Temple in the shadows

To start off, I seek refuge in a rather  inapt quotation “When a big tree falls, the ground beneath shakes”. For the ignorant, you are blessed and I shall not try to take away your blessing, for the not so-ignorant I now relate this shame on India to many things that gets overshadowed by monumental occasions or persons or institution. In the context of this blog, the dictionary entry called “institution” reigns.

In the light (or rather shadow) of what happened on 25th of February, one ex-cricketer was deprived of his well deserved sending off.This post is not about him too.

This post is a tribute to my school which celebrated its fiftieth birthday a few days back. For the observant, the url of this post says more about this post than the one hundred words that precede this intermediate. For the benefit  of the lethargic readers, it contains the words  a hundred rupees the monthly fees at my school.As to why the chose the letters of the sentence in the largest font is that somehow for a iitian of the early 2000’s every thing that has contributed to my life academically somehow becomes consigned to a footnote.A glance across my tag-cloud itself screams in disgust at the overbearing presence of KGP/IIT in making who I am. Even this post is tampered with a liberal dose of moments of my life spent in IIT.

It was the year of 1996 that I became a student of Don Bosco Dibrugarh. It was the first year wherein I graduated from wearing shorts in my previous school to trousers. It was the year I bought my cycle, It was the year I first tied the knot of my tie. It was the year I typed my first computer program. It was not the universal Hello World. But back then a Print 10+20 and getting 30 on pressing return in your GW BASIC terminal was  leggg(wait for it)endary.

I did not win my first certificate in this school. But won most of my honour list. Every year we had something called class in action. Full day was spent in social and cultural events. Disposing off all remnants of humility, I shall now boast that in my six-year in my school no body earned as many certificates as I did so these extra-academic adventures were really special for me. Did I tell you, this was the school that killed my stage fright, that taught me to speak in front of any crowd. In my very first year I found myself alone in front of a mic and thousand odd students giving an extempore speech. I also found kind of gradual change in the way I conducted myself during public appearance. For the first year, I was staring at the magnificent ceiling of the auditorium  so that I could escape the glances of  all the eyes fixed on me. By the time I left, i learned to draw strength from the little nods I got from the audience and concentrate only on them. Somehow speaking/singing on stage no longer remained a performance, it became a conversation. I guess it’s now time to say one of the may Thank yous I should say to my school.

Somehow my memories of extra-academics overpowers my memories of academics for my kgpian friends this should be no surprise. A day we always looked forward to was annual arts and science exhibition. This was the ultimate lesson in confidence building. We were a boys school people from girls school and co-ed(LFS 😀 and the likes) came to our school on that day to try to tell us that girls are better. Never to be cowed down, I was one of the guys spearheading the fight in intellect wit and bluffs. Scientific formula of Sodium became (S) to answer of people who were hell-bent of humiliating us :D.

The last year of my school life was my most fulfilling . This was the year I spearheaded the campaign of my school in quizzes and won two of the most prestigious quizzes that year. I was third in two, that’s a different story. But our boys school defeated L.F.S. (the girls school) in all but one. Wow what a celebration we had. In the one quiz I was defeated(3rd), there was no audience to take in pleasure of seeing us loose.

Our school had a hockey ground, a tennis ground, a football ground and table tennis. These are seemingly mundane features but then for a hundred rupees per month, our school defined what token fees is all about. Poor kids were given free lodging and food and tuition in hostel. A separate school used to run in afternoon for the poor kids who could not attend school.At the same time my school was the best that was in town in spite of many things that defied economic sense. For those who disagree, your comments, if any,  shall be deleted.

In the midst of all these, I guess I forgot to tell you that my school was the first to have computers in my town. I saw the huge 5′ floppy drives pasted on the walls of our  computer lab. And yes I worked in computers with only two floppy drives thanks to my school.

