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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I wish I had resigned sooner.

Orkut recently suggested I might wish to visit certain communities, including one called St. Xavier’s School, Durgapur. Out of a mild curiosity I did look up some of the discussions on the forum. Here’s a link to one of the threads where many old boys have been chatting up on some of their ex-teachers:
http://www.orkut.co.in/CommMsgs.aspx?cmm=58333&tid=2427235200363965200

And now, here are a few things I noticed:

1. Very few of these people can write three correct English sentences in a row free of spelling mistakes. In my day they would have been dismissed as unfortunate illiterates: these days of course they fancy themselves as both educated and gentlemen, seeing that so many of them have become, or are in the process of becoming, you got it – doctors and engineers.
2. They tag themselves as ‘Masters of Tomorrow’, though to the best of my knowledge no Xaverian from Durgapur (including humble me) has ever done, or even dreams of doing, anything positive that will put his name on the first page of a national newspaper. Any comments from all the budding Einsteins, Tagores, Sachins and Steve Jobs-es whom I haven’t met?
3. While criticizing lots of things about their school, hardly anybody has offered any sensible and constructive ideas about improving it, leave alone suggesting that they actually do something about it. Even while praising some teachers (such as the erstwhile physics teacher Mrs. Malini Ramdas, with whom I was on friendly terms), they cannot think of saying anything beyond ‘she was my favourite teacher… she made physics look easy’. That’s coherence and articulateness for you.
4. I find it remarkable just how crude their sense of humour is in general, and how disgusting the things they find laughable: sniggering at this teacher’s breasts, for god’s sake, and about that unfortunate teacher’s uncomfortable habit of frequently and noisily clearing his throat; referring to some teachers (old enough to be their parents) by their first names, and distorting the names of others! Some people call me rude and offensive, but I wouldn’t dream of talking about my old teachers that way, and that too on a public forum, where everybody from those teachers themselves to my current teachers/employers/parents/spouse/children might be reading. I’m sure it says a great deal about both the cultural level and the I.Q.s of these creatures. I happen to know lots of maidservants, petty shopkeepers, rickshaw wallahs and coolies who are both far wiser and far more decent than they. I am going to draw the attention of many teachers of Xavier’s to this community, of course, and many parents I know, as I have already started doing with the several hundred pupils whom I currently teach; I know now what sort of creatures I should never dream of considering as a future son-in-law, and I am sure that the thousand-odd-visitors per month at my blog will have lots of things to say about it (I know perfectly well that much of it will be senseless abuse, but alas, it will be effort wasted; they will not be posted on my blog as comments, and I have an employee who routinely deletes trash from my mailbox, so I will never even see them). I have already written to a few favourite old boys about it, and I was dismayed to see the kind of lame half-hearted apologies/rationalisations they offered on behalf of their friends, or the way they argued that they were helpless: they believed that they neither had the time to lodge vehement protests against this sort of vulgarity, nor thought that they could make any difference.
5. I shall of course not deign to waste my time taking cognizance of the kind of foul garbage these creatures have spewed about me in particular, since I know that vulgar and cowardly morons cannot have ‘opinions’. However, I must put on record that the only regret I have in my life today is that I didn’t resign from this cesspool many years sooner (I resigned, yes, as I had resigned from two other jobs earlier in my life: nobody 'sacked' me or 'kicked me out' as so many folks delight themselves by imagining – by existing governmental rules no teacher in the position I was in can be dismissed unless he is caught red-handed stealing or assaulting somebody or some equally heinous crime). And, finally, that despite my well-known opinion about the man who has been headmaster for the last nine years, I must say that in this instance he is quite justified in saying everything he has lately said about ex-students: from what I have found out about the ex-students, I feel he has been very mild and self-restrained in expressing himself!
P.S.: June 14 - in the four days since the above was posted, this blog has been visited nearly 400 times already, and I have personally communicated a gist of the contents to several hundred people locally: current pupils, their parents, and some teachers. My purpose is served. The moderator of the said community on orkut has meanwhile seen it fit to remove some of the most disgusting comments there, but whatever still remains is quite sufficient to give people who had no idea a very good estimate of what kind of folks ex-Xaverians are. To help them a little further, I have published one or two poisonous comments I have received on this blog itself. I'm sure any unbiased reader will be both surprised and puzzled by the blind and intense rage that obviously lies behind such comments, especially when juxtaposed with the other kind, the supportive and sympathetic comments written by polite and sane old boys and girls (whom the whole tribe of abusers instantly dismiss as 'sycophants'. You can't speak well of anybody without being called a 'sycophant' these days: you are 'strong and civilised' only if you can rave and rant and vilify like drunks and madmen!)
Where does this rage come from, then? With some people whom I can recognise, I know the reasons well: this one was scolded in class for using a dirty word, that one had his answerscript seized and rejected for cheating, a third had not been admitted to my tuition, another had been told that he must not expect special favours because his father was so-and-so, or because he routinely scored 90%-plus marks in mathematics. The manner in which I had upbraided them obviously still rankles, sometimes more than a decade later (and I have a hunch that the ones who remained most timidly silent in class then are the most noisy and macho abusers on the net now!). But on the whole the biggest reason is that unlike any other teacher, I used to endlessly underscore the point that they could not expect me to call them successful and admirable merely if they became doctors and engineers somehow - they needed far higher and rarer qualities (like courage and charity, to name just two) to impress me. That put-down is something that lots of people never manage to get over!
True criticism is an art that must be preceded by great cultivation of mind. It should be sternly factual, rich with example, logically coherent, and entirely free of malice. Indeed, genuine criticism actually helps me to improve myself, and I am thankful to countless nice people who have done me that favour. Only those who have no real criticism to offer but burn with helpless anger and jealousy, and those who are simply too dull-witted to know the difference, confuse criticism with abuse. I can call anybody any names I like - abuse always bespeaks far more about me than about the man I am abusing! Thank you, all you abusers, for telling me and my numerous friends of all ages (including folks older than your parents, who used to have a different, better opinion of Xaverians earlier) what kind of folks you are. Go ahead and call me some more names! You haven't offered some good ones yet - greedy, lecherous, effeminate, ignorant, lazy, sycophantic... why not those too?
P.P.S., June 15: I just came across the following article on the Net courtesy gmail:
Though this is in connection with Facebook, the lesson therein (starting from the title itself) could be an eye-opener for a lot of culturally-challenged ex-Xaverians. So also, I daresay, the discussion on the following thread in my own community in orkut:
Final update, June 25: One current Xaverian has found the courage and felt the need to protest against the pervasive culture of indecency. See http://worldniladri.blogspot.com . I hope he gets the kind of encouragement he deserves. That can still persuade me that stupidity and vulgarity are not the hallmark of most Xaverians!

60 comments:

Indrajit said...

You are right, Sir. First of all thank you for posting the link to that 'wonderful' and 'happening' topic.I spent at least 10 minutes reading the innumerous suggestions and posts. For the first time in 22 years, I realised as to what makes many other 'Xaverians' proud of the fact that they got the opportunity of being a part of the school; an eye-opener for me!

History keeps on repeating itself, you see. A thought reads: "Do not argue with a stupid; first he will drag you to his level and then beat you with his own experience." Students did take the effort of mentioning their batch and I got to see that both the 'big' and the 'small' monkeys take 'pride' in discussing about the 'Saree drops' or may be the nick names that they gave to their teachers! This is what 'they' have been doing since ages. This is what you can expect out of them. I recently saw the movie Sarkar Raj. A dialogue from the movie suggested that: People in India do not like- Development, they like- Entertainment! Thats what those topics and threads are all about.

These posts need to be protected and then displayed to the family members of the ones taking the guts to post such idiotic and disgusting comments. Surely Bhowmick Miss and Nandi Sir would have something to cheer about, today. They indeed had such 'great' students, who fancied about their looks and manners, rather than their 'friendliness' and 'teaching abilities'! So my request to you would be to stay away from those communities! The Good Life is not so bad after all!

SleepyPea said...

Suvro da,
I visited the community out of curiosity after going mid-way through your blogpost. I couldn't go through all the posts. The first five or six left me cringing, but I did read on.

The posts are appalling to say the least - even in terms of basic writing skills (as you point out yourself) or minimum intelligence. But what did sadden me is that I know at least one of the students.

I can see that some folks may not like some teachers - but what disgusts me is how silly these students are (one hates a teacher whom one knew not, never had classes with. But "hates" the teacher nonetheless because he "heard" things about the teacher?!), and how pathetic their writing skills. They can't string together three sentences in correct English but they can use plenty of curse words!

Quite disgusting. I won't go into point 4, where you raise multiple points.
Anyway, good thing you aren't teaching there. That's all I can say.
Take care.
Shilpi

Suvro Chatterjee said...

to 'green' and anybody else who wants to comment, politely, intelligently or otherwise:

I repeat for the umpteenth time that no comment will be published unless I have your full name and email i.d., so don't waste your time.

