Friday, June 25, 2010

Chandalika - esque syndrome

There is a Tagore short story "Chandalika" which has been frequently adapted into plays and dance dramas. The protagonist of the story is a girl from a lower caste and who is so often demeaned for her status - which becomes her way of life- cannot stand the shock when a Brahmin asks her for water that she goes into shock and dies.

When I was small, i found the story very meaningless and couldnt make much sense out of it.

Now, when I think of it, I think of it in a deeper realm.

A person who is so used to a certain way of life especially which one doesnt like or appreciate comes to accept it anyhow; and if that status is elevated, that person becomes so overwhelmed with emotions cannot come to terms with it.

A person who has seen so much failure in life - professional setback, low self-esteem or continuous lack of success in spite of trying hard - comes to accept it and live with it..

Suddenly, if that person is given a promotion or a rise in self esteem due to some compliment or just faced with success after years of failure becomes so overwhelmed with emotion and finds difficulty in coming to terms with it.. hence we see tears of joy, sudden thankfulness and some people dont know how to handle it and go ballistic..

It is amazzing how Tagore's story from over a century ago still rings true today..

Saturday, May 22, 2010

my sojourn in Calcutta

Had gone to Calcutta in April for 2 and a half days.. Really njoyed.. U know - when u go to a new city you usually feel alien.. but here was a city in which everyone was speaking my mother tongue(Bengali) and greeting everyone as "Dada" and "Boudi" which is different and a relief from the typical Delhi - "bhaiya" and "bhabhiji"

Infrastructure has improved tremendously since i last saw it (10 years back).. roads much better and expansion of the metro.. (first in India)..

Kolkatta has a rich history.. The British came here and made their capital here till 1910 so people from this region tend to think and act intellectually.. i mean West Bengal is the only place that can boast of people like Amartya Sen, J.C Bose, Satyajit Ray (one of the few Indians to win and oscar) and many of the like..

Went to a lot of my relatives place whose children are apparently my second cousins and had a really nice time getting to know them and exchanging pleasantries..

Must say was really nice to have some new fresh faces of relatives..

Almost all our relatives fed us something .. so we ended up having a lot of maach (fish), mishti (sweets) and in all kinds of preparations..

Just luvved the feel of the place - the "Bengaliness"

I feel no Bengali person can ever feel like an outsider in this city.. The city just embraces you and takes you within it till u feel like you're a part of it..