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Tag: Innocence

Keep smiling!

Now that most conversations and relationships are maintained online, and there’s more ‘CAPSLOCK’ than actual yelling, more ttyl, more brb, more dnd, more cya, more whatever. Frankly, I don’t care. I don’t care if the soul in people’s communication is absent, I don’t care if emotions are dead, or if intimacy is lost or if distance builds between people! People are talking (rather blabbering) whatsoever! That’s more than glad! If you want warmth in your relationships, closeness with people of your life, and enliven the spirits, probably one should just go for it. Put your heart to it and do it. Online or offline. It’s not the means, it’s always the place where you make upto! Just wanted to say, to all those intellectual freaks, who lecture about how technology seeped into human relationships and fucked it up. How whiny is that! You don’t even know to guard your own mind and soul, and blame it all on the mind-less soul-less technology! It’s not gonna blame you back afterall!

But certainly, there’s one thing I greatly despise or find upsetting about the turn of events as such. These emoticons! Truly annoying! I’d rather say, misunderstood, misused and that’s such a mishap! Nobody ever fully gets what the other person tries to convey with a combination of colon, semi-colon, paranthesis and p’s and d’s and o’s! It’s been of such extensive use that it no longer means anytging. Well, use them anyway. I do too. They are the ice-breakers and once in a while, funny too. But I am sad how my smiles don’t pass by this. I put a : followed by a ) coz I actually really genuinely love to smile. And when I say keep smiling, I totally mean that. In the havoc of millions of colourful and disgusting smileys, I wish 🙂 could win the throne back and be the master of all smileys! Bring the pioneer back, I say! Back then, with the smiling face, was the only time we could actually communicate ’emoticons’ without confusion! A sad face, once in a while, was fine too!

Now thinking of it, ‘Keep smiling!’ was the motto of my school. The school that laid that basic blocks of my morale and principles. Wonder why it took me so long to assimilate the thought! Everytime, I saw that writing on the black board, I was wondering what’s up with the grown ups! Why would they even teach us to be escapists, run away from life, and ignore problems and just keep smiling? But now, at 21 years of age, I feel like Buddha! Like, the meaning just revealed to me. Like, all that I ever wanted was just buried so deep in my mind, next to a school girl’s confused thoughts! The answer reveals itself and it’s all in the smile. Putting it short, the whole deal here is that, when I tell you (you being my online conversation partner) ‘Keep smiling’, I most genuinely mean it. More than words.

Smile away!

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Superannuation!

“Dad, how do you spell rimpersement?” “Dear, I thought you knew. Make daddy proud about his little girl! Don’t be silly and stupid like this. Anyway, r-e-i-m-b-u-r-s-e-m-e-n-t.” “What’s VRS and CRS daddy?” “Where did you hear them now! Voluntary and compulsory retirement from service.” ” Why don’t you take them dad! That means you’ll no more have to work and can stay with me at home. You could drive me to school, we could come back in the evening and pick up mom. And you know the best part? I could skip the after-school nursery! That lady is so…” “Dear, that’s not gonna happen now. If I quit, who’s gonna get you all the stuff you want? How will we pay your school fees? The books..” “Oh daddy! I am so stupid. I’ll study and get a job, and then you take the VRS thing then?” “My sweet little thing! It’d be time for my superannuation then!” “er..your what?” “Honey, let’s keep that for a while later. Now walk fast, so that we don’t get caught in the rain.”

….

How much time passed by, after that one little conversation! Nobody ever knows. Nobody ever knew what happened to that sweet little girl and her daddy. Over the years, things changed. Drastic, dramatic, diplomatic. All kinda changes had come over people, places, things, but memories. Next to change, I think memories are the one other thing that doesn’t change. It either stays or doesn’t. So her memories, or his memories, were now lost in the deluge of the new striking events, that has brought their lives to this moment.

