Sunday, October 3, 2021

The excitement of aloneness

My solo sojourn in North Bengal … at Sonada in Darjeeling district

To be a traveler is to find yourself. And to be a solo traveler is the scariest yet most liberating experience. 

Despite a lot of apprehension and fear, I set out for my solo trip to North Bengal. To make things odd my flight was at 5.30 a.m. and to catch that I started from home around 3.30 a.m. and that was overwhelming enough to convince me right at the beginning that I don't need to do this at all! However, there is this heady intoxication of a sense of freedom that was already setting in and I kept moving ahead with my plan.

There was no direct flight and the layover was tedious. I landed at Bagdogra airport around 11.30 a.m. and the moment I sat in the cab, driver Denis's huge welcoming smile triggered my sense of happiness. And soon the mountain range, the clear blue sky, and the soothing air started nurturing me,  and I was already looking forward to my tour.

My stay was at Tieedi Forest Garden. They say 'take it easy, easy do it'. Tieedi follows the principles of permaculture and it takes you to the lap of mother nature, making you grounded, humble, and simplistic. My little room along with the adjacent balcony made of mud and wood, overlooking the deep green forest was something with which I fell in love deeply.

The mountains are calling and I must go!

And then the forest spoke to me, whispering, caressing, its innocent wildness pulsating like a new life. The unknown errors of my life merged with the scent of the forest. Trailing clouds, the unassuming flower, the silence of the starry sky, the moss green leaves, and the trickling brook taught me the music of humanity. 

 And hey, your solo trip becomes vibrant with joy if you get to meet your close friend after 8years.

 I went to Darjeeling, and the British aura of the mall and the continental tone of the breakfast at Keventers still can be felt unmistakably. 

By the way, if you wish to taste local cuisine then you must hop into this tiny little joint, nestled amongst the crowded marketplace of the mall for some out-of-the-world Nepali food. 

As Tieedi endorses a waste-free clean environment, I too came back from my tour with cleanliness in my soul. May the forest be with me forever, may the mountain brook be my guide always!

“Then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.”


Saturday, October 2, 2021

Reaching out to Ruru, again...

 Hey Ruru,  

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - I watched the movie on Netflix and then I got hold of the book. And both the times a strange feeling persisted … it is as if there is something that got stuck in my throat - exactly through where I needed to scream, and I choked …. it is as if I am in a room and suddenly I felt this strong urge to run out of it but there was no door but whitewashed walls all around! 

It was not just Hitler or the Nazi Commandant or the gas chamber … it was about faith in humanity being broken … a realization that there are just these 2 classes - the oppressor and the victim, us and the other, the powerful and the feeble, in different forms and types. And it stays, always, everywhere. And this realization, Ruru, has been unnerving … 

'salad bowl', 'melting pot', 'unity in diversity,’ 'equality', 'pluralism' are concepts that are nice to read in books or intoxicating to give a lecture on, in my classes. In reality, we are a broken, divided, selfish, cruel lot … way worse than the animals as we use brainpower and mind to tactfully, deliberately strategize cruelty!

 But I need to live in hope … a hope that makes one feel warm and loved … maybe … someday !

“What exactly was the difference? He wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?”

Saturday, September 4, 2021


I do not want a home that's mine

I do not want a room of my own

I just want to move in and move out

a visitor

a stranger

without any worries about the unclean bed

or the dirty verandah

where I can leave the clogged drain

and the cobweb beside the window

without worrying about

the piled up conversations that had touched the ceiling

I need a place

like this soul in my body

alien and strange

the one that never wants to belong!

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Happy Poem

 That butterfly fluttering, strutting, 

moved around us, bringing colour.

Despite the mundane

You and I believed in it,

believed it will bring magic

of togetherness and love.

The strange thing about love is

even when you disagree 

you figure out 

how to dance wildly!

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Dark poem

 Fear, like a dark slimy thing 

may slip within

making years pile up on the pillow

And then the future would turn into yesterday

and sadness will find you

stalking you at every corner!

Thursday, August 5, 2021


I have been worried for long.

I worried about 

how you never loved me enough
Is it right to enjoy eating animals
Or how the cake is never baked to perfection
Or how easily you could move on and marry another
Or the car has a punctured tyre
Or how the increment is never up to the mark
And how I cheated upon you
And my wooden trunk with that rusted lock where I stored my half baked dreams
And that imaginary home of longing
Is it right, is it wrong
All those worries ...

And then it rained yesterday
And I wore my old body dipped in a new color of kindness and gratitude 
And I danced in the rain
And I danced in the rain
Like a child
And I sang too!

#coffeecupandpoetry series