Tanmoy said...

Dear Suvroda,

It is sad that people misutilise public forum in this manner like you have found out at orkut. I find it utterly disgusting if such jokes about certain people who tried shaping one's personalities like teachers are made in public places and that too collectively. Whatever personal may have happenned - unless and until it is serious enough why should one do it - especially at such a young age, how can children have such crass sense of humour. I am appalled!

I totally agree that this should be brought to notice to teachers concerned. If you feel, I can be of some help then do let me know. I am feeling writing a letter to the school authorities. Request you to please let me know if that is prudent or we can ensure the community be blocked from orkut.

As a senior from the school who is into profession and have always been eager to help my alumni, I get a very wrong vibe about such juniors. I wonder how can I ever trust to recommend such people if at all need arises.

I spent my formative years of my life in school and have fond memories of yourself, Father Wavreil, Father Wautier and many other teachers. More than anything else good, bad, ugly. Amongst friends in close circles we can talk of a lot things but why choose public forums?

Request you not to worry about comments about you. People like you who are unique have the nature of attracting diverse comments. I respect and love you and there are many people who does that. I do not want to indulge into Orkut fights but I suggest like you have always done, never even try to justify.

Regards
Tanmoy

Rupam said...

Name: Rupam Mukherjee
e-mail: rupam.mukherjee@gmail.com

Sir,

I am extremely sorry that people stoop so low for mudslinging at honourable men and women. People without whose untiring efforts, they would not be brandishing mice and keyboards today.

However, I am equally disgusted that you spend your valuable energy for chastising these good for nothings. You know very well that they are beyond reformation.

As for your leaving the school a few years earlier, you would not have gained or lost anything. But a few good men and women would have lost an idol. You know idols are so rare in real life !

green said...

Sir,
I happen to be an ex-student of St. Xavier’s, Durgapur, and frankly speaking, in spite of all its drawbacks, I am indebted to the school. Admittedly, it is not the Xavier’s it was, say fifteen years earlier, with many of its ex-students, especially those on orkut, incapable of “writing three correct sentences in a row”. However, there still remain several faithful ex-students who are good enough to be called true xaverians.

I find it a little disappointing to see a man, who had spent so many years in an institution (whether memorable or not is immaterial), speaking about it in such a manner, using words like ‘cesspool’. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing brave in saying “I resigned”. It would have done everyone a hell of a lot more of good if you had stayed on and done your best to make Xavier’s a better place.

Please do not think that I am “hurling abuses” at you. I am merely repeating the idea of what you yourself said in reply to an anonymous comment to your post ‘Look, for heaven’s sake, LOOK’. There are a lot of nice people who read this blog, including several grateful ex-students, who would never indulge in those “disgusting things” you have mentioned, and who do not deserve to be hurt.

Rajarshi Chattaraj
e-mail- chattaraj.rajarshi@gmail.com

P.S. Sorry I forgot to mention my name on the previous occasion.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Firstly, Rajarshi, I mentioned my resignation merely to clear up the canard that many people spread and love to believe: that I was dismissed. Secondly, whether it was brave or not is not for a little boy like you to decide: ask your father whether he would have even dreamt of resigning from one job after another when he had the entire weight of a family he loved more than himself on his shoulders, just because his honour and freedom were more important to him than literally anything else in the world. Next, I stand by what I said: the place had become a cesspool long before I resigned (you were too young to even understand what was going on in those days: you shouldn't comment on things you are absolutely ignorant about), and I knew two years before I resigned that I was merely ruining my own reputation and doing nobody any good by hanging on when I could do nobody any good any longer, neither myself nor anyone else, colleague or pupil. And of course, you cannot begin to understand the degree of pain I suffered for severing connections with an institution where I had been a pupil for 11 years and a teacher for 14. I wouldn't have written that blogpost at all if I hadn't been incensed by the vile garbage that so many ex-students have been writing about so many teachers: if you had any sense at all, you would have realised it was only because I still care about the institution and those who have served it far more than all those illiterate, ungrateful, foul-mouthed riffraff who claim they are proud to be ex-Xaverians! God help Xavier's, with ex-students like that by the hundreds.

Now that you know, I shall expect an unconditional apology if you are even halfway human, here itself.

ginger candy said...

Sir,

I was unaware of the proceedings in the Orkut Community that you have pointed in your post; and I must admit that, after reading some of the contents in that community, I am abashed and shocked at how abysmal the taste of ex-Xaverians can stoop! I find most of the content extremely repulsive and egregious, but I am afraid that many others shall choose to differ with my opinion and write me off as a killjoy who scoffs at some innocuous little 'masti'. Discussing a teacher's private anatomy in a public forum is certainly not a trivial delectation that anyone can engage themselves into. I feel sorry for my old High School teachers- I can imagine their chagrin when they learn about this misdemeanor done by their favourite ex-students. My mother is a teacher herself, and I shudder to think of her condition if she suddenly discovers something so belittling written about herself and her colleagues.

I sincerely apologise to all my beloved teachers on behalf of all the students of St.Xavier's Durgapur. I wish I had the authority to terminate this forum and wipe out it's contents, but that's a rather chimerical proposition. Rather, I only wish that our beloved teachers shall pardon this little misdeed, as has been their wont, and forget this whole episode all together.

I find it a little annoying that youngsters nowadays can not think of 'fun' in ways other than lampooning someone's minor bad habits, or deride an old teacher for his trite dialects. Don't we have anything else (and better) to remember about our alma mater? I, for one, still find extreme pride and enjoyment in reminiscing about the Teacher's Day function, the football matches that followed soon after, the P.T classes, the Sports Day, the library and a host of other things. What say, everybody?

green said...

Firstly, sir, I do not think I need to apologise for my comment; I simply wrote what I felt. If in doing that, I have said something wrong or hurtful, it was purely unintentional.

Secondly, if your anger was vented only against those people who use orkut to hurl unreasonable abuses, and you still care for Xavier’s, giving the faithful ex-students their due, then I have nothing to complaint about.

I remember my first month in class seven, when you were our English teacher, teaching us “The Man on the Island” from our Radiant Readers. (You resigned right after that). Whatever anyone might say about you, I liked immensely the way you taught English. So, when you expressed your regret that you had not resigned sooner, it struck me that although the decision to resign was a completely personal one, it did affect a lot of students-to-come adversely. Had you stayed on, then possibly, all of us would have been able to write ‘three correct sentences in a row.’

Sure, it is not for little boys to decide a lot of things. But someday, when those little boys grow up, they would have been able to express to the world their gratitude towards a good teacher. Not all boys grow up into “illiterate, ungrateful, foul-mouthed riffraff”, not all become inhuman beings either.

Rajarshi
P.S. On a lighter note, I did feel a ripple of anger when I read the phrase ‘little boy’.

Sayan said...

When I was in the 8th standard I did begin to sense deterioration in the standards of teaching at Xavier’s. I won’t take names, but the resignation of at least one good teacher and the arrival of a sub standard teacher on her behalf left me in complete darkness about a subject I had begun to appreciate. As a result I started to lose interest in the subject. Of course, I don’t blame the teacher alone; I was as much responsible for losing interest as he was. If only I had started to investigate the subject on my own and experimented with it in my own sweet way, which I did but not until I was in the eleventh standard, I wouldn’t have suffered that lack of interest and there would have been nice continuity. I am also grateful to a friend and teacher of mine, who was at that time an Engineering student at Jadavpur (and the best teacher of science I have had till now) for rekindling that urge. And of course, I am grateful to Suvro Sir. I did not fall for the bad habit of bunking classes (which became regular for me in college) only because of him; I went to school only because I did not want to miss his classes (I missed that lecture on the nature of reality, Sir, and I still regret that).
As for that community on Orkut, just out of curiosity to see what was in it, I created my Orkut profile, spent a few minutes reading the posts and then couldn’t go on for much longer. I then deleted my Orkut profile and felt that I had made a wise decision long ago by choosing not to be on Orkut.
Sayan Datta.

Sayan Sarkar said...

Sir,
This discussion is a very hurtful one for me, as I consider my years in St.Xaviers' to be some of the most crucial in my life.

Speaking of irreverent conduct and flouting of discipline and civic norms, I was guilty once. I was given a "C" in conduct for first month in class 10. But more importantly, such instance was the first and last in my life. Not only were Roy Sir and you played your part in reiterating the need for discipline and conduct, but I felt the onus was on me to learn from my mistakes.

The only suggestion as a SXS alumnus that I feel I am in a position to offer is that it finally depends on the individual to improve herself. Unless she has the astuteness to distinguish between the high and the low, and choose the former, I feel she does can never be in a position to accomplish anything significant in life.

And as for blaming the deterioration of the school in general on the exodus of teachers, I would urge the students to first play their part fully-by behaving the way a student worth her salt should. Exhausting energy in passing the buck only ensures that the job is never done ( which I thought to be true when I was a teenager, and I learnt to be pithy in my college and in my former workplace).

When I look back, that "C" in conduct turned out to be more helpful than many other more pleasant thing in life. I once more would like to mention that it depends on the individual!

Sayan Sarkar
sayan1013@yahoo.co.in

Greek.theatre said...

I do understand, Sir. You had been yards better than people you studied with or taught with. Then they spread rumours, hurled abuse and even conspired(keeping silent in the face of injustice is also conspiracy) against you. Then you 'resigned'. The expression has a sense of ennui and despair as well as the anger that rejection carries. Thereafter you have done things on your own terms and have been fairly successful. Suddenly people turn up from nowhere to be filthy, to say things out of turn and have even the cheek to write posts in defence. It is very irritating, to say the least.

Rajarshi, hasn't grown up. He waxes eloquent when a simple apology would have been enough. I remember the warmth with which you received me when I visited you after a good three years.

Rajarshi, can speak to me. I will ask him if he sticks to any job(that is if he earns his own bread) to 'teach' people about what is right and wrong.

Have a good time, Rajarshi. Do not bore us, please.

Arani

Saptarshi said...

Dear Suvro Stalin Chatterjee,

It is not often that I care to waste my time(and I do have a lot of time to waste) on meaningless holier-than-thou drivel. Even if I do, it is even rarer for me to comment on it.

Nevertheless, I was compelled to take more than a passing note at some of your posts, and I would urge you to please go get a life! If you cannot find one, I am even ready to spare you some.

You wish you had resigned earlier - I wish, the sooner you get resigned to your fate of being just the resident "yap-bag", the better off everyone is.

I do not think this post of mine will see the light of the day, but in order to make myself more difficult to be disqualified, I shall not post this "anonymously".

Regards,
Saptarshi Basu(Class of 1996)

P.S. I would have also given you my sections and bench coordinates, had I remembered them.

Arnab said...

Sir,
That community was really an eye opener for me. I knew that most of my classmates couldn’t write three correct English sentences in a row, weren’t intelligent enough to appreciate anything good, but I had never imagined that they could stoop so low!
It’s a common thing to give teachers funny names, but talking about it in a public forum is unacceptable. Sir, do you think that lodging protests against them would be of any good? I still can’t imagine somebody talking about ‘saree drops’ of teachers old enough to be their mother. For the first time I’m feeling ashamed to calling myself an ex-xaverian not because of our present headmaster but because of its students.
I was about to ask you to stop worrying about the comments on you but I think it would be just too hard. Don’t know how you do it, sir.

Love,
Arnab Chakraborty

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I don't as a rule let this place be polluted, but I decided to publish Saptarshi's "comment" for two reasons:

1. One teacher of Xavier's told me over the phone only this morning that she couldn't believe 'our old boys' could really be both so senseless and so crude, and

2. Even my young daughter began to laugh helplessly after reading that post, and said, 'Baba, this was the sort of critter on which you wasted fourteen years of your life? I'll have a lot to say about Xaverians in my school hereafter!'

So thanks, Saptarshi. You've been a big help.

Rajdeep said...

Remember the story, "The Last Lesson"? It was in the Radiant readers too. It is freely downloadable from the internet. Most people don't realise what they are doing till their last day. It is waste of time discussing them folks!

SleepyPea said...

Saptarshi,
Why indeed are you wasting your time? Nobody's asking you to read Suvro da's blog. Nobody as far as I can see is asking you to comment, nor is anyone asking you to comment on whether anybody's or everybody's life would be better or worse.

You can go your own way, and do your own thing, instead of wasting your time and life calling Suvro da by silly names. I know that even remotely sensible people with more than an inch of sense in their heads are normally past the stage of name-calling by the time they hit double-digits. But of course the word "sensible" does not ring any bells with you, does it?

I would advise you to stay away from this blog, which nobody has even asked you to visit. Of course the posts would be too much for your mind to process - we can't blame you on those grounds. Feeble minds cannot be blamed for being feeble.
Shilpi Sarkar.

Sayan said...

Now, Now Mr. Saptarshi Basu, you really need to look yourself in the mirror and ask as to who really needs to get a life and who is the “yap-bag”? What’s so compelling that you find yourself driven to comment here? Your drive and enthusiasm is praiseworthy. But please do restrain yourself. Too much drive and too much urge doesn’t auger well.
Sayan Datta

Sayan said...

And why so much anger, Mr. Saptarshi Basu. I wonder where this anger is coming from. I guess it’s because you were quite happily enjoying that forum on Orkut, and now someone’s beginning to raise a voice against it; it’s so unfortunate, I agree. You had been happily indulgent in name-calling, senseless abusing, cursing and discussing people’s private anatomy, and now someone’s stopping you; very irritating, isn’t it?
And where is the name ‘Stalin’ coming from? In the two years I attended Sir’s classes, I never knew him to be rude and rarely saw him angry. And far from punishing or speaking ill of anybody, I rarely saw him even admonishing anybody. I remember the first class of his that I attended. On the first day itself he had said that we (the students) had the freedom to do whatever we liked in his class as long as we did not disturb him or the other children who wanted to listen. Perhaps you were expecting corporal punishment, and believe me that would have suited you nice. At least you would have learned not to be abusive and not to say things out of turn.
Shilpi di is right. You are feeble minded. I will go one step further to say that you suffer from inferiority complex.
Sayan Datta.

Arnab said...

Saptarshida,

If God had given you brains then you would have seen that by writing that comment, you merely emphasised Sir’s point. Please don’t bother to read this blog. I know that you have loads of time to waste (I am amazed to see that someone could actually be proud of being unemployed - “I do have a lot of time to waste”) but then we don’t have time to go through your rubbish! Spare us, and like Sayanda said .. go get a life!

I still don’t understand why you called Sir, Stalin. Just because he is strict about his principles? I still remember the day when Sir dissolved our batch at the end of the year, everyone was so quiet, as if someone had died. That’s not how you react when you get freedom from Stalin. You know what; I even doubt that you know who Stalin was! But then like Shilpidi said we can’t blame feeble minds for being feeble.

Kaushik said...

I’m deeply, deeply shocked and saddened. Though I didn’t feel like accessing the links, I can appreciate the deadweight of this severe hurt almost searing my friend Suvro but mind you, it’s not a stray one affecting him only! It’s perhaps reflective of a deeper malaise of complexity, jealousy, insularity, wretchedness that is afflicting our very system and gradually, surreptitiously, trying to sap the very vitals of our body processes!

Why, it’s no use commiserating one and cursing the others!
Fundamentally, perhaps, it is a collective complicity of guilt, confusion, shame, and sin etc commonly binding all of us which is slowly having a horrendous snow-balling effect on the entire generation and we can’t live the life of a hermit’s crab, smugly confident that we would be spared the heat and left unscathed!

Without in any way losing faith in the conscience of our future citizens, redeeming us from the trials and desperations that confound us today, let me again invoke the anguished prophecy of Tagore (Jhorer Kheya) to show us the light that we so desperately need :

‘’ Joto dukhha prithibir, joto pap, joto amangol,
joto ashrujol, joto hingsha, holahol,
somosto uthichhe torongia ….
Tobu beye tori ,
Sob thele dite hobe par…
Kane niye nikhiler hahakar,
shire loye unmatta durdin,
chitte niye asha ontohin...


Ore bhai, kar ninda koro tumi ?
Matha koro nato,
E amar, e tomar pap,
Bidhatar bokshe ei tap
Bahujug hote jomi, bayukone ajike ghonai”

[For the benefit of our Non-Bengali friends, Suvro may please consider translating the lines! It's so profound and instructive!]

Take care. Love
Kaushik Chatterjee.

Anwesha said...

I am a Carmelite and like all other Carmelites had the notion the the people who pass out of St. Xaviers are quintessence of morally civilised and cultured people. But the latest topic that is being discussed in the St. Xaviers community has succeeded in shattering this idea. Several of us went through their orkut scraps and this what we concluded:They are reviling their ex-teachers in the most rudest language of the English vocabulary and are proving how base they are.Passing I.C.S.E with one point and getting good ranks in IIT and similar competitive exams does not make one a good human being. Nobody can be perfect, but they should atleast have guts to protest directly.To do so one requires knowledge coupled with courage, which are lacking very much in those members. I hope that they would in future have the decency to comment more politely about their teachers to whom they owe so much.

Chiradeep Majumder said...

To those sorry "educated' people who feel it is their freedom of speech to express what they did in the community of our school in Orkut - I thought I would pity your existence! But right now ( or ever) I feel nothing for you. You are too ignorant to understand what education is; You never knew and will never know what respect means. That you cannot behave like a human being shows how useless your existence is! Live in your false pride of 'holier than thou' attitude and waste your precious life in being critical of others where all you show is your faults , your difference from a human. Every time I feel all the more proud that I do not feel the same as you do and helps me feel all the more respect to those who do not belong to you.

