Thursday, October 28, 2010

Promoting E R KI- My brother's maiden cinematic venture



The above two posters are from my brother's new feature film. And before you presume it to be some big shot affair, let me assure you- he and his equally crazy friends are a bunch of average college going kids in Calcutta. But yes, amazingly talented they are. they call themselves "madly bangalis" and they are..in every true sense of the term.
they didn't even have proper budget or editing mechanism in place to finish the project. But their enthusiasm is infectious. so much so, that a drab old person like me couldn't resist but run to see them shoot their maiden venture on shoestring budget on a lively afternoon in june.
They don't know how the movie will get a proper theatrical release....they plan on releasing it on cd's this diwali may be, in case, their tight academic schedules permit everything to go according to the plan. Please encourage the young blood..spread the word around in the bengali speaking junta across home and abroad....these people don't have the glitz and glam of showbiz associated with them as of now, but I can assure you....you will not be disappointed. Young, fresh and talented to the hilt, look out for the script by my brother. He is a prolific writer with unparalleled wit. And if you want to take a walk back memory lane..across the nostalgia street..when friendship meant "Lyadh, Halu, missed call..charminar and lengi" (I haven't read the script..he didn't let me :P...I just have an idea seeing the young bunch of my brother, tathagata and tridibesh) then do watch out for E R KI.

Watch this space for more. And please spread the word... nothing works like word of mouth for small but promising ventures like this one.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Unoshyar, bishorgo ar Chandrobindoo.

I was first introduced to the kind of music Chandrobindoo makes, in class IX (9). I still remember vividly how the girls of our class gave mickey and rahul the surprised look while they started singing- ta na na nana na and duniya dot com from their album 'Cha'. It was just before the puja vacation in school. I suppose it was either Shukla aunty's class(she used to make special requests- "gao to")or the break when they started singing the popular Malgudi days tune, of course with a 'twist'. Mickey, the funny man of our class later clarified it was chandrobindoo and I was almost five years too late sinc etheir first appearance on the bangla music map.
But then again, I was quick to catch up and oh! boy, how much I loved them! Simply speaking, to any ardent follower of contemporary bangla music they (Chandril, Upal and Anindya) do not need any introduction. For me they are the ones who set the standard for sense of humour, wit and subtlety. The range of music they cover- be it from 'Bhindeshi Taara' (original version-not the antaheen one) to 'Amra bangali jati' or for that matter 'gabgubagub' or 'tomake shonabo joy goshaayi' to 'mon' or 'sei hawa'- it's magical and hillarious at the same time. They are different from the regular 'band' picture we get- three guys with overgrown hair and beard head banging with the guitar and another two sitting on the drums and the keyboard (no offences meant!!). But they look like the average bong guys next door with chandril's sparkling eyes giving a hint of dushtumi going on his mind. Also, I have a very soft corner for anindya's beard apart from his voice and that 'fichel hashi'. But it's their lyrics and soft, melodious music which attracts one to them the most. Long after you are done listening to their songs, the chuckle still remains. They smell of Calcutta, innocent love, nostalgia, lush green of the days gone by and what not. What more can you expect after hearing a song whose lyrics goes like- "marx, freud er kache jeo na, brain ey jhilmil legey jaabe" or for that nostalgia evoking first love fetish that you get after hearing- "shudhu snaner jol ey likhehci daknaam...arey na shona...eka boka thakbo na".
And many more....I sometimes pity poeple who don't understand bangla. Primarily for two reasons- one, they can't read the original robi thakur or sorotbabu or shankar (trust me, his chowringhee has a very good english translation, but nothing compares to the original) and secondly, they can't understand chandrobindoo's songs :P.
So here's to the creators of immortal songs like- "tobu tumi amar cpm, tumi amar atm, tumi amar series prem er sesh ta", "dada didi haat dhorey shiriteyi boshey porey", "aami to chayiboyi- e shohorey tumi nemey esho", "o amar modhyobitto bhiru prem gopon kalshitey", "muchhe dao jolchhap, ashbe na mon kharap...thik 5tar por".....the one's which never fail to uplift my mood. Cheers to them and their music! The best thing to happen to bangla music after Suman Chattopadhyay. (ok! now the fossils fans can shout....torko na holey bangali hoy naki? torko diyei to bojha jaay- bangla gaan ajo bechey ache guru)

this is for the ones who love their music just like moi...am sure there are many.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_idD2SWBqGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFt_aer7epg&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5EJvSqxciQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZifgKwiqKV0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=futedPK6054&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84IOMi17Ens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiCj8hjiEtY&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5utZcl_ORM&feature=related

Just a random collection- no particular preferences and also, no copyright infringement, if any, is intended. Onek dushtumi r gaan bad porlo..couldn't locate the videos..abar onek 'mon kemon' kora gaan o nei llishti tai...mon kharap koro na tai boley...."bondhu tomay e gaan shonabo bikelbelay.....arekbaar jodi tomader doley nao khela"

P.S- Just before I left home for NALSAR, I wasn't carrying a laptop or a computer, but I made sure I copied the entire Chandrobindoo collection on a CD (i didn't even have a flash drive then) from my didibhai's computer. The one stays with me till date with additions now and then.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pujo and perceptions

The title sounds like an academic paper but I have nothing to footnote about other than what Prof. Dhanda would have termed as aboriginal research. Or may be if we can consider adda on ashatmi night while pandal hopping as an authentic source for mapping the changing face of the bengali milieu most evident during what else but durga pujo, then why not?
Frankly speaking, I am overjoyed. 'Happy' will be an understatement to convey my feelings at this point of time. The reason? Isn't it quite obvious? A bong writing a blogpost about pujo and being overjoyed after she is done with sending most of her "Shubho Bijoya" sms es- yes! I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to run back home this time. To tell the truth for me pujo and home are synonymous. I don't understand the concept of probashi pujos even after staying almost five years away from home. I missed a few in between and only a bong far away from home can understand what it feels like- those four days. Trust me- you feel cheated! no less.
But this post is not about cribbing and what you miss in probashi pujos- the feel and beat of it. Nope! even with two seminar paper submissions due in some four days and end semester exams around the corner- I can still bet, right now am rejuvenated and replenished. You know how unplanned trips work for some- same happened with me this time. I booked my tickets at the eleventh hour, it cost me a bomb but then again who cares? I got to be home. And once home, it meant choc a bloc plans with old friends, few who have kept in touch and been there since primary school. Friends who are for real and with whom it's always unadulterated fun. Thank you everyone for being there and to tell you the truth, this was one of my best pujos ever. My facebook album already bears testimony to that. It may be because, it was after so long, may be it is because we are slowly but gradually getting used to the ugly side of life- bitching, backbiting et. al. And that obviously includes the unnecessary interest that some people take in my life. of course I feel like a celeb when they. I have absolutely no issues with that.

