Calcutta Chronicles

The long, meandering line of lights blinks, burns and finally stands still at a cross-road. The passengers inside the hatchbacks-Chevrolets, Hyundais, Fords-mostly in their thirties, fretter and fume with routine indignation. They are the stalwarts in IT giants, just coming out of the newly built Salt Lake Sector-5 who spends most of their waking hours clock-working with task-force round the globe. For them, halt is stagnation. Time is money. Moments later, the bizarre honks at great scales … [Read more...]

ABP Ananda Utsav 2010, Pasadena, USA: A perspective

There is something about Bengali cultural programs in the US. They are my dad’s way of remembering good times of yester years, not mine. There is something else too. The organizers of such events, though young at age, are still under the notion that it takes 3 months to reach India by ship from the US so one would do this maybe once in a lifetime. You would want to know why!You see, the elements of such events are mostly a borrowed concept from the age when people would be able to hear a m … [Read more...]

Prostitution goes Hi-tech in India

With the advent of globalization, technological advancement penetrates the red light districts of India. Gone are the days when one had to look behind one’s shoulders, and, palpitating in promiscuity, find his way through the seedy lanes and by-lanes of red-light districts. Now, it’s possible to satiate one’s erotic fantasies by just the click of a computer mouse. Why only men? As the trend suggests, women are increasingly looking beyond the marital bedroom for sexual satisfaction in lieu of mone … [Read more...]

Understanding gas, burps and colic

It's been a while since I could jot down a drop of nostalgia from the pool of emotional upheaval I've been going through all these months. Soham is nine and a half months now and a lot is going on in the arena. He is having solid food, finger foods, standing upright - grabbing things from the table, especially T V remote controls and cell phones. He's trying to socialize, although still anxious about new faces, surprisingly some faces are never getting old! An epoch-making change has occurred in … [Read more...]

Hindu in my veins

I grew up in the communist state of West Bengal. The only religion that the state advocated was loyalty to the Party. The ideology itself was bigger than nationality, any other fraternity or even humanity. It was hammered in people’s consciousness that going to a temple was blasphemy, mark of an ignorant fool, to perish in the fires of wasted beliefs. I do not know if the peoples out there really took such an idea by heart but most seemed to brandish themselves as elite atheist, both elite and a … [Read more...]

Another one bites the dust

Adulteress to lover while enjoying post-coital smoke: "My entire life is a lie, and you are the only truth".Noted journalist Udayan Namboodiri once said that Jyoti Basu lived such a life. I would like to say that all politicians in Bengal lead such lives today. Lives full of hypocrisy. While common people celebrate winds of change the underlying political current laughs at the naiveté of such a notion and continues with terror tactics that is so much a part and parcel of peoples' lives in … [Read more...]

Mother by Dr. Beena Menon

Somanjana's Note: It was in the crazy busy Training & Placement office of KIIT University, Bhubaneswar I met Prof. Beena Menon for the first time, about 4-5 years back. We were just standing there, talking about this and that in the middle of all the chaos; Students running by, people making calls, some hitting the computer keypads with zesty vigour. Since then she's been with me through time and space, ups and downs and in many a hearty conversations. Beside her eclectic professional … [Read more...]

Singing the freedom blues

She goes and she comes. Sometimes in the wee hours of the dawn when the street lights begin to dim in the lull before the surge of the tropical sun. Head down, always, tugging at the end of her flimsy dupatta, trotting in unsure rhythm with the deflated soles of her magenta slippers. Once in a while she would look up, citing the matronly look of a matured woman, so knowing of worldly matters.Yet, her gait would reveal the hapless child lost in the folds of tranquility. She would wake up; walk … [Read more...]