Relinquished

I

Dalia stood at the very end of the balcony that she once called her own. Like this city, this house, the family- this balcony too did not belong to her anymore. She had left the city and this house out of her own will. Customs told her that she had severed all ties with the family that had been her own since birth. Apparently, she had relinquished her own “Gothra” to take up her husband’s one, during her wedding.

All that happened, ties of a lifetime were severed and nobody noticed, not even Dalia. Her one business decision could determine the accountable balance sheet profits and losses, but here she was unable to perform the last rites of her maternal grandmother during her “Shraadh” ceremony as she belonged to a different “Gothra”. The Purohit told Dalia that she could have performed the ceremony along with her mother, who herself had curtailed rights of mourning for her own mother, if she was still unmarried.

And that precisely gave her the freedom to not offer ritualistic holy water to the soul of  one person who had seen her journey from the shy girl in the primary section of her school who felt scared about informing her teacher that she needed to use the toilet to the one who could herald the attention of an entire board room full of people.

Dalia had heard stories that even before she was born, her maternal grandmother had started stitching dresses for her as she was almost sure that Goddess Lakshmi would bless her eldest daughter this time. Dalia had two elder brothers who enjoyed almost as much attention from her grandmother, but it was she who was her ‘Dimma’s’ favourite. She was almost overjoyed when Dalia got through one of the premium B school of the country and fetched a big ticket job. She was even happier when Dalia got married. It was on that fateful day that Dimma had told Dalia that all her wishes had come true and she could die peacefully now – the day Dalia officially relinquished her right to ritualistically mourn Dimma’s death.

II

A few guests had arrived. Dalia’s parents had preferred not calling many guests as her maternal uncle’s family was still in mourning. Some of them asked Dalia about her life. She smiled and they smiled back. From a distance she watched both her brothers and her mother completing the rituals and offering a “Pranaam” towards the departed soul.

She offered a prayer too.

It was that moment when she realised that she could manage mergers and acquisitions at ease, but for her own self a mere “Kanyadaan” is enough. Enough to relinquish her right to mourn her own grandmother’s death whom she was most attached to and probably sometime later in life, her right to mourn her own parents’ death too.

And she still did not understand how can a few mantras change her “Gothra”, her lineage and the very bloodline she belonged to, since her birth.

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All’s well that ends well.

So it’s here. well, almost! I have waited for this day to come during many forlorn afternoons when I hated doing my project work, or during those bouts of loneliness which every one of us has gone through here-the utmost pining to go back home, or may be during those stressful days before recruitment when you never actually knew what are the interviewers going to actually ask you, or plain and simple exam time and more importantly results when you almost always never knew what went wrong with your answers. That and this.

And now when it’s here, almost, I feel sad. The bouts of nostalgia springs up now and then..and the fact that I probably attended the last class of my student life, at least for the near future on 21st is yet to sink in…..I am yet to reconcile with the fact that 1.5 months from now I am not going to return back here and do all that that we have been doing as a batch for the past nine semesters. The tenth one is the final one. wake up kid! No am not a kid anymore you see. No more college student tag. No more notes photocopying tension. No more NALSAR. 
No more Carpe Diem practices, no more blue skies, no more evening chai, no more intense hours of leg pulling sessions with Shreya and Paridhi, no more long extended gossip sessions, no more random cooking sessions with Papa, runjhun and all, no more long discussions about Dil, Dosti etc. with Runjhun, shreya, Paridhi, Richa, Tavishi, Joyee, Pami, no more trip taking on ‘why you are looking hot’, no more world cup cheers in the common room with deeps, raadhika, swetali, samiksha, atrey, sadhika. No more intellectualized gossip with Runjhun and dhruv. No more dancing our hearts out on DJ night. No more random link ups with Satshya, Amrita and even more random Happy Birthdays in the mess and the class. No more classes. No more catching up on left over sleep (:P) No more sprinting against the sprinklers on lane while going to the mess. No more Tresspassing on the lawn while saying it aloud to the guard “Bhaiya, 5th year mein hain hum”. No more “mim mim” and pandey jokes. No more Sunday breakfasts, Tuesday vadas and sambhar or Wednesday Appam. No more Tuesday dinner noodles. No more 12’o clock birthdays in the hostel. No more series of Happy Birthday songs after the cake cutting. No more 9’o clock TV watching and discussing why we don’t meet guys like Madhavan in real life. No more socialising in the library . No more fretting over deadlines. The actual ones beckon now. No more NALSAR.
It’s the time to write about memories of these five years for the college brochure. It’s the time to say good bye. The series of farewell parties which saw the ladies swinging from the traditional saris to beautiful dresses in a span of one day-The Faculty lunch, The Vice Chancellor’s dinner, the lunch for the non teaching staff, the juniors, the hostel party, the official college (SBC) farewell and the party thrown next day by juniors at Spoil- all of them are over now. The guys dressed up for a change and we had so many pictures clicked with all…old rivalries, cold wars, bitching forgotten. We will treasure all these memories….and the batch t-shirt….the controversy around it was not required, but now I have something to remind me (not that I need to be reminded) that the batch of 2006-2011 lived! and how 🙂
Good bye NALSAR! You gave me probably the best five years of my life. From the days of a carefree little girl to a twenty three year old girl who thinks (and only she thinks) that she knows the way of the world….you opened up horizons and opportunities for me which I would have probably never got if I didn’t decide to leave the comforts of home at seventeen. Thank you is too small a word I suppose 🙂

Dear Ophiuchus, Why I am still a true blue Capricorn

Are you in for interesting conversations? Are you the kinds who are interested in almost everything? Do you take a look at the day’s predictions in the newspaper before you head towards work? umm…do you still love going back to your tattered copy of Linda Goodman as soon as you come across the cute guy in the office gym or college library? Well! you are in for a talkathon then…this week, the coming one and the ones yet to come….because your predestined zodiac might just have changed places. err…quite so!

I think by now we are all aware that because of this new star called Ophiuchus in place, the constellation has one more to think about and predict. That takes the count up from the normal twelve to thirteen…and more interestingly, turns me a saggi from what I believed was a straight out of your wikipedia guide for a capricorn woman (yes! I believe in randomly reading up stuff and that includes the typical capricorn woman)
I know for a fact that the applicability starts 2011 onwards and that I remain safe in my zodiac zone, but the fact that my children may bear another sign while the copybook classic lists his/her characteristics as of something else is truly disturbing. As disturbing as the fact that nobody, no goddamned star can take away the fact that I am ambitious and strong willed. Or for that matter the fact that I love my family and believe in keeping in touch with people. I simply do not understand the concept of establishing yourself as a honcho sort of person by being arrogant with your near and dear ones. Well! if you are good enough, you will automatically be considered one. No need to shout from rooftops. You may credit my upbringing for this but the fact remains that I love making new ties but never at the cost of old ones. Being rude is not a part of my dictionary and people who know me, and that includes my extended family, will vouch for that. But, wait! I can be rude and be that perfect snob…..only in case you don’t return the loyalty. Yes. Like any other Capricorn worth it’s salt, am truly committed and loyal to any relationship I undertake..and the severity increases with the proximity. In case you betray me, I exercise the delete button. I lost people in my life, people whom I considered a dear friend, almost a soul sister, but then it was not meant to be that way. But then again it was my decision to not forget the betrayal. Actually, betrayal hurts in any form. Being soft on it is actually good for oneself, but even when you are unceremoniously used as a toy stuff, I am not the one to forget it that easily. It might be a different question altogether that I do not believe in revenge. It’s just that you go out. And even if you stay on, you must have done something really good :P. But all said and done, if you count me as a friend, be rest assured, I will be the perfect agony aunt and stand by you when you need me the most.  
And I believe in waiting for the perfect one. No less. I am practical enough to understand the value of adjustments and compromises one makes for true love…but if it is undervalued at the cost of your own self respect I exercise the delete button. Yet again. But once I make the connect, I will stand by. 
None of these, stops me from being occasionally moody, sometimes unreasonably stubborn and to an extent a workaholic….or should I say obsessive. I am obsessed with particular ideas and they range form shahrukh khan to people I randomly meet. Studying people is kind of an interest and in case that person is of the opposite sex, the general presumption of a crush arise. Like it happened in case of Shashi Tharoor. But twenty three years of wisdom (or the lack of it) has made me realise the difference between the two. I can read on them, study them for weeks together. And interestingly they stay that way. The most recent addition to the list is ‘North Calcutta’.
So even if I am a Saggi now according to your star chart, it doesn’t stop me from being a Capricorn right?

Have you ever been in love?

So how do you fall in love? How did ‘you’ fall in love?

Drop in a line…in case anybody reads it. whether fulfilled or not…love is all about being happy and just like being bong (wink!) it’s a state of mind too!
My friends are fighting over arranged love v/s proper love shove over a story I wrote long back, on my facebook profile. Come to think of it, I never thought about it anyways. Shobhaa De’ once famously advocated arranged marriages (Yes! I read her books too! you are free to judge me though) in her book ‘Spouse’. So am not completely averse to the idea. The binding factor just needs to be that feeling. Feeling ‘out of the world’. And it might just be for the new pair of shoes you bought for yourself, freshly painted rooms, phuchka, Dev in Le Chakka/Premer Kahini, or just the classic Soumitra singing “Hoyto tomaari jonyo..hoyehci premey je bonyo/ jani tumi ononyo…ashar haat barayi….”
Has it ever happened to you?

