Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Some talk...

We are the progenies of Prufrock
Living and partly living
Pursuing our dreams
And like a dreamer dying on the streets
Hungry and diseased.
But even when we shun those very visions
We lived for
We are starved
Of happiness, creativity and freedom,
Of being our very own
Whether you bang on the doors of your
Fractured intellect,
Or hunt for money,
You are still one among the many,
Hungry for more

We would walk the parties
On a cocktail night
This time talking of
Oracles and miracles
Of the niche we call

In fashion, what is in
What is out,
Never mind
What you think,
And who cares
What’s it all about…
You just talk
And let them know
You are kin
To some Di Caprio!

Back home you surf the net
Find out who was it
You talked to
And who was it you met!

We still are patients,
And patiently we walk the
Mundane way,
From the Blue Mondays
To the welcome Fridays,
Swaying to the jazz
Of nothingness
But participating,

We are foolproof,
Or so we think,
We are fools
And there is proof
And that is true.
This way my friends,
That’s the gate of my house,
But I’m still looking for a home
To live.
I don’t like the nasty looks,
So it’s okay that I have spent,
A bit too much on the rent…

Good night then,
Meet you again,
On my way
To discuss life,
And share our views
Talk of this and talk of that
Who is thin and who is fat
What is good and what is bad
And I agree it is fun
So that’s it then.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once More Let us Live...

Breed of Adam
Breed of Eve
You know not where you are heading,
Nor what you are worth,
Sitting here at the threshold of
Being and not being
Mechanical robots,
An aberration of His Divine intention
Starved of happiness
Deprived of creativity,
Thirsty you roam from door to door
Asking for a drop to quench
That greed
Hungry and palsied
Diseased breed of our forefathers
Running after a vision
Far removed from joy and fulfillment.
Crawling creatures throng your rooms,
Serpentine lovers woo you
And you stand and stare
As if in a trance,
No more than a zombie.
Breed of Adam
Breed of Eve,
My brothers
My sisters,
The vision is ghastly,
Broken images
Shattered dreams
We are still traveling
Where no roads meet
Rocky, infertile, land of illusion
Everything a mirage,
Fooling and convincing each of us
Of a better life
Where utopic wonders spring forth
Phoenix-like from your sweat
Fellow beings pause and ponder
Feel your being
You have been
Taunted into becoming just another ‘number’
Now it’s time,
Let us build Eden again…
Once again let us dream…

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Realization

It is in this hour that memories tangle with desire,
Here at the threshold where life begins anew,
I can still sense the whiff of despair.
Why is it that one bond is the severing of another?
They would say philosophical stuff,
I care not for,
In words you can put many a thing
But in deed,
It is not possible indeed.
I have waited every hour
Staring at the starlit ceiling,
Wondering how the beauties of life
And nature,
Have become an artificial thing...
There is pain in having,
There is pain in disowning,
There is pain even in knowing,
Happiness flickers through this pain,
Or is it,
This pain is so intense,
It is pleasure, surpassing the limitations of happiness
Rejuvenating and reviving us,
Teaching us each day,
A new doctrine of life...
Leaving behind the trails of our deeds
Like a precedence.
This is it then
This is life
This is love
This is...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Short Eulogy Dedicated To The Wonderful Friends Who Played Host To Me When I Came To Bangalore

Not the land of mellow fruitfulness,
Nor the land forlorn,
But in the midst of drizzle and rain,
A welcome home
A few friends,
Amidst the smiles
And the laughter,
The togetherness,
There is room for one soul
And many more.
Lonesome hearts in a tryst of fate
Have found a hearth
Miles away from what people call home,
Each is kin to the other one,
A simply home but with loads of fun,
All are welcome,
There're strangers to none,
Each knowing that life is this...
It's no use wasting in 'whose' and 'his'...
Even though miles away
It never feels you are all alone...
You have a family,
This too is home!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sweet 'Myself' I'll remember thee...

This year seems so long,
The summer was scorching,
The winter so cold,
Autumn was dry
And spring never came.
This year was just so full of pain.

