Monday, November 26, 2007


It’s a dull day as usual. I am about to witness another boring day passing into oblivion, dragging its tail to eternity. These hours always haunt me, memories make mayhem inside my office-browsing soul. The fading voice of a distant 'paperwalla' outside the glass window brings back long forgotten tales. An indifference, almost glacial, spreads itself over the expensive ceiling of a Calcutta office. I try not to look behind.

And then the dam breaks open.

I see a boy peeling an orange in a small town. He looks back in bewilderment and my world takes a tumble.  I try to look away with all the sagacity that my world can offer me! I see dada, my grandfather, trying to acquaint a little boy with Jogindranath Sircar. I see his radiant eyes and innocent smile. I try not to met his gaze.

Perhaps, everyone of us has started to play different tunes from what we used to play earlier. Wisdom prevails. Hard and concrete wisdom, Euclidean in its very essence.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Freedom thou art but an illusion!

When bullets sing hymns to praise our spineless existence, when genteel lines take the form of a wrinkled prostitute, when corporate indifference makes you shiver inside your three-piece, you lose your dignity to live as a human being.
You try to retrieve the humane values, you try to rekindle the old flame with a serendipitous commitment. Even the most introvert of them all throws a clenched fist towards the sky and utters his conviction aloud to protest against fascism.
And only yesterday, I have been categorically told by one son-of-a-bitch that I won’t be allowed to join today's rally. I could have thrown my resignation letter on his face, I could have beaten him all black and blue.
Instead of all that, I had to keep my mum as you can’t really resign without a two-month notice, and after all, you argue only with people who have a heart beneath their customary exterior.
I shall quit this job exactly after two months. But, that’s not why I am writing this post. I would like to see everybody joining the rally and make full use of their vocabulary.
We'll fight together. It is not roses, roses all the way.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Candle in the wind

I loathe the megalomania of Kolkata during the autumn festival. Disarrayed psychosis gradually evolves into a shapeless mass, apparent, yet inconceivable, in a strange medley of humanity. However, the series of life and its majestic tragedy remain unaffected, perhaps a bit pumped up, by this throng-mania; but mainly unaffected.

Some tragedies stay do not seek recognition, and some create a lasting ripple to steal their place in history. The death of a certain Rizwanur Rahman belongs to the latter category, and quite contrary to our wonderful indifference, it has touched some raw nerves. 

This death actually has raised some questions about the basic value of freedom, of whether it could be determined in a multi-biased social reality.

Rizwanur and Priyanka had not obeyed the stigma of social ethics, in an otherwise free economy, and, interestingly enough, the final equilibrium has been achieved in a most unethical way.

Like a single violin fades out to the harmony of a hundred bugles, the importance and freedom of human expression ultimately ebbs away, once we get into the cliché of perfunctory reality. The value of an individual, in units of intellectual and physical productivity, only diminishes as the beauty of incoherence gets lost to the mechanised make-belief world of concrete present tense.

Somehow, this city has its share of ecstasies and agonies. Despite our king-sized ignorance, a group of fellow citizens have decided to show their defiance to the system that has killed not only a person, but a plethora of promised dreams, by lighting up candles in front of our college. Hats off to them, I wish I had the courage.

The spirit of love and innocence is going to haunt the conscience of our neon-lit city. May the candles absorb the collective darkness of shattered dreams.

Let’s hope.

It’s better than doing nothing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Take a bow, Joan Baez

Some things never leave you. They smack of the essence of existence itself. They, in a way, are way above the sign of God.
I still remember the moment when I first heard the voice of Joan Baez. It was a cruise through a galaxy of dazzling stars. Her voice, her ability to hold on to each of the notes, transformed the physicality of sound into something very lively, so lively that it went beyond my understanding of the cycle of nature, it touched the vibrancy of ancient freedom.
This particular post is dedicated to her. Hats off to you my singer, may you remain forever young!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


