Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The newspaper is getting increasingly interesting by the day. Take the TOI, for instance. It is finally reducing sensationalism to the span of its city supplements and producing some 'real' news. Check out a random selection of news items here :

1 ) Effect of Mamata's annual rally on the routine of the citizens

2) The sorry side of the above story

3) How greed might prove to be one's undoing

4) The actual, insidious effects of increasing pollution

5) How airlines are trying to be indiscriminately careful

6) Making a mountain out of a molehill

7) How the needs of women are currently being capitalised on

Whew, quite some variety, I must say. Makes one regret that one can't really somehow manage the time to read the newspaper from cover to cover on a daily basis. It would evidently prove be both informative and entertaining. Of course, a lot of people don't like to read real news, just the relevant gist. But I find the whole rigmarole as absorbing as that of a good crime thriller : a lot is said, a lot is left unsaid. It's upto you to fit the bits and pieces together to decipher what the current state of the nation is like. Often it's painful, cutting you yourself to bits and pieces before you manage to desensitise yourself to emotions and indignations and just watch and wait. For the reality that is more a solution than a problem in itself. Which might mean waiting for a long long time, really.

On a lighter and more random note, you might, like me, prefer to watch other people wait for irresponsible others who leave them locked out of their own home. My lunch was interrupted yesterday by the most awful hammering and shouting possible, almost precipitating a heart failure. It turns out that a couple opposite were unable to enter their own house, since a certain 'Henry' was not answering the door. They screamed the whole neighbourhood down in his name, peeped through the animal entry/exit slit lower down on the main door, banged their fists against the former (it's a wonder it didn't collapse under the assault), went down the back stairs into the parking lot only to return in a moment or so (just when I had been about to feel relieved and jubilant at their departure) ; in short, they did everything to arouse the curiosity and annoyance of the entire residential complex.

Pre-Henry :

I just didn't get it : was it a child they were calling out to and who might have fallen asleep or who was ill and who therefore they shouldn't have left alone at home in the first place or a guest or family member who was taking a shower perhaps and therefore simply couldn't hear them ? I mean, why couldn't they just sit down on the steps and wait for for a little while for the person in question ? By the time the two were done, exhausted, I was too. My audibility limits had been severely challenged and to top it all, it had worsened a migraine attack which had started that morning. By the time the said Henry turned up on the scene - a 30 something hefty young man with a very red face, an unassuming, cheerful voice and a receding hairline - wiggling his way fast to the source of all the chaos with a huge soda in his hand, I was ready to beat the hell out of him for making all our lives collectively miserable by his unexpected and untimely disappearance from the scene.

Post-Henry :

In fact, I wonder what we'll do back in Kolkata, after all the tranquility we've become habituated to here now. This place is definitely a quiet, picturesque residential locale, and we often speak in whispers or at least hushed voices in our bedroom or over the phone or lower the volume of the TV at night, fearing that even the normal pitch of our voices or the latter might sound loud to neighbours because of the extreme quietude of the neighbourhood. Although this is much more peaceful than what I myself have been used to all my life in my own locality at Salt Lake, it's not half as cacophonic as our current home, post-marriage, at Kalikapur, where rickshaws, autos, taxis and whimsical microphones seem to own the place, rendering us residents an intimidated and even apologetic (!) lot. Add to that my extreme edginess and irritability after facing all the honking, hooting and hawking on the busy intersections of Gariahat and Ruby General and there you have a very jittery me, contemplating the distinct possibility of not being able to pen a single line of poetry for the rest of my life. Talk about stark contrasts and bleak prospects. I'm beginning to feel quite sorry for myself, after all.

Our neighbourhood (photo : courtesy K-Factor)


Kaustav said...

What happened to my comments on Mamata's bandh ?? I thought you are going to put it in this post , I am dissapointed !! :-))
Going back to the hustle bustle of kalikapur is a dreadful feeling for me to, but I am sure we'll get acclimatised very soon, atleast lets hope for that :-))

shadows getting older said...

Reminds me of a friend who was just back from on-site US. He was standing at the road junction for me with an extraordinarily embarrassed face. When he saw me, he said, "janis to ekhane boddo beshi shobdo."


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