Category Archives: Learning and experience from Society

Jakpur- Journey to The Valley Of Rose Garden

It is a non-descriptive Railway station located 5 km from famous destination of engineers IIT Kharagpur. Hardly any people know that this place is famous for many flower nursery gardens. There are at least 4 to 5 gardens are located here supplying varieties  of flowers to many national and international destinations. Most famous of these gardens is Puspanjali Nursery in Jakpur.

If you have few free hours  in the evening, planning to spend in a flowers gardens located in rural environment, then this is really a good hang out place for families during weekend.

Today is 26 the January, 2017. We plan to spend some free time in rural village for enjoying rural environment. I got some reference of this place from my friends. We set out from IIT Kharagpur campus by 3 pm and reach Kharagpur bus stand. From stand we take private auto to reach Puspanjali Nursery by 4 pm.

Jakpur Puspanjali Flower nursey

Jakpur Puspanjali Flower nursey

Puspanjali Nursery is build over a 20 acres land. It is big nursery and house of hundred varieties  of rose. There is no formal entry tickets. You just step in and local nursery people helps you to locate different types of flowers. We found 2 rose gardens full of various types of roses. Besides you can see how nursery people are treating  various types of flowers including roses.

Flower decorated house inside Nursery

Flower decorated house inside Nursery

Varieties of flowers in the garden

Varieties of flowers in the garden

Sapling of flowers

Sapling of flowers

We located a big pond located right in the middle of garden. Left side of the pond, there are many small gardens with varsities of flowers. On the others side we find fields cultivating saplings of flowers.

Big pond inside the garden - nice village environment

Big pond inside the garden – nice village environment

It is really worth to spend 1-2 hours there. We came out from nursery by 5:15 pm. We found a small village market near nursery. We finished our evening snacks there. While coming we could not find any transportation.we walked about 2 km to reach Jakpur station. And returned Kharagpur  by Medinipur local.

We spent some time in local market in the evening

We spent some time in local market in the evening

Travel tips to reach Jakpur

1) It could be a popular picnic destination during winter.

2) You can reach Jakpur from Kharagpur/ Medinipur by local train and get down at Jakpur station. From here nursery is about 1.5 km located along the road connecting NH2 and jakpur station. You can reach there by 20 min walk or by auto. But we have found  very few autos there.

From Jakpur, you can get up Medinipur local at 6 PM evening for Kharagpur, There are very limited trains stop at this station. Only slow Medinipur and Kharagpur local train stops here.

3) Pushpanjali nursery opening time till 5 pm

4) Best time  to visit : during winter (December and January)

5) Other side of Jakpur station, you can visit  famous Maa Manasa mandir. This is a popular pilgrimage destination.

Hence, if you have half day time, you can enjoy following things in Jakpur

A) Maa Manasa temple

B ) Puspanjali Nursery- a famous nursery

C ) Enjoy bucolic simplicity and village life during village walk.

D) Off course a popular picnic spots during winter.

For Jakpur Maa Manasa temple visit, please look into this blog post:

https://gobindaroy.wordpress.com/2016/10/31/its-my-journey-to-connecting-with-rural-mythology/

Nadia to Noida : Lone journey of a poor father

It was a January morning in Noida. Weather suddenly became more chill and wet due to an unusual winter rain since the last night. I got up early at my hotel bed for attending conference at IIM Lucknow Noida campus. I came to Noida for attending conference in IIM Lucknow Noida campus located in sector B2. Since I was new to this place, I tried to start early in the morning despite continuous rain outside.

I Lost his photo in mobile. Hence just shared similar photo (PC. jansandesh )

I Lost his photo in mobile. Hence just shared similar photo (PC. Jansandesh )

I came out of the hotel; the whole area was covered with thick fog. The incessant drizzling made  the move difficult to find rickshaw or auto for reaching the venue. After a few step walk ahead, I located a rickshaw puller shivering in cold and waiting for customer in this difficult hour. After a few step closer, I observed a middle aged rickshaw puller looked at me with a great hope.

