 1940 and had a son born in 1942.How Uttorpara can claim her is a mystery to me. Baba being an original resident of Brahmanbaria ( now in Bangladesh),I would feel that Brahmanbaria would have a more legitimate claim. Unless Baba's wife was from Uttorpara ( I've no dope on this eloquently named Madanmanjari Devi ). But then don't we remember Annapoorna Devi as her father's daughter rather than her mother's ?

On Mon, 04 Sep 2006 Sri Bandyopadhyay wrote :
Perhaps one thing Satyendu - others may not know,Annapurna Devi, I was told some 20 years ago, that she comes from my hometown i.e. Uttarpara [ opposite Dakhineshwar].