baggout Blogging Contest

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dreams impossible

Give me light give me sun on my night of grief,
Give me moon to
Drench me cool on my hardest day,
Make me dare take baby steps
To cross the limit in my humble way,
.
I keep my song closed inside
Humming the local tune,
And they pass me by happily ever,
There goes a homely woman

The pain inside,
The weight and the cry ,
My heart keeps concealed and hidden,
The waves of ocean,
Keep flooding my eyes ,
And wolves are there to
Lick my wounds.

I want to hold the world
In my humble palm,
And I want the success story
Mirrored on my nail .

All dreams impossible
Like my desire for
The passion
That was in me till
It died with you
Forever yesterday.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Distance

Look at her, she is smart,
She is innocent and cute;
The day I saw her otherside,
I became cold like an icebox,
and I prayed to God
Please mute the play
That went inside her closed door,
Only the vibrations
That came out
Were enough to kill my love
For soft toys, for lollipops,
For raindrops and dews,

I could tell her what was true,
I could tell her I saw her through,
But I felt it was not worth the trouble,
As I felt the ties loosening
And I knew,
Only distance was her due.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Her Phone, Her life, Her friends

My phone started ringing and I thought who could it be! My phone was new, slick and smart and so new, most of my friends did not know of it, which I wanted desperately to show, though I knew too well that they would only laugh at me for being still fond of showing off new things at this age. I stopped short of taking it out of my bag, as a very catchy tune started as a ringtone and the girl standing next to me on the zebra crossing, waiting for the light to turn green picked it up hurriedly and started talking animatedly. Poor girl, I thought, she is so engrossed , that she did not notice she was almost shouting at the caller and before I could restrain her she started moving forward even with the light being still red. I saw a minibus approaching and just caught hold of her dopatta and tried to pull her back, but she did not even seem to notice my move and the the approaching vehicle and the next thing I saw the young body being flown past me and hitting the footpath, bloody and dead.



I wonder why these young people do not think twice before putting their lives at risk. I have travelled almost two thirds of my life and still I value my life, I treasure my life as a special gift of God. I know I have been given once chance in life, which I would live to the full, enjoying and savouring every second of it. But look at these young ones, they just throw caution to the winds for the sake of staying connected to their friends and family at all odd hours at all odd places. It seems, they think nothing else exists, while they are on call.

What is the use of having a mobile and a host of near and dear one, if you are not there to hold it in your hand and stay connected.

I wish there was a smart phone which would flash the word CAUTION or cry out LOOK OUT/STOP if its owner is crossing a busy road, is on the friving seat or at any such position that requires attention.
Is anybody listenting!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On a bad day

On a bad day


Little Jojo was having a Mango
And enjoying it much !
When he spotted a monkey
On a tree giving him a mean watch !
Monkeys are fond of banana
That was what he knew,
So he called -‘ mama please give
Me a banana, will you!
Sure child but first you finish
Your Mango she said,
Mango is for me mom,
Banana is for the monkeys sake.
Really, you have turned
much too witty for your age.
This boy is no good, so I should
Try myself, mused the brute
And he jumped to snatch the fruit,
Giving Jojo a slap on his way;
Mama came in a moment and
Looked for the skins of mango.
A monkey took it home,
Said the frightened Jojo,
Should be ashamed of yourself
Boy, I am sick of liars you should know!
Little Jojo stood confused and sad,
What a cursed day that turned everything so bad.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I call a gentlemanly act.

I sometimes wonder why people deny other's their due credit. Think of Bidhu Binod Chopra, so happily renowned, successful and popular filmy man, fights shy of giving Chetan Bhagat due credit on his book in his super hit film 3 Idiots, in the opening titles. Why should he be so mean as shout at the media persons while debating on this issue. We all know that the young Bhagat was the author of Five Point Someone the book which Chopra adopted and the scripts were undoubtedly based on this. But no, he has to deny any credit except a minuscule reference to the author. This is extremely unfair. My sympathies lie entirely with the author.

Likewise I was so surprised when the famous Gulzar copied scene by scene a Classic bangla film by Tapan Sinha “Apanjon”(1968) , featuring Samit Bhanja, Rabi Ghosh, Swarup Dutta and Chaya Debi written by Indra Mitra and made “Mere Apne” (1971). Starring Meena Kumari, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha on the story and the titles on the film showes Gulzar as the writer and director of the film. Such a disgusting and shameful act.


