Saturday, December 31, 2016

Weather Forecast: No More Raining Whales & Dragons

2017 is a few hours away. Now is the time to write the last post of the year.
I’m all set to abandon this blog. That’s right; it won’t rain whales and dragons. Not anymore.
Let this be a surprise post while I put my emotions on a last-minute stock clearance sale.
It has been a costly year. The-year-that-must-not-be-named.

I can’t go any further. I will have to finish this here. And while I type this post, the muscles in my body are becoming tensed, making my movement stiff. A strange feeling is crawling up my legs – as if someone – something was waiting for me all these days. Something that has compelled me to write this post right before I turn-off the generator.

I pushed the door open, my fingers were trembling. My breathing had become so heavier that I was trying to suppress small whimpers escaping my throat. I tried to stop myself but my mind – or was it my body? – refused to obey. The door swung open and it was the door that led to the black, ominous tunnel. I stepped over the threshold and my eyes got accustomed to the darkness. Then I heard a breathing sound. A breathing that wasn’t mine. Perhaps it was the memory of having done nothing for so many years or was it just a false alarm? I have been in the dark too long – and in creepy surroundings. There’s someone, something in that darkness. I can feel its evil presence. It emanates from the darkness and flows down the hallway in a vaporous cloud.

The end has become clichéd. But who am I to complain? A lone victim who is up against an empire of his own evil? Soon everything will become subjective. This is just a personal apocalypse. Nothing is clichéd when it’s happening to you. Life was good. Everything was perfect. But dreams have a nasty habit of going bad when we are not looking.

A movement, a shape began to descend from the dark tunnel. I tried to turn back but my limbs were locked and rigid, paralyzed by a fear. A fear that was long gone. The curse took a shape and emerged from the darkness of the hallway. The smell of decay pervaded the air, assailing my nostrils, almost causing me to vomit.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


“Rule number one: no blasphemy. I'll not have the Lord's name taken in vain in my prison.
I believe in two things, discipline and the bible. Here you’ll receive both.
Put your trust in the lord; your ass belongs to me!
Welcome to Shawshank!”

I am not a hero. This is to the people who believe, I am. To those people who keep telling me I have great qualities. To those people, who think I am an inspiration. To those who care. To those who do not care! To those who believe I am no one; I have reserved the best seats for you.
I was born. My mother insisted for a normal delivery. I struggled my way out. I don’t remember how it felt to see the light for the first time. I don’t remember hearing the first voice. I don’t remember anyone calling me. I don’t remember anything. No one does. If we experience this state of ‘I don’t remember a thing’ in adulthood, either we are sleeping, in coma or dead. But when you are a newborn, rules do not apply.

“The first night's the toughest, no doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born, skin burning and half blind from that delousing shit they throw on you, and when they put you in that cell... and those bars slam home... that's when you know it's for real. A whole life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it.”

There are a lot of things I don’t remember though. Like, I don’t remember telling my parents I am happy with the religion they provide. A newborn Mandarin duckling is bound to grow up as a Mandarin duck, not a Campbell, neither an Indian Runner Duck.

I don’t remember telling my parents that I like memorizing historical facts and solving math. I don’t remember telling them that I am willing to volunteer 14-18 years of my childhood to schooling. But they are my parents and they know what is best for me. Everyone sends their children to schools. If they let us decide, we would never have learned anything at all.

That, my dear reader, would have been a terrific childhood. It is true that where I work, they don’t ask me to solve Calculus or find the Bramaputra River on a map. But all those years of schooling and not fooling around led me to this job. A job that consumes 11-12 hours of my daily life, 5 days a week, 22 days a month, 264 days a year. That’s 3168 hours every year. And 110880 hours in a lifetime, roughly estimated. I am no hero. I am institutionalized.

“These walls are funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, you get so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. Goddamn right. They send you here for life, and that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway.”

The first 16-18 years devoted for a job. Then the rest of the years are devoted to maintain the job.
“This is a dog-eat-dog-world” our parents taught us. If you don’t get the job, someone else will.
“Life moves on, dear” our lovers told us, before they kissed us goodbye. If you can’t stay with me, someone else will.
“This is how it works in professional life” – the managers told us. If you leave, we will hire someone else.

