Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Twin Flames!!


let’s talk about unabashed, unapologetic romantic love.

Shall we?

“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” used to be my 101 of love for a long time. Catherine had said this about Heathcliff, in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It was part of our course, and we were sold on it. Every girl from the classroom. We had assumed our life’s purpose to be a simple one, around that age and time. We needed to find our own Heathcliffs!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Book Journey - Broken Open (Elizabeth Lesser)

This was first published at Writersmelon

Spirituality sounds like a big word, especially when you are twenty-three, and haven’t had any real crisis in your world so far. That was when I had first come across this book. The name on the cover read – Broken Open. And then there was a line below it, which read – How Difficult Times Can Help US Grow.  I was yet to know what that may mean. And yet, I had turned over its pages.

The book really can best be summarised by a quote of Anais Nin, which the Prelude opens with: “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Those were the times of coils that came in hard green pungent sheltering smelling cakes, shaped in thin spiral mazes. They could hardly beat the beasts, for when it was evening they would come around in battalion forces. The blow of the conch shells - they came in triads from different neighborhood houses and just when the sun would turn orange from white. We would know that with the first sound of it, we must hurry to climb up the beds, sofa or the benches  closest to the walls, to grab the wooden windows by their edges and pull them shut. The more organic households would put coconut leftovers into an iron handi and burn them to keep them away, and then, when even that would fail we would gather to clap our hands into a mad mass mosquito killing spree. Not that we hated it, for it also meant a respite from handwriting practice.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

পাড়ার মেয়ে

“পাড়ার মেয়ে” শব্দ জোড়াটা আজকাল প্রায় উঠেই গেছে বলা চলে। কোন বাড়ির মেয়ে, বড়জোর। অর্থাৎ কিনা, বাবা কাকা কেউ যদি পলিটিক্সে থাকেন বা অন্তত সিভিল সার্ভিসে, অথবা ডাক্তার উকিল কিছু একটা পারিবারিক বংশপরাক্রমে। একটু বড় হলে কোন স্কুলে দিলে গো মেয়েকে, বা কোন কলেজে চান্স পেলো, কোন সাব্জেক্ট? আবার, আর একটু বড় হলে মিসেস হেনা তেনা কিছু একটা, যাবতীয় লিঙ্গ সাম্যের মুখে চুনকালি মাখিয়ে। অফিসের ব্যাপারটা আবার আলাদা, ডিপার্টমেন্ট দিয়ে নামে চেনা যায়, ভিজিটিং কার্ডে একঝলকেই আন্দাজ করে নেওয়া যা কি বা তাঁর পড়াশোনা, কদ্দুর কি ক্ষমতা। বাচ্চার স্কুলে সেই বাচ্চার মা, ওই যে, ছোট করে চুল কাটা, বা একটু মোটার দিকে চেহারা। পরিচয় অনেক রকমেরই হয় বইকি। সব কিছু পেরিয়ে আবার এও জানা হয়ে যায় যে পরিচয় শব্দটাই একটা আগাগোড়া ভুল ধারণা, পুরো জীবনটাই আসলে নিজেকে খুঁজে ফেরার অলি গলি পাকস্থলী। তবু… 

তবু, এই বচ্ছরকার শীতকালের সময়টায় যে নিয়ম করে “ওমা, কবে এলি?“, হোক না মাত্র কটা দিনের জন্যই। অতীতের মায়া দিয়ে ঘেরা এই ব্যাক্তিচর্চা, এক নিশ্বাসে অনেকগুলো বছর অতিক্রম করে যায় চক্ষের নিমেষে। পাড়ার মেয়ে পরিচয়টা, আগের মতই এখনও, ডাকনামের উষ্ণতা নিয়ে ঘিরে থাকে আমার শীতকাল।

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Six Lessons - "Dear Zindagi" attempts it big!

This post was first published in Feministaa.

They say a film that is good is one that is honest. But no, not here. The beauty of Dear Zindagi is really in its pretense. For, it does a tight ropewalk between intellectual high tea of essential life lessons, and a soothing, upfront, breezy way of telling us an anyday story of an anyday girl. That is the only way to tell this story so that it can reach till us, so that it can do its work. So that it can make a difference, after all. Dear Zindagi is not an arty film, not at the least. And yet it is so pleasant and so ahead of its time that you feel almost grateful. Dear Zindagi is among the standing proofs of Indian cinema having come of age. It is a milestone, too, in a way.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Children Stories - fears and freedom!

This article was first published at Feministaa

How much can books make or break lives, I often wonder. What role do they play in shaping up who you are? Well if you ask me, I’d say quite a lot.

And yet, do we realize the power of printed words? Do we realize our restrictions with them, and our responsibilities? Do we realize what the bedtime stories cane do to our children, when we say them?

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

কে এই ভিকি রায়?

This post was first published in Rabibashoriyo, Anandabazar Patrika

২০০৮ সালে, গোটা বিশ্ব থেকে চার জন ফোটোগ্রাফারকে বাছা হয়েছিল, নিউ ইয়র্কে গিয়ে ওয়ার্ল্ড ট্রেড সেন্টারের পুনর্নির্মাণের ফোটো-ডকুমেন্টেশনের জন্য। নির্বাচিত চার জনের দুজন আমেরিকা থেকে, এক জন হংকংয়ের। আর চতুর্থ জন, ভারত থেকে। ভারত থেকে? কই, শুনিনি তো!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Peshwa (by Ram Sivasankaran)

When history is killed in printed letters from education board prescribed textbooks, it easily translates into simple quantum of scores upon annual marksheets. Good kings and bad kings, inheritances and battles, dates and events, problems causes and solutions. Lucky few chapters find resonance with stories told at home, like those of the freedom fighters, or those which stay for matters of future wisdom, the Indus Valley Civilization or the Joan of arc. For a thorough bong with adequate communal history to learn from and talk about, our exposure to kingdoms stayed sadly restricted to the famous Mughal lineage for its sheer magnificence, and to young king Sirajudullah on account of humane sympathy. The Maratha kingdom and its precise politics, sadly, never made a cut at a personal level until last year it jazzed up the silver screen. A compelling revelation, that they too fell in love and suffered, fought battles also of internal nature, sacrificed. And before the effect entirely faded, suddenly came by a chance for a commissioned book review, The Peshwa by Ram Sivasankaran.