Sunday, Dec 12, 2021 09:00 [IST]

Last Update: Sunday, Dec 12, 2021 03:21 [IST]

Vinod Dua

Mrinal Chatterjee

Window Seat
Indian Television matured in the 1980s with contributions of persons like Pronoy Roy and Vinod Dua, who for the first time showed how election results could be covered on television. They probably psephology in Indian television in a way never before seen or experienced. In presentation, they complemented each other like Jay and Viru of Sholay. While Pronoy Roy addressed mostly the English knowing and speaking intellectuals, Vinod Dua connected more with the masses with his chaste Hindi and lucid translation of the terms and concepts that Roy presented.
Vinod Dua did programmes of different genre including a food show titled 'Zaike India ka' for different channels. Each of his shows bore the distinct stamp of his persona- straight, factual, to the point.
His contemporary and college mate Prof. Satya Misra writes, … “he was the fearless symbol of fourth pillar of democracy whose bluntness was softened by humour and comments sharpened by objectivity and sarcasm. His soul was not sold out to any corporate or political party. With his passing away,a slice of fearless journalism has been hived off.”
While many of the journalists chose to court the high and mighty, Dua chose to travel the difficult path of truth and justice. He suffered but in a queer way won. Generations of journalists will remember him as a role model to follow.
Caricature: Jayaraj Vellur, Kerala.
Reboti Bhushan@100
This is the centenary year of a great artist, poet, cartoonist and calligrapher Reboti Bhusan Ghosh (1921-2007), who mesmerized three successive generations with his caricatures, cartoons, limericks, and illustrations.
Born in Bally in Howrah district of West Bengal, Reboti Bhusan grew up in his ancestral house near the river Ganges. The ambience was so scenic that it had an ever-lasting impact on him.
It was in 1942 when the freedom movement was gaining momentum, young Reboti got an opportunity to meet his inspiration Ababnindranath Tagore. Mentored by Ababnindranath, Reboti’s brush strokes became more powerful and instinctive.
His first political cartoon was published during his college days when he was studying Sanskrit as an undergraduate student at Kolkata’s Ripon College. Renowned Bengali litterateur Pramathanath Bishi, who was also a professor in that college, incidentally saw his cartoon on the college wall magazine. With his persuasion it was later published in Sachitra Bharat, one of the leading Bengali satire magazines of the time. This paved the path for Reboti’s illustrious journey.
His cartoons started appearing in almost all leading dailies and magazines like Anandabazar, Satyajug (Bengali edition of TOI), Yugantar, Sachitra Bharat, Dainik Basumati, Shanibarer Chithi, AchalPatra, Betar Jagat, Ulto Rath and Nabakallol. At the same time, he drew humour illustrations for children’s magazines like Sishu Sathi, Sandesh, Suktara and Mouchak. In his column titled ‘Vyanga Boithok’ in Yugantar daily, Reboti started writing funny rhymes along with his cartoons. It was indeed an inseparable amalgamation and became an instant hit in the reader’s circles.
Reboti Bhusan was one of the first artists to try his hand at animation. Reboti’s mastery in animal illustrations caught the attention of Shankar. He used to send his cartoons to Shankar’s Weekly. Animals took centre stage in most of his cartoons. On Shankar’s request he joined CBT as a senior artist and illustrated several children’s books. During his 20 years stay in Delhi he freelanced for National Herald, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, Pioneer, Financial Express, Delhi Statesman, Saptahik Hindustan, Janayug, Dinman etc.
Reboti spent his last years in his ancestral house, enjoying nature and  spending time with the local kids. He died in 2007 due to heart and other ailments.
A month-long celebration of his life and work, is being organized as a part of the "Cartoon Fest" in Kolkata from 5th December 2021 to 5th January 2022. Go attend that if you can.
Marriage invitation card
This being the marriage season in the part of India that I live, I get many invitation cards of different shape, size and design. Many of the cards follow some set template: photo of Gods and Goddesses (Lord Ganesh being the favourite, closely followed by Lord Jagannath and of late Prabhu Shriram) or Peacocks or flowers on the front page. Even the text follow a set pattern and template. However, there are cards which break the set pattern and bring in freshness.
Recently I received an invitation card from two of my students who are marrying each other. Both are from Western Odisha. The invitation card has been written in chaste Sambalpuri, the lingua franca of that region. The invitation begins like an essay on the importance of marriage. I am impressed! Another student, who used to draw cartoons, designed his marriage card using cartoons of himself and his would be wife.
The one marriage card that so touched my heart that I framed it and hung in my study room is the one I got 16 years ago. It carries a doodle by Rabindranath Tagore, which also contains some lines of a poem that he was peening. Rabindranath Tagore had this habit of writing and making corrections by drawing doodles. His doodles have been highly praised by erudite art-critics. But to use it on the cover of a marriage invitation card! Now read the lines. Those of you who can not read Bengali- let me tell you it is a poignant poem celebrating love.
This was an invitation card of one Saikh Safiullah of Birbhum district, who was marrying Jaisminara Khatun of Birbhum both in West Bengal. I have forgotten them and the person who had sent me this card. But for the last 16 years I have preserved this card.
The fundamental difference between Sunder Pichai and me  is that, he works for Google and Google works for me.
(Courtesy: Social Media)
(Journalist turned media academician Mrinal Chatterjee lives in Dhenkanal, Odisha. He also writes fiction and plays.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi