Tuesday, August 31, 2010
He watched as the others started to leave. The fire had settled comfortably into a steady rhythm and burned with a sizzle. He sat down next to her, in companionable silence. He always treasured these moments with her, when they could sit side by side and not say a word. Out of habit, he reached out for her hand, anticipating the comfort of interlocking fingers. Tonight, she didnt respond. His fingers gripped cold air and startled, he quickly withdrew his hand.
He had prided himself on being a no-nonsense, no-emotion kind of man. A man of few words, he believed his actions were sufficient to convey his minimal emotions whenever required. And she had understood. He remembered her eyes widen in surprise when he had once confessed how much he needed her in his life. The look on her face had been worth letting down his guard, even if for a few moments. He now wished he had done it more often.
Memories are dangerous. Simultaneously created with every moment that you are alive, they hide in the dark recesses of your mind. And rise to the surface when you are least expecting them, taking you by surprise and often leaving behind intense pain in its wake. She was doing that to him now. Coming alive in his mind as a laughter, a pout, a glance or a kiss. He shook his head in an effort to clear the images but she just wouldnt let him be. The wind joined in, laughing at his misery, as it ran through the trees.
The fire was starting to die. It would be morning soon. He knew he should leave but he was not ready to let go of her, not just yet. He was so lost in his thoughts that he had failed to see the two men sitting in the shadows, their backs turned to him. Perhaps they were respecting the privacy of his moments with her. So he was surprised when a dirty hand offered him a cup of steaming hot tea. He looked up to see a dark man in a tattered shawl and dhoti, extending the earthern cup to him. He was shocked to note the lack of warm clothing on this man. Noting his questioning look, the man nodded towards the area surrounding them and quietly said, 'these fires keep us warm.' Handing him the cup, the man walked back into the shadows.
Holding the hot cup in his hands he realised he had not smoked ever since he had come here. The aroma of tea had triggered the latent nicotine urge and he reached into his pocket for his pack. He welcomed this opportunity to share a smoke with her, smiling at the memory of how they planned to quit smoking each time they lit up a cigarette. The fire was now just a warm glow but enough to light up the last stick he would share with her.
The sky was waking up as the still hidden winter sun coloured it with a misty hue. He rose and dusted his trousers and pulled his jacket tighter around himself. He then did something which was so unlike him and so much like her. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his clean, neatly folded white kerchief and spread it open on his palm. He bend down and with his free hand, scooped up a fistful of ash. Gently, he placed that ash on the cloth and tied it into a tiny bundle and kept it in his pocket. Pushing his hands into his pockets, he turned and began the long walk to his car, parked just outside the iron gates. He did not glance back as he quickened his steps, not wanting to see what he was leaving behind. An empty earthern cup, a cigarette butt and her funeral pyre, now razed to the ground...
Monday, August 30, 2010
From the shadows
And taking control
Of your senses
Into your very being
Till everything else
Ceases to exist
And only IT remains
This mad, passionate obsession
At its peak
Just before it melts
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Lost and found
Whatever you send out
It comes around
A lost slipper
Went out to the sea
Another came back to me
Love faked from the start
A broken heart
Being there for a friend
A smile earned
The favour returned
A friendly hug
A warm smile
Amidst the rush
If you pause a while
Someone out there
Maybe needing you now
It will come back and how
He cut through the crowd and moved towards her. He felt an urgency which he could not understand. It was a need to reach her before she got lost again.
She stood rooted to the spot watching him make his way towards her. She hardly heard her name being called. It was only when her husband lightly took her hand that the ballroom came back to life. She turned to greet the couple being introduced to her by her husband.
He saw her turn to smile at the man who now had his hand possessively placed around her waist. He abruptly turned around and walked back.
She scanned the room once again and caught a glimpse of him walking out of the door, a beautiful woman by his side.
Two strangers, a chance meeting and a moment frozen forever in time.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
And strengthened its hold
On two unsuspecting victims
Something once beautiful
Had turned ugly with age
Something once strong
Failed the test of time
Perhaps it was wrong to begin with
And so people had said
Just an escape route
Now it was too late
The choices had been made
And destiny had claimed her victims
Two souls entwined in karmic bonds
If only they could have seen
What lay ahead
When they began their journey
Would they have chosen differently
Or would they have still taken a chance
Treading more carefully perhaps
Participants in an unfair duel
With destiny as their nemesis
Each choice we make
Has a lesson in it
And often the hardest lessons
Are the ones we remember
Long after the class is over
Each lifetime is such a classroom
So learn your lessons well
Monday, August 9, 2010
It was a beautiful, crispy morning and I woke up smiling at another new day!.....Okay I am lying. It was hot and humid and I woke up cranky. And it was not due to the fact that I had had less than two hours of sleep. I always wake up cranky. If its morning and if I have to wake up = I am cranky!!! And its not a new phenomenon. I have been like this since birth. In fact I was supposed to be born on a bright early morning in June (some year in the stone age). I refused. The aged doctor waited patiently, the fat ugly nurse waited patiently, the sweeper who was supposed to sweep the floor clean right after this eventful delivery waited patiently, my dad waited..err...nervously and my mom waited...ahem...not so patiently. But I refused to make a grand entry into this world because it was still MORNINGGGG.