But a little known gentleman Sriram Raghavan. Directed Johny Gaddar Starring Priyanka Bose, Dharmendra, Rimi Sen, acknowledged gratefully with due respect the influences of James Hadley Chase and Vijay Anand’s film ‘Double Cross” while writing and making the film.
Now this is what I call a gentlemanly act.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

If my son asks me

When my son asked me!
Mom…look at that old woman
Sitting desolate, looking lost,
Ragged and filthy cloth
Clinging on her frail body !
Mom…why does she remind me of
My own granny !
Can we call her and give her shelter
Offer her food and decent cloths!
Can we mom, please !
I would share with her
My room and my blanket !
Don’t get angry with her mom
Like you used to be with my own granny,
For I would always love you more.
Can we call her mom , can we please.
She would tell me stories,
She would listen and she would sing,
Just like my good old granny!
Can we adopt her mom , please say I might
Like Mani aunty adopted a child ,
My heart was gripped tight ,
But I could find no answer .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Demand for Locket

Dear me, if only I could have a [type]writer who could just store all that I want to write in a file even when I am on the move or in the bed. Just like a bossom friend which I could keep in a locket dangling on my neck in a chain. I would take that out and fix on my com and there the file opens up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

REJECTION

REJECTION Ma has to come. Kona declared. No, no, nothing doing, she hastily added as she saw Suresh opening his mouth. Lolita has given notice, she is leaving this Friday. How can she leave so sudden! Suresh was exasperated. What does she want! Increase her salary, yaar! She won’t stay. She is providing a replacement, her niece. But she is raw and has just come from the village. Knows nothing of city life and moreover, she is to be trained as a cook . But why can’t you do that! Why call your mother on the drop of a hat. You know how I feel, Suresh sounded irritated. Yes, so you say every time I call her .Pray tell me how I manage everything single handed! Tell me, na! Teach the new maid everything including cooking. Prepare nasta for Birju. Prepare him for school. And who will be here to receive him when the school bus drops him at the gate, hungry and tired. A little boy, all alone in the flat, with a new maid, who knows what type she would be. Or are you suggesting I leave office and stay home to look after your home and son!. So Mrs Malati Roy arrived with her baggage to the utter discomfiture of Suresh. Didu , why are you leaving so soon! Please stay a few more days. Birju tugged at her pallu. Malati looked affectionately at the face she loved so much. The cute little nose, innocent eyes , and the full mouth, curled in a pout. I have to go beta But why! Well, my house is empty. Your dadu is lonely. There are so many more things to do; but you don’t worry I will talk to you over phone from time to time! She tried to console the little soul. Why did dadu not come? He whimpered. Darling dadu had some work to attend to. Next time we would come together, ok! . She had a lot to do in the beginning. Both Kona and her husband usually returned late from office. The maid was new and Tamil. She did not speak Bengali, nor did she knew how to cook, specially the Bengali dishes. Malati had a trying time teaching her the basic dishes like dal, sabji and fish curry,the Bengaly way.. To her relief, Christine, the maid, had picked up very fast and she turned out to be a good cook. “Malati, have you noticed whether I have taken my medicines, I can’t remember” . Biman stood at the kitchen door looking lost and vulnerable. Malati missed a heartbeat, he is so helpless. They have traveled together such a long path. They got married very young, Malati was only sixteen and Biman twenty, when their elders fixed the match. From then on they have lived on and had become so used to each other that the thought of being separated, the thought crosses her mind very often these days, makes her extremely sad. Who says life loses its colour for the aged, that old people find life boring, that they just live life for the sake of living. Nothing is more wrong. Malati clings to life these days, these days of the twilight , she feels that she has not seen life enough, that she has not lived life in the full, that she cannot bear to be taken away from Biman. It was nearly a month and a half that she had come here. The Durga Puja, the most revered festival of West Bengal was due in October and Malati had a lot of preparations to make. The house had to be dusted, washed and cleaned thoroughly. Gifts for all are to be purchased. She felt happy to go back where she