Friday, December 1, 2017

On the Way, Way to Go..

She gracefully stepped out of her chauffeur-driven Audi , and walked into her office- a part of her daily chores. Her Audi and her princess-like lifestyle surrounded her with a balance of admirers and haters. Her seemingly fairy tale life presented her to the world like a damsel picked straight out of a Disney tale.

In her today-like-yesterday, tomorrow-like-today life, last Sunday was a remarkable one. No, no, it wasn’t the Prince Charming. Gourmet Lunch? Late Night Party? It wasn’t them either. Possibilities of  a surprise mail, or a workplace success story could also be ruled out.

The “remarkable” day was about her travel to a friend’s place. Until now, Sri had barely seen life beyond home, Audi, school, workplace, family, and occasionally, an airplane. What could have been a more wonderful escape to a whole new world, than a journey on a local train, amongst thousands and millions of those exposed to the phenomenon, called ‘life’!

Traditional local trains in Kolkata are characterized by their green and yellow bodies, and an exclusively allotted foul-smelling bogie for the vendors. Like all other trains, they have their five-digit number codes and a defined schedule. However, they gain popularity in terms of their destinations and the crowd they accommodate in their brief journeys-Bongaon, Krishnanagar, and Bardhaman being the showstoppers in the local train world.

The staircases to the platform were filthy, but that was a matter of few seconds. The platform welcomed her with a series of composed announcements about the train-to-platform mapping. Groups of people were waiting everywhere to “invade” the passengers that would arrive on the trains and get off at the platform. There were parents instructing their kids to hold on.. ladies preparing to fight ladies at the ladies’ compartment; and then there were groups of random young boys calculating the statistics and probability of ease of boarding trains and getting off, with assumptions based on history and geography. The universal strategy though, was very much like that of getting into Plaform 9 ¾ -- walk straight through the crowd (with all your strength, within a minute) and Sri would stick to it. It did take a little bit of effort, but the crowd absorbed her into the train sooner than she realized.
In the train, she managed to place herself in an area of 20 square centimeters. Unlike the seclusion in her usual modes of transport and the places she travels to, the train was packed with people of varied shape and taste, and voice and mannerisms, with more and more people trying to accommodate themselves in every possible inch of space available. The sound of the train and the crowd was music to the lonely soul.

Amidst all the madness, the hawkers stole the show. They probably are the people who have mastered the art of salesmanship, unlike the MBA degree holders getting harassed by the crooked corporate. The hawker’s description of the taste and health benefits tempted Sri  into buying a plate of spiced(dust was also one of the spices), hygiene- proof guavas to feed her naïve soul and soon-to-be-upset tummy. The list of qualities of digestive tablets, fried peanuts and candies was fascinating. What a pity, our health sciences never taught us what the hawkers teach us every day!
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every man in possession of lustrous bald will be in want of a comb”.

The local train also seemed to be a place for buying other non-food products at unusually attractive prices. You would get to buy a really cheap fidget spinner, and you would get a pen and another pen, and a comb, and also a screw driver free with it. And the way the hawker spins his story is amazing, no Holmes can beat the sinister in what the next free product could be, and how all the products are related!
Amused and liberated, Sri carefully noted down the information about the various diseases and the doctors on the pamphlets pasted on the train walls. Getting off at the station was effortless; someone pulled her down to the platform. Some familiar face J

Today is just another work day. At lunch, Sri is patiently listening to her colleague’s woes about his local train journey. Little did he know that his struggles were, for a day, luxury, a Roman Holiday to the “Princess locked up in a castle”. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017


She sat there, by the river. The pleasant memories of her Violet Indian Ringneck lingered through the years of student life. The little bird, her best friend, would rejoice at the sound of her schoolbus as it stopped at the doorstep to drop her home. The parakeet would watch her as she playfully tucked at its toys through the gaps of its cage. The fun persisted as a part of their daily routine, and the friendship remained a spectator to her journey from little Neha Gupta to Mrs. Neha Sharma. Together they learnt about the struggles of Indigo farmers of Champaran, and over the years, they shared the displeasure in Monday morning Blues.

A tiny droplet of tear struggled it's way into her mildly smiling lips as the reminisced the amusement in maintaining the same diet of salads and lettuce as her vegan pet in her determination to shed calories. Their laughter echoed through the greener days of their lives, until the day they left for their new homes- Neha for her husband's realm, and the parakeet for it's heavenly abode. Perhaps, the sight of Neha smeared in turmeric and draped in yellow was pleasing, the separation that followed was menacing. 
The season of oranges had come to an end. She barely heard him speak in a month; a rare disease had robbed his brain of its capabilities, and the couple, of their marital bliss. The winters faded, the blizzard of her life concluded, leaving her heart, and his body cold and lifeless. Reality and stress would deprive her of springs for the rest of her life.

