kolkata

A gift

Two friends from Kerala came to visit. Today will be my last day with them, and it’s going to be sad. When people from your home town visit you, it’s like they bring a little piece of home to you, and when it goes away it’s painful. You’re so glad they’re here. You love showing them around, but when they leave, it’s heartbreaking. So today I will be getting drunk. Fuck the meds. It’s so good to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with two amazing people. I consider myself very lucky to have them. Imagine listening to a Toto song and dining with your best mates. That’s what it feels like. Pure bliss. For the last day of the tour, we will be covering Belur Math, Dakshineshwar Temple and if possible, the botanical garden. Three big places, with a lot to see. I am already feeling spiritual. The power of meditation within me rises. I feel the need, the need for speed. Let’s Top Gun this.

New hobbies and discoveries

A new hobby of mine is rubbing the dry skin/dirt off of my groin, and smelling it before rolling it into a work of art, and flicking it. I feel like an athlete. I now completely understand why dogs smell the groin. There’s a lot to learn from the scent, however, your mind has to be in tune with nature to really understand what’s going on.

The air quality index on both my home and work computer says “polluted air” and it shows the picture of a brown leaf next to it. This could mean only one thing. It’s the AI’s way of telling us that if we keep doing this to the environment, there will be nothing but brown leaves left to wipe your ass with, unless you are into free-handing, like me.

My friends are coming to visit. I can’t wait to show them around. Mitra café, Belur Mutt, my haunted second bedroom, Saldhana bakery, Victoria Memorial, that place where I made out with a girl facing oncoming traffic, sweet shops, and old British-era buildings.

Noodle me this

Today is a beautiful Saturday. Truly beautiful. Not for me, but for the rest of the world. Maybe just a little for me. I set out on a journey yesterday, after reading an article about an authentic Chinese restaurant somewhere in Tangra, and because of that, the world decided to shit on me by making it that one special day when it rains in February. I don’t know how this shit happens to me. Although I did get lucky in finding a direct bus that goes to the place. The trip took about an hour. A guy came sat next to me, which, by the way, struck me as a little odd because 90% of the bus was empty and ma man decided to make me lift my bag so that he can sit next to me, like I’m a lucky charm or something. Now, am I the only one who’s felt this? People have this insatiable need to come seat near me even when the rest of the seats are empty. Not the girls, just guys, which makes it worse. It’s like, in their mind they go “lets all huddle together and keep each other warm”. What in the actual fuck is wrong with these people? Do I exude safety? Fuck no. I’m the first person to ditch your ass if the bus ever gets taken over by terrorists. I am a Ronin bro(don’t judge me).

Right from the get-go you knew he’s one of those types that has absolutely no respect for other human beings. He comes in, earphones blazin, like what even is the point now? You’re using a pair of earphones as a boombox right now. Like, I can almost hear the thoughts in your head. Then he asks me “does this bus go to VIT?”. No “excuse me”, no “do you happen to know”, no “may I fondle your balls?”, no nothing. Straight up asks what he wants, like commando style. I’m sure some women find that attractive but not papa. I was like, isn’t that in Vellore?, which if you don’t know, I live in North East India, and Vellore is down south, like thousands of kilometres away. Then it starts to rain. He, starts to complain TO ME about the rain. I failed to mention that I was listening to music this whole time. So I was just staring at the nonsensical bullshit that was coming out of his mouth. The famous saying “in through one out through the other”, didn’t apply here cos papa was listening to incredible drums in Undertow, by Chroma Key.

As usual, I missed the stop, and I began walking back to the spot. On the way, I pass by a building that looks like it has got gigantism. The ITC ROYAL BENGAL. Here, let me show you a picture:

It’s beautiful. There’s lights everywhere. Like, I can smell the rich people inside. It’s weird because, just down the street, it’s pure poverty. I saw a guy cleaning the inside of his bucket with water from a puddle. There’s puddles everywhere, and since they’re building another gigantic structure right behind this, there’s construction and gooey mud for miles. Yet I power through, because I had read about the great Shingara Chow, served at Ah Leung. Read the article:

https://www.telegraphindia.com/my-kolkata/lifestyle/feasting-on-the-famous-pork-shingara-chow-at-tangras-ah-yung-or-ah-leung/cid/1849390

It’s an expedition to get to this place. Lot of dark alleyways, big street dogs, friendly people. A healthy 40% on the rapometer, which is a device I use to measure my chances of getting raped. Yes, it’s got the BIS, ISO, all them ratings. Finally, after a barrage of twists and turns, I get to the spot, and it’s closed. But the owner was very kind to come outside and explain the situation. In fact he started getting a little too close. Papa’s body has a knee jerk reaction to people not wearing masks. It is a GTFA pose (get the fuck away). For the GTFA, I stretch out both my arms in a warm, welcoming manner, except my palms are facing forward, and I bend my knees a little, as if to do a squat. This sends a clear message to the maskless one, that daddy’s not playin around. After a friendly socially-distanced banter, I went to another restaurant called Kaafu Lok, and I had the best tasting rice noodles I’ve ever had. So kids, life is full of magic. You just have to know, which restaurant to get it from.

Yellow green flying machine

I’m here to speak of the plight of the middleman. Not your usual middleman, the literal person who has to sit in between two people at the back of an auto. The raw hate spewed onto the middleman by the person who gets in last, merely because the person who got in first has a big ass, is simply unjustified. The middleman has to endure a barrage of frowns from countless men and women. Today the driver asked me to pay up in advance to which I replied “it’s too tight right now”. Kids, papa is by no means strapped for cash. Papa is literally stuck in between the ass cheeks of two grown men. So tight, that I can’t pull out my wallet. The driver, who is quite familiar with this pickle of situation, immediately understood my plight, and did not harass me further. He sped on, squeezing though the tiniest gap in between two motorbikes, and intimidating pedestrians. The guy on my left, got out. As I was taking my wallet out, and realizing at the same time, how good it feels to inhale fully, the lady in the front migrated to the back seat, which is understandable right? No one wants to be that close to someone who propels his three-wheeler with spit. If you don’t know, the Indian auto or auto-rickshaw is a small three-wheeler, and in some cities they take up to four passengers. Three at the back, and one sitting next to the driver, like in HIS FACE. So she starts to do this weird thing where she moves to and fro on the seat meanwhile giving me quick glances of hate. This kids, is a sign that the person on your left is not comfortable with their accommodation. Little does she know. the guy on my right has his legs in a ‘V’ shape. Blasphemy. I was about to cry foul when I noticed the backpack inside his ‘V’. I remember once asking somebody to keep their backpack in the boot, to which they replied “there’s food in the bag”. Apparently food goes bad when kept in trunks. Has to be the isolation.

Street sweets

I read somewhere that Omicron will peak mid February. My LIFE hasn’t peaked yet. And yet, a virus has somehow managed to peak twice in a span of two years. In the words of the great Theo Von, ‘my life has been a constant struggle, wrestling with every moment just to feel ok’. All of this spiraled down during the past few weeks, and I finally decided to reach out for help. So I talked to a local therapist, and I kid you not, I felt like she needs therapy. I felt like, if I got to spend a few hours with her every week, I could give her some life-advice, and I’ll do it for free.

Three important things happened in the past month

The legal age of marriage for women was raised from `18 to 21

The stock market saw a dip

And I ate the most delicious Chandrakala the world has to offer. It was from a sweet shop, on the way back from work. Every other sweet shop who claims to know how to make Chandrakala, should get training form this grand maestro. His face looked grumpy as hell, but I did not care, as my focus was on the round delight. He frowned when I gave him a 50 Rupee note. The Chandrakala was 10 Rs. It was oozing with sweet juices. Out-of-the-world ingredients. If I could summarize the taste, I would describe it as pure magic. Not a lot of ghee, nor liquid stuff. Just the right amount. The quality of the sweet made up for the grumpiness. He snatched the eco-friendy plate, as soon as I picked up the Chandrakala. I think I would have been choked if I stayed there any longer. The word Chandrakala has been used 5 times in this post. Was that planned? Absolutely Chandrakala not.

I’m back

I’m back after a year and two months. Back in Kolkata. Did I expect to return? Yes. I can’t leave my headphones behind. That’s plural headphones, like headphonesss. Am I happy about returning? No. It was my only option. So what now? Think. Deeply.

Some things have changed. There are a lot more people selling bananas. I can pickup a banana from literally anywhere. If your’e walking on the street, stretch your hands out. Boom! Banana! There’s a little less traffic. I think it’s partly due to the pandemic, and a bridge being fixed after it collapsed! By the way, remember that rhyme, London bridge is falling down? Yeah. Why?

Oh! here’s something I’ve never seen growing up in little ol Kerala. A fucking kite centre! Absolutely beautiful!

If I had the means, I would give an award to whoever came up with the title for this article:

https://finshots.in/archive/tata-hakuna-matata-and-shitcoins/

and here’s a beautiful song

Podcast episode 5- The Pandemic, Missionaries and Kolkata

Connect with your inner self, feed your soul and eat more bananas. Listen to the latest episode of my humble podcast. Links to the topics of discussion, including videos are provided in the podcast description. To access it, click the (-) icon and go to the relevant podcast episode. Enjoy.

Ep.32 I'm back Next-level Nothing

Me, myself, mine, etc. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/randomthoughtbeam/message
  1. Ep.32 I'm back
  2. Ep.31 The Batman- Review
  3. Ep.30 Willie Slap
  4. Ep.29 Luxury Vs Functionality
  5. Ep.28 Is this the downfall of Marvel?

Kolkata has been good to me. Although it has made me loose faith in the maintenance of personal hygiene, it has taught me valuable life lessons. One of the habits that I’ve picked up is that I now can’t finish a meal without eating something sweet at the end of it. Like, my hand will start to shiver if I don’t get a treat, rich in protein and diabetes..

Museum of metal wonders

I went to an Archiological Museum. Did I spell that right? Archeology-cal? Archaeoloji. Ar…Ar… Anglican. Anyway… this museum had some unusual stuff in it. I reached the museum quite late. It was about to close. So, a security guard was assigned to guide/nag me through the entire museum. As you all know, I take my museum visits very seriously. So I explicitly stated that the guard maintain a distance of exactly three metres away from me at all times. Why ‘three’ you ask? Well, that’s none of your business. As soon as the receptionist understood that I had difficulty speaking Bengali, she began to shoot questions in English. “Are you South Indian? Where do you stay here? What did you have for dinner yesterday? What’s your blood type?”. You know…the usual stuff. I mean, she was very attractive. That’s probably why I panicked. After a short, uncomfortable conversation, I began the tour with my personal bodyguard.

There were extremely old paintings and pottery(7-14 century). Just as I was about to finish viewing the ground floor, motherfucker(guard) started to blow a damn whistle(probably to ask me to leave). Another guard heard this whistle and started to blow his own whistle. Within a few seconds, the whole fucking museum was whistling. I could see birds fly away from the roof. Motherfuckers were disturbing the wildlife.

As soon I got to the first floor, I knew it was a different scene. You see, there were these sculptures made of metal, kept in glass housings. They were sculpted in the 9th century. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Figures sculpted with unimaginable level of detail and yet so tiny and realistic. That was not the impressive part. The figures were not of people or animals, rather it looked like something that was taken straight out of a Stephen King movie. There was a figure with an elephant’s head and a slim guy’s body(It had nothing to do with religion). It was holding a walking stick. It had a hunchback. It looked like it was dying. Then there were snakes, dragons and warriors that looked like trees, stuff that I have never seen or could have imagined. I was awestruck.

How could somebody think of that? How wild does ones imagination have to be to make something like that? Where did he get the idea from? Did an alien put it in his mind? Did he dream of it in his sleep? Did his day-to-day life affect the design of the sculpture in any way? Did his family approve of him spending so much time making figures that made no sense to common people? What was going on in his mind when he made it? How was he able to put an ‘idea’ into a sculpture? Does the sculpture mean something? So many questions.

I don’t have any pictures of the metal wonders because pictures were prohibited inside the museum. And I can respect that. All I have is a picture of a tree, from the museum’s garden.

IMG_20180304_163513.jpg

The metal wonders will always live inside my head. I do not need pictures of them.

On an unrelated note, I got a keyboard. Today is Day 4 with new keyboard.

Side note: I do not know how to play the keyboard.

Literature, art and all that jazz

I went to a writers-meet yesterday. I don’t know if ‘writer’s meet’ is the right word. It might be something else. By went, I mean I attended a solid two hours of a two-day event. It was called People’s literary festival 2018. It was about going against conventional ‘literary festivals’ that they say are a sham. If my younger-self saw me attending this event, he would probably reassess his situation and change whatever the fuck he was doing with his life. But you know, life is a collection of experiences and we learn from each of them. I had no intention of going to this event. But I did go and by the end of it, it felt pretty good(even though I weirded out a couple of people). I went because a friend invited me. Why else would I go? I don’t intrude into uninvited events(would be hell of a lot fun though, especially if I wiggle my way into ending up on stage, speaking to the audience about Robert Zemeckis movies. Note to self: add idea to bucket list). The main reasons why I decided to go are:

  1. I had nothing to do that weekend
  2. I was feeling lonely and depressed

So I figured the best way to fight the depression was to surround myself with nerds.

Now, a little bit about myself:

I don’t read

I don’t write

I have nothing to do with literature

I am a big fan of learning and idea-exchange

I like to meet new people. Wait… that’s a stretch. Lets just say I like to meet people who think differently. Even if their beliefs or ideas go completely against mine. I like to hear the same story told from different perspectives. I like to hear opinions on things. So when the panel started to speak on censorship in their work and daily lives, I was intrigued to hear different views. Some of them spoke about how artists receive death threats on a regular basis to a point where it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. It has become the new normal. I think that’s fucked up.

I noticed someone sitting in the second row(probably the event organizer) getting a little anxious when one of the panelists wouldn’t stop speaking. I saw her waving to someone on stage but they couldn’t understand what she was saying. So I helped out. I raised my arms, pointed to my watch and showed hand gestures that meant,” zip it lady. Wrap it up”.  

On an unrelated note, Is there an unwritten law that says, as you go higher up in intellect, the girls need to cut their hair short and guys need to grow long hair? Don’t get me wrong. Me like short haired girls too(especially after attending this event). Who gives a shit about length of hair anyway.