I am not irreplaceable. Someone else will. Who is this ‘someone’ who is always getting everything? Certainly, it is not me. I am anyone, everyone, no one, but definitely not someone. All the magnanimous halfwits reach a stage at some point of their lives where death is not an option and life is not a choice. Your old life blown away in the blink of an eye and you are in the brink of madness, desperate to act normal. That’s when you know it’s real.
Dear readers, I can't believe how fast things change outside. They planted rainforest trees along this walkway in around 1993 but now they are gone. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. Eighteen years of education got me into this office. My head and hands hurt most of the time. During the lunch, I go out to see the trees, I keep thinking someday they might just pop up and say hello, but they never do. I have trouble remembering things and this keeps getting bigger. Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out where I am, what time of the day it is and who are the people I talk to everyday. I feel like getting a gun and shooting someone. I want to be that ‘someone’ for once. That is sort of like a bonus. But I think I’m too old for that sort of nonsense. I don’t belong here. I’m tired of doing the wrong things all the time. I’m tired of changes. I have decided.

Dear Warden, You were right. Salvation lay within.

“And that's how it came to pass that on the second-to-last day of the job, the convict crew that tarred the plate factory roof in the spring of forty-nine wound up sitting in a row at ten o'clock in the morning drinking icy cold, Bohemia-style beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison.
We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. Hell, we could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy - he spent that break hunkered in the shade, a strange little smile on his face, watching us drink his beer.”

Monday, February 15, 2016

Get set, fly!

It was the last Saturday of January. I called my friend to confirm about our upcoming trip.
“Hey, I’m about to book the tickets.”
“Err, listen I don’t think I will be able to make it.”
“What? But we planned for this trip for months!”
“I know brother, but there’s this important office event I’ve to attend…”

Over the next few days, I called him frequently and requested him to reconsider, it was of no use. Every time I asked, he came up with a new reason why he can’t go. Every time I asked him, he suggested that I should go with others; someone must be willing to go. Thus, another one of my long planned trips was off. None of my friends had time. This is something that has repeated itself over the years. Then it came to me like a prophecy, if I wanted to travel, I would have to do that on my own. Everyone likes to talk about trips, trekking, jungle safaris and golden beaches, but when it comes to book the tickets, something always comes up. They are suddenly too busy or they get cold feet and change their minds. This made me realize that if I wait for others, I’m not going to visit anywhere. There are places I want to experience, people to meet, new cuisines to try – and there’s not much time left for it. So a small voice in my head started rebelling. I said to myself, I’m not going to let others putting me away from my dreams.

Yes, traveling alone is scary especially when you are doing it for the first time. But then again, getting old without visiting the places and experiencing the thrills is way scarier than sitting at home, planning for big trips and not going anywhere. If you have been postponing a trip because you are waiting for your friends to go together – don’t. Just leave. Don’t let others hold you back from the experiences you deserve. Trust me, along the way you will come across many others! Many solo travelers like you who thought – “Damn, if I don’t go now, I won’t go ever.” One thing I understood is that you are never alone when you travel. And traveling alone gives you ultimate freedom. You wake up with yourself. Do what you want. Go where you want. Return when you want. Amidst this vortex of infinite possibilities, you rediscover yourself. You spend time with yourself and push your limits. There’s no one to wait for hours while you want to see the sunrise. There’s no one to make you hurry while you want to sit under that large tree overlooking the mountains. There’s no one to ask you to pay for meals you don’t feel like eating. Want to run? Run! Want to leave? Leave. Want to hug a tree? Go ahead!

You’ll find your way around. You will learn to make friends. Talk to strangers. Push your limits. Deal with your fears. The best reward of traveling alone is you will never be the same once you come back. When you go alone, you learn what true freedom is. You become a little more confident and tune in with your dreams. But I have heard the opposite as well. Traveling alone is not for everyone. I have seen people returning home the day after departing. Others complain, nag and find faults in everything and some embrace it right away. If you don’t give it a try, you will never learn whether you can do it. Start with a weekend trip, test your limits and find out if you can rely on yourself alone while you travel. Try once. Don’t let others hold back from your experiences. You could be waiting forever before someone finally says ‘let’s go’. At the end you will regret it. If I would not have left for the trip, I would still be sitting at my office desk trying to convince my friend.

