Did your mother ever compare you to a next-door boy, or girl, during childhood? Did you enjoy watching popular television show Chuti Chuti during the summer holidays? Did you accompany your father to the butchers on a Sunday morning?
These are childhood memories commonly associated with every Bengali. However, by the time we get busy charting our career and making a living, these golden memories are only a blur and lost somewhere in the forgotten lanes of childhood.
However, 32-year-old Arpan Roy has turned his cherished childhood memories into a rage on Facebook! The Kolkata-born experimental physicist, who designs super stable atomic clock (for precision time measurement) in Singapore, took to doodling to relive his boyhood days and designed a page that made him an instant social media sensation. ( An experimental physicist is one who verifies physics theories by running experiments.)
Today his Facebook page, The Bong Sense, not only represents everything quintessentially Bengali, but also gets him near-rock star following on social media. It has become such a hit that Roy has started receiving a lot of proposals for merchandising.
Like Penny was a breath of fresh air in the life of experimental physicist Leonard Hofstadter in the hugely popular American television series ‘The Big Bang Theory’, Roy found his source of happiness in doodling and The Bong Sense.
“I have a really serious job and even more serious colleagues. So it’s essential I express myself to retain my own sanity. Funny thoughts come to my mind throughout the day. I usually collect them and doodle them during lunch or after work and post them on The Bong Sense. Having a smart phone where I can doodle, add lettering, makes things a lot easier,” Roy said.
His humble childhood in south Kolkata played a major role in shaping his life, especially as the creator of The Bong Sense. He said he used to come up with the “most ridiculous one liners” in school and make his classmates laugh. The Presidency College alumnus said drawing helps him deal with stress as it does to retrace his boyhood days.
However, the idea to come up with The Bong Sense didn’t happen overnight. It started a few years ago on Quora, (an online question-and-answer site) where where Roy shared doodles apart from witty one liners. He was impressed with the comments he received on Quora.
He was missing all things Bengali in Singapore and it acted as a catalyst. He said he dearly missed Bangaliana in Singapore because he hardly met or talked to any Bengalis there.
“The Bong Sense partly happened due to an internal crisis. I love researching history and culture, so I decided to combine culture with my sense of humour and a lot more people loved it than I expected. I am in my early 30s having dedicated my 20s to science and now finally I have time to indulge in my other passions,” said Roy, who’s been in Singapore for more than a decade.