Swisspuja Patrika 2017 (low res)

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Table of Contents Message


Message from Ambassador S. Purushottam President‘s Message


OLD Switz: Prodyot Sinha


S. Coomar


OLD Switz: Ram Mitra


B. Bose


Interview with the Photographer and Scientist Sandip De





H. Mukhopadhyay


The Singing Stars: Mother and Daughter S. and A. Rakshit



A. Bhattacharya


The Relationship Between a Mother-in60 law (MIL) and a Daughter-in-law (DIL) D. Banerjee & M. C. Banerjee

Drey scheenschte Dääg at Basel Fasnacht S. Coomar


Ogo Probashi.. (The Immigrant)

R. Mukerji


Could I offer you a cup of Coffee? What about a cup of Tea? Alcohol? S. Bose


Playing With Fire - The Concept of ‘Gaslighting‘ A. Bhattacharya


Automotive Sects – Which One Do You Belong to? S. Dhar


Adjustments with a Bengali / Being married to a Bengali R. Kukkila


R. Mukherjee


Marriage: Love or Arranged?


Mysterious Mystery - The Parallel Worlds! R. Chauhan


Photo Feature: Father and Child


N. Bhattacharya


Parar Pujo

My Kolkata

A Saree Tale English Book Club in Switzerland(Langnau a.A.)




A. Ray and T. Sanyal



I. Bhattacharya


V. S. Garin

Cultural Tribute to Guruji: Pandit Ravi Shankar U. Mazumdar


Brinda’s Art Classes and Workshops

Interview with Ken Zuckerman P. Kangsabanik



R. Mukherjee



DANCE: A Memoir



P. D. Kanungo


T. Sanyal


Nayana’s Tall Tales and Story Mails

83 84

OLD Switz: Basanta Palit


Sumana Roychoudhury’s Art Classes

OLD Switz: Debashree Banerjee



OLD Switz: Pannalal Bose



OLD Switz: Prosenjit Poddar


Hyperthermia and It’s role in Cancer 86 Therapy Dr. N. R. Datta

S. Chakraborty

Disclaimer: Swisspuja is not responsible for the comments or ideas shared by authors in this Patrika. Thank you.




Table of Contents Travel

Kids‘ Corner A. Sadhu

Mauritius Medley


Augustus Visits His Legions In Vindonissa

122 A. Bose

S. Panda



A. Ghosh


P. D. Kanungo


My Favourite iOS Apps

C. M. Sen


A. Ray


Instagram: Ritika Chakraborty


A. Rahman


Instagram: Abhigyan Ghosh


Backpackers journey to South America K. Kishore


Instagram: Ambika Mukherjee


S. Dhar


Instagram: Seemon Coomar


Iceland Wonderful Indonesia Cruise Ride @ Adriatic Sea Iran

Italy/Amalfi Coast

‘BYTES’ from the ‘BIG APPLE’ R. Sengupta


Kunst in der Gegenwart


U. Palit


S. Bose


50 Jahre in Langnau - ein Dorf im Wandel der Zeit C. Haag


J. Mukherjee


Selma und die Integration

U. Palit


P. R. Chakraborty


S. Mitra


Quantum Leap Vacations Then and Now A New Beginning


কিবতা ি"েকেটর আেবাল তােবাল

Verse C. Chatterjee


ম-ল বনী

D. Roy


S. Bose


েমেঘেদর কথা

S. Dey


S. Ray


B. Bose



B. Palit


Colours of my Guardian Angel R. R. Sadhu


4িটর িদন

D. Sengupta


িমসড্ কল

A. Ganguli


T. Pal


S. B. Das


B. Coomar


Colour To be or not to be - a Bangalee Cocktails on the Lawn Monet’s Colours


Kids‘ Corner Caricatures




A. Ghosh


Football in Switzerland and India A. Roychoudhury


নজ;ল <রেণ

Budding Tennis Star: Simran Kukkila P. D. Kanungo


জীবন স3ে> ?যাগা

My Summer Camp at Greifensee S. Rakshit


েরােম ?রামাB

Around the World in 12 Years... A. Choudhury


অথ C মহাভারত কথা

Sacred's Evil


S. Dey A. Rahman

157 159



Messaqe from Ambassador of India

I convey our very best wishes and support to Swisspuja on the occasion of Durga Puja this year and thank Swisspuja for organizing this popular event in Switzerland. Durga Puja is an bccasion for bringing together all sections of lndian society in celebration of all that is good in life, especially the victory of good over evil, and in honoring our ancient traditions. lt is a joyful event which also provides an opportunity for dance, music and plays based on lndian mythology in which children participate enthusiastically. On the auspicious occasion of Durga Puja, May the festivities bring immense joy and happiness to you all.

The lndian community in Switzerland makes us proud because of its achievements and its peaceful integration into Swiss society even as it preserves colorful lndian traditions. We look forward to cooperating with it to strengthen tndo-Swiss relations in the cultural sphere and in many others.

{-;,"*Yu,A"-^ (Smita Purushottam) 06.06.2017




President‘s Message from Swisspuja 2017 This year our first event was ‘Prabhat Pheri’ along Lake Zürich, singing Rabindra Sangeet while holding umbrellas above our heads before Surjodeb took pity on us and graced us with his presence, allowing us to enjoy some breakfast and tea by the lake. A few weeks later we celebrated ‘Rabindra-Nazrul Jayanti’ - a novelty this year - a cultural event to mark the birth anniversaries of two literary geniuses of Bengali literature - Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. The program showcased our local talents, and the highlight of the program was a mesmerising performance by Sahana Bajpaie


ar Swisspuja Family,

For the past 13 years your trust, support and participation has made Durga Puja in Switzerland a festive and joyous occasion for everyone. As we enter the 14th year of Swisspuja, I am thankful to the past Committees for setting such a positive example and inspiring me to lead the organisation this year. Together with the 2017 Swisspuja Executive Committee, I hope that we have met and possibly even exceeded your expectations. Furthermore, I also hope that we have been able to motivate future generations and new participants to get involved in Swisspuja activities as well. The events could not have been organised without the dedication, and genuine commitment of several volunteers, from past committees, as well as from our extended Swisspuja family. I truly appreciate the time and energy that they have invested throughout the year to ensure the success of all Swisspuja events.

Then in July just before the summer holidays, we had our annual Swisspuja Picnic, along the beautiful lake shore of Vierwaldstättersee in Buochs. I think Surjodeb took an early vacation that day. But that did not stop us from playing cricket and smashing sixes out of the ground (into the lake) and kicking around the soccer ball. We also enjoyed the indoor games and activities and most importantly the Bengali Adda.

Sometimes it is hard to believe how fast time flies. I still vividly remember bringing the Protima of Maa Durga and her family as accompanying luggage from Kumartuli to Switzerland for the first time in 2004. That was a long time ago when Swisspuja started with a handful of 40 families. We barely had any funds then, but we Bengalis, being as stubborn as we are, said we will make it happen one way or another. And that is exactly what we did! Today, over 140 families have joined our Swisspuja community and we are still growing every year. The birth of Swisspuja was generously supported by restaurant owners, Sikha and Sekhar Dhar who back in those days gave us their restaurant hall to host the puja. We are thankful to them and a host of other individuals for their singleminded support, dedication, enthusiasm and tireless effort that has made Swisspuja as you see it today.

This year, we modified our website, launched a new Twitter account and posted lively information regularly in our Facebook posts. We hope that you will also enjoy reading the Swisspuja Patrika - which is another example of our Swisspuja family’s literary talents. Our motto this year is Swisspuja is YOUR puja with the vision to communicate with everyone and engage all those who are willing, to actively participate as a member of the Swisspuja family. Our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the members, volunteers, guests, sponsors and friends for their wholehearted support, encouragement and valuable suggestions throughout the year, to make the events successful.

As Swisspuja reaches its 14th year in 2017, it is no more a mere religious function. It signifies harmony amongst all, and occupies a very special place in our hearts. Durga Puja strengthens the bonds of comradeship and guides people on the path of righteousness. It marks the victory of good over evil. It is the celebration of Shakti and Bhakti and symbolises our inner struggle to rise to higher levels of consciousness. Om Nomo Bhagvaty Maha Durgaye Namaha. This is a festival in which every Bengali household brims with worship and merriment. However, mostly it takes us back to our childhood, those nostalgic moments we will never forget, when we knew that ‘that’ special time of the year had arrived, ‘that’ time when your mind was everywhere but in your everyday boring life. It was much more than just a holiday. We do not only intend to bring back those old memories but we hope that Swisspuja can create new memories for us, a new feeling and experience for ‘that’ time of the year, here in Switzerland, not only for us but also for our future generations.

As part of our social and philanthropic responsibility Swisspuja donated the cash prize of INR 50,000 that we received last year from Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman (instituted by Government of West Bengal) to SOS Children’s Village, Kolkata. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for giving me your trust to uphold the values of Swisspuja. On behalf of Swisspuja Executive Committee, I wish you all a Happy Durga Puja. Om Jayanti Mangala Kali Badra Kali Kapalini Durga Kshana Shiva Dhatri Swaha Swadha Namostute. Shyama Pada Coomar President Swisspuja 2017 7


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 4. Kids Corner—We targeted kids right from 1 till 21 in our ‘Kids Corner’. The youngest group (1-8) was photographed with their fathers. Kids aged 4-12, either submitted an essay, poem or a drawing. Their drawings are based on their favourite cartoon figures-this gives a sneak peek to our generation X’s fantasy world! The older group (13 yrs onwards) was asked to send us some photos from their daily lives, for a special Instagram feature. Then there is a relevant essay on apps that a parent recommends to share with kids when they are hooked on their iPads (something we don’t want to encourage and yet it is a reality of our times); and an interview with Simran, a budding tennis star, by another sportslover. The collage is quite interesting I must say!

Brindarica Bose A Warm Welcome to the 14th issue of Swisspuja Patrika! This year, we are happy to launch new categories and a brand new Front Cover—first time with a portrait photo instead of a painting. Hope you liked it.

5. Switzerland in the 1970s-90s: We reached out to our Swisspuja Senior Members who are living here since the 1960s, and asked them to share some photos from 1970-90s which reflected that particular time-period (events, TVs, Cars, Bengali gatherings, family). What we received is a beautiful collage of memories. All these photos were fished out from albums stored in the cellar (yes, the hardcopy ones – not FB Albums), and we scanned them and got them ready for Patrika. You will spot many ‘much younger version’ of our well known Swisspuja Members in these photos. Enjoy spotting them, and if you are not sure ask them when you meet them during Puja!

In this issue of Patrika, along with articles in Bangla, German and English fiction and non-fiction, we also have some new special features: 1. Relationship Section—Here we have explored some ‘soft factors’ from our daily lives. In this section you will find two interviews: one, with a daughter and a mother exploring their musicality; in another, you will find a new trend in the clichéd Saas-Bahu relationship. Then, there is an essay on immigrants, a growing concern of current times; and in another article, a husband is probing the concept of ‘gaslighting’; followed by an expat’s account of a Bong wife. And if you feel this is not enough, then hold on flip few more pages and you will find a survey with six participants discussing their marriage—was it love or arranged? (Thanks Kamalika for conducting this survey). Concluding this section is a unique Photo feature on ‘Father and Child’!

Almost 80% of the articles and categories were planned and topics were discussed with relevant authors beforehand. The rest, came in response to the ‘open call for articles’ that we carried in our Swisspuja mailer around Feb/March. We have articles right from Parar Pujo by one of our Committee Members, to a German article about Langnau am Albis (Durga Puja venue) to advice about which car to buy, or books to read (thank you Chandana for your initiative); a Durga - based modern age fiction written with flair (watch out for this writer in future, she definitely knows the art of storytelling), to an essay about Parallel World by a physicist, a thrilling science fiction Quantum Leap, along with English and Bangla poems; a recent medical research in Aarau Hospital to a detailed article on benefits of yoga by a profi yoga instructor. Last but not least you will enjoy reading an article on Saree, thoroughly researched by Nayana with inputs from Smitha and enchanting Bangla stories - written by our very own popular authors, and a travelogue set in Rome. On behalf of Patrika team and Swisspuja Executive Committee 2017, we sincerely hope that you will love reading this Puja Barshiki.

2. Travel Section—Bengalis are famous for their ‘wanderlust’; so we tracked down some Swisspuja members and requested them to take up the job of ‘Patrika’s Foreign Correspondent’! Enjoy reading this special feature with travelogues and tips from Iceland to Iran, Indonesia to Amalfi Coasts of Italy, backpacking journey in South America an Airbnb in New York, and a luxurious cruise across the Mediterranean sea! 3. Art and Culture—In this section we are happy to offer you two unique memoirs written by our two musical maestros residing in Basel, Switzerland— Udhai Mazumdar and Ken Zuckerman (interviewed by Parthiv). We also have a dance memoir by our very own multi-talented Riti Mukherjee and a unique photofeature and interview with Sandip De, who has developed a new method of photographing Victoria Memorial Hall (Kolkata) and other landmarks with ‘Drone Cameras’.

Acknowledgements: 1. Bangla editors: Special Thanks to Dipanjana Ghosh, for being the volunteer every team dreams to have! She manually typed handwritten Bengali articles, and proofread most of the Bangla articles that we 8



occurs once in 10 years in Baden), I called Tanmoy to discuss some articles and then, I came to know that his wife Tina had gone to Badenfahrt’s finale alone with Trisha (3) so that Tanmoy could finish working on Patrika.

have in this issue. A big thank you to Swati BhuniaDas, she not only typed poems from handwritten scripts, but also helped in editing some of the Bengali articles. This is a much needed help, thank you both very much for your time, enthusiasm and expertise.

No sacrifice of yours has gone unnoticed. This issue of Patrika is Tanmoy’s fourth issue and with every issue of Patrika, he has perfected his skill and passion of typesetting a magazine to the fullest. Thank you Tanmoy for always smiling, and for being the star who prefers not to shine publicly—a rare breed I must say.

2. Advertisement Group: Patrika cannot be printed if printing costs are not covered by advertisements. This group’s relentless effort made this possible. Cold calls to repeated follow-ups, this team did that all, to get a half page or a full page advertisement. Hats off to you all and a big thank you to our Advertisers and Sponsors.

My personal thanks to my family: Srijit, Adhrit (9) and Jeet (5) for bearing with me from February till August 2017, minutes, hours, days, when I kept staring at my computer screen or mobile phone, editing or organizing articles. Thank you for being patient with me and believing that—Mama will be free from work soon! I owe you a lot, Adhrit and Jeet. I thoroughly enjoyed working on Patrika this year, thank you for giving me this opportunity. This was my third issue of Swisspuja Patrika (2014, ‘15, ‘17).

3. Front Cover model: After 13 years, for the first time we have a portrait feature on our cover page. Thank you Haimanti Mukhopadhyay for agreeing to be on the Cover, and for being the wonderful person that you are. I would like to thank our Patrika Subcommittee (Please refer to page 119 for photos):

Thank you Shyama Pada Coomar, Swisspuja 2017 President, for your faith in us, and Executive Committee Members for your support and honest feedbacks.

Nayana Chakrabarti-Bhattacharya for always being enthusiastic and eager to help, despite being mother of two very young children Abhigyan (7) and Aryahi (1). This is her second year in Patrika SubCommittee. Nayana, is a literary genius, who did her MA in English literature, from Cambridge Univ., UK; and now she runs a storytelling group for kids in Zurich, along with her teaching assignments. Readers, don’t miss reading her survey article on Saree. Thank you Nayana for always being there!

Authors of Patrika, without your contribution, Patrika’s dream wouldn’t come true. Thank you so very much. Please keep writing, you all are immensely talented. You indeed have a blood-relation with a pen! Thank you Readers for being there, for holding Patrika in your hands and reading through this long Editorial. Hope you will enjoy this issue to the fullest, I will be happy to receive your feedback.

Tanmoy Pal, well, Patrika’s 164 pages is this one man’s work—despite several engagements, he sat up late in the night and worked through weekends, page by page. On Aug. 27th, last day of Badenfahrt (which

Wishing you all a Happy Durga Puja!

Swisspuja Executive Committee 2017 Shyama Pada Coomar Haradhan Das (President)

Sandipan Chakraborty


Brindarica Bose

Arindam Bhattacharyya

Diptanil Sengupta

Sumana Roy Choudhury

Prithwish Kangsabanik

Anirban Chowdhury 9

Mahua Ganguli


Pradip Nandi

Suman Ray



PRAYAS NGO for children, India Haimanti Mukhopadhyay, Patrika’s Cover Page Photo Model is a yoga teacher and started an initiative ‘Prayas’ to educate juvenile children in India in the year 2014. After her graduation, she worked in Kolkata Doordarshan as an anchor. She left the job to pursue her higher studies (M.Phil History, B. Ed.) and later worked as a Principal of a school in Maharashtra. Thereafter, she dedicated herself completely to practise and teach yoga, and initiated a group called Prayas, which is dedicated to teach yoga and educate juvenile children in Delhi, extending a new life style for underprivileged children and giving them a new hope. She currently lives in IIT Delhi, where she works. Contact:

cause in the beginning and our small Prayas study group started. As the number of students increased, so did the number of teachers. Beautiful kind souls like Sridhar, Ashish, Neha, Nidhi, Ambika, Prof. Sohini, Hiya and Vijay became invaluable part of the group. As few IIT Delhi students graduated and left Delhi for their jobs, Prof. Butola, Hardik and Ankesh joined the group with new vigour. The whole effort is thoroughly supported by founder and general secretary Sri Amod Kanth, and Director Sri Vishwajeet Ghosal sir.


ur 'Prayas' with underprivileged children started

with a very dedicated teacher Ajay Saini, who dedicated his whole life for the education of underprivileged children. In a chance meeting, he asked me whether I wish to take Yoga to juvenile jails. I grabbed the opportunity immediately as this is my dream too. I started visiting a juvenile jail in Rajghat which is run by Govt. with the help of Prayas JAC society. As I interacted with the juvenile kids, I realised that they all have the potential to be transformed with yogic practice.

As our strength of teachers (students and residents of IIT Delhi) increased, we also adopted another Boys' shelter home in Saket with the same mission of imparting Yoga and education, and got to know many wonderful souls there too.

Very soon the Yoga classes became popular both with inmates and the administration and I received a call from the Director of Prayas JAC Society, Mr. Vishwajeet Ghoshal to visit Prayas head quarter and teach Yoga to Juvenile girls in shelter home also. They started taking me to headquarters and I started teaching Yoga to the girls there. Though in the beginning it was tough to manage hyperactive kids and making them practice Yoga, still we all enjoyed the journey and yogic practices helped the kids to emotionally stabilise

In this endeavour, we are witnessing that many bright students are struggling to get a good environment to study, and in future they will also have financial problem to pursue their studies. Keeping this in mind, we are developing a group of mentors who will be directly connected to a child or two and will take care of their emotional and financial needs as much as possible until these children become mentally and financially capable as adults and learn to take care of themselves. We have been successful in connecting few children to few established kind hearted souls as mentors.

This is when I noticed that many children regularly visit school but they have hardly any personal help for their studies which affects them emotionally and their overall wellbeing. So, I set up a group who could come with me and help these children in their studies.

This is a small endeavour where we are trying to impart education to children who are wonderful human beings, despite their unfortunate situations, we believe that they are capable of higher education and deserve a bright future, like any other child. If you wish to help us in this initiative, then you are most welcome to join. Please contact me for information.

As I work as a Yoga teacher in a university, the whole atmosphere is that of education. Here I approached some Yoga practitioners from my Yoga class to give Sunday afternoons to help juvenile children in their studies, Prof. Samrat, Siny and Utkarsh joined the




Parar Pujo Arindam Bhattacharya Software engineer by profession and parar chele by passion, this is Arindam Bhattacharya's fourth Puja in Switzerland. He lives in Zurich with his wife and two children. Contact:


parents) - by gender, we would all be happily immersed in our own thing. Looking back now, it seems like a halcyon time, saturated with the joy of meeting friends, meeting their friends, being reunited with people I hadn’t seen all year around in spite of living, cheek by jowl with them, in the same para. Invariably, over the year, life would get in the way and then Pujo would come and once again, sitting in circles and playing antakshri, we would set the world to rights again.

Kolkata, one lives Puja, one does not simply love


For most Kolkatans, the countdown to Puja begins around the months of June and July. Growing up, I usually became aware of it when my mother would start to complain that the queue in front of the most popular tailor’s shop was growing longer or even that his demands were getting higher. In September, I would start to receive my ‘pujor jama’ and although I was not as concerned about this as my sister, it was nice to see my Puja finery find their rightful place in my wardrobe. Then, there would be a frantic running around of New Market with my father when he would take us pujoshopping and we would look for the right shoes, or the right jacket or just the right pair of jeans. That simple escalation of my mother’s Gariahat to my father’s New Market set all the Pujo-related gears into motion. Or at least it did, in my head. Every year, there was the same familiar but nevertheless, thrilling, routine.

With the passing years, the fun slowly sneaked its way into the evenings too. By the time the college years had come along, the focus had long shifted from the mornings to the evenings instead. Then, it was all about who had a bike and would they a) be sporting enough to let me ride it or b) give me a lift along with some friends. We would roam around the nearby pujas, hopping from para to para, from phuchka to chowmein. Eventually, we stayed out later and later, first to see the lights and then to see what else both life and light had to offer. Somehow or the other, no Pujo was complete without an evening spent in Maddox Square. As far as the young people of Kolkata are concerned, Maddox remains the nerve centre, the place to which everyone must come at least once to pay their respects before venturing out again. The endless streams of people coupled with the informality and general sense of euphoria means that even as you sit, it feels like you are in direct communion with all the bring young things of Kolkata. In those moments, it does literally feel like a ‘city of joy’. It goes without saying that love stories are made in Maddox and one such story remains my favourite.

I don’t mean to come across too long in the tooth, but whereas nowadays Puja appears to start on Tritiya or even Ditiya because folks do everything in their power to skip out on the pandal-hopping crowds, when I was growing up in Kolkata, the funfair of Puja did really, in fact, start on Shoshti and not a day before. On the morning of Shoshti, I would make my inaugural visit to our local ‘parar pandal’. Situated right behind our house, on the grounds of the clubhouse that I was only too familiar with (much to my parents’ dismay at the time), that first visit to the pandal on Shoshti morning always felt a little special. It set the tone, really, for everything to come. Adda was the order of the day. By noon, the field would be dotted with groups of all ages huddled together in circles. My friends and I would claim one spot, further away there would be my sister and her friends, further away still would be my parents in their respective groups. Divided by both generations and for the very young (my sister) and the very old (my

So, I had this friend, let’s call him…Godai (if he ever sees this, he’ll have my head on a plate). So, yes, where was I? Godai. Well, alongside his college subjects, Godai had a burgeoning tuition business. Whenever I used to see him, Godai was weighed down heavily with the many trials and tribulations of his many, many students. He was always on the verge of giving it up, but the money, such as it was, was good. So, what to




do? Anyway, little did we know that one day Godai’s little tuition business would turn and play cupid. See, we also had this friend called Raja. One fine Saptami evening, a whole bunch of us gathered at Maddox. So far, so predictable. Godai was there, Raja was there, I was there…Do you know who else was there? Reshmi. Yes, Reshmi, Godai’s latest tutee. An evening at Maddox gave way to a night at Magnolia in Park Street and by the end of it, Godai (who was supposed to be looking after Rani and chaperoning her and making sure that her first venture out into the world of Kolkata’s Puja went well) decided to pass the baton of responsibility to my good friend Raja. Raja escorted Reshmi home that night, and the rest as they say is history. The next thing we know, Raja took over Godai’s tuition and then in a move that is blink-andyou-miss-it -fast, Raja and Reshmi got married, were blessed with a daughter a few years later and are now living in both Canada and Kolkata. It was around this time that I thought that I might have a future in tutoring. Unfortunately, that was not to be. My story has a different ending!

By the time our old Ambassador ambled through the crowds and returned us home, all would be forgiven and I would make a quick escape and return home to my own group, waiting for me in my para, at my club, by my pandal. Come Nabami, the dhakis’ drumbeats had started to beat faster. There was a sense of urgency in the air. Suddenly the days were simply not long enough because there was still so much left to see, and so very much left to do. During the Pujas, it was mandatory for all of us to go pandal-hopping as a family. It was just as mandatory to go and see all of the North Calcutta pujas with my neighbourhood buddies. When I was a boy, I would compete with my cousins about who had seen the most pujas. Everything would count, even the ones which cropped up on the roadside with humble pandals and the loudest loudspeakers. It was all about quantity rather than quality. As we all got older, we began to appreciate quality and then it was all about namedropping the big brandnames. Santosh Mitra Square, gechish? What about Dum Dum Park? Mohammed Ali Park? College Square? North Calcutta jaashni? Tahole Singhi Park? Suruchi Sangha? We would pity those who had not gone to see these landmark pujas. What sad lives must they lead, we thought, to be a son or daughter of Bengal and yet not step beneath the great chandeliers of Ekdalia Evergreen at least once a year? Those were more innocent times. Photos took time to develop, and all we had were our eyes and tall tales.

On Ashtami morning, it was time to be a good boy again and to adhere to our filial roles again. I would invariably choose this morning to volunteer at the parar pandal. Ashtami anjali holds its auspicious own amongst the multitude of Puja festivities. Mothers and daughters, dressed in their most refined finery would stream to the pandal. It goes without saying that between the ages of fourteen and marriage (!), this was a good time to both see and be seen. Unfortunately for me, again, my parents always had other plans for me. Before the morning was over, I would be swept off to the other side of the city in order to spend Ashtami with my mamabari. Ashtami was a very big event in my uncle’s home, a rich bhog would be served and my grandmother would preside over the largest gathering of her sons, daughters, sons-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren. We were so many in number that no outsider would ever get a look in. However, to my dismay, the adda would roll forth until the evening (eating into my precious ‘hanging-out-at-the-pararpandal’ time) and there would be no getting my parents out of there and back to my own para before 7.30 (at the earliest). Dragging my parents out of an adda that they had no intention of being dragged out of would get me heartily scolded. They would unite in their fury against me but, because it was Puja, everything was ok.

While the ladies of the para would throng the pandal on Dashami, my friends and I would find our own entertainment behind it. A parar kaku would be found, mixing siddhi or bhang and as if by miracle, we would find ourselves there, at that exact spot too. Imagine! The community spirit would reach its crescendo at Dashami. All too quick, it would be time for someone to start the electric banjo and then it would be time to take our thakur for bhashan. Much of what I know to be dancing, I learnt from the parar kakus and dadas during the bhashan dance! Every year, we would dance like crazy in the wake of the procession. I continued to dance like that, until I left Kolkata for pastures new. For para boys like me, Puja is life, Puja is also a way of life.

Believe it or not, the month of Ashwin, when Durga Puja takes place is, in fact, an unconventional time to commence a Puja (the conventional time is springtime i.e. during Vasant Navratri). Our beloved Durga Puja and other pujas like it are a break away from tradition! Bengali traditions refer to ‘Akaal Bodhon’ which roughly translates to ‘untimely worship’. The tradition of ‘Akaal Bodhon’ has its roots in the epic tale of Lord Rama. In the v sa Ramayana, Rama goes to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the clutches of the evil t u d Ravana. To ensure safe passage and a happy outcome, Rama decided to seek the a ar blessings of the Goddess Durga. However the Goddess had very exacting standards h #s and Rama learnt that she would only be satisfied if she were worshipped with 108 blue lotuses. After searching far and wide, Rama only managed to source 107 of these rare flowers. In desperation, he offered up one of his eyes. Pleased with his devotion, the Goddess Durga appeared before him and blessed him. The battle with Ravana began on Saptami and he was defeated and killed during Sandhikishan (when Ashtami crosses over and meets with Navami). He was cremated on Dashami. 12





Drey scheenschte Dääg at Basel Fasnacht: No Ordinary Weird Swiss Festival with Scary Masks Sonika Coomar: Born and raised in Baden, Switzerland, Sonika received her Master Degrees in Computer Engineering and Financial Management from ETH / University of Zürich. She works in corporate merger & acquisitions at an energy trading company. Depending on the time of the year, in her free time you will find her either training with the local Swiss rifle team, swimming, figure-skating or making various cream cakes. Contact:

The carnival in Basel dates back to the fasting period during the Middle Ages from Ash Wednesday to several weeks before Easter, in memory of the sufferings of Christ. To reduce the amount of food that would rot during this fasting period, people lavishly smothered themselves with as much food as they could before the beginning of the fast. Masks and the like became part of these lavish counters. Thus the carnival was turned into an exuberant custom which recurred annually. Names such as "vasnaht" or "vasinaht" have been known from the 13th century. Until 1924, the term "Fastnacht" was common with "t". In addition to the pleasures of people dressing and dining, the nobility used to organise their own amusements with tournaments at the Münsterplatz in Basel. On Ash Wednesday, in the 15th century, inspections of conscripts, so-called “Musterungen”, were carried out on the guilds. These inspections were done with drums and whistles and martial moves. Since then, these elements have been inseparable from Basel Fasnacht. But the carnival prohibitions had to endure the anxious clergy and the authorities. With the beginning of the Helvetik, the carnival was banned in 1798 because people feared that it could criticise the system. In 1807


arade that starts at 4 in the morning? With

piccolos? And lanterns? And drums? In winter? Really? Yes, and you’ll be enchanted by the whole thing. Sunday, 5th March 2017 at 23:00 hours. My brother and I waited impatiently in the cold and rain for the train to come. 12 minutes delay. Are you kidding me?! It’s almost midnight on a Sunday. What could possibly be the reason for SBB to have delays at this godforsaken hour? I guess others had the same idea as we did. We were all en route to Basel to attend the Basel Fasnacht (Carnival) that will start at 4:00 in the morning. There were special trains throughout the night but my brother and I wanted to get there early to avoid the crowd and get a decent place on the street. Finally, the train came and we were off. Carnivals take place all around the world. But there is something that makes the carnival of Basel special. Firstly, it is not called “Umzug” like in Luzern and according to the Basler people all the other Fasnachts were copied from Basel. The whole concept is more chaotic or at least give that feeling to the public. But before we go more into details, this is how it all began –


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 it was banned again because the parish priests were worried about the soul of the Basler. But as always these prohibitions did not last forever. In the 1830s the press began to take interest in the carnival. The carnival was thus acknowledged as an event of particular importance. The first carnival after the war, took place in 1920. The 20s and 30s brought new influences. A new wave of clique foundations sparked the carnival scene. Well-known artists gave new directions to the lantern painting and the Gugge musicians began to multiply. This brings us to the 2017 Basel Fasnacht, the “drey scheenschte Dääg” or the three most wonderful days of the year for 72 hours, from Monday morning 4:00 a.m. to Thursday morning 4:00 a.m., the carnival was a truly memorable experience! The soundscape was provided by piccolos, drums and traditional clique and Gugge music while colourful costumes and masks dominated the townscape on these days. The narrow streets of old town Basel were filled with visitors from all over Switzerland and around the world. Monday, at exactly 4:00 a.m. on the dot the church bells started ringing and all the lights were extinguished throughout the town and it was time to kick off the Fasnacht with the “Morgestraich”. It was pitch dark but then the faint noise of the cliques’ drums and piccolos could be heard in the distance. The only lights were the small lanterns attached to the heads of the drummers and piccolo players marching through the city centre. Amazingly the numerous cliques somehow manage to keep the artwork on the lanterns hidden through the whole year when they are being made to make sure that no other clique can copy them. Everything is revealed no earlier than at the “Morgestraich”. Regardless of the theme, the lanterns along with the numerous stand ups they have in the cellars in the evenings, are meant to ridicule and mock politicians, trends and society, but mostly politicians. Although the cliques practise the whole year they are not professionals and try to keep the amateur aspect in the music. The “Morgestraich” or morning sweep march traditionally kicked off the Basel Fasnacht 2017 with the theme “Mer spränge dr Raame” or we are breaking the frames. The theme was chosen to honour the art museum in Basel and its extension. The Basel Fasnacht is said to be the only Protestant carnival in the world. But what Protestants lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. It was a kaleidoscopic surreal experience that would be the stuff of nightmares with the enormous scary masks and costumes participants wore, except that a sense of crazy fun enveloped


everything thanks to the cheery music that was played by the costumed players of piccolos, drums and brass instruments, plus the colourful floats from which creatures flung confetti, candy and fruit. US President Donald Trump was a top theme at the parade and was shown in a number of unflattering portraits. Other political figures who also made an appearance on Fasnacht lanterns included Britain's former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, and Turkish president Erdogan. Brexit, Icelandic football and Pokémon Go were also popular topics. Eventually, we began to walk with the parade. Here’s the other unusual thing about this parade. It did not have a starting and ending point. The costumed players came from every direction so it was a 360° show. You couldn’t just stand in one place and watch it. You just had to go with the flow. There aren't actually any official rules on how to behave during Basel Fasnacht, but locals attach importance to certain customs and recommendations. But if you do want to feel like a local, here are some insider tips on the dos and don’ts – Blaggedde (Fasnacht badge) - "Me het e Blaggedde" – you wear a badge. As this motto suggests, visitors as well as locals are advised to buy a Fasnacht badge and pin it on their lapels. It's almost a point of honour in fact, as the net proceeds from the sale of badges all go to the participating groups to help cover their costs. The badges come in copper, silver and gold and are sold by street vendors and costumed participants as well as at some newsstands and special sales stands. Morgenstraich - Huge crowds always turn out for the Basel Morgestraich. So you should go early to the city centre to secure a place by the roadside with a good view. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and leave bulky bags at home. Darkness is key at Morgestraich. So don't let off any fireworks and don't use a flash if you take photos. Costumes - Only active Fasnacht participants wear costumes. Don't paint your face or wear a fake nose or a silly hat – none of this goes down well at Basel Fasnacht. Food & drinks - It is a tradition to eat Mehlsuppe (flour soup) for the first time after Morgestraich. Fasnachtkiechli (disk-shaped sweet crackers dusted with icing sugar) and Faschtewajie (pretzel-shaped pastry with caraway seeds) are also some popular foods. If you want to party like the Swiss & experience one of the oldest traditions of Switzerland the Basel Fasnacht is definitely the place to be.




Could I offer you a cup of Coffee? What about a cup of Tea? Alcohol? Sourin Bose The fate of the author took him to various countries since 1961 until he finally got stuck in Switzerland. During his travels he made a stopover at Imperial College in London for a few years (1975-79). Previously he had visited the MCST(Manchester, UK). He graduated in EE from BEC(CU) with SCL in 1960. He was one of the four award winners of AEI(Overseas)Scholarship in 1961 from India. He is a life member of IEEE, and members of SPIE(USA) and IOP(UK). He also held the ham call sign G4TLF in UK. He is interested in Astronomy, Radio Astronomy (Distinction from Jodrell Bank, UK) amongst many other things. Contact:

In massive doses, caffeine can kill A fatal dose of caffeine has been calculated to be more than 10 grams (about 170 mg/kg body weight) - this is the same as drinking 80 to 100 cups of coffee in rapid succession - not an easy thing to do unless you are going for the “Heavenly Book of Records”.


a or Coffee are household words for Indians.

We drink them after getting up in the morming, and some continue it throughout the day.


How does it enter your bloodstream? Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and can have its effects as soon as 15 minutes after it is consumed. Once in the body, caffeine will stay around for hours: it takes about 6 hours for one half of the caffeine to be eliminated.

People tell you (and specially children) to avoid coffee i.e. unless you are from south of India Why? Because coffee contains Caffeine. But don't worry! There are some really beneficial effects of Coffee.

Caffeine belongs to the xanthine chemical group. Adenosine is a naturally occurring xanthine in the brain that is used as a neurotransmitter at some synapses. One effect of caffeine is to interfere with adenosine at multiple sites in the brain including the reticular formation. Caffeine also acts at other sites in the body to increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels, relax air passages to improve breathing and allow some muscles to contract more easily.

What is Caffeine? You can call it 3,7-dihydro-1,3,7-trimethyl-1Hpurine-2,6,-dione OR 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, but what we are really talking about is CAFFEINE. Caffeine may be the most popular drug in the world. We consume caffeine in coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks, and some drugs. The actual source of caffeine is the coffee bean, tea leaf, kola nut and cacao pod. Pure caffeine is odorless and has a bitter taste.

Test for caffeine dependence Some studies show that caffeine causes physical dependence. One way to tell if someone "needs" that cup of coffee or bottle of Coke is to take it away from them and then see if they have any withdrawal symptoms. Typical withdrawal symptoms associated with caffeine are headache, fatigue and muscle pain. These symptoms can occur within 24 hours after the last dose of caffeine. One study has stated that the minimum consumption of caffeine for physical dependence is 4 cups of coffee per day. Other studies say that a few more cups of coffee are needed to develop dependence.

Effects of Caffeine on the Nervous System Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant. In moderate doses, caffeine can: positive • boosts short-term memory (two cups of coffee is optimal according to one study) • MRIs showed that caffein causes more activity in regions of brain involving attention • research suggests that moderate doses of caffein can protect against age related memory loss. • increase alertness negative • reduce fine motor coordination (large doses/ individual) • cause insomnia (depends on individual thresholds) • cause headaches, nervousness and dizziness (individual)

Did you know? The "Discovery" of Coffee - Legend has it that coffee was "discovered" around 850 AD in upper Egypt by a goat keeper named Khaldi. One night, Khaldi's goats did not return home. When he found his goats, Khaldi saw them dancing around a shrub with red berries (coffee beans). After Khaldi tried some of the berries, he started to dance too. Khaldi spoke with some monks who used the berries to make a

(See also Scientific American Publication: ‘6 Ways to Boost Brain Power’) 16


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 drink was born! There are also other stories around. However, one thing is certain: it originated in the Arab world, and was called Kahve. Important Fact One more thing to think about it...Caffeine does NOT counteract the effects of alcohol. In other words, coffee does NOT make a drunk person sober or fit to drive. It increases your alertness, but does not improve the nervous reaction time. You are going to crash with a full knowledge of the details!

#8-14 (1986) and Handbook #8-19 (1991); Starbuck Co. Information Pamphlet, American Beverage Association SNACKS (AMERICAN) Item

How to know (see below also) You can buy a cheap alcohol tester in Internet. Take a measurement first. Then drink about 2 dl. of alcohol slowly (the sober limit). Wait for about 20-26 minutes, and check your alcohol value – note it. Next drink a cup or two of coffee, and after a few minutes take the alcohol test again. Has this value changed? [Note: These alcohol testers are not legally certified, but gives you a more or less correct value].

Caffeine Content (mg)

Starbucks Coffee Ice Cream

1 cup


Dannon Coffee Yogurt

8 oz.


Chocolate Bar

50 g


Nestle Crunch Bar

1 bar (40 g)


Kit Kat Bar

1 bar (46 g)


10 pieces (10 g)


1 bar (41 g)


1.25 oz


Chocolate Chip Cookie

30 g


Chocolate Ice Cream

50 g


Milk Chocolate

1 oz


Bittersweet Chocolate

1 oz


1 bar (2.16 oz)


2 pc (8 g)



How much Caffeine is in what? The following tables will give you an idea about the Caffeine content of various food items (mostly American). For people living elsewhere: Please find out the corresponding item(s) in your country.

Special Dark Sweet Chocolate Bar Chocolate Brownie


Item Size

Item Size

Caffeine Content (mg)


150 ml (5 oz)


Coffee, decaf

150 ml (5 oz)



150 ml (5 oz)


Hot Cocoa

150 ml (5 oz)


225 ml


Jolt Cola

12 oz


Diet Coca Cola

12 oz


Coca Cola

12 oz


Coca Cola Classic

12 oz


RC Cola

12 oz


Did you know?

Pepsi Cola

12 oz


Cherry CocaCola

8 oz



12 oz


Mug Root Beer

12 oz


• Why do they serve water with coffee in some places? Reasons vary. A connoisseur likes to rinse his/her mouth so that he/she can enjoy the full taste of the coffee. Others might use it to dilute a strong coffee (the water should be hot). Still others may use the water to cleanse their taste buds of coffee before trying something else.


12 oz


Chocolate Milk

Butterfinger Bar After Eight Mint

Sources: Pennington, J.A.T., Food Values of Portions Commonly Used (18th Edition), J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2005; Soft Drink Manufacturers Association; United States Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service, Handbook #8-14 (1986) and Handbook #8-19 (1991); Starbuck Co. Information Pamphlet, American Beverage Association

• Women metabolize caffeine about 25% faster than men.

Sources: Pennington, J.A.T., Food Values of Portions Commonly Used (18th Edition), J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 2005; Soft Drink Manufacturers Association; United States Department of Agriculture, Human Nutrition Information Service, Handbook

(Reference: The World of Caffeine. The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug by B.A. Weinberg and B.K. Bealer, New York: Routledge, 2001.) 17



Consumption statistics

(Reference for data in graph: Fredholm, B. et al., Actions of caffeine in the brain with special reference to factors that contribute to its widespread use, Pharmacological Reviews, 51:83-133, 1999 / Also, - 75gm of Coffee/person/year mainly in South India – 140mg Caffeine average.)

Did you know? Caffeine was on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) list of prohibited substances for many years. Athletes who tested positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine could be banned from the Olympic Games. This level can be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee. However, The IOC has REMOVED caffeine from the banned list in 2004. Caffeine was taken off of the list of banned substances so that athletes who drink cola or coffee are not penalized. (References: World Anti-Doping Agency.)


Tea contains Caffeine also but in reduced strength (see table above). It stimulates humans but does not normally affect the bodily fonctions in a detrimental way. In fact, it has been praised by well known authors as "a cup that cheers but not inebriates" Discovery of Tea Bag: An American tea and coffee merchant named Thomas Sullivan invented the tea bag in 1904. He used the tea bag to send samples to his customers. Where are they grown in India? Most of the Teas in India are grown in the states of 01_Arunachal Pradesh 02_Assam, 03_Darjeeling 04_Jalpaiguri 05_Kerala in addition to 06_Sikkim 07 Tamil Nadu and 08. Himachal Pradesh

upper Assam. In the year 1840, tea seeds were imported from China and commercial tea plantations were set up in the Brahmaputra valley. To begin with, tea plantations were confined to Upper Assam only but later on, new areas such as lower Assam and Darjeeling were also opened up to tea plantations and by 1859, there were 30 tea plantations in Assam alone. Later on, tea plantations were also set up in Nilgiri Hills of South India, Tarai along the foothills of the Himalayas and in some places in Himachal Pradesh.

Tea is the dried leaf of a bush. It contains theine and when added to boiling water along with sugar and milk, it gives a very cheap and stimulating drink. Thus it is the most important beverage crop of India. Tea bush is supposed to be indigenous to China but it was reported by Major Robert Bruce in 1823 that indigenous tea bushes grew wild on the hill slopes of 18



plucking of leaves by women labourers from the ground.

Conditions of Growth: Tea bush is a tropical and sub-tropical plant and thrives well in hot and humid climate. There is a very close relation between climate, the yield and the quality of tea. The ideal temperature for its growth is 20°-30°C and temperatures above 35°C and below 10°C are harmful for the bush.

Distribution: Tea cultivation in India is highly concentrated in a few selected pockets. Following three areas of tea cultivation are identified according to their importance as tea producers and their location.

It requires 150-300 cm annual rainfall which should be well distributed throughout the year. While prolonged dry spell is harmful for tea, high humidity, heavy dew and morning fog favour rapid development of young leaves. Alternate waves of warm and cool winds are very helpful for tea leaves. Tea is a shade-loving plant and develops more vigorously when planted along with shady trees.

(1) North-Eastern India; (2) South India (3) North-West India. 1. North-Eastern India: It is more or less a triangular area mainly in Assam and West Bengal. It extends from 23°N to 28°N latitudes and 88°E to 96°E longitudes. This is the most important tea producing region of India accounting for about three-fourth production and about the same percentage of area under tea production. Tea plantations are small in number (see Table 24.25) but fairly large in size, generally more than 200 hectares.

Tea bush grows well in well drained, deep, friable loams. However, virgin forest soils rich in humus and iron content are considered to be the best soils for tea plantations. Relatively large proportion of phosphorus and potash in the soil gives special flavour to tea as is the case in Darjeeling.

Assam. Assam is the largest producer of tea accounting for over 51 per cent of the production and over 53 per cent of area under tea cultivation in India. The average yield is 17.9 quintals/hectare. In 2002-03, Assam produced 414 thousand tonnes of tea. Two distinct areas of tea production can be identified.

In order to increase the yield, proper dose of nitrogenous fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate should be given to soil. Although tea requires heavy rainfall for its growth, stagnant water is injurious to its roots. It is, therefore, grown on hill slopes where water drains away easily and water-logging does not take place. However, it grows equally well in the valley if the drainage is good. Most of the tea plantations in India are found at elevations varying from 600 to 1,800 metres above sea level.

(a) The Brahmaputra Valley extending from Sadiya to Goalpara comprises the main tea producing belt. It accounts for 44 per cent of India’s tea from 40 per cent of tea area of the country. There are 676 tea estates mainly in the districts of Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, Sibsagar, Darrang, Kamrup, Nagaon, and Goalpara.

Tea is a labour intensive crop and requires abundant supply of cheap and skilled labour, especially at the time of plucking the tea leaves. This is a tedious process which requires skilled manipulation of fingers for plucking two leaves and a bud at a time.

With summer temperature of 30°C and winter temperature never falling below 10°C, frost free weather throughout the year and 300-400 cm annual rainfall extended over 9 months; the area provides ideal climatic conditions for tea cultivation. Tea estates are located on the raised grounds (upto 450 metres) so that annual inundations and stagnant water during the rainy season do not harm the crop.

For this purpose, women labourers are employed in large numbers. Currently, tea industry provides employment to one million workers. Through its forward and backward linkages another 10 million people derive their livelihood from tea. It is one of the largest employers of women among organised industries of India. Women constitute over 50 per cent of the total workforce.

(b) Surma Valley is the second important in producing area in Assam. This valley, lying in Cachar district, produces about 5 per cent of country’s tea from 9 per cent of land under this crop. Here the tea gardens are scattered over small mounds called teelas or bheels or well drained flats along the river and its tributaries. Here rainfall is 300-400 cm and no month is completely dry.

Method of Cultivation: Tea gardens are set up on the cleared hill slopes where shade trees are planted in advance. Seeds are sown in the germination beds and the saplings transplanted to the garden. The garden is regularly hoed and weeded so that tea bush grows without any hindrance. Use of manures and fertilizers is a common practice in the gardens. Oil cakes and green manures are widely used.

West Bengal: West Bengal is the second largest producer contributing over 22 per cent of India’s tea from about one-fourth of the country’s total area under tea cultivation. In 2002-03 West Bengal produced 180 thousand tonnes of tea from 103 thousand hectares of land.

Pruning of the plant is an essential part of tea cultivation. It helps in maintaining the proper shape of tea bush to a height of about one metre with about the same diameter. The aim of pruning is to have new shoots bearing soft leaves in plenty and to facilitate the

Entire tea of West Bengal is produced in three northern districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar. These districts are contiguous to the main tea 19



producing belt of Assam. Tea producing areas of West Bengal are divided into two geographical regions.

and Mandi district of Hiamchal Pradesh. Green tea is produced in Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh.

(a) The Duars in Kooch Bihar and Jalpaiguri districts is a 16 km wide strip at the foot of the Himalayas. Here tea is raised on slightly elevated areas where suitable slope for proper drainage is available. Tea estates are found upto a height of 900-1200 m.

Tea in small quantity is also produced in Ranchi and Hazaribagh districts of Chota Nagpur plateau in Jharkhand. Our present per capita consumption of about 0.6 kg is much lower than that of 0.8 kg in Australia, 0. 9 kg in Japan, 1.0 kg in New Zealand, 1.5 kg in Ireland and 2.4 kg in United Kingdom. If our per capita consumption also increases along with the increase in population, for which there is a vast scope, we shall be left with very little surplus for export. Internal consumption of tea has already grown from a modest of 319 million kg in 1981 to a staggering 697 million kg in 2003.

(b) Darjeeling district is well known all over the world for its most exquisite aromatic tea. Annual rainfall of 300 cm; moderate temperature and fertile soils give special flavour to tea although yields are quite low, generally below 15 quintals/hectare. Tea estates are found within 900-1,800 m elevation beyond which the temperature is low and does not support tea cultivation. According to a study conducted by Tea Board in 2002, land under tea cultivation can be increased by more than 5 per cent. In some of the smaller gardens of Darjeeling, land under tea cultivation can be increased by about 22 per cent.

Any attempt to increase production and thereby increase export after meeting the increasing domestic demand will largely involve new seeds and techniques of tea cultivation because prospects of acquiring virgin land for expanding tea plantations are extremely bleak. Presently, about 52 per cent of the total area under tea plantations has old bushes, some of them older than 40 years, and are not capable of giving high yields.

Some tea gardens are also found in Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur in north-east India.

There is urgent need to replace the old bushes with new plants. TV-29, a high yielding clone of tea was introduced in 1991. This seed gives four times as large as the average yield given by the conventional seeds and holds out great possibilities for increasing tea production in India. Old bushes giving low yields are likely to be replanted gradually with high yielding tea plants.

2. South India: In South India tea is produced in Nilgiri, Cardamom, Palni and Anaimalai hills in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka states extending from 9°N to 14°N latitudes. This region accounts for 25 per cent production and about 24 per cent of area under tea in India. Tea gardens are mostly located on the hill slopes of the Western Ghats between 300 and 1,800 m altitude. The tea estates are quite large in number (see Table 24.25) but quite small in size. The temperatures are uniformally high and the annual rainfall exceeds 400 cm.

In addition to the increasing domestic demand and dwindling exportable surpluses, India has to face tough competition from other tea exporting countries especially from Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Indonesia and some African countries. India’s share in the world market has come down from 45 per cent in 1950-51 to 15 per cent in 2003-04.

There is no fear of frost in south India and weather conditions are quite congenial. Therefore, the productivity is higher, generally 15-25 quintals/hectare, although the quality of tea is inferior. But some of the south Indian teas have a good combination of taste and flavour.

Exports from Sri Lanka occasionally surpass the exports from India. India exports tea to as many as 80 countries but Russia, U.K., the USA, Germany, Australia, Afghanistan, Ireland, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, etc. are our main customers. U.K. is generally the chief buyer. A remarkable feature of export during 2002 was the sharp rise tea exports to Iraq, which had become the second largest (22 per cent) destination of Indian tea after Russia (24 per cent).

In South India, Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of tea accounting for about 16 per cent of total tea production of India from just 11 per cent of the land. Tamil Nadu has the distinction of giving a high yield of over 25 quintals/hectare against 18.5 quintals/hectare for India as a whole.

Tea exports to West Asia—North Africa region jumped to 76 million kg in 2002, from 48 kg in 2001 mainly due to increased exports to Iraq under the ‘Oil-for-Food Programme’. Kolkata is the chief port of tea export from India. The other major ports through which tea is exported are Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi.

Nilgiri and Anaimalai produce 46 per cent and 33 per cent of Tamil Nadu’s tea respectively. Kerala is another important producer of tea in South India accounting for 8.45 per cent of the total production of India. Kottayam, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram are the main tea producing districts. Some tea is produced in Hassan and Chikmaglur districts of Karnataka.

Of late, some quality of tea is imported for blending and re-exports. Large quantities of inferior quality tea are imported and re-exported, severely affecting India’s quality image in the international market. In the year 1996-97, 1.25 million kg of tea worth Rs. 6.21 crore was imported.

3. North West India: Some of tea is produced in Dehra Dun, Almora and Garhwal districts of Uttaranchal and in Kangra Valley 20



These figures increased to 15.23 million kg and Rs. 95.47 crore in 2000-01. Over 80 per cent of the imported tea was supplied by Vietnam, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Vietnam was the largest source accounting for 55 per cent of the total imports. Taking a serious note of falling tea exports, the Government of India took several steps in 2004 to help tea growers in increasing the production and exports of tea.


is not grown but obtained from fruits, vegetables and corns. Warning: Alcohol may lead to addiction. According to Dr. Piero O. Bonetti of the Cardiology Dept. of KS Graubunden in Chur (CH) a small amount of alcohol is in fact beneficial for the heart because it alters the stickiness of the arterial walls. The plots below show this graphically.

You can buy a small elrctronic gadget from Internet for about 10 Euro for measuring the alcohol in your blood:






Automotive Sects – Which One Do You Belong to? Learnings of the ‘Lexi-Audi’ duo!

Swagata Dhar Business Consultant at Temenos, Cars owned Audi A4, S4. Contact:

car extremists; radical petrol heads - who would not settle down for anything less than a turbocharged V8, petrol powered, mid-engine track animal, those who firmly believe that a Toyota ‘Prius’ is only for tree hugging environmentalists.


t’s get started

Flat or V, Turbo, Super or Naturally aspirated, 4, 6 or 8 cylinders… no idea what I am talking about? Welcome to the most fascinating, fiercely opinionated, utterly confusing automotive topic, CARS, and no, I am not talking about the Disney movie!

Which Brands to choose from? Choosing between brands is a more tedious task, and I mean no exaggeration here. Show me one person, who knows exactly what to buy from day 1 of the car buying process! Even if you zero-in on a continent (I mean European, Asian or US manufacturers), how are we supposed to tell the differences between Mercedes, BMW and Audi; Toyota, Nissan and Honda or GM, Ford and Fiat?

Since childhood I had a love affair with ‘driving’ in general. I loved to observe buses, taxis, and private car drivers turn the steering wheel, shift gears, and press the clutch (sometimes, even with a bare foot!). I got to drive our family car for the first time, only when I started my Undergraduate years. Anyway, I am not going to discuss here about my driving memoir, but to ignite that hidden ‘petrol head’ in you. Well, yes, I can try to be the ‘spark plug’ here, but we also need the proper air, fuel mixture (your interest!) for an ignition. Let’s see if we can crank that piston together!

Few quick pointers which might help you to decide: Ger mans=perfection, Italian=luxury, French=well, depends! Japanese and Korean=more insurance in Europe, Indian=buy only if it’s a Jaguar, American=be careful, you don’t know which one is going bust in the next financial crisis, remember General Motors in 2009? However, I won’t be doing justice if I don’t

I will start by asking you a question: Do you get carried away while trying to choose a car? ‘Yes?’ Good! You should be biased and opinionated, unless you want just a ‘practical’ solution to your daily commuting problem. Honestly, only a few people need a ‘car’ to solve their daily commuting problems in Switzerland, because we already have a solution and it’s called the ‘Swiss Public Transport’--efficient to its core, for end to end travelling. If you are still reading beyond this point, I may have been able to ignite your engine… so please Read On!I and my dear friend, Arindam Bajpayee, the ‘Lexi-Audi’ duo, take a very keen interest whether it’s about buying a car or playing ‘Forza Motorsport’ in our Xboxes. But, we come from very different leagues and we like it that way. Arindam and I had completely different criteria, when we were looking for our first cars. While I focussed upon and compared between: engine types, petrol vs. diesel, manual vs. automatic, limo vs. SUV, Arindam’s criteria were more related to ‘cars with the latest gadgets’ – heads up display, panorama roof, ambient lighting, may be heat sensitive missiles (just joking)!

acknowledge a few honorary mentions like Volvo (Swedish), Skoda (Czech, now German) and of course, Tesla (American) Germans are known to be the perfectionists, more when it comes to automobiles, and I am not talking about engineering perfection only. During my MBA days, I had read in a real case study about BMW. Apparently, the car manufacturer delayed the launch of

Finally I realized that I was naive to believe that you cannot get a perfect combination of power and electronic wizardry in a car, which Arindam found in his Lexus ‘hybrid’. However, you will often come across 23



their new M-series, because of a complaint from one of their interior designers - that the ‘feel’ inside the finished glove compartment was anything but BMWlike. The delay alone would have caused BMW millions, not considering the cost to redesign and remanufacture glove compartments!

operates only through its own stores. But are dealers really that bad?!! Again, you will be better off asking this question and knowing the answer yourself. Would you like to sweat like a pig while changing summer tires, or rather sip a cup of Columbian coffee while somebody else does it for you? Would you prefer to frantically search in eBay, the correct engine oil for your car at the cheapest price or rather save collateral damage by letting an expert decide which type and how much to fill? You might be wondering…is this guy serious? How difficult can it be? Well, believe me, it can be quite daunting without having the right expertise, or more preciously, time to do it!

But the only relevant question here is that ‘what do you want in your car?’ When asked the question ‘What do you look for in a car…?’ BBC’s top grossing car show, Top Gear’s lead host, Jeremy Clarkson said ‘…Soul, definitely the Soul’. Really?? Something as non-living as made up of iron, aluminium, steel and carbon could also have a ‘soul’? But I think that’s just Jeremy!

Individuals are fine, if you get a professional company to inspect the vehicle and hand over a ‘quality’ check certificate, prescribed by the very ‘Strassenverkehrsamt‘. This ensures road legality, previous history, and quality during hand-over, but after-sales maintenance will be your own headache.

Do Engine Types confuse you? Well, don’t feel patronized--as you are not the only one to wonder ‘what the hell is the difference between a ‘plug-in’ hybrid and a ‘full’ hybrid??!’ Now we have electricity, liquid petroleum gas, hydrogen powered engines as alternatives to petrol and diesel engines. If you want to go full electric, a Tesla ‘Model S’ or BMW ‘i3’ may be the vehicle of your choice. If you want to start seeing those MPGs (miles per gallon) go down, but not compromise on power output, then Go Hybrid!

Whereas, ‘Dealers’ like AMAG, Emil Frey or others will treat you as a VIP if you buy or lease a car from them, I mean literally! Arindam gets free VIP passes every year for the Geneva Auto Show. On a serious note, the service which you get from a reputed car dealer is unmatched compared to individual garages, but you need to cough up, money.

