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Monday, December 28, 2015

Maatribhasha for aagun things (Crossposted from Facebook)

ছুটির ঘন্টা বাজার দরকার নেই, বাজুক কর্মযোগের দুন্দুভি। জেগে উঠুক পৃথিবী জুড়ে যত রক্ত-গরম যুবক-যুবতী, যাদের কাছ থেকে ধার্মিক, শালীন পূর্বপ্রজন্মের কোনো আশা নেই। নিজের পায়ে দাঁড়িয়ে, নিজের ঘাম ছুটিয়ে, চিনুক তারা নিজেদেরকে। শীতের রাত্রে লেপের তলায় প্রেমের গল্প ছাড়াও আরও কিছু ভাবুক, ইন্টারনেটে ব'সে হৃদয় ছাড়া আরও কিছু নিয়ে করুক আলোর গতিতে লোফালুফি -- চ্যাটবক্সে শুরু হোক আগামী দিনকে সুন্দর করার প্রচেষ্টা।
বন্ধুরা, আমরা চঞ্চল, আমরা অদ্ভূত, আমরা আসছি : আসছি এই প্রতিজ্ঞা নিয়ে যে, চারিদিকে  পূর্বপ্রজন্মের যেসব জ্ঞানী-গুণীরা নারী-পুরুষ, উত্তর-দক্ষিন-পূর্ব-পশ্চিম, ধনী-দরিদ্র ইত্যাদি কৃত্রিম ভেদাভেদে দেশটাকে (এবং পৃথিবীটাকে) ছারখার করার প্রচেষ্টা চালাচ্ছেন, যারা মানুষের দারিদ্রজনিত অজ্ঞতার সুযোগ নিয়ে নিজকল্যাণে ব্যস্ত আছেন, তাঁরা সহজে নির্মূল না হলেও আগামী আমলে, আমাদের আমলে, তাঁদেরকে একটু কম দেখতে পাবেন আপনারা। আমরা ফেসবুক প্রজন্ম -- আমরা ছেড়ে কথা বলতে শিখিনি। বাচাল বা অশ্লীল মনে হলে ক্ষমা-ঘেন্না করে দেবেন। এখনো ছোট আছি, আপনাদের প্রজন্মের মত বড়-বড় ভাবনা ভাবতে শিখিনি -- কেবল যেদিকে তাকাই সেদিকেই নিজের একটি ভাই বা বোনকে কষ্ট পেতে দেখি তো, তাই হামেশা-হামেশাই মনে বড় ব্যথা পেতে শিখেছি।

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Pep Talk You Wanted But Were Too Ashamed To Ask For, You're Welcome

You will never get what you want in life unless you ask for it. So what if, the last time you tried, you were mocked, betrayed, taken advantage of, and wholesomely trampled on? Does having endured all that make you weaker, or does it make you stronger than ever? At least, now you know that you are capable of being brave, and of taking big risks for the sake of minuscule rewards. So pick that book back up, and read; pick that pen/brush/whatever back up and create!
So you were called an attention seeker because you actively seek human contact; you were called desperate because you had too many friends, or unsocial because you had too few; you were called a pervert/slut because you had too many friends not of your own gender, or orthodox/closeted because you had none; you were called angry and crazy because you had causes you were passionate about; you were called unproductive because you liked to have fun. So what? Did the people who call you that ever live your life as wholly as you have? Did they feel the warmth of your friends, the fire of your passions, the happy tiredness of your feet, the midnight music of your dreams?
They did not; and hence, you are beautiful in a way that not many people other than you can see. Those who can, keep them close; those who can't, thank them for making you stronger; and, make peace with your anger, your hatred, your vengefulness. It does not mean giving in to them, but only to realize that they are normal emotions in your soft little heart that always does its best to defend itself -- and so it must.
So it must, because if you don't defend yourself, no one else will. If you don't love yourself, no one else will. So give yourself a hug and a pat on the back, because you deserve it. Cry on your own shoulder, and smile back at yourself in the mirror of your mind! You are human, you are beautiful, and this too shall pass. So stay blessed, and stay badass.
...
Happy New Year.

Net Neutrality vs. Free Basics (and why I use the 'vs.')

