Saturday, April 27, 2013

A New Beginning

My ICSE examinations ended on the 20th of March. It has been only over a month now, but it feels like another lifetime. 20th March was the last time that I went to the school that I had been going to under duress for the past twelve years. Unsurprisingly, there was not even a twinge of remorse in my heart. I was hugely relieved to be leaving that accursed place at last. Wild horses will not be able to drag me back there again, once I have collected my ICSE marksheet.

As soon as ICSE ended, I had to get busy with my admission in class eleven. I had applied to one renowned girls’ school in Kolkata, and their admission process began right after ICSE. During that period, we had to run back and forth between Kolkata and Durgapur half a dozen times. I had applied only to one school, and fortunately I got admitted there itself. After returning to Durgapur, mother and I packed our bags for the final time, and went away to start our new life in Kolkata on the 10th of April.

This was the first time that I was living away from home, away from daddy. So one can imagine what a hard time I had adjusting in the new environment for the first few days. But there were a lot of things that needed to be done, so I could not spend too much time being sad. We have a flat in Kolkata. It is a new flat, and had been quite bare and unfurnished. The first week or so was spent only in buying furniture and tidying up the house. Naturally, we found that we had brought more books than anything else from home!

Then we had to buy new school books and the new uniform. My new school has a very smart uniform. Side-pleated blue skirt, pink striped shirt that does not have to be tucked in, and laced black shoes with white ankle socks. I was lucky that the regulation shoes were actually of a sort that is worn by boys, because, big-foot that I am, back in my old school I always had to get those girly buckled shoes especially made for me by the shoe-makers! The new books were exciting, and also a little intimidating. There is this common belief among idiots that students of Humanities and Commerce do not have to study much. For them classes eleven and twelve are basically fun and games. I always knew this to be a myth, yet it was only when I got my own books that I realized just how big a lie that is. For someone who only wants to scratch up a pass-mark, there is not much of a load. But if someone wants to do well, studying the Arts involves putting in lots of effort and out-of-syllabus reading. My school offers a wide range of elective subjects for the plus-twos. My own electives are not strictly Humanities-based. It is in fact a cross between Humanities and Commerce. I have opted for History, Literature in English (that’s besides compulsory English), Business Studies and Economics. My third and fourth electives are mainly theory-based, so learning by heart covers most of the syllabus. But with History and Literature in English, I am increasingly finding myself looking up all sorts of reference works and background detail on the net and in books. I know I am one of only a handful of girls in class who are doing this, but I’m sure we’ll get the reward for our extra effort in the form of wider, more in-depth understanding of the subjects and better results during examinations.

My first day of school was 16th April. My mother accompanied me to school, because I didn’t know Kolkata roads, but also because she knew that I was apprehensive and nervous. Till class ten, my schooling experience had been nasty. So naturally I went to my new school expecting the worst kind of experience possible. But thankfully, I was proved completely wrong. From day one, I have been having a lively experience there. Only eight girls from other schools have been admitted in class eleven, two for Science, three for Commerce and three for Humanities. On our first day, the Head Girl and her assistant, both of whom are in class twelve, took it upon themselves to familiarize us  with our new surroundings. We were first taken to the Principal’s office where we were told our sections and our Houses. There are eight school houses named after eight flowers, and I have been put in Gulmohar House. We were then taken to our classrooms and introduced to the old girls. My class teacher, who is also our Economics teacher, warmly welcomed us to the school. Later, the entire class eleven was taken up to the MACE hall, which is an air-conditioned assembly hall, for a back-to-school talk from Mrs. Dutt, our Principal. There, the new girls were called to introduce themselves in front of  the entire class.  After that, it was a cake walk. The old girls made conscious efforts to make us feel at home. After returning to class, they asked us about our old schools and friends. They were especially curious about me, because I was not from Kolkata. In fact,  I am still answering some question or the other about Durgapur and my old school every single day!

My new school is very different from what I have seen in the last twelve years. Till now, I had known school to be a place that should be avoided as far as possible. Here, I am going to school of my own will every day. The school is a huge building, and it has five stories including the ground floor. My classroom is on the third floor. We have single chairs with one broad arm as a writing desk. Each classroom has a computer, a projector and a screen. The rooms are hot, but since we have only forty five students in class, fifteen girls less than what we had in my previous school, the heat is not unbearable. We have different classrooms for different subjects. There is no unpacking of bags; we roam about with them all day. It is more similar to college that way. The MACE classrooms on the fourth floor are air-conditioned, and we have History and Literature in English classes in them. It is a relief to enter the cool rooms, but we have to pay the price for the comfort. I am going around with a perpetually sore throat and a runny nose, thanks to the constant fluctuation of body temperature!