What is a Hybrid Car exactly? A ‘Hybrid car’ uses a battery to power the engine, when you are not putting your foot down on the gas, and trying to make that exhaust ‘crackle’ with power. But the car switches to petrol combustion in case you are doing exactly that. Point to note for ‘plug-in’ hybrids or PHEVs is that they need to be ‘plugged in’ to a power source; because unlike a ‘full’ hybrid, which uses the combustion engine to charge the battery, PHEV batteries can only be charged with electricity. Hybrid cars became very popular after the success of Toyota ‘Prius’ and BMW ‘i8’, so much so that even makers of the most luxurious brands, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren came up with their own hybrids, LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and McLaren P1. But this winter my dear friend’s hybrid Lexus’s initial difficulty in climbing a small, snow covered, garage ramp in ‘E-only’ mode made me think… ‘Are old fashioned, manual transmission petrol cars our only hope’?

Future of cars - Driverless? Companies have been toying with the idea of ‘driverless’ cars for quite some time now. And some of them, who are investing huge amounts, are not even from the automotive world, like Google and Apple. But if you ask me, my personal opinion is that, why even call something which cannot be driven, a CAR?!! Just put some blankets on the floor of a metal box, that could carry sleeping people around (they don’t need to do anything, anyway!), and you have it. I feel it would be such a pity to call such a thing a ‘Car’, driverless or otherwise. A few Personal Recommendations So there, I said it… get a car, but only one which you would like to drive. Don’t buy an Audi, if you want a proper ‘stick shift’ (that’s what Americans say for manual transmission), get a Porsche. Don’t buy a BMW, if you like looks, get a Jaguar. Don’t buy a Kia, if you want a SUV, get a Jeep or Range Rover and if you are really into the power game, get a Mustang or Camaro. And if, you want a perfectly tamed beast which can be unleashed sometimes, then get an Audi RS, a BMW Mseries or a Lexus LC and if you really want to show-off

Where to buy a car from: individuals or dealers? Where should you get your car from? Should it be from an individual, a garage or only from a reputed dealer? Dealerships are like pirates - many say. That is why Tesla has abandoned any dealership-sales model and


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 those hard earned cash get a McLaren GT, which is much more practical for a daily drive than a Ferrari 458 ‘Speciale’ - my dream car by the way!


Most discussed about premiers were the Ferrari 812 Superfast, McLaren 720S, track-only racing beast ‘Valkyrie’ from the newly created Aston Martin/Red Bull Racing joint venture called the ‘AMR’, Rolls Royce ‘Dawn’, Porsche’s new 911 GT3, Lexus’s LC 500 and LS 500h, Lamborghini ‘Huracan Performante’, which has set a Nürburgring lap time record of 6:52:01 minutes and many more. Drool on some of the pictures of supercar ‘pin-ups’ from this year’s show!

‘In-person’ Geneva Motor Show 2017 If you haven’t visited, well, you missed it for this year. A short summary from the 87th International Geneva Motor Show: A special exhibition organized by TAG Heuer and Red Bull F1 Racing Team showcased an Audi R8 LMS which won Le Mans 24 hour race at the famous racing track of Nürburgring, a one of its kind Porsche 911R and two other race cars.

Happy Driving to you All!




My Kolkata Riti Mukherjee Sole Proprietor and Professional teacher with experience in teaching all ages on three continents. Dancer, Choreographer and an occasional writer. Embedded in family and friends and believes in miracles. Contact:


ar Kolkata,

You bring tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips for no rhyme nor reason. Your city skies have seen me in my most vulnerable moments, it has seen me gradually grow, leave home and finally leave you! When my fingers stroll down the old metal grills of the windows in my room or the deep rooted magnificent pillars of my school - They seem to smile at an old friend and say- ‘Hey- you are back – We have missed you girl!’ I have moved far away from you- yet my heart misses a beat when the wheels of the aircraft touch your runway and a hidden shy tear dries up as it takes off—every single time! When I am within you and see glimpses of disrespect and utter casualness it feels like you’re the child that we have failed to bring up or the parent we have abandoned. On the other hand, when I see extreme brains on your roadside repairing an IPhone with clear eyes, and the young man tapping my back and returning my purse that I had lost minutes ago and lost hope of finding it amidst the maddening crowd – I see hope again and you fill my heart with pride. Your my mystery, my clarity, my mist and the sunshine that clears it awayYour my Kolkata ! Ganges, Sindhu, Narmada Kaveri, Yamuna.... see Is flowing as it used to before Where or where can the old folks be! (first four lines from Kazi Narul Islam spontaneously translated by my brother during our childhood)




Mysterious Mystery - The Parallel Worlds! Wh

Richa Chauhan, living in Dietikon with her husband and son. She completed her PhD in Physics from Basel University, and Post-Doc. from ETH, after passing out from IIT-Roorkee and IIT-Delhi India. Currently working in a Laser firm, she is a busy soccer mom who also loves to dance, paint, read and write in her spare time. Contact:

at are we, what is the essence of our

existence, who are we, where are we; these are some of the questions human being has been trying to find the answer from around 1500 BC, the time of our oldest written texts, the Vedas, till now. In the Vedas, the rishis tried or rather claimed to find the underlying reality through meditation. This meant 1) looking at the empty space from where the thoughts arise & feeling the soul, which they considered is part of the universe and 2) thinking about the mere fundamental particles all of us and nature are made up of. For them understanding of the ‘supreme God’, the ‘brahman’, came through feeling it, which they called moksha. They praised the manifestations of the universe viz. fire (Agni), wind (Vayu), Water (jal), Earth (prithvi) and space (vyom).

huge, a number greater than 10^90, but that doesn't mean that the ‘many-worlds approach’ is ridiculous. We have a lot of different ways to understand this indeterminism, many of which are equally valid. Quantum Physics dictate, given the state of a system at sometime, the laws of nature determine the probabilities of various future and past events. We apply this principle to the universe as a whole and see that the universe has every possible history, each with its own probability. Our observations of its current state affect its past and determine different histories of the universe.

With this quest in mind, let us get into the science which only perceives evidence and experiments based reality. There has been an intense search to understand our origin, to find one universal underlying principle that governs everything around us. After proposing a theory scientists try to find direct or derived phenomenon, or some prediction based on the theory to accept it as a law of the nature.

In the first few fractions of a second after Big Bang took place, the universe was as small as the planck size, so, Quantum Theory does have to be taken into account. All matter and energy in the universe must have been concentrated within a very tiny region of unimaginable density and temperature. The universe in its first phase of expansion can be compared to a coin 1 cm in diameter, which suddenly blew up to 10 million times, the width of the milky way.

The problem with cosmological theories is that it is difficult to find the evidence on a scale as big as the universe which is 93 billion light years across. In trying to understand and find an ultimate theory, people turned to the fundamental building blocks i.e. subatomic particles, the nature and all of us are made up of. The sub-atomic particles even were then postulated to be made of strings. The characteristic length scale of strings is assumed to be on the order of the Planck length, or 10^−35 meters, the scale at which the effects of quantum gravity are believed to become significant. Now a Quantum event makes the situation hazy. Everything is described in probabilistic language, where every event is possible but with different probabilities. At this scale “Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle“ has a big role to play, which says that we cannot measure both - position and momentum - of a particle at the same time with certainty. The particle has an inherent uncertainty in both of the above mentioned parameters. Every interaction between two particles in the universe has this quantum indeterminism, that propagates into the final position and momentum, too.

The universe, at a fundamental level, is indeterminate*. One possible interpretation -- that of infinite parallel universes -- holds that: every time a quantum interaction occurs, all possible outcomes do actually occur somewhere, with only one of them reflecting what happens in our observable universe. There must exist a number of parallel universes, which approaches infinity as time goes on. The above mentioned ‘String Theory’ turned out to be consistent only if space-time was assumed to be 10 dimensional. Later it was replaced with a more fundamental theory named ‘M-theory’ which talks about the membranes of energy with 11 space-time dimensions floating parallel to each other. The extra dimensions curl up into an internal space which is invisible to us because it is too tiny. These internal spaces can be curled up in only specific discrete shapes, and each shape determines the laws of nature of a particular universe. The number of allowed configuration of the shapes are 10^500! This theory thus predicts 10^500 different universes with different laws depending on how the internal space is curled. The universe we live in is just one of them! In this picture there may be another version of us,

Now there are some 10^90 particles in the observable universe, lumped and clustered together into hundredsof-billions-to-trillions of galaxies, which has been around for 13.8 billion years since the Big Bang, and each particle has undergone anywhere from millions of interactions to many quadrillions (or more) over that time. The number of possible outcomes is ridiculously 27



leading a different life in a different dimension; or some altogether different species existing in the same space, but again in some different dimension. The theory also describes the origin of our universe, the Big Bang and something more beyond it, as to what could have caused it, what was there even before. It says the floating membranes sometimes collide at some point, and gives rise to a Big Bang.

Who then knows whence it has arisen? Whether God's will created it, or whether He was mute; Only He who is its overseer in highest heaven knows, He only knows, or perhaps He does not know. —Rig Veda10.129.6-7 * Albert Einstein did not like this indeterminism and said "God does not play dice with the universe."

So the origin of the universe was a quantum event. That implies the universe appeared spontaneously, starting off in every possible way. Our picture of spontaneous quantum creation of the universe is a bit like bubbles of steam in boiling water. The boiling water in present context is the ocean of energy and bubbles are the universes. These so-called “Bubble Universes”, which are expanding within the multiverse, bumped into each other as they expanded after the Big Bang, leaving an imprint on each other’s outer surface. These theories, still could not answer the reason behind the whole existence; like, why it is the way it is? This is a never ending quest. We anyways should feel lucky to be here in this world, and to be capable enough to at least think of the ways our creator must have thought, and make at least few conclusions:

An interference pattern results if you pass electrons, photons or any other particle through a double slit but only if you don't check which slit they passed through! The basic enigma of quantum mechanics.

• we are the product of quantum fluctuations in the very early universe; • we all are connected through the dynamic vacuum space fluctuations; • and are made of the same fundamental particles underneath which is the ultimate reality. T he strings or the membranes all have characteristic vibrations, and what we have is basically a superimposition of all these vibrations. Maybe that's what gives rise to telepathy or a sudden intuition we sometimes feel, because our mind might catch and analyse the signals coming to it. But then... The multiverse idea states that there are infinite numbers of universes like our own, and infinite ones with differences. Image credit: flickr user Lee Davy, via chingster23/11937781733.

Who really knows? Who can here proclaim it? Whence, whence this creation sprang? Gods came later, after the creation of this universe.






A Saree Tale Nayana Chakrabarti-Bhattacharya: In a previous life, was a teacher in English. Since 2013, Nayana has been living in Zurich with her husband, Arindam, her son Abhigyan and as of 2016, her daughter Aryahi. Nayana is a voracious reader, an enthusiastic tutor and an occasional writer. Her motto in life is 'A little bit of alliteration never hurt anyone'. She also runs a storytelling service in Zurich 'Tall Tales and Story Mails', since 2017. Contact:


movements which seek to restore dignity to handloom weavers, movements which see the saree and its indigenous heritage as a means to boost national morale and of humorous note, the saree is a garment which unites both the left and the right with equal passion. In short, the humble saree is actually radically traditional.

cture Puja…Picture the goddess, picture the dhak, the dhol,

the incense, the dhuno, the adda, the bhog, the hoi and the choi… But of course, no picture of Puja is complete with this traditionally mandatory photograph: a woman, in a saree, with her back to the Goddess, seemingly empowered by her. She beams at the camera. No matter who she is or where she is, she is beautiful. Puja after Puja, this image never gets old. It is an image composed of the most intoxicating of combinations -that quintessential puja-puja feeling combined with the unadulterated pleasure she finds in unfolding a saree that she has kept especially for this day….Is Puja even complete without one such photograph? Is Puja even Puja without it?

One Saree, Over One Hundred Drapes When we think of the saree, the image that first flashes up in our mind’s eye is of it worn with the aanchal cast over the left shoulder and a few, well-made pleats tying the whole ensemble together at the waist. This is the Nivi drape, originating in Andhra Pradesh. It soared into popularity in the 1860s due to its patronage by Gyanodanandini Devi, wife of Satyendranath Tagore and sister-in-law of Rabindranath Tagore. As worn by Gyanodanandini Devi, the Nivi drape (a version of which was also utilised by Parsi women) became a saree for public life. The Victorians were conservative in their tastes and they disapproved of the saree as it was popularly worn in those days, an unstitched garment of varying weighted densities worn over bare bodies. In no time at all, the saree was coupled with the blouse and petticoat. Worn in this modern manner, women were able to cross over the threshold of the antar mahal and step into the world at large. In West Bengal, the Bengali drape remains popular for dressy occasions but it is still the Nivi drape which holds pride of place in everyday life. The same is true of the Gujarati drape. Did you know of the others? There’s the Yakshagana Kase drape. It hails from Karnataka. Oddisa is the birthplace of the Kuncha Saree drape while the Warli drape comes from Maharashtra. Though not infinite, the list and the variations is definitely very long because, you see, the Nivi drape is also only one of the many options available to us. Border and Fall has attempted to curate an online gallery where we can learn more about the other traditional drapes. A visit to the online gallery, hosted by Google Arts and Culture, will show you the myriad ways in which the saree has been adapted to India’s multiplicity of landscapes. Each iteration of the saree tells of a specic time and place in history and makes one marvel once again about its versatality. The full gallery will be launched in the autum of 2017, together with how-to-drape tutorials.

The Timeless Saree in the Age of the Smartphone One of the cliches that the saree is frequently met with is that it is timeless. However, with all good cliches, it is only a cliche because it is true. The saree is timeless and now, more than ever, it is easy to see why it is so. Each generation meets the saree anew for the first time, finds something new within the folds of its fabric. At present, it is being embraced online. To be fair, a large portion of our lives are now lived online where we find the freedom to express our passions by joining groups on Facebook or following likeminded people on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the like. In our outrageobsessed Twitter-fueled age, hell hath no fury than a saree afficianado who finds her chosen weave scorned. Currently, there are men and women all over the world expressing their passion for the humble saree because, once again, it has grabbed popular culture by storm. Facebook is populated with saree-appreciation groups such as Kai Thari where women across the world share their saree stories, their pictures, their personal history with the iconic garment, their love for particular weaves and their belief in empowering communities of handloom weavers. Across social media, many people united under the hashtag ‘100sareepact’ which allowed them to showcase their sarees and the different platforms on which it could be worn. No week is complete without blogs run by creative agencies like Border and Fall, or digitial media companies like Buzzfeed or Huffpost , Quartz or Vagabomb publishing new stories about the saree, paying odes to its drapes and designs as if the saree was not a tale as old as time but rather something new, both enigmatic and confounding. The saree has been co-opted into the body positive movement as well as movements that embrace feminism, Instagram-friendly street-style blogs,

A Capsule Collection People are born of places. Their traditions are inspired by the landscapes in which they live and work. The 30

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 saree remains a testament to that fact. Rooted in history, heritage as well as landscape, the traditional sarees of India reflect on its place of origins arts and culture. If I were to curate a desperately must-have list of sarees for every woman, a capsule collection, as it were, then these would be my pick:


the checks, stripes and buttas, Other motifs are inspired from naturally occuring images such as flowers, leaves, birds and animals. With the passing of time, the sarees and their weavers also continue to evolve and experiment. The most expensive Kanjeevaram of all time depicts the paintings of Raja Ravi Verma on its pallu. Another example of its inventiveness can be found in the story of how Muthu Chettiar who was a Kanjeevaram weaver and a fan of the famed Carnatic singer, MS Subbulakshmi commisioned a new colour to be created in her honour. Known as MS Blue, it is a midnight-mid-sea blue married with tones of green and black.

NB: If you feel some saree-rage simmering, my apologies and my pleas to you to please fear not, a more comprehensive list of sarees of the sub-continent has also been provided below! The Benarasi It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Benarasi saree is the showstopper in the fashion parade that is the Indian bride’s wedding trousseau. Hailed as one of the finest sarees in India, known for its intricate zari work, its gold and silver broacade, its heavy silk, the Benarasi is also characterised by its ornate floral and foliate motifs which are rooted in the Mughal tradition of art and design. Indeed, no Benarasi is complete without a border of leaves standing to attention, this design is known as the jhallar. Some Benarasis are also further embellished with the jal pattern as well as minute mina work. It is no surprise then that one Benarasi can take as long as 15 days or a month (or six) to weave. Created in cottage industries in the districts of Varanasi, Mirzapur, Chandauli, Bhadohi as well as Jaunpur and Azamgarh, the craft is passed down from parent to child with some children beginning their apprenticeship at the loom when they are as young as ten years old. This saree, as well, as others, is a tale of India in itself. The way of life for traditional weavers are threatened by mechanised units which produce sarees at a faster rate as well as the scarcity of electricity which leaves their electric power looms working at an erractic schedule. The cherry on this sad cake is the influx of mass-produced Benarasi imitations from China. The Benarasi saree is quite possibly the flagship saree of the Indian subcontinent and if we don’t want one of our iconic traditions to wheeze towards an inevitable death then we need to support the traditional weavers by ensuring that the sarees that we purchase have been created by them and will support them so that they can continue to create their craft.

The Baluchari and The Kanthar Stitch In my eyes, both of these sarees are dreams made real, confections of luxuriousness, exquisite beyond measure. There might be a hint of bias here. I am Bengali after all and these two sarees are two of the best (of many) that my state has to proffer. The Baluchari, as its name suggests, hails from the village of Baluchar in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district. While the craft flourished during the eighteenth century during the rule of the then Nawab of Bengal, Murshid Quli Khan, things took a turn for the worse as a result of political, social and financial strife. It was revived again during the first half of the twentieth century when jacquard weaving was introduced into the mix. Under the guidance of Bishnupur’s Akshay Kumar Das, the Baluchari bloomed once more. Bishnupur’s imprint on the Baluchari is very clear, indeed the mythological stories engraved on the walls of Bishnupur’s Malla Dynasty terracotta-brick temples have made their way onto the Baluchari’s borders and pallu. Indeed, the Baluchari is known for its depiction of epic scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana on its pallu, thus making it the perfect saree to wear on über-dressy occasions. Just as the Baluchari has survived reinvention (from Baluchar to Bishnupur, from the original Jala looms to the current Jacquard looms), it may be bracing itself for more. Nowadays, some sarees are woven with eco-friendly yarn whilst dyes are extracted from a multitude of fruits. The story of the Kantha saree or the ‘Kanthar-stitch’ saree has uniquely humble origins. Indeed, the word ‘unique’ fatefully describes the kantha. Till date, the earliest mention of kantha has been found in the poet Krishnadas Kaviraj’s ‘Sri Sri Chaitanya Charitamitra’ where he refers to a kantha blanket made for him by his mother. Indeed, as we will see below, the kantha has taken on a virtually spiritual dimension. A traditional Bengali sloka goes thus:

The Kanjeevaram Created in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram region, the Kanjeevaram is South India’s epic answer to the North Indian Benarasi. Worn during celebrations, festive occasions and celebrations, Kanjeevarams also happen to be favoured by the Gods, or at least Lord Vishnu who is thought to favours silk unlike Lord Shiva, who is thought to favour cotton! This rich and ancient tradition of weaving began in the year 985 under the aegis of the Chola dynasty (a heritage still going strong today) but according to Hindu mythology, the silk weavers of Kanchipuram are in fact the descendants of Sage Markanda who was the master weaver of the Gods and famed to have woven fabric from the fibres of the lotus flower. The earthly Kanjeevaram is woven from pure mulberry silk thread which comes from South India while the zari hails from Gujarat. Distinguished by their wide borders, the other designs common to the Kanjeevaram are the temple borders,

Sanaih kantha Sanaih pantha Sanaih Parvata langhanam. This roughly translates into ‘Slowly I stitch rags, slowly I traverse the path and slowly I climb to the top of the mountain’. Kantha’s history is rooted in both love and thrift. In fact, the word ‘kantha’ comes from the Sanskrit word for ‘rag’ or ‘old cloth’. Originating in West Bengal’s Bolpur-Santiniketan districts, the craft is characterised by the ‘running stitch’ which is nearly 31



always done by hand by women. Both in the days of yore and now, women propelled by poverty and resourcefulness have tried to keep their families warm by stitching kantha. Traditionally, five layers of old sarees were sown together with a running stitch, creating a sort of quilted blanket. Once they finished their handiwork, they signed their work. In this light, it can also be seen as a means of women to quietly express themselves, sometimes stories would be stitched onto the kantha at other times the embroidery would be a projection of the maker’s dreams of fertility, harvest, marriage and family. Made with painstaking love, these blankets rightly became heirlooms to be passed onto subsequent generations. To this day, kanthas are created by women for newborns in the family, it is thought that old cloth protects the child from harm. Thus, we can see and appreciate that kantha is thought to have a talismanic quality. Alongside this homely, thrifty movement, the art of kantha has also flourished on the exquisite canvas of the saree. Kantha-embroidered sarees in cotton, in pure silk or on tussar-silk which represent months upon months of expert craftsmanship are incredibly popular all over India.

of the Kasavu. In the same vein, it is difficult to mention this saree without also recalling its privileged position as principal costume of the traditional Keralite dance of Mohiniattyam. The heart of the Kasavu handloom cottage industry is in Balaramapuram which is near the world-famous region of Kovalam. Created on pit-looms the Kasavu saree is also frequently the handiwork of women, wives of farmers working in their spare time as well as full-time weavers. Painstaking and labourious work that it is, each regular Kasavu requires at least fifteen hours of weaving. Each saree is handcrafted and represents the dedication and commitment of the weaver, each warp and weft showcases their skill. East or West, India is the Best: A Saree-Logue State

The Kasavu The Kasavu saree, with its creamy, handloomed landscape and its border saturated with gold, has become an iconic embodiment of Kerala. Born in God’s own country, its history is surprisingly multicultural. The Kasavu (also known as the Mundum Neriyathum) can trace its origins back to the Ancient Buddhist garment known as Sattika as well as the Graeco-Roman garment known as the Palmyrene (the latter association isn’t as out of the box as it first appears, the Malabar Coast has long enjoyed a rich tradition of trade with the Mediterranean and other areas of the Graeco-Roman empire). One of the units of the garment Palmyrene (rather than the GraecoRoman influenced civilisation) was a palla. Fastened by broaches, it was a mantle made of a single piece of rectangular material draped over the shoulders and body. Occasionally, the palla would also be used to cover the head. It was worn by Roman women. Would it be sacriligeous to suggest that our current word ‘pallu’ is derived from, or enjoys a shared history with the Graeco-Roman palla? Local legend suggests that the gold and white colours were inspired during the reign of the Emperor Bali where each family wore these colours and thus allowed the Emperor and his men to distinguish between outsiders and his own people. Later on, during the reign of the Travancore king Balaramavarma, the handloom industry flourished, going so far as to enjoy trade with the Dutch and Portuguese. Raja Ravi Verma’s mythological paintings portraying Shakuntala in a version of the Kasavu has also had an impact on its popularity and entrenchment in India’s national imagination. In fact, in one of his most famous paintings, he chose to depict Mother India as wearing another version of the Kasavu saree draped in the Nivi style. Nowadays, the Kasavu’s traditional gold border (although we must note that innovation never stops for anyone, and borders now come in a range of colours) has become shorthand for sophisticated simplicity. The festival of Onam would be incomplete without the sight of generations upon generations of women clad in the ceremonial iteration

Handloom Saree (Sarees)

Andhra Pradesh

Gadwal, Uppada




Bomkai, Ikkat, Sambalpuri

West Bengal

Taant, Murshidabad Silk, Dhakai Jamdani

Madhya Pradesh

Chanderi, Maheshwari, Dabu (associated with the Bhil tribe, along with other indigenous and tribal handlooms)


Leheriya, Kota Jali


Bandhej, Patola, Gharchola, Bhujodi


Sarees made with the Phulkari weave

Uttar Pradesh

Sarees made in the Chikankari style

Tamil Nadu

Konrad, Chettinad cotton,


Muga Silk, Pat Silk, Eri Silk, the Dohi


Meghalaya Silk

It goes without saying that this list is not exhaustive. At my last count, India could boast of at least 170 different types of handloom sarees. I came across a most innovative one just the other day, the Gomat saree. Born in Rajasthan, the weavers of the Gomat saree originally created shawls and rugs. After making the requisite changes to their looms, they delved into the world of sarees and indeed that world proved to be their oyster. 32



to see which saree you would be wearing’. Or they might ask me about the colour of my bindi. I was told “Hübsch siehst du aus” which translates to ‘you look beautiful’. Such interactions strengthened my conviction. I knew that I would not be able to look as good in one of them as I would do in a saree. The saree is my garment. In the midst of all the LBDs, I stood out. I was a little island or atoll of colour in a sea of black LBDs! I basked in that attention. Of course, I didn’t wear it for attention but I relished the opportunity to wear a saree and to be admired for it. When I accompanied my husband Ashok to his office parties, then too, I always wore a saree. It was an opportunity to educate. It’s also an ice-breaker. It acted like a springboard for conversation. People would ask me about the significance of my bindi. They would ask me about the saree, whether it was indeed a simple one-piece cloth. They would even ask me about the tailoring of my blouse and whether one can buy them ready-made.

Sarees and Switzerland: The Interview The statement, “sarees are synonymous with Switzerland” might raise a few eyebrows. But please bear with me. For many in possession of an Indian imagination or for those blessed by a view of the world as filtered through Bollywood because you have (like me) insisted on raising yourself on a steady, unadulterated diet of Bollywood movies (much to the disapproval of your parents), the first time we came across Switzerland (even before we were made aware of its famed mountains, milk, money, cheese and chocolate) was on a flickering box in the living room where some cutely dimpled hero with a sweater looped around his neck would be romancing a chiffon-saree clad heroine while the Alps and its valleys and lakes would loom sublimely in the background. It’s been going on for a while. ‘Sangam’ was the first Indian film to use Switzerland as a location, back in 1963, followed by ‘An Evening In Paris in 1967’. However it wasn’t until the behemoth that is ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ happened that Switzerland really strode truly, madly and deeply into the popular Indian consciousness. It was this, this coupling of the exotic West with the familiar but unattainable East that probably helped to seal Switzerland’s fate in the Indian imagination as a paradise amongst destinations. It is not surprising then, that come summer, the lanes of Luzern and gullies of Geneva, not to mention every last nook and cranny of Interlaken are positively heaving with Indian tourists, not least among them honeymooners who have all fallen for the Raj and Simran dream. Long before coming to Switzerland, my friends and I would run into the back garden whenever it snowed and run around in our aunty-made salwar-kameezes, fluttering our dupattas in the air while pretending that they were the aanchals of Manish Malhotra-esque chiffon sarees that we, one day, hoped to be able to afford. Even after all these years, the exquisite images of sarees in Switzerland have continued to sizzle in my brain. I have yet to act on the impulse to run down a Swiss hill wearing a saree though. Without a NadeemShravan-esque beat in the background, would it really be the same thing? Now, while I have been living in my head, many have been living the Swiss saree-wearing reality. The wonderfully generous Smita Kishore graciously agreed to carve some time out of her busy schedule for me and talk about all things ‘Saree’ and ‘Switzerland’. Switzerland has been home to Smita since 1986. She is passionate about sport, (both watching and participating) as well as movies (only watching). Working as a legal assistant has helped her put to good use her command of multiple languages. She is fluent in English, Bengali, Hindi, German, Spanish and French.

When it comes to sarees, which varieties do you enjoy wearing? I have a fascination with Kanjeevarams. The more vibrant the colour, the better. For example, a combination of mustard yellow and green. Something like that sparks joy! I look for different colours like that. Then, there is the Kantha as well. Not a single kantha of mine has been brought in a shop. A cousin of mine creates Kantha work on different types of materials by working with weavers in Shantiniketan directly. He’s created Kantha work on materials as diverse as chiffon, silk, mixed cottons…My first kantha was made for me by my mother. Since my 21st birthday was three weeks before my wedding, my mother asked me to wear the saree she made so that she could see me wearing it, even though it was to be included as part of my trousseau. It was a natural tussar silk which she got block printed on the aanchal and border and then took about a month to decide the colour combination for the thread colour. She then did bits of embroidery, working with those combinations before deciding upon the one that she liked the most before going ahead with it. Eventually, the saree was filled with mirror and kantha work. One of my greatest joys has been to see that my daughters have also taken up my love of sarees. I love to hear the words, “Oh Ma, can I wear a saree of your’s?” My youngest has even done Bollywood dance in a saree. She’s that comfortable with it. Another favourite of mine is the Mekhola Chador; Kiran and I have both worn it over the years. Most memorably, she wore it at my elder daughter Srishti’s wedding (who also got married in a saree). Do you wear sarees in the conventional way or do you enjoy creating new, experimental styles? In your opinion, what is an interesting way to accessorise a saree?

Could you please describe your experience of wearing sarees in Switzerland?

My interpretation of the saree is very traditional. Right now, it’s all become about the blouse but I have not bought into that craze. I choose to accessorise with a stand-out bindi, a single chain and two or three bangles and that’s it. In my opinion, the focus should never waver from the saree.

I would wear sarees for celebrations and events even at the place where I first worked. At Christmas parties for example. Everyone has clothes that they like to get dressed up for dinner in. For me, it was the saree. On the whole, my choices have always been appreciated. I have had people come up to me and say, ‘I was waiting 33



aunts, cousins, friends, neighbours and in a pinch, even the husband), I am ready to rock and roll. In a saree, I feel invincible. Clad in heritage and identity, the saree is my armour against the world, a symbol of my rebellion, it is also my camouflage. I remember running down King’s Parade, Cambridge straight after graduation with both cape and saree (a black Kanjeeveram, the silver of its border had to be measured by the proctor in order to ascertain whether it would pass strict Cantabridgian graduation traditions). With black robe meeting black saree and together flying in unison, I felt like Batman. Batgirl.

What advice do you have to give to those who love sarees but are shy/hesitant/reluctant about wearing it in Switzerland? Bright lipstick! If you wear a saree, and you feel good when you are wearing it, that’s the vibe that you will give out. That’s what will reach people and that’s what people will see. It comes from within. My own, more ‘Saree’ Tale (Gettit?) In spite of all this, in spite of their allure, sarees have remained, for me, a rather quixotic dream. They are my windmills. Perennially stumbling over the fuss of the pleats and the length of the pallu, I have not, till date, learnt how to drape one ‘properly’. On the other hand, once draped (thanks to the ministrations of mother, mother-in-law, a veritable battalion of sister-in-laws,

Kaanthar Stitch

Kiron in Mekhola Chador

Further Reading and Bibliography Saree by Su Dharmapala

Kaanthar Stitch


Smita is wearing Gharchola,


Kanjeevaram and

Dhakai Jamdani

Mekhola Chador



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English Book Club in Switzerland(Langnau a.A.) Happy Reading with the English Book Club of Langnau am Albis

Veronika Staudacher Garin fan of her new granddaughter Smilla, loving books, culture and intellectual discussions, mediator and executive & intercultural coach, looking out for new ways of storytelling about our society, lived as a child in Japan, attended University in Lausanne, studied, worked and became mom in California USA and today living in Langnau am Albis, close to Zurich.

and welcoming culture over more than seven years in its existence, inviting all visitors to attend without formal inscription, willing to listen and talk in English with an open mind, accepting different levels of non-native speakers. Eavesdropping would pay off, but of course, you have to be there, right now to listen to our conversations not ending with the book, rather meandering into topics of beliefs, religions, cultural habits, education, politics, food, recipes on cookies we eat in the book club together with a glass of wine... Some have found new friends, some have come to respect deeply others’ beliefs and thinking, some exchange news on regular basis or visit together a movie or other cultural events. After many years, however, I realized that this book club is a two-way integration project. People coming to Langnau learn about Swiss and Langnau culture and customs as well as Langnau people learn about new people with another background joining us. Thus, the more different we are the more there is opportunity of learning if we are willing to stretch and extend our comfort zone! Comparing Langnau’s book club to my German (native) speaking book club in Zurich it is mainly this diversity of culture, background or age yielding this kind of deep discussions and so perhaps, understanding. Thus, I start sometimes asking myself about my values held and grasping more about how changing attitudes is a hard core topic! And I gradually know the meaning of walking the talk.


ving moved from Zurich to Langnau six and a

half years ago, I was quite surprised to meet Claudia Haag, one of Langnau’s librarian – today head librarian at the welcoming party of the village asking me and my husband questions: what books meant to us, reading them as well as what experience we had until now with a local library. She then explained what Langnau’s library proposed for readers: a variety of events for all ages and especially, German and English speaking book clubs. Although wanting to continue my German book club in Zurich, I welcomed this interesting proposal and decided to try the English book club of Langnau. Ever since, I became a regular member of this English book club. Meeting once a month in the evening discussing a book chosen by a member, I got to know a wide range of people of Langnau: Swiss Langnau residents of long years, returned Swiss expats having become Langnau residents, new and old expats and also non-Swiss residents from various countries having settled down for good in this area. At first, I was curious how one could enter into a conversation about a book each of us had read previously without knowing any other member of the book club. Later on, as an “old” member, I was charmed into wondering of how we would welcome and treat a new member. We all passed this tolerance test: Langnau’s book club having established an open







Tribute to Guruji: Pandit Ravi Shankar Udhai Mazumdar Udhai hails from a family of musicians and fine artistes of Allahabad. His father, the Late Partho Sarathy Mazumdar, is among the firstgeneration of guitarists in the field of Indian Classical music. A versatile tabla player of the Benares Gharana, and also a composer of great finesse, Udhai has over the years, consciously evolved into an evocative and expressive tabla player. As Udhai’s initial training was in vocal music, it was only natural for him to be attracted towards the nuances of composing but he was also simultaneously drawn to the resonating rhythmic possibilities of the tabla. His first encounter with the tabla was at the age of 7 years. In 1981, he turned to the eminent Pandit Ashoutosh Bhattacharya, one of the foremost disciples of the legendary Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, to hone his skills. In 1989, Udhai shifted to Delhi to further advance his musical experience and became the disciple of the world-renowned Sitar Maestro, Bharat Ratna - Pandit Ravi Shankar, with whom he lived for a while, and learned the art of tabla accompaniment. Udhai has participated in many noteworthy Indian and international festivals, besides playing with Pandit Ravi Shankar in different occasions, like performing before the Royal Families of England and Sweden, where he accompanied Pt. Ravi Shankar together with Ustad Zakir Hussain in a concert to mark Pt. Ravi Shankar’s 75th birth year; he is also a regular performer on the Indian National Radio and television channels. Udhai’s Indian travels have taken him to platforms such as the Durgalal Festival, Delhi; the Saptak Festival, Ahmedabad; Vasantahabba Festival, Bangalore etc. His international sojourns include the International Folk Festival Hungary, several International Drum Festivals, Germany, several World Music Festivals, Rome, the International Festival for the Chernobyl Victims in Minsk and the International Festivals for Contemporary Music in Mongolia, Odessa, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Azerbaijan etc. Udhai has also been recorded, aired and interviewed at the above mentioned International Festivals and by Radio DRS, Switzerland, Radio France and the BBC TV & Radio Arte TV-France etc. Contact: Website: Pt. Ravi Shankar (left) and the author (right) Om Akhanda Manadalakaram Vyaptam yena Charaacharam I Tadpadam Darshitam Yena Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha II


Coming from Allahabad, and from a very dogmatic background, in the beginning it was kind of a shock to me, to realise that the man whom the world saw as a giant, was in fact a very humble, fun loving, and easy to talk to person. He was so different from what ‘Guru’ meant to me back in Allahabad! Guruji, was rather fashion conscious—not wearing dhoti-Kurta all the time, he had a wonderful sense of humour all the time, and to top it all—he even kept track of Govinda and Amitabh Bacchan’s latest Bollywood movies!!! I still remember going with him to the movie theatre (of course he would be in a disguise) to watch Amitabh Bacchan’s “Agnipath”. Guruji’s only comment after the movie was, “He has proved he is Amitabh!” (Amitabh’s career at that point was going through rough patches, and he had delivered couple of flops just before the movie - Agnipath). After living with Guruji for a while, I slowly started understanding him and his values a bit more.

ruji, Bharatratna Pt. Ravi Shankar—was my

Dronacharya and modern world’s Polar Star for Indian Classical Music and World Music. As a Tabla player, I learned the Benaras style of Tabla from Guruji Kaviraj Ashoutosh Bhattacharya in Kashi. While learning from him, I also received the offer from Pt. Ravi Shankar to come to Delhi, live with him and learn. I shifted to New Delhi where apart from learning many more aspects of music and being an artist, I also learned the art of Tabla accompaniment from the great maestro— Pt. Ravi Shankar. It’s been 30 years since I went to Delhi to live and learn from him, following the ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’ (Teacher-Student Tradition), and ever since, he became my family, guardian, guide, role model and my Super Star.

Pt Ravi Shankar, Ray Charles, Udhai in Sweden

Performing with Legendary Ravi Shankar and Bikram Ghosh




Alan Kozlowski photo credit

He was always deeply immersed in his work, and yet not even for a single moment did he miss to look around and see what the modern world had to offer, and what more he could learn. Seeking knowledge was his eternal quest. He was also a voracious reader and loved to read books on different subjects. As a result, he could hold conversations on almost any topic. His knowledge was not just restricted to music— and this aspect of him amazed me the most. Pt. Ravi Shankar, my Guruji, was a versatile man, and despite being multitalented, he was first and foremost an Indian classical musician and a purist. His presence of mind was also incredible. He found humour in almost everything, and there was never a dull moment when he was around. I remember once we were all having lunch, and Anoushka (his daughter) remarked that Guruji’s necklace was hanging out and was stuck on his kurta buttons. She said to him, “Bapi your pendant is hanging out”, Guruji immediately replied back with a spark in his eyes, “Maybe it wants to become independent?” On another similar occasion, I saw something sticking on Guruji’s face, when I told him that, he asked me to remove it. As I started removing it, I realized that it was a new mole growing. He immediately said, “Arrey ota faltu noye rey…paltu hochchey” (it’s a pet and not stray!!!). My most precious moments with Guruji used to be when he practiced in his puja room alone and ask me to accompany him, and simultaneously also teach me. The ‘student’ in him never died, practising the same

basics every day like a beginner, planning his concerts, discussing what new possibilities were there rhythmically, what more he could give to his audience, it was a like a never-ending learning process. I learned from him, not only when he was actively teaching me music; but also simply by observing him - while he was talking to people, traveling, eating, reading, walking, preparing for his concerts, discussing his stage arrangements, or while project planning, or composing music, or while working in a recording studio, each and every second of my life that I spent with Guruji, I tried to observe him, imbibe his spirit and learn from him as much as I could. Despite being on the guards, and observing him so intently, he never ceased to surprise me by teaching something entirely new every now and then! Once, I had a small accident with my hand, and Guruji immediately said that there must be something wrong with my stars…and he organized a special Puja (ceremony) with Havan (a fire ritual) at the Rama temple near the place, where we lived in Delhi. I was so touched by the fact that despite being such a busy Star musician, he still spent time on this! His concern for his student, was so genuine and touching. It’s been heaven’s fortune to live and learn from him, and a great honour to accompany him on the Tabla. A Guru, from whom I would like to continue learning in my next lives too. My Shradhdhanjali and Pranaams to Guruji.

Authors son Jay with Guruji and Chinnamma

Pt. Ravi Shankar Announcing my concert at his Residence





Interview with


Ken Zuckerman

Ken Zuckerman, internationally acclaimed as one of the finest sarod virtuosos performing today, has also been called “… one of the world’s most eclectic masters of improvisation.” He completed thirty-seven years of training under the rigorous discipline of India’s legendary sarod master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, up to the maestro’s passing in June 2009. He also performed with Maestro Khan in numerous concerts in Europe, India, and in the United States. In addition to his extensive perfor mance schedule, Ken Zuckerman has directed the Ali Akbar College of Music in Switzerland for 31 years and is also a professor at the Music Conservatory of Basel where he conducts courses in both North Indian classical music and the music of the Middle Ages.


mentioned to all the students in the audience that he had a college in California where anyone could come and study. So, through various events and circumstances, I ended up spending the summer of 1972 studying at his college, and that is when I started studying the sitar. After that, I was really a hundred percent determined to learn more about Indian music.

n you tell us something about your

childhood? Where did you grow up? I grew up in the United States, in the areas around New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I had a rather ordinary childhood for those times, playing sports, studying in school, and I also started playing guitar at a very early age.

Why did you start with the sitar and not the sarod? When I first came to the college, they asked me what instrument I wanted to play, and I had no idea about the instrument. I said, I did not know. So, they said: "Well, go up to the instrument room and you can try out some instruments and take the one you like." I first picked up the sarod which is what I saw Ali Akbar Khan playing, but nobody was in the room to show me how to play it, and I did not know that in order to make a good sound you not only had to use your fingertip but also your nail. So, I only used my fingertip like on the guitar and it did not

Are you coming from a musical family? My parents both loved music very much and they encouraged me, but when someone would ask my father what instrument he played, he would reply: "I play the tape recorder". So, no musicians in the direct family. What instrument do you play beside sarod and guitar and when did you start learning them? I played guitar through my childhood and during my college days and then took up Indian music, first on the sitar and then on the sarod. At the same time, I took an interest in the music of the European Renaissance and I started to play an instrument called the ‘lute’. W hat inspired you to lear n an Indian Instrument? Well, it was really during my first exposure to the music of India that I became inspired. That exposure was a concert of the great virtuoso (Ustad), Ali Akbar Khan. He performed at the university where I was going to in 1971 and I was very impressed! After the concert, he

With Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (performing together)




sound very clear. It sounded a little muddled. Then I picked up the sitar and pushed down on the string on the fret, which is somewhat like a guitar and it sounded very clear. I thought, ok I will play the sitar. After spending a whole year playing the sitar, slowly the music of Ali Akbar Khan and his music on the sarod began to attract me more. I then thought of playing the sarod. Then one night I had a dream and Ali Akbar Khan came to me and said, "What are you waiting for, start playing the sarod"!

Shankar was a very important figure and a great musician. My interest is pretty widespread. How often and for how long do you practice these days? It depends very much on the phase I am in. I have a lot of responsibility as a teacher, and in organizing the College. Not every day is the same, but when I have time to practice, I practice three to four hours. Otherwise it has to be shared with my teaching duties —then it is less, but at least, I am still involved with the music.

How was it learning under the guidance of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan? Any memories that you would like to share with our readers?

What does a typical day or week look for you?

It was very inspiring. He was not only a masterful performer, but also a very inspiring teacher. And a very patient teacher, mostly. I was totally thrilled to be in his presence. In the beginning, he was teaching a large group of people so, he did not know my name for about the first five or six years. But after six years, one day I came in and greeted him and then he said: "Ahh yes, hello Ken, right?" So, I thought, I am making progress here. After ten years, (by that time I was getting private lessons from him) and one day I played, and he must have been happy with what he heard, so he said: "Ok, this is good, now I can teach you like my son."

It is trying to juggle between my teaching duties and practice. Plus I also have a certain amount of administration and organization for the College, and keeping up with my contacts and planning for concert tours. So, it is either teaching or practice or organization. Once in a while I get to do fun things like playing tennis. What is your advice to someone interested in learning Indian music in Switzerland? They should come to Ali Akbar College of music and take part in one of our introductory singing classes.

After many years of learning and rigorous training the Ali Akbar College of Music at Basel opened. How did it all get started?

And, if they do not live in Basel? I am not the only one teaching Indian music in Switzerland. If someone is interested they should look for a teacher. They should not feel shy or think they cannot study Indian music because they live in Switzerland, because Switzerland has some very qualified teachers of Indian music.

At some point, I moved over to Switzerland, which I thought was just going to be for a couple of years. But it seemed to be turning into a long-term stay. I was still completely determined to have as much time studying with Khansahib, so, I invited him to come over to Switzerland and perform. On another occasion we had him compose an orchestra piece for an ensemble that we had here. There was so much interest, I thought I would open up a school for Indian music here. So he said, "Why not call it the Ali Akbar College and I can come every year and give a seminar." So, that is how it started in 1985.

What classes and seminars does the Ali Akbar College of music offer? We have ongoing classes every week. There are two evenings where we offer vocal classes to give the basics of the music and the repertoire which is important not only for singers, but also for instrumentalists. That is how Ali Akbar Khan trained us and I continue with that tradition of teaching the students vocal and Tala (the rhythm exercises). We also offer group and individual classes on Indian Instruments like the sarod. In addition, we have guest tabla and sitar teachers who come regularly to teach our students.

Which musicians from the East do you admire and why? From the East, particularly from the Indian tradition, of course Khansahib (Ali Akbar Khan) has always been at the top of the list. But I have a lot respect for many of the other Indian maestros like Nikhil Banerjee, singers like Bhimsen Joshi, Kishori Amonkar, and I love a lot of the old vocalists, who are no longer alive, but I got to know their music through recordings. Of course Ravi

Ken Zuckerman in a concert

Can you learn Indian music on Western instruments?

Ken Zuckerman with Parthiv Kangsabanik (handing me the sarod for the first time)


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 A number of my students began their studies of Indian music on a Western instrument, like the guitar. You can learn the basics of Indian music on instruments like guitar, but at some point, if you are interested to learn more of the subtle aspects of the music, then most people realize that they need to switch to an Indian instrument.


youtube or recordings. Even more important would be to come to a concert. There are regular concerts on Indian music here in Switzerland—in Basel, Zurich, Geneva and Bern. That is why I encourage people to come to a live concert, which is very different from listening to recordings. If they are interested in studying Indian music, they can come and just visit a class at the College. Visitors are welcome!

What is the difference between eastern and western music? It is difficult to answer this question in succinct words. Most eastern music traditions (including music from the Middle East, Persian music etc.) are based on melody and rhythm but not harmony. Western music is mostly utilizing the many elements of harmony and counterpoint, in addition to melody. This includes contexts when many instruments are playing together, like in an orchestra, or utilizing instruments that are well suited to play polyphonic music, like the piano and guitar. What is your message for our readers?

On behalf of Patrika‘s editorial team this interview was conducted by Parthiv Kangsabanik, born and brought up in Basel, is a student of secondary school. His hobbies are playing football, tennis, cricket, reading books and other sports. He also learns Sarod at the Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel. Contact:

I would encourage readers, and anyone who is interested in having an experience with Indian music to listen to it. It is available extensively at sources like




DANCE: A Memoir Riti Mukherjee Sole Proprietor and Professional teacher with experience in teaching all ages on three continents. Dancer, Choreographer and an occasional writer. Embedded in family and friends and believes in miracles. Contact:

Almighty and oneself and every flow and shift of a minute muscle contained meaning. Every word and line of the songs of traditional dance was explained to us and practice was extreme. The Namaskara that starts and ends every dance or dance lessons is where we pray to God- the giver of talent, Our Guru- who outlined the talent and the world, - the onlookers who appreciate the talent. As we bend down we thank and appreciate the stage / floor -in other words – Mother Earth -on whom we step, hit and strike as we perform or practice our talent. Another person who has influenced me was Mr Mason (the then principal of St James School Calcutta) who after seeing our performance in one of the high school festivals- removed his shoes and walked on the stage that I had performed. - He said- the stage is a place where talent is at its best and it is a temple where we tread with respect! Till this day -I remember his words as if it was yesterday. My father- ‘baba’ - who tirelessly took me every Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays to dance lessons for – yes- not exaggerating15 years. It wasn’t easy to pursue dance during high school schedules, examinations and it was ‘baba’ who never allowed to leave the talent God had so unsparingly given to me. Everytime I dance- I bend down to Almighty- to Natyashshtra - and to all these people . Arangetram- Grade 8 –my mother (who never forgot the glass of Horlicks, the nuts and raisins that she fed me before every performance- I know with a joint family and only both my working parents running itthese weren’t normal buys for our family then) and Guruji dressed me up - baba was there as always- my


sed to flutter around to the sound of my mother’s

bangles that moved to and fro from the movement of the rolling pin on the board when she tirelessly made ruti’s for our joint family in the lanes of South Calcutta.- I was five when my mother took me to Amala Shankar as she saw rhythum and ‘Taal’ within me. I use to dance all the time she said- to any sound which to me was music. Amala Shankar – Very faint memories of her, but I have heard that she used to make me sit on her lap and let me dance to my own forms and instant choreography as music played along. After a year I moved to Srimati Thankamani Kutty – to learn the Kalmandalam Bharatnatyam form of dance – I was six years old then. She thought I was too young and put me on the last line to copy the Adavus that my elder peers were learning- In two days,I was in front of her eyes- in the first line with her microscopic eyesight that corrected any false move. She extracted perfection from her students- strict, firm, structured and focused. I realised that you can be scared and love the same person all at one time. In this vast universe of dance- Amala Shankar perhaps taught me that creation has no structure nor boundaries. The Nebulous talent was then formed and framed by Thankamani Kutty who polished and sculptured my movements. I was one of the very few to be taught by her own hands. My movements, expressions and thought processes contain her and her teachings completely. I was taught that dance is for the


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 brother was the cameraman- That day, when I had touched Guruji’s and my parents feet and for the first time I realised the true meaning of this gesture of bending down to a person and taking their blessings. It was dance that taught me subtle realisations that life could not have. I continue to learn the Natyashshtra – the origin of all dance forms and creation and feel the soft, pure humbleness that destroys all negativity and starts off an


unexplainable positive energy in me. Dance never tires me- in fact it injects energy within– it is still that glass of ‘Horlicks’ that my mother so lovingly use to make me drink before and after my 6-hour dance lessons every weekend and stage performances. It brings back memories, youth, my parents, the four walls of Kalamandalam- Gariahat with Gurujis voice and tap of the sticks and much more.


BIRLA AG Haenibuel 19 6300 Zug Switzerland Telephone: +41 41 727 1717 Fax: +41 41 727 1727 Email: 45



OLD Switz: Basanta Palit

Family Palit celebrating Christmas in their apartment at Nussbaumen

Standing infront of their first car in Switzerland, an Austin

Orun with the extended family of Bose's

Orun is waiting in kitchen for dinner to be served

Orun with his mother Indira Palit at a parking lot

Playmates: Orun with the Bose's; now they are: Chief Investment Officer of a Swiss Bank, Medical Doctor in a Hospital, Chief Legal Officer and CEO of international firms.

Basanta and Indira standing on snow. Basanta has his skate on. He is ready to make a pirouett on ice.

Living room of Family Nirmal Chowdhuri in Windisch

Nicholas Day in Windisch. Orun receiving gift from Santa Claus




OLD Switz: Debashree Banerjee

Himadri's 1st Birthday at Birr

Badenfahrt Aug. 1987

A Sunday spent with our family friend Fam. Simmen Aug. 1979

Bengali play chikitsa sankat in Wettingen Bijoya Sammelani




OLD Switz: Pannalal Bose

At a Bengali family gathering. See if you can spot them all

TV in those days

Pannalal Bose with his son Srijit

Krishna Bose with Srijit, pram in those days

Cars in those days




OLD Switz: Prosenjit Poddar

Daughters homecoming: Anima Poddar with daughter and son in law

Manisha Poddar’s Kindergarten First day

Dancing in Baden Fest




OLD Switz: Prodyot Sinha

The Sinha family with their Xmas tree

Krishna Bose singing in a Bengali gathering at Prodyot Sinha's house

Swiss Bengalis gathering (did you spot this year's President, S.Coomar?)

See if you can spot them all! The Bong Ladies in 1970s - 80s




OLD Switz: Ram Mitra

A cultural function in the 1970s

Raksha Bandhan in Basel and in news

Basel Fest 1994

Ramkrishna Mission Program in those days

Musical Evening in Basel

Basel Indian function in organizing fests and taking the paper 1990s a break

Raksha Bandhan in Basel 2007

Indo.Swiss festivals in Basel 1980s to 90s

Ramkrishna Mission Durga Puja in Geneva

A cultural function

Paper clipping 1995

Bengalis celebrating Durga Puja in the 1970s and 80s




Interview with the Photographer and Scientist Sandip De Introduction: Dr. Sandip De works in EPFL as a postdoctoral scientist in the exciting fields overlapping physics, materials science and machine learning. He has been doing photography mostly as a hobby and occasionally as professional assignments since last 8 years. In recent years he has become well known for his portraits and aerial photography with drones. His work has been published in several magazines including prestigious ones like National Geographic. He is winner of many international awards for photography as well as for organizing photography events. You can see more of his work on Contact: instagram:@sandipde_photography ; facebook: sandipdephotography.


meetup group for photographers and videographers living in and around Lausanne. I am planning to organize an exhibition soon...i.e. as soon as I get some time away from research!

o gave you your first camera? As a

child did someone in your family or friend circle influence you in your photographic journey?

How do yxou feel about capturing Durga Puja as a motive?

First of all thank you for this interview and for showing interest in my work. Appreciation and honour coming from my own community is always special !

Well, being a Bengali, "Durga Puja" has always been special and I have taken pictures of this event in Kolkata as well as at celebrations outside the city and country in the past. I had also captured "Swiss Puja" in 2009 when I first came to Switzerland for my PhD.

My first camera was the camera on Motorola L6 mobile phone, which I bought in 2004 by saving money from giving tuition. As a child, I did not have any hands on access to a camera but my uncle used to take pictures as a hobby, which I found fascinating. At that time I was more into drawing and painting and I got lots of appreciation from family and friends due to that. There was a point in school life when I seriously considered going to Art college.

Your favourite Bangla song(s) and food? I have quite a broad taste in music and what I listen to depends on my mood. I like "Rabindra Sangeet" in general as well as songs from present generation artists like Anjan Dutta, Kabir Sumon, Shilajit, Rupam islam, Anupam roy, etc.

Does your research-oriented mind, influence the man behind the lens?

Food .. my favorite is Kolkata mutton biryani (with the potato and boiled egg)! In sweets, my favorite is rasogolla and misti doi (sweet curd)!

Yes, absolutely! I found the technical side of the equipment very straightforward to master, which can be a big hurdle for many people. As a result, I can focus on the artistic side of the images without constantly worrying about the technical aspects of photography.

When you click, what do you wish to capture? I aim to capture the essence of the moment. Photography is not a mere documentation process for me. It is a way to express the feelings I have at that moment.

Tell us about the new technique - 'Drone' P h o t o g r a p h y. I s t h i s a n e w t r e n d i n photography, why made you select this mode of photography?

Few words for Swisspuja Patrika readers. I wish all of you a very happy Durga puja.

I think we all fancy seeing the world from a bird's eye view. Drone technology in recent years has become consumer friendly in a small travel ready packaging and within a very affordable price range. It is a new trend in travel and landscape photography allowing us to take images from a viewpoint which was never possible before.

Photography or any hobby for that matter helps you deal with the stress of everyday life and makes you a happier person. Photography has become accessible to everyone now and we all are photographers in our own right! It's very easy to learn the basics by yourself on the internet. I never took any class on photography myself. Take pictures of whatever you feel like in the beginning. You will eventually discover your genre and if you need any help in your journey... well, now you know me so just get in touch! Thank you, best regards, Sandip.

Do you network with other Photographers? Do you plan to take part in photo exhibitions? Yes. I have organized photowalks and meetups in Lausanne and Kolkata in the past year. I also started a 52





Aerial shot of Kolkata, Victoria Memorial Hall Aerial shot of Kolkata, Howrah Bridge




The Frozen Sea, Helsinki Sailing through the ice, Helsinki




Aerial shot of Kolkata, Sahid Minar (Monument) The wine valley of La geria, Canary islands




Dr. Sandip De, Sandip De Photography, Lausanne, Switzerland,, +41 789678410 57



The Singing Stars: Mother and Daughter Introduction: Swisspuja Patrika’s Editorial team caught up with our very own singing stars – mother and daughter—Anjana Rakshit and Srishti Rakshit, for a musical interview. Anjana studied classical Hindustani in India and used to sing in a popular musical band back in India; whereas her daughter Srishti who is also performing on stage since she was quite young, is currently being trained in Western pop music in Switzerland. It is interesting when the entire family is seeped into music, perhaps the relationship resonates more with the ‘sound of music’. When both mother and daughter have the same talent, does this give them a common platform to interact with each other? Or is this a typical parent-child interaction? When the mother sang to her infant daughter‘Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are?’ did she wonder, if her daughter too would love singing like she did? Let’s find out what they have to say about their musical experiences and how they feel about music. Brindarica Bose


After I came to Switzerland, I started singing at programs organized by the IAB (Indian Association Baden). Few years back, I also sang professionally for "Antardhwani" a Bangalore based musical organisation and nowadays I mainly sing at programs organized by Swisspuja.

estions to Anjana Rakshit (mother)

Q. At what age did you start learning music, where did you learn music and who encouraged you at home, school?

Q. How did music change your life?

A. At the age of around 11/12 my parents discovered my talent. My father specially was very fond of my voice, so he encouraged me to take classes for classical vocal, Ma was for movie songs Bangla or Hindi. At that time we were staying in Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi, so I started learning music there. My teacher followed the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya course. I completed till the 3rd year i.e. Praveshika 3.

A. Yes, music changed my life significantly! I met my husband through "Saptak". He used to play percussions there. My daughter also sings, and my son plays musical instruments, this gives me great joy to see that they enjoy music as much as my husband and I do…. I have been waiting since they were children to see, if they too would fall in love with music. And I am happy that they did! (smile).

Q. Did you have any ambitions related to music? Tell us something about your stage performances in India and in Switzerland?

Q. What are your favourite songs? Any advice that you have for aspiring singers in Switzerland/Indian (since your daughter is also an aspiring singer)?

