Happy 6th Anniversary!!

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A message from wordpress.com congratulating me on completing six years of blogging with them set me off on a nostalgic journey down the archived blog posts. Precisely March,13th 2009 was the day when first post went live on this blog. Still remember the thrill and excitement of having my own blog. Thank you wordpress team for reminding me…

6Anniversary

This place might be gathering dust but no signs of rust yet. Who knows, maybe the sparks may fly again Smile.

2014 in review by wordpress.com stats helper monkeys …

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog.

Here's an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Welcome my son!

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Welcome to this world. I became a father the day you were conceived (9 months back) but you became my son on 7th of May Two thousand and fourteen  a month before your expected date.
Congratulations for making this journey bravely.  Your grandparents said, you did make a lot of noise but that’s ok you needed to tell the world that you’ve arrived!!! Sorry son for not being able to be there to hold you in my arms and welcome you into this world.
Being the internet savvy daddy to be I had been reading all about how fetuses (Yes that what you were called when you were inside your mommy’s tummy) grow. Just to know more about your life inside your mommy’s tummy. But son I missed listening to your first heartbeat (your mommy was exhilarated), missed your first photo shoot. According to your mommy you made the doctor’s life difficult by refusing to remove your fingers from your mouth and giving a clear shot of your face.  And why not, the doctor should have asked your permission before clicking your pictures.  Thank you son for letting me touch you one day while you were conducting your usual business of kicking and punching mommy, I could feel you. Boy you kicked really hard!  May lord keep you that strong and healthy all your life.
When mommy held you for the first time to feed you your very first meal you looked at her in amazement and smiled. Yes my dear son that wonderful woman is your mommy. No matter what, she’ll take care of you all her life.  Although I am not there with you physically but I manage to hear you registering your desires, wishes and complaints (yes, always it’s me who’s on the other end of your mommy’s phone).  Once again sorry son for not being there but don’t worry soon we too will have our own father – son moments.
Whether I’ll be your daddy cool or another brick in your wall is what you have to figure. But I know you are not here to complete my unfinished sentences (of course, you can if you choose to). Summer sun is scorching where you are right now but elsewhere in many parts of the world spring flowers are blossoming. Like those new flowers I want you to bloom exotically with your new dreams.  So, do I really need to say? “Go tiger! Live your dream.  Let me be the guiding star”.

It ain’t over yet!

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Yesterday, I met him while strolling in the park. He, who was an apprentice learning to weave fables and ballads at the dream factory. A strike by the workers followed by lockout in the factory rendered him jobless. Since then no one heard of him.
He was sitting on a bench lost in different world. I tapped on his shoulders and asked, “Hello my friend! How are you? Where have you been, so long?” He was startled.
“I went on a little vacation.” He answered still lost, “Were you looking for me? Are you missing me?”
“Yes of course. I am missing your fables, now that you are back, do we get to read your tales soon?” I inquired.
He looked up, pointed to the stars and muttered “maybe”. Then, walked out of the park without turning back.
If you are wondering what was the last paragraph all about. Well, it is about my meeting with my alter ego. It is said everybody has one. If you are a writer then you ought to have one. And my alter ego is the one who provides me with words that I weave and I was missing him for some time.
Talking of being a writer, one thing that every writer dreads is something called ‘writers block’. There comes a time in every writer’s life when words turn hostile. Stories just stop flowing and suddenly nothing inspires anymore and you feel helpless. What do you do then? I would say don’t panic; just relax, like they say ‘take the chill pill’. Let the writer inside go on a vacation. When it’s time, suddenly one day you’ll see the spark is back and words will start flowing like never before. It will all come back. I would like to thank my work friend L for  lighting the lamp by asking me to write a blog for our office internal blog .
Lastly, a remarkable year has come to end. The Mayans were not wrong after all, world did change for many of us. Looking forward to another eventful year. Wish you all a Happy and prosperous 2013.
PS: This an extract from a post for my office blog.

Braaazil la …la…la…. – story of my phootballish affair…

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The Venga Boys song comes to my lips every time Brazil goes to play football more so during the FIFA World Cups.  The inspiration of this post is a conversation with Neha of Neha’s Blog fame and the passionate post Football and Calcutta by Guria where she talked about the religion that football is to the people of Kolkata. The post left me nostalgic.

Circa 1987 : I still remember the day when my sports teacher had put me in the class football team (it was mandatory you see) and told me that I will have to  play as the centre back (a defender).  I was told that my role would be to stop any opponent with the football from entering our penalty box. So as the game started I was lurking at my position ahead of our penalty box and rest of our team was jostling for the ball at the centre. Our goalie was insisting me to go and join the melee at the mid field. But I didn’t leave my post and just then a tall, bulky opponent with the ball was rushing towards our goal and I froze. Everyone from the goalie to sports sir was shouting at me to stop the hulk but I was staring at the oncoming giant and not moving (let me tell I was thin and puny in my childhood) then something happened and I had stopped the hulk ultimately, don’t ask me how.  So that’s one of my earliest trysts with the game of football.

