First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

Advertisements

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

post

बस एक कप।

IMG_20181203_111137_155सुनो,
थोड़ा वक्त गुज़र गया है। अब और गुज़रने का इंतज़ार ना करते हुए मैं ये लिखने की कोशिश करती हूं। अगर बात यूं हो कि सब शुरू से शुरू करना हैं तो बता दूं मेरी याददाश्त मेरा साथ नहीं देगी। तो वही बीच में फंसी हमारी ज़सबातों की बात करती हूं। ये उस वक्त की बात हैं जब क़तरा क़तरा के तुमने बहुत कुछ छुपा लिया था और मैंने भी कुछ नहीं कहा। और ना जाने कैसे प्यार हो गया। सुनने में काफी आसान लगता हैं पर ये तो तुम्हें भी पता हैं और मुझे भी, और ये सब जो सुन रहे हैं, इन्हें भी इस बात का अंदाजा हैं कि ऐसा इतना आसान नहीं। कोई दो प्याली चाय नहीं बन रही थी। खैर, चाय की क्या बात करें वो भी वक्त लेती हैं। तो बस हमारा भी क्या था। दूध, शक्कर, चाय पत्ती- सब कुछ था हमारे पास फिर भी हमारी चाय नहीं बन पाई। मुहब्बत तो कर ली पर वो उबाल नहीं आया, कि उसको चूल्हे से उतारें और ज़िन्दगी भर उसका लुफ्त उठाते रहे। पता नहीं कमी चाय पत्ती में थी या किसी ने शक्कर कम मिलायी, पता है तो बस यही की हमारी चाय नहीं बन पाई। हम किसी तरह किनारे तक पहुंचे ही थे कि हमने एक दूसरे से किनारा कर लिया। अफसोस का बवंडर  पार करने में शायद दरीयां बीत जाए, ज़िन्दगी खत्म हो जाए पर वो जो चाय नहीं बनी, वो बार-बार  याद आयेगा।
आज तुम कही किसी काॅफै में बैठे दार्जिलिंग के चाय की वाहवाही कर रहे हो और मेरी उंगलियां यहां, चाय के कप के हैंडल पर दौड़ती जा रही है। ठीक वैसे, जैसे कभी तुम्हारी उंगलियां मेरे ज़ुल्फो में दौड़ जाती थी। अब दौड़ने की बात याद आते ही तुम्हें मेरी याद आती होगी। कैसे दुम दबाकर मैं भाग गयी तुम्हें अकेला छोड़ कर। हैं ना? यही सोचते हो ना? पर तुम जो मुझसे फिसले जा रहें थे, घड़ी के सूईयों से भी तेज़। चला भी कहा वो बेचारा, एक इशारा ही काफी था। हर लम्हा यूं फिसला जैसे बचपन की किताबों में मोटे लाला फिसले थे। मैं भी बस फिसल गयी और लौट नहीं पायी। पर उस अधूरी चाय का मैं क्या करूं? उस अधूरी, अधबनी चाय का तुम क्या करते हो? कभी कोई दिन में ही उसे एक ख्वाब में उबालता हैं, तो कोई रात में ठिठुरता हैं उसके ना होने पर। पर फैंकने की हिम्मत हम दोनों ही जुटा नहीं पा रहें।
उबाल नहीं आया। ना चाय में, ना मांझी के पाओं तले पानी में, ना हमारे रिश्ते में। किस उबाली का इंतज़ार करूं, कैसे करूं जब क़िस्सा ख़तम हो कर भी ख़तम ना हुआ हो। ये जज़्बात भी उन कच्चे, अधपके चाय की पत्तियों सा जान पड़ता है। ना अब कोई दूसरी चाय में मिल सकता है और ना ही उस चाय में रंग घोल सकता है, जो आंच से हमने उतार दी। तो ये कहना तो जायज़ ना होगा की मैंने जज़्बातों की एक पोटली बांधकर, उसे बहा दिया। ना ही उन्हें अपनी खुली छत पर सुखने के लिए छोड़ दिया हैं।
अब वो बस मेरे कलेजे की छन्नी में कही फंस गए हैं। कोशिश करती हूं सोचने की, की इसे निकाल दूं। पर ऐसी सोच भी नहीं निकलती तो वो पत्तियां कहा से निकलेंगी। मेरी छोड़ो, तुम्हीं बता दो। तुमसे निकलीं क्या?

Theory of a theory

“Do you believe in Infinite Universe Theory?”
“Umm.. As in ‘Alice in Wonderland’?”
“Kind of. Not quite.”

Pause. Rewind. Year 2005. Lucy Pevensie took a turn. Walked straight into a giant wardrobe to hide but only to seek a world that was bound by spells and masks but churning on the same wheel of right and wrong. Narnia, an alternate universe as one can say, where indifferent to the external World War, an internal war was wrecking havoc and altering Lucy and her siblings’ imaginary fate. And sitting opposite to the television set, I was sketching dreams of being as brave as Lucy and fighting my own demons, surviving in my own world. To be fair, I was never an outgoing kid, not at all the brave kind. I was bullied, dragged, my books thrown out on road because I dared to tell the truth about these bunch of kids who were then trying to behave like adults. I was too small then, five or six years old maybe, went back home crying, to find a lap for comfort after my little world turned real. Maa wiped my tears and said, “Do not ever come back home crying. You cannot let go off without a fight.” I listened to her with teary-wide eyes, trying to grasp sense while I was not in my own. Well, I cannot blame that woman. She made her way in this world like that. So advised me the same. But I was different. And the only person who knew this was- Pishi. One plus point in having a pair of working parents is that you earn an extra guidance sometimes. I was brought up by Pishi. Though I didn’t call her mother but my instincts, my emotions always laid heavy on her side. At one point in my life, when I was asked whom do I love more, maa or baba, I answered Pishi. She knew me through thick and thin. Cried with me, loved me with all my flaws, took part in my silly games, ran with me, ate the fake food I made during the game of ‘house’ and what not. This person completely gave herself to me. And I was there, embracing her the way I embraced life in my mother’s belly. I could never express outwardly the love, the rush of emotions I felt for her. I was too introvert for the act of expression but like hot springs, I did unfurl few while facing the extreme. And one day, she got married. My world came crashing down. And for this, I blamed Maa everyday. Why? Because she didn’t have to come back to an empty house, facing the loss of appetite seeing the cold, refrigerated food and that empty chair beside me, everyday. But then one day somebody came in, leading me through a door to a busy, noisy Kalakar Street and treating me with delicacies that will allow me to feel like home- it felt like a different reality. Year 2016. Hope came for me. I was undergoing my Lucy Pevensie moment when he asked me, “Do you believe in Infinite Universe Theory?” Only if I had the guts to say that I was living in one of them right then.
Anurag Mazumder, of the House Calcutta, first of his name, breaker of illusions and king of the hopeless romantics- is my hope. My hope to believe that inspite of all that is real in this tethered reality, there is life, there is love. And no matter if the walls are crumbling down upon you, you’ll always get a chance. A chance to believe that goodness exists, a chance that will unlock other doors for you to rise again and try. And to believe that in time, hope will join you in the sun. Unravelling the joy of company, he made me realise how it is not somebody’s absence that makes the difference but the silly error of cutting out a piece of soul to seal the deal of love among them. Love doesn’t invest itself in the barter system. It’s never ‘out of sight, out of mind’ as mother taught me. I re-learnt it. We spent hours and hours with each other, minutely sewing ourselves, together. From chasing each other on the streets to crying together on silent staircases, we were holding onto love like never before. Everyday brought a new reality, unboxing a new universe and making it difficult for us to cross the levels. But we did. We fought, we laughed, we kissed, we argued, we got pissed at each other but we kept moving because we were irrevocably in love with each other. Crossing levels together became our thing. But then, what do you do when a corporate monolith swallows you and throws you into a different universe, where you are crawling to survive without your hope or a sun? I close my eyes every now and then, travelling back to that universe where you’re strumming your guitar and lip-syncing ‘Scarborough fair’. Yes; I am always running in my dreams, away from this reality, searching for you, finding you and whenever I try to embrace you, I wake up. Gasping for breath, I realise I’m imprisoned somewhere and you’re not here. I’m living my worst nightmare everyday, but then I brought this apocalypse upon myself. My ideas, my thoughts that led me here have all melted down as disillusions and in a recurrent distant mirage, I see a vision of your face, sunk in my palms and realise what an idiot I am for making this choice. I cannot possibly imagine a life or even a day without you and yet I am clawing back at life because I know you are too. I know you’re finding a way to reach me, screaming how much you love me and hiding all the pain to let me know that we’re strong and we can deal with this. I know that at times it hurts too much and makes you think otherwise but I believe that you have the courage and the strength to fight it, to look it in the face and say, “No, you move.” I don’t know anymore what is happening to the wardrobe or to Narnia, but I know that you will fight no matter what. All I ask from you is a little trust and your hand, so that we can walk on this together and let me help you in your mission. We may fall but we will try again. Because you’re my hope and I’m yours. And we’ve embraced each other with all our might and with all that we have. I want you to remember what you once said, “No one, no one can ever understand us. What we have is just ours to keep. We cannot possibly make anyone else empathise with it.” I know in our time, in our universe, our reality- we cannot run past the right and wrong to the meadows but you know it somewhere in your heart that the feeling is inside us, not out there. And we may not be able to observe with our naked eyes but feel it. Feel the rush, the blood pumping and racing into the veins, the breath on our skin, the sweat on your forehead- everything tells me that we are alive and we can survive. And for all this, I need you to find yourself, to love yourself because only then, you can forgive me. And only when I redeem myself from all the wrong doings, I can be myself. Again, I cannot express the infinite ball of emotions that I feel for you but I know in every universe out there, I am devising ways to love you, deserve you inspite of knowing the odd roles fate can play. I am still the introvert kid but this time I’m not going to pay for daring to tell the truth. And the only truth that matters is that I love you, Anurag Mazumder. I will, always.IMG-20180521-WA0006IMG-20180423-WA0023IMG-20180818-WA0000IMG-20180625-WA0069IMG_20180808_234848_421IMG_20180409_202334_449

