I’ve always been an adventurer and a philomath. I wanted to disprove the age-old adage “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” My life is like a rolling stone, but I’ve gathered a lot of moss.
I was born at Naihati, a suburb near Kolkata in India. This is where Rishi Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay–was born. Bankim Chandra’s poem Vande Matorom inspired freedom fighters in the 19th Century, when India was battling for Independence from the British rule.
Reading books has always been my passion. O. Henry’s An Odd Character fascinated me since my childhood. I had been a newspaper junkie ever since my high school days. I still recall how my father got me different English newspapers and magazines.
I joined West Bengal Civil Service (Group A) in Rampurhat, Birbhum district (about 190km from Kolkata) in April 1988. I soon realized I wasn’t cut out for the job.
It was October 1989 when my wife and I got an offer to teach English in Muscat, capital of Oman. We left for Muscat, where we taught English in Indian School Muscat till June 1997 and then returned to Kolkata.
I joined SUNDAY (a weekly news magazine) in Kolkata as sub-editor in September 1997.
That’s when my long courtship with the pen began. Here I had the opportunity to work with celebrated journalist Vir Sanghvi, the editor of SUNDAY.
The most important event during my stint in SUNDAY was the death of Mother Teresa. I still recall how I stayed till the early hours at the office for writing a piece on the great philanthropist.
In 2000 April, I joined Hindustan Times (HT) and worked there till January 2006. During my almost six-year tenure in HT, I wrote several stories/features and wrote Opinion pieces for HT.
The high-point of my tenure in HT was an interview with the great mathematician Sir Roger Penrose in 2003 in Kolkata. It was a tremendous boost in my career when Sir Penrose himself appreciated my copy. In March 2003 when the US invaded Iraq, I sent a questionnaire to Sir Penrose asking his views on the Iraq invasion. The great mathematician didn’t let me down. He was awarded Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020.
I quit HT and joined China Daily Hong Kong Edition in Hong Kong in January, 2006. I was a columnist in China Daily.
The most memorable event during my stay in Hong Kong was a serendipitous encounter with a young American journalist, named John Alexander. It was November 2007 when I met John on a Saturday afternoon near Tsim Tsa Tsui overlooking Victoria Harbor. John was a producer with Discovery Channel. He was then working on a documentary on China. John was like an intellectual ‘Humming Bird’ who loved to fly around at incredible speed. His curiosity was insatiable. The young American influenced me immensely and shaped my life. I was overwhelmed by his scholarship and unwavering commitment to journalism. John died while shooting in Chongqing in mainland China in 2008.
I was associated with Global Times (US Edition). Global Times is a Beijing-based English daily. I wrote Opinion pieces for its US Edition.
I was associated with Dhaka-based English daily The Independent from 2013-2020.
In 2019, Cambridge University invited me to attend International summer program in Creative Writing.
I work for Dubai-based Forbesmiddleeast.com as an online copy editor.
I am a member of International Association of Professional Writers and Editors, New York
Steve Job’s famous words “Stay hungry, stay foolish” are my inspiration.