• This & That ....

    Thoughts on different subjects. Political to Philosophy. Books to Binding.Film to Folklore.Thoughts and thinking ; they have tremendous power. Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure. When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure. Thoughts crystallize into habit and habit solidifies into circumstances.Thought means life, since those who do not think so do not live in any high or real sense. Thinking makes the man.

Ho Chi Minh….Amar nam, Tomar nam, Vietnam,Vietnam


A fertile land riven by a civil war fought between guerrillas and armed forces brought in from outside, with defenceless peasants caught in the deadly crossfire. Liberal voices of protest against aggression brutally suppressed by the powers that be. A political backlash that threatens to cleave the country in two. Vietnam in the 1960s. In […]

Jorge Luis Borges,my father and the Book of Sand


Nirmal Chandra Kumar,my father, who died of cerebral stroke in 1978, aged 60, was a man who was an antiquarian and owned a rare bookshop in Calcutta , India. He was also among the greatest influences on a generation of artists, from filmmaker to fiction writers, folk musician to folk artist; actors to activists, writer […]

Dr David Livingstone and the incomplete Map of Africa


In my drawing room wall I have a huge map of  a portion of Central Africa from the surveys, drawings and observations of Dr David Livingstone between the years 1866 and 1873 engraved by the Royal Geographical Society.The map is incomplete as in the middle of the exploration Dr. Livingstone was struck by malaria which […]

José Saramago … Blindness


Blindness….I just finished reading the book .It is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers around a doctor and […]

André Bazin and my French lessons


The only person who has  a wide impact on the cinema without making a single movie. I first came to know of André Bazin in the Communication Course at St. Xavier’s College Calcutta .He is a genius of the first order. Much of Bazin’s work was not available in translation then and he forced me […]

Louis Malle in Calcutta


In 1968 Louis Malle came to Calcutta and was introduced to my father by the film maker Satyajit Ray. I remember Malle then sporting a beard. I was made his guide as he wanted to roam the streets of Calcutta .You know …just be with him and take him around. He traveled to India without […]

Mao’s Impact


In the summer of 1967 when I was a lad of 11, I felt the impact of Mao Zedong. A section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal led a violent uprising in 1967, trying to develop a “revolutionary opposition”. The insurrection started in 1967 in Naxalbari village […]

Deconstruction and Jaques Derida


My son Abhishek was once obsessed that I age fast to acquire a crown of white hair. That I grow old quickly so that I have white hair to resemble Jaques Derida. That I take up smoking pipes , a collection , which languished in my home, an inheritance from my father. All this because […]

The Tata Code of Conduct


I had all respect for the Tatas  till a few days back. I had the feeling that they follow a code of Business Conduct.The Tatas do make a serious effort to run clean businesses. This is precisely the reason why the Radia tapes have dealt a big blow to the Tatas’ reputation . When you […]