I love singing. I have a musical background on my mother's side. My maternal grandfather, Shri Mohini Chaudhri, was a lyricist, who penned numerous famous bengali songs of various genres ranging from film songs to devotional. "Muktiro Mandiro Sopano Tole", in memory of Indian freedom fighters is the song he is most famous for. I have learnt classical music for many years from Shri Ramprasad Roy and completed diploma in Rabindrasangeet from Dakshinee in Kolkata and Uttarayan in Delhi. In Bombay, I have started taking lessons in classical music from Mrs. Ranade and light classical music from Shri. Upendra Pattanaik. IIT campus holds several music programmes where I love to take part, even though I get to sing only Bollywood numbers. :-(

Story Books

I always have zero bank balance, thanks to my voracious reading habits. I read anything and everything. Among the books read in the last two-three years, I have liked Khaleid Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns", both on Afghanisthan, its political and religious turmoils since Habibullah, Zahir Shah, Nadir Shah's rule, through communist era and the Taliban regime, ending with war with US. Khaleid writes as an insider depicting Afghan sentiments and emotions. An outsider's view in "The Bookseller of Kabul" by Asne Seirstad was also funny. "Roots" by Alex Halley was the first book I read by an Afro-American and I immediately got hooked up. Maya Angelou's "I know why the caged bird sings", E.R.Braithwait's "To Sir With Love", recent books on African Civil War "A long Way Gone" by Ismael Beah and "Half of a yellow sun" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche all gave me a good time. "Not without my daughter" by Betty Mehmoody is another inspiring book. Ayn Rand's philosophy in "Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" left me shattered like everyone else. Lots of nights were passed fantacizing Howard Roark and Francisco D' Anaconia. :-) Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie", "For one more day" and "Five people you meet in heaven" left me feeling good as did Randy Pausch's "The last lecture". "To kill a mockingbird", "One flew over the cuckoo's nest" were nice, "The curious incident of the dog at nighttime" had a very different way of story-telling. I used to like Isabelle Allende. I read her "Paula", "The house of spirits" and "Of love and shadows", but somehow I have got bored with her style. I love HARRY POTTER. Among Indian authors, I like Amitava Ghosh, "The Glass Palace" and "The hungry tide" were excellent, "Calcutta Chromosome" bad. I like Arundhati Ray and hate Kiran Desai. Jhumpa Lahiri is OK, only I wish she'll write on some topic other than NRI's and their life in the US. "Dear Mister God, this is Anna" is another wonderful book. The Anne series by L.M.Montgomery is a pretty series of books that I like to revise from time to time. Bengali authors bring out my ways of thinking in their writing, Sunil Ganguly, Shirshendu, Tilottama Majumdar, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Mandakranta Sen, Bani Basu are some of my favourites but I hope they take a look at the world, what is happening outside Bengal and start widening their horizon.