Saturday, December 20, 2008

The "Naivest" man

" Thats a cross between a lion and a Wolf !!!!! " .. he said. "Wow!!.. quite a thing!" we replied, looking at the Dachshund (Smooth)[here you must check out Google to get a glimpse of this beast.. trust me , U MUST !!]. So, that was the day when I realized: you don't have to be stupid , to be naive .. you just need an immense trust on people, a big heart and a saint-ish belief that all living beings are good !! Because the person am talking bout here had enough intelligence to teach a bunch of crazy lunatics a subject called maths! And among those lunatics, barring a few , rather 2 to be precise, rest all had the urge and the tenacity to learn about numbers! ...... But yet he sacrificed all his judgmental abilities to believe what his neighbor had said about their pet.. the Dachshund!

This is a tribute to the "naivest" and "simplest" human being I have ever known in the past 26.5 years of my existence on this planet... Konar Sir.

As most of my dear friends know that my brother and me had above average intelligence when it came to mathematics! Therefore to further hone our skills we joined the tuition classes of Mr. Konar. My friend Aveek also joined the same batch with us, and am sure will keep regretting that decision as long as he is sane. Because if not for us, he would have learned some more maths than what he did.

We first got the taste of Konar sir's naivety during an early morning class one day. It was circa 1999-2000, and TB6 was reigning the masses (for those who are unaware of TB6 pls use google). So naturally a large part of the pre-class adda was dedicated to discussions on TB6 ... and that day was no different.
(I am going to write this discussion in Beng-lish, rest everything will be in English)
"baba sourojit .. baba aveek .. TB6 ki re ?" .. suddenly sir asked ( we were unaware that he was standing behind us)
"sir, ota kichu na .. ota national geographic er ekta sister channel", prompt came the reply from ingenious Aveek
"ohh!! tai !!! baah baah .... ta ki ki dekhay ote?", Sir asked
"All natural stuff sir !!!! shob natural jinish patro!!... ei dhorun evolution theke shuru kore population obdhi shob!!", .. I said
"ohh tai bujhi !! aacha tahole ajkei ami amar cable-wala ke bolbo TB6 dite" !!!!!!!
(we never really tried to find out what happened next)

Arijit's Australia trip and the kangaroo Incident:

Since that event, we were sure that Sir was oblivious of everything on this earth except mathematics. So quite often we would discuss TB6, Debonair (magazine), Mermaid (magazine), kamona-bashona (novel) etc , and sir would enthusiastically take part in our discussion to quench his thirst for knowledge. Sometime he would even note down the names of these "educational movies and magazines' with an aim to look for them in Kolkata's College street during his next visit.
Things were going fine and smooth ... and we were now a little bored .. we wanted some new excitement ... Finally it happened:
It was a chilly morning in the January of 2000. Indian cricket team was touring Australia and the telecast would start early in the morning in India. It was also the time when my dadu (maternal grandfather) had an angioplasty in Vellore and so Arijit (my twin bro) went to vellore with my Dad. Konar sir used to take the classes very early in the morning, and on that fateful day, we all saw India being completely devastated by the Aussie pace attack, before we started for the class. So the general mood in the class was gloomy... very gloomy . (remember cricket was a religion for us back then!!!)
[ I will translate this discussion in English]
Sir: What happened to you all? Why are you guys looking so sad ?

Someone (I dnt remember who it was): Sir ..... Sir ... there is a bad news ... (!!!!!!!!)
We all could sense that something was coming ...

Sir: what happened !!!!?????????

That Someone: Sir ... Arijit .. Arijit is .....

Sir : WHAT ???????? TELL ME ??????
(we all were dumbstruck and quite....we didn't know what was happening)

That Someone: Sir... Arijit has been beaten by a Kangaroo !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Now that was it !!!!!! ..... everyone was trying to turn their head 360 degs and laugh!!!)

Sir: What??????? I don't understand !!!!
(it was my turn now....)

Me: Sir .. actually we forgot to tell u that Arijit won the Brittania contest and went to Australia to watch India play. Now there I told him to be careful ... but you know how he is ... he went to a safari ... and saw some kangaroo kids playing .. so he wanted to take one of the kids back home with him and also wanted to have a joy ride in the pouch of the big kangaroo!!!! ... he ran towards them .. and the father kangaroo .... sensing danger .. bit him !!!!!!!!!!! ( I still dunno where this story came from!!!)

