Style Bhai(s) of CWC

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I haven’t been watching the Cricket World Cup since its inception in 1975 as I wasn’t even born! Back then, it was called the Prudential World Cup and wasn’t as glamorous as it is now. The game was black and white and so are most of the photos from that era. The jerseys and styles were very ’70-ish with the players sporting long sideburns, hippie hairstyles and bell-bottoms. Our Ravi Shastri was arguably the most stylish emerging cricketer as evidenced in the picture below.

25 June 1983, India lifting the World Cup. Notice Ravi Shastri and his unkempt hair.

25 June 1983, India lifting the World Cup. Notice Ravi Shastri and his unkempt hair.

As the world moved on, the Cricket World Cup did too. With the advent of coloured jerseys in 1992, the ICC Cricket World cup added more glitz in terms of day/night matches where the audience in front of television could see sweat glistening on the forehead of a parrot-green clad Imran Khan. If someone is the most handsome cricketer still, it’s him.

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Satyanweshi

Image Courtesy: Facebook

Image Courtesy: Facebook

The most common question asked to every child or teen is “Who is your favourite detective?” At least, that’s what used to be in my generation, about two decades ago.  I’ve been gorging on detective stories since my pre-teens, haate-khori (baptism of writing) being done with Feluda. With Sonar Kella (1974) and Joy Baba Felunath (1979) being constant features on summer television, we didn’t have many options. Feluda ruled my childhood, along with Bangla translations of Sherlock Holmes in magazines. I loved Feluda, and was in awe of Sherlock, which strengthened as I began learning Chemistry. Those inferences from the criminal’s stained hat or a cigarette stub with his saliva on it made me wonder Holmes’s prowess. Could Feluda do similar stuff? Well, no, he was mostly a cerebral detective, with his Magajastra being the ultimate weapon.

byomkesh-somogro-saradindu-bandopadhyay

Image Courtesy: Google

Unlike many other children who just read and loved detectives, I wanted to be one. Seriously. I’ve read Holmes at an age when others didn’t, I’ve religiously read Kakababu and Arjun’s escapades, I’ve read Colonel Niladri Sarkar’s young adult stories, I’ve read Jayanta-Manik and Gogol. Bangla literature has a vast ensemble of detectives/sleuths, and that’s what most of them liked to be termed. All of them were smart, not all were young men though, and only Samaresh Majumdar’s Arjun had the suaveness to second Feluda. I wanted to be someone who had the forensic analytical bent of mind and yet an uber emotional psyche to grasp the criminal’s mind. As I grew up, I found him and though I couldn’t be like him, I let him rule my mind as the best ‘detective’ ever – Byomkesh Bakshi. Well, the most striking thing about Byomkesh is that he never liked to be called a ‘detective’. He fancied the term ‘Satyanweshi’ (truth-seeker) and stuck to it until Dibakar Banerjee decided to rip it off in his next film.

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Tata Hatched The Bolt!

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

This probably would have occurred somewhere in the globe a year or two back – picture a serious boardroom drama, with the design folks being present.

“Alright guys, settle down soon, we are planning to surprise the Indian automobile fellas; well, can’t drive everybody nuts neither can we shed the ‘Tata-for-commercial’ tag so easily, but let’s give a decent try.

We call this HORIZONEXT strategy, the focus is to be on the products intensely. We plan to build a car, a sedan for the entry level sedan segment and a premium hatch, with most of the goodies packed in it, and of course, guess what, with a superb price tag. Surprise, Surprise, Surprise – here cometh Zest and Bolt.”

(We would just limit this article to BOLT petrol variant as Zest is out of scope for this one). Hey, we are still in the boardroom meeting, reckon, the design folks are all ears to the lead voice.

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Laundered Thoughts

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

#IsLaundryOnlyAWomansJob?

In India, yes it was until a few years ago. Honestly, when I was a kid, I never bothered doing my own laundry as I was totally dependent on Ma for it. She indulged me probably considering that academics took a toll on me and I needed more time for games and books. Now when I’ve been living away from home for about nine years, I realize the monstrosity of laundry. Baba has been doing his mini laundry himself for years now. The same holds true for my father-in-law. What I mean by mini laundry is washing their inner wear daily while bathing. They would put the dirty clothes in the laundry bag otherwise, not bothering the lady of the house with trifles like kerchiefs and socks.

