Dear Mesmerising Nabaneeta,
Did anybody ever tell you that you are the super-cool girl of your age? Or did anyone ever ask you that ‘You exist?’ I am sure you faced more peculiar than stranger questions than these in your life time. I can’t believe that you had this terrible flair of travelling the world.. to be more specific you really used to make those last moment freakish ‘Solo’ Travel plans? At that time or era this was almost unthinkable.. you know? Ohh.. sorry, I think I missed the introduction part first. Let me start all over again.
So.. I am one of your very recent fans, a very puny little fan of yours. If considered the age difference, I am your Third generation but, part of those below the average category intellects. So, logically (I could say relation wise, but I don’t think your close relations will approve of it) you should be my grandma.. but reading you, knowing you; I have realised that you are always too young to be any old for generations, and for that you will always be ‘Dear Mesmerising Nabaneeta’ to me. I know you are reading this from somewhere predictably unknown to me, hope you have your favourite arm chair there and you must be arching one brow while reading this. Eyes still bright like the picture cut out I saw last week somewhere??
So as I was saying, I have become a fan of yours. I love love love reading about your anomalous travel stories.. though at times I really wanted to call them bizarre.. but anyway they really are incredible. I mean almost 40-50 years back you did travel all by yourself, without any proper travel plan, reservations and what not? I mean you have known today’s society, and you know it’s still a shocking, heart-stopping stigma to travel solo, isn’t it? Oh again, I am missing one crucial point.. ‘it’s’ still a heart quenching stigma for a woman to travel all by herself! I was in awe to read your narrative on Kumbh! You have been a true example of ‘Go Global but Be Local’. I mean what do I say, I was overwhelmed to read that you slept on the dusty road, stayed in the same camp with people unknown just for one common fact of them being a group from your home land! And so many mouth-popping travel stories you had!!
Honestly as much as I love to travel with myself but I can’t be that brave like you.. ‘How did you do all those?’ I have asked you so many times, in my thought. Wish I could start reading your pieces few years before.. or maybe you shouldn’t have been too desperate to leave all your admirers too soon? I will stick to the later.. Are you laughing at me? I’m sure you are? Mocking at me, aren’t you?
Well I am sure your world is Covid free and there’s no queue for the 1st jab of vaccine.. at this moment here’s all mess going around to tell you in short.. so wherever you are, stay safe and keep rocking.
A funny little unsung girl who loves her wings..
** Nabaneeta Dev Sen was one of the well know Indian writer and an accomplished laureate from Kolkata, West Bengal. She had written number of poetries, novels, stories, essays, travelogues, translations etc. in Bengali. Humour writing was one of her specialisation. She had been honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2000 and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1999. And I love reading her travel journals.