Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Respond or react?

August 23, 2015

There is a difference between the two. The former is the result of careful thought and analysis while the latter is due to the fight-or-flight inbuilt mechanism deeply rooted in our genes. 

Response is always better than reaction. Because it is more human. Thousands of years of evolution laid the foundation for a species to respond and not react to external stimuli. Think about a deer grazing blissfully on the green grass top of a dense Amazon Forest. The moment it hears the marching footsteps of a lion - it immediately springs hard and runs as fast as it can. This whole fight-or-flight feedback is instantaneous and doesn't even reach the brain - its a nervous system response - much like the way we react suddenly upon touching a hot iron rod. This is called reflex action. Reflex action was good - because it was designed to save a deer or a man from the hungry mouth of a lion... But reflex action alone is not so good... mix it with careful analysis, observation and thought - and it becomes a lethal weapon. And that's what happened to man... being frustrated from the attacks of lions, man started thinking of better ways to tackle the problem - so he invented tools - with which he could now attack or scare away the animal.

Homo-sapiens sit on the topmost place of the food chain in-spite of having a weak physical defense and comparatively lesser strength, due to the gift of a unique brain which is capable of out-smarting its competitors quite easily. Other species stand simply no chance against us. So today if there is any enemy of a man, it is none other than his own fellow being. He has no one else to fear from. You might see two bulls or two lions fighting with each other in a National Geographic Channel - but seldom are these 'fights till death'... no sooner does one sense defeat it backs off and runs hard to save it's life. But one man brings death to another quite often with careful planning, observation and analysis and sometimes without any reason or on spur of the moment... This is quite strange. The gamut of emotion that man is capable of exhibiting - starting from extreme love at one end of the spectrum to uncanny hatred at the other end is quite phenomenal. 

There is no doubt in the fact that man is different from all the other species in his ability to think and analyze using his brain. Such a brain no other living entity has... Over a period of time it has been the ability to respond (and not just react voluntarily) to a particular crisis or a problem  which has allowed him to survive. 

However since evolution is a continuous phenomenon, so the fine tuning of human attitude is still continuing. The same external stimuli creates different kind of responses and reactions in different human beings. Let us try to plot a chart - with A being the most perfect hypothetical human being (or an Angel) and D being the most imperfect:

Person Reaction Response
A (the hypothetical perfect human being)  0 % 100%
B 60 % 40 %
C 70 % 30 %
D (the most imperfect human being) 100 % 0 %

We can say degree of being a human being in case of B is more than C. If we carefully look into the lives of B and C, we might find that B is smarter that C. I might go one step ahead in declaring that degree of success, fame, prosperity and other positive rewards is directly proportional to this degree of being a human. In other words the more one is closer to A - the better it is for him.

Losing temper and lashing out at someone with anger and venom is nothing but reaction. This is a behavior that leans towards row D - which is the zone that belongs to animals. 

You would have seen someone who loses temper and does something stupid, repents later, because moments after slipping from the human zone, he comes back into it and then starts thinking. It is only that situation was not in his control. Another person might behave differently when faced with exactly same situation. The feelings of anger might rise in him as well but he knows the art of controlling them them and choosing to react in another way which is both effective as well as witty. Each time a bad external stimulus tries to knock you off... you can just hang in there, trying to observe the whole chain of thoughts and feelings very minutely and then trying to remain in conversation with others - choose the right words and sentences with logic and with calmness. This will clear the cobwebs of confusion and you can continue to be in control. 

This holds true for most of the cases - picture yourself in middle of a shopping center - and your kid is throwing strong tantrums and it's a very difficult situation to control. Already your kid is reacting to a certain unfavorable situation - and if being a parent you react back at his tantrums - then the situation turns ugly. Rather if you can engage in calm and assured conversation and make him understand properly about the message you want to convey - then things might turn out better. 

There will be a lot of pleasantness around one when he has mastered the art of controlling the situation by being responsive. It is not very difficult - and can be easily honed with perseverance and practice. One has to remain in a state of awareness and proactively not try to be impulsive and try only to be logical and normal as much as one can. A genuine and assured smile often helps in such situations.


When I was 26 years old...

