Thursday, December 23, 2010


Dear A,

I may curse you for sleeping peacefully (and snoring even) by my side, when I am awake all night biting my nails in anxiety...
But here’s a confession.
I love you for being Mr. What’s-there-to-Worry.

I may tell you how I hate you for spending hours trying to fix a broken pump or a rusty lock.
But here’s a confession.
I love you for being Mr. What’s-there-to-Give-Up.

I may scream at you for tearing my hair...and messing it with your sweaty hands...
But here’s a confession...
When you clumsily hold my hair straightener... narrowing your eyes and wrinkling your forehead... trying to focus on the back of my help me straighten the strands of hair that I find hard to look the cutest.

I may tell you that I’d rather watch a movie with you...or go for a drive...than spending time in the kitchen...
But here’s a confession...
When you cut and chop and grate and stir and mix and blend and grind and me, you are no less than a magician creating magic with his fingers.

I may nag you every morning for taking so much time to take a bath...
But here’s a confession...
I love listening to the happy tune you whistle when you are in the shower.

I may tell you that sometimes you are such a child...
But here’s a confession...
You taught me all that is to be learned...for you taught me how to love.

Happy Wedding Anniversary.


P.S. Loved the anniversary gift you got me...a Sheesha to sit perfect in my Bali corner.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas in a Bottle

Imagine a scene from a Hindi movie, where the protagonist is about to find out that he has lymphosarcoma of the intestine. The sombre hospital bed....white linen... and a tired looking patient with dramatic dark circles around his eyes. The doctor removes his glasses, pinches the bridge of his nose and sighs, before pronouncing the words that would trigger temple bells to ring for the next five minutes. And then the various levels of zoom in and out on the patient’s face, temple bells, doctor’s face, temple bells, patient’s mother’s face, temple bells and patient’s face again.

It was something similar. Though in my case, it was my school hall instead of a hospital...and my Arts and Crafts teacher instead of a doctor. But it was with the same drama (same removal of glasses, pinching the nose bridge and sighing) that she broke the news to my mother at a Parent-Teacher Meet at school. “I am afraid Mrs Sengupta...your daughter will never be able to make an embroidery or even as much as sow a button. I have never seen someone as clumsy and untidy as her. Keep her away from glue, scissors or anything related to art and craft. She is just not meant for it”.

That’s how bad I was (err...still am). I cannot even wrap a gift neatly or cut a piece of sticky tape without making a mess.

But with all the wonderful DIY projects in the blogosphere, can’t I get tempted? Have I lost the right to pick up a pair of scissors just because my Arts and Crafts teacher had passed such a verdict years ago? Absolutely NOT.

So this is what I did this weekend. I picked up empty beer bottles, which looked like this:

And glued some Christmas-coloured (red, green) ribbon at their mouths to make them look like this (please ignore the wrinkle in the ribbon...that’s just the lymphosarcoma of my clumsy fingers):

And placed a flower and butterfly in the bottle, like this:

Aren’t my butterflies cute?

Linking to Patty's Weekend Wrap Up Week 11.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's that day again...

When a day is special for a particular reason, we celebrate it in a particular way.
For birthdays, we cut cakes and blow candles.
For wedding anniversaries, we renew our vows with a romantic candle light dinner.
For Valentine’s Day, we proclaim our love to dear ones.
For Durga Puja, we eat, pray and dress up.
For Diwali, we make sweets and light firecrackers and diyas.
For Christmas, we have a turkey roast on the dining table and gifts under the tree.

But when a day is memorable for not one, but several reasons, pray, what does one do?

It’s that day again.

The day when the sun rose, the birds chirped...but it was night all day long.
The day when we regretted every harsh word we said to one another...and rejoiced at every loved moment we shared.
The day when we recognised our true friends...and realised there were quite a few.
The day when the house was full...but we had never been so lonely.
The day when even the wisest amongst us didn’t have answers.
The day when we lost our faith...but found it at unexpected places.

The day when I woke up as a child...but never went to bed again as one.
The day when Ma lost her best friend...and I lost my Baba.

Baba, remembering you every other day. I haven’t got you flowers...but got another bamboo plant (like I did last year). I will watch it grow...and remember how you smiled.

14.12.2010 - 9 years since you left...

P.S. I tried to write a positive post as last year's...but it didn't happen.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


It's been three years now that a lolly tray has been an integral part of my Christmas decor.

My definition of "festivities" is "fun", "nostalgia", "good company" and of course
"indulgence". A lolly tray is one of the very few things that ticks all the boxes (can you think of any better company?)

So here's what I did this year:

You are supposed to ring the bell (notice the little thing hanging on the black handle?) each time you take a treat. That spreads the cheer
and is a signal for me to refill the tray. The bell, by the way, is my anklet...terribly re-purposed :)

Linking to Patty's Weekend Wrap Up Party!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Philosophy of Friendship

Sounds like a crude metaphor, but friendship is like an investment. If you can invest your time, emotions, efforts and thoughts, you will reap a lifetime of support, companionship and fun.

For those who don’t know me, let me tell you, that I have been a GIANT of an investor in this sector. Friends have often meant more to me than family.
Millions of people have zillions of theories on friendships. In the years and years I have inhabited the Earth (yes, I have started using anti-wrinkle creams and hair colouring will soon be a need, not a want), I have seen my own philosophy of friendship changing quite drastically. It started off as pretty simple. A friend is someone I can have a good time with.
I met people who can keep me entertained through a tsunami of troubles. They are gems in their own right...and it is such a delight just to be with them. Funnily enough, I can laugh with them but can never trust them with my innermost thoughts/beliefs. Whether it is the comfort level, the fear of being judged /misunderstood, or the sheer lack of “attachment” in the relationship....I do not know.
Obviously, I realised that there was something missing...and it was time to modify my philosophy to: A friend is someone I can have a good time with...and someone I can open my heart to.

I have people who I can be completely honest with. No problems opening my heart (and untying a few of my arteries even) in front of them. But I wouldn’t really call them my friends. Some are aunts or cousins or family members who have assumed the roles of mentors or well-wishers. Many would argue that these people are “friends”...just like a “mother” or a “sister” can be a person’s best friend. But my definition of a friend also pre-supposes the fact that I “chose” the person to be my friend, from a thousand other options. Family is not a matter of choice really....
So I added another frill: A friend is someone I can have a good time with... someone I can open my heart to...and someone I chose among the rest.

Every person, I believe, has a pattern in their friendships. Call it my unfulfilled desires to be a philosopher or a French filmmaker, but I do believe that every person goes through a friendship lifecycle/pattern, which is typical of that person. We may not be aware of the pattern...but if we give it a thought, it isn’t hard to identify.
Mine is something like this:
Meet a person> Like or dislike immediately> If dislike, keep a mental distance/a degree of detachment from the very start>If like, invest all I have got...and open my heart (and arteries) to them, almost on the way back home from the first meeting. And THAT is the root of all troubles. Because, with time, I realise that the person is far from what my initial instincts were. More often than not, the Red Riding Hood turns out to be the Wolf himself...and I wallow in self-pity and self-criticism at being so naive.

After some bitter experiences, I decided to polish my theory yet again. A true friend is someone I can have a good time with... someone I can open my heart to...someone I chose among the rest...and someone who stands the test of time.

I thought this was a pretty robust theory that I could carry to my retirement home. But no. After a few years away from family and childhood friends, living amidst peer pressure, jealousy, competition and general nastiness, a funny thought descended. A friend is someone who you can share your joy with, almost to the point of being shameless. Need an example? OK, you buy a shiny new car...or get a promotion, you should be able to run to the friend and “show off” almost in a child-like way. No maliciousness in that “showing off”, mind you. Just the sheer joy and excitement that bubbles up from your stomach and lands straight on to a friend’s hug. If you have to hold back, or think about the consequences or rehearse your actions/words when sharing good news, you are not really dealing with a friend. At the cost of sounding strange, let me make a confession. I have no inhibition sharing my sorrows/troubles with people. Most people will be secretly happy at other people’s sorrow...which is why I don’t mind spreading some joy by sharing my grief. But when it comes to joy, I am cautious (quite opposite to the norm I think).Because I believe that only a true friend can be genuinely happy for your happiness.

So, here I am, with what looks like an epic of a statement:
A true friend is someone I can have a good time with... someone I can open my heart to... someone I chose among the rest...someone who stands the test of time...and someone I can share my joys with.

P.S. If I revise this yet again, will keep you in the loop. Or maybe not. Where’s the fun in living life by the book, even if the book was your own writing? So girls and boys, go give your friends a hug...or call them to say how much you miss them...or invite them over for a cuppa and some gossip...or send them a handmade card...or visit them with a flower from your garden....or pack your bags and get away for the weekend...or simply go through your photo album and remember them fondly. Whatever you do, don’t forget to tell me about it (or tell me if you have some philosophy yourself). I’ll come back with my cuppa to read every word you write...