Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Not Getting On

Certain people don't realise that they function as multipurpose units. One in particular is driver, strongman, escort, bodyguard, confidante, occasional cook, composer, entertainment provider, comfort provider, fixer of phones, occasional credit card, books and DVD library, music teacher, killer of boredom, jhamela sufferer and provider of many things that I cannot mention in public fora such as blogs. I'm told it's very difficult to find such multi dimensional MPUs. Most have very small processors and cannot carry out so many roles simultaneously.
I've mostly done without such an MPU until very recently. But the question is how does one get on without, now that I'm used to having one?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

in the closet

My desk drawer is full of odds and ends. Press releases, CDs marked with illegible writings (used as on 27. 08, says one), a battery charger for one of the cameras, broken headphones and somewhere in the corner, a sachet of pot pourri. Somewhere under it the pack of ear-buds has burst. So along with the the crowd of antacids, paper, proofed printouts, and pens that don't write, the pink and white ear-buds have run all over my shelf like ants on spilt food. Every time I open it to hunt for something I need, they roll from one corner to the other as if scurrying away in fear. And the woody spicy smell of the pot pourri leaks out guiltily.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now...

The thing about songs is that they live on. Sometimes not just live on but build lives of their own. Within their familiar notes, they entangle a little piece of our history, and in their beats that sweet smell of nostalgia. And foremost amongst those songs, none could spell college as obviously as Bittersweet Symphony. No song could be more us than this one. 

When Ashcroft wrote this melody he didn't imagine that a lone guitar wielding figure, in an inconsequential college in north Calcutta (even though professors would have us believe that we're everything but inconsequential), would pass on the bug to so many. He didn't imagine the song would be played, practiced, strummed, over and over again, ad infinitum, ad nauseam until it would take over our collective consciousness. It would become the song that a classmate would name her blog after, the song a senior would only have to hear the first two words of, to cringe "oh no, not that song again", the song that gets at least one replay during the many BYOB parties with ex classmates, the song that plays on my phone when anyone from that precious group calls, the song that has now found playtime in my earphones after eons, the only song that can transform this gloomy rain soaked morning into hope.

My father remembers a time during his third year in BHU IT, when his classmate played Staying Alive, continuously for an entire week. Much as he'd hate it, for me it's the song of his youth. Just like Bittersweet Symphony is mine. What's yours? 

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Karaoke Happiness

We lay like broccoli, me scribbling meaningless nothings on my notepad, both on a new OST trip. There is a contentment in shared melodies. A space is of your own is so overrated. Wouldn't you rather sing along than sing alone?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Where Are The Words

Growing up there were a lot of words. School was when I'd finish reams of notebooks, with imagined love stories (always about a 13 year old girl and an 16 year old boy) bad poetry and a lot of adolescent angsty journal entries. Come college, the angst diminished somewhat and in its place came imagined heartbreaks, one sided love and stories and more bad poetry. And now as the days go by I find myself more and more short of words. There's heartbreak and anger, stare out of the window wistfulness even fuzzy contentment, but no words. Earlier I'd tell myself I can't write when I'm happy.  But there's more to it, I think. I've taught myself how to state facts, or make idle speculation in sentences, but have forgotten to write what I feel. What happens to those feelings, I wonder. The ones who'd once be expressed in words and now remain lost somewhere in the consciousness ? What happens?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

These days I find myself checking every long distance train to see where it goes. There is that odd, brief pang when I see it's not going home. Which is odder still. Whatever would I do if it were? Hop on?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Growing up in Cal, Bangla Rock was infra-dig. They were the bands para pujos invited and the para chyangra's danced to. They were the bands who sang of a somewhat western angst, in an anglicized Bengali accent. They stood for music the 'vernac types' in college would listen to. The one's who'd probably call me tyansh. But the songs were always catchy. Nothing could beat the instant way you could relate to the lines sung in your own tongue. It was the music I'd only dare to admit to liking if I was trying to subvert a stereotype.

Later some of those bands became the most approachable people I'd speak to while working on a story that required quotes from public figures. They were also the ones we'd laugh at for saying corny things like "tumi ki hobey amar jadur dewaal" (I kid you not. the lead vocalist was introducing Wonderwall on the radio)

Now those songs have become the songs of nostalgia. Just like Bittersweet Symphony
and college (and Save Tonight. and Scientist. and Hand In My Pocket and many many more that deserve another post) , Ekla Ghar is now synonymous with the many fests in college. Prithibi and Telephone are the songs that the 'seniors' gave to me. Phiriye dao is the song that made my Freshers eve.

The other day Jitz and I found ourselves singing along to Hasnuhana at Calcutta Club, a Bengali food joint in Oshiwara.
"Shunshan fanka bypass-e/ Ar hridoyer circus-e/ Smriti deye dhuyo aar hashe," we sang along as we grinned at each other and dug into our fish fry and rye.

Now I press replay on the token Bangla rock number that I have on my phone - Ekla Ghar (I'd put more if only I knew people who had the songs). I don't hear the language often enough. And I don't mind being vernac anymore.

P.S Looks like am not alone. Another recently migrated friend confesses.
"I often listen to these totally kelane bangla songs. Especially now that am outta cal."

Thursday, April 29, 2010

She eats alone these days. Stands at the kitchen counter and eats, staring unseeingly at the cupboards. Or the water filter. Or even the sink. It's the shortest distance from oven to plate, to mouth, to plate, to sink. Besides it's intolerable sitting in an empty room and staring into space and eating. Which reminds her of the women in Jhumpa Lahiri novels- most of them solitary housewives, who eat, standing at the sink, too numb to need the comfort of a sit down meal.

They will get a TV soon. And then she'll eat sprawled on the mattress, distracted by Star World. And move from one cliche to another.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And before I left a senior warned: "Remember the curse of the telegraph farewell -- you might just end up back at 6PS (6 prafulla sarkar street for the uninitiated) when you least expect it!". But the thing is.... I'd rather like to be back.