This article is Friday week end special dish for those who are sitting in their respective working places, awaiting when it will be 5 pm, calling friends for any week end party at any cafe, bar or at someone's residence or "Some place Else" or planning for any family dinner tonight. Well, I am already booked tonight for a cocktail party at a friend's residence. But let me tell you a small story of a weekend at "Chadni".
March 2005, I was a Bachelor student that time, a friend of mine in my hostel one day asked me and another guy that we should visit his native place. At that time, I could not refuse anyone's invitation to anywhere; anything which could help me skipping my study. Just one request, we agreed. His village was in Burdwan district in the state of West Bengal and the name of the village was Dignagar, beautiful village. I just bought my first mobile phone that time and I had remembered I could only catch tower at a particular 40 meter place in that village. We got a warm welcome there by his family and wonderful friends. In this type of small villages, everyone knows everybody, everyone keen to knowing everything about everybody. So I had to say everything about myself to everyone I met. Well, you can enjoy this type of experience first time, not more. I will not say this is the problem with people living in villages, rather this proves the impatience and introversion of the urban people.
Anyway, we reached there around 7 pm. Already the village was grabbed by darkness, only few houses having electricity but undoubtedly the state electricity board helped me a lot enjoying the beauty of darkness during my stay there. After having some light tiffin at his residence, we headed towards "Chadni". When you are going to a war, you have to fill your riffle. Exactly the same thing we did. Just after five minutes of walk, suddenly my friend stopped and knocked at someone's window. I saw a person peered through the window and asked "what do you want?" My friend asked for a file of a very cheap, bad tasted whisky. Well, at those days (when you have no income), any type of whisky was worthy to us. This is very common in villages, people selling alcohol from their house in black, without license. Remember the famous dialogue from Sunil Ganguly's Aranyer Din ratri (Days and Nights in the Forest), "Thanks God for corruption". Ok, so after organizing everything, we ultimately reached "Chadni".
"Chadni", a square shaped pond surrounded by paddy fields and at the center of the pond, there was a 50 square foot place which is connected to the land by a narrow path. This was made by some old Jamindar of that place many years ago. Probably, this was the ideal place for the Jamindar doing some extra marital affair under full moon or listening to some Tansen with his drinks. Don't know whether he had something called week end. But that week end we got full moon. We opened our bottle around 10 pm and finished at 5 am. I clearly saw how the moon traveled from east and set at western sky. Dews started sleeping over the paddy fields. No light anywhere, only moon. I experienced the luminescence of full moon that day, even I wrote two poems sitting there in moon light (please don't think that I am a full fledged poet who can only write poems after few pegs, sorry, I am not like that, I hardly write anything when I am drunk). No body nowhere, only we three, we screamed, we sang, we discussed, we became revolutionary and changed the world for those hours; those are really wonderful days of my life.
I have numerous experiences of drinking with different people at different places, but certainly "Chadni" is one of the best. I tell everyone about my experience at "Chadni". But I am sure I can't make other feel it unless he experiences it.
I went back to that village and to "Chadni" after five years, on April 2010. Nothing is changed there, people are not changed, their mentality are not changed. And "Chadni"? "Chadni" is still as young as I met her first time, I am growing old.