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Personally Speaking

I often hear from people that what I publish, be it on Facebook or on my blog, isn’t personal enough. They are more like advertisements, designed to evoke laughter and/or thoughts.

I am sitting in front of you now, on the other end of your screen, baring my soul enough for you to realize why.

Before we begin, you need to realize something. I am a human being, just like you. I have my own strengths and weaknesses. Just like you, I like having people around me who love me. Just like you, I like to go out of my way to help a friend out. Just like you, I love being nice and receiving niceties. Just like you, I cannot bear a grudge against anyone for a long time.

I have been on the receiving end of many betrayals from friends I loved with love intense. It was naïve of me to believe that people can succeed without letting ambition getting the better of inter-personal relationships. I was never jealous when Tamoghna scored more than me in ICSE, nor was I dejected when Souryadeep won a Best Speaker prize and I came third. I didn’t even think to myself, “Okay, next time I will show them who the boss is.”

I just felt happy that my friend has done well.

Everyone grows up, and so did I. Slowly I started seeing through all the intricate webs of euphoria created around me to keep me aloof while jealous hammers kept striking at the base. When I realized what was being said about me by some particular individuals, popular in their own respect, more than angry, I was sad. In Bengali, the word is “obhimaan”.

Never trust a person who speaks ill about others in front of you. That same person will speak ill about you in front of others.

How will you identify such a person?

He will be a talkative person. He will start entertaining you at the cost of others. Most of his stories demeaning anyone he chooses will be exaggerated rumours or concocted on spot. He might make you feel special, and people love temporary spells of happy delusion (the reason why they drink), but beware the hangover. It will leave you torn apart.

Temporary spells of happy delusion. This is what the world runs on. This is the reason why, the day before your exam, you play a game of FIFA. You score goals you can never score with players you can never meet just to enjoy that temporary spell of delusion. This is the reason you drink, the reason you smoke, the reason you decide to “chill” when you know you’d be better off studying.

Having told you of the bad sorts of people I have come across, it would be totally unfair to not mention some of the better people who convince me that there are still people who know how to love.

Bibek Guha Sarkar.

I remember the Students’ Council elections (called the USO at my school) last year. I was highly ambitious. So, when I was not selected for the post, I was sorely disappointed. Bibek was up the previous night studying for a test. Yet, just to cheer me up, he accompanied me after school and engaged me the entire evening.

Ritam Dutt.

He was the other guy with Bibek and me, keeping me company. Ritam has been this constant source of support for me. When Basak and I formed the debate club, he used to attend all the sessions, take attendance and keep records, all while sacrificing his study hours. A few days before an entrance exam, he called me over to his house and explained a lot of theories of Chemistry and Physics I had little knowledge of. If I have ever seen two people who know everything about their field of study and are equally willing to share knowledge, it would be Ritam and Anirbanda.

Anirban Saha.

He is the only family member who happened to me over Facebook. What I love most about him is the fact that he seldom speaks ill of colleagues, not to forget how he loves interacting and spreading smiles. He has always been there for me. Be it making me feel special in a meeting with seniors, or be it asking me for my opinions on his blogs, or gifting me this website, he has never failed me.

Medha Dey.

A person who believes in me, supports me and cares for me. A person who is ready to pick up my call at 3AM to comfort me after a terrible nightmare woke me up. A person who is equally enthusiastic about hosting a quiz at my school, though she claims,

“I was in it only for the money. :3”

Avirup Biswas.

Best friends since class 8. Never had a fight, except when it came to dividing pizzas. The co-creator of the Rui-Katla theory.

People at school.

Be it Baidurya, Krishnashish or Souptik, who can keep up with my quiz-time madness, or Pushpak who inspires me with his leadership skills, or Rakshit who inspires me with his attitude of contributing without expecting acccolades, or Samanta and Tamoghna who amaze me with their DontGiveADamnGottaTopExam attitude, or Arya-Sourya with their sensitiveness, or Bikramjit-Agnish-Anwesh with their traditional coolness, or juniors who have delighted me by approaching me for tips, I owe it to you all for making me the person I am.

Dora Cata.

She’s an adopted cat.  Since having a pet cat is so much of a trouble, my grandparents were determined to give her away to some other cat enthusiast. I had already grown so attached to her that when I started thinking about it, I couldn’t control my tears. It was past midnight and I walked out to the verandah where Dora was sleeping. She woke herself up, and, seeing me crying, followed me back to my room. She normally hates the AC, but did not seem to mind at all. I sat cross legged on the ground, looking at her and sobbing, when she did the most wonderful thing ever. She slowly got up and curled herself into my lap.

The next day, as usual, she was ignoring me.

 

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BIGGEST lies in our History Textbooks

There are some things you learn in your young age which you remember throughout life. I distinctly remember this line from my Class-2 History book: “Mahatma Gandhi was tragically shot by a madman Nathuram Godse.”

