Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A song in my heart...
anondo loke, mongola loke birajo sotto sundåro. mohima tåbo udbhasito måha gågon majhe bisso jågåto moni bhushån besTito Chåråne.

I woke up with one of my favourite songs buzzing in my head. I was singing while packing Ro’s lunch, humming through my bath and during my drive to work. And suddenly I feel happy. Not exhilaratingly happy but peaceful. A friend of mine often says, happiness and sadness are transient. What is most important is your peace of mind. True true true. I feel happy that I am alive. Happy that I still have so much to look forward to. And, finally, make something out of my ambition. My problems wouldn’t evaporate for sure. My finances need working on. My health needs to be taken care of. My career needs focus and drive. But today I shall park all of it and celebrate for a while. First, I have to train a bunch of kids for a dance recital next week. It would be a whole lot of fun arranging costume, making the props and mostly just letting them enjoy the rhythm. I have chosen a bangla folk song that celebrates the freedom from oppression. The only reason we live is to be happy. Yes, life is beautiful, for now.

and a smile in my soul!

“Don’t you ever shave, Mommy?" said the boy who-just-turned-eight. It startled his mother before she gave in to a bout of mirth. “Women don’t shave silly!” she said light-heartedly. “But look!” he said touching her eyebrows. And yes. Sure enough, her beauty salon appointment was long over due. But she never thought anyone was watching. From any other man, this would have been his death wish. But she has grown aware of her son’s discerning eye as he nonchalantly told her when she looked good and when she didn’t. And he did it with an ease that only children possess.

All her life, she has rarely given appearance any importance. At school she was a hockey-playing pimply tom boy with a hell with the world attitude. At college she changed into a dowdy bespectacled young woman who knew a Moog better than a mascara. First year at university went by listening to head-banging music, smoking pot and sniggering at women who spent money on lipsticks. At the university, she kept a measured distance from her glamorous hostel neighbour GG, the 5’7” slim, husky babe who was also blessed with a terrific brain (she is a top scholar and currently teaches at Harvard). At times she amazed at her ability to ‘live’ in a face pack while discussing the next assignment. GG used to practice strutting in her five inch stiletto up and down the first floor hostel corridor while the rest of the girls watched with admiration mixed with envy. The same GG, one day came into her room and asked her to loan her the black tartan top that she thought matched her black Ravi Bajaj miniskirt. GG’s admirers recoiled with horror. According to them it was a fashion faux pas. But GG went for the photo shoot with the borrowed tartan and apparently was admired and noticed by many happening Delhi couturier of that time. From then on GG would often come over to her room with armful of glam garb and ask for her opinion. “You have a sense of style” she used to say. “Why don’t you try some of it?” she had offered. But she refused politely, cocky in her feminism fired snobbery. The first dent came from an affair of hearts. “Behind all this cultivated retro snobbery you are actually quite pretty” K had quipped, risking a tirade. What ensued was a long sermon on MCP stereotyping and commoditization of women. But somewhere his comment had warmed her and slowly she changed. May be it was love. Maybe it was the fact that he noticed her beyond her wisecracks. First to go were her glasses. While she never transformed into the proverbial swan she caught unknown men staring at her and her male friends suddenly seeking her company and not just for a good conversation. But that was a long time ago. Today, her boy’s remark surprised her. Yes, life has come a full circle. She chuckled at her thought as she made a mental note to drop by the salon after work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

As her hope plummets from the crest, she slides slowly but surely into a self-loathing despair. Once again.
She remembers the excitement and the amazement in the child’s voice, when they had gone to see his unfinished home, in which she had hoped to built her new life. She passed by the concrete structure today. Something sharp hit her gut compelling her to look at the still unfinished high-rise,  whose insides she will never see again.
”Are you crazy? Who would ever love you?” S had said with a cocky confidence in his ability to pull the strings of her life long after they had separated. The divorce left her financially crippled and emotionally stunted. She forgot how to respond to normalcy and became a parodied version of herself, clothing her desperation in excessive exuberance and her hurt in smooth stoicism. It was then that he offered himself. He gave her love and hope and dreams and she grabbed them like a starving child. She had never known happiness the way she had known with him. She gave herself to him, and the future, in their spirited stubbornness of making a life together.
But somewhere in that journey, in her dogged focus on clearing the brambles that clouded her path, she lost her love. She lost that one thing that held her whole. Today, in his cursory calls, in her rising despair, in her injured spirit, in the nothingness of the future, she tries to find a reason to live.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Do you remember the first time we spoke? A hesitant hello. Some static. Then rush of words. My hands shook a little but I hid it with exaggerated swagger in my voice. You were nervous too I am certain. For you faltered over my name once. I blushed till my ears felt hot. Somewhere we fell into native tongue. 30 minutes non stop. Then you said maybe I should get on with my day. It was a Saturday. Same day two years ago.

My house burnt down.

Now I can better see

The rising moon.

- a haiku by Basho -


Saturday, August 09, 2008

what I am reading right now...

I have just started reading Adechie's book having read Purple Hibiscus before. Hauntingly raw. No, I haven't got to the gore yet. So far it is a tapestry of bare human emotions.