Sunday, September 29, 2013


Memory is the vigorous oil massage. Strong mustard oil. In the sun. Thakuma’s* deft hands. When you were three years old. And stark naked. Memory is the scrapbook. History lessons. Mohenjo-Daro and Harappan Civilization. The slam-book too. Filled with illegible handwriting. Cheesy lines. Scribbled in glitter pens. Memory is watching Mahabharata. On Sunday mornings. After father picked up the weekly rations. Memory is Lalita Ji. And Surf detergent ads. Memory is writing letters. On postcards. And sending out Happy New Year cards. Memory is munching on Uncle chips. And washing them down with Gold Spot. Memory is Chitrahaar. And Superhit Muqabla. Memory is playing ‘Name, Place, Animal Thing’. With cousins on sultry afternoons.  Memory is  smelling erasers. In shapes of boats and bananas.  Memory is the stolen glance. And passing chits. Back in the seventh standard. Memory is Ludo. And Chinese Checkers. Memory is clicking pictures on the Kodak KB10 camera. Waiting in anticipation for the developed roll.  Arranging them neatly in family albums. Memory is reading ‘Little Women’. The abridged version. Text on the right. Pictures on the left page. Memory is draping a sari for the first time. On Saraswati Puja**. Already feeling like a grown up. Memory is playing gully cricket. With the brothers. Till you actually grew up. And were not good enough. In an all boy’s team. Memory is Durga Puja shopping. In Gariahat***. Pushing through the throng of shoppers. And hawkers. Sweat. Grabbing an oily egg roll after the shopping soiree. Memory is watching masala movies. In single screen theatres. The whistles and the hoots. Memory is going to the neighbourhood cyber cafĂ©. Accessing the weirdly named email id’s. Sweetypie56. Mainhoondon007. Memory is having conversations. Face to face. Memory is using an unsmart phone.

Memory is the last post on the blog…..

 Paternal grandmother
** In Bengal, it is almost customary for young girls (as young as three years old) to drape a sari on Saraswati Puja. 
** Gariahat, located in South Kolkata is a popular shopping hub, akin to Sarojini Nagar of Delhi. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Sadness is watching ‘Anand’. And ‘Mili’*. Sadness is not being able to shop for Durga Pujo. Thank you Mr. Jaundice. Sadness is the new pimple on the forehead. The morning before the engagement. Sadness is missing Maa’s chicken stew. Badly. The same stew which tasted bland and boring while at home. Sadness is thinking of schooldays. Unsolved X’s. Unfinished games. Undecided winners. Sadness is not being able to complete the last lap on the jogging track. Watching the fifty something neighbor surge ahead. The pet Labrador sprinting too.  Sadness is the unresolved fight at two in the morning. Sleepy eyes. Unsleepy souls. Sadness is getting blisters on the feet. While pandal-hopping with friends. A yearly vocation. Sadness is not reading enough. Wanting to. Not being able to. Somehow. Sadness is backache. Thanks to the wretched posture. And the laptop. That pay cheque at the end of the month. Sadness is looking at the unkempt wardrobe. Two days after the clean-up. Or so you thought. Sadness is not spotting sparrows in the neighbourhood. Anymore. Sadness is not solving the daily crossword. Completely. Sadness is not breathing. Deep enough.

Sadness is not being able to put up the new post on the blog….

* ‘Anand’ and ‘Mili’ were Bollywood movies of the 1970’s starring Rajesh Khanna and Jaya Bachchan respectively. Both the movies had sad endings.
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Monday, September 23, 2013


Happiness is noticing the pink water lily standing tall in cheerful defiance amidst the wilted week-long red roses on my study table vase.  Happiness is watching Tom’s futile endeavours at outsmarting Jerry. Again and again and again. Happiness is stealing a spoonful of Milkmaid from the fridge. Savouring it with the eyes and then the tongue. This, in the second week of the jaundice bout.  This, in the second week of surviving on ‘pepe and moolo sheddho’*. Happiness is cracking the ‘googly’ question on Dadagiri** before Sourav Ganguly and anybody else answers it. Happiness is finishing Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest novel in less than a day. Happiness is fitting into old clothes again. Like a dream. Happiness is listening to Bob Dylan. And Tracy Chapman. Happiness is receiving surprise bouquets while at work. Happiness is marveling at the sheer success of the first shrimp curry. Happiness is getting tickets booked for Coorg and then cancelling them for tickets to Kolkata. Just because you are homesick. Happiness is dancing to ‘Ek do teen’. And dancing some more. Even when breathless. Happiness is watching Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sonar Kella’ for the 36th time. And dying to watch it for the 37th. Happiness is re-visiting embarrassing childhood snaps. Happiness is applying the perfect coat of nail paint on the right hand with the left.  Happiness is in the realization that the tablets for the gluten allergy are no longer necessary. Happiness is hearing Maa narrate Jimmy’s 'fantics'*** over the phone from a distance of 1359 kilometres. Happiness is reading old copies of Tinkle Digest and Amar Chitra Katha. And re-reading ‘Little Women’ and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’. Happiness is sleeping on his chest and being party to his soft snores. Happiness is not setting the alarm clock for the next morning.
Happiness is putting up the new post on the blog……

* Boiled papaya and radish, a must-have diet for jaundice patients
** A popular Bengali TV Show in the format of a quiz competition hosted by Sourav Ganguly
*** The fanatical antics of my pet Labrador Jimmy

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Friday, September 20, 2013

A thirty inch waistine
And not so perfect thighs.
How I still long to be
Kareena Kapoor's size....:(

Dark circles under my eyes
And pimples on my face.
Beautiful body and killer looks
I seem to be falling behind in the race.

Day-cream, night-cream, eye-cream, toe-cream
I keep them all by my side
For I am afraid of laugh-lines, wrinkles and crow's feet
Even when I am about to die.

I want to get a liposuction done
A tummy-tuck or two.
I want to pout like Jolie does
Or even Deepika Padukone would do.

I want a hundred likes on my selfies
On Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
I want the virtual world to know how cool I am
Even though my life is so dull and drab.

I do not care for smart people around me
As long as I have my smart phone.
I have a thousand friends online
Why do I then feel so alone?