Friday, August 30, 2019

Three Tail Tales

I have been really intending to write this for a long time now, almost about 3 days to be precise, but procrastination coupled with my supreme lethargy always always wins.
A few days back, as in 3 days back the world celebrated International Dog Day, and, I must confess that I have not come across a single dog, who didn't extend their cushy-paws if I have put my hand in front!
Tommie, an Alsatian, was the first living being I saw that was even smaller in size than I was at the age of 4, and, he, 21 days. I remember seeing him for the first time after returning from school. It is, in my opinion, my first memory, which eventually I have also realised is my first memory of feeling an emotion. Feeling of happiness and joy. The only one younger to me and Priyanka De in the entire house was Tommie. He was our LIVE toy!
Within months, even though younger to us, he outgrew both of us, and then became more a friend than a toy. We would sit around him for hours. We played together. We all got drenched while he was bathed. We checked his plate while we ate and so on. But, with such a built and deafeningly bold bark, he was perceived as intimidating over the actual fun giant that he was. Till date, whenever I remember him, I sincerely wish that all those who were intimidated, could have just gathered a bit more courage to pat his head, and he would have turned into a fur ball in a blink.
But that's all gone alright! I still remember him. He would definitely remain my first and last memory of knowing a living being so closely. He will forever be our first LIVE toy. He shall forever be my lesson to know that love once gone is gone forever.
... After almost a decade, came another love burst with a more docile demeanor. If I ever had a ‘Lethargy Lord’, he shall be the one - Nanu! This beige fur mat barked only when he heard the shriek of the gate in the evening, when my uncle returned home from work. Otherwise, he would never bark, at none. Every vendors, who came to our house couldn't resist petting him for his super-high adorable quotient and a 'patient ear'. Every sabjiwali would talk to him about how difficult it is to charge any less for the vegetables while our grandmom (Dida) would haggle till the last penny. He would look assuringly at everybody speaking to him, resting his face between his paws, rolling from one side to another, faking an alert ear, and then walked away if the conversation tend to be lengthy.
Peace and calm seemed to have gotten their meaning from him. He was so peaceful (read lethargic) that when the house-help came to mop the floor, he didn’t move an inch. He was slided from one spot to another. He was our fur mat on chilly nights. He was our Dida's company to the cow shed every morning. He was our 'Pawed Zen'. He was too quiet to even let us know that while he was walking away into the Sal garden at dusk, wagging his tail, he sought a different world and let the ‘Thunderous Jimmy’ take over.
Jimmy made his way into the verandah through the garden. Almost for about a week, he would come running from nowhere when Dida was in the garden. He would run around, be playful, bark at butterflies and then stare at fallen flowers. For such a lively company, Dida considered it only humane to acknowledge her presence by feeding 2 chapatis and milk. For a week, she would lick the bowl clean and leave, until the day she didn't leave. She stayed. Stayed back and gave birth to 6 adorable beige, black and white buttons. Thunderous as she was, Dida was little apprehensive about going close to her that morning, and I ran to the outhouse where she sat tired and proud. I stood at the door clueless with joy for about a minute and then slowly stepped towards her wondering whether or not to step nearer. As I squat a few meters away, with the slightest ounce of energy left in her, she cubbed each of those button between her jaws and put them in front of me and stared as if to say, ‘here they are’! I took each of those button in my hand and patted them wondering if it was a dream!
Till the last day on earth, if I have to answer whether or not I have experienced heaven on earth. I without a doubt have my answer ready.
To Tommie, Nanu and Jimmie... be wherever you are, be the one you are!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yuletide Sun

We Bengali use a very culture specific phrase during Durga Puja, 'pujo pujo roddur', which roughly means that the sunshine is very specific to these Pujo days. This statement basically connotes the happy, feel-good vibe prevalent during this period of celebration.

Over the years, I have realised that it's definitely because of the climactic condition during that time of the year and secondly and most importantly, it's because of the state of mind that people are in, which is happy, contentment, easy, and the only expectation and wish people around wish upon you is to have fun and enjoy and live to the fullest; which naturally makes everything and everyone around even more beautiful and happy. 

Similarly, there's a special feel and a sense of happiness and contentment during all the festivals. 

During Christmas, both love and nip in the air pleasantly increase. The only expectation people around have from you is to, eat, drink and be merry. This time of the year is even more special as the year is about to roll its shoe, thus, subtly making one reflect on the time gone by and gearing up to welcome the new year. 

The days and the nights are all about pleasant surprises with Santas running around in every shape and size, that too with a gift for you. The reds and the whites set tone for every cheerful moment and a peaceful gratitude for the same. 

Make this the time to revel in every form of joy, because this time is all about baking, cooking, drinking, eating, smiling and hugging each one around like they deserve it.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Champagne of Tea

I have huge respect for tea-drinkers, who knows their cup of tea to a tee!  The realization that there are sprawling tea gardens and that tea smell little weird than how it actually smells in a cup, came to me quite late in life, when I visited Darjeeling with a gang of 25 relatives, cousins and a dear friend of one of my cousins, who I met for the first and the last time on that trip.

