Swisspuja Patrika 2016

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Messages Message from the Ambassador

Essays 5

#philosophy The Urge To Be Someone Else


- Smita Purushottam

Message from the President


- Shubhra Kanti Acharya

From the Editors' Desk

Journey of a Soul



- Aakash Bhattacharya

- Sourav Ray

#artisans-for-swisspuja 'A dream come true!'


- Jhilam Mukherjee

Moner Tiffin Baksho


- Aritra Ganguly

Prem Maney Ki?


- Aritra Ganguly

- Amit Sen, Subhodeep Chakroborty

#science Telescopes and some Basic Concepts

Interviews #dancelegend In Conversation with Dr. Minati Mishra


- Dr. Minati Mishra / Sweta Mitra / Editorial Team

#integration The Sounds of India


- Urs Zemp

10 Dinge #starperformer Catching-Up with Kinjal


- Aldrina Carvalho Rao


- Kinjal Chatterjee / Editorial Team

The Portugese-Bengali Bridge


- Ligia Cristina Martins / Bikram Chatterjee

Curry vs. Curry #coverpageartist "When in Doubt - Add Paint"


- Richard Roughley


- Shalmali Patkar / Editorial Team

Joy Goru!


- Saradindu Mitra

#sports Saving Indian Football

Photo Album Durga Puja 2015 Bijoya Sammelani 2015 Rabindra Jayanti 2016 Swisspuja Picnic 2016


- Sourin Bose


- Rahul Choudhury

12 14 16 18

Once Upon a Cricket Match


- Aniruddha Ghosh

#culture Historical Frame of Durga Puja

Photos: Tanmoy Pal, Riya Sengupta


- Prof. Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti

Poetry Chokher Moddhe Dekhao

#music Metal That's Heavy - and all that Jazz


- Rajshekhar Pal

Arekta Sheetkaal - Rajshekhar Pal Tomar Jonno Na Lekha Kobita

#reminescence Growing Up with Durga Puja One Fine Navami



- Indrani Sen

The Pujabarshiki Chronicles


- Rajat Bhattacharya

- Riya Sengupta

#inmemoryof Sunil Sagore

Dance Dancing Queens @ CH


- Sweta Mitra / Editoral Team (Inputs from: Dipti Abhilasha, Fanny Marquet - Meera, Gauri Priscilla Bruelhart, Sowgandhika Krishnan, Stuti Aga, Suparna Acharya, Sweta Mitra, Tandra C. Sanyal, Veena Steiner)

Art Corner The Woman


- Kamalika Chakraborty

- Azad Rahaman

Broken - Sourav Ray The Dance


- Dipanjana Ghosh



- Diptanil Sengupta

Manik Mamar Deshey / Satyajit Ray: The Great Man and I


- Smita Kishore

Travelogues 79

- Amrita Ray

Kolkata: 'Sweets'-memories

The Rain

- Samyuktha Muralidharan Sharma

- Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal

A Swindian Love Letter to London 100

The Garhwali Ginger Tea Maker 80

- Kiran Kishore

- Brindarica Bose

The Wall

Ramayana in Pictures


- Abhigyan Ghosh




- Ashok Kishore

- Sumana Roy Choudhury



Recipe for Raising a Third Cultural Kid


- Nayana Chakrabarti Bhattacharya (Inputs from: Amrita Ray, Brindarica Bose, Chandra Chakraborty, Kamalika Chakraborty, Riti Mukherjee, Srijani Bhattacharya, Suparna Acharya, Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal )

Adbhuture Aamar Chardiner Pujo Pretatma - Basanta Bihari Palit



- Riti Mukherjee

- Rejina Ramachandran Sadhu - Srishti Rakshit


- Suparna Acharya

Mother and Daughter Conversations Continued... 65 Hello from the Other Side


Britter Bairey


- Rama Joardar

Probashi Mayer 'Rupkotha'


- Uma Debnath

Teen Kanya


- Brindarica Bose

One Way Ticket to the Moon The Island of the Lost 67


- Adhrit Bose


Candy Morning


Photography #photoblog

- Sasmit Bhattacharya


- Aarna Debnath




- Arushi Bhattacharya


- Nayanika Debnath



- Santanu Mukherjee #photos

Photographers: Indranil Banerjee Riya Sengupta

106 110

Fasnacht @ Bern


- Sandipan Chakraborty

Beauty in the Beasts - Kaushik Sarkar





- Anoushka Ghosh

New Pele


-David Hardwick

- Prakriti Sadhu

A Tree's Best Friend


Warehouse in the Sky


The Friend


-Tandra C. Sanyal

- Nayana Chakrabarti Bhattacharya

- Prakrita

Rules Don't Care


Oh my Ghosh!

Lord Rama

Superman for a Day - Shukrit Rakshit


- Pallabi Roy Chakraborty

- Marta Martins Castro

Lost in the Jungle


Stepping Stone

Lunar Eclipse

The Girl in the Jar


- Indira Acharya -Diptanil Sengupta


Urban Sketching


- Srijit Bose

Kids' Corner Kids' Wall of Awesomeness!


- Abhiraj Roy Choudhury

Dhabar Mutton Curry


- Dr. S. Coomar

Masala Pomfret #kidspoem

A Request



- Parul Gupta 92

Quick and Easy Chocolate Croissants


- Rejina Ramachandran Sadhu


- Indranil Bhattacharya - Pratyush Das Kanungo / Editorial Team (Inputs from: Sekhar Dhar, Anirudh Lohia, Rajesh Varadarajan, Anindya Mukherjee, Aranya Sundar Bhattacharya)


Spinach Pakoda Kadhi

- Pratyush Das Kanungo


Bhindi Do Pyaaza - Uma Debnath

Health and Fitness

The Present Scenario is Fatty


- Tina Saha Pal

- Shukrit Rakshit

Why Do I Run?


Short Stories





-Bongmom’s Cookbook

Surveys Movie Survey - There's Something About Pujo! Running - The ‘On the Run’ Survey

58 93

Front Cover: Shalmali Patkar Swisspuja wishes to thank all its advertisers: Aakriti Art Gallery, Agarwal Fine Continental Food, Anliker Immobilien, Andre Garcia Cases, Aquilana Versicherungen, Art of Food, Balaram Mullick and Radharaman Mullick Sweets, Barkat Cash & Carry Lebensmittel, Birla AG, Chalet India, CSS Versicherungen, Elanet Shop Take-Away GmbH, HCL Technologies, Incredible India - India Tourism Paris, Indokids, Indus Intellirisk Intellisense Services Pvt. Ltd., International School Zurich North, International School of Berne, Ital'India, Liveu, Putzfrauagentur Schmid GmbH, Qatar Airways, Taj Palace


© Swisspuja Patrika Copyright 2016








Message from the Executive Committee 2016 MESSAGES

13th year of Durga Puja celebrations! On behalf of Swisspuja Executive Committee 2016 I wish you all a sparkling, radiant and joyous Durga Puja! Each year brings new challenges along with it. 2016 also had its share. However with Maa’s Grace we at Swisspuja were able to tide over them. On the other hand the members’ support, the sponsors’ generosity, the donors’ kindness and the grit and hard work of the various sub-committees paved the way for another successful year. On 8th May we celebrated Rabindra Jayanti for the second year. Women, men and children walking next to the Zurich lake, singing Tagore’s songs to the beats of a khol, the background of the morning Swiss Alps, curious onlookers – all these added to the charm of the Prabhat Pheri (morning March). At the cultural programme in the evening once again we all sang Rabindranath Tagore’s songs, recited his poems and danced to his creations. The highlight of the evening was the dance drama “Chitrangada”, which was brilliantly presented by our members. This year’s Picnic on 11th June, was special. The members, visitors and the EC quickly adjusted to the last minute change of venue. Long live Swisspuja! The spirit was indomitable. The puja preparations commenced much before any of the other activities started – requesting people for articles and write- ups, conducting interviews, editing articles, preparing layouts, re-designing the website, conceiving the decoration concept, posting RFPs, selecting the vendor-partners, preparing contracts, choosing the caterers, deciding on menus, requesting sponsors and donors, applying for visas, reserving flight tickets, constructing a packaging plan, deciding on a courier, seeking permissions and getting certificates from authorities, designing of invitation cards, defining a new event’s name, drawing posters, flyers and ticket layouts, planning how to manage the floor, ordering flowers, building structures, practising songs and dances, buying music systems, teams spending innumerable hours in meetings for making all the above a success – all these and more went into organizing our Durga Puja this year. Maa Durga has arrived with Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kartik and Mahishashur! We are blessed to welcome Maa with a performance of Agomoni. We would try to present some of the immortal Mahalaya songs, interspersed with recitations. Decoration during Durga Puja – once again a new theme and an innovative attempt – our theme this year is “Essence of Bengal”. Bengal with its diversity – be it landscapes, art, architecture, paintings, sculptures, artistic creations of artisans, music, songs, rhythms, folk-art, mime, theatre, films, sports, writings, opinions and debates – is an overflowing and reverberating cauldron. Our philanthropy initiative this year is with ASHA Zurich and NNEdPro. We have pledged to collect and donate funds for supporting two projects of ASHA Zurich. The first project is for education of children in Alipurduar and the second project for prevention of child labour in the Sunderbans. We would also collect and donate funds for NNEdPro’s programme on nutrition and health education for mother and children in economically disadvantaged areas. We hope you all are with us on these and would generously support the causes. We wish you once again from the bottom of our hearts and hope that Maa Durga showers Her Blessings on us all. May your Puja days and your lives be embalmed by Her Grace! We are and would remain obliged to the kindness and generosity shown by our members, donors, sponsors and friends. We would like to end here with a prayer from Brhadaranyaka Upanishad:

asato mā sad gamaya tamaso mā jyotir gamaya mṛtyor mā amṛtaṁ gamaya From ignorance lead me to truth From darkness lead me to light From death lead me to immortality

On behalf of Swisspuja Executive Committee 2016

Shubhra Kanti Acharya President Swisspuja Contact:






f you're reading this message, it can only mean one thing: you've attended this year's annual celebrations and picked up a copy! Then again, someone may have handed you one. Oh, so you're browsing through our online version, are you? On second thoughts, I wonder - have I missed a scenario or two here? Nevertheless, any which way you're 'looking at it', it can only mean one thing (and this time I'm sure): Swisspuja is now 13 years old! And I dare say, looking good and going strong.

inputs and has helped the Team in tying up loose ends throughout these months. And finally, the only reason this magazine has been successfully 'assembled' is because of the tireless efforts of one Riya Sengupta (who has been nothing short of amazing!). We are all newbies at this and, hard as it may have been at times - it was a phenomenal learning experience for all of us.

Right alongside this landmark, the 'Patrika', which is the marquee magazine that Swisspuja produces, has grown steadily - in shape, size and variety, year upon year. This year, we've had more contributors than ever before. The response has been overwhelming and we should all give ourselves a pat on our backs for being so awesome!

The President, Secretary and Treasurer this year deserve a special mention especially for their support and counsel even at the most ungodly hours of day! The entire Executive Committee has also been extremely supportive every step of the way.

Just like the Olympic torch, the responsibilities for the magazine are handed down from one committee to the next. I feel privileged to have been one of its torch-bearers this year. Yes, that's correct - I am but one of them. I am proud to say that I'm not the Editor per se for this year's magazine, but a team-member of this year's Editorial Team. All for one and one for all. Etcetera. And even though this is mostly used in the context of battle (or in the catering and hospitality sector): @ Team, it has been a pleasure serving alongside all of you. In my head, I first imagine that I've won an Oscar. Then I 'shift+delete' the Oscar, which leaves me with just the emotional 'thank-you' part. And a long list!

I was cross with Brindarica Bose for the first half of the year. But in a good way, if that were possible. She has set immensely high standards for this magazine and is a tough act to follow. But being the wonderful person that she is - she's always been ready to help us out with all kinds of tips and inputs, based on her past experiences. Then, of course, there is the magician - Tanmoy Pal - who has been like a guardian angel for us throughout. Somehow, everything is 'easy' for him and, in dire situations, he swoops in like an eagle and saves the day. We never say it enough, so I'll say it again - thank you, Tanmoy. But a 'production' such as this one demands a few more hands on deck and it has been ever so heartening to see how some of you have come forward to help us on our way. Dipanjana Ghosh and Diptanil Sengupta - I definitely owe you one. You've both been instrumental in 'making sense of' and editing the entire set of articles that are in Bengali. And Smita Kishore - thanks a tonne for casting your eagleeye upon a number of write-ups. The magazine is slowly turning into a 'better place' now thanks to efforts and benchmarks such as yours. Last but not least - Shalmali Patkar, take a bow. We all love the cover you've designed for us! EDITORIAL TEAM 2016

First and foremost - the Editorial Team - Nayana Chakrabarti, Azad Rahman, Riya Nandi and Riya Sengupta. I cannot stress enough on how hard they've worked in turning this magazine into what it is right now. We've had discussions and late-night meetings, plenty of brain-storming sessions - and above all, lots of fun! Nayana has been brilliant allround and I honestly don't know how she does all of this being a mother SWISSPUJA MAGAZINE of two. Hats off to her! Azad has, as SOURAV always, been everAZAD RIYA S ready to contribute on all fronts in every way possible, especially in the critical and frantic closing stages. Riya Nandi has continuously provided




As far as our content is concerned we've built something of a high-rise on the foundations from yesteryears. For repeat topics such as Parenting we've tried to give it a different spin of



From the editors’ desk


sorts. The 'essays'-section, in my opinion, is a treasure-trove this year. We've covered a lot of ground across a multitude of areas! This also includes an 'in memory of' section, where we've talked about some very special individuals we've lost - the prolific Suchitra Bhattacharya, the ever-green Sunil Gangopadhyay and the eternal Satyajit Ray; stalwarts who have shaped and sculpted the art-and-culture scene in Bengal and far beyond. Once again, I'd like to commend Diptanil for his excellent research here. Dipanjana and Smita, thanks again - this time for sharing some very personal experiences and anecdotes with the rest of us! In the 'Interviews' department - we were fortunate enough to have been in the company of the amazing Dr. Minati Mishra - a giant in the world of Indian classical dance. Aditi Sengupta, Gautam Sengupta and Madhubrata Chatterjee - thank you ever so much for making this happen. And then of course, there's the charismatic Kinjal, who performed in ZĂźrich for us last year. Kinjal Chatterjee squeezed out some time for us in-between events and - because he is so wonderful - answered all our questions candidly and with a smile! Photography, travelogues, health-and-fitness, an exciting kids' section and so much more. In short

(and in a suitable sales-pitch) - we have it all, folks! Pick a topic, turn to our contents-page and presto flip across to your desired area of interest! I think I've said quite enough, don't you? Honestly, I just gave you a head-start - the pages speak for themselves! I do hope that this magazine reaches out to you and inspires you in the same way that its content inspired me. This is well and truly a 'mirror' to this community and all its associated branches. All in all, the reflection, to me, looks positively stunning! The world we live in is, so very often, influenced by hate-mongers and smiling (or sometimes exploding!) 'bad-guys'. But it's up to us to turn things around and 'make this entire planet great again'. As Billy Joel would say with music: "We all end in the ocean, we all start in the streams / We're all carried along by the River of Dreams." So, regardless of your age, sex or ethnicity - remember to keep on dreaming and, most importantly (in keeping with current trends): keep on keeping on! On behalf of the Swisspuja Magazine Editorial Team 2016, Lots of good wishes, Sourav Ray


Top Row (L to R): Shubhra Kanti Acharya (President), Aranya Sundar Bhattacharya (Secretary), Rajat Bhattacharya (Treasurer), Rajshekhar Deb, Middle Row (L to R): Mahua Ganguly, Sourav Ray, Sandipan Chakraborty, Rajib Mukherjee, Bottom Row (L to R): Arpit Sanyal, Manjit Nandi, Aniruddha Ghosh, Rahul Choudhury





"WHEN IN DOUBT - ADD PAINT!" Creative and enthusiastic scientist-artist. Homemaker. New Moma. A.k.a Opaperlady E-mail:

The Swisspuja Magazine Editorial Team would like to thank the multi-talented Shalmali Patkar for designing this year's magazine cover. We spoke to this 'super-mom', who is now based in Holland, just a few weeks ago. Here are some excerpts... Mixed Media - explained! To put it simply, this is an art form that combines a variety of media within a piece of artwork. For example - if you draw with crayons, then paint over it with acrylic paint, then add some textures to this with modelling paste - well, that's mixed media! Mixed media products or applications include things like collages, assemblage, handmade greeting cards and art journaling to name a few. Where did you two meet? In the summer of 2014, I stumbled upon a YouTube video, through an artist's blog and this introduced me to mixed media. And then there was no looking back. While I was expecting my daughter Aira, I was putting together a scrapbook for her and this introduced me to a host of new techniques. Down the line, after a lot of hours of practice (and constantly striving for perfection!) - Opaperlady was born just over a year ago! Inspiration For me, it's about taking in all the little everyday things. I seek inspiration from all kinds of stuff. I constantly observe my surroundings - prints on fabric, colours of autumn, pattern in a butterfly and textures on walls. Favourite @ Art-forms Mixed media is really enjoyable because it can take on so many forms. The sky is the limit here! As a hobby, I thoroughly enjoy art-journaling using mixed-media. And my new interest lies in 'whimsical art' - which is

loads of fun, not to mention vibrant and colourful. I plan to showcase some of my related work at this year's Durga Puja in ZĂźrich. This series includes birds, fish and cats as themes, to name a few. Favourites @ Artists Not one - I have a handful of favourites - Dyan Reavley (Dylusions), Vicky Papaioannou (Clips-nCuts) and Nika Rouss (Nika in wonderland) - and they're all awesome! Dream project This would be to open-up an indoor playground for children, where they would come not only for art, but also to play and create - all in the same place. Tips for budding artists For amateurs and self-taught artists like me, YouTube can give you a great kick-start. Moreover, it's entertaining, informative and free! With mixed media - anything goes. It's best to start off on a small project with supplies you already have - to see how the media interact with one another and, of course, how you interact with all of them collectively. Then, accordingly, you can invest in supplies needed for mixed media. When in doubt - "Add paint. Create under-texture. Get inspired". I truly hope that my creations will inspire you to create your own art, and will encourage you to share your unique vision with this world in one creative form or another.

Follow Opaperlady on Facebook and Instagram! Facebook: Instagram:















“A dream come true!”


urga puja is a part of Bengali tradition and heritage. It is not a mere celebration but an event which occupies the typical Bengali mind throughout the year. Puja shopping, pandal hopping, and getting together once a year during the Pujas with relatives and friends are part and parcel of the whole experience. Over the course of the years, Bengalis have begun to experiment with innovative themes and decorations when it comes to designing the idol and the pandals. During the Pujas, Kolkata is transformed into an art gallery. This transformation is now not restricted to Kolkata alone or other parts of India; nowadays, even the Bengali Puja associations abroad have been influenced by the innovative Pujas back home and have begun to think about designing Pujas and pandals based around particular themes. Switzerland is a dream country for every Bengali . When we learnt that our services had been engaged to help Swisspuja arrange Durga Puja in Zurich, we felt that we had acquired our dream project. The feeling was just brilliant, as if we were holding the moon in our hands, or were able to touch the clouds in Cherapunjii. Our dream became reality.

time, we received a lot of help from Swisspuja. Whenever we faced any problem we would contact Rahul-da and Subhra-da, both of whom happily helped us around the clock. Subhodeep and I tried our very best and gave 200% to this project which really would have been impossible without the blessings of Ma Durga. I would like to express my gratitude to Rahul Choudhury, Shubhra Kanti Acharya and Aranya Sundar Bhattacharya for trusting me and Subhodeep with this project. I would also like to thank them for their encouragement. I give my utmost thanks to each and every member of the Swisspuja team as well as to some of my close friends in Kolkata who helped and encouraged us during the course of this project. Without their help, we wouldn’t have been able to muster enough courage to proceed. I hope that this project, along with our design, will bring smiles and happiness to everyone in Zurich. A happy Puja to all in Zurich. Amit Sen and Subhodeep Chakroborty

By profession - I am a psychologist. I deal with people’s minds. The arts and crafts are my passion, my hobbies. Subhodeep is my student. He is an animation artist who is also interested in creative work. Thus, out of my hobby and his interest was born our joint venture.

AMIT SEN H/D, 31/6 Sachindra Lal Sarani , Baguiati, Baguipara Kolkata- 700159, West Bengal, India. Contact no: +91 9836920877 Contact:

During the course of this project, we worked through some highs and lows. On the one hand, we sometimes had to work overnight. However, on the other hand, we also went to Birbhum, Purulia etc. in order to procure materials for decoration. Throughout this

SUBHODEEP CHAKROBORTY HA 22/3 Sachindra Lal Sarani , Baguiati, Baguipara Kolkata- 700159, west Bengal, India. Contact no: +91 9674546541 Contact:

Subhodeep and Amit in action!















11th JUNE, 2016






ast year, here in Zürich, Kinjal Chatterjee was on fire! We tapped our feet to popular Bollywood hits, and sang merrily along as he churned out ballads and love songs across multiple languages! And in his finale, he had us all on the dance floor with a rocking set of popular folk numbers and desi chartbusters! This rising star from Kolkata’s thriving contemporary music scene took us on a musical journey through time. Along the way, it's fair to say that he won a fair few hearts and minds! This year, as he sped across from Cambridge, UK to Toronto, Canada - the Swisspuja Magazine Editorial Team caught up with the man behind the melody. . Read on to know more about this powerhouse performer.

Catching - up with Kinjal!

Roots I've spent most of my childhood in Asansol in West Bengal, at my maternal grandparents’ house. The environment there was always culturally vibrant, with family members taking a keen interest in several disciplines (but mostly theatre). In his time, my grandfather was a renowned and much loved dramatist. Growing up in such an environment, I imbibed the atmosphere and cultivated my inherent traits. So, melody, lyrics and 'dialogue' were integral to my life right from an early age (smiles).

the one and only Kishore Kumar. I’m not just talking about his singing but also his stage persona. Another important name, in the new-age Bengali music category, is Nachiketa Chakraborty. I was a big fan of his, especially in my early years. SaReGaMaPa

All in all - SaReGaMaPa was a very good experience! The reality show did not serve to transform me into a better singer , but it did indeed enable me to become a much better 'performer'. During the course of this reality show, I faced so many cameras, and lights and such large audiences all for the very first time in my life! This Kinjal performing live at Cambridge earlier this year. Training gave me immense con(Photo courtesy: NNEdPro, UK) fidence and ended up Believe it or not, I've never had any formal vocal making me quite popular across many households. training before my college days. I did take some tabla Reality shows are definitely good platforms for up lessons as a child and I played the drums in highand coming talents in that they provide a muchschool. My formal training in music actually began needed initial exposure. under the tutelage of my gurus and mentors, Acharya Sanjay Chakraborty and Smt. Reshmi Zürich -2015: Chakraborty. They were instrumental in broadening my horizons and I am forever indebted to them. I Performing in Zürich for Swisspuja last year has been also have a penchant for listening to different genres one of my best experiences till date. I feel privileged of music, from Indian Classical to Jazz to Rock and to have received so much love, warmth and hospitalPop and Sufi… you name it! That’s how I learn ity right from day one, at the airport, until my very 'continuously' and work on improving my vocal calast moments in the city. Everyone who attended the pabilities. To a considerable extent, my singing abilishow was friendly, gracious and ready to have a ties are a gift from the Gods. I am only trying to do good time. I was immediately at ease. Not for once some justice to this gift. did I feel inconvenienced in any way at any point in time. And as for the songs - I started with 'Mon choRole models lo nijo niketone', added in a little bit of Denver and Lennon and The Eagles as well, and then went on to That's a tough one! From Bade Gulam Ali Khan to mainstream Bollywood, old and new. I even got to John Denver, from Md. Rafi to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sing ‘Lungi Dance’ (laughs)! Everything about that - I love to listen to them all. I should add, however, evening was just perfect! As a performer, I felt like I that I have been highly influenced, in particular, by was given the opportunity to complete some sort of



Noteworthy performances Interestingly enough - both of my most memorable performances (so far) were almost back-to-back, last year. Besides Zürich, my show in Denver, Colorado (USA) was also very special indeed, in its own way. I had hardly slept the night before the show and I remember having a sore throat as well. It was towards the end of the US-tour and the evening got off to a rocky start. We ran into a few problems with our equipment. Finally, we had to put on a 'different' kind of show altogether. I sang for two long hours with just my guitar! Somehow, I really felt as though I connected with the audience and I felt positive vibes all around.

other similar digital platforms. Let's see how things go (smiles). Goals I usually set very small, short-term targets for myself. As of now, I want to produce, promote and market my work. Meanwhile, if I can also do well as a playback singer, it will open up more opportunities for me in future. Durga Puja Durga Puja is entwined with my childhood memories! For the past couple of years, I have been performing in different states or countries during the Pujas - so I've missed out on the fun back home. But this year, I've made it a point to celebrate the Pujas in Asansol with my childhood buddies. Just like the good old times, I'm looking forward to engaging in a series of 'addas' (smiles).

Upcoming projects And finally... I'm looking forward to the next few months! I have some shows lined up in different parts of India and a few in other countries as well. This Diwali, I've been invited over to the US once again. I've also done some playback recently for some new Bengali films like ‘Thammar Boyfriend’ and ‘Kuheli’. Over the next year or so, I also have plans of recording and producing some Bengali music singles and an album as well as videos, and then launching them on YouTube and


May Swisspuja continue to grow and prosper year upon year and go forth into the future with even more enthusiasm. I feel proud that I was a small part of this wonderful community for a short while last year. This year, I sincerely hope you will all enjoy Bishakh Jyoti’s performance. I know him well and he is a stellar performer. Hope to meet you all again someday soon. Till then - best wishes and, of course, for now - a very happy Durga Puja to you all!



full musical circle. It was an absolute pleasure to have performed in Zürich and in front of such a great audience!

Rajsekhar lives and works as a pharmaceutical profes-

কচি ো

sional in Basel since 2008. His passion for fine art and Bengali poetry has flourished over past years.

তিোখখর মখযয তেখোও

Raj exhibited many of his works at different international galleries and art fairs. Contact:

মোর জখন্য তিোঝোটো ভীষণ েরকোর ; তকন্ এ গুখেো সমোর্থক শব্দ ?

একই কর্ো, চকন্তু চভন্ন িোকয !

চরিং ...

মোখঝ মখযয সি গুচেখে তেচে।

পোাঁজর ভোঙ্গো েমকো হোওেোে দুেখি

একেম িুচঝ ন্ো - তকন্ ?

িেমোখেসী তিচহখসিী মো োে কযোখেন্ডোরটো।

তকোখন্ো েরকোর চিে ?

মোখঘর পো োগুখেো উখটো, এখেোখমখেো।

সি গুখেো এখেিোখর এক

চিখকে েখে িুাঁখে পরো তেোাঁটো তেোাঁটো সখযয, সযযোপ্রেীপ

চকন্তু তকোর্োও তেন্ ভীষণ চিচিন্ন দ্বীপপুঞ্জ

চঠক তেন্ একটো আস্ত তমোমিোচ

িুচঝ ন্ো

েখে পিে সমস্ত চেন্


হ ভম্ব, আমোর েযোে​েযোে তিোখ

শোাঁখখর সোখর্ ে​েো চমচেখে খখেচর চি​িোখের চমউ চমউ

যমক !

অসহোে তিসুখরো কোন্নো

ন্ো-তেখো ন্ো-তেখোই তর্খক েোে

অর্ি মোেোিী ন্রম।

িুচঝ ন্ো, এক পৃচর্িী মোন্ুখষর মোখঝ আচম

কোখস্তর মখ ো জোদুপরী ন্ীে িোাঁে। তঘোেোখট।

একো িুপ।

তযোাঁেোখট তেন্ো অযকোখর হো িোই--

এখসো, আমোখক তিোঝোও

সন্তপথখন্ িোরোন্দোে

আমোর তিোখখর মখযয তেখোও

পুরখন্ো আেন্োে আি​িো িোেোমী আখেোে অজস্র চিন্দু তরখো -- অন্ুখমে মচেন্।

আজ, আমোর জখন্য তিোঝোটো ভীষণ েরকোর।

আর একটো শীখ র িোপমোখো ন্খখ চঝমুচন্ , ক্ষীণকোে আখপচক্ষক আদ্র োর চশখো।

আর একটো শী কোে

রুখপোচে ঠোন্ডো আাঁিখি ঝিো চশমুে , মহুে আর যোন্েুখের মখ ো

চিখেখকোঠোর ঘখরর েচখন্খকোখন্র জোন্োেোে উইখপোকোর িোসো।

েসে চিেোসী ক্লোন্ত িোষীর ঘরন্ীর সোাঁঝ তিেোর

আর একটো শী কোে তকখট তে​ে।

কেোইখের ডোে, েরম ভো

আজ সোরোচেন্ িুচট

আউস িোখের েয তেখে র্োকো েোেোির শী কোে

সোরোটো দুপুর , আেখসমী মোদুর

চশচশর তভজো ন্কশী কোাঁর্োর মোখঠ, আর একটো শী কোে

িোচসমুখখ চি​িোন্োে

তহাঁখট তেখেো।

চভক্ষো তমখে তমখে পশুর মখ ো িোাঁিো।


পোখশর িোচির তটচেখেোখন্ একন্োেোখি চরিং চরিং

ত োমোর জন্য ন্ো-তেখো কচি ো

ত ো

কমসূথখত্র প্রোে আট ি​ির সুইৎজোরেযোখন্ড, পুখরোখন্ো ও ন্ ুন্ িইখের সিংগ্রোহক। পোাঁি'শ-র অচযক িইখের পুাঁচজ চন্খে েোর স্বপ্ন িোচিখ

চন্জস্ব এক েোইখেরীর। চপ্রে তেখক:-

কমেকুমোর মজুমেোর।

ইখমে:- মোখক চন্খে কচি ো চেখখ সীে ন্েীর যোর চেখে

িসখেই তেখখ

পোই -

ুচম তহাঁখট েোখছো।

খো োকেম সচরখে তরখখ

হচরখণরো এখস সঙ্গ তন্খি।

ন্মে হখে আচম ত োমোর তসই তহাঁখট েোওেো তেচখ

পোখের পো ো শী ে জখে ডুচিখে হোাঁটি অখন্কক্ষণ

কচি ো'টো আর তেখো হখে ওখঠ ন্ো।

ন্েীর িুখকর উপর চেখে, হেখ ো প্রিণ্ড তস্রো

তকন্ন্ো, কচি োর তিখেও তরোমযোচিক

ভোচসখে চন্খে েোখি আমোখের।


ত োমোর আখস্ত আখস্ত পো তেখে তহাঁখট েোওেোর িচি। ভোিখ দু-তিোখ ভ'খর আচম ন্েী ও ত োমোর তসৌন্দেথয উপখভোে কচর


কখন্ কচি ো'টো চমস হখে েোে

তেন্ তস সুইৎজোরেযোখন্ডর তকোন্ সমেচন্ষ্ঠ তেন্,

ত োমোর পেধ্বচন্ ও সীখের িখে েোওেোর কুেকুে শব্দ চমখশ চেখে এক অপূিথ শব্দঝিংকোর সৃচি কখর।

কোরুর জন্য েোাঁিোখি ন্ো এক মুহূ থ একিোরও তিখে তেখখি ন্ো, তকোন্ েোত্রী তভখস তে​ে চকন্ো ন্েীখ

চিৎকোর ক'খর ডোকি ত োমোে, তেোখক পোে​ে ভোিখে ভোিুক। তেৌখি চেখে পোশোপোচশ হোাঁটি, ন্েীর হো

য'খর দুজন্ েোি জঙ্গখে

িো তপ্রখম।

তি​িোখ ।



Planner of stuff. Doer of things. Sits at a




desk all day, wishing he had wings.


turn to the Left – blank, and then to the Right, Alas! They're engaged in a finger-pointing fight! Hanging in the balance are – Earth, Mankind, Led by those with ‘vision’ far poorer than the blind. “You don’t belong here”, says the immigrant-for-hire, To the immigrant-in-need, in the line of rapid fire! We trudge on ahead, limping, in denial; Masterminds thrive while their pawns are on trial! Another air-strike perhaps? Another flock of drones? ‘Greatest hits’, misses and behold – new clones! ‘Freedom fighters’ they call themselves - re-wired, re-born – Morality – destroyed, allegiance – sworn! Regardless, we are locked in a repeat-loop of error – When ‘we’ attack - its ‘justice’, when ‘they’ do – its ‘terror’! I turn to the Left – zilch, and then to the Right, Alas! Their blame-game rages on through the night! The numbers are staggering; more precious lives lost! Shouts of “Victory!” - for whom? At what bloody cost? The fortune cookie politely suggests: 'Hate fuels hate!', And yet, Uniforms and Suits - they scheme and debate. Is redemption off the table now? Have our Gods spoken? Are we destined to perish in a world that is broken? The resilient, inner optimist still sees an outside chance! “We could start over, afresh – take on a positive stance; Place our motives on hold, our needless wars on ‘pause’, And fight in unison, hand-in-hand, for a cause To defeat Boundless Stupidity – our enemy at the gates!” Meanwhile, with bated breath, Future sighs and waits. A spoonful of music, a dash of cinema,

The Dance The Dance

trapped with a sprinkling of literature. No artificial flavours added. Contact:


ilence is no longer ‘golden’; It just hangs there like a shadow in the doorway. We had started this dance, but then the music stopped! In a beat - nothing left to follow, no one left to pray… I have lost some myriad memories Of loved ones, voices and things that matter; But safely under quarantine, I’ve tucked away some dreams of mine, A hopeful song amidst the constant chatter… Shhh… I cannot hear my song anymore! This deafening silence screams in anguish from the doorway. I close my eyes – and I‘m dancing with you again, From a faraway place, I can hear the music play.




A software engineer by profession, I have been living in Zurich for about 7 years now with my husband and almost 3 year old son. In my free time, I give vent to pursuing my hobbies. I dance professionally and occasionally dabble in writing. Below is one such piece. Contact:


nce I read a story by Maupassant in which a lady who had recently rented a house was sitting at her window watching the world pass by outside and realized that her neighbourhood was full of those type of ladies who attract men and spend time with them for a living. She noticed the arching of their eyebrows, the widening of their eyes, the twitches of their lips for days on end and unknowingly started imitating them. After some time, again unknowingly, she had mastered the art and accidentally beckoned a man to her window. Though embarrassed and flustered, she kept her calm and later smiled at the money he had left her. This story somehow stuck in my mind. In a small recess of my mind, I am like that woman, in the fact that I like to lead the lives of others for a short duration, a lady in the Victorian period, a bar owner in some obscure beach town, an old professor, a character in a novel. I briefly inhabit these lives, not for any other reason, but just to escape mine for some time and become somebody else. After all we have only one life and cannot be many people in this one lifetime. I envy actors a lot in this regard‌in every role they play, they are allowed to become someone else from some other era, some other country, gender. They are permitted to enact different emotions. Surely, some of these characters leave a part of themselves in the actors themselves. The other day, I saw an article about a house that a 90 year old woman wanted to sell. When the estate agents went into the house, they were amazed to see it from inside. It was preserved in the style of the 1940's with immaculate furnishings and trimmings. I envied the old woman for neither succumbing to the changes of the world, nor to the necessary pain of maintaining a house at that age. What love she must have had for her era and her style to preserve it so perfectly. I wished to be her for a day at least. If I could, I would buy her a house, but I am afraid I would never be able to do justice to it.



The urge to be SOMEONE ELSE

Remember the last scene of Dhoom 2, where Aishwarya and Hrithik manage a bar cum restaurant together? Aaah‌ that is the ultimate life to lead. Far away from the bustling crowds, that is life as it should be. Sun, sand, coupled with love and affection, frolicking in the kitchen. That is life as it should be. In my wild imagination, when I live that life, I organize beach parties, bathe in the sea in the night, make love in the sand and in general lead a worry free, deadline free, romantic life. Then there was this other time when I wanted to be an old professor who teaches some esoteric subject in a renowned university for as many years as people can remember, researches in his free time, is loved and hated at the same time, takes no orders and answers to no one. He cycles to and from his work, has coffee with students at quintessentially eccentric cafes, has had a housekeeper for ages who looks after his old book lined, wooden house, cooks dinners for him, which he eats alone while reading or watching TV. A peaceful, intellectual life gaining and imparting knowledge. I don’t know if it's my own personal kink in the head or every person faces it at least some time in their lives , but there is this yearning to suddenly become someone else for a time being. This weird urge transcends all barriers of humankind. It could be the effect of voracious reading since childhood or still not finding peace with oneself. Whatever be the reason, the effect is nothing less than pleasing. It is sometimes conscious and sometimes just in dreams when the unconscious realm takes over. In one such dream, I was a simple village girl, someone like Heidi, who, on a beautiful sunny day, goes with her friends across yellow flowery fields to a unique fairy tale museum. The main hall of the museum is filled with all the characters from fairy tales we have read about all our lives. Cinderella, Sleeping beauty, Snow White and Red Rose, Hansel and Gretel, Pinocchio... I said unique because it is magical, it can sense age, and the moment children enter the main room, all the characters come alive and start playing out different scenes from the


tales. Cinderella dances with the prince, Sleeping Beauty wakes up after being kissed by the prince, Hansel and Gretel are captured by the witch… it is a world of wonder… I saw the dream when I was in the latter half of my teenage years, but as it was very vivid it has been etched in my mind ever since then and many a time during my free hours I have become that young village girl again and visited that museum. Some urges go as simply as this, I see myself as living in a 100 year old building in North Calcutta in a joint family with lots of in-laws , children, pets, cooking, cleaning, shouting at and to one another, celebrating every Bengali festival with equal zest, fasting on very possible occasion for the well-being of the children , eating from mundane steel and ‘kansha’ utensils, using old wooden furniture that father gave

in marriage, arguing with a paunchy , bald husband day after day, unvaryingly wearing ‘sindoor’ and ‘sankha-pola’, going to the local market to buy fresh fish, worrying about every small thing and yet nothing beyond what will happen in the favourite serial in the next episode. This life might appear to be as dull as ditch water and very unambitious, but it has peace for the very reason for not knowing anything better and seeing previous generations leading the same kind of life. In becoming all these people and more for some period of my waking time, I give a bit of myself to these characters and take a bit of them to add to my own and in the process live my life a lot more and better. ***

My world revolves around my family. By profession, I analyze data and try to predict the future. In real life, I like to analyze the human mind. But even after 10 years marriage, I still don’t know what my better half thinks. Cooking is my passion, my motto is compassion and I believe that every problem has a solution. Contact:


he day when we come to embrace the warmth of our worldly life is marked by a strange co -incidence, that very second someone, somewhere leaves their human life and continues his journey to an unknown destination. There are too many unanswered questions with the very existence of soul but that does not mean that the soul does not exist. What exists today is what we have been able to unearth. It is a matter of time and we will unravel the mystery of soul, life and afterlife. The energy that fuels human life is changing forms and shapes; it travels around different planets which are capable of hosting the material forms of life. This energy also carry imprints of the soul’s past lives. It chooses to open the window of knowledge to different life forms. Each energy has a different level of intensity. Life forms on different planets can indicate different levels of day to day struggle and hardship. Thus, Hell could be a group of planets where life is sustained with extreme difficulty. Conversely planets with abundance of resources to help nurture life forms is what we have known so far as Heaven. The concept of Karma is something that I believe in. The nature and intensity of the soul’s energy can be changed. Therefore, a positive act creates positive energy. Moreover, a negative act creates a negative


Journey of a Soul

energy. Dependent on the true nature of the soul’s energy, after the material life form is over, the wormhole transports the soul to Hell or Heaven. Souls which carry negative energy are attracted to Hell while the souls which carry positive energy land in Heaven. The concept of rebirth is not a very common phenomenon and I believe this is the glitch in the program. The general phenomenon should be that the soul travels to a different planet after completing its material life form in one planet. The guiding question still remains, where does the journey of the soul begin and does this have an end? Who created this unique form of energy? If this energy has the information all the way back to it’s birth then how can we decipher this information? All the advancement of science is somehow deciphering parts of the message contained in this energy. Human life is still not deterministic, our actions contribute considerably to the course of the soul’s journey. We, human beings, are a transit stop for the soul on its eternal journey. It is our responsibility to act like a good host and honour our guest. Every good act we perform will help our planet to host material form of life in years to come and give human life an opportunity to truly unravel the mystery of this multiverse system. ***







And Some Basic Concepts

finally got stuck in Switzerland. During his travels he made a stopover at Imperial College in London for a few years (1975-79). Previously he had visited the MCST (Manchester, UK). He graduated in EE from BEC (CU) with SCL in 1960. He was one of the four award winners of AEI (Overseas) Scholarship in 1961 from India. He is a life member of IEEE, and members of SPIE(USA) and IOP(UK). He also held the ham call sign G4TLF in UK. He is interested in Astronomy, Radio Astronomy (Distinction from Jodrell Bank, UK) amongst many other things.


ell what is a telescope? Even a child knows now-a-days that it is a gadget which, when held in front of your eyes (or if it is bigger, then you look into it), presents a magnified view of far away objects. But why look at far away objects? Different people have different reasons for it. A bird watcher would like to be able to see tiny but colourful birds on trees without scaring them away, a detective would like it for a completely different reason, military men have got their own uses, but its use has been popularized by astronomers and scientists who wanted to know the real nature of the twinkling bright spots in the dark sky. So it was an astronomer (in those days it was usual to call them philosophers), his name was Galileo Galilei, who first designed and used one such apparatus (he did not invent it) to point at the bright spots in the heaven. Imagine his surprise when those spots resolved into disks which kept changing their shapes and positions. The science of astronomy was born, and people with inquisitive Telescopes owned by Galileo minds realized that this instrument could be used to look at far away objects in the sky; discern their nature, and reshape our concept about the reality. Now, why would one want to own a telescope? Some people want to do it because they are fascinated by the spectacular photographs of heaven presented to us through the media. Others go for the social image in our career minded world – to them the title 'astronomer' brings up the picture of a revered person working in the forefront of modern science. Many are fascinated by the sight of a star studded sky when they are able to break away from the work during holidays – a faint curiosity keeps nagging at the back of their minds. A few, on the other hand, are actually bent on knowing more about the real nature of things (not just a peeping Tom) in the universe we live in. Whatever the reason, you are reading this article in order to gain some information, so that you can buy one telescope, which will




The fate of the author took him to various countries since 1961 until he

Contact: serve your purpose, will not cost much in the beginning, and presumably fire up your inquisitiveness for later years. Let us get started: Telescopes come in different varieties. Each type of telescope is suited for a specific purpose and is designed accordingly. Here, we are going to concentrate on the requirements of an amateur astronomer. We need to find out the advantages and disadvantages of the different types and sizes of telescopes – but for now we need to know the basics of a telescope: the optics associated with it and its structural design. Without this basic knowledge we can not evaluate – an unGalileo demonstrating to church derstanding of the different designs is representatives essential if we are going to use one. We would like to gain an insight and understand the pros and cons of the different designs available in the market. A survey can be obtained from the writer. Once you have this knowledge, you can go on to optimize between your purse, requirements and wishes. Plan for the future only after you have developed a liking for your first love. Besides, we should not forget the binoculars. They are more suited for observations in some cases e.g. where a wide area of the sky is to be covered and are cheaper. An example is the Andromeda galaxy which occupies an area about the size of the full moon, but appears too fuzzy to the naked eye. A binocular has a sufficiently wide field of view to cover the whole area of the sky occupied by the galaxy, and a reasonable amount of magnification to enable us to have a glimpse of it. Good viewing also requires a dark sky. It is becoming more and more difficult with the march of modern technology to find a dark corner for observations. It may appear as nonsensical to some, but human history follows emotions and feelings and justifications are invented to support them (Remember the fate of Giordano Bruno or why Archimedes was slaughtered? Can you think of parallel incidences of limitations of thinking with the present day social establishments – i.e. if you get the idea?). Below is a comparison table (Table 1.1) for the viewing possibilities with or without a telescope



Table 1.1

Naked Eye constellations* five planets legendary features

Binoculars details of constellations* seven planets dozens of lunar craters


lunar eclipses

lunar eclipses* Earthshine on the Moon*

lunar eclipses

Milky Way solar and lunar halos* solar eclipses largest sunspots

star clouds of Milky Way*

not suitable planetary detail* thousands of lunar features*

lunar occultations

solar eclipses sunspots

solar eclipses sunspots and solar detail*

auroras Earth satellites moons of Jupiter planetary motion*

not suitable not suitable – too fast planetary satellites* planetary motion planetary phases*

about 4000 stars in the dark

about 100'000 stars

limited by the telescope size

a few double stars

dozens of double stars

a few star clusters

dozens of star clusters

hundreds of double and multiple stars* hundreds of star clusters*

three galaxies a few nebulas

several galaxies several nebulas

hundreds of galaxies* dozens of nebulas*

a few variable stars

dozens of variable stars

hundreds of variable stars*

bright comets

bright asteroids bright comets*

asteroids comets

meteors* auroras* Earth satellites* planetary motion planet phases not visible

*Shaded areas in each column indicate the most easily seen viewing targets.

or a binocular. Warning: Care must be taken while viewing the sun. Otherwise, the sun will damage your eyes. Here are also two pictures (Picture 1.1 and 1.2) of an observing environment (Tucson, Arizona – close to the Flagstaff Observatory – 1959 and 1990).Where would you like to be for your night time adventure?

ting up should also be easy – one would like to point it to an area of the sky and expect to view the same image even after hours. A little familiarity and knowledge with the subject shatters this dream. It is not attainable. A compromise of conflicting demands is usually necessary. Why? I shall try to explain this in the following lines.

The prime question is, "how much can a telescope magnify?" Normally, a person You can not magnify wants to view a cerinfinitely and still Picture 1.1 and 1.2 tain area of the sky, have a clear view. Eveand be able to do it with utmost clarity and magnifiry telescope has its own limitation. The more you cation. Most starters would like to own a telescope magnify (keeping the main dimensions of your telewhich will magnify everything as desired, the view scope fixed), the less the amount of light that enters should unfold in technicolor detail covering the deyour viewing apparatus. sired area and must not cost much. Viewing and set-



As for viewing an object - it changes its position in the sky because the earth is rotating. You can find it out yourself. Go outside and view the sky at any time. Remember the position of some stars or bright objects. Come back after an hour and look up again. Are they in the same positions in the sky? No! So you have to follow the moving stars with your telescope if you want to keep their image stationary. You need an apparatus which compensates for this rotation of the earth (i.e. some kind of a clockwork). [Note: you can try to do it manually, but as you are viewing only a small portion of the sky the image will soon move out of view]. Now, back to optics. I shall assume that you know, in general, what a lens is, how it forms real or virtual images of objects and the properties of curved surface mirrors. Detailed extensions will come later. A simple picture (Picture 1.3) of image formation using lenses, as found in any high school physics text book, is drawn below. D is the diameter of the main aperture of the first lens (objective) of the telescope.

Picture 1.3

The picture shows light coming from two different sources (e.g. two stars) or two different points of an extended object (e.g. the surface of the moon) – one set is represented by continuous lines, and the other by broken lines. You will notice that the light reaching the telescope from a star are shown as parallel rays. If a line is drawn at right angles to the rays, then this line represents the positions where the light waves are in phase. But why are the lines parallel? Light from a pointsource (like a star) radiates in all direction, and the wave front (i.e. the surface where all the waves are in phase) should in fact be curved. This is true, if the source of light is close to the telescope – but for sources which are located far away from the telescope the wave front curvature decreases, and for almost all astronomical observations the wave fronts can be assumed to be plane. The next


picture (Picture 1.4) explains this fact (in two dimensions).

Picture 1.4

Referring to the previous picture (Picture 1.3), the image of one star is formed at F, and that of the second star at F', a distance fobj away from the main lens. "fobj" is the focal distance of the main lens or the objective. If the angular separation between the two stars is "α", then the separation of the two images is fobj x α. This relation is known as the "plate scale" of the telescope, and gives us the linear separation of two images when the angular separation of the objects is known for a particular telescope. [Note: FF' or s and fobj have the same units, and "α" should be in radians. If "α" is expressed in arc seconds, and s and fobj both expressed in millimeters then s = (fobj x α) / 206265. To obtain 1mm linear separation for an angular separation of 10 arc second, the focal length of the primary lens must be 20 km!] Now "α" is very small (of the order of a few arc seconds: a small fraction of a radian), and therefore, for a primary lens of reasonable focal length. the separation of the two images is also very small. This is where the eyepiece comes in. It magnifies the image – i.e. increases the angular separation. But what has angular separation got to do with magnification? Next we look into the phenomenon of magnification in general terms. What happens when an object appears large? It subtends a large angle at the eye. The picture (Picture 1.5) below of two trees, one close, and the other further away, makes this clear.

Picture 1.5

So if we can increase the subtended angle by some means, then an object will appear larger (or the two points of an object will appear to be separated by a greater distance). This is achieved by means of a lens or a lens system, called the "eyepiece" (Picture 1.6, on the following page), near the eye of the observer. The previous image FF' is magnified here by the eyepiece to MM'. The angle subtended by the virtual image at the eye is "α'". The magnification m, is therefore given by (α' /α) for small angles. This can be shown to be equivalent to m = (fobj / fe) = (Do / de) = (α' /α), where de is the size of the exit pupil. The exit pupil is the size of the exit aperture of the telescope. In order to make the viewed area independent of the eye of the observer, apertures or stops are used inside telescopes and eyepieces. Many tele-



This is because you are looking at a smaller and smaller area of the sky as you keep magnifying. Theoretically you can go on magnifying an image ad infinitum, but the object will get dimmer and dimmer, so that after a certain magnification you will hardly be able to see the object. The clarity suffers, specially for extended objects like planets or nebula. Note that a distant star is a point like object – no matter how much you magnify, it still remains a point and its brightness does not diminish. It is not just the amount of light which is entering the telescope that matters, but also the various distortions that start creeping in. Thus, for any particular design there is a limit to the maximum achievable magnification.


nians (A Reflector). A comparative evaluation of a refractor and a Newtoninan (Picture 1.11) must take

Picture 1.6

scope eyepieces have an exit pupil of 7mm, which is thought to be the average pupil size of a human being. We will talk later about the matching of the eyepiece to an individual's eye. The configuration described above is that of a simple refractor telescope, like the one used by Kepler. Both Galileo and Kepler used two-lens telescopes for their observations. Galileo's telescope (Picture 1.7) had a convex lens as the objective, and a concave lens as the eyepiece. Kepler used convex lenses at both the ends. Galileo's telescope produced an upright image. Kepler's telescope had a larger field of view (see Picture 1.8), but the image was upside down.

Picture 1.10

into account other types of aberrations and how they affect the design of the telescope optics.. In general, it can be said that both types have their advantages and disadvantages, but the newtonian type has gained in popularity in recent years mainly because it is possible to construct very large tele scopes of this type for relatively low costs.

Picture 1.7 Galileo

Picture 1.8 Kepler

The above diagrams show simple two lens telescopes, and the image formation is true for the light of a particular color only. Lenses bend lights of different color by different amounts, so that the images formed by different color lights are at different positions as shown in the diagram below (Picture 1.9).

Picture 1.11 Isaac Newton's Newtonian

A characteristic of a telescope which determines its suitability for a particular application is its focal ratio or the 'f' number. This is defined as f = F/D,

Picture 1.9

In order to correct for this spread (chromatic aberration), combinations of lenses are used (Picture 1.10). Newton also discovered that a mirror does not have this chromatic aberration, and is able to form a real image as formed by the objective lens above. He substituted a curved mirror for the objective, and this type of telescopes have come to be known as Newto-


where F = the focal length of the telescope, and D = the opening or the aperture size of the telescope. It is the same as the 'f' number of a camera, and characterizes its speed for certain applications. I think I have to stop here today if I want to keep the article readable. Please contact me at the mail address if you have questions or you would like more references.



I was born in Lucern and grew up in Regensdorf. My interest in EDP started in my 9th schoolyear when I programmed some helper for


tabletop games. Today we call them Apps. Outside work, I love to


ride my motorbikes and listen to music from 60s to 90s. I got myself a little collection of motorbikes together that represents the different riding-styles I prefer, even a sidecar, so if you want to experience the Swiss mountainroads in a sidecar, call me. Contact:


hen I was requested to write an article for this magazine I suddenly realized how little I know about India. Since I’ve never been to India (although Zermatt, London and Bombay sometimes seem to be only one dance-step apart), I’ll have to base this article on the few encounters with Indian citizens, music, movies and literature I’ve experienced so far. May the reader of this article forgive me my ignorance and misconceptions and enjoy this little trip down memory lane. The first time I heard the Song “Love You Too” from The Beatles album “Revolver”, I recognized the sitar and wanted to hear more of this instrument. There was a lot to be found by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Donovan. And, of course, Ravi Shankar’s album “The Sounds of India”. Although it does not sound the same, the sitar reminds me of the “Hackbrett” (Hammered Dulcimer) used in Swiss folk music. I noticed that both instruments have been used in AR Rahman’s version of the Indian national anthem video, featuring many renowned Indian artistes playing music and singing. (https:// The music of the 60s generated this “Psychedelic” sub-genre where these sounds were integrated. This music also pointed towards a location which, as you might have guessed, is Goa. Looking it up in the atlas, it dawned on me for the first time that there are countries a bit larger than Switzerland. Writing about the Portuguese in Goa for a School Paper on colonies scored some additional marks for me, as everyone else had written almost exclusively about the British. In the 90s the 60s music was rediscovered (again) and labelled “Brit Pop”. Many of these musicians grew up listening to the 60s/70s music played by their parents. Also second and third generation Indian musicians living in Europe reflect their origins in their songs. One band that is a particular favorite of mine, The Kula Shakers, even have songs in their catalog which are mantras (SG Govinda, SG Tattva).


And then there were the movies. Jungle Book (1967), Around the World in 80 Days (1989), Gandhi (1982) and later, the Bollywood Movies. Where “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Jungle Book” fed my fantasy as a child with mysterious sub-continent India, as a young adult, watching Richard Attenborough’s “Gandhi” over and over I was wowed and wanted to know more about India. I remembered the School Project and started with the Portuguese, then “The Commonwealth”, which I did not like after seeing “Lawrence of Arabia”. I learned about the spinning wheel in the National Emblem of India. Digging deeper I found a parallel to the Zürich Lion. Which, I find, is an interesting conversation starter. And not to forget the first Bollywood movie I sat through “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham“, an epic, and again with the warping from Europe to India and spiked with patriotism. I like! In 2006 India was the guest country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. In a podium discussion Alokeranjan Dasgupta, the eminent Bengali poet and a linguist in the German language, started a controversial discussion about “what language to write in”. He sort of labeled English translations in India or the Indian-English authors as second or third grade writers. I totally disagree! To get recognition one might have to translate his/her work - so what! Books written in the Swiss languages and/or dialects have always been in bookstores and had a big revival in the last decade. Compared to India, Switzerland has to deal with ‘only‘, 4 languages, but the regional dialects are many and so are the publishers. I don’t see a reason for classification. Sometimes I think that my bookshelf, where books of different languages, origins and subjects lie together, is the only place where world peace is possible. Where else can the Old- and New Testament, Talmud, Bhagavad Gita and the Koran happily co-exist! Years went by without much encounter with India except for the occasional visit to an Indian restaurant.



But when my employer offered me a role as offshore manager, the practical part began and totally different questions arose. Who will I meet, what kind of people would leave their families and home to work on the other side of the world? What kind of background will I find and what will I have to learn or explain to create common ground for the collaboration? My job was to integrate an onsite team into my organisational entity and hand over IT maintenance work to that team. But let’s not go into details here. What I found interesting was that in the interviews, most of the candidates stated that working in Switzerland was part of the motivation. Some of the people here were concerned about the cultural differences that would arise in the collaboration, to find that out and work with it was part of my motivation. To find differences as well as similarities proved to be interesting. The professional collaboration was great but for me the personal and cultural exchange was much more fulfilling. I recall going on a tram ride together In Zürich, no. 9 from Hirzenbach to Triemli and back, with some stops to check out the area. It was a lot of fun and I got to see Zürich with new eyes. On Swiss National Day, 1st of August, we went to Wädenswil for a spe-


cial lunch on a boat. A very enjoyable day! The big discussion at dinner was about what goes into the wok first, should spices be powder or paste or how to make hash browns and what to serve with it. Of course local festivals were also discussed and Diwali came up, absolutely comparable with Swiss spring or the autumn harvest celebrations. Spring cleaning, Snowman burning, “Erntedankfest” and many other local Swiss festivals. Regretfully, our celebrations last just a day, but the similarity in how different events are celebrated in different regions is quite striking! I’m not sure if I remember all the steps to prepare or celebrate but I think cleaning and shopping are definitely a part of it. Most challenging for me would be to create the Rangoli, I have no idea about motifs or techniques. To light a candle every night is also easy and I like fireworks, so no big challenge there. Baking cookies and preparing snacks I also managed to figure out but of course the European variety. Playing cards and/or table games I mastered a long time ago. Seems that there’s just one thing left to do – join a celebration. I wish you all a happy Durga Puja! ***


10 Dinge,

She lives in Zürich with her husband and 2 year old daughter. She likes reading books, travelling and trying out different cuisines. Contact:



braucht da noch das Meer?



Die Schweiz ist ein Traum für jeden Zugliebhaber. Reisen mit dem Zug durch Tunnels, Bergen und Täler, entlang Seen und über Brücken ist einfach spektakulär. Geschichtsträchtige Orte, faszinierende Landschaften, elegante Flussläufe und vieles mehr lassen sich mit dem Zug entdecken. Vergnügen pur.

6.Uhren im Türmen m Jahre 2012 bin ich in die Schweiz gezogen und je länger ich in der Schweiz wohne, desto mehr verliebe ich mich in das schöne Land.

Bald wird es die Zeit die Schweiz wieder zu verlassen und zurückzukehren. Nun, weil Reihen Texte im Internet so beliebt sind, ist hier meine Liste von den zehn Dingen, die ich aus der Schweiz vermissen werde. Es gibt sicher noch mehrere Dinge, aber diese sind die Wichtigsten.

1.Die Jahreszeiten In der Schweiz habe ich zum ersten Mal die vier unterschiedlichen Jahreszeiten bemerkt. Der blumige Frühling, der goldene Herbst, der strahlende Sommer und der schneebedeckte Winter - ich freue mich auf jede Jahreszeit.

