Ciao, La Vita

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

#DearZindagi,

It’s been long since we had a chat, or met with a cuppa reckoning the balance sheet so far. I believe I’ve crossed the threshold called ‘half-life’, and like an unstable radioactive element, will continue to decay exponentially for the rest years. This isn’t just a chemist’s blabber, dear life. It is the exact summary through midway, rather midlife.

Let me begin with gratitude for not deserting me. I know it has been difficult for you to put up with a brooding brat like me, but – you’ve been damn good so far! Since I gained enough maturity to ponder upon stuff, I’ve realised that you have clung to me. When the going got tough, you were tough enough to get me going against childhood bullies, teenage crushes, adulthood heartbreaks, or the corollaries of wedlock. Do you recall the huge transition that I had to make from a suburban school to a metropolitan high school? I was lost in the sea of people, everyone rushing past me in a bloody busy city, pushing and jostling me to the brink of oblivion. While I would sit alone on the penultimate seat of the school bus on chilly winter mornings, the fog mixed with strong but sweet charcoal fumes from tea stalls would remind me that you were right there, with me. When I have ambled along the college lawn, both alone and lonely, you have thrown surprises with vibrant yellow petals of Radhachura (Gulmohur) strewn all over the trail, just for me.

You’ve been holding my hand during every major decision I ruminated upon and led me carefully to what my heart desired. I would have been a failed, incomplete scientist if you hadn’t put words in my pen and prodded me to be a writer. It’s been quite a few years now, and I know you still stand by me despite a number of futile results. I’ve been worried that I can’t write as well as others, distressed that I haven’t been published yet, exhausted of rejections and writer’s blocks. And yet, when I open a new page and tap at the keyboard, you make me a writer – impervious to the mediocre and convoluted world. You’ve manoeuvred quite enough to get me a little accolade, a tiny prize, a monthly salary and exciting work to keep the ball rolling. Each instance I falter and risk crumbling down, you’ve sprung a sweet surprise and motivation to clench me up.

It’s you, life, to whom I owe the joie de vivre, the pleasure of creation in the form of words and stories. I have scooped up inspiration from you, life, and woven stories that have touched a few peoples’ hearts. They have praised me, but it’s you whom I should shower with thanks. If I have ever felt the fear of losing you, I’ve resorted to poetry and reading and waited patiently for you to resurrect. Because –

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw

So long,

Yours.

————

I am writing a letter to life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda.

 

Memories In March

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Memories are best served cold. They are created while you’re young, so you can carry them inside your head till it is alive. As you grow old, day by day, it’s time to ruminate on the memories, warm them up and have them served apiece within a mundane daily routine. There are some that don’t taste the same after days or years, and then there are others that sizzle up with time and fill your senses with longing for loved ones.

Watching young ones in the family grow up is a beautiful process that enriches one and makes for endless memories. I’ve had the scope to witness my young sister-in-laws (SIL) transit from school to college and transform into beautiful ladies from cranky teenagers. For a large part though, we’ve been living in radically different cities and corresponding through occasional phone calls, text messages and holidays. The moments spent there would be hurried and sporadic, in a frenzy over a few days to soak away the minutes slowly into our togetherness. We’d catch a movie, hop off to lunches, meet at their places, our place and any other relatives nearby, sneak away time for a chat on the terrace while mothers and aunts carried on their chitter-chatter. Each holiday would remain a collage of these moments, with images popping up in our minds months later, causing roars of laughter on either side over a call.

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Words of Wisdom #SachchiAdvice

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

Image Courtesy: BlogAdda

The maladies of youth include aversion to advice. It applies to almost all of us, more of it in our early adult years when peer influence is greater than golden words from elders. I was resistant to advice too, I used to sit with a flat face and blank eyes before relatives and acquaintances who would lecture me on various stuff, some of them even unimaginable. Things were better with my parents though. Still, at times, during a long dark phase in academics, advice was something I’d be intolerable to.

When I was in the last year of my Master’s degree, there was a lot going on – classes, lectures, projects, thesis, experiments, exams and confusion. Few of our professors wanted us to go abroad for further academics and motivated us with their advice. A few others wanted us to pursue doctorate under them, to work in their lab and be guided by them. My classmates were divided into three groups, the first two wanted academics in and out of the country and the third group opted to search for Government and Private sector jobs.

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Of Scents, Stinks and Whiffs

Image Courtesy : BlogAdda

Image Courtesy : BlogAdda

Each household has its distinct orbit of odours. When you enter a house, the first thing that hits you is how it smells. I’ve been put off quite often by living rooms and corridors that reek of sweaty socks, possibly the worst stink in the world. Given the fact that we live in a humid sub-tropical country, it is extremely difficult to maintain a house free of any bad odour. Our food habits lead a big way into this phenomenon too.

Since we belong to the Bengali clan, our staple is fish and meat (as you may already assume)! Living in Calcutta, it is well accepted that every family cooks and eats fish, rather the exceptions are looked down upon. But in other cities, especially in other countries – I’ve been sceptical cooking fish in the apartment. While we may savour the aroma of freshly fried fish in mustard oil, I’ve heard neighbours complain and frown, which is pretty normal in the circumstances. It even happened that in our student condominium, we used to pull open the fire alarm, take out the batteries, cook our fish fry/curry and assemble the alarm again. The property laws in USA are so strict that we’d be fined and warned if the fire alarm ringed owing to the fumes while frying fish. So much for comfort food of fish and rice!

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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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Bards of the Blogosphere: Week 1 Chapter 6 – The Princess and Her Pied Piper

N.B. This is the sixth chapter in Week 1 of the ‘Game of Blogs’ by the team ‘Bards of the Blogosphere’. #CelebrateBlogging

Read the previous chapter (5) here

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

Image Courtesy: Roshan Radhakrishnan

‘Daddy!’

Shekhar rushed out of the kitchen as soon as he heard Roohi screaming from her room. He had checked on her a few minutes ago, peacefully asleep clutching her side pillow, her cherubic face gleaming in the peeping morning sun through tastefully done curtains of their bedroom. He and Tara had been hugely thankful to Jennifer last night for accepting their offer of moving into their home and looking after Roohi, whenever needed.

Roohi was wide awake on the huge four-poster bed in her parents’ bedroom. Her forehead glistened with a tiny film of sweat even with the air conditioning on. Tara almost flew out of the attached bathroom in her robes when she heard Roohi’s shrill voice cutting through the smooth humming of her shower. Despite both her parents flanking by her side, Roohi seemed to stare blankly at the wall before her.

Ki holo shona, what happened?’ Tara tried to be as gentle as possible with her princess.

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