Saraswati Puja and the efforts we took to look good.
During Sarawati Puja, we used to wear sarees and along with the seniors and a Matron, we used to go around to visit other Saraswati Puja Pandals. NMC was obviously one of the hostels who arranged and we visited them . One year Bantu di told us that the NMC guys had made a cheap comment regarding us Brabourne girls – they had said that ‘ Brabourne girls are just to have fun with – never to marry’ – so we had to take revenge – we crossed their gate – they were (mostly boys) standing at the gate to receive us – but we walked straight without even looking their way – some of them even asked us why we were not entering their premises – but we just walked straight without even bothering to respond !- they looked so sad – and that made us so immensely happy !!
The next year, we did pay them a visit – I had worn new shoes for this occasion and had blisters on my feet – I could not walk an inch – it was a cheap showy sandal from the streets of Gaurihart – I remember Achira di asking me why I was limping. I told her that my feet were aching so she gave me her shoes and wore mine ! Later I saw even she had developed blisters on her feet ! I had never seen or met such people in my life before !- who could readily take someone else’s pain and do not even grudge about it !! I felt so sorry and guilty about it – but Achira di was pretty cool about it ! She just didn’t mind the blisters at all !! I could never have done any such thing to anyone !! – such a thing is only possible in Bengal I think !!Thanx Achira di !!
Our trial with cigarette smoking
Few of us Hostel-ites – our close group – 5 of us – we decided to try out cigarette. Now who will bell the cat – ie. who and how will we purchase?
We used to go in a tea stall near our college to have tea or coffee – he made good coffee with chocolate powder etc. So all 5 of us went and said – give us cigarette .
The stall man asked : which brand?
We were not prepared for this question – we looked dumbly at each other – then I acted and asked one of my friends –Hey- what brand does your brother have – we are buying for him – you should have asked what brand he takes !- basically we were trying to justify to the Tea stall man that we were not going to smoke but we are buying for our brother !! As if the stall man was bothered ! But you see we were so immensely guilty of buying the cigarette !!
Later we also bought 2 packets of Incense sticks.
Our plan was like this : we will first light the Incense sticks – 7-9 of them and then light the cigarette.
Supposing the Matron comes while taking rounds – and if she sees smoke coming from the room – she will ask us to open the door obviously.
We will say that the garbage dump behind the hostel was smelling awfully so we lit the incense sticks – therefore the smoke. Hence Proved.
After all the preparation – each of us lit one cigarette each and could not even finish 1/4 th of it – for it was the puk-iest and the bitter-iest thing we’d ever had !! I am really amazed at men who like to smoke !
Got lost in Excursion Trip – Gir Forest , Gujrat.
We went to Gir Forest, Gujrat for Zoology excursion. The number of lions in India were decreasing like no body’s business – kinda reaching extinction – so we thought we might as well look into this matter ! GIR – folks study this word intently – GIR – just add one letter ‘L’ from ‘Love’ – and loo behold – what do we have ? – GIRL!!- So basically the word ‘girl’ came from GIR forest – which is famous for Lions all over Asia !!Men – how many times will I ask you all to be aware of us huh?! Check out how we hunt our preys in the Geographic/Discovery Channel sometimes – you all will benefit from it.
We were shown the paw…pug marks of a lion and were generally told how they come to drink water – they even like to lick salt etc. We just saw one lion in the darkness of the night – we were all in the bus and the head lights were falling on the Lion. He was half asleep and lazily looked towards us – he must have thought of us a perfect mongrels – for disturbing his siesta ! Photographs were taken and we were glad that at least we saw one Lion !!
We mostly went around looking at the temples – Dwarakadhish and others and had more fun visiting temples !!We went to the Somnath Temple in Gujrat and was amazed to see the cleanliness and maintenance of the Temple. I found the idol rather strange – for the Shivalinga had a snake looking like Sheshnaag twirled around him !For Sheshnaag is usually seen around Lord Vishnu.
We went to Bakhla Tirth – and saw the place where Lord Krishna was hit accidentally by a tribal man and was the cause of His leaving this earthly abode. So with his grace, I saw both the places of His earthly birth and His earthly demise. Sometimes I wondered how they used to commute so far without trains etc !
Anyways, it was our last day in Gujrat and the next day we were going to board the Train. We went to Hotel DownTown Ahmedabad, had our dinner and were preparing to leave for the Hostel where we had put up – which was in Gandhinagar. I got up in the bus then suddenly thought of having paan (beetle leaf preparation) so got down again with Kakoli (the same girl I had met in Gangtok – who later became my best friend in College). We had the paan and turned around – only to see our bus leaving us!! I could not even scream for my mouth was full with paan!
Well !! we then went inside – it was already pretty late at night around 11-ish – the Hotel guys were also leaving one by one . I approached the Hotel Manager and told him what had happened to us. He asked us how we intend returning. I vaguely remembered that one of our Professors, who had accompanied us, was staying with her brother and her brother was an IAS Officer – whether of Tribal Development or Travel …I was not sure of it. I did not even know his name properly – just a wild guess – but then God was there to help us – so we sat with the Gujrat Yellow Pages – saw some numbers – tried some and ultimately found the number !! I rang up and asked for madam. She came on the line and could not believe that we both had been left behind !!
Her brother then made arrangements – he approached some Local MLA in Gandhinagar to pick us up from Hotel Downtown and leave us at the Hostel at Gandhinagar. Local MLA !! I thought – well in most hindi movies they show that local MLAs are ‘locha insaan’ (tricky people) and kept my fingers crossed ! The local MLA was also intelligent – he brought his wife along with him – Thank God !
We then waited outside the Hotel for the MLA to come and pick us up. Both the Manager and the Assistant Manager stood outside with us – they were asking us to come inside – we were scared – what if…you know what they show in movies…both of them also understood the same – we all watch hindi movies after all – so it was so very kind of them to stand with us outside their own Hotel – kind of protecting us !!
It was the Dandiya season actually so the streets were very well lit and there were people walking on the streets ! I do not remember their names clearly – some Mehuel..Pargi or something like that. We both had sent them ‘Thank you’ cards. They had asked us how many girls were there – I said 17. They heard 70 – I corrected them – No! 17 I said. They were amazed that just 17 number of girls could not be handled by the Teachers !!
They asked us if we want to have some coffee or tea – I was very keen on having it but Kakoli was not at all keen – she whispered that they might add some tablet in it…we both will faint ..and the next thing we’ll see is that we both have reached a ‘Kotha’ (Courtesan’s Hub) …and both of us would have been Umrao Jaans !! She even started crying and I had to ask her to keep cool !
Anyways, the MLA came and we were taken to our destination. I slept in the Car – much to kakoli’s shock – after all the MLA’s wife was there as well and moreover Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar distance was too much – some 1 hour by car – so I selpt.
It was probably the 2 nd or 3 th of October,1989 – I remember it very well for my birthday was very close to that day. When we reached Kolkata – I went to Kakoli’s house – she had kept a birthday present ready and wrapped for me and her Mother had made some special preparations to celebrate my Birthday !! I was so touched by their gesture – and very strangely her Mother’s name is also Anjali – same as my Mother’s name !In fact I survived on kakoli’s tiffin a lot for her Mother used to pack extra lunch for her so that I can share it with her ! ….well my Mother used to send extra lunch for my brother’s friends in Delhi…so probably it got paid back in this life itself !!
Para Typhoid and the coming Zoology Private Tutor
I never had any Tutor – for I thought that the class notes are good enough! – All my friends in the college used to get their notes etc. from the Tutor – and I was very cool about the whole issue. Kakoli also mentioned that her Tutor comes at 6pm etc. and I said what was the need – she told me that without a Tutor – you will fail – for Class notes are not good enough !I was taking it all very lightly – but Gods probably knew that in Kolkata University it certainly would be difficult to pass without the help of a Tutor !
So suddenly I had this Paratyphoid ! Bedridden for around a week – my cousins used to come to pay me a visit and generally ask me to ‘Get well soon’. One of my cousin’s Mother (his name is Bhai) asked me where does my Tutor teach me – in the Hostel or he comes at home. I said that I don’t have any Tutor. She coolly looked towards Dida and said – she’ll will never pass BSc – then looking towards me she said – this is not CBSC Board dear – if you want to pass – you better get a Private Tutor for yourself or forget about passing at all ! Dida got afraid – and so was I – for the first time I felt the need of a Tutor – I was not hard working – just ‘hardly working’ – and sitting in the Library and taking down notes was not my cup of tea anyways !!
So Dida helped me hunt a Private Tutor for me – his name was Partha Sarathi Chakraborty – in this case – I was Partha and he was the Sarathi (where Partha is Arjun and Sarathi is the Charioteer – ref. Bhagavad Geeta – the Song Celestial)!! I managed to pass – and when I think back , I really thank God for giving me this Paratyphoid attack for which we eventually set hunting for a Private Tutor !! Or else – I would have had this stigma of a ‘ Failure ‘ in my otherwise spotless Educational Background !!I hardly came first or anything – but I never failed !!
Benzene ring – the bane of my existence !
Special mention here – this benzene Ring – I never could understand Tautomerism and Isomerism – but since my Class 8 th – it always came – as a question in the exam – till my Part-I exam …ie. till I had Chemistry as a subject!! I am cut pasting and excerpt about Kekule – his dream about Benzene ring and the significance of Ouroborus.
Now the question might arise : Why am I doing so?! Well to prove to some readers – who think no end of themselves and brand themselves as Critiques – and think that my dreams etc. are no big deal etc – its for them – what I want to prove is that when established Scientists took the help of their subconscious mind and their dreams – then why not me !? huh?!
Excerpt Taken from a Website.
A strange, distinctive serpentine ring played a large part in the murder trial. It had belonged to the murdered woman and was found in the possession of a young maid and helped convict the girl of the murder.
The ring was in the form of an old alchemy symbol – two snakes eating their own tails. This is known as an ouroborus .
Kekule began studying carbon compounds, and, in particular, the hydrocarbon, benzine. Benzine is made up of six atoms of carbon and six atoms of hydrogen. The puzzle was trying to arrange these atoms so as not to violate the laws of chemical valence.
Kekule spent hours trying to solve this puzzle. However, something else also occupied his mind. Ever since attending the murder trial and seeing the strange serpentine ring, he had never forgotten it. It haunted his dreams.
One night while reading before the fire, he fell asleep. Again, he dreamed of the serpentine ring. Now he saw the serpents, biting each other’s tails and whirling in a circle in the flames. He watched for a few moments and suddenly envisioned the solution to the benzine atoms. The arrangement of carbon and hydrogen atoms is now known as the benzine ring.
Later I read somewhere that it (structure of benzene) is even closely linked to the Kundalini Shakti !! …and this Kundalini Shakti had a great ‘yogdaan’ (role/ significance) in my life !!…probably the reason why Benzene Ring always came in my exams !!