The art of “Sen”

Yippeeeeeee… It’s been just a few weeks into dwelling on a fantasy dream about how splendid it would be if I could somehow steal time from a few folks that I adore and admire, and how lovely it would be if I can blog it here as a regular feature column… And here is my first chronicle of my Coffee and Colloquy session with the emperor of witty writing… his words, whatever forms they may take, be it his bestselling books, Facebook status updates, reviews, rantings, or blogposts, are thoroughly engaging, weaving sarcasm and wry humor seamlessly into the essence of his writing.

The blogger profile of Arunabha Sengupta’s online avatar Senantix says “Trained from Indian Statistical Institute as a Statistician, Earning Bread as a Process Consultant, Cleansing the Soul by Writing, Liberating the Spirit through Aikido and Sustaining the Psyche with Cricket”

While all of that is true in the quintessential Gemini, his identity to most is as an author.

His novels include:

Labyrinth (Published in 2004, with international re-publication in 2006) – chronicling the Software world during the Y2K days

Big Apple 2 Bites (published in 2007) – a result of his experiences during the days of 9/11 outsourcing and the general madness of the world (You can read the coffee bean’s review of this book here.)

The Best Seller (2010) written in Amsterdam with the threat of downsizing ever looming on the crisis ridden horizon.

His author website can be found at

His blogs (including cricket, corpocracy, social media analysis), translations, literary journals and a lot more can be surfed through

I am not really intending to test your patience anymore with my nonsense talk, and here is what he had to tell me, musing over a cuppa virtual coffee… 🙂

Aisoo – I am like you, and, at the same time, nothing like you.

Here are some of the harmonies and discords I listed after gulping down your heady brew of coffee bean musings. Most of these are based on the excellent introduction bearing an onomatopoeic Dhoom like title, and the curiously conditional ‘if you and I were alike’ biography.

So, here goes – through sunshine and celebration – the concordance and contrasts.

If you like Steffi Graf, I adore her. Oft in the stilly night, fond memories remind me of waking up gazing at her Wimbledon lifting smile or her punishing forehand booming across the court -depending on which end of the bed I had crashed at night. Walls in those days were for us to paste posters of those we liked, not yet for liking the pasted posts of others. Her Golden Grand Slam chronologically coincided with my furtive footsteps into adolescence, and the crush that I developed as a consequence has lingered on undiminished through full manhood.

Chess pieces too come alive for me when they are carved out of wood – putting an end to the much abused English expression ‘wooden’. That is important enough to me – if not to put in my biographical summary, at least to describe in the second chapter of my new novel The Best Seller. The first thing I bought once I landed in Amsterdam with my family was a wooden chess set that softly clutters as a knight jumps over a stationary pawn.

However, other sports cruise through my veins as well. The sound of Sachin Tendulkar’s willow on five and a half ounces of leather is the defining acoustic delight that surpasses all musical offerings. Centuries by the maestro keep injecting meaning into life, even as I totter on the brink of musing on pointlessness of existence. And much as I admire the exploits of Roger Federer and in spite of my last two years in idyllic Switzerland, my preferred FedEx still remain the packages from Amazon that deliver my books to the excellent readers duped into buying them.

I love the Christmas, the Diwali and all other festivals.

However, I would have loved the Zanzibar Revolution Anniversary as well, had I worked in Tanzania. I love any holiday that keeps me from making the tedious tread to the cubicular world, ending in an eight hour pretentious phasing out also known as work.

I tend to stay miles away (kilometres in Europe, but only after the requisite and extremely necessary multiplication by 1.6) from office coffee machines, desi celebration nights, team building events, shared train compartments and all other potentially dangerous sites where mutual funds, investments and rates of interest loom threateningly in the conversational horizon. Like you, I often get the commendable urge to wrench the head of the creator off his neck – and don’t necessarily limit myself to just the creator in such merry thoughts of destruction.

However, at the same time, my own brand of humour is anything but healthy. It is as caustic, pungent and sarcastic as can get.

I have not yet, even at this advanced stage of life, discovered my purpose on earth. But, I have definitely discovered what it is not – namely screeching and scurrying up the antiseptic, air-conditioned corporate ladder. Hence my protagonist says in The Best Sellerno one has ever become a stallion by winning the rat race.

However, the stuff of my worries may not be as farfetched as your meteoroids. My sleepless nights these days are caused by the dreaded anticipation of some corporate innovation finally succeeding in wiping out the entire white collared profession. In the scary thought there hinges a dangling ray of hope that such an apocalyptic turn of events might finally make me write full time, but I fear the prospects of being a scribbler in a world where the unifying philosophy reads iPhone therefore I am.

So, Aisoo – we are similar yet different. That is to be expected, isn’t it?

After all, we have never met – save through emails, and exchanged messages on instant communicators. And yet, there is a connection – and I am sure it is more personal and less technological than Fibre Optic Cables.

The magic of the world wide web of wonder is that it brings like minded – and curiously contrasting – people together. Through the hyper text transfer protocols and social networks, people connect.

I don’t even remember what we worked on together when our professional lives intersected amidst the empty echoes of corporate cacophony.

However, what I do remember is that we managed to connect – and in the modern day, that link can be searched and bookmarked, revisited and refreshed.

So, here is to the celebration and sunshine of lucky paths that have crossed, promise of periodic exchanges borne by packets of data on cyberspace.

Thanks Sen!!!!! That was delightful! The similarities and the underlying differences were outlined in that typical style of yours that I’ve always found addictive and enchanting!

Here’s to more C&C sessions!!!



  1. Hi Aisoo,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog post of yours. Sen has clearly expressed in a captivating style, but your introduction was equally catchy… Good Work!!!

  2. Great post. Just as Sen I adore Steffi and so storing all the comments I come across in my own virtual space. Is it OK if I quote your article ?

    1. Thanks… 🙂 Please go ahead and quote the article… And of course, I wouldn’t say no to link-backs 😛

  3. I sometimes wonder why I could not go beyond Chris Evert and Navratilova. Great pair, I thought and they fought with much good sport(wo)manship. 🙂 Although Steffi showed strength outside the court as well – remember her debilitating case with her father? These brilliant lines will stay forever – However, what I do remember is that we managed to connect – and in the modern day, that link can be searched and bookmarked, revisited and refreshed. – how utterly fascinating to be part of this magic called www 🙂

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