Friday, December 26, 2008

Helplessness


A more profound winter had set in the late December air. She could feel the specks of an occasional chill on the dark bare of her skin as she stood anticipating at the window. She loved the way the subtleties of the wind broke through her fresh from the bath skin.
The congealed ends of her wet hair pricked her back with a sweet pain, forming small rivulets that threaded southwards in a lazy motion. She wanted to make herself a hot mug of coffee to complement the unusually cold December evening but the butterflies inside her bosom had begun to have a paralyzing effect.
She stood there a little more while, fleeting thoughts of childhood crossing her mind as she drew circles of water with her finger until they vanished in the dry of the chill. Subconsciously, she tried to remember every cold December evening of her life, some stored away for the right reasons, others for the wrong. They kept coming to her like the wind who’s provenance was full of uncertainty. A cold December of heartache, a cold December of triumphs.
It took a sudden eruption of goosebumps for her to realize her nakedness. The limpid half moon proposed an advancing evening. The whiteness of the air becoming evident with each passing batch of chill. The butterflies at the brim of her mouth now.
She loved to daub strawberry milk on her skin in the winters. The smell of strawberries prodded the memory of last winter’s song in her mind. She hummed it, smearing herself lovingly with the essence of bypassed memories. When she was done, she admired her body in the mirror, despite the million flaws she could have otherwise enumerated.
She pried upon the clock again, feeling uneasy this time, but making sure she hid it, like she always did. Like she were watched. She wondered how hard it would be to cry or how easy it would be to love. She always felt inept at both. Maybe that is why she could not contain a wait inside her. The armor she built all these years by meticulously denying her heart all those feelings that she saw in those maudlin movies (which she loved) was beginning to wear off at the sides. She wanted to count those years, but they seemed too many, more than the number of emotions she had successfully (?) deflected until this cold December evening.
She felt more naked now. She thought she will cry but she did’nt. She thought she will love but she did’nt. Maybe she could’nt. She clothed herself quickly in an attempt to cover her incapability, not her nakedness.
She carried on in the solitude of her vacuum, like she always had.

art title - naked woman, expressionism
artiste - Randall
url - http://www.webnetdesign.com/randallartgallery/images/others/woman.jpg

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My consorts (part I) - Manolo

This wasn’t the first time when Manolo, my pet dog, had attempted to eat my laptop. Just that this time, the laptop’s adapter had to succumb to it’s final mutilation.. Beyond repair, beyond recognition.
Manolo, for the sake of a concise & precise introduction, is a gold-colored mongrel pup, who in other cultures would be depicted as a demon, a demon that feeds on lithium.

She is a result of what can only be described as a ‘dangerous liaison’ between a Labrador retriever and a Pomeranian.
Manolo, in her 6 months of life, until now i.e, has been the deathbed to several wires, furniture items, shoes of any kinds & sizes or lets just say, anything that exists in spatial dimensions irrespective of the material it is made of. Sundry household objects silently bear testimony to the ravenous repertoire of Manolo's.. Edges of the coffee table mercilessly gnawed, pillows with cotton bleeding out of them, my cell phone looks more like Manolo’s teeth cast and none of the water pipes in the bathroom & the kitchen are tubular anymore.
The kittens lurk reluctantly under the constant threat of getting lodged in between Manolo’s teeth while Glitter (Manolo’s grandma) risks losing her long droopy ears to Manolo’s appetite because Manolo mistakes them (or does she?) for being chapattis.
Manolo’s face is an embodiment of the highest form of deception. Huge blackberry eyes with constantly dilated pupils, droopy ears that she got from her mother, a ceaselessly sniffy wet nose and a mouth that is trying to dismantle a wall unit as we speak. The face that masks all the annihilation that it’s bearer is capable of.
She has a way of sapping even the most formidable reverberation by wagging her tail at such a speed that it probably produces some sort of high frequency waves which render you incapable of any amount of harsh reaction.
I hold the mauled remnants of my laptop’s battery, my nostrils flaring to their rims, ready to charge at her (she is now trying to sink her teeth into the floor marble), but as soon as her droopy ears flap sideways to signal an approaching hostile march, she turns her head around in my direction, fixes those unusually large & unusually black eyes on me, wags her tail like a rocket engine, tilts her misleadingly cherubic face and watches me relinquish my anger...
“If Lucifer were a puppy.......”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holidays..yay!