Love was like the hearth on a chilly winter evening,
That love is no longer,
It's all so fake,
The oaths we take,
The promises we make.
And all of a sudden I find everything at stake.

I have been struggling to come to terms 
With myself and my dreams,
It seems the nest is broken before I even built it.
It's been the hardest time ever,
My sweet self has bid me goodbye
I didn't stop her,
I didn't even try.

I know now it does not matter what I wished,
I should have never dreamt,
I am a woman
Like so many
For whom dreams are not meant.

For ever since I learnt what a woman was,
I stood up for their every other cause,
But now I know,
In doing so I was fighting against another breed of women,
So ignorant was I,
So immature then!

Lessons take some time,
But time is a good teacher,
It has taught me where I belong;
So I am back to the roots,
Licking my wounds,
Blaming none, 'cept myself,
For weaving dreams and seeing a tomorrow
As bright as can be.
But, that tomorrow is 
Not for me!

In this one year, I have grown,
I have known,
The world anew,
Discovered new facets of people I thought I knew,
But I have no regrets,
Because I have lived and loved the same
So what if I stand defeated in life's game.

I have had enough,
So much love,
That I cannot take,
I have nothing to give anymore,
My heart feels sore,
I have loved it's true,
With all my heart for sure,
It was spontaneous, it was pure.
But it's not my love that mattered,
There is so much more,
As you move ahead,
As you soar.
I will be there,
But forgive me, if just a shadow of my former self,
For somewhere down the line it got killed,
And I'm not sure when.
I would be flesh and blood,
But never alive again!

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's just about You and Me...

Baby I know you are true,
I know I love you
But it isn't easy you see,
Not for you,
Not for me.
You've sworn to me your love
I've never denied you did
But its just not love any longer
And this feeling 's getting stronger.
Baby its a wonderful world
When I see it with love,
Or maybe its just another world
Full of spite.
At night I dream of snakes.
Baby I am afraid.
Even if you say,
You'll give it all it takes.
I am stronger from within,
You are stronger from without.
I don't know how longer it'll take
To clear this doubt.
But its true,
I love you.
There's a fear I can feel,
Some phantom of which I dream,
There's a shiver down my spine.
And I know it's true,
Baby you
Love me
Love is,
Love was,
Love will be,
Baby when it's
Just You and Me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Short Account of the Trip to Gorumara National Forest

The Beginning:

When I put pen to paper, thoughts and emotions rush to my mind in a sudden Brownian movement. However, sorting and penning my thoughts in a coherent fashion is kind of impossible. 25th December when most of the people , all over the world, are involved in exchanging pleasantries and Christmas greetings, we were all packed and comfortably seated in the Tista Torsa, heading towards New Jalpaiguri. Since Christmas and cakes are synonymous, we had our share of Flury's Blackforest, a gift from my mother's colleague.

Travel is incomplete without certain mishaps and Hardy's chances and coincidences. Unlike Hardy's , these are not premonitions of a person's final destiny; but definitely it did give our trip a bitter sweet taste. Having booked for a conveyance, we expected it to arrive on time as scheduled, at the station in the early hours of the winter morning.Unfortunately, we had all momentarily forgotten that we were still within the precincts of West Bengal, whose people follow their own Standard Time. The chilly morning, the platform stench, the awkward wait, everything, made up for an uncomfortable beginning--so what were we in for?

We had planned to demand an explanation from our pilot but his happy face made reprimanding a wee bit difficult for my sober mother and soft hearted father!

The Middle:

Medthla Watch-Tower
The foothills of the Himalayas look resplendent in the early morning; dizzy mist gives you a hazy vision of the landscape painted in the faintest colour of receding dawn. By the time we managed to step into our cozy room and freshen up it was bright morning. You wouldn't think it was winter when you wiped the drops of sweat that fringed the hairline on your forehead. Without much ado, we ate, changed and were all set for our Jungle Safari. My ever enthusiastic and optimistic mom was sure we would be lucky this time round. Precedence proved otherwise. I had expected the ride through the jungle would be like a true safari , meandering through the unchartered land, following the scent and the fresh tracks of a wild animal. There was no mystique as such in the rough ride through the dusty forest road all the way up to the tower. It would be unfair though on the narrator's part if she missed out on the serene and rustic beauty of the Jaldhaka and Murti confluence. The rivers' gurgle was occasionally interrupted with strange voices calling from somewhere in the dense jungle. The flow had been obstructed at parts by sandy sediments which served as good crossover points for our wild friends when the lights were shut out.