History is scripted by the victors
History is scripted by the victors

I was rudely shocked when I recently came across Godse’s quote in which he declared that he had killed Gandhi and surrendered to the police to prove that he was NOT a madman.

After Godse shot him, instead of running away, he shouted, “Police!”, stood his ground and surrounded.

Nathuram said, “No one should think that Gandhi was killed by a madman.”

It is common knowledge: History is written by the victors. They naturally exaggerate. But reversing the complete nature of a person?

I decided to investigate.

I went through the entire speech made my Nathuram Godse in his defense. Having heard his speech, a judge (GD Khosla) even remarked that had there been a jury, “they would have brought a verdict of ‘not Guilty’ by an overwhelming majority.”

You can find the transcript of the speech here: Nathuram Godse’s Moving Speech at Trial

 

This article is not written to debate about the murder of Gandhi. Opinions about such issues vary.

This article mainly raises the highly pertinent question: Why is the history we study in textbooks so unabashedly false?

  1. Evidences suggest Godse knew what he was doing and was thoroughly convinced of the purpose behind his action. How can textbooks call him a madman?
  2. Controversies rage about the smallest of issues. Gandhi’s secretary said that after being shot, his last words were “Hey Raam”, his former PA said that they were “Oh God” and Nathuram said quite frankly that he just said “Uhhh!” Why then in textbooks do we read just the sanctified version? Are they history textbooks or fairytales?
  3. Why are there entire chapters dedicated to Gandhi while almost no mention is made of other heroes like Syama Prasad Mookerjee who had to be poisoned to curb their popularity? Not to mention Nehru’s letter to Attlee where he blatantly betrayed Netaji.

I suppose India wants an answer.

 

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CBSAON 2013

CBSAON 2013 was a roaring success. ‘Nuff said.

Let’s get down to acknowledging some people who deserve it. (Teachers, I know you won’t ever read this, so I am not making a special reference to you. You know you all are awesome)

The guy, who used to be teased for being feminine, showed why he is The Man. Puspak Sen was the dude who ran logistics. He ensured that everything was in place. The acceptance letters he wrote for the chosen logistics members were perhaps even better written and better designed than the official letters that went out to the other schools. In that letter was a code of conduct that he expected of the members of the logi. One point even read: “Thou shalt not ask girls for their names or numbers (even if they are on WhatsApp).”

 

The Coolest SecGen ever

“Who the Baablaa? Me the baablaa.” And THAT is how the most super-cool SecGen ever introduces himself. Souryadeep Basak toiled so much to organize this, he even got a tan. His disarming charm, his nonchalant ghaapla, his suave swag… makes ‘em girls go “Daayuum Bezak, ye got some reeal shizz in there”.  I run out of adjectives while describing this super-awesome friend of mine who has never let me down. The better half of the Surya-Sourya combination, this guy always places first in debates where I place third.

                         

Gem of a person
Gem of a person

 

 

Tannistha Sinha is awesome. Period. She screamed, she sang, she waltzed her way through corridors, halls, hearts and ended with the Best Delegates’ Award (in her first MUN). She has the distinction of being my bestfriend, as well as the girlfriend of my bestfriend. Sugar and spice and everything nice, she is the nicest person you can get to know. And no, she didn’t pay me for this. Remember the debate in which I came third? Well, she’s the girl who beat me, and I am only too happy to be beaten by her. Coming from me, you’d know how much that means.

 

Speaking of awesome MUNners, it would be absolutely unjust if I leave Ekansh Mishra and Harsh Gupta. These first time MUNners were absolutely brilliant. CBS is safe in their hands, I am proud to say.

 

A towering character
A towering character

Speaking of extra-awesome MUNners, you know you’re really extra-awesome when CBS gives you a standing ovation while you go to receive your awards on stage. Proneet De (LMB) and Ribhu Mukherjee (Bosco, yes you read it right). If there ever were any studs, they were these two. After the first day of the committee, everyone knew who the Best Delegate in their committees would be. And they didn’t disappoint. You two, I lead your OverAwedFan Club.

 

 

Rajarshi Das on the violin, Puja Bose on the drums and Bhishwadeb ‘Ishan’ Guha and Saptarshi Dey/Mitra on the guitars: Deadliest combination ever. And anyone who saw them perform would thoroughly agree.

 

Rohit Kr Bose and Anirban Saha (TCS) did a terrific job making the website. Seriously, men. People even said that the website was better than that of another MUN (I won’t name, but you know which one I mean). Arya Chakraborty, Avishek Rakshit, Agnibha Pal, Soupayan Datta, Sreyan MC: you people deserve the credits for so many, so freaking many DPs of so many people. You guys were awesome.

