Saturday, December 19, 2009

"hothat ekta oleek, obastob swopner hatchani jodi tomar kache hothat kore nijey eshey dhora dilo tumi ki korbe?"
"dhyatt, erom abar hoy naki..tahole ar swapno ke swapno boley kano shuni. and am very practical..ami oshob swapno twapno dekhi na bujhley!"

"really..konodin head over heels premey porish ni bolchish tahole?"

Songlaap ta purotayi kalponik. ba hoyto ba nichok pordar aral. tobe shotti jodi seisob roopkothara ekdin lagamchara hoye tomar aancholbondi hotey chay tokhon tumi ki korbe???

Aami ki kortam? Aami hoyto proshno churey ditam tomar dikey..."aar charu?"

Jara eta porchen..tara mathamundu kichu bujhlen nato..amio bujhini. asholey amar matha ba mundu konotayi swasthaney nei.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kichu na

Mon kharap ar bhalo lagar modhye ki kono ek ojana jogshutro ache? hoyto ba...Aamar moner akash er aynay  ekhon ek raash mon kharap meghla kore ache. kintu sei bhalo.
mon kharap ache boleyi to jantey pari mon ta ekhono benchey ache. Ei gumot kora polythene soundorjyer race er mathey, ekhono ekta sada ghora ache jake dekhey mone hoy ghorshowar ta ke. se ghoratake baazigar er shahrukh er moto kore chutiye niye jabe ki?

baazigar, kottodin hoye gelo na! shudhu oi drishyota gethey ache money. amader chotobela gulo kerom furiye gelo na??? lake avenue building tar samne diye bus ta jawar pothey menoka cinema hall er samne diye ghurto..amra kerom gograshey giltam cinemar poster gulo.....kaho na pyaar hain dekhar jonyo amar sob bondhura pagol! ar aami refugee niye mata mati korlam..go haran harlo refugee popular count ey....kintu tao abhishek bachchan ke kemon dekhtey, prothom promo tay kemon  lagche ta niye sei odomyo koutuhol! sei dingulo shotti ar toiri hoyna......jemon toiri hoyna bari fireyi chottoammar ghorey khawa. bikel holey bulbuli aunty r bari portey jawa.....sekhane aunty r sathe golpo kora....aunty ajo boley ami onar sob tehke priyo chatri chilam....porashunay to faki martam, tobuo aunty r sathe amar somporkota onyo matray chilo. she was a true mentor for me.
ei kothagulor kono mane hoyna. ei kothagulor bodhoy chapar okhoreo prokaash korar noy....tao..emni....kichu mon kharp ke megh er desher rajonkyer thikanay khambodi kore pathiye diley bodhhoy bhalo thaka sei mon kharap tar theke toiri howa jibher teto swad ta mitey jaay..... sundor bhalo lagar amejn rekhey jaay shudhu.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The community pujo.

I was having a random conversation with my cousin brother on gtalk and it was just the usual types -"how was your day?" "so did you finally get a girlfriend types"- until he told me about the pujo pandal coming up in a certain neighbourhood nestled in one corner of South Calcutta. No the conversation didn't turn into a radical one, but it did overwhelm me with some emotions, predominantly nostalgic. memories, loads of them actually. :-)
Kalyan Sangha- yes, that's what my 'para' (neighbourhood/mohalla) is called. The pujo turns 39/40 this year (need to confirm this from baba). 40 years since the time when it was a peace loving predominantly bengali locality in an up and coming area of the city. 40 years down the lane (truly! only a is often called the 'snob' neighbourhood which sleectively chose only 22 houses/many more households since the multistoried invasion, to call itself a close knit communiy) it has metamorphosed in to one of those very cosmopolitan parts of the city, posh and upmarket. Only the peaceloving bit has been taken to the hilt to the point that we often get to talk to our neighbours on Ashtami morning (and the following bhog ceremony) with the very formal- "kemon achho?" needless to say the rest of the connversation most of the time flows in anglicized bengali. (well, atleast we communicate once atleast!)
I have heard numerous stories from pishimoni about the para love affairs or the drama they used to stage every year for bijoya sommiloni. I have never witnessed anything of that sort in my 21 years of existance. There were sporadic Bijoya sommiloni and I particularly remember one where I was made to dance on stage with Miss Jojo singing (*shrink*), but then theye were very very formal occasions. and bout the love affairs, the least said the better. I guess we had moved into a generation of being very conscious bongs.
But then again I love them, my neighbours I mean...I love them being around, or is it just a habit that we have just grown used to.
My father is actively involved with all the para pujo activities (be it in any capacity), so I have seen my drawingroom turn into a virtual control room before pujo, or the editorial office just before the commemorative issue of that year's pujo comes up. yeah! we dont even have a proper club-ghor, lol...we have a registered address though. In fact all the utensils needed for pujo are those which my family use for all other religious purposes. similarly the sondhi pujo lamps are given by another friendly neighbour or the Baikali bhog prepared by an always smiling jethi or the jethu-jethi couple I quite like who supervise the entire pujo. Our para pujo is not a big affair. Contributions, even the amount sounds big, do not add up for the entire expenses. So a favourite family of mine sponsor the Durga idol, a kaku sponsoring the Ashtami bhog or people like my baba and others using their official contacts for advertisements. That helps, since our para is very strategically located and the hoardings can be placed at the right places to grab attention. I guess this is the armth that keeps the pujo going in between the continous rants every year in the pujo meeting that its increasingly becoming an exercise of the elderly, with hardly any participation of the younger generation. and with so many new faces in the para these days, very few actually understand the sentiment. But then again, there are a few amongst them who really want to mingle and blood or not, Kalyan Sangha stays on.
We had won the competitions for best pujo in the area in our 25th and 26th year of celebrations, but the pomp seems to be waning by the day...what remains though is fond memories and warmth. ah! yes, the warmth..even after talking about lack of communication through most of my post. Why so?? may be because this is the place most of us still call home, yes, the proper home....not the multistoried ones......well the giant has nice old sprawling houses falling prey to it every now and then, but may be because of our relative snob status ( :P), am proud to say that my neighbourhood has preserved many a memory of a by gone era. :-)
Also, for most of us this is the place where we understood what the atmosphere of pujo truly is (pujor hawa). I remember how much i used to bawl ove rthe issue that I have to visit my mamabari to be a part of a pujo where everybody is back home by 9. No, that didnt work out for me. For me my pujo is still being at my para mondop 10'0 clock sharp on nabami night where Baba will do his famous dhunuchi naach. one of my parar dada who stays in hyderabad but makes it a point to return to Calcutta every pujo once told me that it was impossible to think of Kalyan Sangha's pujo without Baba's dhunuchi naach on Nabami :-) That also paves the way for the younger generation to take over with their forms of the traditional dance form and trust me I also witnessed a certain somebody doing what we termed as the "jog dance". Just that the young need to come up and shoulder some responsibilities too. will an optimist you see.
Also, this is the place where you can expect to catch up with your childhood buddies with whom you rarely get to meet these days. Many like me and Masume, my childhood friend, are away from home (both of us dont get to attend the pujo this year. sigh!). Many have migrated to different parts of the city. But whenever you meet them you feel good and happy. May be its all because of the fake pistol firing competitions that we had or the guys v/s girls big fight (seriously we made a vow not to talk to each others groups after that and it does bring a chuckle to think about it right now) or the fight over the microphone about who will make the next announcement. It has all been a part of our growing up. just like those horrible nicknames (i love them though) by which we know each other.
It was not only us. My mom told me about her meeting with a very pretty aunty who was once our neighbour in the metro. She was still very nostalgic about the neighbourhood she had stayed in for 22 years...and it has been some 8 years since she left it.
May be this is the place I first fell in love. May be I did (completely head over heels type :P)

Kalyan Sangher torof theke agoto dorshonarthider janayi sharodiyar preeti of shubhechaa. :-)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dino lipir patay patay

Nityo diner rojnamchay, kheror khatar hisheb nikeshey
pratorasher choto choto thokathuki, bhanga-goray
gaa shoye jawa gonjonay, atombhori boardroom er atmoprokashey
sobuj campus theke onek durey bodley jawa hisheb onkey
kaalo horin chokher onupreronay, ordhoshotabdi periye asha chahonir sheetolotay.

alokborsho periye asha poriborton, maniye newa, 'adjustment'
shwet pathorer thalar bodoley thake churi, kanta, fine china
boidhobyo, okaal boidhobyo, klanto dampotyo, ahoto dampotyo, roktakto dampotyo
chokher koney joma howa kajollotar prolep- shob kichur modhye-
grihobodhu theke home manager/ earning spouse/ "DINK" couple er protyabortoney

Ora ajo benchey thake.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Golpokotha ebong myth.

Kokhono majhraatey fire ashey orthoheen songlaap-prolaap-jotil bujruki gulo
kokhono mone hoy golpota na shunleyi hoto
kokhono mone hoy natyokar ta bujhi tumi.....ekta polka shutor taney sobaikey niye khela korcho
kintu ei prolaapgulo ki shudhuyi nijeke bhul bojhabar ekanto artonaad na?

sei chora heemsrot somane boye choleche, ekbaro chokh tuley takaoni amar dikey
chokher kalo r isharay gutiye rekhecho nijeke
golpey shunechi tumi naki khub "bhalo observer"
golpota na shunleyi bhalo hoto.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Delicacies from Purbo Bongo

I have been following quite a few food blogs off late. and am quite amazed at the kind of publicity that bengali cuisine gets on the world wide web with a very decent fan following (and that includes a tam iyer friend of mine who is just ga ga over chingri :P). But I do have an objection about the fact that whatever is being publicised as authentic "Bengali" cuisine (and i agree its one yummy effort) more or less consist of what we bangals (people traditionally from east bengal) prefer to call as ghoti (traditional west bengal) culinary delights. Needless to say am completely ga ga over that bit of aloo-poshto.
But the Bangal maiya (Dhaka-Bikrampur) in me cannot take that lying down. I quite enjoy the fact that we are tagged as the people who have earned it (jeebonsongram as they say). This post of mine is an effort to enlist out a few of my favourite dishes which belong exclusively to the Bangal kitchen. Bangal cooking in general is dominated by its prefernce for everything spicy and hot. I guess that's were we have our outspoken origin and if a fellow rajasthani (mind it! they are known for their preference of the Laal mirch) called me a Teekhi Mirach for my now well known big mouth, I couldn't agree more.
So here I go and I begin with the mouth watering- Shutki Maach. I guess many of the Bangals also cannot fathom this foul smelling fish while its being cooked in the neighbourhood. But once done, you can gorge on to this piece of culinary magic.
One remarkable thing is that while Ilish remains the favourite of Bengalis across the ghoti-bangal divide, the fish traditionally is ours i-e, we bangals. We associate it with our favourite football club and not too long ago when a certain sourav ganguly had not changed the statistics and demography of the Kolkata maidan and the sporting scene in general, east bengal supporters used to celebrate their victory (and that includes the famous 5 goals) by sending properly cooked ilish to the houses of their friends supporting mohunbagan. (its very true! my father has done it often. needless to say it was reciprocated with chingri when mohunbagan won against their traditional rivals). Football, food and matrimony still keeps the old ghoti-bangal rivalry alive. Ask me! am a true blue calcutta girl, but when it comes to food or football, i owe my allegiance to my bangal genes. about the other I have no prefernce, only that I won't prefer eating sugar laden ghoti delicacies day in and day out. I want my share of spice ;-)
But coming back to Ilish, the bhapa variety is well known and quite savoured among my non bengali friends but there is one style of cooking the ilish known only to us. and for those diet conscious people out there who want to have it the low calorie way can definitely try it out. the kalojeerey phoron-kancha lonka recipe which my mom turns into a delicacy that every time i go back home, I want more of it. By now, you must have understood I am a big foodie. In fact, I have lately realised food is the only thing that keeps me going!
Chitol macher muithha is another Bangal favourite, though I must admit ghotis also have taken a fascination for this dish in recent years. and I trust my didun to cook it absolutely amazingly. That's one recipe I want to learn from her, because my mom also can't make it that good.
Lotey mach (Loitya or Lotiya as you prefer to call it) has immense medical value. My father alwys emphasised that its necessary for a healthy eyesight...but I fondly think about the fish because of its Jhuri and chochchori varieties which only we are aware of. I sometime so pity those friends of mine who had only the luck to taste the jhol (the syrupy variety), tyaltyaley at that. Trust a true Bangal like me to suggest that itsno match for the other two varieties and add a bit of Lonka bata (mashed red chillies, if i can put it that way), voila! you are in culinary heaven!
And then coming to the eternal Bangal favourite kochu. yeah! the kochu which ghotis (all of them included, and most of them are not snobs) twitch their nose at. My vegetarian friends often complain that bengali cuisine doesn't offer them the variety to choose from for their platter. I sincerely disagree with them. This year's bong food festival was an eye openeer for some of them. But you can trust Bangals to make a thousand mouth watering vegetarian delicacies out of this lesser vegetable (evidently as ghotis still consider it to be some zombie from outer space-their loss!! missing out on something). From the coconut laden warmth of the kochu bata to the spicy tiltilation of the kohur koura, its heaven on earth...those who have tasted it, knows. and Kochur shaak is yummyy in both its vegetarian (when cooked with coconut and nuts) and non vegetarian (ilish macher matha diye) forms.
And about the Bata(mashed) variety of anything and everything possible on earth, trust Bangals to rustle up a storm. It might be the seemingly innocent cauliflower leave (kopipata), dhoney pata or the potatao peels (aloor khosha) any bangal to turn them into one spicy hot bongshell of a dish! :P
and here i conclude the post, not because i ran out of fuel but because i am sincerely missing home cooked food now(pishimoni's cooking!!!). but dont worry, i might just be back with a part 2 because picture abhi baaki hain mere dost. the world needs to know about the sweets!
p.s. whoever visits the blog, in case you are a bong, ghoti bangal nirbisheshey, atleast leave a comment on this piece, i sincerely want your opinion on this and a ghoti bangaler juddho on my blog won't be a that bad idea after all. :P
Also, if anyone wants to add to the list, you are most welcome to do so.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


It is not only about something I pine for. It is also about something I love, I cherish. Something I perennially want to be a part of my existance. It's also not only about the people who make it special.
The smell, the corner, the solace, the book shelf dumped with my old gk today and competition success issues......all these are a part of my growing up....just like my permanent address, and I miss that South Calcutta neighbourhood where that house number is nestled in.

What do I miss most about you? I guess its Baba, his library. Ma and her new found obsession for the microwave oven and Tups! I guess she is the one I miss the most. Paku tups, puchu tups, sweetu tups :P. (Though she is going to admonish me after reading this and provide tips as to how not to address my gadhipuchi by embarrassing names in public incase i write about her something the next time around. :-))

Also, Amma. Her death mde me realise for the first time in life as to how it is to live with the feeling that the one you loved is gone......never to come back again. and trust me its eerie! miss you amma, miss having those quarrels with you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reflectively random

Warning: This post is about nothing in particular

It has been a year since I have been propounded the insensitive, cold, manipulative mannequin and I am at peace with it. It took time, but I fought the battle alone. Yeah! alone. My mom still ponders how come I was never my lachrymose self in this matter. But truth be told, I have become great friends with my mom and sister after the incident. May be what we try to describe as best friends. And it also calmed down a brash side of me. None, and I repeat, none is your friend in this world apart from your immediate family. I have learnt it the hard way round. There may be acquaintances and better acquaintances but nobody is your friend. And the F.R.I.E.N.D.S tune reminds me that it was just a great television show, one I would like to watch over and over again. Betrayals became a part of my vocabulary a few weeks later since this day a year ago, when I got to know the whole story and it was scripted by none other than a person I trusted my life with. Do I sound bitter or pessimistic? No dear, am just being very very practical. And I still trust people. I am a born optimist. That’s one trait in me even my worst critic would like to envy about. I am happy about the fact that it was a great birthday gift for someone. Someone I had a hunch about, I wish I was never there in the picture. The situation could have been a tad less murkier.

Optimism keeps me waiting for the elusive one. The ideal man you see. Yes! I still believe in Yash chopra romances. Facebook says it might just be a cancerian or a virgo and years ago the smuggled Linda Goodman in a boring maths class in school agrees with the prediction.

But the day holds more significance for me rather than being just a day of mud slinging match……when the Court ordered the end of ceremonial celebrations, I agreed. I remember I was merely a law aspirant then, dreaming of getting into one of the top three national law schools. And today after spending almost three and a half years in NALSAR I imagine myself being a loner. I feel detached. Single rooms kill you, literally. I was very excited about getting one. But I hate this cold, lifeless hostel.

Do I live life in pockets? May be. All of us do. Right now I seek solace in reading another suchitra bhattacharya creation or planning about submitting my SOP for the long awaited campus magazine. I don’t know if it’s an alternative to the blog that was initially planned but this definitely sounds better, sounds serious businessJ. But coming back to the celebrations, I think I still quite like the idea of a birthday! It’s just another way of celebrating the spirit of a city which has been called “Tillotoma” by some or “Mumursho Nogori” (the dead city) by some or the “city of joy” in the eyes of a visitor to the city. It is this balancing of divergent opinions that keeps the city going. Happy Birthday Calcutta! Just like you have no beginning, the end never dawns on you. Even after so many hiccups- lack of indutrialisation, the naxalabari andolan, pathetic work culture, lack of political will, intra country brain drain to places like Hyderabad or Bengalooru-blah, blah, blah……people had condemned death for the city long ago. Surprisingly you still survive. And how! The “rock” or “royaks” of North Calcutta might have died a silent death but the adda lives on and so does our argumentative tradition. Umm! The place might just be an ashtami gathering of old friends in Maddox or the wine festival in the city.

And when social historians marked the turbulent 70’s as the beginning of decline of the city, we shouted discrimination during the times of partition (its still the hot potato). time and again Calcutta and Calcuttan’s sentimental outbursts or its fascination for everything old has been earmarked as causes for its stagnation. But that’s what gives the city a character of its own, completely different from others. This is the city which makes you feel home. And that holds true for the steel tycoon who still calls himself a Calcutta boy. His namesake in Burrabazar agrees, so does the inhabitants of Bow Barracks or the people who feed Calcuttans the yummiest of Chinese. Who told Calcutta is not open to anything new or cosmopolitan! Eons ago a Calcuttan showed the world through his cinematic trilogy that life was a melodious song on the road to eternity. And unlike a recent Oscar winning production it didn’t sell third world poverty. (even I have contrary opinions on that) :-)

(Talking about anything old and rotten, our national politics can still feel the stench of a certain incident in history called Partition, Jaswant Singh and Jinnah..and Advani a few years back….does that a ring a bell!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Afternoon bliss

This Monday afternoon got lazier than the weekend. Classes got over around 2…came back to my room, with mythili’s copy of the latest outlook in the bag. Truly speaking that was my sole reason behind skipping Dhanda’s talk. Well I had a date with Amartya Sen..and boy! I was bowled over..all over again. He keeps the argumentative tradition in us alive and kicking (sigh! I now so wish I had gone for the talk-AD! How much I respect+fear+idolize her). Coming back to Sen’s interview...I think he still remains the very much essential Bengali gentleman…now I know, my friends reading this post will shout at me for my fascination of everything bong, or linking up anything remotely close to my heart as being bong (yesh! I was the one who commented on the Bengali food festival day as – "being bong is a state of mind!" :P). but then again for me or for anybody who thinks like me he is the true essential bangali bhodrolok. Well you need proof- when right wing fundamentalists cried foul over his naming Ashoka and Akbar as the two most influential Indian thinkers/ emperors along with Buddha, for none of them being hindu he reminded me of my hero (cheesy I know) the most non-biased cricket captain India has ever seen. (Well WADA do tie them together now!)

Also, Sen Represents the changing Bengali-the thinking Bengali who prefers his/her daily dose of macher jhol along with the weekly pasta treats or may be a zinger at kfc. Traditionally a left leaning thinker (oh yes! he has been accorded the status of “one of the most influential public thinkers of our time” by Observer and the cover of his new book proclaims it in bold) he comes out in open with his contrary opinion on the Left’s stand on the Indo-US nuke deal or the constant stench of anti American stance in every sphere which marks left politics in India. He agrees to the past but understands the present demands a much more nuanced understanding of the issue. (AD influence again) However that was completely my take on his views. Though I agree Rahul Gandhi will definitely be a very good PM, succeeding a very successful one (Singh is king!). apart from all the qualities that Sen observed about the "most eligible bachelor" around in India, his dimples are too cute to be true!

Also read the review of his new book and needless to say his takes on Niti and Nyay, Rawls and Dworkin makes it one hell of an interesting proposition for a law student to read. Waiting desparately for my next month’s pocket money, or knowing Baba he might just decide to gift it to me :P.

And what do you think could have been an even better end to the afternoon- well may be reading a Shirshedu Mukhopadhyay choto golpo. I know I know, some of you are already cursing me, but this afternoon was completely out of the blue! And right now I can see a patch just outside my window. J

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


It has been there with me for quite some time now. and the realisation was not completely sudden. yes. i guess that's what being in a pan indian set up does to you. I do think in english these days, apart from bangla. actually, in both. and I guess am happy for that. just that the innocence with which the first blush of happiness or venegeance rushed into my veins seem to be too mechanised these days. "kejo bhasha" you see. but then again for a person who has always detested the monolingual way of expressing oneself, that's something i should be happy about. :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009


Boddo obohelay sajano ek raash bhalolagar majhe tumi khanik ta ujjol
khanikta niyommafik, khanikta dishehara, khanikta paglamo
ar purotayi kuashachonno.

Oti porichito amar ei dokkhin kolkatar goli, chena jana phuchkawala
tution ferot suchitra bhattacharya r hatchani wala ranga molat
shororter ager sesh borshar majhe rasta ghire fela basher gondho.
ballygunge er school ferot uchu flat baritar opor theke dekha akash ta.
ey soberi modhye kothau hariye chile tumi
ageo dekhechi onek baar
fyakashey hoye jawa schoolbag er araley, golpark er anach ey kanach ey
gariahat ey dordaam kore kena onek gulo kanerdool- pashapashi kothau jano tomar gondho
sei chena ochena pujor gondho makha, brishti bheja bash er moto

Hothat shoroter rod makha saptamir sokaler moto.

ochena theko, osposhto theko, bhalo theko.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Obhyesh onobhyesh er boshey ajkal shoye geche baparta
shoye jawa shitheel dampotyer joratali dewa somporkota choleyi jache eibhabe, ketey jabe ordhoshotabdi bhor
tobuo noishobdyo gulo majhe majheyi hahakar kore othey
megh er rashi bhenge bhenge tukro tukro hoye jaay....choriye chitiye pore akasher koney
brishti tobu nemeo name na.....

jedin amader sobar modhye lukiye thaka aditir "hemonter pakhi" urey jabe akashpaney, baanvashi hobe amar shohor, purgatorio r itihash tao notun kore likhbe dante namok kono kobi......shyambajar er barir khirki duar theke uki mere dekhbo amio........

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Ekta rohoshymoy roktalpotar gondho chilo
stage er anache kanache jora dewa onek gulo shoukheen porda chilo
pordata chire geche
iche kore bhenge fela ekta shopno ache ba jodio.

bhalobasha r nishwashey dombondho hoye jay sokal bela gulo?
tai oshwikar korata nityonoimityeek ghotona matro.......

....majhe shudhu boye geche jhoro hawa, rashi rashi bhalolaga
shorotkaler kashphool, sheetkaley amar rikto flatbarir tukro baranday dholey pora ektukro mithey roddur.