We had reached the Medthla Tower. An elevated, spiraling monolith that supposedly stood testimony to previous spotting of our junglee kins. We had been provided with a guide from the lodge, Jungle Neer (it was called so), who had not as much knowledge as my already knowledgeable sister and mother, and was shattered when my mother rubbished his description of a plant or corrected him when he identified wildflowers and vegetation, each time coining something innovative. He'd be a writer of sorts, he was good with cooking up stories for sure. But his lack of knowledge added that little more spice to our prejudiced hearts. Once we huffed and puffed and climbed the tower, Shyamal, with all good intention, coaxed us to watch the pride of peacocks and unimpressive pea-hens. Delighted by his innocence and to relieve us from the monotony of waiting, our father showed exaggerated interest in the peacocks and Shyamal not being able to sieve through that mock appreciation began describing how there were innumerable peacocks in India and that peacock was our national bird.
Evening descends on Gorumara 

Bengalis love to travel. No wonder the crowd at the Medthla Tower were predominantly Bengali, most of them gloriously filming the peacocks. Sometimes the antics of the traditional Bengalis pique me and I feel so embarrassed. Somebody swore he saw a wild boar and everyone rushed to the spot. What came upon my highly educated and sophisticated parents, they too followed the crowd to see nothing but some leaves moving in the winter breeze. I looked at my sister, the only other person I realized was experiencing the same disposition. She chuckled. For sure there was no boar. There was not even a pig in the vicinity.Yet my parents vouched they both saw it. I considered it wise to agree that there sure must have been one. But my doting father was hellbent on showing me where it was. To retrieve myself from this taxation I even agreed to seeing the wild boar (in my wild imagination I must have added under my breath!). The sun was returning home and the birds chirp filled the air. We were almost sanguine and only ma's veto to our unanimous 'lets retire for the day' saw us waiting for a stretch of two hours or more. We were yawning, laughing, joking and observing the general drama.

The Climax:

Suddenly the chaotic cacophony fell silent. One of the rarest in the world, but common in the forests of India, especially in Assam and North Bengal had been spotted. Three trained tusked elephants guided by their mahouts chased and brought them out in the open.
I'd seen them many a times--in pictures, on Discovery, in movies but never for real. They were little bigger than the size of my foot, when looked at from this distance. They were indigenous the rhinoceros unicornis. I was carrying a Sony Handycam but to use it you'd have to buy a ticket worth 300 bucks. There wouldn't be anything worth filming we'd thought. But for the next few minutes I shed  my ethical garb and defied my conscience by indulging in some dishonesty. I tried filming but before I could adjust the shot, ma poked me to stop.
Pic of one of the rhinos we saw, with Photoshop's help!

Who said the peacock was proud, the gait, the stance, the pose, were so photogenic. Two more of the family emerged from the hideous tall grasses that shaded our vision. From the thicket, the sturdy, daring elephants appeared. The wild had a language of its own. While in hushed voices, like thieves we watched them from the tower, the two clans stood on two separate strips of sand and the river flowed in between. The rhinos stared the elephants, scanning the deceit and observing how the human intruders (read mahouts) had guided their own wild clan to betray the sanctity of their homes, exposing them to the hoards of megalomaniacs huddled together under a shady protective tower-shed. The jungle world had its own code of conduct and the politics of the call of the wild was beyond human comprehension.

The Safari had not finished yet. That night we spent discussing the scene, reiterating every movement so that years later the memory remains afresh.  Next morning was Thursday. As per the jungle rules the jungle remained closed to tourists. So uphill we went fifty kilometers to Samsing. On our way we saw the Chuba Tea Estate, the disputed land which made headlines a few days ago. At Samsing there wasn't anything in particular that would entrance us. Instead the suitably located momo-hut served as a good stopover for a steamed momo brunch. We nagged Prasun, our dear pilot to take us to the Rocky Island, a local picnic spot. The road to the island was rocky indeed and my father never missed the opportunity to crack hilarious jokes about the outcome of this rocky adventure! We had a hearty laugh.No sooner had we managed to walk down to the hilly stream mom somehow in her cute and broken Hindi cajoled a teeny local boy to collect algae along with her. Ma has always had a weak corner for algae and whenever we crossed a bridge, my sister would immediately hold on to her arms in a mock-saving stance, in case she jumped into the river below to collect samples. The poor child in all excitement hopped from boulder to boulder and suddenly his loose trousers fell off and he tumbled on a thin strip of sand. My sister and I were rolling on the ground and my father found it so amusing that he added fuel to the child's embarrassment by asking him whether his 'pachu' (that's colloquial for 'bottom') was hurt. Ma's genuine sense of dignity was at stake and she gave the child a chocolate and a few bucks on my father's insistence, thanked him and dismissed him.

On our way back while mom was planning our next moves with Prasun, we ran over the day's incidents. Then Prasun hit the brake. Our car came to a standstill. We looked to our right, at the outer, rarefied jungle that fringed the national highway. There right under our nose about four inches from us stood a bison eating to his fill. Huge, horned, dark brown, the colour of a buffalo but with feet as white and fluffy as if it was wearing socks. It did not attack us. Strange? Prasun verified it was an old bison and has been spotted for the last few months on some occasions and was too weak to attack humans unless threatened.
Old Fellow: The aged bison

The End:

So it was. The jinx of never sighting any of the wild creatures that tread the jungle was broken--for once and for all. It is just to inform my readers, thereafter on our second jungle safari, when we stayed at the Gorumara Forest bungalow, we tasted a real Safari, riding on elephants' back and chasing the one-horned rhino and her baby out of their hiding. This time the mother and the child stood at the foot of our elephant. We did not stir and let them be. We'd got what we had come for.
Second time lucky: The mother and her calf that we spotted just inches away when on our elephant safari during our second trip to Gorumara National Park.

Having left Gorumara behind us we now found residence in the Mongpong Forest bungalow, saddled between the lush green foothill vegetation and the gurgling Tista river. Sometimes from the distance the roar of the train alerted us about the civilization that existed beyond this tranquility. The distant echo of the wild, the cooing of birds, the murmur of the river, the soft rustle of the leaves in unison created a cadence intrinsic to the foothills of the Himalayas. Nature orchestrated the music to suit the mood of the day from dizzy morning to the yearning nights.

At the Bungalow I came across the illustrated and informative Wild Bengal by Dr Debal Sen. I was more than pleased to find it here among the decade old magazines in the library rack. The long introductory article on Gorumara National Park, records his experiences. Many of the creatures that he had spotted have now moved deeper into the forest to avoid the trespassing tourists. While reading his description of the forest I was filled with a thrill indeed. He mentioned the "fireflies winking in unison" and at once like a dream our jungle safari came rushing to my mind, and the images recreated in my 'inward eye' were the 'bliss of solitude'. Dust and dense flora crowd the path that we followed. And besides the car's headlights, the telepathic bluish twinkle of the fireflies served as a torch to our eyes blinded by the darkness. And we like Dr Sen now "...leave the fireflies to their communion with stars."

The Epilogue:

It's a bright winter morning here at the foothills of the Himalayas. True that life has many more mysteries complexities than the ones we know of. For instance, can we conceive in entirety the myriad hues of Nature's ways! With that note let us enjoy the happiness and overlook the pathos. Before me the lush green trees of Mongpong forest, are nodding in agreement. It's time we stepped back into the din of the dusty Kolkata life. We are heading home!

PS: Pictures courtesy my Sister and her digicam!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Evening at a Jungle...

