Calcutta Kolkata Calcutta Calcutta


Is it just us? Or does everybody feel the same about the city they grew up in? Well, I want to believe it’s just us. Such a beautiful post on Calcutta. 🙂

The Fallen

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It isn’t like one of those cities, Calcutta: dazzling, shocking, astonishing. Sandip Ray said in one of the sessions in the literary meet this year, “Calcutta is about having dinner at home”. It won’t shock you with the power it has over you, over your life. It will not damage you with its claims of money and power. Calcutta will get into you. It will become a chunk of your heart, a loss in your memory. It will confuse you every time you call it Calcutta and some stranger from far away asks you, “Isn’t it called Kolkata now?” But is it?

I remember when the first mall in Kolkata, Forum, opened. I remember how I would be so excited to go watch a movie there and then puppy-eye Papa into buying me ice cream from Baskin Robins. Today, Papa and I don’t really go to that many movies together…

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The most adorable thing.


mica 3

It had been a while since Dominique had been ill. She lived in a big house, full of people and yet she never felt this lonely. She would get fits at any time of the day and it would wreak havoc. If it was during dinner, she would pull the tablecloth and make everything haywire. If it was during sleep, she would wake up screaming at the top of her voice. She was unmanageable, uncontrollable at those times. Yet, it was the sight of her pet, Twinkle, that could somehow calm her down. Her bark was like music to her ears, balm to her bruises and water in the desert. It was now only Twinkle who could get a twinkle in her eyes and nobody else.

To understand all of it, we will have to delve into her past. She was a pianist by profession. Dominique had just got a job at The Royal Park, a five-star hotel. She played the piano at every Saturdays when there was a royal buffet at the hotel.

She had not only found her dream job, but she had also found her soul mate, Howard Roark. He had been staying in the hotel for over a month and he was enchanted by her talent. She was enchanted by his unique personality. He was an architect by profession but was an adventurer by heart. He was the one who had gifted her Twinkle. It was his own pet. He loved her dearly. It was to show Dominique how much she meant to him. They had decided to marry each by the fall of winter after he returned from his trip.

But alas, he never returned. While paragliding, there was some technical glitch. His safety cord broke and he died. Dominique was shattered. She was taken ill. She spent four weeks in the hospital trying to recuperate from her loss. The medicines did not work. But Twinkle’s love worked. It is said that when animals love you, they love you with all their heart. Yes, it was indeed true.

Do what you love and you’ll love what you do.


mica 2

Linsday had just got his degree in management from one of premier institutions of the country. He, now, wanted to get into the corporate world as soon as possible because he had taken an education loan and he wanted to get away with it as soon as possible.

He got placed in one of the behemoths of the financial world, Goldman Sachs. He worked more than twelve hours a day, struggling to meet deadlines, to increase the shareholder’s profits, and to keep the bottomline in control. He lost his sleep but got his debts off his shoulders. He became a social pariah but earned money to buy a new house for himself. He got older but did not find anyone to share his age.

One day, suddenly, as if he woke up from his slumber, he realised he ought to do something to change his life. He thought of taking mediation classes to make himself more peaceful and to make his life more enriching. So, he enrolled himself to the classes and started going there once a week. After a couple of months, he could feel some changes in him but something was still missing. He wasn’t happy from his heart. There were days when he just couldn’t sit in the board meetings and he left like running away from the world he lived in. It was absurd. He was at a strategic level of a company where billions could only dream of being. His monthly salary was more than the anuual salary of millions. Yet, he couldn’t find peace.

It was one of those mediation classes that changed his remaining life. It was one of those moments when you get enlightenment. When you see inside your head a wide of spectrum of light and when you crack the mystery. Yes, that moment had arrived. Linsday remembered how in his childhood his mother, who was an author had always insisted that he wrote down all his thoughts. It sometimes seemed to him that he was a shark who was given a pencil and asked to write. But when he started writing, he realised its power. He remembered his mother’s words ‘So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or for only hours, nobody can really say.’ He totally understood those words now. He never really liked writing as a child. Gradually, as he practiced writing he started letting his thoughts flow freely. He had written many plays during college days and it had won him many awards, even at the national level. He had written many scripts too which he had left at his mother’s place before he shifted to his new house.

Yes, he had realised his niche. Yes, it was writing. It wasn’t being a financial advisor in Goldman Sachs. He quit his job. And took writing as his profession. He listened to his heart and maybe he isn’t earning as much as he could have but when he writes, he enters another world.

Pink is for Boys


Wow. I absolutely love this post. 🙂

Fourtuitous

Written by Emily

“Mommy, can I have those sneakers when you’re finished with them?”

I’m splayed on the basement floor after a workout. Nothing on my body is dry, and I’m 100% certain that these purple sneakers I wear without socks because they’re more comfortable that way will have to be bagged as hazardous waste by the time I’m finished with them.

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“They’ll be too gross, buddy.”

“I’ll probably have to get sneakers from the girls’ section next time,” he adds.

“Oh, yeah. Why?”

“I really want pink sneakers.”

“Maybe you can put them on your Christmas list,” I answer still out of breath and staring at the unfinished ceiling.

“Do you think elves make pink sneakers for boys?”

“We’ll see.”

That conversation happened in October. I anticipated two things happening between October and December 25th when Santa would be expected to deliver on the pink sneaks: 1. my boy…

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Her mother makes stuffed gobhi parathas, why don’t you?


Haven’t we all heard our mothers go on about how well our neighbor’s daughter is doing? Or how one of our cousins stood first in his class or how our mother’s friend’s daughter is pursuing Chartered Accountancy and she just got a rank in her final exam?

