Sumana Chakraborty

Everything I can really imagine to be REAL…

Earth Hour Pledge of a Foundryman

Support Earth Hour & Save Energy

Support Earth Hour & Save Energy

“I help you to grow crops and make clothes. I help you to purify and supply water. I help you to mine coal, metals, minerals and oil. I help you to build thousands of miles of highways and railroads, and manufacture locomotives, trucks and automobiles. I help you to manufacture airplanes and ships.

I help you to make arms and ammunitions to protect nations. I help you to make tools to carry out work. I helped you in your space missions sending you safely to moon and Mars. I helped you to dive into the depths of oceans and climb the highest peaks.

You use my products in hospitals, banks, airports, railway stations, post offices, schools, supermarkets and even morgue. I recycle waste and present a healthier environment.

Throughout my life I better your living standards. And to help me do all these, you need to stop wasting energy.

Save Energy… Support Earth Hour by Switching off Power from 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM on Saturday, March 29” – Pledge of a Foundryman. The Institute of Indian Foundrymen- IIF

SoLo Changers – The Social Local Changers of Bengal 1st meet-up

We often discuss social and economic issues, challenges of startup ecosystems and various other serious problems that are gradually taking a toll on our minds, our society, our very own surrounding.  But, what if, for a change we no more discuss issues, and try to hunt for a solution?

You just cannot hack your way to a social change. So what can be done about it?

You need to take a plunge, dive into the pool of talented people, create an army of changers and together make a better world.

We have a lot of talented people around us – people whose work impact others in many magnitude. But we have no idea of what their niche interest areas are, where lie their domain knowledge, whom to connect with when the right time comes? So, why can’t we bring together all these talented people (as many as we can) and build a community of changers – the “SoLo Changers”.

Thus evolved the idea of forming “SoLo Changers” – a brainchild of Aninda Das, B. Arvind, Surmi Roy and Myself – an initiative to bring together all those who are Social Local Changers.

The first meet-up of “SoLo Changers” took place at Wise Owl with 14 Changers (on a special invitation basis) on March 1, 2014.  Aninda, the moderator of the session, explained “SoLo Changers” through a welcome note. The format of the session was planned keeping in mind Kolkata’s very own ‘adda’ culture.

SoLo Changers 1st Meet-up

SoLo Changers 1st Meet-up

Aninda began with asking the youngest member, Arpan Kumar Mukherjee, a 3rd year engineering student, about his journey and challenges. Arpan talked about some of the most common challenge faced by engineering students. Placement is a big concern and often the students struggle to even connect with the right companies.

As Arpan mentioned that it is very important to become an Engineer in order to be successful in life, the focus shifted to young and talented Pankaj Kumar, who is a college dropout, has no formal IT training, yet runs an IT company offering employment to around 10 people for the past 5 years. Pankaj talked about his struggle to make ends meet when he came to Kolkata for the first time in search of a job. There were days, when he had to survive on a single piece of bread, but he never lost hope. A self-learner, Pankaj, believes it is more important to have a will to go with your passion than getting a formal degree.

What is most important to become a change agent? Vijaya Das, a graphics designer by profession gave her vote to talent and skills. She, like almost every other kid, would someday want to be a superhero and a hip-hop star some other day. Pressure from the home made her sit for engineering entrance exams, although she hardly had any interest in it. It was one day she saw an advertisement of a design school and was determined to become a graphics designer. Her passion for painting since her childhood helped her to learn quicker than the rest. Today, this young talented lady runs her own design company.

A child prodigy, the young and talented Samantak Sinha is much loved by the Bengali music lovers. He was sensational for the young with “Bandh Bhenge Dao”, his very first playback in popular TV serial Gaaner Opare. His “not-an-usual-voice-for-Rabindrasangeet” has made him a household name.  Like every other kid, Samantak too would live in his own fantasy world. One day, he shared, he saw a band party in his neighborhood hired to some wedding. Their fully ornamented clothes, and the rhythmic music the band played, attracted him so much that he wanted to grew up and have his own band. He would whine much the next pujo to have a band party attire. Today his dream to form a band has come true with “Samantak and Mates”. It was not an easy journey for him. Finding a suitable rehearsal space, visiting recording studios, keeping all night awake to get that perfect tune to a new song he wrote…all were a part of his daily routine. The struggle towards perfection is endless the singer believes. Learning and improvement is a continuous process.

