Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back at 2006

Finally, 2006 is coming to an end. What a long year this has been! As I sit here, in front of my PC on the ultimate day of the year, let me just look back at 2006 which was dominated by studies.
1. In late February, my annual exam of class 8 started. The very first exam was Physics. I made a colossal mistake in that exam. The question paper had six long questions, among which we were required to answer four. But there was a printing mistake due to which the the question number had started from 2 and ended at 7. Although I saw this, I didn't observe this and thought that there were seven questions. Immediately, I decided to leave three questions and answer the rest. In the process, I lost 15 precious marks. Besides losing all hope of staying among the first three in class and getting the beautiful present of Harry Potter 6, I learnt a very good lesson. From that onwards, I always make sure that I attempt the required number of questions in an exam.
2. Surprisingly, I stood first in my annual exam, whose results were declared in March. From my mother's words I realized that this had been the result of sheer hard work. Two of my exams( Physics and Maths) didn't go well at all, but I worked hard for the rest. And, that clicked very well. Hard work really has no other alternative.
3. Before my new session had started in April, I had always imagined that life would be difficult in class 9 with seven tuitions. There would be no fun and studies would be everything. It turned out to be something similar only. But, after giving the first term exam of class 9 for 15 days, I was quite happy to be returning to my usual routine. For the first time, I discovered that tuitions not only meant studying, but also meant a lot of fun. By then, the groups of students at the different tuitions had become good friends with one another and so, the number of jokes and the laughter increased. Studies were there too. But, it was a different kind of fun.
4. I also discovered that doing project work is the worst, boring, tedious and time-consuming thing in this world. I've had to work harder for my projects than for my actual studies at times. What's really bad about projects is that their marks(20 marks) don't influence your result in a big way. Yet, you have to apply your best capabilities to complete them perfectly. In the ned, the marks you get in your theory (80 marks) decide your fate. Sometimes, if you get a lot of marks in theory, the teachers intentionally give you less for your project.
5. The most remarkable thing that I discovered in 2006 was BLOGGING. The credit for this goes completely to my cousin,Woodsmoke who introduced me to the fascinating world of blogs in July. Right from Wednesday evening, I start waiting for Friday afternoon because that's the time when I check my own blog and other blogs. It's always a welcome change after the first four busy days of the week.
6. Many significant events took place in my life this year which were concerned with things other than studies. Like, my parents' health detiorated a bit during May-June, but they recovered again during August. There were two tragic deaths which influenced the life of some of our close people terribly. We went to Goa during the Puja. Mammam was busy as ever in the first half of the year because of the Assembly Elections of Bengal. Baba got transferred back to Kolkata in April. My grandfather went through an eye operation in October. But the big change took place in my studies. All the above mentioned events took place. They brought with them different phases. Ultimately, we were able to overcome the bad phases and usher in the good ones. Last week, I won my last battle of this year when Baba was forced to buy a new mobile handset(coloured). I kept on telling him to buy a new one because his previous mobile had become very common with drivers and rickshaw-pullers. He didn't pay any heed, but that mobile had grown old and refused to work anymore. So, it meant victory for me.
I wish all of you, who are reading this blog, a Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May all your dreams come true and may you be successful in the coming year.

Friday, December 15, 2006

11th December

Of all the days in a year, 11th December is a very special one for our family because 18 years back, this was the day when my parents had tied the knot together. So, naturally, this year also, 11th December turned out to be memorable. Woke up in the morning and gave my parents the card I had made for them. I had drawn the 'Seven Wonders of the world' and had written down that my parents are more beautiful than the Seven Wonders and certain other things. Along with this, I gave them a boquet of artificial pink and magenta flowers, which I had bought with my pocket money. They were ecstatic and seeing their happy faces, my heart brimmed over with contention. Immediately after that, I went to school with my father. Both my parents had to attend their offices though. Incidentally, it was a crucial day at work for both of them. The day went well at school and at the English tuition class. My parents returned in the early evening. Then, we all got ready and went out for dinner. In an hour, we reached the restaurant, 'Mainland China'. It is a very nice place and what the three of us like about this place is that it is very well lighted. There are some restaurants where the lighting is so bad that you feel they are serving you bad food and in order to hide that, the lighting system is bad. Anyway, we first tasted Peppery Lemon Soup which was a bit spicy and very different from the regular soups taht we take. The main course included Rice Noodles, one duck preparation and Fukein Chicken. They were all superb. I tried my hand at eating the noodles with chopsticks and I must say that I did very well. The chocolate ice-cream with a cherry on top was the icing on the cake. So, this was we spent my parents' anniversary.
Knowing that we wouldn't be able to celebrate the whole day on 11th Dec, we had partly celebrated my parents' anniversary on 10th Dec. We went to City Center( shopping mall cum multiplex) to just roam about and buy a jacket for myself. Mammam said that I would be getting the jacket on the occasion of their anniversary:) After ransacking almost the whole of City Center, I finally got a blue jacket with a hood, which all three of us liked. Then, we had some chicken at KFC(Kentucky Fresh Chicken).

