Wednesday, 31 December, 2008

Random Quotes

"Why stay we on the earth unless to grow? (ROBERT BROWNING)

Tuesday, 30 December, 2008

Season's Greetings

New year is almost here, just two days to go. Time for season's greetings and new year cards.

When I was a kid, my father used to get loads of greetings cards and in my teenage so did I. In school days, exchanging cards was a big thing. I remember we used to throng Archies and other card shops, some used to creat these cards.

Even after school was out, we used to post greetings cards to each other. The internet came and sending paper cards became passe. E cards became the rage. Inboxes used to look festive if not anything else. Then sms greeting became popular. Smses are still doing the rounds.

I am an old fashioned girl and I still prefer the cards arriving via the post. Ah the thrill of opening an envelope and finding a greeting from a old friend. And it gets better if there is a letter or at least a note tucked in.

I must confess that I have also stopped sending cards to friends. My friends hardly ever used to respond back so I lost interest. But I still send e cards. I find smses very inadequate and in sufficient.

How are you planning on wishing happy new year to your friends this year?

Monday, 29 December, 2008

What is the cure for loneliness?

Loneliness is a wierd emotion which hits you at strange times. In my eperience almost everyone of us have felt lonely at some point or the other in our lives. Some of us continue to be lonely. For some, the point they are in their lives, loneliness is a constant companion. For others it is an occassional visitor.

From experience I can say that loneliness has a way of growing into you. Once we get used to loneliness, then it becomes a way of life, a constant state of mind. It even refuses to let go when we are in company. Loneliness is something which needs to be combated conscuiously and dealth with firmly. We often feel lonely in the absence of our parners, sometimes when we quit a job, or leave a city, bunch of friends basically relocate. Scarier are those who feel lonely even in the prescence of their partners. Our hearts often childlishy wants back the old condition of life to be wholesome and non lonely again.

The last few months have been the most non lonely in my life. So today when suddenly loneliness knocks the door of my heart, I do not know whether to encourage it or not respond to it. Today is one of those slow days, it is a Monday, work needs to be done, most people I know are holidaying, rest are home, unfortunate few like me are out trying to work. These are the times when I wish I was a school teacher, at least I would get these vacations. I am having a bad inbox day and a true blue Monday. Since now I am back home, I cant even miss home and wish to go home for a vacation (confused, huh?).

Ok let me make a list of the things I could do to cheer me up--
  • Eat Puchka
  • Meet some friend
  • Spend time with Ma and Baba
  • Write a long letter/ page of my journal/blog...
  • Read a book
  • Watch a movie/television
  • Go out with Tumpi or alone
  • Beauty stuff
  • Shopping
  • Stare mindlessly at the sky
  • Make plans for the future
  • Have a heart to heart chat

Hmmmm. Where is my enthusiasm for life gone??????????????????????

Friday, 26 December, 2008

The Holidays...

I saw this movie The Holidays onWednesday night at HBO. It was a lovely movie, and all the more special because after a really long time, I was comfy in front of our television set in home with my Jaipur quilt and a cup of green tea. It is a quintessential Christmasy feel-good movie and I simply loved it. I fell in love with some of the dailouges and must share them with you.

Iris: Because you're hoping you're wrong. And every time she does something that tells you she's no good, you ignore it. And every time she comes through and suprises you, she wins you over, and you lose that argument with yourself, that she's not for you.
Miles: Exactly, and on top of that there's the old standby, I can't believe a girl like that would actually be with a guy like me.

Arthur Abbott: Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three years, and she's never explained things to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.

Iris: Shush. You broke my heart. And you acted like somehow it was my fault, my misunderstanding, and I was too in love with you to ever be mad at you, so I just punished myself! For years! But you waltzing in here on my lovely Christmas holiday, and telling me that you don't want to lose me whilst you're about to get MARRIED, somehow newly entitles me to say, it's over. This - This twisted, toxic THING between us, is finally finished! I'm miraculously done being in love with you! Ha! I've got a life to start living. [Picks up Jasper's jacket, walking to the door]

Iris: I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said "Journeys end in lovers meeting." What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind". Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas', the worst Birthday's, New Years Eve's brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can't swallow! All the usual symptoms.

Iris: I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade.

For all those friends who feel that they are the only ones who are lonely and sad during the festivities, remember we all do go through it at some point. Cheer up now.

Random Quotes

"Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action -
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."
----Rabindranath Tagore

Pimple Story

Hey all,

How did you Christmas day go?

Mine went super, spent the day with my parents and we did lots of different things together.

