emotions...

emotions...
...life's only treasures

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

ওরে পলাশ

"ওরে ভাই, ফাগুন লেগেছে বনে বনে -
ডালে ডালে ফুলে ফলে পাতায় পাতায় রে,
আড়ালে আড়ালে কোণে কোণে ।।"
শহরে বড় হওয়া। পলাশ ফুল সেভাবে চিনি নি কোনওদিন। সরস্বতী পুজোর সময়েও সে ফুল এই শহরে বেশ দুর্মূল্য, ফুল বিক্রেতা দের কাছে। তাই তালিকা থেকে বাদ পড়ত প্রতি বছরই। চেনা হয়নি, রবিঠাকুরের পলাশ, চেনা হয়নি বসন্ত উৎসবের পলাশ, চেনা হয়নি শান্তিনিকেতনের পলাশ। কোনওদিন কেউ চিনিয়ে দেয়নি, ওইটা পলাশ গাছ, ঐটা পলাশ ফুল।
ফেসবুকের দৌলতে পলাশ ফুল চেনা। বন্ধুদের অ্যালবাম -এ, সকলের টাইমলাইনে। তারপর আরো ভালো করে চেনা গুগ্‌ল করে। বাঙালির মেয়ে বাঙলায় বসে পলাশ চিনছে ইন্টারনেটে! হায় রে!
তা সে যাই হোক, ৩৭ বছর বয়সে প্রথম কোন্‌টা পলাশ জেনে, পলাশ দেখা পলাশ চেনা। আর দেখা মাত্রই এক অজানা আকর্ষণে প্রেমে পড়ে যাওয়া। সেটা প্রেমের পড়ার সময় নয় মোটেই। বাবা তখন গুরুতর অবস্থায় অ্যাপোলো তে ভর্তি। অসুখ ভালো হওয়া দূরের কথা, অবস্থা একেকদিন একেকরকম। মে মাসের প্রচন্ড গরম। প্রচন্ড চিন্তা। অ্যাপোলোর ক্রমে আকাশচুম্বী বিল। সর্বত্র শুধু অন্ধকার। সেই সময় কসবা থেকে বাইপাস ধরে অ্যাপোলো যাওয়ার পথে হঠাত একদিন খেয়াল করলাম, পলাশ গাছ না!! পলাশ ফুল না!! একটু পরে আরেকটা গাছ। তারও একটু পরে আরেকটা গাছ। আগুনে পলাশ! ক্রমে গাছগুলো কোথায় তা মুখস্থ হয়ে গেল। ২০ দিন ধরে যাওয়া আসা, মুখস্থ তো হবেই। একেকদিন বেখেয়ালে গাছ গুলো পিছনে চলে যেত। মনখারাপ হয়ে যেত। আপোলোর সাথে কোনওদিন কোনও ভালো স্মৃতি হতে পারে না । স্মৃতি শুধু রয়ে যাবে সেই পলাশ দেখার নেশার স্মৃতি।
মাঝের দুটো বছর আর সেভাবে লক্ষ্য করা হয়নি। মনে বসন্ত না থাকলে যা হয় আর কী! লক্ষ্য করলাম কয়েক সপ্তাহ আগে গোলপার্কে। বিশাল গাছ। ফুলে ভর্তি। তলায় পড়েও আছে প্রচুর, কিন্তু লোকে এমন পদপিষ্ট করেছে যে তোলা যাবে না। অনেকক্ষণ দেখে চলে এলাম। ৪০-এ প্রথাম পলাশ গাছ আর ফুল কাছ থেকে দেখা! গত বুধবার কসবা থেকে চালতাবাগান যাওয়ার পথে লক্ষ্য না করে আর উপায় থাকলো না। আমার এই ইঁট কাঠ কংক্রিটের জঙ্গলে যে এমন ভাবে ঝেঁপে বসন্ত আসে তা আগে জানতাম না। দক্ষিণ থেকেই শুরু। গাছের সঙ্খ্যা বেড়ে গেল যত মধ্য কলকাতার দিকে এগোতে থাকলাম। ফাগুন লেগেছে, না আগুন লেগেছে?? আমার শহরে এত পলাশ গাছ আছে নাকি?? এত পলাশ ফোটে আমার শহরে? আমার শহরে এমন বসন্ত আসে? মন বিহ্বল । একই সঙ্গে মন খারাপ ও। গাছগুলো বড্ড উঁচু। বড্ড দূরের যেন। দূর থেকেই কি দেখতে হবে এই ফুল। হাতে নেওয়া যাবে না? এই ফুল কি আপন হয় না??
আজও মিন্টো পার্ক চলেছি, ডাক্তার দেখাতে। মা-কে দেখাচ্ছি, ঐ দেখো পলাশ গাছ! মা-ও দেখাচ্ছে আমাকে, ঐ দেখ্‌ আরেকটা। ১০-টা কুড়ি তে নাম লেখানোর পর জানা গেল, ডাক্তার দেখতে শুরু করবেন ১২-৩০-র পর।। আর আমাকে ডাকা হবে ১৬ নম্বরে। আমি আর মা আমাদের বহু পরিচিত ভগত সিং উদ্যানে চলে গেলাম। লেবু চা খেয়ে, অনেকটা হেঁটে, বেঞ্চে বসে, কাঠবিড়ালী দেখে, দোলনায় চড়ে, আবার হেঁটে দেখি উদ্যানের গেটের পাশেই, ভিতরেই একটা পলাশ গাছ! ফুলে ফুলে গরবিনী। আর নীচে পরিষ্কার ঘাসের উপর পড়ে আছে অজস্র পলাশ যার মধ্যে অধিকাংশই সদ্য ঝরে পড়া। আমাকে আর পায় কে! ৪০টা বসন্ত পার করে প্রথম পলাশ কুড়োনো, প্রথম পলাশ ছোঁয়া! হ্যাঁ অধরা ভালোবাসা কে প্রথম ছুঁলে এরকম শিহরণ হয় বৈ কী! যত গুলো পারলাম, মন প্রাণ ভরে পলাশ কুড়িয়ে নিলাম দ্রুত। কোথায় রাখব ঠিক নেই! পরে খাওয়ার জায়গায় সে ব্যবস্থাও হয়ে গেল। সাদা প্লাস্টিকের ব্যাগ ভর্তি পলাশ নিয়ে বাড়ি ঢুকে আর আমাকে পায় কে! কোথায় প্রেসক্রিপশান, কোথায় ফোন। ফুলগুলি জলে রেখে তারপর শান্তি। আমার সেই অধরা প্রেম আমার বাড়িতে ফাগুনের আগুন লাগিয়ে তাকিয়ে আছে আমার দিকে। কোথায় অবসাদ? কোথায় নিদ্রাহীনতা? কোথায় ক্লান্তি? "আজ জীবন খুঁজে পা-বি, ছুটে ছুটে আয়, মরণ ভুলে গিয়ে ছুটে ছুটে আয় ... আজ ফাগুন ফুলের আনন্দে সব ছুটে ছুটে আয় |" 

March 6, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2, 2016.. During Jethu's first surprise visit of 2016

Jethu was supposed to reach our house around 11 am today and I was getting ready in a hurry. The maid, enjoying her Darjeeling trip, has ensured that my morning disappears in a jiffy, washing clothes and sweeping floors.
When I came downstairs, I found Jethu sitting on Baba's sofa with his legs stretched on to the centre table just like Baba used to sit. Then I looked at his face and saw that he has dozed off. This was exactly the same way Baba used to doze off, sitting at the same place, while he waited for Ma and I to get ready before we went out to some place.
A few seconds later, Jethu opened his eyes and said he liked the way I looked. I asked him, "Do I look like a hippie?" And he said, "No, you look perfectly normal". :P .. Before Ma got ready and came downstairs, Jethu had again dozed off a couple of times and I heard Ma guessing from upstairs, "Chhorda ki ghumiye porlo?" See, we are used to the men catching a few winks while we get ready (although I take just 5 minutes after my shower gets over :P)!
When we reached Gariahat Market, our first stop was the Manoranjan Hosiery, my father's favorite hosiery store. He bought all his vests, lungis and undergarments from here and the prices of some of the mercerized cotton lungis and vests (due to their awesome quality and comfort factors) would shock us. Years back, Baba had brought Jethu to this shop where Jethu had begun his ritual of buying stacks of vests and lungis on each of his visits. Today, as Jethu struggled to remember the names of the brands that Baba made Jethu buy, Ma and I supplied the names that had been so familiar to us, courtesy Baba's obsession with buying these. (Even today, there are a few unopened packets in Baba's wardrobe that contains brand new socks and vests.)
Ah! The joy of accompanying Jethu while he shops! There is absolutely no joy in this world that can compete with it! For the next 45 minutes or so, in that hosiery shop, I re-lived my childhood. I was thrown back to 1986 when I had first experienced how Jethu shops and how wonderful it is to be with him! I was soaking in every moment, realizing what Baba used to enjoy and what Thamma used to get annoyed with :) ! Ma referred to Baba, saying, "He used to by all these brands. He was very particular about the things he wore.". Jethu replied, "HE was the one who had brought me here!". The shop-owner, recognizing Jethu from all his previous visits, kept showing things untiringly while various sizes of various things got chosen.
From Manoranjan to the Steel Utensils shop, to Haldiram food city (where we had an awesome lunch), to New Barnali (our new discovery, courtesy Ma's craft) (where Jethu bought various kinds of beads for the excellent jewelry-maker Joya-didi), to the Batik shop (where various sizes of a large number of Batik Kurtis were bought), to the Palazzo Shop, we had a wonderful time. Worried as Jethu and I were for Ma's health and knees, Ma, touch wood, was in good mood and surprised us. This has always been the magic of Jethu, on Ma, on all of us.
It was a wonderful afternoon, seeing Ma smiling and talking, seeing Jethu in his usual shopaholic self, watching Jethu enjoy the lunch, being with Jethu, re-living the childhood excitements, having the rare feeling of being guarded by two guardians (their eyes always looking for me whenever I was away for a while), feeling happy, satisfied, warm, and content. Jethu said, he does the easiest job, that of paying the money, as we do the difficult job of choosing things. I, on the other hand, pointed out that we get to enjoy all the benefits of retail therapy without having to pay a penny ;)
Jethu has already thanked us (I don't know why??!) twice for today, while he dropped us home and just some time back over the phone. And I take this opportunity to thank HIM for what he has already so rightly described as a truly "spectacular" day.
I was unhappy during Jethu's 2014 trip as I had been unable to accompany him on most of his shopping expeditions. I never knew that I would get compensated with today! :) Immensely thankful for today, as we always should be.
Jethu you are special, and you must take care of yourself. So, NO Sweets from tonight! Both Joya-didi and I insist!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My FB Post on Dec 20, 2015 ..

Last year, this time, Ma was in the hospital, suffering from a bleeding ulcer and acute anemia.. I was at home with Baba who we thought was oblivious, not understanding 70 % of what was happening around him or with him.. But, how he surprised me when he started eating up his food in just 5 mins when on other days with Ma trying to feed him he often used to take more than 1.5 hours for each of his 3 meals! To be precise, Ma was admitted on the morning of 18th Dec and Baba started helping me and cooperating with me from that day lunchtime.. Both the nurse and I were astonished when he ate up his lunch in just a few minutes! And that continued for the next 7 days! I remember that night when I had no one to help me and I requested the delivery boy from the pharmacy to come upstairs with me and help me with turning Baba on his side.. The moment I arrived before Baba with the boy and told him what the boy would help with, he himself turned on his side, something that he had not done since his accident and surgeries! The boy was not needed to do anything more than just touching him lightly! When Baba saw Ma return home on Dec 24th, he changed drastically and refused to take his dinner, almost making me cry :).. I guess he was unhappy why Ma was not feeding him when she was already back home.
My dear Baba, my heart rains whenever I think of those 7 days and how you helped me! Baba, who never wanted me to be in any kind of trouble, tried his best to lessen my problems during those days! Baba, who loved me more than anyone ever did, anyone ever would! <3 span="">
My heart bleeds today as I complete 6 months of Baba leaving this mortal world, not because he has left, but because he had suffered so much during those 14 months! Could not do anything to lessen his pain! Hope you are in a painless and peaceful world now, Baba! Miss you more than ever

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Things I never knew about the amazing writer-artist of Tutu-Bhutu - everything in this post is courtesy Calctuta Yellow Pages

Things I never knew about the amazing writer-artist of Tutu-Bhutu -

"
Late Sri Dhiren Baul (Artist and Children's Writer), son of Nandalal Baul and Dakshabala Baul, was born on 22nd January in 1912. His childhood days were spent in Baroil village in Bagura district, now Bangladesh. He used to draw pictures from early childhood.                   

He loved to see making of earthen dolls. While returning home from school he used to go to the clay modelers making different models, when he was ten years only. He contributed to his school magazines. He wrote poems and drew pictures in his school exercise books thereby gave them a magazine like shape name of the magazine Gatha.
His daughter Pritha Bal collected this magazine from one of his relatives residing in Bangladesh. The magazine is 90 years old. It was an exercise book of 1922. He passed his school life in Bagura Coronation School and got his first training from his drawing teacher of his school. He became a subscriber of  “Sandesh” and “Khoka Khuku” magazines. He was inspired by the pictures and poems of Sukumar Roy and wanted to become an artist and poet like him.

When he was 13 to 14 years age he used to send his poems and pictures from his remote village, to “Shishusathi” magazine, in Kolkata. In 1927, having finished school, he was admitted to Carmichael College and passed B.A. in 1931. Later, he came to Kolkata and was admitted to Government Art College, and passed from there in 1934. From then on he used to draw pictures for “Himani”, “Himkalyan”, and “Cocola” etc.

During this time “MOUMACHI”, alias Bimal Ghose helped him join Ananda Bazar Patrika at Kolkata in the year 1939-40. Later his artistic creations were published in Desh, Anandamela etc. In Anandamela his creations were “Theke Habul Shekhe”, “Chenga Benga” pictures were drawn by him regularly. Slowly his creations began to be published in different magazines and as story books.
 
 
His first book “TUTU BHUTU” was enriched with beautiful pictures and writings. TUTU BHUTU was published in the year 1959. It was treated as a most beautiful children story book. He drew pictures of different animals, duly dressing them as a humans. After publication of TUTU BHUTU, he secured government honors and was named as “Walt Disney” of Bengal. This book is also well admired by foreigners. He got Bhubaneshwari Medal, Moumachi Award, and also an award from Sishu Sahitya Parishad. He also got Ranjit Smriti Padak. He because the judge of N.C.E.R.T. to judge children books. He was a famous children writer and poet also.
Besides drawing he was expert in clay modeling and made Durga and Saraswati clay images, while he was in Simla. Before that no clay models were made and worshipped in Simla (Ref: Bharat Barsha Patrika, 1945). In the year 1952 he married the daughter of a Subjudge at Raghunathganj in Murshidabad and came to Kolkata and settled permanently. With his earnings he purchased a 3 storeyed house. He drew pictures in this house, which he decorated well. He also founded a publication house “DAKSA BHARTI” at College Street. This publication house is now guided by his son Koushik Baul. After the death of Dhiren Baul, his daughter Pritha Bal made a publication house, Dhiren Bal Pustakalya in 1994 and his old books are republished by her as Pritha Bal is wellknown childrens writer also.. His four daughters and two sons are living in Kolkata. He never took part in any competition or exhibition in his life. But once in Mumbai, Art in Industry exhibition was held and of the 22 contestants from all over India, he was awarded 3 best prizes in three departments in the year 1945." 

Courtesy: http://www.calcuttayellowpages.com/

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

DIpa Pisi - Kalipuja will be haunted forever from next year


As if we had just parted last evening when school got over

My meeting with Sweta yesterday was one after 5 long years (the last time I met her was in November 2009 when we spent a lovely evening shopping in Dakshinapan and South City Mall and talking our hearts out and having some good food at the sc food court).. Over the last five years, our lives have undergone one too many changes.. Things that have happened to each of us over the last 5 years have some been desirable, some been unimaginable, some been not-too-desirable.. life has changed around us, appointing us new roles, newer responsibilities, different mindsets, and a lot more different elements that maybe we did not have back then.. What remains unchanged was the relaxation that Sweta always brings to anybody around her, the love, concern, and good wishes that we hold for each other, the needlessness to prove anything to her, the dispensability of the facade I usually wear with everybody (except close and dear old friends) around me.. What remains unchanged is that we both can always begin as if we had just parted last evening when school got over and we left our 11D-12D classroom.. 

Meeting Sweta - written on Nov 28, 2014

So, I finally come out of my 2.5-year-long hiatus of shying away from friends (except Koyel, who is no less than a part of me) and visit my dear friend Sweta at her parents' house (which means I meet her parents, especially her Mom, as well).. get to meet her 3.5-year old son, Tiplu, for the first time.. rediscover that feeling of assurance and warmth that old friends bring effortlessly.. gather the will, desire, and courage to meet friends whom I have been avoiding for the last 30 months or so .. get to know so much that I did not know about her parents' health.. share my dad's stories.. hear the beautiful laughter of Tiplu, see his lovely smile, touch his slender tenderness..shed my inhibitions and earn the feeling that I have places to share my story if and when I want.. Thanks, dear friend, for the unspoken and spoken words (for the beautiful blanket and lotion, as well).. Thanks, Tiplu for the giggles, chuckles, and heartfelt moments <3 span=""> .. I am happy that I made the effort and paid the visit.. that I turned a visit to the bank and market into a beautiful meeting with a precious friend..