[This poem was written on 28th Dec 07 at the Mongpong Forest Bungalow, it recounts our jungle safari during our Gorumara tour of December 2007.]

When civilization slumbers
The jungle awakes--

Hungry hearts in search of the wild
Explore the forest's density.
Dust and winter leaves welcome them,
They have come hunting--
Ready to shoot at the slightest stir.

From daybreak to dusk
The probing eyes survey the lands
From the tower--

The freezing stream that flows below
Turns crimson, and
Only peacocks call
And strut on the sand;
And beyond the tower lies
The unchartered forest land.
The grassland gives an illusion of vision,
There is some din, but the hunters are deaf
To all noise--
The eyes strain to catch a speck...
Evening beckons,
But hope survives.

'Shoot!' Comes the order.
Shot after shot--
The one-horned rhino releases itself
From its camouflage
There is pride, wrath and revenge in its gait--
The hunters enjoy the victorious moment!
Two more of the family follow suit--
And they are shot too.

Three mammoth tusked elephants pursued the rhinos,
Chased them into the open,
On two strips of sand
Stand the rivals,
Warring with their eyes.

But there is deceit in this victory,
A guilt in the jubilant voices,
That so long waited in hushed silence.

The hunter's gear lies on the bed,
The vision in her eyes like a dream.
The moment's fled,
But she strives to capture it--
She has done it once with the camera,
And now with a pen!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Him

Once upon a time
My life was like a fairytale
But I guess now I'm living
The happily ever after!
Only that no one probed to see
What was meant to be
Ke sa ra sara

I met my Prince Charming,
But the trance is no more,
I am in love,
But the heart is sore,
Why the rainbows no longer look resplendent
Why at the end of the day I feel so spent
Ke sa ra sara

There were cupids
Fragrant flowers
Friends as loyal can be
But time has taken a toll
And I've lost touch with all
Will it ever be green again,
Will the youthful lovely days come back
Just once more to me?
Ke sa ra sara

Little by little I have flipped through the pages
And now the pages look so bland
The shine of the fairytale all gone
Blemished with a knowledge
That I earnestly did not want
Now of all I know
Its true--
Ignorance is bliss.
I have still love to live by
Still searching for God within
And God without
Finding God in Him
That source of Peace
That solace
I could live for!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sir Oracle!

FIFA 2010 has been a World Cup of upsets. But even more interesting are the new discoveries that we made en route the grande finale. Vuvuzelas blowing the nuts out of one's head to the waka waka welcome to South Africa , 2010 will have football fanatics all over the world remember it for a long time. Of these many aspects, Octopus Paul's predictions left be dumbfounded. I have sworn by palmistry, tarot and numerology thus far but talking parrots and carnivorous visionaries did not appeal to me in the least. Sir Oracle, our dear octopus Paul converted me overnight; and like half the world I have been racking my head to explain how this two month old octopus saw what analysts didn't. He chose Serbia over Germany, people thought it was a fluke. When it stayed true to its German land, the world said , sheer training...but Paul defied their obvious conclusions and declared Spain would walk to the finals. For once the German's thought the Paul oracle would fall flat...ahh! alas! Spain were gleeful and even if the Argentinians and the German's wanted oracle Paul roasted and garnished with sauce, Spain would stand for its animal rights!
Many I believe have already taken to researching what made Paul oracle. What I fear is not the threat of Paul being the ingredient of a delicacy but that suddenly one day Paul would go missing. For sly researchers too intent on the practical and logical reasoning would not spare the poor octopus and run there scissors and scalpels through its entire body to detect which hormone or which fluid or which anatomical factor can justify the mysterious coming to pass of Paul's oracle!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Idol 5

Indian Idol 5 has not received the kind of response its predecessors have...interestingly every gal or guy you turn to and ask who their favourite Indian idol is they give you back a blank expression of.."Idol season 5...Okay...well....umm". But the truth is I've been relishing season 5 with my parents and my sis. Today my parents made a crucial observation which I felt I needed to pen down... My overtly emotional dad is so enamoured by Salim Merchant, Sunidhi Chauhan and Anu Malik that he said 'they've shown what it takes to be a guru'.Well for once I had to agree with my dad. The opinions and the encouragement, the tips and the involvement with the contestants is conspicuous and touching...well I'm not sure whether the reality show is all that real but...the judges have really shown they are worth the honour!