Ok! I didn't digress. This post is supposed to be somewhat close to heart rant types. I don't know if the bits and pieces here are relevant but this pujo made me realise what it is like having fun. And by fun I don't mean the usual dancing on DJ night like crazy or for that matter the usual crazy stuff like playing hide and seek, water fights etc. that we keep on doing round the year in hostel or NALSAR- I mean the old world stuff. May be it has been long enough, but I rediscovered the pleasure of pandal hopping or fighting with Dactar babu over where to go- Selimpur/Jodhpur Park belt or Bosepukur at around 9 in the night in fornt of Gariahat more. It was just like those 9-10 days in Nava Nalanda when Saibal used to take out a scale an measure up the bench while dividing it into three parts....and while me and aparajita laughed over his idiosyncrasies while sitting in the next bench, he would turn around and protest. Just like he did this time- "uff!! tui rakhto ingreji". Or for that matter the one hour hide and seek game he playe dinfront of shibmondir while we stage managed....uff!!! puro pagol. or for that matter while mickey announced- "tora saibal er theke ekta chlormint o aday kor, ami toder khawabo"...those pleasures of Rupees four bus rides and the squabble over the cab fare. Good ole' days. That reminds me, this pujo also made me and aparajita realise that our midas touch (the great pairing I mean) remian intact.....those were the days when we used to bakraofy people for that alukabli treta, this year ankur volunteered while we coaxed him to treat us at a upmarket South Calcutta restaurant on Ashtami. Or those silly moments remembered with our man eater while cabbing it back home when Apo and me were busy taking his trip. Thank you Deblin for those VIP passes and Agni for the guest appearance. Thank you everyone. And Saibal- even if we make fun of everything you do, you hold our group together. Thank you for everything and organinsing our meets.
And before I forget to mention, the jhari standards have gone down drastically...or may be we are growing too old, but I didn't enjoy Maddox that much this year..went for some half an hour on Ashtami, but the crowd was so so. The highlight obviously was spotting an old geeky classmate having papri chaat with his girlfriend. That and his spiked hair tempted us to go and take his trip...but obviously he looked at us, spotted us and gave a glance of non recognition. I also realised that my para pujo has changed....lots of new faces...no jhaari type remains (sigh!) and of course none of my friends- masume or pamela were there. But then again Ashtami morning is meant for para pujo- anjali and bhog. Nothing changes that or for that matter the polite conversations we have every year in my posh south Calcutta neighbourhood every year. This year the congratulatory messages were an added attraction, more so because of the stiff upper lip kind of brand name that I got in may be. Duly savoured :D And nobomi of course was meant for old stuff - get together of our brother and sister gang with Tups joining us this time but Mam didibhai sadly missing from the scene. And our 'chiroporichito' jadavpur eating out place was the preferred destination this year too.
Baba didn't do his famous dhunuchi naach this year because of the death of many a patrons of our parar pujo.  His silent way of commemorating the lost souls. Though the festivities continued, his gesture was duly appreciated from the sensible quarters. Doshomi made me cry, but then again which bong at heart doesn't cry on Doshomi. I had to come back. But then again no worries...Ashche bochhor abar hobe...or may be I have to save my leaves for a very special occasion that I am really looking forward to.

P.S.- I must say, Bengali women have become more open to choices across the world while dressing up. While Laal paar taant or tusshar remains my favourite on Ashtami and nothing beats that, I was surprised to spot women sporting halter necks with their saris. But please, next time you wear that, just bother to gym a bit and lose some weight. Also, another new entrant was the dress- floral, cocktail or classic evening wear, trust bong women to bring the supposed pub hopping gear or the classy party wear range to maddox, obviously sometimes with disastrous consequences. But at least they tried. Shame on you men- you stuck around with your trousers and the only experimentation was in the form of coloured dhuti- keu dhakka parer dhuti try koro next year, bujhley??

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How to spot the proverbial bong in the crowd-10 of the most hackneyed and easiest ways

So here I am, the proverbial nostalgic bong who loves to travel and see places but craves for home during durga pujo, to guide you through the 10 easiest steps to identify a bong. And that obviously includes the bong at heart.....you know, 'being bong is a state of mind'!

1. Does he look dreamy eyed, bespectacled, nerdy and gives you a deep look? Does she have round eyes- the ones she speaks through, thick black hair and flawless skin? do they look chubby, rotund with tons of baby fat that refuses to go? Chances are that you are hitting on a bong.

2. Does he write poetry? Does she inspire you to write some? No matter what happens to those fallen trees (the papers eventually find their way to the trash can) they are essentially bong favourites.

3. Does he smoke? The Charminar? the gold flake? Does he know the best places to find weed.....Is he possessed with the soul of GB Shaw, Marquez, Octavio Paz or someone closer home like Sunil Gangopadhyay after two shots of cheap liquor? Yes, of course :)

4. Do they know their Beer and "Bhodka" too well? Oh! and even if you replace the high end foreign varieties with options like Bangla and Mahua they will still sing "robindroshongeet"....yes! yes! who else it can be?

5. Do they behave like snobs while treating people who don't know who Che Guevara was or who have never heard of Suman and Beatles with a smirk that can destroy the world? Ah!

6. Do they claim to be writers, theatre people, meaningful cinema people, art, craft....blah, blah, blah? Oh! in practice they are engineers, lawyers, research scholars, doctors and stuff? Hmmm......

7. A bunch of them cannot sit without arguing/debating or as they call meaningful discussion or Adda. Well the topics may range from the Economic recession, oil crisis, J&K problem, Obama, recent Manmohan-Sonia tension, Whether Ram was actually born in Ayodhya, Satyajit Ray, Singur and Nano......ask any of them and you have a ready solution? Bang on!

8. Do they prefer dressing up in a 'Punjabi' for particular social events or for that matter the red border cotton sari with a big red bindi.....This one is a cakewalk.

9. Do they reminisce often about good old days aka- bandh holidays, childhood durga pujo, school, first love, untapped poetry talent, Calcutta, Victoria Memorial, gangar ghat and idle days- You seriously want any more hints?

10. Last but of course not the least- they know about any god damn cuisine on this planet while swearing by their ilish mach and ready to kill for Calcutta's or CR Park's phuchka? The perfect foodie out there for whom religious festivals mean another gateway to good food while their counterparts from North can't believe they have non-veg during Navaratri- That's what you call the making of the perfect bong theory.

P.S. I neither do smoke nor drink. Kind of detest them. Five years of hostel life also could not change that. I love to party and dance with my friends, but only with my non alcoholic concoction of blue lagoon (yes! I make sure they make it that ways :P). But I am a true bong too..who swears by her Dakshinapon phuchka. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Muhurto...ebong amra.

বর্ষ পূর্তির মনখারাপ নাকি কয়েকটা সাজানো মুহুর্তের কোলাজ
কি একটা গান আছে না "মুহুর্ত বলুক"?
সেই এক মাঝবয়সী ভদ্রলোক?
নিরেট পাগল নাকি গোছানো সংসারী 
এক্সেল শিটের কোন দ্রাঘিমাংশে তোমার গুপ্তকুঠুরি?

আসলে এ সবি চর্বিতচর্বন
সেই কোন বিকেলের এক পাথরকুচি ফুলের গন্ধমাখা আমি 
কি যেন বলতে "মুহুর্ত গুলোই সব"

অভিমানের আগমনীর সুর তাই আমার কাছে কেটে যায় বার বার
আঁচটা লাগে এখনও
যদি ভাব এ এক পাগলামি ভুল ভাববে হয়ত
একটা নিস্তেজ বিকেলের সূর্যাস্ত মানেই কি নিষ্ঠুর অন্ধকার?
তুমি কি বলতে জানিনা,  
মুহুর্তগুলোর অধিকারে বলতে পারি আমি বলতাম স্নিগ্ধতা...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The art of pissing off people- how to undo?

Why am I so good at pissing people off? Why do I always need to speak my mind? Argh! not that I hate being sugary sweet, but that doesn't come naturally to me. But some how, after all these years of 'experience' I  feel that being fake is a virtue.
But the case (or rather cases) in question does not even require me to be fake, just to be a little sane. I had once almost lost a dear friend because of my habit of being outspoken. It took me time and patience to understand that just because I hated his girlfriend did not imply that he will stop dating her or for that matter our friendship will take a toll. Thank god! he knew me well and he eventually replied back to the sorry mail I sent him. See! I am not that bad too. I write rants on my blog and send you cute notes in case I feel sorry. At least I know how to acknowledge my mistake *gives a humble smile*

But then again, this time the person in question is not even someone whom I can send a cute note to or for that matter confront him/her in the dining table or hostel and force him or her to talk to me until and unless he/she laughs and says "maatey samajh gaye hum, bohot hua". I can be the biggest yawn machine and bak bak queen at the same time. But then again, that's how my friends know me and in case am silent for fifteen minutes, they make sure am ok. Happened once. My silence for two days made them ask me stuff like "Paush, chal tujhe ice cream khilatey hain" :P
And I digress! I talk so much. But the point is how do I say sorry or atleast make an effort to bring back the situation prior to this stuff happened in place. Well nothing in particular happened, but I suppose I took too many liberties as I do with friends, which I feel I shouldn't have and then somewhere was rude. Don't know, am not feeling good about it. Nothing affects my mood for long, but this one is....an uneasy feeling. For someone I hardly know, that's quite unthinkable... guess! this goes with my habit of abhorring the thought of not being able to talk to someone properly or that there is a misunderstanding somewhere. Don't we all like to set the creases right?
Only in this case I don't even know what will work? Ice cream, leg pulling, music, poetry, jhogra or bong mishti? any ideas?

