This is the story of a Bengali in Beijing, of the searingly intense personality of a creative artist whose enthusiasm for Potunghua (Mandarin) borders on passion. His extraordinary tale is filled with scholarly eccentricities, wit, humor and a deep love for everything Chinese. Meet Amitava Bhattacharyya.
US-based Dr Dipan Ray is a pharmacist and scientist by profession. Notwithstanding a successful research career, three patents and several publications, theatre is in his blood. Ray, who teaches at Touro University New York, began his ‘acting tour’ in the seventies and eighties in Kolkata under the guidance of Debesh Chakravarty, a disciple of the eminent theatre personality, Utpal Dutta.
While strolling down the streets of Kolkata, don’t get surprised if you come across a shabbily-attired 60-plus man, with unshaven face, a worn-out bag slung over his shoulder and a torn chappal.
Yes, he’s Bimal Deb, a poet utterly different from our usual concept of a poet.
It’s a story of passion and dogged determination of a quiet struggle by a couple to keep alive a dying art – the Chinese handmade porcelain painting.
Few Hongkongers know that Lam Hon-chiu and his wife Lam Kew run the only surviving handmade porcelain firm – Chiu Kee Porcelain Factory at the sleepy Peng Chau Island.
In a recent e-mail interaction with Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics and a brilliant mind, gave an interesting observation when I asked him
Q: Does good parenting have a role to prevent rise in homegrown terrorists, crime and violence in the US society?
Steven: One thing I believe is the following:
When it comes to raising children, parents are more important than schools. Good parents can overcome bad schools, but good schools can’t overcome bad parents.
Steven Levitt: brilliant mind
: Do you think good parenting can play an important role in reducing gun violence?
Steven: Much of gun violence is due to gangs. One of the strongest statistical predictors of joining the gang among kids growing up in a housing project in a study I did with Sudhir Venkatesh, was having a mother addicted to crack cocaine.
So my view is that good parents can materially reduce gun violence.
Read an interesting article on Steven Levitt and his comments on Why Data Needs Stories.