belonged. She was lost in her thought when Birju came running –“Didu Didu, come see, there is another didu sitting on the steps. Birju was only about twelve years of age and he referred to all aged women as didu. So they came out in the small varanda of their first floor flat. There on the steps sat a lonely old woman. She had fresh but cheap cloths on her and had a small cloth bundle beside her. Malati noticed the woman was wearing glasses and a pair of chappals as well. Malati asked her what brought her here and whether she was waiting for some one. But the woman looked at her dazed and expressionless , obviously not understanding anything. Then it dawned on her that the woman did not know Hindi or English. Briju came to her rescue. In fluent Tamil the boy conversed with the woman The woman was a dalit widow with two sons and lived with her elder son and his family in Avadi in Thiruvallur district . The son was poor and without a regular job and had five mouths to feed including the mother. For some time the son had been coaxing her to go and visit his younger brother who lived in the city and so he helped her board a train with some money and advised her to get down at Chennai and wait for her son, who was supposed to come to receive her in the station itself. She waited for her son to come for the whole morning and then came out of the station and started walking. Her second son was also married with two children and he worked in an eatery near JJ Road It appeared that her sons had taken her for a ride and had abandoned her as an unwanted baggage. Malati, offered the woman some tea and biscuits. The woman seemed very scared and withdrawn and might be because of the trauma of being left alone in an alien place appeared a little disjointed too. Malati called her daughter and apprised her of the woman’s plight. Kona and Suresh arrived, irritated and distraught, why should your mother take the trouble for a complete stranger and she is not even a Bengali. There were others in the neighborhood, who were Tamils, but oh no , your mother……. Suresh called in the Police and they took her to the Police Station. Next evening they were informed that thankfully the Police could locate her sons, both residing in the city as well as in the suburb and called them at the police station. The sons arrived hanging their heads low in shame and after apologizing for their beastly behavior took back their happy mother with them. Birju gave his parents tight hugs and declared “You are the best parents in the world”. Suresh laughed and asked “why so generous Birju “.and pat came the reply” Because you are not cruel like those sons of the new didu, abandoning their own mother on the streets. You will never do that to my didu, will you ever?” He asked seriously. “Of course not beta..” Their eyes met over their son’s head. One night before Malati was to leave for Kolkata she felt Birju tossing and turning on the bed. Birju suddenly sat up and asked her in an urgent voice.. “Didu will you take me with you to Kolkata.” Surprised, Malati said ‘of course, if you want to. But have you asked your parents”. Briju shook his head vigourously: ‘I don’t want to tell them anything. I just want to leave them’ and putting his head into her lap started crying uncontrollably”. Panicked and flustered Malati said “What is it baby, what happened, shall I call your parents?” Again Briju shook his head vehemently and said in atrembling voice ..” “No please don’t tell them anything. Promise me you won’t” “OK, but tell me what it is. “ Briju took out a crumpled paper from under his pillow and handed it over to her . Malati found to her surprise it was a letter. She switched on the bedside lamp and went through the contents. It was a letter from the Sarkarpool Mental Hospital, Kolkata to Suresh Dasgupta, dated 3rd October, 2008 , about a year back and it read as under: “This is our third reminder of our letter dated 23/02/2005 no. SK/M/2034 regarding release of patient named Mr Abhoy Kanti Dasgupta. As you have been informed earlier, your father Mr Abhoy Kanti Dasgupta, aged 81 , who was admitted by you in our hospital on 05/01/1996 and was diagnosed as suffering from acute depressive disorder is now cured and can be taken home . The patient is 80% cured and once put under the loving and friendly family care, is sure to regain his normal self as far as possible in such cases. It is also seen from our records that the patient had no one visiting him for nearly three years. You should know that rejection by family members is dampening and quite a deterrent to the treatment of such patients. We therefore request you once again to please come forward and take back your father with you.”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Emotional Atyachar

