Saturday, March 26, 2011

Perfect Spring Day

'Lo! where the rosy-bosomed Hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The Attic warbler pours her throat,
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of spring:
While, whisp'ring pleasure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky
Their gathered fragrance fling.'
Thomas Gray (Ode to Spring)

Such would be a perfect spring day. Or may be even better. As it turned out, for today for me was an unblemished day. Living in the present moment I lived my teenage years once again. Ideal beginning: caught up on an okeyish English rom-com with some old friends and their old friends. Came home to the smiles, hugs and kisses from my son. Went flea market shopping and picked up great stuff with mom-in-law. Took my little monkey to the park and then for a drive. And for the first time in the last three years or may be more, called up a friend impromptu and landed at her place and recieved the warmest welcome. Chatted inanely, played with my little monster, bitched a little and ate chocolate cake! For once, my teeny weeny tot slept in time. Not one argument with hubby the entire day. It can’t get better than that, can it?

For the harsh weather of life that we endure, honest & effortless days like this are the spring!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dark Truths

Sitting at the window, she was taking in the fresh breeze as much as she could. Fifteen stories above one could still feel the freshness in the air, away from all the mayhem and chaos of the world gone mad. She sat there staring into nothingness. It was a pitch-dark night. The moon and the stars had decided not to show up, and she was grateful for that. She was lost within herself and the darkness that had enveloped the whole world.

‘What are you looking at?’ he asked, slipping in beside her on the windowsill trying to figure out her object of attention. His efforts, though, were in vain, for she was looking no where. She didn’t respond, didn’t even turn her head, as if she didn’t even want to acknowledge his presence. He felt irritated and annoyed. No, he didn’t. This woman had always been a mystery to him. The present scenario presented an opportunity for him to unravel the secrets that lurked beneath her calm composure. He asked her again, nudging her elbow, ‘hey, what are you looking for, out there in the dark?’ She came out of her trance. Looking deep into his eyes, she said, ‘I am searching for the darkness.’ He couldn’t help, but chuckled, ‘in the dark?’ Sternly, she turned and glanced at him. If looks could kill, he would have been at her feet. Nevertheless, it made him shut up.

‘The dark is so beautiful. It just takes everything in; all the sorrow and sadness in the world’ she said. He didn’t utter a word. Just stood there listening. Ignoring him, she continued, ‘it is not the time of the devil and the damned, it’s the time when one and all shed their makeover and let the real self takeover. It’s time when each and every reveals itself in its purest form. As the blackness of the night shadows everything, love, only true and pure surges. No lies, no pretences, no fakeness prevails.’ No more was she taking to him. In fact she wasn’t even talking to herself. She was just pouring herself out. ‘Only darkness is real. It is not tainted. It’s pure unlike the light that is a blend of seven colours. You cannot add anything or take anything away from it. When darkness prevails, so does the law of equality. It is the light that teaches us to differentiate- whites from blacks, rich from poor. Light discriminates. Night is not the hour of the Satan; it’s the time of God. It is the time, when love creates life- when a man and a woman stand together as equals, to rotate the wheel of life for life to continue.’ Abruptly she stopped speaking, still staring into nothingness, taking in the purity and truth of the very moment. He didn’t dare move; frozen then and there, right in his shoes. His gaze could drill through the floor. He didn’t have the courage to look at her, may be at himself.

He was her lover, though only for the night. As morning descended, he would go back home to his wife, his family- the uncomfortable but comforting lie. She, his mistress, of a lower caste would keep waiting for another night; meanwhile numerous nights would pass by, before he would come again- in the blanket of the night.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tears of Joy

Absolute helplessness was what I experienced today after a long time. A series of events were to reach culmination, mind you, ‘were’ and then I hit the wall. No door, no window, not even a crack. All thanks to, the ‘sarkari mulazim’ (what kinda mulazims are these people, who boss around all day?) at the passport office, Chandigarh. After weeks of running around and a lot of under the table payments to get birth certificate, verification certificate, endless affidavit and finally an appointment at the passport office, it all fell flat, for lack of one signature. To no avail, I pleaded to the sarkari mulazim (who was busy dreaming of lunch) to consider my case as urgent in nature. Subjected to an indifferent attitude and a determined NO, I just plonked on the chair.

The helplessness, futility and absurdity of the situation got better of me. I felt a wetness of my cheeks, and realised I was crying; a phenomenon that had almost become alien to me. Managing a baby, a long distance relationship and a host of other relationships, an almost-in-tatters job, and an effort to keep my thought process alive, emotions had moved to the back burner. Odd, as it may seem, even in this crazily frustrating situation I welcomed these tears.

For sitting dejected outside the passport office, I had reconnected to my old self.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

‘Butterfly Effect’ states that a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. A butterfly flaps its wings in a far away place creating tiny ripples that begin a flow of cause and effect energy that eventually creates a hurricane force wind. Something on similar lines took place with me while interacting with a friend; well, not to the magnitude of torrential rain showers in my life, while he blinked his eyes elsewhere.

Though, something he mentioned in passing, made me sit up n think. Having read my blog for the first time, he found it ‘morbidity encapsulated’. I have always acknowledged the fact that I am a 'once in a blue moon' writer. His remark, however, made me realise that I’m a miserable writer (not that I write miserably, but I write only when I’m miserable), which explains the negativity, hostility and cynicism emanating from almost every piece I’ve written.

Well, it explains, why I really couldn’t make a career in writing business – one, I couldn’t be that miserable all the time and two, nobody would want to take a pessimism pill that often. Another revelation which came to fore was that miserable writing is more like a safety valve for me. The minute the emotional build up crosses the danger level mark, it is all spewed out on paper (or Microsoft word, as the case may be). Unconsciously, yet a self developed, cathartic system.