September evenings in Calcutta reek of unadulterated nostalgia. Sepia-tinted afternoons often remind me of a small alley, of MM tuitions and of economics! Yes, those evenings had been my angel of angels, my flower of flowers! Incomprehensible microeconomic problems, or a little peeping into the world of a certain Mr Keynes used to excite me like anything, God, how I have been in love with the subject!
Things have changed since then.
 I still love to watch the mad rush of random variables and parameters all over the city, their calculated movements. This autumn will bring forth the memories of yesteryears. The sight and sound of Durga Puja will penetrate me drop by drop. I'll take my refuge inside the frozen traffic of glacial indifference.
I have a strange kind of bond with these four days of absolute madness! They happen to be my nemesis!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy Day and Mondays

It’s raining like anything.

Down the memory lane, half-forgotten tunes are streaming in through the bars of everyday indifference, and wonder of wonders! I never realised that Bengali modern songs have such an influence over me, that I am such a hopeless prisoner of Rabindranath, Salil Chowdhury and Suman.

The brilliant sanchari of "chaaya ghonaichhe bawne bawne" is beyond words. I see innumerable arrows of sharp waterdrops upon the musical plane. A sense of deprived longing hovers over the entirety of existence.

And, then, the miracle happens. A voice, resembling the monsoon sky, moist with tender pain, bewitches us with its deep resonance. "Rabindranath brithai bhejen, brithai bhejaan"! All these words absorb your graceful lies, they penetrate the deepest truth that there is. It has always been there, even before the stars were born, even before the idea of a Godhead was conceived.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Victorian Vivacity

A dimly-lit lamp, cobblestones, street urchins emerging out of dark corners, foggy lanes with people trudging up and down with top hats. A perfect detective story almost always leans onto the reign of Queen Victoria. Honestly, I love the feel of London more than the elements of mystery in a Sherlock Holmes story. How wonderfully those stories reflect the little eccentricities of that era!
Since then, Scotland Yard has become the perfect abode for Lestrades of this world. It does not allow for the hook-nosed genius of Conan Doyle’s imagination. They just don’t make them like him anymore.
If we take a short break from the smoggy streets of London for some fresh country air, Victorian England provides us with a black-robed priest. Don’t get fooled by his innocent looks and constantly blinking eyes. He knows the darkest secrets of criminal minds, almost like daily sermons. Father Brown can smell crimes in an otherwise serene hamlet; religion has its macabre instinct quite on the good length spot!
These two sleuths not only solved crimes with their amazing process of detection, they also showed us the peculiar charm of Victorian values, and enhanced the dimension of historicity for the goggle-eyed pedants. Regardless of the mystery stories they are known for, we stay glued to the characters as they reflect the socio-cultural peculiarity of a period that looks so distant and yet is so familiar to us, the charmed ones!
What about modern detective stories then? Do they have any place in the history of literature, or, say, in the history of a population’s reading habit? With a wry smile, a tall gentleman of 221 B Baker Street curls his lips in mock amazement, and a faint sound –“elementary” hisses through his mouth.

Modesty, they say, has never been the hallmark of the true genius!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

To a memory

It was very uncomfortable. Standing there and flashing idiotic smiles to half-known faces. I am not the one to get embarrassed too soon, but yesterday was an exception. Unknown faces, to be true, do not matter much. It is the semi-familiar people who have always been an enigma. I cannot get into a thorough conversation with them, and they never cease to inspect you with expectant curiosity to start one! So much for socialization.

And, it hurts most when a friend turns the table on you. So, there is no solace even inside the garden of Eden, this world is getting too wise almost against my wish!

There is a wind where the rose was.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A muggle's take on "the boy who lived"

It’s the end for all of us, face it, there shall not be Harry Potter books any more. We, who have shared the agony and ecstasy of the boy-wizard, are feeling hollow. The realisation is dawning upon us, like a slow and painstaking eventuality.
Unlike most potter-maniacs, I have been introduced to the Potter books quite late. I still remember the occasion, my sister was preparing for her first semester, and yours truly had been trying to help her through the long night. However, as everybody knows, undergraduate minds need some precious hours to attend to themselves. Those hours were my first glimpses into the world of wizardry, based on a borrowed book from our next-door neighbour! I was a little apprehensive about the phenomenon called Harry Potter, perhaps a little high-brow about the stuff that the book might contain. By the time I reached the middle of the first book, gone were the prudish feeling of all-knowing foolhardiness. It was like an epiphany, I had completed five of the Potter books in the next five days. The rest is history.
What amazes me about these books is the élan with which the pagan world has been combined with basic Christian values, the inner contradiction inherent in the structure actually works as the strength of the entire work, and let me add that it would not have been possible without the Polyjuice potion of Mrs Rowling’s brilliant imagination.

Thank you, Mrs Rowling, for all these years.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Like a foggy evening in a winter town here goes my serenade to you

I once walked by the river of Lethe
And found it cool; and gentle too,
I wanted to wet my palm
With its water and remember you!

Through young autumn's hue, I looked afar,
There was no star in the sunny sky, 
'Silly of me', I thought and smiled
When the mighty river shimmered and went dry.

I wanted to run from the place
Haunted by the guilt that bit into me
You, the baby of night, shot me down straight
And when I was dead, laughed in glee.

All was lost, or so it seemed,
When you found my palm wet with blood;
Then you shrieked and forgot your way
For the river came back and cooked you a flood. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Diamonds and rust

It was two years ago that a pencil-thin boy felt quite apprehensive about his first day at a certain management school. With almost an air of cynic desperation he entered through the main gate. There were unknown faces all over the place and, worse, faces brimming with corporate confidence. Tentative and a little coy, he was determined not to show his irritation to his classmates, and quite contrary to his habit, gave himself away to the Band-wagon effect. In his heart though, he knew the futility of it all, and like a reeling tail-ender, surrendered his plastic reality to the terrifying fast bowler. Only in his case, it was a sudden impulse to throw it all away in a moment.

Suddenly, with a blast of raw verse, friends started to pour in. Tathagata and Chandreyi, they are among the best things that happened to me! Unadulterated adda sessions took the place of hard-hitting crap of management studies, safe and sweet corner of the canteen seemed like our destiny for the rest of eternity.

Now, let us get back to the present progressive, we are going through our last phase of exams, and, after it, who knows! Some friends will go to the top, with insatiable ambition; some will rue their misfortune, and I, the joker, will see everything through the stained looking-glass of an incurable cynic!

It feels bad now that everything is over. Something is lurking beneath the merriment. May be, it is the shadow of the memory of those classes I never did attend, or, perhaps, it is the dark corner of our canteen!

You can’t help some things. Miles to go before I sleep, and, miles to go before I sleep.

Monday, June 18, 2007

On exams and ennui.....

Let us get very frank, exams do not mean anything to me these days. They seem rather clichéd and boring. I am getting immune to such little farces. Cold indifference has taken the place of pre-exam blues. In dime stores and in stations, people talk of situations, read profound-looking books and write quotations, to get through, just through.

Autumns ago, I used to get annoyed, out of sheer ennui. Now, I do not give a damn.

Today was my first exam of the final semester and, well, I am not going to fail in it. I was as unprepared as a piece of new willow, but Chandreyi was there and I scraped through, with more than liberal help from her. It was not a particularly pleasing experience. I hate copying. Call it a cyber-confession, or anything you like.

Except some wonderful moments of real camaraderie, today’s exam was quite a drab one, as usual. We all have exchanged a walk on part in the war, for a lead role in “the cage”.

I wish you were here, oh how I wish you were here!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Deliriums of a smug idiot

These short outbursts of erratic genius were supposed to have no heading. However, as you can see, I have changed my mind. Only the other day, I was watching a group of policemen performing their holy duty of killing people, and, what more, they were wearing head-gears to protect their valuable pates. That inspired me. And, obeying that divine inspiration, to its last spark, (politicians would have called it the inner voice), I provided this piece of writing with a head-gear, to protect my blessed head where these ideas swarm and grow up!

