Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hiralal-er Biyer Aage Ekta Kobita

Kon hashi ta kothaay haashi, ulto-palta birombona.
Bus-er bhire hothath dekha buuk-er khaajer uttejona.

Udor theke pitthi hoye uttejona golaa-e othe.
Ghamchi ami, gilche aamay kolonkito toshok-khana.

“Biye-er porei meye-ra emon pichon theke mutoye keno?"
Aar kota mash, tarpore to kol-tola te aar jabo na…

Chobi ta ki chena gelo?

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prithibi-te Maash Khaanek

Bristi hole shwopnoneer-e hurhuriye jol dhoke,
Nachte gelei achhar khabi, shamle dhori mon toke.
Baranda-r dorja khana pokko haather surgery.
Kaada jol-e paa dubiye raatri jege paayechari.

Rosh paayi na bhaath-er fyan-e, rosh paayi na bisna-te.
Rosh-er khoj-e shukno manush, nidra chhanchi majh-raate.
Aar jonmer jomaano beesh daag enke deye shorir-moy.
Sheera-ye sheera-ye beesh dhelejaai, hoye jodi hok bishokkhoy.

Raat puriye bhoshmo kurai, raat furaleyi ondhokar.
Ondhokaar-e huul futiye, jonmacchi barombaar.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reality continues to ruin my life...

Help! Help! Aliens!

They kidnapped my homework!!

Wish they'd take me too...

A slushy snow ball.

Aim tight! No! Look behind you!

Demented Snowmen!!

This planet can be

Magical , but only if

You have a tiger.
very many thanks to Kriti for the awesome link.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Month Of Love

Things are happening.
A lot of things are happening, even as you sit on your ass and browse through the internet and wonder where all the love is.
Love is. It simply is. And if its not, at this moment, making your life or breaking your spine or rendering you useless or giving you ideas or giving you the flu or laughing in your face, then you are probably the exception rather than the rule.
Love is out there. Doing things. And never more have I realized it since the last one month, when nearly all of my close friends have come to me with some love story or the other. So, names weirdly changed, this is what I have brought for show and tell…

My friend Sash, after years of bugging me to introduce him to my girl friends, has finally found love, in the avatar of a beautiful South Indian girl. His only problem- her family hates him, because he is from a different state and a different caste. My advice to him is to be thankful she is South Indian and not Hariyanvi, or her brother would be coming after him with not sarcasm and disdain, but a butcher knife. Good luck buddy.

The Gothic Angel, a young lady I admired immensely for her very noir style of writing, her dark, dark humour, and her love of morbidity, has stumbled out of the dark and damp into a sunny field of poppies that love can be. Being a very talented person, she expresses this new discovery deliciously, in poems and prose. But I hope she is still morbid. It would be a great loss to the world of blogging if she loses her sense of irony.

Happy, has fallen in love with a girl who is much younger than him and who doesn’t love him back, and he has been, I’m sorry to say, acting like a goat for the past many months. His Lolita has him twirled around her fingers. This week, he found out that she has been lying outrageously to him about most things. But he will not believe. No he won’t. I just want him to know that I’m really sorry all this is happening to him, but he needs to take charge of his own life. People can take advantage of you only as far as you let them.

The grasshopper, who had been ditched by his girl several months ago, insisted on staying in touch with her, contrary to my advice. He said he could not live without her, could not fall out of love. Well, it was fine till one day her new boyfriend picked up, and told him to bugger off and stay away from his girl. GH spent the next few days reeling with shock, humiliation, and misery. Let this be a lesson to all of you- never call up people who have ditched you, unless you want to invite them for your wedding.

My friend Kit lost her boyfriend of 8 years in a very avoidable accident. She was telling me one day on Gtalk about the doubts she was having about their relationship, and whether he was really good enough for her, and how she knew several people who liked her who were smarter, better looking, and more sensitive, and also how she really fancied a guy at her office. Well, he checked into her account that very evening, and went through her chat history. Well, you can probably imagine the rest of the story. No amount of groveling apologies could rescue their relationship and induce him to stay. Kit is today a very humbled, very lonely, very miserable person. Moral of the story- do NOT share your password with your already insecure boyfriend.

Nirvana’s love story is straight out of Ekta Kapoor’s worst nightmare. He loves this girl and she loves him back, but she has been in a relationship for the past eight years, and though it has been long loveless and dead, she cannot leave him because when she was a child, her mom left her dad for someone she loved and now though she respects what her mom did, she does not want to follow her footsteps, and she loves her dad a lot and her dad loves this other guy and blah blah blah bleggghh. Don’t worry, none of this made any sense to me either, so I told him that the only way for him to swim out of this psychological quagmire is to hire somebody to have the girl’s first boyfriend picked up and castrated. I even offered him the number of such a ‘somebody’, but good advice is never appreciated. Sheesh!

Closer home, LGL has shifted to a new city, a new job, and has moved in with her (same old) boyfriend. And she is a much wiser little girl since her last post.

