Nowhere to Go but the Horizon

FeaturedNowhere to Go but the Horizon

67676135_505806576833583_1473838029285097472_nEverybody feels a sense of coming back to home while reading anything written by one’s favorite writer. And The Namesake ironically, is a novel about coming back to one’s home or more precisely , one’s roots. Having read it after The Lowland , Jhumpa Lahiri’s true to self description of the Bengali way of Life and of Kolkata, and how these two mingle and make thier way into the households Bengalis living in the States, was not a surprise. For example, how a package from homeland, after travelling thousands of miles can bear the smell still of the dominant spice of your mother’s kitchen. Jhumpa Lahiri , does not ever go straight into the life of the protagonist but goes on detailing the live of his or her family, as it is them who builds a self. But as the story goes on, and the namesake and its significance is revealed to us, the readers, it becomes evident that Ashoke was not only the person who gave Gogol his namesake, he was also the person who lent him his ”overcoat” through his life. This particular instrument which shapes the whole novel at the end is beautifully depicted in the movie adaptation of the book by Mira Nair. Gogo,l, from infancy till his thirties, did everything , he could to make his place and belong to a country he was born in , but always with a prevalent cry in the background from the two abodes of College Street and Alipore, calling him to be part of that life. The first sense of relating to the place where he was born took place with the dead people , in a graveyard.

Coming back to the context of the movie, the only difference that mattered except the small ones like changing the name of Dimitri without any cause, is that, in the movie the relationship of Gogol’s parents as a married couple was not less forced than the one in the book.

The story is not about the several journeys made by Ashoke and Ashima to Kolkata but a journey of the protagonist’s slowly coming back to his roots rather than going far away from it as he was never actually there.

Marji, Mahsa and others

Marjane Satrapi’s graphic novel ‘Persepolis’ end with the phrase ” freedom comes with a price”. The protagonist Marji’s price was leaving her family and her homeland . Mahsa Amini , the 22 year belonging to the same homeland almost 30 years later had to pay a price to – her life. Both of them had committed the same crime, they wanted to transgress , break out of the box of rules and regulations set for them by the Islamic Republic. Marji could not bear them, she left, Mahsa on the other hand, was killed . With her death , she as if gave courage to thousands of her compatriots and fellow sisters around the world to smash the box and ask for their freedom , no matter how gruesome of a price they will be asked to pay.
The major question is not why she was killed but how was she killed. How can the morality police take the life of a person because a certain piece of her attire was not ‘proper’. Now the question of why comes – why she killed? The problem is not wearing a hijab or a head covering, it is making it a law and regulating a particular gender to dress walk and talk in a certain way. Women , if it is her will , can put anything on her head- a hijad, a crown or the entire world, but it cannot be mandatory for them to do so. The problem should not be seen from a political or religious angle but as a universal issue concerning certain social frameworks. We, living in India , ought not see this as a turmoil happening in another country , neither should we let our “media” use this to foster hatred against a particular community. It is a fight for rights, it is a worldwide fight for justice , it is a fight for freedom ( even with a price), and should be seen like that.



Independence Day. The day of freedom. For India the day is 15th of August- the day our beloved ‘mother’ was freed from the shackles of the imperialists, the day the seat on the pedestal for women of India got a stronghold. After all a motherland has been freed, how can the ‘mothers’, ‘sisters’ and ‘daughters’ of that land be given any position below an elevated podium to sit and stare ,just like Doyamoyee was given the stature of Maa Kali by her father in law in Devi. The seat is extremely comfortable, devil may care for the women or not but definitely for the men . For they can now roam about freely without the fear of women showing the impossible will of walking alongside them. The women will only sit on the heightened stage of existence allowed to them and smile when they are asked to but not too much , act crazy sometimes but never too much . They should never cross the threshold of being the perfectly imperfect being that is prescribed in every reel and every meme throughout social media. Now, without digressing any further, let me zone in to the independence day the whole country celebrated with such magnanimity recently. On that day, quite successfully another one of the mother’s daughters was put on the pedestal . Bilkis Bano ‘s life of independence was snatched away from her maybe forever. Her rapists and murderers of her whole family were freed, felicitated and let off to roam freely so that she can never ever get back the courage of going on with her life in the world . The very decision being taken by the Gujarat Government proves that it is the state that very deliberately thrust Bilkis inside by letting the beasts outside. With her, thousands of other women should join the march of climbing the podium and take the very ‘comfortable’ seat there because in a country where the authority cannot punish the most heinous of criminals, but rather celebrate them , cannot bring justice to a mother creating life inside her , should forget feminism . They should forget feminism as, to be a part of any movement , first you need to live in a place with humans and not creatures of hell donning human masks.


I was never a lover of rain

I only cared for the storm before

Yet when the whole world stood awaiting its visit ,

I could not help being one of them

Each evening standing at the edge of the red clad plank of cement , I waited for it.

I thought, one day that the clouds are finally letting go all it’s been storing

But it was just the sound of a car starting

The modern world’s gulling of a romantic once again.

Then one day breaking away from its suffocating reality , it poured.

It poured into an unreal world .

A world where the smell of wet earth exists , a world where the trees mock high rises with its drunken dance .

I never cared about the rain .

Yet , I became a paramour of it.

A Knight of one’s own

Irony was a familiar word from high school days only, but it was my first semester of college in which I learnt about it in its true; vast sense , while reading Oedipus Rex. But it was my recent discovery of daily soaps of the Bengali Television that cleared every aspect of the term to me. Let me explain how.
The shows consider themselves to be the greatest propagandists of Feminism , yes they are bigger than Virginia Woolfe and her own single room. This is vast mansions in every corner of Kolkata with one bachelor always in search of a damsel in distress kind of big. The shows have one girl or woman who is either great at sports or something beyond the female reach till the last decade with ten other women who are more passive than the kid who is yet to start talking. Because how else can you show the transgression women are making in the society. There is one other necessary element ,a woman definitely whose only purpose in the show and in life , is to be the thorns of the road to the protagonist. Because feminism is all about women bringing each other down. To show the protagonist as the epitome of goodness; the vamp should have all the worst characteristics one can imagine. Now coming back to the rich businessman whose favourite age is the Medieval and whose ambition in life from infancy is to be the knight in shining armour to a heavily tortured ; confined woman. The protagonist has to meet that person either just days before her wedding or the knight’s. The weddings cannot take place, no matter what. Either of the weddings has to be stopped and the knight has to take a handful of Vermillion and spread it all over the heroine’s forehead BECAUSE what on Earth is even consent! Moreover without the knight and the damsel’s marriage, the latter’s dream of transgression can never be fulfilled. But naturally after the wedding; the woman has more important battles to fight now. She just does not have to please her boss or coach or any relevant authorities but also her sister-in-law, mother-in-law and heaven knows how many in laws in queue. Her choice suddenly is mummed or totally ignored for some days until she makes a place in her “new ‘home then ,of course comes the secondary thing of making a place in the world.
Hence, I realised how Wolfestonecraft missed so many tenets in her vindication , so many important ones.

A Knight of one’s own



It was during the fifth season of Breaking Bad, that it struck me that it is a Tragedy. A tragedy not in the non-academic meaning, but one with elements both from the Aristotelian definition and the Arthur Miller definition. The story is after all Walter White’s gradual journey towards doom and death because of his hamartia ( tragic flaw) ie, his over ambition, greed and inability to stop because of these two. But the plot also follows Miller, as Walter was nothing but a common man. Discarding the rules that a tragic hero has to be noble born, this modern tragedy creates a protagonist who is a high school chemistry teacher.

But unlike the modern ones, the predominance of fate from the Aristotelian Tragedy and free will from the Shakespearean Tragedy, are what drives the entire plot of the show , as well as Walter’s actions. Fate brought him cancer which grew or reincarnated in him his desperation for money and the excessive ambition for it. He went on the path because of his cancer and to secure his family’s future, without taking a single penny from his friends , which can be interpreted as his excess of pride or Hubris. But he followed his free will and went deeper and deeper into that path. In this (what-seemed-to-be ) a never ending feud between fate and free will throughout the seasons of the show, it seemed that fate finally won when Walter’s cancer was back. But the last episode changed it all with Walter’s last conversation with Skyler about how he did everything because he loved to and dying by his own bullets before giving up to either the DEA or the cancer.

The other factors like the hero being not entirely good or bad gave a whole another direction, as Walter seemed to be the epitome of goodness at first who only did good things. But then he started doing things a common man will not even think of doing for very good reasons. As for the catharsis, the fear definitely arose inside every viewer and for the pity part, one had to wait for Walter’s bloody hands to slide down the silver equipment and him lying dead with the perfectness of ‘Baby Blue’ playing at the backdrop.



I started reading Ekushe Paa for a reason which almost everybody around me thought to be stupid. I asked my sister one day last year after finishing a book that what I should read next from her and my grandmother’s enormous, never-ending book paradise. She suggested Ekushe Paa , but the maniac that I am , I saved it to read just before my 21st birthday and so I did. I read the lines printed at the back of the novel and feared only one thing, i.e., diving into one of those movie scripts many people call novels by Chetan Bhagat. But as I started reading it , within the first few chapters only , I knew I would love it and so I did and here I am writing about it. The novel is set in the 90s and was written in the middle of that decade as well. Two things that stuck me the most. First is the nostalgia it gave me about my mid-way forbidden college days and the second is how surprisingly ahead of its time the narrative is.

Bani Basu caught every aspect of a typical Kolkata College life and students , from politics to political discussions, from never ending wait for classes to end to the eternal wait for the classes to actually take place some days, from that first immature love turned the worst mistake of your life , from the introverts to the extroverts and introvert turned extroverts, no corner of those three golden years has been missed. Mithu, Ujjaini , Venkat, Ritu , Emon, Gautam, Tanmoy, Vishnupriya, Rajeswari and their dual existence as students of a single college and as newly emerged adult for the world and for their families filled the narrative with unputdownable turns and twists. Sometimes, I felt myself wanting to be there and gave my piece of advice and let them how much our lives are relatable.

As mentioned before, the second thing that left a mark on my mind is how Bani Basu ended the novel like I did not think she would. I was certain that , like popular culture arts of the 90s, specially the movies , end with the females ending up the man of their choice or with any man for that matter, because you know, that is the “happy ending” . Given the fact that there were almost similar number of males and females in the narrative, I was sitting there; ready to be disappointed. But boy was I surprised! The author gave a cliffhanger ending to the love lives of the characters only leaving hints. The cliffhanger ending is also applicable for most of their careers and academic lives as well, indicating that end of college is just another beginning – the beginning of LIFE.


I am happy. 

And this time I am not misunderstood. 

This time, I am scared, but happy. 

I see leaves fluttering and knocking on my window pane, I am happy. 

I hear the sounds of praying all around me in symphony every day, I am happy. 

I see thousands of words together inside a quadrangle, waiting to be devoured, I am happy.  

I feel the crisp winter breeze on my face, reminding me of things of the previous winter, I am happy.  

I am scared of this happiness slipping away, but I am happy because the key to finding it again lies with me.  

This time I am happy because I found it within myself. 

The Bojack Everyman

Even though the BoJack World is a world where birds talk, horses sleep lying on their back , dogs are not loyal and cats are Hollywood Agents ,BoJack Horseman is the most realistic series I’ve come across in a very long time. Why so? Because it is a world of “worldly” problems and predicaments. I started watching the series at a point , where I had to encounter some really shitty people and really shitty situations. If I map out the time when I started watching it and the time when I finished it , the path between the two would be very stoney , but at the other end of it stands a stronger and free self of mine, a share of credit of which definitely goes to BoJack Horseman.

Let me start with BoJack then. Can selfish be the right word for him? Apparently yes, but delving deep into him would bring out a lot of regret and a constant will to change himself. Every time the silver lining was at his threshold, it got snatched away from him . But still, he never stopped trying to be better. He knew he had an extra point from the other assholes of the world because he knew and accepted he was one . Even when the world would be against it, he will hide from it for sure but surely will come out and face it.

Princess Carolyn , the workaholic, super strong and super independent agent turned manager turned producer, is the Capricorn of the characters. We all know someone like her who would take nothing but perfection. She will do anything for her close ones , though very few people can enter the ” close to Princess Carolyn zone” . Her characters shows how an independent person also needs someone to depend on, someone who will let her depend without letting her loose her independence even a tad. She shows that it is never late to search for that one particular piece that would finish the puzzle of your perfect life, the piece that was needles and Judah for her.

Now, the one whom I am most excited to write about . Diane Nyugen. It has been very long, since I related to someone so strongly, maybe when I was reading Harry Potter, such a strong connection happened last. She came off as indifferent, someone who does not care about anything much and is very very arrogant. But by the end of the series , you will die to have a one and one conversation with her . By gradually accepting her true self through the span of six seasons, Diane Nyugen taught me how important it is to accept yourself first in order to let people or expect people to accept you. She taught me that life turns into a mess , and it is okay if you cannot stand up , it is okay to lie down there for a while after all it is your mess and a part of your being. She taught me that it is okay to loose it on people and not everyone has the capacity or capability or patience of those layers of you and see the real you. Not everyone deserves that too. And someday someone will be able to dig all the way down there and will embrace it. Just like “guy” of Diane who gave her that faith where she could say , ” I don’t trust the happiness in my life to last, but I trust him and I am not scared”. How asking for a little help to clear out the mess is okay and if they do , you know the rest.

Todd, Mr. Peanutbutter, Hollyhock, Herb, Penny every other character shows different sides of day to day and some non day to day issues one faces in life.

So BoJack Horseman is Everyman, Princess Carolyn is Everyman, Diane is Everyman just like you’re the Everyman of your life. Everyman who came out of being an asshole , from an addiction , a trauma or some physical or mental illness, just like BoJack Horseman.

I see a dark , deep dungeon

I see a dark , deep dungeon.

I am falling into it .Slowly, painfully.

When I look up , I see faces calling me up.

Some are giving their hands to pull me up as well.

Yet , I am falling into it gradually.

On some days, I feel a flash of soothing sunlight falling on my face.

But it doesn’t last long.

Sometimes , it comes again , but without the fortifying warmth.

Sometimes, I mistake a bit of light on my face for the Sun.

I open my eyes, it was just a firefly.

The Withheld Summer

The Withheld Summer

The bustle of one bus standing in the bus stop to take in as many people as it can

The people catching my eye while walking in the sidewalk while I sit at the farthesr window ~seat of the bus

The smile on my face of seeing a red flame tree on my way

The disappointment on the face of the woman with three bags after she misses the bus just because she was not fast enough

The conversation between a grandfather and his granddaughter , while the grand father takes the granddaughter back from school

All these seem like Summer now. some transient episodes , like a grasshopper lamenting the cricket’s departure, which once seemed mundane to our post ~modern mindsets. It once existed and surely will exist again but after this long phase of winter where ironically all the elements of Spring are thriving.