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Saturday, May 24, 2008

I'm back, with changes and requests.

I took a week's break and went off the Net. Now I am back at the keyboard once more. Regular visitors will notice that I have at last got around to labelling my older posts for easier access: just scroll down the right hand side and click on the label that seems interesting to you.
It is good to see that the visitor count keeps climbing steadily. At the same time, it is rather disappointing that so few people take the trouble to comment, or limit their comments to one-liners like 'that's hilarious!'. Twenty years ago, I quit journalism because although theoretically several hundred thousand people were reading my articles/stories every morning, the feedback I received was pathetic in terms of both quantity and quality: I found I got far more personal satisfaction from interacting closely with the couple of dozen students whom I tutored in those days. That, coupled with the fact that teaching paid me more than journalism even in those days, helped me to make up my mind to quit the latter for a full-time teaching career, and I have never regretted it.
However, I have always loved to read, think and write: so when the internet arrived and offered me the facility of putting down my thoughts on everything that interested me from the comfort of my own home as and when I liked (and had the time and energy to spare), I jumped at the opportunity. It's been almost two years since, and I have posted essays long and short on a wide diversity of subjects. I have received a considerable amount of irrelevant abuse, and I have even been plagiarised, but I have not got enough feedback to keep me happily engaged. So now I am requesting my readers (especially those who visit often, read attentively, and have the capacity to comment intelligently) to tell me whether I should carry on, and what sort of things they would like me to write about. Do send in your opinions here or email me at suvro.chatterjee@gmail.com.
I shall be most grateful for all sane and encouraging comments received.
(P.S.: A couple of nerds from one of the google discussion groups I consulted lately told me I need to 'spice up' my blog. I guess that means there ought to be glittering cartoons of Casper the friendly ghost and Spiderman flitting all over my homepage, and funny sounds every now and then, and animated pictures of the likes of Angelina Jolie and Bipasha Basu coyly undressing and one new raw joke every morning. Any comments on that?)


Rajdeep said...

On your postscript first.
There are too many sites akin to those to even bother to count. Why would I visit your site for that?
I would like you to write on current issues, cultural issues, "globalization" (I deliberately put the inverted commas. Make your own meaning of it.), reflect on history, how about different cultures that you have experienced? The rest is upto you. You are a free writer. Write something that the rest of the world takes notice of. A lot of people these days find it hard to grasp simple issues. Write about such issues in deliberately simple language with examples and anecdotes and humour. Introduce great heroes of the world. Write book reviews. Since you are interested in photography, upload snaps of nature and write on them! I guess that should keep the interest on your site going. It is my personal opinion so don't take it too personally if you don't want to! Smile! Good luck and all the best.

Sayan said...

Here are some suggestions (questions rather) -
1. I think it was in class 10 that you gave us a lecture on the nature of reality and that is when you told us about the cat experiment. Unfortunately I was absent that day and missed the opportunity. Can you write something on that subject?

2. Can you write something on fear (especially fear of failure) and how to tackle it? Is fear, in some measure, necessary for success or is love enough, or should there be a fine balance of the two?

3. You have written on technology, but I would like to know your views as to how much of technology is necessary and good (not only for survival but also development, both social and intellectual) and how much can be rejected without much thought. Some of the technologies developed for warfare have proved their social worth too, indeed, in many cases, it was only after a technology was developed for warfare that people began to realize that it could be used for good purposes too. So where does one draw the line? Should research on warfare technology stop, knowing that, the grave danger notwithstanding, it has the potential of discovering something good too?

4. How can a balance between technology and nature be attained, rather how do you picture a world where this balance has been achieved? What would it look like?

5. What makes a good teacher? Who is a good student?

6. What is happiness? Is it a pursuit or a state of mind? Is creativity an expression of happiness?

7. What is 'Dharma'? Is it something so venerable that it is unquestionable or is it something that depends only on the individual, that is, that which is born from the pure intellect of the individual?

8. What is the difference between the individual and social anyway? At the highest level, is there any difference at all?

9. Sometimes I think that the difference between a genius and a mediocre man isn't as much of intellect as of courage? I would like to hear your views on that?

10. You said once that we are all desparately, irrevocably alone. Is life an individual journey for all? If so, then why this talk of having a common motive and goal?

11. This is what I asked Shilpi di recently. I would feel grateful if you can let me know your views on this -
As for the part how much to let in and how much to reject what comes from a teacher - it sounds difficult to say the least. How will I know that it is my stubborn ego that is the hindering cause and not the essence collected from my experience and learning; things which after long and hard thought I have come to believe instinctively? Hence my question - What is the best way to learn. By trusting one's inner voice one might be playing a very dangerous game, and it might lead to very costly errors, as I did find out. This inner voice can sometimes be very prone to naivety, but trusting it is the best we can do in any given situation.
This is all I can think of now. I will have more questions later.

12. I would like to hear your views on globalization too.
Sayan Datta

Sayan said...

Afterthought -
Another question
1. There is this concept they talk about that the harder you hold onto something you desire, the faster it slips away from your grasp. I don't understand it completely, so I will feel grateful if you can write something on this. I think it somehow rhymes with what you once said - If you really love something set it free; if it comes back to you it's yours, if it doesn't, it never belonged to you.

raya said...

As far as I am concerned I have truly enjoyed reading all the posts on your blog.You have dealt with various issues and I think that is what makes your blog really interesting.
I would appreciate if you wrote something about your favorite movies.I think that good movies can often teach one a thing or two.Sir I know you share great love for movies. I would really like to read movie reviews written by you.
I would also be delighted if you wrote something related to the world of music.
The sections on "worldview","philosophizing","personal"and
"humour"are my favourites although as I said before I enjoy reading all your posts.
I think your blog provides a wonderful medium of communication and is a great source of knowledge so please continue the good work.
Paulami Sen

Tanmoy said...

Dear Suvroda,

I tried posting a comment on your blog but for some reason I don't think you have received the comment.

Anyhow, I quite agree with the topics Sayan has suggested. It should be interesting to see your views on these.

Otherwise, I shall love to see, you letting us know other than perhaps literature and reads how you have always motivated yourself to take up challenges in life. How did you deal with the risks associated with your decisions in early part of your career?

Did anyone motivate you or gave you courage?

Best regards


Sayan said...

I wish to modify the question in my previous post a little.
The following is (I think) from the Upanishads -
"You are what your deep driven desire is,
As your desire is, so is your will,
As your will is, so is your deed,
As your deed is, so is your destiny."
Oriental philosophy does tend to stress on desire as being the root of purposeful living. Yet they also seem to say that it is also the root of all evil.
This idea that desire is good and the concept that the harder you hold onto something you desire the faster it slips away from your grasp seem contradictory.
What does "setting free something you love" mean? How can one let go of one's desires or remain oblivious to one's passions and yet do something good and meaningful? What is the point I am missing here?
Sayan Datta

Aki said...

The site of a beggar begging on the platform annoys us, and many a time, without even peeping a bit into her life we abuse her, general human tendency.

Premchand, one of my favorite Hindi novelists died a miserable death for not being able to afford proper treatment, is that the kind of life a society-developer deserves?

It would be extremely nice of you to write something about such 'Prisoners of birth'.

Kaushik said...

I'd like to hear from you Suvro, something about classical wit and humour, (as you know, we have been drained dry of them already), how it has evolved through the ages, taking some of the easier-to-reckon, nearer-home exemplars, Lear, Carroll, Leacock, Wodehouse, our own Sukumar Roy, Parashuram, etal (I’m missing quite a few of the others) and how effective social commentaries they have been able to spin around their adroitly crafted imageries, limericks, making scathing observations on the society, politics, its functioning, its mores, its highs and lows, sparing none, even themselves, in the process ;
and, how, some of them bore the social ostracism that they faced, with stoic non-chalance; and how, sadly, the entire genre of this classical wit, satire, farce, banter, raillery and what-have-you, perceived in its profoundest and unalloyed sense, spread across the farthest co-ordinates of time and space, ( depending upon their subtleties and primary focus, these were distinguished, as you know, as separate, cultivable, disciplines in our own Rasa Shastra) did gradually degenerate into the sheer dross of low-ended, personalized, cheap ridicule and gimmickry of recent times, often representative of the very sham that we have allowed our society to sink!
Love and take care

Kaushik Chatterjee

Shuvojit said...

Like Rajdeep i would start with your postscript.
(assuming you were being serious & not sarcastic)
Nerds would remain nerds.
They have analyzed that the blogs with most hits are those which have "SPICE" in them. It is sad but true,the fact that internet/blogs is used by a bulk of people to surf for cost-free/cheap thrills. & i think you would agree that the most primate thrill is perhaps the only form of imaginable thrill in countless readers.
If generating more traffic to your blog is your only motive then of-course you can proceed otherwise my request to you is please restrain your-self from stooping any lower to the quality of your blog that you have maintained. In-fact it(your blogs) is like a small island in the middle of all the mindless posts that are available online.

On getting actual response Sir i would try to remind you of ancient Hindu wisdom. One should keep doing what is right & not thing excessively on the after-effect & outcome. In my nearly 3 years of work experience I have faced so again & again. There would never (perhaps never would be a too strong word) any pat on the back for getting any job done in time & in proper way. But of 1 delay in a report or 1 error there would be at-least 10 people (related to the work & also not related) screaming abuse.

On what you should write.
I believe it gives the maximum happiness when one writes on stuff that he/she likes. This place is yours after-all & you please be sure that people would read what-ever you post.
But personally i would definitely enjoy reading once-a-while a light post. Something which would take me away from this gloomy world for a while. Aptly pointed by Kaushik(da)
I would also like your advice on motivation. Like how to motivate one-self to actually realize what one really wants to do. Most people like me i believe are lost. Primarily because they have been hammered so hard & so long that they cannot hear what their hearts desire. & now they must mindlessly be in the herd.

Hoping not to find some bug on the screen next time i visit :-)