Thursday, January 29, 2009

Conclusions, by the sea


There is a thing about the white sands. They are so supple that even when you walk through them, the grains just rearrange themselves back into nothingness.  
So there is never a way of telling how many footprints these sands bear. The wet ones eventually get washed by each crashing wave. The dry ones, well, they just rattle a little and fall back again, just like an upturned hour glass. You just can’t tell. 
There is a thing about the green waves. You can’t tell how big or how small the next one will be. Neither how mellow nor how strident she will be. How much sand will she slip from beneath your feet, or how many shells will she pour into the sand. Which coast wins a green wave and when, you can never tell. Which rock gets how much weathered by how many waves, you can never tell. 
You dip yourself into the cyan waters up to your neck, facing the vastness of the ocean and try to define the smudgy ends of the horizon. Where does the sun drown, or go down. They say the sun does neither. Then why does it look like it does? When you stay there, languishing amidst the green waves, the saltiness of the sea inciting your mouth and the skies bottling you up, you want to believe what you see. You can never tell why. 
Your shadow casts, consonant with the sun’s alignment. You can only guess the time. You can’t tell the minutes, you can’t tell the hours. You don’t want to. There is recalibration of time. Maybe this was how time was standardized. A glass bottle shaped like the wave, filled with lissome sand. And time was designed. Did someone sit by the sea and used the elements he saw to conceptualize it? Can’t tell. 
There is a thing about the sea. You can never tell how blue or how salty will she be today. How many conches or how many creatures does she engulf? You can never tell how many drops of amorphousness she carries in her, loses to the shore and derives from the river. On a chilly night heavy with the raging wind, underneath the umbrella of the countless constellations, why is she so warm when the sand is so cool? Maybe the sun really drowns into her. 
She won’t tell.

"As usual I finish the day before the sea, sumptuous this evening beneath the moon, which writes Arab symbols with phosphorescent streaks on the slow swells. There is no end to the sky and the waters. How well they accompany sadness!" 
 - Albert Camus, French novelist.

P.S . I am really thankful to all my friends for making Goa happen. And Rupie, hope you had a time of your life because it was dedicated to you. Happy birthday again.

image courtesy - Mandar Mallapanavar

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Treasures of courage

He sat on the toilet seat and watched his feet. Callous, thickened at the pulps, reflecting all those years of walking barefoot over rustic, red soil. His big toe nails on both feet had turned into a mossy green color with signs of brittleness on their edges. ‘Ugly’, his aversion concluded and he got up to cover them.
He always avoided exposing his feet in presence of others. His ugly feet took refuge inside the loyalties of his socks. When he was by himself, his toes would always be flexed in a curvy diffidence, forming an arch with the ground they touched. The feet had stiffened over the years in an unseemly manner which further required the closet of the socks.
And to make matters worse for his undermined feet-ego, his wife happened to have a pair of remarkably beautiful feet. Supple, even, flail at times, graceful and somehow always looked clean despite being busy and bare-naked all day at home.
While making love to her, he avoided touching her feet with his. He felt some strange sense of taint every time he even looked at them. He would keep his feet hidden securely under the sheets until she left the bed in the morning to take a bath.
One such morning, he lay half awake staring into the mist in his lawn that refused to evaporate into the damp and saturated Calcutta fog. When his wife came out of the bathroom, wet haired with a towel wrapped into them, he watched her (she looked different without her huge red bindi), her feet still wet from the bath, making perfect spiral stamps on the carpet, as she walked into the lawn.
He wanted to sink inside the thick warm creases of his quilt but he stayed awhile watching her feet plant effortlessly and unconsciously on the grey-looking grass. He momentarily wondered why she looked so languid while walking barefoot on the grass. He thought about the fresh dew drops that must have been borne on the grass wombs. He wanted to jut out of the bed and accompany his wife in splattering the dews across the lawn but he felt conscious about his toad feet.
An uncertain sun came about and he imagined a few of the dews decimating into the heavy air. He lay there contemplating, rubbing the flats of his coarse feet against each other, while a a few more dews vanished.
And then a sudden rush of remorse took over him, reaching all the way to the tips of his deformed toes. He couldn’t help feeling sorry for the dew drops, for their ephemeral existences. He wanted to save them, collect them and stow them away in safety. And in his reverie, he got down on his two ugly feet and carried them to the lawn, where now his wife stood watching a freshly blossomed and glistening lily.
His feet felt numb at first. A virginal numbness. Each crevice of his feet felt tingly with the sudden contact with that gravid grass. He felt the dews roll across his feet. He felt loved. With each brave stance he took, he felt loved. He wanted more. He spread his toes and pressed his feet further into the ground. He even pranced across the lawn, gathering all the dew he can, as his wife witnesses something else open up other than the lily.
That hazy morning and every such hazy morning, for the rest of his life, he saved all those dews with his bare feet and stored them in the cache between his toes and at night he even shared a few with his wife’s flawless feet...

art title - Julia’s foot, acrylic on canvas
artiste - Kelly Borsheim
url - http://www.borsheimarts.com/painting/2004/julias_foot_th.jpg