City Of Joy-

With the festive season starting, you get so much to look and hear at! Yesterday being Ganesh Puja and today being Vishwakarma Puja, Kolkata went all noisy and busy throughout the week preparing and annoying pedestrians! College goers planned for mass bunks with an excuse of traffic issues, and overload of assignments which they have to finish, but spent the day sitting back like a couch potato and doing nothing. Well, I had planned for a kick off start, and I did start the day pretty good but laziness is more rewarding, as it seems. On the way to the market early in the morning, my ears had a pretty hard time taking in all the noise. Actually they are supposed to be music, loud music. But when you combine several levels of high pitch loud musical sounds, it becomes noise.

I could hear, “Yeh zameen ruk jayeen, aasma jhuk jayeen…”, “Paglu, uuuu, uuuuu, thora sa karle romance…”, “Lungi dance lungi dance lungi dance…”, “Saree ke fall sa tujhe match kiya re!” and the traffic honking and shouting all at once!

Having trouble to cross the road, I, who never watches out for signals, had to wait by the roadside for several minutes to concentrate. These enthusiastic and dedicated devotees were not just contributing to polluting the environment with noise pollution but also had let out numerous not-so-used-to-walking pedestrians on the street, since there are scanty public transport available on such occasions. They walk around aimlessly, halting every now and then to scan the street and to stare around mesmerized at how fast other people can move! They take the whole of the footpath to walk, and do not allow anyone to overtake their strolling speed.

In case you ask them to excuse you, either they’ll be deaf to hear you, or they will take a full 180 degree turn to look at you in misery (not understanding the cause of your haste), or they will throw an angry look as you which might say, “How dare you ask me to make way for you? I’m the fat king/queen of the footpath. It’s my, all mine.”

Hence the new generation hasty people like me, are forced to walk down the road to reach every destination slightly quicker than usual. And continues the head banging noise in the background, all the songs screaming for attention. Done with my grocery shopping I headed back home. On the way, something tells me to look up at the sky- ‘Bho Katta’ shouts a little boy on a field, he has successfully beaten his friend on the kite battle. A bright red kite comes down floating and another boy runs around to catch it, while the defeated friend looks on with a long face. Kolkata hosts the kite festival, in all lane and by-lane every year on the day of Vishwakarma Puja, (17-18 September).

The colourful sky is sure to make you forget all the sorrows of life, and all the work that you have probably lined up for the day. Yet again I became lazy witnessing the beauty, and got back home and invested all my time in listening to music (one at a time), and sleeping!

‘Bho Katta’ – an exclamation of joy on winning a kite battle.

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Space management!

Do you possess good management skills? I’m not talking of holding an MBA degree and managing a corporate house, rather I’m hinting on managing home and your own belongings. Sometimes, I’m messy. But my mom claims me to be the world’s most irresponsible girl who doesn’t manager her room, or help her family with the household chores! Always.

But it is this messy, grown-up good-for-nothing girl who de-clutters things!… Once in a while… And then the well organized lady, walks into my room stealthily and shoves in a few laundry or grocery bills, cardboard boxes (investments to help you earn a few rupees from the kabadiwala), an old wall clock (which may be used later on in life) or other supposedly important stuff, on my desk or under my bed. Then one fine morning, she will yell about, how dirty my room is!

During my school days, whenever someone accused me of wrongdoings, I attacked back to prove my innocence. But age and experience has taught me, that the key is to keep calm and drive people crazy. They will howl and grudge about everything, as their motto is to ignite violence in you and start up a ferocious fight of accusations. Once you master the art of keeping calm and displaying a poker face things automatically cool down around you.

There are a few hilarious incidents that I got to witness among my not-so-good-at-space-management friends. This beautiful and talented sample I shared a room with during my internship season, had a mountain of clothes by the end of her bed, but whined everyday about not having enough clothes, while getting ready for office. She felt too lazy to fold the clothes and search through her amazing collection. Suddenly one day, I notice her doing the unthinkable job! Why? Because the previous night, one of her favourite shirts had rolled down the mountain and over her face like a huge spider would, and that scared the hell out of her! Not only did I burst out laughing, but also felt good that mom’s continuous complains had made me a good space manager.

During some evening snacks at another friend’s place, the jar of cookies overturned from the peak of books and newspapers letting out the contents in mid-air! The moment was full of suspense and action, as I could see things in S…L…OOO…WW….MM…OOO…TI…ON. The friend jumped forward, hands stretched to catch the falling cookies (They were our favourite), and he saved them risking his back on which he landed grabbing all the cookies. Perfect timing! But poor space management skills, that caused the accident.

For years I have tried to keep such events from happening, and yet just a few days ago, I dropped a fat book from my desk, that was busy providing space to my desktop system, cell-phone, watch, loose sheets of papers (definitely stuffed by mom), nail-polish, water bottle and of course my hair clips!!

History repeats itself, in different forms and situations!

Beware of Idolators!

Humans have believed in the supernatural ever since creation of the human race. Ways of believing and worshipping the Almighty may differ in various ways. Some religions accept idol worship while some do not. But the prime matter of trust and faith in God is and should be the same. In many cases the prime cause of worshipping God results from fear in the supernatural and other fears of Sin and religious rituals preached by Religious leaders. There is always another way to reach a spot, and every individual has the right to choose their own path and not follow the herd, or call names to someone who chooses a different route.

Moving on to a more lucid topic, idol worshippers have several concepts and ideas. There’s this concept where the idol is given life and allowed to be resided by God during pujas, and after the ritual is complete, comes the part of visarjan or idol immersion. The idea of visarjan is not just drowning the idol, but first allowing God to leave that idol or the body in which God was residing during the puja. After visarjan, the value of the idol subsides drastically.

Another group of believers think that one must always pay respects to idols of God and Goddesses wherever and whenever they can be seen.

There’s nothing wrong with Idol worshipping, but the concept must be clear. That supernatural power you believe in resides everywhere, in everything and every being. But for a better focus and concentration of thought we choose to have an idol in front of us for an effective and satisfying form of spiritual communication.

One of the best and peaceful way to be lead a blissful life is to not get too involved into the materialistic world, which is next to impossible for the normal humans… So, we are mostly not so blissful. Jokes apart, there is no reason whatsoever to allow anybody to think that the people who make these idols are lowers beings. And neither to the gods and goddesses come flying down from the sky, they are man-made, and not always following very convenient and cheerful ways. For example the photograph below.

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This cute and unfinished Ganesa idol was left to dry by the side of a road, next to which is a stinking garbage dump.

So people, when you disregard other forms of life by looking down upon them or stigmatizing them, keep in mind that all the idols and photographs of God, that you worship have spent time in worse conditions and situations as well. Hence when you can’t disrespect that form of God, do not disrespect the other more prominent forms either.