July 17, 2015

I started an LIC Policy on 28.July.2003 - how difficult to even write the year now ... i typed 2013...and then back space and back space - and then retyped 2003. It was almost 12 years before - when i started the policy - The Endowment Assurance Policy. As i paid the premium today on  -i happened to view the policy status report - and the commencement date -  28.July.2003... triggered some flash-backs down the memory lane...

So what have i achieved today when i compare my own status - which lingers in memory only - of course financially I am better - but still i consider myself poorer when I see the age - just below my name in the report. I was only 26 years old. Damn! I was so young - I am 38 now... lost all those precious years. 

True, the years have gone by - something on which none of us have any control - what we can decide to a significant extent is which path our health, relationships, career, financial status, happiness etc takes with the passage of time...

I had the privilege of a good brother who guided me in various phases and urged me to start good things - like this very LIC policy. Otherwise I wouldn't have started for sure... He even went to the extent of paying the first few installments... which later I realized wasn't a good idea.

One needs to take responsibility of his own finance... it's true that we all begin our journey in the same home - and we are very much groomed in a way that it's hard to grasp this idea of separate-responsibility - so when the first few months he was paying my premiums - i never felt anything wrong - he is only my brother and he is paying my premium - it just came so natural...  It took time for the separate-responsibility-paradigm-shift to take effect - triggered by a few other factors as family grows... as you would all know or very soon will know... and nonetheless this is all very natural.

As I look back - I feel good about the decision of starting this policy in 2003... if not for the money, but for the good-habit of separating a portion of my daily income for the rainy days.  

When i was young, i was extravagant and unsystematic... When i see colleagues here of age 26 - 28 ... I can relate with them so much. They behave like me when i was of that age. I try to give them good advise... I don't know how much they really absorb. There are a few things that come from experience and no amount of lip-service helps. The modern generation is very smart - they think they have the whole world in their grasp - they can play around - do a little manipulation here and there - and life would simply go on rosy and nice.

However one thing i am very clear - crystal clear about how life works - whatever you do good or bad - definitely has a reaction. The reaction can be delayed or might not be visible - but the reaction will be there for sure. So it's only good to do good things.  When you do something wrong and think that no one is watching- and so it's okay - the fact of the matter is the laws of the Universe (Some call God, some call Fate/Destiny) have a way to know the difference and provide you the required outcome/reaction accordingly. 

A few days before I had visited Nemo Science Center. One of the things that caught my attention was the different speed in which 2 similar cylinders, having same weight -  rolled down an inclined plane. The only difference between the 2 cylinders is one is less hollow and one is more hollow. The weight and outer surface area of the 2 remains the same. To my wonder i saw that the more solid cylinder rolls down faster than the more hollow.

I was wondering why is this change of speed... i did a little search in google as well and thought the actual calculation to be somewhat complicated (as perceived by my average intelligence); Let me put a simplistic explanation here - 

The only difference is the angular frictional torque acting on these 2 bodies AGAINST the direction of motion. Torque is force (frictional) multiplied by radius - So the hollow cylinder has more radius ( distance from periphery to the center or the outer raidus) - while the solid has less radius - because it is calculated by Integration Formula over outer and inner radius. Therefore resultant Radius of Solid cylinder is always LESSER than the Hollow cylinder... so the frictional torque acting against motion in the solid cylinder is less and so the velocity with which it rolls down is MORE...

I interpreted this phenomenon in this way: Many a times we do something wrong - and think no one notices - and so this would not have any impact in our life... but in reality the laws of nature - has a way to CALCULATE these subtle variations just like the calculation provided above. 

We can't cheat or out-smart the master plan! 

Somehow I have a hunch, just like the solid cylinder, even a good and solid character rolls down faster down the slope towards happiness and prosperity. For the hollow character - the movement towards progress and prosperity is very slow. 

One might assign all good fortune acquired by an individual to Lady Luck alone because it's difficult to perceive the underlying principles which are so logical and accurate. 


Netherlands - Day831

June 30, 2015

Suddenly I seemed to notice that June 2015 is about to end - and i have written only 1 blog in this month... And somehow i wanted to add one more - and so this blog!

It's peak summer now - finally, and the sun is bright and warm during cloud-less days! Unfortunately most of the weekends remain cold, windy and cloudy. Temperatures hover around - 16 to 20 degree now - and there is no need to wear a jacket on a sunny day now. A trip to beach can be full of fun - hoping to make one next month.

