Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Every day I wake up to to see a green pasture
Every day I wake up and while the alarm keeps ringing
I wish for the day to begin a little more late
First I consider to set it again
Then comes a desire to quit my job
Just to see the green pasture...

Every day while I travel to my office
The speed breakers talk to me
Slow down, think a bit, they say
Every day I forget their voices...
And I keep on waiting...
For the endless ocean, for the sky touching mountains

When I reach my office
And start my work
I realize that nothing can suffice
How I want to leave all this and be a wanderer
The day passes by
Some work some leisure,
Some learning, some knowledge
Still the desire persists
Sometimes overwhelmed with joy
Sometimes depressed with ardour
By the time I come back home
I fail to witness the dusk
Moon shines over my car’s bonnet
My heart beats so hard
Break free break free it says
Sail through sail through it shouts
Still I bring myself back
Still I eat my dinner
Still I get a full night’s sleep
Because I have to rush
I can’t waste time
Because today was just another day

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My days with Durga

It has been about six years since I have been at Kolkata during Durga Puja.The last I was here, however was a different Kolkata, with no multiplexes, no hi-tech shopping malls, no Newtown .To say in short, a not so happening city. Although this city has never stopped giving me surprises, not when I first came here in 1992 and neither now. Any city is how its people are.Kolakata as city is too crowded; sometimes the crowd actually frightens people. But the crowd also implies how the city has thrived, even after accepting people from all its surrounding states and countries. And most of this passion comes out during Durga Puja. To an outsider and sometimes to people like me, who have stayed for many years away from the city, this passion is sometimes invisible. We are more concerned about the inevitable traffic jam during Puja, the sound pollution, the infinite outpour of almost the entire population on road, frustrating no parking zones, almost hearing impaired people who would not listen to the car horn and many more. Yes all these are true for Kolkata and would be true for any city that has limited resources and uncontrolled need for resources.

Sometimes all these frustrate me. I think, how does it matter? Whether I go for shopping and buy some 10-20 dresses before Durga Puja or not!!Or whether I even wear them on the days of Puja. How does it matter whether I go for Pandal hopping, taking my night’s sleep for a toss? Such thoughts always come to mind. And now that we can claim ourselves to be the “intellectual”, wastage of time and money is a strict “no no”. But then, what about those unknown faces that I would be able to see if I go for Pandal hopping? What about those men, women, children, elderly whom I could have had glanced upon, who come from remote villages irrespective of their caste, religion just to have a look on Devi Durga? There are people who wait all the year for these few days to show case their cultural talents and craftsmanship. There are people who would work overtime just to buy their little ones a new dress at the last that Puja happiness for them doesn’t go for a miss. The rickshawalas,the panipuriwalas,jhalmuri,biryani,5star delicacies, well dressed babus with their obese bibis,the college going people with hands together,Hilsa,Sindoor,Alta ..What other occasion can bring them all together!!

In every other deity worship, the devotees take a task to visit the temple. But it is during Durga Puja that Devi Durga with her four children,Lakshmi,Saraswati,Ganesh and kartik comes to visit her parents place from Kailasha.Yes that’s how the story goes in Bengal,howmuch ever disconnected it may be with Puranas, but certainly this is one festival where the Goddess of victory,love,success,power herself visits her devotees. And she is so humane. While we visit the various pandals, we realize how the goddess has emerged in every corner of each locality, in different styles and forms. Yes, the mushrooming number of Durga Pujas in Kolkata are definitely a threat to the city’s congestion and traffic problems, but a little compromise for these few days just makes us feel the essence.
And just like every good story has to end, every human feeling has to be both good and bad, and as time must pass on, Durga too has to leave and go back to her husband. And thus Durga Puja brings with itself the cycle of love and deprivation, happiness and sadness. But as always hope thrives to say Good bye to “Maa Dugga” and that she will come back again next year.....same time...same way... just like a TV commercial that last for a year time...