SwissPuja Patrika 2015

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Table of

Retrospect 14 Swisspuja Potpourri A Recollection of 12 Years


• Pannalal Bose • Tushar Ghosh • Aditya Banerjee • Gautam Sengupta • Pijush Kanti Roy • Pradip Nandi • Joydeb Bhattacharya

Survey 30 Parenting A Recollection of 12 Years

18 Puja Collection Duga Puja photos of last 12 years

38 Twirl and turn, Scare and fun…

20 Activity Collection Photos from events of last 12 years

14 7 Ambassador of India, Berne 9 Swisspuja President‘s Message 11 Swisspuja Editorial 13 2015 Swisspuja Decoration theme 13 In Memoriam


54 The Expat Diary • Nine to Nine - My Days in Zurich • Unravelling Switzerland • My Memories of Switzerland




46 Is your glass half full or half empty? 47 The Voyager 48 From Krishnanagar to Krakow – A Business Traveler’s Diary 50 Solar Eclipse in the Arctic


30 22 Heimat Can we define 'home'? • Basantabihari Palit • Orun Palit • Ram Mitra 28 Star of Swisspuja • Dr. Indranil Banerjee


40 Gallery • Anjana Rakshit • Dipankar Ghosh • Amrita Ray • Durga Puja Card by children • Uma Debnath • Aniruddha Ghosh • Tanmoy Pal 43 Comics The Story of Durga and Mahishashur by Sumana Roychoudhury


Swisspuja wishes to thank all Advertisers: Aggarwal Fine Continental Food, Anliker Immobilien, Aquilana Versicherungen, Barkat Cash & Carry, Bavaria Auto AG, Birla AG, Chalet India, Delhi House, Elanet Indian Restaurant, Gandharva Loka, Incredible India, Indian Palace, Inner Wheel Club, International School Berne, Mageba, Ocean Dreams and more, Rainbow Tours and Catering Services, Sahar, Stadt Zürich, Sunrise, International School of Zürich North, Taj Palace, Tata Consultancy Services, Titan AG, Vulcan. 4




বাংলা 86 pবn • আিম ভবঘুের • আবার লNেন • ঋতুপেণ4র নারী নkt • অবেশেষ ‘িবেলত-েফরত’ • গান, তুিম কার? • মা, তুিম আসছ @কােtেক • আমার @চােখ dগ4াপুেজা

Photography 82 Landscapes Inlying Furka Pass Serenity in Stoos Rhein falls..Europe's biggest

Kids Corner 68 Rupanjali’s Surprise Plans 70 Simple Science Experiments 71 My Puja in India! 72 Kids’ photo Gallery


78 68

59 Landmarks of Switzerland • CERN • Geneva Auto Show 2015 • The Art Basel Fair

64 Devî Durgâ and Her Pûja 66 Practical Vedanta


96 কিবতা

83 Spielerei mit Licht und Schatten Victoria Memorial Hall Hawaiian Blue Gegenlichteffekt Vektor-Grafik aus Foto Rotkäppchen 84 Paradise Silhouette Lucid Shadows Drenched Exiled The Rainbow Maker

• আিম নারী • আেলা আঁধারী • এক পৃিথবী মাnষ • িগজ4ার শূnতায় • িলmােতর ধাের

97 @ছাটগl • @গাপােলর মা • pতীkা • @ছাট @থেক বড়েবলায় Sামল • িনতাই-এর কািহনী

103 86

82 78 Chilli Chicken 78 Fulkopi’r Chot Joldi 79 Mini-mango Cupcakes and Cardamom Meringues 79 Kori Roti 80 Pan Fried Noodles 81 Chaat and Amrakhand

103 Rom 104 Berühmte Schweizer Autoren



Swisspuja Advertising Committee: Shubhra Kanti Acharya, Chinmoy Chakraborty, Pradip Nandi, Anindya Mukherjee, Mahua Mukherjee, Dibyendu Debnath, Rajat Bhattacharya, Sourav Ray, Aniruddha Ghosh, Rajib Mukherjee, Anuradha Sen Mookerjee.

© Swisspuja Patrika Copyrights 2015

Front Cover painting by Brindarica Bose 5










Message from the Executive Committee of 2015


wisspuja celebrates Durga Puja for the 12th time this year.

On behalf of the Executive Committee I wish you all a vibrant, colourful and fun-filled Durga Puja! The maturity which Swisspuja has reached over the last years is really commendable. The reason lies in the untiring efforts of our members and in the selfless nature of service which they render. 2015 started with a series of online meetings, online being our common medium of communication along with Whatsapp and Viber. Yes, we truly live in an internet dominated era. Our first two events on 9th May were the outcome of a request for Prabhat Pheri, which got extended by not only holding a morning march next to the Zürich lake, singing Rabindranath Thakur’s songs but also by celebrating his birthday by putting up a never-before cultural evening “Rabindra Jayanti”, which was completely dedicated to the poet. Rendering Tagore’s songs to the beats of a khol, in the background of Zurich Lake and Swiss Alps was an alltime memorable affair. The cultural evening presented by singers and orators of all ages was a new experience of its kind. We took the risk of not using any accompanying music and what a success it was. It created a mesmerising trance, the effects of which could well be felt over the rest of the following week by many. Everybody, young and old, was singing Tagore’s songs or listening to them on various media. Picnic, our next event on 21st June, was full of fun and frolic, bonhomie and good cheer. Then started the gruelling preparations for our Durga Puja - running for sponsors, chasing for articles, planning floor arrangements, discussing decoration concepts, reserving flight tickets, deciding on menus, ordering flowers, practising songs and dances, requesting donors - you name it. Finally the day has arrived. We have decided to perform Mahishahur Mardini in a new garb. Professional artistes from India and local amateur singers are being made to sing the immortal Mahalaya songs, interspersed with recitations. Decoration during Durga Puja – a different initiative – Courtesy of our professional decorator, we have tried to usher in the concept of themes at our Durga Puja this year. The theme this year is “Kolkata” – the city which has not only been the inspiration of poets, writers, musicians, singers, bards, dancers, artists and painters, dramatists and filmmakers, nationalists and political thinkers, but is and has been the cradle of many a thing creative. We are collaborating this year with Usthi Foundation and have pledged to collect funds for the earthquake ridden people of Nepal. I hope you all are with us on this and would generously support the cause. We wish you once again from the bottom of our hearts and hope that Ma Durga showers Her Blessings on us all. May your Puja days and your lives be embalmed by Her Grace! We are and would remain obliged to the kindness and generosity shown by our members, donors, sponsors and friends. I would like to end here with a prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad: asato mā sad gamaya tamaso mā jyotir gamaya mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya On behalf of the Executive Committee of 2015 Shubhra Kanti Acharya President Swisspuja Email:

From ignorance lead me to truth From darkness lead me to light From death lead me to immortality 9





Completing a Dozen Years! By Brindarica Bose This year, Swisspuja completes a dozen years. Kids who were born in 2004—the year when puja started in Switzerland are about to become teenagers and our Patrika too has undergone a huge growth spurt. Compared to ~15 authors in previous issues, last year we received submissions from 35 contributors and this year from 45! The best part is, not only have we managed to retain our past authors but have also successfully nudged avant garde authors—to write for the Patrika.

measure of success—something which touches people’s lives and has an impact far beyond its hundred pages. A big thank you to all our contributors! No work is finished, without a dedicated team of volunteers. This year, our Patrika’s team was lucky to have Sriparna Banerjee, who not only typed several Bangla articles from handwritten scripts, but also edited, proofread all Bangla submissions. With limited time and a small child, delivering work on deadlines is highly commendable! Sandipan Chakraborty, who despite being very busy with Puja’s decoration (planning and execution), supported the team whenever required. Tanmoy Pal, who is the Spiderman in our team—weaving magic with his designing and typesetting talent, has been an invaluable asset to Swisspuja, responsible for typesetting the Patrika from 2013 till current issue. He spent hours sitting on his Mac, carefully selecting photos and designing the pages, as his wife took care of their newborn. It has truly been my pleasure and privilege to work with such a dedicated, selfless, and professional team. Then there are volunteers who prefer not to be mentioned, like Dipanjana Ghosh (sorry, I had to say a word of thanks!), who advised and helped us, and whenever I called her related to Patrika, always said, “No problem, amake pathiye de ami type kore debo”. The Advertising team (names listed in the Contents page), led by this year’s President, Shubhra Kanti Acharya, undertook a herculean task, to procure advertisements for the Patrika. Thank you Aranya Bhattacharya, for sharing your printing expertise and an extended thanks from entire Swisspuja Committee to All—who helped us with the Patrika; and my personal thanks to Srijit, Arul and Jeet—my three men who tolerated me—spending endless hours from February to September, almost 9 months, working on the Patrika.

The model for the Patrika’s content remained the same as last year; selected authors were invited to write on defined topics, which was supplemented by general submissions. With this formula we achieved a diverse thali—an array of articles from serious to hilarious; from how to recover from accidents to how to fall in love. In current issue, we have continued with last year’s ‘Heimat’ series, with memoirs from father and son; there is an essay based on a survey conducted with six parents with children in the age group of 6 to 40+, in the section 'Parenting'; ‘Swisspuja Potpourri’—which is a reflection of past 12 years, with photos from this year’s Rabindra Jayanti, picnic and other events; anecdotes from past Presidents and an interview with our Joydeb babu by Rajat Bhattacharya. No Bengali function is complete without a sumptuous meal, so keeping this trend in mind we asked our expert chefs to share recipes of their favourite dishes—to fill our readers’ virtual appetite. There is another new series on ‘Swiss Landmarks’—CERN, Art Basel and Geneva Autosalon; a personal recollection in ‘Expat Diary’; ‘Travelogues’; ‘Photographer's Gallery’; and pages from the diary of a globe trotter, who took us to Antarctica last year and transports us to the Arctic circle this year for the Solar Eclipse. There is a hand-drawn illustration based on the story of Durga Puja—particularly for our young readers and a ‘Kids Gallery’ with tiny tots posing for our Patrika. There is much much more for you to read and discover, in all three languages - English, Bangla and German!

So, go on, flip the pages, and share this Patrika’s online version with your friends and family. Happy Reading and yes, if you ever nurtured the idea of becoming a writer—remember it is never too late!

We truly believe that, creativity is something which should not only be nurtured in children, but also in adults. In our day-to-day life, many of us have either forsaken or have no time for our creative activities—be it music, painting, writing prose or photography. Our Patrika has tried to revive exactly that—less time on facebook, more time with a real pen and brush, nurturing this natural talent. One of our artist, picked up his brush after 25 years (!) to paint for our Patrika, and yet another, after 15 years—to me this is the real

Left to right: Sandipan, Tanmoy, Brindarica and Sriparna





“Tilottama Kolkata” - 2015 Swisspuja decoration theme


Message Sarasi Das Roy Contact: sarasi.dasroy@

the Academy of Fine Arts, Birla Academy of Art & Culture, etc.

Puja, today, goes far beyond religion.

She has been a pioneer in the conception and design of many renowned puja venues in Kolkata. Her journey in this field began in 2010 when she designed the puja pratima for United Club, Ultadanga. Her idol was awarded the “Srestho Protima’ by Kolkata Corporations. In 2012, her theme for Beliaghata Nabamilan was awarded by channel 10 and also won the jury award by ABP Ananda. In 2013, her concept for Sukanta Nagar Sarbojonin, where the entire decoration was made with various waste items, starting from used pet bottles, plastic jars, damaged CDs, broken toys, car tyres and other daily household usage items, has been highly appreciated by one and all. The year after, in 2014, her concept for Sammilita Malapara Sarbojanin was based on the ancient practice of ‘Kavad’ storytelling, immensely popular in the western region of India, especially in Rajasthan. This won the jury award by ABP Ananda. Apart from this, she has also been a part of several esteemed juries like the committee for selecting the best Pujas in and around Kolkata, by Anadabazar Patrika and Airtel, Pratidin (Daily News Paper) and Channel10.

It is a collective reflection of our thoughts and in essence, an extension of our very selves. For most of us, this time of the year is when nostalgia hits the hardest. Switzerland, with its infinite beauty, fails to measure up to our beloved Kolkata, decked up in bridal finery and unparalleled festivities. This year, as we welcome Maa Durga to her Swiss abode, we have tried our very best to capture the quintessential spirit of the city of joy, to make her feel at home, far far away from home. This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of our esteemed designer from Kolkata – Sarasi Das Roy. With her expert guidance & seamless execution, we have taken our very first step towards the introduction of a theme for this year’s puja in Switzerland that not only entices us to savour the sweet memories of our beloved city, it also takes us there, both in body and mind, through the beautiful depiction of images, art & crafts, people and the intrinsic soul of Kolkata. Born in Kolkata, to parents with an artistic bent of mind, Sarasi’s innate flair for art had manifested itself at quite an early age. She drew her inspiration from her daily surroundings, capturing a magnetic vibrancy through the texture and richness of colour. She holds a Masters in Visual Arts from the Government College of Art & Craft in Kolkata. Over the years, her work has been exhibited at innumerable prestigious centres like

It has been a privilege to have her onboard for Swisspuja 2015. On behalf of everybody in the Swiss puja committee, we would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Sarasi for her invaluable contribution and incredible efforts in making this a success.

In Memoriam On a regretful note, we have recently lost three prominent and active members of our community. On 29th June, Mr. Nanda Dulal Nandi who was ailing with a malignant tumor in his colon passed away at the Hirslanden Clinic, Aarau. Mr. Nandi in his post retirement years was an avid Indologist and a student of Sanskrit, and was an enthusiastic participant at Durga Puja and wrote several articles in our Patrika. On 4th July, we lost Mrs. Anima Poddar, who was ailing for a while and was in the Regionale Pflegezentrum Baden, she had been active in Swisspuja before she fell ill and always used to arrive early at Puja venue to help, her presence will be missed forever. On 12th July, Mr. Sankar Chattopadhay passed away at the Aargauer Kantonsspital, Aarau where he had been admitted after a sudden heart attack. We express our deep and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and pray that they have the strength and courage to bear the irreparable loss.

Nandadulal Nandi

Anima Poddar 13

Sankar Chattopadhyay



Swisspuja Potpourri A Recollection of 12 Years

This section is a recollection of Swisspuja’s journey over the last 12 Years. Along with a collection of photos, we also asked our past Presidents to answer two questions for this Special Feature: (1) Share your childhood memory of Durga Puja (2) Share your experience when you were President of Swisspuja. We are extremely thankful to all our respondents for sharing their stories with us. They emphasised during the interview that Swisspuja is a team effort and it is by the community and for the community. This feature concludes with an exclusive interview with our Joydeb babu, who has conducted the Pujo from 2005 till date.

Shikha Dhar, owners of the Taj Palace Restaurant, resolved this issue and generously offered their restaurant‘s big hall, for this purpose. That is how Swisspuja started and our first ever Sarbojanin Durga Puja took place in Zurich in 2004.

2004 President

Taj Palace hall got transformed into a holy temple with a vibrant environment and provided spiritual nourishment to all. Many participated in the celebrations in their brightly coloured outfits from all across Switzerland. Not everyone was of Indian origin. There were also many Swiss and people from other nationalities who came to visit and enjoyed the festivities. Every evening from Saptami till Navami, Prasad was served and attendants were entertained. Some of our members still recall the most successful Mahishasura Mardini program that was performed by our local talents during the cultural show. After daily rituals, our "adda" with young and old friends would continue till late at night, just like family addas and gettogethers back home.

Pannalal Bose


uring my childhood in Ranchi, Durga Puja used to begin with the Sanskrit recitation of Birendra Krishna Bhadra in the dawn of Mahalaya, in a two hour long radio program, at home. Mahishasura Mardini, a collection of shlokas and songs, broadcasted at 4 a.m. by Akashvani Kolkata on the day of Mahalaya would be the first event to mark the festival. Out of excitement, I would always wake up before the Brahma-Muhurta, so that I could listen to the beautiful melody of bansuri and sitar, in the early morning radio broadcast.

Twelve years on, we have developed an excellent committee with highly dedicated volunteers, who are continuing the hard work of this once small institution, into a much larger scale.

One of my oldest memories of Durga Puja is that of a clay-modeller in Ranchi’s Durgabari, who used to sit in a corner throughout the day, busy modelling and shaping a huge Protima of Durga. I would watch him with awe everyday, on my way back from school. I feel nostalgic to remember how much I used to love this ‘festive season’ as a child. For me, Durga Puja meant, playing with friends from my neighbourhood with no pressure of homework, wearing brand new outfits, having lavish meals and staying outdoors till late hours!

I feel very proud and honoured to have been chosen as the first President of Swisspuja and I am thankful for the great support that I received during my time. We have always focused on connecting with our community, continuing and passing on our traditions to the future generation. Our mission was achieved and I hope this association will carry on its good work for a long long time.

In 1993, along with a small group of ambitious young Bengalis in Baden/Zurich, I tried to organise the first ever socio-religious festival of Durga Puja in Switzerland. We held a meeting at Kursaal Baden, where around 30 Bengali families attended. However most of the participants disagreed with the idea of having a Durga Puja in Switzerland, so the concept was set aside for a while.

2005 President Tushar Ghosh

In 2003, after ten years, for the second time, again a few Bengali families revived the idea of having a Durga Puja in Switzerland. They were able to convince the majority of the local Bengali community. There was a slight concern though, as finding a big enough venue for the Sarbojanin Durga Puja in Baden or Zurich area would be a challenging task. Fortunately, Shekhar and


y childhood memories of Durga Puja are full of carefree festive days, spent with family and friends, back home, in India. For those of us, who emigrated to Switzerland before the 1980s, celebrating Durga Puja in this country was





like a long cherished dream come true! And this dream could materialize only because of two main reasons: Firstly, due to Shikha and Shekhar Dhars’ generous offer to use Taj Palace’s hall as the Puja venue; and secondly due to the boundless enthusiasm and effort undertaken by the not-so-young as well as the younger generation (especially those who came after the 80s).

y memories go back to 1942. No, it has nothing to do with the “Quit India movement”. Japanese bombarded Rangoon on the 21st December 1941. We literally ran and ran until we came to a safer area to escape the massacre of bombardment. We were lucky to find a ship which brought us to Calcutta. Finally we settled down in Bombay. Bengal Club used to organise Durga Puja which was held in a plot next to where we lived. It was fun time for us for five long days in a row. Religion, God, Goddesses and The Almighty were not in our dictionary. But we still religiously attended “Anjali” getting up early in the morning having a bath and with empty stomach, just for Prosad and Sweets. Got new shirts and pants and even a pair of shoes. It was fun time for us.

After the successful completion of the first Durga Puja in Zurich, which was a new venture with many uncertainties, in the second year we focussed primarily on establishing a strong foundation for Swisspuja as an organisation. Our main focus areas were the following: - Establishing a permanent address for the Puja. - Establishing a permanent Post Account for Swisspuja. - Introducing Swisspuja Patrika. - Organising sponsorship through advertisements in the Patrika. - Organising sponsorships for different Puja items e.g flowers for Astami etc. - Arranging a new priest, for the entire ceremony.

We had to carry out errands for Borida, Chottida, Dineshda and others for which we got more “Prosad” with “Misti”. Lunch and dinner were not a part of the rituals then. After dinner it was entertainment time until after two in the morning, a very important part for all of us young and old. Songs by Manna Dey and Geeta Roy would be part of the program. They were then not so popular. Mohila Somity would organise dances and short plays performed by youngsters. Then there would be a theatrical act by grown ups, like “Dui Purush”, by upcoming cinema character artists. Still remember a dialog from Dui Purush, “Na Bimola shey hoina, amake nemontono rokkhaa korte jetei hobe”. Bimola was our dear “Banida”. Why Banida had to always play the part of a woman was a puzzle for us.

We tried to give the festival a strong foundation and a defined structure for future growth. I feel happy to see, how well Swisspuja has grown, in all these years.

2006 President Aditya Banerjee

We always wanted to organise Durga Puja in Baden but could not agree with the elders who, as the tradition in Bengal is “Aami tor che boro naa”, knew better. During the beginning of 70s, six families did get together to organise the Bijoya Sammelani inviting all the known Bengalis in Switzerland. This ran for a few years and then faded out.


he Most fascinating thing about Durga Puja is the spirit of togetherness that blooms during these five days. The other thing is the ‘Sandhipuja’, that too sometimes in the eerie silence of the night. I still remember, as a child, standing next to my grandmother with folded hands, curiously trying to imagine a sense of connection with the divine.

2007: Swisspuja has had three successful years behind them. For the new committee it was Durga Puja must go on. Very simple, invite the same known purohit, ask the same travel agent to organise the visa, the air ticket and travel plan for the purohit. Use available data from the past years, like quantity and types of fruits, flowers etc. required and used. Select the same volunteers for puja part and that is all. In addition ensure simple food for all during lunch and dinner to enable families coming from far and wide to stay. Wooing all Bengalees who were unaware of Swisspuja was important, this increased the number of visitors. Raising finances through advertisements in puja Patrika brought in extra financial help.

When we conceived the idea of having a Durga Puja in Switzerland, our goal was to recreate images of these nostalgic moments and share them with one and all. Particularly with our children, who could then grow up with similar fond memories of their own. With divine blessings, we have succeeded.

Swisspuja did not only survive but also grew in size and earned more money. But 2008 was the year of unexpected surprises and challenges. A new venue was found, full amount paid in advance, contract signed and sealed. Even then just two weeks before the start of Durga Puja the owners of the venue cancelled the contract. Frantic search for a new place with sleepless nights went on and just three days before Shosti we found a place with a kitchen. Thank God, no must thank Ma Durga, she probably raised her right hand and said “to-thastu” and likewise the contract with the

2007 President 2008 President 2009 President Gautam Sengupta




Germans for this new place was cancelled and in the nick of time we were there to take the venue. To keep control over cost we decided to cook food ourselves. Months before, 4 ladies agreed to cook food for us. One of them, without any good reason, dropped out just 2 weeks before. This was the second surprise, but we were prepared with Plan “B”.

2011 President Pradip Nandi

2009 Puja is for everybody. So let this be a temple for 5 days and allow everybody to come and pray. Invite other communities from India living in Switzerland to join in the religious activities and contribute in the cultural part. All said and done Swispuja has reached the critical mass and will continue to sustain its activities for many more years to come. Now that the youngsters are involved with their heart, soul, mind and hands, there is no going back. Besides, evidences show Ma Durga has come here to stay, probably she likes the Swiss snowy mountains more than the Himalayas or did she see our sincerity/honesty or our real desire to have a home away from home. Whatever! Swisspuja is one of the very few groups organising most authentic Durga puja outside India. Swisspuja is now known not only in and around Switzerland bordering countries but also in whole of Europe. Swisspuja is now well organised. The insiders who are involved with their “Praan” are working very hard and like swiss clockwork —to make it all happen. Keep it up and going!


lthough I was hesitant to be forced into a role I didn’t want to be in, it ended up being a pleasant and amazing experience for me, which will be etched into my memories forever. I was lucky to be working with a great team of like-minded people who shared common goals. The team was committed to working for the organization’s future by employing stringent financial discipline and reinforcing our values-based culture, ultimately managing to build goodwill for the Swiss puja community through various outreach programs. In addition, we were blessed with the continued unwavering support and guidance from our senior members. The highlight of our time spent in the committee was, successfully bringing a new “Ma Durga” deity from Kolkata. This was made possible due to the tireless hours spent by committee members in designing and planning the entire journey of the idol from Kolkata to Zurich, including customs clearance at Zurich airport. Since my time in the committee, the Swisspuja organization has grown and is also involved in other social and charitable activities, fast becoming a valuable gem promoting a rich Eastern legacy and heritage embedded in the backdrop of a Swiss landscape.

2010 President Pijush Kanti Roy

Interview with Joydeb Bhattacharya, by Rajat Bhattacharya, conducted in Kolkata, Aug. 2015.


orn in a family having in-house Durga Puja both in Bhagalpur (my birth-place) and Kolkata, I always enjoyed the celebrations. As a child I still remember the following: (a) I had to hide myself in a corner – both hands covering my eyes when Balidan was carried-out. (b) Could not hold myself from crying on the day of Bisharjan because Ma Durga was going away. Even today this has not changed. I expected to lean back in an easy-chair after an unexpected nomination as the President of Swisspuja 2010. Well, it was just the opposite – I had to sacrifice most of my time fighting upstream against all odds. We were very small (actually four) in number executive members, outnumbered by 10 or 15 today. Without the support of the executive members especially Jyotiprasad Majumder with his vast experience as Secretary of Swisspuja, it would not have been possible to ultimately end the Puja celebration successfully. Inspite of all the handicaps, we managed. I feel honoured and happy to help Swisspuja in this wonderful journey of tradition and cultural integration.

Please tell us something about yourself. Joydeb babu: I was born in Baranagar, in the suburbs of Kolkata. After my Matriculation from Victoria High School, I studied for a B. Com. degree at Calcutta University. Thereafter, I started working for Syndicate Bank at Kolkata. I have also studied Homeopathy and am a practicing Homeopath (after office hours). I live in a joint family which comprises of my elder brother and my families. We have a tradition of daily worship at our family house where we worship 16



Narayan, Kali and Shiv. Since childhood, I have seen Pujo being conducted with devotion and care, by my father and it is from him that I have learnt the basics of conducting a Pujo. I had an arranged marriage and saw Mita, my wife for the first time on the day of my marriage. Mita is a teacher at Baranagar Narendra Nath Vidyamandir. She is highly qualified with M.A., M. Phil and B. Ed. degrees, the last two completed after marriage. She has been my life partner in a true sense. Our one and only son Shubhradev is currently studying for B. Tech in Civil Engineering at Netaji Subhash College of Engineering. How did you get connected to Swisspuja? Joydeb babu: Decades back, my neighbour from Baranagar, Shipra di came to my home and said that they needed a Purohit to conduct their Durga Puja in Frankfurt, Germany, so that is how I first arrived in Europe to conduct Pujo.

Joydeb Bhattacharya with his family

Later, through Shipra-di, Debashree and Ashish Banerjee came to know about me and asked if I could also conduct Pujo in Switzerland. Aranya Bhattacharya visited me to discuss this further in Kolkata, and it was finalized that I would conduct Pujo in Switzerland from 2005.

Joydeb babu: Switzerland is a beautiful country. The surroundings are clean, the ambience peaceful. Switzerland as per latest research also has one of the best living conditions and people there are happy. It is also worth mentioning that, expatriate families living there have a high respect for Indian traditions and culture and there is a family-like feeling within the Swisspuja community. I myself have noticed, e.g. how members speak to one-another just like sibling or family members, enquiring after their meals, or ensuring that work gets distributed evenly so as not to burden any one.

Since then, I have been going to Z端rich every year and I must say that starting from Barandala decoration to all customs, Bodhon, Sashti to Dashami and Bisorjon, each and every custom of Durga Puja is meticulously followed by the devotees in Switzerland and this is what makes Swisspuja so unique. It is this authenticity, which has also evoked a huge response from the expatriate community and the festival has grown into bigger proportions since 2004. I wish Swisspuja more success in the years to come.

This feeling of antorikota makes Swisspuja special, and this is what is missing in the barowari pujas of Kolkata. There are devotees who come for Pushpanjali without even drinking water and it is this devotion and nishtha which makes Ma Durga come and stay.

What is your impression of Switzerland, now that you have visited this country for the last eleven years?

Swisspuja Committee 2015

Left to right: Brindarica Bose, Sourav Ray, Sandipan Chakraborty, Anuradha Sen Mookerjee, Aranya Sundar Bhattacharya, Dibyendu Debnath, Rajat Bhattacharya, Aniruddha Ghosh and Shubhra Kanti Acharya



















t a m i e H defi e w n a

me'? o h ' e n



We asked the following questions to our candidates ... When did you arrive in Switzerland and how? Would you call India or Switzerland your home? When you go to India, what do you feel has changed? Pick 5 best features of Swiss culture and 5 best of Indian culture, which our young Indo-Swiss generations can learn from.

Baden and Wettingen and addresses of three families where rooms were available for rent. Based on instructions given by the Personal Office I walked around Baden and Wettingen and met all three families and checked their available rooms. Finally, I chose a room with an attached bath and a WC, in a house situated almost at the far end of the town Wettingen. After walking back again to the Personal Office, I went to meet the head of my department ‘High Voltage Laboratory’ and to discuss with him about my job. But he was kind to me and asked me to take rest after the long journey from India. Discussion about my job and related tasks was postponed till next morning. I took my luggage from the Personal Office and went back to my room. And that is how my life started in Switzerland, exactly 53 years ago.

Basantabihari Palit Engineering from India, PhD in Germany, Privatdozent in ETH Zürich, now retired; a prolific writer with two published books, 'Der Sternenwunsch' and 'Shubhakankhini Tara'. Contact:

Heimat—A Memoir

Which is my Home? I came to Switzerland with the purpose of gaining some industrial experience and stay for maximum three years. But “Man proposes and God disposes” – this became true for me. Ten months after my arrival I got married to Miss Indira Sarkar, a Bengali lady working at that time in the Embassy of India, Bern as an interpreter. In the course of time our son Orun was born, few years later he started going to kindergarten and then to school. We were also slowly feeling more at home in Switzerland. I had no problem with the High German language because I had studied in Germany for four years before coming to Switzerland. Neither had my wife any problem with the language. Her mother-tongue was in fact German since her mother was an Austrian lady born in Innsbruck. My wife had a number of relatives in Austria whom we used to visit every now and then. Gradually we developed more interest towards the Swiss way of life and tried to understand Swiss politics and follow Swiss events. In my enthusiasm I even took lessons in Swiss German dialect. I had a number of friendly colleagues who gave me car driving lessons as well. My wife made friends with many Swiss and German women in our area. We came to the conclusion that we could permanently settle down in Switzerland. In due time I applied for Swiss citizenship and later also served in civil defence.

Arrival at the Heaven on Earth: Switzerland It was an early morning in the month of October 16, 1962 when my plane landed in Zurich International Airport. The air outside was cool, sky was a bit foggy and the day looked grey. I came from Calcutta (now Kolkata) where the autumnal golden Sun was still shining; the sky was azure blue and the weather— pleasant and warm. On my first day in Switzerland, I experienced a gloomy contrast, climatically. It was my very first trip to Switzerland, and with no google and smart phones available in those days, I had no idea where the town Baden was and how to reach there. This made me a bit anxious. The only thing that I knew was that, I must report to Brown Boveri & Company, in short BBC, an International Electrical Firm, located in Baden. I had an employment letter from BBC in my hand bag. After coming out of the arrival lounge of Zurich airport I saw, to my relief, a person holding a placard with the script “Brown Boveri”. I was naive enough to think, that the person had perhaps come to receive me. But alas, the person with the placard told me that he was waiting for the arrival of a top manager of Brown Boveri whose plane would land in more or less the same time as mine. He suggested that perhaps I could wait for a while till the expected top manager got into the car. Afterwards he would be in a position to decide whether he could also give me a free lift in the limousine which had been ordered for the VIP. Luck was in my favour, the expected manager did not arrive and I became the sole passenger in the big limousine! What an unusual piece of luck on my very first day in Switzerland.

The question of home or home country is ever present in the mind of all immigrants. In most cases the birth country is our ‘natural home’. While we stay in foreign countries we may extend the concept of home to an ‘accepted home’ or an ‘adopted home’ (‘Wahlheimat’ is the expression in Swiss German). In fact, I have three homes. Two are real and the third one is imaginary. My

The driver took me to the Personal Office of BBC in Baden. There I got a road map of the twin towns, 22

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 ‘natural home’ is India, my ‘accepted home’ or ‘adopted home’ is Switzerland. My third home may be named as ‘could be’ or ‘next choice’ which for me is Germany where I stayed for four years, studied and completed a research work, and had the opportunity to learn many useful things for life and for my profession. There, I made acquaintance with a number of good friends and families. I like the people and the country to such an extent that I could stay in Germany life-long. The fact that my second wife, Usha Bauer is German has in fact increased my love and interest for this country.


traditions, I can mention alphorn which is regarded as a typical Swiss instrument with a warm sound. Another speciality is yodelling which is singing without words. Other examples are: flag throwing and Swiss Wrestling (‘Schwingen’ in Switzerland and ‘Ringen’ in Germany). A Swiss story which has gone around the world is that of Heidi, a novel written by Johanna Spyri. Her novel is one of the world’s best-selling books and is one of the most successful children’s stories ever written. To date, the book has been translated into 50 languages. There is also a movie on Heidi produced by the Japanese. It may be worth mentioning here that Switzerland and India have one thing in common when it comes to politics and that is ‘democracy’. Switzerland is one of the oldest and India has the largest democracy in the World.

Comparison between my Two ‘Home’ Countries Although settled in Switzerland, I visit India time and again. It is a natural tendency in human beings to compare the problems and features of countries. When I am in India, I miss among other things the hygiene, collective cleanliness, well-constructed streets and roads, medicinal facilities, discipline and organisational capacity of Switzerland and life without mosquito bites specially in the evenings. On the other hand, when I am in Switzerland, I miss my relatives and friends, special Indian food, various types of leafy vegetables and Kasundi (a mustard-mango delicacy of Bengal), famous Bengali sweets, dried mango pulp (Aamshatto), warm climate in winter and sometimes the warmth of human heart.

Few Personal Experiences While I was a Lecturer in FITZ (ETH Zurich) I helped one of my students with my counselling. Miss Mertens (Name changed) was suffering psychologically on account of her father, an industrial worker. He did not like the fact that his daughter had decided to become an electrical engineer instead of preparing herself for a profession befitting the working class people. The angry father refused to pay for her educational expenses. Moreover, he started disturbing her during her study hours at home by turning on the radio or playing the television too loud. One day he lost his nerve and even slapped her. In order to help her come out of this unhappy and challenging situation I suggested her to contact the firm Brown Boveri and ask them to finance her education. In return she could sign an employment contract with BBC for a year or two maximum. Further, I recommended her to use the quiet readingroom of the FITZ library, instead of studying at home. As regards to her father’s temper it was high time to threaten her father with police if he would become violent again. It would be appropriate if her boyfriend could articulate this warning to Mr. Mertens.

In spite of many disadvantages and problems, India will always be my motherland. Mother may be poor but still she will always remain my beloved mother. India is also my spiritual home. I bow to her. Swiss and Indian Culture I consider myself not competent enough to comment on the cultures of these two great countries. But I can mention some points from my own observation and experience: India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Apart from these four religions, the inhabitants of India have so many other religions which were founded outside India. There is no country on this earth where so many religions live side by side in peace. India has so many languages, so many types of dances, music, architecture, sculpture, painting, dress, food and customs—all the factors which contribute to a rich Indian culture. Many elements of India’s diverse cultures, such as Indian religions, yoga and Indian cuisine have had a profound impact all over the world. The two great epics of India - Ramayana and Mahabharata - are well known. India celebrates several festivals, we are aware of the Bengali saying: thirteen in twelve months (Baro masher tero parban).

My other significant experience, took place in the North-West Institute of Technology in Muttenz where I was teaching electrical machinery and power electronics. Mr. Aschwanden (name changed) was my student. He was too quiet for his age. He was polite and had good manners. But electrical engineering with abstract theories was a difficult subject for him to comprehend. His test marks were low. There was no chance of him passing the examination. One day I called him to my office and asked him what had motivated him to study electrical engineering instead of choosing a non-engineering profession? To my astonishment, he told me that he had been forced to study electrical engineering by his mother. I requested him to bring his mother to my office for a discussion. One day Mr. Aschwanden came to my office with his mother. I tried to explain to her that her son would definitely be successful in any other profession of his liking, instead of electrical engineering. I told her, that her son was still very young and could learn any other subject rather fast. It really made no sense to waste his time here in Muttenz and fail through his examinations. Unfortunately, she was not ready to change her opinion. She said that her husband and her father-in-law were both successful electrical engineers.

Although I have lived in Switzerland longer than I have lived in India, still I feel slightly inhibited in commenting about Swiss culture. One aspect is very evident. Three major languages of Europe – German, French and Italian – are national languages of Switzerland along with Romansh, spoken by a small minority. The Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zürich) occupies a top position in the field of science and technology and has produced a great number of Nobel Prize Winners. Amongst customs and 23



She could not understand why her son could also not become one—following the family trait. I tried to explain to Mrs. Aschwanden that every human being is different and is capable of achieving success in any profession that he is passionate about. To my great disappointment, Mrs. Aschwanden left my office without making any compromise. I felt very sorry for my student and was worried about his future. Few days later, I heard the sad news that my student had jumped from a high building and had ended his life and all the controversies around his chosen path. This was a very tragic experience in my life. I was very sad and frustrated as I could not help him.

Orun Palit I am 50 years old, married to Moutushi. We have a 17 year old daughter called Ronia. My hobbies are: family, politics, travelling, films, jogging and watching US series. Check out my website for more info: Contact:

How was I born in Switzerland and why is Wettingen my home? My mother tongue is German, not Bengali! How come? My grandfather, Prof. Benoy Kumar Sarkar, born in 1887 in Malda, West Bengal, was a freedom fighter and a young professor at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1914, he was invited to a lecturing trip to the USA and his ship stopped in England before taking off to New York. My grandmother at that time, a 17 year old Austrian girl worked as an “Au Pair” in London, but wanted to return back to Austria as the 1st World War broke out, and being an Austrian national it was not safe anymore to stay in London. However, she didn’t find a way to go back to her parents to Innsbruck. She was stuck in London. Her American relatives reacted quickly and invited her to come to the USA instead. They sent money to London and she could buy a ticket for a one way journey to New York. The captain of the ship took care of the young Austrian lady and put her to the Indian group as they were not involved in any 1st World War conflict. The captain thought that she might be safe with the group of Indian intellectuals. And of course, my grandfather was part of that group and that is how they fell in love during the 3-4 weeks journey on the ship to the USA. My grandmother stayed on in the USA for another 9 years. My grandfather went back to India in the meantime and asked her to marry 8 years later. She accepted his proposal, and they got married finally in 1924 and she moved with my grandfather to Kolkata in India. My mother, half Bengali, half Austrian was born in 1925 and she lived 20 years in Kolkata. For further studies, her parents sent her to Sorbonne University in France where she got her PhD in French Literature. Unfortunately, during that time, her father, my grandfather passed away in 1949, shortly after India’s independence. My mother asked her Austrian mother to come to Europe and live with her there. My mother

Then another time, at FITZ, the Chief of our Institute sent to me a student and requested me to try to convince him (the student), Mr. Naegeli (name changed), to give up his idea of committing suicide! The student was tall and robust in health. But his mind was weak. When I delicately asked him, as to why he was so keen on committing suicide he told me that, he was not fit for this world. He could not struggle. He felt that he would not be successful in his professional life because he would never be able to compete with others und also would not be able to keep up with new developments. When he watched his fellow-students studying with so much of concentration in the big reading-room of the library he would feel nervous. He felt that his fellow-students were making rapid progress in their studies and he would certainly not be able to keep up with them. Therefore, he arrived at the conclusion that it was useless for him to live any longer. I tried to encourage him by rectifying some of his thoughts. I told him that many students in the readingroom did not actually read text books or university notes or solve home tasks but were simply busy reading newspapers, crime novels or journals, or perhaps engaged in just writing love-letters to their girl-friends! Regarding the professional life I gave him the address of a firm looking for a number of young IT- personnel for a project. As an IT- professional he would be independent and would not have any peer pressure. Above all, I tried to make him understand that our life on earth is way too precious to annihilate it willingly. I tried to inspire Mr. Naegeli with courage and he was finally convinced and tried to take positive steps in his life.

Author with friend 24

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 finally settled down in Switzerland and worked for the Indian embassy until 1964. My mother and my grandmother lived in Berne, the capital of Switzerland from 1950 – 1964. My grandmother passed away in Berne in 1963. Luckily, my mother got to know my father in 1964 at one of the Indian embassy’s social functions. My father is a 100% Bengali and worked at ABB in Switzerland at that time. Before working in Switzerland, he got a scholarship from India to study in Dresden, Eastern Germany at that time. He got his PhD in Electrical Engineering from there. After returning back to India, he found a job at ABB in India. They sent him later to the headquarters in Switzerland, in the 1960s. That is how he arrived at Switzerland. So my parents met in Switzerland and that is why I was born and brought up in Switzerland. And my mother tongue is German as my mother was half Austrian and Indian and my father was able to speak German before I was born. That is the reason, why I, somehow, never learnt to speak Bengali, but understand most of it.


PhD degree in Finance at the same university. I started my working career in Zurich in 1993, lived in Zurich as well. I got married in 1995 and in 1998 our daughter was born (in Zurich). By chance, we got the opportunity to buy a small house in Wettingen where we moved in the year of 2000. Somehow the circle has made its full turn. I grew up in Wettingen and came back to Wettingen as a middle aged man. In Wettingen, I joined the political Green Liberal Party in 2011 and got elected to the local parliament in 2013. Lately I decided to run for a member of National Parliament. However, I view politics as my hobby, my main job is being a relationship manager at a small bank in Zurich where I service high networth individual clients and since 2014, I am also the Chief Investment Officer, responsible for the investment strategies of our client’s discretionary portfolios.

Ram Mitra, is in Switzerland for more than 30 years and has been a patron of Swisspuja and has organized several Indo-Swiss events. He works with a Pharmaceutical and lives in Basel with his wife and children. Contact:

I was born in Baden in 1965. The first 7 years (1965 – 1972), I grew up in Nussbaumen. After that we moved to Wettingen. There we stayed for about 10 years (1973 – 1982). I attended Bezirksschule in Wettingen and the Kantonsschule Baden for 1 ½ years. In Wettingen, I had a wonderful childhood. I was very active with playing field hockey. With HC Wettingen, we won the Swiss junior championship three times. In those busy days, I had training three times a week and matches at the weekends. It was a very intensive period. I also joined the catholic youth group with whom I went hiking to the Corsican mountains in France for 10 days. It was my first trip abroad without my parents. I was 15 years old then. So this trip will always stay in my mind. When I was 17, due to my father’s change of jobs, we had to move to Muttenz (BL) in 1982. For me, that was not a very nice time. I hardly made any new friends. I often came back to Wettingen at the weekends. So after finishing my gymnasium, I joined the Swiss army for the compulsory duty for 5 months. After that, I attended an English course in Cambridge (UK) for three months. I loved Cambridge. What a beautiful student town. In August of 1985, I joined the university in Basel and completed my bachelor’s in economics in 1987. After a year of break, I decided to go to the university of St. Gallen to attain my master’s degree in business administration. I also continued to acquire my

What is ‘Heimat’? I have been asked to write something about Heimat or Homeland. Heimat or homeland is the place where one knows oneself best— it is where one belongs. The concept of Heimat came from German—which refers to one’s homeland, which in today’s global perspective is a rather unique concept which differs from person to person. Everyone is bound to their geographical Heimat by birth and childhood, experience and acquired affinity. Most of us would like to consider Heimat as our motherland—related to our political rights, mother tongue, traditions, geographical boundaries and our country of origin. But this definition of Heimat gradually changed for me, since my arrival in Germany as a student 38 years back. At that point, I had left India—which was not only my country of origin, but also the country where I had all my friends, family, language, right of citizenship, a trusted world, and a part of myself without knowing it. Over the course of time I have adopted various social and cultural habits which have nothing to do with my country of origin. Yes—if I ask myself what is left over? The answer is— my religion, emotion, memories and identity of being an Indian. Now, I have a new national identity/ passport—lost my Indian identity but my physiognomy will always make me identifiable as an Indian. That said and done, Bharat Mata is and shall always remain in my heart, as my motherland, my country of birth and mother tongue. Heimat is where one lives and feels secure, where one eventually integrates and finds friends and family. It is where one learns to live in a cultural potpourri. One has to learn to live in the moment, and not always in a bubble of the past or the future. After living in

Author‘s mother 25



Switzerland longer than in India, I do personally feel much closer to Switzerland. However, if I had to place my hand on my heart and ask myself where truly lies my Heimat, my answer would be “BOTH”.

While waiting at the airport, I observed two policemen walking towards me. I suddenly panicked and my heart started beating faster. I had a student visa with a letter of admission and a stipend from the University of Stuttgart in my pocket, but my personal experience of police was so negative that I almost started shaking. They came to me and asked me if they could help me. I felt relieved and gave them the telephone number I was carrying in my pocket. I also gave them the address where I wanted to go. All three went to the reception desk and one of the policemen asked the lady behind the table to connect to the number I had given.

Quite typically, we always feel that the other side of the river is greener! Whenever I go to India, after just couple of days I start feeling homesick and during my journey back, while sitting in the Swiss or Lufthansa flight I get the feeling of coming back home to a trusted place. Whenever I listen to my favorite country song “country roads take me home” or “Ganga amar ma Padma amar ma” I feel equally homesick. Despite these contradictions, and feelings for both countries, I would still perhaps rank Switzerland first, as my Heimat, since this is the place where I have settled down with my family and friends.

The number started ringing, ringing and ringing and after almost five long minutes someone picked up the phone and I almost shouted out of exasperation and relief “Ueli-Ueli”! Thankfully it was Ueli and he asked me where I was at present. Ueli and his friends were just about to leave for the weekend and the motor of his car was still running when he re-entered his house to pick up his camera, which he had forgotten to take. What luck! Or should I call it telepathy?

My first ‘Bidesh Jatra’ (foreign trip) I remember the day when I first arrived in Stuttgart airport. The airport was very small with only one kiosk. I was expecting my German friend to receive me at the airport. After coming out of the flight, within ten minutes the airport was empty and there was nobody to pick me up. Earlier, I had sent a telex, the only secured communication method available from Kolkata GPO to ensure that my friend Ueli would be informed about

In those times, Govt. of India used to give students only $24 per person at the airport in Delhi before leaving India and that was my entire asset. I would have not been able to take a taxi even to arrive at any given address. I was relieved that they agreed to come and pick me up from the airport. And thus started my life in the western world. My Observations Within the course of time I shifted from Germany to Switzerland and after my long stay in Switzerland, my observations are the following: the Swiss are kind, polite, display no show off, and are hard working. ‘Time’ is an important aspect in their life style. What I like most and find it important to mention is their cleanliness, innovation, precise working style and attitude of being open to a dialogue. We Indians sometimes have a problem, often I meet people saying “no problem - sir”! even if there is a big problem staring at you. Well, I would say, never feel shy to say, “It is a problem, let’s see how we can fix this”. We often are not rational in our judgements and are prone to emotional biases. Another trend is to live in the past and be proud of the glory of the past, instead of focusing on present and future glories. But, despite all these factors, Indians are also the most patient, accommodating, intellectually and spiritually advanced people. With faults and praises, this is how I embrace my ‘Heimat’, a potpourri of countries and emotions.

my arrival in Stuttgart. I was left alone; a young man of mid-twenties who had never had any exposure to a foreign country before. I am talking of those times, when most of the school boys’ and girls’ winter time excursions started from home and ended with a visit to the airport, standing behind glass panes or in a terrace and watch a white plane landing or taking off. In one leap, I had now not only jumped into the plane but also had travelled to a faraway land.

“Expatriate” means someone “living in a foreign land”. “Immigrant” means “a person who comes to a country to take permanent residence”. “Home is where you feel at home and are treated well.” – Dalai Lama “The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.” – Richard Bach 26




Dr. Indranil Banerjee


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 On behalf of Swisspuja family, we would like to congratulate Dr. Banerjee on his recent discovery and are happy to have him with us for this interview. Last year Dr. Banerjee published his work on the molecular mechanism of influenza virus infection in the journal ‘Science’, one of the most acclaimed scientific journals. His work is considered to have opened up a new horizon in the field of medicine to combat this deadly virus. He has been selected for the Pfizer Research Award 2016, one of the most prestigious awards in biomedical research in Europe, for his work on influenza virus. Contact:

Photo: Influenza Virus 3D

pursue big ideas, and provide them with the guidance necessary to achieve scientific excellence. Switzerland is one of the countries with the best endowed institutes of the world, and therefore, attracts the brightest minds from all over the world, including India. To catapult India into one of the top scientific nations, the country needs to attract fresh, bright minds. I think that the talented young scientists who are now returning to India have immense potential to transform our country into a place for scientific excellence.

your M.Tech in IIT Kanpur,

India, how and when did you arrive in Zurich for your PhD? Well, the general trend of the IIT students is to move to the US for higher studies or jobs. But I was more keen to come to Europe for my PhD as I wanted to avoid the rigorous course works that grad students in the US essentially have to go through – I had had enough of academic grilling by then! I really wanted to get started with the bench work rather than being all ears again to classroom lectures and devour midnight snacks while struggling with assignments. When I expressed my desire to move to Switzerland to my friends and professors, many wondered if I was talking about my future career, or planning my honeymoon! A few of them even asked me to send pictures of the DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge) shooting locations once I arrived in Switzerland! Anyway, I left for the ‘paradise on earth’ in the fall of 2007, and was greeted with a big ‘Gruezi’ for the first time in my life at the Zurich airport passport control.

Tell us a bit about your research and how it will affect society? During my doctoral studies, I became interested to work on the mechanism of influenza infection. Influenza virus represents a worldwide threat to public health by causing severe morbidity and mortality every year. Being a master manipulator, this virus frequently changes its properties, and thereby, becomes easily resistant to the available drugs directed againts them. In severe cases, doctors are often left with no choice, but to witness their patients dying practically without any effective treatment. Due to high mutation rate of the virus, seasonal vaccination often turn out to be ineffective as it fails to provide adequate protection against infection. To circumvent this problem, I, together with my colleagues, took another approach to supress flu infection – instead of further vaccine development or drug designing against this highly mutable virus, we searched for the ‘traitor genes’ within our own body that help the virus tresspass our organs and spread infection. When we blocked the activity of those traitor genes, the flu virus failed to invade the cells, but still the cells could function normally. Since human genes are very stable in terms of mutability, we are now trying to use these traitor genes as our drug targets as opposed to the currently available therapy. We hope, if ultimately successful, our proposed therapy will hold great promise for the future therapy, reducing mortality and alleviating human sufferings from influenza infection. Encouragingly, based on our published work, the Swiss government has sanctioned several millions of Francs to different labs in Switzerland to follow up on our work, and to develop novel therapies.

How do you feel Indian students are faring as researchers in Switzerland? After their PhD and PostDocs do they return to India or stay back and why? What makes Switzerland a favourite destination for researchers compared to India? Most of the Indians are doing fantastic research in Switzerland, and many of them get their work published in high-impact scientific journals. I think the decision on returning to India is very subjective, and depends on many factors such as family needs, research infrastructure, funding opportunities, salary etc. Despite having one of the biggest repertoires of talents, Indian science suffers to a great extent from government apathy for R&D and scant funds for basic research; only a handful of institutes like IISc, IITs, TIFR etc. can afford to conduct cutting edge research, comparable to international standards. Science in India is also hamstrung by socio-cultural issues such as herd mentality, bureaucracy, personal ego and complacence, and the lack of willingness to hit something big and novel. A fundamental difference in the attitude of Indian scientists working in India and abroad is their appetite for big problems. A majority of the academic mentors in India are too busy with political and personal issues to passionately motivate students to

Are there any notable scientific breakthroughs in the last few years from Switzerland? Quite a few, for sure! Of course, the most dazzling one was the recent detection of the Higgs-Boson particle, popularly known as the ‘God particle’ at CERN, 28

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 Geneva. Richard Ernst of ETH Zurich was pioneer in developing NMR techniques, which underpin applications to MRI, a routinely used technique for medical diagnosis. Kurt Wuthrich, also of ETH, further contributed to the development of NMR for studying biological macromolecules. Both of them were awarded the Nobel Prize in the recent past. Many labs in Switzerland are actively involved in the Human Brain Project, one of the biggest projects of recent times. The Human Brain Project aims to understand the human brain, build revolutionary computing technologies and develop new treatments for brain disorders. Individual research groups in Switzerland are also doing fantastic jobs in every branch of science and technology.


movements/transfers. Even the Nobel laureates cannot hold their scientific positions after a certain length of time! With all due respect to the Swiss system I strongly feel, if the government wants to build a truly international scientific platform, it has to become a little less Swiss! After staying in Switzerland for almost 8 years, would you identify yourself first as a scientist, or an Indian, or a Swiss? I really don’t know if I qualify as a true scientist. But, I am an Indian who loves fondue, raclette, barbecued meat, gluhwein, and who now does not hesitate to blow his nose in public! Tell us what motivates you in your life beyond science and few words of advice for Indian researchers in Switzerland Any form of art, be it photography, music, movie, novel, and traveling, keep me alive and motivated. But the biggest source of my motivation is my family, without whom my existence would be meaningless.

Have you faced any domicile related problems in Switzerland (Permits, Visas during travels), which you feel Swiss Government could improve for researchers from foreign countries? Not anything in particular that I can remember of. I think, to attract foreign researchers, Swiss Government could open up with their communication in English, be it verbal or written. Scientific communities are extremely mobile to garner fresh knowledge and acquire new skills. This very characteristic of scientists is the key to innovation. Therefore, one cannot expect that foreign researchers would come to Switzerland, master a new language overnight, and readily integrate into the Swiss society for a long-term stay. In most cases, scientific positions in Switzerland are temporary, and the government funding agencies encourage

I believe, all Indian scientists working in Switzerland are extremely gifted, and they don’t need any advice from me to keep themselves motivated for great science. They are already source of inspiration for millions of young students in India, who aspire to excel in scientific research. Personally, I feel very much motivated by the famous inspirational quote from the movie ‘3 Idiots’, “Kabil bano, kabil...kamyabi toh jhak maarke peeche bhagegi“! (translated: make yourself worthy first, success will come by itself).

Famous Swiss Scientists Chemistry · Paul Karrer (1889–1971); Russian born. Authority on vitamins. Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1937. · Alfred Werner (1866–1919); Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1913. · Leopold Ruzicka (1887–1976); Yugoslav-born, Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1939. · Vladimir Prelog (1906–1998); Yugoslav-born, Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1975. · Richard R. Ernst (b. 1933), Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1991. · Kurt Wütrich (b. 1938); Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2002. Life Sciences · Albrecht von Haller ( 1708 – 1777 ), anatomist, physiologist , naturalist and poet. · Charles Bonnet (1720-1793), Botanist. · Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799), Botanist. · Johann Büttikofer (1850-1929), Zoologist. Mathematics · Leonhard Euler (1707–83); · Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782). Found the dynamical equation of fluids. (known as Bernouilli’s equation). Medicine · Emil Theodor Kocher (1841–1917) physiologist, pathologist, and surgeon. Nobel Prize for medicine in 1909. · Paul Hermann Müller (1899–1965). Nobel Prize for medicine in 1948. · Walter Rudolf Hess (1881–1973). Nobel Prize for medicine in 1949. · Tadeus Reichstein (1897-1996), Polish-born. Nobel Prize for medicine in 1950. · Werner Arber (b.1929), Nobel Prize for medicine in 1978. Physics · Charles Édouard Guillaume (1861–1938). Nobel Prize for physics in 1920. · Albert Einstein (1879–1955), German-born and naturalized Swiss citizen. Nobel Prize for physics in 1921. · Wolfgang Pauli (1900–1958), Austrian-born. Nobel Prize for physics in 1945. · Felix Bloch (1905-1983) Nobel Prize for physics in 1952. · Heinrich Rohrer (b.1933), Nobel Prize for physics in 1986. · K. Alex Müller (b.1927), Nobel Prize for physics in 1987. 29



Brindarica Bose Mum of two boys, working as Publications Manager for last 10 years, she conducts art workshops and loves writing in her free time. She believes life should be beyond the mundane. Contact:

In the last couple of decades, family’s size has also shrunk. In Switzerland, if you are planning for a child, and if both parents are working, you need to reserve a place in a creche, as soon as you break the ‘good news’—demand being much higher than supply. With grandparents and families accessible mainly via skype these days, children who are born here, grow up around their parents, and if both parents are working, mainly around other kids and professional care takers in creches. Infact, after day 5 (after giving birth), both mother and child are sent home from the hospital and from that point on you are literally on your own. A couple becomes parents overnight—responsible for their child’s safety, health and happiness, as well as their own physical and psychological well-being. So, do we have any time left, to consciously think about ‘Parenting’?


What does ‘Parenting’ exactly mean? Is it something that our parents’ talked about when they were bringing us up or is this, a fad of our modern generation? Do children grow up into responsible and caring human beings, irrespective of parenting styles and pairs of hands taking care of them or do you think Goddess Durga, literally needed her ten hands—one pair, for each child?

Talking from my own experience, I feel happy if I can provide two fresh meals and can take care of my children’s daily routines and put them to bed on time. That itself is so exhausting, especially when you are the cook, cleaner, office goer and mother that there is no time left to think about anything else. Fathers also barely have any time and yet try to do their best, spending time with their kids in the evening before bed-time, and on weekends, working full time as soccer dads or chauffeuring the family to some destination.

Let’s find out the definition of ‘Parenting’ first. Wikepedia defines it as: “Parenting (or child rearing) is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, financial, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the aspects of raising a child aside from the biological relationship.” I had heard from my grandmother about the word ‘Aantur-ghor’ (birthing room). It used to be a corner room inside the house where mothers gave birth, helped by mid-wives or neighbours using tools like sharpened bamboo sticks to cut the umbilical cord to avoid infection. Some children survived, some didn’t. Some made it to college and got jobs, some didn’t. In those days, children grew up without parents fussing over them; competition was also not break neck, nor was life so stressful. There were also plenty of ‘pseudoparents’ taking care of children - uncles, aunts, older siblings or neighbours. Parenting was done by all, not just by parents. With time, this concept has changed. When my turn came as an expat to enter the so called, ‘Aantur-ghor’, it was in a public hospital in Switzerland, where both my sons were born—over a gap of four years, and my husband had to cut the umbilical cord for both, using sophisticated scissors—what a change from my grandmother’s time!

And yet, I often stop on my tracks and think, are we doing it right? Many parents feel the same and wonder how other parents are coping. How do they nurture intelligent and socially responsible human beings? And should a couple’s life revolve entirely around raising their children? Well, here is a point of view, from Danielle Teller, a physician, who wrote in ‘quartz’ the following: “There are doubtless benefits that come from elevating parenthood to the status of a religion, but there are obvious pitfalls as well. Parents who do not feel free to express their feelings honestly are less likely to resolve problems at home. Children who are raised to believe that they are the center of the universe have a tough time when their special status erodes as they approach adulthood. Most troubling of all, couples who live entirely child-centric lives can 30



drawing, reading, games on the ipad, playdates…Mum is the chauffeur, teacher, friend, philosopher and guide just like my mum was to me. His Dad also makes an extra effort to spend time with him in the evenings after work or on weekends and holidays and be a role model.

lose touch with one another to the point where they have nothing left to say to one another when the kids leave home.” While researching on the topic ‘Parenting’, I also interviewed a Swiss lady, who has four children (they are all grown up now), and additionally took care of two foster children. Currently she is working as a school teacher and is a politician and an active grandmother. I asked her to share few tips on this topic for our readers. She smiled and said the following:

How do you nurture your child’s creativity?

“Each child is different, so there is no ‘golden rule’ for parenting, but the main thing that parents could perhaps give to their child is ‘unconditional love’. When a child feels loved only then can he or she grow up into a beautiful and secure person. To give that solid platform of love during their childhood is perhaps the main task of ‘parenting’.” That said and done, let’s hear what our five parents selected for this Survey have to say on this topic. Respondents are mothers and have children in different age groups (from 4 to 40 years). They were each given seven questions and were asked to reply independently. This Survey is followed by an interesting essay by another mother, who has thrown some light on the practical issues faced by working parents today.

We always take a great interest in whatever he is producing…a small collection of stones, a little bird’s nest, colourful squiggles on a page. From the time he could hold things, I have given him large sheets of paper and pots of poster colours and big brushes to let him loose with colours. Those were then put up on the walls of his room and his Dad and I would admire them. A set of such squiggles I have also printed as a mini book. All birthday cards for his friends and Christmas cards are handmade by him from coloured card paper and decorated with gorgeous beads (from India), Washi sticky tape, stickers and paints. I take photos of these for us to admire later. Skype and FaceTime have made sharing so much easier so his various grandparents also get to ‘ooh-aah’ over his artwork which chuffs him up no end. Since he started school, we give him additional inputs at home on his school projects e.g. in Montessori (age 4.5) he was studying countries and flags, so we would discuss at home, bought him a flag sticker book and we also taught him about the states in India and the Kantons of Switzerland. After that, on his first day in a new school he made a flag of a Swiss Kanton from Lego and asked his teacher whether she knew which Kanton it belonged to! Currently the focus in his class is on writing stories and developing imagination and we have set up a parallel system at home. Expression of creativity also comes from the confidence to express oneself and that is what we try to nurture in him.

Chandana Mittra Sen A mother, a dreamer, a traveler. In a previous avatar, a 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:

Tell us something about yourself and your child?

We are a small family of three. Neel, my son is 6 years old, and goes to the Kindergarten. I work—as a Home Manager and I take that role very seriously. Having been a 24x7 workaholic for 12 years in the frenetic advertising industry in Mumbai/Kolkata, I find the role of Home Manager in Switzerland satisfying and exasperating in equal measure! Due to the limited external support here, I have chosen to be a HM as I believe my child, at this stage of his life, has a greater right to my time than I do. He loves sports – he has regular classes in tennis, swimming, karate and skiing in winter. He also loves cooking, cycling, Lego,

What are the difficulties of bringing up child in Switzerland compared to India? There is a saying ‘It takes a whole village to bring up a child’ i.e. living in a community builds different aspects of a child’s character. I miss that feeling of being a part of a large community. However, as we make more friends, Indian or otherwise, as we get more connected 31



with our families thanks to technology, I feel less isolated. On the whole I think my son is privileged to be living in one of the safest countries in the world with equal focus on developing the mind and the body.

Any tips for parenting from your own experience? Go with your gut feel, talk to other parents if you have questions or concerns and definitely definitely junk the self-help parenting books!

What are the steps that you take to ensure that your child understands and appreciates Indian culture and values? Being a probasi, kind of runs in my blood, having grown up across India I learned to appreciate different Indian regional cultures. Similarly Neel, growing up in Switzerland, is exposed to many International and Indian cultures. Thanks to meeting other Bengali kids through Swisspuja and regular visits to his extended family in India and the UK, he also understands and appreciates what it means to be a Bengali. In 2013, the first year that Durga Puja was celebrated in Langnau am Albis, Neel spent a lot of time at the venue as we live in the village. He was really amazed to see so many people specially kids, speaking Bengali. His question to me after that was ‘Mum, why can’t I speak Bengali?’ Thank you Swisspuja ☺ Although he still struggles with Bengali, he does not have a resistance anymore. His favourite song at the moment is ‘Shing nei tobu naam tar shingho’ which he took to school on a CD, danced to it and got the other kids dancing to it too☺ His teacher said she had never seen anything like this. My next plan is to take him for Dandiya this year as he loves dancing…and I brought Dandiya sticks from Mumbai to teach him a few steps beforehand.

Rejina Sadhu Born in Mumbai, she did her PhD in Neurobiology. Living in Basel since 2001; she pursues her love for baking, cooking and music parallel to her full time career. Contact:

Tell us something about yourself and your kids?

How do you integrate with the Swiss? What activities does your child do to integrate with the Swiss children?

We (my husband and I) are working parents with a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. Both of us came to Switzerland 14 years back in pursuit of our PhDs and stayed on after gaining employment in the pharmaceutical sector. Both of us are into books, music, art and antiques. Our diverse cultural backgrounds (Bengal and Kerala) plus our exposure to a melting pot of diverse lifestyles encouraged us to provide something similar and may be better for our children. Our daughter is very artistic and extremely curious about the ‘why and what for’ for anything and everything, and basic rudimentary explanations do not suffice for her. Our son has a natural penchant for fantasies, mythological tales and likes to try out tongue twisting words for now. Both are into music and freestyle playing.

We try to integrate with our neighbours and so Neel too is quite chatty with them. He loves to shout out a Hallo or a Grüezi from our patio to passing neighbours. He also meets Swiss kids through his non-school sporting activities. Strange how kids understand one another even though one speaks Schweizerdeutsch and the other one English ☺ How many hours do you (or your spouse) spend everyday with your child? What do you feel is more important: quality or quantity of time and why? Neel spends most of his non-school time with me. His father always makes an effort to spend time with him often leaving early for work so that he can get back early to play football or take him bicycling. Quality time is of course important but sometimes it is just enough for my son to know that Mum is at hand if he needs me. I am lucky to be in a position to be there most of the time. As he grows older he will need less of my time, but whenever he does, it will be quality time.

How do you nurture your children’s creativity? My husband nurtures my daughter’s interest in art by taking her to art museums and exhibitions, and explaining to her the different styles and stories behind these. Being a green thumb himself, he also involves them in growing plants, identifying them and teaching them how to preserve flowers. Both my kids (especially 32



How do you integrate with the Swiss? Activities that your children do to integrate with the Swiss children? After having children, our interactions with the locale increased. Our kids go to public school and day care systems, and we participate in neighbourhood events at the Freizeithaus and the residential campus we live in. Our daughter joins in musical and sports activities put forth by our Gemeinde. We are building friendships with our kids’ classmates and our neighbours of different age groups. How many hours do you (or your spouse) spend every day with your children? What do you feel is more important: quality or quantity of time and why?

my daughter) love baking. I involve them in all my kitchen adjourns and give them tiny tasks. I explain every step as we create the finished product. Both respond favourably if their tiny projects bear fruit. We are hoping to boost their imagination by urging them to play make-believe games and by building things from readily available household things and by foraging the natural environment around.

Explaining what we do and why we do it as we hurtle through our day seems to help our kids understand the rationale behind most everyday processes. Early morning 5 minute cuddles before starting the day, exchanging our daily activities as we walk home together, half an hour of study time while preparing dinner and wrapping up our day with singing and/ or narrating stories for 15-20 minutes before they go to bed is our way of trying to be in sync with our little ones. As working parents the maximum time we get is during weekends where we take them to most activities we indulge in and we try to accompany them to their choice of activities too.

What are the difficulties of bringing up children in Switzerland compared to India? Compared to other Swiss cities growing up in Basel particularly limits the options of teaching Indian cultural/traditional facets and fine arts in a group setting. The options to expose them to Indian celebrations/festivities in a larger setting are also minimal in Basel. The basic values of humanity are similar across all cultures but each of us has our own cultural identity because of our individual upbringing. Giving this to our kids in an alien setting does bring up challenges. It is difficult for them to understand that the values and behaviours requested by their parents is not the norm around them, and are considered as default in a country thousands of miles away. Maintaining harmony becomes a balancing act.

Any tips for parenting from your own experience? Parenting is a learning experience. It is like being in an experimental movie with an unknown script. We try to improvise as we move forward. We need to accept the fact that we can only try to give our kids different opportunities but what they use it for is their part in this unfolding story.

What are the steps that you take to ensure that your children understand and appreciate Indian culture and values?

Riti Mukherjee Studied and grew up in Kolkata, lived in Switzerland for 12 years and in Connecticut, USA for 2 years. Sole Proprietor of a Language School in Baden. Dancer and Choreographer and an occasional writer. Contact:

The Swiss Puja family has given us the opportunity to foster the family feeling in a big way. A heartfelt thank you to everyone! Moreover, as parents we try to celebrate all the major Indian festivals and pujas at home with our close friends as much as possible. We explain why we celebrate these, narrate stories from Indian mythology and reiterate these by using animated videos on ‘YouTube’ or through the Amar Chita Katha series. Elements of Indian hospitality through respectful gestures, food and speech are also explained as much as possible. We restate these when we go to India and encourage them to build and strengthen their relationships with family members and friends in India too.

Tell us something about yourself and your kids? A wife, mother and daughter and a Professionally a Financial and English teacher owner of a Language School in Baden AG. Year old daughter is presently studying 33

friend. and the Our 17 at the


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 clearly and will immediately connect to your ideas. Standing up to our National Anthem with genuine pride in our hearts will make our children see India through our eyes and hearts. It is up to us if we want to see and show poverty, rapes, ruthless crime and corruption or innovation, control of mind, heritage and history, respect and family ties. Not that I mean to hide one and highlight the other but I would never degrade and disgust my roots individually, as a family or in front of anyone –let alone my own children ! How do you integrate with the Swiss? What activities does your child do to integrate with the Swiss children? By being myself. I have very close Swiss, French and of course my Indian friends and I have made these friendships naturally and effortlessly. Friendships need a match of thoughts and wavelengths, and not the same skin color nor country. Long lasting friendships are built by enjoying each other’s company and sharing each other’s sorrows, by taking steps together and by trying not to be faster or wittier than the other—be it in any culture.

Kantonschule – Year 3, and our 10 year old son in the Primarschule Klasse 4. Living in Switzerland since 2000 where we both flew together to start out first adventure on foreign land with a 2 year move to America in between. Our daughter has an independent outlined life drawn by academics, friends, instruments, advanced ballet, gymnastics, track and field and deadlines to meet. Our son has his outlined by school, homework, football, karate, Stv, and lots of outdoor playing. Both are apparent achievers and non-apparent acheivers by winning confidently and losing humbly..

Community playing, small group walks, integration with neighborhood families, speaking the language and last but not the least loving yourself for what you are promotes integration. How many hours do you (or your spouse) spend everyday with your children? What do you feel is more important: quality or quantity of time and why?

How do you nurture your children’s creativity? To be with them when they create in their formative years, by supplying the necessary tangible and intangible materials; by appreciating and respecting each creation by giving them a place in our home. Filing them and preserving them. I have never had to motivate them differently but neither have I tried to teach creation to them or instill the talent that I have within me.

Currently we are both working. I have however taken breaks and purposely cut down on pressures when I felt the need to do so in previous years. I was clear about my career moves and the time I would give to it— whether this time was enough to steer me to the top or not wasn’t important. We function as spheres with clear cut areas as parents. I am the mother and never try to be the father and our ‘baba’ is the father and doesn’t try to enter my maternal space–so the children are clear about the two pages that make their book. (I salute parents who are single and play both the roles singlehandedly). As our children grew, so did their circles and they had lesser time to spend with us but spending 5 minutes hugging your child before they sleep, eating together at weekends, unshared holidays just the four of us, overweigh the 12 hours that we all spend in our own fields.

What are the difficulties of bringing up children in Switzerland compared to India? Not that we have it more difficult than our parents nor that our children will have it easier! Just like any other species, we as parents and children must adapt to our environment. Switzerland or India does not define upbringing of a child- the home does. Yes, the system of each country might define some add-ons and minuses, some yeses and nos, some smooth roads, some bumpy, but never the basis of rearing a child. What are the steps that you take to ensure that your child understands and appreciates Indian culture and values?

Any tips for parenting from your own experience? Respect your children, their likes, dislikes, fears and confidences. Let them speak. Only then will they let you speak. Listen to them and they will listen to you. Guide

I genuinely appreciate the values myself. Children understand pretence and sincerity in parents very 34



I lived my childhood again, by observing the world through my son’s eyes. We did a lot of things together —like making flowers, boxes, candles, cards and before Christmas, we both used to love decorating the Christmas tree together.

them (sometimes harshly and firmly and sometimes calmly and confidently) when they deviate, lift them when they fall, laugh and cry with your teenager and don’t forget to hold them, hug them and praise them when they deserve it. Show them that family is a team where we all have responsibilities, and is not a game of give and take nor is it of strength and weaknesses.

What are the difficulties of bringing up children in Switzerland compared to India?

Being a parent is a treasure but we have the right to feel tired, to do things for ourselves and ask for help from our children just like they do. We can only guide them into the future but can’t chalk it out.

I left India in 1992, so it is difficult for me to make a comparison between the education systems in India and Switzerland. I know that education in India has become very expensive nowadays. It is no longer a country for people like Vidyasagar, who studied in the street light and achieved his goal. Here, in Switzerland, education is compulsory for everyone till class VIII. Most of the children go to local schools run by the municipality. There are private schools as well, but there is little or no dif ference between the standard of a public or a private school. So far, we have paid no tuition fees for our son, and his expenses for education have been paid by the government till now. Schools are also equipped with canteens which provide food at a nominal price. We had to pay very nominal amount for his books and accessories, during his school days.

Dipanjana Ghosh Born in Kolkata, residing in Switzerland with husband and son since last 20 years. She loves reading books and writing, and would rather call herself an ordinary housewife. Contact:

Tell us something about yourself and your son? I was born and brought up in Kolkata (India) in an ordinary middle class, well-educated family. While my father died in harness, my mother tried her best to give us proper education and support. I have a son, who was born and brought up in Switzerland. My son is now 20 years old and is studying Computational Science in ETH. His favourite subject is Mathematics and he has received several awards in Maths, the last one was from the Mathematical Society of Switzerland in 2014. He loves to play the piano and is also an active member of Wettingen Badminton Club.

What were the steps that you took (when your child was growing up) to ensure that your child understood and appreciated Indian culture and values?

How did you nurture your child’s creativity when he was younger?

We were members of the Indian Association Baden where my son used to participate in several events. Simultaneously, he also met Santa Claus and sang for him and received a gift. This was even before his Kindergarten days. When he was nine, we, had our first Durga Puja in Zurich. He was overjoyed when he was allowed to play the Dhak (Drum) with two sticks. Since then he has been enjoying the Puja days with his friends and extended family members in Switzerland.

My husband used to travel a lot for his work in those days and wherever he went, he used to bring back Lady-Bird books for our son. He used to read them with my son, mostly in the evenings, when he was at home. My mother, who was also a regular visitor in those days, used to bring books of puzzles, simple mathematics, etc. for my son from India. We did not take any extra care to educate him. His Kindergarten teacher repeatedly told us not to teach him anything and to speak to him only in our mother-tongue. In Switzerland this is a common advice given to parents of young children. Parents are asked to speak to their children only in their mother-tongue, i.e. maintain one language of communication per parent, which makes the foundation strong. Later, the child can pick up any other language much faster.

How did you integrate with the Swiss? What activities did your child do to integrate with the Swiss children? The first year in kindergarten was an observation phase for him as he could neither speak nor understand Swiss German. He picked up the language very fast and became fluent in Mundart in his second class. His classmates were all from the locality and we knew each other quite well. We used call the next phase as an “abmachen” phase (which is, fixing a date for playing 35


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 table tennis and skiing. „ Jass“ is a Swiss card game which one of my sons plays till date with his Swiss friends. When they were young, all of them learned how to play an instrument (flute, trumpet, violin and piano) for several years. Travelling to different countries also used to be their favourite hobby.

together or spending time together). Either his friends came to our home to play or vice versa. In India, the role of a guardian is very important. Here, children are allowed to decide many things on their own. The idea is to bring them up as independent individuals, which I really appreciate.

How did you nurture your child’s creativity when he was younger? Most of the time, I let them play at home or in the p l a yg ro u n d w i t h o t h e r c h i l d r e n f ro m o u r neighbourhood. They also used to spend time in a nearby farm, where they helped the farmer feed their animals and learn how to make hay and other fodder. That way they learned a lot about flora and fauna. During winter, when we had to spend more time indoors, I often kept them engaged with some kind of handicraft activities, like painting or basteln. I also used to take them to the local library regularly. They started reading books and newspapers very early. I kept an eye on them to check whether or not they were reading books suitable for their age, and always encouraged them to read about various topics.

How many hours did you spend everyday with your child? What do you feel is more important: quality or quantity of time and why? Any tips for other parents? We always shared a close bond and spent quality time together. I remember, when my son was much younger, if he felt unwell; he used to snuggle close to me and ask me to read from his favourite book ‘The Advertures of Tintin’, till he would fall asleep. Now my son is grown up, but our fascination for Tintin has not faded, this year we went to Brussels, to meet Tintin and Captain Haddock!

What are the difficulties of bringing up children in Switzerland compared to India? Back in those days, it was not at all easy for me to manage a new born baby without any helping hand in an unknown environment. For every step I had hundreds of questions in my mind. But, slowly I started planning and organizing things my way with the help of the local „Mutterberatung“, our pediatrician and our good Swiss neighbours. By the age of 2 my children started speaking both languages (Bengali and Swiss German) simultaneously. Outside, my children spoke and did what other children were doing, but at home they spoke Bengali and ate Indian food. Even now, after becoming parents themselves, they still love to eat Indian food and all of them talk to us in Bengali, including our grandchildren, who have a Swiss mother. Maintaining a healthy balance between Swiss and Indian cultures was an important step for us.

Any tips on parenting from your own experience? There are no golden rules for good parenting. My only wish is that my son grows up into a liberal, kind-hearted and honest man. One should learn to appreciate both cultures, and be a sympathetic and philanthropic person.

Manjushree Roy Born in Dhaka, soon after second World War. Came to Kolkata at the age of two and studied Chemistry in Kalyani University. Came to Switzerland after marriage. Mother and Grandmother, working professionally as a translator. Contact:

What were the steps that you took (when they were growing up) to ensure that your children understood and appreciated Indian culture and values?

Tell us something about yourself and your children? I arrived in Switzerland almost half a century back, the first fifteen years I was a housewife, thereafter I started working in a library and as a professional translator. We have one daughter and two sons, they are all grown up now (30-40 years old). All of them studied in Zürich. Our daughter is a Psychologist practising in Zürich, Baden and Olten. Our elder son is a Doctor (general physician) with his private practice in Tann and our youngest son is an Economist, working in a bank in Zürich. Their hobbies included football, rowing, aikido,

We actually took no special step to teach them about our culture or values. We behaved with them the way our parents did with us. They visited India several times, for five weeks at a stretch sometimes, and stayed with our relatives (joint family). I think they learned and understood the nuances of Indian culture and values during those long stays in India. I remember, once we were in Kolkata during Durga Puja, with our children. They enjoyed the festival with our relatives and those 36

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 are the memories they cherish even now. Since last 40 years we have been celebrating „Bhaifota“ every year without fail, on the same day as Bengalis do in West Bengal. Brothers have a lot of fun during the „Fota“ ceremony especially when their sister recites the Bengali verse, ‘Ditiyaye diya phota, tritiyaye diya nita, Jamuna deye jom ke phota, ami di amar bhai ke phota, ajobdi amar bhaiyer jomduyarer kanta’, followed by a sumptuous Bengali dinner.


whom we shared a good rapport. They were interested in Indian culture and joined us in Indian festivals like the ‘Inderball’ and other cultural programmes. We became friends, and they helped us solve problems that we faced in our day to day lives. We are still in touch with these friends. Our children played with other children (Swiss as well as migrants) and learned to integrate with all sorts of people. How many hours did you spend everyday with your children? What do you feel is more important: quality or quantity of time and why? Any tips for other parents? I never counted how many hours I spent with my children. All I know is that, I was always available for them whenever they needed me. What was fixed is that they had to go to bed at 7.30 P.M., to be fit and ready for next day. Any tips for parenting from your own experience for others?

How did you integrate with the Swiss? Activities that your children did to integrate with Swiss children?

Let the child be a child: which means your child should not just be groomed for future but should also have a chance to enjoy childhood with other children.

We were lucky to have local people (Zürcher) of our age, living in the same block where we lived and with




Twirl and turn, Scare and fun… Kamalika Chakraborty is an engineer and MBA by education, Bharatnatyam dancer by training, an IT professional by choice and a writer of articles like this by chance. She can be mostly spotted in the Zimmerberg region inside an office or driving over the mountain from or towards Lake Zürich, commuting between her office and Ihita's school. Contact:

raise eyebrows on my working full time despite having a four year old kid and smirk when I leave office at five. On the other side are Ihita's school teachers who are convinced that I enroll her in every possible extracurricular activity to maximize her time at school and mine at work. To my office colleagues I am a ‘ravensmutter’, to Ihita’s school teachers I am an Asian tiger mom.


But my travails don’t end there. Spontaneity and impulsiveness, traits which defined me in the past, now look like a distant dream. Every transaction of daily life needs to be planned in advance. My preparation for the next day starts the previous evening with deciding Ihita's clothes and breakfast. Sounds easy, right? Not if it has to be agreed with a four year old who has an opinion about everything – "Why can't I wear a dress like you do?" "I don't want to wear jeans every day!" "I don’t want to have milk every morning!" "Can't I have chocolates instead?" — are the kind of questions/arguments that I have to tackle before we agree on anything. It is imperative for a consensus to be reached the previous evening to minimize chances of a tantrum (and resulting delays) in the next morning’s rush. I am not successful all the time but in my short life as a mum till now, I have realized that all you can do is try.

, when are you having your second kid? Every time I

dodge this or similar questions with a straight face, my emotional side screams in protest while the practical side keeps me grounded. It took us six years to change from DINK (Double Income No Kid) to DISK (Double Income Single Kid) status and I have strong reasons to keep it that way. Don't get me wrong! Kudos to all the moms out there who manage two or more kids with supreme efficiency and utmost patience. And having a younger sibling myself, I fully know the joy of having a younger one to pamper and bully with equal passion. However for me bringing up my one and only child in Switzerland with a demanding full-time job is like a daily roller coaster ride. And the roller coaster decides its own course everyday giving me little time to adapt. I try to tackle this daily ride with a mix of Indian ingenuity and Swiss planning and precision but with an intelligent, inquisitive and articulate child as Ihita, I mostly end up screaming my lungs out. Silently of course as I live in Switzerland! Almost everything related to bringing up kids in this country is designed to prevent both parents working at the same time. Otherwise why have kids come home for lunch, finish school by 15:30, have multiple school vacations in a year ranging from two to eight weeks, and the list goes on.

I would have never imagined that my wardrobe would undergo a significant change after motherhood. All my formal shirts, trousers and suits with matching shoes and bags have become relics, replaced by clothes which don’t need ironing, and on which dirt or stains do not show easily. Heels have become shorter to aid last minute running to catch the bus or the train and colorful bags have given way to neutral-colored ones which match with any attire. Still I try to cling on to my fashion-diva days desperately by joining the High Heels group. Though I was always proud of my multitasking and planning ability, it has now reached a sublime level. Once Ihita was sick at home, her regular babysitter was

Between my office and Ihita’s school I have to maintain a delicate balance. On one side I have colleagues who 38



resources to search for camps that Ihita can attend for the full day. My breaks in office are not really breaks as I use them to search online or gather information from colleagues on vacation programs and camps for kids.

away on maternity leave, Rajat was out of town and I had a very important client presentation which I could not reschedule. I persuaded a friend's babysitter to look after her so that I could meet my professional commitments. No sooner had I started my presentation my iPhone started to flash and vibrate. Gritting my teeth I silently offered prayers to all the Gods I could remember to keep everything alright with Ihita, and finished my speech. Drained from the mental pressure I wearily sat down and keeping my fingers crossed read the message from the babysitter. She just wanted to confirm if it was fine for Ihita to play with the iPAD because Ihita had claimed that “Mamma lets me play with the iPAD all the time!” As my feelings and facial expression changed from anxiousness to relief and then to anger, I looked up to some curious faces of my colleagues. I smiled sweetly at them as I tried to text my answer to the babysitter hiding the phone under the table while trying to contribute to the discussion happening in the room.

In addition to everything, I have to undergo severe guilt trips from Ihita on a constant basis – "Why can't you pick me up after lunch, I miss you so much!" "Why can't I have a play date in the afternoon at my house?" "Can you also become a room Mom at my school?" My usual and simple answer to all such questions "I can't sweetheart, I have to work" is usually met with a counter reply "Why can you not work?" As I pull Ihita in tight hug, my heart twists in sadness at not being able to meet her expectations. How much ever I rationalize my decision to work full time, the feeling of guilt is difficult to escape from. This piece will not be complete without the mention of Ihita's "office uncle" who is an unseen but great help. For Ihita, "office uncle" is my strict boss who gets very angry if I am late to office or I am sad if Ihita misbehaves or disobeys me. On the other hand, he is very happy when Ihita is good and declares to everybody in office that Ihita is the best girl, and occasionally sends her treats. I use his help often to get my way around with her, be it on sleepy mornings or tired evenings.

My work day does not end with leaving office. Since I leave earlier I have to take calls from the train, on my way to pick up Ihita. I am often found in front of Ihita’s school, pacing back and forth, trying desperately to finish the call so that I can pick her up on time. Quite often, a few other working moms join me there in the same situation and a silent bond is immediately formed between us.

This is why my daily life is like a roller coaster ride with many bumps and drops. And then there are the "highs" e.g. when I receive appreciation and accolades at work or when I overhear Ihita role playing and telling her friend "I am Mamma and I go to office. You know, I have a very important job, just like Mamma!" These are the moments which makes me feel complete and rejuvenates me to take on another day, another ride.

My recent nightmares are the school holidays. It's ironic that in my childhood I used to look forward to my school holidays and now I dread them. As the vacation season comes near, I use all my energy and

Quotations and proverbs regarding parenting "Your children need your presence more than your presents" - Jesse Jackson "Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have their children who step on their toes" - Chinese proverb " You are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." - Dr. Seuss "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." - Frederick Douglass "Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about selfworth. It is sad that so many parents don't realize what messages they are sending." - Virginia Satir


by Dipankar Ghosh

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by Amrita Ray





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by Aniruddha Ghosh

by Tanmoy Pal



The Story of Durga and Mahishashur Namah Agnidevaya Namah

Sumana Roychoudhury: A mother of two young kids living in Switzerland since 2007. She has a strong penchant for painting and picks up the brush whenever she finds time. She pursues her passion through teaching painting enthusiasts. She has done her masters in Arts in Kolkata. She also likes music and performing arts. Contact:Â

Namah Varunaya Namah

Indra: I will not let anyone takeover Swargarajya

Narada: Narayana Narayana!!!

Agnideva please bestow me immortality


Tathastu, you will not die in the hands of any Devata or Asura




Such a beautiful Mahishi. I am in love with her.

I will not allow you to marry my past lover.

I am the great King.

You are immortal, your soul will inherit the form of your son

Lord Bramha, please grant me immortality

Tathastu, no Devata or Asura can ever kill you.







Is your glass half full or half empty? It

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:

While I recovered quite quickly from the surgery, the metal implant was not adequate to help the four fractures heal, even after 4 months. This led to a lot of pain, which I accepted stoically but it worried the physiotherapists and my family, eventually we went for a second surgery in March. This time the healing is better, and painless, and I hope to be fully recovered by the coming Puja.

was Doshomi of Durga Puja, 2014. I had taken

the day off while my husband, Ram had some work and daughter, Simran had a full day at school. I had never participated in Doshomi celebrations and was curious about the more feminine rituals that mark this day. Thus, clad in a new sari I reached Gattikon and getting down from the bus opposite the venue, started to cross the road at the pedestrian crossing. I saw a couple walking away and several people walking up the street. The road was wide and empty. I crossed over to the middle and looked to my right, still a nice traffic free road, and started on the second half of the crossing. As I reached the pavement, I noticed a black car approaching and since I was already far down the road, signalled it to stop, never imagining what would happen next!

Lessons and Insights One of the best pieces of advice we received was to seek legal advice. There are specialised law firms that help negotiate with insurance agencies. While my employer’s accident insurance covers all costs of my treatment linked to this accident now, and they assure in perpetuity, claims are also admissible for aspects such as household care, damaged property etc from the perpetrator’s insurer. The basis for such claims is the outcome of the legal action initiated by the state. In my case since the accident was on a pedestrian crossing, the state prosecuted the driver and that forms the basis for settlement with the insurance firm. The cost of legal advice is covered by any top up on the health insurance. It’s important to seek legal advice as it smoothens discussions with all parties, particularly where language is a challenge.

The next thing I knew I was flat on the road with my head cradled by a young woman, fluently, and reassuringly, defending my actions to someone in German! I opened my eyes to find several known faces around me. I felt no pain but knew my leg was broken. I started taking stock of what else could have been damaged. My main thought was ‘I am so glad I was alone and Simran is safe at school’. Someone called Ram who arrived in time to accompany me in the ambulance to Triemli hospital, Zurich. Several diagnostic procedures followed and I was told I would need an operation as I had multiple fractures in my right shin. By night fall I was in a hospital room, after a 1.5 hr surgery.

After the first surgery, I was happy just to come home and spend time with my family but after the second one, I spent two weeks in a rehab facility. The combination of therapies do contribute to an easier recuperation and lesser stress on the family. Life often throws us a curved ball. It is vitally important to stay focussed on the most important thing, which is to recover and heal oneself. While everyone around me was really angry with the driver, I was just happy to be alive, without any major damage. Seeing the glass half full has helped me over the long period of healing, physiotherapy, a second surgery where all the gains made were lost and the subsequent, on-going, recovery. Leave the anger to others, hire the best lawyers you may need but stay focussed on healing.

The aftermath The next morning the police officers who were at the accident spot came to record my statement. Despite the medication I have a lucid recall of the event, except the moment of impact and a few moments thereafter. A colleague of mine had had an accident and she had a similar experience. The selective amnesia is the body’s way of protecting us from the shock. The testimony of the two eye witnesses really helped in the police enquiry together with the fact that I was on a pedestrian crossing and was hit from behind by the car.

The love and care of my colleagues helped me at each step. There was never any work stress or pressure – I was supported by positive messages, gifts, flowers and 46

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 kindness at each step. We experienced the same warmth from our new friends in Switzerland. Family, and friends from as far back as my primary school days encouraged and entertained me through the painful days after the first surgery. Simran suddenly grew up and became my responsible pair of hands, carefully shepherding me around the house and later outside.


What can I say in conclusion? Life tests us all, for me this became an opportunity to reconnect with my family as I had led a busy professional career since passing out of college. I had never suffered any serious aliment – I learnt a lot from other colleagues who endure chronic ailments, their support was immediate and especially sympathetic. For several days after the surgeries I just simply enjoyed being alive – looking out of the window to admire the blue of the sky, the early blossoms of spring, bird song and simple sounds of a family home. It should never have happened, but it could have been much worse – my glass is surely half full.

But the biggest complement I pay to myself – I realise I chose the best life partner in the world at the tender age of 20! Ram has been a bulwark of quiet strength during my hospital days, a cheerful companion during the recuperation, a great chef conjuring all my favourite food and someone who quietly took over the entire management of our household and lives.

The Voyager Sourav Ray Sourav lives in Zurich and ends up working in an office from dawn to dusk, even though he is really just a dreamer at heart. Contact:


he winds are getting stronger, Taking a turn for the worse; Some say it’s a fool’s sure fate – An angry pirate’s curse! I steer the wheel in desperation, Call upon the Gods I know... The boat threatens to release me Into the murky depths below! I fear that the ones I love Will be lost to me forever, And this journey ‘cross the open seas – A futile endeavour.


’ve made it past the Bay of Sharks, Stopped at the Golden Isles, Where I rested and ate heartily Amidst music, laughter, smiles. But I’ve left all this behind – Moved along these trails of danger, To distant lands and lakes and valleys – A foreigner and a stranger! And now I have this final hurdle – I must proceed and overcome; But my eyes, they are so weary And my hands and feet are numb!


midst my struggle, I think of home – Where I belong, where I will settle... And then, suddenly, out of nowhere, I hear the electric kettle! Was this escapade a dream? Yes, I finally awaken, And find myself still in a daze – Out of sorts and shaken! I slowly level with the Present... But the Voyager isn't dead – A part of me is still at sea, Braving the storms ahead!




From Krishnanagar to Krakow – A Business Traveler’s Diary lacking the time to understand all this in depth I fall back on clichés and some of them do prove to be typical. Germans are precise and direct people who love rules, and structure, are punctual, formal, efficient, and disciplined and lack a sense of humor. Italians are emotional, artistic, talented, expressive people who gesture while speaking, have an excellent sense of style and taste, and do not follow traffic rules. It is fascinating how people on two sides of the Alps could be so different and traveling extensively in these and other countries I found the prevailing clichés to be largely true. Consequently I take the liberty of joining meetings late while in Italy and do not bother defining or sticking to an agenda. In Germany I join meetings on the dot, stick strictly to agenda and avoid referring to people by their first name. In the US I start meetings with mindless small talk, refer to people by first name and try to keep things simple all along. In Finland I speak in meetings without expecting any response or feedback, a bit like driving in unknown territory without any directions. And in Sweden I know any meeting is just one of many to follow, without me, to arrive at a consensus with everyone and his grandmother. Similarly, now it is ingrained in me that Dockers or white socks are frowned upon in the offices at Italy while a suit is appreciated, and exactly the opposite is true in the offices at US.

Rajat Bhattacharya is an itinerant, introverted, insomniac information technology professional with an inclination towards things intellectual or intoxicating. Contact:


was born in Krishnanagar on the tropic of cancer,

grew up in Ranchi not far from it, and spent my holidays in Kolkata, the biggest and most happening place I knew. In brief I spent the first seventeen years in the vicinity of the tropic of cancer, had no concept of summer and winter time, and had no clue that the Espresso sold at Howrah and Ranchi railway stations was actually a Cappucino. My exposure to places, people and cultures foreign remained limited, mainly through books and some Russian and Nigerian schoolmates. The situation did not improve much when I started working, I just moved to Bangalore i.e. about half-way to the equator. “It sounds so far away and different. I like different places. I like any places that isn't here.” Edna Ferber

“The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun”, Christopher McCandless

My joy knew no bounds on my first travel outside India, to Switzerland. Awake the whole night on a Swissair flight I kept looking out of the window all the time literally seeing that I was travelling far. One cannot but love Switzerland for its natural beauty, its proud and peace loving people and the overall efficiency underlying all aspects of life. This tiny landlocked country with a population less than that of Bangalore is very different from India in many ways but on the diversity quotient it is quite similar. Just one example to the point is four official languages in a country of its size. Enamored I took a sabbatical to study at a university ‘world famous in the German speaking region’ followed by joining a company that provides ample opportunities to quench my wanderlust and whose abbreviated name was useful in starting teaching alphabets to my daughter. Business travel was fun in the initial days but over time it became stressful. Dealing with different time zones, travel fatigue, and trying to accomplish work objectives while thinking of family and things left undone back home took its toll. Nevertheless the opportunity to see, feel and understand new places was always exciting.

No amount of clichés can prepare a business traveler for new experiences and surprises that await him in different lands. Landing at Stockholm one June evening I was shocked entering a unisex restroom at the airport absent-mindedly, and seeing two ladies in front of the mirror till a gentleman came out of the toilet booth. This was followed by driving a ten-seater rental van as all rental cars had been taken for midsummer related travel. Finally arriving at the hotel around midnight I had to draw black curtains to keep the sunlight out. Other surprises have included finding a sauna at the office in Vaasa, that import and sale of chewing gum is banned in Singapore, that offices in Saudi Arabia are gender segregated, and that usual dinner time at Memphis and Vaasa is between 5:30 and 6:00 P.M. After these and many other experiences both surprising and shocking I still look forward to a Saudi business traveler’s account of Sweden or vice versa.

“The Yankees, the first mechanicians in the world, are engineers-just as the Italians are musicians and the Germans metaphysicians-- by right of birth.” Jules Verne

“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being” Franz Kafka

The world is complicated with different cultures, languages, attire, cuisine etc. During business travel

For a business traveler, food, drink and restaurant etiquette are easy aids to remember a place in addition 48

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 to clichés and surprises, provided he is willing to experiment. I have some interesting memories of food like moose meat at Vasteras, fried ravioli at Memphis, a monkey gland burger at Johannesburg (not to be taken literally), and locally brewed pale ale at Bergamo. Restaurant etiquette though seemingly contradictory over different places are interesting and easy to remember. In the US one has to ask to be seated, gets water (iced) for free without asking, is expected to tip generously and can take a doggy bag without any eyebrows raised. In Germany one can get seated without asking, but has to ask and pay for water, is not expected to tip and cannot take a doggy bag without it being construed an insult.


different cultures but with the increasing pace and reach of globalization there is a risk that these differences may get eventually erased. In Krakow, in the office in a renovated palace close to the historic old town, watching soviet era trams rumble by, I have interacted with young Poles with degrees from one of the oldest universities in Europe queueing for jobs at back offices of multinationals from US and Western Europe. Jobs in back offices of multinationals are equally in demand in Košice or Kolkata, also cities with great universities, a glorious past and relatively a not so glorious present. Do the young is all these cities take as much pride in their culture and history as they do in their multinational jobs? I do not know.

The joys of business travel are not only in finding differences among people and cultures but also similarities. Swiss and Swedish cultures are normally vastly different though an average American may not even know them as two different countries. Working in Switzerland I learnt of the Znüni and Zvieri, the breaks at nine and four during the work day, a time for informal communication and bonding. Then working briefly at Sweden I came across the Fika, a coffee break taken twice during the work day, at nine and three. Such specific similarities have existed among generally

From Krishnanagar to Krakow, having traversed over many degrees of latitude and longitude, over many years of time, with hair turning black to grey and now starting to fall off, I have come to believe that all my business travel has enriched my understanding and experience, and made me more tolerant. I fully subscribe to what Henry Miller stated i.e. “One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things".




Solar Eclipse in the Arctic Kaustav Ghose, after completing his doctorate in microtechnology from EPFL, he is currently working at the University of Bern in the department of Space Research and Planetary Science. Originally from Pune, India, he loves to travel to places off the beaten track, camera always in hand. Contact:


wanting to travel to see this event in such a remote corner of the world, I started making arrangements a year before the eclipse. Flights were readily found, but most hotels were booked out by tour operators’ years in advance of the eclipse, and I certainly didn’t want to pony up the outrageous prices they were asking. It took me months before I managed to get a reasonably priced accommodation. Once this was done, I got busy gearing up to spend a week in the high Arctic during March, with the expected high temperatures of the day going all the way up to a bracing -20 Celsius.

15´ N

Svalbard, the name comes from the Old Norse words that literally mean “cold shore”. Though Scandinavians may have discovered it as early as the 12th century, the first recognized discovery was made in 1596 by William Barentz. He looked at this harsh land, and named the archipelago Spitzbergen, after the most common geological feature he could see all around, the lines of pointed peaks along the shore. Today Spitzbergen is the name of the largest island in the archipelago, with Longyearbyen being the largest settlement. While planning a trip to Norway many years ago, on reading the descriptions of Svalbard, I yearned to go, but alas, time and money fell short.

The flight from Zurich to Oslo took two hours. Then northwards and onwards from Oslo to Longyearbyen took three. The flights to Longyearbyen are the northernmost commercial flights in the world. In other words, you cannot buy a ticket that will take you further North. The first glimpses of Svalbard came through breaks in the cloud over the islands, and the plane landed on the permafrost runway under a heavily overcast sky. Naturally, this made me worry about what the weather would be like on eclipse day, and I spent the days leading up to the eclipse obsessively checking the forecast. I then took the airport bus to my hostel, up the valley of the Longyear River, and went shopping to stock up on food. The one and only, very well stocked local supermarket turned out to be a Coop, but surprisingly, even at 78°15´N latitude, the prices were similar to the neighbourhood Coop, thanks in part to no taxes. Svalbard is governed under the Svalbard treaty of 1920, and follows Norwegian law, but is not Norwegian national territory. Hence the airport had no immigration or customs. An interesting fact is that India, due to being part of the British Empire back

Astronomy being a hobby since childhood, I chanced across an article that mentioned that the totality of the solar eclipse of March 20th, 2015 would pass over only two areas of land on the planet, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands, and immediately realised I could kill two birds with one stone, finally visit Svalbard, and also see a most spectacular astronomical event in an unique landscape. After some more research about the chances of cloud cover, which actually turned out to be lower than in the more southern Faroes, not only the stars, but also the moon and Sun were all aligned, and the time had come for a trip to Svalbard. North by Northbound Longyearbyen has a permanent population of about 1500 people. Given the expected demand for flights and accommodation from the large number of people


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 when the Svalbard treaty was signed, is one of the signatories today as well.


guide decided to head back to Longyearbyen immediately, and for a while it looked like a helicopter might have to be called. Eventually we got back without further incident or injury, and the couple recovered after having some hot drinks. The guide was nice enough to offer the rest of us a shorter hike to another, lower mountain-top called Sokkertoppen, from where we got some great views of the fjord and surrounding mountains.

Arctic Hiking With a whole week to spend in Longyearbyen, I started looking for things to do in the vicinity before and after the eclipse. There are a number of activities possible at this time of the year, such as snowshoe hiking, dog sledding, and snowmobile excursions. I decided to start with a hike to a glacier cave not too far from Longyearbyen. The guides provided us with snowshoes, poles, and headlamps and crampons for inside the glacier, with each person responsible for their individual warm clothing. After all the gear was distributed the guides loaded their rifles and we headed out to the glacier. When going outside Longyearbyen, it is “suggested” to carry what the locals euphemistically call “polar bear protection”. It ranges from having a rifle, to following numerous rules if camping out in the wild. Stories of polar bear attacks are not infrequent, and they usually happen because humans fail to respect some rule or other. Unless one is licensed to carry a gun, then the only safe way to travel outside Longyearbyen is with a guide who is carrying one.

While walking back to the hostel after this long day, the mountains and sky turned a lovely shade of blue and stayed that way for hours. The Sun sets at a shallow angle, which means the Sunset lasts for hours, and the sky goes through a range of reds, purples and blue. Several locals said that their favourite time of the year is February, when the Sun is just below the horizon for most of the day. It is like being in a day-long Sunset, with colours varying throughout the day. They call it the “Blue season”, and even though I saw it for a few hours each day, I could see why. Snowmobile Safari At this time of the year Spitzbergen is a sheet of ice. From shore to shore and horizon to horizon, the ground is frozen, covered by ice with a thin layer of snow on top. So it was unsurprising to learn that snowmobiles outnumber people in Longyearbyen. From October to April, snowmobiles are the fastest way to get around the island. Journeys across the island that take a week of walking in summer, or can be done by ship alone, can be completed in hours while riding a snowmobile.

We walked up a valley, following the course of a frozen river, until we reached the cave into the glacier. The guides warned us that it’s not a good idea if any of us are claustrophobic. I barely got through the two foot wide opening, which steeply headed downward into the glacier. Inside we switched on our headlamps and followed the crevasse for about a 150 m. The bands of frozen snow and dirt piled up over dozens of years as we walked along in the light of the headlamps were surreal. We stopped where the cave widened out a bit and we had a small picnic. The guide asked us to turn off our lamps for a while to experience the pitch dark and silence inside the glacier. We then climbed back out and headed back to Longyearbyen.

I chose a snowmobile trip that went to the east coast of Spitzbergen, across a part of the island which is relatively narrow. I teamed up with my roommate from the hostel to share a snowmobile. After getting the suits, helmets, boots, goggles, gloves, and balaclava necessary to avoid getting frostbite in the wind-chill, we started off on a beautiful morning, with hardly any clouds in the sky. It was my first time driving a snowmobile, and the experience of zooming through Arctic valleys under a bright Sun, and over glaciers, and sea ice at 50 to 60 km/hr won`t be easily surpassed. The terrain from west to east kept changing. We started in flat valleys and continued higher into more hilly terrain, following the guide as precisely as possible of course, and taking breaks to enjoy the scenery. We then went onto the slope of a truly massive glacier which we followed down onto where the glacier met sea ice, and reached

Next day, the Sun was bright with hardly any clouds in the sky. I started on another hike to a local peak called Trollenstein with the expectation of superb views of the areas around Longyearbyen, and we were making good progress. But it turned into a lesson of what can go wrong in such conditions. Even with the Sun out, the temperature was about -25 Celsius. The guide called a halt to drink and have some snacks. When we prepared to start again, one couple in the group started to display signs of hypothermia. They were dressed inappropriately, and the effects were apparent. The




the east coast of Spitzbergen. It was an icebound, desolate place and though we had had hopes of seeing a polar bear or two, all we saw were some recent bear tracks. The guides explained that usually seals and bears were present in small numbers, but a recent big storm had compacted the sea ice, and the seals had left the area, and the bears had followed the seals.

When I next picked up my binoculars to look at the Sun, they were cold, out of focus, and the focusing knob was jammed. The -20C air had done its work, but I had the backup of looking through my camera zoom lens. More worryingly I had managed to breathe out a bit over my wide angle lens, and it froze into a thin coating of frost almost instantly. I did my best to warm up the lens by putting my hands close, praying that it would slowly defrost. Finally it worked, and I put them both on auto shooting and began waiting for the show to begin.

We parked the snowmobiles on sea ice and ate lunch. This consisted of a frozen dried Arctic field ration packet warmed up by pouring hot water into it and letting it “cook” for five minutes. After the long snowmobile ride, it tasted gourmet. There was plenty of hot water for tea, and some sweet drinks and cookies as well, to replenish our energy. The guide said that the temperature might be as low as -30 in that area.

About an hour before totality, the first contact of the edge of the Sun and moon happened. A shallow dip in the Sun became apparent and started growing. The next fifty minutes were spent watching the Sun dwindle into a fiery crescent, but this was apparent only through the solar filters. The naked eye did not see much of a difference until the last ten minutes before totality, when things began to get really interesting. The light began to noticeably dim. Shadow bands, thin patterns of light and dark could be clearly seen, racing over the frozen, white ground. As totality approached and darkness fell, I took off my protective goggles just in time to see a spectacular diamond ring effect as the last bits of the Sun peeked out through the lunar mountains. Then totality happened and the Suns corona was suddenly visible. Three to four times the diameter of the Sun, the first sight of these streamers of gas stretching far out into the sky left me awestruck. Solar prominences could be seen arcing out from behind the moon. The sky wasn’t completely dark though, and looking around, I could see the planet Venus, and a few of the brightest stars. The moons shadow was all the way to the horizon, which had turned a deep shade of red which I had never seen before. After about two minutes of this spectacle, the diamond ring appeared again, this time on the other side of the moon, and the Sun started to reappear. The shadow bands came back for a while, and as we kept watching until about an hour later, the last edge of the moon left the Sun. Tired from the excitement and fully satisfied, we packed up our gear and drove back to our hostel.

Despite living in Switzerland for years, the return journey redefined what ‘cold’ could feel like! The Sun, never high in the sky to begin with, was setting, and I was riding pillion on the way back. Here’s a tip, do not ride pillion on a snowmobile for long, since only the driver’s footrest and handgrips are heated by the engine. Though wearing insulating gear top to bottom, the cold began to seep deeply into my hands and feet, and I had to switch spots with my roommate for a while to warm myself up. Though cold, the long journey through the wild and stark landscape, in the light of the slowly setting Sun was as beautiful as it could be. We got back to Longyearbyen after almost nine hours, having covered more than 200 stunning kilometres. Northern Darkness (and lights) On Eclipse Day, I woke up to a palpable sense of excitement running through the hostel. It could be felt in dozen different ways, from the rushed steps people were taking as they walked to breakfast, to the nervous and hopeful glances outside the windows to the wisps of cloud in the sky. Though it looked very promising, after having experienced all kinds of weather in the preceding days, nobody wanted to talk about the weather for fear of jinxing it. But as the morning wore on, it became evident that we were guaranteed the celestial show we had come so far north for.

The night after the eclipse the northern lights put on a show, and I saw a shooting star as well, but I could not think of anything to wish for.

With some fellow eclipse chasers who had rented a car, we drove away from Longyearbyen, along the Adventdalen valley to find a spot with few people around, and a clear view of the Sun. With the Sun being so low in the sky and mountains all around casting long shadows—making sure that we had a spot with clear views throughout the period of the eclipse was important.

Arctic Dreams Svalbard is unique and amazing. Each season brings a different climate, the landscape changes, the wildlife changes, the Sun appears, it disappears. I already have a list of the different times of the year I will be going back to experience this place again. Maybe it will be in the summer, to see polar bears and seals under the midnight Sun. Maybe in February, to watch the ice covered mountains turn blue and purple. I am sure I will be amazed again and again.

I had a quick education in what the cold could do. After getting out of the car, I focused my binoculars, covered with solar filters of course and kept it on a mat. Then I spent the next fifteen minutes setting up my cameras.






Nine to Nine - My Days in Zurich The expat diary

Jhilam Mukherjee Born and brought up partly in Mumbai and mostly in Kolkata, I have been living and working in Zurich for around 6 years now with my husband and 2 year old son. Primarily an IT professional, I also perform as part of an Indian dance group and occasionally dabble in writing when I can sneak time out from by multiple roles as mom, software engineer and dancer. Contact:


occasional meeting at somebody's desk. No gathering of people here and there for discussions and laughing over nothing. The funny part is we can speak anything in our own language without bothering about who is hearing. For official work, we interact with all, so it becomes necessary to understand the possible interpretations and reactions that one's words might draw. Also, it becomes necessary to study, understand and categorize behaviours based on countries people belong to.

it still night or has the day commenced? I peek a

little from under my quilt to find my husband not in bed. That is not uncommon, it might be night and he might not have come to sleep at all, he might have got up in the middle of the night, it might be morning and he might have got up. I strain my ears a little to catch some sounds. Yes, the shower is running. That means it is morning and I have to get up. I hate to look at the table clock as my brain’s computer is still in ‘sleep mode’. Alas, it is past 7:30 am and I have to get up, no choice.

German's are stiff, Italians are mostly handsome, boisterous and cannot pronounce hard consonants, Swiss are very very polite and soft spoken, Americans are straight forward and demanding. But it is fun to analyse behaviours. On the fifth day of my joining, I was briefed about general processes and systems that I needed to use. The "briefing" took 90 minutes, as the person responsible was Swiss and explained the history, reasoning behind, tricks and pros and cons of all systems in use. It would have taken 10 minutes anywhere else, but I was happy to get the background and foreground of everything instead of just being told what to do. The Swiss have an interesting trait, they always greet when they meet, even if they don't know you. But beyond that, they do not come out of their shells or relax their barriers. The Germans are interesting in their own way. They say everything in your face. One such incidence happened in an official meeting with 3 Indians, 2 Swiss and 1 German. Everybody was talking about the slowness of a system. The German covered his mouth and said loudly, "As slow as the Swiss".

My husband enters the room, bathed and shaved and starts spraying two three deos. The smell overpowers me, especially because of the closed room. I drag myself up and get ready. He puts together the breakfast. It differs every day, as he gets bored very easily. The variety comprises of buttered toast, milk, boiled eggs, fruits, baguettes, Maggi, cornflakes and other such easily preparable stuff. He also puts together the lunch. I keep it prepared in fridge every night, he packs it. I grab a few bites, sometimes pack the rest in a napkin to have it in the bus and rush out at the last moment, run over the grass to catch the bus that he has kept waiting for me two extra seconds. We reach office together, trying out different combinations of bus, train and tram, in our quest to reach as early as possible. Swiss transport system is unbeatable in terms of efficiency and timeliness, and we reach office on time every day. ‘Office’ sometimes appears like a circus to me with a mix of people from all over the world, with their own languages, expressions, reactions and interpretations. But everyone’s dressing pattern has almost no variety. In fact, compared to India, this place is so devoid of colour and variety in clothing that I find it a trifle boring and monochromatic. More so during the winters, as the sky is grey, grass is white with snow, buildings wear a bleak colour, men and women mostly wear thick black jackets. In spite of the cold and near lack of sunlight, people are at their desks before 8:30. We Indians have shifted the office timings from 8:30 to 9:00 and sometimes even beyond it. There is no breakfast break like in India. People just grab a croissant, and a drink that we wouldn't call coffee, but they do. There is almost near silence in the office, apart from the sound of typing and papers shuffling or some

Anyway, let's go back to my office. A colleague of mine, let's call him Rohan taught a German neighbour some Hindi words like "Suprabhat" for "Good Morning", "Namaste" for "Grüzie", "Shukriya" for "Thank You". Now, whenever he sees an Indian, he folds his hands and says Namaste, which can get quite funny at times. The other day, Rohan called an Indian girl, when she did not respond he flipped his fingers above his head to draw her attention. Our German neighbour liked it a lot, he also started flipping his fingers in the air. And he used to be the most serious guy in the project, always staring hard at the monitor and working. Another funny habit of people over here is to sit on dustbins when they go to somebody's desk and find no chairs around. 54



imagined a wonderful world of lights, reindeers and Santa, what my imagination had omitted (or was rather unaware of ) the extreme cold and bleakness in everyday life.

Football makes Europeans go crazy. During big tournaments, the nationalities' fight comes out. The finance channels are forgotten and people remain glued to sports channels even at office. A Swiss colleague once presented a German colleague with a handkerchief when Germany lost and in turn the German showed no expression at all. In spite of all this fun, I find people out here dry as toast, remember the movie "My big fat Greek Wedding"? People distribute gipfelis on all occasions - birthdays, software launches, back-fromvacation treats, joining-a-new-team greetings, leavinga-team farewells etc. Imagine us distributing bread in India on special occasions. We would be laughed at throughout life. But then, people aren't very keen on food over here, breakfast I already described, lunch is mostly a cold and tasteless sandwich with a soft drink, quickly finished poring over a newspaper and mostly alone; which is why they find it very interesting that we Indians bring home-cooked food every day—rotis, rice, daal, subzi, chicken. They are drawn by the delicious smells and often look into our lunch boxes and smile at us while passing. Indians are also known for forming groups and having lunches. On every floor of Credit Suisse IT building, you will find groups of Indians bundled together, having lunch, sharing news and gossip and important information about the country and its numerous rules. Most conversations have a common line, "You know what happened to him that day…..some incidence….there is some law that states this….. we need to be very careful". Lunch starts and ends within 10 minutes for us. But people out here have elaborate appointments on their calendars during lunch time. They are fond of activities like jogging, or swimming, during lunch time. In the evening also, they often have appointments like picking up their kid from a creche, or a party or just private appointments, which implies they are not available after 4 or 5. I like this immensely strong need and respect for a good work-life balance, which you rarely find elsewhere. I too have started blocking my calendar for my important private appointments.

Home would have been nice and cosy, had there been some time to enjoy it—and no headache of cleaning and finishing household chores. We also try to go to the gym, just to ensure that in spite of all the cheese and chocolates, we can still squeeze into our sleek and tightfitting clothes. Going to the gym during winter is a pain —with layers of clothes. Nothing should be mismatched, such is the particularity of the Swiss and my husband. Our gym is on the 19th floor of a building close to our home. The view that the gym offers is one to die for—sprawling meadows, roads, train tracks, forests at a distance, malls and houses strewn amongst all these. Even aeroplanes flying from the airport can be seen from a distance. Trains and buses look like toys you can play with. The gym doesn’t resemble any Indian gym that we have been to—it is mostly empty and almost feels like a personal gym. Equipment is also always in perfect condition, clean and waiting to be used. If you do see other people they are in perfect gym attire and with perfect bodies. Everything seems almost out of a sports magazine. Gym is both tiring and refreshing at the same time. Going back home from the gym means trudging along a lonely road sandwiched between two theatres of Hallenstadion to reach the bus stop. A bright spot during this walk is a ‘shooting star’ that I see every day, perched on top a building’s roof, which always gives me the feeling of waiting to fly away. It is one of those Christmas decorations that I mentioned earlier. Returning home for the second time during the day, I freshen up and start preparing dinner in a haste. The only thought that dominates my mind is, "Have to eat fast and go to bed as early as possible". Dinner is not the social activity that we know of in India. Here, it is mostly accompanied with TV or movies or silence on some days when we are too tired or grumpy. Dinner doesn't mean the day is over. All utensils have to be cleaned and wiped. This is when I or for that matter most Indians miss India most. The luxury of having a maid doing all the cleaning and cooking is unheard of in this country and most countries in the west. A maid would demand more salary that we get paid. Bed time is mostly at 10 pm for me, I try to stick to it, but mostly fail, as the Internet or TV or some book takes away some more time from my sleep. Anyway, during winters, when the sun does not shine, I never feel the urge to get up from bed. Had it not been for office, and had I had no sense of responsibility, I would hibernate for 4 months at a stretch. But I do not blame my ‘office’ rather it has given me all these experiences, all the food for thought and fun, and continues to be a door to a new social, economic and informational world for me.

Winter according to me is a comparatively less productive time. People are groggy in the mornings and early to leave office in the evenings as darkness descends earlier than usual. In summers, 10 pm is the time while in winters 5 pm seems like midnight. Going home from office is an unpleasant task, with a desolate city and a bitter cold to brace. The only joyful element during winter is the Christmas lightings, which start more than a month before the D-day. It is like Diwali, though a lot less noisy, much more sleek and sophisticated and without the smell of sulphur in the air. Malls are covered with curtains of light, open lawns are strewn with lighted reindeers, polar bears, sledges and Santa clauses. Stars and various geometrical shapes are perched on top of buildings and in balconies. I see them every day and think of all the poems and stories that I had read about Christmas in cold countries and 55



Unravelling Switzerland

The expat diary


Pallabi Roy-Chakraborty An IT professional, living in Switzerland for the past 8 years, Pallabi is an avid reader and believes herself to be a nomad at heart. Her husband Sandipan and son Reyan are her inspirations and most effective stressbusters. Contact:

handsomely rewarded. To my colleagues, I was no longer the intruder but a welcome guest trying to adapt to the ways of the host.

the mighty Himalayas to the sublime

beauty of the Alps, from the raging oceans to the serene lakes, my first impressions of Switzerland are that of a journey into a world of opposites. When I first arrived in Bern on a dark foggy night way back in 2007, what immediately struck me was the complete silence. I missed the lively chaos and the din of the city I called home. The perfectly timed trains to the extreme cleanliness further accentuated the Swiss stereotype of being extremely organized and only served to rattle the supremely unorganized laid back Bong in me.

As I got to know Switzerland better, I realized that the seemingly perfect land had a few kinks in its armour as well. For starters, I surely could do without the high cost of living, the insipid cuisine and the bland lifeless winters. How the same set of people, who otherwise are so respectful of individual boundaries, tend to completely disregard the discomfort of non-smokers in public areas, how they continue to vandalize the otherwise perfectly clean streets with cigarette butts still continues to baffle me. Nevertheless, all said and done, the quality of life in Switzerland is arguably amongst the best in the world. How it has achieved the perfect balance between modern and traditional, how one continues to hold on to what is precious yet spice it up with what is in vogue is remarkable indeed.

I was suddenly surrounded by people who seemed to speak in a language that made it look like they were perpetually clearing their throats! Furthermore, hailing from a city famous for its rich cuisine, the simple local fare did not seem palatable enough and did nothing to alleviate the agony caused by the unfamiliarity all around me. At work, I was greeted with cold stares and inhibited smiles. The IT sector in Bern was just seeing a surge in expats and any proposals or suggestions towards a different approach would invariably evoke the response “That is not how we work! That is not our culture!”

In December 2012, Switzerland became synonymous with the most cherished moment of my life: the birth of my son. What was once only the land of the Alps, chocolate and cheese is now also where I first held my son, saw him take his first steps and heard him babble an unintelligible mix of German and Bengali. I continue to discover a new Switzerland every single day as I see it through the eyes of my son.

There were not many English speakers and my inability to speak German only served to compound my unacceptability.

As I lay back and reflect, I realize that from the mouthwatering 'phuchkas' and 'tandooris', my taste buds have adjusted well to the scintillating ‘raclettes’, ‘fondue’ and all things cheesy (pun unintended)! The silence that had once caused desperation and homesickness now gives me an amazing feeling of peace and tranquillity. This land and its people now seem pleasantly familiar and make me feel at home, a home, which I might leave but my heart would never.

Surprisingly, the people outside, to whom I came across as the unassuming tourist, seemed extremely kind, cordial and helpful. It seemed that outsiders were welcome as long as they came with a pre-determined date of departure. I spent the next few months trying to pick up the basic tenets of German and understanding the local customs and cultures. My efforts were 56


My Memories

of Switzerland

The expat diary



Moumita Chakraborty Ex-Swisspuja Committee member, grew up in Chandanagar (West Bengal) and lived in Switzerland for several years, currently residing in Germany with daughter and husband, loves cooking, reading books and listening to music. Contact:

German was a prerequisite if I wanted to live here without any hiccups.

a country like Switzerland can never

One more thing that I would like to mention is our small trips to different parts of Europe during our stay in Switzerland. Within a span of four years, we had managed to visit almost twelve neighbouring countries within Europe. Most of the places that we travelled to were so beautiful that they will remain etched in my memory forever. My husband and I both love to travel, here in Switzerland the time between planning and visiting a place is short—probably due to the ease of planning and executing.

be easy. Switzerland was always a country of my dreams. I still remember, my preparation to come to Switzerland started right after my marriage. My husband was working in a Swiss firm for the last couple of months. My excitement reached its climax when I came to know that I would have to travel on my own to Switzerland. Well, this would not only be my first travel by air but would also be my very first journey abroad! When I first landed in Zurich airport, it was almost like a dream come true. Credit goes to Shahrukh Khan’s Bollywood blockbuster “Dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge” through which I had in a way already arrived in Switzerland years ago and had already fallen in love with this country’s beauty. In real life I arrived four years back. My husband and I recently had a beautiful addition to our family—my daughter who was born here, a year ago.

Life sometimes takes an unplanned route. Quite out of the blue, one day we were informed that our residence permits in Switzerland wouldn’t get extended anymore and we would have to leave the country soon. My daughter was just born; and it took me couple of days to digest this shocking news. We had bought everything for the baby—a new pram, a baby cot, loads of toys, clothes and accessories and our house was literally full. Leaving Switzerland for India would mean that we would have to dispose all our acquisitions with no delay.

Here in Switzerland, I made some wonderful friends, people from various parts of the world, Romania to Afganisthan, enriched our lives. I remember Khadija from Morocco. We used to hang out a lot together, over coffee and snacks. One day she invited me to her place and prepared a Morroccan dish with a special Morrocan tea. That ‘taste’ still lingers. The reason I'm mentioning her name is because she was the first foreigner friend that I had here in Switzerland. Gradually the list grew into a beautiful potpourri. My husband and I mingled rather with ease, and for that I have to give credit to my German classes, which helped us enormously to connect with the local people. Many afternoons, instead of taking a nap, I would venture out and explore the city. Oh, how painful it was to always enter a bookstore and not be able to pick a book which caught my eyes, because it was in German, and my German skills was at best conversational not mature enough to indulge in literature.

We had to leave and had limited time in hand. This prompted me to invite my parents to visit us in Switzerland before we left for good. After they left, it was time to pack our own suitcases, say Tschüss to the land of Heidi and Dilwale Dulhaniya and return back to India. My heart refused to accept this sudden turn of events —but I had to cajole it to accept it with no remorse. I believe that a place becomes a home when you have friends and well-wishers around you. This was another reason why in spite of living for only a couple of years in Zurich, I became so attached to it. Whenever I used to miss my family in India, my friends here would cheer me up. They even arranged a baby shower for me. Their love, care, presence always lifted my spirits whenever I felt home-sick.

Initially, not knowing the local language used to make me nervous. I would fear that, I would lose my way in the streets and not be able to follow the strange road signs and return home. Slowly I realised that learning

From Switzerland, I boarded the flight, once again back to my own country, India. 57



Coming back to your own home, where you have no fear of losing any ‘residence permit’ is always special. My in-laws and parents were waiting eagerly to welcome back home their granddaughter and us. The smile on their face took away all my worries of relocation and fatigue from packing and re-settling. My heart said "All izz well".

made acquaintance with many people living in and around Zurich. I come from Chandannagar (which is located at an hour’s distance from Kolkata). In Chandanagar, we celebrate Jagadhatri puja with much greater fervour and fashion than Durgapuja—which is rather inconspicuous and is only a tangential part of our festivity. But all that changed, when I became part of Swiss Durga Puja—which gave me the chance to enjoy it thoroughly and not regret my not being in Chandannagar. The Indian community here in Switzerland is vibrant and very warm. Here you know everybody and everybody knows you, your presence and participation matters. I still have fond memories of being a part of the Swisspuja Organizing Committee three years back.

Being the kind of ‘glutton’ that I am, it took me less than a minute to surrender myself to the delectable aroma of "Khasir Mangser Jhol". And the grand privilege of indulging in all sorts of Bengali delicacies without ever having to chop, cook and do the dishes myself. Every evening a cup of hot tea with 'Singara' and 'Chanar Payes' from our very famous local sweet shop was the cherry on top of each day’s routine. At night I realised that lying in the bed back in one’s own home precedes the best kind of sleep.

This beautiful country, Switzerland, changed me as a person. Its silence to the contrary made me more communicative, more open to new things and ideas. After coming to Germany, I somehow feel more confident in all aspects of life. I feel, my stay in Switzerland has already taught me how to face an unaccustomed life. Making home in a foreign country away from one’s own family and friends with no one to share your daily struggle but your husband, now seems to be much easier than the first few days I spent in Zurich. Credit also goes to the beautiful little person who shares my life now, and my fond memories of Zurich.

