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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Confessions #1

I met Sreetama at a turning point of my life. I was in my early adulthood then, living in Kolkata, studying Geography in a college. At that point of time, I considered myself inferior to my peers so much so that I had only a handful of friends. Why? I have no answer now. In such a state, when she found me interesting enough to become her friend, I was left to be highly obliged.

She was quite an extrovert and a confident person. For an introvert and ever hesitant me, she took no time to become an ideal. Moreover, she influenced me a lot with her thoughts, her opinions and her way of life. I was in awe of her happy-go-lucky persona caring less about the world around her.

After completing five years of co-studying, we went on to become co-workers too, as interns in a digital mapping company. As we worked together, I slowly got to know a different side of her. She seemed to be overtly ambitious to me. As our remunerations were directly proportional to the number of maps we digitised, she started slogging more than the stipulated eight hours to earn more. This was the first time our differences came into the forefront. Apart from the internship, I had other hobbies and interests, but she forced me to consider the work front seriously. Most of the times, she would start comparing the volume of work both of us completed at a given time. Though she never showed, but, deep inside I could feel her satisfaction in having an edge over me, work wise, every single time.

After almost an year of internship, we stepped out together. A company hired both of us as contractual employees. After a few months, Sreetama's ambitious avatar appeared with shining armour, yet again. Not only she started working for extra hours, she also befriended a few seniors to learn more about how things get done. In the process, she started losing her true self, the very happy-go-lucky self. She had no time for her friends, especially me, whom she considered to be her best friend. I started feeling like a lost soul. Since she had a strong influence on me, I felt as if my ship is left without an anchor.

But, somewhere inside me, I started to feel a strong urge to stand for myself, realise who I really am and cast out myself from influences of others. I slowly learned how to say a 'No' when I did not feel what she did was right. It's painful when you are slowly losing a friend who means a life for you, but then, life moves on, isn't it? In that phase of detachment, I gradually begun to understand myself, my choices and my values. I learnt to respect my wishes other than doing what others wished for me. This self transformation was needed then. Now, when I look back, the entire phase gives me pain as well as strength to go on.

I know that Sreetama will get hurt if she ever read this piece. I did not mean to hurt her, but, on the contrary, thank her for being there, for indirectly making me realise my true worth, my uniqueness. Thank you, my friend, for everything!!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

The Durga Puja at the Datta Household - A reflection

About two years ago, we self invited ourselves to be a part of the Durga Puja celebrations of the Datta Household of Mathmalaypur, located in the Hooghly District of West Bengal. One of our close friends happen to be a member of this household and it was on his insistence, we, two non-religious persons, decided to spend two days observing the core rituals practiced to venerate Goddess Durga. There was, however, another factor which propelled me. My mother's one of the last wishes was to observe a family Durga Puja in her lifetime. Since she couldn't before she died, I had to.

It was an Ashtami afternoon. As we got down from a local train, a cab was waiting for us at the station. The autumn heat begun to fade out as we advanced to the house on a red gravelly road in between the swaying green paddy fields.


The cab parked infront of a non descript house. Our friend welcomed us inside. The house, partially made of mud and partially of concrete, seemed as if it has come out from the pages of Bengali folklores or quintessentially Bengali stories which had a village in its backdrop. Straw roofs, an open space in the middle housing an indigenous paddy storage made of straw termed locally as a morai or dhaaner gola, a pond in the backyard, and a Thakurdalan or the designated space where Goddess Durga is worshipped every year by the household members.

Gradually, we started meeting the other members of the household. Each of them, be them the older members or the younger generation, were very warm. It was their warm gesture which made us feel at home, almost instantly. Our adda sessions continued till all of us were alerted about the Evening Arati time. The lady brigade of the house took me with them to the Thakurdalan, where they were preparing the nitty-gritty of the Arati, as well as the Sandhi Puja which was to follow later in the evening. I couldn't say a hurting 'No' to their excitement when they made me a part in their preparations. I might not believe in the concept of deities and their invocations, but, at the end of the day, I am a human being and I have no right to disrespect the feelings of the people who put their faith in religions and rituals. While helping them, I began to jitter initially. Images of my mother worshipping in our house flashed my mind several times when I lined up the unlit earthen lamps to be lit during the Sandhi Puja. However, my clumsiness, when got an encouragement from the brigade, became a sigh of relief to me.