The last I wrote was in the year 2009, almost two years ago. Though it had been pricking me awhile, that I haven’t penned a master piece for long, it just struck me that probably I haven’t been melancholic, depressed, distressed or unhappy in a long time. Is that such a bad thing to happen?

It is not. But, then to not write is not too great either.

All my words come from the heart, though routed via the brain. May be it’s time I just look into my heart more often, and turn that emergency exit into a window.

Thanks for being the butterfly ;)

Tea Zealots

Sometimes I wonder how people can fill pages after pages, with a ceaseless flow of words. For I am absolutely alien to this phenomenon. It takes me forever to scribble even a few lines- not that I keep pondering over what I write forever. It’s just that I write once in an eon(metaphorically, of course, or it would fit if u take Pluto's time frame) - when I do it takes only a few minutes to spill it all out- something like erupting of a volcano, once it starts, there’s no stopping.

As hilarious or as absurd it may seem, I guess people are damn quick- way too quick for my standards. They are able to spin off tales in no time, like instant coffee. Blink! And its ready. Doesn’t take time to prepare - INSTANT!

As far as I am concerned, and other few who suffer as I do, writing is more like brewing tea. The tea leaves afloat, patiently simmering over a quiet fire, till the time the flavour and the colour have been rightfully extracted. Takes time, but is worth it…

The only hope that keeps a tea brewer like me going is that in this time-less world of coffee lovers exist a few tea zealots. And its for them that I exist and survive.

To the Tea Zealots!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It wasn’t just rain, it was a thundershower. And it had been going on for days bringing life to a stand still. Nobody in right mind could think of stepping out. The Met department had lived up to its reputation and had failed miserably in not predicting this onslaught and was equally helpless in being able to tell when it shall stop. It seemed God was suddenly gripped with this unshakable feeling of cleaning up the mortal’s planet, not only of the visible, conspicuous rubbish and garbage but also to wash away the dirt and the darkness resident within.

Whatever his reasons, rain for her had made everything beautiful. When everybody around was cursing the weather, she could not thank him enough. Not that she was particularly fond of him but in the present circumstances, she actually obliged him by thanking him. It was more like telling him, ‘Dude, you should have done this ages ago, but thanks anyway’.

The rain enthused, for her, a life force into everything it touched. She had been witnessing this process, from her window, from the very moment the first drops had come down. The Window- the place she loved the most in her life. It was a huge, wall-size window that looked out to the whole valley below. Curling up to the window with a mug of hot coffee and a book, she could spend a lifetime there. Today the book had been replaced. Sitting there comfortably with the inevitable mug of coffee, in a blanket, for with everything else the rain had brought down the temperatures too, her unwavering attention was assigned to the rain. The leaves had turned greener, the mud a deeper shade of brown, the river down gushing stronger than ever.

Unblinking she was gazing at the plum-size water droplets striking the window with brutal force and then meekly trickling down the glass. There were moments when she actually felt the drops would shatter the glass and make their way through. She had been sitting there for days now; from the very day the clouds had decided to burst open their bellies. All through she was admiring the determination of the otherwise harmless water to breakthrough and tear apart everything. And she so wanted it to happen- for it would be her salvation. She wanted the rain to come break the barrier and wash her away, gush through her life and with it take away the bitterness, the pain, the fears , the scars, the memories and the baggage that lied within her depths.

But at the end of five days, she was tired of waiting. The anticipation was killing her. Somewhere a feeling of betrayal was rising in her- like a bride on the wedding day, when the groom failed to turn up. Every single tick of the clock making the wait more painful.

Suddenly, she threw off everything, stepped into her floaters and ran. For her patience had ran out. If it would not come to her, she’ll go. Desperately and hurriedly she dashed out of the house, turning a deaf ear to her mother’s beckoning. Tears streaming down she ran and ran through the rain. Letting it pierce her body, and would let it, till it makes its way through her entire being.

Unthinkingly she reached the point, where she always did - to run away from reality, pain, unforgiving truths. The place she turned to - to hide. Huddled away from the world, under the hovering branches of the banyan tree, right at the foot of the hill where the river bent. But today, she wasn’t hiding; rather she was embracing it all with open arms – with the doors to her soul open. She didn’t cuddle up in the roots of the tree, she walked right into the rivers raging turbulent waters. For she knew this was the moment to experience the absolute truth, a fleeting moment of being one with the ultimate reality. To walk the gap that bridges the existing and the existed.

In the depths of the river, she found her deliverance.

The Question

It was winter. A winter that none had seen in the past decade. You could see your own breath and if you stood out in the open, it might have just frozen. And it was in this harsh winter, was a girl born early in the morning. The world had not yet come to life, when this little one breathed its first breath; and ominous it was - the birth. The clouds burst open, and it rained as if with a vengeance. Either it was God crying for having to part with that soul, or may be He was venting His anger for creating this one.

There was no rejoice or happiness; nobody to celebrate the continuity of life - for she was a girl. What was wanted, needed, required, wished for was a son. The brunt for birthing the wrong gender, was borne by none else than the mother. Nobody cared. They had all gone, grieving. She only had a frail blanket to keep her and the unwanted protected, from the harshness of the words and the winter. Howbeit, she couldn’t suppress the joy of creating life, even though it wasn’t a son. She knew not what to do, feel or say. Lying in her bed, she stared at the sky, searching for Him, and for an answer - had she never been born, how would a son today? And if her daughter wasn’t born today, how would a son tomorrow?