2.Käse und Schokolade Wer kennt nicht den grossartigen Geschmack der Schweizer Schokolade? Die weltbeste Schokolade wird hier produziert. Aber ich hatte nie gewusst, dass es so viele Sorten und Varianten von Schweizer Schokolade gibt. Die riesige Schokoladenauswahl in den Supermärkten, macht mir wahnsinnig viel Spass. „Schweizer Käse , 450 Mal einmalig“, so lautet eine neue Werbung. Das heisst, man kann mehr als ein Jahr lang, jeden Tag eine neue Käsesorte probieren und geniessen. Toll!

3.Die einzigartige Feste und Bräuche Für so ein kleines Land wie die Schweiz feiert man viele verschiedene Feste. Sechseläuten in Zürich, Zwiebelmarkt in Bern, Alpabfahrten in Appenzell, Fasnacht in Basel - jedes Fest ist besonders und jedes einzigartig.

4.Badis und Seen

In dem Land der Uhrmacher, braucht man keine Uhr zu tragen. Man braucht nur nach oben zu schauen und man sieht einen herzigen Turm oder eine Bahnhofsuhr.

7.Trinkwasserbrunnen In Zürich gibt es heute über 450 öffentliche Brunnen, die Wasser in bester Trinkwasserqualität bieten. Einige sind so schön, dass sie fast als Sehenswürdigkeiten gelten. Ein gusseiserner niedriger Wasserspender sorgt auch für die Haustiere.

8.Die Weihnachtsstimmung In meinem Heimatland ist Weihnachten ein sehr kleines Fest. Man feiert ruhig mit der Familie. Die Mitternachtsmesse wird besucht. Geschenke werden verteilt. Weihnachtsterne und Krippen schmücken das Zuhause vieler Christen. Aber hier ist es mal anders. Das ganze Land feiert die Geburt des Christkinds. Jedes Jahr in der Adventszeit versetzen herrliche Düfte nach Zimt und Glühwein die Schweiz, in die Weihnachtsstimmung. Lichterketten hängen über den Strassen, an Ecken stehen viele Chöre die Weihnachtslieder singen. Die magische Atmosphäre auf den Weihnachtsmärkten muss man erlebt haben. In den festlich dekorierten Marktständen steht alles im Angebot was an Weihnachten Freude macht: unter anderem Duftkerzen, Konfitüren und Lebkuchen. Christbäume sind echte Bäume! Nicht aus Kunststoff! Das hat mich wirklich begeistert.

9.Wandern Wandern ist ein beliebtes Schweizer Hobby und ist ziemlich “ansteckend”. Zahlreiche, gepflegte, einwandfrei, signalisierte Wanderwege gibt es in der Schweiz und diese laden zum Verweilen ein. Beim Wandern kann man die landschaftliche Schönheit und Details hautnah erleben.

10.Und Rivella. Was soll ich sonst noch dazu sagen.

Schwimmen im himmelblauen Wasser, in klaren Seen und sauberen Badis ist hier kein Privileg. Wer





Lives in Engelberg. Raising two beautiful daughters and pursuing painting, knitting and crochet as hobby. Contact:

Lives in Engelberg. Helps Lígia (see above) to run the family. Fools around with computers in free time. Contact:

The Portuguese - Bengali Bridge Aquas do Gange, e a terra de Bengala Fertil de sort que outra não lhe iguala (by Ganges rolled, and here the land Bengal is rich in sort her wealth exceedeth all) — Camões, Os Lusiadas, Canto VII, Stanza XX1 (1)

Luís Vaz de Camões (born 1524 Portugal, died 10 June 1580) arrived on board the Portuguese ship São Bento in the year 1553 in Goa and lived in different cities over the years. His work, the “Os Lusiadas” is the first recorded poetic description of India and Bengal in the Portuguese language. Through trade, through cotton, through spices, through sugar and through poetry, there once existed a bridge which connected Portugal with Bengal. A History of the Portuguese in Bengal In the year 1518, (a couple of decades after the arrival of Vasco da Gama in Calicut in 1498) explorer João da Silveira was the first Portuguese (and indeed, the first European) to reach Bengal. Alongside their regular trade in indigo (Neel) and cotton, the Portuguese joined the then Nawab of Bengal in his fight against Sher Khan. This alliance marked the beginning of European involvement in Indian politics. In 1580, the Portuguese captain António Tavarez was the first to receive consent from Emperor Akbar to freely choose a spot in Bengal and establish a trading post on the banks of the Hooghly River, 25 miles upstream from the site of present-day Kolkata. In the end, Bengal had three Portuguese trading points (ports). These were; Saptagram, Porto Pequeno or Small Port; Chittagong (Chattagram), Porto

Grande or Great Port; Ugolim (Hoogly) and Bandel at Chandannagar. In 1599, the Portuguese constructed the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosário (commonly known as Bandel Church) at Bandel, Chandannagar. It was rebuilt in 1660 after its destruction during the attack by the Moors in 1632. In Ugolim (Hoogly) the Portuguese also established a hospital, a Casa da Misericórdia (institution of charity) and a school. The Spoken Word: Bengali and Portuguese The Portuguese missionary, Manuel Da Assunpção wrote the first Bengali -Portuguese grammar text in 1743. It was called the ‘Vocabulário em idioma Bengalla, e Portuguez’; it was printed in Latin, in Lisbon. The Portuguese language remained a common language of communication (lingua franca) in Bengal until the late 18th century until it was slowly replaced by English. As a result of their long, lived experience of each other, both languages now have many words in common. You can see some of this in the table below.




















to iron






















































Lace ribbon



sliced bread



Catholic priest













In Bengal, the Portuguese are credited with introducing the technique of curdling milk that formed the foundation of the famous Bengali sweet industry - an industry which continues to flourish to the present day. Thus, the Portuguese probably had a role to play in the creation of the famous Rossogolla of West Bengal! The Portuguese influences in the food industry of Bengal include the establishment of the popularity of confectionaries such as cakes and pastries in Bengal. For example, they introduced ‘ship biscuits’, English (Botanical)


Comments /Origin

Cashew Anacardium occidentale

kaju hijli badam

Brazil. Bengali word is corruption of Brazilian “acajau.” “Hijli” is a coastal region in Bengal where the cashew is grown.

Pineapple Ananas Sativa


Introduced in Bengal in 1594 from Brazil.

Peanut Arachis Hypogaea

Chinar badam

America, perhaps via Africa

Papaya Carica Papaya



Mangosteen Garcinia Mangostana


Brought from Malacca

Sweet Potato Impoaoea Batatas

Ranga alu chine alu

Okra, Lady’s Fingers Abnelmoschus esculentus Tomato Lycopersicon Lycoperiscum

‘Bandel Cheese’ — both smoked and unsmoked, plum puddings and chocolates. Another Portuguese speciality was the preparation of sweetmeats from mangoes, oranges, lemons, ginger, and pickles. Portuguese bakers were also renowned for their breads, cakes, and other forms of pastries, filled and flavoured for various occasions. In 1868, M. X. D’GAMA, opened a Confectionary in Kolkata, in the name of Maxo. In the table below, you can read more about the different kinds of fruits and vegetables which the Portuguese brought to Bengal. English (Botanical)


Comments /Origin

Chilies Capsicum frutescens


America. Europeans were calling it “Calcutta pepper.”

Custard Apple Anona Squamosa


Native to S. America, came to India from West Indies via Cape of Good Hope or The Philippines. Well naturalized in Bengal.

Tobacco Nicotiana Tabacum


Introduced into South India by the Portugese in the early 16th century

Guava Psidium guyava


Peru. Known in and widely gorwn in Bengal as early as 1550.

Africa or Brazil. Bengali name means “red potato”

Corn or Maize


Originated in Central America.


Probably from Africa

Sapodilla Manilkara achras


Vilayati begoon European eggplant

Mexico or Peru

The bark of the tree yields chicle used by Aztecs for chewing. Brought from Mozambique to Goa.

Litchi Niphelium litcvhi


Native to southern China. Portuguese brought to Bengal at end of late 19th century.

Making Connections: Trade Routes The Portuguese bought sugar from Madeira to Bengal while their ships took cotton from Bengal back to Portugal. The Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described the muslin of Bengal in the early 16th century. In his writing, he mentions fabrics, such as estrabante (sarband), mamona, fugoza, choutara, and sinabaka. The merchandise was bartered in the interport trade of Asia or taken round the Cape of Good Hope to Lisbon and Antwerp, which was a major distribution centre for Asian spices and other goods. However, by approximately 1630 the Portuguese“...Is it fate? Is it meant to be? Is it written in the stars that we are destined to fraternize?” -- The Mask Many years after the Portuguese brought sugar from Madeira to Hooghly and took cotton textiles and spices back, it was fate that a ‘spicy’ Chatterjee met a ‘sugar’ Martins (from Madeira) and walked over an ancient bridge. Consequently they were blessed with a beautiful Indo-


Bengali trade had diminished considerably. The availability of muslin (cloth) and spices, which the Portuguese used to take back to Portugal eventually subsided in the Portuguese markets and the memory of this vibrant trade became lost in time. Whereas once the two communities had lived, worked and died amongst each other , the descendants of the Portuguese bloodlines are now also quite hard to trace. A legacy of the Portuguese connection remains in popular Bengali imagination in the figure of the legendary Anthony Firinghi (Hensman Anthony). At least two films have been made about this charismatic and captivating figure! Portuguese daughter, Adryana. Chatterjee or Chattopadhyay is derived from the village named ‘Chaṭṭa’ and ‘Upādhyāya’ denoting ‘priest or teacher’. There is a popular theory that this village ‘Chatta’ is in fact Chattagram or Chittagaon or perhaps Porto Grande.

Sources: wiki,, google



Food: A Taste of Cultures

Rahul Choudhury, stays in Basel but lives in


football stadiums and golf-courses around


the world. Contact:

Saving Indian Football (or, Stagnation, Chaos and Indian Football – A ‘way out’)


midst the fanfare of the Olympics and the Puja preparations, I was wondering what happened to a sport that is supposed to be a part of our culture – Football. Alas! I thought it prudent to echo and revive the plan that I had ‘officially’ put forward for Indian football a couple of years ago. In the eighties and nineties, we used to have the Super Soccer series in India through an initiative by Tata Steel. The usual format was: a Club from Europe or Brazil, such as PSV, Bochum or Sao Paulo, would visit India and play 3 to 4 matches against an India XI in Delhi, Bangalore, Jamshedpur etc. and an IFA XI in Kolkata. Super Soccer used to generate a lot of interest even amongst people who would not eagerly follow football for the rest of the year. Each and every match used to be a sellout and there was a high degree of TV viewership. For the match in Kolkata, IFA had the luxury of pulling-in foreignplayers playing in the local clubs. Therefore, the typical, ‘improved’ score line used to be Visitors 4 - IFA XI 0, whereas, in the rest of the matches it would be far worse (e.g. Visitors 7 - India XI 0). The Super Soccer series highlighted some very important aspects of Indian football. Some of these are outlined below: 1.




Sellout crowds at all venues proved that there is a market for Football in India. However, people want to see stars. Professional Marketing is key to brand building. The pre-event marketing used to be excellent, even after so many years; I can still jingle those TV ads. Everybody was informed, well in advance, as to where the match is being played and what time the kick-off will take place. A better score line at Kolkata would underscore that, whether we like it or not, Indian football needs a helping hand from expats. We were simply do not meet international standards. We also found that the visitors used these tours as an exposure trip for their talent pipeline. In simpler words – an exposure-trip for their lads


from the second team or their academies. To learn that ‘Big Clubs’ produce their own footballers was big culture-shock to many like me. We always thought that, if you’re lucky, someone somewhere will see you playing the fields and you would end up playing in a big club. To imagine something like a factory producing footballers was not imaginable. India is not a sporting nation in the true sense of the word. Here we associate ourselves with sports at a National level and not before that. This association comes more from patriotism rather than sports. You get to know of someone only when they start playing for the country. Be it any sport, such as Tennis – not before the Davis Cup. Athletics, Table Tennis, Archery, and Shooting – not before the Asian Games or the Olympics. Yeah, people would say - Cricket. However, the fact is no body watches domestic Cricket in India. Leaving aside the Ranji Trophy, people don’t even know or aren’t even bothered as to when the Syed Mustaq Ali trophy is played or even the National T20 championship for that matter. IPL sells not just of because of Cricket but more importantly because of the ‘jazz’ that surrounds it. Cricket without this jazz only sells, when India plays international matches. So the basic mantra is – for sports in India, we either need jazz or success at an international level. From that perspective, let’s see how we are dealing with Football in India. This is a no brainer - the jazz is missing and is light-years away. We lack basic hygiene, even at the highest level, that is the Ileague. More often, than not, we don’t even know, at which venue the match would be played. We have some idea about the matches to be played in the next few weeks. However, it isn’t just the fans - I am sure that even clubs don’t know the kick-off time. The mere fact that the leagues start and end is a miracle. I am not blaming anybody; I know it is not easy for those running the show. They too have their fair share of problems. I am sure they do the best they can do – so, no finger pointing.


individual battles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hold true for a team game like football. For a club to perform as a team – it needs time. People did come to watch some former stars but that will wane out after the initial euphoria. In this age, the border between real and virtual is fast disappearing. People would rather enjoy an EPL game live on TV rather than a person past his prime in a stadium.

In this context of jazz and the National Team where does the I-league versus the ISL league discussion stand?

Now there are talks of merging the I-league and ISL with bizarre set of rules. It proposes to make ISL the top flight league with I-league playing second fiddle, without promotion or relegation. It is disturbing to note that ISL wants to turn itself into an insulated system. What I am not sure of is – is this sustainable? It needs to be more inclusive, otherwise, how would you get the clubs interested in innovation. This is already forcing many clubs to shut shop as they do not feel motivated enough to play in the second tier.

In my opinion, NFL was a big step in the right direction. I personally don’t know what changed between the NFL and the I-league, so I kept referring to it as NFL. It forced the clubs to think about long seasons as opposed to just a few group-league-cum-knockout tournaments. Pre-seasons, injury management, bench strength etc. became relevant in the Indian football scene. However, probably the success story ends here. For many the National League is either dead or dying. Therefore, we all agree that something needs to be done. I am slightly optimistic here and see it as a positive change that at least most people agree that something needs to be done. This is not something new in the history of football. The greatest league on the planet - the EPL - was born out of a similar stagnation in 1992. There were many positives that ISL can surely boast of. For instance, the eco-system around organizing a match/tournament has improved a lot. It was heartening to see families flocking to the stadiums. People did turn up to see some former EPL, La-Liga stars. Things appeared to be organized and professional, something you don’t find in other tournaments. It really catered to the Indian psyche which is characterized by a short attention span and an approach to watching sports that is akin to following a grand reality-TV show. The league has made into the top 5 most watched league in the world. However, what about the core – the game itself ? Has there been an improvement there?

Furthermore, similar question are emerging in relation to their fan base. Will the 3-months league each year be enough to build a fan base? Is it possible to change a die-hard East Bengal or a Salgaocar fan to support a new team just like that? Some of you may disagree but emotions play a huge role in Football. I don’t know what compares to the emotional attachment that fans have with their clubs in Football. When the Cricket IPL was launched, fans in India did not have any such dilemmas; they could choose any franchisee of their choice, as they did not have to trade a former club. You can’t just allow any club to play in a league. There has to be a set of criteria. However, it’s only money. ISL says - pay a fee of $ xxxx and you can participate. It would not even be possible to compare this to Bundesliga/EPL, where the criteria involves following UEFA regulations and achieving practical things such as having a stadium with the required amenities - proper dressing rooms, pitches, a media center, a proper youth-development system, good governance etc. – so that, when you are playing in the league you are not just filling places but actually competing.

I didn’t want to jump to a conclusion about the effects of ISL. However, after giving it two full “Seasons”, I am not even sure if we are heading in the right direction. IMG- Reliance definitely brought the much needed jazz component on board. To a certain extent - it also brought in much needed professionalism. Probably, the positives end there.

Pardon my ignorance, but I am clueless as to how the new league would contribute to the national team. As I said earlier - the success of the national team determines the very existence of the game in India. What will sustain the youth programs of these clubs? How will the youth system of these franchises run throughout the year, when it’s marquee league in itself would run for only 3 months?

For starters I feel 3 months is too short a time for teams to group and deliver top class football. It works in Cricket, as it is essentially a summation of

In this regard I want to suggest a concrete plan, where everybody has to contribute. Let us play to the strengths.




Similarly, we don’t have anything to boast of as far as the National Team is concerned. We simply don’t have a system that produces players to compete at the international level. End of story. I would not say – ‘nobody is doing anything’. Things have improved, but at an extremely slow pace to be effective. We don’t even play official-friendlies on the FIFA matchdays.


1. Under the umbrella of the AIFF, let us have 2 or 3 Super Soccer like tournaments every year. The likes of IMG-Reliance should be able to use their kind offices to get top notch clubs to play in India. Indian fans get to see the current super stars. Getting top flight teams especially during pre-season should be do-able. These matches can be two visiting clubs or a visiting club against an I-league All Stars team. The foreign clubs would get better access to a huge Indian market, which they are, in any case, targeting. 2. To supplement the above - some top International friendlies on FIFA match days should be arranged in India. Again, these can be between two foreign teams, or, could involve India. 3. 1 and 2 would naturally ensure that we have proper stadiums and the related allied infrastructure. I am sure the AIFF or their partners would like to show nothing but the very best to the foreign teams. There should be a proper revenue sharing model between AIFF and its partner. 4. The money thus generated by AIFF, should be ploughed back into I-league. This could be in terms of higher prize money, increasing the scope of prize money to lower-ranked teams, subsidizing travel expenses, or through soft loans to clubs to develop better infrastructure. However, the AIFF has to be very transparent in such transactions. 5. Clubs, naturally will have to play a stellar role here. After all, it’s also the club’s future at stake. They should have a clear aim - 60% of the team should be home-grown. That means a robust youth program that feeds into the I-league and in turn into the National team. Clubs should be more flexible in releasing players for the Super

Soccer types of games as well as the National Team. Of course, AIFF will ensure that these are pre-announced and do not clash with the club’s commitments to the National league and the Federation Cup. 6. State Associations partner with the AIFF in a number of activities: developing infrastructure and medical facilities, transitioning retiring players into coaches, conducting coach-development and referee-development programs, conducting scouting programs, supporting non-league teams etc. 7. Fans also have a key role to play. Fans are the ones who pay at the end of the day and have a choice as to how they spend their free time. I would request you to throng to stadiums to see matches. As fans, I believe you have the right to complain but also have a corresponding duty towards the nation and the game that you love. It may be frustrating in the beginning but it will pay off. TV companies hate to show matches that have empty galleries just as much as people hate to watch matches on TV that are played in front of empty galleries. More people in stadiums trigger a virtuous cycle of more sponsorships, more TV viewership – in short, more money for the AIFF and the clubs for development-activities and thus, better quality football for you. Many people say, “What can I do as a common man?” You have the power – it’s a number game and every head counts. Attendance numbers are not just mere statistics - these are announced during matches on purpose! ***

#footballfever Bengal and Bengalis are no strangers to football fever. This is, after all, a land which divides itself into factions supporting Brazil and Argentina come every World Cup. Brazil fans still fondly recall the time when Pele played a friendly exhibition match against Kolkata’s very own Mohun Bagan in 1977. Diego Maradona’s visit to Kolkata in 2008 made headlines all over the world; the world had seldom seen such unabashed frenzy.Closer to home, the twinned fates of local clubs such as East Bengal and Mohun Bagan continue to hold a magical grip over football fans. These two local teams represent the complex heritage of Kolkata itself. East Bengal finds its fans in those known locally as ‘bangals’, whilst Mohun Bagan’s supporters are known colloquially as ‘ghotis’. It is a rivalry which simmers quietly and at times, not so quietly, in the alleyways of North Kolkata and in the colonies of Jadavpur with equal passion and fervour, beginning on the field and ending on the plate. Urban legend has it that even the price of fish veered wildly depending on which team won the anticipated match. East Bengal fans are cast as lovers of ‘ilish’ and thus if their team won, the price of ‘ilish maach’ would shoot up. In turn, Mohun Bagan fans are played as lovers of ‘chingri’; hence a Mohun Bagan victory would send the price of ‘chingri’ skyrocketing.




Aniruddha is an IT Consultant who is passionate about movies, theatrics, public speaking and music. He loves event anchoring and has rekindled his interest in

Once Upon a Cricket Match!


khono chance aachey”, (we still have a chance) screamed Babla-da! Somehow that jubilant face and the passion in his voice are still etched in my memory. For those who’ve seen the animation “Inside Out” - this was a set of frames within a golden ball, randomly loaded into an important place within my brain. After all that has transpired, I still remember that evening and especially that final hour. Roy-Gupta uncle’s TV was at its maximum volume and the living room windows were open. Some of us were loitering around, trying to catch a quick glimpse of the score and immediately looking away - we were scared that another wicket would fall. Everyone had a ear tuned to the blaring TV - the sound was almost like a static monotone with minor ‘ups’ and ‘downs’. And then the monotone broke into a roar! One could recognize an excited Tony Greig’s voice followed by Babla-da, “Srinath Waugh ke chokka merechey!” (Srinath has hit Waugh for a six!) Some of us broke into a run. Cheeku spilled his Ghugni. Cigarettes and soft-drinks were immediately discarded and all roads led to Rome… err - the nearest empty drawing room. In about 20 seconds, at least 20 of us had gathered inside the 20 squaremetre living-room. Each of us had adjusted our bodies to an angle suitable enough to have a clean line-of -sight directed at the TV. Ironically, Roy-Gupta uncle was now in his garden and unable to enter his own house! Nor were any of his family members. An utterly confused Thakuma (grandma), who was actually inside this house, took a few minutes to come to terms with the gate-crashing and screamed at Bhola. “Aajkey to bijoya noi. Barite eto lok hotaat? Chaa-er jol bosha.” (Today isn’t Bijoya. Why have so many guests arrived? Put the kettle on for tea at least.) Our focus momentarily shifted to Thakuma and so did that of the TV camera as it focused on two thakumas sitting in the crowd with folded hands and excited looks. Yes, you must have guessed it by now, I am referring to the 1996 Titan cup match between IndiaAustralia in Bangalore which took place during the Pujo, on Navami evening. The combination of cricket and pujo is a rare but an unbelievably passionate affair where our attention swings from the Gods to the demi gods – almost in the same way as fortunes



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swung that day in that cricket match. We were happy that India had decided to field first. Cricketing reasons aside, it meant that volunteers would not be missing during the afternoon’s bhogdistribution. The bhog ‘prasad’ was typically: khichudi, labra, chutney and payesh ( 4 typical pujo delicacies). There was one guy standing to serve each of these items and they were to the right of our veteran Robi-jethu who was positioned at the start of this queue, collecting coupons (almost like a wicket keeper with his slip cordon). The Australian innings started almost at the same time as the bhog-distribution and both of these were off to a slow start. A combination of hunger from Uposh (morning fast) and urgency to watch the game were leading to a flurry of bouncers for the sluggish volunteers: “Robi-da, apnar slip cordon ke bolun taratari haath chalatey” (tease…) “ …toder theke Shashtri fast chilo” (more tease..) Some bouncers were left alone while one or two struck a rare nerve. “Boss, dariye dariye comment na mere, eshe poribeshon koro! maathey naamo!” (some angry


And then before anyone was retired hurt, jethus and dadas intervened. “Gechey gechey…”, (a wicket has fallen..) - emerged a scream from somewhere. 9 for 1 – Mark Waugh, dismissed by Venkatesh Prasad. Our pujo was inside the building campus and the Pandal was surrounded by 3 apartment buildings. No points for guessing which households were the most popular- the ones on the ground floor. While some ran to catch the replay, others took this opportunity to move up the queue. It brought some enthusiasm into the hot afternoon. The run rate of distribution increased. In a few minutes, it was 23/2. Michael Slater was gone. Once again dismissed by Venkatesh Prasad. “ Prasad ke just khelte parchena. Too hot to handle” (Prasad’s bowling is too hot to handle) “..Khichuri tar moton…” (just like this hot khichudi…) “Arrey jotokhon amader Prasad cholbey, maathey Prasad er dapot cholbe!” ( As long as our Prasad

distribution goes on, Venkatesh Prasad will dominate on field!)



Almost everyone stopped, looked at Bubai, and then looked at the queue - last 5 guys !! Even some of the volunteers had started eating. There was a flurry of beamers aimed at him – and I leave this to your imagination. But everyone was convinced that if a wicket does not fall in next few overs, it would be Bubai’s fault for jinxing Prasad… and, sure enough, none fell in the next few overs. 11th over. Kumble replaced Prasad from the pavilion end. Sensing trouble Bubai had silently slipped away. As luck would have it, in the next half-an-hour, no wickets fell and the focus shifted to the Gods. Just as there are different ways to reach God, there are different superstitions. While some believed that, as soon as they reached home, a wicket would fall, others bet on staying put in the pandal. Mom had a different idea! “Ekhaney boshey na theke, baap beta jao bajar ta korey esho. Sob wicket porey jaabey!”(Instead of sitting here, I think that you two –

father and son, should go and fetch the groceries. All the wickets will surely tumble!) Similar sentiments were echoed by other kakimas and none of us could argue against it. We left for the market and, as soon as we reached the first shop, Steve Waugh was caught brilliantly by Ganguly. How could Mom get it right! In the next few hours, we finished our groceries and reached home. Sub-consciously, Dad and I followed each of Mom’s instructions. The idea was to finish all tasks before the Indian-innings started. On many occasions, while Dad and I watched a match, Mom, irritated, would enquire how long the batting would last - and a wicket would always fall soon after. We couldn’t let her jinx it today. Meanwhile Australia ended at a tame 215 and the stage was set for an Indian victory to spice up the Pujo flavour. But the best laid plans never work. As the Indian innings started - almost the whole para was glued to the TV. Navami is typically the evening of Dhunuchi naach (a customary dance-ritual) and Sonkho (conch shell playing) competition. But the attendance in our pandal was thin. Robi-jethu was not happy. Purohitmoshai (the priest) was not happy and Devi Maa was probably not amused. India lost 3 quick wickets. Then came Dada… and lasted less than an over. 47/4! “Sondhey aarati shuru hocchey. Sobai Pandal e aashoon”, (Evening arati is about to start, please assemble at the puja venue) announced Haru-da who had somehow grabbed a loudspeaker. It seemed like the only option. In 15 minutes the pandal was full. Dhakis were in full form and so was Sachin! Gurupodo’s food stall was dishing out rolls, chops and ghugnis at an even faster run rate. Once again, over the next half-hour, the crowd was slowly mov-


ing away from the pandal and gathering outside the living room windows of the three apartment building - with the owners gleefully opening the windows and curtains. But the Dhunuchi naach was getting affected as the audience shifted from Gods’ arena to the demi-gods’ arena. Some usual suspects were missing in action. That must have consequences Jadeja Run out! There were still around 90 runs to be chased. A few people rushed back to the pandal almost apologetically. But Sachin was still batting… “Cricket toh shara bochor hoi, kintu Pujo bochhorey ekbaar. Tao sobaike dekhtei hobey?” people were coming up with reasons to momentarily stop watching the match. But in reality they were more worried that Tendulkar wicket would fall in front of their eyes. Mongia’s wicket fell. 157/6 (target: 216)! “Ebaar amader jawa uchit”, (we should leave now) quipped someone. “Aarey dhur, tui aami eley geley ki match paaltabey? Sachin-er century dekhtey hobe”, (you and I wont influence Sachin’s fate) retorted an optimistic Babla da. Joshi fell 7 runs later. “Ki holo, ke gelo?” (whose wicket fell?) - an anxious enquiry from the pandal. “Sachin ekhono jaini”, (Sachin’s wicket is yet to fall) shouted Bubai. Poor choice of words which evoked angry looks. Still the tension restrained the crowd. Bubai was shivering. Next ball - 164/8, Tendulkar out! Even Bubai wanted to beat himself… but he was not the only culprit. Everyone who ignored the Dhunuchi-naach and the Sonkho competition felt responsible for Sachin’s wicket. We got him out; we ignored the wise words of kakimas and jethus who told us not to watch the match. It was our bad karma. Steve Waugh’s deceptive delivery was just a medium. The real reason was divine and we could have controlled the destiny otherwise through our good karma. As Sachin walked back to the pavilion, we walked back to the pandal in despair. After all, we were still in an era when TVs were switched off after Sachin was out. Attention was back from the demi-God to God. The Sonkho-competition was still on and many of us blew it with passion to invoke Devi Maa’s blessings. And Maa was not in a mood to upset her devotees. She had already scripted ‘destiny’. Srinath and Kumble were just the medium. While resisting an inevitable defeat, they were actually inching towards an unlikely victory. And only one guy was witnessing this, ball by ball - Babla-da. He believed that we couldn’t lose on Navami. And that belief ignited a passion in his scream which I remember till date. “ Srinath Waugh ke chokka mereche!” (Srinath has hit Waugh for a six) he screamed moments later… and the rest is history.


Professor Dilip Kumar Chakrabarti is Abhigyan and


Aryahi's grandfather. In his spare time he is also


an Emeritus professor of South Asian Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. He has authored over 28 books on the subject.. Contact:


s anyone who has ever laid inquisitive eyes on the iconography of the goddess Durga has observed, there are a wealth of juxtapositions which come together in her depiction. We can’t help but observe and be overwhelmed by the diverse roles in which she is simultaneously cast. Several component elements come together to make one, rather inscrutable and worshipful whole, consisting not only the goddess herself but also assembling together the major players of her immediate family. Let us take, for example, the goddess as she is shown in the ek chala configuration. Here, Durga is depicted alongside her husband, Siva, who figures at the top of the decorative arch behind her back; their daughters Lakshmi or the goddess of wealth and Sarasvati, the goddess of learning; and their sons Kartikeya, the god of war and the elephant-headed Ganesa, the god of success . It is this inclusion of various members of her family within the very structure of her worship complex which makes the history of her worship itself, difficult, and consequently indeterminate to comprehend. On their own, each member of her family has a religious history, but why were they banded together for worship and when? Further, if it is only a family affair of how is it that the centre stage is occupied by the demonslaying form of the goddess? The demon-slaying form of the goddess or the iconic form of Mahisasuramardini is a recognised religious expression of ancient India, but why does this form figure in a situation where the goddess is imagined, as she is imagined in Bengal, to be a married daughter returning home to visit her parents in autumn with her husband and children? I am not sure if we have the answers. The situation is typical of many other domains of ancient Indian history where chronological uncertainties of texts and traditions and the vagueness of their geography, contexts and even meaning renders the tasks of the historian difficult and occasionally, even impossible. At its simplest, the worship of Durga is the worship of the mother-goddess. The earliest form of the worship of the mother-goddess in the Indian subcontinent dates from about 11000 years ago. During the excavations of an Upper Palaeolithic site in the village of Bagor, near Sidhi, in the Son river valley of


Madhya Pradesh, archaeologists found a small rectangular platform made of stone rubble in association with a large number of Upper Palaeolithic stone tools. What lent this platform unusual interest is the occurrence of a piece of stone showing encrustations or marks in the shape of a female organ on top of it. Of equal interest is the fact that such pieces of stone with the vulva-mark are still placed on the top of small rubble-built rectangular platforms in the modern village of Bagor and worshipped as a form of the Devi or goddess. Stone pieces bearing vulvamarks occur naturally in the Vindhya hills of the area and are collected - and possibly viewed as holy relics in their most organic form - by modern villagers. The foregoing is a remarkable example of the continuity of mother-goddess worship in India. However, in this case, a symbolic significance has been attached to a piece of natural stone. But when do mother-goddess type figures appear in human form, and more specifically, when does a goddess appear associated with an animal-shaped mount ? The goddess as a human appears widely in terracotta (burnt clay) in the Indus Civilisation and related cultures. In fact, there is some ground to infer the presence of some kind of sacrifice before a goddess at the Indus Civilization site of Kalibangan in Rajasthan. Mounts of goddesses in the form of horned animals occur in the context of the prehistoric villages of present-day Maharashtra around the middle of the second millennium BC. The concept of a goddess standing on a cattle-like animal thus has deep roots in India. The full-fledged buffalo-slaying form of the goddess in stone became common in various parts of India by the first few centuries of the Christian era. The sculptural representation of a Mahisasuramardini figure, which can be found in a cave temple in Mahabalipuram, near Chennai, is a magnificent example from c.700 AD. Similarly, the Bengal countryside of the 8th century AD and later possesses an



abundance of such figures in stone. The figure of the goddess’ husband, Siva, may, within the context of the Bengali worship of Durga, be somewhat subdued (in the ek chala iconography, he is quite literally relegated to the background) but, as the terracotta representation of a Sivalinga from Kalibangan shows, Siva was firmly ensconced in the Indus Civilization around 2500 BC. There are innumerable sculptures of Siva throughout the historical periods along with extensive evidence of his worship. There can be no doubt that while the goddess takes centerstage in her own worship and is flanked by their children, her husband is, and always has been, a serious contender. One of the first archaeological representations of Lakshmi or the goddess of wealth is in the form of a goddess who stands atop a lotus in full-bloom, while being bathed by two elephants with raised trunks on either side. This is a common motif dating from about the 2nd/3rd century BC. This image has been echoed into modernity as well and may well strike many readers as quite familiar. Elephants aside, she is almost always depicted as sitting on a lotus throne. Sarasvati or the goddess of learning was originally the name of a river which has long since dried-up but, once upon a time, during the period of the Indus Civilization, it formed a parallel river system to the east of the Indus river. Her iconographic form of a seated goddess carrying a Veena belongs to the same historical period. Kartikeya or Kartika who has a peacock as a mount is well-known as an iconographic form by the early centuries AD and the same may be said about Ganesa or Siddhi Vinayaka, the divine patron of success. The iconographic scenario which has been outlined here does not tell us why these diverse deities came together in Bengali imagination and have formed one of the major anchors of Bengali life for the last five hundred years or so. I cannot claim that I can offer a specific or singular explanation but I can go so far as to infer that the imagination of the goddess as a daughter would not have been possible without the tide of Gaudiya Bhakti in the background. That tide, brought about by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu changed many aspects of life and literature in Bengal and the institution of Durga Puja is likely to be one


of them. In the chaotic period between the end of the Nawabi rule and the onset of of British power, Bengal and its inhabitants must have felt the necessity of imagining a goddess who would defeat the forces of darkness in the shape of a demon. The goddess who stands on a lion and holds weapons in each one of her ten hands must have appeared as an assuring and confidence-bestowing divine form. Maharaja Krishna Chandra of Nadia, reputedly an early patron of Puja in Bengal, belongs to this period. Durga in her Bengali Durga Puja form combines both the streams of Bhakti and Sakta religious thought. I remember a ‘family puja’ from about 70 years ago where the highlight of Mahastami day was a buffalo sacrifice but the whole procedure was conducted with expressions of intense personal devotion to the goddess. Contrary to popular beliefs, our religious traditions do not cancel each other out and nor are they static in any way. Some years ago, while passing through an obscure market town of Uttar Pradesh, I noticed a few incomplete Durga images lying by the wayside. I automatically assumed that there were some Bengalis in that neighbourhood. However, I was told by my friends that in the wake of the Ayodhya movement of the early 1990s, the worship of the goddess had begun to spread outside the restricted communities of Bengalis in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere in north India as a religious response to the political turmoil of the period. I shall end this note by drawing attention to the fact that Durga Puja is intimately associated with the landscape of Bengal in autumn ---- a somewhat watery, freshly washed landscape redolent with the smell of Sephalika flowers and the sight of the long swaying massed rows of Kash reeds in their full white bloom. ***

Further Readings The most dependable introduction to Hindu iconography is J.N.Banerjea’s The Development of Hindu Iconography(Delhi 1972 reprint) The recent archaeological data can be conveniently seen in D K Chakrabarti’s India – an Archaeological History.


I’m 21 years old, I’m born and brought up in Switzerland. Currently I am studying Computational Science and Engineering at ETH. In my


free time I like playing badminton or doing math. I have been to Heavy Metal and frequently go to concerts. Contact:


still remember the first time I listened to a heavy metal album, A Sense of Purpose by In Flames. I was perplexed, fascinated by the intricate melodies underneath the harsh guitars and percussions. I also remember skimming through the songs after the first rendition, barely being able to differentiate them. It was all a big clutter of sounds; only now and then would I get glimpse of its beauty. Yet I would soon begin to unveil the delicate underlying patterns, as I went further into my ‘journey’. It has been almost six years since then. My taste in music has evolved, but I still listen to metal. Heavy metal is a huge genre and there are always some corners left to explore something new waiting to be discovered. Once I told a friend that I listen to metal. He replied with: “Oh, so you listen to metal? Tell me what exactly you listen to, or else you could just as well be saying you listen to music.” Yes, that is how big metal is. But what exactly compels me to listen to this raw music, often with dark lyrics, which (to complicate things even further) are, most of the time, incomprehensible due to the guttural vocals? Admittedly, the vocals need some time to get used to, and even afterwards it is sometimes unintelligible what they are singing about. However, once one is past the vocals, one can begin to truly appreciate the music. For me the lyrics play an important role. Unlike today’s popular music, in metal you will find artists who still pay attention to what they are singing about. Often the lyrics convey strong, raw emotions. Due to the nature of the music in most metal genres, the lyrics paint a sinister and bleak world. I however see it rather as thought-provoking. Saying that ‘everything will come to an end’ or ‘death awaits us all’ procures a profound philosophical appreciation for life. It may appear from the outside that metalheads (the people who listen to metal) have a dark



playing classical-piano for nearly 15 years. Other than that I listen

And all that JAZZ! outlook on the world. However I believe it is quite the contrary. Just like in George Orwell’s 1984, we do not glorify the grim dystopian world, but grasp that it should be averted at all costs. The lyrics make me want to fight for a better world. I have an aversion for popular music nowadays. To me it feels mass produced, often made with the sole purpose of bringing in a huge cheque. I am not saying that I dislike the music itself, but its just that the effort put into it is declining. This is contrary to metal, where people genuinely like playing music and often play for the sole purpose of playing. I once saw an advertisement from a band where they wrote: “Will play anywhere for gas money and food”. That is what I call dedication. Also, when I buy a metal album, I’m not afraid that only that one song which I heard on YouTube will be great. I know I might be a bit prejudiced in this matter, but that is how I see it. Another aspect that I like about metal is its enormous variety. I had started my journey with Melodic Death Metal bands such as In Flames or Soilwork, but since then I have progressed to other subgenres. Right now, for example, I’m listening to a lot of jazz, so naturally my taste in metal is also very ‘jazzy’ with bands such as Plini or Haamoja displaying the perfect blend of the two genres. Further, I’m also fascinated by polyrhythm, often found in the Djent genre. The early works of Periphery perfectly capture this notion. Their newest work Juggernaut, although not as much a Djent album, is among my favorite records. From my short description of what I listen to at the moment you can surely fathom that the genre is enormous indeed. Who knows, maybe there is also something for you in here. Something that will light up your day. Something that will make you smile. Something that will make you love this music.

Illustration by Sourav Ray


An engineer and MBA by education, Bharatnatyam dancer by



Growing up with Durga Puja


training, an IT professional by choice and a writer of articles like this by chance. She can be mostly spotted inside an office or driving over the mountains from or towards Lake Zurich, commuting between her office and Ihita’s school. Contact:

olo bolo, Durga mai ki jai!” “Aasche bochor abar hobe!”

Even before I fully understood what these words exactly meant, I knew that they were associated with Durga Puja. My earliest memories of Durga Puja go back to Jammu, where I spent my early years. My father had good friends in the army and we always participated in the Puja organized at the local army camp. The biggest attraction for me, even more than the Puja, was the opportunity to get rides in army trucks or jeeps (thanks to the kind indulgence of the jawans!). At my school, it was a very big deal to have any associations whatsoever with the army, and I somehow reveled in the envy I could trigger within my friends when I spoke of my escapades at the army camp. The Puja in itself used to be a very small weekend-affair at the camp with us kids running around under the watchful eyes of the jawans. My most significant memories of Durga Puja are from Jamshedpur where I spent my early teens, after having moved there with my family at the age of ten. Puja at Jamshedpur was very different compared to my experiences in Jammu. Jamshedpur, with a large expatriate Bengali population, and a closer proximity to Kolkata, had multiple large-sized Durga Pujas, all celebrated over the full five-day period with stricter adherence to rules, norms and traditions. Although my parents always tried their best to keep me in touch with Bengali culture in our ‘probaashi’ life, it was with the Jamshedpur Durga Pujas that I truly got the taste of this, by way of performing in dances, plays etc. The puja-feeling started way before the Puja with a series of rehearsals. I remember the joy of being allowed to stay up late to attend and watch them. As the Puja came nearer, the pace of preparatory activities increased reaching a feverish pitch just before the puja days. The best example of this would be the ‘pandal’. I still remember checking on its progress every day after school. Starting with a bamboo structure, gradually brown tarpaulin would be used to cover it to provide water-proofing, and then a thin cloth in vibrant colours would be added to its exterior and interior to provide an overall festive, inviting look. And then came the much awaited ‘Panchami’ when the decorations would start along with the arrival of the ’Protima’. We kids were in


charge of the decoration of the ‘mandap’ and the stage, which we did with ‘shola’ (later replaced by thermocol) and intricate paper patterns. At home, the excitement would be no less. Puja meant new clothes, and deciding what to wear on which day, and this planning would be joyfully done on ‘Panchami’ night. The best outfit would be reserved for Ashtami and this practice has not changed till date. As I entered my mid-teens, my involvement and participation in the Pujas increased further, making my Puja experience richer. While the cultural participation, and excitement of new clothes remained, what started in addition was fasting in the morning for ‘pushpaanjali’, a complete break from studies for a few days, hanging out and going around with friends, eating at different food stalls, and gossiping on everything under the sun. The Jamshedpur puja memories remain vividly etched in my mind. Soon it was time for us to move again and this time my parents decided to move back to Kolkata. Being uprooted from a familiar environment was not easy for me and I felt this acutely during the Durga Puja. In my first year, it was very difficult for me to adjust from a ‘probaashi ghorowa’ Puja where I was closely involved in everything and where everybody knew me, to a ‘parar’ Puja, where I came across new people every day. While I missed the homeliness of the ‘probaashi’ puja, the familiarity with everyone, my own involvement in the Puja organization and preparation, I was impressed by the grandeur of the Kolkata pujas. The elaborate, artistic and impressive ‘pandals’ each depicting a unique theme, the huge ‘pratimas’ adhering to these themes, the competitions for the best ‘pandal’, the best ‘pratima’, the best Puja, the night long pandal-hopping, the varied and tasty street food, the list could go on. Eventually the Kolkata Puja experience completely drew me in and I started reveling in it. Higher studies took me to Maharashtra. The engineering-college I studied in did not have holidays during Durga Puja and, immersed in day to day life, I lost touch with festivities back home. The only occasional reminder would be limited to hearing the beats of the ‘dhak’ on my phone whilst talking to my parents. I reconnected with Durga Puja once again when I moved to Bangalore for work. While professional commitments did not allow me to be an active participant in the celebrations, they couldn’t stop me


A few more years went by, cupid struck, and I had tied the knot and moved to Switzerland. With a totally new life and new culture to adjust to, my memories of Durga Puja were relegated to a distant corner of the mind. Then as we settled down and made friends, we realized, much to our delight, that Durga Puja was organized in Switzerland as well. Visiting our first Puja outside India in 2007, organized at the Taj Palace restaurant at Albisguetli, I felt the same degree of homeliness as the Jamshedpur Pujas of yore. The carefree years gave way to parenthood with added responsibilities. And we once again considered Durga Puja in a new light. It was important to us that our daughter, Ihita, growing up outside India, was able to appreciate her culture and heritage. Our joy knew no bounds when we saw that she, right from

an early age, started enjoyed the Durga Puja as much as we did. She quickly made friends, ‘mashis’ and ‘didas’ who pampered her to the limits and improved her Bangla so rapidly that it left us surprised! To help and encourage her to integrate further we increased our involvement in Swisspuja. After-work evening-visits to the Puja soon changed into preplanned five-day leaves from work, so that we could participate whole-heartedly and to the fullest. Over the years, we started spending more time teaching Ihita recitation and we’ve even enrolled her in danceclasses, so she could participate in on-stage events during the celebrations. To encourage her even further, I’ve started participating in the cultural programmes as well and my heart is filled with happiness when I see her sitting in the front row waiting for my performance. It is as if I am reliving my childhood through her! Last year, at Dashami, when I saw her joining in the chants of “Bolo bolo, Durga Mai ki jai” and “Aashche bochor abar hobe”, I smiled to myself as I realized that my life had come a full circle around Durga Puja. ***


One Fine Navami Auspicious beginnings: A Journey Well Begun Durga Puja is a time for celebration and joy, a time for making memories. Of its increasingly jubilant ten days, from Pratipad to Dashami, it is Navami which holds a special place in my heart. My European voyage began ten long years ago. One fine Navami, the 3rd of October 2006 to be precise, a Lufthansa flight brought me to Dresden Airport. The day continues to hold such significance for me that I can remember each event with crystal clear clarity. A New Address After clearing immigration and claiming my luggage, I found myself waiting for Anne Chesneau, the course coordinator for the International Masters Programme in Molecular Bio-Engineering. Anne guided us through the process of registering at the International Office. But that was not all. Anne’s responsibilities did not end there. As far as I was concerned, Anne’s most generous act came later. It was she, after all, who guided me to my first European home, the threshold of which I crossed that day, many moons


I am a Ph.D graduate from ETH Zurich and living in Baden with my husband and daughter who is 2.5 yearrs old.

ago, on that momentous Navami. Now, admittedly, it was just a modest student hostel but Gerokstrasse 86 is an address which will forever remain indelibly inked on my heart. I shared my accommodation with two other girls; I can remember my room clearly. Sparsely furnished, there was a bed, a table and a cupboard. The kitchen was similarly spartan, consisting of little more than an electric stove, a refrigerator and a collection of old utensils. On that first day, I met my flatmate briefly and then…That was that. While a world away, my friends and relatives celebrated the penultimate day of our most precious festival, I was all alone in my room on Navami. This realisation coupled with the weight and travails of the past forty-eight hours took its toll on me. I felt so lonely that I wanted to cry. At the time, I didn't even have a SIM card or an internet connection with which I could have called back home. Tears rolled down my face. Some Puja! The Taste of Old and New Before long, it was five in the evening and I was hungry. My mother had made sure to pack me some rice



from visiting the ‘pandals’ in the evenings after work. It was back to dressing up in traditional attire, hanging out with friends till late at night. But it was also showing-off this grand festival to my nonBengali friends and colleagues, having my fill of Bengali food and enjoying Puja even while away from home and family.


and daal with which I could rustle together a khichdi, but, nonetheless, I needed salt and oil before I could make my inaugural meal in this new land. It had been an excruciatingly long day but in spite of that, I dragged myself to Netto, armed with the Euros that I had bought with me. After eating my meal, cooked from ingredients sourced from two very different lands, I slept. Finally, the long day came to a close. Dresden’s Dichotomies Well, that was Day One. Thereafter, I gradually became accustomed to daily life in Dresden. I made new friends, tasted food from all around the world… In short, I enjoyed each and every moment of my new life. After all, why would I not? All together, it was an amazing experience and one which I am never likely to forget. However, at the same time, I was still deeply connected to my own home. After class, each evening, I would return to my room and talk to my parents and sister. When I look back now, I realise once more how far technology has come. In those days, Skype was like it is now. Moreover, the internet connection in India was not as good as it is now. At the same time, calling India was beyond my means, I was a Master’s student! I had to curb my desire to talk on the phone to my family or even to send an SMS to just once a week. In the meantime, we mostly typed to talk! Campus Life In India, I had been used to seeing campuses spread across a large area but yet confined to a certain area. In Dresden however, the university campus was spread across different parts of the city. After the first semester, once the termly exams came to an end, all of my European contemporaries returned home. Only we, the Asian students for whom a journey home would be too far and too expensive, stayed on. During the holidays, my two Vietnamese friends, Minh and Thoa, and I took it upon ourselves to explore the city of Dresden as well as our university. We basked in the mellow gaze of the April sun - a rarity - and enjoyed ourselves as much as we could. I have very fond memories of those days, filled as it was with fun, photos and adventure. Closing One Door to Open Another Time flies but memories remain, living in Dresden and attending its university taught me some great


values and endowed me with essential life skills. It also gave me a golden opportunity to make new friends. One of the things from that time that I am particularly proud of is my inclusion in the University’s promotion video ( watch?v=njjZerCZVLg). Looking at it now makes me feel proud of my achievements and my desire to come to Germany. I fell in love with the country. I completed my Masters in September 2008. Two years worth of hard work finally paid off!But, my European voyage, begun on that Navami did not conclude here. Instead, it moved onto pastures new. I had secured a PhD position at ETH Zurich, one of the most renowned institutions in the world. Now, that truly was the icing on the cake, even with a cherry on top! Of Mountains and Lakes, Cheese and Chocolate… And Academia! Switzerland. A truly beautiful country filled with picturesque valleys, mountains and lakes. Surely everyone in the world wants to visit this gorgeous least once? I was fortunate enough to move here in April 2009 and begin my Phd at ETH. Having lived in Germany for two years and and having learnt the language, I was well equipped to adjust to my new life in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Thus begun a new and different chapter. One of the most refreshing things was that here, I received a salary for the very first time…And that too, a decent one! I was overwhelmed! As a Masters student in Germany, I had had to think twice before spending my money on anything beyond the barest of necessities. In Germany, I had learnt to be happy about supplementing my funds with odd jobs here and there, student jobs which bought in the most meagre of paycheques. My new Swiss salary outstripped anything that I had ever earned before. This new chapter was kept me very busy and was also very exciting. Twelve hour days would keep me busy during the week while my weekends were filled with travelling, sight-seeing, movies and, of course, good food. Gradually, I also began to gain insights about the country and its people. For example, I learnt that while the German language was common to both Germany and Switzerland, the people in both countries were distinctly different in terms of culture. I found that the environment at work was different too and thus, by extension, professional expectations were similarly varied. A new


cannot compare to anything else that I may have accomplished in life. It is truly incomparable.

Fellow Voyagers

Ten Years On…

Now, in the midst of all this, my academic travails, travels and pursuits, I also met my husband, also known as my better half. We had, in fact, met in Dresden. We married in 2010. Our marriage was followed by the arrival of my daughter, Tia. Tia has completed me in every sense . She makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me sad and above all, she makes me truly happy. The joy of being Tia’s mother

I began my European voyage ten years ago. Auspiciously begun on one fateful Navami, the journey - now a decade old has treated me well. I am thankful to God for whatever He has given me. I continue to seek His blessings.


beginning always brings with it newer and fresher challenges and my Swiss life was no different. I rose to the challenge. After four years, I completed my PhD in 2013 and gained a new title: Zurich. It has been one of the most defining accomplishments of my life.

#integration Richard has been living in Switzerland for 6 years since moving from Wigan, Greater Manchester in the UK. He has



hicken Madras, Pilau rice, garlic naan and some onion bhajis please my good man!” – this was my default order at the local Indian restaurant. This came with mango chutney, onion chutney, mint yogurt, more bhajis and some papadams as a standard. Admittedly my parents aren’t fans of spicy food but most of my friends and colleagues over the years have been fond of Indian culinary delights. For anyone in doubt, I would confidently claim that in the UK Indian food is much more common than fish and chips these days.

been married to his Bengali wife, who doesn’t want to share her name, for 2 years after meeting her in Switzerland. In these two years he has perfected "Hya Bolo" when answering the phone but this is as far as his Bengali has got. Contact:

much more sour and generally quite mild. In Switzerland we have run into a few situations at Indian restaurants where we have broached this very subject with the staff but this has usually lead me being asked if I want my food to be spicy. As any English man would attest, after bringing this up, I now have to say yes to preserve my pride and thus I am served with a plate chopped green chillies with a side of Butter Chicken.

After marrying a Bengali the questions most frequently asked are regarding our wedding, a subject for another time, and the food we eat. Surely an Indian food enthusiast marrying an Indian would leave no room for discussion when it comes to the dinner table. I first suspected things might not be as they seem when we sat down to a lamb Madras with rice prepared by my wife. There was no rice and naan option, but one or the other. Logically it certainly makes sense but each time gluttony nudges logic out of my mind when faced with my favourite dish. On the bright side she has since shown me a world of Indian breads beyond the naan and it’s garlic varieties, plus I can rip my onion paratha with one hand.

Finally comes the choice of meat and the sauce to meat ratio. In my eyes there should be no bones anywhere near my meal but my better half makes the point that the most tender meat comes off the bone. Further, she points out that I’m eating meat with sauce, not sauce with meat and thus the sauce should be there to marinate this tender meat rather than act as a kind of thick soup in which the meat is hidden. What would I pour onto the rice and dip the naan I respond but I get confused looks wondering why I would ever need to spoil rice in such a manner. The silver lining here is that I can cook rice much better since we have been married; I’m not sure if all Bengali’s eat as much rice as my wife but she’s certainly an expert in this department.

Next warning sign was the sweetness and spiciness of the meal. We visited my hometown Indian restaurant together a couple of years ago for the first and only time. I was hoping to hear something along the lines of “this is a taste sensation”, but was rather told it was some of the worst food she had ever eaten, too sweet and too spicy. This was in fact something I later noticed when visiting Kolkata: the food was

So no, we don’t have issues at the dinner table anymore. I cook and eat my spicy-sweet banquet, later collapsing into a food coma while she enjoys a mild tender portion for one. Somewhere here there is a great commentary of cultural differences between modern western cuisine (Hotter, sweeter, bigger portions) and traditional Indian cuisine. But I’ll leave that up to you how to read into this.



Rajat Bhattacharya is an itinerant and introverted information tech-


nology professional who divides his time unequally between Zürich, Bergamo and the A2 highway between them.



The ‘Pujabarshiki’ Chronicles


ne of the most abiding childhood memories of many a ‘Durga Puja’ aficionado like me would be the ‘Pujabarshiki’ (literally, ‘Puja’ Annual), or a ‘Sharodiya Shankhya’ or simply ‘Sharodiya’. Eagerly awaited and voraciously perused, the ‘Pujabarshiki’ was a quintessential part of my overall ‘Durga Puja’ experience for years. Living in Ranchi during my boyhood years, the ‘Pujabarshiki’ was only available through the 'paperwala' who would home deliver newspapers daily. An order had to be placed well in advance to ensure a timely delivery of the ‘Sharodiya’. Normally each home or family would place an order for multiple ‘Sharodiyas’ to cater to the individual tastes of different family members. The order from my home would normally include ‘Desh’, ‘Sananda’, ‘Nabakallol’ and ‘Anandamela’ - the last one reserved for myself! The ‘Sharodiya’ would usually be delivered a few weeks before the ‘Puja’. This would typically coincide with my annual first-term exams. I still remember browsing hastily through the ‘Sharodiya’ each morning to identify a story I would read in the afternoon, after that day’s exam. Some purists would argue in favour of the ‘Sharodiya’s’ release during, or very close to, the ‘Puja’. However, personally, I liked it being available earlier, as it heralded the start of the ‘Puja’ season (along with ‘Vishwakarma Puja’, which was usually held on 17th September, as well as the release of ‘Puja’-special music albums). It is fascinating to delve into the history of the ‘Pujabarshiki’. Though it is difficult to get the exact name and year of publication of the first ‘Pujabarshiki’, it can be said with some certainty that the publications of the ABP Group (i.e. ‘Anandabazar Patrika’ initially and ‘Desh’ later) and of Deb Sahitya


Kutir (i.e. ‘Nabakallol’ in the beginning and ‘Shuktara’ subsequently) would have been frontrunners. While the first ‘Pujabarshiki Anandabazar Patrika’ was published in 1926, the first Puja-special ‘Anandamela’ (also from the ABP Group) was not published until much later in 1971. This highlights an evolution of this ‘Puja special’, which was initially started by newspaper publishers for a general adult audience. It was only much later in the timeline that a younger or a more specific reader base was addressed. The wide-ranging and sustained appeal of the Puja specials can be attributed to two distinct factors. The first is the involvement of celebrated writers who would pen new pieces specifically for the Puja special. There are many examples of stories or novellas being published first in a Puja special and, only later, being published ‘independently’. In 1965, Sunil Gangopadhyay’s first novel, ‘Atmaprakash’, was published in the puja special of ‘Desh’ thereafter making the ‘Desh’ puja special a must-read for his fans. The second is the range of genres or topics that Puja specials would cover individually or in unison. On one hand - there would be Puja specials dedicated to specific topics e.g. ‘Desh’ starting out as pure literary magazine and then moving on to non-fiction dealing with current, cultural or even historical subjects, ‘Sananda’ catering to a female reader base and ‘Anandalok’ focusing on movie buffs. On the other hand - a magazine such as ‘Anandamela’, though targeting mainly young readers, would cover a wide range of topics including thrillers, science-fiction as well as non-fiction, travelogues, comic strips, quizzes, crosswords and poems - all adorned with attractive illustrations.


