It was one evening, dead of the night to be precise, in the autumn of 2006. I was doing my usual online 'jaagte raaho' routine, ensuring the safety of the web while others slept blissfully. I received a ping from a stranger on my online messenger.
I am providing the entire transcript of the conversation that ensued without any edits, besides the names of some people and organisations for privacy issues. Also, I have changed the web alias of the 'pinger' to abcd to provide anonymity. Finally, I publicly apologize, something I have wanted to do for more than 3 years now, for my somewhat thoughtless and (what appeared at that time to be) very funny action.
[Thanks to Abhishek for reminding me of this conversation and asking me to post it here.]
(00:26:54) abcd: my qualification is ca inter may i know ur
(00:27:34) Suhel Banerjee: I have done a double PhD in Molecular Biology and Gothic architecture
(00:27:52) abcd: oh!
(00:28:15) abcd: what is the duty in g*****
(00:28:24) Suhel Banerjee: and before that I did my homeopathy medicine and ayurveda
(00:28:38) Suhel Banerjee: and then went to the US for my Phds
(00:28:57) abcd: what is the duty in g****
(00:28:59) Suhel Banerjee: I am a Creative Maximiser in G*****
(00:29:24) Suhel Banerjee: and I have to look after the creative wing of G***** and also the real estate
(00:29:28) abcd: that mean pls dont take it serious
(00:29:46) abcd: i want to learn
(00:30:05) Suhel Banerjee: excuse me, I didn't get you. what would you like to learn?
(00:30:57) abcd: what is the work i had understood but what r the duties u perform
(00:31:31) Suhel Banerjee: well, so what kind of responsibilities are you looking at?
(00:31:54) Suhel Banerjee: Mine includes making the posters for G***** and also the building structures in the various G***** offices around the world
(00:32:11) abcd: for the ca inter what r the job
(00:32:25) Suhel Banerjee: that's a lil out of my realm
(00:32:34) Suhel Banerjee: so are you interested in architecture?
(00:32:40) abcd: yes
(00:32:48) abcd: definitely
(00:32:59) Suhel Banerjee: what kind of buldings are you interested in?
(00:33:28) abcd: r ufrom hyderabad
(00:34:11) Suhel Banerjee: no, I was there when I was building the office there, it is a water proof building and the only other such building in India is in Jaisalmer.
(00:34:41) abcd: water proof building?
(00:35:14) abcd: technology had reached to that level
(00:35:16) Suhel Banerjee: yeah so the walls do not let the raindrops stay, we used some of the latest molecular technology to make it like a turtle's back where the waters drops just slide past
(00:35:30) Suhel Banerjee: but what kind of architecture are you specialising in?
(00:35:58) abcd: iam just intersted but no qualification
(00:36:33) Suhel Banerjee: so you have a house of your own? and did you take part when it was built?
(00:36:44) abcd: s
(00:36:53) Suhel Banerjee: you mean yes?
(00:37:00) abcd: yes
(00:37:27) abcd: it is my father
(00:37:34) abcd: house
(00:37:54) Suhel Banerjee: so right now we are constructing a building with Artificial Intelligence which will regulate the temperature and will also get the rainy and windy 'feel' when the atmosphere gets stuffy
(00:38:08) Suhel Banerjee: so no need of air conditioners and heaters from now
(00:38:18) Suhel Banerjee: by the way have you studied the architecture of the char minar?
(00:38:19) abcd: have u saying real
(00:38:37) abcd: no
(00:38:41) Suhel Banerjee: of course I am!! You think I'm kidding and they are paying me to joke?
(00:39:23) Suhel Banerjee: you should come to jaisalmer to check the latest G***** office
(00:39:35) Suhel Banerjee: do you come here for business purposes?
(00:39:41) abcd: no
(00:39:49) abcd: iam in andra
(00:40:07) Suhel Banerjee: yeah, that's fine, by the way how is the homeopathy industry now in andhra?
(00:40:21) abcd: i dint know
(00:40:55) abcd: excuse me all the things earlier u r told is really possible?
(00:41:02) Suhel Banerjee: so you are a Chartered Accountant by profession?