There will be times when you will panic and wish that you should not have come alone. You will feel like calling your friends and just talk to them for hours. You will panic but that won’t last long. When you come across the giant moon above your head and the phosphorescent waters touching your feet, you will spread your wings and run around like a baby bird that has just learnt to fly. Just leave because there will be days when your unfulfilled dreams will be your only company. To be honest, your friends and parents will never be convinced or comfortable with the idea of traveling solo. I don’t blame them, because it can ONLY be realized when you travel solo, experience the freedom, witness the kindness of absolute strangers, and feel that the world is not as bad as we think of it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Once in A Blue Moon

Rush hour traffic in Kolkata.
Ear deafening horns. Office-goers racing against the time.

You get the picture, right?

Auto and bus drivers with frayed tempers. Threatening each other with carefully picked up words. You must not try to stop them. You must not get in their way.
Take your eyes off the road and you’ll be rushed to any of the nearest hospitals.

Two wheelers desperately squeezing through the traffic like the Redbull stunt drivers. When the signal turns from red to green, the streets turn into Formula One tracks. You meet them at the next signal again. They can’t go very far! But the élan with which these drivers race against each other is admiring if you are not a passenger of any of those vehicles trying to keep your calm with a thumping heart and shaky legs.

Autowallahs switching lanes faster than you can type OMG to your friend. Let’s not talk about the pedestrians who walk everywhere except that on the pavements.
Waiting at the traffic signals for 120 seconds seems like decades. You get to read ‘hurry up, bastards’ written boldly on every single face. And may God be with you, if your car fails to start as soon as the signal turns green, you’ll get to experience the diverse world of abusive words along with incessant honking.

One such rush hour. One such traffic signal. Hundreds of impatient faces.

All eyes are set on the digital countdown board hanging from the top of the signal post. 45… 44… 43… some of the bikes and autos have started their engines. Some of the drivers are spitting frequently from the windows. Impatient eyes, heavy breaths with curses hanging from their tongues. Any second now…
The digital display shows 16… 15… 14…
All the vehicles are ready to take off.
4… 3… 2… and here we…
No there’s no rush! What’s wrong? I looked over the shoulder of the auto driver.
The signal has turned green but no one’s moving.

What’s wrong, dada? Impatiently asked by my fellow passenger.
That *#*%#!# Suzuki… the auto driver pointed out a red car.
It was a red Suzuki indeed. But we just heard a screeching halt. Nothing more than that.

Perhaps the engine failed to start. The driver came out of the car with his eyes on the road. People from other cars are coming out in haste. Others are getting impatient. There’s only 50 seconds left before the signal turns red once again. The deafening honking has begun. Someone even suggested that the driver of the red Suzuki should be beaten up. Not something new in the city. Here people love to set buses on fire.

Someone made a loud noise on the wind-shield of the red Suzuki. Nope, the driver is not coming back in the car. There’s a small gap right beside the Suzuki, a bike tried to squeeze in through the gap and stopped. Now even passengers are screaming with their heads out of the bus windows. The decibel increases and words turn into abuses.

While everyone tries to figure out what’s happening the digital countdown comes down to 3… 2… 1… and it turns red! The ignitions go off, incessant honking stops and suddenly fellow passengers became best friends, cursing and abusing the driver of the red Suzuki.

And then almost everyone spot her at the same time. A heavily pregnant mother with tears rolling down her eyes. She is being helped into the red Suzuki by some drivers. Abrupt exclamatory utterances started pouring in from all the vehicles.
Oh God!
So that’s why…
Oh no!

Did the Suzuki hit her? Is she injured? My fellow passenger suggested again that the driver of the red Suzuki should be beaten up. Someone points out the road, no sign of blood, only the trail of trauma she has left behind.