Coming to my personal favourite i.e. the ‘Anandamela’ - the Puja special's debut in 1971 was a grand one considering its list of contributors. Not only did it have stories by Satyajit Ray, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Bimal Kar, it also included comic strips based on the escapades of Tenida (by Narayan Gangopadhyay) and on the writings of ‘Parshuram’ (Rajshekhar Bose). By the time I started reading the Anandamela, the number of detective stories (one of my favourite genres) was astonishing. In addition to 'Kakababu', there would be Samaresh Majumdar's 'Arjun', Bimal Kar's 'Kikira', Syed Mustafa Siraj's 'Colonel', and Sasthipada Chattopadhyay’s 'Pandab Goyenda' (a Bengali equivalent of Enid Blyton's Famous Five if you wish). In addition there would normally be a thriller by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay (e.g. 'Chayamoy', later made into a movie), a wistful, poignant story by Sanjib Chattopadhyay (possibly involving 'Boromama Mejomama' and normally set in the scenic beauty of the Chota Nagpur Plateau), and a story by Moti Nandi about the struggles a sportsperson endures to reach the pinnacle of success (I can still clearly recall the story 'Jiban-Ananta' which was about two cricketers who were friends). Even the Quiz in ‘Anandamela’ in those days would be compiled by none other than the one and only, Neil O'Brien. Being in a small town, in pre-liberalization India, the travelogues in Anandamela would bring faraway, exotic places close to home. Apart from real travelogues, the stories of ‘Riju-da’ by Budhhadeb Guha would transport me onto exciting wildlife safaris. In addition, I did find the detective stories even more interesting as, more often than not, they would be set in places and locales outside Kolkata, and hence they would also be part-travelogues. Though out-ofcontext in terms of the ‘Puja special’ topic - please do consider how many people came to know so much more about Jaisalmer from Satyajit Ray’s ‘Sonar Kella’.

and far reaching. The ‘Pujabarshikis’ from the publishing houses with contributions from well-known authors have in turn spawned a creative drive among their reader base. This is reflected in the ‘Puja Patrikas’ generated by the numerous Puja Committees and Associations, across the world, just like our own Swisspuja Patrika. Over the years, these ‘Puja Patrikas’ have become as much loved and awaited as the ‘Pujabarshikis’ themselves. The impact on the authors and the publishing houses have been no less important. For the authors, the ‘Pujabarshikis’ have provided them with an opportunity to reach out to a wide and receptive audience buoyed by the festive spirit. There could be no better way of running a ‘trial’ of one’s creations before venturing out on a ‘solo’ publication. During the late seventies to the early eighties, anywhere between a 100’000-400’000 copies of the most popular ‘Pujabarshikis’ would be printed and sold. For the publishing houses the ‘Pujabarshikis’ provided a guaranteed financial return like no other publication. The first ‘Pujabarshiki Anandamela’ in 1971 was priced at Rs. 2 a copy. By the late eighties to early nineties, the price had reached the range of Rs. 40 to Rs. 50, and I clearly remember a price jump of exactly Rs. 4 (or approximately 10%) every year. With the advent of the internet, and e-books, ‘Pujabarshikis’ are now published (and read by many people) online. Paper versions are also printed, and a small number of them are brought every year to the Swisspuja venue by Mr. Nanda Gopal Dey. Priced at CHF 10 each, the copies are sold-out like hot ‘luchis’ within a matter of hours. Until some years ago, my dear departed parents habitually brought me the latest copy of ‘Pujabarshiki Anandamela’ whenever they would visit me here in Switzerland. I would always plan to read them but could never find the time. Today, while the anticipation and fun of reading the ‘Pujabarshiki’ may have diminished with time, the warm and wonderful memories remain as strong as ever. ***

Let us now consider the impact of the ‘Pujabarshiki’. The impact on people at large has been considerable




The same eminent author may contribute to multiple Puja specials, e.g. in addition to writing in ‘Desh’, Sunil Gangopadhyay would write a 'Kakababu' story each year since 1979 in ‘Anandamela’. Others examples to this point would be ‘Kalkut’ (Samaresh Basu) and Ashapurna Debi.


I have studied in Jharia, Belurmath and Kharagpur. I came to Switzerland in May 1961. I spent my professional life


with BHEL / MFO-BBC-ABB until 2000. My wife and I have a daughter, a son and four grandchildren. Contact:

টেক ো গরু!কেড়ো গরু!


জয় গরু!

িো েরু! তস আিোর চক কর্ো ! েরু চক কখন্ও তন্িো

ন্ো। হোে ভেিোন্, েরুর চক চন্খজখের মখযয প্রোে মোরোমোচর কখর?

হে? মোন্ুষ তন্িো হে মোর্োর িুে িখে তেখে।

আর েচে কখরও,


আিোর সোন্ত্বন্ো তেিোর জন্য িেো হে, টোক হখে

টোকো িোখি। তকউিো আিোর িখে, তটখকো তেোখকখের ন্োচক পুরুষখের শচিটো তিশী হে। তস েোক..... এখন্ আমরো তন্িো েরু িো তটখকো েরুর কর্ো ভোিচি।

োহখে চশিং-চিহীন্ েরু চন্খজখের মখযয মোরোমোচর

কখর চক মোর্োে আঘো

পোখি ন্ো? তসই আঘোখ

জখম হখি ন্ো? ি থমোখন্ শ করো



৯০ ভোেই চশিং-

েরুর মোর্োে চক আখি? দুখটো চশিং। তসইসি চশিং-এর আিোর চিচভন্ন

চিহীন্। অসহোে েরুখের চশিং

িোহোরও আখি। তসই চশিং েচে িখে েোে,

োখক তটখকো

কোটো িয করখ


তেোকরো এই ি​িখর একটো

োহখে চক

েরু িো তন্িো েরু িেো েোে? তেোখকখের িুে পখি; টোক হে। িণথপচরিখের তসই চিখযো িেো তেখ


'জে পখি, পো ো ন্খি'র ভোষোে

পোখর 'িুে ঝখর, টোক পখি'। চকন্তু েরুর িযোপোখর ওসি

ভোষো তটখক ন্ো। েরুর চশিং চক আপন্ো আপচন্ খখস পখি েোে? ভোরখ শ োব্দীখ

েণখভোট জন্ম


েরু-িযু োখ

চঠক করখি ভচিষযখ

েরুর চশিং র্োকখি চক র্োকখি

তকোর্োও চশিং-চিহীন্ েরু তিোখখ পখি ন্ো। সুইৎজোরেযোখন্ড

চি​িংশ শ োব্দীখ


চশিং-চিহীন্ েরু চিে িখে মখন্ পখি ন্ো। একচি​িংশ

সুইস তেোেোেোখের মোর্োে এে, েরুর চশিং তকখট চেখে

তেোেোেঘখর তন্িো েরুর জন্য জোে​েো কম েোেখি। চন্খজখের মখযয মোরোমোচর করখে চশিং-এর গুাঁখ োখ

োখের মচস্তষ্ক চক

োিোডো েরুরো

Illustrations by Piya Sengupta

জে গুরু ! জে েরু !

েরু জখম হখি


#tagoretrivia Across Bengal and India and even across the globe, the unparalleled phenomenon that was and is Rabindranath Tagore, is celebrated for his literary genius and his contributions to society at large. However, here we see yet another side to this giant of a person– perhaps a lighter side. Tagore seems to have endorsed quite a few brands within his lifetime! Here are some adverts that we’ve managed to uncover.



জন্ম - তসোেপুর, পোচন্হোটী। পিোশুন্োর পর সোিংিোচেক োর িোকরী। চি​িোখহর পর ি থমোখন্ স্বোমী ও একমোত্র কন্যো চত্রশোন্োখক চন্খে


জোমথোন্ীর স্টুটেোখটথ িসিোস।

মকের টিফিে বোক্স

টেম মোকে ফ ?

চির কোাঁটোে তেিটো কখন্ তিখজখি...ঘিোটো এখন্ও পিে ন্ো তকন্...খপখট িুাঁখিো ইাঁদুখরর ে​ে তকত্তন্

জুখিখি...েোখরোেোন্ তজযঠু চন্ঘথো

ঢুেখি চসাঁচির

তমৌসুমী, মযোম ও চক ঘচি তেখখ

ভুখে তেখিন্...উে, েুচি

আেুরেম চেখেখি আজ মো, িোখে িযোে তঢোকোখ



েোে ...এই


িইখের তন্শো, ত মচন্ খোসো

ি, ই-িই শব্দটো েখন্ িোন্োন্ কখর পডখ খন্ও অ


তমর তন্শো সিথন্োশো

আখি...প্রর্ম পডখ

িখেচিে...কখন্ তে িোর করখিো, েূর িোিো ...ঝটপট তখখ হখি...পখরর পীচরখেখডই ত ো আিোর চহচি ওরোে তটস্ট...িইখের

চশখখচি, এর মোখন্টো

তিোঝোর মখ ো িুচি িো িেস আমোর হেচন্...মখন্ তশখোর সমে তজোখর তজোখর উচ্চোরণ কখর

িোন্োন্ িখে মুখস্থ কর োম.িোচডখ

খিখরর কোেজ আস । ি থমোন্।

পো োে একিোর তিোখ ন্ো তিোেোখে েোখজথন্ কে চশওর... আচম িোন্োন্ কখর একসোখর্ তিোে োম..ি. .মো.ন্-িযথমোন্,(ি থমোন্

তরোে ন্োম্বোর ওেোন্ ... চপ্রেো

ন্ে)। কোরণটো েচেও খুি হোসযকর। িোিোর চপচসর িোচড িযথমোন্।

তরোে ন্োম্বোর টু ...খরোে ন্ম্বর ..খসৌমী..

আমোর চশশু মখন্

পর পর েোইন্ কখর েোাঁচডখে পচড..

চকন্তু আখরো অদ্ভু

জোচন্স,আজ ন্োচক কিুচর ন্ে,িোটোর তটোস্ট,চডম আর কেো.. ১০০ চমটোর রোখন্র পর একেম তকখট পডি.. োরপর তসই েোস্ট রোউন্ড..খেো অযোস ইউ েোইক.. োর আখে আর এচেখক পো রোখখে িেখি ন্ো..খসই েোাঁখক পযোখকট-টো খুখে তখখ

খন্ তস চমখে তেখি খিখরর কোেখজর প্রর্ম

অক্ষখরর সোখর্..হখে তেখি,ি থমোন্ তর্খক িযথমোন্..

তখখ ই

তসই চেখন্র শুরুখ

কর্ো,আমোর প্রর্ম অক্ষর পচরিে,পডো,সি শুরুআসো জোন্েো চেখে তরোে পোকোখন্ো েম্বো কোেজটো

চেখে, তসই আমোর তিোট্ট মখন্র প্রর্ম তপ্রম..এমন্ তপ্রম চেন্ চেন্ িোডখ

েোেখেো তে সিোর আখে ঘুম তিোখ খুখেই তিোট্ট আচম

েম্বো তরোে কোেখজর িড িড হরখে তেখো (ি থমোন্) শব্দটো তেখোর জন্য হো কখর িখস র্োক োম..

সরস্ব ী পুখজোর প্ল্যোচন্িং-টো তসখর তে​েখিো...চক িচেস..

হোখ র দুখযর গ্লোখস মন্ চিে ন্ো..িটপট কর োম..কখন্ কোেজকোকু জোন্েো চেখে হো

দুর িোই চক তে এক ই তেকিোর তরোজ আওডোে,খক জোখন্..খিেটো

েচেখে েম্বো তরোে টো িুাঁখড তেখি...আর আচম

তসটো েুখে তন্ি..

পডখে িোাঁচি..মোচসর হোখ র খুশিুর েো েোদু..কযোচিখন্র পোশ চেখে আসোর সমে তটর তপখেচি..খমোে​েোই পরটো আর িোওচমন্..উফ্,আজ চটচেন্ টোইম.একেম খোসো..িুঝচে পোরচম ো ঝপ কখর ২ তপ্ল্ট অডথোর চেখেই িখস পডখিো..কখেজ তেখস্টর চেস্ট আজ কমচপ্ল্ট ন্ো করখে চজএস রঞ্জন্ো তহচি তখখপ েোখি....

কোরুর হোখ

পরোর আখে ঔটো আমোর িোই,খেন্ সো

-মোচন্কয... িুচঝখেচিখেো ঐ তরোে পোকোখন্ো কোেজটোর ক


আমোর কোখি..যীখর যীখর তসই তপ্রম ি থমোন্ তর্খক িোাঁেমোমো,শুক োরো অিচয তিখড তে​ে.. প্রর্ম প্রর্ম পডোর িইখ

অযোই কুশে..চক এখ ো চেখচিস..একটো চরখপোটথ ত রী করখ

রোজোর যন্ মচণ


কখ ো সমে েোেখি..প্রোইম টোইম ত ো তসই দুপুর ২ তটোে..িোডখ ো..আখে িে তভোেো েোর তেোকোখন্ চেখে িো আর চডম

অখ ো ভোখেোেোেো চিখেো ন্ো . ো স্বীকোর

করচি আজ,চকন্তু েখি তর্খক ভুখেোে িইখ পৃচর্িীর অজোন্ো চজচন্ষ গুখেো জোন্খ

িচি তেখখ

ইখছ করখ ো,খসচেন্ তর্খক

তপ্রখমর ন্ ুন্ পিথ শুরু হখেচিখেো..

তটোস্ট িো চিখকন্ স্টুয সোাঁচটখে আচস.. চেখর এখস সোর্ী-অচরন্দখমর িযোপোরটো ঝুম চের তর্খক জোন্খ

হখি..শুন্েোম ত ো ন্োচক ..ইখে

মোখের হো

যখর তসই তপ্রম পূির থ োে তর্খক অন্ুরোে হখে

মোখন্ জখম এখকিোখর ক্ষীর..খন্ ঝটপট কর, চডখটেস ন্ো জোন্খে

তেচিখেো..যীর পোখে এখসচিখেো..

আমোর িেখি ন্ো..

এমন্চক পোডোর েোইখেরী ও িুচঝখেচিখেো তপ্রখমর অন্য মোখন্..িোণী

জীিখন্র এচেখে েোওেোর সোখর্ কখ ো চক িেখে েোে, পোখট েোে

িসু,সুচিত্রো ভট্টোিোেথ,ঝুম্পো েোচহডীর তেখোর সোখর্ পচরিেও

তসখোখন্ই..চকন্তু কখি তর্খক তে আেোেো কখর িইখের তপ্রম তজখেখি

ভোিন্ো,..শুযু তর্খক েোে চটচেখন্র িোখে ভোে কখর তন্ওেো মুহু থ

গুখেো..চকিু আন্ন্দ,কখ ো ভোি-ভোখেোিোসো..জমো র্োখক মখন্র স্ক্রীখন্.টোচ্ করখেই তিচডখে পখড েুচির সোখর্ হোচস\ পোাঁউরুচটর সোখর্ ঝেডো অর্িো েোে চেখ

সোেো জুখ োর আচড ভোি..েুখকোখন্ো

র্োখক কখ ো মোন্-অচভমোন্ আমোখের মখন্র চটচেখন্র িোখে..

ো চহখসি কখষ তেচখচন্... োরপর ত ো তপ্রখমর িই আমোর কোখি িইখের তপ্রম হখে তেখি .. োই সি তপ্রম েচে এমন্ সিথন্োশ তডখক আখন্ ত ো আন্ুক ন্ো... আচম এমন্ তপ্রখমর তঘোখর তন্শোগ্রস্থ হখ

রোচজ.. আজও,

এখন্ও.আেোমী চেখন্ও... । ***






She has been living in Switzerland with her husband and son for the past 20 years. Originally from Kolkata, she loves reading books and writing, and thinks of herself as an ordinary housewife. Contact:




ন্ীে েোঙ্গুেীখক

চকন্তু িোরিোর তহোাঁিট খোখছন্। পোখশ িখস মখন্ হচছখেো ওন্োখক



সোহোেয কচর। িখে তেখে সুন্ীে​েো তক িে​েোম তে এ ত ো চকছুই

চন্শ্চেই একচেন্। এ

জোখন্ন্ো তেখচি। উচন্ িেখেন্ তহোমওেোকথ কখর আখসচন্। অন্যিোর

তেখো তস তেখো ন্ে।

মোঝোচর ন্োম করো পচরিোেক, ে

এ শুযু পুরখন্ো চকিু

সুন্ীে​েোর েল্প চন্খে িচি করখিন্। হেচন্ তশষ পেথন্ত। একিোর চেখে

মুহূ থ

তেচখ িোরোন্দোে ি​ি ি​ি কযোখমরো, আখেো এই সি, তকোন্ চিষখে




োর ি ুগুথণ অহঙ্কোর।

েোওেো।তসই সোেখরর

ওন্োর ম োম

কখেক চিন্দু মোত্র।

িোিী। িসোর ঘর উপখি পিখি, খোিোর জোে​েোে চ ে ঠোই ন্োই

চন্খছ চটচভর তেোকজন্। আর তেোক। তিোট ফ্ল্যোট িু

কচেিং তিে তিখজই িখেখি। মোখঝ মোখঝ মখন্ হ

আর েোিন্ো।

আমোর তসৌভোেয তে

আমোর ত ো চকিু িোওেোর তন্ই, পোওেোর-ও তন্ই।

িু আশ্চেথ তে



ি​িখর ওই একিোর ন্ো চেখেও পোর োম ন্ো। ১৯৯৮ সোখে সুন্ীে​েো

জখন্মচিেোম তস েুখে

এখসচিখেন্ আমোখের ওখেচটখঙ্গখন্র িোিীখ । সখঙ্গ অসীমেো, ভোস্কর

চিখন্োেন্ িেখ


েো, স্বো ীচে। কচেন্ খুি হই হই কখর তকখট তে​ে। সখযযখিেো


সুন্ীে​েোর প্রোণখখোেো েোন্, অন্তহীন্ েল্প। তস সি রইে আমোর








তকোন্ চকিু উপেখক্ষয, অর্িো চিন্ো কোরখণ, উপেক্ষয িোিোই শুযু িই তপ োম, শুযু িই ই পি োম।


তে খুি তিশী চকিু েোভ হেচন্

তসখ ো তিোঝোই েোে আমোে তেখখ,

স্বো ীচের সম্পখকথ একটো কর্ো চেখখ

ইখছ করখি। একটো েৃশয।

খি চেন্গুখেো ভখর র্োকখ ো

স্বখপ্নর রখে। তস চেিো-স্বপন্ তে তেখখচন্ তস জোখন্ন্ো

োর আশ্চেথ

ক্ষম ো।

এক রচি​িোর সকোে েশটো। স্বোভোচিক ভোখিই িোিীভরো তেোক। হঠোৎ যন্ঞ্জে এখস িে​ে, িউচে আপন্োখক তভ খর ডোকখিন্। আমোখক? আমোখকই ত ো?

ত মচন্ ভোখি একচেন্ সুন্ীে​েোর সোখর্ তেখো।

োাঁর উপন্যোস তমঘ

িৃচি আখেো। আমোর

খন্ সেয তকখশোর, তসই উপন্যোস তক এই

িখেখস তপৌাঁখি আচম

োাঁর প্রর্ম েশচট তসরো উপন্যোখসর মখযয

চেখে তেচখ তশোিোর ঘখর স্বো ীচে, সেয স্নোন্ কখরখিন্, ত োেোখে জিোন্ িুখে,

িু টপটপ কখর জে পখি চভখজ েোখছ জোমোর একটো

অিশযই রোখিন্ো, চকন্তু তসইচেন্ তভখস তেচিেোম ভোখেোেোেোে,

অিংশ, পরখন্ মোচে, হোখ র তপ্ল্খট কোটো ে​ে, সকোখের জে খোিোর।

আখিখে। এি​িং

োাঁর সি তেখো কোেজ খুাঁখজ, পচত্রকো তঘাঁখট

ঐ ভোখিই অখন্ক েল্প হে। িেখেন্ও, আর পোচরন্ো, এখ ো তেোক

পিো, পখি িেো। অখন্ক চিচঠ চেখ োম সুন্ীে​েোখক, ন্োন্োন্

আখস, চেন্ রোখ র চিরোম তন্ই, তকোন্ প্রোইখভচস তন্ই। আচম ভোিেোম

সমোখেোিন্ো কখর এই সি তেখোর, কচি োর। চকন্তু সচ য িেচি,

আচমও ত ো ঐ জন্ োর একজন্। সচ যই খুি খোরোপ েোেচিখেো

তকোখন্োটোই তপোস্ট কচরচন্ সোহস কখর। পোিোর এক চেচে িখেচিখেন্,

তসচেন্। একজন্ চিখযো


তেোখকর স্ত্রী হিোর চি​িম্বন্ো।

খিরেোর ...এি​িং আখরো চকিু। চকন্তু

িু একচেন্ অিখশখষ

োাঁখক চিচঠ চে​েোম এি​িং আশ্চেথ, উত্তর

এখেো। তসই চিচঠ খোন্ো আখি আমোর কোখি। চিচভন্ন সমখের আরও কখেক খোন্ো চিচঠ। আেোেো।

হখেখি, কখেক মোস িোকচরখ িোিী।

খি প্রর্ম চিচঠ পোিোর আন্ন্দই চিে

তস অিশয অখন্ক ি​ির িোখে। আমোর তকোেকো োে র্োকখ

ইস্তেো ই যোচে চন্খে িযস্ত। আচম ও


খন্ সেয চিখে

হখি, পোসখপোটথ চভসো

োর মখযযই িখে তে​েোম


োাঁর িোিী তেচি তিশ কখেকিোর। সখযযর

সুন্ীে​েো চিখেন্ খুি ি​ি মোখপর মোন্ুষ, অসম্ভি আযুচন্ক ও েুচি​িোেী। এি​িং প্রখর িুচিমোন্। একিোর স্বো ীচে খুি করুণ সুখর আমোখক িখেচিখেন্, সুন্ীে তিোযহে রোজন্ীচ

করখি ভোিখি। ত োমরো প্ল্ীজ ওখক িোরণ কখরো। আচম ত ো

চিচি । আচমও

ো িোইন্ো চঠকই, চকন্তু সুন্ীে​েো শুন্খিন্ আমোর

িোরণ, হোে তর।

খি িখেই তে​ে​েোম। চন্শ্চেই স্বো ীচে আখরো

অখন্ক তক িখেচিখেন্। সুন্ীে েো তশষ পেথন্ত সচরে রোজন্ীচ

তন্মন্তখন্ন মোখন্ চডন্োখর চেখে িকেুে ভোজো, পুাঁচট মোি ভোজো তখখেচি।

কখরন্ চন্।

আচম এগুখেো আখে খোইচন্ কখখন্ো।

তশখষর চেখক সুন্ীে​েোর তেখো তকমন্ শুকখন্ো হখে েোচছখেো। তকোখন্ো

সকোখে তে োম আচম একো। োাঁখক, এি​িং

খি তিশীরভোে-ই রচি​িোর

রুণ কচিরো ঐ সমে চঘখর রোখ

োরো আমোখক তেখখ একটুও খুচশ তহো ন্ো। সুন্ীে​েোও

উপন্যোসই আর ত মন্ টোখন্ন্ো। অর্ি সুন্ীে​েো অখন্ক অখন্ক িই তেন্, চকিু িেখ ও পোচরন্ো।

ন্ীেখেোচহ ও পোেখট তেখি। তসই

অসম্ভি আন্খন্দ র্োকখ ন্ এখের সোহিখেথ। একচেন্ িখেও চিেোম

আঠোশ ি​িখরর তিখেটো আর চেকশূন্যপুখর েোে ন্ো তিশী। ইউখরোখপ

সুন্ীে​েো তক। সুন্ীে​েো, আপচন্ তমখেখের স্তুচ

আখমচরকো িোিংেোখেশ ঘুখর তি​িোে। মোন্ুখষর সোখর্



োখের উাঁিু

িচসখে রোখখন্ চকন্তু সচ যকোখরর খুশী হন্ এই অল্প িখেসী

োাঁর তেোেোখেোে

কখম তেখি। সুন্ীে​েোখক তশষ কোখে চঘখর র্োকখ ো চকিু স্তোিক।

তিখেখের সোচন্নখযয। সুন্ীে​েো তমখন্ চন্খে চিখেন্। অখন্ক চেন্ িোখে সুন্ীে​েোর একটো উপন্যোস পখি ভোখেো েোেখেো। এখককিোর


তকোন্িোর তেখখচি




পচরচস্থচ ।

একজন্ ন্োম করো সোিংিোচেক ইিোরভুয চন্খছন্


ইচ হোস িো চিখযো চেখকও


মোন্ুখষর জীিন্ চন্খে ন্ে, তেগুখেো তশখষর উপন্যোখসর






তেখো করখিো।

তেখোে যরো আখি তসই চিষোে।

চিসজথখন্র িোজন্ো িোজখি। তকমন্ একটো অচস্থর েোেচিখেো। চক

কখেক ি​ির যখর আচম ি​িখর দু-চ ন্ িোর তকোেকো ো েোই। মোখের

করখিো চঠক করখ

শরীর ভোখেো তন্ই, শুযু

রিীন্দ্রসেখন্র চসাঁচিখ

োাঁর সোখর্ সমে কোটোখিো িখে। সুন্ীে​েোর

োর মখযযই সি তশষ। একোেশীর চেন্। িোচরচেখক পোরচিন্ো অর্ি ঘখরও িখস র্োকখ িখস আচি। ক

পোরেোম ন্ো।

এখসচি এখোখন্ কচি োর

সোখর্ও তেখো কচর। তকন্ই িো করিন্ো। সুন্ীে​েো মোখঝ মোখঝ


আমোখের পৃচর্িীর চিচভন্ন জোে​েো তর্খক তটচেখেোন্ কখরন্। তসই

কর্ো। আসোর পখর্ একখেোিো রজন্ীেযো চন্খে এখসচি। সুন্ীে​েো

খন্ আচম সুন্ীে​েোখক চিন্ োম। উচন্ জোন্খ ন্ ন্ো আমোর

তটচেখেোখন্র মুেয আমোর কোখি অখন্ক।

সোেো েুে ভোখেো িোসখ ন্ ন্ো, চকন্তু মৃ ুযর রে ত ো সোেো, সুন্ীে​েোর জীিখন্র ম

২০১২ সোখে মোিথ মোখস তেচিেোম সুন্ীে​েোর সোখর্ তেখো করখ । আশ্চেথ

রচঙ্গন্ ন্ে। ভীষণ অন্যমন্স্ক চিেোম। হঠোৎ কযোখমরো

কোাঁখয একচট তিখে, ২৪ ঘণ্টো িযোখন্খের, িে​ে, চকিু িেখিন্ প্ল্ীজ।

তে তসচেন্ িোিীখ


িেোর ম ন্ অিস্থোে চিেোম ন্ো, েো িে​েোম



িেি জোন্ োম ন্ো এক মুহূ থ আখেও । িে​েোম,

সুন্ীে​েো তেখোর

ঘখর িখস

আজ মখন্ হখছ আমোর চপ চৃ িখেোে হে। এই

চিখেন্, অসিংখয িইখের মোখঝ।

কর্োটো কখন্ আমোর জীিখন্ সচ য হখে তেচিখেো

অখন্কটো তরোেো হখে তেখিন্,

তক জোখন্।





তপ্ল্খন্র মখযয ত োেো। স্বো ীচে,

তকোেকো ো আখি, অর্ি তকোেকো োে সুন্ীে​েো

আচম ও সুন্ীে​েো অখন্ক েল্প

তন্ই এটো তমখন্ চন্খ


েখন্ িোচ স্তম্ভ তেখো েোে, িোিী তেরোর পখর্



খুি কি হে। চিশোে সমুখদ্র

স্বো ীচে সখঙ্গ এখেন্। ভোরী

েোরো, েোখের জোহোজ েোত্রো তশষ হে,

কোখঠর েরজোটো েিোম কখর

কোখি তস এক অসোযোরণ মুহূ থ।

িয কখর, েরজোর এপোখশ

িখি তকোেকো োর চেখক রওন্ো হ োম, কল্পন্োে

েোাঁচিখে িেখেন্, সুন্ীে ভোখেো

দুখটো িোচ স্তম্ভ তেখ োম আচম তকোেকো োর িুখক





েখন্ তপ্ল্খন্


মৃদু আখেো িচিখে েোাঁচিখে আখি, একজন্ আমোর

অখন্ক কর্ো অসুখ সিংরোন্ত েো

মো, অন্যজন্ সুন্ীে​েো। সুন্ীে​েো তন্ই, অন্য

আমোর জোন্ো চিে ন্ো। আমোর

িোচ স্তম্ভ ও মৃদু তর্খক মৃদু র।

মুখটো তিোযহে খুি কোখেো হখে তেচিে। সম্ভি



িু মখন্ হে একচেন্ তেখো হখি,

এটোই তশষ িোর তেখো।


জীিন্ সোেখরর ওপোখর চকিু আখি িখে আপচন্ও

ভোিচিেোম, চেখর েোই, ওন্োখক একটো প্রণোম কচর। চকন্তু এ

মোখন্ন্ ন্ো, আচমও ন্ো।

ন্োটকীে ো আমোর পখক্ষ করো সম্ভি চিেন্ো। আমোর অিস্থো তেখখ

মোন্ুষ ওখোখন্ই আখিন্ অখপক্ষো কখর। আপচন্ও আখিন্। তেখো হখি,

স্বো ীচে-ই আমোখক খোচন্কটো সোন্ত্বন্ো চেখেন্।

চঠক একচেন্।

অখটোির মোখস তেচিেোম পুখজোর সমে, ভোিেোম পুখজোর পখর চেখে

িু ভোিখ

ভোখেো েোখে আমোর প্রিুর চপ্রে


সুন্ীে েখঙ্গোপোযযোে (১৯৩৪-২০১২) িোিংেো ভোষোর অন্য ম জন্চপ্রে কর্োসোচহচ যক সুন্ীে েখঙ্গোপোযযোখের জন্ম েচরেপুর তজেোে, অযুন্ো িোিংেোখেখশ। শোরেীেো তেশ পচত্রকোে ঔপন্যোচসক চহখসখি

োাঁর প্রর্ম ‘আত্মপ্রকোশ’ ঘখট। চেখখখিন্ অজস্র েল্প-উপন্যোস-ভ্রমণকোচহন্ী। ইচ হোখসর প্রচ

িোিংেোর ন্িজোেরখণর সমেকোেখক চ চন্ অসোমোন্য ভোখি চ চন্ সোচহ য অকোখেচম পুরস্কোখর ভূচষ

োাঁর ‘তসই সমে’ ঐচ হোচসক উপন্যোখস। ১৯৮৫ সোখে েোর জন্য


প্রিুর তেশ-চিখেশ ঘুখরখিন্, ফ্রোন্স চন্খে তেখো কখরখি।

ুখে যখরখিন্

োাঁর টোন্ িরোিরই,

োাঁর ভ্রমণকোচহন্ী ‘িচির তেখশ কচি োর তেখশ’ অখন্ক পোঠক’তক মুগ্ধ কখরখি, অন্ুপ্রোচণ

োাঁর সৃি িচরত্র, সো োশ ি​িখরর চিরেুিক ভিঘুখর তিকোর ন্ীেখেোচহখ র সখঙ্গ আমোখের আজও কখন্ও তেখো হখে েোে

কেকো োর রোস্তোঘোখট, কখন্ও চেকশূন্যপুখর। তিোটখের জন্যও চ চন্ কেম যখরখিন্ ও উপহোর চেখেখিন্ কোকোিোিু, সন্তু ও তজোখজোর উপখভোেয অযোডখভঞ্চোর কোচহন্ীসম্ভোর। তেখোচেচখর পোশোপোচশ চ চন্ চিখেন্ একজন্ িুভক্ষ ু ু পোঠক, তশোন্ো েোে িোিংেো িোপো অক্ষখর এমন্ চকিু তন্ই েো

োাঁর ন্জর এচিখে তেখি।

‘সন্ো ন্ পোঠক’ িদ্মন্োখম চ চন্ চেখখখিন্ অখন্ক পুস্তক সমোখেোিন্ো। ১৯৫৩ সোখে কখেকজন্ িযু চমখে িোিংেোর আচে কচি কৃচত্তিোখসর ন্োখম শুরু কখরচিখেন্ একচট কচি ো পচত্রকো, েো চিে ন্ ুন্ উঠচ কচিখের কচি ো চন্খে পরীক্ষো-চন্রীক্ষো করোর এক প্ল্যোটেমথ। োাঁর ‘চেখস্ত চেখস্ত’ ে​েয তেখোর আিোখে তকোন্চেন্ িোপো পখি েোে চন্ চ ন্ চমচন্ট তেখখ মোত্রই জোখন্,

োাঁর তরোমোচিক কচিসত্ত্বো।

তপখেও স্বখপ্ন িহুক্ষণ তেখখচি আমরো । ২০১২ সোখে ৭৮ ি​ির িেখস

োাঁর মোন্সী ‘ন্ীরো’তক িোসস্টখপ মোত্র

োর প্রেোণ ঘখট, চকন্তু িোিংেো কচি োর পোঠক

োাঁর ‘ভোেিোসোর তকোন্ জন্ম হে ন্ো, মৃ ুয হে ন্ো’।




িখট্টোপোযযোখের মৃ যু সুন্ীে​েোখক তে েোরুণ ন্োিো চেখেচিখেো এই



A supposedly artistic Taurean who took up science and ended up with technology. A once-upon-a-time wannabe actor who now occasionally hits the stage. An avid reader, a fitness and movie freak, a food lover. Contact:

সম্পখকথ চেখখ

ত ো

িেোর অন্ুখরোযটো েখন্ এে সচ য কর্ো িেখ

ত োমোর ওপর একটো অভযোসম মোর চক,

তসটো িো হোখ




েোিী জখন্ম তেখি।

পোেোিোর পর্ তন্ই তহোক, চক শোরেীেো িো ি​িেল্প





তিশ চকিুটো সমে চন্খেচিেোম হযোাঁ িেোর আখে। ইস্কুখের েন্ডী

যোরোিোচহকভোখি ইন্দ্রোন্ী, আচে য আর চ চ খরর কর্োই তহোক।

তপচরখে কখেখজ ভচ থ হওেোর সমে তর্খক ত োমোে চিচন্,

তেখোর চিখেষণ করখ

োরপর চক

িচসচন্ কোরণ তস তেোেয ো আমোর তন্ই, চকন্তু

তেশ, চক সোন্ন্দো, চক শোরেীেো সিথত্র ত োমোর তেখো মোস্ট রীড,

একটো আশ্চেথয ভোে​েোেো চঘখর র্োক

েখন্ তেখ োম িহুেিচিথ

িেচচ্চখত্র ত োমোর সোচহ য, আচম তেশ িোিোর পর চকিুচেন্ িোিোিোচি,

একচট চিষেখক সম্পূণথ অন্য আচঙ্গখক

ুখে যখরি, হযোাঁ, তেচমচন্জম।


আন্েরিুখন্টচে, এই কর্োটোর মোখন্ িে​েোখ

োরও মখযয এই তেোন্ঠোসো জেখ

িই- রণী পোর করখ



হখে ত োমোখকই মখন্ পখি – এ তহন্ কোখির মোন্ুখষর সম্পখকথ তেখো

তেখোখন্ এখস েোাঁচিখেখি,

তিশ কচঠন্। েোই তহোক, তকোন্ রকম

ঝেসোখন্ো িক্ষিযন্ীর অন্ুষঙ্গ, খ) পুরুষজো টোর

চেখে তেখহ ু সম্পূণথ িযচিে

োচত্ত্বক আখেোিন্োর মখযয ন্ো

ভোখেো েোেোর জোে​েো তর্খক কেম


োর িযোখযো হে, ক) ফ্রোখন্স ঘখট েোওেো ুখেোখযোন্ো করো

আর ে) পুরুষখের ন্কে কখর ‘আযুচন্কো’ ন্োরী প্রমোখণর হোসযকর

যখরচি, অ এি মখন্ হে তেচখই ন্ো তি​িো কখর তকোেোজ



পুরুষ খের চিখরোচয ো – এই সচ যটো তিোযহে ত োমোর ম

প্রর্ম সিচকিুর ম ই ত োমোর সোখর্ প্রর্ম আেোপটোও িোন্স ন্ো পোওেোর ঘো



পুরুষবিচর ো


সহজ কখর তকউ িখেচন্ কখন্ও ইেোচন্িং কোখের

িোিংেো সোচহখ য।

তভোেোর ন্ে। তস ি​িরই কখেখজ আচম েোস্টথ ইেোর, তপ্রচসখডন্সীখ


খন্ও ে​ে​েখে,

িোিংেো সোচহ য িেখ

মখন্ পিে, িোেোচেখের অেস,

শোরেীেো আন্ন্দিোজোখর তিোখ আটখক চেখেচিে কোাঁখির

পরশ্রীকো র, ভণ্ড এরকম হোজোখরো িেন্োখমর সোখর্

তেওেোে ন্োমটো তেখখ।

আরও একটো িে অভযোস আখি –

খন্ও শোরেীেো পুখরোপুচর িোজোরী

আন্খন্দ কন্ভোখটথড হেচন্,

তেচখকোর ন্োম

‘িই’ িখে িোেোখন্ো। িেচচ্চত্র তে অচডও চভসুেযোখের

তেখখ পো ো ওটোখন্ো শুরু। তেখেোম আমোর-ই িেসী একচট

সোহোখেয েখি ওঠো সম্পূণথ একটো অন্য মোযযম আর তস

তমখে, িৃচি রোে – তপ্রচসখডন্সী েোস্টথ ইেোর – চহচি অন্োসথ –

মোযযমটো চন্িকই িইখের পো োর অক্ষর ন্ে – তসটো

োর িোিো, মো আর

োই অপচরচি

ো হে িেচচ্চত্রখক

োখের তভখঙ্গ েোওেো সম্পখকথর আিখ থ

আজও আমরো িুচঝচন্। আর

ঘুরপোক খোখছ।

আমোখের অিযোচর হখে যরো চেখ

পোরি ন্ো। চকন্তু িেস,



োর প্রমোণ তপখেচিেোম ১৯৯৮ ত

– তেখোখন্ তেখচি রচম োখক সুচি​িোর পোইখে তেওেোর

মন্ আর তিোখ তেখহ ু আেোেো চিে – একটো আশ্চেথয

আশোে চঝন্ুখকর েিোই –সোচহখ যর আর সঙ্গীখ র দুই

মুগ্ধ ো গ্রোস কখরচিে – আর তসটোই পরি থী কোখে তন্শোে রুপোন্তচর

প্রশ্ন – “হযোাঁখর , িইটো তকমন্

হখেখি?” আর ত োমোর সৃচির তসই ‘িই’ তে ক

তসই শুরু। আজ েচে খুি অখন্স্টচে চজখেযস কর চক তপখেচিেোম তস তেখোে, চঠক িেখ

োই শুরিোর সযযোে

সুচিত্রোখক একসোখর্ তপখেচিেোম আমরো।


োর পর তর্খক

অখন্ক ি​ি, মোঝোরী মোখপর পচরিোেক’তক তেখখচি, ইন্

হেখ ো মখন্ আখি তসই সমে রচি​িোসরীখের প্রর্ম পো োর

েযোট এখন্ও তেখচি িই তর্খক ‘িই’ িোন্োখ , তশষ

ডোন্ চেখক চন্খি পরি থী তেশ, সোন্ন্দোর চিজ্ঞোপন্ র্োক ।

তেখেোম তিোযহে অন্য িসন্ত –একচেখক কখপথোখরট

আর আচম খুাঁজ োম ত োমোর তকোন্ তিোটেল্প/ি​িেল্প

কোেিোর আর উচ্চোকোঙ্খোে চিচকখে েোওেো তশৌন্ক –


আর অন্যচেখক স্বপ্নখক সচ য করোর তি​িোে অচভমন্ুযর

হখি চকন্ো। কখেজ তের ো চন্উজস্টখে েোাঁচিখে

তেোগ্রোখস ত োমোর েল্প চেখে তে​েচি – এখন্ ভোিখে

চন্রন্তর েিোই – আর এ দুখের মোখঝ

সচ যই হোচস পোে – আর তসভোখিই রেখিরখের িচরখত্রর

– আযুচন্ক সমোজজীিখন্র গ্রোউন্ড চরখেচেচট গুখেোখক

সোখর্ পচরিে – সমীরণ, পুেখকশ, শ্রীমেী, ে

অন্োেোখস তেখ োম এখকর পর এক পো োিন্দী করি –


সো যচক, অন্ুরোযো ...


রেীন্ িশমো তিোখখ কখেজ পিুেোখের মখ

তসটো একটো ি​ি কোরণ তে জন্য ত োমোর সৃচি

েোইট, সোউন্ড, কযোখমরো, অযোকশখন্র কর্ো তশোন্োর

অচমেোে িযোটো

মহো যচি​িোজ, চশেিং-এ চেখে কোচিয কখর, হো

চন্নষ্ঠোর তেোেোিে



কখর গুচিখে তপ্রমটো করচে িোপ, অর্ি িোেন্ো েোে েোিোর সমে





তরোমযোচিক ো তর্খক সখর এখস মোচটর অখন্ক কোিোকোচি জোে​েো

চকসি েীচঘ ঘিো-টিোর েল্প শুচন্খে তশখষ তকচট ? তপ্রমখক পূণথ ো

কখর চন্খ

চেখে তে


ভোে​েোেো, ভোেিোসোর কর্ো ত ো অখন্ক হ’ে, এিোর ন্োহে একটু

খন্ চিে ন্ো চঠকই, চকন্তু তেখোর সোখর্ তপ্রম হিোর পর িুখঝচিেোম

মন্দিোসোর চেখক ন্জর চেই। হযোাঁ, এটো ভীষণভোখি সচ য তে, ত োমোর

অচমেোে ওেোজ কোখরট। প্রোর্চমক তঘোর তকখট েোওেোর পর িুঝেোম

তেখোর মখযয এচেজোখির্ আখডথন্-এর চে​ের্ অযোচভচন্উ-এর েয

ো’ অভযোখস পচরণ

হে- এই সচ যটো তিোঝোর ম


তপখরচিে, হে

ভচিষযখ ও পোরখি।



আন্ডোরখরখটড – ন্োমটো মখন্ পিখি ন্ো, তেখোখন্ মূে সমসযোটো যরখ

অখন্খকর মুখখই এই অচভখেোে শুখন্চি – চকিুটো আচমও তপখেচি

তিখেচিখে অর্থোৎ কৃচষজচমখ


একটো কোেজেী চি কথ – আর তসটো তকোন্ রোজবন্চ ক েখের ন্ে।

কখন্ও কখন্ও – েচে চজখেযস কর ‘তমখেচে’ আর ‘পুরুষোচে’

তেখোর পোর্থকয করখ , পোরি ন্ো ের চশওর। িরোির ‘ন্োরী’তক তেখোখ


ুচম তেখহ ু

‘তমখেমোন্ুষ’ চহখসখি ন্ো তেখখ ‘মোন্ুষ’ চহখসখি

তিখেি হে

তকোর্োও তকোর্োও িচরত্রগুখেো একটু তিশী

চশল্প – েো মোন্িসভয োর ইচ হোখসর

তসটোই ত োমোর তশষ ন্ ুন্ তেখো পিো আমোর। পিখ

চেখে মখন্

হখেচিে তকোন্ এক অখিন্ো কোরখণ তে মোন্ুষটো েূখর িখে চেখেচিে অখন্কটো, হে

এমন্ যোেোর প্রখেোজন্ চিে েো আিোর পোঠকখক


ন্োরীখকচন্দ্রক হখে পখিখি।

কোখি চেচরখে আন্খি।

সৃচজখ র একটো িচি তেখখচিেোম – তেখোখন্ চসিোর্থ তমঘন্োখক িেখি

তেশিোিোর পর তর্খক স্বোভোচিকভোখিই ন্ ুন্ তেখোর খির আস

“আমোখের ম

অখন্ক তেরীখ , আর ইিোরখন্খট িুচর কখর িই পিোর মখযয তে

চরখেচটভ মোন্ুষখের, জোখন্ন্ একটো চরখেচটভ

উইখন্ডো র্োখক, আর তসটো এক্স্পোের কখর তেখে আমরো অযোভোখরজ

ন্ ুন্ িই হোখ

কোজ করখ

খি আচম

তশষরোখ , চঠক ঘুম ভোেোর আখে আমরো তেমন্ আে​েো আে​েো ,

িেি, এটো আমোর ত োমোর চিরুখি সিখিখে ি​ি অচভখেোে।

চিচছন্ন স্বপ্নগুখেো তেচখ তেখোখন্ ঘন্ ঘন্ েৃশযপট পোটোে – চঠক

শুরু কচর।” েচে পোখসথোন্োচে জোন্খ


পোওেোর মজো তন্ই একর্ো সিোর জোন্ো।

আেন্োমহখের পর তর্খক েক্ষয


করচিেোম তেখোগুখেো ভীষণ

তকমন্ আে​েো হখে চেখেচিে


আর তসটোর সিখিখে ি​ি এখেট






– চক


সুখ োর





“সোচহ য মখর পুখজোসিংখযোর

আিোর কখর আাঁকখি যরোর – ইন্



েযোট তসই হযোিংওভোর এখখন্ো

োেোেো, ন্োচক অচ -উৎপোেন্

আখি। তসটো ডোিোচর ন্ৃশিংস োে


ন্োচক হখে



আমোর তকোন্ চন্কট আত্মীখের

হে, ন্োচক

মৃ ুয িে, চকিংিো সোরোচেখন্র

অন্য চকিু িেো কচঠন্। চকন্তু

ক্লোচন্তর তশখষ কোখির মোন্ুখষর


শুভোচশখসর ম

সমখঝো ো করখ




তেখ োম




িোচি চেখর চন্খজর একোচকখে

ঘুখর চেখর িখে আসখি – আর

ডুখি েোওেো িে – এরকম

তসই িোিোিোচির শুরু। চকন্তু






কখন্ও কখন্ও পুখরোন্ তপ্রমটো চিষখে চেখখি। তসইজন্যই রেীন্ পৃচর্িী িো রোমযন্ু রে চকিংিো েল্প আমোখক িোযয কখরখি আিোর তেখোর মখযয

চেচরখে চন্খে তেখ ।


১২ই তম, ২০১৫ ত

মযোচসভ হোটথ অযোটোক েখন্ ত োমোর শরীরটো

তকখি চন্ে তস খির শুখন্ ইচমচডখেট চরঅযোকশন্ চক হখেচিে তস কর্ো আজ ন্ো হে র্োক। চঠক মখন্ তন্ই তকোর্োও তেখো তিচরখেচিে এর মূে কোরণ ন্োচক চিে ব্লোড সুেোর। অমোন্ুচষক পচরশ্রখম রি জে

ত োমোর তেখোর সোখর্ পর্ িেখ তিখেচিেোম,

তেন্চন্দন্ োে


চন্রন্তর জীিন্ত হখে ওখঠ।

ঝোচেখে চন্ োম েখন্ তেখ োম তিন্ো েন্ডীর িোইখর এখস একটু অন্য অেীক সুখখর ম



তে সমেকোেটো যরখ

োর তশখষর চেকটো ি​ি কচঠন্ সমে চিে আমোখের

জন্য। হযোাঁ চঠকই যখরি, ২০০৫ সোখের পর তর্খক পচশ্চমিখঙ্গর রোজবন্চ ক তপ্রক্ষোপট - েখন্ একটোর পর একটো চেন্ আরও


হে শুখন্চি, চকন্তু চমচি রখির স্বোে তে তন্োন্ ো তিোখখর জখে পোখট েোে একর্ো জোন্ো চিে ন্ো। -আজ এই পেথযন্ত –

আরও ে​েণোেোেক হখে উখঠচিে –খুি আশ্চেথযভোখি েক্ষয করেোম, েোখের কর্ো, েুচি, তেখোর মখযয চেখে ি​ি হখেচি চন্শ্চুপ, চন্িথোক।

োরো সিোই

োর কোরণ তিোযহে আমরো খুি সহখজই “ভূচমপুত্র

সমসযো” তর্খক সখর এখস এই টোন্োখপোখিখন্র েোখে একটো েোেসিুজ রে েোচেখে চেখেচিেোম, েখে এই সমসযো চন্খে কর্ো িেো মোখন্ অন্োেোখসই কোউখক চিখরোযীপখক্ষর হে

কমো চেখে তেওেো েোে –

তসই জোে​েো তর্খকই ত রী হখেচিে এই সোরভোইভোে

িযোখটচজ। এ তহন্ পচরচস্থচ খ

েখন্ তেখচি চমচডেো সুি ুরভোখি

সিোর আিোখে একটো আখন্দোেখন্র েোখে একটো মোন্ুখষর মুখ তসাঁখট চেখছ, প্রচ িোে করখে/ন্ো করখে তস তসইম িখসখি,

খন্ হোখ

টযোেড হখে তেখ

এখসচিে অসোযোরণ একটো সৃচি এি​িং



কৃ জ্ঞ ো স্বীকোর :এই তেখোর জন্য ে টুকু অযযেখন্র সুখেোে তপখেচি, তসখোখন্ প্রচ মুহূখ থ িোিংেো সোচহ য এি​িং িেচচ্চখত্রর অেুরন্ত ভোণ্ডোর আমোখক সমৃি কখরখি। অ এি কৃ জ্ঞ ো স্বীকোর চিখশষ ভোখি প্রখেোজন্ীে:- তে’জ পোিচেচশিং, আমোরিই.কম, িোিংেো িেচচ্চত্র, ঋ ুপণথ তঘোষ, সুচিত্রো ভট্টোিোেথ-এর েল্প ও উপন্যোস সমগ্র।



পোওেো েোে – েো একোন্ত ভোখি তমখেচে – আমোর পচরচি



Switzerland has been home to Smita since 1986. She is passionate about sport, both watching and participating and movies (only watching :)). Working as a legal assistant has helped her put to good use her command of multiple languages. She is fluent in English, Bengali, Hindi, German, Spanish and French. Contact:

মোফে মোমোর টেকে


rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. He had many names and titles. The list of adjectives and monikers used to describe his appearance, his talent, his persona are unending. But to me, he was and always will be my "Lombu Mamai". He is Satyajit Ray. And I deliberately use "is" and not "was" because even now, almost a quarter of a century after his passing, his presence in the life of most Bengalis is very much there. What can one say about growing up in an illustrious household such as mine where one rubbed shoulders on a weekly basis with the great man, Ruma Guha Thakurta, Kanak Das, Debabrata Biswas and such others? Well, it never felt that way. To us children, Lombu Mamai was just Lombu Mamai – a giant of a man with a voice that awed us, but the gentlest of human beings.

Satyajit Ray: The great man & I ing into the camera. Much more impressive than watching Lombu Mamai direct was attending a music take. Apart from the fact that this was a more intimate atmosphere, it was simply amazing to see a self-taught musician guiding an entire group of musicians and unfailingly spotting the errant musician who struck a wrong note. Such a keen ear! I was learning to play the piano and on some visits to their home, he would ask me if I had learnt anything new and I would promptly sit at his piano and thump it out and the reaction was always "Bah! Darun!"

Satyajit Ray's humility was legendary. This was a man who never employed a secretary, Movie shootings replied personally to felt more like a every letter received picnic which conand to speak to him on trasted starkly with the phone, all one had the theme of most to do was dial the of his movies. We number – odds were were always made that he would answer welcome on the himself. Chances were Satyajit Ray - at home with his family sets, but of course had to remain also high that many callers, not exutterly silent. The biggest attraction for me was not pecting to hear the deep voice of the great man himthe chance to watch the great man at work – I did not self, would hang up in shock! really realize at that point how privileged I was – but As far back as I can remember, almost every weekthe biryani that was served at lunch! Over the years, end, my parents and their close relatives (blood or at the various shoots that I was present at, the one "patano") would gather at 1 Bishop Lefroy Road to that lingers in my memory is "Shatranj ke Khiladi". while away the afternoon playing cards. These So many internationally well-known actors like Sha"tasher addas" were cherished by them and us chilbana Azmi, Saeed Jaffrey, Sanjeev Kumar and the dren alike because it gave us an opportunity to ingreat Pandit Birju Maharaj. With hesitant steps and dulge in our own shenanigans, hurriedly clearing meek voice I somehow plucked up the courage to ask away all evidence before the adults returned. After I Lombu Mamai to introduce me to them. Unfailingly moved to Switzerland in 1986, the only sure time to obliging, he said "Nischoi, of course!" and walked me get hold of my parents on the phone was a Saturday over to where they were gathered. I remember reor Sunday afternoon by calling the Ray residence. I questing his son Sandip(dada) to take some photos of would call and Lombu Mamai would answer, unfailme with them and I also remember Saeed Jaffrey ingly polite as always. After making sure that all was putting his arm around me and me tremblingly smilwell with me, he would get up and walk shuffling



Satyajit Ray is not my "real" mama. He is my mother and my father's first cousin. You see, my parents are first cousins and have their own love story, defying all norms and facing the wrath of the family to be together. When Ray's mother was widowed at a very young age she moved with her son to her older brother's home. This elder brother was my mother's father (my Dadu). Having spent an entire childhood together in a joint family, the delineation of "real" and cousin did not really exist in that household. In the family he was always "Borda". He was accorded the respect and the status of being the oldest brother in the family. Ray's own romance with his cousin Bijoya (my "Monkuma") also bloomed in that same house.

At the end of the movie I walked out, head held high, triumphant. Who cares if anyone stopped me now?


along halfway to the other end of the house and say in a raised voice: "Nutu, tor meyer phone Switzerland theke". Since the phone was in his study, if he had a visitor or was in the midst of important work, Ma & I would try to rush the conversation but he would reassure my mother that she should take her time, all else can wait.

Generosity was a hallmark of the Rays. The nicest, most thoughtful birthday gifts came from them, beautifully wrapped by Monkuma, almost a pity to unpack. Generosity takes many forms and I remember that at every premiere of his films, he always let me invite a couple of friends. I of course felt so very benevolent, endowing blessings on the chosen friends! I got married at a relatively young age. Being the only girl on my mother's side of the family, there was much excitement in the family. First up, the wedding invitation. No question as to who would be designing it – Satyajit Ray of course! I believe I am the only woman in the world who can boast of this. It was a Brahmo wedding ceremony and the hymns were sung by Anup Ghoshal and his sister, accompanied by Bijoya Ray. The date was December 29, 1982 and it was the first day of shooting of "Ghare Baire". Lombu Mamai announced early pack up so he would not be late reaching the wedding.

Countless are the stories I have heard from my parents about their childhood In spite of his imposing growing up together withheight and personality or Lombumamai. It was a perhaps because of it, he true joint family, filled appeared aloof. When my with love and good times, mother chastised him for Smita and Ashok ‘s wedding card designed by Satyajit Ray quite unlike the soap operas standing by himself rather (Draft copy) of today which are filled than being a welcoming with evil characters. Ray’s host, off he sauntered, mother, Mejodadi, was the one who ran my Dadu’s grudgingly, to make polite conversation with the household, with no friction whatsoever between my guests. Hardly a few minutes had passed when he Dadi and her. Mejodadi ruled with an iron hand and returned to my mother and grumbled to her that she in the family, her cooking and sewing skills were should not ask him to do such things. He had tried legendary. This is the forward thinking of the and embarrassed himself. Apparently he had gone to Brahmo Samaj where a widow gets so much unquesa smiling gentleman and asked him if he was from tioning respect and love. the groom's side. The gentleman responded, "You There was a mischievous childlike aspect to could say that. I am the groom's father." Lombumamai. The movie Manoranjan had released The man was a legend in his lifetime and will always and we all planned to go and see it together but how remain one. Accolades and awards were strewn all could I join? It was rated A. Now, with his influence, over his home. But never once did I see even a hint of Lombumamai could easily have asked for an exceparrogance or superiority, which is probably why it tion but he said, let’s just go and see how it turns out. was difficult at that young age to think of him as an We reached the movie hall for the night show and I extraordinary person. He attended every family funchid behind his giant stature, heart in mouth, sometion, small and large, and we were welcomed warmhow sneaked in and took my seat in the dark. At ly to every occasion at their home. Even in the midst interval, the lights came up and I was fearful of being of countless celebrity guests gathered in his study to discovered. Very matter of fact, he pushed his dangly wish him on his birthday, he had a smile and a molegs, clothed in loose pajamas and just told me to slip ment when we walked in to wish him. in behind them. The pajama acted as a curtain and An Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and Contribution there I hid till the lights dimmed for the second part.




to Cinema, which was bestowed on him in 1992, is no doubt a matter of great pride for anyone associated with the filmmaking line. Why though, I wonder, does the Oscar Committee wait till someone is old and feeble to recognize their worth? Had they done this a couple of years before they actually did, Lombumamai would have been able to travel to the USA and accept it, rather than lying on a hospital bed. Well, thank God that at least it was not a posthumous award! It is a matter of immense pride for me that I had a chance to spend so many special moments over the years with a legend and that I can now share some of them with you, dear readers. ***

Movie Survey - There's Something About Pujo!



ith its colours, its sights, its sounds, its tastes and its smells, Pujo speaks to us on every sensory level. A bank of kashphool trembling in the wind on a breezy autumnal day can make the Bong-at-heart wobble with an all too familiar nostalgic ache. And then, of course, there’s the rest: the sound of the dhaak beating up a storm; the smell of dhuno wafting in their air; the tangy tauk-jhal-mishti taste of phuchka, papri chaat, and roadside Chinese. This happy coupling is not only celebrated in pandals, on the road, and, naturally in probashi community centres but celebrated on the silver screen too. From Kahaani to Utsab, from Devi to Doshomi, from Pather Panchali to Joy Baba Felunath, Antarmahal to Amar Prem…And countless more besides. All of these films have us, the audience, treading a celluloid path to a devi dasrshan of the silver screen variety. As is the case with all things bright and beautiful, celluloid celebrations of Puja also come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes its the music which strikes a chord. For example, whatever you might think of Poran Jaye Jolia Re (the least popular choice), you’ve got to admit that ‘Dhaker tale komor dole’ is a right ol’ Pujo earwig. At other times, things are wont to get a little cerebral especially when Ma Durga works as the perfect metaphor for women - at times, nurturing and feminine, at times, vengeful, wrathful goddess whom you could do better than to cross. Does Vidya Bagchi from Kahaani ring a bell? Or perhaps Haimainti from Devipaksha? Pujo is also at the heart of the family movie, the kind which attempts to moralise while remaining evocative. Belasheshe and Utsab do just that. By having the family Pujo act as their throbbing pulse, the films show often disparate family members make their way back to each other over the course of the festive period. Then of course, there’s Satyajit Ray, who, in Pather Panchali subtly reminds us that we can find the goddess in the most unexpected of places, in Durga’s smile and Apu’s bashful gaze and finally, of course, their mother Sarbojaya’s quiet strength. Pujo is cinematic gold.





In a previous life, was a teacher of English. Since 2013, Nayana has been living in Zurich with her husband, Arindam, her son Abhigyan and as of 2016, her daughter Aryahi.


Nayana is a voracious reader, an enthusiastic tutor and an occasional writer. Her motto in life is 'A little bit of alliteration never hurt anyone'. Contact:



Raising A

Third Cultural Kid

What are we cooking up today? “A Third Culture Kid is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background’. - Dave Pollock


ell-rounded Third Culture Kids, comfortable in their skins and proud of their identity and their heritage, secure at ‘home’ and yet flourishing ‘abroad’. An individual who is adventurous, curious, gracious, helpful, kind, culturally rich and entrepreneurial, a leader. Now, if that last sentence just reads like an indiscriminate string of adjectives to you, never fear. These are, in fact, the qualities and personal propensities that educational psychologists have identified TCKs as possessing.

The Recipe Servings: As many as you can manage Time: Around about 18 years and counting Cuisine: Global (but right here, right now, we are focusing on a more Indian flavour with a rich hint of ‘bangali’. Ingredients: One offspring or more

So, how ought we to go about our task as would-be TCK parents? Well, funny you should ask because here’s a handy list of ingredients! And while we are at it, a possible recipe.

