Dr Partha Banerjee wrote an article in Bengali for the Abp on 31st October 2018 on the American midterm elections, here’s the link to that:
I, in turn, had translated it to English, which was uploaded to
HUMANITY COLLEGE here’s the link to that as well:
Read any at your convenience and let me know.
Image Courtesy: https://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/dam/fox-news/midterm-2018/bg-1280-2x.png.img.png/0/0/1524864838003.png
This post was written for the occasion of Mahalaya for Ink Elan
Here’s the link:
Kaashi, or Varanasi, is one of those places to surely feature on anyone’s Freudian bucket list.
It is one of the oldest cities in the world and it makes sure you understand that while roaming about in its organic lanes and by lanes and by by by lanes and so on. My last trip to this place wasn’t my first, but I can say that it was the first time I looked at it through my own eyes. I won’t be documenting the various places of “so-called” worship because everyone does that.
The hotel where we stayed this time was a remarkable one (hold your hats folks!). It made me wonder about a lot of things, most of all, I wondered if Dante had decided to include the 10th circle of hell, it would have been something like our place! Sounds Warm, doesn’t it?
I am not really a shutterbug, but an entire canvas of myriad experiences made me want to document this unusual journey.
I have heard a lot of talks, especially from the foreigners that they come to Varanasi to “find” themselves! This time I realised a teeny tiny bit of how that happens. One fine evening, I found myself sulking in the audience of the evening prayer, which happens at the ghats. Therefore, I decided to take a walk by the ghats and explore the literal margin of this antique city. I jammed my earphones in and started to walk. What song was I listening to you ask? Oh, I was listening to American Idiot by Green Day. Is this Globalisation? Multiculturalism? Post Modernism? Frankly, I don’t care.
Look at this boat, sailing the lands forever!
If you stand with your back towards the river and look up towards the skyline, believe me, for a moment I thought I was there in favelas of Brazil!
Nature, I believe, has its own rhetoric. A place called “juice bar” is promoting their brand by showing the way to the burning ghat of all places. I am not going to elaborate on this beautiful irony and destroy your poetry.
Let me remind you, this graffiti is in Varanasi, beside the Vishwanath temple, on the lap of the Ganga.
I’m j-u-s-t saying!
These two holy souls are here seen drawing their daily dose of inspiration from a heavenly conflict between Ray Mysterio and Randy Orton.
I have never had the guts to visit a burial ground, you can call me a coward in that respect. But, here, an inexplicable urge led me on towards that “fatal” place. Is this the force that nature has? Was this what Wordsworth meant?
I kept moving, felt more alive as I did. And when I reached I felt a wave of souls moving through my body. Scores of logs were stacked on all the sides, as the vehicles for the dead. Looking at them made me wonder, someday some log would be mine too!
I don’t really know if dusty the real term to describe the place, because the dust has- me, you, and everyone: the biggest family on earth.
Bodies piled on another, wrapped in white, all set to be launched into eternity. A “grave” situation you’d wonder, right? I am not sure if I can say that because as the enlightenment was dawning upon me, my castle of glass was immediately shattered by a nonchalant tea seller nasal screaming “lebuuu chaiii” (lemon tea). Oh yes, who wouldn’t want refreshment while disposing of the dead!
The power of this place was such that I wanted to go there day after day to drink life from the dead.
Also, every damn creepy house I saw above a few flights of steps, I thought that it was the abode of the great MOCHLI BABA! ALAS! I never found it. Sad.
I have finally reached a moo point
amar kotha ti furolo
note gaach ti murolo
By the way this was the most stylish guy I found there:
oh, the swagger!
All the pictures as you have already noticed are shaky. No! I am not imitating Mrinal Sen or something. It’s just that I wanted to give a feel of the bustling life through these pictures. The city was moving and so was I. This definitely not all, from a personal perspective, this trip also featured one of the best co-incidences I have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe something so poetic could ever happen to me! What the co-incidence you wonder? Maybe, I will tell you someday over coffee, but it has to be your treat!
