Friday, 31 August 2012

Her small hand held mine, the head rested on my shoulder and from a moment of tears she went off to sleep. Seeing the trust in her closed eyes and feeling the tug of her other hand on my collar, I gave my heart to her.  She slept the entire way and when we entered our home and tried to let her slide onto the bed, she opened her eyes wide and smiled. Everyone in the room smiled back and my daughter had reached her home.

It took 14 years for our family to be complete. It was a fight of 14 long years through an emotional rollercoaster. But when she came home, it was worth the wait. Our world has changed since then and these days we spend our every waking (and sleeping) hours trying to adjust to her whims and fancies.

These days the small toothless grin and the artful raising of her eyebrows make our day worthwhile and every hint of tear is met with anxious glances. She is all of 9 months now and yet, my daughter knows how to rule already! She has won over the most prosaic men and she has more well wishers than what I could have ever envisioned.

These days as I play with her or just let her cosy upto my amply cushioned stomach, I feel a sense of pleasing warmth creep up my spine. I pray to the almighty to let me have the strength to help her realise her potential and to help her lead a fulfilling life.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Kolkata and KKR

Phew!! The hectic month of IPL is over , finally!!

For the last one month the country had been divided on regional lines depending upon the allegiance to the region based cricket teams. Yesterday night all of Kolkata( at least the most of it) erupted in unadulterated glee after Kolkata Night Riders managed to stage a wonderful win to lay their hands on a lovely cup and about 10 crores INR among all other things. The glee of its famous owner at having won the cup for the first time hogged the television screens and the daily newspapers of today. After all, the much beleaguered backbencher city had some achievement to show!!!

The present local government was overjoyed and promptly the airwaves were ruled by the right comments. Suddenly, local sweets like rossogolla and mishti doi was the toast of everyone and every heart started beating for the city.

But , it was a tough day for me!! Having  been identified as someone whose sympathies were not with the 'local team' but with an individual who did not play for the team, all hell broke loose the moment the winning runs were hit by Manoj Tiwari. In a span of about 5 minutes I was called some beautiful names like parochial, loser, worthless, and some other ones which I would not repeat here as I guess that would lower the dignity of this blog.

However, I was happy that KKR won-- for two reasons. Reason one was that CSK was trying to armtwist the tournament as a personal backyard tournament and reason two was that my Kolkata had some thing to cheer about.

But, the cynic in me has a few more questions to which I seek answers:-

a) How is KKR representing Kolkata? After all, this a profit seeking commercial venture which operates out of Mumbai and do not , I repeat, do not, till date have an office or representation in Kolkata.

b) What happens if tomorrow, the name is changed to just knight riders and it operates out of Bhubaneswar or Dhaka? After all, the owner is free to do it!!

c) Heard that the state government would have a grand reception for the winners! Great idea this! but what about the Bengal cricket team which had won the Vijay Hazare trophy for the first time this year. I know that most of us do not know about this. Just for the information, this tournament is the premier tournament for one dayers in India. This year the champions team list had the following names:- Manoj Tiwary, Laxmi ratan Shukla, Debabrata Das, Anustup Mazumdar, Wriddhiman Saha, Sreevats Goswami, Ashok Dinda, Iresh Saxena, Shami Ahmed, Sourav Ganguly among others. Any plans for felicitating these pioneers? Or will it be the only those guys belonging to the Mumbai based franchise?

I know these questions are uncomfortable but these are to be asked. After all, it is the name of my beloved city that is at stake.

P.S.:- Mr. SRK, if you really mean what you said after the match, one would expect you to invest a sizeable amount of your huge earnings at the expense of the loyal Kolkatans in making the game grow and in nurturing talent from this state. But I guess, that is expecting too much. After all, you are here for business and you would like to encash on ready talent. Nurturing young talent is someone else's forte and I guess you know his name rather well!!! 
And a friendly caution at the end :- this city is infamous for being ruthless against its own icons at the first hint of failure or mis-step . You can ask Sunil Gavaskar, Bhaichung Bhutia, Jose Ramirez Baretto, Sourav Ganguly , old players of East bengal and Mohun Bagan for reference.
God Bless You for the moments!!!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

2012- what a start!!

I have aged in the first two months of this year.

It has been a terrifying two months—the extra day of the leap year included.

It started with an early morning phone call in late January; it was a wail informing me that my younger brother had expired in his sleep. How do you react when your brother, the one you grew up with,  is suddenly no more? I could feel the rib - breaking pain as a kaleidoscope of images of our life together unrolled in my mind. I cried, yet I could not cry as I was supposed to act as the strong person who would give the shoulder to the others to cry. I prayed that it was a bad dream and one day I would wake up to find that all is well. I still pray the same. But Life is not an Aamir Khan movie. So the recurring pain continues, throbbing at the back of my mind. I have thought often to put my anguish on paper but I guess it was too painful

Just six days after this, one fine morning while stretching to pick up something I felt some sharp twinge at my back and there I was down with a terrible pain. ‘Back spasm’ said the doctors and advised me complete rest for the rest of the week. The cause has to do with carrying laptops and my excess body weight. Well, here I am much better thank you but hobbling across and watching my diet like a sick old man. Hmmn, for an ex sportsman and a gourmet, it will take some getting used to. When you add to it the inputs that I receive from all and sundry about healthy living, it just adds to the fun.

Well, two months have gone and I have been shaken, stirred and fried. And as I have said before, aged and I am not talking about my chronological age. 

I must have been a Mayan in one of my previous births.