Friday, October 1, 2010

25 random things.

This is about 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you which nobody is quite aware of or even if they are, there is no harm in repeating them :P. It is originally a facebook tag, a note actually where I had been tagged long back. I was supposed to pass it on. But for reasons unknown to me, I didn't. I was going through some of the notes that I had been tagged into and bumped into this one. Thought of doing this as a blogpost, more so because I have been sounding all serious and stuff nowadays..haven't done something random for long on my blog. so here it goes. And I don't tag anybody in particular, steal as you wish. After all, it's always great to know about you my dear friend. So here it goes

1. My father had Tagore all over his mind while naming me Paushali, but my teachers, friends, colleagues always had a tough time pronouncing/remembering/spelling my name. So I have been called Panchali, Poshla, Poshmashali/Kaushali- everything....yes! beat that. closer ones have settled for Posh/Pau. The fact remains that I have never quite forgotten or forgiven whatever they have done to my name and wait for a chance to retaliate.

2. I am a hopeless romantic at heart and keep falling in and out of love often. Yes! that's quite true. Shekhar from Parineeta was literally my first crush and then I moved on to Amit Ray. Looking back, I detest both of them. But my longest crush had been on my maths teacher, a neighbourhood dada whom I fell for hook line and sinker. Years later when we had become good friends and stuff, we both had a hearty laugh over this.  But mind you, when his finace told me "so you are paushali. have heard a lot about you."- that was a true embarrassing moment *blush*

3. Thinking of love, I had once imagined a guy as my dream man who grew up to be like this- Posts his bodybuilding pictures on Orkut, still uses Orkut, once wrote me a scrap like- "hello sweetiez, wad r u upto?" Needless to say I hated myslef and my choices at particular points of time.

4. But I still believe in Mr. Right...the kind I will be head over heels in love. Yes! I still wait for him to sweep me out of my feet. Or for that matter sing "Hoyto tomari jonyo..." or "tomaake chaayi" for me while expressing his love. Gangar ghat, sun soaked winter evening at Victoria- what more does a woman want? ;-)

5. Aamir Khan was my favourite actor once. And I still like watching all those films of his with Juhi Chawla. Love their chemistry. But then SRK happened to me. I chanced upon Baazigar. The rest is history.

6. Nothing works for me like mush does. I have now lost count of the times I have seen DDLJ, QSQT, HAHK, KKHH. Same goes for Hollywood stuff. Give me 27 Dresses anyday and I will be happy. And before you judge me, Did I mention I once did a jurisprudence project on Dev D? or for that matter I had to drop out at the last moment while doing a comparative analysis between Charulata and Noshtoneer for a writeup since the original text was not available online.

7. I love watching people, studying their minds. In fact, I have seen that the more I am ignored, the more am I interested.

8. I am a true blue Capricorn and after watching Dabangg am so happy to share my birthday with the one and only Salman Khan.

9. My Baba is my role model. He had been so since my childhood. I always wanted to be like him. My passion for law was nurtured in NALSAR but it all began with him.

10. I take it as a huge compliment if anybody tells me that I walk or talk like my Baba.

11. I love Jane Austen. Same with Shorot Chattujjey, Jhumpa Lahiri, Suchitra Bhattacharya, Bani Basu and Vikram Seth, but Robi Thakur is my guiding star. I keep on re discovering him now and again.

12. I love my books. They are scattered all over the place in my room, across Calcutta and Hyderabad, but deep down I have a soft corner for all of them. The second thing on my list may be a piece of antique jewellery I treasure.

13. That reminds me, I have a thing for everything old. A senior in Law School once told me, you are born 30 years too late. Yes! I romanticise Calcutta of 1960's and 70's.

14. I love Soumitra. One of the reasons I so want to go back in time. I want that parar rock er adda to come back live when he steps up and says- "gurumoshayi toley chollen naki?"

15. Needless to say am a huge fan of Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mageshkar, Manna De and likes. My friends in hostel often complain- "tum yeh kya sunti rehti ho?" :P that doesn't stop me from playing "munni badnaam huyi" at full volume though :P

16. I can't draw. That's one thing I will rue all my life. My sister is a beautiful painter, but I can't draw to save my life. My mom tried to instill that skill in me for long but she gave up ultimately.

17. My dad is my favourite but with age I have realised that my mom had a great influence on me. The way she had instilled all those values of "maniye guchiye newa" "sobaike niye eksathe thaka" in the rebel inside me- hats off to her.

18. I consider my sister as my little kid. She is nine years younger than me. I boss around her quite a bit but ultimately get beaten up in the process. she is also the more mature one. I am still the one who learns form her mistakes.

19. I love taking trips. Ask Shreya. I am the prankstar of my group. There are numerous instances of me passing chits and embarrassing people.

20. I love wearing saris. I have a tough time coping with the odd glances that middle aged, trying to be hep aunties give me when I declare my love for saris- too bad, they just missed the most amazing piece of clothing ever.

21. In case I want to be reborn.....I will like to be reborn as an Indian bengali woman. Five years in law school, interactions with people across the country and world- no body respects woman like bengalis do.

22. Also I love matchmaking. Needless to say the success rate is very good.

23. I miss school. Those days of Class VIII and IX in Nava Nalanda or for that matter those XI XII days in South Point.....seriously "those were the days"

24. I use the exit button silently many times for people I don't like in my life. Either I make them see the point or I leave-silently offcourse.

25. Last but not the least, law school introduced me to the pleasures of cooking and I truly believe that it has therapeutic effects. So in case you lost a moot, didn't do well in your surprises- Cook!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Forgotten and unsung.

Note: This is another angry citizen post. Those looking for porn and other related stuff, kindly avoid. It's disgusting when google analytics shows up the list of words people were searching for and landed on my blog which particularly has no connection to it whatsoever.

We are a nation which loves to crib. Yes, I am counting you- the overworked software guy who has made two onsite visits which added to the purse and the waistline. You- the overpaid and overworked hot shot elite institute graduate who sits in the comforts of his/her air conditioned office, works on holidays, makes foreign trips with family for holidays, have event managers planning out his son's birthday party. You- the normal BPO/KPO guy. You- the supposed academic who could not resist the lucrative foreign offer and crossed the Atlantic leaving the pittance paid out here to fill the coffers of some undeserving brute. And you- the elitist and luckiest of the lot, the babus who have access to all the power and position that this country boasts of.
We all crib about something, sometime or the other. We crib about the extended hours at office, the coffee vending machine not working, the non approval of an extension for a project deadline, the pittance being paid for supposed research, the non availability of holidays, good food, great clothes, shows, bags...blah, blah, blah..the list goes on. Be rest assured I belong to all the categories mentioned above in some way or the other. and I still crib.

I had gone out for some work with a friend of mine last week. While returning to this campus some 30 kilometres away from the city, the bus needs to cross the Secunderabad army cantonment area. We saw a bunch of young men, almost our age or may be younger practising their evening drill in drizzling rain, the one that had become the source of our discontent for past few days. My friend and I generally struck up a conversation about how the army men are one of the most poorly paid people in the country. It was a superficial discussion but somehow the headlines regarding asking out the army for every possible disaster management in the country has caught my attention since then.

