Sunday, December 11, 2011

My only way of handling disappointment is to take the blame myself. It is way easier to deal with heartbreaks and loneliness when I can convince myself that the mess, indeed, is not in the other person but in my brain. Because I am my strictest teacher, harshest critic, strongest monitor. The heart, it must be reigned in. The brain, it must be organized. Dependence on other people must be whittled away to zero. One must be strong and one must be independent. It is way easier to sternly rebuke oneself than it is to wait for someone else, who will not turn up anyway. Crying alone in the loo is way better than embarrassing myself in front of a second human being. No one, but no one, must know that each phone call from home is making me die a little bit inside.

It is probably not a healthy way to deal with life's problems but it works for me. Being independent is the last straw I clutch at, because nothing else seems to make much sense nowadays.

I wish 2011 would get over quickly. It's fucked with my heart enough already.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Se obujh, kheyali, se bheeshon ekaki, aabeg sob-i taar toh fnaaki.

Every day when I wake up, I pray for that strange emptiness in my heart to go away. But it never does. The bus rides to office through the dusty Noida roads are the worst. I plug in my mp3 player and stare out of the window, trying to resist thinking about it. But the problem with letting my mind wander is, it inevitably settles on the inevitability of it all, and every dusty corner I turn, I wonder why I live this life I do. Counting every penny, living in my head half the time, and choosing to stay in this city while one incredible soul battles with a hundred tubes and beeping monitors in a cheerless hospital hundreds of miles away.

First proofs, second proofs, perfect grammar, companion Web sites, who gives a fuck anyway, when each phone call from home sends you into a panic attack and all you want to do is curl up in a fetal position with a comforting shoulder by your side and you try and you try but you cannot block out everything you want to?

This is a rambling post and it shouldn't have been up for everyone to see. But I needed to get this out and I needed somebody to read it and there was no one I could mail it to. Ei mondar bajare, readily available comforting shoulders for a self-obsessed twenty three year old are hard to come by.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Growing up is not all it is made out to be. For example, this weekend, I'm looking forward to:

1. Cleaning the bigger loo.
2. Getting the rice cooker fixed.
3. Cleaning the top of the fridge. (The red ants are killing us)
4. Pestering the plumber until he comes over to fix the leaky pipe and the broken washer.
5. Getting quilts down from the loft and sunning them.
6. Buying a nice overcoat for myself from Janpath before the temperature dips to single figure and the prices shoot up.
7. Cooking the leftover pork in the fridge.
8. Making the long overdue mutton curry for my roommates.
9. Finishing A Song of Ice and Fire.

Previous weekends usually involved extensive hours on the phone, obsessive texting, and mailing. But I've given up on the last two (because I figured there's only so much of one sided conversation one can take) and am slowly working on curtailing the first one. And therefore, I'm left with the list above.This isn't really how the life of a twenty three year old, living away from home, should be. Apart from finishing that strangely addictive book, I do not see a single thing that gets my adrenaline pumping. The future, my friend, is bleak.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart... I hate love.

- Neil Gaiman

Friday, September 16, 2011

I like to look out of the office windows on days like these, when the sky decides to tear itself apart. Rain makes me want to write. It makes me want to purge. It makes me want to effortlessly string words together so that every bloody thing churning around inside would find a specific slot outside my head. Once, I would be able to do that. But writing has gone away from me. From my hands, my mind, my head. It is time I admitted that the half-baked whines I come up with are boring at best, and mindnumbing in their ordinariness at worst. For years, since I was a little kid, writing has been like the yellow brick road. Like the platform number nine and three quarters. It's been like Malory Towers and Kanasona and every fucking place I created in my mind to escape from the grinder that is reality. It's all I've ever known. And I don't know WHAT to do with my thoughts now that the words simply do not form.

I can cook now. I can manage cranky authors. I can pay my bills. I can even deal with long distance boyfriends. But I just. Cannot. Write. Hell, I cannot even compose a semi-decent paragraph on, say, cows. Or about how I am slowly slipping back into the void I tried so hard to get out of. Or about how I'm stuck in a rut of pretend-happiness and super-politeness and cannot make myself snap out of it and grab someone by his collar and SAY 'Hey you? That thing you said? That was kinda mean. And it hurt. And I don't like the fact that I have to TELL you that it hurt. You are supposed to KNOW. So, how about I punch your face instead?'

I read like a crazy maniac most of the days. And every time I read a beautiful paragraph or a particularly breathtaking string of words, I stop myself and try to think, honestly, whether I would be able to come up with anything like this. Ever. And I know that I can't. Especially now that the magic of words eludes me completely. And every bloody time I come to this conclusion, my heart breaks just a little.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy post.

For all my whining and existential angst, I'm not really unhappy here. No, really, I'm not. I revel in the anonymity that this city gives me, I like not bumping into known faces at every corner, I like the fact that I can order in Kababs at midnight. I have also decided that I love winter in this city. The bright colours, the morning misty breath, the need to wear three layers well into February gives me a high unlike any other. I like the independence. I bitch about my hardships, but there's a rather large bit of me that likes paying my own bills, cooking my own meals, deciding that I want momos for dinner today. I like coming home, fixing myself a stiff drink, and reading the newspaper. Knowing that, if push comes to shove, I can muddle along without anyone's help has calmed that part of my psyche which goes by the name of Marvin: The Paranoid Android. There are days I feel like shit, there are days I feel on top of the world. But at the back of my mind, I always know that there is no one else to blame for the shittiness.

Maybe this is what it feels like to be a grown-up, and I'm not half-bad at it.

Also? In case anyone was wondering, amar autobiographyr naam debo Noshto Meyer Upakhyan. Just so you know.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The city I want to go back to, only exists in my head. The sepia tinted images roll on like an old film and make me smile. It is, however, unfair of me to expect it to stand still, waiting to welcome me with open arms when I am, myself, a completely different person now. If I can change, why can't my home? Because people leave, people change, things blow up. The adage 'more things change, the more they remain the same'? That's bullshit. Because NOTHING remains the same. NOTHING. Not you, not me, not my room, not my streets, not my head, not my heart. Especially not my heart. Today it is almost full, tomorrow it might resemble one of those soggy Marie biscuits one finds at the bottom of the jar and throws away with a cringe. I don’t know. I can’t tell. No one can. This time when I go, there will probably be someone waiting for me at the airport. Last time when I went, there was no one waiting and I took the Volvo bus home, smiling at the unfamiliar billboards and nodding to the compulsory Chandrabindoo song in my head. Next time when I go, I might be alone again, but I might frown at the billboards instead. Every time the plane lands amidst the humid, sprawling sea of humanity I try to close my eyes and breathe in the smell and try, try, try HARD to go back to how it was. It fails, everytime. Because friends leave, and there are empty spaces inside, there are empty spaces outside, and it is strange, really, how a crowded city can give off a scent of utter, desolate loneliness. I try to hug it hard, whisper comforting words, tell it that it's going to be okay, that I'll come back, that my friends will come back, that the desolate stretches will fill with laughter again. It doesn't work. Because whatever else my city might be, stupid is not one of them. Writing about it has become more and more difficult. I struggle to find the right words, the exact phrases. I struggle to fit it with the picture city in my head, long after that photo has been torn, shredded and fed to the bugs. English is a goddamn frustrating language because it hasn't come up with a word for obhimaan. My city, I think, obhimaan korechhe amar opor. And I can't blame her for that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jokhon class eight e portam, tokhon ekbar Tasher Desh hoyechhilo schooler annual function e. Sekhane sobai miley cholo niyom motey gaantar sathe nechechhilam. Durey takio na ko, ghaar bnakiyo na ko, cholo somaan pothey, cholo niyom mote... Onek raat kore bari pherar swadhinota othoba boshar ghore beer crate othoba dupur ektay ghum theke otha othoba chocolate cake diye breakfast saratakei niyom bhanga bole na bodh hoy. Arekta, deeper niyom achhe. Chokhe dyakha jay na, kintu bnedhe rakhe bojro aantuni te. The soul, if I may be so cheesy as to use the word, chafes against it. But the more you chafe, the tighter it grips. School, college, chakri. Bas. Er bhetore theke ja korar koro. Baire berio na ek paa-o. Swadhinotar illusion ta niye khushi thako dinbhor, kintu jei bhabbe chakri chharbo, jei bhabbe McLeodgunjer kachhe ekta cafe te koyek mash kaaj kore dyakha jaak, jei bhabbe hothat ekdin beriye pori, tokkhuni sei odrishyo niyom ek hnyachka taaney namiye anbe maatitey. Bolbe, raat dutoy bari theke beriye drivey jete parchho...ARO swadhinota chai? Oto beshi chaite nei ma, soibe na.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Happiness er jonyo kono kichhur opor dependent hoye porlei problem. As long as your own mind and a good book are enough for exhilirating happiness, you are good. The moment an external factor slips in, unnoticed, despite a thousand precautions, tokkhoni tumi gachho. Ekkebare pa pichhle aloor dom. Tokhon tomay ulto gadhar pithe choriye, mathay ghol dhele, gram theke ber kore dewa uchit.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 30

