Showing posts with label prose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prose. 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

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The sun, sea and the wobbly plank

The sun looked not quite lunch time yet. I stepped on the same old wobbly plank on the bridge that my father had built with love when I was a child and he still a robust man in thirties. I have never walked without stepping on it. That is an ominous pattern destined to happen telling my mother that I have arrived.

It was cold and placid outside and as I dragged my feet heavy on the plank, I realized that life has not been kind on me inspite of my desperation. Sometimes, I had even contemplated listening to my friend's amazing stories for hours. How miracles changed his life and how sometimes the luck fairy was extra kind to him. I tried hard to get out of that unhappy providence but it seemed that I had a thing for it. It seemed the whole world was conspiring against me and I was a lonely creature fighting a battle I had no idea of.

Soon I found myself standing on the shore. Just short of the waves, gazing at the vast mystifying beauty, startled and clueless I started walking with the waves into the burly, invincible sea. The white froth tickled my feet telling me to walk more into the deep. I kept walking into the sea. It seemed the sun sipped in all the blues and dispersed a vibrant orange love all over and as I looked into the sea I got engaged in an endless rendezvous that the 'lotus eaters' had once experienced.

Suddenly, I sensed an uncanny chill, a sudden numbness and realized that the orange yellow sea distanced into an uncanny austerity. It got dark by then. I was getting late and started walking through the piney shady trail. To my surprise, it started to smell intimate again. It smelled of Brazilian blueberries and squirrels. It smelled like my childhood.

The walk down to my house was full of memories. Memories of my childhood, the memories of the sea, sun, happy days and the squeaky plank on the bridge built by my father. Soon I reached my house. I walked over the bridge to the door which opened to my mother's startled look. This time I didn't step on the wobbly plank!

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The year that was - A walk through 2016

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Tolerance Intolerance Debate - I choose silence

"I have regretted my speech, never my silence." Xenocrates, Greek Philosopher

Nothing hurts me more than a bunch of non stop talkers, being sat on the television channels, talking big on some inane topic. The primary focus of these 'lit-adults' are to hop from channels to channels chirping on the same 'asinine' topics every single day. It may not have been implausible if the political vendetta behind their voices was not so glaring. That's another debate though. My point today is the amount of verbosity that goes around every day is not only wastage of space and time but also a horrific cue to the destined digital garbage from this man made assault of words.

The most of this wordiness is shallow and invites bitter retaliation spontaneously. There is no harm in being vocal, in channelizing our thoughts smartly and sharply. But the unwanted gushing of viral verbosity that goes around in the internet - twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. - is highly arguable. Having said that, in most cases, I choose not to reiterate. For the simple reason of not being wanting to be associated with anything not right, anything not plausible or anything not felicitous - I choose silence. I would not want to be associated with anything that I may find 'not OK' and want to disown or that the children would not be proud of later.

So, what if we use our words more intelligently? How difficult it would be to be less wordy? Is it too hard to be sane and peaceful?

The intense profanity in the choice of words is not always deliberate and there are of course wise talkers. But certainly there are less in numbers. I believe in doing things rather than forming social media solidarity. This adds onto digital clutter. So, at a time when even the liberals are fighting over the tolerant-intolerant thing, when people are going overboard with misplaced words, at a time when your voice is accentuated with criticisms - I choose not to talk.

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 believe that I am over my pimple saga I am assailed with yet another bout of breakouts. If you know me, you must be knowing that pimples have never really abandoned me. They have been there with me 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 only that time I could indulge in beauty treatments. I would apply fruit mashes, besan (pulse powder) and egg mixes, yogurt, chandan (sandalwood) paste - you just name it! Every other day I unveiled new breakouts and by the time I went to college I was pretty much the girl with lot of spots on face. I was used to the vicious circle by then and began to believe that it was a part of my growing up.

Meanwhile, I saw skin specialists and applied several tubes of ointments, several face packs and virtually tried every other thing that people came up with. They, however, agreed on one thing that I have an extremely oily skin and that I am bound to have it until a certain age.  They talked on length over the hormonal imbalances, 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 is supposed to do the daily moisturizing.

The years of bitter sweet association with pimples has taught me that you can only control the breakouts if not totally get rid of them, 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.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The beauty of conviction in yourself

So, I completed MBA, had some flamboyant celebrations, greeted with lovely gifts, have had visits - surprise and predictable, went shopping and did some real extravagance while doing so etc. Overwhelmed with the kind of friendship I am blessed with, with the food galore, gifts, deluge of fun and all that matters in life, it is time I redefined life.

Now that the party time is over, it's time I looked forward, it's time to get real. The post exam and the pre result phase was accentuated with both happy and not so happy moments. I wanted let go and let go like mad but something was holding me back. It was like you do in dreams where you try to climb a mountain but can't, sliding down the slimy height and falling each time you try even though you were doing it with the right kind of technique and with all heart. I was continually hit by the idea of being asked about MBA, studies, results, etc., that I did not want to answer and I was trying to escape every scenario that might have a prospect of creating that kind of plot of me being asked.

The post result period was marked by persistent phone calls to Amity for the lapses in the results that I thought I should resolve before July. That was the time when my US trip was planned. Back at home, I also had to wrap up the bank jobs, bills, payments. I was doing all of that and I did do them finally.

As I speak today, I still have three more impending visits that I have been postponing for two long years. I plan to do them next week and hope to enjoy them too. MBA, of all things, have taught me one life lesson - the lesson that I have learned to live by with a happy face and all my heart. MBA has taught me to be able to pass through the hardest and the saddest of times, the I-suck times and of course the do-not-wana-survive kind of times with grace and poise. The brilliance of conviction in yourself is beautiful and the moment you get near that you are a winner. Winning is not just doing a MBA, or getting a A grader or even doing a Bill Gates, winning is taking things in your stride, most convincingly, even if you are going through hell. Life is generic, and how you live it makes it beautiful or not so. That's how I look at life now.

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Image (C) ~ reachinggoals

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To vote or not to vote

So, I went voting. It was the Municipal Corporation Election in our city. For those who do not understand what it is, very simply put Municipal Corporation is urban local government that takes care of the basic necessities like the city's healthcare, transport, housing, education and other community services. It is headed by a mayor and represented area wise.

Although we have  majorly three electoral parties viz. CPI(M), Indian National Congress, Trinamool Congress Party and Bhartiya Janta Party, the EVM had a long list of other party representatives which I could neither recognize nor tried to. However, having said that, voting has been made easier recently. NOTA (None of the above) option has been an welcoming move by the Election Commission and this has made more people voting pro.

Politics today is  accentuated with frenzied vehemence that we as children had never witnessed. The pre poll forcefulness was all over the places and we were anticipating a not-so-happy election day. Well, all was not so bleak. Our election day was marked by galore of green, saffron and red. The party people were rendering help all day long. The day was hot, windy and by the time the voting was over, the sun turned liquid.

Later in the day as we got to know about acts of merciless savagery from different parts of the city, I realized that we just have been a fortunate lot. I was lucky - my election day was peaceful and a dignified one too.

Photo (C): MouD

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

More than two years, four semesters and several coffee cups later...

More than two years, four semesters and a result day later I take this trip down the memory lane. The trip, rather a deliberate one, is an endeavor to unfold the series of sequences in my life for the past two years. After almost ten years of similar work pattern in office, I wanted to take up something different. So MBA it was. My choice of taking up MBA was partially greeted by father and fully by others who matter in my life.

I was dwelling in a comfortable office environment with decent package, post and an ever understanding boss. I was contemplating it too. The decision to pursue MBA came all of a sudden. And amidst that suddenness I stood eligible, completed the process of registration and got myself enrolled in a leading B school. It was a two years course comprising of four semesters. Each semester had five papers, five assignments and a Project in the final semester. As much as the process was simple and methodical,  I was swept by the grandeur of the books, papers, pens, colors, academics. The idea of reliving the school days was just fantastic. 

It was tough though. I pulled through the first semester with extraneous zeal, with fewer timeouts and I  refrained myself from all kinds of internet trails, socializing and pleasures that would make me happy. I was studying all the time that I was at home. That was but a few hours after office and before sleep. That came to only three to four hours of studies every day. Meanwhile, I learned mean, mode, median, central tendency. I learned debit, credit, financial statement, bill of materials. As much as I dreaded the thought, I loved the practice sessions. I scored well in them too.

Semester II got really hard. Given the enormity, I decided to change the study pattern and started looking at it from a different point of view. I took up a subject and disliked it, then I took up another subject not it liking it again I took up another. It was like a vicious circle and soon I came back to the first one. I started studying the subject yet again hoping that it might just work this time around.  I was intimidated by the quantitative techniques. My sister tutored me on Skype for a few days but given the vastness, it seemed just like learning the vernaculars. I was exhausted. The sampling methods, data preparation, Manova, Anova etc. My friend came everyday to help me with the debit-credit but it was not my cup of tea either. I was struggling with every page and every day. I was half-hearted at work and was continuously hit by the idea of not making it.

There must be some truth in the adages and perseverance indeed gets us closer to our goals. Also, it's all about doing thing differently and with lot of conviction too. So, I strategically took up the assignments and as I went along solving them  I was learning too. I looked up for every term new whenever I confronted with one. And I was delighted to realize that the system was working.

By the end of Second semester I was smart. It didn't feel awful after that. I was neither complacent nor insecure. MBA is supposed to be tough and by then I had fallen into the groove of dozens of unusual things. I refrained from everything that felt good. I said NO to me-times except for the pre shower hours on Sundays. I learned to let go of the tempting materiality and learned to be more poised.  Even in the in-between semester periods I tried to stay focused with not so much of aberrations. I carried a long to do list which I gradually checked and by the time the new set of study material arrived I was done with the list. Not only did I manage to create a solitude all around me I started loving it also. Lack of human presence did not bother me anymore and I was continuously trying to sneak in extra time for studying. I was falling asleep too and sooner my sleep pattern changed. I turned into a cat-napper.

The third sem brought in lot of fresh air since I could finally get to study the subjects of my choice. Also, I came in terms with everything bizarre, everything less exciting and everything so unsurprisingly books. All said and done, I was still waiting for the Project Work. The synopsis that I had sent after the second sem was approved in full. I was very excited since I was looking forward to start off with my project. It was on a subject matter that I have been observing very closely for many years. The strategies, methods, hypotheses, sampling, the surveys, questionnaire, test runs etc. - I was living it.  Finally after a series of edits I finished the Project Work. By then, I was truly, madly and deeply in love with it.

The fourth semester had unwanted technical issues. Like the hard copy of my project was sent to a different address and I had to redirect it to the correct one, in one of the papers in the third sem I was incorrectly marked absent and I had to sent series of mails to get it re done, the 4th sem center was far off from my home and I tried my best to change it but in vain, etc. The Project was the most exciting and the most time consuming too. I could concentrate on the academics only after I had completed it.

And finally it was over! It was sudden too. One morning I was simply without books! I had yearned for this moment to arrive when I would divorce myself from anything academics, anything MBA. But it felt like an undefined void!

So, almost four months past my final semester, more than two years of studies, several email trails and countless coffee cups later, I humbly admit that I am figuratively smarter than some people on earth. I am a MBA.

Photo (C) ~ resourcefreak

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.

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My rendevous with ST Xavier's College, Calcutta

Image: (C) MouD

Monday, May 7, 2012

Snack on with healthy and yummy aloo chat

One of my favorite lunch box food while in office is aloo chat or aloo kabli, as we Bengalis call it fondly. I just love it, so much so that it has become my favorite workplace snacks now. I have also managed to inspire my colleagues to snack on it as well and in no time one of my colleagues volunteered to take up the elaborate task of preparing aloo kabli in office. He is a pro now and I am so proud of him.  

Aloo kabli is a popular street food of Calcutta and the people of city love it all round the year. Enriched with vitamins, carbs, protein and vitamin C etc. it is a wonderful all time snacks and it is healthy too. The best part - it's so much fun when eaten together with friends and loved ones. I have tried to prepare aloo kabli at home, several times, and I have understood one simple fact. It's but impossible to make perfect aloo kabli like the aloo kabliwalas do. It's an art that's not taught in B schools but requires years of hands on experience, sometimes passed on from one gen to the next and so on. So, if you are still tempted to make a decently done aloo chat at home you will need some very common kitchen ingredients. These should be hand picked with much love (the most important ingredient). 

For aloo kabli you will need:

Cut boiled potatoes
Chopped tomatoes
Chopped onions
Chopped green chillis
Ginger julienne
Chopped coriander leaves
Fresh lime juice
Sprouted chana (chickpea) soaked overnight
Tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
Bhujia (optional)
Roasted peanuts

And then you will need a very special masala (spicemix) nicely roasted and ground:

Red chili

Toss all the ingredients together, very nicely, till the masala blends into the potatoes and you are done! For aloo chat you can also add variety of other stuffs like yogurt, pomegranates, sprouted green dal, grapes, muri (puffed rice) etc. I love aloo kabli more than aloo chat and it has to be only with potatoes, green chillis, coriander leaves, onion, tomatoes and chickpeas tossed with lot of tamarind water. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reward yourself with good shoes

Show me your shoes and I will tell you who you are. Of late I have developed a strange love for shoes. Flip flops, tiptoes, platforms, not so highs - you just name it. I love to reward myself with good shoes. Trust me, it's not just a lavish but a utility you would love to pamper yourself with.

Having shopping for the right kind of shoes, (this keeps changing with seasons and mood), I have realized one thing. Shoes are damn pricy and the ones that keep your eye balls rolling will keep your wallet upside down as well.

The fact that I wear most of them, most of the times in the workplace and that they should be comfortable on feet, I keep a few things on mind while shopping for the ideal ones.

Comfortable on toes and heel

I am lucky that I do not suffer from any physical problem, like heel spur, bunions etc., but for those who do it's advisable to buy shoes with cushioned and roomy bed. Go for the ones that you are comfortable in considering your body weight, work status and nature of work.

Chic and trendy or timeless

I usually go for timeless shoes that do not expire with seasons' fashions. I like flip flops that are always in vogue. However, it's just fine to have a few party pairs like stilettos and high heels in your collection.


Good shoes are expensive but most are long lasting. I prefer shoes belonging to brands of repute. I use them everyday, all the time, everywhere. I get the best deal from the good brands at the end of the day.

Have less, wear more often and buy often

Shoes tend to lose the sheen and wearibility if kept unused for long. Keep alternating and keep wearing the pairs regularly. Ransack your shoe rack for the ones that are not worn for long. Try to match your dress with them and keep them rolling. After having lost a lot of money, I am wiser now. I have a few pairs of good stuffs now and keep them rolling all through the week. This gives me a chance to go on shopping spree more often as well.

Recycle your shoes

If you think that shoes cannot be recycled, think twice. I give up on my shoes not because they are not wearable any longer but because I don't like them anymore. I give them away to house helps or to the nearest shoe shops.

One last word, shoes make you look and feel beautiful. Reward yourself with them more often.

Picture credit: wedmd

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My rendevous with ST Xavier's College, Calcutta

Life is a little more beautiful, a little more happy because of some people who come in our lives as angels and tie ribbons of happiness around them. Today has been one such day in my life. It was a break from the monotonous log in and log out from the office. Little did I realize that it would be so much fun and blissful when Brother Chinamoni of ST Xavier’s, Calcutta had invited me to his place a few days ago. This was not the first time though, but somehow it didn’t materialize. Blame it on my procrastination. He had been equally persuasive every time. I was a fool. It became apparent today when I stepped inside the hallmark premises of the prestigious ST Xavier’s college. He walked me through the sprawling corridors and conspicuous dormitories of the heritage building. Holiday season had made it easier.
To begin with, our destination was the third floor where the not so well fathers live. Brother Chinta takes care of the ill fathers.

It’s a nice set up with basic medical equipments to facilitate immediate domiciliary aid for the semi-ambulatory staffs before they are shifted to the major city hospitals. Fr Abello and Fr Mongal Das, who are stably ill longterm, are being taken care of by Brother China, sisters and doctor there only.
As we strolled along the beautiful corridors, through the mellowed orange sun, I tried to delay the moment to breathe and frame it forever. I saw septuagenarian Fr Noel, who has had put in permanent pacemaker recently waving at me. He was looking absolutely fit even with those small fidgety steps. I waved back.

I virtually went into every corner of the college and breathed the historical bricks. The College was founded in 1860 under the leadership of Fr Depelchin. The college campus is located at Park Street, Kolkata. It is now the first and only autonomous college in Calcutta. Bro Chinta, a true Jesuit, told me many stories - the stories of the hardships during pre-novice and novice period. How he spent 18 long days without a penny in his pocket yet never slept without food. He told me about the college, school, plans, projects his family. In between, I got the opportunity to chat with Fr George who has been stationed to Malta recently and not liking it at all. It was great talking to Fr George after so long.

The dining hall is big, just as it was expected, with round, considerable Victorian tables. We self served ourselves. Today’s menu was courtesy Bro Mani whose family is visiting him. The meat was delectable and so was the vegetable. I couldn’t eat all that was served. Bro Mani’s mother made fun of me. Brother Chinta is a small eater - 2 chappatis, one serving of the vegetables, fish and yogurt. He doesn’t eat sweets after he’s been detected with diabetes. He is not on med but maintains a stern lifestyle for he believes in healthy living more than anything else. He’s been doing well whatsoever.

Post lunch was beautiful with the sunset sun, oranges, cakes, tea and snacks, and more stories. We visited the nursery thereafter. The aquarium was small but nicely maintained. I couldn’t meet the 35 year old tortoise. He was happily hiding somewhere. The sun had mellowed down considerably. Having received lots of goodies from Brother, I had to leave St Xavier’s. I bade goodbye to the Rector Father, Fr Gaston Roberge, Fr Saju, Sebastian and a few others. I looked for Fr Noel, but he couldn't be found, neither in the corridors nor in his room.

And as I held the little Buddha statuette - the parting gift from Bro I looked back to have a glance for one last time. I saw Brother Chinta silhouetted against the setting sun, like an angel, against the Jesuits' building. An angel, who made my day so special, made me feel special and gave me much honor and love. I am going to cherish this day forever.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cutting down trees in the name of fire safety code

In a country where the fire department is inadequately equipped and inefficiently administered, it would be sheer foolishness to expect the medical and para medical staffs to perform the strictures of fire norms with finesse. The recent Calcutta AMRI fire opened up a new facet along with the callousness of the civil society. After a series of unhealthy, 'beeped' blaming game, the fire services are now geared up to inspect the top hospitals in the city. They have put forth innumerable points and have given narrow deadlines for the NOCs.

The hospitals have set up appreciable efforts with the trainings and the mock fire drills and to meet the fire codes. The approach roads are too narrow, there is no fire evacuation plan, the buildings do not have even ramps, no proper hose system - all are being taken care off. However, it's dis-heartening to see the people (visitors, patients) laughing at it. The civil society today is more concerned with others shortcomings, failures than theirs.

All said and little done, it feels killing to see the age old, beautiful, shady trees being chopped off in the name of upgradation of fire safety fire norms, and yesterday as I looked through my office window I heard the heart throbbing chirpings of the evening birds as the beautiful trees being cut to death.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The July Hiatus: Hardest of all

I get highly disconcerted by the online hiatuses. But at times, we do not but have any choice. The July hiatus ended up in a sad tone inspite of all the fun time I had. With lot of work pressure, unwinding schedule and a lazy body that needed to relax every now and then, I was sort of composed and delivered my best.

So, how well was I? Well, not so bad. Work is good, better is the complacency of the productivity. Nothing like being done with your job in time and well. The accolades are the incentives.

This hiatus, however, will hold a heavy feeling forever, for always. Nothing could reverse the heavy heart when long associations are being cut short, unprecedented. It was a unanimous decision though and for the better. Three of our very old and good friends left the organization for better opportunities. They deserve the best and I wish them success and best of luck in life. I know we will meet up, hang out and continue to have the fun, but still it’s not going to be the same. Lunch time would be not the same without them. Neither would the impromptu parties, pizza breaks, the fun faces...

The July hiatus was the hardest of all.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Doing things that recharge you

Today is Saturday. Another week has passed by without me doing anything new except for some achievements in 'Shared Reviews". I am at no.2 there which is pretty impressive for someone belonging to non US country. SR has a great community that never fails to boost your motivation. I am so thankful!

Only thing, I have to write more which I am failing at recently. My target was 1 review/ article every day but I am far behind and struggling. And since that's not happening right now, I have stopped making goals. I am writing whenever I am feeling like. I have a lot of catching up to do tomorrow. Beside the cleaning and the chores, I have a project to finish, a few pending edits to clean up the old articles, some paid tasks and then I am hoping to write one fresh article - something I haven't since long. It feels drained out when I do not for a long time.

Nothing like penning down your thoughts. However weird it may appear, it feels much energized and recharged. So, are you doing your mind? Are you doing stuffs that recharge you? If not just do it - today!

Wish you luck! Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

So what your job sucks!!

Hope you all are doing fine. There has been a lot of festivities in the last few weeks and please accept my belated greetings for the season. I hope you all had a good time.

Now, what next? It's time to rewind and get going however drab it may seem. We just cannot be eternally disillusioned and disgusted with our job profiles, can we? It doesn't make sense to curse the job, the bosses and the intertwined politics. At the end of the day we have to live with it. So, why not take a different stand on something that has been sucking. First and foremost, we have to understand that we cannot change the system overnight. We have to realize and consider the loopholes and the negative aspects in order to love the job we are into.

I have found that organizing always helps. Piling up jobs to the point that we lose the inside outs not only aggravates the hassle but also creates a sense of insufficiency and incompleteness. We can do better than that, don't we? So, before going on holidays, I keep myself updated with my job so much so that the day when I rejoin, I am recharged, refreshed with NO hangover from the older backlogs.

Again, delegating the duties timely helps enormously as well. Some people just cannot delegate duties hoping that they will lose out on the credit of the outcome or just because they do not have faith in others. But once we start to do that, things will be more fun and fast.

We should also realize that we will get to no where by being cursing and venomous. The amount of energy we would spend to do this actually would help us in our individual growth if we could dechannelize. My experience tells me that our job starts to suck when we are trying to accentuate on the flip sides that the job comes with. No job on earth would be a perfect platter and sooner we realize this, it's better for us.

We should also start by liking and developing tolerant skills that would help us learn more about the job. Knowing and understanding the intricacies of our jobs help us better our performances and gradually this lead us to the point from where looking back at the journey makes it all the more fun and worthy.

Another important thing I have learned is that, we should be able to laugh at ourselves and take it in the right spirit when anyone else does.That eases us the viciousness and helps us remain unaffected at the never ending office politics.

So, declutter, reorganize, delegate, love the job and have fun at ourselves make things definitely easier. Try out and let me know. Till then happy trying.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

We create our pains, we create our happiness..

With every hurt, every pain every teardrop we are to blame ourselves only. We are the creator of our sadness and hurts. No one can create those for us. A stable mind does not cry, nor does it blame others or allow the darkness to affect him. There could be, there are several stimuli but it's us who create our own pains. Not all cry while watching a sad movie. Some even laugh it off. No one asks us to shed our tears, so no one should be responsible. It's us who decides for ourselves. So, the stimulus as in the sad scene does not really gulp all! So, how can we blame others for creating our pains. We must stay stable, peaceful and try to change ourselves instead of judging others. For it's our life and we are in charge and we must change, grow for the better.

Life is beautiful and happiness is just a choice that we have to make because we are happy creatures. I have been trying to be poise and beautiful. It's not an easy task but trust me we can bring about our happiness by making right kind of choices.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Me, myself and my independence

Being independent and living up to being one is an act of great responsibility which everyone yearns for. Some are supposedly independent as early as in their post teen years and some, in country like ours, are still not, even in their sixties. Does that mean being independent is a frame of mind that depends on our thought processes and the way we think?

I have seen people who are in a family, with many of authoritative people around but yet to have an opinion. They think, talk and most of the times, live by what they believe in. On the contrary, some who have been living alone since tender age still do not quite have their opinion, their free thinking power, their might. What I want to say is, independence is not as much as in our apparent decision to live all by ourselves as in being able to think, reason and live independently. I agree, living by our own means and deciding on several small earthly issues and subsequently, seeing it happen do make us individuality enough to take a decision. But being independent is not just that, I guess.

I feel, being independent is not just about having to make a living out of your profession, going to the market, buying vegetables and then eating and tomorrow is an another day! My ability to think for myself and having the power to see the broader view of what we are thinking and what we are not make me strong. The power to decide between the right and the wrong, the power to reason as I believe in and to stand by it whenever situation arises not only makes me independent but also beautiful.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Why do we do good?

I am here again with something that has been bugging me for some time now. I have often wondered about the societal influence and pressure that we all go through in life. Some people do good and be good to avoid the shame of being regarded as a 'bad human in the society'. When people do good? Do they do it just for the sake of it or for the good name and blessing that others would shower on him as a consequence of it?

Am I confusing you? Actually I am bit confused here. I have found that many around die to hear about their goodness and how good they are. They are highly affected about their reputation, their ordeal. Nothing wrong in it, as long as they are doing good. It's the goodness that matters at the end of the day.

If you ask me, I try to be good in my dispositions and whatever ordeal I go through every day. May be it feels great to do be good. Its like helping myself more than anything else. I love being good to myself and others.

That was quite a blabber!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You, Me and a Beautiful Us

Hope you all are doing fine.

Today, I am writing with a definitive purpose of making things beautiful for others and myself. I have been working as a secretary to a Senior Cardiologist in the country. My job profile is just like any other secretaries. I take appointments, make the patients comfortable, file their docs, make computer entries, counsel them, help them expedite their whole process in the hospital. In addition, I do all secretarial job to my boss, which I simply love.

I have a decent place to sit with a Flatron monitor, internet connection, hospital network system software and all that takes. However, I have been thinking to do things little differently for the patients and my boss. It should be something that the patients feel good about and the whole hospital experience should be a very pleasant one at the end of the day. I already try to keep flowers, candies, cookies, cuddles, magazines, booklets, sanitizers, medicines.. for the patients and children and make my utmost effort to be empathetic and make the people feel good. Still, I just cannot be content. I really want to go a step ahead and make people feel good and make the experience a really nice one.

May be more of all these and some fun stuffs like puzzles, sudokus can make a difference. Still working on it....