Catharsis XIX: I am NOT a klutz!

People are unkind. All of them. The best of them, the worst of them- every last one of them, given the slightest provocation, the merest leeway always end up being merciless and brutal. It’s that dratted, messed up, so-called human nature.

Yes, I tend to bang my head, shut doors on my fingers, trip on a flat surfaces, forget to maneuver around large obstacles, drop stuff on my foot, burn my fingers on hot surfaces, hit myself while pretending to wield swords, crash into walls and people and land squarely on my bum- but that doesn’t condone my self-proclaimed well-wishers’ behavior that includes laughing, doubled-up, and unsympathetic condemnation of my tribulations while calling me a poorly-talented joker!

The tears that sometimes well-up to my utter mortification- I wonder at their source- whether it’s the pain (I am quite used to brushing that off), or the hurt at being so uncared for. Where’s the pity, the sympathy and the kindness and the humane bedside manner when one needs it? And just because I may need it every other day, surely doesn’t mean I should be deprived of it, does it?!

It’s the bloody humans! They profess their undying, unconditional love but will laugh and laugh and laugh, clutching their stomachs, tears streaming, short of breath, laugh till it hurts- struggling to pause for breath, and as an afterthought, from years of conditioning, will try (and usually not succeed) to help you off the floor!

Now older relatives, especially parents are a little different. I assume they try but sadly, cannot dredge up a lot of sympathy right away. They simply shake their heads, after telling me what seems to them for the millionth time, to kindly watch where I am going, think before I act, and to once in a while walk the earth, with the head on the same planet and not lost in the stratosphere or above. I presume, they wonder that who does their daughter take after, it possibly couldn’t be them!

Me? I blame the average human being. I’m not a klutz. I am simply misunderstood. I am a higher being that tackles so many different, deep problems, trying to find resolutions serving a higher philosophy, pondering upon the existence of being, in concepts of multiverses, submerged in finding the very answers to life, that I don’t have time to traverse the dimensions of the mundane. Okay, I daydream, I zone out or simply don’t pay attention. But seriously, there are exciting incidents and conversations being played out in my head, at the speed of light. When did being overly imaginative become a bad thing, huh?

But who is going to explain this to others? Between their exasperated looks and uncontrolled laughter, it’s hard to reason with these people. Of course, I do get that inexplicable hankering to punch them when they do behave unkindly like this. But have I ever acted on that feeling?! No, never! And not because I am fearful that I’ll miss and hit the wall next to them. It’s because I believe in being the better human. So, I lift myself off the floor, with the grace befitting royalty, hold my head high and walk away like nothing happened. Only when I am safely locked away in the bathroom that I limp, grimacing in pain, and curse myself and the actual culprit, the floor/walls/doors.

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The Morning After: Election Night 2016

DISCLAIMER: Musings and thoughts (not an opinion article) of an immigrant (an outsider?) as the day unfolds, as the verdict sinks in. “From here on in, I may be as woefully wrong as Humphrey Belcher, who decided the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron”– but I don’t think so. I don’t mean to impose my ideas or opinions or thoughts on any one, and every one is entitled to his/her own. Disagreements/differences in opinions are better resolved when one tries to show another their perspective, instead of simply badmouthing and name-calling.

The morning was quite somehow, lackluster and missing a usual Wednesday’s bustle.

It was the morning after Election Night. Many had gone to sleep early, and had woken up to a grey, stormy morning, scared, and with the sun nowhere in sight. Many others had not managed to sleep till dawn, having lain awake, bright-eyed and wondering how they’d have the energy to tackle the next day.

The atmosphere, in general, was subdued, almost funereal, as every one quietly went about their work. A sense of exhaustion hung deep and heavy, as most struggled to maintain a look of nonchalance, while some tried to hide their tears- yet all acutely aware how the day was so different from the day before.

The boss walked by, shaking her head and smiling ruefully, ‘We will not talk about politics.’

Cocooned in our social media of choice, which we thought were our vehicle, our voice, but of course, now we know better… Cocooned in our social media bubble, we rant, we rage, we apportion blame, argue and in the end, we try to make sense and struggle for the silver lining.

What will happen to me? A gay, a lesbian, a bisexual, a person of color, Mexicans, a man with a beard, a woman with a scarf, a Muslim, disabled, a woman, an immigrant, an endangered animal, the environment, a tax-paying citizen, a liberal, the middle-class… The question echoes, across and beyond, what will happen to me?

What happens next? What happens to the country? What happens to its people, to the people of the world? These are just a few things that only time can answer. Meanwhile, you hope, even while you despair, fear and are besieged with uncertainty and doubt.

After 1928, this was the first time the President, the House and the Senate, all belonged to the Republican party. As of November 9, 2016, Donald Trump is the President-Elect of the United States of America. The inconceivable, the ludicrous, the unfathomable was the reality now.

The great country stood divided, yet staunch in their own choices, refusing to meet eye-to eye, to come to an understanding. It happened even as Secretary Hilary Clinton in her concession speech tells the people to unite behind our President; even as President Barack Obama reminds us, the sun will rise again the next morning (asks to stand with the man who had, and his supporters, had said about Obama, he ain’t our President!).

But the cruel reality was still hard to digest, protestors took to the streets, to Twitter, Facebook while many others rejoiced in their majority. The day was rife with wild speculations – corrupt DNC, bigots and misogynist voters (can women be misogynists as well?), the results would be different if it was Bernie Sanders running against Trump, absent voters or voters voting independent parties, ill-informed public, email scams, the corrupt Clintons, the accused Clintons, James Comey’s last minute stunt, rigged systems- the list was ever-growing, but everything was only just conjecture and theories of minds that were fighting to grasp the extent of what had just taken place. The unthinkable had just happened.

Many establishments closed early. People, somber and introspective, were leaving work early. Many, with or without voting rights in the country, were careful about their words, their opinions (the IQ at our workplace, in our state even, is much higher than the general public, someone said, but still wasn’t sure if that was reason enough to make our upset known). The computer screens were flooded with opinion articles trying to make sense of what had transpired, of what the people had wanted, on how President Trump was going to ‘make America great again’. U.S. Presidential Election 2016 would go down in the history books as one the most studied political outcome/maneuver for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, the rest of us, along with the rest of the world, wait and watch. Wait with bated breath, hoping deep inside, that the other half knew what they had done, whom they had handed the baton of the country to; and hope against hope that they were not just the uneducated, the ill-informed, hate-mongers or the white supremacists (who believe that America belongs to the white people) who had done so. But when a message, a campaign of fear, of hate, of divisiveness, of blatant lies, of directionless and empty promises, a campaign stripped of respect and dignity wins the presidential race- hopefully, the other side also understands where the terror stems from.

In all the cacophony, we hold on to the hope- that the sun will rise again, and America will still be great, that it will not go down easy, that it will still be the Land of Freedom for all those who made it their home, the land of opportunities for all those who dreamed, for all those whom the United States of America embraced wholeheartedly irrespective of every difference, of every small thing that separated or divided us.

N.B. Among other things, India is coming to terms with the banning of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and issuance of new ₹500 and ₹2000 notes- brilliant and bold or catastrophic? I feel I cannot comment, being away from the heart and nerve of my nation. But all in all, November 8-9, 2016 goes down as a tremendous day in history.

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না-বলা কথা


. একদিন বুকে টেনে নাও, বল, ভালোবাসো
. পরদিন, দূরে ঠেলে দাও, যেন অজ্ঞাত;
. কখনো উষ্ণ চুম্বনে,অশেষ আলিঙ্গনে,
.                          ভরে দাও আমার ঝুলি-
. আর কখনো হঠাৎ, না-থাকার উদাসীন দৃষ্টি,
.                          তোমার নীরব, কাতর ভঙ্গি।
. কেন আমাকে দেখলে তোমার হাসি যায় উবে?
. যে হাসি এক কালে ছিল আমার পৃথিবী জুড়ে;
. শুধু মাত্র অভ্যেস যেন, দুজনের কথা বলা
.                          এক দৈনিক নিয়ম মানা-
. সেই যে কথা করত রাতকে দিন, শীতকে গ্রীষ্ম
.                          সে এক অন্য গল্পগাথা।

. তুমি কি আমায় ভুলে গেলে?
. পুরোনো ভুলের দাম মিটিয়ে নিলে?
. তাই কি তুমি পাশে থেকেও রইলে দূরে-
. সময় শেষের আগেই পর হলে?

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Envy for the Never


It’s a mere little crack, somewhere close.
You don’t know how deep, how far it goes.
It pulls, moans, stretching as you breathe-
Infringing cold, like daggers unsheathe.
The blue of the chill congeals and spreads,
In thin, green veins, from extremes, inwards;
The blood rushes hot, struggling, gasping life
Red tears, dripping from the gap, battle to survive.
Shadows take over, blind, every thing comes crashing-
But in stubborn hope, that dying thing, goes on beating.

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When it blooms, bright, bright red…
Image Courtesy: Colors and Pixels

Did you know, we are poetry in motion,
Swaying, and touching, embraced in passion
Melded into one, fused without ends
As the world rocked, plummeted and rose again!

Did you realize before, we are an art?
Marvelous, bewitching, etched in heart
Painted in a hue, unworldly, unseen and rare-
Immortalized in a canvas of time, eons apart!

Did we ever feel, that we are music?
Sounds of eternal, a composition, fantasy
In eruptions of joys, played in strings and keys-
Inexpressible, indefinable, imbued in ecstasy!

But we did know, we were love; love incarnate-
The world was colors, triumph and bliss,
The time stood still, for our stolen kiss,
Life surged through, lived, in parted lips
Then our eyes met, and the universe stopped-
We were real, we were destiny, we were the Gods.

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Durga Puja @ Maddox Square, Calcutta/Kolkata, 2015

মেঘলা আকাশ, বেশ ঠান্ডা বাতাস-
চোখে পড়ে না শিউলি, না বনে কাশ;
নেই হাওয়ায় সেই চেনা গন্ধ
নেই ভিড়ভাট্টা, নতুন জামা,
পুরোনো বন্ধু, ঘুরতে যাওয়া
রোজ বাইরে খাওয়া, সেই উত্তেজনা;
শুধু আছে বাংলায় একটা ক্যালেন্ডার,
যেটা বলে, এখন নাকি শরৎকাল-
দেবীপক্ষ হয়েছে শুরু,
এই বিদেশেতেও আমার!

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পুরোনো অন্ধকার

মনে পড়ে সেই রাতের কথা-
অন্ধকারে, ছুটে-ছুটে, সেই এসেছিলে বাড়ি,
ভাব-ভালোবাসায়, গপ্পো-কথায়, পৃথিবীটাকে ভুলে,
কেমন আমরা ছিলাম আহ্লাদী!
আমিও কেমন করেছিলাম মিছে ভান
যেন তোমাকে ছাড়া সত্যিই বড় নাজেহাল;
দিনের আলোর অপেক্ষা কি পারতাম না করতে?
তখনি তোমায় না পেলে দেখতে, পড়তাম কি টুটে?
কি জানি; তবে মনে আছে-
আলো ফোটার আগে পারিনি তোমায় ছাড়তে।

তখন কি সেটা ছিল নতুন প্রেম, নতুন ভালো লাগা?
যেমন আজ আমরা যেন অনেক, অনেক পুরোনো,
আজ যেমন তোমার কথা শেষ করি আমি-
আর আমি মনের কথা না বললেও, তুমি বল, জানি।

আজ আমরা বহু দূর, শুধু কবিতায় কথা বলি,
কাল, ব্যবধান, সব মিলিয়ে কোথায় তুমি-কোথায় আমি|
এমনটাই কি কথা ছিল? এটাই কি হয়?
রাতের অন্ধকারে তুমি নেই, দিনের আলোতেও নয়?
হাসিতে নয়, চোখের জলেও নয়, না আনন্দের বিনিময়ে-
না আছো ভাল্ লাগাতে, না আমার হারিয়ে যাওয়ার ভয়ে।

আমরা আজ অনেক, অনেক পুরোনো,
আমাদের আগে আসে কত সংসারের দায়;
কত বছর আগেকার মুহূর্ত, সে কি আর কুড়িয়ে পাওয়া যায়?
গল্পের-মতন আবার কি প্রথম থেকে শুরু করা যায়?
আর যদি বা যেত- পোড়া সে কপাল, হায়-
কখনো যদি বা তুমি আছো, কিন্তু সেই-আমি আর নাই।

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চিঠি (Letters)

বিরল সে এক মধুর মোহ, সরল মনের ফাঁদে
দুনিয়া কঠোর, হৃদয় নরম, একলা লুকিয়ে কাঁদে ।


ভাবছি বসে, শিক্ষা শেষে, দুনিয়া করব জয়-
উঠব জেগে, অগ্নি তেজে, নিঃশেষ হবে ভয়!


হাসিও হয় বিষণ্ণ, যেমন চোখের জলেও থাকে ভালোলাগা
যেমন প্রেম কখনো আকর্ষণ, কখনো অকপটে দূরে ঠেলা ।


যে চোখেতে পড়লে চোখ, পৃথিবী অদৃশ্য
অঙ্গে জ্বলে ওঠে আগুন, যেন বিদ্যুৎধারা –
সেই চোখে আর পারিনি থাকতে চেয়ে,
যখন অন্তরে উঠেছে ঝড়, বন্যা-স্রোত দিশাহারা।


পারিনা থাকতে, না পারি যেতে ফিরে
শুধু সময়ের সাথে করেছি মিছে আপস-
যদি সে মানে, দয়ায় দানে,
যদি একটু, শুধু একটু, চলে ধীরে!

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For the two friends I didn’t have anymore…

I found so many…

All there, waiting, just out of sight,
For me to wake from my slumber
Of numbness, indecision and slights-
Faithful and strong,
Humane and real;
Of honesty and valor
Of loyalty and love.

I have always sung, voiced
To the pangs of betrayal
But from today, I rejoice.
In glory, bliss and revival-
For all those who are,
Sincere, unflinching and true
Them, who are themselves,
And lets you be you!


N.B. You know who you are. And you are wonderful. And even if I don’t say it enough, I am grateful for you. Love, G.

Image courtesy
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অন্য ছেলেমেয়েদের মতন করলি আমায়, নতুন নতুন নখরা
সবার মতন আমিও শেষে, হলাম সোশ্যাল-মিডিয়া বকরা।
ফোনটা খুলে check করি আমি status বারংবার-
নতুন কোনো ‘like’ বা ‘comment’ পেলাম কি আবার?
‘Groupfie’ তুলি, ‘Selfie’ তুলি, প্রচুর ছবির ভান্ডার-
Online প্রমাণ থাকলে পরেই বন্ধুত্ব হলো রাখবার।
‘Retweet’ আর ‘Reblog’ করে দিনটা আমার যায় যে চলে,
পাশেই বসে বন্ধু আমার, তবে chat-এই গপ্পো হবে।
সামনে দেখলে মুখ বিকৃতি, কষ্ট করে হাসি-
অন্যসময় হৃদয়-ওলা emoticon ভালোবাসি।
শব্দ ভান্ডার কম নয় মোটে, বেশ vocal আমি-
তবে মুখের থেকে আঙ্গুল আমার বেশী রাশভারী।
এমনি সময় ভাবি না যত, এখানে মত জানাই তত-
মানবসেবায় হয়েছি রত, ‘share’ আমার বেড়েছে যত;
সামনাসামনি হলেও চেনা, এখানে ভুলোনা করতে দেখা!
Friend/Follower না হলে তুমি, সম্পর্ক পায় না ভূমি,
আমার fun যদি দেখতে না পাও, কারুর যদি হিংসেই না হয়-
অনুভূতি তবে সব জলাঞ্জলি, আনন্দ আমার হয় নয়ছয়।
তাই Global-warming এর চিন্তা নেই, Oxygen-ও জরুরি নয়-
যেন চিরকাল শুধু ফাউয়ের Internet আর Wi-Fi পাই!

N.B. This post was a long time coming! (And I have to, have to try an English version) ~G.

Posted in Calcutta and Bengali, Creations, Laughs, Me, Observer, Sarcasm, Verses | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment