Words

 

 

I had a dream to say something,

to make your heart fill up and sing.

Words so lyrical and yet so deep,

that you would hold on tightly and say ‘it is for keep.’

I had a thought to do an act,

that would make you  notice the fact;

That I might be able to articulate

the words, that just slips through and thus forget.

The words I speak are not for you

they belong to whoever you choose to.

They express the vision that many deny,

that your thoughts are yours and mine are mine,

you might not like it but it is still fine!

That there are no black or white

all shades of grey amongst which we fight!

The words I say are thus just that, sounds of my soul,

take it or leave it but that’s what makes me whole!

 

(image sourced from Google)

Domestic James Bond

Mr and Mrs. Sengupta decided to retire for the night. It was a long tiring day, Mr. Sengupta had a tough time at work and Mrs. Sengupta was already half asleep. The clock on the mantel piece read 9 pm. Too early!!

In their bedroom, both switched on their bedside lamps, took out their current read and started reading. Mrs. Sengupta however had enough, she was tired and her eyes were closing. She kept away her book, took off her glasses and tucked herself deep inside her blanket. It was a cold night.

While lying down she noticed she hadn’t taken out her earrings! Well lazily she decided to do it while lying down. The earring was a small, round piece. Her clumsy movements and the earring got stuck inside her ear. Oh, No! she shrieked. ‘Help me Mr. Sengupta, the earring is going down my ear.’

Out jumped Mr.Sengupta , just like James Bond to the rescue. He dipped his fingers, to no avail, all the while managing to keep his hands steady as Mrs. Sengupta kept on howling loudly! As if someone had died.

After a short while, which seemed like ages to the petrified Mrs. Sengupta, the earring was out. Phew! Mumbled Mr. Sengupta.

‘That’s all for today, I have had enough!’, saying he turned over on his side, switched off the light and tucked himself inside his blanket.

Mrs. Sengupta, chuckled to herself and thanked God. As Mr. Sengupta shook his head and prayed that the rest of the night passes by smoothly.

Image result for james bond cartoon

 

 

When Barbie had a Paratha!

Mimi was hungry, she was back from school and it was snack time.

Mom had made some Parathas, Mimi loved it.

After polishing off some, it was time to look at her Barbies!

There were 20 of them, all in various stages of getting ready for a party.

Mimi looked carefully surely ‘Elsa’ and ‘Milly’ looked tired.

After having a brief conversation about their health,

she rushed down to discuss it with mom.

Mom and Mimi discussed at length, on the condition of Elsa and Milly,

they looked tired and dejected, Mimi stated.

The solution Mimi proposed was simple….

‘I think they need to eat some Parathas!’, with a glee in her eyes.

Mom thought that the Parathas were too big for them,

so Mimi suggested that they should be small like a dot on a plate.

So there, mom made the dots duly rolling and frying them.

Mimi carried them upstairs for the very tired Barbies.

After a couple of minutes what followed was a sweet song.

Mom was chuckling to herself.

When  Barbie had a Paratha, what followed was a sweet song!

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The place

The place beckoned each time she sat on the bus and passed it.

The smell of the place filled her senses.

The gleaming lights, shelves filled with books, quiet interiors

was a delight to witness.

However, what attracted her most was the smell, a musty, lingering smell

one that promised stories and secrets.

Hours could easily pass by just standing in one corner, with a book in one hand

and the smell creating an aura around her.

The shelves were all categorised as fiction, crime, biographies, history etc…

She always stood in front of the fiction shelf

each book title enticing her to enter the land, yet unexplored.

Dramas, love, passion, life, all trapped within those well-thumbed pages.

It was the most serene place where excitement brewed in every corner

It was the library!

 

 

Rejection

She stood by the door clutching a bunch of wildflowers in her hand……….her new dress splattered with mud and her face grubby.

She wants to gift them to her most beloved person, she is all of six years old! However she is scared her new dress is spoilt, the only one she got during this festive season, she had strict instructions to look after herself!

Her eyes are a mix of confusion…..love, sadness but the foremost being rejection!

 

He loved recitation and even though he was an amateur, he grasped the opportunity to recite verses at events!

He proudly posted his first public performance on the social media. He then checked the site every second, if possible, it had only been 5 minutes since the post was published.

Already his head hurt, his eyes were glazed and his palms were sweaty from continuously holding the tablet. There were no likes yet!

He was disheartened, he shuddered at the prospect of rejection!

 

She was new to the city, she wanted to make friends. She had met a few people at a social gathering, at the community hub.

After work she would like to catch up for some coffee and meet some people. Hastily she texted a new person, inviting her to join her at the cafe!

A whole hour had passed since that text, she checked her phone frequently! She felt sad and lonely. She did not like being rejected!

 

Snippets here and snippets there…..

Of all the human emotions that we have, the fear of rejection looms large. It plants itself early on in our lives and grows into a tree by adulthood.

With time however, our ability to be patient with another human being lessens. The onslaught of the internet has severely decreased our span of attention, limited our inability to give ‘TIME’. We quickly feel rejected and unapproved.

Yes! the key is time…….

 

Image result for time

 

Image sourced from Google*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 5 days

In Hinduism Durga Puja is the worship of the mother goddess. It is celebrated each year during the months of September/October. In Bengal ,in India it is a 5 day festival where the Goddess is worshiped as a destroyer of evil.

She arrives at her mother’s house along with her 4 children Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartick and Ganesh.

At her feet lies the demon god Mahisasura.

Mythology states that Mahisasura was wreaking havoc on all people on Earth. So the people all prayed together to the Goddess to destroy the evil and protect them. Thus arrived Devi Durga, resplendent on a lion, bearing weapons in her ten arms. Mahisasura at that point realized that his end was somehow near. Yet, there was fought a bloody battle , where finally the Goddess slayed him and he lay at her feet.

Each day of the Durga Puja has a significance related to this tale.

On the 6th day, Sasthi, among prayers and rituals, she is decorated with all her weapons, to signify her readiness for the battle.

On the 7th day, Saptami, the Goddess  is invoked with special prayers to give her life and more strength and power for the battle. The significant among them is the ritual involving the banana plant, Kola Bou Chaan.

On the 8th day,  Ashtami, the demon is killed by the Goddess, hence it is the most significant day of the festival. The highlight being the ‘Sandhi puja’ which is is conducted at the meeting point of the 8th and 9th day. In this puja 108 diyas are lit and amidst constant beating of the drums and blowing of conch shells a special prayer is offered.

On the 9th day, Nabami, grand aartis are held with various festive items like mirrors, conch shells and fans.

Finally arrives the 10th day, Dashami, it is time for the Goddess to return to her husband Lord Shiva, in Mount Kailash, along with her children. A time to bid adieu with a solemn promise to meet again next year.

So, as we gather to celebrate another year of such festivities, it is opportune enough to recall or understand the underlying meaning of the Pujas. It is a reminder for all to curb their animal instincts and live together in peace and harmony.

 

Image result for durga idol

Cycle away…

Being born and raised in a bustling metropolis in India, learning to cycle was a far fetched idea.

With my house on the main street, and cars whizzing past all the time, cycling was never an option.

So that 2 wheel vehicle was an enigma to me all my life!

Yes! Until my little ones started cycling…………my aim was to make them do all that I couldn’t first (strange fetishness I say!).

Then the day came when they just mastered the art and would go off speeding on the cycle paths. With poor me huffing and puffing behind them!

No, it was time to learn the cycle.

The teacher my very reluctant spouse, who soon graduated to become a relentless coach!

Phew!

I learnt to cycle finally.

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It felt good, it was freedom of sorts, a dream was achieved.

Most happy were my children, as they were my strongest supporters and cheerleaders.

The day finally happened when we would all be out and about on our cycles, exploring trails or simply going to the nearest supermarket.

The final glory came on that day when a very ambitious lady organised a 10 km ride and I signed up for it.

The day dawned cloudy and blustery , each gust of powerful wind shaking my will power, I stood the ground I needed to do this.

Many other people had signed up for it too.

The time finally arrived when we were off on the cycle paths, a whole bunch of us, cycling as  a group.

It was tough as the path sloped up and down and tested my legs, the wind blew my helmet off as well…

But as I completed the ride, the sensation of having achieved something was phenomenal, however small it might seem!

As a quote on a social media site says…

“A path emerges when we walk on it”

So, my bicycle diary continues….

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Luchi

Coming from the eastern region of India, Kolkata to be specific ‘Luchi’ is something quite dear to me. To the uninitiated, ‘Luchi’ is a food item, made out of flour specifically, round and fluffy, deep fried in oil. In other parts of India it is referred to as a ‘Puri’, a cousin of ‘Luchi’, as ‘Puri’ is mostly made out of wheat. If you are wondering whether this is healthy? Well! Not by any rational explanation, considering that it is deep fried and made of flour.

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However, my post is not about discussing the health benefits or the lack of it, of ‘Luchi’. My post is about Luchi.

So, there I was frying some Luchis, trying to prepare a meal for my children, they love it too! The faint aroma and the sight of it brought back memories of another day. Another time when I was a little girl myself.

Some days I would hop onto the school bus only to be told by the bus driver that I was being dropped off at my grandmother’s place (maternal grandmother). I would be delighted to hear it. The reason being Luchi! Didima (my gran) would mostly prepare  them if she knew any one of her children or grand children were visiting her. The trip to her house was a gastronomic delight.

She is a woman of habits and discipline, so lunch would be served only after I had taken a shower and changed into fresh clothes. The whole process was a Luchi day- dreaming exercise!

After the essential things done, I would hop onto the table. Sometimes food would be laid out in advance. It was a spread. There would be around 7 to 8 items on the plate, all in small portions obviously, and there would be Luchi. White and round, just like a small tennis ball. She was a great cook, her style vastly different from my mother’s. I loved eating the food she cooked and she gave us the whole variety. There would be vegetables, dal, greens (yes I ate them too!),fish and sweets of course along with rice and Luchi. The aromas from the plate was heavenly and I did feel like a Queen being served a lavish meal.