So now is when he retires. Filling out the PF forms, he had obvious difficulties. He didn’t care enough to ask for help, she didn’t bother to offer help either. As he was filling them out, the moment of silence loosely hung on a thread. And the thread was so broken, and words so came flowing in, when the mother and the rest of the family joined the father and the daughter. He was almost done with a nominee field left out. And he asked, “Sudha, what’s Bhavya’s DOB?”. Her world just crashed right in front of her. Why was he asking mom about her sister’s date of birth? Is she going to be the nominee? Why not me, she thought. It wasn’t about the money. Now that everybody earned shitloads of money, nobody cares. It wasn’t about the authority either. But didn’t she and he have a pact? A superannuation-slash-VRS pact? When he finally promised to be with her, spending more time with her. And when she could finally reach out for her dad, at all points enroute being daddy’s pride! And now, all of that’s gone? Misunderstanding? Miscommunication? Mis-what? She just missed that one pact she had hoped to exist. The one that she was sure would be kept. Why do people change like there was never a past? Like, there was no history that they shared with the others in their present! She died a little inside, but casually sat there, right opposite to him, with no emotions.

….

Could Sudha be right? Did I unnecessarily make a fuss about the whole retirement thing by calling the return-back party at home? She seems too burdened with the chores. But then, did I have a choice. I so wanted my little girl to be here with me, while I retire and step out of my office. I have finally made enough space and time for her in life. Perhaps, Sudha was right. I shouldn’t have wanted her to come. She seems so uninterested. She’s right about moving on, from daddy’s little one to the woman she has become now. You make me proud, dear. But I would have been a lot more happier, if only things were slightly different. And if we could still get back to our old VRS pact! Or did that already slip into our cold mask of oblivion!

Pulse!

When I say pulse, I am not sure about what exactly am I trying to say, even within myself. It could rather be interpreted as some ‘symptom’ of life!  Or, in more contemporary terms, the pulse of something is the essence of the thing itself. Essentially, breathing and the beating heart and the neural throbbing symbolises the pulse of life and staying alive. But, often, we come across mannerisms and habits (aka compulsive obsessions) that let you know they sure are alive nd kicking, beyond the inhale-exhale routine. And most of the time, its mockery upon people’s OCDs. But at once, I realised there’s some fact in this.

As on most weekends, we set off to meet our grandparents (mom’s). But this time at my aunt’s place, as they had come over there. By the time we reached, grandpa was sick. Low sugar. He was exhausted and lying down. Everybody got worried, stuffing him with as much ‘sweet’ness as they could. Mom went uber crazy, under pressure, which used to be typical of aunt. Hustling around, I thought people were nnecessarily making a fuss there. After all, thatha (grandpa) is old and he’s used to be of a weaker health for the past decade. But he’s always strived and came out good. So I sat down on a chair, across the hall, facing him. Everybody was still standing, and I went WTF in my mind! It’s not like I loved him any less. Perhaps I’d say, I am the one who loves him the most, second only to ammammai (grandma). May be that’s not true from somebody else’s perspective, but definitely for me. So it was not like I wasn’t concerned. I was just sure its all gonna be fine. But then I notice something. I saw his hand, awkwardly clenched, like he has no more control over them. Could it be a stroke? Is his mouth slightly awkward too? Did he just get paralysed to his right? Infinite questions and my head would have just exploded. I got up (calmly or in a mad rush, I don’t remember) and went over to feel his right hand. The reflex he showed surprised me and soothed me all over. He held my hand, not too tight, not too gentle, as always when we depart, and we shook hands and he managed a slight laugh. I laughed too. Did I everyone else in the room too? I was too soothed to notice. I left him, with the still-concerned daughters and sons-in-law! I went over and continued the conversation with lechu (the cousin, as most of you know by now!). For now, we had made a pact over the handshake! And we’d made our peace to eachother.

And later on, as my uncle reached, thatha was still not stable. He was dizzy and disoriented. It was evident he hardly understands his environment. So then, mama (uncle) tries his usual prank on thatha. “Appa, ethra manikku serial thudangum? Rathri ennathu? Bhairavi thaane?” (Dad, when does the TV series begin? What’s it tonight? ‘Bhairavi’ is it?) And thatha prompty responds, ” Aamam, Bhairavi. Serial pathe kaalukku thaan” (Yeah, it is ‘Bhairavi’. The series begins at 10.15 only!). Mami interrupts, “Appakku ellam sheriyayachu ippo!” (Dad is all good now!). And now, the silence in the room breaks into laughter, as everyone’s sure thatha is fine, that he now grabs back on to his biggest OCD ever – Tamil TV series!