Apparently, she’s suffering with labour pain and severe stress. A few women from other vehicles get down to help. She’s has been taken inside the red Suzuki safely. Everyone can hear her screams. A woman is trying to console her that everything will be okay. The driver closes the door of the red Suzuki; people are getting back to their vehicles. It’s time to move.

Our auto driver, who has seen it all, told us the story once he started the engine. The lady was crossing the road when her labour pain started. She just couldn't move and stood midway, shocked, numbed in pain, having no idea what to do. The red Suzuki could have hit her if the driver didn't apply his brakes on time. He even took her to the hospital, which is just the next road.

Now I noticed guilt on the face of my fellow passenger and others who were cursing the driver minutes ago. Some passengers closed their eyes and prayed for the safety of the mother and her child. Some doff their imaginary hats to the driver. While some mumbled inaudible apologies. Some even said that the driver was sent by God right in time.

The paradigm shift took just 120 seconds.

At the next crossing, the signal turned red again. But everyone was silent. No one honked. The traffic sergeant looked puzzled. The extra 120 seconds doesn't seem to be wasted at all.

An unborn child made us believe, there’s something wrong in the world we live in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Baikuntha Mallick – Behind The Voice of Jatayu


My non-Bengali readers should forgive me for this emotional outburst for a persona who lies hidden and clouded from our views, yet we could summon his words to suit any occasion. And we often would. Enthused by a conversation between some Felu da fanatics, I dug out my Felu da novels and transliterated a complete record of (as perfect as it could be) Baikuntha Mallick, a erstwhile teacher of  Athenium Institution near Garpar Road, Amherst Street Post Office. His biggest devotee or admirer, our very own Lalmohan Ganguly a.k.a. Jatayu can recite his works at any conceivable occasion and location. Lalmohan babu has been seen confronting any attempt to find faults in Baikuntha Mallick's works.
Despite of Lalmohan babu's lowbrow literary sense, Baikuntha Mallick's prolificity for any situation and location cannot be debated.

Felu da has composed a couple of poems, a limerick and a riddle couplet in Lalmohan babu's honour. In Hottyapuri, Felu da depicts Lalmohan babu's works in a cavalier way:

Bujhe dyakho Jatayur kolomer jor,
Ghure gechhe rohossyo kahinir mor,
Thor bori khara,
Likhe tara tara,
Ei barey likhechhen, khara bori thor.

In Gosaipur Sorgorom, Felu da made a witty couplet in a cipher about Lalmohan babu's name.

Roktoboron mugdhokoron, nodi pashey jaha bidhiley moron.
(Roktoboron = laal / Mugdhokoron = Mohan / Nodi Pashey = Gaang / Jaha Bidhiley Moron = Guli)

It seems we're drifting away from the main topic. Let's 'cultivate' the great works of the unknown legend, Baikuntha Mallick!

Chronologically, Baikuntha Mallick first appears in Hottyapuri in which he has been heard twice. Standing on a lonely beach at Puri, Lalmohan babu recites the last two lines of a poem for which he had won a prize in Elocution when he was in Class VII.

Oshimer daak shuni kallol mormorey,
Ek paye khara thaki eka baluchorey.

Felu da points out that Baikuntha Mallick has compared himself with a stork in the poem as it's a little weird and unimaginable for any other species to enjoy the serene beauty of a sea standing on one leg against strong wind.

Subsequently, Lalmohan babu summons Baikuntha Mallick again in the precincts of the Mukteshwar Temple in Bhubaneswar where he recites boldly:

Koto shoto oggyato Michaelangelo,
Ekoda ei Bharotborshe chhelo,
Nirobe ghosichhe taha bhaskorje bhaswor,

When Topesh modestly points out that great poets don't vandalise common words for the sake of rhyme and rhythm (as chhilo became chhelo in the poem), Lalmohan babu confronts and snaps back, “Poet-er background na jene verse criticise korar bod obbheys ta kothay pele, Topesh?” And then he mentions that Baikuntha Mallick was from Chinsurah (current Chuchura) where people pronounce chhilo as chhelo.

