|My only wish is to be remembered in the face of oblivion. That is what matters, to leave something behind. Something to remember me by.|
Why I stopped writing 'Oh Calcutta'
I have been recieving a lot of mails regarding the next chapter of Oh!Calcutta and I am overwhelmed. I would like to say that I won't write anymore chapters of Oh! Calcutta instead will write some new stuff from time to time. Why is that? Because the characters of Oh! Calcutta are very much personal to me and some aspects also resemble my life, my traits and my personality. I very well know how my life went all these years and somehow I fear that the story would end just the same. All the characters, and I mean ALL the characters are embodiments and extensions of various people I have had the fortune and misfortune to meet and I know how their time in my l...
I remember the times when I was fascinated by books. Don't get me wrong, I still am, but in those times there was a sense of magic in reading books, hearing stories. From English fairytales, to local myths. From Dickens to Tagore- I consumed it all. My father had a big library tucked in neatly in the second floor. My father worked at an insurance company and on Sundays he would bury himself with his books.
I would often find myself roaming around the library. It had wooden shelves stacked with books. Those shelves were very tall. Atleast taller than me at that time. I was just 8 years of age. At the right hand corner of the room there was a separate shelf just for me. It contai...
I still go to that café. I order the same cappuccino and sit at the same table. Nothing special about the table really, but the view it gives out is heavenly. She still wears the same robe, a bit worn out now it is, but nevertheless gorgeous. And the way she turns around to look at me from time to time, I swear she looks like the most beautiful lady on this planet. I have been going there for ten years now. We don’t talk to each other, we just share glances. Our eyes know the rest.
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 10)
Rohan went up to her and found a seat vacated right beside her. She was jotting down something on her notebook. She looked absolutely stunning sitting under the white mild lights of the hall. The breeze from the air conditioner touched her hair and made it sway like the strokes of Picasso on a canvas. He sat down and waited for her to notice him. She didn't. He waited for some more time, but she didn't notice. She kept on writing on her note book. It was almost as if she refused to acknowledge his existence. Rohan tried to get a glimpse of what she was writing but the effort went in vain. So finally he decided to use the oldest trick in the book. He ...
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 9)
Hope this letter finds you in good health and heart. I have been quite skeptical about this entire platform. I am sure you have received the same introductory letter as I did today and I believe it is safe to assume that you are new here as well. I won't say my real name, or address because I believe I am comfortable conversing with a complete stranger. I won't ask you yours too. I will assume that you are an integral part of my life and have been a friend and confidant all along. So here's me saying, hello again, how's everything going?
Rohan folded the letter back as he lay in bed. He kept on staring at the ce...
I have fallen in love with someone who is hiding inside of you,
I don't mind really.
Because it is an eternal game of hide and seek between our souls.
Mine trying to find yours. Failing constantly.
And maybe...just maybe this is what I live for, this is what keeps me going.
My father was the most successful failure of all time. Well, in terms of lottery numbers that is. He worked at a local newspaper as a columnist but my father was a passionate storyteller. As a child I would get lost in his library of books, reading up almost anything I could I find. My father had this habit of buying lottery tickets, it was his addiction. Not that we suffered from poverty, we were a typical middle class bengali family blissfully residing in North Calcutta. My great grand father was a renowned poet and hence we were a very reputed family. My father, apart from writing newspaper columns would often write short stories and poems. They seldom got published and when th...
A hot steaming cup of love...
I always had a few specifics in my life for as long as I can remember. For example, I had a specific place where I would go and grab a bite, I had a specific place where I would go and shop, I also had a specific place for coffee. Some might say, I suffer from a slight variation of OCD, but who doesn't. So I was disappointed when one day I found out that my favourite coffee shop was closed. I had no clue what to do, surely one would just walk into another cafe, but for me it was difficult. I wanted my coffee in a very specific manner. A large cup of Cappuccino, with just 1 t-spoon of sugar and absolutely nothing. Everything needed to be perfect. So there I was...
On the morning of Christmas I would always wake up to gifts tucked neatly under my pillow. As a child I was astonished, surprised and curious even. Did Santa know about me?
As I grew older, sadly I realized the truth behind Santa. I realized the mere existence of him was completely imaginary. But then again,I used to receive gifts every Christmas. I believe even though I gave up on magic my father didn't. I believe my father still believed in my innocence, that somewhere, somehow the little kid who used to get excited on Christmas day was still in me. And somehow my father remained my favourite Santa, till date.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 8)
The next morning he woke up only to find a letter waiting at the side table for him. The white envelope had something written on it. He sat up and tried reading it. His eyes were struggling to make out the letters. 'Pen Pals for you' it read. He tore it from the top took out the contents. There were two letters, neatly folded. He placed the second letter inside the envelope and opened the first one.
We are delighted to have you as our member and excited for your contribution to this lost art. We hope you will experience meaningful friendship through words.
Pen pals team'
"What's this?" Roha...
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 7)
He stood up and dusted his jeans off. He checked his headphones, they were working fine. He looked around. She was gone, but he could pick up the faintest aroma of her scent she left behind and somewhere deep inside his head her words kept on repeating. He looked around for his cigarette, but it had fallen in some deep crevice of the road. He started walking back towards his office.
And for no good reason he looked up. He looked up at the sky, with stars above. It's quite amusing how people tend to forget that there are tens and thousands of stars in countless galaxies above, hidden carefully by the yellow radiance of the halogen street lamps, and ...
F A D E
That night I realized we all wanted to be remembered. No matter how we would want to deny our desire to leave something behind and be nonchalant about our existence as an excuse to justify our actions. No matter how much we crucified our dreams to fall in line and show we are a part of this sane rational society. Truth is, it's all a lie. Deep down, we are anxious. Anxious that soon we will be forgotten and the photos will burn into ashes, and nobody will even utter our names in some distant conversation. Truth is, we are afraid.
But she wasn't. She wasn't afraid of all of this madness. Of this constant struggle and desperation to leave something behind. Because to her, memories...
What if the world came to a standstill.
What if everything stopped,
Moments bore endless silence.
What if we realized in that instance that all fades into ashes.
That the silence will bring a devastating blow to us, and everything that we've built.
Tell me, we will survive. Tell me we will shine like the dying sun, radiating a blissful elegance. Tell me we will be together, forever.
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 6)
The clock struck 11, as he stepped outside. He decided to walk till his office. The busy street of Golpark didn't seem to take a break. Cars passed by him as he walked towards Southern Avenue. Upon reaching he took out his headphones and plugged it in his phone, and started playing The Beatles.
The street which connected Southern Avenue with Golpark was usually the quieter one. The cold breeze touched his face as he started walking again. The earphones did its job and played a soothing track by the brit band. The yellow street lamps painted a serene picture of an ancient city, somewhat magical but nonetheless mysterious. He kept on walking strai...
In the land of photographs and social updates, they sat amidst the crowd, looked up at the sky and made wishes out of flying lanterns.
May this diwali light up the darkest corners of your life and empower you with the courage to embark upon adventures you never thought was possible. Happy diwali!
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 5)
It was 10 in the morning when he woke up. Rohan looked at the wall clock overhead and slowly got up. The sun rays illuminated the room and reflected on the glass panes of various paintings adorning the walls. Paintings by Tagore, the legendary Jamini Roy, Hussein bore the sign of admiration of a diverse culture that his brother had. Arun had always been dismissive about his career choice, but he loved Rohan too much, so his discontent was limited only to occasional sarcastic remarks. He got freshened up and soon, was busy going through various books, diaries and journals that rested quietly on the shelves of the room. From Bukowski to Wolfe, his bro...
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 4)
The light stopped blinking. She was off the phone. Rohan pushed a button and started the song for his listeners. All over Calcutta, those who were awake, would tune into this song as he sat in silence thinking about the girl, Ruchi. The conversation echoed in the infrastructure of his mind and he couldn't seem to forget her voice. The way she was saying haunted him and he couldn't help fearing that she may have chosen the ultimatum. It was 2'o clock and it was time for him to go home.
"All right Calcutta, another heartwarming session comes to an end. Lots of people sharing their thoughts, their love, their heartbreak and their sadness. Those who are happy, keep ...
And in the end, when you will be old, fragile, with wrinkled skin and receeding hairline, nothing will matter. Money, cars, bank balance, pride, fame- all will fade away, and nothing will seem worth it, except for the smiles of your grandchildren playing in the garden on a bright sunny day while you sit under the shade surrounded by your loved ones, your biggest achievements will unravel right infront of your eyes. The beauty of growing old with your loved ones and leaving behind fragments of memories in your loved ones, as your loved ones, is unparallel. That's what matters the most, everything else just turns into ashes, sooner than you may think.
To the love that never flourised,
Be strong, cause you are one of a kind.
Be strong, because you know a storm is coming, and you have to survive that.
Be strong, because the turmoils of feelings leave the deepest of scars.
Be strong, because you are whole on your own even if you feel the other half is missing.
Be strong, because things that don't achieve fulfillness, need not be a waste. It can be perfect.
A wall, a window and a door unopened.
Lay awake in hope.
For the wall is just a mere barrier, between reality and dreams. A barrier which wants to be broken and shattered into pieces.
For the window is just an eye, looking towards the horizon where the sun sets and the night falls.
For the door which waits patiently to be pushed aside, revealing possibilities, endless.
A wall, a window and a door unopened.
Lay awake in hope for the soul brave enough to pass through.
A wall, a window and a door unopened.
Lay awake in hope, for eternity.
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 3)
"Hello? Are you there?" Rohan asked again. The clock struck 1 and only the sound of his breath felt like the loudest sound there was in the world. He held the headphones closer to his ear and started listening closely. he was looking for the voice, any sound for that matter. Silence was becoming intense for him. And then he heard a sound.
"I...need help. I don't know what to do." Ruchi finally said.
"Ruchi, say. We are here for you. What happened?" Rohan said softly.
"I...I don't know. I feel so empty. I feel so sad. It's as if this life has no meaning at all. he just left without saying Goodbye. How...could he? I can't bear it anymore...." Ruchi, broke ...
Unconditional and unbreakable will to stay together and fight.
Oh! Calcutta (Chapter 2)
3 months earlier...
"Hello everyone, it's almost midnight, this is me Rohan your new Rj for the night, and many more nights to come and you are listening to 103.9 Calcutta Calling. Hope you guys are enjoying the winter chills, wrapped up in a blanket and keeping the radio close by, while I am here enjoying this lovely coffee and all ears to hear everything about you. So come on Calcutta, this winter spread the warmth, be somebody's light, share your feelings and make somebody smile, and I will be right here making sure that all of your messages get delivered. So come on everyone, lets make some magic tonight. So who's our first caller?" Rohan concluded and took ...
Writing changes me. Each word, each phrase, each para depicts the pain that lives deep inside. The pain that strives to come out, yet fails everytime, supressed by my thoughts of reality. My own thoughts. Slowly and subtly it chokes it untill it is heard no more.
Writing changes me. Everytime the ink lays a mark on the paper, I imagine the distant sun setting peacefully, completely unaware of the horrows of the world. I imagine the read sky, the beauty of the shades and a life beyond.
Writing changes me. Cause without it, all that I think, all that I am will be buried deep inside, till I don't feel it close anymore. Till I don't feel it real anymore.
Oh! Calcutta ( Chapter I )
"And let's call it a night folks. All you wonderful people out there this is the last song for the night. I'll see you all tomorrow night, till then spread the love, have a great morning ahead and keep listening to your favourite radio station 103.9 Calcutta Calling. This is me Rohan, signing off. Goodnight". He said as he removed his headphones and got up. The only person in the entire radio station was Naresh, the watchman who was sound asleep on a chair. He stretched a bit, his spine aching from constantly being at one place. He emptied the coffee mug with one sip and walked around a bit. His room had a glass pane stretching from side to side overlooking the e...
As a child I have always looked at the sky with utmost wonder and tried to comprehend the vastness of it all. The moon and the stars never failed to amuse me and I would stay up late at night seeing them and imagining how life would be like up there. I would imagine how it would be like to see the moon so closely, or to see the stars shine with their brightest aura. Children of my age were obsessed with worldly things, while the stars caught my eyes. Most of my nights were spent looking at the stars and falling asleep in due course of time.
Now in my youth, I still stay up all night under the stars. The frightening noise of the world and the haunting screams of reality tend to pass me b...
And all the light that we cannot see, form the dreams that take our breath away.
They both started walking back in silence. The night was calm, with the moon shining above their head while the stars played a gentle serenade that echoed throughout galaxies. He felt the magic in the moment but was too enchanted to speak about it. Not everyday he gets to walk with the girl of his dreams, and the day he actually got the chance, he didn't want to ruin it by saying something stupid. He walked silently, stealing glances at her from time to time.
While she walked with an air of nonchalance, while the lit cigarette laid peacefully on her lips. She looked beautiful in the moonlit night. She soon threw away the cigarette butt once it was all burnt out and lit another one. She off...
She was beautiful disaster, shielding her secrets with every inch of her soul.
She was a beautiful disaster, with eyes having dept of a thousand oceans.
She was a beautiful disaster irreparably broken. And that's why I was incontestably attracted to her.
This is our fate I believe. We get attracted to things that need fixing. Things that are broken beyond imaginations.