Saturday, December 18, 2010


The nomad in me is waiting to be granted freedom. It's been surprisingly patient, especially with taking it in its stride the cancellation of my trips by myslef to Singapore and Malaysia last October, and then the Sunderbans expedition this winter. Cancellation thanks to my paranoid parents.
Of late, the people I meet and the websites I'm coming across are fuelling the patience and undying hope of this traveller in me. Especially last night, after meeting the fiesty traveller Shirin from Singapore whose courage and enthusiasm I'm totally in awe of at the moment.That's not surprising...the more hopeful we are about something, the more patient we are till we get it. Perseverence is the word, I guess. I'm still watching TLC and taking notes at a manic pace, with my mom and brother stealing glances wondering about what I'm upto.
Here's what's serving as an inspiration for me at the moment. Backpacking across the length and breadth of India is a Herculean task, but there's someone who's dared to make an attempt. Others soon shall follow suit, I guess. Maybe I will too...someday :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Khel rahein hain jee jaan se

I woke up this morning searching for just one image in the papers. I got the news from a friend yesterday that a 19-year-old was caught in the crossfire between the student wings of two political parties. The people last evening was so blinded by rage that they were hurling bricks aimlessly, one of which hit this teen accidentally. Accidents can be forgive, true, but someone's life has been almost ruined forever. His eye has been smashed and it's needless to say, he's been handicapped for life.
This brings the reason for the protest to the forefront. What was it? Some students from a so-called reputed college on Kolkata wanted to enter Mamata Banerjee's house. Why? I hope they knew the reason themselves. No, the boy with the smashed eye didn't want to know. I hope the guy who was responsible for hurling that particular ill-fated brick knew so he can live his life justifying his action to himself.

When I was watching Khelein hum jee jaan sey two weeks back, a thought kept echoing in my mind. For 200 years, all the illuminaries of our country tried to awaken the masses against the atrocities of the British. 63 years later, the firebrand hasn't died down. It keeps burning like the eternal fire the Zoroastrians worship. We're so used to screaming and shouting and protesting, we've become blind and we've literally blinded everyone else by hurling bricks at them too. The result? Like kids who sometimes cry for no reason, we cry and fight and burn down places, following diligently in our forefathers' footsteps and hurl bricks. So blind are we, that we can't see the reason. We just fight because the images looked so glamorous to us. A poor chap set fire to himself sometime in the 90's for the world to see how far he can go for a cause. He just died and remains forgotten.

Friday, November 12, 2010

When we were in school, it was almost a compulsion to learn Rabindrasangeet for all the school programmes to sing for. We were the lot who would hardly ever protest but sing with grim faces and thank Tagore for relieving us every pochishe boishakh, while going back to attending classes and pleasing all our otherwise silently protesting teachers. Then there was me among all of them, who would receive a "...and congratulations to YOU!" in the middle of a serious maths class from Mrs. S. Roy, for having sung well. The singing well part of her compliment appealed less to me, from whoever it was, than did the part in their compliment which said I sang it in my own style. My voice is different and I didn't sing Rabindrasangeet in the typical "Shantiniketan style",they'd say.
My understanding of the music was limited to learning the verses written in Bengali with a lot of difficulty, poring over the texts intently for hours together to decipher what is written (this was only initially,though, I'm used to it now) and learn the melody which was more or less the same for almost all the songs.

Recently, when I sang for the nrityonatika "Chandalika", I was angered immensely. ALL the songs, and I'm not exaggerating one bit as most of you will know, sound the SAME. Except for one song "Jageni", every song has the same melody and I wonder as to how no one wants to tear their hair and cry. My wise friend Mayurakshi, all of 14, explained to me though, that not all the songs have their melodies composed by Tagore himself. Most of the boring monotonous ones are thanks to Tagore's less talented brother, who composed in the most uncreative way possible. This is a fact I didn't know before.

As I discovered more Tagore this autumn, I'm getting closer to understanding and appreciating him than before, when, on that culvert over the gutter in our school, I'd sing the songs hatefully and never ever tried to understand the sentiment behind the songs. There are so many songs which appeal to me now. There's one song, Bhabona Kahare Bole, which I really like but I discovered a Kirtan yesterday, which is beautiful, to say the least. A Bangladeshi band called Arnob and friends has reworked this song very impressively using a Nagra and Saxophone, besides the guitar( For now, I'll leave you with these beautiful lyrics.

