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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

An appeal...

I am getting tired of seeing that though many people do visit my blog, no one, apparently, can think of anything to say about anything in it. Don't you see - I have no other way of knowing whether I'm wasting my time here or not! Do please write in with your views/comments/criticisms/requests. If you think all this stuff is boring/useless, I'd be glad if you told me so; I can at least take this blog off the Net (six such comments would do the trick)! If you are facing any technical trouble with posting comments, do let me know about that, too, with an email at suvro.chatterjee@gmail.com


tara said...

Seems no one has bothered to reply to your 'Appeal' so far although I don't know if you expected otherwise. If those who read your blog and find it interesting, have nothing to say; do you expect those who have nothing to say anyway (either because they are lazy or simply looking for some cheap entertainment on the net) to actually take the time to tell you what's wrong with your blog!
I'm sorry if I sound curt or brash.
One of the reasons that some people do not post comments is that they have too much to say (that's my less cynical opinion).
Your blog is interesting for a number of reasons; interesting enough to return to when one is cramped in the middle of a routinized workday (or otherwise) and is looking for something intellectually sharp, emotionally relevant, unabashedly honest, with flashes of dry wit and humour - that is the short of it.
There are some things too that you could do to make it 'appealing'.

I don't have a blog. I am on rediff connexions - and I'll soon be an ex-member (once I know how to delete my name). It is one of the most bogus sites that I've ever joined (but I can see now that you have visited my page. I have also made my visit).
Thank you also for taking the time to comment on my comments (I have gone to interesting websites and left my comments but I haven't before been 'thanked' for doing so).
The ending of your story was indeed the best part (but it got 'lost'). I'm completely in agreement that 'philosophical' ideas, precepts, values are not easy to teach (nor to learn!) which is very frustrating. I face 70 students every other day, more than half of which look at me as though I were a goldfish in a tank!
Which brings me to the last 3 lines of my very long entry -
Thank you for putting your blog up. I hope all goes well with it. 'Goodbye and goodluck.'

tathagata said...

Sir,I just cant understand why it is "Suvro Chatterjee bemused".
Whats the cause of your confusion ?

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Dear Tara,
Thanks again for taking time off. May I have your email i.d.? If it's OK with you, I'd like to talk a bit more, but no so publicly as on a blog. By the way, you can also find me on orkut. I'll be glad to have you join my community 'The Good Life!'

As for Tathagata, the lines below the header on my blog should have explained the 'bemused'. The older I grow the less I feel sure about what I know and understand - that's why 'bemused'!

tara said...