But to me, it was the unique handshake that told me he’s fine. It was never the usual handshake. Back then, he used to chide me and accuse me for trying to steal his ring, as we shook hands. Later at some point, he perhaps thought I am too grown up for that prank. But we still continued the handshake ceremony, even if we never talked the whole time. It grew into an OCD between us and I was immensely happy to see that he related ‘our’ thing to my casual touching of his hand. A while ago, mom had called to check on him. He’s fine expect that he has no memory of us coming to see him today. But I guess, the OCD would work anyway. That’s how it works!

Life is that. From interests, to cravings, to yearnings, to obsessions. Things that you wouldn’t let go until the last breath. Things that certify, that you’re more than a piece of breathing flesh. Things that define you and your existence. Things that you are hated for. Thing that you are loved for. Yet the same things that you are identied with. Things that make life, and help you live beyond inhalations and exhalations!

Gone are those days!

Which days are gone? I lost the whole thread of my thoughts, whilst I was thinking on it. And debating with my cousin, (relevance as she’s a new generation mom). The topic of discussion was vaguely about the new generation kids, their growth atmosphere, overall outlook to life, blah blah.. And I felt, “Gone are those days…of innocence in ‘my’ childhood.” Which AGAIN, in my parents’ or a preceding generation’s point of view, would be missing lot more from their childhood. So I kinda have a self realisation that it’s just recursive. So I halt my thought on this.

P.S. This photo triggered the post. Adding to it, my three year old niece’s progress report depicting her scale of consideration and compassion. What the fuck indeed!

Over|Protected!

Yet another train journey. Yet another set of co-passengers. Yet another episode of effortless conversation. This time with a kid, much younger than my little sis! Meaning, I have no experience talking to such small kids. So as anyone could dare, I started off the conversation with a casual smile which she returned, and we held on it. She was an easy person to talk to, despite her age. Forgot her name already, rather, I quite didn’t understand the name when she told me. A less heard unique name. But her life, in the quite two hours of acquaintance, seemed usual to me. Typical parents, asking her to do that, not do this, take this, not take that, look here, not there, sit straight, not clumsy, oh my, the list goes on! The kid was being instructed about how to place the water bottle on the holder, as upto how to adjust her legs for the co-passenger (which was me!)!! I grew embarrassed looking at the child. At her untold apprehension. And inexpressive mannerisms. She was asked to wash, she did. Eat, she did. Wash again, she did. Take hands of the window sill, she did. Fold her legs to keep it neat, she did. Holy crap! Did they just stop by giving birth to the kid or did they go upto even teaching her to breath, giving lectures on pranayama!?!

I don’t share a similar childhood. I have had a much free and liberal days of growing up, when I got to mould myself into what I genuinely cherished and totally desired! My life is my decisions. And that’s the best thing that anyone can look at onself and say, at all odds and evens! And may be, this realisation is why I so much pitied the child. The parents seemed too unaware about how protection of their has outgrown the requisites and grown into unfathomable levels of obssession and over protection! All I could was to smile at her, making her feel done-it-all-seen-it-all aura, that I earnestly cooked up!

Konjal!

“Enakku ithakkum manassilavathathu. Konjarathu nallathallava? Pakshe aarkum pidikkarathillai konjarathu. Athenna appadi”. (I wish I could translate this. But I am stuck at finding a suitable word for konjal. Read ahead for more clarity. 🙂 ) Now, these are my sister’s words of wisdom that she cared to share with me. And I was taken aback as the impact of the words seeped in. At her age, was I so wise? May be I was and just never realised, exactly the way she doesn’t understand it now. Or may be not. Now if I explain, what’s so intelligent and wise about what she said, I don’t hold myself wise enough to elaborate. Everyone loves that lovely bubbly kid, who smiles so chweet, who whines so chweet, who nags so chweet, who this so chweet, who that so chweet! Its so chweet all the way, all the things, all the time. So now when is someone to stop being so chweet, reducing to just sweet and may be a bit sour, over time? When is someone expected to ‘behave’ and just not be themselves? When she asked me all of these at once, though in far innocent and simpler terms, I couldn’t handle them. I just made a note in mind, to unfailingly blog about it tonight. I pondered all evening, till midnight now, and I still don’t have an answer. She’s not gonna come ask me again. She left it there, hopefully. But now, I am the one who’s nagged by the thought. Konji theeralayo ennamo! May be, it just wasn’t enough. Being a kid, being innocent, being more at peace with life. But then, I guess I can pretty much live without all of that. What I most miss is the knowledge to the limits. I wanna cuddle upto someone. If only if someone could stop the voice in my head saying its bad and irritating! Who defines them all anyway! Konjalakkuma thadai!

Intoxication!

The just before sleep time. That’s an awesomely risky timing for communication with people. The beginning of disorientation. The twist in thoughts and world view. The guts to sing aloud. The will to ring up someone and proclaim the love. The desperation to slap someone with the ugly truth and punch them right on their face. The inch to confess all your live’s mistakes. The urge to talk someone into crazy stuff, and ending up in ridiculous states all by oneself. Think out the most impractical way to solve the most pressing issue in head. And later discover that the whole relief of solution before sleep was just so fake. The imagination to foresee a possible dream and wake up from the daze to shun the thought away. Everything just comes your way naturally. Everything just seems so practical to me. The height of intoxication, if you ask me. You feel drunk and high, and light enough to go to any heights of life, and yet land so smooth.

I’ve been through it. Multiple times. With multiple people. With multiple incidents. And everything turned so disasterous but I just never learn. I’ve managed more fiascos than what anyone can imagine, with my intoxicated communications. I blurt out stuff. I sing aloud. I abuse. I cry. I laugh. I just bring out the broken loose me, from the inside and create mess. The mess just turned out so risky as I have become so thoughtless and indiscreet with my words and thoughts. I ended up talking totally impossible stuff to a friend recently. I abused another with all my heart. I talked someone out of misery. And the last thing I did was something like, just rewind some important life events with my cousin. And guess what I got! (Or rather caught!) I caught her attempting to record my intoxicated ramblings! She was ‘just’ attempting, thank god! 😀 (below is an image of her stupid phone which got stuck as she tried to record my words. Even the phone couldn’t handle it. Lol.)

But then. I’m not yet planning to stop this. The night communication might be risky. But it feels genuine. The next morning, what I feel is not my exposed fragility. I feel good. Just plainly good that I was true and real. A genuine lightness settles down with it’s weight on my head. Most my blog posts are the just-before-sleep type. Now you know! 🙂

The 22fk movie!

After long, saw a movie. And perhaps the right movie to see. Twenty two, Female, Kottayam. The title was promising. So was the whole movie experience. This cant be seen as a movie review. Dont set your expectations high.

We decided to go in a group. Cousins and friends and friends of friends. But finally at the eve of going, I could see my cousin’s little cousin missing. The reason that I got really took me aback! The movie wasn’t “suitable” for a girl of her age it seemed! I grew nervous and sweating, wondering if I’m finally all set for an adult movie. What would I tell my parents? Is this what my friends advocated for? I couldn’t find answers for any of those. Then came a more disturbing question. Wasn’t that girl just two years younger than me? And nobody thinks it is inappropriate for me. She had a brother to stop her from it. Nobody actually bothers with me? Well, that should have been rejoicing for me. It’s that sense of freedom that I always ever wanted. But yet, the question was as disturbing as it initially was. I couldn’t let go of my insecurity.

The movie began. We were late but had reserved seats. So the only difficult part was walking through the aisle in the dark, without tripping. (The most scary part of cinemas, actually!) Settling down at my seat, I didn’t know what to expect. I was prepared for anything and everything. Everything was smooth and running. I rationalised that it cant be an adult movie. It wasn’t to be on show. Ofcourse, there’s a censorship. I was relaxing. Intermission. I was at peace. Not about the movie. But about the initial disturbing questions. I had answers to all of them.

The movie was inappropriate for the girl not because of its sexuality. Censorship cannot be exercised over the inappropriate content either. There wasn’t anything explicit. It’s the theme what shouldn’t be exposed to “kunju manassu”(innocent minds, quoting her). Betrayal and it’s effects are what should be kept away from a child’s innocence. Not sex or sensuality.

Are you a mentally stable and normal person? Or do you scream in the public road? Do you yell out of desperation?
Do you find it difficult to distinguish between pain and no pain? The movie is a normality test. If you can manage to retain as much peace of mind, after the movie, as you had before the movie, then you are probably a very normal person. But any exception might imply otherwise. Lol. I’m not scaring anyone. But reality doesn’t seem far from it.