Majhe majhe tobo dekha pai,chirodin keno pai na?

Keno megh ashe hridoyo-akashe,tomare dekhite dey na?

Khoniko aloke aankhir poloke tomaye jobe pai dekhite

harai-harai shoda bhoy hoy,haraiya feli chokhite.

Ki korile bolo paibo tomare,rakhibo aankhite aankhite.

Eto prem ami kotha pabo nath,tomare hridoye rakhite?

Aar karo paane chahibo na aar, koribo ami parno pon-

tumi jodi bolo ekhoni koribo bishoybashona bishorjon.

(My sincere apologies for Bengali lyrics in the english script)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Disco Bimari

Yesterday when I walked into class with my kiddies, I found the rooms almost empty, barring the two sole enthusiasts standing in the middle of the room with I'm-begging-you-please-let-me-go expressions on their faces. The festivals for them are almost never ceasing so most of them came in for a surprise visit to let me know they're finding the celebrations a tad more interesting than my classes. When each of these kids were giving me their pop up surprises, I noticed something peculiar and, well, funny to a certain extent, on their faces. They all had big white dots painted on their ear lobes and a bigger white dot on their foreheads, right at the center of the eye brows. When I asked one of the boys in my classroom who gave this little face painting thing a miss what the whole deal was, he said it's being done by the villagers to protect themselves from something called the "Disco Bimari". I pressed him on when he explained to me that Disco Bimari makes a person shake and shiver (almost like he/she would when in a disco) and the only cure for the disease is to make the affected stand in water for four hours.

I was left in a bit of a shock and a lot of confusion. I went on to ask a shopkeeper in the village what the whole deal was. Here's what he had to say.

On the night of Kali puja this year (which roughly translates into Diwali for the rest of India) a few youngsters were caught "sinning" in a temple. From what I could make out from the appendices being delivered by the wife of the shopkeeper simultaneously, a couple of young chaps were drinking alcohol and indulging in some other objectionable activities. "Ma" of course, is unforgiving. In Kalyug, there's a price you pay in this very life for any wrongdoing of yours. As a revenge, Ma has inflicted the people of the village with the inexplicable and peculiar Disco Bimari.

These are uneducated but God fearing people, there's no doubt about that. What left me wondering and feeling rather troubled later was the fact that these people are happy in their world, living with their dogmatic beliefs that refuse to be shaken. The village is infested with mosquitoes so I came to a random conclusion that it must be Dengue doing the rounds. What troubles me though, is the fact that even the first generation learners in the village won't be able to make any substantial difference. It takes a lot to shake the foundation of beliefs as strong and illogical as theirs. Children who are being educated will find it hard to make a change overnight. Well I don't want the children to go preach to the older generation that God does not exist, but to simply look at things in a different light and not attributing all their distress to Gods and Goddesses. Anything's better than dipping little kids in cold water for four hours and increasing their suffering.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finally the number of followers has risen from the unlucky 13 to 14. Weeee :)

Had a whirlwind trip to Mumbai. It's unbelievable how bad a planner my dad is. We took the Geetanjali (33 hours journey,yes!) on friday, landed in the middle of a bustling Dadar on Saturday night, had a crazy day in the city on sunday and whoop! 4 am, Monday morning, preparing to jump onto the train again.

All the lack of foresight apart, it was Mumbai I experienced almost fully for the few hours I got to be there. My first impression of the city was that it isn't any different from my Kolkata. Dirty, confused, hoarding laden and chaotic. What puts it on a higher pedestal than Kolkata is, of course, the spirit. I fell in love with it, period. There's nothing more commendable about a city than its citizens, who work hard round the clock and don't care who thinks what. When you are stuck behind someone in Kolkata in a crowded place, you know you're dead. There's no one in Mumbai,on the other hand, who'll block your way. Everyone's running and you can run just as fast, the wind in your hair and all that jazz. For someone whose adrenaline flows at the thought of competition, like me, Mumbai is the place to be it seemed. A day is too less to base your judgement upon, but well, for a city that never sleeps, and which overwhelmed me as soon as I got off the train, I fell in love with it head over heels. And no qualms, mind you. Vada pav, marathi manus et al, it's a bigger and better version of Kolkata. I'm coming soon :)