Limitless cups of patience

Happy Raising!

Glasses brimful with madcap mumingenuity

While the particulars of this article may reference the making of a Swiss-Bong haute cuisine, the application itself is really quite global. It’s also an example of collaborative cooking. Various chefs have put forward their ideas. Here they are (in alphabetical order): Amrita Ray, Brindarica Bose, Chandra Chakraborty, Kamalika Chakraborty, Riti Mukherjee, Srijani Bhattacharya, Suparna Acharya, Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal .And, then there’s me. Nayana Chakrabarti-Bhattacharya. I simply cobbled together this khichuri of a recipe for motives not entirely altruistic (Psst… I need a road-map! )


Heaped spoonfuls of tenacity Litres of stamina

Step1: Pre-heat the oven, set to ‘Culture Shock’ Chandra observes that “Slowly we learnt the ways of living here (…) Language is the foremost barrier.” While language remains the key to integration, it is also the case that a new arrival to Switzerland eventually realises that in order to live in a land which is synonymous for breathtaking natural beauty, one must abide by rules. Lots of rules. “There are specific rules for garbage collection, recycling paper. Apartment rules regarding noise, washing, parking,etc”.


Step 2: Don’t forget to adjust the temperature to account for the ‘Language Barrier’ Riti has an anecdote up her sleeve, “I still remember holding my 18-month old tightly in my arms and staring at the diverse display of milk on the shelves I knew that they all contained that essential white liquid in them but which was the ‘right one’ for my little blackilocks? I missed my little Mother Dairy booth in Delhi and Kolkata for the first time in my life!” But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. At a time “when Migros did not sell turmeric and cumin, when assistants at Ikea did not wear the United Jack on their T-shirts and insurance companies did not speak any English” , a brilliant ‘life hack’ was born. “I overcame the language barrier by carrying pictures of animals in my purse to ask if I was buying the right kind of meat and today I know I had started to feed my daughter UHT milk instead of fresh”. Step 3 Prepare your chief ingredient: fold your chief ingredient to your heart. Stir your chief ingredient, your offspring(s). Stir until the answers to the following questions rise to the surface. What does it want to become? What can you learn from it in order to help it to become its best self? Do not be afraid to learn, especially something new The parent-child equation is fairly straightforward. Right? One person is the parent, the other is the child. The parent’s duty is to teach, teach, teach. The child’s duty is to learn, learn, learn. Wrong! Welcome to modern parenting, welcome to TCK parenting, where nothing is ever quite what it seems! In the world of third culture parenting, children can be a great source of information and sometimes third


culture parents are taught by their children about cultural references as well as local and national history. Kamalika has been humorously taught by her daughter many a time. “After Ihita started speaking Swiss German fluently from an early age, she would often take it upon herself to correct us in public. Her favourite activity was to correct my pronunciation of the bus and tram stop named “Leutschenbach” next to which her kinderkrippe was located. I could never match her pronunciation of the ‘ch’ at the end. Once, in the bus, she made me repeat it at least 10 times, telling me to pronounce ‘ch’ from the throat, much to the amusement of our co-passengers”. Riti speaks up in favour of the local schools in Switzerland and the role that they play in integration. She talks about how as a parent, learning about life in Switzerland was an act of partnership with her children , “of finding out the right and wrong together”. She writes that she found “Babybel, teddy bear chips, ready-todrink chocolate milk in tetra-packs with straws, socks with rubber bases, children’s gardening gloves, Ludotheks, Brick Eltern clubs, as well as the names of the local hills and forests that surround our village, the names of the birds that pick worms in our garden…As they grow, they will show you corners and shops in your village that guide books won’t!” In addition, both Tandra and Amrita view schools as an important site of integration, where schools provide ample opportunities to intermarry Swiss and Indian culture. Amrita says “We celebrate festivals like Easter, Christmas, Fasnacht etc with full and equal enthusiasm, each time narrating the story and reason behind the celebration, so that they (the children) can really feel the importance of these festivities within their own social contexts.” At Sanrays, the school that Amrita and Tandra run together in Baden and Zurich, they explain the similarities between “Diwali and Halloween, Holi and Fasnacht”. Step 4: A Healthy Pinch of Swiss Courage: finely grate eight cloves of independence and a three-inch slice of courage. This will add the requisite punch to your Swiss-Indian masala. Not optional. As parents new to Swiss culture, there are, oftentimes, cultural and social practices which are new to us. Brindarica writes that here, in Switzerland, the Swiss place greater importance on “first learning to cross the street and becoming self reliant, before learning A,B,C.” Hailing from England and India combined, I know that the school run, in both countries has become the stuff of legend. In the UK, the legend school run has



Turns out there’s a lot more to Switzerland than simpering saris and pastel coloured sweaters looped around the neck, in truth, it turns out that dreams begin with discipline. Kamalika really hits the nail on the head, articulating the dichotomy of Swiss reality when she says that “Landing at Zürich airport on a cold Easter weekend morning,the clockwork precision, the cleanliness, the picture perfect sights looked impressive. At the same time the lack of noise, colour and people was unnerving. The language barrier was immediately apparent in both professional and personal settings.” And there we have it, once more, the language barrier. Now, my natural habitat is a supermarket aisle and I am nearly always armed with Google Translate. My concessions to Switzerland thus far include my propensity to call my baby girl ‘kleine maus’ and my greatest source of pride is when my little boy can give understandable instructions to Uber drivers in his best Schweizer Deutsch.


been parlayed into books and films, such as its import. Indeed, a whole sub-genre of literature has been spawned with the school run at its heart: ‘Mumlit’. In India too, we have seen troupes of mummies parking themselves on porches near their children’s schools, armed with bananas and apples, ready to rejuvenate their little charges whenever they appear before ferrying them off to tuitions and extra-curricular activities. In Switzerland, by contrast, there’s very little of that. Parenting here, as both Chandra and Riti observe, is considerably more organic in its approach. The Swiss are keen to instil a sense of confidence and capability in children from an early age, sometimes in ways which immigrant and expat parents fear because it isn't something that we experienced when we were growing up ‘back home’. Both online, on Facebook groups or in places like ‘The Huffington Post’ reams and reams have been written on the subject of how the Swiss and the Germans encourage their children to walk back and forth from kindergarten on their own. Chandra , like many others, acknowledges that “when they started with kindergarten, I was told not to drop them to school or pick them up”. The Swiss also hold off on hothousing their children while they are still young and hence, “weekends are for enjoying and not for studying at the primary school and summer time is for vacation”. Step 5: Tips and Tricks for Navigating the Confluence of Cultures Knead a dough of Indian culture and traditions. Set aside. Now, whisk together Swiss culture with pinches of local history. Combine the two by pouring one over the other. Cover and set to one aside and allow the flavours to blend. After some time, roll out the dough balls and make flatbread, Swiss-Indian style. All of the brave, wonderful and creative mamas I spoke to have a treasure of amusing anecdotes up their sleeves when it comes to how their Swiss-Indian children have navigated the confluence of Swiss and Indian mores. Srijani recounts the rather droll way she explained the “differences in Swiss and Indian approaches to discipline” to her children while Suparna talked about how she managed to communicate how she, as a mother, proved to her children how indispensable she is as a mother, “Swiss, Bengali, Indian or otherwise! That in all respects, I am ‘Ma”. Brindarica speaks of how she and her husband who was born and brought up in Switzerland work together to bring a full palette of Swiss and Indian cultures to their two young boys, “my kids see how I


behave and label me ‘Indian’ and see how their father behaves and labels him ‘Swiss’, they understand, mother and father are different and similarly understand that both countries are like two different persons…They enjoy the difference in culture, sights, smells and food. One funny incident, when we visited India, first time with my younger son in the month of July, he couldn’t understand the feeling of extreme heat and kept jumping and shouting, “Mamma, its too ‘cold’”..He had not yet turned two, and had known earlier only the feeling of cold, and not extreme heat.” In childhood, as in adulthood, food is an important motif. Riti observes that “if you stop cooking Indian food, the children will stop eating. Show them the sheer bliss of handmade rotis and ‘nolen gur’ and allow them to show you how the taste of melted cheese poured on baked potatoes with pickles…Teach them things you learnt in your childhood, how to make paper boats in the rain, teach them to suck the pulp of a whole mango through one small, bitten, hole”. Chandra recognises the value of social media in this context, “Ours is a very big family. Thanks to FB and WhatsApp my children have close contact with the extended family in India. They understand that these are two different cultures and they have developed respect for both and that both cultures have their own specialities and identities”. Step 6: Show and Tell…Wear and Taste: In a pan, add a smidgeon of cinema, a pinch of literature and a teaspoonful of music. Fry until the spices lose their raw smell. Add your cultural cornerstones, your tropes and touchstones. Fry on a low heat until they take on a golden hue. It is not enough to tell one’s child about one’s childhood in India and expect them to follow suit and fall in love with India and all things Indian by themselves. A common theme that came up in all my conversations was the need for parents to show and tell. Just like good storytelling. In this story that we, as TCK parents tell, our heroes and heroines are often the cultural cornerstones and touchstones which we grew up with as children. In a sense, these touchstones are timeless. And trick, it seems, is to catch them quick and catch them while they are young! With her young charges, Amrita advocates an eclectic entertaining formula: “ I’ve taught them to eat “maach-bhaat” with hand, “rajma-chawal with spoon, noodles with chopsticks, steak with fork and knife. Then with nursery rhymes,along with “Baa Baa Black sheep” & “Twinkle-twinkle little star”, they sing “Hattimaa Tim Tim”, “Bapuram sapure”… Dress and dressing up, too, is important. Tandra


Step 7: Garnish with garam masala and Jhorna ghee. Serve! Don’t forget to Instagram! There’s an old African adage of it taking a village to raise a child comes in. So many of the parents I spoke to, spoke of how the existence of SwissPuja itself helped them to keep their children ‘connected’. Kamalika writes that she was often faced with the question “Are we meeting the Durga Puja people today or the Switzerland people?” Brindarica’s son once told the story of Ganesh on stage, in the course of a Puja function. When you tell them mythological stories, they can connect. Once they have seen Durga Puja not ôn TV, but in real life, that too in their own birth country—Switzerland.” Furthermore, it is about the relationships which we build up here. For example, having kids call “all friends of ‘mom’ as Masi and all uncles as ‘Kaku’. Srijani recalls an occasion when her son had taken it upon himself to explain to his classmates exactly how Lord Ganesh had managed to lose his head. He explained Lord Vishnu’s sudarshanchakra thus: “ It’s like a CD with spikes all around”. She appreciates her son’s acceptance of both cultures and live simultaneously in between worlds and multiple skins, “ they enjoy this”. Amrita writes that TCK kids who “enjoy their own culture” influence children from their host culture, thereby creating an international community. “They feel proud to be dressed up as an Indian. They feel proud of their mother tongue. They feel proud of Indian Cuisine. In a similar vein, Suparna also finds that her children are interested in the myths and legends of her mother’s land, to the extent that she asks questions that even the older generation is surprised by and gives one and all food for thought. One such example is her daughter’s fascination with “fourteen years” and “why does everyone only ever get exiled for fourteen years. Why fourteen and not something else?” Srijani pointed out that children should be raised in an environment where they “felt comfortable asking questions” and that they were not brought up in an “environment filled with rigidity”. The most successful outcomes of the ‘Third Culture Parenting Project’, the mothers said, were likely to be in households where the children, the Third Culture Kids, did not feel as if their parents’ culture was being “enforced” or “forcibly enacted on them”, as a consequence, they are “proud about their culture, proud about their country”. In addition, both Srijani and Suparna


said that they had endeavoured to ensure that their children did not feel that by participating in an ongoing love affair with all things bangali and Indian, they were doing anything onerous or special. Without imposing rigid structures, they have all simply allowed things to flow and let their children find their own way. One young man, finding his own way, took as his idol, Rabindranath Tagore, imagining that the bearded poet was in fact, a real, life thakur! This confusion, made in childhood, now brings him back again and again to Rabindrasangeet. However, en route, there are challenges. Kamalika has worked hard to enable her daughter to understand that “both cultures are unique and no one is better or worse than the other, and that she should be proud of the culture she is born in.” Another big challenge faced by TCK parents face is time. Brindarica acknowledges that “being a working mom, with two small kids I don’t really get the time to introduce them to a culture ‘officially’. Everything happens unofficially, through our day to day life, events that we attend, friends whom we meet, stories that we read.”. But, once again, she has found that if there’s a problem, there’s also a solution. “One important factor which I should mention here is the role that grandparents play—whether they live here or get connected via Skype. Grandparents tell stories, old rhymes and folklores, and stories of their childhood—this enthrals my children.” The importance of grandparents, the family back home and home - a site which is of paramount importance to the acquisition of language - is a recurring theme in the advice given by my collective of mums. Tandra says “As of now my daughter loves to visit India, loves to see her both sets of grand parents…She can speak her mother tongue very well as we encourage her to speak only one language at home.” But, why, oh why do we do this? Why do we even bother? The biggest reward is the action itself and the hope of seeing one’s children bring out the best of, and do justice to the best of, both worlds while simultaneously making the most of their childhood, retaining their innocence and simplicity for longer, and remaining outside the rat race. There was a collective feeling amongst the parents surveyed that in Switzerland, by and large, children are children for longer and that this is no small thing. Suparna recalled occasions where her children’s Swiss enabled belief in social equality ensured that they treated someone who worked for the family with the love, honour and respect that they also gave to their closest relatives. Moreover, the archetypical Swiss-Bong child has a flair for the literal - whence ‘thatta’ gets



writes that her little daughter who is too young to appreciate the “‘flavours of Bengal’ loves “my traditional attire and of course her’s as well.”


lost in translation leading to literal and even more comical interpretations - this also, obviously, results in creating family lore for the future. For Riti , the rewards lie in the smaller things. The biggest rewards lie in her Swiss-born 11 year old loudly singing “Amra Shobai Raja” and “Ekla Cholo Re” in the shower, while her 18 year old gently holds her sari pleats with her left hand while carrying flowers for the temple upstairs with utmost ease and comfort.

Third Culture Parenting, as with parenting, in general cannot be done by numbers, mores the pity. Neither is there a one-size-fits-all rule. You simply make it up as you go along, shoring up memories and lessons for the quieter times to come. ***

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful women who all invariably took out precious time from their busy schedules to speak with me and work with me on this article.

Chandra Chakraborty

Tandra C. Sanyal

Suparna Acharya

Riti Mukherjee

Brindarica Bose

Kamalika Chakraborty

Amrita Ray

Srijani Bhattacharya

#theswissconnection Born in 1889 in Italy, Alice Boner was a Swiss artist and an Indologist. She worked alongside Uday Shankar and made motion studies of his movements and the dances choreographed by his ballet company. After emigrating to India in 1935, she continued to make many contributions to the Indian art world and spent much of her time studying idols of Indian deities and Indian sculpture. Working alongside Pandit Sadashiva Rath Sharma, Alice Boner translated a palm-leaf manuscript called ‘Shilpa Prakasha’ which was, in its time, an architect’s manual for the construction of Hindu temples and sculpture. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1974. A visit to the Rietberg Museum in Zurich provides a perfect introduction to Alice Boner’s own art.



came to Switzerland to pursue a PhD in neurobiology in 2001. She is a working mother with 2 kids and a passion for books, food (especially baking), travel and fine arts. Contact:


e sometimes have these conversations with our children about human nature, the way things work, nature’s bounty, food, culture etc. One such conversation steered my 7 year-old daughter and I, into the realms of how God helps us. Here’s her take on that: “She believes that since there is a part of God in all of us, God uses that part as a medium to cajole us into accepting our mistakes and then encourages us to find ways to rectify them. She gave the hypothetical example of 2 of her classmates and said if A hurts B then the ‘God’ part of B tries to make sure that B does not retaliate and lets A know that it was not a nice thing to do. On the other hand, the ‘God’ part of A hopefully will feel enough re-

Hello from the



Mother and daughter conversations continued ... morse to apologize and mend his/her ways. ” The fact that everyone needs help from time to time has not escaped her notice. She thinks that without harnessing the special part in all of us, it would be tough for anyone to help a multitude of beings. The whole concept of her theory can be traced back to the point where my husband explained the meaning of ‘Namaste’ to her. I was humbled by the way she explained the whole thing to me. We have moved on from the time we discussed the concept of ‘Avatars’ with her 5 year-old self which was shared in an earlier issue of our Puja Patrika . The clarity of how the little ones think gives us a fresh perspective on the simple facets of complex phenomena or concepts. The simple explanations will keep on coming. I hope to share some of them in the future too.

Srishti is an 18-year-old with a passion for singing. She likes to sing popsongs and J-Pop. But she also listens to Bollywood songs. Other than that, she has a fascination for foreign languages and culture, especially Japanese pop

All this while, we've heard the parents express them- culture. She also loves to watch Anime and read Manga. selves in a fair amount of detail. We guess it's high Contact: time that we hear from the 'other side'. Srishti Rakshit is a teenager, an Adele fan and a phenomenal Being Indian singer (also of Adele's songs!). But here she chats The values that I've been brought up with as a part of with us (the Swisspuja Magazine Editorial Team) a close-knit Indian family have been very rewarding. about growing up 'in der Schweiz'. Once upon a time, but not long ago... I was born in New Delhi, India. I came to Switzerland when I was just four years old. I do remember things from before that but my memories aren't very clear. I remember my old school and some of my teachers. I was a really troublesome kid and used to cry every single day when my mom dropped me off to school. I also loved to play in the sand pit and rarely listened to my teachers. Integration - was it hard? Since I came to Switzerland at a very young age, I can't really say that it was hard for me to fit in at all. Children have an easier time learning and adjusting to new things than adults. I think parents would have a harder time to fit in than their kids.


I've been fortunate enough not to have faced too many problems with integration. As it is, I am a fairly independent person and lucky to have great support from my friends. There are probably some topics that are somewhat taboo for the Indian community at large - so, it isn't just my family. However, I feel that this is changing for the better. Swiss or Indian - which would you pick? I'd say I have the best of both worlds. I lead two completely different lives in- and outside of my house. When I'm with my friends here I completely fit in with their culture. But when I'm in the company of my Indian friends and family I fit in with them just as much as I do with my friends here. I see myself just as much Swiss as Indian and both are a part of who I am so both come very naturally to me.



A Keralite born in Mumbai and married to a Bengali, Rejina


েবোসী মোকয়র ‘রূপ থো’



চিচভন্ন পরীক্ষোর মখযয অন্য ম কচঠন্ পরীক্ষো

তিোযহে অচভভোিকে। েীঘথ সমে যখর এই পরীক্ষো িখে

এি​িং চিন্ো প্রস্তুচ খ

এই পরীক্ষোর শুরু। জীিন্-সোেোখে এখস

পরীক্ষোর ে​ে পোওেো েোে। অন্যচেক চেখে তেখখ

তেখে িেো েোে,

সন্তোন্খক ি​ি করোর মখযয চেখে জীিন্খক সম্পূণথভোখি উপেচি করো েোে এি​িং চন্খজর অচভভোিকখেরখক জোন্িোর িৃত্তটো সম্পূণথ হে।

Uma a true Bengali by heart, has done her Masters in Economics from CU, Kolkata. She has been living in Switzerland with her family since 2006. Contact:

এি​িং তিোঝোখ সিসমে

তযেথ যখর সি পচরচস্থচ র তমোকোচিেো করখ , এি​িং

োখের ভরসো তেওেোর। স্কুখে তকোন্ অচপ্রে পচরচস্থচ র

সম্মুখীন্ হখে চন্খজ স্কুখে চেখে চটিোখরর সোখর্ পচরচস্থচ র আখেোিন্ো করো। আমোর ি​ি কন্যো পঞ্চেশী এি​িং তিোট কন্যো িে ি​ির। দুইজখন্র তক্ষখত্র পচরখিশে

সমসযো দুরকম।তিোট েখন্ চন্খজখক ভোষো ও

আমোর ভোর িষথ তিখড পরভূখম িসিোস িোখরো ি​ির েোিৎ, চকন্তু

পচরখিখশর সোখর্ মোন্িোর তি​িো করখি, ি​ি

আজও আমোর কোখি আমোর মো, মো ৃভূচম এি​িং মো ভ ৃ োষো

চিচভন্ন সমসযো চন্খে িযস্ত।

সমোন্ভোখি চপ্রে এি​িং আেরণীে।প্রোিয এি​িং পোশ্চোখ যর মখযয তে চিরোট সিংস্কৃচ ে উপেচি হখ


প্রখ যক মোন্ুখষর জীিখন্ সি


তর্খক সুন্দর সমে

খুি অসুচিযো হে

তকখশোখরর দ্বোখর এখস েোাঁিোে

সন্তোন্খের এর সচঠক উপেচি সুইৎজোরেযোখন্ড

খন্ তকোমে মখন্ এখস জমো হে


অখন্ক কর্ো, তিোখখ র্োখক অখন্ক

ি​ির আখে আচম েখন্ আমোর স্বোমীর সোখর্ র্োকখ

রেীন্ স্বপ্ন। িোস্তখির করোঘো

শুরু কচর

সম্পখকথ তস অিচহ

খন্ আমোর তমখে ন্েচন্কোর


ভোর িষথ

োর িোসভূচম ন্ে। চকন্তু



মখ ো


র্োখক, হখে

োখের সন্তোন্খের



পোখর।এই তেখশ জোমথোন্,

েরোসী, ইিংচেশ ভোষো স্কুখে চেখে চশখখ

হখিই, চকন্তু আচম ন্ো

তশখোখে িোিংেো ভোষোটো চিরকোে অিখহচে

তর্খক েোখি। আমোর

সোখর্, আমোর কেকো োর সোখর্ এি​িং আমোর চিন্তোযোরোর সোখর্ আমোর সন্তোখন্র কখন্ই সচঠক তেোেোখেোে স্থোপন্ হখি ন্ো। আচম আমোর সন্তোন্খের সিসমে তি​িো কখরচি দুই সিংস্কৃচ র পোর্থকযটো এি​িং


োর অন্য ম িোযিী

কখর তন্খি, অর্িো সোরোজীিখন্র

িেোর ও তিোঝোর ক্ষম ো।আচম সিসমে তি​িো করখরচি েোখ



োর মোখক

আমোর মখন্ হখেখি মো ভ ৃ োষো ও িুঝখ

োখের সমসযো হে চন্খজর

এই সমে হে চকখশোরী কন্যো

োই প্রর্ম প্রখেোজন্

ভোষোটো শুি ভোখি িেখ


পোর্থখকযর মখযয সিংখেোেস্থোপন্।


সুন্দর এি​িং স য যোরণো খুিই প্রখেোজন্।


তকখশোর এি​িং চন্খজর তমখের ি​ি

কমথসূখত্র পৃচর্িীর ন্োন্ো প্রোখন্ত চন্খজর


চকখশোরী কন্যোর সখঙ্গ চিখেখশ

আমোখের মখ ো মোন্ুষ, েোরো ঘুখর তি​িোই,

োর মোখের ভূচমকোটো

খুিই জরুরী হখে ওখঠ। আমোর







র্োখক ন্ো,

োই এই িেখস একচট তমখের

িেস িে ি​ির। দুই ি​ির িেস তর্খক তস আখমচরকোখ

োর তকখশোর।

তশশখির ঘ্রোণ চন্খে তস েখন্

ন্ো। চকন্তু অসুচিযো হে আমোখের করোখ ।

খন্ চকখশোরীখিেোর

োরো তেন্ স্বোযীন্ভোখি চন্খজখের ম োম

ত রী










িযচিে ভোখি সিসমে িোই আমোর তমখের জীিখন্ অন্য ম ভরসোর জোে​েো হখ , কোরণ এটোই হেখ ো আমোখক এই তেখশর সখঙ্গ একোত্ম হখ

সোহোেয করখি। ভোেিোসো, ভরসো আর মৃদু

শোসন্, এই আমোর মখ

সম্পখকথ শি িুন্ট ত রী করখি।আমোর

মো ৃখের পরীক্ষো সখি পখন্খরো ি​ির যখর শুরু হখেখি,

োই েখের

প্র ীক্ষোে এখন্ শুযুই িখস র্োকো। িযচিে ভোখি সন্তোন্খক ি​ি করিোর তক্ষখত্র অখন্ক ম োম জোন্ো তন্ই।

চে​েোম। িোস্তখি

ো ক টো ে​েপ্রসূ

খি ভেিোন্ ি'খে েচে তকউ র্োখক

োর কোখি মো

চহসোখি একটোই প্রোর্থন্ো রইে, আমোর এি​িং সকখের সন্তোন্ তেন্

ভোষো এই তেখশ খুি ি​ি প্রচ িযক ো সৃচি কখর। িোচ্চোখের চন্খে

মোন্ুখষর মখ ো মোন্ুষ হে। জোচ , যমথ, িণথ, ভোষো, সিংস্কৃচ র চভন্ন ো

পোখকথ তখেখ

পচরপূণথ মোন্ুষ হখ

িখে উঠখ

তেখে েখন্ অন্য িোচ্চোখের সখঙ্গ সচঠকভোখি কর্ো

পোখর ন্ো,

খন্ িোচ্চোখের মখযয হীন্মন্য ো আখস, প্রর্ম

স্কুখে চেখে অখন্কসমে িোচ্চোরো এই অিস্থোর সম্মুখীন্ হে। আচম

সোহোেয কখর িখেই আমোর যোরণো।

োই আমোর

মখ ো প্রিোসী অচভভোিকখের

োখের সন্তোন্খের আরও মুি মখন্র

মোন্ুষ চহসোখি ি​ি কখর


ে ু খ

সিসমে তি​িো কখরচি আমোর িোচ্চোখের সোখর্ আখেোিন্ো করখ




KID’S WALL OF AWESOMENESS #birpurush VIVAAN CHAKRABORTY (3+) Whatever I become... whatever I do... Wherever I go... Whomsoever I befriend … I want to be as brave as ‘Birpurush’ and hold my head high...

#littleshiva OM!




#nextmichaelschumacher SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2016



#minidoctors TRISHA PAL (1+)





Our parents want us to be...


… but we want to be...



ARYAHI BHATTACHARYA (<1) When I grow up, I will have magical strength, I will be the truest friend and go on the most splendid adventures!


To Infinity and Beyond! When I grow up I want to be an astronaut and buzz into space. ABHIGYAN BHATTACHARYA (5+) SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2016












#firefighter Honey, I shrunk the fire-woman!!!



Trump and Clinton, move over! The Whitehouse is mine! ARSHIA BANERJEE (<1)

...and the award goes to… ME! ;-)




#skichamp ADHRIT BOSE (8+)


JEET BOSE (4+) When I grow up, I want to be a journalist and travel all around the world!!


I wonder what that is... Commentator: ..and with that, Prakriti casts a keen eye on a brand new adventure! SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2016




Adhrit Bose 8 years old, popular amongst little ones as 'Arul dada'. Loves playing flute and guitar, judo and hockey and wants to design aeroplanes when he grows up.

Urban sketching by Adhrit Bose (8 years) on the back of a pizza box

Marta Martins Castro Goes to 5th grade at school in Engelberg. Loves to spend time swimming, painting, singing, playing the guitar and playing with her sister. Lunar eclipse by Marta on her iPad

Lord Rama in the forest, by Prakriti


Prakriti Sadhu 7.5 years old from Basel. She loves dancing, music, art and crafts. She also likes to make up stories and narrate them to her younger brother and family.



#flashfiction250 Prakriti Sadhu is a 7.5 year old from Basel. She loves dancing, music, art and crafts. She also likes to make up stories and narrate them to her younger brother and family.

The girl in the Jar Drawing by Prakriti


nce upon a time there was a little girl called Maya. Her friends were very mean. The friends wanted to get rid of her because Maya lived in a castle. They had loads of plans but none of them worked. “I have an idea!” one of them said and shared it with her other friends. “Here is an invitation” said one of her mean friends. “It is on Friday”. “Thank you!” she said. On Friday, she came to her friend’s house. “She’s here! Fast! Put the potion in”. “Here’s some water” said her friend to Maya. “Thank you!” She said. She shrank and shrank and shrank! “Oh! Help!” cried Maya.

said. The mean friends had a friend who was not mean at all. Her name was Leila. Leila took Maya out of the jar. “Thank you!” said Maya. Leila said: “We have to go to the wizard to make you big again.” Leila took Maya carefully in her hand to the wizard. ”What do you need??” asked the wizard. “Something to turn Maya back into a big girl” said Leila. The wizard started chanting “Abracadabra! Sim sala bim! Take out the smallness and throw it into the bin!” Maya turned back into a normal girl again. “Thank you Wizard! You too Leila! What could I have done without you?” ***

Her friends put her into a jar. “What now??!!” she

Sasmit, a grade 6 student of the Swiss primary school, has always been passionate about his football games and music. Thanks to the Swisspuja’s initiative of prompting kids with flash fiction topics, Sasmit’s inner storyteller has been awakened.


ake up Sid, or you will be late for school!” “Okay, Mummy”, Sid groaned on a sunny Monday morning in June. Sid dragged himself to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He opened the tap to wet his toothbrush and out came a lot of candy. Sid was so surprised that he almost fainted. He called his mother and asked her to open the water tap. His mother opened the tap, and what happened? Only water came out. Not a single “C” of candy was coming out of the tap. He also couldn’t wash his hands in the school toilet. That was really disgusting for his friends and for


Candy morning himself as well. But in the school he couldn’t call his mother to open the tap. Thankfully a friend of him was also in the bathroom at the same time, so he could open the tap for Sid. After a while school was over. He washed his hands before eating lunch. He opened the tap and this time a snake came out and wanted to eat him so it opened its mouth wide. Sid shrieked and hit his head on the wall behind. He woke up with a bang and rushed to the bathroom to check the tap. He saw clean, cool water flowing out, as always!!! ***



Arushi, a Bezirkschule student is an ardent booklover to


the core. Reading is her biggest stress reliever amidst an everlasting and hectic schedule which comprises advanced piano, dance and ballet lessons. Contact:


don’t care

ick, wait for me!“, Kyle said. His mom looked around perplexed. Then she sighed. “Oh, Kyle“, she exhaled. “Bye Mum!“, Kyle blurted and dashed away. “You should have waited !“, Kyle hissed at me. I chuckled and replied with a gentle smile: „Come on now. Or we’ll be late.” “As if that matters to you“, Kyle countered. “It does to you, doesn’t it?” I added cheekily. Kyle snorted at this. Oh, how I loved teasing Kyle! We reached school. “Bye!“, he waved at me. “Bye! I’ll wait here for you“, I promised. He nodded and went off. I watched him enter the building and strolled to the park. Jared was already waiting there. “Hey“, I greeted him heartily. “Mick“, he responded quite indifferently. I had a queasy feeling. “Mick“, he repeated,“ you are not supposed to tease Kyle! You do know why you’re here, right? “ I acknowledged. “You are here because Kyle is lonely. He has no other friends. That’s why you’ve been sent. And your job is to be a friend to him. Am I clear?“, Jared asked.

was as excited as he was. “Wow! That’s nice!“, I feigned. I was not pleased at all. It has been four years of friendship between us. I knew him since he was 5. But as soon he would have another friend our shared time would have to come to an end. Those were the rules of our world. We were sent to lonely children and as soon as they made their own friends, our journey to other lonely children would start. Soon we reached his house. “Mum, we’re back!“, Kyle declared happily. “We?“, she snapped. “Me and Mick”, Kyle retorted. “Oh. Your imaginary friend who doesn’t exist”, she ridiculed. “But Mum, he does!”, Kyle tried to convince her. And there she was doubting my existence as always. It recurred since 3 years., But not for long‘, I thought sulkily. Soon the discussion took a turn into a chat about Kyle’s day at school. “There’s a new boy in my class, Castiel“, Kyle announced joyfully. “Is he nice ?”, she inquired. “Very nice, indeed. I have a feeling that the two of us will make great friends!“, Kyle assured. “I’m so happy for you“, his mum added with a smile. Soon enough Castiel and Kyle were the best of friends and Kyle hardly spoke to me. I was waiting for the day Jared would come and take me. “You look…pale“, Kyle noticed one day.

“But Jared, friends tease each other too!“, I exclaimed. “Well, you will not. You aren’t a normal friend of his. Now, leave“, Jared ordered.

“I know. B…b…b…bye Kyle”, I managed to mutter gathering all my strength. “Mick…why…what has happened?“, he asked surprised. I shook my head.

‘Just because I am visible to Kyle only, does not mean that I am abnormal‘, I thought grimly. I walked to his school and waited outside. An excited Kyle exited the school building. “Hi Kyle. You look excited“, I mentioned. He smiled mysteriously. “What is it?“, I asked. “I met someone. He is new in my class. His name’s Castiel. I think we’ll make great friends!“, he admitted. I smiled, pretending I

“Tell me Mick, please!“, he begged. “I’m sorry“, I whispered and slowly faded away. I had been teleported outside. Jared patted my shoulder. “Good job“, he appreciated generously. I tried to smile. I knew I would be thinking of Kyle but he would forget me soon. I knew he would. ***

“We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson




#fiction Anoushka Ghosh, daughter of Rahul Ghosh and Arpita Ghosh is 12 years old. She studies at a school in Leutschenbach. Writing has always been her passion. She also loves dancing and has performed multiple times on the occasion Durga puja.

A Tree ’s Bes t Friend


an was my best friend, and I was his. I met Dan on a scorching summer day. We were both tired and hot when we noticed each other. At first Dan didn’t realize that I was a talking tree so he sang a most beautiful song. I waited patiently for it to end, and then I clapped. Dan looked so taken aback that I had to laugh. Then we both introduced ourselves and found out that we enjoyed each other’s company.

house. I was desperate to get his friendship back so I gave him wood. After that our days were just like before. Soon Dan approached me and asked for leaves, then flowers for his girlfriend, and wood for his wedding. His needs got bigger but I granted them

Soon I realized that I was nothing but a long stick without leaves and apples. After a long sunny day I noticed that my leaves had come back. Then I saw Dan coming. Before he could request for anything, I told him that I had nothing to offer or give him. Dan them told me in a most sick voice, that the only thing he wanted was to rest in my shade for a while, as he After that day Dan came to meet me every day. didn’t feel well. I nodded and he lay. Those were preSometimes I gave him some of my apples. This went cious moments. I couldn’t even count them before Dan on for days until Dan was forced to join kindergarten. died. Or visits were reduced and I thought I had lost Dan Today I am 121 years old and Dan’s gravestone forever. Soon after that day, Dan came back. I was surrests under my shade. When scorching days come I prised as he wasn’t the same Dan anymore. One day think of our good times and weep in silence. Dan told me that he wanted wood to build a tree

Aarna, more popularly known as ‘Mishti’ is 7 years old. She is a Grade 2 student at the International School of Bern. She likes painting and loves to dance.



nce upon a time there lived a baby Elephant. One afternoon the baby Elephant went to play with her friends. She did not find anyone in the playground, so she went for a little walk in the woods. She was enjoying herself. But before she realized how far she was from home, it suddenly became very dark. Neither could she see anything nor could she hear anything except the ‘hooooeees’ of the Owl’s. The trees seemed to be larger than before. Suddenly there came a sound out of the darkness. Baby Elephant screamed out loudly as she was very scared. Even though she could not see much, she tried to run to the nearest cave which she thought would be a safe place to hide. The voice was not chasing her but the voice got scared by the scream of the elephant. The Elephant went inside the cave and so did the strange voice. At last the Elephant felt safe


Lost in the Jungle

inside the cave. All of a sudden it started to rain heavily and so baby Elephant was not at all happy. She started to walk back inside the cave and so did the voice. They both walked until atlast they bumped into each other. They both screamed out loud but could not make out anything in the dark cave. Gradually the Sun begun to rise. The baby Elephant for the first time realized that the strange voice was of a baby Zebra. The baby Elephant said Hello and asked ‘Are you lost?’ The baby Zebra said yes and asked the baby Elephant ‘Are you also lost?’ The Elephant also said yes and then she asked the Zebra if he could find her home?. Of course remarked the zebra, but you have to help me as well. The Elephant agreed. So they both helped each other to find their homes. From that day onwards they became very good friends and were always together. They were never lost again.



#flashfiction500 Nayanika Debnath who turned sweet sixteen this September is passionate about music. She likes to travel to new places. For leisure she prefers to hang out with her friends.


y name is Oblit. My name derives from the Latin word obliti, which stands for forgotten. I’m getting washed out from your memories day after day. You will most probably not recognize me if you get to see me. I’ll be a complete stranger to you in a couple of hours. So I hope that this message reaches you before my time to depart approaches and I remain only one amongst those thousands of your forgotten memories from your childhood. Only till a certain age can I be observed and given the name from the elders: The imaginary friend. You will forget me but I myself will never let our days together fade in to the past. I was extremely happy on seeing you walk your first steps through the support of my hands. All the enchanted talk of ours until you started talking the language of the others, which I still can’t quite decipher. I laugh at the meaningless names that you give to different things while I recognize each of them by their unique scent. If I would have named each one of my creations then I would never have come to a halt, because each and every one has it’s own distinctive scent that I have gifted

S for a day! u p e r m a n


ne fine morning I pushed my blanket away and it flew to my cupboard. I was shocked to see that it could fly. Soon after, I got ready and went to school. My class started. We had a math’s test. Somehow, I was incredibly fast and finished the test under two and a half minutes. My teacher was happy and said that I could go outside. It was recess time and everyone was playing “tag”. I joined the game. I was superfast, nobody could catch me. After recess, it was


them, without which they would have only been a space captivator. My children only observe outscores of my inventions while my inventions are worth more than only their outer appearances. I have accompanied you through the heavens gate and left you in your mothers lap. But sometimes I cannot get the courage to leave my child behind. Thus I stay with you until I am obligated to leave. My child, I cannot stay any longer in the world of yours which is suffocating me. My lungs, from which I take my energy is being destroyed. I feel the damage in me. I am losing my roots with every stroke of your axe on my skin. My path through which I come stands before destruction. So do try to understand that this was the most that I could have done. In your time of need I will try to come. I’ll come to be the cause of your success, ebullience and peace. I will be there in the form of your belief. From your Imaginary Friend ***

#flashfiction250 Shukrit is 11 years old and studies in 5th grade. He loves to swim and play the drums. He loves to play outside with his friends and his favourite sports are handball and basketball. One of his pastimes is listening to music.

time for our German class. I finished my work quickly. Then we had lunch break. We didn’t have school after lunch. So I went back home, ate lunch, quickly finished my homework and then went for my handball practice. We were playing a match and I was super-strong and could levitate and fly. Sometimes I flew a little, so that I didn’t have to run through the whole field and made lots of goals. After that I happily walked home and ate dinner. As I went to bed I thought this day was nice but I would like my normal life back and I fell asleep. The next morning I woke up and I didn’t have my powers anymore.






nce upon a time, there was a kid named Abhiraj. He was an eager fan of Brazilian football. He lived in Switzerland. One day, he flew to India with his parents and sister. In the plane he had an odd feeling that someone was watching him. When he arrived in India, the guy who was observing him took his laptop and was gazing at his soccer photos. Abhiraj was surprised at this and went after him. He ran as fast as he could and shouted “Hey, who are you” ? “I am Pelé. I am your favourite footballer.” “Unbelievable! you are the legendary Pelé ? But tell me: Why have you stolen my laptop” asked Abhiraj.” “I wanted to check whether you're Abhiraj.” “Yes, I am.” Pelé asked “ Want to make a small trial with FC Santos? I've heard that you would like to visit Brazil.” His parents smiled at him. So he said “ Sure!” He flew with Pelé to Brazil. He was excited because he will now play soccer with the Brazilian kids. When he arrived, he saw other legendary Brazilian footballers. He came to the team, and was immediately elected the captain. After several days he had a tournament named "Campeonato Brasileiro de Júnior” that means :Brazilian Championship for Juniors. The first match was against CR Flamengo. Abhiraj scored an Double-Hattrick all goals coming from headers. They won 6-0. After some time, they reached the Final. They played against Santa Cruz FC. Abhiraj was very nervous, because they have an European coach and the defence from the Europeans are very strong. Before Half-Time it was 1-1 draw. In the 90th minute Santa Cruz FC shot a goal. The referee whistled and FC Santos lost the Final. The other player from FC San-

A R equ es t

A fifth grader and a big football fan, Abhiraj loves to turn up in the colours of his club, FC Obersiggenthal. He spends most of his time dreaming about football, and also tries to squeeze in Karate and guitar lessons. He is always interested to know more about everything under the sun.

tos said to Abhiraj “ You idiot, why do you use this style of football? Your style is too primitive, plus you almost never gave us a pass. “ Abhiraj was very upset, but then came Pelé and set next to him outside on the bench and said “ I know the problem, Abhiraj. Your skills are very good. In 1958 World Cup I had the same problem. They said that my skills were very primitive but we won the 1958 World Cup although I used on these primitive skills. Now you have to remember the rebirth of the old Brazil.” Next morning Abhiraj went with a ball in the dining room and asked the kids “ Hey guys, should we juggle the ball to the sea?” The other kids said “ Yes, we can do that.” They juggled and juggled. We did not know that Pelé was watching that we were juggling to the the sea. In the evening in the dressing room Pelé said to the kids “ What I have seen this morning, I was surprised that you have played so well! I do not want that you practice in European style; but I will train you, because I want to show the spectators that we are Brazilians and not afraid of European Defence. With this old skill we will win the next season.” After two months the next season started. FC Santos won the tournament. Abhiraj was declared player of the year in the junior tournament. Before he flew back to in India, he took a photo with Pelé. When he returned to Switzerland, he has learned something “Believe in yourself.” All of a sudden Abhiraj heard his fathers voice. “Wake up my boy. We have landed in India. You started watching the movie Pelé a birth of a legend and fell asleep.” *** Plant another tree, Make the world free We need your contribution, To lessen this pollution Oxygen comes from trees, We can feel the pleasant breeze If the atmosphere isn't clean, The world will not stay green So please be dutiful,

#kidspoem SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2016

And keep our world beautiful.


I am a Woman. I am a Mother. I am strong. I am generous. I am spiritual. I am an artist. I make a home beautiful. I preserve the cultures of two different families. I work 365 days 24X7.

” Amrita Ray

“ Let the rain wash away all the pain from yesterday.

” Tandra Chakraborty Sanyal





Brindarica Bose Website: SWISSPUJA PATRIKA 2016 Contact:

Garhwali Ginger Tea Maker82

In pictures

2007. With a strong penchant for painting, she picks up the brush whenever she finds time. A Master in Arts, she pursues



Sumana, a mother of two, has been living in Switzerland since

her passion through teaching painting enthusiasts. Contact:

Once upon a time in the long past, the kingdom of Kaushlya with its capital in Ayodhya was ruled by King Dasharath of Shaurya dynasty. King Dasharath had three wives Kaushalya, Kaikeyi & Sumitra. However they did not have any children.

To beget an heir to the Kingdom, a grand yagna was performed. The kingdom was blessed with four princes - Rama, the first born to Queen Kaushalya, Bharata born to Kaikeyi, Lakshmana and Shatrughna born to Sumitra.

All the princes received their education from Sage Vishwamitra. They learned the ancient scriptures and the art of warfare.

When the princes came of age, Sage Vishwamitra sought permission of King Dasharatha to take Rama and Lakshmana to the forest to help fight demons who were disturbing his rituals.

Rama and Lakshmana helped Vishwamitra to defeat the demons.

Upon the invitation of King Janaka, Rama and Lakshmana in the company of Sage Vishwamitra travelled to Mithila.

King Janaka had declared that he will give the hand of his beautiful daughter Sita for marriage to anyone who could lift Shiva`s bow.

In King Janaka`s court, many aspiring suitors, princes and kings attempted to lift the mighty bow and win the hand of Sita. But they all failed.




But Rama succeeded to lift the mighty Bow of Lord Siva.

As agreed Sita garlanded Prince Rama and married him.

Prince Rama returned to Ayodhya with SITA. After some years King Dashratha announced Rama, HIS eldest SON, to be his successor. Queen Kaushalya was overjoyed that her son will be the new King. However, Queen Kaikeyi, under the instigation of Maid Manthara, became jealous. She wanted her son Bharat to be made the king instead.

Kaikeyihad once saved the life of King Dasharatha and the king, pleased to be alive, had granted the queen two boons which the queen had not still used. Kaikeyitook this opportunity to seek the boons and sought that Bharat be made the King and Rama be sent to 14 years of exile in the forest.

King Dashratha had no option but to reluctantly accept Kaikeyi’s wishes. Rama got ready to leave for exile. Wife Sita and brother Lakshmana also decided to go with him.

Rama, Sita and Lakshman set off for exile. They built a beautiful hut deep inside the forest.

Rakhsashi Surpanakha, sister of Demon King Ravana, visited the hut disguised as a beautiful woman and sought to marry Rama. Rama refused. Enraged, Surpanakha reverted to her Rakhsashi form and attacked Rama and Lakhsmana. In the ensuing fight Lakshmana cut off Surpanakha`s nose.

Surpanakha informed Ravana and requested him to seek revenge by marrying Sita. Ravana summoned his favourite disciple Marich, who disguised himself as a golden deer and reached Rama’s hut in the jungle. Sita was captivated by the beauty of the golden deer.



ART CORNER Sita asked Rama to go after the deer. At the same time, Ravana mimicked Rama's voice. Thinking Rama was in some danger, Lakshmana went to search for him. While leaving the hut he drew a line around the hut (Lakshmanrekha) and instructed sita not to cross the line, or else danger could befall her.

Ravana disguised as a sage reached the hut and called upon Sita to provide food and water. Sita unaware of the danger, crossed the Lakshmanrekha. Ravana, now back to his original form, abducted her. At that time Jatayu, a large bird, witnessed the incident and tried to stop Ravana. But he failed.

Rama and Lakshmana returned to the hut and could not find Sita inside. They found discarded ornaments of Sita near the hut. While searching for Sita, they found Jatayu lying injured on the ground. Jatayu narrated them the entire incident.

Rama and Lakshmna decided to go to Lanka, the kingdom of Ravana, to rescue Sita. On the advice of Kabandak they sought assistance from the monkey king Sugreev and his lieutenant Vayuputra Hanuman. Rama and Lakshmana helped Sugreev defeat his brother Bali.

Hanuman flew to Lanka in search of Sita. He found her captive. He showed her Rama's ring and informed her that Rama was on the way to Lanka to vanquish Ravana and rescue her. Then Hanuman started ravaging Lanka, but was soon captured by Ravana`s soldiers.

Ravana instructed his solders to set fire to Hanuman`s tail. Hanuman with his burning tail set fire in Lanka and returned to Sugreev's army. The monkey army threw stones into the sea to build a bridge from the mainland to the kingdom of Lanka. The army crossed over to Lanka and attacked Ravana`s soldiers.

In the ensuing battle many soldiers from either side were killed. Lakshmana too was badly injured. Hanuman flew to fetch the medicinal plant from Gandhamadan parbat needed to cure him. Not able to locate the exact tree the powerful Hanuman lifted the entire mountain and returned.

With the medicinal plant, Lakshmana could be fully cured. Finally, Rama was victorious in the battle. He slayed the ten headed demon king Ravana. All the gods and goddesses showered flowers from heaven on Rama.





Odissi's Odyssey In Conversation with

Dr. Minati Mishra She is a leading authority in the world of Indian classical dance and has been instrumental in the transformation and revival of Odissi over a number of decades. She has innumerable accolades to her name, such as the coveted Padmashree award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award. Moreover, she is also a Natyashastra Visarada and a Natyakala Bhushanam. But, above all, she is a delightful person and a great dance teacher. Earlier this year, Sweta Mitra and the Swisspuja Magazine Editorial Team had the opportunity to spend a delightful evening in her august company right here in Switzerland. The next few pages present you with an excellent opportunity to get-to know this phenomenal living legend!

Es beginnt! In 1942-43, when I was still just a child, dance was not even remotely considered to be a 'profession' and was almost entirely confined to the theatres. In families like ours, one's father was always the most important. Whatever he thought was right - we did. Expressing one's own interests or desires as kids was unheard of. I remember that my mother used to love to visit the local theatre and I would tag along from time to time and be mesmerised by the dances I saw. One day, for a particular, local Sambalpuri folk dance performance (which was being directed by a family acquaintance) - one of the performers fell sick and could not rehearse. Little as I may have been, I was asked if I could fill in for her. So, naturally, I had to ask my father. "How?" - he asked. "You don't know how to dance!" But, I was full of determination. Within a short span of time, I learnt the steps and performed. The dance director was full of praise for me and kept insisting that I learn formally. At the Annapurna Theatre, back then, Lakshmipriya Mahapatra (later, my Guruji's wife) would perform quite often and her Dr. Minati Mishra with her family dances really resonated well with me. I used to run across to the Theatre each evening, watch her dance and then run back home. On one such occasion, my father was looking for me and I was nowhere to be found! On my return, I thought that I would be punished in


some way. But instead, my father just looked at me for a while, deep in thought. The very next day, he spoke to the late Kalicharan Patnaik, one of the fathers of Odissi dance and theatre. "I've told you before - your daughter is immensely talented and has a knack for dancing. "Take her to Kelu" he said. "He is the right person to teach her". Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra set foot outside the theatre to teach for the very first time in around 1949-1950 - I was his very first student! I also learnt how to sing and to play the Esraj. My father played a key role here. He helped us in 'maintaining' the routine and regularity that was necessary in pursuing these disciplines. And moreover, I enjoyed it. There are many families where sons and daughters often scream in protest, and yet they are still forced to learn. That never happened in our household. My father was very broad-minded in general. Whatever we wanted to do - he did not oppose, unless this was unreasonable. He thought that I would dance for some years and then stop. But of course ... (laughs). I'm still continuing it seems. There was some objection within the family and some undercurrents of protest. Some family members had a strange 'fear' that I would become a 'theatre-girl' or 'cinema-girl' - as if this was a wrong thing to do. Later, when I tried my hand at acting - I saw how difficult it is to maintain an emotion across multiple shots. Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra—sheer brilliance!

I have had the privilege of learning from Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra right from 1949-50 till the very end - until he passed away. The 'abhinay' or acting that I have been able to display within my dancerecitals has always been praised by him. He has said on many an occasion that: 'The way Minati dances is exactly how I had visualized it'. Later in life, he


The Ultimate All-Rounder

Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra with Dr. Minati Mishra—one of her earliest dance lessons on the terrace

would often instruct his students to learn from my performances. This was a very big honour for me. As a human being - he was unparalleled. He possessed a very unique personality and was both incredibly creative as well as highly observant. That man did not waste even a second in his entire life! Guruji could even choreograph in his sleep! When he was not involved in dancing in any way - he would be engaged in wood-work or fixing something or another. And yet, the moment he heard any of his students call out with a 'Sir' or a 'Guruji' - he would simply drop everything and fetch his pakhwaj. His level of spirituality and dedication was beyond exceptional. There has never been and will probably never be another Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra in the world of classical dance. The Power of Three! The three distinctive styles of Odissi were started by gurus Pankaj Charan Das, Debaprasad Das and Kelucharan Mohapatra respectively. I have been fortunate enough to learn from all of them. Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra was a brilliant pakhwaj player in addition to his dancing prowess. So, his compositions are rhythmic and unique. Guru Debaprasad Das was a Gotipo dancer and a Chhou dancer in his early years and there is a clear reflection of this on his work. Guru Pankaj Charan Das was the eldest of the three and was essentially from the Devdasi sampraday. His dances can typically be associated with Atmasamarpan (Surrender), Bhakti (Devotion), Radha-Krishna and the Jagannath cult. None of these three forms are more superior than the other. It is more a question of different paths and approaches. My style, therefore, is an amalgamation of these three styles. At different times and situations, different combinations of these styles enable me to express and convey the different emotions I experience through my dance. However, Guru Kelucharan


(Laughs...) Yes, that was such a long time ago. I was always interested in sports, whether it was track and field or gymnastics. When I was a bit older, I started playing badminton with the boys and seemed to be quite good at it. It's a bit hard to believe, but I was, indeed, a state-level badminton champion back then. I was also very good at shot-put, but my son refuses to believe me (smiles). I don't drive these days, but I have driven sports-cars at pretty high-speeds around the Nuremburg ring. We used to have a Triumph at the time and that went quite fast as well. And since you've asked - yes, I've done some theatre on the radio as well. In other words, I've also been a voice artist for All India Radio when I was quite young. In general, I've always welcomed new experiences wholeheartedly. In der Schweiz - first encounters A group of people from Switzerland were in Madras and attended one of my performances. They were very impressed and asked my guru, Kelucharan Mahapatra, if I would be interested to travel to Switzerland to perform. In 1959, for a woman to travel alone to a foreign land was unthinkable in most middle class families like ours. So, quite naturally, none of my family members were too keen. Frau Brünner was a Swiss woman from Winterthur who was a disciple of my guru's. She stayed with us for some time and therefore, my father, was already acquainted with her. She successfully convinced my father by assuring him that I would be in her care throughout this trip. I was excited and equally nervous! Once we arrived, I was both amazed by the beauty that was on offer and somewhat lost in all that was 'new'. Till that point, I had never stepped out of India. I did not even know how and when to use forks, spoons and different types of knives during a meal. Back then, discrimination based on skin-colour was probably even more prevalent than it is today (and this was, of course, not limited to Switzerland). But Frau Brünner's mother was wonderful. She was friendly in spite of the obvious language barrier and took me out for walks in the woods regularly. I was a spectacle for the onlookers - since I only ever wore sarees at the time. I suppose there weren't many Indians in Switzerland just then. My first performance was in Winterthur. When I was performing, the audience did not really 'know' what I was up to. The movements along with the elaborate ornaments and my colourful outfit were so very different from anything they were used to. They were in awe. Before each dance, I made an ef-



Mahapatra has had the biggest influence on my style.


fort to explain the underlying theme of this dance in English and someone kindly translated this into German. These introductions were very important because the audiences were not particularly exposed to Indian culture. I had to explain why Krishna has so many Gopis and what is Radha-Krishna. If Radha is not his wife, but his 'Mami' (aunt), what nature of love prevails between them? Once the performance was over, there was an encore. I came back on stage and performed again! It was a very special moment for me. In addition to the two planned dance-recitals, there were more requests from other parts of Switzerland. On that trip, I also performed in ZĂźrich, Luzern and Geneva.

ed as a college-principal. The additional responsibilities that came with this meant that I could hardly leave the college premises. So, I decided to stay away from movies - since it involved a considerable time investment. Moreover, my area of expertise was dance. Therefore, I decided to stick to this. Nevertheless, I did enjoy being in those movies. It was a very insightful experience as well.

In total, I've featured in four Oriya movies. But in 1964 I got married. And then in 1966, I was appoint-

dances and dance recitals would be a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes in total. My efforts as principal have

Being the Principal!

I was the first appointed principal of the Utkal Sangeet Mohavidyalaya (in Bhubaneswar, Orissa), after it was started in 1964. However, the biggest challenge for me was that almost all the lecturers were my gurus! (Laughs) Whenever they arrived, I would seek Lights, Cameras, Action! their blessings but at the same time, I needed to manage them administratively. Some of them would nev(Laughs)... I think I did this more out of curiosity than anything else. I had er arrive on time! But no just returned triumphantly matter who you are - for a from Europe in '61 and not college to run properly, that many people had venclasses need to start on tured as far at the time. I schedule and the teacher happened to be wearing must definitely be present. high-heel shoes and, as I On my part, I never used was stepping off the plane, to explicitly scold people. I I twisted my foot quite tried to convey this mesbadly! It took me a long sage through my eyes time to recover. So, I was (demonstrates, smiles). No bored. What would I do one can ever say that I've with my time? I couldn't been rude to them. I am practice dancing seriously, glad to see that my hard so I was mainly singing work has paid off and Dr. Minati Mishra receiving the Padma Shri from former and playing the Esraj. that the college is thriving president of India, Pratibha Patil Soon enough, someone even today. from the film-world came by and asked me if I was Changes in Odissi interested in being in a movie they were making. I We need to understand that the basic foundations of felt it would be something new - so, I agreed. dance are ancient. There are inscriptions as old as 2 That is also how I met my late husband. His brother BC written in Pali in Bhubaneswar that reinforce this was the lead actor in the movie, Surjyamukhi, and fact. Now between 2 BC to, I think, 2 AD - almost my husband also had a tiny role in the same film every aspect of dance has been documented in the (smiles). Natya Shastra. For instance, there are 9 types of My first silver-screen appearance was a dance in the 'rasas' but 36 types of corresponding glances - there is movie, Arundhati, choreographed by Guru Keluchaa specific glance for every situation and emotion. ran Mahapatra. This choreography, coupled with the Father and daughter, Lovers, Teachers and disciples scene's theme, involved me continuously climbing up every type of relationship. The Natya Shastra menand down a set of stairs whilst dancing at the same tions four Pravrittis or genres of ancient dancetime! While this movie was being shot, the ace direcdrama – Avanti (central), Dakshinatya (south), Pantor Tapan Sinha came onto the set and watched as chali (north / west) and Audra (east). Audra is from well. He asked Guruji if I would be willing to dance where Odissa and, hence, Odissi, has been derived. in a Bengali film - Nirjan Saikate. Three days later, I When I had started learning, Odissi performances was on set. were heavily influenced by 'Gotipo' and 'Devadasi'



I believe Odissi is in very good hands. There was a small circle of dancers and stalwarts before, but this has now expanded and spread far and wide. Art can never be a constant, for it constantly evolves. But, not just for Odissi - for any defined dance-form or artform - changes must always take place over time and in a suitable fashion - so that the 'roots' are not corrupted. A tree can grow branches, but if it's roots do not remain strong, it cannot survive for long. Golden Memories = Treasure The performances that remain etched in your mind are not necessarily the ones that take place in large auditoriums or well-known theatres. For instance, I remember a particular performance quite long ago in Bhopal, India. I had travelled there with my musicians. It was a wonderful performance all in all - everything was perfect! I seemed to have entered a strange trance right after the performance; I was literally trembling - something that has only happened to 3 or 4 times in my entire career. They wanted a repeat performance. I was ecstatic!