The school has a good library, from which we can take books of our own choice, unlike in my previous school, where just half a dozen books were given to us from which we had to take one! Another plus point is that we are allowed to use the library even during free periods, with permission from the substitute teacher. There are also endless after-school clubs and activities, ranging from social service to book- and movie appreciation to public speaking to cookery! A number of games are also played in the school, and the basketball team, the badminton team, the football team and the soccer team have won numerous prizes in and around Kolkata. I have not yet joined any such activity, but will be auditioning for the book and movie appreciation club this Monday. The school has a canteen which serves lip-smacking (though strictly vegetarian) food at surprisingly low prices. In fact, these days I have almost stopped taking my lunch from home. The canteen also has an ice-cream parlour which is certainly contributing to my perpetual cold!

More about the school later. Kolkata, as I am increasingly find out, is very different from Durgapur in some ways, and totally the same in others. I travel by bus mostly, and all sorts of people travel with me. There is no ego issue about using public transport among people there, unlike in Durgapur where parents are horrified at the thought of using and letting their children use transport that are for the masses, because apparently that undermines their ‘status’ and ‘position’ in society! Also, people here seem to be much more helpful in general. Being new to the city, I have often had to ask people around for locating the right buses, areas and whatnot. Till now, I have been willingly helped, sometimes even without asking. In school, I see that the students and teachers alike have a much better grasp of everyday English than in Durgapur. Daddy says that it is so in every metropolitan city. It is not that everybody speaks refined and poetic language, but at least they are fluent and can get across with ease. I have also found something which is a personal relief; the number of tall girls is much higher in Kolkata than in Durgapur. In school itself, there are many girls almost or as tall as I am. There is even a girl who is taller! In Durgapur, I always stood out uncomfortably because of my height. Even in Kolkata I stand out in a crowd, but at least I am not stared at like an unusual specimen from the zoo!

But the mall-culture is virulent here. It is there in Durgapur too, but in Kolkata, especially among the girls of my school, malls seem to be the reason why they are alive! They see me as a weirdo of sorts because I have made it clear on the first day itself that I do not like malls! They rolled their eyes in disbelief when I said I do not enjoy shopping. I read in school all the time, and just like in Durgapur, they think that I am crazy. One girl actually told me not to read so much as I would die if I did! Even in Kolkata, ‘having a boyfriend’ is considered a very exciting thing, mainly because it has to be done in secret! And just like their contemporaries in Durgapur, they are looks and gadget-obsessed. Spending money (earned by their dads, certainly not by them) seems to be a favourite pastime. I have noticed another very disgusting habit among the girls: it seems to be the ‘done’ thing to get boys to pay. If they are going out with their boyfriends, it is understood that the boy will bear all the expenses. Even if it is just a friend from school, he will have to pay for whatever the girl is doing. When I expressed my disgust at this custom, they gave me one of their pop-eyed stares again. Anybody who knows me well will know that I will never have someone else pay for me without giving something back in return, girl or boy alike. I wonder why they find this shameful practice ‘cool’!

Another, and perhaps the biggest difficulty in my present life is living away from daddy. Ever since I had any consciousness of my surroundings, I had been used to seeing him at home. Unlike most other daddies, he is a stay-at-home dad. His not being physically around all the time is quite unnatural to me. I don’t think I have taken in the full import of the situation yet. Now, I am coming home to Durgapur every weekend, so I am away from him for only five days a week. Also, we talk over the phone and chat over the net numerous times each day. But two years from now, I will be going much further away, and we’ll probably meet just twice or thrice a year, if not once! I wonder how both of us will cope then…

Anyway, my days are a mixture of nice and not-so-nice experiences. Having been brought up in a small town, it is not exactly easy for me to adjust in a metropolitan city. But thankfully I am not doing too badly, and I have had a lot of help too. My thanks to all the dadas and didis and classmates who are constantly writing to me and calling me over the phone. This strong reminder of home helps me overcome the periods of homesickness and loneliness. This is the beginning of a long and arduous journey, and it will be many years yet before I can settle down and make a home for myself again. But with the amount of care that I am receiving, I am not afraid to face life. So, thank you again, all my well wishers :)

17 comments:

sayantika said...