out to me and would console me saying the books were for both of us. The most glaring discrimination against me was that I was not even put to a school till I was almost eight years old, when Reba masi insisted and took it upon herself to prepare me for a high school.
I still remembered the first convent school she took me for admission. It was Diocesan Girls High School in Elgin Road. It was a very renowned school at Kolkata its Head Mistress being the famous Miss Das. Every body said that Miss Das knew each and every student by their name. I stopped with a throbbing heart at the huge gate which was kept open as it was the time for students to report in the morning. I was bowled over to see the huge compound inside, the main building standing in the middle, a two storied yellow building huge and inviting, surrounded by green grass covered playfield, where a few gardeners were at work, it seemed . At the left side of the main entrance there was a small brick room, where stood the school darwan in uniform and smiling invitingly at us. From the gate to the building there ran a path of red bricks and soil and I crossed it with Raba masi with a trembling heart. I wanted so much to be a part of the school, it was a love at first sight. The written test started at 10.30 sharp. When I got the paper, I felt like crying. How could I even dream of being admitted to such schools; I did not know anything; I felt so utterly inferior, so ignorant, so inadequate, so inept. In the English paper I could answer the grammer part some how, but I was not at all sure about myself; but the passage writing was beyond my capacity and knowledge. First it was a foreign language, secondly I never was tutored in an appropriate manner to write a lengthy passage in English language. I could write small basic sentences that too while translating them from Bengali. To write about anything straight away in English was expecting too much from me. The Mathematics paper was equally bad. Rebamasi was not at fault, for she was, till then, not aware of my exact standard and level of education provided to me, or the lack of it. Masi took me to a number of renowned schools at Calcutta but we had to come back disappointed as it was quite apparent that I was not at all adequately prepared for the standard three levels, my knowledge of English and Mathematics being utterly inadequate for standard three.
Though it was not my fault that I was not prepared for the school, still I could not but felt miserable at my inadequacy. I felt so ashamed of my inadequacy. But apart from being ashamed and feeling low, I could do nothing to improve matters. Being a child I kept forgetting that I was a failure and acted, played, screamed and howled as any other child would and thereby fuelling my father’s anger to no end. On this matter my father, my loving and adorable father, failed me miserably. He kept on forgetting that it was his duty only to prepare me for the school, and if I was found to be inadequate, the onus fell on him and not on me. They way he talked about my failure really made me wish I could vanish into thin air or I went underground like Sita. He would say angrily “How can such a dull girl be my daughter. Look at Bumba how intelligent, how bright he is. “He said “Reba , stop wasting your time. You can’t make a house out of a donkey, however much you may cane it” and when he said “what is the use of scolding her, she stares like a stupid girl as if understanding nothing. It is so frustrating to talk to her, as if I am talking to the wall”. No body knew how hurt and humiliated I felt and how hard I tried not to show my hurt. Might be father took my studied composure and silence as a show of defiance and that angered him more.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Faith in Love

A suppressed sigh after a word or two ,
I have no doubt that you love me too ,
Then what for is the barrier
Why can’t we be but one ,
Like the gentle dew drops on the grass ,
Kissed away by the sun .

Today I feel so wild
I don’t know why ,
Must be your magic ,
Bewitched by your eyes .

I know you won’t stay ,
I know we can’t be one ,
Still I feel so happy ,
Together we had sung ,
Music that is life ,
That my love for you had won .

I breathe you in and out ,
I hold you deep down ,
I feel you every moment ,
The jewel in my crown .

A word or two and a deep breath ,
You answered my faith .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

SONAJHURI

Hi everybody, I am in the process of expanding SONAJHURI to double it's original length, as such, for some time now, I won't posting any part of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

SONAJHURI [8]

Rebamasi was a nurse by profession. She came from a well educated and well to do Brahmin family in Faridpur in East Pakistan now Bangladesh. Her father was a scholar in Sanskrit and was a teacher in Brojomohon College, Faridpur. Her mother was a graduate but she never worked. Rebamasi and her brother both were graduates. They had a small temple on their compound and her father himself performed the duties as the priest and they organized Durgapuja and Kalipuja every year. Both their Muslim and Hindu neighbours alike held him in high esteem and would come to him seeking advice on many occasions. He was known as Mastermoshai locally. Before and after the partition in 1947 most of his Hindu neighbours fled but mastermoshai refused to believe that there would be any danger to him and his family from the Muslims. The Hindus and Muslims lived like a family before partition and no one ever dreamt that one day they might be for each other’s blood. One night after they went to their beds after dinner, they heard a lot of people shouting and making breaking noise out side their house, chanting Allaho Akbar in a very threatening manner and stones were thrown at their closed doors and windows. The family clung together shaking with fear but dare not come out. In the morning their neighbour Karin Khan knocked softly on their door and when the door was opened came in swiftly and closed the door again. From Rebamasi’s Karim Chacha they came to know that the night before their temple had been wrecked, idols broken. He advised them to come with as little valuables as they could and hide in his place. The whole day they sat trembling in the shed where Karim Cha Cha kept his goats. The locals did not dare invading his place as he was the second officer of the local Police Station. Karim Khan’s wife Reshma Bibi brought them food and milk, but none of them could eat or drink anything except water out of extreme fear and anxiety. They could hear from the shed people shouting and breaking into their house, and realizing they have fled they looted anything that they could lay there hands to. About one O Clock in the night Karim Khaan brought out his old black Sedan and they traveled on it toward the border. Many times the car was intercepted by patrolling Muslims on the look out for escaping Hindus and they would crouch over the seat and Karim Khan being known to them and being a police man, they let him pass without searching. That it was a long and tedious journey as the border was a long way off and they had to change a lot of track to reach it; Karim Khan never leaving them until they were completely safe and out of danger. They still did not believe that all Muslims hate the Hindus because then how could they explain the love and compassion shown by Karim Khan and his wife. That night was the worst night in their lives.

