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Monday, August 29, 2011

Hindi Poem - Namkeen Khwab

नमकीन ख्वाब 


संजीदा का निकाह हो गया. 
खुशियों से रुक्सत हुई 
एक नयी ज़िन्दगी की तलाश में.
मेहँदी की ताज़ी खुशबू 
हवा में घुलती जाती,
सपनो की पालकी में सवार,
दूर किसी अनजान शेहेर में
गाँव से दूर, 
पीपल की छाओं से दूर 
अम्मी की प्यार से परे
भाई के शरारतों से दूर!
एक बहोत बड़ी शेहेर में, 
बस, ट्रेन और तूफानों से तेज़ गाडिओं के बीच, 
बम्बई आ पौछी, संजीदा.
लोगों के भीर में, 
आपने ख्वाबों को ढूँढती,
एक लड़की. 


शरमाई सी, नयी कदम
नया जीवन की तलाश,
किसी पराये घर को, आपना बनाने का ख्वाब!
खुली आस्मां, खुली साँसे
बंध दरवाज़े के बीच
छोटे छोटे स्वप्नों की मोमबत्ती
सजाई.

एक ख्वाब, एक सपना,
दिल में छुपाइये. 
"मुझे समुन्दर देखना है," 
संजीदा ने आपनी शौहर को कहा, 
यह थी उसकी पहेली इल्तजा  
"पहेले तुम माँ बन जाओ, फिर हम सब मिलके चलेंगे,"
दुल्हे का दिया हुआ वादा, झूठा वादा. 
वादा पुरे नहीं हुए, 
घर की उम्बर्था को लांघे हुए
बर्षों बीत गए. संजीदा की अरमान,
बिखरे परे है, उन फर्शों पर 
पिघलते हुए,
उस रात की तरह 
अपने अरमानों की, मोमबत्ती की
सेंज की तरह! 
फीके होते गए, ख्वाबों के रंग,
ठीक उसके हाथों की मेहँदी की तरह. 


काम तो आज भी वही है
नल से पानी भरना,
सुबह श्याम नमाज़ पड़ना,
शौहर के लिए नाश्ता बनाना,
सास, ससुर, देवर का ख्याल रखना, 
बच्चों को सम्हालना.
गाँव की वो लड़की,
आज भी आपने सपनो को तलाश रही है!
शेहेर के खुली सोच से दूर, किसी शेहेर की गल्ली में.
घर तोह उससे मिल गया था,
चार दीवारों के बीच,
चार खिड़की, चार-पाई
और एक उम्बर्था.
लांघने की ताक़त
आज भी नहीं जुटा पाई!


बुरखे में, वोह लड़की जो आज
आप के नज़रों के सामने से गुज़र जाती,
सप्नों को आपने सिने में दबाये,
चार बच्चों की अम्मी,
संजीदा! आज भी आपनी ख़ुशीयों को
खोज रही है,
समुन्दर की घेराई, बिखेरती हुई लहरें,
सरख्ती हुई रेतियों की तस्वीर,
आज भी उसे देखना है.
घासलेट की कतार में,
बर्तन के ढेर में,
चूले की फूक में,
सब्जी की छौक में,
भूली नहीं वोह अपनी ख्वाबों को.


आज, बारिश के पानी को, 
बाल्टी में जमा करके रखती है, संजीदा.
सब की नज़रों से छुपाके,
आपने पैरों पे, भरी हुई बाल्टी
को उलट देती है.
महसूस करती है
समुन्दर की लहरें, पानी की नमकीन छीटें!
दिल को चीर, संसार की डोर को चीर
चल पड़ी, तेज़, बहुत तेज़,
जहाँ कोई झूठे वादे नहीं है,
जहाँ कर्त्तव्य की बेरी नहीं है,
जहाँ संसार की पावंदी नहीं है,
जहाँ सिर्फ समुन्दर की सौन्दी खुशबू,
आखों को भिगोती है!
जहाँ सिर्फ खुला आस्मां,
चीखती हुई कहती है,
ख्वाबों की उड़ान. 
संजीदा, आज भी जी लेती है,
सपनों में ही सही, 
उम्बर्था लांघने की
हिम्मत जुटा लेती है!


- राम कमल मुख़र्जी 


- Please pardon my grammatical errors. I am sure there are some. It's the thought, that I am trying to share, with whatever little Hindi I know.
Thanks.






Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bengali poem - Klanti

ক্লান্তি 


ক্লান্ত আমার চোখের পাতা 
হাজার বছরের ঘুম,
তোমার স্নিগ্ধ কোল, ঠিক যেন 
গাছের পাতার ছায়া,
ঝরে পড়া কুড়ির বিছানা. 
ঘুম ভাঙবার খেলা. 
নকশাল বাড়ি, সিঙ্গুর, মাওবাদীর 
গোলাবারুদ, অসমাপ্ত প্রেমের যবনিকা!

অস্বস্তি, আমার চোখের পাতায় 
স্বপ্ন গুলি এলোমেলো, 
চড়িয়ে ছিটিয়ে রাখা, কোন এক তাসের দেশ!
এক গ্রাম ঘুম, এক চিলতে সুখ. 
ক্লান্ত আমার পায়ের পাতা,
ঠাই দাও, নিজের ছায়ার আড়ালে!
বন্ধুকবাজ, গুলিবিদ্ধ আমার অসহায় ঘুম!

ভালবাসা নয়, আজ তুমি নাটোরের বনলতা 
অন্য কবির, এঠো প্রেম.
পরিবর্তনের খোলসে, ঝলসানো মুখোশ. 
সাদা পোশাকের পুলিশ, আমার রক্তের রং লাল,
তোমার? সবুজ! 
ঠান্ডা, শীতল, ভাবলেশহীন. 
কালনাগিনী তোমার প্রতিশ্রুতি 
লখিন্দরের শুকনো লাশের,
গন্ধ! তোমার গায়ের মধ্যে.
মরণ ঘুম, আজ আমার চোখের কনে 
বারুদের তোষকে মোড়া, 
বিছানা! 

ঘাসের উপর আজ আমি আর শুই না. 
কাঁটার মত, তীক্ষ্ণ 
সবুজ ঘাস. 
রক্ত মাখানো আমার ঘুম 
খোলা বাতাসের তলায়,
ক্লান্তি আমার চোখের পাতায় 
শহস্র পতাকায় মোড়া,
আমার স্বপ্নের লাশ! 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Being Hero


Nothing is permanent. Everything that you see now, will perish tomorrow. Every moment, is dying, every other moment. We are constantly chasing ourselves. The fight, which apparently seems to be external, is actually internal. Every one of us, are constantly fighting to upgrade our own standard, standard of life, love, work or even living. We are unhappy by nature.
It's no harm, it's no fault. Excelling in your own capacity is the best way to nurture your human hormones. I have seen, many people, across the nation, trying to grab their share of limelight. Everyone wants to be famous. Each seconds of fame, matters in today's time. Media happily, plays to the gallery.
Remember Raj Kapoor's dialogue from Mera Naam Joker. "The show must go on!" But I think, he couldn't foresee what people would do, just to get their share of fame, in today's time.
Have you ever noticed those faces on TV screen? Even during Anna Hazaare coverage, I can clearly see those faces who are waving their hands, smiling at the camera, doing weird faces - just to grab one second of footage. They don't even know how to speak, what to speak and where to speak. But all of them are fighting to get hold of the boom which the television reporter is holding.
Most of the time, you will find them either smiling or chatting away happily standing in the crowd. It could be veteran actor Shammi Kapoor death procession or Anna Hazaare's hunger strike, the same kind of unknown faceless faces are seen always on TV screen. Some even wear weird clothes, have weird hair-dos, to seek attention from the camera.
They have understood, that once you are seen on camera, you become famous. Cheap stunts, are the best way to grab attention of people. The tenure of 'celebrityhood' is becoming lesser by the day. People are so used to surfing channels, that they want to find new heroes. If Sonia Gandhi's secretive operation becomes that talk of the town on Friday, then Sunday channels got engaged with Shammi Kapoor's death. By the beginning of the week, they have Anna Hazaare to take care of the rest.
We don't realize that "one minute fame" is not the easy way to become famous. I call them, " BFF- by fluke famous"! If you want to be remembered, just do one honest deed in your whole life. Just try and make difference to any one person, who doesn't matter to you. Hero doesn't mean, millions of followers. Hero means someone who is worshiped by someone somewhere.
Flashbulbs, magazine covers, interviews, hoardings, money, endorsements... these are the parameters which might judge the level of popularity of a celebrity, but when you are honest towards what you are doing, such things become inconsequential. Mother Teresa never thought of becoming an international figure, she dedicated her life for people. Florence Nightingale could have been chosen to be famous, but she didn't. Swami Vivekanada or Ramakrishna Paramhansa could have thrived on publicity, but they didnt. People remember them for what they have done for humankind.
If you are making money, bagging awards for your deeds, you will be cheered by your fans. But they will stop worshiping you, the moment they get someone better or bigger that you. But, if you are serving people, directly, then those many people will hero worship you.
In that case, you preserve every moment of your good deed. Nothing is perishable. You are remembered for what you have done. You are remembered for changing people's life. I feel, that everyone can become famous, but only one in a million can win the heart.
Love the dialogue from Jodha Akbar, where Jodha tell Emperor Akbar (who was definitely much famous than any living or dead celebrities of our time) that, "Jahapana, aap ne shiasat pe raj karna seekha hai, dilon pe raj karna nahin!" (You have learnt the art of ruling the nation, not the heart!) That changed war loving Akbar to humane Akbar.
We all need to see that in ourselves. We all need to do, just one good deed. Honestly. I truly belive that everyone of us, have the capability to become heroes. Let's not make fool of ourselves, or just fool ourselves with such silly BFF moments.
R.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bengali poem - Tanaporen

টানাপড়েন 

সত্য তুমি আজ আমার হাথের নাগালে 
ভ্রম, তোমার এই অহংকার 
নিত্য দ্বন্ধ, তোমার আমার, 
প্রতিদিন, প্রতি মুহূর্ত. 
সত্য তুমি কি সত্তি?
নাকি রাংতায় মোড়া 
এক দুরন্ত মিথ্যা?
চিনতে তোমাকে ভুল করিনি আমি 
অন্তর্নিহিত, আমার নিশ্বাসে প্রশ্বাসে 
শৃঙ্খলবদ্ধ, তোমার চতুরতায় 
ছুটে পালাতে চাই আমি,
নিজের থেকে নিজেকে লুকিয়ে, 
ঝাচক্চকে মিথ্যের আড়ালে 
পালাতে চাই! 
কেন পারিনা তোমাকে এড়াতে 
চুম্বকের মত তোমার, মায়াজাল 
তোমাকে হারিয়ে ফেলতে চাই,
সব সময়ের জন্য.
রেখে গেলাম আমার নতুন ঠিকানা 
দেখা হবে জানি,
মিথ্যের চৌরাস্তায় 
তোমার অপেক্ষায়, আমি
থাকব দাড়িয়ে!



Hindi Poem - Pal



पल 


पल जो मेरे साथ है
हर समय 
एक नयी चेतावनी 
एक नया दस्तक 
दे जाती है.
याद दिलाती है, हमेशा 
अंत होने की टोक 
समापन की ध्वनि, 
भयभीत जीवन की
सुचना!

एक प्रश्न, एक सत्य, 
जो मुझे अनंतकाल से 
दुविधा में झंझोर के रखा है,
जो पल, मैंने खोया 
जो सांसे मैंने गवाएं 
हिसाब में मंगू  किस से?
सफ़ेद पन्हो पे,
एक नयी रंग की,
अपेक्षा. 
एक नयी भाषा की,
परिभाषा. 

खर्च कर दिए मैंने,
जमी हुई पलों की पूंजी. 
मेहेत्वाकंषा की नीव 
हल्का महसूस कर रहा हूँ, आज.
दबना नहीं चाहता हूँ 
अपने सपनों के बोझ तले.
दम घुटा है मेरा,
पलों के हिसाब से,
मुक्ति!
अंतहीन, एक यात्रा, 
एक नयी रास्ता.

समापन उस पल का,
आज होने दो, 
हर दिन एक नयी नीव
एक नया सवेरा 
एक नया पल. 
होने दो, होने दो!


 - रामकमल मुख़र्जी 



Sunday, August 21, 2011

Faith is God

Good morning!

Today is Janmastami. This day reminds me of many such incidents of life. The day, reminds me of my Ma, who used to prepare special delicacies and do her puja. She would take me, along with her to Shyamsundar mandir, closer to our house. She would decorate the "palna" with Bal Gopal. Would buy those fancy dresses for Krishna. It was almost like a ritual. Much celebrated one. Some how, Krishna has been my companion since childhood. My dad, bought me the first Krishna idol, which is still there in my Kolkata house. Later, I got various gifts from people, in forms of pendent, idols, portraits and calenders. During my school days, a dear friend of mine Animesh Barik gifted me yet another idol of Krishna, made from plaster of Paris. It's still with me, in my native town. My connection with Krishna has been eternal. I believe He is around. For me, for all of us.

When I landed in Mumbai almost ten years ago, I didn't carry any image of Krishna. Somehow, it didn't happen. But, strangely, a very dear friend of mine Shashank Samant (used to work with me in Stardust magazine) gifted me a small idol of Krishna. There was no occasion, he just felt like gifting me one. He had picked it up from Siddhivinayak Temple. Since then, that idol has been a part of my temple.

