“Walking by a Waterfall with A Turbulent Mind” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

Butch (Real name Bacchan) and I were childhood friends. We used to climb hills and walk through streams together in the hilly span of Jharkhand (a rolling and scenic state of India). Both Butch and I felt frivolous and inconsequential to the world at large. Such were our conditioning.

Butch and I were getting near the Lower Ghaghri Fall. It was an intimidating display of nature. I was awestruck with the beauty and intensity of nature. Suddenly, Butch broke my concentration and asked, “What does the enormous force of water remind you of?”

“It reminds of nothing. Of course, it’s awesome and beautiful,” I replied.

Sixty years later, I got to visit the Niagara Falls for the umpteenth time. I don’t know why, but this time I got reminded of Butch’s question, “What does the enormous force of water remind you of?”

I started reflecting. It reminded me of my state of mind which was full of restless thoughts. The gushing water felt similar to my mind, and the currents were my thoughts. The mind was neutral like the water. It was neither peaceful, nor turbulent in itself. The current made it turbulent as desires and fears produced thoughts inside me.

I realized that my mind was always disturbed. I was restless like water falling from the falls. Thoughts of all kinds ingressed and egressed incessantly inside me agitating my inside similar to the current that was agitating the water.

“How do I become tranquil and calm down my mind?” I thought.

I realized that I couldn’t calm the water by holding the water and not letting it move. It was necessary to let the water flow to the Niagara River and then to Lake Ontario. Rivers provide direction to water and lakes (ultimately the ocean) provide them a peaceful reservoir. Our thoughts, desires and fears are like the water. We need to direct our thoughts to a purpose and provide them a focus. Ultimately, our thoughts will find self-knowledge, the ultimate reservoir.

We must learn to calm down the turbulence in our mind. When we control our mind and make it peaceful, we get more control over our life. However, as water flows in its own direction disregarding anything else, we must control ourselves without trying to change others. This is the key to living. I was peaceful, at least, for the time being.ghaghri

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“The Life of Pi” Compiled by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

“The Life of Pi” Compiled by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’
April 19 PiMarch 14 is fast approaching. We celebrate Pi Day on March 14 because the first three numbers in value of Pi are 3.14 and March 13 is 3-14.
“Pi” (π) is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (π=c/d). “Pi” is a constant number, meaning that for all circles of any size, Pi will be the same. The diameter of a circle is the distance from edge to edge, measuring straight through the center. The circumference of a circle is the distance around.
The trouble is that everyone wants a piece of Pi. The Christians claim that in the Old Testament of the Bible, a circular pool is referred to as being 30 cubits around, and 10 cubits across which comes to 3 when you divide the circumference (30) by diameter (10).
The Egyptians, on the other hand, claim Pi as their own since the vertical height of the pyramid at Giza has the same relationship to the perimeter of its base as the radius of a circle has to its circumference.
The Indians claim that they were the first to invent the value of Pi. They claim that the value of Pi was determined by them in 3000 BC (by the time Rigveda was written). They claim that the Rigveda mentions the perimeter of a pit is 3 times its diameter- therefore approximating the value of π at 3.
Well, the Chinese can’t be left behind. They claim that the value of Pi was first determined by Liu Hui, a mathematician of the Cao Wei Kingdom.
In modern times (AD), the mathematician Archimedes used polygons with many sides to approximate circles and determined that “Pi” was approximately 22/7 (twenty-two divided by seven). The symbol (Greek letter “π”) was first used in 1706 by William Jones. The use of π really became popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737.
Despite the claims, Pi is an extraordinary mathematical symbol. Here are some fascinating facts about π.
In recent years, with the help of Super Computers, “Pi” has been calculated to over one trillion digits past its decimal point. And as we all know, a “trillion” is a very large number, unless of course, we are talking about the United States Federal Deficit, which is approaching twenty-two trillion (22,000,000,000,000) dollars!
Of course, only thirty-nine (39) digits past the decimal point are needed in order to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our entire universe, but because of Pi’s infinite and pattern-less nature, it’s a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.
We can never truly measure the circumference or the area of a circle because we can never truly know the value of pi. Pi is an irrational number, meaning its digits go on forever in a seemingly random sequence.
In 1995, Hiroyoki Gotu memorized 42,195 places of pi and is considered the current pi champion. Some scholars speculate that Japanese is better suited than other languages for memorizing sequences of numbers.
During the famed O.J. Simpson trial, there were arguments between defense attorney Robert Blasier and an FBI agent about the actual value of pi, seemingly to reveal flaws in the FBI agent’s intellectual acumen.
Since there are 360 degrees in a circle and pi is intimately connected with the circle, some mathematicians were delighted to discover that the number 360 is at the 359th digit position of pi.
The first million decimal places of pi consist of 99,959 zeros, 99,758 1s, 100,026 2s, 100,229 3s, 100,230 4s, 100,359 5s, 99,548 6s, 99,800 7s, 99,985 8s, and 100,106 9s.
Comedian John Evans once quipped: “What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o’-lantern by its diameter? Pumpkin π.”
So why should we care so much about pi? The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi.

“You Must See What You Should See” By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

You Must See What You Should See. By Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’dirty politician

We spend almost 2 billion US dollars per year on 100 senators and 435 Congressmen in the United States of America. That does not include some special perks like pension and healthcare. I don’t mind the expense of maintaining a group of representatives (ours or lobbyists’?), if they produced value for the money spent on them. The fact remains that they have done nothing for the country in decades. Here are some examples:

The Republicans fought tooth and nail to kill Affordable Care Act (ACA), a.k.a. Obamacare instead of cooperating and making it work. They didn’t provide any suggestions to improve the plan. In the meantime, they still don’t have a plan of their own to replace ACA. Question that we should be asking is what have the fat cats been doing for the last ten years other than having a comfy life on our hard-earned money? Imagine a corporate executive sleeping on a given project for ten years. How long will he last in his job? Now, may I ask you why did you reelect these blood sucking leaches? Do you care more for your party and labels you carry than the good of the country?

Now a question to Democrats: Did you elect your Congressmen (or women) and Senators only to impeach and get rid of Mr. Trump? If that’s your only goal, I pity your low life. What have your reps done to work on infrastructure, immigration reform or homeland security? Please remove your colored partisan glasses and see the real world with naked eyes. Why do you reelect those power mongers? Why don’t you make them accountable for the task they are supposed to do?

“Call it the Seinfeld Congress — all about nothing. It’s gotten so small-ball that one congressman, a chairman of a highly influential committee, introduced legislation once to recognize the national significance of magic.” (Politico)
Congressmen (women) and Senators are less reliable than a used car salesperson. They are worse than hemorrhoids, traffic jams, and cockroaches, lines at the DMV, zombies and herpes. Realize how they are wasting your money:

1. A base annual salary of $174,000
2. A $1.2 million to $3.3 million allowance
3. Up to 239 days off
4. Office and staff allowance: $1,353, 205
5. A generous retirement plan
6. They fly free
7. Death benefits
(Source: https://realitybloger.wordpress.com/…/the-senate-how-much-…/ and numerous other sources)

Majority of them are womanizers, corrupt (bought by companies and lobbyists). Many of them are child molesters and wife abusers. (You can search their history).

So, what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Think independently. (Labeling yourself as liberals or conservatives will not get you brownie points. No one cares. Yes, you may impress the ignorant in dinner parties.)
2. Evaluate your Reps and Senators’ work
3. If not satisfied, don’t vote for them. Vote for independents
4. Contact them to let them know what you think
5. Here is the contact list https://www.senate.gov/…/contact_informati…/senators_cfm.cfm

Wake up friends and countrymen! Never reinforce failure and if you do not see what you should see, you’ll be a victim over and over again. Remember, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Book Review: “Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life” Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Book Review
Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
Author: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
april 19 bookPublisher: Random House (304 pages)

“Skin in the game” was first coined by Warren Buffet. It means having incurred risk in the pursuit of some goal or achievement. To give an example in a layman’s term, business leaders should not enjoy big profits unless they suffer the consequences of bad judgment. Thus, the corporate and political leaders should have skin in the game. It is a great notion especially what we see happening around us today. We all know that we don’t put our leaders, business magnets and religious pontiffs responsible for the damages done to society by their decisions or decrees. As a matter of fact, they are rewarded for their bad decisions with perks and secured life after leaving their positions.
The book in review, “Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb emphasizes that if someone inflicts risk on others and the consequences become damaging, the person responsible needs to pay some price for it.

