Today is a Sunday. One of the cons of studying engineering is that the Sundays lose their charm. Somewhat. Four years of extended laissez-faire. You lose count of days. But this is not how Sundays always were. I was in school back then. I would be the first one to get up on Sundays. Dadai's old National Panasonic cassette player would churn out Begum Akhtars and sometimes, Anup Jalotas. I would love to be the first one to open the door to the veranda and let the sun in; take a deep breath in the morning air. I would always do this very discretely. For there would be sparrows that played in the veranda. If I could open the door non-threateningly enough, they would keep on chattering and fighting, hopping beautifully in the shiny columns of dust that shone in the sun. In the kitchen Shantapishi would be making tea for the family. I would pick up The Sunday Statesman discretely as before and go and sit on the floor. This was because I could not hold the paper in my hand like grown-ups would and read. I had accepted this fact of life pretty high upstream and given up on imitating them. I remember taking a good look at the paper, running my hands over it. Then reading in a way that I saved my favourite parts for the last. Favourites parts back then would be the supplements. Which were often glossy papered and colored. Then baba would get up. Have tea. I would be allowed only on Sundays to have two spoonfuls of tea to my glass of milk. It's a wonder what a little tea can do to the taste of your glass of milk when you are young! I would sip on the milk with the grown-ups, like the grown ups and for a day in the week feel a sense of fraternity because of the general environment of liberty and equality.
Then baba would take the bajarer jhola and go to the market. Sometimes I would tag along. I never liked shopping for vegetables so much as meat-fish and chicken and stuff. Now one reason could be that i like meat better. But at that time, the real reason would be the sheer dynamics of the fish market that enthralled me. Fishes jumping in water trays, being held and cut in huge bent botis, the cries of the chicken, the way its skin was peeled off like an orange. All this affected me. Not in a bad or good way. But I could not help feeling very alive. Now compare that to a man trying to sell you potatoes. You get the idea.
Another reason for going to the bajar with the father was the jilipis we would buy. I love watching jilip bhaja. Then taking the rickshaw back home. Neighbours would comment in good humour, ' Oh tumio bajar korchho babar sathe?' and that would make my day.
Sundays would mean luchi-shada aloor torkari. I don't like luchi with anything so much as I like it with Aloor Torkari. The smell of dalda in the air as we came in from the market, then running with the bag of fish to the kitchen to show the mother and the grandmother what had been brought home. It was fun. Then there would be that late sumptuous Sunday lunch after which people would go for an afternoon nap. I hated that. I was forced to go to sleep too. I would close my eyes and pretend to sleep. Now I was not very sure if one is supposed to sense itching, tickles and such things when one is asleep. I nevertheless refused to take the chance and give it away. So, if say, my ankle was itching now, I would slowly change my posture(this i knew was normal when asleep) such that my fingers would touch my ankles (stop trying to imagine, I'm trying to explain here!). Then I would very slowly itch my ankle. The very activity of lying asleep left me exhausted.
Such were Sundays. I don't want to write anymore, that is :D