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Santanu's Blog Page

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Burkhaa Beauty

The drizzle had just stopped. The skies were still overcast and grey. The cool moist wind blew into my face. As I trudged the long, narrow mud track towards the next village, I spotted a dark shape at a distance. It looked like a solitary man with a black umbrella. But as it got closer, I realized it was a closely huddled group of three women in black burkhas. The one is the centre was taller than the other two. The bellowing effect of the wind on the black burkhas combined with their fighter aircraft formation to create the visual effect of an umbrella from a distance. My Darwinian survival instincts immediately attracted me to the tallest. But experience had taught me that I should not stare too much, nor too early. So I bent my head down and walked into the wind. I looked up only when I heard their voices at a dozen feet. To my dismay, the tall one’s face was almost entirely wrapped in black. Only a small rectangular opening existed at her eyes. Even at this distance I could make out her fair skin and large black eyes. I immediately halted and stepped aside to the left to let them pass. Bowing my head respectfully, I watched their feet as they fell into a queue to cross me without brushing. She was at the end of the line. I counted one, I counted two… . I looked up just as the second one was crossing me – straight into the tall ones eyes. She was already looking at me – a close, curious look. We locked eyes. Neither blinked, neither looked away. I could feel my heart pumping in my chest. Touching distance. The wind brushed the silken burkha over my right arm. Her hand must have been under it very close somewhere. Inches away. Did I smell perfume? I tried to force a smile. Managed to just flex a cheek muscle. Her eyes were smiling. I could make out. So were mine…hopefully! Someone muttered about the mud in the local lingo. One of the two black shapes on my right. The spell was broken. The magic moment was dead. She hurriedly turned away, muttered a reply. Three black shapes moving away from me. Cold, inanimate. I waited. She will look back. Surely, she will. They had gone 5-6 steps. They were again spreading into their formation. Filling the width of the mud track. She stopped. Looked back. Saw me watching. Satisfied, she turned away. Rejoining her group to fade away into a distant black umbrella. I turned back to my track and trudged towards the next village.

Happy to have met her. Sad to have parted. A face I will never know. Smiling lips that I never saw. Expressive eyes that will linger in my memory for some time to come.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Where have I been

NYPaganChick said... Santanu, where the hell have you been? You tend to disappear from time to time. I hope all is well with you and your family :) 12:51 AM

Well, I suppose I will start answering from the reverse end. All's well with my family and they are in India for the Summer Vacations.

All's well with me to the extent possible under such circumstances where one has to re-learn self-dependency after a long gap.

I had disappeared under a situation I shall term as 'Blog Satiation'. Simultaneously, I also went through a phase of solitude-induced-introspection and explored my inner self and immediate surroundings and re-discovered traits, attributes and situations that were almost forgotten and buried in the sands of time as well as recent trends and developments. A few notable findings are:
  • The same shirt and trouser can be repeated on consecutive days without any noticeable stink or complaints from colleagues.
  • There is no increase in mouth odour in the morning if I don’t brush at night.
  • I can still keep count till 7 large pegs of whisky. However, from the 3rd, I switch from my mother tongue to English and around the 6th I develop a peculiar accent.
  • There is no apparent increase in body weight within a fortnight of switching to deep fried snacks.
  • International Phone calls to neighboring India are costlier in this country than calls to UK and USA.
  • I look at the clock at least twenty times when tele-talking to my mother-in-law. However, I don’t remember looking even once in twenty minutes when my kid was on the line.
  • At least five TV channels run good movies that start after dinner time.
  • Yahoo Chat has closed down User Rooms. Public chat rooms are filled with bots and stupid frustos.
  • Porn sites on the net now offer movie clips. There is also a noticeable increase in quantity and decrease in quality of erotic stories on the net.
  • India now locates its televised annual film award functions in Amsterdam for unfathomable reasons. The entire celebrity who’s-who from Bollywood flies over to Netherlands in their best costumes and look very happy for no apparent reason. The live bands that fill in the gaps during presentations choose cacophony over melody and the crowd loves it.
  • Brazil plays the finals of the Confederation Cup against Argentina in Germany. Brazil will win, but there will be many dreaming of the Maradona days.
  • Sitting long on the net or watching TV for long causes sore eyes.

Profile Pic

Well, I spent some time thinking...

Racked my grey cells to reach a firm undisputed conclusion to a persistant problem. The problem is ...or rather the unanswered question which became such a big problem is:

If I were to remove my smiling, handsome face from my profile in my Blog page, what object should I choose to replace it with.

After a lot of deliberation and consideration, I reached the conclusion that the solution lay in my occupation and profession, in the field of Construction!

So I browsed the net and finally came upon a lonely Excavator standing in a brooding posture early in the morning. It fit my mood and temperament.

So here I am! Santanu, the Excavator!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Close up of Water fall in the hills...this and many more appear during the monsoons! Posted by Hello

Flooded fields...India hills of Meghalaya in the far background Posted by Hello

Swollen stream Posted by Hello


I have not been using my blog much of late. And what better evidence than to find that visitors from Hong Kong rank third in frequency of visits!! It apparently means that others from USA and India have visited my blog more than me!!
That's a shame really...I have let down my few regular readers! But I just run out of motivation sometimes. Especially over the last few weeks, I have felt utterly frustated with my page and the thoughts that have flashed to mind could not be posted on a page like this.
I noticed that there are very few who blog with their real identities. Most prefer to hide behind false names and pictures of objects and creatures ranging from cars to catterpillars. It's as if Laden will catch them if they came out in the open! Or so I thought. I saw no reason to hide my identity and blogged away happily. One fine day I wondered whether I am being foolish. When in Rome do as Romans do. So I quitely removed my pic and town from my profile. But the archives are always there to pin point me.
So I now intend to open a seperate blogpage with a seperate profile. Any ideas for a catchy name or a funny pic are most welcome. :-)

Saturday, June 25, 2005


At last, monsoon is here! Well, it arrived a week back, maybe even ten days.
It's very hard to fix a date on such things. It used to rain occasionally, then it got more frequent. And one day you have to admit, its not just a rainy day...monsoon is here to stay!!:) In this country, the land is flat as ... well i wish I could type what came to my mind!;) And as a result, when it rains - correction, pours - it starts flooding pretty quickly. So now I have to walk through knee deep water where earlier it was dusty, and then muddy! Tough to believe it, unless you actually live through it.
And the most convenient means of transport is now country boats. Yes, small wooden boats everywhere. The folks in the villages seem to have more boats than bicycles. And as a collegue pointed out - it shows their economic class! Like you have a big car and mine is small because I couldnt afford a bigger one. We have big boats and small boats - right upto tiny single seaters. I was forced to go 10 kms on a four seater yesterday and it will take me some time to forget it. Will try to post some pix next time. The boat seemed like it would flip over any moment in the high current, especially when bigger boats rushed past downstream and we bobbed in the afterwake. Why am I so excited about the whole thing?
I don't know how to swim! :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Loves labour Lost

You know and I know that she isn't here now and won't be for some time to come. But that's got nothing to do with the title of this blog!

I was browsing through some templates, safe in the knowledge that I won't loose my existing one unless I republish. I was wrong! I lost my previous settings along with all the additives I had labouriously worked on. The links, logos, quotes and stuff that make your page yours.

So it will be some time till things get back to normal. A bit like my homefront. I am single for just one night till now and things are already in a mess. :-)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Saturday the 11th

We had been waiting for a long time for the 11th. Now it is here. Finally.

We didn't want it to come. In fact, we perhaps tried to wish it away by not thinking about it. But think, we did, silently, bitterly. After all, these are my commitments. And I take pride in keeping my word.

Saw off wife and kid at Dhaka airport for their first visit to homeland after landing in this country 10 months back. Kid was too emotional while parting and naturally so. Wife....well, that’s personal, I suppose!

Now I have to spend the rest of the month alone at site - a 'forced' bachelor (a popular coinage for a situation very common in the construction industry)! Usually for these periods which tend to appear at least once a year, my gadgets (I say 'my' because my wife disowns them and calls me gadget crazy) like the washing machine, the vacuum cleaner, the sandwich toaster, the OTG etc all come in very handy. My wife prefers the services of the domestic help - whose timings never tally with mine. Yet last year, at Bangalore, she retained the help during her absence - to reduce my suffering, to "really" clean the house, to keep things back where they belong and also, perhaps, to watch my drinking and the company I bring home. And I have to admit the help was excellent in all of the above, especially the last! This year, I intend to shift over to the company Guest House and dedicate my energy completely to the job.

Talking of drinking, Bangalore, my last posting, is called the city of pubs (among other names). You will find more pubs there than rats in pre-piper Hamelin! And here I am in Bangladesh - not a single liquor shop in the entire country!!

OK, friends, I know you think I sound a bit depressed today and searching for excuses to curse. I know. And I really am sorry for that. But you know what? You are quite mistaken.
I am heavily depressed and don't need any excuses to curse!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Beating the rains

Update for old-timers at this blog!

(This is regarding my work front which I no longer write about)

We have reached our first milestone before the rains! 30th May to be precise and the monsoon showers were scheduled from 1st June. Now the monsoon seems to be delayed further by maybe ten days and we are close to touching our 2nd and final pre-monsoon milestone.

I know there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. But, we are very, very close!