Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lyrical journey of a year :)

 Since it's almost that time of the year- Part 1!

I am not so eager to part with my 'newly married' or 'notun bou' tag just now but 'times'- they keep rolling and it's almost that time of the year again. The memories of the butterflies of the impending celebrations and anxiety of the big day are back again....almost a year later......1 whole year since 11 December 2011 when 'we' got hitched! (or rather as Deep puts it- 'phaans gaya')

It's a lovely Saturday morning outside and I was listening to an almost vintage 90's  song "I am very very sorry, tera naam bhul gayi" on TV from the film "Chaand ka Tukda". The song immediately brought back memories of the times when "Superhit Muqabla" was the most eagerly awaited thing in my life. It was also then that I had listened to some of the most remarkable songs of my life. And also college! where I made my Oriya friend listen to Kabir Suman and was introduced to the music that Beatles and Bob Marley made. Not to forget the eternal Kishor Kumar.

I suddenly struck me that a song tells a thousand stories. So why not tell our story the old world style? when we actually exchanged love letters :) (over the internet of course!). Deep, let's make this wonderful milestone a memorable one for us......because this is the beginning of a journey that we will cherish for lifetime(s) to come. Let's make this journey lyrical and magical!

The times when we had heard stories about each other from our parents, wrote long letters, had chat-a-thons :)

When we discovered the common joys over chai (aam panna :P), books, history and life in general.

The pangs of separation! Miles apart...foreign shores....unknown skies....and endless wait.

Dating Days! (brief but memorable)

Dating Days :))

Songs we liked :)

Biswa's expressions during the times we shopped for the wedding :P

Expressions of love :)

obhimaan :)

Phyach Phyach! :(

Maanbhonjon :)

Biye :P

  Bibaho poroborti somoy :D

     Honeymoon times! 

Deep's expression nowadays!

The story continues.... :) (I don't know if it is a fairytale...but I like it this way :)) And lets promise to remain newly married forever :)

For you Deep :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

To say or not to say is the question!

"Have you seen the Taj before?" Amit asked Deboshree while staring at the white monument termed as the symbol of eternal love by everyone alike.
Amit could never recall being in love. He was not flamboyant, rather shy by nature. His small town upbringing did not give him a chance to be suitably equipped for a lengthy conversation with a lady. Probably this was the first time in 26 years since his birth when he was alone for so long with a lady, the daintily made Deboshree, his newly married wife of 14 days.

Amit's father worked in Jamshedpur. Throughout his childhood days, he was always taught to study hard and be suitable enough to fetch a job in the company which defined the future of iron and steel industry in India and needless to say, Amit was very successful in his endeavour.  He bagged a job in the company as Graduate Trainee after completing his engineering from IIT Kharagpur.

On the other hand Deboshree hailed from the big city that troubled Amit all the time- Calcutta. He visited the city during every school holidays since his grandparents still stayed over there, but the sight of the the monstrous Howrah Bridge made him feel uneasy. The crowds on the streets, the 'phuchka' vendor who served his mother's favourite flour balls with tamarind laced water, the tram ride from his Kalighat home to Dalhousie- every thing reminded him of how his world had the peace and vanity of silence where nobody intruded. He sometimes wondered whether he was a loner...whether he disliked Calcutta. He durely did not because he loved his breakfasts at Flurys and the pending birthday treats from his grandfather at Mocambo. But his heart was set out in the peaceful haven of his Bistupur home.

In fact, Amit was stunned by the opulence and grandeur of Deboshree's Shyambazar home when he first went to see Deboshree. He wondered how she managed to stay in such a big house alone with her parents, whether she would be able to stay in that 3 bedroom company provided accomodation in Jamshedpur. He truly had the luxury of a small custom made garden, but it was no match for Deboshree's house which was at a stone's throw distance from the famous eatery which serve Calcutta's most favourite mutton curry. However, 15 minutes in the drawing room of the Mukherjee household he understood that Deboshree had company, a rather large one including her cousins, uncle an aunts who were rather excited with the prospect of Deboshree getting married off to an engineer.

He was scared, very very scared to meet the Loreto Convent educated girl shortlisted from the bunch of photos by Mr. and Mrs. Banerjee becuase she was pretty, had a degree from Shantiniketan, was apparently well read, cooked, sewed, had a good family lineage and to say the least- could be the ideal companion for their son.

Amit was not a part of this decision making process. He had left the choice on his parents. But he could not deny that there was something in that one photograph of Deboshree that he had seen, that made him agree to make a very short visit to Calcutta in the scorching April heat. The match was finalised soon enough. The families talked, Deboshree was asked to sing by his mother. The customary questions later Amit's mother had asked her whether she would be able to adjust in Jamshedpur, since it would not have all the amenities of  a big city.

Deboshree's 'jethima' (aunt) had replied - "Parbe, Parbe! sob parbe- Of Course! she can, girls can adjust to anything didi.....consider me, when I got married I was just 16 and I did not know how to cook dal even...from there on, I have been cooking every day for this entire family of 34 members. You don't need to worry at all."

Amit had tried to steal a glance at Deboshree, to understand what she would have told in answer to his mother's question but the conversation had by then moved to the ideal marriage dates. A monsoon wedding and the customary "Oshtomongola" (visit to the bride's house after 8 days) later, Amit and Deboshree were off to their honeymoon to Delhi and Agra.

Amit had long planned for this vacation and she had once called up Deboshree on her family's telephone- the only time before their wedding, to ask for her permission. He could overhear the hushed tones of excitement in the background surrounding his call. Even on the day after Oshtomongola, when they were scheduled to catch their train for Delhi from Calcutta, he could feel the palpable excitement in the Mukherjee household for their daughter travelling on a honeymoon vacation.

"Oh! chordi, you are so lucky....he is a man of exquisite taste" Deboshree's cousin Nita had commented.
"Aha! how do you know?" Deboshree replied with a flirting gesture.
"Arrey baba! he is taking you to Delhi and Agra.....imagine you are the first girl from our family to go on a honeymoon.....last year my friend Piyul had got married and she was so prouf that she was going on a trip after marriage.....and that too, she was going to Puri...where everybody goes...but you are going to see the Taj Mahal in Agra...please get us replicas Chordi"
"Okay baba! I will" Amit could well sense the hint of pride in Deboshree's voice when she replied. Amit thought she was happy and that made him happy since he wanted to know about the person that Deboshree was.

"Acha! chordin." Nita had further enquired, "I heard that Amit da would be traveling to America for a training for 3 months...are you also going with him"

"Let's see, it's not decided yet re...but high chances"

Though Amit was eavesdropping into the conversation, he could see Nita's face turn a shade greener with jealousy. Of course! she was a year younger than Deboshree and was yet to complete her graduation. But she was dark and not as well mannered as Deboshree...rather coquettish to say the least, a fact which made her and her parents aware that she would not be as lucky as Deboshree in her quest for the perfect husband.