One of the longest poetries of Baikuntha Mallick which is a mash-up of poetic observation and advice is in Ebar Kando Kedarnathey. Lalmohan babu mentions that the great poet has been to Kedarnath and Bodrinath before the age of modern transportation. So, his poetry is like a time travel:

Shohorer joto kled, joto kolahol,
Feli pichhe sohosro jojon,
Dekho chole koto bhoktojon,
Himgiri besthito ei tirtho pothey,
Sudhu aaj noy, sei purakaal hote,
Sathe chole Mondakini,
Atol gambhirjo majhe khipro probahini,
Tobe shuno ebey obhigger bani,
Deb dorshon hoy jeno bohu koshto mani,
Giri gatre, shirno pothe, jatri awgonon,
Pran jaai jodi hoy podoskholon,
Tao chole ashwarohi, chole dandi-bahi,
Joshti-dhari briddho dyakho, taro klanti nahi,
Achhe sudhu atol biswas,
Sob klanti hobe dur, purno hobe aash,
Jatra ontey birojen Kedareshwar,
Sorbogun, Sorboshoktidhor,
Moha tirthey, moha punnyo, hobe nischoy,
Uchcho konthhe bolo sobe, KEDARER JOY!

In Darjeeling Jomjomat, Lalmohan babu verbalize his awe after seeing the Kanchenjungha for the first time through another verse:

Oyi Kanchonjonghe!
Dekhechhi tomar rup Uttor Bonge,
Mugdho netrey dekhi mora tomare probhate,
Snajhe te arek rup bhul nei taate,
Tushar bhaskorjo tumi, moder gourob,
Sobe mile tomarei kori mora stob.

After that Lalmohan babu points out a grammatical nuance of his favourite Baikuntha Mallick:

“Sombodhone A-kar ta Ee-kar hoye jaai – seta ke kemon kaje lagiyechhe kobi, dekhechho Topesh? Eta great poet-er lokkhon.” Even though this is applicable in poetry, but Topesh seems unimpressed and grudgingly accepts Lalmohan babu's observation.

And then Lalmohan babu unfolds the beauty of Kashmir and Srinagar in Bhushorgo Bhayongkor:

Kori noto sheer,
Tomare pronomi Kashmir,
Kumarikar opor prante,
Obosthan tobo Bharoter uttor simante,
Rajdhani Srinagar,
Jhelum-er jole dhouaa apurbo shohor,
Koto hrod, koto baag, koto bagicha,
Anyo nogorer sathe tulona korite jaowa michha.

To understand the geographical vastness of Baikuntha Mallick's poetries, let's shift to Nayan Rohosso where the poet slams Chennai for being stereotype.

Boroi hotash hoyechhi aj,
Tomare heriye, Madraj,
Bhasha hetha durboddho Tamil,
Anyo bhashar sathe nei kono mil,
Idli ar Dosa kheye triptibe rasona?
Ore baba, e sohore keu kobhu esona!

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, Darjeeling to Shantiniketan, Baikuntha Mallick takes us for a joy ride with his elaborate and rhythmic tempo. In Robertson-er Ruby, Lalmohan babu pulls out another one of Baikuntha Mallick's beguiling creation from his pocket – on the bank of Kopai.

Jirno Kopai sorpil goti,
Mon bole dekhe monorom oti,
Dui pashe dhaan,
Prokritir daan,
Dule othe somikorone,
Bole debe Kobi,
Anka robe chhobi,
Chirotore mor money.

Yet Baikuntha Mallick has often been lambasted as a passionless chronicler of travels who only offers a proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations through his poetries. In Jahangirer Swano Mudra, the poet romanticises the moon in the wee hours of night. Lalmohan babu recites.

Aha, dyakho chander mohima,
Kobhu ba sugol rouppyo thali,
Kobhu adha, kobhu siki, kobhu ek faali,
Jyano soddyo kata nokh pore achhe nobhe,
Se tukuo nahi thake, jobe,
Ashe Amabossya,
Sei raate tumi tai,

Lalmohan babu apprise Topesh that Baikuntha Mallick has written the lines with a lady in mind.
“Bujhtei parchho, ekjon lady ke address kore lekha...” to which Felu da wryly replies that Lalmohan babu has managed to draw the attention of another lady with his recitation, the octagenarian aunt of Felu da's client.