Chiradeep Majumder

Arnab Kar said...

Dear Sir

I completely agree to all that you have said in your post and can understand how utterly shocked you must have been. It was really embarrassing to go through the posts on that community. It goes without saying that one rotten apple can indeed spoil the barrel. I find it utterly ridiculous that these people who seem to be aged enough (seeing the year they have passed out) have no other better job to do rather than criticise their teachers on a public forum. I wonder in which world they live in and how come they have so much time to spare and proclaim their foolishness to the whole world. I hope a day comes when their own children start mocking at them seeing their appalling behaviuor.

Arnab

JM said...

Dear Suvro Sir,

I came to know of this incident today, and was perplexed by the behaviour of our ex-students, who thought it would be wise to air their crude thoughts in the public forum. I also went through your blog and found your post very much apt.
I wonder how does people get time to write such things, that hurts sentiments... i wonder what good does it do to them!!! As a member of the community i thought it appropriate to inform Trinanjan immediately and acted accordingly.
I guess in every sphere there are such people who tend to take advantage of something good and bring in disrepute, this is another example. I feel they acted not only in the most "Un-xaverian" manner, but also in a manner not fit for a decent human being.
But I would like to mention sir, that there are people who do care, who still can recollect the words taught by our dear teachers with fondness and can still take the criticism that our teacher's made in the spirit that it should be taken.
I still remember, the words you wrote as the parting words in my diary, "May the Xavier's experience never dim in your mind and heart". I assure you, there are people who haven't forgotten this, and I hope the act of writing malicious comments by ex-students will only be an aberration. Hope people realizes soon enough.

Regards

Joydeep Mukherjee
2002 Batch, St.Xavier's School, Durgapur.

Uddyam said...

The Blog and the numerous comments that have been posted since indicate that we have very bad times ahead of us. I want to point out to all the readers here that "Orkut" is a place where probably all of us can be what we would generally not dare to be otherwise. What we personify ourselves to be on "Orkut"(I have studied for a span of 10 years to know some of them very well) is not at all what we are. The vast majority of the people on Orkut are just wasting valuable work hours of their employers or trying to make friends by saying things that would attract the attention of others. What else can be more attractive than the crap on the Xavier's Community. Most of the people who never had any opinion on anything are the one's who would end doing what you see on that community.
From my personal experience with teachers and very few could have interacted the way I did owing to various reasons during my school days, every teacher had certain shortcomings and thats in all of us...so it really does not deserve a discussion forum all together. Some would disagree and call it freedom of speech, expression etc. forgetting that it is something that is available to people who deserve it and cannot be given to all or specially people who only have one aim in life i.e. to increase their friend list on orkut by faking and lying about themselves and writing filth because the vast majority on orkut are looking for it.
Sir and to all my teachers who have have felt terrible after going through the literature on that community, not all your ex-students deserve kindness and well wishes from you, reserve it and give it only to the one's who deserve it.

Uddyam
uddyam.mukherjee@gmail.com

Nishant said...

Dear Sir,

After reading the comments and thinking about them, I realized that one may not be able to make people think in a certain manner. People are entitled to their own opinions (about other people, situations etc) whatever their reason be. But what I strongly object to is expressing their opinions and that too in such filthy language on a public forum, which is open for anyone to see. Using such language and discussing topics (like the way people dress) reflects poorly on the people themselves, causes a lot of discomfort to other people who go through the community and last but not the least a lot of pain to the people who are being discussed.
I don't say that I am a saint. I am sure many of us here have had nick-names for friends and teachers while in school and college. We even used to imitate them (as I am sure some imitate me) but that was for a very few eyes. And I feel discussing such things in public (forums) is simply unacceptable.
The advent of orkut has, I think, bereaved many people of common sense and rationality and users have been discussing all sorts of things on public forums with no regard to privacy. I hope better sense prevails soon.
I am sorry that you and some other teachers had to undergo a lot of pain.

Sincerely
Nishant.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

My friend Alka has just written in and asked me to post the following comment because she's having trouble with it on her own computer:

"I read your latest post today, in fact I read all of your posts on the blog. But today's post was an eye opener. What I think is, it's a general mental, cultural, moral decline of so called generation X Y or Z whatever one prefers to call them. They don't have respect for anyone. But the root cause is no one bothers to teach them. Just come and visit Delhi once and you will know what I am talking about. Or ask Tanmoy. It seems as if parents are creating wanting machines, not children. In my building when children (I am talking about one or two year-olds) come down to play, even their hairbands and clips match their shoes and dresses. Forget about slightly older children. You will think that they are not here to play but to play a part in a Disney serial. When they pay so much attention to dress and accessories just imagine how much attention they give to actual playing. Very early in life,(courtesy parents) they learn to judge a person by his/her dress and.... that's why the crudeness, because they don't know what are the finer things in life or what are finer emotions. And forget about any sensible debate with them. They just don't give a damn about how much you know or what a dynamite you are in so many spheres of life. If you are not eating at certain places, not dropping names of fine wines and current dishes, not dancing in certain discos, not holidaying in hip and happening places, not wearing certain jackets and shirts you don't count. You have not arrived at all.

When I was teaching in a small town, things were different. Maybe due to the more relaxed pace of life, parents did have time for parenting. But today the story is different. The main culprits are parents.

But all said and done you are still lucky that so many of your students are so well versed in good manners and they write perfect English and respect you so much.

Alka"
www.alkadwivedi.net

NA said...

Sir,
I read your post as well as most of the comments that followed it.
Regarding the abysmal levels of grammar and language and the
derogatory nature of the community-content, I have nothing to add to
what has already been said by you and the others.
However, I would like to mention some of my own observations here:
1. As a former Carmelite, I am a member of a similar community for
students of Carmel School (Steel). And after visiting the SXS
community, I made the obvious comparisons regarding language and
content. In terms of language, it is a similar scenario though the
abusives are fewer (The principal had been severely criticised as
well, but there was no name-calling). In terms of content, I must say
we are much more civilized. Yes, the teachers are discussed but never
abused - and no, its not like we loved all our teachers either.
I dont why there is this difference but I found this interesting. Sir,
may be you would have something to say about this. (Here is the link
to the carmel community:
http://www.orkut.co.in/Community.aspx?cmm=1779315).

2. I have come to believe that the language used by people mirror
their character. And the advent of SMS text has just made it simpler
to separate the grain from the chaff. And till date, I have come
across no exceptions.

3. An anecdote from personal experience: Someone once scrapped me the usual will-u-b-mah-frend? on orkut and I, quite uncharacteristically, sent a reply highlighting his poor language skills. He wrote back: "ru
a eng. techer?"

4. On the use of SMS text: i think it has a lot to do with the company
you keep. I was in middle school when I was introduced to the internet through an email from my cousin, written in SMS text. Naturally, I was convinced that emails simply had to be written in SMS text and while writing my reply ensured that I changed the spellings for as many words as I possible could have.
In the years that followed, my cousin and I both grew up in age and out of the SMS text fancy. She went first and wrote to me how most sensible people in the States had stopped using SMS text and I soon followed. It was around this time as well that Sir, you told me how people who use SMS text are the ones who are either lazy or cannot type fast enough. And that made a lasting impression on my mind.
Point being: The opinons of two people I look upto shaped my viewpoint.
In recent times, I have seen this happen again on an orkut community
of which I am a member. It is a small community where the older
members refrain from using SMS text or use it sparingly. Consequently, the newer members have followed in their footsteps. Atleast, the first time you look at the post, you know its in English and not some alien language.

5. On Saptarshi's comment: I could not help but notice that he does
not once care to support his statements with facts. Like he calls you a yap-bag without telling us why he thinks you are one and honestly, that makes him little more than a yap bag himself.

Thats about all that I had to say.
~Mayuri Mukherjee
mukherjee.mayuri@gmail.com

Aakash said...

Somerset Maugham had once said. " It takes much cultivation to be idle." Obviously, most people with a lot of time to waste lack the 'cultivation'.

I was wondering if any of these great souls, who have pondered so efficiently about their teachers, had done anything better in their lives. Perhaps they consider giving advice to people they do not know well enough an act of philanthropy. If they did their jobs as efficiently, India would be a different place.

I was angry when I read those 'cute', backhanded remarks. Now, I feel sorry for them.

People do not realise what it is to give up more than half of one's life to a certain place.

Bonkooloolooloo said...

