Returns the Baul


The proverbial Bengali is known by certain unmistakable racial characteristics such as living on a diet of fish-curry, rice and sweets, travelling incessantly, passionately following football matches and cricket tournaments, loving the arts, being lazy, making a lot of plans and never acting on them …the list goes on. One of these is the indefatigable love for ‘Bangalee Adda’ a term roughly translating to community chat sessions and including discussion and debate and brain-storming, all rolled into one. The quintessential Bengali can even forego his favorite meal and virtually survive for hours, on cups of tea or coffee punctuating that what he loves most of all – talking on anything and everything under the sun.

My Baul in Denims being a true blood Bangalee can't be an exception! There were nights after nights that we engaged ourselves in some nonsense "Nirihoaddabaji even if it is on-line. With red eye I used to head straight to work while the adda continued even when we are working. The little red webcam that glows right next to his name, lures this aged witch to see him again, just once if not ever again!

Aguntuk: Kabir Suman geyechilen "Khata dekhe gaan geyona,ulte paata jeteo pare!"

Me: Suman Shaeb eita janten na je "shesh bhalo jaar shob bhalo" hoy. Naamei paka, ekhono kochi kochi bhul korey bosho majhe majhe...

...and the dwellers of two different planets started to live on something called electronic media. It was a fairly unusual night that year of the Salamander. For years from that night, Astronomers and Shutterbugs would swear that never before was such a spectacular marvel that had ever adorned a night sky! Pretty much every pair of lenses and eyes in Never Land peered curiously at the sky to catch a glimpse of the phenomenon. And there it was, for ten whole peahens, against the backdrop of a cloudless blue-black sky, a white incandescent doughnut shaped moonette!! His endless love for the south-Indian grub and my pouting unseen face seemed to evaporate with time, place and of course IMAGINATION.

(suddenly a strange image of such dish pops up on my screen)

Me: ewww...what is THAT, something in between jhol bhaat and kichuri?!

Aguntuk: Na na, eita ek rokomer khichuri opore badam aar seuvaja deowa thake-y. Bhari moja-r!
Me: looking at it...can certainly understand that!!
(long pause with Mohiner Ghoraguli as background score)

Aguntuk: But, surprisingly I dont get bored with it. Apart from women I dont get bored easily...

I take a deep breath with my fire stick in hand and blow a smoke staring at the screen like a little lunatic. Is 'My Baul' going Urban, does he now learnt the trick of amorousness, does he.... Suddenly I feel my blood rush into my veins as if I’m fueled by an ever- ready battery. And off I am, to live like Jason Bourne, a life that is a gigantose covert operation in itself, shielding myself from the forces of, well, nature, and aware of everyone and everything around me. Such are the trained instincts of a soldier in peril. A soldier, fighting to evade the deathly embrace and ramifications of Project Red-Stone.

Me: how many women you've dated so far?

Aguntuk: Erm...never bothered to keep a count!

Me: One should always keep the count of their enemies, specially if they are of the opposite sex, they say!

Aguntuk: They have never been my enemies. They called my name - with different voices, tones, expressions and at different junctions of the city of my Love, Kolkata! Stoic silence was my only weapon to combat such emotions.

I waited for him to say something just more, but my mobile signalled the Dreamer's name and I couln't resist to pick up that call.

"Kauke chenona tumi,Tomake chene na keu,Shei toh bhalo..." 


It’s amazing what ample amounts of free time can do to a person. All of a sudden, 24 hours actually seem like 24 hours, Leona Lewis sounds closer to a beautiful voice weeping, crisp omelettes, washed down with orange juice becomes the revelation to what they meant when they coined ‘sense and simplicity’, and sitting in the balcony listening to the wind whistle over a cup of piping hot tea turns out to be the ultimate amphetamine to the mind wandering like a feather on a windy day.

So where does the mind wander, you ask. Well, the minute you let it go, it leaps like a delinquent far into the horizon, across the sun kissed meadows and then it digs its heels to a screeching halt to look for familiar territories. Such are the limitations of a soul in silo.

Aguntuk: Kaal shondhyebela, raat-e ki plan?

Me: Kaal? Jani na.
Aguntuk: Dekha hot-ey paare-y?

My heart which always procrastinates jumps a bit and then reminas still. No, this can't be true. I just spoke the Stranger few nights back and he never said he will come! I’ve always maintained that life is full of overrated moments. And the flavour of the season that never changes is incredible stupor.

Me: Ki odbhut!Dekha hobe ki kore?

Aguntuk: Jebhabe dekha hoy, thik sheibhabe!

I raise a bit from my couch and read that again. The Stranger, MY Baul in Denims is IN the city! And 'It' all started with a phone call!

Finally amidst the glamour and gliteratti and fashion and shopaholics we meet. The baul in denims with wollen scarf and yours truly in activewear. Yeah, it all started with a silly phone call and random texts! The guy from Nilgiris has stars in his bespectacled eyes.When one writes, there is no knowing exactly where it might lead. And so it is with this blog. I am at a loss as to what, if anything, it has achieved so far.

After some "Arreey...hain..maaney...accha..oh!...baah...besh..."  we head towards the cha-er dokan with cheap cigarette and cheaper mouth-freshner. The 30 minute time made me to remember the baul for a lifetime. It feels like eternity since words exploded across my screen like birds breaking out into the evening sky, scattered, numerous and with unassumed violence... It feels like a lifetime since I could feel and give life to the feeling... since I could showcase them into words...

We shook hands and with an uncanny smile said "good-bye". Then, it happened. All of a sudden, I heard nothing. The world was playing in mute. Faces moved, vehicles moved, people waved. But not a single sound. My euphoria cannot be compared. Shakespeare was cooing into my epiphany. The world was a stage, people were actors of a mime, in mute. White noise. Pure Bliss.



SILVER said...

Red Alert.

The Mortician said...

...and a heart shaped BOX! ;)

Anonymous said...

I wish to know your "Baul", sit and talk to him hours after hours. I wish to know the man who can make the Mortician to come out of her shell and call herself "Me".

The Baul in Jeans, I want you to be me.

Dwicharini said...

Speechless mesmerism !!

Cassia Bark said...

Ki shundor likhish rey tui....I wish I could meet u right now at CCD and talk for hours :(...

The Mortician said...

Amar Bhin-deshi Tara, eibar tor ghore-y pherar gaan shonabo!

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