Not all days are the same. There are those nameless faceless ones that are born out of ennui and quickly fly into oblivion. Nothing good comes from them. All they do is burn rubber. They don't take us closer to our destination.
Then there are those days when the skies open up. There is an earth scattering screech, the kind you know will give way to a loud bang. Scarred for life you limp along, again. Crying over those who died and hurting for those who refused to ride with you again, you ride, for this is the only option you have known.
And then there are those rare rare fairytale days. The ones that starts off without a cause but go on to transform themselves into days of momentous impact. These are those days that leave behind magical memories. That feeble hint of a smile amidst deep furrows of pain are from days as these.
Travelers in time that we are, let's pray for short burst of sunshine and a fair share of fairy tale days.
I know this road well. I know its every dip, and I know where it begins to bend before it begins to climb. I know the spot where the baby metal has chipped off a wee bit. I know where the craters are and how to carouse around them. I recognize the bumper stickers and I know those who are in a perpetual hurry.
This road is known to me. This road takes me home.
A moment of indiscretion would have snuffed out its little life.
I blew a jet of air its way.
The little spider landed safely under the sofa, gathered itself, and went on with its tiny life.
If you could save The Savior, my little one, who am I to judge you.
Wish you a full life. Stay around.
I: Baby you cannot just call up after six months of silence and ask me to buy you your grocery. It muddles up my mind. I need some continuity. You need to make me feel that I am a lot more than your errand boy!
She: Will you come with me or not?
I: Who said I am not coming? Don't I have the f#=king right to crib?
She: And would you stay back later? I can make chow...soft fried, just like you love. I have the dark soya sauce too and I know...no ajinomoto. And I have this new rotimatic that I need you to see. It is such a beauty, you will freak out!
I: Sorry babe, I need to be somewhere by 8. Maybe another time?
She: Sure, See you at the store then.
Its a Sunday baby. Why do you have to answer all the calls on your phone?
This is my personal phone babe. I don't have too many people calling on this one.
Agreed. But this is the third time you are walking out of the room with your phone. It annoys me.
I am sorry Princess. But I will have to take all the calls.
Do you remember Anju?
That girl who went for a divorce?
What about her?
Two years ago, on one such Sunday, she had given me a call. I was surprised to see her call, since, we were not really thick.
Hmm.. what happened? Did she want to marry you or what?
At first there was a lot of silence on the other side. I thought that her kid had dialed out accidentally. And then I plugged my other ear and said Hello again. I felt as if I could hear a sob, and then a whisper. I did not disconnect the call. I just told her that I know something is not right. I told her that I will hear her out. I told her that I will not hang up on her!
Phir kya hua? (What happened then?)
Well, I spent an hour with her over the phone. I called her now ex-husband a Donkey. I told her that all men (other than me) are not worth their weight in Gobar (Cow Dung). I made her cry and then she laughed some.
That last call a while ago was from her Princess. Two years ago, after a bad fight with her hubby, she was in the kitchen with the baby. Her gas line was open and she had a gas lighter in her hand. Had I not taken her call then, she would not have been there to make this call today!
But why did she call you and no one else that time?
You will never know why someone calls you. We are a strange species. Its a mystery.
You still sit close to me
Its only an additional inch away
And nobody sees this except me.
You still look at me
Like you always did
With some longing and loads of love
Only, now your eyes hold mine for a micro second less.
And when you talk to me now
I am reminded of the time
When you did not have to measure your words
Ration your laughter...
You served pure sunshine.
Wedges in our hearts
Are so difficult to live with.
For they exist in places
Where no stranger has ever tread.
- Words hurt more than broken bones. And such wounds take much longer to heal.
- Cancer is something that exists as a disease of the body as well as mind. Some thoughts, when left unattended, grow cancerous, kill.
- Love heals faster than the doctor. Leaves us stronger. Hatred infests deeper, lingers longer, manifests itself in unpredictable ways, and often is easier to nurture than love.
- Love is complicated. It can give way to hatred in a moment. Love is fragile, needs constant tending and protection.
- Fight among siblings are more common than often perceived. Generations of cousins have lived as strangers, separated by an instance of hatred spanning over a hundred years.
- Thoughtless words from loved ones hurt a million times more than concentrated armed attack by an army of haters.
- Everyone loves a genuine smile.
- Its truly impossible to explain love or hurt or anger or pride or esteem or any such words. They live in mysterious places within us, mostly not open to analysis in a lifetime.
