Thursday, December 1, 2011

I got them inked

Words fail to express how nice a feeling it is when a long pending wish is realized. As a kid I was fascinated by the tattoos my grandparents had on their hands. I wanted to get them on mine too. Putting an end to my procrastination, I called up a friend to check if she was free on weekend as I needed some moral support. I knew what I wanted to get done from a long time.

As a student of English literature, phoenix caught my fascination when I read about it first time. The imaginary bird has inspired poets of almost every era to create immortal works of art. When life cruised through off-beaten path and rough weather, I fell and rose learning, understanding and realizing. I thought of my grandmother and parents who, not until few years back, enjoyed the good things in life. I strongly believe that there is a reason behind the incidents that occur in a person's life and all of these converge towards a certain purpose that one gets to know in the later part of life. My life by far has been quite different from a normal girl's life and I wasn't prepared for any of this. I am destined to head towards something which I have a feeling, going to be very different. Phoenix fascinated me at the beginning, inspired me eventually and in a way, I relate to it today. Now I am proud to carry it on my shoulder.

My mother, just like any mom, worries a lot about me. She doesn't miss a chance to check if my stars are favorable for the day, week, month or year. As per the Indian almanac I was born in the most auspicious times in the early hours on a cold December morning. Governed by the two most powerful planetary bodies - Sun and Jupiter - my moon sign is Pisces. Today I show off two fish on my hand.

I met my friend at UB City, had the best continental lunch and then finally went to Hakim Alim's boutique. In less than 2 hours I came out with two beautiful creatures inked on me. I am going to carry them to my grave. It feels nice to know that I won't be alone when I go.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The pillar falls

My Sunday seemed to have started nicely with a yummy breakfast at my favorite joint with friends after a tiring workout. When I saw papa's call on phone I thought it was one of those regular calls to check my plans for the day. But the news left me numb. My grandma passed away. I listened in silence, suppressed the overwhelming emotions inside me as I didn't want to spoil the mood of the group.

Emotions took the better of me by the time I reached home. I broke down. She was the last one of that generation in my family. With her going, not only one entire generation is gone but also many untold stories and struggles that laid the foundation on which we built our lives today. "Maamma" as we all called her endearingly, was the pillar of strength to all of us and led by example on how to live with dignity. Her life was no less than a female oriented Bollywood movie which experienced every ordeal that was ever scripted.

The dusky village lass fluttered many a heart with grey-green eyes, chiseled features well set on defined cheekbones and jawline and carved body. Widowed in her early 30's she defied every rule and norm in the village to feed her 6 children and mom-in-law. The docile woman who was enjoying being the lady of the house was forced to step out of the house and work shoulder-to-shoulder with men in fields. She used to stay away from home for days together and walked many kilometers selling goods from village-to-village. I spent long hours listening to granny whenever she visited us. I remember she telling me once, "I didn't have the time to mourn your grandpa's death. If I broke down what would've happened to everyone who was dependent on me? You know even when I thought there was no way out I never thought of dying." Such was her determination.

She was illiterate, couldn't recognize numbers or count money but she took up every sundry job to keep the hearth warm. Over the years, she emerged as a shrewd businesswoman who gave every man in the village a run for his money. She endured extreme poverty and enjoyed lavish lifestyle with same grace. "I never imagined I would see this life when I was struggling to stay afloat. Such were the testing times that I thought life would be degraded to abysmal depths," she said while narrating one such incidence.

Life kept snatching her loved ones but she kept going. She cremated her 2 grown-up sons, daughter, son-in-law and grandsons. She performed final rites of a homeless who took refuge in her house. She stood by the people who believed in her. She drew flak from villagers but unfazed she moved on. She stood tall in the male bastion, earned respect and lived with dignity.

Maamma had the habit of licking palms while bidding goodbyes. As kids we used to run away to avoid her licking our palms at the end of summer vacations. The belief behind it is the person whose palm is being licked will never forget her. Yesterday, she licked my uncle and aunt's palms as she knew it was time for her to go. For the first time I regretted for living so far away. I regretted for not being there to be licked by her. I regretted for not licking her palm so that even when she is crossing over to the other world she shouldn't forget me.

At the same time it was a relief that she was, finally, liberated from her 2-year long suffering. It was a relief for everyone around her who couldn't bear to see her suffer with helplessness. It was a relief that she breathed her last in a warm bed amid her loved ones after spending many cold nights building her life.

Maamma, you will be remembered as a brave woman who defined her own destiny. Even though I am going to miss your hearty laughs, your funny quips and antics, you will always be a source of inspiration for me and everyone who knew you.

Maamma, I'll love you always and forever.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The enlightened bull

Aviator as he calls himself, my first meeting with him was very interesting. A smile, a somewhat reserved dispostion, and yeah the impeccable diction caught my attention. A short coffee visit extended to couple of hours at an unassuming coffee shack by the busy road of Begumpet. Apart from the light-hearted conversation, what blew me off was his effortless free-flowing rhyming words.
Many meeting which followed, while strolling on the city roads I used to throw random words at him and he after a few minutes of silence, with a far off look, a lazy stride, recite eloquently sprinkling beautiful thoughts and dreams just like the stardust peppered on the path to heaven.
After more than a year I got chatting with him yesterday. Here are some of his ramblings sputtered in between our conversation.
Note: This the first cut, the unedited version without punctuations :-)
With the first ray of sun over the horizon,
the mists may melt away into nothingness,
but the thought of you blooms up as a million springs
through the fogs of life I travel through
looking up at the beacon called your smile,
too misted am I to notice anything,
but the sapphires of your,
O love, let me drown in the haze of your dreams,
hold me in the arms where I forget myself to omniousness
Gentle sways of your hair,
moonshine lingering about you,
the blink of your blues,
what more could be magical,
if not the whole you,
O soul, my breath,
take me on a climb so high,
where I lose myself in your passion,
this time and for eternity be mine.
The wild moon for a face,
hair that shy down the cascades,
petals of rose for lips,
mystic in your eyes,
I wait an eternity to be yours,
O heart, my soul,
this moment I beg you of thee,
to glide you down to my arms,
so I walk the path of heaven with you by me
Somwhere in the whole wide world,
I dream to meet you,
where smiles bloom like flowers,
where troubles melt like lemon drops,
somewhere in the whole wide world,
I wish to see you,
where stars shoot across like wishes,
where passion lights up as candles,
somewhere in the whole wide world,
I crave to feel you,
where rain meets water like long lost love,
where body meets soul to feel complete
I said: Dude you write so bloody well! Don't you see it?
His reply: When truth gets beyond comprehension, it turns out to be a compliment but I wish the person can see it's still the truth in perspective.
I may not be able to post the entire conversation here....but my friend, someday, may be that person will. Amen.