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dhoom first, shock afterwards

Last Saturday, Mammam, Baba and I went to catch the evening show of Dhoom2. We enjoyed the movie very much. It is a good movie, with great locales, great action and all other technical things. But, the story is very bad. In the frist half the story is good, but in the second half, the story becomes a bit boring because Ash is not able to decide whether she should support the "Imandar chor"(Hrithik Roshan) or the "Beimaan police officer"(Abhishek Bachchan). It takes stupid twists and turns. Dhoom's ending was meaningful, but Dhoom2's ending is meaningless.
The star was definitely Hrithik Roshan. He is looking so handsome in the movie and he is at his best. He has simply bowled out Abhishek Bachchan( who, I thought, looked very stupid with his beard).He carries the film on his shoulders and if this film turns out to be a hit, it will only be because of him. What a performance! And, no one can dance like him. I don't know how he does it and it's such a delight to watch him dance to the tunes of the title track. John Abraham was very good, but Hrithik Roshan is better.
Sunehri's role is perfect for Ash. She does it quite well. Bipasha Basu is not bad either, but she doesn't have much to do. Uday Chopra is as good as he was in D1.But this film is worth a watch only to see Hrithik Roshan.
Yesterday, I had two tuition classes as I have on every Thursday. Mammam went to fetch me from my second tuition at about 7.30. We took a rickshaw and reached The Haldiram's bus stop. But before boarding the bus, we went inside Haldiram's and had Dahi Vada and coffee. Then came the most difficult task. We had to cross the road. This Haldiram's crossing is one of the most notorious places in Kolkata when it comes to traffic matters. After making sure that the coast was clear, we crossed this side of the road to reach the gap between the divider and were standing there with some other people, when suddenly people started shouting. Then, looking to my left, I caught a glimpse of a man who had just been hit while crossing the road. That one glimpse was enough to make my hairs stand on end. I immediately removed my eyes from that horrible sight. My mother clapped her hands to her mouth and told me not to look there. After that, we crossed the other side of the road with added caution and boared the first auto that came along. This was such a shocking experience. I felt weird. I agreed with my mother that it was completely that man's fault. He should not have taken the risk. People really ought to be a lot more careful while crossing the road. I began to think, why did the man not have a bit more patience? Why? If he'd had just a bit more patience, he would not have met this horrible consequence. We didn't know whether he was dead, but hopefully he was not. Hopefully, he's still alive and probably broke his hands or legs or something. Oh God, may he stay alive! The car that caused the accident was not caught, but the only thing that matters now is the life of that man and many others who use that stretch regularly.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Three days back( Tuesday), I fell sick. I had eaten a banana the day before with my school tiffin, which is very very unusual. And since it was unusual, I vomitted twice that night. And twice, Mammam( my mother) woke up with me. Next day, she did not go to office. In the morning, we learnt that our family physician was out of station. So, Mammam saw my previous prescriptions, bought the required medicines, stayed with me all day, either giving me my medicines or feeding me occasional sips of salt-sugar water and my lunch or putting me off to sleep both in the morning and afternoon. She never misses office for petty reasons.To me,this seemed to be a very petty reason , but for her, it was a matter of great concern.Then she really did not care about what happened at office that day.
Yes, this is my mother whom I call Mammam right from the time I was one year old. There have been numerous occasions before this when I have fallen sick and on each of those occasions, she has cared only and only about ME. She has forgotten her place of work on those occasions. But this is not the only thing that makes her so special. The reasons for that will never end.
When I was in her womb, she was posted at a place very far from home. She had to climb high staircases at the railway station and then board the most crowded trains of the world. What a lot of pain it must have been! And all because of me!
During the first 9-10 years of my life, I didn't understand how lucky I was to have got a mother like her. I mean, I always knew that she was the best mother, like everyone does. But I couldn't recognize the specialities. We would get along very well with each other( we still do), she would fulfill all my demands, like my first watch, my story books and my computer. When I was in class two, Baba got transferred to Balugaon in Orissa. During that period, she suffered fractures in her ribs, legs and back in a car accident. Two months later, my grandfather suffered his second heart attack. Then I saw how much she can tolerate. Having not recovered fully herself, she had to do a lot of work during my grandfather's operation. And the mental pressure was always there. I was very small then. I couldn't help her much in the absence of Baba. But she managed everything so well. I can say with full confidence that NO ONE else could have done all that she did. Forget doing them, they would not have the guts to rise to the situation. After that, Baba came back and there were some years of happiness.
It was only when Baba got transferred to Guntur in AP in 2003 that I began to realize Mammam's special qualities. At school, I always hear my friends telling that their mothers keep on telling them to study, not to do this, not to do that... But Mammam is completely different. I always sit to study and get up at my own will. Plus, I do whatever I like. She TRUSTS me. She knows that I study, that I work hard. She knows that I never do anything wrong. Actually, before she asks me how my day went, I start pouring out all the news of the day. Her belief in me is invaluable. It has helped me a lot to become the kind of person that I am today. And needless to say, it has helped me, beyond anyone's imagination, with my studies. During the 3 years that Baba was not here, we would sometimes go for a movie and although Baba was not here, she would prepare Saturday night's dinner herself, specially for me. Not just Saturday night, I enjoyed every morsel of the food cooked by her during weekends. That's another speciality. She is such a good cook. Gradually, we became more like friends. I would keep on asking her to share all her problems with me because I felt that she was absorbing all the grief herself. And she did that for 3 years. Here again, I can say that no one could have tolerated so much. Those were tough times. She had to do everything by herself. Going to office, looking after her three children( me and my grandparents), trying to keep Bonu satisfied ( Bonu stays with us to look after me in my parents' absence) and doing all the household work. I would help her with the marketing and other small things, but she always said that the best way in which I could help her was doing my studies well.
Today, I can't imagine even a day without her. I confess that I can stay without my father as long as I can, at least, talk to him over the phone everyday. But, in my mother's case, that is IMPOSSIBLE. When she went through a surgery in 2002 because of a tumour, she had to stay at the hospital for seven days. That was the worst phase of my life. I just can't sleep withour her at night. So, Baba used to cover a side-pillow with her night-dress and keep it on the bed beside me.
In the end, I just want to say"Thank you Mammam. Without you, life would have been hell. I am the luckiest child on earth because God made me your daughter. The way I enjoy my life today is only because of you. You are great and like I have told you before, you are my role model. Love you always."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A Study in Scarlet

