জীবন যদি দুর্গোৎসব হয় তবে তুমি আমার অষ্টমী।
আমার প্রেম হোক অষ্টমীর অঞ্জলি,
আমার আকুলতা হোক পুষ্প,
আমার আবেগ হোক প্রসাদ,
মঙ্গলারতি আমার অনুরাগ,
একশ আট প্রদীপ হোক আমার আনন্দ,
আমার শৌর্য হোক পূজাউপাচার
আমার নৃত্যকলা হোক তোমার বিনোদন
আমার উচ্ছাস হোক তোমার ভোগ
আমার ত্রিশূল হোক তোমার ভরসা
আমার প্রগল্ভতা হোক তোমার পুষ্পমালা
আমার আনন্দ হোক তোমার আভরণ;
তুমি একবার তোমার দুর্গোৎসবে আমায় সামিল কর, বুঝিয়ে দের কতদূর সমর্পিত হতে পারি।
যদি ভীষণ কর্মব্যস্ত শহরের ট্রাফিক জ্যামে আটকে পড়ি,
তবে নিশ্চই তোমাকে মনে পড়বে।
যদি সামান্য মিছিল হলেই সার বেঁধে গাড়ি দাঁড়িয়ে যায়,
যদি সকালে কার্ড পাঞ্চ করার তাড়ায় অস্থির হয়ে উঠি
আর ঠিক তখনই অবরোধ শুরু হয়
তবে তোমায় মনে পড়বে।
যদি সন্ধ্যেবেলায় ভীষণ ভিড়ে আটকে পড়ি,
কোনদিক দিয়েই পরিত্রাণের রাস্তা না থাকে,
যদি শুধু বাসে বসে গলদঘর্ম হই,
যদি ফোনটা হাতে নিয়ে হোয়াটস্যাপটুকুও দেখতে না ইচ্ছে করে
তবে নির্ঘাত তোমায় মনে পড়বে।
হয়তো বসে থাকব, সেই বিরক্তির স্রোতের মধ্যেও
আর দেখব, অন্যের ভিডিও কল, জোরে জোরে গান শোনা,
এতটুকু বিচলিত না হয়ে মুভি দেখা,
হয়তো তোমাকে ভুলতে উঁকি দেব তাদের মোবাইলে
তারা বিরক্ত হবে, বন্ধ করে দেবে ফোন, কিংবা সরিয়ে নেবে,
আমার নাগালের বাইরে,
আমি বাইরে তাকাব, রাস্তায় ঠায় দাঁড়িয়ে থাকা গাড়ির স্রোত,
ঘড়ির কাঁটায় আটটা দেখে হা হুতাশ করব,
গল্পে পড়া মরুভূমির উটের সারির কথা মনে পড়বে,
সাদা গাড়ির আধিক্য দেখে দীর্ঘশ্বাস ফেলব,
কালো গাড়ির কালোকাঁচ দেখে ঈর্ষা করব,
হলদে ট্যাক্সির জন্য মনকেমন করবে,
তোমার সাথে ট্রামভ্রমণের স্মৃতি উস্কে যাবে,
ওলা ক্যাব দেখে মুচকি হাসব,
আর এসবের মধ্যেই তোমাকে ভুলে যাওয়ার,
ভুলে থাকার ভীষণরকম চেষ্টা করব।
তবু ট্রাফিক জ্যাম রোজই হবে,
আর রোজ না চাইলেও তোমাকে মনে পড়বে !
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.
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.
That Bengali boy
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.
Everyone pretends to be happy
Everyone says ‘I’m fine’
Everyone shows he/she is happy with job, salary, fiancé
Everyone says he/she is in the same page with lovers, friends, family
Everyone gives effort to be beautiful
Everyone spends time and money to be fair
Everyone keeps the smile curve on face
No one is happy with his/her life
No one is watching the sunny sky
No one is okay with parents or lovers
Everyone is complaining about his/her life
Everyone is broken, sad, sceptic
No one is trying to break the false façade
No one is showing the real self
No one is confiding
No one can go with the idea of being poor
No one can tolerate the idea of being obsolete or oddball
This is the society we live in. we always perform like actors. We forget to be the real one.
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,
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.