9 February 2021

Love of writing meets love of geography!

Just this morning I was talking to my Geography teacher from my middle school days – Mrs. Jayanti Bhowmic. And this blog reminds me I need to call up my English teacher from those times – Mrs. Devyani Biswas. The love of geography and the love of writing that they had instilled in me came together on Nov 2, 2014 when I had decided to track my blog readers by country. The blog itself was over nine years old by then. So, all the tracking has been in the last six years or so.

Reached 149 countries this morning with that one reader from Tajikistan logging in. I am sure he/she was completely lost in the internet-dom and landed on my page. But I am tantalizingly close to reaching the landmark of 150 countries.

Some interesting facts:

Most commonly hit page is : About Me

Second highest hit page (I have no idea why) is a translation of a Bengali poem that accompanied a photo I had taken with my DSLR.

Most hits from China? The puzzles posts !!

1 January 2021

This year, I wish you a little more

Every year, like clockwork, I wish you enough. It is an outstanding perspective-setting story from Bob Perks that reminds us of all the blessings we already have and how, to truly enjoy the benefits of life, we have to endure the pains too.

Even against that backdrop, it appears to me that wishing you enough this year is not enough any more. Not in a year that enveloped each and every one of you with the dreaded pandemic that upended your and your family’s lives as you knew it.

In a year when the person who had originally wished me enough got the dreaded cancer affliction, in a year when I came to the realization that the goodbye I had waved to my mom earlier in the year was going to be the last goodbye to her ever, in a year when I got cut off from my friends in the hospice – worse each one of them died without even being able to see their near and dear ones thru as much as a glass window, it seems it would be blissfully insensitive just to wish you enough.

This year, therefore, I wish you more than enough.

Whatever it is that makes you happy, I wish you a little more than you yourself are wishing for.

And in that pursuit of happiness of yours, should you be looking for some company, I wish myself that you will accept me in that journey – at least for a while. For, the best answer to the question of “What is more important – the destination or the journey?”, I have learnt this year, is “the company”.

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12 December 2020

The stories about my sanity are largely exaggerated…

If you thought that my car is old – it has a cassette player – try this:

In a bit of head turning lunacy, I got myself a turntable (vinyl record player). I had been thinking about it for quite some time – but a discussion with Ashok Deb last Sunday at the Chalupa post-run coffee get together – led to a firm resolve on my side. Thinking no further, ordered a Japanese turntable (Denon). Which duly arrived on Wednesday. Assembled it and set it up last night.

Just the mere sight of it brings back too many memories. As a child, I was fascinated by this device – which we called “record player” for some reason. Way back in December 1974, we had visited my mother’s elder sister. They had a “record player”. Uncle (who I last saw in 2014) had shown me the device. He put a Hemanta Mukherjee vinyl on it and let it rip. I was fascinated by how the thing would keep going round and round and somehow produce an amazing sound. (I was 8 years old then). But uncle would not let me touch the vinyl. I figured they must be very important.

Much later, I found out that my school mate – Ashoe Das – had turntable too. I became a regular feature on Sundays at his house at 11AM. His parents used to love me and his dad allowed me a lot more freedom. He showed me how to load the vinyl, put the pin on it (I was always scared of putting the pin down lest I scratched the vinyl), how to change the speed etc. None of those folks are alive any more. I would have absolutely sent them this picture.

This week, I had to sit down and learn the basics of a turntable – you know direct motor versus belt (I got the belt), maintenance of the cartridge and all that. My next problem was how to get LP records. The problem is I do not listen to Western music. At all.

I spent an hour at the Vinyl shop in Alpharetta and came home with a Saxophone (jazz) record. That is all I am listening to all day.

Do you folks know where I might get good LP records – could be instrumental, Hindustani classical, Ghazal/Qawali and such?

Meanwhile, I am getting inexplicable thrills every time the thing starts rotating and the arm loads itself!!

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