The morning TOI print edition carried a piece about the army now being called to salvage the messy CWG preparations by building up a footbridge in record time through their emergency techniques. This will be in place of the grand overbridge that collapsed whose contract must have been doled out by Mr. Suresh Kalmadi and Co. in 'severe' respect for taxpayer's money. Oh! the best part was this would be done in a fraction of the cost the original bridge had cost (and would have cost in case it survived the games), atleast that's what a proud PWD official says.
I am in no mood to talk about the loofest (borrowed from Bhagat) called the CWG. But there is one thing that needs attention here.. why are we so insensitive to the needs of the people on whom we depend for basic survival issues??? We dpn't raise their salaries. We put them in BEST buses after they save a horrified city and it's even more horrified air kissing class after 26/11 and send them away like cattle while the chief minister visits with his convoy and a film  director in tow. Waah!
We can fill in the coffers of these corrupt politicians and officials (gill, dikshit, bhanot and the great kalmadi included) and not raise a voice about where did all our money go- that's fine, but we can atleast talk and think about people who guard our borders day in and day out so that we can plan our exclusive party well and secured. Does National pride have any bigger carriers than them?? what do we give back to their families apart form that Tiranga and the gun salute?? Do we have any better social security measures in place.
I am not the angry citizen speaking here, it is we who should demand the change, just like we demand their presence and arrival to save us from that national calamity in form of flood, earthquake or communal riots. We don't even get to know if they crib. even if they do, there is no HR manager to look into their demands and order a pay hike. right?

To tell the truth, you me and everyone enjoy our air conditioned comfort. who doesn't? Only that we can spare a thought about our folks fighting it out really hard to make us comfortable. You have anything in mind? Do share.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Halt.

"Bhalobeshey sokhi nibhritey jotoney aamar naam ti likho/ tomar moner mondirey...."

That he is omniscient is a long forgone conclusion which nobody doubts....but that he brings me closer to the feeling I call love everytime I listen to this immortal creation of his is something amazing. Melancholy is not about grief. It's about being with your self.

So does he mention love or the relationship worthy sorts in this verse?

or for that matter, "Aamar bhindeshi tara..eka ratrei aakashey...ami payina chnutey tomay...amar ekla lagey bhari.."

I know the jump from him to Chandrobindoo was sudden...but quite evident. They make my day.....or for that matter help me cope with melancholy. *Fyanch Fyanch* (Join the broken heart's club- In case you are reminded of your first crush or that cute guy in JU you refused just because you thought he was just a friend. Uff! ....or was it the rat race...the hallowed portals of that law school you cherished??)

FYI- He has a girlfriend now whom he overwhelmingly adores. Not that am jealous but somehow the world would have been a lot different. Who knows? May be I would have been blogging about a pink benarasi silk sari now. (*shrinks in confusion*).

No! this sounds much better!

I sound weird....and this is a very personal post...but needed to share somewhere. Couldn't have gone to jyotika..she has anyways tagged me the hopeless of the rarest variety (romantic I mean).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Babri verdict and me. And us.

Time and age has made us realise that the most complicated kind of relationships (yes! I speak in the facebook lingo, any problem?) exist between man and woman. The coexistence however forced or chosen is bound to give rise to some amount of friction which is unavoidable. But it turns out to be enjoyable in most of the cases. Imagine your smoked hilsa without the adequate share of green chillies. There you go! spice is the way of life. But not always.

This is not about man-woman relationship. In case you thought it to be so, it's entirely my fault since I keep on writing about that stuff. My friends call me a hopeless romantic and I don't mind. More so because of the fact that being serious and drab doesn't come easy to me. But somehow I don't feel good about September 24. Yes! it's the day that many in this country have been dreading about and that includes our elected body of representatives who have gone ahead to form the Government. A few days back a regular (those boring government scheme types) advertisement caught my eye. Not because of it's presentation (they seriously need to work on that) but because of the content. It was an appeal on part of the Government of India, 'the Government of the people, by the people and for the people India' to maintain peace after the Babri Masjid judgement is delivered by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on September 24th. Frankly speaking the romantic in me wasn't happy. Neither did I see a reason to be so. The gloom of the situation had rubbed off.
As a law student I won't go into the technicalities of the numerous (to the extent hilarious) affidavits filed in this particular matter on issues which only vote bank politics (with a tint of orange and green both- their is no discrimination there you see!) can justify. My coffee table discussions with colleagues will suffice for that. and to think of it, this is just the beginning of the long drawn litigation process with avenues up to the Supreme Court of India being open. And now with the new found demand of an out of court settlement in form of an arbitration proceeding finding ground with one judge (dissenting on the count that his views were not taken into account before rejection of an affidavit supporting out of court settlement) all I can say is- picture abhi baki hain mere dost! Trust me! the Government supports this view in that public appeal too. I will keep short and simple here. That I am scared. I am very very scared.
I am scared because I fear for my family back home in Calcutta. I am scared because I have relatives living in the Hyderabad city. I am scared because I am here alone with a bunch of friends in Hyderabad. My father is supposed to make an official trip to Bombay in and around the time the verdict comes out and am hellbent on not letting him go. Is this the kind of atmosphere that the citizens of a country with supposedly one of the best economic growth rates in the world supposed to live in?? In fear??
In fear of an 18 year old ghost that comes back to haunt us every 6th December?????? I have my political leanings and be rest assured I don't prefer passing judgements on the saffron, secular or red brigade anytime soon.  But somewhere they boil down to the same leaning for titillation in politics. the basis of political theory of state (I know very little of that) is fearlessness. Fear leads to a state of anarchy, and aren't we headed there? I have been advised not to venture out in the city for atleast a week after the verdict. Hyderabad is known for it's mixed culture across religion and all credits to the people out here, I have never seen turmoil in the parts I have ventured in. But then isn't applying 144 CrPC the easiest way out during the ganapati visarjan and the eid celebrations every year in the old city?? What is it, if not fear? Tell me if I am reading too much into it.
I have cyber forensics as one of my seminar subjects in my final year of law school. We were supposed to make a trip to one of the forensic laboratories in the city form campus as a part of the course curriculum. But unfortunately we have to wait for some more time before that materialises. The Australian exchange student on campus asked me, why? I didn't have an answer. It isn't that she hasn't seen the ugly side of racial attacks in Australia. But living in fear is not justified anywhere right?
There are two bits of image which I think I will carry with myself forever. 18 years back I was a kid, my memory doesn't recall everything but yes I knew Curfew was a dreaded word. My mom and dad ran to the market nearby my house along with pishimoni, chotoamma and dadubhai to buy groceries and eggs when the curfew was relaxed for two hours. My pishimoni earlier used to saty ver close to our place, in fact just two houses removed from ours. My amma used to go there everyday and I used to tag along with her. No wonder she decided to visit their place after so long during those two hours. We were late.....suddenly the curfew was back and we couldn't come back....we might have over reacted, but a generous policeman helped me and amma walk back that distance. Can we always?...The distance between us have grown so much that walking back now is not even an option. The rest of India celebrated Ganesh Chatrurthi and Eid with elan. Nobody had time to think about Kashmir. And t think of those days when my amma's father's most trusted aide (he was a government contractor in erstwhile purbobongo) was a muslim man (I don't recall his name). Am sure many of us have heard stories like that and of those gory days like I did when my amma's  affluent family had to walk past the border with seven daughters in tow (or may be six since my amma was alreayd married by then). The fright of checkposts never made my amma welcome the birth of a girl child in our family. Too much of friction in a relationship makes for an overkill you see. you need the phases of sweetness in between, but unfortunately for us it always turns into an issue of us and them. Man and woman relationships have a hint of counselling attached- not in this case. Faith takes the centre stage.

So what if the Babri judgement says something decisively (that's plain and stupid) about the site beloging to one particular sect, will I stop being friendly with my muslim classmate who helped me so much with the passport formalities in Hyderabad? or will the family of Sumitra mashi, my domestic help in Calcutta or Sharda or the Needzwali aunty start earning more to fulfill their needs of two square meals a day. To tell you the truth, they will live in fear..more fear, just like I am now.

and the Constitution guarantees freedom of movement, conscience..blah blah blah....

