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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

singing along

Yesterday the radio made me listen to an old Hindi song from the 60’s. It is not that I ‘vent heard this song before. I’ve even hummed it quite a number of times. But today the song brought along with it a memory. Of a little girl and her mother, ears fixed on to the speakers of a cassette player. Pen and paper in hand.

It used to be our Sunday afternoon pastime. Listening to old and much loved songs to take down the lyrics. We both had our lyric books with us, to write out the lyrics neatly, without the many corrections that our papers had. I used to learn them then, diligently as if for an oral examination. It was my way of impressing my mother. The tune was invariably wrong and off key, but the lyrics were impeccable. My mother would correct my awful rendering in her smooth, beautiful voice. And I listened to her, awestruck as always. Falling in love with her again, yet another Sunday.

This was our time.

Today, I sit in front of the laptop, from whose clutches I never seem to escape. I try to remember which song it is that she had asked me to look up a few months ago. I kept telling her that I would find it, no big deal. After all there is google. But the fact is I haven’t and it has been months.

I miss many things in life. In fact too many things that it is probably unhealthy. Today however, this ranks supreme. The ‘our’ time. I think somewhere down the line, there are so many moments that I cherish, with so many different people. Which are simply not there anymore. And that makes it probably more beautiful. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A new member

Since he is a part of everything I do...

Manu is now a co-author of Verdura. Not that he has not been contributing already. Anamika has been ghost writing some pieces for Manu :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Brave attempts

The mind wandered
all but alone
searching, it found not,
love but love
I asked, whose but mine,
Not lonely, but rejoiced plainly,
In love not lost, neither found,
But i traveled all along


All the time you need
is all but more
I'll wait for you
to be with you
to love with you
held we are
bound by sweat and love
for the night
through the night
and forever time and again
It will last 
The breath will hold and forever it will last
not love, but life


To be loved, 
Would be loved
all things right, left alone
mused on the wall a dream,
To care for. to die for
Left alone, to be hardened,
the sky told to forget,
the water to forgive
pray, the earth told
asked the soul
to be loved would be loved
did death do us part?
did  love lend us the reason?
life made a stop, but did love?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sick Green

I’ve been here before. Haven’t I? Yes I have. The winding lane does seem familiar. So does this rickety bench. But perhaps, the sick green paint wasn’t so sick before. Is that why it looks unfamiliar? Or perhaps the green sickness is what likens my heart. Sick.

That familiar sickness that creeps up from somewhere between your left big toe and the toe next to it (does it have a name?), to that knee broken earlier by a stray football. There were no complaints then. The football had been kicked by my first crush. (I wonder now if he became my first crush after that football incident. Or was it before? Damn these memory wisps that twirl and twirl and twirl, and choke you in its smoky trail. It also leaves behind a smell. Don’t you think? A smell of burnt love letters and crushed flowers? It doesn’t? It must be me then.) I am digressing. So the sickness that grows from that unnamed point from near the big toe to the broken knee, to that navel that bears a tiny mark of once having been pierced. (We got it done, yes ‘we’ got it done in a place that had pictures of people with piercings all over their body. They also had a tattoo salon, but then we had decided on the piercings. I got mine on the navel, he had it on his right eyebrow. Shit it pained. But it was worthwhile having him kiss it afterwards.) From the navel to the neck, a battleground of love bites, to that taste in your mouth when you puke. Blech. Yes that sick feeling is what I am talking about. Its colour is green.

It is funny or maybe it is not funny. I don’t know. But it is strange how many memories are linked to those men, nah boys in my life. Do I recall all of them? There weren’t too many. No no. Not too many. But enough yes to choke me for the rest of this walk. This lane with its trail of yellow wild flowers and acacia and eucalyptus trees and an occasional squirrel is I trust about a kilometre long, and am no fast walker. Never have been.

So these men. I have always felt for Amina Sinai in Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Learning to love her husband in parts. It was the same with me, I recollect now. Karim had a long nose. Rather too long, but straight. Unlike mine, which bent at the end, and when he smiled, there was a crease that shaped like a sea-wave. There were many other creases on his face—he was 68, I was 17. Mujib was my neighbour. My parents always wanted me to be like him. Smart, polite, studious. I couldn’t never manage it, quite. So I loved him with my 11 year old heart. But that dint make me like him. He liked me I think. He smiled at me every time we saw each other, and even winked at me once or twice. It dint grow into anything though. He suddenly fell out of favour with my parents and I was forbidden to see or talk to him ever again. I think I loved him all the more then. He had begun growing his hair, that hung around his face in ringlets, and his lips and teeth had a queer blackish tinge. All the more exotic for someone who was growing up on Hobbit and Narnia.