P.S. on a local on saturday night, 11:30 pm, I met a bengali father-daughter duo. The girl was all of four and chattering away in bengali. I swear, I couldn't help myself. I carried on a long conversation with the kid, almost breathing a huge sigh of relief, of assurance..whatever I think is now unfathomable. There's a hardcore bangali sitting in me. No kidding.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jal Pari

I can't ever get enough of raving about Coke Studio, with all my gratitude for Nabarun Bose remaining intact ("This is the best music education for you!"). This one's a current favourite.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thanda podchhe thanda! Get your MON-key caps out!

One of the things I've detested most the last few years of being in college is the insanely long vacations we have. It's a boon/bane of being associated with the Calcutta University, when most of us sit at home making plans to meet and spend time, even if college isn't on, just so we could waste our time. What ultimately happens is we all send sluggish texts to each other saying we're busy or make up some random rubbish. All so we don't have to drag ourselves out of our homes. It gets worse during the Autumn break. There's a slight nip in the air and our beds get dearer, as does the hot cuppa.

It's that time of the year again. I can feel my voice going dry rather frequently and I've already hosted a very warm welcome for winter by suffering from the worst bout of cold in a long time. Now that the weather goes a little easy and the clothes go thicker by the week, you'd think I'm bothering lesser about my weight loss plan but NO! I'm walking every evening and, if I lose my will some evening thanks to feeling lazy, I have driven two girls crazy who drive me out of my house. In fact my clicking-fingers-angrily-when-you-get-slow has caught on too! Speaking of driving people crazy, I've managed to get another How I Met Your Mother fan on board. That's a neighbour, Bonnie, who's a kid in high school. I got him so addicted to the Sitcom that he's finished watching 5 seasons in a matter of 6 days.

As of now, I've finished watching all the episodes that have been released so far and have absolutely gotten rid of any other pending work. That leaves only one thing for me to do: studies. I made the special effort of dragging myself off the couch and cleaning up my table, making all the preparations, even keeping a scented unlit candle on my table so I can lure myself into sitting down at the table, but nothing seems to be working. Just as well. 2010 has been the most jobless year of my life. Glad only two months of it are left.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's taking me time to recover from my Pujo hangover :(

This year, unlike the last, I wasn't sitting on top of some hill and guzzling Champagne. I was in my favourite city, only guzzling vodka-pepsi. That's been my new find this Pujo: I admire Abhay Deol more now for introducing me to the brilliant combo of Vodka and Pepsi (remember Dev D?).

I also got my current favourite gadget: my new digital SLR Fujifilm camera! *applause* It was blissful when I captured images this season which look stunnning. This is my best shot this pujo-

Shubho Bijoya to all my readers!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When I was a child, my life was so much more secure, and change for the worst never threatened my day to day living. I knew that moving up from one class to another every year, buying new clothes and books, going for little outings with mummy, even to the tiny Safari Park was what kept my little life going, and always made me happy.

Things change so much as you grow up. This is an oft repeated line but I've started understanding it further today. One grows grave not just by age, but by the knowledge one acquires about her world. A world, that is tied together by such fragile strings, that happiness is too light a word to keep everything intact.
I'm upset about a lot of things, not JUST one. Till today, I've never had the reason to contemplate about death and understand the lives of others to continue after it. Despite the festivities in which I've been sucked in, my mind remains absent from the merry, thinking about what will happen a few weeks, or even months, from now. I could never even imagine in my wildest of dreams that my almost perfect world will be threatened so suddenly, and something I held so dearly to my heart, and almost taken for granted, might disappear someday. All of this, without informing me. Without taking my permission. Without saying even a silent goodbye.
I've never felt so helpless in my life. So out of place. So powerless, to make things right with the stroke of a wand. So much of disbelief and reasoning clouds my mind, that my tears are evading me.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


There's this person I've been trying to avoid for the last 3 months or so. Reason? My escapist attitude. I know there's a wee bit of horomones playing up on the other side, so I stopped taking calls and brought down contact to the minimum. It was he who (how shameless is he!) caught me online on Gtalk two days ago and asked, "Hey! How're you?". No reply. "So, where are you? DSE?".
Ugh. It was like taking a bullet.

Everytime I log onto the Internet these days, I somehow steer towards Coke studio. It's been the best music I've heard in the last few days. Coke studio for me isn't a very recent discovery (thanks to Nabarun), but of late, I've been listening to the sessions a lot more than usual. I love the Urdu verses and the music setup on the whole.
It's liberating, to say the least.

I've been having the worst possible sin-curve patterns of emotion. Last night, the much needed unburdening took place with K. I wasn't up for it but it so happened that I started feeling much MUCH better.
I have a feeling a year from today is going to be eventful.

Conjunctivitis is in the air, quite literally. Whenever I see an infected person (which is one out of five people I've been meeting everyday) I immediately reach for my hand sanitizer and keep my hands in my pockets so they don't go touch my eyes without my conscious guiding. I'm being more compulsive with this weather growing muggier and hotter. Suddenly today it seemed the sun was shining too brightly. Maybe the Sun is coming closer to the Earth. Or maybe the buildings in Udita have been painted too white.My eyes are threatening they'll turn a funny pink colour.
Maybe I'll escape the CPM taint this time too!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Many dreams, many lives (part 1)

I'm one of the very few people in this world who likes going to cafes alone. I, of course, have a purpose behind it. In general I love being alone and eating my food in peace, which is especially applicable to me when I'm in a foul, pensive or procrastinating mood. Today was one of those days. I was feeling jobless and I had the time to pause at Coffee World for a salad and a lemon ice tea (thanks to the heat).

I was sitting peacefully on my couch and just thinking of nothing, staring into space and sipping on my tea almost involuntarily when my mood got pepped up. The table opposite mine had just been occupied and I sat up almost alarmed for the conversation that ensued. I was sitting innocently in my couch and then began the race of my thoughts.

He was divorced and she was a lonely woman caught between her parents and her rather demanding job. I'm a pro when it comes to eavesdropping, I confess. It's a bad habit that often makes me squirm when I'm in such a situation myself and suspect others will overhear a particularly personal conversation of mine but you know about'd rather devour the chocolate cake and relish it than regret when you see those extra pounds on yourself. That's a bad example to illustrate my point but you get it. So I listened to this rather nice guy telling his date how he's ready to put up with all her laziness and unwillingness to cook on sundays and other unreasonable demands. You'd say that's common in men: they promise and then forget even their wives' names, let alone their promises. I may be and untrained listener still and unable to pick up hints so soon, but something in the voice of that man told me he was being earnest. He was willing to put up with all the tantrums of that girl. He just needed a yes from her. Well he didn't exactly say he needed a yes but he said, "what's the harm in trying and giving it a chance?". My heart almost melted. Yeah yeah I know I'm quite gullible but you see, there's one important thing we all often forget. We forget to loosen up and try what we get. We're always so uptight in our lives and think, rather ironically, that things will chart their own course, that we often forget there are issues with us we need to sort out ourselves.
I felt things were going to be just fine between the both of them. Or I may have been very badly mistaken for all you know, but for that very moment, my heart went out to him...a guy with a heart and self proclaimed adjusting capacity of a nomad, who was ready to tell his date about his wife (the tramp?) who left him and give her the clear picture and about how he was ready to give life another shot.
I took one last sip of my tea, paid my bill and rose, taking just one look at the couple. She was busy digressing from the topic, talking about various insignificant things in her life while the guy looked at her simply. I wished for once I got to stay longer. Well I guess life's about keeping some suspense which you tend to forget ever existed later in your life. What's the significance of these little brushes we have in our lives that we forget about later? Isn't it important,then, to have a witness to our lives?

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's one of those days that Kolkata is dotted with little bamboo structures draped in atrocious cloth, housing the idol of a God with a kite in his hand. To complement this, there's "Tunir Ma" blaring from the speakers, much to my delight.This is known as Vishwakarma puja, a day when the God of machines is worshipped. There's one question in my mind though, which came first, Vishwakarma or technology?

A little flashback readers...