Dear Pupu,
While I was reading your post, I couldn't help thinking about the two dismal years that I spent studying for plus-twos in Durgapur. I am glad that you have found a school where you can choose such a fantastic subject combination. I had wanted to study Humanities but couldn't get the subjects I had wanted to study anywhere in Durgapur. So I had to settle for boring subjects like Physics and Chemistry and I couldn't even get Statistics instead of Biology, which was available for boys only. Thankfully, I had a good Chemistry teacher who made the subject interesting to me. I had hated studying everything except Bengali and Maths at that time. I hated going to the tuitions all the more, and feigned illness to bunk most of the classes.
And the less said about the school the better. A badly fitted glaring red uniform, a classroom where 80 girls sat together, it was especially very uncomfortable to write when five girls sat in our bench. Moreover, during Geography classes, we were turned out of the class to loiter in the playground, even when it was raining. Once, a snake entered the classroom! The library was so dark and dingy, I think Snape's dungeon was more cheerful. Moreover, it hardly had any books of interest, nor were we allowed inside. To top it all, there was a horrid maths teacher who always wanted me out of the classroom and scolded me for no reason at all and a friend of mine was the object of ire for the Chemistry teacher. We went to school only for practical classes and the only memory that I cherish was discussing Harry Potter with two new friends that I made there. Since the 7th book hadn't been released then, our favourite topic was whether Severus Snape was a good or bad person.
I am happy to see that you have chosen such a nice school. I hope that you enjoy your studies and life in Kolkata. All the best and keep writing. :)
Love,
Sayantika di.

Arnab Roy said...

Hi Urbi,

I am a frequent visitor of your father's blog and quite often your blog as well. Had read this post of yours yesterday. I could relate to it so much with my own life. Had been in Kharagpur for whole of my schooling days after which my parents and i shifted to Kolkata in 2003. I don't know much about Durgapur except in bits and pieces. But i can very well imagine that differences in a lifestyle of Durgapur or Kharagpur with Kolkata will be quite similar. And it did take a lot to adjust to a big city after spending the early character building 18 yrs of my life in a small town. Am sure you must be going through the same phase; absence of your dear parents by your side will be making it even more difficult for you.

But trust me, its going to be worth it. Going through your earlier posts i have atleast gathered that you are much more stronger individual than a million of us. At your age I was such a novice at almost everything. Lack of competition at my school, a monotonous lifestyle and lack of a reading culture (except of course cramming our textbooks and a rat race for IIT, the kharagpur IIT being only 8 kms from my home). It's not that everything changed for the better in Kolkata. But the pace and restlessness of a big city like kolkata surely brought out a lot out of me in terms of understanding a wide range of people, being self-dependent, nurturing a habit of reading good books (British council in Camac street was a weekend spot for me), and of course the vibrant life of a college with it's uneven share of wonderful as well as ugly friends.
But one thing i will ever be thankful to God that I spent my childhood in a small town, not being thrown into a hustling city rightaway. I have learnt to live with so many apparently smart, modern and fast paced kolkatans, mumbaikars, bangaloreans etc, but the simplicity of Kharagpur has kept me grounded all throughout.

This is going to be an enriching phase of your life and I am sure you know it yourself. Just be yourself like you have been this far. Don't discard people totally even if you don't like them. Just try to absorb the good things and reject the rest, just as we say in Bengali, 'Ek kaan diye shono, arek kaan diye baar kore dayo'.. :)

Shilpi said...

Dear Pupu,

This is as far as I had gone on Saturday when I found your new post about new beginnings. I’m glad you wrote this piece because I was hoping in shifts last week that it would be nice if you did because I couldn’t picture a lot and was very curious to know how you were doing and feeling. You sound composed, reflective, appreciative, critical and also…quiet. It was interesting to read all your mixed bits but I’ll try not to write a terribly long comment.

You put up with the rotting carcass for 12 years. I remember some pathetic specimen in your previous school had thrown a duster at your head and that was a decade ago. That you like your new school and enjoy going to it must be a sheer relief.