A. Yes, I wanted to study music or teach music. I did quite a lot of onstage performances. In school, college, in our band group etc. I even went to some auditions for All India Radio and talent hunt etc. but unfortunately didn't succeed. In New Delhi, India, I used to be part of an Indian Pop Band called "Saptak", we used to perform at Durga Puja and some concerts.

A. Personally, I like to sing semi classical songs, Bhajan, Ghazals, old semi-classical Bollywood songs and like to listen to Thumris as well. My favourite singers include Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Shreya Ghoshal, Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher, Arijit Singh; Gazals by Ghulam Ali, and


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 Bengali songs by Lopamudra Mitra—who has a very distinct voice. My advice to aspirng singers would be— if you love singing, please keep your voice in good condition. Daily sargam practise is a must. Feel the song (emotions) and please don't stop singing. Also pay attention to modulation while singing.


very well, what is good and bad in music (smile). I too am rather self-critical, when it comes to my music. Q. Are you training for music/singing? If yes, please describe briefly your training lessons (vocal exercises, style of teaching) A. I started taking singing lessons at the age of 13. Now I take lessons from a Swiss singer Tanja Bachmann (Tinkabelle) once a week. Usually we start with breathing exercises as a warm up. Then I start singing songs which I am free to choose. Rather than training it's more like fun, for me. The training just comes with it.

Q. Please tell us something about vocal music industry in India today, who are in the top league, which Gharanas are famous in Hindustani classical or pop. A. Indian classical music has two major traditions. The North Indian classical music tradition is called ‘Hindustani’, while the South Indian tradition is called ‘Carnatic’. There is a rich tradition of Gharanas in classical Hindustani music. The Gharanas are basically different styles. These schools or Gharanas have their basis in the traditional mode of musical training and education. Every Gharana has its own distinct features. The main area of difference between Gharanas is the manner in which the notes are sung. The concept of a Guru-Shishya leads to the development of Gharanas. Some of the popular Gharanas include: the Gwalior Gharana, Jaipur Gharana, Patiala Gharana, Delhi Gharana, Agra Gharana, Lucknow Gharana and others. The Gwalior Gharana is the oldest among all the Khayal Gayaki (vocal) styles. The distinctive feature of this style of singing has been noted as its lucidity and simplicity. Founders of this Gharana were Ustad Hassu Khan, Ustad Haddu Khan, Ustad Nathu Khan and exponents of this Gharana include: Bal Krishna BaIchal Karanjikar, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (who was the founder of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya – where I too did my training during childhood), Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and Malini Rajurkar. Amongst classical Hindustani signers, my personal favourite is Kishori Amonkar (Jaipur Gharana). She was a brilliant singer. Sadly she passed away recently. Others, who are also my favourite are— Pt. Ajay Chakraborty, her daughter Kaushiki Chakraborty, Shubha Mudgal—I like them, because they are very versatile singers. Nowadays, semi-classical singers are also flourishing, and they have created a whole new genre in Indian music. These days, I listen a lot to Bengali pop bands like the Cactus, Mohiner Ghoraguli and few others. Music was my passion, and will always be!

Q. How does your friends, teachers react when you sing? A. In the beginning they are very surprised but then they get used to it (smile). Most of my friends although they love music, do not pursue singing. Q. With your studies and other activities, how would you like to proceed with your musical training, do you want to make it your career? A. I would like to continue for as long as possible, preferably my whole life, with music. Considering ‘music’ as my career would perhaps be a bit too ambitious at this stage, but if I get a chance, then certainly I would love to make music my career. If not, I wish to continue singing as a hobby artist. Q. Please tell us something about music in Europe today, what kind of music do you like to hear? Any favourite bands? A. Honestly, I am not much in favour of the style of music popular in Europe today. My taste in music is ever changing. I tend to listen to a few songs continuously for a few weeks and then the songs change and so on. I also listen to and sing Japanese pop (J pop) and I have recently started listening to Korean pop (K - pop) as well. If I had to name a favourite band it would be the J - pop band "Supercell ". Few western singers, whom I like a lot are Adele, Beyonće and Jessie J.

Questions to Srishti Rakshit (daughter) Q. You were born with musical parents, do you consider it an advantage or a disadvantage? (would you love singing even if your mother was not a singer and your father a musician, did they help you realise at a younger age that you had a talent)? A. Well, it was actually an advantage, you see, I started singing at just 3! I have been around music quite a lot, which helped me develop a good ear for music. Honest opinion of musical parents, constructive criticism, helped me always. From an early age, I used to listen to old Indian semi-classical Bollywood songs and Bengali songs, so, now I find western pop a lot simpler when I sing. If you talk about disadvantages, then well, my biggest critic in music is mainly my dad—who knows

Thank you Anjana and Srishti for this interview





MOTHER-IN-LAW (MIL) AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW (DIL) INTRODUCTION: Times are changing - our lifestyle, roles, technology, everything has gone through major overhauls over the past few decades; and yet some relationships and their definitions have remained rather constant. Or are they changing as well? It is perhaps a cliché that women of two generations, with an ‘in-law’ tag between them, cannot be the best of friends. Several Indian TV serials strive on this common notion. Well, for this year’s Patrika, we searched for a MIL-DIL duo, reflecting a growing trend: a change in MIL and DIL dynamics for good. In this section, we present to you a unique couple who take selfies together, go for concerts together, and share each other’s professional and private lives with equal gusto - just like good friends. Debashree Banerjee (MIL), leads a retired life, spending her time between family and several voluntary works, and Madhubrata Chatterjee Banerjee (DIL) who finished her Masters in Aerospace Engineering from UK two years back (after her marriage), happily balances her time between her family, hobbies and ongoing PhD research. Whenever, I see them (together or alone) and hear them speak about each other with genuine enthusiasm and praise, I always smile and say to myself, ‘Eisa bhi hota hai’. This duo deserves a special acclaim for breaking the prejudice. Here is a glimpse of their lives, based on interviews which were conducted separately. Brindarica Bose


father turned it down promptly. He told my mother, "I refused the proposal because I will not send my daughter so far. The maximum distance I will accept is LKO-Delhi”.

estions to Debashree Banerjee (Mother-

in-Law) Contact:

In Bengali we say, "Janma, Mrityu, Biye teen bidhata niye”. In 1974 Asish, my would be husband was in Kolkata and we had also re-located in Kolkata as my father had been transferred to his head office. We were all invited to his brother’s wedding and that’s where my family met Asish for the first time. What happened thereafter is history. My marriage with Asish got finalized in a jiffy and we got married on Jan 18, 1975 at Kolkata.

1. Tell us something about yourself. When did you come to CH and how did you get married? Any funny anecdote related to your marriage? I have been living in Switzerland for more than 4 decades now. Before moving to this country I was working as science teacher in Lucknow and Kolkata just after completion of my degree in Bioscience from Lucknow university.

For funny anecdote I will have to trot down the memory lane of my golden era of 42 years. It is not really funny, rather I must mention it as a sweet anecdote. On my wedding receptionday, my father gave me a small packet wrapped with red paper and told me now you can start your packing for Switzerland. It was my passport with Swiss visa. That time, tears welled up in my e y e s . A n o t h e r anecdote, just after my wedding my granny told me that she Wedding Jan. 1975

I was born in Varanasi, and raised in Lucknow. I have also lived in Kolkata for a short period before moving into Switzerland. Still I don’t know exactly how did I get married. My parents’ family and my in-law's family had very good contact. Whenever my father came to kolkata for conferences he would visit them, if he had time. In 1973, a proposal came from my in laws side for me to be married to one of their sons and my

Kandersteg July 1975






noticed in my in-laws’ house all "Bahus" covered their head, and that I must also try to cover my head as long as I would be there. It was very difficult for me. Nevertheless I did comply with her advice. The very second day of my having moved in with my in-laws, my mother-in -law called me and told very affectionately, "You don't have to cover your head. If you fall down you will hurt yourself badly”. Now one cannot imagine how broad minded she was.

7. Please tell us how you try to support your son and your daughter-in-law in their activities and why? They are my family so whenever they need any support, we parents stand beside them and vice versa, whenever we need any support they are always with us. 8. Do you think Mother in-laws and daughter-in-laws can be friends?

2. What were your expectations as a young wife, did yours inlaws support you? Did you want to pursue a career (not so common in those days) or become a home maker?

Yes of course. My daughter-in-law and I are very good friends. Whenever we call, we talk for hours together. We discuss about good novels, movies, music and recipes. We even go to concerts together. Nonetheless, we also discuss with each other about health, nutrition etc. I feel so relaxed when I travel with her. I know she is with me and I have someone to take care of my wellbeing. Sometimes we discuss about her work. She explains to me what she does in such lucid ways that I too learn a lot. I never feel bored to listen to her, no matter what the topic is.

I never have/had such great expectations. And whatever little I had, I had been fortunate enough to get it all. I did not stay long with my in-laws as just after my marriage I came to Switzerland. For the little time I was with them, they had been very caring towards me. Yes, I wanted to pursue my career and I got full support from my husband. Even as I was dedicated to setting up and running my home, I took up freelance English coaching assignments. Later on, after my son grew up and went to primary school, I took up a job in BAG Turgi and then after 5 years joined Otto Suhner and retired from Alstom.


estions to Madhubrata Chatterjee

Banerjee (the daughter-in-law) Contact: 1. Tell us something about yourself, and what you did before you got married.

3. How did your life evolve here in Switzerland? For me, during those days Switzerland was another world. I knew nothing about the country, its people and the society. I went about gathering information from various sources, learned a lot and gradually imbibed my learning. It has been quite a transformative process. Though the values that I had imbibed in my growing up years remained intact, I became a much more active, extrovert, and participative person in Switzerland. And the best part is that, most of people around me have truly liked and admired this ‘new’ me.

I am born and raised in Kolkata, India and have been commuting between the UK and Switzerland for the last seven years. I did my Bachelor of Technology in Electronics & Instrumentation from Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata. At the time of my marriage, I was working with IBM India as a System Engineer and was preparing to go to the USA for further studies in the field of Astronautics, as I am fanatic about space and spacecraft since my childhood days. After coming to Europe, I have studied Aerospace Engineering, Astronautics and Space Technology from Kingston University, London, UK. Presently I am pursuing my PhD in Astronautics and Space Engineering from Cranfield University, UK. I am learning Odissi classical dance and feel blessed to be under the tutelage of my Guruma Dr. Minati Mishra. My hobbies include reading, skiing, running, travelling, listening to music to name a few.

4. Have you noticed any change in women of your generation and women of the next generation? If yes what? Next generation you mean women of your generation? Yes I have noticed distinct differences in women of today as compared to our generations. Media and Technology are the key sources to influence your generation, which has brought a drastic change in lifestyle. Women nowadays are more connected, informed, focused, goal oriented and independent.

2. When did you get married, how did the match happen?

5. How would you define a mother-in-law? To me a mother-in-law is same as a mother. Before Himadri’s marriage, I had a son only. After his marriage my daughter-in-law fulfills my long awaited desire of a daughter. 6. Tell us what you were looking for when you were searching for a bride for your son? I may not do justice in answering this question as Himadri, my son, found his own bride. It was his task, not mine.

2015: Madhubrata as a delegate at United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, Austria


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 I believe that marriages are made in heaven and when two persons destined to get married, are born and raised in two different continents, a medium is needed to connect them for the first time. In our marriage the internet played that role. We came to know each other via internet and Himadri flew to Kolkata to meet me. Eventually we got married in 2009 almost after two years of knowing each other. Those two years were amazing for us, as they were filled with several intercontinental holidays for my husband. He used to travel to Kolkata every few months and we used to explore different parts of Kolkata together, which is my city and his root. We still cherish those days.


4. Did your husband and his family help you fulfil your dreams and expectations? Yes, of course. My in-laws are so loving and caring that I never felt that I was a new entry to their family. They always stand by my side both on my highs and my lows. They encourage me towards fulfilling all my dreams regarding education, dance, language learning, satellite tracking and many more. Himadri is simply awesome as a husband and as a father. Altogether he is always there to support me in all my crazy activities and all the strange ideas I come up with. That really makes me happy. In my opinion, marriage is not only about two persons knotting a tie. It is about the relationship of two families as well. My parent and my in-laws share a very warm relation and I feel great when they go for outings and holidays together.

3. What were your expectations after marriage regarding your career, since you came to a different continent all together where a different language is spoken? Well, regarding different continents, I always say that in satellite images of the Earth there are no boundaries between countries. Naturally, I believe in global citizenship where there are no geographical or political borders. Travelling from one part to another part of the Earth, gives me the same feeling as I used to have while travelling to different parts of India during my childhood days. Therefore, wherever I go, I never get a so-called culture shock nor do I feel foreign. At the same time, I am always excited and thrilled to experience new things. So, moving to a different place on Earth was a very normal thing for me. The moment I decided to move to Switzerland, I started learning German from Goethe Institute at Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. Anyways moving to a place where a different language is spoken was also a normal thing for me. Because, I felt that, in India there are hundreds of spoken languages and I know only Bengali and Hindi among them and that never made me feel that I was foreign in India. Also, life and career are not two different things for me. Before marriage I used to go to work and once back home, always have had quality time with family. Post marriage, I follow the same routine wherein I go to my University in the UK and then come back home to my family in Switzerland and go to India as frequently as I can.

5. Tell us what you feel about daughter-in-law and mother-inlaw relationship? Is this relationship full of prejudices? What was your personal experience? I have the best mother-in-law in the World. I always feel that she cherishes all small successes of mine and is very much concerned about the tiniest of the troubles I go through. We enjoy each other’s company a lot. There is no place for any prejudice in our relation. We spend hours over phone talking about a wide variety of topics including music, dance, culture, movies and books to name a few. We also go out for shopping, movies, concerts together. I am extremely happy to have Mamma as my mother-in-law. 6. You have a son too, can you imagine yourself as a mother-inlaw someday? Yes, I am mother of a five-year-old and he is my soft corner. I am always concerned about his health, education and future like all mothers are and I keep praying that he becomes a good human being when he grows up. As he is too small now, I have never imagined myself as a mother-in-law. Perhaps I will start thinking about it when I will become a mother-in-law in reality or at least when my son will introduce his partner to me.

2009: Marriage

2016: After 7 years of marriage




Ogo Probashi.. (The Immigrant) Rupa Mukerji: Living in Switzerland since 2011 with husband and daughter, she works with Helvetas as a member of its Management Board, the first person from a developing country to do so in a major Swiss non-profit. Contact:

In 1947, the newly independent nation of India gathered its resources and all the energy and goodwill of its people to assimilate those displaced by the horrors of the partition. Over the years India has opened its borders to many people who have come looking for safety and sanctuary, be they Tibetans, Sri Lankan Tamils, Afghans or Myanmarese. Acknowledging India’s generosity, Antonio Gutterez, in his former role as Head of the UNHCR said it ‘has a generous approach in relationship to all people and a proof of that is the granting of long term visas and work permits to refugees. We consider India a more reliable partner in the world to guarantee that people who need help will find a place. And more importantly at a time when there are so many closed borders in the world, and many people have been refused protection, India has been generous’.


cently I read an interesting article from the

World Economic Forum about refugees – if Europe’s refugees were a nation, what would that nation be like? The facts are staggering - between October 2014 and 2015, there have been 1.25 mil applicants for refugee status of whom 65% were accepted (over 670,000 persons). A majority of those accepted are from the Middle East and North Africa or MENA region (59%), followed by West Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. They come with very different education levels, incomes and most importantly, mind-sets and cultures. While all of these are factors that are amenable to change, the fact remains that Europe is in the midst of the largest refugee crisis since World War II and integration of such large number of refugees from such diverse backgrounds demands planning, institutional capacities, resources and engagement of the society at large. Much of these have been lacking and the discussions have been so polarising that it threatens the unity of the continent, bringing political winds that risk to blow away much that has been achieved by the European Union.

Europe has seen mass movement of people over the centuries, triggered by war, famine or politics. In recent years it faced the challenges posed by the fall of the iron curtain. Since 1989, the European Union has played a crucial role in supporting conflict prevention and transition in Central and East European countries, the former Soviet states, and the Western Balkans. The Stabilisation and Association Process and EU enlargement to the east offer many lessons in refugee and migration prevention.

As children of the sub-continent that saw the largest mass migration of people on partition, estimated at 10 to 12 million, with up to 2 million deaths, refugees and their integration have been part of our socialisation. As a child during summer holiday in Lucknow we would make at least one trip to the ‘Refugee market’, for its chikan and kulfi stores. With an early interest in etymology, I always wondered if the market was so called as it provided refuge from the hot summer sun. Only much later did I realise that possibly each shopkeeper there had a personal story of loss and displacement that brought the family to own a shop in that particular market. Overtime, Refugee Market was rechristened Mohan Market, more politically correct, but an altogether forgettable name. Being from West Bengal and growing up in south India, my family’s own experience of partition was rather more second hand – a Maashi had made a rather unfortunate marriage with a Bangaal, from the other side, never to be repeated in the choices the next generation would make! But the stories of our Bangaal Mesho’s travails, his family’s loss were also a part of our growing-up years.

Migration into Europe has been growing over the years and in 2001, Europe had similar migrant populations as North America, a significant region of immigration. Net immigration in Europe stood at 3 per 1,000 inhabitants, comparable to 3.1 per 1000 in the United States. In net terms, Europe hosted a population of 56.1 million migrants as compared to 40.8 million in North America. Since then, due to geo-political and economic reasons, migration into Europe has been explosive leading to an end of the ambivalence with which governments and their electorates had been treating the issue. Migration has many faces – it can be labour migration, irregular migration, seeking asylum or integration. In practice, most are a mix of these but there is a differentiated and polarised response to the ‘wanted’, economically beneficial migrants who enter through regular programmes, and the ‘unwanted’ irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. Recent terrorist 64

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 attacks have contributed to ‘securitise’ EU immigration and refugee policy. The tensions arising from a basic human instinct to help, humane policies but also fears, political opportunism, merging of very different cultures is now threatening the continent’s unity.


have a human development on par with Timor-Leste or Bangladesh but it is located in the heart of wealthy Europe. The challenge of integration is further compounded as people tend to adopt the norms and culture of their social network and often tend to socialise with people of the same ethnicity, culture, language or religion, as we Bengalis do so flagrantly☺. The food habits and taboos of the new immigrants with its restrictions on alcohol and pork, so fundamental to any Germanic gathering, could curtail their social interactions. With higher education levels such taboos would matter less but most of the immigrants might come from more rural and devout upbringing. Most significantly, there is a mismatch between the skill sets the newcomers have and what Europe needs.

Kai Chan, a Distinguished Fellow for the INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative analysed the data on recent migrants as a ‘nation unto themselves’. He looked at the values for the weighted average of their country of origin for several key variables and compared them with the data for their host countries. It provides a good indication of what may be needed for effective integration. Chan’s analysis shows that at over 4.5 million people, these migrants could well be a nation, comparable in population to Ireland, but with the average wealth of Ukraine. The nation’s average number of years of schooling would be half of that of EU. A quarter of the nation’s adults would be illiterate; and 1 in 7 young people (15-24 years) would be illiterate. Less than 40% of the nation would have finished secondary education and the tertiary attainment rate would be only 20%. The migrants are overwhelmingly male, so in reality there is no country like that. They come from countries that rank low in gender equality alongside Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Morocco in the Global Gender Gap report. This imaginary nation of migrants would

Thus, the integration of the newcomers demands huge efforts that shall make many demands on the host society’s ability to accommodate and integrate them. These need to be systematically addressed, they will not go away by voting for one party or the other. Mass deportation or building walls ‘that the other shall pay for’, are not real solutions. Do we Bengali probashis engage and contribute to addressing this new challenge that our hosts face today?


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Playing With Fire - The Concept of ‘Gaslighting’ Akash Bhattacharya, my world revolves around my family. By profession, I analyze data and try to predict the future. In real life, I like to analyze the human mind. But even after 11 years of marriage, I still don’t know what my better half thinks. Cooking is my passion, my motto is compassion and I believe that every problem has a solution. Contact:


there is almost very little room for comfort. Couples nowadays, are actually trying their best to step out of their comfort zone and help run the institution of family. Unfortunately this ‘extra effort’ is often unseen or taken for granted, there is no recognition, but criticism.

rriage is all about complementing each

other’s shortcomings and trying to help each other overcome the barriers of life. I believe this is what most of us would say about marriage but the question lies, do we really feel this way.

This is for sure understable, if a man who has never cooked in his life will not turn into a fantastic cook in days, whereas a woman who has never planned holidays will not be a great holiday planner in the first go. However their effort is almost everytime unseen. Instead the man will be criticized for making a mess in the kitchen and the woman will be taunted that why she did not compare the prices in other online booking sites before purchasing an expensive trip.

I recently learnt what gaslighting means. And I can so much relate to this term with so many of my friends, colleagues and my own daily life. What I additionally believe is that men are equal, if not more, victims of gaslighting in an educated society. Women will doubt if a man can cook, if he can take care of the house and if the child will be safe with his/ her dad. Men on the other hand will have a smirk on their face when women will try to reconcile bills, park the car in a busy street, plan holidays, and in many other occasions. This smirk is enough to let the women feel less confident.

This phenomenon is most prominent in the first generation of a family getting out from the cocoon of their homeland and close family and friends. My kids have seen my wife driving cars and me cooking food and serving guests. Neither did I, nor my wife have ever seen our dad enter the kitchen or our mother driving a car. I believe the statement never is a bit exaggerated, what I meant is the usual scenario. So something we have been tuned to see and accept from our childhood is now diametrically opposite. What we felt is our duty, somebody else is encroaching in our domain and trying to challenge us, so instead of trying to appreciate his/ her effort we become defensive and critical. This is a very normal human behaviour when we read like this, but unfortunately a very hard fact to accept.

I have seen my parents and grandparents, seldom did I observe this strange pattern of behaviour. Things were not perfect then either, there were many debates on small and meaningless things, but this fierce sense of competitive attitude was completely non existent. This is exactly the reason - that I find is responsible for gaslighting; competetion, sense of insecurity and stepping in one’s own comfort territory. All these are coupled with high level of stress in day to day life. Nowadays couple need a punching bag to offload their stress and almost always they are the spouses. This is because the contact to wider circle of family is diminishing and the number of true friends is also limited.

There is an additional factor that works in women coming from patriarchal societies, the thrust to prove one’s own point. In childhood they have always seen male members dominating female family members and somehow there is a willingness to prove to your partner that she is not the same breed. Even though the partner is not expecting her to be the same breed but the constant extra cautiousness causes an additional layer of unhappiness in a similar family institution.

The fact is that in the modern days, specially with couples living in a different country/continent than their extended families, male and female members are bound to share responsibilities. Cooking is not necessarily a female-dominant activity whereas driving and earning bread for the family is not a maledominant section. So, the ‘male breadwinner’ and ‘female nurturer’ roles are nowadays just a cliché. With limited help at hand, and rising costs of living

Now that we have understood some possible reasons for gaslighting, the golden question can now be put forward; ‘How can we avoid gaslighting, causing a fire in our family?’ 66



strongest adhesive factor was society and the time they spent with each other. The only time they got to know each other was after the husband retired and started spending more time at home. The real feeling of togetherness, and passion was perhaps not as prominent as in today’s world.

This has happened so many times in almost all families with siblings, the younger one wants the same toy as the elder one. The elder one gets nervous and agitated, the younger one is totally unstoppable. What do we preach our kids now? The elder one must share and the younger one must respect the feeling of the elder one. The elder child, is further expected not to criticize the younger one and help him understand how to play with the toy. Else the toy will break and nobody will win. This is a repetitive process until the siblings learn to share the toy and play with each other.

However now there is a forced communication between the spouses as they are sharing responsibilities. Comparable to siblings this is a complicated process and takes time to be established. Many families break because they do not give enough time to go through this painful process of acceptance.

The elder child also appreciates the younger one, and tries to motivate him to learn faster. The younger one is also appreciative of the fact that the elder one has shared his toy, and how does he show gratitude, he shares his precious toy with his sibling.

Appreciation, mutual respect and learning to remain quiet are some of the keywords to making this mutual bonding a success. We m u s t a l s o understand that, this is not as simple as establishing a process and then everything follows. For each separate shared responsibility this process of mutual acceptance may be repeated, depending on its nature and importance.

There is also a second solution to such sibling fights. Clear guidelines as which one are the toys of the elder one and which one belong to the y o u n g e r. T h i s process may take some time in training but once established this also works like a charm.

We must also try to find our own benefit in this whole process, as to how this process can help me live better and make my life easier in establishing this mutual acceptance platform.

Needless to say that the second solution is easier to implement compared to the first one. But there are backlashes as well, often siblings do not bond as well and become more self absorbed. Whereas even though the first solution was more difficult to establish, the siblings tend to bond together much better and also become more caring and sharing individuals. But there is a lot of patience needed in establishing the first solution, and if the acceptance process is not complete, situations tend to sore more between the siblings.

Additionally, one must be ready to act as a punching b a g wh e n t h e other demands so, because you must understand your spouse does not have any friends, no time to socialize, no family members and you are the only one he/she can rely on. Unfortunately this role of punching bag is mostly absorbed by the less dominant spouse, or the more understanding partner. Life will be a magic if both the spouses share this role of acting as a punching bag equally. Sometimes you could also blame it on destiny, rather than trying to be rational at every instance. And believe me, if it were not him or her anybody else life would have been equally or more difficult.

When we draw an analogy to this sibling fight resolution techniques to fights between the spouses, there is a strange similarity. In the past when there was a clear definition of work between the spouses, they communicated much lesser and there was virtually nothing to compete against each other. The attachment also was not as strong, the

So, say ‘No’ to gaslighting and spread the light of happiness and marital bliss. 67


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 10. You find it hard to trust your own judgment, and given a choice, you choose to believe the judgment of the abuser. 11. You feel scared and as though “something is terribly wrong,” but you don’t know what or why. 12. You find it hard to make decisions because you distrust yourself. 13. You feel as though you’re a much weaker version of yourself, and you were much more strong and confident in the past. 14. You feel guilty for not feeling happy like you used to. 15. You’ve become afraid of “speaking up” or expressing your emotions, so you stay silent instead.

How to Know Whether Someone is Gaslighting You? Gaslighting is so harmful because it promotes anxiety, depression, and with enough frequency in our lives, can sometimes trigger nervous breakdowns. So the question now is: are you being gaslighted? How can you know whether you’re experiencing this subtle form of manipulation in your life? Review the following tell-tale signs: 1. Something is “off ” about your friend, partner, son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, colleagues, boss, or other person in your life … but you can’t quite explain or pinpoint what. 2. You frequently second-guess your ability to remember the details of past events leaving you psychologically powerless. 3. You feel confused and disorientated. 4. You feel threatened and on-edge around this person, but you don’t know why. 5. You feel the need to apologize all the time for what you do or who you are. 6. You never quite feel “good enough” and try to live up to the expectations and demands of others, even if they are unreasonable or harm you in some way. 7. You feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. 8. You feel like you’re constantly overreacting or are “too sensitive.” 9. You feel isolated, hopeless, misunderstood and depressed.

TACTICS USED BY A GASLIGHTER 1. Discrediting you. 2. Using assertiveness or fake compassion to make you believe that you “have it all wrong”. 3. Changing the subject. 4. Minimizing. 5. Denial and avoidance. 6. Twisting and reframing. HOW TO HEAL FROM SUCH A SITUATION 1. Firstly clarify to yourself how, when and who is gaslighting you. 2. Pay attention to the sings of being gaslighted. 3. Decide whether it’s worth continuing your friendship/relationship. 4. Talk to trusted friends or loved ones. 5. Shift your perspective. ©This content was extracted from the website by the editorial team




Adjustments with a Bengali / Being married to a Bengali Ramakrishna Kukkila I've been living with my family in Switzerland since 2011. I'm an engineer with a business management background. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and gardening. Contact:


The Bengalis or at least the ones I know, my sister is also married to one, take no nonsense from anyone – they are forthright, strong and direct. I really admire this character trait. They are also friendly and always helpful.

enty seven years ago I married a Bengali girl

whom I had met at management school. I was a great fan of Moushumi Chatterjee and Rupa, the girl I married, also had a spectacular pair of ‘goj daant’ and all the sweetness of a typical Bengali girl. Over time of course I discovered other facets of her personality and she also decided to get some orthodontic support so the ‘goj daant’ disappeared – but for all that we are still married today and that says a lot for all the other things we have - going for us!

Bengalis have a wanderlust that takes them all over the world – to the most unexpected places – using whatever mode of travel at their disposal. Rich or poor, they travel without inhibitions with their gamchca, mufflers and water bottles. I love to travel too, so this is a trait I appreciate very much. One of the most disturbing experiences of marrying a Bengali was to see the huge fish head on my plate during our wedding feast. The staring dead eyes of the fish are still etched in my memory! Do the Bengalis want to signal that this is the fate of a groom after marriage with this gesture?

I am a Kannadiga Brahmin from the beautiful coastal region of Mangalore. I was brought up in a completely vegetarian household. My mother - an amazing cook, could make the most perfect dosas even on a rock, and could churn out delightful delicacies out of coconut, a range of home grown spices, and vegetables. After marrying a Bengali, I realised how exotic the humble ‘dosa’ could be for some.

Another irritating habit is their love of the language, and the tendency to slip into Bengali at the first sign of another Bengali being present in the group.

There are several things I like about the Bengalis – that they maintain linkages with their culture wherever they are, even if they may be few in numbers. As they say – two Bengalis can start a Durga Puja. They keep their culture alive and celebrate all their festivals together. I find the Puja celebrations a joyous period – also a fashion parade for both men and women!

One of the challenges we faced when our daughter was born was the language we should speak to her in. As we lived in Hyderabad she was exposed to Telugu, Hindi and English – should we introduce her to both Bengali and Kannada? We settled for Bengali as the ‘mother tongue’ as my in-laws lived with us and this was the easiest option for all of us. This meant that I had to learn Bengali to speak to my daughter.

Bengali cuisine is very diverse and the fish recipes are among the best I have eaten. But the spices, flavours, cooking oil, and the focus on fish and meats, is completely different from the food I grew up eating. I enjoy both of them and the diversity we both bring to our kitchen.

Finally most Bengalis I think, like to hear their own voice, at least at home I struggle to get a word into any conversation! Despite all this the sweetness of our relationship remains, and I look forward to many more encounters with this group of people. 69



MARRIAGE: LOVE OR ARRANGED? Introduction: Marriage has been described as one of the oldest and most enduring human institutions; however the process of getting married has varied extensively from period to period and from culture to culture. Selecting a husband and a wife is one of the most important decisions of a person’s life, because a marriage can bring either a happy or an unhappy life. Keeping that in mind, it is interesting to note that in India, the concept of ‘Arranged Marriage’ is still a popular modus operandi and ‘matrimonial columns’ in daily newspapers, still publish the most interesting ‘bride or groom’ advertisements. And there is a new breed of ‘Arranged + Love Marriages’ happening via various portals like ‘’; ‘Facebook’, ‘Orkut’ and the likes. But, then ofcourse, ‘Marriages are made in heaven’ or are they? In the Western world, it often becomes difficult to explain the concept of an ‘Arranged marriage’. They even gape at you if by mistake you happen to use the term ‘Love marriage’. To them, all marriages are by default ‘love’ marriages—proposed and planned by the boy and the girl, where parents or family’s involvement comes in the end. Imagine the incredulous look a Westerner may have if I tell them my own personal story: “I met my husband just once before our marriage. His Maima who is my Pishi’s Boudi contacted my parents first. My parents met my husband before I did, since at that time I was working in Mumbai, and he was visiting his choto-Kaka who also happened to know my parents through yet another link, in Ranchi.” To simplify this intricate cupid hyperlink, the version I tell my Swiss friends is, “I met my husband in India, during his holidays.” Basta. One fine day, over a cup of tea, Kamalika Chakraborty and I got into this discussion and had many interesting anecdotes to share with each other about ‘how we met’ and ‘Jab we met’- our spouses. Both of us had arranged marriages with almost a year-long ‘probation period (courtship)’, and our would-be spouses lived in Switzerland. This interesting exchange gave us an idea – why not ask our friends – how they got married, did they have a ‘love’ or an ‘arranged’ marriage, or was it a mix of both? Kamalika conducted a survey with some friends, from different backgrounds: inter-continental marriage; neighbourhood Masi’s playing the cupid, inter-cultural marriage, book lovers meeting in the library, a mother and a great-uncle choosing the perfect groom, and a classic case of newspaper matrimonial marriage. So, let’s hear what they have to say! This is how marriages are still happening in India (last two decades).

- Brindarica Bose

We met at Max Mueller Bhavan, Calcutta (it was still called Calcutta then). Looking at him I thought that my German lessons would be quite endearing. Found his teaching style very interesting.

SUPARNA ACHARYA How long have you been married? Seems like a lifetime, 20 years.

What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge?

Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both?

My mother's conviction that Shubhra is the ideal partner for me. And his honesty.

A mix of both.

What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse?

Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love? The marriage was fixed by my mother. We had a courtship of 9 months during which we gradually got to know each other. I think, falling in love is a process which is still going on.

How he can laugh heartily at poor jokes.

When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting?

What is the most common source of disagreements (if any) among you? What are the 70

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 t h i n g s t h a t m a k e y o u fi g h t m o s t ?


striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting?

His proclivity towards annoying our children, is one reason. Another reason is when he casts doubt on the amount of food I cook when we have guests over. To him the quantity always seem a bit less.

How would you describe your spouse in 1 sentence?

As I’ve just hinted, we first met at Kwality Restaurant at Ballygunge Phari. I had high hopes from our first meeting simply because I really liked Kwality Restaurant and it was also Christmas Eve. Christmas happens to be one of my favorite times of the year, and I wanted neither the restaurant nor the season to be marred by memories of a bad date! There was a lot riding on this! Poor Arindam simply had to deliver. And he did. He rocked up in double denim, which, at the time, was a definite fashion no-no and terribly associated with Salman Khan. However, this gave me the opportunity to mercilessly rib him for the rest of the evening and somehow this broke the ice. I discovered a funny bone that I didn’t know I was in possession of and he was…Well, he was thoroughly charming.

A musician who plays on the keys of computers more than those of music.

What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge?

How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now?

Both of us were on holiday at the time. Arindam was enjoying some time at home while working ‘on site’ in Abu Dhabi while I was rather enjoying the break after a rather frenetic first term of teaching in Surrey, England. Our meeting had all the hallmarks of a holiday romance, short, sweet and distinctly temporary. Surprising exactly everyone, it stayed the course. Over the next year, we kept in touch over increasingly, lengthy phone conversations. I didn’t have a smartphone at the time (I was a teacher, this was 2009!) and Skype wasn’t ubiquitous as it is now. WhatsApp must have been a twinkle in the eyes of Jan Koum and Brian Acton and Facebook didn’t have Messenger. We had at our disposal a dying Orkut (which I, as a Brit, simply did not ‘get’; all those testimonials were far too earnest and lacking irony for my taste), Facebook (which hadn’t really gripped India’s imagination), AirTel Call Home and these weird, dinky little call cards which cost a fiver a pop. In spite of all the telecom challenges that peppered our way and other hurdles in between, we decided to go for it. Moving across continents seemed like the most natural, most obvious thing to do. We didn’t think twice.

Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse. During our honeymoon, one evening over dinner, after eating a very hot green chilli he took out his handkerchief to wipe the beads of sweat which had gathered over his bald. Before that I had never seen anyone do that. It was hilarious.

From strangers to acquaintances to friends to partners in crime. Looking forward to becoming travel buddies with age. NAYANA BHATTACHARYA-CHAKRABORTY Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both? How long have you been married? We’ve been married for seven years ‘socially’ and almost eight years ‘officially’. Our’s was definitely a setup! It was a classic case of ‘kyun na hum is dosti ko rishtedari mein badal dale?’ Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love? Our fathers are related by marriage. Arindam’s father is my great-uncle’s brother-in-law. We are bangals, and during the 1960s, most of our relatives still lived in the country that is now Bangladesh and was then East Pakistan. My great-uncle was one of the handful of relatives who had made a home in what was then the land of milk and honey, Kolkata. Both my father and my now father-in-law would meet at my great-uncle’s home. They became friends. Over the years, life led them in quite different directions and while the families remained aware of each other, their paths didn’t cross again until one fine day it struck my great uncle (he’s quite the character and deserves mentioning so often!) that he had both a nephew and a grandniece of “marriageable age”. The rest, as they say, is history. History was made at Kwality Restaurant in Ballygunge Phari. And no, my great-uncle was not present!

What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse? Whenever we are asked what it is that bowled us over about the other, we’re both at a loss. We don’t actually

When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most 71



know at all because we could not be more unalike. I’m the bookish geek and he’s always been ‘one of the lads’. We can bicker to the moon and back, we can ‘debate’ and ‘discuss’ until the cows come home, neither of us is ever willing to back down on anything without a fight and we hardly ever see eye to eye on anything. Yet, to me, he’s always the one person who makes the most ‘sense’, whose company I miss when I’m not with him and if I see something interesting, he’s the first person I want to tell about it. Along the way, we’ve been given the gifts of two truly amazing children and I’ve seen my husband grow into a brilliant, brilliant father. Neither of us play it by the book and I can’t imagine anyone else that I would rather make up the rules with as I go along. I’ve never seen Arindam look doe-eyed at me, and I’ve never consciously looked doe-eyed at Arindam. Whenever we’ve been captured in photos and are not smiling rictus grins straight-at-camera, we look like as if we were sharing some sort of in-joke, which we are… We just haven’t figured out what that joke is, quite yet!

and a leg just to hold a healthy baby in our arms. As fate would have it, as soon as she was born, the surgeons congratulated us on the arrival of our “beautiful baby girl” while the other people in the OT (there are so many people in the OT!) congratulated us on the arrival of our “beautiful baby boy”. We looked at each other, flabbergasted and also, at the same time, totally cracking up. This was very typically ‘us’. It was only when Arindam returned with little Aryahi (who at the time remained nameless) in his arms, and reassured me that indeed, we had the daughter of our dreams, that I allowed myself to believe it. It doesn’t matter how many times we tell it, that story will never get old for us. How would you describe your spouse in 1 sentence? Arindam: always up for a laugh, and a drive! How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now?

W h a t i s t h e m o s t c o m m o n s o u rc e o f disagreements (if any) among you? What are the things that make you fight most?

When we first met, Arindam and I were both quite young. He was and is my first love and I approached this relationship thinking that life and love would be like something out of a novel that I had read or a film that I had watched. It’s taken seven years for us to appreciate that actually, it’s a lot more tenacious and much more elastic than that. In these last seven years, we’ve also done some major growing up and we’ve both grown more securely into our own skins. It’s made our relationship a much more comfortable place to be, we are each other’s warm homes to return to at the end of the day.

Arindam and I can disagree about virtually everything. In fact, Arindam had, once upon a time, saved my number in his phone as ‘Jhogra Partner’! We once fought (in rainy, sleety, Edinburgh and on our honeymoon, no less) because we both wanted the other person to wear both gloves because we didn’t want the other person to catch a cold. Neither of us was content to share because we both doubted each other’s immunities. Yes, we are that ridiculous. Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse.

SRIJANI BHATTACHARYA How long have you been married?

We are two of the most laid-back people to have ever walked the earth. We are often left wondering if the fates are laughing with us or at us! Hilarity is part of the course, whether it is because one of us is always legging it back helter-skelter because they’ve forgotten their phone/keys or because we are totally up for whatever scatterbrained idea has entered the other person’s head (ever tried backpacking around Europe with a threeyear old, thrice, in the course of one year? We have… Would we advise it? Only if you’re feeling brave!). Our best experiences together have been in the operating theatre believe it or not. Our son was born by emergency c-section and our second child by a planned one. The enormity of hearing your firstborn’s defiant wail is quite something and I remember both of us grinning from ear to ear. In spite of lying there, anaesthetised to within an inch of my life, it was the most wonderful and most fun thing to have ever happened to me and having the love of my life share that with me was an experience beyond words. Nothing could top it…Until it happened again. This time, though, there was a difference. Throughout what proved to be a turbulent pregnancy, we had been told time and time again that we would be having another little boy. The thing is, both of us were rather wishing for a little girl this time. However the pregnancy was such that by the end of it, neither of us actually cared about gender at all and we would have given an arm

Our marriage attained adulthood at the beginning of 2017; we tied the knot 18 years ago. Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both? Ours was an arranged marriage. Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love? Our marriage was a classic example of arranged marriage that commenced its journey from the matrimonial columns of the Indian newspapers. When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting? We first met when he visited us along with his family for the first time, keeping in line with the conventions of arranged marriage. I still giggle to myself when I remember how relieved I felt when I was sure that the would be groom looked the same as in the photo that was sent by his parents earlier. I was apprehensive of 72

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 some kind of photo editing effect. I secretly admired his glasses throughout the evening.


through a lot of traditional customs, that my very own beloved Jojo (my pet German Shepherd) came to meet his “Jamaibabu“ (my newly-wed spouse). Excited to the brim, Jojo came in full speed and ended up tangled in my husband’s “dhuti” right away. It took me a while to disentangle Jojo and take him out of the “dhuti”.

What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge? When we first went out to get to know each other a bit more, I took him to a Phuchka-wala right away. And to my utter surprise, he ate as many Phuchkas as I did. Then there was no looking back, for not all men are fond of Phuchkas.

Another incident happened on a holiday that we spent in Florence, also a few months after our wedding. We went there along with a colleague of my husband’s. We went around places, and I was awed to see a weighing machine on the street, one similar to that we get to see in Kolkata. I felt a sudden urge to check my weight and stood on it. To my sheer disbelief, I weighed 15 kgs more than I weighed a week before. I was quite upset throughout the day and even to some extent throughout the trip for this drastic weight gain. I was so inconsolable that even my husband’s colleague came to me and assured me that I need not worry too much about the sudden weight gain. And then he calmly added that the extra kilos were caused by him by putting one leg on the weighing machine, while I was completely unaware of it. The immediate effect of this advice was a huge fight with my husband for keeping this prank a secret all that time.

What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse? The one thing that I am nuts about, is his patience and perseverance. He does not quit. He’s also a brilliant man to have around in a crisis. He stays calm and takes charge with grace and finesse and makes everyone feel better. W h a t i s t h e m o s t c o m m o n s o u rc e o f disagreements (if any) among you? What are the things that make you fight most? I can’t explain it but for some reason the number one thing we cannot agree on is how to load the dishwasher. You think it is the smallest thing in the world, right? And yes, I know you could say, “Well, at least he puts things IN the dishwasher” lol, and that is very true but for us it has become an “agree to disagree thing” because we so inherently DISAGREE with how a dishwasher should be loaded. I believe the plates should be arranged according to increasing size from front to back in order to be washed most effectively, and he believes there is no such hard and fast rule. So much so that the other will MOVE the said plates to prove the point.

How would you describe your spouse in one sentence? He is my 8th wonder of the world. How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now? I feel that with time our relationship only got better. Sometimes I get nostalgic thinking of our first years together. I love the relationship we have built and nurtured between us. The beginning years were amazing and unforgettable, but that’s when we were still figuring each other out as well. Since then, we have both matured in our love for each other. Communication was good then, even better now. I love that he’s my bestest friend in the world and that we can tell each other absolutely anything!

Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse. I can recollect a couple of moments, which were utterly embarrassing at that point of time, however those have turned into fun filled memories in due course of time. The first incident took place a few days after our wedding when we visited my parents’ house for the first time for a ritual known as “Dwiragaman” or “The joint arrival”. My husband put on the tradition attire of a “Matka Panjabi” and a “Mayurpuchha Dhuti” for the event. No sooner had we been ushered in the house

REJINA RAMACHANDRAN SADHU How long have you been married? We have been married for 15 years. Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both? It was a mix of both. Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love? Sudip and I met at TIFR, Mumbai. We had a lot of common friends but we started our friendship journey at the Stephen Hawking talk at TIFR in January 2001. When we waited to hear the renowned physicist propound the string theory, we discovered we had a lot in common. Literature, art, music, science and word play were a few of our common favorites. The talk was really enjoyable because we could discuss very freely 73



about it. This was a start of a new phase. We found out that we both were mavericks at heart and spent our spare time discussing and reading Vikram Seth’s poetry and many other books together. Science was a major part of our existence but finding a friend with whom you could speak about anything under the sun was a rarity. We mutually recognized this and our parents concurred.

Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse. In our early days of friendship, some students from the University of Pune came to meet Anirban Sadhu at the TIFR. Few of us were asked where they could find Anirban. None of us knew who Anirban was! It was at that moment that one of the students mentioned the fact that Sudip’s name is actually Anirban Sadhu. This was how I came to know what Sudip’s ‘bhaalo naam’ was. Sudip and I have a few favorite TV series. ‘Friends’ is one such series. We would use some of the dialogues in these series as our punch lines when we had company and none of the others would know why we were doubling up with laughter. Now we have new favourites like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and ‘Modern Family’ to supply us with some cool one liners.

When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting? When I met Sudip for the first time, I found him to be a reserved person with philosophical hands. Though usually quiet, his intelligent style of humor and witticism left me cracking with laughter.

How would you describe your spouse in 1 sentence?

What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge?

My friend and partner in every way.

Sudip and I are quite different in our personalities. He balanced me. Together we make a good team.

How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now?

What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse?

We met as students, did our PhDs while supporting each other through the rigors of our academic career and started off our sojourns into the pharmaceutical world around the same time followed by parenthood. We have seen ourselves evolve over the last one and half decades donning different proverbial hats. Our journey together has been spiced with fun, music, food, fights, books, poetry, travel, discovering new things and fresh aspects with our children and we continue to do so.

He makes me laugh and we generally have lots of reasons to laugh together. W h a t i s t h e m o s t c o m m o n s o u rc e o f disagreements (if any) among you? What are the things that make you fight most? Our disagreements emerge from our individual impatient natures, which arises in different ways. Sudip is a man with lot of ideas that he would love to implement right away, while I tend to be cautious and can resist till convinced otherwise. On the other hand, if I think something is practically plausible after research, I tend to take the super-fast mode and herd everyone along. This spices up our lives every now and then.

AMRITA RAY How long have you been married? We are at our so called lucky-unlucky 13th year of marriage. After having one complete year of courtship, we tied the knot in Jan 2004. Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both? Both. Love from Suman’s (husband) side and arranged from my side.... Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love? Jab we met: Maa Durga in the form of my aunt was behind this Knot. During second year of my graduation, my mother and my aunt started the planning. My Aunt had spotted Suman in BHEL Haridwar, Durga Pooja 2001—actively working behind the scene and loved the way he carried out his responsibilities. Actually you could easily say that Suman was my aunt’s ‘love at first sight’ (lol). At that time Suman was working in BHEL Haridwar, so my Aunt gathered necessary information about him, and happily played the role of cupid and approached my mother with the proposal. 74



headed and can analyse the problem and comes out of it with a brilliant solution. In recent times, I have seen him selflessly advising/ suggesting/helping his friends/colleagues, who got stuck in some problem as well.

A year later, in Oct., 2002, my mother and my aunt organized a formal meeting (although we didn’t know about it) at Bijoya, for dinner at my aunt’s place. That is where Suman and I met for the first time, at that time we did not know about the conspiracy behind! We met, fell in love, and now here we are.

W h a t i s t h e m o s t c o m m o n s o u rc e o f disagreements (if any) among you? What are the things that make you fight most?

When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting?

The one and only issue between me and my husband if I have to pinpoint is my over-engagements and tendency to get involved in several activities. Suman is a typical family man and loves to spend his time, weekends with family. I too love that, but also want to spend time with friends and associates, for me the funda is ‘whole week with family, and weekends with friends and family’. He also doesn’t approve of my working over weekends. Back in India, when I was working in a school in Gurgaon, Haryana, we had to work even on Saturdays, and that was often a reason for having fights and he would often ask me to leave my job. Thankfully in Switzerland we don’t have to work on weekends…. But now we still fight upon: Weekends with Friends issue (lol)!

As mentioned above, over Bijoya’s dinner at my aunt’s place. The funny thing was, when dinner was ready for serving (we had a buffet), my aunt ceremoniously decorated a Big Bengali Thaali with Panch bhoj (the one that we serve to son-in-laws during Jamai Sashti), and to my astonishment, asked me to serve it to Suman! It was a bit awkward for me at that time as rest of the guests had a buffet system and were helping themselves, and here I was serving a Bengali Thaali with Panch bhoj to Suman. Then while eating, Suman complimented the food and said that it was yummy…..immediately, my aunt jumped out of her couch and replied back to Suman, “Ohhh Tai….. Jhinuk (my pet name) baniyeche shob.” That was striking and equally interesting for me, and before I could say something in my defense, she started elaborating to Suman in details, the list of things that I could do (laughs). Now when we both remember that day… we laugh a lot….. a hilarious and typical case of arranging an Indian marriage!

Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse. Its really difficult for me to remember a single incidence to mention here, as we have many :-). How would you describe your spouse in one sentence?

What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge?

Suman is trustworthy, dependable supportive, lovable, a very good son, husband, and a very good father.

The factor which helped me in deciding my life’s biggest step was his patience. I admire this quality enormously in him.

How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now?

What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse?

I was married when I was just 21 years old. My friends used to tease me and say, “Areeh yaar, tune to Baal Vivah kar dala” (hey, you are a child-bride).

That one thing that totally bowls me over about Suman is his ‘maturity’. Its commendable the way he handles difficult situations, awkward positions and problems. Not only his, but also mine. He is calm and cool

Quite naturally, when I got married, I was still immature and didn’t know how to handle the big responsibility of a family and everything surrounding it. Despite, Suman’s young age, he held me firmly and taught me how to deal with all those issues during that phase, which I shall never forget. From the very first day, right from handling kitchen chores to continuing my studies (I did my M.Sc in Chemistry after marriage), he supported me constantly. I have seen first-hand the sacrifices he did for me. For others, parents lead the most important role in grooming and upbringing of a child, or a young adult; but in my case (and I do not hesitate to say this ever), along with my parents, Suman played an equally important role. What I am today, is not only because of my parents but also because of my husband. I am really lucky to have Suman in my life. 75




W h a t i s t h e m o s t c o m m o n s o u rc e o f disagreements (if any) among you? What are the things that make you fight most?

How long have you been married?

Office work at home! His office laptop is his first priority nowadays. We (me and Adrita, my three year old daughter) are totally against it, and that happens to be our main source of disagreement.

We are fighting with each other since last 10 years (laughs). Was yours a Love Marriage or an Arranged Marriage? Or a mix of both?

Please describe one or a few of the most hilarious moments you have had with your spouse.

It was a love marriage. Please describe briefly how your marriage was arranged or how you fell in love?

When I first met my in-laws, Arpit was more nervous than me. We three (my in-laws and I) spoke quite naturally, but Arpit suddenly became very very quiet. I had never seen him before like that! That moment was hilarious for me.

We met for the first time at British-Council-Library (Kolkata). At that time, I was staying in Kolkata after my Board exams, with my maternal Uncle. We accidentally discovered that Arpit and I both had our maternal uncle’s homes in the same area. So we both used to take the same route back home, while returning from the library, and by and by realized "ei poth jodi na sesh hoi".....

How would you describe your spouse in one sentence? Loving, caring and very supportive. How has your relationship evolved from the time you got married to now?

When and where did you first meet? What is it that you remember most vividly from your first meeting? What was it that you found most striking/interesting/memorable about your now partner in that first meeting?

We are more mature now, although with lower patience levels, both are rather skilful fighters now, but also more dependent on each-other. Our bonding got stronger over the years, and Adrita adds that lovely essence to our ongoing love-marriage. I am really happy that we found each-other.

We both used to be members of the British-Council Library and that’s where we met. When we met for the first time, I remember, Arpit was very keen to help me figure out the right bus for my way back home. Since I had just arrived in Kolkata from Burnpur (Asansol), I was not quite sure about how to commute in Kolkata. So, at our first meet I found him to be a very helpful guy! What was that one factor that helped you to take the final plunge? "Opposites attract!" We are poles apart, and yet that is what binds our relationship. What is that one thing that totally bowls you over about your spouse? His unconditional "Love" for me. Conclusion:

“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” – Mignon McLaughlin From this survey and replies, we see that there is no perfect formula to make a marriage work. Both arranged and love marriages have their own strengths and faults. This article is not trying to draw a comparison between Love and Arranged marriages, instead it focuses on bringing out cherished memories, experiences and anecdotes from the beautiful journey of marriage. Whether it is a love or an arranged marriage, it should be based on love, empathy, responsibility, concern and commitment. It calls for a lot of dedication and efforts to carry on the relation. And to support and live happily with each other, both the spouses need patience, perseverance, mutual affection and care. Marriage is not just two people coming together but two families uniting to bring two souls together in a holy matrimony. We should remember that love is a vital element in a marriage, no matter what type or form we follow. A Big Thank You to all our respondents for sharing their stories, and to Kamalika for conducting this survey. 76





PHOTOS Father and Child Indranil and Megha Bhattacharya Joining Baba at the end of the 42.5 kms Zurich Marath on_to inspire and cheer him up

du i Kun Didhit y Baba h it w b Dipan pampered Being

Ashesh and Meghantika Bhaumick You are my World and my Hero

Santanu and Vivaan Chakraborty Spending storytelling a lazy sunny winter morning in Kolkata

Aniruddha an Celebrating d Adhira Ghosh her first birt hday with Pa pa

Arindam and Anannya Bajpayee Thank you my angel for coming to us and making us complete. I might not be the best father in the world but I will do all my duties to the best of my abilities. Stepping up to the fatherhood from here on till forever




PHOTOS Father and Child Shamik Das and Aoushneek Enjoying a fist fight in leisure

eyan is son R

h rty with hakrabo ghtier C n a p e is nau Sande out who Finding

Arpit and A My fingers drita Sanyal m Daddy aro ay be small but I ca und them n still wra p

Rajat Bhattach arya with Ihita Silent Conversa tion with Colou rs

Ratnesh T together hapliyal and Tan in the Alp ish_Skiin g s

Swagata Dhar and Arisha Eating out on a road trip


ahi yan and Ary The A Team ttacharya with Abhig ha Arindam B



PHOTOS Father and Child Sudeep M o Playing in hapatra and Yuva an the park to gether

and Jeet Srijit Bose, Adhrit iing together Sk ald elw ind Gr At

Indranil, Ioli an d Father and Dau Ashmi Chakraborty ghters Fun Tim e Unlimited

Tanmoy Pal with Trisha Jumping along at Trampolino

Sourav Ray and Ishika Dad and Daughter Funny Moments

Suman Ray with Archisha and Samanvay Robinhood dulhaniya le jayenge




Introduction: This new feature is to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit within Swisspuja family. We announced an 'open call' in our mailer and in Facebook, and asked all entrepreneurs within our community to send details about their brainchild for a special feature Entrepreneurs - in Patrika 2017. Below is what we received. We wish you all huge success and a bright future!



Indranil Bhattacharya

Amrita Ray and Tandra Sanyal

Name of the venture: SANRAYS Website: Contact: Profile : SANRAYS, established in 11th August, 2015 by Amrita Ray and Tandra Sanyal is an unique endeavour of early childhood education. SANRAYS a i m s t o w a r d s a m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i ve p r e school education system where equal attention is paid to physical, emotional and intellectual development of the each and every child to make them conscientious, responsible and dynamic future. We have two different curriculums for two different age-group.

Name of the venture: IndiRun Website: Facebook: indirunaloevera Contact:

• For 1.5 to 4 years old we provide: Art and Craft, Dance and Music, Yoga , Drama, personal Hygiene, Early Mathematics, Basic English conversation.

Profile: Good health and healthy lifestyle is our mantra and our work. We don't have a business plan but we have the passion and the knowhow.

• For 4 to 6years old we provide: Art and Craft, Dance and Music, Yoga, Drama, Personal Hygiene, Mathematics, Alphabets.




Brinda’s Art Classes and Workshops Once a month Art classes/Workshops for Adults and Children, where participants are guided with theory and various themes, ranging from landscapes to still life. We use different mediums, like Acrylics, Aquarelle, Pastels, Pencil, Mixed media. These classes provide a platform to create and, discuss art and connect with fellow artists, along with personalised coaching. Aim is to rekindle your love for art, and to encourage children to practice art. We also provide Couple Workshops/Family Workshops, where the entire family can spend fun filled quality time painting canvases. Venue: Wohlen AG, 5 mins walking distance from the Bahnhof. Duration: 3 hrs. Contact: Brindarica Bose 078 870 53 63 Website:

Transform Click - Transform - Create Art

Pratyush Das Kanungo (Prat) Name of the Venture: Transform Website: Contact: Schrennengasse 6, 8003 Zurich, Switzerland +41 76 770 35 17 Profile: Call or e-mail us to Transform your smartphone photos into paintings. Transform works in a very simple way. You send us your smartphone photo, we digitally transform it and get it painted by a professional artist. You receive the painting from us. Thus a new art is created entirely based on your photo.




Taal-O-Nritya Tandra Sanyal Name of the Venture: Taal-O-Nritya, Zurich Contact: 076 595 38 55 Profile: Taal-O-Nritya established by Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal who is trained in Kathak (Indian classical) as well as in Rabindra Nritya, Contemporary Dances, Folk Dances and other dance forms. She has studied dance for over 16 years and has wide experience as a professional dancer and performer; and as a dance teacher in Zurich-International School (Nord). She has performed in many national and international events. She has learnt Kathak from Smt. Shankari Roy Chowdhury. She provides certified -dance-course to her students. Every year her students takes an exam with Indian dance school (Chicago) and get a valid certificate in Kathak. She prepares her students for various stage performances throughout the year.

