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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ghost Under the Sun.

I did see it at last. The grey black establishment, the ghost under the sun that stood still, six storey up, over looking all the pedestrian who once were moving in or out in the fancy hotels and music stores that it housed, beside the broadway. The Stephens Court, tanned like the black tea, tells every one its sad demise after garlanding the famous crossings at Park Street. Its has a fame for itself. It housed one of the most famous resturant in the city, The Peter Cat (Whose Chelo Kabab is the best for the common man's platter.) How can one forget the famous Flury's, the one stop heart throb for all those Choco-pastry lovers!

Today, I went to Park Street for a brief work, before I would make my way to IICB for my work. When I was walking past the ruins, I could get the smell of those charred bricks, mutely intoxicated by the smell of the burnt flesh. I can identify that, for I have been in and around the cremation grounds so I could smell that.

I was busy over the phone that time, so couldnt take a snap with my mobile cam, but  the ghost stood still like a black faced monster coming out of the pages of the great epics of Mahabharat or Ramayan. I pressed my palm against my chest, uttered the name of the Lord Almighty in memories of those departed souls, charred or dropped from the heights in name of humanity.

Park Street stood mumb, the hustle and bustle of the city drew to silence around Stephens' Court, the home of biggest fire tragedy in history of the city! The death toll as per official reports was 30, but given the unofficial talks and number of families out there to grab the dead bodies, makes it clear that the toll will not be stalled at 30. Unless any crooked politics come into the forefront, the charred carcasses will be restored in the  trembling hands of their own ones!!!

Rest them in peace.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Science has this: The constant loss of telomere of the human chromosomes / chromosomes gives rise to ageing or as the Science says: Senescence. I don't have any intension to talk about the technicalities. This is the place, where I enjoy the freedom to "Key" down my thoughts.

I am in the older part of the twenties. Getting bald, white hair lines shows me no silver line, thanks to the over stressed liver and branded scotch that time and again fill down my esophagus! The constant tryst with the scientific world to do research, sometimes get onto my nerves! I have my own life to lead. I know it seldom matters when I write it down as the GTalk Tagline!

I want some sunshine and some rain and some wings to be happy. Somehow, even after getting the proper opportunity, I couldnt enjoy much! Life back in the college days or even school and University were bit carefree, having various degrees of freedom to it. Now a days, to think alternate, to do with my heart constantly begs to think more than twice. The last time, when I didnt do so was taking the decision for a CBS reUnion, 2010. The edition of such an extravaganza, last took place in 2007. Thanks to Abhijit, I have one such pic to upload! May 1st, 2010, the labour day, we all newly born labours will be taking a day off and try and enjoy the beauties of friendship! I am looking forward to such. It started in 2006 and within a span of year and a half, 3 such events took place. But, billions of gallons of water have flowed into the Bay of Bengal and people have drifted to places. But, we will try our best for a get together! I think this image will help the cause:

Sorry cant get the pic uploaded!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Great India Rift.

Last time, the rift was renewed in South Africa for the Season 2, which was carried forward by the Hyderabad based team of the Deccan Charges, under the able captaincy of Adam Gilchrist. The edition 1 was conquered by the Jaipur based team, the Rajasthan Royals, under Shane Warne. This time on, the fight is back and for 60 matches on the trot, India will be divided into states and ethnicity to ponder on a pride of domicility... to ponder upon the greatest leisure madness in the nation: Cricket.

DLF Indian Premier League 3, edition of 2010, which will be starting off today in Mumbai with match being played at Navi Mumbai between the defending champions: Deccan Chargers and the newly tinted Knight Riders, based from my b'ful city of Kolkata. The latter will be spearheaded by the returning captain, Sourav Ganguly.

Set Max is to bring the matches live, the fixture of which can be obtained from the user friendly schedule chart obtained at the IPL official website. Click here for details.

Two new teams from Pune and Ahmedabad will be entering the IPL 4, in the tryst of Mr. Modi to stitch the whole India together amidst the Rift in Passion. It seems very ODD that many of the Non Mumbaikars will want Sachin to get OUT as soon as possible. As an edition of two back slogan mentioned, Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hain...anything can happen, to wish Sachin's wicket by an "Indian" is really unexpected!! Thank God its just IPL!!!

Apart from new teams, sketched for a new begining, IPL 3 has a kitty of newbies!!
1) Sehwag is replaced by Gautam Gambhir as Delhi DareDevils captain.
2) Yuvraj is overtaken by Sangakkara in the Kings 11 Punjab.
3) KKR will be coming with a renewed  jersey.
4) Commercially, IPL will be screened in movie halls for all matches, except the Eden Garden's matches, because of renovation of the ground is underway.
5) IPL will have live streaming (5min delay) in You tube. Click here for the show!

So... I support KKR... who do you?

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Women's Day.

Just as I was prolific with my potatoes being harvested from the Flash Drives of Farmville, I looked at the clock, that ticked on with time and date. It figured out 8th March, 2010...people tend to call it International Women's Day. Just as the figure on the screen was busy harvesting the day's yield from my digital field, a thought came into my mind. Its the strenuous work of 25 odd years of that one lady, whom I call mother... It doesn't require to celebrate a day with her, for the sake of Archies or 123greetings... Every day is a day to be celebrated with her. Making me cozy during the hard times of late nineties to the early part of the millennium, her crop of strength, intelligence, endurance, perseverance, taught, makes me stand tall, against the Sun.

The Socialists have started this movement in the Western World, a hundred years ago [US, 1909], but with time the revolutions of Russia, 1917 have gained in momentum, with the modern era seeing the ladies flying higher than you could have imagined a "pentacade [50 years]" ago!

In the morning, I have been all around sending special smses to all the lady friends that I happen to have. It goes something like this to my friends:

Without U ppl,
We r dumb.
A Salute 2 al D Wonderful ladies I've ever known.
A toast 4 Ur
elegance, persevernce,
warmth and strength.
Happy Women's Day.

But all comes are after Ma...

Monday, March 01, 2010

....... Forgotten Charisma.

Come this March, 2010, I shall be up beat with some of my creation with the pen and the ink. Long before I had the key pads to taunt me to type, I had them to express my feelings. Sniffing the daily chores and writing them down in my diary to the frequent short articles derived from facts and fiction, used to make way.

Last year or two, while attending to two of my students, Kathakali and Kishalay, I realized that the fire to make instant stories to children liking, still made me feel at ease! May be the pen is gone and now a days the fingers do ache after a long scribble over the paper [Thanks to the keyboards], the knack to beat the best in instant story mixes and fatakas make me stand out of the crowd. They used to require for their Englsih projects at School and I made them the stories, literally at ease!

Here follows one that I wrote down for Kathakali. The topic chosen was: Start a short story with the line [mentioned in italics] The story was dated: 12/10/09.


It is incredible,” he said, “ Yes it’s true. A liar needs a good money to go against me and prove me wrong, for what I say cannot be proved false! It has happened and I am damn sure of it with proof!”

Rishab’s exclamation dropped down some cold sweat down my spine. I am sure, others present in out small tree house in the backyard of Tarun’s house felt the same way. How can that be? Is Rishab upto playing his old prank? It must be, for he is always up to fool us, day in and day out!

Rishab: “I was waiting for Tina near the Burman garage, today. From inside that old dilapidated garage came some peculiar sound. It seemed, as if some one was wandering inside the place.”

Tina: “Rishab don’t make castles in the thin air. I saw you were standing at the place and everything seemed to be in its right frame! Even you didn’t show any signs of concern!”

Rishab: “Dear, if I told you anything over there, you would have given the mystery up, given your nervousness and un-necessarily shrill voice!”

Tina seemed dejected with the comment. I asked: “Rishab. What did you see in there?” We anticipated something very interesting to come by, even though we knew Rishab was a prankster, but we couldn’t savor the flavor of the experience as Tarun’s mother played the spoilt sport and asked the meet of the gang to be called of before time as she would be off to the market. Before we ascended the Tree House, Rishab didn’t forget to keep the spice up: “Will tell you people in the evening. Ok?”

I couldn’t wait for the evening that day. We were all up in our Tree House before 5PM. It was time for the Winter Solstice, hence the days were shorter. By 5PM it was close to darkness. Tina, Tarun, Anjana, Anil, Sushil and myself were present, except for the other two members of the gang. Infact originally we were a group of nine people. Arnab is another part, but he comes annually each year, as his dad has a transferable job. He is another jovial fellow, who is being missed all the time, especially today!  But, the man in the limelight, Rishab as well as Shabina, are still no-where to be seen. It was more than half an hour due, but neither Shabina nor Rishab turned up! We felt very peculiar.

Tina was almost on the verge of nervous breakdown when I asked Tarun to ring up both the absentees, Rishab, who would be spilling out The Mystery at Burman Garrage while Shabina, who coincidentally resides close to Burman Garrage! This thought made me feel concerned as well as jealous. “If Shabina takes Rishab and goes into the garage to sniff out the mystery before us”, I said, “I will let her see her ghost out of her body!”

Just then…

That’s the password to open the hatchet! I opened up and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Although I said I will let Shabina see her ghost, a few seconds back, it seemed that she had already seen one!

“What happened Shabbu?!” I asked.

“Ris…Rishab! He is in big danger…!” uttered Shabina.

The sentence stunned us. Tina, who was almost senseless didn’t have any excuse of not being so! Even I felt very sluggish from within, as if something has taken all the heat from my body. The fingers were cold ice cubicles, when I touched Shabina. Her eyes were talking more than her lips. They had in them a different fear of being dead or may be have seen something close to that!

Anil and Shushil caught hold of Tina and carried her carefully down the 8’ tree trunk. I followed with Tarun and Anjana taking care of Shabina.

Once on the ground, Anil said: “Shabina, where is Rishab?” We all looked at her. She was looking at a blade of grass that was protruding from underneath her sandals.

Anil: “SHABBU!!! WHERE is Rishab? Is he in the garage?!”

Shabina nodded yes. Immediately Anil turned and started running towards the gate, when Sushil caught hold of his jacket sleeves. “Wait!”

Sushil turned to Anjana and said, “ Anjana, will you be able to take care of Shabbu and Tina?” Kathy can come with us to the garage. [Kathy, means my nick name which is a shorter version of Kathakali]

Anjana was nodding a yes, when Shabina said, “NO! I will also come. It’s all my mistake!” Anil tried to sooth her down, “ See Shabbu! You have not seen anything! Have you?” Shabina nodded a No as well as a Yes. She said, “Yes, I know how did Rishab enter as well as where he went. He did say that something very grave is going on in the garage underground.”

“Ok. We will let Anjana behind with Tina. The rest will move forward”, said Sushil.

It was 6:45PM, 28th November, 2008. “Burman Garage” was located beside the stream that passes though our town. As heard from my father, it was a center of huge automobile business in the early sixties and was a very rare example of underground country garage. It also expanded for over 2500 sq foot of total area, with one side facing the stream.
We reached there after a 20 minutes walk. By then the Sun was visible half the way round the globe and the toads were singing by the stream banks. It was misty too and the flash light carved out a path in the thin air. Seemed quite like those laser swords in Star Wars movie series! I thought, “ Its close to a war.”

We will have to squeeze through the small crack present at the West End of the garage walls. According to Shabina, this was the route that Rishab took. Back then she was asked to stay behind by Rishab! “I heard a shout from inside” Shabina said. Then I ran for your aid.

Anil: “Some one stay behind. Just in case!”

After much discussion we said that again Shabina should stay behind. Deciding that, we slowly squeezed our way in. Inside, in the flashlight, we could see old dilapidated remains of cars and chassis. The air smelt damp, due to the overgrowth all around. Peculiarly, there was a small path in the dense bushes that seemed to be accessible. We moved along, keeping our keen eyes all around and ears as sharp as a deer. With timber steps we moved forward, when Anil, who was leading the party, stopped. The stop was so sudden that I missed him and crashed against him.

“Shhh….” warned Anil. “Hear that?”

Everything was silent. Atleast it appeared so, but suddenly I could hear some steps. They were becoming eminent and louder. We tried to take cover, but even the greatest hiding place seemed far from reach. Tarun and I took cover behind an ambassador chassis.

The steps subsided round the corner. There was a distinct silence amidst the Toad’s croak. A number of equations swiveled through my mind: “Do they know we are here? Who are they? Have they noticed our hiding place? How did that do that? Will we be alive!? I miss my parents!!”

Just the Sushil whistled. It was time to move on. We tip-toed towards the corner, where the sound had subsided. Tarun peeped round the corner and couldn’t help shrilling out a suppressed exclamation, “OH MY GOD!”

We hurried round the corner and found to our disbelief. There were two bodies, lying on the ground. One was of Rishab’s, the flashlight confirmed it wound on his forehead and the other couldn’t be identified, as he was turned placed face down. Tarun broke down and so did I, but Sushil and Anil, braver in the pack closed in on the body. They dared to touch the shoulder to turn it around, when the body suddenly turned around and sat up! It took Anil aback and my skeleton came out of my skin when Rishab opened his eyes.

The other was Arnab. “Arnab, you are back?!” shouted Anil.

Arnab: “Yes, back with a bang!”

That night we laughed out of fear or we laughed out of laughter. I don’t know, but it will really need a lot of money to prove us a liar if we say, we enjoyed a lot the surprise a lot!

May be I see the Sun of Art and Enjoyment creeping back into its groove once more!

Copyright: Somnath Paul. Feb, 2010.

Somnath Paul Photography


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The author holds all the rights to publish the contents and the specially earmarked materials. Any breach of this can lead to Indian Penal Charge, under the Act of Intellectual Property Rights, 2007.

The articles are not to be considered promotional neither detrimental of their credits. Its just opinion of a Free-lancer at Free time.

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