My earlier post, The Taboo, sparked a lot of conversation and it reminded me of a real incident from my college days.
I was travelling by car with a bunch of family friends to a marriage. We were all between 20-25 years of age, celebrating the momentary freedom from parental supervision. (In India, you are under parental supervision as long as your parents are alive.)
On the way, we saw a scooter at a distance. A girl in her late teens was travelling with an old person, probably her father. One of my friends said, “Hey! Guess what? I can touch her hair while sitting,” and he began extending his hand to touch her.
I shouted at him to stop. He was rather surprised and said he won’t hurt her, just touch her hair. But I held my ground–Just the act will hurt her; that girls are afraid of travelling because boys take such liberties.
He was shocked. He had no idea.
I asked him how he would feel if someone did that to his younger sister. He growled, nobody would dare touch his sister. I reminded him that she probably dealt with this on a daily basis and never told him because of the fear of retaliation or the fear of being grounded for life.
Earlier this morning, I had a dream that was on a fairytale-meets-star wars theme with princesses, prophecies, sabers and spaceships. As I sat down to prepare lunch, I was greated with this sight.
A dried top of bottle gourd had this design.
Had I been a supestitious person, I would have run out of my house declaring that Lord Ganesha (with elephant face) has visited my house in his triple face avatar. But thanks to the dream, I was on a Sci-Fi cum Fairytale mode. Hence, I decided it was a crop circle inside my house. You may say, “Hey, a crop circle is a circular pattern in crops.” I say:
Bottle gourd is a crop.
It’s top is circular.
This one a has pattern, a pretty one too. Many progressive Indian women, henceforth, shall use it in their rangoli designs.
I wonder which TV channel to contact–
Aaj Tak that will turn it into Doomsday prophecy
NDTV that will call it the next attack of a deadly microbe
National Geographic that will call it a visitation from aliens and add it to their existing series of crop circles…
Hey! Small aliens that fit inside my fridge! Now that’s a plot for story. What do you say?
Between the treacherous forest where only foul spirits dared to tread and the wide waters of the Alamanthanine Sea, there stood the small kingdom of Falutia. And in Falutia, there lived a bard of such renown that his name was spoken in hushed whispers from the sandy shores to the peaks of the snowy mountains. The mere mention of his arts upon the lute strings sent a shiver through even the most brutal mercenary, for he was, without a doubt, the worst singer ever heard in those fair lands.
His name was Gille.
His singing brought to mind the scratch of dead branches against gravestones, and his lute playing stirred even the most war-hardened soldier to tears of despair. Wherever he went, always in cheerful song, the road cleared before him. Thief, trader, brave wanderer, or stalwart servant of the king, it made no difference. All fled at the first…
In all relations, I keep myself slightly aloof. I try not to talk very often or discuss pain because I can’t sympathize…
With people I really care about, once I begin to feel their pain, I feel it as my own…until I cannot separate the borrowed pain from my own feelings. Gradually, it begins to push me under and I struggle to keep floating and breathing. Eventually, I drown in a pain not my own and am unable to resurface until I open the floodgates or someone fishes me out.
I prefer to not drown.
So, if you find me impassive and aloof, now you know why.
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Like the ancient curses of the pharaohs, the multitude of explanations for the hysteria and hallucinations of those who have spent extended time in old houses far outweighs the possibility of the paranormal. Drafts and cold spots from wind finding its way through rotting walls, illness caused by mold or gases caught in rusty pipes, strange noises triggered by the introduction of a foreign body into a delicately balanced ecosystem, or simply the habitation of a stray cat or nesting pigeon: I had yet to find a symptom without a cause. Still, each new investigation began with the hope that this time I would find the exception to the rule. As I gazed up at the house, perched on its tree-covered hill like a vulture eyeing its prey, the familiar tingle of possibility crept up my spine.
A century of abandonment had clawed the flesh from it until only bare…
The following was transcribed from an audio file discovered by the Tucumcari Highway Patrol on June 23rd, 2006.
Unknown Speaker, female (US):
It’s a long drive back, so I thought I’d get this down while it’s still fresh in my mind. Honestly, it was a huge waste of time. What is it with whackos and trailer parks?
Alright, I’ll try to keep this official for the archives. The date is, uh, June 16th, 2003. We received a call three days ago on the hotline about some unusual activity in New Mexico. The caller wouldn’t go into specifics, one of those “won’t talk on the phone, you never know who might be listening” types. So, I drove down from Chicago.
Turns out the town was a dustbowl: trailer park, convenience store with a fifty-year-old gas pump, and one stop sign which was apparently optional.
Today, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and decided to spend a bit of time lying down in the sun. As a result, I got to see a lot of flying bird underbellies. The Indian crows look Majestic from below, considering their underbelly is all black as compared to their grey upper body. The green pigeon’s green is even more evident from below. A pied myna’s all-white belly takes away all the resemblance from its family.
It also reminded me of perspectives and how things change from the way we look at them. The same person is different in different settings–a corporate stiff-board, a vicious manager, a caring colleague, cheerful friend, a loving parent, a happy neighbour, a demanding spouse, a playful sibling and a loyal child…the same person, looked at from different angles. How many lives do we live in a day?
We are experiencing the weirdest February weather ever. Usually February are sunny and warm enough to chuck the sweater and go around in plain clothes.
But this year, we have the kind of fog that puts early January to shame. In the morning till 11 am, I can’t see the trees across the road. I wash clothes shivering in my double layer of sweaters praying for the sun. Water drips from the wet clothes in the process of hanging them on the roof. I, too, am wet. There is no hope for me getting dry here, so I walk down two floors, head hung in dejection.
Then the Sun shines and hides, shines and hides, and shines and hides. And then, once it is out at 1 pm, the roof is hot enough to turn egg into an omelette. I have to chuck all sweaters and run in the shade downstairs to avoid a heatstroke!
Not sure whether the weather is doing it on purpose. All I can say is, “Haha! Very funny!”
The question is a parent’s nightmare. Most of us avoid it as long as we can and try alternate theories, like pollination by bees. 🐝
One such theory is stork bringing babies home. 🐣 I have used it successfully for the past couple of years, thanks to the inspiration and visual support by Disney cartoons. (Dumbo really nailed it.) But now, as my daughter nears her fourth birthday, the questions about logistics are becoming increasingly difficult.
How does the crane travel through a storm? 🌧
How does he track moms at hospital? 🏥
How does he deliver bird eggs without breaking them? 🐣
Why some eggs that he delivers do not have babies and are okay to eat? 🥚
How does he carry elephant babies who are too heavy for him? 🐘
How does he drop lice eggs in people’s hair without anyone seeing him? 🐜
Why we can never see the baby pouch it is holding. 👶
How does he open locked windows? 💥💫
And last week, a relative’s daughter found out about babies in mama’s stomach. I am afraid she will drop the bomb soon and I will have to deal with the corresponding questions. 🙈🙉🙊I am wondering which tactic to try if it comes to that. The simple XX Chromosome meets XY theory leads to too many uncomfortable questions about the logistics. 😰
Feign Ignorance 🤔: She would wonder if I am a competent mother. She has higher expectations.
Deny everything 🤓: It is only a matter of time until she will ask someone who confirms the theory. She is persistent.
Admit Lying 🤥: She would wonder why I lied, leading to more probing questions. Her questions can put Socrates to shame.
So, I am feeling completely clueless and incompetent as to how to deal with the impending onslaught. 😵
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