Amit and Deboshree had talked during the train journey. They had reached Delhi around the noon and she was excited to see the Red Fort from a passing distance on the very first day of their travel. amit had planned to visit Agra on the very next day and stay there for a night. So the very next morning they were off to Agra. Deboshree was initially not happy and wanted to visit the shopping arcade Karolbagh hat she had researched so much about. Amit had to pacify her that they were staying in Delhi for 2 more days while returning back. The conversation had led to breaking of ice between the two and Amit was happy about it. He wanted their visit to the Taj Mahal to be perfect, just the way he had planned.
"I haven't. You?" Deboshree replied " In fact I have not visited any place other than Puri, Darjeeling and my college in Shantiketan". She giggled with a flirtatious wink in her eyes. Amit tried to concentrate in her eyes. In stead it was the big red bindi on her forehead, the shankha pola, the never ending vermillion streak and her crisp cotton sari that drew her attraction. She was the perfect bangali bou. The way he saw Ma Durga. The moment they entered the Taj, Deboshree was overwhelmed by the gigantic architechtural wonder....her hand quickly sought refuge in Amit's hands...and that very moment he felt happy.

"Yes, I have been here..with a few of my college friends".
"You are so well travelled na Am...err"
"You can call me Amit, I won't mind"
"But I am not supposed to na...after marriage you are not supposed to take you husband's name.....your mother can mind"
"As you wish...but in my college many of my friends had girlfriends and they used to call them by their first names"
"Pagol! they had a a love marriage na!"
Amit laughed. He was scared to tell that his college was reputed to have one of the scariest gender ratios in India...and besides the one or two love stories that he knew never ever matured till the wedding platform. He just wanted to be friendly with Deboshree. Besides he would be travelling to America with her in a few days time...he had read that there even the wives addressed their husbands by their first names.

"You didn't sya where else have you traveled" Deboshree interrupted his chain of thoughts"
"Me? well some parts of Bengal, Darjeeling, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Palamau in know Palamau?"
"Palamau's jungle? where Aranyer Dinratri* was shot?"
"Yes! have you seen the movie?"
"Of Course! it released 2 years back na?"
"Yes! a few of my friends...we were all very influenced an wanted to make a trip to Palamau"
"So very exciting.....even I want to go there"
"We may..."

The conversation was interrupted by a photographer who wanted to convince the honeymoon couple to take a picture in front of the Taj Mahal. Deboshree was eager and Amit had to relent. He was keen...he has been advised to tell the three golden words to Deboshree in front of the Taj Mahal..the perfect romantic setting by his friend Shyamal. His trip to Taj Mahal was planned accordingly.

"Ei...come here...let's go in....acha! can we see the original sones that were fitted inside or have they already been lotted away by the English before leaving the country." Deboshree asked. She talked a lot. Amit was not used to the sounds of lady's constant giggle and chatter. But here he was admiring a girl who had the child like char intact inside her crisp red cotton sari. And the bindi which made him fall in love with her again. Deboshree stole shy glances the very first time they had met in the drawing room of her Shyambazar home. She was too scared to look at Amit during their "Shubho drishti", a ritual were the bride and groom were supposed to look in to each other eyes's before being tied up within the knots of holy matrimony...but here she was free, thousands of kilometres away from the prying eyes of her cousins, her parents, her newly found strict mother in law....she was herself, the Deboshree Amit wanted to know. But Amit wanted to tell her that she looked extremely beautiful that day.

He could not. He was tongue tied.

The guide was explaining the history of Taj Mahal while they stood with the Yamuna river at their back. A few minutes later they were instructed to be back in the tourist bus after 20 minutes.

Image Courtesy:
Amit was busy wondering at what must have struck Shahjahan to build a mausoleum so huge, only to commemorate some body's death. and the poetic injustice that surrounded the walls of the Taj....a symbol of love built over the agony of so many..their pain and humiliation. He was lost for aminute when his blood rushed up to his cheek turning it a few shades red. Deboshree had just done the unthinkable. In the few moments that he had been lost, Deboshree had managed to whisper "Aami tomake bhalobash" (I love you) in his ears.


Today is the 41st wedding anniversary of Amit and Deboshree and she still maintains that the moment which defined a lifetime of their relationship was absolutely spontaneous. Amit had tried to extract the secret about how many times had she carefully planned to say the golden words in front of the world's most romantic monument, but the answer had always remained the same.

*Aranyer Dinratri ( Days and Nights in the forest) is a Bengali film released in 1970 and directed by Satyajit Ray.

[This story is set in the mid 1970's when the world was a far more romantic place to live in, far removed from the cacophony of cell phones and social media websites (well! a necessary evil)]

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tales of the Timeless city- Part 1

That my love affair with Calcutta grows every passing day is a layman's guess. I love the city, in its every possible hue and tinge possible. So when the first blush of rain kisses the skies of my new Tollygunge home, I love the fact that I am lucky to be here.

 There have been umpteenth attempts to chronicle the life and times of the city on numerous occasions before. I will be humble enough to not compare them with my choice of stories. But as they say..every Calcuttan is born with words they want to share with the world...I am no different. So what stories does this city tell when you first meet her in an unknown landscapes.....the portraits we term as the 'North Calcutta gullies'.
(Photo credit:

I feel ashamed to acknowledge the fact that I had never witnessed North Calcutta in her full glory before. The sounds and sights of that part of the city which witnessed the historically accounted 'Babu culture' at its crowning glory. I feel ashamed that I discovered the hawkers of Hatibagan Bazaar so late. All my life I had been this pucca well bred South Calcuttan who could never outgrow her posh neighbourhood. My visits to the Northern parts of the city were restricted to admiring its museum like atmosphere. The 'Mohunbagan Row' near Shyambazar reminded me that how much of this city is still enamoured by football and the ghoti bangal divide...but it was only recently I discovered the legacy of the fight when I came across a hoarding of 'Telengabagn sarbojonin' painted in 'sobuj maroon' (green and maroon) colours. It made me realise that Calcutta is not just called a city for everyone by fluke. It has something for everyone. While I could not stop laughing at the rival colours, it made me realise that it is also a walk through a time warp. The city which loves to have its ilish-chingri debates on their iPads. Whoever told that Calcutta is a city of the past should think again. Yes! we love to preserve our privilege, but there is no harm in that....why should there be if we love to talk about our 'Culture'..since we have one.....then why not flaunt it. And we do it far more subtly than other. But the presumption that goes with it- we cannot accept change....a newer wave, is horribly wrong. We are a city who love to dance on the beats of the dhaak during Durga Pujo at Maddox square...but we also love to listen to the bets of the music at Someplace else. Yes! we are a city who can successfully balance the both. We love food. We love to try everything in case we try out Italian at the newest and the costliest place in town (and don't forget to let the world know about it ala FB check in app)...we never fail to appreciate the Kobiraji cutlets and the biriyani from Arsalan. It's a huge crime if you don't.  Calcuttans are a happy bunch...because we live to tell stories of our joys, dreams, heartbreaks and pining(s). The pining for the city of love when they are can never get enough of the city when you are our.... so when the page on FB (Kolkata Tips) rationalises a meme saying something to the effect that when you are in here you curse the city...but when you are long to be here.....they are actually true. You miss the city most when you are away. That's when you realise how much you love the gorgeous greens of the Golf club road, the pestering heat and the newly turned Bonga localised Kolkata metro. Its everywhere. Ask me!

