Lonely road into the fray,
She walked though time
And she walked again
What it would beget,
She knew not then.
Lo and behold!
The Grand Canyon!
Lonely road into the fray,
She walked though time
And she walked again
What it would beget,
She knew not then.
Lo and behold!
The Grand Canyon!
When I was 7, I lived in a little apartment with my family.It was an old building and had 3 stories, and unlike the modern times the ground floor was the best to have because you get your own yard and a white picket fence, not so much like the ones that are as clichéd as “The American dream”, but was a pretty good place to have in a poor country like India, kind of like a third-world-American dream.
Yeah! except for the fact that the fence was the most insignificant part of the dream in my poor third world country,because we actually had a lot of “not- so -American” problems!”
There were about ten similar apartments next to each other.
Every morning, there were three rituals my parents relentlessly performed to wake us up.
5 different alarm clocks, snoozing every 5 minutes from different locations of the bedroom.
It was awful! It was a mini treasure hunt game played by four over-sleepers.
The opening of the blinds
I would rather call this the act of blinding, because in a tropical country like India the sun is up and shining at 5 in the morning, and it can blind you through your eyelids
Turning off of the ceiling fans.
This was worse than Chinese torture especially in a hot and humid place like southern India. Additionally, from all the years of falling asleep to that faint screech from the rusted ceiling fan , you cannot sleep without it screeching.
At the end of all this, you can either pretend like sleeping just to feel happy about kicking your tropical countries ass, getting fried in the process and eventually losing it, or just wake up and get started with the bright humid day. The choice was easy.
The school bus arrives at 7:45 am sharp, but we never got ready on time. Everyone in India has a separate standard time Offset, which has a 5 to 15 minute deviation from the Indian standard time, so while my mom handed two steaming cups of coffee to the bus driver and conductor, my dad checked our school bags and made sure we got everything, and by the time the coffee was done, my sisters were ready to get on to the bus, I reluctantly followed them while eying the empty road for the Origami guy.
Yes! we have conductors for all buses in India
It was summer and around the time the 4 o clock rains start, just before the monsoons. We had just started to learn to play cricket with the boys in our apartment community. There was a huge water tank which was perpetually dry and I seriously do not know why the government spent so much money and time and used all our gully cricket space to build the damn thing.
I would like to think they wanted us to have a nice place to sit and watch the gully games.
There was an elderly gentleman who sat there ever evening and watched us play. When someone was bowled-out they would join this man sitting on the water tank pedestal. He seemed to be glad to have company and he asked me for a notebook when I got out one day and had to wait my turn by sitting under the water tank. he asked me to get an old notebook he could use, I ran and got him a notebook from my huge and heavy knapsack that was heavier than me. he tore a paper from it, and started folding it up into some weird shapes and voila, it finally transformed into a beautiful butterfly. He sometimes even came by in the mornings to hand me and my sisters little origami birds, butterflies and angels. It was something new every day. I fell in love with his origami skills and popularized it in school by wearing it as a badge. Soon there was so much demand for his art and my teacher wanted to order a few of these badges for all the members of a sports club. I was so glad something I started became such a huge hit.
I didn’t know his name, I called him ” Paper thatha” . My parents knew him as the elderly gentleman who lived a block away from our apartment. He was a man of few words and in all those days, he didn’t speak a word. He just smiled and handed the little toys to me. I kept storing them in a wooden box in my closet. All I know about him was that I see him every day and he gives me and my sisters those little paper toys. That day when I got into the school bus, I expected to see him, but he didn’t come. He had shown up every single day the past week, but I didn’t see him in his usual spot under the water tank that weekend. I asked my dad where he lived and he didn’t know. I was upset that I couldn’t talk to him about the badges. I never saw him after that day. I don’t know if I will ever see him.
It has been 20 years since the last time I saw him before getting on my school bus. I still remember how he looked like and his stealthy smile. All I know is he loved children, and did his bit at making them happy. He sure understood and appreciated the beauty that lies within simple things in life.
She woke up when the frail rays of the rising sun reflected off of her little mirror hanging loosely from an old rusted nail hammered in on the west corner of her little mud-walled-palm-leaf hut. The mirror was cracked diagonally across and the only use it actually had in all those years was signify the break of dawn.
