Skip to main content

An ode to the Mother - An excerpt from 'The Death Wish'

 


"Abani saw his mother working round the clock to make both the ends meet. She stitched dresses and made candles; when she found time from cooking in a working women’s hostel, travelling by train to Kolkata and back to their one-roomed rented house, every day of the year.


There was never enough to eat at home, electricity was unheard of, the roof leaked in the monsoons and the creaking windows failed to keep the chill at bay during winters. Everything that had been worth anything in the household had already been sold.


Abani was determined to make the most of the few opportunities his mother could afford for him. He never missed school, he coaxed his teachers into helping him with his studies, and he studied so hard that he never repeated a class.


Despite the circumstances, his mother never forgot to make his favourite paayesh on his birthday with milk, rice, and jaggery. That was, perhaps, the only happy memory of his childhood other than the movie nights. The nights everyone in the neighbourhood looked forward to.


The local club would often organize late night shows of movies in the football ground adjacent to the high school. Abani remembered the run-down projector and the crumpled piece of white cloth, with gaping holes here and there, that served as the screen. He remembered the Hindi movies with larger than life heroes and stories of their rags-to-riches journeys – stories that filled Abani’s young eyes with dreams.


In most of those movies, his favourite sequence used to be the one where the hero, after getting his first salary from what was invariably a porter’s or a mechanic’s job, would buy his old mother a saree, lovingly wiping glycerine-induced tears of happiness streaming down her cheeks.


Abani could not wait to get his mother a saree from his own earnings, just like one of the heroes in the movies. That was the purpose Abani had in his life in that run-down one-room house next to the railway tracks away from the din of the city-. A a purpose that made every tomorrow worth waiting for.


Abani completed his education in due course of time and took up a waiter’s job in a hotel in Kolkata.


Days of hard work and going without food every other night had taken a toll on her health and as luck would have it, Abani’s mother passed away a week before Abani could buy for his mother that coveted saree with his first salary."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review - Poems by Subhadip Mukherjee

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Reading the poetry of Subhadip Mukherjee in his book ‘ছেঁড়াচিন্তারScribbles’ (Offtrack Publishers, co-authored by Dr. Kausik Ghosh), I am convinced that he is bleeding. And that’s good news.
Subhadip is a nagorik kobiyal. His poems hold mirror to the stifling urban life with its rat race, with its mindless pursuit of  materialistic ambitions, and with its consumerism.
নাগরিকব্যস্ততানানাজটিলতা... দাশুবারবারকিস্তিমাত
He mocks the same judgemental urban society right in his introduction when he says:
যদিতাকেচিনেথাকো যদিতাকেজেনেথাকো Boss, বেশী .মিশোনাতারসাথে সামান্যনেশাহবে... তুমিও "খারাপ" হবে দেরিহবেরোজরাত্তিরে
Subhadip’s poems paint love in its myriad hues – from extreme euphoria to brooding despondency. Subhadip depicts the unadulterated purity of love when he says:
তুইক্লাসনাইনৈরখাতারপাতায়বুকবুক

Book Review - Museum of Memories: A soulful journey of many lives, through many eras and across many worlds

Amrita Mukherjee’s book ‘Museum of Memories’ (http://www.amazon.in/dp/9385854194/) is a collection of 13 short stories which, as the blurb suggests, are tales inspired by reality.
Reading through the stories, you find yourself looking into a kaleidoscope of emotions and Amrita, with her lucid language and superior storytelling skills, draws you into a world inhabited by characters you have grown up with, characters you run into everyday, and the person you look at every time you stand in front of the mirror.
In terms of structure, these are short stories that speak volumes and mostly end unpredictably. One can breeze through the book from cover to cover. However, they leave you with images, questions and thoughts to reflect upon long after the last page has been turned.
How do we embrace those close to us before they turn into memories? How does a woman who sells her womb for a price then grapple not just with the empty womb but an empty heart? What does destiny have in store for a sex…

What does the Indian media have to say about In the Shadows of Death

In the Shadows of Death completes 5 months and I thought it would be worthwhile to summarize the media mentions for my work.

I can't thank enough the respected reviewers who have been insightful, looking beyond the obvious elements of thrill and suspense and commenting on the dynamics of human relationships in contemporary urban India that I made humble efforts to portray through my work.

The media response has been truly inspirational, and I hope as I chase my dreams, you will be with me in my journey, motivating me, inspiring me, and helping me with your feedback so that I can further hone my craft.

The Times of India: Set in the city of Kolkata, "In The Shadows of Death: A Detective Agni Mitra Thriller" is a fast paced potboiler which hooks you and keeps you glued to the plot from the very beginning. Full report: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/books/features/Book-review-In-The-Shadows-of-Death/articleshow/51455322.cms
The Hindu (1): With an almost Freudian u…