Wednesday, May 06, 2020

A 100 years from today

The problem was further compounded by the fact that the killer disease, influenza, had broken out in the ashram… He (Rabindranath) had heard about cases in Kolkata, ....Now he was horrified to hear that four students had been affected and the contagion was spreading fast. Circa 1919-20 

[Daughters of Jorasanko, Aruna Charkavarti]

Imagine the coincidence of reading these lines in the lockdown due to the COVID19 Pandemic 100 years later! Aaji hote Soto Borsho pore!

Sunday, May 03, 2020

The Bagdi Meye

Suddenly her eyes fell on a corner of the courtyard where Ullashi Bagdini had just put down her basked under the Shaddock tree. Ullashi was the wife of Rama Bagdi and between the two they supplied fish to the Tagore households.

I came across these lines in the marvellous, poignant "Daughters of Jorasanko"  by Aruna Chakravarti. I had bought this book couple of years ago but reading it only now, housebound as I am, in the LOCKDOWN. Just as well because any earlier, I wouldnt have known what Bagdi was. At best I'd have thought it to have been a surname.
Thanks to a wonderful gift by a generous friend, I now know better. I am the proud owner of a Pot Chitro of "Bagdi Meye" by the Late Shantanu Potua, fishing in their traditional way!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A house in Gola

The wall art - fabulous to me, mundane, routine at Gola. 

Don't miss the happy (drunk I think) elephant!

Monday, March 27, 2017

A school in Gola

 This beautiful mud house with the bright blue door is a village school. But where are the children? Not quite sure. It was locked at noon when I visited the hamlet in Gola Block of Ramgarh District on a tuesday.

Hope he children are learning. Barely legible scrawl on the walls spells out that this is a village school. The teacher's name is Geeta. This is followed by messages on organic farming! Go figure.

Nevertheless, as I walked into the near empty roads of the village that afternoon, the white and blue school looked very beautiful.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Goodbye Mr. Chips ...

Came across your old possibly second hand copy of "Goodbye Mr. Chips". It was there last night out on the centre table along with ma's bagla magazine. She must have dug it out of the bookcase to read. Anyhow, having never have read it (imagine that!), I picked it up post dinner tonight and finished the 18 chapters or so in about a hour? Well at any rate while the oldies finished their dinner and before Maya came into clear the table and do the dishes.

And just as well that I had not read it earlier. Was able to have those magical moments of reading something so utterly charming (though so tragic and sad). Unlike earlier when I was young, I'd have mopped on a bit about the sadness of the passage of time and how it was for Mr. Chips. Now I kept seeing myself in the near future, Ms. C. Remembered as funny, weird, irritating perhaps fun. Jai Hok. Loved every bit of it. Thankyou, so many many years later - Mr. Hilton.

And the last few pages came up, out fell a hand written note in ink now faded to grey from black written on a a paper blotched with stains.

The poem in this 
letter was in a fit
of abstracted dementiousness
If you dont ignore that,
you;ll be ab even bigger
P. R. that I thought.
(Pompous rogue)

Proux / Brown (illegible to me)

PS: I head you were born today
I pity the world

Peb / Deb (cant read it clearly)

So, I wondered who wrote it? And I turned to the beginning to see where the "poem" was.

There it was at the beginning, Summer is over with a word changed here and there ....

Time runs away with the day
The grass that was green is now hay
The world goes around without even a sound
And I guess our summer is over

The rains tumble down in the sky
Young swallows have learned how to fly
The leaves that were green are no longer so green
And I guess our summer is over

The sun and the moon take turns in the sky
The days drift on by too soon
Friendship is kissed by by the cold winter mist
I guess our summer is over

Fly away to a warmer sun
Dead leaves touch the ground one by one
But we cant sit by
Without even goodbye
Though our summer maybe over

[Signed by what reads like "Prosin"]

Aww ... so it was a break up gift? The love, the thoughtfulness, the heartache? What was it? a summer or perhaps holiday romance?

And finally after the cover page, in red

"When the chips are down, I guess you've got to say Goodbye. But its been a nice thing while it lasted. So for now, and for many more to come, Happy Birthday. [Sign illegible]
Sigh! 29 years ago. Who wrote it?For whom? God knows ... but a tiny little "what might have been" nestled in another more famous love story.

The book's yours. So you must have read it. Quite sure the writing and the poem is not your own, even though the copy is yours. Thought I'd share it here and now. For you R.....

Missing you in so many ways!!
Aka What I found inside a book!!

Read if you will

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