Much later, on one of my birthday, my driver gifted me the idol of Bal Gopal and Radha Krishna. Incidentally, he happens to me a Muslim. I was so touched with the gesture. They got place in my puja room. Few years later when I got married, one of my closest pal - Anupam Pratihary, who is almost like a family now, gifted me and my wife Sarbani a lovely idol of Radha and Krishna. The idol looks pristine, made of rose wood, it's one of the finest idols I have seen in recent times. He took special interest in finding the perfect idol for the newly wed couple.

Just a year ago, my mother-in-law went to Darjeeling, and on her way back, she picked up a lovely idol of Krishna, made of teak wood. Even that one has made its place in my room. One of my wife's cousin sister, also gifted us Bal Gopal, That's made of plastic, which has become a showpiece in my Kolkata house.

One of the idol of Krishna which I loved the most was at B M Birla Heart Research Institute, in Kolkata. Saw it for the first time, when I admitted my father for bypass surgery, almost a decade ago. The life size idol would remind me of Krishna from Vrindavan and Iskcon temples. Each time, I prayed, my prayer was heard. Barring once, the last time, two years ago, when I lost my dad. I just hated the same idol, for taking away my Baba. But, slowly, I came to terms that He wanted to relief Baba from the pain he was going through. As humans, we don't like to accept the truth. We treat God like humans. We bathe them, dress them, feed them,  celebrate their birthdays, we love them, we talk with them, we sing for them, we cry, laugh, smile and even fight with them. The reason, why we get offended, upset and hurt when we are dejected. When our prayers go unheard.

Krishna, is there. Amongst all of us. He is guiding, everyone. He is taking test. He knows you the best, so he puts you through tests, which you will be able to overcome. Post, my dad's death, I went through real tough time. Personally and professionally, it was the toughest time. I thought, for a moment, I won't be worshiping any deity. I was loosing faith in any sort of supreme power. But, each time, I would decide to drift from Krishna, He would follow me. He would chase me, would make me realize my mistakes. I have realized that He is no magician. He is a healer. His smile is infectious. He will be with you, even when you don't need him.
We fall in love with god, we fall out of love. But, then he never leaves you alone. Even when you abandon Him, accuse Him, doubt His presence, He still cares for you. He is the 'dasa' of every 'bhakt'. He is the 'atma' and considers His 'bhakt' as param (supreme). Final unison of Krshna and his Bhakt, forms the eternal combination of 'Paramatma'.

Have faith, that's all you can offer Him, while He can offer you everything under the sky!

"Krishnaye Vasudevae Govindai Namah!" 



Friday, August 19, 2011

Poem - Kanchenjunga

কাঞ্চনজান্ঘা 


কথা দিয়েছিলাম. তোমাকে. 
অঙ্গীকারবদ্ধ ছিলাম, তোমার কাছে 
গ্রীষ্মকালে কান্চন্জন্ঘা দেখব,
বরফ ভেজা রাস্তা দিয়ে, পা টিপে টিপে,
আমাদের অলিখিত চুক্তি. 
তোমাকে একখানি শোএটার কিনে দিয়েছিলাম
গড়িয়াহাট এর মোড় থেকে. 
নরম, ঠিক তোমার গালের মত. 
দুগ্গা পুজোর ঠিক পরে, 
মিনি বাস চেপে, তুমি ঘুমিয়ে পরেছিলে 
আমার কাঁধে মাথা রেখে, 
ঝাকুনি তোমাকে উঠিয়ে দিল.

কত বছর কেটে গেছে, 
ট্রেন চেপে আমাদের রওনা 
বাকি রয়ে গেল. 
সেই বার খোকার জর হলো,
তোলপার জীবন, ওষুধ, ডাক্তার.
জমানো টাকা সেই সব, 
খরচার কত রুপ. কুত্ছিত খরচা.
তারপর, কত বার, 
চেষ্টা, বৃথা প্রচেষ্টা. 
চাল, ডাল, বাড়ি ভাড়া, 
সংসার ধর্ম, রোজকার রোজগার!
নিঃশব্দ তোমার আকুতি, 
অসীম তোমার ধৈর্য 
কান্চনজন্গার মত প্রশান্ত 
প্রতিবাদহীন, জীবন. 


