Saturday, 28 February 2015

MY FAMILY MY PRIDE


We live once, we actually do not have any idea what awaits on the other side of living. So it’s very important, to live full. As we grow, we grow not only in years but also in experience, individuality and personality. We grow to be a distinct flavour of living. But I believe every child is born equivalent if not equal. My mother says a child is like clay, what it becomes depends on how his/her parents shape the clay. And I trust her. A child growing up amidst poverty and illiteracy, often takes the wrong path. And a child with the privilege of education, medication and food has a different perspective of life. It’s situation driven to a very huge extent. Though it’s true that we are born with some inherent qualities of look and intellect which we owe to heredity and pedigree! But what we make of ourselves largely depend on our upbringing.

Everyone says I don’t resemble my father or mother. And true it is. Although my sisters do! As a child, my sisters teased by saying my parents got me from some temple. I used to be terrified and ran to my mom’s arm, who would assure me of my existence. I am a grown up now. Still very dissimilar to my family in looks! But now I know that I am a part of them, because I have grown to be my father’s shadow.  

It’s almost 9 years that I have lost my father. But my mom sees him through me. He has inculcated the seed that has germinated to me. I don’t know if I am able to justify his virtues but I feel privileged to own them. He was one of his kinds. A tough man, a self made man and a selfless one! Can anybody believe, on his wedding he refused to take even a wrist watch from my maternal grand father? Mom says, he said he could buy one. With no inherited properties and privileges, he and my mom brought the three of us up, into self dependent and compassionate human beings.

During our growing days, he has inculcated in us the zest to be ourselves. He encouraged us to take whatever career we wanted, depending on our interest and not on what others have to say. He told us to be brutally honest, even if that calls some people’s dislike. He taught us to be opinionated.

And today I am what I am. Not that I am great, but atleast I am good. I am managing my family along with my job and doing it well. And above all I am pursuing my dream of writing. Thank you Baba for making me an honest, hard working and compassionate human being! I am happy to be a slice of you!

When I came across this indivine topic posted by HDFC, I immediately remembered Baba. “My family my pride” ad film, is awesome to say the least, included in the beginning of the narrative. You can check their website for more details which is as follows: www.hdfclife.com
  


Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

I Sell through Quikr :-)

In today’s world life is a challenge. With ever growing competition in our professional front the fight with the time factor is the greatest. Hence our mean machine that is our car is crucial for survival. In a city like Mumbai, where commuting has many options but each option is tougher than the other, cars become our lifeline. In fact we spend a lot of our daily time driving. Hence owning a car suiting our needs is very important. Otherwise the long periods of drive can be painstaking. When we begin our careers money is an issue, so it may not be possible to get our dream car at that time. But time moves on, we get more established and our pocket size increases. And in each phase, we start dreaming of a better living, which essentially includes a better car. But again the fight with time is still on. Going through the procedure of buying and selling cars appear nightmarish and we tend to keep postponing it.

But no more, when I came across this new feature in Quikr, I thought life seems to be easier. This feature allows you to chat with your buyer or seller. This means instant communication, without the requirement of extra effort of making calls!  Sounds easy, right? Indeed it is. For more insight you can check their website, which is as follows: www.quikr.com


This is the era of globalisation, digitisation and smart phones. Technology is infact getting smarter and smarter day by day. Suiting the vulnerabilities of our fast life, everyday a new technology surfaces! The world is crumbling and appearing on the small screen of our cell phones. Quikr has been laminar with the technology growth and has been a very user friendly site. But with the inclusion of chat facility has really increased its usability to a greater extent.

I will cite my own example; I have a car, my first car, my love. But its getting older and its time I give it retirement. A thought many a times crossed my mind. I wanted to keep it forever, no matter how many I own latter. But as practicality strikes me, I know getting a parking space in a city like Mumbai, is tougher and costlier than getting a car. So my nostalgia has to be kept aside. I need to sell it and get a new one.
And I have decided I will use QuikrNXT for that.

Posting an ad was always easy in Quikr and now I can communicate through the chat feature. Whether at home or office, chat comes easy. You can be at your place and communicate. You can reply or ask as many questions you want. And you have the communication details with you, to avoid future problems. Besides chatting has now become a part of life and if buying and selling also comes through that, believe you me, life gets easier. So my decision is taken, whenever I finally convince myself to replace my love (my car I mean. Wink), I will get QuikrNXT at my aid. Because virtual communication saves time, money and can be preserved to avoid future misunderstandings. So go ahead and indulge in easy buying and selling through QuikrNXT. Thanks Quikr for making life easy.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta




Wednesday, 25 February 2015

We are liars- A book review


I just completed my recent read “We are liars” by Emily Lockhart. I did not read any of Emily’s creations before. And when I started reading this one I decided not to read either. But here I am sitting down to pen my review for the book. Which suggests a probable change of my thinking about the book during the course of my read? And indeed that is what the case is.

The book starts and ends with intricate use of exceedingly short sentences. Initially as a reader I found it annoying. But I guess this must be the author’s signature. And you tend to get used to it during your journey through the pages.

We are liars is a psychological mystery. And why I say so? There is mystery to be unfolded and it is the mind of the main protagonist Cadence Sinclair Eastman, that goes through an entire turmoil to get to the reality. And what dreadful, nightmarish reality! A reality of shame, guilt and never ending agony!

The story revolves around the wealthy and high profile Sinclair Family. The members of which are blessed with inherent physical charm and inherited properties! A rich man, with three daughters and grand children come together as a burning example of the bourgeois society and its baseless morality. Distinction on the basis of economic inheritance and colour are discussed in this book in a subtle yet effective manner. The polished exteriors are wondrous camouflage to their greedy, insecure and useless selves.

Each year, the family comes down to Beechwood, their private island to spend summer together. This is the place where the cousins bind and Cadence finds love in Gat. A nephew to her aunt’s live in partner. The kids weave a world of their own and include more lovable memories to their kitty each year,

The mystery starts with the occurrence of an accident to Cadence in the island and her associated amnesia. The author successfully builds the plot in a gradual and interesting way, following the path of Cadence’s revival of memory as she sets foot on Beechwood two years later. The ending is extremely unexpected, but I will not disclose it.  Because I suggest reading it, if you really like to unfold a differently done mystery in the arms societal shortfall!

We are liars grows on you but slowly, its end is very interesting. But you have to be a patient reader to reach up to it. What I loved is the social messages that the writer has tried to put across through her highly impressive narrative.



Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta
P.S. Thanks to my husband Avishek Sengupta for gifting me this one







Saturday, 21 February 2015

The world Remade

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Rabindranath Tagore



This world is not perfect. Yet we love it. But that can’t stop us from dreaming of a better tomorrow, in a better world. But many a times it becomes difficult to know what is better or best. It is so much subject to our mental state. When office chores become unacceptably huge, I feel it’s better to be at home and continue writing till oblivion. But otherwise it’s difficult to imagine a life without indulging into my chemical engineering thing. So what appears desired today may be just a pseudo desire, but what we really want is tough for even ourselves to understand and assimilate. Yet we always adorn the burning desire of a better, brighter world around us.

When I think, it leaves me dazzled. I do not know who the creator of this world is. But the detailing with which he/she has etched the fine lines of his/her extravagant creation is mind boggling. The wide range of flora and fauna, the geographical wondrous anomaly compels me to think of his/her outlandish vision. May be so we name him/her God, and worship! Yet I believe the world is not perfect. But the imperfections have been induced by not the creator but the creations. The imperfections are not external rather they are internal.


 So if I dare to think of recreating this world, I will not think of touching its exterior. What I want to work on, is the innermost self of the beings that will reside in my world. But talking of the beings, there are two societies of them around us. First is the social society where we, the so called social animals reside. And the other is the savage society, where the other unsocial (or is it otherwise, time to introspect?) animals inhabit. And the greatest irony is; the savage society is actually more compassionate, true and divine than the social society. A tiger attacks a timid dear and tears it to pieces, but only to sustain its own life, only to quench the hunger roaring within him. So in short, the savage society is drawn by the laws of survival instinct. And it’s beautiful in whatever it is. It’s varied, dangerous and venomous yet its beauty is beyond the scope of words. So when I start my imaginary world remake I won’t ever touch the incredible savage society.



 So what I am left with, is you and me and our very own human race, which according to me needs immediate reformation or rather remake. Humans are the most wonderful creation of the creator, yet why do you think it is the only part of the big, bad world which requires amendment? The answer to this question is not known to me. Or may be because the creator bestowed our race with powers much more than all other species alive, but the power now needs to be channelized.

Human race has gone through a lot of evolution; from ape man to the modern day man. But my world will start directly with today’s mankind. Talking literally I will start with man who is kind, who is compassionate and who is human. Today the world human race has completely put its attention to materialistic gains. The real emotions have taken a back seat. And hence the increasing toll of crime, corruption and devastation. There is naked dance of death everywhere if we look around. There is blood shed, the echo of firing bullets and desperate cries. The difference between the savage society and us being, they shed blood to continue living, we do the same but to exhibit power and gain worldly pleasures.



To me the world I will recreate will be the man I remake. My man will have a heart of gold and thinking free from fetters of bourgeoisie. He will acquire knowledge for free, only if he has the will to. The world will be free of criminal instinct, so that every man has the power and will to speak his mind without fear. It will have fair economic distribution. And offcourse with honest people, it is an obvious outcome. The rich will not get richer and poor not poorer.


The creator has created two types in every species, the males and the females. While these two types dwell happily in the savage world, the females live in insecurities in our civilised society. So in my new world, every human will be born equal, both males and females will have mutual respect besides admiration. In my world, the girl child will not be murdered in her mother’s womb, she will not be slaughtered by her in laws for dowry, she will walk with her head held high without taunt, assault or rape, and she will not be objectified and bought and sold. She will be above her body. My world will respect woman and not merely say that.

My world will be better than paradise, because my residents will be happy to the core. But again my world is just imaginary; it resides in the gray matter of my brain. But is it completely unattainable, I ask you? Can’t we at our meagre level, do sometime to change the world? I know its tough, may be vaguely possible, but I will never dump it as impossible. As they say “droplets make the sea”, so lets do our bit and rest will follow. Let us all put our efforts to create a world as the poet had desired.



Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta


“I am participating in the #TheWorldRemade activity at BlogAdda in association with India Today #Conclave15 “.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

And the tears never stopped

“Missing is a word too small,
But I don’t know better words to express my melancholy,
I am just suboptimal with no opulence with me,
May be I never deserved you,
Then why did you come?
Because after you left my life,
My tears never stopped.”

Love to me is life. I am Tanaya. I was a crazy teenager. But now I am mellowed. People said I had sparkling eyes. But now the sparkle resides no more.  Yeah like a typical teenager I mourn my dump. He dumped me forever. There are no hopes of reunion. Some say I am over reacting, some say it’s normal. But I know my life is normal no more.

It was last spring when we met. Eyes met and the sparks flew. There were many people on that busy road, leading to the Sunday market. But my eyes met his. Is this destiny or cupid playing his silly games? What is more real cupid or destiny? Or rather, what is stronger? I don’t know, neither I intend to know anymore. He lived in the government colony on the narrow side of the lane, which eventually led to our palatial luxury apartments. He was studious, intelligent and hard working. He looked very handsome. Six feet tall with dark brooding looks! I often teased him, and asked to try his luck as a hero in bollywood. Afterall we lived in the city of dreams, or should I say broken dreams “Mumbai”. But he was poor, very poor. I mean solely on the basis of monetary belongings. Otherwise Rishi was a king, with a heart of gold.

I am a plain Jane. Except my sparkling eyes, I have no other attractiveness. But they are lost now. I am lazy, impulsive, over emotional and a mediocre student. But I am rich, very rich. I mean solely on the basis of the monetary belongings of my business tycoon, and illiterate father. But I still used to love daddy, afterall he is my daddy. But now just like the sparkle in my eyes, I have lost my love for him.

Rishi and me, indulged in many lovey dovey moments, he got me my favourite orchids on my birthday. He used the money he earned by giving tuitions to buy the gift. I love them. The petals are still, in between pages 112 and 113 of my favourite novel “P.S. I love you”. This novel became my favourite after Rishi dumped me. But our love lasted for only six months. It was destined to be over in a very short frame of time. Or is it cupid again? I don’t want to know.