I originally posted this on my Facebook timeline. It is reproduced (with added formatting) here to hopefully reach a wider audience. I would also like to request someone to translate this for non-English speakers, who are the target market for Internet.org/Free Basics.
========================================================================
<fact>
Let's clear this up once and for all: Net Neutrality and Free Basics (new name of Internet.org for India!) are conflicting ideas! Anyone who signed petitions for both is under woeful ignorance, I'm afraid.
</fact>
<opinion>
As for which to support, here's my two cents. You can skip it and read the much better explanation in the link, too.
  1. Free 'basics' does not include Google, LinkedIn, or any educational/financial/trade websites. It includes Facebook and its partner apps, which allows them to control the 'news', 'information' and 'education' that people supposedly will receive from it. Facebook's version of digital 'equality' is not equality at all since it will give this much to all for free...
  2. ...which telecom providers (who will incur the loss, not Facebook, who gain via traffic and ads) will make up for by hiking data rates for everything else. So someone with more money has more access to digital resources in a worse way than ever.
  3. Because of the monopoly of a company/companies on information (via agreements of Facebook and partners with telecom providers), the internet will not be neutral and there will be no opposing opinions. The Internet will essentially become China. Our government is right in banning free basics, since it will stifle our voices on the Internet, the only platform still relatively safe to voice our opinions on!
  4. What Facebook could do if it had the right intentions: subsidize basic things like Google, LinkedIn and net banking for helping underprivileged/remotely located students, job seekers, traders, etc.; and do this via ads (or even donations, if they really have such kind hearts) instead of changing the way telecom providers charge us.
  5. And no, Facebook is not the worst place to share this, but the best, because Free Basics stifles Freedom, something that Facebook originally took to new heights, but now is selling out for capturing the lucrative market of the non-Internet-using Third World population.
</opinion>
<request>
Whichever side you support, please do spread the idea that the two are in conflict!
</request>
========================================================================

Thursday, December 24, 2015

You Will Be Taken Advantage Of, You're Welcome (Merry Christmas)

Best read after the original song or story.

=============================
The Real Reindeer Story

Preface: human kids are weak,
Unprepared for morbid truth;
So they made this a carol
To motivate and sooth
All children who are bullied,
And it works like a charm;
And since Santa loves human kids
We're sure they're safe from harm.
Adults, on the other hand,
Are used to the gory,
So, for transparency's sake,
Here's the longer story.
When this story started,
Rudolph was really tiny
And folks began to notice
How his nose was red and shiny.
Keeping with societal rules,
Like everything unique,
Rudolph's red nose got him banned
From every deer-school clique.

So Rudolph ran to his Mum;
She said, holding him close:
"Rudolph, one day, I tell you,
They'll love you for your nose."
Strengthened by his Mother's words
Rudolph grew bigger, better;
Meanwhile, his big, shiny nose
Grew redder and redder.
When Rudolph was twenty-one
Santa came to say
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
We're taking you away.
My scientist elves will work on you
And find the red-nose gene
And soon enough, noses like yours
Will become routine.
Until then, Rudolph, my son,
With your nose so bright
I'd like it if, on Christmas Eve,
You acted as my light;

We'll care for your parents
So you needn't worry."
The deer-school bully added,
"And you'd better hurry."
And so, to make a story short,
Trembling in fear and pain,
Rudolph's folks bid him goodbye
And never saw him again.
Now, hundreds of years thence,
When Santa flies his sleigh
A Red-Nosed Reindeer guides him
Up, up and away.
We're sure it can't be Rudolph
(No reindeer lives that long)
So we did some research
For purposes of this song;
The Head Elf only told us,
"All deer who you see leading
Are hundred percent Red-Nosed
Via selective breeding."
=============================

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

You're Not Alone, All Plans Fail, You're Welcome

=================================
Conflict

My heart was new and tender red
And the world left it alone.

My heart was set in hard concrete
And the world sent flowers, soft;

My heart was then encased in stone
And the world hurled all things nice.

My heart was set with spikes of steel
And the world let all things slide.

Then I set it at halfway point
And the world ran swiftly by.
=================================

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Your Daily Dose Of Reality, You're Welcome

Best read after the original (full version).

