I’ve realized over the years that household chores are best done when shared. Since this fact has been validated by my father throughout, it was obviously expected that my husband would do similar things too. The fact that M (that’s my better half) has been away from home since he was 18 for academics and later job, has made things easier for me too. As I’d written in my earlier post, he has been doing his own laundry much before I shed the dependency on my mother and started doing mine.
Funny enough, he cooks better than me too. #ShareTheLoad seems to be very well applicable in our household of just over 5 years. While we were contemplating marriage, we made a list of things both of us liked doing around the house.
Cleaning utensils – Me (I don’t like the way M does it, not enough grit there, he hates it actually)
Dusting and Floor mops – Him (I don’t like the dusting part, I’m allergic and bored to death)
Cooking – Me (Weekdays), Him (Weekends). Since he likes to experiment with all kinds of exotic stuff like different meats, those are reserved for the weekends and special occasions.
Laundry – Me (I am probably one of the rare women who likes to do laundry. The aroma of a good quality detergent on squeaky clean clothes is something that freshens me up).
“When being together is more important than what you do, you are with a friend.” – Connie McMartin
I’ve been friends with S for the last 11 years now. Now that’s a bloody long time to know someone, isn’t it? We had begun our acquaintance with peals of laughter on the University staircase, if you’d believe. Both of us are infamous for our laughters, which can easily be compared with flight take-offs. They start with a giggle in unison and end up after reaching a crescendo that has offended a mighty lot of people then and now. But we wouldn’t be us if we had actually cared about that!
After hanging out in University campus for almost three years, we had to part ways. While I flew off for academics, S continued hers in Calcutta. It’s been mostly social media and very occasional meetings for the next few years. We’d plan in advance and meet for a movie and lunch, blabbering away the happenings in our lives, mostly love lives. We had created the record of chatting hours at bus stops before heading for our homes, respectively. There seems to be a throttled river of words that comes to life and rushes along whenever we see each other.
Leaving your home, either for education, profession or marriage, is always difficult. And yet, most of us have to take the plunge and spread our wings worldwide, bearing the unbearable. Women moved away only due to marriage till quite a few years ago, but now they fly away for higher education or a lucrative and ambitious job, much before (and sometimes after) marriage. While it is still a debatable topic whether it’s any good to let your children leave home and live elsewhere, in my humble opinion, it is much necessary for every adult to experience this independence and be more responsible.
I had imagined either a job or marriage would let me break the comforts of home and lead to the struggle of living alone, but things came earlier and I had to leave the country for academics. Imagine me, a moderately pampered daughter, deciding to live away for the first time in her life! My parents were probably awe-shocked, so were my friends and relatives.
Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla, India. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.
Since I grew up in the nineties, much like Ritoban Chakrabarti, I’m nostalgic about that mobile phone and internet-free era. So I didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity of accepting an ARC. When you are approached by a young enthusiastic and confident author, it doesn’t take much to be convinced.
However (and I hate to use this word), Ritoban disappointed me with his fare. The story is simple, set in a beautiful landscape, and yet the nuances have been squandered. What matters for a novel is the beginning and the climax. Ritoban has nailed the latter but the former wasn’t very impressive.
When you mention Park Street, a cherubic smile lights up most people’s’ faces. It is synonymous to Peter Cat and an afternoon/evening of lip-smacking food extravaganza. Whether it’s lunch or dinner, Peter Cat has been flocked by Calcuttans – old and young, emigrant and resident Bengalis and innumerable tourists visiting the city. Our memories have been synced to Park Street by the mention of this restaurant. We’ve had NRIs doing a touchdown here as a part of their annual pilgrimage to Calcutta. Being such a favourite, Peter Cat rules Park Street and our hearts.
The Decor – We decided to try our pre-Christmas dinner here. Since all of Park Street is pretty much decked up like Oxford Street in London, it was a lovely ambiance. I don’t think Peter Cat did much to the decor though. Just a few stray red balloons and streamers at the entrance. But that doesn’t make a difference to the Christmas spirit. The interiors are otherwise medium well done (much like a steak, looks dry but is juicy inside). The lights are dim, tables are stacked at appropriate gaps, there’s a mezzanine and a ground for seating. I loved the lamps, as usual, here’s a snapshot.