I just finished reading the first novel “A Study in Scarlet” of my Sherlock Holmes-Volume 1. To describe it in one word, it is simply WONDERFUL. The novel is divided into two parts. If you have read it, you will know. In the first part, it is a perfect detective story and in the second part, a perfect blend of emotions, horror and thrill. This work by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has left me mesmerized. He has established a link between the two parts of the novel so well, that even if Sherlock Holmes himself ever read it, he would not be able to find a tiny mistake in it. After reading the first part, I was very surprised when the second part started with “In the central portion of the great North American continent, there lies an arid and repulsive desert…” In fact, the description of this ‘desert’ continued for two pages and I began to doubt whether there was a link between the two parts of the novel or not. But then, the surnames of the two murdered people of the first half appeared at one point and I came to the conclusion that this was a flashback. How beautifully this flashback has been described. Whether the feelings of the young Lucy Ferrier, or the orthodox Latter Day Saints and their customs, or the vindictiveness of Jefferson Hope at every point, the descriptions are too good. If Sherlock Holmes was the hero of the first part, Jefferson Hope was the hero of the second. He carries the whole story on his shoulders. He commits his life to the revenge of the murder of his lady love and her father. He is such a patient man. After reading about him, it seems that our patience is just not enough. Why can’t we all be a bit more patient, a bit more tolerant, like Jefferson Hope?
The two parts of the novel are too different from each other. But, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle connects them with extraordinary skill. He makes the novel so touching. It’s more than just a detective novel. Unless you read it, you won’t understand that some magic is there in it too. “Harry Potter” has magic as its theme, but Sherlock Holmes doesn’t. Still, it is just as magical. Only that magic is different.

Friday, November 10, 2006

This article has been taken from The Telegraph Knowhow newspaper of 26th September, 2006. I had cut out this article before the puja and had completely forgotten about it. Today, I suddenly discovered it. I have not typed the whole thing. Just the words in bold are the reason for which I am including this in my blog.

“J.K. Rowling, here’s food for thought. Would you be interested in a three feet long pinkish worm that smells like lilies and spits? It was long thought to be extinct, this worm. But in true Hogwarts style, it’s popping out intermittently from tiny swatches of farmlands in the Washington-Idaho border. And it’s making waves in the region.
If conservationists had their way, they would hardsell the Giant Palouse Earthworm to Rowling and insist she gave it pride of place in Harry Potter’s armament of miracles. “This worm is the stuff that legends and fairy tales are made of,” says worm supporter Steve Paulson. “What kid wouldn’t want to play with a 3 foot-long, lily smelling, soft pink worm that spits on attackers?”
The worm was first found in 1897, and the species has always been elusive. It can burrow down to 15 feet deep. There have been only three reported sightings since 1987. The most recent sighting was on May 27, 2005 when a graduate student from the University of Idaho unearthed one specimen. The Giant Palouse Earthworm is the largest and longest-lived earthworm on the American continent.”

