Sunday, June 20, 2010

the way we are

I didn’t cook anything today.. went out for lunch with school friends though.. and were badly duped by our favorite watering hole because even after three whiskeys and a tequila shot, all of us walked out of there with just a slight buzz… either we’ve all suddenly developed a very very high tolerance or they ripped us off and gave us cheap useless alcohol for the price of the good stuff…

That apart.. it was great to meet old friends after a long separation.. i hadnt realised how much i'd missed them, how much fun we all really have taking each other's trip..

AND.. i wrote this while waiting for them to show up...


We’re occupying lonely chairs on opposite corners of the little café.. seated on tables that were designed for more than one person.. my ipod plugged into my ears, your cellphone glued to yours..we ‘re waiting for someone.. someone important enough in our individual lives for us to wait long enough for the slow café staff to take our orders, we nurse our coffees as we wait..

I don’t know you.. I can’t even quite see you because my spectacles are lazing on the table next to my cellphone. And the chance glance of yours towards me as I look around the busy café sends me into a storybook world..

The story set in a little café in a metro station.. much like this one.. two people, both alone, absorbed in their own worlds, and a chance encounter..

One of us seated alone at a table meant for many more… a sea of people.. every other table occupied by others trying to escape the sweltering heat outside for a few more minutes.. the other enters, flushed with the heat that the metro’s air conditioners have yet to dissipate…

“excuse me.. do you mind if I sit here if this chair is unoccupied?” a polite question, answered by a nod. The eyes are absorbed in the book that hides the reader from the world..

The chair scrapes against the floor, a rustle of paper.. two strangers sharing a table, oblivious to each other’s presence. Lost in the stories that are being played out on the pages they hold. Their own story on hold…

The waiter delivers the order, concentration broken, they both look up, meet each other’s eyes.. exchange a tentative smile..

“ I read the one you’re reading just last week,, this author’s great isn’t he?”

“likewise” comes the smiling reply, both are reading the same author..

“have you read xyz by the same author?”

“not yet.. I’m going to finish this first and maybe re-read the one you have.. its really good”

The book, the author, the café, the drinks.. the universe conspires to grant them topics of conversation… they soon know each other’s favorite books, fav author, music, films, what the other has had to face in the course of the day.. what the other hopes to accomplish.. they chat with the ease of people who have known each other forever.. who know each other inside and out… their thoughts compliment and mesh together..

And then the flow gets interrupted.. the wait that had them both feel alone is over, the ones they were waiting for come in… but neither recalls the wait anymore…. The time has passed quicker than they imagined..

Hey! You’re here already!”

“sorry to keep you waiting..”

This is my friend abc.. and this is…”

You fumble as you realize that we know everything about each other but you don’t know my name and I don’t know yours.

We grin and introduce ourselves... for a second there we had forgotten we were strangers..

We exchange polite goodbyes then.. the ease of conversation has given way to awkwardness that the realization brings..

Be both get up and start walking towards the door with our companions.. turn in different directions at the door… and then turn around to each other again…

“are you on facebook?”

“We can chat online if that’s okay with you..”

A smile exchanged, “yes..”

“talk to you soon then.”

Saturday, June 19, 2010

food and football

last night's England- Algeria match was so boring that not just i, but the four boys ranging from ages 14-20 who were watching also fell asleep midway through it.

the house is unusually noisy this weekend... both my mausis are here for the day and one of them has brought her two kids with her.. so now i have FOUR brats annoying me for the weekend. thankfully one of them is nearly 20 and therefore less inclined to come and bug his elder sister..


other than that... i made pasta and potatoes in dahi-and-pudina for dinner yesterday... everyone said it was really good :)

Friday, June 18, 2010


Pain just licking the edges of my consciousness..

like the rough almost rash left behind on my soft skin from the stubble on his jaw... took me back to the crazy days we’d shared as children... competing against each other.. I determined to not let my femininity get in the way of the prize.. he equally determined to show me that he was better than me at just about anything.. we’d climb and race and wrestle and shout our way across the day.. and at the end, both exhausted curl up in each other’s arms till parents’ calls could no longer be ignored..

