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Chemistry- A road Not Taken

Chemistry- A road Not Taken
Haunts of people asking me why I shifted to the Arts stream after completing one year of the TDC course in Science with Chemistry as Major subject surrounded me the last quarter of the year. Yes, I accept that such a sudden shift of subjects invites curiosity to everybody’s mind. Teachers of the Department of Chemistry were horrified when they came to know about my decision. The HoD of the Department of Chemistry insisted me not to change my subjects. She said that it will be a mere loss of time and money. My best friend along with others also went on insisting the same. But the least did they understand that I had to take the heaviest part of the grief of leaving Science. Parting with the Department of Chemistry was the most sorrowful thought in me at that time. I had always loved the experiments, the labs, the teachers, my friends there and everything else other than the books.
The greatest thing in life is reality; we can not deny it even if we want to. I knew that my first year exams were not up to the mark required for making a future with the subject. Indeed, I was never attracted in making a future with the subject. I had taken up Chemistry as major just because I liked it. I never thought if I could bear it or make a pace along with my friends. In this century of competitions, one must be able to cope up with others; but I just failed to make up. I felt that the Organic Chemistry was not my dish of rice; I could not digest much of it.
The wary suggestions from my teachers and friends on one side and the realization of reality on the other kept me trapped in a dilemna. At that time my only support was my Ma and a precious poem. I could take such a big decision only because my mother supported it. At that time also a ‘tricky’ poem by one of my favorite poets provided some mental satisfaction. The poem is ‘The Road Not Taken…’ by Robert Frost.
Robert Lee Frost's personal life was plagued with grief and loss. He was born on 26 March 1874 in San Francisco. He lost his parents and sister in the early part of his life. Later he also lost his wife, his co-valedictorian and sweetheart from school. Only two, out of his six children outlived their father. The four-time Pulitzer Prize winning American poet, teacher and lecturer had to undergo more sufferings when his poems were summarily rejected in his own country, the USA. He somehow managed to sell his farm and move his family to England.  Then finally it happened; after writing poetry and trying to get noticed by publishers for over twenty years, Frost’s first collection of poetry A Boy’s Will was published in England in 1913 by a small London printer, David Nutt. A year later Robert began teaching English at Amherst College. Mountain Interval was published in 1916 which contained many poems including ‘The Road…’ written at Franconia. He also started lecture tours for his ever-growing audience of avid readers.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Though it is very easy to understand what the poet means in the poem, it is basically a reflection of the hard routes he had to take to get his fame. In it he symbolises the two ways of life- Materialism and Spiritualism.  The first one is the most frequented, but the other one is less trodden. He had taken the one that lay desolate. The choice that he had made years ago had made a great deal of difference to him.
I too hope that something successful lies infront of the rushed decision I took. I know that the path I had now chosen to advance in life is also not very easy. I am now a student of Arts with English as Major. As Changmai sir says, it is true that apart from developing our writing and communication skills in English, we will also have to keep a record of all the trends of the decent of the English literature and language starting from its origination to the point it had reached today. Having a will to do it, a love for reading literature from a tender age and a habit of writing, I think I can get along this time.  Some other lines by Frost keep me strong and fixed..
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep…

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A step towards e-Famous-NorthEast..

A step towards e-Famous-NorthEast..

