Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Durga Puja fervour in Calcutta!

It was 4:30 in the morning. The birds hadn’t even started chirping. Something disturbed my sleep. I awoke with a start. I could hear the dhak (drum beats). Durga Puja had arrived!

Covering my ears with the pillow, to muffle out the sound, I tried sleeping again, a smile on my face.
The Pujas had come! The next five days Calcutta would swirl and dance in the revelry of worshipping the Goddess, the city would shine bright through the night, people from the nearby towns would come to visit, sell, and soak themselves in the merriment!

One could see people anywhere, anytime! At 7 am, there’re people on the road. At 1 pm, again people. At 10 pm, still there! At 3 am, no the crowd doesn’t thin out!
These five days — dusk or dawn, morning or evening, noon or midnight – you just couldn’t make out the difference. The city didn’t sleep!
On the few tours made of the various pandals (temporary bamboo structures to house the Goddess), it was hard to miss that the traffic police personnel were having a tougher time manning the crowds than the vehicles!

One of the parks near my place had set up rides along with the pandal. Giant wheel was the hot choice! Not only did it give me the much needed adrenalin rush, but when I looked towards the sky, while my capsule was on the upward journey, I could almost feel myself reaching out to touch the moon. Those few minutes symbolized freedom more than anything! And then came the reality check. As soon as I stepped out of the dark and seldom used back gate of the park, I saw myself staring at a family of a mother and two children. Lying on the footpath, with tattered blankets barely covering them, the mother was trying to put her children to sleep amidst the din of celebrations in the land beyond!

The Pujas mix all hues of reality and of the realms beyond. They mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but to me it’s the time when my city looks and feels surreal!

The Pujas define Calcutta, its old-world charm, its people, its warmth, its serenity, its culture, its madness, everything!

As I sit here writing this, the roads outside are unusually silent! I hear the distant drum beats occasionally as the idols are being taken to the Ganges for immersion, marking the end of Pujas. A year to go, before She comes again!

May the Goddess bless us all!

Thursday, 18 October 2012


Did I tell you guys I spend a lot of time catching up on films when I need a break from office and studies?
I don't really like those trashy-without-a-story-line films though. Last week I saw the Paresh Rawal-starrer, Akshay Kumar-supported OMG: Oh My God! And the film’s name couldn’t have contained my reactions in a better way. The sublime yet effective impact the film had on the audience is applaudable. If you still haven’t seen it, watch it not for it’s tremendous script, the beautiful thought, the superb acting, Akshay’s stunning entry! No don’t watch it for any of this. Watch it for yourself, to take a much-needed and highly likable break.

And when it comes to watching films which become memorable, how can I forget these:

  • Lage Raho Munnabhai - A film which changes the portrayal of Gandhi in all our minds! 
  • Aamir - The common man always lives the hard way.
  • A Wednesday - Don't underestimate anyone. No one.
  • Kahaani - A thriller in the true sense. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
  • Vicky Donor - Charity begins at home. Maybe not always!
  • Taare Zameen Par - Not the best film to watch when you want to relax, but one of those best ones when it comes to emotional connect and content.
Coming Soon : Memorable English films! At all theaters near you!

P.S. : Just got an invite for another film! ;)

Friday, 5 October 2012

The Last Time?

Sitting up there in the clouds,
Well, nearly forgotten,
 They must be wondering what we are at,
Doing all but enjoying.

They seem to be questioning,
When was the last time you stopped,

To hear the rustle of the winds,
The pleasant cacophony of the birds,
To feel the breeze blow through your strands,

To see the hues in the sky,
The flowers all around,

The kitten meowing at you,
The dogs playing with their puppies,
The thirsty crow drinking water,
The pigeons in a cat fight,
The leaves falling in winter,
The new ones sprouting in spring,

The 50 shades of green,
The rain pattering on the windows,
The rainbows thereafter?

When was the last time you stopped?
They're still wondering.