Sunday, January 8, 2012

Where I Belong

History was such a boring thing to learn in my school days. I often thought to myself - how the hell is this going to help me anyway? Kings & queens, conquerors and vanquished, kingdoms and myths, independence and struggle for freedom.. somehow they never drew me closer.. they never were able to make me dream of wars and warhorses at night, but then again neither did mathematics.
I guess, it has to do something with maturity that makes a man like something at a particular age and hate it at another age... or vice-versa.. and it can also become very embarassing if a friend mentions that to you.. as in  "remember u had a thing for that barbie girl song at school and use to sing that song to woo the girls ?" and you  look for a place to hide your face. But lately I've realized that somethings are there which do not change over time.. These are some things which are frozen in time and no matter in which age u are, always stays with you and sometimes grows with you as well. According to me, they represent who you are and your deep passion for it.
Gupi Bagha, something that can never grow old
Also, if you have something on your head for quite
sometime like a parasite and cant get over it and you try to learn more about about it, try to know it better or simply explore, that can also be called passion.. be it love, music, cricket, horror stories, pizzas, KFC or a book you read of an unknown author and liked it so much that upon googling about the author you came to know that he is a Nobel-laureate.
Thankfully, it was not that complicated for me. It was something I just wanted to know- about the place I belong.
Its human to ask oneself that how did I land up here? what my ancestors were like and what did they do? Till how long can I trace them back and how amazing their journey must have been like?
In this small blogosphere, I would like to dedicate these series of blogs to the amazing phenomenon of human migration from one place to another for a living, the survival in the lush green state of Bengal with its rich history from the time of the Mahabharata to Michael Madhusudhan and how my family fits into it.
Most of these stories that follows are tales told by my Dadu who is no more and how I wished he was there to tell me more  and spiced up by my Dida who still tells me about those magical afternoons when she use to play cards with her friends.
I will myself try to be spice up the story a bit (excuse me for the creative freedom) and would like to paint the story on the background of the greatest events that were taking shape in Bengal at those times..

This is my most ambitious project till now and the subject is very close to my heart. More because of the magical history of our past with stories that makes us sit up and listen to the wonderland called Motherland.





Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shine

Take me down with you
to a place unknown to all
where the sun still shines bright
over the mountain fall


Take me down with you 
and hold my fingers tight
through the dense forest of Neverland
where lotus and pearls thrive


A wood so deep 
that it swallows my pride
gallops through time
and bathes me in moonlight


Shining, through the cut of  ice
when the ray will pass
tenderly wrapped and taken care by
the warmth of my lass


And when the night will fall
I'll never mind the darkness
will listen to the wind
and what the wood says


if I am being welcomed 
I will stay close
work upon my weakness
and will never let it grow


However if I am being asked to leave
I'll bow graciously
'cause that place will be pious
and certainly not for me


I'll feel low rejected
and depressed once again
will you still hold me tight
and say to me again


That from next time on
I'll have to be stronger
see the truth face the fear
and walk tall longer


And the next morning 
when I face the ice capped mountain
I'll know what is up front
and with respect I'll begin


That from the time I've begun 
till the day I'm finished
with love for you in my heart
I'll not perish


And the day I conquer you
I'll stand tall on your chest
look at the sky 
and the entire human race


But this time I'll learn from the woods
that only time is true
For I know what I've done
so can you.













Friday, September 30, 2011

Open your gates



If you have read Jhumpa Lahiri you would know exactly what i mean. A story I've read so many times in my growing years and how could i have forgotten all about it. I am referring to two specific stories in an epic book Interpreter of maladies, namely " the real durwan" and " the treatment of Bibi haldar" 
"There is no place in which to hide When Age comes seeking for his bride." goes a saying by Joyce Kilmer a famous American poet & literary critic. Indeed, old age is inevitable, painful and lonely, of course if you can make it till then. If you don't, consider yourself lucky. I have seen many many old people sitting and doing nothing at all.. contemplating through out the day of things they have done and always conspiring ways to reach to God. If they still have someone to take care of, they watch TV  under the guardianship of a maid and if they cant have the luxury of a roof above their head on their dying days they will be always drowsed and drenched in a dream filled with unfulfilled wishes,secret desires and a lot of poison for all of them who didn't give a damn.
Sarkar kaku was one of them who was driven away  from his house by his own son and had nowhere to go. He was already doing his job as a durwan in our apartment when all these happened. He had no other options but to plead our apartment secretary to let him stay at night on the ground floor corridor and instead he would do all these extra works apart from being a durwan the entire day and night. Either it was by choice or by pity, that the then secretary appointed him as a full timer. Days went by and he grew sicker and sicker. He would wake up at 4 open all the doors right from the sixth floor terrace to the ground floor collapsible gate. Considering his age that would take him some good forty minutes to do. He would then open the main gate of the building at 5 so that the safaiwala can come in. He would take his bath after that put on the building water pump and wait for half an hour before switching it off. As the day will progress babus from the apartment would go to their work, he'll open and close the gate several times untill all the cars and bikes are off the parking lot and then will his work start.. Between his day dreaming and occasional loitering on the parking lot,, he would be called by several mashimas of the building.. " Sarkar, eta ene dao na dokan theke" please bring me this stuff from the shop, sarkar.  On Sundays he'd get special assignments of washing cars of some of the babus of our building. Imagine a 80 year old with chronic psoriasis all over his body thin as a rail, malnourished and with poor chest walking up five floors by stairs getting the car keys and washing it for them and going up all over again to hand over the keys. The babus on the other hand would take care of him by occasionally giving a blanket when it was getting too cold or a tarpoline sheet when it would start raining. He would always be the first to wake up and the last to go to sleep in our apartment.
I was always upset with his work. I couldn't understand why would our maintenance be a charity? For most of the day he would be either sleeping on his chair or would never be in his chair. As of which stray dogs and cats would enter our apartment. Many strangers started entering the premises, at 9 o'clock in the morning the floor lights would be on and even at 12 at night the lights would not go off etc etc. However, I pitied him a lot being poor and not taken care of. I would have never talked about him so much.
Often due to the nature of my work I would come pretty late at night and given the rascal I am I'd always make it a point to continuously beep the horn in front of the gate until he opens it and invariably he would be scolded by someone or else for not responding to insiders quickly. I'd also flash my bike's headlight on his eyes every night I use to come home. By doing all these strangely I never got any sadistic pleasure, which many might think, instead I grew a connection with him. I started liking him so much so that even after his death a week ago I cant let him go away from me. In his last few days I'd often ask him about his health. His ever so always smiling face reminded me of my own philosophy of taking things as they come. I would also buy him food and mosquito coils for the night and so intense was this feeling that I wished him a happy death. I stared wishing him a good afterlife, a kick-ass life so that he could do all those stuffs he couldn't like kicking my butt when I'd honk.
I knew somehow that this would be it. This is the second time in my life when a feeling like this overshadowed  on me. I knew immediately he would not survive the night. I opened the huge door myself, parked our car inside closed the door and called his name. " sarkar kaku?? sarkar kaku??" but he didn't respond. he was in deep pain or in a deep sleep. Strangely when you are in deep sleep, you don't feel any pain. Your  body becomes obsolete and insignificant. Only your mind plays tricks on your soul and in that battle of mind and soul the mind always wins because we human beings are the ones who invented something called 'logic' and we try to fit everything into it. The soul defeated remains somewhere bruised & grudged and the more it happens you start losing your soul. and When the soul had had enough of all these it packs his bag and leaves. Sarkar Kaku died in his char that night on his duty.
In the story of the real durwan and Bibi Haldar, the fate was similar. situations were similar, underprivileged, lotus dreamers as they were so was the hero my story. We got a new durwan just days after his death and his story is no different from them. I fear that I will start seeking repentance for my earlier deeds with him. Already he talks to me in length about his family and how I remind him of his son and to be honest to myself if there is one thing I fear the most that would be attachment but how can i stay out of it when I know that the new person would face the same fate as others or perhaps we all will..


Thursday, August 12, 2010

If wishes were horses pigs would fly

If wish were horses, thats what they say.. I like to fantasize, had this article been published, I'd have been inspired to write something more..I'd like to imagine leaving pharmacy in my final year, joining an armature journal's club, move up to feature in champak, debonair, outlook(nahh..leave that), forbes, peoples magazine, the newyorker. At the same time writing short stories, novels about you know what...and finally being nominated for the Man Booker 2015. I'd secretly prepare for the "thank you" speech as well, while sitting on the 'think pan' for men. But alas, the Damn article was rejected by none other than our princi and on top of that, he threw it on may face and asked me to get the hell out of his chamber.( who the hell wanted to be in there, anyway!!!)


Anyway, I got this copy lying in my mail box, after I scanned it couple of years back( before i feared the hard copy would get lost, and one day actually it did). 


Have a look and judge for yourself if the world lost a Salman Rushdie or what?


BTW: Aspiration is/was the name of our annual college festival....Vision is/was the name of our college magazine,which would get published around the same time as the fest.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Chapter one: The Tipping point
Here it goes my first attempt to write a daily journal. I've been thinking of staring off but lacked a tipping point. You know a trigger one needs, to start, to ignite. Though I am not new to writing, I've started this form of communication way back when I was only 12-13 yrs old. I started off by writing short stories in hindi and some in English. The funny thing about them was almost every story I started had finished midway, never complete. I can hardly recall a story I've completed and that was the way it was. It shoed a distinct character about my personality, which of course I later realized and I'm trying hard to rectify that. This trial is one of the way, I thought, might help me overcome that obstacle of ending something for good.
As my unfinished stories went along, I flirted with another idea of writing prose. Yes prose. I can hardly imagine a kid writing prose, but I did. The content varied from nostalgia, mysticism, village roads, untraveled destinations and of course being a human more than anything else romance. I don’t know what the heck I understood about romance at that age but I use to write stuffs about longing, wanting, being wanted and touching. All sensory stimulating stuffs which otherwise would sound pretty good thing to start off with, but ended up in repetition. When words or phrases like – "I don’t know why"," you are my… "and "walking down the memory lane" started featuring in almost every alternate writing I decided to bow out of that as well.
And then there was a huge gap. For almost two years I never wrote anything worth mentioning. It all started again with my first blog, which I wrote three years back from now. It was a good initiative and I decide to continue it as long as I could. But I guess that was meant to die from the moment it started. Firstly I thought to myself about the content. What should I write? Since the first article I wrote was quite good, I started thinking to myself that the subsequent articles should at least be of that quality. So I took some time out before I could think about something good to write and days became week, and week became months and before I wanted to start over again it would look ridiculously too long. So I decided to dud that stuff as well. But I guess I'd prove myself wrong here.
I've always been a net savvy guy. I liked stuffs on the net, new applications for the OS and liked to discover all that I could, by myself. That was, when I was young. But ever since I came back from college and got a job here, things have been different. I still have the flair but lacked the patience to learn an application even something as useful as excel or access. And I guess during that phase itself I opened an account on face book. It is one of the craziest inventions of our time. But since that was very early days of face book only a handful of friends were there to share my space. So I decided to stick to only one social networking site- orkut, which was very famous by that time. After almost two years, a couple of weeks back, I noticed that in one of my unused mail accounts I've received almost 50 odd friend requests in FB. So after a lot of trial and error and a lot of "forgot my password" I finally logged on to face book. It almost took me an hour to approve all the friend requests and read all the messages I'd received all this time. But the reason why I'm mentioning all this is because of a small incident. I replied back to a college friend who asked me about my whereabouts, almost a year after his query. The idea was very casual. We talk over phone every month and there was nothing very serious about it. So I casually replied him. But as I replied him back, something struck me. I thought to myself that I challenged my own character by doing something which otherwise I'd never have done. I completed the circle. I rounded off the figure and that little insignificant thing changed my decision. I thought to myself that if I can reply a friend back after 1 whole year, I can continue my blog as well which I'd left some two years back, or may be I can start off with all the unfinished deeds I've ever done.
There is a sense of satisfaction upon completion and this satisfaction, one can feel only after he completes the circle. I believe there is no better feeling in this world than ending what you've started and this is why I am here.
I may not write always. I may be very irregular at times, but I'll continue doing what I can and what I love doing and by simply joining the dots I truly believe I'll put an end to an old habit.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lalit's Fools Party

Tata Nano has been launched recently-as the cheapest car in the world. Aptly named nano means small, it resonates the demand of this era. Don't get me wrong here but 'smaller is cuter' is no longer a cliche these days when smaller HARD Disks are getting popular just like Smaller cars, smaller families, small expectations out of stock market, short tees, shorter hair cuts and the list goes on..
Joining the 'Small' brigade is a new trend or say a phenomenon called IPL- smaller version of cricket. But what has taken a beating here is the kind of money being used to buy these players in a manner not known to modern Indians. Of course we are aware of such practices in the age of kings where people bought people, commonly and disgustingly known as flesh trade.
such a scene appeared before us the day when players were bought by the czars of the industry, be it a beer baron or bolly baron everybody joined the bandwagon and how. Thank the almighty that our superheroes were not present at the grand fiesta . Just imagine MSD standing on the dias and whims like Lalit Modi announcing his sale. " take away for 4 years, do whatever, groom him, play(or play with)him, rest( or rest on ) him the choice is yours, MSD bid starts @$0.5" imagine Dhoni taking a calculator out of his pocket and quickly trying to calculate how much that be in Rs, even before completing it he hears $0.5m, he is erratic with joy some fat ass asks his services for $1m and he grins and says "now we are talking" $1.2m and up and our captain thinks " kya main itna mehanga hun?"and then came a cement company from down south, ending the row and declairing $1.5m. evrybody from the beer king fat ass to shah king smart ass were at awe. Ms zinta announced her fiance " looks like the cement-wala is going to play with only Dhoni coming ten times to bat". I sympathize with Zinta, having to not know what this game is about and sitting there with god-forsaken business men she must have tried to spout out something smarter. Lalit like a good loyal pimp to his highness sharad pawar declare MSD sold to Chennai cement. He wanted to be with mumbai so that he could flurish his romance with deepika padukone yet again knowing that yuvi will be in mohali under zinta's belt( or shoes...or belt) if you know what i mean. But he knows romance can take a back door when $1.5m is in his pocket, he can even survive the deadly threesome combo of anna-sambar-vada.
Then came one after the other gulaboo s some with animal instincts (Andrew symonds), some with history of troubled relations( shane warne) yet some virgin pussies(ishant sharma, yusuf pathan, manoj tiwari etc) in front of tigers like sanath jayasurya, mahela jayawardhane anil kumble...
But theif among theives, cream de la cream were a cluster of cricketers, very near and dear to his highness, his pet courtesans the panch maha bhutas who were bared from being sold. The king and his minister modi pre-appointed them to pleasure the if not the people but the owner of their home states. They are like mistresses who would flaunt her exhibits, make them play and groom them physically to take on the world...tomorrow( if that comes..) and all that, they'll get paid based on their exhibit's income. Saurav wonders after seeing Ishant sharma who being the top catch for kolkata, for the first time that why was he not born in chennai and why was his name not chennaswami purshuraman imanga muthuswami in short CPI(M).
Knowing that his income depends on the highest priced item(Ishant sharma) of the lot which later came out to be much lower than MSDs, though he was unhappy and told shah rukh to buy ishant at even higher price say $2m even though there were to takers for ishant over $250,000; shah showed the prince again that he is a man of men. He promised Dada that he'll make a film with aryan and sana when they grow up.
Even when this over-driven libido conquest was on, ricky ponting pointed out that his worth is much more than naives (kacchi kali) like manoj tiwari.
The drama were too much for veteran player Kapil dev who joined a similar cause few months back but failed to entertain customers. Now withe the advent of IPL every people of this country and beyond are going to be entertained.. crores of bettings, millions of stakes will momentarily stop, pappu will not study for his finals all because our MSD is playing against our Yuvi, not for any cup mind you...but for Deepika.
Not all things smaller looks nice. There are rules and rules should be respected. Harsha Bhogle once suggested on IPL that "only if tomorrow we bring the boundary rope in, in the utterly mistaken belief that more sixes will mean good cricket, 20-20 will become as exciting as playing book cricket."
Cricket controllers in india have shown a poor example in the form of IPL in the name of developing cricket in our nation. People will be entertained but mostly fooled. The same reason why i would not like to be invited to a fool's party stands true for IPL.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ok lets begin..

I've been thinking of doing this thing from a long time.. call it my laziness or whatever but i think when you really want to do something useful, thoughts come up from different angles and you end up being totally confused or jaded.. Bored and frustrated you again fall back to your so called space- which later you realize that its anything but yours, and ponder if the thing that your boss told you was indeed true, that you are a lazy piece of scum that would only look good in a frying pan and not in a business suit..
Your creative ideas starts getting blurred as you try to manage between office, home, friends, relations and if you are seeing someone, that would be the icing on a cake.. Until one day when you suddenly realize that you are not a creative person anymore.. that the dream of becoming an ad guru or a hot shot actor-director-producer is restricted only to your tiny pea sized brain and all you do is do accounts for your company- which by no hell is creative, sir.
So one night you dream about a group of people sharing your thoughts your ideas giving you advices praising your work saying how blessed are we to have each other.. bla bla bla.. it a feeling of belonging there that enchants you the most. oh what a place it is.. filled with poets and not with managers and accountants.. filled with people saying "look at his work i only wish if i could.."
and not with people saying "look at his work only if i had a chance.."
Life sucks no doubt about that but there is a way to let your imagination go wild and the best part is people might not even see your work, but its out there.. Its blogging..and I've just begun and how!!
As much as i enjoyed writing this i see myself a regular jotter of blogs in my page as i find blogging a good way to socialize with wise-cracks and jackasses just like me.. what say..