And finally, I too was set for it. With my kaalan kuda (I really dont know what that’s called in English. Help welcome!), walking ahead like the head of the family, that was my n-th trip for buying a bag for my impending looong journey. Walked all around tvm for a petty bag and still couldn’t make it upto buying one! It was a pleasure everytime. To go wander, on and on, with no particular goal in my mind. I was just walking and seeing new things, meeting new people. It was all good and comfy. I never minded not ‘buying’, though that’s what I primarily went around for. Today, however, ended up different.
So I was walking as the head of the family, leading my mom and sister. Of course with my kaalan kuda. (That’s the part I loved the most!) We walked in and out of shops. A bag. That’s all what we wanted. Obviously though, we had an eye on all the textiles on display too. The first shop we got into was a textile shop. Thought we could make a quick peep on the displays and walk out soon. But so much for my annoyance, there was nothing on display. A lady was all set to take out the ‘exact’ kinda dress we wanted, with colour and pattern specifications, out of the shelves and put them on display for us. I had an instant attitude problem with that lady. So much so that I flipped the plate and told my mom how I never wanted dress. I just wanted to get out of the place and get away from that lady before our eyes meet again. And we walked out. We, rather I, dropped the idea of textiles. Another couple of metres, and we reached where it seemed like we could dive in for what we needed (a bag!) in any direction and still resurface with it! First in row, we saw nothing like what ‘I’ wanted. But it was still difficult to get my family out of the place. I dragged them into the immediate next door and still found nothing. But I saw my mom bidding the fellow at the shop, with enquiries about if sundays would be working for them. And that she would like to come with her husband (my dad, yeah.) and confirm on what to choose. I liked his attitude when he said how wonderful it’d be that we better check out the bags on sundays then rather than waste theirs and our time! That was so direct that…! 😀 And the next shop was the best! Oh my god! I’d really recommend that guy for some marketing ‘awesomeness’ award. He was so flawless. But his bags weren’t. I’d have surely bought from him otherwise. He gave me a five min lecture on how trolley wheels are bad for air bags and how the inclination and the ease for pulling it around would never sync. I almost thought I was in my most dreaded Physics class learning the ‘FLE’ again. I patted him on his shoulder (in my mind) and congratulated him on his performance, if he could really see the grin that I hid in my occasional smiles. We walked out very politely, thanking him and letting him know that I STILL wanted a trolley coz I didn’t understand his Physics anyway! For the final lap, we decided on textiles coz we (read I) dropped plans about the bag. Giving it a start, I walked into the next immediate shop and got out in a jiffy. I ushered my mom to walk along and advocated her on financial management and value for money! And then she said it! ‘Unnoda appavoda kooda kadakku poka ivvalavu paadillai. Onnum vangavum cheyyama ippadi lo lo ennu alayalam.’ (Its not this difficult to shop with your dad. Dont buy a thing and walk around like a maniac.)
I beamed. Instantly. And my face glowed. With a misplaced yet unmatched pride.
P.S. I consciously left a lot of my sister’s comments. That’d sound more like boasting beyond anybody’s threshold. 😛 But one thing for sure is that, I’d not have been this happy had I got the thing I went shopping for. I’d have never beamed, with a bag in hand. Shopping is not all about buying.
I’m going back in life. To a point I never wished to return. I’m back there, where I think so much and look like I’m always in dreams, rather reverie. I’m so much lost in dreams that I so much lose my words and the wonderful stories that I wanted to share. Recursively, I think of something, think of writing it down, think of the opening sentences, go back to thinking and then think all that I want to write. Writing turns so pointless then!
Recently, I had found a solution to it. I had thought of adopting the typical ‘bulletin’ style of writing. I wished if I could sum up a week’s eventful events and in turn, write something beyond just thinking. And it’s then that I noticed one amazing aspect of my recent life. I had only amazing things to put up on my bulletin. My recent life has no sad stories or huge drama. And I almost can’t believe it’s my life. Pushed a friend into writing and saw for myself how awesome she writes. Stayed at my native and came to college from there, like it was my home. Broke a cold war and now it’s a hot war. Ended another cold war, and now I’m all cosy about it. Hugged my grandma and slept, after long years! Unplugged my headset more often, and listened to more unknown people and became a part of more unheard stories. Small things with infinite implications, happened in my life. Recently. And finally, the last straw is back. Like it was never broken. How much less depressing can my life be!
