International Kolkata Book Fair – Partnerships and Nostalgia

Kolkata Book Fair, Kolkata Bloggers, Book Fair, Boimela
The Inauguration Ceremony of the International Kolkata Book Fair 2016. Photograph – Rupsha Bhadra | www.rupshabhadra.wordpress.com

If there’s two things that every resident of Kolkata definitely looks forward to annually, they would be the Durga Puja and the International Kolkata Book Fair. In both cases, this city indulges in celebration. The Kolkata Book Fair – the largest Book Fair in the world – is a twelve-day-long celebration of literature in unparalleled fashion. The Book Fair is proof that Kolkata stays true to its glorious roots of being a hub of intellectual activity. The love for reading is inherent in the ebbs and flows of this great city.
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Looking Back – The Personal Chapter of 2015

Darjeeling, 2015
Darjeeling 2015. Shot by Anirban Saha.

The year 2015 has possibly been the most eventful year of my existence thus far. There’s been so much happening, so many landmarks covered, so many memories made, so many significant incidents created, that I could not possibly put it all down in one blog post. So I decided to divide my year into personal and professional – and look back in retrospection separately. Here’s the personal chapter of my 2015. Do share the significant moments of your year as well. I’m publishing this post hours before I hop on a flight to Guwahati, and hopefully have a good tour of about a week.
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Looking Back – The Professional Chapter of 2015

Keeping the personal aside, there were a lot of things going on professionally on the Kolkata Bloggers front in 2015. I’ve tried talking about a few of the biggest events and incidents that have taken place in 2015. It has indeed been a busy year, a year that has seen a lot of growth and mostly happy times among the Kolkata Bloggers team.

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Looking Forward to Another Kolkata Winter

Winter, December, Kolkata
Maidan scenes on a typical winter morning. Picture – Anirban Saha | www.anirbansaha.com

I’ve always looked forward to winter. The chill in the air makes me happy, makes me feel alive more than ever. December in particular has been the month that has interested me most. December in Kolkata heralds the onset of winter for four-and-a-half million people desperately seeking a drop in temperatures. December gives them hope of cooler times to look forward to.
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Sky Lanterns – #100fireflies in the Night Sky

Sky Lanterns, 100fireflies
A wonderful evening of letting loose a hundred sky lanterns #100FireFlies

Diwali, for as long as I can remember, has been a happy occasion. As a child growing up in the festive atmosphere of Kolkata, I can distinctly recall staring in amazement at the brilliance of fireworks as they lit up the night sky. Their flair mystified me, yet allured me with sparkling ecstasy. Diwali to me is the climax of the festive season – an occasion when all of the collective happiness accumulated from the days of Durga Pujo and subsequent celebrations are set forth in a blinding dazzle of delectable fireworks. There really is nothing quite so obviously attractive as a sparkle of light.
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Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – The Ignited Mind

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

Politics is a funny game. There is not one man in the country who has been involved in politics, and has not evoked a single negative comment from the citizens. None, that is, except Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam. He was the only politician to capture the entire nation’s imagination. He was truly the “People’s President.”
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To Teenage, With Love

Teenage Characteristics

Teenage is probably one of the steepest learning curves in a person’s life. From being a scrawny kid at thirteen years of age, to an adult in the eyes of society, the teens are a time when people mature physically, mentally and emotionally at quite a pace. With barely a few hours of teenage left in my life, when I look back, I can understand the marked change in me and people around me, since this exciting journey began.
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A Day of Darkness

Backdrop – I recently had a problem with my right eye, which required a LASER barrage. Consequentially, I had to remain in bed rest for a week. For a full day after the procedure, I had to keep my eyes closed. That is when I discovered how the other senses come to the fore when one is shut out.
 
This is just a sample picture of the phenomenon, and not the state of my eye. Image source http://en.wikipedia.org/
 

Its curious how Indians have swapped the word “myopia” for “power”. Tera kitna power hain? Mera -6 hain. Oh wow, kitne fingers bata? *dangles three fingers in front of your face.* This is a practice as old as Father Time in this country. I was pretty scared when I heard that my myopia had caused lattice degeneration, leading to an initial phase of retinal detachment. (Translated to English, that means there was a rupture in my retinal membrane, which could cause vision loss if left untreated.) I was rushed to the LASIK centre, administered shot after shot of painfully stinging lasers, and advised absolute bedrest.
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The Freshers’ Tale

CSE during their Ten Minutes to Fame. What you cannot see in the picture is how loudly the crowd cheered for Suchismita. Photograph – Ankit Mukhopadhyay.
Eagerly anticipated, strewn with controversy, yet enthusiastically executed – Freshers’ 2014 has now come and gone. The single greatest night for a college student in freshman year is inevitably looked forward to with unmatched anxiousness. With pieces falling apart from the puzzle that held the picture together, the fire ignited in hearts and minds culminated in a blast on stage that saw each department fighting it out against the other in a quest for supremacy.

