Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From The Lost Pages : Chitrak and the Buddhist Bhikshu

Chitrak, the warrior chief walking came at the side of the river.

The night is becoming faint..soft petals of dawn kissing the white light of the moon..some birds started to flowing..far across the dark houses of the village everything is so silent..as if except this moving river nothing is alive now..as if this is a moment..a land..which is outside the present world..far from the violent..far from the greeds..far from the daily hazards..Chitrak like a dream got hypnotized seeing the slept village in front and started thinking that he has somehow arrived in a new world..
But footsteps make him arose and back to senses.
Footsteps are coming near.
He saw that within the white light of the night a group of persons walking through the road softly , their body covered with a long red cloth, their heads bold, their feet naked.
Chitrak forgot to change his wet clothes.
He started walking towards the group of Buddhist Bhikshus.
Chitrak came before the group and bowed to the head Bhikshu.
The Bhikshu smiled , his face in this moonlight glittering a peace which Chitrak has never seen in life.
‘Pranam Bhikshu’ Chitrak added.
Bhikshu kept his hands over his head.
And then said in a soft compose voice ‘Why you are so restless Arya?’
Chitrak kept quite. Then said , ‘I am confused Arya, which way to take, I have to take any one of them within one hour Arya.’
The Bhikshu again smiled.
‘There is only one way in life son. People themselves create many ways. But the road to life is only one son.’
But which one Arya..which one?’
The way to truth..the way to heart.’
‘But Arya..’
‘There would be no question son, if you follow that one way. If you follow you can understand.’
‘But what if that way leads to destruction?’
‘You would never be destroyed if you follow that one way..may be for some time..some fragments of moments you would loose your way..as you are now already lost son.. ‘
‘Arya, so I would follow that one way..the way of life?’
‘Yes son..just follow..and you would re invent yourself.’
The Bhikshu again prepared to walk.
Chitrak walked along with him..and asked ‘Where you are going Arya?’
The Bhikshu again smiled.
Then said, ‘ I have now only one place to go. Kushinagar’
‘Kushinagar!’ Chitrak uttered.
‘Yes son, Kushinagar, the palace where Tathagata, the Lord earned Nirvana’.
‘When you would be back Arya?’
'I would never be back again here son, I have travelled enough I would now rest my body there for ever for the remaining days.’
‘Can I know your name Arya?’
The bhikshu smiled again. His face expressing almost an heavenly light.
He kept his hands on Chitrak’s head and uttered May the Lord Tathagata helps you to find out the right way.’
‘Arya, your name?’
said the Bhikshu and started walking.
Uddatya! Exclaimed Chitrak in amazement. He has just met one of the immediate disciple of Lord Buddha.
Chitrak got stranded, almost a shiver ran through out his body.
And at that moment he also realized that there is indeed only one way..the way to truth..the way to life.

Monday, June 15, 2009


‘Babu bhalo achen?’
I am sitting along with a friend in a roadside stall on Outram Ghat. Afternoon slowly slipped away and changed colour to evening and now after sunset the sky reflecting vibrant colours of wonder. In front of us is the Ganges river, the orange sky with its purple shades reflecting in the moving waves of the water and presenting before us almost a naturalism masterpiece of Abanindranath Tagore. And at that time, the question came.
‘Babu Bhalo achen?’( How are you Babu?’)
Again the question and now I turned and saw that a boy is standing wearing a button less shirt and half pant standing before us.
His face holding a smile, his face appearing dark as he is standing back to light.
I nodded.
‘Babu, nouka chorben?’ (Will you like a boat ride?’)
‘No’, I said. At this moment I am busy talking with my long-lost friend Abhi and no mood in disturbing our trip down memory lane.
‘Babu, aj saradin kno rojgar hyni, babu..’
(He again asked me for the ride and said that today he hardly earned anything as there are no customers.)
Now Abhi speak out.
‘Ai bollo to lagbe na, bhag..’! ( Abhi, almost scolded and asked the boy to go!’)
The boy again looked at me, and then with a more dark face went away.
We chatted for almost an hour and then Abhi got up, he had an appointment.
I looked at the watch.
Twenty past six.
I thought for a walk along the Ganges.
I started walking.
Walking alongside a river is always a pleasure. I remember that in childhood, my father used to bring me often here..the scent of the river..the trees..the gentle drop of a scattered leaf from the trees..the flying birds..their clattering for homes around evening..the different types of people who gather around..the jump of some naked children in the water..the anchored boats rocking gently over the waves..the sounds of a Steamer bisecting the air..
Again a sound from a moving Steamer or locally called ‘Launch’ surprised me and make me back to reality.
And I noticed that in these twenty years many things changed, but the atmosphere around the Ganges still remained more or less same.
Far across I can see the light of the ice cream parlour ‘Scoop’ shinning bright.
I walked on.
As I came towards the Ferighat where the boats are anchored I noticed the boy.
Over an anchored boat that boy is sitting and dipping his feet inside the water.
I walked towards him.
And as I approached him, I found that at the side of the boat written with an unprofessional artist and bold letters ‘Harankheya’.
The name itself again made me nostalgic and at once I recognized that boat belong to Majhi named Haran, and not only that from childhood, I knew that person..
I went back twenty years and saw that a boy holding his father’s hand came in one early morning..the day was Mahalaya( An auspicious day marking the arrival of Devi Durga on the earth)..my father came to take a dip in the holy Ganges and utter sacred hymns in memory of our ancestors, a custom locally called ‘Tarpan’..father went to the Ganges and I unable to see the incident among the crowd and jumped over the deck of a small boat..as I stood there I suddenly found that the boat is sailing away..I turned back and saw that the boat was moving and a person wearing loincloth holding the baitha in hand sailing the boat smiling and saying, ‘Chalo Khokababu tomay aktu ghuriye ani..’and he really took me for a tour around the Ganges for ten minutes and when we are back my father smiling offered him money but that boatman with dark brown body and hands as if made of steel said, ‘Na Babu, amni Khokababuke ghuriye anlam!’(No need for money Babu, I just took your son for a fun tour!)..before we leave we came to know that his name is Haranmajhi..from then on each month my father brought me here twice a month..not only because my father himself liked him but also because I now come to know that he wanted to sow in his son..fragrance of some other world..where real teachings of life begins..I can remember those days clearly..sun setting around the Ganges, far across the tower of the Fort William can be seen as then there was no Vidyasagar Setu..Haranmajhi went on speaking on his own..about his ancestral land in Barisal..his land..Padma river..how they were thrown out of their own land after independence..his fight with a crocodile once near the Sundarban delta..once how he almost got caught in the hand of the decoits..how much he love to spend nights in open river..sometimes he sings..one of his common Bhatiali song was..
‘O Paran amr kon kul theke kon kule niye jas re more..’
sometimes while sailing how he mixes Khaini in his two hands and place it delicately within his Biri rotten lips..often he use to say me, ‘Khokababu jabe amar sange..anek dure tomay niye jabo..jabe..chalo beriye pori..;no doubt I was absolutely ready to move but as usual it is an invitation to a new world and it never occurred really..then I grew up..got busy in study and I still can remember about dreams where I saw Haranmajhi saying..’Khokababu..jabe amar sange?’ Then days passed..time passed..Haranmajhi gradually got lost within my daily busy schedule..
Haranmajhi to me is not only a boatman or ‘Majhi’ but he was once my childhood hero..who sailed away miles after miles in waters..in new lands..in new places..meeting different interesting people of whom one can dream of..Haranmajhi may be was a very simple man and maybe he have never sailed away anywhere else except the limited corners of the Ganges around the Outram Ghat..but he was according to me..just like some Voyager like Vasco Da Gama or Columbus..
Haranmajhi was my childhood.
And I never wanted to lose it.
As the evening sky slowly gathered all colours of heaven I started walking.
My Childhood is not lost.
Only it is now within covers.
As I am carrying my childhood within me ..similarly my dreams of Haranmajhi would also go on sailing..sailing far..far..

into a land of eternal Romance!..

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Touch

Today is a day of luxury for Satya.
And thus landing in Dhakuria more he hold a wide smile in his lips.
For some days a break from all the worries.
A bit of relief.
A bit of signining in to life again.
And thus he brought a brand new packet of Gold Flake from the shop and then started walking.
Satya passed the Djhakuria Durgabari and took the station road.
It would take ten minutes to reach his home. Home is a wrong word, actually it is a mess. He originally comes from a remote village of Murshidabad..a mapless place. Though he did his schooling from a village school, his higher secondary done from Burdwan College butwhen it came the turn to do graduation Satya opt for Kolkata..like every village boy he love to be in Kolkata and remove his tag of a ‘village boy’ and be a 21st C citizen.
Satya stopped. Had he really able to become that?
He don’t know. But still he smiled. The only thing he knew today that he is holding in his hand his first salary of Rs 3000, of a small job of DTP Operator.
It means a lot to him.
No more buying things in lending..no more half ciggarretes..no more changing doors in running bus, tram for skipping ticket..no more hearing slangs from people who will get money from him.
Satya lighted a brand new cigarettes. Money gives happiness. Thus Gold Flake never tasted so good earlier.
Satya thought how to spend the salary..he has to give 500 to the Mess owner..he has 1000Rs in due..then he have to give another 500 to Kanaida..the road-side hotel where he is having lunch each day each night..then for his convenience cost may be Rs 600.. he have to send 500 to home..and then..but Satya stopped..because as he is calculating the amount of money is gradually becoming less and less. There is a lot of time to think about the money he thought..today he would only relish that he has now Three Thousand rupees in his hand. He took out a fifty rupee note from his shirt pocket and smelt it.
What a beautiful smell of earning his own money!
Satya has reached the level-crossing.
His mess can be reached if he goes straight.
But he always took the short-cut.
And that road went parallel to the rail lines.
He started walking through the muddy road beside the tracks.