LGL is wiser by this grain: A stuffed bunny will take five minutes to wash, but 2 days to dry..

A lot of things are happening, even as you sit on your ass and browse through the internet and wonder where all the love is.
Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What The Hell Do YOU Know About Heartbreak, Little Girl?

She used to say
It’s so girly to cry.
So I’m trying not to.
Not to.

She felt like home.
She felt like the mountains and the forests and the rivers back from where I come.

And you tell me, Little Girl, to make a nick in myself and let all my sorrow leak out.
What I’m trying to tell you, Little Girl, please listen, I’m not lost.
I’m not lost.
I’ve only lost my map.

For my friend the Grasshopper who cried all summer.
Photograph by Bokom.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hagrid's Parents?

This is Hagrid's father.

And this is Hagrid's mother.

So riddle me this Batman, How does Mr. Hagrid Sr. get his wife pregnant???

Drawings by LGL, according to scale and the descriptions provided by JKR.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Friday, June 26, 2009

My First Fireflies

Rejoice, all ye faithful. She has returned.

And all of a sudden
I cannot see their faces anymore.
Though I can still tell them apart
By the sound of their laughs.

Treacherous ink has leaked
From the dying sky
Into the silent waters of the lake
And has smudged the trees
Into shapelessness.

From inside the sightless blue,
Some people we can no longer see
Are strumming a happy song.
One of us lights a match.

And we notice that
A nightful of jaded specters
Have turned into glowing cigarette ends
Hovering up
And down
And up.

This is when they come.
Then two.
Then some more.
Till the tar is speckled
With tiny flying children
Holding lanterns,
Rushing out to play.

And finally,
Four weary delinquents
Get down to the serious business
Of making a plan for tonight,
In the shower of fireflies.

This is for Anik, Joy and Hasi, in memory of a deliciously lazy evening.
Photograph- The Lake, Kolkata.
Its good to be back.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Clarification, and a Blue Fantasy

Despite the fact that I haven't even started packing my contraband into my secret contraband compartments, and the time for my departure is slowly drawing near, I am writing to clear up a ridiculously embarrassing misunderstanding.

Several people who have read my LAST POST have written to tell me they hope I have a delightful holiday with Aniket ( of Melody of Dissonance). Some have congratulated me on finding such a great guy. One reader expressed overwhelming joy that the authors of two of her favourite blogs are seeing each other.

While I certainly wouldn't want to debate the fact that Aniket is a great guy, apart from being a dearly loved friend, not to mention my arch-nemesis, methinks a clarification is in order. I am going on a holiday with Anik, my best friend, lover, and fiance. Anik is a name by itself and is NOT short for Aniket.

But this idea that Aniket and LGL could go on holiday together has ricocheted, as ideas tend to do when they unwittingly enter my brain, into several Blue Fantasies, of which I am sharing my favourite.

Blue Fantasy Scene of LGL and Aniket Going on Holiday Together

He stood at the very edge of the cliff, his face orange in the sunset, his hair blown back by the deafening wind. He turned towards the car and called out- "What a beautiful view, come and see! Such a place is worth dying in..."

She got down from the car and walked towards him pensively. "I'm so glad you think so, sweetheart.", she whispered.


She sat in the car, nursing the drink he had mixed for her, listening to his favourite CD. He had gone down without a single shout. Proud. He had always been proud. Pride comes before the fall, she smiled as she thought.


They found her at the wheel. Rigor Mortis had done its job and left. She was still smiling.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Anik and I are going on a holiday to the city of our birth. We will spend the first three weeks of June doing things we haven’t done in a long time. This includes visiting many of our dearest friends, loitering for hours at roadside tea stalls, sipping cup after cup of lemon tea near the Lake embankment, foraging for old books in the second hand book market, perhaps catching a good play or a movie, getting drenched in unpredictable monsoon showers, smoking weed on the banks of the Ganga, maybe chartering a rowboat and playing rock bang in the middle of the river, eating too much street food for our own good, getting more body parts pierced, getting high before having to meet uninteresting relatives, getting sloshed in the middle of the day at some disreputable bar, and ambling aimlessly along unfamiliar alleys while languidly indulging in some socio-political debate .

Among other things, this means that there will be no posts on Rivers I Have Known for the next three weeks. I will, however, be reading all your posts, though I will probably not have time to comment. I promise to be back with lots of photographs, poems, experiences, observations, and Anik-dotes.

