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Saturday, January 30, 2010

This and that

A few things that come to my mind:

First, knowing that a lot more people read my blog often than have enlisted themselves as ‘followers’, I request those who haven’t done so yet to go ahead and enlist: it will help me better to keep in touch, and know which people are serious enough to communicate with.

Second, looking at the geographical spread of my readers on the map linked to my blog, I keep wondering… who reads me from Ulaan Batar in Mongolia, from Bogota in Colombia, from Ghana, from Madrid, from Dubai, and above all from Mountain View, California, home of Google Inc.? I’d really, really love to know.

Third, about comments. Why is it that so many people who assure me face to face or over the phone or by email that they read my blog regularly feel so hesitant or lost when it comes to writing comments? As I have said before, you don't have to be old and wise to do that: even asking questions and expressing appreciation or offering additional information on the subject which I and all other readers could profit from would be welcome comments. Long ago I quit journalism (despite getting paid for it, which isn’t the case with writing this blog) because though I knew that theroretically lakhs of people were reading me, a direct response through a letter to the editor came only now and then, and it made me feel I was writing in vain…

Fourth, I ask my readers once again to write in and let me know what they would like me to write about next. I shall try to oblige within the limits of my interest and ability. Knowing that there are eager people waiting is always a pleasure and a strong motivation.

Fifthly - as Ayan and Pradipto from the ICSE '99 batch found out like so many others a few days ago, anybody who wants to get back to me, even after a long hiatus, via email, phone or personal visit, is assured of a warm welcome and an enjoyable chat, just so long as they are polite and friendly and make their eagerness apparent. You need only to reach out...

Finally, this is just to tell a lot of people that I have broken my heart over a 2004 Iraqi-Kurdish film called Turtles can fly by Bahman Ghobadi. I won’t write why, because so few people seem to be interested in what I write about books and movies – but I shall say do go and see it for yourself.


Anirvan Choudhury said...

Respected Sir,

For the first two points : Anyone reading your blogposts(the other one too) should envy you for the quantity and quality(most importantly) of global fan following and admire you for the outstanding ambience it creates for your readers.

For the third point : Somehow I feel that I can identify myself with the issues you raised. Being organized and articulate is not everyone's cup of tea. I was myself a bit hesitant to write anything. The ice breaking took a long time. But then I thought, since these comments are supposed to be moderated before publishing - so I had a try(after all, you are my teacher and I would be corrected and/or guided if I am wrong at any point).

For the fourth point: I would love to see something
A.) About bringing up the childrens - from the perspective of a loving father and an affectionate teacher("Grand Teacher" - for my daughter): How to make them interested in books, help them make sensible choices, and above all good "Human Being".
B.) Evolution of Teacher Student relationship with time
C.) Creating Environmental Mass Awareness without being an alarmist

For the fifth point : I would like to say to Ayan and Pradipto on behalf of a lot of us "Welcome Aboard". Like a lot many of us I too share the same feeling of joy, when, finally I met you with your family in Puri last Christmas after almost 18 years.

For the Final Point : I would love to read your review of the film before watching it - just like your earlier reviews.

Sincere regards,


Rajdeep said...

I wish you would write more about the movie ...

Joydeep said...


I loved that movie too. Try another one- The Band's visit (Bikur Ha-Tizmoret). Hope you like it.


Subhasis Graham Mukherjee said...

the opportunity lost -

Suvro, please write about how a cricket-crazy nation has created a powerhouse of opportunity and is losing it.

this power shouldn't be wasted on doling out hundreds of thousands of dollars on NZ and Aussie cricketers past their prime.

It should be spent on promoting other sports in India.

Why does world class shooters from India have to pay Rs 50,000 per month out of their own pockets for a coach, where a Shane Bond, after he's done with NZ cricket and I(Indian)CL, is signed up for $750,000.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

You see why I didn't bother to review the movie, Anirvan and Rajdeep?

And Subhasis, I said I shall oblige 'within the limits of my interests and ability'. I guess your request is more than I can handle: firstly because I lost interest in cricket long ago, secondly because I think the whole sports scene in India is a sorry mess which doesn't bear comment, and thirdly because I don't think my views will make an iota of difference...

Shilpi said...

Err...Suvro da, no matter what a part of me feels - I was waiting for the heart rending review to be here on Sunday.

Keeping in mind the interest bit, the only thing I can think of for now is that I'd like you to write about Bhishma someday. I would say 'more of your own experiences that you can share' - but that makes me sound like a stuck recorder.
I'll make some other requests soon.

As for the rest: hope you gather more and more readers and many more of the good readers write in comments, and I hope the coming years are richly, joyously, and wonderfully rewarding for you.
Take care.

Subhasis Graham Mukherjee said...

No problems Suvro.

thanks for your time and effort in keeping these wonderful blogs going.

you wouldn't know, even enemies might be following these and benefiting from the postings and discussions.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Enemies? I am too insignificant, and have lived too quiet a life to have made many enemies, Subhashis - I don't give myself airs.

But yes, there are an awful lot of people who will be happy to hear that something nasty has happened to me. And too few who will hurt...

sanjukta said...