Friday, November 03, 2006

My two best friends

In this post, I am going to talk about two of my best friends. I have very few friends, with whom I share a very special bond. They are not my friends at school or friends in my neighbourhood. I get along well with everyone at school. But, there are occasions when I don’t like their topics of discussion. For instance, they talk about boys, which is my least favourite topic. You might say that all this is natural at my age. Still, why do they have to discuss it? Can’t there be any other topic? And I don’t have a single friend in my neighbourhood. Forget being friends with them, I don’t even know their names. You might say that I am very choosy or I am a snob. I admit it. I admit that I am choosy. And that’s why, there are only a few people with whom I am the best of friends. They are my mother, my father, my maternal grandfather and grandmother and my cousin (Woodsmoke). Today, I am going to talk about my grandparents.
“Old is gold”, and my grandparents perfectly match up to it. My grandfather is 80. It is really amazing that even after two heart attacks, a recent eye operation and many other ailments, he is still so lively. He is certainly different from other old men. He doesn’t always sit with a glum expression on his face and seem to dislike everything. He is a fun-loving man. Even at this age, his sense of humour deserves applause. If you suddenly meet him now, he won’t let you realize that he is sick, that he is suffering from so many ailments. Plus, he is an educated man. He knows his English really well. His GK is fantastic. He watches the news, probably ten times a day. He loves eating biscuits. And the best thing about him, he loves and understand his family, specially, his grandchildren (me, Woodsmoke and another cousin of mine).
As for my grandmother, the first thing that I would like to mention is that she is among two of the best cooks of this world( the other being my mother). You can’t help, but like her hand-made food. And she is absolutely perfect about everything from cooking to cleaning to just sitting and watching TV. She speaks so sweetly. Anyone who meets her, becomes friends with her. Yes, she is a bit fussy, but that gets overshadowed by her role as a grandmother. Which other grandmother would have liked it if her grandchild would have played pranks on her? But my grandma doesn’t mind. Apparently, she minds, but I know she loves doesn’t. For if she did mind, why didn’t she remove the objects using which I like to irritate her? Every time I visit my grandparents, those objects are perfectly in place for me to utilize. I call my grandparents everyday. I love them. They understand me.
Not all grandparents in this world are good. Nor are all of them bad. But those who are good, deserve their grandchildren’s love. So, we should always be friendly with them. Even if they are not so good, then they can become happy and lively once again, if they get their grandchildren’s love. It will take a lot of Gandhigiri to express your love to your not-so-good grandparents, but ultimately you will get happiness.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Diwali celebrations

Happy Diwali!! And, this is really a very happy one because Baba is with us again on this sparkling occasion. The diwalis of the three years when he was not with us, were also good but his presence will light up Diwali even more. My world is literally dark without my parents. So, Diwali can only be fully lighted up when I am with both of them.
In the morning, I attended my Biology coaching class(imagine,tuition even on Diwali day), after a breakfast of chicken sandwiches. Then, I came back from there to have a lunch of Fried rice and Lemon chicken prepared by Mammam. After this very delicious lunch, I went off to Landmark Bookstore with Baba. I had never visited Landmark before. But it is fantastic! So many books, arranged very neatly and divided into many sections. I bought "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes(Volumes 1& 2)", "Famous Five(three adventures in one book)","Fifth Formers of St.Clare's" and "The mystery of the Vanished Prince". I was very happy after buying just what I wanted.
And now, I have to go and get ready to attend a Kali Puja invitation. We'll go there along with my grandparents. We were supposed to start at six from our house. But now, it's already 5.50. I don't suppose we can start before 6.15. Whatever it is, I must go now. Anytime now, Mammam will call me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Last Moments at Goa