- Death of near ones form craters in our soul. By the time we are old, we all will look like the Moon. Beautiful from a distance.
- There is a soul. It is the essence of life. I know that soul exists. I realized this when my grandma suddenly gained complete consciousness a day before she died and asked my sis... "Tell me, do I look beautiful?"
- Prayers of strangers are answered just a fast as those from our near and dear ones. The kingdom of God is not a kingdom, its a democratic republic. HE stamps all visas, denies none, includes all.
Let the frozen icicles from past
Thaw for a moment in time
Let the warmth of my surrender
Give life to tender spring.
I call for the roses to believe again
I call for the wild flowers to sprout
And the larks to find their songs anew
I hold on to myself no more
I am now one with you
The white in me is now splattered
With a million colors of you.
Life is mostly tiring. I have often looked out of train windows late into nights and seen trains hurtling past on the opposite tracks. It is one racket of streaking steel with lights forming long lines of lightning. I have wondered if some lonely wanderer like me would have been looking out of those windows as well, trying to make sense of this whirl of life.
And amidst this terrible rush of everyday living, I have faced challenges that comes with the act of getting things done. Every decision I have had to ever take have come with a deadline. Either you take the decision within that time or the decision gets taken on its own. I am not sure which is better. Taking decisions or allowing life to take its own decisions. There is no data with me to prove that one is better than the other. However, I have always preferred taking decisions. Some augur well, while others are stuff about which stories of great failures can be written. I love it either ways. I love it when something works out and I love it when things don't. It helps me believe that I am central to the outcome. Makes me believe that I have a role to play in the success and in the failure of things happening around me. I don't think too hard, for then it may turn out that I am just a pawn parading as the player.
I have a say. I choose to exercise this say. It is a part of my being.
Men's wallets are just as mysterious as those of women. Though smaller, they inturn have numerous pockets and pouches that are capable of safely tucking away many secrets.
Mine is a leather wallet I go for a replacement every three or maybe four years. Every time I get myself a new wallet, the transfer of contents from the old one to the new is like a spiritual ceremony. First I empty all the contents of the existing wallet into a clean and empty table. Them comes the close scrutiny part. There are coins from Riyadh that my uncle gave when I was young, so they automatically gets into the new wallet. There are unclaimed bills from past expenses and hurriedly scribbled phone numbers, and then there are small notes or at times, a couple of lines from a poem that never had a name. All these go into the 'to be discarded' section. Photos of gods find space in the new wallet. So does all the plastic cards for credit debit insurance vehicle id voting reliance Spenser etc. All these are carefully packed into the various pockets in the new wallet.
Once all is done, I know that you will still be hiding in one of the zipped pouches that are hard to reach. You always had to make it a point to come out last. I would take you out, look at you and think of how much both of us have changed in the last twenty years. You will still have the same smile and your eyes will hold the same twinkle that I fell in love with twenty years ago. You smile at me and I smile at you. For those thirty seconds or so, we make peace with time and space.
Off you go into the eleventh wallet and there you stay until this leather gets worn with time and it is time for a new hide. Every body I know has a girl in his wallet. Well...you are mine.
Raj, does heaven and hell exist?
Yes Princess, it does.
What is this between Hell and Fire? Why is hell always fiery?
No idea baby, probably something to do with pain. I have heard that burns cause maximum pain.
But Raj, how will you burn if you have no body, you are dead right?
Hmm, good one. I have no answers Princess.
Ok. Do you remember the time you were having this fling with that girl from office?
Why bring it up now baby?
No, I am just asking. Do you remember?
I used to be so jealous, my heart was a smouldering cinder. Do you understand what I mean?
Yes baby. It was like hell for you.
I love you Raj.
So do I baby.
Now you guess what I am thinking....
This is heaven Princess.
Dog you are Raj.
Bhou Bhou Princess.
If I could do a Neruda,
You would have smelt of summer roses
And Autumn pine.
There would have been sheer love
Of the kind that causes our hearts to ache
And loneliness bordering the divine.
You would have had so many secrets
Welling up as in a girly giggle
And so few friends who would hear them all.
I am no Neruda
I can't paint you a Summer breeze
Amidst this long winter chill.
Has anyone ever told you that you are almost impossible to manage? That you are grossly impossible of acting as if you had one normal cell in your body? You never tell me that you love me, you never wish me on my birthday and you never have time to take me out!! When was the last time you liked me on FB?, never! I have never heard you speak a gentle word to any adult. The only thing you are good at is your work and playing ghoda with the neighbors kids. Uff! Do you know how frustrating all this is to me? You should have been in Police. You don't have a heart. Why am I wasting my time, you are beyond listening as well! Are you there?