Picking a queue from Samantak, Aninda introduced Anirban Saha, a Tagore enthusiast. Like many other Bengalis he would quote Tagore while chatting with friends or on Facebook wall. He would find many (surprisingly the “many” also included many Bengalis) would ask him to define it in simpler words or translate those poetic creations in English. This drove the passion young Anirban to build and launch “Tagore Quotes”, an application that translates the verses of Tagore. Anirban, besides being a software developer from TCS, is also known for being a fantastic photographer, blogger and social media reputation management speaker.

The conversation gradually panned towards Sheikh Sadaquat Hossain – a very enthusiastic fellow completely driven by his passion. What do you do, when you are in England, graduating from an elite college, yet do not feel motivated? You simply follow your heart, like Sadaquat, and do what you really want to do. Sadaquat came back to India from England to start his own venture, Stylish Yarn – a lifestyle designer brand. One must follow his dreams and never stop exploring, is the secret mantra shared by his young entrepreneur.

Although Tanay Ghoshal runs an IT company, I prefer calling him a social entrepreneur.  Tanay is always brimming with ideas – ideas that can bring a benefit to the society. Unlike most of the IT startups, Tanay does not only hunt for foreign clients and dollar earnings. He keeps developing web and mobile based social apps. Currently Tanay is closely working with Kolkata Police to develop a mobile app to report accident cases.

A PhD dropout, voracious reader, gifted writer, first from India to reach 1lac tweets….all these and more is Agnivo Niogi. People know him for his extraordinary write-ups on Bengal. His job takes him to places and gives him an opportunity to connect with the grass root people. Agnivo believes it is for his deep and intangible roots in Bengal that give life to his write-ups. Be it Bengali food or music Agnivo is always immersed in anything that is even remotely connected with Bengal. He rightly says, it is easy to criticize from a distance, but when you are into the system, you know what the real things are. And the fact is that a lot of progressive work is taking place in rural Bengal.

A social communicator, an RJ and above all a retro music curator. That’s what defines Arvind the best. A Tamil Brahmin, born and brought up in Kolkata, he generated a love for music since a very young age. Bengal has music in the air, Arvind would say. He is an ocean of knowledge when it comes to the Indian retro music. The scintillating cabarets, the light fitted jackets, glamorous ladies, and charming men defines Bollywood’s retro era. But, it all sounds pale without a mention of Pancham da and Kishore Da, adds Arvind.

It is not difficult to find talents in Bengal. If you have a musician sitting on your left, you may very likely find a reciter to your right. Surmi Roy, a PhD student, specializing in Liver Cancer, is a reciter too. She, along with two other girls, have formed a recitation band. When asked – why a recitation troupe during an era of music bands, Surmi said, it all starts with poetry. You first write a poetry and then fill it with music, so it becomes a song. Surmi, not only finds time out for poetry, but also for a number of social service starting from organizing blood donation camps to sit and draw competitions. She also gives free tuition to a few kids over the weekend.

The last one to talk on the day was Steve Capell, an American learning Bengali for the past 9 years. While learning the language, he was faced with difficulty in not just understanding several words but also pronouncing many many more. A PhD in Computer Science, Steve then decided to make a tool to make Bangla learning easier for others. His initiative Bangla Tangla is a result of this.

It was mind refreshing, great learning and above all an extremely motivating experience for all. Thanks to Tanay, CEO and Founder of  Honcho Commercial Pvt. Ltd. for sponsoring coffees and snacks for all of us.

SoLo Changers aims to meet newer people and let the community grow. Our next meet-up will be announced soon.

The Confused Case of Aluminium Vs Aluminum

I would always remain confused about the right spelling of the Earth’s Most Abundant Metallic Element – Aluminium or Aluminum. What is the difference? Is it only the Brit Vs American way of writing or is there anything more science to it? I looked into the periodic table to seek an answer but did not manage to find an answer. The question kept brewing in my head: Why do the Americans use one “i” and the British two for this word?