Your favourite book of all time:

In the light of all that I've said earlier, I can't possibly answer this question without contradicting myself horribly. And thus, with a question I refuse to answer, I come to the end of this VERY demanding tag. I mean, do you people know how hard it is to write on books EVERYDAY when you have several deadlines to meet and bills to pay and dinners to cook and parties to attend and phones to make? Anyways, it's a been a good ride. I've re-read, remembered, and written more this past month than I've done in years. And that's all, folks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Day 29

A book everybody hated, but you liked:

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh. However, everyone hated can be translated to a couple of my friends hated. But they did have pretty strong opinions about the book. And me...well...I didn't agree. I'm generally rather fond of the period this book talks about, and I've always found Amitav Ghosh rather readable. Granted, it wasn't my favourite book by Ghosh (that would be Shadow Lines), but I wasn't overtly disappointed with it either. But then, this might just be the Amitav Ghosh fangirl in me speaking. Ah well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day 28

Favourite title:

And here I thought that I was done with naamkoroner sarthokota... after Madhyamik. Apparently not. Well, just so that this gets over quickly, here's my answer.Gorom Bhaat O Nichhok Bhooter Golpo by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Even though technically it's not a book, but a short story, the name is kick-ass, the story gives me goosebumps, and it led me to other brilliant stuff by the same author. Gorom bhaat. Don't these words conjure up a most beautiful image?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day 27

A book with the most surprising plot twist or ending:

This question made me realize, with a shock, that Agatha Christie has not been mentioned even once in this long and rambling book tag. (THE BOOK TAG WHICH REFUSES TO END, BY THE WAY!) This is really strange, partly because I love her and have read almost everything she has ever written and partly because, much to the chagrin of a lot of people, I think Hercule Poirot beats Sherlock Holmes any day. Christie is superb in the way her long and rambling narrative of the typically idle, upper-class English life lulls one into a false sense of security, before BAM! the second cousin is dead, the valuable necklace is missing, and you have a dangerous lunatic on the run. To make up for not writing about her before, I will mention TWO of my favourite Christie books as an answer to today's question. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and Curtain: Poirot's Last Case. The latter is actually my most favourite Christie book of all time. (I cried at the end of the book. Yes, embarrassing, I know.) The plot twists in both the books made me gasp out loud. And it takes a lot to do that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 26

A Book That Changed Your Opinion About Something:

Buro Angla by Abanindranath Tagore. Because before that, my tiny brain thought it ludicrous that good painters could be good writers as well. In my defence, I wasn't more than nine at that time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Day 25

A character who you identify with the most:

Agness Nitt, or Perdita X Dream from the Discworld books. I'm not half as sensible, nor can I sing in harmony with myself. However, there are at least three people living inside my head at any given point of time, I used to love (still do) the stage, and chocolate always makes everything better.

Look at how annoyed she looks that the vampire is trying to get her throat! Vampires manage to annoy me too! Yes dear Twilight series, I'm talking about you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day 24

A book you wish more people had read:

When Daddy was a Little Boy, or Baba Jokhon Chhoto by Alexander Raskin. Because it had beautiful illustrations, because it had a brilliant storyline, and because it inspired in me the life long habit of sneakily reading books in bed at night.

I will get to visit Moscow one day.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 23

A book that you have wanted to read for a long time, but still haven't:

Being really under read makes answering this question rather difficult. But because I haven't got that much time, I'll just mention The Outsider by Albert Camus and get away with it for now.In my defence, I started reading it and then the universe conspired against me and the book got misplaced when we were shifting houses. What makes not reading this doubly distressing, is the fact that I apparently hold a Master's degree in literature. * cringes in shame *

Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 22

Favourite book that you own:

My issue of Femina with Kunal Kapoor and Neil Nitin Mukesh on the cover. Because I think these men are hot. And because the pages of Femina are so glossy and colourful and the magazine is always filled with pictures of very expoensive but useless trinkets (e.g., a bottle of dark green eye shadow worth INR 2000). Glossy pages and useless things make me happy!

p.s. Here you go. A stupid answer to a phenomenally stupid question.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Day 21

Your favourite book as a child:

My childhood was more or less spent with, around, and lost in books. My mother was able to make me perform many an unwelcome task(noticeably, pages of hateful sums) with the promise of a good book at the end of it all. I devoured anything and everything that I came across. As a result, I had done stupid things like reading almost all of Sharatchandra by the time I was eight.Predictably, it wasn't a very good experience.
Probably because of the global communist brotherhood, my steady supply of books as a child included a lot of Russian literature, and I loved all of it. However, my favourite, till date, remains this obscure book called Chuk ar Gek by Arkady Gaidar. I read it in a Bengali translation and my copy had a cloth cover and was filled with delightful black and white water colour illustrations. The book tells the story of two young boys called Chuk and Gek, who, along with their mother, go to visit their father in the remote Taiga. It is a beautiful beautiful book.

Onek onek durer ekta shohor. Bodh hoy sei shohorer naam Moscow. Duniyay tar theke bhalo shohor ar kotthao nei...

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Day 20

Your favourite romance book:

Sharadindur pray protyekta oitihasik uponyas. Kaaler Mondira. Gour-Mollar. Tungobhodrar Teere. Karon romance bolte shudhu toh hero-heroine er bhalobasha noy, romance maane ei deshtar ashchorjo itihaas, romance maane Kanasona, romance maane Atish Dipankar, romance maane boi er pata theke uthe asha jeebonto sob choritro. Romance maane bola, 'amar sokol diya tomake apon koria loilam...'

Romance maane gaaye knaata dewa. Protibaar.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day 19

Your favourite book that was made into a movie:

Karon unkel kothata shunle ekhono amar ga chhom chhom kore, keu rattirbela bnadur bole ore o bhai sojaru... bole uthlei ami ekbar edik odik takiye niyi, durga thakur dekhlei mone hoy asurer gaa diye kirom gyal gyal kore rokto berochche, captain spark er boi ami ekhono porte chai, africar rajar kotha bhablei mone hoy mukher bhitor nishchoi chewing gum diye bohumulyo murti atkano. Karon je kono din, je kono somoye ei cinema ebong boi ta obyartho anti-depressant er kaaj kore.

p.s. Er lekhok/porichalok ke ekhono ami biye korte chai.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Day 18

A book that disappointed you:

Because I love the Mahabharata. Because Karna is my favourite character. Because the blurb excited me greatly. Because I bunked a few classes to stay home and finish this book. Because a few pages down the line, it morphed into a Mills n Boons story. Because my favourite epic with its breathtaking complexities was reduced to the following song - Hum judaa, ho gaye, raaste kho gaye, magar hum milenge, yeh yaad rakhna, meri raah takna... One knows that a book is a disaster when it can be summed up by a song sung by Amisha Patel in a tight red lehenga.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Day 17

Favourite quote:

"Its a poor sort of memory that only works backwards', the Queen remarked.
'What sort of things do you remember best?' Alice ventured to ask.
...'Oh, things that happened a week after next', the Queen replied in a careless tone.'For instance, now,' she went on...'there's the King's messenger. He's in prison now, being punished; and the trial doesn't even begin till next Wednesday: and of course, the crime comes last of all.'
'Suppose he never commits the crime?' asked Alice
'That would be all the better, wouldn't it?'the Queen said...
Alice felt there was no denying THAT.'Of course it would be all the better', she said:'but it wouldn't be all the better his being punished.'
'You're wrong THERE, at any rate', said the Queen:'were YOU ever punished?'
'Only for faults', said Alice.
'And you were all the better for it, I know!' the Queen said triumphantly.
'Yes, but then I HAD done things I was punished for', said Alice,' and that makes all the difference.'
'But if you HADN'T done them', the Queen said, 'that would have been better still;better and better and better!'

Self explanatory.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Day 16

Your favourite female character:

Delirium. From Sandman. Because she doesn't do perfection. Because she is kick-ass in her own way. Because even her eyes are mismatched. Because, according to me, she is the most powerful Endless after Dream. And because she thinks that twinkle is a nice word and so is viridian and she once met a lady who had a fish.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Day 15

Your favourite male character:

Him. Because ...grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Day 14

Your favourite book by your favourite author:

My previous post makes this question null and void. Therefore, I get away with not writing anything today! Heehaw.