For everyone else I know, including my cousins and friends – they believed that mom would do the laundry, or the domestic help, and more recently the washing machine (operated by mom again). Sad but true, Ariel’s survey with AC Nielsen is a glaring fact that 76% of the men still feel that laundry is a woman’s job. From my knowledge and experiences spanning over three decades, I won’t blame only the men for this blasphemy. Our Indian moms and grandmas pamper their men to infinity. I’ve heard so many say “Babu’r toh porashuno achhe, bari’r chhele boshe kapor kachbe keno, amra toh achhi. (Why should Babu do any laundry when we’re there for him, he needs to study instead). The range of this ‘Babu’ spans anywhere for men aged 10-50 years.

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Back to the Future

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

He was waiting very patiently at the new terminal of Kolkata Airport. Though he looked patient, he was trembling from inside. It’s been ten years he saw her. And when he had, they were only in high school. Together. Now that’s a term unfamiliar to him since long. He’s been single, committed, married, divorced, complicated and much more in all these years.

He knew she always loved him. ‘Always’ though, began when they were entering their teens. Lectures in classroom were interrupted by tiny scribbles passed via friends. He enjoyed the attention, liked her eagerness to sit beside him in Mathematics class, was glad to help her with Economics problems. But, he didn’t love her. Not like the way she did. Crossing the eternal friend vs lover hurdle, they never had a relationship as such.

Much water passed under the bridge, she went away to study. Hurt, perhaps. In fact, he was certain she felt hurt. He went on in life, got married. She kept tabs on him from a distance. She still loved him. Why, that she failed to understand yet. Men came and went away from her, but none were like him. She remembered the way he looked in high school, sporting a light stubble, pretending to be all mature and grown up. She liked him that way too.

Things have changed now. She heard from friends that he was divorced. She wanted to see him again. Not ‘see him’ seriously, just see him once, the way friends do. She had applied for a job in Kolkata and got it too. Now came the chance to see him. And he agreed too. Who knew he still remembered her, considered her a friend.

She landed. As he had anticipated, she looked beautiful. She was, anyway. He wondered why he never fell in love with her while others did. His heart was fluttering. Is that something only to happen with women? She arrived at the lounge. Her eyes took a few moments to locate him. He still sported a stubble, no, a beard in fact.

She noticed that he looked tired. And a little old, exhausted, heckled. She decided to ask him to shave, and get rid of not only the beard, but the past. The same bitter past that had aged him beyond his years.

They might get together. They mightn’t. But she’d make sure he steps out of the past and lives. Again.

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This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

I was tagged by R and I’m tagging Maria, Manjit and Manjulika in this post. Please acknowledge the tags and mention that I had tagged you in this post.

Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 3 Chapter 2 – Taken

N.B. This is the second chapter in Week 3 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (1) here. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Wake up, dragonfly!’

‘Oh, Papa. Can I not go to school today?’

‘No, Priya. I’ve allowed you the tattoo because you came first last term. You are not going to be able to repeat that if you start becoming late for school, dragonfly.’

‘Ohkay. Five minutes more of snooze, please?’

I had laughed at her vivacity. My little one, my Anupriya, was turning into a mirror image of her mother. While that lady chose to leave us early for God’s abode, dragonfly and I had stuck together. Or so it seemed to us, but God had other plans. How I’ve been writhing in pain all these years, away from Priya, crying for her every day, hoping to find her in the unlikeliest of places. I had become her father and her mother and amazing, as she grew up, a curious role reversal had started to occur; she had started to become a mother to me – making sure I ate with her and did not skip a meal, ensuring I took my cholesterol pills every night, removing my glasses when I fell asleep in bed while reading. I cannot lie: I was proud of her, equally excelling in academics and dance. Even with the loss of the one who brought us together, we had managed to still become complete once more.

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Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 2 Chapter 9 – The Divulgence

N.B. This is the ninth chapter in Week 2 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (8) here. 

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

(Three weeks later)

The Dutta household resembled a Tower of Silence after they had heard Jennifer’s story hitherto. She seemed to be immensely tired and spent to the core of her heart narrating the gruesome events. Every time she described herself reading Cy’s text “I am innocent,” her heart shattered into a million pieces. She broke into inconsolable tears at the end. Cy, her Cy, was still in jail. She was fighting for him and their love, scraping around evidences based on Cy’s research and TMJ posts. She and their lawyer would produce them at each hearing in court and try to inch towards proving him innocent. But redemption was still in a faraway corner of the courtroom.

Shekhar and Tara were stunned at this revelation. This was beyond their expectations and the normally smart couple seemed at a loss of words this time. Tara, the tough journalist, was sceptical about Jennifer even though her heart started melting knowing about Cyrus. Shekhar on the other hand was more logical and he inclined to believe in the story as he had read about Cyrus Daruwala being arrested for the minister’s murder. It was an unnerving situation to handle when little Roohi finally broke the silence.

“Don’t cry, aunty. Please.”

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