Evening is slowly gripping in..sun has set..only in the west a splash of purple is still visible..pieces of clouds floating..birds clattering as they fly their way back to their nests..within the slums smoke is rising..the numerous nucleated families are ready to prepare their cooking..naked childrens running in playing recklessly over the tracks..slangs which locally known as ‘Khisti’s is coming to Satya’s ears at regular intervals..women wearing torn clothes spreading their wet underwears over a string hanging from a tree..a dark girl wearing red lipstick and cheap but glossy sarree went out from a slum and went towards the market..one loafer kind of boy shouted.. ‘ Ore Kelo..dak sala maltake..’..two cycles went clinging..Satya knew them..they are fish-hawkers going to market with a fish bucket..the cheap stalls are opening up gradually all bearing all the necessary goods..the soil beneath the feet of Satya trembled..train is coming..far away he saw the yellow light of the signal turned green..the clicking sound of the level-crossing gates shutting down..noises of rickshaw,cars,buses sounding in full volume..scenes of a busy evening of Dhakuria..
A gentle wind blows.
Satya closed his eyes.
Something has fallen in his eyes.
Again the wind blowed.
With a maddening sweep.
The signal of the train sounded.
Evening has lost its natural colour.
The light of the local train bisecting the dark evening.
The Evening is broken now in shades of colours..one of light and behind that everything in dark.
The train has left the station.
It can be seen now.
There it is.
Satya stopped to pass the train otherwise he would be adored more in dust.
And as soon he turned front a cold thunder went through his veins.
An old woman looks like a beggar is standing on the rail tracks, the same track in which the train is coming.
And the train is in quite a proximity now.
Satya closed his eyes for a moment.
But he opened it soon in screams coming from all around..the slums..the level crossing..the rickshaw walas..the drivers all sides..
But all in vain.
As the old woman on the track hardly moved but pecuiliarly forwarded her hands as if to hold any support.
In this twilight also the thing became clear to Satya.
The old woman is blind.
She can’t see.
What would Satya do now?
An answer would take a minute.
He don’t have that.

Satya start running among all the screams panics and within a second reached the tracks caught hold of the old woman and pushed him aside and himself jumped also and the train whitewashed them with that light.
Satya’s pulse is running fast in excitement.
The old woman has fallen on the pebbles beside the tracks.
She was still searching for a hand and shouting ‘Ke re? Ke?’
Satya after a while caught her hand and took her at the corner of the road.
Now the old woman touched her face and said ‘ Ke re? Runu naki?’
Satya kept silent.
Again the woman asked , searching all over his face ‘ Tui Runu naki? Ki re?’
Before Satya could say anything a crowd crossed the tracks and came to them, and two boys came and hug Satya, ‘Dada, apni satyi darun kaj korechen?’(You have a done a bravo work!)
One of them said to the blind woman, ‘Masi, katodin bolechi sandhaybela bhikhe koro na..’(I asked you not to beg in the evening!)
Many people are coming towards Satya..Satya is a very introvert person..thus he quietly slipped away saying he is in hurry..
When he reached near the mess, Satya found that he is hungry and today he felt like having a Roll.
He went to the stall and ordered one, and then put his hand in his pocket for bringing out his money bag.
Satya got stranded.
There is no money bag!
His pocket is empty.
Satya strated running.
It surely had fallen on the tracks.
Within two minutes Satya is on the spot, he managed a torch from the road-side stall and searched throughout the rail tracks but there was no money bag there.
One boy came and said, ‘Are dada , Apnii sei Hero na!’(Hey, you are the Hero!)
Satya nodded and tried to smile.
‘Ki hoyeche dada?’
Satya told him about the moneybag.
The boy searched and said that it has gone definitely and there is hardly any hope of founding it.
Satya himself is also realizing the truth.
‘Dada, apni ato baro akta kaj korlen ar dekun apnary..ai janya sala ajkal ar bhalo lok janmay na!(It is a pity that such a thinh happened to you!)
Satya helplessly left the spot and started walking home.
His hunger has increased double but he knew no more roll.
The world has broken into pieces before him.
He has only a fifty rupee note in his pocket and that he has all for this month.
Again a burden of loans.
Again lending money from colleagues.
Satya’s world has not changed at all.
He came back to mess, for rest but can’t.
He came out and went for the dinner at Kanaida’s Hotel.
Kanaida saw hm and said, ‘Ki aj taka debe to?’
Satya said ‘Aj noy akno maine paini..’
‘Maser das tarikheo maine paoni..ami ki a janme takata pabo?’(Will I ever get my money back?)
Satya said quietly, ‘Paben’.
‘Tahle ar ki jao boso..oi Kanchan 2no tabile akta machbhat de..’(He ordered for a meal.)

Satya feeling empty took the food without a word.
Then came out.

Night has fallen on the streets of Dhakuria.
Satya went walking.
He doesn’t feel like to return to mess so early.
He went on roaming.
Droplets of rain is slowly falling..almost a drizzle..wind blowing with a maddening hush..roads wet..trains passing..the light of the signal changing colours now and then.
Satya can’t understand himself.
He is feeling down but not dejected.
There is something which is making him happy.
Is it the heroic work? Is it the hopes of spending 20 days more for the next salary? Is it the rain? Is it the wind which has a solitary tune in it?
What can be the reason?
Satya went on roaming.
For the answer.

And while roaming through this night Satya once again felt that he is very alone, very lonely.
He is still a boy of village trying to create his own identity in this metropolis.

Satya thus always roam alone..in holidays in Babughat..where he gossips with the Majhi..sitting on the shore of the Hooghly river..often traveling in local train and dropping in unknown villages..watching farmers sowing and reaping crops..
Sinking himself in the rain..buying cheap books from the footpath of College Street..watching movies sometimes..reading poems..writing diaries when he feels..
Satya is alone..really alone..

Satya came at a spot and stopped.
It is just behind the station.
On the Verandah of a broken thatched roof house that old woman is sleeping.
She is trembling sometimes as the winds touched her.
Satya sat below her feet.
And slowly he realized that why he is still happy.
Satya smiled.
Winds came and swept him.
Crushed him.
Grains of rain making him wet.

Satya stood up.
Saw once again the face of the woman.
And then started walking.

Among the ripening night, dark streets of Dhakuria Station, a bit alone, a bit lonely Satya within this vast city has found a motherly touch in the hands of an old woman
…. who is nothing but a beggar.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Tanga Ride

Well, with the flavour of the first monsoon and the IPL near it's end and Elections over what one can do best in a pure 'adda' with drinks and chips when the rain suddenly decided to make Gurgaon wet, wet enough to look seductive like the sexy girls of Delhi?

Just to listen to a pure love -story and that too true..
This is a story of Praveen, my friend which he told me in our shared room in Gurgaon in a rainy night.
And it one again proves that some moments become immortal.
Praveen, in one October night stepped in the Deoghar station.

In Bengali they call this place as ‘Baidyanath Dham’, a religious place of the hindus. He earlier came also two or three times as his sister’s house is here,her husband is a Doctor here. As he walked out of the station he saw no autos or rickshaws are parked outside and the place looked stunningly empty. Soon he found out the reason. Due to a political turmoil a ‘bandh’ was raised in the town and thus everything were closed. At that moment Praveen thought how would he move to the sister’s house? He haven’t informed them also otherwise Rakesh,her sister’s husband would surely make an arrangement. But now as there is no other option he has to walk.Though the house is not very far it can take a maximum of 30 mins!
He took the luggage and about to walk when he saw a ‘Tanga’. Tanga is nothing but a horse ridden car. He always love to ride that. He rushed towards it but before he could ask the Tangawala, a voice came from behind,
‘Can you drop me near the Temple road?’ It was though said in Hindi.
Praveen turned around.