Lately a really irritating pimple has been making my life and face feel really horrible. I am sure all of you have had pimples at some point in your lives or continue to have them.

Some of my friends are horribly pimple prone like Angira and Jayshree. Angira at one point could have very easily carried away the 'most pimple prone face award' of the decade. Jayshree is not that bad, but she keeps having pimples. Both these girls are Capricons and very conscious of their faces and takes a hell lot of effort to keep their faces oil free. You should see them when they apply multani mitti mask on their faces and sit immobile. That is the best time to tickle them or tease them, generally make them laugh. Oh how I love troubling them during those times. Best part is that they cant do anything at that point. Of course after they have washed off the face, I hear a volley of abuses.

The there are people who are more or less pimple prone like Anasua and my brother. They keep getting pimples, now and then. Anasua gets very purturbed with the pimples, makes loads of getting-rid-of-pimples-plans but ultimately does very little. While my brother could not be bothered any less. Generally I have seen women get more worked up with things like pimples than men do. Mostly men simply ignore these things and the pimples dry and vanish on their own sweet time. But women do a lot of funny and at times really strange stuff. I know of women who have refused to get out of home because pimples have appeared on their faces.

In my teenage, the idea was that the girls and boys who mature fast get pimples. There is a particular Bong word (paka) which used to be applied to them. "Peke gache tai brono berochee"...(They have matured that is why they are getting pimples.) So for girls getting pimples was one of the signs of graduating into womanhood.

I never had a single pimple during my teenage. Looking back I marvel at my good skin, but at that age skin quality was hardly an important factor! Fitting in with the norm was much more so. Now I sometimes get a stray pimple on my face. Applying a little sandalwood paste helps in drying it. As long as it is there I feel very disturbed, it is like an irritating fly buzzing. I keep poking the pomple till it disappears and leaves me and my face in peace.

Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve always brings to my mind Christmas Carol. Funny how one book can shape your ideas about a day or an event or as in this case a festival. We had to read an extract of Christmas Carol in school. Even now I remember the trukey and apple sauce that the Cratchit family had for Christmas Eve dinner.
When I was a kid, my dad used to bring home a toy Christmas tree and decorate it for me. But that was on the 25th. 24th has pretty much always been a normal day for me.

The year I spent Christmas in Toronto, I went with my Philipina friend to her cousin's house for dinner. The dinner was good and different with whole telapia fish baked apart from other food. The funny part of that dinner was that there everyone thought I was half Philipina or I knew Tagalog, hence they are were all talking to me in Tagalog. After sometime I stopped clarifying to people that I do not understand Tagalog and just sat there, pretending to understand every bit of conversation. Much to my surprise my friend also started to speak to me in Tagalog. So people it is highly unjust to blame Bongs to speak in Bengali when we gather, every lingual group in the world does that I believe. Anyways to get back, it was a pretty different experiece to be with a group of people who were speaking in a foreign language. That day I realised how much our facial and hand gestures help in our communication.

After the dinner, we had picked up our Russian friend, (for whom Christmas is in January, hence she was not doing anything special) and went to the church for midnight mass. Going to the mass was also a pretty interesting experience. While going for dinner we had taken for a cab. Now while we were waiting for the bus on our way to the chruch, a cab slowed down and the cabbie recognised me. I asked for a ride and he agreed. Yes I have managed to get a free ride from a cab. The interesting part does not end there. The cabbie was South Asian and he started talking to me. He claimed to be from India, when I asked him where he is from, he said rather sheepishly "Rawalpindi". Later a Pakistani friend told me that some Pakistanis in Toronto were so ashamed of President's rule in Pakistan that they claimed to be Indians! Now wne I think back I have always met very nice Pakistani people in Canada and they were always more friendly and warm than their Indian counterparts.

Let me end on this warm friendship note. Merry Chritsmas folks!

Tuesday, 23 December, 2008

Jingle Bells Redux

Breaking every law
The mobs came asking blood
O'er the fields we ran
And very few got away
The police stood and watched
While Bajrang Dalis torched
Our houses by the night
And people by the day

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
It's no fun to be a minority
In Orissa today
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
All we want is the Sangh Parivar
Would let us live and pray

Not so long ago
We thought we would be fine
But soon these Sanghi goons
Came and stole the shine
The plot was mean and dark
A swamiji was shot
We were blamed for it
And a massacre we got

Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
It's no fun to be a minority
In Orissa today
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
All we want is the government
To ensure some fair play

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what future do we have
In Orissa today
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
We will fight and we will win
And keep the fascists AWAY!!