Dear Sir, I am sorry once again that you almost had to coax me to comment on this post...
Though I agree with your views on this particular community on Orkut, I frankly do not think that the people who have indulged in this rubbish are really degenerates. Even among the people who have written on this thread (on Orkut), there are quite a few who have spoken fondly about their school life without making insensitive remarks about people who have taught them.
After all it has always been a 'cool' thing to refer to one's teachers by their names. People simply do it without giving it a second thought because its so easy to follow the band-wagon! And as long as a person who seems 'cooler' in the eyes of these people (say a US-returned fellow with an MBA from Stanford) actually tells them that discussing one's teacher's anatomy and personal habits is not so 'cool' a thing after all, they will continue to do so. What I find pretty interesting, is, however, the fact that most of the people who have written the most offensive things are the 'diligent students' who went up the dias thrice a year to collect the 'token of merits' from the Headmaster's hands, as the rest of the school sat on narrow benches and clapped, and aspired to be like them! I can say this because I can recognise quite a few of these people as being the ones who were considered the 'creme de la creme' of the Xaverian student community of my time! However I have nothing to say about SAPTARSHI over here. I have no clue which opiate he was high on when he wrote this post. Of course we have seen teachers who might not have been as terrific as Mr Uday Roy, Mrs Malini Ramdasor , Mr Suvro Chatterjee or Mr Parameshwaran. But that does not mean that we have any right to ridicule them on a public forum.
Just wish all these people find out better ways of entertaining themselves.
We have ended up with with very few role-models; there's no dire need to drag the few that we still have, to dust...

Apu Mukherjee

Suvro Sarkar said...

Dear Sir,

As one of the participants on the forum of discussion you have highlighted, I would herewith take the liberty to offer an unconditional apology, on behalf of everyone in the forum to all whom we have hurt, intentionally or unintentionally, during the course of our rather insensitive and uncouth discussion a couple of years back.

I hope we have all learnt, since then, to avoid using a public forum to display our perversity. However, what a handful of us did should not reflect poorly on Durgapur Xaverians in general, and they should still be able to hold their heads high. I hope, Sir, you will be able to forgive our misdemeanour as juvenile excesses. I also, hope, that all others on this forum, who have been pained by the happenings in the relevant orkut community, will dismiss it as childish foolishness on our parts and not hold us as proper representatives of St. Xavier's Durgapur bringing the name of our school into disrepute. That will weigh too heavy on our shoulders and I firmly believe that is the last thing any of us set out to do, as we all owe most of what we are to the school and its teachers. My heartfelt apologies once again.

Best Regards,
Suvro.

Subhanjan said...

All those who have been obscene in that stupid community on Orkut are in no way different from a factory laborer, no matter which IIT or IIM they are from. Even a factory laborer is far better actually, for it is only his social status and condition that makes him obscene. But what a pity I feel for all those “civilized, middle-class ” parents who are proud of their “brilliant” children who are growing up to become “doctors”, “engineers”, and “managers” who, along with MS, MTech or MBA degrees, have also developed the skill to become morons and zombies at the same time. Those who would become doctors would be obscene to their female patients. Those who would be managers would treat the office sweeper like an animal. And those who would be engineers would abominate the laborers sweating it out throughout the day. And the common thing to all of them would be that when their wives would grow fat and ugly with age, they would insult their wives too, and desperately try to satisfy themselves by throwing themselves at prostitutes or leering at every pretty girl on the street; which, of course, would be followed by far worse mutilation of language, since language would be used by these animals to abuse the very women satisfying them.

Wow! What a matter of pride for Father Gilson! What pride for St. Francis Xavier! And what pride for all those teachers who taught them not just for money, but also felt somewhere deep inside that they would be remembered for something good that they had done somewhere, sometime, by some student!

We were children then. It may be that we had no one to show us or teach us what ought to be done and what is not to be done. But, at this age, when we are going to start careers and families, what on earth has happened to us? Where is our maturity? What is the use of education and all that hard-earned money that our parents had spent on us so that we could grow up to be good and educated men?

Arnab’s words will inevitably prove to be true. Someday the next generation of students, sons and daughters of these very “Xaverians”, would mock and jeer at their peculiarities. Justice would thus be done.


Subhanjan Sengupta
2002 Batch

Ritambhar said...

Hi Sir,

I was out of my base location all last week and hence am reacting late to the raging controversy. Honestly, I have heard and seen such kind of vile and uncharitable remarks about teachers before but never with such forceful intent to malign individual teachers and that too, in a public forum. I feel the deepest angst regarding the uncouth comments about female teachers and also regarding the criticism directed at you.

Some people tend to think that you favour and help only sycophants. I feel that I, myself, am the perfect example to the contrary. I never felt the need for any toady-ism, yet I always received high marks and grades from you, whenever I deserved. I still remember when I was part of the class of 9C (1995-'96), of which you were the class teacher. Though many of us had good basic English skills, our essay-writing and comprehension skills were not of the highest order. As a result, in the first term, the entire class scored very poorly in English-1 and I received only 54 (which was a C). I worked hard under your guidance and improved dramatically to score 76 in the next term (an 'A'). It was the highest in class and the paper was still very hard. From that point on, I have never looked back and have none but you to thank for whatever proficiency I possess.

My regard for you was well-established even before I entered your class. I remember my dad had gone to your home in order to enrol me in your tuition, after I passed class 8. You had told my dad that my marks were good and whatever was lacking would improve if I land up in your class and there was no need to enrol then. That came true eventually and I consider it as extreme good luck. The reason why this incident influenced me so much is that I have come across many teachers and professors who would only favour those who are enrolled in their private tuitions.

I have taken lessons from several teachers and professors in my life and I know that many students have scant regard for their teachers. It is also true that a great number of them don't evoke much respect; they don't take their jobs seriously. As a result, some tend to loose objectivity in judging people who really helped shape their careers. This is just a fact and not an excuse for ex-students to hurl abuses at their erstwhile teachers. I have always felt that great teachers not only helped me pick up subject-specific skills, but also influenced and shaped my personality and made me realize that being a good human being is of primary importance, before everything else.

Thanks and Regards,
Ritambhar Roy
ICSE '97

Sudipto Basu said...

I wonder what is more apalling about the relevant orkut thread-- that "proud Xaverian" students form so inane opinions on teachers based on idle-talk floating about in school reeking of ignorance and good manners; or that these people think that it is really rather valiant of them to speak so derogatorily (or "frankly", as some of them would put it!) about respectable teachers? Is it really compulsory to speak ill of others without having a little clue about the factual and ethical correctness of these statements just to sound "cool"?

I wonder what is more alarming-- that stupidity like this is so rampant in today's world (I myself know lots of students in my batch who spoke ill of Sir on the sly, while also acknowledging that Sir's notes were the only thing that helped them score better! Talk about duality!), or that there are people who are so blinded by irrational hate and foolish ego that they blatantly refuse to see the truth for themselves?

Calling teachers by nicknames (even slightly seemingly derogatory ones) is fine with me only until a certain limit of indecency is not crossed-- I remember doing so myself but I also do remember that I never hated any teacher so irrationally (can assure everyone that I only liked six or seven teachers throughout my Xavier's life; and cared to keep in contact with only two!).

Even in praising teachers, as has been noted by Sir, students can't say anything coherently except a few lines like "he looked cool" and "he taught well". That, I can safely say, is not what the said teachers just expect after they have spent a major part of their lives trying to educate students (though I may might as well add that a lot of teachers in Xavier's still do work only for the sake of money, and not for the love for teaching!).

What is worse-- that a majority of the much-adored Xaverians can't write simple and good english; or that they don't feel an ounce of shame and guilt for being such a poor example representing both themselves and their much-loved school? Doesn't it occur to these people that they are impressing and attracting only similar riff-raff (or is it a mighty satisfaction to know that I have thousands of morons around me-- so how does it matter if I am one?)? Do they not realise that no sane parent will hereforth put his son into Xavier's if he stumbles upon this goldmine of a thread.

But alas, as Shilpi di noted, we can't blame the less intellectually-endowed for being so!

Sudipto Basu.
2006 Batch.
sudibasu@rediffmail.com

Abhirup said...

Dear Sir,
Sometime in early 2007, when I had just become a member of Orkut, a former classmate of mine had invited me to join the 'St. Xavier's School, Durgapur' community. I didn't, the reason being the appalling thread about which you have written. It was indeed disturbing to see so many people--all of whom would be grossly offended if I call them chattering apes, which is what they resemble in their behaviour--so actively endorsing vulgarity. It would have been shocking if they had spoken in a manner so profane in the privacy of their houses; here they are doing it on a public forum! Clearly, the concepts of decency and good taste are becoming more and more elusive with every passing day.

What I found particularly odd was that none of those who indulged in name-calling and lampooning the teachers seemed to have any genuine grudge against those teachers. Rather, they did it in the same spirit as people in rural India go to watch lowbrow entertainment (namely 'tamasha' and 'nautanki'). It would have been understandable--though by no means condonable--if the name-calling had been born out of anger of being mistreated by some teacher. I have personally been ill-treated by certain teachers of Xavier's for no good reason. But if I ever take up the cudgels against them, I would try my best to write a proper criticism (the criteria for which have been enumerated by you in the concluding paragraph) instead of simply emptying my stock of swear words. But genuine criticism, like anything genuine, requires intelligence and hard work, and hence, is unlikely to be undertaken by the overwhelming majority of today's generation (alas, my own!).