After finishing two major tours at Goa, we decided to go around the city and buy gifts for our family and friends. We had not seen everything in Goa. Three major spots, Mayam Lake, Shaptokoteshwar Temple and Palolem Beach were still left. But Palolem is too far from Panaji and our driver didn’t seem to know much about it. Crocodiles had arrived at Mayam Lake and Shaptokoteshwar Temple was closed for the time-being. So, first thing in the morning, we went to have breakfast at Dona Paula. This time, we took grilled chicken sandwiches, omelettes and coffee at a better restaurant. That day, it was raining. Immediately after breakfast, we came back to the city’s market place. After roaming around a bit, we entered a Handicraft shop. Here, we found Goan Handicrafts for everyone. Very happily, we bought them and then, we bought two bags from another shop. I bought a cap for myself. But Goa is a pretty expensive place. All things, including food, clothing, shelter, conveyance, etc. are a lot more expensive than Kolkata. That afternoon, we had a very delicious lunch at Goa. It consisted of Rotis, Chicken Tandoori, One vegetable curry and Limca. This was the best meal we’ve had in Goa. After lunch, we saw a church situated in Panaji itself. It is called the Church of Emaculated Conception. We couldn’t go inside the church as prayers were going on inside it at that moment. So, we just looked around and came back. This church is not shown to the tourists in the conducted tours. Tourists have to see it by themselves. We saw the houses of businessmen and other VIPs [the Bishop, the Army Commander, Dempo Brothers (members of Dempo, the football club)] in a locality called Altino (meaning “height”). These houses are really beautiful. We also saw a temple of Hanumanji, which no tourist ever visits. It was completely empty. But it is very very beautiful. I don’t know why it is never shown to the tourists in the conducted tours. But it should be shown.
That night, we couldn’t go out for dinner because the drizzling continued. Instead, we sat in our room and tried the food at our holiday home. It was not bad.
Next morning, it was time for us to leave Goa. We checked out of the holiday home at 9.30 a.m. Then, we went to have breakfast for the third consecutive day at Dona Paula. This time we were lucky. After finishing the breakfast of Masala Dosa, Dahi Vada, Half-boiled eggs and coffee, we found a family of four searching for more people in order to rent the eight seater family boat. Immediately, we gave them half the cost for the boat and went with them to a blue boat which was waiting for us. And it was great! We enjoyed ourselves immensely in the 15-minute ride in the rivers of Mandavi and Zuari. At about 12 o’ clock, we reached Dabolim Airport. Biding adieu to Goa, we boarded the aircraft to Mumbai. From Mumbai, we were back to Kolkata by 7.30. Nothing very significant happened on the way, except that the woman at the Security check-point at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport opened my cap to see if I had hidden bombs there.
The Goa trip was fantastic. But I missed my maternal grandparents, Mama, Mami, Tanni Didi (who is known as Woodsmoke in blogosphere) and Riju Dada. After seeing the beautiful state of Goa for the first time, memories of our Rajasthan trip came rushing back to my mind. My grandparents stayed back at Kolkata to enjoy Durga Puja, while Tanni Didi is now miles away in Idaho. It’s pretty unfortunate that Mama, Mami and Riju Dada visited Goa just a week before we did. If we had known before, we could have made the trip together. I feel that Goa is a must-se place for everyone. It provides the perfect getaway from hectic city life. If you’ve not already visited Goa, please do so in your next vacation. And I promise you, you’ll feel better when you come back.

South Goa at its Greatest

My mind still full of what we had seen the previous day, I woke up on the day of Navami. We all got ready quickly for the tour of South Goa. It sounded promising. Our driver, Bhanudas arrived at about 9 o’ clock. Our first stop that day was Dona Paula. Dona, the daughter of a Portuguese viceroy had fallen in love with Paula, a fisherman’s son. They had committed suicide at this point, which is now a tourist spot. This is also the meeting place of two rivers, Mandavi and Zuari. First, we took breakfast in one of the restaurants by the riverside. It was amazing, eating and getting a majestic view of the rivers. Then, climbed up the steps to get a better view of the rivers. We also saw the statue of Dona and Paula. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go for boating in the rivers because there are only two kinds of boats here. You either board scooters supporting only one person at a time, or an eight-seater family boat. We were not ready to go venturing alone and we needed to pay the full cost of eight people for the family-boat. So, we left Dona Paula and went to the first church, The Basilica of Bom Jesus. This Basilica is dedicated to the infant Jesus and also has the Chapel of St.Xavier. The interesting fact about this Chapel is that it contains the remains of St. Xavier himself! We saw the remains, safely preserved in a glass box kept at a certain height. After coming out of this Basilica, we crossed the road and went to another church, Se Cathedral. This church has six chapels and fourteen altars. Beside this church, the St. Francis of Assisi Church is located. This is really beautiful. It shows St. Francis holding Jesus Christ during his Lord’s death. On either side of their statue, are the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul respectively. Next, we saw a museum erected by the Archaeological Survey of India. This museum has all the things which were used by the Portuguese in India and many portraits of Portuguese viceroys and other important people. In fact, 8 galleries are dedicated to those portraits. Of course, we couldn’t see so many. Then, we came out of the museum and prepared to leave the spot. In the same compound, we saw a deserted church named St. Catherine’s Cathedral. Leaving the churches, we now went to explore the temples. We saw two temples. First one is the Mangesh Temple and second one is the Shanta Durga Temple. Both the temples are beautiful and look, more or less, the same. Both are situated amidst the hills and both have a kind of pond within the temple premises. But the Shanta Durga Temple is more popular.
Around 3 o’ clock, we visited the Polva Beach. At first sight, it looked great as its waters gleamed in the sunlight like a silvery mass. But, as we were about to explore the beach, it started raining! So, we decided to have some food in one of the restaurants. We hoped that the rain would get over by the time we finished with our food. But, the rain continued even after we had finished a meal of rotis and Pomfret fish curry. Yet, we were not disheartened. Making good use of the umbrellas we had taken from Kolkata, we walked down to the beach. My God, what a wind was blowing! I was surprised it didn’t blow away our umbrellas. Even then, we took photographs. With that, our South Goa trip also ended.
That night, we had a dinner of Mixed fried rice, one vegetable curry, chicken curry and tomato juice ( tomato juice is the most sour thing I’ve ever tasted apart from “Center Shock”, the chewing gum) again at Sher-e-Punjab.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Beautiful Beaches of North Goa