I also eagerly checked whether I could get that rickshaw. I observed that rickshawala is almost drenched. For a moment, it appeared in my mind that he must be from Bengal, as he was wearing a typical bong face. But he looked tired for some unknown reason. I asked whether he could take me to IIM campus. His face became bright as he at last got a customer in that rough weather. He asked for Rs 30 and I find it reasonable. So I boarded on his rickshaw for destination. Drizzling was still there. He tried hard to reach the venue fast. I assured him no hurry and he can drive safely.

Rickshaw was meandering thorough lanes and by lanes of Noida sector 62. I asked rickshawala about his native place in Bengal. He narrated his ordeal while driving his rickshaw. He was a worker in jute Mill near Nadia district in West Bengal. His father was landless laborer. He was a good student and consistently performed better till Class 10. But his father expired, and he was forced to leave his study and join mill as a labourer.

But luck was not in his favor. He lost his job due to lock out in his factory. By that time he was father of 2 children. He felt the pain of losing opportunity of good education due to want of many. He didn’t want it to be happened to his kids again. He searched many places for job. But no hopes resurfaced.

One day he got a call from his distant relative now working in Noida. He was desperate to join some job to support his family. He left Nadia in West Bengal for Noida for exploring opportunity there. He came to sector 62. Hetook a rented rickshaw and become a rickshaw puller. He managed to get Rs 300 per day after a daylong hard work. He could send some money to family. Three years have been passed, children were grown up . Expenditure was shooting up. Then he took a call to shift his family from West Bengal to Noida. His wife also joined some domestic help. Now husband and wife both earned about 20k.

I was grossly engrossed in listening that story. He still murmured… “Babu, now I can support children education here after tight budget control”. He still remembered his old days in rural village. But he is happy now; at least Delhi NCR helped him to earn his living and supporting children education. Despite mild fever in last few days, he came out today to earn some money. After all, he has to save some money for children.

We are about to reach Noida IIM campus. He is still recounting his journey. Telling me, “Sir, you know. My elder son is studying hard and he is class 12 now. My son is telling me, ” baba, you need not work, let me finish graduation and then I will join job”.

I also know Delhi and NCR are such a place that young man like him would get a job someday. He can help his rickshawala father to get some relief in the rest of his life. I reached campus and deboarded the rickshaw. Priyalal ( his name)was still looking at me. Asking me, ” Sir, will not my son get  job here ?” I nod my head and assured him. I know this place is far better than west Bengal in terms of job opportunity.

Hence, without any hesitation I assured him that your son would get a job and fulfill his dream. His face again become brighter with a hope.. I give some courage to this old father before leaving to join conference. I appreciate his courage to leave Bengal and struggling in Noida to give support for his children’s career.

I stepped into the campus. Rickshawala was standing there with a pensive look as if he was still talking to his past. After few seconds, when I looked back and seen he was vanishing into the fog at the turn of the road.

Next day he again picked me up from hotel. Today we also discussed many things starting from politics to job and education market.  I got astonished to see his interest in many fields. I am haapy to know that this rickshawala still finds hope to get his dream fulfilled through his son and daughter. Noida has given him earning and hope for his next generation.

I don’t want my kid to become a super kid!

Really ! Yes, I want them to get space to enjoy and play life as kids. However, sometimes as a parent we expect sky high achievements from our kids on a regular basis. As a Bengali parent, we generally expect that our kid should be either doctor or engineer. To fulfill our own objective, we force them to become genius kids in their tender age.

Genius kid

Genius kid (Photo source: Heraldsun.com.au)

Without checking real interest of our kids, we normally subscribe what other parents are doing for their kids. I just cite some examples from interactions with parents.

