Monday, May 18, 2015

It was not my fault that I went absconding

It has been over forty days since I have not written a blog post. Forty. That is the number of thieves Alibaba had to encounter. Forty days is also 1/45 of what Salman Khan’s original sentence was, and 192 times the duration he had to spend in jail or lock-up or wherever they imprison drunk drivers who kill black bucks, an animal whose name reminds me of unregistered money.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. There was, to begin with, India ka teohar (which translates to “a six-week festival when Sony MAX does not show Sooryavansham”). Following India ka teohar is a part of my profession. I basked in the festivities.

I watched lots of pre-match interviews live from grounds. In one of them I heard Sunil Gavaskar, supposedly India’s greatest opening batsman, asking Virat Kohli, India’s finest contemporary batsman, whether the latter’s girlfriend was present at the ground. We rewinded and replayed it at the newsroom. It was true. I wish the girlfriend had pulled off an NH-10 act soon afterwards.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I visited Kolkata to show off that I have not turned into a non-residential creature. Yet. I met several relatives and friends, which meant I had, for once, a social life.

It was not my fault that I went absconding.  I met those lovely people from Coup D'East (two of them for the first time) at Au Bon Pain (I mentioned the venue deliberately, to accommodate two French proper nouns in the same sentence).

I had beef at Mocambo with Amritorupa and bought Bengali books from College Street with Amritorupa, on the same day. I was also spared the effort of making my own coffee every morning. Given the benefits, enduring Bengali soaps was an acceptable castigation. I lived to tell the tale.

I also met Shakuntala, a 37-year-old man’s equivalent of what used to be a “best friend” at school, after two years. She will not be flattered, for she seldom reads what I write. I went to her place, acquired whatever she had got for me from USA, and dozed off immediately.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. During my Kolkata trip I was up against an earthquake, a fire at New Market (I was not present), hailstorms, an election, political riots, and a strike. The earthquake was particularly serious, for I marked myself safe on Facebook while watching a Test between England and West Indies at night. 

The strike was also serious, because I had an afternoon snack at home, followed by a “high-tea” with Sayantani, followed by coffee, sandwiches, and inane conversations with friends from a cricket group, followed by a heavy dinner at home.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I took time to get used to the brutal humidity of Navi Mumbai. Check weather.com screenshot below as an example. This is certainly not the kind of weather under which quality bloggers thrive.
  

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I have been discussing Harry Potter (for she has started a wonderful book-by-book series on the epic) over the phone and on chat with Amritorupa. There have been calls where we got to know that our service providers automatically disconnect calls after long, long conversations.

Following these inane discussions, she penned down eagerly-anticipated blog posts, one for each book (she would have done the same without the discussions as well).

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I watched Piku, one of the most heart-warming movies I have ever seen. Deepika Padukone used to be an actor I associated with her anti-depression stance. Piku took her to the next level, where she overshadowed Amitabh Bachchan easily (my heart breaks to admit this, but he went way, way overboard with his stereotypes) and Irrfan, with some effort.



Piku deserves special mention, for I cried in the end. I also wondered how a Konkani lady managed to look so Bengali (more than some Bengalis: Bipasha Basu, for example). I dissected her looks, trying to compare her with other Bengali
Courtesy: Somewhere on the internet

Bengalis, and found out the amazing job done by the makeup artist: they did the eyebrows a bit, did not do anything to the lips, and made her already awesome eyes more prominent with a dash of kajol or mascara or whatever mysterious thing it is that women use.
  
They also added the ubiquitous tip (bindi). The tip (Shilpa or otherwise) is possibly as Bengali as anything I have seen, adorning foreheads or mirrors for centuries. Most importantly, Deepika mastered the Bengali accent the way few from outside the state have. At least she does not say KOLKOTA.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I also watched Bombay Velvet, a movie that the world has disliked for some odd reason. The script was taut, the music enthralling, the sets mind-blowing, and the performances impressive. The movie also featured Raveena Tandon, of whom I got to know two things: first, she is called Raveena Tandon Thadani these days, and second, she will never age.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. There was the birthday-fest of Sachin Tendulkar, Satyajit Ray, and Rabindranath Tagore, which is nothing short of a fortnightly celebration for Bengalis. I lived up to the occasion by deleting WhatsApp-delivered images marking the same. Exactly why WhatsApp memes spread through images and not text is something I have never been able to fathom.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I watched Gupt thrice (or four times) over this period of time, and the more I watch it, the more I realize that the world has produced few whodunits to match its quality.

Note: In case you have not watched Gupt yet, I do not even know why you exist. Go and watch it. Till the end you will never be able to guess that Kajol is the killer.

It was not my fault that I went absconding. I bought toothpaste. I changed my Facebook cover picture twice a day. I became a Baba Sehgal fan all over again. I kept fighting a lost battle against adamant bed-sheets that refuse to get tucked under mattresses. I worked soft and partied softer. I went from CST to Dadar, changed trains, and went to Kurla — in the evening.

Most importantly, I used the word “thamba” to stop a Navi Mumbai auto-rickshaw successfully.

You see, it was not my fault that I went absconding. After all, this was also the month when I met my daughter. After ages.

56 comments:

  1. you spoiled the end of Gupt for me!! :'( you sadistic creature, you :P

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    Replies
    1. No no, it is so brilliantly made that you will never realise Kajol is the murderer! Trust me!

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  2. Truncated sentence towards the end of the second last paragraph.

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  3. 40 days and 40 nights, is also when Moses wrote the wrongs and rights.
    Au Bon Pain= With Good Bread. So either we presume there are no proper nouns in it. Or if you insist they are proper because of the first letter capitalization, then you have THREE French proper nouns in the same sentence.
    Among Tagore, Tendulkar and Ray, you forgot to mention a certain Mrs Nene to whom you chose to dedicate an FB post over your coffee-maker's 'day'! But then again, the coffee maker is simply a household appliance.

    Keep wondering how a Konkani lady looks more 'Bengali'. But perhaps you haven't met a certain blogger who goes by the name of Diptee Raut. Maybe she is part of Coup d'West and plans to infiltrate the East as a spy. Keep wondering. Wonderment is wonderful.

    Amritorupa has been writing some positively brilliant posts. She has been kind enough to mention you. And you piggy-back on her, like Betaal, to compensate on your lack of productivity!

    Seriousy! What an excuse of a post!
    (And I haven't even had my morning chai yet).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. Au Bon Pain is one French proper noun. Coup D'East is another. Why is this confusing?
      2. Diptee Raut is an honorary Bengali. But she does not look Bengali.
      3. I find it easier to blame others than to blame myself. Always.

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  4. Thank you .... onekdin pore tomar post ta pore amar aettota bhalo laglo .... happy to know j Mumbai aekhono tomay giley feleni

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  5. The earthquake was particularly serious, for we got to know dat all the girls felt the tremor as they were sitting on a chair or bed or sofa doing some brain work and no boys felt it as they were busy doing some physical work. The analysis came out that very day in a discussion with friends in the evening :D .

    The strike was also serious, because it made us travel from Darjeeling to Mondarmoni to Piyanki's home (bridgetree priyanki) over whatsapp ending finally with a 2 hr trip + hangout at Eco Park.

    onekdin por tomar blog porchi abar....besh mon bhalo hoe jay....Chetan Bhagat's next book title - ta amar just mindblowing legeche...too good,tumii paro

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  6. এভাবেই ফিরে আসা যায়। :)

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  7. Ah!! you are back, with all the panache!

    P.S. You came to Kolkata? :O Why are you hell-bent on getting into my 'To-Kill' list. I already have a prolific blogger in it; I don't need one more

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  8. শুনবো না যা-
    সেই তো রাণী, সেই তো রাজা
    সেই তো একই ঢাল তলোয়ার
    সেই তো একই রাজার কুমার পক্ষিরাজে
    শুনবো না আর । ওসব বাজে।

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ওয়ান, টু, থ্রী
      কমেন্ট করল বৃ।

      Delete
  9. You didn't miss a Campari roll, did you?

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    Replies
    1. No way! I also went to Zeeshan and Bedouin!

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  10. Most importantly, the timing was good ... coming back in the third week of May, not the very end of May.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. I did not get that one. Despite the genius that I am.

      Delete
  11. গ্রীন্টীMay 20, 2015 at 12:43 PM

    শহরে এলেন, দেখা করলেন না, কথা বললেন না, কাজটা কি খুব ভালো করলেন অভিষেকবাবু?

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    Replies
    1. আর ভাই, সবাই তো জানে যে এসেছিলাম, আপনি একবার জানাবেন তো টীবাবু যে আপনি ইচ্ছুক!

      Delete
    2. আর ভাই, সে দিন কি আর আছে? ইচ্ছে মুখ ফুটে বলতে হতোনা একটা সময় ছিল।

      হেথা হতে যাও , পুরাতন । হেথায় নূতন খেলা আরম্ভ হয়েছে ...

      Delete
    3. কী খেলা? টীপটের দাপট?

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    4. সে বড় মায়াবী খেলা হে। সে বড় সহজ কথা নয়।

      Delete
    5. হ্যারি হে, সে তো হবারই কথা।

      Delete
  12. Had you written this post today, that would have made it 42 days. 42. The answer to everything. And hence this post would have not been necessary at all.

    Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. You could have said that two days before!

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    2. It wasn't the 42nd day then!

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    3. An "Abhishek, since you have waited for 40 days, it only makes sense to wait for two more" was in order.

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    4. That would have been so boring.

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    5. Yes, but you know how dependent on you I am when it comes to my writing. And blog.

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    6. Errrmmm. A 'bhery low IQ' question here. Exactly what is this discussion about? To blog or not to blog on the 42nd day? :/

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    7. Dropthetopicwerenotdiscussingthisanyfurther.

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    8. LOL! I know you dont want to discuss it further but Diptee's original comment was too funny and had me in splits! Thought I'd drop a note of appreciation for that!

      Delete
  13. Loved the post. The last line just killed the fun. As usual left me sad:(

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  14. And Piku was burlesque, Bachhan has lost his appeal(loud, overrated) Deepika shone and Irrfan was goodd:) Rest is history. Enjoyed the post. Immensely.

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  15. Charming! Stop making people sentu/senti with these last lines :).

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  16. Definitely not your fault that you went absconding, and us fans surely missed your presence.
    Here’s a little something I wrote related to Piku:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.in/gargi-mehra-/how-my-life-is-like-a-sho_b_7310706.html

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    Replies
    1. You, Madam, are an amazing writer.

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    2. Excellent! Thank you so much! On the strength of that compliment I will walk around now with my nose in the air and not speak to anyone for the remainder of the week.

      Delete
    3. You get pleased too easily, Madam.

      Delete
  17. Since you didn't mention the Peter Cat trip, or the obligatory packing exercise, I am only half flattered.

    ReplyDelete

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