My father had asked Rajesh uncle, to take our BMW that day. I hate Rajesh uncle. I guess he is a goon. Infact I am sure he is. Our BMW is black. It used to be my favourite of all the cars we have. But now I hate it. I and Rishi were supposed to meet that evening. But he dumped me, he never met me again. His friend called me to say, he was dead, run over by a black BMW. My father had learned about our relationship, about two days before Rishi left me forever.


We did not meet, the next spring. Infact we will never meet again. Is it fair for destiny to dump me so hard? Is it fair for me to be rich, and him to be poor? Whatever it is……and the tears never stopped.


Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Bed Time stories..:-)

Pampers baby dry pants...a piece of comfort

Once upon a time, there lived a little princess.....and I would continue reading from my collection of fairy tale books. No I am not a mother yet, but here I am referring to my 2 year old niece. Does it really require to be a biological mother to relate to bed time stories? I guess not. We all act mothers at some point of time, either to our kid brother or sister, nephew or niece before actually stepping into motherhood. This virtual motherhood is no less blissful than the real one. Afterall all the emotions attached are true to the core.

My elder sister lived in US at that time and had come to India with her family on an annual visit. My little niece Sohini was only 2 years old and quite an alien to the Indian way of life and living, and most importantly Indian climate. She would not feel too well, in the humidity and dust laden air of Kolkata. And hence would be cranky most of the times. The uncomfortable weather also would not allow her to sleep well.

My father worked with SAIL and we were settled in a township away from the hustle bustle of Kolkata. So when my sister came to our place, from her husband’s house in Kolkata, Sohini’s behaviour went through a radical change. And it is during her stay at my place, that I tasted the bliss of motherhood for the first time.

She had just started speaking and in her unsure structure of sentences, every night she would say “Mimi, tell me stories”. The bed time stories and lullabies had become a part of my teenage life for that few months. How wonderful it is spend time with kids, I had understood then. Their innocent eyes, childish nags and at times irritating cranks take us completely away from the materialist world we belong. Bed time rituals according to me are beneficial mutually to the kid and to the adult alike.


But predominantly bed time rituals are important for the kid to lull off to sleep with a smile. A happy mind ensures a fulfilling sleep. And a fulfilling sleep is very essential for kids. They say kids grow fastest when they are asleep. Besides a child who sleeps peacefully through the night, gives his/her parents a chance to rest as well. And gets up happy and a happy child is like serene morning sunlight, which relieves of all stress.


It’s not that every night I narrated a new story or sang a new song, but she would listen with a new zest, which left me dazzled. Every night she would come up with a new question, answering which intrigued my fancies. Bed time rituals are magical and I will always remember the time I spent with my niece, who is now quite a grown up.

When I came across this topic in indivine “Bed Time rituals” by pampers, I thought of sharing my experience. The video shared at the beginning of this narrative, refreshed my memories. And it’s very true, that to give child a good night’s sleep, bed time rituals and good quality diapers are essential. To know more about pampers please click the following link: Pampers online.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

If only I had the means to :-)


                                          IDBI Federal Lifesurance Whole Life - Befikar Umar Bhar


Life is just not living; it is living to the fullest. But sometimes achieving this, so called fullest becomes an unattainable goal. Our daily chores, sometimes family, sometimes study or at times professionalism takes the driver seat in our life car. And then our lives move on the monotonous path, with being ourselves taking a back seat. Many of us like me, love to pen down our emotional treasures and baggage at times on paper, we love to live through narration. While there are others who love dancing, singing or may be painting. If we sit and think we realize that we have ample time, but channelizing is a challenge. So many a times, our deepest association with some form of art or anything of our choice, remains unattended and untouched. But you know, however difficult our lives are, we should never ever stop dreaming. Even if there is vague possibility of them to be true! But dreaming is living.

I am a dreamer; I do a lot of things, which I desire to do in my dreams. The virtual fulfilment may be immaterial to many, but a blessing to me. At least I welcome the morning sun with a smile, and that’s not worthless, is it? When I came across this topic “Bekikar Umar Bhar” posted by IDBI, I felt it required the narration of many a dreams that cloud my sleep.
Literary maestro Rabindranath Tagore had written:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
where knowledge is free
where the world has not been broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls….