Courtesy :

The Background: I don't know how many of you know about the Khandamal violence. Don't get me wrong I do not think that you are ignorant, but the incidents got very little highlight in the media. Well like the poem says a swamiji was shot and then Christians,mostly dalits who got converted were attacked on the Christmas eve 2008. Ever since violence has been going on. There has been immense loss of human lives and systematic destruction of Christian owned property. I am not putting in facts and figures here, you can checked for more detailed information. Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), the previous organization I worked for is heavily involved in providing legal aid to the victims. Some of my colleagues who had gone visiting the Khandamal district of Orissa have very grim stories to tell.
My uncle was in Bhadrak at that time, he said in his neighbourhood there was a Carmel Convent School for Girls which has been giving quality education to girls for the last hundred years or more so. Since that was the only standard school for girls, girls from neighbouring areas used to attend it. One night the mob came and torched the school and now it is no more than a burnt down building.
Has the Sangh Parivar ever done anything constructive than brainwash ignorant fools? I think as moderate Hindus time has come for us to seriously protest against these kinds of fundamentalist cruelty. Though Khandamal never got that kind of coverage, it is no less heinous than the Gujrat riots.
With the politicians, terrorists and fundamentalists working in tandem to destroy the country, future seems rather bleak, even to a die hard optimist like me!

Monday, 22 December, 2008

Editor Bob

Do you guys read Editor Bob?

He is the guy who writes the newsletters form Some years back while sending a ecard through 123 Greetings I had accidentally clicked on newsletter service. So next week a newsletter was delivered to my inbox faithfully, only to be deleted promptly by me. Newsletters always bore me.

Then one day while cleaning up my spam mail I saw a couple of Editor Bob emails. Before heartlessly deleting them, I decided to open one and see what was in it. I was expecting samples of new ecards. But to my amazement found this very interesting piece of write-up-- nothing heavy, just easy stuff, mostly about friends and upcoming evnets and how this guys was planning to spend them. His writing is very lucid and while reading it you would feel like you know all his friends, you get to know about his crushes etc etc. It is a bit like reading the Friends series than watcing it.

Ever since I have been hooked to Editor Bob's writing. What seems like fun, light reading to us, am sure the guy must be sweating it out to write. In my experience simple writing is the most difficult to achieve.

Those of you who enjoy reading should give him a try, he is a great read at the middle of a hectic day in office. A strong excuse of mine to take a break.

Thursday, 18 December, 2008

Why do couples fight?

This is a light post not involving couples who are fighting seriously, filing for divorce etc.

My parents who have been married for the last 35 years, fight almost daily and those fights are mostly based on really silly things and embarass the hell out od my brother and me. While growing up I dont remember discussing the issue of parents fighting, I guess I was too embarassed about it all. One day in JNU hostel while discussing something or the other, this issue cropped up just by chance. And lo and behold it opened a huge plethora of reactions amongst my friends-- all the girls present complained about their parents fighting and how it embarassed them. I was amazed, at the same time breathed a sigh of relief that my parents are not the only ones who do such loony things, there are other equally mad people in this world. One of my colleagues once came about two hours late and when asked said that his parents were fighting and he was the alibi in that fight and therefore not allowed to budge!

When asked, my mother says that she enjoys fights, it breaks the monotony of her boring life and some such. Though post a fight, she hardly seems like she had gone through an enjoyable experience. Other friends report that their mothers report similar things-- that fighting with their husbands actually is a fun process and all that. It is best not to ask women much, once they open the list of complaints about their husbands, it is difficult to shut them up, my mother included.

When asked, my dad says that he does not enjoy fighting but ma is so impossible at times but he just cannot control himself, but he hardly enjoys the process. I have heard other fathers report similar things, the impossibilty or the immaturity of their 40 to 50 year old wives and how that forces them to fight. Men invariably don the cap of victim with the heavy burden of impossible wife. Being a woman, I know how untrue this is and how good men have it.

Cutting back to new age couples, my ten year older cousin sister is really sad that her husband cannot fight. She says it is the most frustrating thing in the world that one wants to fight, have a good roaring arguement and one's spouse is not cooperating, rather sitting there calmly with no sign of agitation. Previously I used to laugh at this-- I mean how funny can it be that the wife is all ready to fight and getting frustrated that the husband is not cooperating. But yesterday night I had a similar experience, I wanted to fight very badly with Indranil and he was not fighthing at all. Not that he is all docile and 'yes darling' type, his sarcastic barbs are of superior quality with perfect aim. But yesterday night he was just not cooperating and picking up my queues for a really roaring fight! I cannot tell you how much that frustrated me. Now I completely understand what my cousin goes through everytime my brother-in-law refuses to fight.

What I realised yesterday is that when we women want we should be allowed to have a good arguement, we should be given the space to vent out, have an attentive audience and that audience should also participate and make the process interesting. And then of course make up very mushily with chocolates and flowers et al. I think I should add this to Indranil's tor ;)
If he reads this, I can expect a fight tonight, what say????

Wednesday, 17 December, 2008

Good Inbox Days...

What are good inbox days?

The days when you open your inbox or refresh it in the morning and there awaiting you are a couple or more emails. Ah the joy I feel on those days. I love reading the emails of my loved ones and friends slowly and sometimes reread, most of the times there is a smile on my face while reading.

The days get better if more emails hit my inbox throughout the day.

Even though I catch up with my friends on the chat, I prefer reading an email. It has the essence of a letter and can be enjoyed at my own time and pace. There was a time when Angira did not have chat access and we emailed each other about 20 to 30 times a day. These emails generally were very informal and sometimes would contain just one line. But I think we communicated way better than now we do on chat.

I started interacting with Indranil through emails as well. That time a strange email fever had gripped us both. We would be emailing each other once a day but that email would be the mother of all emails-- it would be about 5/10 pages long and be stuffed with thoughts. I remember getting up early early in the mornings just to check his email and enjoy it in the morning peace. He also used to enjoy reading my reply (he lives in a 4 hour later time zone) while sipping his morning coffee. Throughout the day I would plan what all to out in my reply. I would be having a foolish smile lingering on my face much to the delight of my friends who were ready with merciless teasing. According to Jayshree the expression on my face while I was reading his email was worth documenting. I am sure I must have looked crazily foolish and besooted!

Sometimes I reread those emails just to connect back to those crazy days.

And then there are bad inbox days like today. Apart from two mails which were waiting for me, not a single email has hit my inbox and not a single friend has pinged me. I hate these mostly because then I have no reason to take a break from work. Also somewhere it feels like my friends have forgotten me. On these bad days I usually get into cranky moods and then God save whoever crosses my path.

I know good reason and sound logic says that we should not let external factors control our moods. Payal always gives the example of Samantha from The Sex and the City. Samantha was one gal who was always happy or sad because of her own self and not anyone else. But I am sure Sam was also a human or rather a fictional human and she also was sometimes sad because of external reasons.

And then there are sappy inbox days when wierd forwards simultanously blessing and cursing you keep comming or one of your friends or nephew goes mad and sends about 20 forwards at one go. Then you just do not know whether to read or delete them.

Ugly inbox days are when a bad piece of news comes through a email, but it has the flip side sometimes happy or good news always comes through. But generally I hate opening those emails and they always make my stomach growl. The hate the moments when they hit the inbox and till I am reading them. If the news is good, then I relax, stomach settles down and I reread to confirm the news, if it is bad news, stomach becomes worse, I feel totally incredulous and immediately delete the email.

Anways, have a good inbox day guys.

Tuesday, 16 December, 2008

Random Quotes: Friendship

'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly'

Catching Up...

Dear Friends,

I have been out of loop for quiet sometime and different people have been getting different info about me and getting pretty confused. Hence this catching up post.

I am fine, hale and hearty, fatter than ever. Recently moved back to my home city Kolkata. Finished my second round living in Delhi, this round lasted for two years. These two years have been a time for tremendous growth for me. I got my fitst job, loved working in the filed of developmet, figthing for the protection of human rights for the vulnerable people. This job was demanding and very taxing both emotionally and timewise. But I enjoyed every second of it.

Made some very good friends, most of whom are crazy and dynamic in their own way. Hope to continue being friends with them forever.

Shifted house thrice in two years, this part did not enjoy, but each house was home in its own way and I will miss these homes always.

Started blogging, rather tentatively at first and then I started to enjoy it so much that now I am hooked to it.

Met Indranil and fell in love with him and we took the decision to spend our lives together. Right now trying to figure our when we can get married.

Lots of milestones in two years.

Time for a new beginning in my old home city.

Hope to write more and also a lot more frequently.

Yours sincerely,


Saturday, 13 December, 2008


enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to...

something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...

a youth she's content to leave behind....

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age....

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...

one friend who always makes her laugh.. and one who lets her cry...

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...

eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored...

a feeling of control over her destiny....

how to fall in love without losing herself..

how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without; ruining the friendship...

when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...

that she can't change the length of her calves,the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..

that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over...

what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...

whom she can trust,whom she can't,and why she shouldn't take it personally...

where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table...or a charming inn in the woods...when her soul needs soothing...

what she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...