Once in India they had to go through a long and tedious process to enlisted themselves in the register of refugees and under the Government of India Refugee Rehabilitation Scheme her brother got a job as a clerk in a Bank in Kolkata. Although Rebamasi was also a graduate she had to be satisfied with a Nurse’s job after going through a rigorous training in a Govt hospital. They could not bring much of their belonging with them and had to live in abominable conditions. They were very poor people . Rebamasi took me to her parents once. They lived near a slum in a one room flat, all four of them. In one corner stood a giant wooden cot on which slept Rebamasi her brother and their father and her mother slept on the floor. There was one narrow passage between the bathroom the bedroom where they cooked and also took their food. They came to Calcutta from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) after the partition and could not bring much of their belongings with them. The room, that the well to do family from East Pakistan lived in, resembled rooms that you may find in any of the present day slum. I felt very bad for her. I now guess it might be the poverty and the injustice of that life meted out to them, induced her to act so mean and selfish with a small motherless boy like Bumba. Circumstances some times influence peoples behave in strange manners.

Before Rebamasi came to our life, Bumba and I were inseparable. We played and fought with each other without anybody interfering. He would tease me and pull me by my hair and I would and run after him and pinch or box him as I wished. Some times when the fight lasted longer than desired and became serious, daima would intervene, scolding both of us or cajoling us as she wished. Enter Rebamasi and we stopped playing or fighting spontaneously. If we fought Rebamasi would separate us and scold only Bumba , saying “You are a big boy and should be ashamed for fighting with your little sister”. She was extremely partial and to be frank I did not dislike it. While Rebamasi would scold Bumba I would show him my tongue from behind her and he would get angrier and would try to catch me ignoring her and that would anger her further.

Ma was gone in early October, just before the Durgapuja and on January next I was put to a high school. My school started early in the morning and by the time daima prepared me for school and put me to the school bus that came to pick me up, Bumba would be still in bed in his room. The bus dropped me at our door in mid day and after taking bath and having lunch I was put to bed for a short nap and Bumba came back from his school about four , four thirty and went out to play after changing and having some snacks. Daima would take me to the park in the afternoon, there I would play with some neighbourhood kids and come back and after about an hour. This was the time when Bumba and I played and talked among ourselves. But on some pretext or the other Rebamasi would intervene and separate us. We slept in the same room and the nights were our private affair. We had so many secret things to share, to tell each other, which the elders never would understand. And we relished this privacy but it was not to be like this. Bumba used to tell me stories of his school and his friends and he was very good at caricature. He entertained me with funny stories which were mostly true but exaggerated to make an effect. He was also very good at reciting and recited my favourite poems , written by Sukumar Ray and Rabindranath Tagore. I don’t exactly remember when, but it seems after a year or two Rebamasi moved to our house permanently and made separate arrangements for us. So far she was sleeping in her own house but she shifted to our house and my room and Bumba was relegated to the anti-room that we used to refer as the “choto-ghar” or the tiny room . In the beginning I missed him terribly, his stories, his recitations, his funny caricature; but gradually with time I became accustomed to the new arrangement. Rebamasi knew stories of kings and queens, prince and princes and demons and witches and I started liking those stories better. From then on Bumba and I met only at meal times and in the evening when we both returned from our respective play fields and daima would make us drink some hot milk and also on the long school holidays when we went together to visit our grandpa.
**************************

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girl Child

The city malls throb with glow and glamour, cash and curry,
Outside the wet city is knee deep in water,
You stretch out your dirty hand sitting on the muddy street;.
And I drop a few coins may be to atone for my sins.


But Coins rusty or shining, tiny or big
The stepping stones to the throne can they be?

