Tuesday, January 17, 2017

People state interface: The case of ticket inspectors

Being a 'daily passenger' of the sealdah bongaon section of north suburban railways from 2001 to 2006 Kaleidoscope developed instinctive techniques to board the over crowded trains without falling off. He has largely been successful as he is still alive. However, in 2003 or 2004 onwards the indian railways initiated a special ticket checking drive. It was first known as 'laal gaari' since the people without ticket used to b deported in a rain coach painted in nostalgic red. Later on it was replaced by an EMU coach known as 'chetna' -  consciousness. It was quite successful to raise the consciousness of the people. Well, once in his nearby station Kaleidoscope was taking the preparation to board the train. A ticket checker was standing behind him - yes, it was that special ticket checking drive. The over crowded train came, kaleidoscope used to run a few steps with the train before it stops to get a better position. He managed that and suddenly a firm grip on his shirt collar. The checker demanding ticket. Kaleidoscope has never in his life boarded a train without ticket. He was definitely irritated with the act of the ticket inspector. He showed the ticket and demanded an explanation. Since kaleidoscope missed that train he had some time to argue with the inspector. Inspector simply said that he has the right to pull a person's collar to demand the ticket and it appeared to him that i was trying to escape from his ironfast because i didn't have the ticket. Of course it was not true. But that was a lesson for young adult me how the people in uniform sees us.

A complete different scenario was in sealdah station. Many of my friends never bought tickets not even the heavily subsidised season tickets. They were never chased or harassed. The reason is the context of sealdah station, proximity of our famous ticket inspector beating Bangabasi college.

If we kind of extend these experiences we can relate things about state-people interactions. The state views its subjects with its 'legitimate' power to exercise violence as subordinates. There is no problem if one humiliate a person in the name of ticket inspection, while people define state a necessary evil with impositions against their will. Hence, there is always attempts of bypassing in whatever means possible its regulations. It begins early in people's life and continues with intergenerational transportability.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Photography at Chupir Char, Purbasthali

Its been a pleasure trip to Purbasthali to watch and photograph migratory and residential birds at about ten km stretched Oxbow lake, creating an ideal habitat for birds to nest, feed and live freely. The place is located at about 3.3 kms from Purbasthali Raliway station.

The location from Purbasthali Railway Station

How to reach?

Chupir char is easily accessible by availing Howrah-Katwa or Sealdah-Katwa railway connection. Frequent local trains are available and takes about three hours to reach the Purbasthali Station. From station hier an e-rickshaw, popularly known as Toto. Ask the driver to wait for you at the lake side from where you need to hire a traditional, hand run boat. The rate is usually Rs. 120 - 150/- per hour.

Alternatively one can take the road, reach Kalna by Grand Trunk Road and then take Kalna Katwa Road. Then at Parulia Bazar take the Purbasthali station road on your right hand side.

Where to stay?

There is not place for accomodation immediately beside the lake, however, I have seen a nearly finished guest house which is supposed to be open by January 2017. This is an initiative by the local panchayat. 

At present it is better to find accomodation at Nabadwip, where plenty of hotels are available. 

A few Snaps:

There are a variety of birds to see. Because of fog and my limited capacity camera, I had Canon SX30IS, I could capture only a few through my lens, but many more through my eyes. 

Yellow Wagtail

Boats are waiting for tourists to arrive with camera

Ruddy Shellduck

Bronze Winged Jacana

Lesser Whistling Duck

Leser Whistling Duck

Bar headed goose on the flight

Bar headed goose on the flight

Stork Billed Kingfisher

Wattled lapwings

Common Kingfisher

Black headed Ibis

Red Crested Pochards

White breasted kingfisher

Longtailed Shrike

A group of Red Crested Pochards

Red Crested Pochards

Common Coots

Common Moorhen

Pied Kingfisher

Things to remember:

Apart from the scenic beauty of the place, the boatmen were extremely helpful and caring. They know the strategic locations from where you can take good photographs. Additionally, they have been able to mobilise local government and local administration to put a ban on entrance of the picnic parties who used to disturb the birds and often hunt them.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Questioning 'Focus' - Mistakes and Celebrations

A brief archaeology:

Focus has always been a focal issue in Kaleidoscope's time of growing up! Lucky that he has been asked to be focused on one thing only - study, and that was good enough to make his life miserable. He can barely forget those days and evenings when he tried hard not to fall in the trap of being instructed "FOCUS KALEIDOSCOPE!" He cannot actually empathise with today's kids who are asked to focus on whatever they do, study, games, swimming, drawing, and yes that hurts!

