My mother was sad. She lived with a feeling of personal dissatisfaction and un-fulfillment. A lot of them. While the whole world would say Mita is so happy all the time, she is bursting with laughter always, deep inside she … Continue reading Remembering Mother’s Sadness This Mother’s Day
Several moments from the hit TV series House M.D. the philosophy of Dr House helped me hold myself together during the last one month of mother’s approaching death. Particularly Episode 1 of Season 2, Acceptance. A young woman in her 30s, Cindy, visits the clinic for some routine tests for her health clearance certificate for a new job. Dr Cameroon greets Cindy, takes a look at her chest X-ray report and a slight hint of worry comes across her face. In the next scene we see her consulting with Dr Wilson, Head of Oncology. Dr Wilson tells Dr Cameroon with … Continue reading Five Stages of Dying
26th April I have said and done a lot of hurtful things to my mother for which I am repenting today, will repent forever. But so has everyone else. My father, my sister. Such is life, we fight, we make up, nobody is perfect. Sometimes we say sorry, sometimes we don’t speak for days and then cook something special for the person we hurt and move on. The thing I cannot tolerate anymore is my eight and half years younger sister assuming a morally superior position and trying to judge me in order to defend dad. This is a mistake, … Continue reading When a Pillar Falls The Building Crumbles, The Family Falls Apart
17th April 1.38 pm Exactly a month ago, on 17th March mother walked out of home for routine check up with symptoms no more than of common cold. This morning she went into ventilator. They say putting a stage 4 cancer patient, with no hopes for treatment, on ventilator is a bad idea. It would only increase pain and suffering. In the previous hospital every night the head of ICU would call and try to convince us not to give consent for ventilator. Once such critical patient goes into ventilator they never come back, said the doctor. But we gave … Continue reading She Died Within Few Hours of Going on Ventilator
15th April 2017 My mother wishes everybody a happy Bengali new year. She told me to put it up on her Facebook. Talk about patient – doctor trust and relationship, mother’s attending doctor didn’t even visit her today in his rounds. Didn’t even meet the family to tell us what kind of palliative care is required, what precautions we should take, how to ensure she doesn’t suffer pain. Nothing. He wanted us to leave, we are leaving, he couldn’t be any less bothered. Bengali new year didn’t bring any new hopes. We shifted mom to the new hospital yesterday but … Continue reading To Intubate or Not to Intubate?
14th/April Morning: 17th March to today, mom’s condition is worsening so rapidly, I didn’t know it’s possible for any disease to aggravate so quickly. We have no time at all. All her body functions and organs are in perfect condition but her lungs are giving up. Just giving up. Before Facebook, it was not so in your face evident that while your world is crumbling and crashing, rest of the world goes by just fine without batting an eyelid. Our sorrows are our alone. 11.30pm After my morning update regarding mom’s condition, people got very worried. Some called and messaged … Continue reading Her Lungs Are Giving Up But She Won’t, She Will Survive
11th April 2017 Cancer is a disease. Chemo is a treatment. Quality time with family is a utopia. We are at the juncture now where we have to decide whether to give chemotherapy to mother or not. The attending doctor advised us against it. She is in stage 4 cancer and he is of the opinion that chemotherapy won’t help her much. It would be high risk. He wasn’t clear what this ‘high risk’ means. He suggested we take her home, give home nursing, palliative care, spend quality time with her and wait. Wait for the cancer to spread and … Continue reading To Chemo Or Not To Chemo?
