Oct 13, 2008

The Fancy Fortnight

Just packed up all the golu dolls and set the living room as it is normally. Last fortnight, my eyes didn’t even have the time to soak in the newly painted walls of my house and revel in it (before they are begrimed by the folks that inhabit the house!)! This week will be devoted for them only ;)
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Just 2 days back, one of our company buses met with a horrible accident. One of our colleagues expired (male, 50+) and 2 more are in critical condition, apart from many others who have injuries ranging from mental trauma to severe cuts and bruises. Thinking of them makes me sad. When I leave for office in the morning, “death” is certainly not something which I think of. I only see a day full of workload and deadlines. By the time evening sets in, my mind again only travels towards my kitchen and the pending household chores. That colleague of mine must have been under the same state of mind when the bus was hit by a truck and snuffed out the life of him. His children were just settling down. He still had to feel his grandchildren on his lap. He still had miles to go.

Or maybe he was lucky. He didn’t suffer the way I see one 95+ old woman suffering in my neighbourhood; and its not just her, its even her children who are suffering seeing her bed ridden. But that’s a different story for another post, another time!

May God bless his soul and may God give strength to his family to bear the loss.

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Phew! Finally finished reading “Chowringhee”!!! The book was gifted to me by one of my very good friends almost a month back and hailed as a classic. In his own words “Some books are just well written; the rest are immortal works”. Knowing his taste, I knew I was not going to be disappointed. So, I relished each and every page of the book and took my own sweet time to finish it; thanks also to the festive month.
The book originally written by Mani Sankar Mukherjee and published in 1962, has been translated by Arunava Sinha. It makes for a wonderful read if you wish to get an insight into the machinery called a hotel; the tears behind the smiles that greet you; the lives that thread together to form the fabric of hospitality; the stories behind the home away from home. Set in the 50’s, the book is a wonderful dedication to a metropolis and its people.
The story is a first-person account by Shankar, who has just joined a hotel called Shahjahan in the city of Kolkata. Here he meets Marco Polo- the manager, Sata-Bose- the receptionist, Karabi Guha – the hostess, Sujata – the air hostess, Connie- the cabaret dancer and as the stories seamlessly weave around each of them, the characters bloom into a larger than life narration who help Shankar learn his lessons of life. The style of writing is poetic at places and you can’t help becoming dreamy eyed. It’s the kind of book that you may read again and again and yet find something novel each time.
I am told that Suchitra Sen has based the movie 36 Chowringhee Lane on this very book. I have not yet seen the movie but after reading the book, I would surely like to watch it some day soon.
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Yesterday evening, we went out to eat and I had the yummiest vegetable cheesy steak sizzlers after quite some time and I hogged over it like a pig; so much that I am sure my daughters will refuse to acknowledge me out in public places anymore. But seriously, I bow to all of thee who are great cooks; it surely is an art that defies me. How I wish I could cook all those magnetic delicacies which pulls my kids to the dining table every supper-time, happily, rather than being dragged there at gun-point! Sigh. I can only thank God that the way to my better-half’s heart is not necessarily through his stomach and he is not a fussy eater. Or maybe the poor guy just does not have a choice :P

14 comments:

Monika,Ansh October 13, 2008 at 3:30 PM  

Refreshing to get a post from u after such a long time.

Sorry abt your colleague. Must be tough for all in office.

Your sizzler sounds really yummy. :)

Smita October 13, 2008 at 5:27 PM  

Aha!!!! 2 posts in so many days...ma'am are you onto a record making spree :P

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The accident news is really sad....these people were jsut 2-3 minutes away from their office and few were standing at the door. They were thrown out and u know what? the driver had been suspended few months back on a/c of rash driving but he gave written apology & he was accepted back. There wasn't a single passenger who wasn't hurt...sad end of life..

Since the we have stopped running for bus..life is too precious...

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I want the book :D

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Sizzlers????? My dil goes hmmmmmm...:D

We tried sizzlers at "Saute" at City Center wahan bhi acche hain and lol at the way you have described yourself :P your girls won't disown you :)

Suma October 14, 2008 at 11:46 AM  

i cannot believe my eyes..two posts already..?!!!

that was awful news!!! :(


i've just started chowringhee...quite interesting...


and life can't be spent cooking...i'm sure there ae few items which they relish when you make it...so quit sighing and eat out with a vengeance...:D

Oxy October 14, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

I think the movie is re-made this year...

I too haven't seen the old one and haven't read the book. But as the saying goes, movies based on books never do justice so it's better to read the book.

Btw, MS ke saare sanskaar, riti-riwaz bhul gaye.. Mere last 2 posts pe aa ke 'wah-wah-ing' nahi ki.. hehe...

Mama - Mia October 14, 2008 at 4:35 PM  

must be tough on your colleagues family. May his soul rest in peace.

and you have beocme a major book worm too! am glad you enjoyed the khaana so much! i rerember you telling me, you are more of eat to live rather than live to eat kinda person! :)

hugs

abha

Swati October 14, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

Sorry abt the collegue:(

couchpapaya October 14, 2008 at 10:42 PM  

sorry abt ur colleague...

anyways, glad u will get time to enjoy ur house now. and the book sounds wonderful .. will look for it!

verbivorehere October 15, 2008 at 9:47 AM  

sorry about your colleague, but keep the positive thought on..perhaps he's saved from many a trauma!
and that book sure sounds worth a search!

Just Like That October 17, 2008 at 10:33 PM  

very sad about your colleague. :-(

But glad, delighted and stunned to see so many posts from you :-p

WhatsInAName October 18, 2008 at 2:56 PM  

Monika :) Thanks for the comment! and ofcos the welcome note too!

Smita :) You wait and watch my speed now :P Will try Saute one of these days... maybe with you? ;)

Suma :) Oh! So you started Chowringhee? Please do write your views on it... and yes, eat I will as long as someone else prepares them for me ;)

Oxy :) Why dont you review the movie? I am sure coming from you it will be a treat to read!

WhatsInAName October 18, 2008 at 3:01 PM  

Abha :) I still maintain I eat only for living but once in a while my tongue revolts and wants to prove that it exists you see ;) As for being a book worm, oh no, I took over a month to finish the book! Not because it was not interesting but because I was too too caught up!

Swati : Yeah I pray for his family to bear the loss! I got to know yday that one more girl who was critical expired too. She was just 23 :(

CP :) Yeah the book is just for you. Am sure you will enjoy it!

Verbivore :) What a lovely ID. I will hop onto your blog rghtaway. Thanks for the visit and yeah the book is classic!

JLT :) Muuaaaah to you :P So so so happy to see you back! Now that you are back, I will write more and more :P

avdi October 19, 2008 at 9:13 AM  

fix the bottom line of your blog dear.. i had trouble finding the comments, it had something else overlapping.

Sad abt the accident, makes you realise how frail your life is.

No,no WIAN, 36 Chowringhee Lane was NOT based on this book, the story is entirely different. But you MUST see 36 CL, its magnificent.

The recipes sound quite do-able. I can make kheer, my sooji halwa is good, I make nice vermicelli, simple cakes are a success, but nothing fancy beyond tht.

WhatsInAName October 20, 2008 at 10:09 PM  

Ava :)
you are right. The comments are going haphazard. Let me try to fix it
And oh I was told 36 CL is baed on this book! Now let me watch it since youare recoing it!
Amd I hope to visit ur city soon for those yummy sweets :)

Anonymous,  February 20, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

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