And then there were Vipin with his craze for photography, who gifted me an SLR, Abhinav and his obsession for the flute and the way I tried to learn to whistle, Salman and I shared something more, spiritual—I called it then. His conversion to Buddhism made him exotic to others, but I think I fell out of love with him then. But this sickness today, this awful stench in my nostrils and the slimy feeling in my throat, that horrible pricking at the corners of my eyes. It is only for him. Who did not walk out on me. But came just a little too late into my life, and left too early.

It is true that he was the occasional man in my life. I shared my heartbreaks with him and he stitched my poor heart back to one piece with his fingers and tongue and wine and caresses. I went to him when I was lonely and he gave me company in his little grey apartment, with blue walls, and lungi curtains. At those times when I woke up to horror, seeing that the other side of my bed wasn’t empty, and that it was filled by a man with whom I’d with last night’s sex fallen out of love with, I rushed to him and he made me coffee, and hugged me to sleep. There were those times when I had no one to go shopping with. He came with me then and taught me to bargain. He was my m-seal. He filled up my cracks, and I walked out into the sun, the cracks healed, and now merely streaks on my body, that people take to be body art.

I perhaps realized that he was more than Dr.Fixit for me, when I saw him give coffee to Aysha in my cup. I stole it from his apartment that day and smashed it on my washing stone. Aysha was lovely. In a way I probably could never be. But more perhaps was the fact that for her, he was the only man. Rehman came into my life when he should least have. He was there all along, yes. But I was too busy with my other occasional men. Aysha took him. Or perhaps he went with her. And here I am walking this path, the yellow flowers reminding me of a time when I wore it in my hair, to be photographed by him. I sat on the sick green bench. Only then, it was not sick green. It was just green. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lusting after life

To her husband, she was Aabha. She was the only spot of balance in his volatile life. Him with his long hair, tied back with a rubber band that always pulled out hair. I have heard him screech at her, for not helping him out untangling. She stood laughing at him, while she poured out coffee for me. Extra sweet, and light. Just the way she hated it. Just the way I wanted it. 

He left her for months, but she always knew when he would be back. She re-painted their room, got a new haircut, threw out her running shoes, and waited for him. He came, and then he stayed. I have seen them together. And I could never call what they shared, love. At least, I was not prepared to do so. The last time I saw her, she had a cut lip, from a saucer her had flung at her. I had jumped up in indignation, rolling up my fists in anger, but then he came into the room; his face, well and truly scratched. She showed me her new nail paints. 

Once I walked in on them doing it. I hate to call it making love. He laughed at my embarrassment, threw his large shirt over her, and reached out for a smoke. I've heard her singing to him while she cooked, and he painted. I meant to hunt for those songs and learn to sing them, but I think they were just their songs. It was a world they knew, and I wasn't a part of it.

To Mukul, she was Neeyati. I don't know where they met, I believe it was at one of her husband's exhibitions. Mukul was a boy. Why, he must have been at least seven years younger than her, and he looked fifteen years younger. She took him with her on her library visits, and he got her second hand books which had inscriptions on them. She told me once that she had taught him to kiss. And that she was quite sure she was a good teacher. Would I know anyone who might be interested in him? The poor boy is too shy to find one on his own!

Neeyati was Mukul's idol. He got her flowers, though I'd told him that she was not one for clichéd daintities. I scoffed when he spent his monthly stipend of 3000 rupees on some fancy flower arrangement he'd seen somewhere. I told him to take it in his stride if he found the flowers waiting for him in the wastebasket the next time he saw her. I ate the flowers. When they wilted and shriveled, and decayed and blackened and stunk. I would have earlier, if she hadn't kept it in her room, on a new stool she got especially for it. 

She came to see me once, wearing his shirt and giggling like a teenager. I closed the door on her face, and din't open even when she screamed abuses I had read in books, and knew she was capable of, but hadn't heard it ever. I called up the watchman to take her away, she was crazy. She threw her shoe into my window. It broke my mirror. And I fumed.

When Mukul told her that he had to leave, his scholarship papers had come through and though he hated to leave, he had to. She wont forget him would she? She smashed the porcelain girl-boy ugly figurine he gave her as a "will miss you!" gift and spent a whole week drinking. I know. I was drinking with her.

