Innocence can drive off sadness

Children are really a bundle of joy. They can fix your mood anytime anywhere. Be it a human child or a kitten or a puppy, they always provide you immense joy with just an innocent look or act.
One day in the evening while I was returning from college I run onto a friend with whom I chatted away on the road for about 20 minutes. By the end of our long talk, since we were meeting after almost a year due to lost connection, I saw a toddler walking past us with her mom. The lady was talking over the phone most probably; while the little girl was in no mood of walking, she was being dragged on to keep up with her mother’s pace. She looked so cute, about three years of age this little girl was dressed as a garden princess. She wore a red and white polka dots frock and had a beautiful bow round her tiny head. She walked with such bubbly graceful steps that anyone nearby would love to dance along with her down the road. All the way long she was staring at us with such joyfully wide open eyes. Her little head turned with her change of direction as she went past my right to my left, and she was turning back at every step. By then we had finished talking and had to move on to each other’s way. So I turned and walked the way this cutie was walking, and even then she was sweetly staring at me, so I smiled at her and waved my hand at her. Her suppressed smile opened up to a hearty laugh and she waved back at me. She looked back at her mother perhaps for permission to talk to a stranger, but by then I had entered into my apartment and they had walked further away so I could not watch her graceful steps any more. It would not be possible to describe in words the sudden fresh feeling and liveliness I experienced even after the day’s tiredness!
A toothless chuckle from a tiny onlooker can be so much joy. He was sitting on his mother’s lap and playing with a strand of her hair, when I got up the bus and sat beside his mother. He looked up at my face with awe. Then he kept observing me for a while, then again he got busy with chewing his mother’s hair and pulling them. But as soon as the bus stopped at a traffic signal, his discomfort was very much visible. He started moving frantically and tried to get down on the floor, but his mother held him tightly and pulled him back to the seat every time he tried to slide down, suddenly he notice me back. I smile at him; I got back no such greeting from the other side. Then suddenly he put his little fisted hand forward hesitantly and touched my wristwatch which was glistening in the sunlight. Then gathering enough courage he bravely pulled it along with my hand and gave a hearty laugh as the glistening thing came close to his eyes and he could scrutinize it carefully with his large questioning eyes. This smile gave me consent to be friends with him and press his chubby chicks lightly. His smile burst out into a laugh turning his cheeks red like cherries.DSC_0319
Just the day before yesterday, on my way to college I was very late and hence tensed. All my tension just disappeared within a click on seeing a beautiful little yellow striped kitten carefully fiddling with a ball of paper on the pavement. It had a wonderful and pleasing complexion, and had very tiny hair standing at its back and the small tail was straight up in the air, like that of a scorpion. Kittens are so close to immense joy providers. They are soft, cozy and lovely little bundles of happiness. When I see them play together or sleep over one another, I feel as if there’s nothing on earth that can make me sad. How I wish I had my camera along when I was cuddling with the three beautiful kittens on a friend’s terrace yesterday. I so wished to carry them back home with me, even my friend agreed and also offered me his rabbit free with the 3 kittens! They are just so adorable; no one can suppress their desire to keep them. It is a treat for the eye to watch their heads go sideways and up and down when you try to lure them with a woolen ball dropping and rolling it in front of them.
To fill you day with joyful laughs try and get to keep babies or kittens around you!! It would definitely help.

