Saturday, July 18, 2009

how long?

But how long can Kolkata afford ’shorshe eelish’ is the question? Every single state machinery is close to ruins. However, this ‘misguided anarchism’ is not limited to any particular political party nor is it a fresh idea. I have witnessed ‘bus porano’ 15 years back and if I recall right, the expressions on the faces of the perpetrators weren’t any different. (Looking at the woman should I be lauding them for gender equality?) Living in another city for many years now, I realize more things change more they remain the same.

Every day there is a ’swell’ of Bangalees arriving in other cities looking for opportunities and the ones who remain are probably looking for their 15 mins of fame in this fashion. I am not trivializing the trigger but the means used for protest. Maybe change will come with pain. But I doubt that. As I speak with many folks who live there, I get this alarming sense that they are perfectly ok with the bandh/bus-burning. Yes there is the obligatory noise about ‘economic loss’ but beyond that Kolkata is happy enjoying a long weekend. There is this entire generation that grew up ‘enjoying’ the bandh holidays and would know no better. While watching the news, my nine year old asked ‘what is bandh?’ and for that I am grateful.

Monday, July 13, 2009


It was party time with Ro celebrating his birthday. The poor mother was dancing not so daintily between office work and the arrangements. So the cake had to be chocolate and strawberry and the balloons blue and white and the badges Spiderman and the goodie bags handmade from old newspaper and blue satin ribbons and the party games fun. Yes, the mother stayed up nights and ran all the errands till she was ready to collapse before the party. All for a hug and a wet kiss at the end of the party followed by a declaration – you are the best mommy in the whole world. The reward justifies the backaches, the un-met deadlines at work, the dark circle and the haggling with the decorators. For once, the squealing kids didn’t trigger a want to clobber them instantaneously. So they danced and skidded, dropped cake and spilled soda on the floor, screamed their lungs out, thumped each other with balloons. At the end of two hours the place turned into a battered war zone. The service folks bore all the mauling with a smile and the mother looked bedraggled and ready to howl. Finally the party ended and the goodbyes lingered.

Friday, July 10, 2009

baby boy

Ro turned 9 this Monday. He is growing up at a pace that I do not know how to keep pace with anymore. Despite the Ben 10s and the other competing contraptions, he retains some endearing innocence that I know for sure wouldn’t last till next year. He still rushes to hug me when I return home, even when he is in the midst of his friends at the playground. If he is home before me, he insists on opening the door, instinctively knowing who’s at the door. He never flinches when I call him my little baby in public. One of my neighbours always says how lucky I am to have such a loving child. Of course, she doesn’t know of our skirmish and I-will-NEVER-talk-to-yous. But he is a gentle child, probably one of the reasons most girls are friends with him but not all the boys. He doesn’t get into fights and has learnt the art of fixing boys older to him with a stare, which is commendable at his age. I had wished for him to be more aggressive when I mistook his easygoing adaptive nature for passivity. But as he grows, I notice the distinct streak of latent stubbornness that’s a sure sign of a mind all of its own. He has opted for cookery for his hobby class in school this year. My father, being from the generation that he is, looked at him in disbelief when he announced his choice. My mother smiled and was secretly pleased. Last year he had taken yoga, again out of his own volition. To my father all this is very alien and he wonders why on earth his grandson chooses cookery over a science club. Though seeing my mother’s enthusiasm, he keeps his ‘wonderment’ to himself. Finally, I heard him telling Ma yesterday, that he regrets never having learnt how to cook himself. To which my mother, being my mother, tells him it’s never too late.

With you

I was alive

I was spontaneous

I would talk ceaselessly

Time stood still

Right now

I am peaceful

I live a routine

I am a compulsive listener

I wear a watch