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Archive for the ‘Muses Who?’ Category

Ask me who are the fools??? And I’ll tell you- ‘Us’.

‘We’, who believe in the impossibility of things with more conviction than in the possibility of random events of the universe taking shape, and piecing together all on it’s own to make happen what we set out to do when we proceed to follow the song of our souls with a wee bit more of faith and courage.

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The day has transformed into the night and the night becomes day! No, this is no magical story, but rather a pathetic sleeping disorder Ive developed over the past two months ever since we stopped worshipping the Sun god and are now left to suffer His wrath. Soporific days and restless nights took over my already unsettled life. The problem is that though we have rented out an AC for the summer, I don’t sleep inside the room because I ended up waking almost everyday with a sore throat. It’s a risk an unemployed youngster mustn’t take. So I sleep in the living room, and roll all over the floor, throughout the night and wake up groggy and end up catching snatches of sleep for the rest of the day. That is if I manage to put myself to sleep at all before 2am.

Last night, it rained. Which was romantic and all that, but it shot up the temperature making our house an ideal place to open a hot sauna. While lying on the bed, I remembered ‘Mr.Right’ once telling me of a certain breathing technique that helped you to relax and go to sleep with ease. I tried in vain to remember the sequence. Was it a 6-3-6-3? (First 6 being the count for inhalation, 3 for holding it in, the second 6 for exhalation and 3 for pausing before starting all over again.) Or was it a ‘7-4-7-4’? Or was it something completely different? While pondering, I was interrupted by a very strong sequence near me. ‘Roomie-who-does-not-want-a-mention-in-my-blog’, had slept off in the living room while watching TV and was now ‘snoring’! Instead of getting annoyed, I told myself to relax and try and learn a thing or two from her on how to sleep like ‘that’!

And then it suddenly hit me. If I could repeat the same sequence as her, then I could also possibly fall asleep. I lied down on the floor, stretched and relaxed my muscles, took a deep breath in, exhaled, closed my eyes and observed her snoring rhythm. It was an odd, sort of miscalculated ‘3-1-4-2’. But I followed it anyway and breathed for about 50 counts, before realizing that I was sitting up and straining myself to hear her because she had turned over to face the wall. I rolled all over the floor once again last night. In the morning, when I finally gave up on trying to sleep, the aforementioned ‘roomie’ woke up and moaned: “I had a very disturbed sleep last night….”

“1-0-1-0”

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Smells, one of the many things that binds you to the past. Be it pleasant or repulsive, smells manage to bring out long forgotten singular instances. A memory, a smile, a hurt, a fight, a person, a name, a time, a day, a promise, a reason, a season, a poem, a thought… why, it can even remind you of entire states and countries!! An aroma once smelt, unique of its own is hardly ever recaptured. We do often get a whiff of similar smells, but I believe no two smells are ever the same.

This post is inspired by a smell. The smell that takes me right back to my childhood, to Kerala and to the cold waters of the ‘kolam’ (water tank/pond) in my ‘ammamma’s’(grandmother) house. Back to a feeling of being nice and clean, and back to a time when I could fit in on my amma’s hips! A smell that I later on started associating with hotel rooms and promptly discarded. The smell of ‘Chandrika’ soap!

Yesterday was a very busy day. After 3 long months, three cheques that had got delayed finally cleared and came my way. Time to pay the bills and do some shopping. After preventing the unpleasant event of having our internet disconnected, I walked into a supermarket to buy a few basic necessary items that I’d been doing without for all these days. I was bored of ‘camay’ and ‘dove’ and was looking for a change. My regular soap, ‘Derma dew’ now cost close to 70 rupees. Even with all that money, I felt the price was still a killing. I went through the mulit-coloured, floral designed covers of all the soaps on the shelf and picked nothing for a long time. I wouldve turned around and walked out and convinced myself to shell out 70rupees. But that’s when I spotted the dull green cover of a very ordinary looking ‘desi’ Chandrika soap, standing shyly in the midst of international models. I hesitatingly picked it up and drew it close to my nose to smell it once again….