We all dream of a world like that. But if literally my mind can get rid of all worldly fears, out of my long wish list for fulfilment, the following will top the radar.

Many a time’s family life and professional commitments snatch off a lot of my time which I wish to devote to my writing passion. So if I shed off the burden of responsibility, of building a prosperous future for me and my family, I will write and write. I will pour the millions of ideas that conglomerate in my brain cells and put them in black and white. If I have the means to, I will become a write, a story teller.
 
If I did not have to think about the number of zeros appearing on my bank account passbook. I would travel like a true wanderer. I will reach out to every corner of the world and indulge in fulfilment. To me travelling is not just seeing different places, its knowing the soul of the land. And I want to come to terms with the soul of the entire world.
 
If I could, I would definitely learn dancing. It is a dream that I had borne with me since I was a kid. But other commitments never allowed me to follow this passion of mine. So if life was really “befikar”, I will dance my heart out.
 
I am a shopaholic and if money is no constraint, I will shop till I drop. I love watches, dresses, bags, shoes and in short everything that a girl desires. Not that this dream is uncommon, but sometimes it is best to be cliché, and follow your heart.
 
Last but not the least; I will give my family, the best. I will build the most comfortable house for my mother and my in laws, where they can just follow their hearts and relax. I will arrange tours across world’s exotic locales for them and give the best medical attention whenever required. And to the most important family member of mine, I will get the world for my husband.


Life may not actually be stress free. Afterall the light is recognised, only because darkness exists. But there is no bound to imagination, and there should not be any. And I thank this initiative, which intrigues our lost fantasies and gives us a reason to smile. I really loved the IDBI federal Life Insurance video, embedded in the beginning of the narrative. It's a very innovatively portrayed video, propagating positive thinking. For details about IDBI federal Life Insurance, please check the following link :IDBI FEDERAL LIFE INSURANCE

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Thursday, 12 February 2015

I love to LOVE you!

                                                         “Love can touch us one time
And Last for a life time”
                                                                                          
They say love is eternal. They say love is spiritual. But I think love is just love. It is beyond description and comparison. Some think it is not palpable, but I believe otherwise. When my mother runs her fingers lovingly through my hair, I feel love not just within but also on my skin. Love is unity and it is also infinity. It is delicate, it is fragile but it's strength binds us together. Love is God, the unseen force that drives the world. It is the creator and it is the destroyer. We all are made out of love. I cannot feel, write, make or spread love enough, as it is omnipresent in the millions of nanoparticles existing around us.

I believe love is just a part of our day to day living. We eat, we drink, we sleep and we love. Yes! It is that natural. But yet this most natural feeling can make our lives most special. It gives a meaning to breathe; it gives a motive to work. Then what is wrong if we dedicate one day of our year to celebrate this reverence? Yes! I am talking about Valentine’s Day! I do not know what others have to think or say, but I love this celebration of love. Some say and even I endorse it, that it is a commercialisation gimmick. True it is! But are the big fat Indian weddings not so? And there are other examples too. Anyways, my narrative is neither a debate nor a friction between sets of different thinkers on this topic. It is purely and solely a piece of love. It is strange but true, the air becomes rosier, the faces become happier, the smile widens, wives wait a little more eagerly for their husbands to return from office and this is what makes me fall in love with V-day.

Based on the love story of Saint Valentine and his sweetheart Asterius of Rome, this day has different meanings to different people. Some criticise it and dump it as a mere tool of selling merchandise playing with human emotions, to some it is completely non existent. But to me it is special, not that I buy gift, not that I have lavish parties, it’s just that I specially take out some little more from my busy schedule for the person I love. And may be when the world debates on the good and bad impacts of it, I sit in my favourite place in my little house on the sixteenth floor. I watch the city lights hand in hand with my valentine, and allow the moon light to illuminate my household with its divine illumination. With glasses of wine in our hands we say “Cheers to our love”.

