Ixobrychus flavicollis...


मौत के बाद याद आ रहा है कोइ,
मेरि कब्र से मित्ति उथा रहा है कोइ,
एह खुदा दो पल कि ज़िंदगि और देदे,
मेरि कब्र से उदास जा रहा है कोइ...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Prajatantra Puja

Hindustan is a land of celebrations and festivals. her people are colorful just as the Indian masalas are, predisposed with a joyous spirit, that's as bright as the sindoor of a suhagan.

we tend to share our smaller, among the smallest, exuberances by simply celebratin' it. with a dash of vermilion on the forehead and wearin' a mangalsutra, the wife celebrates her love by lookin' at the moon on Karwa Chawth thru a sieve, and then watchin' her consort to cease the fast - receivin' the first nibble of food and pani from his own hands.

it's just not 'bout mere rituals. it's 'bout bein' complete and to sync and vibe with the cosmos, resonatin' with the same energy oozin' from the womb of the universe, as the purush and prakriti are incomplete without each other. long long ago when the male and female energy cloud, fillin' up spaces in superstrings, when they fused with each other - the universe we see today was born. this celestial phenomenon has been described many a times in Indian myths as the Ardhanarishwar ie the union of lord Shiva and mata Parvati.

a rakhi's just not a piece of string tied to kalai on Rakshabandhan, it's the celebration of bro-sis love, a promise from her sibling that he'll protect him always. so also the chandan-tika on a bhai's forehead, the behen applies it on the auspicious day of Bhaidooj with all the affection and pyar, and prays for his long life.

previous saturday we celebrated Saraswati Puja. i offered an anjali to the goddess of knowledge and prayed for my cute lil' sister nishu.

almost a fortnight ago everybody rejoiced and made merry at the Prajatantra Puja aka Republic Day on 26-Jan.

the mood was truly festive, and the Tiranga, our Tricolor was floatin' like a free bird in the breeze.

the elderly guys of the neighborin' locality organized a sit-n-draw competition for the kids in the morning.

satisfyin' my taste-bud's insatiable lust with a half-duplex biryani lunch, now that's when you get a ravished alu with an impoverished leg-piece of chicken, coz there was hardly anything left in the cookin' handi due to plethora of orders - i decided to go for an evening stroll.

sippin' nimbu chai from the Earthen bhar, i looked around lazily.

a Ford Ikon came roarin'...kaise mujhe tum mil gayee...!

the young guy, more-or-less of my age, he turned off the CD player and slammed open the door.

mirchi zaida imli kum - fatafat.

the golgappa seller started preparin' the fast food accordin' to his clients preferences.

as i was 'bout to throw the bhar, a girl draped in a strawberry-red saree stepped down from the vehicle and asked impatiently, aur kitna time lagega?

where were they goin'? i wondered. may be to the Fame Cinemas coz that's the nearest multiplex. or may be to Barista.

but definitely not to the disk coz nobody wears a saree in a disco, and performin' severely suicidal acts of such genre calls for special guts, like those of Ms Mamata Banerjee - who believes in turnin' every fifth workin' day a holiday.

normally the college goin' teens jostle at Caffeine or Cafe Coffe Day and thirty plus professionals like me prefer the executive ambience of Barista.

with every footstep the iron rails transformed into a speedin' Shatabdi.

kids ran before the frisbee, chasin' a sparrow the shuttle cock landed on the banyan branch, and the parents discussed several systematic investment plans but failed to zero in on one - while their proud moms and dads planned a second honeymoon in Sentosa with the yield accumulated from the unit-linked pension schemes.

the not-so-modest chill present in the evening breeze of departin' Magh Navratri lured me to light up and burn away eleven minutes of my life.

a quick fondlin' of the Zippo prevented me from fallin' prey to that sinfully irresistable urge, however, i'm not rulin' out the possibility to introduce a chick in place of that Penn product - when i'm gonna mention this incident in my autobiography.

even before i asked, Timex told me 'twas six, almost.

suddenly the gate of the park revolved in full circle and a shadow emerged.

oh! it's a lad - now what on Earth he'd try to sell me?

kuch nahi chahiye, i uttered hastily.

he smiled in return and replied - Vande Mataram.

the world's largest democracy shone thru his dreamy eyes.