With the dimming of the Sun, the Arati started. Our friend and a few other family members took turns in dancing with the earthen incense burners or Dhunuchis. The remaining, non-dancing members, rang the kanshor-ghontas, along with the drum beats by the dhakis who came from a nearby village. The in-house priest danced with the panchapradip, meanwhile. The Arati rituals transported me to a state of trance, for a short time. It is said that the high pitched songs sung or sounds made in any religious place, can briefly bring upon a state of trance in the people visiting these places. This state of trance can turn one's mind blank for a few seconds, and that's the time when the one comes near to God. I don't know whether I could go near to someone called God, whom I don't believe, during the brief state trance felt by me then, but my mind weary from thoughts of my late parents felt more relaxed thereafter. After the Arati, the members along with us, sat together on the floor of the mud house for the evening muri-alur torkari. The food was filling, nevertheless, but, what filled our hearts was the inherent humility in the household. One can achieve great feats in life, but, to remain grounded with humility, is what makes the person a Man, on the real sense of the term. Its difficult to stay humble when you start possessing material wealth, but, the Datta household members, carried this attribute on their sleeves with elan. They didn't have to pretend, they truly showed us, how to be.

 


Chitchats followed after we had done with the light evening meal. We began to gather again near the Thakurdalan, for the Sandhi Puja rituals. The Sandhi Puja happens to be a significant ritual invoking the mythological moment when Goddess Durga won over Mahisasura. My mother used to say that if the Sandhi Puja rituals are done with great respect then the clay idol of Goddess Durga appears to be alive, albeit for a minuscule time. I recalled these words when the priest began chanting the hymns. The drums started beating a different rhythm, the kanshor-ghontas followed, marking the end of the Sandhi Puja ritual and the 108 lamps were lit. The face of the idol shone in the lamp lights. It appeared as if the Goddess had come alive. Was it? Or, maybe, I was briefly hallucinated by the drum beats, the constant ringings of the kanshor-ghonta, and the profound Sanskrit chants of the priest which literally meant to invoke Goddess Durga to arrive and fight the evils. Whatever it was, I found myself to be quiet, rest of the night. "Faith can move mountains", they say, and here, I could feel it, truly.

On the next day, Navami, my eyes opened when a whiff of fragrant Shiuli or Night Jasmine, blew across my face. The intoxicating fragrance made me ran to its source and oh! what did I see there?! A flowery rangoli depicting Rose made from the Shiuli flowers, upon the brown mud floor. The Shiuli trees, the ponds and the lush greenery beckoned us to explore around the area. We could spot a few local birds here and there. One of our friend's family members showed us around their premises. The paddy fields they own and the cowshed which housed cows many years ago. After the brief tour, we gathered in the Thakurdalan again. The Navami puja had started by that time. The same place looked so different that morning. The illuminations from the Ashtami evening had culminated to a vibrant Navami morning.


Many visitors like us had come from far and wide. We chatted, they chatted, and the chatters never stopped. To me, the Durga Puja had always been a festival which brought us together from different walks of life and that day the entire household became the same milieu which we long for, every Autumn. Our never ending chatters would have continued if not we were called for the lunch, at the same place where we had ate in the evening, all of us together, sitting on the mud floor. The menu was not special. Who among us cannot have a platter of mutton and rice whenever we want, generally speaking? But the food served on that afternoon was made special by the people there, our hosts, the batch-eating on the same floor and the overall ambience.

We left the place, after lunch, with a heavy heart. Our mundane lives, our artificially glittering Kolkata was beckoning us. As we sped past the green paddy fields again, I knew I had to go back again, there, maybe during the next Autumn again, just to feel the same, twice.



P.S:

Sometimes, it is not easy to explain some events with mere words. This event was of that kind. It was foolish of me to even try, but I could not stop myself to write about that one and a half day spent in the Datta household, during an Autumn Durga Puja. 

Saturday, 18 August 2018

#Snippets 6 (Scattered Thoughts)

I never thought that my life would take an unpredictable turn after March 23rd. I am happy, confused, sad, disturbed, worried, anxious......basically feeling every emotions at the same time.

I feel that I am on cloud nine whenever my baby smiles at me, babbles and express the desire to be with me.
I feel anxious when she cries due to colic pain, stuffed nose, hunger or sleep issues. I feel worried when she cries when she cannot see me for an hour....separation anxiety.

