Posted in Random Thoughts

Little Treasures

One of my favourite writers, Pete Johnson from Beetley, recently wrote about his tin box and the memories within it.

It reminded me of my own. My treasured tin box holds:

  • Old coins from my late grandmother (1 paisa worth around 10,000th part of a pound, 3 paisa and 5 paisa) that went out of circulation before I was born and have no materay value;
  • A couple of leaves that were birthday gifts by friends with “Happy Birthday, Shaily” and “We Miss You!” written on them in red paint, gifted by two of my friends who were in a village with no access to birthday cards at the time;
  • Beads of a broken bracelet from my oldest friend;
  • The dollar my brother gave me when he returned from Texas;
  • The 1″ X 1″ Philips music player that my parents gave me as a reward for excelling in my MBA first semester (doesnot work anymore, but…);
  • My pen drive that holds my MBA research project (doesnot work anymore, but…);
  • A pair of beloved, well-used and, now, broken earrings that one of my best friends gifted me on my birthday, right before he got down on one knee to tell me that he loves me;
  • A single earring (well used and now deviod of its partner) sent by mail by the same person two years later on our first Valentine’s day apart; and
  • Five capsules, each one stuffed with a miniscule handwritten notes, saying “I love you” from you-know-who on the same day.

Some treasures I am unable to fit inside a tin box.

  • A couple of birthday post cards from Manpreet, my bestie, that have handmade paintings with 100+ “I LOVE YOU” hidden inside the design
  • My copy of Three Men in a Boat that I read too often to bother hide it inside a tin box, only to pull it out the next day
  • The invitation card of my marriage to you-know-who
  • Our daughter’s countless pictures

All of these treasures, except the coins, were acquired after I became an adult. What, do you think, does that say about me?

Do you have any treasure boxes of your own?

Posted in Life and After

A Walk Down the Memory Lane

After an agonizing search in my desk drawer that lasted forever (who knew a 15 x 12 inch drawer could hold so many things), I finally found it–my pen!

It looked weird…too plain. Not quite what I remembered. In my memory, it was rather shiny, elegant, all pretty curves and easy on the eye, or at least, a lot better than its current reality. Perhaps, my mind had been polishing its memory like lost love, romanticizing it until I forget the reality.

It seemed, a lot of other facts escaped my memory too. For example, why did I store it with the rest of the crap I own. I agree the drawer is supposed to have working things, but mostly, mine is the museum of fossils–long-dead things that I couldn’t throw away for reasons better left to imagination.

Did it still work?

I held it in my hand gingerly. It felt awkward, like I had lost a limb without knowing that it had gone missing, and now that I’ve found it after an eternity, I don’t know how to reattach it to the rest of me.

I held it between my fingers and moved it around, ill at ease. My fingers didn’t respond happily, the way they should have. After all, it is something they had held for half their life. They ached from the effort of mock-scribbling in the air.

Did it still work? I tried scribbling on my palm. All it did was scratch the sensitive skin.

Was the refill dry? But then another lost fact sprung to my mind–these ballpoint pens were always hopeless on the skin. I looked around for a scrap of paper–a difficult task, considering I hadn’t written in eons. Why would I? In a perfect world, everything I needed to write could be typed on the Notes app of my phone and laptop.

Only, this world wasn’t perfect anymore.

Finally, a piece of paper bag presented itself. I scribbled on the back side and it worked. Great! Now, all that remained was to dig out a notebook to teach my daughter how to write…

Sigh! Home schooling can be pretty exhausting…

Posted in Love, My life

Echo

Love was when I dragged you

to the college library

to finish your assignments;

when I forced you

to sit with me in the front

rather than with backbenchers

so you would study;

when I forced you

to attend college

on mass-bunk days;

when I gave you

quick lessons before exams

and kept raising the bar

until you could do no more.

What we have

in marriage today

is an echo of that love,

where you take

my place,

and I take yours.

Posted in Nature

Home

My tired mind hopes for a stroll,

but the stench of traffic assaults me

and slams back the door.

 

Sigh! How I miss home.

 

The place where I grew,

jasmine wafted through the windows,

harsingar filled the roads.

 

Frogs lured me out,

crickets sang all night, and

fireflies gilded the path with gold.

 

The moon shone brighter,

stars seemed more and merrier.

 

Woodfire and

roast potatoes called to me,

pulling me where men told stories

 

of ghosts on peepal tree,

and herds of deer.

 

I wonder where the deer are now,

for the pastures are long gone.

