The Trouble with Bengali Match-making

Over the term of his mostly uneventful natural life, a pure-blooded, rice gobbling, siesta loving Bangali gentleman is mostly consigned to his disappointing life at his desk, while his mind wanders among the hills of Darjeeling, or pretending to hide behind his morning daily while his fiercely independent wife tears him a new one, and…

Incompletion of Us

After four years of being in a committed, long distance relationship where we’ve been confined to watching pixelated, low resolution renditions of each other on our LED screens, or conversations over the phone, interspersed with long minutes of static and echo – I imagined I would be used to your constant, unyielding absence from my…

The Curse of Permanence

The wind howled through the tall trees, As the rain lashed the sea; The lighthouse stood guard, watching silently, The smooth rocks, the watery sand That in the veiled moonlight, Shone murkily, like forgotten debris The Stranger had walked a twenty miles, He stopped by the grave stones to rest; No sign of life, the…

My Mother and Cigarettes

Sometime around in 2009, my wonderful roommate and visionary introduced me to the world of smoking. -x- Of course, I was roughly aware of the concept of smoking by the time I was four years old. My father had recently returned from Austria, and I could hardly take my eyes off the sweet smelling blue-gold…

The Merciless Crapper

Of the very few things in the world that can make my skin crawl and my blood curdle at the mere sight of them, the Indian toilet figures at the very top. It has been the proverbial thorn in my foot, the nemesis that continues to outsmart me – despite twenty six years of my…

Mid-Twenties, Fails and Pretty Women

Mid-twenties, for most men, can be a particularly delicate period. He has recently discovered a knack for chugging gallons of sweet smelling, frosty brown ale and maintaining a distinctively gentlemanly composure while engaging in tasty conversations on women or politics. He has discovered, much to his displeasure that both the elevator and its occupants have…

My Progressive New India

I have never really delved into politics. I have always had an incomplete idea about politicians and their histories. I continue to be swayed by biased journalism and the picture of broken governance through shattered glass. I make mistakes, jump to conclusions based on one-sided reports on media channels. I deal out rhetoric on social…

The Long Goodbye

I am dreadful at goodbyes. I am not a big fan of Shah Rukh Khan or his cerebral palsy during his attempts to initiate another tear induced coma, but watching your back disappear into the distance always leaves an empty pit in my stomach. I have never been blessed with easy relationships. I have always…

A Brief History of College Street, Calcutta

*Eighteen years ago* There was a stunned silence all around me. The world, as I knew it, had stopped abruptly. The birds had stopped calling, the winds had stopped howling. The animals cowered under the punishing sun, waiting for hell to unleash upon me. The well-meaning neighbours crouched near their doors, their ears pricked and…

Bengali Parents and Their Love for Math

I was never a particularly bright child. Life in the charming little town, far from the maddening rush of the city, where smoke billowed from the tiny mud-huts in the cold wintry evenings, offered an inelegant, introverted yokel like me little distraction from my text books. A solitary channel that broadcasted ancient cinemas of the…

Miserable Genes and Attempts at Romance

Genetics, for most practical purposes in life, is largely inescapable. So when our friendly neighbourhood barber, who had been the caretaker of my family’s hair for generations, made a passing remark on how I had begun to resemble my father’s countenance, I merely sighed in acceptance of the inevitable. My days of wooing the fairer…

One Night.

Remarkably, those splendid smiles are still there. Fifteen months have passed since we parted as classmates; since that brilliant convocation – where feverish voices, dazzling faces and heroic hearts stood tall in the black-gold ocean of our university. Congratulations poured in from all quarters, admiration crashed onto our feet as the cameras froze every emotion…