To use an example: George W. Bush made horrendous mistakes that brought great suffering to peoples of the Middle East and the United States, but won a second term and, having retired, enjoys a new avocation—oil painting.
America’s large banks have been run and coddled by leaders with no skin in the game. If their bets paid off, they won big; if the banks teetered, the public bailed them out—what Taleb calls the “Bob Rubin trade.” Transferring the pain of risk in this way impedes learning.

In contrast to the present time, in ancient times most leaders were warlords—warriors who risked death in battle. Societies were run by risk takers, not risk transferors. We must have cause-and-effect mechanisms. People should face consequences for their actions.

Hammurabi (the ancient law giver of Babylon) got it right: “If a builder builds a house and the house collapses and causes the death of its owner, the builder shall be put to death.” Thus, we come to understand “skin in the game.”
Taleb sums up as: There is no love without sacrifice, no power without fairness, no facts without rigor, no statistics without logic, no teaching without experience, no complication without depth, no science without skepticism, and nothing without skin in the game.

As Aesop noted, dogs enjoy greater security than wolves, but lack freedom. Wolves have more freedom than dogs but may be eaten by even stronger denizens of the wild. That brings to my mind what should be the consequences for the recent government shutdown? Should Ms. (Plastic Faced) Pelosi and Mr. (Rubber Faced) Trump be rewarded by their admirers for making us suffer? Where is the skin in the game for them?

Friday Fun: “Truth behind Ending the Shutdown” by Musafir

Friday Fun: “Truth behind Ending the Shutdown” by Musafir

I feel sorry for President Trump as his shutting down the government lasted only 35 days. He can’t be listed in the Guinness Book of world records. The crown goes to Belgium where they went without a Government for 541 days. Imagine! 541 days without having to hear politicians squabble! Wouldn’t even feel the need to go on vacation.

The Belgian factions were divided by language. The Flems versus the French. We are divided by right and left political factions. I wonder which is worse. At least when the Flems and the French argue they might not understand each other. Though we speak the same language, we don’t want to understand each other.

The former record was set by Iraq. They lived happily without a government for 248 days. I had expected Mr. Trump to do better than Iraq. George Bush, at least, beat Saddam Hussein at an expense of one trillion American dollars. So what? A win is a win, after all.

Hillary Clinton warned, “Americans can’t afford another day” and urged supporters to call their senators and “demand a vote to re-open.” She didn’t want Trump to beat her husband’s record of shutting down government for 21 days.

One really cool thing Hillary Clinton could have done was sneak a new government in without anyone noticing. She is good at these kinds of things such as destroying computer records using a hammer and getting away with that. She could have made it something fun by repeating her famous quotes, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.”
It is suspected that Queen Elizabeth II of England was planning to seize the moment during the government shutdown and attempts to reclaim America for England.

Some say that the whole shutdown was plotted by the Indian techies. The story goes that Trump told one of them, “I’m having some trouble with my government.”

The techie answered, “Have you tried turning it off and on again.” You know where our president got the idea from? Trump seems to be worried about the Chinese and the Russians. How about them Indians?

It’s still a mystery why did Trump really end the shut down? It is rumored that Pelosi told Trump in a secret meeting that she would agree to fund a border wall if he (Donald Trump) left the country forever. Mr. Trump disagreed. However, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested, “He should absolutely take this deal. I mean, if he stays in the country, Pelosi will ultimately put him in prison.”

The writer is busy finding the truth and will let you know what really happened when the smoke clears. Stay tuned!

