I walked down the streets of my dear hometown, tired is she by now because time an again she is being used as an object for gambling. A few more paths and I came across the same old Wall, this time painted with a different colour. I felt a little bad because the wall looked handsome in its ancient yellow attire.
That place is special because it was the one who had permanently adopted her and it is the same place where I first saw her. And today the same street, the same good old wall knocked the door of my memory where she still breathes.
But this is not the only place to have reminded me about her. When I was doing my masters I came across this old woman, living in one of the streets of Jalpaiguri. We often saw her, mostly while coming back from the classes. She looked old, a little hunched back, thin and dressed in an old saffron saree. She had a mixture of dry grey and few black hair that was loosely made into a bun. Her dusky face,those small smiling bright eyes,dark lips with one teeth protruding out, everything , everything was strikingly similar that she just reminded me about my old friend. Once again the long forgotten friend came back before my eyes. But the one striking difference that I noticed between them(one who was past and had become a history and the other who was present and alive)was that the unkempt,shabby appearance of my old friend made her look more attractive than the divas on the street. Compared to her this new woman was surprisingly pretty clean and tidy . She usually carried a
Most of the time when we passed by her we would exchange glances and smiles. Like my old friend she too lived in the mercy of local food stalls, selling sweets, tea or momos. Everyday she lived the same day. Of course,we were curious to know where she slept and later we found that she used to spend her night inside an unused shop. Time passed so fast and we finally finished our masters programme. Me and my friend once made a promise to give her something with our pocket money. So when our last days in Jalpaiguri arrived we contributed whatever little amount we could and purchased a new saree for her. We gifted her our small love and care just the day before we left. I felt immense joy like her when she received it with a soft smile. At first she could not understand because she was not a regular beggar. She did not know begging, just like my old friend. We could not understand each other’s language but we felt something. The food stall owner who was providing her with dinner told her in bengali that we were gifting a new saree for her to wear. By gifting her I felt as if I was giving something to my old friend.
I watched that blue,deep blue ocean
As it’s waves twirled and move forward
I felt at once to swipe myself off and leave with it’s to and fro motion, without a trace.
Until my body,tired of holding the weight gets exhausted
My existence becomes extinct
As the ocean slowly swallows me in.
So deeply did I delve in the thought
That I found no difference between you and that vast ocean.
It’s color resembled your eyes.
Yes, your blue eyes where I had so long sailed
Didn’t realize that the weather change
be it in your eyes or that Ocean,it’s same.
And at last I became that old Titanic
Sinking, gradually sinking in the pains
That left me all broken and paralysed
But you are too unworthy to be called an ocean
That harbours thousand different lives.
Never does it abuse or leave others bruised.
As I viewed the blue universe
It taught me lessons in silence
So letting everything go
I stand before it, peeling off that paralysed self,in an outfit,
That mirrors its color.
My mind and my heart all blue
Resembling the powerful
Blue,Yes,deep blue ocean.
I am quoting my words from my poem Azaleas posted a week before in my blog.
“I still have that old photograph
Me and my mother beside
That new mother happily
bursting with pink azaleas
It was last winter,
Grandpa had to cut it short
I still remember that expression
Of discomfort and regret
“Don’t be disheartened baba
They will grow again”, I said.
But his reply gave me a shock
,“They knew I would cut them.
It gives me much pain to inflict the same upon the plant I planted and nursed.”
“But they will grow next year”, he consoled himself.
Weeks haven’t past
My mom sick and in pain,
Tortured me more…
Yes, there is a strong connection
Between a mother and her child
It was then I realised
My grandpa though a Father figure
Had already become a Mother
To the plant life he was giving birth
With every passing year,
Trees,plants,orchids and so on…”
How I Became a Tree very much reminds me of my Thulobaba, baba and boju who are very much one with the green friends growing around us- pines, Azaleas, orchid trees( bahunia.sp), bottle brush( my favourite), Oranges (tall and dwarf), lemon, roses, lalupathey,chinaroses, Gauva, orchids and many more I cannot name.I have grown up with the hills, the trees around me, soaking in the aroma of the fresh tea leaves.I have grown up with the orange trees in our orchard. Some are of my father’s age, some even older than him, some are of my age and others are still younger and growing, all so very taller than me. Each winter, they bless us and when we were kids we would spend the whole day in the orchard, often skipping our lunch…
And reading Han Kang’s novel The Vegetarian, “set in modern-day Seoul,tells the story of Yeong-hye, a home-maker, whose decision to stop eating meat after a bloody, nightmarish dream about human cruelty leads to devastating consequences in her personal and familial life”. What struck me more are the lines in part 3.flaming Trees where she explains her dream“
[…] “Do you know how I found out? Well, I was in a dream, and I was standing on my head…leaves were growing from my body, and roots were sprouting from my hands…they delve down into the earth. Endlessly,Endlessly…. yes, I spread my legs because I wanted flowers to bloom from my crotch; I spread them wide…” .
This description goes so well with this amazing book cover.Isn’t the cover amazing ?
And here is the book with its subtle contemplative narrative “Among all desires to become a tree, the most urgent was the need to escape the noise; one was the noise of the humans, the other was the vocabulary of silence of the active life of trees” –How I Became A Tree by Sumana Roy is one remarkable book you never want to lose at any cost. I ordered this book from Flipkart (Of course it is available in Amazon). The more you read the more you get absorbed into the detailed photographic experiences and glimpses of the authors’ life. The more you read, the more you feel trees and flowers becoming more alive before your eyes. The way she thinks is unmatched and unparalleled, with her unique comparisons and interesting terms like the “tree-time”. There are chapters like Women as flowers and Women as trees. This is an exceptional book where one is awestruck and mesmerised at the same time. This book helps you come a hundred steps closer to the plant kingdom and feel each senses of a variety of flora breathing together with us. This is a book which is not hard to understand. Written in a simple lucid manner, we are sure to explore every flavour of memoir, literary history, nature studies, spiritual philosophies and botanical research.
I am still reading this book and by the end I am sure I will understand more and discover the heart beating inside every plant life.I hope I am not the same person after finishing this book.
Since I haven’t completed the book, I cannot produce a full book review. But below 👇 are the few links where you can read the full book reviews-
Well not every one is blessed as I am right now😇😇😇.
Well I got my copy signed by the author who fortunately turns out to be our beautiful Teacher. She is one of the best teachers on Earth with a beautiful heart and a gorgeous smile.A picture with our Dear beautiful Ma’am. How can I miss this opportunity…
From the Aleph book publisher-“In this remarkable and often unsettling book, Sumana Roy gives us a new vision of what it means to be human in the natural world. Increasingly disturbed by the violence, hate, insincerity, greed and selfishness of her kind, the author is drawn to the idea of becoming a tree. ‘I was tired of speed’, she writes, ‘I wanted to live to tree time.’ Besides wanting to emulate the spacious, relaxed rhythm of trees, she is drawn to their non-violent ways of being, how they tread lightly upon the earth, their ability to cope with loneliness and pain, the unselfishness with which they give freely of themselves and much more. She gives us new readings of the works of writers, painters, photographers and poets (Rabindranath Tagore and D. H. Lawrence among them) to show how trees and plants have always fascinated us. She studies the work of remarkable scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose and key spiritual figures like the Buddha to gain even deeper insights into the world of trees. She writes of those who have wondered what it would be like to have sex with a tree, looks into why people marry trees, explores the death and rebirth of trees and tells us why a tree was thought by forest-dwellers to be equal to ten sons.
Mixing memoir, literary history, nature studies, spiritual philosophies and botanical research, How I Became a Tree is a book that will prompt readers to think of themselves and the natural world that they are an intrinsic part of, in fresh ways. It is that rarest of things – A truly original work of art. How I Became a Tree a book that will prompt readers to think of themselves and the natural world that they are an intrinsic part of, in fresh ways. It is that rarest of things – A truly original work of art.” (Blurb)
Good Morning ! WordPress family. So sharing my picture which I took yesterday 16th of May’17. Its not just a picture but the play of memories I had with it. So a short poem added to the picture. Enjoy😇😀. I know I look not so beautiful😂 but its the golden flowers…..
When it is the Marigolds
All I can think of , is their delicate festoon
Garlanding each door and every windows
That fusion of their distinctive sweet-pungent fragrance ,
Blended with pure potent odour of the cow-dung,
Senses still melting with the subtle aroma of ‛ kera -ko-patta’
That intense smell from incense swiftly explodes
Together with the slow soft smoke from a hundred and one Diyas
Flickering and fusing into the delicious evening air
With them is possible the ‛darkness visible’
While spreading warmth in the still cold autumn hours.
That “Aausi ko Raata”
Bhailini ,Bhailey Ram, and Dewsi ko ‘Jilimili’
Flow of Songs and Rhythms,
Madals mixed with the melody of guitars and dance.
Children, adults all sprinkling verbal blessings,
visiting every home near or far.
Selrotis and Dakshinas
warming both palates and palms…
They are the rich sun-kissed marigolds
Stirring those precipitated memories and emotions
Rekindling – faith and paralyzed hopes…
Prinking fingers after plucking and weaving them into Garlands in a row-
Crows,dogs,cows,houses and dear brothers
Without forgetting a ‘lota’ or a ‘gagri’
Beside the portrait of the wealth -showering Laxmi mata-
generous and impartial in blessing each home.
But I could hear someone uttering the line,
“Will She visit our home this time”?….
So after being an expert tailor
I tend to forget keeping one for myself
So missing our Dear Tihar
Here am I with moments and memories that stays behind
In the college campus,
Crowning myself while cliking this odd picture.
😇😇😇😇😇😀😀 #dussehra #deepawali #marigolds #flowers
**kera -ko-patta– banana leaves; Aausi ko rata – new moon night;Bhailini/ bhailoram /Dewsey-Bhailo and Deusi Re are traditional songs that are sung during the festival of light .Dipavali and also called “Tihar.  Children and teenagers sing the songs and dance as they go to various homes in their community, collecting money, sweets, food and giving blessings for prosperity. Bhailo is generally sung by girls, while Deusi is sung by boys. At the end of these songs, the woman of the house serve food and give money to these deusi/bhailo singers and dancers. In return, the Deusi/Bhailo team gives blessings for high income and prosperity. ;Selrotis-roundel made of rice flour and sugar).
Lota or Kalash is a metal (brass, copper, silver or gold) pot with a large base and small mouth, large enough to hold a coconut. Sometimes “Kalasha” also refers to such a pot filled with water and topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut. This combination is often used in Hindu rituals
Gagri or Gagar is a metal pitcher used to store water in earlier.
Diyas or diyo is an oil lamp used in India and Nepal, usually made from clay, with a cotton wick dipped in ghee or vegetable oils.