Wagle ki Duniya- A throwback into the times

I have to agree that this year in Germany will remain special for me. Just for the fact that it has helped me reconnect with many things I loved once, moments long lost and forgotten, friends with whom I always thought of talking but kept on delaying about the chance encounter bit- everything!

Now coming back to the part of reconnecting, I think ‘Youtube” has been my godsend gift. Imagine this…early 2000’s Calcutta, a young pigtailed girl having a huge crush on her maths teacher waiting eagerly for “Shudhu Tomari jonnyo”- the weekly dose of star crossed love stories on Etv Bangla every Sunday. The gawky teenager watches and develops further crushes on Parambrata, the lanky young guy as he was then, not the very handsome man that he is today, and Jishu Sengupta. Ah! I think it is not only my story. But then her parents decide that Cable television is too much of a disturbance for studies and decides to disconnect from the network.

Sigh! what does the girl do if she has not yet been able to know the outcome of the remaining episodes of the season? She simply finds them on youtube many summers later…in a distant foreign land 🙂 And that is the reason I think youtube you were one of the best things to happen in this era of technology. In some context , it s a time machine also. Of course I did not decide to restrict my curiosities to only watching “Shudhu tomari jonnyo”… I of course went back to the good old Doordarshan days when “Superhit Muqabla” was the coolest thing to happen to me and “Phulwari Bacchon ki” (especially the episode in Fatehpur Sikri”) was a dream come true. And then “Tehkikat”, “Suraag” and what not! My god! a treasure trove of my childhood. I actually read up on the reams of nostalgia available on the internet surrounding DD. And there I discovered “Wagle ki Duniya”. The original airing time of the show did not actually coincide with my childhood. I must be around 2 or 2 and a half years only when the original episodes were shown. I decided to watch the episodes to see what was all the jazz about. I watched only the ones available on Youtube and I am not sure if I am qualified enough to comment since not all the episodes are available online. However, I decided to go ahead as the “common man” today in my eyes have gone a sea changes from the values that Mr. Wagle bore during those pre liberalisation days.

(Image Courtesy: http://media2.intoday.in/indiatoday/images/stories//2007july/wagle-ki-duniya_030111025608.jpg)

To start with Mr Wagle did not have to bear with the computers. That made his sons’ childhoods colorful as they are shown playing a lot of cricket, reading comic books, doing a lot of puzzles and stuff. But poor Mr Wagle also did not known the joys of the internet and Google. In one of the episodes he had to literally chase down a few acquaintances to gather information about planning a vacation somewhere nearby. Sounds a bit unrealistic in today’s time when hotels are pre booked over the internet :). But as a 90’s kid I remember all those family vacations every year where atleast once we had to tag around our fathers looking for a decent hotel. Must have been irritating then…but happy memories now! Reservation was good, but then again my dad had to go and stand in queue in front of the Railway booking office in Koilaghat Street for booking a railway ticket. There was no internet and more importantly no IRCTC website to make fun about also 🙂

I am not sure if the series ran further, how would  have been the portrayal of  Mr Wagle’s sons’ growing up. May be they would have been the faces of post liberalisation India- A haven of service industry, which on one way is boom and also a bane for our country. The best gift of the turn in tide- smart jacketed corporate honchos who made flying abroad- which till yesterday was a dream for many into a regular habit for many middle class Indians. And that was the beginning of a change. While we keep on hearing about a soda ash factory coming up or the sound of the Company siren in the background, the story knits together an India which was still walking towards a future of manufacturing industries and industries of core competency.

I will not be a bore about how “simple living and high thinking” dominated the times. Everything was not good about it. We may be nostalgic choose to remember only the happier time, but it was also a time when unemployment was at its peak, a time when the household decisions revolved around the question  about whether to employ a domestic help or not…whether that will push the envelope for the family budget or not. We will have to agree that the common man or the Indian middle class lives a much more comfortable life today in the terms of monetary value. I am not so sure about the emotional security part. The part which belongs to the times of job security, 9 to 5 jobs, hesitation about whether to pay the bribe or not! Yes red tapism was a part of the culture of the times but so was the belief of the parents that their children will grow to see a much better India…probably the reason why MR and Mrs Wagle did not like their son eavesdropping on their conversation about paying bribe to a government servant.

