Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nearness of departure

He was a happy man. The kind of happy a man is when he pitches the tent right. He mowed the lawn at just the right time; he did not prioritize an afternoon nap and he had a timetable for emptying the dustbin. He did not quite complain when it rained on a picnic as long as he felt accomplished about the directions; he made his bed everyday right after he woke up and closed all the jars after he cooked, closed them all the way. He was an assured man. The kind of assured a man is whose life isn’t the sum of his anger or his failures.

But tonight a brand new feeling was about to temporarily fracture his orderliness. Especially the orderliness of his interior. A ceremonious dinner among the oligarchs called for a crisp suit he had neatly picked out earlier in the day. The flightiness of his cuff -links kept slightly bothering him but he let it not distract him much.

He had come to find comfort in his wife’s unstructured demeanour. He had acquiesced to the occasional ruffle of her pasty blue dress (a colour he was not particularly fond of). She barely combed her hair, she just threw them together. It mildly perturbed him; he measured his daily salt intake even. She used the word “love” way too oft; sometimes he hated when she ran the water a little too fast for his comfort (splashing droplets on the edges of the basin) and insisted on rolling the windows down while driving on the highway.

He watched her from a certain distance, her hair still wondrously held together by a flimsy clip. The tiny rivulets streaming along her champagne glass (he would have killed them with a coaster). And a closeness she exuded he had never seen before, as she talked to that stranger. Her eyes sparkled with the blissful longing like that of a postcard's. He liked to think she knew the stranger from her past, but his emotional arrangements stopped him from delving into possibilities. There was such careful aberrance to her body language, a musical irregularity in the bounce of her lashes and her fingers gently squashed the rivulets every now and then.

Krall’s Departure Bay played faintly in the back. The song had an entire season contained in it. An entire season of departure, detachment, disentanglement. He righted his cuff-links and quickly hid the doubtful looking water-circle with a coaster.

art - Diana Krall, Jazz Portriats, oil on canvas

artiste - Merryl Jaye

image url - here

Friday, June 4, 2010

The hitchhiker's guide to Faces.

To walk aimlessly in a city is one of the hardest things to do. There are heady pockets of people everywhere trying to recruit you into their march. You don’t want to come across as a gypsy indulging in a whim of wanderlust. The urban nation tends to outcast anything that is slow and desultory. I have submitted myself into believing that my little saunter must have a purpose too: Watching Faces. It is like launching yourself into the galaxy of faces looking for a hitchhike. A gamut of countenances; some engrossed in their occupation, some into their coffee and some astray. Hitchhiking through each other. Looking for a flitting shelter for that floating moment into each other’s visages.. some hostile, some unbolted.
I believe my countenance can be rather rigid. It is a testimony of all the years lived in the battlefield of an alpha city. Like the lover who learnt living through times of hatred. Like the façade of a quaint little café built to serve the soldiers of the war. Inside it is much too interpretable if not so from the outside. I believe I miss out on many the attempts of breezy pleasantries. I tend to be on a mission and perhaps I lose out on the finery of requests like an absorbed street musician. The carefully construed exterior renders me myopic. Maybe there is a soldier stranded out in the tempest waiting to be let in. I can use a small pit stop in my peregrination too. So next time when there is a cushy little knock on my façade; I am letting the stranger in with a welcoming smile like that brisk cream streaking across the surface of a warm cappuccino.

art title - Holocaust Faces, Jewish Museum, Berlin. artiste - Polaroids image url - here

P.S. when I fall in love, I will stop the frame, play this song and then continue in slow motion.