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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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Part 2

The rustiness of not having picked up paints for a long time shows through....but still.
Oil pastels on paper

p.s find the inspiration here

Friday, November 19, 2010

Solemn Promise Part 1

Tummy first..
Stuffed Puri and Raitha.. experiment that went quite well I guess. There was also Paneer Makhanwala, of which I forgot to take a pic of....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Making the best out of me...

Lets call 'Julie and Julia' an inspiration....

I've been whining to anyone who would listen that I've lost touch with the art world. Neither do I pick up brushes nor I swirl around glue or snip snap paper bits...I've decided to give myself a break. A break from killing what little of artistic/ creative streak that I have in me.  I know its not going to be easy. The moody me will have lots of reasons to not do anything and not stick to my words, hence this public announcement.

"For the next one month, starting tomorrow, 
I am going to do something creatively productive, 
 I could paint, draw, or do little pieces of paper art, or cook, or write. 
Whatever it takes me,
 I will do it.
 *solemn promise to myself.*"

P.s the results of the promise will be posted here everyday. 
p.p.s Whenever I put up pictures, kindly excuse since I'll be relying on my poor little phone camera lens.
p.p.p.s Wish me luck :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The white, black and greys in between

In all her Amar Chitra Katha books, the demons were black. Her muthassi told her that bad people are dark. "Their colour of skin is because of the colour of their hearts". 

Once in school, her friend had told her "Do you know? Sitting with black girls and boys will make us also black? See am not sitting with Kalyani anymore. My mother told me if i am friends with her again, I will also end up bad and black like her"

Through out her college, she had girls around her who spoke lovingly about fairness creams

When she hit 23, her mother too had panicked about her job making her darker. "Quit being a reporter. Its making you dark and ugly"

Today as she lay under him, moving under him, she saw her arms on his back. Seeing white on black quickly made her withdraw her hands.

He stopped to look at her. She hated herself

Friday, August 27, 2010

The silences in between

“I’ll just be back.”
She stopped midway into her packing, grabbed a duppatta and rushed out. Her roommate had hardly enough time to react.

She came to room A-4 and stared at the door. Two hand prints stared back at her. One blue, big and sprawling, and another orange, a little smaller and a little distorted. The two thumbs overlapped each other. She hesitated and then knocked.


She knocked again

“Come’s not locked.”

She pushed the door a little and slid inside. He was lying tummy down on his bed, his head hanging out and was reading The Hindu. A mug of coffee stood beside, and what remained of a pack of Hide-and-Seek biscuits. She stood there looking at him. He was reading the sports section and dint look up. When she dint speak, he looked up.

His hair had grown longer, and brown-er. He’d changed his specs. The frame was thicker now, and she noticed, the glasses too. He was growing a beard, and as usual, the two tiny places at the crook of his lower lips were uncovered with hair.

“They just don’t grow there. It is irritating. I can’t have a decent enough bulgan”
She remembered a conversation with him earlier. She was sipping coffee in his room and he was examining his new goatee.
“you know, I saw an old Malayalam movie yesterday where there is a boy who applies karadi neyyu to grow moustache. Do you think it works? Is it even available?”
“I’ve heard that it works.” She grinned.
“sigh. But knowing me, it would probably take the rest of the hair on my face away. I’ll just grow my moustache longer. It might just cover the stupid hollow”

“Abdu told me he saw you around yesterday near Sagar.”
His voice took her back to the present.
“I had to meet ma’am”
“You submitting your thesis?”
“Nope. Haven’t been working much. Wanted to get out of home. And had things to take back....”
“hmmm...sit down. Don’t stand. The chair is clean enough. Just shift the newspapers.”
She heaved about 30 newspapers and wondered where to put them. While she was contemplating the bed he jumped up.
“Here, give me”
He took them from hers, and pushed them over on to his cupboard. Something else fell through the crack between the cupboard and the wall, and by the sound of it, broke.
He turned around to face her. And grinned a little sheepishly.
“I have no clue what that was”

“Do you never clean up? Unless I am here?”
She remembered asking him once, folding his shirt.
“Well I do. I clean the table when I want to paint. I clean my bed to sleep. But I like the floor better. And yeah the cupboard. I have 3 decent shirts and 1 decent pair of jeans. I keep it folded. Yes folded means folded and not opened. Your method of folding is too complicated, serves no purpose. Those are wrinkle free shirts anyway.

And yeah. The rest of my cupboard holds paint brushes and paint, and paper and books. They are clean.
My desk holds books. I read them. So they are neat. That corner table is where I work. But as I hardly ever do that. So it is ahem..a little dusty.

The maid sweeps the floor every day. So I sleep on a clean floor.

So you see, am basically a clean person.”

He stared back defiantly. And she laughed.

“You have beautiful hair.” He’d said.

“It’s a little messy”. He said. Hunting about behind the cupboard to see what it was that broke.
“Ah! Forget it.,” he said giving it up and seated himself on the bed.

“You look good” he told her.
Normally she would have retorted with “one of us has to” but today she just smiled back. “Thank you,” she said.

She looked at the calendar flapping about near the window. He’d furiously marked almost all the dates. She tried reading it from the chair.
He saw her looking at it and said “random things. Calendar makes up for a diary”.

