Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Corner Of The World...

Nothing to lose and nothing to gain,
There is no love ,nor disdain.
There is no present , and there is no past ,
The moments are illusions and they hardly last....
A place to forgive , a place to forget,
A place to let go of every regret...
I let go of every thought and
Of every dream I have ever sought.
It’s a corner where I cease to think,
It’s an ocean in which I love to sink…
The numbness is angelic, the intoxication more so,
At this corner of the world my soul lay aglow.
I drop the veil, and I come alive.
At this corner of the world…the world itself futile!

Friday, October 17, 2008

With all due respect....

If it’s a holiday, I prefer waking up to a “good afternoon” rather than to a “good morning “and tune in to some non-sense on the television for at least an hour, lying there like a lazy lizard on the couch. Relieved to be placed early, this October, I came down to my (now Bangali :)) sister’s house at Bangalore. My plans to fully “utilize” my vacations were all set.

But the very next day of my visit – was the day of “Asthami” of the Durga Puja festival, and the house was abuzz since early morning with a lot of activity. My sis (who is a brave woman, I must say) woke me up at 7, asking me to get dressed up in a costume that looked 5 kgs and actually weighed half a kilo over my estimate. Everyone in the house was decked up in flashy attires and jewellery.

It was futile to argue, at this moment with my family, that such religious events do not appeal to me --and I just gave in to their wishes. As a symbol of my rebel, I put on my 3/4ths and oshos, looking more like a hippie-and set out for the pujas in the car with everyone else.

We started by visiting the pandhals at one of the most plush areas of Bangalore. I must say, the sight was impressive- fleets of flashy SUVs were lined up outside the pandhal looking for parking space. High security and cams all around made it look more like a high risk zone.

Women were decked up in sarees looking more western than Indian and flaunting chic jewellery with faces caked under layers of foundation. To me, it looked more of a fashion parade than a “puja”.

Everyone was in high spirits to have met their friends after a long time. Chats over business, gosspis over somebody’s daughter were on. There were groups all around, with aunties talking and showing-off their “High NetWorth” marriageable sons from IIMs – in search of the perfect ‘bahus”, teenage girls sharing their secrets and “out fashioning” each other, while the young guys obliquely trying to catch a glimpse of the pretty girls , in presence of their momma – dada--it looked like a good platform for unpaid matrimonial service.

The pandhal was beautifully made, with every colour possible finding a place there . In the middle of it all stood the master-piece of durga. It was a beautiful piece of art, with eyes so lively that it could speak. It wore a red saree with mirror-work which reflected the lights around and managed to shine like diamonds . Hats off to the artist who crafted the piece! To my surprise however -this place was not the centre of attraction. It lied somewhere else...

The more popular corner was a separate canopy- where the loudspeakers shouted “ Rock On “ songs and food stalls laid out the bangali delicacies. The entire place smelt of delicious luchi allu , illish bhaja and kosha mansho.The prices were 3 times higher than market rate but nobody seemed to have noticed that -as men are happy to have a break from their wives cuisines and women happy to get a break from their chores.

Suddenly something and Something Spanish or latino ( I don’t know what ) started. Amusing it may sound but -“Kingfisher” had organized “salsa” dance show over here!!! Men hooted as the troupe (esp. when the troupe girls did cha cha) danced to the Spanish tunes. Some of our family friends, I guess, even missed noticing the actual puja area, in all this exciting commotion…

It was quite funny to hear people confirming – if pujo bhog was served free , before proceeding to the next pandhal. The durga idol waited alone in a corner while everyone enjoyed the food spiced up even more with the gossips.

Banter all around, it looked like a page 3 set-up. The day ended …we saw atleast 7 pandhals that day. One thing took my notice was – those pujas were most popular where food stalls and EQ ( entertainment quotient ) was high. In others , where these things were missing- the durga idols stood solemnly waiting for its bhakts.

The last day – Dashami arrived , pople wished each other Shubho Bijoya with a heavy heart and I saw all the glam-babes shedding tears as the idol was brought down from pedestal for Bisarjan (sorry to use lot of “o” as bongs pronounce it ).

While this was happening I wondered – were the tears being shed for the durga? or for the farewell of the fun and frolic that had spiced up the days? Whatever it be- I will look forward to the party next year.