Circa 1990 : I was still a school boy and the FIFA world cup was scheduled to begin, the air in Kolkata was heating  up as always but I was more into local football and didn’t know much about international football. It was my math tuition sir (a fanatic football fan) who not only quelled my fear for mathematics but also introduced me to magnificent football team called ‘Brazil’. He would come for tuition and analyze with precision the previous day’s matches for 10-15 mins.  Also another thing had happened that year my dad had brought home a colour TV just a few days before the World Cup opening match kicked-off.  It was a treat to watch the matches in colour.

Oh! How can I forget the opening match in which Roger Milla’s Cameroon  had stunned the reigning champion Argentina and the whole world with an unexpected victory and unique victory dance. For some reason I was happy that day(A potential Brazil fan was in making). Over next one month I witnessed the marvelous Yellow shirts, blue pants and white socks doing samba with the ball. Ok I was mesmerized by Maradona as well but knew it will be Brazil that will have my loyalty all my life come what may.  Incidentally Brazil had not been the champions that year because they were defeated by Argentina in Round of 16 itself. Finally was super happy when Germany lifted the cup defeating Argentina(seeds of Brazil fan were making inroads).

Circa 1994 : Then I was a young adult and was following the matches even at weird hours, remember it was played in USA. I used sleep with alarms to wake me up at right time but was very upset when missed a few times. The significance of this world cup was Brazil became the champions. What a memorable final it was, first world cup final to be decided by penalties. We were up till late night and that tension, frustration at Italy not allowing Brazil a goal. But it was all worth, Brazil won and we were out on the streets with drums,  pipes, people were coloring each-other green(Brazil’s colour is green). When most of the country was sleeping it was a Brazilian carnival in Kolkata.  One has to see it to believe it. Crazy Kolkatans one would say but that’s what we are.  BTW one of my favorite players in that tournament was Roberto Baggio but they were up against my first love, so couldn’t feel bad for him.

Circa 1998 : This was the tournament played in France and I was a college going boy.  But it was heartbreaking to see Brazil lose to France 3-0 in the final, one of lowest times in my football fan life till date. Though I liked Zidane a lot till then but could never accept the fact that his team had beat Brazil so badly.

Circa 2002 : Now I was a man (What? I was working come on). This world cup was held in South Korea and Japan, which meant matches were in afternoon and evening our time. Which created a problem of missing the matches while at work but hey I was in Kolkata. Like Guria mentioned in her post the city comes to stand still during the tournament. The place where I was working was our client’s place but the people were nice and allowed us to watch important matches in their recreation room where they had a TV, especially for the world cup!  Actually they would call us during the matches and we would be shuttling between work and the matches.  The tournament ended with Brazil lifting the world cup for fifth time. The celebrations this time were much mellow from my side as I told you I was not a boy anymore but a working professional.

Circa 2002 : That was a significant year for me as I had moved out of Kolkata for the first time and was still trying to adjust to new life in Bangalore and was not knowing how to watch matches because I still did not have a TV in Bangalore then.   But like they say when God’s with you nobody can beat you. One of my Bengali friend here and his wife are die hard Brazil fans, so they let me into their home at the dead of the night to watch the games. It was a new experience to be in the only home in the entire layout or probably the whole area with TV tuned to world cup match at odd hours.  We used to miss all the off-screen action of Kolkata.  I mean it was strange to see people in general not at all interested in football. I mean why or how? I had supported France in final just for Zidane and Thiery Henry but unfortunately they lost to Italy. Also the famous head butting by Zidane had shocked us.

2010 : This is my second consecutive world cup in Bangalore(outside Kolkata) but I see a significant change with more people following football. Actually my current office has a TV which is tuned to cricket all day long but now they tune to world cup matches and surprisingly there’s a sizable crowd for even matches not involving big names.  Good but nothing can match the euphoria back in Kolkata. The Bangla Channels show visuals of frantic fans in Bengal, making me feel a tinge but ….

This world cup so far is turning out very interesting with Vuvuzelas, the issues of Jabulani balls, the high altitude matches and bigger teams struggling while some unknown names shining(this is a specialty of FIFA world cups).

Final note : Like I said on FB “Seeing India play in FIFA World cup finals is a wishful thing maybe it will not happen in our lifetimes” but honestly how many of us know the name of Indian National League played every year or who is the captain of India team?