3rd April 2017 Cancer. Not a disease but a culture. A major story twist. The deadly misfortune has been part of the most tragic films and literature. Mostly it would be the male protagonist, he falls sick and doctors tell him, “You have last stage Cancer, only few days of your life are left” and then an dramatic scene follows. “Ab inhe dawa ki nahi dua ki zaroorat hai (She needs prayers now not medicine)” is a much clichéd dialogue from hindi films of yesteryears. In real life however, among friends and family such misfortune was rarely heard. With advancement … Continue reading Cancer The Misfortune That Fell On Us
19th February I cannot live alone. I tried but I can’t. I need someone to talk to at end of the day. But I also cannot live with people. I end up making everyone close to me hate me. I don’t know what to do. If after every fuck up everybody tries to convince you it’s all your fault, what should you do with yourself? What should you do if you saw this pattern – that from childhood to date, from school friends to family, if it’s always you vs. everyone else, what does that tell about you? 8th March … Continue reading My Relationship With My Family Is Broken Beyond Repair
A very eventful satisfying day. Volunteering for Aam Aadmi Party, I turn a professional journalist with a mic in hand. On occasion of Women’s Day, we are making a series short videos featuring AAP’s women candidates for upcoming MCD elections. AAP has around 100 women candidates, senior leader Richa Pandey told me that the party is serious about supporting and encouraging more and more women’s political participation. On my way back I booked an OLA Share cab. Interesting conversations and meetings ensued. For the period when I was the only passenger in the cab I struck a conversation with my … Continue reading A Dead Soul Comes Home After An Eventful Day
Why I insist, vehemently insist, that the men I date, friends I hang out with, and my sister, why I insist that these people must, if they care about me, follow my Facebook updates? Facebook is superficial they say, Facebook makes you narcissistic. Real relationship don’t need facebook. Why Facebook, grow up they say. I will explain why. I am a sum total of 40 years of unusual experiences. I have stored in my heart stories full of funny interesting sad poignant people and events which I carry with myself at all times. My feelings today are shaped by my … Continue reading Why You Must Follow Me On Facebook
Follow up to this: Waiting For A Call From TISS, Mumbai They called me for the written test which is on 10th Feb at Mumbai, so I will be going just for the day. The test is called a Research Aptitude Test. 10 out of 80 people would be taken in the course I have applied for, so it is going to be tough. But there isn’t much that you can study or mug up because it is really about an aptitude, that has to be part of your higher education days, not something you can suddenly develop. So I am … Continue reading Update On House Painting, Call From TISS
This was first written by my later mother Mita Basu on Facebook, in Bengali. It is a reaction to a recent TV commercial of Everest Garam Masala, featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I have translated the piece and also added my own perspectives, … Continue reading Maa Ke Haat Ka Khana When Maa Is a Service Provider
I know I got it tattooed on my arms “Going wherever the wind takes me” but IRCTC plays pretty havoc with ‘going wherever’ doesn’t it. How can we go anywhere unless we plan months in advance for a reserved train ticket and can’t afford to fly. We say the world is so connected today, but traveling anywhere even within India is still so costly and time consuming. Our super fast trains are pathetically slow compared to world standards. Our flights are cheap and plenty but they only connect cities of political or economic importance. I remember when my grandmother expired, … Continue reading Waiting For A Call From TISS, Mumbai
Important learning, if you are painting your home and want to highlight one of the wall with Asian Paints Royale texture, get it done by the company artists directly. The thekedar won’t be able to do the texture properly. I am very sad with what happened to our wall. For one year I have visualized the colour of our house, I wanted the featured wall in Madder Red, Asian Paint’s colour of the year 2016 and other 3 walls in Yellow Charm. This is part of their Rekindle collection, also a 2016 collection. I love minimalist design, and bold solid … Continue reading Painting Our House: Important Learning
“To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows.” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes From The Underground So, I have now celebrated my 40th … Continue reading How I Celebrated My 40th Birthday
This is a love story. Growing up in Delhi at the start of every winter, I have experienced this wild intoxicating smell subsuming my body mind heart soul never knowing what it was. The smell would arrive soon after Durga … Continue reading Intoxicating Smell of The Devil Saptaparni
Writing this on the morning after 23rd Jan 2016 The run up to my 39th birthday was very eventful. This was my 39th birthday and I really wanted to celebrate it in a grand way. The middle age express have seen … Continue reading In Retrospection The 39th Birthday
Is there a flow chart that explains how notes tumbling out of corrupt homes enter poor households? Continue reading Demontisation: Minor Inconvenience Are For Greater Good But Anyone Seen The Flow Chart?
A list of mean, shallow reasons to judge men and swipe them left (reject) on Tinder Continue reading Tinder – Let Me Raise A Toast to Shallow
14th September My life’s journey is a research paper. On this life I document how relationships fail, friendships fail, how we build expectations and meet disappointments, what are life’s big mistake. Everything I feel and learn, I write. I write them on Facebook and this blog. SVD perhaps have been keeping an eye on all this. Initially she blocked me so she was not supposed to see my updates but today she came on my page and objected to the fact that I had put up her family’s photo on my featured photo section. It was photo of us taken on the … Continue reading I Will Not Be Lost In Your Narrative
You might want to read this first to get the context of the words below. 24th Aug I saw a meme on Facebook which was about how to respond to a sad person. I went though the series of images which explained that you should respond with care, hug and comfort. And I couldn’t help comparing how my friends, SVD in particular responded to my recent bouts of depressive rant on Facebook group messenger, the place where this whole break up played out and ended. These sort of memes are double edged sword. They set such high standard of care … Continue reading How to care for Sad Person?
27th July So ever since it happened that SVD my best friend sorry ex-best friend called our friendship off I have been trying to make sense of what happened. I am going back in time trying to reconstruct the month of July to find out where did I go wrong, what did I do? We usually communicate over a group chat but I have been silent on this chat since 11th July, the day I left for Mumbai. On 13th, 15th, 18th July she said things that didn’t make any sense to me except that she has suddenly taken a grave dislike … Continue reading How Are You Holding Up?
Article on the Flickr Photowalk coordinated by me in Delhi. I was the only one who actually did the walk and thoroughly enjoyed. The theme was macro texture photography. In this article, I explained what macro texture is and have … Continue reading Flickr Photo Walk Delhi – Macro Texture
In this series of photographs I celebrate the universal sisterhood, the love and bonding between women. Stories of brotherhood is common, we have films, books and poems on them, brothers in arms et all. But women are never seen to … Continue reading Universal Sisterhood – Breaking The ‘Woman is Woman’s Worst Enemy’ Myth
“Our sweetest songs are those
that tell of saddest thoughts”
Our happiest stories are those
that remained unwritten.
You and I are that wonderful story,
like a movie script that never got filmed.
like that rumour going around, a clandestine affair,
a star couple that the fans rooted for,
but which never happened.
We remained unwritten. Continue reading “Poem: Unwritten”
Hello people. A confession, the staying off Facebook / Twitter didn’t really work. Social media platforms are no longer just places to share your thoughts but also to seek information and exchange ideas. This bit was missing when we first started blogging. Back then it was only about sharing. So that’s a learning from this experiment. But the sad part is that the news we are accessing on social media is like not even like .1% of the world. I looked up popular news website, NDTV, TOI, BBC, Guardian.co.UK and you know what i found? Everywhere there are only the same 3-4 … Continue reading The News Sucks And There’s a Femicide in Guatamela
A wee bit unrealistic (but again which spy novel is realistic), somewhat predictable, yet some twists in the plot, and Hugh Laurie’s unique brand of humour, world view and philosophy makes this book really interesting. This is one of those … Continue reading Book Review: The Gun Seller By Hugh Laurie
We have metered billing for water, electricity, we pay phone bills by calls/hours. Imagine for all these things you had algorithm based random billing thrown at you. Continue reading Surge Pricing is Unfair, Unethical and Unconstitutional
There is no wronged woman here who wants to take a revenge, no mother who is struggling and fighting all odds to raise her children, no multi-tasking multi-talented woman who manages both work and family, no fierce police officer or successful film star. Neerja was not Jhansi ki Rani or Devi Durga, she was just Neerja and that made all the difference. Continue reading Feminist Film Review – Neerja, not your predictable strong woman
My favourite feature on Facebook is the ‘On This Day’ feature which reminds you of the updates you made each year on the given date. I love it because I love to live my life looking at memories, I don’t have … Continue reading It just gets deeper and deeper
It is not like the Taliban woke up one morning thinking “let’s kill some school going girls” and Malala by chance happened to be in the way. No, they targetted her because of her defiance. Continue reading ‘Malala is a feminist after all’ – Feminist Film Review He Named Me Malala
Mohan Bhagwat appears on national television and gives his expert opinion about how great the government is functioning. Who th hell is Mohan Bhagwat? Why is he on TV telling us how good or bad govt is? What's govt got to do with Dusserah? Again who the F is he — Sanjukta Basu (@sanjukta) October 22, 2015 The Sanghi trolls are busy attacking Gulzar, and all other writers who have registered their protests against Dadri lynching by returning their Sahitya Akademy Awards. Their common argument, why they didn’t return award during 1984 riots. MORONS listen: They didn't return award in 1984. They didn't do so in … Continue reading Aside notes on Mohan Bhagwat, Sanghi Trolls and Abhijeet Bhattacharya
While flipping through the latest Outlook Magazine I came across the advertisement of the forthcoming Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit to be held in Nov 2015 in Jaipur.
The campaign had an image of an impressive masculine male face complete with beard and mustache set against the background of a beautiful tribal illustration, with the caption “I am Rajasthan. I’m Ready” in bold capital fonts. Bheel artist Prakash Jogi has been given credit for the illustration. Continue reading “Is the Ad campaign for Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit gender biased?”
Approximately 800+ pornographic websites suddenly went off the internet in India. There were no prior announcement, discussion, no legal basis to the decision. But that’s not to say it is entirely thoughtless, hell no. The great thought behind is that a ban on porn is going to put an end to rapes in this country.
Feel free to try this at a cinema hall near you. The security guards at PVR Saket cinema hall wouldn’t let me enter the hall with my bag which was not enough lady like. What I did next sure did shock them, something they would remember for a really long time, if not rest of their lives. Continue reading PVR Saket security guards won’t let me in with my bag: What I did next will shock you
Around 7 years ago I stumbled upon, for the first time, an unimportant never heard before film critique called Raja Sen on Rediff. It was his review of Taare Zameen Par and it made me furious. I found him being … Continue reading Raja Sen gave 4 stars to Aamir Khan’s PK: That’s enough for a review
Panchasayar, Garia, one of Asia’s largest housing societies, a cooperative society for the staff of Accounts and General West Bengal and Income Tax Department of West Bengal, is the place where I spent the first 7-8 years of my life. Continue reading “New Garia Halt Station at Panchasayar Garia – Inauguration by Sh Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury”
Why don’t we have many such songs or poems? Why is there no female version of a love song like “Chaundvi ka Chaand” or “Chandan sa badan?” In Abhigyaana Shankuntalam Kalidasa wrote verses after verses in praise of Shakuntala’s physical … Continue reading Let a woman sing
Lali was born to a homeless mother on a fateful monsoon night in a small residential colony in Panchasayar, Garia, Kolkata.
That night when she realized it was time, she, Lali’s mother silently crawled under the gate of that big mansion, she pulled herself through the green lawn in search of a secure place and finally rested under the big corner window sill. The storm thundered and lightening shined on somewhere in the background as if it was just another rainy night, not knowing that a strange fate was going to befall upon Lali, the yet to be born.
She gave birth to 5 of them.
The gardener’s daughter was all of 6 years and 6 times more naughty than kids of her age. Next morning, the sun was happy and shiny, it was the perfect day for the playful kid. As always, she chased the hens and ducks at the nearby fields, she caught the multicolored dragonfly with bare hands tied their wings with a golden string and made helicopter and airplanes of them. Then she spotted the tiny puppies under the window sill. We don’t know where their mother was.
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post. Continue reading Protected: Dream express
Happy Diwali Originally uploaded by samyukta_basu Gone are the days of fire works and crackers on Diwali, gone are the days when we used to wake all night up to have the Kali puja’s maha bhog. This year we didn’t even buy phuljharis. But we got lots of candles and diyas. And we lit the earthen diyas in the traditional way with oil. Things have changed for all of us. Sister and I are too grown up for crackers, we don’t have the time to do all those shopping. But still our Diwali was nice and simple and well lit. … Continue reading Happy Diwali
In case you noticed my absence from this page…I am engaged in something important. Announcements will happen if things work out. I have been off the internet for this thing, what I miss the most is blogging and twittering. Just to give you a glimpse of how I survived…here’s my offline alternative to tweets and blogs – ‘post it notes’ Tomorrow is a big day, wish me luck. (And no you are not hearing wedding bells) Come back happenning next week. Continue reading Quick hello
So happy to see a dear friend starting to blog. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging my friend. Manasinakkare (Beyond my mind) – by SR I did notice her blog is anonymous, also figured she isn’t too keen on getting traffic. In her introduction she has only mentioned to be a Mallu migrated to Canada. So I won’t give out too much of details here. But friend, wait and see, soon you’ll start getting traffic, then comments, you’ll start liking the comments, and then you’ll seek more and more of it and then you’ll start raking your brain to get all sort of … Continue reading There she blogs
23-mar-07 1.45 am. I don’t like to follow the crowd, but I also don’t like being left out. So while whole of India is watching the ‘life and death’ defining match between India and Sri lanka today, I would prefer to stand out of the crowd and say, “I don’t waste my time on this silly game,” but I’ll still watch it coz tomorrow when the whole world would be discussing the match I should be able to be a part of the conversation. 6th wicket down, I flipped channel and this is what I came across, Aaj Tak’s breaking … Continue reading Jadeja met Me
Am almost back.. hang on just a bit more.. been on my toes since Mid of Dec.. Been to South to North to West… will write all about my adventour soon.. Meanwhile A new Year wish I quickly scribbled and send accross to all the contacts on Yahoo, Gmail and Orkut… Season’s Greetings. Yeah that same repetitive wish you been getting from every one else.. Merry Christmas, Id Mubarak and Happy New year. I was able to complete one of my resolution in 2006. 2007 looks promising…but then I don’t know.. My life is so unpredictable..kinda tend to roll with … Continue reading Happy New Year
It was an awesome rain that delhi had today in the evening and its awlays a beautiful sight to see those shining blades of water falling on the concrete road and the car splashing by…the traffic obviously came to a halt all around and I waited almost an hour at the Jungpura stop for a 727 before I gave up, took an auto to CP and boarded the metro to Dwarka. But what a well spent hour it was. Last time I wrote about it, this time I clicked and captured. More Delhi rain pics here Continue reading It rained today Man…
People sometimes act so cowardly and hypocritically. I once wrote this testimonial for some one I knew. Asked for his feedback on what I had to write about him. He read it and got so panic stricken, left offliners for me, comments on the blog itself and then spoke over the phone asking me to do the needful editing. The reason for panic…only the following words the rest of his time is spent in drinking and shopping. I haven’t written drinking what…haven’t mentioned anything like he drinks a lot and is a drunkard. Just the mention of drinks is defamatory … Continue reading Hypocrisy be damned