We went for a walk along Miramar Beach in Panaji the day we reached Goa. This is not exactly a sea beach. It is a beach along the river Mandavi. Nevertheless, it is beautiful. After eating panipuris, we boarded a launch for an evening cruise on the Mandavi. But there was no scope for observing the scenery. There were singers and dancers on board, ready to perform once the launch started. The first performances were good (one song, one dance, dancing by all the little kids on board and dancing by all the couples on board). But then, they called all the boys to dance. After that, it was pure ghost-dancing and needless to say, we didn’t enjoy it all. The music was being played at full volume. Moreover, the songs were mostly Himesh Reshamiya numbers. So, we didn’t get what we had expected from the cruise.
Next day, we went on a tour of North Goa. While going there, we witnessed the beautiful state of Goa. It is very clean and very green. The houses have sloping tiled roofs and are mostly two-storeyed. The street-lights are lined neatly and look different from the usual street-lights found in other Indian cities. Panaji looks like any foreign city. Yes, it is that much different from other Indian cities. Goa has a unique combination of hills and sea. We first visited Aguada Fort that day. Basically, it was used by the Portuguese to see the ships and get alerted. Situated atop a hill, this fort overlooks the sea on all sides. You get a really splendid view from there. It also hosts the remains of an old light-house. Our next stop was Sinquerim Beach. This beach is surrounded by small hills, some resorts and lines of coconut trees. Tourists are not allowed to go down to the beach. So, we watched it from the top of a kind of enclosure which has been constructed for tourists. Before reaching here, we had wanted to see dolphins in a lake near Aguada Fort. But the people there charged too much money. Besides, there is every doubt whether you’ll be able to see the dolphins or not. So, we decided to leave the creatures alone and go to the next beach. The net beach was Calangute Beach. This is the most popular one in Goa. It is very long and without trees or hills. We ventured a bit into the sea and then, drank Mirindas under one of the umbrellas which had been laid in front of the restaurants. This was also great. We sat there for a long time, watching people bathing and the lifeguards blowing their whistles. The next beach was Anjuna Beach. This is again, a bit different. You have to go down the hills using steps to reach the shore. There are big boulders on the shore and the beach is surrounded by hills and coconut trees. We had not noticed the steps while going down. So, we went down using a pathway laid with rocks. We also had to climb some of the boulders on the shore. It was both fun and danger. But it was more fun. While going to the next beach, we fed on cucumbers! Yes, we were already a bit hungry. Our Branch (Breakfast+Lunch) of chicken sandwiches, toasts and omelettes had been digested. Anyway, cucumbers were enough for the time-being. So, we visited Vagator Beach. This is almost like Anjuna Beach. But it is bigger and you need to climb down many more steps to reach the shore. It is more beautiful also. After that, we visited the Shree Bodgeshwar Sansthan in the town of Mapusa. It is a kind of temple. We also saw the Secretariat of Goa. It is indeed beautiful and is situated amidst the hills. With that, our tour of North Goa ended.
We returned to Panaji by evening. We took dinner at a restaurant called “Sher-e-Punjab”. You must have heard about it. It is there in almost all cities of India.

