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Showing posts from 2014

An Evening with India's Most Daring Mountaineer

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Basanta Singha Roy On the evening of 10 th August 2014, Basanta Singha Roy invited us to his Bijoygarh residence in South Calcutta. He is my wife’s colleague in Punjab National Bank and also a good friend of hers. He has the wiry and sturdy physique of a seasoned mountaineer, but despite his extraordinary achievements in scaling the mighty and formidable Himalayan peaks, he is as friendly and easy-going as your next-door neighbor. He had his formal training on mountaineering at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, where my wife also had a stint in basic training when she was a teenager. Basanta’s fearless passion for embracing nature’s fury at heights where not even the eagles dare has always been his defining feature. With Debasish Biswas, his climbing partner, he reached the top of Mt.Everest, the world’s highest peak, in May 2010. They were the first civilians from Bengal to do so. After Everest, the duo went on to successfully summit two mor

And Quiet Flows the Bhagirathi

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And Quiet Flows the Bhagirathi ----- Murshidabad in the 21st century (A reminiscence from the lost capital of Bengal-on the banks of Bhagirathi)   Bhagirathi River is a distributary of the Ganges (Ganga). It leaves Ganga just northeast of Jangipur, flows south, and joins Jalangi at Nabadwip. The banks of Bhagirathi earned a very special place in history for sheltering towns like Murshidabad and Palashi. During the reign of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the capital of undivided Bengal, Bihar and Orissa were shifted from Dhaka to Murshidabad. The name was coined by the first Nawab of Bengal Murshid Quli Khan. Being a capital of the entire eastern segment of today’s India plus Bangladesh, this little-known town spurted into the limelight in the early eighteenth century. People from all over the subcontinent such as the Jains from Rajasthan, Debi Singh and likes from Punjab, the Britons, the Dutch, the Portuguese and the French poured into Murshidabad and started settling there.  

Poems of a retired Engineer from Calcutta

Poems penned by retired eminent Engineer Ramni Prasad SUNSET AT MAYFAIR EMERALD As I sit on the terrace Of Mayfair Emerald in Kolkata, I watch a heavenly phenomenon unfold In the western sky. The sun larger and red, Seems sinking in the horizon With an ever changing cloud pattern A spectacle I watch in utter amazement. The birds fly homewards, Tired after the day’s toil, Gather in groups, Bidding goodbye to the restless world. The dogs bark on the road below, To settle some grave issues, Then suddenly withdraw And silence prevails again. I go round the terrace, On a leisurely walk. Keep counting the mandatory rounds, That falsely assures my fitness. On the pavements below, Ladies young and old, Gather after their day’s toil, To enjoy some mirth and merriment. New apartment houses, Keep coming up, Served so far, by a sing