“I got new specs.”
“I noticed.”

“I guess I’ll leave then. Your coffee is cold.”
“It is. Meant to be that. I usually have it like that now, like...” he left it at that.

“I like cold coffee more than hot ones. She had told him. One heaped teaspoon of Bru coffee. 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. 1 ½  teaspoon sugar, 1 mug of milk. Heavenly.”


“My flight is at 7. Its 3. Have called taxi.”
“...hmmmm. I’ve been accepted at Notre Dame. Will leave in October....meant to mail etc..but....hmmmm...... “
“oh. Congrats....”


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The past three months

Loooooong chapters
Even loooooonger edits and red track changes

Books and Paints
The former to stock in cockroach ridden shelves
The latter to stink rot and die unused

In sarees old and new blouses new and borrowed
Kohl rimmed eyes and braided long hair

A degree in the making
A generation gap of three years

I confess.... I cannot write

Thus died one who longed to write

Choked by profusion of words

That never made sense


Saturday, May 1, 2010

A song long forgotten

Every Thursday, Ambika set out four cups of tea and a plate of Britannia Marie biscuits on the little cane stool. Madhavan helped her by dragging four cane chairs and setting it around the table. Up until a few years ago, she did that too by herself. But now lifting the tray of tea cups itself had become a little tiring.
It had rained today, after the sweltering heat of a cruel early summer. She had loved it. so had her little flowers in their little pots. She tucked her saree up to her ankles and walked around her tiny garden, peering over her back frequently to check mud splotches on her mist green chikan work saree. She couldn’t afford to look dirty when they came.

Thursdays hadn’t been fixed on purpose. It had just happened. It was the only day where he did not see patients at home. He used to come over for a cup of tea if he saw that his wife was out. (She made horrible tea anyway. Without ginger and with lots of water.) Sometimes his friend Hari used to come over with him and hang around for the tea and conversation. Latha too used to join if she was in the mood. And then Sachi and Bala and Bhama and Dyuthi. Ambika was never the one for talking. But she did make good tea.

She had known him before. Much before the little chai times. Much before he was engaged to Latha, much before he had become a doctor. It was sheer chance that had brought her to this home. She had quit to take up writing seriously, and was looking for a small and affordable home to stay somewhere near the city. She hadn’t understood why anyone had to go settle in a village to write better. Here there was no river in the background, nor were the sounds of the city muffled. There were trees yes, enough to scatter her little front yard with so much of leaves that sometimes she let it become a carpet of sorts. There were birds and crickets, but so there were also rumbling of trucks on the road, incessant beeping of the scooters and the honking of those mad red buses. She had loved the home even as she read the ad in the Mathrubhoomi, and had promptly moved in.

She first saw Latha or rather heard her singing a Bengali song that she’d forgotten from her college days from her kitchen. Latha was happy to have Ambika in her kitchen. Would she help her make aviyal?
It was only three days later that she actually saw him. Even when Latha had mentioned his  name, and spoken of his profession, she still didn’t for a second imagine him to be him. Meeting him was a surprise. She might have looked away when he looked, and he might have hung his head when she looked.  Nothing would have given away that they had known each other, in a past that still was making up its mind if it were a dream.
People did ask why she was never married. But once they came to know she was a writer, with actual published works, people took it as a given that she couldn’t be married. And no more questions were asked. They did not meet in secrecy, and met only on Thursdays, with at least three other people sitting around drinking chai. Once or twice, she had seen him look at her strangely and hang around for a few seconds after everyone left, only to walk away just as naturally.

When her 6th published short story collection was suddenly being discussed as a masterpiece, she heard him playing the flute at his home. The same song.

32 years had passed since she’d moved in. The chai party frequently had new visitors. And once she had become and “author” from a “writer”, there was often a demand for membership to the chai club. But the visitors never lasted.

Today there were four chairs around the table. It had been four for the past three years. For Latha, Bhama, Sachi and her. Of all the people she missed most, she missed him who would never again come on Thursdays. The song lost its tune. And she forgot its lyrics. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And then...

Because my childhood was spent missing my parents, I thought nothing of careers, nothing of being a juggler of home and work, nothing of being a “super” mom. Nothing about being an “earning” wife. I wanted to be a mother and a wife.
I took the decision long ago. Maybe at fifteen, or maybe even before. I don’t quite know.
I made my husband happy when it was just the two of us. I cooked. I made the home pretty. I loved him having his friends over for dinner. He was proud of his pretty wife with a great figure, who cooked well, and liked his friends. He loved his wife who gave him surprise birthday and anniversary gifts. He was grateful to his wife for always listening to his day at work. He lusted for his wife behind their closed bedroom doors.

I had married the love of my life. We loved. Then we had a daughter.

I made my daughter happy. I made her little hand puppets, made her teddy bears in her favourite colour. I painted her room with her favourite cartoon characters. Made her star shaped sandwiches and chocolate chip muffins. Knew all her friend’s names and their parents. Took her out of school and went junk jewellery shopping. Made her bunk classes and went for movies. I tried my hand in teaching her maths, though we did stop that exercise pretty soon. I cried with her when she fought with her best friend and laughed with her when her appa got scared of her makeup kits.

My daughter got a job and became a career woman. And then she became appa's girl.