As for the likes of Saptarshi, they are confused, angry, ignorant, miserable souls, unfit to be even indicted, let alone being paid attention to. I do admire him for his frankness, though--"I do have a lot of time to waste", he confessed. Not everybody can be so candid about how useless he is. His inability to defend his anger against Sir by a single point alone speaks volumes about his stupidity.

I would now like to say something in response to a common mindset which Sir too has addressed in his blogpost. Those who speak well of Sir--whether here or on that community in Orkut--have been summarily dismissed as sycophants. So according to these people, politeness and admiration is synonymous with sycophancy, while rampant use of dirty words and insults is the sign of a strong-willed individual. Glorious! But just in case you didn't know, it had been written ages ago in all Holy Scriptures that it takes nobility of character to praise someone worthy of it.

And in case these haters think that Sir has created this blog only to criticize and insult, do read the posts listed under the topic 'Tributes.' You shall be amazed by the depth of affection and respect he has shown to people as diverse as his own grandfather and authors Arthur C. Clarke and J.K. Rowling, as well as an old servant now dead. Also, find and read the post titled 'I have seen God's glory', where he thanks those doctors and other people who treated him and stood by him when he underwent an operation. Those doctors, by the way, include my own father (not named only because we agreed that it would embarrass him). So, please at least take the trouble to go through all his posts before you jump to hasty conclusions. Try and realize that it is anguish rather than anger that made him write his latest blogpost: the anguish that is caused by the realization that fourteen years of his life have been wasted on retarded, ungrateful riffraff who he believed could be reformed. Had he left sooner, he would have gained infinitely more, both in terms of money and better students, as I have been personally witnessing for the last five years.

Abhirup Mascharak
mascharak104@gmail.com

shrikant said...

Dear Sir,
Having myself made 2 posts on that controversial topic on the Xavier's community, I dont know how much I truely deserve to stand here and pass judgement on other students.Some might have found my comments on Angana Miss and her histrionics, amusing and some might have found it in poor taste. The intent of the community was to share anecdotes and funny stories from our school life and hence discussing our teachers was an integral part of it. But,the crudy and crassy comments passed on teachers is just not acceptable. True, we all had crushes on some of our teachers, but there was never any harm intended. I myself quite distinctly remember how you used to tell us about your batch going crazy over Rita Pandey Miss and Bhowmick Miss. I personally feel that having a crush on your teacher isnt a bad thing, but yes, passing lewd comments on them is a different issue altogether.
We werent saints when we were in school, we used to make fun of all our teachers but there was never any ill intent involved. And to a point I do believe that teachers are also to be blamed for the way they presented themselves to the students. I will not take names, but there were teachers who could have presented themselves in a much more appropriate manner. Boys are boys and they will notice all this stuff and snigger about it.I am not advocating anything here;my point is that there is nothing abnormal in it if no harm is meant.
There was a lot of personal abuse which was hurled on some of the teachers. This is really sad. The majority of those were directed at you Sir. Then again the majority of the praises were also aimed at you. I had written in an earlier mail, that with your charisma and personality,you are bound to have both admirers and enemies. Now students who respect you and love will not go about shouting your praises, as that will sound extremely lechy. But the ones who dislike you will go about spreading rumours and negative comments about you. Thats human nature. I can only suggest you to ignore them,because there is nothing one can do to change their opinion. Personally , you were my best teacher I ever had and your classes were the most memorable moments of my school life.Nobosy or no comment can take that away from me as I am sure hundreds of other students will agree.
Please stay calm Sir and enjoy the adulation and love you get from your students rather than worry about a few who tarnish your name.

Regards
Shrikant

Aparna said...

I think it's a shame that so few old girls have yet spoken up for Suvroda. Maybe he was right after all (though we all felt very sad and a little angry when he said it!) that all the abuse as well as praise would come from the boys; the girls would just gush and forget. Let me make amends on behalf of our tribe, even if in a small way.

Two things - one a comment on this blogpost and another in the orkut community that Suvroda has mentioned - hurt me badly: that he was a 'yap bag' (what an uncouth expression!) and that he was an arrogant know-it-all who 'got half his facts wrong'. This is because I am myself grateful (as I'm sure lots of others are, only they won't speak up) that Suvroda talked so much and so well - he was the first teacher who made studying really enjoyable, even enchanting for me, and he remains the best I have found yet, though I have got my p.g. degree now. All those jokes and stories and quizzes and anecdotes-in-passing: they opened up a world of fun as well as knowledge for me that I had never known existed. What kind of wretched creature can call such a teacher a 'yap bag'? What hurt him, really - the realisation that he himself was not only a dull dumbo but one beyond cure?

And as for Suvroda being someone who got half his facts wrong, I'd simply love to meet the wise guy who said that, and subject him and Suvroda together to an impromptu quiz, and publish their scores to the whole wide world!... and who is a 14-year old boy (as I guess this abuser was when Suvroda was his teacher) to judge whether a great teacher is 'arrogant' or simply proud that he is so much better than the rest?

Many of us love you still, Suvroda, and will always be grateful. A thought: maybe that's exactly the reason why so many people hate you - because they know that they will never be able to earn so much love and gratitude from so many? Think about it, and don't feel so blue.

Sayan said...

Even I am beginning to see that many people despite holding very strong opinions on the topic under discussion are just not willing to speak up. When I was telling an old school friend who works in a reputed IT company about Sir's most recent post, he started talking agitatedly about the negative aspects of his workplace and the kind of people many of his colleagues are. When I tried to coerce him into putting up the same on Sir's blog, he shied away. So I thought I would put it up myself.
I find remarkable similarities between his colleagues and the kind of people Sir has been talking about. He says about his colleagues that they are very well mannered, well behaved and courteous inside their workplace, more so when they are communicating with a person of higher position, whose views might have a bearing on their promotion. But the moment they are even five centimeters outside the periphery of their workplace, their ‘real’ nature takes over. They start whistling at girls and pass lewd comments at passers by – of all ages. Of course, no one dares to protest seeing the IT tag proudly dangling from their necks, as if it were a national award of some sort meant to be displayed in public and meant for others to take heed of and learn from! Even when they are in public a place (which is almost always a restaurant or a cinema hall; a library? Forget it!), they are unabashedly just as crude and as perverse and as loud. It does not occur to them that there might be people who might not quite be in agreement of their sense of humour and tastes in general. Neither can their minds come to terms with the fact that people can actually have better things to do than listening to them. And I have no doubt they are convinced that, celebrities that they are, it is our good fortune to be able to watch them make a public show of their refined nature and encyclopedic intellectual range! They are kings of course by God’s own will, and we were only meant to serve and applaud!
These are also exactly the kind of creatures who say nasty things about their boss the moment his back is turned and love to spread all sorts of rumours; and they call Sir a hypocrite! And yes, they take immense pride and unrestrained joy in belittling people belonging to the lower income class (My friend was telling me how they treat waiters at restaurants – it’s a pain even to hear), the latter often being far more honourable, charitable, aware and intelligent than them. Only yesterday a rikshawallah was telling me how Bengalis, through toil and effort, had earned the respect of people worldwide and how they are now losing everything their forefathers had arduously and painstakingly earned, and all this at the cost of becoming clerks, ‘sophisticated’ clerks maybe, but clerks nonetheless.
Residents of Durgapur – if these IT tag holders are the ones who find appealing, take inspiration from and hope to emulate – do you know that Roger Penrose (if you have heard of him, of course!) did you a great favour by actually putting his foot on your soil!
Sayan Datta.

Supra said...

I knew that most students cannot write three correct English sentences in a row, don't have brains and sensitivity enough to appreciate anything good and nice, but I had never imagined that they could stoop so low just for the sake of 'fun'! Even if one doesn't really respect some teacher one can at least have basic decency and courtesy. This happens even at our school: students abusing teachers in vernacular languages behind their backs, calling them by all sorts of funny and disgusting names. In fact one would be shocked if you by chance refer to the teacher by his/her original name. even if it's a common thing to give teachers funny names, but talking about it in a public forum - isn't this too much? It shows how insensitive and crude people can be behind a veil of manners and etiquette. I can assure you that these boys and girls will grow up and lecture their children about manners and why one should respect their elders. And these are the people who call themselves 'educated' and 'refined', people who don't even know how to write and talk with basic decency. And what is more shocking that students who have been discussing all this don't feel an ounce of shame and guilt, they are rather delighted, which shows how utterly base and hard heart they are. We all claim to be civilized right? We feel that they are much more civilized than our ancestors. Is it really so? I find it utterly disgusting if such jokes serve as a means to entertain these people. . Don't we have anything else to remember that is nice about school, teachers and its environment? It shows how incapable we are because, life has both good and bad to offer, it all depends on the individual how one remembers them.

Regards
Supra

raya said...

