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Sunday, December 11, 2005

the warm feeling

As the mercury continues its downward trend and the mountains welcome people of the plains with open arms to share the frolicking in the snows, we defy nature and search for comfort in our warm clothing. To keep the temperature of the room within tolerable limits we switch on the heater, provided that the electric supply is steady and load shedding has not intruded into the private lives of individuals. For those not so happily endowed, the community fires in street corners or in the bus terminuses or railway platforms or the sleeping market places beckon them to share the warmth. I am reminded on a wonderful movie that I saw in one of the film festivals long ago – the scene was of a group of men, women and children jostling with each other in trying to get the warmth of the rising sun as a shaft of sunlight filters down to a tiny space on the sidewalk – it was, if I remember right, a German film.

A TV ad of today shows the warmth one can experience if one wears a certain brand of product – the egg on the page of a magazine materializes into a chirping chicken, much to the astonishment of the airhostess and fellow passengers. Then there is another that offers free jute bag if you purchase a pair of garments to keep off the cold. The one that takes the cake refers to the ones worn by the boy friend who the girl is forced to hide in the freezer to escape the wrath of her father!

And then there are those who feel that the warm feeling needs to come from deep within you – literally that is. They swallow those drinks that gradually dull ones senses and ensures that the warm feeling spreads to every nook and corner of his body. It is a rather crude method very popular if the armed forces – those who guard our frontiers have to slug it out in biting cold conditions. The drinks that they receive are subsidized.

These are examples of the warm feeling that one can experience in physical terms.

But there is another warm feeling that comes from relationships. For example – when Usha Uthup or Amrik Singh Arora sings Bengali songs or when one reads a story by Dr. N. Vishwanathan, one is transported to another world. The reason is simple – all of them are non-Bengalis who are more Bengali than the Bengalis themselves!

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