But, ‘home’ is neither a constant place, nor a constant memory; it keeps changing almost every time we try to settle down. Few months back, we relocated again, this time to Nuremberg, Germany. The world has shrunk, thanks to Internet and smart phones—which has enabled me to stay in touch with all my friends in Switzerland and India. Nevertheless, a visit in person is something that never loses its magic and bliss. I wonder, if I shall visit Switzerland once again, perhaps during the festivities of Durgapuja? Durgapuja, organised by Swisspuja in Zurich was a lot of fun, when we lived there. During the festivities, I had




Landmarks of Switzerland Madhubrata Banerjee Chatterjee Author is PhD researcher in Astronautics and Space Engineering in an eminent UK University, mother of a toddler, from Kolkata, presently resident of Switzerland. Contact:


beam of particles toward the detectors after speeding up and boosting the energy of the particles by generating electric and magnetic fields. The collision of the highly energetic particles takes place inside four detectors – ATLAS, CMS, ALICE and LHCb. Detectors consist of several sub detectors like tracking devices, calorimeters and particle-identification detectors gathering information like mass, speed, charge, energy, curvature of path of a particle, which are used for calculations to detect the particle’s identity. CERN is a beautiful example of collaboration between Physics, Engineering and Computing. Within LHC, particles collide around 600 million times per second and generate 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of data every year demonstrating the significance of world’s largest computing Grid ‘’Worldwide LHC Computing Grid’’ (WLCG). Who can imagine a world without the World Wide Web (WWW) these days which was invented in 1989 at CERN. Engineering also plays a vital role at CERN to broaden the boundaries of Physics. There are 10 times more engineers compared to physicists as employees. Engineers at CERN design, build and test some of the most advanced machines so that the data on which the research will be carried out, can be relied on. After a day well spent, on our way back home by the side of lake Geneva I was thinking that with all these interdisciplinary activities CERN is certainly a landmark of Switzerland, depicting Switzerland’s contribution towards today’s world beyond chocolate, cheese and watches. By the way, if you are following CERN on twitter please do not forget to confirm the news before retweeting or sharing their post in social media on 1st April.

was summer of 2011. I was expecting my son and

enjoying a beautiful Swiss summer. One day my husband and I received an invitation from our beloved uncle in Switzerland to visit CERN along with family members. CERN is the European Council for Nuclear Research (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire). It was founded in 1954 and wonderfully bespeaks that Switzerland is not only one of the most beautiful countries in the world but also is the hub of one of the world’s leading organization that is run by 21 member states along with the involvement of several other non-European countries. Although CERN mainly emphasises on particle physics, activities of CERN revolve around other fields like computing and engineering as well. Being a student of Astronautics and Space Engineering, I find it fascinating to look into the future of the Space industry by learning new technologies to build space crafts, rockets and satellites to reach outer space. At the same time, I somehow feel that CERN is the archaeologist of Space. Through the research on particle physics, CERN is actually digging into the past of the Universe and beyond. Naturally, I was very glad to receive the invitation and we headed towards Geneva on the scheduled day. It was a guided tour by the people of CERN. They showed us different areas within CERN and explained their work. Particle physics is their main focus of research. Physicists at CERN use accelerators and detectors to validate the ‘Standard Model’ of particle physics describing the fundamental structure of matter i.e., everything in the Universe is made of few fundamental particles. CERN carries out researches in many exciting fields of Physics like Cosmic rays, Dark matter, Extra dimensions, Early Universe, HiggsBoson, Sub-atomic particles, Supersymmetry, Antimatter and many more. Early Universe experiments look for evidences to prove the Big Bang, which talks about the birth of Universe 13.7 billion years ago following an explosive event. Stars and galaxies i.e., the visible Universe is only 4% of the actual Universe. Scientists believe that 26% of the actual Universe is made of Dark Matter which does not emit electromagnetic radiation or light. Accelerators and detectors are the main instruments to accomplish CERN’s research on particle physics. The circular accelerator Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which consists of a 27 kilometre ring is the World’s largest particle accelerator. LHC steers and focuses the

Photo by Author 59



o t u A a v e 5 n 1 e 0 G 2 w o h S Ever

Arindam Bajpayee is a Software Engineer, from Durgapur (India). He is fascinated by gadgets, cars, video games, and enjoys programming. His new year's resolution is "1080p". Contact:

display on the floor below. So, where to go first? since I got my hands on Need For Speed II

We started with Hall 3 (just because it was right in front and my friend wanted to check out his Audi's next version). The first car we saw was a concept by our very own TATA Motors. Honestly, it felt like TATA brought this one in, just for the sake of it - it didn't strike any chords. What-so-ever. Walking past the concept, we saw a couple of production-ready cars from TATA (which looked more promising)—the Hexa (SUV/crossover) and the Bolt (premium hatchback). If you plan to buy an SUV in India, keep an eye out for Hexa—I think it will not disappoint.

(a 1997 video game title - for the unaware), I had developed quite a fascination for cars. I got into this curious habit of guessing a car's brand based on the logo - which I do even to this day. So when I started seeing the posters of Geneva Motor-show 2015 (Salon International de l'Auto) back in January, I knew this event could not be missed. This show, which is held at Geneva Palexpo every year in March, is among the top international auto-shows and a lot of cars get premiered at this event.

Meandering our way through the show, from one hall to the next, we saw a lot of amazing, good-looking cars, stopping for a pic here and there—till the camera batteries ran dry. Looking back, I think I saw most of the show through the lens of my camera.

Fast-forward to March 15th and I find myself on the road to the show along with fellow car-enthusiast, Swagata Dhar. We left home at 5:30AM and were at the show's parking by 9:15AM - having had a break in between. There was already a steady file of traffic heading towards Geneva - so our time of arrival was just about right. The organizers had segregated a section of an airfield to serve as the parking - with bus connections to and from the main venue—very convenient.

The cars that were premiered at this year's show were Audi (next-gen) 'R8', Aston Martin 'Vantage GT3', Aston Martin 'Vulcan', Bugatti Veyron 'La Finale', Ferrari '499 GTB', Koenigsegg 'Agera RS', Koenigsegg 'Regera', McLaren '675 LT', McLaren 'P1 GTR', Porsche 'Cayman GT4', Rolls Royce 'Serenity'. Along with them, also present were the Ford 'GT', Lexus 'GS F' which were premiered at the Detroit Auto Show (earlier this year).

Armed with our entry passes (sent to me by Lexus, after becoming the owner of a beautiful GS450h) and a list of "must-see’s” as compiled by Swagata, we arrived at the venue by 9:40AM. It was already crowded. Getting hurriedly past the entry and picking up a map on the way, we were soon standing in front of the Hall 3. The show was spread across 7 halls - with Hall 1 being primarily for accessories and the like. We could already see the glitter and shine on the numerous cars on

All those cars made us drool and not before long we were hungry and thirsty. We headed outside where we found a lot of food stalls and we grabbed ourselves some döner kebabs. I can never get enough of those.

Photos by Author 60

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 While we were there, we noticed a poster of “Top Gear” (the famous BBC car show). They had brought along a simulator to experience how it feels inside a Bugatti Veyron with “the Stig” at the wheel. We fell for it. It was not any different from the simulators you find at kids fair with the whole capsule wobbling up and down while a video of the race-track plays on a giant screen. Honestly, if Bugatti Veyron feels like that on a race track, I would never buy it (if I ever manage to accumulate the amount that is). Still, convincing ourselves that the CHF 10 (per head) entry fee was not a total waste, we headed back in.

motoring world. Eventually, it was the VW Passat that won the “Car of the Show” award and it quite deserved the attention that was heaped onto it. So, if you have never been here, do plan a visit in 2016. Also, if you plan to buy a car, checking them out for yourself in a show like this—with the insane amount of options you get, clears any kind of biases or reservations you might have. Even though you are in Switzerland, German cars are not the only way to go despite what your neighbor might have. Having spent almost 4-5 hrs at the show, it was time for us to head back. We took the bus back to the parking spot, which was completely full by the way, and soon we were on our way home—with a certain sense of contentment. I would definitely like to come to this show again next year and I hope to see you there!

Brands like Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Maserati, Tesla (fully electric), BMW, Quant (to name a few) all put their creations on display for the world to see. This staggering line of premiers highlights the fact of how important this show is in the

Rajsekhar Paul, works as a pharmaceutical scientist in Basel since 2008. Raj’s passion for fine art, poetry and photography has flourished over past years. Being one of the founding members of a newly opened art gallery in Basel, Raj exhibited many of his works at different international galleries and art fairs. Contact:

t r A e h r T i a F l e Bas “It


welcomed 281 exhibitors and over 30,000 visitors. Since its debut in 1970, the “Art Basel” has become the modern and contemporary artworld's premier platform for bringing together artists and their patrons in a way that is both engaging and personal. With annual art shows sited on three continents–Europe, North America, and Asia–Art Basel is the only art show with such global reach.

is like the Olympics,” said a New York art

dealer, “or the European Champions League, and every good gallery and their artists wants desperately to compete.” Art Basel in Basel, which began in 1970, takes place in June every year and marks the summer reunion of the international art world, hosted by the Swiss city of Basel, which has been a cultural capital for centuries. In 2015, the show featured close to 300 galleries from 33 countries, attracting more than 92,000 artists, collectors, gallerists, museum directors, curators, and art enthusiasts.

Art Basel stages art shows for high quality modern and contemporary art and is conducted annually in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. In 2002, Art Basel was first launched in Miami Beach. Art Basel debuted in Hong Kong in 2013. The hundreds of gallery owners who apply each year to secure a coveted booth at Art Basel, the Swiss art fair, spend weeks on their admission applications. They describe the evolution of their galleries, track the history of their exhibitions and list the biographies of their artists. Then there is the matter of the “mock booths,” intricate sketches, miniature models, even virtual tours, of their planned exhibition spaces, complete with tiny reproductions of the exact works they hope to exhibit. And perhaps no fair, dealers say, is harder to get into than Basel, where for the privilege of paying $50,000 to $80,000, galleries get to sell to the highest of high-end collectors, build relationships and burnish their reputations by sharing space with the best dealers in the world.

I am a regular visitor of Art Basel since 2009. When I visit Art Basel each year I am fascinated by the variety of creations, each time with its novelty. In my personal view, a visit to Art Basel is indeed a unique opportunity to meet galleries and artists all over the globe. Art Basel also allows me, as an individual artist to explore my art practice within the European art community, meeting new people, using new materials and thoughts, reflecting these new thoughts in the art works and most importantly, experiencing an exciting art-life! The most powerful gatekeepers—and tastemakers—in the art world--The Art Basel was founded by Basel Gallerists (also known as art dealers and connoisseurs of art). Three years after its launch, Art Basel 61



As the art market explodes in value and collecting becomes a global treasure hunt, the importance of showing at art fairs has soared, too. Fairs now account for about 40 percent of gallery sales by value, and as collectors flock to destination bazaars in places like Paris, London, New York, Miami and Maastricht in the Netherlands, dealers, museum curators and art-world groupies follow.

Andy Warhol “fright wig” self-portrait (sold by Skarstedt, of New York and London). Axa, an insurance company that is one of the fair’s sponsors, estimates that more than $3 billion worth of art were put up for sale at the fair this year. Today, V.I.P. collectors are lavished with Champagne breakfasts, lectures, tours, BMW car service, and most importantly, early access to the fair so that they can buy the best art first.

“It is like getting admitted to a club,” said a private art dealer and former museum director and gallerist who waited seven years before the doors opened to him in 2006.

Participating galleries for Art Basel are selected by committees composed of international gallerists who normally serve for several years. A fresh application process begins each year and all galleries must reapply.

Complementing the multiple sectors, Art Basel hosts a series of conversations and talks on a range of subjects, including the collection and exhibition of art, understanding art from a geographical and historical perspective, and timely topics concerning the contemporary art scene. Artists, gallerists, art historians, curators, museum directors, publishers and collectors participate in panel discussions, book signings and interviews.

Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd., is a marketing company in Europe. Each year, the company organizes roughly twenty key international and national trade and consumer exhibitions, including the Baselworld Watch and Jewellery Show. Outside the exhibition halls, the city of Basel's cultural i n s t i t u t i o n s – i n c l u d i n g Fo n d at i o n B eye l e r, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kunsthalle Basel, Tinguely Museum and Kunsthaus Baselland – offer museum exhibitions.

A Little Fair Grows Bigger It wasn’t always this way. When Art Basel began 45 years ago in a staid Swiss town best known for banking regulations, it was primarily a fair for European galleries hoping to sell modern and contemporary art to the growing ranks of mainly European collectors.

Try, Try, Try Again Most galleries admitted for the first time, or after at least one year’s absence, end up in second-tier locations at the fair, according to six years of fair data. And most are not invited back the next year. More established dealers—the Gagosians, Paces and Zwirners, who derive power from their superstar clients and artists— dominate the inner aisles of the ground and second floors of the main hall, considered by many as the most sought-after real estate in the art fair world.

Galleries were usually invited back year after year. But a jury system, introduced later in the 1970s to screen applicants, gradually became more rigorous as Basel leveraged its Swiss efficiency, convenient location and five-star service to attract and cultivate a wealthier and more demanding clientele. These days Art Basel draws about 92,000 visitors to its six days of connoisseurship, selling and schmoozing. Many attendees are just window shoppers paying $50 for a day pass to watch the world’s richest people buy the planet’s most expensive art, like the person who paid around $34 million last year to walk away with an

Facts and Figures • How many people visit the Basel show each year? Around 90,000 visitors come to the Art Basel show in Switzerland each year.

Photos by Author 62

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 • What is the importance of Basel to Art Basel? The city of Basel has been essential to Art Basel's success. Known as a cultural capital for centuries, no other city of this size in the world has so many great art museums. All the museums in Basel support the show by staging important exhibitions during Art Basel and organizing receptions for the galleries and VIPs.


• Who selects the galleries? The Art Basel Selection Committee for Basel, comprised of renowned international gallerists, selects the galleries. • How big is the exhibition space? Over 31'000 m2 of exhibition space. • How do I purchase a ticket to the show in Basel? Tickets can be purchased at the show venues, or in advance online. All major credit cards are accepted.

• What makes the Basel edition of Art Basel unique? Art Basel in Basel originated in 1970, making it the first of the Art Basel shows. The city of Basel is uniquely situated in the heart of Europe, where Switzerland, France and Germany meet.

• Are there any other cultural events taking place in Basel at the same time? Yes, many exhibitions and events are offered by cultural institutions in Basel and the surrounding area, creating an exciting, region-wide art week. The other major parallel festivals during the art week are: VOLTA, SCOPE, Photo Basel, RhyArt and LISTE.

• Where in Basel is Art Basel held? The show takes place in Halls 1 and 2 of Messe Basel at Messeplatz in Basel. Hall 1, built in 1999 by the Swiss architect and art collector, Theo Hotz, with an addition designed in 2013 by Herzog & de Meuron, hosts the Unlimited and Magazines sectors, as well as the Conversations and Salon series. Hall 2, a landmark building from the 1950s built by Hans Hoffmann, hosts the Galleries, Feature, Statements and Edition sectors.

Based in Basel, we run an art gallery called "INCH Contemporary". A part of the gallery includes an artist-inresidence program and a platform that supports aspiring new artists from all over the world to exhibit their new inspiring work in Switzerland. The major focus of the gallery is Indian contemporary art. This program was first introduced in 2012 with a Baroda Based Indian artist Nabanita Saha. Afterwards we continued the journey with Rekha Sameer (UK Based Indian artist) and Suprana Mandal (a Gurgaon based artist).

• How many art sectors are there at the show in Basel? There are eight show sectors: Galleries, Feature, Statements, Edition, Unlimited, Parcours, Film and Magazines. Together, they feature a broad range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, photography, film and video, institutional-scale artworks, plus public artworks sited in the historical quarters of the city.

Through INCH Contemporary, our goal is to emphasize the importance of meaningful and multi-layered cultural exchange by relocating artists and arts. The artists are invited for a certain time (usually 2 months) in Switzerland and space away from their usual environment and obligations. This program provides a time of reflection, research, presentation and/or production of new art works by the artists during this 2-months’ time. The artist can also have a chance to exist and spend few days in urban spaces, rural villages, and deep in nature, according to his/her needs for creativity.

• From which countries do the exhibiting galleries come? In 2015, 284 galleries from 33 countries exhibited in Basel. • How many galleries apply? This year, nearly 1,000 galleries applied to participate in the show. • How many galleries are selected? Approximately 300 galleries participate in the show each year.

Photos by Author 63



Devî Durgâ and Her Pûja Swami Amarananda Centre Védantique, Genève Contact:


earth, while You sustain the whole world by appearing as water….You are the seed of the universe, :::You have cast illusion on the whole world and, if You are pleased, You lead man to liberation. All branches of knowledge and all ladies with their arts are but various forms of Yours, O Devî!...You are the eternal energy behind the cyclic acts of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe… All things are Your forms only.”

word durgâ is the feminine form of the word

durga which etymologically means something difficult of access or approach, something impassable or unattainable, or something not easily graspable. In the Vedic Durgâ-Sûktam, the following prayer is found: “Oh Devî Durgâ, You have the form of fire, and You shine by the power of tapasyâ; moreover, You are born of a shining thing (like the Sun). I heartily welcome You, so that my actions may bear fruits. You are good at saving people from the ocean (of misery); so I take refuge in You for getting myself saved; I bow down to You.”

The Divine Mother seen in this light becomes another name of the Upanishadic Brahman. Hunger and thirst which are there in the world of illusion are also forms of the great mother.

But the cult of the Devî reached its most glorious apogee only in post-Vedic days with the maturity of Shakti-ism in India. Saptashatî, which is a part of Mârkandeya Purâna, and is recited during Durgâ Pûjâ, contains several hymns which are important for understanding the magnificent vision, regarding the motherhood of God, of the seer-poet composing those lines. A few examples are given below.

In Bhîshma Parva of the Mahâbhârata, there is a hymn addressed to Durgâ by Arjuna on the eve of the war. It is interesting to note that Arjuna says among other things: “You are swâhâ, svadhâ, kalâ, kashthâ, and savitrî”, and addresses Durgâ Devî as Kaushikî and Shâkambharî. These ideas about the Divine Mother are there in Saptashatî. We know for certain that by the beginning of the Christian era, the Mahâbhârata attained its present volume of one hundred thousand shlokas1. So these ideas are at least 20 centuries old.

Brahmâ’s eulogy in the first chapter: “You are the highest among all things that are high and low and have lordship over everything. You are the soul of the whole universe as well as the whole of the energy which is there in all things gross or subtle, wherever they may exist.”

Saptashatî itself recommends the annual Pûjâ for Durgâ in the autumn, Pûjâ which is called the untimely invocation of the Devî, according to the legend of Rama’s worship of Durgâ in many regional versions of the Râmâyana and in Patteeswaram Durgâ Temple Sthala.

Eulogy of Indra and other devatâs in the fourth chapter: “You are beyond our comprehension. Your contemplation itself is the spiritual vow which is undertaken by sages desiring liberation after having controlled their sense organs, and purged all impurities from their minds. The highest spiritual knowledge leading to liberation is also You, O Devî.”

At the time of Adi Shankara’s advent the Devî cult2 was well established among Indians. So the great âchârya incorporated this in the panchâyatana3 system of Pûjâ, promulgated by him, to bring about some sort of national unity.

The accolade of devatâs reaches a very high register in the fifth and eleventh chapters of Saptashati. Such attributes as are found in living beings like sentience, intelligence, sleep, hunger, thirst, memory, forgetfulness, satisfaction, motherliness etc. as well as modifications in minds of human beings like shame, pity, faith etc. are all equated with God seen as the highly venerable cosmic mother in the fifth chapter hymn.

But why of all places in India, the elaborate Durgâ Pûjâ evolved only in Bengal? Very affluent people found the Durgâ Pûjâ as a way of substituting for the prestigious Ashvamedha sacrifice done by emperors in olden days, sacrifice which became out of vogue and which entailed a big military preparation. This Pûjâ could be done in Bengal, a fertile and prosperous part of India, which had imbibed the tantric tradition.

In the eleventh chapter, the devatâs declare: “You are the only support of the world, because You manifest Yourself as the 64



other such pujas were held in two other areas of Kolkata, namely, Ramdhan Mitra Lane and Sikdar Bagan. In 1926, Atindranath Bose started the first Sârvajanîna Pûjâ where all people irrespective of caste and creed could take part in the celebration.

To establish a link with the Vedic heritage, however, many Vedic mantras were incorporated in the liturgy of the Pûjâ. This necessitated research which sometimes resulted in funny things. For example, on the night of the 6th day of the Devîpaksha, a ceremony called Adhivâsa is observed. During this ceremony, many items are purified with mantras culled from the Vedas. For purifying sindûra (vermillion), they use a mantra4 beginning with the word Sindhor which is the possessive case of the word sindhu, originally meaning horse in the Vedic text.

The community Durgâ Pûjâs in Kolkata number many thousands now. They have collectively become the largest outdoor art exhibition of the world with innovations in the style, décor and illumination, and other cultural contents. But true devotees should not forget that the special manifestation of God happens in the image only if the image is prepared with devotion, the main organiser (or organisers) has devotion, and the priest has devotion. This is evident from an anecdote regarding Durgâ Pûjâ in 1885 which is recorded in Sri Ramakrishna’s biography8.

According to the article of Mr. R. Trivedi in the Asian Tribune (Vol.12 No. 1170): “History records that grand celebration of Durga Puja in present form began in late 1500s. There are many folk tales about the first Durga Puja in Bengal. Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur5 organized the first autumn Durga Puja in Bengal…. The most noted zamindar of Tahirpur was Raja Kansa Narayan, son of Hari Narayan. It is recorded that by spending taka nine lakhs he arranged for the gorgeous celebration in modern fashion of Durga Puja festival in Bengal….. Another story says the landlords or zamindars of Dinajpur and Malda initiated the first Akchala Durga Puja in Bengal.”

1 A Greek traveller to India attested to this fact in the year 50 A.D., saying that India possessed an Iliyâd of one hundred thousand verses.

Lakshmî, Sarasvatî and Pârvatî or Kâlî appeared as the popular trinity of Devîs among the people who would be known later as Hindus. Mahâyânî Buddhists also were worshipping a few forms of the Divine Mother.


However, in spite of many stories regarding the first Durgâ Pûjâ in Bengal, c.1606 is taken as the date of the first such Pûjâ . We must remember that Bengal had come under the rule of the highly liberal Mughal emperor Akbar in 1576. This was a great opportunity for the revival of their own religious culture by affluent Hindu families. Durgâ Pûjâ was the first sign of the Hindu resurgence in the domain of religious culture. About one and a half centuries later, the Durgâ Pûjâ in Kolkata under the auspices of Raja Nabakrishna Deb in honour of Lord Clive, had also a similar reason behind it. The fall of Nawab of Bengal and the consequent beginning of the British supremacy were perceived by Nabakrishna as an escape from the stifling norms of Nawabs and kazis.

The system in which the altar contains five images or symbols related to Shiva, Vishnu, Sûrya, Ganesha, and Devî the image/ symbol of the chosen ideal is placed in the centre of a quadrilateral pattern and is used for the principal Pûjâ, while the images/symbols of the four other devatâs are placed in four corners of the quadrilateral and are used for minor Pûjâs. 3


This mantra is prescribed in Brihannandikeshwara Purâna.

Taherpur is on the bank of Varâhî river in Rajshâhi district of Bangladesh. The article itself spells later the name of the place as Tahirpur. There are stories about Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadia initiating the modern type of Durgâ Pûjâ. 5

Guptipara was famous as a seat of Sanskrit learning, for the finest quality of rice in Bengal and for the best variety of mango grown in Indian soil. 6

Twelve men of Guptipara6 in Chinsurah subdivision of Hoogly district collected contributions from local residents, and celebrated in 1790, thirty-three years after the ascendance of the British in Bengal, the first community Pûjâ (as opposed to Pûjâs in private homes) called the 'baro-yaari' or the 'twelve-pal' Durgâ Pûjâ.

When a royal family is involved in a Pûjâ, it normally does not retain its community character because of the overwhelming patronage of the said family. 7

The book entitled Sri Ramakrishna, the Great Master gives the following account: “The Master also got up, smiling, and suddenly went into deep samadhi….About half an hour later the Master's samadhi ended….. The Master then told the devotees what he had seen in samadhi: "A luminous path opened from this place to Surendra's house. I saw the presence of the Divine Mother in the image; She had been evoked by Surendra's devotion. A ray of light beamed forth from Her third eye! Rows of lamps were lit before the goddess in the worship hall. In the courtyard Surendra was crying piteously 'Mother, Mother!' All of you, go to his house right now. When he sees you he will regain his peace of mind." Narendra and some others bowed down to the Master, then left for Surendra's house. When they asked him, they learned that rows of lamps had in fact been lit in the worship hall as described by the Master. And when the Master had been in samadhi, Surendra was indeed seated in the courtyard facing the image, loudly crying ‘Mother, Mother,’ like a boy.” 8

According to Sri Somendra Chandra Nandy, a descendant of the royal family of Cossimbazar, the baro-yaari Durgâ Pûjâ was brought to Kolkata in 1832 by Raja Harinath of Cossimbazar 7 , who had performed the Durgâ Pûjâ at his ancestral home in Murshidabad from 1824 to 1831. In Kolkata, the first community Durgâ Pûjâ began under the auspices of an organisation called Sanâtan Dharmotsâhinî Sabhâ at Balaram Basu Ghat Road, Bhawanipur (South Kolkata) in 1909. Simultaneously, 65



Practical Vedanta as taught by Swami Vivekananda This article, written by a disciple, is based on information collected from various Ramakrishna- Vivekananda literatures.


the poor, downtrodden people in the Murshidabad district or the tremendous relief work performed by Sister Nivedita and the monks, devotees and volunteers of Ramakrishna Mission during the great plague in Kolkata would not have been possible. We can go on narrating several such great charitable works started by Ramakrishna Mission under the guidance and leadership of Swamiji based on the principle of serving the living God.

February 1897 Swamiji returned to Kolkata from

his first trip to the West. Since then few weeks were spent in formalities e.g. attending public receptions, meetings citizens, old friends and fellow monks. Thereafter his first priority was to bring his fellow brother-monks to agree with his views on practical Vedanta and to convince them the necessity of giving shape to the teachings of Sri Ramakrisna in an organised way. This task was not an easy one. Many of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrisna and some of his very influential householder devotees didn’t quite agree with Swamiji’s principle of practical Vedanta in the form of serving others. Many of them believed that the main aim of everyone in life should be to reach the goal of God-Realisation through sadhana and everyone should concentrate on that only. They didn’t see the need to establish a Mission parallel to the Ramakrishna Math to put to work the principles of practical Vedanta by offering services to mankind, further they thought that this was a western idea. Their argument was that Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings were different. But Swamiji saw no difference between Sri Ramakrishna’s teachings and the alternative way to realise God by serving Him in the form of human beings based on the principle of - Karma is Dharma - “Work is Worship” as taught by Vedanta.

After Ramakrishna Dev’s mahasamadi, Swamiji lived for only 10 more years, major part of which was spent wandering from one corner of India to the other, followed by long absences from India. So in the short time span before his passing away Ramakrishna Mission was established parallel to the Math on a firm basis to render various social services to our country people. No wonder that one of the Goals and Objectives of the Ramkrishna Math and Mission is: To treat all work as worship and service to man as service to God This goal reflects so well with what Swamiji used to say: Where can we go to find God if we cannot see Him in our own hearts and in every living being? Ramakrishna Dev also said in Kathamrita – “You can see God with closed eyes and not with opened eyes?”

Sri Ramakrishna was born for the benefit of human race. The message of “Serving God in living human being“- (িশব jােন জীব @সবা) was first announced by Sri Ramakrishna. Hriday, Ramakrishna Dev’s assistant advised him to forget his householder devotees and his direct followers and to concentrate only on his own sadhana; but Ramakrishna Dev could not get rid of his worries about the poor, the downtrodden masses of our country and his yearnings to pull people, specially his disciples and household devotees to a higher spiritual level. We see his great sympathy for the poor people during his pilgrimage with Mathur Babu, when he insisted that Mathur Babu feeds the poor village people before they proceeded. The question arises: did Ramakrisna Dev prepare his direct disciples to follow the principles of “Work is Worship” in the future? May be not directly, but if we concentrate on this point and ask ourselves would it be possible for most of the direct disciples of Ramakrisna Dev to perform such great work without them being prepared knowingly or unknowingly by Him? Perhaps not. Otherwise such great social work by Swami Akhadanandaji done for

But it is very easy for anyone to say that I am following this principle of practical Vedanta taught by Swamiji, but when we consider how Swamiji further defines how this work has to be performed, we start to wonder if such selfless work is at all possible by mortals like us, who are full of egoism. Swamiji had once said: “In the world take always the position of the Giver. Give everything and look for no return. Give love, give help, give service, give any little thing you can, keep out barter. Make no conditions and none will be imposed. Let us give out of our bounty, just as God gives us”. Swami said further: “It is our privilege to be allowed to be charitable, for so only can we grow. The poor suffers that we may be helped. Let the giver kneel down and give thanks, let the receiver stand up and permit, see the Lord in every being”. 66



having any ego, but ego always finds its way back in our mind”.

The motto of the twin organisations (Ramakrishna Math & Mission) was fittingly formulated by Swamiji himself as: Atmano mokshartham jagad hitaya cha "For one's own salvation and for the welfare of the world".

At the end we should also consider that Swamij or for that matter Ramakrishna Dev didn’t teach us anything new, they interpreted the age old teachings of Vedas, Puranas etc, in a practical way, which was more appropriate for our age.

This path of practical Vedanta by realising God in others and being helpful to them reflects in every religion. For example a true Muslim regularly gives his alms. Swamiji had respect for the Muslims as in their society the rich and well-to-do people are always helping their fellow people, who are not so fortunate.

When at the beginning of the last century this principle of practical Vedanta in the form of - Services to man is service to God - was introduced by Swamijji, it was not well received by all sections of the Indian society. When Swamiji’s direct disciple Swami Kalyanandaji with the help of Swami Swarupanadaji started serving the sick sadhus and poor people in Kankhal, near Haridar they were outcasted by the religious community there and were called Bhangi (untouchable) Sadhus – as they not only used to look after the sick but also used to clean their dirt with their own hands. At that time the practical services to fellow country people was completely an outlandish idea in our country.

Jesus Christ also talks about services to the fellow brothers, when he says: "Denn ich war hungrig und ihr hat mir zu essen gegeben, ich war durstig und ihr habt mir zu trinken gegeben, ich war fremd und obdachlos und ihr habt mich aufgenommen. Wahrlich sage ich euch was ihr für einen meiner geringste Bruder getan habt, das habt ihr mir getan“

But with time this practical Vedanta of Swamiji caused a social revolution in our country. Nowadays you will not find anywhere in India a religious organisation or for that matter most of the social organisations, which are not performing some kind of service to the community—based on the principle of Practical Vedanta taught by Swamiji.

This principle of “Service to man is service to God” sounds so easy to perform, but only it has to be done with selflessness, which is very very difficult. As Ramakrishna Dev once said – “Sometimes we do things without being proud of ourselves, without


Kids Corner


Rupanjali’s Surprise Plans Arushi Bhattacharya: A student in the 3rd Class of Bezirksschule, Windisch, is perennially busy with her piano, ballet, theatre and dance lessons. If she manages to find some free time after all this, she passionately engages herself to play with words, be it poetry or prose or Whatsapp taglines!! Contact:

“What a lovely idea!”, Alina said. Tamara nodded and Michelle said: “Oh yes!” After convincing Rupanjali, they all went out together. In her excitement, Rupa had forgotten to take her handbag along. They bought a lot of clothes at a posh shopping mall. Since Rupa wasn’t carrying any money, they paid for her and Rupa promised to pay them back later. Then they went to a café and spent few hours drinking and chatting. They even paid for her drinks. Rupa enjoyed their company a lot.


, ma, it’s going to be a boy!”, Rupanjali (Rupa)

exclaimed as she hurriedly returned home, after school one afternoon. “That’s wonderful!”, her mother replied. Nora’s mother was expecting a baby. Rupa and her friends were quite excited about it. “How is she?”, Rupa’s mother asked. “Oh, she’s fine”, Rupa replied.

Around 11pm, a drunken Rupanjali returned home— where her parents were waiting anxiously for her. She kept muttering something. Her parents were shocked to see their daughter in that state! They declared dire consequences for this act, although it was unclear if Rupa was in a conscious state or not. Fortunately next day was a Saturday, so she didn’t have to get up early. Still feeling unwell, Rupanjali faintly tried to recall what had happened to her last evening but she just couldn’t. So she asked her parents and they told her what they had witnessed. All Rupanjali could remember was that she went shopping with Alina, Vanessa, Tamara and Michelle. So she called them up one by one. None of them revealed anything, except Tamara. She told her the whole story. Actually Tamara wasn’t that hardheaded. She only hanged out with those girls to avoid their wrath.

“What are you making for lunch today?” “Paratha and Eggtarka”, her mom announced. Rupa’s eyes sparkled when she heard that, and then she went up to her room to finish her homework. After lunch she went to Mandy’s place. Sarah, Ruth and Lucy were there too. They wanted to plan a surprise for Nora and her family. “How about a surprise party?”, Ruth asked. “A baby shower? I’m not sure...”, Lucy said. After a few hours of serious brain racking, they came up with an exciting plan. Rupanjali went home. Her parents had gone to an important meeting.

Later that day Rupanjali’s father found a huge invoice in the mail. Apparently his daughter had bought clothes worth 650 Francs l!! Rupanjali didn’t even like all the clothes so she was ready to return most of them. Then she could at least afford to pay rest of the invoice herself.

There was a knock at the door. She was surprised to see Vanessa, Alina, Tamara and Michelle, who were the most head strong girls in her class. Rupanjali had never spoken to them because Mandy had warned her against them. Readers may remember the animosity between the two groups from the first episode of Rupanjali (published last year in Swisspuja Patrika). Now in seventh grade she thought she was wise enough to handle them, so she let them in. “Oh hello, girls”, Rupanjali greeted them.

“Rupa, we are utterly disappointed with you. We don’t know if you heard the punishment yesterday. We assume that you didn’t; so we are repeating it again: You are not allowed to go out without us for the next two months”, her parents said. Rupanjali broke into tears. She would have been able to accept the punishment if Nora’s mom wouldn’t have been pregnant. She had to go out to plan the surprise! Rupanjali went back to her room and discussed with her friends through Skype. They came to her place immediately. They tried to console her. Initially they could not believe their ears when they heard about Rupanjali’s actions last evening. They were frantically racking their brains to get an idea to convince her parents to let her go alone because the surprise was meant to be kept as a secret. Suddenly Ruth had an idea: “Hey Rupa, your parents said you aren’t allowed to go out alone but they didn’t say you’re not allowed to have visitors.” Rupa looked at Ruth flabbergasted.

“Hi Rupa”, Vanessa said. She pushed Rupa aside and entered the living room, followed by the rest. “Oh, looks like you’re home alone. You don’t mind us being here, right?”, Vanessa asked. “She is so polite. I don’t know why she is not liked by others”, Rupa thought to herself. She answered as politely as she could, “Of course not, Vanessa, why should I?” Vanessa smiled.

“You’re a genius!!!”, Rupanjali screamed happily and hugged Ruth very tightly.

“I thought so. And please call me Vani. So how about a Girls Shopping Evening? What do you say, girls?”, she asked and looked around.

So they went ahead with their plans. Suddenly Mandy buzzed: “How about if we take revenge for what Vanessa and 68

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 Co. did?” The girls looked at each other bewildered. “Great idea!”, said Lucy. “But what?”, Sarah asked. “First of all let’s invite Nora for this. So, our meeting for the surprise party is finished, right?”, Rupa said.

Kids Corner

She didn’t even want to buy but we managed to convince her. She asked for the invoice by mail. Then Alina and Michelle dressed up as adults and bought a lot of alcohol. We made Rupa drink it. She was stupid enough to drink it without knowing what it was. Then she got drunk. We walked around till 11pm and then brought her home. I bet she was rebuked.”

Rupa then called Nora and invited her. Rupa narrated her story to all of them. They planned to take revenge. Vanessa, Alina and Michelle were always on the threshold of being rusticated. The teachers had warned them that they would be thrown out of school if they caused further problems. On Monday, Rupa approached Vanessa as if nothing had happened. “Hey Vani!”, she said hugging her, “We have to repeat what we did on Friday. It was so awesome!” Vani looked at her friends and Rupa could guess what it meant: She is so stupid. But we don’t have any problem with destroying her. So let’s do it! Rupa was very happy as she saw that look.

Camilla: “But why did she come today?” Vanessa: “To tell us she enjoyed it and would love to repeat it. It looks like she is on her way to get addicted.” Camilla: “Wow, you’re so clever! Well I’m off now, was nice chatting with you. Bye Vani!” Vanessa: “Bye!” Miss Forster was shocked but she was also amazed by the idea of the girls. “Well done, girls. We have no idea about how many other students were tricked by her. But hopefully your smart action can put an end to it. You may go now. I will keep the recorder and make her parents listen to it. Let’s see what they have to say about this”, she said. “Thank you very much, Miss Forster. Bye!”, the girls said and went.

Vanessa looked at her innocently and said, “Oh of course! We are so happy that you enjoyed it!” “You know what? I’ll contact you when I am free. Bye for now!”. Rupa rushed to her friends, where Camilla was waiting. As soon as Rupa reached, Camilla went to Vanessa’s group. “Actually we could also have used Tamara”, Rupa said. “True, but how would you give her the recorder?” “Hmm...ya, you’re right”, Rupa answered Sarah’s question. Soon Camilla came to them. “That was shocking! I wonder if they speak about everybody like that. But I think we have enough proof. Let’s listen to it”, Camilla said. They listened to it and were quite happy that their plan had worked so far. “I think this is enough. Let’s go to Miss Forster”, Lucy decided. Miss Forster was the principal of the Swiss International in Basel. She listened to the recording:

Soon enough Vanessa, Alina and Michelle were rusticated from the school. Rupa’s parents withdrew the punishment and they could plan the surprise. They also included Camilla in their group. Two months passed and Nora had a baby brother. They named him Matthew. Meanwhile the girls made invitation cards, booked a hall and set up everything. The girls would need Nora’s help so they told her what she had to do. The day Nora’s mom came out of hospital Nora took her to the hall. Suddenly a cuddly looking bear came to her mother and took the baby. On the stage there was a little throne. They put the baby on it and put a crown on his head. Then a rabbit, a dog, a penguin and a panda came in. They all had two presents with them; one for Nora’s mom and one for the baby. Everyone was surprised and happy. After giving the presents Nora took a picture of the animals with the baby who was still on the throne. The girls were happy that everything worked out so well. The parents even had as surprise at the end. “We have a surprise for you too girls”, Lucy’s mom said, “We are flying to Barcelona altogether!”

Camilla: “Hey Vani, what was Rupa doing here? You aren’t friends, are you?” Vanessa laughs nastily and says: “Friends? With her? That’s ridiculous!” Camilla: “Why was she here then?” Vanessa: “You know the girls and I went to meet her last Friday. She was alone so we invited her to a Girls Shopping Event. She didn’t take any money with her. We bought a lot of things for her.

Swisspuja - Recognizing sponsors 1 Chinmay Nair 2 Aniruddha Ghosh & Sweta Mitra 3 Romita Dutta 4 Debasree Banerjee 5 Madhubrata Chatterjee & Himadri Banerjee 6 Sunayan Mitra 7 Anindya Mukherjee 8 Sanjeev Kumar Ganguly 9 Santanu & Jhilum Chakraborty 10 Kamal Vaid 11 Gautam Sengupta 12 Asesh Bhaumick 13 Anirban Sadhu 14 Hiren Rawal 15 Kamal Vaid 16 Swati G. 69

Kids Corner

SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 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:

Simple Science Experiments Science

Procedure: i. The egg is placed over the mouth of the bottle. ii. As the size of egg is bigger than the mouth of the bottle, the egg just sits on the mouth of the bottle. iii. Next, the egg is removed, and the bottle is filled with very hot water. iv. After a minute or two, the water is thrown away, and immediately the egg is placed over the mouth of the bottle. v. Then, it is observed that the egg is slowly entering

sometimes sounds like magic, but

this magic can be explained with reasons. Here in this article two simple but interesting experiments are explained. Blooming of a paper flower in water This experiment will show you how a paper flower blooms in water. Equipments required: • A bowl filled with water • A paper cut in the shape of a flower and folding it’s petals completely. Procedure: i. The folded paper flower is placed in a bowl, which is partly filled with water. ii. In a few minutes, it is observed that the petals of the

the bottle. It takes a few minutes. If the water is not very hot, then it takes longer for the egg to go in. Next we proceed with the extraction of the egg from the bottle. Procedure: Keeping the bottle, in an inclined/upside down

flower open outwards, as if the flower is blooming in water Scientific reason: By capillary action, water penetrates into the minute pores of the paper fibers and swells, thus the corners of folded paper relax and open like petals of a flower. Inserting a boiled egg into a bottle, whose mouth is smaller than the size of the egg, followed by extracting it out again

position, air is blown by mouth into the bottle. Soon the egg comes out of the bottle. Scientific Reason: When the bottle is filled with hot water, the air inside it expands and escapes out, thus creating some vacuum within the bottle. Next, when the egg is placed immediately over the mouth of the bottle, the bottle is sealed. As the air pressure within the bottle is less than that of outside, the egg gets pushed into the bottle.

In this experiment, one can see, how an egg which is bigger than the mouth of a bottle, can be inserted into a bottle and can also be taken out of the bottle, without breaking the bottle. Sounds like magic, but it can be explained with science. Equipments required: • A glass bottle, with it’s mouth smaller than an egg • Very hot water • A boiled egg, whose shell has been removed

Next when, air is blown into the bottle, high pressure is created inside the bottle, which forces the egg to come out. 70


Kids Corner

My Puja in India! Shorosuti thakur, Lakhki thakur and Kartik thakur. There was also Asur who was the bad guy. All the thakurs have their favourite pets with them. They are called ”bahons” and are their best friends. We fed all the thakurs some sweets on the last day before they went up on the Lorry, I couldn’t reach Durga thakur’s mouth so my dad picked me up so that I could reach and feed her dessert before she was leaving.

