Thursday, 4 August 2016

To Seema , care of God ...

Dear Seema,

This is perhaps my first letter to you.  And I know you will not read it.

But Facebook and outlook do not know that and they dutifully reminded me that it is your birthday. I opened your Facebook page again today and looked at the sole picture you have as your profile picture. You were much more beautiful than that damn picture.

Like many other days when I visit your page to go thru your posts again and again , I cursed you not being more active on Facebook .....

It is not fair Seema . 

You should have given me one  more chance.  

One more chance to talk to you, to hear your gurgling laughter, to look at your twinkling eyes , to touch your long silky hair.

I want to hear your incessant chatter and your typical tone of calling my name ... "Ananya .... " 

I have never ever known anyone like you.  As transparent as a mirror, never mincing words,  whether the other person likes it or not. You had to say whatever was in your mind.  I remember so many occasions when I had to retrieve you from sticky situations.  But you were not the one to keep quiet. 

"अरे तो क्या हुआ ? मैंने तो सच ही बोला था न ....."  

I remember you sitting with your sitar in your small and cosy room.. Together we solved  statistics 
problems before our exams , shared our anxiety and joy. The stories about your Vanasthali boarding school never failed to fascinate me and made me crave for boarding experience.

I got married early and so did you. We talked over phone a few times after that and you seemed to be blissfully happy, giving me advise on how to manage my married life !

But then what happened Seema ?  Did you realize that life is not a statistical problem ?  Why did life not treat you well ? The people around you could not understand you .... you were a misfit in their world ... you were way ahead of them as a human being... 

I reconnected with you after almost twenty years in 2006 thru a mutual friend who lives in Patna. We met in New Jersey and you told me the strange story of how you landed up there ! We spent four days together and we talked and talked... I remember our visit to New York , queuing up for the 4th of July celebrations , our first experience on the slot machine in Atlantic city ....

And you were shocked to see me . 

"What happened to you Ananya ? You were so beautiful ! And look at yourself  now ! You have become so fat ! No... you are looking ugly !" You said in your typical manner. Your reprimand forced me to lose weight and become fitter . You taught me to eat right. You showed me ways to control my food cravings. 

But why did life not teach you Seema ? You lost your heart again and again . You trusted people blindly. You loved them madly. 

And you always came back to me.  Broken. 

"Ananya , you know , I find a strange solace when I talk to you ... " we used to chat over yahoo messenger. 

The last time you visited me at Sarojini Nagar, you were so frail . You stayed with me for about 4 days .. recovering... and on the fifth day when I came back from office , you were gone....Just like that .  .
"Didi, I made your friend's favourite vegetable today and she told me the recipe of this new subzi . She  gave me Rs 500 and left ....."  

My maid Anandi handed me a scribbled note from you saying that you will call me ... 

You did call, but after one year. So typical of you. And you started the conversation as if you had met me just yesterday !  You were calling from US , you said and that you will now come back to India and construct a house in Bangalore and stay here for good. 

" I have already purchased a plot ! I will open Zumba dancing classes !" You told me in your usual bubbly,. animated manner. 

After six months , you called again . You asked me for help ... with the Women Commission cell in Delhi,  You wanted permission to meet your son. 

"Ananya, I know he stays in Noida with his father ... I am his mother and I have right to at least meet him na ? " For the first time you sounded distraught , down and crestfallen. 

This somehow coincided with my relocation to Calcutta.  You messaged me on facebook in December 2012,

"My house is almost on the verge of finishing... and with that I will also be finished ... I am too tired. Send me your phone number .... "

Then your last message on 10th April 2013 saying "Please call me ... " 

Seema ... I did not call you. And I will never forgive myself for that. 

I will never know what you wanted to tell me. 

When you were lying on the hospital bed, did you think of me Seema ?  You said that you always found peace when you talked to me ... did you call out my name Seema ?

I will never know. 

Was there anyone around you when you had the oxygen mask on your face ? The people whom you loved so dearly and madly, did they come to meet you Seema ? 

I don't know and maybe I don't want to know.

I know you will not read this. 

But maybe the vibrations of my thought will reach you wherever you are.

And when my thoughts reach  you , understand that there is at least one person who misses you dearly. 

I remember you when I wear the perfume you gave me. I think about you when I brush my lips with the pink lipstick you left for me .  And when I cook the तोरी की सब्जी the way you showed me,  I will always recall your gurgling laughter .....