 

I feel sad for the Peepal tree ghosts

who lost their favorite haunts.

 

No Harsingar or Jasmine

no fireflies, owls, crickets and frogs,

dwell the unyielding cement roads.

 

No one gathers around woodfire

to share stories or lore.

 

How I miss the home

of my childhood,

for this is home no more.


This piece is inspired by Mohan, my friend and colleague, who told me about the real Bangalore, a place he lost over the past two decades of ‘development’.  

Posted in Life and After

Old

andrik-langfield-ST2R_tlO3RE-unsplash

I’m old.

With more than 50 years behind me, I’ve some fond memories. I remember bringing Eddie and Chris home the day they were born–such wee little things. And when Eddie married, I drove the happy couple to their honeymoon. I held his daughters as babies and even took them camping when they grew up…

It was fun while it lasted.

But nobody can carry on forever. So now that I tire easily and my joints make me groan, I spend my days sitting in the sun in the yard while the new generation does the hard work.

Sigh! Well, I had a good run…


Photo by Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

Posted in Life and After

Abandoned

I looked at it from my late father’s eyes and I was instantly horrified.

The walls that once lovingly sheltered many generations were now infiltrated with creepers. Mould grew on the limestone paint. Holes appeared between the rocks where elements had eroded the mortar that held it all together.

The years of neglect had taken a toll.

The door still had the hole for the cat my late grandmother once had. I wondered whether any of her progeny still lived here or if they, too, had abandoned the house of my ancestors.

I pushed the door to open it but it resisted as if I wasn’t welcome. So, I pushed with all my might and the door creaked open hanging on its hinges limply, resigned at its inability to save the crumbling house’s honor from the prying eyes of the traitor–the one who had left it behind to find a better life elsewhere.

The roof that kept me and mine under its protection from sun and gale for a hundred years had finally caved in, smashing every last memory of my childhood underneath. The last reminder of my past was now past saving.


Photo by Enovate Studio on Unsplash

Posted in My life

Weird Nostalgia

Let’s get it out of the way straight away–I am a clingy person…in a very weird sense. I cling to the memories…real and imagined…often not able to sort which is real and which is imagined.

Even my dreams are like that. I dream of old ‘friends’ telling me they miss me and after a few reruns (repeated dreams or thinking about it), I start believing it. Then I want to meet them, and find out that they don’t give a damn!

Not sure, but I think it has something to do with the loneliness I have dealt with during childhood. My father was transferred from one place to another often, and I and my brother kept changing cities with him. I was friendly but building relationships takes time, and time was not a luxury I had. While everyone else stayed with their childhood circle, I was constantly on the move, leaving potential friends behind.

I was and am still jealous of all those who could go back to their home town to meet old friends. I have nobody.

This Monday, I just came back after a month-long vacation at my parent’s home. I could only bully one friend to come and meet. Everyone else was busy. It was lonely…

Lately, I have been having more dreams/memories of ‘lost love’. But I am wary now. I can’t trust my own brain. Not sure if I had a brain short circuit due to all the emotional overload since I read too many novels about true friends and love.

Any advice?

Posted in Life and After

Poetry: Chained

I am chained to you, my enemy…

 

Every day, I writhe and groan

My face an angry mask.

Beast rises with every pain

That ever came to pass.

 

I look in the mirror

And claw and tear,

I so wish you were dead

I’m close to tears.

 

Tug at the chains

And wish them begone,

Only to find

It’s not what I want.

 

I cry out in rage

And repeat,

Clawing at the mirror,

My nails bleed.

 

“Curse you! I will make you pay,

For reliving hell every day.”

Obsessed I wait to see

You grovel at my feet.

 

Then, I plaster a smile,

Pretending all is fine,

While I am still chained to you

Every second of my day,

My enemy…

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: Reliving the Moment

“In that magical moment, he helped me up from the stairs. When looked at me as he cradled me in his arms, I saw emotions in his eyes… Love? I was taken aback!

Sure I was flattered by the attention but I couldn’t see how things would ever work out between the two of us.

For one, he was a hulk and I petite, almost breakable. Moreover, she had taken away my twin. I don’t think a Prince would look good hobbling around in one shoe.”

Posted in Life and After

Tiny Story: After

The loneliness had become too much. Every one told him that he should move to a new city and start over again. He could, then, meet new people, and may be, even find love again…

He looked at his children: five and eight. Would they mind moving? Of course, they would! Their lives were here with their grandparents, their school and friends. He couldn’t uproot them at a whim!

He couldn’t hurt them, so he let the memories hurt him.