P.S.- The Taliban destroyed the buddha statues in Bamiyan. did that alter history? or did it somehow prove that Buddhism never had reach on the land they claim to be their own? And who does that land belong to? You, me or God? How does that matter? I am scared.
P.P.S- It's my best friend's birthday today. Celebrated well. But this nagging fear had been there on back of my mind which forced this 3'o clock in the night blog entry.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Prolap

"১.৪০ বাজে এখনো এলোনা মেয়েটা"
"এবার ওকে ফেলে রেখেই চলে যাব..."
"ওই যে এসেছে .."
"হ্যারে তুই কি পুরো কলকাতার সাজটা একেই সাজবি ঠিক করেছিস?"

বিছিন্ন সংলাপ, প্রলাপ, আলাপচারিতা, অভিনয়, ঠাট্টা, গল্প...এবং অনেক স্মৃতি
যে স্মৃতিকোষ আজ বিষন্নতার ভান্ডার.
একটার পর একটা হোচট খেয়ে হারিয়ে যাচ্ছে কৈশোর 
বদলাচ্ছে সংজ্ঞা আমাদের সবার....
কর্পরেট কিউবিকল বদলে দিছে নির্ঘন্ট
সাগরপার হাতছানি দিচ্ছে ওই স্বপ্নালু চোখকে 

আর ইরা আজ ঘোর সংসারী. নতুন শ্বাশুড়ি তার বড্ড কড়া, সারা দুপুরের প্ল্যান?
"বলিস কিরে? নৈব নৈব চ"

পুজো এবার এলো বলে. কিন্তু পুজোর আমি?
"উল্টে দেখো পাল্টে গেছি"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My sister keeps on giving me all the updates about pujo over phone. She told me all about her shopping plans, the two tops she picked up from the new store near my house, the pandal that is yet to come up, the excitement in her class about the dabangg moves and how will it culminate during pujo.  Yes! another year, another pujo which I am going to miss. I remember my 1st year in NALSAR when my parents came down to Hyderabad to celebrate the pujo with me. On Ashtami morning I visited one of those heavily sponsored Bengali Association Pujos in the city. To say the least, I was heartbroken. Pujo for me or for that matter for every one from Calcutta does have many more connotations of jhari mara, phuchka khawa, maddox, notun sari, hal fashiner juto, shoe bites, biriyani, chinese and many more attached to it than the very obvious religious rituals. I worship the goddess Durga through out the year (though it never assumes the ritualistic skyscraper levels which some of my friends indulge in), but for me pujo is special for it's never to be understood enigma. what do they call..ah! yes, pujor gondho. For the first time that year, I had cried in front of the idol. The emotions had the better of me because I missed Calcutta, home and everything that a nostalgic bong feels. My family was there to comfort me. and thanks to them I managed. Since then I have missed many more and this year will not be an exception. But for me during those 4 days- time comes to a stand still and moves to a time when the sky donned up a darker shade of blue- the time when shoshti mornings meant mapping up all the best idols in the city, lunch in china bowl while cracking sad jokes, navami nights meant baba's dhunuchi nach followed by the jog dance for which we gulped down biriyani at bedwin and ran twinkle toed to grab front row seats. The time when Ashtami mornings meant the grouping up of girls- me, didibhai, mam didibhai, masume, pamela to fight with the boys over the charge of the microphone.....To tell you the truth, I think am growing old. Pujo has put me in a time bubble out of which I am yet to come out. I doubt whether all my friends will be that free on a shoshti morning now. I am sure they wont be. Our half yearly get togethers (when I get home) are pushed back to that weekend when they are free from office.
Today I was having a conversation with a junior form 1st year (fresh blood you see!) and like every other conversation where two bongs are involved it gradually turned towards the revered topic of Durga Pujo. He was talking about Maddox Square, girls and the aura. That's when I realised, the grass had been really greener on that side. Only that the patch of green is long past me.

I so wish my NALSAR years do not end...this fifth year mirth continues. Eighteen till I die? what say? eh!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Things to do.

1. House hunt now that I have got my posting.
2. Shop around for my new house. Will have to look for that perfect curtains and cushions for my room. Have to look for a room mate. Have to buy new utensils and stuff. Argh! why does college have to end.
3. But at the brighter side am already planning to buy that big wall to wall shelf for keeping my books. No more shipping in and out of Calcutta since I am presuming that I will have more space than my hostel room.
4. Have to come to terms with the fact that the five years in NALSAR is almost over. One half of this semester is over. The batch of 2011 is left with only one more semester before we graduate. Time flies like anything. Final year of law school brings back memories of good, bad and not so bad moments I spent here. The NALSAR years changed me for the better. Transformed me to say the least.
5. Now that I will be employed soon, I have to start planning for the gifts I need to buy for my near and dear ones.
6. Before everything else, have to study for my impending mid semester exams.
7. Have to plan out job treats. Now that everyone is landing up jobs, we need to space out the eating out calendar. God! we can hog like anything.
8. Have to start eating in the mess again. I end up cooking something or the other every day. Innovations you know :P
9. Last but not the least, have to sound sugary sweet to everyone calling up with those congratulatory messages. Have been doing that for the past two weeks. The very same people who taunted me when I "decided" not to study science after tenth, the ones who tagged me "a bad student" inspite of my Nava Nalanda-South Point-JU (a while)- NALSAR lineage. Their case in hand? That am studying Law. And what were they doing? studying engineering with a 10,000 rank in WBJEE in some private engineering college (yes, they dared to compare that with NALSAR).
Frankly speaking nothing gives one bigger and better pleasure than showing the "kuor byangs" (sorry can't translate that) their place. They can count on the multiples in monetary terms and the niche, stiff upper lip, snobbish brand value too. am not boasting, neither do I intend to. But for five years I have taken the crap and now I earned this for myself. At least I did not shout from the rooftops that I am the best and others are crap. Be secure and safe about your position dudes and dudettes (sarcasm intended). "Best" people don't need to do that you know. At least I will be doing something I learnt in Law school and is truly interested in. You are doing some thing with codes and stuff right? Err..remind me what did you study in those 4 years of engineering?? :P
The last one got long. But couldn't resist myself from expressing my sadistic pleasure when I see or hear these people's voices on phone now. Bechara :P. Here's wishing more becharapan to you. and oh! yes keep badmouthing me. Gives me extra kicks to perform hard and do better and write such posts.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Girl...uninterrupted

Once upon a time, when Ms. Dutt was hot and credible enough, I took the flashes of breaking news on screen seriously. I still do. Otherwise how will I learn about Sunanda Pushkar's fetish for orchids? or for that matter when Mr. Goswami screamed that they were bringing you exclusive image of some kitten being born by cesarean methods (I made that up, but it will fit the mode). This Pakistani chick Veena Malik's hyperventilation on television was no different. Needless to say Mr. Goswami was her knight in shining armour again. Truly speaking her allegations and more importantly the timing of it made me wonder whether Rakhi Sawant was so popular across the border also.
But I was wrong. And I must say thank you Prof. Dhanda. Your classes really made me look beyond the served fare and 'problematize' the issue. I am no cricket enthusiast, but India Pakistan matches always remain special in any form of the game. Spot fixing or not, the charges remain to be proved. The Pakistan Board refuses to act. I am almost appalled at their level of non action. Also, it's high time the ICC decides to strip them off their test status. The failed state is not only an economic, administrative and political failure but the public viagra of cricket is no longer there to save their day. Wonder how will Kashmir alone do the balancing act?
But my point was not that. There have been substantial coverage on the issue and Veena Malik has rushed from one channel to the another. One channel played parallel interviews of Malik and Dheeraj Dikshit. and just like any other issue, as the initial hoopla settles down, people have started questioning Malik's credibility which the accused are always entitled to do. But my primary concern remains- On what ground? That Veena Malik played an interlocutor between her ex and the bookie needs to be probed in to, but that her allegations are being looked in to just because she is eye candy? sorry! err....we still remain in the 1940's. I amindifferent to this supposed Pakistani showbiz star who is needless to say attractive. But why do we have to tag along success/ failure equations of women in society with their looking good or not. and to take it to a 'risque' level on their ability to flirt with the sensibility of men? Dheeraj Dikshit claimed that Malik's footage was being shown to provide visual relief to audiences from the boring newsdesk presentations? I am sorry to say he was not wrong. I was in Calcutta last week. Eastern India's biggest English daily The Telegraph's widely read supplement t2 carried a photo feature on the lady of the moment. Apart from her portfolio pics what found substantial space where here alleged nude pics from the internet. What kind of journalism are we into?
In case Malik is a fraud star cashing on the Spot fixing scandal while seeking revenge from her ex, then prosecute her by the law. But it is no ground to attempt to discredit her evidence by saying that she is of loose moral characters just because some of her morphed images are being spread on the net. It is a very patriarchal school of thought to stifle voices of dissent just by maligning ones character. and to tell the truth it's a very easy ploy. Time and again, we all have faced it somewhere down the line. Men can't handle the fact that they are being dumped so they spread stories of the woman in question to be a master in the art of two timing. And when the facts are corroborated, the truth points to some other direction. Trust me, am speaking from personal experience. But keep hope, I have seen 'real' men who are way out of the league of the hanky pankys. So just keep faith.
But can we keep faith on the media. Yes, am thoroughly against their pointless journalism at this point of time. I have read up a bit on the feminist theories across times and truly speaking none of our "aisha" loving brigade stand a chance to be called one. But this is about basic human dignity. I support Malik when she says what does her moral character has to do with her allegations. Why aren't the evidence that she passed on to the ICC detectives being taken seriously, looked into and discussed as vividly as her nude images on the net or her wild affairs. I mean come on we can expect that from Pakistani media, but editorial team of Telegraph? am sure you must be knowing that our codified law of rape makes provision for consent of even a sex worker. Isn't it your duty to point out that the discussion is listless whether she posed for those pictures or not? Right or wrong, that's a very different moral issue. But what has her rumoured affairs, nudity has to do with spot fixing scandal? Her initial role as an interlocutor surely needs to be investigated, not her filmography and the allegations of casting couch.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ajgubi