 

Finally, thank you Mr. President, for thanking everyone else, from the Principal to Jesus Christ. Thank you for reducing my workload. Thank you so much! ((NO sarcasm, honestly))

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Republic Day, 2013

The 26th of January, 2013, shall remain a day etched forever in my memory, and published forever in my blog.

The previous night, I stayed up till 4am, watching a wonderful movie called 17 Again. You know, reaping the benefits to the fullest when your parents are away for a night… Anyway, the movie was really moving: it was about a 40 year old aam aadmi, who becomes 17 again, and tries to correct his mistakes. It is indeed one of those movies which, despite being feel-good, is worth a watch. Yes, despite being feel-good.

The next morning, I had to get up at 7, all groggy… Our school had been given the privilege of hosting the Kolkata Quiz Festival this year, and Souptik and I were one of the numerous teams (more than a hundred teams, from thirty five schools) that were participating.

I never expected Souptik to come to my place in time. So, when I got out of the bathroom at 8, doing a Ranbir Kapoor in Saawariya, guess whose bewildered face greeted me?

We sat huddled over the morning newspaper, discussing everything that came to our minds. Did you know that tequila is made out of Agave cactus? A cactus?

And when we were done, I declared, “Boss. We are gonna WIN this thing!”

And the picture best describes how Souptik responded.

souptik
Good joke, boss!

It is hard to believe, yes, but Souptik had a lot of money with him that day; and even harder to believe: He seemed willing to spend it on a Volvo ride to school! (Despite our school not being en route)

So we took a Volvo to Esplanade, and walked 1.9 kilometers back to school. All for the sake of riding an air-conditioned Volvo bus on a cold winter morning.

The event was supposed to be inaugurated at 12. It was a really big event, with bigshot sponsors like ITC, Indian Jute Association, The Telegraph and all. It was organized by an offshoot of Rotary Club, called XQUIZIT. The amazing quizzers: Aanton-Arijit-Samrat-Saurav are the members of the same, and wonderfully conducted six quizzes over two days.

When I reached school, I sat down and joked with some of my juniors: Agnibha, Rajarshi, Sayan, and all. And no, I cannot share the jokes here. Cbs were chilling out whereas other schools were eagerly poring over their phones, apparently updating their knowledge.

Suddenly, Sreyan comes up to me and says, “Shurjo. You have got to do the opening speech.”

spc
Brace yourself…

All my chilled-out-ness went out of the window. Trust me, no matter how many debates you wn, speaking in public always makes any guy nervous, or so I like to feel. However, the inauguration went pretty well.

According to the pictorial evidence shared here(courtesy Agnibha), I was smiling. Either I was making a fool out of myself, or being really, really cool.

I remember something I quoted on stage about the Republic Day celebrations: “If even 3 out of 10 Indians knew the significance of the Day, it would have been a greater cause to celebrate.”

Out of the many teams who came, 8 qualified for the finals. Souptik and I was one of those. DPS was the only school which saw 2 of its teams qualify. A team from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy qualified, and it had a tremendously talented quizzer, as I had been warned earlier. Bosco, St. Thomas and Mahadevi Birla World Academy also made it.

The quiz began. Bosco was leading after the first two rounds. In the third round, we suddenly gained a lot of impetus and went way ahead of others and stayed there for till the last round, where we would have won anyway, even if we scored negative. This got so boring for us, that you can check Souptik’s undisguised emotion here:

This is too much to take.

We celebrated our victory over egg-chicken rolls outside!

 

Milind Ghosh, half of whose face you can see in the pic above, is a legendary MUNner of St. Thomas. He graciously gave me a lift to Kankurgachi. I decided to pay Bibek, one of my closest friends, a visit. It was not any casual visit; it was an emergency (if you know what I mean).

There, I met three wonderful girls, two of who were generous enough to pose for my lens, following a soft drinks treat.

tanishi
Tanishi!

This is Tanishi. She calls herself “awesome” and that automatically makes her awesome.

Shatabdi!

This is Shatabdi. She is more quiet, and plays badminton better than most girls do.

santu
Santu!

This is Santa, aka Santu. Some teachers call him Sayantan though. His hairstyle has been a source of inspiration for many.

 And this, is Bibek. His email ID is “bibekrooney” and his gaming account name is “respect-aka-viv”. Our class teacher refers to him as the guy who gets 100 in Economics.

bib
bibekrooney!

Baidu wanted himself to feature, so here you are. Didn’t have a picture of you. World, meet Baidurya Mukherjee: a gem of a guy, who I am forever indebted to, for loading my hard disk. With movies.

And then I went to my guru, Anirban Saha’s place. We chatted a bit, and went to Domino’s together. And had a lot of fun and pizzas!

It was a day, spent to the fullest. It felt even better when it came out that my bestie, Souryadeep, got recognized as the most promising delegate at IITKGP Mun. Which is a BIG deal, given he was a mere school student among college goers. CBS, CBS, everywhere…