God has given me so much, both health and wealth ,:
Gratefully and proudly I flaunt my georgettes, gold ,
And blood red ruby drops adorning my lovely form;
People look at my glowing beauty in silent awe.
Yet I stop even for a second to look at you,
Stretching out your dirty palm for mercy and for alms:

In you I witness a savior’s might!
I stoop before you, clutching a skinny girl child
Desperately searching and crying for milk.
In your dry and emancipated chest
My full breasts give me so much pain,
Only, Oh if only I could feed her once,
My own flesh and blood that I left at your feet,
Stealthily at the dead of night.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rejection

REJECTION


Ma has to come. Kona declared. No, no, nothing doing, she hastily added as she saw Suresh opening his mouth. Lolita has given notice, she is leaving this Friday.

How can she leave so sudden! Suresh was exasperated. What does she want! Increase her salary, yaar!

She won’t stay. She is providing a replacement, her niece. But she is raw and has just come from the village. Knows nothing of city life and moreover, she is to be trained as a cook .

But why can’t you do that! Why call your mother on the drop of a hat. You know how I feel, Suresh sounded irritated.

Yes, so you say every time I call her .Pray tell me how I manage everything single handed! Tell me, na!

Teach the new maid everything including cooking. Prepare nasta for Birju. Prepare him for school. And who will be here to receive him when the school bus drops him at the gate, hungry and tired. A little boy, all alone in the flat, with a new maid, who knows what type she would be. Or are you suggesting I leave office and stay home to look after your home and son!.

So Mrs Malati Roy arrived with her baggage to the utter discomfiture of Suresh.



Didu , why are you leaving so soon! Please stay a few more days. Birju tugged at her pallu. Malati looked affectionately at the face she loved so much. The cute little nose, innocent eyes , and the full mouth, curled in a pout.

I have to go beta

But why!

Well, my house is empty. Your dadu is lonely. There are so many more things to do; but you don’t worry I will talk to you over phone from time to time! She tried to console the little soul.

Why did dadu not come? He whimpered.

Darling dadu had some work to attend to. Next time we would come together, ok!


. She had a lot to do in the beginning. Both Kona and her husband usually returned late from office. The maid was new and Tamil. She did not speak Bengali, nor did she knew how to cook, specially the Bengali dishes. Malati had a trying time teaching her the basic dishes like dal, sabji and fish curry,the Bengaly way.. To her relief, Christine, the maid, had picked up very fast and she turned out to be a good cook.

“Malati, have you noticed whether I have taken my medicines, I can’t remember” . Biman stood at the kitchen door looking lost and vulnerable. Malati missed a heartbeat, he is so helpless. They have traveled together such a long path. They got married very young, Malati was only sixteen and Biman twenty, when their elders fixed the match. From then on they have lived on and had become so used to each other that the thought of being separated, the thought crosses her mind very often these days, makes her extremely sad. Who says life loses its colour for the aged, that old people find life boring, that they just live life for the sake of living. Nothing is more wrong. Malati clings to life these days, these days of the twilight , she feels that she has not seen life enough, that she has not lived life in the full, that she cannot bear to be taken away from Biman. It was nearly a month and a half that she had come here. The Durga Puja, the most revered festival of West Bengal was due in October and Malati had a lot of preparations to make. The house had to be dusted, washed and cleaned thoroughly. Gifts for all are to be purchased. She felt happy to go back where she belonged.

She was lost in her thought when Birju came running –“Didu Didu, come see, there is another didu sitting on the steps. Birju was only about twelve years of age and he referred to all aged women as didu. So they came out in the small varanda of their first floor flat. There on the steps sat a lonely old woman. She had fresh but cheap cloths on her and had a small cloth bundle beside her. Malati noticed the woman was wearing glasses and a pair of chappals as well. Malati asked her what brought her here and whether she was waiting for some one. But the woman looked at her dazed and expressionless , obviously not understanding anything. Then it dawned on her that the woman did not know Hindi or English. Briju came to her rescue. In fluent Tamil the boy conversed with the woman The woman was a dalit widow with two sons and lived with her elder son and his family in Avadi in Thiruvallur district . The son was poor and without a regular job and had five mouths to feed including the mother. For some time the son had been coaxing her to go and visit his younger brother who lived in the city and so he helped her board a train with some money and advised her to get down at Chennai and wait for her son, who was supposed to come to receive her in the station itself. She waited for her son to come for the whole morning and then came out of the station and started walking. Her second son was also married with two children and he worked in an eatery near JJ Road It appeared that her sons had taken her for a ride and had abandoned her as an unwanted baggage. Malati, offered the woman some tea and biscuits. The woman seemed very scared and withdrawn and might be because of the trauma of being left alone in an alien place appeared a little disjointed too. Malati called her daughter and apprised her of the woman’s plight. Kona and Suresh arrived, irritated and distraught, why should your mother take the trouble for a complete stranger and she is not even a Bengali. There were others in the neighborhood, who were Tamils, but oh no , your mother…….