Nayana’s Tall Tales and Story Mails In collaboration with Little Reader’s Nook, an award winning reading program, ‘proudly Made in India’, Nayana Chakrabarti has bought bespoke storytelling services to Zurich with ‘Tall Tales and Story Mails’. ‘Tall Tales and Story Mails’ is an 360 degree storytelling and creative writing service where the focus is on ensuring that storylisteners can one day also become ‘tellers’ in their own right. Mummy and Baby/Toddler Storytelling sessions are for children aged 2 and younger. The motto is ‘Books Made Fun’. Children from the age of 3 and above can join storytelling sessions that encourage early literacy skills and which also parlay into creative writing workshops. These sessions include drama, games, roleplay, volcabulary building, book reviews, story reflections, arts and craft, doodles and imagery along with oodles of excitement. Older children (from the age of 7 and above) are introduced to comprehension, logical reasoning, descriptive writing, persuasive writing, reader’s theatre and debates. Over the course of one year, students participating in this module will also be writing their own story where they will put their learning into practice by working with the ideas and concepts that most interest them. They will be writing the story that they want to read! In addition to the above, Tall Tales and Story Mails also provides a story subscription service where a personalised story will arrive weekly, along with a digital workshop of activities. Having taken the child’s own interests into account, each story will take the reader on a journey through their own imagination and encourage them to explore the world of words from the ground up. For more details, email Nayana at or visit the website at You can also follow Nayana on Instagtam where she blogs under the handle @theswissbongsong or read about her life as a global nomad, third Culture Kid/Mum all the while raising two children and storytelling, at or email her personally at 83



Sumana Roychoudhury’s Art Classes Profile: Sumana a mother of 2 has been living in Baden Switzerland since 2007. An avid art lover with a strong penchant for painting she picks up the brush whenever she finds time. A Master in Fine Arts she pursues her passion through practising the art and teaching old and young enthusiasts through regular art classes. Website: Contact:

SONECT Sandipan Chakraborty Name of the Venture: SONECT Website: Social Media Links: Contact: Profile: SONECT is a location based app that makes cash accessible at the click of a button and allows anyone with a smartphone to withdraw cash without visiting an ATM. Creating virtual ATMs by allowing consumers to withdraw cash from merchants SONECT pioneers Virtual ATMs. It democratizes the process of cash distribution so that a significant portion of the value chain can be eliminated in order to make the process faster, cheaper and safer. What UBER is to Taxi, AirBnB to Hotel, SONECT is for the ATMs. Using SONECT: - shops not only have less cash to manage at the end of day but also earn money & attract new customers - individuals can avoid an extra trip to the ATM and withdraw money at the click of a button wherever they are in the world and - banks can avoid procuring and renting ATM spaces, reduce maintenance and avoid regular cash replenishment of their ATMs.

Sandipan being interviewed by ORF TV channel for Sonnect






Medical Advancements: Hyperthermia and It’s role in Cancer Therapy Niloy Ranjan Datta, Prof. (Dr.) med. Niloy Ranjan Datta is a Senior Consultant, Radiation Oncology and Head, Research Programme in Hyperthermia at Kantonsspital Aarau. Prior to this, he was in International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna; AIIMS, SGPGIMS and RGCI, India.Department of Radio-Onkologie KSA, Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland. Contact:

recurrence. On the contrary, these nutritionally deprived and hypoxic (low oxygen) cells are sensitive to hyperthermia. Thus a combination of hyperthermia with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy could be expected to provide a higher tumour cell kill resulting in improved local tumour control with favourable treatment outcomes. This prompted clinicians to advocate hyperthermia either alone or in combination with radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy for various tumour sites. With the availability of modern hy p e r t h e r m i a t r e a t m e n t u n i t s, n o n i nv a s i ve thermometry and hyperthermia treatment planning software, hyperthermia is making a definitive comeback in the therapeutic armamentarium of the clinical oncologists.



Hyperthermia, defined as a modest elevation of temperature in the range of 39-45˚C is one of the oldest forms of cancer treatment known to mankind. It was first mentioned in the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus around 5000 BC. The Indian medical treatises of Charak Samhita and Sushrut Samhita scripted in about 3000 BC also mention hyperthermia as a therapeutic modality. Hippocrates, the “Father of Modern Medicine” in 400 BC had even acknowledged the potential of “heat” for cancer treatment. He stated, “Those who cannot be cured by medicine can be cured by surgery. Those who cannot be cured by surgery can be cured by fire (hyperthermia). Those who cannot be cure by fire, they are indeed incurable."

Therapeutic Effects of Hyperthermia: A moderate elevation of local temperature in the tumour or the adjacent tissues is known to potentiate the action of other treatment modalities – like radiation or chemotherapy. In fact, hyperthermia is one of the best known radiation sensitizers. This results in increasing the efficacy of the other therapeutic modalities. Apart from this, hyperthermia has a unique property of being able to enhance the immune response of the body to the tumours. Thus it has capabilities of acting as an “in situ tumour vaccination” which could activate the body’s normal defence mechanism against cancer cells. This translates into improving the treatment outcomes both locally and systematically. Furthermore, hyperthermia unlike other forms of anticancer therapies, like radiotherapy and chemotherapy is well tolerated, safe and without any significant acute or late toxicities. It’s also is synergistic t o a nu m b e r o f ch e m o t h e r a p e u t i c a g e n t s. Hyperthermia, is thus a unique therapeutic modality with multifaceted actions and is now getting a closer attention for getting integrated in the current management of cancer as a “FIFTH” form of treatment along with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

Several reports of tumour regression following high fever secondary to bacterial infections are available in the 19th century. Attempts were even made to inject the blood from patients who had tumour regression following high fever to other new patients. This resulted in tumour shrinkage along with high fever in the injected patients. It was presumed that this was perhaps due to some toxins. This presumed toxin was coined as “Colley’s toxin” and named after the surgeon William Bradley Colley who promoted this therapy and reported success in 10 out of his 34 patients in 1896. However, with the discovery of penicillin in 1930s, as high fever secondary to these bacterial infections became a rarity, the phenomena of observing tumour regressions following high fever too became infrequently reported. The resurgence of hyperthermia for cancer therapy followed several experimental studies carried out during the latter half of the last century. It provided strong evidence for temperature dependent tumour cell kill and its potentiation by radiotherapy. This was especially of significance in patient with large tumours, with cancer cells in nutritionally deprived conditions (for both oxygen and nutrients). Such tumour cells are usually resistant to conventional radiotherapy / chemotherapy and often act as a nidus for tumour

Hyperthermia delivering Technology Hyperthermia can be clinically administered as a whole-body, regional or local therapy. The most 86

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 common method is by local hyperthermia treatment due to its ease of application and safety. The heating techniques are often characterized as superficial or deep, depending on the tumour depth. The local temperature could be selectively raised by using electromagnetic (radiofrequency, microwaves or infrared) or acoustic waves (ultrasound) and is usually achieved by 30 minutes and continued for another 45 to 60 minutes. Patients are closely monitored during the entire process with specific temperature measuring devices placed on the skin, adjacent normal organs and the tumours. A temperature of 41 – 42°C is usually desired during the whole process. The superficial normal skin is cooled by using circulating water. The entire treatment is carried out under strict supervision and is usually combined with radiotherapy, chemotherapy or both depending on individual patient’s tumours.


encouraging. These trials are presently open for patient recruitment. Hyperthermia research in Switzerland: The Swiss Hyperthermia Research Network Group: Kantonsspital Aarau is the only centre in Switzerland having hyperthermia treatment facilities both for superficial and deep seated tumours. To promote scientific research, clinical studies, technical developments in the field of hyperthermia, the Department of Radio-Onkologie, KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau has taken a leadership role in hyperthermia in Switzerland by integrating clinical and research activities through creation of a Swiss Clinical Hyperthermia Network (for clinical care) and “Swiss Hyperthermia Research Network” (for research). The purpose is to create a unified and coordinated group activity to promote clinical, technical, basic and translational research in hyperthermia. This concept was first floated on October 19, 2012 and has active participation from premier institutions like PSI, ETAH, IT’IS, USZ, CHUV, EPFL, Vet Suisse Zurich, ZHAW, KSO, KSB and also other European Centres like University of Erlangen, Germany, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands. The notable collaborative activities include:

Clinical Outcomes with Hyperthermia: Various clinical studies have been carried out in a range of tumours - recurrent breast cancers, head neck, cervix cancers, skin malignancies, urinary bladder tumours, cancer prostate, soft tissue tumours, rectal cancers and others. The results of these studies have shown that hyperthermia along with radiotherapy and/ or chemotherapy could significantly improve the patient treatment outcomes. Even for those patients who had been previously treated with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy alone or in combination and have recurrent disease, use of hyperthermia with moderate doses of radiotherapy could provide a sustained local tumour control and thereby improve the quality of life.

(a) Joint clinical studies (in soft tissue sarcomas with PSI and Uniklinik Balgrist, USZ, Zurich); locally advanced pancreatic cancers (with USZ), urinary bladder tumours (with KSB and KSO) (b) Development of a new prototype hyperthermia unit in collaboration with IT’IS, Zurich and Vet Suisse, Zurich. The equipment is currently installed in Vet Suisse for detailed evaluation in sarcomas of cats and dogs. Once it is licenced and gets CE approval for clinical application, the equipment would be used for patient treatments at Kantonsspital Aarau. (c) Mathematical modelling and simulations in association with ZHAW, Winterthur. (d) Nanoparticle based hyperthermia in collaboration with IT’IS, EPFL and CHUV.

At the Department of Radiation Onkologie KSA-KSB, Kantonsspital Aarau, a number of clinical studies have been initiated in which hyperthermia is being used with other treatment modalities for urinary bladder tumours in elderly patients who are unfit for surgery, locally advanced pancreatic cancers and soft tissue tumours of the extremities. The HYPROSAR study in soft tissue sarcoma is a novel approach in which for the first time protons (at PSI) are being used with hyperthermia. The initial results of all these studies have been very

All these activities are carried out through the research funds available from individual institutions and other




funding agencies (both public and private), but could be further expanded with appropriate support.

efficacy of hyperthermia. Apart from the conventional mode of hyperthermia delivery, ferromagnetic nanoparticles decorated with appropriate payloads – nanochemotherapeutic drugs, radionuclides both for diagnosis and therapy, immunoconjugating agents and gene therapy could be integrated to the ferromagnetic nanoparticles to give rise to a “(nano)bullet.” Such a (nano)bullet could realise the “magic bullet” conceived by Paul Ehrich more than a century ago and help in individualized and precise cancer therapy by integrating hyperthermia along with radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and possibly gene therapy. Thus, hyperthermia, as a viable and valuable addendum to the existing therapeutic modalities in cancer has moved a long way since it was used in early clinical trials in 1970s. With the steady developments in technology, its positive interaction with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, a possible immunomodulatory effect; the biological rationale for its clinical application is quite strong. Alongside, the rapid strides in the technology have enabled hyperthermia to be practiced with certainty during actual treatments, and ensure a safer and more effective treatment without any significant additional morbidity.

Reimbursement of Hyperthermia treatment in Switzerland: The efficacy of hyperthermia in cancer treatment has been even recognized by the Bundendesamt für Gesundheit BAG, Direktionbereich Kranken-und Unfallversicherung, Bern. In their latest directive issued in December 2016, hyperthermia treatments would be reimbursed in a wide range of superficial tumours which include inoperable breast, recurrent breast tumours, inoperable head and neck cancers, malignant melanoma, local residual tumours with compression for palliation and symptom relief. Apart from these, it has been approved also for various deep seated tumours, like cervix cancers, urinary bladder tumours, rectal cancers, soft tissue sarcomas and locally advanced pancreatic cancers. All patients enrolled for hyperther mia are discussed jointly through videoconference with the collaborative participating Institutes of the Swiss Clinical Hyperthermia Network. Future Prospects: There has a widespread interest in further clinical application and research in hyperthermia, both globally and especially in Europe. A number of centres in Europe are actively involved in technological development for hyperthermia treatment delivery and treatment planning. Joint multi-centre clinical studies are being ongoing to further explore the therapeutic

Full paper with more details is available in this link (till end of 2017): Aw/view?usp=sharing (or contact the author for the full paper).




Mauritius Medley When Anirban Sadhu (Sudip), was younger, he had set out to change the world, but subsequently decided to leave it as it was. These days he works in a pharmaceutical company for a livelihood, and often tries to seek repetitive patterns behind apparent heterogeneity, when travelling around the world. Contact:

after they left, almost without exceptions, the embers are still alight. India-Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, parts of Africa are quite literally, burning examples. I was not aware of a significant exception till I came to Mauritius. Since prehistoric times, this island in the Indian Ocean was totally uninhabited. Very strange, given that it is so close to the African coast and has such an ambient climate. The island had no major predator either. Life was so cool for a species of small indigenous pigeon that it just kept eating and gaining weight. Over the generations, it lost the ability to fly, fight, and even lay eggs – and that’s when it became the Dodo (stupid/ idiot). Around the 16th century the Portuguese came, found no one to harass; so left quickly. The Dutch started sugarcane and tobacco plantations, ate up all the dodos, and eventually bequeathed the island to the French. The British were not so interested in the island, but just wanted to show the French who the real boss was in the Indian Ocean. So, a few boatloads of them attacked Port Louis, and were startled when the French gave up because, well - winning would have involved too much work!! The British brought boatloads of slaves - from Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and parts of Africa to work the plantations. The 5th-6th generations of these slaves make up the current population of Mauritius. You hear Tamil, Creole, Hindi, English and French on the streets. The official culture department holds Ramlila and Dashavatar- Katha shows, though Allah and Jesus also enjoy some measure of popularity. It is impressive to see this patchwork society exist so peacefully and happily. Is it a stochastic occurrence, or is it simply because the British were reluctant rulers here?

Throughout history, expatriates and extraneous cultures have played a key role in conservation of traditions and propagation of ideas. When the Greek civilization declined, the Romans carried their legacy. When Rome fell, and Europe plunged into the dark ages, it was the Arabs that harboured all the scientific knowledge that eventually catalysed the emergence of Renaissance. Since the end of the third temple period, the expatriate Jews nourished their religion and culture in-absentia, which led to the founding of Israel 2000 years later. Today I witnessed the same phenomena in Mauritius. The Ganga, which is so badly degraded in India, is held in high esteem by Mauritians who have only heard of the river through folklore. In an island where the very concept of river is non-existent, they have consecrated a lake with water from the Ganga in India to create the 'Ganga Talao' - the sacred lake of Mauritius. The perimeter of the lake is spotted with temples which collectively create an ecosystem of peace and tranquility - the likes of which we only read in Sanskrit classics. In the vicinity stands a 108 foot tall copper plated statue of Shiva erected by the Indian government as a part of its soft-diplomacy approach. Nearby stands the 13th Jyotirlinga of Aryavarta in which the priest helped me and a few others offer prayers to Lord Shiva in Hindustani, Sanskrit, English and French. Shiva enjoys such popularity among Mauritians that on Maya-Shivaratri, thousands of people- including Muslims and Christians walk down to Ganga Talao to consecrate the idol with water!! As the Ganga becomes more polluted and dirty in India, perhaps we need to look at Mauritius to understand and revive the respect and regard our ancestors one had for the river. It is a repetition of the same tale of the Greeks, the Romans, the Jews and the Arabs.

One Island, Many Peoples, All Mauritians

Staying at Hilton Mauritius Resort and Spa


erever the British went, they lit a fire. Long




ICELAND Sucheta Panda Living in Switzerland for almost 8 years, mother of a 2.5 year old toddler, juggling family and work as a Human Resource professional. Apart from her passion to dance both classical Odissi and Bollywood or folk, she is also a travelling enthusiast and loves to see greener pastures, snowy peaks or blue seas. Contact: Skogafos

Vatnajökull National Park: Defined by massive glaciers, ice caves, snowy mountain peaks, it is famous for campgrounds and hiking trails.


untry/city: Where the midnight sun and the

hot springs flow...the land of ice and fire...ICELAND. We covered the whole country by car almost 2000 kms drive in 10 days.

Jokülsarlon: This is a glacial lagoon. It's still blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surroundings. It is heavenly !!!

The hotel in which we stayed: We stayed mostly in holiday homes which were in general very comfortable and had sufficient space for my toddler to play after a long’s day journey and sightseeing. A good place to stay is Hafnarfjordur area in Reykjavik, it has beautiful houses with amazing views. Once you start your journey towards exploring the countryside, less hotel choices are available. Hvoll Guesthouse is also a good option. If travelling towards North then next stop over can be Akureyri city in the area Norourland Eystra island, there one can find spacious family friendly apartments.

Strokkur Geysir: This is a highly active hot water spring with boiling mud-pits. It is one of the greatest natural attractions. The lively Strokkur spouts water 30 metres (100 ft) into the air every few minutes. Reynisfjara: Famously known as the black pebble beach, it features amazing cliffs of basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid. Also out in the sea are spectacularly shaped basalt sea stacks. Solheimsasandur beach: It is one of Iceland’s most haunting and sought after photographic location (now seen in the bollywood song “Rang de tu mohe Gerua”). It is actually a plane crash sight on a black sand beach. To reach this location, one has to walk to and fro atleast 8 kms!!!!!

When did we visit (year, month): Best time to visit is between May – October, I visited in August 2016. Budgeting tips: on an average 3000 CHF What is a 'must see': Apart from the capital city Reykjavik which is breath taking with scenic landmarks, Iceland is home to exotic waterfalls which are a must see - Gulfoss, Skogafoss, Dettifoss, Seljalandsfoss, Godafoss - are not to be missed. Each of them is unique in its own way.

What to eat: Iceland is famous for lamb specialities, to name a few foods which should be on your list are - Hot dogs made with lamb meat, lamb soup, slow roasted lamb and not to miss Skyr Yoghurt. Hope you find the above tips useful and if you are travelling to Iceland and need more tips, please contact the author, she will be happy to help.






Wonderful INDONESIA Pratyush Das Kanungo Prat spends his working hours in developing lasers for data communication at a Zurich-based company, and his free time in volunteering, running, playing tennis, badminton, hiking and skiing in the Alps. Contact:

Prat in front of the crater of Merapi Volcano .


the incoming sun rays created a “divine lighting” which appeared and disappeared in matters of seconds. The second cave was called Pindul and had a river flowing under it. So I just floated by sitting on a rubber tube. The beautiful rock formations and the colony of bats and swallows (no Cheshire Cat or White Rabbit unfortunately) kept me entertained. It was as chilling as floating on the Limmat.

en I told my friends that I am travelling to

Indonesia for my summer vacation, many were concerned that I am going to an “unstable” and “fundamentalist” country. What I found in my two weeks stay at this South-East-Asian archipelago was nothing short of magical. Coexistence of religions, breathtaking views from volcanic mountains, amazingly colorful marine life, ancient temples and cannibal dragons, they have it all. Out of 13,000 plus islands, I could only visit three major ones - Java, Bali and Flores, and three small - Rinca, Kelor and Padar.

After the adventures, it was time for some culture. So, I visited two of the ancient temples in Indonesia. The first one was a Hindu temple called Prambanan, dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma-VishnuShiva. The second one was a Buddhist temple which still remains the largest in the world. Both were built in 9th century and are very well restored from the ruins.

My journey began in Yogyakarta in Java. On the very first day of arrival I decided to test my jetlag by hiking the Merapi volcano, apparently the most active volcano in entire Indonesia, through the night to see the sunrise from a height of about 3,000 meters (yes such mountains do exist in the tropics as well). It was a long and arduous hike of about four and a half hours through rocky, muddy and worst of all sandy (from the volcano) trail with a steep slope towards the end. The sunrise however made up for it. I was mesmerized to see the sun rays spread over a very broad horizon. Slowly the sun appeared as a fireball cutting through the layers of clouds. It was almost surreal.

From Yogyakarta, I flew to Bali, which is already very well-known for relaxing beach holidays. The beaches did not disappoint. I went to Padang-Padang beach, world famous for surfing, and saw the giant waves that the surfers ride, Pandawa beach, a beach named after the five Pandavas of Mahabharata (yes it is also quite popular there and they even have their statues) and Sanur beach, which was next to my hotel. Besides the beaches, Bali’s Hindu temples are worth mentioning. Even though as a non-worshipper I could not enter the main chambers, they offered either excellent views from the top (Uluwatu and Besakh temple) or of the sunset (Uluwatu and Tanah Lot). Central Bali has an excellent rain forest that is home to seven hundred monkeys and is known as the monkey forest.

From the top of the mountains I went below the surface of the earth to get the “Alice in Wonderland” experience. At first I went down to Jomblang cave with a rope and harness. From the small opening at the top,

Padang-Padang Beach of Bali

View from one of the Peaks in Padar Island




The northern town of Ubud boasts of its most famous agricultural landmark, the rice terrace. Balinese farmers use this sustainable form of rice cultivation in small terraces instead of large fields. This prevents soil erosion and flood by making better use of the rain water. One can watch the extremely soothing green steps of terraces for hours. After recharging my batteries in Bali, I was ready for the second phase of my adventure which took place in Flores island, about one hour by flight from Bali. From the small fishing village of Labuan Bajo in Flores I set out for a two-day island-hopping boat trip. On the first day I visited Rinca Island to see the notorious Komodo Dragons up close in their natural habitat. One bite from these giant lizards can be fatal, so I had to be extra cautious while taking pictures (no selfies!). On the way back I ended up in Kelor Island for snorkeling and to witness another amazingly beautiful sunset. At that time I and my guide were the only two humans in that island. Sounds thrilling? On the second day, I hiked in Padar Island, which has a Jurassic landscape of rough hills dotted with green vegetations and some amazing beaches. The top of those hills offered some breathtaking views. The final stop of the day was at Pink Beach for snorkeling. As the name suggests, the sand was pinkish and the water was crystal clear. It was a short but very fulfilling experience in Indonesia. The country offered a diverse range of destinations and the people were extremely friendly. As

The Divine Lighting from the Opening of Jomblang Cave

a bonus you do not need any visa for staying less than 30 days. The major cities are very well connected via Singapore Airlines and KLM. For details, please take a look at I am already preparing for my next trip to hike up the majestic Mount Bromo in Eastern Java, to visit the aboriginal villages in Flores and Western Papua, to meet the Orangutans in Borneo and to dive deep into the ocean to see the Manta rays “fly�.

A Buddhist Monk Watching the Sunrise at Borobudur Temple

An adult male Komodo Dragon at Rinca Island, Komodo National Park




CRUISE RIDE @ ADRIATIC SEA Amrita Ray A child-education specialist, lives with family in Wettingen, Aargau since 2009 Contact:


Day 2: Bari Are you a Ranbeer Kapoor Fan? Then you must get down here in Bari, an Italian port on Adriatic sea.

Country / City /Route: Venice (Italy) to Greece.

Must See: a) Alberobello town, famous for Trulli houses (shooting of ‘khuda jaane ke’). b) Basilica di San Nicola, popular pilgrimage for Catholics.

e you tired of your regular schedule? Do you

need a break?? Would you like to get pampered?? Then Cruise Ride is the best option.

Days: 7 nights 8 days luxurious Cruise ride. Which Cruise: MSC Orchestra

Day 3: Katakolon (Olympia) It’s a seaside Greek town, famous for ancient port of Olympia.

When: July 2016. Route plan and must sees:

Must see: The ruins of ancient Olympics and history of origin of Olympics.

Day 1: Boarding at MSC Orchestra Received a warm welcome. Completely mesmerised by its huge size. It was like a mini Italian town on sea. The ship was so big that we took two days to explore it from one end to another. Luxury was at its best. Huge swimming pool, spa, recreation room, library, auditorium, casino, three bars, discotheque, mini golf ground, play areas for kids, 24 hours entertainment for all, Kids crèche, restaurants with wide varieties of food and drinks. Each day new fun, new activities, new adventures. In terms of Bollywood it was ‘Only Entertainment and Entertainment’. We got a wonderful balcony room on the 12th floor with sea view.

Day 4: Santorini (Thira) It’s the most gorgeous and spectacular Greek Island in southern Aegean Sea, painted beautifully in white and heavenly blue. It’s a popular Honeymoon spot as well. Must see: (a) Oia village. Sunset from Oia village is spectacular. (b) Kamari Beach. (c) Akrotiri. (d) Donkey ride in Fira - although sounds funny but very interesting. (e) Wine tour. (f) Pyros.

Partheon, Greece

Burano, Italy




Gondola ride

Santorini, Greece

(e) Ponte di Rialto (f) San Zaccaria (g) Galleria dell’Accademia (h) Gondola ride (i) San Salvador (j) Murano-Burano Island and more.

Day 5: Athens (Piraeus) Capital of Greece and city of gods. It’s one of the world’s oldest cities. Must see: (a) Acropolis (b) Partheon (c) Ancient Agora (d) Temple of Hephaestus.

Each and every street of Venice has something to see. For Venice, you need to stay minimum 4 days. We stayed at Concordia which is few steps away from San Marco.

Day 6: Corfu It’s a Greek island in Ionian Sea. This island is bound up with history of Greek Mythology.

Budgeting tips: If you want to enjoy only cruise then better to plan during ‘Off-Season’. As prices are much cheaper than the normal Season.

Must see: (a) Old fortress (b) Liston (c) Kalami beach (d) Corfu museum (e) Vlacherma Monastery (f) Paleokastritsa Monastery.

For Venice, try to find out a hotel near San Marco as it’s the so called city centre and all the means of transports and must see spots are nearby. General Tips: Greece and Venice roads are not Pram friendly. So if you are planning to visit these places, arrange things accordingly. In Greece you can take taxi services and buses to roam around in the cities. And in Venice, light stroller or baby carrier is the best option.

Day 7: Kotor (Montenegro) It’s a fortified town on Montenegro’s Adriatic sea. Must see: (a) Kotor cathedral (b) Our lady of rocks (c) Sveti Dorde

What to Eat: In MSC Orchestra, you will get a huge spread of food. Right from Italian pasta, pizza, spaghettis to typical Indian Chicken Curry. The Chefs, Waiters take ultracare of each and every guests. The Manager of the restaurant personally goes to each and every table (approx. 50 tables) and entertains all the guests. They are the best hosts. This Cruise ride will always be in our memory, A wonderful, luxurious experience.

Day 8: Venice One of the top destinations of Tourists. Venice. Must see: (a) Piazza San Marco (b) Basilica di San Marco (c) Ponte dei sospiri (d) Palazzo Ducale

Happiness spread by the restaurant

Acropolis, Greece




Iran Azad Rahaman A worshipper of the greek god Hermes, he loves long train journeys and sends himself a postcard from every place he visits Contact:

The play of light and coloured shadows. An early morning in Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk aka Pink Mosque in Shiraz.


What to eat/drink: • Chelo Kebab • Kubideh Kebab • Khoresht • Fesenjun • different local sweets and Dugh(sour milk)

untry: Iran

Itinerary: Tehran -> Qom -> Kashan -> Esfahan -> Yazd -> Shiraz

Tips: Turkish airlines/Austrian Airlines has flights to Tehran, Esfahan etc via Istanbul/Viena. If possible, travel independently, you can hire local guides whenever necessary. Visa is not very difficult to get, contact a visa agency, then after getting approval from them apply at the Iranian Embassy in Bern. Accommodations should be booked as early as possible. Carry enough cash with you, cards are not accepted at all. Contrary to the media reports, Iran is a very safe country to travel. Last but not least, make friends in Iran.

The hotel in which you stayed: Ferdousi Grand Hotel Tehran, Safavi Hotel Esfahan, Chamran Grand Hotel Shiraz When you visited: October, 2016 What is a „must see“: • Persepolis • Zoroastrian Fire Temples • Towers of Silence in Esfahan and Yazd • Esfahan’s Naqsh-e-Jahan Square • National Museum in Tehran • Persian Bazaars in Esfahan/Shiraz

Tomb of Cyrus, Pasargadae

The magnificent interior of the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, Esfahan




Backpackers journey to South America Kiran Kishore I was born in Switzerland to Indian parents, grew up multilingual and multi-cultural and finished my education in St Andrews, Scotland. I have been living and working in London since 2012 and despite a tough work schedule, manage to find enough time to pursue my two ardent passions - dancing and food. I teach a weekly Bollywood Fusion class at the famous Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden and write a regular food blog, which received a "highly commended" award at the UK Blog Awards 2016. Visit it sometime! ( Contact: Atacama .



ran Kishore, who recently visited South America

I've never seen anything more beautifully bleak than the Lunar Valley in the Atacama Desert, Chile, where we cycled for around 8 hours and 50km, and were constantly parched with thirst. The desert is at an altitude of around 2200 meters, which meant we were gasping for breath for more reasons than one!

as a backpacker, summarised her trip with few highlights for our Swisspuja Patrika Readers. The photos are a treat for the eyes, who knows, next year some of you may follow the same route? Iguazu


Poor Niagara Falls indeed... the Iguazu waterfalls on the border of Argentina and Brazil are a sight to behold, with over 280 separate falls and a very impressive 'Devil's Throat'. Yes, you will get wet!

When the salt flats in Uyuni, Bolivia are flooded, they become a giant mirror, and words cannot describe their beauty. We spent five hours wandering around in deafening silence, and I could have spent days staring into the distance (and taking funny perspective shots)!

El Chalten


El Chalten is a tiny tourist town in Patagonia, where all one can do is hike - so hike we did. The way to the foot of Mount Fitzroy seems easy at first, as it's 9km on a relatively flat path, but it's the final kilometre that kills you, as the walk is practically vertical. But it was worth every step!

This was likely the toughest physical challenge of the trip, as the three-day trek was at an altitude of 3800m. It was cloudy when we arrived, but when the fog lifted and revealed the blue lake within the volcanic crater, we forgot all the pain..



A Chilean coastal town that is riddled with earthquakes, Valparaiso is also known for its impressive and abundant street art. Sometimes wacky, sometimes confusing, but always thought-provoking, we spent hours wandering the narrow streets.

The Galapagos Islands were everything we had dreamed of and more. My favourite animals soon became the endemic marine iguanas, who look as though they carry all the wisdom of the world. They certainly rule the roost on the islands, as they will not




SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 move aside for anybody... we spent most of our time stepping around them! Tayrona


Machu Pichu For all its hype, and for all the millions of photos we’d seen of the famous Inca ruins, nothing could match seeing them for the first time after 4 days of trekking and a 3.30am start to get to the entrance gates by 6am. The beauty is not just the ruins themselves, but also the scores of mountains that rise around it. It is a truly majestic site, and any words I use will never do it justice.

Tayrona National Park on the north coast of Colombia looks like a scene out of Jurassic Park, with huge rock formations, beautiful beaches, and forests hiding behind. We clambered up and down the giant rocks, pushing and pulling each other to safety - rest assured it was a bonding experience for all!






Italy/Amalfi Coast Swagata Dhar Business Consultant at Temenos, Cars owned - Audi A4, S4. Contact:


Must see/do: The road from Amalfi to Positano is breathtaking in itself, but visit the city of Ravello, which is a short 5 min drive from Amalfi for amazing views of Amalfi town from the jazz concert stage at Villa Rufolo

ace of visit:

Italy/Amalfi Coast Best hotels: Hotel Residence at Amalfi and Hotel Raito at Vietri

Eat: Don't look beyond fresh fish and seafood, but a occasional pasta won't do any harm

Time of visit: Road trip from 17th - 23rd of December, 2016

Safety: This part of Italy is quite safe, but being vigilant about your belongings is always good

Budgeting tip: Make a road trip, travel light. This part of Italy is not very cheap, but you can get very good deals during off seasons, September to February






‘BYTES’ from the ‘BIG APPLE’ Riya Sengupta A spoonful of music, a dash of cinema, trapped with a sprinkling of literature. No artificial flavours added. Contact:

‘I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway, that belongs to me because I belong to it.’ - Truman Capote


time round (vis-à-vis the ‘disaster-apartment’ we had booked in Paris some years ago). There it was - the gorgeous city skyline across the river was like a string of fairy lights keeping the pulse of the city alive. Christmas in April. Well, almost.

ave never belonged to New York. But I have

always been intrigued by the idea of being a ‘New Yorker’. Through the numerous books and movies that described the magic that typifies this city, my mind had somehow put together a vague, smudged painting of the ’Big Apple’ –an image of a grey city drenched in columns of rain, peppered with bright yellow cabs, with black trench-coats and a solitary red umbrella.

There’s always a lot going on in New York. So, if you’re there on a short trip, you need to make wise choices. We tried our best to bring back as much of the city with us as possible. Being a ‘fresher’ in this city meant that we ended up visiting some of the more touristy haunts in and around town – such as The Rockefeller centre, Central Park and, of course, Times Square. There’s an easy way to distinguish tourists from the ‘locals’. We tourists walk about in a slow pace, often in wonder, staring up at the sky-high ‘concrete jungle’ while native New Yorkers rush past us, going about their daily business, cursing us newbies under their breath for slowing them down ever so slightly. It is indeed fascinating how this overpowering ‘wilderness’ of brick and mortar is an every-day backdrop for those who live or work here.

The first glimpses of the city from the airplane were rather interesting. It wasn’t a beautiful sight per se – but, it was captivating and mysterious. This endless expanse of concrete, metal and glass seemed like an overprotective guardian trying ever so hard to hide the city’s imperfections. Between these towering edifices ran the often ‘straight-as-an- arrow’ avenues criss-crossing, each other ‘in perfect harmony’, if you will. Once we landed at the airport in Newark, we cabbed over to the apartment we had booked in Jersey City through Airbnb. If you’re not familiar with Airbnb yet it is similar to an arranged marriage at times (or so I am told); you research extensively, read multiple reviews, but, in the end, your ‘gut feeling’ is what clinches the deal. Then – you wait and simply hope to be lucky. And this time we were! Once we had looked through the apartment window, we knew we had struck gold this

The ‘Top of the Rock’(Rockefeller Centre) was quite fascinating. The Empire State Building, many feel, is a tad overrated. That is unless you accidentally chance upon Tom Hank's bag lying there on the terrace and you know for sure that he is coming up to get it (just like in ‘Sleepless in Seattle’). If that were indeed the case, the choice for me would be simple. Otherwise, in the




“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” ― Simone de Beauvoir higher-probability scenario (and in reality) – the Top of the Rock offers up interesting photo- opportunities of this ‘jungle’, along with a breath-taking view of the only sizeable green patch in the city- Central Park.

By the end of the trip, most of my boxes were already ticked. Now, all that was left was the ‘falling in love’ part. And fall in love I did. With the New York sunset, that is. Catching a glimpse of the setting sun between these colossal skyscrapers while their windows get smeared with the purple and the orange of the sunset is indeed a breath-taking sight. These beautiful twilight colours will stay with you even after this trip fades into the back-alleys of your overall ‘timeline’.

Times Square appears to be far more charming in movies, photographs and photoshopped postcards than it is upfront. The entire neighbourhood looked as though it was trying hard to please. There were far too many tourists on the prowl, moving around in packs at the frenetic pace of a thousand selfies per minute! And thus, Times Square was compromised. In other words, for me, it was ruined - the magic I had so distinctly sensed earlier was depleting quickly! It was difficult to walk without bumping into these chronic ‘selfie-nators’ – so we inadvertently walking into their 'perfect' New York moment snaps, ‘photo-bombing’ unapologetically every now and then! The icing on the cake (which I am never much of a fan of) were a bunch of Disney and Sesame Street characters, smoking around the corner in their free time, not bothering in the least to literally ‘keep up appearances’! But I’m sure that, on a less crowded evening, when most of the visitors have gone back to whence they came, the street comes alive in its very own way, basking in the glory of its shimmering secrets.

Whilst walking through this city’s busy, crowded lanes, armed with a coffee-to-go,, catching fleeting glimpses of countless strangers popping in and out of subwaystations and eateries, you realize that this city is made up of a million lost souls searching for themselves. It is a city that is splitting at the seams, but with ideas and passion and friendship and magic and, last but not least, hot-dogs! A city that is both gripping and without an ‘ending’ as such. Like a short story, if you will. As Billy Joel aptly put to tune – when one is here, he or she is in a ‘New York state of mind’. New York is far from perfect. My brief visit showed me that its crowded, murky in parts, quite noisy, and more often than not, exhausting. But beneath all its layers of lies and ‘make- belief ’, lies a city built on a billion dreams. At each corner, there are stories of dreams fulfilled and dreams that have been ruthlessly shattered, of grey and rainy days and days of golden sunshine, of songs created and melodies that are forgotten, of love stories re-written and poems unfinished. New York is a city of beautiful contradictions - an unsolved mystery, fit for a detective. This is a place I’d love to re-visit and re-investigate. But for now, ladies and gentlemen – case closed!

We went on a bicycle tour of Central park and our guide filled us in a series of engaging stories that involved the New York ‘glitterati’. There were also stories of hope and success as well as despair, death and dejection. This Park and the neighbourhood that surrounds it is like nothing I had ever seen. We then walked on and across the Brooklyn Bridge all the way from Brooklyn to Manhattan and, somewhere inside our minds, relived moments from some of our favourite Bollywood box- office hits. The Brooklyn Bridge has been featured in at least a dozen Indian movies – probably just second in terms of comparative popularity vs. Shah Rukh Khan! We came across ‘thank you’ messages carved on the steel by those who came in to the city looking for ‘America’ (in line with that relatable Simon and Garfunkel classic). The cherry on the cake (which I love far more than the icing we spoke of earlier) though was an enthralling experience of being in a live walk-in theatre, namely ‘Sleep no More’ (based on the story of Macbeth) at the McKittrick Hotel.

“Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.” ― Albert Camus 101



Quantum Leap Srijit Bose MTech (ETH)/MBA. During his post-graduation in applied informatics and automation, Srijit programmed his first control system, and still is doing programming assignments. Till today he is not only interested in different programming languages, but also in diverse spoken languages, like English and Italian - that is, if his two entanglements Jeet and Arul, allow him to do so. Contact:

insights into intelligence business”. Farij declined thankfully, but he did go to the United Northern States. In Silicon Valley he learned marketing and opened up his first venture.


rij had a restless sleep, when Simi woke him up

with a gingerly voice. For a couple of minutes Farij was still lost in his musings. He knew that this would be the most important day of his life, and in all likelihood he would be no more tonight. Finally he tightened his abdominal muscles, got out of the bed and told Simi to raise all the shutters. Simi looked at Farij with big, immaculate hazelnut eyes. Yesterday they had played chess. Farij had opened skillfully with Benko Gambit but had lost once more, even though Simi had tried to make it a remis.

Farij with his company iWave has been trying to unfold an “universal quantum computer” for years. His company was the only provider of quantumcryptography with a modicum of distance of over 20’000 kilometers. He was a licit purveyor of high-tech components to the government and had made good wherewithal with them. His achievements were at the cusp of magical- if not, to quote Einstein- “spooky”1. Farij didn’t believe much in team-work, since he believed that all the great discoveries had been done single-handedly. Nevertheless, his apartment was close to the lab team at the 57th, and not at the top of the tower, where Finance & HR were located.

It was still early morning. The sun was already blazing glaringly in New Cal. He glanced from Farij Tower on the 57th floor at Dalhousie Avenue below. Mundanely, multitude of e-cars were loaded into sundry 300 meter long buses, and thereafter incessantly transferred downtown. Farij performed a couple of Surya Namaskars and went to the restroom. “Simi, give me tomorrow’s 8 pm INN headlines”. Immediately, the upcoming headlines were projected onto the mirror, while he was shaving. Unperturbed, he browsed through the news, until he chuckled and was disposed to mirth.

Nobody else knew, that his beta version of a universal quantum computer Q had been up and running already for a week. Q was made of rhenium quantum liquid crystals, which consisted of molecules which flowed freely, causing the crystal to behave like liquid but yet the molecules were all oriented in the same direction as they would be in a solid. Moreover the crystals had the highly unusual behavior of transforming from nonmagnets into magnets when an electrical current was sent through these molecules. Perfor mance qualifications had shown that Q was not only able to forecast weather with pinpoint accuracy, or predict tomorrow’s news, it was even able to crack any password based on prime numbers within minutes.

Hailing from a deeply religious Baghdadi Jewish family from the 18th century, Farij had been named after his famous ancestor- general lieutenant, Jacob Farj Rafael, who had liberated Dhaka. Defying stereotypes throughout his childhood, he was good at sports and had a unique gift of the gab. When he bid adieu to his mother (nee Natalia Gubbay), she had said emotionally: “Bubala, who will now cook kosher potato bhajee for you? You are not only leaving me, but the country as well. Mazel Tov!”

Farij grabbed a Virtual Reality goggle, and tapped with his right index finger on the frame to gain admin access to Q. He looked at a link and activated the config mode with a blink of his right eye. He needed to configure some defense mechanism before the attack would happen. He commanded: “Simi, deep scan the server farms of the Northwestern Union Territories and launch some medium reflected DDoS attacks to gauge their reaction. At the same time do a complete backup and save the encrypted files in the cloud as on the Q- drive, and burn a memory crystal. Thereafter hide Q in the 133th floor’s virtual room, leave Q plugged in.”

At 17, he was sent from his engineering corps, Eastern Command, to French Guyana, the last border of the European Union in Latin America. During the last three days of his exchange program, he had to master survival training and wade into the jungle with his companions of the legion. With an A.P.J. Abdul Kalam stipendium he was destined thereafter for Universidade de Brasília. Farij finished his studies with a thesis on “Quantum-Teleportation with several Q-bits on a single Photon”. This paper not only made him famous within the community, but the cousins in Langley offered him a lucrative position “with varied

Farij remained engrossed in his work for some more minutes, when a red flag appeared on his VR goggle. The firewall of his building control was being scanned. He smiled and murmured to himself : “I give them 30 102



minutes till they break into the building, but we will not alert the police”. An attack on Farij tower was tantamount to declaring war on the country. Like Stephan Hawking many years ago, Farij believed that AI and machines could one day mean doom for humanity.

Thus, Major Kareem was obliged to launch, with no compunction, a vacuum-generating grenade.

“Simi, come nearer to me”. Farij had clearly seen her blush. He looked into her eyes and thought: our android is becoming more and more human, surely she is in learning mode, as if she wants to tantalize me. He took the small memory crystal and placed it carefully into the dip of her right nose wing. When push comes to shove, there is no safer place for a memory crystal then with an interface of an android. “An attack is taking place on Farij Tower, they are looking for us”, Farij said nonchalantly. Simi looked surprised, apparently fearing for Farij’s life. “Activate silent red alert, prepare my DronaAvatar and your Gandhari-Clone, gather any evidence about which country is behind this attack”.

His forces took the two bodies into his floater. Everything looked almost too easy. Little did the attackers know, that an iWave remote sensing satellite using

He enjoyed looking at the two subjects, first their genuflection and then their lying on hard composite, blandly.

While the 3D-cloner was carving out an aged version of Simi, Simi prepared two kits. With the first, she captured some of Farij’s DNA after he had exhaled into a funnel, and placed it in a cryogenic bio-memory solution based on -196°C liquid N2. Just in case - if the Avatar transformation wouldn’t taper off automatically after some hours. With a syringe in Farij’s vein she initialized the transmorphing sequence. Kareem Yen, major of Northwestern Union Territories Xzang corps, knew the probability calculations their analyst team had made prior to their mission. The target would try to escape via the ground floors, as the 57th was closer to ground than to the topmost 337th floor. But his gut feeling was telling him that the target would try to escape with a floater from the pinnacle launch pad. Therefore he was trying to break into the building from top with his elite Athanatoi infantrynamed the ‘Immortals’ following in the tradition of the Achaemenid Empire. He dispatched his androids to the ground.

microwaves was following them. They were baited and hoodwinked by supreme machinations.

While his machines were still crunching numbers to break into the building, Kareem got a red flag information popping up on his head up display, that two subjects were running from a side door on the eastern tract to the floater launch pads. Immediately two miniature attack drones were launched to destroy the taxied floaters.

Since becoming a mystifying old man with a white beard, Farij’s heart was pounding. Farij felt the stairs. He based himself on Simi’s shoulder. Like an old couple, they plied the Hyperloop-train at 1200 km/h. At ch a b a d s a f e h o u s e i n N av i B o m b ay, t h e i r transmorphing tapered off automatically.

Deprived of their escaping conduit, the two subjects ran to the western side of the building. Sure of success, Major Kareem marched towards the two subjects condescendingly. Recklessly he launched a missile. But right on cue, Farij denied the missile its service with his electromagnetic gun.

8pm INN Breaking news: Mysterious and complete blackout in Northwestern Union Territories, many civilian and military server farms out of service. Theocratic government struggling to maintain law and order.

Major Kareem arranged his forces in an impenetrable array known as the Chakravyuha. On the petals of that formation were his Athanatoi. They launched small robots which rolled quickly towards the two subjects and fired unabatedly. They attacked inexorably. But the robots and the elite infantry were no impediment for Simi’s shield and water-laser.

1 Einstein’s phrase „spooky action at a distance“ synonymous with one of the most famous episodes in the history of physics—his battle with Bohr in the 1930s over the completeness of quantum mechanics. It involves a pair of particles linked by the strange quantum property of entanglement (a word coined much later). Entanglement occurs when two particles are so deeply linked that they share the same existence. Entangled particles can become widely separated in space. But even so, mathematics implies that a measurement on one immediately influences the other, regardless of the distance between them.




Vacations Then and Now Jhilam Mukherjee IT consultant, mother of one, dancer… that more or less sums me up. Living in Switzerland for about 8 years now, leading a very busy and demanding life, I give vent to my thoughts through writing occasionally and thanks to Swiss Puja Patrika, also get to see my write ups in print. Hope some people relate to this article as much as I do. Contact:


days, studies were never ignored. They would go the rooftop, to their favorite secluded landing and sit under the branches of the courtyard trees that swept the rooftop floor. Her didi loved painting, she was quite the artist of the family from a very young age, her dada would mostly play pranks or do naughty stuff or sometimes if it fancied him, study a bit of math. He was the brains of the family and needed very little studying and Sumita, forever the young obedient good girl would diligently practice her handwriting. This time of the day was productive as well as relaxing for all of them. It ended only when they were called for lunch by their mother. After the simple and sumptuous food and some sleep, they would again go for a long walk, this time a different direction… the direction of the station…to collect the previous day's newspaper that came by the evening train and some chhena pora (a local Oriya sweet). On the way to the station, they would often meet local tribal girls, decked up in colorful sarees, in elaborate buns with flowers and accessories in them and carrying a pot full of water, laughing, joking and gossiping. This was their outing of the day after all. You must be wondering what the pot of water was for. Well, this outing and time had a purpose – daily ablutions… The tribals could not afford toilets in their huts and since the ladies needed privacy, they chose the evenings to go to the forest to defecate. I guess the company just made it more enjoyable.

Though they went there every year for almost 7-8 years, the excitement of the trip never ceased for the 3 siblings. The house itself was a modest one with a bedroom or two, a kitchen, a courtyard and a railingless roof. It was never rented out, a caretaker looked after it for the rest of the year and kept provisions ready for the trip. Days started with fresh locally baked bread from the local market with a thick layer of butter and sugar all melting in the mouth together and milk bought from some farmer nearby, who also happened to be a neighbor. After breakfast they, meaning the 3 siblings, their father and sometimes their dadu and mama would set forth for the formal market (haat in Bengali) to buy food for the day. It would mostly be fresh fish caught the same morning and some vegetables or not. After all, if their mother would have to cook all the stuff, so the less items they bought the better. After their shopping they would all walk back, maneuvering paddy fields, dirt roads and some not so dense jungles areas. Once back, the children would be sent off to study or play. Even during vacations those

The routine would mostly be the same for the entire holiday with small variations here and there and yet it never got boring for any of the vacation-ers. The children and adults enjoyed it alike, in spite of the grocery shopping, cooking and the unvarying monotony of it. It was not only not considered dull, but welcomed and repeated year after year.

mita was five then. Her memories were strong

and clear. Vacations meant month long relaxing stays at her maternal grandfather's house in Bhubaneswar. Her grandfather (dadu) was a multi-faceted man, scientist by profession, a devout Krishna worshipper who built houses as a hobby. He had three in Kolkata and one in Bhubaneswar. This house in Bhubaneswar served primarily as a holiday home for the family during vacations. Family here means Sumita, her parents, elder sister, brother and sometimes her dadu and youngest mama. Everybody else was caught up in their own lives and could never join in. Like all vacations this one also started with packing, for a month, for five people, for recreation, vacation based studies and some cooking. So my guess would be even the packing took a month. But it being 1950's India, people neither had so many needs, nor so many belongings. So, with a few holdalls and suitcases, they made the overnight journey to Bhubaneswar. When I say Bhubaneswar, please do not imagine the Bhubaneswar of today. Though the place we are talking about was a few kilometers from the station and prides itself in being one of the most developed and busiest areas of the city now, boasting of fancy five star hotels and immaculate roads, in those times it had nothing but a few motor-able roads, paddy fields, villages and miles of jungles.

55 years later. Sumita's daughter stays in Europe with her husband and child, works at a bank and leads a very different life. She is busy, forever tired, sometimes frustrated because of the lack of domestic help in western countries and exhausted in the rate race of being the Superwoman, managing house, job and hobbies. Vacations must be taken to relax, but must be short because of the dearth of leave days, mostly a long weekend, preferably at a beach location. After all with a toddler, vacations mean more work than play, starting with packing… It isn’t just putting a few essential things together any more. Packing means actually pre-playing the vacation in the head for 3 people, thinking of all 104

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 possible occasions, weathers, calamities like fevers, toddlers messing up clothes so packing doubles and triples, bottles, some utensils for them, some extra food… what if they don’t eat the available food at all? Toys, medicines, all kinds of cosmetics… Not that needs were any less without a toddler. After all, a beach holiday can have different facets… just relaxing by the beach… a dip in the hotel pool, massages, beach town outings, night time parties, hotel breakfasts… which in turn meant clothes for all these situations, shoes, accessories to go with them and cosmetics… And… if the vacations are taken with friends, all women compete to look the best… compete for nice pictures to be put on Facebook, compete for more likes and comments. How she yearns for a vacation without any photos, to wear and do as she pleases, run about in the sand, feel the wind in her hair, without a care in the world, wake up when she wants to, eat how she wants to… but Europe being as it is, people do all these and yet look good and the effort to not stay behind takes away a little away from the vacation. Oh… social pressures…


into small arguments with the hotel staff over rooms and facilities. After a round of freshening up, which means a round of wrestling with the toddler who has no intention of freshening up and is happy as he is… they go on a round of sight-seeing, after all there being only 3 days in all and the weather being good right now, the opportunity must not be missed. Sightseeing means less time seeing the sights and longer time spent on the lunch, a second round of wrestling trying to feed the child and all in all exhausted after the trip back home, vowing to sleep late the next day and relaxing. Relaxing is fine, but being in bed the entire day isn’t, the swimming pool and the massage have specific times and must not be missed. So they hit the pool and take turns at the massage, the other looking after the child, who in turn puts up a fight not to finish any ongoing activity. After all, children know no sense of time, cannot and should not be hurried and trying to fit in their activities and ours into short spans of holidays frustrates them to no end. In no time, the vacation is over and it is time to fly back, taking back blitzkrieg like memories and gigabytes of photos, some happiness and some frustration, but lots of wonderful discussion topics for other people, for whoever is interested to listen.

They take a flight to a popular beach location… flustered and agitated after the journey, sometimes get




A New Beginning Pallabi Roy-Chakraborty Currently lives in Zurich with her husband and son. Whilst her profession keeps her rooted in logic, she is a firm believer in the power of imagination. Her son Reyan is her greatest inspiration and she strictly adheres to his way of living….miracle and magic in even the most mundane, happiness without a reason, forgiveness with a smile and most importantly rising after every fall. Contact:

how the women down there managed, when she being the “Goddess” was rapidly running out of breath.


oating about in the ethereal mist, Durga was

“May be, I should also offer them some extra hands! Hmmm…. maybe, not to all, but to a select few as a pilot.” She took a mental note…. she would need to run it by the innovation department and also do a feasibility check before taking it across for implementation. She felt a tinge of excitement. It had really been a while since she had the opportunity to try something different.

incessantly interrupted by a faint throbbing noise. The noise was unrelenting, amplifying by the second and rapidly invading her senses. “Someone please make the damned thing stop!” Durga groaned and drowned herself further into the warm welcoming embrace of the covers. “It can’t be 6 am already!”, she screamed inwardly.

Earlier she still had a number of cases where mortals were interested in superpowers and performed rigorous and strict penance to obtain them. The supreme trio were forced to grant them whatever they wanted. She had been fortunate enough to be a part of several such cases, it had always been fun to design and implement them. But over the last few years, everybody seemed to be sufficiently happy with what had been handed down to them.

Even as she drifted through the haze, unwilling to let go, her mind screamed “Wake Up! Waaaaaaaaaaaake Up!” The fog shifted abruptly, mercilessly jolting her back to reality. “Damn! Another Monday!” Her hands went instinctively to the shrieking alarm clock, faintly annoyed at the sudden end to her hour of bliss.

Sure, the complaints department was still stacked up with grievances of all kinds…. parents unable to find suitable partners for their children, married couples unable to have children, some with many children but still seeking the one elusive son and so on. What continued to amaze her was the sheer number of requests that came in for a husband like hers. She almost had the mind to grant them all and then they sit back and have fun watching them dealing with his fits. “Bam Bholey!”.

Switching off the alarm, Durga turned to look at the peaceful form of her husband, Bhairav, still deep in slumber. “Boy, the man could sleep!” He would probably sleep through anything!” She sighed and forced herself off the bed. Walking out the door, she quickly peeked into the rooms of her children. Her daughters occupied the first room, while her sons took up the room adjacent to theirs. She couldn’t help but smile as she looked at them, fast asleep, blissfully unaware of her daily morning hustle.

The complaints were many and varied, but, unfortunately, none amongst them were different, they were all run of the mill. Not that the supreme trio were unhappy about it…. with so many of such “different” cases gone bad and the big bosses themselves being called down to handle the situations, they wanted the mortals to stick to being normal as much as possible.

Still smiling to herself, Durga started heading to the kitchen, listing the things in her mind that needed to be done within the next hour. This was one of those rare occasions when she was genuinely happy about her ten hands! More often than not, they were mostly hindrances to the outfits that she so admired and wanted to try on. At least, with her daily chores, her multiple hands were still serving some purpose now that her demon slaying days were behind her.

The beeping microwave, relentless and intrusive, curtly snapped her off her reverie. She took a quick fearful look at the clock. Time waited for none, not even for her! Taking a long deep breath, Durga went about waking Bhairav and getting the children ready for school as soon as breakfast was served and school bags and lunch boxes packed and ready to go. She frowned, as she realized that the morning madness had just begun!

Reaching the kitchen, Durga started readying herself to begin the preparations for the day. Halfway through her chores, beads of sweat started forming on her forehead as she quickly glanced at the clock merrily ticking away. She sometimes wondered 106



Karthik and Ganu seemed to have minds of their own. She was perpetually dreading the parent calls that seemed to have lately become quite frequent for her children (of course, none for Saraswati, her darling Swati, as she fondly called her).

Durga was already exhausted by the time she pressed the elevator that would take her to her work station. She had a 9 am meeting that morning on the much needed modernization of the divine weapons. With the new variant of the mutant demons and their state of the art artillery, it was high time that the divine weaponry be overhauled as well. She hardly had the time to look into the details and was grossly underprepared to take any kind of calculated decisions. She clucked impatiently, if the elevator did not arrive any time soon, she would not even have the time to grab a quick coffee before the meeting took off.

Their teacher had suggested some kind of sibling pressure, with Swati, always outperforming the entire school. Durga had once tried to take this up with Bhairav so that he could have a heart to heart chat with the boys while she would subtly discuss the issue with Laxmi herself. All Bhairav had done was close his eyes and nod his head while blowing out smoke rings from his mouth! “Huh! So much for shared responsibilities!” thought Durga sourly.

Scurrying between meetings, the next time Durga looked at her watch, it was already lunch time. She had promised to have lunch with Mary, an expat and a dear friend, who was here for a 2-year term. “Phew! Finally, time for a break!” said Durga, feeling relieved. She took the elevator to the office restaurant. Mary was already there, waiting for her.

Lunch done with, Durga bade farewell to Mary and took the elevator back to her work station. While in the elevator, she did a quick evaluation of the grocery stock in her house. Even as she tried to mix and shuffle all the probable combinations in her head, Durga sighed as she realized that none of the available combinations would make it possible to mete out any known dish of any cuisine.

“Hi dear! What’s up?” asked Durga. “Don’t ask! Just because I am ‘THE Mother’, nobody seems to think of me as anything other than a mother! At least you still get to be a goddess, all that I get to be is a saint!”

She looked at her watch. If she could wrap up in time, she would probably be able to manage a quick trip to the local super market. If not, then it would be another hitherto unknown-of food item that would be dished out of her kitchen. Of course, she could always snap a finger and get whatever she desired. But there was no fun in that! She preferred the earthly ways. She chuckled to herself. Bhairav called her kitchen ‘Delectable Durga’s’. Her children, on the other hand, were not so kind. For them it was mostly ‘Disastrous Durga’s’.

“Ohhh…. don’t fret dear!”, Durga tried to calm her down. “Tell me all about it….” Durga was aware that Mary was involved in three different departments that were perpetually at loggerheads with each other. For one, she was Mary, for the others, she was either Mariam or Miryam. What’s in a name? One might ask. Well, quite a lot actually, if you were her. “Poor thing!”, thought Durga.

Reaching her work station, Durga glanced at the calendar adorning her desk, willing it to scoot on to her favorite part of the year, just a few months away. How she loved these annual sojourns! The five days that she spent at home every year, were only hers, to be pampered, revered and loved. She could almost hear the rhythmic beat of the ‘dhak’ calling out to her. The alluring ‘kash’, swaying gently and in perfect harmony, seemed to be filling the air all around her.

