Happy 6th Anniversary!!

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A message from wordpress.com congratulating me on completing six years of blogging with them set me off on a nostalgic journey down the archived blog posts. Precisely March,13th 2009 was the day when first post went live on this blog. Still remember the thrill and excitement of having my own blog. Thank you wordpress team for reminding me…

6Anniversary

This place might be gathering dust but no signs of rust yet. Who knows, maybe the sparks may fly again Smile.

Coming To You

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Dear Darling,

So finally I am coming to you once again. Yes I am so thrilled by the idea of actually seeing you once again the idea is not just sinking in. You know how difficult it is, I need to do so much planning and need to get leave etc, etc and this time I was not sure till yesterday. But now its all settled I am coming though I have seen you in February this year still its a long time.

I remember when I had first told my friends and family that I am planning to leave you they couldn’t believe it. They said you can’t do it. I had laughed at their silliness. I had thought it will be quite easy. I was very excited with the new opportunity and never had time to think of you.

I had shocked myself when I first saw you from above and realized that I may not see you in a long time and did not notice when my eyes got moist. I would have cried had that uncle and his cute daughter not been beside. Men don’t cry right that too in front of strangers. I was very sad but couldn’t understand why?

When I spoke to my friends first time away from you I had said I’ll be back in a year. Believe me I was damn serious but as they say ‘Man Proposes God disposes’ it has not happened yet. For the last 4 years I have come over every year barring 2007, when I could not come for full 15 months. It was awfully long and even more painful when friends showed your pictures. So finally when I saw you it was past midnight but still you looked so beautiful. I was very tired after the long journey still one look at you filled me with full of energy.

I realized how deep you run in my veins when last time I was able to see very closely as I had more time to re-explore you. Anyway I am coming again but its going to be very tight this time as I have a lot of important assignments at hand but still I’ll be with you and that’s the biggest joy. Also after 4 years I’ll celebrate ‘boro din’ (Christmas Yaar) with you.

Looking forward to seeing you once again and reliving those Golden days.

Yours truly madly
Dhiman

PS: I hope you have guessed who I am talking about. No? well its none other than Kollolini, tilottamma Kolkata my home city. Yes I am going on a trip to the city where all my memories good, bad & ugly are. As I said I’ll be hard pressed for time I might be absent from the blog and blogosphere(Enjoy the break guys like Vipul says ‘one less blog to track, read and comment’ 😀 ) till next year. Wish you all a Merry Christmas in advance.

PPS: Please Don’t mind if I am unable to answer to your comments and don’t forget me I’ll be back as soon as possible 😀 . Enjoy a ‘Little snow'(as wordpress guys put it) till 4th January (Yeah I too got it working)

Bijoya Dashami

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baron1

So the day has again come. A day when bongs tearfully bid goodbye to their beloved mother Godess Ma Durga. Who had come ‘home’ with her children to bless all of us and give us power to fight the ‘evils’ for the whole year. Its Bijoya Dashami today actually its called Vijaya Dashmi[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijayadashami] in rest of India. Its a day when Indians celebrate victory(Vijay) of Good over Evil.
In Bengal its the end of the festivities of the Durga Puja. The Durga puja[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga_Puja] is a very unique festival celebrated by people of Bengal. Whole state stops everything to worship the Godess for 4 days. If you have ever been in Bengal during the Durga Pujas you would know what I am talking about. Actually this festival is not confined to the State we Bongs celebrate it in our own way wherever we are that is from Bangalore to Switzerland.

So the day has again come. A day when bongs tearfully bid goodbye to their beloved mother Godess Ma Durga. Who had come ‘home’ with her children to bless all of us and give us power to fight the ‘evils’ for the whole year. Its Bijoya Dashami today actually its called Vijaya Dashmi in rest of India. Its a day when Indians celebrate victory(Vijay) of Good over Evil.

In Bengal its the end of the festivities of the Durga Puja. The Durga puja is a very unique festival celebrated by people of Bengal. Whole state stops everything to worship the Godess for 5 days. If you have ever been in Bengal during the Durga Pujas you would know what I am talking about. Actually this festival is not confined to the State we Bongs celebrate it in our own way wherever we are that is from Bangalore to Switzerland.

1NaruNimki11

Vijay Dashmi also marks a begining of another unique phenomenon for Bengalis called ‘Bijoya‘. Its a tradition of spreading universal brotherhood. Its a time when Bengalis visit each other with sweets and Wish each other “Shubho Bijoya” and men do ‘Kolakuli’ a tradition where people Hug eachother in a particular way. The ‘Kolakuli’ is ofcourse for same age guys and pronam(touching feet) for the elders. You get a treat of Narkel nadu(coconut laddo), Nimki(a snack ref pic), Ghugni(white peas curry) etc.  This visits can go upto diwali so quite a long period to cover as much ground as possible. Nowadays ofcourse most of the Bijoya is done through phone, email, SMS, Chat, Scraps, Facebook, Tweets(latest addition).

So as the women get ready for “Sindur Khela” and men get ready for the immersion procedures, kids get sad for the end of festivities I sit here thousands of miles away from my hometown and look back to those good old days when I would be in Kolkata and do what every Bengali in Kolkata does during the pujas go pandal hopping then all those ‘pujo prems’( Puja Love stories) ya pujo also meant a time for boys n girls find mates sometimes the relationship lasted only the puja days but many times it lasted lifetime. Actually theres a lot to write about Durga Pujo in Kolkata particular but wouldn’t like to burden you with a very long post which will not be relevant to you. I leave you with some recipes and lots and lots Good Wishes for Dussera and for Bong readers “Shubho Bijaya”.

http://www.senskitchen.com/recipes/Mishti/narkel%20naru.htm

http://www.indobase.com/recipes/details/ghugni.php

Images Courtesy : http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/photo759976.htm, http://www.bongcookbook.com/2007/10/durga-pujo-isspecial-shubho-bijoya.html

Suddenly on the road …

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Today is Friendship day like so many other “days” imposed on us by West shall I say. A day when we wish and Thank people whom we call “Friends” and  in today’s world it can be a huge list with a lot of categories as well for reference you can read Adesh‘s post.

I am attaching a beautiful song by Sumon(now rechristened himself as Kobir Sumon) a very popular Bengali singer who revolutionized the Bengali modern songs and now is a MP from my neighboring constituency back in my hometown. Actually we grew up listening and idolizing his songs. The song’s called “hatat rastay” which literally means “suddenly on the road”.

findpeople-main_Full

Here’s the lyrics :

Hatat Rastai Office oncholey
hariye jawa mukh chomke diye bole
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni – 2

purono dokane bigoto adday
bigoto jogda bigoto thatay
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni

Hatat Rastai Office oncholey
hariye jawa mukh chomke diye bole
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni
koto din dekha hoyni

Dola dolir din gola golir din -2
hatat okarone hense othar din
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni

harano letti harano lattu
somoy chole jay beyara tattu
bondhu harano letti harano lattu
somoy chole jay beyara tattu
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni

somoy chole geche ebong cholche
cholti jiboner golpo bolche -2
palte geli tui amio palte
giyechi majh pothe hante hante
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni

Hatat Rastai Office oncholey
hariye jawa mukh chomke diye bole
bondhu ki khobor bol
koto din dekha hoyni
koto din dekha hoyni

——————–

which roughly translates to :

Suddenly on the road in office area
Long lost face startled to say
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long

In the old shop in the past discussion
past fights past jokes
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long

Suddenly on the road in office area
Long lost face startled to say
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long
haven’t met for so long

days of teaming up days of walking hand in hand
days of laughing out suddenly without any reason
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long

long lost toy “Top” long lost “Top string”
time passes like a unruly horse
Friend long lost toy “Top” long lost “Top string”
time passes like a unruly horse
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long

time has passed and is passing
narrating everyday story of life
You have changed so have I
in the midway while walking together
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long

Suddenly on the road in office area
Long lost face startled to say
Friend how are you
haven’t met for so long
haven’t met for so long

I have just done the literal translation but couldnot translate the soul of the song as I am incapable of it.

This song is for those long lost “Friends” in this digital age, “Friends” whom I long to meet some day “suddenly on the road” and say “How are you friend haven’t met for so long”.

HAPPY FRIENDSHIP DAY TO ALL OF YOU !!!

Heres the song if you want to listen:


Maa ki Khichdi

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Well finally words started flowing actually I had pictures, title etc for a different post but was not able to write a word from yesterday don’t know why ? Maybe my Mom got a cue or something as out of the blue today she prepared “khichdi” and see here I am again back to writing. Well in this post I am not talking about how to make khichdi but I’ll talk about “Ma ki Khichdi”.

Wiki says Khichdi(also khichri, khichdee, khichadi, khichuri, khichari and many other variants)  is an Indian food preparation made from rice and lentils (dal). Khichdi is commonly considered to be a comfort food, and was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish of Kedgeree.”

Khichdi or rather Kichuri has a special place in Bengali household. Its a “must” dish during rainy days when its impossible to venture out so you sit at home and have Gorom(hot) gorom khichuri with begun bhaja (fried eggplant), aloo bhaja(fried poatato) actually any vegetable that can be fried that bhaja(fry). Being a true Bengali how can we leave Nonveg so we add dim bhaja(egg fried/omelette) as well, actually it can be maach bhaja(fried fish) if available. Khichdi can itself be a Nonveg one How ? well you can add mutton(lamb) or chicken pieces to it. Mmmmm…

Kichuri with Beguni(Eggplant fritter)

Kichuri with Beguni(Eggplant fritter)

The khichuri is also served as prasad(Sacred food) at festivals like Saraswati Puja (mandatory), Durga Puja and all other pujas performed by the Bengalis. Khichuri becomes “Bhog” at the festivals, where Khichuri is generally accompanied by Labra(MIXED VEGETABLES)-A tasty mixed curry of all types of vegetables. The khichuri at the festivals have special taste of their own. But the khichuri that’s prepared at home by Mom is unbeatable, simply superb and this nobody can prepare other than your mom.
This quote from one of the food blogs sums it all “The main ingredients of khichdis made by moms is a dollop of love. There are some things money can’t buy, right?”.
Thank you Mom for your humble Khichuri(Khichdi) which made my day, hence deserved a dedicated post. It brought back loads of childhood memories of the rainy days in good old Kolkata when it would rain incessantly for days and we were trapped inside our homes due water-logging everywhere. Only thing that brightened up my day was ……..

Now those who wanna try here are the recipes :
Khichdi : http://www.indianfoodforever.com/rajasthan/vegetable-khichdi.html
Labra : http://www.dreamindia.com/rasoi/mdvegla.htm

Image Courtsey : http://www.bongcookbook.com/2007_03_01_archive.html

Love U, Miss U Kolkata…A Nostalgic yearning ….

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“Miss u Kolkata”is the latest album by Rajesh Roy a Keyboardist-turned-singer/producer. I heard the title song on Radio Mirchi, Kolkata, when I was in Kolkata recently. In the title song ‘Miss u Kolkata’ Rajesh Roy has got the sentiment of a NRK (Non Resident Kolkatan) aptly. Some of portions of lyrics say “Born and Raised in Kolkata, Love U Miss U Kolkata” then “School college education prothom (means first) infatuation “ and so on… The song took a special place in my heart not only because it was depicting my similar emotions but got to listen it at a time when I myself was on a nostalgic trip of Kolkata.  Though I was born in Hyderabad but being raised in Kolkata I call myself a NRK.

On this visit I realized how much nostalgia that city has for me. In my earlier visits I was not having enough time to go round the city but this time I actually explored the city on a journey of rediscovery.
Yes I rediscovered Kolkata by walking down the lanes in Esplande/Dharmotolla to Chowringee to Park street to Camac street, by taking the metro from Park street to Rabindra Sarovar and then a ‘share’ auto to Jadavpur Thana, by boarding SD4[a bus route] from Rashbihari to Dhakuria, by alighting a local train from Dhakuria to Sonarpur. All these sojourns were a trip down the memory lane and its then I realized the tons of memory these places hold. Why should it not be, I spent my enitre growing up years (more than 18) in that city. Every nook and corner of the city is having the pebbles of memory for me to collect of which I have got only a palmfull but a lot is still left and don’t know how many more trips I require to collect all of them. In last 3 years a lot of things have changed like many old buildings gone, shops, cinema halls closed down, new buildings, shops, malls have taken their place but the localities are still there, which remind me of good ol’ days :).

How strange it is that you realize the contribution each thing has to your life after you have moved on. Maybe after many years if I move away from Bangalore I’ll feel the same for Bangalore as well same Nostalgia…. but will I ever be able to become a NonResident Bangalorean (NRB) ???