Wednesday, August 25, 2010

About breaking stereotypes.

I cringe when Kolkatabashis  look at me with a snobbish attitude when I feign ignorance about discussing theater and cinema. I had written this one a while back for all the Probashis here who have still not outgrown their love of the decade that they migrated from their beloved Kolkata. They seem to stay frozen in time, rolling their eyes at the new band music or even Hindi songs being played in Durgapuja. The irony here is that their children seem to thrive on Bollywood music and walk away from the auditorium when they hear All India Radio artists crooning songs they have not heard before.
Growing up all over the country , I have come across all sorts of names Bangalis give to people from different parts of the country. As JAP points out , we have a name for everyone. I was born in Bihar and raised in Andhra. So I have heard the term Hindustani quite often. The relatives always used to say that we live in Madras(anyone from the south of India was from Madras).

The Probasi Bangali
 Let me tell you a bit about me –the Probasi Bangali
A ‘kaalchaar’ less brute- maybe a huge anomaly
Born in the green belt and grown in the plateaus
For the Kolkatabasi –I can be as well from ghetto.

I love to watch Ray but need a dose of Amitabh too
I can read Bankim and can grasp my Premchand too
Kurusova’s cinematography I might not fathom
Even Karan Johar movies I find really dumb.

The Rabindrik dance will never be my favorite style,
But Ananda Shankar’s moves always bring a smile.
Jibananda’s poetry-I will never get the gist of it
But Sukumar Ray’s Abol tabol is my all time favorite .

I love my mishtis but sneak away from my machher jhol
That’s not a Bangali there” you say “ there’s some gondogol”
Bhoomi and Chandrabindoo’s music I seem to enjoy,
Tell me -which Bangaliana in me does it destroy?

Bengal has never been my home-it’s a place I go to visit.
I like its ever-changing pace, with its intelligence and wit.
I may not be the bourgeois, neither the traditional bhadralok.
I am just a Probasi Bangali, just a new branch of the old oak.

This was written a while back for the annual Durga Puja magazine .I got a lot of sneers for not getting Jibanananda. Whatever people say, I refuse to box myself in one category. At the end of the day, aren't you the person shaped by your experiences?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They love the term -"We are like this only"

They seem to proclaim as loud as they can.
"We are like this only-Do whatever you can."
They'll never mend their ways come what may.
They like to see themselves stagnant every day.

You must be wandering what I am talking about.
Just look around yourself,you'll find them out.
They like dancing their bulb changing Rabindrik dance.
Anything innovative puts them in a deep trance.

They seem to live in a country that was a decade back.
Anything newer than that, they seem to be taken aback.
They have immigrated from old country ages ago.
But they hold it tight, never seem to let go.

A Superbowl party catches them offguard by a mile
They would rather discuss Manoj Mitra's theater style.
The new Bangali bands seems to be a huge nonsense.
"We are like this only"-seems to be their only defence.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A trilogy to Victorian romanticism

I started the story of my two protagonists with "A chance discovery-A gift of my lifetime" which was The Beginning, and continued with "Life goes on!" which was about The Hope. I was asked by some how this journey of my protagonists would end. Will it be a happy or a sad ending? This is what I think the ending should be. I have chosen to theme it as The Waiting and its named "The anticipation- Will we meet or won't we?". Whether its happy or sad, its for you to perceive.

A chance discovery - A gift of lifetime

As I went and sat by the sea just as I do everyday
To experience the sounds and sights of a new day
A stone I had; which I polished and threw at the sea
Wanted the sea creatures to feel its smoothness with me

So many of them popped up and said they liked it some
There was this stone who thought that it was just yum
So we talked about how we both liked well tasting stones
We both liked spicy stones, tangy stones and sweet stones

A mere stone I thought, I think it needs some polish to shine
So I asked the stone "Would you like my company to dine?"
And it said "Why not, you get the food and I'll get the wine.
And you will immensely enjoy this charming company of mine."

Thus started the slow discovery of this rough stone that I know.
I wondered " Is this stone really rough? Or is it just a show?
So I reached out my hand to get the feel of its texture
And came across a smooth feel, maybe for its kind gestures

The stone was not rough, but was tickly and made me laugh
When I hit a rough edge, it would always bring the "moony side up"
My curiosity piqued, there was something unique about this stone
It looked rough from a few angles, but for a polish, it needed none.

I asked "Do you like being how you are- Whats your little secret"
It said " I am pretty happy with the way I am- I have no regrets"
"And how did you turn so smooth?" asked my ever inquisitive mind
"Oh I was a tough cannonball before, left many a fire behind"

"But that didn't get me anywhere, life has taught me a few lessons
Some at home, some with my family, and a few even in the legions
I have withstood many a thunderbolt that life has thrown at me
Took a few hits myself, some to the heart and some physically"

Then I realized: This was just no ordinary rough edged stone
I very "much like"d this one ,who had a shine of its own
So I started to probe more, to see if I could get to know it more
And the more I touched and felt it, the more it touched me to core.

There were some cracks on it, coz it had got some raw deals
You see, I know how to take care of stones and wanted it to heal
If you think I was the stone's caregiver, I would say you are wrong
Because as the stone started healing, I too would heal along

As I discover the stone each day, I have finally come to realize.
This one's a keeper, but it will take it some time to acclimatize.
I don't want to hold hard, lest it would crumble into fine dust
I just need to nurture it some, and it will soon become robust

But I accept the stone as it is, like a package of damaged goods
The wounds will heal and soon it will emerge from the backwoods
Until then, I will take care, nurture and nourish it with all my heart
Have found my rare gem, will never let go and never let it fall apart.

"Tomorrow will be another day"-What did Scarlett mean by that? Was it her indomitable strength that made her say those words? People say that she was not going to worry about what happened and take care of it tomorrow.I think she was trying to say "No one is indispensable." And its time to move on as life will surely help us heal over heartbreaks, over passing away of our beloved. As Leann Rimes would sing " Life goes on, and its only gonna make me strong". So here's to all the Scarlett O'Haras of this world, including me, who will persevere in spite of what life throws at them.


You want to leave, vanish for ever-"Sure, be my guest"
I will not give in and am not willing to be your conquest.
You think I will yearn for you, and let my life wither away
You are so wrong- for me "Tomorrow will be another day"

Life is a combination of sweet and sorrowful times we have
I will get over you and face the world like I always have
Have survived a few heartaches; one more won't make me sway
Will get over this one too- for me "Tomorrow will be another day"

As Leann sings "Life goes on", I will sing along with her too
No one is indispensable; I will continue my life without you.
It might be tough, but I will wake up and survive each day
Its going to be fine dear- for me "Tomorrow will be another day"

The time that I spent with you will always be memorable for me.
As you say " You leave an etch, I will take you to my pyre with me"
No hard feelings here, as we were never meant to be together anyway
I will savor these memories- for me "Tomorrow will be another day"

So here I say to you, "Goodbye my friend, may life be good to you"
"May God give you strength to face all the crap life throws at you"
You are a survivor and I promise to write your life's story some day.
You just have to turn back and ask- for me "Tomorrow will be another day"

I think the line from Chandrabindoo's song is very apt here.
Jodi bolo ari, tomakeo chhede jete pari-If you want to part ways, I can leave you too.

See, its not so bad after all. Life is good. Life is interesting. The sun is shining and the glass is still half full.
And that brings us to the final destination.But is it a destination or the journey that keeps us going, that makes our hearts go pitter patter?Maybe its both.

The anticipation- Will we meet or won't we?

its another friday night and am coming home...
i started thinking abt u so i wrote this poem....
reminiscing of the ways u held me and the way we kissed ....
i could go on for days but all would still be missed.....

someone like u a best friend one of a kind,,,,,,,
there is no other way to put it u are my perfect find....
together at last cause we have waited so long.
i still feel u with me even though u are alone.....

sunsets and sunrises are what get me through....
all this waiting builds up there is notting i can do.....
as april diminishes may becomes memories of the past..
our future unfold and the time has come its june at last....

i have been waiting so long just for a glimpse of ur eyes......
the way u look at me and make me melt inside.....
the waiting is over and the moment is finally here......
july is graduation as i tremble with fear...

as august passes by, the summer seems so long and drawn...
the fall colors seem faded as I lie sleepless till dawn...
october's festive season is dreary without you around me...
I spend another Thanksgiving gloomy in front of the TV...