তোমার চশমাটা, আমার খাটের পাশে 
খোকা রেখে গেল
বলল, ওরা ফেরত দিয়েছে, 
আমি মুছে রাখলাম, 
বালিশের গায়ে এখনো 
তোমার গায়ের গন্ধ.
ইস্ত্রী করা তোমার তাঁতের সাড়ী,
আলনার ধরে, রেখে গেছো, 
গায়ের গন্ধ মেশানো স্মৃতি. 


ডায়রি টা, টেবিলের কনে, 
২৩ শে বৈশাখ, টিকিটের গায়ে তারিক 
ঝাপসা হয়ে গেছে,
আরও ঝাপসা,
ঘোলাটে স্মৃতি গুলো টাটকা হয়ে উঠলো,
তোমার শরীরটা, আজ 
কান্চন্জন্ঘার মত শীতল,
উষ্ণতা ফেলে গেলে, 
বিছানার এক পাশ, শুন্য 
আমার নতুন সঙ্গী 
একাকিত্ব. 


খোকারা এবার শিমলা যাবে, 
অফ্ফিস থেকে ছুটি নিয়েছে, 
ফিরে এসেছে তোমার 'কাজ' 
কান্সেল করতে পারবে না, অনেক টাকার ব্যাপার 
আমিই বললাম, 
ঘুরে আয়ে, কথা দিয়েছিস যখন. 


তোমার ডাইরি তে রাখা ছিল
টিকিটটা. আজ দেখলাম, 
শেষ মুহুর্তে কাটা টিকিট,
তরিঘরি, সুটকেসে তোমার চাদর 
দুরবিন, ক্যামেরা, ওষুধ 
তুমি একটা ফ্লাস্ক কিনেছিলে,
টাইগার হীল দেখতে দেখতে,
গরম চা, চুমুক. 


ওয়েটিং লিস্ট এ আমাদের নাম. 
তুমি কান্সেল করনি? 
আমি জানতাম না,
হয়ত ওয়েটিং লিস্ট থেকে
নামটা নির্ধারিত সিট পেয়েছিল. 
হয়ত অন্য কেউ গিয়েছিল সেই দিন. 
সূর্যোদয় দেখেছিল  
বরফ ভেজা রাস্তা দিয়ে, স্মৃতিগুলো হেঁটে চলেছে 
থেমে নেই কিছুই, 
ঘড়ি, নিশ্বাস, স্বপ্ন.
থেমে থাকেনা কিছুই
টিকিট থেকে আজ তোমার নাম টা
কেটে দিলাম,
এখন টিকিটের গায়ে লেখা,
আমার নাম, 
ওয়েটিং লিস্ট -এ!

Poem - Anandadhara

আনন্দধারা 


আনন্দ, আমি তোমাকে খুঁজেছি কতবার 
বালিশের তলায়, লুকিয়ে রাখা চোখের জলে 
নীল আকাশের আড়ালে,
মেঘের ঠিক পেছন খিরকি থেকে,
চিত্কার করে ডেকেছি,
আনন্দ, তোমাকে খুজেছি বারবার 
কথা দিয়েছিলে তুমি, 
সারা দেবে!
সাদা খাতা গুলো, নতুন
মলাটে মোরা স্বপ্নের আঁকিবুকি 
জলে ভেজা কাগগের নৌকা, 
জলে ভেসে যায়, অনাথ শব্দ গুলি. 
আনন্দ, তোমাকে লেখা আমার চিঠি 
ভাসিয়ে দিলাম, 
শব্দ গুলি জলস্রোতে আঁছরে পড়বে,
তোমার বুকের ওপর, 
আশা করি, পড়বে তুমি
তোমার অলিখিত চুক্তি 
আমার মুক্তির পন,
আসবে তুমি, আমার হাতের নাগালে. 




Thursday, August 18, 2011

Janmastami - Tal'er Bora

Tal'er bora kheye Nando nachite lagilo...