I finally googled to find a satisfactory answer and this is what I came across:

In 1808 Sir Humphry Davy, the British chemist who discovered the metal, named it “alumium.” With just one “i” and an “ium” ending, it straddled the two competing versions we have today.

Four years later, however, Davy changed his mind and gave the metal the name “aluminum” (yup, the one-”i” American version). In his book Elements of Chemical Philosophy, published in 1812, Davy wrote, “As yet Aluminum has not been obtained in a perfectly free state. “

But later that same year other scientists decided “aluminum” didn’t sound sufficiently Latin, so they began calling it “aluminium.” Here’s a quote from the Quarterly Review: “Aluminium, for so we shall take the liberty of writing the word, in preference to aluminum, which has a less classical sound.”

At any rate, throughout the 19th century, both “aluminum” and “aluminium” could be found in the US as well as in Britain, though the “ium” ending was predominant in British English.

This was such a rare metal in the 1800s, though, that we’re not talking about a common household word; it was mainly known among scientists.

Only at the turn of the century, when production on a large scale became practical, did the name of the metal start becoming a familiar word. And that’s when Americans – after some to-ing and fro-ing, of course – began to clearly prefer the simpler “aluminum” (which had been favored, incidentally, by Noah Webster).

Eventually “aluminum” became the standard name for the metal in North America and was officially adopted in the 1920s by the American Chemical Society.

Elsewhere, though, scientists generally use “aluminium.” The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry uses “aluminium” as the standard international spelling but also recognizes “aluminum” as a variant.

62nd Indian Foundry Congress of IIF

To know more about Earth’s Most Abundant Metallic Element – Aluminium pay a visit to the 62nd Indian Foundry Congress.

#ThankYouSachin

For him it wasn’t just managing 1…it was managing an entire nation… what drove him was playing for India as he always said, what drove us was the madness to watch him in action on the crease…

You have allowed all to write plenty of wonderful scripts for all these years… some of which can be called masterpieces… u gave us the reason to hope, to unite as one, to celebrate, to cry in joy, to dance to the tune of your strokes, to love cricket..

You turned every stones to milestones…. And with every milestone you have put an end to all debates over who is worlds best… those who thought that you have played all these years to score personal records were only left giving standing ovation after each of your performances… The streets would lay deserted, all work stopped when you would be on crease…

He is a national treasure… he is everything to India…

This was the 24 years of fairytale that we all lived!!! #ThankYouSachin for the Sachin Era!!!

#ThankyouSachin

#ThankyouSachin

“Ek hai samandar, ek chand, ek sooraj, ek hai Himalaya, ek hai gagan, ek hai Bharat, ek Bharat ka Sachin”.

Kichhu muhurte oshaar hoye jete ichhe kore!

Kichhu muhurte oshaar hoye jete ichhe kore!

kono ekta konkone Seet’er raat,Ghum-hin aloshye lep’er tolaay bhir kore aasha muhurto ra..ba shoisobe Maa’er ancholer gondho…Holud Deoaal’er School Ghor…Sei prothom sporsho… ki bhishon bhalolaga, paaglamo, prem, kanna!!! shob muhurto gulo oshar kore ane…ekhono…

ei nihshongo Songsaar e tanaporener majhe kokhono fik kore ek muhurter mone pore jawa…sher gondho..shei sporsho…aluthaalu bhabe heshe uthi…Prothom sei Chithi…Boi er faank theke beriye elo kotto din por…dhulo makha boi..sobar choker arale sorano chhilo…samosto Protisruti..somosto hashi-kanna beshe othe abar!!!theme jaaye ei muhurto ta kichukhon er jonne…

smriti te Bhir kore aashe Para r shei pujo…aalo onek onek alo…laal neel sobuj sobuj !!! ujjyol kono mukh dekhe ektu hashi arr chapa bhalo laga…pujo te suru, pujotei shesh…tarpor toh arr mukh ta mone kora gelo naa..pushpanjoli r somoy khub kache chole asha…Agun sparsho ek muhurter!!!
ki bhabe kobe jeno yahoo chat e alaap…tarpor fone e onek onek kotha…erom bhabei hoitoh cholto jibon…ekdin hathat e dekha korar paglamo…ekraash daabi r sristi…shudhui tomar kache…muhurter jonne ga bheshe jaay bhalobhashar chorom muhurte…Achomka chholchhol e chokher konay abishkaar: eitto amaar ektukro prithibi! Amaar, Amaaar, Amaar!!!amar motton kore gora…amar prithibi…

