Thursday, April 14, 2005

Some random thoughts that pop in and out of my head...

Not to get too philosophical on a lovely sunny day - but where is home? When I think of 'home' it is not my current residence - however much I fill it up with all the paraphernalia that is me and mine - that I think of. It is not where I have spent most of the last decade of my life - a small town many miles away - even though it is filled with friends.
Funnily enough, even the house I grew up in - where my parents still live today, and where I go back every long vacation - is very unlike the home I remember in my subconscious. That house had a terrace on the first floor (you know, the one above the ground floor) where I sat in the sun on lazy winter afternoons, reading old puja barshikis and eating oranges. This house has empty rooms where the terrace once was. My grandmother grew petunias and dahlias in clay flowerpots on the terrace. Incidentally I destroyed quite a few of those pots while learning to ride a bicycle - shades of things to come. My grandmother passed away a few years back and those dahlias are gone too. I wonder what happened to the flowerpots.

16 Comments:

Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Given that my memories have so many different sites now, various homes in Delhi, homes of different relatives in Bengal, apartment in LA, it is hard to identify with any one, even the one associated with the most precious memories.

In fact your oranges reference reminded me of the time we used to visit my grandparents in their home in Assam, and drink fresh squeezed orange juice made by my Dida. So many places to scatter myself!

April 14, 2005 7:45 PM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Now that brought up something I haven't written about in years. I haven't had a real home for a very long time. I've lived in nice places, but ...

Perhaps it's a yearning for childhood again.

J.A.P.

April 15, 2005 12:20 PM  
Blogger Vishnupriya said...

you got me all nostalgic. now i really want to go home :(

waaaaah!

pls ignore that.

and thanks for dropping by my blog and adding it. i actually check out anis blog quite often and i can tell hes a comix fan, but from his writing he seems much cooler than rohan. in fact sourav told me some interesting stuff about him ;)

April 16, 2005 12:32 AM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

Aah, terrace - I wonder where it ended for ours. Someone once said that apparently you can go a mile or so along the terraces in Central Calcutta.
And curious to find that you could 'learn' cycling on thy terrace. One of my pal's dad used to be the manager of Allahabad Bank - uff - that was one hell of a chaad. Din know too many of those existed.

April 17, 2005 8:51 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

T_M you have a point about how it gets scattered, but don't we need the concept of a home - 'the home' maybe? Need is probably too strong a word - but isn't it good to have? In my subconscious mind, I had it a few years back and don't any more. :(

j. Alfred-da, do write about it! Its definitely a yearning for childhood, for the absolutes one used to have. (Uh not Absoluts in case anybody thinks that I was a child 12-stepper).

Vish, you are welcome! :)

Satch our chhaat (pronounced chhaad always!) was not that big, but enough to learn to ride a bicycle, and play badminton and argue over who would go down to get the shuttlecock when it went over! :)

April 17, 2005 1:14 PM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Urmea me gel, don't ever ask me to 'write about it', that's like asking the Oldest Member for a golf story. However, since you have asked nicely, I shall post something absolutely swimming in nostalgia on My Other Blog .. prufrock dot rediffblogs dot com.

On your own head be it!

And it's rather nice to be addressed as 'da'. Part of the same nostalgia? Chalie jaao khuki!

J.A.P.

April 18, 2005 6:48 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

j. alfred-da, so you have multiple blogs! Thats a bit like polygamy isn't it? Two sets of families and blog-pals... Although you seem not to hide one from the other so probably the comparison is not warranted.
I also notice that I have been called 'khuki'!! You really should not!
One, that insults the actual khukis amongst us (like my father's eldest pishi who is about 95 and still lovingly called khuki-pishi without the slightest trace of irony).
Secondly and more importantly, 'khuki'ness is a state of mind - I never possessed it. A family friend named me 'Maharani Victoria' as an infant in view of my cynical stares at anyone who dared to baby-talk with me. I daresay I have mellowed since then but being called khuki is still not a cause for amusement. Hmph!

April 18, 2005 10:53 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Maharani Victoria? Ei re, Urmi you're in so much trouble now!

But you are right, it is something that we certainly want, I don't know if it is something that we necessarily need. Know someone who's been simultaneously living in LA and Jakarta for several years now. What about those who've been expats all their lives, moving from one country to another?

April 18, 2005 8:14 PM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

Ha ha, don't you know dishi ghotis still say 'nebu' for lebu. It once took me half an hour or so to understand 'ball ta phutey gachey' meant 'the bulb has fused off' in one particular occassion (not kidding!).
And never too much baddy on chaa'd' - the drafts would played spoilsport.

April 19, 2005 8:34 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Dishi ghotis say a lot of things that are fairly incomprehensible to urban ghotis (unless they've spent time in the village). For example, in Bardhaman, "hobek nei", "korbek nei".

Can you figure out what is "darin dibe se aay"?

April 19, 2005 10:35 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Hmm, I am ghoti but of the very urban variety with pretty much no existing rural roots. So, no Swati - I have no clue what that means! :-P
Also my dad's family is from Hooghly and mom's from south 24 parganas, and I have no idea what dialect my forefathers would have spoken. Although in my mamabari, people use the funniest expressions - like a long-faced person would have a choti-jutor moton mukh, or my dadu (I called him ena - don't ask me why) would tell the barber "besh milon kore kete dio" and so on. But all in a very urban version of Bangla!

April 19, 2005 11:50 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

"choti-juto" - hilarious!

and "milon kore kete dio" is so quaint and adorable.

actually "darin dibe se aay" is "daanriye debe esho", roughly "escort me out". I wonder if "daanriye dewa" is a very rural concept, because in the days before electricity, someone had to show you the way out with a hurricane lamp in hand.

As far as I know Urmi, even in rural Hooghly they speak pretty standard Bangla, considering that it's pretty much the heart of Gaud Banga. Even in my father's village in Bardhaman, closer to Hooghly, the Bangla spoken is much closer to standard Bangla.

April 19, 2005 12:34 PM  
Blogger satchisgod said...

Hmm, contorted dialects. Well, the funniest one was this...toh we actually live near Bowbajar(Bank of India...) and as usual political jonoshobhas are aplenty. On one particular occasion, there was this one freakshow who had loads of things to say about Subhas Bose on a 23 wintry evening. And eveytime it would be a 'Nyata-ji' this, 'Nyata'-ji that, blaring out fulto volume. Even our barir mashi (maaney, who used to work at our place) finally blurted out 'Netaji key nyata bainyey dilek goh iyara'
And Thalessa, my mamabari is in Bankura - so don't even get me started on the ghordi(ghuri-kite)-ghori(clock) dilemma, or all those dibek, khabek, jabek, asbek, bhosbek, byata-biti et al:))
He he, funny thread this one:)

April 19, 2005 6:03 PM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Bankura, Barddhaman, Hooghly - all posto-eaters are we? :)

April 22, 2005 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Urmi
U have certainly caused a lot of nostalgic outpourings with this post, I have no wish to add to it...just thiught I would write here as it MAY elicit a reply:)

April 29, 2005 8:18 AM  
Blogger Urmea said...

Heh heh heh, are you implying that I do not reply to emails on time? Well, you would be correct!
Also thanks for emailing me to tell me that you had commented otherwise I would be totally mystified by this!!

April 29, 2005 10:54 AM  

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