Soon after my husband's untimely demise, in the month of August, I was invited by ISKCON to perform during their Janmasthami celebrations. I hadn't even touched my ghungroo since my husband's death. But some divine force pulled me towards this. I felt it as I practised; the constant, powerful presence of someone unseen. The dance was highly appreciated! Once, at a performance in Delhi, Guru Balakrishna Das was singing and Guru Kelucharan Mahapatra was playing the pakhwaj. We arrived at what was an emotional pinnacle mid-way through the performance. I started crying even as I danced and Guru Balakrishna Das was crying as well! Unfortunately, he referred to a piece of paper in front of him while singing, and now, he couldn’t read the text with the tears welled-up in his eyes! So, he kept on repeating the same line over and over again - which meant that I needed to improvise each time. Looking back, this was a funny situation and a happy memory. Performer par excellence - even now! In 2011, at a festival hosted by UDRA (Utkal Dance and Reseach Academy, Bhubaneswar) and supported by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the journalist,

Another performance that comes to mind is one in Rajganjpur, India - at a company's annual event. The stage was made of wood and mud. It was extremely difficult for us to dance! It is sometimes, difficult performances like these that make you feel as though you are doing seva. This is not true of every performance, irrespective of its magnitude and apparent importance. In Heidelberg, Germany, the University has a performing-arts wing in the Department of Indology. I had completed my PhD in Indology and was participating in a seminar that was titled 'Trinity in Jagannath Cult'. I was invited to both dance as well as deliver a lecture on this subject. I was nervous, since most of the attendees were certified experts on the subject. So - I studied and read extensively. I prayed to Lord Jagannath and delivered my speech (in both English and German). Then, I danced and also displayed my favourite Ashtapadi. I saw a number of attendees wiping tears from their eyes. They were extremely moved and praised me tremendously. Considering their cognizance and expertise - this meant a lot to me. I am still thankful to Lord Jagannath. I could never have done this without his help and blessings.


Shyamhari Chakri stated:

"The hour-long recital was poetry in motion. Dr. Mishra's presentation of Jagannath Stotra, Ananda Tandav, Astapadi and Nirbikalpa Stotra exhibited the poetic and spiritual elements of Odissi that are missing from most performances these days." He also went on to write that your performance "would have made today's star dancers envious" of you. That is very flattering indeed! Yes, this was my 60th year of performing on stage. The way I see it is that the word 'envious' is written in a different context it has more to do with my age. I guess it highlights the fact that, even at this age of mine, I can dance for two hours continuously, whereas most young dancers even less than half my age are huffing and puff-



been towards upgrading and updating the world of Odissi, based on my own education and learning over the years. I think in some ways, I have been able to formalize the training methodology and give it more structure. This structure has been helpful in the revival of Odissi as a dance and an art-form.


ing after half an hour. Age no bar! How? Dance has always been a major source of 'shakti' or strength throughout my life. In fact, since my husband passed away - it is my son and dance that have kept be alive and kept me going! I have always encouraged all of my senior students to continue performing. With daily practice, your body stays flexible and mobile. This is also true for your expressions. Fortunately, due to my discipline and strict dance regime, I still feel light when I'm dancing. In order to master the breathing perfectly, you also need to practice yoga and Pranayam. I try to do this each and every day. At a younger age, however, I could dance at incredible speeds! Nowadays, my dance is more 'abhinay' orientated. Quite naturally, I don't use the same steps that I did when I was in my 20s. I try to stick to what suits me at this age. This is very important for all dancers. Only through constant practice and meditation will you be able to increase the width and breadth of the 'aura' that surrounds you. This aura is what reaches across to the audience and captivates them. Dance @ Modern times vs. Classical Dance Nowadays, 'fusion' within classical-dance forms is all the rage. However, I see this more as 'confusion'. In my opinion, you should not mix pure classical artforms such as Kathak and Odissi. In such dances, there is the clear absence of sadhana. You are adding external elements to make this dance seem 'new', but this has a very short shelf-life. I am not a fan of this at all. Bollywood dance, however, is a different kettle of fish. It has evolved and, in the present, it is actually quite difficult to master. With the loose construct of Indian dance-forms - it imbibes tap-dance, flamenco, foxtrot and what not! And each of these needs to be mastered to a certain degree to 'get-it-right'. The broad area of contemporary dance can be very challenging as well. Everything said and done, all forms of pure classical dance are perhaps the most strenuous and do not allow you any shortcuts. In India, before, there was only classical dance available for


those who wanted to learn. But now, with so many options on the market, there are fewer students. However, the importance here is of quality and not quantity. I believe that whomsoever learns classicaldance and has an affinity towards perfection, will learn seriously. Hence, it will never die. Dancing - guidelines to excellence The most important qualities of a dancer are dedication, devotion and determination - the 3 Ds to excellence. A dancer must have personal goals. He/she must be willing to surrender (atma-samarpan) to his or her Guru and to God. And, of course, a dancer must strive to reach that feeling of immense joy and euphoria through his/her dance. “Sadhana� is essential. In this context it means meditating through dance, and offering this as a prayer to God. You must believe that the very purpose of your existence is so that you can perform a 'seva' towards your dance. This "Seva" or service involves daily rewaj or practice. As in the case of any art-form, if there is a lack of seva, it will leave you and go attach itself to whomsoever provides this seva. Do your duty and learn to wait. You will definitely get results. Whilst practice is important, it is even more important that one practices and sacrifices out of love for dance and not as a miserable compulsion. There will be obstacles. But you have to focus on the goal - on the horizon. It is a fact that one can never reach this horizon throughout a lifetime - but you can move closer and closer towards it! ***


Interviewer: Sweta Mitra. Editing and Compilation: Swisspuja Editorial Team Special thanks to: Aditi Sengupta, Gautam Sengupta, Madhubrata Chatterjee, Shubhra Kanti Acharya, Suparna Acharya. Note: Photographs used in this article have been provided by Dr. Minati Mishra.


Miles away from Indian shores, here in Alpine country, there exists a mini 'universe' of dancers who conform to styles that originate from the subcontinent! Sweta Mitra belongs to this 'network' and, here, she reaches out to her fellow dancers, across different disciplines. The Swisspuja Editorial Team listens in and we learn about their journeys, their influences and philosophies and, above all, what 'dance' really means to them. Mishra in Switzerland. Her stamina, "close to life" and un-exaggerated 'abhinaya', subtle 'tribhangi' and her love and affection for her disciples; all her qualities started learning Bharatnat- have influenced me considerably in the past 15 years. I yam from Guru Nandini should accentuate that my Gurus are my greatest inspiEshwer at the age of 6. I was like rations. any other doe-eyed child at the My first solo performance in Mysore, to Pandit Ravi time. Little did I know about the Shankar's "Shanti Mantra" is my most memorable. It 'Guru-Shishya Parampara', or was a privilege to have danced to this unique choreoghow lucky I was to have had par- raphy, by Guru Dr. Rohitha Eshwer, in front of a ents who've encouraged my inter- packed and cognizant audience. That quarter of an ests. The first time I danced on hour is precious to me. Another performance that stage was for an "Alphabet song". comes to my mind is the one at the Konark DanceI was so overwhelmed that I cried afterwards for 2 festival. I was very nervous, but once I started performhours! To this day, traditional Gurus don’t entertain ing, I experienced happiness within. It goes to show stage performances till their disciples are 'ready'. This that, when we enjoy what we do from the depths of worked out great for me - I was shy by nature and our heart, we can do justice to the art-form in question. could concentrate on learning! After passing the state Each time I dance, it feels as though I am 'detoxing' my level exams in Bharatnatyam, I performed a solo recital mind and body. I revisit all those beautiful lands and at 16. There was no looking back! Alongside Bharatnat- events Jayadeva has created with his poise and imagiyam, I studied Odissi from Guru Nupur Chaterjee and nation. I am a better 'me' - ever-grateful for this opporRabindranatyam from Guru Valmiki Banerjee. Now I tunity to move a step closer to spiritual 'ananda'.” continue my Odissi studies with Guru (Dr.) Minati

Dipti Abhilasha



was 12 years old when I started dancing. My maternal aunt was working at the Ateliers d'Ethnomusicologie in Geneva and she encouraged my mother and me to take part in a workshop. That is where we met my Guru ji, Pt. Ravi Shankar Mishra. He is an amazing teacher and we got along immediately. Since then, I have been learning Kathak (Banaras Gharana) under his tutelage. I've been travelling between Switzerland and India since 2006. Meanwhile, I also underwent training in hip-hop, ballet, pointe shoes and jazz in Geneva. Since 2011, I've moved to Varanasi and I now live there for most of the year - practicing, learning, teaching and performing Kathak. My guru has had the biggest influence in the way that I've developed in terms of dancing. There are other dancers I who inspire me. Amongst them are Late Pt. Durga Lal and late Pt. Gopi Krishna (for their dance-styles), Late Smt. Sitara Devi (for fighting to give women their rightful place in the dance-scene in India), and Akram Khan (for his wonderful choreography).

Gauri Priscilla Bruelhart

Fanny Marquet - Meera My most memorable experience is, without doubt, a performance alongside my 'gurubahin' and duet -partner, Gauri (Priscilla Brülhart) in Sankat Mochan Mandir in Varanasi in 2014. Dancing in this temple during a festival that gathers so many 'shastriya sangeet' aficionados was an amazing experience. I think dance is good for many things. It is an integral part of my life and enables me to manage many things. Practice helps me in dealing with all kind of emotions. It keeps my mind and body healthy and keeps me connected somehow with a higher power. As a professional dancer, practice is a part of my daily routine.”


began dancing at 16 and trained in South France and London in classical western and contemporary dance-forms. I was introduced to Indian dance at the age of 24 and that is when my love story with Indian culture began! “I lived in India for 6 years with my Guruji's


(Pt Ravi Shankar Mishra's) family in Varanasi. So, Indian culture is a part of my life. Therefore, all my Gurus inspire me and are still guiding me through each of my productions and performances. Other than Guruji, my first teacher, Late Silvio Oddi, was an amazing choreographer and dancer from Italy. I am also heavily inspired by Padma Vibhusan Pandit Birju Maharaj. I was lucky to have met him several times at workshops



Dancing Queens @ CH


and concerts. All of their devotion and dedication to come true. The day Pt Sanju Sahai agreed to accompadance are exemplary. ny me on tabla was special - I learnt a big lesson in My noteworthy performances include my first solo humility from his generosity. performance in Lohotiya Varanasi. There was a spiritual and devotional feeling all around me that was very special. Performing at the prestigious Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh in Varanasi was definitely one of the high points; being a part of such a festival was a dream


started learning Bharatanatyam when I was 3 and a half. Coming from an artistically inclined family, it was natural for me to take to an art-form. My mother was very keen that I learn Bharatanatyam. That is how it started. I learnt Odissi much later, when I was around 17. I liked Odissi for its fluid, lucid movements and its sheer beauty but fell in love with this after watching Mitali Kamath D’Souza perform at the University events. From competitors, we became friends and she inspired me to learn Odissi. Dancing stalwarts such as Archana Joglekar, Dr Padma Subramaniam and Chitra Visweswaran have had an impression on me; their 'abhinaya'-numbers are a class apart. Late Indumati Lele (didi) deserves a special mention! Even in her 60’s she’d be on her feet through 8-10 hour rehearsals. Her passion for the art and her approach to choreography has influenced me a lot. I remember my first meeting with the late Chandrika Nair for lecture demonstrations (for the Maharashtra Tourism Dept). We spoke for a couple of minutes and she scheduled my lec-dem for the day after. I was surprised and asked her if she would like to have an audition. Her response was: "Not needed - since you're Prasanna's student, you must be good!" This taught me what credibility and reputation meant. I also learnt that I needed to do my best at all times - to ensure that my teacher's reputation remained untarnished and to

I don't know if dance makes me a better person, but dance has given me everything. Dance emanates from my soul. It never lies. It is my how I choose to communicate with the world and the universe.”

Sowgandhika Krishnan earn some credibility for myself. I’ll always cherish the praise I received from the late Indumati Lele after performing a Varnam. She said, “You are at ease when you dance and the transition from footwork to Abhinaya and back was seamless - well done". These words, for me, are forever priceless. As far as special performances go - the most recent one was the Kamba Ramayanam earlier this year. There was a kid in the audience, sitting right in front. When Ravan gets killed in the story, he was ecstatic and went "YES!". We do have dialogues in English, but our medium of expression is Bharatanatyam. The very fact that we could keep someone of that age engrossed in spite of our medium being a "classical dance" form, was very satisfactory and memorable. When I dance, I am the happiest and the happy versions of people are generally their best versions. Dance has helped me connect with people in different, creative, inspiring ways. “

tion and not just by rules. Other dancers who have inspired me over the years are Madhuri Dixit, Guru Harsh Samir Tanna, Late Guru Indumati Lele, Shakti Mohan and many others who have pursued dance and started dancing at the age of who envision the art in a creative way. 7. My parents enrolled me I would have to say that, undoubtedly, my most meminto a Bharatnatyam dance course orable experience was the first State-level folk-dance because I was very interested in performance I gave under the guidance of Guru Harsh dancing and would move to music Samir Tanna in 2004. anywhere and everywhere. Later, I Dance is a form of expressing emotions. Let your emowas associated with Bharatnattions flow and you will feel better. It gives me energy yam's 'Padanular' dance style unand it refreshes me. It is food for my soul and I cannot der the tutelage of Guru Mayuri Gordhandas. At a imagine ever stopping. It is through dance that one very young age, my greatest influences were my mothcan express both positive and negative emotions.” er and my sister both of whom are wonderful dancers. They were the ones who taught me to dance with emo-

Stuti Aga



y earliest memory of dancing goes back to when I was four years old. But apparently I started dancing when I was 3. As in the case of most Bengali households, where children are prodded to learn an art-form, my parents got me admitted to a local dance school and ever since these feet never stopped tapping. But the local school was just a launching pad and soon I found my calling in Pandit Uday Shankar's school of cultural arts and dance.

Suparna Acharya

ated is Pandit Uday Shankar's form of dance, namely, Creative Dance. I have undergone years of extensive training in Creative Dancing under the tutelage of Smt. Amala Shankar. In parallel I have also learnt Hence, the main form of dance with which I'm associ- Kathak, Kathakali and Odissi. Be-



I was in class 6 when I had travelled to Delhi for a show in Kamani Auditorium. This was my first performance outside Kolkata. The overall experience still remains as the most memorable one for me.

Dance brings immense joy to me. It is very therapeutic and cathartic. It helps me deal with my emotions. It Smt. Amala Shankar(wife of Uday Shankar), whom her cleanses my soul and brings peace. Every time I dance students lovingly call Aunty, has been my biggest in- it takes me to a better plane. Dance is my first love, my spiration. passion and obsession. It is the sustenance for my soul.”


hen I was 5 years old, I used to dance to the song 'Main Teri Dushman' and roll around on the floor like a 'nagin', showing off my dance-skills to all our guests at home! This is when my grandmother advised my parents to send me to a dance-school (mostly because they were all tired of watching my 'nagin'-dance). And for the first 4 years there, I was introduced to various forms of dance, such as Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Kuchipuri to name a few. But eventually, I decided to specialize in Kathak. The phenomenal Birju Maharaj and his genre of Kathak has had a big influence on me. From the world of Bollywood, I was fascinated by Madhuri Dixit - particulary by her poise and grace as a dancer. My fondest memories are those from my childhood when, after every performance in the dance academy, many aunties would come to the green room to meet me. A noteworthy performance at the time was when I had the opportunity to perform on television

Sweta Mitra (Doordarshan). And I will never forget the dance practical-exam back then, when I managed to secure the highest marks in east-zone (just 2 days after being publicly scolded by my dance teacher!). Dance is like therapy. It also makes me happy at times through a sense of accomplishment; the realisation that I can even deliver under pressure and still delight others. In the world of dance - I can multitask! A few years ago, I performed a Rabindra-nritya dance, a Bharatnatyam piece, a Katthak recital and then a medley of folk dances from 4 different regions - all of this within a span of 12 hrs at 3 different events. I well and truly derive immense pride and joy from my dancing.”


tion has helped me to pursue this. And, last but not the least, my little daughter - she gives me the strength to s t a r t - continue and aim higher. ed dancing when I was 3. My mother As a Kathak dancer, I am in awe of Pt Birju Maharaj enrolled me into a dance-class mainly and his style. I have been lucky enough to attend some because she loved it herself, and, also of his workshops and I really love his 'chakkars', because I used to dance almost all 'tatkars' and 'gintis' - and almost everything else as day in front of my mirror! I went on well. I like creative dancing as well, such as Smt. Tato become a trained Kathak (Indian nushree Shankar´s style of dance. In addition to this, I classical) dancer. also have a love for jazz and Bollywood.

Tandra C. Sanyal

I also learned a number of different styles along the way, including folk, creative-dance and Rabindranritya (Tagore's school of dance). I've also been exposed to other classical forms, such as Bharatanatyam and Oddisi.

To me - all my performances are memorable. However, my first dance on stage (around the age of four) at the Nehru Childrens' Museum (in Kolkata) was probably the most special. As a Kathak teacher, every time a student of mine performs - it is an amazing feeling, My parents have invested a great deal of hard-work and even more so when they do well. and energy towards making me proficient in dance. Dance is my love and my passion. It is a habit. I cannot They taught me how to love, adore and worship an art- imagine a single day without dancing. Every time I form. Then, of course, there is my Guruji - Smt. Shan- practice, I discover a happier, more confident 'me'. For kari Roychowdhury - to whom I am indebted. After me - 'dance is like dreaming with your feet'.” marriage, my husband's encouragement and apprecia-


’ve been dancing for as long as I can remember. Veena Steiner I’ve always been fascinated by the beautiful style that Bharatanatyam has to offer. I still remember stay ing up till late at night to watch Bharatanatyam artists perform on Doordarshan. folk dance and Bollywood-fusion production. This was a first for me Indian cinema has had a profound influence on me. I and so it will always remain very used to stand in front of the television and mirror the dance moves I saw. Later, I would perform these steps close to my heart. It is undoubtedly one of my most memorable experiat family gatherings and school events. ences.” Nearly 2 years ago, my dance troupe put up an Indian




sides creative dancing, the dance form which is very close to my heart is Odissi. I have had the priviledge of learning Odissi from Guru Murulidhar Majhi and Guru Giridhari Nayak. And in recent times I have been bestowed the honour of learning Odissi from our very own Dr.(Smt.) Minati Mishra.


Prat spends his working hours in developing lasers for data communication at a Zurich-based company, and his free time in volunteering, running, playing tennis, badminton, hiking and skiing in the Alps. He is a big fan of Swiss Puja and has been regularly attending it since he moved to Switzerland in 2011.



ou can do it.” “No, you cannot.”

“Yes, come on, only 2 kilometers more!” These are the conversations my body makes with my mind while running. Sounds freaky? I can assure you that it is not. In fact it keeps me going. To be honest, I was not much into running until last year. I am a goal-oriented person, who has been doing sports, like tennis and badminton, that have a very well-defined goal, namely to win against the opponent. But in running, who do you play against? I kept asking myself the question as I watched many of my friends running for pleasure as well as in races. Then something changed in April 2015. I am part of a charity organization called Asha for Education, which supports the education of underprivileged children in India. We raise funds in Zurich to support school projects in India. Our biggest fundraiser happens in April, when Asha volunteers and supporters run for our cause in Zurich Marathon and their friends and families donate to Asha through them. I have been part of the organization team, helping out the runners on the event day, promoting Asha on facebook etc, but did not run on my own before. In 2015 one of the runners dropped out just a week before the race, and as an organizer I took it upon myself to step into his shoes (pun intended). I bought my pair of running shoes and trained a couple of times. When the event day came, I was very excited to be part of the team and I successfully finished my stretch of 11.3 kilometers. I enjoyed every step on the way to the finish line. something in me changed for good. Since then, I started my regular sessions of training. Living in a beautiful country, like Switzerland, offers you the luxury of cherishing some of the picturesque landscapes while training. I also started enjoying the post-run stretchings, and not to mention (or forget?) the endorphin induced happiness that kicked in right away. While I continued my other sports too, running became my default stressbuster.


As I started running regularly, I realized who do I actually compete with. I compete with myself to run faster and longer and to enjoy every bit of it. At first it may sound trivial, but as time went by I saw how I progressed. What really helped me to keep track of the progress was an excellent mobile app called “Runkeeper”. It shows the GPS-tracked running route, the runner’s time, speed, splits and calories burnt in a graphical format. It is also a social network and get motivated by each other. In 2015, I did two half marathons (21.1 kilometers) and three 10-kilometer runs (one in the Alps) after which I was hoping to run a full marathon. Unfortunately, our human bodies are made of flesh and blood instead of iron and steel. Halfway down my second half marathon, my left knee almost gave up. I had to finish the race limping and was carried to the paramedics on a stretcher afterwards. In fact, I had a feeling that I would not be able to run again. But the beauty of human body is its regeneration process. The twisted ligaments healed slowly, while I continued indoor exercises. I also changed my diet and reduced my weight while strengthening my muscles, which heavily reduced the pressure on my knees while running. The results were amazing! Since the



beginning of 2016, I have run two half marathons, three 10kilometer plus races and I’m now preparing for a full marathon by the end of this year. What I learned from my running experience is priceless. It has improved my physical fitness, strength and stamina, changed my lifestyle, given me happiness in the time of stress, and made me realize my limits, both physical and mental. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself! For questions, feel free to contact me at

Some tips FOR new runners: Get a good pair of running shoes matching your running style. Start with short runs from 2 kilometers and gradually increase the distance. In the beginning do not push for speed. Keep your body upright, so that your belly can absorb the shock. Stretch well after every run to relax the muscles. Hydrate your body very well after the run to recover all the lost water through sweating. Try to work out or do Yoga on the days you are not running.

Running - The ‘On the Run’ Survey



he Swisspuja Editorial Team did some asking around and it looks as though ‘running’ is really starting to catch on! So, we asked Pratyush Das Kanungo to speak to all the runners he could find and we managed to round up a cool 50 of them! And here’s what we found out when we asked them some questions:

Question 1: I usually run: Alone: 76.09% With a friend: 15.22% In a group: 8.70%

Question 2: I run because: It is a part of my routine: 52.17% It makes me happy: 76.09% It connects me with fellow runners: 30.43%

Question 3: I started running: This year: 14.04% A year ago: 17.39% A few years ago: 69.57%

Now, wouldn’t it be interesting to see how these numbers keep changing from this year to the next?




Indranil Bhattacharya studies the science behind

The Present Scenario is Fatty


ig tummies are omnipresent. Now we see an expanded tummy here and another one there. A bulging tummy is seen almost everywhere. A little bit of tummy is nice and is required but nowadays it is no more restricted to a little bit. The tummy is expanding. This expansion is not only visible in adults but even in kids. A popular trend, indeed!!! Every 3rd (or may be 2nd) Indian man or a woman living in the city has a visible tummy. No matter whatever they wear to cover that extra mass of fat, the tummy if it is there would just bulge out. 20 years back, when I was in my twenties (did I just reveal my age?) it was not so prevalent. Those were the days of a little bit of tummy. So what has happened now? Why are we getting fatter? Why are we encountering this tummy syndrome (popularly called as overweight / obesity)?

fat formation. He is a marathoner and he also helps people to attain their ideal weight. More at

signals us that if we don’t eat it we would surely miss something. If I tell you that “we are actually eating way too much than our body actually needs”, you would say “Come on man! Eat and enjoy”. I would agree with you and say yes - “Eat and enjoy some physical activity”. Growing up in a middle class Indian family, I was asked to eat, study and eat. This emphasis on eating sans sports got wired. I was told I needed energy hence I should eat well. We all have heard this and have (probably) even said it at times. This philosophy to eat was correct but the logic that I need to eat (multiple times) in order to study, is something I am unable to comprehend. How much food does the poor brain need? An excess actually makes it sleepy.

The reason is simple: we are now performing more sitting and eating rituals and moving much less. If it is that simple, then why are we not readjusting ourselves? Why aren’t we sitting less and standing or moving more? Why do we get attracted to an empty chair in a room or a bus? People tell me they have no time to readjust. I think more than time, they lack the attitude and the motivation. We are deeply wired with our (comfortable) modern lifestyle. May I please call it as the “tummy lifestyle”? Attention! Attention! The members of this “tummy lifestyle” club are on the rise and social gatherings will be referred as “tummy parties”. Dear! Oh dear! We have surrounded ourselves with stuff that doesn’t need us to move. We prefer to use (super-fast) elevators vs. (boring) stairs, (cool) cars vs. (exhaustive) walking or biking, (smart) indoor gadgets vs. (unfashionable) breathing in the open. We can now do majority of stuff sitting and some super-talented guys even do it horizontally. Cool isn’t it!!! Look, I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t use the super-fast, cool and smart stuff around us. We should, but can we have a bit of balance. Now let’s take up food. Oh! Tasty food. We are being bombarded with amazing, delicious, fingerlicking and energy rich (sugary) food and our brain


However, in those good old days there weren’t so many (smart) gadgets and (fast) elevators. Free time was spent well playing in the open with “real” humans and we were exhausted. Hence no matter how much I ate, I only had a little bit of tummy. When I was close to 30, my physical activity lowered (kind of stopped) and eating (mindlessly) increased. As a result, my tummy started expanding. Just like any typical bong (Bengali guy), I too loved to eat followed by a smoke. I hated to move. I didn’t find the reason and the logic to perform any physical activity. If anyone gave me reasons to move, I gave back 1001 reasons not to move. When food was there I never asked the (boring) questions: Am I hungry, do I really need to eat? Even if my belly was full, I just kept feeding my already overfed stuffed system. There is this old saying “Eat to live or live to eat” and I was following the latter. I was a part of the “tummy lifestyle” club and I celebrated being a part


Have proteins and fibers from vegetables and meat. If possible - eat seasonal vegetables.

Why I rejected the “tummy lifestyle” ...

Take vitamin supplements (because today’s food doesn’t provide enough).

And maybe you too should. Look, I am no advisor. I am no preacher. I just decided not to accept my expanded tummy anymore (it was hard). Here are some general points, I practiced to de-wire and detach myself from the “tummy lifestyle”. Became a stubborn child – played, ate and played. Ate only when needed, slowly, and mindfully. Cleansed the body internally. Set a goal for regular physical activity. Surrounded myself with anti-“tummy lifestyle” articles, books, videos and people.

Enjoy whole fruits.

A good way to eat is to practice the reverse pizza philosophy. Have a thick base of vegetables with a decoration of carbohydrates and fat. An ideal food plate should have 70% proteins, 20% carbs and 10% fat (however this doesn’t apply to those who perform high physical activity). In other words have less rice and more vegetables. If possible, one should avoid eating after 7pm as the metabolism slows down in the night so whatever one eats gets stored. For most of us food is our weakness and even if we pick up a healthy lifestyle, we fall back soon into the trap of the “tummy lifestyle” (Yo-Yo effect). The only way we can avoid this is by performing regular physical activity (better outdoors) along with reasonable food habits. One good way of efficient fat burning is to perform minimum 30 minutes of physical activity on an empty stomach such as before the breakfast or 3 hours after a meal. Many times, we start a physical activity but then discontinue it. For that reason, I would suggest catching a friend or joining a group or have a coach. Remember, you will get rid of the tummy fat and sustain a reduced tummy, if you love your plan. And you should only go for a plan if you are convinced and motivated. Half hearted effort doesn’t lead you anywhere and you end up from where you started.

Now comes some serious stuff. Others can stop reading here. If you are interested in losing weight then at least for a period of time (till the ideal weight is achieved) one needs to stick to a good food plan. My suggestions are: Get rid of carbohydrate rich food (rice, pasta etc.) from your plate, particularly in the evening meal. Don’t worry, you will have enough carbs from other sources like fruits and vegetables. Reduce or even better have no sugar in your tea or coffee and no sugary drinks. I scream here and say Please!!!!!!

The body is a sensitive instrument, so let us appreciate the food we eat as it makes us who we are. It is time to apply mindful brakes on mindless eating and sitting habits. Let us outrightly reject the “tummy lifestyle” and let us go back to the open spaces and the fields where we used to roam when we were kids. If you are sitting and reading this then it is probably time to stand and stretch, and don’t you look at that empty chair (at least for a while). ***

Illustrations by Piya Sengupta




of it till my tummy started to hurt when I heard that my friends were using blood pressure medicines and one close friend even had multiple blockages in his heart.


Running Men! Pratyush Das Kanungo and the Swisspuja Editorial Team connect with some of their friends with the aim of uncovering their inspiring running-stories and the motivations that drive them.

Sekhar Dhar Email:


knew for quite a while that I needed to practice healthy living but, somehow, it was just not happening. Finally the running club, WYOP, gave my wife and I a helping hand and a platform to work towards being fit again. Step by step, I have built my stamina and this year I ran 4 kilometres again with Team Asha. Initially, I thought that this distance, at a stretch, would be tough for me. But when I was told that my run would raise funds to educate kids - I said: YES, I'll do it. I feel happy when I run and, even more so, when it's for a great cause."

Anirudh Lohia Email:


had heard an inspirational story when I was in college - about one Mr. Anil Ambani, currently the chairman of the Reliance ADA group with a massive personal net worth. He was a rich obese kid and was at an investor meet when one of the investors asked him, "How can I trust my money with a person who cannot take care of his own health". The incident had an impact on him in a way that got him running and he now averages 50-60Km a week. And his story got me running. Now I believe, and quite strongly so, that when I get the opportunities that I've been waiting for - my body shall be fighting fit, my stamina high and I shall rise to the occasion! Moreover, if CEOs can take out time to keep themselves fit, so can I. I built up my stamina with a kilometre here and a kilometre there and slowly it became a habit. Besides, like most other Indians, I am a foodie and would not like to restrict myself saying that it is unhealthy or I have put on weight. So running is another way for me to indulge in guilt free eating and drinking! I run when I'm angry - nothing better than venting out my excess energy and when I am back I'm much happier and relaxed. When I'm happy I like to go run cause then I am dream of what I plan to achieve in life; I feel even more energised. When I am in thinking-mode, I run so I can focus and see if I can reach a conclusion. When my mind is talking to me a lot, if you know what I mean, I like to run to quieten it down. I don't know what being in a deep meditative state is all about, but I guess it should be something similar to this. In short I can run in any mood and it always helps me. Runners are compassionate people. There is a beginner runner trying to do his first 5K race. There are intermediate runners like me trying to finish a half-marathon in under 1:45 and then there are advanced runners trying to finish marathon within 3:00 hours. All 3 category of people can relate to one another. They're stories inspire each other. I encourage people to run, be fitter and therefore - happier.




eing a sports-teacher's son, I was not very sporty. Later, when my dad passed away, it was the other way round. I was into sports and yoga and was a part-time yoga-teacher. Later - work, marriage, change of country, etc. all of this made me give it all up. But after joining ASHA Zurich, I was motivated to start running again. In 2013 I ran 4km at the Zurich Marathon for ASHA. This rekindled my running spirit and passion after nearly 10 years! Then, I ran 10.8km in the 2014 Marathon and my journey had really begun! When WYOP was born, we encouraged many people to run. We showcased practical, real-life examples on the benefits of running and how easy it is to start. I try to spread the joy of running to my family members and friends. The biggest motivation for me is that running helps in fund-raising for kids. It also gets others off their couch!”

Anindya Mukherjee Email:


started jogging after I had quit smoking in 2005. I used to jog a few kilometres twice or thrice a week without any goals whatsoever. It was more to ensure that I do not put on weight. Then in 2012, ASHA were looking for volunteers to run in stretches of the Zurich Marathon and, thereby, collect money for helping underprivileged children in India. I volunteered for running 17.7 kilometres. A week before the run, I had a bad flu but decided to run even though the doctor advised against it. In practice, I walked and the Asha volunteers ran the entire distance with me cheering me all along then way. It was a fascinating lifechanging experience. I truly felt that I could make a difference, irrespective of how small it might be. After that run, I started running seriously with my running partner Indranil. We used to run together on Saturday mornings all the while talking about everything around us. It was fun, it was refreshing and it kept us fit! With time we prepared for half and full marathon runs and I have done quite a few by now! The running experience has made me more organized and more conscious about time (as I need to find my running hour in spite of my schedule). It works as a stress-buster, keeps me fit and once in a while helps me in maintaining domestic peace (as I am away from my wife for an hour or so).”

Aranya Sundar Bhattacharya Email:


had been wanting to run for quite some time. However, health concerns forced me to start jogging about four years ago. Man, I liked it! A couple of years earlier, I started running on a regular basis but just for myself. I would squeeze time out whenever possible and go for a run. Slowly, I developed an affinity for the experience as a whole. Two of my good friends, Anindya and Indranil, inspired me a lot and I soon started participating in the running-events in Switzerland. I started with a 5 km stretch and completed a half marathon last year. In between, I ran twice for charity on behalf of ASHA, a global philanthropic organisation. It gave me, and continues to give me, immense pleasure and satisfaction to simply run at my own pace. I do hope that I will continue to do this in the years to come.”




Rajesh Varadarajan Email:


Kolkata: ‘Sweets’memories!


consequence of not meeting very many Bengalis growing up, meant that they continued to remain the elusive, fish-loving, newspaper-reading, chai-drinking, sweets-loving comrades of my ancestors from Kerala. Skipping ahead into the present and I find myself at the Swisspuja’s annual event, where there is certainly no dearth of chai, ‘newspaper-discussions’ or sweets (although some fish would be great; just saying). The fact that I had not visited Kolkata was often met with the same awkward silence as someone from Bombay saying they hadn’t travelled to Pune, or a Punjabi saying that they don’t like to drink. I knew this needed to be rectified, but like so many other traveldestinations in India that we kept promising ourselves to visit “the next time we’re home”, Kolkata evaded me like a shy Didi (not a political reference). A wedding celebration presented itself as the perfect opportunity to finally make it to the City of Sandesh. With this little note, I’d like to take you on a food date with me across the city. I should also say that there were two gentlemen with me on this journey. I will refer to them as “Foodie” and “Does Not Travel Cattle Class (DNTCC)”. Prior to our trip, all three of us had received several suggestions of places that we must try. These, in addition to our own list, and the fact that we were there for just two days to attend a wedding, meant that we had turned into hobbits - consuming multiple breakfasts, lunches, nibbles around tea time and dinners. Here’s my ‘eat-o-logue’ of our adventures coupled with my reactions and comments…

Banana Leaf Since we survived Kalighat (I don’t want to talk about it, and neither do my feet), DNTCC decided


Scientist. Bombay Born Confused Mallu. Kitchen Experimenter. Canine Head Masseuse. Traveller. Contact:

that he deserved some South Indian food to celebrate being alive. He chose a place called ‘Banana Leaf’, and while they didn’t serve him rice at 9 in the morning (and I cannot blame them), they did have delicious Medhu Wada and chutney. However, I will refrain from commenting about the sambhar.

Nizam’s Located in a place that reminded me of Bombay’s Crawford Market circa 1990, this place had a gritty character to it. As the waiter dressed in a lungi and a vest came and handed out menus that had a layer of grease on them, I decided to put away the hand sanitiser and rely on prayer and my immune system. In the discussion about the Kathi Roll v/s the Frankie

(read North v/s West) - there was a new contender! Despite the ambience of the place and the stares (not aggressive) - which made it seem as though they hadn’t seen people with two X-Chromosomes in a while - the food was worth the effort! It was delicious, and the waiter did try to make us feel as comfortable as possible.

Nahoum’s This one, we cannot seem to agree about. A friend of the Foodie suggested this place as an institution that deserves a new visitor’s love and attention. Getting there was like a sketch out of a badly written come-


I was, however, more enamoured by the store itself, which seemed like it was stuck in a time warp. There was something so beautiful about it, especially when taken in context of the chaos surrounding it like a flower stuck in the middle of a tornado that doesn’t realise what’s going on around it! I came out of New Market wanting to jump into a tub filled with Dettol. Our friends later told us that we had most probably taken the wrong entrance into New Market. All things considered I don’t think I will ever go there on a Sunday again.

Flurys I imagine that there are many people who came to know of Flurys courtesy the movie ‘Parineeta’. Given its legendary status, and the fact that we had 40 minutes to kill (see the ‘Mocambo’ section below) - it seemed like a perfect opportunity to head to this famous tea house. The pastries were great, and the coffee really hit the spot!

Mocambo All of us loved the fare here! We had to put our names down and wait for about 40 minutes. During this window, I convinced the others that we could head off to Flurys for a coffee - to escape the rising, collective ‘Hanger’. Once the wait was over, and we were inside, it felt like we had stepped back in time (minus the selfie sticks)! We ordered some Devilled Pepper Crabs (which were delish!), while we decided what to order for Mains. I did try to find out what kind of fish Beckty was, only to be told: “Bhecktiee motlab Bhetkiee”. Never mind. I ordered the Fish A La Diana which was divine (it was prawn-stuffed Beckty)!

Bancharam, Nakur and Mithai

ite sweets-shop, but I had a tough task of trying to decide which store and which sweet I liked the most. Since the two gentlemen who were with me vehemently insist that they do not like sweets (although they happily polished off mine more than once) - I have to be the one to rank them. My favourite sweet has to be the Nolen Gur Sandesh; Roshogolla lovers of the world, please don’t hate me. I cannot begin to describe how grateful I was to be in the city during the time of year when it’s made. In terms of the store - I did think Bancharam produced the nicest Sandesh. Nakur and Mithai were also noteworthy contenders for me in the sweets-department. But the trip wasn’t all about food - we saw some beautiful things, and some rather strange ones. For instance, every time I rode a cab alone (hailed by the watchman at the hotel), they would randomly ask me to pay 200 rupees, regardless of whether the place was a kilometre away, or five. This banter would continue till I said, “Aap woh Police wale bhaiyya ke paas rokiye zara”. While the safety of women in our country is a constant concern, I did feel incredibly comfortable in the City of Joy, whether it was on the streets, or on a boat full of people on the Hooghly. I cannot do justice to the trip though if I don’t mention the wedding. It was a Brahmo Samaj ceremony; something that isn’t common in the West, North or South (where the three of us were from). There were actual songs during the ceremony, and not just music. The sights and sounds of the occasion were something I will always treasure. Additionally, and most importantly, the generosity and love we were shown by our hosts was wonderful, and my experiences in the city were just the icing on the cake. I’d love to go back, and see the places I missed, and sample the dishes I regrettably didn’t have the chance to relish. I can’t wait for next time! ***

I’m certain that each person in Kolkata has a favour-




dy. It was a Sunday, so most stores were closed. We came upon some disturbing sights within New Market, including a goat being butchered and what seemed like a spitting contest! By the time we had found Nahoum’s, I was in no mood to eat. The Foodie and DNTCC did try some of their brownies though, and said that they were quite alright.

I was born in Switzerland to Indian parents, grew up multilingual and multi-cultural and finished my education in St


Andrews, Scotland. I have been living and working in London since 2012 and despite a tough work schedule, manage to find enough time to pursue my two ardent passions - dancing and food. I teach a weekly Bollywood Fusion class at the famous Pineapple Studios in Covent Garden and write a regular food blog, which received a "highly commended" award at the UK Blog Awards 2016. Visit it sometime! (




ear London,

It’s been a chaotic few weeks around here, with political turmoil being the order of the day, and tensions running high. As a non-UK and non-EU citizen living here, I feel incredibly at home. Sure, the tube is stuffy, and yes, it is difficult to meet new people, and of course it’s expensive, and there are definitely times when my patience wears thin as I weave my way through horrendous crowds (being vertically challenged is both a help and a hindrance here). But time and time again, I look around and realise: I absolutely love you. You have given me incredible food, world-class theatre, a platform and inspiration for my blog, and countless wonderful memories. When the grey drizzle persists even in July, it’s easy to forget what is lurking beneath that sheen of moisture, and it is, quite simply, the greatest city I’ve ever experienced.

ching a Swindian duo (Hingis/Paes) smash their way to the next round. At the end of the day, I was completely exhausted, but also excruciatingly happy. I still find it incredible how Wimbledon tickets are available to anybody who has dedication and patience to Queue (yep, it is capitalised), and it is an event of yours I absolutely adore. Of course, this love letter wouldn’t be complete without an ode to your food. Thanks to your openness, people from all around the world have set up shop here, and so I have sampled Eritrean, Israeli, Japanese,Burmese, Greek, Leban ese, Indian, French, Cambodian, and just good old steak. No matter what obscure cuisine I crave, it’s never more than a tube ride away. And that’s before I even get to your amazing markets, with fresh and cheap food as far as the eye can see! It scares me to think that some of these people may soon be restric-

What is the catalyst for this letter? Partly current politics, but mostly, it was something inherently British: a Queue. Yesterday, I set my alarm for 5am and set off to Wimbledon to queue for a ground pass to the hallowed tennis grounds. 7 hours and £25 later, I was wandering the outside courts. I cheered on Federer from the top of Henman Hill, peered into Court 12 and saw an epic match between Tomic and Pouille (9-7 in the fifth!), got rained on, and finally got a re-sale ticket to the first row of Court 1, wat-

The Global Kitchen in Camden Market ted from entering the UK, and how your diversity and openness (in foodie as well as other matters) could decrease in the future.

Wimbledon scenes


My dear London, as well as food, you provide artistic experiences in absolute abundance. DiscoveringPineapple Studios, a place where I can truly let go and dance my heart out, has been paramount in get-


I adore travelling, and in fact, I’ll be leaving you in October to do just that. I am simultaneously terrified and excited to be exploring South America for 6 months, and I am also both happy and sad to leave you behind. I sure as hell won’t miss the Central Line, but I know I will miss popI could wax lyrical ping over to Pineappabout many more le Studios on a Sathings, like yturday, grabbing a our amazing literary bacon naan roll connections (I still get from Dishoom, wana thrill every time I dering through Repass Baker Street), gent’s Park, and climyour awesome views bing up Primrose Hill (secret tip: Primrose The view from Primrose Hill to gaze upon what Hill), your downright feels like my very own empire. weird and quirky experiences (6am yoga and rave, anybody?!), but there is one more I must mention: London, we’ve been through a lot in four years. I’ve music and theatre. You are home to talent like I’ve walked your streets, weaved through tourists, gazed never dreamed of. I’ve taken in the world-famous at your skyline, eaten a lot of your food, and marveshows like Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opeled at your street art. You are crazy, overcrowded, ra. I’ve snapped up last-minute tickets to Shakeexpensive, diverse, and culinary. You are full of thespeare and seen my atre, dance, traffic, favourite artists Kris flowers, friends, and Drever and Frank Turfestivals. You refuse ner perform in tiny to change with the Camden pubs. But times (*ahem* Night more than that, it’s Tube *ahem*), whilst your openness to all embracing the best of t h i n g s n on technology (I could commercial. The best not live without Cipiece of theatre I’ve tymapper). Please do seen in the past four not let this referenyears was a small play dum change who you in Dalston calare. I will enjoy every led Scenes from 68 moment of my time Regent’s Park, my favourite green space Years, a stunningly away, but I also know visualised play with impeccable acting, which I will yearn for you when it’s all over. brought me to tears on multiple occasions. Showing Yours sincerely, the Palestinian conflict through dual roles and using nothing but the simplest scenery, I was absolutely The Swindian blown away by the sheer talent and emotional dialogue. ***

My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you're born. He says that there are people who get off a

jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train's pulled into Piccadilly Circus they've become a Londoner.”― Ben Aaronovitch, Moon Over Soho




ting through any stress I have, as well as the endless days of rain. It is my undisputed favourite place here, and knowing that I can pop by anytime, without having to sign up, and pay a mere £7 for a dance class of the highest quality, makes my heart swell.


Ashok is an honorary ‘Bangali’, works in Zurich and spends a lot of time in planes and hotels. Contact:


t's not often that I find some time off on a business trip to go sightseeing, but if there is a country where I try more than others, it's China. There are so many things to see, especially when it comes to nature outside the big cities (in China, a big city would mean a population close to the 10 million mark!). So when I had spare time on the day before I flew back, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the Great Wall. My memory of a similar visit 10 years ago was hazy enough, except of locked thigh muscles (from walking down steep steps) on the day after the visit. I was prepared for a repeat. We got out of the city early, starting to drive at 7 AM to beat the traffic and the rush of visitors. Driving in Beijing looks very orderly for a city of its size (urban population of over 18 million - more than twice the Swiss) as long as the traffic moved in a straight line. However, as soon as it came to merging lanes and slower cars, there was definitely confusion and some mayhem - but only to a person accustomed to driving in Switzerland! Driving north on the beautiful six-lane highways was smooth, and traffic started to let up when we crossed the 6th Beijing Ring Road intersection (wonder if they are getting ready for a 7th!). Served along the way to the drivers were a host of warning and instructional signs about overloading, littering, driving while tired or drinking and (seriously) not following too "clowsely". We drive past electricity transmission towers that either look like shapely ladies in long dresses without a head or arms or men facing sideways ready to break into a sprint.


Bei Jing. Of course it was. We all know that the Chinese have trouble with words longer than one syllable - at least that's how I know all the names of my friends and colleagues, so why should Bei Jing be any different? If you stop to buy souvenirs, do not forget to negotiate. We had the following conversation, when I stopped to buy a cap: Me: How much? He: 75 RMB Me: Ah, too much! He; Buy one, get 65 RMB each Me: Only want one He: How much pay? At this stage, I turned to my local host Xiaoyang. XY: 20 He: No, no, no! 50! XY: 20 He: Too low! XY: If I go to Alibaba, I can get for 10! I got the cap for 20. Remember Alibaba! I also saw a kinship between the local people and the Swiss Germans. Fami-Li-Hood Kitchen? Brother Li Roast Duck?

The toughest part of From all that I had the trek to seen so far, Beijing is a very flat city, and the sight of the wall is mountains was a welcoming one. The section of the the path wall we were visiting was called Mutianyu , the other that takes one being Badalin which is said to be more famous and one up to was opened earlier to the public. the wall. It's a series of continuous stairs long enough Having bought our tickets, we emerged into a plaza for anybody to lose count. Strong lungs recommended! full of restaurants and souvenir shops. It was only then Along the way, somebody had scrawled the number that I realized that Beijing was two separate syllables - 1000 on the side of the steps, and we were still not



Had we had the time and energy, we would have gone up another stage to where the name of Chairman Mao was carved into the mountain and what appeared to be the steepest section in that area. Instead we took the cable car - which are very similar to the gondolas you see at many Swiss mountain resorts, but without the ski racks - down.



there. But it was all worth the effort once we got up. The part of the wall we were at was mostly built in the end of the 13th and start of the 14th century to protect China from invaders from the north, presumably the Mongolians. It is wide enough for horses to ride (even horse drawn carriages IF they can get up there, though we only saw donkeys!) and has a series of watchtowers [photo 6304]. We kept stopping to admire the view and take pictures as we climbed up and down the steps. With it being early spring, we were also lucky enough to see some nice colours in the trees.

It was an approximately 5K walk over two hours, and a spot of Chinglish (amongst many others) made my day as took the lift down to where our car was parked. What is really impressive is the way this attraction has been made tourist friendly. OK we were there early and beat the crowds of tourists and school groups, but just like my visit 18 months ago to the national parks of Juizhao, it was all very well organized, clean and tidy. We went back to Beijing for a dumpling lunch (skipping the pisa at the plaza). A long and strong foot and leg massage ensured that we had a good day off. ***






a s t Christmas, I flew for almost 22 hours in pursuit of an ‘adventure’, gathered some unique experiences, met some great people and, most importantly, recharged my batteries for the next calendar year. Yes, I was in the land of kangaroos and the mighty Aussies (Oz) – Australia!

Originally from Kolkata, I have carved a beautiful life in Zurich with my wife Jhilam and son Vivaan for the past 8 years. Professionally a Senior Business Consultant, an avid and multifaceted sportsman, I see photography as an art of freezing reality over a lifetime….and as a Nikonian, I’m amazed by its glass manufacturers who make life’s precious moments last forever. Contact:

My busy 10-day trip included 8 flights. After quite a bit of research, I decided to limit my self to Sydney (New South Wales) and Uluru-Ayer Rock (Northern territory).”





y first desert safari was as a part of a group of 25 like minded people - mainly Asians, along with Swiss, American, German and Italian participants. After sleeping in the Australian “swag” under the stars, we woke up at 4 am, took a bath and set off for a pre-dawn walk. A swag is a waterproof canvas sleeping compartment that is sometimes insect-proof. All swags come with a foam mattress, and can comfortably be slept in with the addition of a pillow and sleeping bag. “




Eyes are not enough -- I enjoy seeing the world around me through lenses! As scientist, I get fascinated to observe the little wonders of life through microscope. And, as an amateur photographer, I strive to add life to the moments frozen by my camera. Nothing excites me more than discovering the beauty of life. Contact:

Smile from Heaven

Digital Brushstrokes




















A photo fanatic, Sandipan believes that every picture contains an entire story in a single frame. An IT consultant by profession, he lives in Zurich with his family. Loves to travel in search of new visual, cultural and culinary delights. Contact:



In IT by profession, but has a special place in his heart for music, travel and photography. Contact:


s we celebrate our biggest festival and worship the Goddess who symbolizes strength, beauty and justice, it is time for us to look a little below her at the beautiful animals; they are an essential part of the ‘beauty’ in the world she protects. Globally, there has been a rapid reduction and extinction of a number of animal species accountable to human actions. We will never have a shortage of the number of Gods and Goddesses in our country. But if we do not pay attention, we might soon be losing some of these beautiful creatures of God. Here is an attempt to capture the incredible beauty that the so-called beasts of our jungles display.






Here a click, there a click…. Without a tripod or a selfie-stick! Contact:

‘Bubble vision’ Central Park, NYC ‘Angry Bird’ Central Park, NYC ‘Technicolour Feline’ Istanbul, Turkey “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl…” Vienna, Austria

Shining Bright! Venice (by night)



Studied International Relations, yet by profession an English Teacher for corporates: but by nature a Dancer and Choreogra-

তিোট েল্প

pher. An extremely pampered daughter, a mollycoddled sister, a considerably crazy friend and a nonchalant mother. Contact:

েখন্ই চ চন্ টেখেট তেখ ন্, ঠোকুরমো তেখখ ন্ ওন্োর তজচঠশোশুচি, ল্প শুন্খ

আমোখের সিোরই ভোে েোখে, চকন্তু তসটো ভূখ র

চেচন্ কখেকমোস আখেই মোরো চেখেখিন্, িোেোখন্ েোাঁচিখে আখিন্।

েল্প হখে? আমোর কোখি তিোট তর্খকই ভূখ র েল্পগুখেো

চজখজ্ঞস কখরচিখেন্ ঠোকুরমো, "আপচন্ চক চকিু িেখিন্? চকিু িোন্?"

