“ Laid under the marigolds”
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Where the coins have gone?
People face an acute shortage of coins of smaller denominations, making even the simplest tasks of buying groceries and vegetables, Paying for bus or auto fares, or commuting a complicated transaction.
It seems that suddenly no has the coins to give but only to take. Coins of one and five rupee appear to vanish from the market. If your vegetable or grocery bill end with two or Five (say 12 or 15), the shopkeeper asks you to either give the coins, take less or more or accept cheap candies. It seems that they are helpless.
I asked my friends and overheard people discussing over the same problem.
One of the common answers I found out is that One and Five-rupee coins are now the cheapest source of raw material for manufacturers of Blade, fancy metal items and false jewelry. A metallurgist friend of me told me that each single one-rupee coin if melted could make a pack of six razor blades.
At present Re 1, copper nickel will have metal value of Rs 2.50, while Re 1 nickel coin could be worth Rs 10. Many said that Coins worth crores are locked in donation boxes of large temples.
However, I was unsatisfied and tried to get some solid clues. If metal content and donations from ever increasing religious population in
the matter then why the paper bank notes of 1,2 and five rupee are also rare? India
One of my friends told me that RBI is the main source of issue of Coins and notes of smaller amounts followed by selected bank branches and currency chests. Earlier, traders like big retailers, hoteliers and bus syndicates use to get coins directly from RBI counters. I came to know the following information.
· It is a recent policy matter of RBI to withdraw from all sorts of retail operations.
· The number of coins issued at RBI office in Kolkata has come down from 400 bags (of 2000 coins each) to around 150 bags
· In the monetary policy statement in April, RBI had said that it intended to channelize the distribution of bank notes and coins only through currency chests and bank branches.
· RBI has also stopped printing of Bank notes of denominations of Rs 1, 2, and 5.
· RBI has decided to change the raw material used for manufacturing of coins from Copper-Nickel to FSS (Ferritic Stainless Steel).
· FSS is also a coveted metal for some industries, which would like to melt it to make fancy items and earn larger profits.
Call for looking for new methods.
RBI must carry out research for minting coins or printing small value currency notes. This may be done in the following suggested ways.
· There are Few PSU Banks, who are currently authorized to distribute coins. For example in N-24 paraganas district of Kolkata only two Branches of SBI deals with distribution of coins. There should be more bank branches with automatic coin vending machines.
· Law keeping authorities can easily wipe out the illegal selling stalls of coin selling and hoarding.
· Mint plastic tokens with security marks perhaps with a small metal foil type cover
· Issue small currency notes with plastic lamination. The reason to discontinue the printing was that these notes soiled easily. Plastic lamination may minimize this problem.
· Currency notes of odd denominations like Rs 6, 7, 9, 11, 15, 19 and so forth. Suppose your shopping bill is Rs 56. You take out a Rs 50 note from your purse and for the remaining 6 Rupees you search your pocket for coins or give the shopkeeper Rs 50+ 10. You may end up with accepting 4 useless candies. The problem is often with odd figures. This may solve the problem to a large extent.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
DURGAPUJA OF A ROYAL FAMILY.
It was an unusual long waiting in the waiting all for a Puja Special Train. I was returning from a remote location of NE part of
to Kolkata just before few
days before the Durga Puja festival.e Marat India
A big group with children arrived and much to my dismay, the peace of the waiting hall was disturbed. The group was led by an old lady. She could be well in her early seventies with faint wrinkles on her rose-pearly complexion.
Her butter colored pure Silk Saree with appropriate embroidered blue border and matching pure pearl jewelry and a soft but commanding voice was giving a hint of her blue blood.
As I could guess from their talking, they are most likely the few remnant Tea garden owners who still visit their ancestral Village home in
during Durga Puja. They are mostly from big Landlord families of old times.
The majestic Old Lady guessed my disturbance and asked one of the accompanying helping hands to unpack a carpet and velvet pillows. Seeing this, the naughtiest of her grandchildren told her
“Thakma (Grandmother), tell us about the mock fight that we see every year on the day of Vijaya Dussami.”
Thakma understood what this naughty child was asking for.
“Sweets shall be only after lunch.”
His other brother and sisters who just returned from outside with their mothers protested
“ No Thakma, . Sweets or not, we want to hear that story from you.”
Their grandma settled comfortably on the carpet and her grandchildren and the two daughter-in laws joined. Her voice, although soft but distinct could be heard even from my position.
“That time was more than two fifty years from now. The Nawbab of Bengal, Alibardi was facing a tough time from two sides. Seeing the ailing old Nawbab, the syndicate of heirs started infighting among themselves. Simultaneously, the Marathas although taking a heavy amount from the Nawab as “Chauth” were invading his kingdom continuously. Marathas fighting on horse back and supported by efficient artillery had more striking powers than his infantry and not so good artillery.