Ey roddur badh mane na, ey bhalolagar gondho ochena
eyi golpotar tai kono shuru nei, sesh nei,
othanama, khoy-obokhoy, dwondo, bidwesh, protidwondita, climax, happy ending.......kichuu nei
stage charar agey tai sathey roye jaay shudhu ek raash mon kharap.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Being in touch with the virtual reality seems to be the latest fad. I know am putting forth my valuable opinion almost 2-3 years late, but better late than never. and needless to say i love the idea of staying connected with many of my friends around the globe with whom i had shared my classroom since nursery. their orkut or facebook profiles sometimes do baffle me. only that day did i bump on the profile of a batchmate who was married and all, happily settled in domesticity. another day i came across the profile of this guy who was a primary school mate having a gala time in the us of a with a live in relationship to flaunt (many of our common friends who were guys were plain and simple jealous). those are braodly the two ends of the spectrum....but am immensely happy sometimes to be back in touch with someone i had rather forgotten about. rather their existance was purely circumstantial, but being connected to them through the virtual world brings back the memories of the circumstances in which we came to know each other. and that works for me.....keeps me fascinated for a few hours atleast.

Do i live in the past? i dont care, i love my forwardlooking present too much :P

For someone like me who had shared her daily dose of gossip with her didibhai while growing up, it's almost unimaginable how would i have survived thousands of miles away from home, without actually doing that. and voila! gtalk is here :-) thanks to it, my std bills dont run too high!

A heartfelt thanks to all those tech geeks for making me a virtual reality. (*sniff*)

P.S. I warned you i am overtly emotional.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Growing up...what a pain!

I refuse to grow up! yes, I detest the idea. I am really hating this phase of my life when everyone around me (I mean female friends of my age) talks only about marriage and boyfriends! gosh! there are better things in life to talk about.
I know am trying to turn the clock back, but i cannot come to terms with 'us' being 21 years 'old'. I agree that it's not merely an observation that your life do really move very fast right now. everything seem to change now and then. But that's not me. Give me my space and time to enjoy ours being just 21 years young.
Ok! i agree that I had been contemplating this for long, but I simply cannot come to terms with my acquaintances talking about finding a "suitable boy" for me. Thankfully, i have a very supportive family in that regard. I don't actually mind meeting assorted exotic species of the opposite sex who have proper grammar and good spelling and don't think one dimensionally about marriage-housewife-compromise-male ego stereotype- but it's too much of a turn off to think that every guy I meet has a hidden agenda of spending their lives with me.
Frankly speaking, I really don't know how my ideal guy will be. yeah! am once bitten twice, thrice......zillionth time shy. Am i being shy? May be- but i don't want another jerk to come up and tell me that he will have difficulties introducing me to his social circle just because I do not fit into that very Indian homely stereotype of "fair and lovely"
Yes! I am a loud, brash girl who behaves way below her age. I can be a public embarrassment anytime (Ah! yes, am warning you). But that's me, that's the way I am. I prefer to be in touch with the inane sensibilities of life which your 10th board marks robbed you off. And I have no qualms in being so. I am just being myself!
On a second thought I think even I have a stereotype in my mind. The Ideal man you see. Yes! he has to be someone who is just not another showpiece trophy that some of my acquaintances prefer to flaunt around. seriously dear, they suck big time with their spellings!...and their perception of life?? the less said the better!- their degrees from their nondescript engineering colleges somewhere or the other (ajkal to kahi na kahi se milhi jaati hain :P) mean the world to them. Kupomonduk! (sorry, could not find an apt english equivalent).
I really don't know if there will be someone who can put up with my idiosyncrancies and that ranges from me falling in love all over again- albeit every two or three days. and my objects of fancy range from the oh! so ouch! Kabir Durrani or the very down to earth guy who did the mime act so well on his first public performance or may be Bilawal Bhutto. (and people who are reading this who do NOT know who is this Mr. Durrani in question- do a google search please! I am not going to educate you on him! you are really missing out on something!) My sense of committment does not equate to only "me and you" to the exclusion of all others. trust me! it never becomes "us".
So! the moral of the story is, Dilli door hi nahin, pahuchna namumkin hain! (I am still learning the language)
All what I can do right now is to wish my self luck- Better luck next time mate! actually better luck next life- if with all the bitchiness I have exhibited this lifetime (and there is more to come) can be forgiven enough by God to be given another chance to be born as a human being!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blossoms of the winter sun

(This is a Carpe Diem- 'my annual college fest'- effort. This won the 2nd prize this year. Read on!)