Things on my mind.

1. Onion inflation is really taking a toll on my life. The onion salad which made bland mess food appear somewhat eatable is missing. Not that I blame the mess contractor, he his left with no other option with Rs.70/kg (+-10) price tag. But it makes me miss home like anything. The rising prices were just another newspaper story for me other than my mom cribbing about the rising prices with the cook who sometimes tend to waste a little bit more. But then again, in case I wanted that extra onion chaska in my omlette, it sounded normal. Not anymore. It just makes me realise how my friends and cousins are pampered at home. Be it 70 or 100 my parents won’t mind me getting onions in case I promised to eat the full egg. Not in hostel. It’s not completely untrue that hostel life is a complete leveller. And not completely unfair also. But you somehow end up missing home.

2. Do dooni char is an amazing film. Perhaps one of the finest I have seen in a long long time. Reminds me of the Basu Chatterjee-Hrishikesh Mukherjee era where the stories of the common man was part of the ballad. This film starring Rishi and Neetu Kapoor in their first appearance together after marriage and kids (which includes certain Ranbir Kapoor) is a very realistic portrayal of a middle class Delhi couple with two kids to worry about thinking about the big leap from owning a scooter to owning a car. Hats off! the ‘rafu chakkar’ guys have still that crackling chemistry on screen. The way rishi kapoor goes to a wedding wearing the pagdi, suit and sports shoes make you feel like it’s almost the same punjabi uncle you had met at karolbagh. The way they talk, they think and the status symbol they would acquire through a car..that ‘showoff’ bit that comes along with the Delhi package..all so truly portrayed. A must watch recommendation for all.
P.S.- Rishi Neetu did a fleeting appearance together in ‘Love aaj kal’, but then that was not this fun and long lived.
3. Talking about the ‘aam aadmi’, am really concerned about the onion prices now since the three weeks time limit suggested by Mr. Pawar, the agricultural minister, is over. Are you listening Mr. Pawar? Hello!!! It cost the NDA an entire election.
4. Now that the common outrage is evident, I think not picking up Dada for IPL by any team was a bad cricketing decision. But it might prove to be an even worse business decision for KKR. While it will be interesting to see that how do they build up a cricket brand based out of Kolkata without dada, my bet is on the fact that there can be no ‘sporting’ brand in kolkata without dada. basiclly brand kkr? what’s that? 
poor srk..he is always surrounded by such stupid advisors who keep on suggesting outrageous solutions like may be that four captain policy. The tax troubles just add up to his woes.
And Dada, you will emerge an winner. what’s 4 crore in front of a million hearts?
5. The recruitment is on the last stage. I so hope all my friends land up a job in the next few days..so that the rest of the semester turns out to be a never ending party. Err! it already is with hardly a few left and all of us pitching in for others….but one thing that makes me feel really proud is the fact that our batch broke that overwhelming NALSAR myth that cgpa is the end all of everything. It just went bonkers this time. NALSAR batch of 2006-2011….joy, ecstasy, depression, desperation, fights, cold wars…we have seen it all…but when we go out…we will be a happy batch. I know that for sure. *touchwood*

Back and twenty three!

It’s good to be back after so long. Especially when shades of blue, red and green appear on the mind scape. You know sometimes this distance and space from the cyber world work wonders for you. Well! it does for me.  Not that I was completely cut off or something, I checked facebook and important emails at regular internvals, but didn’t visit my blog once….and am surprised to see the follower count go up and one new persistent reader from Fort Wayne, Indiana regularly visiting the blog when I didn’t even post anything. Thank you so much who ever you are and whatever you are fishing for (pun intended with a pinch of salt :P)…much appreciated.
To answer the more pertinent query as to where have I been and doing what through these two months will be like telling you the stories of how much I loved doing pre christmas shopping at New Market (and that includes the chocolate fudge from Nahoums) or for that matter how the Taj Mahal made me realise it’s a life worth living and loving.
And yes, I turned twenty three this december…twenty three years of wisdom and hardly five six years of knowing the way of the world…heartbreak, jealousy, rumours, true friends, mock friends, plastic, stilletos, Tagore, Lahiri, Law, Sen, Poverty classes, Prof. Dhanda, Constitution, problematisation, parties, hostel life, saris and ecstasy, music, ddlj, shahrukh khan and that eternal faith and believe in true love and life- No regrets, It’s always better to learn the hard way round (and that includes how to make sure your luggage is recovered while the airlines people lose it). and there is more to come. *touchwood* I won’t exchange being Paushali De and my family for anything in this world. Anything.

Thank you God for everything.