However, just for the greater good of humanity, I should possibly mention that I recently bought this book and everyone should basically do the same immediately. True decadence fascinates me like nothing else in this world. (I'm not kidding, people! One of these Maharajas had more than 600 dildos! And some of them were made of clay! And he married a penniless English porter's daughter within three weeks of meeting her! And...well I should probably stop now and you should probably go get your hands on this book.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Day 13

Really? You sure I'm not eleven and this is not an Archies slam book I'm filling up? Who on earth thought that this would be an interesting question for a book tag? Exactly HOW am I supposed to pick my favourite writer? Do I pick Sharadindu, for his sheer lyrical confidence over the language, and leave out Shakti Chattopadhyay whose lines hit home like nothing else can? Do I pick Satyajit, if only because he gave me Bonkubabur Bondhu, and leave out Leela Majumder with her Bormibaksho, and Abanindranath Tagore with his Buro Angla and 'Kon thakur? Obin thakur. Chhobi lekhe...', and Poroshuram with his Goddolika Probaho and let me not even GET into Rabindranath. I ,also, cannot possibly leave out Terry Pratchett. If only because he gave me Lord Vetinari to crush upon. Nor can I ignore Neil Gaiman, with his dark, dark imagination and uncanny ability to balance delicately between the almost real and the almost unreal. Should I leave out Roald Dahl then and forego the countless hours of goosebumps as well as pleasure that his curiously intense works have given me? Do I exclude Somerset Maugham and the long school days reading 'Moon and Sixpence', sitting on the last bench? Should I leave out Pablo Neruda, even though some of his lines make me choke everytime I read it? Even J K Rowling jostles for attention. Her creation enthralled me for seven long years, and continues to do so.

This post can go on and on and I've not even mentioned one tenth of the writers I wanted to talk about.

Modda kotha holo je I refuse to answer this question.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 12

A book you used to love, but don't anymore:

The Fountainhead. Only proves how ridiculously strange I used to be as a teenager, that at one point of time this book caused a mini gushfest. Now I cringe when I realize that the book, effectively, glorified rape and that I, effectively, had a crush on the megalomaniac prick of a Howard Roarke. Also, the descriptions of the buildings? Erm, I will take my old fashioned Victorian mansions over the bizarre glass structures any day. Thank you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 11

A book you hated:

Adam Bede. I just don't get it why people fuss over George Eliot. I just don't. I read the book once when I was around ten, and I read it again after it was part of the 'fallen women in the 20th century novel' optional in first year. And oh God, where do I even begin? Mysogyny. Argh. Too much mysogyny. Argh. Triumph of meek, wholesome, bland girl over interesting, rebellious one. Argh. An intensely uninteresting hero who does exactly what you expect him to do. Argh. Page after page after page of boredom as the author goes on and on about I don't even remember what. Argh. A truly predictable plotline. Biggest argh of all.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 10

Favourite classic book:

Because "Stand up Scout. Your father is passing..." still causes goosebumps. Because of (sigh) Atticus Finch. And because of the following lines:

I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 9

A book you thought you wouldn't like, but ended up loving:

I generally find it difficult to read non-fiction for long stretches of time. It's probably my short attention span and ostrich like ability to shut out the entire world, but essays and articles have always weighed heavily upon my reader's soul. Therefore, I approached George Orwell's Essays with a certain amount of hesitation. I was pretty sure that I would glance through the pages and move on to other books in a while. I didn't. I loved it. My favourite essay, predictably, is the one on Charles Dickens, but I have numerous other favourites too. Orwell is one author who always manages to get under my skin and this book wasn't an exception. It mindfucked me in all the right places and threatened to come at me with a sledgehammer if I didn't sit down. And THINK. About things. It's a pity that they just don't make authors like this anymore.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 8

An overrated book:

Oh boy. I find almost every other book to be overrated. I nitpick too much. I think too much. In this case, therefore, I'll write down the name of the last overrated book I read.

Eat, Pray, Love. Enthused by my love for Julia Roberts and because several of my colleagues recommended this book highly, I bought it. I read most of it sitting in the women's waiting room of the Lucknow railway station and the resultant reaction was a resounding meh. It was such a typically American view of the world around and I have been so thoroughly exposed to the American worldview through popular culture, that the book had absolutely nothing new to offer. Of course, there were other problems, but the book doesn't even rile me enough for them to be written down. Meh.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 7

An underrated book:

This gave me a bit of trouble as whenever I like something, I am so tremendously enthusiastic about it that (at least in my mind) it ceases to be underrated. But if I HAVE to choose, it'll probably be Moyna-Shalikh by Leela Majumdar.
Till date, Leela Majumdar remains one of my favourite authors. People tend to box her neatly in the children's author category, but I refuse to accept it. For example, every time I read Tong Ling, I find something new to think about and it took me a long time to figure out the underlying theme of intense loneliness that runs through the book. However, as I was saying, back to Moyna-Shalikh. It remains a particular favourite because as a child I have fantasized about running away from home at least twenty thousand times. I still do, in fact. Whenever people discuss Leela Majumdar, they get a nostalgic glint in their eyes and gush about Holde Pakhir Palok or Podi Pishir Bormibaksho and such like, which makes me even fonder of Moyna Shalikh. Yes, I've always had a soft spot for overlooked geniuses. I think everyone should read the book. Preferably on a hot summer afternoon when they have nothing else to do. The language is beautiful. The plot is happy-making. The descriptions of the hills are breathtaking. And the only comparable thing I can think of is cool watermelon on summer days - it soothes the mind so. Also, it has my favourite kind of central characters - two little girls!

p.s. I always thought that I had read far too many English books and not enough Bengali ones. But this tag makes me realize that perhaps those few Bengali books made a far greater impact on me than the numerous English ones. Rokter taan and all that I suppose. Also, the only Leela Majumdar book covers I can find online are (predictably) Holde Pakhir Palok and Podipishir Bormi Baksho. So (instead of the customary book cover), here's a picture of the author herself to make everyone happy.

p.p.s. I went through my last posts and GOOD LORD! THE SPELLING MISTAKES AND GRAMMATICAL ERRORS! The posts show that I wrote them in a hurry. I shall nitpick and edit them, I'll have to wait for the weekend to do that. Ah well.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 6

A book that makes me sad:

Maybe it's because of the film, which has irrevocably altered my perception of the story. Maybe it's because even when I was young, my heart used to break over and over again for the fiesty Durga. I remember reading the scene where Apu goes to school for the first time and I kept wondering why Durga didn't accompany him too. And my heart broke a little more. I actually bawl for Durga every time I read the last chapter when Apu finally gets to board the train. Stupid, bloody train! Why couldn't the girl have boarded you just once? Gah.

p.s. Also? I hate this cover! I used to own the most wonderful edition of the book where all the illustrations were by Ray. But of course, they had to go change it to some hideous green thing instead!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 5

A book that makes you happy, i.e., a book you reach for when you are all alone in an unknown city, i.e., the literary equivalent of ghee-bhaat-dim seddho, i.e., total awesomeness.

Sharadindu Chhotogolpo Somogro. Because Bhollu Sardar. Because Pragjyotish. Because Haasi-Kanna. Because Kanu Kohe Rai. Because rarely does happiness come so neatly packed in a few pages.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 4

Favourite book of your favourite series:

The third one. No competition. For Sirius Black, if for nothing else. (Yes I am predictable like that.)

p.s. From the size of this post, can you tell that the weekend has effectively ended?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 3

Last night was a good one. For a brief twenty four hours, this arid desert like city had an identity crisis and transformed itself to a magical one. And while the storm was raging outside, and the rain was pouring down, we stepped out to watch a late night movie and jumped over sundry puddles, held on to our umbrellas with all our might and generally behaved like twelve year olds from Calcutta. And by God, it was worth it!
So when I came back from the movie and tried to settle down for the night while the wind was howling outside, the familiar weather made me reach for a familiar book. And because I would like to get back to it this morning, let's answer today's question and be done with it.

Your favourite series:

