Ever been to a funeral party? I bet most of you have. All of you must have noticed there are a lot of people present, yet they can be classified into a few groups by their behavior. Some are the immediate next to the deceased, whose eyes are flooded like perennial rivers in monsoon, leaning on some others for consolation. There are hosts who are taking care of the guests, they don’t have time to cry. The last group of people come just to attend the party for the meal.
The topics of discussion invariably revolve around the dead, metaphysical, souls, ghosts, peace etc. Whatever may be the topic, the point of discussion finally trickles down to the deceased one and what a person he/she was!
A perfect family man who never did anything worthy of mention, other than fulfilling his duties and caring for his family, dies. The most prominently audible phrases at his funeral are “Though he got a bit angry at times, he was always a good man at heart!”, “He was so humble”,” He cared for everybody” etc. Some will then put forward some real and some fictitious examples to highlight these qualities. Thus, the ultimate conclusion would be that the deceased was a good person after all (even though no one cared to mention it to him in his lifetime!)
An renowned artist dies. He was already quite good at what he did but not up to the mark of great. This time the party goers will include a lot more people (than there were for the average guy). The phrases heard will be “He was such a great artist!”, “He never bragged about his greatness ”, “He was such an honest guy, that is why he never lobbied for his place in the industry like the other cheap artistes”, “so down to earth” etc. Then there will be examples like “remember that one? That one was one of his best!”, somebody cuts in the middle “No way, this one is even better” and it goes on. The ultimate conclusion would be that this deceased artist was a great one! (even though no one cared to mention it ever anywhere during his lifetime!)
A great person dies! I take the example of Mr. Rajesh Khanna. For those who don’t know him, he was one of the greatest of his time in the Indian Film Industry. For such people, funeral parties aren’t limited to their home. All over the country people and fans mourned when he passed on. TV channels were swamped with newsreaders and panellists discussing the topics, “This is a huge loss for the country”, “This is a huge loss for the Indian film Industry”, “He was such a great person!” and lastly concluding with “He was the best!” .Recently he had shot an ad for “Khaitan Fans”. Channels could not stop blabbering about what an ad it was, who was the director, who was the cameraman and ultimately, what a popular ad it was! Truly speaking I didn’t know about that ad until Rajesh Khanna died. On the next few days newspapers were full of his biographies by people supposedly close to him. The attention and adulation he got after his death overshadowed the attention Mr. Bachchan commands right now. Even though Mr. Bachchan is the star of the millennium and he is still an active part of the Indian film industry. I am full of respect for both of these mega stars and I don’t mean to compare. I am just pointing out a funny aspect of the public mindset.
For the public
“The average becomes good, the good becomes great and great becomes the best! ….after death”
Funny enough, this day started around 4 in the morning! Actually, it was a cat moaning, and those who know it know well how much disturbing and irritating it is. A few times I left my bed to shoo away the cat, but it was beyond my reach behind a door. By the time of my 4th attempt, the cat had dared to appear before me. I was so angry I could have strangled it bare-hand even before it could take out its claws but, fortunately enough, it managed to give me the slip by a few centimeters and fled for its life. Next thing I remember is waking up around 5. A thought hit me like a hammer, “OMG! I have forgotten to bring my resume!!”. Imagine my situation. I had gone for an interview without my resume!! I felt chilly for a few seconds, but then another idea warmed me up! I would have needed the resume on the next day only if I managed to pass the written test.There was ample time in hand. So, I was back on track! here are some pics I snapped in the morning..
