Saathi. I have spent some time in talking about a bondhu. A term that has very specific meanings in Bangla, a language that is spoken in the state of West Bengal in India and all of Bangladesh. Another similar sentiment is encoded in another Bangla word - saathi. The partner, the companion. Perhaps. A word that is infused in meanings that cross across many relational definitions. The English words partner, and companion begin to scratch the surface of the word saathi. The saathi holds your hand as you traverse the maze that is life. The hand holding signifies that one leads the other. Taking turns. There are moments when the saathi knows the way, and there are moments when the saathi is lost. Yet we all have saathis whose hands we can clench and be assured that we will never be lost. You trust the saathi with your life, knowing that this is the person who will rebuke you when you cross the boundaries of safety, will pull your hand and center you back in the safe place, who will press y

The One-Night Stand

The One-Night Stand. I am entering into a very sensitive area in this post. Sex. We all know about it; most readers have partaken in the activity at some point (don’t blush) and have hopefully enjoyed it. Without sex we would not have a population problem in some parts of the World, and neither would we have the horrendous violence in the name of sex all over the World. It is essential for evolution and people spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it. Some faiths guilt you into not having sex, others insist that sex is the answer – dear old Rasputin. As a global civilization we have codified sex into what is allowed and what is not. Allowed by mutual consent as a social system. And thus we have the one-night stand. The disallowed. Considered taboo in most cultures this is precisely where sex has the singular purpose of pleasure. You will never see the person again, but that moment of pleasure was sufficient to make it memorable. Institutions have developed to make it possib

Taan - the pull

Taan - the pull. The word is simple, "taan," a Bangla word that describes an attraction that holds relationships together. Where attraction must not be understood only in its sexualized terms only. This is a relational magnet that draws entities together. Sometimes one of the entities could be inanimate. Where a strange attraction takes someone back to a place because one cannot overcome the desire to return there. Or the unspoken connection between two people that draws them together so tight and close that separation is unthinkable. Where the taan is so strong that one loses the ability to let go, even temporarily. It is the glue of life. The taan that tells a child that a parent is not well. The often-unexplainable irrational moments when one feels like picking up the phone urgently because something bothers us, and we must talk immediately - lest we never talk again - taan. It is what is impossible to break and even if forced to break circumstantially - through relational

Shopno - the dream

Shopno - the dream. In Bangla, the word shopno easily translates to the English word dream. We all dream. Physicians will attest to the fact that there are physiological processes that explains the dream we often experience when the brain is resting. There are other professionals who would take a lot of trouble to explain the dreams and provide interpretations of the dreams. But I dream when I am awake. It is what may be called a "daydream." I have bondhus who dream, not a pipe dream of some unreal future. They dream and they aspire. If we stop dreaming, then we are content with what we have. Contentment is statis. There is no more growth when you stop dreaming and aspiring. I know a bondhu who started with a beat-up old Toyota, but never stopped dreaming. Now the person owns a business, has prospered into the dream the person had, and as we chatted, I learnt of the next dream the next aspiration. Another bondhu dreamt of owning a business, breaking out of the stereotype, and

Tumi - the definition of a relationship

Tumi: A simple word in the Bangla language. There is no translation for the word in English. If one were to claim, "you" as the translation, then that would simply lose the beauty of the Bangla word. Perhaps the Spanish, "TĂș" comes close, but it still does not. Because the tumi stands between two other salutations, "aapni" close to the "Usted" in Spanish and "tui" for which there is no real equivalent in Spanish, let alone English. But that is only at the dry linguistic level. The real power of 'tumi' lies in the way some people can use it to create a sense of peace and comfort for the people around them. I know of a person who would start with tumi with anyone and completely bypass the "aapni." The ease with which the person does this is admirable and creates a connection that can only come from the correct use of the tumi hailing. Because tumi creates a sense of connection that overcomes the stiffness of the aapni wh


Ambiguity. A bondhu recently said, looking at two people, "there is no ambiguity" in the bondhutta (friendship) between the two people. Such an important moment in a relationship when others can watch, and they observe the complete lack of speculation. Sanguineness is a rough opposite of ambiguity. And finding that certainty is a difficult thing in life. Afterall, life is a series of risks with one risk-free event. Until then everything is risky. And in that theater of risk, finding a moment of peace - knowing that "All Iz Well" is something we all seek, but often find difficult to pin down. The classic clichĂ© of "does he love me? Does he love me not?” while plucking out the petals of a flower has been memorialized by the romantics, with the obvious predictable, although mostly false answer, depending on the number of petals and which question one starts with conveniently ignored by the romantics. But there are moments in life when one runs across a situation w

The generation dilemma

The generation dilemma. I am not aging the way I am supposed to. This is a problem. I have a 10-year-old trapped in a body that has countable years left. Interestingly, from the moment you are born, you have countable years left, but you don’t seem to notice it until you can count them with your ten fingers. That's when you start to realize that there will come a point when the people around you will miss you for a bit and move on with their countable years. The insignificance of my existence stares me in my face when I realize that there is no reason for anyone to remember me. I have asked this in an earlier posting: Will you be offended if someone your family invited to your death ceremony did not show up? I have done this to people, and I have felt guilty, but will you be a forgiving dead and understand that you were not as important as you thought you were. Based on all possible statistics, and correcting for improvements in medical technology, I should be dust to dust, or just