Life today is hectic, it is a mad race. Sometimes this quest to top, takes away some beautiful moments of our romantic space. What is wrong if a celebration gives you an opportunity to create some magic? Don’t invest money, but invest emotions and let every day of your life be a Valentine’s Day. Cook something special for your mom, give your dad a tight hug or put on your hubby’s favourite attire, it won’t contribute to commercialisation. These days don’t change any thing, but it gives a reason to smile. Be judicious but not judgemental.

This one is for you Avishek:

“What you mean to me, I do not know words to define
Nor do I feel the necessity to
We express our love day in and day out
Through whatever we say or do

What you mean to me, I do not know words to define
A friend, a confidant and a father at times
Your care, your love makes me what I am
The purity and depth, through you it shines

What you mean to me, I do not know words to define
But really do I need to tell?
Are my actions not louder than the words I may use?
Because through my veins it propels”

You and I in Beautiful Ladakh

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta
Please give ur views...it will be interesting to know :-)





Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Sublime Bengal- PROMOTE BENGAL TOURISM


A famous Bengali Folk song, in Coke Studio
(I suggest let this play along as you read this narrative)


Trees are the earth’s endless effort,
To speak to the listening heaven!”
Rabindranath Tagore
"Tomar paer pata sob khane pata kon khane rakhibo pronam"

 As I woke up feeling light, I knew I was in a heavenly space. I walked in unsteady steps to reveal. The sun rays blinded me for a moment but later I could clearly behold. The blinding rays were fighting the cloud to get to me. A fight which was angelic to witness! The pine, cedar and fir lined landscape, blocked a part of my view of the majestic snow-capped mountains. But whatever met my eye sight, was beyond description.

Kanchenjunga as seen from Lolegaon


I am talking about a morning that I had spent in Lolegaon. Never heard of it? Well! That’s fine. Very few people outside West Bengal know about it and many other exotic travel destinations in the state. So here is my small attempt to bring to the world “Sublime Bengal”. My attempt is not only for the travelers who, I am sure will be enthralled to witness bounteous nature, but also for the poverty stricken people of those destinations. An increase in tourism can bring prosperity to their lives. I may not be famous; I may not have a huge viewership. But still I want to do my bit.

Women working in a tea garden


From snow-capped mountains to sun kissed beaches, from forest safari to heritage tour, Bengal offers all to quench the thirst of a wandering soul, now it’s your choice to choose what’s best for you.


Talking of north Bengal, most Indians think of Darjeeling. A beautiful hill station of Bengal, it is. But besides Darjeeling, there is much more to the north eastern treasure. Lava, Lolegaon, Rishop, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Ravangla are to name a few of the prominent ones. While Lava is the land of mystic clouds and monastery bells, Rishop remains the untouched paradise and Kurseong houses some of the best convents of the state. From serene tea estates, to the breath taking view of the third highest peak of the world “Kanchenjunga”, from mystic clouds playing hide and seek to spice gardens, North Bengal awaits your visit in full glory. With prominent influence of Nepali culture, wide range of flora and fauna, picturesque fir and cedar lined mountain lanes; it has a flavor of uniqueness. Truly its beauty is beyond description. All these destinations have comfortable hotels and resorts and are well connected from railway stations like Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri. Cars from these places, which are easily available on arrival, will take you to your destination of choice and you also will have river Teesta for a companion for most part of your ascendance. Besides they can be reached by air, via Bagdogra Airport.

A monastery in Lava

A glimpse of North Bengal

Teesta beckons

Who doesn’t know of the “Royal Bengal Tiger”, but have you been to the Mangrove Forests that gives shelter to these big wild cats? Yes the Sundarbans is definitely worth a visit, to witness nature’s diversity. It’s unique and nerve wrecking at the same time to spend a night in a country boat, and to feel nature from real close proximity. But the Mangroves are not the only jungle destinations of BengalGorumara National Park of North Bengal can be excellent if you are in the mood of witnessing some wandering Rhinoceros. You can also take an elephant safari to the untouched corners of the Jaldapara National park by the bank of river Torsa and discover wild life. You also have Dooars at the Himalayan Foothills, where you can experience varied vegetation and animal life

The Royal Bengal Tiger

Gorumara National Park

The Sundarbans

Coming to sun kissed beaches, Bengal does not have as commercial ones as Goa, but it has a few to offer. The Bay of Bengal coastline sees a rougher sea as compared to Arabian coastline. Hence you can witness higher tides here. Digha, Mandarmani, Shankarpur and Tajpur are few of the well known ones. All of these places have budget to expensive hotels, especially Digha, which is crowdest of the ones mentioned above. These places are 5 to 6 hours drive from the main city of Kolkata, and are popular get away destinations for the weekend. You can enjoy a wide variety of sea food here.