Is that aaaaaalllll you have to say? Twenty years and this is what you have to say: Aaaiiii Am?
Did you as just say twenty?
Yes goddammit. I have spent twenty years with you.
Oh shit, I guess I am better than I thought! Thank you baby!
PS: Ghoda stands for Horse in Hindi.
I see the green of Kerala countryside
The dark greens of lumbering rubber trees
The even tranquil green of silent paddy fields
The light lemon yellow green from tender clover leaves
And then I remember your dupatta
Deep red or possibly maroon
Standing out among the Kerala countrysides.
It was a long distance call. I could hear the lines grumbling garbage. It sounded as if it were raining down on the window panes at her end. There were long stretches of silences between sentences. She would ask me a question and then wait for eternity for an answer that would not come. I used to use this silence to imagine where she would be standing. I would picture her in the master bedroom overlooking the valley. I would imagine the dress she would be wearing, the color of her top, the color of her leggings. She had thunder thighs and I fell for them long before I fell for her.
Are you there? I am asking you something... Why don't you respond?
Her bungalow had those brass roof linings which channeled rain water from the roof to run through British gargoyles into a small pond. Some of channels used to leak from the corners. I remember the sound falling rain used to make on the tiled roof and windows. The noise used to be so loud that we had to shout to be heard. We rarely shouted when it rained. She used to calm down, huddle close to me and snuggle into some corners and wedges in me. I loved her in the rains. Actually, I loved her as long as she could keep her trap shut. She had a way of sounding very whiny when she was agitated. She would turn on her lawyer side, and shoot a question a second and wait for me to respond.
Are you there? She asked again.
Yes. I am. Is it raining in the valley again?
What? Have you gone bonkers? Or are you trying to wriggle out of this one?
Tell me D, is it raining outside?
Yes it is. So what? This does not answer my question.
I have no answers to your questions D. Good bye.
Most of my loved ones now stand forlorn, as coconut trees, untended, uncared for, in some corner of large tracts of land which now remains barren. We are now dwellers of large cities. My village postman could not compete with the Dominoes delivery boy. He too is now gone, but not before a final whoosh of laughter from his toothless creaky betel stained mouth.
PS: As an ancient Hindu ritual, we plant coconut trees at the spot where we bury the Ashes of our loved ones.
There was this one waitress who had heavy legs. Oddly, she reminded him of Jyothi, his first wife. Tall, lithe but heavy in all the right places. He found himself looking at her more often. There seemed to be some connection. The waitress kept glancing at him every now and then and caught him looking at her. Her eyes were the eyes of a yakshini, deep dark and full.
And just then she walked in. Stately, elegant and exquisitely dressed in black. She was wearing the pearls he had gifted her last Diwali. She smelt of sandal, his favorite fragrance, and she was not wearing those sandals that made those tick tock sound and attracted curious glances from strangers.
They hugged each other and he stole a secret glance at the waitress. He found her looking at him from across the aisle. For a fleeting moment, he thought he saw something in her eyes that he could not place.
What will you have, the waitress asked, once they were seated. Her question was directed at her, we serve good Indian. Continental she said, and ordered some greens. What is your favorite, he asked the waitress. Kachauri, she said, not really looking at him. And what else, he asked again. This time she looked at him in the eyes and said, dum biryani. Bring me that, he said, followed by Kachauri. Her eyes lit up. He loved looking at her. She was actually beautiful.
He made a mental note to come here more often. It was a good place.
Yes, I can walk back in time and join our lives together into one. I can make two rivers merge into the same sea. I can make both of us lose our identity and become strangers to ourselves. And then we will fall in love again. I can help you and me crawl out of our skin, each using the other, and grow new names and new identities. I can paint this sky crimson and plant 8 birds of love who will continuously flutter their wings for you...flying nowhere. I can. I can erase your memories of strife and loneliness. Of fights with your papa and nights of sobs in your attic. I can help your dog live longer so that you don't have to see him die. I can babble as you drive me into the night and light you a smoke every time you feel like it. I never fall asleep.
I am God. I can do miracles.
In me I harbor a cold winter chill. Each day I wake up with prayer on my frosty lips that this long winter of discontent should give way to warm summer breeze.
