Shubho Bijoya to all of you.
May you all have a peaceful year and a lovely Diwali ahead.
At the outset, my apologies. I have not been writing and I am sorry about that. My blog has many regular readers and for that I am grateful. Such long absence without any explanation is unfair. And thank you, for checking on my blog. It feels good not to be deserted in trying times.
After much thinking as to how I should go about writing this post, I decided to design a tag for myself. This tag, I have concluded, would allow me to organize my thoughts into neat little paragraphs in a question answer fashion which would also make it reader friendly. Because, there is quite a bit I want to write.
So here goes-
Where have you been?
Here. Right here. Shuttling between Delhi and Gurgaon. I haven’t taken any break, haven’t gone on a vacation. And this is really not a “come back” post because I never really “went away”.
Have you missed the blog?
Terribly. I have thought about writing every single day every hour of every day.
If you were not blogging what were you upto?
I have recently switched jobs. The travel time is a killer, work is stressful and deadlines now rule my life. But I love it, I love every moment of it. This is what I have been wanting to do for so long. And it is so worth the wait, the insane daily commute and the over bearing deadlines!
Did you forget it was Pujo in between? No nostalgia this time?
I did not forget it was Pujo. Definitely, definitely did not. I whined in plenty about not being in Calcutta, about missing my friends, about missing pandal addas, about not being able to see my city decked up and happy.
But, but. My mother arrived as Saptami evening as did R. And with them around my first Pujo in Gurgaon went much better that I had expected it to be. We did the Shondhi Pujo anjali, the Nabami anjali and went pandal hopping on Ashtami night. We also gorged on biriyani, fish fry, fish and mutton chops. I wore my crisp new sarees and felt a tiny part of the Pujo madness that takes over Calcutta this time of the year.
This was my sixth Pujo away from you. For the last five years I hadn’t heard the dhaak and I hadn’t offered anjali. This year my yearning soul found solace. I heard the dhaak on Ashtami night during Shandhi Pujo. As I offered pushpanjali that night and on Nabami morning, I stood in the familiar smell of incense sticks, amidst the organized chaos, passed around the baskets of flowers, accepted shantir jol and prosaad and murmured the Sanskrit slokas with everyone around. I cried out of sheer joy and happiness.
Then. Nothing much happened. Ma is here for a while and I have given up on getting any chinta of any sort. I have left everything to her. I still do some regular things but just her presence makes everything so much easier!
R is away. In another country. He will be back on Sunday but will be leaving right the next day for another city. But that’s alright. I have sent him a list of things I want and as long as he is getting those for me, he will be spared.
Is anything bothering you?
Yes. A couple of things.
This morning I notice on the first page of TOI that Karan Johar has had to apologise to Raj Thackrey for referring to “Mumbai” as “Bombay” in his new movie Wake up Sid. Apparently the sentiments of Marathi people (Marathi manoos, as they are referred to now) have been gravely hurt.
Gravely hurt, my foot.
I have been in Maharashtra for five years of my life. I have called Pune my second home. I yearn to go back to that city and get a little bit of my college life back. I have also spent a lot of time in Bombay. And I love that city for everything it is and everything it is not. Maharashtra is as dear to me as it is to anyone else in this country.
But no. Raj Thackrey in a national interview the other day proclaimed that it is fine for people from other states to “visit” Maharashtra but why should they stay on in HIS Maharashtra. Also note that he was giving the interview on national television (CNN IBN, with Rajdeep Sardesai) in Marathi. It is fine if you want to give an interview in Marathi if you have difficulty with other languages. But, Raj Thackrey, the revered one, said that even though Hindi IS the national language (and Sardesai was speaking in Hindi and he is a Maharshtrian) it is not HIS language and he would communicate only in Marathi because it is HIS language. And other people of the nation (his own nation which I think he forgot) should make an attempt to understand what he is saying. He did not hesitate in using English though, in the interview.
Tell me, how does it matter? When terror struck Bombay (and yes, I love saying Bombay as opposed to Mumbai) every single Indian all over the world stood united. Every single person prayed, everyone stayed glued to the television and I’ll be damned if anyone said “Oh! That’s a problem with Maharashtra”.
Just when you think, that emancipation is coming, the all emancipated Raj Thackrey takes a one eighty degree turn and takes you back to the time when kings and emperors were busy aggressively defending their kingdoms.
The other day I read an interview of Chitrangada Singh in the front page of Delhi Times, wherein she said that she just does not understand how her good friend Shiney Ahuja and other people who have not been convicted of a crime are being kept in jail when they have not been proven to be guilty of their crimes.
I am hoping that Chitrangada Singh, who did Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, is more intelligent than that.
Going by her logic, Kasab (I don’t need to explain who he is) should also be freed. Nothing has been proved against him. He is an accused. That’s all.
Sigh! I am going to pass this as a blonde moment of Chitrangada Singh. I am sure she will do better.
The Delhi heat is killing me. It is the end of September and the sun still rages in sky with no hint of mellowing down. So dear Lord, I am ready for the winters now. I want to sip a cup of hot chocolate with pakoras and wrap myself up in a quilt from head to toe and watch a good movie.
So you haven’t written at all?
I did manage to write a story for Sa at the last moment. I missed the deadline but they have been very generous for publishing it. You can read it here.
I also have some reports of some seminars and conferences, which I am sure none of you are interested in. May God bless your souls.
Right now, I am in the car feeling feverish and going back home from work. On reaching home, I will throw my bag on the sofa and collapse right next to it. Mom is going to get me some tea and biscuits. She will then do lakshmi pujo at home. After which we will eat luchi, alu fulkopi and begun bhaja. Thereafter I shall take the hot water bag, stuff it under my lower back and catch up on some much needed sleep. That’s all.
One last question. Would you be disappearing often like this?
I don’t want to. And now that I have learnt to utilize my travel time effectively for reading and writing, I am hoping that there won’t be such a long absence again.
Anything else you want to say?
Yes. It feels good to be back. Thank you all for reading and asking me to write soon. It worked!
I think this tag has very efficiently summarized my activities over the last few weeks.
Also, anyone who has been absent from the blogosphere for too long and is having difficulty in putting down everything, please feel free to take this up and change it as per your requirements.