Thursday, 8 February 2018

Strange weather

Have you experienced strange weather? No, this is not a metaphor for emotional lows - it is really strange weather! Like rain in the midst of scorching summer or a sudden chill when it is not winter. Get the drift?

Yesterday was so - Strange strange weather. We are well into a time with sunny skies and light sweat but yesterday was different. The day mimicked a monsoon day with the sky grey and the mood gloomy; I had imagined that I woke up in the monsoon - only to realise that we were still in February - a  month that has all my students in a strange mood (call it Valentines' mood). And yesterday was 'Rose day.' Do you know dear reader about the 'Rose Day?' It is like a curtain-raiser to Valentine's Day which is still thankfully a week later. The students wish me - "Happy Rose Day ma'am." And I who belongs to another century asks naively, "What is Rose Day?" Giggles. Smiles. Oh! she does not know Rose Day looks and I am told what the day stands for. and I, belonging to another century starts prattling  about how in my day, there was no Rose Day and all, but roses, chocolates, cards, teddies, kisses were all wrapped up in one day i. e. Valentine's Day. I hear them sigh - I guess they were reminiscing how those days there was no expenditure by the day unlike these days when marketing companies came up with newer strategies by the minute to create effective and expensive ways of expressing love. Yesterday, I learnt something new about the Rose Day.

Yesterday was a strange day - I see myself nodding and spouting, "Global warming" to which the EVS teacher quips, "But today is cool, so it's not global warming but global cooling!" I smiled and walked away. I thought of the tsunamis, the cyclone in Chennai in 2015, and the floods of 2016 - perhaps a storm was brewing and cast its spell in Goa.

It then drizzled. Light showers. Didn't I tell you that the weather was strange? No, it wasn't the mango showers. Everyone was thinking and exclaiming about the strangeness of yesterday's weather.

Today it was a bright an sunny day - as perfect as it should be but the weather has cast its mark in me - My throat is sore and my voice is husky. Yesterday remains in me, today!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Rathabole's dog

There was a time when I enjoyed these walks; I still do! I used to await the time when Rathabole got ready, put the leash around my neck (I would've liked to go without one, but still) and lead me down the stairs. Ah! The fresh air, the butterflies to chase, the lamp posts which gives me ample opportunities to raise my hind leg and the lazy waddle with Rathabole at the helm. It was heaven!

Until the smart phone became an integral part of our walks!

It was not that Rathabole spoke to me or we had deep conversations but I liked the fact that we both walked watching whatever we fancied and caught out attention. I agree that he is not an amiable man; Many times I have overheard people saying that his smile is a rarity. I think he does not smile much and even if he does, it is but a slight curve of the lips. Oh yes, let me come back to the topic at hand, uff paws! Now-a-days, he is always fiddling with the mobile - perhaps he's an important man and has a lot of things to attend to but why does he do it during the time with me. The leash and I become secondary when the phone is in his hand. The walk turns into an obligation that has to be carried out for my sake - I hate being a liability, you know. I crave for the moments of pauses when both he and I, stop by to watch an aeroplane flying above us, or stopping to say hello with a nod, or just walk lazily without a sense of time. But now, it's not he and I on our walks - it's the triune of Rathabole, I and the inanimate smart phone!

 I think the days of our free walks are numbered. I no longer look forward to the walks - but I need them, after all, otherwise I cannot raise my hind legs on the couches and dining tables!

Disclaimer: This is not entirely fiction. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead is not perhaps, entirely coincidental. Remember to think of that person and chuckle, if you know who it is!

Image courtesy: Internet

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Urban vignettes


She waits in the car
while he has gone to pick up some kebabs
The glass is half-down,
She looks out while he places the order and glances around.
Windows up
The smell of spice and coriander fill the car
Another day of no cooking dinner!


She walks the aisles of the mega-store
She remembers foreign herbs
And fills her shopping cart.
The bottles neatly stacked on the racks
Lie forgotten.


She promises herself
"No more online shopping."
She clicks JAYPORE
Just once, let me glance.
With horror and pleasure, she reads:
Your order has been successfully placed.


She yearns for her days of childhood
She arrives at her hometown.
After half-a-day,
She yearns for the place she lives in!


She thinks in English
worries in English
swears in English
yet teaches,
"English is after all our second language!"

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Memories of a short-lived conversation

When does something become yours?
When you talk to her?
When you hold imaginary conversations with her when she is within?
When you weave future memories in absentia?
When you internalise your motherhood even before you deliver?
When you dream of holding tiny hands and walking around the block?
When you await the smell and smile and imagine them?
When you talk of grandparents and books and music ---

Alas! The memories of a short-lived conversation cuts through my being
Someone who should have been born is gone
~ Anne Sexton

P. S.:- Written for a dear friend S. 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Song of the uterus

Glorious bloody tunes
when the first bleeding occurs at puberty.

Lusty glorious tunes
when the hymen is ruptured.

The first year of the marriage
An expectant tune of a forthcoming baby

But the baby never came
But the baby never came

Thus begins the scan room chronicles
Pricking, prodding and scanning.

Scanning, pricking and prodding!
HSG - oh no! by God, it's traumatic.

Surgical process
Pricking, prodding and scanning.

The baby might come
The baby might come

The biological clock is ticking - they say
God will have his plans - some say!

I did not sign up for this - I say!
The uterus sings its song thus.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

My taxi sojourns

S was our faithful taxi driver - We used his services whenever we were having guests or the husband was away and I needed to commute to and from College. There was a time when S was my mode of transportation for a whole two months. He would come in the morning at 8 and we would make our way through the highway and the narrow road commonly known as the junction. Our togetherness was brief, say a brief seven-minute in the morning and then another seven in the afternoon. But those minutes were an assortment of the weather forecast, politics, students of today, elders of yesterday, traffic defaulters, irresponsible animal owners and so on.

The journey would begin with, "Good morning S ji. Looks like it will rain today." To which, I would receive, "maybe yes or maybe not." Then the topic would skirt around the current trending news and our opinions. S ji would thrillingly use MC, BC and other colourful words which would shake me out of my reverie but then when feelings have to be expressed, why would a sieve be used. And then without much ado, we would fall silent only to puncture it with something else that catches his or my eye.

Together we used to count the days of the husband's return and mark his duty days with me. Our mornings were clouded with the urge to rush to College and our afternoons with the urgency to go home and rest. S would have stories of his customers and how each one was different from the other - some made him wait for hours while some were stingy; some wanted only his taxi services with low prices, of course, and some called him when their friends were in town. There was a fare for regulars and there was a fare for regulars' friends.

S was well versed with the kind of people after experiencing them as his customers. He could spot a rotten apple in a basket of many. He could advise on traffic timing and low prices in shops. He was an encyclopedia of the common man. I knew what he ate and what his children were up to and when he woke up, offered puja and bathed. Nonchalantly, he would talk about the area's councillors, police personnel, customs officer and their stories of greed and power. Everyone had been his customer one time or the other.

He used to understand my measly bank balance mid-month and lament how it is impossible to earn enough in a straightforward service. He used to say, "dho number ka kam se khoob paisa kama sakthey" (Illegal work only could earn more money).

I look forward to those mornings and afternoons when S and I chat endlessly and merrily about all and sundry. Then one day the journeys with S stopped with the husband coming back and my knowledge bank of 'local' stories became scarce and limited.

I then wondered, "What stories would I tell my students?" But then there is a story everywhere!


Related Posts with Thumbnails