Take care of yourselves meanwhile. Will miss all of you. Will miss Cat’s foray into the world of fiction, Deepa’s adorable creations, Karen’s paintings with words, Sweta’s world-wise observations, Kriti’s plaintive rants, Joaquin’s musical expeditions every Thursday, Goirick’s bitter-sweet nostalgia, Jason’s maggot-kissing photos and spooky psychopaths, Aniket’s sometimes innocent sometimes sinister stories, Anirvan's passion-play with words, Priyanka’s utterly libidinous poems, Crafty’s unbelievely cute crochets, Mahesh’s heartfelt stories, Sawan’s poems that are sweet and sad at the same time, Margaret’s earthy poems, Atanu’s beautiful use of words, Amit Das’s homesickness, Amal’s daring experiments, Arnab's ruthless murderers, Quaint Murmurs’ funnily sad interpretations, Preetilata’s strange way of looking at life, Pradiptaa’s collection of amazingly good poetry, Sucharita’s little angels, Sarmistha’s tongue-in-cheek annotations, Amit's lyrical hindi poems, Smitha’s comments on my favourite books, Kirti’s well-aimed advice in her letters, Shubhajit’s ventures into darker and darker cinema, Sagorika’s sparkling poems and prose, Sakshi’s bizarrely funny experiences, Satan’s Darling’s acrostics, ….’s deadpan humor, Chriz’s very gross and very hilarious essays, Nikhita's bitchi rantings, TFL’s dark tales, Gagan’s love’s labour losts, Cherry Blossom’s photography. Amith’s adventures, SSQUO’s oddities, and all the other magical blogs that I read. See you guys in three weeks time.

Hasi, Bokom, Shila- am really looking forward to meeting you guys.

Happy Monsoons.


Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Oh- by the way, because of the recent cyclonic devastation, we have decided to scrap our plans to hit the beach.

Watercolor by Dilip Chitre. Photograph of Watercolor by LGL.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Moth In Love

A moth falls in love
With a playful tongue of fire.
What is love but death?

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Love Song For Bhati

Bhati doesn’t know me.

Bhati wouldn’t care.

He looks in my direction

And all he sees is air.

His eyes are burning beacons

His eyes are so alone.

As cold as morgues at midnight

As motionless as stone.

Bhati doesn’t know that

A bird inside me tries

To home towards the beacon

Of his lonely, lonely eyes

He’s a quiet man, is Bhati.

But not one you can ignore.

In that solemn head of his,

Bhati keeps a silent score.

But I hear a thousand echoes

For the words he cannot utter

Like he’s at one end of a tunnel

And I’m standing at the other.

They branded him and caged him

They rubbed him raw and red

They roasted Bhati on a spit

Till his charred ol’ soul was dead.

But I would rain upon your wounds,

I would set you free,

If you’d only let me, Bhati,

If only you would see.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An Acrostic and A Milestone

A writer can only

Hope for people to read and
Understand what she writes.
Nevertheless, it gives a very
Definite high when she
Realizes that
Every single silly thing she writes
Does manage to find a

Few people who think it’s interesting,
Or funny, or sad, or
Lovely, or outrageous, or plain
Ludicrous. So today, this writer,
Overwhelmed by her
Wonderful fortune in finding such an
Eclectic, weird and fun bunch of
Readers, would like to
Step down and bow in gratitude.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Twelve Hours With A Highway

There is something emancipating about being in a bus that's doing 140 kms an hour, on a highway that rolls on through deserts and mountains and shrub forests. The place you are leaving behind had no bars, the place you are heading to promises no extraordinary freedom, but still you feel like you are escaping, you are breaking parole, you are rushing headlong into adventure.

As your bus scurries like a terrified ant in and out of one of the world's most ancient mountain ranges, Gilmour and Wright sing in your ear-

Ancient bonds are breaking,
Moving on and changing sides.
Dreaming of a new day,
Cast aside the other way.
Magic visions stirring,
Kindled by and burning flames rise in her eyes.

The doorway stands ajar,
The walls that once were high.
Beyond the gilded cage,
Beyond the reach of ties.
The moment is at hand.
She breaks the golden band.

Every ten kilometers or so, the sky changes from sunny to cloudy to rainy to furiously sunny. The scenery changes too. Sometimes you see fields where mustard will perhaps grow later this year. Sometimes you see villages in the distance, and goatherds sing in some weird dialect as they guide their wards home alongside the road. Sometimes you see a lonely chimney that puffs black smoke into the yellow sky. and sometimes the desert takes over triumphantly, and you see nothing but miles and miles of unfriendly shrubs and thorn flora.

If you are lucky enough not to sleep through it, you might also get to see the sun set on the Aravallis, and a purple pall descend over the heated desertscape. Then impenetrable darkness, and sitting amidst twenty odd strangers sleeping fitfully, you are left with your own thoughts. You ponder upon the directionlessness of your life, and why everything is so scary, and how things change so fast and never go back to what they used to be, and how it's okay, it's always okay. And they still sing to you, those two, of burning bridges.

Bridges burning gladlyMerging with the shadows,Flickering between the lines.Stolen moments floating softly on the air,
Borne on wings of fire and climbing higher.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Friday, May 8, 2009

On A Wooden Bridge

It's not yet too late
To wash my skin clean of you.
The water beckons.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just Before The Storm

Gray swarms the blue
Like angry bees,
The pregnant skies
Turn into seas.

The wind, he smells
Of joyous earth,
Of thirsty fields
Bathing in mirth.

Coconut trees, they
Dance and sway
To welcome clouds
That float their way.

Birds rush homeward,
Children dance
To the earth and sky
And their new romance.

