Sunday, October 2, 2011


Many a time I have left Calcutta but never I have felt like this before; this time I am at a real loss of words to express how exactly I am feeling. It feels like I am being uprooted but not completely, some parts of me are still here while I am forcibly dragging myself to a far away land which I have never felt like I belonged to, which I never loved, which I never considered my own. The whole idea of uprooting one’s self from the land one has so loved is not at all easy; it’s difficult, it’s dangerous and also very absurd. But I am doing it; I am doing it because I have to, because I don’t have any other option. I have hoped against hope to look for light but I can’t afford to live with the darkness any more. My roots have seeped deep into the soil of this city, my veins carry the city’s best blood and my lungs the dirtily delicious stench of petrol and non-bourgeois (?) silk-cut cigarettes. The heat, the dust, the pollution, the loud honking of the cars, the hideous traffic, the phuchkas, the rolls, the merciless painful claustrophobic afternoons before rains, the pools and ponds in the middle of the roads after rains.... I have loved them; I have loved them all. The tea coloured evenings, friends, enemies, families and thousand other ties.... All that tied me to this city or may be all that I tried to tie myself to are floating at the back of my mind, making it hollow and void asking me not to grow up. Not at least this September.
I don’t know how much I am leaving behind for all of it seems to be piling with me. Too many memories and the baggage too heavy but I need to move on.
It’s Viswakarma Puja today and I had hired a car from my place to the airport in the morning. The driver had been a very sweet guy. He kept on playing Radio Mirchi while last moment exchanging of songs, poems, farewell notes and all that jazz kept me busy. While I got down from the car, the driver took out a paper box and handed out a sondesh (Bengali sweet) to me with a smile. With the fresh sandalwood paste and vermillion smeared on his forehead, it was evident that he had taken his car to be worshipped in the morning before I hired him. While I took the piece of sweet he kept on telling me “etogulo bag aapni kikorey samlaben? sabdhane jaben dada, sabdhane” (“how will you manage so many luggage? Take care, please take care”). He does not even know me, but the concern and warmth in his voice made me feel better in a way. May be life is not that bad, may be the world is not that bad, maybe there are still some nice people left; or may be sometimes we do not notice all these little nice things that happen to us every now and then, worrying about bigger troubles in life....
And now even before I have boarded the air plane, it feels like I have already propelled away to some unknown sky. I feel extremely helpless and lost holding the boarding pass in one hand and trying to call Mortician with the other; while she does not pick up the call.... The security check is over and my flight has been announced. I don’t have much time left and I am feeling paranoid, but she does not pick up the call; maybe she is also trying to get used to the absence. May be she is also failing miserably to cope up with the impotent wrath of letting go of her friend. This deliberate and desperate absence of the Mortician is difficult for me to handle and my brain has stopped functioning; so all I have managed is to text a small note to Maya before switching off the phone and getting up on the flight....

Calcutta (18. 09. 2011)

No, Ahmadabad has not changed; it is the same; intact the way I had left this city three years back. It seems like everything have been preserved carefully for me to return. I am happy seeing old faces, seeing old places and old alleys but somehow strangely a constant guilt feeling is mingled with my joy.... it is that guilt of resorting to that city I have always neglected, I have always cursed, I have always hated so much.

Ahmadabad (19. 09. 20011)

It’s raining in Guwahati.... You are not here but you are here; I am having coffee and vegetable thukpa at Silk Route.... the road across the glass window is hazy in the rains. With smell of dumplings in the air, music in my head and chopsticks in my hand I am wondering what you do these days, whom you call while having the morning cigarette, I am wondering if Maya at all ever misses me....

Guwahati (23. 09. 2011)

They change the bed sheets every morning in the hotel and I have a new story every morning. Last night Hill boy handed me all the gifts of the Mortician. I loved them, loved all of them. Nobody ever has written me such touching letters; I feel needed when I read those letters.... words and emotions are such strange things.... You are so right Mortician; life, death, love, hate, happiness, sadness all pivots on the tip of the tongue indeed!
p.s: I have decided to forgive Maya for not calling me up and yeah HAPPY BIRTH DAY to me !

Guwahati (26. 09. 2011)

I wished Rumyum this morning. It’s her birth day and the whole team is dressed in their Sunday best to celebrate. She smiled back when I wished her and asked me to kiss her; I gently had put a peck on her cheek and hugged her trying to smile with moist eyes. Rumyum does not know that she shares her birthday with the lunatic but I am at awe how my eyes got moist. There were many people in the room but she asked only me to kiss her; I wonder if she had read my thoughts that moment. Thinking of the incident, it feels strange. Last year on today’s date I had baked a cake for the lunatic; and prayed in my heart. We got happily drunk that evening, singing to our glory. The lunatic sang aloud while I sang in my head. I took a cab back home and thanked God for everything and nothing; the night breeze hit me smoothly on the face while I stared out of the cab window and the drunk lunatic sang to me on the phone.... life seemed perfect and I was happy. Leaving behind rows of buildings and trees, leaving behind people and light posts the car speeded and I speeded with it leaving behind twenty six useless years of my life.... life seemed beautiful and I smiled with moist eyes like I did this morning.
But things CHANGE! And HOW!
I bake no more cakes but I still pray for the lunatic.... “May you stay Forever Young“

Guwahati (02.10.2011)

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