Sunday, October 7, 2012


“Slice of Life” has been off late my favorite cinematic genre. Be it “Wake up Sid” or “English Vinglish”, the magic of these movies lies in the fashion in which finer nuances of life are captured. The biggest advantage “English Vinglish” has is its storyline –which will be immediate connect to all Indians particularly middle class women –who more often than not have struggled to speak English – which unfortunately is one of the basic qualifying criteria for being a good mother to their kids or equal spouse to their husbands.

“English Vinglish “traces the story of one such house-wife and a caring mother, Shashi, proficient not only in her house-hold work, but also runs a small in-house business of supplying “Ladoo” in marriages successfully. But all these are not good enough, to rank herself equal, among her husband & kids. So she finds her confidence gets rebuked at slightest instances, when she fails to spur out English. While she silently suffers the pain, her family largely remains aloof or chooses to overlook the same. But destiny changes, when Shashi embarks upon a journey alone to New York, to get her niece successfully married and in the process, ends up discovering a new her, oozing with confidence.



Life is also very strange, when we don’t find love & respect among our close ones; it often comes from unexpected quarters who ends up making us feel special. As Shashi finds such warmth in her co-mates in English Class or a staunch supporter in her niece, who supports her in her mission to learn English. It takes her a while to digest the fact that someone random finds her special. The movie captures beautifully small moments of joy without getting too melodramatic or preachy at any point of time. The movie is light at heart with good dose of humour. The music of the film is so soothing to the ears, and perfectly blends with the storyline of the movie. The moments of joy of Shashi when she celebrates small victories over English language with her co-class mates, or her feel-good moments with French classmate and dilemma at the same time, forms the high points of the movie.



Sridevi acts as if she was born to play Shashi. One would fall short of adjectives to describe the √©lan with which she plays the role – in one word “impeccable” – her eyes almost traces the graph of the story – from her pain to joy or her dilemma to confidence. Truly, class is permanent. Always believe to make a great film, supporting cast has to be equally strong – and “English Vinglish” can boast of each of them. Be it Mehdi Nebbou as her French admirer or Adil Hussain as a insensitive husband or her empathetic niece, each of them are stellar in their individual performances. The fact that each of the character is so well defined only adds to the realistic value of the film.

Final words of the film needs to be reserved for the hero of the film- Gauri Shinde – who has crafted this masterpiece – Take a bow, lady !!!! While the credit rolls, it drives home two very important point – if you love some-one or vice versa, that doesn’t give you a right to treat him or her as door-mat, respect is as important as love and if it takes a French suitor to make a Indian wife or mother to make her realize her true self and most importantly serves as a wakeup call for their husbands, so be it!!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rendezvous with "Barfi" :-)

Must admit after long I was excited to watch a movie. And after watching Barfi, am super-excited to talk about a movie, which is like a beautiful canvas, painted with all those unspoken emotions. Kudos to director Anurag Basu for visualizing and sketching such poignant moments, that you get to watch in plenty, throughout the movie. While the film is not entirely free of blemishes, but the positives are so inherently strong that it clearly outnumbers the flaws.




“Barfi” may be hyped as a film about people with disabilities – but  it is purely a love story at heart – falling in love, heart break and loving back the person who loves you the most. Don’t remember a Hindi movie, where love has been so beautifully portrayed sometimes through silence and such heart rendering moments in recent times. Set at the exotic location of Darjeeling, the story unfolds at a lucid pace, with romance and suspense at core. While a lot of hindi films focusses on tragic tales of these people, this films sets a completely different trend. It chooses to tell the same tale of love, joy, pain , jealousy but through the eyes of people, whose way of expression somewhat different.

Barfi, is a story set in 1970, covers three time period, and traces the journey of deaf and mute Barfi, mentally challenged Jhimil and near-perfect Shruti to bring home the point,  while one do not need to be perfect for discovering simple joys of life and all that is perfect necessarily do not transcend to happiness. One of the standout elements of Barfi is that in all those happy moments between the protagonists there is an underlying slithering pain. As a audience, there are so many moments when you are laughing while subconsciously your eyes are moist with pain. Those simple moments of joy between Barfi, Jhimil & Shruti are so delightful that it leaves you wanting for more.

A very special mention for film’s music and photography which forms the perfect backdrop of this fluid lyrical experience. Another outstanding aspect of the film is usage of props in the film be it mirror or mask. On the flip side, length of the movie is bit too long and there are some loopholes in the plot like Barfi s   sudden change of heart for Jhilmil looked a tad unconvincing.

Ileana as “Shruti” personifies best, what “first love” is all about – pretty face, beautiful eyes and long hair –  too good to be true and yet compelling enough to make you fall in love only to break your heart.This extremely talented actress speaks volumes through her eyes and lingers in your heart for long. Must say she looked stunning in those Bong saris and mascara-laced eyes.

Priyanka Chopra as “Jhilmil” grows on you, slowly but surely. She is extremely natural in her autistic act and portrays “innocence” beautifully, keeping the character as real as possible on screen, unlike her “fake” off-screen persona.

The supporting cast of the movie delivers a stellar performance be it Saurabh Shukla as cop, Haradhan Chattopadhyay as Jhilmils godfather or Rupa Ganguly as Shruti’s mom and enhances the overall quality of the film.


However “Barfi” belongs to Murphy who mis-spells his name as “Barfi” instead – who takes you  to his fairy tale world of love, joy and pain - Yet another superlative act of RK – whose performances are so captivating these days that it seems he can do no wrong – he chooses to act with his body language this time. His charming performance works in silence, knits weave around its audience and leave them spell bound in this web of magical act. Watching him perform is like watching someone you know in real life right in front of your eyes.


Kudos to Anurag Basu for such a masterpiece...Flawed yes but then but a little bit of imperfection works perfect for us. The best part about Barfi is that there is hardly a dull moment and despite being of experimental genre, it is highly entertaining. It’s works like a awesome dessert that is visually delightful, and melts beautifully in your mouth and leaves you with a lasting sweet taste. 

N.B Some films cannot be rated it is just experienced !!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Heart Unplugged…..!!!!





Blue skies above, puffy clouds meandering with drowsy eyes 
Treaded by path of fallen petals, my ambrosial abode 
Below meadow greens, grazing calves and fluttering butterflies
Flight of Fantasy, en route to my beautiful escapade


In the canvas of my heart, sketched her a thousand time
Oh such purity and passion, in that kohl laced eyes
  Jingle of her bangles echoes in my ear, a musical rhyme
    Intoxicated by potion of her love, wonder how time flies     

Alas, the perilous journey is ready to embark
Mind and Heart, entangled in internal mutiny
Beckon my vessel to charter beyond Noah’s ark
Let duty for nation, be my final destiny


Heart filled with pride, storm ahead pose lethal
Her love makes the battleground look like path of fallen petal….




Format Used : Shakespearean Sonnet (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG)


"This post has been published by me as a part of IBL; the Battle of Blogs, sponsored by WriteupCafe.com. Join us at our official website and Facebook page.

Image Courtesy: Google Images - Nature Pic, Ship Pic
Special thanks to my friend Sonia for letting me use her pics

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review : The Moment ( Film by my friend Sandeep Balan)



Link for view and read below for Review


Short Films or Home Video formats are a more common concept in Western world and currently an emerging trend in India, under experimentation by many aspirant filmmakers. In the present context, the film in question “The Moment” which is the latest release, in YouTube and Face book, last Friday is a screen adaptation of Sandeep Balan’s  blog “The Moment”, who has also directed this film. This is Sandeep’s first attempt on serious cinema, after serious of spoof videos, including the most popular “Madhosh Madira”, thanx to immensely likeable   protagonist who featured in the same, coupled with hilarious voice over.

“The Moment” talks about a love story between lead protagonist and how each moment of the relationship makes a lasting impact in their lives. Though the story of the film has nothing new to offer in terms of content, but the novelty of the film lies how the story unfolds beautifully in 10 minutes. The beauty of any love story lies in the fact that it can be presented in a unique fashion each time. The director, Sandeep Balan, laps up this opportunity with both hands, and tells the story just like a delicious brownie, scooped with vanilla ice-cream, served in platter, for viewers to enjoy till the last scene. The fact that the story is written by director Sandeep himself, helps to recreate his vision onscreen, exactly how he envisaged it while writing . The scenes are well written by Sandeep.

The background music makes a stunning impact as this tragedy unfolds. The editing is crisp and perfect to hold the viewers attention. The movie also captures the mood of Mumbai, in it rains and again directors hits it, by blending it beautifully with the story. Photography of the film , is worth a mention, specially the outdoor scenes. The fact, that story is told to the viewers in the narrative format, adds to the drama. The first couple of minutes may appear slow, but the film gets better with each passing moment. Full marks to the director, for bringing out an effective performance from his lead actors and also to his attention to minute details.

The fact, that cast is new, adds to the freshness of the film. Saurabh Bhasin, as Sid, gets the melancholy of the character right, and captures the same with his somber looks and sincere performance. But the movie gets elevated by few yards, with a top-notch performance of female protagonist Aditi, played by Sangita, who is a complete natural on screen. Her vivacious smile and eyes speaks volume, and arresting enough to make her audience, skip a beat. Watch her emote in the penultimate scene, its a treat. The chemistry between lead pair sprinkles innocence. In a special cameo, Naishy as Aditi' s friend Ayesha is a stunner and oozes with confidence. As described in one of the dialogues, she truly is the "fringe benefit" of the movie. It would have been interesting to watch her face to face, with lead protagonist in the climax scene, which director chooses to avoid, for some reasons.

As first attempt, Sandeep is a promising talent to watch for and his eyes for details especially the last scene of capturing the protagonist’s “hand” speaks about his eye for creating finer moments. Dialogues goes in line with the mood of the story, and some cheeky lines in between will leave audience with a smile. On the flip side, the sound of the movie is not so effective. The dialogues may look slightly more for a short film of 10 min. Dubbing of the film, in the initial portions could have been better. However the positives of the film, ensures you to overlook the weakness. A story told from heart, directed with lot of love, and performed with all honesty by the lead actors, is good enough to hold on to  your attention. I will go with three and half star for ”The Moment”. Three for the movie and half star more for the director's vision well complemented by the background score.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The World of Raghav Basu.......

 “All passengers travelling by flight SI408 to Singapore are requested to proceed for security check “was under announcement. There is generally a lot of buzz in the T3 terminal of Indira Gandhi International airport at wee hours of morning. Two kids were having a ball around this huge suitcase their mom was carrying. One was in red and the other yellow tee of same design. Suddenly while playing, the red one skidded...the other almost sprung to save him. The agility and the intent, caught eyes of Rajarshi, who was observing the kids from a distance. Rajarshi wondered if he missed the intent or the agility to prevent the incident that happened ten years back...

“Mr. Basu, do you have a seat preference” asked the lady at the check-in counter. Lost a bit, Rajasrshi replied “Yeah, window seat would be fine”. Probably he preferred to get lost in the floating clouds, visible outside”. There were so many questions unanswered....it’s been ten years, ten long years after which he has found the first clue to trace Raghav. The person over phone, refused to divulge further details about Raghav.

Comfortably placed in his business class , Rajarshi’s mind was uncomfortably placed with lot of anxiety and tension. Numerous ads in the newspaper, rounds of police station and several attempts through friends including social networking – all attempts proved futile, no one could give a clue about him. Couple of years they tried. Then they lost hope. No one spoke about Raghav. He existed in memories but never spoken about. He became someone who should not be named in their family. In these ten years, Rajarshi could not share his pain with anybody, apart from his wife. Raghav had died long back for their family. That single incident changed their lives forever. And here he is, all set to travel to an unknown land, to get his answers for himself and his family, who felt bereaved after the incident. He wondered – where was he, with whom he would be, how would he look now.....does he remember him?


 Some habits die hard. Rajarshi was very comfortable gulping down beer at this hour even. Being a software consultant, he had been lucky enough to travel to most part of the world, and indulge in best of wine. Happily married to Ananya, with a beautiful daughter, well settled in one of the plush apartment of a high rise, in Vasant Vihar, Rajarshi Basu had a life, many would envy to have. And he had finally managed to quit smoking, post his daughter’s birth. He wished for a fag though, to ease out his tension. He chose to look outside, instead. The golden rays of sun had outlined the clouds yet were not strong enough to penetrate them. There was a rainbow in the horizon. “Beautiful...” he thought, just like it was between him & Raghav. Despite being cousins, they cherished a relationship much beyond blood lines. Different from each other, yet connected by strong bond, Raghav was the more expressive one in the relationship. Both enjoyed life, family, friends and loads of attention – however one rose in life, and the other got lost.....

Rajasrshi wondered, what probably went wrong in that fateful night when it was meant to be a happy family gathering, to celebrate the 25th marriage anniversary of their eldest uncle & aunt. All friends & family were attending. The party as usual started on a high note. Post couple of drinks, everyone seemed to settle down.  All gathered around one place, when their current favourite topic came to forefront – Raghav’s marriage. Raghav was one of the eldest son of the family, yet to be married off. Incidentally in India, getting married is an achievement of sorts, if done within the right age, and slowly it becomes an embarrassment. In Basu family, tradition was a bit more advanced. Love marriage was considered, a triumph. Rajarshi, who was around 15 months younger, than Raghav had passed this test with flying colours. Apart from Raghav, all his brothers & sisters were well settled.

Raghav looked lost that evening for some reason. So analysis began as to why Raghav is still single. He had been visibly uncomfortable with this topic – and never quite encouraged his private life. But on contrast, his mother loved discussion or debate on such issues of his life –on public platform. Unfortunately India is a place where water may not come free, but opinions are free-flowing. Someone suggested he was not serious about marriage, and he is not looking enough to get a bride. His mom, who was visibly upset at his son’s failure to find a girl said – “How being my son, you could not woo a girl for marriage?. His aunt defended that he is a good guy and will marry as per parent’s choice. One of the friends suggested that Raghav should have watched particular Bollywood hero’s movie to learn the tactics of wooing girls. This innovative suggestion was received with an applaud. The other suggested, his sacrificing nature of letting go good girls, is the reason of his being single. Slowly more people joined the conversation, and added with valuable suggestions. As the evening progressed, discussion got a little more personal, making Raghav visibly irritated. Raghav’s younger brother Rishav, unable to bear this humiliation of his elder brother, chose to walk to the other side, after a brief protest. His mother suggested that he needs to first groom himself, to be eligible for his marriage. 

Rajarshi visibly got excited at this new topic which was much more fun. He stood up in the chair with intent to address the large audience “Raghav has apparently lost 150 tiffin boxes, 500 odd pencil & rubbers, and 200 water bottles during his school days”. Incidentally, another common friend was quick to add “Apparently he has lost ten keys during our stay together, flooded the washroom at least thrice, locked himself outside the flat multiples times. In fact I fear, when he will have a kid, he may forget him or her somewhere”. A huge laughter roared in the audience hearing his joke. Apparently his stout belly ballooned with pride, at this successful attempt of humour. Then discussion started what kind of girls , would suit Raghav - some suggested she should be a hot babe, some suggested she should have rich bucks, some suggested at this age, divorcees might show genuine interest, some dropped few names for marriage, and some to field around with before, marriage . From playing around, discussion reached his apparent skills in bed, how age can affect his active sex life in marraige .  Raghav, who generally protests, was unusually silent. Finally someone said from the crowd – forget marraige, he should try being a toy-boy to some elderly lady or being gay is also not a bad option, considering he was not finding a girl – at least sex is guaranteed at both options. The laughter was uncontrollable, and the loudest from quarters he least expected. That was it – his inflexion point – he started walking towards the bar counter. He ordered for a drink. Few of his friends, who were enjoying and were high, joined him. One of his friends suggested “Be a man dude, these ***holes who are joking about you, ***********************, screw their happiness”. The waiter had just served the drink , Raghav picked up the glass and banged it across the guy’s head. He bend down in pain, bleeding. The support staff rushed towards them. His good friend Tanvi who was nearly by looked at him & said “Have you lost it...what have you done...how you could hit someone?”... “Bull****......Thank your God, that I only hit that  ****er and not killed him, as a matter of fact why don’t you ask your friend about his precious sermon”..His eyes were red & that with disgust. Amidst all chaos, his family members reached the occasion. His mother started shouting, rebuking about his act, making him remember his education and culture. There were whispers; even the worst critic would not have predicted this kind of unruly behaviour from him. Raghav would be the last person to hit someone. Rajarshi reached the spot and tried to take away Raghav, trying to cool him down. Raghav pulled back his hand & said “You are one of them. Who are you...just stay away?”. It hit Rajarshi but he didn’t react. He knew when Raghav is angry he generally says a lot of things which he never means. But clearly he could see an unparallel amount of pain in Raghav’s eyes beneath the anger. Probably tonight his personal space was encroached and compromised.

Raghav took few steps towards the gate turned back and showed a middle finger to the crowd. All the people stood shocked. The next morning saw no trace of him. Raghav was well known for his short temperament, Rajarshi thought he may be at some friend’s place. The search that began, unfortunately never ended in these ten years. They have assumed Raghav may have committed suicide or met with an accident with fit of anger.

The guy who called himself Allen, over phone had asked him, to meet in front of Boon Lay Garden Primary School, at cross –roads of Fifth Avenue. A pencil thin Thai guy, greeted him with a half smile. He guided him into an office room of primary school. He impatiently asked, “How do you know Raghav?” Allen politely replied “Raghav & I were colleagues”.  He paused and said “Give me a minute”. Allen came back with a black diary and handed over to Rajarshi. Rajarshi wondered if this was the reply to all his questions. Nervously he opened the diary, the handwriting was crystal clear n  alphabets were long – he knew it was Raghav.

Hi Rishi,
I am at loss of words to begin with...don’t know really where to start...... trust me, I am equally nervous, writing  about it, as you are reading it. Too many summers have passed by; in between...the earth would have forgotten the monsoons in between.  It has been ten years, ten long years that my eyes haven’t seen you.

“Fuck.......saala no one knows me better!!!!, Rajarshi thought how well he knows me, his eyes was already moist. He continued reading.

I know one question would have pondered that what happened that night that I took such earth-shattering step that changed everyone’s life forever. Ten years hence, let me admit, what I did was not correct. I shouldn’t have. But that day, that moment, my identity was at stake – there I was standing, being gang-raped by the crowd – which included people I idolised. I wanted to free myself from all the noises of the world, from all the negativity. Was I wrong that I wanted to live, life on my own terms? That night, from the crowd, I could not identify who were my parents, who were my family, my friends and who were just random people. They all appeared noise to me, who wanted me to lose myself. For me all appeared to judges of court, meting out their judgement on me, my life, my character. I felt brutally raped and assassinated. I was a total misfit in the world of your so called perfect people. Yes I am a common guy, I commit errors. I realized there was no place for me in your world, so I chose to escape, to live my life, in my way. At that point of time, probably my ego got better of me, and never realised the price I had to pay - there was never looking back. I haven’t heard from Mom & Dad, leave alone seeing them – I don’t know how my little brother has grown up to be – how my entire family has been – how have you & Ananya have been...how my gang is..... I am sure you took good care of my parents, in my absence – though it does not take away anything I have done. 

That night I was jobless, had quitted my job two days back, needed a shoulder but got screwed instead.  A lot of anger was infused in me, about myself, about the world, about everyone – I did not know how to vent it out. And I ended up hitting someone. I took a bus to Dharamshala from Delhi, next day, in search of get lost in some random people – and that’s where my life changed forever. Did not know what I wanted from life – may be some peace or solace.

The first glimpse of her was blurred...I was lying in some corner of a dingy room, with some random people, heavily drugged, I had it all – I wanted to be the biggest loser – eradicate all my memories. The splash of water on my face was enough to bring me to senses. Her fragrance was the first thing, which caught my attention – she smelled heavenly. In a white kurti, and khaki quarters, she was the best thing I had seen in a long long time. “What day it is?” I asked with my sleepy eyes...she smiled & replied “Some day”!!!!....that’s how I met my wife.


Rajarshi’s eyes were wide awake, he was all in grins “Dude, Raghav is a married guy....!!!.God I had to be there".

Alyona – yes, there she was. She was a Russian, working for World Health Organization & was in India as project officer for six months. Alyona meant “torch” – she was God’s angel in my life – her positivity about life, her excitement about Indian culture, her faith towards Buddhism excited me. She was everything that I wanted for my company in my screwed up life. She travelled the world alone fearless – she helped me get off drugs and most importantly negativity. With her I started travelling, I started dreaming again, and she became part of my new world. They took me as a volunteer in their project, and I travelled with them to Rajasthan, UP & Haryana. She and the WHO family, whom I worked with, became my new family. During these visits, I realized there were so much more pain in the world and mine was nothing in front of them. I was happy in my space – and when love culminated between me & Alyona, I did not know. The best part was she brought a lot of peace and happiness in my life & accepted me as I was, with all my weakness. I was addicted to her positivity & smile.

I was hired by WHO, on her and some of the senior people’s recommendation, working in that project. Thankfully, when I left for Delhi, I was carrying my passport and other stuff. By the end of that year, I moved to Austria with Alyona, far away from you all and blissfully settled there.

 Alyona always joked with me that she saw marrying an Indian in her dreams. We got married next summer, in a church. She was an orphan, but our friends from WHO attended the wedding along with our neighbours. Alyona always wished for a big family, and probably she always wanted me to come back to all of you – but I was afraid, too much time had passed away, will Mom & Dad will ever accept Alyona – my world had changed, and I deep inside feared going through the circus once again. Deep inside I knew you all would have learned to live without me. Alyona filled so much love in my life that the anger & hatred in me was long gone. We made a very humble living, in our small cottage, in the heart of Austria called Ramsau, 200 km North-west from Vienna. That place was known for organic farming. Alyona loved gardening, she did a bit of farming in her garden. Mr. and Mrs. Keith, were our neighbours. How time flew with Alyona, I hardly realized. She insisted me to show her DDLJ in our first anniversary – while we were watching the movie, she was constantly smiling. During the penultimate moments of the movie, I suddenly heard the famous guitar tune...I turn back only to see my wife, with a guitar in hand, bending on her knees, and playing the tune for me. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Dude, when did you learn guitar-  She was an expert in giving surprises – I love my wife !!!!!

Rajarshi was liking the new Raghav and he had to thank Alyona for that.

 But on our third Christmas she ensured the biggest surprise making it my most special Christmas ever. On the thanksgiving, she concluded by saying “I can’t thank you for honouring me with little angel, indicating her bump”. For couple of moments, I could not believe my ears; I needed  someone to pinch me. I almost flew to Alyona and kissed her. Dude, I would be a Dad. That was the moment when I wanted to dial your numbers to share the happiest moment of my life. I wish I did.  We started preparations, for welcoming our little angel.

Rajarshi wished, he did.

By June end, Alyona was almost entering in the final stages of pregnancy. Doctor had given 22nd August, as the due date. I had made a swing in the garden for her to relax. She loved watching her plants and flowers. In the evening, often we would sit together and watch the sunset. It was breath-taking and I used to pray each evening this moment of togetherness forever. Wish all wishes came true. Alyona had been a perfect better half, more than I could ever ask for. I only had and will always have one complain against her – she always used to hide the bad news from me.

Finally the moment of truth was there. Alyona gave birth to baby boy. He weighed 2 pounds. But then my destiny, how could I forget – while my little angel made way to this world, my angel, my mate bid me good-bye. Doctors say she always knew her case was complex and had warned her; they could not control her internal bleeding. Within six hours of Kevin’s birth, Alyona left me forever. 

For a couple of minutes, Rajarshi looked stunned, at the letter. He wish he could change those lines.  Within seconds, he was filled with grief and remorse, such was the power of her beautiful soul , that although he never met Alyona, her soul touched him.

I was left orphan again, my support system was gone. I was lost again in this world. For hours, I would sit looking at Alyona’s picture, cry and ask her from where I would get strength to live and most importantly raise Kevin. Had drastically cut down on my work, my life started revolving around Kevin. I had promised Alyona, in life I would never be negative again. The day, my kid held my finger for the first time, I don’t know from where he transferred loads of strength to me, as if he wanted to tell me, “When I am here, why do you worry Daddy?” And then I remembered, someone had told me that fateful night, “Someday, I may just drop my kid somewhere and forget?” A strange fear and anxiety gripped me; I held Kevin close to me and wished I could tell the friend “I always used to forget things, because I was never attached to things but to people. But I now have got detached to people too, but not my kid....no way“. Suddenly I regretted my thought. I had promised Alyona that negativity will never touch me again. Being a hand-on Dad was much tougher than completing a two year MBA course.

Rajarshi wondered how did he manage all alone...all by himself...being a dad himself he knew it all !!!!

 They say when you are all alone and don’t know where to go, God sends his messenger to guide you. Mr. and Mrs. Keith were one of them. This childless couple helped me, to manage Kevin, when I was at work. I always believed in the relationship I made here. Some of them ceased to exist, that really does not mean they were not reality. Rishi, my purpose of writing you the letter was to take you to the small beautiful world of mine, of which wished you were part of. Share the most beautiful moments of my life, I ever experienced. There has never been anything more unique or beautiful than this. Seeing a part of me grow.... My little Kevin......

The first time, when I held him ....he was sleeping. His tiny eyes were just like those flower buds about to blossom. And I didn’t realize when a drop of a tear from my eyes, kissed his soft cheeks, that’s when my son opened his eyes and saw me. He kept looking at me with his wonder eyes, and I kept looking at the wonderful piece of miracle. I so wished Alyona was with me, by my side. Those pair of eyes so resembled Alyona, I know she will keep a tab on me through Kevin. His little fingers tried to reach me. I didn’t know a word about parenting, I prayed all the time, that unknowingly I should never hurt him. Kevin and me, mutually grow together. That’s the first time; I realized how Ma and Baba, with how much difficult they would have bought me up. How much pain they would have inflicted upon themselves, to make me grow, to make me stand on my own feet. And one fine day I left them.....Just like that, never to return again.

Kevin had his own pattern to trouble me – but then when you understand your child’s requirement – you schedule your life according to that. He used to wake up every day @ 1 clock at the night. First couple of days, I freaked out but then I realized he felt hungry...I kept his milk ready on his feeder bottle. The winter were tough, he had to be kept all wrapped up. Being a new-born, he was more prone to illness. I also shifted to project writing to spend more time with Kevin. Carried a lot of work home. He used to sleep during the day.  I used to try and complete my work quickly and wait with baited breath for him to wake up. Seven months passed by. Summers were here. Still Kevin used to wake by 1 am at night...only difference being I used to take him to the window, after feeding – show him the stars & the moon. He used to stare at them with eyes wide open for 5 minutes, then used to skid his little head in my chest and sleep peacefully. Some days I would hold him close to myself and sleep in the chair. Never ever I had felt so much secured in my life. You know when my brother Nikhil was born, I was 6 years old, I wanted to hold him like that and love him...don’t remember why but never really worked out that way. Never in my life, could I tell him, how much had I loved him, only used to be happy seeing him succeed, at a distance.


Rajarshi was lost in his nephew’s childhood story, with them........

Life rarely gives a second chance...and I did not want to miss this one for sure. To cherish small moments of joy. It was barely four months, post Kevin’s first birthday...I was working in the garden. My sweetheart Alyona’s soul is somewhere embedded in this garden...she loved it. Suddenly I heard a noise....and I was besotted with the spectacle. There was my little Kevin, crawling out of the door....into the grass. The soft feel of the grass, was something new and exciting for him – his joy knew no bound, his enchanting smile soon turned into giggles....I was so lost in him , didn’t realise there may be pebbles or stones around that may hurt him. 

Suddenly his loud cry woke me up from a day dream. He was crying loud...a small stone has scratched against his skin. Thankfully no blood spurred out....he cried more out of fear than hurt, I guess. I quickly took him on my shoulders, and went inside. But he did not stop crying......I did not know what to do, I picked up Alyona’s picture from my table and make him hold that. He stared at her for 2 minutes and stopped crying. Truly no one can ever take place of a mother, her picture did the trick. I took him to the swing and sat with him for a while, remembering the countless evenings, me and and Alyona had spent together, talking about my family, our childhood, our growing up years. She never saw her mom and her father was in the army, died fighting at the war front. She was raised by her aunt. I used to tell her about how me and you  used to dress up every day in the evening, tried to look at the mirror, desired for the flushing abs and searched in the mirror for  the “dude” in us – and go out every single day,  driving and having dinner. Sometimes if we were lucky, we had girls for company.

Some memories are so strong & vibrant that it hits us in the core of our heart. Probably Rajarshi felt something like that after reading about them.

In a few months time, Kevin started walking properly...that was the most difficult period for me. He was very restless; he never stayed in one place. Sometimes I felt, restlessness of my soul had transferred into his body. He was clearly outdoor guy – he loved the garden just like his mother, he liked walking in the grass, he would chase the grass-hopper – it was timeless, seeing my piece of heart walking, running around, in front of my eyes. But this wasn’t the first time I felt like that – I had similar feeling when I saw you too. I and Kevin used to sit in the banks of Alpine river and watch it for hours in the evening. He loved water...it was hard to keep him away....with his little fingers he would touch the water of the river and then put across my face. His little hands could not retain the water in his hand but he was a fighter – he never gave up. Some days, I would take him to other side of the hill in the valley, where amidst a bed of flowers, there is a kilometre long stretch of vast greenery. I used to lay down in the grass looking up at the sky, seeing the clouds float ...in the sky I used to search you all.............while I would be lost in my thoughts, Kevin would be blissfully settled in my belly...playing and jumping. He enjoyed the little fat settled there....I know it is hard for you to believe, the self-conscious Raghav who would swear by gym and all special diets is saying all this. But truth is Rajarshi; I haven’t looked myself at the mirror properly for years. I don’t care if I looked ugly to the whole world, but when my son smiled at me, I felt I was the most handsome man on this earth. 

 “Where are you Raghav?...I am dying to meet this new you”, Rajarshi thought.

Had saved some money, and got myself a video cam, so that I could shoot Kevin, and capture his childhood. In one of those evening, Kevin spoke his first words, though I understood a bit. I was ecstatic. How years flew with Kevin, I did not realize. Started also doing taking up freelance consultancy projects, because I wanted to save some money, for his education. To which it reminds me, of his first day at school. He just won’t leave me; there was a fear in his eyes to lose me. It took me back to my memory, when dad used to accompany me in his cycle after my rickshaw, till school gate. I was shit scared and won’t let dad go. Yet I let him go......let go everyone!!!! When Kevin was three and half year, I took him to the graveyard, to make him meet his mom. The evening before he had come and asked me “Where is my mom?” He offered flowers of our garden to her. I don’t know what he felt but haven’t seen him so silent ever. I tried to explain him. That night I slept, holding him very close to my heart. I didn’t want my kid to feel devoid of anything in the world. He was my life support system after Alyona. There was no life of mine, beyond him. As he grew, and learned to read a little bit, he  would ensure that I had food in time  and used to read me bed time stories and expect me to sleep. Truly he was my mom, my dad, my everything.......... He was my only reason to live !!!!

Rajarshi realized the diary was coming to an end........his heart beat started beating faster again

Kevin and me, grew together, I was almost lost in my little world with him............ but then I forgot, destiny was not done yet. I probably owed a little more to life. My dreams crashed with a rude shock when I was detected positive in a biopsy test. There was a small development in my lungs. For the first time, I was fucking scared. The thought of not be able to see my son, send chill in my spine. I went to the church and prayed forgiveness for all my mistakes. I was determined not to lose this battle.....I just couldn’t. On my way back from the church, it rained. When I returned, was completely drenched.....my son offered me towel. My eyes looked at his innocent face, could not hold myself back, for the first time broke down, hugging him. He did not understand why I was crying, but with his little hand managed to wipe out all the tears, with multiple attempts. Today, God made me realize completely the pain my parents would have gone through in last ten tears and probably all those who loved me....that was the day I decided, I will come and meet you all. But then life is uncertain, so I thought let me pen down my thoughts before that ...As SRK used to say “kya pata, kal ho na ho”.......so now you know, where I was , with whom I was, how was... this is it, me signing off.....this is my story, my kid and wife is my world...world of Raghav Basu.....



The letter ended, but question still remained, “Where is Raghav?”



At this moment Allen entered, and handed over a round pot to Rajarshi. He anxiously asked “Allen what is this”. Allen took a pause, and said “Ashes of last rites of Raghav, he passed away in sleep a week back. Major cardiac arrest. He was in Singapore on a special project to earn some extra money to sponsor his and Kevin’s stay in India. Raghav was excited to go back to India with Kevin. He wanted Kevin to know about India, about his family”. Rajarshi was numb for couple of minutes. His brain had stopped to exist and there was an insurmountable amount of pain and congestion he felt in his chest.....he was feeling suffocated. Only he could manage to say “Where is Kevin?”...Allen replied, back in Austria with Mr. and Mrs Keith, he doesn’t know, that Raghav is no more. Carrying the ashes, Rajarshi stormed out of the room. Somehow he managed to enter the hotel room, he closed the door, and entered the bathroom, locked the latch....held his hair by his hand and cried, cried as loud as he could....he was angry, he was in pain, he kicked the door, he banged the mirror glasses.....how could destiny be so cruel to him and to Kevin....both of them loved him unconditionally. He would have sat and cried for good 6 -7 hours, he don’t remember when he slept. When he woke up, he felt empty...as if part of him has gone away with Raghav. There were several missed calls of Ananya.

Three weeks later...........

Rajarshi was looking blankly outside the window of the flight. He looked at Ananya, and said “Thank you”. Ananya smiled back and replied “Even if you would not have asked, I would have still done this”. The flight took off from Vienna airport.
The Kevin was fast asleep in Ananya’s arms........ Rajarshi closed his eyes and tried to unwind the penultimate moments with Raghav!!!

                                                                              ***********************
That cottage was beautiful, and the garden reminded him of spring. It was home of love....wonderful memories of Raghav & Alyona.....the dashboard near the table, were reservoir of memories,  had pictures of Raghav’s mom and dad, his brother Rishav, Raghav & Rajarshi’s, his wedding pics, Alyona with guitar,  and of course Kevin’s childhood pics....As he locked the house, Mr. and Mrs. Keith, took promise from Rajarshi that he would come back.....Rajarshi promised. He had to for Kevin.

He looked back, he could see Raghav & Alyona was smiling and waving at them.... He remembered, he had to one final task to complete – he dropped by the graveyard of Alyona and took out the pot. By customs of Hindu mythology, ashes had to be dropped in the river for peace of the soul. But Rajarshi knew Raghav’s solace was with Alyona and this place...he sprinkled the ashes around the graveyard of Alyona, so that their soul rest happy and together in heaven. He touched the soil and said “ Love you bro...”.