A street lamp was lighted where he was standing. A gentle night breeze was flowing. And in that light Praveen for once forgot where he was.
A beautiful lady with deep large eyes is standing before him. Her hairs in hands of the winds,her lips calm but eyes in search of an answer.
He found an answer at last.
‘Sure’ he said. Though the temple road is on the opposite direction from where he would go.
The next 15 minutes Praveen sat completely lost. An womanly essence and touch absorbed him at each moment, the undulating roads making them seat much closer to each other, the calm and the strange silence of the night, empty roads, scent of an unknown flower, the Tanga moved on.
Praveen thought about some questiones but he found that his voice is not in a mood of expression. His senses thoroughly lost in that woman.
He hardly recognized when the temple road came.
When the girl is stepping down in front of a large house with garden, she said,
‘Thanks a lot! The train was two hours late and I don’t know that there is a bandh today!’
Moments are running.
Praveen grasped words.
‘It’s fine, can I know your name?’
The girl smiled and Praveen found that the world around him changing colour.
‘Sakshi’ the girl said.
The girl was about to move and so the Tanga when Praveen did the most darest task of his life,he later termed it as his “lifetime achievement”! He said floating a smile in his lips,

‘Sakshi, I will remember this night always and you!’
Sakshi looked at his eyes.
Her lips opened.
But soon closed.
And then she smiled.
A smile which was enough to translate sensations into a most beautiful word ever created..love.
And it is as innocent as it bloomed..
That night..
Within the two persons..
Of the Tanga Ride.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Across the Ganges

The woman was sitting at the same place over a rock in the banks of the Ganga river.
It was the third day consecutively that I found her on the same spot. Her
anchal of the blue saree gently blowing in the wind, her sleepers lay in the sand, her naked feet playing with the grains of sand , marked with all signs of unconciousness.
Her eyes looking at a distant though it seems, that she is hardly looking to anything particularly.
She looks very impatient, restless.
I am staying in Hardwar for the last five years. I never found any woman sitting in such an posture with negligible movement of limbs.
The woman captured my attention. I stopped walking and came and seat over a bench near the river.
It is quarter to five now in the morning. The first rays of sunlight slowly getting visible in the vast sky which just shaded off the colour of the night. The breeze that is coming from the Ganges is wet, fresh and lively. The surrounding blue hills slowly assuming the golden light of the sun. Numerous birds flying with their colourful wings. The sweet swinging sound of the river water gradually getting mixed up with other colloquial sounds as the city is getting awake.
Ganga is beautiful here. She looks like just a virgin glorious young lady who goes on with a distinct pride of beauty and innocence.
She is much stable here . She is much reserved.
It is really wonderful to see the Ganga river flowing in three differnt portraits.
In contrast to Hardwar, the river had much speed in Hrishikesh and in Lachmanjhula
she is too fast, bubbly and hilly with great speed as she is just coming down from the glacier of Gomukh.
Hardwar is getting busy. If you are a visitor it is the best time to enter Hardwar.
I first came to Hardwar in my college days through Doon Express and I entered the city
during this time.
It was winter….the morning fog covering a large part of the road though the sky slowly getting clear….the tangas moving with the horses ….from all the roads people walking towards the Ghat …. Numerous pilgrims..local people.. from eight to eighty walking towards the river carring towels in their back and a mug( locally called ghati) in their hand, needed for taking a dip in the water and for the Suryastaba( Prayer to the Sun) as the first light appears in the sky….there was a tremendous hubbing sound near the ghat .sound of so many people talking, chanting , whispering….pandas calling from the roadside in numbers ‘Baba Daksheswarer darshan hobe?’, mainly in Bengali(Calling for a visit and worship of the Lord Daksheswar) ….hawkers also selling their goods among which you can get everything….people of all caste, religion can be seen there.. it was wonderful and stunning ..as before me lay.. a mini edition of India.
‘Babu chai?’
Ramu. I came back to conciousness with his voice .
I looked around . The spectacle of the morning Hardwar has hardly changed in these years.
I took a cup of tea from Ramu. He smiled and said like everyday,
‘Shakkar thik hai babu?’(Do you need more sugar?)
As usual I nodded.
It is perfect.
Pointing towards the woman I asked Ramu about her.
Ramu said ‘Patah nehi babuji! Do din se subah me yahan pe dekh raha hun.’
(He diidn’t know her but he found her here for the last two mornings.)
Ramu went.
I again looked towards the woman.
She had hardly moved. She looks like a lady giving a sitting to an artist.
I once thought will I go ask her or not. Then found the idea to be too stupid.
Why on earth the lady would say me her reason of silence?
At this moment I saw Tonmoy , one of my colleague of office.
I am an architect working in a reputed MNC and came to Hardwar , for a project. Though the project has ended I managed to enroll myself in the new project as I wanted to stay in this place a bit longer.
I love Hardwar. Located in the foothills it has an unique feeling of the Himalayas.
‘Hi, finished jogging’? Tonmoy came and stooped beside me rubbing his face with a small hand towel.
‘Almost!’ I stood and smiled.
‘So whats about our weekend plan to Lachmanjhula? Is it clicking?’
‘Surely, it can , but have you found any new place there? We have been there earlier also.’
‘Yes, this time , we would stay at an old Bunglow within the Lachmanjhula forest.’
‘Whats about reservation?’
‘Don’t worry, I will manage that’.
‘Prem going?’
‘He said he will, Soumya confirmed me today.’
‘That’s great, anyway see you in the office’.
Tonmoy went.

Day has began. The number of people taking bath has also increased. The wind is still cool, sky clear, shining, warmth of sun giving a pleasant feeling in this September morning.
I felt for drinking another cup of tea.
I started walking. Suddenly I turned my head towards the river.
The woman is no more there.
Over the rock two local children are playing with pebbles.
I lamented . I should have seen which way she went.
Nothing. Just a bit of inquisition.

I came back to my rented house in the upper Ghat Road around seven. Shanti is already there, in the kitchen, cooking. Her son, Kishan , playing in the garden. She has been walking in this house from the beginning. She is reliable, and also cooks well, and sometimes even managed to bring egg, fish and meat from an unmentionable market as ‘non-veg’ is strictly ‘censored’ throughout Hardwar.
Today also my mood got really dancing as I saw pair of eggs in my Lunch.
I thanked her and gave Kishan , a chocolate.
In the way to my office from the car I looked once again towards the riverside.
But I didn’t found the woman.
Within my work also I can’t forget her.
And within evening I decided that I have to find her.

In the evening after office instead of house I came back to the Ghat.
Hardwar is one of such place which have different themes in different times.

In evening , Hardwar assumes a look which is pious, attractive as well as romantic.
The colour of the blue river slowly turns now bluish-red inviting the colour of dusk….
The wind stats blowing fast, coming down from the mountains….the local people who comes everyday and it is amazing that they never get bored….the colourful tourists with the frequent flashes of camera …. the soothing sound of the home-coming birds, many of whom live in the corners of temple….the gradual turning on of the lights of the temple, shops, roadside-stalls….chanting of hymns from the temple…. the begining of the evening-prayer (locally called Sandhya-arati)….the sounding of bells of the temple from all sides….the lighting of the lamp in plenty and then keeping them in the flowing water….with the diya (lamp) burning….Ganges looking like a river of moving lights….
It is mesmerizing….it never gets old….and to be at Hardwar during this time , I can bet you would think yourself as fortunate.
And as I am slowly feeling myself in some other world, I saw that woman.
She is bended to float a diya in the river water , her one hand holding diya, and the other over her chest managing the saree in a wind which is blowing quite fast,
I am looking towards her….
Suddenly I started running towards her….I am running fast,
The woman is unconscious that her edge of her anchaal of the saree has fallen in one of the flowing diya and it would catch fire within seconds.
I came near the woman , pulled her from the riverside and shouted ‘What are you doing?’
The woman looked towards the anchaal , looked alarmed and at that moment a splash of water is thrown in her anchaal. Some local people has done that, thankfully.
There is a gathering here now, many people saying many things, I looked towards the anchaal of the saree , the edge is burnt , if I come a bit later it would be a disaster.
The woman looked towards me.
She had an inner beauty in her face but there is no glow. She looked very calm and quite ex-pressionless. After such an incident she is strong and said in a low voice, in clear bengali accent , ‘Kothao boste pari?’(Can I sit somewhere?)
The light of a lamppost of the ghat felt on her.
I found red grains in her forehead.
She is married.