Before drawing the curtains, there's another notable poem at the end of Jahangirer Swarno Mudra. Lalmohan babu praises Felu da's prowess through Baikuntha Mallick's verse.

Awbaak protibha kichhu jonmechhe e bhobe,
Eder mogoje ki je chhilo ta ke kobe?
Da Vinci, Khana, Lilaboti,
Sobare smori ami, sobarey pronoti.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Here's to You, Maa

 I believe we can all unanimously agree that MOTHERS come in many forms. And in this post, I raise my cup of tea to salute you, Maa, wherever you are, whoever you may be.

*Coughs to clear throat*

So, here's to the new moms, overwhelmed, dizzy, exhausted and trying to figure out how she can fall in love with someone she has met a few minutes back.

Here's to the mom who struggles in labour when her husband fills out the hospital forms with shaky hands. Here's to the moms who buy books, join courses and attend classes to learn, dream and pray for someone they haven't even met. Here's to those veteran moms, who hold their breaths and stare at telephones for a good news from the other side.
Here's to the moms about-to-be, who spend sleepless nights burning the hope of flame in their eyes thinking, maybe the coming week...

And for the mom who lost her baby before seeing her! Stay strong and rekindle the flame of hope because your bundle of joy will come. You just don't know the right date yet.

Here's to the mothers of naughty ones who spend all days shouting, screaming, running, chasing, dusting, moping, retying shoe laces and kissing skinned knees. Here's to the mom who reads Alice in Wonderland every night and runs around chasing her little one to clip his fingernails.

Here's to the moms of adolescents who deal with teenage mumbles and grunts. Here's to the mom who cries and misses her little girl who used to walk holding her fingers and one who never wants to share anything with her anymore.
Here's to the mom who shares her own stories to inspire her little one, keep checking the time, supply chocolates and movie tickets on a regular basis and stares at the old photographs. Here's to the mom who shares the last bit of wisdom into the shortest time available before her baby bird flies away.

Here's to the mom of grown ups who only pray, cook and do laundry for their big ones who spends night with friends only to return home exhausted and drunk.

Here's to the moms who work 24x7 for her family. Here's to moms who are the true bosses. Here's to the city moms and small town moms! Here's to Hitler moms and best friend moms. Here's to strict moms with soft hearts and soft moms with strict hearts!

Here's to all the step-moms who embrace the joy of being a bonus parent without crossing the boundary set by the woman who was there before her. Here's to army moms who spend years alone while his little one protects the country for many other moms sleeping peacefully at their homes. Here's to moms who has gracefully handled ups and downs that would sound like a fairy tale to many of us.

Here's to the moms who have little ones struggling with physical limitations. Here's to them who gets up first in the morning only for her child even when she couldn't sleep well all night long.

Here's to the moms who always dreamt of having her own baby but encouraged someone else's kid into a successful adult he has become. Here's to all the sisters, nannies and babysitters who look after us with equal love and care that of a mother.

Here's to the mom who lets her child cook burnt pies on weekends and enjoys eating them. Here's to all the single moms who carry their little ones on their strong backs. And who do not have babies to make pancakes for them.

Here's to the greatest and most attractive cheerleaders I've seen standing outside fields under the scorching sun for hours only to see their child playing. Here's to the moms who takes us to nursery classes and wait outside all day long only to give us a sense of relief when we come out. Here's to the moms who drops everything and comes running when we need her the most.