In an attempt to calm her down, Durga veered her towards the one topic that always gets all mothers gushing, their children! She, herself, was no different. “Tell me about your son, Joshua. How are things at school?” It seemed to have the desired effect, Mary smiled for the first time since they met. “He is doing quite well, you know. There were initially some bullies who wouldn't let him be…. but my precious Josh. He’s quite a charmer! He’s having some trouble picking up the local language though. We speak Hebrew at home, he’s quite adept at that. But he seems to be fumbling a bit with the local dialect and all! How about your kids?”

“Now, now Durga!”, she chided herself, “There’s still a while to go. Back to work now!” Durga forced herself to focus on her assignment. She had been entrusted to identify ways of establishing respect and equality in today’s mortal-land. For her bosses, this was key, since once identified, this would definitely help to keep the defence budgets to a minimum and increase the spend in the other areas that were desperately in need.

“Ohhh…. they’re all good! Don’t worry about the language thing dear! We are all in the same boat there. Except for my younger daughter, the other three find it quite challenging to switch between our mother tongue and the local language.”

Her mortal correspondent, Narada, who had been conducting the field operations to gather the relevant data, had done his part well. Now it was up to her to decipher the rest.

Even as she spoke, Durga’s mind swiftly moved back to her children. With Saraswati, her younger daughter, there was nothing to worry. As far as academics were concerned, she was perfect. But the other three, Laxmi, 107



As she shifted through the analytics, gloom and doom loomed all around her. Abuse and assaults were rampant everywhere she looked!

To her, it was only a matter of time. Mahish would rise again and she too wanted to be equipped for the combat. Since then, she had been systematically sending off pieces of herself into the mortal world, into the homes of the select few, who she thought, had been most loyal and trusted.

The only solace, was that, amongst the many soulless kinds, there still remained a few worthy of being called human. May be, now, it was time again, to select the good few and begin afresh. But was that really the only way out? She had not yet found her answer!

Alas! She could not have been more wrong! Her devotees, it seemed, were more than generous in building her temples but extremely miserly when it came to offering her a place in their hearts and homes.

Brows knitted together, Durga pressed herself to arrive at a solution. But the harder she tried, the more disheartened she felt. Taking a break, Durga decided to switch to her wish list instead.

“This will not do!” Durga thought to herself, struggling to contain the rising wave of dejection within her. She needed to think about an alternate arrangement. Closing her eyes, Durga tried to calm herself. It was quite a while, before she could regain her composure again. Glancing briefly at her watch, she continued moving through the items in her list.

Her bosses had recently started “Mannat” (not to be confused with the house of a celebrated film star down under). Theirs was a strategic program to streamline the collation, review and approval of the wishes and demands of the mortals. Each of them had their own wish lists, which was nothing but the prayers that were offered to them by their devotees. But of course, there were no free lunches and each prayer was always accompanied by a wish that had to be granted. They had each been given monthly quotas and based on that they had to review and grant a certain number of requests.

By the time Durga finished running through her list, dusk had just begun to set in. She could see the queue of the homeward bound traffic getting longer by the minute. Now was her favorite part of the day. She felt herself relaxing as she looked forward to what awaited her back home…. smiles and snuggles galore. Gathering her things, Durga started moving towards the elevator.

As she ran through her list, the absurdity of some of the requests made her roll her eyes.

Back home, after a grand welcome by Bhairav and the kids, Durga immersed herself in the remnants of the household chores that needed to be completed for the day, smiling to herself every now and then, as a few fragments of the conversation between Bhairav and her children caught her ear. Each of them had a different story to tell, each eager to go first.

A certain Mrs. Das from Bagbazar had offered her 10,001 rasgullas in return for a favor. “Seriously, man!”, Durga muttered under her breath. With the rapid surge in the number of diabetics worldwide, diabetes was now a truly global epidemic, one that had made its presence felt here in Mt. Kailash as well. Who, in their right minds, would make such an offering!

Humming to herself as she rigorously scrubbed the kitchen counter, a thought suddenly flashed across Durga’s mind. Even as she had been trying so hard to think of ways to establish respect and equality, she herself, had been endorsing just the reverse all along!

She continued sifting through the requests, granting some and rolling her eyes more and more the further she progressed. She floundered, dumbfounded, as she came across a request from one of her most loyal devotees. He had most magnanimously offered his new born daughter in return for a son that he had been lusting for. “No!”, she thundered, pained to the core. Why could they never see it? This was her way of shielding them from what had happened on that fateful day, many many eons ago.

She was taken aback, as she realized that there was nothing equal about the sharing of her responsibilities, familial or otherwise. There was nothing respectful in how she was always essential, but never principal. This was exactly what she had seen mirrored all across. “No more!” Durga promised herself.

Tears welling up, Durga turned her face away from the screen to compose herself. Memories, long repressed, came flooding back.

“It is now time to bring in the change! And where best to start but right here and right now!”, were her last thoughts, as she lay in bed, retiring for the day.

With her final blow, Mahish had disintegrated into a thousand million pieces scattering into the heart of the mortal realm, forcing himself upon the unsuspecting milieu. His last laugh, loud and taunting, had streaked the air, leaving her with an unease that she could not shake off even now.

Hours later, as she wafted, once again, through the familiar mist, Durga could hear the faint throbbing noise, over and over again, growing louder by the minute. A determined Durga, undaunted and resolute, firmly buried herself into the warm welcoming embrace of the covers. Today was a new day, a new beginning…. 108



Colour Chirasree Chatterjee I am Jill of all trades and master of some. A seasoned juggler, who keeps balancing two high demanding full time jobs- mom of a nearly three year old and a career woman, not to mention the social commitments which I love keeping up. Living life if not to the fullest then close to it. Contact:


ammatically 'Color' you are only an adjective,

But actually you are quite elusive. As a little girl thought you were chocolate brown, When you were missing I would frown. In the glow of first love you looked very pink, It was decided even without a blink. Around happy friends you are a warm yellow, Never letting me be a little mellow. I painted you happily on my hands and toe, But actually you belong to the rainbow. As a bride I named you passionate red, Adapted my attire according to your shade. Motherhood is a mix of all your hues, Changing its pallet with my baby's cues. You mould easily into every season, You are a poems tune and reason. The rains made you stormy blue, But morning sun changed that opinion too. Are you just the green pigment they teach in biology, Or is it another silly analogy! You define emotions - anger, lust or jealousy, And they too must follow your set legacy You have been bestowed with power and grace, You can also divide the human race.

To be or not to be - a Bangalee

What name shall I give, which shade will you be, Your vibrance has totally blinded me. I am following your moves all along the way, Make me colorful forever and a day.

Srijit Bose Contact:


you idolize Tagore, Satyajit Ray, Swami Vivekananda or Netaji,

you might be a Bangalee. If someone criticizes your idols, it’s daft and you’re in agony, you must be a Bangalee. If you are stuck in traditions, golden nostalgia and think: “Oh, Kolkata, what a world-class modern city” you might be a Bangalee. If you like Hilsa fish, masala and something fishy, you must be a Bangalee. Are you more intellectual, superior, I mean- culturally? Oh Bangalee. Can you bring back lost history? Oh Bangalee.




Cocktails on the Lawn Sourav Ray Planner of stuff. Doer of things. Sits at a desk all day, wishing he had wings. Contact:


other 'free' country – she takes a strong decision,

Towards 'making things great again' - supposedly, her ‘mission’. And though it makes no sense, "Let's build a 'wall' (a fence?)" Let’s rekindle Hate, re-ignite Division! Another bomb is dropped - it makes it's slow descent, To nullify a 'terror' hub - a calculated 'dent'. But then it lands next door, Killing hundreds more! An apology is dutifully sent. Another bullet leaves its gun - it makes its merry way, Towards another simple man who doesn't have a say. We all pray it misses, But, in spite of our wishes, Never again will he see the light of day! Another jury 'decides' - it makes a judgement call. The 'alternative truths' stand magnificent - tall! There's financial bait on offer, To seal Justice in its coffer, While the innocent trip, tumble - fall! It's another day and here we are, left with shells and shadows, With a score of bones and corpses littering the meadows! And yet the world still pretends That it weeps and repents. But hey, relax - it's just another dawn; In the evening there's a barbecue and cocktails on the lawn.




Monet’s Colours Brindarica Bose Working for last 12 years as Publications Manager in an international association, she also works part-time as an Art teacher in MigrosKlubschule, and conducts monthly Art Classes/Workshops privately. She lives in Wohlen with her husband, and two sons. Contact:


utterfly flapped her delicate yellow wings,

As she rose to a new life, from a dead cocoon's rings. Her body wriggled out, from the constricted cocoon, And she knew instantly, that life was an eternal boon. The yellow butterfly flew from one flower to another. Till she saw, the pink and white - water lilies gather, Like the seven chakras, scattered in different colours, The water lilies were the queen, amongst Monet’s flowers. That’s when the butterfly spotted, the painter standing in a corner, Creating another ‘metamorphosis’, with a canvas and oil colour. The water, like life, reflected every object on her screen, And yet Monet stood transfixed, with his attention on subtle greens. He studied the petals, with tenderness in his gaze Lost and harmless, yet consumed in a fitful craze. He swished his brush to recreate the lily pond once again, With wet petals shaped like almonds, in sunlight and in rain. With every canvas a new world emerged, Where all three could fly, or get submerged: The water lilies, Monet, and the yellow butterfly, Escaped once again, into the canvas, with colours not yet dry...

Colours of my Guardian Angel Rejina Ramachandran-Sadhu A Keralite born in Mumbai and married to a Bengali, Rejina came to Switzerland to pursue a PhD in neurobiology in 2001. She is a working mother with 2 kids and a passion for books, food (especially baking), travel and fine arts. Contact:


days when everything seem to go a sway,

a smile and a kind word go a long way. When the inky blue of helplessness dissuades, then the blazing gold hue of a helpful hand pervades. As colorless, lonely nights and days pile on the lightening, myriad colors of friendship come on. When the green of jealousy distorts anything the warmth of selflessness clears everything. The grayness of hate knows no bounds but white light of love definitely abounds Blessings do not have a color ascertained And my guardian angel comes in a spectrum unrestrained. 111

Kids Corner


The Editorial Team requested kids this year to draw and send their favourite cartoon characters for Patrika. What we received is a wonderful potpourri of old and new cartoon figures, right from Batman to Chota Bheem, Asterix and Ariel, Minions, Peppa Pig, Biene Maja and much much more! We are very proud to showcase our talented kids creations in this issue of Swisspuja Patrika.

Minions by Aahana Ghosh (8 yrs.)

Batman at night by Abhigyan Bhattacharya (6 yrs.)

Chota Bheem Cartoon by Neel Dev Sen (8 yrs.)



Kids Corner

Asterix and Obelix by Adhrit Bose (8 yrs.)

Batman in city by Aniket Maji (6 yrs.)

Ariel by Ioli Chakraborty (8 yrs.)


Kids Corner


Dancing Pikachu with Lollypop by Shukrit Rakshit (11 yrs.)

Biene Maja by Jeet Bose (4 yrs.)

Chota Bheem by Iris Bhattacharya (6 yrs.)

Olaf Frozen by Ihita Bhattacharya (6 yrs.)



Kids Corner

Elsa and Anna by Atreyi Roy Choudhury (4 yrs.)

Peppa Pig and George by Pratikshit Haldar (6 yrs.)

Spidy by Reyan Chakraborty (5 yrs.)

Princess Cellestia by Aarna Debnath (7 yrs.)


Kids Corner


Peppa Pig by Samanvay Ray (4 yrs.)

Sally Bollywood by Megha Bhattacharya (9 yrs.)

Smurf by Prakriti Sadhu (8 yrs.)

Stormtrooper by Sasmit Bhattacharya (12 yrs.)



Kids Corner

Sacred's Evil Adrija Ghosh Adrija is 10 years old and studies in grade 5. She loves reading books. Singing and playing piano are also her favourite pastime. When she grows up, the first thing she wants to do is to buy a husky for herself. Contact:


Watching day and night, Making sure none's in sight! Its blue twinkling eyes see everything, As its wings sometime take a flight!

ross the seven seas,

There lies an island full of bees! Except for the Sacred cave villagers believe in, Only Evil inside though please! Blue shiny scales, and white pointed teeth, Wait, Can u guess this creature's name as she alertly breathes? You guessed right “Sacred's Evil” is its name, So don’t start mistreating her and only later accept your defeat.

Death will never come upon her, Even when in a blur! So don't even try, Cause only fate will come upon You Sir!!!

Football in Switzerland and India Abhiraj Roychoudhury A big football enthusiast and a sixth grader, Abhiraj loves to put on the shirt of his club, FC Obersiggenthal. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal from India along with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid from Spain are his favourite football clubs. Abhiraj’s all time favourite football player is the Brazilian legend, Pele. He spends most of his time either practicing by himself or with his teammates. Even within his busy schedule, he takes out time for his Karate and guitar lessons. He is an energetic kid who is always interested in learning more than the world has to offer. Contact:

the last 3 world cups. The national team is lovingly called “Nati".


otball is the most popular sport of the world,

In contrast to Switzerland, India is much bigger with a population of 1.3 billion (approx.).In the FIFA rankings India is placed in 97th position. Both India and Switzerland are currently placed their highest ranking in recent times. In India most children play on street or on unprepared and muddy football grounds. They often play barefoot. They don’t much care what they wear. The main aim is to have fun. Talented children in India get to play professional leagues mostly when they’re discovered by football scouts. Despite having qualified for the 1950 world cup, India could not finally play due to lack of money. At 1956 Melbourne Olympics India became the first Asian country to reach the semi finals and they finished came 4th.The popularity of football in India is increasing. India is playing host to FIFA under 17 world cup in October this year (2017).

played in over 200 countries. I’m very interested in football and want to write about the game in Switzerland and in India. Switzerland is a small country with a population of 8.4 million (approx.). Currently, Switzerland men's football team is 4th in the FIFA ranking only behind Brazil, Germany and Argentina. Almost everywhere in Switzerland there is a football club, so, most children in Switzerland play in a club. Each club has a well maintained football field. Each club has teams of all age groups. The teams play league matches within the canton. All children have a chance to show their talent in the club matches and can get selected to play professional football. Switzerland hosted the FIFA world cup in 1954 and European Cup in 2008 (jointly with Austria). Switzerland has played consecutively in 117

Kids Corner


Budding Tennis Star: Simran Kukkila Introduction: Switzerland has not only produced some of the world’s top skiers, snowboarders and ice hockey players, but also some top tennis stars such as Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka and Martina Hingis. As a hobby tennis player and fan I feel extremely lucky to be able to watch some the stars playing live. The recent phenomenon of Indian tennis stars pairing with their Swiss counterparts (Leander Paes-Martina Hingis, Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis) and winning Grand Slam tournaments makes us even prouder and serves as role models for generation of Indian children growing up in Switzerland. I got the opportunity to talk to one such talent, 19 years old Simran Kukkila. Simran started playing tennis at a very young age back in India. When she moved to this country in 2011 with her parents, she just continued. Contact:


ll us something about yourself and when

you started playing tennis? Ever since I can remember I have been playing with a bat and a ball. I did not play with any other toys. My parents tell me that when I was a toddler, I used to play cricket with 1.5 liter PET bottles, graduating to cricket bats of various sizes. I used to hit the ball very hard and everyone loved bowling to me - including friends of my parents. My father is a very good cricketer - while at college he played against Azharuddin. He noticed my interest, and from a very young age he started playing cricket with me. Wherever we went - on holidays or picnics we always played with a ball.

even at the age of eighty! His daughter who is my mother's friend is a good tennis player too. With her, and her daughter I used to go to play with G V K Reddy who is a sponsor of tennis in India. They encouraged me and helped me to appreciate the game from a very young age. And what about the international tennis stars and specially our King Roger.

So when did move to tennis from cricket?

As I grew up my inspiration has been Novak Djokovic I like his fun spirit and strong game. I admire Roger Federer of course.

When I was five years old one day I was playing cricket with the drivers and watchmen in the street. My friend's grandfather, who happened to be Mahesh Bhupathi's uncle and a very good tennis player himself, watched us playing for a long time. That evening he called my parents and said, I had excellent hand-eye coordination and that they should consider coaching me to play tennis. We were then living in Hyderabad which had several tennis academies all over the city. Around the same time my father's friend, who was a national tennis champion in the veterans' circuit, came to play a tournament and stayed with us. He played tennis with me for several hours. With him we went to the tennis club and I started my formal coaching at the age of six. My grandmother and our driver Firoz would take me all over the city for matches and coaching.

Tell us about your training schedule and which games you have played. I have had several coaches over the years. Hyderabad has many good academies and many girls are playing

Wow, that was early at six! Simran: (Smiles) So who inspired you to play tennis? My first inspirations were Mahesh Bhupati and Sania Mirza. Mahesh's whole family is into sports. His uncle, Mr. Ramachandra Rao, whom I call 'Tatu' is a great source of inspiration for me - he is dedicated to sports 118

Kids Corner

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 competitive tennis. I played with the best from my age group. I started playing in tournaments by the time I was ten. My parents sent me for a month long coaching to the Bhupati academy in Bangalore at that age. I loved the atmosphere - only tennis coaching, fitness, swimming and eating all day long! In Switzerland I have had three coaches till now. I also went for intensive coaching in the academy at Biel. Here my coaching is personalized and it has really improved my technique, strength, and movement.

play. All the families were waiting to start their barbeque but they waited and cheered us as we played a marathon match. At the end I was exhausted and so happy. My mother dried my T-shirt, dripping wet with sweat, using the hairdryer in the bathroom! I have played and won many matches but this one was the best one. People in my club still talk about it. I won the tournament the next year too - in straight sets this time.

From the age of 10 or 11 yrs, I also started fitness classes with a coach. Every morning we would wake up at 5 am and my mother would drive me to the stadium, 8 km away from our house, where I worked out for 1.5 hrs before rushing back home for a bath and school. The fitness classes were fun as our coach varied our schedule and included team sports like basketball or football, also in the coaching. I used to travel all over the country for tournaments and made many friends on the circuit. Now I have to also focus on my A level exams but my tennis coaching is intense and personalized.

Tennis has taught me to never give up. It doesn't matter if you win or you lose, you should play your best game and if you play your best game, there is no reason to lose. One must get over the fear of losing and play without worrying about the outcome. Just enjoy the game and you will play your best game every time.

How does tennis influence you in your life?

What advice would you give the kids, specially Indian kids in Switzerland who would like to take up tennis: Play hard, work hard and enjoy the game. Focus on fitness and your movement. Also parents should support their children but not live out their own ambitions through their kids. Sports are to be enjoyed and the spirit lives with us to guide everything we do in life.

Any anecdote that you wish to share related to your tennis matches? In Switzerland we were first living in Winterthur. One of the first things we did after moving here was to get a membership of a tennis club and find a good coach for me. I started playing at the Eulach club close to our house. Laura, a great sportsperson had been the club champion for 7 yrs in a row. In the finals that year I was to play against her. I went for the match while my parents were to follow - my father was playing a cricket match with his club somewhere else. When my mother came to watch me play I was down 0-6; 3-5. During the break my mother just looked at me and asked “What? Are you giving away the match?” On hearing this, I completely changed my game, I started playing defensive and the match took a completely different turn. I won the second set 7-6. My opponent fought hard but I wore her down - the match went on for 2 hours after that and I won the third set 6-3. We played for a total of 3 hours. The chief guest had arrived to give away the prizes but he had to wait and watch us

Thank you for your time and wish you the best for your tennis career and studies. Thank you!

Interviewed by Pratyush Das Kanungo (Prat) Prat is non-professional hobby runner, tennis and badminton player. Former president and a long term volunteer of the Zurich-based non-profit Asha Zurich supporting child education in India, he is working in a laser firm, after his post doctoral research in IBM Research Lab and Paul Scherrer Institute. Contact:

Swisspuja Patrika Sub-committee 2017

Nayana Chakrabarti-Bhattacharya is editing the Saree article over a cup of Tea

Tanmoy Pal is preparing Patrika pages in Mac using “Pages”


Brindarica Bose with her pen and paper editing an article

Kids Corner


My Summer Camp at Greifensee Shukrit Rakshit Shukrit is 11 years old and studies in 5th grade. He loves to swim and play the drums. He loves to play outside with his friends and his favourite sports are handball and basketball. One of his pastimes is listening to music. Contact:

according to the days. One day I and some of my friends helped in the kitchen for dinner—we cut capsicum, and dried washed dishes with a kitchen towel. Later, we helped to prepare Spaghetti Bolognese.


nerally I like camps but winter camps are

mostly too tiring. We have to get up early in the morning, have breakfast then the whole day stay in an uncomfortable ski dresses and shoes. White beauty is fine in the beginning but it’s quite boring after some days. But yes I like summer camps; things are little bit different during summer.

In the evening, twice we watched movies with the teachers, Moana and Frozen. We were also allowed to take some of our indoor games with us. Outdoor games items were carried by our teachers only. We were never allowed to carry any type of gadgets with us other than cameras. While having evening snacks we were allowed to play with different indoor games like UNO, Coup, Table Tennis, Table Football etc. Outdoor games were also allowed: Volleyball, Football, Badminton etc.

Last year’s summer camp was amazing. We went to Greifensee by bus with our classmates, carrying lots of potato chips packets, chocolates, sweets etc. for our journey. We were chatting and eating all the way in the bus. After reaching the place, we settled down and, o wow! What was that behind the camp house? It was a beautiful lake! We all were so happy. After lunch and a bit of rest, we went for swimming in the evening, which was real fun. Almost every day after hiking, walking or some kind of sports, we played around the lake. It was very very relaxing.

On our last evening before coming back, we had a party and we had to dress up like any famous Athlete and the best three won a prize. On the 8th day, we were supposed to come back. In the morning after breakfast, we had to clean up the camp. We packed our things and started cleaning toilets, kitchen, cupboards, lobbies etc. It was not a nice day, we all were sad as we had to go back again leaving the lake as the camp days were over. But really this time it was a very nice experience staying together, doing work together as a team. The camp was great!

In summer camps normally we have to go for hiking or walking daily, sometimes for 4 to 5 hours also, and mostly it is long and tiring. I am not so fond of hiking, but in Greifensee the scenery was so beautiful that I took lots of pictures after reaching the top. Everywhere it was so green and beautiful. Anyway, after coming back we again played in the lake and had our evening snacks.

After sitting inside the bus, I watched the Greifensee lake sadly and suddenly thoughts of my mom, dad and sister (family) came to my mind and specially my own bed. And another very important thought came to my mind—what my mom must be cooking for me now, perhaps one of my favourite dishes, yumm….

What I like the most in camps, is the food...breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, oh! Awesome!

Bye bye Greifensee and Summer camp!

We had to help our kitchen team (teachers) also. There was a list where it was written who would be helping



Kids Corner

Around the World in 12 Years… Arushi Choudhury A twelve-year-old from Basel, a passionate dancer, music lover, who also enjoys travelling. Contact:


Trump is...!!! However the most vivid memory that I have of my stay in Delaware, is of our neighbour’s black cat. I was so afraid of this cat, that I would always avoid venturing out in the garden.

journey started from the city of Hyderabad

in India, where I was born in the year 2005. After a couple of months in Hyderabad, I continued to explore the cities Kolkata and Delhi for another few months.

After a two year stay in Delaware, we moved to Atlanta. There I completed pre-school and later on I went to Kindergarden for 1 year. While staying in Atlanta, we took an unforgettable cruise-trip to the Bahamas and a “#dream-come-true visit” to Disney World in Florida.

Then in 2006, I made my first International trip to Cologne, Germany. There I experienced my first snowfall, I really enjoyed it, even if I was just a toddler then. From Cologne, I accompanied my parents to visit some famous cities of Europe like Paris, Rotterdam, the Scheveningen beach, and many such places. Most of the time, I preferred to sleep or get cranky (as my mother says). Little did I know, that I would get the opportunity to come back here again.

When I was 6 years old, we moved to Basel, Switzerland. Here, I started Frist-Grade in a Swiss primary school. My parents were quite concerned, that I would have challenges integrating. However, I quickly picked up German and found new friends very easily. Over the last few years, I got the opportunity to see various scenic places in Switzerland and adapt to the Swiss way of life. Our visits to the neighboring countries like Austria, Italy, France, Holland etc. added to my travel experience.

From Cologne, my next move was to Delaware, U.S.A., when I was just 2 years old. There, I enjoyed my visits to various places all over the USA like Niagara-Falls, New York City - where I saw the world famous Statue of Liberty, Washington DC, California and lots more...

I wish to keep on traveling the World, explore new places, cultures and cuisines and discover the unknown!

Once when we were visiting the Atlantic-City Beach, while I was busy making sand-castles...the adults were admiring Trump’s castles!!...And now I know who

At Disneyland

In New York


Kids Corner


Augustus Visits His Legions In Vindonissa Adhrit Bose 9 years old, interested in Roman history, planes, Asterix and Obelix, Tintin and hockey. Contact:


was built by Romans during the time of Augustus. In 101 A.D Caesar Trajan gave up the castell in Vindonissa.

e ancient Romans lived from 753 B.C till 476

This year I have visited Vindonissa. There you can find an amphitheatre and see how the gladiators trained, a legion’s path and a museum. You can do various activities. I enlisted as a legion to centurio Caius Germanicus and got an audience by Caesar Trajan !

A.D. The Romans had one of the biggest empires in history. From a little city called Rome, the Romans conquered Britannia till Egypt and Hispania till Babylonia. Helevetia was also a part of the Roman empire. Therefore, I tell you about Vindonissa (Windisch), which is a part of my Canton Argovia (Aargau). You may think, what was Vindonissa. Well, it was a military castell, where 6’000 legions and 70 centurios lived.


Who built Vindonissa :

Imperator Caesar Augustus built a camp in Vindonissa 15 B.C after crossing the alps, because the location was strategically very important. It was a traffic node along the rivers Aare, Reuss and Limmat. Rome’s adversary lived in the north, in Germania. The Romans had an advanced technology. They built a wall, called Limes, along the border to Germania. With 500 kilometers, the Limes was the longest building in Europe. On 900 watch towers the legions could signal each other with torches. When there was an attack, the Romans could call the cavalry from the castells very quickly. Over a long distance the Limes was exactly straight. Until today, we don’t know how the Romans could build such a straight wall.


Where gladiators contested: 3

Used to transport drinking water: 4

Capital of the empire:

Hygiene was very important. The Romans had heated baths. They transported clean drinking water over long distances via aquaducts to cities.

Hint: Letters 1-4 gives you the emblem of ancient Rome. SPQR

Every citizen received 500 liters of clean water every day. This was a big success. Waste water was collected and put away in channels. The first hospital in Helvetia



Kids Corner

Facebook Anoushka Ghosh I'm a regular 13 year old girl who has a passion for writing. Besides writing I'm a trained dancer as well. I currently study in 1 Sekundarstufe A in Schulhaus Friedrich. Contact:


figure out. I have often considered deleting my Facebook account, but there is always something that lures me back in.

you’re ever outside you're sure to see many people

using a so-called app Facebook. Facebook has multiple uses and is highly popular among everyone especially among teens. Have you ever but deeply questioned yourself what the purpose of Facebook is? Or what is negative and positive about Facebook. Allow me to tell your more about Facebook.

Any registered user on Facebook can search for and add any other member as a friend, provided the other person accepts the 'friend request'. Users can also categorise their friends as close friends, family, high school friends, etc to keep track of their close ones' activities. Further, users are allowed to create or join groups of their interests.

Whoever has a Facebook account is probably already familiar with its features, and if you’re not, let me tell you what can be done on Facebook. On Facebook you have the possibility to share a fun or exciting experience with your near and dear ones, you can also keep in touch with friends who are abroad and also see what your friends are up to. Facebook is one of the most popular social media websites of all times.

Although Facebook sounds amazing, fun and harmless it’s actually quite dangerous and can damage many lives. If one wants to have a Facebook account then the minimum age limit is 13 years. However, it is advised to create an account after the age of 15 for safety reasons. Even after having many safety checks there still are people who manage to deceive the website and still create fake accounts. These people are called stalkers. They create fake accounts in order to harass people and create trouble for them. Also known as ‘cyberbullying’ this is trackable by cops and is severely punishable. The minimum sentence for jail is 2 years. In the past few years, there have been many cyberbullying cases some ending up tragically with suicide, while others ended up in court.

The users of this website have to create an account using a valid email-id. Each user has a separate profile, which shows some personal information about the user. Users can edit their profile, add pictures, post on their wall (a wall is a private space provided by this web page. It is more or less like a personal notice board, where users can write, comment, add videos, pictures, etc.), send messages (the message option is more or less like an email and secured so only you and the other person can read it). Users are also allowed to customise the privacy settings for their profiles, where, the contents of their profiles will be viewed only by their friends, or a selected, customised few. Facebook also provides notifications, where users are reminded about various important happenings, meetings, dates, etc. This interface also informs users if they have been tagged on someone else's profile. Facebook provides the chart, calendar and clock applications as well. Students can use Facebook for group studies by creating a group for studying. There you can share any information about your projects, homework, assignments, exams, due date etc.

Cyber-bullying is done via the internet. Someone, is cyber-bullied when he or she receives hurtful comments /messages. This person is an online victim of bullying. Cyber-bullying is a serious offence. Over

A disadvantage of Facebook is that it is too addicting! Using Facebook for your need is fine but when you waste most of your valuable time on it then it’s not good. Facebook often brings bad effects on students results. Badly ‘Facebook addicted’ students do not get good marks in their exams unless they are too smart. More often than not, Facebook serves as an inconvenient distraction to me. How I end up on Facebook for nearly an hour when I intended to finish typing my homework, is a question that I have yet to

When I spend some time in nature


Kids Corner


the past few years the number of cyber-bullying cases have increased due to various reasons. It’s hard to say why but many people just say because of the increase in our electronic devices. Cyber-bullying is also linked with Facebook, because 80% of cyber-bullying takes place on Facebook. This was proved in the year of 2014. Following it comes Instagram with 30%, Twitter with 18 %, Snapchat with 10% und last but not least Instant messages with 8%.

Mark Zuckerberg initially founded a website called 'Facemash' for Harvard students. Since the website attracted many users, he was motivated to programme 'Facebook'. Initially, the usage of this website was limited to Harvard students. Later, seeing the response that this website received, it was extended to the students of other universities as well. In 2009, the services of this website were made global to anyone above the age of 13.

Facebook was originally created by Mark Zuckerberg and some of his classmates, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook was officially created on the 4 of February 2004. Facebook has 1.79 Billion active users per month. The birthplace of this Website is in the US.

Coming to the conclusion, I would like to share my personal opinion about Facebook. Facebook does have it’s own ups and downs but it is not at all useless, however one should stay careful while using it. I sincerely thank you for reading my article and hope you are now more informed about Facebook.

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Kids Corner


My Favourite iOS Apps Chandana Mittra Sen A mother, a dreamer, a traveler. In a previous avatar, 24x7 stressed out Manager, who jumped off the wheel to live a different life. After many twists and turns landed in Switzerland in 2008 and in Langnau am Albis since 2011. Contact:


guidance of their parents. Even little ones derive get satisfaction from completing a task on their own! 1. Toddler Puzzle Shapes by Technolio Inc. 2. Animal Train Preschool Adventure First Word Learning 3. Phonics Farm Preschool and Kindergarten Kids Learning 4. First Words Deluxe by Learning Touch LLC 5. Paint Sparkles Draw - My First Coloring Book HD! by TabTale LTD 6. Music Sparkles – All in One Musical Instruments Collection HD by TabTale LTD 7. iTouchLearn Numers for Preschool Kids by Nistantri Solutions 8. Reading & Spelling Games. Learn to Read Letter Sounds & Fun Endless First and Sight Words by Abby Monkey® Toddler Alphabet Reader by CFC s.r.o. 9. Preschool - Counting by Nth Fusion LLC 10. The ABC Song – All In one Educational Activity Center and Sing Along by TabTale LTD

eard it, you heard it, your parents heard it, and

possibly our grandparents too! ‘Anek hoyechhay, ebaar bondho koro. Matha kharap hoye jabay’. As each new medium was established in households over the last 100 years - radio, television, videos, and now tablets with their apps – the newly converted users were promptly told off. Yet once the novelty has worn off, we are no longer obsessed with the once-new-media, turning to it for specific needs. And so it has been for me and my son - from 2012 when I bought an ipad2. Soon after, a casual chat with a UK based uncle sent me off on an ‘app’lications search for my then almost 4 year old son.

6-8 year olds:

I can safely say that it has been overwhelmingly useful although I have had days actually weeks, of gritting my teeth over Angry Birds/Score Hero.


My son has grown up with it, and to him, it is no longer exciting!! Which is a good thing ☺ He has grown up with the iPad learning alphabets, numbers, pattern recognition to building vocabulary, practising Maths, making music, playing Physics based games (less aggressive ones than Angry Birds), chess, coding…I am always on the lookout for useful apps and the App Store password is not known to him - not yet anyway!

Maths apps by Rantek Inc. (search by Rantek Inc) - From Pattern recognition, to 100s Board leading onto skip counting, addition, subtraction. Plenty of online practice. Beautifully presented. Maths apps by Math Adventures (search by Maths Adventures or Math Slide). Lots of practice on place values, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division

In March 2017, there were 2.8 million apps for Android based phones followed by Apple with 2.2 million. Sharing our favourite apps with friends and family is therefore a necessity. I have already done it with a few friends, and thought it would be useful to do the same here. I have limited myself to 10 from different age groups. I am sure you have many more and different ones of your own! Preschoolers/Kindergarten 4+ years: To me, this age was all about exposing my son to numbers and alphabets, colours and music in a fun interactive manner. My personal experience is that using the 3rd dimension (interactivity) turns learning into play. The apps are made in a way that toddlers can soon work independently (in short bursts) under the gentle


Kodable – Coding for kids by Surf Score, Inc


Word Wizard – A good vocabulary building site. It comes with its own word lists. You can also create your own lists and save it on the app.

Physics based game

Racing Penguin by Top Free Games


Montezuma Puzzle by ECO Pawel Jarosz Block Hexa Puzzle by Bitmango


Kids Corner


Beyond 14 by Mojo Forest Board Games Geography

World Knowledge

Four in a Row

Older Kids/Teenagers: Collins Atlas

9 years and older: Literacy

Word Brain by MAG Interactive 94 seconds by Scimob

Talks by eminent people

TED by TED Conferences (also available on youtube but the app also allows for download and view offline).

Thinking Games

Unblock Me by Kiragames Co.

Flow Free: Bridges by Big Duck Games Klocki by Maciej Targoni

Physics based games

Cut the Rope by ZeptoLab


Tutorials for Scratch by David Phillips

Mixing and creating music Chess

Unroll Me by Turbo Chilli 2048

Letris 4 by Ivanovich Games Puzzles

National Geographic Digital edition

Physics based games

Cat Physics by Donut Games


Sudoku by Finger Arts

Word games

7 Little Words by Blue Ox Technologies

Building/ Strategy games

Garage Band by Apple

Meditation Free Chess App by Christophe Thรถron



Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation and Mindfulness by Stop, Breathe & Think


Savour the unforgettable sights and tastes of India Savour the incredible sights, sounds and intense flavours of this South Asian gem. Explore its ancient history, rich modern culture, and exotic hideaways. Be inspired by the unexpected. Fly daily to 13 cities in India.


Kids Corner


Instagram Ritika Chakraborty A versatile and professional dancer, she is currently studying Electrical Engineering and Information Technology in ETH Zurich. Ritika loves performing in Swisspuja cultural events and hanging around with friends and family whenever time permits.

Group studies

Attending Engineering classes at ETH

„Turnen“ time for sports

Performing dance at Swisspuja event

Taking a break and enjoying the view

Getting ready for a class at ETH



Kids Corner

Instagram Abhigyan Ghosh, studying computational engineering at ETH, Zurich; music lover – heavy metal and all kinds, spends his week between sports, music, and friends. He is currently doing a course in ETH on the ‘Evolution Strategies using Reinforcement Learning’, he won the Swiss Maths Olympiad in 2012 and in 2014 the first rank from the Swiss Mathematical Society, for his paper on ‘Development and Analysis of an Algorithm for the Linear Transport Equation’.

Winning a badminton championship in Wettingen, April 2017

Some more sports and adventure

Playing Badminton every week

Abhigyan in Swisspuja's Rabindra-Nazrul Cultural event, 2017, playing the piano at the concert!

Studying Computational Engineering at ETH

Spending time with friends


Kids Corner


Instagram Ambika Mukherjee Loves Physics and Ballet. Graduated from Kantonsschule Baden and currently studying Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, US.

Ambika for Aargauer Zeitung and Rundschau, where an entire feature was published on her, in 2017

Swiss Chemistry Olympiad Silver Medalist 2017

Ambika with her friends for a dance recital at Swisspuja

Theatre team - Lysistrata - 2017, Kantonschule Baden

Going for regular Ballet practises and annual shows

Natural moments



Kids Corner

Instagram Seemon Coomar, Born in Zürich & raised between Kolkata and Neuenhof, Seemon is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Chemistry at the University of Basel and seeking to find something he wasn’t looking for. In his free time he plays volleyball and enjoys experimenting with various cuisines in the real kitchen. Contact:

The traveling comfort provided by SBB trains from my home to Basel, allows me to sleep, read or listen to music

Chemistry Lab: Safety first. Although I (may) not be wearing a lab coat all the time, its good to work in the fume hood to protect yourself and at least have a clean conscience

Bio Lab: Here the cells need to be protected from me. That's why a laminar flow hood blows down sterile air and protects the samples and the environment

Volleyball gives a nice balance to my everyday hectic life

Lunch: Yes, we make our lunch since the cafeteria cooks also seem to like to experiment.




Kunst in der Gegenwart Usha Palit Ihre Berufung sind das Malen und das Unterrichten. Kunstgeschichte war ihr zweites Studium. Die <Moderne Malerei> und die< Abendländischen Baustile> waren die Hauptfächer. Das künstlerische Handwerk lernte sie bei Prof. Marx-Mechler in Stuttgart und bei Helmut Goettl in Karlsruhe, Künstler und Bundesvorsitzender Bildender Künstler. Sie organisiert besonders gerne Führungen in Museen und gibt Malunterricht im Atelier. Während eines einjährigen Aufenthaltes in den USA, 1980, war die Malerei von Jackson Pollock ihr wichtigstes Studienobjekt. Der «art just happens» fühlt sie sich direkt verpflichtet. Kontakt:

aus der freien Kreativität heraus entsteht, jetzt und in diesem Augenblick. Ein anderes Ziel ist es, eine Unwirklichkeit als Wirklichkeit auftreten zu lassen, der Begriff ist hier: Virtual Reality. Es ist der Augenblick, in dem das eigene Ich abhandenkommt. Erreicht wird das zum Beispiel mit Datenbrillen und Fernsteuerungen. Damit ausgerüstet wird aus dem Betrachter ein Mitmacher, sogar möglicherweise ein Veränderer. Er hat die Möglichkeit, in ein Geschehen einzugreifen, je nachdem, ob es dem installierenden Künstler gelungen i s t , e i n e Vi e l z a h l v o n Ve r ä n d e r u n g e n z u programmieren. Natürlich sind diese Aktionen sehr zeitaufwändig. Der Betrachter kann bei solchen Installationen, ausgerüstet mit einer Datenbrille und Fernsteuerung, zum Beispiel als Astronaut durch das Universum marschieren oder eine Raumstation reparieren, mit Dinos kämpfen, ja er kann sich sogar selbst beobachten, wie er durch Raum und Zeit krebst. Mein Mann, ich und viele hundert andere Ausstellungsbesucher wurden schon vor vier Jahren plötzlich Agierende bei der Art Basel. Nur mit uns allen konnte ein Kunstwerk der „Interaktion“ entstehen und das zudem noch ohne unser Wissen. Wir wurden auf dem Kunstparcours zur Grünanlage im St.Albanquartier in Basel gelockt. Dort, bei der kleinen Kapelle, waren grosse Steinskulpturen aufgebaut, um die man herumgehen konnte. Es gab auch grosse Durchblicke in den Steinen, die die einen als Guckloch nutzten und die andere ganz couragiert hindurchkletterten. In der Kapelle gab es ebenfalls Exponate, besonders viele vor dem Altar. Also gingen alle durch den Mittelgang der Kapelle und besichtigten die Exponate. Anschliessend ging es zurück in die Sonne, nochmals zu den Steinskulpturen, und zu anderen Skulpturen in kurzer Entfernung. Danach konnte man an den sternförmig angelegten Wegen und den Hinweisschildern entscheiden, zu welchen weiteren Exponaten es den Betrachter mehr hinzog. Sollte er erst links hinunter zum Rhein, wo ein Lastkahn mit Kunstobjekten bestückt war, oder rechts hinunter, zuerst die alten Fischerhäuschen bewundern, die modern bemalt waren, oder sollte er gleich den Hügel hinauf zu den Baum- und Naturexponaten gehen. Es gab auch die Möglichkeit, den bekannten Weg in die City zurückzugehen. Und jetzt kam die Überraschung: Wir alle haben unsere Wahl erkennbar gemacht, ohne Worte, nur durch unsere Füsse. Denn in der Kirche lagen auf dem dunklen Gang, von uns unbemerkt, tausende kleine Goldplättchen. Diese dünnen Metallplättchen blieben an unseren Schuhsohlen kleben, wanderten mit uns hinaus in die Sonne und blieben dort auf unseren Wegen zurück. Jeder


s ich gefragt wurde, doch einmal einen Vergleich

über deutsche und schweizerische Künstler zu schreiben, ist mir zum ersten Mal so richtig bewusst geworden, wie wenige Unterschiede es gibt. Ganz bestimmt möglich ist ein Vergleich zwischen indischen und europäischen Künstlern/innen, womit sich eine weitere und zukünftige Betrachtung ergibt. Maler/innen aus bestimmten Zeiten lassen sich einteilen und vergleichen, die Werke werden entsprechend zugeteilt und erhalten dann ein Etikett wie zum Beispiel Werke des Impressionismus, des Expressionismus und des Informellen und besonders auch des „action paintings“ in der modernen Malerei. Sehr entscheidend sind dabei die Farbgebung und die Technik, ob gegenständlich oder abstrakt gemalt wird. Schon jetzt würde es den Rahmen sprengen, alle Richtungen und die meisten Künstler/innen zu nennen. Besonders interessiert bin ich an der Gegenwartskunst. Jeder Maler schaut gerne über den Bildrand und will sehen, an welchen Themen die Konkurrenz arbeitet, welches sind die möglichen Ausdrucksmittel, welche Malmittel werden benutzt, welche Malerkollegen finden grosse oder gar keine Anerkennung, wie sich Anerkennung im Marktwert ausdrückt, nach welchen Kriterien Gegenwartskünstler besprochen, gehandelt und schon zu Lebzeiten in Museen und Ausstellung beachtet und gewürdigt werden, auch und gerade in Fo r m v o n A n k ä u f e n . D i e K u n s t d e r Gegenwartskünstler ist eine einfallsreiche, eine hingebungsvolle Art, um zum Beispiel einen Zustand sichtbar zu machen und nicht nur ein Ding herzustellen. Diese Kunst entsteht jetzt, in diesem Augenblick, sie hat keine Vergangenheit und meistens keine Zukunft. Ganz extrem erklärt wäre diese Kunst an dem Beispiel der Buttercrèmetorte. Ein Mensch stellt eine wunderbare Buttercrèmetorte her mit der Absicht, diese nicht zu essen, sondern sie mit all den schönen Verzierungen in die Sonne zu stellen und zu beobachten, wie dieses Kunstwerk sich in 3 Stunden, dann nach 8 Stunden, nach 3 Tagen und nach 6 Wochen in der Sonne stehend verändert. Diese Erklärung ist natürlich sehr simpel und soll lediglich der Beschreibung einer Aktion dienen. Die Gegenwartskunst beschreibt in Aktion die Veränderung eines Zustandes, auch eines Augenblicks. Es ist eine Kunst, auch genannt ‚contemporary art‘, die 132

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 „Spurenleser“ konnte an Hand unserer Spuren erkennen, wo wir uns überall herumgetrieben hatten, ob wir uns auf die Skulpturen gesetzt hatten, wie viele durch die Steine hindurchgeklettert waren und welche Pfade wir dann eingeschlagen hatten. Auf dem Boden war so eine Art „Oktopus“ entstanden, golden leuchtend und ein bisschen feierlich, hier war auch ich, so eine Art «Selfie».


symbolisieren. Man kann sie nicht ausstellen und nicht im Museum einlagern, weil die Materialien per se nicht dazu geeignet sind. Nach dem Trocknen fällt alles herunter, der Wind verteilt die Kunstwerke und die/der Künstler/in ist gar erleichtert darüber, vielleicht auch die Nachwelt. Aber die/der Künstler/in kann jeden Tag wieder aktiv werden. Gerade während des Schreibens meines Essays fand eine Ausstellung in Pratteln statt. Diese war den Künstlern gewidmet, die hauptsächlich in Basel keine Ausstellungsmöglichkeiten bisher hatten. Hier bin ich zwei Aktionskünstlern begegnet, die genau in die Rubrik „Gegenwartskunst“ passen. Der eine Künstler, Hansruedi Schlegel, arbeitete mit Video-, Klang- und Lichtinstallationen, der andere, Thomas Ribas, hatte das Konzept, bisherige Aggregatszustände zu verändern und diese Ve r ä n d e r u n g s i c h t b a r z u m a c h e n . D i e s e r Aktionskünstler will das Unsichtbare sichtbar machen. Seine Installation zeigte die Veränderungen von Eis, Licht und Wasser als Projektionen auf einer grossen Leinwand. Der Betrachter konnte das Tauen als Lichtund Schattenspiel beobachten, er sah, wie eine wundersam grosse „Eisblume“ sich dauernd verändert, immer neue Gebilde hervorbringt und doch dem Ende entgegengeht.

Auch in Indien habe ich diese spontanen, temporären Kunstwerke entdeckt. An einem Fluss sah ich Steinplatten aufgeschichtet, ganz nahe zum Wasser. Wie lange blieben sie stehen? Im Prinzip war das unwichtig, nur das Tun war das Erlebnis bis hin zu spirituellen Empfindungen. Ein anderes Mal sah ich die Werke der Bäuerinnen. Sie hatten den Kuhdung mit Sand und Kohle gemischt, diese Mischung dann zu kleinen Fladen geformt und an die Hauswände geworfen. Wenn die Hauswände zum Trocknen nicht ausreichten, dann wurden die umliegenden alten, dicken Mangobäume mit der Dungmasse bzw. dem Brennstoff «verziert». Besonders auffallend waren diese Verzierungen an den Bäumen. Eine europäische Künstlerin hat diese Idee als Kunstausdruck aufgegriffen und Drachenbäume mit kleinen Mörtelkegeln verziert. Ich selbst habe mit Kindern aus Erde und Wasser kleine Matschfladen hergestellt, die wir an Baumstämme geworfen oder auch sanft daran geklebt haben, je nach Temperament. Diese Technik macht viel Spass, ist besonders im Hochsommer geeignet, die Kinder an künstlerisches Arbeiten heranzuführen. Sollen diese Kunstwerke wie auch gebaute Sandburgen etwas länger halten, eignet sich dazu besonders Tapetenkleister, den man in kleinen Mengen der Sand- und Wassermischung dazugibt. In Rajasthan bemalen meist Frauen und junge Mädchen die Hauswände mit kunstvollen Verzierungen aus bunten Sand- und Erdmassen. Auch die überaus kunstvollen Boden- und Wandmalereien zu Hochzeiten, religiösen Veranstaltungen oder als religiöse Andacht gestalteten Ornamente, genannt „Alpanas“, sollen hier kurz erwähnt werden. Oft sind sie direkt vor die Haustür gemalt und haben besondere Bedeutungen. Beide zuletzt genannten kreativen Aktivitäten sind meiner Meinung nach auch «contemporary arts», da sie nicht für die Ewigkeit gemacht sind und gute Wünsche oder Gebete

Nun wende ich mich noch kurz den Künstlern der Gegenwart zu, die der modernen Kunst angehören. Ein Maler malt, ein Dichter schreibt und ein Musiker komponiert. Noch nie war die Wahl der Arbeitsweise eines Künstlers so frei wie heute. Jeder Künstler arbeitet nach seinem Herzen und Kopf. Ich bin der Überzeugung, dass das immer so war. Der Maler macht eine Vorgabe, das Publikum zieht nach oder auch nicht, der Zeitgeschmack verändert sich. Auch der Maler ändert sich und ändert damit oft seinen künstlerischen Ausdruck. Ein Journalist stellte bei einer Fernsehdiskussion fest, dass das heutige Publikum es besonders schwer habe, sich für ein Kunstwerk zu entscheiden, da eine nie dagewesene Bilderflut den Markt überschwemme. Als Malmittel ist heute dem Maler alles erlaubt. Er darf alles anwenden, was ihr/ihm gerade in den Sinn kommt. Er malt mit Ölfarben, streut Sand darüber oder malt mit Aquarellfarben und kippt das Tuschefass darauf. Vor hundert Jahren hätte das nicht nur einen

Drone over Basel





Aufschrei verursacht, es hätte auch den Ausschluss aus der Aquarellmalergilde zur Folge gehabt. Heute werden die Farben nur noch selten mit dem Pinsel verteilt, sehr oft werden die Farben ausgegossen, mit einem Stock aufgetropft (dripping) und mit einem Lappen verwischt. Da wird die Farbe mit einer Holz- oder Kunststoffleiste quer über die gesamte Malfläche gezogen, nach dem Trocknen wieder abgekratzt und stellenweise wird wieder Farbe darauf gespachtelt. Sehr bekannt wurde Gerhard Richter mit dieser Technik. Er lebt und arbeitet in Köln mit mehreren Malergehilfen und erzielt die Höchstpreise eines lebenden Künstlers, ca. 60 bis 90 Millionen pro Werk.

Der Gegenwarts-Maler überrascht sein Publikum mit Zufallstechniken. Wie er zu diesen Techniken kommt, ist meist die erste Frage des Betrachters. Dabei kann es sich wirklich um eine zufallsproduzierende Technik handeln, aber auch um eine zufällige Eingebung. Bei der Eingebung überschreitet der Künstler seine Bewusstseinsgrenzen und malt in Trance aus dem Unterbewusstsein heraus. Trotzdem schläft er nicht während der Arbeit und reagiert blitzschnell auf Motivund Farbkombinationen. Wunderbares kann dabei geschaffen, aber auch sofort unwiederbringlich vernichtet werden. Diese Malerei ist sehr anstrengend und kann nicht sofort und jederzeit ausgeführt werden. Trotzdem ist es mir eine der liebsten Arbeitsmethoden. Diese abstrakte Malerei ist nicht abrufbar, und wann dieser Flow kommt, ist nicht berechenbar. Man erlebt die Geburt eines Kunstwerkes, und das ist das Mystische: «art just happens». Der Künstler malt mit 3 bis 5 Farbschichten, die miteinander in Korrelation stehen. Die Farbschichten werden nicht einfach durch eine neue überdeckt. Ein Motiv aus der ersten Schicht hat noch Anteil am Gesamtkunstwerk. Ein solches Werk ist nicht kopierbar. Einer meiner Kursteilnehmer sagte einmal, ob man sich bei dieser Art der Malerei den Psychiater ersparen könnte. Ich hatte zu dieser Zeit viele Patienten und Ärzte als Kursteilnehmer, da die Klinik gleich neben den Kursräumen lag. Ich meine, mit jeder Art von Malerei ist eine Art von Befreiung aus Zwängen und Angsthaltungen möglich, genauso wie mit anderen Arten von kreativen Beschäftigungen, ob das nun Töpferarbeiten sind oder Singen und Musizieren, Gedichte schreiben oder Weben. Sogar der Grossputz im Frühjahr dient nicht nur der «äusseren Re i n i g u n g » , s o n d e r n a u c h d e m « i n n e r e n Reinemachen», wenn auch der Erfolg nur temporär besteht. So bleibe zumindest ich lieber bei der Malerei, zumal damit mehr Anerkennung zu verdienen ist. Gerne erzähle ich von einer Anekdote, die mir Hanspeter Münch erzählt hat. Er ist ein Maler, der in Ettlingen bei Karlsruhe lebt und arbeitet. Er berichtete von einem Auftrag, den er für die Stadt Ettlingen ausführte. Er sollte eine grössere Fläche bemalen, nämlich die Decke der Stadthalle. Dafür hätte er eigentlich ein Gerüst benötigt und, wie die alten Meister, auf dem Rücken liegend an der Decke malen müssen. Das schien ihm eine grässliche Vorstellung, weil diese Art zu malen körperlich sehr anstrengend und auch zeitaufwändig ist. Er sagte sich, ein moderner Maler wirft die Farben, malt zwischendurch, entfernt und malt wieder neue Farben darüber. So stellte er Überlegungen an und stand dabei auf dem Balkon der Stadthalle. Er schaute hinunter und dachte, der Boden hat ja dieselben Abmessungen wie die Decke, und die Farben könnte er ja vom Balkon aus hinunterwerfen. Gedacht, getan. Er legte eine Leinwand aus, die er dann im bemalten Zustand an die Decke montieren wollte. Die Farben standen dann alle auf dem Balkon und die Arbeit konnte beginnen. Er hatte sich auf zwei Farben begrenzt und sowohl helle als auch dunkle Mischungen daraus hergestellt. Das Motiv sollte ein heller Himmel werden aus den Farben Hellblau, Goldfarben bis Hellgelb. Als Gelb nahm er die Farbe „Lichten Ocker“, damit der Himmel nicht plötzlich grün wird durch die Blau- und Gelbtöne. Als er die zwei ersten Farbdosen hinuntergeworfen hatte, überkam ihn der Schrecken. Er fürchtete, wie er das denn einfach so machen könne, das viele Geld für die

Weitere Methoden sind das Sprayen aus Farbdosen, das Aufschiessen von Farbpatronen aus einem Gewehr, oder es werden Farbexplosionen erzeugt, indem Spraydosen gewaltsam geöffnet werden und durch die Wucht des Gasaustritts die Farbe explosionsartig über den Malgrund verteilt wird (Hinweis: Bitte nicht ohne Schutzkleidung und Gesichtsmaske arbeiten und Kinder schon gar nicht ausprobieren lassen!). Die Kinder könnten aber grossflächig Farben auf ein grosses Stück Packpapier verteilen, und dann mit dem Fahrrad darüberfahren. Das Sprayen mit Farbdosen ist heute ein Kunstbegriff unter dem Namen «street art» geworden, früher war es nur eine Sachbeschädigung. Zum Ausprobieren eignet sich jedes Material, solange es Privateigentum ist. Heute gibt es Aufträge an Spraykünstler, die auf Leinwände sprayen, auch Hausfassaden dekorieren und sogar im Hotelzimmer nicht nur die Wände, sondern das gesamte Interieur dekorieren, einschliesslich der Betten samt Steppdecken und Kissen. Dazu sollte man unbedingt die Arbeiten von dem britischen Künstler Banksy anschauen. Neu eröffnet wurde das Hotel „Walled Off Hotel“ in Bethlehem mit einigen seiner Werke. Aber Achtung, jeder Besucher muss tausend Dollar als Kaution hinterlegen! In Basel lassen sich Spraykunstwerke an speziell genehmigten Wänden entlang der Bahnlinien bewundern. Ganz besonders möchte ich auf die Unterführung kurz vor dem St. Jakob-Stadion hinweisen. Die Kunstwerke lassen sich vom Tram der Linie 14 heraus gut besichtigen. Dieser Parcours der SBB ist sogar ausgewiesen und kostet nichts. In Muttenz hat eine Firma an der Bahnhofstrasse die Gestaltung einer Fassade in Auftrag gegeben, deren Malereien einen Bezug zur Produktion der Firma herstellen. Auch bei der oben genannten Ausstellung in Pratteln wurden g rosse Fassadenflächen an Nachbargebäuden bemalt. Die Spraykünstler hatten an den 4 Tagen bei 15 000 qm Gebäudeflächen viel zu tun. Fassaden- und Wandmalereien sind schon sehr lange eine Kunst auf der ganzen Welt. Besonders gelungen finde ich die Fassadenmalereien in Rajasthan, die meist von Frauen ausgeführt werden. Sie bemalen die Hauswände nach ihren eigenen spontanen Einfällen. In Marokko bemalen meistens Männer die Hausfassaden und viele haben daraus eine Einnahmequelle geschaffen. Sie malen meist nach alten, traditionellen Kunstsymbolen. Auch der österreichische Künstler Hundertwasser hat die alte Tradition der „Lüftlmalerei“ an modernen Gebäuden aufleben lassen und hat eine Verbindung zur Natur hergestellt. 134

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 Leinwand sei ja kaputt und die Aufgabe ihm doch eigentlich zu gross. Seine Gedanken belasteten ihn sehr, als er die Treppe hinunterrannte. Er nahm sofort mehrere Tücher, kniete am Boden, um die versprengte Farbe wegzuwischen. Er wischte angstvoll, aber die Leinwand wurde nicht mehr sauber. Jetzt machte er die Entdeckung, dass genau diese Wischerei der Weg zum Erfolg war. Es war die richtige Technik, um den Himmel mit den Mitteln einer grossflächigen Lasur darzustellen. Er führte diese Technik weiter, die er jetzt am Boden und nicht mehr auf dem Balkon ausführte. Die Decke ist in der Stadthalle Ettlingen installiert und wird sehr bewundert. Die Fa. Würth, mit dem Museum in Arlesheim, ist Sammlerin seiner Bilder. Ein anderer Maler, Peter Baer, heute 80 Jahre alt, arbeitet und lebt in Basel. Seit etwa 10 Jahren malt er grossflächig nach seinen Eingebungen und lässt grosse weisse Flächen zwischen den verhältnismässig kleinen Farbflächen frei. Im Januar und Februar 2017 hatte er eine grosse Ausstellung mit 50 Werken in Basel. Eine ältere Malerin, die in Basel sehr bekannt ist, heisst Schwester Maria Raphaela Bürgi. Sie ist eine Nonne und malte bis ins Alter von 80 Jahren sehr abstrakt, mit leuchtend kräftigen und hellen Farben grossformatige Bilder, sie machte Entwürfe für Kirchenfenster und für Altardecken. Im Kloster hatte sie ein grossräumiges Atelier und weitere Unterstützungen durch ihre Kongregation, die ihr Kunstreisen und Ausstellungen ermöglichte. Sie malte mit Ölfarben grossflächige Bilder und kleinere Arbeiten in Aquarellfarben. Ich staune heute noch über ihre hellbunten, abstrakten Gärten, die sehr beruhigend und nicht überladen wirken. Ihre pinkroten oder in blau gemalten Frauenfiguren sind ebenso etwas Spezielles in ihren Gärten und Landschaften. Altersbedingt malt sie inzwischen nicht mehr.

