Coming to a shimana near you

© Shib Shankar Chatterjee

© Shib Shankar Chatterjee

Coming to a shimana near you

by Udayan Chattopadhyay for

Every night, India and Pakistan engage in a ridiculous border ceremony at Wagah, on the outskirts of Amritsar, where respective national armies engage in a choreographed display of synchronized aggression, cheered on by their compatriots. Continue reading

And meanwhile, in Kolkata …


Scanned copy of KALAM newspaper

For any non-Bangladeshis even remotely following politics and events in that country, it is clear that the situation on the ground is getting very bad. But not to worry. When things get too problematic, you know you can always rely on your armchair activist brothers across the border to speak up for you. Heard that before? If not from us your interfering neighbors, from your domestic dalals selling your country’s interests? Well, here’s news about an unusual show of support just a hop and a skip away from Satkhira. Continue reading

1971: Missed Euphoria

Palash Khan

Missed Euphoria

UDAYAN CHATTOPADHYAY ponders over what’s ‘missing’ from December 16th celebrations on both sides of the border.
DAILY STAR, December 2012

Every year, 16th December, known in India as Vijay Divas, is commemorated through low key events in a few select major cities across the country. There is rarely any fanfare; in Delhi, there is a brief and solemn ceremony with sparse attendance; protocol dictates the titles of those who must attend or send a replacement in lieu; a minute’s silence is held by the Eternal Flame by India Gate, and the event is generally very lacklustre. Continue reading

Kakababu choley gelen: Sunil Gangopadhyay (1934-2012)

Late Sunil Gangopadhyay with late Humayun Ahmed.
Source: Nuhospolli blog

Kakababu choley gelen
by Udayan Chattopadhyay

That the passing of Sunil Gangopadhyay came as a shock to many – despite his age and health – is a reflection of his being, till his last Puja season during which he died – the most prolific and recognizable mainstream writer in post-1947 Indian Bengal.

I will not dwell on literary critiques; I am not qualified. While, like most NRI-kids, I was very much aware of who he was growing up (our parents would always pass around his latest book after a trip to Calcutta) I was hardly able to delve into his tomes. In that I shared a disconnect with an increasing number of middle class Calcutta kids more proficient (at least reading) in English and even Hindi than in their parents’ tongue. I saw the films and serials people like Satyajit made from his works, and as English-translations started becoming available, I trawled through his seminal works such as Purba Paschim, Shei Shomoy and Prothom Alo. But that doesn’t form the basis of my bond.
Continue reading