White noise is a random signal (or process) with a flat power spectral density. In other words, the signal's power spectral density has equal power in any band, at any center frequency, having a given bandwidth. White noise is considered analogous to white light which contains all frequencies.

Who am I?

Neo-hippie cinephile. Follower of the great Jim Morrison who once said "If the doors of perception are cleansed, everything would appear to man as it truly is, infinite."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thank You

Just saw The Kite Runner (yes, I am sure the book was better, but I haven't read it) and it has brought memories to the surface otherwise kept bottled up somewhere deep inside, maybe for the best, well, at least emotionally speaking. Most infants first conjure up the images of only two people in their first couple of years - the two people responsible for their existence. As far back as I can remember, I was under the impression that all kids are in close contact with three people. I thought everyone had their own version of Tapan Kaku.

He isn't a blood relation, but was at some point closer than most blood relatives can ever come to be. His uncle was a full time homemaker for our family when Papa was growing up. The uncle was succeeded by his elder nephew, and ultimately by Tapan Kaku from Mednapur, which happened to be just 6 months before I came into the family. So you could say we started pretty much at the same time. With his arrival and quick grasp of Amma's expert training, especially in the kitchen, Mum could now afford the luxury of working in a 9-5 job. My grandparents were Kaku and Kakima to him, my parents Dada and Boudi and my aunts Mejdi and Chunidi. My cousins called him Tapan Mama.

Many of the photographs of my childhood albums feature him in his constant pose - standing to the corner in his off-white pajamas and smiling shyly through his stubble, whether it be a birthday party, or me playing cricket, or even admiring the flora of Amma's garden. Over time, he perfected the ingredients in Amma's patented recipes like the right amount of coconut in her narkoler mishti, or the precise quantity of oil that would fry the potatoes just the way Papa likes it with his khichuri. My favorites were his Aloo Postho and Shujir Payesh. He also became our in house electrician, by simply observing visiting ones at work, and later on the in house mechanic for the family car, much the same way.

When it was time for me to attend school, his penchant for perfectionism came out with invigorating fury. There are stories of aghast bus conductors looking on as he proceeded to give me an earful for procuring a 9/10 in dictation. Teachers would inquire about him to Mum when they met her, since he would quiz them on regular intervals regarding my performance in those juvenile classes. My swimming instructor felt marginalized by his enthusiastic poolside presence.

Over time, he followed in his elder brother's footsteps and landed a clerical job in the company where Dadu was some kind of big shot. Then we moved to Muscat when I was 8. I remember wetting many a pillow cover in those initial few months after the move, remembering him, among other people. We kept meeting on our annual trips back home but over the decade the meetings reduced as we got busy in our respective lives. I remember being really scared this one summer when he got sick and had to be admitted to the hospital, but that didn't keep him out of action for too long, and he continued to bring me those mind-numbing sweets from Ganguram, which is next to his office.

He is married now and has a couple of school-going kids, with whom he lives in the house he has built, somewhere on the outskirts of Calcutta . His curly hair has thinned at exponential pace, and he has a slight paunch to go with his new pencil thin mustache, but that doesn't stop him from coming over on Sundays to keep a tab on my octogenarian grandparents. He still bakes his famous Inframatic butter cake on Sundays when I visit. He asks me to visit his house every time and I blame the tight schedule and say 'Porer Bar'. Recently, we had the rare opportunity to catch up on the phone. I had called to extend my pronam to my grandparents on the occasion of Bijoya. No one was at home. We didn't recognize each other's voices and with realization came a few seconds of shameful silence at either end, before we both resorted to usual Bijoya greetings and small talk.

I have never once thanked him, for anything. Maybe, I will just take the convenient route and blame our anti-sentimental society for that. All I can do now is slip him some money asking him to buy something nice for his kids when both his hands are busy washing some dishes, to refuse the compensation, which in any case is too little for all he has done. I know he will never read this, but this is my way of saying "Thanks for everything, Tapan Kaku", maybe more for myself than for him, before I break down again.

2 comments:

Mala said...

Amader Geeta mashi. I miss her most in my life right now. Wonderful post. I am yet to read Kite Runner.

ArSENik said...

Thanks Mala. A colleague tells me the book is keeping her up till 4 in the morning even during weekdays, but then she is Iranian and possibly a refugee like the protagonist, hence the relating to. I could tell from the movie that the book must be fabulous.

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