চিে ভীষণ আকষথণীে। তকউ ভূখ র েল্প িেখেই মখন্োখেোে

তকোন্ উত্তর পোন্চন্। আশ্চখেথর চিষে এই হে তে সন্তোন্ জন্মোখন্োর

সহকোখর শুন্ োম। আর সিরকম েল্প তশোন্োর সি তিখে তিশী

পর আর ওন্োখক তকোন্চেন্ তেখখন্চন্। ঠোকুরমোর চিশ্বোস চিে, তে

সুখেোে তপ োম ভযোখকশন্, মোখন্ স্কুখের িুচটর সমে। আর হখরক

তজচঠশোশুচি ন্োচক ওন্োখক পোহোরো চেখ ন্।

রকখমর েল্প িেোর তেোক চিখেন্ আমোর ঠোকুরমো আর চে​েো। স্কুখের ি​ি িুচট িেখ

চিে দুচট - সোমোর আর উইিোর ভযোখকশন্। সোমোর

ভযোখকশন্ আমোর কোটখ ো তিন্োরখস, ঠোকুরমো ও ঠোকুরেোর সোখর্

এরকম অখন্ক তিোটখোখটো ভূ ুখি ঘটন্ো চিে আমোর চন্খজর ঠোকুরমোর ঝুচেখ । অ

সোহসী মচহেো আচম তকোন্চেন্ তেচখচন্।

আর উইিোর ভযোখকশন্ িচরশোখে, হযোাঁ িোিংেোখেখশ, তেখোখন্

১৯৭৮ সোে,

র্োকখ ন্ আমোর েোদু ও চে​েো।

িচরশোখে, মো, তিোটমোচস

এরকমই একচট সোমোর ভযোখকশন্-এর ঘটন্ো মখন্ পিখি। আখে তেোখকরো িে

তে তিন্োরখসর অচেখ


ন্োচক ভূ । েোই

তহোক, েরমকোে, অ এি সকখে িোখে ঘুখমো োম আমরো - একচেন্ রোখ ,

খন্ প্রোে সোখি িোখরোটো, হঠোৎ শুচন্ একচট তমখের আ থন্োে।

ঘুম তভখঙ্গ উখঠ পিেোম পর পর িোরখট িোচির তেোক। অর্ি রোস্তোর েুটপোখর্ আর আখশপোখশর েচেখ

খোচটেো চিচিখে সকখে চন্িঃশখব্দ

ঘুখমোখছ। িোখের ওপর তর্খক টিথ তেখে চপিখন্র আর পোখশর েচেখ

তেখেোম আমরো। তকোর্োও তকোন্ তমখেখক তেখখ


তসই রোখ । ঠোকুরমোর গ্রোখমর িোচি চিে, চিটোেিং-এ। খুি তিোট িোচির সকখে তেখিন্ েোত্রো তেখখ , িোচিখ

খন্ ঠোকুরমো।

চ চন্ একো


চেচেমোর সখঙ্গ। তিোট তর্খকই ভীষণ সোহস চিে ঠোকুরমোর। িষথোকোে, িোইখর অযকোর হখে তেখি। এক প্রস্থ ঝখির পর িোইখরটো শোন্ত। িোেোখন্ পোখের শব্দ তপখে জোন্েোর যোখর এখস ঠোকুরমো তেখখন্ একচট তিোট্ট তমখে

োখের আম েোখির ন্ীি তর্খক আম কুখিোখছ।

তখেোর সোর্ী তপখেখিন্ তভখি চ চন্ একচট হযোচরখকন্ চন্খে িোেোখন্ েোন্। তমখেচটর কোিোকোচি েোওেো মোত্রই তস হোাঁটখ ঠোকুরমোও

শুরু কখর,

োর চপিু তন্ন্। িেোর পখর্ মোখঝ মোখঝই তমখেচট ঘুখর

ঠোকুরমো তক হো িোচন্ তে​ে। ক ক্ষণ িখেচিখেন্ আমোর ঠোকুরমোর িরখণ চিে ন্ো।

খি হঠোৎ

োাঁর জ্ঞোন্ আখস েখন্ গ্রোখমরই একজন্

োাঁখক যখর ঝোাঁচকখে চজখজ্ঞস কখর, "মচিকো, তকোর্োে েোচছস? এখুচন্ ত ো পুকুখর পখি তেচ স।" সোাঁ োর জোন্খ ন্ ন্ো ঠোকুরমো। পখর তখোাঁজ চন্খে জোন্ো েোে তিোট্ট তমখেচট পুকুখর ডুখি মোরো তেখি কচেন্ আখেই। আখরকচট








খন্ চ চন্ অন্তিঃসত্ত্বো আমোর তমজ তজঠুখক চন্খে।

ওন্োর গ্রোখমর িোচিখ

টেখেটটো চিে িোচির িোইখর। িোেোখন্র মখযয

চেখে খোচন্ক তহাঁখট তেখে িোচির চপিন্ চেখক চিে তসচট, তরোজ রোখ


খন্ আমোর িেস পোাঁি, শীখ র িুচটখ


আর মোস খু ো তিোখন্র সোখর্। তিোন্

আমোর তর্খক কখেক মোখসর তিোট। চিশোে েোেোন্িোচি আর


চিশোে চিশোে ঘর চিে িচরশোখের িোচিখ । আমোর ি​িমোমো ন্োচক তিোটখিেোে একজন্ কযকোটো তেোকখক তেখ

একটো সোেো তঘোিো

িুচটখে েোখছ আমোখের েোেোন্িোচির িোখে। এই িোচির িোেোখন্র চপিন্চেখক একটো কোাঁঠোে​েোখি ে​েোে েচি চেখে মোরো েোন্ মচ খচে​েো, তপশোে েচজথ। এইসি েল্প শুখন্ হেখ ো চন্খজর মখন্র মখযয অখন্ক কোল্পচন্ক ভূ

ত রী কখরচিেোম। তে ঘটন্োটো এখন্ িেখ

েোচছ তসটো হেখ ো তসই েযোিোচস িো কল্পন্োর কোরখণ। িেখ

খি সচ য

আজ িুচঝ ন্ো।

আমোখের দুজন্খক চডন্োর কচরখে চেখে, ঘুম পোচিখে িোচির ি​িরো সকখে

খন্ রোন্নোঘখর। িচরশোখেও আমোখের রোন্নোঘর ও টেখেট

দুখটোে চিে েোেোন্িোচির িোইখর। সু রোিং তমন্ চিচডিং-এর একচট চিশোে ঘখর

খন্ খোচে আচম আর আমোর মোস খু ো তিোন্। ঘুমটো

তকন্ তভখঙ্গচিে সচঠক মখন্ তন্ই,

খি ঘুম ভোেখ ই তেচখ তে আমোর

পোখের কোখি একজন্ েোাঁচিখে আখি, পরখন্ কোখেো আেখোিো, ে​েোে অখন্করকখমর মোেো, ঝোাঁকরো ঝোাঁকরো িুেওেোেো একজন্ তেোক আমোখক ডোকখি। একটো অিেখির ম ন্। আমোর ত্রোচহ ত্রোচহ চিৎকোর শুখন্ িোচির তেোখকরো এখস তেখখ তে আচম ভখে ন্ীে হখে কোাঁপচি। পখরর চেন্ একজন্ ওঝো ডোচকখে চকিুচেন্

োচিজ পরোখন্ো হে আমোখক। তিশ

োচিজটো চন্খজ তর্খকই পখি েোে, তসই অিেিও আর

তেচখচন্। আজখকও ভোচি েখন্,

খন্ িুঝখ

পোচর ন্ো তে েো

তেখখচিেোম তসটো চক সচ য চকিু অশরীরী ন্োচক শুযু মোত্রই আমোর মখন্র ভুে! েোইে চিেন্ড তডর্, স্বোমী অখভেোন্ন্দজীর তেখো িইটো আমোখের িোচিখ

চিে। ক্লোস তেোর-েোইভ র্োকখ

েুচকখে েুচকখে িইটোর

পো ো এচেক ওচেক কখরচি। তসই সমে আমোখের িোচিখ

আসখ ন্

আমোখের একজন্ েূরসম্পখকথর আত্মীে, ভখিশখজঠু ডোক োম আচম।


তিোট েল্প

োচেক চিখেন্ চ চন্। তিোটখোখটো তেোক, তিহোরোে আকষথণীে িেখ চিে খোচে তিচশক্ষণ কোচটখে

োাঁর তিোখ দুখটো। একটু ভেই েোেখ ো

োাঁর তিোখখর চেখক

োচকখে র্োকখ । মোখঝ মোখঝ চ চন্ আসখে এক দুচেন্ তেখ ন্


িোচিখ ।



মোচস েল্প কখরখি তে তরোজ সখযযখিেো ওই আখপে েোখির চন্খি প্রিুর আখপে পখি র্োকখ ো িচিখে।অর্ি পখররচেন্ সকোখে উখঠ তেখ

ওগুখেো সুন্দর কখর সোচজখে রোখো আখি িোেোখন্ একটো


িোখস্কখট। মোচস আর তরখো চপচস, মোচসর িোযিী, -র যোরণো হে তে

তমজমোমো, খন্ অচি​িোচহ , আমোখের সখঙ্গই র্োকখ ো।একচেন্

তকউ চন্শ্চেই িোেোন্টো পচরষ্কোর কখর েোে সকোখে আর আখপেগুখেো

রোচত্রখিেো শুখ

গুচিখে তরখখ েোে। িোচির িোেোখন্র েরজোটো আেোেো চিে, তিোট্ট

েোওেোর আখে তেোডখশচডিং হখে তেখি, তখোেো

িোরোন্দোে িখস, িোেোখন্র েুরেুখর হোওেো, তখখ


েল্প করচি,

একটো েরজো েযোখরখজর পোশ চেখে, আর ওটো আন্েক করো র্োকখে

আখেো এখেই শুখে পি​ি। েল্প পুখরোেখম িেখি এমন্ সমে হঠোৎ

তে তকউ িোেোখন্ ঢুখক আসখ

ভখিশ তজঠু উখঠ েোাঁিোখেন্। তিোখগুখেো ি​ি ি​ি কখর িোইখর

মখন্ তকোন্ খটকো েোখেচন্। ওই িোচিখ

িোেোখন্র চেখক



োচকখে আখিন্। হঠোৎ ওন্োর আিমকো উখঠ



োই তকোন্ সমখেই মোচসখের িোচ্চোগুখেো ন্োচক সোরোক্ষণ

পখি তে । আর চক কখর পিে চজখজ্ঞস করখেই

সিোই িুপ কখর তে​ে। চমচন্ট দুই পখরই ভখিশখজঠু

ওরো িেখ ো,"সোমিচড পুশড আস"। এরকম ভোখি চেন্ চ খন্ক

িেখেন্,"িেুন্,ঘখরর তভ খর েোওেো েোক। শুখে পিো েোক।" আমোর

তকখট েোে। ি র্ ু থচেন্ রোখ , সিোই ঘুচমখে পখিখি মোচস আর তরখো

মো িে​ে, "ভখিশেো, আখরকটু িসুন্ ন্ো, এখন্ও ত ো ত মন্ রো

চপচস িোিো। ঘচির কোাঁটোখ

হেচন্।" চকন্তু তজঠু ইন্চসস্ট করোখ

তরখোচপচস চকখিখন্ িখস েল্প করচিে।েখল্পর আখমোখে ে​েোর স্বরটো

সিোই শুখ

িখে তে​েোম।

পখরর চেন্ তেকেোস্ট তটচিখে আমোর মো চজখেযস করে,"ভখিশেো, ে কোে রোখ

চক হখেচিে

আপন্োর?" আমোর তমজমোমোও িখে

উঠে, "মশোই, মোঝরোখ

ঘুম ভোইঙ্গো তে​ে আপন্োর

আওেোখজ, মোর্োর িোরপোখশ


ুচি মোরচিখেন্ তকন্?"ভখিশ তজঠু

খোচন্কক্ষণ িুপ তর্খক চজখেযস করখেন্,"আপন্োখের তকোন্ আপন্জন্ মোরো তেখিন্ চক? েম্বো, েসথো, সোেো পোজোমো-পোঞ্জোিী পরো একজন্ তক আচম ে কোে রোখ

আপন্োখের িোেোখন্ তেখখচি।" িোচিসুি

খন্ প্রোে রো

দুখটো।মোচস আর

উাঁিুর চেখকই চিে। হঠোৎ "শোট আপ" শুখন্ একটু র্মখক েোে দুজখন্। কন্ঠস্বরচট চিে একজন্ মচহেোর।চক শুন্খ আিোর তেই কর্ো িেো শুরু কখর

চক শুখন্চি তভখি দুজখন্

খন্ আখরো তজোখর "শোট আপ"

িখে ওখঠ তকউ ওই একই কন্ঠস্বখর। খন্ রীচ মখ ো ভখে কোাঁপখ কোাঁপখ

দুজন্ তকোন্রখম রো টো ওই িোচিখ

কোচটখে পখরর চেন্

তভোর হখ ই পোচেখে আখস।[পখর জোন্ো েোে, ওই িোচির েযোন্ডখেচড সুইসোইড কখরচিে অযোচটখক।

সিোই িমখক উখঠখি, আমোর মোখের আপন্ খুি ুখ ো চেচের তিখে,

সোইচককরো ন্োচক অশরীরীর তপ্রখজন্স চে​ে করখ

আমোর কোচজন্ িোিুন্েো,

চেচের তমখে, চ চন্ন, খোচন্কটো এমন্।একিোর মোখের সখঙ্গ িুচট

োর সপ্তোহখোখন্ক আখেই সুইসোইড কখর।

সুইসোইড করোর সমে সোেো পোজোমো-পোঞ্জোিী পরখন্ চিে ওর। আর


এই কর্োটো ভখিশখজঠুর জোন্োর তকোন্ সম্ভোিন্োই চিে ন্ো। চ চন্

িোর্রুমটো তিক করখ

আখরো িেখেন্, তে রোখ

িোিুন্েো তক উচন্ আমোর তমজমোমোর খোখটর

িখে, "মো, এই ঘরটো আমোর পিন্দ ন্ো। আমরো অন্য ঘর

পোখশ েোাঁচিখে র্োকখ


তেচখ"।চেচে ত ো অিোক।

োই উচন্

ুচি চেখে মে

তেখি চ চন্ন, িখম্বখ

পোখর। আমোর এক

তহোখটখে ঘখর ঢুখক রুমটো তেখখ

চেখেই তিচরখে এখস চ চন্ন আমোর চেচেখক খি তমখের পিন্দ হেচন্ েখন্

খন্ ঘরটো

পিচিখেন্। িোিুন্েো তমজমোমোর খুি তক্লোজ চিে আর আমোর মোখকও

িে​েোখ ই হখি।অন্য ঘর অযোখভখেখভে আখি তজখন্, তিেিেখক

ভীষণ ভোখেোিোসখ ো।

িখে ঘর িে​েোখন্ো হে। পখর চ চন্ন তসই তিেিেখক চজখেযস কখর

তজঠু িেখেন্ তে অপঘোখ েোখে।



মৃ ুয হখে আত্মোর শোচন্ত তপখ




কখর।'েোইে চিেন্ড তডর্'-এও এরকম চকিু



র্য পখিচিেোম।

জোন্খেো তে তেোেো তর্খক এক কোপে িুচটখ

এখস ওই রুখমর ওই

িোর্রুখম সুইসোইড কখর। চ চন্ন তক চজখেস কখরচি আচম,"খ োর চক মখন্ হখেচিে?"।

সুইসোইড তকস িখে তপোস্টমখটথম ক’তর িোিুন্েোখক ে ক্ষখণ শ্মশোখন্

"মোচস, ওই িোর্রুখম ঢুখকই মখন্ হে তে আমোর ঘোখির উপর কোরুর

চন্খে েোওেো হে

চন্শ্বোস" - এই চিে চ চন্নর উত্তর। কোচশথেোিং-এর এক তহোখস্টখে

খন্ প্রোে রো

আট’টো আর তসচেন্ িোইখর প্রিণ্ড

ঝি​িৃচি। িোিুন্েোর িোচির সকখে েখন্ শ্মশোখন্, িোচিখ কোখজর তমখে তটাঁচপ। রো

একো চিে

প্রোে িোখরোটো, তটাঁচপ তশোখন্ িোইখর তর্খক

র্োকখ ো চ চন্ন। একচেন্ ডখমথটচরখ

েখন্ সকখে ঘুখমোখছ,চ চন্ন

হঠোৎ তেখখ একজন্ িেস্ক মচহেো ওর দুখটো তিড পখরর তমখেটোর

তকউ ডোকখি,"খটাঁচপ, িো োটো তে"। শ্মশোন্ তর্খক িোচির তেোখকরো

উপর ঝুাঁখক পখি

চেখরখি তভখি তটাঁচপ েরজো খুখে তেখখ তকউ তন্ই। রোস্তোও তসই

তমখেচটর চে​েো আখের চেন্ রোখ ই মোরো েোন্।

দুখেথোখে একেম শুন্শোন্। প্রিণ্ড ভে তপখেচিে তটাঁচপ। ওই সমখের আখশপোখশই আমোর মো’ও তশোখন্ তে আমোখের িোচির েরজোে তকউ ঠকঠক করখি। তটাঁচপর ম ন্ মো’ও এই তভখিই েরজো তখোখে তে িোিো -রো চেরে তিোযহে। েরজোর িোইখর তকউ চিে ন্ো। ভখিশখজঠুর কর্ো শুখন্ মোখের মখন্ হখেচিে তে তসচেন্ রোখ


োহখে িোিুন্-েো’ই

এখসচিে? আজও ভোিখে েো'টো িমিম কখর ওখঠ। আমোর



েন্ডখন্।একিোর মোচস তমখসো




মোরো েোওেোর ক'চেন্ আখেই চন্পু-কোকু, আমোর িোিোর িযু, িখেচিে িোিোখক, "জোচন্স, কুণোে এখসচিে আজ আমোর কোখি।" কুণোে কোকু

োর মোস িখেক আখেই মোরো চেখেচিখেন্। চন্পুকোকুখক

ন্োচক িখেচিে, "চক তর, আচম এখোখন্ একো ,

ই ু কখি আসচি?

োিো োচি িখে আে।" িযুখক চডসযোপেি কখরন্ চন্ চন্পু কোকু।এই ঘটন্োর ক’চেন্ পখরই মোরো েোন্।



োখের দুই তমখেখক চন্খে (


আখরকচট মোস খু ো তিোন্ হখে তেখি আমোর), আখরক িযুর পচরিোখরর ( োখেরও দুই তমখে) সখঙ্গ হচেখড করখ

োখক ডোকখি। পখররচেন্ খির আখস তসই

েোে ওখেখসস,

এক সপ্তোহর জন্য। একটো িোচি ভোিো চন্খেচিে ওরো। িোচির চপিখন্


- এখ

চিশ্বোস কচর, িোই ন্ো কচর, আমোর কোখি সিসমে একটো

ইন্চেচেিং সোিখজট।

তিঞ্জচে এন্োে, েল্পটো আজখক চেখচি আর

তখেোে হে আজখক ফ্রোইখড েয র্োরচটন্র্। ***

অর্থোৎ িযোকইেোখডথ একটো তিোট্ট িোেোখন্ চিে একচট আখপে েোি।



আমোর চোর ফেকের পুকজো

Sole Proprietor and Professional teacher with experience in teaching all ages in three continents. Dancer, Choreographer and an occasion-

তিোট েল্প

al writer. Embedded in family and friends and believes in miracles. Contact:

মোখক তিোযহে আপন্োরো চিন্খ ম ন্ তে অখন্খক আখি –

পোরখিন্ ন্ো - আমোর োই আমরো আর কোখরোর

ত মন্ তিোখখ পচি ন্ো। আমোর গ্রোখমর মখযযই ত ো িোর

-পোাঁি জন্, তসোন্ো, মোচেন্ী, চকখশোরী, তরজওেোন্ো, সুন্দরী, েচে ো.. আর আচম ত ো আচিই।

আমোখক তকউ িোিোর কোখি চন্খে েোওেোর প্রেোস কখরচন্ আর আচম রোস্তোটোও চঠক চিচন্ ন্ো। মো'র িচির চেখক -

োচকখে ভোচি - মো ত ো আর পোখে তহাঁখট আখসন্ ন্ো

োই তিোযহে প্রচ

ি​ির আমোখের কোখি আখসন্। আিোর মোখের

আসোর পোেো - আিোর আমোখের গ্রোখম ঢোখকর আওেোজ, চমচির েয,

আমোর িেস?- - সচঠক জোচন্ ন্ো, আর চক - চন্শ্চে আচম ি​ি -

হট্টখেোে। এই িোর চেন্ আমোর খুি চপ্রে - শ্বশুরমশোই-এর শরীরটোও

সন্তোন্ আখি, স্বোমী আখিন্- শ্বশুর শোশুচি সিোইখক চন্খে আমোর

তেন্ তকমন্ ভোখেো হখে ওখঠ- ওন্োর অচেখসর

সুন্দর? - হযোাঁ, সুন্দর সিংসোর - চকন্তু আমোর সিংসোর ে​েন্ো পখর ন্ো,

তিোট্ট তখোকো আমোর ন্ ুন্ জোমো পখর খুি আহ্লোে ক'খর িোর চেন্।

ন্ ুন্ শোচি জোমো পখর ন্ো, পোউডোর ত ে আ র – চকিুই ত মন্

এখোন্ ওখোন্ ঘুখর তিচিখে তি​িোে। এইিোরও মো'খক িখেচি - মো,

আমোর সিংসোর তিোখখ তেখখ ন্ো-পুখজোর সমে উচন্ একটু তরোজেোর

চন্খজর ন্োমটোও তে চেখখ

করখে... খি একটু আযটু...খরোজ সকোখে স্নোন্ কখর, অসুস্থ শ্বশুর

চঠক তন্ই - চক হখি মো। মোখের িচি কোেখজর উপর িচির ম ন্ই

তক খোইখে চে,

র্োখক - আচম আমোর ম ন্ কর্ো িখে েোই - মো তে আমোখক শুন্খ

োরপর শোশুচির সখঙ্গ সোরোচেখন্র সরঞ্জোম,


োিো র্োখক ন্ো -আর

পোচর ন্ো আর ওন্োরও িোকরীর তকোখন্ো

মখযয আমোর ক থোর আচপখসর জোমো জুখ ো রুমোে আর তখোকোর

পোন্ - আচম িুঝখ

ইস্কুে। তখোকো আমোখক তরোজ চিকোখে চেখখ

- মোখের ম ন্ আমোর েো-ভচ থ ে​েন্ো তন্ই - অন্যোে, অযকোরখক

তশখোে -আর তকউ

পখরোেো কখর ন্ো- তখোকো ঘুখমোিোর আখে আমোখক জচিখে য'খর িখে - মো খুি

োিো োচি

ুচমও আমোর ম ন্ ন্োম চেখখ

পোরখি -

আমোর ম ন্ ! োচকখে

ভোচি --ভোচেযস তখোকো আমোর খুকু হেচন্! খুকু তক চক চ চন্ তখোকোর করখ

চেখ ন্- ন্োচক আমোর ম ন্ ঘখরর কোজ করখ

খুকুও অন্য কোখরোর পচরিোখরর তিৌমো হখে তে - দু ি​ির

আখে গ্রোখমর পুখজোে - মোখের কোখি হো কখরচিেোম- মো

তজোর কখর এই মোন্

ুচম আমোে তখোকো চেও - আচমও ত োমোখক...মো

আমোখক তখোকো চেখেখিন্ - আচম মোখক তসিোর পুখজোে চকন্তু চকিুই চেখ

রুখখ েোাঁিোিোর িে তন্ই আমোর, চকন্তু আমোর ন্োমও তে ...দুেথো! পুখজো এখস তে​ে - ষষ্ঠীর চেন্ - এইিোরও কোকো এক ন্ ুন্ হোেকো ন্ীে শোচি চেখে তেখিন্ আমোখক। মো'খক এই শোচি চেখেই আমোর

আমোর মোচটর ঘখরর এক তকোণোে মো দুেথোর িচির চেখক ম ন্ ইস্কুখে পিখ

পোচর। আমোর আর মোখের মখযয তে অখন্ক চমে

পোচরচন্। আিোর পুখজো আসখি - মোখক আমোে চকিু চেখ ই

হখি। আমোর কোকো পোখে তহাঁখট এখস আমোখক একটো পুখজোর শোচি চেখে তেখিন্- তসটোই মো তক তেি এই পুখজোে। এইিোর পুখজোে মোখক িখেচি -েচে পিখ

জোন্ োম-

দুপুরখিেো সিোই েখন্ তখখে তন্ে-

োহখে হেখ ো...! খন্ আচম জোন্েোর চেখক মুখ

কখর িখস হোাঁচির তশষ টুকুচন্ খোই আর ভোচি -েুচকখে একিোর েচে গ্রোখমর চিেযোেখে ন্োম চেচখখে আসখ তখোকোর ম ন্ ইস্কুখে তেখ

পোর োম? আচমও েচে

পোর োম? ভোিখ

চিখকখের চিন্তো - তকোর্ো তর্খক রোখ

ন্ো ভোিখ ই আিোর

দুখটো ভো

জুটখি? ওন্োর

ষষ্ঠীর পুখজো। পুখরোখন্ো কোেখজ ন্ ুন্ শোচি আর দুখটো জিংচে েুে চেখে সোচজখে তখোকোর হো

যখর িে​েোম মোখের মূচ থ তেখখ ।

মো শুন্ি,এই তে আমোর তখোকো - তখোকো'খক ি​ি কখরো মো - আর আচম েচে পিখ

পোর োম- আর ওর আচপস -চক হখি মো ? মোখেো

শুন্ি...? দুেথো! ি'খে এক চেচে হঠোৎ আমোর কোাঁখযর ওপর হো

চেখে িেখেন্

- আমরো কেকো ো তর্খক এখসচি -এই পুখজো তর্খক ত োমোখের পিোশুখন্োর ভোর আমোখের - এই গ্রোখমর সি তমখেখের আমরো তরোজ দুপুরখিেো ি​ি েোিটোর

েোে পিোখিো – সচ য? চেচে শুন্খিন্, চকন্তু

চ চন্ তকমন্ তেন্ যুযু মোখঠর মযয চেখে চমচেখে তেখেন্ - আর আমোর শোচিটো - েোহ! শোচিটো তকোর্োে তে​ে​েোম - হোখ ই ত ো চিে - তখোকো - তখোকো

ক্ষখণ তেৌখি ঢোখকর আওেোখজর চেখক এচেখে

তেখি - মো'র শোচিটো তে তকোর্োে তে​ে​েোম? আমোর পুখজো - আমোর তসই পুখজো তর্খক তেখোপিোর শুরু...আচম আজও তরোজ দুপুখর পিখ

েোই- ক

চেচেরো আমোখের পিোন্ -

আচপখসও অখন্ক চিন্তো - তকোখন্ো ত মন্ কোজ তন্ই - পুখজোর মোখস

জোন্ো েোখি -িোকচরটো আখি চকন্ো।

আমোর ঘখরর মোখের িচি এখন্ও তসখোখন্ই আখি। এখন্ আচম

আমোর চিখের সকোখে রীচ


তর্খক ইচ

পেথন্ত চকিুই িুঝখ

পোচরচন্- শুযু িোিো'খক চজখেযস কখরচিেোম - তকন্ িোিো? িোিোও তকোখন্ো উত্তর তে​েচন্। তেখেোম মোখের সি শোচি ে​েন্ো আে ো, চিরুচন্ আর আমোখক - সিসুি িোিো আমোখের আমোর শ্বশুখরর হোখ ুখে চেখেন্- আর িখেচিখেন্- আর চকিু তন্ই- আমোর সি আপন্োখক চে​েোম! সচ য িোিোর কোখি আর চকিু চিে ন্ো। আচম আর মোখের িৃচ - এই চন্খে চিে আমোখের সিংসোর- িোিো একো হখে তে​ে - আচমও িখে তে​েোম! োরপর তর্খক িোর ি​ির িোিোখক তেচখচন্- চ ন্ গ্রোম তপচরখে পোখে

কর্োর মোখন্ িুচঝখে তেন্।


জোচন্ - পিখ ও জোচন্ - আচম আর তখোকো দুজখন্ চমখে িই

পচি - ওর আচপখসর িোকচরও এখন্ পোকো - উচন্ও ন্োচক তসই চেচেখক তেখখচিখেন্ - আচপখসর পর্ চেখে হোাঁটখ চেচেখক! চকন্তু

োাঁখক আচম আজও খুাঁখজ পোইচন্ -

তেখখচিখেন্ তসই োাঁর তিোখখর েৃচি

আমোর মো দুেথোর ম ন্ চিে- হোেকো ন্ীে শোচি পখরচিখেন্ - তে শোচিচট তসচেন্ মোখক চেখ

তিখেচিেোম - চঠক তসরকম রিং – চকন্তু

আজও মোখঝ মোখঝ ভোচি – তসই চেচে আমোর ন্োম জোন্খেন্ চক কখর ? ***

তহাঁখট আমোখের গ্রোম- কোকো মোখঝ মোখঝই আখস খির চন্খ ।




তিোট েল্প

Resident of Switzerland since 1962. Retired Privatdozent of ETH Zurich and Professor of Electrical Power Engineering of University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland. Publications: Der Sternenwunsch, শুভাকাঙ্ক্ষিণী তারা . Contact:


ষ্মকোে। েরখম ঘুম ন্ো আসোে এক রোচত্রখ আচম িোেকচন্খ

রোখো আরোম তিেোখর তেহ

এচেখে িখস এি​িং তিোখ িুাঁখজ তপিখন্ তেখে আসো জীিন্খক িরণ করোর তি​িো করচিেোম। চকিু ক্ষখণর মখযযই অকিোৎ তিোটখিেোর একচট ঘটন্োর কর্ো মখন্ পখি তে​ে।

র্োক োম। পখর িোিো চন্খজর পচরকল্পন্ো অন্ুেোেী

একচট তেো েো িোচি ত রী করোে। িোচি চন্মথোখণর সমে প্রচ চেন্ িোিো প্রযোন্ চমচস্ত্রর সখঙ্গ িখস চক চক কোজ হখে তেখি, চক চক কোজ িেখি আর চক চক কোজ িোচক আখি কর ।

োর সম্বখয চন্েচম


োর েখে িোচি ত রীর িযোপোখর প্রর্ম তর্খক তশষ পেথন্ত সি

চকিুর খির িোিো পুঙ্খোন্ুপুঙ্খভোখি জোন্ । িোচি ত রী হিোর পর একচেন্ যূমযোম কখর েৃহপ্রখিশ হে। মোখের গুরুখেিখক িোচির খির চেখে চন্মেণ করো হে। উচন্ তেন্ ে আমোখের িোচিখক শোস্ত্রমখ

চশগচেচর পোখরন্ আখসন্ এি​িং

আশীিথোে কখরন্। ে​েস্বরূপ এই িোচি ও

িোচির অচযিোসীরো তেন্ চন্রোপখে এি​িং তকোখন্ো রকম উৎপো সুখখ ও শোচন্তখ

িোস করখ



িোেোখন্ চিে চিচভন্ন ে​ে ও েুখের েোি। তেো েোে চিে িোিো-মো’র তশোিোর ঘর। একচেন্ রোচত্র দুখটো ন্োেোে মো িোখন্র ঘখর েোিোর জন্য উঠে। তশোিোর ঘর তর্খক িোখন্র ঘখর তেখ

তেখে তরচেিং তেওেো

হখ ো। িোখন্র ঘর তর্খক তেরোর পখর্ মো িোরোন্দোে

েোাঁচিখে িোেোখন্র চেখক

োকোে। িোাঁখের আখেোখ

িোেোখন্র তেওেোে পচরষ্কোর তেখো

িোেোন্ আর

েোচছে। িোেো সহ ি​ি ি​ি

েোিগুখেোখক তেখ যর মখ ো আর কেোেোিখের তঘোমটো তেওেো তপত্নীর মখ ো তেখোচছে। সহসো মো তেখে দুখটো তেোক পো ঝুচেখে িোেোখন্র তেওেোখের ওপর িখস আখি। িোাঁখের আখেো ন্ো পিোখ ওখের মুখ পি তেখো েোচছে ন্ো।

খি তেহটো তিশ ভোেভোখিই

েৃচিখেোির হচছে। ঐ তেোকদুখটো চস্থরভোখি িখস আমোখের িোচির চেখক

োচকখে চিে। মো ভে তপখেও চিৎকোর কখর চন্। মো

োিো োচি

তশোিোর ঘখর চেখর চেখে িোিোখক ঘুম তর্খক ওঠোে। িোিোর কোখন্র কোখি চেখে মো চেসচেস কখর িেখেো, “ওখেো, ে​েো কখর ওঠ।’’ ঘুমন্ত তিোখখ ও মৃদু স্বখর িোিো প্রশ্ন করে, “চক হখেখি েী ো?” “দুই তিোর আমোখের িোেোখন্র তেওেোখে িখস আখি।” “ওরো তকন্ তেওেোখের ওপর িখস প্রকোখশয চন্খজখের তেখোখ েোখি?”

িোিো চি​িোন্ো তর্খক উঠে। দুজখন্ চমখে িোরোন্দোে তে​ে, চকন্তু তকোখন্ো

দুখটো তেোকখক তেখখচি

তেখখ তে​ে ন্ো।

িুও সখঙ্কোি ন্ো কখর িে​ে, “আচম তে

ো সখন্দহো ী ।” িোিো আশ্বোস চেখে িে​ে,

“আচম ত োমোখক চিশ্বোস করচি। আমোর মখন্ হে, ঐ তেোক দুখটো তটর তপখেখি তে পোচেখেখি।

ুচম ওখের তেখখ তেখেি। তসই কোরখণই ওরো ুচম আর ওখের চন্খে মোর্ো ঘোচমও ন্ো। ঘুমখ

মো চি​িোন্োে শুখ


তে​ে িখট চকন্তু অখন্কক্ষণ যখর তিোখখ ঘুম এে ন্ো।

িোেোখন্র েৃশযচট মো চকিুখ ই ভুেখ

পোরচিে ন্ো।

এর পর কখেক সপ্তোহ তকখট তেখি। চকন্তু ঐ ঘটন্োর পুন্রোিৃচত্ত হে চন্। চকিুকোে িোখে তজযোৎস্নোভরো এক রোচত্রখ

মো আিোর দুখটো

তেোকখক তেখে। এিোর ওরো তেওেোখের ওপর ন্ো িখস

োর ওপর

চেখে হোাঁটচিে। ওরো চ ন্ িোর পেখক্ষখপ সোমখন্ েোচছে আর


পখরই অ গুখেো পেখক্ষখপ চপিখন্ হোাঁটচিে। ওখের হোাঁটো তেখখ পোখর তেখোখন্ েচি​িোচজকররো েচির

ওপর চেখে অন্ুরূপভোখি তহাঁখট েোে। চকন্তু সোকথোখসর তেোখকখের সখঙ্গ এখের আর

েোৎ চিে। এখের পেখক্ষখপ তকোখন্ো অচন্শ্চে ো চিে ন্ো োরো তিশ েঘুিরখণ হোাঁটচিে। আশ্চখেথর িযোপোর চিে তে এখের

পেখক্ষখপর তকোখন্ো আওেোজ তশোন্ো েোচছে ন্ো। মো ভে তপখে তে​ে আর চন্চশ্চ হখি

তহোে, এিোর তিোর ন্ে, এিোর এখসখি ভূ । ভূ

োহখে ওরো তপিখন্র চেখক ন্ো

েচে ন্ো

োচকখে চক কখর চপিু হোাঁটচিে?

মো দ্রু পখে তশোিোর ঘখর চেখে িোিোখক ঘুম তর্খক ওঠোে আর চেসচেস কখর িেখেো, “তশোন্, আমোখের িোচিখ



“চকভোখি জোন্খে?’’, িোিো প্রশ্ন করে। “এখসো, ত োমোখক তেখোচছ।“ দুজখন্ তশোিোর ঘর তর্খক তিচিখে িোরোন্দোে এে। িোিো চকন্তু চকিুই তেখখ

তপে ন্ো। হ োশ হখে মো খুি চন্িু ে​েোে িেখেো, “ ুচম চক ঐ

দুখটো শরীর তেখখ

পোছ ন্ো?” িেোর সখঙ্গ সখঙ্গ মো আঙ্গুে চেখে ঐ

শরীরদুখটোখক তেখোখেো। িোিো আশ্চেথ হখে প্রশ্ন করখেো, “ ুচম চক এখন্ও ওখের তেখখ পোছ?” হোাঁ, পোচছ।“ “সচ য কর্ো িেখ তেখখ


তঢোকোর ম েি

তেোকখকই িোেোখন্র তেওেোখের ওপর িখস র্োকখ

অখন্খক সোকথোখসর কর্ো ভোিখ

িোেোন্সুি আমোখের িোচির িোচরচেক উাঁিু তেওেোে চেখে তঘরো চিে।

িোরোন্দো পোর হখ

ওর তেওেোখের ওপর িখস আমোখের িোচিখ

করখি। এখস চন্খজর তিোখখ তেখ!”

মো একটু অপ্রচ ভ তহোে।

আমরো পচশ্চমিখঙ্গর একচট তিোট শহখর িোস কর োম। প্রর্ম কখেক ি​ির ভোিো িোচিখ


চক আচম তকোখন্ো তেোক অর্িো তকোখন্ো শরীর

পোচছ ন্ো।“


মো’র সখঙ্গ একম

চেখর আসখ তেখখ


পোরে ন্ো। মো’তক আিোর চি​িোন্োে

অন্ুখরোয কখর চন্খজ ঘুখমোখ

তে​ে। িোিো চকিু ন্ো

পোওেোে মো অ যন্ত চন্রোশ হখেও চন্খজর েৃঢ় চিশ্বোস জন্মোে

তে আমোখের িোচিখ চন্খজর মখযয ভূ

দুখটো ভূ

িোস কখর। মো এও িুঝখ


িোক্ষুষ তেখোর এক অসোযোরণ সোমর্থয আখি েো

িোিোর মখযয আখেৌ চিে ন্ো। মো

িণথন্ো কখর চিচঠ চেখে এি​িং

োাঁখক ে

শীঘ্র সম্ভি আমোখের িোচিখ

এখস আমোখের শ্রখিে অচ চর্ হখে চকিুচেন্ র্োকোর জন্য আন্তচরক অন্ুখরোয জোন্োে। গুরু কেকো োর কোখি ওন্োর চন্খজর আশ্রখম র্োকখ ন্। ওন্োর িহু েীচক্ষ

চশষয চিে। গুরু আখেোকোন্ন্দ

তকিেমোত্র আযযোচত্মক চিষখের চশক্ষকই চিখেন্ ন্ো। উচন্ চশষযখের জীিন্ আপে চিপে তর্খক রক্ষো করখ ন্ এি​িং

োখের তেচহক,

মোন্চসক ও আচত্মক সমসযো সমোযোখন্র পর্ তেখোখ ন্। এসি ক্ষম ো িোিো স্বোমী আখেোকোন্খন্দর আর একচট েূঢ় ক্ষম ো চিে। উচন্ মৃ তপখ ন্ এি​িং

োখের সখঙ্গ কর্ো িেখ

পোরখ ন্। এইজন্য একমোত্র স্বোমীজীই আমোখের িোচির রহসয উদঘোটন্ করখ

সক্ষম চিখেন্।

স্বোমীজী আমোখের িোচিখ

করখেন্। েখজ্ঞর জন্য আমোখের ি​ি তিঠকখোন্ো ঘখর তমখঝর ওপর িোচে চেখে কুচি তসচিচমটোর উাঁিু, আচশ তসচিচমটোর েম্বো এি​িং আচশ তসচিচমটোর িওিো একটো সমি ভ ু ুথজ ত রী করখেন্। এই িোচে স্তুখপর ওপর িন্দন্ কোঠ একটোর ওপর একট কখর তরখখ চি োর ম সোজোন্ হে। এরপর স্বোমীজী কোখঠর েোেোখ

আগুন্ েোচেখে চেখে

আগুখন্র চশখোে চঘ, েুে, ে​ে, সুেযী যুন্ো অপথণ করখ োর সখঙ্গ সখঙ্গ উচন্ পচিত্র মে েোইখ


েোেখেন্। অপথখণর সোখর্

সোখর্ আগুখন্র চশখো েকেক কখর ওপখরর চেখক উঠখ উপচস্থ


তেোখকরো মুগ্ধ হখে এই েৃশয তেখচিে এি​িং ভচিভখর মে

শুন্চিে। পূজো, প্রোর্থন্ো এি​িং শোস্ত্রীে আিোরোন্ুষ্ঠোন্ তশষ হখে েোিোর পর স্বোমীজী উপচস্থ

তেোখকখের অন্ুখরোয করখেন্ েখজ্ঞর ঘর

পচর যোে কখর িোইখর চকিুক্ষণ অখপক্ষো করখ । এর পখর েখজ্ঞর ঘখরর সি েরজো িয কখর ঘর অযকোর করো হে। স্বোমীজী চকিু ন্ো িেখেও সিোই অন্ুমোন্ করে তে উচন্ এখন্ তপ্র োত্মোখের আহ্বোন্ করখিন্ এি​িং

োখের সখঙ্গ কর্ো িেখিন্। প্রোে এক ঘিো িোখে

তেোখকরো আিোর েখজ্ঞর ঘখর প্রখিশ করোর অন্ুমচ গুরুখেি চক িেখিন্


ো জোন্োর জন্য সিোই উৎসুক চিে। গুরুখেি

তসইজন্য চ চন্ মো’তক আপচন্ ন্ো িখে িোচিখ

ুচম িেখ ন্। উচন্ িেখেন্,

ুচম চঠকই অন্ুমোন্ কখরি। চকিুক্ষণ আখে পেথন্ত এই দুখটো তপ্র োত্মো িোস কর ।“

মো প্রশ্ন করে, “িোিো, ওরো তকোর্ো তর্খক এখসচিে আর এখন্ তকোর্োে তে​ে?” মো’র প্রখশ্নর উত্তখর স্বোমীজী দুখটো তেোখকর হ যোঘচট

একচট কোচহন্ী িেখ

আরম্ভ করখেন্।

িোচি তর্খক টোকো, ে​েন্ো এি​িং অন্যোন্য েোমী চজচন্সপত্র িুচর করোর েচন্দ আাঁটে। একচেন্ অযকোর রোচত্রখ

ওরো জচমেোখরর িোচিখ

এে। িোচি পোহোরো তেিোর জন্য দুই ডোকো

িোইখর রইে। িোকী দুজন্

ঢুকে। ওরো জচমেোর ও

োর স্ত্রীর তশোিোর ঘখর উখঠোখন্র

চেখকর েরজো চেখে িুচপিুচপ ঢুখক পিে। েরখমর সমে তশোিোর ঘর একটু ঠোণ্ডো রোখোর জন্য উখঠোখন্র চেখকর েরজো এি​িং সমস্ত জোন্েোগুখেো তখোেো রোখো হখেচিে। ঘুমন্ত েম্পচ র পোখের চেখক চিে একটো ি​ি আেমোচর। ডোকো রো েখন্ আেমোচর খুেখ আেমোচরর

োর স্ত্রীর ঘুম তভখঙ্গ

এখসখি, হে

ঘখরর তকোর্োও েুচকখে আখি। জচমেোর তঠোাঁখটর ওপর

জথন্ী তরখখ ওন্োর স্ত্রীখক সখঙ্ক

চেখেন্ তেন্ উচন্ িুপ কখর র্োখকন্।

তজখে রইখেও এমন্ভোখি ঘুচমখে র্োকোর ভোন্ করখেন্ তেন্

ওন্োরো তকোন্ শব্দই তশোখন্ন্ চন্। ডোকো দুখটো ভোিে, জচমেোরেম্পচ েখন্ েভীর চন্দ্রোে মগ্ন

খন্ আর তকোন্ চিপে তন্ই। ওরো খোখটর

েো তর্খক তিচরখে পুন্িথোর তখোেো আেমোচরর সোমখন্ এখস েোাঁিোে। ঘখরর কম আখেোখ ও ওরো আেমোচরর মখযয ে​েন্ো, ঘচি, টোকোর তন্োট এি​িং অন্যোন্য েোমী চজচন্স তেখখ

তপে। আর তেরী ন্ো কখর

ওরো ঐ সি সখঙ্গ কখর আন্ো একচট র্চের মখযয পুরখ

আরম্ভ করে।

যন্খেোখভ ওরো ভুখেই তে​ে একিোর তপিন্ চেখর তিখে তেখখ িোচির মোচেক সচ য সচ য চন্চদ্র োাঁর চপস্তেচট হোখ িোচেখশর




চকন্ো। ইচ মখযয জচমেোর চন্িঃশখব্দ

চন্খেন্, তেটো উচন্ প্রচ

েোে েুচকখে রোখখ ন্।


তিোট একটো

োরপর উচন্ শোন্তভোখি চি​িোন্োে

উখঠ িসখেন্ এি​িং সম্পূণথ আকচিকভোখি

তিাঁচিখে িেখেন্, “হো

ওপখরর চেখক ওঠোও আর ঘুখর েোাঁিোও!” ডোকো দুখটো অচ শে হখে ঘুখর েোাঁিোে িখট চকন্তু ওরো আত্মসমপথণ ন্ো কখর

চন্খজখের অস্ত্র িোর করখ

উখেযোেী হে। চন্খজর আত্মরক্ষোর জন্য

ডোকো খের গুচে করো িোিো েৃহক থোর আর তকোন্ উপোে চিে ন্ো। আরমখণর সুখেোে ন্ো চেখে উচন্ একটোর পর একটো ডোকো খক েক্ষয কখর গুচে িোিখেন্। ওর দুজখন্ই ভূপচ

হে এি​িং

ৎক্ষণোৎ মোরো

তে​ে। গুচের আওেোজ শুখন্ িোচির কমথিোরীরো তেৌখি এখস মোচেখকর তশোিোর ঘখরর সোমখন্ জখিো হে। তে দুখটো ডোকো পোহোরো চেচছে

োরোও গুচের আওেোজ শুন্খ

দুজন্ তেরৎ ন্ো আসোে

িোচির িোইখর

তপে। েখের আর

োখের দুচশ্চন্তো িোিচিে। িোচির চভ খর

ভীষণ চকিু েণ্ডখেোে হখেখি তভখি এি​িং আরও অখপক্ষো করখে পুচেখসর হোখ পুচেখসর

যরো পি​িোর আশঙ্কোে ওরো িম্পট চে​ে। অন্যচেখক

েন্ত এিোিোর জন্য িোচির মোচেক কমথিোরীখের হুকুম তেন্

ডোকো খের মৃ খেহ

ক্ষুচণ সচরখে চন্খে অখন্ক েূখর চেখে তকোন্

এক জোে​েোে মোচটর চন্খি পুাঁখ

চেখ ।

কোচহন্ীর এই পেথন্ত এখস স্বোমীজী মো’র চেখক

োচকখে িেখেন্,

“েী ো, ত োমরো িোচি কখরি তে জচমর ওপর চঠক

োর চন্খিই দুই

ডোকো খের মৃ খেহ তপোাঁ ো চিে। ডোকো রো চিে মুসেমোন্। ওখের আিোর অন্ুষ্ঠোন্ অন্ুেোেী কির তেওেো হে

চন্। ওখেরই তপ্র োত্মো এখোখন্ ভূ

হখে ঘুখর তি​িোচছে। ওখের মুচি

তেিোর জন্য ওরো আমোখক সচন্িথয অন্ুখরোয কখরচিে। আচম ওখের মখন্োিোসন্ো পূণথ কখরচি। মুচি তপখে ওরোও আমোখক অখশষ যন্যিোে জোচন্খেখি। েী ো, আজ তর্খক িোেোখন্র তেওেোখের ওপর তেখখ

ুচম আর তকোন্ ভূ

ত োমোর

পোখি ন্ো।“

গুরুখেখির কর্ো তশষ হিোর পর ভূখ র িযোপোখর িোিো উপচস্থ তেোখকখের চকিু ন্ ন্ ু কর্ো শুন্খ


র্য জোন্োখ

িোইে। িোিো িে​ে, “গুরুখেখির

িোচি ত রী হিোর সমখের একটো ঘটন্ো আমোর

মখন্ পিে। শ্রচমকরো েখন্ িোচির চভচত্তর জন্য মোচট খুাঁিচিে

িহু ি​ির আখে িোরজন্ ডোকোখ র একচট ে​ে এক যন্ী জচমেোখরর


র্োখক। এচেখক শব্দ শুখন্ জচমেোর ও

েোে। ওন্োরো তখোেো আেমোচর তেখখ িুঝখেন্ তে ঘখর ডোকো

চন্েমমোচেক এি​িং যমথে

িেস্ক চিখেন্। উচন্ আমোর মো’তক চন্খজর তমখের ম ন্ তেখখ ন্। “েী ো,



এখসই একটো যমথোন্ুষ্ঠোন্ ও েখজ্ঞর িযিস্থো

ক্ষুচণ খোখটর চন্খি েুচকখে পখর।

ঘুমন্ত েম্পচ র প্রচ চরেো তেখোর জন্য ওরো খোখটর চন্খি অখপক্ষো


োিো োচি চন্খজর গুরুখেি স্বোমী আখেোকোন্ন্দখক দুখটো ঘটন্ো

িযচিখের সূক্ষ্ম রূপ তেখখ

পখি েোে। ভে তপখে ডোকো দুখটো

োরো মোচটর চন্খি দুখটো কঙ্কোে খুাঁখজ পোে।


োখের শোচন্ত ভগ্ন ন্ো কখর

মোচটর চন্খিই তরখখ তেওেো হে। তসই সমে আচম জোন্ োম ন্ো তে আমোখের িোচিখ

ভূখ র আচিভথোি হখি আর তসই ভূ

এি​িং মোচটর

চন্খির কঙ্কোখের মখযয একটো সম্পকথ আখি। তসৌভোেযিশ িঃ ভূ দুখটো চিে শোচন্তচপ্রে। ওরো আমোখের তকোন্ ক্ষচ

কখর চন্।“

িোিো গুরুখেিখক যন্যিোে জোচন্খে আশো প্রকোশ করে তে েী োর আর ভূখ র ভখের তকোন্ কোরণ রইে ন্ো। িোস্তচিকই মো আর কখন্ই আমোখের িোচিখ


তেখখ চন্।

োক তর্খক তকোন্ একটো চজচন্স চসখমখির তমখঝর ওপর



তিোট েল্প

সচেছো র্োকখেও িোিো ভূখ র অচস্তে সম্বখয তকোখন্ো প্রমোণ ন্ো পোওেোখ

রমো তজোেোরেোর চেিীর িোিংেো সোচহ য মহখে একচট পচরচি ে

চিচভন্ন পত্রপচত্রকোে প্রকোচশ

তিোট েল্প

বৃকের বোইকর


োাঁর তেখো েল্প প্রিয রমযরিন্ো ই যোচে

হখে িখেখি। চিজ্ঞোখন্র িোত্রী হওেো সখেও চ চন্

সোচহ য ,ন্োটক ,ন্োি ,েোন্ চিষখে তিখেখিেো তর্খকই অ যন্ত আগ্রহী চিখেন্। পরি থী কোখে চ চন্ মঞ্চ উপখেোেী পরীক্ষো চন্রীক্ষো মূেক অন্ুষ্ঠোন্ ও সোচহ য কখমথ চন্খজখক িযোপৃ


এক তপ্ল্ট কোিোি চন্খে এখস তটচিখে রোখে তেোপো । চি ঘুচরখে েরজো তঠেখ ই তেোপো তিন্ো হুইচস্কর েয তপে। সখঙ্গ সখঙ্গই তস িুখঝ তে​ে, আজ ডোিোর সোখহি

ইচ মখযযই িোচি চেখর এখসখি। চঠক

োই, েরজোর মুখখোমুচখ

তসোেোটোে ইন্দ্র িখস আখি – সোমখন্র তটচিখে হুইচস্কর তে​েোস । িচট খুেখ


কুচড ি​ির যখর চেিী ,পচশ্চমিোিংেো এি​িং উত্তর আখমচরকোর


তেোপো চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘চক িযোপোর , আজ এখ ো

োিো োচি িখে এখসখিো ?’

ক্ষখণ ত রী হখে তেখি। একটো িুমক ু চেখে তেোপো

োই িখে এেোম!’

ইন্দ্র সপ্রশিংশ েৃচিখ

স্ত্রীর চেখক

োচকখে একটু তহখস িে​ে – ‘র্োক

ন্ো , তিশ ত ো তেখোখছ !’ সোমখন্র আচশ্বখন্ তেোপো পঞ্চোখশ পিখি। চকন্তু এই িেখসও তেোপোর িুও ইন্দ্রর প্রশিংশোে

তিশ খুশী হখে গুচিখে িসে। একটো কোিোখির টুকখরো মুখখ চেখে ইন্দ্র

তে​েোখস একটো তিোট্ট িুমুক চেখে ইন্দ্র চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘ ুচম তকোর্োে

চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘ ুচম চক মোখঝ মোখঝ এরকম ঘুরখ


আখে ত ো তেখ

হোখ র িযোেটো র্ুপ কখর তসোেোে িূাঁখি তেখে

োর পোখশ যপ কখর

তেোপো িখস পিে। রুমোখে মুখটো মুিখ


এেোর-কচন্ডশন্োখরর চেখক


ুখে একিোর

োচকখে িে​ে – ‘এই িযুখের সোখর্ একটু

ৃচপ্তর ভচঙ্গখ

একিোর ‘আ - - হ’ কখর চন্খেই িে​ে – ‘কোপিটো িদখে আচস ?’

তিহোরো েখর্ি আকষথণীে ! তেোপো তসটো জোখন্।

– ‘হযোাঁ , তপখশি কম চিে, কোজ হখে তে​ে,

োর চিঙ্কও


েোও? মোখন্,

োই িেচি !’

‘হযোাঁ, আজকোে েোই ।’ চক কখরো ? ‘চক আর করখিো ? ঘুখর তি​িোই, চসখন্মো তেচখ, তরস্টুখরখি খোই, এটো

ঘুখর এেোম!’ তেোপোর েৃচি অন্ুসরণ কখর ইন্দ্র িে​ে – ‘চক েরম েোেখি? একটু

-তসটো চকচন্! সিই েোল ু চজচন্স।’

কমোি?’ মোর্ো ন্োিে তেোপো – ‘ন্ো, চঠক আখি! একটু িসখেই ঠোন্ডো

‘ও মো, তসচক?’ ইন্দ্রর তিোখখ-মুখখ চকিুটো তকৌ ক ু , চকিুটো ন্ো তিোঝোর

হখে েোি!’

ভোি, চকিুটো প্রশ্ন চিে চমখশ র্োখক ।

ইন্দ্রখক তিশ চরেোেসড তেখোচছে। তিম্বোর তর্খক চেখর স্নোন্ কখর

‘িো তর , খরিো করখ

একটো পোটভোঙ্গো পোজোমো কু থো পখরখি। সি সমে িযস্ত স্বোমীখক এই

িখে – ‘এই তে

রূখপ তেখোর তসৌভোেয তেোপোর কমই হে। ইন্দ্রর হোখ

করি, তসটো িযিহোর ন্ো কখর তেখে রোখখে ত ো অখর্থর অপিযিহোর

জোন্থোে তন্ই, তেোন্ তন্ই। তিোখখর সোমখন্ চটচভখ

এখন্ তকোন্

চকিু একটো িেখি;


হখিন্ো ?’ তেোপো একটো কোিোখি কোমি চেখে

ুচম চেন্-রো

তখখট তখখট এখ ো টোকো উপোজথন্

োই ন্ো? তসটো ওই কৃপখন্র মোচটর

েোে টোকো পুাঁখ

চকন্তু তসটোও ত মন্ মন্ চেখে তেখখি িখে মখন্ হে ন্ো! তেোপো

িযোপোর হখে েোে! তসই জন্য,

হোচসমুখখ ইন্দ্রর চেখক

তসই টোকো খরিো কখর টোকোর সদিযিহোর কচর।’

োচকখে চিে!

ইন্দ্রর তঠোাঁখটও একটো িোপো হোচস েুখট উঠে। তিোখ আর ভ্রূ একটু ুখে চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘চক, একটো চিঙ্ক তন্খি ন্ো চক ?’ খুচশ হে তেোপো। ঘোি তন্খি িে​ে – ‘চন্খ

পোচর ;

ুচম িোচন্খে তেখি ত ো ?’

ইন্দ্র উখঠ েোাঁিোে । তেোপো একটু ঝুাঁখক হুইচস্কর পোখশ রোখো তিোট িোচটটো তেখখ িে​ে – ‘এ মো , এটো চক খোছ ? েোাঁিোও, আচম ত োমোখক একটো ভোখেো চজচন্স

রোখোর ম

ুচম েো টোকো উপোজথন্ কখরো, আচম

‘আর আমোখের েখন্ েরকোর হখি,

খন্ তকোর্োে পোি?’

‘কম টোকো র্োকখে, েরকোরটোও কম হখি!’ তশষ চসিোন্ত তেিোর ভচঙ্গখ

তেোপো িে​ে।

তেোপোর তকৌ ক ু চপ্রে োর কর্ো ইন্দ্র জোখন্। তস চঠক রোে কখরন্ো; চকন্তু েুচির খোচ খরই িখে – ‘অদ্ভু তে ত োমোর কর্োটোই চঠক,

েুচি ত োমোর! আর েচে যখরও চন্ই িুও এটো ত ো মোন্খি তে আমোখের

িোচন্খে চেচছ!’ ইন্দ্র িোযো চে​ে – ‘আখর ন্ো ন্ো, িোি ! এখন্ আর

টোকোগুখেো উচিখে-পুচিখে ন্ো চেখে েচে তকোন্ অভোিী তেোকখক

চকিু িোন্োখ

তেওেো েোে ত ো

হখি ন্ো!’

তেোপো মুখ হো


িোর্রুখমর চেখক তেখ

আমোর জন্য চিঙ্ক িোন্োখ



িে​ে – ‘ ুচম

আমোর হখে েোখি। মোন্েো সি

ত রী কখর তরখখ তেখি । আচম শুযু একটু েরম করি !’

োর অখন্ক উপকোর হখ

তেোপো েুৎসই একটো উত্তর চেখ দুজখন্রই তিোখ

চেখেও হঠোৎ িুপ কখর েোে!

খন্ চটচভর পেথোে – খিখর

খন্ ভূচমকখম্প চিধ্বস্ত

তন্পোখের িচি তেখচছে। যুচেসযোৎ হখে তেখি ঐচ হোচসক যরহরো চমন্োর , ভগ্নস্তুখপ পচরণ


পোখর !’

হখেখি েরিোর তস্কোেোর। রোস্তোর মোখঝর


িোইখি! িোচরচেখক হোহোকোর – মোচট িোপো পখি তেখি শখে শখে মোন্ুষ, হোসপো োখের মখেথ জোে​েো তন্ই;

োই তখোেো জোে​েোে সোচর

‘তকমন্ তি​িোচে?’ ‘েোরুণ!’

সোচর পখি আখি মোন্ুখষর শিখেহ! ওরই মখযয প্রোণ িোাঁিোখন্োর

‘ভূচমকখম্পর তকোন্ এখেট চিেন্ো?’


‘ন্ো তর, আমরো

োচেখে ন্োক িোপো চেখে পখি আখি ঘরহোরো চেখশহোরো সি

মোন্ুষ! তিোখ সচরখে চন্ে তেোপো। অখন্ক কখি

োর চভ র তর্খক

একটো ‘ইস-স’ তিচরখে এে। ইন্দ্র ডোিোর, মৃ যু খক তস অখন্কিোর খুি কোি তর্খক তেখখখি, মৃ ুযর সোখর্ েিোই কখরখি। চকন্তু এমন্ আকচিক এখ ো তেোখকর অসহোে মৃ ুয ি​ি মমথোচন্তক! এই ভূচমকম্প োখক আিোরও মখন্ কচরখে চে​ে প্রকৃচ র কোখি মোন্ুষ ক ক


অসহোে ! দুজখন্রই হোল্কো েুরেুখর তমজোজটো চমচেখে তে​ে।

তিশ চকিুক্ষণ দুজখন্ই িুপিোপ।

োরপর তেোপোই প্রর্খম িে​ে –

‘ ুচম চঠকই িখেি। েোখের প্রখেোজন্,

োখের কোখিই টোকো পোঠোও ।

ভূচমকখম্প চিধ্বস্ত মোন্ুষগুখেোর এখন্ সোহোেয প্রখেোজন্ !’

ো তভখি তেখখ

হখি। টোকোটোর অপিযিহোর তহোক তসটো আচম িোই

ন্ো।’ গ্লোখস একটো িুমুক চেখে তেোপোর চেখক চেখর প্রশ্ন করে – ‘আছো , ত োমোর মোস খু ো চেচে আর ভগ্নীপচ


খন্ তিোযহে তেখন্ চিেোম,

খি ওখোন্ তর্খক েোসো অখন্কটো েূখর;

ওচেখকই তকোর্োে

চেখেচিে ন্ো? চেখর এখসখি ?’

োই চঠক িুঝখ োই ক্ষে ক্ষচ

চিখশষ চকি তিোখখ পখিচন্!’ ‘অদ্ভু

ত ো! আর এচেখক তন্পোখে চক অিস্থো!’

‘সচ য, খুি খোরোপ েোেখি শুখন্!’ তসচেন্ রোখ

ইন্দ্র িোচি চেরখ ই তেোপো খুশী খুশী মুখখ সুপ্রীচ খের

েোসো তর্খক চেখর আসোর খিরটো চে​ে! ইন্দ্র স্বচস্তর চন্িঃশ্বোস তেখে িে​ে – ‘েোক িোিো, চন্চশ্চন্ত হওেো তে​ে!’ িোখের কোখপ িুমুক চেখ

‘হযোাঁ , এটুকু ত ো করো তেখ ই পোখর । চকন্তু চকভোখি তকোর্োে পোঠোখিো

তিোট েল্প

চিরোট েোটেগুখেো তেন্ অজেখরর মখ ো শহরটোখক চেখে তখখ

পোখশই এ


োরপর মুখ হো


হঠোৎ িখে উঠে – ‘আশ্চেথ, ন্ো ?

ি​ি একটো চিপেথে, এখ ো তেোখকর মৃ য ; অর্ি ওখের

তি​িোখন্োর আন্খন্দখ

চকিুই কম পিে ন্ো !’

‘পিে ত ো! ওই তে এভোখরখস্টর তিস কযোখম্প তেখ ইন্দ্র অিোক হখে তেোপোর চেখক


পোরে ন্ো !’

চকিুটো চিরচি, চকিুটো

ভৎথসন্ো চমচশখে িে​ে – ‘এখ ো ি​ি একটো চিপেথে, একটো তেখশর

‘চেখেচিে ত ো জোচন্। েোসো তি​িোখ

েোখি িখেচিে। এভোখরখস্টর

এখ ো খোচন্ ক্ষে-ক্ষচ , ক

তেোক মোরো তে​ে, আহ

হে, ক


তিস কযোম্পও েোিোর কর্ো চিে। চেখর এখসখি চক ন্ো তস ত ো জোচন্

সিথস্ব হোরোে! আর

ুচম দুিঃখ করি চক ন্ো – তিস কযোখম্প তি​িোন্

ন্ো! আর তিস কযোখম্পর েো অিস্থো তেখোখছ – চকিুই ত ো আর তন্ই !

হেন্ো ? আচম ভোিখ


তেোক মখরখি তক জোখন্ !’

আসখে তেোপোও চঠক ওভোখি কর্োটো িেখ

দুচশ্চন্তোে েযোকোখশ হখে তে​ে তেোপোর মুখ ।

ক্ষুচন্ তস তমোিোইে

তমজোখজ কর্োর চপখঠ কর্ো িেখ

তর্খক মোস খু ো চেচে সুপ্রীচ খক তেোন্ করে।

তেোন্ িয; চকিুই


চকন্তু িেোর পরই

িোে চন্। তন্হোৎ হোল্কো

চেখে তিস কযোখম্পর কর্োটো িখে োর মখন্ হখেচিে – এরকম িেোটো

জোন্ো তে​ে ন্ো। জোমোইিোিু অচখখেশখক তেোন্ করে – তসটোখ ও স্বর

এখকিোখরই চঠক হে চন্। চন্খজর কর্োটো চন্খজর কোখিই তকমন্

তভখস এে – ‘তেোেোখেোে করো েোখছ ন্ো!’ পর চেন্,

হৃে​েহীন্ তশোন্োে। চকন্তু মুখখর কর্ো আর হোখ র

োরও পখরর

ীর তিচিখে তেখে

চেন্ তেোন্ করে তেোপো। তমোিোইখে ন্ো তপখে িোিীর েোইখন্ তেোন্

আর তেরোখন্ো েোে ন্ো। চন্খজর ভুেটো তিোঝো সখেও তেোপোর মোখন্

করে – তসখোখন্ও তকউ তেোন্ ওঠোে ন্ো! ওরো দুজখন্ ন্ো র্োকখে তক

হে, কর্োটো ন্ো হে তস চঠক িখেচন্,


কর্ো িেখি ? এখ োচেন্ যখর

ে ু খি তেোন্? ওখের তিখে তমখে , শ্বশুর শ্বোশুচি , তেওর ন্ন্ে

োই িখে চক ইন্দ্র

তকউই ত ো তন্ই ! তেোপো ওখের িোচির তেোখন্ তমখসজ তরখখ চে​ে।

এই িুঝে ? তিশ , িে​েই েখন্ ,

চকন্তু ওর দুচশ্চন্তোটো আখরো তিখি তে​ে! অখন্ক তভখি চিখন্ত তস

তেখি !

সুপ্রীচ র একজন্ খুি ুখ ো তিোন্খক তেোন্ কখর ওখের খির জোন্োর তি​িো করে। চকন্তু কর্ো িখে তিোঝো তে​ে তে ওরো সুপ্রীচ র তি​িোখ েোিোর খিরটোও জোখন্ন্ো!