Case study 1 : Ramesh Das (name changed):

He is our neighbor, and retired from service two years back. He has two sons and both studied science up to class XII. His wife had dream to make their sons engineers at any cost. It was their dream, not theirs sons’. First son admitted to private engineering college. Second son also followed his brother passion to enroll same private engineering college as a fashion. Later younger son shared shared that he felt he souild do something like his elder brother. Both passed out from college last year. They are now registered bekar (unemployed youth) enjoying their post engineering life. Father has spent 15 Lakh for two sons and produced 2 engineers with no jobs. Anxious father is now confused what else he could do for sons’ career settlement.

I have met those engineer sons few days back. They are in fact weak in mathematics and science. In fact peer pressure and parents expectation forced them to take engineering route.Thanks to mushrooming private engineering colleges. These colleges are machines meant to fulfill parents’ expectation. Now those kids are preparing for bank and other clerical job posts.

Case study 2:  Monaj Saha (named changed) :

He is successful business man. Like other parents, he wants to see his only son as an engineer. However, son is rather busy on social media. He marginally crossed the hurdle of passing Madhyamik (10 Th broad) with grace mark. To fulfill father’s wish and put himself with higher rank with respect his peers, he joined private ITI college. He thought that he would would do polytechnic after this. His family relative guided him to take this journey to fulfill his father’s which. After joining ITI college, beta (son) behaves as if he were junior engineer and started spending more time on social.

History repeated again, he marginally passed ITI degree. But there is no distant chance of getting into good polytechnic college. In fact he developed a phobia in engineering. That day I meet him father at social function. He is now happy to become a father of bekar (unemployed) technician son. But his dream was partially fulfilled. He is a businessman, he can afford to experiment after throwing few Lash rupees for such junk degree. But there are many fathers from villages are semi-urban India are getting duped false promise from private college and their agent network.

Tips parents

1)Don’t go by what others are doing. Sit with your kids. Know their strength and choice for subject . Encourage them to study what feel comfortable. Besides engineering there are many career avenues to pursue.

2)Do fact checking before enrolling your child with any professional course. Every week in career page of leading dailies, you would find many glossy advertisement of many colleges offering professional degrees. There are many tall claims. Do not go by those claims. Rather check veracity of those claims and facts using personal source or making surprise visits to those colleges.

3)Beware of self proclaimed career mentors willing to give you advise free for direct admission to private engineering and medical college. They are in fact agent of those colleges and are working on commission basis.

As a parent, I also expect that my kids should pursue the course they like most. Off course, as we should guide them with necessary resources. I am working hard to mentor them as “sensible kids” rather than “genius kids” or “super kids”. One of the biggest challenges to parents is how they can make their kids independent in their studies.

Let me know your view.

 

 

It’s my journey to connecting with rural mythology

Today morning is really refreshing. Moreover, morning rain make the environment more afresh. Winter is knocking door. Today I have made a quick plan to visit a nearby tourists place in Kharagpur. This time I have chosen a pilgrimage location called Maa Manasa temple in Jakpur.

Maa Manasa mandir at Jakpur- Distant view from Train

Maa Manasa mandir at Jakpur- Distant view from Train

Jakpur is a small station located along the Howrah-Kharagpur train route and located just before KGP station if you travel from Howrah. If you like to enjoy village walk and local folklore, then this is an ideal location for nature lovers.

Jakpur Maa Manasa temple

I have heard a lot about this temple. This temple is popular for jagrata devi Maa Manasa (Maa is actively present here to fulfill wishes for followers). Local people says if you wish with your heart, Maa will fulfill your dream. Whenever my train passing by this location, I usually notice devotees on the way to temple for darshan. So I had a wish to visit this place for Devi darshan and listen history behind it.

Today afternoon I was free, and I am out for a short trip. I board Medinipur Howrah local from Kharagpur station and get down immediately next station Jakpur. It is a beautiful village station surrounded by lush green paddy field. It looks nature has made this place so natural and simple.