Your combination of subjects is an interesting mix. I can never quite get over it (and I still keep wanting to include Political Science somewhere but I’m mighty glad you took up History – I knew you would of course). You could look up some bits on Economic Sociology too from the net. You might find some bits which are relevant and I don’t think memorizing can be avoided altogether but it might then be a little more interesting. You could ask dad whether Economics might be more interesting if you could look up some stuff for it on the side – like you’re doing for your elective English and History course. I wish I could browse through your new books.

I was reminded that there were many toppers for the first time from my ICSE batch who went on to study the Humanities. Two decades ago, the widespread myth in Durgapur, at any rate, was that nobody could even get a 1st division in Humanities under the West Bengal Board and it was only last year or sometime this year actually that I realized why there had been such a self-fulfilling myth doing the rounds. I couldn’t have taken up Science or any combination of Commerce so I sported a deaf ear to all the widespread talk.

I’m glad you experienced such a warm welcome at your new school and I hope that you make a couple of good friends in the couple of years that you’re there. As for traveling around with your book-bag all day long and classes in different rooms, I wonder how you feel about that – even in college I don’t remember having to do that much. It’s lovely to know that you have a good library there. I hope you join the basketball team too along with the book and movie appreciation club. Gosh! Soccer? I remember canoeing was a big thing in the Calcutta schools and other sports but hadn’t known about soccer.

I could only shake my head about the girl’s comment regarding your reading habit. The shopping, the boyfriend stuff and making the boyfriend pay make me grimace. I noticed that in college a bit (and even more so here).

I’m glad though that you’re coming across helpful people in public places and that there are a few tall girls there (!) even if you stand out in a crowd (this always pleases me still though). I did wonder how you were traveling and I thought that your mum would accompany you the first day. My imagination fails and utterly about you living away from your dad for the first time. My mind reasons and my heart (located God knows where) protests - so I pray. I’ll end this massive comment for now. Take care, best wishes.

Shilpidi

Sunandini said...

Dear Urbi,
I am glad to know that you are coping well in Kolkata and are actually liking your new school(I can't help but chuckle when I am reminded of the silly things of your previous school that you used to complain about).I t is good to know that you have got a chance to choose good subjects as your electives:I had got no such chance.
However I am sorry to hear that most of your batchmates in Kolkata are obsessed with gadgets,shopping and like to make their boyfriends spend on them.I think this is the scenario in all cities and exceptions like you are bound to feel disgusted with all this.Nevertheless I am hopeful that you will make some of your batchmates take to reading good books(like you did in Durgapur)and will enjoy a good deal of reading from the well-stocked library that you have talked about.
Taking up Humanities indeed involves putting in a lot of hard work and I am sure that you will like the topics that will be discussed in the ISC course.You can ring me up if you need any help regarding books or test papers.I wish you good luck for your studies in Kolkata.Keep well!
Love
Sunandini di.

Tanmoy said...

Dear Pupu

Good luck to you. I am sure you will enjoy your time in your school with your positive outlook. Interesting you talked about your first impressions of living in Calcutta. I have a strong connection to the city and may be that is why I tend to feel that the city has only changed negatively in last decade or so. I am glad you are meeting helpful people along the way.

Regards
Tanmoyda

Abhik Chatterjee said...

Dear Urbi,
While I was reading your post my high school memories were getting alive. Even though you may feel that this school of yours has college style education system, believe me, college is lot different. These are last two years of your school life, do enjoy (of course in your way). Something that I really liked is that you are quite happy with your new school. I have met a lot of people who are never happy with changes in their life ("High school is not as good as the previous one, college is not as good as school, job life is not as good as college life"), they will come up with too many reasons why they are unhappy. Liking the changes is what I feel is a sign of progress.
Even with all the furnitures in your Kolkata flat it still won't be home, not at least in the near future. Get back to Durgapur whenever time permits, that is what I think will make Sir happy.
Good luck
Abhik Chatterjee.

Sayan Datta said...

Dear Pupu,

I am glad to know that you are coping nicely with the city. I have been staying here for almost a decade, but still haven't got used to it and its people. Don't know why, but I don't feel too nostalgic about Durgapur either. In fact your mention of the fact that you were relieved after leaving your former school reminds me of how relieved I was after leaving mine, while so many of my 'friends' kept saying how much they would miss the school they had studied in for eleven years, I couldn't, for the life of me, fathom why I felt exactly the opposite and what on earth was wrong with me. It was many years later, when I was able to understand more of myself, that I was able to understand how right I had been in feeling what I had felt.

