Showing posts with label family and relationship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family and relationship. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Family time and mom's food - the best things in life!

Only a few days left before I get to meet my sister, brother-in-law and niece, which means I have to outdo myself in speeding up things. So much work and so little time - cleaning the house, clearing the unwanted stuffs, sorting out stuffs in office etc. It’s huge but then it ends in a sweet note. I will get to meet my niece after three years. She has grown up really fast and in three years time she has turned into a beautiful young lady. Last time when I met her she was elevenish and still a child. Now she is a teen, a millennial kid, and has her way of things.

Meanwhile in the house the repair work is still on and father is always high right from the morning till five in the evening. Ours is a thirty plus old three storied house. It's looks younger though. We have seen our parents sweating on it since forever and it's very close to our hearts. The ground floor was occupied by tenants till recently and was never been done nicely. It used get touch ups once in a few years. But the ordinary floor design and white washed walls couldn't really enhance it's look however much we tried. So, once the tenants left we decided to do a bit of a makeover. So, the repair work is still on and the workers have just finished laying the floor tiles in the living rooms and are working on the walls now. In a day or two we will go to the tiles shop to choose anti skid tiles for the kitchen. We had the glossy tiles in stock and it wouldn’t be wise to put them in the kitchen. So, we have to buy more tiles for the kitchen. I am keen on buying wood finish vitrified tiles but my mom doesn’t approve of it. She thinks it will lend a dampening effect to the room. It makes good sense actually and we have finally decided on the matte finish tiles for the kitchen.

By the mid week of July, before my sisters' visit, the major repair work going to be over and they will get to have a glimpse of what it would look like once it's finished. So, we will have a lot of talking to do and considering the fact that it’s very hot here now it's a good idea to stay indoors and have some silly fun! My niece has recently developed a liking towards movies. So we might quite as well turn up in a movie hall some day and have a dinner date or two with Mainland China or a good Biriyani house in the city. However, my mother would want us to eat at home. She has a long list of bengali delicacies that my sister doesn’t get to eat much there. Sister is a wonderful cook herself but nothing compares to “maayer hather ranna” (food cooked by mom). Mom's food is the best ever thing on earth and she will most certainly pamper us with some delicious bengali dishes. A few of the dishes that we are expecting:

Various bengali fish recipes (kosha/ korma/ sorshe bata/ kalo jire/ gorom masala, doi)
Aloo jhinge posto
Kalo jirer torkari
Mutton kosha
Ghee aadar aloo dom
Vegetable dishes (torkari)

So, I can tell you that you will get to read about some wonderful bengali recipes from me in the following months after a stint of limited blogging time in the month of July.


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Of Janmashtami, malpuas, family tradition and more

Friday, June 1, 2018

A date with a rainy day

Today has been a non yielding day in more ways than one. No work (pre decided holiday which had nothing to do with the forecast), no chores, no writing and nothing at all precisely. All through the day I found myself utterly silly doing nothing but jibing on the long to do list that I was supposed to tick off by this weekend.

It all started in a happy note when I woke up to a beautiful toned down sun. My nephew turned twelve today and we were overwhelmed by the fact is he is already there. The sky gotten absolutely dark by seven in the morning. The wind was rapturous and almost swept the palm trees to the ground and sometimes on the other side to the wall.

I couldn't hold myself back and started musing as I used to as a child. 'Mashi', our cook, passed me the second cup of steaming black tea which I found still holding after many minutes. I was completely contained in the scene. An euphoria that failed me in recent times. I have developed this crafty little thing recently that helps me barter all the liberating things (very conveniently) with erratic work hours, back logs, inundations and other ilks. But on other occasions I find myself procrastinating on the same stuffs! It's funny how I have become an ace on making excuses these days.

So, several minutes later I decided to do something productive. This was when the phone rang and I indulged in an engaging chat session with my sister. Much recharging that was, I decided to clear off the remnants of the recent repair work and discovered a wee leak on the staircase faucet from the recent drilling of the electric work. This discovery (although it was actually 'mashi's') was the only tangible achievement of the day.

Around this time, the lovely little girl showed up. She is the daughter of our house help who accompanies her mother and sits through as her mother helps us with the chores. I fondled the little one for a while. Meanwhile the rain almost flooded the balcony and the plants were cleansed of all the grime. Loved the green color on them today. So supple, full and so green.


Rain never quite stopped today and I had to come inside as it started to get really dark by six in the evening. And to my surprise, my mom decided to prepare khichuri (a mix of rice and lentils in equal portion in mostly running consistency) - the ultimate rain food for the bengalis. What better end could have been to a perfect rainy day! Khichuri, dim bhaja (omlette), ghee (clarified butter), achar (pickles) and papad (poppadam)! Heaven!

To end this memoir I would like to share an open birthday note that I wrote to my nephew earlier in the day hoping that he would understand what I meant many years later when he actually grows up.

Dearest Golubabu,

Happy 12th birthday from all of us here. Did we tell that we love you so so much and will do so no matter what! (you are giggling, right?) 

The day you learn to forego minecraft, morse code, roblox etc. and understand that life is as good otherwise we will cherish your growing up more. You have such big heart. Aka and you are appreciative of nature and animals more than any of us in the family. Be kind, be curious. Grow your own plants at home, nourish them, touch them, see them grow each day. Kindness is beautiful and sharing your little acts will attract more such. Do share whenever and wherever and inspire us with your brilliant ideas.

Meanwhile here we are going to cherish your growing up like never before. 

Much love, 
Mishti
01/06/2018




Photo copyright: MouD


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Khichuri - the ultimate rain food for the bengalis

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

If it is Chinese it's Calcutta Chinese



My love for Chinese food began from the streets of Calcutta. The just sprouted roadside stalls tucked in every other corner of the city would sell stir fried, extra bouncy Chowmein,  a.k.a Chowmin as pronounced by the local Bengalis. It was served with squirts of orange red tomato ketchup and onion-cucumber julienne. 

I was the child of eighties. That was the time when home made Chinese food was not in vogue. We were used to the 3-5 courses of traditional Bengali gastronomy.  Once in a while we did go to the restaurants that sold Chinese food. But then that was a rare indulgence. One such restaurant, I remember, had a fancy name, “China Palace”. This quaint little place with red dragons and golden chimes on the walls, was the most sought after eatery in the neighbourhood. Having to eat there was an affair to remember. We would plan for hours many days in advance and once the day arrived our excitement knew no bounds. The restaurant was nearby and the aroma of irresistible Chinese broth would draw us to the restaurant sooner. We would sit on the same corner where the regular happy waiters would pry on us. The course invariably would start with my father’s personal favourite, clear chicken soup. It was a broth prepared with miserly amount of chicken and lot of spring onions. My sisters and I used to skip it in order to binge on the main course. The main course would almost always include mixed fried rice, boneless chili chicken, mixed noodles and sometimes we would eat ice creams as dessert. That was the standard platter and we didn’t get to experiment beyond since that was all the quaint eatery had to offer.

Later, as I was growing up I realized that the Chinese food that we were eating was actually a over simplified version of Indo-Chinese flavour. The Calcutta Chinese food was generated from the Chinese diaspora living in Calcutta since the eighteenth century. A cluster of people came from China in times of turbulence and worked as labourers. More people flocked in due course and they formed a sizeable community with unique appearance, culture, belief and cuisine. They started to live as a separate community in Tiretta Bazaar and the adjacent areas of Bow Bazar. Soon they started dispersing in Tangra area which came to be known as the city’s Chinatown later.

This was that chunk of China that came to Calcutta when still young or the second gen of the diaspora who was born in Calcutta. To start with they contained in themselves but soon they started selling their unique stuffs in order to sustain. They sold home made stuffs like sauces, condiments, steamed and fried food which they later incorporated in small eateries and liquor shops. Some opted for leather and carpentry business. The Chinese diaspora in Calcutta started experimenting with their food which went through exciting changes over the years to oblige the Bengali taste buds. The typical red gravy, heavy on sauces along with ginger, garlic, hot chilies and a consistency reminding of Indian curry soon became a delectable Indo-Chinese concoction that the world drooled over.

Calcutta had a few reputed Chinese restaurants as well. But not everyone could eat there and the pocket friendly roadside eateries had hygiene issues. Some small local restaurants had to close down to other lucrative businesses and we were left with the option of over simplified Chinese food made at home. It was cheap, "healthy", tasty and soon the children started to swear by it. Meanwhile, the raw spaghetti like noodles was abundantly available in the market and soon the Bengali families were indulging in the most sought after food at home.

In my teens, while play dating once, I remember eating noodles cooked with soya bean chunks and potato fritters along with onions, tomato ketchup, black pepper etc. in a friend's place. We persuaded our mother and soon she too gave in and one day, to our dismay, our lovely cook prepared the most delicious noodles at home. And that was the beginning.

Chowmein became extremely popular because it made both the children and their mothers happy. The forever anxious mothers had learned the trick of sneaking in lot of seasonal vegetables in their noodles and finally their kids were eating veggies. My sisters and I used to love it as well. Once in a while good restaurant happened and we were satiated. 

Several years past, as I look back now, I see it as an unhealthy eating trend. Today, I wouldn’t want any kid to eat noodles as much as we did as children. The in depth demonization of health standards is not only deeply rooted in our system but is hard to eradicate. However, we can certainly educate our children towards better understanding of healthy food fads. But then that's another story altogether.


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The Big Fat Surprise - The myth of high carb, low fat diet explained by Nina Teicholz



Image courtesy: Youtube

Friday, June 16, 2017

Why puffed rice aka muri is the ultimate survival food

There has been a major shift in health paradigm, from high carb to high fat and vice versa and we have seen it all over the past couple of years. What we thought was right for our health is actually a deterrent, what we believed we should be eating was manipulated by the big pharmas and the US government and people were duped into eating mashed potato, corn flakes, eggs without yellow, fruit juice etc. That's lot of carbs and very little fat. Now that the big fat lie is out, we have come to realize that fat is good and real and has extraordinary power to shape our health and that culprit sugar and is the new tobacco!

The Big Fat Surprise: The myth of High Carb Low Fat diet explained


Being an Indian and living in India we have just begun to realize the harm that has been caused to an entire generation over the decades. The ripple effect has come to shock everyone here and everywhere. The power of this kneaded falsehood is so deeply ingrained that it's no rocket science to understand the humongous task of back pedaling the credence of the populace. So, it is our minds that we are fighting everyday more than anything else and trust me, it is hard.

When my cardiologist boss asked patients to eat whole eggs or meat or butter or not to eat biscuits and bread they were in complete disbelief. They still are and this skepticism is something that's not going to go overnight. That said, we have been spending days figuring out the right and real food that is healthy, nutritious and delicious. Quite a bit of research work later, we found out that even with all the snags puffed rice is the best possible snacks we can fall for especially if you are an Indian or if you plan to live in India.

So what is puffed rice? (This of course is for my friends from abroad). Trust me it is the ultimate survival food! Muri is indigenous of South Asia and is prepared from rice kernels in a similar manner as popcorn is made from corns. Traditionally it is made by heating rice over sand filled earthen oven. It serves as an excellent cereal food and can be eaten just as we eat corn flakes or oats with milk and seasonal fruits. Muri is healthy and has immense likelihood of turning into a super food when tossed with assortments of veggies like cucumber, parsley, green chillis, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, onion, sprouts- you just name it! Bengalis love it with pure raw mustard oil (mustard oil is one of the best oils we can eat nowadays, so you can eat it guilt free) and hot green chillis and occasionally with "aloor chop" (potato fritters) and often with friends and family.

Another snacking food is flattened rice or rice flakes (chura/ chire) which is also a powerful comfort food. Nowadays we get lovely roasted chire which is not only tasty but also nutritious. If you are an Indian and have survived numerous homesick moments it's needless to introduce you to poha. You know how you can add lovely fresh veggies, sprouts, peanuts, raisins and more to cater to your taste buds making it hugely popular among desi and not-so-desi friends.

The benefits also are immense. If you are a weight watcher you can never go wrong with this super food. It's high on iron, carbohydrate and have low gluten content. Besides, it is a fantastic mood lifter and reminds me of camaraderie. Although the brown variety is hard to get these days but both muri (puffed rice) and chire (flattened rice) are better picks than suji (semolina) which is totally a white stuff. Having said that, be a smart buyer and a smart eater. Try not to look for stuffs that are glossy, inviting and too good to be true. The crude variety is less appealing, less puffed and are less cosmetic. And I know you are a smart eater and never go on binges.

Now, a takeaway. We went to the US last year and sitting there miles away we relived our Calcutta days merely by eating muri, chanachur (spicy snacks mix) and chai over bangla cinema on youtube (courtesy my lovely sister who rolled in a whole lot of bengali essentials in no time). So, no brownie point for guessing that I am insanely in love with muri. Although my family will disagree I can tell you that they too resort to this super snacks, aka muri, in times of nostalgic Calcutta moments.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The beauty of deep work


A note to my children (nephew and nieces)

Because you three are the best and because I love you 'deeply' I would like to share something that I am currently reading. 'Deep Work' is magnificent. When we do deep work we alienate ourselves from the peripherals and endeavour to perform that task alone. This also means that multitasking is largely a myth. Deep work as opposed to multitasking reiterates the fact that we end up performing better and bigger in less time.

So when you are studying, reading, dancing, playing or doing anything - JUST DO IT ALONE. Keep other stuffs at the back seat and do it passionately, deeply, with much love. Refrain yourself from the distractions, from all those pings in your gadgets, from the hangovers, the impending burdens etc.

I am not asking you to stop using your devices. Allot a time for that too, for your internet time only. Do one thing at a time and soon you will realize that the beauty of deep work is in the sense of completion, in the sense of a perfect satiated feeling that would make you so beautiful when you grow up. Deep work is in a way an answer to the much talked about work economy and the search towards inner peace. Trust me in no time you will understand the worth. Ping me then. Much love.


#DeepWork #CalNewportTop of Form

Trust your doctor


Coming to the point straight - charged with expansive info (half truth, all dark), we are in a state of compulsive confusion today. This calls for serious rethinking. What we see, what we hear are not always true. We need to question our rationale; we need to take a bird's eye view of the situation.

Being a proud part of hospital industry, I have been privileged to know several medics and medicos who work with all their goodness, 24 hours on call, day in and day out, without any timeout. They have saved thousands of lives over the years. They have also treated many without charging their fees. Yes they have. That said it would be unfair to equate them with God. They can't reverse mortality but what they can do is something super. They do their best to save us. And of course they deserve love, respect, empathy and more if not for this but for the simple fact that they are humans who have vouched for our wellness. 

So, when you abuse doctors, nurses, healthcare staffs you disrespect one of you. When you abuse doctors for one death remember that they have also saved thousands. Pls use your sense of judgement. Trust your doctor.

The problem today is more socio-political, more infrastructural than anything else. How to resolve this? Corporate greed is one thing and doctor's ethics is another. Going by that perspective, we just need to sustain faith. Hospitals can't thrive without doctors, can they? So trust the doctors, respect them for all their goodness. We need to endure this ghastliness with hope, integrity and strength. Yes, this too shall pass. 

A personal note to the doctors:

Dear doctors,
you have saved me and my on several occasions. I respect you for all the respect you have shown. I love you for all the love you have bestowed on me. I stand by you since you have stood by me when I was sick. I salute you for your righteousness and kindness.

Thank you doctors.



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The year that was - A walk through 2016


We had some unpredictable endings this year. With the massive demonetization the whole socio economic and political scenario shuffled to a point where the common people were pushed to the wall. People but had to be a part of this eruption and were extremely devastated and disillusioned in the process. Amidst this, the two things that came into major prominence are cashless and ATM. If this is a part of "achhe din" I do not know, I do not want to know either. All I know at this point in time is that all changes are opposed, confronted, criticised till they are actually accepted and we are going through the initial phase now.

I, myself, was extremely excited about the move so much so that I went on to voice my adherence on several platforms. Little did I know then that this would turn out to be really bizarre. Once again we were shamed by the blatant corruption issues. A group of ingrate opportunists played it really low. My heart broke several times after that and I tried not to hit the social media - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc anymore. I am a strong person and my sense of ethics, sense of judgment and values are ingrained in me quite early in life. The offshoots of demonetization hit me badly and I felt very small. All those angry social vents seemed preachy and inane and I really needed the sun. And as I was struggling to come in terms with the most revolutionizing endeavor of the government I realized that it's almost new year.

2016 had some bad things in store for us, my family. When we were planning a fantastic trip to Benaras little did I know that a friend for lifetime was awaiting my return. I was diagnosed with uveitis. This was a shock of a lifetime! Before I could decipher the language of uveitis aka iritis I started having flares of idiopathic uveitis. This continued for the next six months and I had to be on dreadful dose of steroid drops. It felt like grains of sand inside my eyes all the time. The eyes and everything in and around pained and my vision got blurry. Those were the most terrible period of my life when I was made to believe that I would not go blind after all.

Nonetheless I agreed on a trip to the US and as it turned out, I got the US visa (of which I have written in my previous article - The US visa experience). As I was coming in terms with my health condition, the trip to the US was seen materializing. The next few days just swept past, and soon I sat myself to a long flight to the US. I stayed there for nearly a month and shared some wonderful memories with my sister, niece and brother-in-law. We went on drives, experienced the feel of summer workshop (courtesy my niece), explored the plethora of world cuisine, I whetted my culinary skills etc. etc. etc. I was also religiously administering the steroid drops hoping that it would be the last flare of my life. Meanwhile my family in Dubai was settling some life changing decisions. It is hard to let go of two decades of assimilation and decide to ask the children to reclaim the culture and living of which they were never a part of.

All said and done, I am a very positive person and I see silver lining in even bizarre things. I am realistic too. I  believe that all endings flower a new beginning and all the not-so-good things in life pass. "This too shall pass" and soon. Have faith. I wish you all a blessed new year ahead. Inspire and be inspired. Love and lots of love.

Photo credit: theodysseyonline

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Of Janmashtami, Malpuas, family tradition and more

Janmashtami (Janmashtomi) is one festival that we look forward to ever since the childhood days. It was the time we would have our house wrapped in some undefined joy of festivity. Janmashtami is celebrated all over India in the month of August/September and on the eighth day of the Hindu calendar. The birthday of lord Krishna is a very special occasion for the Hindus. They consider Him as their savior, philosopher, friend, lover and everything that is human, everything that is Godly.

The festival has transcended beautifully over the years and today I see it with much love since that is the time we are fondly reminded of our Dida (grandmother). She was a lady of strong integrity and was revered by one and all. She never forced the ritualistic regime. That probably is the reason that we have learned to imbibe the true fervor of the festivals in their entirety. It was never forced, it was never too much of something that we would have detested later in lives. We never detested it nor did we regret later. It was probably because of the values that were instilled upon us very subtly.  

We have grown up seeing the grandeur of family tradition while celebrating Janmashtami. At the wake of dawn, my grandma would immerse the idols of lord Krishna and Radha (his muse) a lavish milk and ghee bath, deck them with new clothes and ornaments and start the puja (religious rituals). The food offerings included assortments of seasonal fruits, our own home made sweets made for this occasion alone, Bhog – a special rice and pulses mixed food, rice polao, luchis (puris), kheer (condensed milk with rice), 8 different types of fries made from 8 different vegetables, other special vegetables side dishes, sweet and sour chutnis/ pickles and whole savory of sweets. Having said that, Janmashtami is never complete without Taler Bora and Malpua for these are supposedly lord Krishna's favorite sweets.

Our role was not more than just hopping around eating all the goodies. I particularly liked the occasion since I was not told to study that day, something that happened very very seldom. Things have changed since. We have grown up, my sisters have relocated to different countries, and my grandma is no more. But some things never change, I still live in the same old house and we still have the more than a century old Krishna and Radha idols along with the legacy that my grandma has left behind. Today i see my mother doing everything that she has grown up seeing her mother do, and I on my part still enjoy the Bhog, Malpua, Sweets etc. 


Coming to the special Janmashtami Bengali sweet savory, Malpua needs special mention. It is one savory that every other household celebrating the festival will prepare and needless to say every household has its own Malpua recipe. My mother has hers and I have mine. I have streamlined on the ingredients and made the recipe much easier and faster to cater to my taste and time.


What is Malpua

Malpua is an Indian delectable dessert much similar to sweet round pancake dipped in sugar syrup. It’s a gourmet’s delight. To prepare them you will need easily available kitchen ingredients. The ingredients will be available in almost every store round the corner.

Ingredients

Milk (8 cups)
Condensed milk (2 cups)
Water (2 cups)
Sugar (3 cups)
Fennel seeds (1 tablespoon)
Refined flour (3 cups)
Rose essence (1 teaspoon) - my addition
Clarified butter/ Ghee/ white oil (1 cups)
½ teaspoon of cardamom powder (optional)
Few strands of saffron strands (optional)
Silvered almonds and pistachios to garnish (optional)


Preparing the sugar syrup

Prepare a sugar syrup of single thread consistency. Add 1 tsp of rose essence and a few strand of saffron. Set aside to cool.


Preparing the batter for the Malpua

Bring the milk to boil and keep boiling till it reduces to half. Set aside and wait till it cools down.
Sieve the refined flour and add it slowly to the reduced milk. Keep stirring to avoid the lump formation. Stir well and stir continuously.

Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir to attain a smooth consistency of pancake.
Add fennel seeds and cardamom powder to the batter.


Process

Heat the ghee (clarified butter) on thick bottomed frying pan and pour the batter in a blob in the center to form small pancakes. Wait till the sides turn golden brown. Turn over and wait for the side to cook till it gets golden brown.

Dip the Malpuas in the rose sugar syrup and let it sip the juice.

Serving

Remove the Malpuas before serving and drain on a wire rack to drip the excess syrup. Dish them out delicately on a flat platter, garnish with chopped dry fruits.

And that's Malpua for you!

Note to yourself

With all those goodies, Malpua is, no doubt, a guilt food. Nonetheless you can indulge in it once in a while since it's irresistible. 

Image copyright: Mimpi

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

And my pimple saga continues


You are not going to be Monroe anyway - so happy living with pimples.
 Just when I started to think that I am over the pimple saga that I am assailed with yet another bout of eruption. As my friends you must have known by now that pimple have never really abandoned me. They have been there since forever.

It started all in my pre teen days and as every other girl in the block I got the first spell amidst much ado. I was started on homemade remedies on weekends for that was the only time I could afford to apply the fruit mashes, besan and egg mixes, yogurt, chandan (sandalwood) paste - you just name it! Every other day I uncovered new breakouts and by the time I went to college I got over the oh-no-not-again thing. I was used to the vicious circle and was used to living with the deadly aftermath.

Meanwhile, I saw skin specialists and used several tubes of ointments, several face packs and virtually tried every other suggestions that people came up with. People, however, agreed on one thing that I have an extreme oily skin and that I am bound to have it until a certain age.  They talked over length on the hormonal imbalance, excessive oil secretion, ineffective and inadequate cleansing, diet imbalances, physiological changes, commercial dupes - blah blah blah. All said and done the pimples never deserted me.


That 'age' when I was supposed NOT to get pimples never came. My face today has similar kind of scars from newer pimples which are verging on acne. Now, I have advanced and medicinal cosmetic tubes on my vanity. I have almost all the new launches that promise acne free flawless skin. I have sadly looked on the gorgeous packs of night creams, anti aging treatment, sun screens while shopping, have even bought many of them but could never really apply them like people do. They do not work for me. I am aware of the fact that the hyped commercial aspect on  the acne issue never going to go away except that I can get wiser and choose my product wisely. Right now I am just on aloe vera gel that should be able to do the daily moisturizing, not promising the repairing work though.

The years of unfaltering association with the pimples have taught me that the you can only control the outbursts if not totally get rid of them and that hot towel therapy or face spa help in opening up the clogged pores but flawless skin is a myth for people with oily skin. So, no matter how hard you try you can't stop them from coming.

I know its pointless trying to look beautiful with that big burst on your face but then you are not going to be Monroe anyway. So after several sunrises and coffee cups later my pimple saga continues.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Remembering Fr Boris D'santos


I have known Fr Boris since his days of ailment – not a great time health wise but was enormously empowering for me and many like me who have been fortunate enough to have sat with him. He would always exude great positivity even when his health was failing him. His health was deteriorating and he had to visit the hospital often. I remember him sitting in recluse, composed and with a face that never ceased smiling. He would wait without complaint. The waiting times were the happy reminiscencing times. 

Father Boris was rendered the best possible med-help, and with Rev Brother Chintamani SJ around things were always sorted out. Brother is the best possible gift to theSt Xaviers  infirmary and he is the person who had been Father Boris’ companion til his last breath. 

When I last met Father Boris, he was extremely frail and feeble. Amidst that, he told me not to cease doing the work I was doing. That was the last time I saw him and the lifetime of virtue that he induced going to stay with me forever.

Rest in peace -Rev Fr Boris D'santos

1934 - 1914

Father Boris, the long-serving former vice-principal of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Calcutta, passed away on !3 August 2014. He was 80.

My rendevous with ST Xavier's College, Calcutta 

The day that was at ST Xavier's College, Calcutta 

Photo credit: St Xaviers

 

Friday, June 21, 2013

The day that was at ST Xavier's College, Calcutta

It had rained heavily yesterday and I thought of postponing my visit to St Xaviers College to visit the Fathers. I specially wanted to see Fr Mani who is not keeping well of late. Brother Chintamoni, a very special person in my life wanted to come down to my workplace to take me with him. It was thoughtful of him indeed since it was raining cats and dogs. I somehow convinced Brother not to come with the promise of visiting him if the rain had stopped. It did. Later in the evening, around 4 pm, the rain stopped leaving the city with water everywhere. e to take me with him. It was thoughtful of him indeed since it was raining cats and dogs.

My visit to St Xaviers was long pending. So, I did wish for the rain to stop. Happy and wet, I walked up to the next block to get a cab. It was very messy outside and a cab driver finally came to my rescue. The road was full of traffic, water and murkiness and the cab finally dropped me in front of one of the metro gates and charged some extra bucks which I agreed to pay. I was already running late and did not want to waste more time. Brother was waiting for me. His worried face soon transformed and he gave me his signature smile. He greeted me with lots of sweets, chocolates and warmth as always.

From there we went to see Fr Mani who was reclining in the library of the infirmary watching TV. I met Fr Neol, Fr Bruylants and 65 novice students in the corridor. Fr Noel was having his evening walk and was delighted to see me and we exchanged some old jokes. Finally, I arrived at the infirmary. Fr Mani and another Father were watching a movie in AXN. I smiled at Father Mani and  he smiled back. It was a smile full of apprehensions. 
Before I proceed further, I should tell you more about Father Mani. Father Mani is a beautiful person. The kind of person who always exudes love, happiness and a person who is funny in his own ways. 
Till the day before yesterday, I knew him to be always like that. He was also the minister in charge of the important portfolio of SJ. When I met him last, he was fit and fine. However, a few days ago, he had an emergency when he got dizzy, nearly fell and had a paralytic attack. Later, he was diagnosed with brain hemorrhage. It felt horrible to see him like that - down and depressed. I would always like to see him as the hale and hearty person that he was.

Feeling bad and helpless, I returned soon after with a heavy heart. Get well soon Fr Mani. You are in my prayers.Your true spirit is being missed and we all love you.

Also read:

My rendevous with ST Xavier's College, Calcutta

Image: (C) MouD

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Of fun, food, festive flamboyance and oranges



The end of festive season is marked by the fantastically poignant Bhai Phonta (Bhai Dooj), the brother’s well being ceremony and some not so happy countenances. The white cotton clear culuminbinous clouds calling in the Mahalaya is followed by the 6 day long Durga Puja, the 9 day long Navratti, Dussehra – the 10th day, the immersion of Durga idol, the Laxmi Puja etc., and a wait of 364 days, a full cycle of life

Sooner than we plunge into the hollowness, left by the immersion of festive fervor, we usher in the festival of lights, hope and dream. Diwali and Kali Puja have a delightful charm that’s hard to beat. Two days of fun, frolic, food and rollick pass just like that and we finally reach the last leg of the festive flamboyance. Bhai Phonta or Bhai Dooj is celebrated for the well being of the brothers. It’s not just a ritual but a beautiful emotional belonging that the brothers and sisters cherish lifelong. 

 The passing of the Kali Puja brings in a much saddening sweet tone and with the eternal sibling love we come to the end of the Autumn bonanza. There is already a nip in the air and as I unpack the shrugs and the jackets, a typical dry fragrance reminds me of golden yellow sun, cold creams and oranges. Winter has just arrived.