11 June 2012

Meeting my deskmate after 36 years!!

Subir Hore!!! After 36 long years! Last saw him in my fourth grade. Was absolutely magical catching up on how our lives diverged in Dec 1976, took their own meandering courses but crossed each other again today!!!
Funnily enough, we discovered that our lives have taken such twists and turns that from benchmates, we have also become relatives. Very very distant though. Let me see if I can get this straight: my wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband’s brother’s daughter’s husband is Subir!!! No kidding!!! And we were able to piece this together all due to three pieces of lost luggage by Air India!! Don’t even get me started 🙂 — with Subir Hore.
11 June 2012


Guava!! In fact “dnaasa pyara”. After three decades!!
One bite into it and it immediately brought back memories of the big guava tree we had in our first house in Durgapur. Summer vacation afternoons meant me and my siblings climbing up the guava tree (they have very strong branches) and perching ourselves on three limbs and imagine – a la Phineas and Ferb – that we are riding a plane!!! Little did we realize that riding a plane, in reality, would be as unromantic as being squeezed in a small space in a metal tube 31,000 feet up in the air with nothing to see and terrible food to eat. Especially since they do not serve guavas!!! 🙂

9 June 2012

Bye for now, Durgapur!

Auf Wiedersehen, Durgapur!!!
Given my parents’ failing health, they are moving to Kalyani to be close to my sister. That would also mean this is the last time Niki and Tasha were with both their grandparents in Durgapur. This was taken at Durgapur station a few moments before we jumped onto our train and they said goodbye to their grandparents. Now starts another year of hope that I will get to see all four of them next time….


9 June 2012

Full Fat!

Context Switch. In my adopted country, retailers market “fat free”, “no fat”, “low fat” products to woo customers. In my birth country, it appears that retailers are trying to reassure the consumers of the minimum amount of fat they are guaranteed of getting. (no upper limit though)


9 June 2012

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hot. Hot. Hot. Another day of hitting 105 degrees. Here is how hot it is in Durgapur this year – during my entire stay this time, my dad has not even once uttered those dreaded three words – “Thanda legey jaabey” (you will catch a cold) 🙂 🙂

8 June 2012

That eraser!!!

“Neighbor’s envy, owner’s pride”
Another indelible memory dug up from the yesteryears from my old schoolbag. This used to be the premium eraser or as we called it in India – “rubber”. (I know, I know what you are thinking 🙂 Life was much simpler for us in school). This eraser commanded superior street cred compared to other erasers since it had a nice smell, was costlier and reputedly could erase pen marks (green part) as well pencil marks ( white part). It took me a lot of academic performance in 5th grade to convince my dad to give me one. I was so proud of it, as you see, I never used it in fear of losing its perfect rectangular shape 🙂
— at Open Market, Durgapur.



8 June 2012

An old song…

Treasures from rummaging:
Found my sister’s “gaaner khaata”. (notebook of songs) from 1976. She started learning how to sing. Me, how to play the tabla. The very first song we did together was “Sara Jibon Dilo Alo”. I remember because our dad made us perform during a Durga Puja programme in Debipur. (remember Debipur from my previous posts?) That was the first song she learnt.

I found the notebook where her teacher had written the lyrics. I am carrying this with me and digitizing in Atlanta.
She eventually sang in TV programmes and now teaches her daughter. I just play tabla by myself on Friday evenings in Atlanta.
For the Bengalis of my age group, this was written on a notebook branded ” Bongo Lipi” if you remember!!! — atThe Peerless Inn – Durgapur.
8 June 2012

Scooter with nine lives…

In an apt display of how the previous generations valued things (when money was tight), my dad has stuck with his first and only vehicle he ever bought. In 1977!!! The manufacturer does not exist any more!!! There is only one mechanic in town who is even willing to fix it. The value of the scooter literally doubles every time he fills in petrol 🙂 The ignition key, which comes out loose in all that rattle and ruckus during a ride is permanently chained to the scooter (see the photo carefully). Still, he refuses to give it up!!! I actually took it out for a ride today. Before that, I asked him “Eta ekhono choley?” (does it still work?). He thought for a few moments and then reluctantly admitted “Choley. Kintu ektu maardhor korey chalatey hoy”. [i need some help from Bengali FB friends for the transliteration to do justice to his sense of humor] — at Open Market, Durgapur.