Then we’d have to face the anger that came forth from the deepest set fears of parents.. an anger that masked their deep rooted concern for our “future”.. in any other scenario we would have been betrothed as children.. maybe even married off and then left to compete in our childish games… maybe.. but then I would have had to be confined as only the married girls are.. I couldn’t have competed against or sworn at my husband.. but I digress..

As I said… maybe they would have gotten us married just to get rid of their worries about where we were or what we could get upto while playing unsupervised… but ofcourse they couldn’t.. we belonged to the same gotra.. we lived next door to each other in the same village.. the khap had forbidden us to be anything but playmates… our parents knew that well… they had watched peers being strung up in the banyan tree near the khap meeting place.. they had watched children of forbidden marriages grow up as orphan beggars on the streets of the village.. they wouldn’t have dared think about our marriage..

But we did..

As the games of childhood grew into desires of adolescence.. as we began to really see how different our bodies were.. a difference that excited us, enticed us… we fell in lust just as easily as we’d loved each other.. I was his life, he was mine... there was never a thought of any other for us.. whenever I was teased about going to my sasural.. I always thought of the door of his house opening to welcome me.. he only ever dreamed of me bringing him rotis and lassi on a hot day in the field..

The groves that had seen many a game of hide and seek also gave us a place where we hid from the rest of the world and spun our own dreams..

Till one day they saw us…

And all hell broke lose..

My parents promised that I would be married off outside the village within a month.. that was the only reason the khap didn’t cut us into pieces right there in the grove.. I had besmirched the family honour, they said.. only my father somehow insisted that killing me would not clear his name.. his stand against the village then was how my life didn’t end that day..

I pleaded and cried… from next door I could hear the echo of the same whipping stick- sound.. almost as if they both rose and fell in a rhythm with each other.. in the dead of the night I heard his broken whispers at my window.. how he had been left loose I don’t know.. I had been fettered to the wooden beam by the same thick rope that bound the big bull in his pen… he managed to crawl in undetected.. maybe the gods smiled upon us just then.. we crept away with the sunrise…

The tortuous trek to the police post 15 miles away, and then two days of pleading with the sahib there that we knew what we were asking for, that we were both old enough.. they told us to stay near the police station and not even try to contact our families if we wanted to live.. we took the blessings of the babu- sahib who sat in the courthouse to marry..

And then the gods stopped smiling.. a member of the khap saw him and guessed I would be where he was.. the mob descended on out little hut with the setting sun…and they set fire to it.. I was inside… he was dragged outside to be beaten and to watch as I burned.. we wouldn’t be allowed to die together… we couldn’t burn in the same pyre.. I watched from behind flaming walls as they sheathed their swords in his body…

as he fell to the ground and blood began to run… they spat at the spreading stream and began to walk away..

And he stirred.. silent, watching for their return.. and then he crawled into the flames to me.. I pushed with all my strength till the chair that was my captor fell to its side and I could drag it on the ground..

We managed to be in the same pyre… they wouldn’t be able to separate us now..

I smiled at him as the sting from the fire turned into a raging burn… our eyes never left each other.. with my last breath I told him I loved him.. and gave myself over to the darkness that would deliver us from the fear we had lived under forever..

whn you say nothing at all

We all grapple with strange thoughts every single day. Sometimes what is in our mind overwhelms rationality and leaves us vulnerable, weak and hurt. Sometimes rationality, cold calculation, Knowledge wins and no matter what curveballs get hit our way we manage to get past them.

Sometimes we get hit. We get hurt. Things are simply too much. Too many thoughts, memories,, opinions words, acts, images sounds fighting for space in our head and the incoherence is frightening. And sometimes its patters that make us cower.

The mind has got to be the most fearsome thing ever created by the hand of god or man. Nothing comes close to what our own mind can evoke to leave us cowering and defeated even before anything actually happens. Or after something has happened and we need to gather ourselves and get up, but the mind holds us captive. Shattered on the ground and unable to so much as try to put the pieces together.

Sometimes it takes sheer willpower to get up. Conscious mind over unconscious thought. You MAKE yourself get up even when you think there is nothing left. You make yourself walk when everything has given out. Life then becomes a breath, a step, the swift intake of breath after a sob has escaped. A tear wiped, a moan swallowed, a footstep towards reclaiming the broken pieces of your self, putting them together is the goal you work towards..

sometimes you find yourself stepping off the edge of a cliff.. into the unknown, burning all figurative bridges behind you. No going back. No matter how much you may want to, no matter how dark the path ahead is. You make yourself move ahead. No going back to what once was, what things can never again be

But some memories and images and sounds still follow you.. scents, sense, touch, feel, things evoke memories, and our mind is just so good at running away from us.. running across worn out paths that we walked over once, tugging us to the imprints we left there..

