A new day...


Let the rain come down and wash away my tears
Let it fill my soul and drown my fears
Let it shatter the walls for a new new sun
A new day has come...


~A part of the lyrics of "A new day..."

African proverb


If you refuse to be made straight when you are green,
You will not be made straight when you are dry.

Expecto patronum

I am a double Capricorn, probably among the most pessimistic of all zodiacs. There are like half a dozen dementors chasing me day in and day out. But, ha, I have discovered a way of chasing away those dementors. Why of course, I will share the secret with you.

Remember what Prof. Lupin told Harry Potter before he was taught to conjure the patronus charm? He asked Harry to think of a happy memory, a very powerful one. Dementors are creatures(in Harry Potter- the book) which suck out happy feelings from a person and makes one believe they can never be happy again. Our life is full of sadness, like we say "Life is not fair" and there are very few instances of happiness we come across. If we keep thinking about those sad memories, our lives will only stagnate..

Imagine, please - We are like electrons in the outermost shell of an atom. Each day, we lose some energy and fall back on to the lower orbit and in the process, get closer to the nucleus. This cycle continues and one day we cease to exist. That is the day we fall into the nucleus and become one with it. All this while we haven't fallen out into space, because of the attraction with which the nucleus was pulling us towards it. We know, we are the electrons, wondering who the nucleus is? GOD ofcourse. So, no matter how terrible a shock you go through, you can never fall out into space just like that. There is a very strong force which is guarding you always. We lose energy only to become one with The Almighty and moreover, energy can neither be created nor be destroyed(remember?), then why do we allow ourselves to lose on motivation? HE might take away everything from you but HE will never leave you.

God, when will you take Chemistry away from me? I still have nightmares that I am being forced to give an exam I am not prepared for and it is only after I reach the hall that I am informed it is the Chemistry paper. I wake up each time shocked and horrified, consoling myself that it was 9 years ago I passed my last chemistry exam. Phew!

I have been going through a lot of disorientation for the last couple of months (14 months to be precise). Prior to Roshni's wedding, I was in a mess. Things have changed and they look better because I see them differently now. The scenario remains the same, the one thing that changed was my approach to the whole thing.
I had a blast at the wedding. Forgot about the tensions and the worries, smiled and laughed like I haven't in ages (even danced on a dance floor at the sangeet).
I was having great difficulty in dancing with a 4 inch heel, so, I opened my shoes and stepped on to the floor. All those lights beneath the dance-floor made it really hot. I asked my niece Dona, "How are you dancing? Isn't it extremely hot?"
She said, "They make it hot on purpose, so that you have to jump on it".
Don't know whether that is true or not, but the hidden truth in it knocked me real hard.

All this while, I wanted to dance, but I made it difficult for myself because I was wearing a high heel, I wasn't comfortable in. I got rid of it, but wasn't really putting in the best of efforts, that is when the floor felt hot and I started jumping (literally).

Sometimes... you NEED shocks in your life...you NEED them to put you back on track...

Get rid of all your discomforts, chuck that long face, it is all in your head, believe me. If you have to be sad, be sad only because it is taking long, very long for you to meet the nucleus. It will, however, take us some more time, to realize, that, The nucleus(GOD) and the electrons(parts of YOU) are not separate entities. When they exist, they exist together and when they end, they die together. It is just space and time that separates them.

Life is a sad journey, full of viruses, the happy memories are the antibiotics which you have to store with you and use them to ward off those swine flu's and common colds (yesss, I used Biology this time).
Look the dementor in the eye, think of a very happy memory, a powerful one, concentrate, smile (comes with a lot of practice on such situations) and yell (this is instinctive) - "EXPECTO PATRONUM"


Random...

A home away from home....

Firstly, Thank You for the prayers.

It has surely taken a shape. I have a lot to write about.New problems, new solotuions, new adjustments and brand new experiences, but all in good time...

An observation - Two weeks before, I used to think my hindi was 'quite good', but ever since I have stepped in this city, I know why Dada preferred giving interviews to hindi television channels in English... :)
This is going to be my first Durga Puja, away from home.

More from Speechless whenever I get time again.
Till then, be happy and Sharodiyar Onek onek preeti-o-shubhechha

A tiny little Request from Speechless

Speechless : HE doesn't listen to her when she prays for herself but I am sure and so is she, that, HE would listen to you.

Sunrita is going through a very sensitive phase in life. She has done EVERYTHING within her reach and now it is just up to HIM, The Almighty.


If you are reading this blog at this very moment, please close your eyes and pray for her, even if it is a tiny little two seconds' prayer. Please do me this favor.

Please close your eyes and pray for her.

Please...Please...Please...

Virgo man and Virgo woman [23rd August - 23rd September]

Shy and modest.

Analytical and practical.

If you do not expect too much out of them, they are reliable.
You are sad, you had to call off an all-arranged party because it is raining badly outdoors, be assured, if there is just one friend you have to answer at the door, it will be a Virgo.
Your friend stays in Siberia, you have to pass him a parcel, the only source is his friend, A Virgo, who has come down from Siberia(for some personal business) and has agreed to pass it from you to him. The scorching summer sun is almost forcing you to stay indoors and you are sure this friend of his wouldn't turn up at the meeting place. You reach the rendezvous quarter-heartedly and this person comes ahead and greets you with a smile that would even put the sun to shame.

More of givers than takers.

They have many friends and can socialize well.

Well read - talk about anything and you will find them involved.

Perfectionists.

Virgos born in the first half are very fussy about clean rooms, bathrooms and wardrobes.
They act as mentors to friends and acquiantances, counselling them about anything complicated ranging from career to relationships. As far as their career is concerned, it is always a positive curve and relationship wise quite the opposite. Popular with the opposite sex.
The Virgos born in the later half are comparatively steadier in relationships but are lazy.

On the darker side they are exacting, ruthless, insensitive, extremely self-critical and worry a lot.

It has always happened with me - I think of a sentence/ start saying it /not satisfied with my narration and my Virgo friend completes it for me, in a much better way than I had thought, narrated or not mentioned at all. I am yet to find out how they do it. All of them.
Possess very very strong receptors. Extremely observant people.

They may at times appear cold, that is majorly because they seldom trust others and have very little faith in themselves and their own abilities. They are methodical in their approach but if somethings goes wrong, they lose heart easily.

