28 October 2014

A ninth grade essay on “Sound”

This morning, as I headed towards the airport, I called up my seventh thru tenth grade Geography teacher – Mrs. Bhowmic in India. We talked about those good old days – when I had a full head of hair (I know, it is difficult to believe it today, but trust me, I was not born this way πŸ™‚ ). Evidently, she follows my random thoughts in my blog/Facebook. And she encouraged me to write a book some day. You know, many people have encouraged me multiple times to consider writing a book. One even gave me a book on how to publish your first book. Till date, while I often feel the urge to lend words to my thoughts, I have never felt the urge to publish a book. But I know things change and I change too. Maybe some day…

But here is how much things change. Back in seventh grade, if you ever told me that people actually will want to read what I write, I would have laughed as hearty a laugh a thin-rail constitution could cough up and come back with some smart Alec comment like “Yeah! And someday I will lose all my hair too!!” (I know, I know, I was gullible then).

However, every time somebody encourages me to write, my thoughts go back to my desk mate in ninth grade – Dibyendu Dutta. As I said, he sat next to me a whole year on the same bench. He was my hero when it came to composing in English. At that early age, he had mastered the art of writing just about anything in the most beautiful way possible. His command on the language English, his ability to stitch various thoughts together and his great ability to pun almost always produced essays that flowed like some mellifluous music.

There was this weekend homework our English teacher – Mrs. Biswas had given us to write an essay on. The subject was “Sound”. As you can imagine, I approached the topic with clinical and yet scientifically sound approach. I was not much of an English writer, but I knew a thing or two about Math and Physics and all that. So, my output was extremely dry but unchallengeable. It started something like “Sound is a form of energy….”. If my memory serves me right, I immediately followed up my impactful first statement with “It travels at the speed of 330 m/s in air” πŸ™‚ or something like that. Again, any Physics teacher would be proud of me. An English teacher? Not so much!!!

Our teacher had talked about Dibyendu’s essay and how well written it was. In fact, she made him read out his essay to the whole class. He got up and started ” ‘Waaah’ wailed the baby as soon as it came out to this world. And what a beautiful sound it was to everybody present around the baby”…. and so on. And of course, I was like “Dude! what has that got to do with writing about Sound? You forgot to mention that it is a transversal wave form of energy. Remember last year, our teacher told us sound cannot travel in vacuum? Man, I need to talk to our Physics teacher about you”… πŸ™‚

What an idiot I was!!

Dibyendu Dutta, if you ever read this blog in the future, I just wanted to give a big shout out to you. You were not only outstanding, you certainly have served as a great inspiration to me till this date. I fervently hope that some of your talent eventually rubbed off on me. After all, we sat only a few inches apart!!

Posted October 28, 2014 by Rajib Roy in category "Musings


  1. By Sibapriya Dasgupta on

    At last the reality is gradually dawning on my friend and he is finally inching towards the ‘ Booker’!Writing blogs will not give him immortality, nor would pushing the envelope chiefly! But a single successful book can!
    So I am sounding you out yet once again, like so many others, rather, I implore you, write , write your heart out .Not the clinical details of every days mundane life, but the saga of a village boy ,in a remote corner of Bharat to making it big in Uncle Sam’s country! That is the only sound bit of advice I can give you tonight(IST)!

  2. By Sibapriya Dasgupta on

    Rajib, leaving out the ‘t’ would perhaps usher in a quicker response , but our moral science teachers would frown from wherever they are, I am sure!

  3. By Sanghamitra Saha on

    wo what a coincidence – our geography teacher from sixth through tenth grade was also Ms. Bhowmick and we also had an English teacher. Ms. Biswas. But me having attended a girls only convent school (Loreto) wondering if you could have sneaked in with your ‘full head of hair’ ending in a neatly tied pony tail…hmm..mm perhaps a mystery to solve πŸ™‚

  4. By Bob Hart on

    So, I expect you were, in fact, born this way .. it’s the time in the middle when you had the hair πŸ™‚

  5. By Sanghamitra Saha on

    jokes apart – this is a great share Rajib that I can use as an eye opener for my Aadi…a few days ago in their 5th grade humanities class they were asked to do a project. He chose to do a movie on the Battle of Fort Pulaski which had a total of 365 casualties of which 364 were confederates and 1 from the union. His script included the casualty % calculated to the 10th decimal and his teachers comments were ‘Nice work on Math but given this is social studies cannot give any credit for it’.

  6. By Amrita Bhattacharyya on

    Rajib Roy ha ha ha… I have a question though…did you make a note on the sound waves caused when you strike a tuning fork? That is a part of physics (my personal nightmare along with Math) and would have fit in seamlessly in your clinically analyzed essay. Who cares about bawling babies anyways πŸ˜‰

  7. By Dibyendu Mukherjee on

    Rajib, I remember the essay you have talked about. Dibyendu Datta, as you know, is with the Taj group. His English is still fab when I converse with him on those rare occasions. I wonder if he has some contributions in the annual reports. But yes, undoubtedly he is probably the finest weaver of words that I have come across as a colleague. And clinically precise!

  8. By Rajib Roy on

    I don’t think he is with the Taj Group anymore. I am trying to track him down. (His Taj email account bounced back)

  9. By Rajib Roy on

    Niladri , this is GIDI GIDI. HE had a fascination for motorcycles… which is where he picked up the nickname from…


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