Künstlers und seiner Arbeiten? Dazu kann man sagen, ja, es gibt eine Akzeptanz in der Öffentlichkeit und in der Politik. Viele Gemeinden stellen Räume für Ausstellungen zur Verfügung. Gemeinden und Behörden geben auch Aufträge oder kaufen Kunstwerke für ihre Büroräume und für öffentliche Plätze. Besonders grosse Aufträge vergeben Firmen und Industrieunternehmen. Zu jeder Ausstellung kommt sehr viel Publikum, sowohl Kunstschaffende besuchen die Ausstellungen als auch Kunstinteressierte. Kunst ist eine Geldanlage. Jetzt kommt das Aber! Nur die Kunst wird angekauft, die von bereits bekannten Künstlern erstellt worden ist. Man nennt das eine Minimierung des Risikos. Kunst von unbekannten oder noch unbekannten Künstlern wird nicht gekauft und nicht in Ausstellungen aufgenommen. Viele Kunstsammler sind keine Mäzene, sie kaufen nur Kunst von bekannten und schon sehr teuren Künstlern. Das ausgegebene Geld soll ja bald wieder hereinkommen, möglichst mit riesigem Gewinn. Diese Strategie geht auf. Es gibt viele neue Millionäre und Milliardäre, die nur durch Strategien zu sicherem Gewinn gekommen sind und nicht durch hohe Risikobereitschaft. Armand Hammer, der bekannte Finanz- und Börsenstratege, beschreibt in seinem Buch, dass er Geld immer breit gestreut habe, genauso wie ein Bauer den Mist auf dem Feld. Mein Tipp dazu ist lieber einen einzigen Monet kaufen und 10 Jahre warten. Es funktioniert auch umgekehrt: Der verstorbene Milliardär Gunther Sachs hatte den noch unbekannten Künstler Andy Warhol nach Hamburg eingeladen. Über 30 Arbeiten wurden ausgestellt und er konnte kein einziges verkaufen. Sachs hatte sehr viel Mitleid und kaufte alle. Danach machte er die entsprechende Werbung, um nicht auf den Bildern sitzenzubleiben und konnte bei seinen Unternehmerfreunden die meisten teurer weiterverkaufen. Er sagte immer, er habe den Warhol gemacht. Ein Millionär kann ja nicht irren. Auch so funktioniert Kunstmarkt. Und wer ist eigentlich und endlich Mäzen der meisten Künstler? Sie/er selbst! Durch noch mehr Arbeitseinsatz, durch einen Broterwerb und – durch einen verständnisvollen Partner. Arbeitsteilung ist heute ja grossgeschrieben. Nietzsche sagte, eine Nation ohne Kultur verliere die Zivilisation und sei dem Untergang geweiht. Also, lasst uns malen und singen und musizieren oder Tennis spielen, alles uns zur Freude und auch den anderen!

Die moderne Kunst, ob abstrakt oder gegenständlich, hat einen Vergangenheitsbezug. Sie ist eine Entwicklung der Malerei und wurde von Kandinsky auf den Nenner gebracht: vom Punkt zur Linie, zur Fläche. Weit davor hat schon van Gogh mit dieser Wertigkeit gearbeitet. Von seinen Kollegen wurde er stark kritisiert, die technisch noch die Fläche bearbeiteten, wie zum Beispiel Gauguin. Aus Freunden wurden dabei sogar Feinde. Van Gogh blieb dabei seine Flächen zu strukturieren. Eine weitere wichtige Frage ist die wirtschaftliche: wie arbeiten und wie leben sie, d i e Kü n s t l e r ? W i e fi n a n z i e r e n s i e i h r e n Lebensunterhalt? Gibt es eine nationale Akzeptanz des


h #s

v sa


t du


In Tamil Nadu, ‘Golu’ is celebrated at a time when Durga Puja is being celebrated in eastern India. Many hundreds of idols -small and large- are decorated and arranged on a makeshift staircase especially built for the purpose. The arrangement can be likened to a gallery or even a diorama. Some arrangements might seek to depict scenes from mythology while some might seek to portray scenarios from the present day.



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50 Jahre in Langnau ein Dorf im Wandel der Zeit Claudia Haag Familienfrau und Leiterin der Bibliothek Langnau Kontakt:


Eine freie Kindheit in Langnau Anfangs der 70iger Jahre gab es immer noch viele Menschen die nicht Auto fuhren, die Geleise der Sihltalbahn reichten noch nicht einmal bis zum Hauptbahnhof sondern endeten im Bahnhof Selnau. Wo l l t e m a n d a m a l s m i t d e n ö f f e n t l i c h e n Verkehrsmitteln weiter als bis nach Zürich fahren, musste man einen 20 minütigen Fussmarsch zwischen Selnau und Hauptbahnhof in Kauf nehmen. Also erledigte man den grössten Teil der Einkäufe lieber zu Fuss im Dorf. Die Läden schlossen dazumal über Mittag und am Mittwoch und am Samstag bereits um 12 Uhr. Überhaupt war das Leben in meiner Wahrnehmung damals ruhiger und beschaulicher, wohl nicht nur in Langnau….

grünen Sihltal, eingebettet zwischen dem Albis,

dem Zimmerberg und dem Wildpark, liegt Langnau, eine Gemeinde mit rund 7500 Einwohnern. Zürich ist nah und im 10 Minuten Takt mit der Sihltalbahn einfach zu erreichen. Trotz der Nähe zur Stadt hat Langnau seinen dörflichen Charakter beibehalten aber e i n l e b e n d i g e s D o r fl e b e n i s t k e i n e Selbstverständlichkeit mehr. Veränderungen Als meine Eltern 1969 mit mir aus den USA nach Langnau imigrierten war ich knapp 4 Jahre alt. Langnau zählte damals 4800 Einwohner. Nur der Dorfteil um den Bahnhof und das heutige Dorfzentrum waren damals besiedelt. Der ganze Rest war grün, grün und nochmals grün, es gab Weizenfelder, einige Bauernbetriebe und viele kleine Fachgeschäfte. Neben mehreren Bäckereien, Metzgereien und Restaurants gab es auch einen Schuhmacher, einen Schuhverkäufer, eine Papeterie, Ve l o m e c h a n i k e r , R a d i o - T V - G e s c h ä f t , Elektrofachgeschäfte, zwei Drogerien und sogar einen Uhren- und Schmuckhändler. In der Nähe des Schwerzisaals, dort wo heute jeweils die Swisspuja stattfindet, gab es eine Molkerei, dort brachten die B a u e r n z we i m a l t ä g l i ch d i e Ku h m i l ch z u r Weiterverarbeitung hin. Wir Kinder wurden mit dem „Kesseli“ in die Molkerei zum Milch holen geschickt. Heute haben es kleine Fachgeschäfte in Langnau schwierig und es gibt auch nicht mehr viele davon. Sie kämpfen mit hohen Mieten und schwindenden Umsätzen. Trotzdem gibt es glücklicherweise zwei Grossverteiler, Apotheke, Drogerie, einen Comestible und zwei Bäckereien, so dass die Langnauer (noch) nicht gezwungen werden, für den alltäglichen Einkauf in die Nachbardörfer zu fahren. Dies ist aber nicht selbstverständlich, der Ticketschalter am Bahnhof fiel 2016 der Sparwut zum Opfer, die Schliessung der Poststelle ist ebenfalls ein Thema. Das nächste grosse Einkaufszentrum–Sihlcity- in Zürich ist mit dem Auto in knapp 10 Minuten erreichbar und bedeutet eine grosse Konkurrenz für die Dorfläden.

In meiner Kindheit gab es noch wenig privaten Verkehr im Dorf, wir Kinder wurden nirgends hin chauffiert und auch nirgends abgeholt, da ja die meisten Mütter das Autofahren nicht beherrschten. Es gab keine Kontrollanrufe übers Mobile und auch lange Schulwege zu Fuss waren kein Thema zum diskutieren. Wir spielten meistens draussen auf der Strasse, badeten in der Sihl oder bauten eine Hütte im Wald. Bereits vier- jährige Kinder durften selbständig nach draussen zum Spielen. Auf dem Albispass gab es damals noch einen Skilift und in schneereichen Wintern fuhren wir mit den Skiern bis hinunter nach Langnau. Es standen uns Kindern also mehr Natur, mehr Freiraum zu Verfügung, dafür waren andere Möglichkeiten der Bildung und der Freizeitsbeschäftigung im Vergleich zu heute eingeschränkt. In der Grundschule wurden noch keine Fremdsprachen gelehrt. –Erst in der Oberstufe wurden wir in der französischen Sprache unterrichtet, die englische Sprache war leider noch kein Thema. Auch hatten nur wenige Jugendliche damals die Gelegenheit ins Gymnasium aufgenommen zu werden. In der Freizeit konnte lediglich zwischen dem Fussballclub, dem Turnverein oder verschiedenen Jugendorganisationen, wie z.B. den Pfadfindern ausgewählt werden. Mit anderen Kulturen kamen wir wenig in Kontakt, es gab fast „nur“ italienische Gastarbeiter. Spaghetti galten noch als etwas Exotisches. Heute leben in Langnau ca. 24% Ausländer aus unzähligen Nationen, in einem Schulhaus gibt es gegen 60% Kinder mit Migrationshintergrund. 137


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 meiner Kindheit. Das Dazugehören zu einem lokalen Verein oder zu einer Gruppierung ist nicht mehr zwingend nötig um ein Hobby auszuüben. Es gibt auch die Möglichkeit individuell zu trainieren oder im Chor der nächst grösseren Ortschaft mitzusingen. Trotz aller Angebote ist Littering und Vandalismus durch Jugendliche mitten im Dorf verbreitet. Nichtsdestotrotz gibt es in Langnau eine grosse Anzahl von Menschen, die viel persönliches Engagement betreiben für ein lebendiges Dorfleben und gegen die Anonymität. Wenn sich Neuzuzüger am Dorfleben beteiligen möchten gibt es unzählige Plattformen um dies zu tun. Die lokalen Politiker sind an Dorfanlässen mit dabei und lassen sich auch gerne auf politische Disskussionen ein. Langnau hat eine gute Grösse, man kann hier in Ruhe und anonym leben wenn man das wünscht, man kann sich aber auch in die Dorfgemeinschaft integrieren, aktiv mitmachen und sehr viele Menschen kennenlernen.

Langnau heute, immer noch ein attraktiver Wohnort Fast 50 Jahre später lebe ich immer noch in Langnau und es fühlt sich im Vergleich zu meiner Kindheit zwar komplett verändert aber immer noch sehr gut an. Der Bauboom setzte Ende der sechziger Jahre ein und mittlerweile gibt es nur noch wenig verfügbare Bauflächen. Die Immobilienpreise gehören in dieser Gegend zu den höchsten in der Schweiz. Die Nähe zu Zürich und zum Flughafen ist wohl einer der Hauptgründe. Ein weiterer Standortvorteil von Langnau ist sicherlich die natürliche Umgebung. Zürichsee- und Türlersee sind in einigen Minuten e r r e i c h b a r. D e r S i h l w a l d , d e r g r ö s s t e zusammenhängende Mischwald der Schweiz, liegt vor den Toren Langnaus. Und mit dem Tierpark Langnau und dem Naturzentrum Sihlwald bietet Langnau attraktive Ausflugsziele, auch für Auswärtige. Die heutigen Kinder sind beschäftigter, durchgeplanter und wohl auch in der Schule mehr gefordert als ich das in meiner Jugend war. Das heutige Langnau zählt 66 Vereine, es gibt ein Hallenbad, eine grosse Indoorhalle für diverse Ballsportarten, einen Kunstrasen, eine Inlinehockeyanlage, eine Ludothek, eine moderne Bibliothek, Freizeitskurse, einen Jugendclub, ein lebendiges Kleintheater usw. Trotzdem sind die einzelnen Vereine und Organisationen besorgt über den schwindenden Nachwuchs. Durch die erhöhte Mobilität, den grösseren Wohlstand und die vielfältigen Möglichkeiten scheint es heute schwieriger, ein aktives und lebendiges Dorfleben zu erhalten als noch während

Wenn Sie, sehr geehrte Gäste der Swisspuja also dieses Jahr Langnau besuchen, planen Sie etwas mehr Zeit ein, unternehmen Sie einen Spaziergang im Sihlwald oder fahren Sie auf den Albispass und bewundern die Aussicht über den Zürichsee und weit in die Berge hinein. Essen Sie im indischen Restaurant gleich neben dem Bahnhof oder besuchen die Wölfe und viele andere heimische Tierarten im nahen Wildpark. Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch und heissen Sie herzliche Willkommen in Langnau, einem typischen Dorf, dass exemplarisch für viele andere Dörfer in Schweizer Agglomerationen steht.-




Selma und die Integration Usha Palit eine Malerin aus Profession, eine pensionierte Lehrerin, die immer noch gerne Malreisen und Reisen zu internationalen Gartenausstellungen veranstaltet. Ab und zu erzählt sie aus ihrem Tagebuch. Kontakt:

die Tochter einer Nachbarin. Mutter und Tochter leben alleine und sind Flüchtlinge. Die Mutter arbeitet noch stundenweise als Haushaltshilfe. Sicher bekommt sie auch Sozialhilfe, denn das Geld als Aushilfe würde sicher nicht reichen.“ Frau Simmenberg bekommt jetzt eine weiche, mitleidsvolle Stimme, als sie weitererzählt, dass die Kleine einen schlimmen Autounfall hatte und dabei mehrere Beckenbrüche und anderes erlitten hatte. Frau Simmenberg berichtet mir weiter: „ Selma und ihre Mutter wollten die Strasse überqueren und blieben am Fussgängerüberweg stehen, um noch ein Auto vorbeizulassen.


ine liebe Bekannte hatte mich angerufen.

Leider war ich nicht zu Hause. Gerne habe ich sie zurückgerufen. Ich freue mich immer auf sie, auf das Gespräch mit ihr und auf ihre informativen Berichte. Ihr gepflegtes Äusseres spiegelt ihr Inneres, sowohl in der Sprache als auch im Umgang mit anderen. Sie war einige Jahre Auslandsschweizerin, davon lebte sie 9 Jahre in Schweden, in einer sehr schwierigen Zeit. Gerade als der grosse Krieg zu Ende war, bekam ihr Mann einen Auftrag, in Schweden zu arbeiten. Sie hat sicher dazu beigetragen, dass die Pommes frites in Schweden bekannt wurden, die damals in den Familien noch selten auf den Tisch kamen. Doch das ist eine weitere Story wert. Meine Bekannte ist schon über 90 Jahre alt, einen Meter und achtzig gross und schlank auch ohne Diäten und Sport, geschmackvoll und chic ist ihre Kleidung und sie hat viel Freude an herzhaftem Essen. Geistig ist sie rege, wie viele heute noch nie waren. Ihre Genen, ihre Herkunft aus dem Simmental und die Bereitschaft ihrer Familie, die Kontakte zu ihr zu pflegen, tragen sicher viel dazu bei. Jeden Donnerstag wird sie vormittags zum Mittagessen abgeholt und abends wieder zurückgebracht. So bleibt die Nähe zu Tochter, Grosskind und Urgrossenkel lebhaft, trotz der Distanz von Wettingen zu Bern.

Der Fahrer interpretierte das falsch und wollte hinter ihnen herum weiterfahren. Dabei fuhr er sogar etwas über den Gehweg und erfasste beide. Die Tochter, an der Hand der Mutter, erwischte es schlimmer. Bis zum Herbst musste die Kleine an Krücken gehen. Sie hat allen so leidgetan. Ich habe ihr einen Osterhasen geschenkt und zwischendurch auch mal Kleinigkeiten. Die Kleine spricht schon sehr gut, die Mutter noch etwas holprig Deutsch. Und heute brachte mir die Kleine ein Kuvert und eine kleine Bastelei aus dem Kindergarten. Auf der Karte stand „Frohe Weihnachten und ich wünsche mir eine Oma. Willst du meine Oma sein?“ Jööööh, so herzig! Was sollte ich sagen? Ablehnen geht doch nicht. Ich sagte ihr einfach „Ja, gerne möchte ich deine Oma sein.“ Und ich freue mich so sehr, wenn sie wiederkommt.“

Ku r z vo r We i h n a ch t e n b e r i ch t e t m i r Fr a u Simmenberg, so heisst meine Bekannte, von ihrem schönen Erlebnis mit dem kleinen Nachbarmädchen, das ihr eine so grosse Freude bereitet hat.

Das ist eine so schöne Weihnachtsbotschaft, die für das ganze Jahr eine frohe Botschaft ist, und deshalb unbedingt weitererzählt werden soll.

„Stellen Sie sich vor“, erzählt sie mir, „ heute Nachmittag hat es an meiner Tür geklingelt und die kleine Selma fragte, ob sie hereinkommen darf. Sie ist




ি"েকেটর আেবাল তােবাল Saradindu Mitra, Engineer, now retired, has four grandchildren, lives with his wife in Switzerland since 1961. Contact:


মুরিলধরেনর ৮০০ উইেকট (IND-SRI, July 2010)

ত বড় রŋ দাd, এত বড় রŋ,

মুৈথয়া মুরিলধরন আটেশা উইেকট তুিম কিরেল পূরন। েতামার িsেনর দাঁত, তােত ভারত হল kেপাকাত। েতামার ৮০০ তম উইেকট হল ওঝা, তােত 2তামার সােথ সবাই 2পল খুব মজা। আমার অিভনnন, এই ছড়া’য় রইেলা িমেশ, কিরও gহন। মুরিলধরেনর কথা অমৃত সমান, শরিদnd িমt 2লেখ, পেড় পূণKবান।।

চার মজা 2দখােত পােরা যােবা 2তামার সŋ। খাওয়ার মজা, 2খলার মজা, আর মজা সব রাজনীিতর dnd, তার 2চেয় 2বশী মজা িkেকেটর সব আেবাল তােবাল ছn। শচীন বnনাঃ(October 2010)

শচীন 2তNুলকর, চািরিদেক তার জয়জয়কার, Hধু 2বালাররা কের হাহাকার। শচীন 2তNুলকর, আহামির বKািটং-এর িক বাহার, েবালার আর িফlারেদর কের ছারখার। শচীন 2তNুলকর, িkেকেটর sরকার িবপেkর 2খেলায়াড়রা 2দেখ অnকার। শচীন 2তNুলকর, নাই 2কান অহংকার, যিদ পােরা ওর 2খলা 2দেখা একবার। শচীন-বnনা অমৃতসমান, শরিদnd িমt 2লেখ, পেড় পূণKবান।।

আেরা িকছু আেবাল তােবাল চুটকী (SA – ENG T20/2016)

দিkণ আিoকার দািড়ওয়ালা আমলা, কের বড় হামলা। েশেষ এল ইংলKাNর দািড়ওয়ালা আিল, েয িদল আমলার মুেখ চুন-কািল। IND-AUS T20/2016

িবরাট 2কাহিলর দাপেট, অেTিলয়া 2গল 2ফেট। েকাহিল 2খলেছ চমৎকার, সবাই বলেছ 2স হেব িdতীয় 2তNুলকর।

িkেকেটর িলমািরk (Cricket Limericks) (IPL MUM. – DEC. CHARGER March 2010)

েতNুলকর, আবার তুিম 2খলেল চমৎকার; েততািlশ বেল প[াn রান ওঠােল, ডুেব 2গল 2ডকান চাজ`ার। হরভজন, তুিম 2দখােল বেট pলয় নাচন; ১৮ বেল ৪৯ রান ওঠােল Hিনেয় িদেল বKািটং-এর মহাসংকীত`ন।

IND – ENG (3rd ODI/2013)

আবার জােদজা, এবাের 2দখােল তুিম 2বািলং-র মজা। েকাহিল িবরাট, রাঁচীর মােঠ হেল তুিম মহান সmাট। pথেম িছল 2কািচ, পের হল রাঁচী, ইংলKাNেক িখঁচুিড় খাইেয় 2ধািনরা 2খেলা লুিচ। িkেকেটর কথা অমৃতসমান, েতামরা পাঠক, 2তামরা মহান।।




ম-ল বনী Dipty Roy

She is a houswife. She is writing poems for few years. Few of her poems are available at link- Contact:

মhয়ার ঐ মেদর 2নশায়, নাচেবা সবাই চলনা 2সথায়। েমৗমািছরা gনgিনেয়,gেv gেv ধায়।

hয়া বেনর মাতাল হাওয়া বইেছ এেলােমেলা,

ডমr, ঝমr, rমিক, ঝুমিক সবাই জুেট ভাই, আয়ের 2সথা নাচিব যিদ, মাতাল হেয় যাই।

মhয়া ফুেলর মধু 2খেয় 2মৗমািছরা এেলা। মhল ফুেল জেমেছ 2মৗ, পুেv অিল gিvেছ ঐ, গােছর তলায় িবছােনা ঐ মhল ফুেলর ছই।

মhল ফুেলর গেn মাতাল, মাতাল হেয় আজ, চলনা 2সথায় যাইেগা সবাই 2ফেল হােতর কাজ।

মাতলা হাওয়ায় 2মেতেছ আজ 2ছেল, বুেড়ার দল, েবৗ-িঝেয়রা 2কামর 2বঁেধ, মhল kড়াই চল।

েমৗ-মািছরা gনgিনেয়, gvের 2যথায়, দল 2বঁেধ আয়, চলনা 2সথা, 2মা'ল kড়ােত যাই।

মhয়া ৰেনর ফুেলর 2নশায় মাতাল হব মুই, মাতাল হেব কিচ-কাচা, দাদা-িদিদ, সই।

gvিরয়া আেস অিল, পুেv পুেv ধায়, মhল ফুেলর মাতাল হাওয়ায় 2ভামরা ছুেট যায়।

েমেঘেদর কথা Srabani Dey Masters in Economics Hailing from Cooch-Behar, North Bengal Kathak & Bharat Natyam Dancer by training Loves writing from childhood Has interest in Photography Lives in Bern since mid 2010 Email:

Hেনিছ, বাউNুেল 2মেঘরা নািক অকম`ার 2ঢঁিক। আকােশর এক pাn 2থেক অn pােn ঘুেরই 2বড়ায় 2কবল-অথ`হীন, উেd…িবহীন। Hধু ভাসেব বেলই ভাসেত থােক িদেনর পর িদন। ডানায় মুk-আকাশ 2মেখ ওরা ইে‡-আলাদীন।



েমধাবী 2মেঘ নািক বৃি| হয়না। তারা নািক অরণK 2পিরেয়, পাহাড় ছুঁেয় পািড় 2দয় দূরেদেশ। ওখােন নািক তােদর আরও অেনক মহৎ কাজ। Hেনিছ, েবাকা 2মেঘরাই নািক বৃি| ঝরায়। গােয় 2সাঁদা গn 2মেখ আঁকেড় থােক িনেজর মািট। sp 2দেখ, শরেতর 2মঘ হেয় জnােব বেল। নীল খােম িশউিলর গn ভের পd-পুkের, কচুরীপানায়, কােশর বেন েপৗঁেছ 2দেব আগমনীর বাত`া।

Hধু, েমধাবী 2মেঘর অহŋাের পুড়িছ যখন 2রাজ, ওই বাউNুেল 2মঘ-ই আেন বৃি|-বািড়র 2খাঁজ। যখন, িবষাদ-পাড়ায় অনামী অেনক অrমতীর িভড়, ওই বাউNুেল 2মঘ-ই ভাসায় ইে‡নদীর তীর।





বস#িবহারী পািলত

ভারgs না হেয় 2স সমােজ pিতিœত হেব। রাsার িকছু 2লাক দাঁিড়েয় আমােদর dজনেক 2দখিছল। ওরা ভাবিছল, আমরা আবজ`নার কােছ দাঁিড়েয় িক এমন কথা বলিছ? 2সজn আিম 2ছেলিটেক বললাম, “আয়, আমরা ফুটপােথর ওপর উেঠ কথা বলব। 2তার সেŋ আমার িকছু কথা আেছ।“ ফুটপােথর এক pােn িগেয় আিম িজjাসা করলাম, “hাঁের 2তার নাম িক?”

“বাবা মা আমােক রামু বেল ডাকত।“

“2তার িন“য়ই একটা ভাল নাম আেছ।“

“আমার Hধু একটাই নাম আেছ।“

“2তার বাবার নাম িক?”

“দীেনশ।“ “আর মা’র নাম?” “লkী।“

“2তার বাবা মা িক কের।“

“িভেk কের।“

“িভেk পাওয়া িক সহজ?”

“না, 2মােটই না। বািড়র দরজায় িগেয় িভেk চাইেল গৃহsরা মুখ িখঁিচেয় তািড়েয় 2দয়। তারা বেল ‘িভেk না কের কাজ কর না 2কন?’ আমার বাবা মা কাজ করেত রাজী িছল, দরকার হেল িঝ চাকেরর কাজও করেত রাজী িছল। িকnt তারা িভেkও পায় িন, চাকিরও পায় িন।“

“রামু, 2তার বাবা মা এখন 2কাথায়?”

“জািন না বাবু, ওরা 2কাথাও চেল 2গেছ।“

“ওরা 2তােক একলা 2ফেল চেল 2গল 2কন?” “লjায়।“

“লjা 2কন?”

“আমায় 2খেত িদেত পাের না বেল। ওরা আমােক বেল িন 2য ওরা আমােক 2ছেড় চেল যােব। িকnt যাবার আেগর িদন রােt মা খুব কাঁদিছল আর বাবা চুপ কের থাকেলও 2চােখ জল িছল। এখন আিম বুিঝ, 2ছেলেক েছেড় চেল যাবার কে| মা ও বাবা কাঁদিছল। তার পেরর িদন সকালেবলায় ঘুম 2থেক উেঠ 2দিখ, ওরা আমােক 2ছেড় চেল 2গেছ। ওরা হয়ত 2ভেবিছল, আিম একলা থাকেল 2কান না 2কানভােব জীিবত 2থেক যাব।“ মেন হল, রামু Hধু বুিdমানই নয়, তার ভাবাnভূিতও pখর। আিম আবার pŽ করলাম, “রামু, রােত 2কাথায় Hেয় থািকস?”

“রাsায় বাবু। 2কান বািড়র বারাnায় Hেত 2গেল বািড়র 2লােকরা আমােক তািড়েয় 2দয়। ওরা ভােব, আিম হয়ত িকছু চুির করেত এেসিছ।“

“তুই িক িদেনর পর িদন এই ভােবই কাটািব – িভেk কের আর আবজ`না 2থেক খাবার খুঁেজ 2বিড়েয়।“

“বাবু, আপিনই বলুন, আিম আর িক করেত পাির? বাবু, আমােক একটা চাকেরর কাজ আর আপনার বািড়র এক 2কােণ একটু 2শাবার জায়গা

েলখেকর জn কলকাতা মহানগরীেত। sুল- ও কেলজজীবন েকেটেছ মালদা, 2বলুড় মঠ ও িশবপুের। িব˜িবদKালেয়র জীবন েকেটেছ জাম`ািনর লাইপিজগ, 2Dসেডন ও sইজারলKােNর জুিরখ শহের। িশkক জীবেনর 2শেষ এখন অবসরpাp। মােঝ মােঝ 2ছাট বাংলা গl 2লখার pয়াস করা হয়। ই-পtঃ


জার কের হাঁটেত হাঁটেত বািড় িফরিছলাম। হােত িছল বাজােরর

ভারী থিল। দূর 2থেক 2দখলাম, একটা অl বয়সী 2ছেল পাড়ার ডাsিবেনর (গৃহsালীেদর জvাল 2ফলার পাt) 2ভতর 2যন িকছু খুঁজেছ। আমার 2কৗতূহল হল 2ছেলটা 2সখােন িক খুঁজেছ জানবার জn। আিম তার কােছ িগেয় িজjাসা করলাম, “িক খুঁজিছস 2র?” আমার pেŽ লিjত হেয় 2ছেলিট মাথা িনচু কের চুপ কের রইল। আিমও ছাড়বার পাt নই। আবার িজjাসা করলাম, “বলনা িক খুঁজিছস?”

“খাবার খুঁজিছ”, 2ছেলটা লিjত হেয় বলল। বুঝলাম, 2ছেলটার লjাjান আেছ। 2স জােন, ডাsিবন 2থেক 2বর করা খাবার খাওয়া উিচত নয়। িকnt িখেদর 2চােট উিচত িক না-উিচত না েভেব তােক ডাsিবন 2থেকই খাবার খুঁজেত হে‡। পাড়ার 2কােনা না েকােনা বািড় 2থেক এঁেটা অথবা ন| হেয় যাওয়া অথবা 2য খাবার পেরর িদেনর জn তুেল রাখা যায় না 2সই সব খাবার ডাsিবেন 2ফলা হয়। েছেলটার কথা Hেন আমার খুব dঃখ হল। আমােদর 2দশ অেনক বছর হল sাধীন হেয়েছ। িকnt এমন dভ`াগK 2য এেদেশ সবাইকার খাবার েনই। কত 2লাকেক 2পেট িখেদ িনেয় রােt Hেত 2যেত হয়! আবার আমােদর 2দেশই কত 2লাক খাবােরর pচুর অপচয় কের। িবেশষ কের উৎসেবর সময়। একই 2দেশ এত চরম ’বসাদৃ…! বাজােরর থিল 2থেক dেটা কলা বার কের আিম 2ছেলটার হােত িদেয় বললাম, “এই 2ন, খা”। েছেলটা একটা কলা 2খেয় চুপ কের দাঁিড়েয় রইল। আিম বললাম, “2তার িন“য়ই এখনও িখেদ আেছ। অn কলাটাও 2খেয় 2ন।“

“না বাবু, ওটা রােt খাব”। আিম বুঝলাম, 2ছেলটার সংযমশিk আেছ। 2পেট িখেদ আেছ, িকnt সংযম কের রেয়েছ। রােt 2কাথায় খাবার পােব? এই িচnা কের িdতীয় কলাটা রােt খাবার জn রাখল। আিম মেন মেন ওর চিরেtর pশংসা কের তােক বললাম, “ঐ কলাটাও 2খেয় 2ন। পের 2তােক রােtর খাবারও 2দব।“ এই কথা বলা মাtই 2ছেলটা কৃতjতার দৃি| িদেয় আমার িদেক িকছুkণ তািকেয় 2থেক িdতীয় কলািটও 2খেয় 2ফলল। েছেলিটর মুখ 2চাখ 2দেখ মেন হল, 2স বুিdমান। 2চহারাও s•ী। একটু সহায়তা 2পেল 2স িন“য়ই িশিkত এবং sাবলmী হেব। সমােজর




আপনােদর বাসন 2মেজ 2দব, 2ঝঁটা িদেয় ধুেলা সাফ কের 2দব, আপনােদর জামা কাপড় ধুেয় 2দব আর বাবুর সেŋ বাজাের যাব।“ sজাতা তখন রামুেক বলল, “ও সব কথা এখন থাক।“ sজাতার কথা েশষ হবা মাtই রামু আমার কােছ এেস পায় হাত িদেয় আমােকও pণাম করল। বত`মান জীবেনর অিন“য়তা 2কেট যাওয়ােত রামুর মুেখ pফুlতা েদখেত 2পলাম। sজাতা আমােদর dজেনর িদেক তািকেয় বলল, “2তামরা হাত ধুেয় নাও। আিম 2তামােদর জn জলখাবার িনেয় আসিছ।“ sজাতা আমােদর িতনজেনর জn লুিচ, 2ছালার ডাল, েবgনভাজা ও সেnশ পিরেবশন করল। 2খেত 2খেত আিম রামুর িদেক তািকেয় বললাম, “আজ 2থেক 2তােক একটা ভাল নাম িদি‡। 2তার ডাক নাম রামু বেল 2তার ভাল নাম হেব রামানn রায়। 2তার বাবা মা িন“য়ই েবঁেচ আেছন। তাই তুই আমােক কাকাবাবু অথবা কাk বেল ডাকিব। আর sজাতােক বলিব কািকমা। বাইেরর 2লাক িকছু িজjাসা করেল বলিব, তুই কাকাবাবু ও কািকমার সেŋ থািকস। কাkর নাম িনতKানn রায় আর কািকমার নাম sজাতা রায়। বাইেরর 2লাক 2তার নাম িজেjস করেল বলিব, ‘আমার নাম রামানn রায়।‘ এই পৃিথবীেত 2তার বাবা মা ছাড়া Hধু আিম আর 2তার কািকমা 2তােক রামু বেল ডাকব।“ জলখাবার খাওয়ার পর রামু খাওয়ার বাসনgেলা ধুেত চাইল। sজাতা বাধা িদেয় বলল, “থাক থাক 2তােক ধুেত হেব না। তুই বর[ কাkর সেŋ 2দাকােন িগেয় 2তার জn িকছু জামা কাপড় এবং অnাn যা দরকার 2স সব িকেন িনেয় আয়।“ একটু বােদ আিম রামুেক িনেয় 2বিরেয় পড়লাম তার জn জামা, ইেজর, পKান্ট, 2গিv, 2তায়ােল, জুেতা ইতKািদ িকনেত। আমােদর বািড়েত রামু একটা ঘর 2পল। sজাতা pেতKক িদন রামুেক িনেয় বেস ’ধেয`র সেŋ 2লখাপড়া 2শখাত। 2লখাপড়া ছাড়া রামুর কাজ িছল, ওর িনেজর িবছানা করা, িনেজর ঘরেক ধুেলামুk রাখা এবং িনেজর জামা কাপড় সাবান িদেয় পিরsার করা। তাছাড়া িনেজর বাসনgেলা েধায়া। আমরা 2চেয়িছলাম, রামু 2যন sাবলmী হয়। অnতঃ িনেজর জীবেনর কাজgেলা 2যন িনেজই করেত পাের। এছাড়া আিম ওেক pেতKক িদন সকাল 2বলায় 2যাগাসন 2শখাতাম। আর sজাতা ওেক pাথ`না করেত 2শখাত। তাছাড়া আিম মােঝ মােঝ রামুেক বাজাের িনেয় িগেয় িজিনসপেtর নাম আর তােদর িকেসর জn pেয়াজন 2স সব েশখাতাম। এই ভােবই রামু ধীের ধীের আমােদর পিরবােরর একজন হেয় 2গল। এক বছেরর মেধK রামু অেনক িকছু িশেখ 2ফলল। একিদন sজাতা ওেক সেŋ কের িনেয় িগেয় sুেল ভিত` কের িদল। রামু Hধু বুিdমান িছল না, sুেল ভাল 2রজাl করার জn যেথ| পির•মও করত। আমােদর বািড়েত থাকা ও খাবার পাওয়ার জn রামুর মেন 2বশ কৃতjতােবাধ িছল। যখনই সময় 2পত তখনই 2স সব ঘরgেলা ঝাঁট িদেয় পিরsার কের রাখত। sজাতােক রাnার কােজ সাহাযK করার জn েস আনাজgেলার 2খাসা ছািড়েয় িদত। 2ছাট খােটা জামা কাপড় সাবান িদেয় ধুেয় Hেকােত িদত। আমােদর জুেতাgেলা সাফ কের রাখত। pথম pথম sজাতা রামুেক বারণ কেরিছল এই সব বািড়র কাজ করেত। িকnt তাসেttও রামু কাজ করেত থােম িন। আেs আেs sজাতা রামুর কাজ েমেন িনেয়িছল। রামু বািড়র কাজ িকছুটা করােত sজাতা একটু িব•াম েপত। এই িদক িদেয় sজাতা রামুর pিত নীরেব কৃতj িছল। সমেয়র সেŋ সেŋ আমরা রামু ে ক িনেজেদর 2ছেলর মতনই ভালবাসতাম। ওেক িনেয় আমােদর জীবন snরভােবই কাটিছল। রামু েলখাপড়ায় খুব ভাল িছল। িশkক ও িশিkকারা রামুেক pশংসা করেতন আর ভালবাসেতন। এই সময় একিদন আমরা রামুর sুেলর pধান িশkেকর কাছ 2থেক একটা িচিঠ 2পলাম। িচিঠেত িতিন আমােক, sজাতােক ও রামুেক এক িনিদ`| তািরেখ সnKায় তাঁর অিফেস আসেত অnেরাধ কেরেছন। 2কন আমােদর 2যেত অnেরাধ কেরেছন তা আিম আর sজাতা না জানেলও রামু 2বাধ হয় বুঝেত 2পেরিছল। আমােদর িকছু না বলেলও 2স তার sুেলর বKাগটা সেŋ িনেয় িনল। pধান িশkেকর ঘের েপৗঁেছ 2দখলাম রামুর সহপাঠী অেশাকেক িনেয় তার বাবা মাও হািজর িছেলন। pধান িশkক মহাশয় আমােদর dই পিরবােরর সেŋ আলাপ কের 2দওয়ার পর বলেলন, “আপনােদর আজেক ডাকার কারণ হে‡ 2য, অেশােকর বাবা রামানেnর িবrেd নািলশ কেরেছন। রামানn নািক

িদেল আিম ভdভােব 2বঁেচ থাকেত পাির। আপিন দয়া কrন, বাবু।“ রামুর এই কথা Hেন আমার খুব কrণা হল। তাই আবার িজেjসা করলাম, “বািড়র কাজ ছাড়া আর িক কাজ করার ইে‡ আেছ?”

“আেছ বাবু, িকnt 2সটা বলেত আমার লjা হে‡। 2স ইে‡টা বলা িভিখিরর মুেখ 2শাভা পায় না।“

“লjা না কের বেলই 2ফল না।“

“বাবু, আিম বািড়র কােজর সােথ সােথ 2লখাপড়া িশখেত চাই। আপিন বড় দয়ালু। আপিন িক আমােক 2লখাপড়া 2শখােবন?”

“2শখােত পাির যিদ 2তার আgহ থােক আর 2লখাপড়ার জn মন pাণ িদেয় পির•ম করেত রািজ হস।“

“রািজ বাবু। আপিন যা বলেবন, আিম তাই করব।“

“িঠক আেছ। তাহেল চল আমরা বািড় যাই।“

“চলুন। আপিন আমােক বাজােরর থিলটা িদন। আিম ঘােড় কের িনেয় যাব।“ এই বেল 2স আমার বাজােরর থিলটায় হাত িদল। আিম তkুিণ বললাম, “না, না 2তােক থিল বইেত হেব না। আজেক অেনক বাজার কেরিছ। থিলটা 2বশ ভারী।“ রামুর এই রকম হাত লািগেয় সাহাযK করার ই‡া, কৃতjতােবাধ, েলখাপড়ার pিত আgহ এবং •dার সিহত কথাবাত`া ও তার চিরেtর অnাn gণ আমার খুব ভাল 2লেগিছল। বািড় 2ফরার পেথ রামু pসেŋ আিম আর একিট grtপূণ` কথা ভাবিছলাম। sজাতার সেŋ আমার িবেয় হবার পর পাঁচ বছর 2কেট 2গেছ। িকnt আমােদর 2কান সnান 2নই। sজাতা িশিkকা। িশিkকার কাজ, সামািজক কাজ আর বািড়র কাজ িমিলেয় 2স জীবেন িনেজেক বKs 2রেখেছ। িকnt মেনর এক িনভৃত 2কােণ েযন একটা dঃখ 2থেক 2গেছ। সnানহীনতার dঃখ। তার মেনর মেধK 2য অেঢল 2sহ ও মমতা আেছ, তা 2স িনেজর িশHসnােনর জn 2রেখেছ। িকnt এখনও 2স মাতৃেসৗভাগK 2থেক বি[ত। আমরা 2পা£পুt 2নবার কথাও 2ভেবিছ। িকnt অেপkা করিছলাম এই 2ভেব 2য আমােদর আপন সnান হয়ত এেস যােব। বািড় 2ফরার পেথ ভাবিছলাম, sজাতা িক রামুেক আমােদর পিরবােরর একজন বেল 2মেন 2নেব? রামুর pিত 2sহ ও মমতা থাকেব িক? এক অজানা অেচনা 2ছেলেক আপন কের িনেত পারেব িক? যখন Hনেব রামু িভিখিরর 2ছেল, আিম তােক রাsা 2থেক িনেয় এেসিছ, তখন িক sজাতা রামুেক gহণ করেত চাইেব? আিম িনেজ রামুর দািয়t িনেত রািজ আিছ। িকnt sজাতাও িক তার দািয়t িনেত রািজ হেব? আিম বh সংশয়সহ রামুেক িনেয় বািড়েত 2পৗঁছালাম। বািড়র দরজা িদেয় ঢুেক একটু 2চঁিচেয় বললাম, “sজাতা, sজাতা, 2দেখা কােক িনেয় এেসিছ।“ sজাতা ঘেরর 2ভতর 2থেক উtর িদল, “কােক িনেয় এেল, আিম িক িচিন না িচিন না?”

“তুিম বাইের এেস 2দখ, কােক িনেয় এেসিছ তা তুিম কlনাও করেত পারেব না। 2স অব… 2তামার অেচনা।“

“তুিম আমােক 2কৗতূহলী কের তুলছ। 2য কlনার অতীত, 2য অেচনা েস 2ক হেত পাের?” এই কথা বলেত বলেত sজাতা ঘেরর বাইের এল। বাইের এেস রামুেক 2দেখ pথেম তােক আপাদমsক পরীkা কের 2sেহর সেŋ িজjাসা করল, “এই 2ছেলিট 2ক? 2কাথা 2থেক িনেয় এেল?”

“এর নাম রামু। রাsা 2থেক িনেয় এেসিছ। ওর বাবা মা ওেক একলা েফেল 2রেখ অn 2কাথাও চেল 2গেছ। 2ছেলিট kুধাত` এবং আ•য়pাথ`ী। ও আমােদর বািড়েত 2থেক আমােদর বািড়র কাজ করেত চায় আর সােথ সােথ পড়াHনাও করেত চায়। এেত আমার 2কান আপিt 2নই। িকnt েতামার িক মত? রামুর আমােদর বািড়েত থাকা সmেn 2তামার িক 2কান আপিt আেছ? তুিম িক ওেক 2লখাপড়া 2শখােত চাইেব?” আমার এই কথা বলার সেŋ সেŋ রামু এিগেয় িগেয় sজাতার পায় হাত িদেয় pণাম কের বলল, “মা, আমােক তািড়েয় 2দেবন না।“ এই কথা বেল রামু কাঁদেত আরm করল। 2স 2বশ বুঝেত 2পেরিছল, sজাতার hাঁ বা না বলার ওপর তার ভিব£ৎ িনভ`র করেছ। ‘মা’ বেল সেmাধন করােত আর কাঁদেত 2দেখ sজাতার মেন রামুর pিত মাতৃেsহ 2জেগ উঠল। 2স রামুেক কােছ 2টেন িনেয় বলল, “2বশ 2তা, তুই যিদ সিতK সিতK েলখাপড়া িশখেত চাস, তাহেল আিম 2তােক 2শখাব।“ এই কথা Hেন রামু আনিnত হেয় বলল, “মা, আিম বািড়র কাজও করেত চাই। আিম



SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 েতা শািs িদেলন।“ তার উtের রামু বেলিছল, “2তামরা চার জেন গীতার কােছ kমা চাও আর বল 2কানিদন 2মেয়মাnষেদর অসmান করেব না, তাহেলই আিম 2তামােদর 2ছেড় 2দব।“ অবেশেষ চারজন kমা চাওয়ােত আর pিতrিত 2দওয়ােত রামু ওেদর 2ছেড় 2দয় আর বেল ওেদর 2য বnুটা রাsায় পেড় যntণায় কাতরাি‡ল তােক 2যন তার বািড় 2পৗঁেছ 2দয়। ইিতমেধK রাsায় িকছু 2লাক জেম িগেয়িছল। তারা রামুেক ওই চার জন d°ৃতেক উিচত শািs 2দবার জn pশংসা কেরন। এক জন রামুেক সাধুবাদ িদেয় বেলন, “আপিন আমােদর খুব উপকার করেলন। ওই চার d|ু 2লােকেদর জn 2মেয়েদর িনেয় এই গিলর মেধK িদেয় যাওয়া এক সমsা হেয় দাঁিড়েয়িছল। আশা কির ওই d°ৃতকারীরা এখন 2থেক এই গিলর মেধK িদেয় মিহলাসহ 2হঁেট যাওয়া 2লােকেদর 2কান রকম jালাতন করেব না। আমােদর সমােজ আপনার মেতা সাহসী বীরপুrষেদর খুব pেয়াজন আেছ। আপনার সাহস, শিk ও মেনাবেলর এবং আমােদর উপকােরর জn আপনােক অজs ধnবাদ জানাি‡।“

েসিদন বািড় িফের গীতা রামুদার সেŋ চারেট d| 2লােকেদর সংঘেষ`র কথা কাকাবাবু ও কািকমার কােছ িবশদভােব বণ`না করল এবং রামুদার pচুর pশংসা করল। stীজািতর ময`াদা রkার জn রামু 2য িনেজর জীবন িবপn করেতও িdধােবাধ কের িন তােত আিম ও sজাতা তােক িনেয় গব`েবাধ কেরিছলাম।

রামুর িকেশারকােল একবার আিম রামুেক িজjাসা কেরিছলাম, “রামু, তুই জীবেন িক হেত চাস? ভিব£ৎ সmেn 2তার িক 2কান sp আেছ?”

“আেছ কাকাবাবু।“

“িক আেছ খুেল বল।“

“কাকাবাবু, আিম যখন বড় বড় গগনচুmী অTািলকাgিল বাsেব 2দিখ অথবা পিtকােত অথবা মKাগািজেন 2দিখ তখন আমার অেনক িকছু জানেত ইে‡ কের, 2যমন, িক কের বািড়gিল দাঁিড়েয় রেয়েছ, 2কন ওরা pচN ঝেড় পের যায় না, িক ভােব ওই বািড়gিলর 2ভতর ও বাইেরর পিরকlনা করা হয়, িক কের যথাযথভােব িনম`ানকায` এেগােত থােক এই সব জিটল pŽgিল আমার মেনর মেধK 2ঘারােফরা কের। আমার দাrণ ইে‡ কের এই সব pŽgিলর উtর পাওয়ার। িকnt িক কের পাব, কাকাবাবু?”

“তার একমাt উপায় 2তােক ইিvিনয়ািরং পড়েত হেব।“

“কাকাবাবু, আিম িক ইিvিনয়ার হেত পারব?”

“িন“য়ই পারিব। 2তার spেক সফল করেত হেল আgহ, উদKম ও পির•েমর দরকার। এই সব gণ 2তার মেধK আেছ। আমার িব˜াস, তুই একিদন নামকরা ইিvিনয়ার অথবা আিক`েটk হিব।“

“আশীব`াদ কর কাকাবাবু, আিম 2যন তাই হেত পাির।“

“আমােদর আশীব`াদ সব`দাই 2তার সেŋ রেয়েছ, তাত তুই জািনস।“ সিতK সিতK একিদন রামু নামকরা আরিকেটk্ হেয় িনেজর নােম তার িনেজর আরিকেটk্ অিফেসর উেdাধন কেরিছল। কেয়ক বছেরর মেধKই েস dেটা আকাশচুmী অTািলকা, একটা শিপং মল, একটা িমউিজয়াম িবলিডং ও একটা টাউন হেলর পিরকlনা কেরিছল এবং িনম`ান কিরেয়িছল। আমােদর জn রামু িনজs একটা বাগানওলা 2দাতলা বািড় ৈতরী করাল। pেতKক তলায় ছটা ঘর। 2দাতলায় আমােদর িতন জেনর বসবােসর বKবsা হল। িনেচর তলায় রামুর কােজর ঘর, লাইেbরী, অিতিথ ও আমিntত 2লােকেদর জn dেটা ঘর ছাড়া আরও dেটা ঘর রামু আলাদা কের 2রেখ িছল। এই dেটা ঘর সmেn রামুেক িজjাসা কেরিছলাম, “রামু, িনেচর তলার বািক dেটা ঘের িক করিব বেল িঠক কেরিছস?” িকছুkণ চুপ কের 2থেক রামু বেলিছল, “ওই dেটা ঘর বাবা মা’র জn 2রেখিছ। আমার িব˜াস, ওরা িন“য়ই 2বঁেচ আেছ। আমােক ওেদর খুঁেজ বার কের এখােন িনেয় আসেত হেব। বুেড়া বয়েস ওেদর 2যন আর িভkা না করেত হয়। সnান হেয় বাবা মা’র pিত আমারও িকছু কত`বK আেছ। 2সই কত`বK আমােক 2তা পালন করেতই হেব।“ মাতা ও িপতার pিত রামুর কত`বKপরায়ণতা আমােক মুg কেরিছল। তাই আিম িজjাসা কেরিছলাম, “তুই িক বাবা মা’র 2খাঁজ কেরিছস? তুই িক এখন তােদর িচনেত পারিব?”

“কাকাবাবু, আিম 2যখােনই িভিখিরেদর দল 2দিখ, 2সখােনই আিম বাবা মা’2ক খুঁিজ। এখনও পয`n তােদর খুঁেজ পাই িন। আমার আশা আেছ,

একিদন অেশাকেক িঢল িদেয় 2মেরেছ। তাই আিম রামুেক সবাইকার সামেন িজjাসা করিছ, “রামানn তুিম িক অেশাকেক িঢল িদেয় 2মেরছ?”

“hাঁ sার, আিম অেশাকেক িঢল িদেয় 2মেরিছ।“

“2কন 2মেরছ?”, pধান িশkক মহাশয় pŽ করেলন।

“রাsায় Hেয় থাকা এক dব`ল িভিখিরেক অেশাক একিদন িঢল িদেয় েমেরিছল। বKথা 2পেয় িভিখিরটা উেঠ বেস কাঁদিছল। িভিখিরর pিতেশাধ েনবার kমতা না থাকায় আিম ওর হেয় pিতেশাধ 2নবার জn ওই িঢলটা িদেয় অেশাকেক 2মেরিছলাম। ওেক বুঝেত িদেয়িছলাম ওর ss সবল শরীের িঢেলর 2য বKথা 2লেগেছ তার অেনক gণ বKথা ওই িভিখিরর dব`ল শরীের 2লেগেছ।“ এই বেল রামু sুেলর বKাগটা খুেল একটা বড় িঢল 2বর কের pধান িশkেকর 2টিবেলর ওপর 2রেখ তাঁেক বলল, “sার, এই হে‡ 2সই িঢলটা।“

িঢলটা হােত িনেয় ঘুিরেয় িফিরেয় 2দেখ pধান িশkক মহাশয় বলেলন, “এ 2তা 2বশ বড় িঢল।“ তারপর অেশােকর িদেক তািকেয় িজjাসা করেলন, “তুিম এই িঢলটা িদেয় িভিখিরেক 2মেরছ?”

মাথা িনচু কের অেশাক উtর িদল, “hাঁ sার।“

“2কন মারেল?”