The fear of being violated. The gripping insecurity. The irreplaceable trust despite the betrayal. The willingness to forget and move on but never forgive. Nobody would define these as normal. And btw normal people could never define abnormality. Vice versa holds too!

The swing!

I aint a child anymore. I very well get that. But then, as in everyone’s life, there could be something in mine too, that can bring out a bit of a child in me. It kinda contradicts my own theory that I never felt child enough. Life was always very pragmatic and rational to me. Excuse the past tense. It still is so and will as well continue so. Eventually, I reckon that my losses are something that I lost in the mad rush of articulations. Knowing it to myself, that none was intentional, I assume I can live through the losses. Ironically, despite the whole missing of sweet naughty memories, I do have occasional reminiscences. Of a past that I never had.

My nostalgia and longing have always been mocked upon. I dont blame anyone. Nor am I particularly sad about being laughed at. I honestly understand that all of them have a point. For my nostalgia is ridiculously dwelling on a past that I never had. It’s difficult to fathom and empathise with me. Very so often, I fail at that all by myself. My birth and raising up was completely in a city, that’s continuously pacing to the “Metro” status. My life is pivoted around the city and the normal urban middle class scale. But every time I visit my dad’s native, something changes in me. From my very first visit till the current one,(typing from the very same home’s sit out), I have increasingly fallen for this place and the old ancestral home. I connect perfectly to the village, the temple nearby, the temple pond, the home itself, the extended backyard, the cramped bathroom, the dimly lit ambiance, the ear-bursting loudspeakers. Not to forget the dusty attic and the rickety ‘monuments’ and  the ‘priceless treasure’ that I dig out of them, in every single visit.

I wish I could write more and relate my existence to something worth the survival. But instinctively, I believe that somethings are better unsaid. The aura that this place radiates, is amazing. I am spellbound by it’s charm. I am surprise how I am urged to write about one particular thing. The swing of my life. The only one that I truly admired for its rhythmic oscillations. As I sit on it and rock myself, it feels like the entire world is striving to do away with my sleeplessness and cradle me into a peaceful sound sleep. My swing!

 For the first time, there was actually a choice to not rock myself. Somebody else did it for me. I am glad. Blissful.

Update : I guess the reference to the swing was very vague. But have a close look at the image just above this. Its an open gate with another opened gate within it. That’s where I sit and rock! 😛

The baby times!

Preface : www.thelastraw.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/disclaimer/

Me and baby? What relativity eh? Seriously, I’m wondering too. Eventually, it seems like there’s a lot of relativity though. Not that I’ve, out of nowhere, started loving all those ‘cute’ baby photos or all those pink ‘n blue things of life. But things have definitely changed between me and the babies.

My bro always pulls my legs on how I used to check if the diaper is on before getting anywhere near my cousin’s child. I dont think anybody believes him on that now. It seems a near impossibility now coz I’ve gotten that intimate with the kid. Back then, I had told only him about how I used to do that. Nobody else holds a reason to believe it now. I dont even realise how much has change swept over me.

Its a wonderful kid. I cant say the ‘best’ coz I dont know many kids to make a comparison. She’s the only one I’ve ever known. Known the best! Tending to her, reaching out to hold her hand, coaxing her, yelling at her. I’m loving it all. Love the way she calls me ‘athey’. Amazingly, I kinda even miss her when she’s away at her grandma’s. For people who have known the callous me, aren’t these ‘interesting and new’ developments? Lol. Hell they are! And I cant even bring myself upto believing it.

With all the preconceptions of people around me, I’m very much disturbed by their assumptions and notions. Its so much a relief to see her and believe atleast she knows me only the way I’m to her; nice but easily angered. I wish if things could remain that way with her forever. With someone atleast, let me sneak out of all the prejudices. She’s growing, soon losing her innocence. Life and its prejudices aren’t far from her. And I’m worried. Ironically, I crave to see her grow up into a pretty girl, yet staying the apple of everybody’s eyes. She’s one such whom I’ve loved so much that it causes envy. It might even asphyxiate her. Worry gets recursive! (Read the previous post to make some sense of the last sentences)

She’s growing. Already at the computer! Lol.