Colgate toothpaste people once offered jigsaw puzzles as free gifts to their bulk buyers. My grandpa was a buyer and he got one too. It was made MINE by me unconditionally! That was my first jigsaw. The map of India, split into a hundred pieces. That was hard. Just too hard. Me and my little cousin, (I was little too, back then) sat down for hours to solve it. And if my memory doesn’t fail me, she lost interest half way and I took my precious jigsaw home and sat with it till I finally solved it. It was step by step. First time, I matched the colours and filled the voids. Then started linking letters and connected broken words. With the big picture in my mind, I associated the bends and curves with the geography and location of the states. Everytime I solved the puzzle, I was devising a new way to solve that brain teaser. Beginning from the middle, and growing in all directions. Finishing the border rectangle and shrinking inwards. Ways were many to reach the big picture. Never satisfied with the techniques, I gathered the pieces and timed my setting up of the puzzle. I was fast enough for me to be proud of myself. Every other jigsaw that my little sis was gifted, was less than a minutes business for me. After all, they were 6 – 10 piece puzzles meant for kids!
Jigsaws vanished. Sudoku and Minesweeper are better mind games, topped by jumbled words. With their varying difficulty levels, time is never enough to finish them. There’s almost no time for thinking about jigsaw, that I’ve already mastered with glory. Today was an eye opener. The puzzle below. Hardly a twenty four piece jigsaw and I couldn’t solve it in three big minutes. I can explain. I was not thinking proper. I was absent minded. I was not taking it serious. Ah cut the crap. I couldn’t solve that god damn puzzle. The one that I thought I was an ace at! Forget it. It’s just the disintegration of molecules from the the brain. 😀
Ammu, ingu varu. Vellathina entha thanuppu!. Varam. Thirakal enne vilikkan varum ippo. (Ammu, come over. The water is so cold! – Yeah, coming. Let the waves come welcome me.)
She waited. With her overpowering adamance, she willed the waves to come kiss her feet and grace her path by their transient silvering. The sea shimmered out of defiance that she failed to notice. The yellow glow was mesmerising and the sun turned a bright red of anger. She was obsessed by the sea and the sight that adorned her evenings. Little did she know to care about the uneasiness that her adamance created in the sea and the waves and the sun and her evening bounty! “Ingane anangathe avida thanne nikkano nee beach ennum paranju njangale koode kootiyathu?”. “Aswadikkan ellavarkum oro karanangal. Ennalle?” (Did you bring us over to the beach to simply stand by the shore? – Everybody have their means of joy, don’t they?) She said, laughing out to her companions. The turbulence always took out a calm facade over her, thoughts buried at abysmal depths. The sea has now turned a charming red. She inched forward to the sea and stared at the waves killing eachother to reach the shore. Jumping over one another, slowing others down, rising high in the air, they are rushing to hit ashore and lick the feet of umpteen adamant bitches and bastards, washing away their sins and ignorance. She was composed for one moment, and the next moment saw
her dashing into the waves to thaw in them. Death was charming; as much as the red evening sky and the expanse of the water and waves. She was so drawn into death that she’d let him ride on her. As if shaken from a trance, she crawled backed to the shore. Waving at her awestruck companions, she was whispering to herself. An inaudible utterance from the brain to the conscious self. “This is the moment of death. And he’s arousing me!”