“আিম পরীkা করেত 2চেয়িছলাম, িভিখিরটা 2বঁেচ আেছ না মের েগেছ।“

“এ িক িনম`ম পরীkা? িছ িছ, তুিম এক অসহায় মাnেষর pিত এত িনœুর কাজ কেরছ 2ভেব আিম লিjত হি‡। 2তামােক এর kিতপূরণsrপ িকছু করেত হেব, কমপেk 2তামােক ওই িভিখিরর কােছ িগেয় kমা চাইেত হেব। আরও ভাল হেব যিদ তুিম িকছু খাবার আর 2তামার বাবার িকছু পুেরােণা জামা কাপড় তােক দান করেত পার। যাই কর না 2কন বাবা মার সেŋ আেগ পরামশ` িনেয় কর। dিদেনর মেধK আিম 2তামার কাছ 2থেক Hনেত চাই তুিম িক করেল।“ এরপর রামানেnর িদেক তািকেয় বলেলন, তুিম এবার 2থেক 2তামার সহপাঠীেদর িনেজ হােত শািs না িদেয় আমার কােছ এেস নািলশ করেব। dব`ল ও অসহায় 2লােকেদর pিত 2তামার সমেবদনা খুব pশংসনীয়। এখন তুিম আর অেশাক আমার কােছ এেসা।” ছাt dজন কােছ আসার পর pধান িশkক মহাশয় ওেদর বলেলন, “dই বnুর মতন 2তামরা পারsািরক kমা 2চেয় িনেয় পারsািরক আিলŋন কর।“ ছাtরা তাঁর কথা অnযায়ী আিলŋেনর পর আেগকার মত বnু হেয় েগল। এরপর pধান িশkক মহাশয় সকল উপিsতেদর তাঁেদর আসার জn ধnবাদ িদেয় 2সিদনকার সাnK আেলাচনা সমাp কেরন। গরীব ও অসহায় 2লােকেদর pিত pবল সহাnভূিত থাকার জn আিম ও sজাতা রামুেক pশংসা কেরিছলাম। ভাল 2লেগিছল 2য রামু এখন sাছKেn জীবন যাপন করেলও 2স তার অতীত িভিখিরর জীবন ভুেল যায় িন। 2স 2য আেগ তােদর মতই িছল এটা ভালভােব মেন 2রেখেছ।

বয়স বাড়ার সেŋ সেŋ রামু বKায়াম কের শরীরেক শিkশালী কের তুেলিছল। এছাড়া একটা kােব িগেয় জাপানী যুdিবষয়ক কলােকৗশল সব িশেখ িনেয়িছল। এইসব কলােকৗশল একিদন খুব কােজ 2লেগিছল। একিদন সnKায় রামু sজাতার snরী ও যুবতী ভাgী গীতােক িনেয় একটা গিলর মেধK িদেয় বািড় িফরিছল। dভ`াগKবশতঃ 2সিদন রামুেক চারজন রকবাজ যুবকেদর সmুখীন হেত হয়। ওরা রামু ও গীতার 2পছন 2নয় এবং ওেদর সmেক` kৎিসত কথা বলেত থােক। এমনিক একজন গীতার গােয় হাত 2দয়। আর যােব 2কাথায়? রামু তােক pথেম ঘুিষ 2মের 2মের dব`ল করার পর তার 2সই হাতটা 2যটা িদেয় 2স গীতােক sশ` কেরিছল েসটা ঘুিরেয় ততkণ পয`n মচকােত লাগল যতkণ না 2স যntণায় কাতের উঠল। হাত 2ছেড় িদেয় পের ওর বুেক এমন 2জাের লািথ মারল 2য 2স মািটেত পের বKথায় আত`নাদ করেত লাগল। সŋীর এই রকম dদ`শা েদেখ িdতীয় জন তখন রামুেক আkমণ কের। তােক রামু 2জাের 2লং েমের মািটেত 2ফেল িদেয় তার চুল ধের মাথাটা 2জাের মািটেত ঠুকেত থােক আর তার বুকটা িনেজর পা িদেয় চাপেত থােক। বাকী dই সŋী অn dই বnুেদর dদ`শা 2দেখ একটু ভয় 2পেয় যায়। তা সেttও তারা রামুেক মারেত আেস। রামু কায়দা কের ওেদর গলার 2পছনটা ধের 2ফেল ওেদর dজেনর মাথা পরsেরর িবrেd ঠুকেত থােক। বKথা সh না করেত 2পের এই dজন বেল ওেঠ, “দাদা, আমােদর 2ছেড় িদন। অেনক




কাঁদেত বলল, “তুই িক সিতK আমােদর রামু, আমার 2চােখর মিণ, আমার আদেরর 2ছেল। 2তােক 2ছেড় আমরা চেল িগেয়িছলাম তারজn িক তুই আমােদর kমা করেত 2পেয়িছস?” 2সিদন সিতK সিতK রামু তার বাবা মা’2ক খুঁেজ 2পেয়িছল। অেনক কাnাকািট, অেনক আিলŋেনর পর রামুর বাবা দীেনশ কাকাবাবু ও কািকমার িদেক তািকেয় রামুেক িজjাসা করল, “hাঁের, এঁরা কারা?” রামু বেলিছল, “এঁরাই আমার সব। আমার কাকাবাবু এবং কািকমা। এঁরাই আমােক রাsা 2থেক বািড় িনেয় যান এবং আমােক আ•য় 2দন, 2খেত পরেত 2দন, 2লখাপড়া 2শখান, আমােক বড় কের 2তােলন। আিম ওনােদর কােছ িচরঋণী।“ এই কথা Hেন রামুর বাবা ও মা কাকাবাবু ও কািকমােক কৃতjতা জািনেয় তাঁেদর পায় হাত িদেয় pণাম করেত 2গেলন। িকnt তাঁরা বলেলন, “না না, এ িক করেছন। আপনারা আমােদর বেয়ােজKœ। আপনােদর আমরা নমsার জানাি‡। রামু বhকাল পের আপনােদর খুঁেজ 2পেয়েছ তােত আমরা অতKn আনিnত হেয়িছ।“ এরপর রামু তার বাবা মা’2ক বািড়েত িনেয় আেস। দীেনশদা ও লkী 2বৗিদেক 2পেয় বড় বািড়েত আেগর মতন অত িনজ`ন মেন হত না। রামুেক 2কnd কের আমােদর 2যৗথ পিরবােরর িদনgিলও sেখ ও আনেn কাটিছল।

আিম একিদন তােদর খুঁেজ 2পেত পাির। আিম বাবা মা’2ক িন“য়ই িচনেত পারব।“ এক রিববার আমরা িঠক করলাম, দিkেণ˜র কািল মিnের যাব। এই sান বাঙালীেদর 2তা বেটই সকল ভারতীয়েদরও মহা তীথ`sান। এই sান পরমহংস •ী•ী রামকৃ¹, •ী•ীমা ও sামী িবেবকানেnর sৃিতজিড়ত। দিkেণ˜র যাবার dেটা উেd… িছল। এক হে‡ 2সখােন 2গেল মেন শািn পাওয়া যায়, মেন আধKািtক ভাব আেস আর ঠাkর, সারদা মা আর sামীজীর উপেদেশর কথা মেন পেড়। িdতীয় উেd… িছল, মিnের েঢাকার রাsার d ধাের বh িভিখির সার িদেয় বেস থােক িভkা পাবার আশায়। মিnের ঢুেক আিম রামুেক বেলিছলাম, মা কািলর সmুেখ দাঁিড়েয় pাথ`না করেত 2যন মা কািলর দয়ােত ওর সােথ ওর বাবা মা’র পুন`িমলন হয়। মিnর 2থেক 2বিরেয় আমরা হাঁটেত লাগলাম। রাsার dপােশ িভিখিররা বেস িভkা চাইিছল। রামু িভিখিরেদর ওপর দৃি| তীk েরেখিছল। হটাৎ এক জায়গায় 2থেম 2স এক িভখাির দmতীেক ভালভােব পয`েবkণ করিছল। তারাও রামুর িদেক এমনভােব তািকেয় িছল 2যন তারা তােদর হারাধন খুঁেজ 2পেয়েছ। পুrষ িভিখিরটা বেল উঠল, “তুই রামু, তাই না? তুই কত বড় হেয় 2গিছস! আিম ভাবেতই পাির িন 2য 2তার সেŋ আবার 2দখা হেব।“ 2মেয় িভিখিরিট কাঁদেত




4িটর িদন Diptanil Sengupta A supposedly artistic Taurean who took up science and ended up with technology. A once-upon-a- time wannabe actor who now occasionally hits the stage. An avid reader, a fitness and movie freak, a food lover. Contact:

আমায় খুন কেরিছেল, 2কান মেত 2বঁেচ িফেরিছ,এখনও সাধ 2মেটিন? আবার খুন করেত চাও আমােক?। এরপর আর 2মেয়েক 2বশী ঘাঁটান িন।

িলং 2বেলর শb Hেন এণাkীর দরজা 2খালা মাt 2•য়সী pায়

চােয়র কােপর টুং টাং আর জলখাবার ’তির করেত করেত কখন একটু আনমনা হেয় িগেয়িছেলন এণাkী, চমক িফরল নাতনী র গলায় - িদmা, আমার 2হয়ার িkপ টা একটু আটেক 2দেব? ঘুের 2দখেলন নাতনী এেকবাের ’তির। গাল িটেপ আদর কের বলেলন, ওের d|ু 2মেয়, মা েরিড হেত বেলেছ, 2স কথা কান 2পেত 2শানা হি‡ল - িকnt 2শান, আজ রাsায় ভীষণ ভীড়, একদম মােয়র হাত ছাড়েবনা 2কমন। ওফ, িদmা, তুিম এত িচnা 2কারনা 2তা। আিম gড গাল` হেয় থাকব ...বলেত বলেত এিদেক 2•য়সী pায় ’তির। মা, এত িক 2খেত িদেয়েছা, এত খাওয়া সmব নািক, 2শান, আিম িতয়াসা 2ক িনেয় 2বেরালাম, আর খাবার িনেয় আসব, 2তামার রােতর রাnা করার দরকার 2নই। িঠক আেছ, তেব ছাতা িনেয় যাস, আজ িকnt খবের বেলেছ সেnKর পর ঝড় বৃি| হেত পাের।

ঝাঁিপেয় পড়ল মােয়র ওপর, মা, তাড়াতািড় চা বসাও আর এিস টা অন কের দাও 2তা - ওহ গরেম একদম 2সd হেয় যাি‡ - বেল 2সাফার ওপর বKাগ টা pায় ছুঁেড় িদেয় পদ`া সিরেয় আড়েচােখ 2দেখ িনল sািড rেমর েভতরটা। এণাkী 2সটা বুঝেত 2পেরই 2বাধ হয় মুচিক 2হেস বলেলন, তুই িক ওেক dপুের আইস kীম আর ডায়মN pাজায় িনেয় যাবার ঘুষ িদেয়িছস, ও 2বচাির তাই sুল 2থেক িফেরই 2হাম ওয়াক` িনেয় বেস েগেছ আর 2শান, তুই sান 2সের 2ন,িকছু 2খেয় 2বেরািব িন“য়ই? - hাঁ মা, আিম sােন যাি‡ আর তুিম িতয়াসা 2ক একটু 2রিড হেত বল। এিদেক মােয়র গলা Hেনও তিnœা 2চয়ার 2ছেড় ওেঠিন, এক মেন পড়াHনা কের যাে‡। আজ 2বŋলী িনউ ইয়ারস 2ড, কথা িছল বাবা আসেব, িকnt িদmার কােছ যখন Hনল 2য বাবার jর হেয়েছ, আসেত পারেবনা তখন 2মেয় pায় কাঁেদা কাঁেদা, 2সটা জানেত 2পেরই তখন ে•য়সী অিফস 2থেক 2ফােন বেল িছল, িঠক আেছ, আিম এেস 2তামায় িনেয় যাব, আইস kীম খাওয়াব িকnt pিমস 2য সব 2হাম ওয়াক` তুিম কের রাখেব, আর তাই 2মেয়র এত মেনােযাগ।

ডায়মN pাজায় 2নেম কতক টা অসহায় আর িদেশহারা লাগিছল ে•য়সীর। এখন একটা hজুগ, একটা ছুেতা 2পেলই হল - সব দল 2বঁেধ িপলিপল কের 2বিরেয় পেড়, একিদেক লাউড sীকাের তারsের গান, অn িদেক গািড়, িরকশা আর তার মেধK কাতাের কাতাের 2লাক েদাকান gেলােত ভীড় উপেচ পড়েছ। 2•য়সী 2ভেবিছল চndাণী জুেয়লারস এ একবার ঢুঁ মারেব, যিদ বালা বা লেকেটর নতুন 2কান িডজাইন আেস।িকnt pায় অসmব। 2মেয়র সােথ সাধারণত 2বেরােনা হয়না, আজ 2মেয়ও তাই আনেn আtহারা। sাভািবক ভােবই বইেয়র েদাকােন িভড় আর hজুগ টা কম। তাই 2সখােন িগেয় িঠক করল িনেজর িকছু পছেnর বই আর 2মেয়র পড়ার বই dইই িকেন 2নেব। বই, টুকটাক েপিnল বk রেঙর বাk, বড় একটা বাংলা কKােলন্ডার িনেয় 2•য়সীর pায় নােজহাল অবsা। 2দাকােনর বাইের এেস একটু হাফ 2ছেড় িতয়াসার হােত কKােলন্ডার িদেয় বলল, “ ধর একটু, আিম িজিনস gেলা gিছেয় িন, এক িদেক সের দাঁড়া।”

কলকাতার উপকেN দমদেমর কােছ এণাkী, 2•য়সী আর তিnœা র সংসার। 2•য়সীর বাবা চেল যাবার পর 2থেক ঘেরর সব কাজ এণাkী েকই করেত হয়। অবসর বলেত Hধু মাt বছর ছেয়েকর নাতনীর সােথ সময় কাটােনা।েমেয়র িবেয় িদেয়িছেলন ঘটা কের 2ছেলর 2খাঁজ িনেয়, চাকির বািড় সব িকছু িনিk 2ত 2মেপ ওজন কের। 2•য়সী তখন সেব চাকিরেত জেয়ন কেরেছ। একটাই দাবী িছল 2ছেল িশব 2হাক িক বাঁদর চাকির 2স 2কানিদন ও ছাড়েব না।। রণজয় 2সটা 2মেনও িনেয়িছল আর ওর বাবা মােয়র ও pথম 2দখােতই পছn অতএব Hভকাজ সmn হেত েবশী 2দির হয়িন। িবেয়র িকছু বছর পর িতয়াসা এল - সবই চলিছল িঠকঠাক। িকnt সমsা টা 2বাধহয় Hr হয় রণজেয়র িফিনk অKাডভাটাইিজং এর িkেয়িটভ েহড এর নতুন চাকরী টা 2নওয়ার পর 2থেক। একিদেক উঁচুেত ওঠার ইঁdর 2দৗেড় িনেজেক িবিk করা, আর তার সােথ িমিডয়া,কিমউিনেকশেনর মাnষ জেনর সেŋ ঢলাঢিল - 2•য়সী একটা মুহূত` পয`n সh কেরিছল সবই। িকnt যখন এটা বুেঝিছল রণজেয়র নতুন stী হে‡ তার চাকরী আর তার 2সা…াল sKাটাস, 2•য়সী তার কােছ পেড় পাওয়া 2চাd আনা - আর 2দরী কেরিন। d বছেরর 2মেয়র হাত ধের 2বিরেয় আসেত সময় িনেয় িছল মাt ছ মাস। 2সই 2থেকই একমাt 2মেয়েক িনেয় 2•য়সী মােয়র কােছ। আেগ নববেষ`র িদেন েমেয় জামাই আসত pণাম করেত আর এখন 2ফােন আtীয় sজন 2দর খুচেরা কথা বাত`া আর Hেভ‡া িবিনময়। রণজয় িdতীয় বার িবেয় কেরেছ Hেন এণাkী একবার বলেতও িগেয়িছেলন 2•য়সী 2ক িবেয়র কথা। 2•য়সীর ঠাNা গলার উtর িছল একবার 2তা তুিম আর বািপ

বই খাতা 2গাছােত না 2গাছােতই 2মাবাইল বাজেছ। 2•য়সী 2দখল অিফস 2থেক 2ফান, “ hাঁ, অলক দা, Hভ নববষ`। বলুন, আজ 2তা আিম …” মা কথা বলেছ আর িতয়াসা কKােলন্ডার হােত এিদক ওিদক েদখেছ| হঠাৎ েখয়াল পড়ল চলn িসঁিড় 2যখােন 2শষ হে‡, তার সামেন লmা মতন একজন দাঁিড়েয়। অেনক টা বাবার মত 2দখেত, িকnt বাবার েতা আজ jর হেয়েছ, তাহেল? d ‘পা এিগেয় 2দখল - hাঁ তাইেতা। “ বািপ ই ই “ বেল িচৎকার কের 2মেয় এক ছুেT িসঁিড় িদেয় 2নেম রণজেয়র সামেন। রণজয় অেপkা করিছল কখন •াবnী 2ছেল 2ক িনেয় 2দাকান 2থেক েবেরােব - 2দাকােনর মেধK ভীেড় দমবn হেয় যাবার 2জাগাড়। হঠাৎ েমেয় 2ক 2দেখ যত না খুিশ, তার 2চেয়ও 2বশী িচnা -” টুিস, তুই একা িক করিছস? কার সােথ এেসিছস? মা 2কাথায়? “ 2দেখা না বািপ, মা 2ফােন কথা বলেছ, আিম 2তামােক 2দেখ 2দৗেড় চেল এেসিছ, আ‡া বািপ,




আজ 2তামার িফভার হেয়িছল? এখন 2কমন আছ? আজ তুিম এেল না েকন? জান, আিম কKােলন্ডাের 2রড কালার 2ড র জn ওেয়ট কির। আিম জািন 2রড কালার 2ড মােনই তুিম আসেব, িক হল বািপ? রনজয় এিদেক 2মেয়র pেŽর উtর 2দেব না 2ফান করেব - সটান ডায়াল করল ে•য়সীর নাmার। অnিদেক অলক দার সােথ কথা বলেত বলেত িনেমেষর জn 2•য়সী অnমনs হেয়েছ আর 2দেখ 2মেয় 2নই। ওই ভীেড়র মেধK তখন pায় উnােদর মত 2মেয়র নাম ধের িচৎকার করেছ, হঠাৎ 2চােখ পড়ল টাচ skীেন রণজেয়র নাম। িক মেন হল, 2ফান 2তালা মাt অn িদক 2থেক রণজেয়র চাবুক - 2ফােন বক বক করেত এতই বKs 2য 2মেয়র হাত টাও ধের রাখেত পােরানা?

এক এক টা ঘNা। তবু এটুk 2ভেব sিs 2পল েয 2মেয় বােপর কােছই আেছ - আsক আজ 2ক একদম ছাল ছািড়েয় … িকnt পর মুহূেত` যখন িনেজর 2ছাটেবলা মেন পড়ল 2য িনেজ কতটা বাপ nাওটা িছল…. এসব ভাবেত ভাবেত 2দেখ সামেন রণজয় সােথ তিnœা। মােয়র হাত 2ছেড় কখনও আর 2যওনা বেল রণজয় চেল যাে‡, িপছু ডাকল 2•য়সী। েতামার আজ jর হেয়িছল না ? hাঁ, মােন dপুেরর িদেক একটু … রণজয় থতমত। িবেকেলর িদেক যখন েদখলাম 2বটার … কথা 2শষ করেত না িদেয়ই ে•য়সীর 2ছাবল, লjাও কেরনা িনেজর েমেয় 2ক িমেথK বলেত? আর কত নীেচ নামেব -

ও 2তামার কােছ? 2কাথায় তুিম?

তিnœা 2ক যখন িহড় িহড় কের ্টানেত টানেত িনেয় যাে‡ রণজয় লkK করল 2মেয়র অসহায় িনÇাপ 2চাখ dেটা।

ে•য়সী তখন সmূণ` অসহায় 2সটা বুঝেত 2পেরই 2বাধ হয় রণজয় বলল, তুিম 2যখােন আেছা ওেয়ট কর, আিম আসিছ টুিস 2ক িনেয়।

এণাkী িকছু টা অবাক ই হেলন এত তাড়া তািড় িফের আসায়, িকের, আইস kীম খাওয়ােনা, িজিনস 2কনা হেয় 2গল? আর খাবার িকেন িনেয় আিনস িন? আিম 2তা রাnা বসালাম না। নাহ, ভাlাগেছ না, 2ফােন িপৎজা অড`ার কের 2দব,তুিম চা বসাও, আিম আর একবার sােন যাব। ে•য়সী বুঝল মা একটু অবাক হেয়েছন, িকnt জােন মুখ খুলেল সব রাগ টা িগেয় পড়েব 2বচারী মােয়র ওপর।

এিদেক •াবnীর মােক`িটং pায় 2শষ, 2ছেলর হাত ধের 2বিরেয় এেস আ‡া 2শান, রন্িটর জn এই িট -শাট` টা িকনলাম, 2কমন….. বলেত বলেত 2দেখ রণজেয়র 2কােল তিnœা। রােগ, jালায় আেs আেs বুঝল মিsেকর 2কােষ আgন jলেত Hr কেরেছ, তাও হািসমুেখ বলল, ওমা, িক িমি| 2মেয়, 2কমন snর বাবার গn 2পেয় িঠক 2দৗেড় 2দৗেড় চেল এেসেছ। 2মেয় তখন বাবা 2ক 2পেয় আtহারা, এসব কথা 2শানার তার সময় কই? Hধু বলল, 2দেখানা আন্িট, আজ 2তা কKােলন্ডাের 2রড কালার 2ড, আজ বািপর আসার কথা তাও আেসিন। hাঁ, 2সানা, 2তামার বািপ এক নmেরর লায়ার। 2মেয় 2দখেলই িমেথK কথা বেল িনেজর 2হাক িক পেরর। •াবnীর গলায় তখন ঘৃণা, বKŋ। বাঃ, েতামার হােত এটা িক? কKােলন্ডার? 2শান, এখােন একটা মাn আেছ , েদখেব 2সখােন সব কটা 2ড 2রড কালােরর। 2সই মােn 2তামার বাবা েরাজ 2তামায় 2দখেত যােব আমায় িমেথK বেল - িক মজা তাই না?

sান pায় 2শেষর মুেখ এমন সময় মা 2মেয়র একটা িচৎকার Hেন েকানমেত কাপড় জিড়েয় 2বিরেয় এেস 2দেখ এণাkী pায় কাঁেদা কাঁেদা sের বলেছন দKাখ না, তুই আজ 2য বাংলা কKােলন্ডার টা এেনিছস, েসটােক িছঁেড় তছনছ কের িদে‡ িতয়াসা েদখল pবল আেkােশ লাল রঙ িদেয় 2যন খুন করেছ িতয়াসা কKােলন্ডার টা। ধাkা 2মের িছিনেয় িনেত যােব, কিচ গলায় ফুঁেস উঠল তিnœা, •াবnী আন্িট িমেথK কথা বেলেছ আমােক, 2কােনা মাn এ অল েরড কালার 2ড 2নই। আিম িনেজ সব কটা bKাক কালার 2ড 2ক 2রড কালার 2ড কের 2দব। সব gেলা 2ড সান 2ড, সব gেলা 2ড েত বািপ আসেব আমায় 2দখেত …

রণজয় দাঁেত দাঁত 2চেপ বেল উঠল ,েনাংরািম টা বn কর, 2মেয়টা ওর মােয়র হাত 2ছেড় আমায় 2দেখ চেল এেসেছ। তেব আর িক, যাও, িগেয় 2পৗঁেছ িদেয় এেসা, আর 2সই sেযােগ 2দেখা কপােল যিদ িকছু 2জােট, পুrষ মাnষ আর kkেরর 2য মাংস 2দখেলই িজেভ জল আসেব 2স আর নতুন িক !

েমেয়েক শাসন করেতও ভুেল 2গল 2•য়সী, তািকেয় রইল অবাক 2চােখ, আর এণাkী লkK করেলন 2•য়সীর না 2মাছা মুেখ জেলর 2ফাঁটার সােথ সােথ 2চােখর 2কাণা 2বেয়ও নামেছ আরও কেয়ক 2ফাঁটা জল। তার সােথ বৃি| নামেলা শহের, মরHেমর pথম কাল ’বশাখী, pবল দাবদােহর পর অেঝাের বৃি|।

•াবnীর 2চাখ িদেয় আgন ঝরেছ আর মুেখ িবdrেপর হািস। কথা না বািড়েয় রণজয় 2মেয় 2ক িনেয় এেগাল kস ওয়াড` 2দাকােনর সামেন। মােঝ মাt িমিনট পাঁেচেকর বKবধান। িকnt 2•য়সীর কােছ মেন হে‡ 2যন




িমসড্ কল অির-া গা/লী (রায়) জn - 2সাদপুর, পািনহাটী পড়াHনার পর সাংবািদকতার চাকরী। িববােহর পর বত`মােন sামী ও একমাt কnা িtশানােক িনেয় জাম`ানীর sুটগােট` বসবাস



িনেজই জােন.....েয ও যেথ| snরী,sুেল ও রীিতমেতা 2ফমাস..িকছু েছেলেদর ও হাট`Îব...আর আজ শািড়েত 2য ওর rপ আেরা 2বেড় েগেছ..েসটা 2তা sাভািবক....pচুর গl..েকাথাকার ঠাkর 2দখেলা.েক েকান নতুন 2Dস পেড়িছেলা..েকান নতুন 2রsুেরন্েট িকিক নতুন আইেটম্ Tাই করা হেয়েছ....এই সব ই আেলাচK িবষয় িছেলা ওেদর..

ক বাবা, 2টs 2পপােরর 22টা 2কাে“ন 2সট 2রিড নইেল 2য িক

েহােতা....একাদশীর িদন এস আর এর 2কািচেন সল্ভ না কের িনেয় েগেলই সবার সামেন 10 টা কথা Hনেত 2হােতা...যা মুখ sােরর, েচােখর জল 2বর কের ছােড়ন...এমিনেত 2কােনা বKাপার িছেলা না, িকnt.....ইndটা যা ফািজল.....সকেলর 2চেয় 2বিশ sাট` অKািটিটউড... েবিশ ভােলা মাক`স পায় বেল ডঁােট মািটেত পা পেড় না, আবার শk সিলউসন gেলা িনেমেষ সল্ভ করেত পাের বেল এস আেরর মেনর মেতা েবs sুেডন্ট...সব বKাপােরই সবজাnা ভাব। এই টাই ঐিndলার একদম পছn নয়, িকnt িক আর করা যােব...নম নম কের আর 2তা কেয়কটা মাস....তারপর আর ঐ বঁাদরটার মুখ 2দখেত হেব না..sার যতই বkিন িদক....এস আেরর সােজশন মােন এগজKােম 80 পারেসন্ট বঁাধা...এই সব কথা ভাবেত ভাবেতই...হঠাৎ...িতিত...এই িতিত.... (মােয়র গলা)...আর কতকখন খাবার িনেয় বেস থাকবও......এই 2র েকস 2খেয়েছ....মা িশওর এরপর 2দির করেল রণরিŋ মূিত` ধের ওপের ঊেঠ এেস বকাবিক Hr করেব.....নাঃ....আর 2ভেব লাভ 2নই...কাল েথেক 2না িচnাভাবনা...রেণা দা আর 2বৗিদ চেল আসেব..জিমেয় পুেজায় ঘুড়েত যাওয়ার িলs 2রিড কের 2ফলেত হেব..

আজ সকাল 2থেকই মনটা ভার....মা, 2বৗিদ 2তারেজার Hr কের িদেয়েছ নাড়ু, িনমিক বানােত...েসই সেŋ পাড়ার ঠাkর বরণ করার টাইম ও এিগেয় আসেছ, pিত বছর এই সময় এেলই িতিতর কাnা পায়...মা dgা েতা চলেলন ˜Hরবাড়ী, আর ঐিদেক দাদাও হঁাটা লাগােব....েকািচং, পড়া...উফ্...আবার ছুিটর অেপkা.. ঠাkর বরণ 2শষ...নাড়ু িনমিকর সদ্ বKবহার করেত করেতই অিদিতেক েসিদেনর 2ফান। িমসড্ কেলর বKাপারটা বেলই 2ফলল িতিত....নmরটা েদেখ িনেজর 2ফােন 2সভ্ করেত করেত অিদিত বলল...d একটা িদন সময় 2দ ঐিndলা, খঁুেজ বার করবই....েক 2সই অেচনা মাnষ..... এিদেক লkী পুেজার পরিদনই এস আেরর 2কািচং Hr..তােল 2গােল মাথা 2থেক িমসড কল িকংবা 2সই অেচনা নmেরর বKাপারটা পুেরাপুির িডিলট হেয় 2গিছেলা িতিতর...েকািচং এ আজ সব 2হাম ওয়ােক`র খাতা জমা িনেয় খাওয়া দাওয়া করােলন sার...চাপ 2নই, বকাবিকটা 2তালা থাকেলা 2নkট িদেনর জn..বািড় 2ফরার পেথ হঠাৎ ই hঁাচকা টােন িতিতেক সবার 2পছেন 2যেত বলল অিদিত..িতিত িকছু 2বাঝার আেগই...এই 2ন....বেল ইndেক িতিতর কােছ 2ঠেল িদেয় অিদিত মুেখ d|ু িমিs হািস মািখেয় বলল....ঐিndলা, 2তার 2সই 2সল 2ফােনর অেচনা নmেরর মািলক...এতিদন ধের মুেখ িকছু না বেলHধু িমসড্ কল 2মের যাি‡েলা....হােত নােত ধেরিছ..ওের বাবা...ভােলাবািসস 2তা, মুেখ না বেল, 2রাজ 2কািচংএ ঝগড়ার ভান কিরস 2কেনা 2র ইnd? পুেজায় 2তােক েদেখ িছল..পKােNেল..আর তারপরই নািক বাবুর মাথায় িমসড্ কেলর pKান আেস...েতােক িভরিম খাইেয় িদেলা, একগাদা িমসড্ কল েমেরই,তবু সত্ সাহস হয়িন 2ফান কের কথাবলার িকংবা একটা 2মেসজ েদওয়ার....আর আিম িশওর, আজও তােল িছেলা...sােরর 2কািচংএ ঝগড়া করার....এেতা িকছু বেল 2গেলা অিদিত....িঠকঠাক 2বাঝার আেগই, ধা কের 2কেট পেড়েছ কাল`িpট ইnd,

পুেজায় চতুথ`ী 2থেকই ঐিndলা বKাs...1) দাদা 2বৗিদর সােথ জিমেয় খাওয়া আর রাত 2জেগ ঠাkর 2দখা..2) এ কিদন মা একবার ও ..িতিত িতিত বেল বkিন 2দয় িন..েকােনা বKাপােরই না যাস না, খাস না বেল বারণও কেরিন..তাই ঐিndলার মন ভীষণ খুশী...ইস্ 2কেনা 2য দাদা কলকাতায় থােক না..(রােত Hেয় 2সটাই ভাবিছেলা ও) িঠক তখনই হঠাৎ 2মাবাইেল অেচনা নmর 2থেক িমসড্ কল...একবার নয়, পরপর 7 বার..অথচ, যখনই ঐিndলা িরিসভ্ করেব বেল হাত বাড়াে‡,েফানটা 2কেট যাে‡..েবশ রাগ হেলা ওর...নmরটা 2দেখ িনেয় ও িনেজই 2ফানটা কের 2ফলেলা.....েবশ িকছু বার Tাই করার পর িরং হেলা, িকnt আ“য` হেলা....েকউ িরিসভ্ করেলা না....অগতKা িবরk হেয় েফানটা 2কেট িদেলা ও....রােত আজ 2মnেত িচংিড় মালাইকাির, oােয়ড রাইস, িচিল িচেকন....সবকটাই দাদার অনাের.....নবমী বেল আজ আর ঠাkর 2দখেত বাইের না িগেয় পাড়ার kােবই আDা 2দওয়া হেয়েছ...এ কটা িদন ওেয়sান` ই পেড়িছেলা িতিত...আজ 2বৗিদ িনেজ হােত ওেক হলেদ সবুজ কিmেনশেনর শািড়টা পিরেয় িদেয়েছ..এমিনেত ঐিndলা শািড় পরেত একদম ভােলাবােস না..কী রকম 2যন আনইিজ িফল্ হয়....িকnt আজ আর ও না বলেত পাের িন 2বৗিদেক..এমিনেত ও খুব েবৗিদর ফKান...তার ওপর কটা িদন বােদই দাদারা চেল যােব..একটা িদন 2যেহতু পাড়ােতই আDা চলেব..তাই শািড় িনেয় অেহতুক অত ভয় েপেত হেব না 2ভেবই িঘচা িসlটা ও পের ই 2ফেলিছেলা....পাড়ার পুেজা বেল িনশা, sন`ািল, অিদিত রা ও এেসিছেলা...আর dর 2থেক ওেক েদেখই..হাত 2নেড় কােছ এেস বেলই 2ফলেলা অিদিত..বাব্ বাহ....িক লাগেছ 2র 2তােক...পুেরা নািয়কা...কথা Hেন মুেখ ধKাত্ বলেলও...িতিত

েশষেমষ অিদিত বKাপারটা 2খালসা করল,আসেল নািক ইnd িতিতেক লাs dমাস খুব ফেলা করেতা,sােরর 2কািচংেয় ওর 2পছেন লাগেত ঝগড়া করেতা,েয 2কােনা ভােবই 2হাক িতিতর অKােটন্শন 2যেনা তার িদেকই থােক 2সই 2চ|া করেতই 2রাজ ইে‡ কের ভাল কের অŋgেলার সিলউশন করত.. িকnt বলেতই পােরিন 2য ও িতিতেক ভােলা 2বেস 2ফেলেছ..েফান নmরটা sারই িদেয়িছেলন, 2য পুেজার ছুিটেত িকছু এk্Tা অŋ িতিতেক বেল




ওেক, অপর pােn hােলা 2শানার পরই,......এরপর িদন 2থেক আর েলাক দKাখােনা ঝগড়া না কের বরং sােরর 2কািচংেয় মন িদেয় অেŋর সিলউশন gেলা, বুিঝেয় িদস। ইnd...আর hঁা, জেয়ন্েটর িpপােরশনটাও একসােথই করব, ভােলা জায়গায় চাnটা িকnt 2পেতই হেব,েতােক আর আমােক, ভুেল যাস না। আফটার অল....েবটার হাফ্ হেল 2তা একসােথই পথ চলেত হেব..িক বিলস....কথা gেলা এক িন˜ােস বেল লjায় েফানটা 2কেট িদেলা িতিত...আর ওিদেক.....েচােখর জল বঁাধ মানেছ না ইndর..

েদওয়ার জn, নmেরর সdKবহার করেত 2ফান কেরিছেলা ইnd, িকnt ঐিndলার গলার আওয়াজ 2পেয় আসল কথাটা না বেল 2sফ িমসড্ কল কের গKােছ 2স...আড়ােল নািক পুেজােত পাড়ায় আর সাউথ কলকাতায় িপছু িনেয় িতিতেক 2দেখিছেলা,েভেবিছেলা sােরর 2কািচং খুলেলই 2স বলেত পারেব মেনর কথা..িকn তার আেগই pKান কের অিদিত ওেক ধের 2ফেলেছ.. কথা gেলা 2শানার পর 2কােনা উtর না িদেয় বািড় এেস 2সাজা 2সই নmের ডায়াল করেলা িতিত, এবার আর 2বিশkণ অেপkা করেত হেলানা




অসমা0 Tina Saha Pal After graduation worked at P & G; currently lives in Zurich with husband and three years old daughter. At free time likes to cook various dishes; likes to travel and listen music. Email:


অভীক এখেনা মেন 2রেখেছ। mail-টা পেড় sেচতার মেন একটা অdুত েমাচর িদল। আজ িদনটা 2য কখন 2শষ হেব, কাল 2য কখন আসেব এই ভাবেছ sেচতা। অ|মীর িদনটা একটু আলাদা হয় অn িদনgেলার 2থেক। তাড়াতািড় sানটা 2সের নীল রেঙর িজনস আর একটা টপ ... 2ছাট চুেল একটা খামিচ লািগেয় িনল। 2চাখdেটােত হালকা কাজল, 2ঠাঁেট হালকা 2গালাপী িলপিsক ... িনেজেক সািজেয় িনল sেচতা। িদিদ কােনর সামেন ঘKানঘKান করেছ - আজেকর িদেন 2তা একটা শাড়ী পরেত পারিতস। েকন 2য লmা চুলটা 2কেট 2ফলিল 2বাn? - েকন 2র িদিদ, আমায় িক বােজ লাগেছ? - আমার 2বাnেক িক বােজ লােগ কখেনা? ভীষন snর লাগেছ। আজ িক দরকার িছল যাবার। - আিম চেল আসব তাড়াতািড়, িবেকেল খুব মজা কের ঠাkর 2দখেত যাব। িদিদেক বেল িন 2কাথায় যাে‡ 2স। Uber-এ বেস মেন মেন চলেছ countdown। চেল এেসেছ অভীেকর বািড়। কত আসেতা sেচতা একসময় এখােন। অেনক সাহস কের 2বল বাজােলা sেচতা। মেন মেন ভাবেছ ৬ ফুট লmা 2সই পুেরান 2চহারাটা সামেন আসেব এখনই। অেপkার অবসান ঘিটেয় দরজা খুেল 2বিরেয় এল বছর পঁিচেশর এক snরী মিহলা। পরেন নীল চুিরদার, 2ঠাঁেট ভুবন 2ভালান হািস। sেচতা খুব সংেকােচর সেŋ বলল - অভীক আেছ? - তুিম িন“ই sেচতা, এেসা, এেসা, আিম পূরবী, অভীেকর বউ। সব সংেকাচ 2কেট 2গল। িক িমি| 2মেয়, বািড়টা পুেরা পােl 2গেছ। বসার ঘর ভিত` অভীক আর পূরবীর ছিব। অভীক পালেট 2গেছ অেনকটা, েগাঁপ 2রেখেছ - বসার ঘের 2চাখ 2বালােলা sেচতা। - িক snর চুল িছল 2তামার, 2কেট 2ফেলছ 2কন? - তুিম িক কের জানেল? (খুব অবাক হল sেচতা) - েকন 2তামােদর পুেরান ছিব, অভীক সব 2দিখেয়েছ আমায় - রােগ 2কেট 2ফেলিছ। অভীেকর লmা চুল ভাল লাগত, তাই বািড়েয়িছলাম। ওই যখন থাকেলা না তখন চুলটােক রাখা 2কন। - তুিম রােগ চুল 2কেটছ আর অভীক রােগ 2গাঁপ 2রেখিছল। িক পাগল েতামরা। আলাদা হেয়ও একসােথ রেয় 2গেল। - তুিম এতিকছু জানেল িক কের পূরবী? - অভীক সব বেলেছ আমায়। ও 2তামায় খুব miss করত। আমায় সব বেলেছ - তুিম 2ফান নাmার, mail id সব পােl 2ফেলিছেল। - আিম 2কান 2যাগােযাগ রাখেত চাই িন। যাই 2হাক িতিন 2কাথায়? - ও 2নই 2তা। - েনই? - তাহেল আমায় আসেত বলল 2কন? (খুব 2রেগ 2গল sেচতা) - ও মারা 2গেছ sেচতা, তুিম রাগ 2কােরা না। - তুিম িক বলেছা, কালই 2তা আমায় reply করল। - ওটা আিম কেরিছ। - িক? তুিম িক পাগল?

িদর অেনক অnেরােধ sেচতা ১০ বছর পর িবেদশ 2থেক

পুেজােত কলকাতায় এেসেছ। তাই িদিদ খুব বKs sেচতােক িনেয়। কারণ মা বাবা চেল যাবার পর sেচতার অিভভাবক বলেত এই িদিদ আর জামাইবাবু। 2বােনর িক ভাল লাগেব, িক ভাল খােব তাই 2ভেব sেচতার িদিদ ও জামাইবাবু পাগল। িকnt sেচতার কলকাতায় আসার কারণ আর একটা আেছ। িবেকেলর পের চািরিদেক আেলার 2রাশনাই kেম pাণবn rপ ধারণ করেছ। চােয়র 2টিবেল িদিদ sেচতােক বললঃ িক দরকার sেচতা ... েছেড় 2দ ... এতিদন হেয় 2গেছ, তুই এখনও ওেক িনেয় ভাবিছস। sেচতাঃ না িদিদ, আিম আর ভািবনা ... দশ বছর হেয় 2গল। Hনলাম ও িবেয় কেরেছ। তাই ভাবলাম 2দখা কির। মেনর মত 2বৗ 2পল িকনা ... িদিদঃ 2শান ও সব ছাড়। এবার তুই একটা িবেয় কর। ৩০ বছর হেয় েগল 2তার, এখনও অভীক - অভীক কের কািটেয় িদিল। যত nাকােমা েতার sেচতা। কিফর কাপ িনেয় sেচতা চেল 2গল পােশর ঘের। sেচতা MBA 2শষ কের এতিদন িবেদেশ িছল চাকির সূেt। অভীেকর সােথ সmক` 2শষ হবার পর আর কলকাতা 2কন এই 2দেশই থাকেত চায় িন 2স। িকnt আজও অভীেকর sৃিত 2থেক 2বেড়ােত পাের িন ... যত দূের ছুেটেছ, অভীেকর sৃিত আেরা জিড়েয় ধেরেছ ... তাই এেতা বছর পর অভীেকর মুেখামুিখ হেত এেসেছ। অেনক ভাবনািচnার পর একটা mail করল sেচতা। িpয় অভীক, 2কমন আিছস, িবেয় কেরিছস Hনলাম। অেনকিদন 2দখা হয় না। আিমও এখােন িছলাম না ... যিদ 2কান সমsা না থােক তাহেল কাল অ|মীেত আমরা 2দখা করেত পাির িক? যিদও জািন পূেজােত বউেক িনেয় বKs থাকিব ... যিদ সmব হয় জানাস। ইিত sেচতা। েঝাঁেকর মাথায় ফট কের mail-টা পািঠেয় িদল sেচতা। ইস, যিদ িকছু ভােব ... hাংলা বা গােয় ঢলািন - ভাবেব না 2তা অভীক ... এইসব আেজবােজ কথা ভাবেছ আর অেপkা করেছ জবােবর। িদিদঃ িক 2র যা, সpমীেত একটা নতুন িকছু পর, একটু ঠাkর 2দেখ আিস। িক 2য 2তারা সারািদন laptop আর 2ফান িনেয় বেস থািকস, জািননা বাপু। sেচতাঃ hাঁ যাি‡ ... একটা দরকাির mail আসেব। এই িদিদ 2শান, আিম কাল একটু 2গালপােক` 2যেত পাির। িদিদঃ 2কন? sেচতাঃ দরকার আেছ। িঠক এই সময় ping কের একটা mail আসার শb হল। sেচতা তাড়াতািড় mailbox-টা খুলল ... বুকটা িঢপ িঢপ করেছ। অভীক িক „না“ কের 2দেব, না িক অপমান করেব। সিতK ভীষন 2বহায়া sেচতা, এইসব ভাবেত ভাবেত নতুন mail-টা খুলল sেচতা। অভীেকর উtর এেসেছ। িpয় sেচতা, উlুক 2সই মুখ ঘুিরেয় চেল 2গিল, ১০ বছর পর মেন পরল ... আিম অেপkা করব 2তার জn কাল ... পাগিল একটা। 2তার অভীক।




- অভীেকর সােথ break up-এর পর আিম খািল ছুেটিছ, িক কের ওর েথেক, ওর sৃিত 2থেক dের যাওয়া যায়। আর ও যখন সিতK 2নই তখন তুিম ওেক িনেয় এিগেয় চেলছ। 2তামার কাছ 2থেক জীবেনর নতুন মােন বুঝলাম পূরবী। - আমার উপর রাগ কেরািন 2তা sেচতা। পূরবী sেচতার হাত dেটা ধরল। - না, একটুও না। - আমরা বnু হেত পাির sেচতা? - িন“ই, আজ 2থেক আমরা বnু। অভীক খুব রাগ করেব - তাই না পূরবী? - না sেচতা, ভীষন শািn পােব। আমার সােথ 2তামায় 2দেখ। অ|মীর সকালটা এইভােব কাটেব 2য sেচতা একদম ভাবেত পােরিন। সােথ রইল আবার 2দখা করার pিতrিত। টKািkেত উঠল sেচতা। সেŋ চলল অভীেকর sৃিত আর পূরবীর বnুt।

- hাঁ আিম পাগল, আিম ওর ভালবাসার পাগল। ওর সব অসmুন` কাজ আমায় 2শষ করেত হেব sেচতা। তাইেতা ওর ছিব Blog, Facebook, email িক‡ু বn কির িন। 2তামার সােথ আমার আলাপ করােনার ই‡া িছল খুব। সবসময় বলত। 2kিপ শাn হেল িঠক আসেব, তখন 2তামার সােথ আলাপ কিরেয় 2দব - আমার িpয় বnু, আমার pথম ভালবাসার সেŋ। আর 2স ই‡া আিম পূরণ করতাম না, sেচতা, বেলা তুিম বেলা। sেচতা হতবাক, গলা 2থেক শb 2বেরাে‡ না। অেনক কে| বলল - িক কের হল। - িতন মাস আেগ বাইক accident কের। সময় 2দয় িন। চেল 2গল আমায় 2ছেড়। আেগর িদন রােত আমায় বেলিছল - ও বাবা হেত চায়। খবরটা িক কের িদ বল 2তা sেচতা? - তুিম pregnant? - hাঁ িতন মাস।




নজ;ল <রেণ

1াতী 2ঞ4া (দাস) িবjােনর ছাtী, অথ`নীিতেত (সাmািনক) sাতক, কmKুিটং িডেpামা, এম. িব. এ. (মানবসmদ, িবপণন)। রবীndসŋীত, নজrলগীিত ও িচtকলায় ‘চNীগড়’ ঘরানার িকছু িডgী রেয়েছ। sদূর কলকাতা 2থেক ইং:-২০০৮ সােল sামীর চাkরী সূেt sুইৎজারলKাN পািড়। অধূনা ‘বােদন’ শহের sামী আর চার বছর দশ মােসর পুt িনেয় বসবাস। অবসর সমেয় ছিব, গান, বইপড়া আর িকছু 2লখােলিখর অভKাস রেয়েছ…।। ই-পt:-

‘ফজলুল হক’-র সহায়তায় িতিন pাতKিহক ‘নবযুগ’ পিtকা pকাশ কেরন। তাঁর রাজৈনিতক pবেn িতিন 2দেশর sাধীনতা-সংgােমর সেŋ ‘rশ িবpব’, ‘আইিরশ িবেdাহ’ ও ‘কামাল আতাতুর’2ক নতুন তূক`ীর সেŋ তুলনা কেরেছন।

৮৯৯ সােলর ২৪ 2শ 2ম, অধুনা পি“মবেŋর বধ`মান 2জলার

চুrিলয়া gােম মুসলমান তালুকদার পিরবাের জngহন কেরন কাজী নজrল ইসলাম। িপতা কাজী ফিকর আহেমদ ও মাতা জািহদা খাতুেনর চার সnান-সnিতর মেধK নজrল িছেলন িdতীয় পুt। িপতা sানীয় মসিজেদর রkক ও ‘ইমাম’ িছেলন। অতnd দািরেdKর মেধK জn, তাই তাঁর নাম রাখা হয় ‘dঃখুিমঞKা’। মসিজদ আর দরগার ‘মkব’ ও ‘মাdাসা’-য় তাঁর 2লখাপড়া Hr হেলও মাt ৮ বছর বয়েস িপতার আকিsক মৃতKুর পর kুিnবৃিtর জn িতিন মাজাের ‘খােদেমর কাজ’ ও ‘2মাlাবৃিt’ করেত বাধK হন। বৃিt পাওয়া 2মধাবী ছাt হওয়া সেttও নজrেলর ছাtজীবন বারবার বKাহত হয়। দািরেdKর িবrেd যুd করেত িগেয় তাঁেক sুল 2ছেড় কখেনা ভৃতK বা কখেনা rিট ’তরীর কারখানায় কাজ িনেত হয়।

বhিদন ধের বাংলায় pচিলত দািরdK, কৃষক 2শাষন, জািতৈবষমK ও ধম`াnতার সmুখীন হেয় নজrল সামািজক, রাজৈনিতক ও অথ`ৈনিতক িবষেয় সমKক অিভjতা লাভ কেরন। তাঁর কিবতা তাঁর আেবগঘন িবেdােহর pিতফলন হেয় ওেঠ। ১৯১৯ সােলর ‘জািলয়ান-ওয়ালাবােগর হতKাকাN’ ভারেতর িbিটশরােজর িবrেd চরম রাজৈনিতক সংgামেক ১৯২০ সােল এক ঐিতহািসক সিnkেণর dয়ারেগাড়ায় দাঁড় করায়। এই িবেশর দশেক নজrল গাnীজীর ডাকা ‘অসহেযাগ আেnালেন’ সািমল হন। মাt ২২ বছেরর তrণ নজrল pবল িবেdােহ এক অিgkরা রচনা কেরন – “বল বীর, বল উnত মম িশর িশর 2নহাির, আমাির নতিশর ওই িশখর িহমািdর”।

শীÕই নজrল ঐ অ[েলর ÖামKমান 2লাকসংsৃিত দল ‘2লটু’-েত 2যাগ েদন। ঐ দেলর হেয় নাটক ও গান রচনা করেত িগেয় িতিন বাংলার েলাকসংsৃিত, সংsৃত, পুরান ও িহnd 2পৗরািনক কািহনীর সেŋ পিরিচত হন।

েসই সমেয়র রাজৈনিতক 2pkাপেট তাঁেক ‘িবেdািহ কিব’ আখKা 2দওয়া হয়। সরকারিবেরাধী 2লখা pকােশর জn ১৯২১ সােল সরকার নবযুগ পিtকা বn কের 2দন।

pথম িব˜যুেdর সময় 2দওয়ালপেt বাŋালী যুবকেদর 2সনাদেল 2যাগ েদওয়ার ডােক সাড়া িদেয় ১৯১৭ সােল নজrল িbিটশ ’সnদেলর ৪৯ নং পlেন নাম 2লখান। যুেd সিkয়ভােব অংশgহন না করেলও ‘নওেশরা’ ও ‘করাচী’-েত থাকাকালীন িতিন তাঁর ‘ফাস`ী’ ভাষার চচ`া ছােড়নিন। সংবাদপেtর মাধKেম িতিন িবে˜র সমসামিয়ক পিরিsিত সmেক` ওয়ািকবহাল হেত লাগেলন। তার মেধK অnতম হল ‘বলেশিভক আেnালন’। এরপর আেরা গভীরভােব িতিন 2লখা Hr কেরন। এক উদারনীিতর মুসলমান পিtকায় তাঁর pথম 2লখা ‘বাউNুেলর আtকািহনী’ pকািশত হয়। এরপর বŋীয় সািহতK পিtকায় তাঁর 2বশ িকছু কিবতা pকািশত হয়, যার মেধK pথম হল ‘মুিk’। এই সময় িতিন ‘মুজফ্ফর আহেমদ’-র সািnেধK আেসন। রাজনীিতিবদ

‘নবযুগ’ পিtকা বn হেল, সŋীত নজrেলর জীবেন pধান অবলmন হেয় ওেঠ। উØিবদKালেয় পড়ার সময় িতিন উØাŋ সŋীেতর তািলম 2নন আর নওেশরায় থাকাকালীন িতিন ‘গজল’-র সেŋ পিরিচত হন। রবীndসŋীেতরও pথম গায়ক িহেসেব নজrল পিরিচিত লাভ কেরন। িতিন তাঁর রিচত গােন আরবী ও ফাস`ী ভাষা িমিশেয় নতুন মাtা আেনন। বাংলা গজল গােনরও pথম pবত`ক িতিন। ১৯২২ সােল নজrল িনেজ pকাশ করেলন বাংলা িdপািkক পিtকা ‘ধূমেকতু’। মাnেষর pিত অnায়-অিবচােরর িবrেd pিতবােদর ভাষা িতিন িহnd-মুসলমােনর ধেম`র উdৃিত িদেয় সৃি| কেরিছেলন। এই িবষেয় উেlখেযাগK রচনাবলীর



‘বুলবুল’-র মৃতKুর পর নজrল আধKাtবাদ ও তntমেত 2যাগসাধনার িদেক ঝুঁেক পেড়ন। এইসমেয় িতিন …ামাসŋীত, কীত`ন সহ বh ভিkগীিত রচনা কেরন। 2কারােনর ৩৮ িট পির‡দ, হািফজ ও ওমর ৈখয়ােমর িকছু অংশ অণুবাদ কেরন। ১৯৩১ সােল নজrল ম[ ও চলিØt জগেত pেবশ কেরন এবং কিলকাতা 2বতারেকেnd সŋীত পিরচালক িহেসেব 2যাগ 2দন। ১৯৩৯ সােল stী pমীলােদবী পkাঘােত শযKাশায়ী হেয় পেড়ন। stীর অssতা ও যুd িবÝs পৃিথবীর পিরমNেল িবচিলত নজrেলর অিsরতা kেম kেম বৃিd 2পেত থােক। ১৯৪১ সােল েকান অজানা আশŋায় নজrল 2লেখন – ‘যিদ আর বাঁশী না বােজ’। যিদ তাঁর সৃজনশীল kমতা হঠাৎ একিদন হািরেয় যায়, তাঁর বাঁশীর sর sb হেয় যায়, তা হেব মৃতKু নয় – মৃতKুর 2চেয়ও ভয়ŋর। এরপর রবীndনাথ ঠাkেরর মৃতKু তাঁেক গভীরভােব নাড়া িদেয়িছল। 2শাকsb নজrল িলেখিছেলন ‘রিবহারা’ কিবতাখািন।

মেধK ‘আনnময়ীর আগমনী’ (দূগ`ার অsরিনধনী শিkর বণ`না), ‘pলেয়াlাস’ (িশেবর pলয়নাচেনর তাৎপয`K বণ`না) সহ ‘মহরম এবং কারবালা’ ও ‘মkা মিদনার যমযম ঈদারা’ সmnীয় pবn অnতম। ‘ধূমেকতু’র pথম সংখKায় িলখেলন – “সবেচেয় বড় ধম` হল মানিবকতা”। িহnd-মুসলমান সmpীিত ও ঐকK তাঁর pধান লkK িছল। এরই ফলsrপ রkণশীল মুসিলম সমাজ তাঁেক ‘কােফর’ আখKা 2দয় আর 2গাঁড়া িহnd সমাজ তাঁেক বজ`ন কের। এই সােলরই নেভmর মােস িbিটশরাজ ‘ধূমেকতু’ বn কের 2দয় এবং নজrলেক ১ বছেরর স•ম কারাদেN দিNত কের। কারাrd নজrেলর কলম িকnt sb হেয় যায়িন। িতিন িলখেলন ‘িশকল পড়ার গান’, ‘সৃি| sেখর উlােস’-র মেতা িকছু উেlখেযাগK কিবতা। 2জেল dব`Kবহােরর িবrেd িতিন ৪০ িদেনর অণশন কেরিছেলন।

১৯২৪ সােল kিমlািনবাসী pমীলা 2সনgpেক নজrল িববাহ কেরন। িকnt িতিন stীেক ধম`াnিরত করেত চানিন। 2সই সমেয়র রkণশীল িহndমুসলমান সমাজ ঐ িববাহেক অৈবধ 2ঘাষনা কের।

১৯৪২ সােল 2বতােরর একিট অnœান চলাকালীন নজrল হঠাৎ বাকrd হেয় যান। ধীের ধীের িতিন মানিসক ভারসামKও হািরেয় 2ফেলন। এই জীবnৃত অবsায় 2চতনাহীন নজrল আরও ৩৪ বছর 2বঁেচ িছেলন। তাঁর েশষ 2লখা গােন িতিন িলেখিছেলন, ‘2খলা 2শষ হল, 2শষ হয় নাই েবলা’। িভেয়নার িচিকৎসকেদর এক দল তাঁর এই দূরােরাগK sায়ুজিনত েরাগিটেক ‘Morbus Pick’ বেল িচিhত কেরন। তাঁর শরীেরর kমাবনিত ঘটেত থােক। এইসমেয় অেনক বছর তাঁেক রাঁচীর (ঝাড়খN) মানিসক হাসপাতােল থাকেত হেয়িছল। ১৯৭২ সােল বাংলােদশ সরকার তাঁেক সপিরবাের ঢাকায় িনেয় যায়। 2সখােনই ৪ বছর পর ১৯৭৬ সােলর ২৯ 2শ আগ| এই মহাpােনর মহাpয়াণ ঘেট।

তাঁর ‘নারী’ কিবতায় িতিন নারী-পুrেষর সমানািধকােরর দাবী 2তােলন। ১৯২৬ সােল কিলকাতার সাmpদািয়ক দাŋার 2pkাপেট িতিন িলখেলন িবখKাত ‘কাNারী hঁিশয়ার’ গানিট। তাঁর ভাষায়, - ‘এই hদয়ই মিnরমসিজদ-িগজ`া। hদেয়র 2চেয় বড় 2কান মিnর বা কাবা হয়না’। এরপর িতিন pবল আিথ`ক সংকেটর সmুখীন হন। 2লেখন িবখKাত ‘দািরdK’ কিবতািট। পরবত`ী dবছর নজrল িনেজেক গান রচনায় িনমjমান কেরন। িpয়পুt বুলবুেলর নােম তাঁর 2লখা pথম গজলঃ‘বািগচায় বুলবুিল তুই ফুল শাখােত িদসেন আজই 2দাল। আেজা তা’র ফুল কিলেদর ঘুম টুেটিন, তndােত িবেলাল।।’

“2তামােদর পােন চািহয়া বnু আর আিম জািগব না, েকালাহল কের সারা িদনমান কােরা ধKান ভািঙব না। িন“ল, িন“ুপ আপনার মেন পুিড়ব একাকী গnিবধুর ধূপ।”

১৯২৮ সােল নজrল gােমােফান 2কাmানীর গীতরচিয়তা, sরকার ও pিশkেকর কােজ িনযুk হন। sখ তাঁর দীঘ`sায়ী হয়িন। ১৯৩০ সােল তাঁর pানািধক িpয়পুt ‘বুলবুল’ বসnেরােগ আkাn হেয় মারা যায়। পুtিবেয়াগবKাথায় জজ`িরত নজrল পরবত`ী ১২ বছের pায় ৩ হাজােররও 2বশী গান রচনা ও sরদােন ডুেব থােকন, যা রবীndনাথ ঠাkেরর রিচত গােনর 2চেয়ও 2বশী।


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১৯৪৫ সােল কিলকাতা িব˜িবদKালয় তাঁেক ‘জগtািরনী sণ`পদক’ pদান কের। ১৯৬০ সােল ভারত সরকার তাঁেক ‘পdভূষণ’ 2খতাব 2দন। ১৯৭২ সােল বাংলােদশ সরকার তাঁেক ‘জাতীয় কিব’-র ময`াদা, নাগিরকt pদান ও ‘২১ 2শ পদক’ িদেয় সmািনত কেরন। ঢাকা িব˜িবদKালয় তাঁেক িdতীয়বার িড.িলট pদান কেরন।

Navratri is celebrated in many parts of India. Navaratri literally means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit. During the nine nights and ten days of Navratri, nine different forms of the Devi (Durga) are worshipped. Garba and Dandiya Raas are the traditional folk dances of Gujarat; in Western India, these are the featured dances at Navratri celebrations. In fact, Dandiya Raas, which is performed in Goddess Durga’s honour, actually represents a mock-fight between the Devi and Mahishasura. The sticks or the ‘dandiyas’ represent the Devi’s swords.




জীবন স3ে> ?যাগা The Secret to Retaining the Beauty of Body & Mind Bornaly Coomar Upon finishing her Masters in Political Science, Bornaly got married & moved to Germany with her husband. After living in many countries around Europe & the Middle East, her husband’s job brought her to Switzerland in 1985. The mother of a daughter & son, Bornaly is a yoga instructor at various Klubschule & Fitnessparks of the Migros Group. She is a passionate but unorthodox devotee of the Hindu religion & performs almost all pujas & rituals she can find in the Bengali calendar. A dreamer in her free time, she enjoys writing poems & scripts, cooking, cooking some more, cooking a lot & taking care of her family. Contact:


সেŋ যুk। বত`মােন আপাতত িমেgােসর কেয়কিট 2সন্টাের kাস িদই। hাঁ, আমার পিরবার িকnt আমােক পূণ`ভােব এিগেয় 2যেত সাহাযK কেরেছ। আমার অl jােন Hatha Yoga সmেn একটা কথা বিল। যিদ প্ৰাথিমক 2যাগার jান না থােক, তেব িসিড বা ইন্টারেনট 2থেক েযাগা করা িঠক নয়। ভুল 2যাগা করা আর ভুল ওষুধ খাওয়া একই বKাপার।

সতK তা যুগযুগাnর ধের িবরাজমান। পুরাতন ভারতবেষ`

মাnেষর 2দেহ ও মেন ssভােব বাঁচার একিট উপায় Hatha Yoga, যা চার 2থেক পাঁচ হাজার বছেরর পুরেনা। 2যাগা এখন 2দশ-েদশাnের ছিড়েয় পেড়েছ। িনতK জীবনযুেd শরীর ও মনেক শাn করার এমন েমাkম উপায় 2বাধহয় আর 2নই।

আট বছেরর িশHর ও আিশ বছেরর বয়s মাnেষর জn িকnt একই রকম েযাগা নয়। pেতKেকর শরীর ও মন অnযায়ী pাণায়াম ও আসন করা উিচত। অথ`াৎ pেতKেকর মন ও শরীেরর কথা Hেন তার উপযুk Hatha েযাগার মাধKেম িনেজেক গেড় 2তালা উিচত। pথেম বিল সূয`K pণােমর কথা। এিট কেয়কিট আসেনর সমnেয় ’তরী। 2sাট` করেত 2গেল 2যমন ওয়ািম`ং আপ করেত হয়, বলা যায় সূয`K pনামও 2যাগার ওয়ািম`ং আপ।

আমার 2যাগা 2শখা Hr হয়, আট বছর বয়েস আমার দাদামশাইেয়র কােছ। তারপর 2যাগা 2থেক অেনক দূের চেল আিস। িচিকৎসা িবÖােট আমােক 2বশ িকছুমাস িরhািবিলেটশন 2সন্টাের ও hইলেচয়াের থাকেত হয়। তেব hাঁ, এখানকার উnত িচিকৎসা বKবsা আমােক আবার দাঁড় কিরেয় িদেলা, িকnt িচিকৎসার trিটিট আমার সŋী হেয় 2গেলা। িফের 2গলাম আিম 2সই 2ফেল আসা 2যাগােত।

Surya Namaskar improves blood circulation of the body. Due to the active process of inhalation and exhalation, the lungs are continually ventilated and the blood remains oxygenated. It's an extraordinary method for detoxing your body and helping it dispose of excess carbon dioxide and other poisonous gases.

