Calcutta, always.

The last time I saw my grandmother was a year and a half ago. I’ve been feeling the guilt for a while now. My baby nieces are growing by the day.  Mamata Banerjee has changed almost all the names of the metro stations to utter ridiculousness.  Winters are also the season for rasgullas made of jaggery.  The closest cousin is going through awful times and I feel terrible for not … Continue reading “Calcutta, always.”

Winds Of Change…

In a recently released Bengali comedy flick, there was a joke about popular culture Bengali music. It said that a ‘Bangla Band’ was an oxymoron. I think they were being kind. I clearly dislike most of the new age Bengali music, and personally think that its a real tragedy that the state that maestros like the Burmans, Salil Chowdhury and many others belonged to is now parched and running short … Continue reading “Winds Of Change…”

Rāga Yaman Kalyan

You know that song that you come across accidentally, then listen to all day, and hum it again at night? I have this vague feeling of deja-vu listening to this rendition by Shriram Iyer, in collaboration with our favourite clarinetist – Shankar Tucker. It reminds me of the times when three days in a week, a harmonium was at my feet and my knowledge of Hindustani classical vocals was seasoned. … Continue reading “Rāga Yaman Kalyan”


If I were to ever believe that matches were made in heaven, I would always think of these two.  They’re both very different people, yet as similar as can be. The thought of moving to Gurgaon, a few years ago was made a comforting thought because I knew they would be around, in addition to other friends.  And they did just that. Made me feel welcome in their city, gave … Continue reading “SwethaBasu”

Songs Of The Soil

When Baba mentioned to me last week that a Bengali/North-East Indian folk music band was going to be in town to play and tickets were for free, I could see that this is something he wouldn’t like to miss. He knows a lot about Bengali folk, my father. Perhaps because he spent much time with my grand-father who was a theatre-artiste visiting the quaint Calcutta-based music festivals and experienced the … Continue reading “Songs Of The Soil”


I’m often told that Bengali is such a beautiful language. Easy to understand. Sweet on the ears. Although, the ‘mother’ tongue is essentially Punjabi, my mother is fluent in Bengali as well. And my parents have done such a fabulous job passing it on to me. At a point of time, I could read and write effortlessly as well – but then one day I wrote Bengali in my Hindi … Continue reading “Native”


It stuns me to think of the sheer genius of some people.   Everything they touch seem to turn to gold. One such man was Satyajit Ray.   Writer, film-maker, illustrator, educator, critic – he was probably what marked the pinnacle of the Bengali genius and intellect. I have had the good fortune of being exposed to his works since I was a child. Nonsense limericks by his grandfather Upendrakishore … Continue reading “ফেলুদা”

Drunken in Folklore

In Bengali, there is a term we commonly refer to as ‘Maatir Manush’, which briefly means ‘made of the earth’ – it’s a connotation for somebody as simple as the soil, basic, true and strong. The past few days I have been heavily immersed in folk music – belonging to the remotest parts of the country and beyond its borders. The madness begun with Assameese, then extended to a little … Continue reading “Drunken in Folklore”


It is just like turning the pages of a calendar, a kind of stone we step across, a chapter of the book we’re done with reading.Welcome to the philosophy of moving on. It is rather prevalent here, in this corporate jungle. New people pouring in and some of the older ones silently getting off the bus – it is all a part of what is better known as ‘life’. Almost … Continue reading “Pawwky”

I’ve got mail!

One of the worst mornings in quite a while, and as soon as I stepped into office, the receptionist handed me a little green envelope, and it’s been so long that I took a moment to register – I had mail 🙂 It’s strange that any kind of electronic communication is christened ‘mail’. To me, those hold a very different place. Mail is real genuine mails, written by hand, posted … Continue reading “I’ve got mail!”