Perfect

What happens when you desperately try to locate your ‘home’ on Google maps?
What happens when you smile at the virtual pleasure of that landmark near by being sighted?
What happens when you cannot enact the ‘sugar and spice everything nice’ act over and over again?
What happens when you are too tired for ‘adjustments’?
What happens when you begin early? Seventeen to be precise. Leave home, start adjusting, fight and smile back at hostile faces?
What happens when everyone around you fails to understand?
What happens when for that brief minute you face the mirror?
What happens when resilience, energy, enthusiasm, charm and the long list of adjectives wear off?

You grow old. You smile back. You cry. You ask for space. You end up at chaos. Chaos within self and surroundings.

You have to be the perfect one. Pretend and play. Bleed and cry. Repeat.

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Unoshyar, bishorgo ar Chandrobindoo.

I was first introduced to the kind of music Chandrobindoo makes, in class IX (9). I still remember vividly how the girls of our class gave mickey and rahul the surprised look while they started singing- ta na na nana na and duniya dot com from their album ‘Cha’. It was just before the puja vacation in school. I suppose it was either Shukla aunty’s class(she used to make special requests- “gao to”)or the break when they started singing the popular Malgudi days tune, of course with a ‘twist’. Mickey, the funny man of our class later clarified it was chandrobindoo and I was almost five years too late sinc etheir first appearance on the bangla music map.
But then again, I was quick to catch up and oh! boy, how much I loved them! Simply speaking, to any ardent follower of contemporary bangla music they (Chandril, Upal and Anindya) do not need any introduction. For me they are the ones who set the standard for sense of humour, wit and subtlety. The range of music they cover- be it from ‘Bhindeshi Taara’ (original version-not the antaheen one) to ‘Amra bangali jati’ or for that matter ‘gabgubagub’ or ‘tomake shonabo joy goshaayi’ to ‘mon’ or ‘sei hawa’- it’s magical and hillarious at the same time. They are different from the regular ‘band’ picture we get- three guys with overgrown hair and beard head banging with the guitar and another two sitting on the drums and the keyboard (no offences meant!!). But they look like the average bong guys next door with chandril’s sparkling eyes giving a hint of dushtumi going on his mind. Also, I have a very soft corner for anindya’s beard apart from his voice and that ‘fichel hashi’. But it’s their lyrics and soft, melodious music which attracts one to them the most. Long after you are done listening to their songs, the chuckle still remains. They smell of Calcutta, innocent love, nostalgia, lush green of the days gone by and what not. What more can you expect after hearing a song whose lyrics goes like- “marx, freud er kache jeo na, brain ey jhilmil legey jaabe” or for that nostalgia evoking first love fetish that you get after hearing- “shudhu snaner jol ey likhehci daknaam…arey na shona…eka boka thakbo na”.
And many more….I sometimes pity poeple who don’t understand bangla. Primarily for two reasons- one, they can’t read the original robi thakur or sorotbabu or shankar (trust me, his chowringhee has a very good english translation, but nothing compares to the original) and secondly, they can’t understand chandrobindoo’s songs :P.
So here’s to the creators of immortal songs like- “tobu tumi amar cpm, tumi amar atm, tumi amar series prem er sesh ta”, “dada didi haat dhorey shiriteyi boshey porey”, “aami to chayiboyi- e shohorey tumi nemey esho”, “o amar modhyobitto bhiru prem gopon kalshitey”, “muchhe dao jolchhap, ashbe na mon kharap…thik 5tar por”…..the one’s which never fail to uplift my mood. Cheers to them and their music! The best thing to happen to bangla music after Suman Chattopadhyay. (ok! now the fossils fans can shout….torko na holey bangali hoy naki? torko diyei to bojha jaay- bangla gaan ajo bechey ache guru)

this is for the ones who love their music just like moi…am sure there are many…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_idD2SWBqGc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFt_aer7epg&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5EJvSqxciQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZifgKwiqKV0&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=futedPK6054&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84IOMi17Ens
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiCj8hjiEtY&feature=fvw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5utZcl_ORM&feature=related

Just a random collection- no particular preferences and also, no copyright infringement, if any, is intended. Onek dushtumi r gaan bad porlo..couldn’t locate the videos..abar onek ‘mon kemon’ kora gaan o nei llishti tai…mon kharap koro na tai boley….”bondhu tomay e gaan shonabo bikelbelay…..arekbaar jodi tomader doley nao khela”

P.S- Just before I left home for NALSAR, I wasn’t carrying a laptop or a computer, but I made sure I copied the entire Chandrobindoo collection on a CD (i didn’t even have a flash drive then) from my didibhai’s computer. The one stays with me till date with additions now and then.

Pujo and perceptions

The title sounds like an academic paper but I have nothing to footnote about other than what Prof. Dhanda would have termed as aboriginal research. Or may be if we can consider adda on ashatmi night while pandal hopping as an authentic source for mapping the changing face of the bengali milieu most evident during what else but durga pujo, then why not?
Frankly speaking, I am overjoyed. ‘Happy’ will be an understatement to convey my feelings at this point of time. The reason? Isn’t it quite obvious? A bong writing a blogpost about pujo and being overjoyed after she is done with sending most of her “Shubho Bijoya” sms es- yes! I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to run back home this time. To tell the truth for me pujo and home are synonymous. I don’t understand the concept of probashi pujos even after staying almost five years away from home. I missed a few in between and only a bong far away from home can understand what it feels like- those four days. Trust me- you feel cheated! no less.
But this post is not about cribbing and what you miss in probashi pujos- the feel and beat of it. Nope! even with two seminar paper submissions due in some four days and end semester exams around the corner- I can still bet, right now am rejuvenated and replenished. You know how unplanned trips work for some- same happened with me this time. I booked my tickets at the eleventh hour, it cost me a bomb but then again who cares? I got to be home. And once home, it meant choc a bloc plans with old friends, few who have kept in touch and been there since primary school. Friends who are for real and with whom it’s always unadulterated fun. Thank you everyone for being there and to tell you the truth, this was one of my best pujos ever. My facebook album already bears testimony to that. It may be because, it was after so long, may be it is because we are slowly but gradually getting used to the ugly side of life- bitching, backbiting et. al. And that obviously includes the unnecessary interest that some people take in my life. of course I feel like a celeb when they. I have absolutely no issues with that.

Ok! I didn’t digress. This post is supposed to be somewhat close to heart rant types. I don’t know if the bits and pieces here are relevant but this pujo made me realise what it is like having fun. And by fun I don’t mean the usual dancing on DJ night like crazy or for that matter the usual crazy stuff like playing hide and seek, water fights etc. that we keep on doing round the year in hostel or NALSAR- I mean the old world stuff. May be it has been long enough, but I rediscovered the pleasure of pandal hopping or fighting with Dactar babu over where to go- Selimpur/Jodhpur Park belt or Bosepukur at around 9 in the night in fornt of Gariahat more. It was just like those 9-10 days in Nava Nalanda when Saibal used to take out a scale an measure up the bench while dividing it into three parts….and while me and aparajita laughed over his idiosyncrasies while sitting in the next bench, he would turn around and protest. Just like he did this time- “uff!! tui rakhto ingreji”. Or for that matter the one hour hide and seek game he playe dinfront of shibmondir while we stage managed….uff!!! puro pagol. or for that matter while mickey announced- “tora saibal er theke ekta chlormint o aday kor, ami toder khawabo”…those pleasures of Rupees four bus rides and the squabble over the cab fare. Good ole’ days. That reminds me, this pujo also made me and aparajita realise that our midas touch (the great pairing I mean) remian intact…..those were the days when we used to bakraofy people for that alukabli treta, this year ankur volunteered while we coaxed him to treat us at a upmarket South Calcutta restaurant on Ashtami. Or those silly moments remembered with our man eater while cabbing it back home when Apo and me were busy taking his trip. Thank you Deblin for those VIP passes and Agni for the guest appearance. Thank you everyone. And Saibal- even if we make fun of everything you do, you hold our group together. Thank you for everything and organinsing our meets.
And before I forget to mention, the jhari standards have gone down drastically…or may be we are growing too old, but I didn’t enjoy Maddox that much this year..went for some half an hour on Ashtami, but the crowd was so so. The highlight obviously was spotting an old geeky classmate having papri chaat with his girlfriend. That and his spiked hair tempted us to go and take his trip…but obviously he looked at us, spotted us and gave a glance of non recognition. I also realised that my para pujo has changed….lots of new faces…no jhaari type remains (sigh!) and of course none of my friends- masume or pamela were there. But then again Ashtami morning is meant for para pujo- anjali and bhog. Nothing changes that or for that matter the polite conversations we have every year in my posh south Calcutta neighbourhood every year. This year the congratulatory messages were an added attraction, more so because of the stiff upper lip kind of brand name that I got in may be. Duly savoured 😀 And nobomi of course was meant for old stuff – get together of our brother and sister gang with Tups joining us this time but Mam didibhai sadly missing from the scene. And our ‘chiroporichito’ jadavpur eating out place was the preferred destination this year too.
Baba didn’t do his famous dhunuchi naach this year because of the death of many a patrons of our parar pujo.  His silent way of commemorating the lost souls. Though the festivities continued, his gesture was duly appreciated from the sensible quarters. Doshomi made me cry, but then again which bong at heart doesn’t cry on Doshomi. I had to come back. But then again no worries…Ashche bochhor abar hobe…or may be I have to save my leaves for a very special occasion that I am really looking forward to.

P.S.- I must say, Bengali women have become more open to choices across the world while dressing up. While Laal paar taant or tusshar remains my favourite on Ashtami and nothing beats that, I was surprised to spot women sporting halter necks with their saris. But please, next time you wear that, just bother to gym a bit and lose some weight. Also, another new entrant was the dress- floral, cocktail or classic evening wear, trust bong women to bring the supposed pub hopping gear or the classy party wear range to maddox, obviously sometimes with disastrous consequences. But at least they tried. Shame on you men- you stuck around with your trousers and the only experimentation was in the form of coloured dhuti- keu dhakka parer dhuti try koro next year, bujhley??

The art of pissing off people- how to undo?

Why am I so good at pissing people off? Why do I always need to speak my mind? Argh! not that I hate being sugary sweet, but that doesn’t come naturally to me. But some how, after all these years of ‘experience’ I  feel that being fake is a virtue.
But the case (or rather cases) in question does not even require me to be fake, just to be a little sane. I had once almost lost a dear friend because of my habit of being outspoken. It took me time and patience to understand that just because I hated his girlfriend did not imply that he will stop dating her or for that matter our friendship will take a toll. Thank god! he knew me well and he eventually replied back to the sorry mail I sent him. See! I am not that bad too. I write rants on my blog and send you cute notes in case I feel sorry. At least I know how to acknowledge my mistake *gives a humble smile*

But then again, this time the person in question is not even someone whom I can send a cute note to or for that matter confront him/her in the dining table or hostel and force him or her to talk to me until and unless he/she laughs and says “maatey samajh gaye hum, bohot hua”. I can be the biggest yawn machine and bak bak queen at the same time. But then again, that’s how my friends know me and in case am silent for fifteen minutes, they make sure am ok. Happened once. My silence for two days made them ask me stuff like “Paush, chal tujhe ice cream khilatey hain” 😛
And I digress! I talk so much. But the point is how do I say sorry or atleast make an effort to bring back the situation prior to this stuff happened in place. Well nothing in particular happened, but I suppose I took too many liberties as I do with friends, which I feel I shouldn’t have and then somewhere was rude. Don’t know, am not feeling good about it. Nothing affects my mood for long, but this one is….an uneasy feeling. For someone I hardly know, that’s quite unthinkable… guess! this goes with my habit of abhorring the thought of not being able to talk to someone properly or that there is a misunderstanding somewhere. Don’t we all like to set the creases right?
Only in this case I don’t even know what will work? Ice cream, leg pulling, music, poetry, jhogra or bong mishti? any ideas?

Halt.

“Bhalobeshey sokhi nibhritey jotoney aamar naam ti likho/ tomar moner mondirey….”

That he is omniscient is a long forgone conclusion which nobody doubts….but that he brings me closer to the feeling I call love everytime I listen to this immortal creation of his is something amazing. Melancholy is not about grief. It’s about being with your self.

So does he mention love or the relationship worthy sorts in this verse?

or for that matter, “Aamar bhindeshi tara..eka ratrei aakashey…ami payina chnutey tomay…amar ekla lagey bhari..”

I know the jump from him to Chandrobindoo was sudden…but quite evident. They make my day…..or for that matter help me cope with melancholy. *Fyanch Fyanch* (Join the broken heart’s club- In case you are reminded of your first crush or that cute guy in JU you refused just because you thought he was just a friend. Uff! ….or was it the rat race…the hallowed portals of that law school you cherished??)

FYI- He has a girlfriend now whom he overwhelmingly adores. Not that am jealous but somehow the world would have been a lot different. Who knows? May be I would have been blogging about a pink benarasi silk sari now. (*shrinks in confusion*).

No! this sounds much better!

I sound weird….and this is a very personal post…but needed to share somewhere. Couldn’t have gone to jyotika..she has anyways tagged me the hopeless of the rarest variety (romantic I mean).