Going out somewhere is hugely dependent on weather forecast... its been quite some days now that we have gone out of our home on weekends - the holidays have dried down as well... Our last visit was Maastricht and that appears long time back! 

How time flies - here we are sitting and with the blink of an eye - days, months and years pass by... 

Romir turns 4 years tomorrow. He is now fluent in Dutch as well as English - well almost! though the occasional mistakes in his sentences sound so sweet that we don't feel like correcting... however we do correct! 

Today he distributed gifts in his school and sang song along with his classmates. He has gelled well with his friends and on August he is going to big-school. Now he wants do everything on his own - he doesn't want to be helped in anything... he says - i am 4 years old - i am big.

Work in office and personal life at home - I have always found hard to have a balance between the two - it's so difficult and one realm does bounces against and sometimes wedges into another - as i have always maintained and again feel like vouchsafing - Sanchita  has taken the complete ownership of his schooling, tutoring and everything - and that has allowed me to remain absorbed in my work peacefully - as i am writing this - i was remotely logged into my office machine- and performing some tasks - work has almost engulfed my whole life  - could i have afforded to remain so busy without her cooperation. A big NO.

I was watching a TED show - in fact 2 TED shows - about the importance of practicing empathy. It is not rocket science philosophy ... not a difficult path to follow - it's quite simple - coming out of your own shoes and getting into another's shoes and thinking from his perspective... One of the things that caught my attention is the simple act of listening to someone's story - day to day activity - or simply noticing the other person's moves - can make you wired with a wifi-like connection and you would feel like helping and caring. It is this very act of taking a pause, noticing, observing that gives rise to a desire to help and care - i might have used my words in expressing the thought... and so when Romir draws a painting i try to pause, notice and applaud his effort, when Romir's mother narrates the activities in school - i try to pause and be all ears to her - and then i do try to respond... to encourage her effort. 

However i do remain absent minded, half-caught in half-completed office work and so on...

I am only trying...

Not much in this episode of my Experience in Netherlands. However i would urge all to subscribe to Netflix and watch some of the good movies and series - that are available in good HD Quality. Recently i finished this series - Spartacus and really really liked...

It's good to take membership in library - there are so many books that can be availed for such a nominal fee - around 60 euro per year. Yes, i must say - if one is in Netherlands - he must visit the museums - the Van Gogh Museum, Stedjelijk, Anne Frank's Huis, Cobra Museum in Amstelveen - to name a few - they are simply awesome. 

I keep watching sports even now - i watched Djoko go down  to - forgetting his name, in Paris open. I watched India losing in wc in Australia against Australia... I watched my snooker Idol - Sullivan going down rather cheaply in recent snooker championships, Barca going all the way in champion's league without any difficulty whatsoever, i didn't get surprised when Serena Williams won the French open as well... watching sports can be fun as well as educative... the various emotions you go through as you support your team or player - enables you to absorb and live those valuable lessons - experiences - which in turn can be used in real life situations - so i enjoy sports and i watch all kind of sports... Dexterity on pool table as increased now - i can aim the balls with quite an astounding accuracy - enough to surprise my friends - i win most of the games and this gives me a good high... my interest in pool has also resulted in downloading a pool-app and i play in my smartphone as well - bad habit that i know - but then what to do...

its now 2 mins remaining - for June to be over - I won't wake my son up to say Happy Birthday and will wait for tomorrow morning...Bye bye bye!

How to install mongo db in linux

June 15, 2015

Download Mongodb Software  from

Extract mongodb at path - /xyz   (/xyz  path is just for example... One needs to choose path according to requirement/convenience)

tar zxvf mongodb-linux-x86_64-rhel62-3.0.3.tgz

The newly formed directory can be renamed to mongodb so we have the extracts from the software residing here - /xyz/mongodb/

Additionally create this directory:  mkdir -p /xyz/mongodb/data/db

Go to this path -  /xyz/mongodb/bin

./mongod --rest --httpinterface --dbpath /xyz/mongodb/data/db

....  as  a result - you should be able to see mongo db process running and you can access from browser


You can use a variety of combinations in the start command - for example - this can be used as well:

./mongod  --journal  --logappend --profile 2 --rest --httpinterface --dbpath /xyz/mongodb/data/db


May 22, 2015

Fascination with head paintings continue...

View older posts »