Thursday, October 13, 2005

I've finally realized that no end of warnings can keep those below eighteen from reading strictly censored stuff. Which puts me in a bit of a quandary. Either I tell all, so to speak, and divulge details of decadence and debauchery or I leave out all the juicy bits......hmm......any signs of innocent school kids or disapproving senior citizens taking the hint........err........no, I think not. Well, here goes. A censored version of the past four days.

There were family moments and there were moments when the whiff of even the most distant relative would have ensured death and dishonor and being grounded for the rest of my lifetime.

My family is insane, right. No doubts about that. Assorted bunch of darlings who should preferably be avoided on full moon nights! Our average family gathering is always over some meal (this time it was ashthami lunch) where it takes us approximately fifteen minutes to finish with the eating part of it. After that it's anyone's guess as to when people will actually get up from the table. This time round I clocked it to one hour and forty five minutes, but that was only because I kinda gently urged them to get on with it. Being the naturally excitable sort of people that we are, family discussions generally follow a pattern like this :

  • Someone will bring up a topic (usually to do with the younger generation which has forgotten the glorious traditions of yore).
  • The younger generation will feel duly mortified and try to justify themselves; various segments of younger gen. adopting various means; some going for the high-pitched screech, some delivering political michhil style orations while one has been known to brandish his fork vehemently (this is my extremely taansh to the core brother who insists on eating maach bhaat with kata-chamoch, please don't ask me why!!). The smart ones (that's usually me) get on with eating.
  • The oldies will deny that the youngsters have any sort of point to make.
  • At this point factions start to appear. Little brawls start on the sideline, usually on subjects totally unrelated. (It's a bit like Fulliautomatix taking a break from hitting the Romans to give Cacofonix a jab in the ribs.)
  • Whichever aunt is feeling most philosophical starts of on a somewhat monotonous lecture on culture and tradition which is guaranteed to continue long after the rest have quit and and are probably discussing how the taste of the khichuri had been improved by the use of a new brand of rice called (and I kid you not) radhunipagol chaal.
  • Gradually all minor issues will be left aside and all attention will centre on one topic (which can range from the debate over science vs art to the outcome of partition to why homosexuality should be condoned to whether we want a caterer or a thakur for my sister'’s upcoming wedding!!!)
  • Everybody,laboring under the impression that their argument is most logical and sound, will raise their voice in order to be heard
  • With the simultaneous increase in noise levels, no one will be able to hear themselves speak and eventually someone will adopt the wise stance of standing up and shouting.
  • Not to be left behind the others will come to their feet and the brawling will continue.
  • Till someone has a flash of genius and gets up on a chair and starts ranting!!!

Yes well, let us draw a curtain over this gentle scene of family bonhomie and move on to other stories.

Apart from the happy family kodak ishtyle moments, it was the same old story really. Maddox Square. Where almost everyone was doing one of two things :

a) desperately shrieking directions to friend(s) on cell or running around looking for friend(s)

b) bitching about how terrible the place is and how they will not come back the next day.

We were also there. Sitting on a rock, on the road behind the pandal. Where we managed to attract an inordinate amount of attention from random passers-by. There were the inevitable responses to girls lighting up. And a lot of scandalized, disapproving glances at the apparent, erm, ahem, free-mixing among friends. All of which we merrily ignored.

I'’m obviously not going to list our illegal activities but if I was being euphemistic I'’d say it was a mixture of the nectar of the gods, the stuff that makes the world go green and something assassins would choose to hallucinate on.

I went full cycle really. Shashti started at Maddox, from where we hopped across to Someplace Else for beer and Cassini's Division, which was quite an entertaining combination, what with the bassist gone gothic with fingernails painted black (we paused to wonder about the toes but they were discreetly enclosed in sneakers). And come the last day I was back at SPE for more beer. Only this time it was with other company, there was some other band and the fingers that attracted attention were, alas, my own. There I was gracefully making my way through the packed pub and some shada bachha, firingi loser grabbed my hand. And in my benumbed hallucinating state I didn't even realize that there was anything strange until he started squeezing my fingers and moving up my wrist. Sheesh!

And then to top it off a friend of mine called at 12.40 last night to say his younger brother who happens to be in class XII had seen me (on Ashthami, in a saree) and fallen in love, sheesh again!! Of course it might have been that the kid brother was being unfairly maligned, granted the friend in question is one who keeps asking me out and says things like "“coffee is just an excuse, it'’s the aftermath"” (which umm, makes me wonder if his intentions are entirely honourable).

hmm.….these were snippets from my celebration of the festive season. What I did realize is that scheduled partying is something which happens in other people's lives, nothing planned ever works with me, it all just happens on the spur of the moment. It would actually be quite possible to write a novella if I had to write all that happened, and that too would probably read in parts like Victorian Underground Literature. So I should discreetly stop here in my recital of pujo stories from this year.