This is the song, rather folklore, with which we associate Janmastami (Birthday of Lord Krishna) in Bengal. Remember, my grandmother (Thakurma) would sit for hours and grate Tal (popularly known as Todd palm or Tala palm in English. It's known as Pannei in Tamil.). The above mentioned line means, the foster father of Lord Krishna Nandlal started dancing after eating the sweet balls made of Todd palm juice.
Hailing from a traditional Bengali family from North Calcutta (now Kolkata), the festival of Janmastami would be grand. My mother, who happens to be the youngest 'bahu' (daughter-in-law) of the house, was trained under the guidance of my grandmother, to make these special 'boras' (deep fried balls) on the occasion on Krishna's birthday. I am very sure, that this had nothing to do with mythology or any kind of tradition, related to Hindu mythology. This must have been one of those local 'fakirs' or 'baul' singers who created a couplet on the occasion.
But the flavor of Tal'er Bora was beyond any rituals. One had to wait for this season and time, just to enjoy this special delicacy. In my early childhood days, I've always hankered for a Tal'er Bora.
Of whatever I remember, as a kid, the procedure of making this special sweet meat was not that easy. Extraction of the tal sap is quiet a cumbersome and lengthy process. However, if you manage to somehow achieve that, then the rest is easy. My grandmother could manage to inculcate these culture because my mother was a housewife (which is also a 24 hour job!) We were joint family, and we all used to stay under the same roof. So, every festival used to be grand.
The pulp is smoothly battered with semolina (suji), sugar, grated coconut, flour (maida). Mix all these ingredients with the pulp, once the mixture thickens just boil sunflower oil or ghee in a deep frying pan. Then take a teaspoon full of batter and pour it in hot oil. The small balls will be ready in five minutes.
This used to be a day long procedure, because of the quantity. Finally, in the evening, ladies in our family would decorate the idol of Bal Gopal (Baby Krishna). They would use ornaments, flowers and other finery to give it a grand look.
It's been almost a decade, that I have not been to Kolkata during Janmastami. My grandmother passed away, two years back, by dad also passed away. Now, my mom stays in Kolkata. She doesn't have the physcial strength to take such arudous task up on her sleeves. I am married and settled in Mumbai. My wife is a working woman, and even she doesn't have the time or interest in taking this tradition ahead. This year, in all probability, she will be travelling to Pune on the day of Janmastami for some event. Life in a metro (like Mumbai) is so different from a comparatively slow city like Kolkata.
Do I miss Tal'er Bora? Oh yes. I do.
Do I expect my wife to make it for me? No. Of course not.
Can I make it? No. I don't have the time.
I guess, we all have come to terms. Cultural doesn't really matter to us anymore. We would rather find someone who would be able to make it for us. In a worse case, we would ask some one from Kolkata to bring it for us.
Little things, in life, which used to matter a lot, have lost its priority. Everything changes, even your taste buds.
R.

Poem - Bhokatta!

কাঁচ ভাঙ্গা কাপ, 
বৃষ্টি ভেজা রাস্তা, 
আলতো রোদের তাপ, 
নিসঙ্গতা, আমাকে ডাকে 
অবকাশ খুঁজি, নিত্য নতুন 
তোমার সাথে, কিছু অনুভূতি, আবদার! 
ঘাসের ওপর, তোমার শিশির ভেজা তালু 
কালকের অসমাপ্ত নিশ্শাস 
বাতাসের আদ্রতা মেশানো, তোমার হাঁসি 
অবিকল সব কিছু, আজ 
স্বপ্ন যেন ঠেলে তুলে দিল আমাকে, 
কোন কথাটা বলছিলে যেন তুমি? 
ঘুড়ির শব্দের মত 
সেইদিন শুনিনি আমি, আজ
বলতে গিয়ে বলা হলো না. 
সম্পর্কের ভোকাট্টা! 
আজ, অন্য ছাদের কনে,
নতুন ঘুড়ির শব্দ! 


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waking up, literally!