Clouds in baritone
Voices sing,
A drop lands on
A heron’s wing

And then the skies
Start giving birth
Crash down in pain
Upon the earth.

Blurred and shimmery,
All at once
My world becomes
A cosmic dance.
This photograph was taken by my friend Bokom just before the first of the famed Kalbaisakhi (monsoon thunderstorm) hit Kolkata this Sunday. Wishing all of you a refreshing monsoon.
Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Secrets Die A Lonely Death

A secret flame of steely ice
Cuts through layers
Of secret lies.

A secret lust,
Some secret fears
Choke to death
On secret tears.

Beneath the layers of secret lies
No one knows
When a secret dies.

Some secret fears,
A secret lust
Slowly, slowly
Turn to dust.

Secret flames on icy breath.
Secrets die
A lonely death.

This is a Painting by K.P.Reji. It is called 'Wait, Wait For The Next Move'. I'm sorry for the horrible picture quality, it was taken with my phone.
If this painting makes you write something- a poem, a haiku, some lines, whatever, please do

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why (Some) Men Touch Themselves In Public

No, I’m serious, why?? Is it an inherent gender thing, or are guys taught how to do this in special classes when they enter puberty? Could it be sheer machismo, (I got it, so I touch it.), or a severe insecurity, (Shit! Why has it stopped moving?), or just an inexhaustable fascination with oneself, (oooh, I wonder if it has changed shape in the last 10 minutes)?

Or maybe it’s just a complete absence of consideration? Maybe it doesn’t even occur to a guy that it might disgust other people, especially if they are not male, to be watching him scratch his genitals in oblivious bliss. Maybe he assumes that since it would be the high point of his year to see an unfamiliar woman fondling herself, she would naturally feel the same for him.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to be offensive here. I’m not even generalising. See, I added the ‘some’ in the title just to be politically correct, (though we all know better, don’t we?) I just need to find the answer to a few questions. And just so this doesn’t turn into a girly rant, I interviewed 6 hapless males to get their POV. The mentioned six have only one thing in common- they are my friends, (and hence somewhat weird) but apart from that, the sample range is pretty spread out.

The guys, strangely, were not remotely embarrassed, but talked willingly and eagerly. Only one of the six admitted to be a conscious ball-player, and the rest could not swear to what they did unconsciously. All six knew at least one person who persistently scratched himself, and two knew more than five. But this is where the similarity ends. When faced with the question of why people who touch, touch, each had a different theory.

Happy, who refused to accept that he touches himself even in private, thinks it is an Indian thing, the same inconsideration that makes people burp or fart in restuarants, or talk loudly about disgusting health problems to complete strangers. But he cannot explain why it should be restricted to males.

Nick says it is because men do not care and do not think it is cool to care. They think- ‘Whoa, I’m not touching you, I’m touching me; so whats your problem?’ He further feels that men should be left alone to touch themselves and women should get used to the idea that it’s just something men do, and not a personal affront.

Buno feels the tropical climate is to blame. Men, he says, sweat more than women, and therefore their itch problem would be more acute, especially in summers. He suspects that most scratchers suffer from some form of skin disease, and should be treated with pity and understanding rather than disgust.

Nandu suggests that the problem is more deep-rooted. He feels it stems from male lonelyness and emotional void. Men, he says, need to be touched, need to be loved and fondled. They touch themselves much as a lonely dog tries to throw and fetch all on its own. It’s a means to obliviate the sadness.

Sash (yes, of the porn CD infamy), says that many of his friends touch themselves in buses and trains to attract the attention of commuting girls. They enjoy being glared at in digust, it’s better than being ignored. Some guys even hope that the girls might just get turned on by the free show.

Sid feels that unlike girls whose hands are slapped away from their private parts from infancy itself, boys are never really taught not to touch. They grow up watching their fathers, uncles and brothers doing it, and they don’t even realize when they’ve imbibed the habit. They don’t mean to offend anybody; they just don’t realize it’s nasty.

The Monster Boss confesses that he touches himself because he has a very swollen, very crusty, very painful, very throbbing case of herpes down there and has also recently aquired a hyper-itchy fungal infection as well as pubic lice, and laments that the problem is getting worse instead of better.
(ok, no, that’s just wishful thinking. He wasn’t interviewed. I haven’t found out why he touches himself.)

Men, I didn’t want to judge you or show you down or rant against you. I merely wanted to understand a very bizzare habit that has never failed to disgust me or any other girl I know. Doing this survey opened my eyes and made me a more accepting person. I will never again want to set flesh eating scarabs upon a pair of testicles being scratched before my eyes. I realize it is a need you have, just as we girls need to compulsively eat chocolate. (No Aniket, I’m not calling you a girl).

But you might want to think about why certain parts of the human body are labled ‘private’ and why some places in your city are ‘public’ and how much nicer the world would be for the women you love, respect, and care for, if the twaine ne’er met.

If you have any insights you want to share, please feel free to use the comment page.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Goodbye Spring

Another April bids adieu.
Yet, every mustached face I see
Is still you.