Advay Mukherjee studies in Grade 3. Uncorrected and undisturbed text from the pages of a 9 year old’s diary. Loves to play soccer and drums, has a lot of friends and a great sense of humour. Contact:


I also went on the Lorry with my sister, father and my friends. I played with my new friends later, I played with toy guns, it was cool!! I thought it was cool because I have never played with so many friends at the same time! Then we went to another temple and it was pretty much the same as the one next to the house of my grandparents so it wasn’t that much fun….But I still liked it a teeny tiny bit! Later we went back to my grandparent’s house; I told them everything about the temple! Then when I finished talking they said, “What did you do there?” “I told them that we fed the thakurs sweets like we did yesterday at this temple!! My grandparents said, “The sweet that we fed them was called: Sandesh.” I said, ”Ohhhh. It’s the same thing that mamma makes sometimes.”

year in India was really fun! I liked it the

most because it was Autumn and it was Durga puja! Autumn is my favorite season because then I can collect the leaves, flatten them and put them in frame!!! The day we landed my mamma said that we were going to many places. I got very excited and jumped up and down! We went to many different temples that looked like houses but were actually made out of cloth and different materials. There was music playing everywhere and every single road had lights for decoration. I had to enter the temple with my father most of the times as there were different lines for my sister and mother and me and my father. People were selling things but I wasn’t allowed to buy them but I was allowed to eat my Phuchka!! I also made many new friends!! Near my grandparent’s house there was a big temple, I saw: Gonesh thakur my favorite, Durga thakur,


As the plane took off from Kolkata airport I left behind my grandparents, my new friends, all the pujas, my favourite Tollygunge Club and so many people and cars!! I sometimes wonder if all the thakurs are real. My mother tells me to feel them inside me. I will try!

of the most compelling stories in Hindu mythology is that of the Churning of the Milky Ocean. It is the

story of the gods versus the demons and their fight to gain immortality. It also tells of the rebirth of Lakshmi. Indra, the warrior god, was given the responsibility of protecting the world The Rebirth of Lakshmi against the demons. He had protected it successfully for many years, and the goddess Lakshmi's presence had made him sure of success. One day, a wise sage offered Indra a garland of sacred flowers. In his arrogance, Indra threw the flowers to the floor. According to Hindu belief, this display of arrogance upset Lakshmi, who left the world of the gods and entered into the Milky Ocean. Without her, the gods were no longer blessed with success or fortune. The world became darker, people became greedy, and no offerings were made to the gods. The gods began to lose their power and the asuras (demons) took control. Indra asked Vishnu what should be done. He told Indra that the gods would need to churn the Milky Ocean to regain Lakshmi and her blessings. He then told them the Ocean held other treasures which would also help them. This included the elixir of life, a potion bestowing immortality, which would enable them to defeat the demons. The story of the Churning of the Ocean tells of how the gods worked together to churn the ocean. They churned for many years, but it was 1,000 years before anything rose to the surface. Finally, the treasures began to rise to the surface. Among them, a beautiful woman standing on a lotus flower. This was Lakshmi, who had returned to the world. Painting by Nayanika Debnath With her presence, the gods eventually defeated the demons and chased them out of the world. This story highlights the good fortune and success that Lakshmi bestows upon those who work hard and seek help sincerely. It also demonstrates that during times of success, one must never become complacent or arrogant, as success has a way of getting away from people. 71

Kids‘ Gallery


Lady Bird Beetle Aahiri Banerjee 3 years

Bharatiya Nari Adrita Sanyal 2 years

Summer Flower Annesha Bajpai 2 years

Mamma‘s Sunflower Arisha Dhar 9 months 72


Kid‘s Gallery

D e s i

T r i s h a

G i r l

P a l (5 m.)

Performing at Kurtheater Baden Arushi Bhattacharya

Durga Thakur Archisha Ray 10 months

The Bengalis Iris Bhattacharya(4 yrs) Ayush Bhattacharya(1 yr) 73

Kids‘ Gallery


Ballet Performance in Zurich Ihita Bhattacharya 4 years

Receiving his Blue Belt Sasmit Bhattacharya 10 years


P r a k r i t i S a d h u (7 yrs)

Childrens‘ Parade Reyan Chakraborty 2 years 74


Kid‘s Gallery

The Bengali Look Adhrit Bose (7 yrs) Jeet Bose (3 yrs)

S h i v T h a k u r

dance performance at Nateshwar Academy

Samanvay Ray (2 years)

Ritika Chakraborty


Kids‘ Gallery


Little Krishna

Ice skating Ring, Bern

Ishaan Banerjee(4 years)

Aarna Debnath

The Drummer Shukrit Rakshit (10 years)

Singing performance at concert in Kornhaus, Bern Nayanika Debnath 76





Chilli Chicken Preparation time 20 mins Cooking Time 30 mins Serves 4-5 persons Anjana Rakshit, born in India, graduated from College of Art, New Delhi, worked for 7 years as an artist, trained in classical vocal music. Home maker, mother of two, lives with family in Switzerland since last 12 years. Loves cooking and singing. Contact:

Ingredients: • Approx. 600 gm boneless chicken Salt to taste • Pepper to taste • Cornflour.....1.5 Tbsp (Tablespoon) • All purpose flour (maida).....3 Tbsp • Edible oil.....5 Tbsp • Garlic (minced).... 2 and half Tbsp • Green chillies (Big in size).....4/5 slit length wise • Onion....1 (Big) chopped in big sizes • Capsicums.......yellow red and green (cut into slight big in shape) • Soy sauce....3 Tbsp • Chilli sauce.....2 Tbsp or to taste. • Spring onion....2 sprigs (cut into approx. 1/2 inch length) • Vinegar......1 Tbsp

a bit thick. Then add the spring onions in the karhai.

Preparation: Wash chicken pieces, sprinkle a little salt, pepper, cornflour and all purpose flour (maida) and vinegar. Then mix well and set aside for 1 hr.

Now add all the chicken pieces and mix well with the vegetables. Toss once again. Cook till the sauce coats the chicken pieces and the vegetables properly.

In a karhai (frying pan), heat oil, then put the marinated chicken pieces. Fry the pieces till light brown in colour. Keep the fried pieces separate.

For more gravy you need: 3 tbsp cornflour + salt to taste + 1 egg + red chilli paste (1/2 tsp or to taste) + approx. 2 cups of water or sufficient water to produce thick gravy. Serve hot with fried rice or noodles.

Thereafter, add the pieces of capsicums, onions, garlic, chilli sauce, soy sauce, green chillies in the karhai. Fry till the gravy becomes

Fulkopi’r Chot Joldi Srijani Bhattacharya A Business English Coach for Company executives, Srijani has been enjoying the flavours of Switzerland for 15 years. After a long toil for the completion of her Masters in Education recently, she has found time to rekindle her ardor for cooking and choreographing once again. Contact:

Ingredients: • Whole Cauliflower- 1, stem removed and stump scored • Ginger- 1.5 inches/10gm • Green chilies- 2 • Onion- 2 large/ 400gm • Fresh Tomato pureed- 4 Tbsp • Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp • Freshly ground cumin powder- 1/2 tsp • Freshly ground coriander powder- 1 tsp • Kashmiri Mirch powder- 2 tsp • Freshly ground garam masala powder- 1 tsp • Oil- half cup • Sugar- 1/4 tsp • Salt • Cilantro- 2 Tbsp, chopped

with the stump down first. Mix in the freshly ground garam masala and sugar.

Preparation: 1. Immerse the cauliflower in brine made of 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of salt. Allow the cauliflower to soak in this brine for 15 minutes. Remove it and allow it to dry. Slit the base slightly so that the marinade can seep in.

5. Keep deep frying on a low temperature until the oil separates from the masala. 6. After about 10 minutes turn the cauliflower to make the stump facing up. 7. After about 20 minutes, check for doneness. The cauliflower should hold its shape and not be mushy.

2. Grind together the ginger, onion and green chilies to make a fine paste. 3. Marinate the cauliflower with onionginger-chili paste, tomato puree, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt.

8. Place the cauliflower on a platter, lined with crispy lettuce leaves, and pour the masala over it. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

4. Heat oil in a large, deep heavy bottom fry pan. Place the marinated whole cauliflower 78


Mini-mango Cupcakes and Cardamom Meringues Agomoni Ganguli Mitra Agomoni is Bong at Durga Puja, Genevoise at Fondue season, World Citizen at heart, too old for all-nighters and too young for a mid-life crisis. Contact:

Preparation: A handful of raspberries, or your choice of berries. I tend to prefer berries with a tart edge, to provide a nice contrast to the meringue.


Ingredients for the cupcakes (makes approx.. 30 mini cupcakes or 14 regular cupcakes) • ¾ cup butter (at room temperature) • 1 cup sugar • 2 eggs • 1½ tsp vanilla extract • ¼ cup yogurt • ½ cup mango puree • 1½ cup flour for cakes and pastries • ¼ tsp baking soda • ¼ tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp salt Ingredients for the meringue • 3 egg whites • ¾ cup sugar (or one cup if you have a sweet tooth) • ¼ tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp cardamom (ground)

When your cupcakes look almost done, prepare the mix for the meringue: Beat the eggs and vanilla until foamy. Slowly add the sugar while you keep beating the mixture. Beat until you can see stiff peaks for ming. Add the cardamom and mix.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line you cupcake tin with butter and then flour (cupcake liners work well too). Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Keep aside. Beat the butter and sugar together until the mix is pale yellow. Beat in one egg at a time. Add the vanilla essence and beat for a few more seconds. In a separate bowl combine the yogurt and puree and add it slowly to your mixture until it looks more or less uniform. Fold in the flour mixture.

Once your cupcakes are out of the oven, line a baking tray with parchment paper. Using an icing bag, pipe the meringue mix onto the paper in the form of bitesize cookie. Bake for about an hour at 140 degree celsius, or until they are firm when you lightly tap them. Cool the cupcakes and meringue and serve with the berries in whatever manner makes you smile ☺. Enjoy.

Bake in the oven for approx. 15 mins or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Kori Roti

Ingredients • 1 kg - Chicken • 2 cups - Thick Coconut milk • 3 cups - Thin Coconut milk • 0.5 cup - Coconut (Grated) • 15 nos – Kashmiri red chillies (adjust according to taste) • 2 tbsp - Coriander seeds • 1 tbsp - Cumin seeds • 1 tbsp – Methi seeds Seasoning • 10 nos - Pepper corns • 2 tsp - Ghee • 2 tbsp - Ghee • 1 - Onion (Chopped) • 1 - Onion (Chopped) • 10 - Garlic Pods • Small Lemon sized ball of Tamarind • Salt to taste

A spicy Mangalorian Chicken Curry This fantastic curry is eaten with crisp sun dried rice rotis, typical of the Mangalore region or with rava rotis, dosa or even rice. 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:

Preparation: 1. Roast grated coconut till light brown, keep aside

7. Add the thick coconut milk, bring to a boil and remove from heat.

2. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee, add red chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and pepper corns and sauté. Keep aside.

8. For the seasoning, heat 2 tsp ghee in a pan, add the second chopped onion and sauté till golden brown.

3. Add 1 chopped onion and the garlic pods to the pan and sauté till golden brown.

9. Add this seasoning to the gravy and mix well

4. Grind all the ingredients from steps 1 to 3 with the tamarind with some of the thin coconut milk, into a fine paste.

Coconut milk is obtained by grating a brown coconut, mixing the resulting meat with a small amount of water to dissolve the fat. Thick milk is obtained by squeezing the grated coconut through a cheesecloth. When the squeezed meat is soaked in water and squeezed further the resultant liquid is the thin coconut milk. A bag of frozen grated coconut will yield the required amount of thick and thin milk. required for the above recipe.

5. Add this paste to a pan and sauté for about 2 minutes, add the chicken, salt and the remaining thin coconut milk. 6. Bring this to a boil and simmer until the chicken pieces cook. 79


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 Ingredients: (Serve for 2) • Noodles 250 g • Chicken boneless cubes 200 g • Egg 1 (max 53 g) • Mushroom 2-3 pieces (sliced 2mm thick) • Yellow/Red Capsicum ½ (cut into 4-6 1″ square ) • Green Capsicum ½ (cut into 4-6 1″ square ) • Spinach leaves 50 g • Pok Choy leaves 25 g (cut into 1″ square ) • Cabbage leaves 25 g (cut into 8-10 1″ square ) • Sprouted beans 20 g • Carrot 1 (cut into strips) • Onion 1 medium (cut into 8-10 1″ square) • Spring onion 2 diced • Ginger 2 tablespoon chopped & 1 teaspoon paste • Garlic 2 tablespoon chopped & 1 teaspoon paste • Dark soya sauce 2 table spoon • MSG to taste • Corn flour 3-4 tablespoon • White Pepper 1 tea spoon • Five Spice 1 tea spoon • Cashew nuts 5-7 broken into half • Oil 10 tablespoon and for deep fry • Chicken stock 2 cup • Sugar to taste • Salt to taste

Pan Fried Noodles Amrita Ray, A child-education specialist, lives with family in Wettingen, Aargau since 2009, shares cooking hobby with husband. For more recipes, contact at:

1. Preparing the Chicken • Marinate the chicken with garlic-ginger paste, bit of salt, pinch of white pepper & bit of MSG . • Add one egg and 2 tablespoon of corn starch to make the marinate thick. Keep it aside for 30 mins. • Deep fry the chicken cubes and keep it aside. 2. Preparing Noodles • Boil water in a saucepan. Add pinch of salt and few drops of olive oil in it. Add noodles and keep it for 2-3 minutes. Then drain water before noodles become sticky.

cake out onto a plate, and keep it warm while you prepare the sauce. 3. Preparing Sauce/Gravy • Boil water in the wok and blanch the vegetables (item 4-12) for 2 mins. After that strain the vegetables

• Heat up two tablespoon of oil in a wok until it's shimmering. Grease it well. Gently slide the half of the noodles into the oil, swirling them around to get a nice even shape, and then turn the heat down to medium. Add ½ table spoon of oil from the top. When the bottom of the noodle cake is golden brown, flip it to the other side.

• Then take 2 tablespoon of oil in the wok. Add garlic and fry till it becomes light brown then add ginger and stir for a minute. • Add cashew nut and stir fry for 30s • Now add blanched vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add spring onion.

Tips: If you can’t kee p the shape,slide it out of the wok and onto a plate. Working quickly so that the bottom stays crispy, place a second plate on top of the noodles and flip and then put it into the wok again.

• Add chicken stock 2 cup bring it to boil. add soya sauce • Add salt, sugar and MSG to taste and then five spice. • Add fried chicken. Finally cornstarch to thicken it. Cook it at medium heat for 2-3 minutes and put it on the fried crispy noodles and serve hot.

• Turn down the flame to medium and continue cooking, swirling regularly, until the noodles are completely cooked and crisp on both sides. Slide the




Chaat and Amrakhand

What is ‘Chaat’? Chaat is a tasty and addictive snack which is popularly sold by small vendors at road-side stalls in India. Chaat stalls are where friends meet and talk endlessly with yummy small portions of food inside their mouth. I like to chat while enjoying my chaat! From a very young age, I used to help my mother in the kitchen and just by observing her in her daily cooking I managed to learn so much from her. My mother always used to say that one can learn a lot, just by observing others. My entire family when I was growing up was fond of eating varieties of vegetarian food, and my mother used to be very creative in trying out different vegetables, mix and match them, for our meals. We were always very happy with our ‘home-cooked’ meals and rarely went out to eat.

Kirtimalini Gadre: A dynamic woman, born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, engineer by education and Business analyst by profession and a cook by hobby. Creativity in anything attracts her as much as working for a social cause. She lives in Zurich with her husband and daughter and organizes frequent Chaat stalls. Contact:

As I was growing up, I started trying out several varieties of Chaat— in restaurants, food stalls, and shops. I always used to ask around how they made this or that and if I got the chance I stood watching them prepare these mouth-savoring dishes. My favorite food area happens to be awesome chaats varieties in Mumbai.

To make this delicious Chaat we need a base that is— flat fried Puris, 3 sauces, salad and Bhujiya. Puris: For 1 kg of white flour, add 100 gm oil, add salt to taste. Make a dough, keep it aside for around half an hour then dole out small Puris and deep fry them. Before immersing the Puris in oil, fork them, so that they don’t puff out.

Generally, I always try to learn and master a recipe if I like a particular dish. After repeated trials and errors and years of practice, now I think I have managed to learn almost all chaats known to me—no teacher, just by the simple act of observing others, asking, reading, analyzing and experimenting in my own kitchen!

Sauces: We need 3 sauces/chutneys: Tamarind-datesjaggery sweet sauce; green sauce and a red sauce. For the Tamarid-dates-jaggery chutney soak tamarind, jaggery and seedless dates in water. Grind dates into a paste. Squeeze tamarind, mix together all three ingredients above and then add a pinch of salt and add ground roasted cumin seeds along with some Fenchel powder in it. Red chutney is made from red dried chilies soaked in water for 5 to 6 hrs., ground together with cumin seeds and garlic, 2 cloves, 1 cardamom and a little cinnamon. For the green chutney grind together mint leaves, coriander leaves, chilies, ginger, salt and black salt. After grinding them, add lemon juice to it and your sauce is ready!

Today I would like to share with you my two favourite recipes: Aamrakhand and Shev puri. Hope you will like them as much as I do. Aamrakhand: This is a typical Marathi sweet-dish made from yoghurt, sugar, mango pulp and an optional garnishing with cashews. Procedure: Buy as high fat yoghurt as you can, say 1 kilo. Pour it into a cotton cloth, tie the mouth and hang it. Keep it hanging in the cloth for about 12 to 18 hours. Say, if you start the process at 7pm today then by 7am tomorrow your yoghurt should be ready. Transfer the yoghurt which is now thicker (like paneer) into a bowl. If this pulp of yoghurt weighs 500 gm then add 350 gm sugar to it (i.e. 2/3rd of the weight of the ‘hanging’ yoghurt). Mango pulp or slices can be bought in Indian shops. If you buy pulp then make it thicker in a pan (approx. Jam’s consistency). Reason being pulp is viscous and will make Amrakhand more liquid. If you buy mango slices then grind them with a hand mixer and add the pulp to the yoghurt extract. Mix the yoghurt and the pulp well and keep it in the fridge for 1 or 2 hrs. Let the sugar and mango pulp penetrate deep into the yogurt. After 2 hours your Amrakhand is ready. It is generally consumed with Puris or Rotis. Don’t forget to put your heart in it, it will taste all the more better!!

Salad: For the salad we need mashed potatoes, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Place 5 to 6 Puris in a plate and place potatoes on top of them. Sprinkle chaat masala on the potatoes and then add chopped onions and tomato on top of it. Add first the red chilli sauce, then the green sauce and then cover the Puri s with the sweet jaggery sauce. Add yoghurt if you like it (optional) and then cover the Puris completely with Shev (Bhujiya). Spread a bit of chopped coriander leaves on top and squeeze a bit of lemon on top—and voilà your yummy Shevpuri is now ready! Remember it’s not the ingredients but your handling of them and affection towards the process that makes a recipe mouth-watering!!! Do try both these recipes and if you need any further assistance don’t hesitate to contact me! Wishing you a happy cooking time!

Shev Batata Puri: This Chaat is according to my observation available only in Mumbai and around. 81

1 Photography




Landscapes: 1. Inlying Furka Pass 2. Serenity in Stoos 3. Rhein falls..Europe's biggest

Santanu Chakraborty Originally from Kolkata, I have carved a beautiful life in Zurich with my wife Jhilam and son Vivaan for the past 7 years. Professionally an IT consultant, an avid and multifaceted sportsman, I see photography as an art of freezing reality over a lifetime‌and as a Nikonian, am amazed with it's glass manufacturers who make life’s precious moments, last for ever! Contact:





2 4

Spielerei mit Licht und Schatten 1. Victoria Memorial Hall 2. Hawaiian Blue 3. Gegenlichteffekt 4. Vektor-Grafik aus Foto 5. Rotkäppchen




Tanmoy Pal Ausserhalb von Arbeitszeiten im Büro befasse ich mich mit etwas Kreatives. In diesem Bereich zählen die Video- und Fotografie, Malerei und Gedichte. Mit Wanderung in den Bergen sowie in den Wäldern in der Schweiz vertreibe ich mir die Freizeit. An den Büchern von Physik und Astronomie habe ich besondere Interesse. Contact:







Sandipan Chakraborty A photo fanatic, Sandipan believes that every picture contains an entire story within a single frame, a living proof of every moment that has ever been. An IT consultant by profession, he has been residing in Bern since 2005 and has recently moved to Zurich with his family. A connoisseur of life, he loves to travel in search of new visual, cultural and culinary delights. Apart from photography, he is immensely passionate about astro-physics and often finds himself lost in a philosophical wormhole.

Photo index: 84

1. Paradise 2. Silhouette 3. Lucid Shadows

4. Drenched 5. Exiled 6. The Rainbow Maker





আিম ভব)ের 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 (ask him). E-Mail:


মা cিনয়ািছেলন মেt4র @লােকরা আজ-কাল িচেকন-েরাল, এগ-েরাল ইতfািদ অেনক রকম নতুন নতুন ভােলা ভােলা খাবার খাইয়া থােক। চািখবার খুবই বাসনা িছল, িকnt নারদ আিসয়া খবর িদেলন @য মtব4াসীরা @দব-েদবীেদর জেn ফল-মূল কািটেতেছন এবং নাড়ু পাকাইেতেছন। লkীেদবী cিনয়া বিলেলন. 'আিম অেমিরকা-েত নািময়া েসাজা একবার McDonald ও Burger King ঘুিরয়া আিসব’। মা ভৎ4সনা কিরয়া কিহেলন 'িp, ও রকম hাংলাপনা করেত @নই’। কািত4ক বাসনা pকাশ কিরেলন @য পৃিথবীেত @পৗঁিছয়া উিন িডেsােত যাইয়া টfাংেগা, মাংেবা ইতfািদ িশিখয়া আিসেবন। মা িক একটা বিলেত যাইেত িছেলন – নারদ ওনােক থামাইয়া বিলয়া উিঠেলন, 'েতামার িচnা কিরবার েকােনা কারণ নাই, @তামােক িডেsােত যাইেত হইেবনা। আজ-কাল পূজা মNেপ-এই িডেsা চালু হইয়া িগয়ােছ। ওখােন তুিম যেতা ইpা খfাংরাকািঠ অথবা kমেড়া-পটাশেদর সিহত নৃতf কিরয়া মেনর sখ িমটাইেত পািরেব’। কািত4ক িনেজর ঘের িফিরয়া @গেলন।

মেt4 অবতরন কিরেবন -- মােঠঘােট কাশফুল ফুিটেল মা pিত

বৎসর ভkেদর দশ4 ন িদবার উেdেS িদন কেয়েকর জেn মিহষাsরমিদ4নী rপ ধারণ কিরয়া পুtকnা সহ এইখােন চিলয়া আেসন। ভািবলাম ওনােদর যাtা cr হইবার আেগ একবার উঁিক মািরয়া @দিখয়া আিস pstিত িক pকার চিলেতেছ। িগয়া @দিখলাম মা pসাধেনর উপকরন লইয়া বfs। িচnা কিরেতেছন েকান পূজা মNেপ িক পিরয়া যাইেবন। সাজ সjার sাইলটাও উেপkা করা চেলনা। কলকাতার অেনক ভkেদর আশা মােক @দিখয়া িবপাশা বs অথবা ঐlয4f রাই দশ4েনর আকাŋkা িমিটেব। িকছু ভk আবার ultra modern। তাঁহারা cubism, impressionism ইতfািদর মাধfেম মা দশ4েন উৎsক। মার একটু ভয় ও রিহয়ােছ - কলকাতার IT-specialist রা আবার না মােক pixel-এ টুকরা টুকরা কিরয়া 3-D Morphism-এর সাহােযf অn িকছুেত rপাnিরত কিরয়া ছােড়। nংস কিরবার ppn ইpা আপাততঃ মিহসাsর বেধর মাধfেমই পুরন হইেব।

গেণেশর ঘরিট িপছেনর িদেক, পুkেরর ধাের। উিন পুkর হইেত জল েশাষণ কিরয়া িনেজর শূঁড় পির„ার কিরেত িছেলন। ধুিত, পা…ািব িগলা কিরবার জn ওনার ইঁdরিটেক সামেনর Laundry-েত পাঠাইয়া িদয়ােছন। @সখােন ওনার ইঁdরিট @সই সেবর তদারিক কিরেতেছ এবং sেযাগ পাইেল মােঝ মােঝ fridge খুিলয়া চীজ-এর টুকরা ইতfািদ মুেখ পুিরয়া িদেতেছ।

pবাসী বাŋালীেদর মেধf িনtা ও ভিk অেনক কিময়া আিসেতেছ। এনারা sান, কাল, পিরেবেশর pভােব (এবং িকছুটা অjানতা বসতঃ) মা দশ4ন ও পূজা pণালী অেনক খািনই পালটাইয়া লইয়ােছন। আেমিরকা ইতfািদ @দেশ appointment কিরয়া আশা টাই @রওয়াজ। অমুকিদন আিসব বিলেল চিলেব না - ওনােদর sাটেড4, সানেড, অথবা লংউইকএN হওয়া চাই। Switzerland বাসীরা @বশ রkণশীল। এনারা মােয়র ইpা মািনয়া চেলন। িকnt পdিত, pণালী ইতfািদর উপের @বিশ েজার িদয়া থােকন। এ @দেশর বািসnারা ঘিড়র কাঁটা ধিরয়া িনয়ম মািফক কাজ কেরন। তাই এখানকার ভkরা অেনকিদন আেগকার িবcd ঘিটকা অnযায়ী মােয়র আগমনও pতfাশা কিরয়া থােকন।

কািt4েকর জানালায় িগয়া @দিখ উিন রtখিচত িহরাধার পা…বী পিড়য়া আেয়নার সামেন দাঁড়াইয়া @গাঁেফ Nano-েs‰ লাগাইেতেছন এবং এই েপাশােক ওনােক কী রকম @দিখেত লািগেব তাহাই কlনা কিরেতেছন। ময়ুরিটও @s‰, পাফ4fূম ইতfািদ সহকাের পালেকর পিরচয4া কিরেত বfs। সরsতী বেড়া মুিsেল পিড়য়ােছন - বীণা ছািড়য়া Synthesizer ধিরেবন িকনা @সই িচnায় মg। অntানকারীরা যাহােত তাজা @lতপd @জাগাড় কিরয়া রােখন @সই জn হংসরাজেক িদয়া advance circular পাঠাইেবন িকনা তাহাও িচnা কিরেতেছন।

আরও cিনলাম মা জাম4ানেদর উdত মেনাভােবর জn জাম4ািনর অেনক জায়গােতই যাইবার পিরকlনা পিরতfাগ কিরয়ােছন। ফরাসীরা ওখানকার pধান মntীর িনেদ4শ অnযায়ী িবেদশীেদর @ফরত পাঠাইয়া িদেতেছ। ওই @দেশ pেবশ কিরবার আেগ িভসা লইয়া pেবশ করাটাই যুিkসŋত। তেব িভসার জn অেনকgিল ফম4 ভিত4 কিরেত হইেব এবং sগ4ভাNাের মার কেতা মূলধন সি~ত আেছ তাহাও জানাইেত হইেব তাই উিন একটু িপছাইয়া িগয়ােছন। এই সব কারেণ ওনার আব4াচীনেদর েদেশ যাইবার ইpাটাও অেনকটাই চিলয়া িগয়ােছ।

লkীেদবী cিনয়ােছন ভারতবেষ4 share-এর দাম hর hর কিরয়া বািড়েতেছ। @পঁচােক পাঠাইয়ািছেলন খবর অিনবার জn, িকnt pচN সময় লািগেতেছ @দিখয়া উিন বত4মােন একিট Link িদয়া Laptop-এ খবর download কিরেত বfs। ইpা, ওখােন @পৗঁছাইয়া NRI িহসােব




জn Camera যntিট hi-tech পয4ােয় উিঠয়া িগয়ােছ এবং mass production পdিত অবলmেনর ফেল জন সাধারেণর হােত-ও @পৗঁিছয়া িগয়ােছ। আজ-কাল তাই সবাই পূজা উপলেkf িনজ িনজ Camera লইয়া হািজর হইয়া পেড়ন। পূজা মNেপ @পৗঁিছয়া এনারা িনজ িনজ পিরবার, বnুেদর ঠাkেরর সামেন দাঁড় করাইয়া, িকংবা িভেড়র জn ঠাkেরর িনকেট যাইেত না পািরেল @চয়ার, @টিবল, @বি~, থামেক background কিরয়া ছিব তুিলয়া চেলন। @কহ @কহ আবার video নামক চলি—t তুিলবার যnt হােত লইয়া ঘুিরেত থােকন। পূজা @শষ হইয়া েগেল ছিবgিল এনারা ইনটরেনট-এ ওড়kট, িচড়kট, Facebook ইতfািদর মাধfেম অথবা YouTube নামক একিট বhল pচিলত সংsার সাহােযf জন সাধারেণর জেn পিরেবশন কিরয়া থােকন। পের 'চুলেকিশেক @বgনী রং-এর কাি…ভরেম @য িক অপূব4া @দখাইেতিছেলা' অথবা ‘@খনিতমিন িক snর (েখমটা)নৃতf কিরয়ািছল’ @সই লইয়া আেলাচনা কিরেত থােকন। cিনলাম গত বছর লkীেদবী ওনােক পূজা মNেপ িকরকম @দিখেত লািগেতিছল জািনবার জnও ওনার লfাপটেপ gগিলয়া িছেলন – িকnt িলŋ-িট খারাপ হওয়ার জn িকছুই @দিখেত এবং মা-েকও @দখাইেত পােরন নাই।

িকছু ভােলা ভােলা Fund-এ টাকা ঢািলয়া আিসেবন। এিদেক GOI PAN-Card ও KYC চালু কিরয়া সমsার সৃিŽ কিরয়ােছ। Heavex rate-িটও িচnা কিরবার িবষয়। ওিদেক আবার @চারা-কারবারীরা পরেলােক যাইবার আেগ তাহােদর চুির সি~ত ধন sগ4ভাNাের deposit রাখা যাইেব িকনা জািনেত চােহন। আtার সােথ সােথ ধন-স~য় যাহােত transfer করা যায় @সই জn একিট @পিটশনও কিরয়ােছন। এবার মেt4 এখােন আিসয়া @দিখ তু ম ু ল কাN চিলেতেছ। পূ জ া কিমটী, Organigram, Constitution ইতfািদ চালু হইয়া িগয়ােছ। চালু না হইেল-ও পিরকlনা, pকl চিলেতেছ। এখানকার election একিট েদিখবার মেতা বst - সভা না picnic বুিঝয়া ওঠা মুশিকল - অবS dিটর পাথ4কf পৃিথবী বfাপী kমশই কিময়া অিসেতেছ। Lobbyism, intrigue, লfাং-মারা ইতfািদ এখন জনসাধারেনর মেধf খুবই pচিলত এবং সব4সmত মেত pেয়াগ করাও হইয়া থােক। একিট অntােন (পূজা সmিক4ত নেহ) cিনলাম ছাতা-েপটােনার trial-ও হইয়া িগয়ােছ।

খাওয়া বাŋালীর অিত িpয়। পূজা উপলেk িখচুিড়-লfাবরার ঘN অিত অবSই হইেব এবং মােঝ মােঝ লুিচ তরকািরও বাদ পিরেব না। ষtী হইেত নবমী পয4n িনরািমষ খাইয়া বাŋালী হাপাইয়া ওেঠ। দশমীর িদন মাছ, মাংস @পটs কিরয়া আবার ss @বাধ কের। পিরেশেষ িমিŽ না হইেল আবার ইহােদর চেল না। Tradition অnযায়ী ঠাkরেক এনারা ফল-মূল িদয়া সntŽ কিরবার @চŽা কেরন – তেব মােঝ মােঝ লুিচ তরকািরও পিরেবশন কিরয়া থােকন (Virtual খাওয়ােনা বাŋালীর মেধf অেনক িদন হইেত pচিলত)। এগ-েরাল, িচেকন-েরাল অবS এখেনা চালু হেয় নাই।

বŋ সnােনরা অিত sেবাধ বালক-বািলকা সািজয়া সমােজ pেবশ কেরন। িভতের িভতের িকnt অnেক দাবাইয়া রাখার এবং িনেজেক জািহর কিরবার অদমf ইpা। @য পাের @স Manager হইয়া অেnর উপের লািঠ ঘুরাইেত থােক। @য পােরনা, @স @করািনিগির কিরয়া ও মােঝ মােঝ মদfপান কিরয়া জীবন যাপন কের। এই sভাবিট পূ জ া কিমটী গঠেনর মেধfও ঢু ি কয়া পিড়য়ােছ। Democratic মেত সভf চয়ন কিরবার সময় অেনক সাধা সািধ কিরেত হয়। একবার গিদেত বিসয়া পিড়েল এনারা ইpামত লািঠ ঘুরাইেত থােকন। @কহ pিতবাদ জানাইেল তাহার িপছেন kৎসা, gল ইতfািদ ছড়াইয়া অথবা দেল ভাির হইয়া দলচfুত / সমাজচfুত কিরবার @চŽা কেরন। @কােনা কারেণ গিদচfুত হইেল মেন কেরন অেn লfাং মািরয়ােছ এবং pিতবাদ জানাইবার জn গাnী pচিলতও সতfাgহ অবলmেন সৃŽ িমথfাgহেক অnসরণ কিরয়া @kাভ pকাশ কিরেত থােকন।

ফুল পাইেল @ক না খুিশ হয়? তাই অ…িল নামক একিট রীিত অবলmন কিরয়া এনারা পুেরািহেতর কথা অnযায়ী মােক এবং অnাn ঠাkরেদর লkf কিরয়া ফুল অথবা ফুেলর পাপিড় ছুিড়েত থােকন। ফুল ছুঁিড়বার সময় জনসাধারণ পুrত মহাশয়েক অnসরণ কিরয়া 'ধনং @দিহ, বলং েদিহ, যশ-েদিহ' রব তুিলয়া @চঁচাইেত থােকন। এই চািহদা sভাবগত হইয়া িগয়ােছ, কারণ এনারা িমিছল কিরেত অভfs। পূজা পdিত অিত পুরাতন, আবহমান কাল ধিরয়া চিলয়া অিসেতেছ – তাই পূজা হইেত িমিছল না িমিছল হইেত পূজা এই িবষয়িট লইয়া jানীেদর মেধf িবতক4 চিলেত পাের। বত4মান @রওয়াজ অnযায়ী গেণেশর এবং লkীেদবীর অেনক ফুল পাইবার কথা।

বাŋালী অিত িশlpবন জািত। পূজা আিসেল মন নািচয়া ওেঠ এবং নানা রকম আntািনক জlনা কlনা চিলেত থােক। এই সময় হােত হাতুিড় ধরাইয়া িদেল @তামার মাথায় মািরয়া বিসেবন, িকnt @সতার অথবা িগটার ধরাইয়া িদেল তার না @ছঁড়া পয4fn পীিরং পীিরং কিরয়া যাইেবন। অntান আিসয়া পিড়েল অিত উদfেম মে~ উিঠয়া পেড়ন এবং লাউড-sীকরএর মাধfেম গাংক্ গাংক্ কিরয়া গান বাজনা পিরেবশন কিরেত থােকন। ে•াতারা অবS ইহা background music বিলয়া মেন কেরন এবং উৎসাহ সহকাের িনজ িনজ শািড়, গহনা @দখাইয়া অথবা কাrকায4 খিচত পা…াবী pদশ4ন কিরয়া আেলাচনা গেpা চালাইেত থােকন। হঠাৎ রব উিঠেল বাহবা বাহবা কিরয়া হাততািল িদয়া উৎসাহ @জাগাইবার @চŽা কেরন।

cিনলাম @কােনা পাষN পূজাপdিতেক 'বুেড়ােদর পুতুলেখলা' আখfা িদয়ািছেলন। ইহা অিত অপমানজনক এবং সমাজ ও অntান িবেরাধী। তাই আমার অnেরাধ jানীেদর লইয়া একিট কিমটী গঠন কিরয়া এইrপ kখfািতসূচক মnেবfর আেলাচনা এবং ইহার একিট মীমাংসা করা হউক। আিম jানী নিহ, আিম ভবঘুের - তাই এই িবষয়িট ওনােদর হােত তুিলয়া িদয়া আিম আবার পথ চলা cr কিরেতিছ। ইিত ভবঘুের

ফরািস আিব„ৃত photography িবষয়িট বত4মােন জাপািনেদর হােত পিড়য়া অn rপ ধারণ কিরয়ােছ। এনােদর উদfম এবং অধfাবসােয়র




ন ে , রল

Dipanjana Ghosh, living in Switzerland with husband and son since last 20 years, from Kolkata, loves reading books and writing, would rather call herself an ordinary housewife. Contact:

আবা এ

িহথেরা এয়ারেপাট4 এ নামেতই পা…াবী সদ4ারনী ‘আের, ঝাড়ু িকত @থ’ বেল এমন হাঁক পাড়ল তখনই @চােখ পড়ল @গাটা প…াব দল @নেম পেড়েছ এয়ারেপাট4 পির„ার এর কােজ। @মেTা @sশন gেলা এত @নাংরা লাগেলা, মেন হল কলকাতার @মেTা ও অেনক পির„ার। @sশেন @Tন থামেত না থামেতই hড়মুড় কের ধাkা @মের উেঠ পড়েছ সbাই। @নেম আসেছ @মেহিn রিŋন দািড় িনেয়, @ঢালা @জাbা পের একদল আরিব। তারা িনেজেদর মেধf @বশ িচৎকার কের আরিব ভাষায় গl করেত করেত চেলেছ। এেতা @দেশর @লাক এক সােথ @দখাটাও একটা অিভjতা। এক সময় ইংেরজরা গব4 কের বলেতা তােদর রােজf সূয4াs হয়না। @সই সব @দশ @থেক দেল দেল মাnষ ভাগf অেnষেণ চেল এেসেছ এেদেশ। রাজেশখর বsর উলটপুরান গlটা মেন পড়ল। রাজেশখর বাবু কlনা কেরিছেলন বাŋালীরা ইংেরজেদর pভু হেয় িক করেছন। cধু বাŋালী নয়, ভারতীয় নয়, সারা পৃিথবীর মাnষ @যন লNেন এেস ইংেরজ pভুর বুেক @চেপ বেসেছ। িকnt ইংেরজরা @কাথায়? আমার @তা @চােখ পেড়িন।

ই িনেয় চারবার। pথম বার িগেয়িছলাম িবেয়র িঠক পেরই। তখন

সদf সািহেতfর জগত @থেক উেঠ এেসিছ, সব িকছুই @সই @চাখ িদেয় েদখা। @সই @সN পলস কfািথDাল, লNন bীজ, Tাফাল্ গার @sায়ার, হাইড পাক4, @বকারস @লন। সব িকছুই সািহেতfর পাতা @থেক বাsেব। লNেনর িবখfাত sারক sm gেলা, িবগ @বন, পাল4ােমN হাউস, মাদাম trেসা সব ঘুের ঘুের @দখলাম। @মােমর @বিন িহেলর সেŋ ছিব তুললাম। িbিটশ িমউিজয়াম িগেয় বুঝেত @পেরিছলাম একিদন নয় এক মাস @লেগ যােব পুেরা টা মন িদেয় @দখেত। তবু কীটেসর হােতর @লখার সামেন দাঁিড়েয় িছলাম বhkণ, অেনকটা আমার বাবার হােতর @লখার মত। েবাকার মতন @দখেত @চেয়িছলাম @gাব িথেয়টার, @শkপীয়ােরর িবখfাত সব নাটক ম~s হত @যখােন। নাটক হবার িদন @gাব িথেয়টােরর মাথায় পতাকা উড়ত। অেনক দূর দূর @থেক @লাক আসত @সই নাটক @দখেত। েসই @gাব িথেয়টার @নই, @যমন @নই পfািরেসর বািsল dগ4, যা @দখার জn পfািরেস হেn হেয় ঘুের িছলাম আমরা।

আর এেতা খাবােরর @দাকান? কেয়ক বছর আেগও @তা @দিখিন। d ’পা হাঁটেতই খাবােরর @দাকান। cধু মfাকেডানাl, সাব-ওেয়, @ক এফ িস, বাগ4ার িকং নয়, সারা পৃিথবীর খাবার @পৗঁেছ @গেছ এখােন। িচন @দেশর খাবার বhিদন ই খুব জনিpয়। ভারতীয় খাবার জনিpয় হেয়েছ হােল। ২০০ বছেরর শাসন কােলও ইংেরজ ভারতীয় খাবার এমন ভােব gহণ কেরিন। মুজতবা আলী িলেখিছেলন ইংেরজরা মাংস @সd কের িবsর উsর সস ঢােল তবু তােদর রাnা sাদহীন। @সই ইংেরজ এখন @পালাউ েকারমা @খেত িশেখেছ। @চন শপ gেলােত নান, পালক পনীর িবিk হেp অেঢল। সাব-ওেয় @ত sাNউইচ @খলাম িচেকন িটkা @দওয়া। তেব cধু ইংেরজরা নয়, @গাটা পৃিথবীই এখন ভয়ংকর ভােব খাদf-িবলাসী। sূলকায়, চিব4-সব4s @লাক সংখfায় ভারী হেয় পৃিথবীটােকও kমশ ভারী কের তুলেছ @যন।

তবু নতুন িছল @মেTা @Žশন gেলা, িক অdুত সব নাম, @চয়ািরং kস, িপকািডিল সাক4াস, পfািডংটন। শহেরর এক একটা sাপতf খুব @চনা @চনা লােগ, কলকাতার রাsায় এর @জাড়া gেলা @দেখিছ মেন হয়। @টমস নদীর পাশ িদেয় @হঁেটিছ িফশ অfাN িচপস @খেত @খেত। িdতীয় বার @গিছলাম ভারী শরীর িনেয়, িডেসmর মােস। @সবাের @বিশ েঘারা ঘুির কিরিন, কেয়কটা নাটক, মfুিজকালস @দেখিছলাম আর েদেখিছলাম @শkপীয়ােরর বাড়ী। @শkপীয়ােরর বাড়ী @দেখ আমার ভারী কŽ হেয়িছেলা ইংিরিজ ভাষা ও সািহেতfর অধfাপকেদর জn, আমার বাবার জn, যারা কখনও এেদেশ আেসনিন। বাড়ীর @দাতলায় মােচ4N অফ @ভিনস বাংলা সংsরণ রাখা িছল, মজা @লেগিছল @দেখ। েশkপীয়ােরর বfবhত সব িজিনস, তার মেধf একটা কােঠর nেনর পাt। nন খুব dল4ভ িছল @সই সময়। অেনক নাটক @দেখিছলাম। তার মেধf উেlখ করার মত হল িমস সাইগন। িবশাল @pন নামােনা হল @sেজ। পা©ােতfর pচুর নাটক cধু pযুিk িদেয় মাnষেক চমেক @দওয়া। অিত সাধারন ম~ সjা িদেয় সাজােনা আমােদর কলকাতার অfাকােডিম অফ ফাইন আট4স এ অেনক গভীর ভাবনার নাটক @দেখিছ আিম। তেব মাউস Tfাপ @দেখ ভাল @লেগিছল।

েমেTা @Žশনgেলায় রািশ রািশ খবেরর কাগজ রাখা, যার ইেp িনেয় েযেত পাের। আিম @রাজ ঐ খবেরর কাগজ িনেয় বাড়ী িফরতাম। আর রােt cেয় pথম পাতা @থেক @শষ পাতা পয4n পড়তাম। সিতf বলিছ, রহs উপnাস পড়ার মতন িছল @সই পাঠ। এর ফাঁেক ফাঁেক অেনক আিট4েকল ভাবনা @ক @ছাঁয়ার মত। একিট ইংেরজ জান4ািলs িলেখেছ, আমােদর বাবা ঠাkরদা রা বাড়ী ঘর সmিt করেতন, িকnt আমরা বত4মােন থাকেত ভালবািস, যা চাই যা কির তা এখনই। ভিব²েতর কথা েবশী ভািবনা। আমরা ভালবািস অn @দেশ @বড়ােত @যেত এবং অn েদেশর খাবার @খেত। এই জnই এত খাবােরর @দাকান এই শহের। একদম কলকাতার একিট বাŋালীর @ছেলর কথা মেন হল। মেন হল রমাপদ @চৗধুরীর এখনই উপnােসর কথা।

তৃতীয় বার এেসিছলাম মা @ক িনেয়, সেŋ আমােদর @ছাT @ছেল। েকািহnর @দেখ মা িক খুশী, পােশ আেরকটা িবশাল হীের আি«কার। যারা @কািহnর @ফরত @পেত চান, আিম তােদর দেল নই। ঐ টাওয়ার অফ লNন ই @কািহnর এর @যাগf sান। আবার @সই পুরেনা জায়গা gেলা িফের েদখা হল। সেŋ pােনটিরয়াম, কিবেদর কবর। এত িমউিজয়াম এই শহের @য @দেখ @শষ করা যায় না।

আর যাবনা লNেন। চসােরর লNন, @শkপীয়ােরর লNন, চাল4স িডেকেnর লNন, শাল4ক @হামেসর লNন, @যখােন ঘন kয়াশায় সামেনর মাnষ @ক @দখা যায় না, তারা সব বই এর পাতায় থাkক। লNন @হাক কলকাতা অথবা কলকাতা @হাক লNন, আমার িক আেস যায়।

চতুথ4 বার @গলাম, মেন হল লNন অেনকটা পালেট @গেছ। আসেল পালেট বhিদন েগেছ, আিম সব িকছু মেনর @চাখ িদেয় @দিখ বেল ধরেত সময় লােগ। @যমন িবেয় বাড়ী িগেয় @বৗেয়র শাড়ী গয়না আমার @চােখই পেড়না, @কউ জানেত চাইেল লjায় পিড়। লNন সmবত বh িদন ধেরই এমনটা আেছ।

িক জািন, আবার @কান একিদন চেলও @যেত পাির। লNন আই @দখা হয়িন। অেনক িমউিজয়াম ও @দিখিন। @টমস নদীর পাশ িদেয় হাঁটেত বড় ভাল লােগ। @সই জn িনেজেকই বিল... never say never again.



