May 28, 2011

D.K. Bose Akele Nahi Bhaagta

Hum sab bhaagte hai. Kabhi toh kahiin se tumne bhi bhaaga hoga?

May 23, 2011

The Hundredth. 7/Z/5.

This very nook, the one where I am sitting right now, was where I was when Dadu had charged at us with a wooden chair, holding it up with his two hands, under one particularly violent fit of Alzheimer’s-induced rage. Tebu was six months old then. I was all of seven years, and Buiya nine. Trembling out of fear, we had all rushed out of the room, Tebu carried by the domestic help, and out into the gully. Dadu had, after calming us, signaled us to come in, but had ordered that Mana, the domestic help, whose forcing medicines upon him had caused him to get enraged, stay out.

Dadu died a year and a half back, after suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease for almost one and a half decades. Tebu has learnt and un-learnt Canadian English and is almost in high school, and has a nine year old brother himself. Buiya is almost done with a Masters degree in English, and I’m in sophomore year of College, desperately trying to figure out the intricate nuances of Economics. The Powerpuff-Girls poster has been scrapped off the wall behind me, and the editions of ‘Desh’ and ‘Anandalok’ stacked up on the racks are there no more. But after almost twelve years and many cities, apartments, schools and life-altering experiences today, we’re permanent residents of 7/Z/5, Picnic Garden First Lane, again.How much do renovations change, really? The set-up within each room has received drastic make-overs, but each corner is still painted with indelible memories. This,and 5-Ballygunge Place were the two homes I spent my earliest years in. The place I came home to right after I was born, the place where I learnt to stand up, to talk and walk, the endless humid-summer evenings spent on the ‘chhad’, the Tents-and-Adventures games with Tebu, Mongolamashi coming to work every morning, and engaging in squabbles with Thammu, Protima bringing us small-little souvenir toys from the fairs, the ‘mela’ near their slum, , Lebu’s birth, countless family gatherings. Within the walls of this home, my years of growing up have been kept preserved carefully.

Of course, once we moved out of Calcutta, and got acquainted with other towns and their people, the strings connecting me to this place began to grow weak. Sure, there still would be the coming-back-and-spending-the-vacations here, but that too got divided between here and Jodhpur Park, Lav-Kush, Abhyudoy, Salt Lake and all those other places. Eventually, there would be entire vacations when I’d not visit here even once. The walls lost their glow, the plasters and wall-papers were eroding away, the rooms got messier, and Dadu and Thammu older. The Nidharias moved to their own home, and then to Canada. Dadu got increasingly immobile, and soon, I had no reason to spend my time here any more.

After Dadu and Thammu had moved to Salt Lake, and Dadu’s demise in 2009, 7/Z/5 was left nothing more than a lot of rooms and old rickety ‘bonedi’ furniture covered with dust. Hence, not without reason, after its having housed us for twenty two years, Baba decided to sell it off, earlier this year.

The very next month I fell fifty feet, from a window of the Rajarhat apartment. I survived, but was ‘scarred’ enough to reject any ideas of going back to the fourth floor apartment where we were staying, or the one where we were to move to. Ergo, an entire make-over for 7/Z/5, and moving back here. Life has strange ways of mocking us and our plans sometimes. Today, I’m learning to walk all over again, in the same house where I learned to walk first, twenty years ago. Very few things have stayed the same. The ‘aangan’ behind the house is where it was, though it looks so much smaller today. The name-plate on the front door still bears the name of the 5 original-Goswamis. The Maxim-Gorky and Kafka novels still lay stacked in the drawing-room book-rack. But the single-houses lining the lane then, have given way to apartment-blocks today. Today, Shilpa Shetty no longer gyrates to “Jawaani Ka Alam” on television. Today, tears do not start flowing over one missed episode of Scooby-Doo. Today, the cabinet housing all of the ‘Shuktara’ and the ‘Sandesh’ issues, or the ‘Sinhasan’ with the idols and ‘nokul-danas’ are there no more. Today, I’m no longer convinced about the prospect of the existence of a fantasy-world infested by perilous ghostly-lions (all of it cooked up by my sister), just beyond the guava tree behind the ‘aangan’. Today, the guava-tree itself doesn’t exist. All that exist are fading memories of events of Not-So-Long-Ago, the rooms exactly where they were, and midnight-musings such as these.

May 14, 2011

Step away from the stars,
With you beside them, they lose their shine.
Move away from my life,
For I've stopped praying for miracles,divine.

May 10, 2011

While writing 'The Eye Of Yamah', I never knew the hawk-gaze had turned toward me.

May 7, 2011

The Ninety-Seventh Post

During those nights when I’d lie lifelessly in my irksomely tiny-and-white bed in the Intensive Critical Care Unit of the hospital, fleeting in and out of a drugged consciousness, sometimes I’d study the screens connected to the bodies of the other suffering souls. Those screens had every possible color depicting the various physical conditions, heart-rates, oxygen-saturation levels et cetera, of the patients, in every possible font. They resembled monsters from across the Vaitarna, one for guarding each unfortunate victim in that room, ready to grab hold of him immediately, should he lose his struggle for life. The suffocating silence looming in the dimly-lit room would be punctured at times by the nervous whispers of the visiting doctors and attendants, the heart-rending moaning noises made by an elderly occupant or the guttural, animal-like loud-cries from the bed housing a man from Kuwait, who I had heard had completely lost his memory after having fallen from about the same height as I.

All of these sight and visions would creep into my dreams, plaguing them, turning them into nightmares. There would be relief from waking from these dreams, only to be reminded that the nightmare I was living, the one I had purchased a permanent ticket to, through exercise of my unquestionable stupidity, carelessness and lack of concern for my own life, was not one I could be ever woken up from. I had fucked up. Fucked up, majorly.

Ma and Baba would visit during the visiting hours, which would be the happiest hours in the day for me. The only hours with human communication, with contact with the familiar, with anything remotely close to happiness, with warmth and love. Ma would also bring me news of my friends visiting me, friends who would come visit everyday without fail, even with the knowledge that I was recovering, even with the knowledge that they wouldn’t even get to see me. In the perplexing sanity of that room, with nothing much to do, I would think of the numerous things I could and would say to each one of them, to my friends and parents and family. So many things I’d own up to, confess, openly scream out, whine about, fearlessly opine about, and ruminate over guilt-free and in public. Now of course, back in the relatable insanity of the ‘real’-world, where every soul is bound by limitations and unspoken, unexpressed, incomplete dangling conversations, I realize, that I’m never going to say all those things I wanted to, to all those several people, ever in life.

May 3, 2011

Never There, Together

They sat around the fire, as it rained outside.
Legs intertwined, one of them with a guitar,
The other with a camera, each worshipping
An art, never up for hire.

Hours of silence, weaving in a glance or two,
Of the never uttered words, that generations crave,
Of the obvious comforts in the infinite company,
By the midnight fire.

Similar beings with dissimilar souls,
Never too long, do together last.
Each second is a dream shattered,
Reminiscent of an unwrinkled past.

Each photograph is a memory,
Wasting away under moisture and tears,
And each song is a one-way ticket,
Of return to the contagious, tragic fears.

Hope dries up, never stays around for too long,
When footsteps don't rhyme,thus ends each song.

Picture courtesy: Utsav Akhoury,once again.

Fabricated Fornication

Count the bitter whip-words,
Reflected under the lilac glory,
Of her tired lips.

Count the seconds ticking away,
From the old watch-dial,
Whilst his trousers, he zips.

An old tale,
The repetitiveness
Of them,
Fabricated Fornication(s)