I go out into the cold and trudge through winter gloom. I collect firewood from trees that have given up their greens years ago. My breath turns to icicles and merge with the white below. Every now and then, I come across birds frozen cold. I hold them close to my ears, almost believing that I will hear their little heart beat. These are the times when I am most afraid of snow.
The frost has a way of getting into places inside you when you are not looking. And then, in a lonely silent cold winter night, I hear my feeble heart beat. I believe.
From the time we were together to this day when you live in me through my words, I have often asked myself how well I knew you. I have heard this spoken about myself, as to how hard it is to understand me, as if I were a mystery, a Dan Brown novel. I have known you just as well as I have known myself through you. In the fleeting moments of togetherness, I have heard my heart sync with yours and sing the same songs, dance to the same beats. I have felt two souls resonating, as if we were strung to two separate guitars but strummed by the same cosmic guitarist. I have inhaled your shampooed hair and fell in love with the way you smell. You have breathed me in as I held you close, and from the way I could hear your heart beat, like that of a little humming bird, I knew how much you loved it with me around.
I have heard your Hindi poems late into night and I so believe that your lines are far closer to perfection than my meandering thoughts. I have crossed busy Hyderabad streets with you, helped you buy your lehanga and taught you better bad words to describe your boss. I have sat behind your Scooty and held on to you (and my dear life), and fought with cops and parking attendants. I have even suffered your seat dance through a Salman Khan movie.
Life is a roller coaster ride. The waves that peak and trough snare and separate. It is said that the sea keeps no secrets. Someday, she will return you to me.
I am sure you have read The Godfather. It is one of those very rare books I have read more than once. I have often wondered, when younger, about the relationship Luca had with the Don. It is only now, closer to forty that I understand some bit of it.
As we grow older, our personalities crystalline and go on to take shapes that we might not always love. I love myself, I am also at ease with the way this world sees me. But deep in my heart, there is a silent longing that everyone I ever come across come and tell me that I am a wonderful person. I have always wanted to impact every life I touched, positively. However, when I look back, I see that this is far from reality. Back there in my past are numerous graves of people I have hurt grievously. The worst thing about these graves are that so many of them are unmarked. These are those of strangers to whom I have been less than kind, impolite or mean at various times in my life. There are some who walk around wounded still. These are the once closest to me, my dearest, whom I have hurt the most. When you hurt the once closest to your soul, they bleed and walk around you until you tend to their wounds with love, or until you are are dead.
The problem with Luca was that of all the people in this world, there was only one from whom he wanted respect and love. Respect and love in return of respect and love. The Don knew him as he were, graves and memories and darkness and all. If the Don could love Luca for the devil he was, that would obviously transform Don Corleone into Luca's personal God.
In our lives, we also have our Don Corleone's. People from whom we want acceptance of who we are, as we are, warts and all. When your Don abandons you, this life becomes insufferable. You will look into the mirror and hate what you have gone on to become, or, worse still, you will hate mirrors for the rest of your lives.
Luca was lucky. His Don loved him right till the end. I wish you also to have your personal Dons, and I pray that they love you for whoever and whatever you are and will go on to become. You cannot control your tomorrows. You cannot rewrite your past. Don't bother changing your present, there is very little time for edits. We are not software codes, there are no testers to tweak the codes. No beta versions.
Your face would have begun
To share tales of times passed by.
A couple of those smile lines
That now give you company
Were originally planted with love
Possibly by I
I have captured you in 22 pictures
Each frozen in time
Each forever mine.
Should you wish to see yourself
Through my eyes
I will share with you my wallpapers
In there, you always wear a smile
And there are no lines.
From Life in a Multiverse
Raj, you need to know things about me that I have never told you. It will be easier for you to manage me that way. I hate lizards, they give me the creeps and they always stare me down. If you have lizards in your kitchen, there is no way I will do the cooking! I love to cook but not everyday. You need to take me out once in a while. Maybe once a month. I love long drives and I am not a shopaholic. I shop rarely and don't spend much. But I would love you to take me out shopping and tell me which dress to wear, what color what fabric. I wear westerns, I hope your parents won't object. Its just that I never wore salwars. And Raj, though I come across as someone strong and sure, I feel terribly low at times and find it difficult to take decisions. You need to help me when I am down. You sleep at 10 and I at 11. I hope you will not want to change that. I will read something while you sleep. And you know what... I love to sleep naked (blush blush), entwined and huddled. You don't mind that do you Raj?