She tied her long black hair in a loose up-do, picked up a mud pot and marched briskly to the little stone-walled well a few yards away. She broke a little neem twig from the adjacent tree and started chewing it, while she hauled water from the well, filled her mud pot with it,had a few gulps of the same water and marched steadfastly back to her hut, as if she was running late.
she walked out almost in a jiffy holding a sharp sickle in one hand and the mud pot in the other and started treading towards the highland in the middle of the hills, which was a few miles away., her hair was soon loose and the long black hair was swinging side to side as she walked, she did not stop to tie it back up.
She could see someone sitting and writing something on the other side of the highland, which made her curious. she did not want to attract attention, So she did not go and talk to him, but being the naive person she is, she started singing in her native tongue, an unfamiliar folklore of a solitary vagabond, who was looking for love and was lost in the highlands, and how she rescued him from his loneliness by singing an unfamiliar folklore in her native tongue, in a strange melancholic strain
When I was little, my parents made a lot of sacrifices so I can be happy. The sacrifices they have made are not small and mentionable, they are countless, but they never regretted those sacrifices, oh wait, at least that is what I thought, when it suddenly occurred to me that it is not something I would say because, even if they did regret it, It did not last long and it was overcome by the amount of happiness I got from what they have sacrificed.They did it happily and never thought about what their life could have been. Yes they are great parents, and this is a tribute to those numerous parents who still are sacrificing major things for their little ones, financially, emotionally and physically. I would like to tell them – “take it easy, pamper yourself now and then”. It is not just your kids who need pampering. Parenting is hard, and you all need a treat once in a while.
My dad knew this well and I am so proud of him for that. The impulsive stuff he got home when I was little, the clandestine shopping errands that my dad and I went on with my mom having no idea whatsoever, The big brown leather couch and the Beautiful bookshelf that my dad bought home one summer evening are all still etched in my memory. It is true they are all material stuff, very prone to destruction and may not mean a thing, but they are still around decorating every corner of my house with some beautiful memory associated with them. Even though my mom enjoy the luxury of having them she still complains about my dad’s over spending. Money was tight back then but I was happy and blissfully unaware of the financial situation even though I knew I had to go to college on a student loan. I turned out OK, didn’t I?
Ahem ! Alright, alright! Don’t judge me….!
I wanted to share this with all the new parents so it could make a small difference in their lives and they can feel good about spending some money on themselves. There is one more twist to this and this is how it goes. Let us say, you are shopping for a pair of shoes for your little one and then you walk across this designer store and find a pair of skinny jeans you always wanted, and you decide to try it on. It almost always so happens that you will not buy it right away and you just would want to convince yourself that all the dieting worked and you are finally in much better shape than before. Then comes the “Price-tag Conundrum”. You look at it and there, this can never go into your wardrobe because you start mentally calculating the worth of the new pair of jeans in terms of Baby stuff on x axis and time on y axis. Trust me the graph never looks good.
I may be wrong, you see, I am not good at Math , wait a minute or am I, I know graphs, x axis and y axis, ah forget about what I said earlier I am a math Guru, take my word for it
When you do that it is time for you to stop thinking and hit the registers in the store.
Run my friend Run with the jeans
I say this because, If I were your kid, I would feel really guilty that my mom couldn’t have a pair of jeans that she really liked. Now would you want to put your kids through this sorrow? This will scar them for life. So buy away once in a while, If you are a good parent, you will never make your kid feel bad, and guess what? Pampering yourself actually helps the kids in a sort of twisted way . It is OK they will understand if they cannot go for summer camp when they are 3 and they will be glad to stay home with you or their grandparents. In fact the major chunk of the childhood I remember was when I was with my grandparents. I bet it is true with most of you.
And yeah, all dads hurry and get yourself a nice and cozy barcalounger, you don’t want your son feeling bad about this later.
You have a good reason, father’s day is around the corner
Life is short, for both you and your kids. It is important to have a balance in terms of things you give up for your family, and that is what makes family the most important in the world.
Spare the rod and spoil yourself
It all starts when you are five. OK! wait a minute, for the benefit of the future generation, which will not be able to see a dawn when there is filter kaapi, let me enunciate.