The oldest tools known to man were the ones invented by the early man. Fast forward to the Industrial Revolution in UK. The spinning Jenny blah blah and the world had changed as we know it. It took a while to realise, without a doubt, that technology was meant to be revered. Was it the foresight of some genius back in the BC period that machines will one day be worshipped and a God needs to be assigned,like some minister,in charge of "creating" it? Or was Vishwakarma born sometime in the kalyug?

He he :D

In case that confuses you, it's my trademark guilty laugh. I do, I undo. Technology, thou art my most understanding friend.

Quick flashback...I fell, I stood up, I got what I wanted and like an arrogant bitch, I kicked it with my left leg and that's how I am where I am today. Woohoo or no woohoo, I'm happy. I'm dumb but I'm happy. So help me, God!

Coming to more serious matters now, for all those who were frequent on my blog, kindly come back,read, comment, criticize. I've missed you all a lot and I'm here to make amends and scribble till my eyes start protesting. I'm begging shamelessly. Oh that's one thing I've gotten rid of...shame.

So...all's well that ends well,eh?

Friday, July 2, 2010

She was waiting for him to arrive at the chapel as expected. Everyone around her was drowning the serene feeling the morning had instilled in her. It was a very different morning and she thought it was a sign. She believed in signs- her friends told her that is exactly the reason why she would give up easily. She ignored them. She wasn't someone who went by what others would say. She would only let herself be immersed in her own thoughts and live her life the way she wanted. She seldom thought before she said something. She was a free bird and did not submit herself to social obligations or do anything the way the others did it. It made her sick to walk the path on which several others had trodded.

She was not perfect though. She had her fears too. She would run out of the bathroom before she flushed. That sound and the idea made her cringe and meant something of negative significance to her. The sign that something would go down the drain. It wasn't like she feared failure. She just feared her helplessness in a situation she had anticipated. It's the worst thing to happen- when you know something would go wrong, when you see that it is actually happening in front of your eyes, and you're still unable to do anything.

It was an hour past the assigned time. She was getting that horrible feeling in her stomach and looked around to see if there was anybody who felt the same panic that had now taken her over completely. She saw only one face that had a trace of fear on it. It was her father. She preferred to look away from him though.

It was one of her impulses after another 15 minutes which changed her life forever. In a moment of lull inside her head, she gently placed the bouquet of flowers on the chair beside her and lifted her dress to the height of her knees and walked out of the chapel, with everyone staring after her. She didn't care. She wasn't unused to people staring at her with shock or surprise. She walked steadily and did not look back. She went straight to her car and opened the door, slammed it behind her and started the engine. A split second and a thought, "is this right? Can I undo what I'm doing now?". She wasn't one who'd listen though. Not even to her conscience. She released the clutch and there she was on the road. "Any moment now. We'll be home and nothing would've changed".

His car was approaching the driveway to the Chapel just then. After much deliberation, he decided to give it a chance. So what if he was late? People would understand.

Then, the cars were parallel. She didn't notice him. She was consumed by something he couldn't tell. He could read her like no one, he claimed, but there was something about her then. Her eyes, which deceived him. The determination, the absence of any sort of regret...she looked just the way she did when he first met her at a pub. Unreadable and like no one he'd met before. Indifferent and unaffected. Detached. Her eyes met his. She made no attempt to stop. He had a look of confusion,she noticed. She didn't owe him an explanation, she decided. She only stared at him for a moment and turned away.

She didn't stop. She disappeared into the horizon and never looked back.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Johnny Depp, rainy day, no one else but fries and coke for company...Alice In Wonderland was just amazing! He's one person who reinvents himself every single time and with such perfection! If only people learnt a thing or two from him...

On a different note, Saif Ali Khan as Castle? Still digestible. Kajol as Beckette? WHAT?!

