A Lazy Weekend at Home
this is particularly about nothing in particular. just a journal entry about a lazy summer afternoon spent at home.
family gathering at Thakurpukur
I met a long lost sister and brother in law on Friday. I cried the previous night before I actually met them, when I did, it was a happy tearless union. Bro-in-law cooked a delectable lunch and we ate together with another friend called Nini, on the bed with rain drenched afternoon sunlight bathing the space with light and good cheer. Maybe the good cheer and light actually flowed from our hearts. But then the other half of the great room looked so dark, we had to arrange to eat near the window on the bed. No Bengali in their right minds would ever allow rice to be eaten on the bed.
But we decided to break some rules that day. Like everybody started drinking right after 11 a.m. I was given my pineapple sherbet. But I put it back in the fridge as I was talking so much. I had it later with lunch while they had by then switched to rum. After they have had vodka, which is what didi prefers. (Me, my mum and Anupam do not drink, most others in the family do).
That, and chilled sweet fresh summer Himshagor mangoes. I like to have sweet fruits with my rice and dal and fish curry. As usual Bapida’s dal was fragrant – I nearly always manage to kill the fragrance of the masala (spices while saute-ing, he always does it right). Many of their twenty six cats and kittens are dead.
There are seventeen now excluding the two tiny ones that are minuscule in size and doesn’t leave the wedge in the sofa where their mum hides them from the house-tease Khatash. They are about five days old. The house filled up with nauseating fish smell when five kilos of fish got cooked in large pressure cookers that are used only to cook their meal. And then Bapida had the bright idea to lift the lid to let it cool so the army could eat first.
This is the only household I know where cats get preference over human guests. Bapida Sutapadidi rock, Nini…
It has been a long time. Everybody said it at least twice. Including Nini who is otherwise Prof Nivedita in her college where she teaches Bangla with one of my nephews. She said she had heard all the stories about me in the course of the morning, before I arrived around mid-day. How long now? Four and a half years since I left town.
Later, they filled me up with news about how Abraham Majumdar and Ranjan Ghoshal organized the Mohin after Thirty Three Years show without Bapida who used to be the singer in all of their old EPs and one the very first three original members of the group. He is very hurt. While we were eating this girl from the TOI called and he almost turned her down. We frowned in unison.
I suggested he follow his friends’ advise and meet The Times of India girl to clear things up. He finally relented and the appointment was fixed up.
The whole morning I spent hours on the net trying to figure out a way to get out of Kolkata to my workplace. All trains are booked to limit till June 6th! I looked up all possible break journey routes: via New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai. No luck.
The Director called up and said, fly out, she would loan me the money. Well, wish I could. But I have too much baggage. I wish to carry some of my stuff this time, books, utensils, clothes. And a stove. When I went there, I had gone there with a backpack. And stayed on for over two years. Cant come again soon as it takes two nights and a day for a one way trip in an express train. Nearly four hours on a plane. Agents are no help.
Partha suggested I but some ticket and later he would see if he can get it approved under the VIP quota, provided no VIP is travelling that day. Am not sure I like the idea. What if someone does? I will not be allowed to board and I forfeit refund, lose money, as it is one cannot cancel a Tatkal ticket. The extra 300 bucks you pay for that would also be wasted….. would try again tomorrow…..
Missing Link and Prachir
Tonight I watched young Shubho of Lokkhichhara interview these two bands on his Star Jalsha Gaan Bhalobeshey Gaan. The title by the way is a line from an album of the band Chandrabindoo. I had known Missing Link in it’s formative stage five years back. Later, they made waves winning the Bandemataram contest. This evening listening to the rendition of their songs I could not make out why they had won back then, the songs were that vague and sugar sweet and so totally unlike what they are known to do on stage.
Prachir surprisingly seemed more open to ideas and all the three songs including Bharatbarsho indicated considerable thought. I liked the sound of and lyrics of the song “Deher khonjey, Dhangshostoopey, Raatri naamey“.
However, rolling the R too much isn’t the way Bengalis speak. Also, as they spoke while answering Shubho”s questions, their English influenced stilted, corrupted, broken Bangla shocked me.
A song is never truly of a language and culture unless you also capture the cadence of that language and stay true to the typical diction in your verses. If you wish to be angry you cannot use the English diction and mixx it up with Bangla.
Speak Bangla the way Bongs do for Gossake! What the kids ought to realize is Bongs do get angry and they laugh and cry. It all can be done in Bangla using the rhythm and tone and pitch and modulation that Bongs would typically use.
Till that happens, you are not rocking in Bangla, kidos. But good to know Star is now interested. Bangla alternative music is at last getting the attention that has been long due to it, I guess.