( 7th Feb-09 )

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Haiku : 2

peeled orange
an ant on that park bench stops
the winter sun appears

Monday, February 2, 2009

Haiku : 1

boiled egg and Kellogg's
a crow examines from the leafless tree
when i'll leave

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Badam-girls

some of the fragmented projections of time-n-space, which left a deep parmanent imprint in my neurochemicals and still refuses to part with me, is - Pitaji buyin' badams for his ten year old kid from the friendly seller.

well, not really a stone's throw from my house, but a javelin could happily follow this locus of gastroenteric indulgence - i'm dead sure it could.

every other stuff changed since then, megamalls sprouted just like the wild lilies in almost every remote nukkad of Hindustan, and i graduated from roadside chullah-hot badams to roasted coffee beans - consumin' them very often and as much as the organic sabji from these mammoth superstores.

a few weeks ago, i couldn't find this known face anymore, my family badamwallah - and was greeted by the vacant asphalt instead.

later - maa informed me he passed away. it felt as if we just lost a close member of our family. 

Kolkata's still not experiencin' that much amount of chill which'd compel me to take out the pashmina from my closet, i chose to wear a Shantiniketani shawl and went to the nearby stall to grab this month's Scientific American.

marchin' past quite a few meters, i witnessed a small gathering, next to the self-taught mehndi-artist's erstwhile empty territory - and was surprised to see the girls' brigade.

the show must go on, now that's just what they thought, the daughters of the badam-monger.

a visibly impatient man in his early forties stood in front of me, basically a babu from the Writers and a typical titomaniac at night, bitin' the butt of a a Navy Cut in pure sado-masochistic pleasure and carefully watchin' the balance with all his undivided attention - the worry-crisscrosses on his forehead silently spoke 'bout the escalatin' costs of his only son's engineering education.

or, perhaps, the early signs of male menopause - who knows really?

next - my vision registered a college-couple standin' next to me. 

arektu beshi kore jhal-nun dite bolo!

the timid boyfriend happily obliged the gal's legitimate demand for a decent supply of a homogeneous mixture of table salt and hari mirch powder, which should, and must accompany their packet of crispy 'n' crunchy badams.

they fought a while ago, she was thorisi naraz, what for? 

i picked up the cues from their not-so-continuous conversation and figured out the reason why. 

the danger looms just right there and most probably i'm gonna fail miserably, for depictin' their middle class aspirations while belongin' to the affluent bandwagon, perhaps it's as difficult as searchin' for a sixteen year old virgin in States - and strictly for statistical purposes.

barely crossed the teenage, their blank slate aka the mind , happened to be not so blank this time and already engaged with the frightenin' thoughts of unseen future after the global meltdown. 

a spacious sedan, a dream house, and a fat cheque - is all she wants for her guy. 

and obviously, she wisely opted for the time-tested easiest route of emotionally blackmailin' him, so that he could drop his future plans to be a professor and happily agree to bell the CAT which'd give him the golden opportunity to break forth the closed doors of any of the Meccas of the much coveted world class management education - the IIMs.

i see nothing wrong in longin' for a happy lovin' family - do ya?

the smartest, most chirpy and eldest of the lot - the late badam-man's bari beti took the lead. 

clad in a shinin' black salwar and flanked by a vibrant blue dupatta, which i presume she's bought to celebrate the Chat Puja seekin' the blessings of Sun-God, i watched her fannin' the Earthen chullah with an unmistakable zeal. 

with an equally honest amount of enthusiasm, she instructed her younger sister to make small slices of piaj and adrak, and scolded the youngest coz that lil' girl was playin' with her Pantene sachet - the fortnightly self-pamperin' she can happily afford i guess. 

her multi-taskin' skills were laudable beyond any question, as she separated the dry skins from choles 'n' chanas and checked how much imli masala left in her arsenal, a zarda can in reality - and exchanged pleasantries with her clients in between.

i was wavin' the mag to kill some imaginary mosquitoes, and she suddenly asked with an envious simplicity, aap ka mangni ho gaya babuji?

the Muzaffarpur dialect she spoke made me understand that though they accumulated workin' knowledge of Bengali - it'd take a while to get a hang of Charnock's megapolis. 

i chose not to explain my strong affinity for a specific molecular arrangment of Carbons and decided to go for an ambiguous smile. 

even my visitin' cousin, who flew down to offer me the tika at Vaidooj, she too thought i'm engaged - her conviction inflated exponentially after hearin' that it costs a lil' more than the world's cheapest car from the TATA stable!

