Month: May 2016

My blue sapphire

 

She watches “Frozen” for the umpteenth time and nudges me with a sullen contour asking me to leave her alone. I smile inwardly at the innocent wonder that lives within her; and showing discontent at her repeated viewing of the same movie, walk out. Leave her alone.

I left her alone. That is it. All of us live with our past. All of us allow it to shape our future. But some of us know how to shrug the past. I think that is who I am…….I have plunged into abysmal depths and have emerged scathed and burnt. The scars still appear somewhere; only for my eyes to see. A something boils within rapidly and threatens to blow me up. That fateful night dances about my circumference when Ili had forced me to….to leave her alone.

That is what angels do; they tell us to leave them when it is time for them to mingle in dust. I have shrugged it all away and so I believe Jasper too has. He wags his tail in the same fashion he  did on that dark night.

It was the darkest time of the year. When the skies are besot with jewelled studs and icy cold winds knock at every door, as if needing some warmth, so they howl incessantly till we let them in. Sid lounges in the easy chair beside me; sipping wine, while his tongue licks the insides of his jaws. He cherishes these moments when he is back from work with Jasper obediently licking his toe. Sid believes Jasper can read……definitely so…..because every time Sid leafs through the newspaper, Jasper whines as if saying he is still on the same page; looking expectantly as if hanging on to every  word.

All this while I snap back and forth from the kitchen, supplying niceties while Ili is glued to the cartoons on television.

I am not an adept story teller, but Sid is, so he calls her every now and then regaling her with stories about weird people he met while returning from work. Sometimes it was a bearded man who asked him if Ili was his daughter. Sid was shocked (showing the horror while he said this), and with a profoundly horrified gesture, he told her that the bearded man wanted to know if Ili had gorged on all the muffins in the pantry. Ili has her gape well registered for stories such as these. She follows Sid’s gaze that has come to rest upon the window as if the bearded man would show up any minute. She beats his chest for scaring her so and hides herself in his huge frame. This moment in time is my sapphire, my blue sapphire, where all else stalls and I’m frozen there.

Soon enough, a disgruntled Jasper is eager for his walk.

“Neena, take him out, will you?

My reverie is broken as Sid’s baritone pierces the stillness of the dark evening.

“And what are you so busy with, apart from the chuckles and weird licking of your jaws, tell me…”

We rant on, mumbling, firing acerbic puns at each other till Jasper has climbed atop the couch, and is hungrily leaping down and ascending his throne and all the while his forlorn, dejected eyes plod me to take him outside. My sapphire is so blue today. Ever since the tempestuous road accident that had almost snatched Ili away from me, moments such as this have a profound impact on my mind and I cherish each one of them like I’m recollecting valuables from the rubble after an earthquake.

I acquiesce and Jasper knows it full well that his wish is fulfilled. Ili too jumps up, flabbergasted as she is after Sid’s stories have driven her insane. But I’m in a hurry and snap at Ili, asking her to stay back with Sid. The clouds would break open any time soon and rains in this part of the city immediately swamp the roads. Ili is inconsolable and Sid is now busy on his call. Perplexed, I charm her with another bowl of her favourite marshmallows. This never fails. So a little less grumpy Ili settles down at my behest.

“I’ll be gone for only ten minutes, sweetheart”, I implore.

“Don’t come back if you don’t wish to……,” Ili snaps back…….I love this sullen Ili rendering sugary complaints.

“I will, my baby, I will come. Jasper, boy, run, or Ili will not have us back”

And as I’m out, in the midst of my favourite haunt, I look at my sapphire, it has never been this blue. I wonder why today, of all days, I feel humbled when I look at my quiet abode, bougainvilleas that arch my doorway, everything lights up like the glow of a hundred diamonds, all put together.

Jasper and I trod along; he, his usual sniffing self is a little uneasy today. Maybe it is the sugary treat Ili has bestowed upon him. My reveried self walks at a brisk pace; I can’t keep Ili waiting for long. There isn’t much traffic today so I can easily go where Jasper saunters. I am almost in the middle of the road when a deafening screech of an engine rushes to me from behind. I’m thrown wildly into the air and land among the wild thorns that seemed to be aghast at this sudden intrusion. I have bruises all over and I cannot breathe. But feel no pain. I see blurred faces bending over, trying to pull me out. Suddenly I’m above all heads. It is strange, to be bleeding, yet not to feel any pain.  Am I……?.

Yes.

I cannot go back home, so I meander among my ruins for a while. I see my sapphire at its bluest and wonder if it has the power to bring me back. I try desperately to wake me up and am hit hard by the memory of the previous accident when I had kissed the sapphire and prayed to let my remaining  years be added to those of Ili.

The sapphire heard me right to the point of letting me go into the realm of spirits that are doomed to wander near their loved ones. My wish is done, Ili is safe, without me……..

Sid keeps the sapphire right by his bedside and every night I draw aside the curtains when the blinding blue rays demean the blue of the clear sky. So blue is my sapphire……….

Of concretes…..

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I dreamt yesterday,

Of rubies and flowers,

Of valleys and rocks,

Of home, and unexpected showers.

 

And I chased the winds,

With all my might;

I ran among the blossoms

‘Twas all so right…..

 

It was then,

That the concrete

Slapped me hard

It was so discrete..….

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I do not know

How it stole

Into my very being

How it has come to be

Where home used to be…..