Sudipta had finished his morning business in the only toilet for the whole floor and it was my turn. Avinandan was as late as ever. Even after jostling him we managed to get him out of bed only after 6. By the time he was ready and packed we were at Sealdah station buying tickets. Among the three of us, Sudipta is the most punctual and Avinandan the least. I am somewhere in between 😉 . We were waiting.. waiting on the train..waiting for the train to leave or Avinandan to come, whichever came first. All of a sudden Avinandan’s head and his tall figure popped up among the crowd far away, then he ran the length to our coach with the air of a “Bollywood hero chasing his love“. Half a minute late and he would have missed this train. We departed from Sealdah, promising ourselves that we wont go to that horrible hotel again no matter what happens. On our opposite side, a young man in interview formals was sitting beside the window. I was hungry. Decided to have a pack of “CHOLA-MIXTURE” (sprouting grams mixed with chopped onions and salts). Since I was awfully hungry, I hadn’t noticed the dripping spice water smeared all over my hands. At last I washed my hand and shook my hands dry (my hanky was in my backpack) and that window side person gave me a glare. Though I told him an inaudible sorry, the milk had been spilled. At least it animated his expressionless face to some extent! 😛
Getting off at Madhyamgram station Sudipta and Avinandan had a cup of tea each. Both were too tense to eat anything. The drone of a plane passing overhead told us that we were quite near to the DumDum Airport. Looked above, it was an IndiGo plane. I had a funny yet strange thought seeing the planes overhead, passing so near. I thought what if the plane stops mid-air and falls on our heads, coz literally they looked like hanging from the sky 🙂 We were told that we were gonna be picked up by a bus at the station, and then at another bus stop. We were confused, didn’t know which way to go. Started walking. After a little distance we noticed there were bands of guys and girls who were no less confused. They too were wandering without a clue. The looks in those eyes, we knew we were in the same boat. The scattered groups congregated under a flyover. Someone told “lets go to the next pick up point”, and we all did so. Groups of 4-5 took a rickshaw van each and off we went. It was a fun ride!
Got off at Madyamgram Chowmatha. The traffic police gestured us to go to the other side of the road, the college was in that direction. Soon a small yellow bus appeared. We scrambled to get on to it. I was luck, I got a window seat. Within minutes the bus was jam-packed and we started for our destination, “Camellia Institute of Technology”. I didn’t look behind but I was pretty sure that many were left standing at the bus stop. It took around10 minutes.
The college is situated in the middle of a grassy wetland. No facilities such as transport or any good hotel nearby. The entrance itself smells awful coz of the high drain passing in its front. Anyway, we had to ourselves registered and authenticated. To that I said to my friends “None except those who have lost their minds will come here willingly, so there isn’t a need for authentication. We won’t have come here unless we desperately needed a job” . We were asked to sit in a medium sized auditorium. there we were supposedto take the test there. The people from “Exilant Technologies” had come. At first they arranged us into neat rows and columns. Then we were given answer sheets and question papers and the test started. It was a test of 15 questions, 45 minutes. My question set was easier, I had completed it within 20 minutes. Most of those sitting around me were slogging on till the 45th minute calculating and writing. The papers were taken back and we were told to assemble by 3 pm for the results. We went to the canteen for lunch. Avinandan had come here before, so he led the way. On reaching there we got a surprise!!! Another group of student from our college had gone there. We were searching for them, they for us and we hadn’t discovered each other till then 🙂 I had 4 parathas for lunch and back we went. There was a lot of time left so we decided to roam about in the college. After some time we sat on a balcony. O! I forgot to mention. Sukanto and Debashish, another two friends of mine had invited us to stay at their hostel for the night. I was immensely relieved!!
By 3 pm sharp, the company guys had came to the auditorium. To my utter surprise my name was 2nd on the list! I had cleared the written test. Waow! what a feeling that was with the whole room looking at me. My friends congratulated me. I was asked to go to another room in another building. It was for a pre-placement talk. Sitting in that A/C hall, I was wondering if any more of my friends had cleared the test (Later on I came to know that another one did clear, but he had left for home already). I was a bit sad that neither Avinandan nor Sudipta had cleared the test. The placement talk went on for an hour and we were on our way back. Sudipta was feeling sick, so he had already left for home. Avinandan was kind enough to stay back with me, even though he didn’t have anything else to do. We went to DumDum. There we called up Debashish for the directions. He asked us to take an auto to “Khamkheyali Songho”, which means “the absent-minded group”. Kolkata is famous for such funny names! We were escorted to their room. Compared to what we had gone through the previous night, this place seemed like heaven! Soon we all went out for a meal. Sukanta was the hungriest among us. We went to a resturaunt, woke up the sleeping owner-cum-cook and ordered for 5 plates of noodles. Afterwards we returned as we were too tired to hang out any more.