ঋ/পেণ2র নারী ন45


Diptanil Sengupta: A supposedly artistic Taurean who took up science and ended up with technology. A once-upon-atime wannabe actor who now occasionally hits the stage. An avid reader, a fitness and movie freak, a food lover. Contact:

েথেক cr হয় তার @যৗন ঈষ4া, এক িদেক @ছাটবউ @ক উsািন ‘’িপছেনর দরজা িদেয় িনেয় এেল কতkণ লােগ @র? আিম পািরিন তাই @তােক বলিছ, ও @ঢাঁড়া সাপ, @ঢাঁড়া সাপই থাকেব, যতই পুrত @ডেক মnt পড়ুক না @কন!’’ আবার রােতর @বলা পুেরািহত @ক িসিডউস করার জn িনেজেক @মেল ধরা - নারী চিরেtর এই সূk @দাটানার এত @ডিলেকট hাNিলং ওই মাnষিট-ই েপেরিছেলন।

নারী চিরtায়েনর মেধf িদেয় বাঙািল দশ4কেক সাবালক করেত @পেরেছন িকনা জািননা, িকnt আমােদর অেনক িকছুর হােতখিড় ঋতুদার হাত ধের। ভাইেবােনর িনিষd @pম, যা িকনা sাভািবক কারেনই @কান সমাজ @মেন @নয় না এবং @সই কŽ @বােনর সারাজীবন বেয় @বড়ােনার যntণা, খুব অdুত ভােব মা এবং @মেয়র েpিমক যিদ এক হেয় যায়, তখন তােক িনেয়ও dজেনর মন কষাকিষ সmব, এখনকার িনউিkয়ার ফfািমিলেত হাজবfাN, বউ, বা—ার মত পরকীয়াও @য একজন ফfািমিল @মmার, @সটা @চােখ আŋুল িদেয় @দিখেয় @দওয়া, িনখুঁত িপিরয়ড িপস আমােদর @দখেত @শখােনা @যখােন @sটসমfান আক4াইভ @থেক ১৯০২ সােলর কাগজ এেন pেসনিজেতর হােত @দওয়া, ইেpর িবrেd @জার খাটােনােক @য ধষ4ণ বেল আর @সটা sামী-stীর @kেtও pেযাজf, এই িরয়ালাইেজশন gেলা দশ4ক িহেসেব আমােদর িনঃসেnেহ অেনক পিরণত কেরেছ।

েতামার @ঠাঁট আমার @ঠাঁট ছুঁল, যিদও এ pথম বার নয় চুmন @তা আেগও বhবার, এবার @ঠাঁেট িমেলেছ আ•য়। িরচালক তখন খfািত ও িkেয়িটিভিটর মধfগগেন, এেকর পর এক ছিবেত

তাঁর চমক @মাটামুিট আমােদর @চাখ ধাঁিধেয় @দওয়ার পেk যেথŽ, এমতাবsায় pচিলত ধারার উেlা পেথ @হঁেট cধুমাt নািস4ং @হােম আর µfাট বািড়েত @বঁেধ েফেল সাদা কােলার িমেশেল বানােলন এমন এক ছিব @যখােন পরকীয়া-আসk েকৗিশেকর মুেখ কনেফশন @শানার পর তার stী কােবরী ওপেরর লাইন gেলা gনgিনেয় ওেঠ, িঠক @য ভাষায় িমতা কথা বলত - পিরচালক আমােদর বুিঝেয় েদন, pিতিট stীর মেধf ছাইচাপা আgেনর মত একটা @pিমকা সttা লুিকেয় থােক আর @সটা অভfাস মািফক ভালবাসা নয়।

খুব sাভািবক pÁ gেলা চেল আেস এবার। িবতক4 হেয়েছ িকনা, hাঁ হেয়েছ। েলােক নাক িসঁটেকেছ িকনা, অফেকাস4 িসঁটেকেছ। তেব এসব িমিডয়া টfানTামস @য @কান িkেয়িটভ মাnষেকই আই @গস @পাহােত হয়। @সেতা আমরা cেনিছ এক ভdেলাক সারাজীবন সােহবেদর জn ছিব বািনেয় @শেষ বািনেয়েছন বাঙািলেদর কথা @ভেব, আর এক পাঁড় মাতাল সারা জীবন @তা কেলািন, িটেনর চােলর ওপর উঠেতই পারেলন না। @তমনই এর সmেক4 যা যা বলা হয় তার একটা @তা @গাড়ােতই বললাম, @শেষর িদেক িনেজর শরীেরর ওপর কাটা @ছঁড়া, িলŋ পিরবত4েনর sp ইেp gেলা কfােমরার সামেন আনা এসব িনেয় কথা উেঠেছ। ওঁর সাজেপাশাক, কথা বলার ঢং (বাই দf ওেয়, এখােন ঢং মােন িকnt nাকািম নয়, ওেক?), @ঘাষ এN @কাmািনর একটা এিপেসােড এক চfাংড়া @ক তুেলােধানা করার পর নানা িরয়fািলিট @শা @ত ওঁেক িনেয় হাসাহািস - িকছুই বাদ যায়িন। অnরমহল িরিলজ করার পর অেনেক ঠাTা কের বেলিছল ঋতুপণ4 @থেক ঋতু টা @কেট বাদ @দবার সময় এেসেছ, সমেয়র সােথ নারী শরীেরর িনয়ম মািফক চলেত থাকা পিরবত4ন gেলা এkিpিসটিল েদখােনার বfাপাের ওর িসওরিল একটা অবেসশন আেছ। িকnt এত িকছুর পেরও সতfিজৎ-ঋিtক-মৃণাল পরবত4ী যুেগ বাংলা চলি—t জগেত পিরচালনার েkেt িক দশ4ক টানা, িক অfাওয়াড4 পাওয়া, িক নতুন নতুন কনেসp িনেয় আসা, ঋতুদার sান অnt। কথায় বেল সােড় ছফুট আমােদর বাংলা িসেনমােক একেশা বছর এিগেয় িদেয়েছন, ঋতুদা কতটা এেগােত @পেরেছন? এ pেÁর উtর না হয় দশ4করাই @দেবন।

hাঁ,অকাল pয়াত ঋতুপেণ4র কথাই বলিছ, নকশাল আেnালেন @মাটামুিট যখন একটা @জনােরশন ধুেয় মুেছ সাফ, আিশর দশেকর পর বাঙালীর ঐ sণ4যুেগ খাওয়া এবং হােত @লেগ থাকা িঘেয়র গn cঁেক হা-িপেতfশ করা চলেছ পুেরাদেম উইথ দীঘ4িনঃlাস ``কীসব িদন িছল``, িঠক তখনই নbই এর েগাড়ায় আধুিনক সŋীত জগেত িজn, কfাজুয়ালস আর গীটার হােত এক উdত পুrেষর সােথ পিরচয় হয় আমােদর, আর চলি—েt হয় এই মাnষিটর আিবভ4াব। িবlিনndেকর কথা ধার করেল বলেত হয় “মাইির, এ @তা সারাজীবন কািটেয় িদল @মেয়মাnেষর মন বুঝেত”। িকnt ইদানীং কােল নারী চিরেtর জিটল মনstt অসামাn দkতায় অn @কান পিরচালক ধরেত @পেরেছন িকনা জানা @নই। না, এই sl পিরসের চুলেচরা িবেºষেণর sধ4া বা kমতা আমার @নই। তেব রীল েথেক উেঠ আসা কেয়কিট জীবn চিরেtর কথা চাইেলও ভুলেত পারব না। েয @মেয়িট অlবয়েস িনেজর একমাt সবসমেয়র সাথী তার বাবােক মৃতfুর েকােল ঢেল পড়েত @দখেছ আর এিদেক তার মা িশেlর @দাহাই িদেয় @নেচ েবড়ােp, বড় হেয় তার মােয়র ওপর @য বুকভরা অিভমান জেম থাকেব, তােত আর সেnহ িক। যতই বলুক মূল কািহনীর সােথ বাগ4মfােনর অটfাম-েসানাটার েবশ িকছু িমল রেয়েছ, িকn এক রািtেরর কেথাপকথেন মা-েমেয়র পাহাড় pমাণ ভুল @বাঝাবুিঝর অবসান, এমন িনখুঁত িডেটিলং-এ তুেল ধরা @pাবাবিল ঋতুদার পেkই সmব। সােপর কামেড় sামীর অকাল pয়ােণর পর »বধেবfর লায়ািবিলিট কাঁেধ বেয় @বড়ােনা, সামিয়ক ভাললাগার পুrষিটেক িনেয় ফfান্টাসাইজ করা - ও ছিবেক @পইিNং বলেল কম বলা হয়। এ dেয়র মােঝ েদখলাম তাঁর উৎসব ছিবেত dগ4াপূজার মnাজ, @যখােন pেয়াজেন এক িটিপকfাল শািড়, গয়না আর কসেমিটেk বাঁধা পড়া আtsখী বড়েলােকর আdের @মেয়ও তাঁর sামীর হাত ধের বেল “আমার সব গয়না িকnt @সানার জল করা নয় ”। ঋতুদা আ©য4 দkতায় pমাণ কেরেছন সব4kেণর মুখ ঝামটািনর আড়ােলও একটা িনভ4রতা, @pেমর অnঃসলীলা বেয় চেল ফlু নদীর মেতা েযেকান কনজুগাল লাইেফ।

সময়, শb িলিমট @শষ হবার মুেখ,তাই গােনর পালা সাŋ @মার বলার আেগ একটা কথা টুক কের @সের িনেত চাই। অেনক িকছু িনেয়ই @তা ফান্ডা িদলাম, িকnt pজেnর পর pজn বাঙািল জাতটা যা িনেয় @ভেব িচেn মাথার চুল িছঁেড় জাs @হেজ @গল, @সই িবcd @pম (খাঁিট @সানা িক @pেটািনক @সসব বsাপচা তেক4 না িগেয়) এর কথা বাদ িদ িক কের? sŽার সােথ তার সৃিŽর বnন আেছ আবহমােন, তােক িঠক @pম বলা চেল না, রেয়েছ @খলা @স @pম @তা অভfােসর নামাnর, তাহেল? িফের আসব @সই @মেয়টর কথায় @য sামীর pিত িনঃশত4 আnগেতf আর ভালবাসায় তার হািবর pfান কের িমেথf কথা বলার মত অnায়gেলা kমা কের, তার কfাথারিসস-এর দািয়t @নবার পর আবার @সই মাnষিটর @pিমকা হেয় তােক ভালবাসেত চায় এই কথা বেল - িক কথা @স @তা crেতই বলা আেছ, hাঁ, িঠকই ধেরেছন, @দাসর, ঋতুপেণ4র @•t উপহার।

আর একটা ঋতুদা সৃŽ চিরt (মূল গl তারাশŋর বেnfাপাধfােয়র pিতমা) েবাধ হয় একটা আলাদা পfারাgাফ দাবী কের - @স হল অnরমহেলর বড় বউ। অkম sামীর জn বাঁজা অপবােদ তােক সিরেয় বািড়েত @ছাটবউ আসার পর

েযখােনই থাkন, ভাল থাkন আপিন।




অবেশেষ ‘িবেলত-েফরত’

$পণ'া )ানাজ'ী, @pিসেডnী কেলজ ও আই আই িট

িমউিজয়াম, মাদাম তুেসার ওয়াk িমউিজয়াম এর কথা আর নতুন কের িক বলব! এরাই @তা লNন শহেরর pাণ! লNেন এেস এইgেলা একবার চাkুষ @দেখিন, এমন মাnষ হােত @গানা। তেব তুলনামূলক টুিরেsর িভড় অেনক কম লড4েসর মােঠ। যাঁরা নজের এেলন, তাঁেদর @ভতর নbই শতাংশ ভারতীয়। আমােদর কােছ লড4স মােনই @তা sp! @চাখ বুজেলই েদখেত পাই, গfালারী টপেক কেয়কেশা @লাক ছুট্ লািগেয়েছ সবুজ মােঠর @ভতর। আর লাল ইঁেটর পfািভিলয়েনর বারাnােয় কিপল @দেবর হােত pুেডনিশয়াল িবlকাপ। আর একটা দৃSও অবS @চােখ ভােস। বামিদেকর পfািভিলয়েনর বারাnােয় ‘িpn অফ কfালকাটা’র Tিফ েজতার pতীকী জািস4 ওড়ােনা। মােঠর একিদেক @যমন সােবিক ঐিতhময় পfািভিলয়ন, অnিদেক @তমিন আধুিনকতম ৫০ ফুট উ—তার িমিডয়া @সন্টার, @যখান @থেক লড4েসর সবুজ গািলচার আসল @সৗnয4 েচােখ না @দখেল িবlাস করা যায় না। ‘Home of cricket’, এ ছাড়া আর @কই বা হেব!

খRপুর @থেক িজওলজী িনেয় পড়াcেনা কের অবেশেষ sইৎজারলfাN এেস @পাsডেkারাল িরসাচ4 বান4 ইউিনভািস4িটেত। জুিরখ, বান4 ঘুের এখন sামী, কnা িনেয় বােসেল বসবাস। @ছাটেবলা @থেকই ডােয়রীেত িহিজিবিজ েলখার অেভfস। ই-পt:


ইৎজারলfােN এেসিছ বছর পাঁেচক হল। ইটািল, জাম4ািন, «াn,

েsন ইতfািদ @বশ কেয়কটা @দেশর মািটেত টুক্ টুক্ কের @ঘারা হেয় েগেছ। িকnt ইংেরজেদর @দেশ পা না রাখেল @য িনতাnই িনেজেক িবেলত-েফরত বলা যােp না। তাই ইndনীল এর একটা কনফােরn আসেতই sেযাগটা নŽ হেত িদলাম না। একসমেয় @য @দেশ আসেত কালাপািন পার হেলই ধের @নওয়া হত তার জাত @গেছ, এেতা কােছ েথেক @সই @দেশ একবার যাব না! এিদেক, লNন যাব cেনই কলকাতায় আtীয়sজনও @কমন উlিসত হেয় উঠল, @যন মহান িকছুএকটা হেত চেলেছ। আমরাও সমপিরমাণ উেtজনা িনেয় লNন শহের যখন নামলাম, তখন dপুর গিড়েয় িবেকল। এয়ারেপােট4 @নেমই িবশাল লােগেজ এর বfাগ টা সামলােত িগেয় ধাkা @খলাম এক ষােটাধ4 ভdেলােকর সােথ। হািসমাখা মুেখ বললাম, ‘Entschuldigung’ ভdেলাক িকছুkণ অবাক হেয় আমার িদেক তািকেয় থাকেত সিmত িফরল। বুঝেত পারলাম ভুল জায়গায় পািNতf ফিলেয়িছ। আমােদর গেব4র ইংরািজ ভাষাটার এরাই @তা gr! sতরাং cধের িনেয় ‘extremly sorry’ িদেয় cr হল আমােদর লNন-চিরত।

িTপটা লNেনর @থেকও অেনক @বশী মেন @থেক যােব @বাধহয় েকমিbেজর জn। লNেনর িকংগস kস @sশন @থেক @Tন ধের ঘন্টাখােনক পের @কমিbজ @sশেন যখন নামলাম তখন রাত হেয় েগেছ। হলুদ লfাmেপােsর আেলােয় এই pায়াnকার @sশনিটর @থেক েবাধহয় •ীরামপুর @sশন অেনকেবশী আেলা-ঝলমেল। @sশেনর বাইের এেস লাইন িদেয় টfািk ধের @সাজা @হােটল। পরিদন সারািদন েহােটল বnী। তার পরিদন ইndনীেলর কনফােরn একটু হাlা থাকায় েসিদনটাই শহর @দখার জn @বেছ িনলাম। @ছাT সাজােনা শহর েকমিbজ, @যখােন @গাটা বারেশা শতক ঢুেক আেছ আনােচ-কানােচ। তেব আধুিনক sিবেধ @নই, এমনটা ভাবার @কান কারণ @নই। শহেরর মাঝখান িদেয় এঁেকেবঁেক বেয় চেলেছ @কম নদী, যার আেশপােশই রেয়েছ @কমিbজ িবlিবদfালয় আর তার িবিভn পুরেনা কেলজ। @কম নদীর ওপর @ছাট কােঠর @নৗেকা কের @ভেস থাকা হল শহেরর অnতম েসরা আকষ4ণ। গরম কােল কেলেজর ছাt ছাtী @দর কােছ অnতম িpয় অবসর হল এই ‘Punting’।

শহের ঢুেকই অdুত একটা pশািn। অেচনা ভাষা @বাঝার তািগদ @নই, হাত @নেড় @নেড় িনেজর pÁ @বাঝােনার সমsা @নই , pিতটা announcement pেয়াজেনর @বশী মেনােযাগ িদেয় @শানার pেয়াজন েনই। সবিকছু @যন ঘেট চেলেছ আর আমরাও খুব সহেজই ঘটনােয় ঢুেক পেড়িছ।

লNন শহরিটেক সবেচেয় ভাল @চনা যায় যিদ @দাতলা বােসর @দাতলার সামেনর িসেট বেস অেনকখািন রাsা যাওয়া যায়। িঠক মেন হেব কলকাতার এসpfােনড, ডালহাউিস িকmা পাক4 sTীেটর রাsাgেলায় ঘুের েবড়ািp। মেন হেব কলকাতার িbিটশ আমেলর বড় বড় বািড় gেলা হঠাৎ-ই খুব snর ভােব সংরkণ করা হেয়েছ। একিদেক িবশাল িবশাল সাদা রাজকীয় pাসােদাপম বািড় আর অপরিদেক অdুত snর লাল িbক েsােনর সািরবd বািড় শহরিটেক বািক সব শহর @থেক আলাদা কের েরেখেছ। @টমস নদীর পার ধের থাকা বhল চিচ4ত লNন আই, িবগেবন, ওেয়sিমnটার অfােব, বািকং হাম পfােলস, টাওয়ার িbজ , িbিটশ

শহের এেস @বশ অবাক হলাম এক টfািk Dাইভােরর সােথ কথা বেল। কৃিত মাnেষর সাহচেয4 িক আেশপােশর মাnষও অn মাtােয় উtীণ4 হয়? িবjােনর নতুন নতুন আিব„ার pসেŋই @হাক, িক িবjানীেদর মাহাtf িবষেয়ই @হাক, সমান সাবলীল ভােব কথা বলেত @কান টfািk Dাইভারেক এর আেগ @দিখিন। ওনার কাছ @থেক শহেরর অেনক অজানা কািহিন cনেত @পলাম।

কনফােরn ছাড়াও @কমিbেজ আসার আেরক উেdS হল কেলজ-হিপং, কতকটা পfাNfাল হিপং এর মত। @য িশkাpিতtান gিল িবিভn িবষয়




িমিলেয় @মাট ৯০ জন @নােবল লিরেয়ট @ক জn িদেয়েছ, @সখােনই @তা সিতfকােরর ঈlেরর অিধtান! kাইs কেলজ হল চাল4স ডারউইন এর আলমা মাটার, িযিন িজওলিজs হেয় জীবন cr কেরন, িকnt মাnেষর মেন sান কের @নন তাঁর ‘Theory of Evolution’ এর সূt ধের। আমােদর @সই টfািk Dাইভার অবSই @যেত বেলিছেলন ডারউইন এর িমউিজয়ােম, আর বেলিছেলন এক অdুত জায়গার কথা, ‘Eagles pub’। @কমিbেজর আর পাঁচটা বােরর মেতাই, িকnt এর অসাধারণt হল, এই পাবিট উিনশ শতেকর সmবত সবেচেয় উেlখেযাগf আিব„ােরর সাkী- ‘DNA Structure’। ১৯৫৩ সােলর ২৮েশ েফbrয়ারী, অnিদেনর মেতাই সেnfেবলা এই পােব এেসিছেলন ওয়াটসন ও kীক। িকnt এইিদন ১৪ নmর @টিবেল িবয়ােরর gাস িনেয় বেস তাঁরা সমাধান কের @ফেলিছেলন ‘Double-helix structure’। উেtজনার বেশ @সই মুহূেত4 তাঁরা পােবর সকেলর সামেন @ঘাষণা কেরন,

‘We have discovered the secret of life.’ েপইিNং টাŋােনা। @ক @নই @সখােন? একধার িদেয় আমরা তাঁেদর ছিব েদখেত @দখেত একটু একটু কের এিগেয় যািpলাম। হঠাৎ একজায়গায় এেস আমােদর চলার গিত rd হেয় @গল! আনেn, গেব4 িভেজ এল েচাখ। এই মহান নktেদর মােঝ মাথা উঁচু কের আেছন আমােদরই এক বŋসnান! নাম, অমত4f @সন!

কীংগস কেলজ, kইn কেলজ ইতfািদর @দারেগাড়া ঘুের অবেশেষ এেস দাঁড়ালাম িTিনিট কেলেজর সামেন। কেলেজর pাkনীেদর নােম @চাখ বুেলােতই মেন হল, এ @কান @দবভূিম! sার আইজfাক িনউটন, রামাnজন, লড4 বাইরন, চাল4স বfােবজ, রাদারেফাড4, নীলস @বার, েটিনসন, জহরলাল @নেহr pমুখ। @গাটা @কমিbজ ইউিনভািস4িটর মেধf এই িTিনিট কেলজ @থেকই ৩২জন @নােবল pাইজ @পেয়েছন। এই pসেŋ বেল রািখ, এখনও পয4n সব4েশষ @নােবল pাইজ ২০০৯ সােল েভিŋ রামাকৃÕন এর। পেনেরাশ শতেকর পুরেনা কােঠর দরজা িদেয় কেলেজর @ভতের ঢুকেল চমেক @যেত হয়। বাইের @থেক @দখেল @বাঝার উপায় @নই দরজার ওপােরর এই িবশাল কম4যj। সবুজ ঘােসর ওপাের অপূব4 snর @যন রাজpাসাদ। @যমন তার িবশালt, @তমিন তার েভতেরর িশlpদশ4ন। িTিনিট কেলেজর সেব4া— kমতাসmn সmানীয় িpিnপালেক এখােন বলা হয় ‘Master’। কেলেজর িবশাল হেলর েদয়ােল আজ পয4n হওয়া @সইসব Master-েদর িবশালাকার অেয়ল

পরিদন @ফরার পালা। লNন যাবার সময় @য মনটা উেtজনায় ভরপুর িছল, বলা বাhলf, @ফরার সমেয় লNেনর বদেল মেনর অেনক খািন জুেড় রইল @কমিbজ! এয়ারেপােট4 বেস বারবার মেন হিpল একটাই কথা। আমােদর @য গেব4র ভারত একিদন িবেlর সব4pথম িবlিবদfালেয়র জn িদেয়িছল, @সই pাচীন নালnায় একসমেয় পৃিথবীর নানা pাn @থেক কৃিত মাnষ আসেতন িশkালােভর আশােয়। আজ @সই ভারেত িক এমন িদনবদল হল @য সবাই এইসব িবেদশী িশkাpিতtােন sেযাগ @পেত উnt? আমােদর @সই ‘@ফেল আসা sিদন’ আবার িফের @পেত ক’শতক অেপkা করেত হেব, @সটাই @য অজানা!




গান, /িম কার? বীেম4নসডফ4 িনবাসী আিদত1

২ পরবত4ী কােল, গান রচনা হেয় ওেঠ একরকেমর সমিnত-pেচŽা অথ4াৎ Teamwork। গীিতকার তার গােনর কথায় মাধfেম জীবেনর নানা অnভূিতেক তুেল ধরেতন। sরকার @সই কথায় sর @বঁেধ তােত ভােবর রঙ ভরেতন। গায়ক-গািয়কারা তােদর কেNর মাধুেয4 িদেয় গানgিলেক জীবn কেত তুলেতন। এই ভােবই তারা সৃিŽ কের িগেয়েছন pচুর কালজয়ী গান। @সই গান সৃিŽর এক মাt উেdS িছল @•াতার hদয় sশ4 করা। তাই @সকােলর গান আজ পাঁচ-সাত দশক পেরও, যুবা ে•াতারা cনেল তােদরও মন বfাkল হেয় ওেঠ।

)ানাজ'ী দীঘ4

১৮ বছর ধের sইৎজারলfােN আেছন। @পশােয় অথ4 উপেদশক। শেখ সŋীত, @লখা, রাnা ও ছিব েতালায় rিচ রােখন।


পুলক বেnাপাধfায় বা @গৗিরpসn মজুমদােরর @লখা গান; সিচন েদববম4ণ, সিলল @চৗধুরী, বা নিচেকতা @ঘােষর sর @দওয়া গান ; @হমn মুখাজ4ী, সnfা মুখাজ4ী , বা মাnা @দর গাওয়া গান ... @স সব গান আজও আমােদর hদয় ছুঁেয় যায়। তেব @স সব গােনর মািলক @ক?


৩ আজকালকার গােনর @তা কথাই আলাদা। @রাজ হাজাের হাজাের গান ৈতরী হেp। এত তাড়াতািড় আর এত @বশী হেp @য @কােনা একিট গান মেন ধরার আেগই @কাথায় @যন িবলুp হেয় যােp লােখা লােখা গােনর িভেড়। গত বছর িক @যন একটা গান @বশ ভােলা @লেগিছল, তেব আজ আর িকছুেতই মেন পড়েছনা @সটা। কেয়ক হাজার গােনর মােঝ হয়েতা েসই একটাই hদয় sশ4 কেরিছল। @যন km @মলার িভড়। সবার অথ4গŋায় ডুব @দবার ভীষণ তাড়া। অনবরত @ঠলােঠিলেত @কােনা একজেনর সােথ @চাখ @মলাবারও উপােয় @নই। hদয় @মলােনা @তা অেনক dেরর কথা।

ন, তুিম কার? @য @তামায় @লেখ? না @য @তামােত sর @দয়? না @য

েতামােক গায়? ভােলা pÁ। তেব এ pেÁর উtর খুঁজেত হেল আেগ ভাবেত হেব আমরা েকান গানেক এই pÁ করিছ। এই বাংলা গানই ধরা যাক না। কত িবিচt রকেমর গান আেছ। রবীndনােথর গান, নজrেলর গান, @সকােলর আধুিনক বা ছায়া ছিবর কালজয়ী গান। আবার আজকালকার হােট বাজােরর গান। ১ বাংলা গােনর sŽােদর মেধf @•Ž নাম কিবgr রবীndনােথর। pােয় dই হাজােরর অিধক গান ও কিবতা িলেখ @গেছন িতিন। @pম, pকৃিত, @দশ, দশ4ন, আধfাt ... িকছুই বাদ রােখনিন। আর cধু িক @লখা? @স সব গােন যথারীিত শাstীয় মেত ও ভাবাnসাের sর-তাল @বঁেধ @গেছন। িনেজ েগেয়েছন, আবার অnেদর িশিখেয় তােদর িদেয় গাইেয়েছন। তাঁর এক একিট গান @যন এক একিট রt।

এিদেক এkেপিরেমেNর নােম কথা, ভাব ও sেরর সমnয় @তা বhিদন আেগই লুp হেয়েছ। গােনর নােম রেয় @গেছ cধু একািধক শb। তা @তা হেবই। গান @তা আজ আর গান @নই, হেয় @গেছ একিট বfবসার dবf। cd বাংলায় যােক বেল িকনা কেমািডিট। একিট @কনা @বচার উপাদান মাt। অথ4 উপাজ4েনর মাধfম। pকৃিতর দান টান সব মাথায় উেঠেছ।

কিবে•t তাঁর িনেজর গানেক কখেনা িনেজর সmদ বেল মেন কেরনিন। এমনিক, িতিন গানgিলর রচনার কৃিতtটাও তাঁর িনেজর বেল দািব করেত িdধা করেতন। িতিন বলেতন, "গানgিল cেন বড় িবিsত হেয় যাই। িক ভােব আেস এই গান তা বলেত পািরেন। আপনার ইেp মত মেন @জেগেছ, তাই @গেয়িছ আর গান হেয় উেঠেছ। এই গান ঈlেরর আিশব4াদ। এেক কাল আর অপহরণ করেত পারেব না।" এই অnভূিতিটেকই pকাশ কেরই িতিন িলেখেছন

ঘেরর খরচ @তা @বেড়ই চেলেছ। @ছেল @মেয়েদর sুেলর ফী আেছ। গািড়র EMI িদেত হেব, @তল ভরেত হেব। µােটর EMI িদেত হেব। বউ বেলেছ নতুন LCD TV চাই। @ছেল বেল Playstation চাই। েমেয় বেল Tab চাই। আর এই গরেম AC ছাড়া থাকা যায়? @লােক বলেব িক? পাড়ােয় মুখ @দখােনা যােব? তাই @রাজ আরও গান ছাপেত হেব। এক সময় pকৃিতেক @দেখ, জীবন @ক উপলিb কের গান @লখা হত। আজ pকৃিত @দখার সময় কার আেছ। আর pকৃিতই বা আজ আেছ @কাথায়? কেব হািরেয় @গেছ ইঁট-িসেমেNর জŋেল। @•াতারা কজনই বা জােন বkল, @শফালী আর মালিতেত তফাত? িজjাসা করেল হয়ত বলেব "দাদা, ও নােমর @কােনা @মেয় এ পাড়ায় থােক না। যান, যান ... Google কrন না, @পেয় যােবন। ও! @ফােন 3G @নই বুিঝ ! আমােদর কােছ জানেত চাইেছন @য !!”

"আমার িচেt @তামার সৃিŽখািন রিচয়া তুিলেছ িবিচt তব বাণী তারই সােথ pভু িমিলয়া @তামার pীিত জাগােয় তুিলেছ আমার সকল গীিত আপনাের তুিম @দিখছ মধুর রেস আমার মাঝাের িনেজের কিরয়া দান। "

এই মাnষটার dারা অnেpিরত হেয় রজনীকাn @সন, অতুলpসাদ @ঘাষ, িdেজndলাল রায় ও নজrল ইসলােমর মেতা আরও কত কিব বাংলা গান রচনা কের @গেছন। অতুল pসাদ িলেখেছন "পািখরা বেন বেন গােহ গান আপন মেন, ওের নাইবা যিদ @কহ cেন তুই @গেয় যা গান অকারণ মন, তুই যান @গেয় যা আজীবন"

আর জীবন উপলিb? এই উnােদর মত ছুেট চলা জীবেনর cধু একিট মাt উপলিb রেয় @গেছ। তা হেলা kািnর হাহাকার। তা িদেয় @তা আর গান রচনা হয়না। হেলও, @স গােনর বাজাের খুব একটা দাম পাওয়া যােব না @বাধহয়। ৪ আেগকার গান িছল মােয়র dধ। @sহ, ভােলাবাসায়, যেt ভরা। @সিক েভালা যায়? @স @তা আমােদর রেk বয় ! তােদর @তা @কউ কখেনা pÁ কেরিন @য @স dেধর মািলক @ক। আর আজেকর গান হেলা পfােকেটর dধ। তাই pÁ ওেঠ: dধ গrর, না @গায়ালার, না মাদার @ডয়ারীর , না

এমন মাnষgিলর কােছ "গান কার?" এ pেÁর @কােনা যুিkই হতনা েবাধহয়। তাঁেদর কােছ গান িছল ফুেলর গেnর মত, pকৃিতর দান। @স গেnর মািলক @ক? ফুল? না @য বাগােনর ফুল, @সই বাগান? না @স বাগােনর মালী? না @য পবন গn বেয় িনেয় @গল @স? এ সব pেÁর িক েকােনা যুিk হয়?


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েস আমায় কােন কােন িক বলেল জােনন? @স বলেল "আিম ভাই আমার ে•াতার। আমার @•াতারা চাইেল আিম ১০০ বছর পেরও @বঁেচ থাকব। আিম আমার @•াতার hদয় sশ4 করেল @স আমায় বার বার cনেব , অnেদর @শানােব। তার মেনর অnরােল বার বার আিম pিতnিনত হব। েসই pিতnিনেতই @তা আমার অিsেtর sাথ4কতা। আমার @•াতারাই @তা pকৃতrেপ আমােক ধের রােখ ... বাঁিচেয় রােখ… মেন, কfােসেট, িসিডেত, @মাবাইল @ফােন, আইপেড। আমার sŽারা? তারা @তা আমায় িদিবf @বেচ @খেয়েছ। আিম তােদর হেত যাব @কন?”

আpা, @ভেব @দখুন @তা। মাদার @ডয়ারীর dেধর পfােকেট িক গrর নাম েলখা থােক? মালটা আেদৗ গr িছল না @মাষ, @স িনেয়ও িক @কউ আর মাথা ঘামায়? dধ িদেয়েছ ঘাস @পেয়েছ। তার আবার নােমর দােমর ভাগ িক চাই মশায়? কতটা সিতf জািননা, তেব cেনিছ আজকালকার তথাকিথত pিতিtত গীিতকার ও sরকারেদর নােম @য গান বাজাের আসেছ তার @বিশর ভাগই নািক রীিতমত আউটেসাস4 করা। মােন হেলা dধ িদেp গr আর নাম হেp মাদার @ডয়ারীর।

তাই বিল, গােনর sŽা @যই বা @হাক, গানেক িকnt বাঁিচেয় রােখ গােনর ে•াতা।

ফfাkিরেত গr dধ িদেp , পfােকট কের তাই বাজাের িবিk হেp , পাবিলক @চাঁ @চাঁ কের খােp আর ভুেল যােp। @খল খতম পায়সা হজম। েকউ আর ঘুেরও তাকায়না পিরতfk পfােকটgিলর িদেক। মাnেষর মত গানও হেয় @গেছ use and throw-away। কাল @ক @দেখেছ মশায়? ওসব কালজয়ী গান টান বািনেয় িক হেব?

েছাটেবলায় পেড়িছলাম বিŋমচেndর @লখা কমলাকােnর জবানবnী। তােত এক গr চুিরর মামলায় কমলাকাnেক করা হেয়িছল সাkী। জজ সােহব তােক pÁ কেরন "বল.. গr কার? "। কমলাকাn উtর @দয় " @য গrর dধ খােয়, গr তার "। তখন কথাটা িঠক বুিঝিন। রিসকতা @ভেব @হেসিছলাম। আজ কমলাকােnর ওই উtরটা আবার মন পেড় @গল। @দড়েশা বছর আেগ েলখা ওই কথািটেত আজ হটাৎ @যন একটা গভীর তাৎপয4 খুঁেজ @পলাম। িক অdুত না?

অবsাটা বুঝেছন @তা ? এই হেলা আমােদর আজেকর গান। ৫ তাই আজ চুিপ চুিপ গানেকই @সাজা pÁটা কের @ফললাম: " গান, তুিম কার?"