I think the new improved shining India has done enough take away that belief. And I say so because, nowadays I see parent, rich and famous, some of them have earned their positions and they deserve every bit of it. They might not like their children to go through the same struggles they have been through, but that does not mean that the value of ‘humility’ will also be forgone. The sense that ‘you can buy everything’, that I think is a problem that the young India face. Come on! I could not have contained myself in that lowly 2 BHK residential quarter shown in the series…many of us would not have. And I am justified in asking for more…the anthem of our growing up years have been “yeh dil maange more”…and is asking for more a bit too much? It never should be…We are hungry as a nation, we are hungry for everything…and probably that’s the reason our parents..the same ones who taught us to be better human beings, nowadays go to each other’s houses, the ones they live in as a part of their own self built old age homes, and compare the successes of their wards in the terms of the pay packets earned, the number of foreign trips made and blah blah! Imagine this in the time of Rk Laxman’s common man…there were neighbours, the prying ones and the ‘neighbour’s envy’ was palapable, but then again the same ones let you borrow their binoculars or may be their hot pot also. Can you imagine if I thought of borrowing my neighbour’s binoculars today? I will die of shame and buy a new pair. Probably that is the reason the neighbours who were once considered even dearer than your relatives and knew every bit of your household story, turn a deaf ear even when somebody is probably dead in the next apartment.

And what do we do in turn? We run….we run everyday…behind the much alluring success story never knowing that our parents who are alone in a city or a town, which might have been my hometown once, spending days and nights alone in our thoughts. Because where we come from often makes us feel ashamed..too constrained for the growth story.

But who says asking for more is bad?

 

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Shanghai- It really makes you think!

The joys of weekend is back in my life since I decided to take another plunge back to corporate life and it has been a nice experience so far. I will not deny that the amount of money, not obscene but the decent amount in Calcutta, that they are paying me has been a deciding factor. I am still not sure about how can I keep my promise to myself about taking up writing seriously going (and my blog bears testimony for it), but will probably never stop loving it enough.
So, enough of chit chat over, let’s come to what is more relevant. And that is Shanghai! what a movie! probably the best after Kahaani this year. In fact, we should feel lucky to be part of a year which gave you gems like Kahaani and Shanghai, albeit with Bong boys and their sentiments written all over them.

Shanghai is special, Shanghai is close t my heart because it touched a chord. Back in college I had this favourite Professor of mine called Prof. Amita Dhanda. I remember doing a jurisprudence project on “Dev D”  for her. Wish I could do the same theroisation for Shanghai for her class. I so miss NALSAR and the wonderful course readings we had. Nietzsche, Nussbaum and Tagore in a melting pot. Ah! life.

And before I am overtaken by nostalgia, I just want to let everyone know that go and watch Shanghai- a must watch for the very underrated and subtle performances. For Abhay Deol who never fails to surprise us. A Jat speaking in that immaculate south indiaised hindi accent. And he is a dream of an IAS officer as Krishnan. For Emraan Hashmi because this is undoubtedly his career best performance till date. As a local ruffian he never fails to surprise you. You can never relate to his serial kisser image. For Kalki Koechlin, and thank you anurag Kashyap for discovering her( and making her an integral part of your life). Kalki’s enraged performance engulfs you. However, her roles are now becoming a tad bit repetitive. For the supporting cast who makes Bharatnagar special. And for the none other than Prosenjit Chatterjee’s Dr. Ahmedi. The very dapper Dr. Ahemdi is something you will cherish through out the movie even though his screen time is limited.

And thank you Farooq Sheikh. I seriously miss you on screen. That we had something going on since the day I saw Chashme Buddoor on television or heard a portion of the recital of ‘Tumhari Amrita’, is a different story altogether. Something that Deep will be utterly jealous of maybe 😉

Shanghai shakes you up. It stays all over your mind long after you have left the theatre. May be because it stands for a cause I find my self deeply attached to- “Kiski desh? Kiski pragati?” A question which gets lost in all the rat race that we are in today and in between all the probabilities of a better lifestyle. Probably the water that costs you Rs.35 per glass 🙂 Shanghai is based on a Greek novel, but Dibabkar Banerjee makes it relatable…and in every aspect.The irony is I watched Shanghai seated in a plush multiplex where the irony gets lost in the overpriced coke glass that you buy for yourself during the movie. But I sincerely hope the portrayal and the idea behind Shanghai doesn’t remain solely limited within the arty farty multiplex classes. Because its something which we need to answer now…soon! An answer which we face every day…my state faced it a few years back. And it has been a constant struggle since then. What is development? what actually? Can that plush house in the neatest corner of the city compensate for real smiles? Or do smiles generate otherwise. Think! because we nowadays rarely do so. Shanghai is disturbing that ways. It makes you think.

“Bharat mata ki jai”

Life these days- Hyderabadi Autos and the overbearing ‘Anna’s…kkkkkkkkkiraann

There have been queries. and more queries. and simply speaking..some of tehm have left me quite flattered. I never knew that so many people actually read my blog. A big thank you.
And to all your queries as to where I have been..and why didn’t I update this page often in the recent months- Well! to say the truth- I have been busy, very busy actually. I have started working and so now I know what it means, actual deadlines I mean. It’s quite surprising to note that a few days back we were this rebellious bunch of college kids bargaining for an extension of the project deadline with the seemingly helpless teacher. she had already provided us 2 in the past 1 month. But then who cared? we were the fifth years…the batch of 2011.
And today we are all these blackberry totting grown up professionals…managing our own lives in this big bad world. We dont argue with our respective bosses for extension of deadlines. we all know that the client is supremely important. the world stares at us, gives us jealous glances….but nobody knows the story behind all that corporate jazz (slavery! :P)
But am lucky to have a very nice team to work with. People say you will always remeber your first boss….and I will surely do remember my Manager…He is one of the sweetest and most accomodating fellows I have known. and so are my other senior members in the team. the best part about my team is that every one is approachable 🙂 May be that’s what a true professional should be- be approachable.
Hyderabad really doesnt seem the similar town that I had known for all these years. Its a changed place now….the every day haggle with auto annas, or the needful for “aatey daal ka bhao”-times a are changing… a quite indication that we all are growing up.
In deed we are. all. everyone. Just the way that guy whose article pointed out why the youth is suddenly so conscious about the anna Hazare movementy. Because they know they have no place to run away to, they can’t escape India. We are the ones who are providing aid to the nations to over come their debt crisis who supposedly have a better credit rating than us. India is truly the furture. Don’t believe me? Browse through the world stock market idices in the past few days and you will understand. I remeber reading an article way back in 2010 which had succinctly put why India had fared so well during the recession. the reasdon was one we all know (an I agreed wholesomely with the author)- the presence of a very strong public sector.
Don’t get me wrong, neither do I support corruption in any ways (since we have this huge thing for black and white…so in case I dont support Kiran and Kejriwal…I am anti Anna- Don’t make this presumption) but how many of these protestors actually read the draft of the bill? Perhaps not many. Noit that our democratic thought ever advocated the cause of informed decision making. Or else what would make people still support the commies who destroyed and actually bludgeonoed the economy of my state in these 34 years. Frankly speaking there is nobody called a communist in this world. None. those who claim to be..decoarte their daughters with tons of gold jewellery and show off by throwing lavish parties….if that’s socialism…I am very proud to proclaim myself as a supporter of Didi. even if she pretends (according to some), she does it well. Besides I believe in everything being open and that includes the economy. There are no free lunches anywhere I suppose 🙂
But coming back to the point. there was this mad rush to support Anna. I have gathered that he is a truly dedicated man. But I had thsi huge feeling that during the last few days of his fast, he merely became a ploy in the hand of Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi. Come on! these guys should know that nobody is beyond the constitution in this country. Not even Arundhati roy (who seemed to jump at another ocassion of attention grabbing by *NOT* supporting Anna). It is the Constitutional framework that we have in place, that makes this Democracy a success. Yes! a true success story. and that includes the way Kejriwal protested and Kiran Bedi cry when she asked the police force to disobey the orders of their seniors-err! wasn’t that seditious? I mean you arrest Maoists on same ground….and what was Om Puri saying? atleast the same people he was referring to had the guts to face the election.
Well to sya the least anyone could have gone up on that stage and claimed to be our youth leade including a guy who provides MBA degrees without any affiliation. A person on twitter rightly pointed out that his claim to fame now- “Think beyond the Parliament” Bwahaaaa!!!!!
Nobody supports corruption. everyone has the right to be angry. Everyone has the right to protest, but just like Chauri Chaura happened and killed the momentum, the proclaimed new age Gandhi should be very cautious. Gandhiji was right to call off the movement after Chauri chaura. He knew we were not mature enough to handle the principle of non violenece right then. That did materialise…in varied form…many years later. Don’t know where Ramlila Maidan will take us. If that recorded tape of one of the original heroes of this so called second freedom struggle is anything to go by- we are not ready for it Annaji. Hope the Janlokpal turns out to be as idealistic as it promises to be. Best wishes from a proud Indian.

Sokhi bhalobasha kare koy?

Tagore had asked this question aeons ago…and frankly speaking none of us have the answer till date. We all know how does it feel….it feels good, it feels great :))
But that never implies that the journey is a cakewalk. In case it is, it is something else….love is as much about sharing a life together as like eating your hilsa with extra mustard toppings 😛 (that’s the bong foodie in me talking)
“Jaan jaati hain jab uthke jaatey ho tum”
Farida Khanum sums up the pain beautifully in probably one of the most simple ghazals I have ever heard.
and there is more to it. Just like Gulzaar saab’s poetry 🙂
“sehme se rehte hain, jab yeh din dhalta hain/ ek hi aah bujhta hain/ ek hi aah jalta hain/ tumne koi deep jalaya hota”
I don’t claim to understand completely the serenity behind those lines…but the eternity behind them is truly magical.
Just like the dreams of a lonely sunday afternoon, ‘us’ in our living room…..our favourite songs on the music player……one where he will shre random facts about some stuff I thought never existed…and then he will bear my completely out of tune songs….and then he will say something about the Jasmine- the flower and the revolution. and then I will share with him my new found enthusiasm about finance. He being the pro will tell me where I was fundamentally wrong…and he will buy me books! loads of them…. 🙂 🙂
“lokey tobe kore ki sukheri torey emon dukheri aansh”

Realisations…lately.

1. Love makes your world go round….and square, rectangle and what not! It’s like watching the stars descend and kiss your feet goodnight…every night 🙂
2. Have you ever said “I Love you” and meant it? In case you haven’t, please do! It will make you the happiest person on this planet.
3. I am nowadays training to be that perfect homemaker. I can now wash bedsheets and jeans on my own, without a washing machine that is. Quite an acheivement for daddy’s little girl na? 😀
4. It feels liberating when I pay my own bills. Pay through those vouchers when we go to eat out. And buying those flight tickets back home- first time with my own money. I remember everytime I deceided lastminute to go back home when  all the flights were dangeously overpriced and all I needed to do was to call up dad and start crying :P. Did you ever watch that Mastercard ad?
5. I have this huge crush on Shashi Tharoor. Probably the second longest one. And I am just completely in aw of him. Wonder what made him marry a garishly decorated woman like her 😦 I am jealous! Also, I am yet to finish his article in Deccan Chronicle this week. My bad luck 😦
6. I have discovered almost all good loooking eateries in and around Madhapur. I promise myself everyweek that I won’t have so much outside food next weekend, but then again friday night comes and I crave for Chinese. That reminds me. I have discovered this amazing small bengali food joint near that Madhapur petrol bunk called “Tumpa”. Seriously! it’s awesome and so cool on your pockets. so any bong out there (in and around Madhapur/ Jubilee Hills) who is missing home food and ont want to spend so much on that overhyped “Calcutta Cabin” can surely go there. It’s alsmot like a Dada Boudi’s hotel. And you will be amazed to see the amount of bengalis out here only in Madhapur. Every time I walk down my lane I can hear somebody or the other blabbering his/her way to glory in probbaly the sweetest language on the planet (ok! I will consider Urdu and am yet to learn French so….)
7. I think I am just in awe of someone. That one guy who discusses and gives me random gyan about India’s foreign policy. Can educate me big time on India’s defense policy. The one with whom I can share my views about Atish Taseer’s that ‘now’ much talked about article. And how he makes a point that Taseer, with all due repect, doesn’t make any new point..academically speaking. And then we discuss why is this one special…may be because of that politically overhyped parentage…and the real pain that Taseer faced. You see! I think you are just plain and simple “awesome”. Be my friend. Always 🙂