Today all of a sudden I cried a lot, but now I am feeling better. We all take time to understand the rules of life, but once we get to know them we never forget them. Life is not short or boring, life itself has lot to offer you, it is your job to see the right things waiting for you and never let go of an opportunity. Today while I spilt a lot of my precious tears I understood or rather realized it once again that I am in a much happier state than many others, after I watch ‘Lootera’ in the evening. Now it may sound silly to gain wits from a film, but it is very true in my case. I may not have acquired everything I have wanted to but I did get some of my wishes fulfilled. There are many who lead worse lives than me, some do not have homes to live in, some don’t get food to eat, while some get every luxurious thing in life, but the most inexpensive thing which can never be bought, live a life without love. Many of us having all of this whine about not having a dress like our neighbour has, or not having a boyfriend to go out on a date with and such other unimportant things.
What is it if you could not continue your relationship with the man/woman of your dreams? At least you got to experience the love and care he/she gave you, and of course the inexpressible feelings of falling in love, once in life. Think of the souls who never had anybody to love them but just got wasted away their entire life. You definitely live a better life than them.
May be you had expected more from life, but never let go of your faith in yourself, because a shattered love story can never be an end of your life, but it can always be a new beginning. Now, new beginning doesn’t mean that you’ll have another man or woman in your life but it can mean that you start accepting and dealing with life all together in a different way. The wound in your soul is the very instrument that has made you strong and taught you to live a new life.
I might not have got what I thought I deserved, but then I have to accept time and life that way it is. I cannot change the rules of the universe. And I might always have a melancholy memory buried deep in my heart and that may also become fresh at different intervals of time, but I have learnt to live freely and with God’s grace I have successfully divided myself into two beings. One, that is always lost in his thoughts but never lets another soul understand my mind, and the other, which counters every action my one part does. The latter part is the part that the world sees and examines, while the former is the part that is meant only for me to enter into. No one can ever penetrate into this part of me without my permission.
There’s always such two parts in every one of us. We just have to secure one of them with our mental passwords.

Paramount Thirst

People may have various kinds of thirst- thirst for water, for tea, for coffee etc. But today I discovered something that stands out of the lot- ‘thirst for Sherbet’, after tasting “Dub Sherbet” at Paramount.
I have never had ideas of how tasty and nutritious a fancy drink can be until I tasted “Green Mango” of Paramount, a stand-alone place for sherbets, the first time some 4 years back with my mother on a trip to College Street to buy boring Physics books! This is the only known place for healthy non-alcoholic drinks in the whole of Kolkata! This place is almost hundred years old and surprisingly they have held up their tradition and business both while catering to the needs of their beloved customers. Paramount is a small sherbet parlor, a place where merely thirty customers will fit at a time, but none will ever leave a chance of tasting a drink from there.DSC_1862
History of this place dates back to the early 1900’s. This shop for sherbets was started way back in 1918, with the name Paradise, at College Square, during the British Raj in India. Later in 1936 the name was changed to Paramount. Many Swadeshi activists like Subhash Chandra Bose, Meghnad Saha, Kazi Nazrul Islam and many more had their meeting venues here, and with those crucial meetings developed the sale of sherbets. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy was a staunch supporter of the Swadeshi movement and he was very much against drinking tea, since at that time the British were the owners of the tea gardens. His view on not drinking tea even though it was cultivated in his native land was, that, if one buys tea he’s actually paying the British, he is giving away his money to Britain and thus not being a part of the Swadeshi movement. This man not only was of immense important to the world of Science but also to the then owner of Paramount, Nihar Ranjan Majumdar. Acharya P.C Roy had given him a secret recipe, which changed the business history of that sherbet parlor. As in those days students had limited budget for their lunch and transport, spending after a mere sherbet was considered a luxury. To make the sherbets cheaper, the owner either had to degrade the quality of his serve or run on a loss. He came up with a healthy solution. “Dub Sherbet”. A very simple but nutritious and worthy drink. It was basically made of the coconut water especially from Basirhat and some sweeteners and the thin flesh of the green coconut punched together to produce something which fills out one’s thirst, gives energy, and (the malai) meets one’s hunger. Three in one solution! This sherbet is the oldest and still surviving best of the restaurant, with a calorific value of 96. The first stated price for this sherbet was 50 paisa, and now due to the devaluation of our economy it has risen to 40 rupees!
Then with time and coordination of the friendly owners the business grew and their menu card stretched out longer. In the year 1992 Mrigendra Majumdar, the present owner, came up with a trial of his own invented recipe- “Cocoa Malai”. A drink based on butter milk and chocolate. The increasing fascination for chocolate and the healthy sides of it made him ponder upon a drink made from chocolates. This drink is not plain milk and chocolate but it has a whole lot of added nutritious value to it- cashews, almonds, raisins and of course the thing which makes it so exciting and unique- Kheer malai. This sherbet is not just delicious but high in nutritious value, for its rich content of dry fruits, milk and chocolate, with a calorific value of 4210. The first time it was priced Rs. 12, and now it stands high in the list priced Rs.60.
Paramount Thirst
Another very rare sherbet to be found there is the “Passion Fruit Sherbet (Ruvri based)”. For this sherbet they need to import good quality passion fruit from the USA, and punch it with Ruvri and serve a cool delicious drink. The passion fruit alone has high content of protein, sugar, dietary fiber, potassium and vitamins. Consumption of this fruit also lowers the risks of high blood pressure. Though this drink is costlier than the rest, once you taste it you’ll find its worth. It has a calorific value is 4710.
With all these famous and tasty sherbets adds on the humble man’s personal touch to his customers, that draw in more and more loyal sherbets lovers to this heritage spot. It is an advice to all the gourmands out there, whenever you go to College Street, please visit this parlor, and you’ll naturally find yourself drawn in there every time you come nearby.
Dated – 6.9.13

Time for some re-adjustment

Recently people have forgotten to say “excuse me” or even the most colloquial “ektu side deben” but they will simply push you aside and stamp on your foot and make their own way! This disgusting and uncultured behaviour has recurred again after the Pujas.

Today I had to go out with my mother for some marketing, and had to face the crowd pouring in for the Laxmi Puja preparations. I got pushed and hit about four times! and Two of them were deliberate acts. Once, a fat woman was going to enter a shop, by the gate of which I was standing, in place of asking me to move aside, she just pushed me with her sweaty hands and made her way into the shop. The immediate feeling I had, was to drag her down the stairs and order her to ask me for forgiveness.

The next time, it was a man somewhat in his 50s. He was walking dramatically with a folded umbrella in his hand and hitting anybody and everybody in front of him with it while marching on the crowded road. As soon as his annoying umbrella touched my back I spun around and hit him in his ribs with my elbow. To my utter surprise, he never bothered to question this act of mine; rather he kept on walking the same way hitting another man in front of him. After a while, mom and I had moved on to another shop, while she was buying vegetables I was looking here and there and caught sight of that man again, this time it seemed that he was doing, what he was doing, deliberately. He found immense joy in poking or hitting others with his umbrella, and also being hit back! As this time I was glaring at him he might have felt uncomfortable to continue with his silly deeds, so he moved a bit away, but my glare didn’t have long lasting effects. On the other footpath I thought I saw him trying to poke another woman with his umbrella. I have a feeling that this sort of people has nothing called shame or repentance. They continue doing things which annoy others and get paid back the same way but they don’t hold the wisdom to even understand the cause of their misfortune. They even get verbally abused and sometimes even the mob might charge them, but they won’t stop their perverted and sadistic activities.

Once in a bus, or rather a mini bus, a woman was standing with a child in her arms right in front of the door. People in front of me and I had to get down in the next bus-stop, so we started moving forward. Since the bus won’t stop for long, people were in a rush to get down or getting ready to hear a mouthful from the conductor. A woman who was just before me, looked at the woman with the child and gestured her to move aside, but she didn’t, and not just she didn’t, but also she stood in a way as if she owned the place, stretching out her large self and standing like a wall in the way of the passengers to get down the bus. Now, with no other option this lady before me had to make her way out with as much less trouble as possible. Then the woman with the child let out a scream and said “Why, can’t you see I am holding a child??”, with an angry expression. This lady was so frustrated with her behaviour that she didn’t bother to reply her and waste her time. Since I was just behind her, I had to find some solution to this screaming since I have a high disliking for loud noises! So I calmly suggested her, “Why don’t you move aside and stand sideways? That way  you can also stand comfortably and others can also get down freely.”

“Where?? Where shall I move??” came in the swift and sharp reply.

“Here, stand sideways.” I had to literally show her how to stand!! And suddenly her angry face gave way to a relaxed one. This drastic change made me laugh as soon as I got down from the bus; her high pitched scream resulted down to a barely audible “Okay…” And there she stood normally allowing the others to walk in and out.

Some people cannot and do not want to adjust, rather they will try to prove others wrong and quarrel and make issues out of things of trifle importance. If you adjust with the rest, it will be your own benefit rather than wasting your energy and time quarreling and scuffling with them. But, yes, on certain cases you do need to protest and do what you think should be done, but never forget to keep your calm, because once you lose it you wouldn’t know what you are capable of; and there wouldn’t be any difference between you and a criminal.

 

Egyptian Glory enters Tollywood

The plot of Mishor Rahasya revolves around Hieroglyph, an ancient form of ancient Egyptian writing system which used pictures to describe words and actions. An Egyptian business man hires Raja Roychowdhury to decipher the meaning of some hieroglyphic writings by his teacher, Mufti Mohammad, during his sleep, thinking that he might have written his will, giving information about treasures. To decipher the meaning of the pictures Kakababu has to take a trip to Egypt himself to track down the mystery while he cannot tell anybody the meaning of the writings. Kakababu sets his adventurous feet on Egypt along with his nephew Shontu declining all the pleas of an CBI official who suspected that another disciple of Mufti Mohammad is trying to kidnap Kakababu and force him to tell them the meaning of Mufti ‘s will. Things take a turn when they land up in Egypt and Kakababu gets kidnapped by Aquadi’s men.

This film directed and scripted by Srijit Mujherji, and based on the story written by Sunil Gangopadhyay, is a master piece; everything seems well planned and executed. Prosenjit Chatterjee has proved his acting skills yet again fitting extremely well into the role of Raja Roychowdhuri aka “Kakababu”, starting from his attire and appearance, to allowing himself to become the character he has excelled in the art of acting. Devdaan also has done a great job as Shontu. No wonder Indraniel Sengupta can be one among the best villains in the film industry. His journey from “Dashami”, and “Kahaani” has given him a twist in his career, to focus more on negative roles.

The dialogues are as usual, very unique, given the patent of Srijit, they are entertaining and yet informative. Though the actual story is based on the 1960s-70s, Srijit has given his film a contemporary look. One should really look out for some scenes, like in the one when “Kakababu” fights two men with his stick and the action sequence is frozen to bring the comics-sketch effect; the scene just before the interval when Hani Alquadi is shown form the back and the camera pans and moves to a different angle covering the whole of Alquadi’s physical feature standing out in the desert rock background, and definitely the surprising scene of Alquadi’s disguise. It also has a spine-chilling climax underneath a pyramid.

The music by Indraadip Dasgupta, no wonder, has matched every sequence of the film making your heart brim up with adventure and fun.

This puja, watch out for this wonderful adventure packed film, and make your holidays worthy. I would love to declare this as one of the best Bengali films that I have watched.

mishor rahasya

Martini

Yesterday before leaving my home I was working at the desk, eyes fixed on my computer as usual. Perhaps I was checking some of my recent photographs just then I heard a noise. Mind it I heard a ‘noise’, not a mere sound, I ignored it but the noise continued. I assumed it was a bird perched at the window, that it was, but this little bird was too loud, and attention seeking! As soon as I turned to look at the source of the sound, I discovered a Martin sitting at the window grill, fluttering its tail and squeaking loudly staring intently at me. It seemed as though this tiny bird was out of companionship and wanted me to spend some time sharing my photographs and chatting with him. No sooner than it noticed me looking at it, it simply turned its head sideways as if to ignore me! I found this action quite funny. To test the bird I turned back to my computer screen, and it began squeaking again very loudly. I turned and it looked away, as if it was playing hide and seek with me, only the intensity of the hiding was limited to the eye contact we might make!

Oh goodness what timing! It was so fast, sporty and attentive, that it kept record of the very sudden movement of my head and turned its face away from me in just appropriate time. I tricked it twice and what happiness I got from that little game we shared! I took time in facing the noisy bird, and it seemed impatient and kept on and on squeaking until suddenly I turned towards it and it was caught red handed staring widely at me! And to manage the situation it quickly faced to its left, but then realized that it was a wrong decision and that I could watch it more vividly. So then immediately it rotated it head half way round the window and faced its right. Then this weird surprise game continued for a while until we both lost interest on the uncommonness between us and my little bird and friend for minutes flew away.