Travelling with a very promising 20+, when I was a decade and a half old and so was the climactic degree of the place, did stir a lot in my cup. The morning dew and mists, evening fog, a veil of cloud suddenly blocking your view as you walk uphill; were the things that made me fall in love with the beauty of the hills more than anyone in the trip. That was the first time I realized what beauty ‘hills’ are!

To live on with this experience, appreciating “tea” was an obvious and organic extension. The most adventurous I can claim myself to be is in matters of tea. My favourite tea places range from Nasir Da’s stall, on whose “lebu-cha” (lemon tea), I have spent my university days, to some of the sprawling and most illustrious tea houses in Bombay. My indulgence in tea has made me taste anything from a paste of Matcha to a porcelain of world's top Single Estates, but the best I have tasted was in the company of that 20 + ‘dear friend of one of my cousins’.

Sitting aimlessly and at peace by the hills, realizing that the sun was going down faster than I could blink, I remember, a deafening silence engulfed the entire region within minutes. One by one, lights of houses downhill went on, the chill in the air started piercing my skin and fragrance of the hills encapsulated my senses as it started drizzling.  

Amidst all this, I vividly remember the bliss I experienced. A warm hug of a person, who I met for the first and the last time on that trip, snuggled a little close to me and gentlypressed my ice cold palms in his and placed my hand on to that steaming hot glass of tea. 

Since then, tea has been as intoxicating to me as a goblet of wine, and where else could I have lived that beautiful moment, other than what is rightly referred to as the Champagne of Tea – Darjeeling. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

'I Wish I Were' A Train!

Childhood - a place we always want to go back to once we are past the time-age boundaries of being called a child. Childhood is like that quick beautiful glimpse that pass by right at the moment it is there; much like the glimpse of the vast open expanse that pass by as we move forward sitting in a train. 

Train - that's what 'I Wish I Were'. Train, the abode that keeps moving forward to embrace the unknown in a rhythmic clatter of chaos and peace. Trains, are the place where strangers exchange greetings, opinions and foods, become friends before never meeting again. Trains gives one the moments to experience oneself within a stipulated time period. Trains allow one to enjoy the comforts of home amidst strangers. 

By being a train I would get to travel across the length and breadth of the country through terrains and topography that changes every hour. Various languages that trains get to hear from millions of passengers everyday, makes it a linguistic institution in itself. The passengers, the vendors and the staffs, each is a unique set, that hop onto this rhythmic movement with a certain objective - to reach a destination, to sell their wares and to approve the passengers' journey.

In this harried world, where everybody tries to be better than the rest, train is the place where everybody wraps themselves in a peaceful cocoon of being and doing what one desires. Read a book, listen music, stare blankly at the world outside or just sleep like a log. Train is a shell that just let you be and thus, be happy. 

Lastly, as a train, you make people believe that journey is as much or more eventful than the destination itself; much like the fact that no matter how much we clutch on to the times gone by, there's no option to stand still until there's a STOP ahead! Trains reinstate the mantra - move forward as you reminisce the past and embrace the unforeseen!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

What is the first thing that people notice about you?

It's no secret that I'm a regular on Social Media platforms - from Facebook to Linkedin, from Twitter to Instagram, from Blogspot to Google Plus and Pinterest in between! Did I say, Linkedin? I keep forgetting about it!

Well, then, let it not be a secret that I'm also present on almost all matrimony sites. It might not be a secret, but still giving benefit of doubts. But, the point of concern is, I'm there, just there, but not a regular! No, honestly, I'm not. Seriously, no. I want to be, but I'm not!

It's not because I'm not interested or I'm too busy. I can have as much time I want to, but that shouldn't imply I'm unemployed! I'm paid to stalk people on social media. If not people, brands. My client's competitors.

Coming to the point, I'm not regular on matrimony sites because of the conscious effort that one need to put and look for only a certain type of people - responsible, stable, should not sound funny but should be interesting blah blah.

That pretty much gives away the fact that, give me a specific/certain thing to do - and I lose interest in a blink. Totally. Ask me to wander aimlessly and i will never return! Yes, escapist - that can be said for me!

Now, if you are done with gaining sadistic pleasure by calling me an escapist, the prime reason why I'm not regular on matrimony sites is also because of a weird question that's asked - "What is the first thing that people notice about you?"

Prompt comes my answer: Shouldn't those so called 'People' answer this? How on earth am I suppose to know what 'People' think about me!

But then, not  to make myself sound like a know-it-all or a dimwit or a snob, I answer - May be my height - or the lack of it. OR My weight - because i keep throwing it around - literally - still, I don't lose it!

On giving such answers, I often get remarks like - You are funny!

Believe me, I'm not. But, truth, i think it is!
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