I hope you enjoyed this trip.
Ink élan is at it again by launching another fabulous series called “Bishwo cup of tea” (world cup of tea)!
Like the previous immensely successful “Baishakhe chander haat”, I have also contributed here with the story of a very inspiring individual!
After reading the post, I can assure you that this guy is a “keeper”.
Read it here:
This time my post has been illustrated by the very passionate Sayan Mukherjee
Amader Ink élan r Baishakhe Chaander Haat er 10 nombor porbo ti amar sesh obodan ei series e, asha kori bhalo lagbe Narayan babu k nie amar ei lekha ti, bhalo lagle ekta like deben please!
Ebare kintu bangla horof eo lekha hoeche!
We at Ink élan are doing a special tribute series about many eminent Bengali personalities called: ||Baishakhe Chaander Haat||
I have been fortunate enough to give life to the third instalment of this amazing series.
It’s a tribute to a revolutionary of Bengali Literature!
Read and spread it as far as possible here!
An amateur’s recollection/review of the Workshop on Acting Shakespeare
hosted by The Heritage College in collaboration with the Shakespeare Society of Eastern India as the part of an international conference on 25.11.17.
Being an enthusiast of Literature, precisely theatre, I was elated when the little Facebook birdie told me that there was going to be a Workshop on acting Shakespeare. Without much ado, I instantly applied for it.
After a lot of restless waiting, the day finally arrived!
At 2 PM sharp, I was escorted through the sprawling greens of The Heritage Campus to a certain room; which without my guide would have permanently been an enigma. Finally, I met our teacher for the day, Prof Amitava Roy. Honestly speaking, I was intimidated by his presence at first (later it eased out though).
Armed with all the googled knowledge, I ogled at him for a considerable amount of time and let everything sink in.
A few moments later, at about 2:30 our workshop began.
Sir had made sure that we sat in a circle. He stepped into the ‘ring’, gestured at the circle that we had outlined, and asked about it. Some hesitant answers later, he told us that the ‘circle’ or the ‘ring’ that we had outlined was called an ‘open space’ or ‘empty space’. “Theatre”, he said “is a circus” or a bare “boxing ring” where the actors are “opposed to each other” or “fight each other”. The only difference is that most of the boxing that takes place in this ring is of the “intellectual faculties or the ideas” and sometimes it gets “physical” as well. He further added that in theatre “people represent ideas which are in conflict”.
The discussion went forward to “theatre in the round” and what it’s like in the folk culture. Prof Roy gave us an example of a hypothetical performance of The Ramayana in the open. Considering a scene with Sita in it, it is understandable that the actor would be engrossed in the work; but when Sita is required to make an exit, the actor would move out of the circle and sit amidst the crowd, remove his wig (considering women weren’t allowed to act back then) and light up a bidi perhaps!
Here, Prof Roy introduced to us what is called, “Brechtian Alienation”: once the actor moves out of the open space, he alienates himself from the acting space and blends into the reality and vice versa.
“Chhau”, the warlike dance form from certain parts of India can also be considered as a good example to understand alienation.
We were eager to know more about the processes of entry and exits, so he moved on to tell about them in proscenium theatre’s full curtain and the other half curtain form. Full curtain form is just the normal form of revelation in a stage: the curtain moves apart and we get to see the character or the character enters from the backstage. The half curtain tradition, on the other hand, is far more interesting! When a character makes an entry, two other are fixed to usher that character in. The element of suspense is maintained by covering the character’s face with a short curtain and playing suitable music at the back. After some more suspense building and dancing, the veil is lifted and the character is revealed to everyone. People might already assume who the character can be, but it adds an excellent edge to the production which, in spite of being ancient, is more dynamic compared to the proscenium style entries. He added however that this type of an entry is befitting only for a grand character and not for anyone else. An entry of Macbeth, with the combo of song and dance, is appropriate but the case is not so for Rosse and Angus.
