Friday, March 21, 2014

Go Team Pakistan.

'Go Team Pakistan.'

Nationalism appealed to me when I was young. But soon with whatever meager knowledge I acquired about our country and our culture through various 'literary' readings, I felt more disconnected to the idea of loving lands marked by kings and jacks. I have always supported 'Team India' in a cricket match, except for once I guess, when 'Dada' was dropped and there was a match in Eden Gardens.
'Go South Africa.' I said back then.

Regionalism too appealed to the young heart that knew certain bounds. There were perhaps more deep seated reasons that the physically weak Bengalis (notice the generalization) often associate with themselves-'of being victimized.' I often hear at Calcutta dining tables,
'Had they not divided Bengal, we would rule the country.' After all if we noticed our history books we would find, the freethinking of Bengal became the common sense of the entire nation. The Bengali prudence. How I used to love it. Things have changed a lot since then. A lot.

But alas, putting discreet definitions are not easy in matters of the mind and the heart. Just like marking boundaries on maps. Who can tell what could have or should have happened? Our grandparents who bore the knives of a forgotten time would often tell us scary stories from Barisal or Mymensigh. It's almost hard to imagine if all your life was suddenly taken away from you, all the familiar sounds, the smells, the surroundings, the people you knew....
It's unimaginable for us. But then both Bengal and Punjab went ahead trying their best to forget the peccadilloes of the past. And they did mostly. But somewhere in the crown of our newly born independent motherland, there was a paradise. Even the least romantic of men would say so. But it is no more a paradise, they say. Kashmir was and is still struggling to face the repercussions of the historical error of our 'privileged' forefathers.
I don't know what happened in Meerut sometime back. I know it wasn't right. I am not a Kashmiri, hell, these days I even forget to identify myself as a Bengali, all these identities, they are so important for some people. But your roots make you, they say.

While the better part of the subcontinent is hooked on television gulping their Parathas and Biriyanis I choose to write this, because nationalism doesn't appeal to me anymore. Who you support in a cricket match is your own choice, isn't it? I am not a Kashimiri and today I choose to support 'Team Pakistan.'

Very juvenile of me, you educated folks can say.
Very juvenile.

Monday, March 3, 2014

She is old school.

It was just a few years ago when the cuckoo still sang at my Salt Lake home, and the mornings meant cozy breakfasts and the rush for college. But then one day everything changed. 
'To move ahead in life you cannot get stuck at one place.''

That was what everyone was saying. They were perhaps right. 
So I moved on and those mornings were forever lost in the abyss of the past. These days I just lie down in my bed and try to sleep through the mornings, I try to dream. Two pillows over my head. Nothing in the world can bother me now.
Nothing in the world bothers me here. No body comes. No body goes. It's so peaceful. If there's a little commotion outside the room I can always turn the music on. Louder. I can always pretend to sleep if someone knocks at my door. I often do that.

Today someone knocked at my door. Who dare invade my mornings? It was always wise not to answer. But the person kept on knocking.

'You have got a post.'

The heart leaped a little. A pregnant yellow envelope greeted me. Inside there was a little book. It was a gift from a writer, whom I found somewhere in my dreams. A little piece of paper fell out. As it touched the floor, the ancient scripture written in turquoise shimmered in the virgin morning light.

'To the boy lost in abstracts.
Let's always create.
With love.'

And on this morning, after many mornings, I remembered how to write again.