Friday, 4 November 2016

Hey!! What's Up Dear Zindagi





 
source


Me: It's been quite long, I had a tete-a-tete with you. Let me grab a cup of coffee and then we can start a friendly chat.

 Zindagi: Surely, get some for me too.

Me:  So how are you doing? 

Zindagi: You tell me first (wearing a shy smile), how'z life?

Me: Life has been always very kind to me. But this is I, who keeps on complicating it like a spoiled brat.

Zindagi: I don't have any idea what are you talking about!! You are still not happy with me? But I offered almost everything and anything you asked for; now you are being rude.

Me: I'm not being rude friend; I'm speaking the truth. I am slowly turning into a soul, with a constant strive to attain a 'Better Version'.

Zindagi: Better in what respect??

Me: Better in all respect. I am struggling to be a better human being. I want to incline towards intelligence more and more. I want more wisdom, more knowledge. I want to be more artsy and a better artist. I am reading one book after another. I am trying hard to achieve better and far better 'way of writing'. I want to see more places,want to travel more to be a better traveler with more & more travel stories to tell.

Zindagi: So a strong roof over your head, a loving family around you, few amazing friends through your thins & thicks, healthy haimish food cooked by Mom, an excellent academic background, the IIT gold medal and a degree of 'PhD' arriving soon can no longer pamper your stubborn soul ? 

Me: I feel protected because you have blessed me with all those. Yes, I feel 'protected' and I feel 'fortunate'. But, the idea of being 'protected' and 'fortunate' is not working any more. I am feeling it for a while now, that weird sense of awakening. A gentle rage, simmering inside me, getting stronger day by day. I don't want to destroy it, rather want to nurture it with great love and courage.

Zindagi: Now, what do you want me to offer you?

Me: Omens, Signals, Symbols. I need courage from you. I want you to guide me in deciphering this 'mysterious force'. The force that is ingressing through my nerve and vein, emerging in mind's turbulence and making my entire existence absurdly restless.

 Zindagi: I am no one to deliver you 'the Omens, the Signals and the Symbols'. The Universe delivers these to me and I pass it on to your soul. So, ask your soul to receive it and interpret it for you. By the way, why do you need courage !! Do you lack it and what do you fear?

Me: I terribly lack it and I fear CHANGE. I am protected with a well established and stable research career. Every passing second, I try to excel in my field. Whenever, my research articles get published in international journals, I feel so much contended. I feel the joy of creation, the joy of innovation. But still I feel, the joy I am getting from my routine invention is not that one I am looking for. Some void spaces, some emptiness are still left. These empty void spaces are absolutely without soul, without life.

Zindagi: What did you do, if you were not afraid?

Me: I would have broken the comfort of regularity. I would have demolished the ease of routine. I would have picked up the adventure of being a dancer, a writer, a singer, an artist, a traveler, a painter, a story teller or a fashion designer may be.

Zindagi:  Go and do that, if you weren't afraid.

Me: I told you, I lack courage. I am afraid of the dangerous and destructive outcomes of being adventurous.

Zindagi: If adventure is dangerous , routine can be the death trap. Adventure has a soul in it, Routine is deprived of it. Your soul can never meet its destiny through routine, but an adventure  may surely help.

Me: So what should I do now? Should I leave my routine research career. The career which ate ages of dedications and hard works to come in a desirable shape, a shape that made me proud, that made me happy. Would it be realistic?

Zindagi: This materialistic world and routine would kill you every moment, by some decent, apparently friendly phrases like 'Be Realistic'. You don't have to necessarily leave what you do on routine basis. You are way more blessed that your routine is at least making you happy, making you feel proud. Though that happiness and joy lacks soul. Think of billions and millions of people who neither feel happy nor proud with what they do. But you have to cross the zenith of reality, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Only then you will meet your soul, will find the joy you are constantly searching for.

Me: I am feeling like dumb, I couldn't get anything.

Zindagi: Keep your passion alive, so alive that their soul becomes visible. Keep doing research, excel in your own field as it would bring safety and protection to your soul. Safety and protection accelerates the arrival of happiness. No one on this earth exists who can't find time for their passions. 'Busy' is just a pseudo feeling and the idea of being 'Busy' is a virtual one. 
Be busy to meet your destiny. Be busy to reveal your suppressed latent talent. After doing research, dance. Dance to the point exhaustion. Dance, until you feel detached from your body.
Write as much as you can. Read whatever you get. Fall in love with words, with the expression radiating through the words. Thread the stack of words with amazing eutaxy. Write, until your words fall in love with you. 
Travel the world, meet new people, see new places. God said 'Love this world'; go and obey him. Travel, until this world loves you back. Don't worry for money, just make it work. Walk the narrow cobble-stoned streets, climb the mountains, embrace the breaking waves in sea, kiss the fountains, meet your gaze with the infinity of a desert, take warmth from a rising sun and coolness from the sinking sun, wish upon the shooting stars in dark sky. Collaborate with the nature.Listen to its story, its music.
Love the brush, love the ink, love the paper. Converse with them. Keep repeating your drawing again and again until you get assured that the brush, the ink and the paper loved you enough to gift you a masterpiece.
Ask the sheet of cloth to love the needle, though it hurts the cloth. Tell it, the needle is giving the pain to make it beautiful, to define its existence, to convert it from just a sheet of cloth into a beautiful attire. Love both the cloth and the needle. Run the needle through the fibers so delicately, so lovingly that both the needle and the sheet of cloth help you to deliver what you desire from them. Adorn them with lace, with ribbons, with glitters, with colorful beads, with silk, with beautiful pattern of stitches, with embroidery. The fashion designer would surface herself through a researcher.

Me: The process would exhaust me. 

Zindagi: When you do something with your soul, the exhaustion can never creep in. It is the body that feels exhausted. Whatever you do, writing research articles, dancing, traveling, reading, sewing or whatever; do it in a way so you attain the 'Ecstasy'. You will rise up in the space, digging the new dimensions, still remaining in touch with your body. The material plane and the spiritual plane would peacefully co-exist, being bridged by love. There should not be any moment of 'nothingness'. The void space and emptiness should be replaced by love.

Me: Routine was my cup of tea, but I want to drink champagne now.

Zindagi:  From shooting star, With love
 
Thanks for stopping by. How was the chat ? Would be pleased to know your thought.


Sunday, 31 July 2016

IT IS TOO LATE NOW OR MAY BE ITS NEVER TOO LATE




 The droplets were constantly cutting the sky, constantly without even a small hiatus. The flashes of lighting illuminating my bedroom every next minute were followed by deafening crushes of thunder. A gloomy mind filled with nothingness is not that good at generating any pleasant thought, I guess. The sound of rain, the flashing lights, the thunder storms, the non-uniform noise of ceiling fan blowing with changing speed with fluctuating voltage every minute caused intense disturbance to me.

 'Why the hell this nature is screaming like an ill mannered school kid tonight! I can't sleep properly. Is it trying to convey some sad message to me!'

'I know in Indian small towns I should not expect an unperturbed electricity connection without any voltage fluctuation. But there is something unusual tonight unlike most other days.'

Something was there that night, something unnatural, something strange, something anomaly, constantly wanted me to stay awake all night. I sat up, folding my legs against my chest. The bedside window was wide open. I fixed my eyes at the thicket in the backyard. Behind the thicket I tried to discover the small buildings owned by some middle class villagers. Beyond that, a tall temple peak adorned with saffron flag comes in sight. Beyond that, the infinite horizon surrounded with small grayish  hills block the eyes to extend its sight any further. A dreadful darkness engulfed entire place. It engulfed the trees and bushes in backyard, the colorful buildings, the temple peak, the horizon and the hills. I couldn't find any of them, no sign of their existence. Just the strings of light rolling across the dark sky disturbed the stillness.

Somehow I felt, all of them are sleeping. The thicket, the half-pitched street, the temple peak, the horizon all are sleeping peacefully. 'Am I  the only creature who can't rest her eyes in sleep tonight?  Do they breath while sleeping! As my grandma used to breath, sleeping next to me in our apartment. Often I used to listen her breathing. It was a sound  soaked with peace and calmness without any noise.'How can you all sleep so peacefully?  How can you, especially when she is struggling downstairs to make her lungs function smoothly for her. She is so much in pain. So much that she refused to open her eyes, to have a sip of water in last one week, to offer a single normal response of human organ.'   

It was too difficult to look at my Grandma in her very last week spend on this earth, with all of us, with me. Lying on her water bed and fighting hard against all the bed sores eating her body up slowly, she lost all the shines and radiance she used to emit through her skin, making her gorgeously and naturally beautiful even at her ancient age.  She didn't meet her gaze with me when I called her loud shaking her body, she didn't throw her lovely and infectious smile at me when I sat next to her and told, I left all my work behind and came just to see you, she didn't squeeze me tight, she didn't kiss my forehead as she always used to do earlier, on my return from hostel. She didn't prepare my most favorite omelet with capsicum, carrot and onion toppings, scrambled eggs and jhal muri even after knowing I die everyday to treat myself with all those delicacies.The only thing she did was, she breathed and breathed upon draining all her energy out.

According to medical science, due to aging her arteries got thickened, hampering proper blood circulation to her brain. As a consequence she had a brain stroke. For the doctors it is quite natural at the age of ninety four to go through a slow brain death. It is natural they told. 'Natural'; really? How can it be natural? It was not natural at all for me. It was entirely unnatural that her brain was so dead that it neither recognized me nor responded to me ; me who was dearest to her heart, whom she brought up in her arms, whom she fed cerelac, whom she made all ready for school on time with different hair styles everyday, whom she read Ramayana and Mahabharata and Jataka Tales a thousand times. Now medical practitioners   say its 'Natural'.

The bedroom was soaked with pin drop silence that time. That same doe-eyed, lovely ancient face smiled at me finally and then slipped behind the darkness. What a deadly smile she wore. I desperately wanted to see that face once again. She was always very much liberal to all my unfair demands and never complained. Again that face emerged to surface, smiled and this time nodded her head slightly and  disappeared again

I woke up in the early morning as my mom shook me; 'Come downstairs, grandma is no more, I think. We can't sense her pulse. The doctor is on his way'. I rushed to her, she was lying on her water bed exactly in the same posture I saw her last night. The vanished shines and radiance were back on her face, on her entire body. She had an amazing gold-like complexion, which is quite unnatural in Bengali genes. None of us in my family inherited that complexion through gene. There was no sign of pain, no sign of suffering in her lifeless body. It seemed like she is having a peaceful sleep, as she slept next to me in our apartment for long twenty five years in her life. 

She always wanted me to be a doctor. But as I didn't find any strong love for biological science I couldn't make her dream true. But when she came to know that I enrolled for PhD in chemistry and eventually it would prefix my name with a Dr. she was satisfied. But it is too late now for her to see me as Dr. Saheli Bera. 

Seeing me as a bride knotted with wedlock was her another wish she had cherished long. She always loved to see me in pink and violet shades.  'The Pink', 'The Violet' and 'The Purple' are those three shades, that Almighty has created to brighten my aura, she used to tell. May be in a couple of years or three I would be dressed in pink or violet or purple wedding saree. But that would be too late for her to see me that way. 

It is too late for many such things for her, for me, for all of us. But being a science educated person, I believe in reincarnation as science believes in 'Energy conservation laws'. May be I will get that soul back once again in my life, to repeat the next cycle of life, to stage the next drama of life. 

May be that day both of us would come to realize that 'Its Never Too Late'.  

'This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’  

Friday, 29 April 2016

MY INTERN THEORY! : : FRIENDLY DAYS OF HYDERABAD

Depression was on its highest level. After the registration in PhD program, I completed my two years but still the list of experiments done /attained conference/ journal publication was terribly empty. I was given a topic 'Eco friendly anti-corrosive coatings for steel surface' and the only thing I finished by that time was, the boring literature survey. 'They have done this and they have done that' was the only idea in my mind without having any idea of 'What I have to do' exactly in my thesis. So many times I thought to quit my PhD as no instrumental facilities were there in my institute to carry out the experimental works. Moreover, I was the only one who was working on this specific topic in our research team. Without any proper facilities and guidance, it was being pretty much difficult and next to impossible for me to frame my project out. But an eternal saying is there 'Tough time filled with depression and frustration is always followed by happy, cheerful and 'all is well wala' time. Working as an Intern in IICT Hyderbad, CSIR Laboratory was nothing less then a divine blessing for me. I got official permission to carry out my PhD work from IICT, PFM (Polymer and Functional Material) division as  intern. Finally the journey began from Kolkata to an unknown and new city, Hyderabad.


'Boys & Boys everywhere with no sign of Girls'
On the very first day all I received was warm welcome from the people over there. All new faces, most of them speaking in a incomprehensible language (Telegu), busy in laboratory works, some eyes were fixed at laptop screen and combing through latest published articles on scientific journals, rushing here and there with beakers, conical flasks or chemical bottles in hands. The pungent smell of acids and bases, the splashing sound of liquids in glass apparatus stirred with mechanical or magnetic stirrer and the constant noise of the running exhaust fan in the laboratory signaled the presence of a group of talented NET (National eligibility Test) qualified budding chemists, sincerely dedicated to chemical research. The first thought that stroke me was 'All of them seem so serious and talented!! Will it be easy to cope with them up  properly". I met with the curious gazes to the new comer. But as my scientist introduced me to them, the straight faces busy with research works and the studious eyes were transformed into smiling faces. Waving hands of 'Hi & Hello' and a formal introduction with exchanging names and where are you from with each other relieved me a little though but the feeling of everything new and unknown refused  to leave me completely.  One more reason, I felt a little uncomfortable for, was 'Boys & Boys everywhere with no sign of Girls' in that laboratory. Holy Christ, I am the only girl who is going to share the laboratory with eleven boys. The scientist strictly ordered the male researchers to provide their assistance and co-operation to me, whenever needed. 

Guest House II, DRU 16

After the introduction session at my workplace, I was given accommodation in a double room unit of Institute's guest house. I was all alone in that room, missing my friends and family in Kolkata and feeling nervous with the thought of how the entire work can be done in six months. In evening when the door bell rang, I realized that I felt asleep for more than two hours. On the other side of the door was standing a girl, two eyes were shining with sharp intelligence and a bright, radiant smile was all over her face. 'Hey you stay alone right? Can I shift here?'. Suddenly seeing a new face in a new place, I got a little confused. But then managing the situation , I told, 'Yeah sure, why not! Come inside'. She was a Tamil girl, Kaushalya, doing her M.Tech in Nanotechnology and came as an intern just like me. She was shifting her stuffs from the opposite apartment into mine and was pretty much busy in cleaning her room. Slowly we started connecting with each other. On the very first day, I became an ultimate fan of her delicious cooking. After having lunch I was not in the mood to go for evening snacks anymore. By the dinner time, when I was just about to leave for dinner she offered me garam chapatis with freshly cooked tomato curry. The flavour is still there in my test buds. When you are nervous with over dosage of too much newness and unknownness from new people and new place, miles away from your family, have a huge burden of works to do to save your career and terribly hungry without any idea of where to go for dinner in that new place, the ready made garam chapatis served with tasty curry comforted my nervous and confused mind & body.

The Helpless Borrower & The Kind Lenders

Next day again it was my turn to visit the very much busy laboratory, where I have to start my work with talented and efficient group of male researchers. Nervousness got into my nerves. But then the brave heart ( hidden somewhere deep down) calmed me  "C'mon!! No need to be worried, they won't eat you up.'' When I stepped inside my lab, I came to know a Bengali boy is also working in that laboratory as an intern with the very same surname of mine, Mihir Bera. The presence of a Bengali fellow helped me to fight the nervousness. But slowly, I started interacting with other people as well. An active and restless guy, Ram Keval Yadav (popular as Keval), apparently refusing even a trace of laziness or in-activeness in him, actively shared his working bench with me without a word of complain or disturbance. As I carried nothing with me for my experimental work except some chemicals, I started borrowing glass apparatus, chemicals and other stuffs (necessary for my research) from my lab-mates. 'May I have a 250 mL beaker please?' or 'I want a conical' or 'Can you please give me a marker pen' or ' Where can I get this and where can I get that?'. Within a day or two I made a sufficient stock of glassware and chemicals of my own.Specially, Mihir ( The only Bengali acquaintance in lab) , Anthony (a sober and happy Tamil boy, working next to me), Keval (the owner of my working bench) and Ramu (a Telegu boy, the owner of most of my glassware) extended a good hand of help to me.None of them showed any rejection, any isolation, any authority or any superiority to me. They all turned kind lenders to a helpless borrower and helped the new comer to be a part of the laboratory slowly. 

Guest House II was full of Fun
   
It started with Kaushalya and the number of friends slowly extended in the list day by day. After having a hectic schedule of nine to five in laboratory, the chit-chat time, the gossip moment, the scuttling noise of interns and the movie, dancing and music session always filled the air inside Guest House II. Every evening we girls used to go outside in large group to explore different tea stalls, the punugu shops (A popular Hyderabadi snack item), the juice corners and the most favorite Hyderabadi Biryani from various restaurants. Life was full of excitement. The panic of unknownness, the frustration of pending jobs, the tension of unstable career vanished one by one from mind. Life was giving a strong and single message every single moment: "These days won't come back again. I am too short to be anything but happy. Live your fullest."  Kaushalya used to make delicious south Indian dishes in dinner everyday for me. I started helping her and took my very first step in the world of kitchen. I learned how to make chapatis, I made my south indian friends disclose the recipe of Lemon rice, Tamarind rice, Sambar, egg curry, tomato curry, Rasam, Upma and so many dishes. I started constructing simple and short sentences (with full of flaws and mistakes) in Tamil & Telegu and they (specially Kaushalya) started copying my sentences in Bengali ( I literally rolled on the floor laughing, when I heard her Chinese version of Bengali). 

A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed

It was a Thursday evening, when I went outside to buy my dinner as my test buds were tempted for North Indian food and I needed a break from South Indian dishes. When I was on the way back my Guest House with a parcel of Aloo Paratha and Aloo Gobi ki sabji in my hand, suddenly an Auto Rickshaw hit me from back. I fell on my mouth in the middle of the road and my North Indian food got smashed under the wheels of that vehicle. When I tried to get up, I found my legs got collapsed and I was unable to move. With the help of the passerby I got into an Auto and reached Guest House. All my friends rushed to me with first aid treatment, consoling me and giving me courage in that difficult time. From taking me to the health center, to buying the prescribed medicine, collecting the X-Ray report, making food for me, helping me to tie the bandage and applying ointments on cuts and scratches, each and every little things were done by them. It was Kaushalya, who neither allowed me to sleep alone in bed nor to move even a little for a glass of water. Each and every second I was under her intense care and nursing. When the male researchers came to know about my accident, they too did every possible help I needed then.  I feel short of words to express my gratitude to them for active support and kind help in tough time.

The Great Bunk on Shuvo Nobo-Borsho

It was 15th April, 2015 and Bengali new year as well. Seeing me attired in new dress, the lab-mates thought it was my birthday. But breaking their wrong conception, I greeted them 'Shuvo Nobo Borsho' (Happy New Year) and also encouraged them to greet me back in the same way. At last, all of them greeted me new year 'Shuvo Nobo Borsho'  in broken Bengali and with South Indian accent. I and Mihir were feeling terribly home sick. In Hyderabad no Bengali cultural function was there, we were unable to manage Bengali food in lunch or dinner inside IICT and the sleeping Bengali soul inside us suddenly woke up and raised a strong protest against eating rice, curd, sambar and coconut chutney in lunch. So we asked help from Google to find out some affordable  Bengali restaurants in Hyderabad. We found one, but as both I and Mihir were new to that city, we were utterly confused with how to get to that place. Mihir and I tactfully convinced Keval and Anthony to participate in the forbidden act of bunking laboratory with us. It was a great new year indeed. I was miles away from my home town, eating hot Basmati rice, Mug er Daal, aloo posto (a mixed curry with potato and poppy seeds), Mach er paturi (A popular fish preparation in West Bengal) and Kosha Mangsho (chicken curry with spicy gravy) and celebrating Bengali New year. Bengali people have a very strong tooth for sweet. The chana r payesh (Kheer), Gulab Jamun crowded in syrupy bath and Rashogolla in desert beautifully completed the Bengali new year celebration. Without Keval's spontaneous help, it would had been certainly a spoiled Nobo-Borsho with boring lunch menu in IICT canteen. 

It's time to learn

My dear readers must be thinking, whether it is an Internship period or a summer camp memory. No, it was not a summer camp and was definitely an internship program. Those days taught me some great lessons. The seniors were always ready to help me with their good advice, suggestions and new innovative ideas in my topic. It was Keval, Mihir and Anthony, who taught me the skills of casting coating films free of defects on tin foil and to remove the films out of mercury chamber with great cautions. Rohit, an extraordinary talented researcher, shared some of his amazing and brilliant ideas regarding the novelty of my work. The senior most research scholar
 Nagraj, helped me a lot with collecting data and graph through instrumental software. Without my amazing and friendly male lab-mates, it would have been impossible for me to finish my thesis work just in six months. With their help, the wastage of two years of my PhD program was compensated just in six months.

 I have finished all my experimental works and the PhD thesis is in process right now. But those lovely moments of placing order of Hyderabadi Biryani after every two or three days, early morning jogging in fresh air, hectic lab hours, learning new theories and experimental stuffs, standing in long queue of breakfast and lunch in front of canteen, weekend sight seeing and hang out with my friends, my first live IPL cricket match in Uppal stadium with Mihir, Anthony and Kaushalya and all those happening birthday parties have reserved a soft and emotional corner in my heart for lifetime. Those six months of Internship period taught me some great lessons. 

  • How to welcome a new comer in a new environment. The behavior of surrounding people and their co-operation can greatly motivate or comfort the new creature in that unknown place.
  • I learned the value of friendship, I witnessed how selflessly people can help at the time of need. 
  • The efficient people over there taught me how to manage huge amount of work in a short time span with efficient planning and strategy.
  • The value and the spirit of  team work.
  • We should always keep a safe distance from being judgmental, and should keep a liberal acceptability for every person with different mentalities, attitudes, communities and lifestyles.
  • I explored the caring and loving friend inside me too, their appreciation and acceptance made me feel confident and special.
  • At last but not the least, the great lesson of life 'Enjoy each and every moment, don't miss a single moment to explore. Life is too short to be anything but happy."
   “I’m sharing my first internship experience for the #MyInternTheory activity at BlogAdda in association with Intern Theory.”

  I am praying to God , may those lovely and amazing people get all the happiness and success in their lives.        

   Thanks for stopping by. Please share your feelings before leaving.      

        

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Grand Parent Stories: A SHELTER TO THE LITTLE SOUL

That  night was a terrible one for me. It was being impossible for  me to rest my eyes in sleep. The first feeling of heartbreak, the pain of rejection, the enormous sorrow from heartless betrayal from the loved ones and bursting out in silent tears are not very uncommon facts when one is going through most sensual time period of life-the Teenage.  The countless nights I spend sulking on the pillow crying, when I realized on my own, how worthless it feels to be cheated by someone, very much close to your heart. I was in my nineteens by that time, so every next morning I had to pretend everything's fine and life is all perfect. The pillow under the head, the blue night bulb just in front my bed, the walls of my bedroom and my Nokia 1100 handset were only those few objects, that saw me crying every night. But it feels too difficult when you have to maintain the silence very carefully while crying. Because it was my grandma who always accompanied me in bed from a very early age of my life. Our bedroom was never blessed with a pin drop silence fortunately.  As the apartment is just nearby a busy railway station, the whistling local trains, the noise of metro rail  running in a jet speed and the lady voice announcing the scheduled arrival of the local trains or regretting for the inconvenience of passengers due to delayed arrival of the trains always filled the air inside the bedroom. 
But one day grandma woke up suddenly. Her old ears could sense a different sound other than the common earshots from the busy railway station. A sound of sobbing, a sound of cracking nose, a feeling of a shivering body by her side woke her up. 
"Are you crying?" She asked me putting the lights on. 
My broken voice managed to answer somehow, "No, why?" . But my acting skills was too weak to conceal the truth. I couldn't even meet with her gaze. As the flowing tears wetted all over the eyes and the nose and the face.
"Why are you crying, What happened?", She asked me.
I chose to remain silent, not willing to answer her. But just to manage the situation, I told, I had some serious controversy with some of my friends and that is disturbing me a lot. She sensed that something is being kept hidden from her. But she never tried to dig it deeper. Whole night she was sitting by my side, running her loving fingers through my hair and wiping my tears. Her consoling and caring words were just like a lullaby. When the mobile alarm beeped next morning, I felt that I slept last night. I slept at a stretch for more than six hours and didn't wake up even for a second in night. It was nothing less than a miracle to me in those difficult time.
 After I stepped on this earth, only for first three months I was under the intense care of my mother day and night. As she was a working lady, she left me entirely to my grandma and joined her school from the fourth month onward.  I can't remind those days even a little and it is quite natural. But as I heard from my mother, I had tortured my grandma beyond a limit as, it was one of the most  torturous jobs to feed me that time. Most of the time I used to be in a very cheerful mood except when it was the time to eat. She used to take me to the terrace and showed me the cat, the dog, the birds and every visible stuffs there to divert my attention from the bowl of Cerelac or corn flakes or the small cup of milk. Every time it took more than a couple of hours to finish the meal. But she never used to run out of patience. She was always full of love, affection and extremely caring to me. That's why even in my mother's presence it was her task to feed me. Because no one in the family was as expert in this horrible task as she was.

source
 What I remember is, the days when I started going to school. She used to bath me, used to prepare my tiffinbox, used to comb my damp hair and always fulfilled my strong demands on different hair styles everyday. One day the hair had to be parted from the middle with two little plastic clips on both sides, the next day it had to be a side parting with a big Micky Mouse clip on one side, some time two little horse tails tied with red ribbons and some time a pony tale at the back like senior girls. The expert hair stylist was always available to me without a word of disturbance or complain. Thankfully, a school uniform was there and I was not allowed to experiment with different dresses. Otherwise, to get me ready for the school  would had been a punishment to my grand ma. 

source


My all time favorite item in tiffinbox was the delicious french toast or omelet or scrambled eggs  made by her. Almost everyday I used  to request her to make french toast for me. But my mother had a strong objection with eating french toast everyday for health issues and allowed me to have omelet or french toast or scrambled eggs only once in a week. But she was pretty much aware of this fact that the loving grandmother is very much lenient towards her spoiled granddaughter and her unfair demands. So every day after coming back from school the first task of my mother was to open the door of refrigerator and to check the number of eggs left there. But I and my grandmother were much smarter than her. Everyday grandma used to go with me to the bus stand for the school bus and returned home only after seeing me seated comfortably in the bus. On the  way back home the number of eggs in the refrigerator were tactfully compensated from the local grocery shop. So that, I could enjoy the eggs crisp fried, full of onions and tomatoes and capsicums in my lunch break twice or thrice in a week. 
source


The exciting and adventurous stories connected us quite strongly, I remember still now. When I was very young and was unable to do a smooth reading from the books, it was my grandma who used to read those stories to me. The story of the brave prince saving her princess from the ferocious demon, the story of Ramchandra, Lakshman and Sita from Ramayan, the Kauravs and the Pandavas and the war of Kurukshetra in Mahabharat, Cinderella with her lost shoe, the race between rabbit and the tortoise. When I grew up a little and started reading simple stories and rhymes, I was asked to read the stories to her. Every time when I had a wrong pronunciation or had difficulty to spell a difficult word, I always found her ready with  loving and sincere corrections. 

source

 I have a very strong strong affinity for water and I really don't have any idea whom I inherited this affinity from. There used to be a small pond in front of our apartment. Every afternoon, I and my grandma used to go to terrace to water the plants, to play and to see the birds of different species flying back their nest. That little pond always drew my attention. For a long time my eyes got fixed at that pond, seeing some young boys jumping and bathing in that pond.  One day, suddenly I started nagging and pulling my grand ma's hand for taking me to the pond. She looked a little disturbed and told "Please don't ask me to do something that I can't do for you. If I will take you to that pond and if somehow your mother would come to know this , you would get a good hand of dhulaai from her." But seeing me crying and rolling on the floor she promised me, "Okay, calm down now. I would make an artificial pool for you in the bathroom when your parents wouldn't be at home." One day we got that opportunity. Grandma thoroughly cleaned the bathroom with floor cleaner and asked our maid to manage two or three bricks. With those bricks she blocked the outlet of our bathroom and ran all the taps and shower in bathroom and the water got logged inside the bathroom. She and the maid went mad laughing, seeing me dancing, jumping and rolling in logged water raised just up to my knee level.

The reason, I am most grateful to my grandma is for saving me from my mother's tough treatment or you can say dhulaai whenever I scored poor marks in exam. Every time my mother beat me up with different stuffs nearby her hands, a ruler, a stick or a cooking spoon, the old lady always arrived at the torture spot to save her peanut from a strict mother. Afterwards she never missed to give a silent treatment to my mother for being rude to me. Even when after few hours, I and my mother used to patch up peacefully with each other but my grandma used to continue her silent punishment towards my mother for weeks.

Till my graduation days my grandma was with us in Kolkata. But when I left Kolkata for my Masters it became impossible for her to stay all alone in the apartment. Both my mother and father leave for their jobs early morning and come back in the afternoon. Spending the entire day without a single sight of mine in that 3BHK apartment started accumulating depression and loneliness in her. The television set with some boring  TV shows, our maid coming for an hour or two and doing the cleaning and washing and laundry and the newspaper and the story books gave her company in lonely moments.  Slowly she started having problems with her health. On doing thorough medical checkup the doctor couldn't find anything serious in the reports. Somehow my father sensed that it is the loneliness and depression that is making her sick with no reason. So she was sent to our native place, where the rest of my family stay together.

Grandma is in Jamshedpur now from last five years. Every year on the vacation of  Durgapuja or Diwali we go there and meet her. She is healthy, happy and spending a quality time with her grandchildren and other family members. But when I come home, I miss her terribly every time I sleep on my bed and listen to the lady voice announcing the arrival times of the local trains , when I open the refrigerator and see the egg rack, when I clean the dust from old story books and photo albums. I am incomplete without her in this 3BHK apartment. I love her a lot, I miss her a lot. She was like a shelter to my soul.

 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.
   
Thank you for stopping by. Please pray for long life, good heath and happiness for the loveliest lady of my life.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

#CTRL+S # ON NATURE: BE GREEN & BE SAFE



Prakriti, a 30 years old beautiful lady who has been blessed with a baby girl just three years back. She was dead against with the concept of day care or Nanny for her little angel. So, she quit her job after she was awarded with the prestigious designation 'Mommy'. Prakriti is settled with her husband in New Jersey. After completion of her PhD in Environmental Science, she was employed in a private US company as a soil toxicity analyst. She was continents away from her family and friends for the sake of her marriage. So, naturally in United States her daughter was that one person whom she used to feel the strongest biological connection with. As her husband leaves for work in early morning, Prakriti shares a heavenly moment with Rene (her 3 years old daughter) all day long. Prakriti can observe a beautiful mixed impression of her own and that of her husband in Rene's physique. She is growing up slowly, developing keen interest and curiosity about almost anything and everything on this earth. Prakriti was always a little shy (not introvert) from her childhood. Moreover, in the posh western society of New Jersey, it is not a very common practice to have a lovey-dovey relationship with neighbors. As a consequence, both mommy and daughter didn't have any so called social good friend there. This fact built an intense soul to soul attachment within them. The parents decided to send Rene to kindergarten from next year. Every time when Prakriti's in laws make a phone call or have a video chat, they never miss to remind the new mother that "Promise us, you people will not get settled in States. Please bring our Rene up as an Indian child with Indian values and morals. . Most importantly, we don't want to see an American child in our grand daughter."Some time Prakriti feels so helpless being all alone there.With a growing kid, she has to cook, has to do the laundry, has to pay the household bills in time, has to do the cleaning and dusting. The sense of 'she is strictly ordered to bring her daughter up as an Indian and not as an American' makes Prakriti nervous. Finding her little daughter passing her time with iPad in her hand when Prakriti is not around or busy in kitchen or laundry, assured her that somehow she is not being able to grow up an Indian in Rene. She is all engrossed in American TV shows and cartoon channels rather in toys and dolls that have been sent to her from India. In the meantime, Prakriti's father visited her place in New Jersey and met Rene for the very first time. Prakriti discussed her problems with him.
Prikriti: " Dad, I am unable to pay my full attention to Rene as I am the only one who has to do all the households all alone when her father is on tour."
Dad: "But you chose this life on your own. Even you too don't want  your child to be a nerd. But without any friends and family how can you expect her to be a social bee."
Prakriti: "But unlike our Indian society the American kids don't exchange their play zones to make friends and their own little worlds." 
Dad:"I understand beta. But is it really necessary to have human friends to engage Rene in creative and social activities. Do you remember your childhood days beta? What made you so fond of nature that you finally decided to dedicate yourself in the study of nature and excelled in your field ?"
Prakriti: "I miss those days a lot Dad. How beautiful those days were!!"
Dad: "If I am not mistaking you too didn't have a huge friend circle. Most of the time you used to  be in garden, with seasonal flowers,  with vegetable plants, with your pet dog Skubo. Had you ever felt that you don't have friends or felling terribly bored. From those days actually I and your mom observed a great environmental scientist budding inside you. Its not always the choice of carrier. But it is always about the sense of responsibility towards nature around us."
 Few days later Prakriti's father bought some flower plants of different colors, a peat moss and some bonsai from nearby nursery and planted in the unused grass land in their backyard. Little Rene was full of excitement as this gardening activity was all new to her. She observed carefully how her Dadu is pushing the shovel into the ground and hacking away at grass. The growing mountain of soil by the side turned Rene's new play zone. She started helping her Dadu in planting and gardening.
source

Dadu: "Don't bury the plants too deep Rene. They won't grow properly otherwise."  
Rene: "Which color of flowers will come out from this plant Dadu?"
Dadu: "Most probably red or pink."
Rene: "When will they come out?"
Dadu: "Very soon. But for smooth growing of these plants you have to water them regularly beta. Otherwise they will definitely die in strong sun."

source
 Prakriti was amazed to see how beautifully her little daughter is being responsible towards her new little green friends. Her friends are also growing like her as she waters them religiously. Rene and her Dadu spent all day outdoors, until dusk. The iPad was abandoned and was no more in Rene's friend list. 
One day, in dinner table Prakriti asked Rene "So baby, it seems like you are enjoying the gardening very much with Dadu, huh??"
Rene with a big smile , "Yes mom, if I will water those plants regularly they will turn into big trees one day. The rabbits, the bears, the birds, the giraffes, the zebras all will come and will stay in my garden. They are in big trouble as people are cutting the trees off and they have no place to live in."
Dadu with a loving smile: "I can see one more naturalist just like my daughter." 

source
source

One fine morning Prakriti's father woke up and found her daughter not inside house. She called her and found she has left her cellphone in bedroom. Rene was sleeping like a pure little rain drop in her own cot. When Dadu and Rene was having breakfast Prakriti opened the door and entered with a little cane basket in her hand. 
Rene: "What's that?"
Dadu didn't ask any question though but he seemed equally curious towards the basket. Prakriti was smiling with her eyes shining bright. She told her father ,"Dad, thanks to you. But from last few days I am overwhelmed seeing Rene's sense of responsibility towards those tiny little growing plants. So I thought of one more friend for my little girl. She is growing up after all".   When she opened the basket a little furry puppy started peeping out from the basket. 
"Its a doggie", Rene shouted in excitement . "Is it my doggie Mom?" 
Prikriti:" Yes, its yours." 
Rene was so happy , she  couldn't resist herself  from dancing, jumping, laughing and shouting in endless joy. Unlike those plants, this friend can blink it's eyes, can walk around her, can eat food and drink milk from bowl just like her.
Dad: "Prakriti, I am quite sure now, that you are no more feeling guilty of not bringing your daughter up properly. It's not important whether she is growing up as an Indian or an American kid. But it is more important that she is growing up as wonderful kid who is very much responsible and loving towards nature.
Prakriti: "You are right Dad. I still remember the day when mom took Skubo our home. At that very young age unknowingly I built  a strong connection with him. I enjoyed motherhood with my Skubo. When Scubo fell sick I allowed neither you nor Mom to nurse him. The entire care was taken by me."  
Little Rene was running after that new guest all the day long. Sometime she was asked by her Mom or Dadu not to disturb that little puppy too frequently. It is new to their home and will take some time to get used to. But it was too difficult to bring Rene out of her innocent excitement. She was not ready to leave her little puppy alone for a second. As the days passed on, the little puppy was also found in the garden area accompanying Rene and Dadu in gardening. Prakriti has two kids now to take care of. She is thankful to her Dad for getting help at right time. That little doggie has two mothers and often feels confused in between the two authorities. Rene is exploring a cute innocent motherhood, very much busy in nourishing the growing plants and the puppy.
source


Three months passed and now it is Dadu's turn to fly back home. In these three months Dadu  witnessed a drastic change in that little girl's behavior. In the former days Rene was attached to those lifeless electronic gadgets the most. But today she is surprisingly behaving like a responsible nature lover who never skips to water her plants once or twice in a day. When those little plants will be transformed into big trees, she is planning to give shelter to the rabbits, the birds, the bears, the giraffes, the zebras in her own garden. She is so caring and loving to her puppy. Dadu bought a fish bowl too for her and her number of friends got extended by two or three. She feeds the fishes daily thrice in a day and strongly demands to change the water inside the bowl whenever she finds it turbid. 

source
 
source

Prakriti: "Please stay here Dad for few moths more. I need you. Rene needs you the most."
Dad: "Don't worry. Your daughter is very intelligent and sensible just like you. She has learned how to save the nature, how to love the animals. This lesson has been deep rooted inside her in last three months and I think she will carry it long way in her life. "
 Rene is now four years old and can attain the phone calls and  video chat on her own, when her Mom remains busy in other stuffs. She shows her plants in garden to her grandparents, gives detail description on how her puppy jumps on her and licks her cheeks when she comes back from school. They have ordered a bigger fish bowl as she wants more fishes as her friends. Grandparents feel overwhelmed seeing Rene's lovely activity. Finally, when Prakriti joins Rene in video call, every time they admit Rene is an amazing kid and the entire credit goes to Prakriti. 


What if the space scientists come up with a ground shaking invention of a 'life giving and emotion mapping' device for the nearby planets to Earth !!! 'Eureka'!!  I'm pretty sure, one of the strong conclusions established by that wondrous device would be something like in the picture below.

source
 
Its high time to press Cntrl+S on nature now. So that our next generation can have breathable air, a well balanced ecosystem, pollution free environment. So that they don't have to face any danger regarding rising temperature and sea level. So at this stage we  all should teach our kids how to save our nature and maintain beauty and bounty of nature for a long time to come.


  •  We should teach our children to plant trees and have to make them realize how important the trees are to keep the temperature and pollution level in control.
  • Instead of recognizing the model numbers, price ranges and  detail specifications of mobiles and tabs and laptops we should encourage them to recognize different plants, birds, insects and animals.
  • Try to bring the pet lover out of your kid. Indirectly it will help the kid to be compassionate, helpful, loving and responsible in a  nuclear family environment . It's not always about me and myself. 
  • Always remind them to switch the lights and fans off before leaving the room.
  • Encourage the young generation not to use non-biodegradable materials. As for example, the jute bags can be amazing and fashionable alternate to plastic bags.
  • The lesson, 'cleanliness is godliness' must be deep rooted from very early age.
  • Be very strict regarding the wastage of food and water as a child dies every five seconds as a result of hunger. For some a snack, for some a day's meal. So not wasting food is always a good virtue.
  • At last, kids always learn and adapt from what we do, not from what we teach or preach.     

Be Green, Be Safe & Be Healthy

 “I’m blogging about how I’ll remind kids to press Ctrl+S for nature for the Shortcut Safaari weekend activity at BlogAdda.”

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please share your thoughts and feelings before leaving.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

DREAM PROFESSION: A RESTLESS GLOBE TREKKER

I inherited the hobby of story reading (which has been pathetically replaced by online chatting,  online movie watching on you tube and destructive time killing with nimble fingers on touchscreen of smartphone now a days)  from my father. I still remember after coming back from school instead of  watching Walt Disney Cartoon show religiously I used to spend my free hours with story books. As being born and brought up in a Bong family I never ran short of amazing adventurous stories from Bengali authors (and of course English authors as well). Some went into deep forest of Amazon to kill the cruel Anaconda, some headed towards the Jungle of Masai Mara in Kenya and wrote a brave story of conquering the ferocious demon. In some books the pages were beautifully occupied by the breathtaking description how one won the access to inaccessible Mount Everest with his amazing rock climbing strategy. The great Tagore visited Iraq and received warm hospitality from the 'Bedouine chiefs'. Being fascinated by the beauty of desert and unperturbed Bedouine culture how beautifully he expressed his wish to be an "Arab-Bedouine". The 'Man-eaters of Kumaon', ' The Champawat Tiger', 'The Leopard of Rudraprayag' and many more from the legendary hunter Jim Corbett can easily accumulate a great anticipation for wild life and nature. 

So, naturally my dear readers you can easily realize the fact, as I spent a very sensual time period of my life with such huge collection of adventurous stories, the earthy smell always haunts me like anything. It was a time, when a child sets no boundaries or limits to his imagination, curiosity, anticipation or astonishment. The single and strong query of "what else are hidden in this mother earth" was a frequent visitor to my mind. The hunger to see the world, to know the world and to enrich my knowledge and experience bank drives me totally crazy. So my dream is to be a professional globe trekker or travel journalist. Though I was predestined to be a researcher but thankfully my life has taught me one great lesson regarding the energy exchange process between the 'Soul and the Universe', which takes the from like
 
“Whatever is being strongly imagined by you right now will take the test of your patience and positive thought to come true”.


Almighty has blessed me enough to make my dream true (slowly though). Though I couldn't be a globe trekker but I got some amazing opportunities to visit the African wild life and to have a friendly introduction with the Masai tribe.




  While visiting Cambodia the wondrous architectural piece of "Angkor Wat" (which was pictorially visible in history text book only) was right in front of my eyes. 

  

In Phuket the James Bond island surrounded with unbelievable natural fusion of rock and water was no more confined to the scene of James Bond movie but I was right there.

In Lakshadweep tour I met with all my fantasies about mysterious underwater world. During snorkeling session I almost imagined myself being my most favorite cartoon character 'The little Mermaid", swimming around with colorful bunch of piscine friends, an awkward lonely turtle and colorful corals.  
  






My eyes and curiosity are still too undisciplined to come under control. The entire land of great India with her huge natural diversity, the mesmerizing Pyramid and Sphinx in the desert of Egypt, the Neil valley and the Neil delta, the Alps in Europe, the Gondola ride in Venice, the colorful tulip garden in Amsterdam, Roman forum and the Colosseum in Rome, bioluminiscient beaches glowing like a night light in Maldives, cute and playful Penguin community, dove-white ice sculptures in Antarctica and that hypnotizing Aurora Borealis -like splashing watercolors the rippling colors across the dark night sky of Northern still crawl inside my sleepy eyes and take me to that unknown wonderland. 

I know a single life span won't be enough to disclose all hidden beauties and secrets in this mother earth. But definitely I would pray to God to bless me with my dream profession to travel at least half of my dreamland. 





                               ' And Miles to go before I sleep'- Robert Frost


I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!