“Amma, aa phone ingedukkuvo?” “Enthinappo ammu! Athinoode pani pidippikkano?” (Amma, could you get me the phone? – Why now? You want to make it sick too eh?) Bathing in public is too far fetched a desire for a girl of her age. But getting wet in the rain doesn’t seem too wrong. Relishing every drop of rain that hit her face, she went on a dancing spree, forgetting the warning stares from her dad. Splashing water with her legs, it was a coming back of her childhood, heralded by the cheer of the downpour. Craning her neck upwards, she was looking at the beginning of the silver threads that came down from the white expanse above. The fine drops at the end of every silver line, caressed her cheeks and kissed her lips, melting into her. The wind was blowing hard shaking every tree she could see. “Current povuo entho!”, (Would there be a power cut?) “Thamassalle sughapradam achamme” (Wasn’t darkness always the better company grandma?). She wanted to say but her mom was quicker. “Illamme. Inverter undallo.” Yeah. There’s an alternate source. More questions popped in her mind. How long would the inverter last? What if the power never returns? What if the sun fails or the earth stops to rotate? Darkness would prevail all over; omnipresence! Eyes were shut close as something was thrusted against them. She felt them to be heavy rain drops and willed to open her eyes. Water was still showering upon her, forcing her eyes to be shut. Fear engulfed her as death lingered in the corners of her shut eyes. She feared to move. She feared to touch anything. She feared death. The moment of
death. His powerful embrace that could rape and banish her existence. The moments count down. Till the moment of death!
My mom is employed. I have never thought anything about it. She goes to office every morning. And comes back home every evening. That was all about it. But suddenly, I’m extremely grateful that my mom has got a job. That she was busy and couldn’t stay with me all the time. I missed my mom. A lot. But never beyond compensation. She used to come home with hot samosas and ice candy. Whatever time she had, she always spent it with me. I was a happy kid. Just the usual happy happy childhood. But then, was I just plainly happy or was I more?
This is not about my mom. This is about my chachummai (Sarswathi ammai, shortened by a kid’s accent). She was ammaammai (mother’s mother) to my cousins and my sis, but always chachummai to me. After long, I felt an instant intimacy brewing between us. Or may be, only within me. We sat together. My chachummai, my twin cousin lechu and me. She was with a new assignment for both of us. Testing our Tamil vocab and language skills, she was reciting verses from the SriMurugan calendar (her trademark, if I may add). She wanted us to explain them to her, in senthamizh! It was a come back for me. From a dark vicious episode of mental imbalances and my innate insanity, I felt all normal and peaceful.
May be it’s her age. May be it’s her calm self. May be it’s her drawing charm. May be it’s just nothing but the closeness I have with her. When with her, the inner turmoil may not vanish. But it definitely stays away and gives me room to breath.
Back to where I started. I was a bit more than the usual happy happy kid. All my Mom’s absence was filled with my fonder chachummai! Absence makes the heart fonder indeed!
Why am I not sticking to my new year revolution? I should be posting something everyday. But I am not. Not alternative days. Not even once a week. This is absurd. I should be writing often. I have readers. And I have things to write. Why not then! Recently, I’ve been pushing my friends into blogging as well. And what they keep telling me is something like, writing always demands a drive. Something like a strong and extreme emotion or mental state that stirs the uneventful existence. They tell me nothing of that sort happens in their lives and hence they cant write. In a nutshell, they tell me they aren’t as sorrowful and as pathetic as I’m right now.
Is my depression mode the drive to my writing spree? I dont assume so. I always wrote. And I always will write. The past was successful and the future is promising. It’s the present that I’m uncertain of. I dont know if I actually want to write this. I dont even know if I’m actually writing this or just imagining that I’m typing this. Was I not just discussing about file pointers and object oriented programming a while before? But now am I writing? Or typing? I’m confused. It cant be me writing. I am not supposed to be writing. Writing needs a drive and at the moment, I’ve none. I’m not crying my heart out. Not laughing my heart out either. I’m not particularly at the height of my emotions. Practically feeling nothing other than the stink and damp in the room.
Looks like I can still write. Feeling ecstatic about the idea of not feeling anything, I can still narrate a million stories and sing a million verses. I’d never grow enough to grow tired of them. I may go blank. But never emptied. I may be out of my mind. But never out of words. I’m on with writing. Writing on..
A double decker bus doesn’t fascinate people much these days. Or may be I’m wrong about that. I dont see my sister or my little cousins desperate for a double decker ride. Compare to what it used to be for me or people of my generation, it’s not much wrong to say that people in the present dont find it enough interesting to travel a level above others on the road. And I wonder why! Come on people! Doesn’t that feel (or atleast sound) really cool? But then, it’s not completely right when I say people, as a whole, aren’t fascinated by the idea of it. There are still people, may be of a different generation, who still find it scary, (and funny), when someone shouts that there’s no driver in the upper deck! Why not? I’m still there!
My double decker experiences are as few as to count by fingers. But, every single one of them are cherished and relived as the most precious segments of my travelogue!(if ever written :P) The best part of it is, obviously, the journey on the upper deck. Ironically, that’s just once in my constrained memory. The most memorable!
The splash of colours and the ‘holi’ spray gun are what welcomed me to college today. The fervor and spirit in those guys were unbeatable. The dashing along the corridors and the welcome party at the entrance were unexpected. Yet again, the least of expectations was that they’d come to a docile group of girls by the corner(which obviously included me :P) to shed the ‘holy’ colours! And surprisingly, not a tinge of any colour or spray was seen on me. It was as though I turned non-existent even to a gang of shrewd festive spree struck guys!
I didn’t want myself to be soaked and lost in those colours of theirs. But the point is evidently obvious here. Being left alone doesn’t feel good. I’d have wanted to be a part of all the fun. But I believe in the natural sense of belonging you thrive upon, rather than a cooked up and manipulated mingling. I’m not regretting. Just looking back on yet another day, of feeling out of place and being ridiculed at. I’m glad nobody pushed me into any of those. But I’d have really appreciated myself if I could spot any inviting eyes. There could be a hundred reasons why things are sober. Could be that I am too withdrawn that people actually think I could be insane. Or it could be simply that everyone is caught in the mess and finds it difficult to make sense to themselves. Or even, it could be just that I look too old to fall into anybody’s group!
But yeah. Everything happens for a reason. Untouched by the colours, I was walking along the black and white corridors of my mind only to meet a much cherished person of the college, face to face. My most respected and dignified teacher. I was more than shocked to see he noticed that I’d not done the colours, and even pulled my legs on keeping away from all the frolic. Amazingly though, I felt good. That he talked to me after long, with a long lost intimacy. It didn’t take me long to grab my senses back and stride ahead with more pride than ever. Everything sure happens for a reason. It’s never about being left out. It’s all about how you cope till you finally reach your abode. Reach safe and sound. That’s the bigger challenge. Mine is unclear. I’m squinting. Coping till then!
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 litambiance, 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! 😛
Team India just won over Aussies by four wickets! And I’m so happy and proud! Obvious question. When did I ever start being a cricket maniac! Let me explain.
Its not about cricket. Its all about my stupid symbolic triumph. My victories always remain rooted in my symbolisms. Was watching the match with my uncle and cousin, the one who always make predictions about how things are impossible. As ever, he declared India lost the match. Twelve runs in six balls was impossible for him! Based on his run rate calculations and whatever other probability that the game of cricket gave, he should have been right! But my point was simple. One ball can give you a maximum of six runs. Six balls naturally can give ya thirty six runs! Yeah, I know I’m talking about the rarest ever and seemingly impossible happening. But yet, its still plausible aint it? And it did happen! Last over’s first ball was a six! Second one was a No-ball and they ran for three runs. And the third ball was another six! Hurray! India just won! Impossible turns possible, in a split second!
I dont know of cricket. I dont know of the match. (Is this the Common Wealth thingy?). I dont know of No-balls. I dont even know the implication of ‘winning by 4 wickets’. But yet, I’m the happiest person that India won today. It feels like my victory. My symbolic triumph of making the impossible, possible! I dont know much cricketers. I dont know of their history and trackrecord. But then, Dhoni is god to me. His last three battings, changes my life! Symbolism rocks. Only with me!