I guess that’s all of the unconnected threads of memories I can recollect and rejoice now. And yes a thank you to my school and all who made those six memorable years

Only time i detested the sight of Deepikas legs

Patriotism is a word we very often come across since the days we learn our a for apples and b for balls. For sake of political correctness, our history and social studies are replete with tales of patriotic tales of some of our revered heroes. For the sake of pure literary analysis, patriotism is bathed in paradox. A word that derives its origins from the word father and yet, it  is defined as love for motherland. I don’t know how to define patriotism in words that satisfies me leave alone some inadvertent reader of this post. But bowing before the kiss principle “Keep it stupid and simple” – I can safely say many a stories, many a videos raise goosebumps in my heart. Probably those are distinctly observable patriotic heartbeats of my life.

For any Indian to have grown up in the doordarshan age, “Mile Sur mera tumhara” is no alien permutation of letters. It was a collection of notes that somehow struck a chord in our heart.In my first years of life,i understood very little of what was not spoken in Assamese. So, my earliest memories of this song was waiting for the single sentence that I could understand. As a juvenile who was yet to reach his teens, I could not draw any deep philosophical meaning of the joy I got from watching this song but as self acclaimed wise 23-year-old, I guess this video was my first realization of my being a part of the mosaic called “India”.

Having dwelt on my beautiful memories of the “original mile sur”, it goes without saying that I feel a kind of ownership over this song. I feel my life is incomplete without this song.For last few days, there was a lot of screaming about a new “mile sur”.  I was looking forward to it and my hopes were ignited by the new version of Vande Mataram released on India’s fiftieth Independence Day. For the people who cry a lot about religion, this song was revamped by a muslim.

Some hopes are created only to be crushed, some aspirations remain aspirations forever never finding the strength to crossover to the real world. My first glimpse of this video at you tube filled me with rage. The first image was of “Vodafone” and “zoom”. By no distortion of reality can both be labeled as national icons. icons that define the new resurgent India. But staying true to the truest interpretation of the word “trailer”, this new mile sur had more assaults on my memory in store. The next image that really dealt the death knell on the coffin of my hopes was of deepika padukone in skimpy one-piece enjoying some water-fall. To give a brief background of me morally I am an average IITian. I am all for more open society. If there is fan club making sex compulsory in movies, I would be among the first to promote it. I lament that I am ,soon, going to be  a 24-year-old virgin. Normally any sexy girls legs and more of anatomy are something i crave for. But when one looks forward to feeling proud of being an Indian, somehow lust and patriotism do not mix well. The rest of the video was watched with rage and contempt with  a single-minded dedication to pick more loopholes. I gave up for i found only 2 moments that made me feel proud of my citizenship. One was Bhupen Hazarika, i had ulterior motives for it for I am a Hazarika and it does not harm to your ego to share the surname with the most famous person born in your homestate.Second was Abhinav Bindra. I would only use one line to lament the lack of Sachin,Rathore,Malleshwari,Murthy,Kalam,Rajni,Chiranjeevi and IITs,IIMs and the overdose of bollywood for it deserves no second line.

To sum up I will quote one of my juniors “missing Rakhi Sawant”, well I say i missed her only in physical representation in video, to me the entire video smacked of the essence, that have become a part of the antiques we associate with her.

When one word speaks a thousand words

As a matter of lack of choice, or rather as a result of murder of choice, not a day passes by in my life when I don’t come across some arrangement of Roman alphabets that always makes sense to my literate mind.But there are some words that are forever condemned to have their existence intertwined with our distant or not so distant past.When I come across those words, a divine orchestra of words fill my day dreaming mind.

One such word that comes to my mind is “melancholy”. If I had ever done grave injustice that sprang to my mind. The first line of this para would definitely find its place as a stinking specimen.  For an inaudible whisper of the word “melancholy” flooded my mind with memories that I had to let it out in this blog. In my not so distant past, I had to study a subject called alternative English. In my school days, it was a subject that definitely compete in the race to be my favourite. You hardly got marks. There was no such thing as right answer or wrong answer. It all depended on how much your teacher liked your answer. But it sure had some of the finest specimens of English literature still not lost in the pages of history.

Wordsworth, I really hope I am not messing up with the name of the great nature poet for I have resolved not to look up the literary piece that forms an integral part of this post. This is done with a misplaced sense of self-righteousness that I can do justice to my memories only if my entire post is untainted with anything but my memories. “Misplaced sense of self righteousness”- rings any bell. In my mind, I hear an explosion of bell metal that numbs my sense of hearing. These words always teleports me to the seats of inox kolktata, and I see joker mouthing these words to batman. Dark knight is a part of my recent memory and weeds have not yet attacked this castle. So, I shall try to quickly pass through my neighbourhood and zoom to my past.

About Wordsworth , he had written a poem called solitary reaper. I really don’t recollect all the words of the poem but a few words have stood the test of time.This was the poem that told me of the existence of the word “lass”. I first heard someone using the word “melancholy notes”. I found myself wandering across the world trying to help Wordsworth decipher what the beautiful lass was trying to sing in a language that he did not understand but in a voice that touched his heart.But therein lies an allegory of my life, whenever I hear the word “melancholy”, a smile spreads on my lips, I race to my school days, and I fail to sympathize with anything and everything sad about the collection of words that needs the word melancholy to describe itself.

demos cratos

the future kingAs a matter of lack of choice, if you are born in a middle class family in India, you know what those two words mean. Just after the ABCs have been mastered, “i” s have been dotted and “t”s have been crossed, we are told about the country we live in. The first page of many a books tell us about Gandhijis dilemma solver -“think about the poorest person you know”. Although, the text in the book seems to have a few strands of papyrus baptized by the church of Goebbels, the subject of social studies was one of my favorite.

Having established the origins of my thought, I come to the thoughts that have instigated this blog.For starters I don’t have a single click on my blog today. It is pathetic to say the least. The other was the image of Shibu Soren taking the oath of chief minister as CM supported by BJP a party I once admired. As I struggle to grasp with the violation of ethics and justice in Indian democracy, my mind wanders back to the first debate that I saw in my school. The word saw might be drenched in incongruity for I had a minuscule part in the same. Although being apart of the junior most batch of School I asked a question that more ruffled the free-flowing eloquence of the debaters. The topic for the day was “In a democracy you get a government that people deserve”.My question was did people India deserve emergency when she voted Indira Gandhi to power on the plan of “garibi hatao”.

The earliest election I can recall being played out in the media was the 1996 election. After election, we saw the largest pre-election formation sit in the opposition.The smallest pre-election formation run the government and the second largest party support he smallest pre-election formation.But the conduct of Vajpayee won my heart and mind. Although I could not vote in the next election, I cheered for every seat won by BJP. I really wanted to have a prime minister I admire. Same was the case for next election. Unlike most politicians power did not make Vajpayee a hated figure like all CMs and former PMs.Godhra happened, I hate people being prosecuted for religion or any other thing that makes India a diverse country but India was progressing at least it appeared to. I found myself rooting for BJP in 2k4 I did not want Sonia Gandhi to be PM, the concept of hereditary rule still do not strike a chord in me. Nevertheless Manmohan Singh took oath as Pm with some of the most corrupt politicians in his ministry ala Laloo, Shibu and who not. But the march of India was unstoppable. Vajpayee retired from BJP and it seemed BJP had gone mad.

A political party that once stood for everything good about India seemed to be bereft of ideas. I found myself rooting for congress in 2k9 elections. Congress did win but I am sad for if tomorrow I want congress to lose whom do i root for. How can I support a party that makes murderers as chief ministers. IT seems India cannot be great country. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I hope the government gets corrupt absolutely and we get a credible opposition for if that does not happen soon. We will need to wait another 50 years for a credible opposition. We need answers for the death of Karkares. We need a voice in parliament who don’t just cry for his own fiefdom to indulge in more corruption but who speaks against extra constitutional powers like armed Forces Special powers Act. The government exists to protect the citizens what is the lace of a law that is created to harass,rape,maim,kill citizens by official machinery.