"There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature."
Jane Austen

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A "NO" is a "NO" - even if it is from a sex worker -- How many Understand this? "PINK" has tried its best.

Watched "Pink" this afternoon - It was showed on Star Gold from 1 pm to 4 pm.. Right now, my mind is crowded with many thoughts.. too many thoughts.. How many Indian men get the concept that a "No" from a woman is a "No".. irrespective of whether the woman is his wife, his girlfriend, a sex worker, or someone he has just met at a party.. "Aisi ladkion ke saath aise hi hota hain".. How many times have we heard this? from aunts, uncles, mothers, neighbors, and everybody around us.. Which girls? Single girls, working girls living alone in cities, girls returning home late at night, girls going out with friends, girls wearing short dresses and makeup, girls laughing aloud, girls boarding cabs alone, girls roaming in streets alone.. I do many of these things, I fall in many of these categories.. and yet, that does not mean that I or any woman like me is crying out aloud that "I am cheap", "I am available"..
The girl Meenal had hit back.. A girl hitting back? Why? She was drinking, laughing, and she was not a virgin.. So why would she say "No" to me? Hit and fled? Wait till we get hold of her and show her what molestation and rape is! This is how the minds of these guys work.
I had heard about a guy who would never allow his wife to stay away from him, because he had sex (read he raped her) 365 nights of the year, on nights she menstruated, on nights she was physically ill, on nights she was tired, on nights she was depressed.. Of 5 -6 years of their married life that girl had never stayed at her parents' place, the girl had to have sex every night.. Telling "No" is out of the question. There are parts of India where the culture is such that men grow up with the idea that the moment they get married they are licensed to have sex with the wife any time and any moment and as many times as they want to. The wife's opinion does not matter. A woman's opinion or unwillingness does not matter. The man is entitled.
It is very difficult for these men of India to listen to a "No", to understand a "No", to accept a "No", to digest a "No".
You are roaming around in Park Street on the eve of Chirstmas, wearing a short skirt. You must be cheap. Why would you tell me "No"? You are surely not a "Sati", not a virgin.. When you have had it with others, why not me, Yaar? You do not want it? Why? Suddenly you are becoming a "Sati"?
PINK, as a movie, is good. Thoughtfully made with brilliants actors. But, I doubt whether the message that Pink wanted to convey would go into heads where it need to go.
Anyway, "WELL DONE" to everybody in the crew of Pink!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

June 18, 2015

June 18, 2015 :: I was feeling a subtle happiness that I was going to spend some time with Baba the next day.. The next day, i.e. June 19th, Friday, was the day that had been fixed up to take Baba to Belle Vue for a checkup. Ma, Buro, and the nurse were to accompany Baba in the ambulance from South City Garden, and I were to reach Belle Vue straight from Kasba.. Just the fact that I would be able to spend some time with Baba without having to travel all the way to SCG was making me happy.. I never knew that it was the last time when I felt this way..

Monday, June 6, 2016

There would be Nothing called "Baba's car" in my life from today onward

Strange feelings of sadness and strange pains in the throat hit me whenever I open Baba's briefcase for searching anything.. A set of Duracell batteries whose expiry date is 2018.. He never knew that his life would end a few years before the batteries he was storing would expire.. A 10-rupee note that he might have felt lazy to keep in the purse on the night of April 29, 2014.. His life changed from the following morning.. and ours did too..
Whenever I open Baba's small cabinet in the computer room, my heart stops. A new shaving brush, a new bottle of after shave lotion, and a new shoehorn stare at me. The cash memo and guarantee card of the glucometer that was bought in 2010 after he was put on insulin stares at me.. the same glucometer that I have used to prick his finger day in and day out.. there were a very few occasions, when he would mumble "Ki jore laagiye dili".. 
He had bought a car around two weeks before his accident. He was very excited about the car having a CD player, and while selecting CD-s that he would keep in the car, he asked my brother, "Would listening to these songs sitting beside Bablu (our driver then) be too much?" Eventually, he got to use the car for just 10 days or so.. and it was us who took long drives in the car to and from Apollo everyday, during his lengthy periods of hospitalization.. Bablu turned out to be an avid Rabindrasangeet listener and would listen to Shaan's "Khola Haawa" everyday.. he had all the songs memorized..
Baba remembered his new car.. I remember the afternoon of 15th August, 2014, when the physiotherapist took Baba down to the car parking of South City Garden, on the wheelchair.. He asked Baba, "Mr. Ray, which one is your car, here?" Baba pointed at the Liva and replied, "The blue one". Certain parts of his memory were so sharp, despite the disorders he was suffering from!
There came a period when we started thinking that the Liva was a very "Unlucky" car for all of us. Whenever we boarded the car, something bad would happen. Slowly, that phase passed, or we lost track and got used to the bad things.
Today, the Liva is being sold off. Although we do not have too many pleasant memories attached with the Liva, today I am feeling a strange ache that the last car purchased by Baba is being disposed off. There would not be anything called "Baba's car" in my life from today onward. It is a suffocating feeling.
As my brother cleared off the car a few days back, he found a CD that had been copied from the original CD "Khola Haawa" .. We guessed that it had been done by Bablu and it was the CD that he played on our journeys to and from Apollo..
We find old things at strange corners.. We come across pangs of sadness and grief.. We have heartaches letting go.. We, the emotional people..

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Nirbaak - May 7, 2015

The head is empty. The heart is full. I am not qualified to write anything about this film. I am richer as the director reached deeper.
Another wondrous conception, this time of a higher level - The film has again shown the caliber of actors like Anjan Dutt and Ritwik Chakraborty. The sizzling chemistry between JISSHU SENGUPTA and Sushmita Sen got explored for the first time. The background score that Neel Dutt has created is a magical connecting string for the stories.A big Thumbs Up to Soumik Haldar for the camera-work. No. This film is not only about some good acting, some intelligent dialogues, some brilliant shots, or some good music. This film is.. Well, watch it! A special salute to Ritwik Chakraborty, yet again.
And .. Yeah, I kind of know this narcissistic man.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ma's 66th Birthday -- May 4, 2016

Ma's Birthday, 66th today.. Our first 4th May without the physical presence of Baba, our 3rd 4th May without Baba's "presence"..
On 4th May, 2014, then admitted in Ruby General Hospital, Baba first showed signs of neurological problems following his head injury.. that was the day when Ma first felt alarmed.. Still, I wanted to make her feel special and got her favorite Mango Ice-Cream for her..
On 4th, May 2015, post-debridement and unable to sit up even with support, Baba was totally unaware and oblivious of what was happening around him.. I took a cake and a nightdress for Ma.. It was my ardent wish that we take the cake to Baba's room, call him as many times needed, make him wake up and realize that it was Ma's Birthday and that we were cutting a cake, and feed him a piece.. (who would say he had himself cut his cake and had his piece just 2 months back).. But, the nurses opposed.. they said they did not have time and needed to do the dressing before one of them left.. Thus, Ma had to cut the cake in the drawing room, but she assured me later that she had fed Baba quite a few small pieces in the next few days..
Today, it is another year, another 4th May, a different year, a different time.. It is Ma's 66th Birthday today, and I am flooded with memories of the numerous dinners that Baba had treated us to at Kwality and Grain of Salt, at Sarson and Khandani Rajdhani.. happy evenings, happy times..
I have not been able to utter the words "Happy Birthday", today.. But, I have gifted her an attire that she wished to wear.. (last year, she had kept the nightdress aside, and could not wear it once, as after June 20, red became a prohibited color for her.. Stupid Indian Traditions! frown emoticon ) Today, I have insisted that she wears the dress, this evening only!
Baba, it is Ma's Birthday today.. without you around at all.. I can only imagine how she is feeling. I am feeling miserable, lumps in my throat now and then..

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 27, 2014

Watching Filmfare (Eastern India) Calcutta Awards -- Great to see (a) "Rupkotha Noy" winning the Critics Award for Best Film.. I had loved that film (It shared the award with Shabdo, which I havent watched yet).. (b) Soumitra Chattopadhyay winning the Critics Award for Bect Actor Male for "Rupkotha Noy"-- loved the speech that he delivered..indeed he has been working for more than 50 years, and (c) Rituporna Sengupta getting Critics Award for Best Actor Female- loved her reaction.. indeed it must have been so thrilling for the Tollywood veterans to get their hands on the craved Black Beauty... Great to see (d) Sohini Sarkar winning Best Debut Actress for both Phoring and Rupkotha Noy ..(e) Indranil Roychowdhury winning Best Debut Director for Phoring.. what a lovely movie that one is.. it indeed deserves loads of appreciation and awards (loved Indranil's speech too)... a heartwarming moment was created when Jaya Bachhan (who was 13 yrs old when Mahanagar was made) awarded Madhabi Mukhopadhyay with the "Lifetime Achievement" Award..

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Siddhartha Wins Dadagiri Episode with a Century

Dadagiri was Baba's favorite Bangla program and he would watch every minute of every episode diligently. He would have loved yesterday's episode, Siddhartha Ray, as we all did!
It was an evening of excitement at our house, yesterday. My mother, who is quite lethargic these days in taking her evening shower and offering her evening prayers, completed everything as fast as she could and was ready for the episode to start.
As the show began, it was quite evident that you were going to be the star of the show. That is the "Siddhartha" effect. I vividly remember how the unruly traffic of a busy small town almost stopped when you crossed the road, while Ranabir and I lagged behind.
Each and every viewer of Dadagiri last evening got to know about the depth, profoundness, and thoroughness of your knowledge and the impeccability of your memory. The Addabaaj Baangali mejaj and your jovial nature must have won numerous hearts. You can very well imagine the pride, happiness, and affection that I was feeling throughout the show. There was non-stop clapping from Ma and me.
I just loved the way Anindita Chakravarti was blushing and how she uttered, "He is the perfect husband". Neel seemed to be understanding quite a few of Sourav's jokes.. growing up fast, is he not?
Baba would have been so proud of you, Siddhartha! We all are! I had no idea that you would be competing with Shubham who happens to be one of my favorites from a season of Saregamapa and he also did quite well in the last round. But, what you did over the last two rounds was Outstanding! And the deluge of details about the Boxing Day Test Match that you blurted out was awesome stuff! And I have never seen a participant select "Mythology" first up and follow it up with a correct answer. It showed your confidence and base of knowledge.
We all read, we all watch, but seldom do we remember or apply like you do!!
Really proud that I know you and have you as a brother!!
God Bless Anindita Chakravarti, Neel, your togetherness, and your family!! Lots of Love !<3 p="">