To me, she was not Neeyati, not Aabha. She was something more, but what, I cant say. She hasn't told me what she is to me, or what I am to her. And if she hasn't put it into words, then there might not be any name for it. She was my yin, and I was yang. No we weren't the Chinese opposites. I just picked the name because every time she mumbled in her sleep, she went yiiiinnnn ymmmmm nyyyy yeeeee. 

Mukul dint know that Neeyati was Aabha. Her husband thought she was Aabha. I knew she was neither. I have seen her cry with rage, pull out each and every photo of her husband's, and burnt it to ashes. I have seen her run from studio to studio, retrieving the same, framing it and placing it on the wall for him to see when he came back to her. I have seen her wince when I touched her, laugh when I tickled her tummy, sleep with her specs tangled in her curls. I have seen her make omelette, and eat it with her hands. I used to lick her fingers clean. 

I have seen my yin read five books a day, seen her write for three nights straight, got slapped for walking on to her taking a bath, been teased for getting drunk on beer, shouted at for mimicking her. I have seen her looking lost, and shrug it away when I asked her the reason. I have had her wrapped around me at nights, the smell of medimix and coconut oil on her. 

I've been the jealous lover, (was I her lover?) I've asked her to leave her husband and come to me, and like always, after a fight, she walked away, only to come back later, with something new she'd written. And me the fool, read it, hugged her close and kissed her. Having her next to me was all that I cared. To hell with Aabha and Neeyati. She chopped of her hair once and gifted it to me. I painted her shaved head with tomato ketchup. 

I am leaving I told her. She was driving me crazy. It was not healthy I told her, for me to wait for her always, and for her to run away from one man to be with another. She did not say a word, kissed me hard closed the door softly and left.

Damn it! She kisses so well...

Friday, December 31, 2010

As we flip the calendar

Oh wait! Am I making new year resolutions? Again? Already?

I don't know if it's the same with everyone of you, but 2010 for me has flown by faster than any other previous years. From January to December, to the 1st to the 31st, 2010 has been good to me, and I turn to a new calendar with no regrets...

I thank you my Laptop, for not giving up on me, and for being the medium of this post

I thank you flowers in my garden, you are an inspiration for a green thumb like me

I thank you Nokia, and Airtel and BSNL distances truly aren't so much a problem now

I thank you mother billy, for dying (hear me out). I have a son now he's 11/2 months old, his name is Meow. And surprise surprise, he can mouth his name

I thank you sun god, for never failing to rise on happy days, and never refusing to set on the not so happy days

I thank you facebook for letting me know the limits of my self will

I thank you Bru coffee, for not being hard on me, and helping me refrain from you (Success for the past 2 months)

I thank you bits and pieces of paper, for making me fold you into shapes and sizes that now look pretty on my table

I thank you hope, happiness, luck, perseverance, love, laughter and tears for being an integral part of my 2010

I thank you time (or the lack of it) that made me do so many things at once (this has been a year of self pat)

I thank you Muthassa, for making me remember you a lot more this time around. I'll never stop missing you

I thank you paints, for making me want to put you to brushes again

I thank you Blogger for unleashing on me hoards of creative people (thanks to you all, I am taking up my paints and scissors again)

I thank you people in my life (every single one of you) for completing a jigsaw of the previous (already?) year in vibrant colours

I thank you me for being me (self pat again)

I thank you moments that made me so depressed, that I throughly enjoyed being happy again

I thank you 2011, for knocking :)

Adieu 2010, I wont miss you, however great you were.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Of promises

It's not that I've forgotten my promises. Not one bit. I've been busy scrounging for raw materials, and they are a little hard to come by. Once I get them all, I can get back to my promises :)

P.s Am looking for soda bottle caps and four square pieces of good solid ply wood :)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Part 4

Well now, a confession. This one was done a few days back. Before I started the whole series of solemn promises that is. But I am actually quite proud of myself here. And I like this quite a lot. This was ink on paper, just like that. I was looking at  Kerala Mural paintings, wanting to draw one for a long time. I found one that I liked and drew on the back of a rough paper with pen. Honestly, I dint think it would come out well...

I want to do the same thing in fair, on better paper, and this post is a prologue to that. I start drawing today.... Hope the "real" one turns out good.

Looking at paints itself is an inspiration....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

part 3

This is an imitation of Artist Namboodiri's sketches. Quite happy the way this has turned out. This has to suffice for yesterday and today, because i started one yesterday, spilled water on it and spoilt it. drew this again today morning.

Pen on paper