Painting by Monet.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Three more inches.

Just three.

Crab strained his eyes. He could just see the tufty bit of root sticking out of the earth, three torturous inches away. It had been two hours that he had spent on his back, wiggling himself towards that root. And he had covered a single inch in all this time.

The root was his salvation, the only thing he could grab to get back on his feet. To get out of this dark dark hole. Three more inches. Crab forced his entire body to concentrate... Wiggle, man, wiggle!

Stupid. He had been stupid. The hole had seemed so innocent. So inviting. There was bound to be food inside, he had thought, and he would find it. Instead he had found himself on his back, as helpless as a silly turned turtle, and with no possible way to get out, except that stupid root he still couldn’t reach. He wiggled with all his being, celebrating each millimeter won with a gasp.

Two! More! Fucking! Inches!

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see a squirrel’s skull, yellow and fragile. So he wasn’t the hole’s first victim. But no way. No way. He wasn’t going to die here like that dumb mammal. He wasn’t going to die such a meaningless, ridiculous death, on his back with his legs waving, in a dark stinking hole with a skull for company. Wiggle, man!

He couldn’t die on himself now. He needed to see his lovely pond again, the pond he had spent his whole life in, the pond he used to think of with so much disdain.

And he never got around to telling that pretty pink thing with those cute tiny claws how much he liked her. What about his dream of building a house of leaves and shells on the east bank of the pond for her and the children they would have together? NO! Come on man! Wiggle!

And what about his biggest dream, to see the river all the ducks and frogs always talked about… Imagine a place where water moved on its own! And so much bigger than the pond! Crab was not going to die without seeing that river, no he wasn’t!! The skull grinned at him in encouragement. Move man!

Sweat trickled down Crab’s insides. His back was raw from the rubbing. His claws were numb with the straining. He seemed to be moving, iota by iota, only by the force of his mind. Then, suddenly, something touched his ass.

Crab didn’t allow himself more than a moment to feel relief and joy. His lower claw grappled with the root and began to maneuver his half-dead body. He didn’t stop to wonder where the strength was coming from; he merely remembered the instant when his feet touched soft earth. And then he was scuttling, out of that dark scary tunnel into the fresh, open world.

He could smell the pond before he saw it, orange in the sunset, his paradise of food and shelter. Sweet, sweet pond! Crab scuttled towards it faster than he had ever scuttled in his life. A fat pig, waddling homeward from her evening bath, stopped to toss him in the air and catch him in her jaws.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Little Girl

We promised
That we would have a little girl
And we would name her
After your eyelashes
And my eyes.
Where do promises go when they die?
Where do little girls wait till they are called to be born?

This was my contribution to Catherine's Tapestry of Spring. If you want to see the uniquely beautiful anthology and hear this poem as well as seven magical others being read out, please visit Catherine here (link)
And if you want to read a poem on the making of this wonderful creation, you should visit Aniket here (link)

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Limericks, A Dime A Dozen

A long time ago, I had challenged Aniket to write a limerick. He took up the challenge, did a research on limericks, came up with not one but five(of which one he wrote for me), and threw the challenge back in my face.
I never thought I'd get around to doing them, but here they are finally... Ten of these are for nine very good friends of mine, one is for a mortal enemy, and one I just threw in for luck. Let me know if they are any good...

Anik sighs to himself as he thinks
I used to be able to drink
My evening would start
With not less than a quart
How did my appetite shrink??
Bokom’s a doctor but he is also a poet.
Though he’s so goofy you’d just never know it.
Of all medicine put to test
Laughter is the best.
So for medical science’s sake, don’t outgrow it.
“Let’s see you steal my friends”, he dared.
So in twos and in threes they were snared
And when I achieved this feat
Aniket had to admit
Friends are much more fun when they’re shared.
The crap that they wrote was plain wicked
And they stayed anon, so it just wasn’t cricket.
But she showed them a finger,
And had they dared to linger
Jennifer would SO tell them where to stick it!
(This is re: Jennifer's recent trial with blog-stalkers. I hope this and the next one make you smile in mummified times, girl )
It's nice when she's away and you miss'er
'Cause a Mom-in-law's visit's like a blizzard.
Like she's sudden and she's cold
& She blasts through the household
And its all very unsettling for the lizards
(The above limerick will make sense to you only if your household comprises of both Mothers-in-law and lizards)
Anurag was surrounded by women.
The sole male in a feminine domain.
Amidst the cackling noise
In a guttaral voice,
He growled, ”But MY manhood is proven.”
I can't find a lable that will fit'er
She’s either sweet or she’s very very bitter
It depends on her mood
When Kriti’s good, she’s good,
But when she’s bad she’s actually better!
Sash bought a CD without checking its name
It turned out to be porn & no video game
Sash just couldn't desist,
He made love to his fist,
And sighed, "Someday I know I'll do this with a dame.
Deepa was sketching an angelic child
Which suddenly looked up at her and smiled.
Deepa jumped out of her skin!
The kid said with a grin,
"Why don't you make me a tad more wild?"
A young punjaban wanted Hasi for her lover
She was pretty and funny and very clever
But Hasi could not decide
If he liked her. Besides,
Where's the thrill of the chase if you can just have'er?
LGL's boss was obsessed with folders.
If she misfiled one li'l thing he'd scold her.
So she tricked him for a bet
Into the folder cabinet,
And left him locked there till he mouldered.
(Heeah! :D Sweet fantasy)
(And finally, something for all my Bong friends. I wrote this just before my exams.)
Moshla-maakha maach-gulo ke bhajte fele jei pan-e
Juddho korte jacchi mora, gorbe fole ei gyan-e
Bhoyonkor shobde moron
Beer—dorpe kore boron
Maach-er moto shohid hobo, emon ta to nei plan-e.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Very Recent Thought