I took her and make her seat in a bench. Then brought her some drinking water.
She took it and said ‘Thanks.’
I can’t help saying her ‘How can you be so unconscious?’
The woman looked towards the river and said in somewhat cold voice , ‘I was unmindful’.
A wave of wind came and touched us. It has a shivering in it.
The woman is going back to herself, in that melancholy mood.
But I want to know from her the real reason.
I know it is illogical, awkward but I can’t resist myself.
I said her ‘I am seeing you from the last three days….I am living Hardwar for last five years….but never saw a figure like you….I saw you today also sitting over that rock and looking towards the river in an unexplainable look. Can I know the reason for that….maybe I can help you….’
The woman slowly turned towards me. But she kept silent.
The sounds of the coming night filled up the silence in between us. I saw one or two known faces looking towards me in great interest, and the woman beside me. I ignored them.
After sometime the woman answered..her voice..slow..breaking..as if her voice is coming from a distance…. ‘You can’t help me.. nobody can..’
‘But I want to know what lies behind your looks of despair….did anything happened here anyday?’
The woman kept her eyes on me. Then she said ‘ Yes, a horrible incident happened here.’
Again a break. Again she looked towards the flowing Ganges and murmered….
‘Three years ago in this day I lost my son here.’
I got shocked. I thought about the possibility of many incidents but not this.
I don’t know what to say.
The woman added…. ‘ It was an evening like this.. my son went out with my husband ….
We came in with many relatives then , I came a bit later along with my relatives ….and saw my husband standing helplessly leaning over the Ganges….a crowd gathered there….when I went there ….I found my little Sonai has fallen into river ….he cannot be seen anywhere….we searched madly….the police too….for two days….but he was no where…. Even his body was not found ..my little Sonai.. a three year old baby was lost forever….
The woman broke down. I don’t know any way to stop her. I feel really ashamed that I made her tell that tragic story again.
But at the same time I had a feeling that the cry can make the woman , a little better.
A little back to life.
I looked towards her , ‘I am really sorry.’
The woman hardly listened to my voice and went on saying…. ‘ I sometimes thought …
.maybe it was not an accident….maybe it was planned….my husband never want a baby in first year of marriage….he was strangely indifferent to Sonai….he himself may have pushed Sonai….’.
She stopped abruptly.
Because she realized that she is telling many things….personal things….to an totally unknown stranger.
I myself also feeling uncomfortable. I changed the topic.
‘You came alone here?’.
‘No with one of my cousin. She may be roaming somewhere.’
‘Your husband?’
‘He never came. Being a corporate person he hardly have time’.

There is again a brief pause. After a while
I extended my hand. ‘I am Sameek Ray, working as an architect here.’
The woman also joined my hand.
‘I am Aparna. Aparna Bannerjee.’
The woman stood up.
‘I have to go. Tithi is calling’.
I saw near the Ghat gate a, young lady around twenty calling her.
The woman started walking.
But stopped.
She turned and put her hand in her bag and came towards me,
‘I know it is impossible ….but still if you ever see him anywhere please let me know….
here is the photo of Sonai….and here my address..’
I took both.
And looked towards the photo.
Suddenly I got stranded in between the ghat. I have seen this face somewhere..
.. it is a known face….
‘Mr.Ray , can I get your address?’
‘Sure.’ I took out one of my card and gave her.
‘Thanks….and I have another request ….what I shared with you this evening …
can it remain only between us….’.
I promised. It goes without saying.
The woman went. I saw the figure of Aparna Bannerjee gradually faded away in the crowds of Hardwar.
I looked at the photo again.
I have seen this boy .
But where..I start wondering..
I took the road to my house. Sometimes I take tanga , but now I don’t feel like.
I am walking slowly.
People passed me , many are tourists among them, and the bulk are Bengalees. . Hardwar looks like a second home of the bengalees. For ages Bengali people came here, thus the local people are well acquainted with the language and even can speak Bengali fluently.

Night falling gradually in Hardwar.
The sound of the river again getting prominence.
But where I have seen that boy?
The wind passed through me.
And suddenly a shiver ran through me.
I remembered a story . I heard the story here only.
A boy was found alive near the bend of the Ganga river about two miles from here. Though he was senseless.
But he is alive still. And turned into a sweet boy.
The story teller is no one else but Shanti who cooks in my home.
And the boy….yes the boy may be ….Kishan!
I almost ran towards my home.
Shanti has gone.
It is obvious.
It is nine-thirty now.
I know where Shanti lives.
I went running through a bit steep road.
I came to Shanti’s house and knocked the door.
Shanti got really surprised to see me. She lives in a small room which is clean and organized.
She came from a good family, her father was a post-master of Hardwar , she was married once but got divorced as she was childless.
And as she can never become mother.
‘Keya hua sab….’ Shanti asked me . Maybe she is thinking that she has done something wrong.
I asked her that where is Kishan..
‘Woh to so gaya hai,’ Shanti pointed towards the bed, I saw that Kishan is sleeping.
I looked towards his face closely.
There is resemblance.
But there is not also.
Shanti came and said , ‘Kya hua Sab, Kishan ne kuch kiya?’
I looked towards her face. She is almost panicking, she had a fear written all over her face.
I smiled and said that Shanti, Nothing happened. I just came to give a chocolate to Kishan.
I searched my pocket. Luckily I found one.
I gave it to Shanti and told her to give it to Kishan when he is awake.’
Shanti in almost disbelief said again had she did anything wrong.
I convinced her again.
I came out.
Shanti standing near the door said , ‘Bahaut dar gayi thi , Sab, Kishan mera sab kuch hai..
Uske liyei to main zinda hoon….’.
I assured her that nothing would happen and told her to just go and sleep.’
‘Khuda ne achanak Kishan ko mere pas bheja…agar kisi din aise hi fir achanak le leti hai….’ Shanti didn’t completed the sentence.
But what she is going to tell is obvious.
A woman who has lost everything in life….her family..her husband..a normal married life.. her motherhood..has suddenly got this boy as a gift of God.
Thus she is always in scare of loosing him too.
I came back to my house.
The whole night I cannot sleep.
Sometimes I thought that Kishan is surely that boy….sometime again not….

Shanti can find some other boy also….Some time I thought I am doing a terribly wrong thing….again sometime I found myself absolutely right….sometime I lament on the decision of finding the woman and asking her reason of despair….
As morning dawns I slowly walked out of my house.
I came towards Shanti’s house.
Shanti is playing in the small garden with Kishan.
Kishan saw me and smiled.
A beautiful smile.
Then he again started playing.
I came to the riverside.
But to my relief I didn’t saw that woman today.
Maybe Kishan can be her lost child.
Maybe Kishan would get a much better family.. but will he really get it?
From Aparna’s words it is obvious that her relation with her husband is not normal…. How would the lost child would be accepted again in the family who is already declared dead?
The relation between Aparna and her husband can become even more troublesome, which can also spoil the child’s life….
And if Kishan goes what would Shanti live with?
She would have nothing to live.
How can I do that?
How can I snatch her Kishan ….depending on one evening….some incidents….some words?
I can’t do that.
I slowly walked towards the river and splashed water over my face and then looked upwards towards the blue hiils of the Himalayas.
I again splashed water.
The water of the morning Ganges is really pure.
Much like the smile of Kishan.
The son of childless Shanti.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Maize Seller

A bunch of burnt bricks.
A background of green trees.
A vast blue cloudless sky.
And a dozen of maize.

Tuli surveyed the place before she sat on her marked place over the dusty ground. Yes, the place is same. There the white spot on the branches of the tree. There the numerous pebbles, there a wrecked useless radio-set, and there far across the trees the pond.
Tuli sat down after a silent prayer. She don’t know whom she is worshipping but anyway she everyday prays.
For sale of these dozen maizes.
Sometimes, specially in winters a no. of dozens. It is very hard for her, a fourteen year girl to reap the maizes from the claws of Geetamasi, Khantamasi and others who are daily dealers of the maizes.
It is raining for some days.
Summer is about to take a twist and the monsoon is arriving. The clouds are flocked with grayish floating clouds, winds blowing a bit irregularly. Tuli sat and waited.

Cars are passing in high speed. Two ambassadors lowered their speed towards her but passed in a hush.
Tuli knew it is expected.
Now it is just twelve. Now a hardly car stops.
It is generally in the afternoon after two that maizes are sold.
Tuli felt happy that the weather is rainy now, her sale would increase today, hardly people like to have maize in a scorching heat. But once it rains it is a different story.
Though Tuli has managed only twelve today.
How can she?
Her brother Taataa is ill today, she hardly had scope to reach the dealing place of the market early morning,when she reached only this dozen was remaining.
Taataa didn’t went to school today.
The fourteen year girl thought a bit.
She needs twenty rupees tomorrow for giving Taataa, the school fees are in defaulter for last three months, if tomorrow she didn’t pay Taataa would be thrown out from school.

A sharp wind swept throughout the Ruby bypass.
From the western front a big towering cloud is galloping.
Rain is about to begin.
Tuli’s frock started waving in the air.

Looking far Tuli found that the world around her has turned grey.
The sky, the houses, the green fields, the ponds, the walking people everything is grayish.

And within the next sweeping wind Tuli went away from present.
She shivered a bit.
She is afraid of clouds.
She is afraid of this dark colour.
The nightmare popped in front of her eyes. The day when her father, a hawker died in police lathi-charge, protesting against ‘Operation-Sunshine’ was dark like this.

One year later when her mother eloped with Kashida that was also same dark, grayish day. Tuli came running home from school and found her mother has gone.
Then the whole world changed for Tuli.
Her house went, they became homeless and ultimately she took shelter in a broken
unused house. Now also she is using that same house.
Where else she can go?

Another splash of wind and the rain began.
It was accompanied with a furious storm.
The whole bypass got hazy within seconds the potholes of the road soon filled up and overflowed, the pungent smell of the Dhapa swinged in the air, the clouds in the sky coming swimming in.
After half an hour Tuli left all hopes of selling the maizes.
Until the rain stops not a single car would stop.
And the rain signals no indication of stopping soon.
Tuli took all the maizes and returned home.

And she got alarmed to see that Taataa is shivering in the splashes of rain and wind.
Tuli tried to cover all the broken windows with newspapers but water is soon droving away everything.
Tuli touched Taataa.
Taataa has very high fever and he is groaning in pain.
Tuli got puzzled.
What would she do now?
The rain is still falling and not a single piece of maize is sold.
Tuli started giving strips off water over Taata’s forehead.
She changed it again and again.

It is around evening that the rain stopped.
And Tuli sensing that Taata’s fever has slightly decreased ran outside again with the maizes.
She needs medicine.
And that twenty ruppeees.
She have to sale this dozen maizes.
She came running towards her spot.
Gathered the burnt bricks.
And then kept the maizes with their layers open.

But she had no luck today.
For the next one hour not a single car stopped.
It was almost eight Tuli felt seeing the colour of the sky.
White clouds are sailing in the violet sky as an uncherished dream.
Tuli prayed again.
For selling the maizes.
She is becoming restless at the same time.
How is Taataa?
Will she ran for a moment and look on him?
But what about the medicine?
Without medicine how will Taataa spend the night?

Paradoxed Tuli wondered what to do as evening slowly slipped into night.
The weather is looking gloomy again.
Wind very silent.
Sky sliced with clouds.

And at that very moment an ambassador stopped and from it two persons jumped down.
One person took two maize in hand and asked ‘Kto?’(How much?)
‘Char taka babu’.(Four rupees)
The person looked towards another person anthey talked something within eyes.
Then the first person said ‘Sabgulo nile ktoi dibi?’(What is the cost of this dozen?)
‘Sabgulo nbe babu?’(You will take all?) Tuli asked almost in a voice of disbelief.‘Ha’, the person smiled.
‘Bol ktoi dibi?’
‘50 taka babu’?(Fifty Ruppees)

And to Tuli’s wonder the person took out a fifty rupees noteand gave it in her hand.
The note trembled in her hand.
The person said, ‘Tbe toke pouche dite hbe.’(But you have to send it in a place)
‘Kothay?’ Tuli asked.
‘Ai samnei, tui garite uthe ae!’(Quite near, you come into the car)
Tuli shivered.
She know these languages, these looks,
Geetamasi always talk about these, about how she earns 100Rs a day sometimes!

‘Ki re chal’ The person came a bit forward.
A splash of wet wind struck.
Tuli thought for a moment of Taataa, his medicine, his school fees.
She needs money for everything.
The night is again filled with stitchy rainy winds.
The dark bypass has hardly any light.
Cars and trucks running in a hush.
The person hold Tuli’s hand, ‘Kire chal?’(Lets go)
Tuli once looked at the fifty rupee note.
Then she walked.
The person opened the door of the car.
Tuli stepped in.

After one hour when Tuli came back home her body is filled up numerous pains.
But still she ran towards Taataa.
Yes, Hec has again got high fever.
Taataa is unconscious.
Tuli soon gave her the medicine.

Outside it is again raining.
Tuli slowly lied over the floor and closed her eyes.
But she can’t.
She jumped up.
And sitting again looked towards the face of Taataa.
The colour is returning on the face.
Tuli went towards him and spreaded her hands over his hairs.
Beside Taataa lay his maths copy.
Tuli took it in her hand and opened it.
In all the pages there are right marks and comments written ‘Good’.
All the sums are right.
And in all the class test Taataa scored ten out of ten.

Tuli is going through the pages unconsciously, she is thinking of her own school days, she is also very dood in maths, she also scored full marks.

Suddenly Tuli felt a hand over her shoulder.
And she heard ‘ Ki dekchis re Didi?’(What you are seeing Sister?)
Tuli seeing Taataa coming in senses hugged him tightly
and said, ‘Kicu na re, kicu na!’(Nothing)
And then all her pains, came out as cry.
Tuli is crying, in one hand she is holding Taataa and in another hand his copy where Taataa has scored ten out of ten.

Outside rain is falling torrentially.
And through the innumerable cracks of this broken house waters are pouring heavily, from everywhere.
A drop of water failed on the sheet of paper.
She rubbed it.
Again another drop failed.
She closed her eyes and also the copy.
She did not want any spot in any sheet of this copy.
And also in the life of his little brother.


Monday, April 13, 2009


What should I say? Ecstacy? Joy? Or the first taste of recognition. May be whatever it is the fact is to cheer for me myself also..as this is my first BLOG AWARD! Thanks Amritarupa for liking my blog..my posts..and my sensation and the passion with which my every words ..my each letters are written..thanks for the recognition and Hey I would surely say that this award would inspire more to write well so that I can go on writing more and more..may be for myself and like such beautiful wonderful readers like you..

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Along the Norwester..

(This story is written on the basis of a true experience.)

The rain came suddenly.
Sanchita never expected that out of that maddening beauty of horizon , the mixing of different shades of red purple and blue would be replaced by dark grey clouds in such rapidity. Though the air spell that , even the sky showed the signs but as Sanchita was sitting with face towards west she hardly saw that arrival of heavy clouds.
And thus she was caught in the rain badly.
She is running fast, parallel to the river side. With big droplets of rain pouring, running is really not the easiest , specially for a Kolkata girl like Sanchita. She now began to curse herself for not bringing her maternal brother. Buro asked her multiple times to accompany her but Sanchita refused . She for the first time came to visit her own village , Rajpur , a mere spot in the district of Murshidabad. And thus she wanted to get a feel of the place and to enjoy the smell of the sowing crops , the wet fragrance of grass, the partial brown un finished Khowai road, the sound of tractors spreading water, the grazing of cattles in the field and obviously , the vast sky which gradually disappeared where the village ends only again to start a new beginning.
However her adventure has now most unexpectedly reached a climax.
She is running. Her hairs blowing , dupatta in wind, struck tightly to neck , her green salwar with her every step adoring new splashes of mud.
The wind is tremendous. The reddish appearance of the horizon has vanished with twinkle of eye, and it is replaced by diversified shades of clouds. And these towering Cumulonimbus clouds looks really alarming.
While running Sanchita turned her head to the river. The small river , which is a distributary of the Ganges is now adored with numerous waves. The level of water is rising with great force. There is not a single boat in the river.
But there were some. Just minutes earlier. The Majhi(boatman) know the signs of nature. And the evening light also has disappeared
It is really dark now.
Suddenly Sanchita stood still much in surprise.
As before her lay no road.
The path has vanished into scattered slums.
Sanchita confused turned her head and started walking in her right but again stopped.
Because suddenly in front of her a lantern is shown and somebody said her,
‘Odike noy!’ (‘Not that side’.)
Sanchita more surprised found that a young boy is standing before her holding the lantern.
The boy is tall, wearing a dhoti and a open-chested shirt. He asked Sanchita now, where she would go.
‘Mukhujye Bari. Tumi Cheno?(Mukherjee House, do you know the road?)
The boy didn’t said anything and started walking showing her the way.
The boy left the road and stepped in the sand.
Sanchita asker her to go through road but the boy said her that she is totally in the wrong way and for finding the right track they have to work some distance through sand.
So Sanchita started walking silently.
The outpour of rain has increased…. so did the velocity of wind…. grains of sands hitting eyes now and then…. the boy is walking slowly but gently…. his lantern caught in his left hand giving light to Sanchita…. The flame of lantern within the glass is shaking fiercely in this terrible wind…. a Deshawali song of a Majhi coming through the rainfed air …. the wordings still crystal clear…. water of the river coming in small splash and touching the feet of Sanchita and then disappearing in the wet brown sand…. the spots of her feet getting lost every minute in the mud with arrival of more raindrops…. Sanchita thought to cover herself in dupatta but it is of no use…. she is totally wet…. the sounds of thunder ….the flash of the stormy evening with a sharp bluish light.... Sanchita forgot about her condition…. she started enjoying again .. as if she is walking through the road of eternity..
She is almost getting lost in some other world…. when her hypnotism broke ….
She looked forward….
There is not a single soul in the riverside except two of them ….
And she heard that boy is saying to her….
‘Abar adike….’(Now this side.)
They left the riverside and took the left hand road.
And within five minutes Sanchita recognized the road to the house and within next five minutes they are approaching the Mukhujyebari , a renowned ancestral house of the village.
Coming near the door the boy stopped.
Sanchita felt that the darkness has increased suddenly.
She soon found the reason.
The light of the lantern has got out.
The boy is standing quietly…. his whole body wet…. Sanchita looked at him and thanked him and then suddenly took out a fifty rupee note and extended it towards the boy….
“ Na Didi….Ami ar janya..’(No, Didi.. not for this..)
The boy not saying a single word more , turned back and started walking.
Sanchita called him.
But he has gone.
He knows very well the way to the river.
Sanchita kept stranded in the rain.
She realized that she had done a wrong thing.
She should not have offered him the money.
She stared towards the ever increasing darkness and rain.
And at that moment she found her brother came running towards her with umbrella asking her where she was …. and ending…. ‘ You have lost the road certainly!’.
‘I did’. Sanchita said softly.
And then she told her brother about the boy.
‘Which boy’.
‘Who showed me the way from the riverside.’

His brother not paying any more importance took her inside the house.
But Sanchita decided that tomorrow she would go to the slums and find the boy and apologise to him.
She went next day. But she didn’t found him.
She gave the description, there are many like him but none was him.
Sanchita came back to Kolkata.
She went Rajpur many times after that.
But she never found him.
Ten years have passed.
Married Sanchita came again with her little son.
She is standing in the open balcony of the old house.
A beautiful view of the river can be seen from here.
Sanchita stood alone.
After so many years she still remembers that boy.
She now thanks God that she never found him.
Because she never wanted to meet him again after so many years.
She in this ten years have felt.. a truth.
That boy is an unique shelter to her.
Or may be..her unfulfilled apology has turned into an unexplained love.
The wind smells rain.
Sanchita closed her eyes….
She can see….within the horizon…. an evening storm…. a fierce wind…. a song of a Majhi….the trembling lights of lantern….a slow but gently moving figure of a boy…. his footprints….engraved in sand….
Sanchita kept on walking.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Goa with Her

There are moments when words became mere obligation and silence deserves greetings like merry Christmas. There are sounds which can only felt which can be listened in a world of different moods. There are scenes which can only be seen when you see them from the very roots and with an aroma of soil.

Well this introduces my desire for something which I would share with you. Maybe it has been shared earlier maybe we both felt it in a different way but still there are strings which are unexposed ,threads which needed to be unfolded.
Thus I would begin my experiences.

An experience about a woman.

But where should I begin?

Well maybe..the point where I saw her steps dancing on the floor of Paradise river cruise and ‘Mauja hi Mauja’ was in the air.. the point where her flowing green long-skirt sways over the Mandavi river in winds..the point where her silky features creating likings of unforgettable pleasures.. the point when she looked at me and the last ray of the evening sun with all its glow sheltered in her eyes..the point when she jumped up in joy seeing the adjacent Goa Marriot in lights..the point when we both danced in springing steps over the cruise..the vocalness with which she brought cashew from Panjim..the night at the poolside when we just relaxed in the lush lawn beside the pool and smooth canopy lights..the night when she dressed like an angel and we tasted wine for the first time..
She was a poem of reality always opening before me mysteries which as if she herself was unconscious of..

I found her again in totally different colour in Calangute beach.

She was just maddening in the thatched hat short skinny tops and capris on the beach..the appeal with which she sat on the umbrella shade with stretched legs..her hair getting dispersed in air much to my delight..her wet legs when she dipped in the sea and that too in a mood of utter sexyness..the hugging of her arms through the grains of silky sands floating in the air.. the calmness with which she shopped cutting bargains..her slow walk through the pleasant evenings and foreign tourists in Goa..she made her way along the busy Calangute market with such ease comfort and personality a sign of a confident woman..

And the pictures of beautiful Goa grow along with her.

The local cab driver Sanjay a handsome hearty fellow who spoke everything from wife to family,the fishermen who are always eager to help the tourists from any trouble, the young guy who lended umbrellas for sun-bath, the local poor boy who sells plastic parachutes for children through the night at the beach, the always helping shopowners,the local Christian holding roadside cheap stalls where egg bread and fresh breakfast are available,the historic Portugese Fort Aquada, the fantastic Taj Aquada beach, the coconut-seller of the DonaPauala beach, the arch like road of Panjim on the banks of the estuary of Mandavi river,the beautiful sea bath of Calangute, the bikini-beauties of the beach, the swarms of Foreign tourists helping Goa to earn foreign revenue,the beautiful temple of Mangeshwari,the oldest churches of Goa,the extremely beautifully constructed colonized villagetype roads of Goa, the markets of Calangute..all offering the lusture of visiting Goa again and again.

But I would write here about one very special night .

It was the best of the night we spend in Goa.
She was dressed in a off-shoulder alter-neck long frock and really from that moment the evening start appearing purple..the colour of the frock. She was looking like a goddesses and her beauty was spreading in shades of senses. Her hair looking like a fantasy organized as well as offering a spirit of sublime treasure, her eyes holding the depth of the green sea, her lips appearing wet as if all the moonlight has decorted there with their best shine, her neck as if a bend of eternity,her figure..a poem in which lyics are in full swing and rythms spreading the tale of many unknown mysteries ..
We had the best dinner on the beach..lamps glowing in temporary bamboo posts..cushions kept on sand..scent of wine roaming in air..winds in strings blowing..people passing by..sky deep blue..the sea-water inviting us..the sea-gulls flying..the resorts and the hotels behind us glowing like garlands..

We came back to resort and sat in the wonderful big verandah from which sea is totally in proximity.Below the resort was the hubbing Calngute market which now quite silent, though still tourists coming in numbers,couples coming in bikes with bottles of wine and whiskey and running towards beach,young guys just for chill out may be after a hectic day-out coming for fun,tourists slowly getting scattered over the beach,the winds blowing with speed, December cold now slowly grasping Goa by night,moonlight pierced by fragmented clouds softly touching the beach,far across the sea the colour of the sky and sea is almost same but still the sea a bit more deep and the line of separation..the horizon can be seen as the ships in numbers with their lights floating in line just like a uncherished dream,

She came close to me.
I touched her hand.
Again a poem was born.
The lyrics are open now.
The tune of continuation depended on me now.
Far across, the light of the lighthouse signaling over the sea to guide the wandering ships..and also perhaps to bring two souls closer..much closer..
I hugged her.
No more spaces between the distances.
The winds inaugurated the moment.
The light of the lighthouse again focused.
A bunch of seagulls went in a flight.
Some locals burst out in raw jokes over the beach.
The sea looks nearer may be tide is coming.
The moon flashed.
Again winds touched us.
And at that moment I kissed her.
A deep kiss to my woman, whom I love!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Man with the Lantern

It was twenty past twelve.
And through the shades of midnight the Rajdhani Express suddenly halted.It was unexpected as Rajdhani stops only in some stations..clearly it was nothing but a matter of signal..I can hardly take bed so early thus I stood up and peeped through the glasses.

And I got stranded.
A beautiful night awaiting for me outside.

The station was totally empty..over the glasses I saw some yellow green leaves running scatterdly over the platform in winds..sky clear..stars shining at regular intervals.

It became tough for me to remain within the train.
I walked from the AC –Sleeper class,opened the door and stepped into the station.

As my feet touched the platform, a wind swept me which bear an unknown fresh smell
.Is it a smell of the soil?
Is it a smell of the cattlefields?
Is it the smell of the tree, its branches?
Or is it the smell of the night?
I don’t know but I felt the smell contains ingredients from all of it.

I looked front. There was no trace of any signal.

I started walking. The scattered leaves now roamed over my feet.
The wind blowing in different tunes..the sky looks amazing..no trace of clouds..a faint moonlight spreading herself over this unknown station at this particular night..the air is cold..

I stared at the mesmerizing view of the night which lay before me.

The station though almost empty has a view of solitary loneliness..only a light of the lamppost of the station glowing and pouring on a banyan tree..the tree is old with numerous branches..some green..some yellow..some without leaves..some with leaves shaking in winds..throughout the station beneath the the blue sky the banyan tree with all its shades of colour and spreading of green leaves among the yellowish image resembling as if the only symbol of life..behind the plots of cattlefields..behind some bushes..I saw ..quite far from here..a hazy layout of a steep plateau like structures..from which direction the winds are suppose to be blowing..there was hardly any sound in the place except..the clattering of a night bird..the flapping of its wings..a dog running through the fields parallel to the tracks..a cow standing in the night over the grazing fields..sometimes nodding its head unconsciously..all pictures of loneliness..all a piece of singleness trying to hold the epigraph of time..of life..all sketches of solitude..all pictures of a different world which made this night,this moment,this station so very precious to me..

I thanked God that the train stopped here..

It was really unique..far from all the resemblance of our known world..far from the sorrows and daily struggles of survival..this night showed the vast epitome of the world..lesson of feeling the world for some moment instead of only running and searching for meaningless worldly things..a desire of surrender to this world..to open myself completely and absorb all the wonderful gifts that the nature had to offer..a raga of timeless sensations..a feeling of individualness which can be so pure..so mouthful of essences of rendezvous..

I looked again in front..
Still no signal..
I prayed silently.
That may these moments continue as long as it can, let the signal be not sounded,let it be delayed..let it be delayed..
Suddenly there was a sound.
It gradually came near.

And then to my great surprise, I saw a person appeared from the darkness, behind the banyan tree..

He was an old man..with hairs a mixture of black and white..his face..a conglomeration of ripples..showing his age..his eyes..looking for someone..his hands..holding a lantern..the light now falling on my face..

And then a voice came..a voice which initially was of amazement but gradually reached that of shouting..
‘Harish..tu aaya..?’
The light of the lantern was now totally on my face..a heat coming from the lantern..
I was finding it utterly difficult to open my eyes comfortably..

I did after a while as the light got removed as the person now holding my hand.
‘Harish, mujhe pata tha..tu aayega..akdin na akdin tu jaroor aayega..kahan tha beta tu itne din..’

The old man before me almost looking at me as if he found his lost treasure..he went on speaking some meaningless words..which was enough to realize that there was some mistake going on.

I removed my hand and said in Hindi that I am not Harish and there must be some mistake.

The old man laughed..again tried to hold my hand..he said in a very soft voice.. Tera gussa abhi tak hai..’

I got disgusted and shouted ‘Choriya mujhe! Hat jaiiye Ihanse!’

Maybe my voice reached a higher pitch.

It broke the silence..a bird flew away from the nearby tree..within the scattered light of the platform another person came running and said, ‘Master sab, signal hogaya hai..ab chaliye..’

Hearing his words I looked at the old man, he is wearing a black suite and also in his left hand he has a lantern..indeed he is the stationmaster.

He looked at me strangely.
Winds swept between us.
A cluster of dust whirled.
Moonlight now in strips kissed the shaking leaves.

The stationmaster in disbelief once again hold my hand and said… ‘Tu Harish nahi hai?’
I nodded.
He kept looking at me for some moment.
The moonlight touched the old eyes, Is there any droplets of water?

He started walking back slowly.

Instead the other person who came later on and holding flag in his hand and appeared to be linesman said to me that to forgive the stationmaster. He said he was a poor man who lost his son twenty years back. His son Harish went from here but never came back. Thus the old man for these twenty years hoping each day as each train passes through this station that one day his son would come back.
But it never occurred.
Today also, it didn’t.

‘Usko maf kar dijiye babuji, who bhi Insaan hai’(Forgive him as he is also an human being) The linesman hold my hand and then ran back towards the station room.

Soon the signal was shown.
The green light flashed.
I boarded the steps of Rajdhani.
The train started slowly.
The yellowish platform passed.
The beautiful banyan tree passed.
Its dancing leaves passed.
The blue sky with numerous stars passed.
And then passed the ‘board’ on which the station name was written.
The light of the station as well as the moonlight fell on the name.

Another wind splashed.
I looked at the signal room.
There is the linesman.
And there is that old man.
Waving flag tiredly, slowly with the lantern in his left hand.

As the train was passing I saw that the old man was looking towards me as I stood in the door.
Did the flag and the lantern trembled?
Or is it just an illusion of mine?

I came back to my seat.
Through the looking glass I saw moonlight kissing all corners of the earth outside.
The outside world with all its people and their emotions was running again parallel to the train.
Another station came.
Another came.

I closed my eyes.
I can still see the old man with the lantern in his hand and saying with his eyes fully lighted and with a desire of all his life, , ‘Harish..tu aaya?’

His eyes waiting for the answer.
He is living his remaining life for that answer.
A little answer.

And I behaved with him roughly almost treated him like a beggar?
But what else I can do?
I opened my eyes.
I found my eyelids wet.
I am crying.

Looking outside through the moonlit landscape of the night I slowly uttered one word.
But the word ‘sorry’ never appeared such meaningless to me.



What I want?

Some words are never spoken..

Some faces are never known..

Some people never fades out..

Some roads are yet to to be stepped in..

Some places are yet to be explored..

Some nights are sometime special..

Some moments holds uncherished desires..

Sometime one is lonely..very lonely..

Sometimes only one question rings on..rings on..

What I want?

What I want?

What I want?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Face of God

‘Has the last train gone?’
The question came from behind. I was standing in a remote station of Maharastra, broadly Pune, the station quite empty, only some tea-stalls still opened, some coolies preparing to lie down in benches and two street dogs running aimlessly. A sharp, bit cold wind blowing at intervals to declare the arrival of November.

I looked front. A guy in specs standing before me.
‘No..not yet..may be late’ I said.
‘Nothing is going right!’ The guy said smiling.
‘Quite so, the world is in disorder.’
‘I am Ankit Deshpande.’
I introduced myself and then asked, ‘Where from you are coming so late?’
‘I had an interview in a call center..these call centers often stretch it to extreme..’
I looked at the guy with observant eyes.
‘Hey, you thinking that I am quite old for a call center..you are right buddy..I am 30+ ..’
I smiled. Just to avoid my embarrassment.
‘You are right, he said ‘I am a new bird in this industry, lost my earlier job in printing industry..you know why?’
‘Why?’ I have to ask. The guy loves to talk.
‘Because I am a part of the exodus. The drop of sensex..the depression in world market..the changed political pattern of U.S…any thing can be the reason..I just got the pink slip..and what about you?’

For a moment I thought I should lie.
But then looking at the innocent face of the guy changed my mind. Instead of all his troubles, the guy is holding a smile in his lips as it is the shadow of his life..as if these troubles are so funny to him..a thing to smile.

Thus I disclosed myself.
‘I am in IT but at present almost in a same scenario like you, for six months out of any project, and in bench without salary!’
‘What competency you are?’
The guy thought for a moment and then from his purse brought out a card and gave it to me.
‘You can contact this person! He is a kind of relative to me. He can be of help to you I hope!’
I was really amazed. Can’t help asking, ‘Why you are not trying it for yourself?’
The guy said after a pause, ‘I am a simple graduate buddy.Don’t have that technical core!’
The next moment breaking all the silence of the night station the last train arrived. And one of my friend Arjun, who is new to Pune stepped down from it.
I came to receive him here.

I looked at the guy and said ‘Thanks!’
And then shake hand.
The guy started running.
I forgot to ask one question.
I shouted, ‘What about today’s interview..got the job in call center?’
Ankit, the guy jumped into the running train and then shouted, ‘No Man, I don’t have the desired US Accent, you know..!’
And thus he went away with the train.
Leaving with me some moments of unexplainable amazement and paradoxes.

May be that can be the end of our relationship but one day as my condition became more desperate I went to try my luck and met the person Ankit reffered about and then only through two rounds of interview I got the job.

I searched Ankit all over. Couldn’t find him. I asked Mr. Gupta, the boss, he also was not able to give any news about him. Sometimes thus when I am alone I thought of that night..the station..the guy..who without knowing me even selflessly helped me. A person who himself needed job badly and engulfed in all sorts of problems, a person who is nothing but a simple graduate..suppressing all his pains and tensions with a smile hand me over a link to a big job!
How? I asked myself.
But I have no answer.
Just found that the guy whom I met that night in the silent station was not ordinary but special..very special. Sometimes I recollect his smile among his dark face.
It appeared to me as if….
the root to lost humanity..
in these days of terrorism and demoralized values.
A face which I would remember throughout my life
As nothing but
The Face of God.

(Based on a true story..an experience of my friend.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Forgotten Temple

I am standing on the ruins of a forgotten temple

The temple has no goddesses

Only layers of time errected

Like invisible inscriptions

The script, yet to be deciphered

The air around flowing as if trying yet again

To unfold the undeciphered letters of time

All around me

Are spreaded

Wonders of time

Stories of unknown people

Who on the brink of being Known again remained unknown

A turn of oblivian towards the annals of closed chapters

As if these forgotten ruins are waiting anxiously

For a Nemesis of time

And as I stood stranded on the

Rocky ground of this broken temple

I found

That within

The fragments

Of historical ruins

Different fragments of me

Getting mixed..as if lost

A beautiful surrender of melancholy moods

I kept standing

Only like the extinct root of the forgotten time and days

Lay the broken shrine ....

Where bloodspots

are still not


Monday, March 2, 2009

On the Shores

The moment I landed in Digha two things happened.First, it started raining heavily. Clouds flocked from nowhere, and sea winds blowed with a mood of madness and the daylight got faded into all shades of gray.
The rickshaws which crowded near the bus stop also ran swiftly.
I was also about to catch one when I came across the second thing which occurred.
A young woman caught the rickshaw which I am suppose to catch and occupied it,
I shouted ‘Excuse me’ half wet already and the woman turned her face towards me.
I got struck by surprise.
“Shreya’ I uttered . Are you Shreya?’
The woman nodded and said. ‘Sorry, you have mistaken’ and then went away. Only the wind blowed her blue dupatta.
I kept stranded among the sweeping winds and torrential rain and gradually decreasing no. of rickshaws alone still trying to solve the puzzle.
How can I mistaken Shreya?
I nooded in disbelief and then jumped into a running rickshaw and ordered ‘Hotel Sea-Coast’.


As usual Arijit is late and only God knows when he will reach. He said he have some assignment in Shankarpur today and then he will meet me here. He is a totally cracked person and he planned this program. He is a photographer by profession and thus has no fixed schedule of work. I am well acquainted with his whims thus his delay is usual to me.
But the thing that pinching me is the incident of Shreya.
Shreya is one of my close friend in the college, we completed BCA together and even started MBA together but in the midway she left it for doing MS in US. I still remember that we both felt so lonely at the day she went and I was the one who went to see her off in the airport.
But now the question that arise in my mind MS course is for two years and now only one year has passed.
So a doubt pooped.
Is it really Shreya?
Or really I have mistaken?
No. It is not possible. The attitude, her walk, turn of her face, the way she carries the dupatta round the neck , all symbolizes her and I can not get wrong in those.
Shreya must have come for a vacation.
But then why she haven’t inform me?
Only questiones.
One after another.
But no answer.
It is almost evening, the weather is cloudy still but not raining luckily. Thus there is no meaning to waste it inside the hotel.
I put the slippers on and soon I am in the way to the beach.