i counted the chutte and grasped my sau gram garam badam i requested - it smelt terrific and promised an intrinsic out-of-the-world olfactory enjoyment.

those badam-girls!

proudly carryin' the paternal legacy of offerin' mouthwaterin' smoked almonds to the hungry souls. 

meanwhile, women victoriously made their way to ACLU with the induction of Amrit Singh as a staff attorney, and maintained their supremacy in the top hundred WTA rankings as Sania keeps us mesmerized with her magic - while the whole country gradually prepares herself to don the shoes of becomin' the new economic global superpower under the apt guidance of none other than a woman.

unaware of all of them, and even their counterparts in the Loksabha and Rajya Sabha, the badam-girls continue to manage their business as usual. 

takin' my Carl Zeiss specs off - my naked eyes stared at the full moon of Raas Poornima for a while. 

a Kiran Mazumdar Shaw or an Indra Nooyi did break the glass ceiling. 

but these girls don't need to.

who on Earth settles for some cheap glass when you've this fine firmament as your shamiana!

Game Theory Revisited

ignorance is bliss.

honestly, i never really felt so powerless, angry - and nearly numb in pain 'n' speechless in anguish.

for the past few days i was everything but ignorant.

as mera bhai Mumbai kept bleedin', fallin' prey to the ruthless game of urban terrorism, whose only rule is to kill the innocents - i sat as lifeless as the Stonehenge in front of the idiot box.

hey Ram! how this could just happen to you my bro?

i know you as much as i know the lines on my palms.

i know you from the day i bought a copy of Second Thoughts from Oxford.

the Magarmachs kept fightin'. so also the NSG. and so did the cops.

the braves of the braves fought till their last breath 'n' final drop of blood to save humanity, to teach those Islamic extremists a hard lesson, who foolishly thought commitin' such perverted acts will win them their goal - and what was that?

i'm not surprised at all to witness them jealous - nope!

where else on Earth you'd find a Christian celebratin' the Onam, a Moslem takin' part in Dussehra, and a Hindu rejoicin' at Eid?

even at the time of jottin' down my mind, right at this moment, my eyes couldn't help but moistened - as Shyaazaadidi wrote to me just before the Pujas 'bari ese fota diye jabo...'. wish you a joyous Id-Uz-Zoha didi.

this pluralism's my pride which creates a lil' Hindustan in every alley of it - be it known or unknown.

our Hindustan, she's as meaningful as Nippon to every Japanese, and there exist only one mazhab of her children - Hindustani.

the indivisive entity which can cut its head if required, but never bows down to the nefarious demands of evil forces, never ever - and those zombies programed to zap us were too wise to understand this simple truth.

after the intial shock of disbelief was over - a chillin' sensation ran thru my spine.

just how it'd feel if i were to meet a similar fate?

well, it could be, very well - as terror changed its face. he's my neighbor now, he's waitin' to poach me inside the Metro, on the grass when i go to the Lake for joggin', or in front of the Victoria.

or even in my home.

he knows me and it might also be the case that i reciprocated his howdy with a casual smile, when he met me in traditional denim at Saltlec sec V, flauntin' the latest Versace-pair and enjoyin' the frappe - yet i can't recognize him.

i'm yet to meet my bosom dost Vodka Ahmed, i already accepted bhabiji's invitation for the pithes but am yet to taste them, which she volantarily promised to make for me - the day i'll be able to squeeze out as much time as i could from my insanely buzy schedule only to board the earliest jet to Dacca.

and i'm yet to meet my bachchi dearest Nishu, to watch her blush in surprise, the moment i'll tell her that very secret my heart guarded closely for months - do you know honey what's gonna be the first name of your niece? Nisha!

am i gonna turn into a piece of momo, floatin' in a sauce of you-know-what, just before - when all these sweet short episodes are eagerly waitin' in my life to commence?

i tried to swallow it, coudn't, the bitterness you know - my earlobes were feverishly hot.

i sprinkled Gangaa Jaal on my forehead, ladened with iron-grief, and started chantin' the Gayatri - coz this mantra inculcates you with all the wisdom you need when you're lost.

i was, already late for my daily saadhanaa.

help me Maa, i cried, and she listened - she always.

relieved 'n' calm, standin' up from the Dhyaan Mudraa in Padmaasanaa, now i was able to recall with much ease the name of the book of life - which never failed to come to my rescue whenever i found myself trapped under the dark shadow of distress.

i quickly flipped thru the pages of Geetaa until i found just what i was lookin' for.

na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato 'yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire

my soul can't be killed as the atma is amara.

the failed state whom we gifted the Samjhota Express, sent those Islamist executionists to harm our body, they wanted to rip this gateway apart which connects the mind to the outside - and by doin' this they tried to override our minds with terror.

but your mind should listen to you only - right?

i was already beginnin' to listen to mine which assured me that nothing'll become obscure with the tide of time.

i might die the next moment, but the feeling of happiness, this continuous stream of consciousness that travels many a times faster than the particles in LHC - it won't.

