Excerpts From My Life

Funny Snippets

The one with the hammock

On a sunny afternoon in Shantiniketan I was standing in the garden holding the hammock, gazing at it longingly, minding my own business.

Out of nowhere a wild grown up appears.

Grown up: kire darie darie ki dekhchis? (What’s up? What are you looking at standing there all alone?)

Me (Clearly frustrated at being disturbed): Kichu na. (Nothing)

Grown up: Hammock ta chor. Erom sudhu takie roechis kano otar dike? (Get up on the Hammock. Why are you just looking at it?)

Me (Not liking the line of questioning at all): Iche Korche Na. (I don’t feel like it)

Grown up:  Ghonta iche korche na. Tui ekta bhitur dim. Bol chorte bhoy korche. (You are bluffing. You’re just scared to get up on to the hammock)

Me: Ami bhitu na, ami sabdhani. (I’m not afraid, I’m judicious)

The one with all the alcohol

My mom always let me taste whatever alcohol she was drinking at a party. The fact to be kept in mind is that I got just a sip as I was only 3-5 years old. These are a few of my reactions.

Beer: Eta ghorar susur moto khete. Khao kikore (This tastes like horse’s piss. How do you have this)

Whiskey (Blender’s Pride): Eta toh aro baje khete. Ki teto!! (This is worse. It is so bitter!!)

Rum: Eta tao khaoa jai. Ektu mishti mishti tao. Kintu er theke coke khelei toh paro. (This is still drinkable. Kind of sweet. But isn’t it better to drink coke than this)

Clearly I was very alcohol averse when I was young unlike now. My mom got very frustrated as I did not like anything that she drank. So she stopped giving me sips as she knew what my answer would be. Then one fine day..

Mom: Eta taste kore dekh. (Taste this and see)

Me: Eta toh besh bhalo khete. Eta khawabe tumi amay boro hole (This is very good. Buy this for me when I’m of age)

Mom: Eta khawanor poisa nei baba amar kache (I do not have the money to buy this for you everytime)

Turns out the one I liked was from a Glenfiddich 18 year old single malt bottle.

Even at that age I was a connoisseur when it came to alcohol.

The one with the cycle

I was fascinated by cycles when I was young and had always wanted to own one. This was common knowledge in my family and many people had promised to buy me a cycle when I reached the age of 5 but no one seemed intent on delivering on the promise.

One fine day 3 year old me was standing on the verandah railing with my grandmother standing behind me. We were watching people passing by. It so happened that a corpse was being carried to the crematorium that day. They were passing in front of our house and I was intrigued as I had never seen such a thing before.

Me: Nana era ki nie jache? (Grandmother, what are they carrying?)

Grandmother: Mora nie jache (They are carrying a dead body.)

Me: Acha. Toh erom sobai mara jai? (Ok. So does everyone die?)

Grandmother: Ha. Buro hole toh mara jetei hoy. (Yes. Everyone has to die when they get old.)

Me: Toh tumi o mara jabe? (So will you die also?)

Grandmother (Getting emotional and thinking her grandson is very worried about her): Ha Toorki. Amio kokhono Na kokhono toh mara jabo. (Yes Toorki. I’ll also die someday.)

Me: Tumi mara jaoar age kintu amay cycle ta kine die jeo. (Before you die please buy me a cycle.)

I got a brand new tricycle that very week. I guess my parents should have understood then itself their practical, scheming son was going to land up in business school.

The one with the philosophy

There were lots of social gatherings that I had to attend when I was a kid. Sometimes I was interested and sometimes I was plain bored out of my mind. At one such gathering I was sleepy and bored as I was the only child in that party. So, I was sitting in a corner with a gloomy expression on my face minding my own business dreaming about going home and sleeping on my bed. As usual a wild grown up (Shivaji mama) saunters up to me and tries to strike up a conversation…

Shivaji Mama: Kire Toorki ki korchs? (What’s up Toorki. What are you doing?)

Me: Ei eka bose achi. (Just sitting alone.)

Shivaji Mama: Eka eka kano bose achis? (Why are you sitting all alone?)

Me: Ar kono bacha nei ekhane. (There’s no other kid around here)

Shivaji Mama: Toh ki hoeche. Tui moja kor boroder sathei. (So what’s the problem in that. You enjoy with the grown ups.)

Me: Chotoder ki moja korte ache. (Kids are not meant to have any fun.)


Random Thoughts

A Girl Has No Name

I opened my eyes to see a world full of wonderful people. I loved my mom. She would feed me whenever I cried. I was a bit annoyed with random people picking me up and pulling my cheeks though. What is wrong with them! Talking to me in a weird language which consisted of only “koochi koo” and “ali baba ki mishti meye”. Everyone showered me with love. Life couldn’t be better. One thing bothered me though. Growing up I could never understand why my brother got to go to the fancy English medium school and I had to go to the small school behind my house. I could not travel so far it was risky for me my parents explained to me. But dada goes. It’s not the same came the curt and swift reply. They were my parents they know better I reasoned.

I entered college with big dreams in my eyes. All my friends were so cool. The best college in India located in the capital of the country. I can do anything now that I have achieved this. Well not anything really. I was locked up after 10 PM in my hostel blocks. The boys could enter and leave whenever they wanted to though. I had to be back by 10 and could not go out to eat even when I was studying late at night and felt hungry. The boys had access to night canteen till 1 though. They must be more studious. They must be hungrier and more important. After all comparing girls and boys is like comparing apples and oranges, I learnt from my principal. He is older and wiser and knows we cannot be safe after 10. He must be right, society convinced me. After all look at what happens to girls in Delhi at night.

Now it is time to enter a reputed institute to do my MBA. I am going to conquer the world. I am the alumni socety president and the student society council secretary. I am the topper in my batch. I am the winner of the CITI women’s leaders programme. I am the winner of an international finance competition. I am going to be the future CEO of PEPSICO. My teachers tell me I am going to be running companies soon. Surely they mean it when they say I am going to have so much responsibility. I am amused when I hear I cannot be expected to take care of myself after 11. Only boys are allowed to stay out after 11. But I am going to run a company soon I feel like screaming.

A girl is blind no more. The world is not beautiful to a girl no more. A girl is shouting; shouting for the shamed rape victims, the wives forced into being baby makers; shouting for the convoluted world to wake up and take notice. A girl will not let the little things happening in her high class societal home slide.  A girl will not die little by little everyday any more. A girl inhabits the million faces you encounter everyday at home, on a crowded bus, on the streets, in the corner office; faces that hide the pain of being treated as less than equal. A girl has no name and she is burning inside. Are you human enough to take notice?