তেোন্টো তপখে তেোপো প্রোে েোচেখে উঠে – ‘তকোর্োে চিচে ? চিন্তো কখর কখর মরচি!’ ‘তকন্? তি​িোখ তি​িোখ


খন্ তসও তসরকমই উত্তর

করখি? একটো টুযর তপ্রোগ্রোখম তেখি। অখন্ক তেোখকর িযোপোর । জোে​েোে তরোজ ক

চকিু হখছ, তস চেখক

কোে রোখ

চেখরচি । আজ িোচির তেোখন্

ত োর তমখসজ তপেোম। অখন্কিোর তেোন্ কখরচিচে! চক িযোপোর?’ ‘িযোপোর ত ো ত োখের! এভোখরখস্টর তিস কযোখম্প ভূচমকখম্প ক তেোক মোরো তেখি। আমরো সিোই দুচশ্চন্তোে মরচি! ত োখেরও ত ো ওখোখন্ েোিোর কর্ো চিে!’ ‘হযোাঁ, কর্ো চিে। চকন্তু আমরো েোিোর আখের চেন্ই ভূচমকম্প হে। োই আর েোওেো হখে ওখঠ চন্!’



র্োকখে ত ো আর টুযর তপ্রোগ্রোম িেখিন্ো!’ অচ চরি তজোর চেখে কর্ো িেখ

চেখে তেোপো তেন্ হোাঁচপখে তর্খম

তে​ে! একটু েম চন্খে তসোজো ইন্দ্রর চেখক

েোিোর কর্ো ত ো ত োখক িখেই চিেোম – েোসোখ


খোচন্কটো চজখের িখসই তেোপো প্রচ িোখের সুখর িে​ে – ‘ত ো, চক দুচন্েোর ক

সো /আট চেন্ িোখে চিখকে পোাঁিটো ন্োেোে সুপ্রীচ র তেোন্ এে।

োখক এমন্

োর সখঙ্গ সিংসোর করোর পখরও

োচকখে প্রশ্ন করে –

‘টোকোটো পোচঠখেচিখে?’ িোখে িুমুক চেচছে ইন্দ্র , চিষম তখখে তে​ে। একটু সোমখে চন্খে অিোক তিোখখ চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘চকখসর টোকো ?’ ‘িো তর , ভূচমকখম্পর জন্য . . .’ ‘ওহ তহো!’ মোর্োে একটো িোপি মোরে ইন্দ্র। ‘একেম ভুখে চেখেচিেোম। কচেন্ যখর কোখজর এখ ো িোপ!’ ‘ভুখে চেখেচিখে?’ তেোপো চকচঞ্চৎ তেখষর সুখর িখে – ‘ত োমোর ম হৃে​েিোন্ সিংখিেন্শীে মোন্ুখষর এরকম ভুে হে?’


তিোট েল্প

ইন্দ্রর মোর্োটো েরম হখে তে​ে! ভুখে েোওেোর জন্য উেখট তেোপোখকই

িোচির ন্ীখির রোস্তোর উপখর একটো েোচি আর একটো তমোটরিোইখকর

তেোষোখরোপ করে তস – ‘ ুচমও ত ো মখন্ কচরখে চেখ

মখযয যোেো তেখেখি।

‘তিশ ত ো,

পোরখ !’

ুচম তে ভুখে তেি তসটো আচম চক কখর জোন্খিো?

ো িোিো

আচম মরচি আমোর সখ র েন্ডো ঝোখমেো চন্খে!’

েোচিটো তর্খম তেখি; িোইকটো চিটখক চেখে

রোস্তোর মোঝখোখন্ উেখট পখিখি। এই মূহূখ থ উপর তর্খক আর চিখশষ চকিু তিোঝো েোখছ ন্ো। দুঘথটন্োস্থখের চেখক তেোকজন্ তেৌখি েোখছ। ইচ মখযযই ভীি জখম তেখি।

‘ত োমোর আিোর চকখসর ঝোখমেো? তঘোরো তেরো আর শচপিং করোর চিন্তো ?’

তেোপোর মুখটো েযোকোখস হখে তে​ে। আ ঙ্ক আর উখত্তজন্োে অজোখন্তই তস ইন্দ্রর হো টো আাঁকখি যখরচিে।

‘হোাঁ, এখন্ ত ো এরকম িেখিই । সোরোচেন্ ত ো

ুচম িোচিখ ই র্োক

ন্ো। ত োমোর সিংসোখরর জুখ ো তসেোই তর্খক িচন্ডপোঠ – সিই ত ো আমোখকই তেখখ

হে! তিখেটো একো একো অ

সোরোক্ষণ মন্টো িটেট কখর।

েূখর পখি আখি!

োরপর আিোর সুপ্রীচ খের তকোন্ খির

চজজ্ঞোসো করে – ‘চকিু িুঝখ ‘ক টো চক হখেখি িুঝখ

পোরখিো , চক হখেখি ওখোখন্?’ পোরচিন্ো!’ রোস্তোর চেখক

োচকখে ইন্দ্র

উত্তর চে​ে।

পোওেো েোচছে ন্ো! চিন্তোে চিন্তোে আচম অচস্থর হখে পিচিেোম!’

‘তকউ মখর-টখর চন্ ত ো?’

রোখে অচভমোখন্ তেোপোর তিোখখ জে িখে আসচিে। চন্খজখক সোমখে

এিোর তেোপোর চেখক

চন্খে িে​ে – ‘ত োমোর আর চক? চেচিয েুচ থখ

দুই কোাঁখয হো

আি। তিম্বোর

সেস্তভোখি তস

োচকখে একটুখচন্ হোসে ইন্দ্র। চি​িচে


তরখখ িে​ে – ‘তিোখখর সোমখন্ দুঘথটন্ো তেখখে আমরো

সোমেোখেই হখে তে​ে! চকন্তু , চকছুচট িেোর তজো তন্ই – পেসো

ভে পোই, দুিঃখ পোই। মখন্ পখি েোে জীিন্ ি​ি ক্ষণস্থোেী। চকন্তু

তরোজেোর করি তে ! সিোর মুখ িয।’

একটু পখরই আিোর তস সি ভুখে েোই।

ইন্দ্র এিোর ভীষণ তরখে তে​ে। ে​েো িচিখে যমখক উঠে – ‘ িোখজ কর্ো িেখি ন্ো, িুখঝি ; একেম িোখজ কর্ো িেখিন্ো। মুখ তে ক


িয রোখ তস ত ো তেখখ ই পোচছ! আর তশোন্, পেসো তরোজেোর

করোটো সহজ কোজ ন্ে,

োই ওটো চন্খে ওভোখি তখোাঁটো চেও ন্ো!’

‘হযোাঁ, তসটো আচমও জোচন্ তি চক! আচমও একচেন্ পেসো তরোজেোর কর োম! তেখে র্োকখে এখ ো চেখন্ িযোখঙ্ক েখর্ি ি​ি অচেসোর হ োম । তন্হোৎ ত োমোর সিংসোখরর জন্যই ......’ কর্োে কর্ো িোখি; কর্ো কোটোকোচটখ

েোে​ে। কখি

তকোর্োে তকোন্চেন্ তকোন্খোখন্ তকোন্কোখে িচিশ-পাঁচিশ ি​ির আখে তক চক কখরখি িো কখরচন্, তস সি কর্ো উখঠ এে। একজন্ একটো অচভখেোখের

ীর িুাঁিখ

ন্ো িূাঁিখ ই অন্যজন্ আখরকটো িোকযিোণ

িুাঁখি তে​ে। সুন্দর সোজোখন্ো ঘখরর রচঙ্গন্ তেওেোে, হোল্কো তেখসর পেথো, তেওেোখে তঝোেোন্ িচিগুখেো – সি তেন্ চেখক

টস্থ হখে ওখের

োচকখে র্োখক। ওরো দুজন্ তকোন্ চকিু গ্রোহয কখরন্ো – দুখটো

রোেী তি​িোখের মখ ো মুখমুচখ েোাঁচিখে েুাঁসখ তেোেোর ম

শব্দ গুখেো এ ওর চেখক িুাঁিখ

র্োখক, আর আগুখন্র র্োখক। চকিুক্ষণ এরকম

িেোর পর এক সমে কর্ো িয হখে েোে!

ইন্দ্র ডোন্ হো

চেখে কপোখের রেদুখটো তিখপ যখর

তিোখটো িয করে। তেোপো আাঁিখের তকোন্ো চেখে তিোখটো একটু মুখি চন্খে ইন্দ্রর িয তিোখখর চেখক তিোখখর আগুন্ চস্তচম

তেোপো তকোন্ উত্তর চে​ে ন্ো। িুপিোপ

োচকখেচিে ওর মুখখর চেখক।

একটু চিষণ্ণ তহখস ইন্দ্রই আিোর িে​ে – ‘আসে কর্ো চক জোন্ তেোপো, আমরো সিোই তে েোর চন্খজর িৃখত্ত তিাঁখি র্োচক। আমোর সুখদুিঃখ, আমোর রুচজ-তরোজেোর, আমোর আন্ন্দ-তিেন্ো, আমোর িোওেোপোওেো ভোিন্ো-চিন্তো – সি চকিুখ

শুযু আচম, আচম, আচম! আচম

িোে চেখে েো চকিু সিই তসখকন্ডোরী!’ এিোর তটচিখের উপর তর্খক ুখে চন্খে ইন্দ্র িে​ে – ‘তেোপো , আচম একটু ন্ীখি

েোচছ!’ িচকখ

এচেখে এখেো তেোপো। – ‘ চু ম েোখি এখন্? েচে তকোন্

ঝোখমেোে পখি েোও?’ তেোপোর কর্োগুখেো তকমন্ আ থন্োখের ম তশোন্োে। একটু হোসে ইন্দ্র। েরজোর চেখক এখেোখ


িে​ে – ‘আচম

একচজন্ ডোিোর , তেোপো!’ েরজো খুখেও মূহূখ থর জন্য র্মখক েোাঁচিখে তে​ে ইন্দ্র। তিচরখে েোিোর আখে চেখর েোাঁচিখে তেোপোর তিোখখ তিোখ তরখখ িে​ে – ‘ আমোখের চন্খজখের তিোট তিোট িৃত্তগুখেোর িোইখরও জীিন্ র্োখক, তেোপো !’

দুজখন্র তিোখখ তিোখ। সম্ভি িঃ ওরো দুজখন্ই সচঠক কর্োটো হো খি তি​িোচছে।

একটো েীঘথশ্বোস তেখে ইন্দ্র হঠোৎই তর্খম েোে ।


ঝেিো িোিখ

খন্ ঝগিো, মোরোমোচর !...’

োকোে । কখেক মূহূখ থ তেোপোর

হখে এে । ইন্দ্র তিোখ খুে​ে ।

তেোপো আর তকোন্ প্রচ িোে করে ন্ো । ইন্দ্র তিচিখে তে​ে । অিসন্ন ভোখি তেোপো একটো তসোেোে িখস পিে। ওর িয তিোখখর সোমখন্ অখন্কগুখেো তিোট তিোট িৃত্ত ঘুরখ


োরপর এক সমে

তসগুখেো এখক অপখরর সোখর্ চমখে চেখে একটো মস্ত ি​ি িৃত্ত ত রী করে। তসই চিরোট তেোখের মখযয অখন্ক জঙ্গে, পোহোি, অখন্ক ন্েী

এমন্ সমে িোচির চঠক ন্ীখির রোস্তো তর্খক একটো েোচির চিকট

-ন্োেো, আর অখন্ক অখন্ক মোন্ুষ! তসই অসিংখয মোন্ুখষর ভীখি

তজোখর তেক করোর শব্দ তভখস এে! দুজখন্ই িমখক তে​ে। ঝগিো

তেোপো চন্খজখক খুাঁজখ

র্োচমখে কখেক মূহূখ থর জন্য পরপখরর মুখখর চেখক ওরো।

োচকখে রইে

োরপর তেোপো আর ইন্দ্র দুজখন্ই প্রোে একই সোখর্ তেৌখি তে​ে

েোে​ে । ***

জোন্োেোর কোখি।



Brindarica Bose, mum of Adhrit and Jeet, lives with her husband in Wohlen, Aargau. Working as Publications Manager since last 11 life beyond the mundane, and find beauty in day to day life, is her passion and zeal. Contact: (

Introduction This story is about today’s women; their names have been picked from history. All three women in this story —Shakuntala, Draupadi and Sita; belong to the 21st century, and yet, sometimes they wonder if they are living the lives of their namesakes. The story goes like this—Shakuntala Mitra is a housewife in her mid-forties. She lives in a in a small Swiss village in Basel Land, called Therwil, with her husband Dushyanta and teenage son Bharat. They recently moved into their new three storied house. When Shakuntala posted photos of their house on Facebook—posing on the staircase, living room, garden etc., everyone gaped and wondered. It was a pretty house with lace curtains, red roof and a huge garden. Those Facebook photos carried smiling faces, and not the frowns and aches Shakuntala bore the burden of every day. She complained to her husband, day and night , that instead of being the mistress of the house, she had become its slave— spending hours on its beautification and maintenance. Shakuntala’s younger sister, Draupadi Datta, is in her late thirties. She lives in Delhi and has been recently promoted to the position of the Vice President of Marketing in a leading,multinational Bank. She has two school going kids, and a very active and stressful life. But this stress, is not a byproduct of her multiple duties, rather a repercussion of dealing with the internal politics in her office. The Durjodhan and Karna of her office are keen to stop her—and constantly try to bully or pick on her just to derail her career. But then, when a woman has a


Teen Kanya


years, she also teaches fine arts in Migros Klubschule. To live a

strong partner in her marriage, and is strong willed herself, others can barely touch her. Draupadi’s husband, Krishna (and here comes the twist), is not only her best friend but also her staunch supporter. It is a match made by her parents, they chose /selected him from the Probasi Bengali matrimonial section of Anandabazaar, nine years ago. The third character in this story is Sita, who enters the plot late. The story starts here.

Shakuntala, wiped her wet hands on her apron and picked up her cup of tea, and took a sip. It was 9:40 am, and her waist was already aching from pulling weeds out of the flower beds. The tall grasses were bent over and sparkling with dew. The luggage train chugged, rattled behind the garden, in the station just few meters away. The hillside vineyards of Basel Land glowed a smug, wealthy green. She closed the garden door and slumped onto the sofa, and picked up the phone. She mentally calculated the time in India, and then dialled her sister’s land line. Today was Mahavir Jayanti, a bank holiday, so her sister would perhaps be at home. The phone rang twice and then her sister, Draupadi, whom she fondly called ‘Bonti’ picked up the phone, and the following conversation ensued.

Telephone Conversation Draupadi: “Hain Didi bol.” Shakuntala: “Ei, tore aaj chuti tai bhablam call kori,

ranna korechish, na baire khabi aaj?”



Draupadi: “Hain, thik, a much needed break. Actual-

“Musician hoya amar bhagge lekha nei.”

ly, Krishna has taken both kids to Pizza Hut, I stayed back, because I had a migraine. Ekhune better, have taken an Aspirin C. Oi, just ektu officer kaaj shesh korechilam…”

Some background information for the reader:

Shakuntala: “Bonti, you need to slow down, migraine

hocche beause of your stressful life, janish to sheta. Ma, said the other day, that you have now also joined a NGO?” Draupadi: “Didi, multitasking is every woman’s

strength and weakness too, taina? Ma, must have also mentioned that this NGO trains village women to make handicrafts, which we then sell across shopping malls in Delhi and distribute 100% of the profit back to these under-privileged women. In fact, a friend approached me for a bank loan related to a project funding for this NGO, and that is how I got involved….” “Didi, where is Bharat, school e?” Shakuntala: “Hain, hain, tai to

ektu shomaye pelam.” “I don’t work in an office, do no voluntary work and yet, this house, husband and son, takes up all my time.” “Sometimes I feel these white walls are conspiring against me and saying, ‘Look, look, she is a foreigner in our home, what is she doing in this house?’ Sometimes I feel nervous, alone in this huge house. There is so much work Bonti, hundred times more than what we had in our rented apartment.” Draupadi: “Didi, why don’t you hire a maid?” Shakuntala: (sigh). “Arey, last time when my waist

pain lasted over a week, I asked your Jamai Babu the same, but he looked at me with some mockery, as if I was a queen sitting in a throne doing all day nothing, and said, ‘A little exercise will help you lose your extra weight’. At my insistence, he bought me a robot vacuum cleaner last month, but Bonti, this small device rotates, and stops at each floor and then I have hitch it upstairs. It stops and buzzes and I have to leave my work and check on it like a toddler at home.” Draupadi: “Didi, did you start your riyaz?” Shakuntala: “Naah” Then she added with pain in her voice only half hidden,


Shakuntala’s husband, Dushyantu, prior to their marriage, first spotted Shakuntala in an inter-college music contest in Lucknow. Being an ardent music lover himself, he wasted no time in getting acquainted with this beautiful Hindustani classical vocalist and they were inseparable for almost five years before they tied the knot. All those years, he had encouraged her to sing and practise her life-long passion for music. After fifteen years of marriage, somehow that relationship changed. His gradual shift towards austerity and his need to be the cynosure of his wife’s entire attention , ultimately made her give up her music. She eventually stopped taking part in the Indian diaspora events. The harmonium was shifted from their bedroom to the cellar, and stayed there forever. Even if the house was empty, she felt her husband’s disapproving eyes, all around her. Draupadi: “Didi, don’t worry, I

know one day you will start your riyaz again. Don’t give up.” “Remember Didi, I told you about ‘Durjodhan’ and ‘Karan’ in my office? Mr. Bhatti, who is in HR, and Mr. Pal, Operations VP? Well, this time they crossed the limit!” “ For the last five years , they have always tried to block me, pick on me, not sanction a project on some pretense, or pass snide remarks whenever I had to stay back late in the office for presentations, well yesterday they issued a ‘Notice’.” “Basically, you see, they feel that a woman’s place is at home, and if she works she should be nice, and remain a subordinate to men—irrespective of their intellectual or emotional competency.” “You won’t believe, yesterday, just because some of the women in my department planned to wear high heels to work together, Mr. Bhatti issued a notice saying that high heels are banned at work , he stood in the middle of the marketing department and started ranting in his puffy voice, ‘Notice issued by HR to be effective from today: Ladies are banned from wear ing high heels, since it diverts employees’ attention and the company is not liable for any accident caused due to wearing high heels in the office.‘


Shakuntala: “Bonti, yes, sometimes I too wish that I

Shakuntala: “Hmm. Ta tora ki koreli? Did you recip-

“You know, I didn’t want any conflict and accepted life on his terms. Bharat, I hope will be more open minded when he grows up. But I fear sometimes, he may turn out just like his father…”

rocate?” Draupadi: “My female colleagues and I laughed at

the notice, took a pic and posted it online on my Facebook page with a smiley—‘Joke of the day – xx men’s last attempt to bully ☺’. And, my male colleagues have now planned to wear shoes with heels at office next week. They are planning to do a tapdance in-front of Pal and Bhatti Sirs’ office.” (Both sisters started laughing at that point). Shakuntala: “Bonti, sabdhaan, don’t pick fights with

these men. Chose your battle shona, don’t fight them all.” Draupadi: “Didi, in real life there is no big battle,

had some ‘purpose’ in my life. I could have started a music school. But whenever I broached that topic in the past, your Jamai Babu said, ‘Am I not earning enough?’”

Draupadi: “Didi, sometimes I feel, just like my name,

I too have five husbands—my Krishna, my job, my kids, NGO and my dance. They all snare me, and care for me in their own ways.” “I am Draupadi, I have seen it all.” “I see women in my office who still flinch at scrutiny, and these men find their prey easily. My office and my day to day life is my battle fieldDidi.” “And my pursuit of happiness is driven by a strong sense of justice—small or big.”

Kurukshetra is just an accumulation of several small battles that we have to fight daily; sometimes for ourselves, and sometimes for others.

Shakuntala: “Don’t get so worked up Bonti, or you

I don’t believe in unquestioned obedience, just to satisfy someone’s ego. You know how strongly I feel about unfairness and pettiness of thoughts, be it in a man or a woman. If we all decide to stay nice and smile when these middle aged men bully us, then we do lose our dignity, Didi.

Draupadi: “You mean, our old neighbour Janak

I will stay quiet at a villager who may catcall on the road, because he is uneducated and uncultured; but if someone who knows me for so many years tries to play dirty politics, then I shall let them know, that they have hired a Bengal tigress and invited her to join their circus. ” (Both sisters laughed at that).

will get another migraine. Let’s talk about something else. By-the-way, did you hear about Sita?” Jethu’s daughter, who got married and left for the US? ” Shakuntala: “Yes, exactly. Ma was telling me the oth-

er day, that after 14 years of marriage, she was accused of having an affair with one of her writers, you remember, she was working in a publishing agency in NY. Well, she took a transfer to her Oxford office in UK with her two sons Lub and Kush, almost 9 now; and settled down there. Apparently, her husband flew down from the US to the UK to apologise to her, but Sita, handed him her divorce papers instead and asked him to leave.”

“Didi, because of my recent promotion to VP Marketing, their behaviour is becoming more and more ridiculous day by day.”

Draupadi: “Such a pity, that Sita di’s life had to end

“I still remember, on the first day when I joined the office , Mr Bhatti told me “Perhaps you want to take a transfer to Finance and HR department. When I asked him why, he floundered, became inarticulate and then looked at me slyly and said, ‘Marketing and Sales is not for Women’.

least you should not think this way. A woman’s happiness should not be bound to her marital status; it should remain independent.”

He watched my face intently for some reaction. I just smiled, picked up my papers and closed the door behind. I could sense his irritation, which came from his first loss. This man’s puerile sense of humour tickled my funny bone and I knew right there and then, that I would excel at this job no matter what.”

(And the doorbell kept ringing ting-tong, ting-tong).


this way…” Shakuntala: “Bonti, you are a modern woman, at

Draupadi: “Love you Didi, yes you are right. I have

to go, the doorbell is ringing, Krishna and kids must be back. Bye!” ***



“Didi, he and Pal, are not only covertly interested in what we do, but also what we wear, and the silliest of all—on what we write on our Facebook posts! Bhatti actually tries to monitor my posts, which is— ‘utterly-butterly ridiculous’! Taina Didi?”


Likes football, swimming, skiing and watches Italian or Persian movies. But due to his two entanglements -Adhrit & Jeet- finds lesser time to do so. In a parallel universe he would have been a pro hockey player or martial artist. Thus, he is an engineer (ETH)/MBA and has been working on automation projects in pharmaceuticals/chemicals for over a decade.

One-way ticket to the MOON!



he nearer Sam was reaching towards Calcutta, the more his irritation grew. First of all the name. Blimey, how could you rename a cosmopolitan city into an unmerciful and outlandish Kolkata? Nomen est Omen, a self-fulfilling prophecy into a declining inconspicuousness. From Europe till Dubai there is discipline, etiquette, civilization and peace. Sam’s heart rate started to increase, as soon as he saw incarnated Bollywood villains in Al Maktoum’s airport lobby. They flaunted colorful Raymond suits, thick moustaches and even thicker golden wrist chains. Constantly they shared their i-Phone conversations in a loud voice, subconsciously telling everyone: “See, I am not making any Hawala1 transactions.“ Meanwhile, their wives were in a shopper’s paradise, storming the jeweller’s as if there was a 70% discount sale. After all, the vulgar display of gold ornaments and precious stones during religious festivities was ‘society’s’ tradition “back home”. A common sight on Al Maktoum’s premises is the Indian executive, busy dragging four trolley bags, two duty-free bags, and a healthy wife 300 meters away struggling to tow her own weight. On each bag you may find a self-made 72 font size address sticker, i.e.

Joydeep was flabbergasted. Sam’s irritation grew to a nightmare (proper) once he boarded the Emirates plane EK570. Forget the grandfather, who tried to desperately stash a very large cardboard box (containing a TV) into the overhead bin, or the 101 babies starting to whine unanimously, or the restrooms soon looking and smelling like a familiar desi urinal. No one paying attention to safety instructions was seriously funny, but some “gentlemen” indulging in lewd conduct towards air hostesses was not menschy. Enduring a torture for 4 hours, Sam landed at Netaji International Airport. Leaving the aircraft, the humidity, hot air and an uncanny smell almost knocked him down. After filling up half a dozen forms, he finally faced the Customs officer. Customs officer: “ That’s you in the passport photograph?” Sam: “Yes, that is me.” Customs officer: “But you look different now.” Sam: “Sure, because I left a plane full with fellow Indians after 4 hrs.” Customs officer: “I understand.” (He really did). Customs officer: “Your signature on declaration form is different from that on passport.” Sam: “I don’t see any difference.” Customs officer: “Ok, next time try to imitate your original signature better.” Customs officer: “Profession of your grand-father?” Sam: “He was a teacher.”

Why would Sam correlate these titanic address stickers always with loose ICBMs2 ?

Customs officer: “Are you related to Netaji?”

The view of stuffed duty-free bags reminded Sam of his own duty. Not that he liked to gift 20 packets of Marlboro cigarettes, Chanel perfumes or Bag Piper whiskey, but this time, his cousin Joydeep from Kolkata (proper) had specifically invited himself to “at least 1l of world-class, high-percentage alcohol”. In return, Joydeep had asked in a Skype-session what gift Sam wished to take from India. When he said “I’d like to hear a kirtan bhajan3 in a Gurudwara” ,

Customs officer: “Oh, then proceed immediately!”


Sam: “Yes, I am.”

Joydeep, his cousin, was one of those IT-guys who had made dough like hay by starting up 2 ventures and then selling them. Joydeep cruised fast and precisely like an Agni-V towards Sam and lifted him off the ground. Joydeep: “Eiiish Sameer da, you look skinny like a vegetarian.”


Knowing that you always have to say something critical and surprising in Bengal for starters, he continued. Sam: “Eiiish, Jay, your hair is receding, what happened?” Joydeep: “Leave this Sameer da, being a vegan will hamper your energy level. Where will you get your proteins from? Look at those meat-eater Pakistanis, how they beat those vegetarian Lankans red and blue in the last cricket test match. They were like tigers pounding on vegetarian, weakling antelopes. Sam: “A vegetarian elephant or even a midsized gorilla will crush the bones of your tiger one by one. What about those vegetarian Indians beating Pakistan in T20, or are you siding with Pakistan?” Joydeep : “Bah, Pakistanis, we are sooo... different across the LOC4. They read from right to left, we read from left to right. They like sand, we like water. They don’t eat pig, we don’t eat cow (wrong by definition, since he himself had beef vindaloo). They are believers, we are seekers. They like the moon, we like the sun.” Sam: “But genetically and culturally they are pretty much the same as us.” Joydeep: “Chi, how do you know they are same, have you been to Karachi? Why don’t you go there and see for yourself? Anyway, we are not competing with them. We are comparing with China and the US of A. Have you seen our world-class Netaji International Airport? We have sent the Mangalyaan orbiter to Mars at 1/9th of what NASA spent. We are building smart cities, bullet trains and soon we will be a super power.”

Sam: “Cut the crap. What do you mean by “we”? India is lagging behind even Bangladesh in some Human Development Indices5. How many ODF6 districts do you have nationwide. In WB, just one (Nadia). This is stunting the growth of 600 million people. What happened to the Clean Ganga mission? Nevertheless, the new airport is nice. But are the restrooms clean?” Joydeep: “We have bathrooms.” Sam: “Then, I am not going, it’s not clean enough. I’ll hold it back, like I have been for the last 4 ½ hours”. Joydeep: “Holding back is not good for your health.” Sam: “Where is that written?” Joydeep: “It’s written in your bladder. And besides, it will take another 2 hrs to reach home.” Sam: “2 hrs for 40 kms, Jesus, are you kidding me?” Joydeep: “It’s including traffic jam.” ***

Footnotes: 1 Hawala: Illegal money transfer system , primarily

used in Middle East, Eastern Africa and Indian Subcontinent 2 ICBM: Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles 3 Bhajan: devotional song in a Sikh Temple 4 LOC: Line of actual Control in Jammu & Kashmir 5 Human Development Indices: mean years of

schooling (female), life expectancy at birth, maternal mortality ratio etc. Source: 2015 Global Human Development Report, Work for Human Development, UNDP 6 ODF: Open Defection Free

#radicaltraditions The long rule of the British Raj had its role to play in the rising prominence of Durga Puja as moneyed zamindars sought to outdo each other when it came to the extravagance of the celebrations and impress their colonial rulers. Urban legend has it that Lord Clive and the East India Company victory over Nawab Siraj udDawlah at the Battle of Plassey (Palashi is a village in Nadia, West Bengal) led to the modern celebration of Durga Puja being born in Kolkata. So unprecedented was Clive’s victory that he found himself attributing it to divine intervention. The prevailing circumstances made it impossible for Clive to make his way to church (Palashi’s only church had apparently been destroyed by the Nawab’s soldiers). At this crucial juncture, the zamindar Raja Nabakrishna Deb, intervened and suggested that Clive offer up his prayers to the Goddess Durga instead. The British victory over Bengal was celebrated at the zamindar’s mansion , Shobhabajar Rajbari, in Kolkata. It is said that this is why the famous Shobhabajar Rajbari puja is still known as the ‘Company Puja’. It is said that Ma Durga herself comes to Shobhabajar Rajbari in the evenings, to listen to the music.




Sam: “I am a vegan.”


Indira Acharya is the daughter of Shubhrakanti and Suparna Acharya and big sister to Ranak. The soon-to-be 17 year old likes spending her time reading stories, listening to music and catching up with friends.

I must be dreaming”, was the first thing I thought when I got to my senses. It couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes since I’d awoken; yet it seemed like hours. Everything appeared so surreal. The ocean in its entire beauty in front of me and the sound of the crashing waves. The piles of junk scattered around everywhere and the sand beneath my feet and in my clothes. “There is no way that this is possible.” Still, my dry mouth and aching limbs could not be denied. The sun was shining with all its might and I might’ve even enjoyed the wonderful weather as such if it weren’t for the fact that I had never come to this place. After surpassing the initial shock I frantically tried to come to a conclusion. Then it clicked and I don’t know if the answer brought any sense of relief. My mother always used to tell me stories when I was a child. One of them was the story of a huge island, invisible to human eyes but still existent. Your homework you just couldn’t find? Those particular earrings you knew you kept somewhere? That one old dress of yours, that seemed to have disappeared? They all ended up there. The fascination for that mysterious Island used to overwhelm me when I was younger. With age I put it down as yet another impossible foolish fantasy small kids like to entertain. Never would I have imagined waking up one day stranded on the beach of that very Island. “Help!”, I heard a distant cry. Still dazed by my discovery I slowly turned around in the direction this call was coming from. “Help! Somebody! Anybody! Help!”, a clearly masculine voice shouted. Of course I had noticed the lack of any signs of life. Now that I did hear the sound of another being I should’ve felt relieved. Instead - I was petrified. It was as if my heart stopped for a moment only to beat ten times faster than before. Eyeing the piles of rubbish around me I searched for something I could use as a weapon. I grabbed a small pen lying around and held it firmly in my right hand while my left hand was free as I yelled back: “Hey!” Not very original. For a little while it was quiet apart from the noises of the sea and my own quickened breathing. “Marco!”, the voice seemed to be a lot closer than before. Rather than being afraid I frowned. Was he serious? Well in some way it was an intelligent decision to use a chil-


The Island of the Lost dren’s game to find another person, I had to give him that. “Marco!”, he repeated, voice breaking from the obvious strain. I hesitated till I made up my mind. “Polo!” Again silence fell over the island. How come there were no birds? Suddenly, as if my thoughts had fuelled them, I heard chirping sounds from the forest to my left and everything seemed a lot less lonelier at once. An unexpected noise interrupted my thoughts. The rustling of leaves and breaking twigs made my eyes dart and I gripped the pen in my hand tighter if that was possible, making my knuckles turn white. Slowly, I inched forward. I jumped as a tall figure fell out of the bushes! I failed to supress a gasp escaping from my lips. The man didn’t seem to notice though, heavily panting and his back facing me. “Marco…”, the hopelessness in the guy’s voice and how his shoulders sagged forward made me feel guilty and I dropped my already raised arm with the pen. “Polo”, my quiet murmur made him leap and turn around with a frightening speed. I must say I was quite startled when I first saw into the face of the mysterious man. Bright blue eyes were piercing into my own wide-open brown ones. A smile crept along his features breaking out into a broad toothy grin. Even though a heavy burden fell off my chest (since this wasn’t an Island monster!), I couldn’t help but feel wary towards the entire situation. Perhaps, that’s why I was even more overwhelmed when the stranger threw his arms around me and engulfed me in a tight hug. Being the awkward, emotionallyguarded person I am, I was not used to casual hugs and wasn’t expecting one from a completely random guy. Maybe he noticed my sudden stiffness for he let go as fast as he hugged me and self-consciously cleared his throat. “I’m sorry for that, I’m Jackson, pleased to meet you”, he rambled, extending his hand while introducing himself as formally as a giant stumbling over his own words could. Was this some kind of trick? Maybe this was just his tactic to fool me into trusting


“Call me Alex”, I muttered and awkwardly shook his hand with my left. He eyed me cautiously. “What’s with the ballpoint pen?”, he asked. “A weapon” - I locked eyes with him confidently. I wasn’t expecting the following loud guffaw though. “What could you do with that little…“, he started coming closer to me than I would’ve tolerated and my instincts reacted immediately. I ducked quickly, scooped up a hand full of sand and chucked this into his face! While he was stumbling back, covering his eyes, I kicked-out his legs beneath him – he tumbled and I brought my arm with the pen near to his throat. “I could plunge this pen into your throat and you would die while choking on your own blood”, I growled as dangerously as I could. While he was lying there vigorously rubbing his eyes, muttering curses under his breath, I took my time studying his appearance. His black hair was sticking to his sweaty forehead, lanky pale arms crossed over his face. He looked quite lean though, definitely fitter than me. I sighed and stood up. I was wasting time and I needed to find resources. I started to walk off when I felt a firm grip on my ankle and immediately lost my balance, face planting into the sand. “I guess we’re even, Alex”, I could practically hear the smirk he had on his stupid face. Angrily I got to my feet and shot him a glare. Then I stormed into the forest. “There has to be a stream somewhere”, my tongue had never been so dry before. I had been since ages now. “Thirsty?” That cheerful tone was mocking my agony again. “Where did you come from?”, I groaned, not turning around to face him. I thought he’d vanish after I basically threatened to kill him. “Not happy to see me?” The sadness in his voice must’ve been sarcastic. I didn’t even know the guy but I started despising him already. “I even brought you a present!”. For someone who was so shy to introduce himself he seemed very sardonic. No-one is that kind after being brutally attacked. Then I heard the sloshing sound of liquid and spun around. He was leaning against a tree holding a green coconut, head tilted back and pouring the water down his throat, face full of bliss. “Where did you get that from?”, I practically screeched, wanting to tear the


precious fruit out of his hands. “Look around you.” And then I looked up only to find the branches full of colours. Different fruits I had never seen hung from the trees tempting me to eat them. “Here”. I turned towards Jackson – he was smiling and handing me a coconut. I eagerly snatched it out of his hands and chugged the sweet water down in a frenzy - most of it landing on my shirt - but I didn’t care. Finally, my thirst was quenched! I looked up to see the weirdo grinning, seeming quite satisfied with himself. “Wait, how did you even open this one?”, I questioned. He just pointed towards an old blue backpack I hadn’t even noticed at the beginning from which a heavy cleaver was poking out. He slung it over his shoulder and spoke. “So I guess we should find something to eat!” I just sort of nodded before he grasped my hand and tried pulling me along. I immediately jerked my hand free. “I can walk by myself twat”. I hissed and he groaned. “Don’t get lost then”, he said worriedly. Yeah, as if he cared. I wanted to give some sort of comeback but with all the twigs hitting my face I just gave up and reluctantly followed him. “How do you even know where you’re going?”, I called out to him honestly curious. “I don’t!”, he replied cheerfully. I groaned. How weird was it that we were the only people here. It was actually really difficult to talk while walking uphill, not only because of the effort but for there were things everywhere, it was unthinkable. “The island must be huge if all lost things end up here”, I muttered only to run into Jackson who’d stopped abruptly. “Wha-“ “Look”, he interrupted me and pointed in front of him. I was completely dumbfounded There was a small waterfall flowing into a clear stream, surrounded by various kinds of plants and trees, small caves and farther away a cliff. “Sweet paradise!”, Jackson cried and dropped himself in the sand and pulled off his shoes to reveal mismatching socks. Then he tossed those away too and immersed his feet in the water. I remained in the same place I was, facing his back. “Did you know drinking too much coconut water can kill you? It’s often used as senicide in India. Thank goodness we found this place!”, he blubbered happily and laughed, completely out of context. When I didn’t join him he stopped. “Come on with those clothes you must be dying from the heat.” I looked down myself. Considering I was clad in black from head to toe except not wearing any



him and then eat me when I was least prepared to fight back! My mind went into a spiral of conspiracy thoughts, every nerve in my body alert, remembering the pen I still had in my hand. “What’s your name?”, the guy, Jackson, asked politely, interrupting my dark thoughts. Should I tell him my real name? What chance did we have of ever getting off this Island anyway and him using it against me? But I never really liked my real name...


shoes he was right. I wonder how I ended up in my normal clothes. My feet were blistering and with a heavy sigh I dumped myself next to him. Slowly I dipped my feet into the cool water and relished the feeling. “So… Depending how long we’re here only eating fruit won’t be enough. And the nights might get cold and even though the water seems pure we should boil it to kill of any bacteria so let’s get started!” He jumped up ready to go hunting or whatever he had planned. I scowled at him. “What do you mean how long we’re here? We magically ended up on an island! There can’t be a way back. The only possible solution why we’re the only ones here must be because”, I stopped mid-rant when realization hit me, “they’re all dead.” I started panicking. “We’re going to die!”, I screamed losing my cool when the first sob shook me. Immediately Jackson leaped to my side. He hesitantly looked at me, not knowing what to do awkwardly patting my back. I didn’t have the energy to swat his hand away. “What do you know about this island Alex?” So I told him.

presence of mind to survive. Even after I pushed him away, he never left. He was a fighter. I had made up my mind. No matter how eerie the whole situation was and how I still wasn’t willing to trust Jackson; he deserved to get off this island and I would ensure that. Each day we went searching for practical things, after Jackson’s storage in his bag was coming to an end. With the spears Jackson had carved out of wood, catching fish was easy. At first I almost backed out of killing the poor creatures but the hunger was stronger. With the sea water I quickly learnt how to make very bad fish soup but combined with all the fruits it wasn’t that awful of a diet. Jackson had extensive knowledge about plants and could always name them. One day, we found watermelons and cucumbers and, on another - mangoes, passion fruit and pomegranates. Coconuts grew everywhere - green ones and ripe brown ones, just like bananas. Then there were things I’d never seen before. One of them was breadfruit. At first I didn’t understand the enthusiasm with which Jackson had showed me this green-yellowish ball but, if prepared right, it tasted wonderful!

My stomach churned at what he was implying.

One day, as I searched for wood, it slowly dawned upon me that I had begun to enjoy myself! Over the past few days, the only things that held importance were what to eat and where to sleep - things that would bring comfort. I had forgotten about the life I led at home. The shouting. Not being good enough. Having nobody to rely on. Closing myself off to the world and leading a life I never wanted in the first place. The small bits of happiness I had collected recently disappeared quickly. I wanted sleep to rule over my senses and carry me into an oblivion but it was early morning and far too hot for that. So I trudged on, continuing my search. Everyday new things appeared but the sign I found on this fateful day turned my life upside down again.

“I am not going to talk about my feelings with you!”

“Alex? Alex! Where are you?”

“Fine. Then let’s secure our survival first!" His willingness to let go of this topic and his sudden outburst of motivation surprised me.

It must’ve been hours since I’d cowered down into the dirt, doing nothing but staring up at the sky.

After hearing my story he seemed deep in thought. I almost felt bad for him. At least I knew from the beginning that there wasn’t any hope. “So we just have to find ourselves again, huh?”, he murmured. I snorted. “Yeah right, how do you want to do that?” “I guess we should talk”, Jackson stared at me expectantly. “About what?”, I asked bewildered. “Well… do you know why we’re lost?”, he enquired.

I stared at him. He was handling the situation very calmly. “How long have you already been here Jackson?” He shrugged. “I guess a few days before I met you?” Suddenly fondness overcame me for him. He was absolutely alone when he came here and he didn’t even know why. How scared must he have been? How long had he been calling out for help, each time losing more hope but not giving up? Still he had the


“Alex!”, Jackson’s face came into my vision. I felt numb. “Alex what happened? Come on talk to me”, he begged me, desperation in his eyes. Weakly I pointed in the direction of a massive wooden signpost that read: ALL THAT IS LOST WILL ONE DAY BE FOUND HERE THOSE ONCE LOST MUST FIND THEMSELVES AGAIN SHOULD THEY FAIL - THEY WILL BE DOOMED PART OF THE ISLAND THEY WILL BECOME


“I guess we need to talk about our feelings whether you want to or not”, the sudden determination in his voice tore me out of my despair. I scoffed: “Yes… that’ll make us find purpose, right? Don’t you get it? The only one who’ll probably make it is you Jackson! You’re always happy, always smiling, nothing can shake you. Just look at me! There is nothing that can save me. I have no reason to exist!”, I was shouting at him now, shaking in anger. Then apathy took over. “I should have never been born”, with each thought I felt lighter. Something was leaving me. “Alex! Snap out of it!”, Jackson looked at me full of fear. I didn’t understand till I saw my hands. I was dissolving. I smiled. At least this wasn’t painful. “Listen to me Alex! You might think nobody needs you but that isn’t true! I need you. I am just as lost as you are, but I will not give up hope! I finally found a friend in you and I will not lose you Alex! Remember the first time you caught a fish, you screamed out loud, victorious, and scared off all the other fish. It wasn’t even that big but you were so proud. You have dimples when you smile. Or that time we found carrots and onions. The fish broth tasted heavenly. Its amazing how you can make it taste like that, even without any spices! When I brought back paper and pencils, you sketched the waterfall and were a picture of serenity. And the drawing was so lively! Just the way you are so alive. You are alive and I know that sometimes everything is terrible, but it’s not. It’s what you make out of the situation. You can either let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. It’s not always going to be like this. There are so many things to look forward to. Please Alex, don’t leave me.” I don’t know why, but something made me want to come back. Maybe it was just to prove to Jackson that I cared, that I started liking the childlike outlook he had, his excitement. Maybe it was because of the way many people had left me - I didn’t want to inflict the same pain on him. He’d always been kind to me and I had often mistaken this as sarcasm or sass. But he meant it. “Don’t worry, even though I still hate you, you won’t get rid of me that easily”. His hanging head shot up


and he looked at me with awe. I pretended I didn’t see the tears in his eyes. “Stop staring at me like that and come here”, I spread my arms open motioning for a hug. He leaped into my arms tackling me to the ground with the sheer force. “Oh my god you are worse than a dog”, I laughed and held him tightly. “I thought you were gone”, he whispered shakily into my shoulder. “Well I’m not. And now that that’s clear, let go!”, I awkwardly freed myself from his grip. “Okay”, he said delightfully. A faint blush crept up my cheeks. “Alex… You there?”, he snapped his fingers in front of my face. “Yes, stop that and get going”, I huffed indignantly. Instead of getting upset Jackson grinned. “That’s the Alex I know!” After that day we started talking every night. With full stomachs and contented smiles we started opening up. Jackson told me about his life at home. We discovered that we even lived in the same neighbourhood but I’d never seen him around. He was one of the runners in our varsity. While I hung out alone the whole time, avoiding any types of social contact, Jackson was popular. Considering he was shy and kind, it was difficult imagining him surrounded by bulky jocks that had fun bullying others, including me. He told me about being forced into this lifestyle he never wanted, hating to make fun of others but not wanting to lose his so-called friends. Being as intelligent as he was, he had a scholarship, but struggled keeping up his reputation. “The Jackson everybody knows isn’t the real Jackson. I never wanted to be that person”, he smiled sadly. Then again it started happening. He was dissolving! “No Jackson! Don’t be a hypocrite! You told me how sometimes things are horrible but it can change, Jackson! You don’t need those people. We can be friends! After we get out of here, I’ll meet you every day if you want. We can make new friends. And this isn’t forever. You’ll finish studying and you’ll never see these people again. Your surroundings can change. You can change. You can do what you love and be independent. Bad things don’t last. Nothing lasts! It is your decision to be who you want to be. Don’t give up now!” And all at once I felt whole again.



I knew he had read it when I heard his sharp intake of breath. The sand, the trees, everything here aside from the objects was once a human. A living breathing person. I wanted to throw up. The fish. The fruit. No wonder there was such variety all around us. How many days did we have left until we turned into stone or vanished into dust?


“Congratulations Alex, you are free”, Jackson wrapped me into a tight hug. “Wait what do you mean?”, I stuttered, not understanding why I couldn’t see anything anymore except Jackson. “You found yourself. You finally understood. You will go now and will never have to see this island again.” Now that I was free, something wasn’t right. “What about you?”, I grabbed his sleeve. His eyes were shining proudly but there was a glimmer of sadness in that deep blue. “I am not real Alex”, he told me in a gentle voice, as if it could take away the harshness of the truth. “What do you mean? Of course you’re real! I can hold you, you talk and you said you arrived on the island a few days before I did!”, I stammered, almost in tears. “Well yes”, he chuckled. “I am a island spirit. The real Jackson left the day I was created so I did arrive a few days before you did. I’m very sorry about the fading part, I just wanted you to understand faster. But you should really get going now.” The one person I came to trust wasn’t even real. But wait… “The real Jackson?”, I asked persistent. He threw his hands up in defeat. “You got me there. Yes, once you leave this island, all those things that make you who you are get “copied”. The Island creates a spirit, who is the same person but after that they can change in personality with experience just like everybody else. We just lurk around until somebody who needs help comes and we guide them. Everybody gets a guide. And the day our true self dies we stop existing too. We didn’t see any other ‘real’ people because the island always makes sure one finds themselves on their own, with a little help from the guide.” “So I will have a Clone?” What creepy magic was this? I never believed in magic before but there was no other explanation. “Yep”, he said nonchalantly. “Get going now Alex. You don’t have all the time in the world!” “But I’ll miss you Jackson”. If Jackson was in shock because of my confession then I was completely taken aback. I didn’t intend to say that at all. But it was true. I liked the way his tongue poked out when he laughed, how easily he made me drop my guard and how he could almost read my feelings. “I’ll miss you, the real you, too. But hey, you can befriend the real Jackson!”, his face contorted into a grimace after he said that. Did he realise it wouldn’t


be the same? Spirit Jackson would have my exact copy with him. There wouldn’t even be a difference. But the Jackson walking around in town didn’t know me. He didn’t know my secrets and he didn’t know that I knew his deepest thoughts. But if Jackson outside of the island was in any way similar to the person I was talking to right now, I would speak to him. After all he was almost the same. He must be trying his best to be the person he wants to be right now and I would help him. “Farewell Alex. I wish you all the best to come. Don’t forget me, okay?” He came closer and I thought he would embrace me but I was wrong. Never had it crossed my mind that a delicate peck on my cheek and an “I love you” would make me lose my footing. It was the last time I saw into those bright blue eyes and that beautiful smile and then I was falling and he was gone. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I awoke with a jolt, my whole body aching. I remembered having a strange, long dream, it’s feeling still lingering. Somehow, I didn’t feel that sad anymore as if I had an injection of new-found confidence. I wondered what I had dreamt of? When I wanted to get changed, I noticed I was already wearing my clothes. Strange. Surely, I’d gone to bed in my pyjamas. Had I fallen asleep while reading? Mom must have taken the book out of my hands. That had to be it. My mother. Never was the urge to make her happy bigger. That day I walked into school with my head held high and set to make the best out of my life. I didn’t know what made me feel like that but I liked it. I should have watched where I was going. I collided into a tall boy and we almost fell due to the impact. “Whoa, careful!” He smiled at me, his tongue poking out just a bit. Something about those blue eyes and that smile made me wonder. It seemed uncannily familiar. “Hey, I haven’t seen you around here. Are you new?”, I asked him curiously. He shook his head and sighed. “No, but I used to hang out elsewhere. I’m trying to change a few things.” “Me too.” I flashed him a smile. I almost walked away but something inside me hesitated. “Want to hang out sometime?”, I asked him. “Sure!”, he agreed happily. “I’m Jackson by the way… nice to meet you!”, he reached out his hand. I shook it firmly. “Call me Alex.” ***


রেস্টওয়াচ তিচসিংখটচিখের আেন্োর সোমখন্ েোাঁচিখে আাঁিে চঠক করখ


ইস্কুে পিুেো, েোেো অচন্খমখষর

খন্ও হোেোর তসখকন্ডোরী িোকী।

শচমথষ্ঠো তটর তপে পেথোর ওপোখর একটো িোেো এচেক ওচেক করখি ।

ওখের কোখি িৃচ

িুঝে তিৌচের দুপুখরর ভো ঘুম তশষ, এিোখর িোখের সমে হখেখি।

তিখেখক চন্খে িোিো মোখের চিচন্দ্র রজন্ীেোপন্ , আর ভোরী িুখটর

- তভ খর এস তিৌচে, আচম তকোখন্ো চন্চষি িচির ন্োচেকো ন্ই তে আিোে তর্খক েুচকখে েুচকখে তেখখ


- িোেোই ষোট ঠোকুরচঝ, ন্োচেকো হখ িেখ


তিোট েল্প

A supposedly artistic Taurean who took up science and ended up with technology. A once-upon-a-time wannabe actor who now occasionally hits the stage. An avid reader, a fitness freak and a movie lover. Contact:

কোরখণ অকোরখণ স্কুে িয, িোচিখ

শখব্দ পোিো চন্শ্চুপ । টোচে​েখঞ্জর পর তর্খক এচেকটো কখেোন্ী হখেও টো




ক কটো


চন্খ ই


চরটোেোরখমখির পর উমোন্োখর্র সোরো জীিখন্র সঞ্চে তর্খক এই

েোখি তকোন্ দুিঃখখ?


করিী পেথো সচরখে সটোন্ ঘখরর মখযয। - আজ ত ো ত োমোর

দু'কোমরোর ফ্ল্যোট তকন্ো। তিখে ত মন্ তমযোিী ন্ে, গ্রযোজুখেশখন্র পর একটো সিংিোেপখত্রর অচেখস কোজ জুচটখে চন্খেখি, তমখে কখেখজ

শ্রীরোচযকোর সোজ তেখচি, চকন্তু এই কোঠেোটো তরোদ্দুখর অচভসোখর

পিখি, অ এি উমোন্োখর্র এখন্ ঝোিো হো

িেখে? তসোহোখের আর সমে তপখে ন্ো? করিীর তিোখ তেন্

শ্বশুরশোশুচিখক শ্রিো সম্ভ্রখমর তিোখখ তেখখ, এখন্ও তিখেখক

আপোেমস্তক জচরপ করখি শচমথষ্ঠোখক।


-চক করখিো িখেো, ওর প্রখমোশখন্র পর মোইখন্, কোখজর িোপ, েোচে​ে


সিই তিখিখি, কখমখি শুযু আমোর জন্য সমে ।

োই কুচিখে িোচিখে

পো। তিৌমোচট মন্দ ন্ে,

তভিো িোচন্খে তকখট পিোর েচন্দ আাঁখটচন্, ত ো আর চক

ুেন্োে উমোন্োখর্র িোেযিযু সুযোিংশু অখন্ক েম্বো তরখসর তঘোিো ।

ে টুকু পোওেো েোে । মোইখন্র তখোাঁিোটো তঠস চেখে ি'খে একটু মজোই

তপশোে চিখেন্ ইচঞ্জচন্েোর, চভেোই-ত

তপে শচমথষ্ঠো, চিখশষ কখর েখন্ ও জোখন্ ওর েোেো মোস তেখে

একমোত্র তিখে সুিীরখক পচিখেখিন্ ইিংখরচজ স্কুখে। চশকখির টোখন্

ক'টোকো তিৌচের হোখ

আর সুিীখরর িোকরীসূখত্র আপো


িোপ তিখে কেকো োে, আর তসই

ো েো তেখোখন্ো চশেন্ পরখেই তপ্রম জমখি

সুখেোখে উমোন্োখর্রও পুখরোন্ িযুে ঝোচেখে তন্ওেোর অখন্ড অিসর।

িেি? তেখখো আিোর ত োমোর তমোটো মোইখন্র ন্োেরচটখক তোঁখর্

অিশয চকিুচেন্ পখরই শচমথষ্ঠো িুখঝচিে িোিোখক ভিোন্ীপুর তর্খক


তক ন্ো িোে । -

ুখে তে​ে । আর চন্খজর তপ্রচমকখক ি​ি ক'খর

কমথসূখত্র তপোখস্টড, চিপত্নীক,

পোর চকন্ো তশষ অিচয, অন্য তেোচপন্ীর চেখক তেন্ মন্ ঘুখর

ন্ো েোে,

ুচম তিোখ আাঁকো তসখর ন্োও, আচম িোখের জে িসোই।

মোইখন্র তখোাঁিোটো চঠক জোে​েোখ ই তেখেখি, তিৌচে আিোে হখ

রোন্ীকুচঠ পেথন্ত িযুর িোচিখ

িুখ োমোত্র, আসে কোরণ তস চন্খজ।

চন্খজখক আর একিোর আেন্োে তেখে শচমথষ্ঠো। দুপুখরর জন্য সোজটো চক তিশী হখে চেখেখি? সুিীখরর তজোরোজুচরখ ই রোজী হখেচিে শোচি

তকোখন্ো কোরণ তন্ই, তেখখ


ভিোন্ীপুখর তপ ক ৃ িোিী।

ও িরোির সোখেোেোর কোচমখজই স্বছন্দ।

োর সোখর্

একটো উপচর অন্ুখরোযও চিে - আমোর তপ্রোখমোশখন্র পর প্রর্ম মোইখন্ তর্খক তে ঘচিটো চকখন্ চে​েোম তসটো আজ পখর এখসো প্ল্ীজোই সি চমচেখে সুিীখরর অন্ুখরোয তে​েখ


ঘচিটো তে

িোেিন্দী হখে পখিই চিে, আজই িোর কখরখি পরখি ি'খে । মখন্ করখ ই ে​েো ওঠোে শচমথষ্ঠো - তিৌচে, েোেোখক তে িখেচিেোম সকোখে

আসোটো সুিীখরর একটো

োরপর টুকটোক কর্োিো থো আর

চিচঠ িোেোিোচে এি​িং অ িঃপর আপচন্ তর্খক এচেখেখি ওরো । এমচন্খ


তপৌাঁখি চেখ


খোরোপ ন্ে, েোমী িোকরী কখর,

খি তেোখষর মখযয রেিটো, তেোাঁেোর আর

তপখট দুপোত্তর পিখে মুখখর েোেোম র্োখক ন্ো। শোেগ্রোম চশেো হখি,

অন্ুখরোখযই শচমথষ্ঠোর অচভসোর। কর্ো হখেখি অচেস তের ো চঠক চিখকে পোাঁিটোে সুিীর ওখক চমট করখি,

োরপর েখন্শিন্দ্র এচভচন্উ

এর কোখি চক ন্োচক ন্ ুন্ তকোন্ তরস্টুখরি হখেখি, তসখোখন্ েোিোর প্ল্যোন্।

- ত োমোর েোেোর ঘোখি ক'টো মোর্ো আখি তে একমোত্র আদুখর তিোখন্র

এসি আকোশ পো োে ভোিখ

আব্দোর অমোন্য করখি?

কোখি ভীি উেখর চেখছ, শচমথষ্ঠো তেখে ঘচিখ

োিোে ভুেখ

িখসচিে, আচমই মখন্ কচরখে চে​েোম - করিীর ে​েোে একটো প্রছন্ন অহিংকোর- িোখের তটচিখে িো আর ঘচি তরখখ তে​েোম। - র্যোিংকস তিৌচে। হোখ

পখর কচি উখট তেখে একিোর শচমথষ্ঠো,

ন্োহ ! সুিীখরর িখেস আখি িেখ পোরখে তেরী হখে েোখি,

হখি । চকন্তু এিোর ন্ো তিখরোখ

োিোডো রোন্ীকুচঠ তর্খক এসপ্ল্যোখন্ড

ো সি পোর্রই েচে

োহখে তমখেরো িোটন্ো িোটখি চকখস? আজ ওর

টোইমটো অযোডজোস্ট কখর রোখখ , কখর চেখেখি চকন্ো জোখন্ো?

খি তশোখন্ো অচেস েোিোর

ুচমর রোস্তোে অখন্কটোই

তিখে চহখসখি সুিীরখক অপিখন্দর


েখন্ ৪১চি িোস তিৌরঙ্গীর পোাঁিটো েশ। এমচন্খ

তেরী কখর আখস ি'খে সুিীখরর ওপর তিোটপোট করোটো শচমথষ্ঠোর অচযকোখরর পেথোখে িখে তেখি, চকন্তু আজ ও চন্খজই তেট, অ এি চকিুটো িোি সুিীখরর প্রোপয । েরমটো সচ যই তিশী, পোাঁিটোখ ও শচমথষ্ঠো তঘখম তন্খে একসো । কর্োই চিে চিত্তরঞ্জন্ অযোচভচন্উ-এর মুখখ শচমথষ্ঠো অখপক্ষো করখি,

অখন্কটো পর্, আর তেোখের ওপর চিষখেোাঁিো েোচেক জযোম ত ো

তপে​ে পোখম্পর সোমখন্ এখস তিোখ তিোেোে ঘচিখ


পোাঁিটো িোজখ

আচশর েশখকর প্রর্মোখযথর কেকো ো। সো ষচট্ট তর্খক সো োত্তর অিচয িখে েোওেো অগুন্চ

স্বপ্নোেু তিোখখর

আখন্দোেখন্র িযর্থ োর েভীর ক্ষখ

োজো রখির চিচন্মখে,

সোমচেক প্রখেপ চহখসখি িোম

জমোন্োর সূিন্ো । সত্তখরর ওই েোমোে চেন্গুখেোে শচমথষ্ঠো তন্হো ই


োই এই চিখকে

- প্রোে সোখি

িে​ে। িুচটর ঘিোর সোখর্ সোখর্ তেোক িেোিে িোিখি

আর তমখেোর কোজ শুরু হখেখি

োই যুখেো, তযোাঁেোে েম আটখক

আসোর উপরম। এচেখক এখন্ও সুিীখরর তেখো তন্ই। আসুক আজখক, শচমথষ্ঠোর তিোেোে শি হখছ - এখকিোখর

ুখেোখযোন্ো কখর

িোিখি - এভোখি রোস্তোে একো েোাঁচিখে র্োকো একটো তমখের পখক্ষ তে


তিোট েল্প

ক টো এমিযোরোচসিং তসটো পুরুষমোন্ুখষরো তকোন্চেন্ও িুঝখি ন্ো। দ্রু

ক'খর কোাঁপখি, তকোন্মখ

তেখখ চন্ে শচমথষ্ঠো িোরপোশটো, েূখর একটো চমচির তেোকোন্,

অচেস-তের ো তেোখকরো ভীি জচমখেখি আর সোমখন্ একো তমন্স তটেোচরিং শপ, তটচিে​েযোন্র সোমখন্ িখস একজন্ পরম চন্চশ্চখন্ত ঘুখমোখছ। সোযোরণ

খুি প্রখেোজন্ িোিো ও সুিীখরর অচেখস তেোন্

কখর ন্ো, এমচন্খ ও চিচেচ অস্বচস্ত হে,

সওেোেরী অচেখস কর্ো িেখ


খি আজখকর পচরচস্থচ টো অন্যরকম। ে​েোটো ে টো

সম্ভি তমোেোখেম কখর ডোকে - েোেো, শুন্খিন্?



তেখখ, চকিুটো চিরিও কোাঁিো ঘুম তভখঙ্গ েোওেোে - হযোাঁ িেুন্?

পোরে- এিোর চকন্তু আচম চিৎকোর

িোযয হি।

একটো েোেোখক সোমেোখ

পোখর ন্ো, আিোর েশটো েোেো ডোকখি

িেখি তর, হযো হযো হযো। একরোশ তযোাঁেো িচিখে টযোচেগুখেো চমচেখে তেখ করখি - কচি ওটোখেো, কোাঁটোে কোাঁটোে ি'টো িোজখ

পোরচি ন্ো।

ত ো ত োমোে, আর তরোজ িখেো তেরী কখর আচস, ত ো আজ তকমন্ ন্ো হখ ই শচমথষ্ঠোর িোিুক -

ন্যোকোখমো হখছ? মোখন্? সুিীর একটু র্ ম

হোিঃ, সোজখেোজ ক'খর ভরদুপুখর আিোর চিপখে পখিখি,

- চক হখেখি

- চক হখেখি শচমথ?

ুচম জোখন্ো ন্ো? তিোটখেোক, ই র - শচমথষ্ঠো

মখন্ মখন্ িেখেও মুখখ ন্ো করে ন্ো - চঠক আখি, আর খুিখরো

চহসচহচসখে উঠে- তমখেখের সম্মোন্ চকভোখি রোখখ

তেখিন্ মখন্ কখর। তিচশক্ষণ এন্খেজড রোখখ

তপখেি কখন্ও?

পোরি ন্ো, মোচেখকর

তেোন্ আসখি। িেখ


তেখো কোেজ তেখখ শচমথষ্ঠো িোকো তঘোরোে।

ে​েো ি​িোে শচমথষ্ঠো- টযোচে! আর তশোখন্ো সুিীর, েোখে মোন্ুখষর িোমিো

- তসেস চডপোটথখমখির সুিীর েত্তগুখপ্তর সোখর্ কর্ো পোচর?

র্োকখে আর আমোর সোখর্ ভচিষযখ ন্ো - টযোচেখ অপমোচন্

- প্ল্ীজ তহোড অন্, েোন্সেোচরিং েয কে।

জমো করখি, এক একটো মুহূ থ তেন্ এক এক ঘিো । ওপোর তর্খক অন্য একটো ে​েো তভখস এে - হযোখেো, তক িেখিন্? - আচম সুিীর েত্তগুখপ্তর সোখর্ কর্ো িেখ

-সুিীর? ..... তেোকটো র্মকোে, ও ত ো অখন্কক্ষণ তিচরখে চেখেখি, িে​ে চক একটো কোজ আখি, চকিু িেোর র্োকখে


আর অিোক তিোখখ তেখখি ওখক।







তমচডকযোে কখেজ িোচিখে অখন্কটোই এচেখে এখসখি - চমটোর প্রোে

-েোেো, কোাঁিটো একটু ন্োচমখে তেখিন্? শযোমিোজোর েোি। - োহখে সোইড করখ

হখি, চপিখন্র কোাঁখির হযোখন্ডেটো আিোর

চঠকঠোক কোজ করখি ন্ো।


েোচি েোাঁি কচরখে িোইভোর হো

িোচিখে কোাঁি ন্োমোখ

িযস্ত - শচমথষ্ঠোর তিোখ আটকোখেো িোইভোখরর িোাঁ কচিখ

- ন্ো, যন্যিোে, রোখচি।

- ত ে

চিটচিখট মে​েো জোমোর হো োর তভ র তর্খক উাঁচক মোরখি একটো

রোস্তোে তিচরখে এখস শচমথষ্ঠো িুঝে মচস্তখষ্কর তকোখষ আখস্ত শুরু কখরখি- তে ইখছটো চন্খে এখসচিে, তসটো

োর জোে​েোে রোে, অপমোন্ জন্ম চন্খছ - চক তিৌচে, েোেো

আচেযকোখের ঘচি, কোাঁটোগুখেো তেখখে িেো কচঠন্ ন্ে েচেও সমেটো ক । শচমথষ্ঠোর মখন্ হে েম আটখক আসখি, হৃৎচপন্ড ে​েোর একেম কোখি - তঢোক চেখে চজখেযস করে, ক'টো িোখজ এখন্?

তেরী করখি?

- আর িেখিন্ ন্ো চেচে, ঘচিটো মোখঝ মোখঝই চিেখিোে,

ঘোি ঘুচরখে তেখে তপে​ে পোখম্প ত ে চন্খ একটো টযোচে তর্খক চকিু তিোখ

উখঠ আিখিোখখ তেখে সুিীর ে টো আহ ,

িোর টোকো িুাঁই িুাঁই। পোচর? আমোর

ন্োম শচমথষ্ঠো তঘোষোে।

আখস্ত আগুন্ জ্বেখ

তেোেোখেোে করোর তি​িো করখি

- চেচে তকোর্োে েোি?

েোচেক টুিংটোিং-এর সোখর্ সোখর্ শচমথষ্ঠো সমস্ত আখরোশ

মখর চেখে

ন্ই - সুিীখরর মুখখর হোচস উযোও। -আমোর মোইখন্ করো িোকর হিোর তেোেয োও ত োমোর তন্ই -

- গুড আেটোরন্ুন্, হযোচমটন্ কযোেকোটো।

আমোে িেখ

হে, তস চশক্ষো

-ভদ্রভোখি কর্ো িে শচমথষ্ঠো, আচম ত োমোর মোইখন্ করো িোকর

- যন্যিোে েোেো, ন্ো সমে েোেখি ন্ো, িেখ


েশ। হোচস মুখখ

োর প্রশিংসো - িোহ! খুি সুন্দর মোচন্খেখি

সোরপ্রোইজ - সুিীখরর কর্ো তশষ হখ

- িেচিেোম চক, একটো তেোন্ করো েোখি?একটু চিপখে

ন্ো তেখ

ন্জখর পিে রোস্তোর ওপোখর সুিীর - চসেন্যোখের জন্য অখপক্ষো এচেখে এে সুিীর, তিোখখ

যিমচিখে উখঠখি তেোকটো তমন্স তটেোচরিং শখপ সুখিশো

পখিচি, একজখন্র সোখর্ তেোেোখেোে করখ

কখর তেোক ডোকখ

োর শরীরটোখক চেখে তখখ

আসো দু িোইখি।

আজই চঠক করোেোম, এখন্ চঠক পোাঁিটো িোজে, আপন্োর ঘচিটো তেখখ মখন্ হখছ একটু েোস্ট আখি- চমচেখে তন্খিন্?

আর শচমথষ্ঠোর ঘন্ ঘন্ ঘচি তেখো, রুমোে চেখে মুখ তমোিো তেখখে তে তকউ িখে তেখি ও কোখরোর জন্য অখপক্ষো করখি।

োই কর্ো ন্ো

িোচিখে িুপ ক'খর রইে। ন্ীরি োখক প্রশ্রে মখন্ কখর চদ্ব ীেজখন্র মন্তিয - ন্োখর, েোেো অন্য তিৌচের কোখি আটখক তেখি ।

ো তিৌচে,

েোেো সি পোখি? তেওররো চক িোখন্র জখে তভখস এখসখি? অপমোখন্, েজ্জোে শচমথষ্ঠোর তিোখখ জে, শরীর র্রর্র



খন্ িেখ

শুরু কখরখি, জোন্েো চেখে চপিখন্

একিোর তেখোর তি​িো করে শচমথষ্ঠো - যুখেো, তযোাঁেোে আর একরোশ িোস টযোচের েম্বো েোইখন্ তিোখখ পিে সখযযর অযকোর তন্খম আসখি শহখর। ***


তনয়া তিো

ক্লোখসর জন্য তভ খর তে​ে। ট্ট

ন্েো ক

চকিু িখে,ক

কর্ো। মো শুযু হোখস আর মোখঝ

মোখঝ জচিখে যখর কোাঁখে। িোিোও শুযু হো চমচমর কর্ো িেখ

তন্খি চক সি িখে।

ইছো কখর,কর্ো শুন্খ , আখরো কর্ো চশখখ ।শুযু

েোদু,ঠোম্মী েল্প তশোন্োে,মো তকন্ ন্ে? িোিো তকন্ আের কখর ওখক ন্ু িখে ডোখকন্ো? েোেোন্,চেম্মী.চপচপ সিোই চমচমর সোখর্ ক িখে চকন্তু এ


ন্েো েোখের কর্ো, একটো আেখরর ডোক তশোন্োর আশোে

কর্ো িখে,

যীখর যীখর

োরো দুজখন্ই চক চন্শ্চুপ,চন্স্তি।

ন্েো িুঝখ


চেখে তেখে আেোন্ ওর পোখশই িখস আখি। যীখর যীখর আেোন্ ও ন্েোর িযুে হখে তে​ে। আেোন্’তক

ন্েো সি িে​ে, ওর িোচির

কর্ো,মো,িোিোর কর্ো,খরোজ তরোজ অপমোখন্র কর্ো সি শুখন্ আেোন্ িে​ে, ‘ ন্ু আমোখক ত োর িোচি চন্খে েোচি? আচম একিোর uncle-aunty তক তেখখ


ন্েোর ত ো প্রোে খোচি খোিোর

তেোেোি, ওর িোিো,মো?মজো করখি for sure।


ন্েো িেখেো

তকন্? আেোন্ িেখেো, ‘তে িোিো,মো চন্খজখের সি প্রচ িযক ো

োর িোিো,মো কর্োই িেখ


উখপক্ষো কখর এই অঞ্চখের সি তর্খক ন্োমী এি​িং েোমী ইস্কুখে

তেোখক িখে ‘তিোিো,কোেো’। ‘েোক ভেিোখন্র ে​েোে তমখেটো সুস্থ

তমখেখক ভচ থ কখরন্, কর্ো িেখ ,শুন্খ

হখেখি!’ এই এক কর্ো শুন্খ

উাঁিু কখর উে​েোস্ত পচরশ্রম কখর উপোজথন্ কখরন্,আর পোাঁিজখন্র ম

ওখক এ


তস ক্লোন্ত । তকন্ তে ভেিোন্

ে​েো করখেন্। ওর িোিো মো-ই তকন্ সিোর তর্খক আেোেো?

ওখকও ভেিোন্ িোিো,মোর ম ই িোন্োখ ন্েোর এ

অচভখেোে র্োক


পোরখ ন্

ন্েো ে

োহখে আর

ি​ি হখছ


একো হখে েোখছ। সিসমে এক অজোন্ো আ ঙ্ক ওখক চঘখর রোখখ। ইস্কুখে সিোর তর্খক আেোেো,খকউ ওর সোখর্ িযুে কখরন্ো। সুখেোে তপখেই হোসোহোচস কখর- ‘ ন্ুর চক মজো, ন্ুখক িোচিখ work এর জন্য িকো তখখ কর্োই িেখ

হেন্ো! আখর ওর িোচিখ

home ত ো তকউ

পোখরন্ো,িকখি চক কখর?’ এইসি তশোন্োর ভখে


চন্খজখক আরও গুচটখে রোখখ। প্রর্ম প্রর্ম কি হখেও এখন্ এটোই ওর অখভযস হখে তেখি।ও িুখঝ তেখি ও স্বোভোচিক হখেও ওখক অস্বোভোচিখকর ম ই জীিন্ কোটোখ

হখি।স্কুখেও ও একো আর

িোচিখ ও কর্ো িেোর তকউ তন্ই,মোখঝ মোখঝ ওর ভে কখর কর্ো ন্ো িেোটো ওরও অখভযস হখে েোখি ন্ো ত ো? ও ন্ো তিোিো হখে েোে। তসচেন্ ক্লোখস ঢুখক চন্খজর জোে​েোে িসখ

ন্েো।একটো খুি েোমী,সুন্দর িযোে পোখশ রোখো। সোযোরণ তকউ তসরকম িখসন্ো। Assembly তশষ কখর িসখ

ওর পোখশ

চেখে আেোপ

হে ন্ ুন্ িযুর সোখর্।তিখেচটর ন্োম আেোন্,িোিো Army officer, হঠোৎ transfer হখেখি এখোখন্,

োই mid-session এ এই ইস্কুখে

ভচ থ। অখন্ক কর্ো িখে আেোন্। শুন্খ , চন্খজও ক

ন্েোর তে চক ভোে েোেচিে

কর্ো িেচিে। ক

ন্েোর। চন্িঃশব্দ জেখ


কোখন্ এে ‘িোিো,মো-র ম


চেন্ পর প্রোণ ভখর েোচছে হোাঁচপখে উঠচিে তস। হঠোৎ

তিোিো,কোেো হখে তেখে ন্োচক


কখন্ তর্খক ডোকচি, কর্ো কোখন্ েোখছন্ো িুচঝ?’ িোিংেো ক্লোস শুরু হখে তেখি অখন্কক্ষণ।Miss

ন্েোখক অখন্কিোর তডখকখিন্,আেোখন্র

সোখর্ প্রোণ ভখর কর্ো িেচিে িখে শুন্খ তিখেখমখে হযো হযো কখর হোসখ তে​েখেো

পোেচন্।ক্লোস শুি

েোে​ে। েজ্জোে, অপমোখন্ তকাঁখে

ন্েো,চকিুখ ই মুখ চেখে পিো তিখরোে ন্ো। ে​েস্বরূপ

আরও অপমোন্ এি​িং ক্লোখসর িোইখর তিচরখে েোওেো। ক্লোখসর িোইখর েোাঁচিখে

ন্েোর মো,িোিোর ওপর অসম্ভি রোে হখ

েরকোর চিে ওখক এই পৃচর্িীখ

েোেখেো। চক

আন্োর? পখরর ক্লোখসর bell িোজে,

এ ক্ষখণ আেোন্ অন্য িযু খুাঁখজ চন্খেখি ভোিখ



সিংসোর কখরন্, সি রকম সুখেোে চেখে সন্তোন্খক ি​ি করখিন্, োাঁখের একিোর প্রণোম করখ তর্খকও

ন্েো পখরর

িোই তর। প্রচ িযী তিোযহে

ুই তিশী। আর প্রচ িোে েোরো করখ

অপমোন্ই প্রোপয র্োখক, এই চন্খে

পোখর ন্ো

োখের োখের

ই ু দুিঃখ কচরস ন্ো।’

কর্োগুখেো িুখকর তভ খর চেখে েোেখেো

ন্েোর। এই চেকটো ত ো

কখন্ও তভখিই তেখখচন্

ন্েো। চন্খজখক িে​ে

ন্ে,অখন্ক হখেখি। রো োরোচ

তেন্ িেখে তে​ে তমখেটো। পিোখশোন্ো,

sports, ন্োি, েোন্ সিচকিুখ


উঠে। ক্লোখস েোরো হোসোহোচস কর

ন্েো আর

সোযোরণ তর্খক অসোযোরণ হখে োরোই এখন্

ন্েোর পোখশ িসোর

জন্য িযস্ত। ওর তন্োটস পোিোর জন্য সিোই েোইন্ েোেোে।আেোন্ যীখর যীখর

ন্েোর িযু ন্ে, অিেম্বন্ হখে েোাঁিোে। আেোখন্র িোিোর

transferable job চিে, দু ি​ির পর আেোন্ স্কুে তিখি িখে তে​ে।এই দু-ি​ির তিোযহে

চেখে অিোক হে

ন্ো তপখেও চন্খজরো মোর্ো

ন্েোর জীিখন্র তশ্রষ্ঠ চেন্ চিে।

সমে কোখরোর জন্য তর্খম র্োখক ন্ো।

ন্েো এখন্ রীচ ম

সুন্দরী,েখিষণো কখর। আজ ঋচষর িোিো মো আসখিন্ ওখের িোচিখ চিখের কর্ো পোকো করখ । ঋচষও ওর ম ই research scholar। দুজখন্র lab এই আেোপ। আজ তকউ তিোখ তেরোখ সুন্দর েোেচিে

ন্েোখক। মো চন্খজর হোখ

পোরচিে ন্ো এ সোচজখে চেখেখি

ওখক।ঋচষর িোচির তেোখকরো সি তজখন্ শুখন্ই এই চিখেখ


হখেখিন্ । সিোই এখসখিন্।

ন্েো কর্ো িেখি সিোর সোখর্ হঠোৎ

ঋচষর মো িখে উঠখেন্, ‘ক

স্বপ্ন চিে আমোর তিখেখক চন্খে,ক

কি কখর তিখেখক মোন্ুষ করেোম তস তে এরকম একটো কোজ করখি ভোিখ ই পোচরচন্।’

ন্েো তভখিচিে ঋচষ চকিু িেখি, চকন্তু তেখে

ঋচষ অপরোযীর ম

মোর্ো চন্িু কখর িখস আখি।

ন্েো চকিু িে​ে

ন্ো, ভোিে পখর সি চঠক হখে েোখি। আর দু মোস পখরই চিখের চেন্ চঠক হে। এরপর মোখঝমোখঝই ঋচষর মো,িোিোর সখঙ্গ shopping, dinner এ তেখ


হে। ঋচষর মো েখন্ই সুখেোে পোন্

ন্েোখক ওর মো,িোিোর কর্ো

ুখে অপমোচন্

কখরন্। ঋচষও

তকোখন্োও প্রচ িোে কখরন্ো। ঋচষখক এই চন্খে চকিু িেখেই অসম্ভি চিৎকোর কখর।

ন্েোর আিোর স্কুখের চেন্গুখেোর ম

আ ঙ্ক শুরু


তিোট েল্প

Founder of an activity centre for kids in Baden. Being the mother of a 3-year old, I love to spend time with children. Dance is my passion. I am a trained Indian classical dancer (Kathak), holding a Masters degree in the same. I have my own dance school in Zurich. Contact:

তিোট েল্প

হে। দুই িোচিখ ই চিখের ত োিখজোি তজোরকেখম িেখি চকন্তু

পখরর ক’টো চেন্ খুি িযস্ত োর সোখর্ কোটে। visa র জন্য সি docu-

ন্েোর মখন্ তকোন্ও আন্ন্দ তন্ই। আেোখন্র কর্ো িড্ড মখন্ পখি

ments তজোেোি এই ক’চেন্ ও ঋচষর সোখর্ তকোখন্োরকম তেোেোখেোে


কখরচন্। তকোন্ও phone, message এর উত্তর তে​েচন্। ৭ চেখন্র

ন্েো post-doc এর জন্য apply কখরচিে Zurich Universityত , তসটোর confirmation letter এখসখি। আন্খন্দ আত্মহোরো হখে সিোর আখে ঋচষখক phone করে। ঋচষ sure েোরুণ excited হখি। ঋচষ শুখন্ িে​ে, ‘পোে​ে হখে ন্োচক? চিখের পর foreign এ চেখে একো র্োকখি? আমোখের পচরিোখরর িউরো িোকচর অিচয কখরন্ো। By the way আমোর মো িেচিখেন্ তকোন্ও genetic test র্োকখে কচরখে চন্খ ,খ োমোর িোিো,মো ত ো তিোিো,কোেো আমোের future generation ন্ো

োর জন্য suffer কখর।’ Phone তরখখ চে​ে

ন্েো চকিু ন্ো িখে।

তিোখ চেখে জখের পচরিখ থ আগুন্ তিখরোখছ তিোযহে,শুযু জ্বেখি। পখরর চেন্ই visa র জন্য apply করে। িোচিখ িোিো,মো ওখক অভে চেখেন্

সি িে​ে


োরো ওর সোখর্ ওর পোখশ আখিন্।

তেোখক েোই িেুক ও তেন্ এচেখে েোে। ঝিঝোপটো েো আসখি ওন্োরো সোমখে তন্খিন্। মখন্ মখন্ অিোক হে িোিো, মো এ

উন্ন ,এ


োর মূক ও িচযর

আযুচন্ক,প্রেচ শীে মখন্র মোন্ুষ।

মখযয visa এখস তে​ে। তেোন্ করে ঋচষখক, আজ সখযযখিেো ত োমোখের সিোর সোখর্ তেখো করখ েরজো খুেখ

েোি। েরজোে তিে শুখন্ ঋচষই

এখসখি। ঋচষর মো ওখক তেখখ িেখেন্, ‘আজ ঋচষর

িোিো ত োমোখের honeymoon এর ticket কোটখেন্, আমরো সিোই Singapore

েোচছ, ুচম চন্শ্চে আখে তকোর্োও তি​িোখ ও েোওচন্?

জোখন্ো, আমোখের সি আত্মীেস্বজন্ িেোিচে করখি, উে তমখেচটর চক কপোে,এরকম একটো পচরিোখর জখন্ম ত োমোখের পচরিোখরর িউ হখে আসখি।’ এই চিখে করখ

ন্েো আর শুন্খ

পোরচিে ন্ো, িখে তে​ে​ে, ‘আচম

পোরি ন্ো। আমোখক ক্ষমো করখিন্ আর হযোাঁ, I am

proud of my parents!’ জুচরখখর ফ্ল্োইখট িখস ভোিচিে

ন্েো িোিো

মো তক কচেন্ পখরই চন্খে েোখি। হঠোৎ শুন্ে, ‘Hello I am আেোন্ and you Mam?` তসই তিন্ো মুখ, তসই তিন্ো ে​েো, স্বপ্ন তেখখি ন্ো ত ো

ন্েো? ***

Location: Engadine, a long high Alpine valley region in the eastern Swiss Alps located in the canton of Graubünden in most southeastern Switzerland. Picture courtesy: Riya Sengupta




was a day like any other. Binu sat on his makeshift seat on the pavement, the hot midday sun burning down on him. He twisted and contorted his body until he was finally able to claim a portion of the shade formed by the neighbouring tea stall. The place was dotted with inexpensive lunch houses and numerous sundry shops and remained quite busy during lunch hours. Binu settled down to take in all the activities around him. This had been his daily routine for as long as he could remember. He loved the familiarity of the place. The aroma of freshly cooked rice and curry floating around and the daily unchanging conversations. He always imagined himself to be a part of these conversations and played and replayed all the discourses in his head. As the city went about its own pace, his mind drifted to his late father, a retired school teacher. Like most middle class parents, his father too had quite conveniently placed the burden of all his failings on his son. Binu was to achieve all that he never could. He still remembered the daily morning sessions with his father. “If only had I been attentive enough”, he thought with a mocking smile, “I would probably have had my own 101 ways to be the perfect son!” His musings were briefly interrupted by one of his elderly neighbours, who passed by him with a sorry look. He knew this look very well, it was one filled with pity for his ‘poor’ mother. He glared back as hard as he could. Most of their neighbours had children in well placed jobs. Never mind that almost none of these perfect children ever came back for their parents. That did not deter the gloating. The gloaters were everywhere, from the busy morning vegetable markets to the leisurely evening sessions of the community pensioners. One son had visited Europe last summer, another had bought an expensive new car and so on. But Binu was used to it now. His thoughts moved back to his father and his sud-


Stepping Stone

den demise. Sometimes he felt that his father had almost been relieved when death had come knocking. Sweet respite from the burden of misplaced expectations. Now it was just him and his mother. They some how scraped along, on the small pension that she continued to receive. Any expectations of him, that his mother may have had, seemed long gone now. She had somehow made her peace. As he gazed vacantly over the neighbourhood, a sudden flurry of activity around the corner caught his eye. A mob of twenty encircling an young man, his clothes dishevelled and tattered, his knuckles grazed and bleeding. The mob was closing in on him, ’Dhor, chor takey dhor ! (Catch the thief!)’, Binu heard one of the men shout. Binu felt himself drawn towards the centre of the commotion. He tried to decipher the angry voices and the chaos unfurling in front of him. What exactly was this man shielding? As the young man finally succumbed to the mob, a tiny bag slipped out and fell to the ground. The angry mob had, by then, forgotten the true intent of it’s fury and was more interested in hunting for sport. Nobody paid any attention to the bag which lay on the road. They were having more fun dragging the poor guy around. As the crowd and the entertained onlookers changed location, Binu saw that the bag still lay unclaimed. Unable to contain his curiosity, Binu picked up the discarded bag. Making sure that his actions went unnoticed, he swiftly put it in his pocket. With great anticipation, he moved to a corner to inspect his find. He was utterly disappointed. Inside the bag lay an unattractive piece of rough black stone. Unable to believe that somebody would be willing to put their life in danger for such a nondescript piece of rock, he emptied the contents of the bag and continued his search with renewed frenzy. After a few fruitless hours, Binu, tugged hard at the bag in sheer frustration. A tiny parchment, safely stowed away in one of the inner hems of the bag came undone.



Pallabi currently lives in Zurich with her husband and son. Whilst her profession keeps her rooted in logic, she is a firm believer in the power of imagination. Her young son Reyan is her greatest inspiration and she strictly adheres to his way of living….miracle and magic in even the most mundane, happiness without a reason, forgiveness with a smile and most importantly rising after every fall. Contact:


As he pulled the tiny parchment out, Binu could not help but wonder, what he would be unraveling next.

“Your path is laid, one stone at a time. A life, worth more, or simply a dime. The next step paves your way. Light or slight, one may never say.” Unable to comprehend the contents of the parchment, Binu read and re-read the same lines innumerable times without any luck. “Stone, path, step….way”. It all seemed familiar but he simply could not bring himself to connect the dots. “What could it mean?”, he kept wondering. After several hours, he was completely worn out. He was still nowhere near to finding an answer. May be he didn't need to, he thought. The city had it’s fair share of strange people with stranger fixations. May be this was something of the sort. Unwilling to spend any further time and effort trying to unravel some imaginary mystery associated with a worthless piece of stone, he put the contents back into the bag and put it back into his pocket. “Enough for now.” He would try again later. The earlier strange events of the day had taken a toll and he felt exhausted. He settled down for a quick nap. He could feel the pulsating city, even with closed eyes. The hurried steps, the voices surging and ebbing as they passed him by, slowly lulled him to sleep. He didn't know how long he had been asleep. His nap ended abruptly as he was rudely awoken by somebody who had stepped right on his foot. Cursing loudly, he stood up with a start, eager to give the person responsible a piece of his mind. He was too late, whoever he was, was already lost in the bustling multitude. Binu winced as he felt a mild throbbing in his foot and bent down to have a closer look. Something else caught his eye. Right between his legs, lay a small box. He picked it up and peeked into it. His head swirled at the sight, inside the box lay a huge glittering stone. He looked closely. He was quite certain that this was a precious stone and given the size, it would definitely be worth a lot. He looked around. There were several jewellers in the vicinity. May be some shop assistant was carrying it back to the shop and was careless enough to lose it. He decided to take it to the nearest jeweller to check if it belonged to them. He inspected the box carefully. In one of the corners he could find the name of a store imprinted on it. He felt relieved, he could return it to the store. May be they would even offer him a reward for returning it safely. He imagined the look on his mother’s face. Her wretched son, not so wretched


after all! He headed out to the store. A few steps down, he could hear a faint voice, deep within. How much would the reward be? It would be inconsequential in comparison to the true worth of the stone. What if he could sell it somewhere else. With these thoughts, his pace slackened. He could easily pocket the entire amount if he managed to strike a lucrative deal. He had more than earned his share, he reasoned. And what’s the loss of a single gem to a big jeweller. They had several more. He thought about his mother again. The smile on her face seemed brighter this time. “God helps those who help themselves”, his father had muttered under his breath every time his mother had tried to ascribe Binu’s failings to the cruel twists of misfortune. For once, he was in complete agreement with his father. “Help myself, I will!” thought Binu. It would be safer to take it to the jewellers on the other side, as far as possible from the owning store. Feeling determined, he retraced his steps. As he walked past his regular seat on the pavement, he saw a group of agitated men questioning the people around. They seemed to be pointing to his seat. He stopped short in his tracks. Binu felt a strange urgency and discomfort spread across his entire body. A wild fear gripped his heart. Just as he was about to turn back, he heard the tea stall owner call out to him. “Eiiiii Binuu…..kothay chili tui? Enara kokhon theke khujchen. Kono baksho dekhechis naaki? (Hey Binu, where were you? These people were looking for you. Have you seen any box?)” His throat felt dry. “Baksho? Koi, na toh! (Box? No, didn't come across any box!)”, he said, trying his best to sound nonchalant. One of the men pointed towards him “Yes, it was you. You were dozing. I tripped on your foot. The box must have fallen off at that point. I was in a rush and didn't think of checking. Are you sure that you didn’t find anything?” Before he could answer, another said, sounding impatient. “Arrey…..khuje dekhlei toh hoy! (Let’s search him!)”. Binu’s hands instinctively went to his pocket. The men looked hostile, he would be dead if they caught him with the box. He started putting together plausible theories in his head if they did indeed search him. Would they really be gullible enough to believe that he was taking it back to be returned? Binu was not so sure. He could feel his palms sweating profusely.


He took a few steps backwards and then suddenly darted in the opposite direction. He kept running, even as he was running out of breath.“A few more minutes, just a few more, and all this will be over….”, Binu kept telling himself. He reached an abrupt end of the road, and as he made a sudden turn, the box slipped out of his pocket. He did not dare to turn back. He could hear the angry voices “Dhor, chor takey dhor ! (Catch the thief!)”. No-one noticed that he had already dropped the object they were after. They were still chasing him. He could feel the crowd growing stronger, the footsteps behind him, almost catching up to him. It all seemed vaguely familiar. The harder he tried to get away, the closer the crowd seemed to get. As the mob closed in on him, the scenes from the morning came

flashing back. Binu could hear a feeble ringing in his ears. The words kept coming again & again, until he could hear no longer.

“Your path is laid, one stone at a time. A life, worth more, or simply a dime. The next step paves your way. Light or slight, one may never say.”

As he finally succumbed to the mob, the tiny bag, his first find of the day, which was safely stowed in his pocket so far, slipped and fell out.

Some distance away, another young man, taking the first few sips of his evening tea, looked up. The sudden flurry of activity had caught his eye. Unable to contain himself, he started walking towards the centre of the commotion. ***

041 638 00 16

044 271 67 20




“Bolchi toh! Kono baksho dekhi ni! (I am telling you I didn't see any box), he said again, a little more firmly this time. But he could sense the rising unease. Some of them had already started walking towards him.

In a previous life, was a teacher of English. Since 2013, Nayana


has been living in Zurich with her husband, Arindam, her son Abhigyan and as of 2016, her daughter Aryahi. She’s a voracious reader, an enthusiastic tutor and an occasional writer, Contact:

Oh My Ghosh!

Snapshots From A Probashi Puja Experience


hoshti and London is steaming chaos. The Northern Line is out of action. As is the District and there’s some work being done on the Piccadilly. Again. Anamika Ghosh mutters darkly to herself before turning back on her heel, mentally scanning through her inner Tube map. Out of luck, she heads over to the escalators and takes the rolling steps two at a time. Outside, the air is muggy. Splendidly overcast, the clouds have trapped in a particularly bothersome humidity. It is autumn. It ought to be fresh, but it is not. Dressed as she is for the wind and falling leaves in a rust coloured coat and a chocolate brown scarf, Anamika feels overwhelmed by a soupy, swampy warmth. Peeling off layers and stuffing them into her Primark tote, she sets off at a pace. As ever, with the odds stacked against her, she is surprisingly fleet-footed and today is no different. She makes it onto the 9 with seconds to spare. There’s a seat going free and Anamika sinks into it gratefully. As London rolls past majestically - if haltingly, courtesy of the customary Thursday morning traffic Anamika leans back into her seat, plugs in her earphones and scans her phone. WhatsApp is aflame. Apart from a few messages here and there from friends and colleagues, it’s all the handiwork of the families Ghosh and Mukherjee. She scrolls through the family group-chats. There are many of them and she has muted them all. But now, she looks through them. One for the Mukherjees. One for the Ghoshes. One for the Ray cousins. One for the Ghosh cousins. One for the Mukherjee ‘Gurls’ and one for the Ghosh ‘Gals’. There are three hundred and seventy-six messages in all. Over the last few days, as their count has slowly mounted, Anamika has held herself back from reading them. To open a family group chat, she thinks, is to head down a wormhole of forwards, jokes, warnings (about nutrition, corrupt MLAs collapsing flyovers and radiation from mobile phones), memes and family lore. To open a family group chat, while sitting in a flat-share, in a council estate is to well and truly admit to yourself that you are lonely. It is to admit to youself that your late twenties are not really panning out in the way that you had imagined when you set yourself off to university at eighteen, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to earn yourself


what ultimately proved to be an entirely demoralising degree in History. It is a despair almost singularly cured by two and a half tubs of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough and three 500 ml bottles of full fat Coke. The drink and not the drug. But as Anamika has her Puja finery to fit into, a Tagore opera to be a ‘shokhi’ in and because there was a warning about Cookie Dough maybe, possibly, being contaminated by shards of glass, she has been holding herself back from the wormhole. Until now. Today, helped by Birendra Kishore Bhadra and a YouTube hack, and by an old Twix that she has fished out of the bottom of her tote, Anamika allows the floodgates to open. On days when TFL has forced her hand and forced her onto the number 9, Anamika takes it as a message from the gods to do nothing but sit back, plug into her playlist on Spotify and watch London go by. The 9 offers, in her opinion, the best tour of London that money can buy, taking in everything from Somerset House on The Strand to the Ritz and beyond. But today, by the time, the bus has pulled up at the traffic lights on High Street Kensington (when she would ordinarily have been ogling the houses and cars of the rich and famous) Anamika is lost in Kolkata. Or, to be more precise, Puja in Kolkata. The chats follow a similar pattern. First come the memes, each wishing everyone a very ‘Shubho Shoshti’. Then come the pandal-hopping photographs. Anamika learns that this year, everyone is scandalised that pandal-hopping has begun on Treetiya, upping the ante on the start of last year’s celebrations which began on the now staid Chaturthi…The groups are filled with selfies galore; selfies at midnight to selfies at dawn. Beaming with sweaty faces, accessorised by Cornettos ,candy floss and DSLRs in hand and looped around necks, all her uncles, aunts, cousins line up with umpteen realisations and approximations of the Devi and her merry rabble of four in the background. Interspersed with these ‘clicks’ are arty close ups of diyas and sculptures of sugar cane, or terracotta, or repurposed light bulbs or pencil shavings! Her families are live and loose in Kolkata, they are taking in the world’s greatest city-wide art installation and documenting each event, detail by pulsating detail; from ‘notun-jama’ excitement to searing sev-


the detail of Mrinalini’s directive only continue to escalate.

Wr da brwn scarf. Baba gt 4 u. Dakshinapan? Lost it? Alrdy?

There is nothing to do but to send her mother proof. Words alone will never suffice. Anamika unravels the scarf. Tucking her hair behind her ears, licking her lips in lieu of gloss, self-consciously glancing around to see whether she is being observed, she fumbles with the It doesn’t end there of course. Just as the bus begins its phone and hastily takes a picture of herself and shares final loop towards Hammersmith and Anamika readit with Mrinalini. She hopes for relative peace for the ies herself to disembark, tucking the phone into her rest of the day. pocket, it buzzes into life once more. It is only when she has greeted her colleagues, put the Wear smthng new. Venti Macchiato (there’s a reason that she can only # shoshti2day afford a bedsit, Anamika’s tastes run high; glossy, gosIt is her mother. Her words are followed by several sipy magazines and coffee from international conglombrown, politically correct, ‘dancing girl’ emojis. erates notch up a fair bill) down on her desk and fired Mrinalini Ghosh has taken to smart phones and social up the desktop to read and respond to the day’s first media like a duck takes to water. Unlike her children, round of emails, that she realises what she has done. both of whom who insist on long form, punctuation Warm fear laced with a sweat-scented embarrassment and paragraphs and view Instagram, Twitter, Face- prickles her skin and she reaches for the phone. She book and now, the perplexing yet seductive pithiness checks WhatsApp again and there it is, proof that she of Snapchat as guilty pleasures, Mrinalini Ghosh pre- has royally set herself up. The ‘Ki re, notun jama?’ mesfers text-speak and the hashtag. While she does have a sages have already started flooding in, followed, close propensity to leave a space between the hashtag and at heel by messages of the ‘Hey, long time no see’ the tag itself, thereby not always fulfilling her tagging type. She has sent her selfie to the Indian Family intention, she nevertheless gives it a good shot. She is Mukherjee from whence her mother, Mrinalini Ghosh the veritable queen of the Emoji and she rarely leaves nee Mukherjee has forwarded it on to the Ghosh an Emoji unturned in order to get her point across. ‘Gamily’. Anamika smiles to herself, her mood lifted by the mesThanks, Ma. sages from her mother which continue to vibrate and *** buzz into her hand. Having not yet received a reply,

Warehouse in the Sky

In addition to IT and penning down short stories, David is also a film producer (executive producer of the UK feature film "Urban Ghost Story" & the oscar nomination listed short film "Gone Fishing") and active songwriter. Contact:


had left the club rather late and the upward way ahead seemed familiar. As if on a small mountain path I could see far and wide the wonderful earthly landscape down below.

Despite the breathtaking view and euphoria, an uneasy feeling was starting to take over my joyful wandering. It was as if I was about to meet some kind of fate. I would have said destiny, but it all seemed out of my hands now. I continued the rather easy climb and as I approached what appeared to be a summit, the mist up ahead gradually dissipated to reveal an entrance gate.

I was on the way to join a new club. I thought I knew the way and at the same time it was strangely beautiful and fresh. I was happily whistling a new song I was Standing at the gate was a relaxed character with long working on, trying to figure out the notes and chords hair, jeans, black t-shirt , leather jacket and leather on the piano. gloves to match. He waved and said, “Been expecting you.” He stood there leaning against the gate post,




enty-foot statue, from midnight feasts of egg rolls to sips of sweet,milky tea served in matir-khuri by rosyfingered sun’s rise. Then, come the wistful ‘wish I was there’ messages from those who have spread further afield and have not accumulated enough holidays to warrant a visit ‘home’. They wish those at ‘home’ well and promise to join them next year. Puja has barely begun and already the battle cry of all Puja-going aficionados have begun: ‘asche bochor abar hobe’.


arms folded in a very casual and comforting manner. “Oh, you know me?” I replied somewhat surprised. “Do I know you?” “My name is Rocky Stone and I’m here to greet all our guests and show 'em around. My real name is Pierre, but everybody calls me Rocky on account of my motorbike and cool sense of dress you see.” He pointed to a large Harley type machine shining in the entranceway. I had never seen a gold motorbike before. Taken somewhat aback I stuttered, “Mr. Stone, will I be allowed into your club? I mean I guess it’s a club and you are the doorman, right? You know, I suddenly feel the urge to become a member, but I’m not sure a member of what exactly. Curious, because on the way I was certain of the route and what I was doing, but now my mind has gone a complete blank!” “Please, call me Rocky. Your condition on arrival is quite normal, I assure you. Seen it before. Some people call me the bouncer around here but I don’t have to perform that function very often, thank God! Only if I get the really bad ones.” Rocky quipped, “I would say more janitor than guardian, although guardian is my true title. I’m here to show you around, to see if you fit in and can join… as long as I am able to validate your membership.” A sudden realization dawned on me. I stammered, “You’ve got records on me haven’t you? You know who I am, what I’ve been up to?” “We do” said Rocky distantly, raising his eyes. I continued, “I’ve got an idea you have a big guest book, where everything is written down, right? A column of pros and cons, copious notes of detail. A complete record since the day I was born perhaps?” Rocky laughed out aloud. “No, that’s a very popular misconception. And besides, that sounds like an awful lot of hard work and written record keeping to me. Wouldn’t want a job like that. No sir!” Imagine my thoughts at this stage of my journey. I had reached a new kind of club, had a tremendous urge to become a full-time member but wasn’t sure why, except, strangely, that was the only thing that mattered to my existence. No going back to the old one. Rocky interrupted my thoughts. “We do things differently up here compared to the way you imagine. I don’t know where people get these ideas from. Anyway, what did you think of your old club? I always


like to ask that question,” he said smiling, “I mean your answer has no bearing on joining ours.” “Well,” I started, trying to gather my thoughts, “membership rules - there don’t seem to be any. You can believe in anything you want really, do what you want although many restrict themselves by their own beliefs and rules you see. And membership is not exclusive, anybody can join and they certainly do. In fact, come to think of it, the number of members has even more than doubled since I was born. I kind of liked it, didn’t want to leave it actually, now that you ask. Not that I don’t want to join your club of course, you understand.” “Here’s the rub” said Rocky. “Ours is a just a little more exclusive. For example, I already know you are a composer and we do allow music on stringed instruments. Trumpets and the like are used only for very special occasions.” I became a little bolder. After all, if this was to become my new club, I needed to know if I would feel comfortable and at home here. “Plucked, bowed or hammered,” I retorted, “the stringed instruments that is?” Rocky laughed. “People imagine it is only the plucked kind, but I assure you, as an accepted member whatever your heart desires is available. Now, hop on the back of the bike and I’ll give you a quick tour around.” A new unpleasant and uneasy feeling of came over me once more. What if I don’t qualify for membership? What happens then? As we mounted the motor bike, I asked nervously, “So, how do you assess membership then?” By this time I didn’t really want to know. “I’m about to show you.” Rocky replied. The motor bike purred into action and helmet-less, we cruised into the club complex. “I’ll explain.” Rocky explained, “You’ve heard of a data warehouse?” “Well, yes.” I said somewhat intrigued. “It’s used to store all important data every day so it can be reused at any time. To get information for reports, for example.” “That’s right!” replied Rocky turning his head towards me and not looking where he was riding. “There is a difference though.” He continued, “You're talking about digital data, whereas in this club we do it all analog, so to speak. It’s all physical.” “Physical?” I queried distinctly bemused.


I followed his finger, still holding onto him from the pillion seat. There, rapidly approaching from the distance were buildings. Uniformly square buildings as far as the eye could see, but curiously of different sizes. In fact, some were ridiculously huge and stood out like the Empire State building and others nestled quietly almost hidden like a Sao Paolo slum. As we rode amongst them, Rocky told me, “These are our physical data warehouses and we’re going to visit yours and get a report on it.” If I’d had any stomach left, it would have had butterflies in it. We pulled up outside a moderately large sized warehouse and hopped of the bike. I gulped as I saw my name emblazoned on the entrance door to the warehouse. “Follow me!” Rocky beckoned enthusiastically. “This is the part I love!” He winked at me. Inside the doorway was a plan of the warehouse layout and an index entitled ‘Misdeed shelves’. My eyes were shifting nervously around and I caught sight of items like ‘torturing insects’, ‘selfish acts’ and ‘drug abuse’. As I covered my eyes so as not to glimpse any more of those ghastly topics Rocky insisted, “Come on, let’s take a look inside.” I kept my eyes firmly to the ground, not daring to look up. As we got well inside the warehouse structure, Rocky lifted my chin gently with a leather-gloved finger. To my astonishment, all I could see were row upon row filled with… alcohol! Booze far and wide. Mostly huge stacks of cans or bottles of beer, lots of bottles of wine and occasionally a bottle of spirits, Irish whiskey mostly. But all kinds of spirits, fortified wines and cocktail components were represented on those shelves somewhere. After the initial shock of the warehouse entrance, my heart lifted with happy thoughts. “Oh!” I enquired, “Are any of these meant for me? This new club could be very tempting after all it seems!” “Yes and no,” started Rocky, “not exactly. You see, this is all the alcohol you drank in your whole life during your membership of the old club. It’s a record of your lack of temperance, if you like.” Just as he was saying this, a small corner with what seemed like dozens of boxes of cigarettes caught my eye. ‘Oops’, I thought, ‘I had forgotten about that’. My heart sank (that is, if I had still owned one) as I began to realize that the size of one’s warehouse was going to be a factor against getting membership. At that moment I must have looked seriously glum!


Rocky continued to explain. “Yes, that’s the way we do it. The smaller the warehouse, the less the misdeeds, the more likely you are to get membership. You see, if everybody had a gigantic warehouse, there just wouldn’t be room enough. And we hate to turn people away. But when we do, we send them far down again and they have to carry the physical burden of their warehouse with them so we can reuse the space. Simple as that. Seems fair doesn’t it?” “Yes, ahem… far down? Physical burden?” I choked. I was doomed. Too many years and too much excess, had ballooned my warehouse into a whale of a time, a whale about to be well and truly beached on this club’s shore. “I suppose so”, I heard myself muttering with great foreboding. Rocky went on, “Yes, apparently, down there, far down there this physical burden is converted into corrective recreational activities, whose duration and severity are proportional to its size, capito?” I tried hard to return a smile. “However,” continued Rocky, “there’s a nice catch. A really bad thing gets a bigger space in your warehouse. It’s magnified.” Suddenly I began to pay strict attention. An important calculation was happening, which would have been a matter of life or death before. “So, you’ll notice that on many of your other shelves, you have very little”, continued Rocky further. “So it is the virtual size of your warehouse that counts for membership, not the apparent physical size you see. After all, we are talking about a life of virtual reality in this club, right?” Rocky started tapping on a strange device, calculating something. I was sure he was deliberately dragging it out to create unnecessary tension. “Your score," he announced with agonizing delay. By now I was in agony. “Hmmm…,” he repeated. You’re going to have to have a personal interview with the club’s owner to decide.” The relief on my face must have been as obvious as Pinocchio’s nose. I still had a chance. “Come on”, said Rocky with great enthusiasm once more, “don’t look so guilty about all that booze. Hop on. While you’re waiting for your interview I’ll really show you something. We’re going to visit Richard Burton’s warehouse!” ***



“Yes,” said Rocky pointing, “look over there!”


Dhaba Mutton Curry INGREDIENTS: 4.5 kg. of lamb shoulder 250 gm tinned tomato

Dr. Shyama Pada Coomar, electrical engineer from IIT Kharagpur, Dr. from Manchester, living with wife, son and daughter in Switzerland since 1985. He loves taking pictures, cooking and reading newspapers and avoids fondue. Contact: Dr. S. Coomar

Dhaba mutton curry is the mutton curry that you get in highway eateries. If you are interested in cooking it, then you should be willing to spend 3 hours before the dish is ready for human consumption. Are you still interested - then please keep on reading. "Khashi", or goat meat, is not so readily available in Switzerland. So we will have to transmogrify the lamb meat to khashi.

750 gm finely chopped onion 50 gm Minced garlic 100 gm Minced ginger


Garam masala (6 green Cardamoms, 6 Cloves, 2 inch cinnamon)

1. Make a masala paste by mixing the Haldi, Dhania, Jeera, and Red chilly powder and adding just enough water so that it is a paste and not a liquid.

1.5 tea spoon Red chilly powder 1.5 tea spoon Dhania (Coriander) powder 2.0 tea spoon Jeera (Cumin) powder 1.5 tea spoon Haldi (Turmeric) powder 2 pieces Tej Patta (Bay leaf) 150 gm Butter 150 ml Sunflower oil 2.0 tea spoon Salt 3.0 tea spoon Sugar One 3-5 liter heavy bottom cooking pot with air tight lid

2. Heat the sunflower oil in the pot and add the sugar so that it burns to become brown. 3. Add the finely chopped onion and minced garlic to the pot. Keep the pot in low heat so that the onions/garlic does not burn out. Keep on turning till half of it becomes brown and it is a thick paste. In other words most of the water has evaporated. 4. Add the butter and melt it completely- keep on turning so that the onions do not burn out or get stuck at the bottom. 5. Add Tej Patta and Garam masala and keep on turning till they are fried.

You might have noticed that not a drop of water has been put except the amount that was in the masala paste.

6. Lower the heat, add the Tinned tomato and the masala paste and keep on turning for 15 minutes. This part of the cooking must be for 15 minutes and nothing should burn out or become black. If necessary reduce the heat so that the total duration is 15 minutes. 7. Add the minced ginger and keep on turning till it is properly mixed. 8. Add the meat and make sure it is submerged in the sauce. Do not add water even if all of the meat does not get submerged. 9. Keep on turning the meat and adjust the heat so that the pot is simmering. 10. (To keep a pot simmering, one brings it to a boil and then reduces the heat to a point where the formation of bubbles has almost ceased) 11. Once simmering has started cover the pot with the lid. 12. For the next 1 hour open the lid every 10 minutes, mix the meat, top portion going to the bottom and bottom portion coming to the top and check for the burning smell. Reduce the heat if burning smell is noticed. If the meat is getting cooked fast then reduce the heat so that the total cooking time is 1 hour. 13. Add salt, mix it thoroughly, switch off the oven and keep the pot on the oven for the next 15 minutes. Now your Dhaba mutton curry is ready to be taken with Nan roti and red onions with lemon.



Tina Saha Pal

For food-loving Bengalis, menu remains incomplete without a fish dish. So this year, I chose to share the recipe for Masala Pomfret.


INGREDIENTS: 4 Pomfret fishes 5-6 tbsp (Tablespoon) Edible oil 100 gm Onion paste

1. Clean the fishes and scratch the body with a knife on both sides 3 - 4 times. Dab them nicely with salt and with turmeric powder and keep for 1/2 an hour.

1 tsp (Teaspoon) Ginger paste

2. Take oil in a big flat frying pan and heat nicely. (If the oil is sufficiently hot, fishes will not stick at the pan.) Shallow fry the fishes on both sides and keep them aside.

1/2 tsp Garlic paste

3. Fry the sliced onion till it turns brown and keep aside.

2 - 3 chopped tomatoes

4. Slightly fry the black cumin seeds (Kalanji), cardamon, cloves and cinnamon to sizzle, add the chopped tomatoes and stir to make paste. Cover the lid in between to soften the tomatoes faster.

200 gm sliced Onion

1 tsp Green Chili paste 4 - 6 whole Green Chilies 1 tsp Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chili powder (for red color) 1 tsp Cumin powder Salt (as per taste) 1/2 tsp Black Cumin Seeds (Kalanji) 2 pieces of Cardamon 2 pieces of Cloves 1 stick Cinnamon Water (as required)

Bhindi Do Pyaza

5. Add onion paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chili paste, cumin powder, Kashmiri chili powder, salt, turmeric powder and little amount of water to make a sauce. 6. When oil comes out of the mixture, add a cup of water to make a light gravy; add the whole chilies and wait for boiling. 7. As the gravy becomes thicker add the fried fishes and fried onions to it. After three minutes turn the fishes on other side and keep for another three minutes. Then take it out of oven. 8. Transfer the preparation to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander leaves or tomatoes, as you like. The dish is now ready to serve with hot plain rice or polau.

Uma has been living in Switzerland with her family since 2006. After her long stretch as a Homemaker, she started in 2015 as a Finance Associate in an American Firm in Bern. She is very passionate about her cooking, most of which are experimented in fusion style. She would love to promote her art of cooking at leisure sometime someday. Contact :

Uma Debnath

INGREDIENTS: Bhindi : 1 kg. Onion : 200 gms Tomato : 200 gms Green chilli : 20 gms Ginger (juliennes) : 20 gms Fresh Coriander : 15 gms Turmeric powder : 10 gms Cumin powder : 15 gms Cumin seeds : 10 gms Coriander powder : 15 gms Chat masala : 10 gms Lemon juice : 2 nos. Oil : 200 gms Salt : to taste


PREPARATION 1. Wash the Okra and slice them into dices. Then fry them. 2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and allow the seeds to crackle. 3. Saute the chopped onion, chilli and tomato till it is cooked. 4. and then add the remaining masala. 5. Add the fried okra, tomato dices and diced onions. 6. Finish with chopped coriander.



Masala Pomfret

After After ďŹ nishing ďŹ nishing graduation, graduation, Tina Tina worked worked for 7 for years 7 years at P at & PG. & G. She currently She currently lives lives in Zurich in Zurich with with her her husband husband and daughter. and daughter. In herIn free her time, free time, she likes she likes to cook to cook different different dishes. dishes. She loves She loves to travel to travel and listen and listen to music. to music. Email:Email:

Parul is a foodie based in London, and founder of Oh So Crumbtious. Her food is creative, handmade, and inspired by


traditional Indian flavours. She caters for small corporate and private events, and also accepts orders for her speciality bakes. You can contact her @


Pakodas: 1.

Finely chop the spinach, onion, garlic, and coriander

Spinach - 1 medium bunch (about 150 g)


In a large bowl, mix these with the gram flour, red chilli powder, cumin powder

Onion - 1 large


Sprinkle salt to taste, and soda bicarb

Garlic - 6 cloves


Use enough water to make a dough of the same consistency as chapatti dough (not very stiff or wet, but soft and pliable)

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp


Cover with cling film and keep aside

Cumin powder - 2 tsp


In the meantime, heat enough oil in a kadhai (wok) to deep fry


Break off equal sized portions of dough, and make small balls (about the size of a small lemon)


Deep fry the spinach balls until brown and crisp

For the pakodas:

Coriander - a handful

Soda bicarbonate - a pinch Gram flour - 2 cups Salt Water Oil to deep fry For the kadhi: Whisked yogurt - 3 cups Gram flour - 4 tbsp

Note: The spinach will give out water when you add salt to the mix. Use water sparingly when making the dough, to prevent it becoming sticky and wet. If it does, add more gram flour Kadhi: 1.

In a bowl, mix the gram flour with the yogurt till there are no lumps


Add the turmeric to this and mix well


Finely chop the ginger and slice the onions


Heat the oil in a kadhai (wok) on medium

Onion - 1 large


When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida

Oil - 2 tbsp


When the seeds start crackling, break the red chillies in half and add them


Then add the ginger

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp Asafoetida (hing) - a pinch Turmeric - ½ tsp Whole dry red chillies - 3 Ginger - 1.5 inch

Salt Water 8.

Sauté for about 30 seconds, till the ginger starts to turn golden


Add the sliced onions and sauté till they become translucent and start to turn golden

10. Then add the yogurt mix and a cup of water. Mix through 11. Add salt and mix again 12. Lower the heat, and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. If you feel the sauce is too thick, add a little more water. It should be the pouring consistency of single cream To serve, arrange the spinach pakodas in a large bowl, and spoon over plenty of kadhi, till the pakodas are submerged. Garnish with chopped coriander. Enjoy this dish with steamed basmati rice!



A Keralite born in Mumbai and married to a Bengali, Rejina came to Switzerland to pursue a PhD in neurobiology in 2001. She is a working mother with 2 kids with


a passion for books, food (especially baking), travel and fine arts.

Quick & Easy chocolate croissants PREPARATION INGREDIENTS: One Sheet - Filo pastry (Blätterteig) ½ a cup - Chocolate chips/ chunks One Egg- lightly beaten (egg wash)

1. Cut the rectangular filo pastry sheet into 8 triangles as shown in the figure. Make a tiny cut at the base ( broadest) end of the triangle. 2. Sprinkle chocolate chips/chunks and start rolling in the direction shown by the block arrow. 3. Curve the ends of the rolled croissants and ensure that they are sealed. 4. Brush the egg wash on to the top of all the chocolate croissants. 5. Bake the croissants at 180 degree Celsius with top and bottom heating for around 30 mins.

Variations: Instead of chocolate, one could add apricot jam or any kind of jam for jam croissants. Chocolate or hazelnut spreads also taste good.





This recipe is from Bongmom’s Cookbook

1. Curdle Milk Bring 4 cups of whole Milk to boil. When the milk is boiling add about 2tbsp of Lime juice. Lower the heat. Almost in seconds you will see the milk curdle and clumps of white milk solids forming. When you see the greenish water separating take it off from heat. Let it sit for 30 secs or so.

INGREDIENTS: Whole Milk -- 4 cups (~ 1 liter) Lime Juice -- 2tbsp (almost 1 whole lime) Sugar -- 1/8th cup (= 2 tbsp) Khejur Gur (jaggery) -1/8th cup (= 2tbsp) Note: Adjust the sugar and jaggery to your taste. You can use no sugar and all jaggery too. 3.


Drain chhana Now line a colander with cheesecloth and drain the chhana/chenna/ paneer. The greenish hued whey is great for making roti dough says my Ma. Next lightly rinse the chhana with water to remove the lemony taste and let it drain. After few minutes gather the ends of the cheesecloth to form a purse like shape and squeeze out the remaining water from the chhana. Next put it on a flat plate and weigh it with a slightly heavier object and let it remain like that for the next hour. I used my mortar for weighing down, I remember my mother using her nora.

Knead Chhana with sugar and jaggery Now we have to knead the chhana. Knead the chhana with the heel of your palm for about 4-5 minutes. Add about 1/8th cup of fine sugar and knead for 4-5 more minutes until the sugar is totally mixed with the chhana. Since the khejur gur is usually hard, we will microwave 1/8th cup of jaggery + 1 tsp of water for few seconds to soften and then add it to the chhana. If your khejur gur is already soft, you don't need to do this. Knead for 5 more minutes until your palm is oily with the fat from the chhana. At the end of this kneading, the chhana will look like a smooth ball of dough. Take small portion of it and toss to make small balls. These sweetened balls of raw chhana are called KaanchaGolla.


Paak or Cook Chhana Now we will do the "paak" or cook. Since I am doing a Norom Paak er sondesh we will be cooking the chhana at a very low heat. To add saffron to sondesh, warm 2 tbsp milk in microwave and soak saffron strands in it. Put a non-stick pan on low heat and add the kneaded, sweetened chhana. Add the saffron and milk. Stir and cook at low heat. Keep stirring with a spatula for next 10-15 minutes or so. The chhana should come together and will no longer stick to the pan by the end of this time. Take a small portion of the chhana and try rolling a ball. If you can make a smooth firm ball, the chhana is ready!


Shape cooked chhana to make Sondesh Now take out the warm chhana and immediately shape with molds or just toss into balls. If you wait, it will harden and you cannot shape it. For further decoration you can warm few strands of saffron in drops of milk and dot each sondesh with the saffron or add bits of pista.











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