My sister keeps on giving me all the updates about pujo over phone. She told me all about her shopping plans, the two tops she picked up from the new store near my house, the pandal that is yet to come up, the excitement in her class about the dabangg moves and how will it culminate during pujo.  Yes! another year, another pujo which I am going to miss. I remember my 1st year in NALSAR when my parents came down to Hyderabad to celebrate the pujo with me. On Ashtami morning I visited one of those heavily sponsored Bengali Association Pujos in the city. To say the least, I was heartbroken. Pujo for me or for that matter for every one from Calcutta does have many more connotations of jhari mara, phuchka khawa, maddox, notun sari, hal fashiner juto, shoe bites, biriyani, chinese and many more attached to it than the very obvious religious rituals. I worship the goddess Durga through out the year (though it never assumes the ritualistic skyscraper levels which some of my friends indulge in), but for me pujo is special for it’s never to be understood enigma. what do they call..ah! yes, pujor gondho. For the first time that year, I had cried in front of the idol. The emotions had the better of me because I missed Calcutta, home and everything that a nostalgic bong feels. My family was there to comfort me. and thanks to them I managed. Since then I have missed many more and this year will not be an exception. But for me during those 4 days- time comes to a stand still and moves to a time when the sky donned up a darker shade of blue- the time when shoshti mornings meant mapping up all the best idols in the city, lunch in china bowl while cracking sad jokes, navami nights meant baba’s dhunuchi nach followed by the jog dance for which we gulped down biriyani at bedwin and ran twinkle toed to grab front row seats. The time when Ashtami mornings meant the grouping up of girls- me, didibhai, mam didibhai, masume, pamela to fight with the boys over the charge of the microphone…..To tell you the truth, I think am growing old. Pujo has put me in a time bubble out of which I am yet to come out. I doubt whether all my friends will be that free on a shoshti morning now. I am sure they wont be. Our half yearly get togethers (when I get home) are pushed back to that weekend when they are free from office.
Today I was having a conversation with a junior form 1st year (fresh blood you see!) and like every other conversation where two bongs are involved it gradually turned towards the revered topic of Durga Pujo. He was talking about Maddox Square, girls and the aura. That’s when I realised, the grass had been really greener on that side. Only that the patch of green is long past me.

I so wish my NALSAR years do not end…this fifth year mirth continues. Eighteen till I die? what say? eh!

Things to do.

1. House hunt now that I have got my posting.
2. Shop around for my new house. Will have to look for that perfect curtains and cushions for my room. Have to look for a room mate. Have to buy new utensils and stuff. Argh! why does college have to end.
3. But at the brighter side am already planning to buy that big wall to wall shelf for keeping my books. No more shipping in and out of Calcutta since I am presuming that I will have more space than my hostel room.
4. Have to come to terms with the fact that the five years in NALSAR is almost over. One half of this semester is over. The batch of 2011 is left with only one more semester before we graduate. Time flies like anything. Final year of law school brings back memories of good, bad and not so bad moments I spent here. The NALSAR years changed me for the better. Transformed me to say the least.
5. Now that I will be employed soon, I have to start planning for the gifts I need to buy for my near and dear ones.
6. Before everything else, have to study for my impending mid semester exams.
7. Have to plan out job treats. Now that everyone is landing up jobs, we need to space out the eating out calendar. God! we can hog like anything.
8. Have to start eating in the mess again. I end up cooking something or the other every day. Innovations you know 😛
9. Last but not the least, have to sound sugary sweet to everyone calling up with those congratulatory messages. Have been doing that for the past two weeks. The very same people who taunted me when I “decided” not to study science after tenth, the ones who tagged me “a bad student” inspite of my Nava Nalanda-South Point-JU (a while)- NALSAR lineage. Their case in hand? That am studying Law. And what were they doing? studying engineering with a 10,000 rank in WBJEE in some private engineering college (yes, they dared to compare that with NALSAR).
Frankly speaking nothing gives one bigger and better pleasure than showing the “kuor byangs” (sorry can’t translate that) their place. They can count on the multiples in monetary terms and the niche, stiff upper lip, snobbish brand value too. am not boasting, neither do I intend to. But for five years I have taken the crap and now I earned this for myself. At least I did not shout from the rooftops that I am the best and others are crap. Be secure and safe about your position dudes and dudettes (sarcasm intended). “Best” people don’t need to do that you know. At least I will be doing something I learnt in Law school and is truly interested in. You are doing some thing with codes and stuff right? Err..remind me what did you study in those 4 years of engineering?? 😛
The last one got long. But couldn’t resist myself from expressing my sadistic pleasure when I see or hear these people’s voices on phone now. Bechara :P. Here’s wishing more becharapan to you. and oh! yes keep badmouthing me. Gives me extra kicks to perform hard and do better and write such posts.