Shankarpur beach

 History and heritage are synonymous to Bengal and whenever we say so, the name that comes to our mind first is Rabindranath Tagore.  Tagore has enriched our state, our country and infact the world at large in ways more than one.

World's greatest thinkers

And if you wish to experience his presence, come to the small town of Shantiniketan near Bolpur, in the Birbhum district of Bengal where the Nobel Laureate has established what is known as the Visva Bharati University. Thousands of tourists come to visit from all around the globe, especially during Basanta Utsav (Holi) and Poush Mela which are celebrated here in signature style. Poush Mela is an unique conglomerate of different forms of art, if you are interested in folk music, this can be just the right fair for you.

A Baul Singer

Bansanta Utsav

There are many historic attractions in Bengal as well, like Cooch Behar Palace in Cooch BeharHazarduari Palace in Murshidabad district and Vishupur Terracotta Temples in Bankura. Krishna Devotees can reach for the famous ISCON temple in Mayapur.

Hazarduari Palace

But that’s not it. We have our very own CITY OF JOY KOLKATAThe capital of West Bengal, which has the best street food in the world! So if you are foodie, it’s just the place for you. The city has a rhythm, colour and flavor of its own. From having tea by the road side stalls in clay cups to Durga Puja, it has its identity. There are many places of interest as well like Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, Belur Math, Kalighat TempleHowrah BridgeEden Gardens and much more. 

Dakshineshwar Kali Temple

Howrah Bridge

Victoria Memorial

A Bengali spread

But if you want to experience Kolkata’s soul, come to the city when it dresses like a new bride, come to Kolkata during the biggest festival of the state Durga Puja. The city of joy indeed has an aura of its own, inspite of many odds and adversities. As the festivities cast its spell on my city, its transformation is indeed note worthy. All decked up like a new bride, the city compels you to notice and appreciate her beauty.  When the darkest corners of the city get illuminated, and radiate vibes of happiness, togetherness and gratification! It becomes an art gallery with colossal pandals, astounding idols or different ways of exhibiting the art. But the crowd is tough to handle, so take to pandal hopping during midnight.

A Durga Puja Pandal

The glory of MA

 A state is not only about the natural treasures, it’s about the culture, the literature and it’s about the people. So come to Sublime Bengal and meet, experience and fall in love with all its treasures.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta
PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IF YOU HAVE BEEN TO BENGAL TOURIST ATTRACTIONS



Monday, 9 February 2015

Rahasya- a movie review

Catching a late night Saturday show of a murder mystery sounds interesting and indeed it was. After a long gap I went for a movie. And fortunately felt happy about my decision. Rahasya is a well made movie and more so because of its cast which consisted of some of the most talented current bollywood actors. While Kay Kay Menon, Tisca Chopra, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mita Vashisht and Ashwini Kalsekar played pivotal roles, the supporting cast did their bit with commendable expertise.

Although director Manish Gupta, played it safe by calling the story fictitious and resemblance of any character with anybody living or dead purely coincidental, it was no rocket science to spot the reality. Rahasya is loosely based on the infamous Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case of 2008, where the parents of the deceased teenager Aarushi were convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence.  It is also heard that the movie faced with some legal issue and criticism from Aarushi’s convicted parents, the dentist couple, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar.

Although the influence of the real incident is evidently felt through out the length of the movie, even the colour of the dress that the victim was wearing on the evil night was similar to the one Aarushi was found wearing. But, it is not essentially the same. Infact Gupta has shifted the crime scene from Delhi to Mumbai. However what was interesting was the way the mystery unfolded. From no clue to gradual turning of events, keeps the audience glued to their seats and guessing the murderer.

Kay Kay Menon, plays the honest CBI inspector. The striking difference in the lifestyles of the high profile doctors and the officer’s family raises a question on the living that is offered to the assets of the nation. A driving force towards dishonest means?

