Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reflections




When I touched you;
You had already sunk deep…
When I sniffed you…
You smelt squalid…
When I kissed you…
You seemed to evaporate.
When I jumped back...
I could see your smirk…
When I leaned back…
I could sense your beam!
When I decided to stand up..
You clutched onto my fists..
When I shrugged them off….

Your ferocious jolt shook me!
I tried to shove you apart...
But in vain…!
I hunted for the lighter...
It won’t work…
The piece of tobacco was eclipsed in dampness.
And when I walked past your debris…
I knew that the splinter would remain!!
And the tempest would fail to dislodge…
My hankering for you!!...
The volcano would remain dormant…..
It would wake up to steal my sleep...
And those reflections…
Pretty much naive!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Survival is tricky my friend...

Well, let me come straight to the point here.
We keep talking of coded languages, symbols, implications or rather hint and clues; there might be a bunch of intellects solving those clues and featuring on the top 3 pages of the newspaper; but coming back to life, we've been quite a failure in terms of deciphering the SOS signals sent across by our “intrinsic self”; our body. They say that “a deathly silence predominates the arrival of a tornado...but if you closely follow the sound of the fluttering wings, you’d know, devastation has picked up the pen for it’s scribble”.
 I think I could go on and on if I started depicting my emotions on the piece of paper. Miles to go before I sleep, yet the emotions galore grab me strongly when I start talking about a performer who has not only braved the storm, but created an ideal environment for her acquaintances to lead a safe and sound journey. Yet there was one subtle aspect which pegged her back; which stopped her in the course of her everlasting journey...the journey which could have been as beautiful as ever. Sigh!
A brilliant student with an assortment of vibrant dreams led her way into the realms of closed doors in the early 20s. She drove through the mundane atrocities of a joint family to raise a child who was “physically disabled” from his inception. She was pursuing her P.H.D simultaneously and spending time with her family as the topmost aspect of a priority table. She never deprived anyone....perhaps she should have.
In course of her battle of sorts that she wedged all alone, what remained un-noticed was her degrading health...her feeble legs couldn’t bear her work load. Yet she tried to convince herself;” it is a passing phase”-she was hopeful. Unbearable headache had taken over in the meanwhile. It couldn’t curb her indomitable strength though!
Her “Sasural” was a typically conservative Bengali family; never encouraged women in taking up a full-time career, she had a child to take care of. The responsibility was deep and profound; the perils were many, but she had of course decided not to look back. Her day started at 4 o’ clock in the morning and persisted till mid-night; it couldn't snatch away the smile on her face. Abhorrent back-pain had taken over in the meanwhile. She could have broken down at the prospect that her child would perhaps NEVER cater to her dreams....
The dream to remove the tag “special child” off her child’s FATE. Ah Life; it hits you from behind!


15th of April 2008 was perhaps the most dreaded day of her life. When she opened her eyes she found herself lying helplessly on the extended sheet of shuddering whites; she couldn't move a muscle. “Low pressure combined with high blood sugar my dear friend”; the doctor asserted; “You have pushed yourself to the realm of darkness...you have yourself to blame”! She lay there still; numb, unconscious or perhaps stoned at the prospect of obscurity. There was no-body to stand by her side.
Life is CRUEL. It does give you rays of hope but those are embedded in a fine streak of porous tap-ups. You never know when the beam is blocked off. My didi suffered a lot because of her motto to “make it large”; she forgot to take care of the biggest asset of one’s life- HEALTH! She is still struggling; struggling with her life, struggling for her mere existence; struggling to undo the mistakes she committed in the earlier half of her life. The path has been as difficult as ever. The potholes have extended their influence; they have pegged her “attempt to proceed” at every possible stage....the foundation has been laid deep within. It has created a permanent dent on her journal for life. It indeed has.
People say that they are good at reading symbols...they often communicate in “sign languages”; hardly a few have managed to decode the signs/symbols that our body shows up. Statistical records suggest that even for baleful diseases like cancer, at least 70 percent of initially detected cases have been cured till date. But the problem is, we hardly comprehend the signals that our body transmits. We often tend to ignore them.
Memories head back to the early part of September 2000, the saddest half of our lives, the September that saw the demise of an amazing human being; a talented marine engineer and an intellect by conviction- My beloved uncle. Tall, lanky and full of life, he had set sail into the deep blue seas; to excavate the treasures that lay un-noticed on the “other side”; he didn't return.
When his body was transported back to Kolkata in a coffin, I remember my neighbors uttering a couple of hard-hitting words; “I wish he had taken proper care....”! He was JUST 58; full of life and gusto. Yet the deleterious ashes and the “slow poisoning” alcohol ripped him from inside. He has diagnosed with chronic diabetes and hypertension at the age of 55; yet no one could tie him down. He continued in pursuing his long-ish strides towards “destruction”....... Parties, get-together's, food-festivals became a part of his daily routine and the results were pretty much evident.


He suffered a massive heart-attack on his way back from Australia. The Angiogram reports showed 5 major blocks in his arteries; it was TOO LATE. The smoke and the liquor had smitten him badly; smitten him for life. The doctors failed in their desperate attempts to save a gem; all in vain. The dent was deep enough....deep enough to send in a message to all of us in the family:

”Survival is tricky my friend....you gotta treat yourself well to survive in this Rat-race....you gotta respond to it’s call!”


I'd perhaps take this opportunity to send in an open apology to my beloved uncle- Sorry Kaka, seems like the tables haven't turned yet. 
I'm suffering from high blood pressure right from the age of 22. My mission to decode those "signals" has not taken a head start; I'm fighting it out everyday my dear readers.

Thus the moral of the story is - The art of neglecting is suicidal!


* P.S. This post has been written as a part of the "The Moral of The Story Is..." initiative brought to us by Colgate in association with Indiblogger’s association to promote healthy living. Please do visit "My Healthy Speak" blog for some much needed tips and information needed to maintain your health. Stay healthy, stay fit!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Go Goa Guarded - RAMPANT!



Could you sense a significant difference between the LHS and the RHS?

And you won’t believe, they have been shot within a time-frame of half-an-hour; The Difference? How, when, why? Well let’s come to the point.
These shots were taken at the Calungute beach in Goa just a week back, and believe me I had NO idea that this would actually FIT perfectly in the scheme of things.
Well, “there are something’s in life which money can’t buy”- Yes the literal implication does bear a resemblance with what transpired out of the event- The "EPIC" sample that was sent across by the TRESemmé team did come to rescue.
It was not long before the news had arrived...the news was startling, yet it did manage to send in surges of joy across our camp! We’d just realized that the Gala Shack party cum fashion show was ROUND THE corner.
As a gang of 5 solitary “innocent” guys, this was OUR best chance to “stamp our authority” on the "Goan perspective" or rather "make our presence felt"...Guess what, we were literally shivering out of excitement! The Fashion show was a FREE-STYLE one, and anyone could display his/her "Adaaa" on the floor ;)
The very prospect of hitting the Ramp floor was HIT hard by the undue haste on the part of the organizers. "JUST an hour left" , they announced....we had NO freaking idea that it was actually ON! The voices slowly disappeared, it was overpowered by the roaring seas...we had to do something!
“Man proposes, GOD disposes”- someone muttered while dusting off the excess bit of sand particles off his murky hair....! Yes we did have the TIME of our lives on the Goan beaches, splashing the water onto each other, tattoo-ing...... all sorts of frolic you could imagine.
But "THIS" was BIG!
The "dusty" remnants of our "escapade" was proving to be quite a menace now, we had to get up and get ready within the next couple of minutes. We were almost covered up in a blanket of "filthy" sand, it appeared filthy nevertheless. There was no point in going back to the Hotel in South Goa since it would take another couple of hours to come back to the beach. The Indo-Portuguese sheds were the only hope.

We had NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING in store to nurture our "pan-fried" looks...not even a body wash to get rid of the sticky sand particles clinging onto our bodies resembling iron dust on a “just magnetized  iron ore"! Our poor hair suffered the most; we could sense that the beige coloured filth had already exercised their supremacy on our “cilium content”. I couldn't stare at the shabby mirror in the random shack;I looked shabbier than it's mere appearance! It was going to be a DISASTER.

I frantically searched my messenger-bag with the slightest of “hope”,yet by GOD’s grace, I wasn't disappointed. What came out of the back pocket, was a dual miracle- the shining new pack of the TRESemmé combo...the Shampoo and the conditioner, freshly shipped out by their team!
BAZINGA! 
This was my chance to pick the ace out of the game...I was all IN for an experiment. I had nothing to lose. Let's take a look at what came out of the bag.


The Advanced Technology that "speaks"

The Charmer

The Killer duo!

The "Legendary Pick Up"

Yeah Yeah...I'm not leaving anybody behind

Memories headed back to that mid-summer evening; we were discussing “Style and it’s evolution” then..! My parents were the protagonists though. Dad explained how the concept of  a “Ramp walk" came into the picture and continued through it's change in concept over the years. It was primarily conceptualized out of the “model" as the prime subject in the early 1970’s and now it’s all about the BRAND that supersedes.The discussion had stemmed down to the hairdos, when dad stressed upon the fact that LONG hair constituted the style statement (especially for the male- YES you read it right :P ) . This had it's reflection in the main-stream movies too. “It’s sad", he said, "That now, men have resorted to the shorter format, identical to the T20....it does take a lot out of the equation! Guys can harvest their hairdo in an amicable manner dude, they can.” It's obvious that Dad is extremely possessive of his curly hair...he thought that it’s worth flaunting.

“Hey, are you thinking of applying a woman’s hair conditioner?”- DAMN, my trance broke!

I didn't even notice that someone was peeping into the tent...It was the notorious Rahul who had managed to sense my “intentions”.
“Of course this is NOT a woman’s conditioner, and even if it is, who cares? See you at the party” – I was flabbergasted.  What is this discrimination all about? A shampoo's virtue is in protecting the dearest of our possessions; does it have any connection with the gender discrimination? The equation grew even complex. Rahul could perhaps sense my state of mind and left! GLAD HE DID!

Duh...it’s difficult to explain, but it had a sense of “charm” or rather a sense of “softness” around it. I had NO idea of the quantity OR the proportion to apply, but it appeared as if my “ONE TIME-TRIAL” process was quite a normalized one. The strips of my rugged hair seemed to be loving it’s touch. They were relinquishing the flow; the swirly movement of my fingers seemed to add splendor to the "classy congregation”. Classy INDEED. I’ve never felt so comfortable in “treating my over grown hair”. HONESTLY! (I TRY to follow dad to some extent, let me be honest.)

It took me only a couple of DROPS by the way! *Sounded awkward right? :D*

Well, as an absolutely ignorant candidate as far as the “sense of fashion” is concerned, I’m completely un-aware of the terminology, (maybe the others could help me in this direction); but the "whatever style”  that TRESemmé managed to generate, suited me perfectly. Tresemme, TRUST ME!

It’s a PITY that we didn't get a chance to ACTUALLY walk on the ramp, but “their” expression said it all! Yes, I’m referring to my notorious gang headed by Rahul and the Portuguese resplendence (Ssshh...can't elaborate on them RIGHT here ;)). I stayed calm and composed...as if NOTHING has actually happened in the last couple of hours... it was TOP of the WORLD feeling, make no mistake! My hairdo was my source of abundant self-confidence, at least for that particular night. 

I had to dig deep to excavate what had actually happened to me, and the secret ws lying right in-front of me. TRESemmé's Youtube channel did remove the curtains and that too in a lucid manner.The channel is actually an un-noticed treasure, the treasure that was pretty much non-existent in my life, the treasure that was unfurled by the prospect of this competition. As a starter, "TRESemmé with Dodo" actually DID the trick! Dodo took me on a RIDE into the styling zone- The Zone that was exclusively reserved for the "models and "show-stoppers"! Now I know the real difference between a conditioner and a shampoo (shocking isn’t it?) and the TRUE meaning of a ramp ready hair!

Catch it RIGHT here, RIGHT now and browse through the subsequent trail videos: TRESemmé with Dodo !


This is MY look TODAY after a “measured” application of the shampoo. Do let me know if you could crown a few innovative names for the "attempt" ;) How about harvesting some "corporate looks" was a part of this enchanting ramp readiness? Well, it's very much in the loop. But as of now, mirror says that the "Good-boy, bad-boy" hairdo suits me the most! Ahoy!



This post is part of the  TRESemmé Ramp-Ready Hair  contest in collaboration with Indiblogger.in

** All images used in this blog are copyright protected.

P.S Just to give you an IDEA of what I'm looking forward to EXPERIMENT with my hair is precisely what Ayushmann has done with his at the Mumbai based Ramp Walk!  Impressive? I know it is ;) The SPIKES as they call, have been revolutionized in this ERA of Fashion!

© Sammya Brata Photography (More shots from the Event on my official Flickr channel: Sharp Nights 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dear Mother Nature- Challenge Accepted!


Well then, talking of summers, it’s better to keep it short and crisp.
You can sense that the rising temperatures might just force you to stay indoors, it might just compel you to drive off those ideas of an expedition; it might just peg you back with it’s unlimited delivery of solar “grace”, yet I’d say the “brightness” it unfurls, is exhilarating. And as always, the Indians make an earnest attempt in terms of making this grilling period into something refreshing and enduring.

When the world is succumbing under the impression of the scorching sun, the perched lips refuse to “expose” themselves to the scorching rays, "the traveler in you" gains supremacy...
I could well remember the day when my 80 year-old Grand-ma announced liberation from the realm of heat. She’d already dressed up for a longish outing to the Himalayas when we had to stop her from executing her intentions. Well, that’s India my friend; we’r built in to withstand the atrocities of weather; be it excessive heat in some-parts while people are literally shivering in the other half.

Well, as a Kolkatan, I have seen people “taking on the challenge” with the sultriness and setting sail to the colder parts of the country. If you’re in a cosy summer get-away, make sure that you’r planning your trip well before hand. Experience speaks that the air-tickets would perhaps turn out to be GOLD and train tickets into GOLD-Dust; not much of a difference though.

The ones who couldn’t manage to book a seat in any of the above mentioned transport means, take a dip in-to the in-house get-away zones. And what could be better than a weekend ride along the Ganges into the realm of Nature? Yes, any Kolkatan would know that the Babu Ghat or the Princep Ghat could be the “crowdiest” of zones on a dizzy Summer afternoon. The boatmen would obvious charge some extra bucks in contemplation to the “growing” demand, but tell you what, once you’r adrift on the breast of the Ganges you’r never gonna come back! Well, I was kidding though! The summer “respite” would definitely instigate LOVE on the Go; and make no mistake, your eyes are gonna find their INNER PEACE :-D . You could also trace a new known faces amidst the masses that “roll-over” the greenish tinge at the Victoria memorial; it seems like the city has COME alive on a Summer afternoon!

Well, leave aside the Ganges, people often find it exceptionally thrilling to go out on a road-trip across the meadows, across the suburbs leading them to the charm of the Diamond Harbour or the beaches of Mandarmani...the trips turn out to be a blissful respite.
Talking about the food..Well the Kolkatans never encourage restraints on the consumption rates:-D and they pitch in with the natural forms of “energizers” crowding across the foot-paths of Kolkata, be it fruit juices or Lemon and soda shikhanji...there’s plenty of “inspirations” on offer. Kolkata is WORLD famous for it’s natural forms of “Desi AC” by the way. Jokes apart, there are plenty of hang-out zones around the city that could swipe off the dizziness and lassitude off your minds.


There’s YET another way to escape the heat that’s craving into our city life day by day- Listening to the melodious Rabindra Sangeet does liberate your anguish; and why not, Tagore does have such an intrinsic bond with this city of unprecedented joy!
And last but not the least, this excessive heat doesn’t manage to extract the “endurance” and “exuberance” out of the masses...you’d excavate every ODD child securing his sporty laces with utmost care, as if in contemplation to the spirit of sportsmanship. None of the cricket grounds or the football fields would be deserted on a humid summer afternoon. Every drop of sweat seems to bear the mark of exhilaration- That’s India my friend...that’s OUR response to Mother Nature and her Undulating mood :) 

Dear Mother Nature: Challenge Accepted!

Pictographic Representation of "The Indian Summer Endeavors"- With the Kolkatan Flavor



Set Sail into the world of pacification


Witness the Gracious Ganges, Relax and say goodbye to the pain


You can observe the setting sun adding to the charm, Summers huh?


Your shadows would never peg you back... your dominance!


You can never peg them back, irrespective of the heat, they'l cling on


They'l swing hard, as if it's a natural charm....


The enthusiasm despite the unbearable heat, it's the zeal that gets us going


The remnants of a memorable ride....


You can enjoy the bliss...the bliss that's Nature's very own...


That's the radiance extricated from the summer straits...


Keep Calm and ignore the sun....


And you know, there are natural ways to "charge yourself up"...


When you'r fond of your job, nothing can peg you back, not even the heat.


That's the perfect treat on a Scoring summer afternoon....


Wanna join in the ride of a life-time? She's up and ready for it!


The heat has taken a toll on it's path-way, yet the HUNT is on...



And at the EOD, you need to serve your taste buds some worthy inspiration

Pictographic Representation of "The Indian Summer Endeavors"- With the Kolkatan Flavor


NOTE: This blog has been featured as the WINNING entry for the "Summer Special Contest" Organised by India Is: You can see my winning entry featuring in their official blog-post: Check it out here "India Is Official Blog"

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