Saturday, December 19, 2009

at five past twelve last night the phone rung. i have always been wary of late night calls, always. last time it rang to tell us that my pishemoshai had expired, leaving behind a very young daughter. that was 6 years ago and i can still remember my cousin holding my hand, her bright eyes swimming with tears and asking me to tell her a story. and I told her how God always metes out justice, even if justice comes a bit too late. i meandered and told her about troikas and all things Russian. it was a stupid little story but she drank in every word i spoke.

yesterday, my mama called up to say that dida has been admitted to a nursing home. she is in her seventies, but she is as sturdy as sturdy could be. for a moment, even before hearing the rest of what he had to say, the ground beneath my feet swayed. just hours ago, i had stood in front of tollygunge metro station, contemplating whether I should go to didarbari or back to ultadanga where I live. I chose to return. A few days ago, on my way to college, an elderly lady boarded the auto with me. she too had a golden white mane, just like my dida. she wore her shankha and pola on her wrists, just like my dida. she smelt like her too, she smelt of jasmine hair oil. i decided to visit dida and dadu that day, after classes got over. needless to say, as soon as she got off from the auto, I forgot that little promise made to myself.

mama said that dida had complained of chest pains and that she couldn't see anything in front of her. there was a darkness enveloping her, bit by bit. however, the doctors acted fast and admitted her into the emergency ward. i spent half of the night with my mother on the sofa, tethering on the edge, waiting for the phone to ring. i uttered prayers, prayers that had cobwebs all over them, lying unremembered since school.

today, i went over to see my dear old lady. she was lying in a little white room, a saline bottle hung beside her. she looked alien in such a surrounding. the trademark lal paar shada saree was missing, instead she was wearing a checked uniform. her face was bloated, and she squinted to see me. however, a little red bindi rested on her forehead. maa placed a comb and a powder case beside her. she called me close, and let me hold her hand. "dida, eta ki korle?" i joked. she smiled and said "kheyechish toh? shudhu khichuri? ish, ekta omlette kore dilo naa toke?"the relief that washed through me was indescribable.

dadu too is unwell, he is suffering from dementia. his memory is like a slate, wiped clean every few minutes. he has not slept since last night, he keeps asking people about dida. today, when he saw me his face lit up for a while. as always, he said " thank you dadu, tumi ele." he recognised me, but it might not happen that easily again.

days like this change the person you are. they probe into those half lit hidden areas of the soul, turning you inside out, showing you the person you are. i have always been insecure, always needed a bit of assurance and love from people, even unworthy people. today i learnt that in this fruitless quest of making myself popular and lovable, i have ignored those who love like no other. i am very, very sorry.
and I love you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December and the cold cold touch.

I will tell you exactly how I feel about December.

10 o'clock and I am still snuggling under a canopy of blankets. Maa presses her palm on my eyes, and it is sooooo cold because she has been washing vegetables in the kitchen. I shiver-brrrr- it is so unexpected! But you know how it is, right? There is a mine of hidden warmth in that cold cold touch. December, too, is just like that.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Dream of Jeannie, I do

How many of you loved watching I Dream of Jeannie as a kid?
I did.
I adored Jeannie because, ah well, as she says herself, she only needed to "think and blink". The show was a must watch for me when I was around six years old. After all these years, when the only detail that I could remember was that of Jeannie's pink harem dress and the cute genie bottle- Zee Cafe decides to air it again. Most people tend to avoid it, because the show has a dated appeal they say. Heck, how? We have a handsome and reserved astronaut called Anthony, finding a sexy 2500year old genie, conveniently named Jeannie, in a bottle on a deserted island after his shuttle crashes there. This is timeless folks! She falls for him, breaks his engagement, lives in with him and eventually after five seasons he falls for her too- despite being driven mad by her magic antics. Nevermind that. What actually appeals to me, even today, is that they managed to make the magic tricks look pretty awesome without the help of any hi fi special effects. We have miniature sized Jeannie sitting atop a telephone or inside her bottle looking completely at home. Moreover, the casting is brilliant. I love Tony's friend, Major Healy, the guy is fantastic! Anyway, it is a pity that they decide to start showing this oldie just when my end semester is about to start. I plan to catch as many reruns as possible. I like this kind of humour- such a far cry from the crass sex comedies that we have on tv these days, yet utterly delightful. Besides, I think Tony Nelson is hot. You may not agree, but hey, do I care? ;)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

So you want to be a writer?

So you want to be a writer
- Charles Bukowski

If it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I loved the new Harry Potter movie. However, for all those who care to know, I am telling you- Draco Malfoy (played by Tom Felton) looks like a teenaged pointy nosed Hrithik Roshan...

Something in those lips and the nose. Look hard.

And well, tell me if it is just in my head... but don't these two look similar too?


[Note: Rictusempra- a charm that tickles the opponent.]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sea Love

- Charlotte Mew

Tide be runnin' the great world over:
'Twas only last June month I mind that we
Was thinkin' the toss and the call in the breast of the lover
So everlastin' as the sea.

Heer's the same little fishes that sputter an swim,
Wi' the moon's old glim on the grey, wet sand;
An' him no more to me mor me to him
Than the wind goin' over my hand.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It has been so long, so very long. We have seen it blossom, seen it mellow down, and it has been fascinating... fascinating almost to the point of being nauseating. A distanced memory tells me that we had fashionable never ending discourses on love, life and all else. How we pretend to know, how we pretend to feel even though we are too young to understand! We changed with experience. We became such different people. It was beautiful while it lasted. Beautiful and fatally flawed. All things have a natural death, and here was a swan song made just for us. 

What do I call friendship? Friends are people who do things for you, not because you expect it, but because they love you. And love can only stretch so far before it breaks. I owe my friends nothing, they owe me nothing. Just that the world sometimes, sometimes, runs a bit low on love. 

Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
   Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten for ever and ever,
   Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.

If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
   Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
   In a long forgotten snow.

(Sara Teasdale)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Some Poems

A Love Song

-William Carlos Williams

What have I to say to you
When we shall meet?
I lie here thinking of you.

The stain of love
Is upon the world.
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
It eats into the leaves,
Smears with saffron
The horned branches that lean
Against a smooth purple sky.

There is no light—
Only a honey-thick stain
That drips from leaf to leaf
And limb to limb
Spoiling the colours
Of the whole world.

I am alone.
The weight of love
Has buoyed me up
Till my head
Knocks against the sky.

See me!
My hair is dripping with nectar—
Starlings carry it
On their black wings.
See, at last
My arms and my hands
Are lying idle.

How can I tell
If I shall ever love you again
As I do now?


I Am Not Yours

-Sara Teasdale

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.

You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.

Oh plunge me deep in love—put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Yes, people who are sick of my Cohen obsession can skip this entry. I will keep on proclaiming my undying love for this legend. His songs are pure, fragile poems. I don't care about his vocal quality or the chord charts or the blahblahyadayadas. Seriously.

Here is something that I wanted to share. This one is called ' Chelsea Hotel No.2'.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
you were talking so brave and so sweet,
giving me head on the unmade bed,
while the limousines wait in the street.
Those were the reasons and that was New York,
we were running for the money and the flesh.
And that was called love for the workers in song
probably still is for those of them left.

Ah but you got away, didn't you babe,
you just turned your back on the crowd,
you got away, I never once heard you say,
I need you, I don't need you,
I need you, I don't need you
and all of that jiving around.

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
you were famous, your heart was a legend.
You told me again you preferred handsome men
but for me you would make an exception.
And clenching your fist for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, "Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music."

And then you got away, didn't you babe...

I don't mean to suggest that I loved you the best,
I can't keep track of each fallen robin.
I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel,
that's all, I don't even think of you that often.


and yes, I must get over this fixation with hotel-pub-poems. they are just so darned attractive!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

In Paris with You

Been flipping through a borrowed anthology of poetry recently. 
Since I have not written anything recently, I hope this will suffice.

Here's something rather romantic and ironic I came across today:

In Paris with You
Don't talk to me of love. I've had an earful
And I get tearful when I've downed a drink or two.
I'm one of your talking wounded.
I'm a hostage. I'm maroonded.
But I'm in Paris with you.

Yes I'm angry at the way I've been bamboozled
And resentful at the mess I've been through.
I admit I'm on the rebound
And I don't care where are we bound.
I'm in Paris with you.

Do you mind if we do not go to the Louvre
If we say sod off to sodding Notre Dame, 
If we skip the Champs Elysées
And remain here in this sleazy

Old hotel room
Doing this and that
To what and whom
Learning who you are, 
Learning what I am.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris, 
The little bit of Paris in our view.
There's that crack across the ceiling
And the hotel walls are peeling
And I'm in Paris with you.

Don't talk to me of love. Let's talk of Paris.
I'm in Paris with the slightest thing you do.
I'm in Paris with your eyes, your mouth, 
I'm in Paris with... all points south.
Am I embarrassing you? 
I'm in Paris with you. 

- James Fenton

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Every morning

With a new promise

every morning

I leave

fresh daisies

at your feet.


Thank you

says that little


tucked inside.


I appreciate.

Thank you,

my life is better.

Much love.


Thank you.


Once outside

I wait for

such pleasure words

to stop churning

in my head.


And I wait

for my patience

to fizzle out

while printing

the next note



You bring home sunshine.

Thank you, truly.


If only

I could forget

your address


and let

the daisies 



Thursday, January 22, 2009


Like the beautiful bodies of those who died before growing old,
sadly shut away in sumptuous mausoleum,
roses by the head, jasmine at the feet --
so appear the longings that have passed
without being satisfied, not one of them granted
a single night of pleasure, or one of its radiant mornings.

Constantine P. Cavafy 

- - -
Lines remembered on one such day, a day filled with unsatiated longings. Longings that have passed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Half an Hour

Half an Hour

-C.P. Cavafy

I never had you, nor I suppose

will I ever have you. A few words, an approach,

as in the bar the other day—nothing more.

It’s sad, I admit. But we who serve Art,

sometimes with the mind’s intensity,

can create—but of course only for a short time—

pleasure that seems almost physical.

That’s how in the bar the other day—

mercifully helped by alcohol—

I had half an hour that was totally erotic.

And I think you understood this

and stayed slightly longer on purpose.

That was very necessary. Because

with all the imagination, with all the magic alcohol,

I needed to see your lips as well,

needed your body near me. 


Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992) 


I started reading a few of Cavafy's poems today- they were originally written in Greek (I read the translated versions circulating online). Amlan da had mentioned one of Cavafy's poems during his lectures on Criticism- a poem called King Claudius, which is a unique take on the merits of Claudius and the much debated 'madness' that afflicted Hamlet. I shall reserve my opinions on Cavafy for the time being and concentrate on reading him up properly :)