Although as he was told and experienced, it was not difficult for many of his friends to focus on girls and pronographies! Yet, most of his friends have done pretty well in studies and careers!

Reintroduction of FOCUS:

Focus -  as a matter of fact, gets reintroduced ever since Kaleidoscope has managed money to buy a good camera. He always wants to have a focus on things he wants to capture through his lens. Well, he usually succeeds to do so. With Canon, it is so damn easy, all Kaleidoscope has to do is to half press the shutter and green box appears to confirm that its done!

Well, quite often, the result becomes just quite the opposite, and the chance/luck factors remind that notion of 'focus' is alive and well. For example, he once tried for about a few dozen frames to capture a small bright beetle to focus. No matter how hard he tried, the beauty remained out of focus. He tried automatic focus, which is like oh my goodness, most often precisely accurate, failed! His manual endeavour has been equally miserable! So, was it a mistake? Kaleidoscope for quite long believed that it was a mistake and he even tossed in the category at JPG Magazine as "My favourite Mistake" (please click, its fun)! 

The mistake which is supposedly favourite!


The point is, should these happy go out of focus things be considered as an outcome of mistake? If it is a mistake, is it a mistake from the perspective of the camera? or the person behind camera? 
If it is the person behind the camera, and if the person tries hard to focus on it, is it a mistake? Or sheer luck/chance! Just like other posts, Kaleidoscope does not have the answer to it. But he can, related a few oops moments with focus:

1. You tend to focus on something (your career or the person you want to be with!) and it gets slip away - focus/out of focus liminality

2. You tend to be in focus (to your higher authority/your lover!) and you are out of the frame - inability to remain in focus - you, the 'proletariat' looser

3. You tend to focus on something and end up focusing on something else, which you did not want at all, and you hate it/ or on a positive side, you end up having something you desired but never dared to chase - Needs for focus dies here, RIP

Now, don't tell Kaleidoscope, that he has made a discovery of how brilliant life is going in parallel with his camera and focus.

Meanwhile just see how badly Kaleidoscope failed to focus on a beauty and end up focusing on the ashes (do not remind him his point no. 3, it hurts!).
This is a beautiful Red Avadavat on a ash background, well the focus was reversed than originally intended, and it happend for a million times!

The bird when finally Kaleidoscope could focus on, but the ash background is gone, the award winning contrast is gone for ever!! 

Now, if Kaleidoscope wants to take another step forward, its analogous to what he strives to call life, and of course, this is why its beautiful to be alive! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Civilisation and question of love: Part VII Vanishing beliefs

Yes there are many philosophies of life. With the increasing rationalisation of life, kaleidoscope finds himself in a world of present. Where there is no after life, reincarnation or heaven exists, the belief of which used to be so powerful that people used to undermine the hardship of everyday life. Increasingly the hardship and battle for everyday life has become less physicallly challenging and more intellectually and cerebrally exhausting.

Since kaleidoscope, like may others have started to live in a society of wiping away of belief systems, they are living in an eternal present! Therefore, the philosophy says there is no eaternal beauty  and 'beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder!' There is no after life and thereforw, enjoy today, be engulfed within the present!

Therefore, kaleidoscope is taught to live the life at its fullest, making everyday count as if this the last day! Interestingly, kaleidoscope thinks, if he would knew it was really his last day he would have done things which, as such have not relevance to the world in which he tries to live in! The saddest part is one day would be the last day and it would not be as Kaleidoscope or any one dreams of, it would definitely be one of those depthless present days continuing in the endless succession!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Letting go 5: One surreal fall

Just on the other day Kaleidoscope met with one random person on his way to work. It's usually a short trip to his workplace at the heart of the IT land! However, on that particular day the short trip became unusually long because of two reasons. First, the road through which he travels became unusually congested with traffic. The reason being the sudden breakdown of one of the machines working for future Metro railway projects. The second reason is narrated below.

