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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Sixth August, 2015

Hiroshima Day. How the world has forgotten.

Since I wrote about Ruby, a lot of reactions have come in, many people expressing surprise, many of them saying thanks, many of them harking back to their own memories. Just to dispel the notion (for the creation of which I myself am to a great extent responsible) that I am a hardboiled misogynist, I shall write now and then about favourite old girls. One whose name springs to mind is Priyanka Mullick (née Pobi). Never knew she was fond of me, but she visited me a few years after marriage, and disarmed me with the confession that she had brought her little boy along because surely Sir wouldn’t scold her – if he at all wanted to – in front of her child. She confessed rather shamefacedly that she hadn’t done much beyond what I predict for most girls, namely getting married; yet she has turned out to be far more active and responsible a person than most people her age, happily playing a big part in the large family business even while being, I think, a good mother and daughter. And money hasn’t gone to her head: she went to a humble but very caring religious-run hospital to have her second baby recently. My daughter showed me her photograph with the child on whatsapp, and she sounded pleased but abashed when I called to tell her that not just the baby but the mother looks fabulous. I think what is common to the girls I still love is that they are fond of me, they know how to respect, they have no affectations or pretensions, and most importantly of all, they never ask for what they themselves cannot give. This is why I increasingly think that outside the family the only women one should deal with are thoroughbred professionals, whether they be doctors or ladies of the night. Most others expect too much, and are willing to give too little. There, I suppose I am back to being a misogynist again.

It is already that time of the year when I start saying ‘Sorry’ to parents who wish to enroll their kids for the next year’s class, and only God and my family know what I go through with people who just won’t take no for an answer. You might look up a post titled ‘Weirdos’ that my daughter wrote in her blog back in 2010. And talking of weirdos, I don’t know how many of you will believe this, but there are even folks who first show every sign of desperation to get their kids in – to the extent of filling in forms and paying the requisite fees – and then go and admit their kids to schools whose pupils I do not teach!

It has just struck me that it won’t be too long before this blog becomes ten years old. I have seen very few bloggers stick to it for more than a year or two, and even those who do write just la-la stuff and/or only two or three times a year, not fifty or more. When I do something I do it seriously, here’s one more proof. Which is precisely also why once I cry off, it’s for good. I swore I won’t enter the St. Xavier’s School campus again when I left in May 2002, and I haven’t. After a few years of orkut, I set my face against social networking sites, and look, I have lost nothing by ignoring facebook and twitter. If I use them or whatsapp or something like that again, it will be strictly for family- or business purposes. So with this blog. Ankan Saha, do you remember telling me to start a blog so that many old boys could keep in touch? You have yourself confessed – as have so many others – that you have been remiss in doing your bit, and so I wonder, despite the pageviews count that keeps climbing relentlessly. How much longer beyond the tenth anniversary should I continue?

Economics, history and psychology are three subjects which I never stop pondering over. The thoughtful among my readers and the grown-ups, have you noticed a secular trend which I have been observing over at least three decades – that while computers and mobiles and TV sets and cars and stuff get ever cheaper, the essentials of life, namely land/living space, food, medicines and education become ever more expensive? Any guesses why this is happening, and where it is leading us? To paraphrase Barack Obama, disaster is not something likely to happen during the lives of our grandchildren.

For now, a conclusion with another passing thought: my old editors at The Telegraph of Calcutta gave me opportunities to write lots of stuff on lots of subjects. Would some of you be interested in reading some of them? I have never displayed them publicly, and though one girl – a so called journalist – pushed the file aside when I offered to show her, there have been lots of others who have rifled through it with avid interest.


akash ganguly said...

Dear Sir,

I'm one of the handful of people who do remember the Hiroshima Day. In fact, it startles me that how could one forget such an inhumane and violent incident even if one does not 'like' history. Well, as you have begun in this post, 'Hiroshima Day. How the world has forgotten.'- it's true of course and very sad, even none of my classmates remember. The very first thing I did this morning was to read the poem 'Five Ways To Kill A Man' in our syllabus and pondered, as the poet has probably referred to Truman, if he really was a psychopath.

Secondly, and truth be told the reason I'm writing this comment, is to inform you that I would love to read what you have written. Then there will be something new to read that you have composed apart from 'To My Daughter' and rereading your sample letters and compositions from time to time to relive your classes.


Suvro Chatterjee said...

Well, thank you for asking, Akash, but I should like to wait for a few more. Most people are too lazy even to drop a one-liner.


Avik Mitra said...

Sir, it is an inexplicable behaviour that has become ingrained in people since the dawn of civilization; a terrible temptation to live in a dream in our respective cosy shells, an unexpressed love for being led astray. I could wind my clock back to our discussions back in 2004 when we talked on the same thing that people are too complacent with just about everything in their (own) lives until misfortune befalls them and by that time "compassion" has already taken an age-long vacation from their minds. On that note I would beg to differ and say that forgetfulness can be explained on certain grounds but what I believe you are alluding to is more of a deliberate attempt to escape the harsh reality on so many levels. To quote Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman..."It's too damn hard..." to put oneself in another's shoes.