5-6 people live in these guys’ room. The funniest of them all is a skinny Sikkimese. He is a student of BESU, Sibpur. He looks like he is always sort of intoxicated (which he actually is). Never mind, what I liked most was his card tricks. He is a master at card magic. He deftly performed many tricks leaving me and Avinandan awestruck. Initially I was an active audience, but after a few tricks I got too embarrassed to be fooled again. I pretended not to notice, but who could resist.. He is awesome!! Raghu, Debashis and Sukanta did treat us well. Sukanta even gave me a animated movie “Puss in boots” !! I would like to thank them again, they saved us from going back into that hell-hole. 🙂 For dinner I had a Bengali Thali and a bottle of Amul KOOL!
So this is how the 2nd night ends.. U know I skipped a lot of things, otherwise this post would have been even longer.
Let’s start the story on the day we left home. Me and my two friends Sudipta and Avinandan, were supposed to meet at Durgapur station. We were a bit late, still we managed to catch the train to Dakhineswar, the Jammu Tawi Express. We had general compartment tickets, but seeing the general compartments packed full; we decided to get on the sleeper coaches, which is illegal. Bad luck, we were caught by the TT soon. He was hell-bent on slapping a fine on the three of us. Thanx to Avinandan, we somehow managed to convince him and he let us go. He gave us strict orders to get off at the next station or go to the general compartments. So we did. Just as the train reached the next station, we got off and ran. Bad luck again, we were into the coaches near the end and the general coaches were right next to the engine. After running the whole length of the train panting for breath, we hopped on to the general coach and the engine gave the whistle. There was just space for the three of us and our backpacks. We were a bit tense if we would have to stand throughout the journey, but thank God! Halfway to our destination at Burdwan station, the crowd lightened up and we got seats. It was raining hard, so all the windows were closed. In such a closed coach if someone next to you farts every minute, what would it be like? It was horrible. It was like getting drowned, literally I could not breathe. Someone really needed to go to the toilet, I just could not guess who. At last, around half an hour to our destination I got up from my seat. I could not have sat there for another minute without killing myself. So, finally we were at Dakhineswar.
This place is the famous for a temple complex of the Hindu goddess ”Kali”. Legend says that Lord Vishnu used his Sudarshan Chakra to destroy the body of Sati, then her right hand thumb fell at this place, so a temple came up here. Also, this is the place where the legendary Ramakrishna Paramahansa was a priest in the East India era.
It was still raining, I wanted to go straight to Sealdah, but Avinandan was adamant about visiting the temple. He is damned good at convincing others, so I didn’t have much of a choice. We 3 were off on foot for darshan. The rain was attacking us from all sides in turns so we were adjust our umbrellas at different angles. On entering the gates we saw many going here and there. Some were barefooted, some weren’t. There was the main temple complex on our left and the offerings shops on our right. Following the other people we went to a place where we kept our shoes for a token. Then we made for the main temple complex. While entering everyone has t pass through a narrow alley after a little checking. The narrow alley opened up into a huge open space, with many little and medium sized temples arranged neatly along the sides. We could not decide which one to visit first. Anyway, we started off the nearest one. The second one housed the main idol of Ma KALI. Here we had a hilarious incident. The temple itself was on a raised platform, and had quite a number of stairs. We first started on one side, got up the stairs, found our way blocked, came down. Went left, repeated the same thing 3 times, only to find that we had chosen the wrong way all 3 times. Finally, we found that the entrance was on the right side of the stairs we had climbed the first time! It would have been a fine script for a show of Mr. Bean! Laughing at ourselves we went to the other side for darshan. This side had 7 small temples of Lord Shiva, right next to the Ganges.