====================================
Yours Celestially

Twinkle twinkle, little star...
...why'd you have to be so far,
Smiling down from a big blue dome
At a sobbing child in a broken home:

A parent ill, and another gone
To a place that no sun shines upon?
That shameful day, could not your light
Help the toddler in that fight

'Gainst the traveller in the dark
Huffing away at childhood's spark;
Or the woman, gagged and bound
And naked, on the roadside found?

In the dark blue sky you keep
While, through windows, perverts peep.
Poor men die as rich men kill;
You stay twinkling, distant still.

But not for long, for people wake
Soon they'll know how starlight's fake --
So twinkle, twinkle, selfish star!
Now the world knows what you are.
====================================

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Light Cone

When the distance displayed on the taxi's fare-meter changes from .00 to .01, you know you are off, yet again. For an instant, you wonder how quickly your heart switches from homesickness to wanderlust and back again, but that feeling is soon overwhelmed by your love for the dynamic, the ever-changing.
Out of sight does not mean out of mind, but it sure helps -- and you are not sure that it is a good thing. Distance, like peat, absorbs the dead fronds of painful familiarity, but from time to time it drags in healthy tissue: alive and kicking and writhing in denial, the sweetest of your memories begin to take an effort to recall. You comfort yourself saying that you will be back, but immediately after, you ask yourself: where? Not when, but where -- and you don't know; because at either end of your journey lies home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

An attempt at old-style musical poetry

==================================
Postbag

Bring back the wind from my country;
Tell the flowers, I said hi --
Their scents have been away from me
In a while.

Bring back the rain from my city;
Tell the furry one I'll be fine:
No love's crossed my heart
In a while.

Bring back the sleep to my pillow,
Tell my Mamma I'm doing alright:
No tears have passed my eyes
In a while.
==================================

#Retro

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Not Again

Back in 2012 the then Class 10B of Carmel Convent High School lost Roll no. 24, Medha Ray, whose absence became conspicuous by how we called no. 25 after 23, thereafter. Many of us, including said no. 23, shifted schools to Hem Sheela in Class 11, and no. 23 went on to begin a promising career in medicine in a reputed Kolkata college, until fate or nature or whatever the hell decides these things decided to play a game of cruel coincidence and take away our Malini, Malini Banerjee, roll no. 23 of 2012-13 Class 10B, and eventual student of 11 and 12B in Hem Sheela, away from all who loved her.
Meanwhile in Hem Sheela, within a day of our losing Malini to dengue, Anwesha of Class 9 succumbed to her injuries from a prior car accident.
I think I'm too old or too numb to react the way I did when Medha passed away; or maybe I'm just too dumb to realize the truth in it's full extent yet. I do not, I repeat, I do not, still believe that Malini is gone. I believe close friends of Anwesha feel the same way.
My thoughts are with the families and friends of Malini and Anwesha. R.I.P., kiddos.

I HAVE FUCKING NOTHING MORE TO SAY

Safe Landing

=================================
In Transit

People, places,
And the politics of tears
Clans, founded
In valleys of fears

Names, faces
Chained with silver rings
Armours, receiving
Undercover chinks

Volumes, varying
Up, down, sideways too
Knowing, long ago,
Would you still be you?
================================

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bang Bang Bangity Bangla

=====================================================
মেনেই নিলাম

পায়ে হেঁটে সমুদ্রতীর যাওয়া;
ম্যাক্সিক্যাব-এ চ'ড়ে মোড়ের চা;
সকাল সন্ধে বৃষ্টি, ভিজে ফিরে
ফ্যান-এর তলায় কম্বলে মোড়া গা;
পাতলা ঘুমের সুড়সুড়িতে হেঁচে
উল্টোপাল্টা গানের সাথে নাচা;
পরীক্ষাটায় পাশ করতে গিয়ে
ছেলেবেলার ঘুম রইল কাঁচা। 
ছুটির দিনে ঘরে থাকার চেষ্টায়
জামায় লাগা শুকিয়ে যাওয়া কান্না...

...বিনা মেঘে বজ্রপাতের ভয়ে
আকাশ থেকে লুকিয়ে থাকা যায়না।
=====================================================

Life @ H1 SIPCOT <3
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