Finally, if you feel Kolkata is crazy about only football then just go and see during IPL or any other big cricketing event. I think no other city can match that as well.

PS: A 3-1 win by Brazil yesterday acted like a balm for the pain of my team being eliminated out of BPL.  Also a Big Thanks to all of you for the support you showered for the Inscribe Tribe.

Teeth are precious!

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Aren’t they? Well ask me who has been visting the Dentist over the last 2 weeks. I had been to our family dentist long long time ago when I had a severe pain in tooth one night and the gentleman who knows our entire family teeth history had smartly extracted the culprit but scars remained engraved deeply in my memory and add to it several horror stories I had been hearing, I was firmly avoiding the Dentist and never complained of ‘little pain here and there’. So much so that two teeth fell off on their own after failing to draw my attention. I was relived that my body understood my equation with the dentist and healed itself. But yeah we all have buts in our life and if I had known that noone can ditch the inevitable(read dentist). This time my mouth had declared a full blown mutiny and no amount of ‘home remedies’ or prayers worked, things got to a point where I had to go without food and water literally.

So on a fine weekend I had to give in and see the dentist. The doctor was a man with grey hair and told him my condition and that I had lost two teeth to which he smiled and said I’ll loose a few more and not to worry he and his team will fix everything. So now came the treatment plan which was three teeth to be extracted and two root canals to be done. Then came the actual thing – the cost which was going to almost a lakh rupees(yes you heard it right after all it was one the best hospitals in Bangalore). Naturaly I almost fainted and  the doc understood immediately, said well he can offer some discounts and work a way out. I said whatever way it would be I can never afford it. I was not willing to go  bankrupt for my teeth.  The man was very nice and worked out a solution where it would cost around 40K but still my heart was pounding. He said we can do it in several installments and he will help me in whatever way he can.

So after money issues were solved came the real treatment time and I was terrified as root canals were to be done. The doctor said they will take only an hour and he promised that it will not hurt a bit with a big smile. The doctor who came for treatment was a cheerful young man and he was joking but I was petrified as he asked his assistants for ‘bayonet’ no seriously I had heard it right. Midway through the treatment he asked whether I was feeling any pain and when I replied in negative, he confidently said I’ll say the same when I walk out of the door. Well he was right I actually didnot have much pain when I walked out. Over the next two weeks my treatment was  completed and now I am almost normal.

The moral of the story is if you dare to ignore tooth issues for long the dentist not only drills your teeth but a big hole in your pocket as well. So take good care of the teeth and slightest bit of discomfort in tooth go see a dentist because ‘Teeth are precious’.

An Update : The break up of the initial estimate for treatment or rather mouth restoration(thats what they were saying).

2 teeth implants with bone augmentation = Rs. 60K

A bridge with 3 crown units = Rs. 12K

2 single crown units = Rs. 8K

rest for extraction, root canal treatment etc… almost 1 Lakh right….

Who or What am I?

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Well before I delve further into the question let me talk about how I came upon this question in first place. While post hopping I ran into a post “What or Who is a Bong ?” which ultimately lead to a post “The Bong“. These two are posts which describe in detail what does the term “Bong” actually mean. While reading  the posts sometimes I was nodding cheeringly though mostly it seemed the posts were very dated because whatever the characterics of a “Bong” mentioned in there are true but it was something the so called “Bong” used to be many years back. Then I found that one of the post was 4 years old and the posts were written by probasis( expat Bengalis). This fact gave way to the question Who or What am I?

In my earlier posts I have mentioned  that I was born in Hyderabad and spent my early childhood there and then spent 18 years in Kolkata and now staying in Bangalore for last 4 years. So before I go about the actual question let me quote from one of the posts above
“There are two kinds of Bengalis that I know. Probashi or Expatriate Bangalees, a fairly large and diverse group about which I can’t write as I am one of them.
And Bengalees who are from Kolkata. This group is incorrectly known as Bongs, as they are merely a subset.”
Isn’t it a strange classification but thats how we Bengalis are ‘quite strange’. Actually there is a clear distinction between the two mindsets which probably can’t be explained to anyone other than Bengali.
Now going by the above definations where do you think I fit because I have grown up in Bengal but now live outside. You would say a probasi but I really hate to be called that. No I don’t have anything against the expat Bengalis but simply I don’t want to be labeled one. There is another term in Bengali which is onabasi (non resident), I think this one suits me perfect as of now till I switch to any one of the  camps 😛 …( after living outside for quite sometime one becomes a probasi)
PS: As far as my information goes the term “Bong” was initially coined by expatriate Bengalis and I first came across the term in English newspapers referring to bollywood actresses who are Bengalis as “Bong beauty”.

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