Reaching Goa

Our flight was scheduled at 6.05 a.m. on the day of Saptami. I got up at 4.20 a.m., took a bath and dressed quickly. My parents were almost ready. Since the airport is very near to our house, we reached the airport at exactly 5.00 a.m. After the baggage screening, security check and all those necessary things were over, we boarded the aircraft. Now, this flight was scheduled for Mumbai and from Mumbai, we had to board another flight for Goa. Oh, how nice it was! Slowly, the plane started moving and roamed over the whole runway. Then, it gathered tremendous speed and was up in the air! We got a breakfast consisting of a bun, fresh fruits, an omelette and tea (or coffee). It was a great journey and all through it, we witnessed the beautiful scenery outside. We could see both the Howrah Bridge and the Second Hooghly Bridge from the plane. A little above, we saw the big, white fluffy clouds floating in the blue sky. The plane landed at Mumbai at about 8.45 a.m. We didn’t go out of the airport because it was a normal working day for the Mumbaikars, which would cause traffic jam. Fearing that we may not be able to return to the airport in time, we stayed there. The time passed quickly and before we knew it, we were on the aircraft to Goa. It was a journey of 45 minutes and the air hostesses served us lunch (mutton biryani and kheer) within that time. We got the first view of Goa from the plane. It was splendid. Lush green hills and valleys and light dirty-brown Arabian Sea. The plane landed at Dabolim Airport at about 1 p.m. First, we collected our baggage from the airport. Then, we went outside and searched for the placard bearing my father’s name. The driver of the car we had hired was supposed to come holding the placard. We noticed him and approached him. He brought the Maruti van nearer and we got inside the van. It was a great feeling. So, finally, we had reached Goa!

Puja Plans

I never mentioned our plans for the Durga Puja in my blog. But we had big plans on our mind. Air tickets to Goa had been taken; hotel booking and car hiring had been I never mentiofinalized. Only my parents needed a proper leave from office for five days. You would ask, “What leave? You’ll be going during the Puja and getting four readymade holidays.” But that was the problem. It was raining so much that we feared the West Bengal Government would cancel all holidays for government officers to control the flood. My mother is also a government officer (Joint Block Development Officer). Luckily, the rain stopped just after Mahalaya. My father’s bank’s half-yearly closing also got over the day before Shashti. So, all these holiday-problems were solved and we were ready to go to Goa. Like all other years, we were happy to go somewhere during the Puja. We don’t like to stay at Kolkata during the Puja because we don’t like pandal-hopping and, at least once in a year, we would like to get free from the crowds of Kolkata.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Finally, our results were declared yesterday. I stood first in class! And I am so happy. By standing first, I have got all the things that I had wanted. Firstly, I could make my parents and other close family members happy. Then, I got a CD of Harry Potter-1 from Mammam, an audio-cassette of the hindi film “Fanaa” from Bonu, while Baba’s gift is still pending( which will most probably be a book). Thirdly, by standing first two times in a row (last year, in the annual examination, I stood first), certain people of my school will, hopefully, think of me as a more able student. My toughest competitor, Krishanu, has been standing first in all the examinations, whether terminal, unit or final, since class three. I was second most of the times. But last year, I finally broke his record and stood first. Firstly, people thought that there had been a mistake. How can Krishanu stand second? It has to be the eighth wonder of the world. Slowly, of course, they accepted the fact that Krishanu had stood second. But they still believed that Krishanu, and only Krishanu, had the ability to stand first and no one else. Before that, whenever I had stood second, it had been for the difference of a few marks. These people, whom I do not wish to name, never thought much of me. I did not want them to think either. But I felt very bad when they refused that I had stood first on the basis of pure merit. I, in fact, had an open quarrel with one of them on this subject. So, I had to prove myself this time. And since, I have been successful, let’s hope they’ll acknowledge my abilities also. I personally feel that Krishanu has every ability to stand first. He is one of the best students of our batch. But sometimes, I feel sad when some people don’t think highly of me also.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Rainy Day

Today, I did not go to school.It's raining cats and dogs here at Kolkata. I was very unhappy in the morning when Mammam told me I would not be able to go. I actually started crying. It was not going to be a special day at school but I was still frustrated. At least school is better than home in the weekday-mornings. No one is at home except Bonu(she takes care of me).I was particularly irritated when Mammam told me I could practise Maths today by staying at home. I hate that subject. There was a stage early this morning when I was angry with everyone, including Mammam and Baba. But it was not their fault that the rain seemed to go on endlessly. It's still raining heavily now and I wonder how my parents will reach their offices today. Their offices are so far from our house. Had they stayed at home too,at lest one of them, then today would have turned into a brilliant hoilday. It would have marked the beginning of a four-day mini holiday. Yes, a four-day holiday because tomorrow is Mahalaya, the next day Saturday and the next day Sunday. Anyway, what to do? I'll just have to pass my time doing something or the other. Even if I don't do Maths, maybe I'll study history and bengali. I have a small test today at my Bengali tuition calss in the evening. But I have already finished studying for the test because until today morning, I thought there would be no time to study today on account of school.