As any hyper-active brain would have told (ours have been a processed one straight from the proletariat factory) anyone, mine told me not to brood over the dimension of reality. Reality is not unique in its most real form; it is ubiquitous at the very least. Piously Marxist-- the people of West Bengal are, thirty years' revolution has made us seasoned enough to become like-minded. For the sake of camaraderie, everyone can see an inherent class-structure peeping through the veil of reality. As great Marxists are allowed to have one or two lean patches (see our beloved chief minister for example), I really doubt the exactness of the relation between class structure and reality. Reality, we may define as a hard and real stare at class-structure, or it can be a fake vision of our subterranean philosophy. It is easy to mould reality, and, at the same instant, it stays as hard as a rock-- that is dialectics for you in a nutshell. Thus our attempt to define the uniqueness of reality fails miserably. Oh, accept it, be a gallant loser! But, being a gallant loser does not count in our reality, or gallant losers are unreal in our reality. It, however, is always possible that they are kicking hard in another reality, which is quite beyond our real sense of reality!

Fantasy is a medley of latent possibilities that our reality unknowingly nurtures, or knowingly avoids. The norms of our reality have a tendency to perfunctorily regulate our daily emotions. In it we exist, only because we must. We shape our reality only to soothe ourselves and often end up getting shaped by the reality itself. When things happen outside our own frame of reality, we fantasise it with vivid isolation. After all, fantasies are momentary disequilibriums. All our thought-processes are destined to make the system more viable, equilibrium has always been our angel’s angel!

Elfin fantasy does have its gory moments, though they look like moments of glory to some relics of our species. Perhaps, I am being harsh to a lot of people in describing the nature of such dreamy climes, all our day-to-day proceedings are just fantastic, they are governed by the spell of the full moon, silver surrealism is what we are going through. Nandigram, a nine-letter word, is only one of the very few islands of stark reality, amid this fiesta of rainbow-coloured fancies! May be, reality and fantasy are two sides of a magic-coin, you never know what is what!

Quiet evenings often trashes the grandeur of our very existence. Nandigram exists within us, as a diabolical symbol of reality and, at the same time, it never ceases to be our elfin unreality. It remains a vision in which reality and fantasy merges into each other, perhaps, pointing towards some distant future.

I am getting nauseatingly poetical and worse, philosophical, in a rueful manner. Let’s get personal to get away from my intended poetry. A figure, almost an ethereal one, with some kind of biblical vagueness, often winks at me from nowhere. Boy, I was only a tin-drummer and wanted to please her with my jugband blues! At that moment, reality, real reality, got under my skin. Angels came and glowed into the sun. I had shouted like hell--"Beware doll, you are bound to fall”-- she only frowned back with icy indifference!

Feelings, sometimes, can get incredibly Zimmermanish.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Confessions of a chocolate-eater

Horrid horrid world and tiring songbirds. They depict our reality only too well. Mellow afternoons come and mellower afternoons go; with the same tinge of melancholy, as always. Lonely bus stops often go hazy before my eyes, and, I see a lonely boy wandering through the streets of this strange, strange city.

I only lower my eyes to avert the gaze of my burning self in the sun.

It is me I am talking to, and it is you I want to convey my feelings to. But, you only casually hear what I say, you do not really listen to my epic ballads. I blabber and blabber, without getting to what I really want to tell you. We reach for each other and, deceive ourselves with utmost care and precision!

At last, evening descends. The faint mockery of the setting sun disdainfully turns its face away. It is not dark yet. A pale moon rides on to the horizon. Its bewitching light takes us to a surreal plane, so different from our stay in the sun.

Nobody is going to set the controls for the heart of the sun, in this magic trance where children kiss fairies with effortless grace. Spiral tramlines repeat themselves to the end of the world. The bloodstains of a solitary poet lends colour to the blue-grey hue of a distant star.

Moist with one drop of thy blood, my arid soul!