...the happiness which engulfed me after receivin' Nisha's SMS on Raksha-Bandhan and on Vijayadasami, and then again, on Bhaiduj.

i was elated that my bahen cared to pray for my long life.

i bursted into tears as the cellular carriers worked in perfect tandem and dropped my sister's exited voice in my anxious ears - dadabhai!

no bombs or bullets can ever penetrate this lust for life, Durga Maiya ki kasam.

i also understood i'm just like the sand that flows freely from your fist, but if you put it inside a bag, it becomes harder than the hardest.

needless to say - the sandbag is our religion ie Hindustani which binds all of us with a single cause to annihilate this neo-Ravana of Islamic terrorism.

long long ago, some rag imon of somewhereinblog asked me, hey - don't you ever feel bad? you should be, shame on you, you guys don't even have your own flag!

sometimes the best answer to someone's void prudishness is to remain silent - i chose so.

can you be holier while tryin' to make others inferior?

as quite obvious, my every word would fall short to document the undaunted spirit of Hindustan and her kids, it's much easier for that individual in question pennin' a few lucky flukes - which may also resonate as sensible rhythmic poems to the untrained ears of the intellectually-impotent.

and practically impossible for that person to fathom the depth of a Hindustani dil.

and equally important, on that very day this preposterous query had had put the questioner, at par with those religious fanatics who stupidly dared to challenge our secularity 'n' integrity.

in the midst of the arisin' adharma, the Shakti who conceived this universe will come to my lap also bein' my beti, as she generously reflects her tejas in the heart of every single girl-child in this globe - to make that god-gifted prism glow with prajna 'n' courage.

my daughter, Nisha, once born - will be a Hindustani. a proud one. period.

( 29th Nov-08. Kowshik Ahmed, or Vodka Ahmed, as i coined this very nomenclature and use to call him fondly for his unpredictable binge drinkin' habits - is an well-known intelligentsia of Dacca. apart from him, i also met with Satia Muntaha Nisha and discovered the ocean of sweet sisterly love in her, and also in Shyaazaadidi who's from Kolkata - i came across them in a Bangladesi community site called somewhereinblog. now, this place's fulla strong anti-India sentiments fuelled by radical Islamists like rag imon and other like-minded orthodox Sunni racists. )

MegaPixels of Love

today proved to be pretty eventful for me.

i finished my chota-hazari with pudina sandwiches, scrambled eggs, and some orange juice - protected inside the Tetra Pak.

the world's slimmest wristwatch commercialy available, a Titan Edge tied tightly on my left kalai, told me i must leave now.

i tucked the Ipod on my belt hastily, put the Metro pass ie a smart card in my wallet, and reached for my UVC-safe Oakley glasses.

i'll be goin' postpaid very soon, and a certain plan popularly known as Shunya-Rental, called for discussin' the fine print in person. 

when my token number started flashin' rapidly in the seven-segment display, i went to the helpdesk, only to find the CCE talkin' to Ram-jane-kaun.

h-i-i-i-i-i! i said. 

her lips quivered in a split-second and her facial expression changed to that of the poor passive partner, disconnected 'n' morose, silently ridin' the rough waves of momentary depression - right after a sudden non-consensual coitus interruptus. 

she showed me the V-sign, now what on Earth does that mean, wait for two minutes - or i'll make you Dhritarashtra if you dare to look below my AD-pendant? 

by Jove, i didn't!

she picked up her Sony Ericsson walkman phone and also the conversation from where she's left.

she seemed to be threatenin' her boyfriend, if he doesn't take her to the last minute christmas shopping at City Center and also to Sher-E-Punjab@vip for a full-fledged tandoori lunch with a dessert-ending, she's gonna - she simply switched her cell off and left lotsa guesswork for that guy in distress if not for me.

