Doodles by Arpan

Doodles by Arpan

by Arpan Mazumder


At the cost of being controversial, let me say this upfront: It doesn’t get more majestic than riding in a yellow Ambassador taxi of Kolkata!!! Mumbai’s kaali-peeli taxi doesn’t even come close. The mighty Delhi has auto-rickshaws (trying to suppress my laughter).

Also, no other city in India provides a grander entrance than Kolkata, if you are taking the Howrah Bridge, of course. I kept staring in disbelief at this magnificent engineering marvel every time I crossed.


As a kid, I had always hated doing household chores. Like my family members said, the reluctance was pretty much visible: on my face, in my body language, and by the response time. However, like the silver lining of a cloud, there was one thing I thoroughly enjoyed. Lighting up a desi stove or ‘chulha’ (‘unoon’ in Bengali). This I did with a lot of alacrity in my heart. The ‘chulha’ especially came in handy during the winter days, when hot water was needed in large quantities for bathing.

I just loved the different phases. First came the preparation phase: ransacking the store room to locate the stove, bringing it out in the open, getting rid of cobwebs (if not regularly used), gathering the items (cow dung cakes, dry wood / sticks, a bunch of newspapers, little bit of kerosene oil, match box, and, of course, a hand fan). A metallic rod or a decent length of wood was also required to stoke the fire occasionally. Then came the decoration phase: placing layers of dung cakes in the top chamber (not too densely packed, mind you), and pieces of wood and twisted paper below. And finally came the ignition phase. The trick was to keep the air flowing, using a hand fan. After the initial smoke (which I loved, but my eyes did not), when the dung cakes turned glowing-red, it was time to place the aluminium utensil on top.

Washing the hands (not only with water, but with soap as well) after the marathon was mandatory. Rules were rules. Like they say, the house always wins.


Arpan Mazumder

I’m Arpan Mazumder. Architect-Planner by profession, and Doodler-Illustrator-Cartoonist by choice. Extremely fond of mobile photography, travelling, watching (and re-watching) timeless classics, and food !!


Epiphanies, current events, and, sometimes, my mood help me select the subjects/themes, which may range from anything to everything under the sun, and beyond.

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