This was not my meal plan at home at all, this was gran’s house’s many delights! Now at that time my grandfather was also alive and he was the sweetest man around, sweet in all possible literal sense. He had a sweet demeanour and loved sweets and indulged us (grandkids) to the hilt.

During the summer holidays in school, sometimes my cousin would come over to stay at my grandparents and I would join him. That meant playing all the time, we would play away hot, sweaty afternoons as the fan whirred slowly above us, completely oblivious to the heat. Then from a distance came the sound of the ice-cream cart, a man’s voice shouting ‘ICE CREEEEEEEEEAM’, that was our wake up call. We would rush to our grandfather, who was napping, wake him up and demand ice cream. The sweet man that he was, he never protested and gave us money to rush down the stairs and stop the cart, to buy ice-cream.

What followed was the next few minutes of glee as we licked off ice cream from a stick while our grandfather watched us amused. He would often sit down to play a game of cards, mostly solitaire. He would spend hours playing them by himself, completely unruffled by the chaos we were creating around him.

Luchi, yes! that was the trigger. It took me away from my present and gave me a peek into my childhood. A childhood in my maternal grandparents house, my grandfather died long back but my grandmother is still alive. A very frail woman living in a retirement home. To see her or even think of her like this fills me with sadness, such is old age! She is now a shadow of the woman she used to be, strong, assertive and very capable. Her cooking skills long gone, her house where we visited her often, long sold. Sigh!

So, as I fry my Luchis, I wish I could serve my children such a wonderful spread as I was treated to. Alas! Present day lifestyle prohibits such a thought. While the Luchi fries and puffs up, sending an aroma with another wave of nostalgia, in barges my child…………..

Dad in a rush…

Life is a journey of moments, good and bad stringed together through a single thread, like a necklace. Each necklace carefully crafted to be different and unique by the master jeweller!

The beads which represent the good parts maybe small or big, it is up to us how we define them, or give importance to them.

So is my life! Mostly filled with routine chores and mundane jobs. However, I might clarify I like routine, normal, mundane life it is safe and secure. That does not mean I don’t have my share of happy beads. This following incident is a small, happy bead which brought humour to my otherwise normal day.

So there is a  dad in my world, a dad devoted to the family, a very hardworking dad. Dad tries his best to please everyone, especially his children.

So dad gets ready to go out for work at the same time his kids are getting ready to go to school. Setting an example you see! (A very non-smiling statement by me)

On this particular Thursday dad goes swimming before heading to work, his timings are carefully planned.

But what could dad do if the alarm failed to go off?

So dad got late, very late, embarrassingly late (his swimming coach will glare!).

But still dad went about his business, greeting the children in the morning, helping them with their breakfast and waving them off to school.

Then dad rushed, he usually packed his swimming bag along with his formal wear, shoes and office bag into his car. The routine is to head straight to work from the pool. So there, dad gathered his stuff.

He took all the things. Opened the door of the car and shoved all his stuff inside. The car’s engine was switched on and off went dad.

His first stop the swimming pool.

He got out of the car, opened the car and prepared to take his things as he had to change inside. So, out came the swimming bag, formal wear and .. but where are the shoes? Dad looked and searched frantically. Panic was setting in, the shoes were new and cost a pretty penny. No shoes means a detour back home and time lost!

Exasperated dad looks up and lo! behold! What did he see?

His shoes on the top of the car. All the while it was there, as dad drove from home to the pool.

Dad doubled up with laughter! What a ride?!

By the way, the story does not end here. Dad is late remember! He rushes to the pool, certain to get told off by the coach. What does he find? His coach was absent for that day, not well he was informed by the substitute.

Gratefully dad jumped into the pool.

Image result for dad cartoon

There, that is my small happy bead. Hope you enjoyed it.

 

 

 

The Unexpected

She looked at the mirror, gave a final touch.

Then she was ready for her day.

Her beauty did not lie in her makeup, it was her smile

A slow, wide smile which lit up her whole face.

She looked forward to her day.

She had just given birth to a baby

Today she would be able to take that bundle of delight home.

She was ready, ready in her best possible attire.

Friends and family had poured in steadily for the last few days,

congratulating her and wishing her.

Her room in the hospital was filled with flower bouquets.

Finally it was time, time to go home and fill it with joy!

Her husband was there, his face reflecting happiness and pride.

Family life was about to begin, their own little joyful nest.

She went…..

She returned….

Back to the hospital, this time without the smile.

This time all alone without the baby.

This time with her husband who had confusion written all over his face.

She had lost consciousness, she was barely there!

Doctor’s verdict, she has suffered a stroke.

Long nights, tense moments, fervent prayers.

All happened, all experienced.

Then the day arrived, she was decked out again in her best possible attire.

She was surrounded by family and friends.

She did not have her baby with her.

She did not wear her smile.

She was just there physically, her soul long gone.

Miracles did not happen, though books say they are a reality.

A shock coursed through her entire family.

Darkness, darkness everywhere.

Is God still there? A baby cried in answer!

She lives on through her little one!

His needs are foremost and honest.

The rest as they say, time is the best healer.