। लिल्लाह ।

Have you ever met a person in course of your life? Not a girl, a child or an old man but a person. Have you?
Last Monsoon, when I was busy tip-toeing around puddles to reach my imposed destination, I met a person. This person was not just some random guy. He was, if I dare say- a medieval, porous urn which stores mystical nectar in it. Porous, yes. Nectar, yes. I say this because life used to ooze out of him, and by life, I do not mean the pop reality of dynamic colours that is shown on-screen. Life, that is a debt of lifelessness, encumbered in the classifieds corner of the newspaper, that you rolled out while unwrapping the bacon roll. What remained at the bottom was pure and only his to have, because nobody wanted a share of that sieved remainder. But mind you, that’s where lied his secret- the stem cells of his hopeless, romantic spirit. He was human by nature but even then, there was something, something about him that I was not ready to believe in. With marshy patches of solitude rolled up in his sleeves, stuck in an air-tight bar with enforced company of soul-less entities, he was gasping upon this sun-dawned city- serving life ‘on the rocks’ with his rhythms and lyrics. He was a slave to moment or as I saw it, moments obeyed him, like a pup obeying his master’s hand gestures. And it still seemed unearthly for me to believe that there might exist a ‘person’. Not a girl, a child or an old man but a real person. And then, in one of such moments, I saw him.
We did pass each other in some formal exchanges before but I never must have looked at him. And when I did, I found this person who was synonymous with moment. Came a Monday, where he would be this guy of 22, preaching dreams of dismantling anarchy to bring ordered chaos but by Tuesday, he will be a man and talk of the practical nuances that go into the creation of an adult life. There he was, the person, through whom life finally transpired and moments raced in and out of his porous structure, declaring me as an unfit to remember if that was a moment or him. But I do remember us- trapped in a meteoric second, transfusing fear into each other and racing to touch reality with our lips, under a neon light. Attention: an infinite moment is under construction. Momentous, as he would have called it. And there I was, sticking to my berth in the carriage, prancing from one state of matter to the other, preventing my existence to burn out. I felt as if I was on pyre of life, and this anonymous flame was rekindling my spirit, dialing upon emergency from some unknown end to say, “Be alive, be alive.” Descending, disconnected tone.
It’s December now. The darkened marble jali facing the mihrab is lit against a winter’s sun and my 10-year old soul, with the shadow’s imprint on my face was basking in it. Looking beyond the latticed screen, I saw him. Yes, him. I am sure it was him. I was about to get a.. ‘screech’! “Welcome to Indian Railways. We will be arriving New Delhi in a short while. Thank you for travelling with us.” Breaking away the warm bubble of infinity, years later from where my mind was travelling, I was to get down on my home ground and my mind couldn’t tap the shuffle button from Lucky Ali’s ‘Safarnama’. I was wishing to run past the definitions of reality, survival, right and wrong, and all I wanted was to run. Since, it was difficult to hold him, chasing was my only recourse. I just wanted to chase him, steal some moments out of his speed force- that’s it. I had to soak in this essence of us, upon this mounting whirlwind of life, that has never been this way before. I was alive after being tethered for almost two decades, to this unbearable humanity, eating upon my spirit. I was ready to believe, to invest myself in him and to finally think of a home. I was melting to become a moment. And it still seems unbelievable. But as the volume in my speakers go up and Rahman’s mesmerizing music arrives, I look up to this ‘person’ sitting beside me, reflecting his wide grin upon my watery eyes and a breath escapes my lips whispering, “Lillaah”.