 

Frantically swallowing whatever little air I could get, and tears streaming down my face, I splashed around in the water like a fish out of water. Two protective arms curled around me, but I still held with all my life the shaky rocky pillar that supported the small roof above the steps of our ‘kolam’. Amma was trying to teach me swimming, but nothing would get me to float on water. Inspite of having expert swimmers for my parents, I was petrified of the ‘kolam’. Many brave stories could be heard about my mom’s spectacular diving and rescuing skills and achan’s ability to do stay under water for long minutes, and to swim backwards and sidewards. And yet, their child, when put into a kolam always only swam downwards….

Kids in the West had nightmares about the ‘toilet man’. I woke up from my sleep everyday to get tossed into a ‘kolam’, and it later came back in my dreams to swallow me whole. I would cry out and howl until amma sensed the scary reality of a shattered eardrum drawing close and pull me out. I’d spring up from the water shivering, and teeth chattering like a type writer. She would turn me around and splash more water with her hands and then start scraping me clean, mumbling all the while about how her child was a gift from the God of dirt, if there be such a god. The soap lather would run down my feet and flow into the water and invite many small fishes to gather around and start nibbling at my tiny toes, and prompt me to do a jiggly wiggly dance move. This would further agitate my mom, who’d then issue out new orders- “STAND still”, “Don’t dance around”, “or else you will fall into the water now..”

And I’d decide I had had enough and slip myself from her soapy grip and make a dash for it, sending little clouds of froth flying after me. In the confusion, the soap, placed on a small stepping stone, would get kicked into the water. And my mom would be torn apart between saving a drowning soap and chasing a wet child who could catch a cold in a breeze.

“That’s a WHOLE CAKE OF SOAP!! And thanks to you, the FISHES are feeding on it now….” and on and on she’d go later on, rubbing the towel vigorously on my head. I’d put my arms around her and place my head against her soft tummy, smelling sqeaky clean of tulsi and herbs and ammamma’s other oil concoctions, and start humming a tune and laugh to myself by the way the notes of the song were jumping and falling around. Amma would stop wiping my head and stare at me, and I’d catch the warning and run out and climb up the ‘jaambakka’ tree. ‘Mumble mumble’ all the way to the kitchen my dear amma would. And I’d sit on the branch and sing and swing away into the skies.

If ‘Chandrika’ could explore the secrets that lay at the dark bottom of amma’s ‘kolam’, then ‘lifebouy’ made it clear it was capable of much more that in my dad’s house. Although I have two sisters in my dad’s side, their stay abroad allowed them to escape the rough treatment I received from my brothers in Palghat. Amma’s family was full of girls and dad’s family had a majority of boys.

“Kozhikode’ veettile kolam is scary for her. Lets try out the Palghat kolam, she likes the corner side, where those creepers dangle from Achu ammavan’s house into the water. Maybe she’ll get into the water if we take her through that side….” High words of hope those were from my dad’s mouth. I liked the water and the blue-flowered creepers that dangled from there alright, but to proceed any further than the three steps where I found it comfortable to submerge myself in the water that rose till my hips when I sat down, was impossible for me. All the brothers, even the youngest one had learnt by now to swim. I added to the misery of the ugly-duckling’s tale and spent all my time at the steps, away from the other normal kids who took to the water like little tadpoles. The cousins, rough as they were with each other continued with their games and I was always caught in the middle. And during one of their playful tussles, one of ‘em got real rough and with a ‘splosh’ ended this ‘one’ in the water. I remember having this feeling of a furious river running somewhere inside me. And the giddying smell of lifebouy clogging my head. In the struggle, my arm struck something solid and I immediately caught hold of it and grabbed it. Cant imagine whether it was an arm or a leg, but with another loud “Splosh” came a cousin to join me under the water. Fury of the river, and now fury of a cousin. The ‘kolam’, beauitful as it always seemed, was cordoned off for upkeeping the safety measures and preserving the sanctity and order of the house and its young members.