(00:41:08) abcd: s
(00:41:14) Suhel Banerjee: I guess you are not much in touch with the world of architecture
(00:41:19) abcd: s
(00:41:23) abcd: really
(00:41:37) Suhel Banerjee: don't you subscribe to architecturemag.com?
(00:41:43) abcd: no
(00:41:55) Suhel Banerjee: you can check the latest versions here: http://www.architecturemag.com/
(00:42:21) abcd: k
(00:42:26) abcd: definitely
(00:42:42) Suhel Banerjee: By the way I am sure you have heard about Daniel Libeskind
(00:42:57) abcd: who is that one
(00:43:19) Suhel Banerjee: hey he is the greatest architect, he made the imperial war museum in Manchester
(00:43:37) Suhel Banerjee: and he will be probably rebuilding the WTC
(00:43:53) Suhel Banerjee: anyway it seems you aren't that much interested in architecture
(00:44:32) abcd: interested but i did'nt know the source of knowledge
(00:44:48) Suhel Banerjee: so are you more interetsted in molecular biology?
(00:44:59) Suhel Banerjee: hey, I have some latest e-books on MB
(00:45:06) Suhel Banerjee: do you like reading them?
(00:45:13) abcd: s
(00:45:13) Suhel Banerjee: and did you check my site?
(00:45:21) abcd: no
(00:45:49) abcd: ur name pls
(00:45:52) Suhel Banerjee: so, what are your interest areas
(00:46:01) Suhel Banerjee: excuse me, I thought you knew me!
(00:46:19) abcd: yes
(00:46:42) abcd: have u irritated of me
(00:46:53) : Buzz!!
(00:47:24) Suhel Banerjee: no, not irritated, why do you ask so?
(00:47:50) abcd: just
(00:48:24) abcd: in g***** if there r vacancies
(00:48:31) : Buzz!!
(00:48:46) Suhel Banerjee: yes of course, we are looking for people in this project of ours
(00:49:03) Suhel Banerjee: do you have a blog of your own/.
(00:49:04) Suhel Banerjee: ?
(00:49:15) abcd: for the qualification of ca inter
(00:49:26) abcd: any vacancies
(00:49:33) Suhel Banerjee: so do you have a blog?
(00:49:38) abcd: no
(00:49:46) Suhel Banerjee: intersted in blogging?
(00:50:10) abcd: s
(00:50:31) Suhel Banerjee: great, so anyway did you read the article about me in the architecture blogs?
(00:51:00) abcd: no
(00:52:06) : Buzz!!
(00:52:13) Suhel Banerjee: so what are you doing now besides CA?
(00:52:29) abcd: nothing
(00:52:51) abcd: u r genius
(00:52:54) : Buzz!!
(00:53:16) Suhel Banerjee: oh no, I am just a normal uber intelligent scientist
(00:53:32) abcd: ru scientist
(00:53:37) abcd: oh!
(00:53:56) Suhel Banerjee: yes, I am a architectural and molecular bilology scientist
(00:54:05) abcd: iam just 18 yrs old
(00:54:53) Suhel Banerjee: oh really, I had just started my first PhD project at 18
(00:55:44) abcd: what r the directions u wish to give
(00:55:55) abcd: to a young aspirant
(00:55:59) : Buzz!!
(00:56:33) : Buzz!!
(00:56:33) Suhel Banerjee: well I can tell you about the requirements in the field of science and technology, I have no ideas about CA and commerce and the rest. But I am sure you will do a great job:)
(00:56:46) abcd: thnk u
(00:56:54) abcd: so sweet of u
(00:57:10) abcd: have u had any sons
(00:57:19) Suhel Banerjee: no, I just have a daughter
(00:57:33) Suhel Banerjee: she is nine years old
(00:57:42) abcd: k
(00:57:57) abcd: she also a scientist?
(00:58:25) Suhel Banerjee: nah, she is a student in the third grade in new york
(00:58:57) Suhel Banerjee: Anyway here is an article reuters brought out on me a few days back, you can read about me here
(00:58:57) abcd: she is studying in new york
(00:59:00) Suhel Banerjee: A Biologist And An Architect - The G***** Way September, 1 2006: Suhel Banerjee, the pioneer in Molecular Bilogy and the recent phenomenon in the world of Architecture is now in India working on G*****'s project to build it's state of the art Artificial Intelligence induced office in Jaisalmer.
