Thursday, October 28, 2010

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

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

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

Unoshyar, bishorgo ar Chandrobindoo.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pujo and perceptions

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

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

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

Saturday, October 9, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Muhurto...ebong amra.

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The art of pissing off people- how to undo?

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

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

25 random things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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