Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wish


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 12; the twelfth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

“Papa! Look what I have got from Kolpotoru Dadu this time” exclaimed an excited Drojo clutching a new Noddy book wrapped in coloured cellophane paper.
“Very nice! ” I smiled at my little son.

Today, let me tell you the story of Drojo’s Kolpotoru Dadu, my Kolpotoru Dadu, our Kolpotoru Dadu.

We had just moved into Flat No- 61A, the south facing flat on 5th Floor of newly built Vishal Towers, 5A/1 Gangullypara Lane. I was living there with my parents and two little sisters, Dimpi and Tinki, who were twins. I must have been of Drojo’s age then, 6 years and my sisters 3 years.
The school bus would not enter our lane and drop us at bus stand on the main road. Since our apartment was inside the lane, we had to walk about 500-600 meters from the bus-stand while returning or going to school. Ma would escort us between the bus stand and home.

On some days Ma would stop at the ‘Delite Bakery’ for some fresh loaf of bread or pastries. Invariably Tinki, the younger twin would tug onto Ma’s sari and point to the toffees in glass jar on the counter and cry out ‘Please Ma, I want one of those’. Sometimes Ma would oblige. Actually I loved visiting the bakery mainly for the sweet aroma of cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies etc. But I would be very disappointed because I would merely be able to see the bottom most rack of the glass display and it would mostly contain biscuit packets. The upper racks would have the lip smacking delicacies. Oh! How I wished I grew tall by some magic and peer into those delicacies. Other way was if somebody picked me up on his or her lap but with two cute little sisters, how could I ever stand a chance?

The bakery was run by an Anglo-Indian couple, Mark and Anne. Though they were Anglo-Indian but they spoke immaculate Bengali and were very friendly with the local community which was mostly Bengalis. Hence for any Party, Birthday, Anniversary or any occasion that required Bakery items ‘Delite Bakery’ was the one-stop solution. That year Chirstmas we dicovered besides the Christmas decorations, special cakes there was another big attraction for us the children. It was the ‘Kolpotoru Boi’ or the Wish fulfilling book. Yes Mark used to keep a notebook in his bakery for the children to write their wishes and on Chirstmas day the Wishes would be fulfilled. I was very excited and had written ‘I wish for a Noddy book, anyone of them’. And guess what on Christmas day the book had arrived at our flat wrapped in a beautiful cellophane paper. But Dimpi, the style queen was very upset as her wish was not granted.

She had rushed to the bakery and complained to Anne ‘Mistake! Dida look! I have got these stupid crayons and colouring book, where I had asked for a red nail polish’.
Anne Dida had smiled and said ‘Kolpotoru Dadu only fulfills legitimate wishes, once you grow up and become a beautiful lady like your mother, you’ll get it’.
Dimpi was not convinced, she turned to me and said ‘But dadabhai...’
‘Sshh...listen to Dida she is right’ I had hushed her.

Since then every year I would get all my wishes granted in form of Phantom, Asterix, Tintin, Famous Five,Hardy Boys but Dimpi would often run into trouble naturally, yet like everybody she would write her wish in that book every year without fail.

I remember when I was in Seventh standard I had written “Kolpotoru Dadu, Thank you for fulfilling all my wishes till now but this year I want to wish for something very big. I wouldn’t mind if you don’t fulfill it. Can I have a Saxophone like Mark Dadu”.

My fascination for Saxophone or Sax had developed by seeing Mark Dadu play it every evening in his room above the bakery after closing it. I wanted to sway n roll with the Sax like him. Now guess the biggest surprise of my life I had when a Saxophone had arrived at my doorstep. This time my parents were certainly not amused by it, not that they hated music or something but it was too expensive a gift. They had tried to reason with Mark Dadu but he very humourosly dismissed all my parents arguments. On that day I realized who the real Kolpotoru Dadu was. From then on every weekend Mark Dadu aka Kolpotoru Dadu would teach me the Saxophone diligently.

Other than the Bakery and Music, Kolpotoru Dadu’s passion was football. He was an ardent follower of the game. He would be ahead of everybody else in supporting our local club, Milan Sangha in Para Football tournament or supporting Mohun Bagan in National League or rooting for Germany at any international events. Yes he simply loved the German team, he followed the Bundesliga persistently and his favorite was VFB Stuttgart. During the FIFA world cup, Kolpotoru Dadu would decorate his bakery with football trivias, flags and make special pastries resembling the different participating country’s flag. He would leave Anne Dida at the counter and join us to watch the matches at the Milan Sangha club room.

Though Kolpotoru Dadu was Christian but would whole-heartedly participate in all other festivals, specially the Durga Pujo. During the Pujas, he would close his shop to give a stall at the Milan Sangha Pandal. Incidentally Milan Sangha Pandal was quite famous for its innovation and uniqueness, hence would receive a lot of spectators and ‘Delite Bakery’ stall was also a major attraction. At the stall Kolpotoru Dadu would keep Ice-creams and Cold drinks as added attraction for the Pujas. It was the favourite watering hole for us, the volunteers of Milan Sangha. In one such recharging mission my world had changed forever when for first time I had seen Subha relishing her favourite Ice-cream and chatting merrily with her friends. Needless to say I had lost everything that moment but before I could secure my future, she had melted into the crowd bringing my world crashing down. Since that day every time I passed the ‘Delite Bakery’, I looked at it with a yearning in my eyes. Eventually that year I had not written anything in ‘Kalpotoru Boi’.

Seeing that, Kolpotoru Dadu had said ‘Don’t worry son! Ma Durga will grant your wish, Your girl of dreams will come to my stall again next year and that time don’t let her go just like that”. Would you believe if I tell you Kolpotoru Dadu’s prophecy had come true, she had come to ‘Delite Bakery’ stall the following year and rest is history as they say. That is, to cut the long story short, today Subha is my wife and Drojo’s mother.

Then one by one Dimpi and Tinki got married and moved to their respective husband’s home, I shifted to Bombay, sorry Mumbai, when I got a job there. My parents too moved to a different apartment as the Vishal Towers, Flat 61A was too high and old for them. But whenever I visited Calcutta, I would drop in at my old para, Gangullypara Lane. Meet old friends and most importantly visit Kolpotoru Dadu in his ‘Delite Bakery’. Unfortunately, Anne Dida had died by then and Kolpotoru dadu was very lonely. But the twinkle in his eyes was still present, the one which I had grown up seeing. Finally one day I received the inevitable news that our revered Kolpotoru Dadu had passed away. I wanted to rush back but couldn’t come due to some unavoidable circumstances. Later on when I went to visit my old para, I was very upset because a chic coffee shop had replaced the outmoded ‘Delite Bakery’. Seeing my uneasiness, friends showed a sign board just behind the cafĂ©, it read “Kolpotoru Foundation”. Just before his death Kolpotoru Dadu had created the organisation along with my friends to help the local community in general. It’s true that Kolpotoru Dadu is no more but the ‘Kolpotoru Boi’ continues to take requests from children and tries to fulfil every legitimate wish.

PS: Kalpataru or Kalpavriksha is a hindu mythological wish fulfilling tree. It is believed that this divine tree alongwith Kamdhenu(the sacred wish fulfilling cow) had evolved from the sagar manthan.

Notes: I. Dida and Dadu is grandmother and grandfather respectively in Bengali.
II. A locality is called para in Bengali.

Before you guys appreciate me for this excellent post and my amazing Bangali, let me introduce you to the author of this wonderful write up - Dhiman or D-man the champ. I am sure most of you must have seen him around blogsphere. He is also known as Dmanji - The beard man and happens to be a very popular blogger. A very good friend and a great listener (now that's a mandatory requisite if you are my friend), Dhiman has a way with words when it comes to blogging. The simplicity and honesty of his posts touch your heart each time you read his article. He is the only commerce graduate I know who calls himself a techie. Now, isn't he brilliant?

Thank you D-man for writing this post on Neha's. It's an honour to have your post published here. I know this sounds so much unlike me, but still, I can be nice once in a while right?

Images from : http://www.atlantarex.com/w/?p=195
www.noddy.com
http://www.afromix.org/html/musique/instruments/saxophone/index.en.html

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

36 comments:

  1. nice article
    dmangi is a good blogger.
    lets wish to the tree you get lot of comments
    sure you will get it no need to ask for it .

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  2. That's a wonderful tale or is it a page from real life? Loved the narration and the positivity.
    All the best for BAT-12, Dhiman.
    Cheers :)

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  3. well, very nice.. it was like I was reading amar chitra katha.. :D

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  4. Nice post. I wonder if this is fiction or taken from real life?
    Enjoyed reading it.

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  5. Hmm good stuff mate.

    I think you are slowly increasing the length of your posts - and I like that. !

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  6. Very sensitive and touching narration!

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  7. Dhiman Kaku. Khub Bhalo. Bishon Bhalo.

    Daarun.

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  8. Good Narration and nicely put feelings...I liked it..Good Luck for the Batom :)

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  9. Great Flow..intially i thot the post was a bit lengthy..but you kept me interested till the end!!

    All the best for BATOM-12

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  10. Liked the narration and the flow.

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  11. Delightful! Felt very 'real' and not 'reel' :-)

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  12. wonderful post...likd it...wish ya luck! :)

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  13. @sm Thanks! hope wish tree makes the wish come true...

    @Shilpa Thanks! This is a fiction :D

    @Deeps Thanks!

    @The Panorama Thanks! Its a work of fiction

    @Gyanban Thank you very much! Reading long post did have its effect :)

    @aativas Thanks!

    @Pramatesh Dhonnyobad !

    @Vivek Nanda Thyank you!

    @Viyoma Thanks! Yeah I am trying out lengthy posts

    @Insignia Thanks!

    @Pallavi Thats a big compliment for me....

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  14. Wonderful writing...

    Trying to fulfill their biggest wish, people usually ignore their smaller wishes. Life is too short to ignore any wish.

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  15. its a very nice n sweet post...awesome is the word!! :)!!

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  16. It was an awesome post because the key is narration.

    I wish you a good luck for BATOM - 12

    Saravana Kumar - Wish

    Yours Frendly,
    Saravana Kumar M

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  17. Smooth narrative,can almost feel the environs taking shape around me.
    Simple,touching and very humane in its gratitude towards life and its little gifts.

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  18. Liked the use of words like dida, dadu, kolpotoru, para etc. Brings it so much closer to my heart.

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  19. Lovely blog post, it brought back flavors of childhood and Calcutta

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  20. Lovely, this post brought with it the flavors of childhood and of Calcutta. Really liked it

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  21. Awesome narration,
    I re-lived the memories of my childhood..
    Lovely post ..

    All the best for BAT

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  22. Very well written. Fiction or real life? Either way, it was great.

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  23. Wonderful post. I was wondering about the Bengali while reading but things got cleared up :D

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  24. @Maverick, @Vikram, @Nazish Rahman, @Dr. Chandana Shekar, @Someone Is Special,@Brijender Singh Thank you very much...

    @swayambhu Gr8 to see you again.... yeah the naration wouldn't be complete without those Bangla words....

    @Phoenixritu I am glad the tale could bring back your Calcutta memories :D

    @Geeta Thank you very much!

    @radha Its a fiction :D

    @Harini Don't worry the blog owner will also write good Bengali ...just let her start the lessons :P

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  25. nice post with optimistic flavours ...
    liked the flow and narration...

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  26. Childhood is so innocent and pure and so are the wishes then!!
    Loved the narration of the childhood memories.
    All the best for BAT-12

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  27. Dada phod dala.. Ur best post till date.. errrr.. I alwez say tht I know :)
    Loved the whole narration bt right now um wndring if its a memoir or fiction.. so mailing u to know tht :)
    The best post in this BAT from amongst those I've read till now :)

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  28. that was all bloggers' intentions and decoded ! terrrific post ! am following u!

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  29. Felt very close to heart.
    Am sure it reminded every reader of their own childhood memories and wishes.

    nice writing, though a long post , kept the reader interested till the end.

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  30. It actually took me to the goodold days of childhood.
    I liked it.

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  31. arey wah... I could relate the whole thing with my bhanji's harkaten. Nice.

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  32. Great narrative and like everybody else wondering if its memoir or fiction. keep it up .. all the best for BAT-12

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  33. its amazing how some people can influence our life so magnificently. And I can completely imagine the bengali setting!

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