December 30, 2009

Abaar Bashee, Abaar Rongeen

Uchhashe’r mukto moho, stobdhotaay taar khonosthayee protipholon.
Birohe lukiye byarthota, cheharaay shei obhibyakti’t nischup aashphaalon.
Aashbe phire abaar, choopichoopi gutipaaye, abar ei muhurto, ei shomoy, ei deen.
Purono bochhorer bashi smriti, notun bochhorer notun bikele hoye uthbe pher rongeen


Swechhae hyaeno jibonjaapon,
Klanto chhaya te besh…
Berajaal, tukro smriti
Kobe holo shuru, janaar aagei shesh…

December 22, 2009

Dadu, hues of sepia, and dusty old photographs...

Dadu passed away three days back, leaving behind an even more mitigated proportion of males in my close family. For, I’ve never had any uncle, and I never had the other grandpa. My mom and dad have a sister each, and both my grandmothers are very healthy and active. And also, I have a sister, and I was always closer to Ma than Baba. Even with this humongous amount of feminine presence in my family, I always had Baba and Dadu. Now with Dadu gone, I find my gender representation in my family at irredeemably serious peril.

Also, Baba wanted a photograph of Dadu for the Sraddho ceremony. Thus came tumbling out of the racks, the old, thick, ‘original-full-version-Oxford-dictionary-ko-by-great-margins-beat-karnewaale’ family albums. Well, I had forgotten about the existence of most of those photographs – we were leafing through the albums after that long. I was four, I was two, I was one, I wasn’t born yet, my sister’s birth, my parents getting married. Jodhpur Park, Picnic Garden, Ballygunge Place. Bokaro, Delhi, Ferozepur, Amritsar. Army camps and parties, Bangaali bonediyana , Jharkhand small-town tranquility, the Raybahadur Kumarnath Bagchi legacy, all the great family ethics and values, all the aristocracy-which my ancestors certainly do not hope to see surviving through me...Despite the fashion sensibilities having arrived and departed in cycles – (Floral prints, khadis, checks), the times only moved forward. My weirdly round face chiselled down, my sister now has straight hair instead of the ‘hujoorbujoor’ curls, Ma and Baba’s black tresses and glowing skin have been replaced by salt-and-pepper, and wrinkles. So many of the distant relatives smiling out from those old photographs have since, moved over to the other side. We lost some to accidents, some to diseases and some to old age, the latest being Dadu.

It is the same end which awaits us all. The Inevitable. Only we do not know when it is going to thrust itself across our paths. It is not scary really; rather there is something very poignant about it. And in those old photographs, people look so happy. They all look younger and better than they do now. Some have been married off, since. They all have their own kids- those aunts that were present for my mom’s baby shower( ‘shaad’) before I was born, they are mothers themselves now. Quite some of the people in the photographs have had messy divorces. And there were even a few who spelled their own ends.

Well, THIS wasn’t intended to be a sad and depressing note, but I’m afraid, it is turning out to be one. What I really want to highlight is, Change, truly is the only constant, so, despite cynics and elders and professors telling me off about my lack of a sense of responsibility, or about my immature and unconventional-and-disturbing way of life and thought processes, I am not going to fret about what will happen and when and blaady-blaady-blah. Everything will change, everything will fall in place. As Hagrid had said,”Whatever will come will come and I will have to face it when it does…”

December 9, 2009


Well, chocolates.
How special are they?
Do they really deserve more of that unquestioned, unaudited kind of love than a good little angel like me ever got?

What is with all the craving for chocolates?
All that they can do is - touch my tongue, and then melt on it, then coat it with a gooey, sweet layer of itself.
They are highly expensive, but they melt like 'ekdom neka poshto' or 'nonir putool'...

If I indeed have to make love to something that is expensive, ANDmelts,
I'd rather choose Gael Garcia Bernal over chocolates.

Is there a chocolate-Penelope Cruz or a Chocolate-Gael Garcia Bernal anywhere?

Turning Thirty/Old

4th December 2009

I was watching the 14th episode of the 7th season of the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S- ‘The One Where They All Turn Thirty’, which explored how paranoid people, in general, get when they turn thirty. While Rachel argues, “I’m still 29 in Guam” on her thirtieth birthday, Joey accuses God saying that the Omnipotent had a deal with him, “Let the others grow old, not me” on his 30th, and says “You’re Chandler no more” on Chandler’s, and Monica blurts out a drunk-speech claiming she could do whatever she wants to, since she was 30, on her 30th… Also, Chandler and Monica, themselves thirty as well, present a card to Rachel for her 30th that goes “Happy Birthday, Grandma”, to poke fun at the newest kid to have crossed the barrier-of-twenty.
This particular syndrome finds mention in a lot of places. The fact that whenever a person turns any-multiple-of-ten, whenever the second digit of one’s age goes from 9 to 0, and the first goes on to become the next integer, one particularly feels a great deal older. Not that I relate with it. When I turned ten, I don’t think I was particularly sad, and I haven’t turned twenty (or for that matter, nineteen) yet.

But how would it feel when I turn thirty?
I guess I will be feeling down and blue. Most of my friends know how I want to die at twenty nine, for, well, thirty is too old.
Right now, it seems like an event that is due sometime a light-year away. It is too distant a prospect to be given a serious thought. Life, however, has always terrified me with just how fast it is. It’s so fast that a person is a child at a point of time, and suddenly he’s in high-school, and then in college, then he gets married, has children, retires from his job, and the very next thing he knows, he is preparing himself for his death. This, I know, shall apply to me as well. I will turn nineteen next January, then twenty, and then thirty before I know. I have always loathed growing up, growing old.

We all keep some targets fixed in life. I know I want to be on the top of the world by the time, I’m twenty six, and I want to enjoy success for four years, and then make a quick exit out from life while still at the pinnacle. But will I still look at life the same way when I’m thirty? Won’t I want to live on and enjoy my success, IF I am successful? won’t think of myself as an old loser, with nothing to live for, when I’m thirty. That won’t quit be possible? I will have the desire to live, to enjoy, even then .And for all you know, the messed up, laid-back person that I am, will I be able to achieve anything at all by thirty?

In the words of some wise man, “You’re as young as you feel”. I have an upper-hand here, though. I don’t feel older than fifteen currently. And I know for a fact that my age might render me old, but with my tastes and way of living life, I will never be too old to enjoy. I wonder what use that will be of, since most of my friends will have become too grumpy and serious with life by then, and the teenagers and young people will obviously not want the thirty-year-old-me to be a part of their activities. I wonder, I wonder what all that shall be like?

However, right now, I am eighteen, and I have a very good life, with the right balance of overwhelming joy and mind-numbing sorrow, and I have got great friends, and good education, and wonderful family, and if this blog exists till 15 January, 2021, we shall read this post again, and discuss all of this in a new light.

6th December 2009

I, indeed, am feeling very old these days. Only today I was attending the 12th birthday party of one of my only three first cousins, and well, I was made to watch Dhoom-2 with a bunch of kids, aged between ten and thirteen. All of these kids, the new-age tech-geeks, gadget-gurus had a unique take on every scene of the movie, and I was not only feeling left out, but also weirdly uncool and back-dated. Well, most of the comments they made were pretty silly, but still some of the things they discussed, and their way of looking at me with non- acceptive eyes made me very uneasy. These kids on the verge of stepping into their teenage, made me, almost stepping out of mine want to sing the My Chemical Romance song “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me…”

December 5, 2009

Seven Altercations

Seven shoes
That wait outside,
Three pairs, and one.
Color-synced when sold
(They) Pray in the cold.
Whims of love undone.

Seven pigs
Pink, round and oink,
That, to piglets, do give birth.
Garbage cans
Hay and grease from the barns.
They divide, rule in real mirth.

Seven keys
Potion and old degrees,
Unlocked to anarchy and terror.
Holy myths,
With tragic truths,
To the hollowness hold out a mirror.

Seven buttons
The neck greets the knees,
They, charming curves enclose.
Love turns blue
Pity takes a clue.
Blooming tales perish and close.

Seven coins
Pride, Deja vu with pink noise
From a legacy ancient, arise
Bury 'em deep
They are not yours to keep
Glory from these profits, a surprise.

Seven windows
Grainy sunlight shimmers,
A culture blends in with the dark.
Morgues of lust,
Crude passion infects like rust,
Shameless intrusion shows its spark.

Seven altercations
Explain to the moment,
Time merges love and hate.
Yet unexplained,
Its mystery remained,
Over such combustion do fantasies debate.

December 3, 2009

Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai - English Translation

I just translated the delectable 'Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai' from the movie 'Kaminey' into English. I have tried to stay as true to the original Hindi lyrics as possible, but there are some modifications, mostly additions, made to the content of the song, which can be interpreted as my creative liberty.

The original Hindi song:
Thode bheege bheege se thode nam hai hum,
Kal se soye voye bhi to kam hai hum.
Dil ne kaisi harkat ki hai,
Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai.

Aankhein doobi doobi si surmayee madham,
Jheelen paani paani hai bass tum aur hum,
Hmmm baat badi hairat ki hai,
Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai.

Khwab ke bojh se, kapkapati huyee,
Halki palkein teri, yaad aata hai sab,
Tujhe gudgudana, satana, yunhi sote hue,
Gaal pe teepna, meechna, bewajah besabab.

Yaad hai peepal ke jiske ghane saaye the,
Hum ne gilehri joothe matter khaaye the,
Yeh barqat unn hazrat ki hai.
Pehli baar mohabbat ki hai,
Aakhiri baar mohabbat ki hai

A little misty, a little drenched are we
A placid sleep, we haven’t had of late, have we?
Our hearts are chanting a new rhyme
Love has thrust itself across us, this is the first time,
Love has entered our lives; hopefully the one and only time.

Eyes stay half-shut, smudged by an enigmatic kohl
The water in the lakes shine, reflect our forms, our souls.
These facts puzzle us, within us new tunes chime,
Love has thrust itself across us, this is the first time,
Love has entered our lives; hopefully the one and only time.

Dreams set the soft,
Lids of your eyes in a flutter.
Memories rush back,
In my senses, they mutter.
Those playful tickles, the allegations,
Teasing, and all the merry titillation,
Beside each other, while we lay.
Your cheeks that
Invite, and all the admiration
On the slightest hint, you say.

I remember, you may test,
Under the cool shade of the old peepal tree,
We indeed did taste,
Almonds from the squirrel, honey from the bee.
This song is, (no doubt, the best)
About the sweet afterglow of those moments of glee.

November 13, 2009

Walks. Through City Roads.

I walk. Long distances.
Presidency to Ballygung Phari. Or Kalighat Metro Station to Ballygung Phari. Or City Centre to Hyatt Regency… and those countless other routes.
I walk whenever possible.
Walking is my most favorite means of conveyance.
It also gives me the feeling that I’m not depending on anyone else to transport me elsewhere. I’m independent.
Walking lets me soak in so much of the city.
I walk past so many people.
Some look lost. Some look determined. Some look too pleased with themselves.
Some walk alone.
Some walk with another person. Just one. A friend. A parent. A lover. And sometimes, even a stranger.
Some walk in huge groups.
Some walk as a cluster of a few-similarly clothed individuals.

However, something, most unfortunately, is common among all of them.
They, (almost) none of them, really look around to See. To absorb the world around.
They do not pause to look at the careless wall-graffiti on the walls on both sides.
The incessant wars being waged through those ‘dewaal-likhons’.
They do not pause to admire the delectably marvellous sight of sunrays seeping through pauses and recesses between those hundreds of tree leaves, that could have otherwise formed a green dome overhead.
They do not perceive the sheer bliss in the smiles of the children that call the roads their home.
They do not look at how every alternate manhole is left uncovered in a certain central Calcutta street.
They do not enjoy the aroma of the scented flowers on those trees the names of which they mightn’t know.
They do not derive the immense sadistic pleasure from kicking the small pebbles lining the pavements, from being able to dislocate them from where they had been resting peacefully.
They do not experience the wrath unleashed by the rain-gods on the little kittens that try to desperately find shelter and end up meowing relentlessly, in tones that evoke terrible sympathy.
Hence, they lose out on an extreme variety of potentially motto-of-life altering experiences, encounters, events and/or episodes.

November 9, 2009

The Moon-Lore

I was the one that painted blemishes on the moon. Popular Culture might be of the opinion that there is a Dame-Spin-Yarn(no pun intended) or ‘Chorka-kataa-buri’, aged seven hundred thousand and twenty, who is perceived by Earth-dwellers as the dark spots that tarnish the beauty of the moon. The Chinese say there is the hare, brewing potions of immortality for the moon-God. Sugar-coated fables for the comfort of young children. Mothers, once upon a time, knew of my story. It made their teeth chatter. They never narrated my story to their children. Ergo, Mothers today do not remember me and my-minister-of-war, Darkness. We, that had embarked on that ambitious expedition aimed at conquering the youth, and love of the Moon. We, that on being refused, had taken her captive, and had inflicted ourselves, and some terrible physical wrath, upon her.

The moon, despite our obnoxious attempts at possessing her, still retains her grace. She illuminates and hence resists the lecherous sexual advances of the Darkness of the night sky, every night. Darkness has been fighting on my side since the beginning of times. When I was younger, and more aggressive, it used to frustrate me to see my all powerful minister-of-war failing to overpower the dainty lass more than just once a fortnight. On that one night every two weeks, when the moon has to give in, only because she has been resisting for too long, I used to go on a rampage. I used to unleash my supreme wrath. All of Death’s minions would then rise from the Underground and we would feast on human bitterness .I used to return late, in the early hours of the morning, to the seductive comforts in the cold stares that Silence, my minister-of-war’s devoted wife, would direct towards me, while allowing me to become a part of her. For some hours few.

Now in my death bed, I feel guilty. As a child, when I used to stare out of my window on a moon-lit night, the psychedelic effect of the illuminated hill-slope just beside my window, would leave me enthralled, enchanted. I would lap up the vision of brownies and elves merry-making in one corner of my garden. And then there would be visits from the silver-cloaked fairies from the other side of the rainbows, from the folks of the Tree Closeby.Tree Closeby spoke to me only when I would visit it on moon-lit nights. It spoke to me about its only sibling, the Faraway Tree, in an absolutely far, far away land. My love for the moon dates back to those days.

Even now I wonder, now when I am old, I am withering away. She, despite having existed under servile fearfulness, still retains her glow, her youth. Maybe, if I had made an approach with an aim to love from my heart, and not merely to conquer, maybe then, I could have had her as my own. But as my one time friend Aslan had said to me, “One should never wonder ‘What-if?’. Aslan and I had drifted apart many years back. Even he had advised me not to desire merely to conquer, but to learn to love. I never paid any heed to those who mattered. Now when I have only some hours to live, I regret, I regret…

November 4, 2009


Jaatra hoke na deergho,
Hoke na shey khonosthayee,
Jaatra sheshe tomay, amaay
Phire aashte hobei...

Aami bohukal takiye dekhechhi, shunechhi.
Surjaaste’r shomoye paakhider kakoli,
Bhebechhi, jaatra sheshe bashay pherar
Uchhash i ki taader modhur koli?
Phera’r e niyom er longhon
Hoyni aaj-o, e niyom chironton.

Joler buke aalor abha
Ei achhe, pormuhurte gaayeb, ei jhilik
Rong’er chhota akaasher gaaye
Raater aagomone muchhe jaayo theek
Jaar ghotechhe aagomon
Hobei tar kromosho gomon…

Aami aachhi, ei muhurte
Nishash-proshshashe ullashito,uddipto
Poncho-podaartho’r ei kaaya
Taader to gontobyo oi ontorikkho.
Phere shobai, poth aar koddur?
Jaay, phere, barey barey andhaar aar roddur.

Jaatra hoke na deergho.
Hoke na shey khonosthayee,
Jaatra sheshe tomay, amaay
Phire aashte hobei…

November 3, 2009

Ten fingers and Uneven Toes

We all have. At least most of us do...

Given below is the first 'Misfit' poster. I plan to design several of these.And this was created when I was in a fight-arena pitted against Macroeconomics at around 2000 hours today...Watched a terribly cliched and crass (German) slasher flick called 'Dead in Three Days...' on World Movies today. And I always used to think that the 'them' at World Movies had some good taste...


More later...
I have written a Hindi poem...

October 30, 2009

Bon Voyage... An Early End For Me ?

My bed at the moment is ‘infested’ by stacks of unread notes. They look way more perilous than sharks in the Tasman Sea. I’m in no mood to confront them tonight.

I’m sad because the Rolling Stones magazine didn’t include Queen OR Pink Floyd in their list of Top 50 Artists of all times. I’m hungry too, but that happens every night, when I’m awake at this hour.

I’m randomly remembering past incidents. Like in De Nobili when Debadrita would rush out of the classroom yelling “Bulldozer, bulldozer!” on catching sight of a mighty yellow bulldozer passing our school by. And the school-rules didn’t allow us to set our feet in the corridor between the classroom and the road-with-the-mighty-bulldozer because apparently, the students could be causing a breach to ‘De Nobili Discipline’ by becoming visible to the passersby on the road. And yet, we would follow Debadrita into the corridor, ripping apart every little iota of the notion of ‘De Nobili Discipline’ our class-teacher expected from us.

Somehow, most of my pleasant memories have a cool-breeze coming in through some window.
With Thammu and Buiya, I would play “Chhush Chhush”(sound of waves against the hull of a boat) in the guest-room. The game would have us embark on wonderful Sinbad-ish adventures, where we would be required to do everything right from fighting for our lives to dancing weirdly in order to please local tribal kings. No wonder ‘The Voyage Of The Dawn-Treader’ remains my favorite book of the Narnia series. No one was allowed to enter the room when the game would be on.
And sometimes, we would also dance to ‘Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe’ or ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’. Yes, Thammu IS my dad’s mom.

Life has been good to me. I’ve always had what I wanted. But, I’ve always expected a catastrophic future for myself. I’m not pessimistic. I’m not an unhappy person. But this is something I see for myself. I will spell my own early end, I keep thinking. However, the notion might just be wrong. All these years, and I haven’t encountered the catastrophe still, right? Let’s see what happens. If I wither off early, at least I’ll not be an Eleanor Rigby later.

I leave you with these four posters that I’ve designed and though they’re just amateurish stuff, I quite like them… :D

This, I guess, is my last post in October 2009.

October 23, 2009

September and October 2009

I think I’ve fallen in love, yet again. This time it’s an Icelandic band called ‘Sigur Ros’(Victory Rose). The band was formed in 1994 in Reykjavik by singer and guitarist Jón Þór Birgisson, bassist Georg Hólm and drummer Ágúst Ævar Gunnarsson, and I discovered it only days back, following a status update by Mayukh where he’d proclaimed that he loves the band. Now since I generally relate with Mayukh’s taste of music, I downloaded it, and was totally swept off my feet. Mayukh had said, “(Listening to the band gives you the feeling of) being under the blanket on a very rainy day.” Comfort and luxury epitomized. It’s like an Icelandic Simon-and Garfunkel, he’d said. And I can’t agree more.

I’m very happy because Ajju is coming back to Calcutta on the 2nd of November, and hence the CCD/Mamma Mia visits will become the order of the day once again. We’ve a lot of catching up to do, and am really looking forward to his return. Anindita too, will be visiting Calcutta some time in the next week. What terrible excitement! Two of my best friends are coming home at the same time...(Oh, my bad! Calcutta isn’t exactly the place Tiku would call home, but whattheheck?)

I have also been procrastinating the act of sanctifying my Fbook friend list. Last checked, it stood at 405, and I need to clear the mess and bring it down to 200, at the most. One more thing I’ve been putting off is watching new movies. I’ve got several tempting new(ly downloaded) movies lying unwatched… ‘Rear Window’, ‘Pierrot Le Fou’, ‘Antichrist’ etc. And I need to watch them soon. But each time I intend to do the same, I end up watching an old episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Diwali was fun. We got drunk on Rhea’s Hiland Park chhat(eh, no, not totally sloshed, but just mild boozing) and later, had a crazy, crazy, crazy dance session in her drawing-room. Her antique-piece-loaded drawing room reeks of old Bengali bonediyana(aristocracy), the sort I associate my grandparents and great-grandparents with, the thing that many of those first-generation-rich families totally lack. I loved the old pipes and hookkahs and grandfather clocks, and pianos. There was a very odd faith-ant stuffed toy on one sofa, which despite its undoing effect on the entire ‘bonedi-baari’ feel, was claimed to be a great favorite of hers by Rhea.

The mid-term exam is scheduled for mid-November, and well, as always, my preparation is close to nil. What’s funny(well, not really, it has always been an old habit) is that I’m not even striving towards the completion of any minuscule percentage of the syllabus). Sid won’t wake up, ever, I guess.

September was great. I was the Presidency College ‘rep’ at the Loreto College fest, ‘Samagam’. We also had our Departmental Fresher’s(where I was crowned Mr. Fresher’s :D) and Student Union Fresher’s(which was fun mainly because of the disco we made out of the Derozio-Audi). September also was about a lot of hanging out, here and there, randomly, and the masterpiece was made in Taniya-and-Roli’s birthday party-cum-sleepover. The entire circle was there(barring obviously the outstation-candidates) and with the subtle and not-so-subtle undercurrents that kept flowing, the crackling chemistry between some people, and the damp-squibs some others made out of themselves, it was one helluva night.

Then the Punjab-Delhi-Haryana-Himachal tour I took with my family was refreshening. It re-established my North India connection, and made me fall in love with the North all over again. Also, in the last four months, owing to an ever-increasing requirement of proficiency in Bangla, I’ve forgotten the little nuances of a Delhi-Hindi totally. This tour helped me scratch off the surface-rust to an extent, and rediscover myself.

All in all, life’s okay. The winter’s come in quite early. The weather’s starting to turn chilly though October hasn’t faded away yet. Rudrani thinks I write like females do, and I can’t really disagree. She also insists on calling me ‘Tokai’ despite my claiming that I’m the Kolabou. Also hilarious is how Chitrangada Singh says “Signs of aging, leave them behind, Take Care!” in the new Garnier advertisement. The trailers of ‘Kurbaan’ look very promising, and Vivek Oberoi, finally, looks back in form. It has a very international feel to it, and looks straight out of some Hollywood studio. Kareena- I fall in love with over and over again, and this time’s no exception. The song 'Kurbaan Hua' is remarkable in the way it's both sympathy-evoking and also coarse,rough,and adrenaline-rush-stimulating at the same time. I’ve been making frequent visits to the Joo, but they’ll soon be no-longer possible once classes at Presidency re-commence.

Enough for now… Oh and yes, well, bleh, nevermind…. Someone looks so cute, but so what? I’ll shut up.

Presi-People I Prize 1: Batchmates

Contrary to my ‘online’ image, I am a very happy person. Oh yes, I do enjoy ranting randomly about elements that add that noir-edge to my usually mundane life, but I’m generally a very happy person. No depression has ever been able to bog me down for more than a day, and no, my life is no fairytale, and yes, there are elements of terrible gloom and despair in it, but I generally choose to look at the happier things(except when I’m blogging).

I was contemplating the composition of an article about which out of pen-knives, blades of stainless-steel and edges of new books’ pages are best wrist-slitters(my latest name on FB being Slitwrist Goswami, but just then Puja Rohra came up(through her ever-nocturnal FBchat window) and suggested I write about something more cheerful and not keep brooding about how and why most people dislike me.

Now, this Puja Rohra is a classmate of mine in Economics at Presidency. Initially in college, while I’d go around making my presence felt with those ‘friends’ I’d made then,
this Puja Rohra along with her two girlfriends Nisha Dakalia and Aritri Das would sit quietly, prim-and proper, and look down their noses on us. ‘The snooty Loreto House girls’-that’s what I’d refer to them as, then. Oh yes, they’d also sometimes question my sexuality. Whether or not I am a bisexual always seemed to interest them, especially Aritri. Almost four months have passed since then, tables have turned, and now these snooty LH girls are my closest friends in my class. I spend a lot of time in college with them and my, am I thankful to know them? I admire the positivity with which Nisha looks at life, and the ease with which Puja and Aritri came to gel with the ambience of the college, which is so different from their Loreto(Dharamtala/House) brand of schooling. Now, I generally attend a Maths class out of college with these girls, where we inevitably end up spending more time hanging out at Nisha’s home than we spend trying to hone our Maths skills.

Some facts about them:
1. Puja Rohra hails from a Sindhi household but it’s a shame she doesn’t know a word of Sindhi. Also, according to her ‘kundali’, she ought to have been named Kasicka. However, she must have risen up in rebellion against the name, and have forced her parents to name her ‘Puja’. Her original name has, however, found a lot of favour in college, with most of our beloved 2nd years having warmed up to the usage this name.
2. Puja has two cousins, Rish(i)ta and Sagar, who happen to study in the Heritage School, where my mother is a senior Biology teacher. So I have a lot of insight into a lot of Rohra-family traditions from a variety of sources.
3. Puja and I are linked with each other quite often, but she and I are mature enough to not be ill-at-ease due to these overworking rumour-mills.
4. Aritri and I are two Capricorns and two ‘gawars’ around each other. We randomly start kicking each other while walking on the streets while bewildered onlookers look on(Onlookers WILL look on, DUH! ). We are incorrigible to the extent that after not having been provided with tissues after a lunch at Olypub, we proceeded to rubbing our hands on each other’s jeans. She is the female 'kutti' and I her male countepart.
5. Nisha is an ardent fan of Govinda, having watched all of his movies and mastered his way of laughing. She is also a proficient ‘Ghoomar’ dancer and her dance can put Vidya Balan’s Monjulika act to shame.

Among my closest friends in other departments, of course are Debadrita Modak, my fifteen-year-long acquaintance, and the only person in college, apart from Ankur Lahiri(of Statistics 1st Year,my batchmate from St. James’) who I knew from before joining Presidency. Not much to say about her apart from the fact that I absolutely adore her, and is the only person I can blindly trust.

Then there is Manimanjari Sengupta. I’m obviously not following any order of mentioning this people as Mani(or ‘Moni’-as she prefers being called) is as close to me as Puja, Nisha, Aritri and Debadrita. What I like best about Mani is the fact that she’s still a child at heart, much like me. Her way of greeting people with a “Hiiiiiiii” with her two hands parallel with each other, only one partly folded and the other fully stretched out, has garnered a huge fan-following in the college. Mani and I get along like a house-on-fire. With Mani, obviously, I must mention Sayantika Ghosh . Sayantika is this Beatles-loving-feminine-clothes-hating-‘ushkokhushkochool’ flaunting school friend of Mani’s who I’ve especially come close to. She’s unconventional, like I believe I am, and hence I love her.

Taniya Bhardwaj, the girl who the entire college thought I was dating, is the only person apart from Mani, who I got to know in college, and have been very good friends with, since the first week. A lot of the guys in college dislike me for they believe they’re not getting the opportunity to go coochie-cooing with her only because I’m around her all the time. She sure is one of the most attractive girls in college, and there’s hardly been any topic of conversation we’ve left uncovered between us. But don’t worry Rick, she’s all yours. Taniya and I hail from similar strata of the society, which makes it easy for us to relate with each other.

Roli Roy and Sriparna Dasgupta- I can’t claim that I know them too well, but despite the initial odd vibes [especially with Roli, with her knowing Rajdeep, who I didn’t get along with in school] , I’ve got to know them to an extent now, and I can say I like what I’ve seen. I admire Roli for she is an amazingly fun person who can be the soul of any party, who dresses well and is quite a charmer, and also simultaneously manages to bring home a 94 something score in her ISC, and in PHYSICS. Now that’s an extremely rare feat to achieve there. As for Sriparna, she is one of the most graceful and beautiful girls I personally know, and she is extremely well-behaved. Knowing Shalini, Sarequa, Taniya and Debadrita helped me get to know the two of them better.

Shabba Hakim is one person I passionately hated all the while she was in Presidency, but ever since she joined KPC, my love for her has intensified. Now I love her more than I ever hated her, and would ask everyone not to judge her for what she appears to be. She’s not one person you can figure out easily. She is intriguing and in that lies her charm. She’s also scarily blunt ,and her logic sometimes defies my ability to comprehend, and Taniya may be her ‘wife’ and she might be ga-ga over Rick, but at the end of the day, I also happen to ‘prem-kora’ with her. So here’s how it fits. Our foursome couple- Taniya, Rick(whose dad and mine are employed in the same company), Shabba and I. We all love each other. Orgasmic, eh?

Shahana Yasmin is hardly a Presidencian. She spends all her time in Joo. She hated me initially, and thought I was rude to her(me? Rude?? Bleh…). I seriously still haven’t figured out why exactly she found me rude, but the past is past, and the present, well, is great. We get along well, with me having taught her to master the art of sucking lollipops, and her having taught me the bitch-snap and the art of ‘happens’(Well, Anwe, Arghya, Mani and Sean did contribute too). We also added to each other’s vocabularies by replacing the use of the word ‘bitch’ with the metamorphosed version of the surname of a mutual acquaintance. Ooh, someone sure killed.

Other people from my first-year batch at Presidency that I like are
1. Samreen: Very misunderstood again, she’s always been a great help to me
2. Rudradip: Might appear very rowdy at first glance, but he’s my closest male-friend in my class. A classic example of a tough-exterior-with-a-soft-heart.
3. Souravi : Honest and very genuine. And very nice photographs. She’s a great girl who I don’t know so well yet.
4. Pubali: I know we’ve drifted apart, but I still like her and admire her uprightness. Maybe even I would’ve stuck up for Nilaj if I were her and I hold nothing against her.
5. Patralekha: Again, a lot of misunderstandings I know, hopefully they’ll get sorted soon.
6. Debojit: A much-needed guide in the initial days of college. It wasn’t his fault that I went totally loud, and rash, and hate-me-if-you-want-to.
7. Soumyadeb: I like his simplicity.

As for most of you others, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to get to know you all. Hopefully, soon I will.

This is an extremely honest and open note I’ve written clearly stating who I like and why. Later on ,a lot of this might backfire and affect me badly, but then I needed to be honest and open, since my diplomacy is something I bade goodbye to when I left school.
A few months later, I might be biting my fingers for having written any of this but I have only one request. I know I don’t make a great friend and I don’t stick up for you always. I’m selfish, self-centered, opportunistic and a coward. But please don’t let me down. For I’ve already been let down real bad in college, more than once, by people I’d come to really like. If you let me down, I’ll be very, very hurt. I am no victim of an evil world, neither am I any saint myself. I’ve always been totally capable to fend for my own self. However, I LIKE you all, and I really hope it stays this way till the very end.

October 21, 2009

Prematurely Gray and Disillusioned. NOT.

Fragments of a broken dream,
Chase a winning star.
A night begins, ten million shades dim,
Darkness arrives, her cardinal power.

Souls blend in with the silence,
Soft visuals from a horizon emerge.
An epiphany that composes a trance,
Into a surreal world, numb shapes surge.

Hallucinations show sympathy, so hollow,
Illuminative seductions-its only true worth.
Vocal bitterness, the lies then swallow,
Celebrations of a new wave take birth.

Clandestine ecstasies ruin a game,
Never more are my faculties meek.
The ambience faceless, demands a name,
To the naked bizarreness I speak.

Turbulent waves and rugged terrains,
Welcome, but never the roughness gauge,
Of mornings that to despair, are veins,
That in me, evoke a burning rage.

Rendered impotent of finding a frame,
Of reference, Of relatability,
I wander lost, I dwell in refrains
Out of vanity, arises a lurching pity.

Horror strikes with wrath terrible and sure,
Frozen identities are preserved.
Life invites with malice and vice so pure,
A painless waning, for me, I reserve.

October 17, 2009

My Magenta Imagination Lives For A Night

The scary cost
Of all that we lost
Have you tried to measure, ever?
When the mist and fog let us see, then rebuild.
When the rainbows do not, the droplets shield.
When nightingales fail to serenade…

A Charming End
Comes very slow, her hair loosened.
To fetch us to the other side forever.
Green dreams takeover, White noise shrieks
Empty canvass beckons, Filthy beauty speaks
Through the ice-cold fire I wade…

Helixes don’t match
Silver-shiny-melting eggs do hatch.
Names are called out, fear evoked.
In an open outrage, the winds gush in to conquer
A rhythm rebels, cyano-indigo tunes speak of the anger.
Newness defies the plan, the clan and the dead.

Toxic claustrophobia
Gin, sherry, rum, whiskey, beer
Nothing can, the malicious palettes, cloak.
Children take a masterful task, sink in, toil.
Bloodbath celebrations, ancestries do boil.
We brew up an eternity, facades are shed.

Love deconstructs
The passion, Myths are struck
Legends, they say, overwhelm some souls
Ornate philandering,lose focus of the goals
Candid illusions contradict a life simply made.

October 14, 2009

Consequences of a Conspiracy Theory....

