The Sun, the moon, the stars, the wind, the grass… all the elements coming together to form a word picture, no, a gossamer landscape spreading from horizon to horizon with faint moonlight bouncing off the dew drops that had formed in the cold and serene evening on the leaves, on the long blades of grass and the spiders webs tucked away between thin branches of the evergreen trees creating silent concerts which only the sightless can hear, for the others hear the rustle of the rustic leaves and the cicadas endlessly calling out to their mates throughout the pastoral scene…
I could go on and on, but I exercise restraint as I wish to allow my readers a chance to record their own thoughts, impressions and feelings which would no doubt add to the enjoyment of all lovers of poetry…
This is a post that I wrote three years ago..
A TOUCH OF NOSTALGIA
Kolkata is hot, humid, uncomfortable and energy sapping almost throughout the year. Naturally, the people are more used to the heat than the cold.
So.. whatever passes for winter in Kolkata is welcome with open arms by the residents . The main topic of conversion in drawing rooms and public transport alike changes from politics /football to the last night’s minimum temperature and what the weather office is saying about a further drop in the coming days..
Winter in Kolkata is also dreaded on the other hand. The pet fear of all Bengalis hailing from Kolkata is ঠান্ডা লেগে যাবে..
Thou shalt catch the cold..
Out comes the sweaters, the coats, the mufflers and the monkey caps, all smelling strongly of moth balls, at the first hint of the cold season.
Babies and protesting children are all wrapped tightly up in the best of winter clothes by five o clock in the evening, making sure that the dreaded thanda is not given a chance to creep in edgewise.
There is some basis to the fear psychosis as well. The deadly combination of the cold, the omni present dust and the smog causes myriad types of ailments, including, but not limited to, asthma etc and all residents can hear the stereophonic sounds of prolonged bouts of coughing from neighbouring flats and buildings on the early mornings in December and January.
While flying into Kolkata one can see the pall of smog and haze ever present over the city , reaching up to a hundred kilometres in every direction.
That makes for a very mild and hazy sun that is hardly adequate for killing germs and/or drying clothes or even warming the old bones.. ..
Rightfully, people simply love the few cold, CLEAR and sunny days that come their way…
Weighing all aspects, winter for me is still the best time to be in Kolkata ☺️, maybe for slightly different reasons..
I just love the winter vegetables and foods that flood the market and fill the senses in more ways than one.
From notun jhola gur to moa, patali, and assorted varieties of other sweets made of notun gur I move on to the saltier stuff ;
I look forward to the green peas kochuri, the cauliflower Singara with just a hint of ginger, and every other dish in between that improves with the weather in Kolkata.
My trips to the city in the recent years have been long drawn out sessions of binge eating at my friends’ places or at Clubs or at parties, interspersed only with nights of fasting, if only to remain healthy enough to be able to tackle another day of feasting…
Monkey Cap notwithstanding!!
Bhaag is a serious movie that I acted in. It was shot in Pune in August 2017. I wrote about some of my experiences during the shoot, in an article titled “A Shooting Star”. Here’s the link to the story..
This is a dark sort of a movie made for the Pune International Film Festival where it received good reviews.
A link to the movie follows at the end of this narrative. The movie is best viewed on a large screen PC or a laptop. Switch on the sound.
The word Visarjan as you no doubt know refers to the ceremonial immersion of idols at the end of the event of worshipping.
Visarjan is usually accompanied by a lot of people, loud music, lights and so on..
In Maharashtra, the word normally, commonly and popularly refers to the ceremonial immersion of the Lord Ganesha.
Morya, according to the religious lore, is the closest disciple of the Lord Ganesha.
The little boy in this movie titled Bhaag also carries that name.
Morya, in our story, is the grandson of a very conservative, very proud, and very tyrannical man who lived in a village 50 kms away from Pune.
He had disowned his only son for marrying outside his caste. Morya is the son from that inter caste marriage.
Unfortunately, both the disowned son and the daughter in law died in a street accident when Morya was very young.
The grandfather was then compelled to take Morya under his wing. But he was only doing what he perceived as his duty.
Basically he hated his son for marrying outside the caste and he hated Morya by extension .
He beat Morya mercilessly whenever he stepped out of line and the little boy bore the injury marks on his body.
Throughout this miserable existence with the grandfather Morya wanted to escape.
He remembered the pomp and show, the sounds, the music, the lights and the food during the festivities of the Visarjan. (Early on in the movie we see him with his father enjoying the festivities when he was a little boy ).
He wanted to escape from the tyrannical grandfather (who, in his fantasies, often appeared to him like a monster who is out to kill him )
So, one day he boards a bus for Pune to again watch the Visarjan, which to him is an escape from the monster of a grandfather and also the last word in entertainment.
As a little boy he is lost in the crowd and terrified of the monster who he thinks is following him.
His mind often plays tricks and he keeps going from reality to fantasy and back again.
He meets a man (Vinayak, magician ) who takes a liking for the boy and tries to save him from his fantasies and nightmares.
Unfortunately, the grandfather catches up with them just then and gives chase.
A chase happens, a struggle ensues, the grandfather hits Morya hard and ends up killing him, however unintentionally. A case of involuntary manslaughter.
Torn between his love for his grandson and his love for his own self preservation, the grandfather chooses the latter, and runs away.
As Morya breathes his last, the last images flashing through his mind are those of his escape in the bus bound for Pune . His final release from captivity.
Hope you will be able to make some sense of the movie now.
IT’S ALL ABOUT CHARACTER
(an old Facebook post from three years ago!! )
Resisting your temptations and impulses is the first step towards character building, as anyone can tell you.
Take eating fish for instance.
For some inexplicable reason, fish and I never saw eye to eye when it appeared on my dinner plate. In my considered opinion fish belonged to the river and the aquarium whereas all four legged herbivores belonged to the dinner table.
Throughout my hostel days while in school fish appeared before me at lunchtime six days a week, floating in a thin gravy alongside a boat shaped piece of potato. And on every one of those occasions I was tempted to drop off the offending piece quietly under the table, to the waiting cats. But I didn’t. I believe this is what built my character.
My character is still very strong and instead of six days a week I only have to resist the temptation four or five days a week, these days . That makes it a lot easier.
Oh, but what nostalgia…!!
Please click on the link for the story…
Best viewed on a large screen of a PC or a laptop. Enjoy the photos. I am very happy that they came out the way they did…
(Picssaweb did me in…. Thousands upon thousands of my priceless photos were lost forever because of the decision by Google to shut down the service before I could arrange for alternative accommodation.
THE MAIN STORY
We set out from Seville after a sumptuous breakfast, as usual, for a straight two hundred kilometers run to the Alhambra Palace, en route to our hotel. The tickets for the Alhambra had already been procured and the guide was supposed to meet us exactly at two O’ clock in the afternoon.
These timings were extremely important. We were travelling through this part of Spain during the Easter weekend…
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