The above lines were a favourite of Dadima–my Dadima. Whenever I went to her room she would want to hear this song. When I used to ask ‘আজ কোন গানটা শুনবে?’ The answer always was ‘ভয় হতে তব অভয়মাঝে’ then came any other song. This song is now one of my favourites too. Everytime I sing this song it gives me a new strength. The words are so powerful!
Dadima–Its been two years since she has left us. Today (16th Feb) is her second death anniversary. Since morning I was remembering her. Let me first dive into my memory and say a few words about her.
Generally Bengali kids call their paternal grandparents Thakurda/Dadu or Thakuma/Dida. However my grandparents wanted me to call them Dada and Dadima. Now I feel its a blessing because these are much better than the usual calls. During my childhood Dada and Dadima used to stay in a place called Mihijam near Chittaranjan in Bihar. I remember visiting that place only once. I have been living with my parents in Kolkata — first in Santoshpur and then in Paikpara. My grandparents used to often visit us. But when Dada’s health became poorer they shifted their base from Mihijam to Kolkata and we all started staying in Kolkata. Dada passed away in 1993. Though I remember him vividly I cannot recall any incidents associated with him.
Dadima was the most soft spoken person that I had ever seen. She had a wonderful smile. She was a good poet and good at stitching. She used to have an embroidery school in Mihijam. I was Dadima’s beloved Khuktusi. She pampered me as much as possible and I have no regret for that. Dadima’s days always began with listening to the radio. This helped me become aware of the various programmes aired on radio. She used to have Complan and Horlicks regularly. This resulted in another habit inculcated in me – to enjoy eating Horlicks/Complan ’emni emni’. It became a daily affair. I would take a spoon. Take out a heapful of Horlicks, have it, wash the spoon and do the same with Complan. I used to love it. Another delicacy that Dadima used to have was bel er morobba. I used to have my share from that too. Then there were some other sweets like shonpapri and chardrapuli which we were both fond of. She also had her own way of having wood apple (Bel). After removing the shell, she would de-seed it and make small balls out of them.
It was often that we would play various indoor games specially Uno, Monopoly and of course who can forget cards–Golam chor, Petapeti, and my most favourite screw. I was quite undaunted as a child and did not like losing in a game. Once we were playing screw and as I was on the verge of losing started resorting to unfair means. Dadima quietly continued playing without protest. Then when things went out of hand she asked very softly (much like her nature) “আচ্ছা ভাই, তোমার সঙ্গে যদি কেউ এমন করতো তোমার কেমন লাগতো?” I promptly replied “তাহলে আমি গোলমাল পাকাতাম”. Once we were playing monopoly. I could not match up to her and was losing badly. I dismissed the game and proudly said “চলো uno খেলি তোমায় একশো-দুশো point এ হারাবো”
I also remember as a child we used to play ‘school-school’. She used to be the teacher and I her student. I do not recall what I used to learn but there used to be a tiffin break and the foodie that I was (and still am) I used to look forward to it. I used to have muri and a piece of coin chocolate (Chocolate in the shape of a coin).
There is another very famous story involving Dadima and me. I had once accompanied her to a local temple. I was hardly 4-5 then. The purohit asked Dadima what my name was.Before Dadima could reply I confidently said “দীপান্বিতা দত্ত ভরদ্বাজ গোত্র “. Both of them where quite surprised by my answer as I had also told my gotra which no one had asked. Now I know that whenever one goes to a temple to offer prayer they have to tell their name and gotra. But how it had occured to me in that young age I still do not know.
Dadima was very fond of Rabindranath Tagore and had great respect for him. They had exchanged letters a few times. Once Dadima had requested him to write a poem which would have her name in it. Rabindranath kept her request and wrote the following poem:
প্রথম আলোর আভাস লাগিল গগনে/তৃণে তৃণে ঊষা সাজাল শিশিরকণা/যারে নিবেদিল তাহারি পিপাসী কিরণে/নিঃশেষ হোলো রবি-অভ্যর্থনা
Dadima was married on the day Rabindranath died. The news of his death was hidden from her as she might be upset. She was indeed very upset when she heard the news.There was great influence of Tagore in her life. She would often read his works. I heard Baba reading to her from books written by him.
Dadima was a good poet. She would write poetry for most occasions and people. On my twelfth birthday she gifted me my first Swarabitan (Notation book of Rabindrasangeet). She wrote the following lines for me:
“খুকতুসি তর বয়স হোলো বারো/ আশির্ব্বাদের সঙ্গে জানাই ভালোবাসা আরও”
What better blessing can there be!
Dadima spent the last two-three years of her life with us. She had lost mobility but luckily she had no serious ailments apart from diabetes. She became like a child and reminded me of the Tagore song “যা পেয়েছি প্রথম দিনে সেই যেন পাই শেষে/ দু হাত দিয়ে বিশ্বেরে ছুঁই শিশুর মতো হেসে”. Dadima enjoyed when I sang to her. She would often ask me to sing her favourite songs.
Like the peaceful person she was ,her death was peaceful too. It was 16th February 2010. She finished having breakfast and after taking bath she was lying on the bed. After a few moments when we went to the room she was no more. It was as if the flame of a burning lamp was put off.
I still miss Dadima. Whenever I sing a song specially her favourite ones I remember her. I feel she is amidst us always with her ever smiling face.
Note: Eti ekti sotyo ghotona tai ekhane kono naam byabohar kora hochche na…..
Besh kodin dhore aamader office e besh uttejona cholchhe je aamader team er dujon member er alaada alaada kore biye..Besh duto nemontonno paoa gelo…Amra sobai khub khusi….Ekti chhilo 26th aar ekti 29th e….
Jar 26th e reception chhilo tar Kolkatay sesh din chhilo Friday the 20th. Erpor tar Bangalore theke kaaj korar katha. Thursday obdi amra kono invitation paini–na mukhe na kono card. Sobai bhebechhilam je hoyto invitation pabo na. Sei bhabe prepared holam. Friday office ese dekhi je jar biye tini nei. Khonj niye janlam sokale ekbaar office ese ‘Ektu por aschhi’ bole tini beriye gechhen. Mail check korlam jokhon dekhi biyer invitation esechhe. Tar mane jete hobe. Khanik por aar ek team member amay deke bollen je o biye te invite koreni? Aami bollam je mail esechhe to. Tini bollen koi aami paini to kokhon esechhe?Aami bollam aager din majhraate mail esechhe. Mail check kore mail paoa gelo na. Tokhon aarek sotyo prokash pelo. Je team er sokolke invite kora hoy ni, jodio aamader team size matro 10. Khanikta oprostut holam. Kintu ki aar kora jabe? Er or theke khonj niye jana gelo je aamra 6 jon nimontrito. Tar modhye ek joner 27th biye. Tar pokhkhe jaoa sombhob na. Arek jon 26th onsite jachche kaaje i se o jabe na. Amra odhir aagrohe opekhkha korchi kokhon ektu por hobe aar amra moukhik nimontron pabo. Amra kotobaar taake phone korar cheshta korlam othocho switched off. Onno bhabe jogajog korar o onek cheshta kora holo kintu kono fol paoa gelo na. Aamra sobai besh chintito je jol jyanto manushta kothay vanish hoye gelo. Raat e khobor pelam tini naki kono mondire giyechhilen.
Amra 4 jon mile gift kine plan holo je amra ek songe 4 jon jabo. Aamader modhye ekjon Behalay thaken uni garite sobaike convenient point theke pick up kore niye jaben. Aamar abar oi din Nature Park, Brace Bridge e school er bondhu der songe picnic chhilo. Okhan theke Behala kachhe howay aami Behalay onar baari jabo okhan theke eksange jawa hobe erokom i thik chhilo. Aamader picnic taratari sesh hoye jaway aami aamar bari chole elam. Aamar saradiner por besh bhalo klanto lagchhilo. Bhablam ekbaar phone kore bole di jabo na. Kintu tarpor bhablam emni i 4 jon jachchi ek jon kom gele kemon lagbe. Aami toiri hoye Chingrihatay opekhkha korte laglam. Ektu pore lal swift gari ti elo aami uthe porlam. Aarekjon ke 8 no tank theke pick up korar katha chhilo. Take bollam beriye por aamra pray ese gechhi. Take pick up kore amra egiye chollam gontobyosthol er dike. Tobe sobai ekta jinis niye keno jani na alochona korchhilam achcha khete pabo to? Tokhono to janina ki opekhkha korchhe amader jonno.
Amra gontobyosthol er kachhakachhi poucholam 7ta nagad. Tokhon sobai bollam eto taratari gele hoyto bore hote hobe. Tai pashei City Centre 2 te ektu ghure 8ta nagad asha jabe. Aamar aar amar bondhur besh anondo holo. Aage kokhono City Centre 2 e jai ni. Prothom jawa. Darun excited. Ekhane je oidin i prothom khawa hobe seta to aar tokhon jantam na. Okhanei gari thamiye gift er opor aamader 4 joner naam lekha holo. City Centre 2 e besh ghure amra 8tay poucholam.
Prothom gate e jigges korlam Community Hall ta kothay?Bola holo pasher gate diye. Pasher gate er samne ese dekhi je kemon jeno thom thome poribesh, mane ekhane je kono onusthan aachhe bojha jachche na. Gate e giye jokhon bollam Community Hall e jabo tokhon security guard besh obaak hoye takalen keno bujhte parlam na.Jemon visitor’s book e entry korte hoy kore amra Community Hall er uddeshhe chollam. Majhe arek guard ke jiggesh koray uni bollen Community Hall to oi dike tobe bondho hoye gechhe. Amra dekhlam sobe 8ta bajchche. Bondho hoye jabe keno? Amra community hall e pouche dekhlam sundor kore ‘X’ WEDS ‘Y’ lekha aachhe. Khanik ashwastho howa gelo je amra thik jaygay i esechhi. Tobe bhetorta puro faaka ebong tim tim kore ekta aalo jolchhe. Amra to obak. Pechhone theke aarek guard ese bollen je reception to 3.30 pm ei sesh hoye gechhe. Aamra aaro obak..Seki…Koi amra to kichhu jani na. Kauke bolte o parchhi na…amader to mukhe kichhu bola hoy ni. Emni tei khub khide peyechhilo…Jak ge amra aabar jiggesh korlam je sokal e reception?Majhe jar biye ekbaar take phone kora holo. Tokhono phone switched off. Amra nijeder modhye aalochona korlam je card e to somoy lekha chhilo bole mone hoy na. Ke jaane ki je holo.
Guard bollen je ora ei building ei thaken ekbaar dekha kore aasun. Bhalo katha amra sobai bollam je jak gift ta to deoa hoye jak. Flat er samne giye dekhi flat ekdom ondhokaar. Aamra bakruddho. Jotoi reception hoye jak biye baari ondhokar?Aamay i gift ta diye bola holo je tumi eta diye dao. Ebar proshno holo kaake debo? Buk e sahos sonchar kore bell bajalam. Ektu por bhetore aalo jollo. Amra ektu ashwasto je jak dorja to keu khulbe. Ek mohila dorja khullen. Dekhe mone holo ghumachchilen. Ami jigges korlam je ‘X’ da aachhen. Uni erpor ja bollen sei shune aamra stombhito. Shunlam uni naki ghumiye porechhen. Ghori dekhlam 8.15 pm baaje. Ei kathata shune aami bollam thik aachhe apni eita (gift ta) onake kaal sokal e diye deben. Tate uni bollen ebhabe to aami nite parbo na. Se to aami kakuti minoti karon tokhon bhabchhi koto taratari okhan theke jawa jay. Uni bollen je ebhabe ki kore jete di ektu jol mishti kheye jan. Tarpor kon ‘didi’ ke dakte gelen. Amra shoto baaron korateo shunlen na. Fire ese bollen didi oshudh kheye ghumachchen. Amra ei shune kono mote gift ta onar haat e diye okhan theke beriye elam.
Beriye ese aamader ki haasi. Amra bolchilam khete pabo to? Seta je emon bhabe folbe bhabte parini. At the same time aamader bhison khide peyechhilo. Kothay jawa jay kothay jawa jay. Amra bollam cholo City Centre 2 e. Massekah te khabo. Shunechi ota khub bhalo resturant. Sekhane giye candle light dinner. Onoboddo ambience aar khabar. Pet pure kheye aamra bari firlam. Aamader baari obdi drop kore deoa holo kaaron onek raat hoye giyechhilo.
Kintu ki rokom ekta experience sedin bhaba jay. Biye bari jawar aage kokhono ki bhaba hoy je khete pabo kina. Ebar theke sei songshoy ta thakbe. Ekhane khawa dure thak bor-bou er songe dekha holo na. Tobe aamar City Centre 2 te first jawa ebong khawa holo. Tai ba kom ki?
Ei holo sei ghotona ja aamay blog lekhar onuprerona dilo.
PS. Ami bari fire ese invitation card ta dekhechhilam. Sekhane English e je part ta lekha chhilo sekhane kothao time lekha chhilo na. Aar banglay lekha chhilo ‘Modhyanye’. Seta amra kheyal korini hoy to. Kora uchit chilo. Ebar theke puro card porte hobe. Tobe 26th er por eto din kete jawar por ekhono amra tar theke kono phone ba acknowledgement pai ni.
Ar ha…Mukhe to bolte parini tai… I am wishing him a very Happy Married Life through this blog.
Roj Koto Ki Ghote Jaha Taha…….
Sotyi aamader jibone roj koto ki i na ghote… Othoba ja rote tar kichhu ta to ghote….Aamader sokoler jibon i ghotonabohul..Se sob ghotona aamader aanondo i dik ba dukhkho dik…proti ti ghotona aamader jibon ke nana bhabe sombriddho kore eta amra konobhabei oswikar korte pari na.
Aami bohubar bhebechhi blog korbo. Protidin i mone kori ebar ghotona gulo likhe rakhi kintu oi…..Kori kori koreo kora hoy na..Kintu aaj emon ekti unexpected ghotona ghotlo je seta sobar songe na share kore parchhi na…..Ei ghotonai aamar blog shuru korar pechhone mul kaaron…..