We all have, haven’t we? And how we loathe those moments and wish our mothers were just satisfied with how we were doing and stopped complaining, and comparing with others. I have always told her to see how I am doing compared with last year not with the kid next door but she never understood. Or maybe I never understood her.

Recently, I was doing a training in an institute wherein we had classes for more than 6 hours a day, everyday for 4 to 5 days, followed by a day’s gap and again 6 hours classes for some more days. We had an hour break in between so that we could fill in our tummies to last till the end of that day’s class.

So, every morning my mother would ask me how long my class would be and if I would take anything from home to eat during the lunch break. I had been eating out for 3 days on the trot and was in no mood to eat something from outside that day so I asked her to prepare my lunchbox. She was more than happy to oblige me. During the lunch break, two of my other friends who would eat with me, too had brought lunchboxes from home and one of them had got extremely delicious gobhi (cauliflower) ka paratha. We feasted ourselves to the parathas and my aloo (potato) ki sabzi (vegetable) and rotis were left unattended.

The next morning as my mother checked the lunchbox and saw the untouched food, she bombarded me with questions as to- why I did not eat? what did I eat? she never had so many choices when she was of my age and so on. I counter attacked telling her that my friend’s mother had made lovely gobhi ke parathe and so none of us could think of eating anything else. I asked her why couldn’t she make them too and why she always made the mundane food which I never felt like having…

And with that I went to take a bath.

After I came back from the bath to get ready, I see her making gobhi ka paratha for me. Let me mention the significance of this incident. In my entire life of 21 years, I have never seen her make a gobhi ka paratha. She always knew how to make it but never made it. And those were really nice parathas. Really tasty ones.

So, my point is had I not told her that my friend’s mother makes lovely parathas, she wouldn’t have been motivated enough to make some for me. Sometimes, comparing people with their peers makes them perform much better, and this is what we call healthy competition. This incident made me realise the reason why sometimes she compared me with the neighbor’s daughter. Because she thought this would motivate me to work harder and that one day I will be able to make her proud. It would act like a catalyst to make my progress faster and steadier. Yes, this realization has, indeed, been a part of my growing up and I thought it deserved a post here. 🙂

Don’t allow men to be happy


Ever since the birth of civilizations, society has tried to make laws and put restrictions so that the society lives in harmony, and inner peace is achieved. This has been an explanation by teachers, parents, politicians and scholars for every new law that is introduced.

Here’s another way. This is most important. Don’t allow men to be happy. Happiness is self-contained and self-sufficient. Happy men have no time and no use for you. Happy men are free men. So kill their joy in living. Take away from them what they want. Make them think that the mere thought of a personal desire is evil. Bring them to a state where saying ‘I want’ is no longer a natural right, but a shameful admission. Altruism is of great help in this. Unhappy men will come to you. They’ll need you. They’ll come for consolation, for support, for escape. Nature allows no vacuum. Empty man’s soul – and the space is yours to fill.

This can be the only explanation of re-criminalization of Section 377 of the Penal Code, for sexual activities ‘against the order of nature.’ What else could be the reason for making private acts of any two individuals condemnable and punishable by law? I cannot conceive of any other answer.

Why would, otherwise, a woman be raped by 13 men in a village of Subalpur? The men were a part of the informal village council and the decision to punish her was on the account of her having an affair with a Muslim boy from another village. She was gang-raped by 13 men, all of her father’s age, because she fell in LOVE with someone?

Why would, otherwise, a boy be beaten to death in the capital of the country for coming from one of the seven sister states, for his physical appearance or for sporting a blonde hair? There can be and there is no explanation, whatsoever, for the policemen bringing him back to the same place where the incident had taken place a day before and leaving him there alone so that the shopkeepers could beat him once more. He finally died a day later.

I can go on and on about various such incidents which has taken place and there being no apparent justification for such brutal incidents. The only justification that I can think of is that men are becoming increasingly unhappy of their lives and they cannot see happy or satisfied people around them.  Harming them is the only way they can vindicate themselves. I believe this is sadism of the highest order.  Clearly, the ‘live and let live’ philosophy has failed the test of time.

sadist-amanda-marcotte

Phases


I have a habit of putting my life into different phases. I do that, because, once I am out of one phase and I enter another, I find it difficult to relate to the phase I am no longer in. Its like looking at some other person’s life and trying to analyse the situations and their reactions to them.

Only yesterday, I happened to come across a diary where I would randomly write about my feelings during college days. Flipping through the pages, reading the experiences which had made an impact on me then and also going through a list which I had made of things I want to do before I die, I realised how little I could now relate to it. I vaguely remember being enthusiastic about all of them so much so that I had to write them down to calm myself down. 😀

But after having passed college for a year now and realising the competitiveness and excellence around me, I almost started having bitter feelings about college because I felt I had lost my focus, got swayed by all the fun that college life provided. I had even started regretting the fact that I had taken up economics as my majors subject (something I really really wanted to do, back then). But after going through that diary yesterday, I was left with a smile. I realised how happy those days would make us when we had no aims in life, when like vagabonds we would roam around the city and would be as elated as Vasco Da Gama or Christopher Columbus when we discovered a new place, or when by studying for only 10 days before our university exams, we could see ourselves go to another year of fun and frolic.

Yes, I am glad I have an aim now, I am glad I realised the essence of hard work, but I am also glad I learnt it the hard way. Had I not been that aimless, lazy or ridiculously nonchalant, I would not have appreciated the change in me now. Infact, I would not have changed. I had loved my life then for some reasons and I love my life now for exactly the opposite reasons. 🙂