Sunday 7 May 2023

Preface of the book "Off and On the Track: My memoirs and reflections"


All my blogs written before this year, which were available in this site,  are recently published  as a compilation in a book entitled “Off and On the Track: My memoirs and reflections”.  I am providing the preface of this book and also the details for getting a copy of this book  for interested readers.


7th May, 2023




This year I turned sixty. A right age to be considered for a celebrity to write his or her memoirs. I do not belong to that class, and rightfully did not ever consider to bring out a memoir of my own! But when a few of my research students were planning to have a reunion honoring my entry to the senior citizenship, I seriously contemplated on the possibility of such a publication on this occasion. Fortunately, I did not have to make much effort as I took fancy on writing blogs more than a decade ago. Some were related to my experiences and thoughts on various issues around my profession. Some were off-the track descriptions of a few events and encounters of my life at various stages. When I expressed my wishes to my friend Aikat-da (Dr. Subhas Aikat), he readily agreed and immediately started planning for this publication. He also composed the first draft with the compilation of my blogs and forwarded to me for my inspection. Still I was hesitant. I am never confident about my writing in English, be it technical or non-technical! So, I wrote to Pradip-da (Pradip Baksi) seeking his guidance and comments on my manuscript. I met Pradip-da as a fellow patient staying in the same room during my brief stay in a hospital in Kolkata in January 2021 and was greatly fascinated by his scholarship and knowledge in several disciplines. He has translated the Mathematical Manuscripts of Karl Marx and wrote some articles and books in Bengali and English on some aspects of human thought, society and the rest of nature. I was extremely happy and relieved when I got positive response from him.


When things were starting to gain a momentum, I lost my father suddenly on the 24th of February, this year. He had been suffering a lot for the last two years. For a week, he was under intensive treatment in a hospital in Kolkata and was struggling with oxygen support and feeding through rice tubes. Yet, we were not prepared for his sudden departure from life. For the last one year, my father was living like a child, requiring all the assistance from two of his attendants, who took great care of him   for days and nights. He was under the care and supervision of my sister and brother-in-law in our home. His illness got aggravated since the days of his suffering from COVID-19 in November, 2020. We used to visit him regularly. In these years, my home-coming and all our activities in my home were centered around him. His sudden loss created a big void within me.  Everything appeared to me to be quite meaningless and for a few weeks, I kept myself almost withdrawn from any outward interaction. Naturally, the planned reunion of my students got cancelled and at one point of time, I practically lost my motivation for bringing out this compilation.


When Pradip-da mailed me, the copy-edited version of this manuscript, I was repenting about the fact that he took so much trouble on my request. I could see how much time and effort he had to put in this task. I am not sure whether these texts are worthy for such a treatment. He not only corrected my English at several places and restored some of my idioms and expressions to their proper usage, but also enriched the text by providing various information on related matters and suggesting moderations of some of my analysis of socio-political issues with his wisdom and scholarship. I take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to him for his engagement with these texts.


Even in my mature years I never contemplated about writing anything non-technical in English. During the years of my early schooling, I always felt uneasy and incompetent about handling several subjects. I would have been in much more trouble, had I not been rescued by the careful guidance and teaching of  my  respected teacher and beloved mentor, Sri Arun Bhattacharyya. He not only taught me the languages, English and Sanskrit, but groomed me by developing my taste for the liberal arts and poetry. Sadly, he is also no more with us.  Throughout my interaction with him, I fondly addressed him as ‘Sir’. If my reader found anything worthy in this exercise, it is primarily due to his teaching and mentoring. I take this opportunity to dedicate this book to honor his memory.


No words are enough for expressing my indebtedness to my friend Aikat-da, who always supported me in this endeavor. This publication would not have been possible without his support. Finally, I thank all members of my family, my relatives, teachers, mentors, friends and students for their blessings, guidance, encouragement, friendship, love and respect that they extended to me throughout my journey.



The 28th of March, 2023




ISBN: 978-81-954813-9-2
Page 256, Rs.450

For copies contact:- CORNERSTONE PUBLICATIONS, Ramesh Dutta Sarani, P.O. Hijli Co-operative, KHARAGPUR-721306, e-mail Address―

To get a copy of the book, the price of the book i.e. Rs.450 may be deposited to the bank a/c given below along with an intimation and postal address to
The payment should always be made in Indian rupee and the book will be delivered by registered parcel within India only.

Our Bank - Punjab National Bank, IIT Kharagpur Branch;
IFS Code PUNB0387200;
A/C Name-Cornerstone Publications; A/C No.-3872002100000827