On the way to Manasa Mandir

On the way to Manasa Mandir

I reached station around 3:30 pm. It being October end, sunshine was mild and soothing. Hence I plan to go for village walk. After coming out from Jakpur station. I asked a local shop for direction. Since it was afternoon , I couldn’t find any local van or rickshaw there. I could only see a village path meandering through paddy fields. I feel path is calling me to enjoy bucolic simplicity of rural Bengal. I come here to enjoy village walking, hence without a second thought I am on foot to cover 4 km distance. After some walk, I observed another person also following me. Later I came to know he is also on the way to temple. So I got my walking partner for next 30 min walk. We talked a lot about passion to explore new areas.

Around 4 pm we reached the Mandir. Local people called it Maa Manasa mandir. There was a altar at the center of temple and there is no roof top on the temple. Local people tell that this tempe will be kept like this without rooftop as per local tradition.

Legend of  Maa Manasa mandir

As per local saying, there was a temporary altar in this place 10 years back. New Mandir was build just four year back. Actually this area was covered with dense forest and long grass land. A herd of cattle from Jaminder came here for grazing. One day, jaminder’s mink man observed that cows were not giving milk when they come from jungle area. Jaminder ordered to check.  Cowmen later found that every day cows entered the nearby bush and jungle areas and give milk to someone inside the jungle. As per Hindu mythology , snakes can suck milk from cows. Later Maa Manasa appeared in dream of jaminder and ordered him to build temple in jungle area. That the first time makeshift platform build for Manasa puja. Many devotes from distance village started visiting this place and got wishes fulfilled.

Maa Managa Mandir -main entrance

Maa Managa Mandir -main entrance

One day a realtor on the way to business trip crossed this location while in train and his wished some thing sitting on train. His wishes  also got fulfilled. He then donated money to build this modern temple what you see today.

Main Altar- where pople offer puja to Maa Manasa

Main Altar- where pople offer puja to Maa Manasa

You wouldn’t find heavy sculpture here or eye catching arrangement, but simplicity of local environment and local people would surely make you fresh and mentally satisfied.

distant-view-of-rail-track-from-temple

Distant view of rail track from temple

What to see here

1) enjoy village walk and surrounding environment

2) offer Puja  and feel device presence in rural place. And enjoy local tea.

3) On every Saturday and Thursday, many people come here for offering puja. Come here in morning time and enjoy pilgrimage while on walking.

4) there use be a big mela (village fair) once in a year. I forget the exact month for mela. But nature lover can avoid this time due to heavy rish

How to reach.

1) from kharagpur it is about 7 km. If you come by train , get down at Jakpur, and morning you can get some local van or Toto car.

2) From Madpur station you can book Toto van they charge 100-200 for one hour round trip journey.

3) From Kolkata and Howrah station, you can get down at Madpur station and take Toto car if you are in small group. Nature lover should drop at Jakpur and enjoy 40 min village walk.

4) Best season for tourists – winter is the best time. And avoid rainy season

5) Only local train ( Howrah -Kharagpur local or Howrah Medinipur local stops in Madpur or Jakpur station.

Note : it is a good place for nature lovers or pilgrims.

How to plan Pandal hopping ? my Durga puja experience in 2016

Every year before Dugra puja , we used to plan for pandal hopping. Every time 2 main questions are raised in our mind: First, what area we should visit this year for covering most popular dugra puja in Kolkata? Second, what time should go out for pandel hopping? I don’t like to hop during rush hour. In the last year we went for whole night pandel hopping. This year we plan for early morning pandel hopping. Last year we covered south and central Kolkata puja. This year we plan to cover central and north Kolkata durga puja pandel.

Wakisaka toys - pupualar decorating items in Durga Puja

Wakisaka toys – popular decorating items in Durga Puja 2016

Now next question is what are the durga puja mandop we should visits. I urge you look for Times of India puja review published every year on Sasti. This year, we took that reference to collecting information about location and theme of these durga puja. So our plan to visit few select Dugra puja panels in Central and north kolkata.