 

I swear I danced,

To lilting melodies,

Unawares I meandered

Amongst pastures and canopies……

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Here, amidst choking claws

And demons on roads;

I try to get some sleep.

I dare not dream

For the overbearing structure

Would hurl me down and deep….

 

 

So I thrust my dream away;

It doesn’t let me sleep…..

Labour and toil I must,

So the mirage doesn’t creep…..

I have craving mouths to feed…..

 

Meteors…….

Yesterday was one of those days when this oft- quoted saying holds true to the core,”Opportunity knocks only once”. I got this call from a sought-after school for an interview…….all out of the blue.

Here I am, languishing in self-care post the accident that left me with many bones to join back. At the very first instinct, I shirk away from the call, but don’t resign from the idea either. When you are all in shape, nothing works out; when crestfallen and laid back, something great has an uncanny way of entering into your life. This does not happen everyday.

Now, I have to be there at precisely nine a.m. and I have this renovation thing going on at home. I cannot duck into a corner and say that I am not here!

Seemingly nonchalant, I stall the wood work for a day and decide to head on face the call. I reach the school premises and wow……I love the smell. As soon as I have reported there, I am called within for a discussion followed by a demonstration which goes off pretty well. I am told to wait outside while the seniors have a talk over the demo.

Again, I am ushered into the Principal’s chamber. A few more volley of questions which I answer with an unusual ease…….like I have nothing to lose. I express frank opinions about various things while trying not to read the expressions of the other office bearers in the room. The lady, the principal, is quite a pleasing person. Her grace reflects radiantly, (wish I could tell her that). She has donned a simple cotton saree bordered in dull gold. So I I look at her only while I speak. There are places where she deliberately contradicts me while I speak. But she goes on prying further into my reading interests…..and I love to talk about it. Once she is done, she thanks me and tells that they would correspond later.

 

Out in the corridor, I reach for my car keys. I take a deep breath and feel proud. No one here knows that my drive to the school has been something of a herculean task as driving is not as easy as before. More so, the teacher who took my demo class nor the children in the classroom were aware how I raised my hand to reach the board and explain things to them. I loved every bit of it.

 

My drive back home is enthused with myriad thoughts shooting at a metor’s pace. I am re-born today, because for once I haven’t seeked for sympathy and feel strangely cleansed of all the rage and despair. I look at fellow drivers and feel thankful, blessed that I am alive, that every day in my life counts, adds up to being what I am.

Here are some meteors that have been constantly hitting inside my mind……..

  • Great things have an uncanny way of entering into your life.
  • Let everyday be a preparation towards that one role you have always wished to play.
  • Take pride in your suffering.
  • Talk less about what you have been through, instead ask others about their trials.
  • Do not hesitate in speaking about your interests.
  • Do not duck into a corner and say,”I am not here.”
  • It is perfectly okay to not know facts or to stammer. You do not become a lesser person.
  • Keep doing your thing, (it is okay to be lazy sometimes) but do not stop doing what you love, a little bit of it everyday, at any cost.

Happy meteoring!!!!!!

When…..

When you have mothered,

A miracle inside,

And, like the endless ocean……

Have held depths,

No one could ever surmise……

 

When you have ceased the rain,

And ripped apart storms…..

And, like the thunder,

Have deafened and rebelled

All that fettered you under……

 

When you have carved your name

In the wildest of the wilds

And like the lion

Have roamed fearless,

Cared little, of thorns and spikes…..

 

When you have been sublime

Among the lowliest tribe

And like a fragrant rose

Have enthused the world

While, within, you froze……

 

When you have been all this

and more,

and yet the grace you become remains,

You are a beautiful woman,

In every speck of your body;

Beauty reigns……

 

 

“Hello?”, she barely manages to whisper.

His voice, though, is crisp and firm “Hello there, How are you?….”

The pause stifles his breath.

“I’m good. Is it raining there?”, she asks…..

“No, and there?”

“It is…….heavily”

“Okay, it is windy though here”

He suddenly jerks up and opens the blinds, he sees the clouds with her eyes, while she has her ears glued to her cellphone……

“Oh, good, it will rain soon enough”, she manages to speak.

Her voice,sounds too mild, like she just swallowed a lump, he knows, he knows…….

“Yeah, maybe……so it is your birthday, any plans…..”

“Ummm…..yes, I will be going out in the evening..”

“That’s nice….Okay then, enjoy your day…..”

He is leaving, she wants to be hearing him for eternity.

“Yeah, thanks”

“Bye”

“Bye”

And it rains even more……..from his eyes……

All she seeks…..

Now she is astounded and perplexed beyond words. How can she smile in the face of all this? Her careless locks dance about near her eyes. She has lost her way, alone in a dark cave on a thunderous night, a drowning candle flickering by her side…..she smiles!!!!

 

“She knows what she is heading for,

That the thunder will cease to be,

She knows that the hills would stoop,

That the woods will sway their leaves….

To welcome her when she emerges

From her hiding….

And it is all she seeks…

 

She knows the thunder would lapse

Into a low rumble,

That, drenched as she is,

The winds would be as humble,

To welcome her from the abyss;

And this is just all

That she seeks……

 

So she smiles at the warm drops,

That her eyes begin to release…..

She has heard the breeze calling….

Her name; asking her to please,

Step out and tightly embrace

Every tree…..

That is all, she seeks…..

 

She knows what she is heading for,

The long road back home….

Is long and perilous,

So she plans to rest awhile…..

Till thunder has hit every blow;

Till she can cover every mile……”