Monday, May 31, 2010

From Twilight to Breaking Dawn

It might sound ludicrous to Meyer's newfound fans that I was unaware of her genius till late yesterday night when I first saw the amazing adaptation of her vampire novel Twilight. The hype when twilight hit the theaters missed me completely and strangely many of my kin dismissed it as a misconstrued overtly impossible blood thirsty vampire frenzy. When you have little time in hand you do risk paying heed to such vagrant side talks because you just don't want to be fooled into wasting those precious two hours (only) of sleep... But yesterday night I was utterly amazed! Tired eyes, aching body, blurring mind- none of these symptoms of stress could defy my eagerness at staying awake and watching the enthralling movie. It left me so mesmerized that roughly at 2.30 past midnight I decided I definitely wanted to know more about the Twilight. Believe it or not Stephenie Meyer had another Harry Potter freak converted into the Twilight zone. Patterson may have had and still has a fan following but Meyer should share her glory with the cast who seemed to have delved so deep into the characters that it was difficult to fathom whether Meyer conceived the characters after having met the movie's cast and crew!

All night through after watching Twilight I brushed aside all the stress to read up all about Meyer and the series...Twilight to Breaking Dawn- till the break of dawn. As the crows suspiciously crowed wondering at the ray of light that illuminated the window sill in which they were perched, I could tell from the way I was frantically reading the book that Meyer's vampires bit me hard and changed me into one of those admiring Meyer vampire lovers. For all those who foolishly missed seeing the Twilight please do grab a copy of the movie or the book or both! Cheers Ms Meyer thanks for such a wonderful romantic saga...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One of the worst things to happen to me is sniffles. I hate sniffles. The constant rattle of your chest when you cough, the wheeze that never lets you forget that the lungs aren't what they used to be, and then there is the runny mucous.

Yes, disgusting is the word for it. Not only is it Undignified, but, as my friend Nutso Marmosets call it, it is a shame on Mammalkind. Of course birds have it too. I have seen a Cockatiel come down with a bout of sniffles, but she sneezed most delicately. Nothing like the skirt-lifting, spectacle-askewing glory which attacks me, and puts me in the general direction of trouble.

How do I fight?

Yes, the universal answer to it is simple: REST.

But for the unfortunate one, me, there is none.

So I generally run to the tried and tested Chicken Soup. My favorite is this one that I got out of amateurgourmet's website.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Probal...we miss you

This is life we know it,
But often we ignore it.
We’re in a journey
Heading towards something;
No one knows where!
It’s hectic, sometimes insane-
The laughter, the joys:
All balms for that final pain…
To know that a friend you’d
Made on your way
Just got off that train.
It’s a one way journey and there is no going back.
Some winters and some summers
And wonderful springs we crossed;
And now when you look into the eyes of his beloved
You know she sees him still
For the glint and the love can just not die!
He is embarked on a new journey
With newer wonders at his door.
He still breathes in our memories
Talks to our heart for sure.
May be he parted ways,
But he will be with us always!
(this poem is dedicated to our friend Probal whom we lost most unfortunately on 26th February 2010...we want him to know, wherever he is, that we all love him and miss him)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

“…journalism is an estate of the realm, a power above all powers in the land; and its mission is mighty, even so are its responsibilities great.” –The Michigan University Magazine Volume II

