Memories are extremely precious, and in my case, extremely haunting.
When I feel alone, very old memories take me back to those sunlit, golden days back in Calcutta. I have written a lot about it, both in English and Bengali. And I am going to write a lot more.
Memories are lovely, and memories are friends. What’s more: they are therapeutic.
Try this immigrant life in America. You’ll know.
Here’s a picture of my little notebook I carried with me all the time when I was in my early twenties in Calcutta. We didn’t have means to buy new notebooks. This one was one from 1970, which I was using in 1980.
In fact, it is still with me. (But the bed sheet in the picture — the blue one I used all the time in that little half-room in our North Calcutta home — well, it was a part of my life.)
This page in Bengali is a description of a classical all-night music program I attended in one of the public auditoriums — if anybody remembers where it was, let me know.
November 22, 1980. — The program started at 9 P.M. and went all the way through 6.30 A.M. the next morning.
Artists who performed:
1. Dinanath Mishra (vocal). sang Raga Jog, and a Bhairavi thumri
2. Buddhadev Dasgupta, accompanied on tabla by Swapan Chowdhury — played sarod. Raga Bagesree, and a Pilu thumri.
3. A dance recital by Mira Chatterjee — I have completely forgotten about it. Not a trace of memory on this.
4. Sunanda Patnaik (vocal) — Raga Bilaskhani Todi, and a famous Bhajan in Bhairon (Jagannath Swami…).
5. Sohan Lal Sharma on harmonium and Tarun Bhattacharya on santoor — Duet — Raga Hansadhwani.
6. End of the program soiree — Sitar by Manilal Nag, accompanied on table by Maha Purush Mishra. Raga Ahir Bhairon.
I could write a hundred pages on this memory. But I am savoring it tonight. I will sleep with this tonight.
Immigrant in America,
Long Island, New York