        The Anundoram Borooah Award forwarded by the Planning and Development Department of the Government of Assam is really praiseworthy. Under the scheme every first rank holder in the HSLC and Madraasa exams conducted by SEBA and AHM are awarded with a PC set. But recently these PC sets has converted into disturbing elements in most households for parents with the children stuck to the nuisance- creating computer games.
        For the above reason the department providing the award cannot be blamed. The system of computer education in the primary and secondary schools are to be looked into. Though the Government had almost succeeded in introducing computer courses in a major part of the schools of the state, the complete implementation of such courses remain a failure.
        At the time when the student receives his award he must have enough knowledge in operating the PC basically. He must also have a basic knowledge and command over the Internet. These are to be taught to the student at school; only then the student will be able to make use of the PC set wisely.
        It is notable that the use of Indian languages in the internet are also gaining momentum gradually. At such a stage it has also become essential for the students to take an active part in contributing for the upliftment of their mother tongue on the web world.
        On 9th September, 2010 the editorial board of the Tinsukia College quarterly journal, Pragyan and its Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) held an interactive session with Mr. Bikram Mozinder Baruah, a petroleum engineer based at Abu Dhabi. BMB described before a group of students and teachers of various colleges on how to use the regional languages on the internet. BMB has a great place in publicizing the North-Eastern languages on the internet. He is the producer of an online dictionary for the North-Eastern languages by the alias of . At Xobdo one may easily find the meaning of any word in all the North-Eastern languages coupled with their equivalent in the other languages including English.
        It is a time when the use of the indigenous regional words are replaced by their equivalents in English and a step like Xobdo comes like a blessing. One may just go to the Xobdo website at and search for any word there.
        A point that is worth mentioning is that this dictionary is developed by contributions from general public. Any body can become a member of Xobdo and start contributing words. It is not necessary that one must go on thinking for words hard and deep; one may just include the uncommon and unfamiliar words that he/she comes across in his daily life, be it in English or any language spoken in the NE like Assamese, Dimaasa, Karbi, Meeteilon, Tai, Bodo, Mising, Hmar, Khaasi, Kok-Borok, Bishnupuria, Bengali, Garo, Nagamese, Mizo, Deori, Chakhma, Apatani, Ao, Rabha, Tiwa, Monpa, Kaubru (Reang), Sumi Naga, Nepali etc.
        BMB, during the talk also praised the active movement taken by e-Jonaki-Jug (ঈ-জোনাকী যুগ). Honoring the great contributions towards ‘Jonaki’, a magazine which succeeded in making Assamese literature take a great leap towards advancement, by  literates like Chandrakanta Agarwala, Laxminath Bezbarua; e-Jonaki-Jug is preparing Assam for another such leap. In this Internet Age of today, projects like e-Jonaki-Jug should be the most welcomed.
        In the same session of interaction, Mr. Sushanta Kar taught the audience the use of Unicode and typing tools that ease the use of Indian languages including the NE ones in PCs. He said that most of the Assamese newspapers from Asom which has their online versions publish news in an image format. In such a case it becomes impossible for news-readers to find out such news by the topics. He described before the students how easy it is to download regional font-unicodes and use them. He also suggested students to write blogs. Free blogs can be very easily created from and .
        After the Interactive Session everybody bore a feel of ardent zeal. Having welcomed by Mr. Bhuban Gogoi, the principal of the college, and after recieving the felicitation of ‘Fulaam Gamosa’ and a gifted CD by Mr. Rajeev Mohan from Mrs. Manashi Rajkhowa; BMB seemed satisfied by the show of enthusiasm from the audience. Mr. Sushanta Kar, who took the initiative in arranging the interaction also had a sense of content on his face. Mr. Surya Chutiya, member of the editorial board of 'Pragyan' ended the session with an excellent vote of thanks. The group of girls from Womens’ College along with the students of Tinsukia College and other institutions who took part in the interaction also walked out proudly praising the introductory step of fame for their lovely languages.

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“Sorkathi-Pashkathi...” সরকাঠি পাশকাঠি