It is 4am in the morning, and I’m still awake. Aimless, Purposeless, I’ve stayed up yet another night. Right now, I’m listening to the song “ Yeh Zindagi Bhi” from Zoya Akhtar’s delightful movie ‘Luck By Chance’. Like its source, the movie, the song,as well as the other songs from this movie, ‘Raahi Re’, ‘Pyaar Ki Dastaan’ and ‘Sapno Se Bhare Naina’), are extremely underplayed. The restraint, the setting limits to its desires to be noticed was the best thing about this Zoya Akhtar endeavor. Also, I remember ushering in the year 2009, in a very lacklustre way, alone in my room, under my blanket, with my Chemistry books, and with this song (or these songs) plugged into my ears. The night was angst-ridden. I was getting nowhere with my Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, and school-final exams were just two months away. I remember having made myself a bucket-list of things I wanted, and goals I wanted to achieve in the year 2009. I am not an innately lucky person. Things are not necessarily fairy-tale for me. Yet then, and without much hard work from my side, I have been able to(touchwood) achieve and attain everything I’d set out to that evening, even with two more months left for this year to wither away…
“Jo palkon ke tale, hai apne sapne leke chalein, yeh keh do who chale sambhal ke,
Na kar na koi gile, kahin jo thokar aise lage, ke sapnein toote, aasoo chhalke”…
Speaking of ‘Luck By Chance’, I simply adore Konkona Sensharma. Not only is she a brilliant actor, but she is also a very intelligent girl. The decision to not limit herself to neo-realistic, pseudo-intellectual, intellectual, regional-intellectual and renowned-directors’ movies, and to reach out to the mainstream through ‘Luck By Chance’, ‘Wake Up Sid’, ‘Life In A Metro’ is certainly taking her places. Along with the glamorous and undeniably-beautiful Katrina/Priyanka /Bipasha/Kareena , Konkona too is one of the most sought-after actresses of mainstream Bollywood today.
Consequent to a ‘conspiracy theory’, a non co-operation movement launched by my PC, Laptop, BSNL Broadband, iPod and iTunes ever since I returned from my fortnight-long tour of the ‘Land of Gods’-Himachal Pradesh, I’ve been unable to watch any of the movies I’d downloaded and had been intending to watch, like ‘Rear Window’, ‘Pierrot Le Fou’, ‘P.S.I Love You’, ‘Chungking Express’ and ‘New York’. This misfortune has however been amply compensated by the three movies I watched in the theatres(read multiplexes) in the last one week. ‘Wake Up Sid’, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ and ‘What’s Your Rashee?’

‘Wake Up Sid’ evoked a lot of Lakshya-related deja-vu. The movie was a nice watch, however. It never took itself too seriously, and its efforts in conveying a ‘message’ weren’t too ‘in-your-face’. I liked fluid pace, and the lack of majorly convoluted subplots, and build-up of retrogressive and/or clichéd dramatizations of circumstances. Also, for what is probably the first time in a big-budget Hindi movie, the lead actors repeated their costumes. Konkona and Ranbir both were easy and charming, but since it was majorly Siddharth’s world that was being dealt with, Aisha’s character remained half-baked. And Rahul Khanna, once again, saddled once again with a the-guy-who-loses-out-on-the-girl’s-affection role after ‘Love Aaj Kal’ dazzled in his bit role.

‘Inglourious Basterds’ has not replaced ‘Kill Bill’ or ‘Pulp Fiction’ to become my favorite Tarantino movie. Having said that, I loved every moment of the movie for there was no mistaking the quintessential Tarantinoisms throughout the entire running time of the movie. The director retains his himselfness all through. The performances by Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger, Mélanie Laurent, the generous sprinkling of humor elements, the portrayal of women as masterminds of the French and German resistance, the justifiability of the sadism behind the Basterds’ modus operandi- these are a few among the many reasons why the movie could very well become a cult-favorite among the classes and the masses. Out of all the actors, the two lesser-known faces, Christoph Waltz whose diabolical performance as Hans Landa blends monstrous malice and seductive charm, and Melanie Laurent as the intelligent, intriguing and a master-plotter Shoshanna Dreyfus especially stand out. If you do not watch this movie, it would have greater negative repercussions than the inability of scalping a 100 Nazis would have to an I.B.

‘What’s Your Rashee’ was a carelessly made movie. Ashutosh Gowariker’s( the maker of the brilliant ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’) decision to foray into the rom-com genre was evidently a fatal mistake. For when you’re watching a movie with a flavor of history, or with an aroma of patriotism, a three-and-a-half hour duration can be tolerated. A rom-com of the same duration would however, without fail, fail to engage the audience, especially when the content is no patch on Lagaan, Swades or Jodha Akbar. It wasn’t entirely a bad movie, but the inclusion of inane, illogical, Rohit Shetty, David Dhawan-esque subplots tarnishes the impressive capacity of the entire movie. Harman Baweja is receding into being a greater non-actor with every movie. His voice and accent would get on anyone’s nerves. The music isn’t bad, though. And then there’s Priyanka Chopra, once again turning in an honest, earnest, effortless, dazzling performance(or twelve performances ?). She is the sole saving grace of the movie, the only reason why I would tolerate the entire movie. She single-handedly does to the film what twelve different actresses could have collectively done. Sounds biased? Not my problem.

Enough for now. I have a lot more on my mind, but won’t say much more in this post.

September 26, 2009

Flavor Changes, Love Remains

As we grow older, the sugar-coatings and the gift wraps start coming off until the innermost skeletons of life start showing. The flavors change and everything starts smelling, looking and tasting different. Not everything attains bleakness or takes a turn towards the worse, but the ‘feel’ of everything changes.