No babe. Its all perfect with me, except the lizard bit. Over the years, I have allowed a couple of them to roam freely in the house. You know how it feels when you are living alone and there is no one to talk to?
Don't tell me you used to talk to lizards?
I still do. They even talk back to me in gecko language!
You are crazy Raj!
Ah! Princess, that's the only thing I always wanted you to know about me! See, now you know me as well!
Raj...what is "Time"?
Hmmm...why do you ask me stupid questions. I am not Aristotle!
Honey, please answer this one for me please, I am a little muddled in my mind.
Time is that which passes between a beginning and an end. It can be measured by peeling off pages from a calendar or stupidly counting the number of times your watch repeats its stupid movements.
But what if there is no beginning and no end. How will you define Time for things with no beginning and no end?
They are timeless.
Thank you Raj. You are my Plato.
Life exhausts itself at a pace beyond my control. I have been dancing to heavy metal for too long. I think it is time for a slow dance. The night sky shows whatever stars my city can afford to show me, they are not many. No, I cannot hear the whirring of the universe, the honking horns probably drowns them. No, I do not have too many people who would take my call at this hour, there is just you and my landlord who will probably be drunk by this time. I know it is late. I know I could have given you some advance notice. Yes I know there is no one to feed the fishes. Yes I know that two bags of laundry is pending. Yes, I understand that the neighbors will be very curious as to where you are going at this hour.
It will only take an hour. If you want, I will drop you back as well. Don't worry I will return on my own. No, it can't be done at your place. Your terrace is locked and there are too many high rises around your apartment. Yes, ten minutes with me. Yes I do. I promise I will not try to do hanky panky. No seriously, you have to believe me. I just want you to be here when I gawk at the Moon.
Beep beep beep.
I am a small fry, a nobody. I know that when I die of stress or heart attack or brain hemorrhage, I will not be called a martyr by my Board of Directors. No resolution will be passed to install my half butt near the parking lot. No sparrow poop for me either! All I will do is proudly go and stand in queue of millions of dead donkeys with broken backs in heaven. And bray my prayers loudly to neutered angels who can't probably play substitute to dear lass Sunny Leonne. And now don't ask me who she is. I know her very closely, though she has the right to disagree!! Poor she.
What do you want me to do? Live for you? What would that really mean? No really, what would that really mean? Write me a few lines, tell me that it will be different from my todays. Tell me that we will dance around trees and all bills will get paid. Tell me that there will no boss, no clients, no team members and no targets. I have a better idea. Marry me, let me be your wife!
PS: This writing is not judgmental of wives or non working women. It is just funny easy reading.
I cannot promise you that I will be the best thing that will happen to you. Life is not a never ending circus, it has its ups and downs. And between the shows, I have heard that there is much hard work. When the curtains go up, i will be your favorite clown, dancing around you and trying to make you laugh. And when the lights are down, I will be there to tend to your swollen feets, massage your shoulders and wash away your makeup. I will make your bed and hush you to sleep. And I will always find you beautiful.
I know that you still believe in Jackpots, I know that you still believe in GOD. I know that you believe that some day some one will touch your life in a way that will make you smile and tickle you from insides. Until that day, you have me, and you have my stories. For every dream that you buy, there is also this little truth that I sell. Dream on.
I remember the first days of our relationship. I used to love Hard rock cafe and she was a Rolling Stone buff. I loved Meatloaf, and she was stuck with MJ. I used to quote Ayn Rand, and she would quote from the Manifesto. I loved this girl once, she was wonderfully different.
Two colors could blend to form a third one. We could have together become more than each other. And then one day she woke up from her slumber. It seems she found me with another doll draped around. She glowed and cursed and walked out in a huff. Her last words as she flung her keys on my face and packed her Elle and Diors were the ones I will never forget. I curse you. May your color remain BLACK!
In response to Midas by Raajii .
P.S. The use of black here is figurative. It is not used here with any racial connotation.
Do you see these tracks Raj?
I do princess.
What do they make you feel?
Ah! Now you think I have feelings too?
Offo Raj, I want an answer.
I love being near them. In fact, I have one running close to where I live.
Funny you would say that Raj. I live next to them too.
I know princess. We discussed this fifteen years ago.
Big deal Raj. What did you do about it?
You remember that guy who sold me my house two years ago?
Ya Raj, i remember, what about him?
When I was buying my house, I gave him only one specification.
And that was?
I told Haneef that I wanted a house next to a railway track.
Dog you are Raj.
Bhou bhou baby.
