Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Saturday 30 January 2010

check-list:

don't talk too much,
don't cross your legs.

don't come too close,
or your pimples will show.

is the saree slimming?
and the bangles all gold?

is she facing east?
and the cat thrown out?

~~
but how can I fight...
and what do I say?

when it is love,
shown their way.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

essential meghdoot

I rush upstairs to save the clothes,
just put out in the sun,

but when I see them swaying in the rain,
after so many May-like afternoons,

I let them soak in the clouds,
for they too live in parched Madras.

In a mood for Meghdoot,
in english but of course,

I wonder how one can speak of it,
and the deep, dark cloud,
in minutes and not in laborious dance-epics,

for the passion would then dry up,
as quickly as pappadam in the April sun,

but a simple ad does just that.

so now you tell me, in just one line,
what you see in the dark cloud right up there.

~the window siller

~meanwhile, in other worlds, mukul kesavan tries to upset my perfect world. but I remain firmly colonial.

Monday 25 January 2010

chettu, akka and ammama

Last time aunt went on a trip, she reminded me my responsibilies: chettu, chaapa and ammama.

This time, the fishes are dead, and it will be: chettu, akka and ammama. And aunt didn't remind me this time.

I guess I grew up sometime this year.

My grandmother is sewing the edge of a new cotton saree as I type this. I wake up these days to music: the kut-kut of her knife on the chopping board. For you know it will be a good day.

She battles pain in her wrists, thanks to all those IVs, but doesn't give up. And she is slowly filling in her blouse, that hung loose all these days.

I am enjoying a three day break sleeping, sleeping more, and making maggi for grandparents.


Next on agenda is getting sis to eat two eggs a day. One for her, and one for lil Chintu, whose kicks I cannot feel yet. Come on sweetie, you can do better.

- window siller :-)



chettu: plants; chaapa: fish; akka: elder sis; ammama: grandmother.
brother makes rainbow inside the house.

Sunday 24 January 2010

remorse

this space is my trash can. the only space where I can tell my deepest fears. everywhere else I play the parts.

films like Rocket Singh and Rock On make me very sad. for I killed my own company. and all the wonderful things it brought me.

because I didn't have the answers to all those questions thrown at me. because I had to make my family happy.

looking back I never did anything wrong. I worked so hard for I enjoyed every bit of it.


"live in reality," they said. "it is all dreams, it won't last," they shouted.
but what is real really? and what is anything without faith?
and what did they know to ask me to stop??

why did they make me feel like I did something wrong?? why did I have to do it silently, honorarily?? I think my colleagues would have actually said, "go for it girl!"

I wish I had some answers then. it is too late now.
but I trusted them to know better. and for that I feel cheated.

my only original doubt was that being girls, could we promise to be together always.

but now I think we could have worked as long as it lasted. and even if one of us had to leave, we would have faced it when it came.



but it is too late now.
-window siller

Monday 18 January 2010

Prayer

“What do you pray for every day,” aunt asks, as I open my palm. The kum kum today is red, the light red of fountain pen ink.

I wish I could tell her that until the same time last year I hardly prayed for myself. That I prayed for my sister and all the women in my life. For the goddess would know that the women could do with more blessings than you.

And all of last year I have prayed to her to make things better. She does it in fits and starts, just like I choose to work. Just when I go to her smiling about a day like sunshine, she chooses to put my piece in the snake’s mouth. And there I am sliding down its belly to the bottom right away.

~~ O mother goddess, you who stood fierce in sacred groves, before they shut you in ornate temples. You, who aremade of clay, for all things must return to the earth. You, who take the braves as consorts and protect the animals and the seeds.


To you I submit like a child: clear this confusion in my head; show my way clearly to see. Should I make happy all those all around me, people who love so dearly me. Or should I listen to the replies stuck in my throat and hold up until I feel it is all just right. ~~


prayer: the window siller; pictures: Egg.

good to know: Sacred Groves of Tamil Nadu by M. Amirthalingam; http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/y9882E/y9882e14.htm

Friday 15 January 2010

the beast that loves potato chips & other stories

The last two days have been bliss: the recreated forest, bird calls, brilliant stars, lots of A & N, and waking up to the beast licking your hand.