The more time

I spend

In this world,

The less I want

To bring children

Into it.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My First Blog Award! Yay! (Title Shamelessly Copied)

After months of envying bloggers who have so many, dropping all sorts of hints to people, wondering if anybody would notice if I just stole one, and finally telling myself that blog awards are ridiculous, meaningless, and juvenile, I’ve finally got my first award!! Yaayyy! This honor is exponentiated by the fact that it’s from Aniket, my arch-nemesis and a genius in his own right (don’t slip on all the butter, AT), and all the other awardees are very very illustrious bloggers.
Apparently, there are several rules about what I’m supposed to do when I get an award, but since I don’t remember any of them, I just put up a picture of it on my blog side, and now I’ll give it around. But before I begin, I need to say that the first person I’d like to have awarded would have been Aniket himself, since his Melody of Dissonance is one of my favorite blogs, but then he’ll just award it back to me and this will go on till eternity and we’ll never be able to put up any new posts again. For similar reasons, I’ll refrain from giving it to my co-awardees Jennifer, whom I love, and Catharine, of whom I’m in deep awe.
(I realize I’m being ridiculously serious about this, but please humor me, it is my very first and I’ve waited very long for this.)
And so, this crayonny award goes to *drumroll*
Quaint Murmur for Quaint Murmur, because this blog is so lovely it’s addictive, and I’ve wanted to give it an award from my very first visit.
Shubajit Lahiri for Cinemascope, the baap of all film blogs, because his reviews are so crisp, funny, and no-holds-barred.
Kriti for Kreation, because this blog kicks ass. (and also, I was afraid she might hurt my family if I didn’t give it to her quietly)
Shubhadeep for Writer’s Column for his magical descriptive powers and the fact that he can bring any scene to life with just a word or two.
Anurag ‘Happy’ Pandey for Happinessss, because his expression is brilliant and it would be a pity if he stopped writing
Anil Sawan for Colors, because he knows how to put into words things I didn’t even know I was feeling.
Mainak ‘Bokom’ Pal for Vindi+Alu=Vindaloo, because his insanity is delicious and I wanted to incentivize him to keep up the madness
Deepa for Deepa's World of Art because her prose sparkles with colors and makes me smile every time.
Ok, you guys get to copy the award onto you own blogs, if you want to, that is, and you need to give it around to 7 other people or something, and you need to keep me in mind when you next get an award from someone else.
And I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the patience and perseverance of Shantanu Das, a new blog-friend who has spent the last two weekdays reading every single post I’ve ever written, and writing deep, meaningful, page-long comments for each one. To him, I want to say:
JIYO PAGLA!!! Kheer Kha!!

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Near my window

Silvery white flowers

Nod sleepily.

My neighbours' windchimes

Sing to each other

Of a coming Storm

But for now,

The wind herds the clouds

And straight in my eye,

This big, angry moon

Just wont let me sleep.
Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Really Really Wish

I could have a software that would go through my mail, locate all the forwarded mails that are not funny, naughty, or disgusting (it would simply have to search for key-words like love, friendship, God, cancer, happiness; and diabetes-inducing pictures of babies, teddybears, and puppies), delete all such mails automatically, block the sender from mailing/chatting with/scrapping me FOREVER UNTIL ETERNITY, and send a mild non-life-threatening-merely-paralysing-for few weeks electric shock through the internet back at all the sadistic creeps.

If i can't have that, then dear fruit of god's loin, please let me have a feature on my mobile phone that will permanently lock the SIM card and also render unusable the handset of any person who sends me another forwarded sweet friendship message in the middle of the night, or any other time for that matter.

Its a long week ahead.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Moment of Respite from the Summer

People who have been following my blog for some time will know that deep down, I am an adventure-loving person.(if you are new here, you might want to have a look at this post). I adore adventure, as long as it happens to other people and they send me photographs later.

My buddy
Bokom and his friends Madhusree, Barnali, Soumi, Debpriya, Dipankar, Arnab, and Frah went all the way to Sandakfu so that I may sit in my office cubicle and drool over these fantastic photographs .I thought it would be good to share them with those of you who are being baked brown by the Indian summer and who cannot do more than hallucinate about sunkissed snowy peaks, ice-cold mountain brooks, and pine trees sparking in a sudden shower.