Friday, September 08, 2006

An exciting week-part2

Starting from where I left last day, let me talk about the small program that was held on the occasion of Teacher's day at our school,St. Stephen's. It was a tiny, one hour program. We(I, along with my friends Debarati,Sritama, Aloy,Gourav,Souvik, Krishanu and Oindrila) staged a drama. We actually tried to present the short story "David Swan" written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which we had done for our terminal exam, in the form of a drama.Time being short for rehearsals, we could not do justice to the strong theme of the story. I also can't say we performed extremely well in front of our teachers when they came to our class. Nevertheless, it was fun. Although Aloy played the title role, his job was the easiest as he had to sleep(or rather pretend to do so) almost all through the drama. I was the narrator. Sritama played a middle-aged widow's role, Krishanu played the old merchant's role while Debarati was his wife. Gourav and Souvik were the two thugs and Oindrila was the pretty young girl. Of course, if you have read the story, you will know about all these characters. Besides our drama, there was a Kathak dance performance and another drama (a Bengali one).
That's all about this very exciting week. We are still waiting for the rest of our exam papers. The no. of exam papers we have got upto now has been updated from seven to eight. This is also an excitement.

Friday, September 01, 2006

An exciting week- part 1

What a week this has been! We have already got seven of our twelve exam papers. Upto now,my marks have been good and I am well ahead of Krishanu(my toughest competitor). Still, as long as we don't get our Maths papers,I can't be sure of holding on to the first positon. Maths is one subject in which Krishanu is certainly better than me. Let's see what lies in store for me this time.
On Monday,about hundred students of our school went to the Birla Industrial and Technological Museum. I was one of them.But the time was very short. Moreover, the museum authorities showed us an English movie(Doctor Dolittle) in their auditorium. Hardly had we seen the museum for 15 minutes when they called us to the auditorium. After seeing the 1 hr 15 min movie, one of our teachers said that we had about half an hour left for exploring the museum as we had to go back to our school within the school hours. The result of this was that we could see the museum properly. Had to rush about in the galleries, pushing the knobs to see many experiments,but not understanding a single one of them. Anyway,the good things about this little visit were--
Firstly, the auditorium was air-conditioned. We could sit there for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Secondly, the film was good and very funny. So funny, that the film ended but our laughter continued.
Thirdly, this was an outing for us and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our school is quite far from the museum ,but we enjoyed the journeys from the school to the museum and back.
There is still something more to write about this week which I shall do in my next post.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Durga Puja, an important occasion for me

First, let me answer Woodsmoke's question. Durga Puja is important for me because it is the only time of the year when all three of us( Mammam, Baba and myself) have guaranteed holidays and can spend the whole day with one another, which is not possible in any other time of the year. That happens either because of my studies or my parents' work. This does not mean we do not enjoy ourselves.We do, but it is restricted. The Puja enjoyment is special in its own way.
It is an opportunity for having fun,seeking the blessings of Ma Durga,listening to the sound of 'dhaks' and watching the beautiful 'kashphuls'. Ma Durga comes to the city where I was born and am being brought up only once in a year. Yet, she brings a lot of happiness with her for all. I believe therein lies the wonderfulness of Durga Puja.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Temporary Relief

After going through a very hectic terminal exam, I am giving this post.Now I can relax for 3 days.Again my school and tuition classes will start from Tuesday. Not only that,We will be getting our exam papers one by one in class. I don't know how my marks will be but I don't want to think about it now.I have studied very hard this time,yet somehow I feel I won't be able to retain my first position in class. Neither can I say that my exam was too bad. Anyway,as you may have seen my blog,you may have understood that I am a huge fan of Harry Potter. This weekend I am going to read 'Harry Potter and the half-blood prince' once again. Besides we will be going for Durga Puja marketing. No, I am not a shopper.But it's always fun to go around Gariahat Market with my parents and watching them buy things for me,themselves and other relatives.This helps me, like most other Calcuttans to get into the Puja mood. Besides, this year the Puja is too early.It is taking a bit of time for Calcuttans to adjust to this timing because we are used to experiencing the Puja in mid-October.
I will also be visiting my maternal grandparents on Monday. Also,I will be dropping my biology tuition class tomorrow. I just want to take rest. Well,bye now.I want to solve Sudoku!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

10 SIMPLE things that make me HAPPY

1. Spending time with my parents
2. Harry Potter
3. Ice cream
4. Painting
5. Alsatian dogs
6. Playing cards
7. Listening to songs of Parineeta
8. Solving Sudoku
9. Rahul Dravid
10. Eating chicken on Saturday nights