Was it just me, or were our school days dotted with ONLY books which came as part of a larger series? Enid Blyton is, of course, one prolific author in this regard. From Noddy to the Faraway Tree to the Famous Five and the Secret Seven, I loved them all and devoured them all and there was always the next book (with the same characters) to look forward to. Then there was, there has to be, the omnipresent tall man from Bishop Lefroy Road. I remember starting on Shonku when I was eight or nine and being inordinately delighted when my mother kept on producing books which featured my favourite bald scientist.
And even today, the reader's mind in me is always drawn to bigger series even today. (For example, recently I read all of the Percy Jackson books online.) Which brings me to today's answer. Frankly, when I read the question, the first name which popped into my head was this Bengali detective. The man I would've married if not for the small glitch of him being a fictional character. The man who taught me that kickass detectives could be home grown and even dhoti clad niriho bhodroloks can be rockstars inside.
However, the problem with this series is that, even though it is probably very close to my heart, I didn't grow up with it. I discovered the stories when I was twelve and went through all of them in about a week. And so, instinctively my mind turned to my favourite bespectacled teenage hero, and I knew I was home.
I've written about these books before. I've written about the hunger with which I waited for each new installment. I've written about how I begged, borrowed and stole, but made sure that I read them within a week of publication. I've written about how the impending movie version(which is the last of series) fills me with a sense of doom because that would mean that a perfect part of my childhood would permanently end. Riding through the roller coaster that my life is, I've always ALWAYS come back to this series. And even today, when heartbreak happens I curl myself into a little ball and reach for one of these books. Because, at the end of the day, magic is a powerful word. A powerful world.

Accio Harry Potter! And everything seems to be all right. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 2

This is where things get trickier. Propped up by an unlikely surge of adrenaline and the prospect of a perfect weekend looming ahead, protidin blog korbo likhe toh dilam. Kintu tahole ranna ta korbe ke, ar plumber ke phone kore pester korbe ke, ar Business Communication er boi ta thik somoye production editorial ke transmit korbe ke, ar majhrattirer interesting phone calls guloi ba attend korbe ke?

Jai howk. Because there is currently an electrician banging away at my bedroom wall while trying to install an AC, as well as a maid banging around pots and pans in the kitchen (and because both of them are emanating plaintive cries of 'didiiiii' at an interval of five minutes and because both my roommates have currently deserted this Saturday morning), I'll try and make this post as short as possible.

A book you've read more than three times:

My entire childhood was spent reading obsessively. Which meant that when new books were unavailable, I read and re-read the old ones till their pages fell apart and their covers came off and they literally cried for mercy. Books I've read more than three times range from strange Sidney Sheldon novels (specific parts of which were re-read during teenage years for anatomical...err...knowledge) to large the big fat Madhyamik text books (which were re-read under duress and peer pressure. Jeebon Mukherjee's history book, anyone?) Taking all of this into account, I'm interpreting this post to be about a book which I've read at least thirty times. A book I can quote in my sleep. A book I turn to for familiarity in a strange land. A book which goes with me wherever I go. A book which touches a chord every time. A book which defines my childhood. A book I've probably read three thousand times, and more. A book by a man who, if he hadn't died in his thirties, would've probably gone on to win the Nobel.

...ei chheleta bnachle pore tobe,
buddhi jore e sansare ekta kichhu hobe...

Hethay nishedh nai re dada,
Nai re badhon, nai re badha,
Hethay rongin akash tole,
Swopon dola haway dole,
Surer neshar jhorna chhote,
Akash kusum apni fote...


Friday, May 20, 2011


I don't update this thing half as much as I should. That is ironical, because on an average day I have around five different half-written blog posts floating around inside my head. Since currently I have the attention span of a two year old on crack, and good, coherent writing has stopped happening ages ago, I thought I would do this book meme which has been going around. This would mean that I get to write at least a couple of sentences each day. Given the current circumstances, where my mind is constantly full of grocery lists and deadlines, two sentences are basically worth their weight in gold. Or rum. Whichever people prefer.

Anyways, before I digress and go on to talk about the comedy circus that my life is, let us answer today's question and put an end to this mindless banter.

Day 1

Best book(s) you read last year:

Last year was a year which shoved me down and pulled me up, kicked me away and pushed me back so many times that by the end of 2010, I was a little motion sick and had difficulty remembering if I was standing on my head or on my two feet. Needless to say, reading suffered quite a bit. I read a lot when I first moved to Delhi and moved to the PG and knew no one and was confined to one room. Then, as my workload and social circle grew, so did the pile of half-read and unread tomes in the cupboard. I started reading The Outsider (Yes, it took me this long. Yes I'm suitably ashamed.) but the book got misplaced when we changed houses last year. Therefore, alas, I've not finished the book. (Yes, I'm suitably ashamed again.)I've a sneaky suspicion that had I finished it, it would've been my favourite book by far.
Keeping all of this in mind, I think Jaya by Devdutt Patnaik was the best book I read last year. I've always been fascinated by the Mahabharata and I read Shashi Tharoor's The Great Indian Novel right before I read this book. The latter was an interesting take on the epic, but the former just blew me away. The illustrations, the pithy notes at the end of each section, the anthropological observations - everything was just about right. It is rare that all the elements of a book come together in perfect harmony. But when it does, what an unadulterated delight it is.