that reminded me also, what am gonna buy for this twenty-fifth?

as soon as the freaky TOS started to sound like queen's language in phonetic, i left hurriedly my triple-play provider's office, and walked past the Asiatic Society. 

do they still sell The Interpretation of Dreams and Hite Report at throw-away prices? i wondered - glancin' at the roadside boiwallahs adjacent to Indian Museum.

the footfall was less than usual. the vanishin' office stationery, shrinkin' radiis of the pizzas served by the contractual corporate caterer, zero ( arithmatic has had the infamous tradition of bein' always a hapless optimistic you know ) x-mas bonus - and the high-flyin' chick posed as a BPO exec inside the disc, solicitin' for applied love but now-a-days happens to return empty-handed quite often, they all point to the grim face of the ongoin' unca Sam's slump.

someone grabbed my elbow and whispered - hot DVD ache dada! 

i turned back and replied, eta dekhar noi korar boyos vai!!

may be i should indulge in some bargainin' and brush up my negociatin' and other soft skills for a while - i thought spottin' the srteetside fancy item vendor. 

aha! lighters, calculators, and virtually every possible e-item he's got. 

a school-lad came. moneybag ache? purse?? 

he was visibly dissatisfied, examinin' the plastic credit card holder, and his topless expectations were shattered to pieces - after findin' out an universal pic of the Bachchan-bahu glued inside.

ei takay ar ki pabe! the seller shrugged.

returnin' home, maintainin' my balance inside the Patal Rail, i scuba-dived the Atlantics of multitudinous thoughts and made circles beside the reef - what am supposed to buy this Borodin?

as the underground locomotive advanced with uniform acceleration, a voice spoke from my heart of hearts, have you ever thought of a wifi photoframe?

i heard 'bout this latest gizmo the day 'twas launched by Sony - but never cared actually coz nothing could be more tragic and ironic for some PrinceofKolkata with no siblings. 

but a new day has come.

i really dunno whether my kid dearest Nishu saw Taare Zameen Par or not, but she's wonderfully aware of a priceless lesson of life, in any lovin' relationship it's really important to tell that you care - as much important the raindrops are to a dyin' sapling. 

the digital heart's generous enough to accept a few hundred memories, and among them the inauguratory ones will be of my behen Nisha, whose every sms reiterated the soothin' truth that she cares. 

even the pyrotechnics of Diwali fades before the luminescence radiated by the megapixels of this god-gifted love.

lone, very alone, inside the maddin' crowd of Kolkata Metro - i badly wished it'd rain down. 

down on me. 

something warm...rollin' down my cheeks...was tellin' me the meaning of true attachments.

( 21st Dec-08. Satia Muntaha Nisha's a sweet young girl from Dacca, studyin' law, whom i met online a year ago. )

The Crocin-nights

i sleep like a four month old fetus. the noise from nearby station tickles the tin drums guardin' the cochlea-pair. crows quarrel, mate, and reconcile. a telephone rings and fucks up the precipatory two spoonfuls of silence. suddenly a Ti:sapph laser emergin' from the Orion enters my room. did that come from the third eye of Vishnu? the beam of aroused photons perform a fertility dance as the inhabitants of Obando do and start to take some shape. is that really you Madhusudana my lord??

i wake up and become vamana as i run faster and faster. the last string of cotton on my body dissolves in dark, the dark energy, worshipped as Tulpa in Tibet. now that both we're naked as the newborn, i and the winkin' stars, the lakshmanrekha of maya has been crossed successfully.

Agnimide Purohitam Yajnasya Devam|
Ritvijam Hotaram Ratnadhatamam||

o mighty Agni, the God of fire, make me fiery as you're - i prayed. 

the nights are cold and silent. but i mustn't stop. i just can't afford to. 

what place is this? i looked around. a tree, a bifurcatin' tree. 

that very tree who greeted us everyday with all her leaves, smilin', when i used to go to the Lake with Pitaji in childhood days. 

isn't that someone standin' behind those branches?

as i come closer - the vriksha grows in all ten directions. Uttar, Dakshin, Purva, Pashchim, Agni, Ishana, Nairita, Vayu, Urdha, Adha

and finally becomes Om, gradually replicatin' the shape of mother of all sounds, the primeval sonic energy that existed even before the cosmos was born.

the first call for Farz dies down as soon as a jet moans just right below the trop. i opened my eyes. the sea-green OLED says Brahmamuhurta has just set in.