Tag Archives: bengali

BOOK TALK: LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

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Khidki (Window)

–Read India Initiative—

This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about.

LETTERS OF GURUDEV RABINDRANATH TAGORE

    If the razzmatazz of this hurly-burly digital life is beginning to throttle your peace, pace and cheer of mind? If the endemic digital platform—whatsapp, played, more by adults than children, since its invention has turned your life into a hackneyed saga. You need to go back in times for some more sans souci. Let me therefore take you through the synopsis of a letter written by Tagore. That winds-back in time and is indeed a refreshing read.

    Tagore had written many such letters during his lifetime in Bengali. Later, in 1920 he translated them into English. And it goes without saying, that these letters take you to that litterateur’s magnetic world almost immediately. It unleashes that ‘thinking English’ on you that revs up your literary appetite. When you go into a pleasant reverie. It of course, stay’s away from the current day ‘instant English’ with that digital makeup. He narrates each letter in that typical atavistic settings. Today, I have attempted to summarise one such letter for you.

BANDORA, BY THE SEA –written in October 1885

    I have turned twenty seven. While being seated by the sea side in Bandora, located in Ponda Taluka of North Goa. I’m able to capture the gestures of the unprotected sea that huffs and puffs. And while doing so it transforms into the tiresome froth. The sea equates with the feel of some shackled giant as if straining at its bonds. That too, right in front of the gaping jaws of the land. Where, we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail at the sea. Wow! What a massive show of strength that sends the waves splashing high, like the muscles of a giant.

    Primeval and from time immemorial this battle between the land and water has been going on. The parched earth slowly and steadily is only adding the sea to its kitty and thus spreading a broader apron for its children. Where, the ocean is receding under consternation step by step. Wailing and sobbing, beating its chest in despair, as if to a somber call of beating the retreat. One shouldn’t forget. Sea was once the sole monarch—utterly unencumbered.

    After all, land has only risen from its womb and usurped its throne. Since then sea has become the mad old creature with a heavy crest of foam. It moans and groans, and laments continually. Like King Lear … exposed to the fury of these elements.

    These events of land and sea keep impacting my mind on and on. As nothing else has happened of late apart from my turning, twenty-seven.

    But turning twenty seven is no trifling … happening for me. As I have crossed the meridian of the twenties. I am now progressing to thirty. They say I’m now headed towards maturity an age. Where, people begin to expect fruit rather than fresh foliage consumed hitherto. But alas, where is the promise of fruit. As I shake my head. Life still feels like a brimful of luscious frivolity, with not a trace of deep philosophy.

    Folks in general have started complaining: “Where is that something that we expected of you. In the hope of which, we absorbed the soft tenderness of your childhood? We can’t be putting up with immaturity forever? So, it is high time for us to know what we shall gain from you. We want an estimate of the proportion of oil which even, a blindfolded miller or an unbiased critic can squeeze out of you.”

    It is impossible to delude people into waiting expectantly any longer for results. While I was under age they trustfully gave me credit. But it is sad to disappoint them now that I am on the verge of thirty. But what am I to do? Words of wisdom will not come so easily. I am utterly incompetent to provide things that may profit the multitude. Except for, a snatch of a song, or some tittle-tattle, and a little merry fooling, that I’ve been able to advance. As a result, those who had high hopes will turn their wrath on me. But then, no one has ever begged them to nurse these expectations of me.

    Such were the thoughts that assailed me since a fine Bysakh morning. When, I wake up amidst the fresh breeze and light with a new leaf and flower. Only to find, that I had stepped into my twenty-seventh year.

    Even way back in 1885 Gurudev was able to comprehend the rivalry between the land and the sea. 

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share it if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

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Gorakhpur-The Cambridge and Oxford of Hindi language

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GORAKHPUR LIT-FEST ON 10TH & 11TH FEB, 2018

 

    In the present context when it comes to English. I’m reminded of its illustrious fountainhead, that is, Oxford and Cambridge. It was from there that the language flourished and travelled all across the globe. In the same manner when I think of present day Urdu. I’m reminded of Lucknow, Delhi, Agra, Hyderabad, and even some Urdu centric cities of Pakistan. That cradled and nourished the language to par-excellence. More than, any other city in the world and therefore they happen to be its nerve centre.

    In Gorakhpur … I saw that happening to Hindi. So, I would call it—‘The Cambridge and Oxford of Hindi language.’ In the two days that I spent there, participating in the Lit-Fest. It was Hindi-Hindi all the way and the best of it that I had heard up till now. So, the point to note is. Gorakhpur, which is otherwise a small town, happens to be a defining pivot of the Hindi language that is spoken by 300 million people across the world and is the fourth most spoken language of the world.

    But, even in that loud cheer of Hindi. The organizers had done well by including, a rich, regional Indian language, such as Bengali. And the lit-fest platter became even more spicy with the inclusion of Nepali, a SAARC lingo and of course in the presence of the ever green language—English.

    So, amid the composite cheer of these languages, my new title ‘Typical Tale of an Indian Salesman’ was launched in the presence of, senior journalist in Indian Parliament, Rahul Dev; film personality Raja Bundela; renowned Hindi author Dr Vidya Bindu Singh; and ex-M.P. Kanak Rekha Singh.

    The book is now available for sale in Amazon, Flipkart, Onlinegatha and other stores both in paper-back and e-book format.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share it if you like it

*

Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha

(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)

*****

 

CASUAL CAUSERIE: NO ONE KNOWS-WHO HELPS WHOM

Copyright@shravancharitymission

By Kamlesh Tripathi

affinity destiny helping hand

NO ONE KNOWS—WHO HELPS WHOM

    At an era, when there used to be long queues for domestic flights in India. My boss, who had once come visiting me. Got a sudden call from the HR Head. Asking him, to report back immediately for an urgent and important meeting at Head Office.

    As luck would have it. There was no chance of getting a confirmed flight ticket before three days, as it was all jam packed. Therefore, there was every likelihood. That he would have missed the important meeting. So, we decided to take a chance at the airport. Those days nothing was computerized. Personal relations with airport staff and their whims and fancies mattered a lot. Therefore, he was carrying an open ticket. And in the middle of all the din and rush. The counter clerk had asked us to wait. Just in case of a last moment cancellation or a no show.

    We were waiting patiently. When, I saw the captain of the aircraft hovering near the check-in counter puffing a cigarette. Those days we didn’t have smoking zones like today.

    Suddenly, the counter clerk called for my boss, ‘Mr Datta.’ We quickly walked up to him. When he politely said, ‘Sorry Datta sahab. There is just no seat as the flight is absolutely full. Please take a chance tomorrow morning.’

    I pleaded, citing the urgent meeting. As I could see the tension rising on my boss’s face. Is when the captain of the aircraft. Who was standing close to the counter walked up and said to the counter clerk. ‘Please issue him a boarding pass. Only, if he has cabin baggage. I will take him in the cockpit, since he has an urgent meeting.’

    With that I guess Mr Datta’s day was made. When he happily said to me, ‘bye, and see you soon.’

    After a month. I happened to be in the Head Office, on a visit. When I congratulated him on his well deserved promotion and casually asked about the flight that day. He remembered the captain in a pleasant way and this was what he had to say.

    ‘Arrey, I was extremely lucky. That the captain took me along with him, in the cockpit that day. Otherwise, I would have missed my appraisal meeting with the Marketing Director. But as the flight took off. The captain asked in Bengali,

    “Kaimon achain, Dutto babu. Apni comfortable?”

    And, before he could load on some more Bengali. I promptly replied, ‘sorry captain I am a Punjabi Datta. Not a Bengali Dutto.’

    ‘Oh-oh-oh sorry. But, I thought. I heard the counter clerk calling you as Mr Dutto and not Mr Datta. Anyways, sorry, sorry, very sorry, once again.’

    By then the flight was more than airborne. After that we didn’t have any exchange of conversation in the flight. Though, on landing. I said goodbye to him. To which he didn’t respond warmly. But in his own subtle way he had ensured my promotion.

    In life. You just don’t know who lends you a helping hand where, and who comes to your rescue.

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ARTICLE: THE FOOD-TASTE DIVIDE OF INDIA- SOMEONE’S DELICACY IS SOMEONE’S NIGHTMARE

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Like your mother tongue and religion, taste of food also divides India. For, it may not sound absurd, if I chime in on a lighter note. Meals divide, desserts synergize and only spirits unite. Because, from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and North-East to Rajasthan it is the same old story as Indian taste buds nicely know, how to differ since yore. In fact the division starts at the time of cooking. As Indian meals are cooked in various types of aromatic cooking oils and treated to some of the most pungent and tangy herbs and masalas the combination of which may change by the number of colonies you may have in your city. So while there may be some affinity for a food-basket by locality, area, region or even a race in the Indian kitchen, there is nothing too patriotic about the great Indian cuisine on a PAN India basis, as it is too vast to stand as one and united- and this does create a kind of dissonance in the Indian society. Yet, some local Indian dishes, processed food and street food have gone worldwide, and in return some foreign cuisine, fast-food and fusion food have adopted India.

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HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Historically Indian cuisine has a 5,000-year history, of various groups and cultures in the subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavours and regional cuisines found in modern day India. Also, given the range of diversity in soil type, climate and occupations, these cuisines vary significantly from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Indian food-taste is also heavily influenced by seasonality, religious and cultural choices and traditions.

INDIAN FOOD PYRAMID: LOCAL, REGIONAL AND THE NATIONAL PLATTER

Cuisines seldom have precise geographical divides; but mostly have local and regional lovers for life. That provides taste security within the regulatory food security. For, when a north Indian lands in the heart of South India he might get food blues, as he is insured by the latter but not by the former. For a delicacy of one, might be the nightmare of another.

Indian food pyramid largely rests on water, cereals, vegetables, fruits, sea-food, milk, curd, meat and poultry. Mother earth offers raw ingredients, after which ethnicity takes over to process to individual tastes and delights.

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SOMEONE’S DELICACY COULD BE SOMEONE’S NIGHTMARE

The popular southern delicacy combos of Idli-Vada-Dosa-Uttahapam dipped in tangy Rasam or Sambhar served in Banana leaf with delicious coconut chutney might not gel well with a person from J&K, as all are not, the likes of foodies. The much hyped Butter-Chicken-Naan, Chawal-Chole and Rajma-Chawal combo of north might leave a Tamilian half stuffed and the sweet Gujarati Thali might find a Bihari running for his salt or a Kerala mutton curry cooked in coconut oil might even prompt a Muslim from U.P to give up non-veg altogether. And, last but not the least the taste of a raw fish from Andamans, a delicacy might leave a fish-veteran from Bengal starved.

Given that, there exists a difference between eating to ones delight than gobble and swallow just to survive. But the art of survival does teach you to create your own short-menu out of the spread.

HOW INDIA UNITES WITH A DIVERSE KITCHEN

Mobility teaches the art of survival when one pick and chooses the closest to the palate out of the unknown assortment in the alien kitchen. And, this has lead to broad banding of taste through certain dishes. While the base of Indian palate has remained within the confines of Dal-Chawal-Roti-Paratha-Sabzi-Saag-Kadi-Rajma-Chole-Meat-Chicken-Milk-Curd-Yogurt-Street food and Snacks. The variants of these have only created the diversity in the Indian kitchens.

But in this regard a lot of hand holding has been done to broad base the food-taste pyramid of India, mainly to homogenise the taste buds and to that extent some generic nomenclatures have become almost national food icons. Just to name a few: Tandoori chicken, Butter-chicken, Biryani, Keema, Kebab, Rogan-Josh, Korma, Chole-bature, Matar-Paneer, Poori, Papad, Dhokla, Bisi-bele-bath, Kachori, Samosa,Vada-paav, Batata-vada, the famous Indian Chaat, Pakora, Pooha, Daal-Baati, Gol Gappe and Pani-Puri, and from the Punjabi cuisine Paratha, stuffed Paratha especially in breakfast, Roti-made out of corn flour and Sarson-Da-Saag and Dal-Makhani and from the North-East Fried Rice, Noodles, Chilly chicken, Manchurian, Thupka-noodle soup and momos that have travelled places and become the hallmark and symbol of Indianness. And, not to forget the vast spread of Indian sweets that has always been a great leveler in terms Indian synergy.

BUT WHAT UNITES THE FOOD-TASTE BUDS OF CHILDREN AND THE YOUTH OF INDIA?

Beyond the dividing spread of the Indian cuisine lies the unifying umbrella of some of the big food banners of India and abroad that have served the Indian populace for a long period of time now. And to be more upright some are even serving the third generation. Perhaps, they stole the Indian taste buds when they were young- ‘catch them- young’ as they phrased.

Today Domino’s Pizza India makes and sells four lakh pizzas a day or more than 12 crore pizzas a year and that speaks of the new food craze. Foreign beverages in India are serving the third generation with unified formulation. Indian Chinese largely a fusion cuisine is available across India. Burgers are available at any nook and corner and so are Magi noodles. Tailor made Momos are even retailed out of handcarts in Delhi. Halidram’s bhujia, peanuts and namkeen are available in any market as an evening snack and potato chips and wafers of MCcain or any other could be any child’s preference and why forget the tasty chocolates, yoghurt and morning oats and cornflakes that children prefer over any Indian breakfast. And the all-tasty basket of biscuits from Britannia or any other brand with hot tea. Not to forget Amul and Mother dairy for their Yogurt and milk over any other Indian breakfast; for there is no North, South, East and West divide about these branded food products as they come with one taste or max a tweaked variant.

And how quietly and neatly they have sneaked in to the Indian kitchen; easy to make, easy to serve and easy to preserve.

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