For your information, Sandakfu, located near the bengal-sikkim border, is the tallest peak in West Bengal. The tiny brook you can see in some pictures is called Srikhola (khola meaning river). Photographs have been taken by
Mainak, a.k.a Bokom.

Happy trekking :)

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Thursday, March 26, 2009

25 Lifelong Friends

There are some topics that are so close to my heart that I don’t write about them for fear of going on and on. But I guess some things are just destined to be. Jennifer tagged me to make a list of 25 writers who have influenced me most. Now I’m a person whose life has been about her books. I was reading before I had learnt to walk. The way I think, the way I live, the way I talk, the way I write, the way I dream, the way I love, have all been shaped by the books that I’ve read.
It’s difficult to limit myself to 25, but I’ve tried, and come up with this list of people whose books I find myself going back to again and again. The list is not in any specific order, except for Marquez, who’ll always come first in any list of mine. And oh, though they’ve influenced me in no small way, I’m saving the Bengali writers for another list, another day.
The following list includes the names of 25 of my favorite writers and those books of theirs that I’ve read and loved. But I’m not writing about why I love them. If you’ve read them, you’ll know. If you haven’t, I just hope that some day in your busy lives you'll find the time to do so. And then you'll know.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – (One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera; Of Love and Other Demons; Chronicles of a Death Foretold; Strange Pilgrims; The General in His Labyrinth)
Milan Kundera – (The Unbearable Lightness of Being; Life is Elsewhere; The Joke; Farewell Waltz)
Ian McEwan – (In Between the Sheets; Amsterdam; Atonement; Saturday)
Arundhati Roy - (The God of Small Things)
Alexander McCall Smith – (The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series)
Jhumpa Lahiri – (The Interpreter of Maladies; Namesake; Unaccustomed Earth)
Joseph Heller – (Catch 22, Closing Time)

Helen Fielding – (Bridget Jones’ Diary; The Edge of Reason)

Hector Hugh Munro (Saki) – (All the short stories)
Melissa Banks – (The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing; The Wonder Spot)
J.R.R. Tolkiens – (The Lord of the Rings)
Pablo Neruda – (all poems)

Amitav Ghosh – (Hungry Tide; The Glass Palace; The Circle of Reason; Sea of Poppies)
J.K. Rowling – (The Harry Potter series)

Harper Lee – (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Ogden Nash – (All poems)
Alex Hailey – (Roots; Queen)
Franz Kafka – (Metamorphosis and other stories)

John Steinbeck - (The Grapes of Wrath; Travels with Charlie)
J.M. Coetze – (Disgrace)
Arthur Golden – (Memoirs of a Geisha)

Yann Martel – (Life of Pi)
Sue Townsend – (The Adrian Mole series)

Vladimir Nabokov – (Lolita)

Roald Dahl –
(All the creepy short stories)

Upamanyu Chatterjee - (English, August)

John Updike - (Rabbit, Run; Rabbit Redux; Rabbit is Rich; Rabbit at Rest)

I tag:-Quaint Murmur, because her writing is so beautiful there is no way she’s not a reader.Happy, because I midwifed his lust for booksChirpy Paro, because she loves to talk booksAniket, because I want to know what inspires a man to write so deliciouslyShubhodip, because I know a bibliophile when I see one

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Walk in the Rain ...( OR, How Mistaken Self-Perception Can Freeze Your Sorry Ass)

It was raining when I stepped out of the office last evening. Not hard, just a windy spray.
My first thought was - the autowallahs will charge double... and then, another tiny voice outshouted the first- you are a writer, a romantic, a born poet, of course you'll walk in the rain, you'll walk to the bus stop and take a bus, and feel the rain invigorating every corner of your tired soul...
So that was that, and the professional-with-a-poet's-heart turned her face heavenward, smiled and the black-blue sky, and began her walk in the rain.

Except, it was windier than I thought, and very soon the gentle hum of the drizzle turned into the roar of a downpour, and i was drenched through my thin summer-y kurta. The roads had water-logged, and walking was replaced by wading. The slush of garbage, usually at home on the sidewalks, had taken the opportunity to discover what the middle of the road might be like. There was no bus at the bus stop, and I had to wait a good quarter hour for one to come along, meanwhile the wind numbed me to my intestines. The bus was very very crowded, everybody was wet, and the smell in general was that of wet underwear and rotting vegetables. The bus belly-crawled through the city, picking up other hapless individuals in drenched throngs, and I was so late that I missed F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and what more, the calling bell gave me such an electric shock that i was thrown backwards.

This got me thinking. There is often such a gap between what we like to think of ourselves, and what we really are. Sometimes we fall through the gap, sometimes we leap over it, but its there and very often we don't even notice.

I, allegedly an agent of chaos, like to think of myself as someone who is neat and organized, and so I bought myself a really groovy planner (the first 28 pages of which I've already filled with equally groovy sketches).

A very dear friend of mine, a gentle Rabindrasangeet person whose only exposure to music in the English language till last year was, for some reason, Seal's
Kiss From A Rose, suddenly saw himself as a hard rock addict, and took it upon himself to progressively listen to all ... err.. music? under the hard/metal/death genre. I suspect its for the same reason that at the age of 28, he has begun experimenting with cannabis and woodstock like concerts (free booze dope & sex, folks).
But even as he head-bangs wildly, something inside nags him constantly- what would ma-baba think if they knew?

Another very close buddy, a self-proclaimed misogynist, went through a heart-ache and suddenly began to think of himself as a suave lady-killer. He began socializing, turned into quite a party animal, and was thronged by women of all ages who promptly fell in love with him (women love misogynists). Unfortunately, he is still women-shy at heart, and would probably have be shunted to an asylum somewhere if I weren't there to save his neck.

Another friend, who was very much a Saas-Bahu lover, suddenly began to believe herself a cultured intellectual, and made a project of going to see all the famous plays that were going around in her city. Sadly, a conversation with her made it very clear that she couldn't make head or tail of what the plays meant, and was for most parts bored. But she still goes. It's how she sees herself, see.

An inflated self-perception can take you higher than you were ever destined to go (I cleared CS, didn't I?). A deflated one might hold you back your whole life. A wrong one, however, just keeps you miserable, directionless, and continuously at odds with your real self.

Or, in my case, very very wet.

PS- my apologies to the aforementioned friends , who I know will recognize themselves and be vehement in their disagreement of my analysis. You guys are probably right. It's time I stopped seeing myself as a scholar of the human nature.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One Afternoon at the Seminar

To escape the monster's black jamun mood , I rushed into joining a 15 day seminar, but this was truly a case of running out of the frying pan and into the fire. Its a miracle I managed to come out with my sanity intact, (ok, whatever little i had in the first place). There were 42 sessions, and each was a serious contender for the most boring two hours of my life. Boring as in desk-crashingly, fist-eatingly, murder-inducingly BORING!

But it had its moments too...

One sleepy post lunch session, the faculty, who was a very learned man in his owned field (please don't ask what, I dozed through all the introductions), a young balding, unsmiling goat, literally shot into the hall and without any opening words, any greetings, any acknowledgment that the 34 of us were there, he began to bark out of his notes. We stared at him in mute horror, his focused energy so completely at odds with our state of stupor, Finally after a quarter hour of this horror, someone's prayers must have payed off, because the faculty, Mr. Sipani, suddenly shot out his seat (he tended to move like a ricocheting bullet) and shot towards the white-board.

The white-board happened to hidden by the projector screen, the roller being just above the board. So, in a blast of energy Mr. Sipani released the projector screen, which rolled up so fast that the roller was knocked out of its fixing at one end. The unfixed end happily oscillated a full 180 degrees and hit the switchboard on the wall, next to the white board. A blinding flash of sparks,and off went all the tube-lights in the hall.

We held our breaths in stunned semi-darkness, but the roller wasn't done in its path of destruction. It pendulummed right back and hit the white board this time, smashing its frame and blowing it off fixture at one end.

Both the roller and the board had finished oscillating by the time we figured out what had happened, and once we did, most of us fell to the floor laughing, tears streaming down our faces... Mr. Sipani was taken aback for an instant, but he springed back and barked at us "ENOUGH!". Then, to our unanimous surprise, he began writing on the ruinied and hanging whiteboard. But that aura of seriousness and terror had fled the class. Mr. Sipani had lost his audience.

He had his revenge though... At the end of the class, the big freak asked to see the attendance sheet that had been passed around for our signatures, read out all our names, and promised to block the certificates of the 9 people who had taken proxy, and all those who had helped them with it.

Do tell me if you liked the diagrams.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Benjy Button- Curiously Deja Vu

Ofcourse it was a beautiful movie. And of course Brad Pitt was stunningly nuanced in his portrayal of a man whose body ages in reverse. But throughout The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the one name that kept flashing in my mind like a siren was - FORREST GUMP- FORREST GUMP-FORREST GUMP...

The similarities are obvious. Benjamin, like Forrest, grows up ( or is it down?) in a transient environment, an inn in one case and an old age home in the other. Both have mothers (adopted in BB's case) who love them fiercely. Both go to a war and both look death in the eye and survive. Both fall in love with a childhood friend, and both have to wait a lifetime for that love to be fulfilled. Death is a familiar and friendly presence in both movies, and both movies use a motif (a hummingbird in one movie, a floating feather in another) to tell the story.

The comparison is natural. And its also a bit sad, because Benjamin per se is a lovely movie. But if you want to make a movie in the Forrest Gump genre Mr. Fincher, it had better be as good as Forrest Gump. And cute as he is, Brad Pitt is NOT Tom Hanks

The good part? Cate Blanchett's very graceful body-work, and the fact that Pitt actually gets hotter as the movie progresses.

Ps.. People, if you wanted a real review, it might be a good idea to visit Shubhojit..

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!