Category Archives: Flora

The Apocalypse – A Poem

Like last year,
This year
too,
Delhiā€™s spring flowers,
The semals
Are in full bloom.
But their sensuality, Voluptuousness,
Riots of dark, passionate colors,
Their thick, exposed flesh
No longer give any joy.
They bring on a lump in my throat,
Bringing forth images
That I keep kicking
Into the dustbin of my mind.

Last year
Too,
Many Semals fell everyday,
Making way for more.
Those that went, returned.
And those that returned, went.
No gain, but no loss either.
So it was easy to accept
As God’s will,
Mother Nature’s special way of rejuvenation.
Their sight aroused great joy and elation.
But this year, their blooming, falling, getting swept aside
Forces me to dwell on the hidden meaning,
The horrors lurking around surfaces, around corners.

Well, who knows.
Next year, the semals
Might be the only ones
Around,
Freed from the forever greedy, tormenting human eyes.

—Jasbir Chatterjee

One Musical Afternoon…Remembering Uttara Di…

On 26 January 2020, while the whole country basked in the glory of India’s 71st Republic Day, my husband Sukhangshu and I participated in another memorable event in our lives; he as a performing artist and I as part of the audience at Mrs. Uttara Dutt’s Memorial function organized by her family at their picturesque mansion in DLF phase I, Gurgaon.

Sukhangshu did a monologue on Tagore. He received a big applause when he ended. The other artists who performed before Sukhangshu and after him also got similar appreciation.

It was amazing to see even the young children perform so confidently without feeling an iota of stage fright.

It could be because the stage had the aura of a wonderful personality who continues to shower her love and blessings on artists even after passing away.

The kind of barriers normally associated with a formal stage did not exist here. Both the artists and the audience were completely relaxed.

Uttara Di’s daughter Sanjukta Dutta and daughter-in-law Debjani kept coming in with trays of snacks for the guests. Some had green tea, while non-experimental people like me had dudh-cha (tea with milk and sugar), which was excellent.

The stage was set inside a large room at ground level with a backdrop of a lot of greenery behind a huge glass window, a room full of guitars, and a huge, heavily garlanded photo in one corner of a youthful Uttara Di playing sitar. The audience sat on sofas, chairs, and on little cushions on the floor.

While the benevolent winter Sun smiled in the clear blue sky outside, the green shrubs and leaves peeped through the window and created shadows on the surrounding walls.

Being far away from the noisy traffic of Gurugram, the place had a quiet and soothing ambience and contributed in keeping the discerning audience engaged with every performance.

During lunch time, we were all treated to delicious home made food cooked in Bengali style.

Being a vegetarian, I loaded my plate with my favorites, shukhto, rice, salad, luchi, aloo dum, chana dal, chutney, and payesh. They all tasted heavenly.

At the end of the program, Uttara Di’s husband Kalidas Da, an accomplished Architect, discreetly gave each artist an envelope as a token of appreciation. I came to know about this from Sukhangshu. This is meant to be a secret, so I will keep its sanctity intact by not revealing anything else.

Sukhangshu told me that this practice was begun by Uttara Di and Kalidas Da to nurture musical talent and their family organizes this kind of a get-together every year.

Being a singer, Uttara Di was well aware of the struggles young Indian singers and musicians go through in keeping their art alive and this was her way of quietly doing whatever she could to help, no matter how small. Kalidas Da ensures that this family tradition continues. Which only proves that Love is stronger than Death.

Here are some more pics that I clicked during the program.

My husband Sukhangshu. See him below.

Now the kids…

Flutist’s flutes…

This young man performed here earlier when he was a small child.

Kalidas Da, wearing grey sleevless jacket, busy, supervising…

Debjani (standing, in blue sari) and Sanjukta (seated on sofa, in magenta-colored sari), taking care of guests, offering them snacks…

Here I am with my Aunt-in-law, Maima, Mrs.Maya Bannerjee (Kalidas Da’s sister)…

With my Uncle-in-law, Bhola Mama (Mr.Bhola Bannerjee)…

A Cocoon Of Joy – A Movie – By Jasbir Chatterjee

Google Photos gave me a pleasant surprise yesterday (4 January 2019), my day off from work.

They made a movie out of my photos that I clicked that day and sent it to me for saving in my library. It looked so good, an evidence of a day well spent, as in a Jane Austen novel (my great grand neice Alia’s 7th birthday, a walk through a park, sunbathing in the balcony, etc, etc).

I never thought that the photos I created without giving much thought to it would turn into something so wonderful. Well, it proves that movies needn’t always be larger-than-life, doesn’t it?

With wars, calamities, and bloodshed all over the globe and Trump and Iran threatening to go to war, blissful images like these give you a niggling feeling of living in a quiet, cosy cocoon that may burst anytime…

Here is the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/DS1avSHzbVw

Enjoy…

Going Mustard…

mustard

Winter is on in Delhi these days at full blast. Mustard leaves (Sarson) are easily available in the market now. I plucked these flowers from the bunch I bought yesterday for making Sarson-ka-sag, a North Indian delicacy that tastes best when had with Makki roti. The buds too are beginning to flower. What joy!

Are, Chaddi Pehen Ke Phool Khila Hai!

I got a pleasant surprise today morning (23 December 2019) when I saw this Aloe Vera plant. It held aloft its long stalk of lovely, pink flowers with great pride!

It reminded me of the popular Hindi song ‘Are, Chaddi Pehen Ke Phool Khila hai’ from the TV serial Jungle Book -Mowgli. Its literal meaning is ‘Wow, the flower is blooming with its underwear on!’

The song was created by Bollywood’s lyricist Gulzar and music director Vishal Bhardwaj.