Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More about ants... What do you call an ant who runs away with his girl friend??
"Is General Paul in?"

"Yes, but Saab has some guests."

He stares at me. Why the hell are you disturbing me in whatever I was doing? I stare back at him.

"What do you want?"

"I work in Texas Instruments. I have some work with General Paul."

"But Saab has guests." Please go away.

"I shall take only a couple of minutes of his time."

He shrugs, walks back a couple of paces.

"Saab, some saab has come to meet you."

"Saab has come? So soon?"

"No no no!" Vigorously shaking his head. "Some Saab has come..."

I had expected General Paul to be tall, stern, burly, with an erect stature. However, the person who came out to the door was short, small, and hardly looked military if you know what I mean.

"General Paul?"


"I work in Texas Instruments. We want to organize a football tournament... blah blah blah ... so they asked me to meet you."

"Ya, I know the procedure. I will give you the information. But I have some guests right now. Do you have a card on you? I will give you a ring."

"Yes, I have." I fumble with my wallet, take out a business card, and hand it over to him. "You can call me on my mobile." I indicate the correct number.

"Hmm." Pause. "Somshubhra Paul?"

"Yes, that's me."


"Yes." Modestly, nodding.

"Kotha theke?"

The rest of the conversation was partly in Bengali, and partly in English. For easy readability, I will translate the Bengali portions.

"From Calcutta."

"Been here long?"

"A couple of years."

"Okay I will give you a call."


"By the way, which University?"

"I am from Jadavpur University."

"Bloody Hell!"

I look at him surprised.

"Which batch?"



"Are you from Jadavpur too?"

"'55 batch."


"Have you heard of AJUB, our alumny association here....?"


"We organize picnis and stuff...you can join..."

I nod politely.

"Okay then. Will call on your cell, right?"


"Okay. Nice talking to you."


It's a small world after all!

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Whenever I see a large group of ants gathering up somewhere around some small piece of eatable junk, or dead insect, the anticidal tendencies in me resurface and I feel an urge to stomp on the quivering black or red mass of antity.

I don't have anything personal against ants. I believe that individually, they are all very nice pleasant characters, capable of really hard work. In fact I respect them for that. And if I see a long line of ants crawling endlessly across a wall, I leave them well alone. It is only when I see a large number of them flocking together somewhere that I feel aggressive.

When a large number of ants flock together, they cease to be the nice peaceful characters that they otherwise are. This is because, in principle, they don't have any strong values or principles. They don't have any qualms about stealing or invading anyone's personal space. Whenever one leaves some foodstuff unguarded for a short period of time, they gather around and start 'borrowing'. In the communities they live in, nothing is personal. They follow communist principles more stringently than any man on earth.

I do not like my food 'borrowed'. Nor do I like to be crawled upon. And inevitably, whenever they gather somewhere, they crawl and trample over anything and anyone who steps near them. For this very reason, I don't like the idea of them flocking together. And I try to prevent them from doing that as much as I can.

Sometimes, when I am in a more sadistic mood, I drench them in a deluge of water. People say that ants swim well. They don't. They don't know the first thing about swimming. They just float in water. Maybe they are lightheaded. Whatever the reason, they just float in water, and thrash around. If they come close to the edge of the pool of water, I just blow on to them and they go back to the centre of the pool.

Animal rights activists will probably start aggressive campaigns against me upon reading this post. Like I care! I am a non-vegetarian, I don't give a damn if a poor chicken dies to become my food, why should I care about ants?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

If winners of tournaments / sports competitions were decided based on the amount of enthusiasm the participants have, I would have won each and every tournament that I ever participated in. As it is, I manage to lose every one in the first round! Yesterday it was the turn for Intra-TII Badminton singles tournament.

It was not that my opponent was particularly good or anything. In fact he was pretty bad, with glaring shortcomings in various departments. Only, I was worse. I managed to win about 7 points in two sets! I never had much hopes with badminton anyway. I don't particularly like the game, and seldom participate except in tournaments.

In the recent past, I have lost in chess and table tennis tournaments in the first round. I am almost as bad in table tennis as I am in badminton. Chess, probably, I could have done something, but as luck would have it, I was faced with the eventual champion and undoubtably the best player in TII in the first round itself.

I have participated in a volleyball tournament, in which our team emerged champions, without much help from me, needless to mention. In fact I played in only two of the matches, and would have effortlessly won the Worst Player of The Tournament Award, had it been given! In cricket we went on to the second round thanks to a couple of walkovers, and then managed to lose a sure-win game.

Right now I am looking forward to the football tournament, which we are going to arrange in another months time or so. Hopefully, I can team up with a few good players there, and manage to do something. Also, I am hoping to fare better in a tennis tournament, provided, of course, that I do not end up playing the best player of the tournament again in the first round!