Monday, April 26, 2010


"The thirsty earth soaks up the rain and drinks and gapes for drink again..."
---- Abraham Cowley

The first kaalboishakhi of the season has just been here...and how !
I didn't know what to do...the scent of the wet earth after the first rain, the sight of the trees dancing with careless abandon on the dusty horizon, the sight of sheets of blessed water quenching the thirst of the parched heart was in a state of ecstasy so hard to describe, so good to experience...and here's the first photo I took from the balcony, before consideration for my camera lens send me scurrying indoors ;-)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beauty and Beyond

From my window

I had gone out this morning to exchange some T-shirts I'd bought at an unbelievable discount (but had forgotten to check whether they fit, so very me) this morning. I got down from the auto and was walking the last bit home when I had a strange emotional experience.

It started with this purple-and-lavender painted house I was glancing at as I passed by. It looked so cool and fresh to the eyes in the middle of the floating waves of white hot heat all around. Then within a couple of minutes, I came across this blue-and-navy painted house, equally soft on the eyes. Yes, I am a bit eccentric that way ; I don't mind spending all my leisure hours ambling along the streets of Salt Lake, thinking and feeling and considering houses. They are as individualistic to me as human beings, maybe more so. When I see a house that really pleases my senses, I feel a strange sense of contentment, as if I had created a masterpiece myself. The right colours, the sense of symmetry, the pattern of the grille, the shape of the doors and windows, the positioning of the gates, the lazy climb of the bougainvillea along the balcony pillars, all these things give me an immense sense of bliss. Strangely enough, 9 out of 10 people wouldn't think of me as materialistic in the usual sense. I'm not too picky about my food or clothes. All my friends gift me books (yes, all of them) on my bithday each year. And yet, I am particular to the point of obsession when it comes to colours of walls, shades of tiles and hues of accessories like curtain fabrics or bedspreads or cushion covers. I can't function in a room painted in a colour I abhor or take too seriously a person who wears colour-uncoordinated clothes. Strange, isn't it ?

And yet, even as I was living the beauty of these houses, I was also thinking of how lucky I was to be able to have eyes that could appreciate the beauty of things around me, to have the time to stand and stare amidst a life full of care, to be able to afford an umbrella over my head to shade me from the merciless sun. And then, I looked at the woman fast asleep on the footpath in the heat of summer and I realised with a strange keenness how life, beauty and happiness are shortlived and essentially transitory in nature. Sobered and checked, I felt like giving it all up and giving all I had away and seeking sanctuary somewhere permanent, with someone omniscient.

Sometimes, life has more meaning than I can make sense of.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Looks and Lessons

Ma and me ;-)

Mitu the model :-)

Me :-)

My friend Sohini's back in town. And this time with an unexpected gift : a little baby boy, Soham :-)

Juieen and I are still debating whether the little fellow looks like his mother or whether that is something we shouldn't be losing sleep over so early in the day; after all children's faces change so much as they grow. Me for instance. When I was young, most people would observe me carefully and then almost unanimously declare that I had inherited Baba's looks. Let me tell you, that seriously dampened my spirits. My father, I was aware of even at that tender age, was not good-looking, even by the wildest stretch of imagination. I reacted to the former observations with prolonged fits of sulking. My looks kept on changing over the years but big awkward glasses, domestic haircuts and a severe inferiority complex in terms of physiognomy contributed much in retarding any possible progress in the confidence sector. It was only when I went for a radical revamping of my image in college with contact lenses, a real haircut and a wardrobe subdued in colour but smart in cuts that I felt I was finally at par with my peers. And yes, when I went to my mamar baadi (mother's parents' place) during my summer holidays sometime around that period, everyone finally decided that I was a xerox copy of Ma. That was one helluva compliment since my mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, well at least in my eyes (see photo above). I still recall Pooja asking me why Ma had not joined the Bengali film industry when she was young ; it seemed a big shame that her looks had never drawn public attention in the way it deserved to. I didn't have a reply of course. Ma just smiled when I repeated Pooja's words to her. Anyway, Mitu, my younger sibling, is modelling big-time nowadays (photo above) and I think Ma derives some sort of satisfaction, however vicarious, from that.

As for me, I'm just happy the way I am nowadays. I 've learned not to overdo it. One celebrity in the family is enough ;-) No make up for me, no loud colours or flashy cuts. No brands, no coloured hair, no fairness creams...nothing that makes me look into the mirror and stare silently at a stranger. I prefer to keep myself low-maintenance and recognisable.

Returning to where it all started out from : I just hope little Soham grows up to be as good as he can be in his own eyes. The rest doesn't matter. Really.
But you have to grow up a lot to believe in the truth about brains scoring over beauty. That's the sad part.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Paradise Lost

Last night, I dreamed of someone I had loved and lost. Someone who my near-thirty years of innocence and desire had slowly, steadily moulded into life... and then, destroyed. Someone who was the climax of my older, younger ardour, the crystallisation of my spartan, monotheist faith. Someone who I dreamed into life, lived into religion, religiously summoned from the sphere of souls to love, cherish and protect. Someone who made me want to believe in the existence of a being who answers your prayers, provided there is enough power and patience in them.

That someone is no more. One day, I woke up and he had disappeared. He had died, I think.

With him, had died all the love I had breathed , so much of it that it had made me wonder.

With him had died all my elations and my illusions.

With his death, I now know how to feel when you love and lose. But better that than never having loved at all.

It's only that enlightenment has come at a cost : I'm alone with myself again. And the dreams are no more.

But yes, I now know that that being is there.

Be careful who you wish for. It might just be answered.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ad Noise-eum

I was proud and pleased to spot the following ad (please click to enlarge) in the 'Metro' supplement of today's 'The Telegraph, Kolkata'. Having freelanced for the newspaper for about 5 years now, anything worth eulogising in its pages always helps make my day. Besides, it struck a chord with me because of a previous post I had made recently on somewhat similar lines.

It's nice to see the media doing its duty. Now, if only we would follow suit.


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