The walk from Ballygunge Circular road to Park Street would be a shade under 20 minutes, 15 if you are in a breezy mood and walk like fire. LaMartiniere, The Kookie Jar, Hallmark, AGC were my witnesses while I gallantly strode towards my educative influences.

Well, that was around 18 years back. But, the charm is still imperious.

Christmas day this year was kind of a stunner, seriously. Since I grew up, Calcutta, 25 Dec and Park Street have always been mad for each other. New Market, yes, perhaps for Nimhans but Park Street was the gorgeous de noir for the elite and otherwise. Yes, even 18 years back, you could see those Santa bound lightings, the parks being decorated, schools and colleges having their alumni to welcome Jesus in to our lives, Mags and Mocambo making you wait with a lane long queue. All that hasn’t changed, but the noise and the glitter of people has been two fold, may be 5 fold. You must see the roar of people!

From Shakespeare Sarani to Rawdon Street, touching Freeschool Street through Park Street till Hot Kati Roll. A twist across Sudder Street and the swag in Little Russel Street – the walk was probably the longest in years, the lighting of Jesus’s arrival and media swooshing over our taste buds in the eternal Flury’s – unmatched, undisputed.

The moment you are in this vicinity of bliss and year end pleasantries, you tend to remain famished. We want to. None were spared, categorically. The ghugni in Rawdon, the rolls in Kusum, the pastries of Flury’s, the kachuris in Camac, the puchka in Freeschool. Not to mention, our travesties with the drop-down tea encounters in almost every corner was a taken.

We did return home, but hearts were left behind in the Park.

Technically, we are still there. So hold on, but then, for how long?

Its been a while since we keep talking about what went wrong, what didn’t go well, how people deceived you, how nature’s wrath upon you was so unwarranted, why your employer doesn’t pay you well, why the world has turned so cruel.. the bandwagon is long and lengthy, painful to patronise

But then, I have a question – doesn’t life always cease to dwell upon our inefficiencies and gets the best out of the inner ego of ours that so unwillingly is sandwiched between our sub conscious state of insatiable back packs and that part of our testimonials that is so desperate to succeed in a life where society is beset with maverick congenialities?

Ah, the answer isn’t that simple, hence take your time.

So, this time, my flashbacks would be more of a dismantled poetry that we usually don’t want to venture through our naked eyes. Calligraphic bludgeons of a gorgeous bystander, a naive observation of an amateur, the inspiring words of a CEO on the growing potential of technology and its takers – depends on what appeals to you the most but one decimal of it is attributed to your affinity towards the jingles of the sound that each of them produce to change your lives. Could be a proportionate one or a mere acquaintance of rich standards. Both ways, we stand vindicated.

The days gone by are sometimes difficult to recollect for couple of reasons – too good to talk about or the opposite. Yes, you can argue that good times are always nice to talk about. True, but sometimes its good to leave the good ones behind and look forward to the greater delights of the world cuisine. After all, basking in glory is seldom an attribute of a champion goose (you can treat that as an adventive of my muse), quite so.

Coming to my usual human endeavours that occupies me during most of the year, 2015 was damn good one, at least, to begin with. I wasn’t in the country for most of the ethereal days in the Indian shores, and English waters treated me well with the sarcasm of a Brit and the flamboyance of a spirited youngster. Work kept me busy but then, I had my own moments that helped to gain the rightful brownie points one usually thrives for memorable indulgence. Exploring the north western corners of England was a breathtaking memoir and the highlands of Scotland left me famished. Well, I will go on and on till you ask me to put my foot down. Yes, am almost there to hang up.

Later this year, families, people, queer acquaintances, lots of travel, perceived jolts, the ‘coming-back’ syndrome and ceiling high aspirations leaves me with just one thing – am asking for more.

Am beginning to feel selfish, so lets move away from the indomitable me and talk about how the world changed while I was working around towards renaissance – ah well, a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t like to. Honestly, hate to open the pandoras box in front of this incubating, arousing set of people.

Sporting events are always a highlight of a year thats demanding a couture from its juggling legacy – the Cricket WC (though not the best in recent memory) unfolded with a one sided flak. ISL took centre stage, especially for the sub continent when its best advertisement doesn’t come football. Wimbledon saw some staggering Indian menace and was a candy to our dry eyes. The victory for Indian women in Kabaddi WC was flourishing news but not widely celebrated in the plated circles (not surprising though).
Amidst such fine climate, disturbances did spoil the world affairs. Paris attacks were black days for the history makers and no one feels the anguish more than India, pity we burnt our fingers on numerous occasions despite the UN intervention and extending the precarious principle of solidarity. Thats probably termed as ‘suicidal dilemma’, for us. For rest, its global disaster that we have so easily got used to.
We rounded off with the ‘Baap’ of all time rain-hit calamities, and Chennai city came to a screeching halt. Took weeks to stand on its feet, and recuperating to retain normalcy. (Also read – )

I hate to but will stop, else I get this furious feeling that the year might not end on the pretext of my vivacious account of its famous and infamous exploits. Sighs!

2015, please go. I will not miss you but will occasionally flash through to beat the best of it.

the city of indian sunshine, the glory of south indian peninsula,
quite always the doyen of heat and coffee, temples and bay of divine cuisine.
ambushed by nature, swallowed by waters, mangled with chaos.
chennai, the city of belligerent mother. today.

raven by marauding clouds, broken hearts and thousand more.
galloping horse sedated by the titanic verse, vetted by chapters unlike past.
when monsoon never arrives, oh boy! sure it did this time.
whose vengeance? ask mother gods to their bosses of imperious poise,
holy cow, cows and sheep afloat amidst human jab of path breaking menace.

survival, ah, the call of the hour and wait for thousands.
desperate measures and teething myriads of city living under shades of mercurial salt,
forged missions and buckets of help from a nation that comes together to live.
unrivalled, un-hatched, un-helmed – still pouring as I invite solace to calm madness.

not victim or witness, a son who is just elated to find his own in the lap of safety,
while weeps for the ones who have none to lend a thought about.
at a time of clad moments when time and machine have given away to human arms,
when money and technology were swept away through to shelter and survival.
yes, the days when sanity took over. for a change, we wept. we must.

lets forget the intolerance gig, time to embrace the inevitable quit and slit the git,
lets do it once, for us and only for us. not for the humdingers of political cats.
yes, yes, we are doing it. truly, we are at it. all ruins yes, hope is the victor and disparage collides.
chennai – yes, you are rising and am at the top, with you, surging away.