Ask them a single question, they'll give you at least three answers. In worst case scenarios, ask them a question and they ask you two questions back. :)

Honest, broad-minded and appreciative. They are careful in money matters. Virgo men, keeping their career constant are ready to sacrifice a lot for their loved ones. Virgo women can even sacrifice their career for the special person and have the talent, patience, capability and will power to bounce back as and when required.



It was a long day in office, I was glad to be back home. A shower and a cup of steaming-hot coffee did wonders to my system. After watching the back-to-back repeat telecasts of Friends, I decided to login to my favorite time pass, Orkut.

One friend’s account led to another and then to another and then, suddenly, I found him. The most handsome, honest and bright boy I had ever befriended.


The cool breeze from the window to my left, forced, the tired me, to drift back into time.


10 years ago...


It has been more than a week that we moved into this new locality. I felt like a sapling, uprooted from familiar soil and being re-planted elsewhere.
After spending twelve years in a girls' school this was my first year in co-ed college. The whole thing was ironically similar.


Prior to this place, we stayed at the ground floor of a two-storeyed building. This time it is the third floor of a four-storeyed house, that did not have an elevator in it. The pain staking process of alighting those seventy two steps, several times, each day, was reason enough to complain. More so, because none of us were used to, this steep task before. To add to the discomfort, we were yet to have a telephone installed at the new place, hence, emergency calls had to be made from some PCO booth at the corner of the street. So, going down and coming up those six dozen steps could not be predicted.


I had only recently joined my tuition classes. For my Maths tuition, I had to travel a very short distance by bus. I was a little late in joining my batch, which had already begun about a month back. As I entered the class for the first time, I met eye-to-eye with this very good looking guy sitting right at the opposite side of the door. I sat next to the wall, consciously avoiding the unoccupied seat next to him. Sir, buzy with a formula derivation, raised his head and asked me to fill up that gap. The good looking guy smiled and lifted up his paraphernalia off the seat I was asked to take.


The first sum given by Sir was from dynamics. This guy, his name was Apurv Basu was the first one to complete the problem.

I was completely lost. Having finished the sum, he did not have anything else to do, other than staring at my copy and finding me unable to put even a scratch mark. He smiled again, “They did’nt start dynamics at your college?”

“I am yet to attend a Pass class”, I smiled back.

“Brilliant!!”, He chuckled. “You want me to help you with this?”

“If you want to”, I answered.

Sir took three pages in finishing the sum whereas Apurv completed it in one and a half pages. I raised my eyebrows approvingly at him. “Do not be surprised, I am majoring in Physics”, he whispered.


The other students in class bullied him a lot because he was always amongst the first to complete the sums, always the highest marks getter in class and was intrinsically a quiet person. We walked together that day and all the other days to the bus stop, he spoke a lot, about where he studies, where he comes from, his friends, his parents, what he wanted to become in life.

“I had initially thought you to be an introvert, you know”, I had said and he had given me a meaningful look, the meaning of which I could not decipher.


One day I saw a copy literally being thrown around in class, it came to me at one point of time and I saw beautiful pencil sketches at the last pages. Sketches of Aishwarya Rai’s pictures. I asked someone, “Who’s copy is this?”, a girl said, “It is Apu’s”.

He gave me an unperturbed smile. “Let them do what they are doing to my sketches, I have several of them back home”, he mouthed at me.


He had stopped attending classes since that day, or so I thought, because I did not get to meet him for several days till on a Wednesday, our last class before the final exams I met him again. He entered and stopped at the door when he saw me.

“Where have you been?”, we both asked each other at the same time, after he came and sat next to me.

“I come on Fridays not on Wednesdays”, He said.

“Oh! And I come on Wednesdays not on Fridays”, I smiled back.


After class that day, all of us wished Best of Lucks to each other. That was going to be our last class and probably the last time meetings for several of us. Apurv and I walked to the bus stop in silence.


"Give me your phone number", he said.
"Phone number?!?", I was almost inaudible.
"Yes, phone number. How else do you think we can keep in touch?", he tried to immitate my voice.


All these two three months, he had always spoken so much that I never got to tell him much about me. I realized it was too late for explanations now.


I looked up at him, I knew he would not believe what I was going to say, my heart sank.
He sensed the pause and looked up from his note copy to meet my eyes.
Nudged me to hasten the precess, "C’mon, tell me fast, your bus always comes early”.

I pursed my lips and let the words go, "We don't have a phone at home".


This time he stood still, staring at his note copy, still holding the cap of his pen in between his teeth.
After those several numb seconds, he looked at me. Disbelief trickling down from each wrinkle on his face.

“We recently shifted to this new place and so....”, I tried to explain.

You know how men look when they are shocked, angry and sad at the same time. I will never forget those red, watery, brown eyes.


That day, bus number 237, that he travelled in, arrived very early. Without exchanging a single word, he climbed on to the bus. It waited at the stoppage for as long as ten seconds. Here I stood on the pavement and watched him clasping the rod tight at the ceiling of the bus, as he stood facing his back towards me. The conductor signaled the driver to move on, the driver shifted gears and as the bus rumbled, he turned back and gave me a last look over his shoulders. Then, like an animation flick, the bus disappeared behind a cloud of grey exhaust fumes.



That is the last visible memory I have of him.




A loud slap of the windows made me wake up from my slumber. It had started raining.

I sent him a friend request with a message, “Hi, remember me?”


His profile revealed him to be well settled in life and married with a one year old kid.


Would he remember me? I retired for the night.


Next day came in his reply, “Whoa! Of course I remember you. How have you been? Know what? My wife and you share the same date and year of birth”


Dramatic-irony?? Co-incidence??

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Roshni gets married...


My oldest niece, Roshni just had a grand-monsoon wedding. One of the loveliest and the most memorable weddings I have ever attended.

Many of us, from all over the country united for that one special occasion at the steel city of Bhilai. The festivities included the train journey to Bhilai ( if you have traveled overnight in a group in order to attend a wedding and back, you sure know how fun-filled it can get) , the aiburo-bhaat, the sangeet, the wedding, journey back to Howrah(along with the bride and the groom) and ofcourse, the reception. Rosh looked beautiful on each of her special days.

Met several of Rosh-Pradyumna's friends who had come down from various places. Lovely bunch of people, each one of them (Deepa, Sandip, Srijit-da).
Another person who has to be mentioned is Anrit-da, the same person who helped Rosh, Dona and myself, with the tour at Bhilai Steel Plant two months back. He deserves a round of applause for the precision with which he managed the entire event. I asked him my favorite question(in case you didn't know...it is "What is your zodiac sign?" ) and he answered, "I am a Virgo".

[I think I know enough Virgos now, to be able to confidently publish a post on them...Stay tuned]

A few posts back I had mentioned my sister, the one who's my favorite and I hadn't met for several years, I got to meet her yesterday at the reception.

Finally, I officially turn mashi-shashuri at 27... :)

The hangover of this wonderful event would stay with all of us for a long time.
Here's wishing both Roshni and Babua, a very happy married life.

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PS - I took the above snap in the morning of her wedding day, right after she was made to wear the shaakha-pola ( the red and the white bangles ) before the haldi ceremony.

Hello there!! What's your name?





My name is Pinku Pimple.
I am Sunrita's rare new friend and I am not leaving her in a soon.
So what if she's going to become one of the youngest
aunt-in-laws in a couple of day's time?
I am staying put on her tiny little right cheek.

This is my first snap and I will remain with her in all the snaps she takes at the wedding.

Say cheese Sunrita.

Phir bhi sapne hona zaroori hain...

Heard this song first time when I had gone down to Bhilai. My niece had this collection of Sona Mahapatra's songs.

It caught my attention because of its lyrics. If you listen carefully, each of those sentences kind of make you smile and you say, "How true"...
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Sapne
Sapne sapne hona zaroori hain
Kacche pakke aadhe poore

Har doosra chehra yahaan soya-soya hain
Aisa lage sabka kuchh khoya-khoya hain
Shehron me pedh sote nahi hain
Chidiya nahi hai gaati
Yahaan raat din chalke bhi yaar manzil nahi hai aati

Phir bhi sapne hona zaroori hain...

Yahaan roz chhapte hain darr akhbaron mein
Bazaar pahunche ghar, ghar bazaaron mein
Sab suna rahen apni hi baat
Yahaan shor har kaheen hai
Dooje ko sunne ki kisi mein bhi himmat hi nahi hain

Phir bhi sapne hona zaroori hain...

Chahe daak mein koi chitthhi na aati ho
Dil baantne waala sangi na sathi ho
Be shak ho yaar tera gawaar koi samajh hi na paye
Dil bar bar haan bar bar bas toot ta hi jaye

Phir bhi sapne hona zaroori hain...
Kacche pakke aadhe poore
Sapne sapne hona zaroori hain....

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Here's the link in case you want to listen to it as well
Sapne hona zaroori hain
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PS - My apologies for publishing incoherent posts and comments, just tells about the mental state I am presently in. I wish I was a little more disciplined and stronger willed. Anyways, please bear with me..

Are you...

More impulsive than me?
I have deleted my orkut account 4 times (erm, okay, 5 times). Saving the first and the last times, all the other reasons for deletion were emotional (read mental). No, I have no intentions of returning to another social networking site in the near future and I have no intentions of receiving howler e-mails and sms(s) from friends and acquaintances by deciding to delete it again..

I have, in the last one year, thought of deleting my blog about 3 times. But, this time(one of the rarer occasions), I thought of an alternative *smile*...sorry..Top Secret!!


A greater lover of Fish?
Most mommies say this to their children these days : "Eat fish... beta, and your eyesight will never fail you. You will never need a spectacle. It has Vitamin A, you see"
And most children say this to their mommies: "Uuunhh!! it has a disgusting smell, I feel like puking and moreover, too many bones to separate"

I have till date, thrown several cups of milk in the drain, fed the crows with my breakfast roti almost each day before leaving for school, thrown tantrums against vegetables (still do this), but never-ever have I refused FISH.
Arre!! where else would you find such a lot of variety?
You have the Tangra and the Parshe and the Pabda and the Chingri and the Ilish and the Guley and the Pomfret and the Topshe and the Magur and the Telapiya and the Kajri and the Bhetki and the Rui.
OMG! letme stop right here before I end up turning this into a thesis.

Oh! but I forgot the Koi and and the Chitol and the Beley and the Mourola and the...
..zip!!zip...zip ur lip!!

Hmmphh!! hmmphhh!! crash!! bang!! topple!!

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Speechless : "Sorry for the interruption. 'had to intervene, I will surely request her to continue with another topic next time. Till then be happy, enjoy life, do not waste food and yes...eat fish...hee hee"
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Happy Birthday, Speechless!!

It was easy being the mother of my first blog, Speechless. Easy because, she never troubled me and at times acted as my mother when I troubled her, by ignoring her presence, using her for my own emotional benefits. She has always been patient and allowed me both space(writing space) and time(in between posts) to wade through the darker hours.

Birth is much but breeding is more...

In this case, giving birth was the easiest thing to do and breeding didn't cause any pain at all. She is one friend, who will always say, exactly what I want to hear, without whining a bit, will look like what I wish her to look like, without cribbing about the color or the style or the words being used. I talk to the mirror but the mirror never speaks back to me. "Speechless" is alive and is the mirror that talks, cries, complains, fights and smiles along with me.

The two of us have grown by one year. In the last year, the mother had to smile when all she wanted to do was cry, but the daughter cried with her heart. The mother told the world, what the world wanted to hear, when she actually wanted to scream the opposite, the daughter understood, kept quiet and waited for the older one to regain her self belief. I spoke a lot, when all I really wanted to do was run away into the lonely mountains and get lost and wished I could forget to speak. The times when, "Speechless" helped me sing a song, cook up a dish or write a few lines that somehow managed to rhyme themselves...

In this year-old journey, I've come across fellow bloggers (ones who have personal blogs) and have been surprised to notice, how much each of their blogs speak about them and how naturally gifted they are in making their blogs speak. A's blog is as lively as he is, B's blog is always up-to-date like him, C has done a great job in pruning her posts like a well manicured garden. My blog is as confused as I am.

At this time a year ago, I did not know whether I would have the patience or the skill set to continue writing this far. Now, I know, I do not posses any, i.e, patience or set of skills. But since Speechless has reached this far on its own, I am positive , that she will see many more birthdays (thankfully her mom does not forget dates).

Thank you Speechless for being there when everyone else vanished.

Thank you, all of you, who had helped her with her first few steps.
Thank you for following, for subscribing, for dropping in your valuable comments and most importantly, for giving her your company and trust.

She has proved to be a perfect Leo - generous, loving, creative and stubborn(in a positive way).
Here's wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Tobu...Mone rekho

One of my favorite Tagore songs...

Porjaye : Prem


Tobu Mone rekho jodi doore jai chole.
Jodi puratono prem dhaka pore jaye nobopremojale.
Jodi thaki kachhakachhi,
Dekhite na pao chhaya'r moton achhi na achhi-
Tobu mone rekho.
Jodi jol ashe ankhipate,
Akdin jodi khela theme jaye modhuraate,
Tobu mone rekho.
Akdin jodi badha pore kaaje sharodo prate- mone rekho.
Jodi poriya mone
Chholochholo jol nai dakha daye noyonkone-
Tobu mone rekho.



video

Calcutta, we can do better than this

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There are moments in your life, when you want to speak a lot but your voice chokes, when you wish to write a lot and your fingers resist, when you want to think a lot but your brain refuses to transmit the signals. Kindly accept my apologies for having gone speechless for over a month.
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As per the norms of West Bengal government's transport department, every state bus needs to be changed after a period of fifteen years.

Thanks to the never-ending riots ad strikes, we get new and better state buses even before a bus has reached its dying age. They always burn down government buses. My humble request to the protestors, next time, kindly target auto-rickshaws in Kolkata, they need serious reformations.

Jokes apart, just ahead of the Lok sabha elections in India, there was this text message, that was being circulated -

"10 terrorists came by boat, 539 terrorists will soon come by Vote. PLEASE VOTE CAREFULLY"


The party we didn't vote for is attacking the MLA's on the road and the one we voted for, is voicing their displeasure against these attacks by bringing havoc on city streets by torching down buses, tormenting commuters and causing a lot of discomfort to those who a few days back voted in their favor.

Generations of bengalis have taken birth and died witnessing this chemistry between West Bengal and Strikes. The two probably have had an unsuccessful arranged-marriage in the past but neither has ever thought about a separation.

Why this vandalism in the facade of protests? Here we are in a serious dilemma as to who we vote for in the up coming Bidhan Sabha elections.

Surely we can do better than this Calcutta...can we not??

View images

Raate'r aandhare ekaki ami...

Sholok bola kajla didi koi?


My mother used to sing me this song at bedtime each night, when I was a very small girl.

I have this cousin sister, 4 years older to me, who I am very fond of. She is my inspiration, my idol, my favourite singer, my favourite cook and she loved and cared for me a lot...

She was beautiful, she was loved by all, she never came second in school, she was a GREAT singer, she was Aries. Arun Bhaduri shaheb judged her in a competetion when she was 12 years old and asked her whether she would take training under him...yes, she came first in that competetion and whenever Arun Bhaduri went to judge at the same venue, he asked about that small girl, who had sung Vrindavani Sarang the previous year... That's my didibhai ...

When I was 4 years old, I was admitted to a school in the city, far away from where she used to live. Whenever my mother sang this same song each night, I faced the opposite side and cried, thinking about my sister. She stays in the northern part of the country now and I haven't met her for several years...
Was thinking about her a few days back and I thought of this song.
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Singer : Pratima Bandopadhyay


Banshbaganer mathar opor chaand utthechhe oi..
Ma go amar Sholok bola kajla didi koi?

Pukur parey lebur toley,
Thokaye thokaye jonai joley...
Phuler gondhe ghum ashe na,
Tai to jege roi.
Ma go amar Sholok bola kajla didi koi?

Shedin hotey keno ma aar didi re na daako?
Didi'r kothaye aanchol diye mukh ti keno ddhako...mukhti keno ddhako?
Lebur toley pukur parey,
Jjhiji dake jjhope jhare...
Phooler gondhe ghum ashe na,
Tai to jege roi.
Ratri holo ma go amar kajla didi koi?

Banshbagaer mathar opor chaand utthechhe oi
Ma go amar sholok bola kajla didi koi?

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Miss you Didibhai...The memories of the times we've spent together, will always remain with me, no matter how far we are from each other...

The entangled mesh...

Jodi taare nai chini go sheki
Sheki amaye nebe cheene
Ei nobo, phalguner deene
Janine...janine...


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Everything seems to be tied in knots. What I expect and want, just refuses to happen.

The good things first.

"Waahan Chaalika Bhava", was what my haate khori, err, I mean, haate steering guruji, Babua, told me. Among several other things, I always dreamt of having a driving licence. After a month and a half of training from a nearby motor training school, I now have one. Thank you for all the inspiration Babua. I have also done my bit of encouraging and Dada has enrolled himself at the same school. Kudos!!

West Bengal had been crying for change and the change seems to have arrived. For the first time after 32 years, Left Front is on the back foot. Looking forward to the Bidhan Sabha elections.

The beginning of this month saw me visiting the Steel city of Bhilai. With another wedding due in the family at the same place, the trip was great fun. Specially, the visit to The Bhilai Steel Plant was very exciting. The blast furnaces, the steel melting shops (SMS), the coke ovens and the merchant mills, the three hour tour was breath taking. Strangely I remembered most of the details from my Class Ten Chemistry books. Studying about the iron melting process in textbooks and witnessing ladles carrying molten metal from one factory to another and the extreme temperature conditions are two completely different things.


SAIl TMT bar, EQR-Earthquake Resistant

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Now for the more serious issues.

The next three months would be crucial in determining the path I am going to take.
So far, it has been difficult. Hoping the scenario to change.
---------------------------------

Jibono jokhono shukaye jaye...Korunadharaye esho
Shokolo madhuri lukaye jaye...Geetoshudharoshe esho.
Kormo jokhon probolo aakar...goroji utthiya ddhake charidhar
Hridoyoprante, hey Jibononath, Shanto chorone esho.

The Costly Rain

I have heard you several times, I have stayed up to catch a glimpse. Saw you, one winter morning; And named you 'Shuri' since.


All that an eleven year old girl has to do, is - study, listen to her elders, go to school, enjoy her holidays and play. My final term exams had just got over, 'was promoted to a new class and now, I was enjoying my summer vacations. My hometown is in a place where the difference between summer and winter is frustratingly extreme. You have to experience both in order to realize, how bad or good it can get. The house in which we stayed had a total of fourteen rooms. Behind the house there was a huge well, used for our daily washing, drinking and cooking requirements and further beyond was our garden, some 4500 sq ft in area. It had several seasonal plants and trees, including mango, pineapple, guava, sweet potato, lady's finger and many others, whose English names I do not know.
I used to spend half my holidays exploring various things and places all over the big house. I was at the attic, doing what I was not supposed to do, exploring my uncle's secret drawer. There I had found the previous afternoon, a real pair of binoculars. I went up to the terrace last night and watched the moon with it for a very long time. It looked beautiful. I had a toy binocular, which my mama had given me, but this one was real.
"Mouri !!", called my mom from the kitchen. Mouri is my pet name. It was time for shower, then lunch and then a well-deserving afternoon siesta.
I dashed downstairs.
After having finished with the shower and lunch, I went back to the attic, took out the binoculars and gazed through it, at my latest interest, out in the garden. Well, to tell you about that, let's take you to last winter.

January
I was getting ready for school and was already running late, when I heard it for the first time. I paused, and then I heard it again. “Mouri, hurry up, or you’ll miss your school bus”, interrupted my mother. I had forgotten about it completely when everything repeated itself the following morning. It was coming from the garden and I promised to investigate the next day.
Next day was Saturday, a weekly holiday for me. I woke up early, perched myself on a stool out at the small terrace leading to the well from the first floor, which looked out at the garden. Yes, I heard it again, and this time I saw it. It was tiny, beautiful and was blue in colour. It was a bird, which had the most tuneful voice I had ever heard. I kept staring at it and named it Shuri.
Spring followed the rough, cold winter and Shuri was joined by her male countepart. He was a very handsome looking bird as well, having a brighter and a more attractive plumage. I named him Shur. In unison they were called Shur-Shuri. My eldest cousin gave me a big Milk chocolate because he said he really liked my christening abilities.
After a few more days, I could no longer find Shur. Shuri was all by herself and she was preparing to build her nest.
“Has Shur died?” I asked the elders at home one day. To which, my grandma said “Spring is the season, when one has all the choicest of friends around, it is only when the tough summer draws nearer, you get to realize who is worthy enough to be even called a friend”.
Needless to say, I did not understand what she wanted to convey.


I went to the garden one evening last week and to my utter joy, found a tiny nest made out of twigs, in between a v-shaped branch on the guava tree. It was built on a low stem, so I could clearly see two small off-white coloured eggs kept at the centre of the nest.
I ran back home and told my grandma what I saw and she asked me “ So, what will you call the two tiny birds once they’ve hatched?” I thought for a while and said “Katu and Kutu”. This time I got two milk chocolates, one from my cousin and the other from my uncle whose binoculars are coming very handy for the last two days. Now that the summer had set in, I was not being allowed to go to the garden every now and then in order to inspect the nest. Since yesterday, the binoculars have solved my problem.
I felt sorry for Shuri because I thought it was wrong for Shur to have left her all alone.
The heat was getting unbearable, the loo during the early afternoons was suffocating and one person died of heat stroke two days ago, I read in the papers. Obviously everybody was thirsty for the monsoons, I’m sure, so was Shuri.
While I was still gazing at the nest through the binoculars, I heard a loud banging noise right next to me. The door to the terrace that stood ajar shut hard because of a gush of wind. I heard someone scream from downstairs, “ Someone go to the terrace and see if the doors and windows are shut properly, it is the Kalboishakhi (norwesters)”. I had just turned around, when I saw my uncle staring at me. He had come up to check whether the shutters were closed, I was still holding his binoculars. I knew I would never again find the binoculars there at the attic. Little did I know that I would not be needing it anymore.
I kept the binoculars in place and ran downstairs to welcome the moisture-laden clouds.

“Aye brishti jhepe…dhaan debo mepe
Aye rimjjhim borosharo gogone re e e
Katfata rodey agune , aye brishti jhepe aye re.
Haye bidhi boroi daarun…
Pora mati kende bole,
“Phoshol phole na,
Ki debo tomare, nai dhaan mor khamare , mor kopal guni”.


It rained for an entire hour, giving water to the dried up land and to its beings.
Ma said from the small terrace that a few flowerpots were overturned during the storm. I jumped at the thought of what could have happened to the fragile nest. I rushed to the garden bare footed, the humid air feeling wonderful as it touched my skin, the grass under my foot was wet and cool. As I reached the guava tree, I spotted Shuri, perched on a Shiuli plant on the opposite side of the garden, all wet and untidy. She gave out a cry, this was not as sweet as her usual tone, it was abrupt and short.
She was no longer thirsty… but it came to her for a price – a few meters away from my feet, lay her nest and the broken, off-white coloured shells of the two eggs, of Katu and Kutu.


A weekend trip to Mukutmanipur



General Description :-
The ancient town near Mukutmanipur is Ambikanagar(4 km away). The Maharaja of Ambikanagar, christened Mukutmonipur after his beloved queen, Mukutmoni. There is a giant water dam at the confluence of the Kangsabati and the Kumari rivers. It is the second biggest earthen(man-made, mud-banked) dam in India. The nearest railway station is Bankura (55 km from Mukutmanipur).

Transport :-
Train services are available from Kolkata(Howrah) - Rupashi Bangla Express leaves the Howrah station (new platform) at 6:00 a.m. and reaches Bankura at 10:20 a.m. If you have your train reservations done, you need not worry, however, if you are travelling by the general compartment, you are advised to board the rear half of the train, since the front half is Dhauli Express, which goes to Bhubaneshwar. This switching over takes place at Kharagpur station, where the train stops for about fifteen minutes.
After reaching Bankura, you need to hire a cab for Mukutmanipur( 1 and a half hour journey). Bus services are also available.
Howrah-Bokaro passenger is also available from Howrah ( Dep time - 22:40) reaches Bankura at around 3 in the morning. Bus services available from Machantala bus stop (at Bankura) from 5 in the morning.
You could also take Satabdi Express (Dep time - 6:05 a.m) or Black Diamond Express(Dep time- 6:15 a.m) from Howrah to Durgapur and take a bus to Mukutmanipur.
Personally, I would suggest you to go by car from Kolkata to Mukutmonipur. After you reach Mukutmonipur, you would find your car very useful, since your local conveyance would be a motor-pulled cart, which will be available only till about 11 a.m in the morning and then from 4:30 p.m to 8p.m. at night. There are very few such vans available in the area.

Hotels :-
  • Hotel Peerless - Booking at Kolkata Peerless Hotel, Contact- 9748401084 (Accounts dept).
  • Hotel Shonajhuri - Booking at Kolkata, West Bengal Forest Developement Corporation, 6A Raja Subodh Mullick Square, 7th Floor, Kolkata-13. Near Hind Cinema, Landmark- Dharamtala Post Office, Phone - 22370060/61. Booking time - Till 3:30 p.m.
This hotel is built atop a hillock covered with green trees. The view from the cottages Haritaki and Amlaki is very picturesque (first picture at the top). Book well in advance.





  • Hotel Amrapali
  • Hotel Aparajita- Has an in-house restaurant and the food here is delicious. Contact - (03243)253355, 9434224674, 9434480632.
Places to visit :-
  • To visit the dam, you would have to take a motor-pulled cart and travel the 7 km stretch of road along the Kangshabati river. Go during the sunset. It is breath-takingly beautiful during this time of the day. On the way, you will also see the Pareshnath Hillock.
  • You could take a 3 hour long boat ride, in order to visit a Deer Park.
  • Ambika Devi Mandir is situated in Ambikanagar, 4 km from Mukutmanipur. The shondha-arati begins at 7 p.m. If you set out early, while there is sunlight, you could also visit the Rajbari of Ambikanagar.
Ideal time to visit Mukutmanipur :- During the monsoons, July and August, the time of the year, when the lock gates at the barrage is opened and also when the mud-dam at the Kanshabati can be easily seen. Or during the winter, end of November - January.

You can always smile...no matter what :)

Early monsoons for me at Boshonto Utshob '09

This year's boshonto utshob was special in several ways.
I was singing after a gap of 2 years.
The solo that I performed, was not my difficult song #2...that is yet to come :)
Dada gave me this song on Friday, heard me sing it on Sunday and I performed it yesterday...

All through the morning I was tensed...I had forgotten what I sound like over the microphone.
Once I reached the venue, everything seemed to change...somehow the weather was just perfect, the people around were so happy and I found the "old me"..all that I could see around was soo familiar, I felt as if I was never gone... as if there were no 2 years in between...

Danseuese, Purnima Ghosh and her team members were slated to dance in the programme. My song was the second last in the evening and at the last moment yesterday, Purnima pishi did an extempore and danced to my song. I couldn't have had a better 'comeback'...I was so happy.
Watch the video and guess Purnima pishi's age..
The person playing the harmonium wearing white kurta, is My Dada (my teacher).




video

Na re, na re, bhoy korbo na bidayebedonare
Aapon shudha diye bhore debo taare.
Chokher jole shey je nobeen robe, dhyaaner monimalaye gantha hobe,
Porbo buker haarey.

Noyon hotey tumi ashbe praane, milbe tomar baani amar gaane gaane.
Biroho byathaye bidhuro deene dukher aloye tomaye nebo cheeney.
Ae more shadhona re.

The Active and The Inactive




I'm not too sure whether the title for this post is appropriate.
My Dada (that's what I call my singing teacher) says, The Supreme Power, more commonly known as God, has two forms, one - The active form and the other - The inactive form...
For example:- A battery, when left alone seems to be useless, but, when the same cell is attached to a circuit, it can perform various functions. We know there is electricity flowing through the wires, but, it is only when, we switch on the light, darkness evaporates...

I was working at the computer in the morning today. I switched on the immersion heater for the sole purpose of heating some water...After about fifteen minutes, there was a power cut. The UPS started to beep, I ran and poured the water into a bucket, turned off the comp, went to the bathroom and shut the door. Then realized that I had forgotten the towel outside, so I came out and found a lot of smoke coming from the kitchen. Well, the power had come back and I had forgotten to switch off the immersion heater, a cloth kept next to it caught fire.
Had I not forgotten the towel outside, I could have jeopardized a lot of things (let's not think about what all things).

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Boshonto Utshob coming up. I have resumed my singing classes after a break of, I don't remember how long. My dada, is aware of the fact that I have not been singing at all and I knew he would make my come-back tough and challenging. I confessed to him that I was low in confidence, he just smiled. I knew by his smile that I was up for a steep climb. The following day he asked me to stay back after class, he asked me "Rai, you had sung Bedona ki bhashaye...remember?"
My heart did a very complicated double somersault, "Yes", I said.
"Take this song"...

"Bedona ki bhashaye" was the toughest song #1 I learnt and performed solo on stage. The new song is my toughest song #2. Dada reminded me about "Bedona" because he tried to convey that "If you want to gain your lost confidence, you will have to get it at the very first ball, I am not going to allow you a full over"

I have been singing since the age of three or four, I'v been blessed to have had THE BEST five singing teachers of whom Chandana aunty and Dada are my favorites. Chandana aunty -because I used to be four when I went to her and learnt till the age of sixteen, if people say, I can sing, it is only because of her and Dada - because, at an age (23) when I as well as others, knew that I was only capable of singing Classical and semi-classical, he proved that wrong and guided me to sing the toughest form of Rabindra-sangeet, "Toppa". Well, I could go on and on about dada and what I've learnt from him.

I sat down for reyaz this evening and my voice sounded like that of a mad elephant. I am not happy. Hoping for a speedy recovery...More on it, in some later post...

Some Culinary blunders!!

Culinary blunders
If you have been bearing with my posts for quite some time now, you surely know about my Love for cooking. The above snap has been taken from my recipe diary. Yes, that is my handwriting (that's only if you are a graphologist...am all ears for you :)).
I would tell you about a few of my stories - Bad Day at The Kitchen.
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Story#1- Pompa and the Potols
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This is about my childhood friend, Pompa. Today, she has been married for about three years and can cook most of the things...but that was not the case...some eight-nine years ago, when we were in high school...back then, I was The Only "Hero" who knew how to cook...

During some vacation in school...Pompa's mom had to go out for an urgent work and asked (as a desperate last resort) Pompa to cook Potol (Parwal or Pointed Gourd - Thanks to Google for the English name)...
I chanced to visit her while she was fighting it out at the kitchen...
As I entered, I saw her sitting on the ground, both her hands occupied by pincers and a big-ish spoon...I used to be her best friend and whenever I went to meet her..she would look at me and smile "Raai"??
This time she looked at me and with a combination of expressions (confusion+relief) said.."Rai? Thank God...come here fast!"
I closed in (scared because I knew Pompa and her cooking skills)..and this is what I saw-
Pompa sitting on the ground...the lighted stove in front of her...the floor was flooded with greasy water, all of which was being spilled from the pan, mounted on the flame...
Me: Why have you added So Much water ?
Pompa: Almost on the verge of tears.. "What will I do...I've been trying for the past 20 minutes..but the Potols are refusing to get submerged in the curry...the more water I put, the more they keep floating on top. Rai. why aren't they going down at the bottom of the pan?" "Ma marbe to"...

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Story#2 - Hero's Heroism
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This story involves the same two characters as the first one.
I was in college then, Pompa had come down to our place and stayed back for the night. We were both supposed to go to our respective colleges the following morning.
My mom, before leaving for work asked me to cook some chicken for the two of us, have it, and then go to college.
Ma told me to take some curd from the refrigerator and use it for marinating the chicken.
Later during the day, I asked Pompa to help me with the cooking. I opened the fridge door and took out a usual red coloured clay container which contains curd brought from the regular sweet shops (in Bengal).
Curd/DoiI instructed Pompa to pour the curd into the chicken as I used my bare hands to mix it thoroughly...all the while chattering and laughing away to girlie chit-chats.
After quite some time, I realised that something was not right...

Me: "Pompa, dont you think there is something wrong with the curd?"
Pompa: "You are asking ME?"
Me: "Dumbo! Can't you even tell whether this is curd or not"
Pompa: "Oh yes, if you are the hero, why don't YOU find out yourself".."I don't know"...
Me: "Dhut, this does not have the consistency of curd"
Pompa: "May be because it is a little old"
Me: "May be, but why will it be sponge-like?...Pompa!! eat it and check no".

There was this thing with Pompa - a) She never refused me, and b) She NEVER refused food...

She took a spoonful from the container into her mouth and sat down on the floor, her face turned red, she was panting for breath...signaled for some water...I gave it to her...swallowed everything, then straight way lied down holding her stomach. She wasn't making any sound, her face was still red, I kneeled down next to her, shook her with one hand.."What happened Pompa?"
Now mademoiselle sat up, shook me half a dozen times and said...
"I will tell this to everybody...just wait"...and for the first time, made spine-chilling sounds of laughter.
"Ha ha ha ha...this is no curd, Rai, This is Malai Chomchom...spongy-spongy..malai chom-chom...The Hero, who knows how to cook was adding a sweet as a marinade in place of curd, I will tell this to everybody".

With friends like these, who needed enemies :)
She did tell it to everybody.

Even now, in any get-together, this topic keeps coming back and I go red in the face :)
Lyrics : Prasoon Joshi
Music : A.R. Rehman
Singers : Javed Ali and Kailash Kher

For all those of you, who, like me, are unable to pray for themselves and end up losing all forms of speech while standing in front of God.
Thank you Mr. Joshi for giving people like us, the most beautiful words of prayer...and what do I tell Mr. Rehman..with each passing day, you are getting closer to God Himself...[Hail Capricorn :)]

Like Ramakrishna Paramahansa had said, There is just One God and all the religions are the different paths leading to Him...There is just One Pond in the village..all the people travel various paths and come to that same pond for their needs...

From Rabindranath Tagore to Kaaji Nazrul Islam to various other poets involved with other forms of music..like Sufi and Baool... all speak about that One Supreme Power...

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Arziyan saari main;
Chehre pe likhke laya hun
Tumse kya maangu main,
Tum khud hi samajhlo...
Maula maula maula mere maula
Maula maula maula mere maula [4]

Daraare daraare hai maathe pe maula
Marammat mukaddar ki kardo maula..mere maula
Tere dar pe jjhuka hun, mita hun, bana hun, [2]
Marammat mukaddar ki kar do maula[2]

Jo bhi tere dar aya; Jjhukne jo sar aya,
Mastiyan piye sab ko jjhumta nazar aya.
Jo bhi tere dar aya; Jjhukne jo sar aya,
Mastiyan piye sab ko jjhumta nazar aya.
Pyas leke aya tha; dariya wo bhar laya,
Noor ki baarish me bheegta sa tar aya
Noor ki baarish me...ooo...bheegta sa tar aya

Maula maula maula mere maula...[4]
Daraare daraare hai....Marammat mukaddar ki kardo maula.
Jo bhi tere dar aya; Jjhukne jo sar aya,
Mastiyan piye sab ko jjhumta nazar aya.
Jo bhi tere dar aya; Jjhukne jo sar aya,
Mastiyan piye sab ko jjhumta nazar aya.

Hoo..Ek khushboo aati thi[2]
Main bhatakta jaata tha...
Reshmi si maya thi,
Aur main tak ta jata tha.
Jab teri gali aya;
Sach tabhi nazar aya
Jab teri gali aya;
Sach tabhi nazar aya
Mujjhme hi wo khushboo thi...jisse tu ne mil waya.


Maula maula maula mere maula[4]
Daraare daraare hai..

Toot ke bikharna mujjhko zaroor aata hai [2]
Varna ibaadat wala shahoor aata hai
Sajde mein rehne do, ab kaheen-na jaoonga
Ab jo tumne tthukraya to sanwar na paonga...

Maula maula maula mere maula
Daraare daraare hai...

Sar uttha ke maine to kitni khwahishe ki thi
Kitne khwab dekhe the...kitni koshishe ki thi
Jab tu robaroo aya[2], nazrein na mila paya
Sar jjhuka ke ek pal mein[2]..maine kya nahi paya...

Maula maula maula mere maula


Mora piya ghar aya[12]
Maula maula maula mere maula...

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One word!!

1. Where is your cell phone?
Table

2. Your significant other?
Non-existent

3. Your hair?
Straight

4. Your mother?
Teacher

5. Your father?
Cancerian :)

6. Your favorite thing?
Thunderstorms

7. Your dream last night?
Forgot

8. Your favorite drink?
Water

9. Your dream/goal?
Depends

10. What room you are in?
Bedroom

11. Your hobby?
Artistic

12. Your fear?
Loneliness

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
Heaven

14. Where were you last night?
Home

15. Something that you are not?
Cheater

16. Muffins?
Yuck!

17. Wish list item?
Peace :)

18. Where you grew up?
Mudiali

19. Last thing you did?
Ruminated

20. What are you wearing?
Casuals

21. Your TV?
Black

22. Your pets?
None

23. Friends?
Few

24. Your life?
Undulating

25. Your mood?
Sinuous

26. Missing someone?
None

27. Car?
None :(

28. Something you're not wearing?
Chain

29. Your favorite store?
Footwear

30. Your favorite color?
Green

33. When is the last time you laughed?
Afternoon

34. Last time you cried?
Sunday

35. One place that I go to over and over?
Dreamland

36. One person who texts me regularly?
Sw

37. My favorite place to eat?
MLC

38. My favorite food?
Fish

Jao pakhi bolo...haowa cholo chholo...


Jao pakhi bolo haowa chholo chholo
Abchhaya janlar kaanch
Ami ki amake hariyechhi baanke
Roopkotha anach-kanach

Anguler kole jole jonaki
Jole hariyechhi kaan-shona ki?
Jaanleye golpera kotha megh
Jao megh chokhe rekho e aabeg...

Jao pakhi bolo haowa chholo chholo
Abchhaya janlar kaanch
Ami ki amake hariyechhi baanke
Roopkotha anach-kanach

[alaap]

Jao pakhi bolo haowa chholo chholo
Abchhaya janlar kaanch
Ami ki amake hariyechhi baanke
Roopkotha anach-kanach

Anguler kole jole jonaki
Jole hariyechhi kaan-shona ki?
Jaanleye golpera kotha megh
Jao megh chokhe rekho e aabeg...

[alaap]

....
...
..
.

If you are a Bengali and if you have not yet seen Antaheen, you are missing something...Please go watch it!!
In order to listen to this song.. Click here and Play...

Vocals : Shreya Ghoshal and Pranav Biswas

Amar bhitoro bahire

Amar bhitoro bahire ontore ontore
Achho tumi...hridoy jurey

Ddheke rakhe jemon kushum
Paprir abdaale phosholer ghum
Temni tomar nibid chola
Moromer muul poth dhore...

Amar bhitoro bahire ontore ontore
Achho tumi...hridoy jurey

Pushe rakhe jemon jjhinuk
Kholosher aborone muktor shukh
Temni tomar gobhir chhowa
Bheetorer neel bondore...

Amar bhitoro bahire ontore ontore
Achho tumi...hridoy jurey

Bhalo achhi, Bhalo theko
Akasher tthikanaye chitthi likho
Dio tomar mala-khani
Baool er ei mon ta re...

Amar bhitoro bahire ontore ontore
Achho tumi...hridoy jurey

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Click here to listen to the song.
Vocals : Sabina Yasmin and Kabir Suman

Come, Let's make Tea different

A Discovery :-

I was asked to make tea one evening.
I poured the water from a bottle that was kept in a line of many other bottles on the rack, the bottle did not have enough water to make tea for five people, so I took some more water from another bottle that stood right next to it...

I prepared it in the usual way...boiling the water, adding sugar, adding the tea leaves (by the way...no milk was added to this)...
It was now time to drink...The first to go was my Baba..after the first sip..he simply looked up at me- His expressions were different...Then my Ma...she started smiling and stood up to investigate..I did not understand what was going on...by now the others were also making faces..(well, happy faces mind you)... Without hesitating, I took My First sip...and to my utter disbelief, the Tea tasted different, unique and above all...really good...
I followed my Ma to the kitchen and we both started to probe...
The first bottle from which I had poured in water, actually contained "Sprite"!!!!!!

Try it out...It gives you real tasty tea...but use water and 7Up or Sprite in 1:1 ratio ( or safer still, keep the quantity of water, more).... and do not forget to give me your feedback...The first sip would surely bring a smile to your face...

When will you come ...?


In vain I feel; In vain I kneel;
When will you come? When will it heal ?

A futile chase; A deathly maze;
Intentions good, but the heart ablaze...
Both highs and lows; There are friendly-foes;
When unsure - Ask HIM, He surely knows.
Is it always pain; Is there no Gain?
When will you come ? When will it rain?

Of decisions bold; Of miseries told;
Hypocrisy reigns, all else sold.
It's not the end, It's just a bend,
If something goes wrong; no one will mend.
A loving touch; a caring hand;
When will you come? When can I stand?

The boat is here; I am ready to row,
When will you come? When shall I go?

Famous Capricorns

Famous Capricorns
There is a good news in the block...One of my colleagues, Tanusri, has given birth to a cute little baby boy, just a couple of hours ago. I congratulate her, specially for giving The Capricorn community a brand new member.. Best wishes to you and the new-born...Incidentally, today is also the birthday of Swami Vivekanda...so I'd call Tanusri's son, "Vivek" :)

Following is the list of a few people (Capricorns), who we all have heard about and who have contributed a lot to the society in one way or the other :

December 22 - Sarada Devi - The Holy Mother
December 24 - Ricky Martin
December 25 - Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty - Musician
December 26 - Mao Tse Tung - Political Leader
December 27 - Louis Pasteur - Microbiologist and Chemist
December 29 - William Gladstone - Prime Minister
December 28 - Ratan Tata
December 28 - Dhirubhai Ambani
December 30 - Rudyard Kipling - Writer
December 30 - Tiger Woods
December 31 - Anthony Hopkins - Actor
December 31 - John Denver - Singer
January 1 - Raj Kapoor
January 1 - Sonali Bendre
January 3 - J.R. Tolkien - Writer
January 5 - Deepika Padukone
January 6 - A.R. Rehman - Musician
January 6 - Kapil Dev - Sportsman
January 8 - Elvis Presley - Musician
January 10 - Basu Chatterjee - Film Maker
January 10 - Hrithik Roshan - Actor
January 10 - Tintin - First appeared in a Belgian Newspaper on this day.
January 11 - Rahul Dravid
January 12 - Swami Vivekanda
January 13 - Imran Khan (Actor)
January 13 - Orlando Bloom
January 14 - Mahasweta Devi - Activist and Author
january 14 - Ustaad Ali Raka Khan
January 14 - Joan of Arc - Saint
January 17 - Muhammad Ali - Boxer
January 17 - Jim Carrey
January 19 - James Watt
January 19 - Soumitra Chattopadhayay