[Pin drop silence]

Sir: Oh My God (OMG) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What are you saying !!! OMG !! How is he?? How bad is the cut ?? is he in a lot of pain? Where did it bite him ??

[ Now that was the point when we almost collapsed trying to control our laughter!!!! he actually had believed a complete bullshit story!!! .. we actually had devised a new source of fun!!!!!]

Me: Sir !! Sir!!! please calm down !!! control yourself !! he is fine now!! .. I talked with him today morning , he said it bit him in ... bit him in his .. in his .. ASS!!!!... and he also said that it was not painful at all!! rather he felt a little ticklish when the kangaroo bit him .. he realized later that it was actually a bite and not a lick!!!

[ha ha ha ha ha !!!!!! god it was all happening] ...

So, for the next few day all of us would stretch our imaginations to the fullest and tell stories from Australia (apparently heard from Arijit). I don't remember how long this went , but it ended when one fine morning Arijit re-joined the classes.."limping" (!!!!!!!!)

Konar Sir could never even think that someone can lie to him! His world, his perceptions and his ideas were as pure as his love and respect for his profession. For, how on earth could he believe the fact that a class XII student actually showed a "complaint letter" written to his parents and got it signed by them !!! Or how could he NOT believe that it was not the concerned students' dad ... but the student himself, talking with him over the phone !!!

After leaving school, I have tried to visit him whenever I went to Durgapur. But the last time I saw him was almost 5-6 years back. But still today whenever I do even a little of maths (the kind needed for my work).. I still remember that 5.5 ft tall figure... in crisp white "Dhuti-Panjabi" .. and with the most harmless and heart warming smile ..

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Watching the Maharaja ...

Some days back .. Dec 7th to be precise , my brother and some of his friends , during a Safari at the Ranthambore Forest, Rajasthan India , met with the king of the jungle . The Tiger was a mere 8 feets from them !! And this happened after they had spotted Tiger Cubs sometime back .
Watching Tigers in their natural surroundings and outside a cage .... is in itself a thrilling experience. But u need sheer luck .. to spot a tiger during these safaris.

Anyways .. so one of the members in that safari (a very good friend of mine) wrote me this paragraph .. on the experience. I was thrilled ... hope u guys feel the same ...

" ultimate mindblowing experience!!! jokhon dekhlam,odbhut ekta anando hochhilo...feeling-ta undescribable...watching a tiger in its natural surroundings,free from any shackles...odbhut ekta feeling...Valmik Thapar-er moto conservationists-der jonyo respect bhishon bede gechhe...the animal is so beautiful,so majestic je bhabai jaay na keno loke maarte chay...the tiger skin is no doubt beautiful but ota eka jyanto tiger-er opori bhalo laage...
but tiger chharao the national park is very beautiful...aamra duto safari korlaam route 3 and 4 -e,dutor-i terrain ekebaare different...3 -te bodo bodo water bodies,khola khola grassland char dike,ekta silent rough beauty...4-e aabar majorly dense forests,kichhu ta grasslands...ekebaare alada duto...Ranthambore-er puro system bhishon organized laglo...
aar ekta byapar.,tiger dekhar aage tiger chase-ta oshadharon chhilo...we went to some 3-4 places initially after getting the news je ekta tigress and duto cubs dekha gechhe...tarpor ekta forest clearing we stopped for some time with bated breath trying to hear a call (to give ur brother credit,he recognized a pugmark at the beginning of the search and also heard the first call) soon as we heard one,the guide said hold tight,jeep ebaar dourobe...she ekta thrilling experience...tarpor we reached another place,okhan theke aabar race korte korte aarekta jaygay gelaam where we waited in silence for some 15 minutes (which felt like 1hour) and finally got to see the two cubs...cubs maane sub-adults,14-15 months old,almost adult...oder chhobi-tobi tolar por khushi hoye jokhon berolaam,1-1 and a half kms egiye giye dekhi ki ekta full grown male rastar dhaare grassland-er opor boshe aachhe!!! unbelievable luck chhilo shedin...tiger usually never come out in the open so i dont know why it was sitting there,maybe it was just waiting for some time before going to hunt as it was already nearing sunset,the time when tigers start to hunt...

ekta jinish realize korlaam,jongole aamra holam at the mercy of the tiger,tiger is not at our mercy...

tui ele aamra aabar jaabo Ranthambore!!! "