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Let the Festivities Begin! #DurgaPuja2014


Photograph: Saimantick Bhadra | www.saimantick.com


“Maa ashchhe!”

If you’re a Bengali, or you’ve lived in Bengal at some point in your life, or been here in the city at least once during the festive season, you know exactly how much passion and excitement those words carry.
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Decoding the Collegiate Jungle

“Remember the words Arjyak, these will always be the best days of your life. These will be your best classmates. You look around now and you can see men with ambitions of becoming sportspersons, musicians, scholars, you name it. In six months you’ll be in college, and all you’ll see around you will be careeristic engineers. Enjoy your days.”

Heritage Institute of Technology. The Central Block.

When I first walked into Heritage Institute of Technology, I had a fair idea of what the wanted my college life to be. I also had another idea of how I would have to juxtapose that with what it would realistically turn out to be.
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Let it Rain

“Into each life some rain must fall” – H.W. Longfellow.
Rain, Calcutta, Kolkata, Monsoon, Showers, Thunder, Storm
Through the looking glass | www.anirbansaha.com
There is just something about the sight, sounds and smell of raindrops falling from the sky that appeals to the senses more than any other natural phenomenon ever can. Rains make you realize the wealth of emotions that you carry. Rains make you introspect and retrospect, and bring you closer to understanding yourself. Put very simply, rains make you happy.
After braving the tumultuous heat of the Great Indian Summer, the rains come with a cathartic appeal – helping you transcend your dilapidated state both physically and mentally. The rains are nature’s way of asking you to let go. Let go of the soggy grimness that accompanied your summer. Let go of the exhaustion in your mind and in your limbs. Let go of your inhibitions and rise again, for the rains have washed away the sorrows of yesterday.
Rain, Calcutta, Kolkata, Monsoon, Showers, Thunder, Storm
Feel the tingling beauty of a raindrop on your eye. Picture : Saikat Bhadra

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Love is on the Cards

An idea pitched by Amit Shah.

You know how people claim they can foretell the future by reading cards? I’m rather a skeptic about the whole issue. But what if cards told you everything? What if, the circle of a man’s love-life is inscribed in the suits that we deal with everyday, without a second thought?

It all starts with the clubs. The ancient man would bash his way around with a club in search of his soul-mate. The modern man, too, more often than not, finds his lady whilst hanging out at a club. From being the weapon to show off to becoming the place to show off, truly, the club has come full circle.
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Till We Meet Again

21st March, 2013  A senior calls me up and says, “I don’t feel like taking off the uniform. I can’t believe it’s over.”
1st April, 2014 – I don’t feel like taking off the uniform. I can’t believe it’s over.
I will grow up someday, and I will meet youngsters enjoying their school days. I will point to the building in yellow (I’m guessing it will remain yellow) and say proudly, “This is where I went to school.”
Greatness has an address.
Class XII, as always, was piped as the beginning of the end. We all knew this day was to come eventually. We all knew it would end. That one day we would become ex-students of the institution that has been our home for well over a decade.

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An Outgoing Bosconian Remembers

“I know that these will all be stories someday, and our pictures will become old photographs, but right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. And in this moment , I swear, we are infinite.” – Perks of Being a Wallflower. Also the perks of being a Bosconian.

Don Bosco School, Park Circus, is a shining example of how close a second home can get. In the fourteen short years that I have spent under the Bosconian shelter, I have felt a sense of belonging and a sense of pride like never before. The school has been my sole identity, be it within or without the campus.
The four-year-old who entered this institution cried his heart out, and looked back longingly at the freedom that lay behind the gate. The eighteen-year-old who leaves, I assure you, will once again cry his heart out and look back longingly at the fond memories that lie on the other side of that very same gate.
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