All these years...and suddenly there were a dozens of photos of you smiling. Most nights, a little before slumber invades, I think of how you might be crying yourself to sleep, shaking in throbs, muffling those sobs and drying those tears so that he does not get irritated at you.
All these years and suddenly I see you smiling through so many beautiful pics. I wish I could steal some happiness from these pics and save it for a rainy day. I could then send some smiles your way, in little installments of sunlight.
You look awesome when you are happy.
Long flights remind me of you. All this cacophony of every day living and suddenly there is so much time. What do I do with all this time?
Long flights remind me of you.
I have left the city lights and even the clouds behind. Up here there is white sunshine. I can see right up to the rim and beyond.
The constant growl of engines is the only give away, nothing moves, for hours, everything outside remains same. And then you start taking over my mind. Like the sky that turns crimson before night, I can feel your thoughts invade, pervade, persuade.
Color me crimson when there is still time. Color me crimson before it is night. Long flights... Ah long flights!
Parents are probably the greatest gift God gave to children. As I grow older, I closely observe my parents and their role in my life. Even in their sixties, they relentlessly continue to make sacrifices for me that are very difficult for me to fully comprehend. It is maybe because I do not have a child or a partner of my own.
My ma misses her evening serial so that my rotis are ready. My dad catches an auto so that I can travel by his airconditioned car. The list of small things they do for me everyday is endless. They continue to surprise me by pushing the boundaries of sacrifice for me. And to imagine that it started 39 years ago and continues unabated to this day is an humbling experience.
When lord Ganesha and lord Karthik were asked to make a quick round the world trip, Karthik promptly flew away on his peacock, hoping to win the race. Lord Ganesha was a step ahead. He quickly took a round of where his parents were sitting. Thereby, winning the race.a
Have you seen those faces lost in thought
Have you seen yourself in a mirror lately
Are you the same woman that I knew once,
Of all the faces that flicker on the screen
Is there some that of me reminds?
And these journeys are often long,
One day when all this is done
You and I will sit along
And for every year of your neglect
My dear, you will sing me a song.
A few lines from Auden's As I walked out one evening provides some solace.
Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
Like geese about the sky.
'The years shall run like rabbits,
For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
And the first love of the world.'
But all the clocks in the city
Began to whirr and chime:
'O let not Time deceive you,
You cannot conquer Time.
'In the burrows of the Nightmare
Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
And coughs when you would kiss.
'In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.
Should you hear a puppet talk, would it say goodbye every time the show is done? The darkness that lurks behind heavy draped curtains don't let in light, would you hear it every say good night? Should someday a streetlight talk to you, would you hear it say in the dead of the night, walk my my walk walk my way?
I still remember my first date with a water fountain. Hyderabad airport was newly built, everything gleamed in chrome and the signage were awesome. I saw that they had done away with the paper or plastic based water dispensers, there was a "fountain" instead. The instructions were clear, press here and slurp (yeah, I am aware of the connotations). There was even a photograph of a caucasian blonde drinking out of a fountain, ...made it all look like something very up market and sexy. How could I be left behind? I pressed the right button, made myself look all elite, bent my tall frame into an odd geometrical shape, opened my mouth in an angle that closely resembled palsy (with due respects to all sentiments)... Nothing happened! I fumbled with the switch again and pressed it hard. The girl next to me got the first shot of water in the wrong places, and shrieked!
it is five years now. I gave it a good three years to learn how to drink out of these fountains, and then certified myself untrainable. Those three years were full of free entertainment to fellow commuters, ugly looks and drenched vests...at times water did find way further down into those secret places that I don't want to write about.
I carry a used Kinley bottle with me for the last two years. I have made numerous grateful friend sharing this old bottle with newbies around numerous water fountains across Indian airports. I don't slurp, I drink ;-)
For the time that I did not have with you, I do not blame you. For the time I had but could not spent, I do not hold myself guilty. I have observed that Life follows its own mysterious rules. Some cycles are short, some long and winding, never ending. What roads will lead us on to each other again, I do not know. That our paths will ever cross again, I cannot guarantee. How will it be, should we meet again, I cannot foresee.
I live with my inability to learn from my past, I love my inability to predict the future. This life does not run on my terms, I am not the driver of this carriage. Should the wild northern winds that power my journey, breeze me your way, we shall meet again. And then what we go on to become, is between you and me and my chauffeur, destiny.
What is life without a little imagination. It is imagination, our how else would we know of pigs with wings and rivers with monsters. Everyday, I imagine a little devil of a dream, and I safely deposit it into my favorite dream piggy bank.
Over the years many have come true. The others are yet to grow wings. All my pigs will fly :-)
There are times, and then there are forever times.
The happy times that you and I remember, together
Are the forever times.
Smoking in your dads attic
Picking a fight with your neighbor cause your dog barked too loud
Riding a rickshaw with you behind
Blowing bubbles on your face, and you screaming about that stupid makeup
Playing in cold and dirty snow
Kissing with Cola and other exotic drinks
Flying a kite
Someday, you will be big enough to read this and feel proud of the family you were born into. We are no nation builders, we have had no prime ministers or presidents in our family. For all that you know, centuries will pass before you will read about any of us in history books. But you know what, we have been just as much loved by the creator. Our temple gods have protected us all through the ages and watched over us through the ages. We have had our ups and downs, but we have lived on:-) I have tried to capture our origins up to about 8 preceding generations in the family tree. Ask your mother to share the link with you.
You will agree with me, your mother is a very special woman. Stronger than steel, level headed, outgoing and loving. Also, I know no other person, living or dead, who could manage your father up to whatever degree she can. Every time I think of your mother, I am reminded of her grandmother, your great grand mother, Gauriamma. She was a special woman as well. In fact, the women in your family were all very powerful in their own ways. They independently managed great troubles and challenges in life, but ensured that their children grew up strong and adept at facing life's troubles. One of the reasons why the women in our family were probably more stronger than men is because until my immediate past generation, the nair society was essentially matrilineal. Women lived longer and managed the affairs of the estate better.
Gauriamma was greatly respected, feared, admired, loved and hated in our huge family. She was the eldest of five siblings and had all the pompous show off reminiscent from the time your family controlled vast tracts of land in Tiruvalla. She was a brilliant administrator, agriculturist, story teller and also a loving grand mother. Her power and influence on for of her grand children, I Rajani, Raji and Renjini were such that we are yet to come to terms with her death at the age of 87 some three years ago. We expected her to live forever. When she died, some 800 people descended to wish their last goodbyes to her. Such was her power.
Your mother and both your maternal aunts retain a bit of Gauriamma in them. They are very powerful women. When you grow up and take a wife, ensure that you allow them the space to grow and also ensure that they retain their independent identity. For when you run through rough weather, you need good company to see you through lives ups and downs. If you do so, I am sure that if it is a girl child you have, you will have Gauri blessing your life, just as she blessed ours.
Happy growing up.
My earliest memories are of sitting on a jackfruit tree and eating the fruit. My youngest sister would be hollering down there asking for her fair share of the fruit. The tree belonged to a relative of mine who himself was waiting for this particular jackfruit to ripen a little more. We finished it off without getting caught!
When I was at college doing my English, there used to be panineer champa trees right next to the English department. Atleast twice a week, I used to be right on top of these trees, and there used to be an elaborate distribution network below. The fruits used to reach right up to the vice principal, Rev. Punchayil.
I and about six of my cousins (age range was from 8 to 21) would go out into the paddy fields in the night with Cadnica torches and hurricane lamps. We used to catch some 40 large green frogs and five or six cat fishes. Late into night, this group would return, divide the catch and have a great time next day with fried frogs and fish curry.
This was my growing up. Lots of open spaces, trees, paddy fields and pure fun. And then came higher salaries, with them inflation and cluttered spaces. I have more money, more things to buy but very little time...and very little space. The air I breath needs an ozone aircon to purify it. Someday, our kids will read about villages, paddy fields and guava trees in story books. Who would believe what they read in story books?
We are capable of great role plays. A couple of minutes before someone slits her veins, she will laugh and sing with you. Even when we are on the verge of losing everything we ever had, we can steal a minute to relish a burger!
Our ability to silently suffer injustice will confound even our creator. Some lives begin and end without having lived at all.
You have to be in this place to actually believe what I am going to write. It is so downright surprising and unnerving that every time I think about it, I end up laughing.
I had just spent a night in Patna. I woke up at about 5.30 am with an eerie feeling of being watched. Maybe the window was open and someone was snooping on my balding mane, you never know these days! With half open eyes I tried looking through the mosquito net. Something was blocking my view. I shifted a little to the left and looked out again. Whatever was blocking my vision moved with me! It was not full light yet and I got scared. I sat up on the bed with a start. One hundred thousand mosquitoes divided into batches, one set moved to where my head was and the other set remained buzzing close to where my face was.