The Empty space is filled with a lot of possibilities and theatre keeps exploring those possibilities. Waiting for Godot is a modern tragicomedy. In spite of being so modern, it goes back to the use of empty space and has a minimalistic set design with mostly a tree in it. Talking about the art of acting and production, the discussion then went forward to how technology has thwarted human expression and finally about the Method acting of Stanislavsky who tried to make the audience believe in the reality of the event and not the fact that a conscious actor was playing the role of it.
After a lot of chit chat, we moved on to the acting part. Sir declared that a fully fledged workshop on a play takes at least 9 months whereas we only had a couple of hours. In that brief time span, we learnt a lot about performing the witch scene. Sir had the scripts ready for all of us and we too were raring to go.
The next two hours were over in the blink of an eye. In the meantime, we learnt a lot not only about playing the weird sisters but also how to act like a crooked tree and make strange noises which would go with the supernatural setting. We were divided into groups of three and were given full license to be as ‘weird’ as possible. Needless to say, we had the experience to savour. For that duration, Macbeth wasn’t a mere text written in dry ink only to prepare an answer from, it became a living and breathing entity. It felt as if the Bard had risen from his ‘downy’ sleep only to spend a little time
with our bright-eyed bunch, without anyone having to ‘move’ his ‘bones’.
Apart from all the education, Heritage also gave me a platform to come across some fascinating people for which I will always be grateful to them. I hope they keep re-organising such events again and again!
Sayan Mukherjee (Facebook)
The Heritage College
Shakespeare Society of Eastern India
It is well past midnight now and I am here sitting in the railway station with you. Countless earthen pots are lying beside me as you can very well see.
Heyy! Look!—What? Don’t you see?
See that young lady over there, gracefully mixing with darkness at the horizon. She is out my sight now. Fear not! Her silhouette is with me and I will tell her story, yes I am determined now! I will only tell her story!
And you, will you listen?
She was stranger, true, but in this godforsaken place, she became a stranger to herself as well. She felt lonely. Nobody knew her and she knew nobody.
The isolation was eating her by the day
She had no one to say ‘hey’
We are a rational animal they say
A social animal, yes, so was she…but an animal without food
Isn’t that an insult to the neighbourhood?
She didn’t know how this world worked; she was an amateur, a hungry amateur.
Come on let’s get on this train, it’s the last one! We’ll continue our story there. Make sure you put on your woollens properly, it’s chilly.
Ahh! There’s a seat, come.
Whooo does that yuckkkk! Look at that kinky poster and it is stuck with a gum, how cheap is that!
I can never get these people with stupid agendas you know, I mean, how foolish do you think people are huh? To fall for these cheap tricks? The government must do something to protect the innocent people who perhaps are getting fooled by these tricksters every day! My head is so on fire you know, I will write a letter as soon as I get home to the highest of authorities.
I have a LOT of connections!
Ohh! Damn it why isn’t the train moving yet?! I need to have a chat with the driver, pronto!
Come down the platform with me……
I need to talk to the driver about the problems and the damn posters people are sticking, incorrigible!
Oh, your story! I am so sorry, I almost forgot, happens to creative peo—-
Isn’t this that girl??? Yes, it is her!
What is she doing? Is she, OH MY!
She is putting up a poster… it is the same poster…
IT also reads…
RIYA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS
She’s the one who really needs the FRIENDS.
You see I may not be the most popular guy in the world, but I have you as my friend and I am grateful to you for that, and I will be in this year and in the next!
Make friends; talk with people… because you never know who might need one!
Don’t just wish Happy New Year,
Make someone’s New Year, Happy!
CIAO! This train was for the Car-shed anyway.
When you are injured…be physically or mentally– it leaves a mark
Can a mark really alter your approach to reality?
Can it play with the very notion of truth?
With Ink Elan I bring a quasi-fictional (*wink wink*) experience to life
“Observations of an injured mind” (click it)
Please leave your feedbacks, they are important to me.