Ranjan's judgement on responsibilities

Once during one of their sessions a quarrel broke out between a school-teacher and a teacher at a college regarding whose job involves more responsibility. After a little while, taking advantage of a tea-break, Ranjan commented : "There's indeed no doubt that both kinds of jobs are tough! The school-teachers have to beat asses into horses, and those in the colleges to do just the reverse! The first job does involve quite a responsibility, but the second no less!"

Pausing a little for his friends' laughter at his words, Ranjan remarked : "And, as I see our environment these days, the latter seems to be more relevant!"

Ranjan and sephology

Ranjan was never in active politics, but nevertheless he liked taking part in heated discussions on politics, economics and the like.  And often Ranjan started such discussions with people like taxi-drivers, rickshaw-pullers, fish-mongerers, tea-stall runners and the like. In the same way, once, while moving by a bycycle-rickshaw near his country home, Ranjan started discussing politics with the rickshaw-puller. After a lot of talk Ranjan asked the rickshaw-puller : "I say, tell me something! When the next election comes, which party shall you vote for?". The rickshaw-puller retorted with a firm voice : "Look Sir, you have so much information, you've read so many books --- and yet you want to know it from me, and that's why I'm stelling you. Please do not mind! Now if any bloke asks you if this side of a piece of shit is better, what'll you say then Sir? So mightn't I say like that? What say you?"

To this Ranjan only answered grimly : "Well said, man! Well said!"

Ranjan and the Freudian slip

One day in Calcutta, on the eve of some election, a man was heard making a speech in front of a microphone in favour of  a powerful party : "Therefore friends, it is my earnest request to you that ... er ... you mustn't cast your own votes only ... but ... er ... "

A shopkeeper, standing  a litte distance away from the spot, caught the first words and said : "Yeah, yeah! ... Never cast your own vote alone, cast others' votes as well! ..."

Hearing about the incident Ranjan remarked : "This too is a kind of  the Freudian slip!"

Ranjan and Truth

Once all the walls of Calcutta got covered with a single poster. The poster contained in large bold prints only the message : "Marxism is Almighty. Because it is True."

Mentioning the poster one day, Ranjan asked : "Well ... the sentence that having any hard-to-digest food in a large quantity causes indigestion, is certainly not almighty! But is the sentence therefore false?"

Ranjan and the cell-phone

One evening, instantly after joining our evening adda, Ranjan enquired : "Say, can you tell me something? For quite a few days now, whenever I go out in the street I see otherwise well-dressed men and women walk the street touching their ears with one hand, and yet without any change of emotions visible on their faces. What's exactly the matter?"

One among us replied instantly : "Cell-phone, got it? Cell-phone! No one is touching the ear and all!"

Ranjan said, laughing : "Oh, say that!"

Ranjan and Time

One day, stuck in one of the horrible traffic snarls of Calcutta, Ranjan suddenly had the feeling that he was stuck at a spot on one of the millions of planets with civilisations, floating in the cosmic space. He imagined that if an imaginary plumb line could be drawn from the top of his scalp, then the line could be extended upto billions of light-years. ... Now as the traffic jam suddenly started moving following a green signal, Ranjan instantly lost track of the thought.

And he suddenly felt that he is inextricably rooted in time.

Ranjan and childhood

On a very early morning one day Ranjan went out for a walk along a lonely street. As he walked and crossed many houses and bends and after covering quite some distance, Ranjan suddenly realized that he had never came to that locality before. Ranjan then saw a boy of eight or nine standing head down on the footpath. He wore half pants, a half-shirt and a pair of sandals. A bag of books was in his hand. Must be some school-kid – Ranjan thought.

After Ranjan advanced a bit nearer, he started at the sound of his footsteps and suddenly looked at him. And speechless in utter astonishment Ranjan saw that the boy was himself – the nine year old Ranjan! As if mesmerized, Ranjan went nearer the boy. He asked him “Hello there, why are you standing here? Waiting for someone?” The boy said nothing. Only with a tremendously grief-stricken face and tearful eyes he kept on staring silently at Ranjan. “Are you hungry? Have you lost your way?” – Ranjan inquired. But the boy kept on standing in the same manner.

After a little while Ranjan turned and resumed his walk in the previous direction. While going away he turned his neck many times to look at the boy standing still in the same manner.

Quite some time later, Ranjan looked back once more. The place where the boy was standing lay quite a distance behind him then. But he could no longer see the boy there.

Ranjan and the face

Somewhere someday Ranjan just chanced to notice a face. Or, more precisely, the face chanced to meet Ranjan's eyes. He doesn't remember where or when. Ranjan only remembers the face from time to time. The face seems to Ranjan to be indescribably weary and depressed. And he remembers a bit of a strange smile clinging to a corner of the lips of the face. As if the face, driven by some thought, was about to say something to somebody, and then suddenly, God knows thinking what, stopped saying it.  ... It might be a grumble, a protest, a promise, a prayer, a request, an imploring. The main thing is that it suddenly stopped in the course of being uttered. Perhaps with a sensing of futility! Perhaps with a deep resentment! Perhaps with an absolute indifference! The statement was not finished!

Ranjan says that he no longer thinks about even the owner of the face. He only remembers that moment of the face's suddenly becoming silent.


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