Rest in peace,  my friend !


Monday, 29 June 2015


Rain on my heart,
Drench it with your silvery , sparkling drops ....

Calm my soul with your  incessant pitter-patter,
Wash away my agony,
Guise the tears streaking down my face.

Help me pause .....
Let me soak in the moments ...
Swamp me with love ....
Immerse me in the soft luminescence of life ....

The paper boat has washed away,
The earthy aroma of the soil has faded...

Torrential rain ,
Deluge me ....
Enfold me in your showers ...
Rejuvenate my leaves....
Make me green once more  ....

Come to me again .....


Monday, 1 December 2014

Teeny Weeny : Forever Yours ...

She looked at the setting sun from her bedroom window.

She looked at her wrinkled hands.

She looked around her .

So many memories ...

She got up from her bed and picked up her painting brush and wrote " I miss you"  on the wall....

 The promoters will pull down the house tomorrow .....

Her pet dog Snoozie snuggled beside her ...

"Snoozie... sorry ... I made you homeless .... "

She blew out the flickering candle and went to sleep.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Howrah Bridge

The bridge is one of four on the Hooghly River and is a famous symbol of Kolkata and West Bengal. The other bridges are the Vidyasagar Setu (popularly called the Second Hooghly Bridge), the Vivekananda Setu, and the newly built Nivedita Setu. It weathers the storms of the Bay of Bengal region, carrying a daily traffic of approximately 100,000 vehicles[11] and possibly more than 150,000 pedestrians,[9] easily making it the busiest cantilever bridge in the world.[12] The third-longest cantilever bridge at the time of its construction,[13] the Howrah Bridge is the sixth-longest bridge of its type in the world.[14]

In the view of the increasing traffic across the Hooghly river, a committee was appointed in 1855-56 to review alternatives for constructing a bridge across it.[15] The plan was shelved in 1859-60, to be revived in 1868, when it was decided that a bridge should be constructed and a newly appointed trust vested to manage it. The Calcutta Port Trust was founded in 1870,[4] and the Legislative department of the then Government of Bengal passed the Howrah Bridge Act in the year 1871 under the Bengal Act IX of 1871,[4][15] empowering the Lieutenant-Governor to have the bridge constructed with Government capital under the aegis of the Port Commissioners.

The bridge has become an iconic landmark and symbol of KolkataRudyard Kipling mentioned the bridge in City of Dreadful Night: "Why, this is London! This is the docks. This is Imperial. This is worth coming across India to see!"[35]
The bridge has been shown in numerous films, such as Ritwik Ghatak's Bari Theke Paliye in 1958, Satyajit Ray's Parash Pathar in the same year, Mrinal Sen'sNeel Akasher Neechey in 1959, Shakti Samanta's Howrah Bridge (1958), that featured the famous song Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu and China Town (1962) and Amar Prem (1971), Amar Jeet's 1965 Teen Devian in 1965, Mrinal Sen's 1972 National Award winning Bengali film Calcutta 71Richard Attenborough's 1982 Academy Award winning film GandhiGoutam Ghose's 1984 Hindi film PaarRaj Kapoor's Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985, Nicolas Klotz's The Bengali Night in 1988, Roland Joffé's English language film City of Joy in 1992, Florian Gallenberger's Bengali film Shadows of Time in 2004, Mani Ratnam's Bollywood film Yuva in 2004, Pradeep Sarkar's 2005 Bollywood film ParineetaSubhrajit Mitra's 2008 Bengali film Mon Amour: Shesher Kobita Revisited,Mira Nair's 2006 film The NamesakeBlessy's 2008 Malayalam Film Calcutta NewsSurya Sivakumar's 2009 Tamil film AadhavanImtiaz Ali's 2009 Hindi film Love Aaj KalAbhik Mukhopadhyay's 2010 Bengali film Ekti Tarar KhonjeSujoy Ghosh's 2012 Bollywood film KahaaniAnurag Basu's 2012 Hindi filmBarfi!Riingo Banerjee's 2012 Bengali film Na Hannyate, Rana Basu's 2013 Bengali film Namte Namte, and Ali Abbas Zafar's 2014 Hindi film Gunday.
Text Source : Wikipedia
Photography : Ananya Das

Indian Country Side

Monday, 21 April 2014

Haunted ?

Haunted ? Her yearning for the house made her live here forever as the peepul tree ...