Taking back our shoes, we left for another temple named ADYAPEATH. On way, we had to ask a lot of people for directions. After walking for about 5 minutes we were there. This place wasn’t as big as Dakhineswar, but a lot more dense with many temples. We were hungry, had some snacks and made for the station. On way, there was a overflowing drain which had drowned up a long street in knee-deep water. Initially, we performed some daredevil long jumps along the little islands on the sides. Ultimately we had to give up. I took lead, dipped my feet and started wading along the street. It was funny and frightening at the same time. Funny coz I like walking in the rains, walking through puddles. It was frightening coz we didn’t know if we were gonna step into the next big pothole. At the end of the ordeal, I was utterly surprised! Avinandan was chatting on the phone throughout! Talk about multitasking!!
We got to the station and boarded a train for Sealdah. The train was almost empty, given the bad weather. We got off at Sealdah and started our hotel hunt for the night. We started off asking a lone policeman for the nearest hotels, then passed underneath the AJC Bose flyover to the other side. It was muddy everywhere. We went from hotel to hotel but were told there wasn’t any vacant room. Only the A/C ones were vacant but they were gonna burn holes in our pockets. After a long search we managed to find one called Hotel Shefali Dx, where after a hard round of negotiation we got a room for the night for 400. The owner was a fine specimen of a typical boss! He is such a person who never talks and always barks!!He barks both at customers and his assistant (who is always on the edge of losing his temper and killing him). No doubt, customers come to this hotel and put up with this unbearable menace only when they have no other choice. Just 20 minutes with him and we were going mad. Whenever he turned his back, the assistant silently muttered the worst slangs in his direction. We got a good idea of his frustration when he came upstairs to show us our room. Finally, we got a room. The room didn’t even have proper lighting arrangements. We took a CFL from the bathroom and fitted it in our room for the night. Before going for dinner and retiring for the night we took some pics from our balcony. The room wasn’t good, but the view of Kolkata was awesome!! The pics we had taken aren’t good enough. This one is the flyover right in front of our hotel.
P.S.- Whoever is angry at me because I didn’t visit ur blog, blame it on this 🙂
Being more logical than sentimental, I have the uncommon habit of deleting all SMS-es at once. I never save any, don’t care for their emotional value. But lately things have been a bit off schedule and my mailboxes have been piling up. This morning I had a change of mind. I decided to read the old messages from my mobile Inbox and Outbox. There are around 800 in all right now and all have their own stories worth telling.
There are many “best of luck”s, a few “congrats”es and some “sorry”-s. Apart from these there are the regular “Goodmorning”s, “Goodnight”s, “whatsup buddy?”s etc. Leaving which few are a bit different. Some of these SMS-es remind me of times when someone was in distress and asked for help. Sometimes just simple listening did wonders. Sometimes I had traffic jams in my head, I was terribly sad and wanted to talk my heart out to somebody. Some reflect my subtle diplomacy, some reflect my irrationally emotional moments and so on..
Then I came to the drafts. This is the most interesting of places. Some messages written in full, some left halfway and some just having a few lines or letters. Some written for apologizing, only to find that I had been forgiven already!! Some “sorry”s unsent coz I was too angry to admit my fault and was determined to defend my stand. Some “goodnight”s left behind coz I slept off before they could be sent.. Some of my freshly baked jokes rotting coz just before being sent, an incoming SMS told me he/she isn’t in the mood for a joke. Some SMS-es written to inform some friends of some good news, only to find that they already know about it! Lastly, some written but not sent coz, they were typed when I needed to pretend being busy 😉
Each one of these have amazing stories worth telling. These remind me of some happy moments and some sad ones. The happy ones remind me of times when I would have wanted time to be frozen there, forever. The sad ones remind of some embarrassing moments, when I would have given my anything to someone who could have fast-forwarded me out of those frames. Pretty strange, that a few SMS-es could show me the movie of my own life. Life goes in a sine wave. It goes on through ups and downs, but never stops. Nothing is stagnant in this universe. These old frames of time, someday these will be replaced by newer ones which shall be lost again. After all I need space for new SMS-es.. So, I go back to my old habit and delete these reminders. All-at-once…
Friends ask me a lot, why I don’t watch anything other than cartoons and animations, why so? Here is the answer for anybody who cares to read..