Hr করলাম আবার নতুন কের 2শখা, কলকাতায় রামেদেবর এক ছাt ও আয়রনমKান নীলমিনkমােরর এক ছােtর কােছ। মাnষ 2বাধহয় বৃহৎ ডাইেনােসারােসর জীবন-ইিতহাস 2থেক িশেখ িনেয়েছ পরmরার সেŋ নতুেনর 2সতুবnন না করেল 2বঁেচ থাকা যায়না। 2যাগার 2kেtও তাই েদখলাম এক মহািমলন।

When done at a fast pace, Surya Namaskar it is a great cardiovascular workout that stretches the abdominal muscles while concurrently helping you reduce excess weight around your stomach. This asana also tones your arms, abs and gives great flexibility to your spine. It helps to strengthen your entire skeletal system including your ligaments.

আবার িফের এলাম এই sইৎজারলKাN। সংসার করার সােথ pিতেবশীেদর শারীিরক অsিবেধ হেল 2যাগা 2শখােত Hr করলাম। একিদন এক pিতেবিশনী বলেলা ... " এেতা ভােলা িজিনস তুই আেরা 2লাকেক েশখা।" pিতেবিশনী িনেজ িচিঠ িলেখ িমেgােস 2পাs করেলা। আমার মেন আেছ আিম Hধু তােক ১ oাংক িদেয় বেলিছলাম "এটা তু ই 2ন, কােরার কােছ ঋণী 2থেক িকছু হয় না।" সাত িদেনর মেধK ইন্টারিভউেয়র ডাক। এখন এগােরা বছর হেলা িমেgােসর

Surya Namaskar 154

If you're facing the problem of an irregular menstrual cycle, this asana will

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 help you suppress the irregularity and if practiced daily, it ensures an easy childbirth. Pregnant women must follow a different Surya Namaskar routine.


েভেŋ 2চয়াের বসার ভিŋমায় 2মrদN 2সাজা 2রেখ বসেত হেব। এই আসন sাভািবক ভােব ˜াস িনেত িনেত ও ছাড়েত ছাড়েত করেত হেব। pিতবাের ২০-৩০ 2সেকN ধের রাখেত হেব। এই সময় পােয়র আŋুল ও আগার ওপর সমs শরীেরর ওজন 2রেখ বসেত হেব।

By incorporating this asana in your daily routine it will keep you youthful and healthy even in old age. It improves your blood circulation that aids in bringing back the glow on your face; preventing the onset of wrinkles, making your skin look ageless and radiant. It also prevents hair loss and the ageing of hair. Lastly, Surya Namaskar helps to improve memory and the nervous system. It stabilises the activity of the endocrine and thyroid glands thus reducing anxiety and inducing the sensation of complete calmness and tranquillity.

Utkatasana has some great benefits. Practicing this asana gives the hips, spine, and chest muscles a good stretch. The torso and lower back are strengthened. This asana tones the legs, especially the muscles in the knee, the ankles, and the thighs. Regular practice imparts a sense of balance in the body and great determination to the mind. This asana gives the abdominal organs a good massage and also stimulates the diaphragm and the heart. With regular practice, you could lose weight, especially from the buttocks. This asana strengthens your immune system and also helps relieve joint pains and back pains.

Precautions: People suffering from high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis should avoid this asana. Additionally, during the onset of menstruation, Surya Namaskar should not be practiced. If you are pregnant you should not perform the regular Surya Namaskar routine either.

Precautions: Avoid this asana if you suffer from low blood pressure, insomnia, and headaches. Also, practice this pose with caution if you have lower back pain. Make sure that you go into the pose only until you can maintain the natural lumbar curve. You should stop just before your lower back pops backwards or flattens. If you have a shoulder injury, you should make sure to practice this asana with care. If you cannot raise your arms over your head without experiencing pain, move only within the areas where you don’t feel the pain. Keep your gaze straight forward if you have neck pain or dizziness.

অধ7সলভ আসন উপুড় হেয় Hেয় হাত উrর নীেচ রাখুন, কnই 2যন না ভােŋ। হাঁটু না েভেŋ বাঁ পা এক 2দড় ফুট তুলুন। ডান পা মািটেত 2সাজা ভােব থাকেব। একই ভােব পা বদল করেত হেব। sাভািবক ভােব ˜াস - p˜াস 2রেখ ৩০ - ৪০ 2সেকN পািট তুেল রাখেত হেব। pেতKক পােয় ৩-৪ বার করেত হয়। বত`মােন বh 2লােকর 2কামের সমsা তাই এই আসনিট যতটা সmব িবsািরত বললাম।

Ardha Salabhasana is excellent for tightening up the muscles around the hips and thereby reducing them. It gives good exercise to the abdomen; it activates the kidneys, liver and strengthens the ovaries. This posture gives a backward bend to the spine and benefits the lower part of the spine. It is useful in extricating waste matter accumulated in the intestines. It helps in curing constipation, gas troubles, indigestion, dysentery, acidity and other abdominal disorders. Regular practice of this asana helps in the prevention of piles. Precaution: If you have high blood pressure it is better to avoid this pose. As this yoga pose puts lots of pressure on the abdomen pregnant women should not do this asana. People suffering from peptic ulcer or hernia should not do this posture either.


?@াসন dপােয়র ওপর সমান ভােব ভর িদেয় 2সাজা হেয় দাঁড়াও। তারপর ডান পাটা 2ভেŋ বাঁ পােয়র উrর ওপর রােখা। যতটা সmব ডান পােয়র উr ওপর িদেক 2তােলা। তারপর বাঁ পােয়র ওপর 2দেহর ভর 2রেখ 2সাজা হেয় দাঁড়াও। এরপর হাতেজাড় কের নমsার-র ভিŋেত বুেকর কােছ িকংবা মাথার ওপর হাত 2সাজা কের কnই না 2ভেŋ দাঁড়াও। এই আসন pেতKক পােয় dবার কের 2মাট চারবার অnত করা উিচত। pিতবার ৩০ েসেকN কের পােয়র ভিŋমা ধের রাখা উিচত।

Vrikshasana improves balance and stability in the legs. On a metaphysical level, it helps one achieve balance in other aspects of life as well. This asana strengthens the ligaments and tendon of the feet. It also strengthens and tones the entire standing leg, up to the buttocks. Vrikshasana helps the body in establishing pelvic stability. It strengthens the bones of the hips and legs due to the weight-bearing nature of the pose. This asana builds self-confidence and esteem. Precaution: People suffering from severe headaches frequently, should not practice this exercise. Those who

Ardha Salabhasana

উৎকট আসন পােয়র পাতা dিট ৭-৮ ইি[ ফাঁক কের হাত dিট সামেন pসািরত কের েমেঝর সেŋ সমাnরাল 2রেখ 2সাজা হেয় দাঁড়ােত হেব। এইবার হাঁটু




face sleeping problems like insomnia are also advised not to attempt this pose. People suffering from low blood pressure or high blood pressure must also refrain from doing such asanas. If you have high blood pressure, you must not raise your hands over your head for too long as this may affect your heart and there is risk of heart attack. In such cases, you can place your hands on your chest, where the thymus glands are present. This helps in activating them.

Gomukhasana flexes the back, making it more elastic. It helps to cure stiff shoulders and also helps reduce backaches. While practicing Gomukhasana the muscles of the lower back, buttocks and the knees are properly stretched so Gomukhasana is beneficial in backache, sciatica and rheumatism. It enhances the working of the kidneys, thereby helping those suffering from diabetes. Practicing this asana regularly can reduce stress and anxiety. The pelvic and reproductive organs are toned and massaged by regular practice of Gomukhasana. Precaution: People should not do this asana if they are suffering from any problems in the knee, hip, neck, and shoulders.


েগাBখ আসন এই আসনিট করার সময় পােয়র পিসশনটা গrর মুেখর মেতা হয়। তাই 2বাধহয় এর নাম 2গামুখ আসন। dপা 2সাজা ছিড়েয় বেস ডান পােয়র হাঁটু 2ভেŋ বাঁ পােয়র উপর িদেয় নাও। এবার বাঁ পা ভাঁজ কেরা। েগাড়ািল পাছায় 2ঠেক থাকেব। বাঁ হােতর কnই 2ভেŋ িপেঠ নাও, হােতর আŋুল ওপর িদেক থাকেব। ডান হাত মাথার ওপর তুেল কnই েভেŋ িপেঠ নামাও। ডান হােতর আŋুল িদেয় বাঁ হােতর আŋুল hেকর মত কের ধেরা। একটা িজিনস লkK রাখেত হেব, 2য পা ওপের আেছ েসই হাত ওপের থাকেব। 2মrদN 2সাজা 2রেখ সামেন তাকাও, মাথা েযন সামেন ঝুঁেক না যায়। একটা হাঁটু আর একটার ওপর থাকেব। হাত পা বদল কের ৫-৬ বার করেত হেব। pিতবার ৩০-৪০ 2সেকN ধের রাখেত হেব।

Gomukhasana বKs জীবেন সকেলর পেk সকােল 2যাগবKায়াম করা 2বাধহয় সmব নয়। তাই িদেনর 2শেষ ঘুেমর 2দেশ যাবার আেগ নতুন কের শিk স[য় করার জn অnত ১৫-২০ িমিনট 2যাগবKায়াম কের িনন। আর হেয় উঠুন sঠাম েদহ ও মেনর অিধকারী।

Fertility Dance by Tanmoy Pal 156




Srabani Dey Masters in Economics Hailing from Cooch-Behar, North Bengal Kathak & Bharat Natyam Dancer by training Loves writing from childhood Has interest in Photography Lives in Bern since mid 2010 Contact:

েচােখ 2পছেন 2ফেল আসা 2সই কালজয়ী সৃি|েক ততkণ 2দখেত থাকলাম, যতkণ না তা দৃি|র অেগাচের যায়। পেররিদন pধান লkK 2কােলাসীয়াম। 2সখােন 2পৗঁেছ অবাকই হলাম। এতটা জনসমাগম আশাতীত িছল। Hধু 2কােলাসীয়াম 2কন, েরােমর pিতিট মুখK দশ`নীয় sােনই জনসমাগেমর কমিত 2নই। 2কাথাও েকাথাও মেন হি‡ল 2যন 2মলা চলেছ। sKািনশ 2sপস-এর কােছ িগেয় েতা kিণেকর জn বাকrd হেয় 2গিছলাম। সিবsেয় 2দখলাম, sKািনশ েsপস-এর ১৩৮ খানা ধাপ 2বেয় 2নেম আসা পয`টকীয়-জলpপােতর িবপুল জনরািশ নীেচর পথ-নদীেত িমেশ িtধারায় িবভk। এরকম িভড় েদেখ একটু-আধটু 2দশীয় অnভূিত 2য হি‡ল না- তা অsীকার করা যায়না। এমিনেতই ইটািলেক ভারেতর ইউেরািপয়ান সংsরণ বেল চািলেয় 2দওয়াই যায়। 2স যাই 2হাক, আমরা আবার িফের আিস 2কােলাসীয়ােম। িটিকেটর লmা লাইন। লাইেন দাঁিড়েয়ই এিদক-েসিদেকর িকছু দৃ… কKােমরা-বnী করলাম। িকnt 2ছাট বাØা িনেয় অতটা সময় লাইেন দাঁিড়েয় থাকা সmব িছলনা। সময় বাঁচােত একিট দেলর সােথ যুk হলাম। pসŋতঃ বেল রািখ, ওখােন িবিভn ভাষায় টKুর-গাইড pদানকারী েবশিকছু সংsার pিতিনিধরা 2ঘারােফরা কেরন পয`টকেদর তােদর 2সবা িবkেয়র জn। রেয়েছ িবিভnরকম পKােকজও। এরপর িনরাপtা-পরীkণ সmূণ` কের যখন 2কােলাসীয়ােমর েভতের পা রাখলাম, মুহূেত` 2যন বইেয়র পাতায় পড়া 2ছাট-েছাট কােলা অkরgেলা মাথা চাড়া িদেয় জীবn হেয় উঠল। অnহীন িবsেয় 2ভেস েযেত 2যেত িনেজেক 2যন িব˜াসই করােত পারিছলাম না- pায় ২০০০ বছেরর pাচীন এই িনদশ`নিট, যা তৎকালীন 2রামান সmাটেদর নারকীয় উlােসর সাkী হেয় দাঁিড়েয় আেছ, 2যই উlােসর মেধK চাপা পেড় 2গেছ না জািন কত gKািডেয়টেরর মৃতKু-কালীন আত`-চীৎকার- তা আিম sচেk অবেলাকন করিছ। অKািmিথেয়টােরর রেn-রেn 2যন িমেশ আেছ ওইসব িছnিভn 2দহ 2থেক 2বিরেয় আসা কrণ দীঘ`˜াস। 2যই মে[ েসই নৃশংস 2খলা অnিœত হেতা, তার সামেন িগেয় থমেক 2গলাম। কতশত িনrপায় বnী-েযাdােদর রkাk মৃতেদেহর kতিচh বুেক িনেয় েসিদেনর মেতা আজও 2স নীরব। তেব ম[িটর সংsার চলিছল। নতুন মােব`েলর ফলকgেলা, চািরিদেকর তীb pাচীনতার মেধK বড়ই 2বমানান লাগিছল। অKািmিথেয়টারিটর িনম`াণ- 2কৗশল 2দেখও অবাক হেত হয়। েবশ িকছুkণ 2ভতের 2ঘারােফরা কের অdুত এক 2ঘার-লাগা অnভূিত িনেয় 2বিরেয় এেসিছলাম, যার sৃিত এখনও একইরকম জীবn।

2নক সমsার মালাইকারী আর ভাবনা-িচnার 2কাpা পাকােনার

পর 2শষপয`n িঠক হল এবােরর বড়িদেনর ছুিট 2রােমই কাটােনা হেব। সমsা এমিন 2তমন িকছু নয়, Hধু আমােদর চার বছেরর কnািটেক িনেয়। খাওয়া-দাওয়া িনেয় 2বজায় ঝােমলা। ভাত আর আলু ছাড়া বাইেরর 2কানও িজিনসই িতিন মুেখ 2তােলন না। এই চীজ-পাউrিটর েদেশ বাইের ভাত আিম 2কাথায় পাই বলুন 2দিখ? 2স যােহাক, অেনক েদা- টানার পর „যা হেব 2দখা যােব“- এই বেল 2বিরেয় পড়লাম। বান` (sইজারলKাN) 2থেক pায় ১০ ঘNার লঙ-Dাইভ। চলার পেথ িব•াম-সহ েসটা িগেয় দাঁড়ােলা ১২ ঘNায়। পািড় িদলাম 2রাম। শহরটােত পা িদেয়ই অdুত একটা অnভূিত হি‡ল, যা আিম ভাষায় pকাশ করেত অkম। সকােল 2পৗঁেছ 2হােটেলর সমs ফম`ািলিটস েশষ কের, sান-খাওয়া 2সের যখন 2বেরালাম, dপুর তখন িবেকেলর পেথ হাঁটা িদেয়েছ। 2সিদন আর উেlখেযাগK িকছু 2দখা হেয় ওেঠিন এক েTিভ ফাউনেটইন (Trevi Fountain) ছাড়া। একটু 2ঘারাঘুির কের িফের আিস 2হােটেল। 2ফরার পেথ আমােদর টKািkটা 2কােলাসীয়ােমর সামেন িদেয় আেস। একিদক ভাঙা হেলও, আর এত pাচীন হওয়া সেttও, সমg 2রােমর মেধK এই অসাধারণ sাপতK-কীিত`িট এতটাই পৃথক ’বিশ|K িনেয় sমিহমায় িবরাজমান 2য সকেলর দৃি| আকিষ`ত হেত বাধK। 2য গিলেত ঢুকিছলাম, তার অপর pােnর 2মােড়র মাথায় একিচলেত 2কােলাসীয়াম দূর 2থেকই 2চােখ পেড়িছল। উেtিজত হেয় sগেতািkর মেতা একটু 2জােড়ই বেল উেঠিছলাম- ওটা িক? েকােলাসীয়াম না!!! বলেত বলেতই সামেন চেল এেসেছ আমােদর টKািkটা। hাঁ, িঠক তাই- 2কােলাসীয়াম- আর তৎkণাৎ অ|ম 2•ণীর ইউেরািপয়ান ইিতহােসর বইেয়র পাতাgেলা 2যন আমার 2চােখ-মুেখ একটা দমকা হাওয়ার ঝাপটা িদেয় 2গল। আিম ঘাড় ঘুিরেয় িবেভার



SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2017 আরও pগাঢ় কেরেছ। ইটািলরই আর এক শহর িমলান-এর সােথ 2রােমর তুলনা করেল িবsেয়র অn থােকনা। িমলান হল িব˜বKাপী চারিট বড় ফKাশন-কKািপটােলর মেধK একিট। সমg িবে˜র কােছ আধুিনকতার অnতম পথpদশ`ক। আর অপরিদেক 2রাম দাঁিড়েয় আেছ হাজার হাজার বছেরর pাচীন Ýংসsূপ বুেক আঁকেড়। 2রােমর pায় pিতিট দশ`নীয় sােনই pচুর পিরমােণ িসঁিড় ভাঙেত হেয়েছ। কখনও সr, কখনও বাঁকােনা, কখনও pশs ও খাড়া- pায় ৫০০-এর উপর 2তা হেবই। 2বশী হওয়াও অসmব নয়। কখনও 2মেয়েক েকােল িনেয়, কখনও তাঁর রথিটেক ভাঁজ কের এক কাঁেধ িনেয়, কখনও বা 2মেয়েক তােত বিসেয়, আমরা dজন সামেন-েপছেন dিদেক ধের ওপর-নীেচ ওঠা-নামা করেত করেত 2রামKান্িটকটা অেনক আেগই 2রাম েছেড় পািলেয়িছল। 2নহাত ঘুের 2বড়ােনাটা চূড়াn 2নশা বেলই হয়েতা এই ক| অgাh কেরও, 2মেয় আর তার বাহনিটেক িনেয়, খাড়া িসঁিড় েভেঙ, হাঁপােত হাঁপােত িভtিরয়ােনা sৃিতsেmর পাঁচতলার ছােদ উেঠ িগেয়িছলাম Hধুমাt তার শীষ`েদশ 2থেক 2রােমর পKােনারািমক িভউ েদখব বেল। পাঁচতলার ছােদ অব… িলফট িছল একদম উপেরর 2টরােস যাওয়ার জn। িব˜াস কrণ, ওপের ওঠার পর 2চাখ জুিড়েয় 2গেছ। িকছুkণ আেগর 2সই িনদাrণ ক|, kািn-িবরিk এক মুহূেত` ভােলালাগার ফুরফুের হাওয়ায় িমিলেয় 2গেছ। পাঠকেদর িন“ই মেন হে‡, গেlর এরকম একটা আেবগ-মিথত নাম িদেয়, তখন 2থেক Hধু খরখের রাsার ঝরঝের Öমণকািহনীই Hিনেয় যাে‡। 2কাথায় 2pম? 2কাথায় 2রামKাn?? আপনােদর এই pিতিkয়া এেকবােরই অsাভািবক নয়। এখােন বেল রািখ, আপনারা যিদ 2কউ েভেব থােকন 2pিমক/ 2pিমকােক িনেয় 2রােম 2রামKাn করেত যােবন বা নবিববািহত 2কান দmিত যিদ মধুচিndমার জn 2রামেক মেনানীত কের থােকন - তেব মশাই আপনােদর মেতা 2বরিসক মাnষ আর 2নই। 2রাম শহরিটর 2তমন 2কানও pাকৃিতক 2সৗnয` বা পিরেবশ িকছুই 2নই যা আপনার মেন একটু 2pম-েpম ভােবর উেdক করেব। 2রােম না আেছ নীলাmরী gীেসর sিpল মায়াবী হাতছািন; না আেছ তট-snরী ইিবৎজা (Ibiza)-র মেতা 2নশা ধরােনা মাদকতা; না আেছ sইজারলKােNর মেতা সেতজ-সবুেজর চপলতা আর হােত-হাত 2রেখ পাশাপািশ এিগেয় চলা পাহাড় আর িঝেলর 2সই িকেশার-বয়সী 2pেমর আেবশ। 2বিশরভাগই 2ছাট-বড় নানা pাচীন Ýংসsূপ বুেক িনেয় দাঁিড়েয় আেছ 2রাম। ওgেলাই তার সmদ। তাই আপনার যিদ ইিত িদ বা িতহাস দার সােথ 2pম থােক (মােন, ইিতহােসর সেŋ 2pম থােক), তাহেল অব…ই 2রােম যান। পৃিথবীর বুেক, 2কাণায় 2কাণায় ছিড়েয় থাকা এরকম ইিতহাস-সমৃd pাচীন শহর হােত 2গানা কেয়কিটই আেছ। আর আপিন যিদ ইিতহাস-েpমী নাও হন, তবুও 2রােম একবার েযেতই পােরন। 2কােলাসীয়ােমর pায় ২০০০ বছেরর pাচীন ইিতহাস ও sাপতK এবং িসসটাইন চKােপেল মাইেকল অKােvেলার অিবsরণীয় কীিত` আপনার মেন 2রামা[ জাগােব না!!! - 2সটা আমার কােছ অসmব বেলই মেন হয়। তাই বলব, ইিতহাস-অেpমীরাও ঘুের আsন 2রাম। তােদর কােছ 2রামKান্িটক 2রাম না 2হাক, 2রামা[কর 2রাম 2তা বেটই!!!

পেররিদেনর গnবK ভKািটকান িসিট- িবে˜র kুdতম sতnt রাজK। এিট ইটািলর অnভ`ুk নয়। ভKািটকান ওয়াল িদেয় 2রােমর মেধK 2থেকও, Hধু 2রাম 2কন, ইটািল 2থেকই িবি‡n হেয় sতntভােব অবsান করেছ। েপাপ-ই হেলন এখানকার সব`ময় কত`া। এখােনও িবশাল লmা লাইন। তেব 2সৗভাগKবশতঃ অনলাইন িটিকট কাটায় 2সটােক উেপkা করা সmব হেয়িছল। তারপর Hr হলও িমউিজয়াম-সফর। সr-েমাটা-খাড়া-ঢালুউঁচু-নীচু নানা pকােরর িসঁিড় 2ভেঙ ভKািটকান িমউিজয়াম ঘুের সবেশেষ এেস 2পৗঁছলাম িমউিজয়ােমর সব`ােপkা আকষ`ণীয় কk িসসটাইন চKােপল (Sistine Chapel)-এ। িসসটাইন চKােপেলর ছােদর েদয়ালিচt (Frescoed Ceiling) মাইেকল অKােvেলা-র সবচাইেত িবখKাত কীিত` বেল গণK হয়। এেদর মেধK “The Creation of Adam” 2সরা ও সব`জনিবিদত। এরসােথ রেয়েছ, “The Creation

of Eve”, “Stories of Noah”, “The Temptation and Expulsion of Adam and Eve”, “Division of Water from Earth by God”, “Division of Light from Darkness by God”, “ Creation of The Sun and Planets by God” ইতKািদ সব অনn-সাধারণ সৃি|। িকছুkণ মntমুেgর মেতা দাঁিড়েয় িছলাম। িকnt 2চাখ ও মন 2কানওিটরই আশ 2মেটিন। pচN িভেড়র দrন খুব তাড়াতািড়ই 2বিরেয় আসেত হেয়িছল। মেন হি‡ল সারািদন ধের পুŋাnপুŋভােব pিতিট িশl-সৃি| পয`েবkণ করেলও বুিঝ মন ভরেতা না। চKােপেলর 2বদীমূেলর 2পছেনর িবsৃত ওয়াল জুেড় 2শাভা পাে‡ আর একিট অসামাn 2দয়ালিচt, মাইেকল অKােvেলা-র আর একিট অনবদK সৃি| - “The Last Judgement”। িসসটাইন চKােপেলর 2ভতের, 2দয়াল ও ছােদর pিতিট ইি[েত যত ঐ˜য` ছড়ােনা আেছ- মুgতার িবচাের তা সমs ভKািটকান িমউিজয়ামেকও ছািড়েয় যায়। উৎকষ`তার িবচাের তা অতুলনীয় ও নিজরিবহীন। pিতিট 2দয়ালিচt (Fresco) এত জীবn, তােত রেঙর এত pাচুয` ও সাযুজK, 2দখেল এেককিট psর-েখািদত বণ`ময়-ভাsয` বেল Öম হয়। চKােপল 2থেক 2বিরেয় অমসৃণ পথ ধের এবার এেগালাম 2সন্টপীটাস` গীজ`ার িদেক। এিটেত ঢুকেত 2যেহতু িটিকেটর pেয়াজন হয়না, তাই িবশাল বৃtাকার 2সন্ট-পীটাস` sয়ােরর একমাথা 2থেক আর একমাথা লmা লাইন উেপkা করা আর সmব হয়িন। পুেরা 2শষ-dপুর আর িবেকল গিড়েয় সেnKর মুেখ গীজ`ায় pেবশ সmব হয়। 2সখােনও েচাখ-ধাঁধােনা সব িশl-ভাsয`। ছােদর কাrকায` ও 2দয়ালিচt এবং েমেঝর মােব`েলর কাজ মুg কের। এখােনও রেয়েছ মাইেকল অKােvেলার আর একিট িবখKাত কীিত` “িপেয়তা” (Pietà)- kুশিবdকরেণর পর মৃত যীHেক 2কােল িনেয় kমারী 2মরীর মােব`ল-মূিত`। এিট মাইেকল অKােvেলার pথম pধান সৃি|, যা িতিন মাt ২৩ বছর বয়েস সmূণ` কেরিছেলন। এিটই তাঁর সৃ| একমাt ভাsয`, যারমেধK িতিন িনেজর নাম েখাদাই কেরিছেলন। সমs 2রাম শহরটােতই একটা pাচীনতার ছাপ। অিল-গিলই েবশী। ২-৩েট pধান সড়ক আর হাইওেয় ছাড়া pায় সমg 2রােমর রাsাঘাট-গিলপথ সবই Cobblestone-এর ’তরী, যা pাচীনতার ছাপেক




অথ C মহাভারত কথা আজাদ রহমান কমস`ূেt pায় দশ বছর জুিরেখ, পুরেনা ও নতুন বইেয়র সংgাহক। পাঁচ’শ-র অিধক বইেয়র পুঁিজ িনেয় যার sp বািড়েত িনজs এক লাইেbরীর। িpয় 2লখক কমলkমার মজুমদার। ই-পt:-


িতিন িছেলন সািহতK,িশlকলা,গানবাজনার অnরাগী। মntী, পািরষদ ও অnাn অিভজাতেদর অjতা ও 2গাঁড়ািম দূর করেত ও তােদরেক ভারতবেষ`র ধািম`ক ও দাশ`িনক িচnাভাবনা সmেক` সমKক পিরচয় করােত তাঁর িনেদ`েশ Hr হেয়িছল এক sিবশাল অnবাদকম`,সংsৃত মহাভারেতর ফাস`ী তজ`মা।

Dক অব EাF

একিদন তার çKােট এক অKান্িটক বই-িবেkতা 2দখা করেত এল একিট অdূত বই সেŋ ক’2র িনেয়। বইিট 2স িবকানীেরর একজন িনmবেণ`র েলােকর 2থেক 2পেয়িছল। 2কান এক ভারতীয় ভাষায় 2লখা আ“য` 2স বই। বইিটর পাতার নmরgিল 2কান kম মােন না, 2জাড় ও িবেজাড় সংখKক পাতাgিলর নmেরও 2কােনা িমল 2নই; 2কান একিট পাতা একবার 2খালার পর বn কের আবার খুলেল 2সই পাতািটেক আর েকানভােবই খুঁেজ পাওয়া যায় না। পাতার সংখKা 2যন অসীম। দK বুক অব sাN, কারণ বািলর মতনই এই বইিটরও 2কান Hr বা 2শষ 2নই। অেনক টাকা িদেয় 2স বইিট িকেন িনেজর সংgেহ রােখ,েকবলই উেl পােl দKােখ, িকnt বইিটর রহs উdার করেত পাের না। বইিটর 2নশায় ধীের ধীের 2স পাগল হেয় যায়, বুঝেত পাের 2যমন কেরই 2হাক,বইিটর হাত 2থেক তােক িন°ৃিত 2পেত হেব।

অপুর িকেশার মন krেkেtর আেঠেরা িদেনর যুেd খুিশ িছল না, ওইটুk যুdেত তার মন ভরত না,বাখাির বা হাlা 2কান গােছর ডালেক অst কের 2স িনেজই তার বািড়র িপছেন বাঁশবাগােন বা বাইেরর উেঠােন েdাণ ও অজ`ুেনর হেয় বাণ ছুঁড়ত, তার কlনায় যুdটােক 2স িনেজর মতন বািড়েয় িনেয়িছল। আর মুঘল সmােটর কােছ মহাভারত মূলত এক যুেdর বই,ফাস`ীেত ‘রজমনামা’। বইিটেত 2sফ ফাস`ী অnবাদ থাকল তা নয়, সেŋ জুড়ল অেনক আnষিŋক িমিনেয়চার 2পইন্িটং, এেককটা ছিবেত 2বশ কেয়কটা কের সমাnরাল sর, একটা পুেরা ঘটনা বা কািহনীেক একটামাt ছিবেতই snরভােব ফুিটেয় 2তােল। sিবশাল বইিটর চারিট খN, সাতেশার উপর বড় সাইেজর পাতা আর তার মেধK pায় d’শ পাতায় পুেরা পাতা জুেড় িচtালংকরণ। আকবেরর ‘তসিবরখানা’র িদকপাল িচtকেররা ছিব আঁকার কােজ িনযুk হেয়িছেলন। এর আেগ আকবেরর আমেল 2যসব ছিব আঁকার কাজ হেয়িছল তা মূলত পারিসক িবখKাত িচtকরেদর অnেpরণায়, িকnt এই pথমবার 2কউ মহাভারেতর উপর কাজ করেত চেলিছল। আেগর 2কােনা েরফােরn না থাকায়, তােদরেক একদম শূn 2থেক Hr করেত হল এবং েসই কারেণই ‘রজমনামা’ এক অতুলনীয় িশlকােজর িনদশ`ন। আকবর এই বই 2দেখ এত খুিশ হেয়িছেলন 2য িতিন শীÕই রামায়ণও অnবাদ করার আেদশ 2দন।

েবােহ`েসর 2লখা এই 2ছাটগlিট িক মহাভারেতর কথা মাথায় 2রেখ েলখা? হয়ত। জাম`ান গেবষক আl িহেlবাইেতল মহাভারত সmেক` িলখেছন - মহাভারেতর pেতKকটা গেl অn আেরক গেlর বীজ লুিকেয়,েকােনা গlই পূণ`াŋ নয়,েযন 2শষ হয় না, pেতKকটা ভাস`ােনর আেছ আবার আর একটা অn ভাস`ান।

অGর নায়ক dপুেরর খাওয়া-দাওয়ার পর তার মা কখেনা কখেনা জানলার ধাের আঁচল 2পেত Hেয় 2ছঁড়া কাশীদাসী মহাভারতখানা sর কের পড়ত। জানলার বাইের বাঁশবেনর িদেক 2চেয় 2চেয় krেkেtর যুেdর কথা Hনেত Hনেত অপু তnয় হেয় যায়। তার নায়ক কণ`,কেণ`র উপর তার েকমন একটা মমতা হয়। রেথর চাকা মািটেত পুঁেত 2গেছ - কণ` pাণপেণ চাকা 2টেন 2তালার 2চ|া করেছন - 2সই িনরst অসহায় কণ`েক অজ`ুন তীর ছুঁেড় 2মের 2ফলেলন। এই অংশ Hনেত Hনেত অপুর 2চাখ ছলছল করত,েচােখর জল বাগ মানত না। আজn মাতৃ ে sহ 2থেক বি[ত,মহাভারেতর বKথ`, পরািজত, নামযশহীন এক বীর কণ` বালক অপুর কােছ,কিবর কােছ,আপামর বাঙালীর কােছ এক TKািজক িহেরা।

শMেভদী বাণ ‘2গালকধাম রহs’ গেlর Hrেতই আমরা 2দিখ 2ফলুদা ও 2তাপেস dজেনই মহাভারত-রামায়ণ পড়েত বKs, 2ফলুদা রাজেশখর বsর সারাnবাদ আর 2তাপেস িকেশার সংsরণ। 2ফলুদার বাজারচলিত িবেশষেণ মহাভারত এককথায় ‘আনপু ট ডাউেনবল’। িকnt েগােয়nাগেl হঠাৎ এিপেকর pসŋ 2কন? 2সই pেŽর উtর পাওয়া যায় গেlর kাইমKােk,যখন জানা যায় - রাজা দশরেথর মত গেlর খুিন অnকাের বাণ চালােত জানত, মহাভারেতও 2দখা যায় 2বশ কেয়কজন ধnধ`র শbেভদী বাণ চালােত িশেখিছল।

রজমনামা - J Dক অব ওয়ার ওরহান পামুেকর ‘মাই 2নম ইজ 2রড’ উপnােসর 2শেষ খবর আেস বসফরােসর নীল জেল এক জাহাজ pতীkায় আেছ, ইsানবুেলর িমিনেয়চার 2পইন্টারেদর ভারতবেষ` িনেয় 2যেত, 2যখােন মুঘল সmাট আকবেরর পৃœেপাষকতায় এক িবশাল কম`যj Hr হে‡। েয যুেগ তখনও রাজনীিতিবদেদর বুেড়া বয়েস একখান আtজীবনী িলেখ 2ফলা 2সরকম ফKাশান হেয় ওেঠিন,েসই যুেগ তাঁর ঠাkরদা িলেখ েগেছন এক অকপট sৃিতকথা - ‘বাবরনামা’। আর তাঁর বাবা hমায়ুন িছেলন gnকীট,যাঁর িনজs লাইেbরীেত িছল pচুর বইেয়র সংgহ,যুd করেত িগেয়ও িকছু পছnসই বই সেŋ রাখা িছল তাঁর িনয়িমত অভKাস। আকবর িনেজ যিদও িছেলন িনরkর, 2যন 2সইজnই আেরা 2বিশ কের

িনেজর সnান না িpয়তম িশ£ - কােক 2বিশ যt িনেয় অstিবদKা েশখােবন, এই dnd gr 2dাণাচােয`র মেন জn 2নয়া sাভািবক িছল, তাই kােসর 2সরা ছাt হওয়া সেttও অজ`ুনেক অেনক ক| করেত হেয়েছ grপুt অ˜থামার 2থেক 2বিশ িবদKা 2শখার জn, তবুও 2dাণাচায` যখন েদখেলন অজ`ুন সমান সমান িশেখ 2ফেলেছ, িতিন একবার 2শষ 2চ|া করেলন, অজ`ুনেক িকছুেতই শbেভদী বাণ চালােনা িশখেত না 2দওয়ার। িতিন এটাও জানেতন - অজ`ুেনর মতন 2মধাবী ছাt শbেভদী বােণর কথা জানেত পারেল িনেজ িনেজই িশেখ 2ফলেব। তাই িতিন পাচকেক িনেদ`শ িদেলন - অজ`ুনেক 2যন কখনই অnকাের 2খেত 2দওয়া না হয়। িকnt




িনয়িতেক আটকায় কার সািধK! একিদন রািtরেবলা খাবার সময় হঠাৎ দমকা হাওয়ায় pদীপ 2গল িনেভ,অnকাের 2খেত 2খেত অজ`ুেনরও েখয়াল হল,মাnষ অভKাসবশত যিদ অnকাের িঠক িঠক খাবার 2খেত পাের,তাহেল 2সরকম অভKাস করেল 2স অnকাের বাণও চালােত পারেব। তারপর এক রােত 2dাণাচায` বাণ চালােনার আওয়াজ Hনেত েপেলন,বুঝেলন অজ`ুনেক িতিন ফাঁিক িদেত পােরনিন। অজ`ুেনর 2থেকও িনœাবান িছল তাঁর আেরক িশ£ িনষাদরােজর পুt একলবK - হেলই বা েস pতKাখাত - gr 2dাণাচােয`র মৃnয় মূিত`র সামেন অভKাসরত অবsায়, না তািকেয়ই অসmব িkpতায় এক িনেমেষ সাতিট বাণ ছুঁেড় গজ`নরত একিট kkেরর মুখ বn ক’2র িদেয় 2স বড় pŽিচh এঁেক িদেয়িছল অজ`ুেনর 2•œেtর উপর। তার ফল অব… তােক ভুগেত হেয়িছল grদিkণা িদেয়।

তােদর বড় হওয়ার গl, তারপর িক কের এক মহাযুd হল, মানবজািতর এক কািবKক ইিতহাস। িকnt িকছুই 2লখা হয়িন, কাউেক চাই 2য িলিপবd করেব আমার এই মহাকাবK। তখন গেণশ এেস জানাল,েস Hেনেছ বKাসেদব 2লখার জn 2লাক খুঁজেছন। বKাসেদব তােকই িনযুk করেলন েলখার কােজ। মহাভারেতর কািহনী বলা Hr হয় কিব’র মুেখ,গেণশ িলখেত থােক,আর িকেশার বালকিট উত্sক হেয় 2শােন ও মােঝ মােঝই অেনক pŽ কের। 2যন নাটকিট 2দখেত 2দখেত দশ`েকর মেন 2য অজs েকৗতুহল ও সেnেহর উেdক হয়,েস দশ`েকর হেয় 2সই সমs 2কৗতুহল ও সেnেহর িনরসন করেত চায় sয়ং রচিয়তােক pŽ ক’2র। পিরচালক িপটার brকস এবং নাটKকার জঁ kদ কKািরেয়র নাটকিটর উপাদান সংgহ কেরেছন ভারতবেষ`র িবিভn জায়গা ঘুের,েসইসেŋ এই এিপকেক ম[s করার জn তাঁরা বKবহার কেরেছন 2bখেটর ‘এিপক িথেয়টার’ আেnালেনর তtt,ৈবিশ|K ও নাটKভাবনা। কেয়কিট দৃে…র উদাহরণ িদেল হয়ত বKাপারটা পির°ার হেব। দৃ… এক: িবিচtবীেয`র অপুtক অবsায় মৃতKুর পর সতKবতী যখন ভীíেক অnেরাধ কের িনেয়াগ pথার জn, ভীí pতKাখান কের; পুেtর অভােব krবংশ আর এেগােব না, এই বেল বKাসেদেবর কােছ মহাকাবKিটর অকাল সমািp 2ঘাষণা ক’2র গেণশ মহাভারত 2লখার কােজ ইsফা িদেয় নাটক 2থেক psান করার উপkম কের। দৃ… dই: নাটেক গেণশ ও কৃে¹র ’dত ভূিমকায় অিভনয় কেরেছন একই 2লাক, িকnt তার গেণশ 2থেক কৃে¹ rপাnর ঘেট খুব মসৃণভােব, কৃ¹ 2তা সবার মােঝই আেছন,আমার মেধKও - এই বেল গেণশ তার মুখ 2থেক হািতর মুেখাশ খুেল 2ফেল ও বাঁিশ হােত িনেয় মুরলীধর কৃে¹র rপ ধারণ কের। দৃ… িতন: একলবK gr 2dােণর মূিত`র সামেন pিতিদন ধnিব`দKা অnশীলন করত, এই দৃে… 2দখা যায় আলাদা কের 2কান মূিত` pপ িহসােব বKবহার করা হয় না, 2dাণ একলেবKর সামেন িsর িন“ল মূিত` হেয় দাঁিড়েয় পেড়ন, কেয়ক মুহূত` পের অজ`ুন এেস পড়েল িতিন মূিত` 2থেক আবার মাnষ হেয় যান। দৃ… চার: যুেdর অিnমকােল অ˜tামার ভয়ানক অেst ভীত বKাসেদবেক বালক pŽ কের, আপিন 2তা বেলিছেলন, আপিন এই মহাকােবKর রচিয়তা, আপিন 2কন ভয় পাে‡ন তাহেল, আপনার িনেজরই কাবK িক আপনােক 2মের 2ফলেত পাের?

পরOরাম ইিন পৃিথবীেক এkশ বার kিtয়শূnকারী পরHরাম নন। ইিন বাংলা সািহেতKর পরHরাম, ‘িবিরি[বাবা’র মতন হাsরসাtক গেlর s|া। িতিন আবার মহাভারেতর সারাnবাদও িলেখেছন, 2সই সেŋ রচনা কেরেছন মহাভারেতর িবিভn কািহনী-উপকািহনীর চমৎকার পKােরািডসমূহ, যা প’2ড় কখেনা কখেনা 2বাঝাই যায় না - 2য গlিট আদেত মহাভারেতই 2নই,বরং আেদKাপাn একিট উৎকৃ| রিসকতা। পাশাপািশ তাঁর গlgিলেত মহাকােবKর গাmীয` ও তৎসম শেbর সেŋ চিলত কথKভাষার অdূত িম•ণ এক অপূব` হাsরেসর সৃি| কের। ‘যযািতর জরা’ গেl যযািত অেনকিদন 2যৗবন 2ভাগ করার পর যখন িpয় পুt পুr’2ক আবার তার 2যৗবন িফিরেয় িদেয় তার বদেল িনেজর অিভশােপর জরা gহণ করেত চাইল, পুr িকছুেতই রািজ হল না। তার মেন হল, 2বশ 2তা 2স আেছ জরা-বাধ`কK িনেয়, এেতই 2বশ অভKs হেয় িগেয়েছ 2স। 2বচারা যযািত তখন উেl ফাঁপের পেড় 2গল। আেরকিট জনিpয় গl ‘তৃতীয় দKূতসভা’2ত পরHরাম পাঠকেক Hিনেয়েছন শkিন ও যুিধিœেরর তৃতীয়বার পাশােখলার চমকpদ ও সরস ঘটনা, যা, তাঁর মত অnযায়ী, বKাসেদব মহাভারেত উেlখ করা সমীচীন 2বাধ কেরনিন। এই 2খলার 2রফাির িছল পানাসk বলরাম। খল শkিন তার পাশার মেধK লুিকেয় 2রেখিছল এক কীট,েয সবসময় দােনর িভতর তার িপঠ েসাজা রাখেত চায় আর pেতKক দােন ছkা 2ফলেত সাহাযK কের। যুিধিœরও 2খলেত 2নেমিছল শkিনরই এক ভাই মৎkিনর ’তরী ‘হান্ ে Dড পােস` ন ্ ট 2জতার গKারান্ ি ট’-ওয়ালা পাশা িনেয়। বলাবাhলK,এই 2খলায় 2শষপয`n যুিধিœেরর জয় হেয়িছল।

দৃ…gিলেত 2bখেটর িবখKাত ‘এিলেয়েনশন 2টকিনক’-এর বKবহার মহাভারতেক এক আধুিনকrেপ উপsাপন কের। তার পাশাপািশ নাটকিটেক উdািসত রােখ শিম`লা রােয়র গাওয়া পূজা পেব`র রবীndসŋীত "অnর মম িবকিশত কেরা অnরতর 2হ", সমg নাটক জুেড়ই আবহসŋীত এক কrণsের বাঁধা, Hনেত Hনেত মন এক অdূত িবষােদ ভের যায়। আমরা উপলিb কির- যুd এক Tােজিড ছাড়া আর িকছুই নয়।

েPখ্ট, মহাভারত ও রবীRসSীত - একিট মহানাট4 মহাভারেতর িবিভn গl ও চিরtেক অবলmন কের অেনেকই ম[ উপsাপনা কেরেছন ও এখেনা কের চেলেছন, বাংলােত 2যমন শাঁওলী িমেtর ‘নাথবতী অনাথবৎ’,িবpব চেTাপাধKােয়র ‘শkিনর পাশা’,মেনাজ িমt’র ‘যা 2নই ভারেত’ ইতKািদ উেlখেযাগK। িকnt সমg মহাভারেতর কািহনীেক ম[s করা 2বাধহয় একমাt িপটার brকেসর পেkই সmব িছল। pায় দশ বছেরর পির•েম ১৯৮৯ সােল oােnর আিভিনয়ঁ শহের নয় ঘন্টা লmা এক মহানাটK ম[s কেরন িপটার brকস। িতিন মহাভারতেক Hধুমাt পা“ােতKর দশ`েকর কােছ 2পৗঁেছই েদনিন, আিoকা,জাপান ও ইউেরােপর কলাkশলীেদর িদেয় knী,ভীí,কৃ¹,ভীম,যুিধিœর ইতKািদ চিরেt (বKিতkম অব…ই েdৗপদীর ভূিমকায় মিlকা সারাভাই) অিভনয় কিরেয় নাটকিটেক আnজ`ািতক কের তুেলেছন, যা ভারতীয় দশ`কেদর কােছ খািনকটা িবসদৃশ 2ঠকেলও, তা ভারেতর ইিতহাস 2থেক 2যন সমg মানবজািতর ইিতহােস উtীণ` হেয়েছ।

pেŽাtর পব` বনবাসকােল রাম বেন বেন ঘুের অেনক মুিনঋিষর সাkাৎ 2পেয়ও তাঁেদর কােছ jান বা উপেদশ লােভর 2চ|া কেরনিন, তাঁর মেন খুব 2বিশ pেŽর উদয় হয়িন। তুলনায় যুিধিœর 2যন এক 2কৗতুহলী ছােtর মত েকবলই pŽ কের চেলেছন,গl 2শানার জn িতিন সব`দা উদgীব। বােরা বছেরর বনবাস তাঁর কােছ 2যন শােপ বর,রাজKচালনার 2চেয় মুিনঋিষেদর কােছ িবিচt উপাখKান 2শানাই 2ঢর আনেnর। বুdেদব বs িলখেছন - এই অরণK িছল যুিধিœেরর কােছ এক িবদKালয়,এক মহান িব˜িবদKালয় 2যখােন 2•œ আচায`েদর কােছ বােরা বছর ধের িশkা েপেয়েছন িতিন। তাই 2সই িব˜িবদKালয় 2ছেড় যাবার আেগ, বনবােসর অিnম কােল তাঁেক িদেত হেয়েছ এক পরীkা। ছdেবশী বকrপী ধম` তাঁর jােনর পরীkা করেলন জীবিবদKা,পদাথ`িবদKা,নীিত,ধম`,দশ`ন pভৃিত িবষেয়র উপর। িকছু pŽ িছল সাধারণ, 2যমন - "েকান pাণী 2চাখ মুিdত না কেরই ঘুেমায়? হাওয়ার 2থেকও drতগামী 2ক?", আর িকছু কিঠন দাশ`িনক, "পথ িক? sখী 2ক?"। বলাবাhলK সবকটা pেŽর সিঠক উtর িদেয় িতিন উতের 2গেছন। যুিধিœর বেলেছন - মহাপুrষরা 2য পেথ

পদ`া উঠেল 2দখা যায় - একিট বছর বােরার িকেশার এিদক ওিদক ঘুের িফের 2বড়াে‡,একজন গােয় ধূেলামাখা, ধুিতপরা বুেড়া তােক হাতছািন িদেয় ডােক,িজেjস কের -তুিম িক িলখেত জােনা? আিম এক মহাকাবK রচনা কেরিছ 2তামােক িনেয়, 2তামার পূব`পুrষেদর িকভােব জn হল,




েগেছন তাই হল পথ। যার ঋণ 2নই, pবাসী না হেয় 2য সেnKেবলা শাক িদেয় ভাত 2খেত পায়, 2সই sখী।

এইরকমভােব গl বলার রীিত পরবত`ীকােল পাওয়া যায় ‘আরবK রজনী’-েত।

বনপেব` এর আেগও আমরা তাঁেক ‘kাসেটs’ িদেত 2দিখ অজগর নhেষর কােছ, িতিন িজjাসা কেরিছেলন - বল, bাhণ 2ক? যুিধিœেরর উtর 2সখােন চমেক 2দওয়ার মত। িতিন বলেলন - সতK দান kমা সØিরt অিহংসা তপsা ও দয়া যাঁর আেছ িতিনই bাhণ। নhষ জানেত চাইেলন- 2কান শূেdর মেধKও 2তা এইসব gণাবলী থাকেত পাের; যুিধিœর জবাব িদেলন - 2য শূেd ওইসব লkণ থােক িতিন শূd নন, bাhণ; 2য bাhেণ থােক না িতিন bাhণ নন, তাঁেক শূd বলাই উিচত। এবং আরও বলেলন, আিম মেন কির সকল বেণ`ই সংকরt আেছ, েসজn মাnেষর জািতিনণ`য় dঃসাধK।

বKাসেদব তাঁর িনেজর মহাকােবK sয়ং আিবভ`ূত হন মােঝ মােঝই, িহেlবাইেতল gেন 2দেখেছন সমg মহাকােবK বKাসেদব pায় চিlশ বার েদখা িদেয়েছন, 2বিশরভাগ সময় িতিন 2যন অেনকটা িহচকক-sলভ অিতিথিশlী, কখেনা এেসেছন উপেদশ িদেত,গlেক এিগেয় িনেয় েযেত,েdৗপদীর প[sামী লােভর মতন সমাজবিহভ`ূত ঘটনার ’দিবক বKাখKা িদেত। কখেনা কখেনা সিkয় ভূিমকা িনেয়েছন krবংশেক বংশধর িদেত অথবা krেkেtর যুd চলাকালীন হািজর হেয়েছন, কেণ`র একাñী বাণ কত`ৃক ঘেটাত্কেচর মৃতKুেত kুd ও উেtিজত যুিধিœর যখন pিতেশাধ িনেত কণ`েক আkমণ করেত 2যেত উদKত,বKাসেদব এেস তােক থািমেয়েছন ও আেদশ কেরেছন- 2স 2যন 2kাধ ও উেtজনার বেশ িনেজর চিরt 2থেক 2বিরেয় না যায়।

J ফাইল অন িভ উিনশেশা িতিরশ সাল,আলেবিনয়ার পাহািড় এলাকায় এক সরাইখানায় উেঠেছ dজন নৃতtিবদ;েলাকগীিত 2থেকই িক 2হামােরর মহাকােবKর রচনা, িতিন িক কিব,না 2কবল একজন ভাল সংকলক, এই িছল তােদর গেবষণার িবষয়। তারা 2বশ িকছু চারণকিবেদর দেলর সnান পায়,যারা বংশাnkেম pজেnর পর pজn নানান জায়গা ঘুের ঘুের 2লাকগীিত েগেয় 2বড়ায়। 2সইসব গান তারা 2টপেরকড`াের 2রকড` কের ও 2দেখ িকভােব একই গান বারবার গাওয়ােত গােনর কথা ও কািহনীর অlিবsর কের পিরবত`ন ঘটেত থােক। ঐিতহািসক ঘটনা ধীের ধীের েলাকগীিত ও মহাকােবK িমেশ যায়, পাশাপািশ গl ও কািহনী পােl যায় গায়কদেলর এলাকার জনেগািœর িনজs ধKানধারণা এবং পkপাত অnযায়ী। ইসমাইল কাদাের’র উপnাস ‘ফাইল অন এইচ’-এর এই গlিট আমােদরেক নতুনভােব ভাবেত 2শখায়। বলাবাhলK,‘দK ফাইল অন এইচ’ নােমর ‘এইচ’ 2হামােরর নােমর আদK অkর।

উপসংহার কাশীদাসী মহাভারত বাংলার ঘের ঘের আজকাল 2তমন পাঠ করা হয় না। আমােদর মহাভারেত হােত-খিড় হেয়িছল 2কােনা বই প’2ড় নয়, বরং েরাববার সকােল িব আর 2চাপড়ার িটিভ িসিরয়াল 2দেখ,আমরা 2ছাটরা এই িসিরয়াল 2দখার জn সারা সpাহ মুিখেয় থাকতাম। একটু বড় হেয় পেড়িছ উেপndিকেশােরর ‘2ছাটেদর মহাভারত’,টুকেরা টুকেরা ভােব মহাভারেতর গl 2পেয়িছ রবীndনােথর ‘কণ`-knী সংবাদ’,‘গাnারীর আেবদন’ বা কািলদােসর ‘অিভjানম শknলম’-এ। এবং আেরা পের পেড়িছ রাজেশখর বsর সারাnবাদ। আমার বাংলার গৃহিশkক িছেলন একজন সংsৃেতর পিNত, িতিন pায়ই আমােদর িসেলবােসর পড়া পড়ােনার বদেল মহাভারত,রামায়ণ বা পুরােণর নানান কািহনী েশানােতন। একিদন আমােদর সbাইেক চমেক িদেয় 2দখােলন sিবশাল বাঁধাই করা এক খN সংsৃত মহাভারত। sেরর বাবা bাhণ পিNত িছেলন, িতিন িtপুরার রাজা বীরচnd মািণেকKর কাছ 2থেক অেনককাল আেগ এই বই উপহার 2পেয়িছেলন। 2সই বইেয়র অব… িকছুই বুিঝিন, Hধু মুgতায় পাতা উেl 2দেখিছ। তারপর একিদন কেলজ িsTেটর পুরেনা বইেয়র 2দাকােন হঠাৎ খুঁেজ 2পলাম কালীpসn িসংেহর পূণ`াŋ বাংলা অnবাদ,েসই pথম হােত 2পলাম এক সmূণ` মহাভারত। ‘hেতাম’ কালীpসnর তttাবধােন অনূিদত এই ‘বাŋালা মহাভারত’ বাংলা ভাষার সmদ।

দিkণ ভারেতর 2করালা ও তািমলনাড়ুর 2কান 2কান gােম ‘িভlুপাতু’ নােম এক সŋীতাnœান হয়, 2যখােন গায়ক গািয়কারা একিট ধnেকর িছলােক মৃৎপােtর উপর 2রেখ িছলার টŋার সহেযােগ গােনর মাধKেম িবিভn 2পৗরািণক কািহনী বণ`না কের; এই কািহনীgিলর সােথ pাচীন ভারেতর ‘ওরাল এিপক’-এর অেনক সাদৃ… আেছ; 2সইরকমই িকছু িমল পাওয়া যায় রাজsােনর ‘ওরাল এিপক’ ‘আলহা’-এর সােথ। মহাভারেতর সেŋ pচুর িবষয় ও গঠনগত সাদৃ… ও ’বপিরেতKর জn অেনেক ‘আলহা’-েক ‘কিলযুেগর মহাভারত’ আখKা িদেয় থােকন। এইরকম 2লাককথা বা চারণগীিত 2থেক িক মহাভারেতর জn, নািক উেlাটা? মহাভারেত বিণ`ত অেনক কথক 2সৗিতরা িনেজরাও ভাল কিব িছেলন, অেনকসময়ই কািহনী 2শানােত িগেয় তার সােথ ইে‡মতন sরিচত কাবKও জুেড় িদেতন। মূল কাবK ‘জয়’ 2থেক িকভােব ‘ভারত’এর মতন বৃহৎ ইিতহাস ও পরবত`ীকােল 2সই ‘ভারত’-এর সেŋ আেরা অজs উপকািহনীর সংেযাজন ঘ’2ট িকভােব ‘মহা-ভারত’-এর জn হল তা িনেয় অদূর ভিব£েত হয়ত 2কান 2লখক বKাসেদেবর মহাভারত রচনার উপর িলখেবন এক উপnাস –‘দK ফাইল অন িভ’।

আধুিনক বাঙািলেক নতুন কের মহাভারতপােঠ আgহী কের তুেলেছন নৃিসংহpসাদ ভাdড়ী, তাঁর 2লখা ‘কৃ¹া knী 2কৗেnয়’,‘মহাভারেতর ছয় pবীণ’ ইতKািদ gেn িতিন চিরtgিলর িবিভn িদক জn 2থেক মৃতKু অবিধ িবsািরত আেলাচনায় ফুিটেয় তুেলেছন। অজs কািহনী, উপকািহনী, তােদর িবিচt পাঠ,আেলাচনা ও বKাখKা িনেয় আমােদর জীবেন মহাভারত এমনভােব িমেশ আেছ,েয চাইেলও আমরা তা এড়ােত পাির না। আর 2হন িজিনস 2নই যা মহাভারেত 2নই, মহাভারত তাই িনেজই িনেজর সmেক` বেলেছ-"যিদহািs তদnt যেnহািs ন ktিচত",অথ`াৎ যা এই মহাভারেত আেছ,তা অntও আেছ;আর যা এখােন 2নই,তা অn েকাথাও 2নই।

মহাভারেতর কথক ৈনিমষারণK। এক rপক তেপাবন। 2সখােন মহিষ` 2শৗনেকর আ•েম বার বছর ধের যj চলেছ,এত বছর ধের যj করেত করেত মুিনঋিষরাও ‘2বার’ হেয় 2গেছন; খািনকটা একেঘেয়িম কাটােনার জnই 2যন তারা গlগাছা Hনেত চান। নামকরা গlবিলেয় 2সৗিত উg•বা এেসেছ েশৗনক মুিনর আ•েম, তাই 2বশ জিমেয় গেlর আসর Hr হল। এই উg•বা হেলন বKাসেদেবর মহাভারেতর মূল কথকঠাkর,িতিন 2সই কািহনী ‘hবh’ 2শানাে‡ন,যা িতিন Hেনেছন জনেমজেয়র সপ`যেj ৈবশmায়েনর মুেখ। বKাসেদেবর িশ£ ’বশmায়ন হেলন মহাভারেতর িdতীয় কথক, িতিন মহাভারত বণ`না কেরেছন sয়ং কিবর উপিsিতেত। আবার krেkেtর যুেdর সময় আমরা Hিন তৃতীয় কথক সvেয়র ধারািববরণী; তাছাড়াও অnাn গl অn কথকেদর 2থেক Hনেত পাই।

Y-:কথা অমৃতসমান (১ম-৪থ` খN, অnাn খN pকািশতবK) - নৃিসংহpসাদ ভাdড়ী িরিথিŋং দK মহাভারত - আl িহেlবাইেতল মহাভারেতর কথা - বুdেদব বs মহাভারেতর সারাnবাদ - রাজেশখর বs দK মহাভারত (নাটক) - জঁ kদ কKািরেয়র েপইন্িটংস অব দK রজমনামা – অেশাক kমার দাস








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