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Showing posts from April, 2017

Quote of the Week

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning is a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jalaluddin Rumi

Freedom

Chili’s Grill & Bar

It was on our (P and I) museum day out we visited Chili’s Grill & Bar – an American casual dining restaurant chain that specializes in Tex-Mex style cuisine. Tex-Mex is the abbreviated form of Texas-Mexican, which basically represents a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine. So Chili’s menu is full of Tacos, Enchiladas, Fajitas and all kinds of other Western (their Western) dishes.
Kolkata has three outlets of Chili’s. We went to the Quest one. However, we did not have much time to spend there since we had the afternoon show of Beauty and the Beast to catch. So we decided to grab a quick lunch. Drinking before a movie show seemed like an ingenious idea to both of us so we both started with alcohol. Yes, as I mentioned before, we both are crazy. I ordered a large white rum for myself. P ordered beer.
Usually I get extremely confused while ordering food at a restaurant and implore my companions to do me the honour on my behalf. Chili’s menu was no less confusing for me so I chose …

Labyrinth

It’s excruciating yet exhilarating to have an intricately designed mind. Plain, boring people will never understand this. How a complex mind works. How it unfolds and deciphers itself. How sometimes it goes into hibernation and gives you moments of absolute nothingness. Your mind has its own mind. One moment it is happy. The very next moment it is drowning you in the ocean of your own nihilist fantasies. You even love with so much savage detachment that they keep on wondering what you truly feel. And the truth is, you don’t know the answer yourself. You are forever stuck in that no man’s land between submitting and running away. Yet love is God's very own symphony to you. Conflicts are poison to your soul. Your heart bleeds when you see the nature is out of harmony and justice is not being served. It’s not easy. It’s extremely painful to be out of shape in a society that is forever haunting you with a pair of scissors to contour your existence to fit into their moldings. At times…

Quote of the Week

And then there are always clever people about to promise you that everything will be all right if only you put yourself out a bit... And you get carried away, you suffer so much from the things that exist that you ask for what can’t ever exist. Now look at me, I was well away dreaming like a fool and seeing visions of a nice friendly life on good terms with everybody, and off I went, up into the clouds. And when you fall back into the mud it hurts a lot. No! None of it was true, none of those things we thought we could see existed at all. All that was really there was still more misery – oh yes! As much of that as you like – and bullets into the bargain!

-- Emile Zola

The House of Magic

Starting a blog in English was a conscious and carefully picked choice for me. I did not want to have just Bengali readers. Especially because my social circle consists of people from all communities. And it's a coincidence that someone I deeply care about doesn’t know how to read a single word of Bengali. And yet there are times when I wish I wrote in Bengali too. Although they are more like fleeting moments. Like right now, when I am writing this post I so badly want to give it the title of ‘Jaadu Ghor’. Jaadu Ghor. The house of magic. That’s what Indian museum is to us Bengalis. That big, old, white mansion on the intersection of Sudder Street and Chowranghee that has been emanating the aura of mystery and wonder for more than two centuries. The mystery of the bygone. The obscurity of what happened on this very earth hundreds, thousands or maybe millions of years ago that we would never get to witness firsthand. Well, nobody invented a time machine yet. But that 203 years old …

Bending Moments

Let's fall in love
walk a few miles
together
hand in hand
you can watch
the cloudless sky
glittering 
in my eyes
summer breeze
dancing in your hair
you will look down
and see a fallen eyelash
on my cheek
"make a wish girl",
you will smile
"let's keep walking
when the time comes
and we near the horizon
we will bend
the moments
backward
and paint
the twilight
a new dawn."

Quote of the Week

When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a 'rape schedule'. I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it's carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It's essentially like living in a prison - all the time. We can't assume that we're safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we're so used to feeling unsafe that we don't even see that there's something seriously fucked up about it.

-- Jessica Valenti

Sikkim Revisited/6

A large portion of the Himalayas is blessed with several caves visited by the most revered person of Vajrayana Buddhism – Guru Padmasambhava, or more popularly known as Rinpoche. In some he meditated himself, in some he initiated his favourite disciples or consorts, in some he hid secret treasures or Tormas, or some he just simply visited. Sharchhog Bayphug is one such cave that Rinpoche visited sometime during 8th century A.D. Located in the outskirt of Ravangla town this place does not come under popular tourist spots of Ravangla. Even know-it-all google will return little knowledge.
Our car dropped us in front of a stairway that had descended and disappeared down in the woods. We started climbing down. Sharchhog Bayphug had a monastery for which we had to climb down further. The cave was situated much higher up. Not a single soul was to be seen except a few workers. The entrance of the cave was decorated with mani stones, prayers threads and offering bowls. The belly of the cave w…

Sikkim Revisited/5

Our stay in Pelling was over. It was time to leave. Next stop was Ravangla – the most beautiful part of Sikkim I have been to so far. We went to have breakfast at Kizom and I also had to bid adieu to Cedar. I hope to see him again on my next visit.

However the journey to Ravangla did not go as smoothly as planned. The car broke down right in the middle of nowhere and the driver had no stepney with him. We had to wait for an hour for his friend to arrive from Ravangla with backup. We had chosen to stay at Ravangla Hilltop Resort and to our sheer fortune we got the entire place all to ourselves. Off season is bliss. Everything was good about the resort except its location. It is literally perched on the hilltop and you need a car every time you wish to get down. And be ready to have all your bone joints dislocated during the 10 minutes ride from the resort to the main road. They also had a golden labrador who looked utterly neglected and fat. We went out on an evening stroll after reac…

Quote of the Week

You are
a strange
kind of
beautiful.

the type of
magic that
foolish men
runaway from

and run back to
when it's too
late.

-- Rudy Francisco

Sikkim Revisited/4

I woke up next morning to a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga peeking from behind the clouds. The surge of excitement slowly began to rush through my half-asleep body. I recalled with a pang of resentment how my everyday life was like back in Calcutta. City of joy my foot. And few days later I would be back to reality. The philosophy of impermanence suddenly turned into cold, harsh reality check. But it was not the time to fret over my future misery. I remained in bed rewinding our today’s itinerary in my head. Today we were going to visit Yuksom. Another second visit for me. But before that it was time to visit another very important place.
Kizom Cafe had everything that a good hillside cafe could offer – good view, great food, nice people to make you feel at home, cosy corner with a sofa and a bookshelf. Yet I fell in love with Kizom Cafe for a very different yet an extremely valid reason. Cedar. The son of the cafe owner. Golden retriever in species. Age I forgot to ask, but coul…

Some Days

Sikkim Revisited/3

There is a theory that the more you trick your brain into doing something the more it will want to do it. But for procrastinators and daydreamers like us finding that willpower is the toughest part. Personally, my attention span is of a three years old, that too of a very spoilt one. It’s been more than four months I posted the last instalment of my Sikkim travelogue, which, by the way, had taken place during the end of September last year. And yet I did not get a chance or more precisely, the enthusiasm to finish it properly. I’m a procrastinator, I give you that. But definitely not a shameless one. I keep stalling my projects and enjoy the sweet, warm breath of stress on the back of my neck owing to sheer guilt and a tinge of self-loathing. However, I incorporated my mission to finish this travelogue in my new year’s resolution and before the first quarter of the year wraps itself up I am here to keep my promise. And also, travel bug has started biting on my ass again and I see no …