Shunlaam Jaanlaam Bujhlaam!

05 Jan

She had a rusted brown colored shawl draped around her. The light pink faded overall and the jaded black bottom almost surreptitiously managed to sneak out of the shawl. A maroon Ficcare clip held on to her cinnamon bun like always, lending grace to her dignified ensemble.
I have always loved this lady for the warmth she reaches out with. Always loud, she is forthright and speaks her mind, much to the consternation of many. Today was a special day.
“Aunty, I think your life should find its way on print. I want you to be a subject of one of the stories in my book”, I mentioned, my voice shaking. I was not very sure about how comfortable she would be, in sharing her Pandora ’s Box of secrets with me.
“Sure. Come down someday in the afternoon and we can talk”, she said, without a hint of restraint. We had plonked ourselves on an old tin trunk, with a moth eaten, rainwashed rug over it. The white old carved walls still had a regal air to it. It was almost as if even the brown mud pots, covered in different shades of green, had a story to tell.
“I used to always ask Uncle to pen my life down. Now, that he is no more, I am glad you will be doing it”. That raised the expectations from self, a notch higher. Amongst the many experiences that made her the venerable person she is, she chose to share some of the ones she had in a city she spent almost 12 years of her life, Kolkata.
She told me about the electrician who used to stay in a chimney shaped room up a shaft in her house. That she noticed months after she shifted in. The old fellow used a broken ladder to climb up to his royal abode which was furnished with a transistor, a mat neatly rolled and folded when he was out for the day, a few sets of clothes, a blue colored comb with a hump & other knick knacks. She climbed up too to have a sneak peek into the hellish hole, where living for most of us is unimaginable.
Another day, while she was kneading dough or rather making a soldier’s attempt to do so, Pramodini Di comes in and demands in her usual nonchalant fashion as to what her landlady is trying to do. From that day onwards, everyday at 4, in a clockwork fashion, she used to take the atta, make the dough and deliver it back on the kitchen slab. A friendship blossomed between these two ladies. She was amazed to know that this innocuous lady, who almost lived off a water tank, was privy to the world of Rabindranath Tagore, Max Mueller & Satyajit Ray!
She directed a volley of questions at her and discovered that the theatre culture in the City of Joy was more responsible for educating than entertaining the natak lovers. A series of plays at Mueller Bhawan which she had attended, marked her entry into the fascinating world of literature. “Ami okhanteke shab shunlaam, jaanlam, bujhlaam”! (I got to hear, know & understand the world of Mueller in the Bhawan)
Reminds me of Veni, Vidi, Vici ! 😀


Posted by on January 5, 2011 in Conversations Galore



10 responses to “Shunlaam Jaanlaam Bujhlaam!

  1. Rachit

    January 5, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Nice one SP…im nostalgic,emotional,sentimental,overwhelmingly greatful to god for giving me one of the best gifts of all in my life..that is You..god bless you girl..thanks a ton for this beautiful article..ur a gem..

    • Shruti Parija

      January 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      Am glad you liked it 🙂 This has been more than a heartening experience for me too.
      And I hope you will like the entire rendition once its done.You have also been more than a savior to me 🙂

  2. shivaji

    January 5, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    the emotions which you narrated was absolutely as the story was on reel for me. a very well described episode. now i think you can write our fashion article also.god bless.

    • Shruti Parija

      January 5, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Thanks Raju Bhai.I will be more than happy to do so 😀

  3. CM

    January 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

    i like the ‘veni, vidi, vici’…gud work re..

  4. CM

    January 6, 2011 at 8:59 am

    continued kahan??

  5. CM

    January 6, 2011 at 9:02 am

    also love the way uve described the protagonist…one cud almost visualise her…

    • Shruti Parija

      January 6, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks Chirag.Continued after I meet her next 🙂

  6. Payoja

    January 17, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    love it shruti…love d way u ve described it…as always.. 🙂
    keep writing!!! :).


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