You’d think its impossible for the mind to go back in time and relive so much. But the mind is an amazing thing, I realize. It has little tricks up in there to take you back and forth in time, and relive whole incidents within just a few seconds. I opened my eyes, feeling lighter, with a gentle smile trying desperately to run deep curves on my lips.

‘Chandrika’ soap was coming home with me. Never mind the hotel bathrooms, the feel of my mom’s warm hands on my frozen body, and the memory of all those days I splashed around in all the ‘kolams’ in vain, could easily erase every other memory associated with Chandrika soap. Which reminds me, I have to join swimming classes now!

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Yay, yay, yay and a yay, yay, yay!!!

 

It’s been a long way

Its been a big sway

But hear me today

When I look at you n say

To come along n play

Coz its my day today!!!

 

Ok there have been sadder songs. Like the one we came up with last night. Its called the shitty song and it really was just that…

 

“Oooooooo…. Ooooooooooo…”

Oooooooo, I feeeel like shi**…ing

I feeeeell like shi**..ing

Aiiyeeee feel like shi***…ing

In da moRninnn breeze….

And by dawwwn,

It’ll all be gonnne

I know it’ll leave me empty insiiide

But hey, hey, hey…

Listen to me when I sayyyy

That a new dawn,

(Chorus girls) a newwww dawwn

Will come agaiiiin…..”

Heavy strumming of the guitar… end song, and leave audience disgusted!!!

 

Iyengar maapilai appreciated the effort and gave us a nice title for the album- ‘Flushed’. Debut album of the abomination and her trusted ‘nanban’ will hit the stores soon. Don’t forget to pick it up and turn us into a mega hit. I promise to clean the world of all the shit once I have the money.

 

Ok all of that nonsense apart, I think all of my friends already know this is coming, this little birthday post! Well, its an easy guess, considering how much they made me cry with all those wonderful surprises and love and warmth and goodness and frienship and love and all that and everything and…. Oh sob sob….   Im in a terrible condition now. I don’t think I know what I am writing or doing.

Ideally, I shouldnt be allowed to do anything today, other than maybe just sit somewhere and let me cry and laugh like a madman, to release all of the excess amount of joy that im finding real hard to contain inside me. If you leave me to be me today, then I think I just might sprout out two tiny wings, fly to the skies and rip the clouds and eat up all of the snow and get an indigestion. See me bounce off from the seat now… (Wheeeeeee…..)

 

Truth to tell, I feel sooo touched, humbled, overwhelmed, and blessed that I just don’t think I can use any of my other faculties to calmly sit and write about it. So I wont. Kindly put up with this crazy, incorrigible post. But what did my friends do to get me in this condition? Well, they went and made me feel special again!

Due to recession, we all decided to stick indoors and have a quite time, for a change. Nanban made hot, crispy vadas. Dhara made sambhar and rice. Big dadddy and nanu took care of the chicken. And Gobu made payasam. At the stroke of midnight they covered my eyes and put me in front of the comp to make me listen to the video (charu’s SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS Bday gift) my Mr.Right had uploaded on Youtube(man, that guy can talk!!). He sang our favourite song, one that reminds me of him and him about me (or so he claims….) I didn’t bother much about the chords or his voice or his singing. I was just so blinded and deafened by that overwhelming emotion that all I could let out were a few salty tears. The cutest part of the video is where he brings in these animated figures. Watch out for the 3rd minute where a cupid circles around his head…(god, im so lost in love!!!) Dphat also took time out to make a video and sent it to me… I so wish he was there to make the place all the more merrier…

Guddu ‘stitched’ a real pretty kurta for me, which I’ll be wearing the whole day today! My roomies gave me a beautiful stole from ‘Auroville’that smelt like God. They also gave a complete ‘meditation kit’ to aid me on my spiritual quest. After a very long time, Im finding it difficult to write today. Im so totally out of words and expressions. Its almost as though I cant rememeber anything. I guess you can make it out from the way this post is going.

