Saturday, March 27, 2010

Candid Love!

I love early morning candid conversations and occasionally over a jog. A childhood buddy of mine who had been to the Garden city for a short-time professional assignment accompanied me to these early morning trips. This fine day, when we had finished with our usual round of jogging, both of us sat down on a neat wooden bench.

The park usually at this hour had visitors of all ranges. While some were seen strolling, most of them were engaged in Yogashanas, some found time to sit around a cup of chai and so on. The scene gets a completely different look in the evening when most of the young couples invade the park, and then the mundane routine of laughter is overspread with romance.

Rony wasn't looking in his best spirits today, and I could make it out. He is that out-of-large humorous guy who keeps on spreading love everywhere. Incidentally, he had a breakup sometime back and though he told me about it, I never quizzed him on the serious aspect of it, but I sensed that he was a little disturbed and kept staring at the cell phone for time and again. Unable to resist myself I finally asked, "what is wrong?"

At first Rony was not willing to open up and share the thoughts but after sometime he started talking. It was about his past relationships and how he missed her. This is not something new. I knew Rony was a committed person and spend a great deal of time in adjusting and nurturing his relationships. But, apparently, he did not understand that girls sometime fall in love just to come out of a bad relationship.

And, this was true in his case. His ex had never cared for his emotions, never cared to understand what he had seeked in their relationships and left him all straddle. She came into Rony' life after an immediate break-up in which the guy used her for physical gains. Rony gave her the support she needed in
that emotional relationship, but she used him and left him of a saddle.

It was Rony' birthday and after whatever had happened between them he still thought she would ping her. But she did not. "Fine, we didn’t work out. I’m not gonna talk to her again. Not in a million years. Not even when she sends me a message to say she’s in some trouble. Am I being hard hearted? No I’m not. After whatever happened it’s only logical that I maintain a stony silence. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m not a saint .

I can’t behave like one either; forgive/forget and speak to her is not possible any more. If in a relationship one person doesn’t respect the other, calling her/his only in the hour of need then the whole thing stinks- not of friendship, not of lust, but a rotten kind of love. There’s love here. No denying that. But it’s gone bad. And what do you do with something rotten? Throw it away… "

Rony felt relieved now. It was time to leave the place, but this time Rony left with a peace of mind.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

That Love for Tintin!

This post is a tribute to my favorite comic hero: Tintin (

As a kid growing up in a middle-class family, I used to impatiently wait for my birthdays. It was a very special day for many reasons, but mainly because my maa would prepare payash, baba brought Elish mach and aunty gifted me another edition of Tintin comics. And, the latter was the dearest to me.
Amongst all the gifts that I have received till so far, Tintin always drew more interest than anything in my life. The comics, its characters, design and layout and the content-everything was so special. It was like I was one of those characters of the creator Herge. Tintin was special to me in many sense maybe because I could easily identify me in him.

Like Tintin' miniature figure, I was of an average height, of feeble strength and good at solving crossword puzzles. But what clicked for both of us were our ability to love mysteries.Tintin was a figure in my bed room; my friends presented me a poster of him, which I believe is still hanging in the wall of my room though these are decorated by the scores of telephone numbers today and my matriculation roll no..
I think I first read Tintin at my aunt' place, and if I am not mistaken it was titled The Shooting Star, and I did not get up from the sofa after reading it. I loved the content especially dialogues of Captain Haddock, friend of Tintin notably 'Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles' and 'Thundering Typhoons', Snowy', Tintin' dog who could possibly found a piece of bone even on the moon.

The murder mysteries and Tintin adventures were something to read and reread. It was an absolute delight! The manner in which he used to do research, put on his thinking caps, dived into dangers and so on were something to fall in love. Even in my days of childhood, when I used to play chor-police, I was always that clever Tintin.

Time passes and today I have the complete edition of Tintin comics-something that I couldn't possibly purchase when I was a boy. I also read somewhere that ace director, Steven Spielberg is going to come up with a movie shortly on the life of Tintin. It will be worth waiting. And, to conclude with a secret: I love Tintin more than my girlfriend.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Great Bengali Escape of 1971!

The 71’ war of East Bengal, now Bangladesh has left miserable rhymes in the hearts of many. Thousands of Bengali Hindus were stranded homeless and fled to India. The word ‘refugee’ came to haunt again and retold a many stories.

One of them was the great escape of a Bengali family in Sylhet- a father in his sixties with seven sons, five daughters and an ailing wife. The family of Purakayasta ensured that life was simpler and enjoyed their companionship.
Their father, a strict disciplinarian to the children and a dutiful husband to his wife ensured that the family upheld the values and practiced every Hindu custom in an Islamic environment. Bangladesh was not formed then, and though there were a sect of people who were anti-Hindu customs then, it still had a large section of people living at peace with other communities.

The moment had arrived when any longer of their stay in Sylhet would mean a sure 'death' for them. Their Hindu neighbors most of them had escaped to India without even telling them. It was a case of fleeing but where to run?

India was the only county who had kept its arms open to East Bengal. The then Prime Minister of India, 'Iron Lady' Srimati Indira Gandhi had been a strong advocate for the formation of Bangladesh, and she had clearly embraced the refugees coming from East Pakistan.

The family had two daughters married in India; the eldest daughter married to an Accountant in Shillong, Meghalaya and the other married to a Banker settled in Silchar,Assam. Shillong would not be the correct option for them as the route was not that easy. So, they settled for Silchar. Their daughter was wired of it. But now how to flee?

They knew that had to escape during the night hours and without any luggages. But, it was easier said then done. How could the family leave everything and flee all of a sudden? But they had to flee. So, they started digging holes in their backyard and stuffed all their objects- sarees, ornaments and so on. They kept the radio switched on at nights, so that armies knew everything was safe.The family hired two boats to take them from Sylhet to Karmigang in India. It was one of the safest routes for them-via water. The women wore burqas and men were in lungis. As they were sailing, the boats used to often encounters other passengers, who were thrown coconuts for FREE. All this were done to avoid any sort of disturbance.

Anyway, the family arrived safely to Silchar and soon the war also got over. Couple of the daughters also got married, and when they went back to Sylhet they were surprised to see the armies didn't touch their backyards and all.

"And, that is how I met your Baba in Silchar." said Maa. There was a sense of nostalgia that crept a shiver of tension in the spine from a far distant. I went to the nearest window and saw a boat sailing by.

The night had just arrived, and I felt maybe it was one of those nights that the family had escaped from Bangladesh by their sheer wisdom and bravery. Indeed, apple and blackberry were just fruits then.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Poster Kiddo!

A smirk on his face may be considered by most of the commuters of Sulaiman street of nothing substantial. But, for the barefooted kid wearing rags, a torn pant and a white shirt, enough to cover his lean body, but enough to show his bones, he was the happiest kid in around.

Boys of his age go to the nearby English schools wearing the brightest of uniforms and in fancy cars, but the kid never ever bore an interest. He was contended in his world adoring the walls of Sulaiman street with posters of the Southern film stars. He was provided errands for it, and he loved his job. Everyone used to call him the poster boy, and he loved the name and so the job.Investigative journalists of Kab Tak channel were doing a series of programs on slum kids in Mumbai. It was probably due to the recent success of Oscar winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. And, the channel started visiting the slums of Mumbai to collate more information on them. Sulaiman street housed more than 500 slum kids, mostly cobblers and beggars. Some also had taken the notoriety of turning them into the next underworld Don.

Mahesh Bhatt and Madhur Bhandarkar, notable directors were interested to do a movie on those kids. Sometimes international accolades can nurture national interest, but whether it is limited to Box office business, a case to be seen.

The poster kid those days were busy adoring the walls and theaters for the upcoming Rajnikanth movie. Interestingly,he was one of the few slum kids to be interviewed by Kab Tak channels had no emotion to express. The interviewer quizzed him enough, but she found nothing substantial to be announced as BREAKING NEWS.

Finally, tired and sweat pouring incessantly from her brows, she sat down in a chair. There beneath those curious brows, her eyes could see the poster kid getting inside a five feet municipality cemented pipe. She asked the vendor selling bhelpuri about it and was dumbstruck to hear that the kid stayed in that cemented pipe.

Curiosity she stood to get a glimpse of the place and suggested the cameraman to tag along. A foul smell hit her at the first instant as she came near the pipe. The lady could see everywhere dirt and poverty.

A sewage coming from the nearby apartments passed across the pipe. You could see it inhibited by mosquitoes, and amidst this saw a pipe. A pipe in which you have a small stove, some papers lying here and there, and in one of these you see the kid sleeping. She is left stunned to see how this kid manages to smile and sleep in this place? How?

After a few days, in one of her trips to this slum, she could see that same kido putting a poster on the wall. She could see that smile intact. She could not fathom the reason behind it.

Does he never cram to have a family and happiness or has his tears dried, after all he is just a child. She took courage to ask the kiddo one fine day and when she did, pat came the reply, " Aap to Aadat ho gayi hain". (I am used to it!) . Befitting Bollywood reply from a poster kido.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Reverse Ratings!

At some point in every man' life, he tends to use his high school Mathematics for a woman. Needless, to say, a man has already scored a quarter of a century figuring it out. But when the time comes, he is left with a sorry statement and an incident. Guess, I am left to share a piece here with you on this.

It was during our evening coffee break when Vikas and I were found strolling near the main entrance gate of XYZ Multinational company. Circles of smoke was coming out from the Viks chamber quite heavily. The client was very demanding and just an hour
ago, 51 customer requests had come. But, we wanted to keep ourselves away from this, even if it meant for a while.
While we were busy having a little chit chat, in came a cab with a new batch of freshers. The tech support team used to sit in the same floor with the engineering team. If you keep straight and take the first left, you will directly come across the tech support team-the only solace for us in the mundane environment.

The cab had some pretty faces and Vikas threw the bait to me-let's rank them kiddo. The Kiddo word had struck with me for a long time mainly to do with my coyness in demanding situations. I did not mind it though. But, at times, I felt I wish I could have changed it. Maybe, this was the perfect occasion to erase the tag. I said, "I'm on."

In walked couple of them from the cab and we started to rank them. Some had a '6' while very few earned a '9'. While we were about to complete the ranking, they walked in absolute gorgeous. We were about to say something, when we heard them saying, '5'. Yes, they ranked us 5. Jeez! I have stopped standing near the entrance gate after that.