Yes, mine! And she eats out of them too. God bless Pepsi Co., Saif Ali Khan and all the GM potatoes. For Zoye and I have made peace. She will also drool for Hajmola-like candies and get very upset if you pretend to eat her food.

Egg arrives a day late, but determined; climbs a tree and clicks pictures. And I see her laugh, shoulders shaking, after I-don't-know-when. And hogging food at the solar kitchen.

We are like sunflowers, soaking in energy for the next six months: to tackle pressures, answer doubts, and learning every moment.

This is Pongal people, I tell you. This is. Celebrating the earth and sowing new seeds.

~~
But when Egg and I sit in an empty train, legs stretched and eyes fixed on the window ahead, we don't see villages painted black, but a scene from our first ride back home.

There is Stick, Spidey, Egg and me. Sparring jibes, clamouring for window seats, fighting over sanitizer, and laughing all the way home.

Sometimes, I wish I had never met them. Because travel is not the same anymore. Without Stick to ogle at the stars with, without Spidey to rattle for fun, and without Egg to do a “Sajna-di vari vari…”.

And when lost in the forest, cheated by an autowallah, to plod on foot singing resolutely "Chhod aaye hum vo galiyaan...", off-key of course.

Tuesday 12 January 2010

An open letter to Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Dear Chitra,

Yesterday night, I had to stop reading Sister of My Heart many a time... for the tears and the lines that were swimming.

As I read them, it feels like reading thoughts, words and phrases from my head. It feels like scenes from my childhood were made into this movie.

I have watched the tamil soap, Anbulla Snehithi, adapted from your book. But nothing prepared me for the narratives Basudha carries in her head. I carry them too. Without the good looks and the secret weighing like lead.

My plot is more complex, no rubies to detest, but emotions and sentiments I cannot define. And we are fluid, morphing every moment from Anjali to Sudha and back again. And the story is still unfolding.

So I put down the book where Sudha and Ashok passionately kiss each other... a happy thought I can fall asleep with. For who knows what the Bidhata Purush has written?

But Chitra, how did you know:
of sisters of the heart,
of guilt and shame and
trying to make up... because,
your dad ought to have done more,
and of making your only wish for your sister.

can writers imagine so much,
from the cameos they have of people,
of how exactly silences hurt,
and fogs that suffocate...


When you visit Madras, we must meet Chitra. And you must then tell me, the story of the sister of your heart.
- the window siller

WTF statement of the day

"I am not looking at anyone."

"But your mindset perfectly matches with this boy's," she goes on.

I look up sniffing hope. Does my mother really understand me....

"Your horoscopes say so," she finishes.

Sunday 3 January 2010

Pilgrimage

I am marooned on the window sill, for the beast doesn't like me to move. Hours later, she gets tired of our unending stream of chatter and turns her head.

I grab the moment to stretch my limbs. But when one knee grazes the couch, the beast roars with a voice that leaves me trembling inside and out.

Meet Zoye - A & N's pampered baby girl and ferocious Dobberman. I am keen to win her approval, almost K-serial bahu like, for this is my pilgrimage.

I came here for answers, but I don't remember the questions anymore. And I simply sit soaking in stories: of clean energy technologies, eco-restoration projects, stories of forests across the world, and where religion is a passion for work.

And I had shut myself out of all this for a year.

N makes me noodles hashed of anything that she can throw in. And N, slouching on the jhoola, becomes an impish little brat talking of her siblings, eyes sparkling.

A patiently shows me around the house and explains electronics to a science retard.

And when asked to stay for the night, I lap the offer like Zoye her milk. Even the threat of my mum raising into alarm everyone she knows in this district fails to scare me today.

Later, walking down the beach with the wind in my hair, I tell A & N how the last rite of our usual pilgrimage would be to meet Mango Tree.

But when Mango Tree invites us for a nutty dessert, I get really scared. Mortally scared of Stick and Egg, for I am having all this to myself.

The beast is of course not pleased that I am sleeping on its couch. But Zoye, you don't have any choice now, you have to get used to me. And your scent on the couch isn't too bad either.

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