But these were the things that happened and will be forgotten by the time next year comes around. But there are memories that rest deeper. If I could I would have described why, despite all the reckless activities that we indulged in, everything faded when I heard the beating of the dhak, when I stood before the image in clay or stone, when I bowed my head and thought, "I have come home indeed".


belated update : There are a thousand feelings that I wish I could capture in words but can't. For those who really want to know why the thought of pujo, beyond the fun and frolic, makes me all misty eyed may I suggest

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  • 41 Comments:

    Blogger Shobhik said...

    I eat ilish maach with my spoon - and I'm quite fast at it. I'm horrible at eating with my hands (cant get 'em oily!), but I manage at nemontonyos...

    Some shadar bachcha also grabbed teleute's hand. Isolated incident, or are all white-trash-losers getting high on local liquor these days?

    6:30 PM  
    Anonymous ibboss said...

    I had absolutely no sense of pujo here, there apparently are some bangali celebration at some bangali shomiti but really, if you're not fighting through a crowd, running into random people you happened to know, and getting awed by the truly amazing pandels, then it really isn't pujo. I'd like to be around sometime when you guys are lighting up in public, I don't like cigarette smoke and really, I'm too goody goody mostly to do anything that the public can disapprove of, but I would like to have random strangers looking disapprovingly at me so that I can laugh at them and it shall have to be simply through association. It must be fun. I like your family, but then again, my family's somewhat strange too, so I suppose it's pretty familiar. The topics of discussion are just different. I've tried a few kinds of beer, all alcohol tastes to me like the time I took homeopathic medicine. It was one of those alcohol infused pills, and subsequently, all alcohol reminds me of medicine.
    Um, "coffee is just an excuse, it's the aftermath?", how much of a lightweight is he, or are you, if coffee is enough to get to the aftermath is hinting at and no alcohol is even needed?

    6:46 PM  
    Blogger the One said...

    >>a friend of mine called at 12.40 last night to say his younger brother who happens to be in class XII had seen me (on Ashthami, in a saree) and fallen in love, sheesh again!!

    Grrr ..

    >>Of course it might have been that the kid brother was being unfairly maligned, granted the friend in question is one who keeps asking me out

    GRRR ...

    >>and says things like "“coffee is just an excuse, it'’s the aftermath"”

    WHAAAAT?!?!

    7:08 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : Not isolated incident, we were together at SPE, and there was a group of these shada bachhas who needed to be kicked all the way from here to wherever they're from, loser type lechers!!!
    aar bachha tumi to mohaan, it takes me aeons to fish all the kata out of ilish with my hands, how do you do it with a spoon?!!!
    Or are you mixing up ilish *which has too many bones* with bhetki *which has practically no bones* raised eyebrows :D

    ibboss : it was fun sweety...and yes the next pujo you are in town which will probably be ten years later you shall have fun by association.
    As to the coffee, it's like this, erm...my blog has been visited by 13 yr olds so I didn't want to be too explicit, but the distorted idea presented was...coffee is the excuse to get me out and umm...the aftermath is well, you know blushes furiously oh never mind!!!

    the one : *beeg beeg innocent eyes*
    What happened?

    *bats eyelashes furiously*
    Why would the one happen to be growling?

    *back to being picture of innocence*
    Is it merely my incoherent narration of events that thus upsets you?!

    7:47 PM  
    Blogger the One said...

    Your incoherent narration of events, while mildly disturbing, is not the root cause of one's concern.

    Plis to note well, madam, that one has taken note of your activities. If this state of affairs continues, plis to be warned that you shall not be in reciept of that can-I-make-friendship-with-you mail that one had been labouring over.

    Batting eyelashes will not help. Hmpfh.

    ** sits in corner and sulks **

    8:34 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    aaaawww...

    but, but, but...

    *wide eyed stare of innocence*

    Is it my fault that I was looking passably nice? It's not like I asked the boy or his brother to like me!! Won't one plis to send that can-I-make-friendship-to-you mail?

    *twembly lip*
    this after I check your blog ever so often in the hopes of a new post

    *lip twembles even more*

    and the mail/im id is to be found on my complete profile

    *drops hint and then demurely looks down blushing*

    8:55 PM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    babelfish, I use the spoon (and my trusty mouth!) to separate flesh from bone. And its Ilish, definitely. Please, Bhetki is too easy... I can eat that with my hands!

    Are you coming to the blogmeet?

    Why all the 'innocentness' with the one? Doesn't he know how to open people's profiles if he wants their contact info?

    9:43 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : hush child, I'm still batting eyelids at the one without you butting in with bewildering comments :D
    and yes I'll be there at the blogmeet if only to see if you were one of the bachhas who probably called me aunty at maddox square :D

    9:45 PM  
    Blogger Acroyali said...

    the perfect pujo mix, family and maddox sq.

    the bitching never stops and neither does the going back!

    take care and shubho bijoya! :)

    10:08 PM  
    Blogger the One said...

    ** looks up from deep sulk **
    You repeatedly check one's bloggy-woggy?

    ** slowly-spreading grin **
    And you look passably nice?
    And you don't mind that one misspelled receipt in the last comment?

    Awwww .. shucks .. cho chweet and all ..

    ** blushes and rushes off to resume work on can-I-make-friendship-with-you mail **

    10:24 PM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    I wouldn't say 'aunty'...

    ..with a straight face I might say 'hey honey!";

    maybe...




    "can-I-make-friendship-with-you mail " ???????????
    Shotyi...

    11:11 PM  
    Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

    You had me in splits. That description of your family was quite wonderful. I have an equally batty if not worse clan who can get quite embarassing at times. Meal times are always at least one hour long.
    Looks like you had a great time.
    Shubho Bijoya.

    11:41 PM  
    Blogger Dreamcatcher said...

    Btw me knows that you are the
    babe(l)fish of the mysterious and beautiful eyes but PLEASE 16 year olds and class 12...

    11:53 PM  
    Blogger rogue said...

    yeah 16 yr olds and class 12 be nice for elderly hot ladies i spose ;D but ur post was hilarious!

    1:13 AM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    acroyali : thankoo :)

    kanti : tui dara, dekha hok, tarpor honey baar korchhi!!!

    dc : compliments as to post highly appreciated :D plis to be noting I much much prefer older men, these be kiddy's with crushes on aunty type ladies also *blushing furiously* hem hem thanks about the eyes and all that :D

    beautiful loser : i shall ignore that bit about elderly ladies and say I'm glad you enjoyed the post :D

    1:52 AM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    the one :
    *pouting lips*
    one should go see bloggy-woggy if one does not believe me

    **somewhat blushy blushy**
    plis to note I have been referred to as hot also dc mentioned mysterious, beautiful eyes and all that
    ***blushes even deeper***

    alternating between blushing furiously, batting eyelids vigorously and waiting for mail

    1:57 AM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    @babelfish - nooooooooo! I have only one life! merci, merci!

    If you're that serious, whatever I said in the above comments (except for ilish and the meet), I said jokingly. Please don't take it seriously.

    1:35 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : This is too hilarious! Do you know what merci spelt that way in French means? It means thank you!!!!!!

    1:37 PM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    Then I'm thanking you for threatening to extract honey from my mouth!

    Sorry for the bad French. Ass that I am, I honestly thought I knew what that meant. Must crawl through swearmonger for French again!

    2:11 PM  
    Blogger cass said...

    i am so jealous.u seem to be having muchas fun.
    however,i must say that your family is nowhere near as bizarre as mine...will spill all later.

    2:45 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : chill dude!! :D

    cass : I am having muchas fun, we shall swap stories once you get back :)

    3:15 PM  
    Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

    I was about to (a) thank you for the compliment i.e. the link (b) ask you porer chhobi gulo ki doshe korlo?

    Now that your comments box is a salon (any moment now we shall see the fluttering fans, the powdered wigs and the beauty patches) I retreat in some haste.

    J.A.P.

    5:32 PM  
    Blogger rainbeau_peep said...

    In my family, people stand up on chairs to point accusingly at me for having stolen the dessert.
    prothom 5-6ta comment porey *chokh bondho*

    9:05 PM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    People frequently accuse me of pilfering a) their chocolates, b) their fruit juices/ drinks, c) their biscuits (except 'Marie biscoot'), d) their kaju barfi!

    And quite a lot of other things.

    10:20 PM  
    Blogger Pip Squeak said...

    HAHAHAHAHHA!

    Senility should be punishable by law. That's what i think after reading your post. Really, people bawling on about tradition deserve to be guillotined. Please note that am not ridiculing the tradition in any way. Merely trying to say that elders should learn to keep their mouth shut and not wash their dirty linen in public. ( dirty with respect to us.) As for those 'cool dudes' who flout tradition openly or consciously, they need to take a hike. And spurring on such lengthy traditional debates is pointless, as is aptly justified in your case. Cannot comment further due to lack of personal experiences, having avoided social occasions right and left, at the slightest pretexts.

    10:39 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    J.A.P : hmm, I think I've finally got the link straghtened out. So that should solve question b.)
    As for part a.), Sheesh!!

    And as for the salon : shotyi, tumio na *wild fluttering of eyelashes*

    rainbeau_peep : Alright you can quit your imitation of Gandhijike pehla bandar, you, you des(s)ert raider!!

    kanti : child, you're scaring me. Are you the innocent one who gets unjustly blamed or should I just put up a notice warning all bloggers on Sunday to watch out for you?!!

    pippy : I quite agree with you on the pointless-ness of lengthy debates on tradition, not only do we fail to reach an amicable conclusion, we often fail to remain on amiable terms :D

    3:16 PM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    No need for a warning, I'm a little bit of both actually! PLease don't call me a child, its insulting... (once you see my face, you'll understand!) ...for me.

    3:49 PM  
    Blogger Unjustified Insanity~~ said...

    "And then to top it off a friend of mine called at 12.40 last night to say his younger brother who happens to be in class XII had seen me (on Ashthami, in a saree) and fallen in love, sheesh again!!"

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL @ infatuation

    9:48 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : having met you I shall of course insist on calling youchild, if only to irritate you no end :D
    Incidentally it was most enjoyable to have met you, but question is it to be aunty?!!

    UI : *raised eyebrows* What young man do you find so funny?!!
    :D

    12:46 AM  
    Blogger Shobhik said...

    not aunty.... didi...
    The enjoyment was not yours alone.

    Well met!

    12:17 PM  
    Blogger Pip Squeak said...

    here's a better idea babel- next time you hear such lenghty seemingly amicable debates about how " our tradition is gradually approaching extinction", where elders always claim they've come out on tops no matter how many blatant logical flaws you point out in their arguments, the best thing to do is this:

    Throw a sociology textbooks at their faces. Make sure it's heavy enough. That should keep them quiet for a couple of hours.

    Or say the following- " I'd rather have my bottom impaled on a giant cactus than listen to all this drivel from you jumped up blokes!"

    11:12 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    kanti : :D

    pippy : Why are you fascinated by the hought of throwing books around? I shudder to think I might accidentally lend one such as you a book, good grief!!

    And since you must be aware of freudian metaphors et al may i suggest that your repeated use of phallic symbols is quite suggestive of what was euphemistically described in the case of Mary Shelley as pen-envy. Has your blogging alter-ego any explanations for this?

    12:57 AM  
    Blogger Lancelot said...

    no way.... i said i wudnt come back to maddox this time round and did only coz i was forced that day with nothing to do, and wanted to meet ppl from skool whom i wudnt otherwise.... neways went just one day...thats resolve for you :D
    have (sadly) noticed this tendency of elders to zero in on us, the youth, and take it upon themselves to point out all the "flaws".really hafta struggle to maintain my smile and respond without sarcasm

    1:40 AM  
    Blogger Pip Squeak said...

    No no! No phallic symbols intended! How disgusting! For your information, that comment was straight from the Hollywood comedy 'Johnny English'.

    And I have no idea what technicalities you mean really. I never took literature seriously.

    12:11 PM  
    Blogger Teleute said...

    b'fish deary, how is it that one who is so comfortable with terms such as pip squeak, shrivelfig and ultramicroscopic, is appalled so by the mere notion of phallic symbolism?

    and poor soul! - so dazed is the child from quoting lines from british comedies, that he is confused between euphemisms and technicalities!

    the things that torment today's kids, i tell you!

    3:19 PM  
    Blogger Pip Squeak said...

    Hah!
    I'm not going red in the face if that's what you're implying. It's just that i was misunderstood completely.

    3:57 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    lancelot's take : well done yaar, all my pujo I will not go to maddox square tis year resolutions generally vanish by shashti dupur :D

    teleute : hehe! :D :D *endless line of grins*

    pippy : I'm not sure how you were misunderstood but you most certainly are misinformed my dear. I assure you the Brits would be mortified to hear Johnny English referred to as a Hollywood comedy!!

    4:28 PM  
    Blogger Pip Squeak said...

    Teleute, i think you need to realize that I'm going to be 18 in Jan. I detest being called a kid.

    Well you are entitled to your opinions of course, but please keep them to yourself in public, unless you want a few nasty outbursts of my pent up frustrations on your blog!
    And that was a threat!

    3:37 PM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    pippy : here's looking at you kid

    My grandmother still refers to my Dad as a child. I'm afraid my dear, you'll have to get used to anyone who's even a month older than you calling you a kid :D

    And I'm dead serious, I'm very cool with nasty comments directed at me on my own blog, since I shall return them with interest, but if you wanna threaten/insult/be nasty to anyone else I suggest you buzz off and do it elsewhere. Not on my blog. Not to my friends.

    9:57 PM  
    Blogger Teleute said...

    b'fish - you be the loverlies!
    :)

    9:50 AM  
    Blogger babelfish said...

    teleute : so be-eth you :)

    2:36 PM  

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