Known Sensation / পরিচিত সংবেদন

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পরিচিত সংবেদন
না যাওয়া পথ, কেমন আছ? আজও জান্তে যে খুব ইচ্ছা হয়,
ভেঙ্গে ফেলা সপ্নের টুকরো গুলি  ছুঁতে যে এখনো মন চায়,
এত গুলি বছর পরেও আবার সেই মোড়ের সামনে দাড়াতে যে প্রাণ চায়,
কিন্তু, আমি কি পাল্টে গেছি? সেই প্রশ্নের উত্তর খুঁজতে যে এখনো ভয় হয় |

Porichito Sombedon (transliterated)
na jawa poth, tumi kemon acho? aajo jante je khub ichha hoy
benge phela sei soppner tukro guli chunte je ekhono mon chay
eto guli bochor poreo abar sei morer samne darate je pran chay
kintu, ami ki palte gechi? sei prosner uttor khunjte je ekhono bhoy hoy.

Known Sensation (translated )
Unexplored ways, how are you? Heart wants to know,
Broken dreams, still want to touch your strewn pieces,
Even after so many years want to stand before that crossroad,
but have I changed? Still, too afraid to answer that question.

Note: As always I tried to translate but could not get it right I think….

1 image 2 stories

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coffeerelated

The making

Still remember, I was at my usual place, cozy corner by the window, sipping my black coffee.  A couple was sitting outside with their coffees, hands held and gazes locked. Strong winds began blowing, flash! Clap! Down came large drops, pounding hard. They had to run. Boy tried to protect the girl with his coat, while her red umbrella lay behind. The board washed out in minutes.  The moment froze in my eternal frame. My perfect shot!

Memoirs of a sidekick
Still remember the moment, when you picked me off Macy’s and changed my life.  You had said, when I was around, you felt safe. Ever since, come rain or shine, I was there for you, protecting.
But today’s rain, along with the board over there, washed off many things.
First, it did hurt.  But I am really happy, that you found someone, ultimately. Yet, if you ever need me again, you know where the coffee shop is.

Note: These were my submissions for a 77 word fiction contest in my office quite sometime back, where you had to write a story, poem or non-fiction based on picture in 77 words….

When you are out of ideas you recycle your old stuff like I am doing here ….

It ain’t over yet!

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Yesterday, I met him while strolling in the park. He, who was an apprentice learning to weave fables and ballads at the dream factory. A strike by the workers followed by lockout in the factory rendered him jobless. Since then no one heard of him.
He was sitting on a bench lost in different world. I tapped on his shoulders and asked, “Hello my friend! How are you? Where have you been, so long?” He was startled.
“I went on a little vacation.” He answered still lost, “Were you looking for me? Are you missing me?”
“Yes of course. I am missing your fables, now that you are back, do we get to read your tales soon?” I inquired.
He looked up, pointed to the stars and muttered “maybe”. Then, walked out of the park without turning back.
If you are wondering what was the last paragraph all about. Well, it is about my meeting with my alter ego. It is said everybody has one. If you are a writer then you ought to have one. And my alter ego is the one who provides me with words that I weave and I was missing him for some time.
Talking of being a writer, one thing that every writer dreads is something called ‘writers block’. There comes a time in every writer’s life when words turn hostile. Stories just stop flowing and suddenly nothing inspires anymore and you feel helpless. What do you do then? I would say don’t panic; just relax, like they say ‘take the chill pill’. Let the writer inside go on a vacation. When it’s time, suddenly one day you’ll see the spark is back and words will start flowing like never before. It will all come back. I would like to thank my work friend L for  lighting the lamp by asking me to write a blog for our office internal blog .
Lastly, a remarkable year has come to end. The Mayans were not wrong after all, world did change for many of us. Looking forward to another eventful year. Wish you all a Happy and prosperous 2013.
PS: This an extract from a post for my office blog.

Would love to ‘Dhekur’ again!

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‘Dhekur’ is the Bengali word for burp. And we burp happily when we have a satisfying meal. Last Sunday I along with my family had been to this restaurant named Dhekur- Seven Hotels opposite Total Mall,Outer Ring road, East Bangalore.

Honestly, was little apprehensive after reading mixed reviews. But that vanished as soon we were in.
The ambiance was quite good and the place is large and spacious. The staff were quite cordial. The music was quite apt as they were playing our favorite Anjan Dutta’s popular songs.

We opted for the Sunday brunch which began with starters namely butter fry, fish fry, vegetable chop & pianji (onion pakora), salad and of-course kasundi and assorted chutneys. The pakoras and fries were fresh and hot from the pan.

For drink they have beer, soft drinks and aam porar sorbot (A mango based drink). The aam porar sorbot tasted exactly they way it should.
Then we had korai shuturir kochuri (peas puri)fresh from the kadai. Yeah! Loved the live counter idea.   This was a big hit with my family.

The main course had steamed rice, pulao, bhaja muger daal (moong daal), alur dom (dum aloo) as vegetarian options and bhetkir paturi (fish), kosa mangsho (mutton) as non-vegetarian options. Then aamer chutney (mango chutney) with papad.

Like it is said all’s well that end’s well…. for desert they had misti doi and chanar malpoa….
Point here is not the menu which is lavish but the taste which is authentic.

Last but not least price slightly on the higher side but it gets justified by the quality of food and service.

I would recommend Dhekur to anyone who want’s to taste ‘real’ Bengali food and hospitality.
Obviously, as long they are consistent, I would keep visiting.

Rating: 4/5

Address:
Dhekur – Seven Hotel
Seven Hotel, 39/5, Outer Ring Road, Marathahalli, Bangalore
Ph: 080 65794444, 080 65795555

Interpreter of Dreams

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He tried to hold dreams with his tiny hands,
but, like the sands of time, they slid away.
He wanted to play with dreams as if he did with toys from toy-land,
but ,like the ice-cream they melted away.
He chased the dreams as if they were geese in his backyard,
but at his slightest movement they cackled and flew away.
He wanted to grow up quickly and live the dreams,
but now, he sits quietly in his cell and interprets other’s dreams.

image courtesy:  http://www.alcorngallery.com/LC/images/InterpretationOfDreams.jpg

Vinay Pathak was nothing like Lear

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Last Saturday, I had a chance to watch the play “Nothing like Lear” by Rajat Kapoor, an Indian actor, writer and director.  Here, in this post I want to talk about my experience and this is not a review as I think I am not capable enough to do a review.

We had entered the auditorium about 10 minutes before the final bell, almost all seats were gone. The show was houseful.   The auditorium was nice with cozy seats, lighting etc. Actually there were more people than the number of seats so the authorities were having a little tough time adjusting people around. That’s when the director Rajat Kapoor came out to help. A lady close by was almost hysteric and frantically calling her husband to click a picture of the director. Nevertheless as people were adjusting to their seats, Vinay Pathak, the aktorey, as he calls himself in the play, dressed as a clown entered onto stage.

He began by addressing the audience, “It’s not started yet, you can do something else”, and thus began the ninety minutes of brilliance on stage. Vinay actively engaged with the audience with his powerful acting,  immaculate Russian English accent, his comic timing etc., which left audience captivated. Though taking pictures was not allowed, people were clicking from their cellphones and when Vinay noticed, he actually obliged fans by posing for them.

The play is intelligently written monologue.  It is a story based on Shakespeare’s one of the darkest plays, King Lear. It talks about old age, betrayal, tragic father-daughter relationship, travails of foolish love, etc quite similar to original play.

Like I said earlier, I did not realize how quickly the ninety minutes went by and the play was over before I knew. The audience was leaving reluctantly, probably they were wanting to watch more.

It’s going to be one of the best plays I ever watched.

बंजारा रही और वोह एक नज़र (Banjara Rahi aur Woh ek Nazar)

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Today, I stumbled upon 3 very old poems written by me  in Hindi at different points of time … when I read them now I found a chord between them …. just wanted to share it here …tried to translate it for non-Hindi readers but it did not turn out as I would have loved to :(

राही
तू तो है राही, चलना तेरा कम,
तुझे तो है मंजिलों की तलाश हर दम…
तो फिर, आज इस मंजिल के खोने पर कैसा ये गम?
उठ  रही,  भर  ले  अपने  क़दमों  में नई दम ,
फिर  किसी  नई  मंजिल  के  तलाश  में बड़ा अपने कदम…
मत  भूल तू तो है राही चलना तेरा कम,
तुझे तो है मंजिलों की तलाश हर दम…

बंजारा
वोह तो है इक बंजारा
न कोई मंजिल न कोई ठिकाना
आज इस गाँव तो कल उस सहर
फिरता है वोह डगर डगर

सब कहते है उससे दिल ना लगाना
उस को तो एकदिन है लौट जाना
फिर भी मिलते है नज़र
दिल को मिलती है हमसफ़र

एक नज़र
तेरे एक नज़र के दीदार को तरसते है उसके नयेन
तू एकदिन भी न दिखे तो नहीं आता उसे चैन
जब तू सामने होती तो मचलता है उसका दिल
धड़कने तेज हो जाती और साँस लेना भी होता मुस्किल
कैसी है बेचैनी क्यूँ है वोह इतना बेकरार
तू ही बता कैसे मिलेगा उसे करार …

Translations in English

Rahi (Traveler)
You are a traveler, traveling is what you do,
and you are always in search of a destination
so, why are you sad on losing this destination
get up o traveler, tighten your shoe laces
get going, in search of a new destination
as you are a traveler, traveling is what you do,
and you are always in search of a destination

Banzara (Wanderer)
He is a wanderer
Without any address or any destination
Today he is in this village tomorrow in some other city
Keeps roaming from place to place

They say don’t ever fall for him
Cause he will fly away someday
Yet the eyes meet
In search of the fellow wanderer

Ek nazar (one look)
Your one look is all he needs
He gets restless if doesn’t see you even for a day
When you are near his heart skips a beat
It starts racing and get breathless
Why is he so impatient? What’s stolen his sleep?
Now only you can relieve him from this current state

Good-Bye

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“There he is! It is your chance now, just do it” hissed the sly devil. Marraine hesitated for a moment, he was quick as always but before he could reach for the whip. Bang! Bang! Bang! He slumped down to floor with a thud.

He was still breathing but life was oozing out, yet that didn’t torment Marraine anymore, she had earned her freedom.

“Good-Bye! Love!”. Marraine dropped the smoking gun and walked out of the dungeon into glowing sunrise. ‘Ouch! That was easy.’ the devil smiled wryly.

Overwhelming Stockholm- Part I

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Before, I begin let me warn you, as I always do. This is the first of the four part series of long posts, about my trip to Stockholm, Sweden.

The beginning and the plan.

From the time we had come to Finland, we were planning a trip during the Easter weekend (long weekend). The names that came up was Lapland (Northern Finland), Stockholm, Norway and Switzerland. But almost all of the trips got dropped as they were turning out to be way off budget. Then we got the news that one of our friends from Bangalore was in Stockholm. The fact that we did not require to pay for accommodation made the trip lucrative. Coupled with it was the prospect of travelling to Sweden by cruise ship made the trip irresistible. So, once the mode of transport was decided, I began searching for cruises to Stockholm from Finland and found that there were only two competing companies, who operate between these destinations. Looking at the pros and cons of both we decided to try both the companies. That is go by one return by the other.

My friend in Stockholm, requested me to chart a tour plan for the 3 days that we were supposed to spend there. While I was researching, the first fact that overwhelmed me was, Stockholm has more than 80 museums and places of attraction. This made my job extremely difficult (I think you can imagine). Let me tell you that, for visitors, there are a lot of tips, accurate and official information about Stockholm available online. This helped me in getting a meticulous plan in place. After all the parties agreed to the plan we were ‘ready to go’.

The journey to Stockholm.

We are in a city called Pori and nearest city from where we can get ships to Stockholm is Turku. And as per plan we were to take the Viking Line ship M/S Isabella to Stockholm. We reached Turku harbor about two and half hours earlier. After a quick check-in we were waiting at the terminal. As we were hanging around in the lobby I spotted a huge, humungous ship approaching the terminal slowly. As it came closer we spotted its name. It was Viking Line M/S Isabella, our ship for the night. As the ship docked we got ready for boarding. Thirty minutes later they started the boarding process. On the entrance to the ship a boy and girl were performing Caribbean dance. Oh! Did I forget to mention that Viking Line was celebrating Cuba festival in all their ships? Yes, they had given everything from food to entertainment a Caribbean touch. After we were inside our cabin, we freshened up a little bit and then headed for the dinner. We had booked buffet dinner, which was a grand affair, with a wide variety of fish, chicken, ham, game meat (reindeer), desserts, ice-cream etc. My long time wish for tasting deer meat was finally fulfilled.
After the sumptuous dinner we went around the ship to explore different sections like restaurants, tax-free shops, club, disco et al. Then we moved to the ‘sun deck’, it was dark and nothing much was visible outside. Yet the mild sound of ship’s engines, the view of the ship chipping through sea and the chilling winds created an out of the world experience. Though the night was still very young, actually it was just beginning, we decided to retire into our room. We were told that most of ship’s passengers would be youngsters looking to ‘have fun’ on the ship. I must admit it was quite correct. So, if you are travelling with your family it may be little disturbing at night.
Next morning we were up early and quite excited. So, we walked up to the ‘sun deck’, to greet the morning sun but to our dismay, the sky was overcast with light showers washing the deck. One gentleman, let out the last puff from his cigarette and said ‘It’s going to be like this the whole day’, shaking his head with disappointment. Yes, the weather looked really annoying. The ship was entering the harbor and all the passengers were requested to proceed to de-boarding area.

First Day in Stockholm.

After reaching the harbor, our friend instructed us to reach Slussen the nearest T-Bana (Metro) station. We had to take a bus to city center (a service run for the benefit of passengers using Viking Line) that went via Slussen. He said he would come and pick us up from Slussen. After waiting for a while, our friend came and we went to his house.

T-Bana

Stockholm’s T-Bana (Metro)

The original plan for the day was to take some rest and have breakfast at my friend’s place. Then go to Stockholm tourist center for the Stockholm Card and other queries related to various places of attraction. From there, we were to take the 3-hr Archipelago tour conducted by Stromma. Like, I mentioned earlier the weather that day was really dampening. So we had to drop the plan of the Archipelago tour and reserved the day for shopping and going around in general.

As per the revised plan, we had brunch and set-off for the tourist center. Now let me mention here, the tourist center is near T-Centralen(Central Metro station, it’s here all the metro lines cross each other). It’s little difficult to find the place, as there are no signs or markers for tourist center in T-Centralen. But, if you ask around, the friendly staff and stall owners in that area would guide you. So, after asking around we reached the tourist center and got quite good amount of information. And let me mention that alongwith Stockholm card, you get a map, a book of information about the various attractions and list  with opening hours for all the places of interest.
Rest of the day was spent going around different places for shopping. Like Kista (on blue line metro towards Akalla) a store named Kista Grossen for Asian/Indian grocery, then largest IKEA store at Skärholmen for furnishing items etc. After shopping bags full, finally we end the day by returning to my friend’s apartment.

Few words of advice:
If you are having more time, like 2-3 days in Stockholm then getting a Stockholm card would be a very good deal. It gives free access to all major museums and attractions, free access to public transport and much more. Otherwise you can take hop-on hop-off-combi bus tour conducted by Stromma.
As I mentioned earlier you can plan your tour around Stockholm with precision thanks to the website of SL, the public transit system of Stockholm.

Some useful website links:
Stockholm tourism related information http://www.visitstockholm.com/en/To-Do/
Stockholm tourist map http://www.visitsweden.com/Global/Map/Map_of_Stockholm_SVB.pdf
Stockholm metro map http://sl.se/Global/Pdf/Kartor/vTub_karta.pdf
Viking Line http://www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en
Tallink Silja Line http://www.tallinksilja.com/en/

Additionally you can click on the hyperlinks in the post to learn more.
This is certainly not the end of the series; please wait for more in following posts….

Overwhelming Stockholm- Part II

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After a dull and damp day, weather gods showed some mercy and let sun smile brightly on our second day. We had a number of places to cover as we had lost a day. So, quite naturally the day was packed. The plan was to first visit Gamla Stan(the old town) and visit the Royal Palace and witness the changing of guards. Then have lunch at Govindas (a pure vegetarian restaurant run by Hare Krishna Society of Stockholm) and finally view the entire Stockholm city from top of Sky view.

Gamla Stan, Royal Palace and Changing of Gaurds.

As per plan, the first stop of the day was Gamla Stan. So, we reached Gamla Stan via metro (All the green and red lines cross Gamla Stan) by 11.30 AM. The changing of the guards generally begins at 12.15. As we had time, we started strolling along the narrow streets of the old town (one of its kind medieval city center where the city was founded in 13th century) looking for Storkyrkan (Stockholm Cathedral), Nobel museum etc. Walking through those alleys with warm sun peeping through the building we were transported to the 13th Century. Would you believe if I say I spotted a real Viking? But he was gone before my friend could take a picture, so…. Anyway, the architecture of the old buildings was breathtaking and picturesque. My vocabulary is not good enough for describing the beauty of the place. Let me allow some of the pictures to do the talking instead…

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

The oldest thoroughfares of Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan

View from the harbour of Skeppsbron, the eastern waterfront of Gamla Stan

We reached the outer courtyard of the Royal Palace around 12 noon and the authorities were preparing the place for the changing of guards. Just in time so that we could grab the front row seats (I mean literally, as there is no real seat, you need to stand and watch). At around 12.15 the spectacle began with music of marching band and a marching column of soldiers. In next 45 minutes we witnessed one of the best changing of guards’ ceremony.  Again I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

Royal Palace outer courtyard

Royal Palace outer courtyard

Changing Of Gaurd

Changing Of Gaurds

Changing Of Gaurds

Changing Of Gaurds

Changing Of Gaurds

Changing of Guards @ the Royal Palace

Lunch

After the ceremony we were quite hungry and it was time for lunch. So we proceeded to Fridhemsplan (from Gamla Stan you can take any of the green lines towards Alvik/Åkeshov/Hässelby Strand) for Govindas. But when we reached the restaurant we found a notice on the gate which said the place was closed for entire Easter weekend. My friends looked at me for a back-up plan which to their utter dismay I didn’t have. We began a frantic search for a place to eat. I remembered having read about some Indian place at Rådhuset which was one stop away on blue line towards Akalla/Hjulsta.
After reaching Rådhuset we asked at the ticket counter for directions and realized that I had got name and address wrong. We were directed to another far away station on another line. Then lady at the counter told that us there was another Indian restaurant just outside the metro station which we may try if we like. We may try? I almost rushed out of the station and found a place named Indian Khusboo. The food, ambiance, prices were quite nice.

Sky View

After a delicious and filling meal we headed for our next and final destination of the day, Sky view, which is at Globen on green line towards Hagsätra. In the words of their website “SkyView is one of the most remarkable attractions in Sweden, and an experience far above the ordinary. A gondola made of glass takes you up along the outside of the Ericsson Globe – the largest spherical building in the world”.
But when we reached the ticket counter we were told tickets for that day were sold out and we could only book for the next day. It was the second disappointment of the day. Nevertheless, we booked the tickets for the next day. With that we called it a day and returned to my friend’s place tired yet contended.
Again this is not the end of the story, I have got more….

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