Sir I read your recent post and I also read what others had to comment.Even I have a few things to say.
Over the years Sir not only taught his students the nuances of correct English but also tried various ways to enrich the minds of his students.I have fond memories of Sir's classes where I learnt the basics of Group Discussions.Sir held quiz games from time to time which was fun and a wonderful way to learn facts.I still remember how we enjoyed watching movies in his class.
Most importantly I would like to state that not one piece of information Sir shared with was was irrelevant.Every bit of information enlightened my mind in some way or the other.
I will conclude by thanking Sir for the Teacher that he has been.
Paulami Sen

Nikita said...

Dear Sir,
It was disappointing to see people writing vulgur comments about people their parents' age. Even we disliked some teachers in Carmel and in St. Michael's but I would not dare of speaking ill about them on a public forum. These ex-students may be taking pleasure in hurling abuses at their teachers, but shouldn't they stop and think about how the teachers might feel when they go through the scraps that have been posted by (probably) their once favourite students? May be some teachers are not very comfortable with using the internet, but their children surely might be. I know of a girl in our neighbourhood whose mother taught in the school where she studied and she said that it hurt her when she overheard students making rude comments on her mother. So all I would like to say is that one is not obliged to have unreasonable piety for a teacher. But he or she should be decent enough not to discuss things like 'sari-drops' in public.
I don't know most of the teachers who have been discussed in the community but surely i know Suvro Sir and Parmeshwaran Sir and I have learnt quite a lot from both the teachers. Both have taught me things in a playful way without ever making me realize how important lessons of life they were teaching me.
Regards,
Nikita Kamath.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I am butting in just to say that there have been 1000-plus visits to this blog in nine days since the last blogpost was written (and the number is nudging 1300 today). Wow! That sort of thing has never happened before since this blog was launched in July 2006.

Says something about mankind, doesn't it?

Niladri Roy said...

Thank you very much for taking the efforts of correcting my errors and then publishing the link of my blog (the corrected one)in your's. I'm always ready to face abuse of riffraffs. i'm also thankful for the encouragement.

Dutta said...

I was surprised after reading this post. I have even spoken to Sir about the matter. I am really ashamed to call myself a Xaverian now. People can be so dirty, it is beyond imagination! The teachers of our school are like our mothers. I wonder what might have beene the reactions of these so called "Bhadroloks" if people started discussing such filth about their family members.

Next comes another important point. These people do not have the courage to accept criticism, in decent language, for their filthy deeds. Sir has very rightly criticized these people, but I have noted that Sir's language has never gone out of the bounds of decency. These people have forgotten the difference between decency and indecency. They have started defining the meanings of these two words in their own ways. They have also replied to the criticizm of Sir, but one can easily notice that the language that they have used cannot be called a "Bhadrolok's" language. Is this what they have learned throughout their scooling? Is this what their what their parents have taught them from their childhoods? I have very serious doubts about their education and their cultural backgrounds.

Their is one more thing that I will ask these people. Have you ever interacted with Suvro Chatterjee? I do not think you have. It is very easy to say a lot of filth about someone without ever knowing what that person is like. A lot of rumours are always heard about people. I may hear a lot of rumour about my girl friend some day. But before making any decision in a haste, I think I shall speak to her first and get to know the details about the matter. Only after that should I decide anything. I think the majority of the people, except some about whom I do not want to comment, will do with their girl friends, what I will do with mine. If that should be the cases with our girl friends, then why should it be different with Suvro Chatterjee? Is he not a human being? Does he not have any feeling? Before commenting about something and making a decision about something or somebody, I feel, we should get to know the thing or the person properly. And if these arrogant fools think that I am speaking too much, I would like to point out that I am not saying something that has never been said or heard. I am just repeating somthing that has been said long ago by a famous person - Swami Vivekananda. Maybe these people have had some very bitter experience with Sir some time in class in school, and were lokking for an opportunity to avenge themselves, and now they have found out one. I do not want to criticize them. I just want to give them a small piece of advice. They should change for the better, if not for the society, at least, for their own. Otherwise, I feel, these people are going to face serious social and family problems in their future lives, when they will make nothing but prostitutes out of their wives - with such lines of thinking and mentalities, people cannot think of anything better about their wives!

Subhasis said...

I am an ex-Xaverian, though from a period decades back. It can be said without a doubt or debate- SXS Durgapur is one of the best.

When I spent my early educational years there, I had the privilege of being taught by such fine teachers as Father Gilson (rated one of the best teachers in South and South East Asia by Reader’s Digest) and Uday Roy. I would say without a bias and to the best of my judgment that the rest of the teachers were good but just OK. Like any business or enterprise one would get associated with - this was a typical mix. Had fun, learnt a lot and with the education and experience managed to somewhat manage life so far.

Don’t think anyone from SXS DGP can be cited for special mention or credit for any of my successes- nor any bitching for my failures and miseries.

Remembering some exceptional talents who were co-students and competitors – Suvro and Nilanjan (English and almost all subjects), Amit, Arunagshu, Arup and of course Ramchandran (Math Wiz Kid)

SXS DGP is and has always been a great institution. Maybe there’s something wrong with this internet thing and the resulting misinterpreted and misguided ‘free speech’ freedom.

My 2 cents.

satya said...

Thanks a lot Sir for sending me this link. I was sick and that's why couldn't read it earlier. After reading the comment I realized that those who have written these are simply fools who care for cheap publicity and nothing else. They belong to those communities who can never ever show their gratitude. We have developed as an engineer, doctor and what not but have still not developed as a human being. We very easily forget that our teachers and our elders take huge pain in developing us. Our parents give birth to us but it’s the teachers who instill knowledge and etiquette in their students.
But alas we forget this. I think People who wrote those junk things never ever realized that what they are writing. You can never ever force them to realize this and when they will realize this, it will be too late.
Sir every body is not the same. There are people who still respect their teachers. So what we should do is that concentrate on these people rather than the fools I have mentioned above.

SRIJANI said...

Language you use and the way you speak are the two most imporatnt things which help you to be a good human being. This is something which I have learned from my experience. Bad manners are harmful to both: the one who is being rude and to whom she is being rude. I have been ill-mannered to you and I know the side effects. I am the ultimate sufferer.

i would like to appologise to you on this public forum for being ill-mannered a number of times. I have learnt my lesson sir.

thankyou.
Regards,
Sriranjani Datta
Sriranjanidatta@gmail.com

arindam said...

Even though you make it seem that the people who posted such comments insane criminals, the fact is most people are like that. We as human beings find pleasure and joy in making fun at others expense. Why else would you laugh when you see a person is falling badly down the stairs or laugh at Charlie Chaplin getting badly beaten. It’s the classic case of throwing stones at frogs and deriving pleasure from it.
The other fact is that the internet creates a false sense of privacy. Just because you are isolated in your private space, it makes it seem that nobody else will come to know about your misdeeds. It is this that prompts people to behave badly or the large number of case of sexual abuse on the net. However if you meet the same people physically you would find that they might actually be nice people, for they are too afraid to show what they are in the physical world, due to the resulting consequences. It might be a bit immature for these people to be writing such stuff on the internet about our teachers, but I don’t doubt if the same internet were given to people in your age, people might have engaged in similar acts.
The other thing that I think has led to such acts is the fact that people of the present generation are less emotionally stable, in the sense that they are more likely to do things on the basis of what makes you feel good, rather than on the basis of any moral codes of discipline, honesty etc. This has probably risen out of a desire of the present generation to challenge the status quo, and although the results of doing things just on the basis of feel good might not show up in the short term, I think in the long term, the consequences might not be that favorable.
It must however be remembered that what seems crude or immoral in a past generation becomes quite normal to the next generation or vice versa. A good example would perhaps be how people used to criticize people for public displays of affection, which however becomes quite normal in the present scenario. I still remember how my parents scolded me for talking to a girl when I was in nursery, but it doesn’t seem to affect them now when my cousin does so. However I always wonder if such cases should at all be analyzed psychologically, for when we see these behaviors from the point of science and psychology, we tend to blame the system and sympathize with the person. It is the same with criminals, even their behaviors can be analyzed psychologically and a “scientific” reason might be found for their behavior. However I do think that inspite of the environmental situations we are in, which no doubt influences us a lot, we do have to control ourselves, from becoming a person solely of situation.
Your comment on people not becoming Sachin Tendulkars, or Einsteins seems unjustified to me. Of the 1 billion people in India there are only a handful of people we can call as popular people of the stature of Tagore. And if you look at the fact that this is over a large number of generations over which these people have lived, the sample size becomes staggering. I don’t doubt that people from Xaviers have gone on to do good things, perhaps not great, but I do know a few. I believe the reason for this is mainly the middle class attitude of taking the middle path, rather than any farfetched risks. And I don’t blame the middle class either. The prevailing geo-political situation in erstwhile West Bengal was too critical with closing factories, unions striking for anybody to dream of anything bigger than being a doctor, or a engineer. But I do believe that the situation will change in the near future.

Arindam Mukherjee
Email:arindam.mukherjee1985@gmail.com

Anshu Singh said...