People termed me a fool when I left my big fat pay cheque and whims of a corporate life at Hyderabad last year. They warned me that Calcutta will not provide me enough of opportunities to explore. But did it really matter? What is an opportunity if you cannot share it with your loved ones? May be that is how I look at life and I longed to be back here....the only place in this whole wide world that I call 'home'.

And I am happy I stood by my decision....even happier because Deep saw my point and supported me throughout. It took time, but Calcutta gave me an opportunity to explore in my career which I would have probably not got if I had decided to stay somewhere else..somewhere I don't belong. I always had this dream of calling the shots..and I think I am getting there. And I love the fact that it hugely helps my bank balance too. I really want to make this perception clear that myths like money is less in Calcutta is hugely overdone. You really want to be exploited in the corporate! they will give it to you anywhere...Calcutta to Colorado. Why blame this city only?

(To be continued)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Shanghai- It really makes you think!

The joys of weekend is back in my life since I decided to take another plunge back to corporate life and it has been a nice experience so far. I will not deny that the amount of money, not obscene but the decent amount in Calcutta, that they are paying me has been a deciding factor. I am still not sure about how can I keep my promise to myself about taking up writing seriously going (and my blog bears testimony for it), but will probably never stop loving it enough.
So, enough of chit chat over, let's come to what is more relevant. And that is Shanghai! what a movie! probably the best after Kahaani this year. In fact, we should feel lucky to be part of a year which gave you gems like Kahaani and Shanghai, albeit with Bong boys and their sentiments written all over them.

Shanghai is special, Shanghai is close t my heart because it touched a chord. Back in college I had this favourite Professor of mine called Prof. Amita Dhanda. I remember doing a jurisprudence project on "Dev D"  for her. Wish I could do the same theroisation for Shanghai for her class. I so miss NALSAR and the wonderful course readings we had. Nietzsche, Nussbaum and Tagore in a melting pot. Ah! life.

And before I am overtaken by nostalgia, I just want to let everyone know that go and watch Shanghai- a must watch for the very underrated and subtle performances. For Abhay Deol who never fails to surprise us. A Jat speaking in that immaculate south indiaised hindi accent. And he is a dream of an IAS officer as Krishnan. For Emraan Hashmi because this is undoubtedly his career best performance till date. As a local ruffian he never fails to surprise you. You can never relate to his serial kisser image. For Kalki Koechlin, and thank you anurag Kashyap for discovering her( and making her an integral part of your life). Kalki's enraged performance engulfs you. However, her roles are now becoming a tad bit repetitive. For the supporting cast who makes Bharatnagar special. And for the none other than Prosenjit Chatterjee's Dr. Ahmedi. The very dapper Dr. Ahemdi is something you will cherish through out the movie even though his screen time is limited.

And thank you Farooq Sheikh. I seriously miss you on screen. That we had something going on since the day I saw Chashme Buddoor on television or heard a portion of the recital of 'Tumhari Amrita', is a different story altogether. Something that Deep will be utterly jealous of maybe ;)

Shanghai shakes you up. It stays all over your mind long after you have left the theatre. May be because it stands for a cause I find my self deeply attached to- "Kiski desh? Kiski pragati?" A question which gets lost in all the rat race that we are in today and in between all the probabilities of a better lifestyle. Probably the water that costs you Rs.35 per glass :) Shanghai is based on a Greek novel, but Dibabkar Banerjee makes it relatable...and in every aspect.The irony is I watched Shanghai seated in a plush multiplex where the irony gets lost in the overpriced coke glass that you buy for yourself during the movie. But I sincerely hope the portrayal and the idea behind Shanghai doesn't remain solely limited within the arty farty multiplex classes. Because its something which we need to answer now...soon! An answer which we face every state faced it a few years back. And it has been a constant struggle since then. What is development? what actually? Can that plush house in the neatest corner of the city compensate for real smiles? Or do smiles generate otherwise. Think! because we nowadays rarely do so. Shanghai is disturbing that ways. It makes you think.

"Bharat mata ki jai"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

City of change

Calcutta, they say, nowadays is changing. I differ and I agree. I differ because change is not always good. And this one I say from a very personal experience. Robi Thakur has been a never ending experience in my life, in fact many of our lives. I look up to him in times of trouble agony and joy. But the cacophony which surrounds him nowadays is something I find very troublesome, something very uncomfortable. I don't if he would have approved of this 'God'-ification of himself. It's definitely worthy to read, appreciate and spread his values. But it is necessary somewhere to inculcate those values within our given spaces. Personally, I find it a very annoying idea- idol worship of an iconic figure, almost making a 'God' out of him (yes! I mean it, the incense stick and the garlands) with complete irreverance to what he said, what he wrote, what he meant.

I don't mean to say that Robi Thakur should remain within the confines of the intellectual four corners of the Presidency college canteen. But, it really pains to see his song praising the nurturing charm of the rain being played on a traffic signal in this scorching heat. Seriously! why???? And as far as I know he was a very sarcastic person, a person who never stopped short of making fun of himself, a person who loved breaking norms. A study of his wedding card (we share same wedding dates in Bengali- 24shey Oghrohayon) shows glimpses of this polymath. He steered clear of all established norms of the invitation cards being printed in  the name of a senior in his family. He invited everyone on behalf of a very dear person of his. The subtlety and the innovation is something to look up to. So if you claim to be influenced by him, show some innovation in your thoughts. It might not be as radical as thinking of creating a form which will be later known as "Rabindrik style" and encouraging girls and woman to go up on the stage and dance while being shouted at by Bengali Intellectuals of his time, but in casd e granting a simple SEZ status to an upcoming IT hub draws some investments for this money strapped state, so be it. The reasons for your disapproval in this case do not make a healthy ground. Singur had a different background story and we cannot customize everything.

But that does not mean that every change is bad. The way the work of the metro corridor in this city is progressing, I grow hopeful everyday. And I salute her spirit. She might have a thousand flaws, but she is an inspiration too. I visited Rajarhat recently and I was amazed. The building complex that I was visiting and the surroundings still did not match up to the glitz, glamour and life of the city, but there was a buzz. And what Roads! My frequent visits to the airport had always been through the Keshtopur-Baguihati route. It was only recently when my family was leaving for a holiday to South India and I had decided to drop them till the airport that I discovered the beauty of the roads. The recent trip was on our new car and that gave us another opportunity to be hopeful about the city. I think I have the deepest regards for our CM. You may say, Rajarhat is a gift of the bygone left rule, but she maintains it and how. By that logic most of the policy making and Bidhannagar- the satellite township  is a gift of the erstwhile Congress Rule in the state- the brainchild of the best CM we ever had- Dr. B.C. Roy. We are at discomfort with her also, may be because it pains that somebody with as humble beginnings as hers, is calling the shots today. Her story will be the fodder for a different post though.

Every story asks for a perfect ending. This story will see one, if the gap between the two decimates gradually and I remain hopeful. Calcutta, I love thee.

Friday, May 4, 2012

To Dada- a day before the coveted duel.

This is not important. This was not necessary. But a day before the match that we all have been looking forward to this IPL season, it was necessary for me to stop and write this one down. It's not a classic 'fangirl' post, but this one is intended to be a reliever....purging of emotions and volatility you may say :)

I am not a cricket writer, not even an avid cricket writer. My brief one night stands with cricket are like the ones when national glory reached its peak on one April night in the year 2011. Apart from that I have pretty much stopped watching cricket since the time he was forced to leave. Yes! you may still decide to stop reading this as another fanatic 'Sourav Ganguly is my God' post. It indeed is going to turn out to be one. For me, he was, is and will be the only cricketing god I know of.

This is the story of my hero. A man I admire. He was my teenage crush. Like any other. Like my didibhai had on Rahul Dravid. But beyond that he was something more to me. He was/is my inspiration. The one who loves to prove everyone wrong. Takes the less traversed road, but makes it a journey to remember. After all we all know that it is the moments which make the journey memorable, not the end of it all. So when he failed to convert that eventful 2003 evening a celebratory one for us, Indians, I still celebrated his spirit, the journey of the original 'men in blue'.

We all know the story, we know the face behind it, we know the emotions that engulf us when we talk about dada. We all know about the way we are laughed at when we mention "Sourav Ganguly" to be our favourite sports personality. The presumption runs that we are a Bengali? Tragic. Yes it is, considering he was the most non regional-istic captain of Indian cricket. Targic, more so when the God of  off side's cricketing genius is never questioned.  Do we ever question a Rahul Dravid fan with the very obvious question that "you must be a Kannadiga?" For that matter, I know many more non Bengali/non Calcuttan fans of Dada than the originally presumed. I tell you, presumptions are bad. And he loves to prove them wrong every time. That attitude to die for!

So Dada, I don't know if you are ever going to read this, but for me it is important to make an effort to make it known to you, on behalf of many like me, that we will never cease to support you. You are our inspiration, an inspiration to fight against what you feel is wrong, standing up for what is right, answering your critics where it matters the most. I may be the most ardent SRK fan ever on this earth, but he or for that matter his pool of 'knighty brats' have no qualification to judge who you are. That too in a circus called IPL. I hate IPL, but I will be there tomorrow at Eden Gardens to watch you play, shout my heart out for you as you make me learn that you should always answer your opposition in their chosen field. And there you are, Thank you for giving one of the most memorable frames of the season. A 'hair raising' one at that :)

I know your team is not doing well, there are chances that you might lose tomorrow, but then again, who cares? It is all about the journey, you know Dada. I will be there tomorrow. For me and for many others the true Calcutta boy will play on the home ground tomorrow. Also, thank you for letting us know that how we still truly feel about the city. We never like to be imposed upon Mr. SRK. That might be your fancy franchise with lots of imported showpieces. A winning one at that. But the true Calcutta will elude you at the Eden Gardens tomorrow.

(P.S.- The post is mostly incoherent and not of much literary value, but the moment was necessary....and so was the expression)

Monday, April 2, 2012

How to tell the world that you are in love- a bong woman's guide to glory :)

(This is something I wrote as a facebook post a few months back. Back then, I was still a corporate slave. A lot of things have changed since then. And suddenly one fine day it turned out to be one of the controversial notes that I wrote. Sarcasm, thou is not every one's cup of tea. And so are you Mr.' sen'se of humour :) A little editing later, the much hallowed note makes it's debut on my blog. Read on.)

Google is a wonderful thing. Nowadays every other person claim to know a lot and even more dangerously have an opinion on everything, all thanks to- yes! you guessed it right- "Google" [The veracity of what they speak and the grammar (ah! spellings) are completely different stories though.] So in case you don't know it, just google it..or log onto Twitter. But the point is not that. The point that I am solely concerned as of now is about the search options Google gives. Once you punch in a few words, it gives you suggesstions.
So I am this seemingly well paid corporate slave trying to unearth some data on the business profile of a client and I have to start from scratch. What better options than logging on to Google? I did that and was stumbled. Google gives you suggesstions like "how to get pregnant" (?!) No seriously! And then there was this one suggestion which really got me hooked- "How to tell the world that you are in love" You may laugh yuou heart out but how bourgeois can Google get? Sorry! but that's the only interpretation I can think of right now (with all the seemingly colourful activities going on around me :P) I have a few pointers though. The way you can tell the world that you are in love- or to put it simply to show off your High market value boyfriend/fiance :P Don't blame me it for being an inherently 'bong' take on the issue as you might well know by now that I was the one who had once famously propounded that -"Being Boing is a state of mind" (Don't believe me, ask a few people from NALSAR) :)

1. First and foremost- update your relationship status on Facebook. In case you doing that on Orkut, you are plain and simple orkutiya. Count the comments, and individually reply to each one of them. Behave as you are blushing and play the cat and mosue game about telling 'who is the lucky one'

2. Post some randomly nice pictures taken on prinscep ghat or victoria. Of yours alone....but make it evident that you were with someone. Of course! who goes to Victoria alone, until and unless you still believe in "Long live the queen" 

3. A few days back "someone's" mother gifted me  a Nabaneeta Dev Sen book. She writes there in somewhere about the crisis called love :) and she quotes a famous saying of her generation that Bengali men and women used to quite religiously follow- "Prem korbo jethay sethay, biye korbo baper kothay" (roughly translates to- Will love/flirt around with anybody or somebody, but will marry some one proper as per my father's wish). Sadly, this holds true for my generation and may be everyother generation to come. The generation befores iconized the proverbial 'love marriage' (the concept which the 'west') still fails to understand and nowadays it's not even looked down upon. But the truth is even more simpler. Love marraiges nowadays are more akin to marriages of convenience (and I am no where excluding arranged marriages, just that they are more 'to the point' :P. The bengali girl's heart, more often than not, reaches out for that software engineer from an ivy league institution and ample monetary opportunities. That background was heavy, but that brings us to the thrid point.

