Saturday, October 13, 2007

Misty morning ho,
All my worries go.
The fig-tears in tow.
Life doth flow.
Ever so slow.
Misty morning ho!

I feel insanely funny. And childish. I think this is the happiest I will ever be. This isn't the beginning of happiness. This is happiness.

Went for a trip to the riverside on Mahalaya. Quite early in the morning. Shonai, Subhayu, Rommo, Teko, Himadri and me. Thousands of people doing their bit to get that one yard of advantage on the road to nirvana. This road, as I found out, is slippery(with water, algae and shit) and goes down in steps. The browns of the skin, the brilliant colours of the clothes against the bland dawn-scape, the stink of the sweaty armpits rolled eyes with the smell of the cheap soaps that were used to wash them. All this and a lot more presented to me the sensuality of belief. Of faith that is unquestioned. Of faith that is not troubled by fears of social conditioning, of religious oppression, of political manipulation. As I stood there with my camera, these people went about their business with a gravity and matter-of-factness that intimidated me. Was it fear? Respect? Not really. More of an awe. I don't know.

Walked around randomly in even multiples of 5 kilometers. Along the circular-rail tracks. Across streets. In circles. Past men bathing. Past a child fanning a coal oven. Past closed shop-shutters. Past red-bricked buildings. Counting patches...small towels of sun lying on the streets. On shoulders of old men. On running buses. Wiping them clean. No one cared to stop by.

-Thank you mister. That was a nice wipe. The best I've had in days. Thank you. Really.

I breathed in. My city was diffusing into me. Or may be its osmosis. I am not sure.

Then there were the usual askingfordirections. And the usually elaborateanswers. Mostly wrong. But they answered anyway. In goodspirits.

-Chitto babur dokan? Oh! she toh Chitpur e! Ekhan theke shoja chole jaan...Great Eastern er shamne theke bus peye jaben...othoba ekta kaaj korte paren...

I wasn't even hearing what he was saying. I was just looking at him talking to us. Telling us where to go. And how. The hands that were raised. The wrinkled, crooked, chocolate fingers that were pointed. In uninterpretable directions. The eyebrows that were strained. The eyes half awake from sleep at 7 in the morning. The smoking tea.

The jilipis went round in circles. Like golden children. Like conjoined brothers. I wanted to be one of them too. And go round and round. Inseparable. And splash in the pool of sugar syrup. What fun! The jealous kochuris would swell. Only to be squeezed out of steam by the hot aloor torkari.

Mahalaya: At the Ghaats


  1. its so wierd that, we were there together, and while i generally go all exuberant about these outings, and i was happy and free as hell that day.... i still post about the wierd bad thing that i noticed, and ur the one that reported the happiness of it all... :)

  2. did I tell you? click the most amazing pics!

  3. @ theonewhomustbenamedsomeday: I read your post. So I thought I might write about the other aspects of the 'sojourn' :D

    @ Anuj D: Yes. Calcutta.

    @ Dreamy: Thank you. But I am really a greenhorn. Oh you might want tpo check out the pujo albums on the sidebar. Can't get over the pujo hangover man! :P

  4. I like some of the photographs on the side panel of your blog. Congratulations on taking them.