Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Shift of Home

Yesterday, I took the road to Durgapur once again.

As I hit the NH-2 and travelled outside the periphery of Kolkata, a whole mass of swaying ‘kash’ flowers carried me over to the past. For a period of 8 long years, every year around this time I used to take this road early morning to go home – home, where my parents stayed, where my friends waited for me and where I could be myself.

The rush of fond memories flooded me as I stepped off the bus and looked around to see the familiar signs.

But, thereon the things changed. I did not go to ‘my home’. I went to my office, instead. My parents had shifted to Kolkata. A majority of my friends have moved to other locations in quest of livelihood. I borrowed a bike and moved around all the places I used to hang out at, once upon a time. The pandals looked lovely, there was more pomp than I had ever seen but I felt like a tourist.

I took back the evening bus after I had finished my work. The same roads brought me back – to a place where my family is, where my friends waited for me, where the roads seemed so familiar, where the para pandal seemed to beckon.

I realised that ‘my home’ has shifted – or maybe I had multiple homes, now.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


‘Ashwiner Sharodo Probhatey--------.’ Intoned a nasal voice from the transistor at the crack of Dawn ( or probably before it, as the sky was still dark) and half awakened me  from my sleep, I knew that Pujo had started. For me, Pujo meant one thing – Durga Pujo.

From childhood, this unforgettable voice of Birendra Krishna Bhadra was part of my waking up process on the day of Mahalaya. Back in Durgapur, I remember listening to the chants and the unforgettable songs half asleep, getting in and out of sleep, while I snuggled close to my Mom or Dad to keep away the early morning chill. The smell of Shiuli would drift in from the garden outside and add to the surreal feeling of the moment. I would fall into deep slumber towards the end of the recital and would wake up much later with the childhood joy in my heart for an ensuing vacation.

Two decades later, I found that not much has changed. I woke up with the same chant throbbing in my ears, drifted in and out of sleep and finally fell asleep at the end. True, that the chill was absent (effect of Global warming?) and there was no Shiuli tree near my 3rd Floor apartment and it was raining. It was also true that my parents were in the next room sitting by the radio and listening to it. But the surreal feeling remained the same. The same dream like feel, the same warmth in the heart, the same unknown, unreasonable feeling of comfort.  I still woke up with an unknown joy in my heart as I looked forward to a particularly hard earned vacation.

Two Decades and the feeling had not changed.