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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Casual musing...

Some stray thoughts again for this weekend:

The monsoon has arrived in full force, and I am rejoicing, to the accompaniment of swaying greenery all around me and Tagore’s incomparable music.

I am both surprised and hurt that not one reader sent in a comment on my last post. I know all about what sort of society I live in, but sometimes I still cannot help feeling utterly sick…

I have been researching the ongoing global economic crisis – focusing on the US and the ‘Eurozone’. Apropos of that, did you know that everywhere, but in the US most of all, the rich pay much less in taxes than the middle class? Warren Buffett and a few lesser tycoons have gone on record saying they can not only afford to pay more, but that in their opinion the world economy actually needs that they pay more.

I was also musing that over a period of more than thirty years of teaching, I have dealt with hundreds of pupils who were very good at math, but hardly ten who could write a tolerable story, and not one who could write a real poem (following all the rules of prosody, that is to say). So which is really the rarer and therefore the more valuable skill, assuming that you are not one of those idiots who think that the ‘market’ is the best and last arbiter of all values?

I have been watching the old Byomkesh and Miss Marple movies lately and in tandem. It’s really good, unadulterated fun.

I also heard Satyajit Ray speaking in the background of his documentary on Tagore. Why haven’t I met ten Bengalis in all my life who could speak in English like that, and also not ten Bengalis who could speak fluent, chaste Bangla?

Next year my daughter is going to finish secondary school and I am going to complete half a century on this earth. That also calls for some reflection, I think.

And finally – for now – I wish my readers would visit the blogs I read (listed on my blogroll) and bring some of those issues up for discussion a little more often.


Debarshi Saha said...

Respected Sir,

Warm regards.Sir,your latest blog-post speaks of 'unconnected' thoughts;but these are thoughts which are highly in sync and 'connected' to life all around us,every day,every moment.As the saying goes,Sir,"The world has enough for one's need;but not enough for man's greed..",I think it perfectly depicts the state of economic turmoil that the world is experiencing right now.

Regarding your lament,Sir,I must shamefacedly admit to being another such student who can not write a poem,the highest plane of expression of one's thoughts,after being your student!Sir,bless us so that we may be able to rise up to meet the challenges and lend credence to your expectations from us.May I be able to do that,Sir-this remains my wish!

With best wishes,

Abhiroop said...

Hi Sir,

This post brings out the poet in me :)

I know, good sir, my numbers well
I know em’ all by heart
But whence they came; what good are they?
I might have missed that part.

I sit all day and undeterred, spy
On Pi’s elusive tail
When I reach its sixtieth decimal place
I’ve reached my Holy Grail.

Binomials make my heart go fast
Theorems bring joyous tears
But when I’m cracking Fermat’s last
My mind must know no fears.

Good sir- what is it that you have scribed?
It seems a pattern of sorts…
Fibonacci’s sequence? Or are these the loops
That Euclid, so fervently exhorts?

These lines seem to me, undoubtedly
Some complex, numeric chain
And the alphabets? Mere variables, sir,
In this equation that’s straight from Cain!

Trust not those creatures called ‘poets’, I beg
Good sir- fall not prey to their curse
How dare they say this lofty theorem, arife
With numbers- is mere verse?

Leave them, my friend, to their sorry lot
Their lutes and songs - and resolve
To put your best foots and brains forward, sir-
We've got a problem to solve!

Im left wondering what is worse: my knowledge of mathematics, or my ability to rhyme!!!



Sayan Datta said...

Dear Suvro Sir,
We haven't seen the full force of monsoon here, yet. It has arrived late; and has been pretty erratic as yet. But one still hopes...
Nothing can compare with the immanent beauty, depth and emotive strength of Tagore's music...the post somehow makes me yearn for 'Bishshobina robe'.
About the economic crisis, I don't know much to be able to speak cogently, but with mindless consumerism becoming the norm, I don't see any way out, unless a vast majority of people quickly develop their senses and begin to really see...For any change to happen on a large scale, for the outlook characteristic of our times to change and that too in less time (for there is indeed very little time), we need the best of teachers available, who are scholars in their own fields to work at primary and secondary levels in schools, I feel.
I can say without a shadow of doubt that its the latter, Sir. One has to become a Human first. I don't think I can put it any better.

Thanks for the post, Sir. It opened a dozen windows as usual...

Sayan Datta

santanu Chatterjee said...

It was a nice post which tried to achieve in William Blake's words
"Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
Yes, it is true that some of the arts are dying, one of them being reading books or for that matter even the art of story telling which my grandma and people in their generation could do so well. I hope i have not angered the liberals and feminists both by my last statement.
And last but not the least, the poem by Abhiroop is really a brilliant one. It is definitely one of the most fascinating one I have read after the poem "Square root of three" by David Feinberg. I am really looking forward to some more such brilliant pieces.

Arani said...

The sky has finally dulled, in Delhi. Little rain drops pitter patter on the windows. Pigeons cuddle up in their hay-stacked nest. We can put the air-conditioners off in the morning. There will be rain. Or so it seems.
I will tie the knot and turn thirty two soon. I remember you got married when we were sixteen. 1996 was it? For me, at that age, you were more macho, more a man than even Gregory Peck who I had so admired in The Guns of Navarone and Roman Holiday. You were a live wire, then. I remember you walking out of the history class because no one spoke or participated.
Your fiftieth birthday calls for celebration. Let all the old men meet and celebrate.
With warm regards,

Suvro Chatterjee said...

Nice effort, Abhiroop. I might even say 'Cool!' Sorry I took so long...

and many thanks for the kind words, Arani. Good to hear you will have rain soon. hahaha... me, 'macho'? Who would have thought of it. And fancy you calling my friends old men, when the likes of Clint Eastwood and Pranab Mukherjee are going strong still! At this rate we'll be dead or decrepit all too soon.

Dipanwita Shome said...

Let the few women meet too!