26 January 2016

Do Laafzon Ki Hai, Dil Ki Kahaani...


This is an imaginary story about how a boy and a girl met suddenly after ten years. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. 

For the last sixteen years the cultural event BEYOND BARRIERS has been happening on the last day of XAVOTSAV, which is the annual fest of St. Xavier's College, Calcutta. BEYOND BARRIERS is organised by the Alumni Association of the College whereas XAVOTSAV is organised by the Student Union. This year the legendary singer Asha Bhosle performed at BEYOND BARRIERS

Every year Rahul attends XAVOTSAV and BEYOND BARRIERS. He passed out of the college years back but still keeps on going back to this magical place at every chance that he gets. He simply loves his college a lot. He gets in touch with his inner peace inside the college. Xavier's is the best place to be in Calcutta. If Xavier's were a Woman then he would have made love to her day in and day out. In fact he has always loved Xavier's more than all the women who have come and gone in his life, combined together. Xavier's was like his second home and more often than not he has loved her even more than his own home. Inside Xavier's he has always been surrounded by a sense of calm, peace and nirvana. 

This year the musical programme started on time. Asha ji started singing her golden hits. The entire audience was spellbound. Even at this age she was so full of energy. In between songs, she was reminiscing about the good old times. The audience loved her sense of humour. After some time Asha ji started singing, Do Laafzon Ki Hai, Dil Ki Kahaani, Yaa Hai Mohabaat, Yaa Hai Jawaani... from the film The Great Gambler. 

Rahul lost himself in the lyrics of the song. It was one of his most favourite song of all time. Suddenly there emerged a familiar face from the crowd. The face went past him and went to The Sugar and Spice Stall. It was the face of Nazia. She bought some chicken sandwich and started eating it in front of the stall. 

Rahul, with great difficulty, brought himself out of the spell of that song. His heart started to beat faster. She was his old college mate. During his college days he had a massive crush on her but he never could gather the courage to go and talk to her. But this was his moment. He realized that if this time also he does not go and talk to her then he would regret it for the rest of his life. He hesitated a bit but then with great courage, he went up to her. Here is the conversation that happened between Rahul and Nazia:

Excuse me! Are you Nazia?

Yes, I am.

Don't you remember me?


You seriously don't remember me?

No. But you look very familiar.

We were in College together. Different departments. I was in Political Science and you were in Sociology.

OK. Nice to meet you.

You seriously don't remember me?


Well, back in those days you must have seen me in campus?

I don't remember. Maybe I have.

Ok. So what are you doing these days?

I have become a teacher. I teach in the primary section of a school.

Wow. Thats cute. I just love kids. 

Well, sometimes the kids can really get on your nerves. What are you doing nowadays?

I am working in a Tea Company. Next time we meet, I will give you some good quality Darjeeling and Assam teas. 

Thats so sweet. 

Don't you miss our College days? I wish I had a Time-Machine. I really want to go back to those days. 

Yeah. Sometimes I really miss those good old days.

Do you remember our Vice-Principal? He was a real terror back in those days.

Ya, I remember him very well. Whenever we used to bunk classes, he used to make our lives a living hell. 

Ya, he made my life a living hell too. Listen, I have a confession to make. 

Ok. What? 

Back in those days I had a huge crush on you. In those days you used to have a boy's cut hair. I still remember. But I never could gather the courage to come up to you and talk to you. Whenever you used to come in front of me, I used to feel very shy and nervous.

Thats so sweet.

It took me ten years to come and say 'Hi' to you.

Well, I can see that. Now you are confident and sure of yourself. 

So, I guess, you must be married by now?


Is there someone special in your life?


Did you come here alone?

No. I came with my mom. She is a huge fan of Asha Bhosle. 



Well, I am still a bachelor. By the way, are you on Whatsapp?


May I have your number please? 

Well, in the past I had some bad experiences so thats why I don't give my number. 

Ok. Are you on Facebook? 

Yes. I was. But someone hacked my account. 

Ok. Create another one. 


You seriously don't remember me? 

How many times will you ask this question? 


Ok. I have to go now. My mom is waiting. 

Would you like to have some tea?

Not now. Maybe later. 


Nazia started walking towards her mother who was sitting in the middle section among the audience. Rahul just stood there like a statue. He could not believe his luck. Over the last decade he had searched for Nazia so many times, first in Orkut and then in Facebook. But he never found her. 

It was really such a pleasant surprise to meet her suddenly after ten long years. I guess it was destined for them to meet again. Ten years have passed in the blink of an eye. Rahul still remembers vividly the first time he saw Nazia inside their College Canteen. Time had stood still back then at that exact moment. He had failed to take his eyes off her angelic face. Her sweet innocent smile had made him restless back then. She was wearing a blue jeans and a white top. Her pink College bag was dangling from her right shoulder. She sat right across Rahul and started chatting with her friend. She simply denied the existence of Rahul who was sitting right across the big table. 

Today he again came face to face with that sweet innocent smile and he realized instantly that he would again be restless for the rest of his life. He felt helpless. He wanted desperately to go back to those Xaverian years once again. He tremendously missed his College life. He cursed himself for not having the courage to talk to her back then. 

Asha ji kept on singing. Even at this age she was so energetic. She kept on singing one hit after another. But now Rahul had lost interest in the songs. Only Nazia's face kept on flashing in front of his eyes. The conversation which he just had with her kept ringing in his years. He felt so lonely. He felt so depressed. He started roaming on the huge ground, hands in his pockets and head hanging down. 

An hour passed. 

Another hour passed. 

The programme ended. Every one started leaving the campus. Rahul just stood there and watched every one leave. He did not see Nazia again. Maybe she left with the crowd. He was feeling very depressed. He was the last person to leave the ground. He came out from the front gate and started gallivanting at Park Street. He bought a packet of cigarettes and started smoking. Park Street was at her usual best. Rahul's best friend is actually Park Street. This Street never leaves him, never ditches him, never ignores him, never avoids him, never hates him and this Street has always been there for him, no matter what. Rahul kept on walking at Park Street and the lines Do Laafzon Ki Hai, Dil Ki Kahaani, Yaa Hai Mohabaat, Yaa Hai Jawaani... kept on playing inside his mind...


10 January 2016

Moriley Shob Hobey Maati...


This is an imaginary story about a boy who meets the girl of his dreams but sadly their love story does not blossom. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. 

Every year Rahul goes to the Baul Fakir Utsav held at the Shaktigarh ground near Jadavpur 8B. This festival is generally held on the first weekend of the year. Every year Rahul spends the first saturday evening and night there. This place becomes full of mostly young people. All the boys and girls related to the bangla band circuit can be seen there. One can also see the professional, amateurs and wannabe photographers there. These days any boy or girl who buys a DSLR, thinks of himself or herself as the next Raghu Rai. Rahul has noticed an interesting trend on Facebook. Nowadays all jobless boys are mostly freelance photographers and all jobless girls are mostly freelance models. 

However the Baul Fakir Utsav really attracts those people who are genuinely into this musical genre. These people seriously love not only this kind of music but also the lifestyle and the life philosophy of the Bauls and the Fakirs. These people also generally attend all the Baul Fakir Utsavs that happen throughout Bengal all over the year. They are mostly urban people but they have a different take on life and have removed themselves from the so called rat race. 

This year Rahul went there around 6 p.m. He bumped into many of his friends there. There were quite a few food stalls on the ground as well as some other Stalls too selling handicrafts and other knick knacks. Rahul started having a good adda with his friends over cups of hot coffee. The musical programme started around 7 p.m. One by one the Bauls and the Fakirs started to sing on the stage inside the huge tent. But Rahul stayed outside the tent chatting with his friends. They just listened to the songs on the loudspeakers.

Suddenly he spotted Amrita there. For the last six months he was in love with Amrita. He first saw her on Facebook and immediately fell truly, madly, deeply, savagely, helplessly and hopelessly in love with her. He sent her a friend request and liked all her pics. He also made her picture as his laptop and phone wallpaper. But sadly she did not accept his friend request. Rahul was very hurt. He felt like a cold dagger has been pierced right through his heart. He felt like committing suicide. Amrita was the girl of his dreams. He really wanted to marry her and settle down with her. He wanted her to be the mother of his future children. He wanted to grow old with her. He really loved her very much. The best thing he liked about her was her eyes. Her eyes had this mesmerizing effect. She had that kind of a faraway look in her eyes. As if she was listening to the beats of a distant drummer. Her eyes told Rahul that she did not belong in this materialistic world. She belonged to some other heavenly place where there was food, love and freedom for every man and woman and also for every other animal of the planet. 

Anyways Amrita was there with her group of friends. Rahul hesitated a bit but then realized that he just had to go over to her and talk to her otherwise he would regret it for the rest of his life. This was like a golden God-gifted opportunity. He thanked his lucky stars and his guardian angel and he confidently went in front of her and spoke to her. Here's how the conversation went :

Excuse me, Dr. Livingstone, I presume?


Are you Amrita?


Hi. I am Rahul. I have liked all your pics on Facebook. Its so nice to meet you finally in real life. 

Oh Yes! Your name keeps on popping up in my notifications area. 

I had sent you a friend request but you rejected it. 

Hmmmm. I only accept friend requests from people whom I know in real life. 

Ok. Well, there is a saying that strangers are friends whom you have not met yet. 

Well, I get hundreds of friend requests daily. Its not possible for me to accept all of them. 

Hmmmmm... Ok... So you come to this Baul Fakir Utsav every year?


But I never saw you here before. Anyways I think that you should act in bangla serials and films. You are so beautiful. 

Well, acting is not my cup of tea. I love the job which I have. 

Ok. Well, now that we have accidentally met in real life, will you send me a friend request on Facebook?

I will think about it. 

I really like all your pics. You are really unique and very different from the other girls. And I like all your posts too. You are very politically conscious and socially aware. You are not like those selfi-holic bimbos. 

Ha Ha Ha...

And I also like your sense of humour. Some of your posts are hilarious. 


And I like your taste in music. I know that you are a big fan of The Doors. I myself am a huge fan of Jim Morrison. And I love that pic of yours at The Jim Morrison Cafe in Kasol. 


By the way, are you on Whatsapp? May I please have your number. 

Well... Ummmmmm...

I will not call you and disturb you. Maybe we can just keep in touch through Whatsapp. 

Ok. I will give it to you later on Facebook. Anyways I have to go now. My friends are waiting. 

Ok. Bye. Take Care. 


Amrita walked towards her friends. Rahul went back inside the tent to listen to the songs of the Bauls and the Fakirs. After some time he came out and started roaming on the ground. He stayed there till dawn. He kept on thinking about Amrita throughout the night. He realized that the love which he had for her in his eyes, he didn't see an ounce of it in her beautiful eyes. He knew that Amrita was not going to send him a friend request on Facebook. Maybe she was going to block him. Maybe she has a boyfriend. Maybe she was already engaged to someone else. Rahul felt a deep previously unknown pain in his chest. He kept on smoking cigarettes. Most of his friends were having marijuana. He wanted to dope too but then did not also want to interact with his friends. He just wanted to walk alone. The night was very cold. He kept on thinking about Amrita. He looked at her picture on his phone wallpaper. He realized that he should not force things to happen in his favour. If something is meant to happen then it will definitely happen, come what may. And if something is not meant to happen then it is not going to happen, no matter what. Life is meaningless anyways. One day we will all die and we all will turn into dust.   

From inside the tent, a Baul started singing : 

Sohoj Manush 
Bhojey Dekhnarey Mon
Dibbyo Gyaaney

Pabirey Omullyo Nidhi 

Bhojo Manusher Choron Duti
Nityo Bostu Hobey Khaati
Moriley Shob Hobey Maati
Toraay Ei Bhed Lao Jeney

Shuni Moley Pabo Behestokhana
Ta Shuney Toh Mon Maaney Naa
Bakir Lobhey Nogod Paona
Ke Chharey Ei Bhuboney

Salatul Merajoon Momenina
Jaantey Hoy Naamajer Bena
Bishshashi-der Dekha Shuna
Lalon Koy Ei Bhuboney

Sohoj Manush 
Bhojey Dekhnarey Mon
Dibbyo Gyaaney...