A Thanksgiving Melody.


Blood they say is thicker than water. Thanksgiving is a quiet indicator of that saying. It is that time of the year when one yearns to be with their kith and kin. They travel far and wide to share a meal with their families and to reunite with the near yet so far ones. Thanksgiving is not just eating turkey and pumpkin pies. It is about family bonding, upholding traditions and connecting to one’s own roots. It is about taking time off from our usual grind of daily chores. Gathering together, sharing a meal and thank God for all that we are and for getting us so far in life. The present always looms large casting a shadow on one’s past, on one’s childhood, on one’s bygone days. We are often filled with nostalgia of our good old carefree days of childhood. Burdened with today’s responsibilities those carefree days have become kind of obscure in our memory. Driving back home from work I kind of unwind. I let my mind run wild. I switch my cell phone off, listen to my kind of music which albeit is outdated. I catch up with the world on the radio, swear at the rash drivers around me and sometime even honk at those who cut me. I let myself be me for the entire thirty minutes. On one such ride back home when I was tired of songs I have been listening for days , I decided to change to a new CD given to me by a friend. As it played it struck a different note taking me to a different era altogether. Those were melodies I heard as a child hummed by none other than my grandmother! The songs were resonant of music of yesteryears starring legendary Uttom kumar and Suchitra Sen duo. Films my grandmother would watch over and over again making several trips to the theaters in the no-television era. As a little girl I used to be tagged along where ever she went. I reminisce her serious piece of baby-sitting even while watching a movie at the theaters. I muse over grandma’s noon time movie escapades with her friends with a thermos full of Horlics (a milk based nutritious energy drink to be taken lukewarm) served by her during the movie, followed by Glucose biscuits and tangerines all to keep the kids away from hunger and fuss in the dark theater halls. As a child of seven or eight year old I remember grandma being emotionally drenched with the passion of a  Dibyendu or a Krishnendu as was the usual name used by Uttom kumar in such movies. The soulful songs playing in my car were those familiar melodies which I have not heard in a million years now. I could vividly recollect the memories as I immersed to the soulful lyrics. Little have I cared to read the singer’s name when I put the CD in the player. Out of sheer curiosity I stopped to read the name of the singer who so transported me back in time. Halleluiah! The singer happens to be a cousin of mine! I heard her sing when she was about nine or ten year old. In our many family gatherings she delighted everyone with her endless stream of soul stirring songs by Kazi Nazrul. At this rush hour at the end of a tiring day I am thousands of miles away from my family. I am on a busy highway and it is thanksgiving time of the year. Everyone around me seem to be in a rush to be with their near and dear ones . For me this was an emotional and touching journey. I could hark back and be connected to my lost family in  a melodramatic way!  I had to pull over and stop, to gather myself at this juxtaposition between a so distant past and so confusing a present. I stopped by at a nearby Dunkin Donut, ordered myself a small coffee and my favorite French cruller. As I sat myself by the window sipping on my cup of joe and reliving my tender age on each bite of the French cruller. I was  reconnected to  my childhood’s favorite sweet treats of ‘goja’ and ‘jilebi ‘combined together all in one French cruller . As I gazed outside I delved into my past , back to my family where I grew up . I could see myself  seated in a movie theatre amidst many cousins munching on treats . Dazed by true to life characters on a black and white screen and swaying my little head to a joyous melody!