Ekti Taraar Khonje

Lately I’ve been going through the phase of cutting people out of my life for a while. It’s my aversion-to-communication phase. I’m also loving being alone after a long time.
Being the sucker for new experiences that I am, I decided to go for a movie at a multiplex alone today. Doesn’t sound like such a task, does it? Well try it on your own sometime. It’s quite a task. Usually, people attach going for movies with merriment in a group. I personally think, though, that watching movies alone can be fun. So I did what I was planning for a while.
I went to watch “Ekti Taraar Khonje” at Fame today. I never thought I’d be one of those sad people ending up at a movie hall all alone but hey, I wasn’t sad. I could concentrate a lot more on the movie and I loved the fact that I was the independent woman who doesn’t care who’s sitting around her. It just means to me that I’m a lot more secure about myself than most people who insist on having somebody by their side no matter what they’re doing. Whether it’s taking a walk alone or going shopping (although I do believe that sometimes shopping is better when with a friend so that she,preferably,can see what you can’t see).
Coming to the movie now…Ekti Taraar Khonje was just another Bengali movie that made me sad. There’s immense talent in Bengal which is untapped, but there are a dozen standing like a wall against that bunch of talented people and making movies which they think are brilliant, but are crappy to people like me. It’s nice to admire Bergman and it’s different when you’re trying to bring in something abstract in a storyline that just converts it to plain bullshit,rendering it of the flow that it so badly deserves because you’re making a commercial movie, Goddamnit! If you want to make an art movie, make a separate one.
“Ekti Taraar Khonje” as a title itself, to begin with, was far too irrelevant. The once in a while ringing phone of Sayan Munshi only emphasised the title very shadily, with “Twinkle twinkle little star”. Cliched and unacceptable.The opening lines by Sayan Munshi in a narrative style were impressive. It raised my expectations. The storyline turned out to be very typical and tried out. I could feel traces of the flop Hindi movie “Mithya” (starring Ranvir Shorey) making its way into a Bengali overrated storyline. It’s disconnected at many places and makes you walk out of the hall. Not with irritation like that produced by Yuvvraaj or Housefull, but by the mere thought that the movie was a wasted attempt at copying something that goes on to add some unnecessary cream over a spoilt cake. The culmination of the movie was yet another offshoot of an inspiration from Kaminey: the bad guys die and the hero survives to romance his girlfriend.
Tollywood is not without gems. Sayan Munshi delivered a more or less consistent performance with a few moments that made him rise above the movie. He’s a talented actor who doesn’t know how to select his script. Arpita Chatterjee was awful. Why she ever left her “happily married” life to act again is beyond me. She’s only a pretty picture and would’ve added an extra bit to the movie had she been dumb. Dhritimaan Chatterjee is not bad. Sayan Munshi’s city friend is commendable though.
What made me want to pull my hair and scream out loud in the hall though was the advertisements. The silly bits added into the script merely for the promotion of Senco Gold and Kaya Skin Clinic. Silly and totally uninspiring. The music is passable. Shaan sings a couple of melodies which sound fresh but some of the songs are very badly timed, adding to the mess that the movie already is.
All in all, a successful attempt at sitting alone in a hall and feeling exhilarated, but a bad movie as a first. I was disappointed in my lookout for a star.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The great plummet

This victory was more or less expected and the wheels of change are rolling faster than ever. The woman who is prone to embarrass herself in public and feature in "image of the day" laughs has been chosen in the great war between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Is this the victory of a democracy? Or are most of the citizens only getting too carried away?

As people with green coloured powder all over their faces crowd in front of didi's house, in the other half of the country (and very romantically, diametrically opposite), the nano plant opens its doors and scripts yet another victory, and the nature of this victory, whether political or personal, is fairly debatable.

As more and more tragedies find their way into prime time and breaking news features, as people and chinkaras die, as the earth shakes beneath my ground (I'm also confirming the earthquake here which shook my building at 1:27 am on 1st June), one can only relate to this period as the period of disasters.

So is this painting-the-town-green yet another disaster that is only in its initial stages?

Monday, May 31, 2010

So this is what it feels like to finally get the to the other side of the weighing scale. I've been getting numerous calls following a recent photograph uploaded on Facebook telling me I've grown chubby. Whatever that's supposed to mean. I was wearing white too. People ought to be a little considerate and realise that white makes one look fat.

I've started eating only boiled food from today. No oil. No junk. Exercise. And even if I forget for one moment about my diet, I'll immediately be reminded about the "sorry state of affairs" by my brother aka broken record going "61...61...61". Loser.