Some world class acting, an interesting story line and a laminar turning of events leading to the solution, makes a Rahasya a treat to watch. I recommend people to watch it, as it stands out in today’s hundred crore clubs, with no bullshit and star attraction. Based loosely on facts and the rest is an intricate work of fiction. Rahasya gets a thumps up from me.



Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta



Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Yet another story of shame





In a YouTube video that went viral on Monday, the unidentified victim took the video of the middle-aged man and is heard scolding him for alleged misdeeds. The incident took place on January 27 on an Indigo flight en route to Bhubaneswar from Mumbai. The woman alleged that the man tried to touch her through the gaps in between the seats and repeated the offence for a second time.

I am born and brought up, in the beautiful townshipof Kulti. Away from the hustle, bustle of city life, we had created a little paradise. Our existence flourished amidst serene nature and tranquil hearts. But most of ours relatives were in and around Kolkata. So each year, it was almost customary to pay a visit to the city of joy. Whenever me with my family came to the city, I was always taken aback to see the tired and rushing crowd. What are they running for, I failed to understand. We seldom traveled by local trains, but that night was different.

We got late; we wanted to travel from Dum Dum to Barasat to visit our maternal grandma’s house. Cab was not an option; it was too late and not safe using a cab. So we decided to take a local train. A means of transport we used the least, because of the gargantuan crowd. I was barely 9-10 years old then and had put on a cute knee length doll frock. As soon as we stepped inside the compartment, which as if was about to burst under the pressure that the humongous crowd was creating, I was pulled inside by an unknown hand. My mother panicked, but that man gestured, that I was fine. I suppose my mom and him might have changed a few thank you and welcome smiles. But soon I felt, his hand on my frock. I was too young to understand. But I felt bad and irritated. I looked at my mom. And she immediately understood what I did not and pulled me away. Nothing happened, neither did I understand anything at that point of time, but it must have impacted somewhere, as I remember it even today and hate travelling in locals.

Today when I think about it, I wish I was a grown up then. The man would have faced the dire consequences of his perversion. But why I suddenly remember this, is because of the incident that recently happened in Indigo Aircraft. The pervert had it and for good, for his misdeed and salute to the girl. The video is embedded at the beginning of the narrative.

With the growing acid attacks or crimes against women, there is a dichotomy of whether to protest or not. The reality is, a huge part of the crowd is never going to respect women and the only way of betterment is through enforcement. Every little harassment should be treated strictly. Every offender should be punished and every brave girl to raise a voice should be applauded.
Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta



Monday, 2 February 2015

A story untold

It was afternoon; the sun was shining down in full glory. It was also the last day of our stay in Gangtok. I wondered how to make the best out of it. I wanted to feel the place, and carry the fragrance with me. So I along with my husband Avishek decided to have a last stroll, in the Sikkimese village nearby. Hill stations have a smell, feel and soul of its own. Its slow paced simple life comes as a welcome change to people like us. Their life is simple but not easy. But yet, they bear the natural ups and downs and face them with a smile.

Going down the lane to explore

Could not resist hugging her :-)

The lane down our resort led us to a small village; young girls and little kids were playing in the welcome warmth of the afternoon sun. At a distance, another bunch of kids were dancing to raunchy bollywood numbers, probably they were preparing for a group dance for some programme. As we walked farther in to the village, a little monastery attracted our attention. At a distance some young chap was playing his guitar and singing a Nepali song. The ambience was magical, the divine monument stood in front of us and the foggy air around, brought with it a pinch of music.  

The monastery

 We walked farther, a group of male and female workers had just received freedom from their day’s work. They looked gay and giggled along. The cute, red cheeked, happy faces are still with me. At a distance we spotted a small temple. 

The temple from a distance

But it was getting dark, we had to return. We had to return for good, I do not know if will see those people, that monastery again or hear that mesmerising music. But I feel blessed to have experienced it at least once.

And darkness descends...

Vacations are much more than exploring places. Knowing the culture, the life of the people who belong to the land that leaves us awestruck is more interesting. I hope one day, I am able to experience so much, that I feel fulfilled, not with money, not with any palpable treasure but only my travel diary.


Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta