I wasn’t very keen when Dad popped up with this idea to visit Mayapur. No, I ain’t an atheist but not the spiritual kind as well. Perhaps, I am the usually found under average human being immersed in success, money and  big dreams. Nevertheless, I did make this weekend trip.

What it turned out to be remains unexplained beyond words. I came back mesmerized, and wiser – if it’s measured by tantamount feelings of realization and sanity.

A world of it’s own, with people swimming around outside civilization and with a touch of spiritual eagerness that at least shows up in the attire – not disputing their intentions in any way, that is. Just being there under couple of days gives you this feeling that there is indeed a world outside the juxtaposed self imposed amphitheater that we all live in. If that looks pretentious, ours is equally appalling. It’s just that we adorn ourselves inside the carpet of civilization that stems out of the roots of the supreme – as they say and as we cease to have faith in.

Interesting stories that kept me hooked up in a sting of conversation that seems to come from a different world, different thought process, different desires, different kind of people. Yes, they are different. Not the outside but the inside that matters. I am to believe that consistently faking yourself is a difficult task and hence my faith remains abducted to my principles that comes from a blessed value system. Long story cut short, I felt strong.

Piece of history was unleashed in front of my eyes and it was a curious visit, if I can say that way – with information about the legend. A weekend of heat and blessed aura that keeps me afloat in testing times.

Thanks to my parents who took my unworthy tantrums in their stride, I owe it to them for all the joy and bliss.

Truly, this is one of it’s kind.

Source of Idol Photos: Mayapur ISKCON Website

There are few moments in life when chaos and joy are seen together. I saw these moments in the past few days which tells me that we are indeed blessed in a way to be together with the people we love and do things together that gets us unrivalled in a blissful tale of relationships. 

Lights outside, lights inside our lives. Brightness has an inevitable bond with us, stitched with such eventful days.

I want them back, but decided to move forward with hopes of a reunion. Soon, again.

For a very long time, I never realised the town had a different name. For me, it never mattered. It was her place of residence and that is all we knew during our growing up days. For us, it was enough. In fact, me and my sister never cared to know her name as well, for a very long time. Again, it doesn’t matter as names and relationships don’t always go hand in hand. Not for me, not for my sister either. She was our dear Granny, my mother’s mother and there lies the inherent respect that we derived and which deemed to exist forever.

We visited her and grandfather during our summer vacations, once in a couple of years. We lived far away but the connect was somewhere, ethereal to say the least. My grandfather was a reputed personality in the adjoining areas surrounding the town and widely respected. I and my sister used to be in awe of the palatial house they lived in and where my mother was born and raised. I am still in awe of that place, I don’t think we can afford to build a house like that in the city, even in today’s economical surge of possessions. The other day, I told my wife that the kitchen in the house used to be the size of our master bedroom, so it’s now easier for you to understand why we were so awe struck. She was the queen of the house and we all ran around like scattered pedestals from a garden of blooming flowers.

The house was perhaps the starting point for the current generation in our family that has grown up and is established in different parts of the world. Our cousins lived in different places and our visit was similar to a reunion – catch up, play pranks, have fun, irritate and disturb my grandfather’s afternoon siesta, and get the flak for it as well. But, nothing changed as our granny used to be at the back of us, supporting our trivial acts of childhood. All that and more, today belongs to the world of folklore.

I will never quote as being very close to her. Distance is one factor, second we did not belong to the classic generation where a spate of people lived under the same roof – grandparents, parents, cousins, relatives. But, the little moments spent with her during our early years will we etched as golden moments in our lives.

As we grow older, she grew old as well. Ironically, the sad part in the happiness of we growing up is the difficult episode of watching our parents growing old. Inevitable and excruciatingly believable, painful at the same time. She went through a similar phase, we lost our grandfather few years back which obviously was a big jolt in her life. From being the queen of independent living, I saw the transition that relegated her to the confines of four walls and very few people around her. Not that love diminished, it’s just that times were changing and she was part of the usual escapade.

With a life lived long enough to watch her children and grandchildren grow up and leading a fulfilling life, were indeed the high points of her illustrious life. Most significantly, her contribution is unsurpassable as we don’t exist if she doesn’t. A unhinged legacy.

Some people don’t leave us, they just distance themselves to keep vigil and see that we are safe. A mother is irreplaceable and her loss will be felt. As for her influence in our lives, time will make the statement at an apt hour of realisation (it does already!).

mayavaram-paatti

Paatti, please rest in peace and help us to remain blessed.

The news of ‘The Dhaba’ in Ballygunge Phari closing down came as a shocker to us. I really felt an era has come to an end.

We used to live in Ballygunge Circular Road in the 90s and we visited the Dhaba quite regularly. It was our favourite neighbourhood Dhaba. As kids, I remember pouncing on those Butter Nans and Malai Kofta. Yummy and delicious they were! Friendly staff and quality food was home to this extremely popular south Calcutta restaurant.

30 years down the line, we still love visiting the Dhaba. My parents don’t live here anymore and I live in Newtown with my family. Whenever they visit Calcutta, we make it a point to have lunch or dinner at the Dhaba – it was our family destination and the fondness appears to have extended beyond generations. In fact, it still remains my dad’s most revered restaurant in Calcutta.

IMG_9453

We visited the Dhaba on 24 Jan 16. That was the day my son was born and we celebrated by having lunch. The restaurant has an unique attachment to my family, in a way that we have spent some special moments of our life in the restaurant. Our last visit to ‘The Dhaba’ was on 8 May 16.

When I read this article today, first thing I did was call my dad and tell him that his dear foodie destination has closed down. He was terribly disappointed and exclaimed that we will have a tough time to figure out our next food destination during his next visit to Calcutta.

I second his thoughts. ‘The Dhaba’ will be sorely missed.

You are the first man in my life. My first Hero, and perhaps the finest. You raised us with all the limitations around, and stood tall to give us the life we live today. You were the reason why I love bikes today, I remember the first time I kick started your bike and how awfully scared I was. You taught us the value of money, and how difficult it was to earn it. But you made it look easy, and I never realised it. Your life is the foundation of ours, it still is. You are my inspiration, our superstar. I am a father today and your benchmark is my aura. We don’t love you, we celebrate you.17748864716_7c5fc680ff_o

You do have many names – Mom, Amma, Ma. But all of them get equated to the same level of dignified poise that you continue to epitomise throughout our lives. We were born, we grew up, we told you we love you and we hate you, we still grew up, we finished school and college, got a job, got married.. the saga of plutonized evolution continued and still continues. But over the years, you have not changed. We have always taken you for granted but your sacrifices never went un-granted. Thank you isn’t the word you deserve because we can never thank you enough. Amma, we just don’t love you, we adore you. You are the powerhouse of our lives.

And, ironically, it will always be an icing on the cake for you – Happy Birthday Mom.

One of my most worshipped places. The goddess of ultimate victory, the sound of lashing waves through the holy Ganga, the colossal view of Bally, the shrine where the famous dialogue took place, perhaps a monologue of a saint is the brimming moment of truth.