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মা, /িম আসছ ?কাে@েক িবমল 4দ জn- ২৪েশ িডেসmর, কলকাতা ১৯৫৬ সােল পােয় @হঁেট িতbত Üমণ িদেয় ভূপয4টেকর জীবন cr। তারপর ১৯৬৭ @ত সাইেকেল @চেপ পৃিথবী েঘারা cr কের অেনক বাধািবÞ অিতkম কের অবেশেষ তা @শষ কেরন ১৯৭২ এ। তাঁর @স অিভjতা িতিন িলিপবd কেরন ইংরাজীেত ‘The Traveller’ ও বাংলােয় ‘sদূেরর িপয়াসী’ বই িটেত। মেন pােণ িবlাস কেরন, ‘িবl @জাড়া পাঠশালা @মার, সবার আিম ছাt।’



@দবী dগ4া, তুিম আমােক rপ দাও, আমােক জয় দাও

যশ দাও, আমার শtr নাশ কর “rপং @দিহ জয়ং @দিহ যেশা @দিহ িdেষা জিহ।” মােয়র কােছ সnােনর এই pাথ4না cধু pাথ4না নয,এটা আমােদর দাবী। এই চাওয়াটা সাব4জনীন। কতটা @পলাম অথবা @পলাম িকনা @সটা িনভ4র করেছ আমােদর বfািkগত @যাগfতা সততা আর আnিরকতার ওপর। ভাবেত আ©য4 লােগ এই @য pাথ4না এটা cধু আমার আজেকর pাথ4না নয়, আমার বাবা মা দাd িদিদমা ঠাkরমা ঠাkরদা তার আরও আরও আরও আেগ বh আেগ, কত পুrষ যাবত @য এই pাথ4না কের আসিছ @ক জােন। পুজা পাঠ মnt যj ঢাক কাঁসর ঘন্টা এসব িকছুর আসল কথাটা হেp নাচ গান আর উৎসেবর মাধfেম মার কােছ আমােদর মেনর কথা টােক বfk করা। বfk করাটাই @তা আেবদন। @মেঘর মত উেড় যােp িদন gেলা। ভিব²ৎ ধরা িদেp বত4মােন। তারপর বত4মান সেŋ সেŋ হেয় যােp অতীত। আ©য4 বfাপার। এই @য অতীত @সটা সmূণ4 অদৃS হেত পােরনা। কােলর @sােত @ভেস যাবার সময় @রেখ যায় তার sৃিত। বািলর ওপর @রখা gেলা kণsায়ী আর পাথেরর ওপর @লখাgেলা ধের রােখ অতীেতর কািহনী। তার @থেকই পাই @পৗরািণক কািহনীgেলার ঐিতহািসক ঘটনা ও কািহনী। ইিতহাস যখন বhযুগ ধের িবsৃত িববরণ েক ধের রাখেত পােরনা তখন ইিতহাস rপকথায় পিরণত হয়। অnসnানী দৃিŽ িনেয় যিদ এেগান যায় তাহেল rপকথার @পছেনর ঘ্টনা gেলা সামেন আেস ইিতহােসর rপ িনেয়।

বিল তখন অপরেক @শানােনার আেগ িনেজই cিন। আজ মfােনজেমN সােয়n অথবা পােস4ানাল @ডেভলপ @মN িথেয়াির @সই পুরেনা কথার ওপর ই @বস করা। উnিতর @সাপােন উঠেত হেল rপং চাই, শরীেরর গঠন বা physical fitness, জয়ং মােন সফলতা, success, যশ inspiration, appreciation, motivation ইতfািদ। িdেষা জিহ শtrমুk পিরেবশ অথ4াৎ জীবেন চলার পেথ শtr বা pিতেযাগীেদর ধরা েছাঁয়ার বাইের রাখেত হেব। িনেজর competitive skill বজায় রাখার জn চাই িমt বা বnু ভাব যুk পিরেবশ। আমােদর »দনিnন জীবেন আনn যিদ থােক, তাহেল শরীর মন ও আtার এক snর লহরী অsেরর সৃিŽ হয়। তােক বেল সmূণ4 ss শরীর। আমােদর @চতনা তখন সৎিচত ও আনেnর এক sের উেঠ আেস। মা dগ4ার কােছ আেবদন করা মােন িনেজেক আনেnর পেথ চালােনা। @ºােক আমরা মেনর কথাটাই বfk করিছ, @যমন “@দিব ভkজেনাdাম দtানেদাদেয় অিmেক, মেনাবৃtাnসািরনীম” অথ4াৎ মেনর অnkল আচরণকািরণী @দবী।

বাংলায় একটা কথা আেছ িতল @ক তাল করা। ঘটনা বা rপকথার @পছেন অবSই একটা cr আেছ, তার মােন িতল @ক গেlর মাধfেম তাল করা যায় িকnt তার জn মুেল আেছ িতল। gীক দাশ4িনক @pেটা বেলেছন pেতfক তা rপকথার @পছেন @ছাT কের লুিকেয় আেছ একটা মূল ঈিŋত। rপকথা হেp অলŋার, আিদ কথাটা খুঁেজ বার করেত হেব যার মেধf আেছ সতf। কত শত বছর আেগ ঋিষ মাক4েNয় তার শীষ4েদর উপেদশ িদেয় িছেলন মােয়র কােছ চাও, আমায় rপ দাও জয় দাও যশ দাও, আমােক শtr মুk কর। আজ ২০১৫ সােল আমরা @পৗঁেছিছ, মŋল gেহ আমরা কfােমরা পািঠেয়িছ, চাঁেদ যাতায়াত করিছ। হােত @ছাট একটা @টিলেফান যেntর মাধfেম জুিরখ @থেক @কালকাতায ঠাkরমা @ক বলিছ এখান কার বরফ পড়ার গl আর িবশাল গrর গাড়ীর চাকার মত শk ছানার (চীজ)গl। ঠাkরমা অবাক হেয় @শােন, বলার ভাষা @নই।

িনরেপk দৃিŽ ভŋীেত ss ও মুk মন িনেয় িবেºষণ করেল আমরা sŽই বুঝেত পাির @য ভগবতী @দবী dগ4া @ক @কnd কের ভারেত @য শিk পুজা pচিলত তােক অনায়ােস ঐিতহািসক grt @দয়া @যেত পাের। আজ আমরা sŽই @দখেত পাই @য অিত শিkশালী অsর িনধেনর জn মা dগ4ার কােছ িবিভn @দবতার সিmিলত শিk ইংিরিজেত বলা যায় coalition force। ইউেরােপ pথম মহা যুd অ িdতীয় মহা যুেdর সময় আমরা সিmিলত শিkর পিরচয় @পেয়িছ। সmpিত আফগািনsান ও ইরােকর যুেd ঐ একই pথা বা system এখন pচিলত। িসিরয়ার বfাপাের united nations (UNO) Security Council পkপািতt র লড়াই এখেনা চলেছ। অsর গেনর সিmিলত শিkর িবrেd যখন েদবগন আর িটেক থাকেত পারল না তখনই @দবগন একিtত হেয় @য যার িনজs শিk িদেয় ভগবতী dগ4ার সৃিŽ করেলন। »তির হল নতুন

েমাdা কথা হেp আজেক “rপং @দিহ জয়ং @দিহ যেশা @দিহ িdেষা জিহ”র ফম4ুলা চেল িক ? উtের বলব িন©য় চেল। কারন মােয়র কােছ সnােনর pাথ4না টা আসেল িনেজর কথা িনেজেকই @শানােনা। আিম যখন কথা


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 শিk। •ী •ী চNীেত rপ কথার মাধfেম সাধারণ মাnেষর @বাধগেমfর জn ঐিতহািসক ঘটনা @ক rপ কথায় পিরনত করা হেয়েছ।


আমরা পুজা কির মnt িদেয়, pাথ4না কির ভিk িদেয়, মােয়র ঐিতহািসক grt আমােদর জানার দরকার @নই। িকnt @যেহতু আমরা িবেদেশ আিছ, ভারতীয় ঐিতh আমােদর জীবেনর অŋ, আমরা আিছ »বjািনক ও যুিkবাদী র জগেত, ভারেত @য সব pÁ মেন আেসনা, এখােন @সgেলা এড়ােনা যায় না। ভগবান যীc ভগবত পুt তার বাইেবল ভরা উপেদশ, ইজরােয়েলর মাটী @ত ভরা তার ইিতহােসর nংসাবেশষ। মা dগ4ার আগমন অcরবধ তােদর কােছ rপকথােক @কnd কের উৎসব। কথাটা িঠক িকnt এই rপকথার @পছেন @য ঐিতহািসক grt আেছ তার কথা আমরা ভািবিন কারন িবsােস িমলায় বst তেক4 বhদূর। আমরা িবlাস কির মা @ক যাচাই না।যারা যাচাই করেত চায় তারা অনায়ােস খুঁেজ পােব ঐিতহািসক grt। ভারতবেষ4র ইিতহাস অিত pাচীন যার সাkর পাওয়া যায় হরpা ও মেহ…েদােরার nংসাবেশেষ। আজ gজরােটর @ধালািভরা, রািখগরাই, গান ওয়ািরওলা পৃিথবীর নামকরা »বjািনক ও pttিবদ েদর অবাক কের িদেয়েছ। @ধালািভরার এই nংসাবেশষ হরpা ও মেহ…েদােরার সেŋ ওতেpাত ভােব জিড়ত। তার মােন pায় ২৬০০ BC র কথা। তৎকালীন অnতম pধান ও উnত ধরেনর শহর ও বািণজf েকnd @ধালািভরা। gজরােটর @ধালািভরা nংসাবেশষ আিব„ােরর পের ভারতবেষ4র ধম4ীয় ইিতহাস এক নতুন rপ ধারন কেরেছ। আজ ভগবত গীতার ভগবান কৃÕ ঐিতহািসক চিরt। •ী কৃÕর িতেরাধােনর ৩৬ বছর পূ ে ব4 sার উইলসন বু ক ানন এলিফস @sান etc foreign researchers, ঋিষ বিŋম চেTাপাধfায়, @লাক মাn বাল গŋাধর িতলক, রেমশ চnd দt, রায় বাহাdর িচnামিণ »বদf, মহামেহাপাধfায় হিরদাস িসdাn বাগীশ, এবং আর অেনক pাচf ও পা©াতf মনীষীগণ একবােকf sীকার কেরেছন @য ভগবান •ী কৃÕ এবং krেkেtর যুd ঐিতহািসক চিরt ও ঘটনা। মহাভারেত আমরা তার পূণ4 িববরণ পাই। েধালািভরা বা @ধাল বীর নাম জাই @হাক না @কন, sŽই @বাঝা যােp @য হিsনাপুর,েধালািভ্ হরpা, মেহ…েদােরা pায় এক ই সমেয়র সভfতা।

মহা শিkশালী অsর @ক পরািজত করার একমাt উপায় @দবতােদর সমেবত শিk। তাই bhা িবÕু বরাহ িশব ইnd কািt4ক ইতfািদ বh েদবতােদর কথা পুরান gেn ও চNী gেn অিত snর ভােব বিণ4ত হেয়েছ। @য @দবতার @যrপ আকার @পাশাক ভূষণ ও বাহন অnযায়ী মা dগ4ার pতীক সৃিŽ হেয়েছ। মা dগ4ার মূিত4টাই symbol। @দবীর মৃnয়ী pিতমা িচnয়ীর pতীক মাt। মা dগ4া িক ভােব মিহষাsর @ক বধ করেলন েস গl আমােদর মুখs। মােয়র পুজা, অjানপূব4ক অথবা jান বা িবদfা পূব4ক @য ভােবই করা @হাক না @কন ভিk ও jােনর মাধfেম তার pিত জানাই আমােদর pাথ4না। এই pাথ4না @ক িঘেরই আমােদর িবেশষ কের বাঙালীর আনেnাৎসব। ভগবান বুেdর আিবভ4ােবর পূব4 মুহূেত4 বুd মাতা ভগবতী dগ4া মিnের িগেয় ভাবী পুেtর জn sিs মŋল পূণ4তা আর শািn pাথ4না কেরিছেলন। পরবত4ী কােল @সই @গৗতম মত4f বাসী @ক অমৃত মেnt উৎসািহত করেলন। বুেdর অমৃত বাণী - িনেজর কত4েবf িবমুখ হেয়ানা, কত4বfই ধম4। “ধরমং শরনং গpািম” িবচার বুিd িদেয় িনেজেক জােনা, @সটাই িচদানn পথ। “বুdং শরনং গpািমঃ” একতাই শিk, একতাবdই মেনাবল অসামািজক বল। “সŋম শরনম গpািম ” অsরেদর অতfাচাের বাstহারা @দবগণ আtরkার উপায় িবেবচনা কের সমেবত হেলন। িবেরাধী শিkর নাম »দতf আর সেতfর pতীক @দবতা। সমেবত শিkর নাম dগ4া, তার pতীক @দবী মূিত4 দশভুজা িসংহ বািহনী, অsর িনধন কের @দিব dগ4া িফিরেয় আনেলন sর। sর আর ছnই আনেnর pতীক।

(civilizations almost belong to the same period) •ী •ী চNীেত sরথ রাজার কথা উেlখ আেছ, sরেথা নাম রাজা। এই sরথ নােমর সােথ sরাট নােমর অdুত িমল। মেহ…েদােরা ও হরpা ও েধালািভরা @ত @দবী মূিত4 পাওয়া @গেছ। krেkt যুেdর পর •ী কৃÕ dারকায় চেল @গেলন আর তার নারায়ণী @সনা িবl শািn pিতtা করার জn পিরkমায় @বরেলন। পথ িছলঃ

Üমণ আমার @নশা। িমডল ইেsর অেনক gেলা শহর ও জাdঘর @ঘারার পর বার বার মেন হেয়েছ @য আমােদর @দবী িক এই অ~েল এেসিছেলন? না, এই অ~েলর িসংহ বািহনী dগ4া আমােদর @দেশ @গিছেলন? বাহািরেনর রাণী এবং বাইেবল এর kইন অফ সাবার িpয় জnt িছল িসংহ। ফারাও যুেগ রাণী @নফারিতিতর @পাষা িpয় জnt িছল িসংহ। িsংস পরবত4ী কােল িমশেরর pহরীর pতীক হেয় আজও িবদfমান িসংহ মূিত4। pাচীন বািবলেনর সmাn ও রাজপিরবাের িpয় জnt িছল বাঘ ও িসংহ। @পtা পাহােড়র gহা মিnের িসংহ বািহনী চতুভ4ুজা @দবী মূিত4র nংসাবেশষ আজও @চােখ পেড়। িমশেরর রানী @নফারিতিত িছেলন ফারাও রােজfর শাসক, pজারা তােক @দবী বেল •dা জানােতন। েনফারিতিতর sামী িছেলন িdতীয় রােমিসস। sামী রাজা হেলও @দেশর শাসন বfবsা অ শািnর দািয়t িছল রানীর। pজারা তােক ডাকেতা মা-আ আর িবেদিশরা মা-আ- ত। @সই সময়কার ভাছারও উ—ারণ আমােদর মাতার সেŋ আ©য4 িমল। িdতীয় রােমিসস অ @নফারিতিতর সময় িছল pায় ১২৫০ BC, এক হাজার dশ প~াশ িäŽপূেব4। বািবলেনর অsরবািনপাল, @নবুচাদেনজার, এবং কাবf সািহতf এnমা এিলশ একটু সময় িনেয় পড়েলই ও @সই সময় কার রাজা নৃপিতেদর িচিhত nংসাবেশষ gেলা ঘুরেলই sŽই @চােখ পড়েব @দবতা ও অsরেদর সংgাম @kt। এই pবn @লখার সময় বারবার মেন পড়েছ @চােখ @দখা বাগদাদ, িসিরয়া ও ইিজেpর জাdঘেরর কথা। হায়। িনরkরতা অ বব4রতা অেনক sৃিত @ক ধূিলসাৎ কেরেছ। িকnt ইিতহােসর পাতায় আজ ধরা আেছ িসংহবািহিন মােয়র কািহনী।

যাtা cr - হিsনাপুর, ইndps, dারকা - তারপর পারs উপসাগর হেয় বসরা, @সখান @থেক মkা আিদ নাম মnথ শািলনী পুর। তারপর উtেরর িদক, এিশয়ার নাম িছল জmু dীপ, আি«কার নাম িছল শাlলী dীপ। আিম িবশদ িববরেণ না িগেয় বলেত চাই @য gজরাত @থেক বসরা হেয় িসিরয়া পয4n ভারতবেষ4র সেŋ যাতায়ত িছল। pাচীন @মেসাপেটিময়া, বািবলন, িমশর ইতfািদ শহর gেলার সেŋ ভারেতর pাচীন সভfতার ঘিনŽ সmn িছল। মহাভারেতর মত •ী •ী চNীর ঐিতহািসক গেবষণা করেল আমার ধারণা @য মা dগ4ার আর এক ঐিতহািসক rপ ধরা পড়েব। আজেকর এই শারদ উৎসেবর cভ kেণ @হ েদবী dগ4া, @তামার চরেণ আমােদর শত @কাটী pণাম।

েকান পেথ িসংহ বািহনী মা এেসিছেলন ভারেতর ভুিমেত? এবার আিম িনেজর কথা বেল @শষ করিছ এই pবn।




আমার ?চােখ Cগ2াDেজা

েবেরাতাম। ওটা আমার @বশ গেব4র িবষয় িছল। হাঁ কের বেস থাকতাম প~মীর িদনটার জn। sুেল রিঙন জামা পেড় ইশশ্টাইল কের @যেত হেব @তা। ওই িদনটাই @নলপিলশ বা কপােল একটা িটপ পড়ার ছাড় েপতাম। মজার বfাপার িছল, বnুরা এেক অপরেক পুেজার gift িদতাম। একটা @ছাT পfােকেট িটেপর পাতা, একটা @নলপিলশ, বড়েজার একটা েছাT @সেNর িশিশ। না িছল @কােনা নামীদামী bfাN আর না িছল @বশী দাম। িকnt মেনর আনnটাই িছল অেনক @বশী দামী। ওই একটা িদন sুেল নাম @ডেক ছুিট। িদিদমিণরা বেড়া বেড়া @চাখ কের বkিন িদত না। পড়া মুখs না পারেল কান ধের দাঁড় কিরেয় শািs িদত না। সারািদন »হhেlাড় আর কার কটা জামা হেলা, এই আেলাচনা কেরই @কেট @যত। আর একটা িজিনস িছল, মা @ক লুিকেয় চুিপচুিপ ৫০ পয়সা বা ১ টাকার কািঠ আইসিkম @খেয় বািড় @ফরা।

অির7া গা9লী (রায়) জn - @সাদপুর, পািনহাটী। পড়াcনার পর সাংবািদকতার চাকরী। িববােহর পর বত4মােন sামী ও একমাt কnা িtশানােক িনেয় জাম4ানীর sুটগােট4 বসবাস।



dিg @দখলাম চাচা, িক ঠাউর @দখলাম চাচা’... গানটা ভীষণ

আর তারপর sুল @পিরেয় কেলজ, চাকির জীবন। kেম dগ4াপুেজার গn, ভাললাগা সবই পােl @যেত লাগল। আর এখন @তা সংসােরর েঘরােটােপ িনেজেক @বঁেধ @ফলার পর আজ আর @সইরকম কের dগ4াপুেজার আনn, মজা উপেভাগ করা হয় না। আফেশাস হয়, িবসজ4েনর পর মােয়র হােতর নাড়ু-িনমিক পাই না বেল, মােয়র সেŋ ঠাkর বরণ করেত @যেত পাির না আর পড়ার বইgেলা ঠাkেরর পােয় েছাঁয়ােল ভাল নmর পাব, একথাও আর @কউ মেন কিরেয় @দয় না। ১০৮ বার ওঁ •ী •ী dগ4াসহায় নমঃ না িলখেল @কউ বkিন @দয় না। কারণ আিম আজ বেড়া হেয় @গিছ। মা ও তাই আমায় কােছ পায় না। এসবই আিম miss কির। চাইেলও @সই @ছাটেবলার dগ4াপুেজার িদনgেলা িফের পাব না। তবু dেধর sাদ @ঘােল @মটােত বাধf হেয় Facebook এর রসেগাlা, িনমিক চপ্ কাটেলেটর ছিবেত Like অথবা Share কের মনেক খুিশ রািখ। আর মােয়র পাঠােনা শারদীয়া পূজাবািষ4কী আনnেমলা, cকতারা পেড় কলকাতার পুেজা, আেলা, গn, আমার @দখা dgা ঠাkরেক মেন কির।

টােন, িবেশষকের dগ4াপুেজা আসেলই খুব মেন পেড়। শারদীয়া মােনই আপামর বাঙালীর ঘটা কের পুরী, দীঘা বা দািজ4িলঙ @বড়ােত যাওয়া, নতুন জামা, রিঙন শািড় িকংবা পা…াবী পেড় অŽমীর অ…িল, রাত @জেগ ঠাkর @দখা, @দদার আDা, খাওয়া-দাওয়া আর সেŋ চুিটেয় @pম করা। dগ4াপুেজা িনেয় সকেলরই িকছু নsালিজয়া থােক। আমারও আেছ। আর েসটা ভাগ করার sেযাগ হাত ছাড়া করার @লাভ সংবরণ করেত না @পেরই কলম ধের িনলাম।

dগ4াপুেজার নsালিজয়া মােন আমার কােছ িছল, বাবা, দাd বা মামার েদওয়া নতুন জামা পেড় মােয়র হাত ধের ঠাkর @দখেত যাওয়া। কটা ঠাkর @দখলাম @সটা মেন কের রাখা কারণ sুল খুলেলই বnুেদর কােছ গেpা করেত হেব @তা।

েসইসময় দাdর িকেন @দওয়া একখানা ভfািনিট বfাগ িছল আমার খুব িpয়। ১০, ২০ িকংবা ৫০ এর কেয়কটা খুচেরা পয়সা িনেয় বfাগ কাঁেধ

আিম নারী

তুেল @নব ছাড়া শািড়, pেয়াজেন তরবািরজীবেনর কাছাকািছ, ভীষণ কাছাকািছ আিম নারী।

;াবণী 4দ

তুিম সবিকছু জয় কেরা, আর আিম? - @তামায় জয় কির।

Masters in Economics Hailing From Cooch-Behar,North Bengal Love Dancing & Writing from childhood Have little bit of interest in Photography lives in Bern from mid 2010 Email:

এেসা নীল মৃতfু, আপাতত @তামােক আঁচেল @বঁেধ রািখেতামার উdত গব4 আমার বাঁকা হািসেত আঁিক।

িম নীল মৃতfু খাব -

ওেগা নীলাভ িবেpদপােরা যিদ িজেত িনও আমায়, আিম নারী -জীবেনর sকিঠন পূজারী।

মৃতfু, @কন তুিম হেব অনn-জয়ী? আিম নারী, আর পুrেষর মত তুিমও নারীর sp িনেয় @কার না কাড়াকািড়।

েবhলা-সািবtীর কাnা-েভজা ভয়ŋর রk বইেছ আমার ধমনীেত। েচেয় @দখ মৃতfু-পুrষ, েতামার সব4নাশ আমার িনব4াক চাউিনেত।।

লjাহীন dপুেরর nাকা @রােদর মত আিমও @তামার বুক িপছেল @বিরেয় আসব,



া ম ােলর

িশখা 4চৗDরী:

েছাটগ? জেnিছেলন মধf pেদেশর িচিরিমির কয়লা খিন অ~েল।

বাড়ীেত বাংলা ভাষার চচ4া িছল, িবেয়র পর পূেণ4nd @চৗধুরীর সািnেধf এেস @লখা ও পড়ার চচ4া বজায় থােক। দীঘ4িদন sইজারলfাN এ @থেকও @সই চচ4া জাির িছল। বh িবখfাত মাnেষর সািnেধf এেসেছন। সতfিজত রায় অপুর সংসােরর cিটং কেরিছেলন িচিরিমির @ত।। ঋিtক ঘটক িছেলন আtীয়। তেব িশখার িবেয়েত িনেজর হােত সতfিজৎ রােয়র এঁেক @দওয়া ছিবটা িবেয় বাড়ী @থেক অnিহ4ত হেয় @গিছেলা। @সই কথা dঃেখর সেŋ আজও sরণ কেরন িশখা। েখলাধুেলা ভাল বাসেতন। বhবার বfাডিমNন @খেল বh @মেডল জয় কেরেছন। েসই সেŋ @ছেলেকও মাnষ কেরেছন snর ভােব।

েগাপ েগা

একিদন dপুের কােছ এেস আেs আেs িজেjস করল, বদিদ আমায় িচনেত পারেলনা? খািনক kণ তািকেয় @দেখ জিড়েয় ধরলাম, পুিষ তুই ! তখন হািস কাnার ধারা বইল ...বদিদ ঐ @দখ আমার @গাপাল বারাnায় েখলেছ। তার হােত একখানা বই। পুিষ বলল, @গাপাল বই বড় ভালবােস েগা। তুিম আশীব4াদ কর বদিদ, ও @যন ওর বাবার মত আেমিরকা েকাmািনেত কাজ পায়।

পােলর মা, আমােদর পুিষ। পুিষ আমােদর কলকাতার বাড়ী @ত

কাজ করত। ঢল ঢেল snর @চহারা, Sামলা রঙ, ১৫/১৬ বছর বেয়স। েদখেলই গাল িটেপ িদেত ইেp করত। সব @চেয় snর িছল ওর মুেখর হািস। যতই বkিন খাক, মুেখর হািসটা বজায় থাকেতা। আমার িদিদমা চেট @যেতন, অত দাঁত বার কের @তার হাসার িক আেছ? @ক @শােন কার কথা, সব সময় হািস।

পেরর বার যখন @দেশ @গলাম, মার কােছ cনলাম @য পুিষর বর মারা েগেছ। পুিষ @ছেলেক পড়াবার জn অেনকgেলা বািড়েত কাজ করেছ। পেরর বার @লক মােক4েটর ওখােন হাঁটিছলাম, িবরাট ভােব বদিদ ডাক, তখনই বুঝলাম @ক। তািকেয় @দখলাম পুিষ। আমায় জিড়েয় ধের বলল বদিদ, @গাপাল এবার একটা পাশ িদেযেছ @গা। ভীষণ ভাল লাগল, িবেশষ কের পুিষর হাsউjল @চহারা @দেখ। যাক, ভগবান এতিদেন েমেয়টােক তুিম আ•য় িদেল। পুিষ বলল @য ওর বাবার বfােŋ @গাপাল কাজ @পেয়েছ, পেরর মাস @থেক কাজ cr করেব। আমায় বলল বদিদ, আশীব4াদ কর @যন সব ভাল হয়। ওেক জিড়েয় ধের বললাম সব িঠক হেব, তুই িচnা কিরস না। পের cনলাম @গাপাল আেমিরকান এkেpস এ কাজ @পেয়েছ এবং ভাল করেছ। মা @ক আর কাজ করেত িদেpনা, মা বািড় @ত থাকেছ। কথাটা cেন খুব ভাল লাগল, এতিদন পের পুিষর জীবেন শািn এল। এরপর পুিষর সেŋ অেনকিদন @দখা হয়িন।

আমরা তখন @কালকাতােয় থাকতাম না। গরেমর ছুিটেত বা পূজার সময় কলকাতােয় আসতাম। তখন পুিষর সেŋ @দখা হত। ও কfািনং এ থাকেতা। @রাজ সকােল @Tেন কলকাতােয় আসেতা। সকােল ২-৩ বাড়ীেত কাজ কের পের আমােদর বাড়ীেত আসত। আমার িদdমা ওেক খাইেয় বলেতন এখন এখেন @শা, পের কাজ @সের বাড়ী যািব। dপুর েবলা আমার ঘের এেস আমার খােটর নীেচ cত, আর যত রােজfর গl তার তখন। আমােক বলত বদিদ। যত @শখাবার @চŽা করতাম @য আিম আিম বদিদ নই, বড়িদ। @ক @শােন কার কথা। অেনক @বাঝালাম বদিদ মােন িক, @হেস বলল না বদিদ, তুিম আমার বদিদ। এখন @বাঝ, িক বলেব। মােঝ মােঝ @রেগ বলতাম, পুs একটু ঘুেমা / বলত বদিদ, ঘুমেল টায়াড4 হেয় যাব, অেনক কাজ আেছ তা করেত পারব না / মােঝ মােঝ রােত @দির হেল িদিদমা বলেতন পুিষ,এত রােত @তােক বািড় @যেত হেবনা, এখােন থাক / @স ভীষণ খুশী হেয় @থেক @যত। পুিষর মা @ছাট েবলায় মারা @গেছন, বাবা আবার িবেয় কেরিছেলন। সৎ মার সেŋ খুব একটা ভাল সmn িছলনা, ছিট সৎ ভাই @বান। বািড় @গেল তােদর @দখেত হত। sতরাং রােt আমােদর কােছ থাকেত তার @কান আপিt হত না। সারা রাত তার নানান গl চলত। ঘুেমাবার সময় বলত বদিদ @তামার হাতটা দাও @গা। আমার হাত ধের ঘুমত। তেব তার snরবেনর বােঘর গl cেন আমার ঘুম উধাউ হেয় @যত।

একবার @লক মােক4েটর সামেন রাsা পার হবার জn দাঁিড়েয় িছলাম, েলােকেদর সবাই @ক িক িজেjস করেছ এক বুড়ী, বুড়ী @ক খুব @চনা মেন হয় িকnt িঠক বুঝেত পারিছলামনা। তাই কােছ @গলাম। বুড়ী সবাই েক িজেjস করেছ, আমার @গাপাল @ক @দেখছ বাবা? আমার @গাপাল েক...েকউ @কউ িবরk হেp আবার এক এক জন ভাল ভােব জবাব িদেp। এক জন @ক িজেjস করলাম বুড়ী @ক? @দাকানদার বলল, ও @তা পাগলী, @গাপােলর মা। আবার িজেjস করলাম, ওরকম করেছ @কন? েদাকানদার বলল, বছর dেয়ক আেগ ওর @ছেল @গাপাল সকােল অিফেস িগেয় আর @ফেরিন। বুড়ী @রাজ সকাল @থেক সেnf এখােন বেস থােক আর যত বা আেস @সখােন @গাপাল @ক @খাঁেজ। আিম আেs আেs কােছ িগেয় @দখলাম সিতfই পুিষ। এই পুিষ বলেল pথেম তার কােন ঢুকল না, আর কােছ িগেয় হাত টা @টেন ধের @জাের ডাকলাম পুিষ। তখন তাকাল, েবশ খািনক সময় আমার িদেক তািকেয় @থেক আমায় িচনেত পারল। আমায় জিড়েয় ধের h h কের @কঁেদ উঠল। বলেত লাগল ও বদিদ, আমার @গাপাল @কাথায় @গল, @সই @য সকােল অিফস @গল তারপর আর িফরল না। সাntনা @দবার @চŽা করলাম জিড়েয় ধের, কী ই বা বলব বুঝেত পারিছলাম না। তখন আর একটা বাস এেস যাওয়ােত পুিষ েসখােন ছুটল @গাপাল @ক খুঁজেত। ভারী মন িনেয় খািনকkণ দাঁিড়েয় চেল আসলাম। বাড়ীেত এেস িজেjস করােত দাদা বলল বfাপারটা একটু @ঘারােলা, বfাংক এর কেয়কজন @বয়ারা টাকা কিড় ও িজিনস পt চুির কেরিছল। তােদর িবপেk িগেয় @গাপাল বfােŋর হেয় সাkী িদেয়িছল। তাই অnেদর @গাপােলর ওপর রাগ িছল। তারা @গাপাল @ক েশষ কের @দেব বেল শািসেয় িছল। @গাপাল @বশ ভয় @পেয়িছল। এবং চাকির @ছেড় মা @ক িনেয় @কালকাতা @ছেড় চেল যােব িঠক কেরিছল। এর মেধf @গাপাল একিদন সকােল অিফেস িগেয় আর িফরল না। আমার দাদা পুিষেক িনেয় থানায় ডােয়ির কেরিছেলন ও পুিলেশর সােথও অেনক েখাঁজাখুঁিজ কেরিছেলন। িকnt @কাথাও @গাপােলর @কান @খাঁজ পাওয়া

পেরর বার যখন @গলাম, তখন cনলাম পুিষর িবেয় হেয় @গেছ। একিদন েদখা করেত আসেলা। জিড়েয় ধের বলল বদিদ এখন আমােক আর েটেন চড়েত হেবনা @গা, আমার বর এখােন থােক, আর @টেনর জn ছুট েত হেবিন @গা। @বশ ভাল লাগেলা। snর @চহারা িবেয় কের আরও ঢলঢেল হেয়েছ। তার বর আেমিরকা বfাংক এ কাজ কের চাপরািশর কাজ, তাই তােক আর কাজ করেত হেবনা। পুিষ @ক @দেখ ভাল লাগল, েমেয়টা এেতা িদেন sখী হেয়েছ। পেরর বার যখন @গলাম পুিষ তার d বছেরর @ছেল @গাপালেক িনেয় @দখা করেত আসেলা। @ছেল @ক পড়ােশানা কের বড় করেত হেব, তারপর আেমিরকা বfাংক এ চাকির করেব। খুব ভাল লাগেলা পুিষর ভাগf খুেলেছ বেল। িকnt বরােতর @লখন খNােব @ক? পুিষর বর কাজ @থেক @ফরার সময় বাস েথেক নামেত িগেয় পেড় পা ভাŋল। @বশ িকছুিদন হাসপাতােল @থেক বািড় িফরল, িকnt ডান পাটা অচল, খুঁিড়েয় চলেত হেp। কাজ টা @গল তাই পুিষ আবার বািড় বািড় কাজ cr করল। পের আমরা যখন @গলাম েদেশ, তখন এ বািড় ও বািড় কের সময় @কেট @গল, পুিষর কথা আর জানেত পািরিন। তারপর ৮২ সােল আমার ভাইেয়র িবেয়েত @গিছ তখন বািড়েত কােজর @লাক সবাই ডােক @গাপােলর মা আিমও তাই বিল।



SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 করেত বলেত লাগেলা আজা আমাল, @সানা আমাল আল কখনও মা @ক েছেড় চেল যািব িন, মােয়র মেন আল dkু িদস িন বাবা। আিম অবাক হেয় মা আর @ছেলর িদেক তািকেয় থাকলাম। তারপর হাসেত হাসেত আমায় বলল, বদিদ, @দেখেছা @তা, আমার এই @গাপাল এবার আর েকাথাও যােবনা, cধু আমার কােছই থাকেব। তাই না বাপ আমার, মা @ক েছেড় আর @কাথাও যািব িন। পুিষ তার @গাপাল @ক মশgল হেয় আদর করেত লাগল। আিম খািনকkণ দাঁিড়েয় @থেক বললাম পুিষ এইবার আিম যািp @র। আিম আেs বাইের এেস দরজাটা বn কেরিদলাম। মেনর তখন অdুত অবsা, @চাখ জেল ভের @গেছ, @কান রকেম গাড়ীেত এেস উঠলাম। পুিষর বাড়ীর িদেক তািকেয় একবার ভগবােনর উেdেS dহাত জড় কের pনাম জানালাম। মেনর মেধf খািল একটা লাইন gনgন করেত লাগেলা, @খিলেছা এ িবl লেয়, িবরাট িশc আনমেন।

যায় িন। আজ অবিধ পুিলশ @কান হিদশ পায়িন। মনটা ভীষণ খারাপ হেয় েগেলা, @বচারা পুিষ কী কপাল িনেয় জেnিছস ভাবিছলাম। এখােন িফের আসার আেগ আবার একিদন পুিষর সােথ @দখা করেত @গিছলাম। আমায় জিড়েয় ধের বলল বদিদ, তুিম @তা অেনক দূর যােব, একটু @দেখা @তা ওিদেক @কাথাও @গাপাল আেছ িকনা? @দখা হেল তােক @বােলা আমার কােছ িফের আসেত, @বােলা আিম তােক আর কখন বকেবা িন। এর পর কেয়ক বছর পর, বাড়ীর সামেন গাড়ীেত উঠেত যািp, এমন সময বদিদ বদিদ ডাক ডাক cেন চমেক তািকেয় @দিখ পুিষ। কােছ এেস জিড়েয় ধরল, িঠক @যন @সই আেগকার পুিষ। হািসখুিশ মুখ, পির„ার শাড়ী পরেন, হাসেত হাসেত বলল ও বদিদ আমার @গাপাল িফের এেসেছ। ভীষণ আনn হল, িকছু িজেjস করার আেগই বলল আমার েগাপােলর সােথ @দখা করেত আসেবনা বদিদ?

পুিষ @ক আিম আজও ভুলেত পািরিন। pায়ই ওর কথা মেন হয়। দাদার কােছ cেনিছলাম ও আেমিরকান এkেpস @থেক একটা মাসহারা পােp। তােত ওর ভালই চেল যায়। cেন ভাল লাগেলা। @গাপােলর @কান খবর আজ অবিধ পাওয়া যায় িন।

চলনা বদিদ, @গাপাল বাড়ীেতই আেছ। সব কথা বলব @তামায়। বেল আমার হাত ধের টানেত লাগেলা। @গাপােলর pতfাবত4েনর কথা cেন খুব আনn হিpল, তাছাড়া একটু @কৗতূহলও, আর পুিষর অত উতসােহর মুেখ নাও বলেত পারলাম না। তাই পুিষর সােথ ওর বাড়ী চললাম। কােছই একটা বিsেত থােক, গাড়ী @থেক @নেম আমার হাত ধের টানেত টানেত িনেয় চলল। নানান @কৗতূহল ও pÁভরা মন িনেয় চললাম ওর সােথ। ঘর খুেল আমায় ডাকল, @ভতের এস িদিদ। @ভতের ঢুেক @সাজা িবছানার কােছ িগেয় দাঁড়াল। আিমও @পছন @পছন @গলাম। িজেjস করলাম কই @গাপাল @কাথায়? পুিষ বলল এইেতা এখােন @দখেত পাpনা? @গাপাল দfাখ, মাসী @তােক @দখেত এেয়েছ। পুিষর িনেদ4শ মত েচেয় @দিখ খােটর পােশ একটা জল @চৗিকর ওপর snর িবছানা করা। তার ওপর একটা নাড়ু @গাপােলর মূিত4 ঢাকা িদেয় @শায়ােনা আেছ। পুিষ মাটী @ত বেস @গাপােলর মূিত4টা @ক @কােল তুেল িনেলা, আদর করেত

খাবার পর @টিবল পির„ার করার সময় ওর কথা মেন হয়। @টিবেল বা মািটেত ভাত পড়েল খুব চেট @যত, pেতfকটা ভাত আŋুল িদেয় তুলত, আমােদর বলত, অn @ক অপমান কেরানা, অn হেpন নkী, নkী @ক অবেহলা করেত @নই। ভাতgেলা kিড়েয় বাইের ডাsিবন এ @ফলত, তােত আিম একিদন @হেস িজেjস কেরিছলাম, ডাsিবনটা িক @বশী cd? আমার িদেক অবাক হেয় বেলিছল, এখােন থাকেল কাrর পা লাগেবনা, মােয়র @কান অপমান হব িন। আিম আজও pেতfকটা ভাত খুঁেট তুেল ডাsিবেন @ফিল আর তখন পুিষর কথা মেন আেস।

Rajsekhar Paul, works as a pharmaceutical scientist in Basel since 2008. Raj’s passion for fine art, poetry and photography has flourished over past years. Being one of the founding members of a newly opened art gallery in Basel, Raj exhibited many of his works at different international galleries and art fairs. Contact:

এক Gিথবী মাIষ

আেলা আঁধারী এ


নভর জlনা কlনার ছক

ছেক বাঁধা @ktফল জীবন যাপন বািড়র @মেঝ, িনেকােনা উেঠান , খিড়মািটর লালেচ @দওয়াল; সব ভের আেছ আঁিকবুিক বীজগিণত গে…র @মােড় সািরসাির কাঁেচর খাঁচা খাঁচার @ভতর - কাকাতুয়া পািখ, বfবসার হাট এক জয়ী পৃিথবীর sেp বুঁদ sিpল মন উlাসী বাকিবতন্ডা, কখেনা িবÜমী অসমÜমী িকেসর @যন এক dেভ4দf কােলা অহংকাের হীমশীতল আগামীকাল , অেনকটা জািরত নীল , নীল @থেক কােলা িমশকােলা, অn আসেছ বছর আেরা, আেরা অেনক নতুন খবর -মানব মানবী , অsখ অsখী পাল @তালা @নৗকা, @নাŋর ; এক পৃিথবী pাণ িনেয় @সৗদাগরী সাpািহক @সামবার হাট িবিকিকিন আেপিkক গিতেবগ আর িsিত জাডf - তােদর মুিŽেময় িহেসেব বfিতkমী একমাt @বিহেসবী মন হায় উেড়া মন আমার পালুেক মন যতই িহেসবী িনেকশী ততই বfাবধৃত

কটানা িনিশডাকা িশিশর শীত রাত @যমন কের হয়

kয়াশা কাকেভার , েতমন ভােবই অনবরত আমােদর পাlায় বদলায় িচnন @থেক অিচnন, পৃিথবীর িঝিঝ @পাকা , @জানািক শাওলা মাখা বটিশকড় সময় আেরা না জািন না @দখা কত, কেtা িকছু - ভােস, হােস চকচেক কাঁচ কাটা হীেরর মেতাই jলjল কয়লা, জীবাë েগালাপ, @গালাপী িকংবা যিদ হয় কােলা, ঘন নীল, @হাক না অেনকটা আকােশর রং বদলােনার মেতা আকাশী নীল তখন অনােবশী ছdেবশী @গাধুিল, পি©ম িদিঘর জেল তখন ছড়ােনা িছল ঘন লাল আিবর আিম, তুিম, আমােদর সকেলই আমােদর @সই @মৗিলকেt অমিলন snর নীল @গালাপ আর লাল @গালা সূেয4র মেতা, হীেরর দহন অnহীন pতীয়মান আেলা আঁধারী িচরnন




Lতী4া Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal, Founder of an activity centre for kids in Baden. Being a mother of a two year old, I love to spend time with children. Dance is my passion. In addition, reading, writing and acting are my best free-time activities. I have done my Masters in mass-communication from Jadavpur University, India. I am a trained classical dancer (Kathak – an Indian classical dance form), holding a Master degree in the same. I have my own dance school in Zurich. Contact:

িনেয় @তামার জn New York shift করা possible নয়। Infact company @তামার ভালর জnই এই decision টা িনেয়েছ রাকা।’ রাকা খুব অবাক হেয় বলল আিম যতদূর জািন Mr. Chakraborty ও recently বাবা হেয়েছন, company ওনােক promotion @দবার সময় এটা @কন ভাবল না? ওনােকও @তা New York @যেত হেব for one year? Mrs. Sen বলেলন, রাকা @তামার আর ওনার বfাপারটা একদমই আলাদা। হাজার হেলও উিন পুrষ মাnষ। ওনােক @তা আর বা—া বড় করেত হেবনা। রাকা আর @কােনা কথা না বেল Mrs. Sen এর cabin @থেক @বিরেয় এল। কাউেক িকছু না বেল অিফস @থেক েবিরেয় পড়ল।

মার এবােরর গেlর নািয়কা রাকা। িফের এেসিছ আবার একিট

নারীেকিndক গl িনেয়। আজেকর pগিতশীল সমােজর উnত, rিচসmn, িশিkত এবং snরী রাকা। অিফস, সংসার, সnান সব িনপুণ হােত সামলায় @স। রাকার অিফস @বশ নাম-করা। এমিনেতই snর মুেখর জয় সব4t, তার ওপর IIM পাস-আউট MBA রাকা @বশ মন িদেয় কাজ কের। িনndেকরা অবS বেল রাকা তার ওপর-মহেলর েলােকেদর ভালই হাত করেত জােন, িকnt রাকা জােন তার উnিতর একমাt অst তার িনভ4ুল কম4পdিত। Corporate world এ িক কের কাজ করেত হয় @স জােন।

রাকা ভুেলই @গিছল তার @বলায় সব িনয়ম পালেট যায়। @স @য পুrষ নয়। তার ভাল, মn, life-এর priority সব সময়ই অn @কউ decide করেব। এটাই িনয়ম। আমরা যতই উnিত কির আমােদর so called society @ত আমরা এখনও ‘নারী’।

আজ সকােল অিফেস @বশ ভাল @মজােজ ঢুকল @স। আজ Promotion List @বরবার কথা। রাকা Sure, তার Assistant Director হওয়া েকউ আটকােত পারেব না। আেশপােশ আর @কান @যাগf pিতেযাগীও েনই। তার মত িনপুণ হােত Project Delivery খুব কম @লাকই করেত পাের। sতরাং without tension, এখন cধুই Confirmation mail এর অেপkা।

রাকার মেন পড়ল @ছাট @বলায় িক ভীষণ ইpা করত ঠাkর ভাসােনর বাজনার তােল নাচেত, িকnt কখনও পােরিন। ওটা নািক cধু @ছেলেদর নাচ। যখন রাকা teenager, তার সমবয়সী পাড়ার @ছেলরা কত রাত পয4n আডডা মারত, রাকার ভীষণ ইpা করত ওেদর সােথ join করেত, েমেয় বেল @সখােনও যাওয়া বারণ িছল। ভাল @মেয়রা নািক @বিশ রাত অবিধ বাইের থােকনা। রাকা cধুই ভাল @মেয় হেয় @থেকেছ আর @ভেবেছ িনেজ সাবলmী হেত পারেলই সব বারণ @শষ। @মেয় বেল আর @কউ িকছু বারণ করেত পারেবনা। @মেয় বেল আর @স িকছু পাওয়া @থেক বি~ত হেবনা। ভুল অবS @ভেঙিছল িবেয়র পরই। lcরবািড়র সকেলর পছn অপছেnর সােথ িনেজেক পালটােত পালটােত বুেঝিছল এখােনও @স েহের @গল। এখােনও @স cধুই @মেয়।

dপুর িতনেট @বেজ @গল, রাকা mail এর refresh বাটন click করেত করেত tired, হঠাৎ পােশর cabin এর Mr. Chakraborty এক বাk Pastry িনেয় হািজর। রাকা খুব অবাক @চােখ তাকােত িতিন জানােলন, he has promoted to Assistant Director post। িকছুkণ আেগই mail এেসেছ। হািসমুেখ ওনােক congrats জানােলা রাকা। আর িকছু ভাবেত পারেছনা েস। তার বদেল Mr. Chakraborty? Company িক Profit-Loss এর িহেসব টাও ভুেল @গল? রাকা @যভােব রাতিদন পির•ম কের company র উnিত কেরেছ @সটারও @কােনা দাম @নই? আর িকছুেতই কােজ মন বসােত পারল না @স। িনেজেক ভীষণ অপমািনত লাগেছ। এমন @লাভনীয় চাকির হঠাৎ কের পাওয়াও যায়না, নইেল আজই হয়ত resign কের বািড় িফরত।

cধু রাকার কম4েkt রাকার গব4 িছল। রাকা মেন মেন িঠক কেরিছল, এখােন @স িকছুেতই হারেব না। িনেজর কাজ আর dedication িদেয় রাকা বুিঝেয় িদেয়িছল @স ও পাের। @স একজন মাnষ, একটা আলাদা সtা। @স cধুই একজন নারী নয়। িকnt না, এখােনও @স চরম বfথ4। অn েকােনা কারেণ নয়, cধু @মেয় হবার জnই আজ তােক িপিছেয় পড়েত হল। হঠাৎ তীb হেণ4র আওয়ােজ চমক ভাঙল রাকার। অিফস @থেক েবিরেয় হাঁটেত হাঁটেত pায় বািড়র কাছাকািছ এেস @গেছ @স। তাড়াতািড় পা চািলেয় বািড় @পৗঁেছ @বল বাজােলা। দরজা খুলেতই @চাখ পড়ল @ছাT িতিতর এর িদেক। এই অসমেয় মা @ক @দেখ তার @ফাকলা দাঁেতর হািস আর ধেরনা। বুকটা ভের @গল রাকার। িতিতরেক জিড়েয় ধের ওর কােন কােন বলল, তুই িঠক িজতেত পারিব িতিতর। তুই হারিব না। আিম েতােক িকছুেতই হারেত @দেবা না!

