“Thanksgiving & Hilsa”

Story of a geek guy with Hilsa memories:-

It was probably your way of “Thanksgiving”. You had cooked two Hilsa preparations and invited me to relish the same. I was scared to accept your invitation. I was scared to invade your home with my ruffled thoughts of last summer. However, I couldn’t resist the idea of having food made by you; I couldn’t resist the idea of looking at you without any interruption. You are so irresistible!

When I reached, your captivating smile and a delicious aroma of freshly cooked mustard Hilsa welcomed me; I felt like home.

“I thought you will not come; still I hoped against hope…” She smiled at me.
“You invited me…how can I skip?” I assured trying to forget the issues called ‘past’.
“Thanks.” You led me to the dining table and I noticed a row of ornamental vines hanging happily near the balcony. A few paper-made wall hangings are trying to give the home a happy look. You are trying earnestly to act like a happy person. Sadly, I too act like, everything is okayed.
And then, the celestial moment came. You served me rice, “Sorshe Illish” (mustard hilsa) and “Illish bhapa” (steamed hilsa). I was elated with food and you, both.  The pungent green chillies and notorious mustard seeds set my taste buds on fire. I was untying the banana leaves to expose the queen of fish and you were looking at my finger movements.
“What’s it dear?”
“Nothing,” you chuckled, “you eat very slowly.”

“I am just cautious” I replied.

“Are you afraid of fish bones?” you laughed musically and I smiled like a stupid dolt.
“Let me separate the bones…”
“No, it’s okay; I’ll manage.”
You made me eat four pieces of fish. Deep inside, I felt something strong for you; I am still drunk of you just like before. Your yellow-green saree was so enticing. You are like my mom; so loving yet so pungent.
I was a bit uneasy while having the fish. I was trying not to wet my eyes with memories; I was attentive to behave normally.  

I couldn’t say, “I still love you.” But that day felt like a dawn of civilization; so new and so fresh. I consumed the food made by you. I consumed the purest form of “amrito”. I couldn’t ask for more.

She softly started, “For once I wanted to feel like I am your wife. For once, I ate after my beloved finished his meal. For once, I felt like I am living my dream.” She stopped and I looked at her teary eyes. I felt like I was alive to listen her musical voice and these words.

©Joyee

The Ganapati Diaries

To the girl I met during Ganapati utsav,

It was my first time in Mumbai. I was still trying to connect the lines of the sleepless city. And adventitiously, Ganapati festival hit Mumbai to overwhelm me. I timidly showed up at the society’s Ganapati feast. In such an evening of drizzling rains and the boisterous Ganapati festival, your eyes met mine! You were wearing a green-pink paithani silk in Marathi style. And you were looking fabulous. Your Marathi nathani (nose pin) made your face even sweeter; the small crescent moon bindi on forehead snatched all my concentrations. You smiled at me and one thousand chandeliers lit up. A smile simply crept into my lips.
You said, “Take a modak, it’s delicious” holding a big bowl of modaks before me. I don’t like sweets but I took one just to make you happy.
“Thanks” I uttered.
“New here?” You asked spreading the luminous smile.
“Yes. From Kolkata”. I replied.
“Happy Ganesh Chathurthi” You greeted me.
Your happy face made me happy inside.
“Same to you” said I. I wish I could show you how fast my heart was beating at that moment. I waned to talk to you. I wanted to say “You look beautiful”. But my lips lost words. You got busy distributing sweets among others. I realized, suddenly all my sadness, boredom and homesickness are gone and I am loving this evening. I am loving the Ganapati festival. I am loving life once again. I am not lost anymore. I looked at lord ganesha. He is staring at us with omnipresent eyes. I asked for blessings.
My eyes searched for you once more. My eyes wanted to get a glance of your face but you were nowhere. Finally, I discovered you at the feet of Ganapati Bappa. You were sobbing. And a girl was trying to console. I hesitantly walked towards you. The crowd was light by the time; the rain had stopped.
“What happened?” I asked. She looked up hearing my voice. The teary eyes were too sad to look at. She continued to sob while the other girl replied.
“Her lover Amrut died last year during immersion of Ganapati. Today the incident completes one year.” I was shocked. I don’t know what to say. She was hiding so much pain under those greeting smiles. Slowly, I held her hand, “Girl, I will give my shoulder whenever you want to cry.” I don’t know what magic my words did but she tried to erase the tears and looked at me.
“You don’t even know me.”
“I will” said I. Once again her “nathani” winked at me as she tried to smile amid those tears. No one noticed a nerd Bengali boy won the heart of a Marathi girl.

Sincerely yours,
That Bengali boy

©Joyee

 

কোনএক একাকিনীর কথা

আমি তো আজ বেলফুলের মালা গাঁথি,

সেই মালায় সাজাই বেণী,

সেই সুবাসে করি নিজেকে উজাড়;

কখনও বা একমুঠো রঙ্গনফুল তুলে আনি

ছড়িয়ে দিই বিছানায়

একমুঠো শিউলি পেলে রেখে দিই বাটিতে

সুগন্ধে ভরে ওঠে জীবন;

আজও খোঁপা সাজাই স্বর্ণচাঁপায়, কখনও বা সূর্যমুখী,

আসবে না জানি…তবু,

তোমার চোখে নিজেকে দেখতে ভাল লাগে, খুউউব…

দোরের মুখে করতে বসি গাঁদার রঙ্গোলি,

কোনও অতিথি আসবে না জানি,

তবু কেউ আসবে ভাবতে ভালবাসি,

আসলে এসব কিছু করে নিজেকে খুঁজে পাই।

হয়তো ছিঁড়ে ফেলব বলেই লিখে ফেলি তোমাকে চিঠি,

সেই চিঠির প্রতি ছত্রে লিখি তোমার নাম,

হয়তো বা বৈষ্ণব পদাবলীর উপমা…

কেউ পড়বে না জানি, তবুও লিখতে ইচ্ছে হয় খুব,

কৈশোরপ্রেমের কথা,

উল্কাবৃষ্টির কথা,

আমার প্রথম সোনারদুল হারানো,

ঠাকুরমার দেওয়া কানবালা,

পুরীর মন্দিরের লাস্যময়ী পূজারিণী,

বিষ্ণুর দশাবতারের কথা,

অস্সিঘাটের উদাসী বাউলের কথা,

বাড়ির পুরনো তানপুরার কথা,

কোনএক সুপুরুষ শিবভক্তের কথা…

আমার বলতেও ইচ্ছে করে খুব,

যদিও শোনার কেউ নেই,

তবু দেয়ালেরও কান আছে,

এই প্রবাদ মেনে নিয়ে,

ইচ্ছে হয় বলে চলি অনর্গল

আমার প্রথম সর্ষে ইলিশ রাঁধা,

মায়ের বানানো চিতলের মুইঠ্যা,

আমার প্রথম কাজল পরা,

কোনএক সাদা পাঞ্জাবির জন্য অপেক্ষা

তার জন্য কবিতা দেখা,

এক নিঃশ্বাসে পড়ে ফেলা “ভারততীর্থ”

প্রতিমার থেকেও মণ্ডপসজ্জা দেখে বেশি উৎফুল্ল হওয়া

দোলের দিনের উদ্দাম নৃত্য…

আমার দেখাতেও ইচ্ছে করে খুউউব,

আমি যা দেখি তাই,

যা দেখে আমি উদ্বেলিত হয়ে উঠি,

বাবুঘাটের সূর্যাস্ত,

পরেশনাথ মন্দিরের কারুকার্য,

ভিক্টরিয়ার উদাসীন পরী,

শোভাবাজার রাজবাড়ি…

ইমামবাড়ার সূর্যঘড়ি

ইচ্ছেকরেই নেড়েচেড়ে দেখি,

আমার বানানো গালিচা,

দেওয়ালে ঝোলানো ছবি,

নখের নকশায় আঁকা আজটেক চিত্রকলা   

তবুও দিনের শেষে একাকী থেকে যাই,

আর কিছু হই বা না হই, নিজকাব্যের নায়িকা হই !!

The shade of yellow

The afternoon was sunny. We fought with words and slayed each other with the swords of hatred and love. And you left never looking back, never giving a fig. Your yellow dress slowly mingled with other people walking in the busy street. I stood there, alone, motionless, broken and upset. I looked at the street lights, the crowd and felt the boisterous noises surrounding me. I found myself standing before a very famous café and people inside might be engaged either in small talks or heavy conversations. They might be enjoying their cappuccino or espresso. The lights inside the cafe were pale yellow. That very shade of yellow carries a color of frustration. I lit up a cigarette.

By chance, my eyes caught a couple inside the café; they were too adorable, intensely engrossed in each other, sipping the cold coffee from the same long glass. I felt bad…for myself, for my girlfriend and for our love.

Evening is the time when you are bound to be alone or sad. I tried to control myself, stop my tears, tried to look at other girls walking in stilettos and hotpants. I tried to avert myself from her thoughts. I lit up another cigarette. The smoldering fire was trying to calm me down. I remembered how many counters we shared. Again my eyes rolled into the cafe. The lights inside were still dim but slightly brighter than earlier due to the upcoming darkness. And finally it darkened. I decided to have something from the cafe and walked inside. The sweet creamy pastry seemed insipid to me and the milky coffee didn’t give me any charm. I ordered a cupcake. It came in a white dish; the cake topped with a little chocolate ball and a little candy floss. Surprisingly I enjoyed it like girls do. I enjoyed the cupcake as if she was with me. Slowly, the thought separation walked out of my head and I only thought of the still fresh memories. I remembered how much she loved the cupcakes.

I looked at the streets. A child was selling roses. Another child was busy selling balloons to a child sitting inside a car. I packed a box of cakes and went outside. The busy city walks around, rides bikes and cars never showing some love to the street children.

When I distributed the cakes among children I saw the café lights glowing in brightest shade of yellow.

©Joyee

Text

Went to Venice
wore the Venetian masks,
enjoyed gondola ride,
kissed against the bridge railing…

Went to New York
counted the skyscrapers,
walked down Times Square,
dreamt “Maid in Manhattan” kinda love,
cried over Twin Towers…

Went to Paris
enjoyed French opera,
ate macaroons,
kissed under the Eiffel Tower

Went to Amsterdam,
tied love-lock in the bridge,
threw the key in the water

Went to London
enjoyed the vintage charms,
took selfie in front of Big Ben,
loved the city from London Eye,

All of these happened inside our heads over Whatsapp texts.

©Joyee

A thousand years from now

A thousand years from now…

I will only remember how we loved each other

how I forgot about the world on seeing your beautiful face

how we looked at the full moon

how we enjoyed the summer breeze

how we enjoyed a motorcycle ride against the winds, how we were scared to ride on a merry-go-round; how we spread colors in the air

but…I will never remember how we fought daily, how we spent sleepless nights after quarrels

how we cursed each other

how we prayed for separation

how we never stopped each other from walking out

how we tried to destroy everything in our living room
the mementos!!

Love, I will remember you, not the destructive storm you carry inside!!

©Joyee

A break-up story

To my girl,

You are the love letter, I can’t read anymore, the same I hate to throw away
You are the broken nest, I can’t stay anymore
You are the melted eyeliner because of heavy teardrops, I can’t blot with my shirt or handkerchief
You are the story of broken home, I would die to rebuild…
Girl, you are the story to tell, notes to take and wishes to pin; but sadly, you are not someone to keep inside the pocket of my soul; you are always happy to be pick-pocketed. As long as you are with someone, they have most valuable gold coin in the world; and when you go they are pauper, penniless…a parasite. Still, you are someone to paint the days with brightest shade of yellow. I will always adore the afterglow of the sun when it sets rather than mourn over the coming darkness. I will appreciate the day even after sunset. I will admire you even if you go. You have made me believe in building castle in the air. You have made me realize how it feels to be in the storm and still feel like dancing. You have made me watch the beauty of a flying feather. You have made me realize the beauty of fallen leaves. You are a wildflower, you energize everyone to be wild.
Even if we part ways, even if we may call it quits, still the journey with you is a legacy. Guess what, even today when I stand at the window of our “ready to collapse house of love”, I only see “love”, still left in us. I don’t see future, but I see the finest sides of life. You are the cuckoo of the spring, no matter how many springs I’ve already spent inhaling other flowers or watching the other birds, I will still fall for you. And you will make me realize, what a life changing experience it is to listen to cuckoo’s song for the first time at the advent of the spring!

Sincerely,
Your man!

©Joyee
Pic courtesy: Fanpop