The flames had devoured his body in no time. The ashes were immersed. A tinge of red remained on her forehead even as the society stripped her of her identity. And there she sat, by the river, the memories of her pet, and her husband seeking to paint her flawless white sari…
She left late that evening, as life stirred in her womb. Dreams, after all are forever as bright as Vermillion.

Monday, May 16, 2016

One Day at a Time....

The moon widowed the night

And Silence with all its might

Numbed life in its way..

Shrivelled spirits,

And woeful plight..

Mayhem flickered

With hushed delight

And rendered dismay…

Solitude took over,

Scattered and sour,

The dreams walked away.

They waited the night,

And the morn,

And the nights to come,

They stitched their dreams,

And songs unsung..

Then, they called it a day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Whilst silence sang its sultry ire,
Winsome words of Sov'ran desires
Whistled past the hardy hush
With its galling, gentle gush.

A painless pause raced through time
Speaking apathy in mime.
Solace took over slumber,
Breezing forth with springs of wonder..

Some flimsy, flashy, fluttering beams,
Illuminated the flashy dreams..
Of timbrels of truth, of lutes of light..

And the waves of stillness rose-
To the immortal surf! To life!
Reminisced, Resurrected.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Glances bartered along roadsides..

Looking back-a bleeding bonafide;

Rendezvous, reasons,

Solitude, seasons….

Enchanted elegance..

Demeaning distance…

Trailing the time that was gone…

They glanced back…. And walked on.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jet lag

What could be the best way to define the distance between spouses? The miles between the two cities in two different countries they are living in? The hours between the two time zones? The empty spaces between them? Or the silence.. the inaccessibility?

 Physics defines distance as length or space between two points.. Graphically it is represented by subtracting the coordinated of the two given points. Perhaps between people too, something gets subtracted from each other. Something goes missing. Which takes us back to the first set of questions! As to what the possible remainder is!
Graphically distances between points are often measured by joining them by straight lines. Connection. Strings. From heart to heart.

Distance. A wider angle of view. Brings to your notice what wasn’t accessible to you when you stood right in front of your point of reference. In this case, your spouse. From harsh realities to sweet truths, they get to explore each other. They say :

“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range”.

 There may be possibilities of a few bitter discoveries. Nevertheless, the frog prince in the fairy tale wouldn't have been as enchanting without vivid descriptions of the pond, the garden, the castle, or the princess herself.

A concept of motion always goes hand in hand with distance. Moving a day away from the day she last met him. Moving a day closer to the day he would see her again! A journey to cover up for the miles, hours and void…..

The basic aspects cannot be ruled out either. Missing each other… Anticipating.. Waiting… And building bridges to find shortcuts to each other..

In my case:
The shortest distance between us is under construction. Reconstruction.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dream life, Live dreams!

Dream. A subconscious state of mind. By definition it is an occurrence of involuntary succession of images and sensations when one is asleep.  It is that part of your sleep that gives you a sense of being awake. Ordinary, surreal or bizarre, it makes people feel alive.

Dreams don’t happen to us. We realize it. We realize what is it that we haven’t thought of. Rather, what our conscious self hasn’t thought of.  Dream is like the “Mirror of Erised” as shown in the Harry Potter series.
“Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi”

Read backwards it means: I show not your face but your heart’s desire. A similar interpretation of dreams was put forward by Sigmund Freud in his word The Interpretation of Dreams. According to him, we have a tendency to hold back our urges and impulses. And these suppressed feeling find their ways out in different forms, one of which is dreams.

True, that it’s an illusion. But isn’t it beautiful?! To find yourself in Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry, or in Willi Wonka’s chocolate factory with Charlie? It’s great to be wandering along with Alice in her wonderland! And it’s as wonderful to dance with your “dream” love. And as awesome to see yourself as Bill Gates’ boss! It could grow wilder than that! Well how about the question paper for tomorrow’s exam?

Not that they don’t baffle us with what we call nightmares! Yet, dreams, lucid or vague, are beautiful. And waking up, even better. Their naïve reminiscence of the dreamer may animate or agitate him. Or give rise to a whole new creative process.

We “create” dreams. And we can make them real with the same creativity.  Not that we would always end up discovering the same species of the rare pink bird with crimson lips and blue-purple-green-yellow wings we dreamt of; we may, instead someday be a renowned artist for painting the same bird seated in its golden nest- paint our dreams!

“The years that are gone seem like dreams—if one might go on sleeping and dreaming—but to wake up and find—oh! well! Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusions all one’s life.”
                                                                           -Kate Chopin ( The Awakening)