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)
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