Letter to Kolkata

Dear Calcutta

Oh no, sorry.
Dear ‘Kolkata’,
Hope you are well. Though you don’t seem so. Just passed by Burrabazar today. The rustic charm of broken windows’ exhibition just couldn’t impress me much as they do to your fellow citizens and foreigners. I don’t know why. Your people would probably feel sad for me but I feel sad for you. Your people are thoroughly enjoying every face of you but are doing nothing in return. They take and leave. They stand, glance, click, talk, even walk through you but then, that’s it. Why have you been so liberal, huh? Why do you let them? Look at Howrah bridge. Ofcourse that was built by men, that’s why it still stands tall and heavy. But not all of you is made by men, nah. Though you made many whom I like- Netaji, Swamiji, Gurudev and others. You have generated many women too. But who’s going to remember that. You just become one of the identity markers in their profile. Yes, many have tried to take you as a prisoner in their photographs, films, lyrics. But you don’t see what I see there. They use you. But still. You have been a muse then and you’re a muse till now. Posing as needed. Nobody understands that you’ve aged. Why don’t you ask Santa to send some new presents over? You need a makeover, trust me. But oh, you can’t. Your parlours are on strike. Somebody’s cat died so they’ll be mourning over it and you’ll come to a standstill- again. Already, you lag behind in the race. Now I feel Zeus will eliminate you. But thank god, that you’ve acquired the copyright on Durga years ago. Whushh! That’s a good save. But you know her. Comes with band baaja and leaves with band baaja. That girl is all about pomp and show. But yeah, she does bring life to you. She has something you know. But as soon as she leaves, you’re back to square one. Same old moveable, yellow smoke-houses, ‘Aaste ladies’ screaming red beetles and those caterpillars with electric antennas running through your belly all day and enjoying their grilled green salad and roasted aubergine on their way back home. What do you get? Wounds! That won’t be treated ever which they fancily call as pot-holes by the way.
You have other attractions too that can satisfy a never-ending hunger yet everyday your son, Kalpesh, sleeps on your cold chest with an empty stomach. They say you’ve art, you’ve culture yet all I can see is a set of uncurable callus-ed hands that pull rickshaw, Saraswati’s daughters caged inside to make Chingri Bhaape, Durga’s classmates attending Asur Dol at Shovabazar and Kali’s friends from Kathak classes- well, you can see just a bit of them at a neighbour’s wedding. I feel terribly sad to see how you’ve become like a snow globe. Only if you realise that it’s not actually a pretty globe, they have caged you. You know your family is now not a ‘Royal family’. So, why are you still in trance? You know people call you ‘Drunk Fakir’ nowadays; has nothing more than a legacy and keeps babbling every now and then. Though sometimes it makes sense. I’m not all against your nature. I mean okay, appreciate your beauty but wake up and smell the change, sweetheart. People will come and leave as they have but you cannot leave. So, atleast make your stay count. Please grow up, Kolkata. Calcutta left you long ago. You need to move on (and fast, too!). 
 
Yours Sincerely,
A chorui-pakhi.
“Kolkata, aeyi tomar Ganga,
  Aeyi tomar Kalighat,
  Shob i ghurechi, 
  Shob i dekhechi,
  Tobuo theke jaaye aaghaat.”
P.S.- Will write to you again!

A Note to Myself

The train just left station, whistling away towards a new one. And I can still hear its whistle getting lost among the sound of hustle-bustle of the bazaar downstairs. Sacks of potatoes dropped down from lorries, the eager bicyclists passing by, some shutters coming down. Suddenly, my temporal lobes dim down and the occipital ones catch a sight. I see a crow. Not cawing aloud, just sitting on the lamp post against the burning sun. Observing. I have come to realise how crows are not beautiful to look at but great to observe. And being an onlooker myself, I am loving this feeling of observing an observer. So, I have come here to ‘caw’ all that I see, observe and look upon. So, there it goes- a note to myself. And I invite you all to look through my telescope i.e, this blog which can sometime (and that will be alot!) take a disguise of anything or anyone that comes across. 

P.S.- to all who don’t just look but observe.

Ciao!