Sunday, October 09, 2005

Shonar Kella (The Golden Fortress)

I am writing this post in Bangla, because it came to my mind in those words. For those who cannot read Bangla, a translation in English follows.

Aaj obdi jaa korar shahosh korte parini, aaj chelebelaar ekta sriti ta korte baddho kore diyeche. Jaa kokhono korini sheta hochche Banglaye lekha. Shotti bolte ei kotha gulo Bangla okhore lekhar khomota aamar aajo neyi, sheyi jonne Ingriji alphabet er shahajjo ta nite hocche. Shei kotha nahoye aarek din bolbo. Aaj ja bolte ichche korte tayi boli. She holo sheyi pranbhore haanshar diner kotha.

Dhuloye dhoa neel aakash, Rajasthan er morubhoomi te koekta oonth, ekta te Feluda, ekta te Topshe aar ekta te Jatayu. Aami je Shonar Kellar kotha bolchi ta nishchoyi etokhonne bujte perecho. Aaj pujo pandel theke vcd ta kenar por thekeyi aar torsh hochchilo na. Bari esheyi cinema ta dekhe phellam.

Satyajit Ray er mon jodano sur mone koriye delo shei prothom baar T.V. te cinema ta dekhar shei din. Tokhon chotto aami, aaro onek beshi dushtu chilam. Hoyeto beshi khushi o chilam. Ma aar Baba tokhon oto chinta korto na. Chotobelar din gulo ke golapi kaanch diye dekhte aaj chokhe jol bhore aasche keno taayi bojhbaar jonne eta likhte boshechi. Kintu taar uttor to aami jaani. Aar shei din hoyeto kokhono phire pabona.

Tobe tayi niye aamar kono aakhep neyi. Chabbish bochor bhaloi katiyechi. Golpo, kobita likhte shikechi, aankteyo paari ektu ektu. Gaan gayile keu kaache darate chayena bote, tobuo, gayite bhaloi laage. Bondhu bandhob shobi aache. Ekbaar prem korar chesthao kore phelechi eri moddhe. Kintu kotha ta theek ta noye.

Ja kore uthte parini, aajo, ta hochce nijer mon ke boojhe nite. Aajo nijer bapaare bhaabte gele koek minite por theek kore aar bhabte parina. Aajo khali mone hoye ekta bag kandhe kore shaara prithibi ghurte beriye podle mondo hobe na. Aajo Baba Maake hariye phelbo kono din bhableyi, khub bhoye kore. Aajo kauke moner kotha pooro poori bolte onek shomoye laage. Aaj Baabar jonmodin. Baba ke gola jodiye, Happy Birthday, bolar aage, paanch minit dhore ki je bhablam sheta ekhon kichuteyi mone korte paarchina. Jaatishor kothar orthota aajge cinema dekhar porei theek bhujte parlaam. Sumon Chatterjee'r ei gaaner hotath notun maane khuje peychi taayi -

Aamar shopne bibhor hoye jonmecho bohubar,
Aami chilam tomar kamona, bidroho, chitkaar,
Dukho peycho jotobar jeno aamaye peycho toomi,
Aami tomar purush, aami tomar jonmobhoomi,
Jotobar tumi jononi hoyecho, totobar aami pita,
Koto sontan jalalo preyoshi tomar aamar chita,
Baar baar aashi aamra dujon, baar baar phire jaai,
Abaar aashbo abaar bolbo shudhu tomakeyi chai.

Aasha kori aar joto bochchor banchbo, taar modheyi nije ke khuje pabo kono ekdin.

I haven't had the courage to do something till today. But today a childhood memory has forced my hand. That something which I have never done before is writing in Bangla. To tell you the truth I still do not have the ability to write this in the Bangla script, that is why I must take help of the English alphabet. But that tale is for another day. Let me say today what I really want to say. I want to really talk about those days of heartfelt laughter.

Below blue skies washed in dust, a few camels make there way in the deserts of Rajasthan. On one is Feluda1, on another one is Topshe and on the third is Jatayu. You must've realized by now that I am speaking of Shonar Kella2 (The Golden Fortress). From the moment I bought the vcd from the puja pandal today evening I could not wait a second. As soon as I reached home I watched the movie, again.

Melodious strains of Satyajit Ray's soulful music reminded me of the day when I had first seen the movie on T.V. I was younger then, a little boy and was much naughtier. Perhaps I was happier too. Mum n Dad did not worry so much in those days. Why looking at those wonder years through rose tinted glasses still brings tears to my eyes? That is why I sat down to write this post today. But I know the answer already, don't I. Besides I'll never get back those days again.

But I have no regrets about that. I have had a good twenty six years so far. I have learnt how to write prose and poetry. I can even draw a few wayward lines on white sheets of paper. And even though people do not like to stick around when I start singing, I like to sing. I have a great bunch of friends. I have even tried my hand once at falling in love. But that is not the point. Not exactly.

What I havent been able to do is to understand myself. Even today I cannot fathom myself for more than a few minutes. I am always feeling that it would be great to just pickup a backpack, go and roam around the world. I am still scared to death by the fact that I'll lose my parents one day. Even at this age it takes me a long time to tell someone of my heart's deepest desires. Today was Dad's birthday. What was I thinking for five minutes, before I decided to give him a big hug and say Happy Birthday, I still cannot remember. I understood the word Jaatishor3 only after watching the movie today. Hence, suddenly, these lines from one of Sumon Chatterjee's4 songs, by the same name, has found new meaning in my eyes -

You have been reborn many times, forged in my dreams,
I am your yearning, your revolt, I am your screams.
You have felt me within, whenever you've been lorn,
I have been your man, I am the land where you are born.
Every time you have been a Mother, I have been a Sire,
So many sons, O beloved, have lit our final pyre.
Time and again we come together, and seperate to bid adieu,
I will come again, if only to say, I only want you.

I hope I find myself, in whatever few years of this mortal life I have left.

1 and 2. Satyajit Ray's inimitable super sleuth Feluda, his cousin Topshe and their friend Lalmohan Ganguli (aka Jatayu) are enormously popular fictional characters in Bengal. Ray published a large number of mystery stories featuring Feluda in the children's magazine Sandesh. Shonar Kella (The Golden Fortress) was the first of the popular Feluda movies which he made. It remains my favourite of the lot.

3. Jaatishor means one who can recall events or memories from past lives.

4. Sumon Chatterjee is a well known singer from West Bengal.


  1. jaatishor seems fascinating. but maybe it's a good thing we can't remember our past lives. i don't wanna be able to remember it, i dunno, i guess i don't. but i'd like to know.

    i hope you find yourself!
    happy birthday to ur dad! do hug him! and tell him you love him! it's hard sometimes. so maybe u can write it. *hugs* take care!

  2. @sonia: Yes .. maybe it is. Thank you! :o)

  3. i've watched a coupla ray movies-the apu trilogy and devi. was obsessed with writing screenplays like him for the longest time! somehow dont see his movies around even in the best of dvd shops...

  4. @rapz: Yea... getting them was a problem. But now a lot of them are available as vcd's. Dunno about dvd editions however.

  5. @anwesha: So I am... so I am. Pleasure to have you drop by, Señorita. :o) Welcome.

  6. I know exactly how you feel.
    I love Shonar Kella, and its music. At present I have the VCD, VHS and DVD right in front of me (all bought over the years) and I'll be watching it right now because of the nostalgia I felt after reading your post.

  7. @soham: Hey! So true... and it is so hard to explain... it can only be experienced!

    Welcome to da blog. Nice to have you here.

  8. So i discover yet another bong who blogs! Yippeeeeeeeeeeee!!! :D