I seldom watch any movie other than those made for kids. But when I do, it leaves super-permanent impressions on me. The last one I saw was Autograph and today it was Katakuti. In this movie, I found myself in Rony, an out of place character in this sickly twisted world, where nothing is straight. Being true to the saying “movies are the mirrors of our society”, these movies lay bare the darkest realities of life, and reality is damned confusing..
The more I see these movies the more I am reminded of a line I had read in some Bengali prose. A lady said, ভাষার সৃষ্টি হয়েছে মানুশের মনকে ঢাকা দিতে, Language was created to mask the mind. Truly enough, the more you mask your mind the better a person you are. Being transparent, I am the odd-one-out in this race.
The more I see these movies the more it seems, love is nothing but a device used to get something. Romantic partners love each other just to have a support on as-needed basis and satisfy their own false ego. They don’t love the person, they love to have somebody who is at the beck and call. I don’t know to what extent this is true, but this is my own perception.
The more I see these movies, I become more and more of a pessimist and skeptic. I find it hard to believe others. I find it hard to trust others. I am not that intelligent that I can perceive deception before being fooled.
Lastly what bothers me most is that, I feel the things shown may happen to me. I have already seen a few in my real life, and I have just heard about some others. Then the thought surfaces, it happens to some of my dear ones, then what shall I do? The mere thought chills my blood and Reality really hurts... Being bitten by a snake thrice doesn’t accustom you to the pain. It hurts like it did the first time, just the scream “MOMMYY!!!!!!” turns into a little “Ahh..”. Similarly, watching movie characters in pain doesn’t lessen the pain of watching them unfold in real life.
Animated movies are designed with kids in mind. They amuse us, take our mind off reality bites, and give us a break.. So why bother about extra pain when I can avoid it altogether. Better to laugh all the way to the grave because no one knows when and where the path ends. 🙂
It has been my dream to be able to play a musical instrument since long.. This dream was half inspired my subtle show-off nature and the rest was my inborn knack. My mother says my sense of music and rhythm was pretty strong for a kid who had just learnt to walk. She talks of a particular incident often. She says, once I had gone to a theater with my mother. Most probably a folk play was being staged. I was sitting in her lap watching all and understanding nothing 😉 . There was a song and that turned me on. She says I danced so well to the rhythm of the Tabla that surrounding people were awestruck watching me. That playful happy carefree child is still there yet not visible to anybody. Age-derived maturity has pulled a lot of wraps over him. He is locked behind the bars of my ego and shyness. Does this bother him? Not at all. He is still there dancing and tapping his fingers whenever there is music around. He tries to coax me into joining him, but I can’t. Sadly, I am not one of those handsome guys who look smart no matter what. I am a inside-and-out stupid guy, who loves making others laugh with his stupidity.. True, I can’t dance in public. But nobody can stop me from strumming the strings of an imaginary guitar or drumming away at a tabla or tapping on a table top..
Sorry for diverting off the point. The point is I am finally getting a chance to realize this dream of mine. Most probably tomorrow, I am going to buy a guitar and start taking guitar classes within a week, this has been planned. So near to my destiny, yet something is bothering me. A lingering doubt.. Those who know me in real life have been pestered by my dialogue “I am gonna learn the guitar”, yet I was least sure about it. Now that I have fallen for my own con, I really don’t know if I would love the guitar. I never have handled one. I have just seen my friends strum away at those strings. So, my love for the guitar is mostly due to the glamor associated and its sound. You know, some of my favorite songs are those on a slow guitar ex. “Whiskey lullaby” by Brad Paisley.
I guess I don’t have another choice. I have to stick to this or be branded indecisive and fickle-minded. I am not saying that I will hate it for sure. There is a good probability that I will like it!
This is gonna be an unplanned adventure. I hope the guitar will be able to interest me.. I will be updating about that for sure. 🙂 Any suggestion? Tips?