So though all of my friends were making fun of how I’d be making a post of all the events of lastnight, I think I’ll just go ahead and dedicate it to all of them.

For all of them wonderful souls in my life….!!!

 

On a more serious note, (my parents might be interested to know) I hope to become a better person this year. Been at it for years, I know. But Im gonna continue keeping at it until I succeed.

Plans for the future now take a more serious turn. Guess the time has finally come to do what I set out to do. The reason why I quit my job, the reason why I am here in Chennai, the very reason why I believe I was gifted with big rounded eggs in my math papers.

 

An ‘art boutique’ through which I hope to create ideas and concepts using the artistry of the absolutely talented craftsmen of our country. The local artisans, carpenters, potters, painters, sculptors and weavers would make my dream team and with our combined efforts, I hope to improve their lives by changing my own. Its going to be a challenge. But one step has been taken. The rest shall follow. I cannot ask for a better day to ask you all to wish me luck and send in your blessings!

 

So that’s all I have time for today folks. The worlds callin me now….

 

Crowded schedule for the day:

Lunch with cousin brother

Temple with big daddy

Beach with Lumi and Venkat

Coffee with Kandan

And dinner with the gang!!!!

 

Happy Birthday to me! J

 

Ps: Karsub wanted a special mention in this post because he thinks he deserves it coz he called me to wish me when I was writing it. I think that’s reason enough. So here it is- a special mention. Thank you, dear Karsub! J

 

 

 

 

 

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Evenin sky

Any moment now, a tint of orange will smudge the sky

Any moment now, a noisy crow will come beside the window and caw

Any moment now, a gentle breeze will touch a chord in the life of a bamboo chime

Any moment now, time shall cease to exist at all

And I will hold that moment and live it through, like how I’m holding this moment now

Coz everytime I feel something true, that’s when I know I’ve learnt something new……

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What does a street kid think when a photographer clicks his picture?  How do educated people with high flying lives or even other lives like you and me look at sensitive issues like poverty or child labour? Why do the mere mention of these issues bring a frown on our faces and tag our thoughts as boring? How do we allow falsified emotions to get into our heads? Like for instance, how we ‘think’ we feel bad when we see something on the road and then turn around and get back to our marry browns and pizza huts…

This is about a street kid who is getting captured by a photographer. The guy clicks and walks off thinking he has done a great job. And he brings his little trophy to our world. And we the people, we throw a varying range of emotions. We hold discussions and debates, join communities and open blogs and even write about it. But do we really get anywhere, other than to the next coffee shop or book store?

We take pride in having these emotions- that we can feel, empathise, and even make ourselves believe that we are different. Sometimes to show off, but most of the times to bury our own guilt. I call it egoic delusions. But whatever we call it, and whether or not we feel bad, what’s in it for a kid?

Here s what one such kid, a victim of a photograph thinks…..

 

Shutterbugs and willing death 

 

Can you tell me what runs through your dreams?

In the cold shutters of the bug

You capture me. And bind me

For a million eyes to gape and sigh

In their bougainvillea homes

And one two three rooms

 

Don’t look if you can’t see it

Don’t sigh if you can’t feel it

Don’t stay if you can’t stand it

Just turn around and walk away

Like you always do

 

 

Under the dim lit glow of red

In the confines of your own talent wall

You wash me. And hang me

To make prosperous your name

When people feign emotions

In their egoic delusions

 

Don’t look if you can’t see it

Don’t sigh if you can’t feel it

Don’t stay if you can’t stand it

Just turn around and walk away

Like you always do

 

 

Here under the veil of the night

I need not to close my eyes

Darkness blinds all

And the buildings have to sleep

Before we can.

Wherever I go

I see men with greedy eyes

But what I search for is

Two gleaming lights

That can walk me back home

And tell me stories of the yore

And show me if any such thing

That they call love really exists

 

 

 

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