The vaudeville of events that unfolded in front of Tupur’s eyes this warm January morning could have been truly surprising for any member of her generation in the Sengupta household. Not her. Her parent’s divorce six years ago had suddenly transformed her blithe self into a blotting equation of emotions. She had spent six years of her lifetime in her mother’s nostalgically old North Calcutta house. She often wondered nowadays if she loved her Mathematician father anymore. The promises made to her mother during that long drawn bitter court battle regarding her custody, made her feel that her mother needed her more. She was her mother’s daughter- a very proud one.
The house wore a festive look today. It was Chotomashi’s wedding. The troika of Boromashi, chotomami and sejomashi were on their way to gossiping glory about how Rinku mashi’s daughter had planned to elope with the neighbourhood ruffian.
Tupur was chatting with her cousins in a corner when a pretty lady of Chotomashi’s age came forward and secretively asked, “Aren’t you Sandhya di’s daughter, Tupur?”
“Yes, but how do you know?”
“Actually…am….” Her face turned a shade lighter.
Even before she could answer, Boromashi shrieked and the entire gathering gave a scandalized expression. Ma came running hysterically from somewhere hurling choicest of expletives towards the lady and holding Tupur close to her chest.
Tupur had understood. She was Bela, Ma’s cousin, the one whom her father Abinash chose over her mother.
As the family grapevine goes, Bela used to stay in this house to study in Calcutta. Tupur’s father used to teach her in the University. Their affair grew during those times until Ma came to know about it a few years later. Bela’s mention made Ma feel insecure, just as the way she was behaving now. The divorce had made her mother self doubting and hysterical at times.
It took a whole lot of persuasion and consolation from other family members to send her mother back inside. The mood of celebration was not to be spoilt.
By lunchtime the incident was a part of common knowledge.
“Abinash did the right thing. My God! What language does she use! Dugga Dugga”
“Aha! Bor-di, as if we don’t know Sandhya…she was very well mannered….don’t you remember she used to sing so well before marriage. Aha re! Think of what she has gone through. We cannot really blame her.”
“Sandhya used to consider Bela as her own sister. And look what Abinash did?”
“As if Bela did not know what she was doing? These days the girls don’t have any morals.”
The conversations flowed. Sometimes the shabbiness of this house grew on its inhabitants.
The sunset rekindled the memories of the Bombay trip Tupur had enjoyed with Chotomama last winter. The twilight hues of iridescence bathing the virginal corners of the roof of their old Calcutta house transferred her to a world of her own. Far from the maddening secret, that her father had married her mother’s cousin three days before her tenth birthday, from the eyes of her relatives in this house who always pitied her life for the lack of a fatherly figure. Far from the school registration forms which asked for reconciliation between her Father’s name and Mother’s maiden name signed thereon.
The fervent blowing of conch shells downstairs announced the arrival of the groom. Somebody called out for her.
The merriment had just begun. The bitter expression that dominated the entire morning episode had vanished from Ma’s face.
Sejomesho already had a group of people listening agog to his stories of his exploits around the world including his visit to the White House or the anecdote about the African carnivores. The authenticities of these stories were not to be judged, they were meant for good humored enjoyment. Ma had also joined. The gathering had gained momentum when Boromami, the uniformly hated snob of the family, intervened sarcastically,
“So Sujoy, how many fools did you make this time?”
“Well as Confucius says, Fools are those who consider others to be so.” Sejomesho’s stinging anglicized humour did hit the right chord.
“Huh! So now you have started dishonouring elders also. Don’t forget am your elder sister in law.” Boromami just could not swallow the follow up to her attack.
Ma intervened to make peace.
“Boudi, Don’t take him seriously. You know how he jokes around.”
“Sandhya don’t try to cover him up. He jokes around, but that does not give him the liberty to call me a fool. Am I the butt of all jokes in this family?”
“Boudi he cracks joke on all of us.”
“Really! He never cracked a joke on you or how you behaved today morning when Bela came….as if you had just run away from Ranchi’s mental asylum.”
Silence prevailed again. Boromami never really knew where to stop. Tupur could see her mother’s face cringe with shame and sorrow. She decided to take her mother inside.
Long after her mother was asleep from the dosage of sedatives, Tupur was still sitting by her side. She pondered over the purpose of Bela’s visit today. It still remained a mystery for her. Whatever obtuse understanding she had of the issue, she had made out that no body in this house could have invited her to come. Not even Boromami. Her entry to this house was permanently barred. Probably she had come to visit Chotomashi, her childhood companion. But she too had disowned her years ago. Then what made her visit this household today, after six long years. Was it only for Chotomashi or there was more to it? The ash flakes of perceptions precipitated on her mind when didu entered the room.
Didu, her grandmom, looked relieved today. This marriage was the last of her responsibilities. The negotiations for Chotomashi’s marriage proposals failed mostly because of her mother’s divorcee past. Luckily this one survived.
“Tupur, everyone’s looking for you over there. I will be here with your mother. Go quickly.”
The pheras were being completed by the time she reached. Tupur was time and again amazed by the capacity of the member’s of this house to forget. Everyone looked so happy and content now. Boromashi, Sejomesho or Boromami, nobody remembered Bela’s visit in the morning or what happened with Ma sometimes back. She doubted that if anybody had even cared to find out why Bela came to this house today. No body did apparently.
It was around eleven in the morning after the wedding when Tupur woke up. The Tottwo (gifts) for tomorrow’s Boubhat at the groom’s place were being made ready.
The old landline telephone of the house suddenly bustled with exuberance. Sejomesho answered. Tupur could hear only one side of the conversation.
“Yes, May I know who’s speaking?”
“Who?” Sejomesho’s voice cracked
“What, When?”
“Accha! Can you give me the address?” He scribbled down something on the writing pad.
“Ok, ok, we will be there in sometime. Tupur…ok, Tupur will also come with us.”
Tupur was suddenly startled by the mention of her name in this seemingly normal conversation. She looked at sejomesho questioningly.
“Where is you mother Tupur?” sejomesho asked her.
“She is sleeping. She took some sedatives in the night.” She answered.
“Ok you go and wake her up. We need to go.”
“Where Sejomesho? What happened?”
“I will explain. You go and get your mother.”
Ma looked composed in the car. Tupur could make out that she already knew what was happening. She felt helpless. It was only she who did not have an inkling of what was happening around. Everyone seemed tense when they left the house. The frolic of festivity had disappeared.
The traffic lights blinked red. Sejomesho puffed another cigarette before Tupur could ask what had happened.
“Tupur, you have to be extremely brave. We all know how mature you are. Your father has passed away this morning. He had a heart attack day before yesterday. He wanted to meet you one last time. That is why we thought of taking you for his funeral.”
Sejomesho spoke in a monotone. Tupur listened carefully. Silently. The puzzled pieces of jigsaw were falling into place. That explained Bela’s visit to their house yesterday or speaking to her. Her immediate concern was for her mother. She seemed serene.
Individually, she did not know how to react to the situation. She had lost her father. Her school friends always told her about how much they were Daddy’s little girl. Surprisingly she had no such memories. The very few of them she had of her early ten years of existence in their Father’s house in Ballygunge were marked by quarrels between her parents. After the divorce battle was over, her mother’s insecurities never let them meet. Perhaps she was the only companion her mother could hold on to live in this world. Her father also never pressed over the Court’s orders about letting him meet Tupur once a week. May be that was his way of apologizing to her mother. He still used to send beautiful dresses for Tupur during the Durga pujo days, the ones that Ma never allowed her to wear.
She wondered if his father’s corpse still looked like the one that is there on her childhood photograph album.
It was around 1.30 in the afternoon when they reached the nursing home. Bela waited for them at the entrance. Her mother’s composure broke down as she saw the dead body. Sejomesho discussed minute medical details of her father’s death with his colleagues. Bela joined them.
Tupur was standing alone in the room perceiving everything around. The understanding was hazy. It was then that Bela came to speak to her.
“Tupur, Your father wished to see you once before he died. I could not explain anything yesterday. I was thrown out without even being given an opportunity to speak. He wanted me to give you this.”
Bela handed her an envelope with her name written on it. Tupur opened it at once. Inside there was a photograph of her on her Baba’s lap on her first birthday. A note accompanied the photograph. Inscribed on it was, “Dear Tupur, This is the loveliest memory I have of us together. I treasured this photograph all these years. Wish you luck in all your endeavors in life.
Love, Baba”
A drop of tear fell on the written alphabets of the letter. The relationship which never saw the light of the day blossomed on this winter afternoon, long after it was all over. Tupur could only say, “Thank you baba.”

