Sunday, March 30, 2014

Back to Life after Death

Pop! I just came out of the dead, Wow! so unreal and cool!, I died with a pop! and woke up from the dead with a pop, so, I had lived two years with Dad and have learnt a very important lesson once a manager is always a manager, turns out that my Dad is doing pretty well in the heaven, he used his Chemical Engineering skill to start up a soap industry in the heaven, he was doing well and his entrepreneurial dreams were finally realized, the new "EARTH SOAP" was a hit in heaven and now the Gods were planning to export it to the hell or "Patal Lok". Woe! Surreal Man! anyways as it goes I was taken up by mistake actually they had planned to take one Mr. Dutta and one Mr. Ghosh in a car accident but they took me (Datta Ghosh) by mistake and it took two years of HCS (Heaven Civil Service) Bureaucrats to correct this mistake and by this time my eyes were making two people see, my heart was beating in a singer's body, my liver was in a Corporate Honcho's Body and my Skeleton was in an Anatomy class (I pledged my body), so, my Dad used his influence to give me a new body and thanks to the Chinese people in heaven it was ready real fast and was real economical.

So, now I came down to the earth and the first place I go to is to my mother. Well she relocated with my brother and is now in Pune, while my brother is having a plush job, I always told him he will have it big and it happened. My mother is all right, she is a strong woman I know that but she has stopped smiling and stopped worshiping. My brother has lost his perpetual smile and is serious, boy he looks so mature and he is all of 24, this boy, my kid has grown up a man and what a fine specimen of man he has become. Love his Tony Highflier glasses, I remember giving that to him with the Nexus 5 he is holding, strange he has not changed his mobile in the last two years. I am in an apprentice period this means i cannot reveal myself to them.

The next person I rush to is my husband "Don't leave your job, give your career a high I dreamt of live my dream" my last words to him and he has kept it to the T he has grown in the organisation and has been transferred to Delhi as the department head, Boy! I am so proud of him! though there were times I got diverted and might be a bit unfaithful but he stuck to my word, If I wish to come back he is one of the big three reasons, I love the way he is working. so, tactfully so, efficiently but where is his smile, I wonder?
and why is he smoking so much, does he want to get himself killed and has he been alone all these years? He has not found anyone? and then i do something I never did when alive, I sneak out on his mobile, well he is flirting having flings, so unusual of him and so, very like me but he has my pic as the wallpaper, two years and nothing has changed within, I follow him outside office he goes out and Boy! what a catch! I see an extremely gorgeous lady by his side, he sure has upgraded in his choice of ladies. But where is the smile, the nervous happiness that was their whenever he was with me, even three years after marriage? This lady is so benevolent, is singing her praises and then you are not happy, This is insane!! What else do you want Buddy?

"It's You." was his answer as he looked up the sky with a hollow stare and tear in his eyes. I guess we still speak to each other while not speaking at all.........

My apprenticeship ends and I am all ready to come back, seems like nothing has stopped without me as expected I only need to bring back the smile and faith.    

Love beyond Borders

"What are you doing this Valentine's Day?" was my Dad's first question after I received his call.
"Dad I don't have a boyfriend nor do I have a wonderful life partner like you, so, I am doing nothing and you know Dad, I don't believe in all this, these days only make the card and gifts company rich. It will be college as usual for me." was my rather elaborate reply, all the time I was wondering why was he asking, I can't get caught as I am seeing no one locally and I don't have any other dates on that day.
"That preaching should be my line, you don't believe in human emotions and you are a student of literature! shame on me, I am wasting my money." was my Dad's over the top melodramatic reaction, it was a daughter- father humour we had.
"I believe in love but at right time" was my white lie of an answer.
"Diplomatic First born. Any ways since you are free that day and you don't have any seminars or exams that day do this for me, go to home, at Gwalior station buy a rose and give that to your mother and also make a card for her on my behalf. Please do this for me, will you?" My dad literally requested and I was again moved by his humility, I mean he could have simply ordered me, 

My Dad was in Gujarat and away from my Mom and it was the first time they were away for such a long interval of time. They had a twenty five years of marriage and we never saw them apart, theirs was an arranged marriage but I , who was always falling in and out of love had this notion of their love being perfect.
I did the same as my father wanted and boy, wasn't Mom happy, She looked beauty incarnate with her maroon "Bindi" and Vermilion at the hair parting with white shell bangles one in each hand and red bangles following after that one in each hand, this is how married women usually show their married status.

"Take care of them child" I saw my Dad standing a little far from me at The Delhi Airport and crying. I got startled and came into my senses from the daydream. Dad had suffered a massive heart attack and we were going to him, He was no more with us and at that point of time only I knew it.

Life was not the same after that my Mother told us later one day "My life and it's joy ends here and yours will move on." I was not able to comprehend her, but now when I am myself married I know what she meant, when I think, "What if I lose him?" I go numb, I go cold and cannot think any further, my thought and life stops beyond that thought. My mother is living that 'unthinkable' everyday for the last seven years, and she laughs with us, lives with us, finding the glimpses of her beloved, her life partner within us.
"The life was for years and death is a moment so, why to give death such an importance and stop the life for it, let's celebrate life, Let's celebrate the time he gave us." I said when I couldn't bear anymore my Mother simply fading away. I just had said it and she followed it, she lived for the life that she and her husband brought in. She remembered him by being happy and moving on and by doing everything that he would have loved her to do.

Youth and love are overrated when we fall in love and are going all dizzy in it, the thought that our parents are also madly in love never crosses us we take their love and relation for granted and when we fall in a soup we seek help outside instead of looking at the successful love affair in our homes. Being a daughter I saw them in love, I saw it in their eyes, in the moments they lived and loved together, in the moments they raised a family together, their love transcended the boundaries of life and death, happiness and sorrow. We are a family because we are bound by their love. To you- Maa and Babai.

Thank you Maa (Basanti Ghosh) for being my friend and also being such a passionate person, I owe my love for photography to you. Photo Credits Mrs. Basanti Ghosh (Maa).

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Identity

When I was born my Dad looked at me and said "Here is my 'Datta'" Datta is the name of a novel by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay and tells the story of a gritty, strong headed, dignified lady fighting the world alone after her father's demise which makes her, against her will the sole heir of an immense property, Dad had read the novel some twenty to twenty five times and had prayed to have a daughter like that. Datta is a Sanskrit word meaning "That is given or sacrificed".

My name "Datta Ghosh" creates a bit of confusion when first heard "why two surnames? Where is the name?" and I have to elaborate but not an issue, my name is more than a name as luck or destiny I don't know but I became so much like the character (only difference I didn't have any estate).

I have memories attached to my name, my name always reminds me that my parents loved me even before any iota of my existence existed. my surname is my Family's blessings, so much so, that I never changed my last name after marriage and I am criticized for it but I say that just because I am married it doesn't change my primary obligation to my family and so, my name and my identity never changes as it was a gift from my parents.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Musings of a delirious mind

I will sound so predictable if I say hills give us a much needed respite from the materialistic world. So, let's pragmatically avoid it and instead let me tell you about my delirious fickle mind which though is in a number crunching realm but is never there actually. My mind has a mind of its own, funny but true its a separate entity but then its true. It has the strangest calculations and stranger missions to accomplish. My body actually houses two individuals and yes, I have been counseled and very vehemently told that I am not crazy.

I love confusion, turbulence; they give me peace. They are my ultimate aphrodisiac. All go for a holiday to find peace, I take a break to disturb my peaceful existence.And my peace was finally broken, after years of hibernation I was finally wide awake my mind was again back to my normal sense of turbulence.

I knew the travel will be hectic twenty hours in a train all alone and then a fourteen hour bus journey the next day and the sleep deprivation for almost forty eight hours was something my body was craving for so long. The train was OK but the bus travel was straight out of the badlands of India. The moment I entered the bus I knew to save myself from the waking nightmare I have to sacrifice my sleep. Agra to Dehradun thirteen hours thirty minutes of my nerve testing. And how true  I was actually I never got a chance too close my eyes now to put it more poetically i never allowed my eyelids to meet together i guess they missed each other badly the whole night and were cursing me for my stupid bravery. But while travelling and looking out of the window I remembered something from another night years back when I was travelling through the entire strech of the night, sleep had left me over then also as I covered the distance  between Ahmedabad and Gandhidham my mind wandered between two strain of thoughts, two pictures; one had my father sleeping in a medically induced coma and another had my father lying cold and alone in a mortuary; the latter came out to be true and all the while, in a span of28 hours I had travelled from Agra to Delhi to Ahmedabad to Gandhidham, knowing all the while that he is no more, hoping against hope that I am wrong and he is alive,lying to my mother's hopeful eyes,crying dry tears. That night I had travelled the greatest distance of my life,a twenty year old to a 50 year old, strange the roads, the cities looked so identical across the length and breadth of India yet they sere so different while being similar. As I kept on jumping from one thought to another the night passed by sleepless. The cities were kissing me good night they were silent and looked tired, the shutters of the shops were heaving a sigh of relief as if they were the shroud that the shops wore and they were breathing heavily in their sleep. There were people running along the road seen in irregular intervals all night long still wondering who they were?

Six thousand feet above the sea level, read the board, my friend  and tour guide intently closed his eyes, guess vertigo defies all musings of philosophy. But then curse nerves I don't even feel a proper bout of vertigo, it was my second day after Dehra we moved to Mussorrie as the bus moved up my mind ran blank and I sat still thinking nothing and my brain felt clear of confusion for the first time in years. I looked at him and I looked out to capture the scenic hills in the best camera ever made, human eyes a thought ran into my mind, I was so fascinated with the window seats since my childhood that I could fight and die to grab one true, some things don't change ever no matter where you have been or what you have done the innocence within you never dies, the child within you refuses to bough down to our adulthood. Some people whom we know part ways with us silently and become strangers and when they come back, we realize they were never lost but were safe within us as memories or symbols of our phases. I pat his head gently and he smiles half in sleep, my memories of the childhood innocence. And all of a sudden I miss my brother, the purest form of relation I have ever lived.

 One thing that amazed me that people didn't forget how to smile, even the strangers smiled back at me and I felt at peace on the assurance of the existence of a simple emotion called humanity.
 The roads winded up, skewed closer to the sky, the hills, the houses on the hills all passed us with feverish admiration of our eyes.

We walked tirelessly towards Ruskin Bond's home, the local boy who was there always for me while growing up everyone we asked regarding the directions smiled and directed us somewhat eagerly. It is said that oxygen drops at high altitudes but then why wasn't I breathless? Strange but then there was a certain ecstasy some kind of trance that made me more alive. We reached.


As I sat staring the wind chimes, hearing them a thought ran across my mind that I will be happy to die here and if that stops the time here I will be happy to die, I came here in confusion to seek answers. I was in a conflict, again and I was into two shreds, divided, I had just discovered my duality and was running away from it still going nowhere. The more I ran the more I got dangerously closer to facing my inner most demons, I had led a cloaked life for the last seven years, sealing in tightly my demons, my muses of creativity to lead a “normal” materialistically happy life and I loved what I was doing still my old lover called me and it told me to leave but I didn’t want to as somewhere while acting to be in conformity with the society I had grown within me a dangerous thing for real, Moral obligation and then it happened I heard two sounds one of bamboo another metal and the harmony they produced together and then in me came a realization that my life, my being, my existence is as multifaceted and harmonious in its dual existence and now here I stand that I want both of them, I can’t be as crazy as I was before neither can I succumb to conformity. My existence lies in this duality and I was ready  to wear masks while I always will have two faces.

I closed my eyes and my mind ran clear. I felt a bliss never known of. I would have sat there for eternity but then my friend called me up and I joined him back reluctantly on my way back happy still and at peace.

A special thanks to my friend Vaibhav Shrivastava for some amazing photographs that he clicked. Image courtesy Vaibhav Shrivastava.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Flowers in the City

I landed in the City of Joy, Kolkata (Calcutta) in the monsoons of 2007. Oh what a monsoon it was! It drenched and drowned the city, This City was my dream every year when I came into the city as a "tourist" I had a dream of living in this city and in the year 2007 I finally realized my dream but how! This matter shall be discussed after but what was amongst the first things to catch hold of my attention was the flowers. In the most uncouth of the places you will find them all fresh and ready. Flowers for all purposes, entwined with the life till death. Marigolds for Gods Roses for Lovers, afterall these are the two things that are with the city maybe even before the city was born love for God and love for the Carnal instincts and our skewed confused and vibrant origins tell us all about our famed and loved and cherished promiscuity.
 I sighed when I saw ladies intently selecting roses for her lover half flower half bud, promising to be a beautiful manifestation of full blown youth while it opens, indication of the virginity the lady holds physically while her mind swings in the bouts of sweet ecstasy of eroticism on seeing her lover. My days of love were gone maybe too soon, actually think it twice my days of pining away in love burning in the agony of parting ways was never long lived, my addiction for a person was so short lived and I was so self absorbed that I never truly loved anyone but myself, so, guess a flower for my narcissistic self.

You will never find happiness and joy so hand in hand living in a beautiful harmony as this, a bouquet for the happy beginnings and a wreath for the sad partings which might be a happier beginning for the departed.....who knows?

My fast moving feet stopped when I saw a couple selecting the best bouquet as a gift for a special occasion alongside of a disheveled son  in mourning choosing the best wreath for his parent-the last give ever to be given. Strange white is the colour of peace and mourning, indicating may be that while it's mourning for us but it's the ultimate peace for the departed. Red being the colour of love and war both may indicate that too much of passion may be for both will leadto destruction so be addicted to them if you crave doom. Preachy? maybe but can't help.

Though not very old, I still remember rummaging the entire neighborhood in my search of particular flowers, leaves for those special days of worship we became wanderers explorers, pseudo botanist, geologist, thieves, pirates, negotiators and what not. We searched amongst the wild shrubs, we peeped in the households, sneaked for that one leaf, grass, flower; negotiated with the elders if caught, showed puppy eyes and ran fast and hard if everything failed and now when I see all my childhood collectables and my hard earned expeditionary success comes easy in a package starting from five rupees, but this easy access doesn't have the scent of childhood innocence, along with my innocence lost is the innocence gifted to God I guess.

You will seldom find a young man selling flowers, this is the foray of ladies the older the better, Their grey old age sits there quietly almost mocking the colours of the flowers, they betray the corporate norm of retiring at sixty, they somewhere make us realize that all opposites mingle and become one at a point.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Tree and A Dream

My dreams will one day go
Beyond that tree in the courtyard,
Whose gaze meets my doubting eyes
While I sit steady caressing the firmness with my eyes
The window panes delude me
While they partially hide your form
Real or a trifle fantasy but I know
My dreams will reach the soul of the tree.
And one day I will lie beneath it's shining shade
All full of this alive death; as I slip into the limbo.

My dreams will one day soar and fly high
They will go beyond the calm
And will reach the turbulent tranquil sea
Only to meet you by the side of the soul tree
And bathe in the red from the setting sun
And dry in the warm moonlight
The coming dawn shall usher purity out of adultery,
Which was committed while sleeping in the moonlight
With the essence of the burning sun deep embedded in my flesh.

My dreams will one day breathe and sustain
And will go beyond my life and it's feeble mortality
It will reach out to the doomed domination of the  death
And will go overlapping this boundary
And will reach the eternal tree of my dreams

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Teddy in a bag

Sitting pretty all done and ready
Suffocated all tied up and wrapped
In the pretence of preserving the innocence
Lies the Teddy in a bag of silence
Shouting screaming sobbing
But to no avail; innocence has its value in silence
When a mind thinks and worse it speaks out
It's blasphemy beyond all measures
Where ignorance and innocence are synonyms
Knowledge wears the crown of the highest sin
And the soul which strives freedom is gagged
Put as a show for the innocence lusting eyes.
The pout so pretty is but a muffled scream
An agony to be freed efficiently subdued
The eyes so pretty do bleed tears
And the throttled whispers reach no one
The scars of innocence writ large
Sits the Teddy quietly in a plastic bag.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Fragement Years Back

I was lying there beside you
All numb for the rest of the night
Thinking and wondering, laying still but fumbling
Saying a thousand words to you
But not uttering a single one
I wanted to hold you but
My pride had the better of me
I wanted to stop you
Postpone your sweet tying up
Alter the fixed date of joy
Just wanted to give my emotions a chance
Just wanted to give us a chance
But never mind.....I didn't
As you slept on, tired.........all hungry
As you mumbled there in your sleep....all unfulfilled
I saw you......I saw you sleeping
I rested my palms on your cheeks
I saw you...........I saw through you
And let our moment pass unnoticed
I wanted you to be freed.....I wanted you for me
I sighed and laughed at my greed
You were my want not my need
I was at my weakest
I was exposed and felt my soul naked
So i kept quiet all wounded
And let the time, our time pass

And now when I see you after the years
I smile and ponder
That night, flashes clear
And I smile reminiscing
The morning after the moment
When I was happy that I let it pass
But I was at peace that I let myself live and love
Over and over again