Commentary: ‘Quantum Theory and Other Pleasures of Life” by Musafir

mark plank(Warning: Somehow Facebook doesn’t recognize superscripts. Therefore formulae below are not correct, but you get the idea)
The social media is full of political acrimony. Our social life is full of friends who only enjoy talking about their half-cooked theories in politics, economics, finance and international affairs. I consider that a total waste of time. In the same breath, I consider discussion on religion rancorous and dividing.
No one seems to be interested in pursuing real knowledge. I am no better than others. The other day, a friend of mine posted a topic on Quantum computing on Facebook (he is an exception). It was very basic and was supposed to familiarize laymen with Quantum banking which may be in our future. I must confess that I couldn’t grasp the concept completely. I studied physics and higher math for nine years (starting in eighth grade until the final year of engineering). Since I have been indulging myself with my friends in trifle, superficial and passionate discussion on politics and pseudo economics, I have lost it all. Yes, What a loss!
I have decided now, at the age of 72, to reacquaint myself with math and physics. I think that a string of numbers and letters in mathematical formulae can evoke a greater excitement in my life than indulging in harsh and scathing discussion on politics, economics or religion
. A large number of areas of the brain are involved when viewing equations, but when one looks at a formula, it activates the emotional brain. I am going to reacquaint myself with Euler’s formula. It comprises the five most important mathematical constants – zero (additive identity), one (multiplicative identity), e and pi (the two most common transcendental numbers) and i (fundamental imaginary number).
Do you know how GPS is used in pinpointing locations? It is done with the help of Pythagorean Theorem: a square+b square=c square. The equation is at the core of much of geometry, links it with algebra, and is the foundation of trigonometry. Without it, accurate surveying, mapmaking, and navigation would be impossible.
I remember solving problems with imaginary number used to be such a thrill: i(square)= -1. How can that be? Think and also remember, most modern technology, from electric lighting to digital cameras could not have been invented without them.
The list goes on and on. Let’s not forget the most recognized and popular formula of all time: e=m*(c square) . E
instein followed up on this insight with his famous concept of relativity in 1915.
I want to understand the joy of Quantum Theory. Few scientific concepts are as weird as the quantum theory. It predicts that future events could influence the past. And, it states that particles that might be found anywhere have a zero probability of existing in one particular place! Is this not mind boggling?
I want to learn more about speed of light. Why is it always stuck at approximately 186,282 miles/second, no matter who’s observing it. Why can’t anything move faster than light? How time dilation can be possible which states that the faster you go, the slower time passes for you? Is this not entertaining?
I am excited. While I am going to discover math and science again, you can refresh yourself with history, psychology, arts, general knowledge, world geography, fine cuisine, fashion, language, sports or any subject of your choice instead of wasting your time arguing about politics and religion. Believe me, it will not only give you pleasure, it will make you and people around you better human beings. Make use of time while enjoying life. We are not here forever.

Current Affairs: Double Standard

Early every newspaper around the world covered the history making event. On Thursday, 3 January, two Muslim-American women were sworn into the United States House of Representatives. Together, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women in the history of the US to become two of over 400 House representatives. Cameras followed the two everywhere, from the moment they arrived in the capital, to the time they along with their families celebrated after the oath of office was administered. One wore a colorful Somali headscarf, in a nod to her Somali-American roots; the other, Rashida Tlaib, wore a maroon Palestinian thobe. Such was the excitement about her thobe that a Twitter hashtag, #showyourthobe, asked other Palestinian- American women to also display their own embroidered traditional garments. Many did.
This, however, was not how the hubbub over Rashida Tlaib’s swearing in would end. The cameras that had been trailing the newly elected representative followed her to a reception held that evening by the progressive organization MoveOn.org, which has long opposed President Donald Trump and his policies. When asked to take the microphone, Representative Tlaib recounted a conversation she had previously had with her son. “Bullies don’t win,” her son had told her. Tlaib said she responded with, “Baby, they don’t. And we’re going in there and we’re going to impeach the Mother Fu%$#@].” Applause followed and Tlaib quickly gave up the microphone.
I didn’t see much reaction on social media by my liberal friends. Imagine if someone used the same slur for Obama or any other Democrats. Such is the partisanship for so called social reformers. The House majority leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said she would not have used such words herself but that Tlaib’s words were certainly “nothing worse than [what] the president has said”. Other Democrats, particularly those belonging to the prim and trite “when they go low, we go high” Obama- Clinton camps, who have long insisted that they must stand for civility and not bow to the depths Trump plunges to, were also silent.
For her part, Tlaib refused to apologies. She stood by her words; she had said exactly what she had intended to say, and what she had meant to say. Many agreed with her; a hashtag echoing her call for impeachment trended on Twitter for hours as angry Democratic supporters rallied in favor of Tlaib.
The Tlaib episode is notable for several reasons. For starters, while she may have been criticized by certain news media outlets and Republican politicians, she did not face any actual consequences for her use of indecent language. She was not officially censured; the US government did not begin any proceedings against her. Threatening Republican mobs did not gather outside her house, and while Trump did say that her comments were “highly disrespectful” and that she had “dishonored herself” when specifically asked, he too was powerless to actually stop her from using similar language in the future.
Tlaib’s statement also reveals the turn that minority women will have to take in the years to come. Minority organizations, many that balk at giving women leadership positions within their own organizations and boards, have been eager to embrace the two new emblems of minority women leadership. Tlaib’s use of inappropriate language is far beyond the narrow codes of decency that are viewed as permissible to most.
If we don’t criticize them as we do to Trump for much milder language, we are not a nation of reasonable people. This country is certainly going down the hill.