ekta nishchidro porikolpona korechilam jano. tomay niye. tomar thekey shoto koti alokborsho durey dariye theke ami ekdin kolpona korechilam onek durer ekta akash er. Aamar majheyi sei ghushghushey jworta hoy. gham diye jwor chere jaay protyekbaar tomake khujey payi ami oi non alignment er modhye. ami ki bhul bokchi? hoyto ba....purbo porikolpito kichu likhchi na. shudhu koyekta obantor obastob stob-stuti paath. tomake niyei likhbo bhebe shuru korechilam. modhyo ratrey jokhon oi joghonyo bangla software ta khultey iche korche na.. narachara korchi ekta por ekta tomar ostwittyo ke....shune jachi eker por ek. tokhon, thik tokhon tomake khub kach theke chNutey pari jano. ke jeno ekta bolto tar nongra ghorey ishwar ke dekhtey paren tomar modhye. sukh dukkher golpo koren. ami take onukoron korchi? na tomake khola chithi likhchi? onukoron bhabley bhabun..boye geche....nijer sathe khub kacher koyekta muhurter alapcharitay jokhon tumi bar bar lukochuri khelcho, thik tokhon....sei muhurtey ekta sompurno obastob, ajgubi lekha....blogger.com er patay jetay publish button ta click hoye goto got kore sobar somukhyey eshey poreche bhabley porey tomar lojja hobe..serokom ekta chithi likhtey iche korlo..eta adou chithi na ekjon jworo rugir bikaar? ke jane......onek kichu bolar chilo....boltey aprlam ki guchiye...na mone hoy. ekjon bolechilen, ki jeno naam, khub  bhalo dharabhashyokar chilen...bolten "gangajal chara gangapujo osombhob...." tomake niye kono alochonateyi bolechilen bodhhoy.....shotti to....tobe ajke byatikrom... tomar jonno shudhu anjan dutta. karon tumi na thakley shotti amar ei bilaap bikaar, purnochondro abeg..sobeteyi iti.

punoshcho: tomay niye thakurpujo hoche. ekta khub sonoskriti monoshko bangla channel tomay niye aajkal biggapon o diche "thakur tumi kar?"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Surprise!


My birthday coincides with the holiday season every year. In school I was upset sometimes that I never get to distribute chocolates like other kids on their birthday. Thankfully, everyone remains happy or pretends to be so during my birthday. What more can you expect it comes one removed from the Christmas day and four more before you enter new year. I never quite celebrated my birthday in NALSAR too. But my friends this year gave me a complete surprise by organising a surprise bash for me. My NALSAR wala birthday with all the spice and twang in it! Come on! my friends sang six happy birthdays for me (the recorded highest till now- generally it's maximum two for any one, with the exception of Richa maybe) that night. Can't help it. My friends' are as vella as me and they also needed to take revenge for all those 'happy birthdays' I have sung for them in class :D. 
In case you don't understand this 'happy birthday', 'revenge' thing, it's a a very very NALSAR thing. And so many together is my batch's speciality. These are a few pics from the after party. The food was awesome and we danced our way to glory. Thank you Runjhun, Paridhi, Richa and Shreya for making it memorable. Love you guys! Final year now. I am going to miss this place.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

(In)Dependant.

I tried to convince myself about not writing this particular blog post but could not resist. The point of writing a post titled '(In)Dependant' when your phone does not stop beeping and your inbox is full of messages titled "Happy Independence Day"- is pure gimmicky. Yes! I am sorry but my nationalism/patriotism is not all aboutmy facebook display picture donning up the shades of the Tiranaga or sending 'Happy I Day' messages full of bulk sms writers wisdom laden meaning of what "Freedom" means. Seriously, it doesn't. Also, I have nothing against Valentines Day or for that matter any day and I love all those celebrations and goodies on V Day that randomly show up every year, but it's a humble request- Don't kill the spirit of this Day, the 15th of August, the one we always pray to coincide with a weekday every year (This year it wasn't). Don't make it another Valentines Day. 'I Day' sounds hep- don't know what Surjya Sen would have thought about it, but please don't send me those sms es.
For every individual the term 'Independence' has a strict set of connotations attached to it. For me Independence is all about being yourself and supporting what I think is right. It's a moral decision somewhere. And factual too. When you send me all those messages about India celebrating it's 63rd I Day- get your facts correct. Count 15th August, 1947 too! Yes, dear...it is our 64th Independence Day and the 63rd year of Independence. subtlety you see-bulk doesn't work every time. Also, when you fly that tricolour outside your house or buy a paper version of it (am sure, many did that today considering our fetish for everything Karan Johar produces and that includes the mass copies of the Manish Malhotra creation found in KarolBagh and Burrabazar)- show it  it's due respect. I have seen the tricolour being drenched in the rain or being put in a half mast(not deliberately but may be due to the wind) long after the ceremonial flag hoisting and the bhashanbazi is over. Or paper flags strewn all across the street. Try picking them up on 16th August or tey to stand up every time the national anthem is played in your 200 bucks worth Multiplex. These are very symbolic day to day measures which count in favour of your independent spirit. The one that separates you from the herd. The herd that goes on to study Engineering (while craving for Literature). No offences meant there. But that's one very apt example which I thought will make sense for many young souls raking their brains over making a decision.
I am a law student and it's part of my coursework to dissect the Constitution and research over all  those tomes written over the haloed principles of justice, liberty and equality. Somehow in Law School, one thing I really enjoyed was studying the Constitution and everything related to it. But as a nobody I will suggest to everybody to read up the document. No, dear am not mixing up 'I Day' with 'R Day'. It is one of the most succinctly (I am aware of it's original length) put and brilliantly drafted piece of literature I have ever come across. Never mind all those ninety five and counting amendments that our legislators decided to put across. We have a habit of screwing brilliant stuff. Ask Sourav Ganguly, Shashi Tharoor etc. Nothing puts forward the true spirit of Indian Independence as beautifully as the constitution. When we had dominion status between 15th August 1947 and 26th January, 1950- our Constitution framers took extra effort to make sure it is an ethereal document out of bounds of time and space (I mean it. We do no need those amendments or those debates over basic structure.) It reflects the aspiration of a country born after it's 'tyrst with destiny at midnight'. A country which was torn apart and the flame lingers on till date (Kashmir anyone). A country where there was versatility of thought from the very inception (?) of the freedom struggle. A country we call our own. our Home. And even when that NRI jerk presumes over that matrimonial chat that the lady on the other side of cyberspace is homely and does not know what biking means you give him a piece of your mind and say dude! come to the Himalayas. Also, it's the 'reverse' gear you know- let's make that a trend. 
Be the Generation 'W'. Respect the fact that worshiping goddess Durga on one hand and stiffling the voice of your daughter in case she wants to marry in some other caste or play football is passe'.
Be Independent.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Letter from a forgotten land.

