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Showing posts from February, 2016

Unforeseen

One day returning home early Sarala found her husband walking up and down the terrace of their penthouse.Usually Karthik returns home late in the evening, and soon after coming home he would start writing down accounts in his notebook.
He has several notebooks.
At least a dozen for his business.
Then, a couple for the market.
One for the insurance policies.
One for those bonds he had bought.After all how could one live without money?
Money is the only honey in the world.
And which fool doesn't know that?Without the smell of it he couldn't even sleep.
Karthik being a very sensible father had put everything into proper places.
His earnings had increased by the grace of Lakshmi.
He had put things in vaults even.
Sarala was pretty pleased with her husband's this quality of finding money.
Karthik would also buy her gold chains, ear rings, and things of silver and bronze.Sarala looked like a real queen.
Every one would admire Karthik's ways of decorating his wife.
The people…

All about gardening

'Hain re, saradini je ghurey barachchis? Parashuna kokhon hobey shuni?'(o my heart's joy, loitering all day long, when will you come and study?)
Ankita would ask her daughter.
Finding her playing with mud and water in the garden.
It was an afternoon of beautiful spring.
The trees have turned into flowering proclamation of love and gratitude to the goddess of spring. Ranjit had gone out for a tour. He would be back not before tomorrow.
After doing all the works at home, Ankita felt so tired, that she dozed off white watching a movie.
A beautiful day of spring.
A comparatively noiseless afternoon.
A beauty sleep.Only at around four she woke up abruptly.
'Kajori, where are you? Kajori?'
She got frightened not seeing her daughter beside her.
When she was watching the movie, Kajori, her daughter was just beside her. Lying upside down, reading a story book.'I'm in the garden!'
Ankita had heard her.
She almost rushed outside.
Her heart was throbbing to the f…

Obeisance to Love

'Yes, you can take this route and through this highway you could reach that monastery...'
Nayan was standing at the front parlour downstairs.
Right opposite him stood Rohit.
He was drawing a route chart on a piece of paper.
He would be going out soon.
Outside the fog and the mist had laid a blanket.
'Are you going there alone?'
Rohit asked.
Nayan tried to look through the glass door.
Fog and mist had made the glass blurry.
'Yes...a monastery visit as it is...they are sleeping...today is a rest day...''Take something from the kitchen counter...you would have to make a trek...'
Rohit said, smiling.'O yes...'Nayan went out.
The first thing he got outside was the cold sweeping breeze.
'Hope the temperature will rise after few hours ...'
Nayan started walking.
The rough route sketch in his hand.
The mist made visibility poor.
But that's what gave the place a sense of beauty. A solemn grandeur.
The whiff of air had the fragrance of incens…

Finding Thokmay*

Sneha and her father went into the dining hall first. It was adjacent to the double storied hut they were staying in.
No one actually dares to make a venture to the hills during this season, end of December as it was.
But Sneha's father would always think that the beauty of the hills could only be understood in its roughness.
It's solemnity, according to Partho, Sneha's dad, comes out best in winter.
"In summer hills become maidens...they dress themselves up, quite contrary to the plains..."
Partho would say.
Sneha would try to make out her father's words. Not that she realised everything but then she got mom to explain things to her.
Her mom, Kaushani.
Kaushani would just tell her stories from folklore.
Recently Kaushani bought her a book for children by Sudha Murthy.
It had stories which enthralled her.
'In our times, we had those granny's tales...we used to call them Thakurma's Jhuli...'
Kaushani would tell Sneha.This morning, the weather…

For dads are like that...

Rupsa was a bit sad, she had planned to do so many things today. She thought of going out with her friends for a hangout.
After all it's Sunday and who cares to mug things out in the first year.
But this sudden rain.
It might spoil the dress she had decided to wear.Only last night she had talked with Arko, Sandy, Hemu.
They all made a plan. The venue would be that shopping plaza at Camac Street.
Arko was supposed to buy the tickets for a flick. Interestingly, she had gathered from her seniors in the college that the movie would help them very much in their studies.
The novel from which the movie had been made had been included in the syllabus.
That's another convincing reason to ask her father to allow her to watch the movie.
Her father, the least talkative person, (probably in the whole world!) just asked her the name of the novel.
She replied.
'You need to see that...it might have a bearing upon you...'
He had said and started reading an old book on the history of I…

A morning serenade,

Serendipity, if thy name is life,
Here am i
Just outside thy door,
With bouquet of flowers
Where my songs I pour,You may call me a poem
Who hath strolled
But then that's why have I come
In songs of Love to unfold,As unfolds a bud
To catch the colors of spring
As breaks a morn
With the glory of the Unseen,As wakes the bird
After a cosy warm sleep
As the Aurora sings
Where her Beauty she keeps,Serendipity, if thy name is life
Here am I
Just outside thy door.

A sketch,

Every year, during spring, when the smell of leaves and flowers would stir her soul, Ketaki would think of her by gone days, her university days of having sessions of adda at the canteen,her first friend who turned out to be her love, her chasing T.S.Eliot and James Joyce and Jibananda Das, her finding solace in Tagore and Wordsworth and her death with the redness of gulal upon her face.This spring, even after so many years as she had started arranging the bookshelves properly, and putting fresh flowers into the vases, and humming a Tagore in her lips, she found she had missed herself.They had shifted to a bigger house with better facilities, her husband had got a promotion and her son post exams, having a vacation.
No worries.
Still she thought she was missing something.
She asked herself what actually she was missing.
Her life, her youth, her beauty, her longing for friends, her lost love?
What?She looked at herself in the mirror.
No, she had not that grown old much.
She counted her…

The king and acts of sedition

Once there lived a king.
A king of a kind.
He loved his parrots very much.
Every day when the king would start his court, giving away one after another his judgments, his courtiers clapped.
They nodded their heads.In that kingdom there was a school too.
The king one day ordered his men and women(he luckily had few women courtiers too!) to go to the school and ask the children to sing bhajanas.
Now prior to the arrival of the king's men and women the school had a curious syllabi and curricula.
There the children were taught music, painting, English, Sanskrit, Arabic, french, German and even Spanish. There they were also taught mountaineering and riding horses.
God knows how experts with purely philanthropic bent of mind would arrive there and stay there and teach the children different disciplines of learning.
The children were really very happy.
But it posed a problem too.
For the king.
He thought of sending people with expertise in nationalistic jingoism.But those children, being…

The old man who walks by

There is that old man who walks by Subarnalata's house every morn. At around seven thirty or eight. At that time Subarnalata would usually remain busy with her works. She would either be fetching water from the road side tap or would be washing clothes.
But that old man.
He would walk by the house.
His figure bent.
His eyes almost closed.
But he would walk without stumbling.
'Adbhut lok...'(a strange man...)
Subarnalata thought every time she would see him walking.
One day, while she was washing clothes she found the man.
It was a beautiful sunny day of spring.
The leaves were whispering songs of love to each other by their rustling.
Subarnalata thought she would call that man and ask him where he would every morn go.
To work?
But in such an old age...
Subarnalata looked at the man.
He was simply dressed but not at all beggarly.
He was not a simple morning walker.
For morning walkers usually walk in groups, bantering and laughing and having fun by cracking non aging jokes…

Writing epitaph, back

Myself I wrote my epitaph
It was probably my first post
In that space
Where I was born,
By the river of Ganges,
Way back in the nineties,I was too young then,
Like a child,I was too old then
Like that old man
Who would
Go by the Ganges
Sailing his bajra,
Singing stories
Of his all encompassing love,I died out of that,
Simply I fell
And fell
Till I was no longer a boy,
Till I knew thousands were dying like me,And that Gothic structure at Esplanade
White marble
There I died,After that I thought
I bloomed

Whence You grow within me

Whence  you grow within me
Like a tiny little tree
Through your leaves I see
Myself ,You and me.

Manasi's Ravi

'Is it possible? Can it really happen?'
Manasi thought looking at the screen of her computer.
Just she got a mail from that highly acclaimed designer Ravi Kishore!
She was only thinking of some designs and putting them one by one into her website.
Then suddenly she heard a ping.She thought she was watching a remake of a popular flick from Hollywood, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.
But it was more intense!In that flick there was a lot of acrimony with regard to business between the two main characters.
But here...'God! I must be daydreaming in broad daylight!'Manasi reread the mail.
Ravi Kishore had written how much he could find similarities between her ideas and his and how much he could connect with her ideas.
He had also written a few words about his family. The birth of his second daughter. How he and his wife were kept on tenterhooks by the newborn's demands of constant attention.
He wrote he got so much busy with his family and the children that he could no…

The child

'Such a beautiful day...'
Parama said, 'why not we go for a walk?'
'Now?'
Alokananda was trying to edit a passage.
The report would go to the editor's desk by nine. From there to the composer's.'Why not?'
Parama asked.'If Rajdeep da finds you loitering around like this, you know...'
Alokananda said, suppressing her smile.
'Who's that Rajdeep? I'm slave to none!'
Parama said, smiling.It was only two forty.
A mild breeze was blowing.
It had the smell of flowers and a bit of moisture.
'It might be raining somewhere...'
Parama thought the first thing she and Alokananda came down to the small park opposite their office. Break time.
The makeshift stalls of food and chai by the boundary of the park were having brisk business.'For the last few days noticed you are in the most blessed state...always smiling...doing all works in time...not sitting on papers and not keeping them piled up...clearing them as soon as they c…

Tied

It had snowed.
It had snowed last night.
The cold air had made a sweep through ribs. Debosmita was trying to put the kettle out of the oven. She held kettle by her bare hands. The warm feel replenished her cold palms. Another morn at the hills. She looked out of the casement. White carpet of snow flakes had been laid out. The trees looked like sculpted figures.
Simran had said she would drop her son here, before she would go out to fetch firewood from the forest.Simran, a woman of her own.
Working morn till night.
Taking care of her son, her husband, her father in law, her family.
The more Debosmita looks at Simran, the more she stays amazed and amused.
What amazes Debosmita is the gut of Simran. Losing her father, mother and her family in avalanche, she had not gone mourning.
Debosmita still remembers the first day she met Simran, after joining this school at this remote place.
She came to her house, one sunny morning, with a bag full of firewood.
A woman with a face , dimples form…

Jhilik's learning

'What are you doing?'
Shreoshi asked her daughter,the moment she came to the verandah of the cottage.
They had lodged themselves in this cottage. They meaning she,her daughter Jhilik, her husband Bhairab.
Bhairab being what he is, had taken his camera and went out quite early in the morning.
They were not even wakeful then.
Only she felt Bhairab taking his camera bag from the bedside table, kissing her forehead and their daughter's, and softly whispering to her ears,
'Going out for awhile, would be back before lunch...taken the cell ...'Now it had turned eleven almost.
They had taken breakfast.
Shreoshi checked the packets of dry food and found Bhairab had taken cashews and biscuits and peas. Finding Jhilik happily swinging her legs sitting on the verandah with her doll and singing a tune, Shreoshi felt relieved.Not everyone is known to her here.They had been staying here for two days last.
From here they had planned to go to another place.'Come here, let me dr…

Rohini's Circle of Life

'We are in a vacation, aren't we?' Asked Rohini, to the sky, which looked back at her with profundity.'Yes,' the sky answered crying with happiness,'Yes'
Answered Rohini,And the mountains echoed,
With their primordial innocence,
With their incorruptible silence,
With their ascetic stillness,And Rohini felt the subtle music of the opening of petals,
Of leaves being carried by the cool cool breeze,
Of songs of toy train with children waving flags,
Of deodars and pines and rhododendrons turning green,'We are all the offsprings of the Omniscient,
Only having a sojourn to this place,
A perfect vacation'The Sherpa who was sitting on a cliff,
said that, not looking at Rohini,
But looking at the mountains,'We worship them...
Those mountains
For they speak not
But they are
the Truth of the Beauty'The man with frostbites on his wrinkled face
Which had the knowing of the terrain
Beautifully engraved upon,
By the sun, the wind and the ice,
Muttered,Ro…

Animesh, Arunima and the Birdman

'Wake up Animesh! There's no way we can keep us confined up here...even if it is our sojourn...our holidaying...'
Arunima pushed and pulled Animesh out of bed.
Knowing Arunima, Animesh woke up.
There must be something interesting for him to note down. Otherwise...
Arunima took Animesh to the window.
Piercing the cloudy scape there the dawn was just making a promise to the hills.
A promise of the unlimited glory of being a dawn.Animesh started looking around.
'Can't you see?'
Arunima asked her hubby.
'Na...'
'Hey poet, too much of bacon has made you prosaic...I am going to bring your cup of tea...you, meanwhile find what I meant...'
Arunima made a pinch on his cheek and went away.
That's like Arunima.
Always giving Animesh resources to work on, to pour his heart out, to ponder, to embellish.
Animesh stood there.
The cool breeze was slowly making its way to his heart.
He could feel that.
Scent of flowers came in.
'Kanchan...'
Animesh r…

Yimli's Eyes of Buddha

'Then what happened?'
Suparna asked Yimli.
Yimli was busy making noodles in her big pot.
At the counter there were two people, foreigners,backpackers.
Suparna cast a look at them.
They were talking in English though the accent was different. Guttaral.
'They might be Germans...'
Yimli's husband, Butsugen was bringing in logs upon his shoulders from the barn.Late October, the nip in the air was catching in. The morning had a feel of cosiness.
Suparna's husband had not yet woken up.
Suparna also didn't wake him up.
She wanted to get the feel of the place all by her own.
Being an editor of a magazine on women's issues, she always remains on the lookout almost to find real life stories.Yimli's face had a big scar. Running across from her right ear lobe end to chin.
It had almost smoothened but the scar could be visible if anyone could see her face up close.'And then what I ran away from him...'
Yimli said.
'He didn't look for you?'…

An ode to Love

Love, as You hath giveth unto me,
Your bless,
Keep me off from crying,Hold me in Your arms
And make me
To flyAs flies the dove
As flies
Our faithThe very old one
And yet
Very new!

Gayatri's discovery

'That afternoon last, was the most blessed one probably I had'
Gayatri thought as she started ironing the school uniform of her daughter Ahona.
Ahona would go out at nine. She checked her school bag.
'Have you taken your exercise books? The class work copies? That Enid Blyton which you borrowed from your friend?'
Gayatri asked.
Ahona nodded.Kaushik was checking a script.
'Ahona, have you seen my glasses?'
Kaushik asked.
'You have put them on the bedside table'
Gayatri replied.
'O yes...'
Kaushik went to fetch them.
The script of the story is to be checked.
Often while typing he loses a comma, or an exclamation or an apostrophe.Gayatri was humming a song.
She was thinking of the afternoon last.
The cool breeze was sweeping the street then.
She was returning from office.
The sun was drawing a supranormal sketch on the sky.
She found herself immersed fully into the beauty of that moment.
She forgot to take the change from the vegetable man when sh…

Stone age to ...