“On Turning Seventy-two” By Musafir

“On Turning Seventy-two” By Musafir72

When growing up, I wanted to be important and famous. Many a time I’d fantasize becoming the prime minister of India with millions of followers admiring me. I fancied to be like other important people with great prowess. In my late youth and middle age, when the reality set in, I regretted and brooded over not being famous and important.

I didn’t realize that those who become famous in any field work towards their goals with exceptional resilience; face rejections and disappointments but never quit. Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outlier mentions that it needs at least 10,000 hours of practice to master any skill. The athletes, musicians, politicians and all famous people do that. I realized very late that I neither had a clear goal nor the dedication and concentration to do what famous people do. I felt that I was a failure because I was not famous and, thus, considered myself irrelevant.

I studied lives of some of the greatest icons of our time and was amazed at their goal setting, dedication and training that made them excel in their chosen fields. We only look at the glamor, wealth and fame that comes with the territory. We also need to know about the grueling routine and rigid discipline they maintain.

Mohammad Ali was the greatest boxer of our time. We know him as someone who was famous; was a champion and a showman. Casual observers of boxing might not realize this, but fights aren’t always won in the ring. More often, they are won in the gym, where creaking bag stands, rhythmic taps of the jump-rope and crashes of leather on skin are requirements long before the final bell on fight night. Muhammad Ali knew this and acted on it. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit.’ Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion,” said Mohammad Ali. Any successful person can tell you, talent gets you nowhere fast unless you’re prepared to put in the work to nurture it.

Beethoven rose at daybreak, no matter what season, and went at once to his work-table. There he worked until two or three o’clock, when he took his midday meal. In the interim he usually ran out into the open two or three times, where he also “worked while walking”. They never varied with the seasons and neither cold nor heat were noticed.

Beethoven was a sick kid to his dying day. Throughout his life he would suffer from deafness, colitis, rheumatism, rheumatic fever, typhus, skin disorders, abscesses, and a variety of infections, inflammatory degeneration of the arteries, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, and cirrhosis of the liver. Despite his limitations, Beethoven always worked hard to ensure a comfortable living by giving piano lessons, writing work commissioned by wealthy Viennese residents, and, of course, working on his own music.

The name Walt Disney is now synonymous with iconic film characters and the world-famous theme parks that bear his name, but in the early days, he was just a man with an artistic itch. He wanted to show the world what happens when you mix elements of fantasy with reality. His goal was always to mold the impossible in with the possible, and he defined his progress more by how each individual felt and reacted to his creations than by general perception. Between 1931 and 1968, Disney was nominated for 59 Academy Awards, winning 22 of them. That’s the second most nominations out of anybody else and the most wins ever.

According to him, “the only reward of going through the process of work is more work. While there is a notion in our culture that sees work as something to be done until you don’t need to do it anymore, the truth is that, if you truly respect and value whatever your work is, the real benefit of working is actually the ability to continue to do more of it.”

Narendra Modi was the most effective chief minister of Gujrat and is the prime minister of India. He worked towards this goal relentlessly from his youth. He was drawn to politics in his early teens. During the 1960’s India-Pakistan war, even though he was only a young boy, he volunteered to serve soldiers traveling through railway stations. As a youth, he became a member of student body involved in anti-corruption. After working in trenches, he was nominated as a representative in the BJP (the present ruling party of India). Narendra Modi has come from a humble background. He has a reputation of being a workaholic and introvert.