She will wear those off the racks designer dresses that he must have got for her and will gleefully smile at those jealous glances of her friends and tell them "O na baire thekey eney diyechey" (He has got it for me froim abroad). The more the glances, the borader the smiles :)

4. She would be th hottest chick having a ball around the town, but once he meets that perfect IITian boyfriend of hers, she will gladly move on to salwar kameezes. When asked she wil say- "O na amar low cut blouses pora pochondo korey na" (He doesn't like me wearing low cut blouses). Telegraph rightly said- "O boleche" is the end of the world! (sigh! for those non bengali speaking people who don't understand the greatness of "o boleche" :P)

5. She will speak  in hushed tones and will grin ear to ear about those constant phone calls and when teased about them in the family gathering full of mashi, pishi and didimas. And then the proverbial  bengali meyer ma (girl's mom) will jump into the action. Mind you that's another way to show off- "tutun er jonyo na ekta khub bhalo patro peyechi. IIT r chele. Software Engineer. Amerciay thake. Ora khub jorajuri korche biyer jonyo...chele to amar meyer jonyo pagol...biyer pore ora states ei chole jabe....newo na ei chocolate ta arektu newo na....oi pathiyechey..onek to pathateyi thake... chocolates, perfume, dresses....sob tutun er jonyo" (We have found a very good match for tutun you know. The guy is from IIT. He is a Software Engineer and stays in America. The guy's side is pressing for marraige soon....the guy is crazy about my girl you know. They will live in States only after marraige....have some more chocolates...he only sent....arey! he keeps on sending chocolates, perfumes, dresses for our tutun")

IIT, software Engineer and America. Three words and the magic is done on everyone....the mashima, didima, uncle, aunty....they will now discuss about the guy's pay package and the Dollars he earns. Recession, Credit Rating downgrade are forgotten words then :P

6. Trust me, she will never forget to mention the IIT and the America tag everytime a friend asks her completely unrelated stuff like "How did you meet?"

7. Last on my mind as of now...(but definitely not the least)....a person I knew once used to show off her love by posting cosy (ok! that's not the word)...ummmm seriously lovey dovey (read: toucht touchy) pictures of her boyfriend(s)...(she eventually married one of them) on a very public forum like Orkut....and the album was for everyone to see. so you know that next time you go on a date, know how to click pictures and how to upload them on facebook (orkut, sheesh!) 

P.S. Not everything written here is from personal experience, nor did I ever deny that I wasn't the true bong girl who doesn't mind showing off her Fiance who can buy her.....(let that be a seceret) :) :

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A few springs in between....

"So, Mamoni! all set?"
Dr. Rajat Mukherjee was all smiles today. A glint of pain showed up now and then but he hid it well enough. He was proud, very proud of his only daughter Debolina. Getting one's PhD application accepted in one of the world's most revered universities is not an easy ask. Debolina had done it and how!

Debolina was happy. Relieved to the core. For years in to her graduate and post graduate studies in Jadavpur University, Debolina was always taunted by her relatives- for studying Literature. She was glared upon when her father's friends from medical school asked- "So what are you studying now?" and she answered back in a wimpish tone- "Literature, Comparative Literature." The presumption was always in favour of Medicine, Engineering or for that matter Sciences. But Literature came as rude shock to all.

And now she was going to Harvard. What an answer to all! A country where "Made in Vietnam" but "Marketed from USA" still sells like hot cakes, this was an achievement, nonethless. Dr. Mukherjee had arranged for a family get together before the day Debolina was scheduled to leave for foreign shores. Mrs. Mukherjee was busy attending to all. 

"Taposhi Di, take one more bhteki fry, please!"
"Laltu Da, one more, one more chom chom...this for Tukun"

Bits and pieces of conversation strewn across the roof followed Debolina, Tukun to her immediate family. She was ready to leave this place of her own, the only place she called home in her twenty two years of existence. She was excited about all that was awaiting her. But she felt remorse too. Boney mashi, the one who had trashed her future prospects as- "Useless!" a few years back came with a bouquet to congratulate her.

"Daroooon Khobor!! Congratulations! So very proud of you :)"
"Why are you so late Boney di?"
"Arey the Tukun when is your flight tomorrow? Are you carrying woollens?"
"Take a few spices also....for immediate need"- Rani dida jutted in the conversation.

Tukun smiled. She smiled a lot, until she boarded her flight. May be that was the only way she could console Ma. Her mother who always took a backseat in every decision made in the household. Her mother who loved playing second fiddle to the awe inspiring personality of Dr. Mukherjee, her father. Her mother who did not cry a bit before she vanished beyond the point of security check and immigration cues in the airport.

Tukun looked up. The Air Hostess was here to ask for her meal preferences. She had a long flight ahead....and a longer journey.


"Are you looking for this?"
Debolina was startled! She was so engrossed in her search for her cell phone that she failed to notice that someone was standing right next. The Library still felt jolted to be waken up by the shrill sound of the cell phone ring. 
"Thank you so much! I just couldn't place it."
"Happens! Happens more in case you read Jhumpa Lahiri too much"
"Hey! you like her?"
"Well, being a Bengali, and that too a graduate student in an American University, if I claim that I don't like her works of Bengal, Boston and Beyond...I will surely be lying."
"You are a  Bengali?" Debolina exclaimed with joy!
"Yes Madam, 100% pure breed Bengali....I swear by my Robi Thakur."

Kabir had already extended his hand for friendship and Debolina couldn't refuse the easy going charm. Kabir, as she later learnt was a Bangladeshi. Debolina had first mistaken her for a Calcutta bong. To which Kabir had joked- "Snobbish Calcuttan, It seems you think all the bengalis you know hail from Calcutta and read in your convent schools. Huh!"

In stead Kabir Siddiqui hailed from Dhaka. A bright young Statistics scholar from Dhaka University, Kabir was also here on a full scholarship. Their area of research was way different, and the cities varied, but poetry and rhyme found them. And the language. Debolina had spotted almost thirty desis in and around her apartment and Department but none of them spoke her mother tongue. 

Language, what an amazing creation was it. Debolina sometimes wondered whether she would have taken that instant liking for Kabir, if not for Bengali language, a language they both communicated in. There were days when Kabir stayed back in her apartment for an extra cup of tea while they both hummed their favourite Rabindrasangeet. 

"Bujhley Debolina, This tea is a wonderful boon to us...the 'still' colonized souls from the British. This Starbucks fed nation doe snot know how much are they missing out because of coffee."

Laughter and a Joy Goswami later, Kabir would stood up to go and finish his assignment due next week.

Debolina, would wave her goodbye.

Two months had passed on since the day Debolina had left Calcutta. Her mother now knew how to use Skype and communicate. She wrote her emails. There were emails from her dad too. He spoke to her at length on the weekends. Today was one such day. Her parents were pestering her to come back home during the winter break. Debolina was disapproving. She and Kabir had made plans to visit New York around that time. A plan her parents would never approve of. She tried to divert the topic of the conversation.

"Bapi, you always told that our ancestors were from Dhaka"
"Yes, from erstwhile East Bengal. Why?"
"No generally. Where in Dhaka Bapi?"
"Bikrampur. but that was long back....why are you suddenly interested Mamoni? I say you come back this winter. Don't think about funds. You won the scholarship and am mighty proud of that. But I can fund your travel expenses."
"It's not that Bapi. I have lots of work pending here"
"Can't you come for two weeks?" Mrs. Mukherjee jutted in between the video call on Skype.
"Aha! can't you see she is telling that she has important work. you will never understand. But still Mamoni, try to come."
"I will try Bapi"
"Ok! Maoni I have to go now. I have an appointment with you siddhesh Kaku today. He is coming for a routine check up.You remember him right? His son is now working with Microsoft in New York. You can meet him during the winter break. He was thinking of visiting Boston too."
"I do Bapi and I have told you many times that I don't want to meet his son. I don't find him good."
"Ha Ha Ha, take your time. Signing off! Mamoni"

The window on her laptop disappeared. Sometimes she felt that her loving father was indeed very cruel. Very, Very cruel. He did not even let ma talk properly. She could not even say a bye. 

"Madam, busy?"
"No Kabir Da, come...look what I got...a brand new collection of Suchitra Bhattacharya stories. It's available on Amazon!"
"Aha! don't call me Kabir many times should I tell you that it doesn't sound good when a beautiful girl calls you as her brother. Btw, I am only 25 and quite eligible"
"You and your flirting."
"Madam, what will you understand of flirting. In this land of foreign beauties, nobody apart from you understands Rabindranath and Kadambari Debi."
"Aha!He was wrong. Kadambari was his sister in law."
"Debolina, when did you start thinking in the box full of black and white? Isn't there something called grey? Kadambari Debi was his inspiration."

Days Passed. The frolic and tinkle grew. Kabir was a year senior to Debolina. He had introduced him to many other Bengalis in and around Boston. Some were here for work. Some studied in the University. ! few were part of the IT crowd. Whenever they assembled, Kabir was always in the centre stage. Debolina's stolen glances caught Kabir busily distributing luchi aloordum to one and all during Saraswati pujo. The meet for Tagore's Birthday celebration found him hogging all the limelight for singing multilingual renditions of "Ekla Cholo re". He was the star. Debolina was his happy shadow.

"Your parents must be a big fan of Anjan Dutta right?"
"Jah! You are from Calcutta and never heard of Anjan Dutta?" 
"Of course I have...but why?"
"Arey they named you Debolina after his favourite song, right?"
It was Ina di's house one summer evening where they had all gathered to watch the fresh off the rack DVD screening of the very popular and award winning Bengali movie of the year. 'Antaheen' as it was called. Rajeev Khemka, Kabir's batchmate had nervously followed him to this full of fishhead eating bong gathering. It so happened that Kabir had suddenly visited his apartment to find him doing nothing and being the strang head that he was, forced Rajeev into this. The Gujarati in him was very scared of being served non vegetarian food. It took a lot of coaxing from Ina di   to make him have the vegetarian pulao. A few minutes into the screening, Debolina was serving as Rajeev's official translator.

"What does Antaheen mean?"
"Endless wait" Debolina answered, only to be momentarily clouded by her thoughts of the wait that she was put into. Kabir was a Muslim. He was a Bangladeshi. Her father being the high caste Bengali Hindu Brahmin would never approve of the match. 

Was there a match? 
Kabir was flirting with Ina Di's sister who was visiting her from India in the other corner of the room. He was humming a famous bengali song to her. "I need you". Yes! that's what it was called.

So from Debolina to another songwriter's dream, it didn't take much of Kabir's time. Debolina often wondered whether Kabir even had a hint how since the New York trip of theirs, the stupid whispering of "Aami tomake bhalobashi" (I love you in Bengali) in the Central Park, her entire world revolves around Kabir?

Kabir obviously broke into a peal of laughter when Debolina turned a tinge red while being whispered those three magical words in Bengali. 
"Pagli!! scared you! Don't take it seriously. Actually the weather, the surroundings....can you not be in love right now?"

That was Kabir. Whimsical. He could make such fun of people. Debolina did not talk to him for the remaining two days of the trip. But she had to eventually give in.

"Madam, seems like you are day dreaming....what's the matter?"
Debolina was startled by Kabir's booming voice yet again. He was driving on the way back from Ina Di's house. They had dropped Rajeev in his apartment. There was a joke going around in today's gathering. 
"Odol bodol". They were obviously referring to Kabir paying more attention to Ina Di's cousin and Debolina sticking around with Rajeev for the entire evening.

"Seems like some one is turning green with envy."
"Why should I be?" Debolina reeacted
"Who told it's you? But, you may say whatever you like but Rajeev will take a million years to understand the pains behind Bhindeshi Taara (the distant star) in translation." Kabir winked.
"So who will understand Kabir Da?"
"Arrey, I was just saying that it has been beautifully sung by Anindya. The reworked version by Shantanu Moitra in the movie is quite good too."
"Don't divert the topic Kabir Da. You always do. Tell me who can be my distant star? ? My bhindeshi taara?" tears welled up Debolina's eyes while she spoke.
"Crazy woman" Kabir laughed. "Have you been possessed or something at this hour of the night? Ki bolchish? Go back home and sleep."
"You know how much courage did it take for me to ask you the question. You know it right Kabir Da? Who will under stand my language? that distant star"
"I do".

That winter Kabir went back home. He returned with his wife Sakina. Kabir never spoke much about his family in Dhaka but whatever Debolina could make out from bits and pieces was that he belonged to a very wealthy political family. Sakina, who took an instant liking for Debolina, had later told her that she was the only daugfhter of one of the richest industrialists of Dhaka. Kabir and she were family friends. Theirs was a 'love marriage'. They had met at a party thrown that December in honour of Kabir. Their parents approved of the match and it didn't take much time for them to get hooked.

Debolina returned to India to teach languages at JNU. She later married a colleague of hers there. she lives in Delhi with her two kids.

(P.S.- All characters mentioned in the story are purely fictional. Any resemblance with anybody, dead or living, is purely coincidental)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Wedding Story!

It's quite exciting you know when three months after the wedding, people are still gung ho about eagerly waiting to know your story :) the story. Well! I never officially published it on the blog. Never expected that there is an audience for the story too....then I never expected people to actually read the blog and write me warm emails about how my blog constantly remind them about Kolkata. And they being eager whether I will reply back or not :)
Woah! I am surely not a snob...neither a celebrity who gets fan mails by the dozens...but truly speaking your mail or word of appreciation truly makes my day :) Like every other Bengali woman worth her salt, I too wish to publish my book someday, soon enough :P.....just wasn't sure if somebody will buy a copy or not....Kind of relieved now. A few will see the light of the day I think :D Thank you is surely not enough :))

And for those who wanted to read my story...our story rather (Mine and Deep's) you can surely do that on our wedding website, the one we had prepared to share the moments of the big day with our friends and family before the wedding-

Please do sign the guestbook. We treasure your good wishes dearly. It's kind of late and awkward but may be that's the way it was meant to be. I began content writing for it vehemently, but the wedding preparations took its own sweet toll. But then again.....have I ever plunged into anything which looks certain? No, and I don't want to also. Being certain is boring. Welcome to the tanginess of life. A hint of Phuchka laced with tamarind water.

Did it make you lust? Yes! that's life for me :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

B(v)idyang Dehi!

Firstly, I am too overwhelmed to write a proper movie review.

Secondly, I am no movie critic.

It's just that I am overwhelmed by the cinematic experience called 'Kahaani'. What a movie! What a city! and what an actor(s)! (sic.)

There is absolutely no doubt that I am a devout Calcutta fan. Needless to say there are many more in the blogosphere or for that matter, in this small place whose mystery is still being investigated by a certian Sheldon Cooper ;), but 'Kahaani' has shook me...after a long, long time.

Nobody, and this includes the over emphasis of the Howrah Bridge, the phuchka in front of Victoria and Moulin Rouge in Parineeta, has shown my city, the only city in this whole wide world I call 'home' so beautifully...unadulterated, pure, charming, graceful, pregnant with expectation, warmth...and lethal. The women organisations may debate on and on...but Kolkata and 'Calcutta' you are truly 'sexy' and a 'siren'. A 'sex-bomb' I say.

The best part about the film is the fact that in doesn't show Calcutta in that very stereotypical mould of the city of the past. It is about today. It is about the constant optimism that we Calcuttan's live with.....probably the only city that balances of its 'korchi na korbo na' tradition with the new found lingo of Sector V and Rajarhat. (It's completely different that I find Camac Street a class apart :))

You know what? I think Sujoy Ghosh is a pucca Calcuttan....not any other non resident Bong...he doesn't make that stupidest mistake that anybody commits nowadays and which makes Calcuttans like me turn back and retort- "Salt Lake is not Kolkata." I know you will cringe but the fact remains- it's still a satellite township which doesn't fall within the limits of the city. Sujoy Ghosh actually moves ahead and don't fall into that beaten formula of showing yesteryear's Kolkata means- Victoria Memorial, Park Street, Trincas and Cabaret. Today's Kolkata is- Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge and decorated pieces in some sleepy neighbourhood of Salt Lake. That mould is broken! Most importantly, Sujoy Ghosh and the DoP, Setu, thank you for showing Calcutta moments in a mainstream collage without adding any hanky panky which is so very associated with the cities timeline.

His Calcutta is very much the Nonapukur or Kumortuli we know. Or the bylanes of a smellingly old Central Calcutta house. And the very evident and bustling South Calcutta. Kalighat, Triangular Park, Ballygunge Cultural er pujo....uuf!! ki nei.

And Durga Pujo!!!! What a montage, what a use of Dhaaks in the climax. The very religious symbolisms turn into the imagery of woman power which kills and protects. Hats off! for even thinking like this.

And I will not talk about the performances. Vidya Balan, my dear Palaghat Iyer lady, you are an honorary bong  or rather a Calcuttan know that right? Thank you for being so subtle and so unapologetic and proud about being after film. In today's world of heroines (not actresses) so very obsessed with their frail frames, you are a worthy exception. And so very seductive. The film also showcases the goldmine of talented actors that Bengali cinema treasures. Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Saswata, Kharaj....each and everyone. The 'kahaani' of the film is it's true hero and the scriptwriting is- to use a teenager's way of expressing her first Valentine moment- out of the world!

And then there is that one person who has probably given words to all my emotions...every single time :) His song written probably quite a few years ago binds the thematic representation of the story at a level where we all identify. Probably he doesn't need any more reckoning and we are minions to  give him so.....but once again he proves, and a point well proved, that those who call him outdated are so very obsolete and poor (the word couldn't possibly match up to the emotional content of the bengali word 'deen').

The only character who overshadows all this and rises much beyond is the lady who is better known as the city of laughter, joy, warmth and tinkle- Calcutta!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Have you known a person who secretly dates his married wife while sipping coffee at CCD? I know one :) and he is mine :)))

Besides that weddings in the family..lots of occasions to dress up and a brilliant 'phalgun' in good ole' Calcutta is keeping me occupied. I will be back soon to tell the stories of the bright red polash phools soon enough :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The politics of dressing up- Narrative 1

Almost a year ago I wrote a post about Saraswati Pujo which is, and continues to be, one of the most read ones on this space of mine. An eventful winter and many ceremonies later, this Saraswati pujo arrived and I finally got to attend one in person after five long years. The festivities, the mirth and the golden hues jamdani would make for an absolutely delicious feel good post...but I have some food for thought and winter adda too.

A facebook post doing rounds and being shared incessantly by many (including many of my erudite friends) shows the juxtaposition of two pictures- one old and one new against each other and asking a pertinent question of our times. The old picture shows an old black and white photograph of two young girl-ladies draped in traditional saris posing in front of the camera in their natural coy and shy manner. A sign of their times may be. I am no one to judge or comment. 
The newer photograph shows two young girls of (probably) Calcutta posing while showing off their well toned backs peeping out from the made to order backless cholis, on Saraswati pujo morning. The caption that goes along is- "erporeo ki bolbe meyera pichiye ache" (Will you still say girls lag behind?) or something of similar tune.