I think the holiday season will finally bring me peace
with you decorating my tree, I will finally feel at ease
has it been a year already that has passed without you
maybe if I open my teary eyes, I will find me beside you..

however it still the same night the same tear of my face......
i wish i could hurry time as if it was a race....
i just want to see u and hold u so tight.....
make u fill with laughter and sleep with u all night.....

too bad its just another friday drive on my way home.....
still thinking abt u as i finish this poem

That ends my trilogy of Victorian romanticism. No more love for me. I would much prefer to write satire. Thank God it is over.
Take care and God bless.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Valentine's Day-A retrospective

Note: Written for last years valentine day.

The most hyped about holiday, where $$$ or INR or any other currency gets wasted to show your significant other how special they are. Why, what were you doing on the other days, moron, drinking with buddies or busy chatting with girlfriends when your significant other wanted to do some cootchycooing. We never do anything special on this day- why should there be a time set to express affection?

V-day-An introspection

Would a candlelight dinner in a classy restuarant suffice?
Or a bunch of roses and a box from Godiva chocolatier entice?
Maybe a Hallmark card or a diamond solitaire can do the trick?
Oh you sure have innumerable choices from which to pick!!

Why do you need just a day to show your love to dear ones?
Are you too busy sitting in that corner office making millions?
Are you a jetsetter, who has to even prioritize your own kin?
Are you too short of time amongst deadlines- stretched too thin?

When you have that free time ,see things around you and introspect
Shut your laptop or magazine and think if this is even worth it
Would you spend time with the spouse or that cute child of yours?
Would you just spend some time with them by shutting the world's doors?

So my dear friend,stop and take time to smell the roses and lillies
Take time to enjoy the moment that you spent with friends and family
When you are gone , your kith and kin should like what you accomplished
Your lonely obituary shouldn't read "That person had a great corner office"

This went in my blog today after seeing all my jetsetting friends spending their entire life in offices and planes and hotels.
Happy V Day

What will this Valentine bring?

Note: This was written last year to commemorate our 10th Valentine.

My third Valentine gift was a poem written by my husband. Twas beautiful and it still makes me a bowlful of mush when I read it.Here's what he wrote for me.

Valentine 2000

Snow falls on the pines outside,
The air is fresh and love is in the air.
Here, my sweetheart you are so close,
Without you, I was extremely morose.
As we snuggle close to each other,
On the West Side of the Clinton river.
The magic of love is so endearing,
We hold hands and no words spoken.
Yet in a million years, we are never separate,
We travel together in the dreams of eternity.
Love for us is so unspoken, so understood,
We just held hand and watch the wood.
I may loose everything in life's race
But as long as I have you my valentine,
I will constantly float on cloud nine.
With wings you will join my quest
It will be along an endearing conquest.

So as I sit to write on this Valentine eve, I look back at the years spent together, the stolen moments, the tempestuous arguments, the making up afterwords, reminiscing the past and dreaming about the future- it has been one hell of a journey. This year is noteworthy as this is my 10th Valentine with my fellow traveller.Yes travellers we are, in search of something that will bring peace.Kind of like the mrigatrishna- will the thirst be satisfied? Here's to you Snehasis, for the rebel that you are and the sense of humor that you have, for sharing ten eventful years with me.

What will this Valentine bring?

Will this Valentine bring new awakening?
Will this bring dreams for a new beginning?
Will it hold the charm of the beginning years?
Or will it hold apprehension and unkown fears

Will you be there through tough times with me?
Or will you just shirk and shy away from me?
The road looks darker, but light seems at the end
Will we brave together, or take different bends?

Will you be my beacon and light my away?
Or will you shut the doors and stay away?
Life is tough and the journey seems tougher
Will you brave the paths by being together?

Do you think we will fulfil that dream one day?
Of taking that boat on lake Eerie and sailing away
Will you ride my Harley with me to key west?
Will you fulfill that promise of endearing conquest?

Maybe love is not so unspoken any more
Maybe love needs to be shaken to the core
Love seems to be competing with life's race
Can we chase love, Can we reembrace?

Happy V day.