Category Archives: Bengal

Favourite letters from a Rainy Day or Borshar Priyo Chithi: Srijato

‘It was dusty. The rain kept beating down. The streets were empty in our ancient town. The clouds of the past never went any where Caught by a thousand umbrellas as they were. If they went, would the bus stop … Continue reading

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Rajkahini, Abanindranath Tagore’s tales of the Rajputs

‘When Maldev brought Hambeer to the court where his father and his father’s father had ruled their kingdom from, one cannot begin to describe what was going through Hambeer’s mind. He felt as though all the brave men of the … Continue reading

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Clive of India

Seeing that it is the anniversary of the Battle Of Plassey, Robert Clive was born in September 1725 at Styche Hall, near the village of Moreton Say near Market Drayton. His father, Richard, was a lawyer and a former MP, … Continue reading

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Tell me, which village is that?

Your father lives in this village Your husband lives in that Which of them is yours woman Tell me, which village is that? All your life you cooked in pots bought by someone else And lived in someone else’s house … Continue reading

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Gerasim Lebedev, a Russian in Calcutta

The first person to play Indian tunes on Western instruments was not someone from the early days of Bollywood. It was a Russian named Gerasim Lebedev who came to India with a travelling military band in 1785. Initially based in … Continue reading

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The problem with Merle…

“I couldn’t dance or sing or write or paint. The only possible opening seemed to be in some line in which I could use my face. This was, in fact, no better than a hundred other faces, but it did … Continue reading

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পণরক্ষা/Pawn Rokkha/THE OATH THAT HE SWORE

Reading about Bajirao Mastani on various Facebook walls reminded me of a poem from my childhood, the Maratha ditch that was built around parts of Calcutta in 1742 to keep the Maratha marauders out and a children’s rhyme about how … Continue reading

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And now for something completely different! After all, the time for surrender is passing for all of us to some degree.

স্নান সংকোচে জানাই আজ: একবার মুগ্ধ হতে চাই। তাকিয়েছি দূর থেকে। এতদিন প্রকাশ্যে বলিনি। এতদিন সাহস ছিল না কোনো ঝর্ণাজলে লুণ্ঠিত হবার – আজ দেখি অবগাহনের কাল পেরিয়ে চলেছি দিনে দিনে … জানি, পুরুষের কাছে দস্যুতাই প্রত্যাশা করেছো। তোমাকে ফুলের … Continue reading

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The Ashura villages of Bengal

There is a village in Coochbehar about twelve kilometres from Mathabhanga where people do not celebrate the coming of Durga to her earthly home. These families of Shukanukuti village claim their origins from the Ashuras or demons of mythology. Durga … Continue reading

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Calcutta and its changing face

Calcutta’s street and suburb names still hold traces of its past when people practicing a specific trade stayed with others doing the same. Thus you would go to Kumortuli for the kumor or potters, Colootolla for the coloo or oil … Continue reading

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