Journalism and media earned its popularity through mass consciousness and the irony of seeing them toy with the emotions of the masses and making a massacre of the ‘humane aspects of journalism’ estranges them from the common people. While the glaring incapacity and disarray of the state of West Bengal emerges from under the veneer of communist idealism, the fake promises and dry tears of political leaders aggravated by the ludicrous decorum of wearing a gleeful smile when you are relaying a disastrous and heart wrenching news, comes across as a reflection of retrograde culture. To illuminate what exactly I’m driving at is the news anchor of Star Anando whose almost happy disposition was not pleasing to the eyes. There was no self restraint or somber demeanour that would assay that even though not personally affected it did unnerve her like it did the rest of the masses. Contrasted to her very strange body language was the daring act of people like Pervez whose humanity and humility gave life to so many.
Media were competing in this hour to be the first to communicate the news and not the first to help the people out from the worst nightmare. They watched people desperately jump to their deaths and began penning headlines. They reached there as spectators and not messiahs. But you cannot blame them for futuristic journalism like the rest of the futuristic stuff that is developing is emotionless, mechanical, monetized and at it a farce. Journalists are interviewing distraught family members, insensible mob smiling at the camera and waving at the viewers, reporters daring to ask how do you feel, are you anxious, did you’ll know, when did you’ll get to know- insensitive and blatantly insensitive. Neither sense nor sensibility is part of journalism now.
I was an audience in front of the idiot box waiting to catch a glimpse of the action. Though unaware of what actually happened I have frequented the spot often and from my understanding of the geography of the place a few trucks, lorries could have been brought in. There is a furnishing shop just opposite to the Music World from where drapes and curtain could be accumulated so that the people could jump on a soft cushion. But even when Rome was burning there were some saving their own businesses. Or is it that common sense is really uncommon in today’s world. Panic struck and capturing the fall to death on your mobile cameras may fetch you a penny for a day but rob you of peaceful sleep, when you toss on your bed with guilt. A friend of mine whose own bereavement in the past has taught her the philosophy of life rightly said, that it is the ‘helplessness’ we feel when faced with the cruel fact of mortality that creates a void and an unbearable pain.
I know that it will be dawn again and life will return to normal and reporters and journalists will begin sniffing for a new trail of sensational news. Whatever is breaking news for them is breaking indeed! For a commoner like me media melodrama is as intolerable as politics. We are in a poor state literally so, if each of us doesn’t rise to the occasion, if our conscience is enjoying their prolonged slumber then you can simply walk back with a cup of stimulant and watch the IPL or the hip gyrating obscene Bollywood songs.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All Izz Well??

Its not. But well think about it this way: Nothing in life is actually all right. But you have to swallow your pride and eat your own words and get back on the same horse from which you were thrown.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shhh! Success

“Success” is derived from the Latin word “succedere” which means ‘happy outcome’. Sometime in the late 13th century it was used in the sense of ‘after’ or ‘something that comes afterwards’. Later in the 1580’s the term acquired its popular meaning and became synonymous with triumph. Contemporary usage of ‘success’ in the sense of ‘victory’ is prevalent in every sphere of our daily lives. The term ‘success’ has no singular meaning in the modern world; rather it envisages the idea of achieving a desired result in whatever we undertake. Generally speaking, the way we live life and the realization of our ambitions is success.
In this era of competition, success is an indispensable ideology. It is not merely a word in the dictionary but a mantra that drives us towards greater goals in all aspects of life. Let us consider a game or a tournament, where the dizzying determination to emerge victorious at the end of the game play provides the match with nerve-rending excitement. It would not be completely wrong if success were compared to the biological adrenaline rush that induces in us a frenzy to be the first one to reach the finish line in a race.
The term success no longer remains confined to just the ‘happy outcome’, it implies a positive attitude towards life. Even in life, material gains and the envying bank balance alone does not epitomize success. Emotional and spiritual revelation and calm of mind, is the sign of ‘success’. Whatever earns you praise and happiness is therefore ‘success’. So, for a poor beggar who earns not a morsel, a day’s meal is a success; so too for a wealthy man whose house oozes with wealth but the mind remains turbulent, a peaceful night’s sleep and rest are success. It is how you perceive ‘success’.
For a student aspiring to make it big in life, success in examination is important. But at all times one should remember that success is the fruit of hard work. It is not a fancy, where you waste your time daydreaming and success comes knocking at your door! Unless you are sincere, determined, resolute and ready to toil, it is impossible to scale the heights and celebrate success. The celebrities you read about in newspapers and eminent personalities who seem to bask in their hay day, have not achieved their magnanimous status in a fortnight. They have sweated it out day in and day out to be who they are. Benjamin Franklin has aptly said, “There are no gains without pains”.

