Ciao JU!

19th August 2021 was my last day as a Master’s scholar at Jadavpur University. The spell at JU was rather very short (23 months) and it was a path which I never thought I would be taking. But in hindsight, I feel, it has shaped me for the better.

One thing, which I solely believe is we all experience the same thing in a different manner. JU was something like that for me. My daily routine was quite ordinary and at times, very mundane. A reason for that can be attributed to Covid too. I would reach the University within 10:30 AM. Sometimes even before the opening of my department building. Most of my time would be spent in my department lab. And then, I would leave after 4:30 or 5. I hardly attended the University for 6-7 months but it was something I really liked.

The greatest thing about JU is the campus. I am sure, anyone can easily call it their home. Few of my relatives often have asked me how it is like going to JU? Is there an atmosphere of political unrest all the time? And these questions have really shocked me. The JU campus is for everyone! Do you want to study peacefully? There is a place. Do you want to chill out with friends? There is a place. Do you often feel like not doing anything and just passing the time like me? There is a place! JU campus has a place for everything and everyone. And no one, I repeat, no one will ever bother you for anything at any time.

Another noticeable thing about the JU campus is the difference between the atmosphere around the Arts section and the Engineering section. This is something that I can’t quite fully explain through words. This is one of those things that you can only feel once you’ve visited the campus.

This was an experience which I have really liked and which I had hoped to enjoy more profoundly but couldn’t. I would be lying if I say that I have too many memories of this place with all my classmates and friends but still there is a soft corner, there is a sense of belonging. Probably it is one of the characteristics of this University and this place. She welcomes you with open arms, without any judgement and tantrums.

Thank you, Jadavpur.

A day in the Life

Most of the time, I try to look at a day like this: If it went great, there is no need to be overjoyed, it was just a day in the life. If it didn’t, then also there is no need to be upset. It is just a day in life. Yesterday I turned 25 and in hindsight, I feel, it was a nice day!

I had always wanted to do something special on my birthdays. And yesterday, I think, I finally did. I went to a Girls Home in Kasba where I sponsored the lunch for the day. The menu was a typical Bengali meal: Rice, Daal, Alu Bhaja (which is called French Fries for PR purposes), Chicken Curry, and Rosogolla. I also distributed dry food items like Cake, Biscuits, and Chocolate.

I think I got one of my precious gifts from the kids too. They drew a cute Birthday greetings card for me and I loved it! I will keep it as long as I can as a cherished possession. Here I am holding the card.

The card says something like this:

“Dear Brother, wish you a happy birthday. Thank you for coming here. We are very happy to see you. Many many happy returns of the day. This day is very special for you. Thank you for your help and support. Lots of love”

Every-time I read this, it puts a smile on my face. The 25th wasn’t bad at all!

Life, the 2nd chance and Jurgen Klopp

I am good with dates. I vividly remember it was 26th May 2018. I had my final exam of Engineering life and Liverpool were set to face Real Madrid for the UCL final. The build-up to the game wasn’t ideal for me personally. I had already received 3 rejections for my MS applications. For some reason, I built up a mental image that “Everything can’t be bad” and LFC are gonna lift the 6th. That obviously didn’t happen. After the final, a dejected Jurgen Klopp said back then: “This is not the end, only beginning”. But I kinda refused to believe it. This was a golden opportunity that LFC lost.

I remember waking up on the 27th. Never felt worse in life. Had nothing to look forward to. Engrossed in despair. On the 29th something changed. I wake up to my Twitter notifications at 5:30 AM. Liverpool FC have signed Fabinho. Out of nowhere. A type of player Klopp has never signed before. That made me thinking, I should probably change my approach too. And I started preparing for GATE. The point I wanted to reach was still the same, but the path changed a bit.

The following season (2018-19) Liverpool were on fire. But it seemed that this was going to be another “So close but yet so far” kind of season when Barcelona beat us 3-0. Klopp, however, clearly had different plans. I will never forget his press conference before the return leg of Barcelona: “If we can do it, wonderful, If not, let’s fail in the most beautiful way”. Liverpool did the unthinkable. Defeated Barca 4-0 and then went on to become the European Champions for the record 6th time. Meanwhile, I had another rejection from ISI Kolkata before joining Jadavpur University for a similar course.

