The magic of blue bottles!!


The “Blue” that we used to give a tinge of bluish white to our white clothes has almost become passé . Nonetheless, “Blue” is still used by some. The concept of white is changing with time..people love the normal white, pure white for their clothes these days. We earlier used to buy “Robin Blue”. It used to come in powder form in a rectangular box with a robin bird insignia. Well, the demand for “Blue” made a big entry again and for an absolutely different reason. But the robin blue has been replaced by “ujala” . It got a better lift, may be due to the concept called advertising. Since I do not use either of the two, I googled and found Robin blue is also available, that too in liquid form. Ujala is a liquid blue too.

Picture : Google

Picture : Google

Well, I learnt from neighbors, ujala is selling like hot cake. Why? They say, to ward off street dogs from pooping.Well, a bangla paper did flash news few weeks back stating that hanging blue bottles near the house will ward off dogs & pooping as well. No wonder, our locality too neatly decorated with those blue water filled bottles. They look cool! We are yet to introduce one. After few days of observation I noticed the front of the house is terribly littered. The other streets are quite clean. Ujala or Robin blue is definitely going to profit from me. Let me fix one and find out if it really works. Do Dogs really hate blue color? Will let you know in my next post.

We killed!


Someone told me, “Why don’t you buy a book to kill the culprit” A book to kill!? I started speculating -the sound of a big fat book shutting and the culprit is in and silenced! The next moment I felt a bit ridiculous!

Well, I wrote about wild civets in one of my posts. These creatures hang around our house after dawn. You just can’t leave your windows open. They sneak to your house and feast upon all your fruits or any eatables from your table, if left open. They even dexterously lift the food cover to steal them. Lately, we put mesh for all our doors and windows. To say, we are safe now except for the terrace.

Our terrace adorns some vegetables and flowers, planted in more than seventy pots. Recently we discovered the cauliflowers and some turnip cabbages being neatly chomped off. We were certain; the civets were raiding our terrace by night. We closed all the rain water outlets, just in case the culprits were the house rats instead. We covered all the pots with mosquito nets to prevent them from being further eaten. But we failed. So, sadly, this winter we are left with only little produce.

The garden at our roof top was in a mess, even after all the precautionary steps taken. Finally, we thought, we can try the BOOK – “the Yellow Book”. Well, we planted the said book on our terrace one evening. The next morning I neither felt any passion, fear, conviction, nor excitement from what I saw. The book was of course shut and I saw a tail. Civets too have tail. But, this was a tiny one. Who is the culprit by the way? A large rat in a yellow book trapped!


Yellow Book

I found the yellow book quite interesting. Now I know how it worked. It is sold in most Indian markets. I do not know, where the concept came from. It is indeed an innovative device! The book has a very sticky adhesive on the inner sides of both pages(card boards) and a button on each side so that both side do not stick. So, the tricky thing of this book is once the invader prowls on the sticky page (cardboard hard), the strife would bring the other page to whack and close like a book. The victim cannot move and dies of suffocation!

The mystery is yet to unravel. The question is, how come despite the water outlets were closed, the veggies were vanishing! Well, the rat had no escape route, so it made its abode in a piled up old pots in the corner. While rearranging them for more planting, we came across heap of rat poops! So, it was the lone invader who wrecked our winter plantation!

Dearly departed


It is a long journey through grief and losing people very young is something we feel stressed. When I first got in touch with a school friend of mine through a social networking website- facebook, I was just very thrilled. The days past since I left school seems like a dream. The achievements and success during those non-communicative years with school or college friends left me with no option but to accept the situation as it came. I now feel, had I been in touch with all of them I could have been a better human being.

Eventually Facebook happened and this is how I am again in track with the same people of my school but they changed for better or worse.

We often used to call each other over the phone and chat away sharing school moments and the lives of other friends who are still there. Some are married and settled, some yet to, so was she. Akhrieno was her name.Let me tell you, I was born and brought up in Kohima, the capital of Nagaland, India. Most of my local friends are still there and are settled in their respective lives. I spent most of my childhood there. I moved to Kolkata after my father retired. Thereafter I’m still here trying to love the place I’m in.

We often made it a point to stay in touch. Finally a day came when she was traveling to Chennai or someplace south. Her stop over was Kolkata for about two hours or so. We decided and met up at the airport. In the two decades she was a totally transformed person. She looked so dignified, soft spoken and beautiful. She had no makeup. Her otherwise curly hair was absolutely straight and had it pony tail.

I stood near the passenger waiting area and her call confirmed she was walking towards the area. Finally I saw her. She shouted and called my name and came running. We hugged. After we settled down, I gifted her few things I bought for her. She exclaimed and thanked me saying how thoughtful I was whereas she felt sad as she couldn’t bring anything for me. After our one and a half hour chitchat, it was time for her to leave. We finally parted and as she was walking towards the boarding, she turned every time to wave me good bye. I never thought that will be her last good bye.In a very short time after she was diagnosed with colon cancer, life did not spare her. Her death came as a jolt. It was so sudden that it  left me stunned.  Rest in peace my friend. I miss her everyday.

Yamraj- how dare you!!


Where do I get a priest asks the son to one of the relatives. “Don’t worry dear, we can arrange when time comes,” the awe struck relative consoled as he patted his back. His ailing father had to be hospitalized with brain disorientation. The attending doctor gave him a half hearted hope. The gadgets and the beeping of various monitors of the intensive care unit (ICU) looked very scary. Few months back, he was hospitalized for electrolyte imbalance. All his vital organs were absolutely fine. This time, it was a bit different. All tests were done. One day, they said his renal was failing and on another day, heart was failing!

The son almost gave up, thinking it is a lost battle. He decided to stop visiting his father and only enquire about the developments from the doctor. Mentally he was prepared that doctors might give up hope.

One of his daughters never failed to visit him every day making sure he is missed and not feeling lonely. He struggled to speak, but his words disappeared. Everyone who visited him nodded to all his mumblings. There was a look of frustration on his face. Once he complained, saying he was hungry. Of course, he looked very pale since the day he was admitted.

His eldest daughter had to rush,flying thousands of miles to be with the family.She is the pillar and every one look forward  for any kind of help. She is there to be with all. Before she could get over her jet lag, she had to fly back.

As prayers and get well soon poured in, there seems to be light on the other side of the tunnel. Messages like: “Dekhbi baba fire ashbe” ( just see, your father will definitely come back)..”he will come through, wait and see”, came pouring from time to time.

The laughing Yamraj( God of death) had to shy out of the hospital ward. He was released after more than two weeks. He is home, fresh and fine and feeling normal. Praise the lord! Miracles do happen 🙂

Just a brief encounter!


It was definitely a feeling of excitement for me at least. I always thought, Kolkata will be the door to opportunities to shape my career. Packing and moving is tough. After shifting houses for the 5th time, I now know the hassles, stress and struggles of it. I shouldn’t forget to mention that all shifting actually happened when my father had  job promotions. Every change with a larger house, of course! The final shifting was to Kolkata- our own house finally!!

“We are traveling to Kolkata- the final destination,”said my father when we learnt he was retiring. With all the indecisiveness and confusion, my elder sister convinced my father to buy a house before he retires. My father was never very serious about owing a house or making future plans. He is an idealist and always believed in spending time reading books and writing. I was then, just a budding journalist, trying to make a mark in the field. It was may be three and a half years of experience then, when fahter decided to shift to Kolkata after his retirement.

Looking back those days past, I feel so grateful to my sister and brother-in-law who gave so much dedicated time for us in shaping up an accommodation in South Kolkata, despite their busy job life. It was approx. a 1000sq. ft. Flat. Every weekend they used to visit the site, so that it is ready by the time we shift.passenger-airplane

I had to travel few times to kolkata to settle things before my parents joined. During one of my final flight to Dimapur (where we last resided), I met a gentleman who sat next to me. He was, may be in his late 50s. He became friendly with me and kept sharing so many of his strange, interesting experiences. I was so engrossed by his conversation, the flight of about 40 minutes seems to have flown off in few seconds. I learnt, he worked with several media and publication houses and was very happy to know, I was also in the same profession. As the flight hit the landing, I thanked him for making the journey so amusing.He was equally very happy :).He helped me with my hand baggage. On getting off, I  saw my father . He was waving at me. I waved back and hurried  to said goodbye to the wonderful man I met on flight.”Hey young lady!” he called me back and gave me his visiting card. I thanked him and without checking, I put it in my purse.

It was peak summerpic, and the passenger waiting area was a tinned shed with few ceiling fans. Our flight was already one hour late and I could imagine the pain of the “wait” for my father.As he drove me home, he discussed several of his plans on shifting and stuff. He then asked me, who the man I was talking to. I then, took out the card to check. Oh! wow! my eyes instantly caught “Doordarshan!” “He is the director of Kohima Doordarshan!” I told my father. I only wished I’d stay more years back.  😦  🙂

N.B.: Doordarshan was the only government run television channel way back in the ’90s

Images: google

Valentine with Love


vdIt seems just like yesterday I received a beautiful Card- A Greeting Card. It was may be a decade ago. On a Sunday evening I was checking a box of old hand written letters & greeting cards. Few of them have faded and grown brittle over the years. I randomly picked up some of them and my thoughts traveled to the past as I read. They brought flashback moments shared by so many beautiful people who touched my life. My parents initiated the habit of writing letters.My grandmother (my mother’s mother) with whom my bonding grew since childhood was through letters. I met her only once, a very simple and soft spoken lady she was.My mother and all her sisters and brother inherited the humbleness of her. Till her last days, her inspiring stories she shared through letters- simple things of life was the only medium of our attachment.

I was recalling the day when the postman dropped a greeting card in our letter box. An unusually big card it was. Stamped from New York(NY). It was a simple Valentine card  with a big heart outline and few printed wordings. The opening sentence inside the card was hand written in bengali “Pran bhora bhalobasha shobai kay” which means “heart full of love to all my dear ones”. She was my youngest aunt- my mother’s sister who was from NY. Valentine’s day was never a big celebration here in India as it is now.She never failed to amaze us by her mails. It was like a ritual for me too. I learnt from her that Valentine’s Day is for all of whom we “love”. “Love is not just between boy and girl.” She would say, “God loved us and asks us to share His love with everyone.”V-D

We always used to look forward to mails and postman. The thrill of surprises then was unexplainable. These days the e-world changed the dimension of letter writing.Today, the wait, the patience and the fun is missing. We always expect an instant reply whenever we mail someone. In this fast world, everything is instantaneous.

My Aunt fought cancer and gracefully left this world. I still wonder how she cracked jokes in her death bed and made people roll on the floor. The little things I learnt from her will always be cherished. When I look back, I still feel the warmth of her beautiful voice and the letters enrich my soul.

Pictures :Google

Sunshine from our garden


ca I inherited the love for gardening from my parents. My hill days are full of memories so vibrant, I enjoy recalling them. They bring smiles as I remind those beautiful gardening moments to my parents and siblings. From a variety of roses, hollyhocks, gladiolus to dahlia to a mixed bag of vegetables, our endless garden space always kept us busy every morning and evening. The weather is always favorable in the hills to grow seasonal plants and vegetables.


After we shifted to a warmer and humid place in West Bengal, our garden adorn only those plants that can sustain the heat, humidity and pollution.Winter bring back a lot of smiles to our faces, as some of the hill seasonal plants can remain for about, till the cold winds up.I got some succulents which  survived when we brought them from the hills and they still enrich our garden. Though we do not have enough gardening space, we have a huge terrace where most of our plants grow in pots.suI’ve added few pictures of our garden flowers like the calendula, Petunia, Marigold, Beach morning glory, adenium and some succulents. I picked up the beach morning glory plant during one of the visits to a beach resort nearby, and may be after two years it started giving those purple blooms! The white blossoms are the kamini flowers, having aromatic smell. I googled for the botanical name called Murraya paniculata.


Three years back four of my favorite rose plants died of extreme heat.I did not risk buying again. Last summer was not very hot & humid like the previous years. Lets see, I’ll check when there is a plant fair during the monsoon and add roses to our garden.


Our winter vegetables includes spinach, green peas, califlower, cabbage etc. The photographs will tell you rest of the story.

veg1We have a rose apple fruit tree and a mango tree. Long back some of our relatives from Digboi, Assam sent us some Rose apple fruits. I planted  the seeds. It is five years now. A total of seven plants grew, but due to lack of space, we had to cut down all of them except one. Surprisingly, after the first year, we saw a number of buds, the blooms and then the fruits. Interestingly, this plant bear fruits twice a year, during August-September and February-March.


Rose Apple (Gulab Jamun)