Yo! Competition

Competition arises from the need to achieve a single end for which there is more than one aspirant. If you leaf through the pages of the Oxford Concise Dictionary, competition will be described as, “the activity or condition of competing against others; an event or contests in which people compete”. The word competition is originally English and was derived from compete which means striving to gain or win something by defeating someone. Its root is a Latin word competere (com = together + petere = aim at or seek).
In today’s world the terms ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ competition are recurrent. Since competition entails a literal fighting for a coveted goal, it can sometimes be destructive and sometimes constructive. When greed and ambition get the better of our thinking faculty then we tend to tread the path of immorality and evil. Groups, individuals, organizations, etc. can be completely eliminated, jeopardized or harassed until the object of the contest is won by the evil inflictor. Common objects of contention are basic necessities like food, water, resources; fame or prestige; an honour or award; wealth and luxury; etc.
Conversely, competition can also serve as an incentive for self improvement or betterment. When competition ceases to be the cause of rivalry it can be considered as an impetus to take all failures as a challenge and improve one’s abilities. Competition can also be read as a byword for innovation and creativity.  In the absence of competition, improved and user friendly electronic goods, convenient packaged food, air-conditioned supermarkets, better educational institutes, quality and updated books, new avenues for sports like 20-20 cricket, etc. would not have come into being.
Sometimes competition ensues between individuals, between groups, among individuals and groups and so on and so forth. It is a word that is used at length in all facets of our daily life. Students will be familiar with competition in education. Competition also pervades the sphere of sports, law, business, industry, media, etc. Nowadays tournaments, events and talent hunts are also referred to as competition.
Colloquially we refer to competition as ‘rat race’ and with time the need to excel has exceeded by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, this insane run for success has ruined the childhood that children should have ideally cherished. Forced to comply with the go of the day, pupils are pressurized to be party to the competition, mostly against their wishes. This has not only created psychological unrest but unable to cope with the competition, students commit suicide, murder and theft.
Tom Landry gives the best advice to all aspiring to be part of a competition: “When you want to win a game, you have to teach. When you lose a game, you have to learn.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mind your tongue

People in Bengal have a tendency to mispronounce English words. Especially now that my job entails translating from Bengali to English and vice versa I find it impossible not raise an eyebrow when I hear a fellow colleague or read a phonetic inscription meticulously penned by our very own indigenous authors.  When Nutso Marmosets commenced I decided it will be a good forum to discuss such issues. It is true that each region has a specific twist of the tongue which is what renders the accent. So trying too hard to accentuate is a malady that few realize. Nonetheless it does not harm to work towards correct pronunciation rather than 'accent'. So when writing in the Bengali script we should pay heed to minute details as in ‘pronunciation’ as ‘fËe¢¾pHpe’ or ‘guardian’ as ‘N¡l¢Xue’so too for ‘test’ (­VØV) and ‘taste’(­VHØV).
  Obviously this list is not exhaustive. In fact if your intent is correct pronunciation then over-dependence on the Bengali script has to be done away with. You'll have to adopt an alternative. One such alternative that I can suggest is trying to pronounce words with the help of other words in the same language. For instance say 'double' can be read as "dub+ul" and not mispronounced as ‘X­h¡m, sometimes the latter have become phonetically similar to the Hindi ओल.
Again there are some subtle nuances that have to be considered, like in the list we have 'test' and 'taste', the pronunciation of both of which are close- indeed very close; but they are different. Some other such words are listed below


No language can be learnt in earnest unless we read and write it without relying on an aiding script. The more mistakes you make the better you'll learn. In this article I have made a small list of homonyms(similar sounding words) too for easy reference. 
Please note that these examples have been taken from the website 
For more information on words and their pronunciation you can consult the following websites: