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Hand in hand for eternity

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dad's Diary 9 - Hitchhike

Red Road (
 The Red Road in the heart of Kolkata, India, is one of those thoroughfares that restore some confidence in a home sick visitor from the western hemisphere. The wide six lane two-way road with a respectable divider in the middle affords motorists an opportunity to heave a sigh of relief after negotiating nerve shattering traffic snarls elsewhere in the vicinity.

The dimly lit concrete pavement on one side of the road wears a mesmerizing look in semi darkness after dusk. All kinds objects spring out and jump back with the lights thrown by speeding cars. The other side has a foot walk created by constant trampling of pedestrians.

The concrete pavement is a veritable lovers' lane. Across the road the side walk is a center for mobile facilities like prohibited drugs and damsels of dubious distinction. The car on the foot walk side slowed down ignoring the blaring honking behind him.

The man at the wheels looked intently at the figure picked up by the car headlight. She seemed to be just the type; lips sporting cautious inviting smile, eyes casting furtive glances. But one always had to make sure. There were often traps laid down behind delectable baits; lurking dangers could spring nasty surprises.

He kept the car rolling slowly ready to speed away as he unrolled the window. “You need a lift?” he asked, his eyes quickly scanning the area for any undesirable movement. “Yes, yes,” she said, suddenly anxious to get away from the area. She boarded, and the car picked up speed. “What's your name?” he asked. “Meera,” she said. “I am Bharat,” he added. Meera smiled.

Away from the din and bustle of Kolkata city deep in its northern suburb lived old Nimai in a dilapidated house. With an ailing wife, two daughters of marriageable age, and a teenager son, and with a paltry income, he was having the toughest time of his life.

There was no prospect for his son in that God forsaken village. The elder daughter, Sumitra, was a 'leave vacancy teacher' in a primary school. If any of the permanent teachers remained  absent, she would fill in for the day. His younger daughter, Aparna, undertook private tuitions before and after the college hours to support her educational expenses. The son was still studying in the local school. Any extra expense including buying medicines was a worrying factor.

A letter that his wife, Moyna, received this morning made him irritable. Her childhood friend who was based in London after a fairy tale marriage had arrived in India, and desired to meet them. What seemed to be aeons ago the two kids once hid themselves in the backyard with a blade. They incised their fingers to exchange blood to become blood sisters, and vowed to get their children married to each other. Somehow both believed that one would bear a son, and the other a daughter. The irony in the memory left Moyna rattled for a while. She shook her head to clear it.

The next day her friend, Rekha, arrived without notice. An embrace and pleasantries later the two friends sat down to exchange information. Rekha lost no time to remind her about the blood sisters' vows. Money was no problem, she could stand for the expenses on both the sides.

Nimai was informed and received the news with head bowed in shame and relief. Sumitra was called for. But she refused to marry; somebody had to stand by the family at this dour hour. Nobody gave any importance to Aparna's objections. She would have to remain ready when Rekha's son arrived to look up the bride-to-be that evening.

Hectic preparations for the honored guest was greatly hampered by repeated power cuts. The moon above and oil and gas lamps below made it possible to usher in the young man. Before long he was led into a room where the bride-to-be waited, all decked up.

Image from
He tried to make out the face on which flickering oil lamps were playing havoc. She seemed to be beautiful, more beautiful than her elder sister sitting behind her. Power restored, the room was suddenly flooded by a fluorescent silver, almost startling everyone. Both jerked up their heads to steal a look but his look got locked behind her.

Meera! What was he that day on Red Road? Bharat, he remembered.

“Well?” demanded his mother. “I can't marry this girl,” he almost shouted, “she is too young for me. Could I meet her elder sister, please?”

They met in the backyard under the 'kool' berry tree. “What's your name?” he began; “Sumitra,” she replied, her voice betraying both desperation and defiance. “I am Bikash,” he said, and came down to brass tacks.

“Look at it this way; one day you needed a lift and I offered you one. Today I need a lift, a lift to a life of honor and dignity. If you give me this lift today, there will be no occasion to take or give lifts in future. Will you marry me?”

“Yes, yes,” she said, and grabbed a 'kool' branch to steady her trembling feet. She looked up at Bikash, suddenly afraid that she would wake up, and her dream would turn into a nightmare. She smiled.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letter to Jessica

Pic from 
Dear Jessica,

How is Thursday going for you? Mine is beautiful so far, as beautiful as a worthy gift can and should be. Thank you very much for this priceless day. Your gift to me could be just a bunch of letters that you call a "link for Thursday dedication" over at your website, but you have no idea what it comprises for me... Below is just the tip of a very very large iceberg:

1. It means a fluttering heart and moist eyes
2. It means a smile on my Dad's lips and maybe an extra drink in the evening to celebrate
3. It means an entire dinner time conversation in the family
4. It means telepathic hugs and kisses for you each time I remember how I felt the entire day today
5. It means for me Thursday is never going to be the same again
6. It means I have more confidence in myself
7. It means I have your "Thursday Dedication" to show for my credentials as a blogger
8. It means you will be the dominant character in my head for the next few weeks
9. It means a hole in my hubby's pocket - because I am so going to demand a celebration
10. It means my hubby will so not like you for doing this

Thank you so very much dear friend...

Hope to be in touch for the rest of my life.

Sincere Regards
Kriti Mukherjee

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Get me that Champagne

I really don't want my blog to become the mouthpiece of my achievement or how cool I am but alas - there is no escaping it. Just when my head had stopped reeling with the celebration of being awarded "versatile blogger" by Sweepy I was told by Pandora Poikilos, author of the book "Excuse me, My Brains have stepped out" and the owner of the website that my Blog was chosen as "Blog of the week" on her website. In fact the news came to me as a comment by Pandora on my post Awarded and Awarding.  I read it about 50 times before it actually sunk in to my thick brain. Duh!!!!

These incidents, however, come with some scary thoughts. I am getting pretty spoiled with the attention. While the kind encouragement by my fellow bloggers and writers make me want to improve and do justice to their acknowledging me - I never want to become one who is offended by criticism. Lets be honest here - criticism is really annoying in a public forum but I want my humility to stay with me forever and take advice, as if it were a magic potion to quickly do better. Complacency can bring real quick downfall - I have had the misfortune to be witness to many such instances. Hence with every compliment I fortify myself for a healthy reprimand or a kind suggestion. Knitted Brows slowly get ironed out in the face of criticism when one looks at it that way.

Image from

Having said that - let me clarify - I am in seventh heaven now and if anyone wants to take me by my word and actually send me some whip lashing emails - then give me some time to enjoy the bliss and do it in a week or hopefully never. Right now I feel like I am walking the red carpet, like my perfume is making everyone around me dizzy, like the deep neckline of my black gown is the photographers delight, like my perfect underwear is making me super confident. Ahhh Blogosphere - get me that champagne will ya?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Awarded and Awarding

What a beautiful world this is - Blogoshere. I even get awarded in this - unlike in Earth!!! My cyber buddies think I deserve this - unlike in Earth. I am so much more loved - unlike in Earth.

Sweepy Jean - thank you from the bottom of my heart - I have more reason to believe in myself now! Sweepy gave me a Versatile Blogger award which made me a much happier human being and one with a few responsibilities too. Thanks to her you will now have be bored with 7 things about me and then be entertained by some awards bestowed to 7 other beautiful bloggers. So here is what makes me:

1. I am a marketing consultant. The kind who always overshoots her hours and efforts for free - more because it comes naturally to her than because she loves her clients.
2. I am a confused woman - who often wants something only to pout and think over it when I get it.
3. I am in absolute love with animals - of all kinds... But consider myself a hypocrite because I eat them too : (. I am hoping next life I am born a vegetarian so I never have to taste meat again.
4. I want to be famous for being a good person - a paradoxical situation. For mostly it is when one is cut throat, competitive and wise that she/he become rich and famous.
5. I love long interesting conversations and making friends.
6. I am still stuck in many areas of my past and often struggle to let it go - not that the past was bad or cruel - but it was just the past...
7. My family tops my priority list and I consider myself handicapped without them.

And now its time for the awards. Let me start by saying, I have way more than seven blogs that I frequent and love. But I am limited to the number and am restricted by rules by which (I am guessing) I can't award someone who has already been awarded in this category. Fortunately for me though I still have plenty to mention so here goes:

1. A creative mind - by Ishaan Bhattacharya - this because he is the youngest blogger I know and is really good with expressing himself. And oh is he versatile!!!
2. Doodles on the skies above - by Joyee Bhattacharya - another young girl taking on writing with a vengeance and filling her blog up with opinions and stories. She amazes me with he versatility.
3. Debbie - I just love her style and her humor - she is amazing.
4. Roy - His goodness is reflected in the variety of subjects he writes about. The link here is his first chapter to his blog novel.
5. Yoshay - Yoshay just amazes me with her absolutely stunning style and fantastic writing.
6. Sonia - Beautiful subjects fantastically woven in words
7. Charles - The bald one always makes my day with his posts - just love them...

Cannot leave here without mentioning Eva Manya, Chokher Bali, Priyasmita, Sukanya, John Mountain, Alpana Jaiswal, Lavina Melwani, E Nina Rothe, Ardith, Bronzi, Nirupam, Dede and .... - ok ok - I am ending this now. I have to ... Enjoy : )