It’s a Durga Pujo Saptami evening. Despite not having essentially been a Calcuttan throughout my life, I’ve always been in the city at this time of the year(apart from in 1998 –the year my family had insisted on touring the Garhwal and Kumaon hills). Exhaustive pandal-hopping to visiting relatives, scaling heights and attaining elevation with friends to donning those new-colorful attires- I’ve had a taste of everything that Pujos in my city are famous for. Yet some of the flavors of the yesteryears are no more. No dhaaki at Maddox Square, no Pirate-ship at Deshopriyo Park, no long queue at Bosepukur Sitala Mandir can replenish the certain warmly cosy and stomach-and-heart-churningly happy feeling in the crevices and recesses of my mind anymore. I wonder why? I’ve not undergone any major tragedy nor have I come to derive immense pleasures from any other quarters of my life. The various puja committees still contend for the position of the ‘Best Pujo’ of the city but the entire excitement surrounding the diversity of themes on display, like in the past, is no more. People still wear those new black tees, and girls still get their faces made up, and hair straightened, and cling to their boyfriends(and their potbellies) while riding pillion on their bikes, and the rains still come and wash off the decorations off some pandals, and the puchka-wallahs still make the extra profit, and the Pre-pujo sales still happen, but what the heck?? The flavor is different.

It’s like it was a different Pujo-time me then, and the me of 2009 are entirely different people. I hardly go out with my parents anymore. The memories of the Pujos of the past come back to visit me like visions of another life. These memories are generally lined with inexplicable silver coatings and red hues in my mind… I also terribly, terribly miss the car journeys that we would make from Maithon to Calcutta on Panchamis every year, after school would give over for the vacations. The music playing inside the car, the numerous small-pujas dotting the highway-sides, the awesomely cool(although sometimes smoke laden) air would keep streaming into the car when we would keep the glass-panes open. The highway-dhabas, the occasional tea and aloo paratha halts, the cold-drinks and the Anjan Dutta/Mohiner Ghoraguli or the corny Hindi songs, the plans surrounding the celebration of the festival- all of this would be enough to transform me to a different realm altogether… I fail to understand why I never derive joys from such little thrills anymore. Big city life, maybe?

Having said all this, this season still stays one of my favorite phases in the entire year. And Bijoya Dashami is still the day that makes me feel like I am losing someone very close to me. The wait of one more year-the newspapers say. The year will fly past without your realizing it, they add. “Yeah right!”, I say. A WHOLE EFFIN’ YEAR. Yet, indeed the year whizzes past. Birthdays come, exams come, depressions come, desires to go jump off the terrace come, happiness and excitements come, crushes happen, heartbreaks happen, differences arise, drifting apart from close ones takes place, patching up with certain other people happens, Diwali,Christmas,New Year,Summers,Monsoons go by, until it’s Pujo again. Flavors have changed, but the love remains. I know that even today if I happen to be compelled to stay this time of the year in anyplace other than this city of mine, I will suffer immense mental ‘monkemon’ and trauma-related-to-missing-the-festive-Calcutta…

P.S.: I know I’m an atheist, but sometimes I like to believe Ma. Durga and her family is a real concept. Not because I depend on her to resolve my life-issues, but somehow the entire concept of her family is very cute, especially in these times of fragmented families, where one constituent hardly has time for any of the others(and no one complains).

September 23, 2009

A New Language.

Times change, generations change, but some things never really change. Socially awkward people stay misfits and never find a place for themselves. That was the way the cookie crumbled in the past, and it still crumbles the same way today. Rock music was the voice of rebellion against the tried-and-tested-and-accepted social rules and norms. It was the revolution that questioned bureaucratic authorities. And then it became mainstream, like everything else. Today, calling one’s own self a ‘misfit’ is ‘coolness’. Everyone today goes by ‘I am what I am, Accept me for what I am’. Everyone today is a rebel. The rebel-rocker. The one who headbangs. The one who has tattoos and piercings. The one who is ‘different’ from all the rest. In this voice of rebellion, there are so many rebels , but sadly most of them hardly know what they are supposed to be standing up against, or sticking for. Joe Sat, and Jimmy Page, Kurt Cobain and Freddie Mercury… All the gigs… Learn to strum on your guitar. Dude, that makes you cool. And what, by the way, were these icons trying to get to become obsolete? Any idea, man? Oh how can you?? You are the rockstar, the misfit, the-oppressed miserable adolescent. You have enough issues on your own mind to pause and realize that even today the REAL MISFITS are lonely. They probably haven’t taken to your language, your way of life, which was initially claimed to be the refuge that could provide the weirdos with some shelter?? And not just rock-music. Everything that was niche yesterday is so cliché, so sold-out today. Even this note of disgust is very commonplace in its tone and pattern.

Hadn’t we found an umbrella under which every creature that had not found a safe home in the society could take shelter under?? Why does this umbrella act like the cell-membrane now? Only selectively permeable? Why do we still make faces and smirk at people who aren’t ‘normal’? Why are our minds still so constricted? Why do we cringe at our parents’ outdated beliefs and ideals when we ourselves are merely faking the liberal-mindedness? We are the generation that really wanted to be ‘ranged basanti’(liberated through the chastity and energy of saffron). We are the generation that was supposed to awaken. Weren’t we? Then why does the train still look ready to derail??

It’s time to find a new language of protest.A new language to convey the message that the REAL unusual,unconvential people have been through a lot of shit. A new language that will not hesitate to call a spade a spade and then shove it up the asses of the 'normal', 'cool' motherfuckers.A new language... Not blood, neither gore. Not flowers, nor colors. It needs to be something else, something never previously envisioned. Promise me my friends, you all shall be with me in this quest of seeking out this new device…

Till then, Happy Durga Pujo…
Let not your atheism come in the way of your celebrating this festival…