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Someslal Mukhopadhyay.

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 6/11/2014 |




Ranjan  and the world around him.





Ranjan and cats

Not much authentic data have been found about whether Ranjan loves cats or doesn’t. However, upon grilling him a bit about this, only this much could be known that Ranjan never wanted to agree that a cat crossing a street forebodes ill. Actually, once while travelling to some place in a taxi, he rebuked his driver a good deal when he stopped the car after seeing a cat “cut” ( i.e. cross) the street. “Hey what kind of a chap are you, man? Leaving all these great mandarins in the entire country, you think that only a poor cat is going to harm you?”

And yet even now, at times, in the middle of the night when all is dead quiet, if he happens to hear any cat crying, it is immediately followed by a shudder in Ranjan’s chest. And even after much brainstorming Ranjan hasn’t been able to understand why. Is it because of pity for some unfed or unwell cat, or out of an anxiety about some hidden mishap?


Ranjan and the Hand

Once in the dead of the night, coming back from the crematorium after the funeral rites of a relative, Ranjan chanced to witness a strange, and almost spectral, phenomenon. It was almost 1 am. The streets were empty. In front of Ranjan’s taxi were moving two vehicles side by side, one middle-sized Matador van and one Gypsy belonging to the Police. Suddenly, from the front window on the left of the Gypsy came out a left hand. At once out came from the front window on the right of the Matador van a right hand. For a few seconds the two hands from the two moving cars met and engaged in some kind of a communication on God knows what. Thereafter the two hands just returned to their respective places. And the Matador too zoomed away.

And on the lips of Ranjan, still staring in a nonplussed manner, there suddenly came, paraphrasing a famous line from a famous song, the stanza – “These hands are yours and mine”.


Ranjan and the unrepentant Marxist

One of Ranjan’s senior colleagues always described himself as “an unrepentant Marxist”. Once Ranjan got an invitation from this colleague to a seminar held at a renowned hotel in Calcutta.

The discussion in the seminar centred around globalization, mass-poverty and the like. However, while the discussion was on, the lecture of an old professor was abruptly stopped in the middle and the lunch-break was announced. And then and there a long line was seen formed near the buffet. A professor known to be a believer in revolutionary ideology was seen to fill up his plate a number of times with a special ice-cream, without even glancing at the other offerings at the buffet.

After the lunch, Ranjan noticed that many of the delegates were being presented with a sleek leather bag. When he inquired from his colleague about whether he could obtain one such bag, he was coldly informed that those bags were not meant for the guests of the delegates, and besides, it would not be becoming of them to say anything about this to the organizers.

A long while after this Ranjan noticed from his own place that the colleague, taking his son (who incidentally came just at the lunch-break) made his way towards some organizers and was saying something smilingly to them. A little while after this one of the organizers was seen bringing two bags and handing them over to his colleague.

Ranjan muttered to himself : “The unrepentant Marxist”!

(To be continued)



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