Somoy kono map kathi bojhe na! Taar chhimchham haariye jaaoa! kono paharer kuwashar motto bheshe berano…chhorano chhetano Muhurto gulo joro kore ni…benche thakar jonne etai jothesto…ja chhulei oshar hoye jaaye…muhurtora….seo to Amaar….Amaar..Amaar…!!!

Hotaath jwole othe onek na bola daabi…aaj toh haranor kichhui nei arr…bhalobasha ta tobu benche achhe…amar sei fele asha muhurto gulo…shudhui amaar!!! sparsho-hin daabira aajo bhison bhaabe jibito!!!

Achomka kanpa hathe Telephone tar number khuje bar kora…ache tobe ekhono…Ghum joraano sei golaa, aajo ek e rokom!

- Hello…
-Aami(amar gola kanpchhe)
-kemon accho?
- bhalo, tumi?
- Bhalo, ta ei ashomoye hathat?
- Birokto?
- ki mone hoy?
- Bhishon seet porechhe, arr tar saathe bristi, tai..
- Tomar Chakri kemon cholchhe?
- Tomar Songsar kirokom guchole? chele meye kon school e jaaye?? kon class??
- bhalo..tomar??
- mone pore shei bristi r din e princep ghat er kotha?
- tumi ki ekhono onek raat obdi jege thako?

oshar hoye ashe hath…Proshno…Proshno…Proshno…Obantor proshner jhor!

Muhurtora chupchaap bneche, sudhu Somoy ek tukro sabdoer odhikaar kere niye chole gyachhe : “Bhalobaashi”

Unknown Kolkata We Know

Kolkata is like a piece of shit on the face of this earth”, wrote the famous writer Günter Grass.

Like there is some who would agree with this bad notion, there are many many more who loves the city of joy and would disapprove of one such statement. A person who is not associated with or is ignorant of the Indian culture and tradition will probably generate one such idea and never understand the true spirit of the city. It could also be our shortfall that we had been unable to show many like Grass the brighter side of things that are here.

I have heard many of my friends calling Kolkata to be chaotic, cluttered and dirty. True, some parts of Kolkata is dirty, is chaotic. Yet Kolkata is the City of Joy. Kolkata is the city of tradition and culture. Kolkata is the city of football and cricket. Kolkata is the city of Tagore, Ray and Ghatak. Kolkata is the city of lavish shopping malls. Kolkata is the city of booming IT industry. It’s the city we all love.

After much of my insistence, two of my friends – one who migrated to a foreign land some 10 years back to pursue his higher education and then finally thought US would provide him better opportunities and lifestyle settled there and another who moved her base down south considering it to be a much progressive place – decided to fly down to Kolkata during Durga Pujo. I travelled with them through the city. Took them to places just to show them why I loved Kolkata. Besides a rigorous pandal hopping, we also visited many parts of the city and hogged on everything starting from street food stalls to plush eateries.

I didn’t had to do much to make the desi American and the bong Bangalorean admit the fact that they have travelled across the world staying in some of the most popular cities, but have never felt so connected with any place. Being the emotional fool that I am, my eyes were filled with tears when he uttered those words.

Well the fact is that I never did anything to influence them to change their perception about my city. I did not make Victoria Memorial look so intriguing while the sun going down. I did not make neon draped streets of north Calcutta look so inviting at night. I did not make the Vidyasagar Setu so alluring from Princep Ghat. I did not make the Circular Rail trip down riverside seem so romantic.

It is all there seeming so fascinating all the time. The fact is that most of us never noticed it.

There will be a second part of the article talking about our 4 days trip around Kolkata.