A lovely evening is awaiting outside.

Tourists in great numbers pouring in..some foreigners clicking snaps..kids running..some guys drinking openly Beer Can.. some other walking towards the rocky steps with tea in their hand..a girl finding it diificult to handle her flowing skirt.. some woman similarly trying to manage the pallu of the sarree..hawkers clattering ‘chai, babu chai?’..passing rickshaws ‘Market jabe babu..New Digha?’..the colour of the sky appearing brilliant with last shades of the red mixing with grey..seagulls flying high.. some lonely crows dancing on the tip of the sea..green sea quite sharp at that period of the day..tide is coming.. winds blowing in fluctuating speed.. sand grains itching the body.. a waste newspaper came flying in the air..with the smell of jhalmuri..the mood of a holiday slowly grasping me..

I walked gently through the sands and took tea from a nearby stall..
I just have a first sip and that moment I saw again the woman.
This time I waited and did not said anything.
Winds touching Shreya, she is wearing a Yellow kurta and jeans now, her hairs revolting in winds through strings..her small steps..her sudden stop through a walk..then again walking..her ribboning her strings of hair..all symbolizes Shreya..
I then played a trick.
Just walking a bit close to her..I uttered loudly in order to be audible ‘Diya’..
The woman infront of me turned back in a twinkle and her face reads all surprise.
She is about to work..I said ‘Why are you doing this Shreya..why?’
She turned again towards me and then with her beautiful eyes on me said..
‘I am not Shreya..my name is Aditi!’
Then she started walking fast through the sands.
I didn’t follow her.
Because I know she is Shreya..because in this world only I call her as Diya..in her twentieth birthday when she flew off the candle over her birthday cake..her eyes full of light..that moment I named her.. ‘Diya’..
I came and sat over one the rocky walls on the marine drive.
Evening slowly passing away.
The roadside shops of sea-shells getting lighted..the sounds of sea water crushing in the shores filling up the air..sky appearing dark blue with flocks of red clouds..birds flying..far across the sea small boats with their lanterns sweeping in the waves..blue sky mixing unnoticed at the greenish sea..there perhaps the hoprizon lies..

I took another cup of tea.
Sipped it.
One mystery solved.
The woman is Shreya.
Another mystery begins.
Why Shreya is refusing to recognize me..why..why?


Walking through the beach when the night is ripe with foamy touches of sea curdling at your feet is one of the most beautiful feelings of life.
For a distant I can see that I am the only person on the beach.
Winds blowing again in an unpredictable mood. It carries the threat of rain with it..thus it sometimes flowing gently..sometimes it pouring with a rush.
Moon in a crecent shape glowing on the sky..though it is dimmy somewhat..clouds claiming her light often..thus the graphics of the beach at this point of time is a slide show of black and white..sometimes the clouds cover on..sometimes off..a wave came and crushed in my feet..another came and washed..I slowly walked..Arijit came at the evening..then again he went out for drinks..I thus came for this walk..I took a long breath..fresh air..the scent of sea in the air..I walked..sometimes I lighted on the torch..then again putting it off..

It is really mesmerizing..a thin layer of moonlit night slowly brightening up the surroundings..winds quite sharp..boats over the sea appearing as swinging dreams..sea has an immense attraction..it makes you lonely and grippes out the inner feelings of one..
Thus I started thinking of Shreya..days spend with her..her mood..her frustrations..our friendships..thus the one question which I dislike to face again popped up..Do I love Shreya..and like always the answer came with a mixture of positive and negatives..really I don’t know..only thing I know that she is the most important friend I had in College..but again if I love her why I would let her go so easily for US..or is it because I have no ground to obstruct her..I was then nowhere..thus purely unconsciously I started reviewing my analysis of an apparent love affair between us..and obviously this time also there arrived no conclusion.. with the question still showing red signal.. ‘Do I love Shreya?’

I again came back to reality..and the thing that hurted me more was that why Shreya refusing me to recognize me?

I walked.
Moonlight now a bit thick.
Suddenly I heard a different sound.
Sounds of breathing fast.
And some other sounds.
I walked with big steps.
And once I came near the source of the sound I stopped.
Just infront of me is a bunch of bush and a wrecked structure of a sand earthed building.
From there the sound is coming.
I can guess much more than see.
As I went near I flashed my torch.
I got struck and saw that just beside the bush and the structure two people are involved in the primitive game and they are having sex..
The light of the torch flashed on them.
I can see the naked girl lying.
And then I saw the man over her.
He shouted in utter slang.. ‘Ke Be shala..!’
I swithed off the torch.
Then went out from the place.
As I again came near the sea I heard the sound of running.
Somebody running quickly.
Again I flashed my torch.
The first thing that I located are some fresh footprints.
It is made just now.
Somebody ran through the beach.
I followed the footprints.
And then at one point I can see the figure.
I flashed the torch.
In the dimmy light of the moon through the rainy winds a figure swiftly running crossed the beach and took the road to the marine drive.
But something it left.
I went forward and picked it up.
A blue dupatta.
And I know it belongs to whom.


I sat on a bench through the sea side on the beach some minutes after sunrise.
Several questiones needed to be answered today.
But first of all I need to find Shreya.
Its been enough now I should find her and ask her what she is suffering.
And what she is doing alone in the beach at the dead of the night?

I am planning my program on how to progress at that time a local boy came and said me ‘Babu Chithi!’

I saw he is holding a white envelope in hand.
‘Kaun diya?’
Then he ran away.

I opened the letter.


I do not know what to write to you and exactly how to write it. But the first thing I should say that I am sorry. I deeply apologies that I have told lie to you. I know you can never mistaken me and it is really a twist of my fate that I met you here where I really never wanted to meet you. I never wanted to share my experience with you as you to me always is the most bright and positive gift of life and I always want to keep you and my that place total pure. But still I forgot that how can I kept aside the person who is everything to me? I am really a silly fool..but please understand me Soumya that I always want you as that friend to whom I can get back after all extremes all experiences of dark shades. But I should accompany you with my journey.
I know you would never forgive me as I being too selfish went to US for MS study leaving you totally alone. But believe me that I remembered you each moment and your every letter became ingredients to spend the days there. I know it all appears so lyrical to you and I do accept my faults but it is indeed truth.
But I should tell you now that why I came to Digha and why I lied.
While being in US I met Arijit and somehow by his photographic skills his behaviour I got attracted towards him and fell in love with him.We had a relation between us but then suddenly Arijit left one day and never kept contact. So I have to come back to India and then found that Arijit is coming to Digha. So I came here also.
I always had doubts on Arijit during the last several months, he even try to get me physically.. the last night episode is the sheer proof of it.
How can I tell you all these ..tell me?
How can I be so cheap that when you need me I left you and when I have lost my love I would ask you to come back?
I started being defeated..my career also got scattered..I should have some place to get back.
And that is you.
Always you would be.
Its been a relief telling you the truth.
I am leaving Digha today.
Be well.
And please forgive me.
And Soumya, you just be yourself.
Because that is so very special to me.
As it a shelter where I can love to get back after all extremes.
Take care.


I saw the boy who gave me letter selling tea on the beach.
I ran towards him and ask , ‘Who Memsab kahan hai?’
‘Bus stop mein..subah ke bus pakar raha hai..’

I started running and soon came in the bus top.
I went to the counter.
W.B.S.T.C bus leaves at what time?’
‘7.00AM..Already left.’
A local said from beside before the counter person says anything.

I turned back.
Feeling destroyed.
I need to meet Shreya once.
Its been long that I have talked with her.

I started walking away from the bus stop.
But stopped.
There lies the W.B.S.T.C. Bus. Must be a case of tyre puncture.
And then my eyes struck upon a lady standing with her face towards. the sea.
I almost ran to her..then uttered softly.. ‘Diya?’
The lady turned at once and almost shouted. ‘Soumya?’
I can read several questions and much more than that shades of embarrassment on her face.
‘Let’s go back Shreya.’
‘But I have the bus ticket.’
‘You can have also tomorrow one. Sorry two. As I would be also going.’
‘But Soumya.. I can’t..’
“You can..only you can..’ Then I hold her hand..Come..lets go..’

Shreya slowly walked.
And then we both came on the beach and before speechless Shreya could manage to say anything I said..
‘I have a request..or it is an order.’
Shreya turned towards me with her beautiful eyes and large eyelids full of questions.
A bright sunny day is blooming.
Sky soft blue with traces of roaming clouds.
Winds blowing in a festive spirit.
I hold Shreya’s hand and then said looking at her..
‘I want my best friend back and this time in Calcutta..enough of US affair! Right Diya?’
Shreya with trembled eyelids and lips once looked at me and then lowered her eyes.
I smiled.
Well ..when a girl trembles and lower her eyes..and if you don’t know what it is..please fall in love Idiot!