As I turn 72, I feel that the notion of irrelevance or unimportance is actually a state of mind that stops us from appreciating ourselves. We should learn from the lives of important and famous people without envying them. At the same time we should occasionally take an account of successes we have achieved in our own lives. It is very vital for us to create a permanent source of importance for ourselves. Such permanent importance can come only by continual investment in our relationships and in the development of uplifting qualities in our personality which eventually lead us to the growth of our eternal consciousness.

Recently I have mended many broken relationships. This is something that is I am proud of. In fact, the real sense of importance and relevance comes from helping the helpless and earning their admiration and gratitude. Heartfelt appreciation and admiration from the people around us is the real intoxicant or aphrodisiac. However, helping others with a selfish motive is said to be spiritually degrading. Lord Krishna in the Gita says that we should indulge in duties without any expectation, but I am not perfect yet. That gives me something to look forward to.

I have achieved the greatest gift of life by shedding old grudges and forgiving others. I enjoy spending more time with my relatives and friends, learning new things, upgrading my skills and enjoying others despite their imperfectness. Instead of crying over spilt milk I spend quality time in rediscovering myself to enjoy the present moment in the divine company of my friends, colleagues and family members. This uplifts me spiritually to the next world or dimension when I finally expire. As John Milton said in his sonnet, On His Blindness, “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

Reminiscence: “Christmas on Park Street” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

Reminiscence: “Christmas on Park Street” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

“The past is a candle at great distance: too close to let you quit, too far to comfort you.” ― Amy Bloom
I have lived in the States for almost 45 years of my life. I enjoy the Christmas season, the festivity, lights, decors and the beauty and glamor of the season. But nothing feels like Christmas on Park Street in Calcutta (now Kolkata). As they say, ““You can go other places, all right – you can live on the other side of the world, but you can’t ever leave home”
Occurring at the peak of the city’s mild winter, Christmas is celebrated throughout the city of Calcutta (for me, Kolkata will always be Calcutta), but Park Street, in the middle of all this, becomes the hotbed of the warm, fuzzy festivity. Park Street had a major concentration of the Anglo-Indian community. Many of them have migrated to Australia and UK, that’s what I hear. One of them was my friends in engineering school. We called him James. He asked me to accompany him to Calcutta during the Christmas. The year was 1963. I had just turned 17. James’ family lived on Free School Street (the hub of Anglo-Indians) which connected to Park Street.
Park Street was full of glamor, the remaining glory of British culture and romance not far from St. Paul’s Cathedral and the South Park Street Cemetery, famous tourist attractions, among many. Park Street had an eclectic collection of great restaurants. I can’t forget eating cake and sipping Darjeeling tea at Flurry’s, a world class cake and pastry shop.
Home to some of the city’s famous fine dining restaurants, cafes, bookstores and other places of attractions, Park Street was a warm haven of celebration and smiles. Restaurants like Trincas, Flurry’s, and Moulin Rouge were Calcutta’s prime festive hideouts. Adding to that were the brightly lit buildings and the entire faux roof of the street, all of which combined to make Park Street a bright, sparkling dream world – the epicenter of Christmas in Calcutta.
A short stop from Flury’s was Trinca’s night club. I remember the enthusiastic band and the lead singer playing ‘Lipstick on Your Collar.’ Those of you who remember, Connie Francis was the heart throb of the music world then.
James insisted that I must visit Moulin Rouge where the beautiful young singer was rendering, “Shheshe se pi, jee diwane” a Bollywood number that meant Drink you romantic and live your life.
Christmas is a festival of fellowship and warmth, of carols and cakes, and of gratitude and love. Park Street caught this spirit beautifully, and everyone was feeling it in the air together. Park Street appeared at her beautiful best, like the locket in the necklace Calcutta wore to dress up for Christmas.
I have not visited Calcutta or Park Street since my last visit there in the late eighties, but my friends tell me that there is no place like this place during Christmas even today. Everyone joins the season´s spirit. Even non-Christians buy cakes and bonbons and decorate Christmas trees.
I want to visit Park Street someday again. Christmas always “takes me down memory lane, to a time very much younger, a time more pure, more sane.” Meanwhile, “If you cannot hold me in your arms, then hold my memory in high regard. And if I cannot be in your life, then at least let me live in your heart.”
Merry Christmas!