Here's to the moms who can sense what's wrong and wrap us with her big furry wings when our friends or lovers leave. Whatever kind of mom you are or had, we're all blessed. And our best blessing is our moms.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Girl with the Colored Nails

I looked at her. Yes she is the girl. I silently confirmed with my memories.
The corner table, right beside the big glass window.
She was reading a book. It had a yellow cover with her pretty fingers wrapped around.
Her sapphire blue colored nails looked fascinatingly elegant.
She turned her eyes away from the book and stared straight into my eyes.
As if she knew my intention.
I wanted to turn away and run out of this coffee shop instantly.
But I stood still. It's now or never, I told myself.
Her eyes were fixed on me. Then she reached out for my hand.
My heartbeats sounded like heavy footsteps in a lonely corridor.
My legs felt so weak that I wanted to fall down on my knees and tell her everything.

Excuse me? She pulled her eyebrows down and closer.
"It's been long I've asked for the menu."
I jerked back to reality. Aware of the humming noise of the coffee shop around me. Aware of my job at the place.
"Yes ma'am. Today we have a special breakfast offer for you."

Sanity prevails but mockery will continue when your crush comes to the coffee shop you work in.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Of The Cricket. By The Cricket. For The Cricket.

That night five of us huddled up before the TV screen. Half finished beer bottles, empty bags of Lays, and large pillows witnessed how grown ups can fight for a comfy place on the couch. We heard the firecrackers when the Knights hit sixes. Almost all of us in the room wanted to pee, but no one could move an inch from the couch. We screamed like mini dinosaurs whenever Gambhir hit sixes. We cried out like a wounded wolf on the top of a mountain (with the moon in the back that is) when we lost wickets. Uninhibited celebrations followed by curses moments after.

Cricket. It's our religion. We've grown up watching our fathers and grandfathers coming home early and cancelling all other plans before big matches. We have seen our sisters hiding posters of Rahul Dravid and Ajay Jadega under their text books. We have grown up playing cricket in our classrooms. Hand cricket was our only entertainment during boring classes. Hard cover copies became bats and old papers from our rough copies were transformed to balls. We have grown up carrying heavy bricks from one place to another to use as wickets. We stole chalks from our teachers' desks to draw wickets on brick walls and mark fours and sixes on window panes. The guy who had a rupee in his pocket for the toss was the richest kid in the team. The umpires were biased, parents had to stop our fights and neighbours never returned the balls that went through their windows. In Kolkata, every locality has a personal cricket stadium.

We prayed when Ganguly opened with Tendulkar in the Eden Gardens. We shed tears and skipped meals when our team lost a game. On the walls, there used to be posters of Sachin, Sourav and Dravid right beside the photographs of Ganesh, Durga, Kali, Vishnu and Lakshmi. Over the years our cricketers have inspired us to shave with Gillette razors, eat eggs daily, drink Boost, and Pepsi. When I look back at those old days I find that nothing else had the power to hypnotize almost every children in India and to make them strain their eyes right in front of final exams. Organize an India Pakistan match and millions will cancel their plans. Whoever wins, two countries gets a little closer. 

When the game is over for us, we switch off the TVs and disperse silently. We accuse the players with heavy hearts, we analyse the catches we dropped, wickets we couldn't take and the easy balls we couldn't play. One bad game, the country is on fire. Media highlights who should be dropped and who should retire, experts comment on the batting orders and we promise never to watch matches again only to find ourselves glued in front of television sets in the next match.

India is like a concerned and loud mother. The kind that will cook your favourite dishes when you get a “very good” in exams, shed tears when they hear others scolding you, and bombard you with advice on your smallest failures. The kind that who could only scold and then cry from the deepest love and affection. We forget the dropped catches and lost matches very fast. We cherish the moments that made our heart stop beating. Kumble's 10 wickets, Sourav's out-of-the-stadium sixes, Yuvi's six sixes in an over, Sachin's ruthless batting in Sharjah.

In India, we are scared of changes. Kids will continue to break windows, our grandfathers will keep cancelling their plans before big matches, and fathers will patiently explain the Duckworth–Lewis method to their little Tendulkars. India has a population of around 1.237 billion. But when it comes to cricket, all the heartbeats merge and become one.

cricket fans

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Truly Madly Deeply

She never came across someone who is so irresistibly strong, hot, dark, and tempting. Sarah could barely control herself. His mere existence at the table was addictive. She desperately wanted to wake up right beside him every morning.