Fast forward to 2021, Liverpool FC have lifted the 1st Premier League and 19th League title. Klopp has made the dreams of millions come true. I am also in a much better place than I was back in 2018 March. Over the years, days after days, when I had nothing to look forward to, I have taken my much-needed inspiration from Jurgen Klopp. I have learned so much from his general approach to life. I am now quite comfortable in accepting things that I am not good at. But the most valuable lesson I’ve learned from Mr. Klopp is this: Life really provides you the 2nd chance if you work for it (I think Klopp has said something similar too). Jurgen Klopp is the living embodiment of the ‘2nd chance’ that many doubters refuse to believe. I used to be one of them too. But he has changed me from a doubter to a believer, just like he promised. Thank you, Jurgen Klopp. You’ll never walk alone.

Equations of life

Few days back Prof. Bijan Sarkar (Yes! the same professor from “Opportunity”) said a thought provoking thing: “f(Knowledge)= Package”

It seems pretty random (no pun intended)? Isn’t it? Let me explain. One of the students of Dr. Sarkar asked him about the placement package of a department. And in reply Professor said that “Package is the function of Knowledge” Now it makes sense, doesn’t it?

Anyways, coming back to the so called ‘equation’. The math nerd in me couldn’t help but shed some light on it further. And what I found was pretty intriguing.

In mathematics we know, y= f(x)= [some equation which relates x to f(x)]. Now there are different type of equations. Logarithmic, exponential, linear and what not. So, if Professor Sarkar’s equation to hold true, f(k) ( calling knowledge as k) should have a right hand side too. Isn’t it?

It actually has that! So what is the RHS part here? It is actually not constant. For someone, it is linear, for someone it is quadratic, for someone it is even exponential. Confused? Let me explain. We all study to gather knowledge. To have a better understanding of everything. But same studying hours or studying the same elements result in different outputs. How so? Because of the “function”. For some of us, the function is linear, for some it is polynomial or even exponential. So even if two people are studying the same thing, it results in gathering different knowledge, different perspectives, and hence different packages. Now, if a person who has a linear function wants to match the output of one having an exponential function, so what should he/she do? Simple! he/she should increase the input value. Which in this case is focus time, concentration, etc.

To put in the language of mathematics, for someone it is f(k)= e^k+c and for someone else, it is probably f(k)= logk +c or ak+c. Hold on what is this +c? Am I doing some integration that I have added a +c? No! Not really. +c is the constants in our life. Like, the family support, the financial support from parents, the mental support and companionship of a friend or a beloved. And it can have both positive and negative values. Sometimes these things in life act as positive reinforcement, and sometimes as a hindrance. Just like in a mathematical equation, the constant is added or subtracted.

Further, I believe there are numerous equations like these that govern our life. One for career, one for family, one for conjugal relationships, etc. As I finish up this post and hit the publish button, I don’t even know whether I make some sense or not. But this is something I have thought a lot and I think this is very interesting.

Is it about the place or the people?

A few days back I was standing in front of this derelict building that would soon be demolished and make the way for a new apartment. This is a place that I used to (and still do) call my ‘Mamabari’ (the maternal uncle’s home). The maternal uncle’s home is a sentimental place for most of the Indian kids growing up. One would often visit them on summer vacation and different occasions.

“The people make the place” is a quite famous saying. But standing in front of this building I started to wonder whether it is at all true!

Most of my folks from my Mamabari still live around this place with new cozy apartments. I still adore them and grateful for their presence in my life but I really don’t feel the same way without this dilapidated building in the picture. And I think my sentiments here are very true. I will soon move to a new city for my job. A new city with no friends and family. If I could bring all of them with me in an imaginary scenario, will that make the new city my home? Absolutely not.

These places are like the bookmarks of our lives. They store a lot of memories. Even though the people who make this place lively, play a crucial part in creating those memories and moments, they alone can never fulfill the void.


Originally published on 18th may at: