My dear... last attachment!
Updated: Feb 14, 2019
It’s been two decades since I left this place and with it, you.. And yet, you are the only person I can clearly remember.. I was far too young to understand then, but you have always been my true family, my hero, and my first love.
My mind is beginning to flood, with flashes of memories that I had thought were lost to me. I remember the very first day, when I was going to school. You stood by that window and kept an eye over me. When you dried your hair on the terrace, I used to watch you through the grand mirror. So we watched over each other. I wish someone could also watch over me, now, with some innocence.
I stumble upon a little diary with the year 1992 engraved on its faux leather cover page in gold. The same one, in which you recorded your secret recipes. I open a random page titled Shukto and breathe in the scent of the yellowed, worn out page. I am reminded of your homemade paanch foronand flavours and fragrances immediately crowd my memory.
I desperately keep looking for more traces of you in every corner of the house. Faintly do I remember, of you standing here at this end of the verandah around six o clock every evening. May be waiting for dadu (grand father) to return. I stand there for a while believing you are still standing beside me, not willing to look however, because the nothingness would fill me with loneliness and despair.
With each step I take, I feel your lingering presence around me. After all, you played the role of both my Maa (mother) and Baba (father) in the first five formative years of my life. They were not even there, all the time.
Over the years several things have changed, the house itself, the people living in it. Most of my relatives who inhabit this house are strangers to me. It is not a home but a house now. But what lingers and survives the generations is the essence of your presence.
As I flip through our family album, I try to recollect the old and faded memories of our bloodline. With time, I will try and let go of, the little strings that I still hold on to. You, Thhamma, are not a lone string. I feel and believe that you have not left me; you are starting to relive through me, inside me...
What event made me recall her and write this letter?
I was raised by my grandmother in a joint family first five years. Since five years of age, I have been staying with my parents. I went back to my ancestral home in Kolkata, learning of my Thhamma (grandmother)’s demise.
The letter revolves around my feelings and experiences going from one room to another in her home searching for memories. Though faded, I find some relics of the past. Through this unsent letter, I try to grasp at these fleeting memories and I slowly became one with my last attachment, my granny “Thhamma“.
I along with my friend Mushfica Masud who is a New York based Film Director / Editor have made a film. It was shot in June, 2018 at Kolkata. Now it is under post-production and will be released middle of 2019. In the year 2016, I also had made a photo-story featuring my dearest Priyanka Paul. Based on the photo-series I wrote a pageful of feelings, which was then re-phrased by my friend and guide Abhipsita Kundu Mohata and made it into a form of a short story. Here is the link. I would love if my readers would take a look. https://www.flickr.com/gp/19606193@N00/7vx96N
I can't end this topic without saying how grateful I am to Mayukh Chatterjee, whose place has been serving as a retreat to me since childhood. The photo-story and the film are based out of his place. There are many more people who are a part of making both of them. I thank each and every one of them for making the article, the photo series and the film successful a successful one.