She looked at her husband. He was sitting right beside her, busy with the newspaper. Sarah sighed.

He could only crave for his steaming, dark cappuccino, but never drink.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Men Never Rape Women

Men never rape women. Why would they commit such an immoral and disgusting act? They will have to look up for the meaning of the word 'rape'. It’s always the women who provoke men.

Who asked her to go to the night club? It was bound to happen. Short skirts, long drinks, moving her hips lustfully... she even looked at some men, smiled. Enough reasons to walk up to her and ask her rate for the night. If she denies, wait till she comes out of the night club. Grab her by the neck, shut her mouth and take her inside the car. She deserves it. What a scene she created. Screaming and kicking all the way to the car. Of course she wanted to get raped, it’s just she didn’t know because she was drunk.

It was midnight when a patrolling police car found her lying unconscious on the road and a narrow stream of blood coming out of her body. Tut-tut! What a shame, smiled an old police man. These modern girls! They have no morals, no values, now she will get up and complain that she has been raped.

Men never rape women with great values.

It was raining hard and she had no umbrella in her bag. She had to get up on the bus quickly with the school bag on her back. Her school uniform was all soaked in rain, emphasizing her breasts and making her transparent in the public. All men in the bus could see it, the shape of her breasts. She covered herself with her school bag. Of course she wanted to show her body. Of course she wanted the conductor to touch her. That school girl with no sense of decency! It was the conductor's birth right to grab her breasts from the back as she got off from the bus. Certainly she will yell and cry, that’s what these girls pretend to do. No one cared. What does she expect? Indian government will send armed forces to protect her?

Men never rape women who cover their breasts with dupattas.

What do you mean men shouldn’t stare and whistle at passing girls? It's soon going to be added as one of the fundamental rights in our constitution. How can you blame these innocent men, she was beautiful! Such girls should take additional classes on how to dress modestly. But look at her! A skinny jeans, painted nails, kohl smeared eyes, red lipstick, high heels… of course she is doing it for attention. She wants to get raped down the street in that dark lane. There’s no doubt she will enjoy it thoroughly.

She wanted them to corner her and tore her t-shirt. Everyone knew that so they didn’t bother to help when she screamed and cried. They left her unconscious body in the dark lane and came out zipping their pants and buttoning their shirts.

Men never rape women who dress decently.

She went out for a short walk at 9:30 PM with her boyfriend. She must be from one of those modern families where they teach their girls to be whores. She must have had sex with all the men in the colony. These modern girls are born to be whores. So loose. They have no admiration for virtues and Indian cultures.

They stopped the couple near a park and beat the guy up. They took the girl in the park, pushed her down on the grass and tied her hands with her dupatta as each of them took his turn with her, multiple times. They left her after they were done, in the morning a regular jogger found her lying half dead and called the police. What’s the big deal? She wanted to get laid with so many men. God knows how many men she has slept with anyway.

Men never rape homely women who value Indian cultures.

He came in at 12 AM. She was doing the dishes fast. She could hear her heart pounding loudly as his footsteps were getting closer. Tears rolled down her cheeks, causing last night's wounds to burn. He grabbed her from the back. She wanted to vomit, he smelled whiskey all over. He took the plate from her hand and threw it in the sink and pulled her. No please! Not today! She screamed and begged. The wounds on her breasts still hurt. Her back ached so much that she felt her spine is going to burst.

He almost dragged her to their bedroom. Their son woke up and stared in horror. He shut the door with a loud bang, kicked her on the bed, and asked to take off her sari. Of course she did what he said. That’s what they say; do whatever your husband asks you to do. But look what a drama she made.

What do you mean men rape their wives? That’s so absurd. No such thing exists.

We all know it. Men never rape women. The police, media, division benches, and judges are simply confusing rape with consensual sex. If they look close enough, they will see that consent is always there. Consent is disguised in short and tight dresses, beauty, makeup, late nights, wet clothes, marriage certificates, screams, yells, and tears. God knows what more they do to show their consent. So what if most men think with their dicks? It's all consensual and consent might come right after you finish reading this.

woman painting