I have to say some words to Tathagata as well (it has all to do with your profound name - nothing else. I have my quirks). I don't know how old you are but my guess is that you are in your late teens or early twenties (if you're any older there's no excuse; now, that is a joke).
Without sounding pompous I would like to butt in with some of my own comments. You do not have to read them nor be interested in them - but your question in itself is quite amazing...
There are of course people who are graced with the blessing (make no mistake. I'm convinced that in the long run, it is not a curse)of being able to see the almost infinite sides of an issue (but let's leave out the 'legendary stars'- your namesake for one...!).
For most people (unless they become so 'fossilised' and rigid; 'formal education' in this respect is directly proportional to fossilisation and rigidity not to mention a ridiculous pompous arrogance) realise with a certain clarity that one's long cherished ideas, perceptions, values, beliefs (sometimes hypothetical and sometimes true insofar as they are related to a particular context) do not always pan out in reality. Which does not mind you always lead to the inevitable conclusion that one's values etc are in the wrong - but it requires long drawn out introspection (without getting enmeshed in the dangers of self-centredness) - even then very few elements really fall pat into place.
Take a very mundane (and quite 'unimportant' in one sense)example - I feel compassion for animals. I don't 'think' I could kill a cow or a calf (I don't mean physically slaughtering a cow - I'm referring to the psychological comprehension of the issue). Yet when the meat comes in (resembling nothing like a 'live' being), I'm quite happy gobbling it down. And this (on the surface of it at least if one casts an absolute blind eye to the meat factory in a country like the U.S) is a very simple example. I'm very well aware of all the possible arguments on both sides of the fence (in fact I use the opposite arguments when arguing with a vegetarian friend) - and there could be very clever arguments in support of meat eating - yet there still is an unresolved part in my head, which only bothers me occasionally but not intensely since I'm able to rationalise my meat eating.
Just imagine how greatly the magnitude of the problem increases when the issue is something that one is consciously aware of, an issue which bugs the living daylights out of one, where you are trying to make the 'right' decision - if even for yourself(or if your decision affects other lives).
Where do you get the hubris to know 'for sure' without doubt that we are right? Of course that does not mean I do not act, do not speak out, do not raise my voice against injustice, unfairness, callousness, unkindness - yet I also am made more aware everyday how important cautiousness is - it is as your namesake very clearly said - wisdom and compassion must go hand in hand (and even then I know I am miles from the 'light'. Yet I take immense heart in what Rabindranath said, "We can look upon a road from two different points of view. One regards it as dividing us from the object of desire; in that case we count every step of our journey over it as something attained by force in the face of obstruction. The other sees it as the road which leads us to our destination; and as such is part of our goal. It is already the beginning of our attainment, and by journeying over it we can only gain that which in itself it offers to us".
As Mr. Chatterjee has so clearly pointed out - the older one grows, the less one knows/understands (his blog does on the face of it contradict that claim - nonetheless). I certainly do not have the extent and breath nor the depth of knowledge that Mr. Chatterjee has, yet I do agree with him on this.
Maybe Tathagata - since you have known Mr. Chatterjee - you wonder how a person like him could claim to be 'bemused'. 'Bemused' - wouldn't very strictly be translated into 'confused'(although it is regularly used as a synonym). The way I see it: it is more of an emotion born out of a wry smile, a laugh of disbelief, of bewilderment, of a sense of wonderment even, with streaks of often painful wisdom (and of course I could be absolutely wrong - but that is what the word means to me).
Mr. Chatterjee, I do thank you again for thanking me. I am grateful (but we will have to stop thanking each other so profusely. Maybe it can be implied).
I will visit Orkut though (I have had friends plague the living daylights out of me - but I have steadfastly refused. But I'm curious about your community). I could give you one of my e-mail ids (although I'm rather paranoid when it comes to email ids, I do confess; although I can bet a healthy bet that you would be too if you were on my end of the table!) - but I won't post it here obviously. I"m assuming I can post it to your gmail account, if that works for you.
Three other thing:
1. Make your entries on the blog shorter (very important).
2. Raise questions. Ask for responses.
3. Liberally sprinkle the topic of your choice with illustrations from your own life and from the diamondmine of information and understanding that you possess.
But most important - keep your entries short (young people - even intelligent young people still have short attention spans, so you have to catch them), and then throw out some questions (the more controversial the issue, the better).
Talk about love (you will get interesting responses hopefully), or deviance (what it implies) or talk about something very specific - like a current event and relate it to a philosophical principle , or take a quote of your choice and ask people to respond.
These are a couple of things (3) that I can immediately rattle off that could make a difference (I can't bet my life on it. But we could think of other things that could prevent the death of your blog). A part of me very much wants the blog off the net (it has to do with my extremely cynical self), yet there is a part of me which still hopes. I hope you do not mind my making these suggestions here on the blog itself.
I'll send my email id soon to your gmail id. I have no problems with your talking a bit more, although I don't know what help I can be.
Sorry for this exceptionally long entry. And here I have been quite happily 'advising' you, Mr. Chatterjee to keep your entries short! (It's more of a suggestion really).

dibyadeepp said...


I too agree that blogs in general should be short. I feel it has nothing to do with our attention span, but more to do with the type of interface we have, when we read from a computer.

In my years at IIT I have found a lot of people who are really interested in literature, but very few of them actually have the patience to read from an ebook. I think it has more to do with the type of training we have had from our childhood.