The rain, Maa Durga and a little madness

It’s raining heavily for the last 2 and a half days. But yesterday morning the situation was a bit different. Around 7 a.m. the sky was somewhat clear and once again the sun was out. The sunshine had the feel of Durga Puja written all over it. I know this sunshine since childhood and I think every Bengali do the same. Anyways seeing the clear sky, a plan came to my mind. I decided to go to Kumartuli (it’s the seat of the clay artists in Calcutta) to take some snaps. I phoned Pravat to tell him about the plan. Luckily he was awake (Pravater pravat khub derite hoi kina!) and he at once agreed.

But the heavens had a different plan. I was on my way to Kavi Nazrul metro station when the skies opened up again. I decided to move ahead with the plan. We got down at the Shovabazar metro station and on surfacing we found heavy shower has already started. Pravat has already started cursing me for the plan but somehow I managed to calm him down. After that we started walking towards Kumartuli and around 11 a.m. we reached Kumartuli. By that time the downpour has increased greatly so we had to take shelter under a shed. I found it ideal to have a cigarette but as I was about to take the first puff Pravat told me to have a look at a particular board where it was written,


So we contacted the Clay Artists’ Samity and bought a season pass so that we can have the permission for the rest of the season. But as I said earlier luck was on the other side. The clay artists have already started covering the idols to protect them from the rain. Somehow we managed to take some snaps.



I told Pravat that there is a ghat nearby. It is called Kumartuli Ghat (I have Googled the area in the morning). He was very eager to go there. So taking help from the locales we went there. The riverside view was really beautiful. Frankly speaking on seeing the raindrops falling in the river my heart suddenly became more enthusiastic. I could see the joy in Pravat’s eyes. I took some pictures of him.


He’s really mad!!!

He was really happy and enjoying getting drenched in the rain. There we took few more pictures. By the time we finished taking pictures at the riverside I was completely drenched. I told Pravat why not return to Kumartuli again to take some pictures. Then we had a plan. We decided to take some pictures at Kumartuli and to return to Kumartuli Ghat again. From there we decided to go to Babughat from where we can return home.

DSC04434So we returned to Kumartuli where I found this idol. Though it’s in its formative stage yet its beauty really attracted my eyes. The artisans are really magicians. But it’s really sad they don’t receive the accolades they deserve.

Anyways we weren’t been able to take any more idol pictures. So we decided to come back after the sky changes its plan within few days. May be on the Mahalaya .

As per our plan we returned to Kumartuli Ghat and from Baghbajar Ghat we boarded a launch (marine vessel). I haven’t rode a launch on a rainy day like this. So I was excited to enjoy the river from the launch. But unfortunately my excitement decreased a bit immediately. I took out my specs from the pocket and as I was about to wipe its glasses I found it broken. Really a shock!!

Whatever… our journey across the Ganges began. Pravat was taking pictures. In the meantime he has taken a snap of mine and suddenly uttered,

Arre yaar tera chashma toota hai Dil nahi… so cheer up

I smiled and began taking pictures again. Each one of us gave different poses to the other to capture. Really we were enjoying very much.  Then we had Masala Badam and Cha.

Pravat said to me, “It seems the childhood has returned…”

Really the day was a reminiscent of the school days as a child when we used to enjoy Rainy days like this.

At last we reached Babughat. From there we had to take buses for our respective homes. But I was not ready to return home soon. So I called HER to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Pravat returned home and I went for Puja shopping with HER. Hearing everything she said,

“ You people are such mad…!!!” 🙂

But returning home my mother’s first reaction was… “ABAR?” (“aaaagain?”)


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at last the mail came!

It was around 7 p.m. yesterday when I opened my GMAIL account to check the recent mails. In the inbox I found one unread mail with the label Windows Live Mail (I’ve integrated my Windows Live account with GMAIL). I checked it and to my joy and surprise the mail read…

Congratulations. You are selected as a Microsoft Student Partner!‏

India Student Partner Program (

06 July 2009 13:05PM

[content suppressed]

Once again, congratulations on being selected as an MSP, and we wish you all the best in your efforts!.

We shall send you more updates in the coming weeks.


MSP India Team

For the first few seconds I couldn’t believe my eyes. Then I checked if someone has made a kind of joke. No it wasn’t so. The mail really came  from the Microsoft Student Partners India Team.

I said to myself, “So Aritra now you are an MSP from the University of Calcutta.

Nice to have that feeling. I ringed my senior and present MSP of our university. He congratulated me and said, “Welcome to the community my friend but the main thing is that you really have to carry on from here.” Really it’s a matter of respect and lots of responsibilities. From now on I really have to work very hard in order to prove my mettle.

It all started about 20 days ago when our present MSP informed me that I along  2 others have been nominated for next MSP selection. Though I’m an active member of the Microsoft Campus Unit of our university, the news came as a challenge to me. Then I underwent the preliminary selection procedures and appeared for a tele-interview from MSP India Team. After the interview I was told that they will inform us about the future standings through mail.

Though I was really busy with my mid semester exams for the last 2 weeks but somewhere within I was waiting for the mail.

Ultimately the mail came  yesterday giving the much awaited result 🙂

***To know about the Microsoft Student Partner program do follow the link :


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Imagine Cup 2009

I, along with two of my friends, Bigyan and Tanmoy, from the University have taken part in this year’s Imagine Cup organised by Microsoft. We are competing in the Software Development section.
We have already qualified for the 2nd round at the national level. Now the real competion starts.


The name of our project is “SHAKSHAR”. The word shakshar is a Bengali word meaning “literate”. It aims at the education of Rural India.
We intend to set up a virtual education system, which would encapsulate various fields of study that is otherwise required for a competent student to obtain a good exposure for greater opportunities. The Web-Based Learning System will provide this essential education through an interactive user interface that would increase their interest as compared to the conventional education system. It is an endeavour to uplift the present literacy rate so that every child discovers the worth of their potential. Considering the apathy for formal education that exists among various people of rural India, our effort would somehow try to eradicate this age-old concept.
This is the starting screen of the application. The picture has been designed by me.
The essential features of our project are :
To provide Web-Based learning packages for rural children of any age, through an interactive software system.
The Multi-Lingual e-Learning Package will include fundamental subjects and topics that would increase the social & scientific awareness. One who takes a course will be able to choose his/her set of subjects that are to be covered in a stipulated period of time.
Moral & Sex Education will be a part of every learning package; viz. people should encourage others to stringently eliminate acts like female foeticide, child marriage, and child labour.
Some of the existing schools in the area would stand as the coordinators; one of the schoolmasters will be holding an open-to-all visual learning program fortnightly. This would include topics on latest trend, social awareness, health habits and etc
The software includes an online evaluation strategy and certification for students who participate. We intend that the certification is to be issued by a governing body or institution on agreement.
In addition the system will enable farmers to retrieve information about markets & demands, fetch information about the climate and possible alternatives to increase their annual harvest. In regard to information about climatic changes, the system would provide processed form of data that would be obtained from MeT.
We are implementing the solution in the .NET platform
Now let’s hope for the best….