On hearing secret news of possible Maratha invasion, Nawbab sent two of his most brave and loyal generals Vikram and Subir. The generals were brave and unlike other generals they maintained cavalry .They had a good knowledge of Fire Power. Their ancestors went to
and learnt the technique of making shells of Canon and metallurgy for making
Vikram and Subir were about to win a fierce battle against the Marathas. Unfortunately, a shell from their side missed the target and it hit the surface near the Cavalry.
The horses became nervous and a big chaos happened. The cavalry, covering the two brother Generals got detached from them. However, while fighting one to one, the generals were wounded and unconscious. Their horses carried them away from the battlefield to safe place. The loyal soldiers traced them deep inside a forest by the side of a big Pond and an abandoned temple.
An old lady met the soldiers and gave them herbs and a pitcher of Sherbat. As per her instruction, they made a paste of these herbs, rubbed it on the wounds of their beloved Generals, and slowly fed them the pitcher of Sherbat.
Overnight the wounds healed up and both the brothers regained their sense. They got up and recollected a dream. Surprisingly both of them saw simultaneously the same dream.
They saw a goddess in their dream who told them that she was the presiding deity of the
save her from the hands of Marthas, the Head Priest of the temple threw her in
the Pond. Temple
In the morning, they would see a moving plank floating on the top in the pond. They should swim in the pond and follow the plank. Wherever the Plank becomes standstill, first the elder brother would dive down. After he comes back to surface, the younger brother would dive down.
The elder brother Vikram recovered only two gold hands of the deity and a Mighty sword. The younger brother Subir recovered the gold Idol of Durga. The solders saw the idol and said in the last evening, the old lady who gave them the herbs and Pitcher of Sherbat had strong similarity with the Idol.
They placed back the idol in the
Vikram and Subir decided to send one of their men to bring the head family
priest for further advice. Temple
In the following night, they saw another dream. Devi Durga asked them to recover a manuscript written on Palm leaves from a hidden tunnel, inside the temple. They should worship her as per the instructions and Mantras of the Manuscript.
The head priest along with many others consisting of family members of the two brothers, artisans arrived shortly. They also brought important information.
Nawbab Alibardi breathed his last and infighting among the possible heirs of the throne started. The capital of Murshidabad was no longer safe from them in the changed scenario. None of the heirs to the throne liked them and might possibly snatch away their powers and positions in the court.
The brothers decided not to return to capital and preferred to remain in this place to study the follow-ups. One thing was clear to them. Whoever might become the Nawbab of Bengal fall in the clutches of Mirzafar and alliance. They would avoid fight with the Mararthas and make never-ending compromises.
The Priest studied the manuscript of Palm leaves and advised the brothers to start worshiping the Idol of Durga Devi on the forthcoming scheduled Durgapuja of the Year.
Only few month’s time was left. But, the skilled artisans of the Generals quickly reconstructed the temple and the surrounding village.
This village was far from the capital town of
But the King of Vishnupur Hambir Malla came to know about the brothers. The
brothers were well known both for their bravery and for knowledge of Firepower.
The king heard their names before and called them to his court. Vishnupur
Maharaja Hambir Malla was worried about the possible Maratha invasion in his state. His soldiers were mostly infantry and without any knowledge of firepower. The Maratha forces were mostly cavalry with firepower. With quick penetration power, they were superior to his army.
He appointed the brothers to be the chief of his army and to train his soldiers. The brothers advised the King to construct tall Minars on war footing around the kingdom. These Minars installed with canons would not only track the Maratha force from a distance but at time of need could shell the cavalry of the Maratha force.
By that time, the Artisans of Generals developed lightweight canons. These canons even could be easily loaded on bullock carts.
Durga Puja started but the people on the Minar spotted the Mararthas led by Bhaskar Pandit were advancing towards the capital. On the day of Mahastami of Durga Puja, the Marathas were near the
adjacent to the new village settlement of the Generals. The Generals worked out
a strategy to save the capital of Vishnupur Maharaja.
Bhaskar Pundit’s force saw few Bullock carts were coming towards them in the narrow path of
Taking them as villagers, they shouted at them to go back and move sideways to
clear the path of the soldier movement. The bullock carts turned back and moved
in sideways only to surround the invading force in a semicircle.
The back of each bullock cart was fitted with small canon packed with hay on both side. As these small canons started firing, it took the Marathas by surprise and they were flown like hay. They started dispersing here and there only to fall prey of the powerful infantry of the General’s force.
But the contingent led by Bhaskar Pandit of Marathas cleverly bypassed this attack and moved towards the capital.
That was the morning of Mahanavami day of Durga Puja. Just at the sunrise, a big platoon of Infantry and artillery of small canons led by the General Subir on the field of Gangani, the gorge of
, were ready to
counter the move of Bhaskar Pandit. Shilabati
A fierce battle took place. Bhaskar Pandit divided his troupe in small groups to capture the small canons. General Subir deliberately allowed them.
The Marthas captured the canons only to find out the defective shells that did not fire. While they wee busy doing it, Bhaskar Pandit was left with few platoons.
The groups of canon snatchers were returning to join Bhaskar Pandit. But they were unaware of the Bigger canons fitted in the Minars and on the Gorge top.
As the shelling started from these places, The Maratha force being confused from all ends were dispersed leaving Bhaskar Pandit to fight alone with few troupes. Bhaskar Pandit was a great fighter and few could stand before him. However, he and few of his followers could not put much resistance but they fought bravely.
At the Sunset, heavily injured Bhaskar Pundit’s loyals forced him to quit for this time and moved away with heavy casualty on his side. General Subir and his soldiers returned the capital after wining the battle on the day of Vijaya Dasami.
The king wanted to reward the brothers heavily. He told the brothers to take that much area of the land in his kingdom, which a horse could cover from dawn to dusk. The brothers politely declined and requested the king to give them only five villages surrounding their new village.
This village is our Nayagar. General Vikram and Subir were our ancestors. We also took a major part in the freedom fighting against the British.”
The arrival of
Holiday special was announced. AS
the Grandma and her grandchildren stood up, the youngest listener asked
“But Grandma you did not tell us about the mock fight in our village on the Vijya dussami day”
Grandma smiled and said, “Do I have to tell you? The Durgapuja you see now in our ancestral house in the village started from that year of battle wining by our great ancestors.
Vijaya dussami is the day on which our ancestors won the battle with the Marathas. The mock fight, which you see on that day, is between the villagers of four villages and the village Martha Para in the western side. The Martha para villagers are the descendants of the Maratha prisoners of that battle. They did not want to return to their place. Our ancestors gave them that village.”
Sunday, September 30, 2012
PRADIP KUMAR BISWAS
This story is an entry to Fiction writing workshop. This story is developed and based on a Plot given by The fool and is linked to the following link.
(About me: I write what my characters speak among themselves or to me, so I am not a writer to but a steno to my characters. I move out for my day to day work and the persons or places whatever I see creeps in my subconscious mind forming a dream sequence. When the dream ceases, I see the characters once again and they start talking. And there starts my stenography. I have many published and unpublished stories and one published novel “A Trek to Unknown” by Bibliofil. Prior to this story, I never developed any plot of other. Here also I failed at first, but coincidentally, I met with two characters recently, who installed and trained us for two software packages that our company bought. One was an ordinary but very sharp software technician and another was V.P, also known as ‘Hunterwali’ by her officemates. This story was based on their interaction with me.I am a geologist by profession and lucky enough to visit places and persons around
and world for mineral
exploration and mining. They all love me very much and I am their obedient
Suddenly Meghna found, her horse has moved too fast and she is now isolated from her companions. An enemy warrior in black dress came out from a bush and his horse blocked her way. In quicker reflex, her sword flashed and she tried to defend the attack of the tall man by hitting his shoulder. The man helplessly lowered his head, only to be beheaded. However, just before that, he threw his javelin towards her. A tall dark man on a white horse appeared from nowhere. His Horse galloped high, his sword flashed like a lightning, and blocked the Javelin. He looked back and raising his sword signaled the Artillery behind him to start firing at the direction of the bridge on the river. Now, Meghna had a glimpse of the Warrior. His face was covered with the protective hanging iron chains from his golden headgear. The bright embossing on his golden helmet and bright crown silver mark on his dress marked him as the strider of the main clan. As a leader of the sub-clan, she saluted him and he reciprocated and his horse carried him away fast
The “boom- boom” deafening sound of the shelling started from their side were enough to pull her from her bed. Meghna opened her eyes and she heard clearly the sound of another bomb. She got up and looked through the big windows. The smokes can be seen still. It is from the main road.
Today is 20th September, the day of “Bharat Bandh”. There could be a clash between the ruling and opposition political parties. Somewhere from her room there was a clatter of breaking glass panes. She was now afraid and looked around.
The morning TV live show was showing the activities of miscreants pelting stones to a bus and breaking the front glass into pieces. She was trying to recollect how she slept here.As usual, she got up early only to remember that it was the “Bharat Bandh” day and she might not be able to go to office.
She opened the TV to check the News but found none. Keeping the TV on, she opened her computer to play her favorite online computer game of MMORPG but soon was asleep.
The game she was playing currently is the War-Game led by a strider of a clan and Ex- army head of a country, now in exile. The queen, a foreign national, opened the country free for traders of her motherland. The Army head opposed the idea and he was banished.
The general soon found out patriots like him in exile, united them, and formed a clan. The aim of this clan was to free their own country from the clutches of the queen.One can join the clan and be a member of the sub-clan depending upon the resource and the challenges the person can opt for.
Meghna was inducted in the guerrilla warfare sub-clan and upon destroying two strategic positions; she is currently the group head of the sub clan.
They are now near the border of the country. They have to capture a fort occupied by the enemy on the other side of a big deep river. There is a bridge on the river approaching the fort. But this heavily guarded bridge is covered by the artillery from the ramps of the fort. Casualty on their side could be very high if they want to cross this bridge.
Meghna was watching the move of their strider took to capture the bridge and the fort. She played the game upto this but soon she fell into sleep.As she woke up, she found an excellent move was taken by the strider. The enemy side kept the prisoner of wars (POWS) in front, led by a Captain from the
side. The tyrant captain compelled them to make a do or die fight with Meghna’s
clan. The main force of the enemy with artillery coverage was behind the bridge
approaching the fort and in the rampart of the Fort.
The Move taken by the Strider.
· The brave warriors sub clan on horse back swept past the POWs guarding the direct entry to captain’s arena.
· Captain was isolated.
· The POWs now surrenders to Striders clan.
· The artillery clan successfully demolished the bridge.
· The enemy force was isolated.
· POWS guided them to cross the river through a narrow and shallow part.
· Meghna’s guerrilla sub-clan was given a cover to cross the river along with them.
Now the Strider ordered Meghna to make a successful operation to reach the rampart of the Fort. Her sub-clan either silence or capture the Guns and pave the way for the gunner sub clan to start shelling at the enemy guarding on the spire road approach to the fort with minimum casualty and complete the operation before dawn. He also warned her that there is a full moon light in the sky.
Looking at her watch, she left the game for sometime and got to her feet. She must freshen up before the production report from the mines and progress reports of the Solar Power arrive. Soon a call came up. Thinking it as a call from the Port, she looked at the Number.
This was from her friend Tanya, the chief editor of BP Group. Tanya was her classmate at IIMA. She joined the BP group and Meghna in DFC Bank.
After initial exchanges of welfares on both sides, Tanya reminded the interview Meghna promised might be held today. Tanya could send her representative Jona at her residence.
She said, “Do not worry about her. News people can reach any where at ease even during the All India Bandh. Right now Jona is giving live coverage in a locality close to yours. If you are comfortable now she may visit you within half an hour.”Meghna said “Send her, we shall have breakfast together.”
Jona said “Congratulations Meghna. We all think that you long deserved this award of the Top Executive of the year by FICCI. How do you feel about it?”
Meghna “I consider this as recognition of Shyam Group as a whole. I only played my role as Vice-President of Business development and strategies”
Jona “Before you joined, the group was plunged in debts and a bad achiever in Stock market. What strategies are implemented by you to pull it up?”
Meghna “Before I joined. Shyam group was in only Mining business, which was reeling with recessions. We diversified ourselves in Steel making, Solar, and wind Power. Diversifications in right and Pioneer areas brought in bright results in the balance sheet of the company.”
Jona “FICCI observed that your strategies alone made the Shyam group to turn around. How do you feel about it?”
Meghna bit her lips and paused a while and gave a diplomatic reply “We act as a team, some one initiates and others participate. The team develops and implements it to further.”
Jona “Do you initiate always and others…”
Meghna “I can not divulge company trade secrets.”
Meghna could not say that she found none so far.
None, including the fat CTC earners of few crores, the COO, directors and her colleagues senior and junior to her, has the capability to initiate or wish to do so.
Every time she has to initiate and face the lone battle of bottlenecks in each piece of new ventures that has brought the company to limelight. Nobody ever participated in strategy, Business development, or Vision. They only criticized her but eat the cake every time merrily at the end. What she has got, apart from a good package? She knows people down or up her line call her “Hunterwalli”.
Jona broke the pause “Meghna, there is a query from our readers and viewers. You are very much selective in your core team. Each member has to be bright, graduates from top institutes like IIMs and IITs and good connections. What is your comment on this?’
Meghna “It is true that each core team member is not only bright but they are very hard working and sincere. We have both, pass out from top institutes and people like me who started their career with basic qualifications and gradually obtained some more professional qualifications.
After+2, I worked as an accounts-assistant, passed B.com through evening course and saved enough money for a coaching session for CAT and got into IIMA supported by Bank Loan.
There is another Guy, Arup, currently our senior IT technician. He discontinued his studies because of family problems, began as a office boy but gradually obtained certifications and a degree in IT through correspondence course. Without him, we could not have ventured into our network communications linking the mining and solar power projects, installation, maintenance, and security of softwares at all the projects and our corporate office. In fact one of his brainwaves saved us a lot of foreign exchange for the computerized solar Power plant control room.”
Jona “ One last query. What inspires you to your role?”Looking at the computer screen lying at her small desk, Jona further asked “Please forgive me. I am seeing an online role-playing game on your screen. Do you or someone else play this game?”
Meghna “I think you have answered your query by yourself. Yes, I play this game but in a small role. But, I learn a lot from the team members and from the Strider. Every time he makes excellent moves, compelling each to play their role and he also brings out the hidden groups that can participate. I think this person, who can play at ease with excellent strategies may be a very high and decision making executive in a big corporate sector. He cannot be any ordinary person. Someday I may be able to stumble into his identity and meet him in person.”
Jona “Thank You Meghna, for sparing your time for this interview. I believe this story inspire our viewers and readers.”
Meghna said, “One moment Jona. Can you do me a favor? I think it shall be too unsafe for me to take out my car and reach office for a day like this. May you please drop me at your office?”
Jona “Oh yes Meghna, our pleasure. No one dares to touch our ‘Press’ vehicles”
Meghna has a scheduled video conference with the manufacturers of solar photovoltaic modules at noon and she was looking at the last minute glance of the PowerPoint presentations.
As usual, the attendance in the office was thin and she was feeling a bit nervous with the manipulation of control panel from the various video and audio outputs.
She was missing Arup badly. Normally Arup and her secretary Zinta look after this. Arup anticipated his absence for the “Bandth” and showed her the necessary manipulations the server to connect, disconnect and synchronizations with mixers blending audio and Video inputs. He assured her that Zinta is sufficiently trained to handle this in his absence.
Zinta’s voice came over in the voice receiver “Mam, I am afraid. There is a snag in the system. I tried all but it appears it is out of my reach”
Meghna said in her firm and cool voice “Come out of panic and get me Arup. Tell him to talk to me immediately”
Arup was online within a few minutes. In his usual cool and confident voice, he said, “I told Zinta to put off the voice transponder for half an hour and run the antivirus programme. There could be a virus attack to copy our Solar operations files. It shall be all OK much before the CONCALL of US experts.”
Meghna said, “Could it be due to the computer games we allow during the Lunch recess?”
Arup said, “Mam, I check all the games that our employees play from their IP address. None found so far as malware. Any way Mam, I am trying to reach office by my Bike; I am already on my way.”
Meghna put down her receiver. She had a sudden brainwave. and called Zinta. “ Zinta, come to my room with a print out of the IP address and games logs of all employees from the server. Make it fast.”
Now she shall come to know whether anyone is playing that Trozan game or not. In this game, there is a chance you send hints to crack the passwords of the vital installations.
She already doubts few and now she would be able to catch their collars. Looking at the print outs, she suddenly stopped at the third page. Two people in the office are playing MMORPG games. One I.P is she but who the other is?
Looking at her pencil,Zinta said “Mam, that I.P is inside the server room. That is Arup’s computer.”
Meghna said “Do you know his passwords?”
As Zinta nodded approvingly she said “Go, open his computer and I shall be there to get the links for the transponder response. After this, go to board room and check whether the video CONCALL is operating or not. Call Arup and tell him to join you in the Boardroom and further confirm. ”
Meghna saw Zinta moving to Boardroom arena and she hurriedly entered the Server room. Although unethical, but she exercised her right to know the details of the Game that any employee plays. She was expecting Arup might be playing at the best a supporting technical sub-head in this game.
Her heart thumped a bit, Arup may come here at any moment. Within a second the game opened and her surprises one after another begin.
This man Arup playing the role of Strider is just a simple Senior IT technician, not at least a HOD. She looked into the subroutines he designed for the possible and expected future strategies to put the Queen as a prisoner. She looked at the glass doors and swiftly shutdown the computer.
The future game plan and strategies clearly reflect his hidden talent and potential to be an excellent decision maker. But all strategists make some mistake. He did a mistake about himself and his own career.
Going back to her room, she was entering through the backside passage of Directors rooms and the Boardroom. Between the curtains, she glanced at the glass widows.
Arup and Zinta are sitting near the console panel and they are sitting too close to each other. They are gazing more to each other than examining the console panels for the CONCAll. This is office after all; they should not forget the decorum.
There are two long pending applications from Zinta and Arup. Zinta wanted a transfer to project side, close to her home. She recommended strongly and kept it in the out tray. Arup applied for the management quota to Study evening course Of MBA.
While she was busy putting the right words for the recommendations for Arup, someone inside from her talked.
“You are sure for the transfer of your efficient PS, Zinta. Are you Jealous?”
“Stop talking rubbish. I am just helping my colleagues. Zinta should better be near her Parents and Arup should not rot himself as a senior technician of IT and talking to everybody. In case he faces any help for MBA programme, he should come to me. I am a good teacher.”
“You sure only talking.”
“Yes only talking and often tips for a better role in MMRPG game. We are good friends too.”
“Oh get lost you buddy. I have a CONCOL to attend.”
Arup just knocked outside her glass door. She felt as if her heart was beating too fast. Has she become a rider on a Strider?
Sunday, September 16, 2012
The Making of my Stories and Novel (Part 2)
This story “Feathers of Jungle Fowls”was another stenography from a person Budhia and others. The story in summary goes like this. If you are interested in reading the detail please click the following link
I was working for a multi-national company for location of iron ore in Chhatisgarh along with one Australian colleague. One afternoon almost at the end of our work we saw a man down the valley. He was doing something to pull a chord for bird trap. Very soon, he vanished in the forest cover.
We were staying in the forest guest house on a hilltop after crossing the valley. As we were approaching the spiral way towards hilltop, we saw our guesthouse keeper, Masood was making a hard bargain with a person having two basketsful of live Jungle fowls,(Bon-Morag). Seeing our Jeep, Masood slid away.
We easily recognized the seller. He was that man busy with the bird trap. He is Budhia, the local “Vaidji”, who sells medicinal herbs in the local weekly market. Few days before, we met him in the forest and he gladly guided us
Masood is a money lender also. He cheats the local tribes by lending money with very high interest in a never ending EMI and also compel to agree them to his terms of complicated barter exchange.
But this man, Budhia was talking so much about nature and now he was doing something illegal. He caught the Jungle fowls by laying a trap and he was bargaining with Masood to sell them. We were surprised.
On that night, we heard Masood yelling loudly. He caught a thief. We came out from our rooms and found Masood caught Budhia for stealing firewood from the guesthouse and each calling each a thief.
We settled this matter and told Masood to leave him along with firewood. Budhia went away without taking the heap of firewood.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Making of my short stories and the Novel “ A Trek to unknown”
( Part 1)
I am not a writer but a steno to my characters. That is my straight and simple confession to all the persons who kindly read my stories and the single Novel for patiently for the entire content/ laugh at it/ throw it out in the waste paper bin.
Sometimes, a few among these kind persons either call or write to me. Most of them ask me what the background of the story is. I think a time has come up to blog about it than answer it individually.
As I go out from my residence to market/workplace/ and vice versa, my subconscious mind starts shooting. At night when I finally go to bed and close my eyes, the movie camera rolls back. I go on seeing the happenings of the day until a cold wave flows from the bottom of my leg and puts me to sleep. Any insomniac may try this.
However, in some night, this movie runs in a different way. As the movie progresses, suddenly a freeze shot appears. It could be a person of any age or a place. I may be able to identify the person or place, but only the first part. In the later part, I see persons, inside or outside of a house or building, or some alien place or country which I have never seen before. Soon these persons start interacting among themselves. They talk, argue, smile, weep, cry, laugh and I listen to everything and very soon, I am compelled to get up. The characters start their activity once again and like a good steno, I write whatever they whisper among themselves. I cannot change anything on my own. If I do, they protest.
With this background I am now telling you the making of two of my stories and the single novel “ A TREK TO UNKNOWN”.
The Story “A meet with my would be” goes like this. To read the story, please click the following links. http://pradipwritenow.blogspot.in/2012/06/meet-with-my-would-be-kumar-biswas.html
A property agent, during site visit finds that the current owner of this house Shantanu( a dam engineer and civil contractor) , was the same man with whom her marriage was finalized but could not take place. His mother died soon after the baarati party left for the marriage house and the marriage was postponed. Shortly after this, Shantanu left his house and never returned.
While she was leaving, Shantanu explained that deaths in the family one after another made him too morbid to start a new life. He avoided the marriage and ran away. She was not convinced but avoiding the argument, she only told herself “You fool, you should have come to me, I would have shared it and it could have been lessened or wiped out.” Just near the gate Shantanu saved her from falling. She thought they could have walked like that throughout the life but it did not happen Why?
Shantanu escorts her to Station to see her off. As the train was entering the station, the blows of whistle were as if the postponed tune of Shenai of her marriage with Shantanu.
This story dates back to 1980. I was doing prospecting work for copper in Singhbhum and stayed in Ghatsila and Mossabani area. Just near the railway station of Galudih( between Ghatsila and Tata) I saw a hill house on a flat land. One day I saw a couple coming down from that house. The woman was in front and the man was behind her. Suddenly she missed a step or so but the man extended his hand and saved her from falling. That day in the evening, while we were returning to our camp, our jeep saved a head on collision with a truck in the NH. Fortunately, only the jeep was damaged and we had only minor injuries and shock. The accident site was near to railway station. We decided to catch a train from there to reach Ghatsila. The only train was in late midnight. I spread my body in a bench on the dark platform. I woke up on hearing some whispers in male and female voice. The female voice said, “You ran away like a coward, leaving me alone for whole life. I found you here but now tell me what to do” The man did not answer. A goods train was entering the platform and the engine light was flooding the platform. I now could see both of them clearly. They were the couple whom I saw in the day going down the steps from the Hill house. Who are these characters? Were they ex-lovers?
In the following few days these two characters came in my dream who talked at length and compelled me to write this story. This was written in a bound field notebook and the last few lines were smudged. “Walking behind me, you extended your hand and saved me to fall. Like this, we could have walked in our life but it did not happen. Tears now rolled out from my eyes, no dam could prevent that, not even this Dam engineer.” While taking the dictation (not writing, as I said earlier) for this line from the character, tears rolled down my cheek and fell on the notebook smudging the last lines. I had to rewrite these lines. That’s what, happens to me every time, I also share their emotions.
( Continued in Part 2, the making of “ Feathers of Jungle Fowl)
Saturday, August 25, 2012
(This story was written as an entry to a contest of Indiblogger's Love Marriage ya Arranged marriage competition in association with Sony Entertainment Television, and linked to http://www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange
Two old friends, One a VIP, film star and producer-director (Suparna Sen), and another (Rohan) just an ordinary person met in the waiting room of a remote railway Station. Recollecting their past, their present life also came up. Suparna underwent three different types of relations, love, arranged marriage and current live-in relation. Rohan failed to marry his lover and accepted an arranged marriage. Suparna felt that love and marriage are two different things and her arranged marriage was the best one while Rohan felt his intimate moments with his wife are intruded by the past memory of his lover. Rohan thought that whether marriage through “arranged” or “Love” success of either type of marriages cannot be predicated. People can be happy/unhappy/break apart by both types of marriages. Love should culminate into marriage. Never mind if the rules of the society or any other obstacle opposes it. If you really love, the power of love is immense to cross those obstacles. Read on for the full story.
Do we have a magnet and/ or magnetic material inside us pulling our old friends for a reunion? Otherwise how could I meet my old friend Suparna.
At Simliguda, just before Arraku, the train stopped for long due to landslide and it might take long. The Landside has also closed for the alternative road connection to Koraput. I was proceeding to upper class waiting room for a comfortable rest, without knowing the surprise ahead.
I saw two vehicles just parked outside the fence of Station, one Honda city and another Xylo. Possibly, the occupants of the vehicles are already resting in the waiting room.. I saw a lady on the lone sofa. It took me few seconds to recognize her. At first, I just disbelieved my eyes. But, she recognized me instantly.
“Good Morning! Rohan, Old garbage! You must know the world is round and you cannot hide for long. ”
“Parn! How are you here?”
“I was on my way to Arrraku and further for selecting few outdoor locations for my upcoming film. But this Landslide on the road stooped me. I thought to make it by train but the same thing happened to this route.”
“But thank god! Just for this we could meet, long after a decade.”
Suparna and I were college friends of different streams and were on top demand for our respective performance in singing and drama in college socials. We were from different levels of society and life styles. Yet we were close friends, perhaps our common interest brought us closer.
After college days, Very soon, Suparna got her first break for a side role in a film but I realized that talent alone could only bring me medals from competitions. To become a playback singer I need the blessings of X-factor. I realized it was far to achieve. I must rather pass the final exam of CFA to survive in the world of hard reality but little knowing that soon another dream was going to shatter.
I shall tell you that a little later.
Suprna became a top film star in Bengali Movies and now a successful Producer-Director. She is also a well-known intellectual taking part in Local TV interviews on burning topics. Local people here are mostly tribal and may not have heard her name or seen her film. Now being a rainy season, there will not be any tourist and hence no fear of mobbing or any media exposures.
Her personal life is an open book, thanks to print and electronic media. First marriage, a love-marriage to a film producer lasted for two years, followed by an arranged marriage by Parents. Unfortunately, he died in an accident after four years of marriage, but blessed with a daughter, now a budding TV actor. Currently Suparna has a “live-in” relation with an industrialist NRI.
In the following hour we two friends, a common man and a VIP, were settled comfortably on a sofa. Her staff preferred to wait in their vehicle and placed the hot boxes and Thermos on the center table.
At this time of life, we had a varied experience of social and work life and achievements and our chats started revolving around that. I wanted to keep her and my personal life out of discussion. When two friends meet after a long time it could not be avoided either.
Munching a sandwich, she said, “How is Riya?”
I said, “Now I do not know about her.”
“I am sorry Rohan.”
“Our love did not mature into marriage. We both thought otherwise.”
“But I knew, she was serious about the relation to continue. If I am not hurting you anyway, what exactly went wrong?”
“She was afraid of the bitter oppositions with in-laws on her side and my side. True, on both sides, everybody was against it as we two were not only from two walks of society; we were also from two different religions. But, all these problems were temporary and I suggested her alternative and amicable practical solutions.”
“The oppositions would be strong initially and it would die out with time. She said the outcome of the opposition might spread to us and sour our relations.
I was even ready for a change of religion. She said No to it. To her, Religion is an embedded belief. It cannot be changed.
Lastly, I suggested, we could go to some other country and settle there. She argued there also and finally discarded the idea of getting married to me.
Our friendship metamorphosed to love; we came close to each other and fell for each other. Both were unaware of entering into a blind lane. The innocent bond of attraction, originating from nature between a male and a female of same species do not recognize the sheer rules of society.”
“Then what happened?”
“Her parents arranged a marriage for her to the most eligible bachelor of their community. I heard with two children she is settled nicely.”
“It was also an arranged marriage after three years of her marriage and I do not think I am unhappy with Snigdha.”
“You said that you were not happy either. Are you not fully happy?”
“I admit that. The trail of my real love could never become stale. It peeped through my intimate moments with Snigdha. She also felt it, but like a good Indian woman, never complained about it.” Suprna could not hide a long sigh and went to wash room, possibly to hide her tears.
Her companions brought news of temporary but safe clearance of road. However, the badly damaged railway track might take a day to restore.
Upon her repeated insistence, I accepted her offer to travel with her in her car.
“Can you drive my Honda?”
“I was the construction manager for making this hilly road.I know every hairpin bend of this hilly road like back of my palm.”
We are now crossing a hilly terrain through sharp hairpin bends and negotiating the curves in low gears but at ease. Rising to the Flat terrain of Plateau, she said after a long silence
“What a spectacular view! But I find you are till sad.”
“Not at all my friend, I am rather relieved to share my pain.”
“But now listen to me. I am the one who has undergone three different types of relations between a man and woman, two marriages and one current Live-in. I can tell you two important things. First, Love and marriage are two different things. Second, the relation which I most liked is the marriage arranged by my Parents.” She failed to manage a deep sigh and continued.
“Nitin and I loved each other madly but after marriage his love diverted into jealousy, over-possessiveness, and doubting. I tried to negotiate the first two aspects and was even ready to leave my film carrier. But, faith is the foundation of married life. When that is shaken, I could not help and walked out of relation.”
Tears now came out of her eyes. I preferred to remain silent. We both are having opposite experiences. Suparna married the one whom she loved but they broke apart. Riya and me loved each other but could not marry. The one I married could not replace Riya.
The pause between us helped Suparna to control her emotions. She continued further
“You know something, when you are in love, something like anesthesia acts on you. You fail to see the drawbacks on each other. When love matures into marriage if the state of anesthesia continues on both the marriage becomes successful otherwise not”
At the next moment something came out from my mouth “Suparna, tell me could you love your second husband same as your first marriage?” I cursed my lips but she did not mind my words.
“You can not compare between two. One is a pure love, which cannot be based on any reason, calculation, caste, religion, feasibility, or outcome. However, my second husband was caring, dependable and gave all support to inspiration to my career. He won my heart. I also loved him, but honestly speaking that was an imposed love and different from the uncontrollable strong mutual attraction between the two opposite sex by the rule of nature. But it was a very happy marriage”
She paused a little and continued “ I still say Love and Marriage are two different things. Two people may always fall in love. Later on if he or she also becomes suitable for partners of life, then they should marry. The suitability is a complex matter.”
I was angry now but was successful to suppress it but said dryly “Complex matter like?”
She looked at me and said,” There are many things. Getting married is no longer the matter between the two. Whether you like it or not, both of you are coming under the jurisdiction of society. You must be acceptable to society, family and last but not the least, not so far judged by both of you, the acceptability to each other. These are just the few. There are many other things. You need to have the assistance of some one who genuinely thinks the best for you because at that time both are under the sedation of love.”
I smiled and said, “So you are saying that like cricket there is the need for a third umpire and are you meaning the consent of Parents? What if when they say no? You look for another person to fall in love or go to matchmakers market with the parents and ask for few quotations. What happens to your abandoned lover? Force that person to do the same thing? In your second marriage how could you or your parents knew that he would be the sought after person.”
“ My parents knew him and his family. I also talked to him many times and said yes to the proposal”
I controlled my lips and said to myself only “ By talking and knowing a person and his family for years together can no where reach near to the inner mental qualities. At the best you make wild guesses only.”
“Slow Rohan, we are now going down the hill”
I swerved a little left for a vehicle coming up in opposite direction and said “Don’t worry, I am a cautious driver. However, what irritate me are the rules of our society. From Dhoti-Kurta-gamchha-Chhappal, we have changed to Suit-Tie-Boot, but remained in the days of great grand parents in our attitude particularly for marriage.”
Both of us remained silent for sometime. She was reading very minutely all the safety ads for safe drive and she pointed me to a overturned vehicle just near a big hoarding of drive safe. I smiled at her but I preferred to keep certain things inside my mind.
Her two marriages one “love” another “arranged” did not last long because of sheer luck. People can be happy/unhappy/break apart by both types of marriages. Love should culminate into marriage. Never mind if the rules of the society or any other obstacle opposes it. If you really love, the power of love is immense to cross those obstacles.
Just at Sunset, we were at outskirt of Arraku valley view point and was watching the breathtaking view of the valley. Darkness has just set in. As I switched on the headlights, Suparna insisted me to stay back at Arraku and proceed to Koraput early morning. I thought. “Better it is. We can have few beers and forget this bitter endless topic. The twin face of Marriage “Arranged” or “Love” is actually a bitter Gourd, beer is less bitter than that.”