Odhbhut Akaash

Odhbhut akaash, nilchey abha kintu onektayi holud......
pollution naki nostalgia....naki jaundice akranto akaash
amar premey porar akaash, amar sei unmukto neel
lojja, ghrina bhoy sob kichu bhule giye tomar kache atmoshomorponer akaash....
kokhono neel, kokhono roktim....amar rag onurag er kahini tomar mayabi aloy.....
Amar achinpurer golpo shona
tomar denim er gondho makha
tomar choley jawar shopno bhanga...akashpothey jetplane er pothorekha...amar akash
holde tey abha makha akash aj tumio kamon tel holuder gondhomakha bakshobondi grihini
Ekbaar firtey parena naki amar neel, amar akaash, amar prothom prem.....amar onko class, amar bangla khata, ingrejir hijibiji, trigonometry r jotil somporko........sagorparer noishobdo chere.......

The ceremonial 1st post!

As I get down to write my first post on this new blog of mine (yes, I finally decided that abegprobon is long dead.) it strikes me that the numbness hurts. Ouch! it has been a long long time that i have actually written something substantial. the comatose situation has existed for too long and that's something am not too happy with. This fella says it happens, but I really don't want to lose out on this trait of mine which I am actually quite fond of. The opening line shows now and then and there are stories all around and that draft of Titir's story still remains incomplete, but I am unable to shape them up. And am scared!

P.S. I had this long forgotten chat saved in my mailbox where I proclaim myself to be someone like God herself (yes, I think God/Goddess -the distinction is worthless and the stereotype quite non engaging). I could create life, emotions, kill them, hurt them, make them laugh and cry...all that with my keyboard (I so hate it!). May be "SHE" didn't like the idea much. You were right actually!! my overenthusiasm does actually put off people I love to be conversant with. But cant help it actually, I really want to know what's going on, plain and simple curious I am ;-)
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