Having taken note of the question posed and the furious amount circulation which makes it in line to beanother stand alone joke on facebook- I do have a question of mine- How is the question of women liberation, blah blah and progress even related to the images of women dressing up differently probably on a scale of 100 years and being playful with their cholis? Does that backless choli ring your modesty bell, mister?

We really are a generation full of stupid people who judge beauty, development and progress by just the way we look...or the way we dress? who told that the person wearing Prada and who dines at the fines of the restaurants is not regressive enough to decide the perfect match for himself  going by the horoscope of the bride? (since that's how it goes till now in most of the cases)

Who is the one to decide that the real life jounrney of a brash young lady from a dingy South Calcutta lane to be one of the most popular and dynamic leader of a very complicated state in India is not a success story- a story of progress- clad through out in her taant sari and hawai chappals?

Who decides if the girl in Purulia who protests against child marriage and under age marital abuses clad in her simple salwar suits has not light years ahead of the girls posing in their backless cholis. I am not disputing their modernity, but who told that women liberation was all about dressing up? Will the brand of lipstick decide how far we have moved?

I am sure many people are conversant with the works of Ashapurna Debi, in Bengali and in translation. She had once very simply portrayed the tribulations and three generations of women empowerment in Bengal through her trilogy of books- 1. Prothom Protisruti 2. Subornolota 3. Bokul Kotha. None of her heroines wore fashionable clothes...but did that make them or the millions of women from post partition refugee families who went out to seek work and defined the economic independence of women in Bengal and India any less progressive? ( Ashapurna Debi was just my reference point here. The same goes with Ismat Chugtai or Mallika Sengupta.)

Who told that those two young ladies from that photograph had not moved ahead of their times while posing in front of the camera?  Or do we just judge a woman by the way she looks- till today? The backless choli hurts and we know why. We still want woman to conform to her very sacred and shy image that goes with our sugar and spice everything nice mindset. So we prefer them nicely covered. In case they are not, the Delhi CM goes out and issues a statement about women not 'venturing' out in the night- even if her professional commitments demand so.

In the end- the thought that clouds my mind is that whether I will be termed a hardcore feminist after writing this one, after all we are tagged one in case we think anything on our own and about our conscience. Thing about it guys!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Munch on!

1. I love the way he makes early morning tea for me. The perfect blend. The wonderful warmth :)

2. I have again fallen in love with cooking. The random aloo pneyajkoli bhaja that I try to fry for him in the nonstick kadhai before he leaves for office and I sit with my work in front of the laptop, gives me a high. 

3. I realised I have got too many expensive saris for my wedding. Saris I do not know when to wear. And that gives me more reason to shop and get a new pair of jeggings. 

4.Oh! that reminds I am yet to wear almost two new dresses that he got for me from Amreeka. And the brand new Tarun Tahiliani exclusive evening wear that I got as a part of my wedding trousseau from my shashuri ma :)

5. I am so bad at yet to put things in proper order in mine and deep's new pad.

6. Tasted Litti for the first time with amazing chokha while we visited Jamshedpur, my hubby deearest's home, this weekend. Being the 'notun bou' I was pampered silly with all my favourite delicacies being cooked in one single weekend and awesome neighbours sending in sheetkaler peethey payesh. Truly speaking I am the proverbial city girl who can't sleep through if she doesn't get the hint of honking horns outside in the street (it's a different story altogether that my house and the location as such in Calcutta has gifted me many a envious glances- the ones I enjoyed to the hilt) - but I will agree with the fact that small towns have a charm of their own. Got to see his school, heard stories of adulation that he earned while he went to IIT. Obviously! I was a very proud wife then. Laughed my heart out while hearing stories of his idiosyncrancies. Each incident (and each day!) makes me realise that I have truly married a geek.

7. Finished a new Suchitra Bhattacharya book while on my way back from Jamshedpur to Calcutta. It was really chilly out there....but my shourbari's garden was beaming with freshly bloomed Dahlias and flowers I was not even aware of. My shashuri ma had packed a bunch of bananas from the garden's tree and I quite stupidly asked her whether thor (the vegetable) grew from a banana tree :P (blame my city habits)

8.A friend recently asked- "So has anything changed after marriage?"

My answer to that will always remain an emphatic YES! The wedding and the cacophony of Anandabazar reporting almost 'Londonesque' weather in Calcutta, I realize that I refuse to come out of that 'just married' state. And that is going to continue for a long, long time :P But yes, equations do change. Earlier my mom used to pester me whether I would be able to cook or make one single cup of tea for my hero hiralal after she is the one who tells me not to work so hard :P

Jokes apart, Marriage (though I am no Baba or counsellor to say that) is a boon. It makes you aware, responsible and all that comes wrapped in the flavour of nolen gurer sondesh. Beat that!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012



Quite a crazily proud proclamation as it may be- but yes! am the man I knew was the one quite tailor made for me. The realization had struck me the very first time we exchanged emails....and rituals, customs, lal benarasi sari, topor mathay bor, a rather warm December day and the big fat bong wedding over......almost a year later since the day we keyed in a few words through a very formal mail on our parents' insistance- I, sorry, 'we' stick to that.

People often ask me whether it is an arranged marriage, how did we meet and stuff. I suppose people going through our wedding website must have an idea by now(the one I laboriously did content writing for and my utterly geeky tech friendly hubby dearest supervised :p). We met through a very traditional arranged matchmaking set up where our parents talked first....saw whether our educational, professional and family backgrounds were compatible. But somewhere I started believe in the lore- 'every marriage is based on love'- without that it just cannot survive.

Yesterday or the day before that while setting up our new place in the city of my dreams- Calcutta- I asked him a question- "did we actually have an arranged marriage". "We had a marriage....a lovely one...Let's not call it names".

I think that profoundly describes it. He is surely the best best thing to have happened to me in a really long, long time.....and I hope it stays like that for years to come. I am not saying that because of the unlimited shopping bonanza he treated me to while in Bangkok. But for the way he held my hand and reassured me while that scarily dangerous snake show in Phuket. To the time we held and hands and took small baby steps in the pristine green waters in Phi's to many more to come.

Love you Deep. Stay the way you are. I love those fights we have over who is a better cook. And you know I love cooking for you. Thanks for gulping down the gibberish. Thanks for the wonderful family that I added to my own kitty. A mom in law who cooked me a proper six course Bengali meal on my birthday right after the wedding.

The day I turned twenty three, I was holidaying in Agra...visiting probably the most romantic monument on earth- the Taj Mahal with my family.....I had one day thought of finding someone whose love was a as pure as the "subhro sommujol" Taj Mahal.....never knew by the time the days took a turn and I grew a year younger, my life will be so different...for the better. Never knew I will meet you.

Thank you is not enough. **Touchwood** (Am very scared of the evil eye) :)

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