From Me to We… A transformation

Each one, I know, around, has competencies, which helped them develop a successful professional career. They know it well to fix the problems of their clients, meet their requirements and deliver an optimum quality on time. But the only joining dots that were missing were a collaborative effort. How many times did we pause to help others solve their problems or seek mentorship, collaborate and work? New skills and perspectives offered by other professionals, who have found solution to one such problem before, can definitely add a lot of value to our work.

We perhaps used to seek guidance from one another before, either through mail, over chat or sometimes when we happened to meet. But, that only limited us to specific people we were connected with. My this blog post is about the massive transformation I have witnessed in our IT community through several events and conferences organized by NASSCOM and the two very dynamic groups in Facebook created by Aninda: Kolkata IT Startups & Kolkata IT Professionals – Developers, Designers and QA.

Young and energetic, Aninda through his enthusiasm put us to think otherwise. Every time I heard him talk at an IT event he would harp upon – collaborative work. The two Facebook groups with around 700 members have grown in terms of vigorous participation from the community. It is certainly a place to seek advice and instant feedback from experienced people.

I remember few months back when Priyankar Mukherjee posted a question in the Kolkata IT Startups group, received overwhelming suggestions from the community members. This, I believe, is a big leap towards crowd sourcing. Important issues such as Importance of Documentation in programming, how IT professionals can upgrade themselves and How much time does it take for a fresher to learn Ruby on Rails were raised that resulted into intriguing discussions.

This change has helped us in ways more than I can define. A more compatible relationship among the IT professionals has developed. We are now more connected.

Charulata 2011, Read Murdered

After a long time I was scared by the thought that Bengali cinema was losing its grip over intellectualism. Charulata 2011 was certainly a disappointment in every sense. It aroused strong feelings of rage and anger as I watched. Starting from the casts, to script, dialogues, music, and storyline everything was miserable. The movie proved Agnidev Chatterjee, the director, a juvenile persona with sheer lack of understanding of the film language.

Based on Tagore’s popular novella, Nostonir, Charulata 2011 seemed pretentious and immature with very shallow portrayal of relation between the characters. No logic would take you to a proper conclusion if you try to use your brain while watching the movie. The lacking sense would only lead you towards frustration.

I would dare not try to draw a comparison between Ray’s masterpiece and Charulata 2011. While Charulata and Amol’s relationship in Ray’s creation was sensitive and subtle arousing the human mind to drown in imagination, Chatterjee certainly killed all the essence of the characters making it seem so hollow. In one sentence, the modern day Charulata and Amol had nothing significant to offer.

Chaiti (played by Rituparna Sengupta) is married to Bikramjit (Arjun Chakraborty) an editor in chief of a leading media house. They are drifted apart due to lack of communication. Chaiti, in order to overcome her loneliness, lands on the popular social networking site, Facebook. This is where she meets Sanjoy (Dibyendu). They get hooked to each other which drives them towards a pathetic saga of sexual desire and lust.

Films that are based on relationships are driven by three main elements – screenplay, performance of the protagonists and treatment of the story. Neither of the factors was established here. Rituparna looked older with unnecessarily loud make-up like brown lips and blood red nail polish.

Charuulata 2011 marks Dibyendu’s debut in a lead role. But he is not to be seen in the first half of the film. He only arrives in the 2nd half to strum is guitar and deliver a few immature dialogues. Well, the best thing I thought about his character was his voice. But later read in a review that it was dubbed.

Not to mention Rii, Chaiti’s friend, Arnobi in the film, again did an unbearably painful job. Her exaggerated expressions, loud make-up, fake accent and hilariously superficial and ineffective dialogues would irritate and infuriate you. At one point of the film she says “unconfident”. Someone please try looking for a meaning to that word.

There are too many flaws, including plenty of continuity breaks, in the movie. The regular mails that Chaiti and Sanjoy exchanged before they meet, completely vanishes. Further, Chaiti, who is married to a very well off person, and Sanjoy, who resides in London, go on dates at some CCD. While sipping over coffee Chaiti plays footsie with him and gives him a clear signal of her sexual desires. Soon they end up in a lusty scene, Chaiti displaying her thunder thighs certainly looks scary. Later she breaks down and blames herself. The film at no point justifies this change of emotions. In one of the over the shoulder shot of Chaiti no locks of hair is seen on her shoulder. While in the same scene from a front shot, a lock of hair hangs on her shoulder. 