“Sorkathi-Pashkathi...”  সরকাঠি পাশকাঠি  
Original Bengali: Arindom Basu
This short story was published in Bengali in the 'Anandabazar Patrika', Shaarodiya Edition in 2003. This English translation is carried out by me.
As he approached the Aadarsh Hotel, sweet smell of fresh rice entered his nose Anand Das stood up.
Standing on the footpath is the big tin menu-board. Anand put his hands on his knees, bent his loins and was watching the dishes that are available. Meat-Rice for Rs. 20, Egg-Rice for Rs. 10, Vegetable-Rice for Rs. 8. The light of the Mid-October sun was falling on his dirty punjaabi. As he stood up a ray of the light placed itself on the Sealdah road.
Now it was not only the smell of rice but also that of spiced dal, vegetable soup and cooked fish that mixed the air on the footpath. Anand took a long breath so that the sweet smell reaches his stomach through his throat.  At the same time a beat entered his ears.
Nak Jhina Jhin Nak Jhina Jhin Nakt Nakur jhina… Nakur Nakur Jhina… Nak Jhina Jhin Nak Jhina Jhin Nakt Nakur jhina…
“Hey, Hey! Old man- What is here?? Why are you standing here?”
Anand looked through the scratched glasses of his spectacles. There was somebody standing on the steps to the Hotel. The man was wearing a Lungee and a shirt. Behind the man’s back Anand could see some people eating rice seated in long rows of benches and tables.
The man repeated-“ You’ll get nothing standing here. Move on.”
Anand Das gave a wide smile. Many of his teeth were missing. Between the columns of some yellowish teeth one could see his tongue. On his lined face stuck out sharp white beard. He understood and came to the road. He started walking on his choppol made from tyres. The beating sound had stopped by now.
The tram moved with a loud buzz between the old houses and crossed the cinema-hall. Buses, taxis and autos also kept moving, some almost pushing him. Anand crossed pan shops, saree merchants, hospital and the fruit vendor on the footpath and kept walking. His leg form could be seen from the tuck of his loin-cloth.
Anand Das reached a colony. The shadow of one house blended with others there. Anand found the door of a well established house open and entered. The stairs were dark and besides his eyesight was not good- still he climbed upstairs.
“What happened? Whom do you need?” A dark skinned woman wrapped in a saree questioned him with unpleasantly.
“I beat drums. Drummer.”
“Drummer.. Drums!! Then, why and what for did you come here? There is no puja here. Above all the Durga Puja is over.”
“I know. Nobody hired me this year. Only two months to go for my daughter’s marriage. I have nothing in my hands. Poor man.. I’ll do whatever I can collect by begging. I want to sit for sometime here.” As soon as he finished he sat down on the stairs holding the iron-bars.
“How old is your daughter?”
“By the end of this month she will be seventeen.” Anand lifted his eyes up.
“O my God! What do I hear!! Marriage before eighteen!!”
Anand laughed. “That happens in your city.  We are villagers- early is better. The boy works in a shoe-shop. Salary is Rs. 2000 and also he has a cycle. I thought I will collect some money for his ring and my daughter’s ear-rings by beating drums.  But… I kept roaming in Sealdah. Passed the Shosthi-Soptomi doing nothing.”
“Okay, sit here- I am coming”- saying this she turned the printed cloth on the door and went it. She returned after a little time and put out a five rupee note.  He took the note, touched his forehead, and murmured something.
“How much can you collect this way?”
“Whatever I can... I eat on son’s earning. Just hoping to get out someway or the other.”
“Some drummers also visit houses in colonies after puja and beat drums. Why don’t you collect a little that way?”
“They have Kaanshi, Kortaal… What will I roam alone with only a heavy drum over my back! I have nobody with me.” Saying this Anand started standing.
“Wait, sit a little. Will you eat rice? Yesterday’s rice- you can have with potato soup.” While she was speaking a little girl of five or six years came and stood near the door.
“Who is he, mother?”
“He is a drummer. He beats drum.”
“Where is his drum, mother? Yes, where is it?”
“He has left it behind at his home. His has pain on his backs, so. Go, you go inside. What, shall I serve the rice?”
Anand mixed the rice with the potato and papaya soup and started eating happily. The bowl of Moori that he put in the mouth in the morning has nothing left in him by now. “Can I have a little sugar, please?” Saliva rolled out from his mouth. He could again hear a beat in his ears- the one drummers beat while ending the puja- a sign of respect.
JheJhJhenaJhen JheJhJhenaJhen NakJhenaJhen Jhena… JheJhJhenaJhen JheJhJhenaJhen NakJhenaJhen Jhena…  JheJhJhenaJhen JheJhJhenaJhen NakJhenaJhen Jhena…
As soon he feels the drum beat in his ears, Anand starts shaking a little. He remembers Aalpona’s face. “Surely she is sitting and eating rice with Kolomi Shaak. Did the boy return home? God knows. I kept his name Sadhon, but there is no sign of meditation in him!!”- a thought ran in his mind.
Anand lifted the glass and drank a little water quickly. He thought- “ Some houses hand only a few paisas. This household is good. I should fill my stomach well. I’ll have to walk till the evening.”
Kalikaapur, Chakbede, Ghotokpukur- all the buses that move between are always ‘Moorir Tin’. And to all to the description, the driver sometimes put a sharp brake, shuffling and shaking everybody inside like ‘Moori’.The driver often does this to create some space near the door as a man filling a ‘Moorir Tin’ does. Anand traverses in such a bus and reached Korunara. His palms-feet, hair, spectacle glass- everything had a layer of city dust on it..
to be continued...

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          It was a time when Tablet PCs or Touchscreen PCs were introduced- One could go on tapping the computer screen lying on his bed… Got rid of the Mouse and Keys…

Writing on the Tablet PC Input Panel is so easy
          But soon a need of a compactable typing tool was experienced, and then followed the Tablet PC Input Tools from Microsoft Windows. A separate operating system was also introduced by the OS major by the name of WINDOWS XP Tablet PC Edition. This pack introduced the Tablet PC Input Panel.

Start> All Programs> Accessories> Tablet PC
          Now the latest OS from Microsoft, Windows 7 comes with the exciting experience of Table PCs. Very few know that hidden under the Accessories bar in the Programs’ Menu lies the Tablet PC tools. Just click the Tablet PC there and the wonder tool will open up for you. Now you can take a Input Pen and go on writing on the screen in the same manner you do while you write your secret letters to some one someone special on a pink paper pad.

          Also if you don’t have a touchscreen computer, the Tablet PC Input Panel is a friend in need for you. As you already know that Windows 7 comes with a large mass of language support, Indian ones are no exception, you don’t need to download a typing tool for writing your desired language.

Assamese support on Tablet PCs
          Easily dockable on any corner of your screen, this tool also support Bengali and Assamese font characters, which I think can be a boon for the North-East Indians. All that one need to do is that he must go on the language option on the top of the panel, search his own language and mark it. MS Office now supports the new version of the Bengali cum Assamese font, Vrinda. So go for it now.

NB: If your computer is not supporting the Tablet PC Pen (Touchscreen Pen), just upgrade your Recognizing tool from the Microsoft website.

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