Sunday, July 20, 2008

Turbulent Recess

The last few months have rushed past me. It seems as if it was only yesterday that I returned, moved about in Bombay, boarded the Rajdhani express to Nizamudeen, bought a Mac, came back to home, met Baba (that is how we call our Grandfather in Bihar) in Barkakana and finally returned to work. Work life has not been great to be honest. I have not done much, yet it appears as if the months have passed in a jiffy. Yes, there has been a lot of filthy politicking at work, but you learn to accept and live with it with time. There is another week knocking for the footsteps and it reminds me of many more things which need to be completed. They have lied there, waiting to be done since days. Snap, I will try.

Baba passed away in May. He was not keeping well and his urinal infection had sucked out almost every ounce of energy left in him. Dadi had passed away in August last year. Ever since then Baba's heath had started deteriorating. His last few days were too painful. He used to refuse to take food, fully aware that he needs to eat, yet he could barely make himself eat anything. He lived a good life, fulfilled all his responsibilities, took care of all of us untill his last few years. I just wish that his last few days were more peaceful for him, but they were not. There are so many stories we had of him. He had fled away from our zamindari system in the village and gone to Calcutta for studying/working. He subsequently joined CCL and stayed at Barkakana. Who knows, if not for that audacious trip down to Calcutta, today I would have been a peasant taking care of our land in Tariyani Chhapra. He used to recount to us how they had fought against the British rule before independence and how they had not cared a fig for themselves, but just dreamt of an independent nation. Or how devastating was the earthquake which struck Bihar back then and he had experienced first-hand. His last days were not good, he deserved a better time.Baba was perhaps the perfect match for Dadi. Dadi was a kid at heart and had an infectious enthusiasm for life. She had survived numerous serious ailments all throughout her life and every time had been back to her energetic self in no time. She was too good at those supposedly feminine things like knitting and cooking. Her last days were also intensly painful, but they were swift and lasted for a lesser duration. May they live in peace now up there in heaven.

The last few months also saw a long awaited reprisal of my four favourite South Asian singers/writers. As if they had formed some
secret coalition among themselves, Jal, Chetan Bhagat, Jhumpa Lahiri and Rabbi Shergill decided to come out with their next work within months of each other after years of lull. How have they been? Well, Jal's new album is crap. I don't know if anyone else has ever come up with a worse second album after a debut album so fine and promising. The rest have been good. To be specific, here is the order - Unaccustomed Earth, Avengi Ja Nahin, The Three Mistakes Of My Life and then much below the rest, Boondh - A Drop Of Jal. If you can, listen to this song in Rabbi's new album - Maen Bolia. Vintage Rabbi : ). Rabbi in my opinion, is the best song writer in India currently and his songs are nearly as good as anyone else. I was tempted to call him the best composer as well, but that's a dicier verdict since there is an Indian Ocean to contend with. The only trouble with Rabbi is that you can never truly appreciate his songs unless you are having his translated lyrics in your hands. And yes, I have been listening to a lot of Coldplay of late.

If everything goes fine, some of my friends should be visiting in a few weeks from now and that is what keeps me going currently.


kaushik said...

Hey!! Nice flow in the post!

Sorry about Baba. I remember the painful last days of my grandmother too. I could hardly get myself the courage to go to her room to see her.
But, she (and my grand-dad) had achieved so much, that after she passed away, we ended up celebrating their lives with small stories and inspirations and such.

I am sure you will be missing them, but they are always looking after you :)


PS: Even I want to be in the reunion trip :(

kaushik said...

returned to read it again :)

When your writing is heart-felt, it becomes so much more beautiful.

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