Thursday, February 20, 2014

The obligatory February post

It is yet another February. It is just that I am not in Kolkata this time either.

Exile hurts. Self-exile, on the other hand, can be excruciating.

It will not be an exaggeration to call Kolkata February the best month in any place in the world. And this time I chose to miss it.

I chose to miss that smell of dry dust in Maddox Square in the evenings. The first time they brought the football out and tried to conquer the cricket battlefield.

I chose to miss that near-itchy feeling that makes you crave for someone would scratch your back for ten minutes (at least). You know what I am talking of, right? You sit under the ceiling fan, and then, suddenly at two in the afternoon you get the first prickly-heat feeling on your back, and…

I chose to miss Book Fair (which meant I lost a chance to get copies signed first-handed by Tanmay and Kuntala — two of my favourite authors — both of whose books came out this year). I do not miss Benfish, though. I wish I could finish an entire book on the grounds the way I did in 1997.

I chose to miss the late nights when you feel that a very light sweater wouldn’t have been that bad an idea. You work all day in an air-conditioned office till, say, midnight: and then, when your office transport races down the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, you decide after a while that it is time you rolled up the window pane.

I chose to miss the month that evokes childhood memories the most.

I chose to miss the month that brings the orgasmic best out of ice-cream. Especially at Scoop.

I chose to miss Saraswati Puja for no apparent reason. Okay, maybe because girls used to look pretty in yellow sarees when I was young. Especially that girl I had seen crossing Manohar Pukur Road in 1991. I wonder what her name is.

I chose to miss the breeze against the shins for the first time in the year when I summon those shorts that had been tucked away neatly for winter.

I chose to miss facing the shower with my head held high for the first time in the year.

I chose to miss toying over that thin line between nothingness on one hand and the ceiling fan-quilt combination on the other.

I chose to miss the anxious, animated couples getting quieter inside the Nandan Complex as evening happened: after all, the excuse of shawls will not be an acceptable one for about a year.

I chose to miss watching the perfectly diagonal flight of those gray-white birds at Rabindra Sarobar. I wish I knew what they are called.

I chose to miss Kolkata turning a Pantaloon’s end-of-sale into a Choitro Sale.

Kolkata did not choose to disown me. When I look back at the barren sky on my way to work I realise it’s the same sky back there. I know it’s further towards the East — or rather, from where the Sun rises. I realise the Sun kisses my city on its way to this city; and then the rays kiss my cheek.


Maybe, just maybe, if I search frantically, there is a little bit of my city hidden somewhere in those rays.

28 comments:

  1. Why don’t you write as well as you used to?

    This read a li’l formulaic, and mandatory. May be because, as you say here, you are craving but NOT really getting the magic! :)

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    Replies
    1. I guess I am past it.

      This, however, is a mandatory post.

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    2. Spare him! He's disoriented in pain.

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    3. Hobe na! Bhalo lekha is more mandatory.

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  2. Kolkata is at its seductive best,
    But the poor man needs to earn his bread :'(
    With such love buried deep and sincere
    You will always be each other's dear :)
    Little effort can put our muffin through
    If only to look back one day and see how time flew!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I second Sinjini, you used to write much much better.

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    2. My bad, my bad. Will try to improve. I promise.

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  3. Abhishek da, you sound quite upset. No, not the nostalgia-wala upset, this'll be the 'Why-is-it-not-a-rainy-day?!'-wala upset. Well if it is any consolation, it rained here and reverted the whole scenario back to winter. Winter, at least to the indigenous population of hypochondriacs.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. I am upset. Or well, sort of upset. But then, I chose it.

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  4. Touched a chord, and the line 'Maybe, just maybe, if I search frantically, there is a little bit of my city hidden somewhere in those rays' won hands down. Onektai Kolkatar moton tobuo jeno Kolkata na. But yes, you can indeed do much better, I second Shinjini.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have preferred if it had touched a cord instead. Also, "Shinjini" may not want her name to be spelled that way.

      All that apart, point noted.

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    2. I LOVE my name to be spelled that way! I haven't really ever forgiven my parents for spelling it the wrong way.

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    3. You have a nice name anyway. Reminds me of Monginis.

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    4. Your name remind me of.... Thak, ar bollam na! :/

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    5. That, my friend, is a mere typographical errors. Ignoring such trivialities is part of common etiquette.

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  5. Any thing born on 20th Feb, will have my support :)

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  6. Tanmay's book released last year from Srishtishukh.

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    Replies
    1. Indeed. And this time there has been a reprint with a lot of additions. You don't know what you have missed out on unless you've acquired it.

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  7. You also chose to miss the rains, this February. :)
    I loved the last line.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you. Finally something nice. :(

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  8. :( i don't know what I miss more. My city or the memory of my city that was.

    This is tugging-heart-strings stuff. Truly.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Thank you. I know exactly what you mean.

      Delete

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