Saturday, December 21, 2013

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

The 1994 Hugh Grant starrer movie Four Weddings and a Funeral- cut to the funeral scene - this moment of grief could not have been more aptly conveyed as Matthew read out W. H Auden's Funeral Blues dedicated to his dead lover Gareth. The lines are filled with remorse, and express the sadness in a beautiful way. The heartbreak involved in the passing away of a beloved, when the ones left behind can only gather of what remains in the form of memories, the knowledge that things will never be the same again - these are the thoughts which make this an emotionally charged poem. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Memories of 2013

13 days more and this year would have come to an end. In the first month of this year, I did not know what to expect from it, but today as I write this post in the last month of this year, I am happy with how its turned out to be. So as I recollect the events, I look back in time and remember all the big and small memories that were created in the course of all these twelve months. The most memorable times of 2013, for me, are:

The trip to my favorite place
Rishikesh has always fascinated me. I will not be able to lay my finger down on a single factor which makes it extraordinary in my list. Maybe its the lush green hills that guard the river that flows through the heart of the city, maybe its the old temples and ashrams, and the evening arati when numerous diyas are lighted and floated on the river, maybe its the narrow, winding lanes, which always leads one to the ghats. This city leaves me wonder struck at the novelties one can find inside its old city walls. The year began with a trip to Rishikesh, and that is how my first special memory for the year was created.


 The reunion with old friends
The trip to Bangalore early this year, allowed me to connect with some old school friends. It was very nostalgic for all of us, and we talked on for hours and discussed about common friends, schoolmates, teachers we liked the most and teachers we liked the least, of course the sour tongued dictatorial principal. It was surprising that how much our lives had changed in these years. Recollecting those days, it was tough accepting the part of these memories were seven year old and we had grown up. 

The Durga Puja celebrated away from home
This year I celebrated Durga Puja in Chennai in the company of my very first friends from college. Much to the contrary of what most people might think, this festival is celebrated with a lot of excitement and fervor in the southern capital city. Couple of my friends back from college who still live in the city made it to the pandal to participate in the celebration and it was a reunion sorts. It was the goddess had brought us all together. We offered pushpanjali, feasted on the bhog, and then went pandal hopping visiting the celebrations in BesantNagar and Kali Bari. Suddenly I did not miss home, at least not this time, not this year. 

The sleepover and Flynn Ryder
It took us three months to plan and execute it. We had lists ready for things to be done, games to be played, songs to be sang, dance moves to be practiced, movies to be watched, and most importantly, food to be eaten. Sleepover at Nethra's was the most awaited event of the year, we had talked about it for long, and now when it it did happen, our lists were tossed aside. After a nine hour long shift at work, and an hour long journey in the local train, our body and mind were both too tired to consider any which required us to think and move. We were happy to settle down with bowls of ramen and sigh over Flynn Ryder in Tangled.

The wedding in Kolkata
For someone who has never attended a Bengali wedding, this wedding was my perfect opportunity to see, learn, and understand the ceremonies. Its a mad rush, with someone shouting out instructions, another requesting for help with the tautto decorations, and then another asking you to go and fetch the napit from next gali. There is a lot of activity in the household, with anyone who is up on their on feet, helping around. It was amazing how so many people were involved in making this ceremony a beautiful and memorable one for the two people. This wedding, also gave me the chance to live and experience the city of Kolkata in my own small way. Walking in the lanes lined with old houses in Rashbehari Avenue, watching the yellow-black taxis zoom by, sipping hot masala tea served in kulhad - the old city charm is still intact in this city, and I for one have definitely fallen to its charms.

Now I am ready for the next year to come by, ready to create and remember some new memories.