Posts Tagged ‘Amitava Ghosh’

Half a decade of Blogging, celebrating my blog’s 5th birthday

June 17, 2016 8 comments

Half a decade of Blogging

Celebrating my blog’s 5th birthday

Also see: My Blog’s Birthdays

“…….there are many, who has become famous by blogging, and many famous people have taken to blogging.”

– Anuradha Goyal, Blogger and author of The Mouse Charmers

With half a decade of blogging, I am not yet famous but a few famous people have appreciated my blog, which includes two best selling authors Amitav Ghosh and William Dalrymple. I have been among the top travel bloggers list published by a number of travel portals like Holidify and Tours of Kerala.

Half a decade of blogging

Half a decade of blogging

My blog has been reviewed by the Bengali newspaper Ei Samay, of Times of India (TOI) group. I have been interviewed by travel portal 101 Vacation and news portal Bangla Your Story. Also I had a QnA session at the Oxford Book Stores organized by Kolkata Bloggers.

Read more…

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

December 12, 2012 9 comments

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

A Piece of Myanmar (Burma) in the Heart of Kolkata (Calcutta)

Also see: Buddhist Temple of Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

Myanmar (Burma) Buddhist Temple, Kolkata (Calcutta)

As I climbed the dimly lit staircase of Kolkata’s (Calcutta’s) only Mayanmarese (Burmese) Buddhist Temple a few lines of Amitav Ghosh’s best selling novel The Glass Palace flashed in my mind.

“Rajkumar’s favorite haunt was a small Buddhist temple in the centre of the city…. They would make their way across town on a bus and get off at the stop for the Eden Hospital. They’d climb up the grimy marble stairs and when they reached the top, they would step into a hall that seemed to be a world away from its surroundings: full of light, perfumed with scent of fresh flowers…. “

Rajkumar, literally meaning prince, the principle character of Amitav Ghosh’s novel The Glass Palace was by no means a prince. In the first chapter of Glass Palace Amitav Ghosh descrbes Rajkumar as “His name meant prince, but he was anything but princely in appearance.”

As my memory wondered through the pages of The Glass Palace I made my way to the top floor of the building housing the small and beautiful shrine. Straight in front of me was the statue of Lord Buddha dressed in golden attire with is gleaming white face.

Read more…

Words of appreciation from Dr. Amitav Ghosh

Amitav Ghosh’s writing has always fascinated me. Although a mainly a fictional writer Ghosh has the ability of blending fictional characters in historical backdrop. For the last couple of years I have been reading his books and have read Calcutta Chromosome, Hungry Tide, Circle of Raesons, Shadow Lines, Glass Palace, Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke. I also read is non – fiction work In an Antique Land.

Top Left: Cover of Calcutta Chromosome; Top Right: Ronald Ross Memorial, Calcutta; Bottom: Ross' Medalion and the two inscriptions

Top Left: Cover of Calcutta Chromosome; Top Right: Ronald Ross Memorial, Calcutta; Bottom: Ross’ Medallion and the two inscriptions

I have read most of Ghosh’s books from the library of International School of Business & Media (ISB&M), where I work as a visiting faculty teaching Mathematics, Statistics, Operation Research and Research Methodology for BBA students.

Recently I picked up the courage to write to Amitava Ghosh sharing a link of my blog entry on Ronald Ross Memorial, which was the centre of attraction of Ghosh’s best selling novel Calcutta Chromosome.

My Letter to Dr. Amitava Ghosh

Reading Calcutta Chromosome at ISB&M, Kolkata library

Reading Calcutta Chromosome at ISB&M, Kolkata library (photo courtesy: Akash Mondal)

Dear Dr Amitav Ghosh, I am one of your numerous reader and one of the numerous persons to write to you. I have read many of your books but the one that fascinated me most is “Calcutta Chromosome.” Centered round Ronald Ross’ Nobel Prize winning discovery the book has left an enormous impact on me.