Suresh called in the Police and they took her to the Police Station. Next evening they were informed that thankfully the Police could locate her sons, both residing in the city as well as in the suburb and called them at the police station. The sons arrived hanging their heads low in shame and after apologizing for their beastly behavior took back their happy mother with them.

Birju gave his parents tight hugs and declared “You are the best parents in the world”.

Suresh laughed and asked “why so generous Birju “.and pat came the reply” Because you are not cruel like those sons of the new didu, abandoning their own mother on the streets. You will never do that to my didu, will you ever?” He asked seriously.
“Of course not beta..” Their eyes met over their son’s head.


One night before Malati was to leave for Kolkata she felt Birju tossing and turning on the bed. Birju suddenly sat up and asked her in an urgent voice..
“Didu will you take me with you to Kolkata.”

Surprised, Malati said
‘of course, if you want to. But have you asked your parents”.

Briju shook his head vigourously:
‘I don’t want to tell them anything. I just want to leave them’ and putting his head into her lap started crying uncontrollably”.

Panicked and flustered Malati said
“What is it baby, what happened, shall I call your parents?”

Again Briju shook his head vehemently and said in atrembling voice ..”

“No please don’t tell them anything. Promise me you won’t”
“OK, but tell me what it is. “

Briju took out a crumpled paper from under his pillow and handed it over to her . Malati found to her surprise it was a letter. She switched on the bedside lamp and went through the contents. It was a letter from the Sarkarpool Mental Hospital, Kolkata to Suresh Dasgupta, dated 3rd October, 2008 , about a year back and it read as under:



“This is our third reminder of our letter dated 23/02/2005 no. SK/M/2034 regarding release of patient named Mr Abhoy Kanti Dasgupta. As you have been informed earlier, your father Mr Abhoy Kanti Dasgupta, aged 81 , who was admitted by you in our hospital on 05/01/1996 and was diagnosed as suffering from acute depressive disorder is now cured and can be taken home . The patient is 80% cured and once put under the loving and friendly family care, is sure to regain his normal self as far as possible in such cases. It is also seen from our records that the patient had no one visiting him for nearly three years. You should know that rejection by family members is dampening and quite a deterrent to the treatment of such patients. We therefore request you once again to please come forward and take back your father with you.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Words

Memories small and tiny
Joyous or sad,
I cradle in my heart.
They give me peace and solace
On happy days and turbulent nights ,
Words lost in time
Keep coming back ,
Making designs on my wall;

My heart aches that my words too
Will turn to ashes and be lost forever.
But I can’t let that be,
Come whoever you are listening
And I would keep them for you to read
And hope you cherish them as I do.

My wall I must clean of stinking and soggy sadness
And darkness of despair.
Let there be light, let there be song
And let there be love .
And with this mixture of juicy fluid
I put down my words for the world to keep.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Space and Time according to me

When I watch a movie in a theater or in the television; or suppose watch a video clipping of a family gathering, I have a strange feeling, as if these images are there and will remain there in the universe, independent of the cds or the reels or of the viewers, for ever and ever into the eternal space and time. It is a kind of feeling that comes back to me day in day out, as if there is a super computer encompassing everything, all images comes from it and melts into it. I get confused about the relation between a thing and its image. An object can have its image, even before it comes into existence, in the creator's imagination and the image would remain even after the object is destroyed, in so many ways , like a picture, a video or simply as a memory. Does it not sound strange and self contradictory. But , on the contrary, we know space and time exist and they are eternal....but can we imagine what it really is.....
Space and Time is only a concept which engulfs everything in the universe. If the universe is a reality then space and time must also be real; but then, is a concept as real as a physical object. But some philosophers say that the universe is only a hallucination but the question bothers me is whose hallucination is it! If there is a brain that can imagine the universe then is it that the brain is independent of its imagination/hallucination, i.e. the universe.
But space is relative to the object that occupies it. We talk of space that we occupy or that which separates us, then how can we say that space both limited and endless.
Each moment in our life we are inching towards death, the only logical end to life, the ultimate truth and oh it is so contradictory. We are born , so we should die. Anything that is made is perishable but how can it go ad infinitum there must be something that was not created, some intelligence that was not created, something without a body. I feel so strongly that there is this intelligence governing every thing, all pervading, all pervasive and all knowing intelligence. The feeling is so strong that it almost becomes tangible at times, the feeling, I mean. Look at the universe, look at science, think of the infinite space, don't they all point to a super intelligence that is working through it all. The design, the perfection, the intricacy , each points towards an intelligence that guides it, that created it and put such a design in it's creation that one day it would automatically lead to its destruction.