পেরর িদন অিফেস ঢুেকই @সাজা @গল Mrs. Sen এর Cabin এ। রাকার immediate boss। মিহলা boss হেলও রাকা @ক খুবই @sহ কেরন। রাকােক @দেখই বুঝেত @পেরেছন আসার কারণ। রাকাও pÁটা েসাজাsিজ ই করল। Mrs. Sen খুব casually বলেলন, ‘রাকা তুিম recently মা হেয়ছ, এই promotion টা @পেল for one year you have to shift to New York. Company র higher managements এবং আমার িনেজর ও মেন হেয়েছ অেতা @ছাট baby




েছাট ?থেক বড়েবলায় Pামল - অিতিথ

ঘেটিছল @য @মেয়টার হােত বইটা িদেয় @য @স িফের যােব তা মাথায় আেস িন। দশ-বােরা িমিনট অৈধয4 হেয় বেস থাকার পর @টিবেলর ওপর বইটা @রেখ িফের যাবার জn যখন @স উেঠ দাঁিড়েয়েছ এমন সময় রীনািদর @ছাটেবান নূপুর হালকা @গালািপরেঙর একটা শািড় পের ঘের ঢুকেতই Sামল sিmত। নূপুেরর গা @থেক @কান একটা নাম না জানা snর ফুেলর মৃd গেn ঘেরর আবহাওয়া এেকবাের বদেল @গল। বয়ঃসিnকােল কাউেক @দেখ তার মেনর @ভতর pথম আেnালেনর সৃিŽ। কথা বলেত িগেয় কী বলেব @ভেব @পল না। ফস4া, িছপিছেপ শরীেরর গঠন, টানা নাক। নূপুর @যন এ পৃিথবীর @মেয় নয়। @চােdা-পেনেরা বছেরর ওরকম snরী ও sঠাম @চহারার @মেয় @স এর আেগ কখেনা েদেখিন। বইটা রীনািদেক িদেত বেল @চয়ার @ছেড় @যই না উেঠ দাঁিড়েয়েছ, িঠক @সই মূhেত4 নূপুর Sামেলর ডান হাতটা আলেতা কের েচেপ ধের @চয়াের বিসেয় িদল। নূপুেরর হােতর @ছাঁয়ায় Sামেলর অজানা একটা চ~লতােবাধ। মেন হেলা @যন িবদfুেতর sশ4 @লেগেছ। েস @কান কথা না বেল @বাকার মতন আবার @চয়াের বেস পড়েলা। নূপুর আসিছ বেল বািড়র @ভতর @থেক এক @pট ভিত4 খাবার এেন সামেন ধরেলা। Sামল হােত @pটটা ধের দায়gেsর মতন বেস। িনেজর বািড়েত ওরকম @pটভিত4 খাবার @স কখনও পায় না। আর নূপুেরর সামেন @খেত িগেয় গলা িদেয় নামেত চায় না। হঠাৎ নূপুেরর িদেক নজর যাওয়ােত @স উপলিb করেলা @য তার @বহাল ও লjাশীল অবsা @দেখ নূপুর @বশ মজা পােp। Sামল ওই অsিsকর পিরেবেশ অেহতুক @বশীkন না @থেক সেnf নামার আেগ বািড় িফের @গল। @সই pথম @স একজন snরী েমেয়র হােতর sেশ4 একটা sেpর জগেত @ভেস @গল। নূপুেরর কথা ভাবেত ভাবেতই তার িদন @কেট @যত। কখেনা িবেয়-িটেয় করার িচnা মেন হয়িন বা চুিপচুিপ @pম কের @বড়ােনাও নয়। cধু মেন হত যিদ নূপুর মােঝ মােঝ ওেদর bুেবরী sTীেটর বািড়েত একা একা @যেত বেল, গl কের, বfাস্, আর িকছু চাই না। cধু ওইটুk হেলই তার জীবেন সবিকছু পাওয়া হেয় যােব।

~ােশর দশক, মনীndনাথ gহঠাkরতা ঘাটশীলা বৃিটশ-ইিNয়া কপার

েকাmািনর @জনােরল মfােনজার, ঘাটশীলার kাইভ sTীেট বািড়। বািড়র তৃতীয় @ছেল Sামেলর dজন দাদা, dজন িদিদ ও @ছাট @বান। সবাই ঘাটশীলায় sুল ও কেলেজ পড়াcেনা কের। একমাt @ছাটেবান বািড়েত, sুেলর বয়স তখনও হয় িন। Sামলেদর পােশ একটা বড় বাগানবািড়, বৃিটশ-ইিNয়া কপার @কাmািনর pিতtাতা িমঃ @জানাথান @ডিভেসর। @শষ জীবেন িনেজর @দশ ইংলfােN িফের যাবার সময় সমsিকছু কলকাতার ইs-এিসয়ান মােচ4N @কাmািনর অিধকারী িশিশর @ঘাষালেক িবিk কের @গেছ। অেনকিদন বািড়টা খািল থাকার পর িশিশর @ঘাষাল সপিরবাের কলকাতা @ছেড় sায়ীভােব ঘাটশীলােত থাকেত আরm কের। অিভজাত সmpদােয়র @ঘাষাল পিরবার েশৗিখন, দলবdভােব থাকেত ভালবােস। @ছেলেমেয়েদর পড়াcেনা বােদও @খলাধুেলা ও গানবাজনায় িশিkত কের @তালা পছn কের। িকছুিদেনর @ভতর @ঘাষালরা Sামলেদর সবার সােথ ভাব জিমেয় খুব খুশী। মেনর মতন রাতুল ও িমিলেক @পেয় Sামল সারািদন তােদর সােথ েখলা কের। িকnt পের অpতfািশতভােব রাতুল- িমিলরেদর সেŋ েখলাধুেলা বn কের @দয়। রাতুল-িমিলরা ডাকাডািক কেরও তােক দেল টানেত পাের না। @ছাটেবলার মায়ামুg @সৗnয4তা @কাথায় @যন হািরেয় যায়। সাত বছর বয়েস Sামেলর ঘাটশীলা উইিলয়াম গােড4ন sুেল পড়া আরm। তখন sুলবfােগ বইখাতা @নওয়ার pচলন িছল না। @ছেলরা বইখাতা পাঁজাকের ডানহােত এবং @পনিসল ও রবার পfােNর পাশ পেকেট িনেয় sুেল @যত। জামাকাপড় পরা সmেn বাধfতামূলক @কান িনয়ম অথবা sুল ইউিনফরম পেড় আসার চল িছল না। @স সমেয় Sামেলর শরীেরর গঠন @রাগা-পটকা। kােস অŋ ছাড়া অn িবষেয় মাঝািরমােনর, বরং একটু নীেচর িদেক। পরীkায় pথম অথবা িdতীয় কখেনা হয় িন। িটচারেদর কথা বুঝেত @দির @হাত। pেÁর উtর @বশীর ভাগ িদন িদেত পারত না। @খলাধুেলােত pাইজ Tাইজ @কানিদন পায়িন। িনিদ4Ž সমেয়র আেগ লুিকেয় বড়েদর উপnাস বই পড়া আরm কের। নরনারী ও তােদর আনn উপেভােগর িদক্ সmেn @কৗতূহল @বশী। পড়াcেনা করেত ভাল লাগেতা না। পাড়ার বnুেদর আDায় িনিষd @কান িকছুর সnান…উেtজনা…ও িনচুsের িনিষd আেলাচনার হাত ধের Sামল বড়েবলায় পা রাখল।

সমেয়র গিতর সােথ sুলজীবেনর অেনক ঘটনা হািরেয় @গেছ। মfািTক পােশর পর Sামল @সN থমাস সােয়n কেলেজ পেড়। বয়স @বেড়েছ িকnt sােsfর উnিত হয়িন। @চহারা kয়ােট, গাল ভাŋা, মুখ•ী snর না। িবsয়কর @কান িবষয় মাথায় আেস না। তার সবিকছু একমাt েলখাপড়ায় সীমাবd। গানবাজনা অথবা @খলাধুেলােত উৎসাহী নয়। একই kােসর অেশাক কী snর @দখেত, ফস4া বিলt @চহারা, চামড়ার চিট পােয় হাঁটেল মেন হয় @যন একজন রাজkমার @হঁেট চেলেছ। অn একজন বnু sপন কী চমৎকার গীটার বািজেয় গান গায়। ছাt ইউিনয়েনর @pিসেডN রমাপদর বkৃতা cনেল কেলেজর ছাt-ছাtীেদর রk গরম হেয় ওেঠ। িকnt Sামেলর কথাবাত4ায় @কমন @যন একটা হতাশার ভাব। বkৃতা @দওয়া @তা দূেরর কথা, িঠকমতন িনেজর মত pকাশই করেত পাের না। তােক িনেজর জn যথাথ4ই মুশিকেল পড়েত হল। সহপািঠনীেদর কােছ অেশাক, sপন িকংবা রমাপদ অেনক @বশী আকষ4ণীয়। dঃখদায়ক @য kােসর @কান @মেয় ভুেলও বেল না Sামল তুিম িফিজেk কত ভাল। একটু বুিঝেয় @দেব। বfাস এটুkই অেনক।

Sামেলর িদিদর এক বাnবী ডাkার রীনা িমtর বািড় ঘাটশীলার bুেবরী sTীেট। @দখেত ফস4া, হািসখুিশ ও @গালগাল @চহারার। সবাই রীনািদ নােম ডােক। একবার একটা বই @দওয়ার জn Sামেলর িদিদ রীনািদর বািড়েত পািঠেয়িছল। Sামল একলা কখন bুেবরী sTীেট যায় িন। অেনক খুঁেজটুেজ রীনািদর বািড় @পৗঁেছ দরজায় ঘন্টা বািজেয় দাঁিড়েয় আেছ। অেনকkন অেপkার পর একটা @ছাট্ @মেয় বািড়র দরজা খুেল @ভতের েযেত বেল। তারপর pায় অnকার একটা ঘের বিসেয়, নূপুরিদ এkুিন আসেছ বেল @দৗেড় বাড়ীর @ভতর চেল যায়। সবিকছু এত তাড়াতািড়

Sামল যখন থাড4 ইয়াের পােশর বািড়র িমিল একই কেলেজর ফাs4 ইয়ােরর ছাtী। আবার নতুন কের আলাপ হেয়েছ। একিদন @স কেলজ


SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 েথেক বািড় িফরিছল। আকাশ @মঘলা, মােঝমােঝ িটপ্ িটপ্ কের বৃিŽ পড়েছ। রাsায় @কউ @নই। িমিলর @সিদন জrির @কান kাস িছল না। কেলজ-ইউিনয়fােনর বাৎসিরক অntােন িপয়ােনা বািজেয় রবীndসŋীত গাইেব। মহড়া @দওয়া দরকার। একটা লাল ছাতা মাথায় বািড় িফরিছল। রাsায় Sামলেক @দেখ তাড়াতািড় ওর কােছ এিগেয় @গল। @মঘলািদেন মাt একবার @চাখােচািখ। snরী িমিলর ফস4া @চহারায় টানা লjাভারনত dখানা গভীর @চাখ তােক এেকবাের িনেsজ কের েফেলিছল। বড়েবলায় আেগ @কান @মেয়েক অত কাছ @থেক @দেখ িন। তখনকার িদেন চট্ কের @ছেলরা @মেয়েদর অথবা @মেয়রা @ছেলেদর সেŋ কথাটথা বলেতা না, তাকােতও মানা িছল।


এক বছেরর মাথায় Sামেলর ঘাটশীলা পাঠ @শেষ পুেনেত ইন্িজিনয়ািরং পড়া আরm, @হােsলর কিঠন জীবন, ছাtসমােজর @বপেরায়া আচরণ, পরীkায় পাশ করার চাপ, বাবা-মা, আtীয়sজন @ছেড় দূের থাকা ইতfািদ সবিকছু িমিলেয় চার-পাঁচ বছর কী কের @য @কেট িগেছ তা Sামেলর মেন @নই। অn পিরেবেশ নতুন বnু, নতুন িবষয়, পুরেনা অেনক ঘটনা ভুেল @গেলও িমিলর সেŋ @যাগােযাগ িচিঠর মাধfেম চলেতা। @স িমিলর িচিঠেত অেনক @pরণা ও ভালবাসা @পেয়েছ। চাকরী জীবেনর pারেm Sামল আবার ঘাটশীলায় @ফরত চেল আেস। িমিল পড়াcেনা @শষ কের পাড়ার @ছেল @মেয়েদর িনেয় িনজেদর বািড়েত @ছাট একটা গােনর sুল খুেলেছ। Sামল @সখােন যায়।

েজাের বৃিŽ নামােত এক ছাতার তলায় dজেন @কানরকেম মাথা বাঁিচেয় িমিলেদর বািড়র বাইেরর বারাnার ছােতর তলায় িগেয় দাঁিড়েয় িছল। dজেনই বাকfহীন ও আধিভেজ অবsায় মুেখামুিখ দাঁিড়েয় @কান্ িবষয়বst িনেয় কথা আরm করেব @ভেব পািpল না। িমিল কথাবাত4ায় অেনক @বশী দk, @কানরকম ইতsতঃ না কের pথেম বলেলা এেসা বািড়র @ভতের বসেব চল। Sামল @ছাটেবলার অlভাষী «কপরা িমিলেক আর বড়েবলার িছপিছেপ চটপেট িমিলেক @মলােত পারিছল না। শাড়ীেত তােক অেনক snরী। িমিল িপয়ােনার সেŋ রবীndসŋীত @গেয় @শানাল –

অেনকিদন @বকার থাকার পর টাটা পাওয়ার , @বােmেত চাকিরর ইNারিভউ এ ডাক। ইNারিভউ @দওয়ার সােথসােথ @য চাকির @পেয় যােব @সই ধারণা Sামেলর িছল না। তােক এক মােসর মেধf @বােmেত কােজ @যাগ িদেত হেব। তারপর @সখান @থেক হােতনােত কাজ @শখার জn dবছর ইংলfােN @যেত হেব। জীবেন pথম িনেজর pকৃত @যাগfতার দাম জানেত @পের Sামল অসmব sখী। ঘাটশীলায় িফের @বােm ও িবেদেশ যাবার psিতেত বfs। @স @ভেবিছল চাকিরর খবর @জেন িমিল খুব আনিnত হেব িকnt খবর পাওয়ার পর @থেক িমিলেক আর আেগর মতন হািসখুশী @দখাত না।

আিম @তামার সেŋ @বঁেধিছ আমার pাণ sেরর বাঁধেন -তুিম জান না, আিম @তামাের @পেয়িছ অজানা সাধেন।। . . . তুিম জান না, @ঢেক @রেখিছ @তামার নাম রিঙন ছায়ার আpাদেন।।

িবদায় @নওয়ার আেগর মুহূেত4 িমিলর সােথ Sামেলর @শষ @দখা হয় ঘাটশীলায়। িমিলর বড় বড় কােলা @চাখ dেটা জেল ভের @গেছ। Sামেলরও িচিঠ িদও বলার পর কNেরাধ। কথা বলেত িগেয়ও আর পারেলা না। ওই ভােব Sামেলর চাকরী ও িবেদশ যাtা আরm। @বাmাই ও ইংলfাN @থেক @স িমিলেক অেনক িচিঠ িলেখেছ। িচিঠর উtের িমিল pথম pথম ভিব²ত জীবেনর নানারকম পিরকlনার কথা িলখেতা। তারপর ধীের ধীের িচিঠর উtর পাওয়া বn হেয় @গল। @দেশ িফের sায়ীভােব @বােmেত থাকার আেগ ঘাটশীলায় িগেয় @শােন @য pায় dবছর আেগ িমিলর িবেয় হেয় @গেছ। মেনর কত কথা না বলা @থেক @গল।

িমিলর গােন @কমন @যন একটা মম4sশ4ী আেবগ। @স এতই অিভভূত @য অnেকান জগেত চেল @গেছ। আেগ @তা এরকম @কানিদন হয় িন। এরপর নতুন কের @গাপেন dজেনর @মলােমশার সূtপাত।



SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2015 •িমকরা অেনক @নাংরা কাজ কের। যাই @হাক অn িকছু িচnা না কেরই @স দরখাs িদল। ইছাপুের তখন ৪০ জন ছােtর জn ৪৬৪৭ জন @ছেল পরীkা িদল। নানাpকার িলিখত ও @মৗিখক পরীkার পর @শষ পরীkাটা িছল খািল হােত একটা @টিবল আঁকা। িনতাই িকছুেতই @সটােক @শষ করেত পারেছনা। একজন িশkক ওেক @দেখ বলল “আর িক করেত চাইছ, িকছুইেতা খারাপ হয়িন”। পের ওর হােতর @পিnলটা িনেয় @টিবলটা একটু অলŋরন কের িদল। ১৫ই িডেসmর িশkাটা চালু হেব, আর ওর চাkরীর িচিঠটা এল ১৮ই তািরেখ।

িনতাই-এর কািহনী Arabinda Roy Born in Bangladesh, he grew up in India. Design engineer by profession, he worked in Switzerland for 41 years. Post retirement, he keeps busy with friends and family. He also wrote a book „An Atelier“. He wishes our next generation to not only assimilate with the Swiss culture but also remain rooted to Indian culture and traditions. Contact:


উিনশ বছর বয়েস িনতাই ইছাপুের @Tিনং িনেত ঢুকল। dই বছর ধের ইছাপুের pথম @Tিনং কাটল। এরপর আরও dই বছর অmরনােথর “আিট4জান্ @Tিনং sুেল” এবং ছাtিনবােস @থেক @কেট @গল। প~মবেষ4 “@মিশন টুল েpােটাটাইপ্ ফfাkরীর” অmরনােথ িশkা @শষ হল। @Tিনংএর পর চাkরীটা এই অড4nাn ফfাkরীেতই হল। এই sুল এবং ফfাkরীটা »তরী কের জুিরেখর “@মিশন টুল ওয়াক4স্ ওেয়রিলকন-বfুরেল”। এবং ১৩ই জাnয়ারী ১৯৫৩ সেন অেনক উ—পেদর @লােকেদর সেŋ pধানমntী পিNত জওহরলাল @নেহr এবং sইৎজারলfােNর িমঃ এিমল @গয়গ4 বfুরেল এই িশlসংsার উেdাধন কেরন। গভন4েমন্েটর অড4nাn ফfাkরীর িনয়ম অnযায়ী আরও ৫ বছর ওেদর @কান েকাmানীেত চাkরী করেত হেব। এই @মিশনটুল ফfাkরীটা sইস এবং জাম4ানেদর @মিশেন ভরা। তাই ঐ dিট @দশ িনতাইর @দখার ইpা িছল। অিত সহেজই ১ বছর sইৎজারলfান্েড ও ১ বছর জাম4ানীেত চাkরী @পল। ওর বাবা একহাজার টাকা বN, অmরনােথ িদল আর এেদেশ আসার @pেনর িটিকটও িদল। সেŋ আরও একহাজার টাকা িদল। @সটা তখন sইস «fােŋ ৯০০, (মােন টাকা-«fাŋ pায় সমান িছল)।

তাই-এর জn বাংলােদেশর চাপাইর gােম, ৪ঠা মাঘ ১৩৪২ বাংলা

সেন। এটা ২৪.১ উtর অkাংেশ এবং ৯০.৩ পূব4 dািঘমােত। ওর মামাবাড়ীেত একটা অেশৗচঘের মােন @ডড়াঘের জেnর pথম মাসটা কাটােত হেয়েছ। @দেশর িনয়ম অnযায়ী এই pথম মাসটা মােয়র বুেকর dধ ছাড়া আর অn @কান িকছুই @মেলিন। একমাস পর একমাt জলপেথ @নৗকা কের িনেজেদর বাড়ীেত ঢাকা সদেরর তুরাগ নদীর তীের, আcিলয়া gােম িগেয় বড় হেত লাগল।

পঁিচশ বছর বয়েস sইৎজfারলােN এেস pথম চার বছর লােŋনথােলর “উলিরখ আমান” @কাmানীেত কাজ করল। এরমেধf @দেশ িগেয় িবেয় করল। িফের এেস ওর @কাmানীেক ওর stীর জn এখােন আসার অnমিত @বর করেত বলল। ওর @কাmানীেত সরকারী দpর @থেক উtর এল “@ছেলটােতা এেদেশ কাজ িশখেত এেসেছ, ওর উিচত এখন @দেশ িফের যাওয়া, ওর েদেশর @সবা করা”।

সাত বছর বয়েস একিদন ওর ঠাkমা বলল @য ওেক sুেল @লখাপড়া িশখেত েযেত হেব। pথেম ওর @কমন @কমন লাগিছল, যাই @হাক পেরর িদন সকােল ওর এক বnুর সােথ আcিলয়া pাইমারী sুেল @পৗঁেছ @গল। sুেল মাŽারমশাই িজেjস করেলন “@তামার নাম িক?” িনতাই। “িপতা?” @সটাও িলেখ িনেলন। sুেলর খাতায় নাম উঠল। বয়স বা অnেকান িকছুরই pেয়াজন হয়িন। sুেল চার বছেরর @শেষর িদেক মাŽারমশাই-এর সেŋ জয়েদবপুর িগেয় ঢাকা েবােড4র বৃিt পরীkায় উtীণ4 হেয় pাইমারী sুল @শষ করল।

উনিtশ বছর বয়েস জুিরেখর “এlার উইস” @কাmানীেত চাkরী িনেয় ওর বউেক এেদেশ িনেয় আসেত পারল। এিদেক ওেদর একটা @মেয় হল এবং এেদেশর এক @টকিনকfাল উপািধ অজ4ন করল। চার বছর এই @কাmানীেত চাkির কের @বশী মাইনায় জুিরেখর “bাউন @বােভরী”@ত চাkরী িনল। dই মাস কােজর পর িরখতাস4িভেল “@করােগ” আরও @বশী মাইনায় চাkরীেত েগল। তখন @সখােন ১ বছর চাkরীর পর এক বnুর কথায় জুিরেখর কােছই rইিsকেনর “@মেটয়র” নােম আেরকটা নতুন @কাmানীেত এল। @কাmানীটা ভাল যািpলনা, তাই এক বছেরর মাথায় @সখানটা @ছেড় rইিটর “@মিশনটুল ফfাkরী”@ত @যাগ িদল। এখােনই বাইশ বছর চাkরীর পর ওর চাkরী জীবন েশষ হল। ৩ @ছেল @মেয়েক @লখাপড়া িশিখেয়েছ। এেকর পর এেক িনেজেদর সংসার gিছেয় িনেয়েছ, িনতাই িক করেব, পাথর @কেট মূিত4 »তরী করেত লাগল। এমনিক ওর িশlকম4 সmেn একটা বইও pকাশ কের @ফলল।

এগােরা বছর বয়েস দূের এক আtীেয়র বাড়ীেত sুেল পড়ার জn থাকেত হেয়েছ। @সখান @থেক িবrিলয়া হাইsুেল ভিত4 হল। sুেল @কান িলিখত িববৃিতর বা @কান িকছুরই দরকার হয়িন। িনতাইেক নাম-ধাম ইতfািদ বলেত হেয়েছ। dবছর kাস ৫ এবং ৬ @কেট @গল। এখােন cধু এই পয4fnই পড়া েযত। েতেরা বছর বয়েস ওর িপিসমােদর বাড়ী চেল এল। @সখান @থেক একটু দূেরই গাছা হাইsুেল ভিত4 হল। সpম kাসটা ভালই কাটল। অŽম kােস পড়া cr হল। এখােনই এক িবরাট দূঘ4টনা ঘটল। ১৯৪৭ সেনর ১৫ই আগŽ বŋেদশ ভাগ হেয় পি©মবŋ এবং ১৬ই আগŽ পূব4 পািকsান মুসলমানেদর জn গঠন হয়। চলিত কথায় পূব4বŋ বেল। এই পূব4বাংলার িহndরা pায় সমs জিম জমার মািলক িছল। @দশ sাধীনতার পর মুসলমানরা গরীবই রেয় @গল। েসজn ১৯৫০ সেন একিদন রােt মুসলমানরা িহndেদর লািঠেপটা কের, ওেদর বাড়ীেত আgন লািগেয়, িচৎকার কের, ভয় @দিখেয় চেল @যেত বলল। েসিদন রােt @দৗিড়েয় পাড়ার অnাnেদর সেŋ কাশীপুেরর এক িহnd রাজবাড়ীেত চেল িগেয় pােণ @বঁেচ @গল িনতাই। পেরর িদন সকােল নদীর ওপাের, খাল িবল ধানেkত @পিরেয় একা ওর িনজবাড়ী আcিলয়া চেল এল।

ওর এই @শেষর জীবনটা cধু িশlকলা িনেয়ই বfs নয়। িনেজর বাগানবাড়ীেত িসম্, @বgন্, শশা, আলু ইতfািদ লািগেয় খায়। gােমর েলােকেদর সেŋ pিত সpােহ ১ িদন সাইেকল চালায়। @কান এক pাকৃিতক snর জায়গায় pিতমােস এক সেŋর @লাকজনেদর সেŋ দীঘ4 পয4টেন যায়। আর একটা কথা না িলখেলই নয়। cধু পুrষেদর সেŋ pিত সpােহ ১ িদন সnfােবলা “@কারাস” গান করেত যায়। @দেশর গােনর সেŋ এত আলাদা তাল, sর, লয়, এgেলা হাইেডন্, @মাজfাট4, @ভরিড @লােকরা »তরী কের এবং িলেখ @গেছন। একিদন সnfায় কেয়কজন িনতাই-এর জানােশানা @লােকেদর সেŋ @দখা, ওরা বলল “িনতাই, তুইও @তা আমােদর সেŋ গান করেত আসেত পািরস”। িনতাই বলল @য @ছাটেবলায় ওেক গান িশখেত @যেত হেয়েছ, িকnt ও @কান গানই করেত জােননা। “@মnার @খাের”র @pিসেডN (গােনর সেŋর) বলল “@হই, এটা @শখা যায়”। পেরর সpােহ িনতাই ভাল জামাকাপড় পেড় গােনর আসের দাঁড়াল, কারণ এখােন cধু gােমর উঁচুদেরর @লােকরাই @যেত পাের। @কান •িমকেদর এখােন sান @নই। @গাটা িতিরেশর মত @লােকরা একসেŋ দাঁিড়েয় ১ম sর, ২য় sর, ৩য় sর ও ৪থ4 sের ভাগ কের, এই একই কথা চারেট sের গান করেত হয়। @যমন Josef Haydn এর “Komm,

েতেরা বছেরর িনতাই ঢাকা @থেক মািনকগ… হেয় জাহােজ ও পের @Tেন কের বড4ার kস কের পি©মবেŋর িশবিনবাস @পৗঁছাল। ওর দাদা িশবিনবাস েবািড4ং হাইsুেল পড়ত, ওখােনই িনতাই kাস ৮এ ভিত4 হেয় িনি©েn পড়াcনা করেত লাগল। ওর মা-বাবার কাছ @থেক খবর @পল @য ওরাও আcিলয়া @ছেড় পি©মবাংলার কাঁচড়াপাড়া চেল আসেছ। কাঁচড়াপাড়া িমউিনিসপfািলিটর েচয়ারমfান িছল ওর @মেসামশাই। উিন িবরাট এলাকার একখN জিম িকেন েসখােন বাড়ী »তরী করেত উপেদশ িদেলন। রাজিমstীর উপেদশ মত ইট sরিক িকেন বাড়ী »তরী হল। েচােdা বছেরর িনতাই কাঁচড়াপাড়া হাইsুেল ভিত4 হল, @সখােন নাম-ধাম, জn তািরখ (েমাটামুিট আnােজ) সবই িদেত হেয়েছ। িতন বছর পর kাস ১০এ sুল ফাইনাল পরীkা িদল। ফল @বেরােত ৩/৪ মাস @লেগ যায়। এই ফাঁেক িনতাই দিজ4িগরীর @Tিনং sুেল িগেয় জামা পfাN »তরী করেত িশখল। পরীkা পােশর পর »নহািট কেলেজ ভিত4 হল। তখন ওর পাড়ার এক @ছেলবnু বলল @য ইছাপুর রাইেফল ফfাkরীেত পাঁচ বছেরর একটা নতুন @Tিনং চালু করেব। কাগেজ খুব িবjাপন িদেp। pথেমই ওর মেন হল @য ফfাkরীেত

hol-der Lenz, -des Him-mels Ga-be, Komm! Aus ihrem To-des-schlaf, aus ih-rem Schlaf er-we-cke die Natur -” গােনর িশkক আবার এেদেশর িবlিবদfালেয়র উপািধpাp। এখন @শষ কথা “বেnমাতরম”




Rom Azad Rahaman Wie die meisten Inder/innen in der Schweiz macht er einen 08/15-Job in einer IT Firma und lernt Deutsch, um eines Tages Kafka im Original zu lesen. Email:


oder ihres Geschäfts. Ihre Diskussion in meiner Muttersprache, Bengali, höre ich mit. Selten finde ich ein jungver mähltes, glückliches Paar, das an irgendeiner Sehenswürdigkeit fotografiert werden möchte, die Frau trägt einen farbigen Shalwar Kamiz und die Augen ihres Manns funkeln vor Freude, mag sein, er hat aus reinem Glück wenig Erfolg in Rom gefunden.

sieht man überall in Rom? Eine Piazza,

einen Piazzale oder einen Brunnen alle 50 Meter. Auf einem Berg Roms hat man einen schönen Blick auf die zahllosen Dome und Kreuze. Auf jeder Seite der Strassen gibt es Häuser mit dicken Säulen und übergrossen Türen. Und römische Ruinen, das Gerippe eines altertümlichen Theaters, ganz oder halb stehende Säulen, die die brutale Zeit irgendwie fast überlebt haben. Alle sind mehr als 2000 Jahre alt. Auch findet man auf der Strasse Leute, die sich nie an die Regeln halten und Autos, die noch unbändiger als sie sind.

Wer sind sie? Wieso sind so viele Leute aus Bangladesch nach Rom gekommen? Das weiss ich eigentlich nicht. Ich wundere mich, dass ihr Überleben in dieser entfernten fremden Stadt wahrscheinlich ebenso wesentlich wie das Kolosseum gegen alle Angriffe der Zeit ist. Aber dann fällt mein Blick plötzlich auf eine herrliche Szene in einer bedrängten Strasse. In der kurzen Pause von seiner eintönigen Arbeit singt ein bengalischer Hausierer eine Ballade, die auf dem weltbekannten indischen Epos, ‚Das Ramayana‘, basiert. In einer Mischsprache aus Italienisch und Bengali, und darüber amüsieren sich seine italienischen Kollegen sehr mit begeistertem Klatschen oder lautem Lachen. Ich sehe, dass ich nun einen raren Moment der Solidarität der Menschheit miterlebe.

Ausserdem sehe ich überhaupt fast überall die Gesichter der abgestumpften, enttäuschten, ärgerlichen Immigranten aus Bangladesch, die durchgehend die Touristen zum Kauf irgendwelcher billiger, seltsamer Spielzeuge anlocken. Wenige, die aufdringlich den schönen Mädchen die Blumen zu verkaufen versuchen, sind offenbar besser als andere. Nach vielen erfolglosen Versuchen sitzen manche auf der Strasse und diskutieren miteinander über das Problem ihrer Familie

িগজ2ার STতায়

িলUােতর ধাের



মার হাত ধের

pকাN সব দরজা @পিরেয় ঢুেক পড়িছ িনsbতায় িন©ুেপ পা @ফেল মntমুg কান @পেত cনিছ েকারােসর pিতnিন।

mােতর ধাের ঘিনেয় আসা

জমাট ঠাNা সেnfgেলায় আমরা কথা বলিছ না হােত হাত রাখিছ না cধু পাশাপািশ বেস চুমুক িদিp কড়া এkেpেসার কােপ,

উদাস @চােখ তািকেয় @দখিছ গভীর pাথ4নায় @বাজা িsg d-েচাখ েমামবািতর উÕ আেলায় উjjল মুখ।

আর অবাক হেয় @দখিছ রাsার উপর অজs ভাসমান রঙীন মায়াবী @মামবািত।

িনেমেষর জnও পলক েফলেত ভয় হয় পােছ @তামায় হািরেয় @ফিল িগজ4ার শূnতায়।

ওরা গl cিনেয় যায় আমােদর অdূত এক জনেমর।




Berühmte Schweizer Autoren Themen nur mit Groteske und Humor begegnen kann. Ausserdem nahm Dürrenmatt als gesellschaftskritischer Autor in Vorträgen und Reden auch Stellung zur internationalen Politik. In Dürrenmatts ehemaligen Wohnhaus in Neuenburg befindet sich das „Centre Dürrenmatt“, wo regelmässig Ausstellungen und Veranstaltungen zu seinem Schaffen stattfinden.

Claudia Haag, 1965, verh., 2 Kinder. Ursprünglich Pflegefachfrau. Seit 15 Jahren mit Leidenschaft im Bibliothekenwesen tätig. Leitet die Schulund Gemeindebibliothek Langnau am Albis. Kontakt:


Max Frisch 1911 - 1990

Schweizer Literatur wird in die vier

Landessprachen unterteilt, nämlich in deutsche, französische, italienische und rätoromanische Literatur. Man spricht also nicht von „einer“ Schweizer Literatur, vielmehr hat die Sprache in der Literatur mehr Einfluss als die nationalen Grenzen.

Berühmteste Werke • Stiller (1954) • Homo Faber (1957) • Herr Biedermann und die Brandstifter (1956) • Andorra (1961)

Deutschsprachige Autoren aus der Schweiz, wie Jeremias Gotthelf oder Gottfried Keller erlangten bereits im 19. Jahrhundert im gesamten deutschsprachigen Raum an Wichtigkeit und ihre Werke gelten als Klassiker der deutschen Literatur. Mit Johanna Spyris Heidi-Büchern welche im Zeitraum von 1879-1881 entstanden, wurde die deutsche Sprachgrenze überschritten. „Heidi“ wurde in 50 Sprachen übersetzt und gehört zu den weltweit meistverkauften Büchern aller Zeiten. Während den Kriegsjahren isolierte sich die Schweiz, das Literaturschaffen stagnierte und fand keinen internationalen Anschluss. Erst in der zweiten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts rückten wichtige Autoren wie Friedrich Dürrenmatt und Max Frisch die Schweiz wieder ins literarische Rampenlicht.

Max Frisch war Architekt und Schriftsteller. In jungen Jahren war er sich nicht sicher, welchen Lebensentwurf er wählen soll. Da er der Meinung war, eine Existenz als Schriftsteller lasse sich nicht mit einem bürgerlichen Lebensentwurf vereinbaren, arbeitete er zuerst einige Jahre als Architekt. Den Durchbruch als Schriftsteller schaffte er 1954 mit dem Roman „Stiller“. Es war sein erster "Bestseller"; erstmals durchbrach die Auflage eines Buches von ihm die Millionengrenze. Im selben Jahr entschied er sich endgültig für die Schriftstellerei und verliess darauf seine Frau mit drei Kindern. 1958 wurde sein Theaterstück "Biedermann und die Brandstifter" am Schauspielhaus Zürich uraufgeführt. Es zählt zu den bedeutendsten deutschsprachigen Bühnenstücken des 20. Jahrhunderts. Unzählige weitere Romane, Theaterstücke und Hörspiele folgten. Ein wesentlicher Teil von Frischs Arbeit war seine hochentwickelte Fähigkeit, Fragen zu stellen:

Die heutige Autorenlandschaft der Schweiz ist sehr vielfältig, zu den aktuellen Schweizer Schriftstellern zählen unter anderem Lukas Bärfuss, Peter Bichsel, Silvio Blatter, Alex Capus, Lukas Hartmann, Franz Hohler, Silvio Huonder, Milena Moser, Adolf Muschg, Paul Nizon, Erica Pedretti, Peter Stamm, Martin Suter, Markus Werner, Urs Widmer

"Lieben sie jemanden? Und woraus schliessen Sie das?" "Gesetzt den Fall, Sie haben nie einen Menschen umgebracht: wie erklären Sie sich, dass es nie dazu gekommen ist?", fragt Frisch in elf Fragebögen im "Tagebuch 1966 bis 1971". Teilweise provokative Fragen, die bei Leserinnen und Lesern Emotionen hervorrufen. Max Frisch war urban und weltgewandt, bereits als 22 jähriger reiste er durch Ost- und Südeuropa: Das erforderliche Geld verdiente er mit Reiseberichten. Sein Lebenslauf liest sich sehr bewegt, Max Frisch reiste oft, er lebte in Berlin, Rom und New York, heiratete ein zweites Mal und liess sich wiederum scheiden, er hatte Erfolg bei den Frauen, viele Affären und verschiedene Lebensgefährtinnen. Max Frisch war aber auch zornig und skeptisch, sein Verhältnis zur Schweiz ambivalent, er forderte mit seiner streitbaren Art die bürgerlichen Kreise heraus. Kurz vor seinem Tod, erfuhr er im Rahmen der „Fichenaffäre“, dass er s e i t s e i n e r Te i l n a h m e a m i n t e r n a t i o n a l e n Friedenskongress 1948 von den Schweizer Behörden 40 Jahre lang bespitzelt worden war. Seit 1981 gibt es an der ETH Zürich eine öffentliche Sammlung über Leben und Werk von Max Frisch, das „Max Frisch Archiv“.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt 1921 – 1990 Berühmteste Werke • Der Richter und sein Henker (1952) • Der Besuch der alten Dame (1956) • Die Physiker (1962)

Dürrenmatt studierte Philosophie, Naturwissenschaften und Germanistik. Bereits als Jugendlicher zeichnete und malte er intensiv, er war erst 26 jährig, als sein erstes Stück am Züricher Schauspielhaus uraufgeführt wurde. Zu seinem Werk gehören unzählige T heater stücke, Prosa und Kriminalromane. Dürrenmatt entwickelte den Stil der „Tragikkomödie“, er wollte damit die Zuschauer zum Nachdenken anregen und war davon überzeugt, dass man gewissen 104









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