Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Virginia massacre

“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today. But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off…”
“When the time came, I did it. I had to….”

The above lines are excerpts from the video package that Cho Seung-Hui sent to NBC News. Yes, Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year old South Korean ,who triggered the firing at Virginia Tech last Monday. No one knows why he did this. He has made the whole affair even more enigmatic by killing himself and by expressing his feelings through such words as mentioned above. All of you must have seen his pictures in the newspapers. He looks so cruel. Wonder knows what he wanted to achieve by killing 32 honest people. And, what did he achieve anyway? He killed himself after that. News reports say that Cho was becoming increasingly violent. He had been taking medication for depression. Police are facing difficulties in finding out his motive because he was a loner. His classmates said that on the first day of a literature class last year, students went around and introduced themselves. But, when Cho’s turn came, he did not speak. The professor looked at the sign-in sheet and saw that Cho had written a question mark, where everyone else had written their names. The professor had asked him, “ Is your name ‘Question Mark’?”

Some people might say that he killed these people because they were not friendly with him. He must have been frustrated with his loneliness. Maybe, he took revenge by killing all those who had deserted him. But, my point is: Others didn’t desert him. He himself did that. Why did he not introduce himself in class that day? Why didn’t he write down his name? And, was he so lonely that he actually had to kill so many people? Cho Seung-Hui has not only triggered the deadliest campus shooting in US history, but has also revealed a very mysterious human nature. After some days, people will forget him. But, those who lost their family members will remember him forever. They will remember him as the one who killed their kin. Everyone had disliked him when he was alive. After dying, more number of people will dislike him. But, it won’t matter to him. He has cleverly escaped all these miseries by committing suicide.

Among the 32 dead people, two were Indians. Minal Panchal, the “sensitive” and “promising architect” and Professor G.V. Loganathan. I am feeling sorry for both of them…. especially for Minal. Her family must have pinned a lot of hope on her. They must have been really proud when she went to the US. Probably, they were waiting for that day when Minal would come back from the US after doing something big. But, their dreams never turned into reality because of a madman.

I just hope that the authorities do something to make the US university campuses safer. After all, students world over go there to study. My own cousin (Woodsmoke) studies at one of the universities and after this incident, we are all worried for her. May she be safe.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Back to a Cafe

After 4 years, I'm back to a cafe again.

Yes, 4 years. I know I am surfing the net from a cafe only for today. In a week's time, the net connection problems at home will, hopefully, be over. But, this evening has brought back certain memories .

I first discovered the fascinating world of the Net in 2001. I had then just opened my new email account in rediffmail. We did not have a PC at home. So, I used to go to a cyber cafe (called A to Z Cafe) every Sunday afternoon. My father would accompany me. I used to send emails to Woodsmoke and my uncle( Woodsmoke's father). They were living in Delhi at that time. So, those were really special moments. I used to share all the happenings of my daily life with them.
After sometime, my father opened an email account for himself too. Every Sunday, I would restrict my father's afternoon nap to half-an-hour instead of one. And, I would force him to take me to the cafe. In 2001, we went to Rajasthan with Woodsmoke, my uncle, my aunt and Riju Dada (Woodsmoke's parents and her brother)and in 2002, we went to Woodsmoke's house in Delhi. So, the way we counted the number of days left for us to meet in person ,via email, made me think that they were very close to me. It never seemed that they were many miles away. It also strengthened our relationship a lot.

When we bought a PC in 2003, those trips to the cyber cafe obviously stopped. But, after coming back to a cyber cafe obce again today, I feel that those trips to the cafe had played a very important part in my life. I can never forget those Sunday afternoons.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


The results of my annual exam were declared last Monday. This time, I stood second. I was very happy after getting my report card. But, when I realized that I was 42 marks behind Krishanu( the one who stood first), I felt very bad. I saw that I had got less marks in Physics and Maths( 75 each). Well, It's not that I had expected to get more in Maths. But, the Physics marks came as a shock. I just don't understand why I scored so less. I had expected to get marks in the 80s. My marks in another subject shocked me even more. I have scored 77 in Bengali and the highest in Bengali in our class is 87. So, for my marks in these subjects, I could not get to the top this time. But, that did not hurt me because I have stood second many times before this. It was the difference of marks which made me think that I had not done well. So, after coming back home, I began to cry. My parents had started for their respective offices after dropping me home. They were perfectly happy and satisfied with my performance. But, I was not. After sometime, my mother called me and on hearing her voice, I basically started howling on the phone. Although she tried to assure me that she was happy, I felt that I had not lived up to everyone's expectations. Anyway, as the morning went by, my relatives started calling me. My mother had informed them about my result and my unhappiness on getting it. But, they told me that were really happy with my performance. All of them told me that, in future, whenever I'll be called for a job interview, I won't be asked about my performance in the annual exam of class 9. I will be asked about my ICSE and ISC results. Actually, the ISC result will be more important. So, there was nothing to worry. In fact, I had done well. From the tone of their voices, it seemed to me that they were indeed happy. As I was going to my English tuition that afternoon, I realized that this is not the end. I realized that next year's exam is far more important. I have a big opportunity lying ahead. And, most importantly, my parents were happy. At least, the smile was still there on their faces. I really had been very foolish while crying. Then, I also thought that I have done well in the other subjects. I've got 90 each in Geography and Biology, 80 each in Computer and English Grammar. And, I've got the highest marks in 3 subjects ( 91 in Environmental Education, 85 in English Literature and 95 in History). So, all these finally made me happy. And, from tomorrow, it will be a fresh beginning. I'll studying very hard from tomorrow for my ICSE.
I have also decided something else. I had always wanted to be a doctor. I knew that I would have to take up Science in class 11 for that because I would have to study Biology nicely. But, if I take up Science, I'll also have to study Maths. Physics and Chemistry are ok. But Maths!! It is horrible, horrible and still more horrible. I'll never be able to do well in ISC if I study Maths. I just hate that subject. On the other hand, I like all the Arts subjects likeHistory, Geography and English. So, that's what I'll be taking up in class 11......Arts.
Yesterday, I watched "The Namesake" with my mother. It is a very good film. It is a must-watch for all of you. Kal Penn and Tabu were wonderful, especially Kal Penn. He looks very good as Gogol Ganguly. Irrfan Khan was also very good.
Oh, and did all of u know this? The World Cup match between India and Sri Lanka is going to be held again. This decision has been taken collectively by the ICC. In protest, Bangladesh have resinged from the ICC.This news was published in today's edition of the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika. And, guess what!! Sourav Ganguly is going to be the captain for this match. Well, well, well.....Best of Luck to Team India!