Every thing in this universe points towards a dichotomy, like life and death, white and black, true and false and most prominently He and She, the route to all creation. She creates the baby and holds it inside her but not without His help. So it seems the intelligence alone could not create the universe, unless it is , as the Vedanti's says, only a Maya or Illusion. But even then it remains to be answered - Maya to whom, illusion to whom and the dichotomy begins. So it seems the illusion which appears before me is "my illusion" and therefore there need be only "I" for the experience, the illusion being a non entity. So we may presume that "The Universe" including us is only an illusion to the one and only intelligence. But it is rather hard to digest. So I would now take rest and try to think logically that I am only an illusion and that to an illusion to me only.
It is strange that anything that we have is limited but without the concept of unlimited, how can there be limit. I go on thinking and thinking on this 'unlimited' concept and it appears that I can only believe or accept it as a true concept and can not really reason it out, as we ourselves are only limited being with everything about us being perishable and it seems only natural that everything can never be destroyed for out of nothing something could not come out and something can never become completely and absolutely nothing. Whoops... if we burn a tree , it becomes ash and particles and of course it's form changes but science says it does not become "nothing." When and if, the whole universe is destroyed, what would remain of it ! more specifically what of the infinite space and infinite time, to which the universe belongs. Scientifically speaking the universe, if destroyed , would only change its form and would remain in some form or other in the infinite space and time. And many many billions and trillions of years later may be new universe would emerge, but , we would have to admit, throughout all these process of being, destruction and recreation, runs a design, that needs an infinitely intelligent and scientific consciousness and every steps, every minuscule point is detailed to perfection and how can that be possible if there is no intelligence running through the process!!
And one more thing to ponder about, the infinite time and space, we must remember space and time are there so long there is something to occupy space and time; and once everything is destroyed, so would be space and time, but the fact remains according to science that nothing is absolutely destroyed but only changes it's form only -so even if the universe , at a point of time, is totally destroyed, it would still remain in some unknown form and that form would require some space and also some time as well to continue in that form until it is transferred into some other form and ad infinitum and thus goes on infinite time and space.I do not know why I should write and why should I want people to read it. It might be quite natural to try and keep in writing the various thoughts that crowd my mind, so that, in a different space and different time I may go back and re-experience what I felt once upon a time, but the deep urge within to share it with strangers points to our inherent insecurity for this fragility of life. We know we will be here for only a limited time and we definitely do not want to vanish into oblivion once we become none entities and thus we wish to be remembered through our words our writings, our stories and poems. Is it all? Isn’t there some thing more to it? Only creative people, politicians or serial killers are thus subject to public exposures ' but what about the rest ! Do they not hanker after some sort of permanency ! But ofcourse they do, and may be that is why they become fathers and mothers to be remembered through their offsprings. It is no secret that the enlightened, the seers don't really care for recognition or publicity of any kind. Why is that - how can they be so stoic ; what have they seen that gives them so much peace, so much satisfaction, so much bliss that makes them so great ! I wish I knew ! But at the same time I am afraid of knowing something that would make me indifferent to all the pleasures that life offers even indifferent to life itself. It might sound like "grapes are sour..." but really, believe me , that is exactly how I feel. I feel awe whenever I think of this vast universe with its infinite space and time engulfing us, like grains of sands, yet appearing so important to ourselves. The universe is so magnanimous to allow us to feel so important, however small we are, giving us everything in abundance. In comparison, how selfish and how smug we are that we consider us superior and godlike and treat the ants and insects, with disdain and scorn at our mercy, forgetting that a man and an ant are the one and the same to the universe excepting that a man has a brain, all the more reason to realize that there is no place of pride considering his own
humble condition.