Filter kaapi is an aromatic, addictive liquid concoction, that seldom resembles American coffee (Thanks to the abundance of freshly boiled aavin milk) prepared using conventional apparatus – read as without the electric coffee maker, using the coffee that is restricted only to the south-eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, ground as a coarse powder , popularly known as narasus kaapi (usually suffixed with bhesh bhesh romba nanna irukku) phew!
now, where was I ? yeah, It starts when you are five, the phenomenon of tempting the little kid with the aroma of this wonderful beverage , and suddenly one fine morning depriving the child of its taste because some local newspaper reporter suddenly thought he wanted to cut down on the sky high narasus kaapi price, for selfish reasons, and wrote an article that elucidates with reference to context, all the ill-effects of this elixir on children.
There was something good in it though, for children who are rebels, the legend of coffee addiction thus started. First you try the dad, if you are a girl, and as for guys, of course mom works just fine. You start taking clandestine little sips from the respective parents’ coffee cups. sometimes it is hard to convince either of the parents thanks to the loving bondage that is called the wedding
seriously what is wrong with this world? Them and their love?!?! See, what you have done? the kid’s stranded without kaapi for god sakes?!
Grandparents. they are the best. They are too old to make complan for your sibling and boost for you.
The dislike for health drinks among siblings is always complementary to one another. That is, if you like complan, you cannot like Boost/bournvita and the likes and vice-versa. And in any given case of two siblings, both of them never like the same beverage.
So all you have to do is just show your liking for coffee, and there, you got yourself a lifetime of clandestine filter kaapi, and then there comes a day when it doesn’t have to be clandestine anymore :). Yeah, the day when your parents become grandparents :), and so it goes on.
Why do Poker nights always end up being fun, even though you never know why exactly you are playing in spite of losing “ALL THE TIME”, may be because there is one lucky little B Who gets to win all the time.
Why do some idiots choose the same slot machine, to play for 20 more dollars when they just got 80 dollars from the poor little machine, and lose all 100 dollars? May be they believe in luck so much that they don’t acknowledge the fact that there is Math in the world. What can I say, Common Sense, of All things consequential and inconsequential, is the MOST uncommon.
I kinda feel playing cards is a Sad people’s way of passing time, but then, I was happiest when I got 50 dollars from two American co-gamblers who pitched in for the miser that I was to play Black Jack. Sad news folks, I knew I sucked and that is why I didnt put in the money …. ah what the hell, best Gambling memory ever. Yes! because these people don’t ask for the lost money back! Americans are awesome when it comes to Gambling.Don’t you think? As a side note, helps if you are a pretty chick. Sometimes a nice looking guy would work too 😉
When five people hit the Casino, the total money Lost is always equal to or greater than the total money gained :). I’m pretty darn right coz why else you think there are Casinos. Best way to deal with it, Gamble away as a gang and equally split the loss. Fun for everyone! Ok, may be to make it a little fairer, the one who won the most can be allowed to break even.
For those who have never gambled before, I wanted to say get a life, But nah !! You should all Try it once, It is awesomeness of course only if you follow my Laws of gambling. 🙂
The sound of the pleasant raspy saxophone
been through the test of time,
From a screechy old Gramophone,
A shot of tequila with a pinch of salt and a little of lime.
A million little stars on a clear sky with no cloud,
seen through the broken roof of an old bungalow,
lying on an old piano covered in a dusty white shroud.
An Old book and A cup of hot coffee,
The sound of the rain water hitting the roof,
Ah! Feels like I have eaten a hundred million Toffees.
Kutti was tied to the little brown log that was firmly rooted to the ground and locked with a chain as always. I was sitting on the flight of stairs just outside the house waiting for my grandma to leave. she is always careful about every little thing even if it is of no Significance and she was today, with the little shiny key that locked kutti. she wouldn’t give it to us not if we were lying on the bed waiting for our last wish of possessing the key come true.
She got ready to leave saying “Stay safe. Don’t forget to wear your shoes when you go out” I saw her leave and sat there thinking what I was going to do for the rest of the day while I longingly looked at kutti who was still tied, wishing he was free to take me somewhere around the country side.
It was boring and almost mid-morning. It was beautiful. The birds were chirping and the squirrels were fighting for the cashew nuts strewn all over the tiny not-so-symmetric bunch of stairs made of mountain rocks which take you down the hill to the narrow muddy road roofed by the thick green foliage preventing any kind of light from hitting the mud.
