Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
by Atasi Sen
I happened to read a blog very interestingly named ‘Ami Brishti Chai...’ recently. I was wondering what could be the justification behind the name selection. Is it the author’s infatuation towards rain as I have or is it to lose tears in the rain unnoticed? Whatsoever, I found the blog to be very interesting because as I was reading it I could easily identify with the thoughts. The writer seemed to have poured out his heart through his pen revealing his taste for cricket and admiration for Sachin. That reminds me of my obsession for the same sport years ago in my school days, when Azhar and Shastri were at the zenith of their career, which made them settle upon the pages of my rejected copies to be pasted as very valuable pictures. My craze had reached to such an extent that in order to follow a cricket match commentary I had even risked to stealthily carry a transistor-set to school (which was against the rule) and dodged to the school infirmary complaining about a severe headache. I am quite a couch potato. Otherwise the few sports which I enjoy playing are table-tennis and badminton. Indoor sports activity means chess sessions and clearing carrom-boards mainly. My son seems to have inherited chess mainly from his paternal side but at times can make his papa get serious at the game too (with his mom’s guidance).
The writer’s mention of food reminds me of those early days when I used to experiment with the edibles as well as the cooking accessories. Born to over-protective parents who have always pampered their only ‘princess’, having got the license to enter the kitchen only after marriage, I treated the food processing zone as my school’s Chemistry lab. Quite expectedly I lacked in the ability to create a proper dish and above that my creativity added on more to spoil the whole stuff. I don’t know whether it was the effect of the disastrous items put up on the table or my husband’s affection towards me which added on to keep me away from the kitchen. Months together after his return from the office we both would drive down to try diverse culinary cuisines at various food joints. I extend my gratitude to my very intimate friend Rubina, (a native of our foe nation Pak-i-stan) who had helped me a lot not only by training me to cook as well as by literally cooking and sending across dishes at my place, days together. My husband in his attempt to turn me into a good cook, (poor thing!) had himself become an expert at this skill (through quite a number of trial-and-errors though) and thereby seemed to spoil me even more. Then having migrated to Jordan where availability of Indian food was limited, I slowly started developing a knack for cooking. Indian food and flavour was new to the taste buds of the neighbourhood Jordanians. So with time and trials I am today regarded as a good cook to all the tongues I have catered to. (Now I don’t know whether I am at all sounding that convincing to my reader. If anybody has a doubt you are most welcome to try them all out --- chingri malai curry, chicken biriyani, mangsho kosha and also aloo posto, shukto, and moong dal (with narkel & koraishuti)and what not? ) (I fear the guest might be indecisive whether to leave at all!)
Wears, well the writer’s attitude towards clothing sounded so interesting may be because of his explicit simplicity. Plainness appeals me in conjunction with modesty. I prefer to go without makeup and move fresh faced instead. The concept of decorating oneself with heavy jewelleries somehow reminds me of a decked out Christmas tree!
The writer’s reading technique seemed to be quite different from mine. In my early days I too was quite a quick reader but then with time and maturity, my reading speed seemed to have changed to be at par with the transformation of book selection. The books that I choose to read now involve more of understanding and assessment. I prefer to take pleasure to experience thrill and suspense only through audio-visual modes instead of only reading. The Sherlock Holmes’ collection stood on my book-shelf for years together with only dust settling on them until a couple of years ago when my son started showing interest in reading them and (quite unlike me) liking the works too. For book hunting I find the busy, swarming and noisy College Street area ‘Boi Para’ much more passionate and nostalgic than anywhere else. Now-a-days invading those lanes obsessively does not really happen more often than may be only a couple of times in a year. But whenever I go there I make it a point to carry back enough to suffice for quite a period of time. In this perspective let me reveal one more thing that I love to choose from the piles thrall of old literary collections standing on the footpath shops, (plz don’t mistake me to be a miser) because of two things --- I like the smell of the old, worn books with yellowed pages and I even fancy being rewarded with the find of a rare antiquity or so. There seems to be a touch of living amongst those quaint pages and they speak volumes.
The writer and I seemed to have a common choice regarding Satyajit Ray, the author. He has impressively revealed himself before me through his pen rather than through his lens art. If asked about my choice of writers my naming list can go cascading. It is very difficult to select a few names from that long list so better I don’t exhibit my partiality towards any of them. But then I must admit that I have a special bonding for Bond... Ruskin Bond. Rabi Thakur seems to have entered me and had settled inside in such a way that he even breathes through me. He is so much of a part and parcel of me. I have learnt to understand poetry and view the world from a poet’s eye through Wordsworth. Play means Bernard Shaw to me. I have read quite a number of Shakespeare’s works but usually fail to enjoy every bit of it (may be because I lack in that sense of intelligence.) Khalil Gibran is like the Bible to me. From him I have learnt so much. He has answered all my questions, time and again. From him I have learnt that ‘A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?’ ‘But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.’ ‘Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream.’ ’And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.’
(I am still not through with this write-up but there is a need to leave today. Shall return soon to write more about that blog ‘Ami Brishti Chai...’.)
More by : Atasi Sen