IT’s ALL IN THE MIND!

Lately, I have been pondering over PM Modi’s recent decision to pull out 500 and 1000 rupee notes from circulation to curb economic pollution in India. While some are saying it’s an effective move and others that Modi has stepped into Tughlaq’s shoes, I’ll prefer to stay away from doing yet another post-mortem analysis.

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What intrigues me is the sudden change in people’s outlook on the 500 and 1000 currency notes. Prior to becoming victimized, a 500 rupee note was a distant dream for many in this country. It had the potential to make one feel secure, if not exactly ‘rich’. So much for a printed paper, it had respect! While serpentine queues now line up in front of ATMs and bank employees brace up to face a money-hungry crowd, the poor 500 and 1000 currency notes are getting their last rites done on Facebook trolls, posts, selfies or by burning away in some stinky sewer in Uttar Pradesh. Something which had so much importance even a few hours back now dwindles on the possibility of becoming a novel channa-garam holder! All because of a change in people’s perception.

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The very concept of money exists as long as we think it does. Just like so many other things in the world. Boundaries for instance. So what if one fine morning the political superpowers decide to rub off the thin tortuous lines on the globe? And I hope they do, as that would save kids from the painstaking task of cramming up geography at least. It’ll change the entire concept of difference altogether! Racism, regionalism, communalism and so many other –isms which plague mankind will be dumped in the trash once and for all.

 

We are the architects of our own problems, the greatest of which are only in the mind. Yet we keep on looking for phantom solutions outside like fools. The mind is a shrewd politician that creates unrest and causes one to battle with oneself. What war is bigger than a war within? I don’t intend to be a self-help guru, but why not try to put our mind of matter for a change? Who knows, our problems might just go down the drain like the old 500 currency notes!

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If you could take away 3 sounds from this life with you,which ones would they be?

There’s something unique about a winter night. It provokes thoughts that you probably never imagined could come to your mind. The darkness seeps into the deepest corners of your mind, unravels long-lost alleys and says, “Come. Have a walk with me.”
That’s exactly what happened with me last night. I had drunk too much coffee that evening to stay awake through a tortuously boring session of studying Epidemiology, which failed miserably in fact. You’ve got to accept it; nothing can keep you from falling asleep when you are reading PSM. So, finally when I surrendered and planned to sleep, yes you guessed it right, the caffeine in my system declared war! There I was, sleepless, staring at the ceiling, trying to count the blades of the ceiling fan as it rotated sluggishly.
Winter has just stepped in. The air outside was crisp and the night seemed suspiciously too quiet. The only sound I could hear was the tedious buzz of a cricket. The cricket’s coarse buzz managed to blend in so smoothly with the unfathomable silence of the night. Just like a perfect married couple: two characters so apart, yet so wholesome together. As the cricket’s song crept deeper into my being, a very unusual thought came to my mind:
If life stops now all of a sudden and I can only take three sounds with me from this life, which ones would I choose?

Here’s a list of the 3 sounds I would treasure:

1. The pitter-patter of rain on a glass window:

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I have always been a fan of Monsoons. When I was little, I would run up to the terrace of my house to splash around like a clumsy penguin in the rain. My mother would come chasing me, yank me back inside by my frock, dry my wet hair and make me sit by the closed window in my room with a cup of hot Bournvita. Like a caged bird, I would press my ear against the cool window glass and listen to the sound of raindrops lashing on it. The memory is so vivid that even today, miles away from home, I try to listen to the music of raindrops against my hostel room’s window when no one’s around, wishing that my mother would get me a cup of Bournvita and a piece of my childhood.

2. The sounds of my kitchen:

Among the many perks of being born and brought up in a Bengali home, getting scrumptious home-cooked meals every day definitely tops the list. Food is a serious business in my home. In fact, a meal can make or break my family! The kitchen in a Bengali home is a treasure trove of exotic sounds and smells that you’ll get nowhere else in the world. Cooking in my home is an elaborate affair. Every morning, my mom and grandma would enter the kitchen and start this amazing wizardry with spices and flavours. As a bystander, I would listen to the clatter of utensils, sizzle of the Paanch-foron(an aromatic mix of five spices) in mustard oil, the whistle of the red Prestige pressure cooker and drool!

3. The sound of Dhaak:

Only Bengalis would relate to this. Dhaak is an Indian drum that is played during Durga Puja(worship of goddess Durga),another integral part of Bengali culture. For a Bengali, the sound of Dhaak beats all other percussion any day. The rhythm is catchy enough to get even the shy-est of people on their feet. It’s a call to shed off all inhibitions and revel in the joy and madness of festivity. This is definitely one of my favorite sounds ever!

So it’s your turn now people!

Let me know which three sounds you would like to take away with you given a choice in the comments.

Daily Prompt: Second Thoughts

via Daily Prompt: Second Thoughts

 

 

Rebecca knew she had to get this over with when the second red line flashed on the home pregnancy test.
Of course,all of 18,she had a world in front of her!

18 months later,when baby Grace uttered her first “Mama”,
Rebecca knew she had conquered the world.

Thank God for the second thought!

Euthanasia

 

65 years old Mrs. Banerjee doesn’t remember the last time she had a verbal conversation with her husband. Though they live under the same roof, she doesn’t share the same bed with him anymore. She wakes up at 5 in the morning, bathes, finishes her morning prayer and sits with a cup of tea in her backyard, humming a song that her husband used to sing for her as she would put the customary Sindoor bindi on her forehead after having a bath every morning…”Aami chini go chini tomaare ogo bideshini…”.Not much has changed since then though. She still adorns her forehead with the sindoor bindi every morning, although Mr.Banerjee doesn’t sing for her anymore. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t. It’s been 10 years since Mr.Banerjee is completely bed-ridden, disoriented, mum, not too different from a vegetable. His kidneys are shutting down, his skin dented with pressure sores, his lungs barely able to support respiration. He has got tubes shoved into every natural orifice of his body and he has been in and out of the hospital at least 30 times in these 10 years. Every time the doctors say that it’s time, yet somehow Mr.Banerjee would hang on to the edge of life with whatever little is left of him. Such is the irony of the situation, that when they take Mr. Banerjee to the hospital nowadays, the doctors shamelessly exclaim in amazement, “Oh! How is he still alive?”

Mrs. Banerjee knew better. Her husband has always been a stubborn man. She knew he would leave the day he wants to leave. She knew that he was a strong man. So strong, that even though he is in so much pain, all he would do is let out a groan every now and then. A GROAN. Deep, feeble, unsettling. Mrs. Banerjee liked to think that it was her husband’s way of letting her know that he’s still there. That groan helped her to hold herself together amidst the rotten stench of Mr. Banerjee’s excreta.

The siren from the nearby jute factory woke Mrs. Banerjee from her trance. She had drifted away in her thoughts while Meeni the kitten had curled up on her lap and was now licking off the remaining dried off tea in her cup. The factory siren notified it was 8 o clock…time for Mr. Banerjee’s sponge bath. Like every morning, Mrs. Banerjee walked into her husband’s room with a bucket of lukewarm water, a bottle of Savlon and a brown turkey towel. She poured a cap-full of savlon into the water, soaked the towel, rinsed it and touched it on her husband’s forehead. However, unlike every morning, today, Mr. Banerjee did not groan at his wife’s touch. Mrs. Banerjee, taken aback, pressed the towel on his right cheek now. But the only thing she could perceive was the dreadful silence of the room that for the first time in these 10 years smelled of a dead man.

Mr. Banerjee wasn’t dead though. At least that’s what the doctors said when they took him to the hospital. But he did not groan anymore. And like the last 30 times, Mrs. Banerjee knew better. She knew it was time.

The next morning, Mrs. Banerjee woke up at 5 as usual, had a bath and sat in front of the mirror. But unlike usual, she did not put the sindoor bindi on her forehead. Not because Mr. Banerjee wouldn’t sing for her, but because she knew it was time. Mrs. Banerjee kneeled down in front of her Radha –Gobindo’s alter. And for the first time in 10 years, she asked the Lord to take Mr. Banerjee away. Because she knew it was time…

The 8 o clock siren from the jute factory today rang in vain.

Daily Prompt: Relish

Growing up in a metropolitan has its drawbacks. It deprives you of many pleasures that the world has in store. Pleasures that are pristine beyond imagination. Pleasures that cannot be bought with printed green papers. Pleasures like this particular evening for instance.

Currently,I am pursuing an undergraduate degree in Medicine in a place called Bagalkot. I would be surprised if you have heard of this place before as I myself had no idea whatsoever of its existence before I got selected for the course. Bagalkot is a northern district of the state of Karnataka,India,bordering on the states of Maharashtra and Goa. Now,now…don’t get too excited about its proximity to Goa as Bagalkot is everything other than blue waves,glistening beige beaches and sexy bikinis. Bagalkot,rather,is of more a “hillock”,if at all that’s a valid topographic designation. Here,bikinis get replaced by knee high Dhotis and humble cotton sarees and beaches get replaced by winding tar roads dominated by pigs and infamous “Tum-Tums”,a Bagalkotian cousin of Thailand’s Tuk-Tuk. People here don’t afford the luxury of partying or hanging out,as life here hangs on a pretty unstable balance and translates to three square meals,a shelter and a clean cloth on the back. However,the luxury people here do indulge in is that of dreaming. At the end of the day,they’ll sit under the starry sky and nurture dreams of a more filling meal,cleaner water to quench their thirst and a better tomorrow for their children. They dream like kings only to realize that’s someone they probably can never be once the “nasha” or haze of alcohol fades away the next morning.

Before I drift away in describing God’s lack of neutrality towards humankind,let me tell you all about this evening. My classes for the day was over. I was sitting by the window of my hostel room,nursing a mug of Elaichi Tea and thinking about nothing. This is a regular exercise I do to give my brain a break from the crap-load of information it is bombarded with throughout the day. The sun was about to set outside. Even the Sun is cruel to Bagalkotians! It literally scorches them through the day,as if mocking the field workers and farmers in their ordeal. But today,I guess it decided to give them a prize of consolation before casting upon them the spell of darkness. It decided to show Bagalkot colors that it hasn’t witnessed before.

And as I looked,the  world outside turned into brilliant shades of yellow,then red,then purple…a purple so lavish that it  drenched every corner of this humble town and every dingy hut in the slum area,such that for a moment, dead-beaten,browned off Bagalkot seemed no less beautiful than those places they cast on travel calendars.

And there I was,always so full of complaints and disdain for this place that had no malls,plush theaters,restaurants,completely stumped and in awe. 19 years of my life in a metro city have not let me witness an evening so beautiful,raw,stripped off all things artificial and petty.

For once,like the Bagalkotians,I learnt how to hold on to hope. For once,I learnt to relish this evening  like they relish their dreams.

Love The Lust

 

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There are a lot of things in this world that is messed up, rather we have messed up. Love definitely tops the list. Personally, I think that the entity called “true love” is as real and tangible as a unicorn. It’s lust all the way. I know my last statement would be greeted with quite a few raised eyebrows and judgmental smirks. But that wouldn’t change the truth. At least, what I feel is true.

I have always been an uptight, high on principles kind of person and I have no regrets for it. Consequently, I have always wondered how people consider the idea of one night stands or no-strings attached relationships. Because if it is a relationship, there has to be an emotional component attached to it. Be it fondness, hatred, anger, disgust or vengeance. A relationship without an emotion is like a peanut butter sandwich sans the peanut butter. There’re the bread slices but nothing to bind them together. As a result, the sandwich isn’t a sandwich at all.

I don’t understand why people judge lust so much. It is one of the most pure emotions that exist. A vixen contorting her fishnet stocking clad legs and panting is not lust. It is pornography. It is probably this voyeuristic-ally disfigured picture of lust portrayed by the media which makes people feel guilty while speaking about it. Lust is what we feel when we see a tub of Madagascar dark chocolate ice cream with hazel nut dressing dripping down the sides. Lust is the warmth that fills you up when you sniff the scent of your partner in his shirt when he’s not around. Lust is primal. It is as old as life itself and as undeniable as hunger, sleep or the urge to attend nature’s call. Everything in this world works on a reward-punishment basis. Lust is the feeling of reward that we experience when the Oxytocin receptors in the nucleus accumbens area of our brain gets triggered and results in the release of a neurotransmitter called Dopamine. It is all a play of frisky little molecules.

I began my note by slaying the existence of the entity called true love and thus lost the poets, believers and philosophers. Assuming that you are among the very few who chose to read this blog and are still reading it somehow, I’ll try to explain why I did so. Love is energy in transit. It exists as long as there is an exchange of lust and the willingness to accept imperfections between two individuals. The moment we try to be perfect or expect our partner to be so, we fail. The moment we lose the lust, the sandwich falls apart. So the ability to be in love is a test of two primitive human traits: to live with flaws and to live in lust. To love is to be true to our genes and if it is love, it has to be true.

So let’s not wait for an epiphany to know that cupid has chosen you because you are the one with the arrows. Let’s just choose to be someone’s target.