I have never seen so many mosquitoes together in my life. They made me feel like a super star. Only, it was not my autograph they were after ;-)
There is nothing that is permanently mine
There will be nothing in my entire life that I will own entirely and for all times. One day I will be too old for my frame to manage, and I will move on.
The little love that I feel for you today will fade tomorrow. There will be other lovers other affairs and a lot many more of heart breaks. Everything that has a beginning has an end. Don't hold on to me, I am ever changing. I won't stop by forever, I will move on.
Growing old is a good thing. It is like cold steel turning malleable, it is like harsh jagged edges of rocks getting rounded by the consistent onslaught of the seas and the winds. Growing older is about replacing my original beliefs about changing the world with uncomfortable thoughts about my own immortality, my own super stardom. Maybe I am not the only superman walking the earth! Maybe I don't have the kind of time I initially thought I had. Maybe I don't have the credits and bonus points in my kitty to go on fighting monsters and hidden enemies of the world forever.
The years as they pass by lend relevance to what the masters have said before... Maybe some bit of what happens in my life is also because of me. Maybe those who have run away have run away because I am the kind of person who makes them kind of people run away. Maybe those who tag along tag along because there is something in me that glues them to me. I am good for some not good for some.
The rage of youth and the extreme urge to bracket others into good and bad, right and wrong, dumb or bright, poor our rich, educated or illiterate, like me and hence good, unlike me and hence bad etc. is giving way to silent consistent probing about myself.
The years ahead will see me taking on the demons in me more often. I realize that when I hate less...I find that there is more space to love. Love is something that helps make life happier, hatred is like a handheld 3g device, it generates to much heat and drains the batteries lot faster. Love is slower, helps you live longer.
The mukri of the mosque next to my house shouts into the microphone everyday morning, calling the faithful to prayers. I see the tabela guy escorting his buffaloes to pasture, and I hear the paper guy delivering my morning paper at the door. Nothing much changes here.
This is the twentieth year of you and I.
I remember the smell of burnt diesel from my teenage rail journeys. I also remember the color of your t-shirt, it was saffron. You had cut your hair small and were wearing a hair band. You had done up your eyebrows and your eyes sparkled and caught the light coming through the windows.
We sat close, you liked it that way. I remember the heady fragrance of your perfume as it mingled with diesel fumes. The world outside was greener then, and there seemed to be to many yellow flowers in the fields. Surprisingly, I remember little of what we spoke. I remember the chug of diesel engines negotiating curves and I remember you and I standing by open doors, counting bogies. You counting the bogies and I counting the seconds you cling on to me, living each moment of togetherness, as if it were eternity.
I love trains. Half my lines have trains in them.
Does it matter which way it goes? It has to start from somewhere and end some other were. Sometimes it runs on the surface sometimes it flows far underground. It sows dreams on one bank and sorrow on the other. What it takes from one it gives back to the other.
I have a beginning and an end. Between the beginning and this end, what I do is of no consequence to me. What gets done is. Until the time my time runs out, in your banks I will stay.
And without an inkling of how my life was about to change
I run into you!
A meandering river from desolate places, I now find myself sinking
Into an ocean of unfathomable depths called you.
It is tumultuous
What you do to me.
You color me blue.
There is much to learn from my mom and dad. My mother is my dads centre of the universe. He cooks for her, buys stuff for her and cares for her in ways that are incomprehensible to me. Twenty years ago when they first separated to live in two different cities, I remember dad crying over the dinner table. The years that mom lived in Kerala were years when dad would criss cross the country many times a year to be with her. And now that mom has retired, they live together again, like a fiery thunder living with a silent lake.
Mom is like that. Silent, not very expressive and strictly mind my own business type. She thinks too much with her head and dad is greatly driven by passion and emotion. I wish I were capable of loving someone half as much, in a subtler more subdued manner. Someday I will.
I chanced upon your linked in update,
It says you have moved on.
I know that you have left my town
A town for which you had mixed memories
Of love longing and pain.
You could have dropped a line
I know it is difficult for you
It would have been easier on me.
Yesterday on my way back home
I saw someone like you on the road
The winter fog seems to be playing games
For in the heart of winter chill
I felt the warmth of summer breeze.
You are my sunshine
You keep shining still :-)
The warmth of your breath near my ears
The feel of your free flowing hair brushing my shoulders
The fragrance of your perfume
Tingling all my senses.
Let the world come to an end tonight
For I don't want to live in my tomorrows anymore.