Saturday, April 30, 2005

Created by Bubin, destroyed by me :) 

My dad has an amazing ability. He looks at extremely mundane things and asks the most amazing questions, creates hilarious stories around them, quotes similar stories and does all this without ever blogging abt it :)) Clerks, engineers, relatives, the police constable urinating on the Kolkata wall - nobody escapes his radar of observation. "When visiting doctors and barbers you get upset if it's crowded and even if it's empty. The former situation makes you wait while the latter makes you wonder whether you went to the right person." - Just one of Bubin's many gems ...

So this morning Bubin emails me suggesting that one can make out that India had a long freedom struggle by just looking at the street and college names. Every second street in India is named after a freedom fighter and the universities are no exceptions. Jawaharlal Nehru University, Maulana Azaad College, S.N. Bose College, Netaji Road, Gokhale Street, Tilak Avenue etc. etc. etc. While some of these leaders are big there are some whom people don't even remember. Maybe it wasn't even an actual leader - just a spelling mistake that they could never cross check. So the street remains.

That's why you'll never find 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street in India. The local municipal bodies will be fighting to christen them after their favorite leaders. "How can you call it 3rd street when Ratanda who did so much for the locality was killed after being bitten by a dog on this same lane two years back?" they'll shout.

"But how can you name this street Ratan Street when we have another Ratan Lane just two blocks away?" some would protest.

"That was Ratan Ghosh and this is Ratan Pal. They are different. Different."

"But Ratan Pal dint get killed by dogs. He was beaten up by people for stealing jewelry."

What follows is a violent saga of revenge. The followers of Ratan Pal jump at the accusing followers of Lala Bose. Mothers ask their children to go back to their rooms while they peep through lowered shutters. Bloodbath takes place. Three people break their bones and poor Tota Sen gets hit by a vagrant cricket bat and breathes a last sigh.

Two months later Ratan Pal street is christened and the small 60 feet lane changes to Tota Road as soon as you take a left turn.


That is some streety affair.

And now comes the Shitty affair!

What I find amusing/funny is the statue of different leaders/pseudo leaders installed in every junction.

The punishment to these leaders is that always a little birdie will poop on their head :))
@manchus - very very true - the stuatue thing - major cause of traffic - also i believe and i'm not sure abt this that in certain parts of India they have stuatues of people when they are still around
Nice narration indeed... I am new to your blog and liked your recent posts very much. Great going...:)
@Jeo - thanks! please do come again with your freidns, family, foe and dough :)
Well, we'll have a Jyoti Bosu Soroni and a Momota Road and a Soumen Mitra Lane one day too and they'll all merge at the Brigade...
Sigh, two two sad!
@biplab - i completely echo your sentiments man - "two" the core :)
The names after the said “leaders" are really our way of reminding ourselves that how we have desperately run out of "heroes" as more and more undeserving candidates have roads christened after them.
But you know, naming streets as numbers seem somewhat insipid. 4th Street has decidedly lesser character than calling it Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg! :)
And don’t even start about JNU. It’s like one of my relatives pointed out to me after I started going there, on how Nehru the chacha of all bachas is associated with children (usually under the age of 12). So, why does a Post-Grad college call itself that? Don’t adults study there?! Had we sold ourselves to the pathetic dynasty allegiance!
My attempts to explain to him the great statesman like qualities of his as also his first Prime Minister of free India might have something to do with it, fell into deaf years!
Anyway, I forget the point I was going to make! :)
And being Indian we all know, every city/town has one lane/street named after bald baapu .. Mahatma Gandhi lane, street, avenue..what not..

[Btw, whoz Rashbehari ??]

The VJTI college in mumbai, is renamed as Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute .....
wondering whos she ?
@Soup - Yes giving a street a name does give it a character. Very valid point (even though you claim to have forgotten what you were saying)

@Debalina - Yes :) The children do remember the father of the nation well. Rashbehari Bose was a freedom fighter too and no clue abt VJTI :(
@ debalina- rashbehari was a dude who fled india in about 1915 and helped shubhash dadu form the INA. lol, no guts had he, to speak of, only in his body, um abdomen.
and sagnikda- one person next to be immortalised on street name basis is going to be our Rabin Deb , illustrous patakhor of the CPIM. or has he changed to trimnamul?...i wonder i wonder...
@tritiyo_bishyo (i am still clap clap for the id) - if i remember right Rashbehari Bosu was a master of disguise and i think they have a famous Bengali movie based on him - not sure though

And thanks for the Sagnik "Da" - I'm officially archaic :))
Lol...in da words of the irrepressible Govinda, "It happens only in India"!!

Great guy your dad....can see where u get ur wit from.
[Debalina, Sagnik] - Some pointless trivia for you :)

VJTI started out as Victoria Jubilee Technological Institute and remained that way for a long time until one morning, some bright spark decided they didn't want any British hangover so they'd like to rename the college to Shivaji's name. However the VJTI acronym was a famous name and had a reputation associated with it, so they couldn't afford to change that. So they went with Veermata Jijabai - Shivaji's mother, who is said to be a very big influence in his life. And ta-da! Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute was born!

This reminds me of the IP stadium in Delhi (at least back when I was a little kid and actually lived there, dunno the status of it today.) It started out as Indra Prastha Stadium, but then they wanted to associate the Nehru dynasty with it so it morphed into Indira Priyadarshini Stadium.

Either way, IP Stadium remained IP stadium, and VJTI remained VJTI so the common man never really cared!
I forgot to add - as is always the case with your stories, your dad is most awesome! :)
Megha , Tritiyo Bishoy: Thanks for the info... But still..I must admit..I was a weak student of history...

Sagnik : As me and Sagnik Jr. concluded earlier during our chat, that you are genius..now I conclude.. its all in the family .
@megha - nandy sr thanks you and offers cooked delicacies by mrs. nandy if you ever visit Kolkata? and yesssss ... that was awesome trivia - thank you :)

@debalina - you and Sagnik jr (that sounds funny) are kind people with kind words. dad might be a genius but i am the idiot who screws up :))
@Ideasmith - ah! now I am humming that number in my mind :) thanks but to be true I just steal some of my dad's talents - dont possess them :(
Your Daddy Wittiest :)
me finds streets with names more convenient - in chennai/bangalore - u just have loadsa blocks, mains and crosses - how boring!!!
i once suggested to my princi that she should give kids in school a project to research why their street/locality got the name it has... wud build an amazing database of absolutely useless trivia - especially if kids under -12 collected it - wud be a really interesting perspective!
@Kumari - your daddy daughter bestest :)

@Chitra - actually that will be really amusing - I stay in Kolkata on AJC Bose Rd - which covers half the city and we all know how that name came - so this would have been a nice homework for me :)
I vote that at least one street in Kolkatta be renamed to Nandy Marg. :)
i like your blog!

considering that i have Indian blood in me [though caught in the gazillion lineages we have] its funny that a century ago my great-grand-folks were thinking and acting like indians today!
I have been visiting various blogs for my Term Papers research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards
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