The office will give you a feel of the winds and the rains even when the outside temparature is hovering around 50 degree celsius and there are desert storms in full flow outside.
Mr. Banerjee has just come down from NASA and is putting up at a high security scientific camp in the desert. He will be overseeing the project till the end.
(01:00:31) abcd: oh! i really saying i had not talked to any great person till now
(01:01:00) Suhel Banerjee: oh no, I am nothing that big at all, just a scientist
(01:01:26) abcd: u at that stage till taling with me
(01:01:35) abcd: sorry talking
(01:02:12) Suhel Banerjee: actually I have just come to India, and getting used to the place. So a little less busy nowadays, but always a pleasure talking with youngsters like you
(01:02:24) abcd: iam like a son of urs
(01:02:54) Suhel Banerjee: oh yes all Indians are like my sons, all the time in the US I wanted to do something for the youth of India
(01:03:12) abcd: thnk u
(01:03:40) abcd: but our environment will not permit the growth
(01:03:54) Suhel Banerjee: Why, why do you say so
(01:03:59) Suhel Banerjee: let me tell you my story
(01:04:13) Suhel Banerjee: I was born in a small village in West Bengal called Naxalbari
(01:04:27) Suhel Banerjee: and at that time there was a huge uprising in bengal and many youth were arrested
(01:04:33) Suhel Banerjee: and the naxal movement came about
(01:04:45) Suhel Banerjee: my school was set on fire and so many friends lost their homes
(01:05:03) Suhel Banerjee: and then I fled to manipur where I continued my education in a governemnt run school
(01:05:25) Suhel Banerjee: and then I was awarded a scholarship with which i started work on my molecular biology project
(01:05:26) abcd: u then why went to us if india is developed?
(01:06:15) abcd: all youth of india want to go us then how will india be developed
(01:06:55) : Buzz!!
(01:07:10) Suhel Banerjee: I did not go to the US to help them, but as a part of our National South Pole Expedition and Molecular Biology programme
(01:07:20) Suhel Banerjee: and I spent all my time in researching
(01:07:25) abcd: had i hurted ur feelings
(01:07:56) Suhel Banerjee: No I am made of stronger material
(01:08:05) abcd: what is ur age now
(01:08:09) Suhel Banerjee: and then I spent sleepless nights researching on various forms of mitochondria
(01:08:48) Suhel Banerjee: I am 33 years old, my birthday is on the 6th of september, 1973
(01:09:13) Suhel Banerjee: actually I just turned 33
(01:09:20) abcd: if u permit me i will add u in messenger list
(01:09:57) Suhel Banerjee: sorry, i cannot do that because of security reasons, the Indian governemnt checks the meseenger list on a daily basis, and I cannot add new members myself
(01:10:17) Suhel Banerjee: in fcat I will be leavig for the himalayas tomorrow morning for some research and will be back only in 2007
(01:10:45) abcd: oh i was really shocing
(01:11:04) Suhel Banerjee: you were shocking?? I thought I was!
(01:11:50) abcd: but if i want to talk to u how
(01:11:55) Suhel Banerjee: anyway my team members have come back from the desert just now, I will have to get to the laboratory to start my experiments
(01:12:39) Suhel Banerjee: I will be online at times through my mobile phone, but I am not sure if I will be able to chat
(01:12:50) Suhel Banerjee: in fact it was after years that I chatted for this long with someone
(01:12:55) Suhel Banerjee: it was nice talking to you
(01:13:00) abcd: see talking with scientist like u wil be great boost for youth like me nevver
(01:13:15) abcd: under estimate chatting
(01:13:51) Suhel Banerjee: I wish you and the youth of india all the very best in whatever field they take. I am sure I will hear about you in tV and newspapers. I will have to leave for now
(01:14:03) Suhel Banerjee: make india proud of you
(01:14:21) abcd: see i will become great
(01:14:22) Suhel Banerjee: I will have to bid good night now, have an early morning helicopter ride
(01:14:29) Suhel Banerjee: bye
(01:14:35) abcd: but anothe time talking when
(01:14:52) abcd: treat as me ur family member
(01:15:23) abcd: talking to family member is essential know