I waited patiently, twiddling my tiny thumbs inside my mommy's tummy...waiting for the auspicious moment. And then at sharp 12 noon, when the cuckoo clock on the delivery room's wall sang coo coo coo coo coo coo coo coo ...choli ke pichey kya hai....choli ke pichey. Okay I am lying again. This melodious and meaningful devotional song was not invented till much later. But you should have guessed I am not being entirely truthful when I said cuckoo clock on the wall...I mean which delivery room has a cuckoo clock hanging on the wall...duh??? Don't you remember looking up at the clock to check your exact time of birth, hanging upside down being held by that hairy doctor who gave that resounding thwackkk on your baby bottom when you were born? Do you remember seeing any cuckoo clock on that wall? What's wrong with your memory? So the gist of this post is that there are no cuckoo clocks on hospital walls...delivery rooms or otherwise. No...something doesnt read right here...hmm...is this what I was talking about when I started this post?
Nooo I was talking about how I hate waking up on early mornings. When the sun goes up I want to go down on my bed, curl up and sleep. Dad, do we have Count Dracula hanging somewhere on a branch in our family tree? Anyways, so I hate mornings and I woke up at 6:30 am this morning, feeling as fresh as a daisy that has been lying on the grave of Mr. D'Souza for the last thirty years having been placed there by his only surviving relative ...his wife...who died of a stroke right after placing this daisy on his grave. By a strange quirk of fate the cemetary closed down on the same day and has never been cleaned since that fateful day and no wind nor water has managed to remove that daisy lying on that particular grave since that day. Ohhhh spooky! Yup thats how fresh -as -that -daisy I felt when I woke up this morning.
Okay so far so good. Here I am ...not so awake...groggy...irritable and anyone who knows me would see a neon sign flashing over my head which would read "Stay Away...She Bites". Even my dogs stay away from me at this particular part of the day after I bit one of them when he playfully assumed I would be interested in playing tug of war right after waking up in the morning. Cheee that dreadful word again. Okay okay I know how to be concise. I woke up in the morning today. There...happy?
So I woke up and after lots of growling, tantrums, threats and coaxing, finally I was tempted to crawl out of bed when I was promised kachauri and jalebi for breakfast. What all a woman has to do papi pete ke liye...sigh! Cut to scene two...me all dressed up formally in purple t-shirt and deep blue jeans and favourite blue slippers with red, white and blue striped bag slung over my shoulders, red nail paint, purple headband with white polka dots and sunshades. No I am not going out to play colourman colourman with my six year old nephew. I am just colourblind. And my parents hid this secret from me till I had made it a regular habit of going out wearing pinks with oranges and purples with yellows and maroons with whatever. Only when Govinda (the famous actor...remember.... he taught the nation the hindi alphabets in a very user friendly manner while sliding up his lungi or pyajamas or whatever....singing aa eeeee uu oooo...and karishma aunty helped him in this educational campaign) became a style icon for the youth of India, was I told by my parents and polite friends that I had been unwittingly wearing 'his' kind of colour combinations all these years. Life sucks! Okay so where was I? Just a minute...are you still reading this? Whyyyyy? You really dont have anything better to do? What..you dont? Okay then stay with me and find out what I did with the rest of my day. It's a long long story. So far I have tried to be direct and to the point and concise but bear with me if I tend to get a little carried away from now on....it was such an interesting day after all.
So I walked out of the door thinking about those jalebis and humming a tune to myself. By the way, my friends have noted that I always 'hum'. If I am sad or happy or worried or depressed or scared or nervous or ecstatic or in any state of mind....my way to deal with it is to 'hum'...off tune ofcourse. Besides being colour blind I am also tone deaf. Some of my close buddies from work had lovingly named me the 'psychotic hummer' because they said my 'humming quietly while sitting at my desk pretending to work' scared them as it gave a feel like I was enacting a scene straight out of the hitchcock movie 'psycho'...(visualise scene: psychotic serial killer posing as a copywriter at an ad agency, sits quietly at her desk. She hums to herself while cutting out and pasting the snaps of her next vicims on her murder list. Topping the list is her creative director who stole numerous ideas off her during brainstorming sessions. A close second is her art director who argued he would not reduce the size of the stupid font on the layout and dared to suggest that she should change her earth shattering award winning headline instead!) So, friends, romans, countrymen and also women...if you ever have the misfortune of meeting me personally and then if you ever hear me humming during any part of our intellectually stimulating conversation .... run, dont walk, towards the nearest exit point. Just a friendly warning! And if you dont read this post till the very end now that you have come so far, you just might instigate me to start humming and cutting out your snaps (which I shall somehow locate in this cyberworld) and pasting it on my list. So where was I?
Okay, so I leave home in search of jalebis and hubby drives me to six bloody sweet shops who have just raised the shutter and are not selling jalebis! Did I mention life sucks? But not always because the seventh shop has ja-le-bees!!! We discover jalebis and I yell 'Bhatindaaaa". What? Did you expect a 'eureka'? Nooo that has been the copyrighted 'yell' word of Eureka Forbes for years ever since they created their company's first vaccum cleaner which sucked! Aw c'mon I am not criticising their product...a vaccum cleaner which sucks is doing its job well, right? Anyways, jalebis discovered, bought, alongwith other health food items like samosas and thumsup and off we go to our actual destination...my aunt's place.
Now if you are wondering why I went through all this trouble to drop in at my aunt's place so early in the morning...you are normal...you should be wondering. Well the details are as follows:
1. My aunt is a designer
2. Sarees are her forte
3. She needs to make a catalogue of her designs and also needs to listen to and follow common sense suggestions like publicising her work through websites, magazines, blah blah blah
4. So far she has done nothing except exhibitions and word of mouth publicity. Hell, we are related you know and in some cases she is as lazy and laid back as me. Blood ties I tell you!
5. Newsflash: She finally agreed to get a photo shoot done
Today was Day One of this fashion photo shoot. And me, with my Govinda inspired dressing sense, colourblindness and all, was helping her out with creative suggestions. Do you need help climbing back onto the chair? I noticed you fell off laughing. You are not very polite are you? But I am, so I will help you climb back on that chair and then I will firmly tie you in place for your own safety. So, where was I?
Yes, there we were at my aunt's place. Sarees here and sarees there sarees sarees everywhere! What, you have heard this rhyming line somewhere before? Well, how innovative do you expect me to be at 4 am in the morning? Just wait till I get an opportunity to shake you awake when you are snoring at 4 am someday. I will ask you...chal ab original poem likhkey batah....Thennnn you will understand. Hey, its 4 already? You mean its gonna be daylight soon? Oh no...my pet vampire bats (Dad, did you locate that family tie to the Count or not?) are already getting anxious searching for dark corners to hide and Pedro my pet owl is impatiently staring at his watch wondering when he can retire for the day. So I will have to be even more concise and end this post soon. Time is running out...tick tock tick tock tick tock....tak tak tuk tak tuk tuk...(sorry, it got bored running out in the same style since it was born and decided to run out to a different rhythm today). So, where was I?
Oh ya I need to end this post now...I am starting to feel sleepy and hungry. So will just give you the bullet points about the rest of the day:
The shoot went exceptionally well even though the daylight was already starting to fade out when we bums realised we should get some nice outdoor shots. What? You were expecting bullet points to be in bullets? Life sucks you know. Okay so the shoot was superb. The sarees were simply beautiful. Breakfast was good. The lunch was even better....authentic bengali preparation of finger lickin good mutton curry and rice. I also noticed there were some other UFOs on the table which I didnt try (for the dimwitted: UFO = Unidentified Fried Object. Dont even think about trying this category of food at my aunt's place...she thinks of innovative ways to feed dangerous stuff like karela to my cousin and me).
Some crucial life changing lessons which I learnt and observed at the fashion shoot today and will remember for the rest of my life till tomorrow:
1. My aunt is a very very talented designer in spite of being my aunt
2. My hubby does know a thing or two about fashion photography as well. Nah, he's pretty good in spite of being my husband
3. My sister (cousin) is really good looking (she modelled for the shoot ...willingly)
4. My brother (cousin) is really good looking (he modelled for the shoot....hmm.... not so willingly. Damn where did I keep that gun I was holding against his head?)
5. My brother's girlfriend is really good looking (she modelled for the shoot...willingly)
6. My aunt is really good looking (she did not model for the shoot)
7.I belong to a family of good looking people who could have chosen modelling as a profession. Damnit damnit damnit...life sucks! I need to lose atleast 51 kgs to appear to be remotely related to these goodlooking aliens which I call family. I am depressed. I will go eat that last slice of plum cake right after I sign off from this blog.
8. I can plan out an alternative career as a highly paid creative consultant for glamorous fashion shoots. Or alternatively I could be the 'spot boy' for a production unit conducting such a shoot. I can fetch water you know.
All in all, a highly productive and creatively satisfying fun day. Will post some pirated pics from the shoot in my next post, if I can learn how to remove watermarks from copyright wala images. And then I will tell you all about...oh nooooooo....did I just hear caw caw caw...the crowssssss...subah ho gayi mamu.....nahinnnnnnnnn.......