Respected Sir,

What i am writing in this mail is an incomplete thought. Maybe you will try to help me complete it.
If you want to publish it, please go ahead.


Let me start by saying that i have been going through this post from the every first day of it's existence. I just could not frame my views into words.
without being prejudiced or being carried away by misplaced emotions. My rationale regularly prevented me from posting a reply,laced with morality,
self righteousness and other demons.Then luckily, i keep on noticing the amount of luck i have had in my life, i got hold of a book "ISTANBUL -Memories and the City" by Orhan Pamuk.

I knew then and the way there was to be taken.

I have not gone through the much talked about community in orkut. And, i intend not to go through it. I am sure what communities eponymous with school names, alumni networking..etc signify. It's a place of total mental torpor.
Those who say that they are being nostalgic are wrong. Nostalgia will only happen if there had been compassion, respect, love, child-like hatred in the very first place.
But do these words have any meaning other than an overload of emotions. Times have really changed and so has the interpretation of wisdom.

From where does the feeling of compassion, respect, camaraderie ..... come from. I know for sure that it does not come form preaching neither does it come by forceful submission to it. In the end it merely creates an illusion which when broken causes a lot of heartbreaks and creates a new set of prejudices, beliefs.

Truth is what is required now. Instead of shouting at each other, showering blind devotion, blaming one another why don't you all give the truth.

I have fallen down and have been a victim of many a whims of my teachers. But does that mean that they are bad persons, whom we can flog in front of everybody. No i do not think so, i think they are just like every other human beings.They have a superior subject knowledge and we must respect them for that, not for some qualities which we are constantly searching for in others rather than in ourselves.
The myth that teachers are mentors to be admired for they can do nothing wrong.
I had this myth broken down in my mind a long time ago when i was in standard 5 when i was punished for a crime - "cheating in an examination"
which i never committed.The persons involved were our erstwhile principle Father Wattier (pardon me if i am getting the spelling wrong) and
Mr.Parmeshwaram. Many people will raise their eyebrow and question the truth that i have written here. It does not matter because only two person
know the truth , myself and a fellow student Sunder Rao.

My main purpose is not to defile a person's name but just to point out that what happened to me (a complete disgrace--only those who know what a
disgrace is, will understand the profundity of the situation) was good or bad. It had to be good if i tried to extract the goodness out of it and i did.
I am not angry with them but instead i thank them for making me face hardship because of which i have definitely learnt a lot of things. Learning is
what should be done in schools (in the classroom, in the playground,in the schoolbus). If we do anything or expect anything else then we are in for a shock and that will only result in a sudden outbreak or a meek surrender.

"Those who have committed a sin will be the recipient of that sin in this life"

As for verbal abuse, i bet that those who have verbally abused others will sooner than later will be verbally abused. That is nature's balance.
A teacher is the most responsible role a person can get in a society, so utmost care and non-attachment must be maintained.A student is a mere reflection of the student.And a teacher is so very lucky to see so many different reflections of his image. A broken mirror, a perfectly rounded one,a one with sharp edges, a one which shines so brightly that hurts your eyes and the one who is just reflecting himself in the mirror of his teacher.

Warm Regards,
Anshu

Amit parag said...

Might be we do not live in a democracy!
An important dimension of democracy ( I got to know this aspect while reading David Lilienthal's speech on Communism) is that since it " for" the people, "by" the people and "of" the people, then the situations of people bitching about someone else or trying to besmirch the most precious possession anyone can have- his good name and dignity- is highly un-democratic. Then we are (and few comment writers here) are just pretending to be democratic, if measured by those standards. He argues( and I fully support him) that if people ruin someone else's good name, for that matter even trying to ruin, by snowballing rumors or judging with preconceived ideas or believing the false witnesses of people who are themselves not subject to cross examinations, then it is grossly illegal. But since the most common and most famous sign of democracy is government and elections, such small yet vitally important aspects get totally ignored. It is these small definitions of democracy which should be given stress to before forming governments and holding elections.
Why are people, millions of them, so good at making someone famous or vilifying somebody else? Why aren't there any rational judgments based on first hand experience? Is it, as Lord Krishna says in the Gita, because for every good thing there must be something bad? Is it that people must criticize, by force of nature and habit, nearly anything that is good, and anyone who is good?
Why were people once so bent on calling for crusades rather than understanding what Jesus said? If people are measured by standards set by great people, then only a handful of people would pass. Aren’t we forever left asking "why”?

Suvro Chatterjee said...

The likes of Rajarshi and Saptarshi (what insults to the names!) have gone awfully quiet...! Of course they cannot think of any worthwhile things to say, but isn't it strange that they can't even 'yap' any more?

All I said in this blogpost, by the way, was that I wish I had resigned sooner. I wrote that two years ago, but I feel the regret more keenly with every passing year.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I visited that orkut community today, after a long time. The last entry there, I find, was made in February 2007. A lot of comments have vanished, and what is more hilarious, virtually all the rest have become 'anonymous'. They would much prefer not to be associated with their own comments! As I said in this blogpost, vulgar and cowardly morons cannot have opinions...

SuroB said...

"The" Rajarshi .....
http://www.facebook.com/people/Rajarshi-Chattaraj/1364500187


"The" Saptarshi ....
in.linkedin.com/pub/saptarshi-basu/6/AB4/97B

Sir ... now we have grown older and wiser and now we have kids who are starting to go to school ... can we please delete these blogs so that my parents/wife/kids/friends/family who didn't go to St. Xavier's still things that I studied at a great Institution.

I was a much more happier person 2 hours back and now suddenly I have lost all my pride & confidence ... my ego and my sense of superiority is gone, courtesy few "great" men.

From - Surojit/1992

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for feeling differently from the herd, Surojit, but I have noticed that even age does not make everybody more mature and decent. Some people are just born obtuse and rude, and can't even tell the difference between courtesy and rudeness! This kid Rajarshi insisted via email that he was being 'courteous enough', and the fact that I thought differently didn't bother him at all. What can you say?

This post has recently replaced 'What sort of person am I' as the one visited most often, which held the top slot for a very long time. Curious, that...

By the way, are you the Surojit whom, when he was a little boy, I helped to find a sponsor so that he could travel to the US and attend an International Children's conference?

22 June, 2011 11:30

Prateek Sen said...

Hello Suvro da, i am Prateek Sen of 1990 batch. I happened to read your blog and could empathise with you for the improper comments by a few people. Yes,we should respect our teachers(which i believe majority of the ex Xaverites do barring few exceptions. But to categorise all ex xaverites as good for nothings is perhaps very harsh. Yes,xaverites may not have made it to the front pages of the newspaper,but many of them are pretty successful in whatever field they are in. Also some element of fun always happen when people discuss about old days in school and this is common all across. Yes,people should draw a line between funny and cheap comments which I sincerely agree to. Suvro da,we are all indebted to you and other respected teachers because of whom we are where we are today. Hope you are doing fine.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thank you for the comment, Prateek, but if you have read closely both the above blogpost and all the comments that have come in so far, I can have very little that is new to say to you. Whether most of our old boys are nice people or not, you make your own decision: I have made mine long ago. And as to whether most of them are 'pretty successful' or not, well, my standards of success are most probably very different from yours. You might, if you are curious, re-read the paragraph that starts with 'Where does all this rage come from...?'

Yes, I am doing fine: much better in every sense, as I have said, since I quit that school.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Just butting in to say I find it odd that this particular post has not only become the most frequently visited, but has been holding that position for such a long time. What has aroused the curiosity of so many, I wonder? Or is it again the herd-instinct at work: many people visit it merely because they see that it is the most often visited?

Curious, also, that in all these years not one of my late-unlamented colleagues has ever thought of writing a line here. Not to abuse me, not to wish me well, not to say that they have some good memories. And yet, when I am provoked to say publicly that it is these people who have taught me that I shouldn't ever imagine that people matter, they go around telling everybody how 'unsocial' I am!

Suvro Chatterjee said...

This is the sort of thing that is going on at that school now: from today's newspaper -
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1111129/jsp/bengal/story_14812226.jsp

With every passing year I feel more thankful that I took the decision to quit almost ten years ago!

Vishal said...

I unfortunately did not get to study right up to class tenth at the school since my father got transferred to a different city. I do significantly value the initial eight years I did manage to spend at St. Xaviers. It made me much of what I am today.

I really like your quote - "I used to endlessly underscore the point that they could not expect me to call them successful and admirable merely if they became doctors and engineers somehow - they needed far higher and rarer qualities (like courage and charity, to name just two) to impress me." - and I wish I had studied a year under your guidance.

Yes, many of your students may not appreciate what you tell them about themselves, but then even monkeys rarely like what they see in a mirror.

It is perhaps the scourge of a great teacher to be willing to deal with hundreds of rotten apples to get the opportunity to guide and groom a few to bloom into society's leaders for tomorrow.