Perils of an empty head!

Being stupid is perilous? Being called an idiot. Being taken advantage of. Being easily skipped over. It must be a hard life being stupid aka an empty head. Then again, how would I know. I am not stupid. But the head is almost empty. Barely some strands of hair and that’s it. And that’s usual for my age, totally. But then it was not a big huge deal for me for a really long time.

It was a weird feeling though. People would just randomly start staring at my baldness mid-conversation and just wouldn’t stop. That was very awkward. You’d relate better if you are woman when I say this. You know those instances when someone’s gaze would travel down your neck and stop further down at an uncomfortable angle. Well, I had the twin challenge. I had to resist people’s eyes wandering neither north nor south of my face. Trust me that’s an absolute challenge with an average face! It’s not like people get caught in their trails with ‘looks’!

People would eventually stare and offer their condolences for my ‘passed’ hair strands. Some offer oil prescriptions on the go. Some offer exuberant hair therapies. And there was this one lady at the railway station once, couple of years ago. She offered to make an offering to a local ‘hair-specialist’ goddess for my sake. That warmth indeed shook me, and I am pretty sure I have already written about her. Apart from some rare crazy moments, it’s mostly an annoying experience to hear people lament about hair.

Lately, have been feeling bad about it myself. Probably because it’s all locked down and there aren’t much people to whine over my hair, that I thought it’s my turn now. I could use some more hair perhaps!

P. S. All references of self-loathing should be ignored as side effects of having too much time to stare at the mirror, even while on office calls. It’s all about working things out from home after all.

The Wait

Until I come, you said.

Until I die, I said.

The wait was a promise,

For you, for me, for us.

Time wouldn’t wait, nor

Would the world around.

As everyone and everything,

Embrace change and transience,

The sea of change stood still,

Waiting at the shore, for

You and me, for us.

Until I come, you said,

Until I die, I said,

Until you be, the sea said.

The light is inviting

White gown and the lavender lillies,
The long trail and my flower girls.

The brown shade of drying mehendi,
And my own troupe of dancing gala.

The turmeric paste and the saffron bindi,
And my flowery garlands and the three knots.

The well-begun tale of my dreams,
And the ill-fated days that followed.

Says every men and women,
Embracing the halves that make them better.

Like yet another fly and its drawing to the light.

A conversation

Person:
Why can’t all people be equally happy or equally sad?

Why are some more happy and some more sad?

Another person:
I guess that’s an eternal question that doesn’t have a solution.

It’s also similar to asking why are some people rich and some poor.

Disparity is rooted in humanity.

In material and immaterial attributes.

Wealth, happiness and what not!

Person:
Beauty is in disparity is such a cringing statement that I can’t stop uttering.

Another person:
Isnt it not?

What drives us to live?

Desire?

Where does desire come from?

Disparity.

If all of us live unhappily, or equally happily, what do we look upto? What makes us live for the next day?

Person:
Yeah, that’s what I meant. But we can say that philosophically because we are on the other side of the equal.

Another person:
Yes.

Person:
It’s simple. When problem hits us, it stops being beautiful in disparity.

Another person:
Disparity is not really beautiful or ugly.

It is merely something that exists. And could be a root cause of all human existence.

Exactly like ego.

Without ego, there is no humanity.

These are some abstract constructs that keeps us alive.

Desire is driven by despair. Despair is driven by ego. God knows what ego is driven by. Our human nature?

Person:
😊

Person:
Some equals are more equal than some other.

How (un)fortunate!

So this weird thing happened today. Mom was upset about something in the family. And she was loudly retrospecting on why does this happen to us alone. Me, not okay with mom feeling bad about anything, immediately pitched in on how it is not just for us. Things go wrong for everyone and we just don’t get to know since its private. Tada, did my part and I was ready to move on from the topic. Out of nowhere, my sister weighed in her perspective of things and elaborated my point with some neighborhood stories of similar experiences. And mom seemed visibly calmer. Maybe because she realised our point is valid and began to share the perspective. Or maybe because she was surprised about how her daughters are all grown up. I’m not sure what she thought. But I personally am quite proud of how insightful my sister has grown up to be. Last I checked, she was just a kid!