Ugh. This means I have to reduce watching FRIENDS (because I feel like eating whenever they eat and they eat pizza all the time) and Travel and Living.

Bye bye binges. Hello pressure cooker :'(

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Laboni used to tell me that after someone dies, the soul will hang around to see what is being done with their bodies. If, for instance, a Christian, that too someone as staunch as Armi was burnt instead of buried in a coffin, her soul would haunt her offenders for the rest of their lives. Now there's little to be done after the ashes land up in a tiny kolshi, so what if she was married to a Hindu man.

Don't chickens and goats have souls too? When we eat them (Armi wouldn't want to be eaten for sure. Her reaction is incomprehendable then), don't their souls feel angry too? I'm making sure the chilli powder reaches the depths of their epidermis!

They've never come to haunt me!

Am I questioning your existence, you great big forces of life death and beyond?

I'll still sleep hard tonight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My passion for food is inexplicable. This passion sometimes borders on fanaticism too, but that's only fair when you love something. From here springs up my spite for vegetarians. True, any sort of food, when prepared with a hint of creativity and a dash of magic can taste just as wonderful. I've almost been weaned on meat. I'm a non vegetarian,heart and soul and can only imagine my plate to be complete when there's everything on it.
What I persistently hate about vegetarian food is Paneer. It's possible because of the kind of place I live in where there's so much importance given to fish and mangsho. At special ocassions, in most cases, if one of our vegetarian friends ask for the vegetarian section, all they end up with is a preparation of paneer. It's impossible to sometimes surviv only on daal and rice when the others at the party maybe devouring their meats voraciously.
Bengali vegetarian preparations are tasty , though lesser known. Authentically Bengali cuisine boasts of some of the best vegetarian dishes and luchi-aloor dom is just the beginning to the long list of vegetarian delicacies.
People are often surprised when they meet me and discuss my food habits. Being a south Indian Brahmin, it's almost a sin talking about meat as passionately as I do. Then again, people know little about madrasis except the usual idlis, dosas and sambaar. Delving a little deeper into the cuisine of the south will reveal more than just appams and aviyals.
When I'm out having lunch at some fancy place, I'd ideally opt for non vegetarian food sonce I'll be paying anyway. The worst kind of experience I was faced with was a few months ago when I dragged my family for dinner to Little Italy on Camac Street. It was a vegetarian restaurant and rather expensive and at the end of the day, the pocket pinch was harder to get over for my father because, in his opinion, he had effectively spent only on cereals and a few green leaves.
Last week I was out to lunch with my friend who's now turned vegetarian keeping in view the ecosystem and the many animals that are having to sacrifice their lives just for the sake of pleasing our tastebuds. I've tried many times to tempt her into eating chicken but wow her determination. For someone who was a big fan of the English breakfast at Flury's I found it hard to believe she had turned a complete vegetarian only for the sake of saving a few poultry lives, which were probably raised only to be eaten for a meal and forgotten.
This friend of mine confessed, though, that she misses the taste of meat. This probably led her to discover a substitute for meats. It's something called "mock meat" she explained. No, this isn't what we Indians eat as the soya nuggets or granules that are apparently as similar in taste to chicken as possible. Two days back when my mom was in her rare creative moods, she made us Spaghetti Bolognaise with soya granules instead of minced chicken. It's best forgotten. This "mock meat" concept though reminds me only of the "mocklate" and "fishtachios" from FRIENDS. My friend claimed, though, that mock meat tastes just like real meat and it's like salvation for vegetarians.
I took my animal lover friend to this place called Govinda's. It's a restaurant run by the Iskcon community, who are devout followers of Krsna. On entering the place I remembered how as a child I used to create a ruckus to go to Mayapur because they served food which did not have onions or garlic. The lobby to the place had a smell (my mom says it's the smell of their incense sticks) which nauseated me. It was like the smell of purity.
The menu card took me by surprise. They claimed they made vegetarian chinese without using onions or garlic. I was my usual condescending self but because I was feeling adventurous that day, I dared to order a crispy chilli potato. What landed up on my plate baffled me. The potato tasted good despite the use of the staple chinese ingredients. I was stumped but really enjoyed it. This little meal brought down the walls yet again. That there IS a life for a vegetarian and there are substitutes for virtually everything. It's not like I didn't know this, but the reminder was timed well.
That evening, though, I dug into two pieces of fried fish heartily and forgot the world around me existed temporarily.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's been two painful, disillusioning and personally unfruitful long months since my last post. There's a very nice phrase I always think of whenever I'm faced with such phases of disconnection and discontituity : twenty years later, you'll look back at all of this and laugh. For now, I'm already laughing at how I've gotten nowhere. There will be a couple more prints on a piece of paper that'll declare that officially I've gotten somewhere in my so called career and that I should be given the accolades (really?) and opportunities I deserve. 18 years I've subjected myself to restrictions, confining myself to solitude (well it's not as morbid and as true-to-the-core as that sounds, but for a chanchal and onnomonoshko girl like me, it's like shredding me into bits). The last two months especially have been extremely stressful. I'm hardly the sort of person who sacrifices sleep. This time, though, I saw where I was headed. I had sleepless nights and OH the heat. God is punishing us for all our wrongdoings.