You can never go back, imprints are too deeply etched, things cannot be undone… and yet your mind tells you that it might happen… so you put all your might behind that might… behind that which might not.. and at the end you’re left fighting shadows and flickers.

Sometimes your mind will not let you not revisit a time from which you’ve come away.. There’s nothing left but memory.. but memory is a powerful thing.


On a completely unrelated note.. I made a paneer dish again for dinner... something called “embassy paneer” that I got off the Amul website. It was nice overall, but I put too little salt in it.

also, I would put my neck on the line and say this.. I don’t care how cute or good Messi is.. Kaka is HOT!

Monday, June 14, 2010

i got a feeling...

Maybe I should do a food blog kind of thing a la Julie and Julia… now that there’s a laptop in the house.. I cannot take it to the level that Julie did ofcourse but I could actually do this for a couple of weeks… since I have nothing else to do for the month but play housemaid till courts reopen in July…

So thanks to the handy little laptop, I happily looked up a recipe online and sat the laptop down in the kitchen and reread the recipe as many times as I needed till the dish got done..

I made dahi- chicken a couple of days ago... and today I just got done making paneer kofta… n rt now I have a “cooking feeling”… like I WANT to experiment and make new things…

the brats went off to stay at grandparents' for a couple of days and the house has been sooo quiet that i can hear my heartbeat… plus I’m bored and cooking gives me something satisfying to do…

can anyone recommend some nice dishes that are also not terribly difficult??
i wanna try as many kinds of things as i possibly can in the next 15 odd days.. not just north indian standards.. but other random stuff..
i looked up the kofta recipe on hope it tastes as nice as it looks.. dad and the boys should be back for dinner tonight...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

no surprise

it was on april 22 that i wrote the most sensible post of the year...

some things cannot be recycled or reused..

i tried to be melanie.. but i could never even be scarlett..

i should really stop trying to live in storybooks... its been a long time since i gave up on a storybook romance.. maybe its time i gave up on a novel- worthy comeback as well..

things happen when they have to happen.. you can't hold on to something broken and believe that it'll get back to its unspoiled beautiful self...
or even taht if you try enough you'll reassemble it into some other beautiful thing... whats broken remains so..

i have a scar on my waist... its a puckered little reminder of a cycling accident as an 8 year old..
some scars never fade.. this is one of them.... its something to learn from.

i have several scars as a matter of fact.. comes with a lifetime of clumsiness... falling off slides, on rocks, baching bicycles into buildings, falling off tree branches banging against doors.. been there, done that, carry the mark of..

and every one of them reminds me of a time when doing something that was "a good idea at the time" can lead to both laughter and pain.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

there's a lot that happens in life that makes NO sense whatsoever... but feels damn good..
unfortunately.. today's not quite what i would want put in that category...

i REALLY need better things to do in life than overanalyse n crib..

Sunday, June 06, 2010

i'm not that pesky little kid you took care of... i grew up. can you please deal with it like a grown up

it really hurts when the person because of whom you have been put in fetters says that being restricted is a good thing... that the outside world is not safe enough for you.... when each time you try to loosen your chains they are tightened because of the enduring spectre of THAT person..

i know its stupid to resent someone who never knew what havoc their behaviour might cause.... who genuinely thinks that the same fetters they broke in their bid to live would keep someone else safe and happy.. its even more ridiculous however, to have kept well within lines and done everything expected of you.. and then be denied the power to take decisions that affect no one but yourself... its downright hurts when you comply with every valid and stupid restriction far beyond the age where anyone less compliant would and did, and yet you're tarred with the brush of rebellion when all you want is to be recognised as a thinking person in your own right...

i suppose it would be a bit counterproductive to quote britney spears of all the people after saying that i am too old to be controlled, but this song says it all..

i'm not a girl
there is no need to protect me..

ive seen so much more than you know now.. and thats why it seems to me...
i'm not a girl.