Maya came running once my grandma went out of sight, showing me something that was glimmering in the mild sun peeping out of the clouds.It was Kutti’s key. She was haughtily grinning away to glory while she said “I stole it from grandma! what a dream come true” . Her voice set a vibe of troubled pleasure. We slyly went near the beautiful white pony and Maya was just about to open it.The lock was little rusted and I bent down to help her open it up.
Suddenly kutti got a little restless and I heard some boots dashing against the stone staircase. I turned back and I saw a couple of Cops walking up hurriedly.I asked them what the matter was and he questioned us and then all I did was flirt with the officer to get rid of him.Don’t really know if the officers were real or I was hallucinating or how they knew that we were up to some mischief.
Soon we opened up Kutti and I went to wear my shoes. There was something that pricked me inside the shoe. I put my hand in and took out a little rusted key. I took it out and smiled to myself.I had a familiar feeling, that of troubled pleasure and I understood what Maya my little sister felt when she showed it to me, though it was for a completely different reason. My gran trusted me.
The alarm screamed. There was No white Pony, No staircase,No narrow road and No grandma.I had to get up get ready and get to work. The thought of this made me just lie down again and close my eyes and remember the beautiful countryside and the beautiful white Pony once again. I did it and It was Bliss indeed to have a perfect dream even when you know it can never come true.
You see a dark rugged guy, wearing a bemused expression, Naughtily grinning at a guy wearing a red color t shirt with flower prints, or glued to anything that remotely resembles a TV (even the OOH media thingi is good), always wearing a pair of earphones even though he is not actually listening to anything, and occasionally letting out a few words that are insanely sane, walking like he owns the road, it COULD be HIM 🙂
The four of us were in school, supposedly one of the hippest schools in the small town madurai. We had the privilege of coming home at 1 in the afternoon, it was a five hour school. Usually we come home to an empty house waiting to have the most brilliant time of the day. It is not hard to imagine a house with four little girls and a Dog and No Neighbors, but in my opinion it is another name for Paradise. We were the rulers. we made the rules and broke them.
One such afternoons, I saw from a distance that the house was open. Parents!!!! they were home, On a weekday. We already had plans for the afternoon, We had made deals over who should read the Archie’s comic that would have got delivered that day first, and arguing about what movie to watch, and who should take up the responsibility of cleaning the house before the Kings come home, so it all looks spic and span and we have no road blocks for the next day of fun. We were disappointed. The gate was open and Mom and Dad were standing at the gate. There were 10 policemen standing in different corners of the barren land opposite the house, near all the acacia trees. They had funky walkies talkies and I was able to hear the word “OVER” over and over again.
The Previous Day ….
The plan for the afternoon was to play the notorious Police Thief game. We had gone to another level and we made it a really engaging game story. We make the plans when we walk from the bus stop home. There were No neighbors for us, our house was a corner house and the roads were Unmetalled. So we had marked a huge area where the game is allowed to happen which encompassed 3 big houses opposite to ours. The police team appointed a spy in the thief team to give them hints (part of a deal and the thief guys didn’t know). Soon there were almost 10 of us. 5 in each team and the game started. The spy, which was my sis, left the Police trails on the road, wherever they went and the Hints where coded and written on the roads with sticks and stones. One of Hints said “There is lot of gold under the acacia tree “, written in the Local language (Tamil). This essentially meant the thieves were near the acacia tree. Thus the police over powered the thieves, and were basking in the Glory.
My sis slyly went near my dad and asked him what was up. He said the Police were there because they got some clues about where the jewelery stolen in the neighborhood was hidden. Apparently it was written on the road and our neighbor who had come to get some flowers from our garden noticed the stuff written on the road about the jewelry under the acacia tree. My parents were held up at home because they wanted to investigate. The four of us were dumbstruck. My little sis just blurted out “I wrote it!!!!”
Soon all the acacia trees around were uprooted. The little plants were saved. Thanks to my sister’s precise clue giving skills. They never came to know it was us. My dad just put us all in the room until the Policemen left. After the investigation was over, we had a big laugh about the whole thing.
This is not something I made up Trust me. It really happened!