Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Śubha Nava Varṣa (or Śubho Nôbô Bôrṣô)

[This is the first time I've tried my hands at flower-photography. I switched to the "macro" mode. But the result is not very good. Do tell me if you know how to photograph a flower properly.]

Happy Bengali New Year 1416

Here's Upamanyu wishing you: A Very Happy Bengali New Year (or Śubha Nava Varṣa or Śubho Nôbô Bôrṣô) 1416.

Today is the first day of Voiśākh/ Boiśākh (or Pôela Voiśākh or Pôela Boiśākh).

The first day of the Bengali calendar transports me back to a distant past, a past that was so dear to me. So many colourful events shaped those days. Those days were distinguished by simple, limitless and unadulterated joy. Every single moment those days was filled with wonder. I can never feel the joy and wonder again. That's why this day makes me simultaneously sad and cheerful: sad, because I know I can never get the days back, and cheerful, because I can almost feel the joy and wonder of those days.

The arrival of the new year is deep-rooted in the culture of Bengal for more reasons than one. It was officially the start of summer before the menace called Global Warming came into the picture. It's also the beginning of the season of mangoes and lychees, the favourite summertime fruits of Bengal. For me, the new year announces the coming of the 25th of Voiśākh/ Boiśākh, the birthday of Rabindranath Tagore. The Bengali new year is important to me in many other ways.

So, Śubha Nava Varṣa / Śubho Nôbô Bôrṣô to all Bengalis and non-Bengalis.


From now on, I am starting a new series called "On This Day."

In such posts, I will recount one (or some) of my experiences which happened exactly on the day of posting "n" year(s) back. I may even include two (or more) years in one post.

Let's start with what happened in 2008 on April 15. (That was, of course, the first of Voiśākh/ Boiśākh 1415.)

I started reading the first book of Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on this day, about nine months after the publication of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I finished the entire series within 9-10 days.

Won't write anything about Harry Potter now. Expect more posts on this in future.


I've already finished The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I've also read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy after that. Have been meaning to blog my thoughts about the books. I completed The Hobbit more than a month ago. But my involvement with a few other important things (100 Hours of Astronomy, to be precise) hasn't allowed me to write it. Will also be reading Midnight's Children soon.

But you may expect the writings after April 22, Earth Day. I'm actively participating in it. So, I'll have a plenty of free time after April 22. I'll write on books and films more often


Once again, Śubha Nava Varṣa/ Śubho Nôbô Bôrṣô (That's the third time in this post, or fourth, if you count the post title. Hehe!) to every person who visits (and doesn't visit) this blog.

[Note: In case you're wondering why I've used the alternatives while spellinng (heh, what a spellinng!) spelling the Bengali words, I'll clarify. Both are correct. While the former is in fact the exact written form of the Bengali script, the latter is the way the words are pronounced. For example, the Anta(h)stha "va" is pronounced like the Ōshtya "ba." I love the study of phonology of a language. The phonology of Bengali (or ANY language, for that matter) is a fascinating study in itself. So, it's no use explaining everything here. Suffice it to say, both of the forms are correct. That's all. Thanks]

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