Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee



It has been slightly above normal monsoon so far in most parts of the country. Good for the farmers, good for the country and good for the ruling party.

It is raining now in Dhenkanal, a small town where I live. And with the rain all the side effects of the season have become visible. The roads in almost all cities and towns across the country are flooded. Thanks to the clogged drains and obstruction on the natural way of water. Forget Cuttack which is a low lying city prone to water logging, even hilly Bhubaneswar roads are flooded. In big cities like Kolkata and Mumbai- water logging has become so common that people have taken them in their strides. I had been to Delhi recently. Fifteen minutes of heavy rain could and did make life miserable in that smartest of the smart city of India.

With rain, the ailments have come in great strength: Fever, Cold, Cough, diarrhea, etc. Hospitals are full. Doctors are busy. Pharmacy shop owners are a happy lot now.

Vegetables have become costlier. So have the fruits. Mango has disappeared from the market.

Despite all these, children do play in the rains. They do make paper boats and sail them.

Rains do evoke a sense of rejoice in some, apprehension in some.

Somehow, rain makes you look up at the sky every now and then.

Irony of Modern Living

Research says, by 2020, there will be fewer than 20 million deaths worldwide from infectious disease, but more than 50 million deaths from chronic preventable lifestyle diseases—heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. These are all fuelled by the same preventable risk factors: high blood pressure, overweight, physical inactivity, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and smoking.

Inference: human beings will eventually self-destruct themselves.

Impact of the Spoken Word

Unfortunately in our society common human courtesy is taking a back seat. This you can experience by the way people not known to each other speak to each other in the market places, at railway stations, in public places. Most of the times, people tend to yell at the others. It creates a vicious circle, vitiating the atmosphere.

Most of these problems could be avoided if we speak softly. Researchers at Kenyon College conducted a test in cooperation with the US Navy. The purpose was to discover how the tone of the voice affected sailors when they were given orders. The experiments revealed that the way a person was addressed determined to a large extent the kind of response he would make. For example, when an individual was spoken to in a soft voice, he would answer in a similar manner. But when he was shouted at, his reply came back in the same sharp tone. This was true whether the communication was given face-to-face, over the intercom, or by telephone.

With yellers there is a tendency to yell back at him or her. However, other research has shown that if we answer a yeller softly in a soft tone of voice, he will have to lean forward to hear what we are saying and tend to lower his own volume.

Richard De Haan wisely said, “What we say and how we say it not only makes a difference in the reaction we’ll receive, but it also determines whether conflict or peace will result. Many arguments could be avoided and tense situations relaxed if we understood and practiced this truth.”

Peacocks in JNU Campus

While in Delhi, I stay close by JNU campus and go on a morning walk inside the campus.  There are scores of peacocks in the sprawling JNU campus in Delhi. It is a delight to watch them strolling regally along the roads, now scurrying under the bushes, now flying a short distance the blue of their body framed against the grey sky or the green of the babool forest. Oblivious of all the controversies over how they have babies, the peacocks and peahens continue their daily chores.

Tailpiece 1: Why?

Man: Waiter, why do I find so many stones in my pulaav?

Waitress: Sir, if I am not wrong, you ordered ‘Kashmiri Pulaav’..

Man: O shit..

(Courtesy: Social Media)

Tailpiece 1: Men and Women

Who are MEN ?

Woh jo narak me bhi mile to kahe ….abe !! Yamraj ki beti dekhi ?? Aag hai Aag !!

And, who are Women??

Who go to heaven and say “Apsara dekh…no dressing sense at all!

(Courtesy: Bibhuti Rath on facebook)


The author, a journalist turned media academician lives in Dhenkanal, a Central Odisha town surrounded by hills. He also writes fiction and radio plays.

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