Hathat Bristi !!!

Hathat korei oshomoy bristi suru hoye gelo….ami tokhon ek mon e kaaj korchhi… laptop er dik e chokh.. mathay nachhe hajar o chinta… client er hajar daabi… shob e toh na hoye manlam, payment ta korbe toh thik somoy?? boroi tired aaj… bhebe bhebe tired… opekhya korte korte tired… tobuo jed… e ek bhishon jed… amay j partei hobe… roj kar juddhe j bhabei hok amay partei hobe… thik tokhon e namlo bristi… ami ek doure baire gelam… du hath mele bhijlam… aaj koto mash por… hathat jeno fir e pelam nijeke… amar theke ami ta kokhon kothaye hariye giyechhilo… amar khub priyo kichhu kobitar line aaj bohu din por jor e jor e awralam…

bristi namlo jokhon
ami uthonpane eka
doure gie vebechilum tomay pabo dekha
hoyto meghebristi te, ba siuli gacher tole
ajanukesh vijie nichcho akash checha jol e
kintu tumi nei bahire
ontore megh kore
vaari byapok bristi amar buker modhye jhore…

—Shakti Chattopadhyay

"aalaper diney akash-bhasano megh
porosporer kotha dhuye gelo joley
prothom jedin millam nirjone
sedino bristi sara sohoranchole."

Purnendu Potri

trishna jeno joler fota barte barte bristi badol
trishna jeno dhuper kathi gandhe anke sukher adol
kha kha moner sabta khali,mora nadir chorabali
othocho ghar duar jure trishna bajay karatali
pratikha tai prahar bihin ,ajiban o sarbajanin
sarobar to sabar bukei,padma kebol pardanashin
swapno ke dey sorbo sorir,somokke se vase na
je telephone asar kotha,sochorachor ase na….

Purnendu Potre

se boleche, "mone to nei
amar osob mone to nei."
ami bollam,"tumi amay
lekhar katha bolechile…."
se bollo, "songe ache?
vasiye dao gayer jhile!
r ha, shono – ekhon ami
megh noi r, sobai ekhon
bristi bole dake amay."

Se jodi tomake agnite fele mare?"
-Bina cheshtay more jabo ekebare

"Se jodi tomake meghe dey utthan?"
–Bristite, ami bristi te khan khan

"Se jodi tomake pishe kore dhulobali?
–Poth theke pothe ure ure jabo khali

"Urbe? … Achchha chhire dey jodi pakha?"
–Porte porte dhore nebo or shakha

"Jodi shaka theke niche fele dey toke?"
–Ki ar korbo, joriye dhorbo okei

–Bolo ki bolbo?…adalat, kichu bolbe ki erporo?
"Jao aajibon oshanti bhog koro"

Joy Goswami (Ishwar ar premiker songlaap)

It’s that time of the year again

It’s that time of the year again. The time when I miss wishing my dad a very very happy birthday. When I can’t remain awake to either pick up the phone to wish him or break into his room with a cake singing out loud “happy birthday to you” at sharp midnight.

It’s again that time of the year when I force myself to work late night so that I don’t think of him much. So that the heart doesn’t long to hear him one more time. So that I don’t finally go to bed with moist eyes and heavy heart.

It’s that time of the year when I feel the cold wind caressing my hair. Moon looking haze as the fog sets in. The faint yellow of the street lights play hide and seek with the trees that line the avenue.

It’s that time of the year when there is an eerie calm. I stand in darkness near the window tucking my hands deep inside my pockets braving the cold. The cold wind starts to pick up, my hair flowing all over my face. I take my hands out in a bid to fix the flowing hair. The fingers feel the cold instantly. Goosebumps. But is it merely the cold? I break my trot abruptly and look back. Nothing. The chill down my spine desperately wants to see a figure behind myself. As if I need the figure right here at this point in time. The dry wind almost instantly blow away the slight trickle of moisture at the corner of my eye.

It’s that time of the year again. When it’s too cold to cry. It’s too cold inside.

It’s that time of the year again.  When I wish you a very very happy birthday Dad. Stay happy where ever you are.

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