Hyderabad Blues

 That’s one of my favourite films. May be my love for the Kukunoor film had some chitchat while destiny was planning it out for me. On second thoughts- can love talk? yes it can 🙂 and it can say “I love you” too :)coming back to Hyderabad, it’s almost like second home now. The city saw me grow up. It has been through the many ups and a few downs I have gone through in my life. Agreed, there is nothing like Calcutta, but Hyderabad you will always remain special to me. Yes, may be this is the first time I am acknowledging this on a public forum, but yes! I am in love 🙂 with the city 🙂 And I still long to go back to Calcutta. That’s the only place on this earth I call ‘Home’. (Reiterated the umpteenth time) Oh1 wait, wasn’t this post titled Hyderabad blues?

Blues! yes. They are everywhere nowadays. that muddy puddle I need to cross everyday while I go to office. The silent drizzle on the glass and the greens of the Durgam Chevuru lake….and the perfectly controlled silence inside the office. The deadlines…now I know what is called one 🙂 Crazy schedules. dog tired weekends. Living alone. No friends to do all the random bakwaas. (Oh! they are back again in Hyderabad :P)

……blues. It’s everywhere.

Wish there was a dhaba trip planned. and bhutta.

And wish he was here.

Nuggets and more.

1. Now that house hunting is over, at least temporarily, I am gearing up for the big shift from being a student to a working lady soon. Well, a few days are still left before I graduate and I am enjoying it to the hilt, but I am also super excited to start work soon. I am going to miss being a student….but I am sure I will enjoy being the responsible taxpayer too. May be change is the only constant in life.

2. The jealous glares do amaze me now and then, but doesn’t matter anymore. Koi nahi, pay package aur brand value hazam honey mein thoda time to lagega hi 🙂 😛 More so when they asked for that all out war while shouting from the rooftops. But truly speaking, I am at peace with myself. And nothing makes me happier than that.

3. That reminds me. I love to stay happy. My friends often compliment me (at least I count it to be a compliment) as “being high on life”. True. I really dont need to take refuge to alcoholic drinks or smoking for that  matter to get that high. I don’t have nay issues with people who drink or smoke, but somehow I still prefer my glass of “coca cola on the rocks” 😛 in parties.

4. Have lately taken a lot of interest in learning Continental dishes. I have learnt quite a bit of Indian sabzi daal and stuff by now. Have to learn ‘amish’ (non vegetarian) cooking though. But I am trying to pick up Italian and stuff from my friends who are really good at it. And guess what? I suppose I can cook a proper Italian meal now for the people who matter 🙂 Learnt how to make mouthwatering Pasta (the red sauce variety), Sauteed Mushrooms and the mashed potato with garlic and milk. They tasted nice. Considering I know how to make Pizzas already, the Italian thing is quite a deal now I suppose :D. What next? may be lasagna 🙂 and obviously chitol macher muithya which I have been trying to learn for quite some time now. I love to cook. It’s therapeutic.

5. Have been reading this book called “The red Carpet” by Lavanya Sankaran. Considering that bookstores do sell it within the same bracket of a few books titled “Anything for you ma’am”, “Oh! shit, not again”, “Ofcourse I love you, until I find some one better”- I was obviously apprehensive (am even more apprehensive of the people who consider themselves literary enthusiasts after reading the above mentioned books and go ga ga over them- nothing personal against anybody, you might find my “Sesher Kobita”. “Uaccustomed Earth”, “A suitable Boy”, “Hamlet” or “Angels and Demons” boring too…but it’s just a personal take). But coming back to the point that is…I like the book…and the author. She is good…very different from the cult that she is being promoted as a part of. She writes about Bangalore….I quite liked the place, the one single time I visited it….but the very bong Calcutta (and to some extent Sunu Da’s GK II and it’s proximity to CR Park neighbourhood) enthusiast me also found it a very endearing and honest effort. Some day I would love to do a similar anthology on “Calcutta”. There might be thousands of them…because “ei shahor janey amar prothom sobkichu”…but it will be the stories I want to tell 🙂

6. It’s the last two day weekend in college. The remaining will have working Saturdays….somehow, the five years, though they didn’t just pass by like that, was quite a journey. A journey that made women out of girls. 🙂