Waking up, has always been a struggle.
The first ray of sunlight, irks me the most. I hunt for my rug, try to cover my face. Darkness is so beautiful, its so soothing. Unfinished dreams, which we all want to finish. We run away from the sun, from daylight, because night shows us the magic of life, the surreal world of dreams and imaginations.
I was never a morning person, but I was forced to me one. Morning school, was one of the biggest compulsion, for me to wake up early. My dad used to be an early riser. Most days, I would wake up with the gurgling sound of my father from the bathroom. He would water the plants, do his pujas, step out to buy fresh milk and bread everyday morning. Meanwhile, I would take a bath and get ready for school. Ma would make my tiffin, comb my hair (till standard three) and then tie my shoe-lace (till standard three, again) and check my bag, reshuffle the books according to the routine and set me off. Dad would drive me to school. At times, we would take a ride on a tram. Running behind the tram and getting onto the tram was such a thrilling experience, which I shared with my dad.
Mornings, have always been interesting. But somehow, we all dread to see morning. Mornings would remind me of my school, class rooms, strict teacher, boring PT teacher. I just wanted those many mornings to disappear. As a kid, I used to pray, saying why can't we have only summer and winter vacations in school, throughout the year? Weird, but that's true.
As a kid we used to love our vacations, as college students we used to love our weekend off, as professional we used to long for those extended weekend holidays. The idea of not doing the regular stuff has always excited all of us.
But then, we all have to go through the same routine life. We can't just skip the moments we dislike. Life is not a choice, its a mandatory routine of activities. fact remains that, unless we deal with our "mornings" we won't be able to enjoy our "nights".
Did you ever think, why we love nights? We are we so attached to our bed, pillows and rugs. Why do we like a particular corner of the sofa? Why do we wear the same old semi torn tee-shirts at home? I guess, it's a matter of comfort.
Blame the quilt, blame the bed, blame everything that makes you comfortable. We even blame the alarm clock for always ringing on time. We blame the "doodhwala" for pressing the door bell twice. (Some even keep a bucket outside their door, so that the milkman doesn't ring the bell!) We all love to sleep. That's the best way, to see dreams.
But, the fact remains that to enjoy that dream, those many hours of peaceful sleep, we have to work hard. Morning shows us the way. The light that breaks your comfort, is the only way to fulfill your dreams in reality. The warmth that oozes from your quilt, will take you to the world of imagination. But the warmth of morning rays will virtually help you in achieving the goals.
The struggle that begins from our bed, needs to end. Coming out of comfort zone, is a challenge. If every morning we can fight that out, then we can surely fight any battle of life.
It might sound simple, but being simple is not that simple.
R.





Single Mother!

Am back!
Yes, this is my second post today. Just got to know that a friend of mine delivered a baby girl. I admire her guts for doing in what she believed it. Can't reveal her name, because she its her personal life and I am no one to make it public. But I admire the fact that she had determination in having her own baby, at any cost. I think, every woman goes through such biological phase when they feel the urge of motherhood. She is 38 and she is no different. Like most of Mumbaikars, she too, would travel from one end of this city to another end, in local train. She braved all the seasons - the riots, the bandhs and the blasts.
Being a working woman she faced all regular hurdles, she managed it pretty well. This city, is such a sucker. You are drained out by the end of the day. I guess, every city does the same. But this city makes you brave and bold. I see so many of them. Travelling in a bus, or crowded train, auto-rickshaws, taxis. The lady about whom I am writing used to travel from Bhayendar to Nariman Point, five days a week. She would take a ferry from Madh Island, and then take a rickshaw to reach Andheri station and from Andheri she would take a train to Churchgate station and from there she would take a cab to reach office at Nariman Point. She would make her own tiffin, because she didn't want to eat outside food. She would go for regular check ups with her doctor. And she was doing all this, alone.
I have no idea, where her husband is. What is he doing? In such stories, husbands doesn't really matter. What matters most, is someone's will. She worked till yesterday, and today she delivered a baby. She is also determined that she will join work after two months of maternity leave. She can't afford to sit at home. Such luxuries are not meant for working woman like her. She needs to repay her loans, she wants to educate her child, give her the best education. And all these comes at a cost, rather heavy cost.
I think, in many aspects, almost every aspect, women are more powerful than men. I just can't imagine myself travelling from one room to another if I am carrying a 3 pound baby in my womb.
She reminds me of many such single mothers in this city. I know a friend of mine, who is planning to quit her job because she needs to take care of her child. Sneha (name changed) works in entertainment industry. She is a single mother, who is planning to get divorced. She runs her own kitchen, and she does that pretty well. But recently, she came to know that the lady who used to baby seat her daughter won't be able to continue. Her husband needs to get operated, and she won't be able to take care of kids. Sneha tried to find out alternative, but nothing worked out. Places which were available were too costly, so she decided to give up her job and stay back home. "What else can I do?" she told me. "I can't leave my daughter with some unknown people. Her school gets over by 2pm and I come home by 7pm. She won't be able to stay all alone for so long," she added.
Such sacrifice is praiseworthy. Will a father leave his job and sit home? I have my serious doubts. Sneha will be freelancing from home, taking care of her daughter's education and meanwhile figure out a solution. "I need a job, I can't sit at home," she rues. "I want to give her the best possible education. And I also need to grow as a professional," she added. She is not depending on her husband, and that's what gives her the courage to survive in this society. She bought her own little pad, she adopted a street dog, she takes care of her old mother. Such a perfect lady.
I am talking about, just two of them. I am sure, you guys must be meeting or knowing hundreds of them. Being a couple is definitely a bliss. But, being single, is no curse. When you know, you have no one to fall back upon, you become stronger.
This city, matures you. Teaches you, how to live with a smile in your face. I adore, all of them.
R.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roy of Hope.