'Why there's so much of noise outside?'
Parvati asked her husband.
'Nothing...just some people throwing stones...'Throwing stones at each other had become a daily ritual of sorts nowadays in the part of the locality where they live.Now why the people throw stones at each other is often not understood by Parvati.
If she would ask her husband, who loves largely to have tea and to read, there would never be any answer forthcoming.Even a few years ago, it was not so.
Nowadays it had become too frequent.'Is it some kind of a game?'
Parvati would ask.
'Yes, it is like going back to the stone age...'
Once her husband said, reading as he was a story of Ruskin Bond.'That's good or bad?'
Parvati asked, as she would usually do, taking opinions from her husband first then thinking out of her own.'Good...'
Her husband replied.'Why so?'Parvati was quite bamboozled.'For the evolution started right from there...the stone age...then t…

Mustard fields are forever

Every spring afternoon when the sun would set into the mustard fields and fragrance of mustard pollens fill the air, Safa would at the dawa of their hut sit with her son Manjit.
Manjit would play with the chakki, making it go round and round while Safa would keep on grinding the spices using the pestle.
Her mother in law Parbhjot would read Granth Sahib, lying on the khatia, while Manjit's sister Mahek would press her legs.
Safa's husband, Manjot, a soldier enlisted with the Indian Army, would come home only once, during the time of Baishakhi.
The whole family waits for his arrival.
Usually Safa would be informed of his arrival by Manjot, a week earlier.
And the whole family would start thinking of something grand for him.
Parbhjot would become particularly active, almost pestering Safa to sweep the dawa clean, to stuff the gola with grains and to do some alpana on the courtyard.
The celebration of Baishakhi and the arrival of Manjot would intertwine usually.But this year, S…

Born out of Beauty

As You are born out of Beauty
And me too,
As You hath turned me to a bird
And to fly
As You are the Dove of a Bard
And someway iPray You come onto i
And make this world a World
Of Love
Knowing the Loop
Of that sacred Eterni~ tie.

Jhilmil's Sunday

'What have you done today? At your artwork class?' Sudeshna asked.
Her daughter Jhilmil was then looking at the tree, just where the mother daughter duo stood.
'Let's hurry up...will have to go home quick...you know I will have to cook food...and then will have to wash those clothes...heaved as they are...on the washtub...'
Sudeshna said and tried to tug her daughter. But Jhilmil was not moving. 'Look mama, there's that beautiful bird...'
'Where?'
Sudeshna asked.
'Can't you see, right there, on that tamarind tree...'
Jhilmil pulled her mother's head down to her level as she pointed to a branch of the tree which spread its branches like wings, with new leaves sprouting. The tree appeared to be dressed new. The season of spring having arrived.
Sudeshna saw the bird. It looked like a parrot, with a red beak and long tail, but its feathers were different. It had yellow feathers.
Sudeshna herself had never seen such a bird. But ther…

An ocean of life,

How much blood can you give
To turn the ocean redSang once a poet,And here we are now
But are we still liberated?Tell me, poet, tell me,
With your hands on your breast,Do we not still sharpen our knives
Do we not still with malice fightAh wish I could be that man
To stand betwixt those bayonetsAnd put roses down those barrels
Which only could turn the red oceanAn ocean of life, torquoise blue.

Basanti

Image
As I wake up and me you greet
At the garden as we meet
You flash your smile
as you wake up too
With your dreams
Of mist, love and dew...

Ahalya and Mrs Thurlow

'You got to be Mrs. Thurlow then!'
Ahalya almost spoke out impromptu.
Before her stood a woman, expressionless.
She couldn't understand what Ahalya was talking about.
'Tallo? Oi namey kakukey chinina...'
(Don't know anyone by that name...)
Saying this she started winnowing the rice grains.
Ahalya looked at her.
A woman, barely thirty years of age but lost her lustre.
Continuous struggles had made signs on her face. Her hair had got dried like straw.
The heat and the dust of the terrain had made permanent botches on her limbs.'So your sons? They went away too?'
Ahalya asked in Bengali.
'Ha...'
The woman answered curtly.
She didn't even look up.
She had works to do.
She would have to winnow the grains, put them into sacks and then would have to carry them on her head up to the rice storage unit some three miles away.
It was already two thirty.
She didn't procure anything to eat.
Last night she had put a small quantity of rice which she got…

Nupur's thursdays

Almost every thursday, at the verandah of their house, at around tea time, five thirty usually, there would be a grand congregation of sorts. Nupur's father, her uncle Sandipan, uncle's friends Shaswata  and Dipnarayan uncles, were the regular attendants. Her father and uncle, coming home from the shop at around 2 would take their lunch. Thursdays being 'half days', they had time to relax. They would either play chess or have a short nap, depending upon their mood. Her mother and aunt would either sew or talk about what happened to the families of the neighbourhood -the Ghoshs or Dasguptas or Sens etc till they would doze off.But around five in the afternoon the maid would come and wake the whole house.
Nupur's mother Malabika and aunt Sritoma would wake up and go to the kitchen. Jingling sounds of their bangles could be heard coupled with the mild tinkling of cups being washed and plates being put.
Nupur coming from school at twelve thirty, would take her lunch an…

All about the soil

'How many hours will it take?'
Rebati asked the conductor of the bus.
'Where you said, you will be going?'
The conductor asked. He had rolled a paper and with it he was trying to poke his ear.
The bus was just like a bus should be in this part of red soil. Filled with people, labourers, chicken, goats, and children on hips of women. They were all swinging and twirling keeping in exact timing with the twists and twirls the bus was having on the dusty road.
'How come people stay here?'
Rebati thought.
A few minutes ago a little boy had tugged her saree and soiled it.
His nose had something dropping out, slimy. Rebati almost wriggled with nausea.
'Bad decision...'
Rebati thought.
'I should have driven to here...but this papa of mine, he would never allow me to go anywhere driving...take the driver...Pooh! Uncle had grown old...he can't even see properly and the way he drives, as if he is trying to follow a snail! How many times asked papa to repl…

At a 'god forsaken country'

'This God forsaken country! Can't believe you would make such a tour plan!'
Rudra grumbled as soon as the jeep brought him and Anjali down in front of a lonely looking cottage.
'Why ? You said you needed a quiet place...so we are here...'
Anjali said, smiling.
'Bull crap!'
Rudra shrugged with disgust.
Soon they were inside the cottage which had a cot looking like a charpoy at one corner, a pitcher, a window at the rear and a small room which was like a bathroom.
'At least they got a bathroom attached!'
Rudra said.
His anger seemingly subsided a bit.
A boy barely fourteen or fifteen years old brought two bowls of soup, a silver saucer with boiled eggs, pieces of bread and a small plastic cup with a paste which looked like chili flakes dipped in vinegar and soya sauce.Seeing the food, Rudra wasted no time.
Anjali was hungry too, after the long overnight journey.It was only nine in the morning.
The chill in the air was soothingly tolerable.
Chirpings o…

Old and new

If you think of me as that ol man
On the block,
I would love to be so,
For old is like finding grace,
Finding Philos as my proper place,But then if you think of me as that new kid in town,
I would love to be that too,
For youth gives me colors
Finding feathers of a peacock,So the choice is yours,
I am just
A whiff of a breeze,I carry only leaves
And their murmur.

Ayushi's 'falguni'

With her day beginning at five thirty every day, starting with watering the plants, then making list of things to be brought from the bazar, the green groceries and others, then running to the kitchen to make things ready for the day,followed by making tea or coffee for herself and her hubby, the only time she gets some time for herself is usually one thirty or two. Then the house which has remained agog with activity cools off.
Only at the living cum dining downstairs, Ayushi 's father in law keeps some noise running by the conjoined efforts of his snoring (part of his mid noon siesta) and the blaring TV.
Many a times she has got downstairs and switched the TV off. But she has noted that soon after the TV is switched off, her father-in-law wakes up, as if the blaring TV keeps him company while he takes his siesta.
So she,nowadays, doesn't switch it off.
Today she is thinking she will jot down Jhumur's homework lessons in a notebook. Jhumur, her daughter will be returni…