2010/10/11

Shiuli , Sharat and Durga ( and a little bit of farmville )

I have been playing farmville with an intensity bordering on obsession for the last one month . I have upgraded my farm , grown loads of crops - sometimes two in a day , planning the harvesting so that the plants do not wither . I have bought me a farmhouse and other buildings , housed baby animals , contributed to a school in Haiti and built me a pig pen , created multiple identities to be self sufficient in construction activities .Oh and I have also got mastery signs which shows that I grow certain premium crops . All of which denotes a certain feverish obsession as I have already said. Time to breathe now .
I have neglected my blog to the extent that my Indistats ranking has taken a plunge from a mean 77 to just pass 44 . Sad .

That said , this is the festive season . The most beautiful season called "sharat kaal" in Bengali , mystified to a thing of supreme beauty by Tagore in innumerable songs . The skies are a bright blue dotted with puffball clouds which suddenly darken ominously and end in a spatter of rain , only to become bright and sunny the next minute . There is a slight nip in the air at nights and the elusive evocative fragrance of chhatim blossoms .That is the magic of "sharat kaal ".

And this is also the time when Durga is worshipped . This is the time of agomoni -when Bengal waits for a young woman to return to her father's house with her brood for her annual visit .While she is worshipped as a victorious goddess , she is nevertheless the quintessential girl coming back to the bosom of her family for four days of loving before she is bid goodbye.The songs sung in anticipation of her visit , the agomoni songs, are poignant - hinting at the inevitable departure.

On a more mundane note there are traffic jams and hectic shopping , women dressed to the nines in their "south indians" at the mall and at the pavement stalls ,jostling each other to pick up , among all things , terracotta wall hangings , mobiles and doormats,plastic bins , pearlpet bottles .Shopping like there is no tomorrow .The magic of waiting , preparing , is palpable .

Driving past my childhood home on Sunday I wept . The garden is now a garage - there used to be a shiuli tree there and in the mornings , little white flowers with orange stems would pattern the grass like a carpet . My favourite pre -breakfast activity was to collect the flowers in my grandmother's wicker flower basket for puja , being careful not to touch any of the caterpillars that lived on and around the tree , shiuli trees being a favourite habitat of theirs .
There was the window where I curled up with my little sister and my grandmother watching the crowds on Shoshthi waiting for Baba to come home and take us all out .Now of course , none remain of that family except for my sister, who I am not sure shares my memories , and I .
Today I woke up at dawn . From my bedroom window , I could see the sky , now a dark misty grey .Etched against it was a row of glittering yellow lights on the roof of the South City towers , the builidng itself not visible , an absolutely mundane sight - but nevertheless a sight so magical in my half sleep state as to be almost part of a surrealistic dream ....



10 comments:

Wicked Laughs said...

Fabulous! Shiuli was so much a beloved part of my life too..:)...what a tender post!

hillgrandmom said...

Beautiful post!

Jane Turley said...

You should be definitely be writing more Mrs G and not playing farmville! Your writing is a delight to read:)

Banno said...

I hope you are over your farmville obsession. I'd rather have you write. I thought for a while, I was in Kolkata. :) Happy Pujo!

hillgrandmom said...

Btw, how on earth do you play so much farmville? On my comp everything slows down when I try to play farmville and loading takes for ever. So its no fun :-(

radha said...

I play rather stupid games like falling bricks... and yet sometimes get obsessed with making sure no one crosses my score! But the obsession lasts a couple of weeks and I am back to normal. Glad to see you back.

Sue said...

You may be a wicked old woman but you do take the most beautiful pictures. Am waiting for your Pujo album. Just don't include the red-faced one!

dipali said...

Such an evocative and heart-warming post, apart from Farmville, of course! Post more, play less:)

eve's lungs said...

Sheesh , you folks . There's such joy in farmville .
I'm obliging you all though :)

Dot said...

Have to admit that I also play farmville, but like Hillgrandmom, mine takes forever to download, while Farmtown and others load much faster.
But, I also very much enjoy reading your posts. Feels good to finally be back in blog ville- or reading blog friends again. Love your memories.