89 results for 'Proloy Bagchi'
Last October my wife and I visited Jaipur after a long hiatus - of around 35 years and what we saw was highly agreeable. It has grown quite a lot since we were here more than thirty five years ago and it is still growing. The "Resurgent Rajasthan" campaign is giving it the impetus, it is now a city of 40 lakhs (4 million), double the number of Bhopal where we live. The new areas are beautifully laid out. “Vaishali” is one such new development where the roads are wide and commercial buildings both, massive and good looking. It has now a new airport - small but functional. An agreement seems... (more)
As we headed towards Florence from Venice – a mere two to three-hour railway journey – we came across some towns the names of which were very familiar. Padua, for example, was one which I had come across while studying in college. It has a very old university where astronomer Galileo used to be in the faculty. Then again there was another stop at Verona, the locale of Shakespeare’s as many as three plays, viz “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, “Taming of The Shrew” and, of course, “Romeo and Juliet” – Juliet’s balcony continues to be of unending interest and is one of the top tourist attractions.... (more)
We were to travel by train to Nagpur, a town 350 kilometres away, to take the Indigo flight from there for Kolkata. But the train got cancelled because of the unprecedented rains and floods in Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai where all the rakes were held up. With no other available alternative we had to hire a taxi to travel by road.
Half the journey was pretty miserable, travelling as we were on an apology of a highway. In two decades, one each of Digvijay Singh and Shivraj Singh Chauhan, this trunk route between South and the North of the country that passes through the state of Madhya... (more)
That climate change is now a reality has now been brought home to the common people. A warm November with hardly any need for woolens, particularly in the central parts of the country, making the people realize how true the predictions were that were being made for some time. A region where the cold weather would herald its onset from the last week of October with cool nights requiring covers and light woolens remained unusually warm this year. One couldn’t really attribute it to below-average rainfall. The fact is the winter this year has failed to set in so far and hence one tends to wait... (more)
Prime Minister Modi is reported to have said the other day while addressing G20 leaders at Antalya (Turkey), “We need to involve religious leaders, thinkers and opinion makers for a social movement against extremism, particularly addressed to the youth” This was needed the most in countries where extremism was most prevalent, he said, and highlighted the urgency for promoting broader peace and stability in West Asia and Africa. He also said, “We don’t have a comprehensive global strategy to combat terrorism. And we tend to be selective in using the instruments that we have.”
Another overnight journey from Munich and we were in Vienna. Here, too, we had booking in a pension which was somewhat away from the core of the city. But there was good connectivity by public transport. It was a comfortable hostelry run, again, by an elderly lady but much less forbidding than the one in Munich. The room rent again included continental breakfast which was nothing other than a croissant with a blob of butter, a boiled egg and coffee.
Vienna is capital of the Republic of Austria and, as perhaps is well known, it was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the... (more)
Railway trains have been a fascination for me since my childhood. Ever since we all used to board the narrow gauge train for the famous Gwalior Fair from the tiny little Elgin Club station in front of the College where my father used to teach I was hooked on trains and the rhythmic huffing and puffing of the steam locomotives. When I entered service of the government there used to be travels on train every few days, sometimes short and sometimes long. In course of time I covered virtually the entire country on trains. That is how I know the Satpura Express running between Jabalpur and Balaghat... (more)
After a stay of about a month in Switzerland we were ready for a brief tour of Europe. We had bought Eurail passes in India which allowed us 14 days’ unlimited travel over any of the European railways, including the high speed French Train a Grande Vitesse (TGVs), in 1 Class. Unlike today, in 1987 TGV used to run between very few stations. We had a service from Paris to Geneva and back. For other places one had to use reasonably fast inter-city express trains of various countries.
Our first target was Munich in Germany – a journey of around 7 hours. We did it in day-time. Interestingly... (more)
The last one hundred years were full of international strifes and wars during which two world wars were fought involving most of the countries of the world. Apart from them there were smaller regional wars or ethnic movements for independence. Barring Australia – a single country continent – no continent was spared the luxury of peace and tranquility. Humans are, after all, animals and most of them have the genes that promote them to dominate over others, either singly or collectively. International conflicts are a result of this undesirable inheritance among humans. This century in the new... (more)
Another day out was perhaps the most interesting as it was into the Alps. My brother decided to take us to Jungfrau, German for maiden, one of the main peaks in the Bernese Alps. As is well-known, Alps are one of the great mountain ranges of Europe, stretching approximately 1100 kms across seven countries – from Austria and Slovenia in the east to Switzerland, Germany and France in the west and Italy and Monaco in the South. With 65% of its area covered by the Alps, Switzerland is one of the most Alpine of countries. Swiss Alps are generally divided into eastern and western Alps. The Bernese... (more)