Sometimes I wish I could escape to Italy, learn the tricks of the trade and open a restaurant here and make whopping profits (people eat any food they're given. My good!). I don't want to study anymore. I want to be like Natasha Agarwal.

If the facebook "dragon year" predictions are anything to go by, I was also told I will bury relationships I'm no longer benefitting from and move ahead instead of thinking about what it used to be like and keep mooning and whining. Thank goodness for the reassurance. I realised one fine day the word "acceptance" had gone missing from my dictionary for a while.

Whatever the past few months may have been like, I'm here again. "This too shall pass..." I keep telling myself.

P.S. I tried the Black Forest ice cream yesterday at The Cream And Fudge Factory. For all you chocoholics, PLEASE go and try it. It's divine! The Fro Yo! comes a close second from the outlet Mamma Mia!, which is healthy ( : ) and tastes as authentic as any frozen yoghurt you might've tried abroad. Try the mixed fruit version with a helping of strawberry. Yummm!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


And now, the memories are whitewashed too

And THAT, my friend, is closure.


I know there's been a lot of ranting on this subject, particularly from my side, but I can't help but bring it up again, in a slightly different light on my long untouched blog.

I was glued to my television set (despite my pressing books which are now getting heavily intolerable and at the same time, raising my levels of immunity too) throughout friday waiting for one speck of bad news to be caught live on the hungry cameras that are now so very eager to spray black on red. Who doesn't change sides. That IS the very necessity. The only reason a giant will ever survive. And he shall survive only because he shall not respect himself, but all else that has a say and can sream louder on microphones. Friday was gloomy in every sense of the word for these red-washed channels (no they shall be eating grass very soon). There was surprise on every news anchor's face (shock, if you may want to add). How peaceful it all went off.
Aah...but wait! There's spice for you. Saturday was THEEEEE BEST! A student got beaten up. He made gestures, they say. Obscene ones. And then, bricks and stones were hurled. Sandals were flying around. I got a call from one of these news channel correspondents to make sure I was safe. Of course I was. I was reading Twilight! I was on the verge of strangling myself! So who cares? I escaped the bricks! When I switched the TV on, I saw how certain individuals transformed themselves overnight. From intelligent and balanced individuals, they turned into brick hurling, screaming, wailing, helpless and desperately camera-attention seeking pigs who I still don't admit to recognising. All year round, the world seems normal. Just when the elections are round the corner, the revamping. Forget about these hot blooded students (even about the temporarily possessed chap who set himself on fire somewhere in the south). I will also overlook for now the woman who is trying to woo her "Matribhoomi" after safely ignoring the necessity of cutting costs and electrifying railways, and making this a local rather than a national budget. Let two years pass. She shall be a different woman!

There's a world around us that begs to have a clean environment, peaceful relations internationally, love and peace everywhere. How we fail. With every "Hope"enhagen. With every song and advertisement for peace on prime time television. With every chips packet that encourages you to "spread the love" because the root cause for all evil is hunger after all. So true! So very well said. And what effort does the colourful animal on the packet make? Creating aversion for food altogether.

Forgive me. I'm a hot blooded young individual too. You'll have a thousand different things to say to me. But I extend a hippo hug to you.