Monday, March 24, 2008

The X Files

I had been trying to get rid of the clutter surrounding me, human and non-human. I was sorting out my cupboard back home, it looked like the netherworld on a bad day and it was a tough job. I found this old green file, another ghost from the past, which was full of print outs of what looked like vague black and white images. As I turned the pages I saw Fox Mulder and Dana Scully staring from the pages. I was an avid X Files fan. A thorough search of the forgotten drawers revealed jazzy platforms, scarily high heels (I honestly didn’t ever need them) and mushy cards from various quarters. My mother hates clutter and keeps pestering me to get rid of old stuff. I save everything and find it tough to discard old notes exchanged in class, letters from people I might hate now, and generally exceedingly irrelevant stuff.

I sat on the hillside by myself at 4:30am; the noise outside the room had begun to spook the hell out of me and I decided to be brave for once. The untouched serene valley is the epitome of purity and brings a sense of well being to even the worst stricken. I have never seen the sky so clear, the stars so bright... the mountains stood grey, old, monstrous and unyielding. Matt sat next to me yawning and licking itself as I patted its soft black coat.

There has to be more to life than the generic weeks that have passed by at an alarmingly fast pace. The soft cold breeze bit my face. Moving on and moving out are both tough calls but one cannot get stuck in a warp because of complacency. So many things were tugging at the heart simultaneously but I have found in myself the strength to follow love and passion.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The yellow butterfly

She was scribbling away as usual, on the tattered handmade paper book she so adores. Some people are just so old fashioned and yet blend into the nouveaux so well. She loves to write letters and send postcards and touches lives of many.

The old mud baked cup sat on her desk for hours before she thought of re-heating the tea. The wild rose creeper had begun to conquer the window and the foliage looked radiant in sunlight. The glow of the green and the beauty of the red, in her eyes it was the perfect combination, at once soothing and at once exciting. There are very few things in the world that have that effect on you.

There has been a change in her little microcosm off late. The nomadic heart has been feeling the urge to let go of the known and the have’s. The dreams have been conspicuous by their absence. Then out of the blue, a yellow butterfly flew in and fluttered and settled on her mug. She watched in awe and then stealthily started clicking photographs on the new black and white roll. All that colour captured in the monotonous tones. That’s how life becomes sometimes. That’s how life has been for a while now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Splinters of the fragmented mind

“It is not easy to truly have the measure of those who live aslant to the rest of us”.

I told a friend yesterday about my wish to go to Pakistan and see a part of our heritage and a part of the sub-continent with unbiased eyes. She literally went into convulsions! How I would love to have the famous kebabs of Lahore, see the old Punjab, walk down the beach in Karachi, and see a life well removed from ours in NWFP!

She had been simmering with something for a while, her anger was not centered, and it had started to turn into rage off late. She had to find something new to do, a new place to go to, a new life… The restless soul can be unforgiving and in constant search of the unknown. She was walking down a street in the evening by herself and she saw a child sitting on the sea side. The effervescent woman can make conversation with anyone, literally. Anyone! She started talking to the urchin and there was an instant connection. They joked, laughed and chatted till late. She bought the child some food and water. Her anger started dispersing. You know what an aura is? Hers was huge, she had too much energy and despite working hard, she had lots left to spare. The restlessness began to fade away that night and she was able to write again.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Bong Connection

There are remnants of the bygones in each and every dust particle in Calcutta. The city I love unconditionally, without belonging to it, without having ever stayed in it, without having any connections to it. I still remember my first visit to Cal vividly, as if it were yesterday- the monsoon drenched roads, the lively Park Street, the crowded Forum, the beautiful Millennium Park and the place I guess I’m not destined to see (on the inside)- Victoria Memorial. I remember getting bewitched by the angel on the top of the structure and the tanga ride that followed. People wonder why I would want to go to Cal for a holiday; it is an unusual place to go when there are the hills and the beaches selling tranquility. Why would one go from one maddening metro to another? Because, I feel the Cal-Calling, a little akin to the call of the wild. And of course, there is the case of my inimitable Bong connection.

There was this lingering silence, promise and peace on the banks of the famous river. The setting sun, the lamp on the boat and the lights on the bridge; they were all yearning for attention. The coffee at the Coffee House asked to be appreciated for being in circulation since aeons ago and the crumbling College Street sold hopes, ghosts, jokes and love. The lifeless yet ageless old monuments stood in grandeur as the vestiges of the empire that it was once a part of. Modernity mixed with culture; that is Calcutta for the uninitiated…