My first encounter with the Roland Ross Memorial, located on the western wall of the Presidency General Hospital, happened during my days of Post Graduation in the Department of Business Management of Calcutta University’s Alipur Campus (1998 – 2000). During the two years I regularly walked past the memorial and often stopping to read the inscriptions over and over again

I read Calcutta Chromosome a couple of years back and it was enough to ignite my decade old passion on the memorial. I decided to have a small writeup (along with photos) on the Ronald Ross Memorial in my Blog.

I am sending you the link Ronald Ross Memorial.

I would be ever grateful if you come up with your comments and suggestions.

Eagerly waiting for a reply.


Left: Inscription from Roanld Ross memorial; Right: A page fro Calcutta Chromosome showing the inscription

Left: Inscription from Roanld Ross memorial; Right: A page from Calcutta Chromosome showing the inscription

To my utter surprise Ghosh not only replied immediately but also posted my letter in his blog, along with a note of appreciation. In spite of his tight scheduled Ghosh also had the time to go through several other entries of by blog and have also appreciated my post on Kolkata’s Chinese Temples and Zorostrian Temple.

Dr. Amitav Ghosh’s Reply

From Kolkata Rangan Datta sends the letter below with a link to an interesting piece on the Ronald Ross memorial. There are several other interesting posts on his page, including an excellent piece on Kolkata’s Chinese temples and one on the Zoroastrian temple, which he visited when it was under renovation (the temples are otherwise closed to (non-Zoroastrians).

To see my letter and the reply visit Amitav Ghosh’s Blog.

Special thanks:

  • Akash Mondal, fellow photo enthusiast and my colleague at ISB&M, Kolkata for shooting my photo.
  • Gobinda Pahari. librarian at ISB&M, Kolkata.

Ronald Ross Memorial, Calcutta (Kolkata)

June 21, 2011 21 comments

“It’s strange,” she said. “I’ve changed buses here hundreds of times. I can’t even begin to count how often I’ve walked past this wall. But I’ve never noticed that inscription up there.” this words are said by Urmila one of the major character of Amitav Ghosh’s novel The Calcutta Chromosome.


Ronald Ross Memorial, Calcutta (Kolkata)

Urmila, who happens to be a journalist, in Ghosh’s best selling novel was not aware of the Ross Memorial. But Ghosh’s Urmila is no exception great many of the Calcuttans are not aware of the memorial dedicated to Ronald Ross, Calcutta’s first Nobel Laureate.

Ronald Ross medalion flanked with two inscription

Ronald Ross medallion flanked with two inscription

Located on the Northern wall of the Presidency General (PG) Hospital, lies a arch shaped memorial dedicated to Ronald Ross, Nobel Prize winner of Medicine in 1902.

Ronald Ross 4

Sir Ronald Ross Laboratory

Ronald Ross (1857 – 1932) studied malaria from 1881 to 1899. On 20th August 1897 Ross, working in Secunderabad, discovered that malaria was transmitted by female  anopheles mosquito.

20th August is celebrated as the World Mosquito Day.

Later in 1898 working at the Presidency General Hospital, Calcutta, Ross and his assistants traced the life history of the malaria parasite.

The memorial, known as the Gateway of Commemoration, was unveiled by Ross himself, in the presence of Lord Lytton, on 7 January 1927.

Ronald Ross 5

The plaque of the lab wall

Sadly the culturally active Calcuttans have forgotten Ross and his memorial lies in utter neglect.

The arch contains a central medallion of Ronald Ross which is flanked on either side by two marble inscriptions.

The inscription on the left describes the process in which malaria was transmitted. while that on the right contains a poem written by Ronald Ross himself. Only the first three paragraphs of the poem were written on the marble plaque.

The two more paragraphs of the poem read as follows:

Half stunned I looked around
And see a land of death –
Dead bones that walk the ground
And death bones underneath:.

A race of wretches caught, 
Between the palms of need 
And rubbed to utter nought,
The chaff of human seed.

The lab where the final stages of the experiment in PG hospital still stands and in 2004 it was converted into a malaria clinic and name Sir Roland Ross Memorial Malaria Clinic.

Sadly the lab remains under lock and key. Just left of the entrance is a small plaque. It mentions about the discovery of Ronald Ross and the plaques also has a beautiful drawing of a mosquito.