Kaashi: the city that wasn’t!

Kaashi, or Varanasi, is one of those places to surely feature on anyone’s Freudian bucket list.

It is one of the oldest cities in the world and it makes sure you understand that while roaming about in its organic lanes and by lanes and by by by lanes and so on.  My last trip to this place wasn’t my first, but I can say that it was the first time I looked at it through my own eyes. I won’t be documenting the various places of “so-called” worship because everyone does that.

The hotel where we stayed this time was a remarkable one (hold your hats folks!). It made me wonder about a lot of things, most of all, I wondered if Dante had decided to include the 10th circle of hell, it would have been something like our place! Sounds Warm, doesn’t it?

I am not really a shutterbug, but an entire canvas of myriad experiences made me want to document this unusual journey.

I have heard a lot of talks, especially from the foreigners that they come to Varanasi to “find” themselves! This time I realised a teeny tiny bit of how that happens. One fine evening, I found myself sulking in the audience of the evening prayer, which happens at the ghats. Therefore, I decided to take a walk by the ghats and explore the literal margin of this antique city. I jammed my earphones in and started to walk. What song was I listening to you ask? Oh, I was listening to American Idiot by Green Day. Is this Globalisation? Multiculturalism? Post Modernism? Frankly, I don’t care.

Look at this boat, sailing the lands forever!

1

If you stand with your back towards the river and look up towards the skyline, believe me, for a moment I thought I was there in favelas of Brazil!

2

Nature, I believe, has its own rhetoric. A place called “juice bar” is promoting their brand by showing the way to the burning ghat of all places. I am not going to elaborate on this beautiful irony and destroy your poetry.

3

Let me remind you, this graffiti is in Varanasi, beside the Vishwanath temple, on the lap of the Ganga.

I’m j-u-s-t saying!

img-20180705-wa0032.jpeg

These two holy souls are here seen drawing their daily dose of inspiration from a heavenly conflict between Ray Mysterio and Randy Orton.

IMG-20180705-WA0035

I have never had the guts to visit a burial ground, you can call me a coward in that respect. But, here, an inexplicable urge led me on towards that “fatal” place. Is this the force that nature has? Was this what Wordsworth meant?

I kept moving, felt more alive as I did. And when I reached I felt a wave of souls moving through my body. Scores of logs were stacked on all the sides, as the vehicles for the dead. Looking at them made me wonder, someday some log would be mine too!

I don’t really know if dusty the real term to describe the place, because the dust has- me, you, and everyone: the biggest family on earth.

IMG-20180705-WA0038

Bodies piled on another, wrapped in white, all set to be launched into eternity. A “grave” situation you’d wonder, right? I am not sure if I can say that because as the enlightenment was dawning upon me, my castle of glass was immediately shattered by a nonchalant tea seller nasal screaming “lebuuu chaiii” (lemon tea). Oh yes, who wouldn’t want refreshment while disposing of the dead!

The power of this place was such that I wanted to go there day after day to drink life from the dead.

Also, every damn creepy house I saw above a few flights of steps, I thought that it was the abode of the great MOCHLI BABA! ALAS! I never found it. Sad.

I have finally reached a moo point

IMG-20180705-WA0021

amar kotha ti furolo
note gaach ti murolo

By the way this was the most stylish guy I found there:

img-20180705-wa0046.jpeg

oh, the swagger!

All the pictures as you have already noticed are shaky. No! I am not imitating Mrinal Sen or something. It’s just that I wanted to give a feel of the bustling life through these pictures. The city was moving and so was I.  This definitely not all, from a personal perspective, this trip also featured one of the best co-incidences I have ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe something so poetic could ever happen to me! What the co-incidence you wonder? Maybe, I will tell you someday over coffee, but it has to be your treat!

I hope you enjoyed this trip.

 

 

 

Advertisements

HIM AND HIS WOMEN

This poem of mine was published by The Literary Herald, go on, give it a read:

http://tlhjournal.com/uploads/products/47.samya-poem.pdf

Image Courtesy:
https://goo.gl/zz7PCB

|Narayan Kotha|

Amader Ink élan r Baishakhe Chaander Haat er 10 nombor porbo ti amar sesh obodan ei series e, asha kori bhalo lagbe Narayan babu k nie amar ei lekha ti, bhalo lagle ekta like deben please!

Ebare kintu bangla horof eo lekha hoeche!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1728057193900229&id=986575891381700

Artwork by Sourin Das and Designed by Arghadeep Saha

Well Past Midnight

It is well past midnight now and I am here sitting in the railway station with you. Countless earthen pots are lying beside me as you can very well see.

Heyy! Look!—What? Don’t you see?

See that young lady over there, gracefully mixing with darkness at the horizon. She is out my sight now. Fear not! Her silhouette is with me and I will tell her story, yes I am determined now! I will only tell her story!

1

And you, will you listen?

She was stranger, true, but in this godforsaken place, she became a stranger to herself as well. She felt lonely. Nobody knew her and she knew nobody.

The isolation was eating her by the day

She had no one to say ‘hey’

We are a rational animal they say

And True!

A social animal, yes, so was she…but an animal without food

Isn’t that an insult to the neighbourhood?

She didn’t know how this world worked; she was an amateur, a hungry amateur.

ladies-vector-silhouettes

 

Come on let’s get on this train, it’s the last one! We’ll continue our story there. Make sure you put on your woollens properly, it’s chilly.

Ahh! There’s a seat, come.

Whooo does that yuckkkk! Look at that kinky poster and it is stuck with a gum, how cheap is that!

I can never get these people with stupid agendas you know, I mean, how foolish do you think people are huh?  To fall for these cheap tricks? The government must do something to protect the innocent people who perhaps are getting fooled by these tricksters every day! My head is so on fire you know, I will write a letter as soon as I get home to the highest of authorities.

I have a LOT of connections!

Ohh! Damn it why isn’t the train moving yet?! I need to have a chat with the driver, pronto!

Come down the platform with me……

I need to talk to the driver about the problems and the damn posters people are sticking, incorrigible!

Oh, your story! I am so sorry, I almost forgot, happens to creative peo—-

Isn’t this that girl??? Yes, it is her!

What is she doing? Is she, OH MY!

She is putting up a poster… it is the same poster…

IT also reads…

RIYA WANTS TO BE FRIENDS

CALL  **********

She’s the one who really needs the FRIENDS.

img_2016110608191357662fc597e73

You see I may not be the most popular guy in the world, but I have you as my friend and I am grateful to you for that, and I will be in this year and in the next!

Make friends; talk with people… because you never know who might need one!

Don’t just wish Happy New Year,

Make someone’s New Year, Happy!

CIAO! This train was for the Car-shed anyway.

Image Courtesy:

 

Google

 

 

Observations of an injured mind

When you are injured…be physically or mentally– it leaves a mark

Can a mark really alter your approach to reality?

Can it play with the very notion of truth?

With Ink Elan I bring a quasi-fictional (*wink wink*) experience to life

market-psychology

Here

“Observations of an injured mind” (click it)

Please leave your feedbacks, they are important to me.

Image courtesies:

https://goo.gl/TaK1ew

https://goo.gl/wcg9JU

 

 

 

 

Com partment.

clock-04-29_33143_md

A red digital clock at Howrah station platform no.3 showed 4:29; the diabolical figure resonated through my mind as missing the 4:30 local would surely have been fatal. I dragged my over-exhausted right leg amidst the sea of people and managed to somehow scamper into the much dreaded first compartment. My momentary inflated ego was crushed immediately by a nonchalant “Murshidabad er gamcha” seller who shrugged me off by a very courteous “dada shorun”. Just as I had managed a decent standing place, I saw something very odd lurking in a general local train compartment, a young lady (yay!).

5fa5562617a48cf0b92d5d2c89f2bba4

As fate might have had it, she was directly looking at me(now that doesn’t happen), only to ask me if the train would stop at Konnagar (such a romance killer). A nod came in reflex.

poeticanimatedillustrations0-900x897

She was not the one for the poets and it was exactly that which made everything so poetic.

The tired train moved with a grunt and slacked like a baby to school. She couldn’t find the perfect posture in the overcrowded compartment and kept turning; new to “daily passenger-i” I thought. With every turn, it seemed she stole one glance here and another glance there as if it opened up different facets to her.

the_silent_observer_by_ginger_v-d78kjmw

I, the skilled playboy that I am, remained silent and observed the proceedings in awe. Her protruding rucksack hit me sometimes as a reminder from my inner Barney Stinson to start up a conversation. I did, in my head of course as the hawker raved on about his “quality cotton maal” in the background.

smiley-face-clip-art-emotions-rige789il

I don’t know if it was fact or fiction, but after a few moments, I saw her conversing with another guy. A flurry of emotions wrapped around my brain as if to make folly out of my failures. I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.

uu1gu2bn

There was nothing romantic, or there was I don’t know! But at that very moment, I realised what could have been! There are so many people, we don’t know, who could have been so much more, if only…

I didn’t know if she knew him or she did not (please be the former), honestly I don’t care! She was all smiles and so was he.

Is this a tale of love lost or stalking gained I don’t know. But what I do know is that trillion tales have been told of this style but very few are actually experienced.

Everything it seems stopped that day, for them, for me; except the train, which wasn’t supposed to stop at Konnagar (which I remembered after getting down at Bally).

What have I done! What have I done! What have I done!

635989887982431799

Image courtesies

https://goo.gl/quHBVg

https://goo.gl/AEhkzP

https://goo.gl/rdnPrH

https://goo.gl/4xecxG

https://goo.gl/ACy9Kb

https://goo.gl/UsGN3e

https://goo.gl/duWvMP

 

Peace,Protection,Patriotism.

A hand rises amidst the sea of heads…

rebel-930x493

 

*silence*

The speech begins as the mic lays out a high-frequency screech…

7-mic-tips-tricks-to-improve-vocals

Hello,

You might want to sit back and clear your mind (or your bowels if you want to) for this. The matter is serious and has already gotten out of hand. So, I have decided that enough is enough, and speak on behalf of my community.

Considering the majority of my audience, I assume that most of you might have used us over and over again till we have given your senses a sore.

You have oppressed us, ogled at us and even thought of exchanging us, but we didn’t complain. You judged us by our “brands” and our so-called features, we suffered in silence. We charged your soul with hours of emotions: laughter, anger, angst et all! Yet you resorted to other means of entertainment leaving us high and dry! Did we retort then?

Then why do this to us now?

Why do you keep breaking us over and over again? It is true that we can’t speak or say a word against your supremacy, your control, it seems we are to only dance to those signals you throw at us!

So, think before shattering us, breaking us with your pseudo-brutality, because remember-

What goes around comes around!

Yours Truly,

The Television Union

and its predicament after the face-offs of arch rivals.

11

The silence is broken by a young guy draped in mono-colour…

How can you be so cruel, madam? You can be a very good orator and everything but you can’t randomly sexualise this matter for your ends! Do not think that we all are sitting ducks here! Do we not understand your propaganda? You are deliberately trying to make us empathise with your problems by giving it the subtext of a sexual harassment! We do think that your issue demands an answer but please don’t use one of the most pressing issues in our society for your benefits!

The young man has to stop now as he realises that the lady has already left without paying heed to his comments.

stock-photo-unanswered-question-410969047

I, myself, standing right at the corner of this very room was carefully observing the proceedings till now with a solemn brow while impersonating a serious Sukanto. But, me being dormant thus far now feel a need to say something to you, my friend… Be it the communal, sexual issues or the protection of certain lactating herbivores- every issue demands our undivided attention, true, but do you know what we need more at this crucial juncture…. unity. Why do I, a mere narrator/writer thus far, feel the need to say this to you (without being a character in my own story)? I do because it is not the race for the throne which is a real threat to us it is the things that lie beyond the wall. Period.

1668d0f45c868c48f7ea362e2e698cd6-fin-png

image courtesies:

https://goo.gl/qfr9qs

https://goo.gl/JLHMth

https://goo.gl/8puWZV

https://goo.gl/gRYsaj

https://goo.gl/YYfXM5

https://goo.gl/Wv3DPX

 

 

 

Oh God!

The darkness of the stage is broken by a momentary flash of blinding light and loud cracks.

emptystage

The light silhouetted darkness is now pervaded by two characters who enter from both ends.

[drum roll]

enter Oh and God!

Oh, a highly cynical lady of age surveys her surroundings and keeps stuttering towards the middle of the stage while letting out a puff or two. On reaching, her eyes fall on a young man who wore deep purple robes, a cap and a shiny long necklace, which was the cause of much amusement for the lady.

Capture

God!, a young lad, most probably a teenager, perhaps the calmest one there ever was; casually strolls into the stage and looks at the smoking old lady dressed in a curious manner. Her head was covered by a cloth, like a hippie! He couldn’t control his chuckle and let out a loud sneer.

young-catholic-priest-praying-studio-portrait-isolated-white-background-44538138

[The coincidental bursts of not so subtle scorn swiftly gained their ways into each other’s ears.]

[Long pause and melodious violin plays as the characters start to dance towards each other and stop at once when they meet]

Oh: So, why do you dress in such a fancy manner eh? RELIGIOUS ARE YOU? Don’t you know that there is nothing called God! How can you be so backwards that in spite of living in the modern times you still cling on to these ancient beliefs? Allow me to illuminate you, YOUNG MAN!

There is no proof about God! Science triumphed way back when Darwin paraded the minds of the intellectuals with his groundbreaking theories! And yet, you crackpots…still believe that someone is up there who created us, eh? Do you even Science, huh?

Religion was introduced as a mean of oppression to thwart the voices of the subaltern! It was nothing more than a fancy narrative, meant for striking fear in the hearts of the laymen. The oppressors enjoyed the shunning of these classes as that allowed them to reap the fruits of their “sinned” lives! How else do you explain the concepts of sin and retribution or whatever measures they have for wiping sin away in a jiffy!

And, you know what, all of y’all think that your faith tells the absolute truth and all the others are absolute nonsense! And that’s MY BOY is the root of all evils in the modern society!!!!!! The devastating wars are wiping the universe of anything human that is left in society, Why doesn’t your God look after us now? Do you have an answer you ignorant fool?

[The young man, after a long period of constant ranting, finally opens his mouth while fingering the insides of his ear]

God!: Calm down madam, such rage is not good for your pursuit to heaven.

[The lady’s face turns purple and she prepares to throw her walking stick but decides against it at the end]

Why are you so angry madame? The evil forces have taken your soul over I am sorry to say. I do understand what you’re trying to say, madame.

See, we, the so-called religious people do understand the reason for your frustration as you all will never be accepted by the almighty. So, you all decided to rant against him to hide your deep seated angsts.

[The lady manages to keep her cool, in spite of shaking vigorously with anger]

And with your science stuff, with all due respect madame, your lot are always coming up with new explanations and theories every day…

Which one do we believe?

Are the modern explanations true? Not even you can guarantee that! Can you?

Coming to the tortures and making others to forcefully believe in your belief,

Is that not what you were doing to me till now?

[The lady opens her mouth and every sane living being could foretell the ranting that she’d be going on right now]


But, whoops!!! Powercut !

All the cast and crew are left irritated with this mishap, the room was pitch black.

The final rehearsal of “Oh God!” sadly met an abrupt end.

The director was forced to scream “Pack-up!” and promised that he would try and squeeze in another session or two before the first screening of the already full house production!

The main characters Oh (played by Adidi Warrens) and God!(played by Hitchen Dawkins) were left disgruntled but hugged each other out after a virtual phase of mutual scorn.

Before leaving the set, Hitchen came running towards Adidi and returned her cross necklace which she takes everyday to church. He almost threw the necklace to her and ran homewards.

“Have some respect!” the lady yelled.

“You and your religion..ugh!” came the reply.


Rumour has it that never again were actors so committed.

One can show their bodies in spite of reluctance but,

Can one reluctantly acknowledge the other side of their beliefs?  

holding-hands

image courtesies:

https://goo.gl/rjpHwC

https://goo.gl/PVIurj

https://goo.gl/tEbhET

https://goo.gl/EoPpel

https://goo.gl/zmmNUO

 

 

 

 

He is Manik and He is Felu!

 

the-one-which-has-soumitra

 

707811279

 

hqdefault

 

sathiyajitray_29_08-01-2008_18_17_45

 

Satyajit Ray

Contributed to Ink Elan for observing 23rd https://www.facebook.com/inksfromyoursoul/photos/a.1388273137878638.1073741829.986575891381700/1740521299320485/?type=3&theater

Image Courtesies:

https://goo.gl/n5KPUW

https://goo.gl/YaCDCn

https://goo.gl/pR9eb0

https://goo.gl/N0JwiJ

https://goo.gl/a5qBYO

https://goo.gl/Uynbri

Commonly Uncommon

We have a man with us today, a common man, just like you and I; but, today he made a fatal mistake: he entered a Modern Art Gallery.

I didn’t know how he committed that howler, till he told me just now. It seems that his mind had plunged into the great depths of depression. I should not make fun out the follies and failures of my subjects but this incident was something a little too special to keep it from sharing it with y’all.

A storm was brewing, so the layman sought refuge under a grey canopy. Some five minutes later he was caught off guard as few uninvited droplets embraced his cheeks like a pin on a cushion. Betrayed by the shed, he decided to move and that is when he noticed a glimmer at the corner of his eyes. He rolled them eyeballs to look at a sign in subtle blinking neon: “Musée des Beaux Arts”.

common-man

He looked in awe, not at the sign, but trying to imagine the possible pronunciations of the foreign script which seemed like English. And then the unthinkable happened; to the incredible incomprehension of the old gods and new, he, the ordinary man decided to step foot inside the hallowed grounds of the modern art museum.

The security guard looked at him with a solemn brow and cheeks pale to the very lips as if to say: “What on the seven continents are you doing here?”

But he ignored all the possible omens and with a denim reminding his passersby about what he had last night, a shirt too tight and a misspelt Starbucks cup, he entered the infamous place.

261da0349e17b6126cabce8d4df8ca72

He felt like the only sane person in an asylum as the glances from all possible directions were shot at him as if he was a platter of delicious meat waiting to be fed to hungry lions.

With trembling limbs and a wearing, a shawl of naivety he proceeded in his business but the tragedy was that he didn’t know what it was.

The strangest of objects surrounded him and it was supposed to be art for it had classy Italian names.

009-tom-friedman-theredlist

From empty frames, 3-D burgers to random stones behind glass panels everything was supposed to be a piece of modern art.

hqdefault

Moving on from every piece to another, it seemed to the innocent man that his life was flashing before his eyes and questioning every decision that he has ever made.

With every piece of art came a connoisseur, upon whom the gods had bestowed the duty to evaluate true art whose knowledge they get from the back covers of the reputed books. They are obviously rich, otherwise, how can you appreciate art? Have customary long and unkempt beards, resembling the forlorn lovers of Shakespeare and wear the trousers which surely were an heirloom. The half moon Dumbledor-ish glasses certainly add to their expertise. The long flowing ethnic top wear with gibberish decor fits right into place.

One such species was explaining a rather curious piece of art: a pair of glasses which were lying on a stand just beside the washroom. Our man edged closer to his heart on his hands and listened with intent at the random throws of a little Derrida here and a little Foucault there.

Then, the unthinkable happened, an old man stepped out of the washroom and was taken aback by the humdrum near the glasses, then he lowered his hat, wore ‘his’ glasses and left at once.

parody20vincent20van20gogh20rageface20starry20night201879x150020wallpaper_www-wallpapername-com_40

The world stopped rotating, everyone’s hearts skipped a beat, no one looked at one another, they all ran in other directions and started to sob. The common man stood still, his nouveau knowledge about the -“isms” and its appreciations went for a toss, he ran outside and screamed and kept running till he reached here.

-A CYNICAL GOBBLEDYGOOKER

Inspired by true events: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/27/pair-of-glasses-left-on-us-gallery-floor-mistaken-for-art

Source of Images:

https://goo.gl/mJurQf

https://goo.gl/ZiY8Co

https://goo.gl/SDk6oP

https://goo.gl/rgQUjd

https://goo.gl/VgSDN4

https://goo.gl/kZwZb7

https://goo.gl/UUNAkE

3d9fbf37f45c9d05b3ba30243801dd58