Friday, June 05, 2009

Stopping by the woods! – From the Oeuvre- Dated:- 12.4.1999- 13.4.1999

Pelling- The land of Hidden Paradise.

Pictures taken during my “walkathon” from Gyalshing to Pelling/Pemayangtse to Sangatsholing.

The picture below is in the vicinity of the old palace. The old palace is the inspiration behind this poem.

Stopping by the Woods.

A day comes.. which comes in life,

Once or more but not so often,

When the thirst of a man..

A man yearning for peace and solace,

Finds resort in the mystique…

Where the wings of freedom and joy leaps unbound,

Perspiring thoughts of Pride and Prejudice…

And chimney soots…

So did I feel when I trod past Pelling Woods!

The land of hidden paradise”..they did say,

And unbelievably so,

So much explored yet so much to be!!

The trees of the deep have much to relate,

These silent spectators to the great happenings,

Of great kings, people and dynasties,

Of War and Peace…

And above all – Of love and lovers of late!

The once saddled roads- witnesses of the forgotten past,

Are still but an open book…

Shifting our thoughts down memory lane,

Now of unknown fame!!

The beats of beatles and the singing birds,

In the wrath of Autumn, with free falling leaves…

Echoing in tones unknown,

Add melodies exquisite for atmosphere requisite!

The ruins of the palace standing atop in free spirit,

Looks upon the hill…

The woods and the settlement below!

Now all alone against tides of fury and ice,

Whispers in pure delight…

Encroached upon are weeds, grasses, ferns and thorns,

Alone- Moaning calm and quiet…

A saga retold!!

Once gone through the phase,

A bliss of solitude is encarved,

Deep- Very Deep in the heart and soul,

Beckoning once and more,

And one can’t help but visit again….




I thought I had lost this poem and sadly, I knew only one stanza by heart. So, I used that verse in my short story “The Bet”.

In the story, for a realistic flavor, I have quoted that the stanza is from the poem “Impeccable” by a Nobel Laureate Peter Scotch.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Appeal from Darjeeling: In Support of the people displaced by Darjeeling Landslides(Darjeeling Press Guild)


Dear Friends,

Cyclone Aila left a death trail as it whizzed past through Bengal, early this week. Our Hills, too, have also been battered and maimed and is today housing hundreds of inconsolable souls who have lost their near and dear ones.

Darjeeling recorded 240 mm of rainfall within 24 hours. Given our poor planning and lack of proper expertise in disaster management our infrastructure has crumbled so have the dreams of many families.

500 houses have been destroyed and more than 1400 people are currently staying in 41 government relief camps. Many families are still searching for their dear ones hoping to find their bodies even after four days. Till date 26 bodies have been recovered, mainly from Darjeeling and Kurseong while two more are missing at Haridashatta and the villagers have not yet given up on the search.
Nature’s fury has spared none. Six people who were trying to save the family of Pooja Gurung, at Haridashatta, have been buried alive. None could save the saviors who saved 14 lives. These people had come from as far as Soom tea garden to help the victims in Darjeeling.

Three year old Tashi Doma Sherpa, died on her way to the hospital. Forty one year old Mohan Kumar Rai and his eight year old son Manish Rai from Bara Pattabung were found underneath the debris clutching each other for one last moment.. Siksha Tamang and Yogesh Subba, from Cutlary, Kurseong, had just been married but the slides snubbed their lives in a blink of an eye. Almost every village, every locality has a similar story.

We can only pray for the departed souls but for those who are homeless we can and we will make a difference.

The Darjeeling Press Guild has been moved by the devastation it has witnessed. Following request from the residents of Darjeeling we have decided to undertake a project to rebuild many a dreams.
We cannot construct 500 houses but we want to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged residing in far flung areas of the district by constructing at least 20 houses- maybe more if can generate more funds.

We have already started our groundwork. The administration has promised us to provide land for reconstruction and we have already formed a team comprising of journalists from all newspapers to identify the beneficiaries. We have made provisions to print every penny that we collect and spend in leading dailies for we want to justify the faith reposed on us.

Given your love for the place, we would also like to appeal for help from your end by mobilizing support among our community members out there. We have also started a thread in Facebook titled: In Support of People Displaced by Darjeeling Landslides. Please browse the thread as well.
Thank You,

Vivek Chhetri.
Darjeeling Press Guild
Principal Correspondent,
The Telegraph
+91 94341 41985

The gamble called World Cup T20 2009!


Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore- the bottom two teams of the last IPL were in the finals of IPL 2 held in South Africa this year. In 2008, it was Rajasthan Royals minus Shilpa Shetty routing the formidable CSK in the finals. So, what message does this version of the game send? T20 is the newest form of unpredictable gambling, glorified by renowned multinationals, celebrities and the richest cricketing board.

T20 has nothing to do with skills nor with class. Unknown batsman like Manish Pandey can be a hero for two games and proven masters like Jayasuriya or Tendulkar face the question regarding their age or adaptation to the version of the game yet again.This game has destroyed the existence of cricket altogether. If the T20's were to replace the way cricket is played, there will be no benchmark of identifying greats and the average. There won’t be a Sachin or a Bradman or a Lara again. One day, you will have Manish Pandey, the next day you will have a Tyagi. With so many games coming in and too many heroes for youngsters and teenagers to follow, cricket will lose the battle of popularity amongst games.

With the T20 World Cup right round the corner, I am all set to write previews on each "gamble". And definitely, it is not for my love of T20 cricket. It is because I have nothing to write on soccer before August this year, when the EPL Season 09-10 commences.