Journey start now! We research Sealdha at 5:30 AM. First visited  Rail Maidan Puja. It’s very close to Sealdha Railway station. There was no queqe. Hence it was a king size entry in that puja and other puja pandel.

1)Rail Maidan Puja.

Rail Maidan Puja

Rail Maidan Puja

2)College square puja 

This is childhood puja location. As usual, pandel and durga idols was awesome. If you come here in the evening, you need to stand in a long queue. But, we quicly completed our darsan here.

College square puja.jpg

3)College street Odhibasi Brinda Puja

It’s located along the SurJa Sen street and 200 meter away from College street puja Mondap. Theme was Santhal Village. Whole mandir was decorated and presented with bucolic simplicity. Awesome durga protima.

Odhibasi Brinda Puja pratima

Odhibasi Brinda Puja pratima

Nice village ambiance near Odhibasi Brinda Puja

Nice village ambiance near Odhibasi Brinda Puja

4)Mahammad Ali Park Puja 

From College square, it’s again walking distance. We are also enthralled to see the nice pandel and duga idol.  This is again old and favorite puja. We covered 4 major pujas in 1-2 hours time.  In between we took snacks break.

Enthralled to see the nice pandel and duga idol

Enthralled to see the nice pandel and duga idol

After visiting central Kolkata Durga Puja mondop, we headed towards Sovabajar Metro area. Our target is to cover all puja mondops from Sova Bajar metro to Bidhan nagar railway station. Along this road you get at least 10-12 big pujas. The important point is that most of the pujas are 10 minutes walking distance from each other. You can cover 10-12 pujas in 1-2 hours time (non peak hour). In peak hour, it takes minimum 4-5 hours. Here is our journey along this road

4)Nabin Palli Durga Puja utsav

It’s located near  Hatibagan opposite Citi mart . They are celebrating 82nd year Puja this year. On the way to  puja mondop we found many old fashioned jamindar bari. Puja is a perfect amalgamation of modern puja and old sabeki (traditional) environment.

nabin-palli

Kaavad sculpture – nice depiction of 400 years old tradition – “walking and talking temple”

Theme- Kaavad – a portable pilgrimage: Walking taking temple

Kaavad sculpture - nice canvas painting

Kaavad sculpture – nice canvas painting all round – reminding us village tradition in propagating religious message.

It is decorated with Rajasthan’s cupboard art uased as a travelling temple. It presented 500 years old tradition when preaching was not allowed. Hence walking taking temple culture was prevalent.

5)Hathibagan Sarbojanin

It’s celebrating 82nd year puja this year. Located inside Hatibagan market and very close to main road.

Hathibagan Sarbojanin pratima - best pratima I have seen in this season

Hathibagan Sarbojanin pratima – best pratima I have seen in this season

Art work made of daily used items.

Art work made of daily used items.

Theme- Various thrown up itmes (like bottles, tooth picks etc) were uased to depict butterflies, shiuli and kadam Flowers. I found the Maa durga idol is most elegant in this season.

6)Nalin Sarker street Durga Puja

nalin-sarker-street-durga-puja

It’s located near Khanna Cinema corssing.

Theme – Putul o- pratima

nalin-sarker-street-durga-puja-idol

Mexican Wakisaka toys were used to decorate the pandels. These dolls are popular in Europe and Wesr Asia. When we reched this place, Saptami puja was started. We spent time there.

7)Ultadanga Pallyshree Durga Puja

Located along the Ultadanga Main road and celebrated 68th year puja.

ultadanga-pallyshree

Pally shree durga idol -awesome amalgamation of architectural beautify and light

Pally shree durga idol -awesome amalgamation of architectural beautify and light

Theme – Cityscape was decorated with colors and lights. Entire locality was decorated with beautiful sculptures and apartments were painted with motifs.

Kabiraj Bagan Sarbojanin Durga Puja

Pandel decoration - "Kolkata Station" - tarin engine and AC coaches look very realistic.

Pandel decoration – “Kolkata Station” – tarin engine and AC coaches look very realistic.

kabiraj-bagan-idol

It’s  located along ultadange main road.

Theme- Kolkata railway station. They build the station and stationed maître express near on Kolkata platform so naturally, I got confused at first glance that whether the set up was natural or artificial. It looked so natural .  There was very good ambience.

Telenga Bagan Durga Puja

It’s one of the most popular Durga puja pandel in Kolkata and they celebrated 51st year durga puja.

telenga-bagan-gate

Way to Telenga Bagan puja mondop

Theme- Oparer sajhe eparer puja.  The whole mondap was decorated with colorfull dolls and traditional sculpture. I fould this protima very elegantly decorated.

Telenga bagan durgaa pratima - second best idol I have seen in this season

Telenga bagan durgaa pratima – second best idol I have seen in this season

We ended our puja trip with this puja and it’s 10:30 am. Now we are headed towards home. Besdies there pujas , we visited many beautiful pujas. I could not recollect those names.

What happens when an aam aadmi (common man) gets a chance to showcase his X factor?

I am a cautious driver. I never drive car over 90 km/hr. Timidity gets over me whenever I try to speed up my car over 80 km / hr. It’s always a safety concern dissuade me from speeding my car. Like an Amm aadmi , I have a small car and drive cautiously whenever I am at wheel.

Common man as F1 driver

Common man as a F1 driver

But that day was different; I was strolling in front of Mechanical Engineering Department in IIT Kharagpur campus. I noticed small gathering at the entrance of Mechanical department and peeped in and found F1 type car model was kept on show for visitors.

An enthusiastic student chipped in and started explaining the model and its performance in last event in UK. Some of students offered me for a trail (could be a test drive). I couldn’t resist my temptation. I immediately agreed to try that wild beast. In a moment, F1 legend Michael Schumacher appeared in my dream. I sit on a driver seat. I felt as if I were in F1 track, I was checking dashboard with a grim face as if I were ready start first lap at 350 km/hr speed. While on wheel, I suddenly felt a small jerking and heard a sound of auto starting. And a deep fear engulfed me and I felt in that moment that I am in pilot cockpit and plane falls in an air pocket. I closed my eyes for a moment…

When I opened my eyes,  I noticed a photographer taking photos of my nervous face. Later I realized that sound was coming from nearby parking bay. My F1 sedan didn’t move an inch and it was a vicarious feeling. But the virtual of experience of F1 driving comes over me again. I feel a sense of accomplishment without driving. After all most of dreams of amm admi people get fulfilled in dream. I was happy being a F1 driver in a virtual world.

Is not that enriching experience?

 

Your 1 hour session can enlighten 100 needy students. Are you ready?

Dear alumnus/friends,

I have posted this message to request your non financial support for a social initiative to help underprivileged students.

Our organization: Lakshya foundation, a social initiative from JU and IIT Alumnus

Please look at our last social activities at: https://www.facebook.com/Lakshya-Foundation-130848373714896/?ref=hl

Please like our page to get more updates in future.

Our vision: Support needy and meritorious to realize their dream.

youth mentoring

Our next initiative: we need to conduct a small 1-2 hrs session to mentor students how to score in academic.

Request your participation: 1 day workshop for mentoring students

  • Share your tips how to score in board exam (especially 10+, Madhyamik or secondary)
  • Share tips for math and English
  • Share tips about how to plan for JEE. ( especially for 10+2 board students)
  • How to plan your career for selecting stream in higher secondary

Your tips in 1-2 hours class will enlighten young minds who do not have resources to excel.

We will share more details if you share your willingness.

Look forward to seeing your participation and valuable suggestions.

Regards,

Gobinda Roy

Founder and chief mentor – Lakshya Foundation

Contact: foundation.lakshya@gmail.com