To make a small story big, the random person was sobbing desperately at the back sit of the car in which Kaleidoscope was lucky enough to get in. Kaleidoscope became a little concerned for the gentleman at the back sit.

When he tried to look back intending to ask if he needed any kind of help, the gentleman described the event of missing himself. He narrated that he just had found out he doesn't love the person he thought he loves for so long! No, not surreal, he was sobbing for the loss of his love. And amazingly when he tried to break the news to his partner, his partner said the same thing, that she also feels the lack of love from her side.

Thats the end of the story. The gentleman got down a couple of stoppages before the place where Kaleidoscope had to get down, saying 'its not always the break up that matters, sometimes its the inability to love that matters too!'

Kaleidoscope asked if there is another person in his life already! He said 'no' and banged the car door.

Well even if there is no other person, yet there is a dream of the other person! Kaleidoscope thought.

Well it was then time to wake up from Kaleidoscopic sleep, the smart phone was smart enough to wake him up.

Yes of course it was just a dream. Surreal... just like the dream of the imagined other person, he thought in his dream!

Kaleidoscope went for his workplace thinking about the dream. Its winter and some leaves had fallen over the pitch black bitumen creating a random mosaic pattern. With wind being blown, the pattern kept changing which was so wonderfully described by the river as Kaleidoscopic mosaic. Yes a surreal river is always with Kaleidoscope. Suddenly a car stops near him exactly like that dream. A gentleman sitting at the back sit. Kaleidoscope sat on the front. Of course nothing happened! Kaleidoscope hoped for a dream matching day... but it never happened - yes, it never happens. Perhaps that is why Kaleidoscope has dreams! Perhaps that is why everyone has... dreams!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Letting go 4: Can you talk of love at all?

So, how many times did Kaledoscope find himsef falling short of words to express what is going on inside his head? Well, it's countless. Kaleidoscope often have felt that there are lot to say, lot to make the other understand. He often has made  plans: a checklist of words, sentences  and points that he wishes to tell, to share, to make understandable by the other. However, when the moment comes he often fails miserably.

How does he fail?

1. He tries to put his thought into words and then after some time he finds so many fill in the blanks in his script! May be he expresses through his body language but such language often remains undeciphered or may be he is equally poor with his body languages.

2. With repeated failure he often stops talking. He often gives up saying things that he used to say regularly. Then all that are left in a conversation is idle chatter!

When the question of love comes Kaleidoscope can only utter the words to express the way he is dragged towards the image of love and not the love per se. In his intimate moments with person, places and the like he finds himself in an absolute shortage of words. He describes the situation as silence! Yes an word to escape from himself! Yes it is silence outside and a storm of ignited passion inside. He often asks himself 'what you talk of when you talk of love?' he has also documented in his earlier post that its the 'Silence.'

Well, silence of what kind?

Silence because of the shortage of words?

Silence because the other as Kaleidoscope perceives can read a lot from a silence?

Silence because of the pain he has to take up?

Silence for prolonged broken promises?

Silence because of memories and inheritance of loneliness?

Or perhaps a combination of so many things of compatibility and incompatibility with kaleidoscopic self , the world and the imagined world.

Kaleidoscope just like others still searches for the answers to one of his primordial questions now 'what we talk of when we talk of love?' In addition to another and more persistent one 'did we know what love is? Do we have the capacity to even imagine, the feel the passion the tenderness of a state of being we so reluctantly label as love?'

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letting go 3: what you talk of, when you talk of love?

Its another visit to the river to the wonderland. Kaleidoscope cannot get over the disruption caused in the name of 'public services.' What makes this departure so painful? So far Kaleidoscope understands it's primarily because the wonderland was perhaps the first place where he felt to belong truly! The river is the only entity that makes kaleidoscope believe that he is wonderful as he is. Kaleidoscope tries to make sense of what he talks of when he talks of love?

So when he visits and comes back in the twilight moments in liminality,  makes love, cries, laughs and hugs he is alive again. The liminality defines kaleidoscope, if ever the space changes, the river changes kaleidoscope ceases to exist! So, the question remains what we talk of when we talk of love? Its usually the silence!

Yes, the twilight is good when you see the colours no matter if its dawn or dusk; the rest is monotonous.