Sunday, 20 February 2011

When your Bai dumps you!

The Super Bai

All of us love our bai. Our day doesn’t start or end without them and we are left frustrated, angry, confused, tired, sad, etc. when they don’t come to visit us. That’s the relationship we have with our bai. Imagine one morning, your bai comes over and tells you, “ Memsaheb, I won’t work with you. No adjust, no compromise. Now goodbye.” What’s your instant reaction? “Nahiiiiiiiiiiii” Yes! Right. You try and make her understand like a lover about to be dumped for good, beg almost like a pleading majnu, promise to serenade like Romeo everyday and when nothing works, swear to take revenge like Ekta’s lost lover!

Now lets see this way. You dump your bai. What happens? Your bai leaves without saying a word. Like Laila she doesn’t utters a single word, grabs her stuff, mobile and watch to be precise, wears her slippers and gone she is just gone. Few days later when you meet your neighbour, your friend in misery and gossip, she tells you that your bai, who might also be working at her place or whose friend might be working at your neighbour’s friend has swore like a broken dumped beloved to never come back to you, even when you are dying, even when you are all alone, even when there is no one for you, she swore to make sure you don’t get another bai, that you are left all alone with the jhaaru. Fancy one day both of you meet accidentally, you keep on looking at her, she turns her head and starts walking away, chatting on her Chinese mobile loudly and saying “Hello” even more loudly to make sure that you hear what she is saying. You feel hurt, yes HURT, you tell yourself,”After all that I have provided her, after all that cooperative moments, she just...” Then you swear to bring down devastation, hire the costliest bai, force yourself to like her work and slowly slowly you accept even disagreeing inside you had done what’s right.
Catoon by Satish Acharya

In another case what if your bai disappears, dumps or runs away from you? Suppose she finds a new home, a better one? Well firstly your early morning tea tastes like karela juice, your lovely temper is like HARI SADU, your soft tender hands turns into Scotch Brite and your best friend is the cockroaches and flies living under the basin of your kitchen. Everything in the world seems against you, like a dejected lover you go on worrying not only about the unwashed clothes piling up but the time running out. You feel like there is no one, not even your husband’s pamper seems comforting (ulta you start shouting at your husband). All you want in the world is your bai! You wonder why she left, what wrong you did, if only you had known it before to prevent. Whole day you go on saying “Bai, Bai, Bai”. On a short note everything turns depressing.

But if there is a twist in the story, your bai returns. Inside you feel like jumping, outside you scold your bai like a mom shouting at her daughter for coming home late. You instruct her with extra work but at the end of the day you ask her almost silently, whispering in her ears, so that no one hears you,”Next time bol ke jaana, chinta hoti hai!”

Yes your bai. You can’t ignore her, you can’t hate her, you can’t even shower love on her. The super-bai. So before it’s too late - Show some effing love to your bai! Jai Bai!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The forgotten Indian Botanical Garden

On the last day of the last year back I got an wonderful opportunity to visit the Indian Botanic Garden ,Howrah situated by the banks of River Hooghly, opposite to Khidderpore dockyard and beside the famous Shibpur B.E. College.

Founded in 1787, the garden is most famous for it’s great Banyan tree. However the 273 acres garden consists of rich variety of palms, cactus, the famous Victoria Regia which can hold upto 80kgs of weight, the double coconut tree, the female one whose male plant is situated in Sri Lanka and other medicinal plants.

The garden was initially founded to grow plants of great market value,  plants  to decorate so that the English can export them  to England where the cities and places had turned into a concrete jungle.  However later it was found that many plants couldn’ t sustain  the European weather.

The garden has a huge Herbarium which consists of about 20 lakhs samples. Presently they are being digitalize the samples some of which even dates back to 1790. The herbarium was established by Dr. Roxborough whose bunglow still remains inside the premises. The curator’s office is also one of the main attractions, which has an open dance floor. There is an underground pipe system which is still used to collect the river hooghly’s water. The pipe is so big that one person can walk inside it.

The garden also has it’s own jetty ghat however it was closed years back when the place became a place to smuggle and store stuff, with Khidderpore being the opposite ghat.

The place shouldn’t remain just a tourist spot but also a place of learning about the garden’s richness. The huge collection of herbarium should be made open to public however only after it has been digitalized. The place needs more staffs to maintain it and it’s to be upgraded to modern standards.

Only the ones who has visited the place and the ones who keeps interest in such stuff knows about it’s huge collection. The government of India should take the needful initiatives to promote the place and make people aware about our great biodiversity.