Dear Tara,

Hope you are doing well. How is that back pain of yours? I still suspect it's Baater byatha (Arthritis). How is Girija Babu doing? Is his coughing bout under control nowadays. I asked Chattujey moshayi once about the problem. He advised that you visit the west once during Girija babu's holidays. I think the pollution of Calcutta is not suiting him anymore. But what to do, after all he is the boro babu now, his responsibilities are greater now. How is Ashalata? Have you started looking for a groom for her? Is Girija Babu planning to send her to college and make a Judge? Bethune school won't help her learn cooking and sewing. Nobody will marry her if she doesn't know how to cook. Sometimes I wish you had a son. There is still time. Coax Girija Babu to have one more child atleast. People here laugh when they hear that you have only one daughter.
We are all doing well here. Sukhen's marriage has been almost fixed with that girl from Barishal. I was very much against the match. But who listens to a widow? That too, one who is a burden on the families of her brothers. Tell me something Tara, couldn't they find one suitable bride for Sukhen in the entire Dhaka zilla. As if boro bou wasn't enough that another person from Barishal will come to pollute our family. Our ancestors didn't joke when they said "Aaitey shaal, jaaitey shaal, tar nam Barishal". This girl is also related to Borobou- some distant cousin. Now they will rein over the entire household together. All this at the cost of my youngest brother.
You remember the time when we were just nine and Gogon kaka had taken us to Barishal on that official trip of his. Remember how those crooks at the Goalonder ghat didn't even let us have our meal properly? My god! I so loved Padmar Ilish. And those bastards shouted that our steamers were leaving. We ran for our lives only to find a it a hoax. How they cheated us. I had cursed them so much. I hated Barishal from that very day. Borobou just proved I was right.
You must be thinking that how can a widow of sixteen years still think about fish. I will not lie to you Tara. You are my best friend. I don't get to see you often nowadays. But I share everything with you. You know I love the smell of fish. everyday in the morning I steal a walk upto the aamish henshel (non veg kitchen) just to smell the fish. It's a secret I will die with. If any one here gets to know about it, they will tag me as woman of vices, but I can't help it. It was only you whom I could trust with this secret of mine.
When do you again plan to visit Bharakar. I know you don't like this shabby village anymore. But do come. Bring Asha along. I often think of making the aamer achar (mango pickle) that she so liked last time. Try to come during pujo. I am sending a bottle of a special medicated oil which I got from Chattujey moshayi for you. Hope it reaches you in the present state. Reply to this post soon.

Iti
Gouri

P.S. This post has personal anecdotes, anecdotes of forgotten times, memories of afternoon conversation with my Amma strewn all over. The factual background is entirely fictional but the conversations? Who knows, that might have happened some seventy five years back in a dimly lit Bharakar household.
P.P.S Bharkar is my ancestral village. It's located in Dhaka, Bikrampur region. My house was located near Tongibari thana. Have never been there. But surely intend to visit it sometime. I have been to the Bharkar Sammilani Durga Pujo manytimes as a child. Don't know if it happens till now. If any one of my readers are from my village or knows anybody or has visited that pujo, kindly leave a note. It's a way of remembering Amma, whom I was suddenly thinking about.
By the way, I belong to the De Sarkar (we later dropped the Sarkar from our surname) family from Bharakar who had defated the Zamindars (the Mullicks, I suppose) in the Dhaka Court in a dispute over a Dighi (large waterbody). I have hear numerous stories about how my great grandfather, Late Satish Chandra De, who was attached with the Court of the District Judge at Alipore in Calcutta, took out a procession to celebrate the victory. So now you know where it all comes from? :D

Monday, August 9, 2010

150 things to do before your turn 30

Found this one Me-Era*'s blog. I think all 20 somethings should take it. For your information, black represents something I don't want to do, blue represents something I really want to do and green is something that I have been part of, already. So tag yourself guys :D

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink

02. Swam with dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone 

08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights

15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars

20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower

23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger

30. Had a snowball fight

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse (1995I suppose)

34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and didn’t care who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states

41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign

46. Backpacked in Europe

47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing

49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving

51. Visited Ireland

52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love

53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan

55. Milked a cow

56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero

58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain

63. Played in the mud

64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theatre

66. Visited the Great Wall of China

67. Started a business

68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight

72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie

74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced

76. Gone without food for 5 days

77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice

80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River

82. Been on a television news program as an “expert”

83. Gotten flowers for no reason

84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark

88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand

90. Bought a house

91. Been in a combat zone

93. Been on a cruise ship

94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror

96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold

99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge

102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking with the windows open
103. Had plastic surgery

104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication

106. Lost over 100 pounds

107. Held someone while they were having a flashback

108. Piloted an airplane

109. Touched a stingray

110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth

112. Won money on a TV game show

113. Broken a bone

114. Gone on an African photo safari

115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears

116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol

117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse

119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet

121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents

125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

126. Eaten kangaroo meat

127. Eaten sushi

128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed

132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

137. Skipped all your school reunions

138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language

141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream

142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care

143. Built your own PC from parts

144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you

145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair

147. Been a DJ

148. Shaved your head

149. Caused a car accident

150. Saved someone’s life

Just like that.

"So what is your biggest turn on?"

Hostel gossip and bitching sessions tend to get interesting day by day. This question is not about any particular day. It may be any night in a girl's hostel when you have ganged up to laugh hysterically over the "multi millionaire in the making" guy from class was spotted in that "chamkeela shirt" and "kala batua". Coffee, conversations and many a laughs later the discussion inadvertently tends to follow a strict pattern. Men. Yes, we openly size you up and we 'can' do that. Just about the way you discuss what we wore and who has the cutest smile in your rooms. I think it's kind of mutual. Natural too. Never understood what's the big taboo in accepting this fact. So there goes one of my turn ons- A man who talks to me about the neighbourhood girl with jet black hair and over whom he had the biggest crush. Also, the girl who just passed by- whether or not she has 'statistical' alliances.

But coming back to the point. I have been directly/indirectly asked about what do I like in a man. Kind of what is that turns me on. Well, I have stuck to the conventional(albeit true) ones like- conversations, sense of humour, everything bengali-like fascination for Tagore, chandrobindoo, saraswati pujo, dhuti etc., writing (love letter types- not email), can discuss with me newest book releases and the tharoor-pushkar wedding with equal elan kinds...pretty much the ideal variety you know..and he has to be worth his salt. But deep down I was thinking- is that all?

Erm. No. I think the biggest of them all is food. My fondness for food and eating are well known. And I kind of love cooking also. But nothing more than eating a hearty meal perked up with wonderful conversation. In case, he decides to cook it up it's great. But equal marks for choosing the perfect place to dine out or plan the dinner with family- it works great for me- only that the food on platter and the choice of the delicacies- bengali, chinese, italian (in that order) needs to be in place.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Movie Marathon and an itch.