Off topic, if you feel bad about how 2020 has made your life horrible and feel miserable, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Now think of all those 2020 desk calendars eating dust on the locked up office tables. With no one to flip their leaf and with no realisation of life’s purpose! How does that make you feel now? A tiny bit better is the right answer. 😉

A Call of Longing

Far I stood , away from the waves,

Close to the shore, teasing the sea.

Was it the fear for the ocean,

Or was it the test of the waves.

Away I walked, without a wait,

Without a thought, without a turn.

Was it the longing to be stopped,

Was it an attempt to stop the lone tear.

The waves caressed my feet,

And the wait for your call never ceased.

Thirukural – 3

Chapter 72 – Avai Arithal (Judging of the audience)

Kural #711

Avaiyarindhu Aaraaindhu Solluka Sollin

Thokaiyarindha Thooimai Yavar.

The learned and the eloquent who understand the depth and meaning of words should measure and judge the audience while speaking.

Janaki ammoomma

Janaki bhai. Or Janaki ammoomma? She made a transition to and fro between the two. She came into my life as my pseudo-nanny. She didn’t really baby-sit me, but picked me up from kindergarten and walked me to a day-care nearby. I’d spend my evening with Valsala ammoomma till dad came to pick me up. Valsala ammoomma had many kids my age to cater to, and an assistant, Mani chechi. By the time I reach the day-care, everyone would be up, having their evening snacks. Mani chechi would play with us for a while and soon leave, as the kids start leaving. One by one, all of them would leave, and it’d be just me and Valsala ammoomma. She’d then take me to her home adjacent to the day-care. I’d watch her make tea and crush the areca nut, layer the tobacco and make a cute betel leaf pocket with a touch of slaked lime. It is a beautiful sight to watch her meticulously prepare the murukkaan (paan’s Kerala version). Then she’d offer me a piping hot cup of tea to relish. I was hesitant initially, mostly because tea was a new thing and I was worried if parents wouldn’t approve of it. Mind you, I was barely 5. But when I finally took the cup, I tasted the most exquisite ‘chaaya‘ and the taste still lingers in my tongue. Every ‘good’ chaaya ever since takes me back to Valsala ammoomma’s kitchen and the kitchen doorway where I sat watching the bustling traffic. Memories like these come with a tinge of loss and a lot of happiness.

That was an unplanned digression. But one is incomplete without the other. Back to Janaki ammoomma, somewhere in the middle of all these, she got promoted as a house help for my working mom. As kindergarten came to an end and when day-care was not very exciting, I started coming back home to Janaki ammoomma who waited for me at the door. She’d clean and I’d watch TV, and she’d keep me company till parents come. Things changed when sister came into the scene and I grew old enough to be home alone. Amidst and beyond all of that, some things haven’t changed. The memory of she running to reach home lest I be alone, the rare occasions where the ‘auto chettan’ who picked me up from school picked her up too, panting and running on her way to our home. Her overgrown mole in the middle of her chin, her frail build, her rough hands that used to hold my hand walking from school to the day-care, her alcoholic son, and most of all her calling me “Soumyakkutty…”!

P.S. Ammoomma is Malayalam for grandma.

Thirukural – 2

Here’s today’s random Thirukural.

Chapter 55 – Sengonmai (Just Government)

Kural #541

Orndhukan noataadhu iraipurindhu yaarmaattum

Thaerndhusey vaqdhae murai

The deliberate will not take sides, will be impartial and consult the men of law (before judging) – such is the way to ensure justice.


It was a purely random flip of a page verse, but is invariably relevant in the world of today. The Kural is “Thirukural” for its omniscience and ever growing relevance after all! Continuing my sojourn of exploring the words of wisdom, see you often with such insightful verses.