Monday, May 02, 2011


Prem, preeti, kamona, basona, chumu, ityadi.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Roj roj

Dream a delicious dream involving nubile boys and old Calcutta lanes. Run around in that half-lit world till you feel something tugging at your consciousness. Toss and turn fifteen times before you realize that the insistent rickshaw bell is actually the maid ringing your doorbell with all her might.

Wake up with eyes still closed. Feel your way to the drawing room and groggily search for the keys while the maid rings away. Wince at the cigarette butts, the half folded laundry, the stash of books, the bottle of coke, the mess, the dusty papers, the dirty slippers. Search for the keys among them. Saroj is still ringing. Fail to locate keys and walk into the other bedroom. Trip over something in the dark. Remember that they are the quilts which haven’t been put away since winter. Stop for a moment and realize that the roommate is sleeping his way through the racket. Saroj rings away. Finally manage to locate the keys. Open the door. Collect the newspaper. Switch on the kitchen light. Go back to bed. But now, through half-lit Calcutta lanes, you can make out that the other roommate has gotten up. Saroj bangs pots and pans around in the kitchen insistently and you cannot keep Delhi at bay any longer. So you get up and brush your teeth. Pack your lunch with leftovers from last night's dinner. Two boxes - one for you two and one for the other curly haired roommate. Wonder idly what you'll cook for dinner tonight. Decide to pick up some chicken on your way home. Vegetarian food for three days on a row is getting to you. Suddenly remember that people might stay over tonight. Mentally add eggs and bread to that grocery list because you and your roommate always make breakfast for people who stay over. Decide to ask the curly haired roomie to pick up some sausages on his way home.

Sit in the little verandah and read the newspaper. First read the comic strips. And the bollywood gossip. And then glance through the headlines. Yes, you’re shallow like that. You don’t want to go to office today. But it can’t be helped. So drag yourself to the loo. Gt dressed. If you’re early, then put on a little kajal and a nice pair of earrings. If you’re late, then the shabby old t shirt will have to do by itself. It’s not like you could compete with the well turned out Delhi chicks anyways. Scarf down the breakfast that the curly haired roommate makes. The eggs are nice. You’d love to linger over them. But there’s no time. There never is.

The other roommate is ready to leave. But you don’t remember where you kept your purse. Or your phone. Finally locate it on the overflowing window sill. You’re running late now.

The Kura wala rings the bell. The curly haired roommate is taking a bath and you (or the other roommate) will have to take out the garbage. Damn, you’re really late. Calculate and decide that if you can manage to get the 8:47 metro (which is due in hree minutes), you’re safe. Put on your shoes and mentally run through the daily checklist. Metro card, check. Cell phone, check. Keys, check. Lunch bag, check. Sigh a little as you remember the amount of work waiting for you in that snazzy glass building you call your office. Wonder if you'll have to declare your yearly investments today and sigh some more.

You step out into the morning air. The roommate walks briskly ahead. Drag your feet a little and look up at the sky and wonder whether the Calcutta sky is as cloudless today, as brilliant a blue. Suddenly have an intense craving for some egg chops from Milon da. But then shake your head and start running towards the metro station, trying to catch up with your roommate.

You're an adult now, and a new day has started.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I'm slowly losing all my hair. Once upon a time, I had lots of it and now I'm almost bald. You can see my scalp if you look down on my head and because I'm very short, almost EVERYONE can see the sunlight glinting off my bald pate. I could shave all of the frizzy, curly mess but I'm afraid that would make me look like more of a freak than I already am. This is a vain and useless post. But I really don't care.

Friday, February 04, 2011

My blog is slowly dying. I cannot help it. It is bloody difficult to find something to write when all the days are endless repititions of themselves. There's only so much you can write about a new office, which, incidentally, is not exactly new anymore as I've been working here for SEVEN freakin' months. When I read my earlier posts, I well and truly want to delete them or cover them in a layer of slimy puke. The sheer volume of lovestruck, pining, badly written posts makes me wonder if life four years ago was really that overwhelming. It probably wasn't. I'm a drama queen like that.
Gah. I'll probably delete this entire thing one day.