So that's how fifth year treats you. Yes! I mean this utter joblessness and boredom. Thank god the local file sharing network on campus was in place. Never did I understand the utility of DC more than  this weekend (the long and short of it) when I had practically nothing to do. Apart from reading "Moner moto meye" by Buddhadeb Basu, lazing around and enjoying the beautiful rain drenched Hyderabad, rustling up quite a storm and off course watching movies.
I have seen three movies in the past two days and god knows how many episodes of freshly baked Big Bang theory and HIMYM episodes. And before I move on to the fourth one in the series, I thought of putting up this post. No it's not any kind of a review or sort. I mean I hate them personally. But it's like I was lucky to download three of the most out of the box movies I have seen in a long long time. At least two of them was, if we abide by the cinematic sense of the term. Call it a coincidence of sorts, two of them starred Meryl Streep. She is officially my favourite actor (yes, gender M,F and E included) now. Whoever is reading this might just consider this post as a guide to a wonderful lazy movie marathon-in-mind weekend.
The first one was the 2009 Meryl Streep-Steve Martin starrer romantic comedy 'It's Complicated'. Yes! it resonates the facebook relationship status and the millions of complexity worthy relationships in today's world. Only that it was about a divorced couple with three grown up children rediscovering love (lust?!) on their son's graduation ceremony. While they have an affair to remember, the husband cheats on his much younger wife, the same woman he leaves the mother of his children for. Did that sound weird? Yes! because Meryl Streep's character soon realises that she is the proverbial 'other woman' in the relationship now. All this while the nice guy makes an entry, and it is back to the love triangle mode for these people, way past their prime. Watch it for Meryl Streep, if not for anybody else.
The second one on the loop was the 2008 release "Julie and Julia", a movie I have been recommended for long. This Amy Adams-Meryl Streep starrer is nothing less an inspiration for people learning to cook and slowly finding a passion for it. Trust me, it's one of the yummiest movies I have seen. The narrative is nothing new, with the lives of two ladies from different generation juxtaposed by their love for cooking. But more than that, it's the therapeutic effect that the movie brings in you. It's one of those kinds which inspire you to take up a challenge, not in the Hindi movie style with it's buckets of glycerine content. But in a very normal, run of the mill way. Cooking or not, it will definitely give all those stressed out behind their desks a reason to search for their passion...in may be.....taking other's trip!
I have been waiting to watch the third one for the longest period of time after all those good reviews and stuff. Planned to catch it in Calcutta this time, but alas! couldn't. "The Japanese Wife" was good but not extraordinary. I mean given the storyline and the craftsmen involved, I expected more. May be because I have seen the better of Aparna Sen in Paroma or Paromitar Ekdin. Overall liked it more than her last venture-15, Park Avenue, but that's about it. It leaves you with a hope, even when one of the main protagonists die. The hope that is called love. But Ms. Sen should have seriously considered casting someone like Parambrata or Tota Roy Chowdhury for the character of Snehamoy. Agreed, Rahul Bose is a fantastic actor, one of my favourites. But his urbane suave sophistication plays hide and seek with Snehamoy on screen. Pronunciation and dialect- Bose goes off in both these directions. It's Moushumi Chatterjee- the balika badhu ala bollywood glamour girl and Writuporno's best gift to Bengali screen since Unishey April (excuse Dosar, Utshob and Sob choritro Kalponik), Raima Sen who acts well and good. In fact, Chatterjee quite steals the show. Also, wish to see more of Raima on screen. The lady playing the Japanese woman in the film acts neat for her part, but could have done with some more expressions. Overall, decent watch but not any way near Sen's best.

And before I move on to the fourth, the Sanjeev Kumar-Deven Bhojani- Moushumi Chatterjee (she is my day's favourite)starrer evergreen Gulzar classic 'Angoor' after I finish my ho(stel)mespun aloo ki sabzi and chapathi dinner (Yes! I cooked the sabzi and it's quite delicious too) I must mention an itch that bothered me throughout the day. Kalyan Sangha, my para, had it's annual pujo meeting today. Baba was telling me on phone about the decisions regarding dhunuchi naach competition to be held, the budget, how much advertisement money he can pull in. I somehow felt like crying- will it or will it be not another one I miss? only time will tell. Right now chances look bleak since my end semester exams are about to begin around that time only. Let's see. Hope I make it this time around.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Golpo, shotti, adha-shotti
bishonnota, noiktyo, purbo obhineeto natok
bhagyorekha, koshthibichar

onek ochena, onek nirjonotar kachakachi tobu dariye thake onek bhalolagar ekta shotyo
onek bhenge jawar majheo tai chokher jol boley othey 'parbo'
kacher theke onek durey tai amar hariye jawa
snaner porer nirjash jemon bachiye rakhe, bar bar dnaar koriey dey kachakachi ekjoner
bar bar tai boltey iche kore, chaitey iche kore.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Confused! yes, that's what describes my state of mind perfectly right now. Choice and more over unadulterated choice does that to you. But I hope we all go back home happy after this ordeal is over. At least hope so for mine..so that I get to party soon. Pray for me! otherwise also there are thousands of reasons to smile up and coming, but this one I want. Please!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Life is a strong antioxidant. Well, now if I ask any of my friends to read this post they will obviously discard this as one of those strong pro Calcuttan theorization of being happy. But this is not all Calcutta. This is about life in general. Life in general that derives anti ageing formula in the city of joy, love and laughter. This Calcutta trip will be memorable in many a ways, more than one.
The topography of Shankhari Para in Bhowanipore has changed. It houses a big apartment block nowadays. The geographical parameters might have affected the relationship between cousin sisters/boudi also. I visited them after quite a long time. One of my cousin didi is a proud mother now and I was amazed to see how motherhood completes one completely. A couple of years back I would have been snooty enough to comment on how her entire life revolved around her new born son. Not anymore. The child will be later taken to many a magic shows and he will believe in some and then grow oblivious to the fact. But it was sheer magic on the face of my didi when she toyed with her young son, pretended to cry to scare him and then make him laugh. If that's not a priceless mastercard moment in life then what is?
The purest form of love often finds expression in silence. Motherhood is the only exception. Others and the more predominant definition of love- the man and woman variety finds solace in silence. Subarnalata proved it for me. So did Chuti. The golden words of silence truly legitimizes the unwritten words on blank paper or the nostalgically old and forever fresh song by the gangar ghat- "Jodi ba ghotey onortho. tobuo tomaake chaayi..."  

That, apart from the internship scares, gossip and truckloads of work sums up my Calcutta trip this time. Have I been writing about Calcutta for too long? Silence should be the preferred way from now on. Only if it decides to turn a radiant silver now and then, it will just add on to the detoxification.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's been quite long and the blogosphere looks so different now. Read up an old letter-("purono chithi" kind of feeling) posted by a fellow blogger. Feels good and feels great.
Actually nostalgia is a necessary evil (?). you are bound to be bitten by the bug. Just like the streets of North Calcutta and that tram ride through Hatibagan and Shyambazar did to me. I have never been there but felt like I belonged there. And that Red house..near Shyambazar I suppose. It was like "I want to buy that garibarandawala bari". Yes! I have a fascination for them....old, garibarandawala houses.

And there is the Academy, Nanadan chottor. Catching up with old school friends. Phuchka or just lazing around like St. Paul's Cathedral. The city throws up unknown hues you thought you had long forgotten.


This sounds like cliche' but I have no other option other than quoting a wordsmith of our times- "Ei shohor janey amar prothom sobkichu/ Palatey  chaayi joto shey aashey amar peechu peechu"

(I 'think' am not murdering the lyrics. Actually! am in love. With this city- all over again)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Landscapes.

Home is always comforting. I haven't seen the face of my blog for some weeks now. Haven't caught upon whjat my fellow bloggers are writing or tweeting about but all these seem so far off when you are sorrounded by people you love. This break was most needed indeed. But am making full use of it. Shopped for Bangla books. And it was fulfilling. Thankfully can eradicate my "bhishon purono" flaw being an avid "bangla sahityagrohi" about not reading Ashapurna Devi's works. Yes! I have laid my hands on the complete trilogy of Prothom Protisruti, Subornolota and Bokul Kotha. Bought my favourite Suchitra Bhattacharya's latest too. Picked up a copy of the translation of Ruswa's Umrao Jaan Ada from the Delhi airport. So quite have my hands full now along with my internship. And oh yes! the food....Kochur shaak, kochu bata, chingri malaikaari....When it comes to food am just neutral on the ghoti-bangaal divide.

Life is fulfilling now.
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