That was the most forced ‘yay’ I ever said. It happened when I heard the radio after what seemed like 8 decades while traveling to my college for some official business; just to relive those days when I would religiously listen to the breakfast shows on radio while being invariably late for the first lecture.
After tuning my pod through jarring static and stretching the chord taut in every direction, I started hearing some differentiable sound and settled myself in the plank hard, tattered seat of the musty smelling state transport bus. I took a look around it and wondered to myself in disbelief how exactly I took this ramshackle to college every single day for a good 7 years of my life. Although now the bus has become less spat on, less falling apart and less bumpy too.
The song on the radio stopped to break into advertisements. “Special season’s discount”, “holiday discount”, “festival offer” flooded my ears while my mind was still recovering from the shadows of the past weeks and all that it had played on me. Business as usual, I told myself. The government is doing it’s best to deflect our attentions by providing an ‘economy stimulus package’ like an early (or late?) public Christmas present. The markets have begun to surge back.
And I thought maybe we needed an escape from those calamitous events that each of us were subjected to; the insecurities needed to go back in the closet, the apprehensions needed to bury inside the facade. A gust of wind waiting to sweep us back into patterns of routine. Soon the Christmas tree will be brought down from the terrace, cleaned and decorated. Soon the new years’ eve would be planned out, dinner and drinks.
And it will be the new year. Resolutions & revolutions too. We will make all of them. And we will try to smile. Heck! We WILL smile, no matter what.
The radio now played a holiday song - “Christmas, baby please come home”... and I listened.
Holidays... yay! I said, smiling.

PS - Happy Holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Gateway of revolution


Thanks to the cancellation of some errands that were otherwise determined to squeeze me back into the routine, I could make it to the Gateway Of India for the protest for peace rally. We had been receiving the invitation to this event since the terror at the Taj was surmounted, through various media outlets. I reached there with a friend just before 6pm via VT station, crossing which, we both took a pregnant look around it, trying to imbibe and recreate the horror that unfolded there a week back (a chill rushed down the spine)
The traffic jam that our cab got stuck in on our way to The Gateway gave us a fair idea how large the scale of this event was. After waiting for some excruciatingly anticipatory minutes, we decided to leave the cab and walk it out till the Gateway. As we walked towards the venue, we saw many young folk walking in the same direction. The way only lead to The Gateway, the place where in Mumbai the land begins.
And then we reached the circle at Regal movie hall. The traffic was a standstill which I later realized were only hundreds of parked cars. The amber street lights watched a current pass by, coursing it's way to the Gateway.
This current was made of the youth of this city, whetted and charged, to voice their anger against terror. This current looked unstoppable, it could have walked on the Arabian waters. Aggregation of minds that wanted a change, that wanted to BE that change. Minds that wanted an answer, minds that said "Enough is enough".
Like fish on a mission, we joined the current. we held up our placards amidst a sea of placards and banners; some cursing, some questioning, some stating and some revolting. Not a single one pleading. A deja vu of the war of Independence.
It took us a good hour and half to traverse a distance of some 200m; a U-shaped cirtuit around the Gateway. With every step came slogans and chants, our rebellion leading us. The tricolor waved across the current while it moved towards the Gateway to witness the monument that bore the brunt of terror.
Over 1,00,000 Mumbaikars came to comfort The Taj.
The vigor of being a part of such an unprecedented activism has infected all of us. There were rallies across the country today. The war against terrorism was taken to it's apogee tonight and it will go on until peace prevails. This is our promise. A promise of a wronged Mumbaikar. A wronged Indian.
Jai Hind.