Dear Sir,
I have a request. Sir, if you have read the book ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho, will you please write a review on this book. I would love to read that.
And Sir sorry for whatever nasty thing that has happened to you ever.
With respect from,
Sanjukta Saha

Suvro Chatterjee said...

I have read the book, Sanjukta, but I did not find it either very profound or deeply moving. The message 'everything that you are looking for is inside you' has been conveyed far more beautifully and convincingly by many authors before Coelho. He is one of those authors who have got an undeserving amount of attention and praise. You will understand when you have read a lot of great books yourself. These days people cannot discriminate when it comes to great books and movies, for the simple reason that they have seen/read and remembered very few, and so they only get excited over what their friends are currently talking about.

I hear Chetan Bhagat is quite a rage among Durgapur Carmelites in class 6, 7 and 8. I think he has found just the right audience for him!

Krishanu said...

Respected Sir,
Firstly, I have to congratulate you for facing the very essential and pertinent issues that were raised by the film,'3 Idiots'.The comments which followed were equally important,and,through arguments and counter-arguments and lots of hitherto unknown facts (to me at least),a number of points-of-view were established.

Sir, you have said that you wouldn't mind if your readers sent in their suggestions on issues and topics, on which they would like to know your point of view. In this context, I have two queries on which I would be extremely grateful if you shed some light.

First, we are all aware that the American author, J.D.Salinger, recently passed away after a life of self-imposed seclusion.Do you think that his works, especially 'Catcher in the rye', still possess the kind of respect and charm that made him so famous,and yet,so uncomfortable with his fame?More specifically, does the mercurial Holden Caulfield still reflect the teenage angst as accurately as he did in the 1950's?

Second, there are speculations that Salinger left a lifetime of unpublished works behind. Should that be true, would you support any efforts made by his next-of-kin, or the executors of his will, to publish them? After all, the world came to know of the great Franz Kafka after his death, whereas the recent reports of efforts being made to publish Vladimir Nabokov's final works, brings us to the main dilemma:does an author write for himself, or do his readers hold an equal claim on his works?

I would appreciate any comments from your side, Sir, and I will eagerly wait for them.

Although I am not a frequent commenter here,I keep following your posts with enthusiasm, and I firmly believe they have been of more value and help than you can imagine.Do keep up the good work, Sir!

Yours' Respectfully,
Krishanu Chatterjee

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks for writing, Krishanu. This may either surprise or upset you, but neither Salinger nor Kafka are authors who have affected me profoundly. If you wish to discuss this, we can do it privately.

You are welcome to comment whenever you like. Take care, and best wishes.

Amit parag said...

Sir,why don't you write about the most memorable days of your life , from a teacher's point of view, like the most memorable classes you taught and pretty much similar things.

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Thanks, Amit. I'll certainly keep the suggestion in mind. Fact is, now that it has been so long a continuum, too many memories have become hazy and uncertain, or blurred into one another... and the moment one thinks of a few nice ones, so many utterly nasty ones also crowd in that one has to shut the album in a hurry, and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. So please don't mind if I don't write anything in that vein soon.

Subhajit said...


I have some ideas and regarding those, I would like to have your inputs. It would be great if you can share those on your next blog.

1. How to empower individuals and asking people to take ownership of their lives.

2. On some social issues like how could we help mankind. Doing charity, is one obvious answer; but I believe that if we give a man a fish, the we feed him for a day but if we teach a man to fish then we feed him for a Lifetime. He is now empowered and can take control of his life.



Harman said...


I came across this article recently and it struck a chord with me.


So much of my time is spent with patients/families everyday that I have really come to treasure these moments of solitude, and a lot of them are spend reflecting on the writings on this blog.

The operating room is my oasis. It evokes the same feelings of wonder, humility, gratitude that I felt when I saw the grand canyon for the first time!

I must confess that I have slacked with my responses. But often times, I feel so passionately about some issues that I feel I cannot do them justice by attempting to type up a short response.

That failing is mine entirely.

Lot of new and exciting developments on my end.. will write you a seperate e-mail about those.

Wanted to say a quick HI, and let you know that I eagerly await your posts.

In anticipation,


Suvro Chatterjee said...

To Anirvan:

Sorry to be late. I have already written a bit about my views on child-rearing on this blog (search for 'The World we are making for our children'). More if you have questions after reading that post.

To Subhajit:

Oh,yes, empowering people to take charge of their own lives is far more useful than charity. Wonder whether you have reflected that education, properly understood (that which gives people not just good skills but confidence and enthusiasm, good judgment, foresight and suchlike), empowers people like nothing else, and that, in my humble way, within my small confines, is what I have been trying to give a lot of young people all my life!

To Harman:

Welcome back. I thought I had lost you! I hope the article you have linked is read by a lot of people. We, in this noisy and frenetic and increasingly crowded age (especially in countries like India) need occasional solitude in clean, beautiful, uplifting surroundings to get back in touch our real selves. Again and again I have expressed my dismay in this blog that that kind of solitude is becoming so hard to find... particularly because far from caring about it or desiring it, people are ever more frightened of being alone with themselves!