Joined: 10 May 2007
Thanks abhilasha! well its not just a Bengali mela....its half and half....Bengali-Punjabi mela...
Joined: 10 May 2007
Hey di, so excited that you started!
I liked the name you chose for the academy, Om Namah, very beautiful. Gargi Ghosh is your counter-part I take it? (Dancer with same last name)
Kripa is bossy despite being the baby! Something different.
Eagerly awaiting Saturday for you to continue with the first part!
PS: Thanks for sharing the SRK pics! He looks a lot like his dad! And the soccer kick in the last pic reminded me of the DDLJ scene
Hehehe no Gargi is not me, Im not that accomplished a dancer, actually Gargi was my daughter's 1st dance teacher! I take a lot of names from real life like Ekta does.
Kripa is bossy as well as hot-tempered.
Abt the SRK pics, u are welcome, Im sorry I couldnt reply there as they closed the post asking me to post those pics in SRK gallery.
Joined: 10 May 2007
Joined: 10 May 2007
Thanks everyone for all the wonderful response. Sorry I couldnt post Part 1 on Saturday night as promised. I was too tired to write.
The harsh cries of two black crows sitting on the window ledge woke up the young woman on the bed, who was buried to her forehead under a warm, toasty lep (comforter)
A slim, graceful hand snaked out of the covers, groping for something on the bedside table. The comforter slid down, a pair of beautiful black, angry eyes peeped out. She grasped the paperback novel and threw it at the window with a muttered curse. The literary missile struck the window-pane with a dull thud. It had no effect whatsoever towards banishing the annoying crows.
They continued their serious conversation in harsh grating tones:
"UFFFF! PAAJI KAAK (Kauwa) ….Sunday ko bhi sonay nahin detey"…Kripa pushed the comforter off her nightgown clad lissom figure and cursed them loudly.
CAW….CAW…..the crows looked at her with beady eyes through the window, they seemed like evil conspirators to Kripa's vexed eyes.
She tumbled out of bed, staggered to the window, and banged on the panes: JAA….PODAMUKHO (Burnt-face) KAAK! JAAA….HOOOSHH…HOOOSHHH!
She clapped, banged and whooshed till the crows finally flew away after a last evil glance at her. She sighed with relief and slumped back on the bed. It was just 6 A.M…..too darned early to arise on a Sunday morning. She shivered in the early morning chill air of January.
O Rey Baba! Kitna thand hai" she got goosebumps, pulling the comforter up to her nose again.
She tried going back to sleep but the winkies evaded her. She tossed and turned, wiggling her hips, trying to get comfy under the lep….but to no avail. The darned crows had destroyed her shut-eye.
The city of Kolkata was awakening….she could hear loud car horns from the street below their 3rd floor Bhowanipur flat. Ting-Ting of hand-pulled rickshaws, loud cries of hawkers selling their wares, birds chirping, people talking, darwans singing Bhojpuri songs….all sounds floated up through the thin glass window panes as though the whole world was right beside her bed.
Finally she gave up and sat up with a groan: Iss sheher mein koi mujhey sonay nahin dega"
She got down from the bed and grimaced, then her hands rose gracefully to undo her plaits. She always plaited her long, waist-length hair before going to bed….Maa had taught her that. If you don't tie up your hair in plaits when u go to bed, you will have split ends, that was the old adage.
Her freed hair fell down in dark waves covering her back. She grabbed a fresh set of clothes from her cupboard and went into the bathroom. Fifteen minutes later, she emerged, dressed in a yellow salwar set, looking more fresh and cheerful. The cornflower yellow made her wheatish complexion glow as her freshly scrubbed face shone like a flower. She coiled her hair with both hands into a high bun and stepped out of her bedroom into the common hallway.
The sound of Puja bells greeted her, alongwith the smell of incense. Maa had already started her Morning Prayers.
Kripa crept up to the small alcove outside the Dining-Room which contained her mother's little makeshift temple….. 8-10 pictures of Gods and Goddesses arranged on shelves hanging from the wall, in tiered layers.
Gayatri was ringing the little bell in her left hand, while doing Aarati with the Panch-pradeep (five-sided lamp) in her right hand, gazing at the deities with a smile on her homely face. She wore a simple Bengal cotton sari with red border, her hair was also tied up in a bun.
Kripa moved closer and stood by her, folding her hands together in prayer. Gayatri greeted Kripa with her eyes, showing happiness at her early-rising devout daughter. Little did she know that the crows had made her get up early.
Kripa closed her eyes, praying to God to send the crows straight to Hell so they would never return to her window sill.
Gayatri finished her Puja and smiled at Kripa fondly: Uth gayi tu? Itni jaldi? Fresh bhi ho gayi? Bahut achha. Yeh le, Prashad le.
She handed little pedhas and a mix of dry chana with white sugar balls to Kripa….who broke off tiny pieces of the sweets and put them in her mouth. She wouldn't dream of ingesting so much sugar into her body.
Gayatri blessed her, kissing her forehead: Bhagwan teri har manokaamna poori karey…..ab jaa toh, apney aalsee (lazy) Dada aur Didi ko bhi neend se jagaa. Main naashta tayyar karti hoon.
Kripa grinned and nodded: Theek hai, Maa, main abhi unhey jagaati hoon"
This she was going to enjoy.
She pranced to Kartik's and Mishti's rooms on the other side of the living-area.
Anirbaan had bought two adjoining flats ten years ago, when real estate prices had not skyrocketed yet. He had the center wall removed so it was a four-bedroomed flat now with 2 bedrooms on each side, each with attached baths….and a large Living Area in the Middle, half of which had been curtained off with hanging beads, to make a separate Dining-Room adjacent to the Kitchen.
Kripa knocked on Kartik's door first: DADAAAA….OHH DADAA….UTHO, MAA BULA RAHI HAI! RISE AND SHINE!
Kartik's mumbled reply came from within: Tu Jaa Chhutki! Abhi mujhey sona hai.
Kripa persisted: UTHO NA DADAA, MAA NAASHTA BANAA RAHI HAI"
Kripa knew those were magic words which would awaken him right away. Kartik loved his Sunday morning breakfast too much….he also loved Sunday lunch, Sunday dinner. In short, he loved to eat his mother's cooking. He had vowed he would only marry a girl who could cook as good as his mother.
He yelled: ACHHA….TU JAA, MAIN TAYYAR HOKAR AATA HOON"
Kripa grinned and advanced to Mishti's door: DIDIII….UTHO, MAA BULA RAHI HAI….NAASHTA KARNI HAI"
No reply…..Kripa banged loudly on the door again: DIDII….UTHO NA….
Mishti's voice mumbled through the door: MMMM…Kripaaaa…tu jaa…..mujhey bhookh nahin…sonay de mujhey….UFFFF! Aaj Sunday hai, for God's Sake!
Kripa knew it was no use trying to arouse Mishti from her beauty sleep…she had probably been awake half the night poring over her medical notes. She grimaced in sympathy and moved away.
She switched on the TV and watched some morning news, then went to the kitchen and helped her mother make Luchis and Potato-egg Bhurta.
Anirban walked into the kitchen after some time, wearing a rust-colored kurta, grinning widely : Waah waah! Subah subah Luchi aur Darjeeling chai ki khushboo…Sunday ka mazaa hi kuchh aur hai"
Gaytri smiled: Aap baitho, main abhi chai bhejti hoon. Yeh lo Prashad! She handed him some Prashad sweets.
Kyun, Geetu (his pet name for his wife),... Main bhi help karna chahta hoon. Chalo aaj main chai serve karta hoon.
Kripa giggled: Baba, sambhalkey, kahin pichhli baar ki tarah chai mein cheeni ki jagah namak mat daal dena.
Baba grumbled: Tu chup kar! Teri Maa ajeeb katoriyon mein cheeni rakhti hai toh main kya karoon? Mainey socha shaker mein hi cheeni hoga.
Kripa laughed loudly: Babaaa….aap bhi na….shaker mein kabhie cheeni hota hai? Wo toh salt shaker hai…..yeh hai cheeni. …..she handed him the sugar jar.
He chuckled lightheartedly, taking it from her hand and stirring spoonfulls into 3 cups of tea.: Theek hai, tu aur teri Maa jitna leg pull karna hai kar le….ek din main saabit kar doonga ke mujhey bhi khana banana aata hai"
Gayatri laughed: KAB? Jab retire ho jaogey toh cooking class khologey kya?
The 3 of them laughed and teased each other as they prepared breakfast together.
A little later, Kartik appeared, looking all dapper and handsome in a white kurta pajama….the fresh early morning Babu.
Waah kya khushboo hai" he echoed his father's words. "Maa, khana tayyar hai kya?
Good Morning, Khoka! His doting parents greeted him fondly. Yeh le Prashad aur Jaa table per baith, main abhi khana laati hoon.
The spoiled son went to the table and opened the Sunday newspaper, poring over the stocks and bonds in the Business section. He was an avid investor in share market.
Soon, Gayatri and Kripa served breakfast to everyone. Kartik and his father dug into the Luchis with great gusto, while Kripa sipped tea and bit into a dry cracker.
Gayatri exclaimed: AREY! YEH KYA? KRIPAA…..tuney Luchi nahin liya? Kya baat hai, Shona ? Teri tabiyat kharab hai kya?
Kripa shook her head: Naa Maa,. Main bilkul theek hoon….buss ab main Diet per hoon, isiliye Luchi nahin khaa sakti"
Kya keh rahi hai tu? Gayatri was astounded: Iss umr mein diet? Aur tu hai toh itni si….dubli-patli….tujhey Diet ki kya zaroorat?
Anirbaan supported: Haan Kripa….tujhey dieting ki koi zaroorat nahin….Chal Khana khaa theek tarah se….Yeh aajkal ki ladkiyan bhi na….he shook his head sternly at Kripa.
Kartik hit Kripa's head with his left hand teasingly : Khaa le, Chhutki! Shadi ke baad shayad itna badhiya Maa ke haath ka naashta naseeb mein na ho....
DADAA…..she glared at him: Main abhi shadi nahin karoongi….pehley tumhara ya Didi ka turn hai. Aur Maa….Babaa…aap sabko bhi itna ghee-tel nahin khana chahiye. Cholesterol badtha hai….Pressure bhi…aur sehat ke liye toh bilkul achha nahin. Just bad Carbohydrates! Aur ……
Gayatri laughed, holding up her hand: Ab buss bhi kar, meri Thakurma (Grandma). Bahut Lecture deti hai. Ravivar subah Luchi ..yeh toh hamarey parivaar ki parampara hai. Aur pata hai, merey Nana- Nani asli ghee se tali huyi Luchi khaatey the…phir bhi 90 saal tak zinda rahey….Na Cholesterol aur na Pressure tha un dono ko.
Phir marey kaisey? Kripa piped up at once.
Budhapey se marey…wo dono. Beemari se nahin"
Maa, wo sab Angrezon ke zamaney ke log the….saaf hawaa paani mein paley huye, aajkal pollution ka zamaana hai, kuchh bhi hazam nahin hota"
Gayatri changed her tone: Chal Shona, do luchi khaa le…kuchh nahin hoga….mainey yeh Sunflower oil se banaye hain….bahut healthy hain.
Chal….mooh khol. Dekh, agar tu nahin khayegi toh main bhi nahin loongi….
Kripa pouted : Not Fair, Maa! Emotional Blackmail! Achha theek hai….do….AAAaaaaa....
She opened her mouth and happily ate the morsels that her mother fed her. Anirbaan and Kartik looked on indulgently as they chewed. This was a regular scene….Kripa refusing food till Gaytri hand-fed her….she always wanted attention and affection ….being the youngest. She was the Baby and pampered by her family in different ways.
Mishti staggered to the table, still in her nightgown, still half-asleep, groaning, dragging her feet: OH GOD! Subah subah jagaa diya….MAAA…kya aap ek Sunday ko bhi yeh naashta ka custom band nahin kar sakti?
Gayatri sighed: Khuku, sab uth gaye hain…..tujhey kyun uthney mein itni taqleef hoti hai?
Mishti grumbled: Kyunki main 3 bajey tak padh rahi thi…..Surgery ke notes mug karni hai Monday ke liye"
Gayatri made a sympathetic face: Ab doctor bannaa hai toh padhai toh karni hi hogi na? Khair yeh le Prashad….tuney toh dress bhi change nahin kiya…..Waisey toh, baasi kapdon mein Prashad nahin letey, phir bhi main tujhey allow kar rahi hoon…… aakhir ek din tu shayad sabsey punya ki kaam karegi logon ki jaan bachakar.
Maa, aap zyada senti mat hona….Mishti laughed suddenly: Main khaa rahi hoon"
She took a long sip of tea and sighed: Aaahhhh! Ab jaan mein jaan aayi. Warna toh meri aankh hi nahin khul rahi thi.
Khuku, terey exams kab hain? Baba asked her seriously.
Teen mahiney baad, April mein. Baba, itna kaam baaki hai ke kya bataoon…..dum bharney ki fursat nahin.
Diii, tum itni raat tak mat jagaa karo, sehat ke liye theek nahin" …Kripa, the grandma advised.
Toh kya karoon….teri tarah padhai chhodkar ghar mein bekaar baithi rahoon?. …Mishti snapped at her.
Kripa's face fell: Main bekaar nahin hoon, Dii….for your information, main apney students ko dance sikhati hoon, tankhwah bhi milta hai. Pichhley 5 saal se kamaa rahi hoon main"
Mishti looked shamefaced, she patted Kripa's cheek with her right hand: Sorry Shona….mera mood bilkul off hai aaj. Itna kaam baki hai! Ufff, Im going cazy! Waisey tu abhi dieting ki baat kar rahi thi Maa se….tujhey dieting ki kya zaroorat pad gayi?
Kripa smiled gently: Dieting nahin karoongi toh apney students ko dance kaisey sikhaoongi? Agley mahiney Saraswati Puja mein humari school ko bahut si Functions mein perform karna hai….Tollygunge mein, Jodhpur Park mein….3-4 Puja Committees se bulaya hai humein.
Really? Mishti looked slightly impressed.
Haan, aur Kala Mandir mein hamara Program bhi hai….meri dance recital hai…Prithvi aur main gaana bhi gayengey.
Haan, Prithvi!….Anirban interjected: Prithvi aajkal hai kahan? Kya kar raha hai? Aajkal ghar per nahin aata bilkul.
Baba, Kripa informed him: Wo kaam mein bahut busy hai…lekin dance school mein aksar aata hai, merey saath song practice karney.
Prithvi se kehna kabhie kabhie humsey bhi milney aaye…….Gayatri told Kripa.
Theek hai Maa…..bataa doongi.
Aur Kala Mandir ke liye hum sabkey tickets laana mat bhoolna…..Baba reminded her.
Of course, Baba! How can I forget?
After breakfast, they all relaxed in the Living-Room, with second cups of tea.
Kartik stretched and yawned loudly: Bhai aaj toh main poora din relax karoonga….aap sabkey plans kya hain?
Mishti grimaced: Meri padhai abhi baaki hai….lekin shaam ko main Harshini ke saath movie dekhney jaoongi, I need to relax a little.
Kartik smiled widely, leaning back on the couch with his hands stretched above head: Main toh dopahar mein Maa ke haath ka Mangsho-Bhaat (meat-curry and rice) khaakar so jaaoonga, phir shaam ko Raj ke ghar jaoonga, gappey maarney.
Kripa piped up: Mujhey toh dance school jaana hai, aaj poora din practice hai, aur classes bhi hain..... . Raat ko 8 bajey khatam hogi.
Anirban lowered his Sunday newspaper and turned to her: Kripa, tuney B.Com toh pass kar lee …..ab Accountancy kyun nahin kar leti? Ya phir Management ka course kar le….achhi naukri mil jayegi"
Baba…..Kripa protested: Aap toh jaantey hain mujhey 9 se 6 ki naukri achhi nahin lagti. Main toh bore ho jaoongi uss kaam se. Mainey Mamoni (Gargi) ki tarah apna jeevan Nritya Kala ko saunp diya hai. Phir bhi aajkal French classes le rahi hoon…kya pata Paris jaaney ki chance mil jaye. ….she giggled at the absurdity of her own desires.
Kripa was a dreamer and Rebel, she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her aunt, Gargi, whom they all fondly called Mamoni.
Anirban smiled indulgently at his daughter: Kitney bajey shuru hogi teri dance class?
12 bajey, Baba….11:30 ko nikal jaoongi….Metro Rail pakad loongi"
Uski koi zaroorat nahin…..Romesh Driver aa gaya hoga. Wo tujhey chhod dega. Aaj main kahin nahin jaa raha….isliye gaadi teri huyi"
Kripa grinned happily, glad that she wont have to take the Metro and then a Rickshaw to Om Namah Building.
They had just one family car, a Ford Ikon….which shuttled Anirban to work on weekdays, Kripa to dance classes in the evenings and weekends…and even Mishti to her Medical college and Kartik to work sometimes. Romesh was their driver who reported for duty at 7 sharp every morning.
Mishti asked for the car in the evening……to go to the movies with Harshini.
Theek hai, Baba agreed, Romesh tujhey Globe chhodkar Kripa ko pick up kar lega….main ussey keh doonga"
A large house on Ballygunge Circular Road. The nameplate reads: "KHANNA HOUSE" Tall, iron gates open up to a gravelled path leading to a pillared car porch, underneath which two cars are standing….a red Mitsubishi sports coupe and a Black Scorpio Van.
Stone steps lead up to double doors made of frosted glass. The ornate doors open up to a huge Hall/sitting room with modern leather sofa sets, tables, glass decorations, a Persian carpet on the floor. (Imagine Khanna House in KYPH)
The living room is flanked by a Dining-Room on one side, with a long table which can seat 12 people at the same time. After all the Khannas were a large family, on most days!
The other side are two smaller rooms….a Study/Office and a parlor for Naina's Kitty parties and Anitah's friend circle.
At the back of the house is a spacious Gym room, equipped with the latest Exercise machines…a treadmill, a Bench Press, a rowing machine and stationary cycle.
A tall, muscular man sat at the Bench Press…..his taut biceps swelled and flexed with each stretch and strain of his hands, pulling and pushing the two hand bars towards and away from him. His pectorals gleamed with sweat….he was bare-chested even on this cold January day, just wearing jersey pants. Sweat-beads rolled down his muscular torso as his light brown eyes seriously concentrated on working every single muscle of his taut six-pack abs and chiselled torso.
Angad Khanna considered his body a temple of God…and he was no less than a Greek God. One of the most sought-after bachelors of Kolkata High Society, he had little interest in dating or sex or females. They were a waste of time…he thought, he would rather work….or indulge in his favorite pastime, working out in his spare time.
But his favorite companion, Music, was with him even during his workouts. As he stretched and strained, he listened to his I-pod, stuffed inside his pant pocket, tiny earplugs stuffed in his ears, blasting this Classic Rock song from Queen :
I want to break Free…..
I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
Youre so self satisfied I dont need you
Ive got to break free
God knows God knows I want to break free
Ive fallen in love
Ive fallen in love for the first time
And this time I know its for real
Ive fallen in love yeah
God knows God knows Ive fallen in love
Its strange but its true
I cant get over the way you love me like you do
But I have to be sure
When I walk out that door
Oh how I want to be free baby
Oh how I want to be free
Oh how I want to break free
But life still goes on
I cant get used to living without living without
Living without you by my side
I dont want to live alone hey
God knows got to make it on my own
So baby cant you see
Ive got to break free
Ive got to break free
I want to break free yeah
I want I want I want I want to break free....
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