Hey,
Yesterday, I promised that I would be regular with my blog. The first comment which I received in my blog, was from Piyush Roy. He is a very dear friend of mine.
Just came to know that Piyush, who was heading Stardust Magazine, have decided to quit the magazine and move ahead with his academic career. My best wishes for him, as always. I really appreciate those, who can chase their dreams and at least try and make it happen. I emphasise on the word "try", before you give up. He is moving out of this country, for his PhD at the Edinburgh University.
Piyush has been one of my closest pal, a very dedicated journalist and someone who has always inspired me in various ways. He is one of the few scribes who loves cinema, and understands every moment of motion magic.
Our journey started way back, almost a decade now. It started with informal chat, while I was working in Kolkata as a journalist. He was posted in Mumbai, writing about the city and it's life. It was strange, that we I decided to move out of Kolkata and settle in Mumbai, he decided to quit his job and move on with his academics.
Friendship is just a core word, that even if you are not connected through telephones, emails or letters, you can still start your conversation from where you have left. That's the magic of friendship. Ours was no filmy relationship. We bonded on primarily on Cinema. He would speak about his interaction with Bollywood celebrities, and I would share my dose of regional cinema.
We were faceless people talking to each other on yahoo chat. We did meet, much later, when I came to Mumbai for a television show. I was hosting a chat show in Kolkata, and for my second season I wanted Bollywood celebrities. During my short stay, I met Piyush once. He was fun, would make me laugh. I mean, the person I knew over chat was totally different from the person I met. Those were, "no cell-phone" days. I remember calling him from VT public phone, before hopping into the train.
Years passed by, we met again, in Mumbai. He came back from UK, and joined Magna Publication. We used to stay in the same building, at Old Prabhadevi Road. During that time, he introduced me to yet another gentleman, Anupam Pratihary. He used to work with Indian Express, as sports journalist. Piyush is from Orissa and we share almost common culture. We would bond on cuisine, songs, theatre, football, cricket and books.
Later, Piyush got married to Surtarangini aka Mily. Lovely lady at heart and she joined our gang with ease. In fact, whenever I interact with her, she brings in life in my otherwise mundane life. She bonds extremely well with my wife Sarbani. Mily was the first person to call Sarbani and chat with her even before we were married. Till date, they have maintained the relationship.
Piyush and Mily, both have grown as human, and also as professionals. But, they have remained the same, when it comes to friendship. I would admit, that I have been unsocial and many a times, I have failed to meet them or spend quality time with them. They have a beautiful apartment close to Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai.
Just, a month ago. It was a weekend, and Mumbai was drenched with the first shower of this season. Sarbani and I decided to meet the Roy couple, over a cup of chai and bread pakodas. It was pure unwinding. We spoke at length, heard music, watched rain from his French window. Mily made some crispy pakodas with adrakwali chai. It was such a bliss.
We will miss, these impromptu addas. Must, I am sure that Piyush will be happy, wherever he goes. His affection is infectious. He has all the qualities, which makes for a perfect friend. Thankfully, Mily will be around for sometime, so I am sure our bread pakodas and chai will happen.
Till then, wishing Piyush, loads of luck for his new endeavour. I am sure, he will be back with many more dreams in his eyes. I see my dreams come true, through his vision. We bonded on cinema, and that's been our common love. Dreams that gets over with the first ray of sunlight, are meant to be fulfilled when the sun is shining on you. Chase, the untamed dream, let it not die.
Ciao
R.

Photograph: (Left to Right) Anupam Pratihary, Piyush Roy, Swarup Nanda and Moi at my Andheri apartment.

Back Again

It has been almost two years, since I have disappeared from my blog. I truly appreciate, Mr Bachchan who actually writes his blogs regularly, and each time he writes something interesting. The urge to write something interesting, is probably the catch line. Why will people read my blog? How do I make any difference to people with what I write? Basically, we all create a sort of pressure, so that we deliver our best.
Frankly speaking, I took a break from Blog, because I was enjoying Facebook and Twitter. Whatever, I felt like sharing was easy for me to write in 140 words. I guess, I learnt how to condense my thoughts through Twitter.
But now, I am back again. This time, I promised myself that I would be regular. At least, I would try to be. You guys must be wondering, about my disappearance act. Well, you will come to know about everything, soon. It's just a matter of time.
This time, I have decided that I will not limit myself on any particular subject. I will share, whatever comes to my mind. It could be a paragraph on rains, or some interview which I enjoyed doing during my tenure in Mumbai Mirror.
Let's start afresh.
Cheers.
R.

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