I am suffering from inferiority complex too. I am feeling that I am judged by basically everyone around me including the Nanny. What's a joke for them, becomes a serious issue for me. I have begun to hate the people when they joke even about my minuscule incapability..."Ohh! How she holds her baby when she feeds her or makes her sleep? She basically embrace like a bear. Won't the baby feel uncomfortable?"
Now, how am I supposed to hold a growing baby when I am a tiny person? What can I do if I am a shorty? What can I do if my hands tremble due to eight years of hypothyroidism?

I feel confused about my job status too. I have been told that I am going to work as a freelancer until some projects arrive to make me a full-time worthy employee. I badly need this job. I want my job to pay my baby's nanny, to pay for the books which I want to buy, to pay for the essential things my baby needs now, and also for the vacations we are planning to do with her. My job will be a big support for my husband too.

I started writing to bring myself at peace. I even wrote a few articles, but the thoughts which I need to pen down seem to have gone absconding. I am feeling worthless and hopeless.
How long am I going to slog like this? I simply can't bear to slog anymore. I feel a financial stability can drag me out from this mess, but, where can I find that? When shall I return to my mainstream life, for once and for all?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

ঢেউ আসে ঢেউ যায়

নতুন বাবা মায়েদের বোধহয় হুজুগ একটু বেশি মাত্রাতেই বিরাজমান। সেই হুজুগের পালে হাওয়া দিয়ে আমরা ছ' জন নতুন বাবা মা, প্রায় সদ্যজাত, কয়েক মাসের বাচ্চাদেরকে ট্যাঁকে গুঁজে চলে গেছিলাম তাজপুরে, সপ্তাহান্তের ভ্রমণের উদ্দেশ্যে।

ট্রেনে দীঘা, তারপরে গাড়িতে তাজপুর। এই পুরো রাস্তায় খাওয়ানো ও ঘুমোনোর সময়টুকু ছাড়া, বাচ্চাগুলো অবাক চোখে ট্রেনের জানালা দিয়ে পারিপার্শ্বিক ধাবমান দৃশ্যাবলি ও ট্রেনের ভেতরের সহযাত্রীদের শুধু দেখেই গেছে। মাঝে মাঝে তারা এতটাই অবাক হয়ে যাচ্ছিল যে খাওয়া ও ঘুমের জন্য যে কান্নাকাটি না করলে তাদের চলে না সেটাও ভুলে যাচ্ছিল। যাইহোক, এই অবাক যাত্রা যখন রিসর্টের সামনে গাড়ি থেকে নেমে শেষ হল, তারা তখন শ্রান্তিতে ঢুলে পড়েছে আমাদের কোলে।

ঘর বুঝে নিয়ে, মালপত্র কোনমতে রেখে, আমরা বাচ্চাদেরকে কোলে করে নিয়ে ছুটলাম সমুদ্রদর্শনে, রিসর্টের সবচেয়ে কাছের বালুকাবেলায়। মেঠো পথে কিছু নাম না জানা ফুলের গাছে কিছু নাম না জানা পাখির ডাক শুনতে শুনতে এগোচ্ছি, এমন সময়, সামনে দেখি একটা শীর্ণ নালা। শীর্ণ হলেও শুষ্ক নয়, তিরতির করে লোনা জল বয়ে চলেছে সেখান দিয়ে। একটা ছোট্ট লাফে নালা পার করার সময় মনে হল যেন ছোটবেলার বৃষ্টির জলে ঝাঁপানোর মুহুর্তটাকে একটুখানি ছুঁয়ে এলাম। এগিয়ে যেতেই ঢেউয়ের মৃদু গর্জন কানে এল। আরও এগোতেই বিশাল পারাবার। ঘোলাটে জলের মস্ত ঢেউগুলো একের পর এক আছড়ে পড়ছিল বালিতে এসে। সাধারণত, তাজপুরে অথবা দীঘায় ঢেউয়েরা খুব একটা বড় থাকে না, কিন্তু এবারে গিয়ে দেখলাম ঢেউদের আকার প্রকার বেশ বৃদ্ধি পেয়েছে। হয়ত পুর্ণিমার দিন জোয়ার আসার সময় গেছিলাম বলে। নির্জন সৈকতটিতে সেই পড়ন্ত বিকেলে ছয়জন পূর্ণ ও তিনজন সাড়ে মানুষ ঢেউদের সাক্ষাতে নিজেদেরকে কিছুক্ষণের জন্য হারিয়ে ফেলেছিল বললেও খুব একটা ভূল বলা হবে না। এবার ছোট্ট সাক্ষাতের পর রিসর্টে ফেরার পালা। আবার সেই মেঠো পথ। এবার অবশ্য কিছু গরু বাছুরদেরকে ঘাস খেতে দেখা গেল। সেই সাড়ে তিনজন মানুষদের এই সু্যোগে 'হাম্বা'দের চিনিয়ে দেওয়া গেল। রিসর্টে ফিরে চা ও চিকেন পকোড়া সহযোগে আড্ডা মারতে বসলাম আমরা। এই আড্ডা যে একেবারে নিরবিচ্ছিন্ন ভাবে চলেছে, তা বলতে পারি না। মাঝেমধ্যেই বাচ্চাদের খাওয়ানো, ঘোরানো ও প্রাকৃতিক কৃত্য পরিষ্কার করা এসব কাজও চলেছে পাশাপাশি। তা সত্ত্বেও কোথাও আড্ডার সুরতাল কেটে যায়নি কারণ আমরা যে যেখানে আড্ডা ছেড়ে চলে যাচ্ছিলাম, ফিরে এসে আবার সেখান থেকেই শুরু করছিলাম আড্ডা দেওয়া। আড্ডা দিতে দিতেই বাচ্চাদের প্রয়োজনীয় খাবার জল ফুটিয়ে যার যার ফ্লাস্কে ভরে নিলাম। এরপর ভাত, ডাল, আলুভাজা, রুটি, পম্ফ্রেট মাছ ভাজা ও পারশের ঝাল দিয়ে নৈশাহারের পালা সাঙ্গ করে যে যার রুমে ফিরে এলাম। সারাদিনের ক্লান্তিতে চোখ বুজে এল, ঘুমিয়ে পড়লাম।

পরদিন, চা ও জলখাবার পর্ব মিটিয়েই চললাম সাগর অভিমুখে। অপেক্ষাকৃত ভীড় যেই সৈকতে, সেইদিকেই টোটো করে চললাম। গতকাল শুধু চোখের দেখা হয়েছে, আজ সেই সাড়ে তিনজনের সাগর ছুঁয়ে দেখার পালা। দুজন সাড়ে টুকটুক করে হাঁটি হাঁটি পা পা করে এগোলো তাদের বাবা মায়েদের হাত ধরে, আরেকজন সাড়ে অবশ্য বাবার কোলে চড়ে পা ডুবিয়েই তার মায়ের কোলে ফিরে এল। যখন ঢেউ এসে তাদের পা ভিজিয়ে দিয়েই আবার ফিরে যাচ্ছিল, সেই ঢেউ হয়ত ফিরে যাবার সময় সেই সাড়ে তিনজনের তিন জোড়া চোখের বিস্ময় দেখে যেতে পারছিল না। বাকিরা দেখছিলাম, মন ভরে। পা ছোঁয়ানো পর্ব শেষ করে ডাবে চুমুক দিলাম আমরা বড়রা আর কুট্টিরা তাদের দুধের বোতলে। ঢেউদের আসা যাওয়া দেখতে দেখতে পানীয়য় চুমুক দেওয়া যে বড় মনোরম একটি অভিজ্ঞতা, সেই সাড়ে তিনজন এই বয়সেই তা বুঝে ফেলেছে! ডাবে শেষ চুমুক দিয়েই বাবারা সমুদ্রস্নান সমাপনে গেল। আমরা মায়েরা সন্তানদের কোলে করে নিয়ে সেই সাগরস্নান দেখতে বসলাম। আমরাও অবশ্য যেতে পারতাম, কেউ মানা করেনি, কিন্তু, নিজের উত্তরাধিকারদের কোলে বসিয়ে সমুদ্রশোভা দেখার মধ্যে যে অপরিসীম আনন্দ আছে, যে স্বর্গীয় প্রাপ্তি আছে তা একমাত্র মা ছাড়া কেউ বোঝে না, কোনদিন বুঝবেও না। স্নানপর্ব সাড়া হলে আমরা আবার ফিরলাম, রিসর্টে। সেখানে আমাদের জন্য কাঁকড়া অপেক্ষা করছিল, মধ্যাহ্নভোজনে। দুপুরটা বিশ্রাম নিয়ে আবার যখন সাগরের কাছে ফিরলাম তখন অন্ধকার হয়ে আসছে, হাওয়া একদমই নেই তার ফলে বেশ গরম। এরকম একটা আবহাওয়া কোন সমুদ্রসৈকতে একেবারেই বেমানান। কিছুক্ষণ অপেক্ষা করছিলাম আমরা, আশায় ছিলাম যে হাওয়া দেবে, একটু অস্বস্তিটা কমবে, কিন্তু তা হল না। বিফল মনোরথে আবার রিসর্টের দিকে ফিরলাম। হালকা খাবার খেয়ে যে যার ঘরে শুতে চলে গেলাম।

তার পরেরদিন উঠেই মহাশোরগোলে শুরু করে দেওয়া হল ফেরার ব্যবস্থা, গোছগাছ, জল ফোটানো, বোতল ফোটানো ইত্যাদি। বাচ্চারাও হয়ত বুঝতে পারছিল যে তারা আর এখানে থাকবে না, ফলে, দফায় দফায় কান্নাকাটি, বায়না, করতে শুরু করেছিল। ওদের ভোলানোর জন্য আমরা নানারকম চেষ্টা করে যাচ্ছিলাম, কিন্তু, আমাদের, নিজেদের কি মন ভুলছিল? ভ্রমণশেষের বিষাদ কি আমাদের মনকে একবারের জন্যেও ভারাক্রান্ত করছিল না? কিন্তু, সেটাই যে নিয়ম, কালের নিয়মে আমাদেরও বাড়ি ফিরে যেতে হবে, নিজ নিজ কর্মক্ষেত্রে যোগদান করতে হবে ও অপেক্ষা করতে হবে পরেরবারের ভ্রমণের জন্য। ফেরার পথেও আবার বিস্ময়ের পালা। অবাক করা ধাবমান দৃশ্যপট দেখতে দেখতে শ্রান্তিতে চোখ বুজে আসছিল সেই সাড়ে তিনজনের সাথে বাকি সবারই। আমাদের পরবর্তী প্রজন্ম হয়ত গোধুলীবেলার মন কেমন করা আলোর মানে বুঝতে পারেনি এত ছোট বয়সে কিন্তু আমরা যে ওদের জন্য একটা অচেনা দিগন্তের উন্মোচন করে দিলাম ভ্রমণের মাধ্যমে তা হয়ত ওদের দেখার চোখ পালটে দিতে পারে, ভবিষ্যতে, কে বলতে পারে?

পুনশ্চঃ
১) আমরা শেষবেলায় যেই রিসর্টে রুম ফাঁকা পেয়েছি সেটাতেই বুকিং করেছি। তাজপুরে সব রিসর্টই মোটের উপর ভাল, তাই যেটা পছন্দ, সেটাই বুক করতে পারেন।
 ২) ছোট বাচ্চাদের সাথে নিয়ে গেলে অবশ্যই ইলেক্ট্রিক কেটলি নিয়ে যাবেন সাথে করে।
৩) ঘুরতে গিয়ে বাচ্চাদের খাওয়ানোর সময় জোর একেবারেই করবেন না। যেহেতু ওরা নতুন জিনিস দেখছে, ওদের কিন্তু ওইদিকেই আগ্রহ থাকছে, তার ফলে, তাদের খাবার ইচ্ছে নাও থাকতে পারে। মনে রাখবেন, ঘুরতে গিয়ে ওজন কমুক চাই বাড়ুক, ওদের অভিজ্ঞতা তো বাড়ছে, তাই আমাদেরও উচিৎ ওদের পাশে থাকা।
৪) অনেকেই ছোট বাচ্চাদের নিয়ে ঘুরতে যেতে চান না, ভাবেন যে মুশকিলে পড়বেন। এই ধারণা কিন্তু একেবারেই ভূল। বাচ্চারা ঘুরতে ভালবাসে ও তারা সব পরিস্থিতিতেই কিন্তু মানিয়ে নিতে পারে, হয়ত, কোন কোন ক্ষেত্রে আমাদের বড়দের চেয়েও বেশি ভালভাবে পারে।

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Momspresso Check out this interesting blog post "The Calling Of The Soil" by Parna Das Basu. Read Here: https://www.momspresso.com/parenting/parenthood-ramblings/article/the-calling-of-the-soil

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

CES Days - The workplace I dearly miss.

CES Technologies was my first workplace as an employee, before that I had worked as an intern for a year or so. Coincidentally, the office where I worked as an intern was a vendor company which worked for a digitization project of the CES Technologies. Ohh! Before, I forget to mention what were my job profiles in these two companies, let me tell you that I worked here as a CAD Mapper. My work was to digitize the maps and attach data with them. Well, I won't bore the readers with the details of my job profile for that would take away the essence of my retrospection here. On the contrary, I would like to talk about my co workers of CES Technologies and the amiable work environment which prevailed there.

We used to work in two shifts, - morning and evening. The morning shift employees, mostly girls including me, started off working from 7 AM sharp and went on till 2 PM when the evening shift employees barged in and took over the work stations from us. Working was a great fun there. Sometimes, I hardly remembered that we were actually working on a tight deadline and we, too, had targets. The friendly banters continued while the mouses clicked away. Our faces smirked on the harmless bullying while our eyes were fixed on the screens to assure precision and perfection. There were friendly competitions too. When a coworker shouted out, "I have finished the pending three maps. Give me two more", rest of us would refocus on finishing ours too. Some of the workaholic ones would stay for the evening shifts too in order to make their cases strong for yearly salary increments. No, I was not among them. I was a laid back employee then as well as now. Working more than eight hours for mere money is still not in my constitution.

The office was set in a cozy location with food stalls all around. One such food stall was fondly named, 'Mesho r Dokan' rechristened in the google map as 'Mesho's Shop'. The Bengali word 'Mesho' is widely used to address 'Mashi's or mother's sister's husband. Now, which Mashi's husband was this 'Mesho' of 'Mesho's shop' remained unknown to us. We only concentrated on the delicious 'Kochuri - Chholar Daal' and occasional tea breaks here. Life seemed to come to a standstill when the steaming hot 'Kochuris' were served in front of us on a plate where the 'Chholar Daal' already swam in.

Talking about food, I must not forget to mention about the endless treats my coworkers, management and me gave to celebrate special occasions, personal as well as official achievements. The treats ranged from the humble 'Shingaras' to the elegant 'Special Mutton Biriyanis' accompanied with juicy 'Kebabs'. More than the food items or the share of food we had together, there was an environment of sheer happiness effervescent with the simple joys of life.

My last day in this company was a gloomy one. My coworkers looked sad as I announced my resignation. They were happy too as I got an opportunity to teach in a school as they knew teaching was my first love. When I left the office premises, I did not look back. I couldn't. Tears welled up and I quickly took a shuttle cab home. A few months ago, I heard that CES has become non functional. I never bothered to ask the reason. The good things always come to an end, so did CES. 

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

The Bard's Day

My acquaintance with the bard, kobiguru, as most people call him, dates back to my toddlerhood when my mother used to sit with 'Sanchayita' (An anthology of Tagore's well known poems) and recite one poem after the other. I enjoyed the rhyme 'Khantoburir Didishashuri' a lot. Gradually, I learnt most of the children's poems written by him thanks to my mother's persuasion and the elocution tests in my school.

As I embarked upon the journey of teenhood, I felt his poems seeping into me slowly. We had 'Sankalita' volumes as one of our Bengali textbooks. The best part of the 'Sankalita' volumes was that the poems were selected according to the age of the students. The poems like 'Samanyo Khoti', 'Poroshmoni', 'Nirjhorer Shopnobhongo' had an immense impact on me. Thereafter, I was introduced to his plays and novels, not to mention his songs which were the quintessential part of the mornings in our house. Frankly  speaking, I didn't find his songs as interesting as his novels and plays (excluding dance dramas), at first. They were no better than the opulent lullabys to me, the ones which the so called cultured people listen to. When people swore by the 'Rabindrasangeets' I was pretty content with revising and re-revising 'Chirokumar Sabha' and 'Tasher Desh', the plays which were filled with sarcasm and dark humour.

How I was taken by the 'opulent lullabys', I don't know. Maybe during a stage of infatuation when coincidentally somebody sang 'Pran chaay chokkhu na chaay' or maybe when I was spending a restless night after my mother's death and my mobile's playlist offered me 'Jete jete akla pothey'.

When people go overboard with the Rabindrajayanti celebrations every year, I quietly remember him, my quintessential guardian, through his songs, poems and those long lost evenings which resonated with my mother's consecutive recitations of Tagore's poems.

Happy Birthday in advance, my Bard! Your literary works are like an ocean to me, where every wave seems new, every single day.