Kudos to your school for making you feel welcome and for allowing such a wide range of subjects to choose from, and well-done to you for selecting subjects you felt a strong tug from! Also, I am glad that there are so many extra-curricular activities for you to choose from. But what are MACE classrooms? I had heard of those 'smart classes' (everything is 'smart' nowadays, so why not classrooms, no?) where students mostly go in for a nap that is made easier by the air-conditioning and the darkness as the projector keeps running boring audio-visuals.

You are lucky Pupu, not to be studying 'science' you know, and chasing the IIT dream like lakhs of your contemporaries are. They have either no idea or completely warped ones about what they are doing or are going to do or what the future holds for them!

Wishing you happiness,

Sayan da

Nishant said...

Pupu,
You remind me of my days, post ICSE when I moved to Calcutta from Durgapur and even at point, Sir had been my driving force. I was too apprehensive, being the lone person amongst my friends to be leaving durgapur for schooling in Kolkata. Its been 6 years since and it seems just like yesterday when I went to Sir with the dilemma whether to move to Kolkata or not, and all that he said was, if you think you can, you should. And that had been one of the best decisions of my life, trust me.
I went to catch up with Sir briefly in the last week of March when he said you and aunty were in Kolkata for your admissions and how he's going to have a tough tim without you two around.
You will have a great time ahead, believe me!! All the best for all your future endeavour.

Regards,
Nishant

ginger candy said...

Dear Urbi,

I am Suvro Sir's ex-student and I just finished reading his new blog post. Even though we haven't met in the past, I have got to know a lot about you from this blogpost of yours. I wish you good luck in your future endeavours- I am happy that you have finally got away from that one-horse town and adjusting well to the big city life. I can imagine how much both you and Sir miss each other, but this is the way of life, and I hope both of you get used to it soon. All the best.

Thanks,
Joydeep

Subhadip Dutta said...

Pupu, this is a nice post. It reminds me of the experiences I had when I moved to Trivandrum and then to Delhi - so far and so suddenly away from my parents. It was a hard time then, and now I have learned to adjust. Now that I am living in Kolkata, you may have noticed that I run home once every weekend, or sometimes even twice if I get the opportunity.

Unlike your experience in your previous school, mine was fantastic. I loved to go to school. Maybe it was because the environment in our school was well maintained because the teachers were good. I really loved all the classes except Economics. Weekends were a suffering for me and I used to eagerly wait for Monday. However, the last year in school was not so pleasant for me because the new headmaster was not a nice person, unlike the previous ones.

About egos in Kolkata, yes I must admit that they are found very less here. Travelling in public transport is very common, and people are so ready to help. However, brawls in public buses are something that you are yet to see. It may seem very crude, but sometimes I enjoy seeing people fight with each other for no reason at all. Then after the fight is over, they suddenly become so nice again. From the polite way they will suddenly start speaking after a fight, you will be left confused about whether they are the same persons who vowed to take each other's life 5 minutes ago.

Funny things keep happening in Kolkata. You may occasionally come across a thief getting a public bashing. Now, thieves remind me of local trains. Keep away from traveling in the local trains in the Sealdah route. Thieves are a menace in those trains. The women's bogies are full of uncouth women and girls, and the kind of language they sometimes use is something that can make many a foul-mouthed boy/man dumbstruck.

I felt good after knowing that you are enjoying school after completing 10th. I used to go to a school in Durgapur which was anything but a school. The first day I went there for admission, I told my mother that it was more of a broken toilet than a school. Why I went there even after that is another story however. The school was cheap and since no school in Durgapur teaches anything, I decided to go in for the least expensive school - I did not want to waste my father's money on nothing.

Enough said. Have a great life ahead. I hope that you will adjust with staying away from dear daddy soon. Wish you all the best in your life.

--Subhadip da.

Urbi Chatterjee said...

A very warm thank-you to everybody who has commented here. I am overwhelmed and grateful for the amount of good wishes that I have got. Thank you once again :).

It is nice to know that my essay has reminded so many of their own school days. I enjoyed reading the various accounts that all of you have shared here.

Sayan da, MACE is an acronym for a sister educational institution of the school. This institution is located on the fourth floor of the school building, and the classrooms on that floor are air-conditioned.

Sunandini di, thank you for offering to help me out, I'll certainly keep that in mind. We have only two of the four elective subjects in common though; History and Economics.

