Tuesday, July 15, 2008

At the hotel

i watched two women watching a woman swim at the puddle shaped pool, it was like watching music with eyes closed.
With her cup paused midway in its way to her lips the woman at the third floor window watched the woman at the pool swim as though her body was being poured into water, and from the seventh floor window the woman in the house keeper's garb craned her neck and watched the woman at the pool swim as though she could bring her entire life to this moment. Someday as we thrash about gasping for breath, the woman with the cup, the woman in the housekeeper's garb and i will fish out this memory and swim through the day, so quit telling me it is not possible to see the woman who swam and the women who watched from my window.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A wrecked pier, some trees, an old man, and so on

On our last day at college my friend, who is by no means overtly emotional or disposed to tears, went around hugging the huge pillars lining the corridors of college. I pulled her legs to no end. I should have known better.
The city I call home has a long stretch of beach and we spent a good part of our childhood frolicking in the waves. We would dump our sandals somewhere and dash into the water- those days we could leave everything behind and move on. The wind, the waves, the music. If we looked up from our play we could see the long old iron pier stretching into the sea. Calicut's own historian MGS Narayanan says that this pier was built in 1871, and it was a place of hectic activity with the spice trade in full swing. As kids we were least bothered by the splendid history of the pier. It was just there. Like your first memories of waking up at the middle of the night and stretching both your arms to touch mom and dad, we could look up any moment from our play and it would be there. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about the structure, just an iron pier with the waves lashing against the pillars.
Last time i went home i saw that the pier was almost gone. Gone is a bad bad word. A few disjointed pillars stood there looking shaken. Have you ever been away for a year or two from your dear ones and then been hit by the sights of their beaten faces showing decades of aging?But then this is just an old useless pier and we had hardly ever noticed it while it was there. Now that it is gone i begin to see it vividly even in the middle of a traffic jam in a busy highway in the US.
Some afternoons i take my baby girl for a stroll in the neighbourhood, and everytime we see an old man sitting on a corner park bench gazing at a clump of pine trees. One day i might just gather up the courage to walk up to him and ask him what he is looking at, or what he is looking for. Does those trees take him to some other place? some other time? There is a very unique tree nearby the railway track in front of the building which hosts Sangeeth cool bar in Calicut. A wall goes right next to it and its roots pierce and emerge through the wall and run all along it intertwined. It's simply a treat for the eyes, the roots weaving in and out of the moss covered wall. Everytime i see it am moved.There is something that i ought to do, i'm just not sure what. Go and touch the roots? Take a picture? dunno. i wish i had hugged those pillars that day with her.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


give and take..... take and give
live and love..... love and live
the invisible wall

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How many spoonsful of sugar in your tea?

How many spoonsful of sugar in your tea? our hostess asked; a silver spoonful of sugar paused over a cup. Silverware gleamed, crystal vases sparkled and soft lighting threw its warmth on us. She gracefully measured and added sugar to each of our cups, half a spoonful for Parag, two spoonsful for Kiran, a spoonful each for Ramya and Azhar, and so on. Garam chai and bhajias, Kishore kumar's deep voice and a roaring fire in the fire place. We sat scattered on sleek leather couches, as our carefully measured words slithered out, greeted each other, paused, and vanished into thin air before they could mean something. Outside the door lie a world where Narendra Modi wears the crown for the second time, and Mullas sit in dark corners sowing hatred into insecure minds. How many spoonsful of sugar in your tea, dear?