24 June 2017

Winding down the week with a classic from Mirza Ghalib

“Dard se mere hai tujhko beqaraari haae haae
Kya hua zalim teri ghaflat-ashiari haae haae
Tere dil mein gar na tha ashob-e-gham ka hausla
Tu ne phir kyun ki thi meri gham-gusari haae haae”

Roughly translated… and any help from experts in Urdu in refining this would be much appreciated…

“You seem to be oblivious to all my pains, Oh, my!
What an oppression of your total carelessness you inflict, Oh, my!!
If you did not have the strength to deal with the vagaries of pain
Why did you, once upon a time, offer sympathies for my pain, then?”

13 June 2017

Accidental shot…

I had reached the turning point in my run. Took a quick picture of the bridge under which I turned. Later, over breakfast, as I was checking the pictures, I realized that the shot managed to capture a bird of prey (eagle? falcon? hawk) take off in full glory. I had not even noticed the bird!!! It could not have been more than a few yards awY from me behind the bushes.

I wish the sun was behind me instead of in front. The light and color has not come thru well…

Category: Images | LEAVE A COMMENT
12 June 2017

Jun 11th – the most popular birthday amongst my friends!

For whatever reason, June 11th is the most popular birthday in my birthday calendar. Today, as many as 15 of my old friends get birthday calls from me! That is almost twice of my daily average. Not terribly sure how to explain the popularity of this date… but here is some interesting analysis of the mix of those birthday boys and girls. The gender distribution surprised me and I am fairly sure that it is not representative of the whole birthday list for the year…

Category: Musings | LEAVE A COMMENT
10 June 2017

Sudipta Chattaraj will be very proud of me!!

A couple of months back, when I had posted my fountain pen collection, my friend from elementary school days – Sudipta Chattaraj – had reminded me of the WingSung Hero pens that we used to use in our childhood.

I still remember how I got my first WingSung pen. I was in Narendrapur in 11th grade. I had gone to one of my seniors Sanku Mallik (who was the topper in our previous batch) to get one particularly tough trigonometry problem solved and noticed his very nice pen (later found out to be a WingSung pen). I also noticed that he, rather undramatically, solved the problem like he had been having trigonometry problems for breakfast from right about the time he was three and a half years old or thereabouts.

Thoroughly convinced that having a Wing Sung pen and doing trigonometry easily could not just be a matter of correlation – that there must have been a cause and effect relationship – I made it my life’s mission to get myself one such pen. That Sunday, armed with a gate pass, I slipped out of the residential campus and a short bus ride later started hunting for a WingSung pen in the shops of Garia. And finally got one!! A red-brown colored one!!

Not terribly sure it ever improved my trigonometry but I do remember going back later and getting a blue colored one too. Calculus was also particularly tough that semester!!

I used to cherish those two pens. Many a letter had been written with those two pens. Many a test paper saw me getting stuck with those two pens between my fingers!!

Sudipta had suddenly reminded me of those two pens. Like I search the world over for my old friends, a similar search started for those Wing Sung pens. Unfortunately for me, Wing Sung pens do not have Facebook accounts. Nevertheless, I was able to finally contact a guy in remote China who said he could get me one. I insisted that it had to be the model 233 (that was the only model that had that orange color window to check on the ink level).

What do you know? For the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee, I am a proud owner of a brand new WingSung Model 233 pen!!! Exactly the same color as the very first one I possessed – back in 1983!!

Previous owners of a WingSung pen probably remember the unique nib shape that is integrated into the body, that small orange window to check ink level, the small hole in the back to even out the pressure to keep the ink flowing and above all – the unique press clip cartridge system to fill in ink. Absolutely the cleanest way of refilling ink from an ink pot I have ever found.

I can also tell you that the pen is writing even better than most pens I have at hundred times that price!! But that might have to do with the priceless nostalgia too!!

Category: Musings | LEAVE A COMMENT
6 June 2017

East Bengal!!

That is an American Goldfinch with a Red Cardinal.

Growing up in a place where soccer was immensely popular, yellow and red were the jersey colors of one of the top two teams those days – called East Bengal. Rivalry between the top two teams amongst its fans was pretty intense. I was with the other team – Mohun Bagan. I am not sure I will ever see a green and a purple color bird on my bird feeder ever!