Here is what Portnoy instructed me to do. Sorry Portnoy, I am late. I have a renowned lazy butt. And hope you won't mind my blabbering.
Ok, here it goes. Elaborately :-D
- Maa: Yes, I miss my mother around. And I don’t care if you boo me calling a mother’s boy. The sense of security that a mother can give is unmatched in this world. I find myself at a loss when the world around me shows its ugly face. Scheming people, autocratic megalomaniacs, people who get a kick tormenting others, lickasses, …I wouldn’t have minded all these bunch of rascals had my mother been around. At the end of the day I could forgive or forget everybody when I see the guileless and God-fearing face of my mother. She is so reassuring...she persists me to believe in God, in His creations. But here, nobody is there who can instill the same faith in me. Nobody to tell me “don’t gather dust in your mind, that would eventually cause you cancer.” No, maa, you are not around, see…how much dust I have gathered in my mind.
- My family: Sometimes I wish, if I could spend some more time with my family. Maa, Baba, Jhumu, Sonai, Papan, Kaku, Kakimoni. I never knew your family is such an important thing to you. I used to get irritated when my parents used to worry about my future. When they used to say I have to set an example as I am the eldest son. My younger siblings will follow whatever I do (they always doubted my character). I used to feel overburdened. I used to think, it’s not my fault that I have a brother and a sister. Do some soul searching and find out who’s faulty family planning was this. So when I got my first job and walked out of
, I was so happy that I got liberated. Later I realized, absolute liberation is not good. How I pine to be with my family now. But, however hard I try, I cannot rebase in Calcutta . And my sixth sense tells me that I can never return to Calcutta to live. The boat has lifted its anchor. The wind is controlling the route. Let it be. Calcutta
: I have always said and will continue to advocate the fact that Calcutta is the most charming city in Calcutta , and its people posses a certain warmth that I have not come across. Only in India you can expect beating a son-of-the-soil and also gather other localites to give the miscreant a lesson of his life, even if you are a non-bong. Calcuttans don’t see your race or religion, they see whether you are just or unjust. If you ask a calcuttan an address, he or she will guide you no doubt…but probably he will board you the bus and instruct the conductor to drop you safely, even if your guide is in a great hurry. Calcuttans (I am not talking only about Bongs) take a great pride getting tagged as ‘helping’. Try it…try it…if you don’t believe me. And the city itself has its own charm with three distinct characteristics. You go to north, than come directly to the south (take the metro). You will find the city and its people has completely changed. With basic traits remaining constant, you can very well distinguish a north calcuttan and somebody from the south. The architectures change, the food pattern changes, the language also changes a bit. You will find north Calcutta a sleepy place with all these relaxed faces around. People in north Calcutta are more hospitable (provided you get a true northy) and much more relaxed. They will answer all your questions with much eagerness and with a relaxed mind than in Calcutta South Calcutta. Ask them about politics, be sure you will end up spending the whole day arguing with him (don’t worry, by then fifty more will come and the team would have equal representation). Go to South, you will find people are always in a hurry. They will help you no doubt, but will think about his pending business while answering to your questions. You get the answer for the questions asked, no extra info. Southies are, I must admit, more into the ‘culture’ thing that is better known as. If you want to kill their time, just browse a topic from the art book…you will be astonished to find what an unemployed wrangler knows about the subject, chances are he may know better than you. Now you come to esplanade…you will realize, you have truly come to the middle. Calcutta
’s daily-passenger life: I know some of you will snort at me, but really I miss a daily passenger’s life. We call it “deli passenjary”. With such a population, Calcutta ’s transport system screeches under the pressure. In the hot humid weather, people daily travel two-three hours from their home to office and back. Packed like a school of fish they get nearly half-boiled before getting down from the train. So what’s the fun? Why, the dialogues that flow in. with such humorous people around, be sure, you are will never be bored. Where on earth will you find this kind of dialogue? “dada, poroshuram hoye naa dariye, ektu chaitanya hon naa, dekchento bichi rakhbar jayga nei” [hey brother, why are you standing like Parashuram? Stand like Chaitanya (means, put your hands up and grab the hangers and don’t spread them), you can see yourself I don’t have the space even to squeeze my balls in.] Calcutta
- Amateur theater: Ah, long gone are the days when I used to don the grease-paint on my face. Was I a bad actor? Noh, I don’t think so…but once I forgot my dialogues and confused, I started saying dialogues from the last scene. Now it was a mystery drama. Since I revealed how ‘pratulbabu’ influenced me and lured me to mix that poison in Jamindar’s wine (I was supposed to say this dialogue after at least five scenes, the detective was still banging his head getting a clue, but then who told the detective to quote a dialogue from the last scene? I just followed it up…), the director impromptu changed the plot and instructed the others what the rough dialogues should be, before fleeing from the scene. Thank God, Deeapakda, Manishidi and other hardcore seniors were around. So nicely they carried on the drama, with such impromptu dialogues and merging scenes from the old drama, that the audiences had no whiff that they were witnessing art of the highest form, instant, unprepared dialogues. The drama went off well with me ending up as a mental patient as opposed to the prestigious aid of the chief conspirator in the original drama. I miss that life. Really really, I want to hit the stage one more time. There is nothing like theater.
- Friends: It will be a crime if I say I miss my friends because I have none here. I have a good number of them here in
. But, I think everybody is unique in their own senses. I miss my childhood friends. Those unassuming innocent friends with whom I had many an errands. I was literally the captain of that team. So missing my cohorts is quite natural. We had this self-imposed duty of protecting the para-beauties from outside Romios. The girls’ parents also relied heavily upon us in protecting their daughter from any unwanted gaze or comment. They had certain plans for their daughter. Educate them upto graduation…hunt for a doctor or engineer…get them married, sit in the tea-shop and start cooking stories about the prosperity of son-in law. Obviously they didn’t want their girls end up screwing their plans by linking up with street-Romios. One additional unwritten expectation of the parents was to spy on their daughter also, whether the girl ‘is walking the straight path’ or not. No wonder, most of my friends ended up marrying girls they spied the most. Bangalore
- My motorcycle: yes, I didn’t buy one here. But one time I thought I am inseparable from my bike. I used to treat it like my girlfriend. Obviously is miss my bike.
- Bony: my little spitz. I raised him from his 5-day-old age. Perhaps nobody understands me as well as my dog does. And I understand him perfectly. He had this mood swings, bouts of depression, sadness…he comes to me and try to relate what ailing him. And I had to treat him well and ward off his pain (mostly mental). How much he can speak with his eyes. Trust me, he can convey anything and everything by his eyes only. Only you have to know how to read it. He is nine-year-old now. Very ill. Does not move much. I went home in April. I was trying to sleep when Bony came. Hinted me to take him into the bed just what he used to do as a puppy. He gazed at me for a long time. As if saying, “Next time when you come here, you won’t see me.”
- Shillong: my first job, first salary, first experience outside the protection of my family. First liberation, first realization how hard it is to sustain yourself alone. Excellent friends. The most colourful, innocent people experienced in my life (my colleagues). My first realization of death (I nearly died when the roof next to me collapsed in one of the frequent earthquakes). The charm of the place itself. Shillong is one of the most important chapter in my life.