Mahalaya and Mahishsurmardini

Ma Durga

Ma Durga

I know I am late but it is still navratri and I found the some videos of mahalaya and Chandi path. I think all of us bengalis have been tortured and some point or other on Mahalaya by our parents……… waking us at wee hours of the morning to listen to AIR and Mr Bhadra. The only part I remember is the  part 4……….. only to go back to sleep. I found some videos of the same…….. ENJOY!!!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5


Bolo Durga Mai ki……. JOY

“Sing like no one is listening, dance like no one is watching, and love like you’ve never been hurt.”

That is what my facebook fortune cookie said today morning. Amazing start to the day.

Back from my trip to Kolkata, I had precisely two hours to SETTLE and immediately had to get on with the backlog of work that had accumulated since my holiday and since there has been no stop…… But I am glad I had the opportunity to pause for a few days before resuming

The highlights have been my detoxification from internet…….. which was looooong overdue and I am glad to say that I am finally successful. I am no longer obsessed with the net and have other things in life besides virtual friends…. like real people for a change. I finally made real friends and am catching up with lots of others over cups of tea and coffee. Personal interaction is making me happy……. the pain also seems very less…….. guess I finally found a way to cope with the arthritis. It does come back, but I think acceptance relieves the pressure and after one full year I feel as though I am finally back for good……. Hubby thinks I have my eyes back which should be something because Ma commented that they are cloudy all the time these days.

My Degree college students are good….. really good and it is intellectually stimulating to think beyond the box and do things…….. boring things in a new way….. that makes it challenging. My Diploma class is lacking and I am having to go to the basics. Considering that I don’t have much time with them and they the fact that are expecting miracles, I am not so sure about achieving this. I am putting in my best and keeping my fingers crossed for the rest.

The rest is just ordinary and…… THE USUAL.

I met my previous batch and it was so good to see them again….. MY KIDS!!!

Today in the degree college I lost my temper. I don’t like losing my temper. It takes out any kind of energy that I possess and in the end I am totally drained out and tired. It so happened that the degree college class has 50 students and 99% of them are Malayalees. These women are constantly chattering and when it is in Malayalam……. it is like somebody is doing a remake of BREATHLESS….. no full stop, no comma. It is like sparrows lots and lots of them chattering into your ear non-stop. I can almost feel the sound of it vibrating inside my ears and my brain….. going from the cerebrum to the cerebellum to the medulla oblongata…… to the auditory area then coming back to the temporal lobe and then back again. I could feel every single piece of my brain. Then I lost it and threw the chalk in hand on one girl…… no damage…… SHE SMILES and puts out her tongue but the others continue!!! (secret: nobody noticed but after that I reached for the duster…… now that would have been something…… you would have all seen me in the newspapers and the news channels).

Nobody listened and I was back to square one. I soon realised that it was a question of Patience and that I should be more tolerant so I instead I decided to do something constructive.…... one word…… one single word….. it got me total silence…. EXTEMPORE!!!! hehehehehehehe

As they say “Don’t get mad……. GET EVEN

Tomorrow is the first day of Durga Puja. It is that time of the year when we await the coming of Durga Ma and everybody seems to be preparing for it. Because of Dida’s demise we wont be celebrating the festival this year. But I am really hoping to be able to go home even if only for a weekend.

When I was young, when Puja was just round the corner, we would suddenly have a lot of bengali songs being played at home and Ma humming to popular bengali numbers….. I guess she was homesick and remembered her days of Puja back in Kolkata with her family. Everybody tells me that they miss the Puja back at Kolkata and that it is very beautiful etc etc….. and usually they all end up getting nostalgic and reminiscing the sounds of Dhak and chanting of the Chandi. I have never been there or seen that so must be good!!!

Though I am not officially celebrating the festival, Ma and sisters have already bought me clothes……. so I have three new dresses for puja plus the ones I have bought for myself. I hope I am able to wear them for Puja. I havent been to Ma’s in months!!! Puja without Ma and Pa and sisters and their family is like totally SAD!!! Leaving you with the sounds of Dhak  and dhunuchi dance from youtube.

Happy Durga Puja and Navratri to all of you and your families!!!
May Ma Durga bring joy and happiness to one and all!!!

Ohhhhh Kolkata

Truly and officially Kolkata is just not my city…….. Honestly I went there with an open mind…….. totally OPEN as OPEN as I could get but NAH, the way things work there is truly irrational and beyond the realms of my pea-sized brain!!!

The hospital is a place of worship where doctors are put on pedestal (like tons and tons of swamijis) and once they are found not so up to the mark they are whipped of their god like stature and brought down to the stature of dogs. I think I like it here where doctors rather be questioned and thought of like humans beings who could falter and thought of as people with a different line of education who have the capability to heal people of their sickness and in the process of treatment they explain to mere suffering mortals the reason for their ailment and the subsequent treatment.

I met the sweet tongued sari clad ladies who had soooo sweetly abused me on phone and guess what they didn’t actually look soooooo good to me rather they lived up to their sneaking selves of being unscrupulous thereby pacifying me that my judgment of them was not so wrong also they put me off my guilt trip. What works in the passionate city of Kolkata is sob stories…….. yeah that sells like hot cakes especially if you have somebody sick, somebody cheated you, denied of inheritance or just plain you being sick…….. so much for me putting up my brave facade of being totally well and sneaking pain killers down my throat and hiding my swollen legs.

My pa-in-law is well. Hospital’s patient care was good but can’t say the same of their information section or their billing section. It sucked!!!! They have employed a bunch of female nincompoops totally wet behind their ears…….. fresh out of college, totally unprofessional, who were getting slapped right left and center by one and all and took it all well without complaining…….. to repeat the same mistakes again and again.

Screaming at those people was just so normal that it did not even raise my bp this time……. everyone was screaming at them. It took us five hours to get our patient admitted in spite of making pre-arrangements and the hospital calling us in the morning to confirm every detail. Waiting five hours meant waiting/standing for five hours in the OPD as they did not have a separate waiting area and since OPD was in full force there was no place to wait……. emergency patients also were made to wait. Similarly clearing bill and getting together and clearing up took a long time……. because they had obviously wrongly billed us and after a session of table banging (by hubby) everything worked smoothly and the bill was reduced.

What was very alarming was the rate of bypass surgeries and angioplasties done in a day at the hospital. It seemed like an epidemic of heart diseases there. Very scary!!!

Another thing that I was exposed to this time was the disparities in the city………. the disparities between the haves and the have-nots……. the elite and the not so elite. My side of the family in Kolkata comes from the northern side…… the displaced partition stricken people whereas hubby’s family is the British Raj worshiping elite of Bengal. The difference is so striking that I was actually shaken.

Just 30 km apart from each other but the difference hits you like a punch to your stomach. On one hand you have a whole family living in a 12 by 12 room and on the other hand you have a family of 4 saying that 3000 sq worth of carpet area is not enough…… that is the part of Kolkata that totally still lives in the era of British Raj and the glories then even though the current generation has not seen anything of it…… they live on memories and on imagination of the utopian world fed to them by their parents and grandparents.

Memories of hoodless convertibles, of waltz dancing in the balls given by Horton Sahib, innumerable servants, going on drives whereas the other side talks of the crossover, of poverty, of going without food wearing the same clothes till they were tattered and moving from house to house in search of shelter. Where on one side the elite discussed how Rabindranath was the epitome of all Vedas and Upanishads put together and bramho versus Hindu religion and sociological developments across the coffee table, the other side family is discussing the factory’s closure with the wife who patiently cooks fish on the earthen stove for her family.

I experienced all this in a span of hours…… all in the same day. So much disparity!!!! Also another factor that everybody talks about is inheritance…… The son of Bengal survives on the inheritance left by his father or grandfather. Most discussions usually revolve around who got what and how much…….. kind of disgusting to self made people like me.

With this scenario in mind I am not surprised why the Communists have ruled the state for decades. I always wondered why and how the CPM came to power year after year……. the mystery is finally solved.  The truth is finally evident to me.

On the lighter side whenever I wanted to go from one side to the other I used to get a lot of advice take a rickshaw (hand pulled ones) then take a metro then take 52 no bus, then an auto (auto rickshaw or cycle one)etc etc….. It used to really scare me to even me imagine me on all these modes of transport with my broken leg and my rheumatic arms and legs!!! as scary as JAWS!!! I used to have my eyes like golf balls and my mouth hanging open just thinking of doing all that they had suggested.

They really have a lot of modes of transport. When I was young I used to be totally terrified of the tin buses with wooden floors which moved on the roads and looked slanting to me…… I always thought that it would turn turtle but it never did. All you have to do to stop a bus is to raise your hand……… unlike us who run like the devil is after them to the bus stop to take a bus. The trams were another experience I could easily walk faster than the tram I wonder why people bother sitting in them. I remember not so long ago, dad had told me how the whole city had gone on a strike because the fare had risen by 25 ps. (talking of paises, we had a real tiff with a guy and lot of screaming because we did not have 25 ps change…… it still works there……. I haven’t seen one in a long time.) There is the popular cycle rickshaws and the hand pulled rickshaws. You wont believe it but really fat women even fatter than me…… two of them…… sit on one, which is pulled by a really scrawny thin guy. There is also the jetty, the popular metro and the of course Mamta Banerjee’s Indian Railway. This is one city where the Ambassador totally extinct elsewhere still rules the road and it is amazing to find how good it still is.

Another striking similarity both sides is that they have huge large windows and at least two doors in the bathrooms and since Kolkata is a congested area there is always somebody else’s window on the other side. I don’t understand why anybody would install huge windows and so many doors in the bathroom. For a maniac like me with bathroom phobia this is a total nightmare.

I did visit Dakshineshwar and Ma Kali…….. my second mother!!! It was so peaceful there. It kind of sucks in everything from inside you and keeps you just peaceful inside….. total silence!!! I have no idea but the inner sanctum of the temple is really beautiful and the Ganga flowing by is so beautiful. It always takes away everything that you have inside you to put in just peace in there. That is the only place in Kolkata that feels like Home!!!!

Apart from all that I did have a lot of sweets and bori and saw the city totally buzz with activity for the upcoming Puja. Shopping everywhere……… sadly in my case I did not have the time. Also owing to my grand mother-in-law’s death this year we will not be celebrating the festival.

I came back with a different point of view and appreciated my city my home and my family a lot more.

IPL finals today…… SINGH IS KING!!!

Yes!!! today is the finals of the Indian Political League and man it is more interesting than any IPL T20 match. What an election!!! Mind blowing!!! Fullto entertainment and extremely gripping!!! After a long time I watched something so closely and Kudos to CNN-IBN to put up such a great show.

The verdict is out……… The Hand rules!!!! Can you believe it Dr Manmohan Singh is going to be the second PM after Jawaharlal Nehru to come to power in two consecutive terms. Congress makes an impressive comeback after years as the single largest party and entire credit of the whole Congress campaign goes to the rather dishy Rahul Gandhi and Mother Sonia and sister Priyanka.

The complete washout of the CPM (till now) in states of Kerala and West Bengal is simply SUPERB especially their phenomenal loss in West Bengal. After almost three decades the CPM has finally been dethroned. A lot of jubilation on that front. Whether or not she is ready for what awaits her (A crippled state) is yet to be found out.

The whole state of West Bengal has been on PAUSE mode for the last 30-40 years. There has been no change or any kind of development there. I do not say this as a bengali but as a citizen of this country. We still talk of Bengal as having the old world charm…….. because there people are still living in the 1960s. It is not as if things have not changed….. it has, but the change has not yet been able to change the mentality of the people there.

I am so glad that people have opted for a change. I don’t know whether the change is for good or bad….. Mamta is not really my favorite person but at least the Bengali babu/dada who cant think beyond his office where he is employed, has finally decided to experiment and take a risk….. that is big time change. He has decided to peek outside the secure confines of his domain and wanted to change his circumstances. Sometimes instability and venturing into the unknown is actually good. It can only get better now because the leaders are now aware that they can be toppled. That is big time change!!!

As was rightly pointed out the only places that CPM had its strong hold world over was in West Bengal, Kerala and CUBA. So now only Cuba is left.

Pawar is fabulous!!! He was a strong contender to become the Prime Minister and very deserving. As chief minister of Maharashtra he was great and we had seen golden years in his regime. There was peace and prosperity.

Though it is a pity that Lalu is out!!! He was my favorite cartoon character!!! BTW what happens to the samosas from now on…… new stuffing??? Samosas will not be the same without him. (Pun intended)

Apart from Modi there was nobody in BJP who could lead. Advani being too old. Thank God that Modi is not coming to power. I personally don’t want a racist and communal leader to lead any state or country. We ought to have a global outlook. We need stability and jobs. We want a secular government and we don’t want any more terror attacks and communal riots. We want peace!!!!

I am so glad that the people who voted have voted wisely. Not because Congress is the best but Congress is what we need at this moment.

Singh is king again!!!

I am happy 😀

Is Monsoon around the corner???


I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;

Yesterday on one of my drives spotted one lone cloud in the sky. It kinda reminded me of Wordsworth’s Daffodil. A probable harbinger of MONSOON!!! No daffodil though but one assurance that monsoon is not faraway. I guess that should be one hell of a thing for people like me who are pining for rains. I can’t take the heat any longer, especially with all my plants drying up.

Elections over today is the big day. The big counting day as the number crunching goes on I wait for the obvious outcome. At least I hope that is the outcome. On the eve of change of hands of power or the congress getting another term, I am posting the very impressive resume of the most educated Prime Minister of the world.




1962 D. Phil., Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Topic: India’s Export Trends and Prospects for Self-Sustained Growth. [Published by Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1964]
1957 Economic Tripos [First Class honours], University of Cambridge
1954 M.A. Economics, Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University
1952 B.A. Economics(Hons.), Panjab University – Second Class with first position in the University
1950 Intermediate Panjab University – First Class with first position in the University
1948 Matriculation, Panjab University – First class


2000 Conferred Annasaheb Chirmule Award by the W.LG. alias Annasaheb Chirmule Trust setup by United Western Bank Limited, Satara, Maharashtra
1999 Received H.H. Kanchi Sri Paramacharya Award for Excellence from Shri R. Venkataraman, former President of India and Patron, The Centenarian Trust
1999 Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.
1997 Conferred Lokmanya Tilak Award by the Tilak Smarak Trust, Pune
1997 Received Justice K.S. Hegde Foundation Award for the year 1996
1997 Awarded Nikkei Asia prize for Regional Growth by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc. (NIKKEI), publisher of Japan’s leading business daily
1996 Honorary Professor, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi
1995 Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Award of the Indian Science Congress Association for 1994-95
1994 Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year
1994 Elected Distinguished Fellow, London School of Economics, Centre for Asia Economy, Politics and Society
1994 Elected Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford,
Oxford, U.K.
1994 Honorary Fellow, All India Management Association
1993 Euromoney Award, Finance Minister of the year
1993 Asiamoney Award, Finance Minister of the Year
1987 Padma Vibhushan Award by the President of India
1986 National Fellow, national Institute of Education, N.C.E.R.T.
1985 Elected President, Indian economic Association
1982 Elected Honorary Fellow, st. John’s College, Cambridge,
1982 Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Institute of bankers
1976 Honorary Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
1957 Elected Wrenbury Scholar, University of Cambridge, U.K.
1955 Awarded Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance, & St. John’s college, Cambridge, U.K.
1956 Awarded Adam Smith Prize, University of Cambridge, U.K.
1954 Uttar Chand Kapur Medal, Panjab university, for standing first in M.A.(Economics), panjab University, Chandigarh
1952 University Medal for standing First in B.A. Hon.(Economics), panjab University, Chandigarh

Recipient of Honorary Degrees of D.Litt. from :
– Panjab University, Chandigarh
– Guru Nanak University, Amritsar
– Delhi University, Delhi
– Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi
– University of Bologna, Italy
– University of Mysore, Mysore
– Chaudhary charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar (D.Sc)
– Kurukshetra University
– Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology, patiala (D.Sc)
– Nagarjuna University, Nagarjunanagar
– Osmania University, Hyderabad
– University of Roorkee, Roorkee (Doctor of Social Sciences)
– Doctor of Laws by the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
– Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar University (formerly Agra University) – Doctor Letters degree
– Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Deemed University) D.Sc. (Honoris Causa)
– Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur


May 22, 2004 – till date: Prime Minister of India
March 21, 1998 – May 22,2004: Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha (Council of States) Parliament of India
June, 2001: Re-elected from the Rajya Sabha for a Term of six years
August 1, 1996 – Dec 4, 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce, Rajya Sabha
June 21, 1991- May 15, 1996: Finance Minister of India
June, 1995: Re-elected Member of Rajya Sabha for a term of six years
September, 1991: Elected Member of Rajya Sabha
March 1991-June 1991: Chairman, University Grants Commission
Dec 1990 – March 1991: Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Economic Affairs
August 1987 – Nov 1990: Secretary General and Commissioner, South Commission
Jan 1985- July 1987: Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission of India
Sept 1982 – Jan 1985: Governor, Reserve Bank of India
April 1980 – Sept 1982: Member-Secretary, Planning Commission, India
Nov.1976 – April 1980: Secretary, Ministry of Finance Dept. of Economic Affairs, Government of India

Member [Finance], Atomic Energy
Commission, Govt. of India

Member [Finance], Space
Commission, Govt. of India
1972 – 1976: Chief Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance, India
1971 – 1972: Economic Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Trade, India
1969 – 1971: Professor of International Trade, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, India
1966 – 1969: UNCTAD, United Nations Secretariat, New York Chief, Financing for Trade Section
1966 : Economic Affairs Officer
1957 – 1965 : Panjab University, Chandigarh
1963-65 : Professor of Economics
1959-63 : Reader in Economics
1957-59 : Senior Lecturer in economics


Leader of the Indian delegation to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Cyprus (1993)
Leader of the Indian delegation to the Human Rights World Conference, Vienna (1993)
Governor of India on the Board of Governors of the IMF and the International Bank of Reconstruction & Development (1991-95)
Appointed by Prime Minister of India as Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (1983-84)
Chairman, India Committee of the Indo-japan ;Joint Study Committee (1980-83)

– Leader, Indian Delegation to :
Indo-Soviet Monitoring Group Meeting (1982)
Indo-Soviet Joint Planning Group Meeting (1980-82)
Aid India Consortium Meetings (1977-79)

– Member Indian Delegation to :
South-South Consultation, New Delhi (1982)
Cancun Summit on North-South Issues (1981)
Aid-India Consortium Meetings, Paris (1973-79)
Annual Meetings of IMF, IBRD & Commonwealth

Finance Ministers (1972-79)
Third Session of UNCTAD, Santiago (April-May 1972)
Meetings of UNCTAD Trade & Development Board,
Geneva (May 1971 – July 1972)
Ministerial Meeting of Group of 77, Lima (Oct.1971)

– Deputy for India on IMF Committee of Twenty on International Monetary Reform (1972 – 74)

– Associate, Meetings of IMF Interim Committee and JointFund-Bank Development Committee (1976-80, 1982-85)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors of IBRD (1976-80)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors of IMF (1982-85)

– Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, Asian Development Bank, Manila (1976-80)

– Director, Reserve Bank of India (1976-80)

– Director, Industrial Development Bank of India (1976-80)

– Participated in Commonwealth Prime Ministers Meeting, Kingston (1975)

– Represented Secretary;-General UNCTAD at several inter-governmental meetings including :

Second Session of UNCTAD, 1968

Committee on Invisibles & Financing Related to Trade, Consultant to UNCTAD, ESCAP and Commonwealth Secretariat

– Member, International Organizations :
Appointed as Member by the Secretary-General, United Nations of a Group of Eminent Persons to advise him on Financing for Development (December, 2000)


(i) Author of book “India’s Export Trends and Prospects
for Self-Sustained Growth”
[Clarendon Press, Oxford University, 1964]

(ii) Have published a large number of articles in
economic journals


S/o. Shri Gurmukh Singh

Born on 26th September, 1932

Married in 1958 to Smt. Gursharan Kaur

Have three daughters

(Courtesy Prime Minister’s Office)

of kinkies and idiosyncrasies!!!

Every few weeks or may be I should say months…… I encounter this feeling of things just getting out of hand and me losing grips of everything that I think is important to me. This is happening more this year than any other year of my life.

It very often starts with the love of my life…… my maid giving me trouble (in this case she has gone for a very long holiday), somebody invariably not feeling well (read dad and mom) and me running trying to find meaning to my existence as I am caught up between loyalties of staying put with hubs or running home. So as I continue my balance act on one leg in each boat I am confounded by situations….. in this case of people who talk of things which I must say are very irking to me. I consider emotional upheavals luxuries of life specially after I have faced situations of life and death. I consider some person talking vaguely about some emotional thing rather irritating specially when they additionally have a quiz competition of guess-what along with it.

So today a friend of mine mailed me talking in riddles about some stuff which I was vary of. I was waiting for some reports of my dad and was totally irritated by the objective test put before me. At other times I would have laughed along and joined in but today I was irritated and brushed it aside to concentrate on the more important things in life…… read dad’s report. Only to be called back by the friend to ask me why I had not answered and what did I think of it blah blah blah!!! Man was I pissed!!!!

This person is totally aware of my infamous anger but still he had to invite my wrath. Classic case of “Aa bail mujhe mar”. He was almost showing the red scarf…….. in this case a very very red double bed sheet to a very very very irritated bull and he was surprised when I lost it and very politely told him to lay off and do something useful. Some people just don’t take a hint!!! But guess what I deserve brownie points because I did not raise my voice, I did not sound rude and I did not even use the sarcastic note that I usually use…….. just plainly said to lay off and do something useful like digging like my uncles did…….. nope i did not suggest that but I really wanted to.

Now I guess I am going to have to face repercussions of this for a very long time to come. But honestly guys you don’t ask trivia to people with anger management problems. You steer clear of their path.

Talking of anger management guess what my very very cool headed hubs who never ever raises his voice also has anger management problems. Well he just bottles up and does not talk!!! So that means every body does have some or the other kinky habit……. and people blame me!!! I have a major cleanliness disorder and for every job that I do be it cooking or cleaning or……. anything. It is planned, timed, organised and conceptualised to the core, only then I can actually accomplish it flawlessly…….. otherwise in my ken it is a dissatisfying experience.

My maid can’t tolerate anything unorganized or cluttered so if I am not around she does more than she has to………. I so miss her!!!!

Hubs idiosyncrasies go beyond that. I have a habit of scribbling on my notebook when I am studying. Usually some flower in some corner of a page or some absolute work of art. I do that in all the official meetings when somebody goes on and on and on and does not stop and I have to appear attentive so I start drawing, painting and in some cases shading. Hubs cant stand that. Once he even tore a page that he was writing on because I had started to sketch on it. He says he cant think if somebody does that to his book or page. At other times you cant fold a book while reading it. You have to spread it out and then read!!! and you cant fold currency notes they have to be kept flat so much so that when I buy wallets for him I measure the contents with 500 and 1000 rupee notes. He even argues with bhajiwalas and rickshawwalas for torn notes.

My sister has to go to the kitchen of any household that she visits and she eventually starts cooking……. I call her cooker!!! she is so lost in any other room!!! My mom spends hours adorning the idols of the god’s with flowers. She hates it when she comes to my place because I have no flower bearing plants in my balcony…… the ones that are there don’t produce flowers everyday. My dad has a penchant for electric and hardware stuff. When he comes home or goes to any of my sister’s homes he ends up with some or the other electric component which is not working and sees to it that it works.

All in all I realized today that I am not so crazy after all and unless provoked quite sane. I also realized that everybody has their list of kinky’s. I am definitely going to list mine in another post but guess what I am not so abnormal after all. Some people sometimes look at me and make me feel that that I have developed unicorn like horn on my nose!!! Guess what everybody has a horn like me!!!

whats yours ??? what bugs you??? let me know !!!

Till then hoping that everything works out on home front and everybody becomes healthy and happy like before.

Take care

Ham he rahi pyar ke phir milenge chalte chalte!!! (yes I just saw SRK in RBJ)

See ya !!!

memories of kalibari

The theme for NaBloPo this month is memories. I honestly want to try it. Not that I have ever been successful….. another attempt.

The other day when I was in home in Pune I went to the temple. You can find its exact location on the map here. Ma is part of the satsang and bhajan troupe and since I was chauffeuring her I spent two hours in the temple. The temple is so beautiful now specially with all the hustle and bustle of the Basanti Puja. You will find the temple site here.

While I was waiting, squatting on the cool marble and granite floor…… a strange thought caught me totally unawares………. of homecoming. The temple and me have grown up so much from our humble beginnings years earlier. It has been an integral part of my life. Every time I go home I make it a point to go to the temple at least once.

The temple was started in the late 70s by a group of people from the ammunition and ordnance factory which included my father. In the beginning it was a very simple brick and cement temple with a clay idol. It had a tin and asbestos roof. The idol was worshipped by the local women…… including my mother. In the 80’s we shifted to a quarter just opposite to the temple so Ma went to the temple everyday with the flowers grown in our garden to adorn the goddess. She went everyday in the evening to the temple and sang bhajans.

I was little then and had very few friends at the time. I used to tag along my older sisters who absolutely hated me as they had to take me everywhere they went. They were much older than me and had lots of friends. As for me, I found the adult discussions more interesting than the stuff that my friends of my age had to say, so I always cried and ranted and they were forced to take me with them. Usually they gave me a slip and went away. At such times I used to tag along with ma and go to the temple. There I was given the kartal to play while all the women sang songs to God. When anybody came to the temple it was my job to offer them prasad.

Soon I made lots of friends and every evening played with them but never stopped going to the temple with my Ma. The temple was getting bigger. It was having more and more followers. The temple had a surrounding angan (courtyard) made with Shahbad stones for people to sit. I made friends with the women who came to the temple…… most of whom were much older than my Ma. They talked of God and sometimes of their own lives and families. I found all this very interesting as all of them had a different story to tell. At that time I was too little but I found all these stories very fascinating.

We kids started playing around the temple on the shahbad stone angan. After play I used to sit with my Ma and her friends singing the Lord’s praises. The temple was made bigger in size. Every year there were new improvements. We grew older so did the temple and it grew more effluent. Money started to pour in. The temple committee soon decided to install a stone idol.

The stone idol was made to order from Rajasthan in black granite. It was a beautiful idol. The older idol was immersed in water and the new idol was installed amidst lot of fanfare. Priests were called from the Dakshineshwar temple in Kolkata and sadhus from Belur and Sarada math were invited. The celebrations lasted for days. Two full time priests were hired and they worshiped the goddess three times a day. Living quarters were made for them. There were a lot of new things being implemented at that time. The Bhajans stopped!!! More emphasis was now given on the Sandhya arati. We kids were also not allowed to play in the temple anymore.

The committee bought the land from the ministry of defence after a long legal battle and a lot of paperwork. The temple grew in leaps and bounds with first a shed being made then finally the marble and granite temple which currently houses the Goddess was made. Two additional temples one Shiva temple and another Ganesha temple was made thus completing the whole family of the goddess. Additional priests were hired. A basement with living quarters for the priests and office for the committee was made. The new temple was again inaugurated amidst a lot of festivities which lasted for days.

Satsang and Bhajans were started again. This year the temple was further increased to include a natya mandir and hall for the devotees to sit and meditate along with a basement. The temple today has attained magnanimous proportions from its humble origin years earlier. It is beautiful. The committee plans to make a school and a boarding for people coming for treatment of cancer etc. A lot of grants are also coming in.

I believe that those initial years of mine that I spent in close quarters with the temple has made me what I am. I cant ever be an atheist nor can i understand atheists. Religion is deep rooted in me!!! Though I am not a ritualistic or an extremist. The temple holds fond memories for me. I grew up there, played there and spent hours in there.

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