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Of Terraces and Balconies

About Moinak Dutta

Name: Moinak Dutta
Occupation: teacher, published fiction writer, poet.
Date of birth: 5th september,1977,
Nationality : Indian
Sex : male
Short bio:
Born on 5th September, 1977, he has been writing poems and stories from school days.Done postgraduation in English. Presently engaged as a teacher of English.Many of his poems and stories are published in national and international anthologies and magazines and also dailies including 'The Statesman' ( kolkata edition), ' World Peace Poetry anthology ' ( United Nations), 'Setu' , ' The Indian Periodical' ' Pangolin Review' ' Tuck Magazine' ' Duane's Poetree', ' Tell me your story' ( literary and travel magazine), ' The Literary Fairy Tales' ' Defiant Dreams' ( a collection of stories on women empowerment published by Readomania, New Delhi ), etc;
Written reviews of books and fictions, among which notable ones are : on ' The Upanisads ' ( translated by Valerie J. Roebuck) which can be found at www.blogapenguinindiaclassic.blogspot.com and the review of ' The Ballad of Bapu' ( written by Santosh Bakaya). Written some essays and articles on education and literature and other topics which had been published in both e- books/e - journals ( like Cafe Dissensus) and as printed books/ papers ( like one on ' Amalgamation of social media and literature: pros and cons, published by Viswa Bharati Research Centre and Sahitya Anand).
He is first full length english( genre: literary/romance ) fiction ‘Online@Offline’' had been published in 2014, by Lifi Publications.His second fiction(genre: literary/quest) titled ' In search of la radice' was published in 2017 by Xpress Publications. Also worked as an editor of a poetry collection titled ' Whispering Poeisis' , which had over one hundred poems from sixty poets from different parts of India and abroad, published in 2018 by Poeisis. Loves to do photography apart from listening to music and watching films and traveling.

email :moinakdutta@yahoo.co.in

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Terraces and balconies had been my favourite spots of any building all through.

Since when this love affair actually grew, I cannot possibly recollect. But the first experience of having a balcony attached to my room happened in late eighties, when from a single storied house we shifted to a double storied one. There was a balcony – a small and cozy one, attached to my room. I was then barely in my early teens and that balcony was my first connect with the sky and trees, directly from home. Whenever I would feel pensive or lonely, I would go to the balcony and connect with nature. There was a shiuli tree just beside our house which leaned against our balcony to grow like a companion for both me and the balcony.

How many countless hours had I spent there at the balcony, touching those leaves of shiuli in summer and monsoon months, I don’t quite remember. And in autumn the tree would be dressed like an angel, covered with blossoms, spreading fragrance. I would then spend most of my leisure there at the balcony.

Once , when monsoon was in full swing, I got that first glimpse of lovers kissing each other, standing under that shiuli tree. I had been to the balcony just like any other day and like an inadvertent mistake, witnessed the moment. That scene aroused great passion in me too and I longed for someone to kiss and get kissed by.
Later when we moved from that house to another, I rued the fact that there was no balcony in the new accommodation with a shiuli tree leaning against it!

However, the new house had a wonderful terrace, a fairly big one. This terrace turned out to be my fantasy place for clicking photographs of the sky and its myriad hues.

And more importantly, from this terrace I learnt the symbolic gestures which paved the way to welcome the love of my life who would later become my partner for life!

It so happened that a block away from our house, there was a particular house with its own terrace of course, which had a beautiful occupant. She would come to the terrace at times and often our eyes met. From there we learnt the simple yet engaging symbolic signalling system, involving gestures through which we exchanged our ideas and love.

I would not divulge the codes of those signalling communicative system here. That would require a greater scope and possibility of writing. But something I can always claim with certainty is, had there not been terraces like that in both the houses, we would not have become lovers in the first place.

The terrace taught us a lot about love.

After marriage too, many a times we both savoured the silky light of moon till late in the evenings, standing on the terrace.

Balconies and terraces had been an integral part of my life, from teenage to adulthood. Even when our son was born, he got his oil massages and baths on the terrace during the winter months, at least for the first few years.

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