a terrible painter, a dreamer, a rebel , a feminist and a self certified bisexual Witch. Who is always trying to visualize whats on the other side of the canvas she paints,just another human- Living alive Life. Now also a green tea addict.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Discovery of Kokum

Colours and intriguing shape are one of the most effective marketing tools ever. Had I not seen the white purple bottle shaped like a saline pouch with my buddy I would have never tasted the content inside it. How many times have I fallen prey to looks? If I count both figuratively and literally the answer would be countless times both in materialist and personal choices.

The first time I saw advertisement of instant soup years back, I had to buy it and it was a terrible experience. I happily copied the actions of Anime characters and placed the bowl on plates and sat with folded legs to sip my soup. And the soup tasted horrible. But when it comes down to my elder sibling, she is a recurring victim of marketing strategies. Every time she would order some cold drinks for us to drink, they would always come with hot spices. Sometimes chilli made cameo too.

But what made me pick up the mysterious drink sitting inside the refrigerator with other colourful drinks far cheaper then it. The answer is simple induced curiosity by vast capitalist market. There stood lassi, chocolate-milk, mango drinks. But my buddy and I we both had to go for that white purple pack with the name of a mysterious fruit Kokum.

Yes we had never heard or saw this fruit before and the very name intrigued us.
Here are two of my buddies sitting on the concrete boundaries opposite to the food mart.  I decide to get my drink of Kokum first. By the time I open my seal and sip it the taller of the two is up to throw his paper plates and looks at me with full curiosity. The brave I took the first sip. Its bitter sweet and smelled like cranberry but the sour aftertaste like grape juice poked my head. Have I seen cranberry? No, I have only eaten cookies and drink made in that flavour. Now real cranberry might be different from the marketed flavour similarly like the fate of infamous strawberry. I mean real strawberry has no relation to the flavour they sell in ice cream and cakes.

Okay back to kokum, this kokum on my tongue is strange and different. By four or five sips I could imagine the drink to be a shade or three darker from than grape juice. I hand over my erected saline shaped bottle to my buddy who sips it keeping his expressions intact.  I get encouraged when two minutes later he comes out with his own kokum pack. We become kokum brothers in that instant.

By the time he is finished with the drink; our personal jokes with kokum were already in elementary school. We checked the bottom of the pack to find the words :- Now you got to bottom of this. The words made us break into laughter. I was still sipping my kokum slowly and the challenge to seal back the empty pack with air came back from my buddy. I won’t lie I could clearly see the grade two trick to hand empty bottle to a classmate was visible in his sharp eyes. So he did fifteen minutes later.

We read the about ingredients with concentration that only knocked our foreheads when question paper was an hour away. The pack promised no bio-engineered product and we went to look for the place of manufacture. That was a mystery to us till late evening.
By the end of the day I completed my challenge, we literally carved buttocks at the bottom of the pack, my buddy agreed to my idea of using the pack as water bottle as well. Though each of us held a smart phone in our hand we were wrapped in the mystery of kokum.  A classmate suggested kokum was the juice of dried tamarind. Yet both of us stuck to, our speculative theory of Kokum being a berry.  We made a vast journey in speculation from grapes to berry.

Finally the mystery of kokum got revealed with help of the smart phone when Google presented the images on our large screens. Had I been offered kokum on a plate in real life, I swear I would never taste it in its original face.    

Now that’s what marketing does, it sells you things which would not appeal to us in their true form but packed, polished and priced version. I think that sums up, Hyperrealism Baudrillard talked about.

At the end of my pack it asked the drinkers to shake hands. My buddy and I we shook hands and we will keep cracking kokum jokes till the final semesters. Yes I have a premonition.

P.S- this is what actual Kokum looks like, but like the pack promised we did create memories.

thanking you for bear with me

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Letters Unposted!

Letters, I always had a fascination for letters. Written words caged in paper and sent on a mysterious journey. With its departure a constant worry takes birth will the receiver get the thought on his door posted. Free of time barrier and often late in earlier times. They have bewitched the world for time immemorial.

In school they were taught as formal and informal letters. One that required decorum and manners was Formal. They are restricting and I am against them. They are a mass scale conspiracy to run the bureaucratic whip on humans. The only letters ever penned by the pre-selfie generations were to their imaginary friends in their English Work Book and tests. I had many imaginary friends all named Nina. She never liked my letters hence I never got more than four out of ten when ever I was asked to write a my letter to a friend. 

The fascination with letters began years before when landline was new luxury in our home. On one of those hot days when I rolled on floor at my grandpa’s room my eyes met them first. Accumulated blue postcard, envelops, yellow papers moth holed stacked together and hanged by a wire stabbing through them on my Grandfather’s door intrigued me. The blue paper dusted enough to crumble on edges to fade the ink in curious bangla script.

In general I claim to have no regrets and I stick by it. But the only regret that I have is, I have never read those letters. Collected over decades they are our personal chronicles. Rather my family’s voices where I was never part of. A distant history I never felt related to, a reality woven even before words broke on my mother's tongue. More letters are to be found in huge iron trunks under high beds of both my grandparents’ bed. Some dusted with vermilion, some marked with hot cup of tea un-sipped in 1989. Actions and realities beyond my vision.  

Process of communication have changed, we have faster and cheaper means to communicate and I am totally depended on them. Yet I still carry the blood of letter writers. Though my mom never saw any romance in the idea of pen pal. I have always craved for one and I simply blame her and my grandparents for putting all those ‘Outdated ideas’ in my head. I have an general pull towards old books, unused things, old paper. A vintage setting for any conversation and sepia vision justifies me. 

Often my reading list have books which are epistolary in nature or have good amount of letters in them. I love Pride and Prejudice for its epistolary elements, I keep rereading Cloud Atlas for the beautiful letters in them. Every other die hard lover of love stories know the spell P.S I Love You did on cry babies like us. The same author makes you weep in Where The Rainbow Ends as well with letters and letters. 

We literature people have this intrinsic nature to read the personal letters of various authors. Our lacking in respecting the privacy has led us to churn out Negative Capability from Keat’s letter. Or to understand Kafka better when we read his unposted, rather undelivered letter to his Father. We have been shameless encroachers and we still do it offending so many dead poets and artist. 

Again it was Anne Frank who made me copy her diary writing style. Letters to her friend Kitty made me find my own Kitty. Which I have been penning for last seven years. The very same reason why my every post in this blog ends with a- P.S. Both consciously and unconsciously I have been creating letters and posting them to intended people in my life metaphorically. 

The first letter that I received in my twenty one year lifespan came in form of a postcard. Postcard, from a girl, who has been my dearest friend for last seventeen years. She has seen all my faces from the core. Shares an equal passion for horrible handwriting, no matter what, we could never master the art of beauty in holding pen. Too many these action of her seemed an ordinary matter. But to me that one post card meant an eternity. 

A reality is already in creation, where many correspondences have happened. I can see her with too many annoying grand kids around her and she fawning over a letter marked by the fresh cup of tea. A letter from a friend, a letter from a friend who might have loved her a little bit more.

P.S- Still the reply remains undelivered, unposted, unwritten....

thanking you to bear with me