Monday, 28 September 2009

Over the Moon!

The festive season is finally here! Bengalis all over the world have started celebrating. I find it very interesting to see the happy faces of people going crazy to receive blessings of goddess Durga whom they very affectionately refer to as Maa (Mother). You'll find another kind of people who find a lot of reasons to be happy, apart from, of course, the divine blessings. But that's another story altogether. Some people become happy to meet distant relatives and childhood friends. To them the Puja is a trip down memory lane, an opportunity to meet the older, younger self they have long forgotten. Then there's another kind of people whose lives are trapped in a bubble of perpetual sadness and gloom. Yet they try to force a smile on the face, hoping against hope to be happy.

My relationship with the goddess-mother (or mother-goddess, whatever you prefer) has always been very poor. As a matter of fact, there has never been any relationship between us at all. It was early in my childhood when I abandoned the idea of a Higher Power from Above controlling every aspect of the Universe from the eyelids of a child to a drop of rain. Yet I enjoyed myself during the Puja, but not by celebrating it. I have been worshipping pasta over the past few years, but still I try to be happy this season. I fail to derive joy from visiting the Puja pandals which are, apparently, the pinnacle of artistic brilliance. I don't find "hanging out" a great option either.  But everyone around me is very happy, so why should I not give myself a chance to be happy? But my source of joy is a bit (OK, a lot!) different. I decided to watch a movie this time. It should have been a very entertaining, action-packed, emotionally affecting movie with a great story to tell, but it wasn't.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Video: 100 Hours of Astronomy: Award Acceptance / Award Ceremony

I am sorry that I am uploading the videos this late. It's been more than one month since the 100 Hours of Astronomy award ceremony took place at the XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I've told you almost everything about the award before. So let's not be repetitive.

The following video is the one I had originally made to be shown at the ceremony.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Happy Teachers' Day!

For me Teachers' Day is one of the most anticipated days of the year. I don't look forward to this day because this day offers us a chance to express our gratitude to our teachers and tell them how great they are. That should be done everyday. We need to thank our teachers 365 days a year from the bottom of our heart. We deliver some very emotional speeches on this day but once the day is over do we really believe in what we said?

Everyday, there's a news headline indicating the steadily deteriorating teacher-pupil relationship. What is the significance of September 5 if students don't respect their teachers as much as they should? We need to observe Teachers' Day everyday by being obedient to them and showing them proper respect, not by giving them flower bouquets. I'm not saying that giving them flower bouquets is not a good thing to do, it'd just be better if the bouquets were accompanied by true respect and love. Otherwise, the observance of Teachers' Day becomes an exercise in pointlessness and falsehood.

However, I await September 5 with intense anticipation because of the mad celebration that takes place in our school. "Dazzling" would be another word to describe it aptly. We have, to use a much-abused phrase, loads of fun on this day and today was no exception.