Abhik da, I did not suggest that the style of teaching is like college here. What I wanted to say is that we do not have a fixed classroom and have to go around to different classrooms for different subjects. From what I know about schools, this system is more similar to colleges than to schools, because the latter usually has a single classroom allotted to a particular class of students.

Subhadip da, believe me, I have no intentions of witnessing or participating in public bashing of thieves and brawls among fellow passengers. I have already seen a few extremely uncivilized people in buses and autos, but I prefer focusing the positive things. And I probably won't have to board any trains at all any time soon, but thanks for the advice anyway, I'll keep that in mind in case I ever have to use the Sealdah route.

Pupu/Urbi

Subhadip Dutta said...

No need to watch and participate in those things Pupu. I also never participate in anything. I just wanted to tell you that if you see anything of that sort, keep away from unnecessary trouble. Do not even go near those places, let alone participation! Be alert, otherwise you may suddenly get caught in trouble without your own knowledge.

-- Subhadip da.

Saikat Chakraborty said...

Dear Pupu,

Firstly, I would like to reiterate what others have already said- your essay reminded me too of my school days. It would be great if I could go back to my school days….they were so full of fun and joy that my weekends were a bore. It is unfortunate that you had nasty experiences in your last school and I sincerely hope that it won’t be repeated and may be your new school might allay some of your bitter memories.

From a good combination of diverse subjects to helpful seniors and a nice library- it seems your school has many advantages and hence try to make the best use of it. My plus two school didn’t have a good library and there was not much choice of subjects (I wished to study Economics along with the Science subjects but there was no such scope). Also try to participate in the extra-curricular activities and clubs as much as possible as it will be very helpful later on even for your higher studies or scholarship applications.

I hope you will discover more of Kolkata in the coming months and enjoy it. However, as in Durgapur, you will find (as you already mentioned) a majority of people interested in nothing more than gossiping and mall-hopping. But Kolkata, being a metropolitan, will provide more opportunities for development which your home town cannot. And I pray that with time and patience and engagement in various activities, you will get adjusted to your new life away from your beloved father.

With best wishes,
Saikat da.

Mayuri Mukherjee said...

Dear Pupu,

I am glad to hear that you are settling in well and enjoying your new school and indeed, your new life!

Academically, I know you are in one of the best schools in Calcutta. So, there is not a whole lot to add in that respect. But also, make sure you take full advantage of the extra-curricular options available to you, because, in my personal experience, that's really the biggest advantage of going to a school like this. Join the clubs, participate in school fests (even if they seem silly at times), stand for student council elections -- whatever catches your fancy.

Plus Two can be an important transition phase in your life -- it was for me, definitely, as it exposed me to a whole new world -- and I am sure you will make the best of it.

Lots of love,

~Mayuri

Mayuri Mukherjee said...

Also, forgot to add: I share your shoe sorrows too!

I am flat footed and buying comfortable shoes (even when neither money not style is an issue) in this country is a nightmare. I simply do not understand why India does not have a separate range of wide shoes (like they have in the States, for example) for people like you and me but I guess it is what it is.

These days, however, I have noticed that some of the international brands do keep a limited range of wide shoes but they are prohibitively expensive. However, a one time investment in a good pair that will last you a couple of years might be worth it -- especially if you'll also be travelling extensively.

Just my two cents. Hope it helps :)


Rajdeep said...

Dear Pupu,
I wish you all the best. May you evolve as a wonderful human being and may luck and God's blessings be yours for your career. May you find strength when the going is not good, to persevere and get through those phases and have happier times.

I will not make any sweeping statements or write much comment about your post. What I can confirm is that a good majority of girls all over the world expect boys to pay for their meal etc., even if it is not a date, and have various ways to try and achieve the same. There are also many so called smart guys who try to beat them at their game. Hardly matters...
Also, more amusing is the fact that the above mentioned type of ladies often turn out to be the most vociferous feminists clamoring for gender "equality". Sir has talked on such things at length many times before, and it did not take me much long in life to find out how true he is. I just brought it up to say that not trying to conform to the crowd is something brave you are doing. May you get your rewards in life for the same.
Also, it is nice to know you have found differences between Durgapur and Kolkata and some positive things to say about your new city as well. Take care.

Dipanwita Shome said...

A big hug and congratulations from Arani da and me for having done so well in your examinations. And, as for managing in Kolkata, I know you are doing it with aplomb. Keep it up. We are very proud of you.