Thursday, June 27, 2013

Glimpses And Peeks.

I hate the rains.

Because it makes you want to stop everything that you're doing and just sit on the cold floor or maybe even lie there and reflect. 

I've been dealing with some stress lately and it's hard for me to absorb anything beautiful when I am. 

But sometimes you can't help it. 

I sit in my car leaning against the window, looking out into nothingness, and she sits way above me on a rickshaw piled high with sacks of recycled paper. And she smiles at me from up there: "what are you so worried about? It's just paper" I almost feel her joyous eyes telling me. 

You my dear girl, are going to save the planet one day. 

I absent-mindedly pull my  nose pin and in and out of my nose, it's just something I do unthinkingly, just to set it right. And then I hear these giggles. These naughty school boys think I'm digging my nose. 


I watch a little girl, dancing to her own tune. Her mother's right hand holds her tightly by the wrist. She talks engagedly over the phone using the other hand. The girl doesn't care. She dances and sings and laughs, extends her palms out and uses her whole body to feel the rain.  And the rain drops glisten in the street lights as they fall pitter patter on her wind-swept hair. 

I hate the rains. 

They make me want to be a child again. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Impatient Love.

It started to rain again just when I was done with my four hour long class. 


This means walking through the dirty crowded streets of my dear city   again. Something in me recoiled and stopped me mid-step. 

I stepped out hesitantly. 

"What? it stopped  raining? just like that?" I asked a disinterested class mate.

She nodded, "yes, all we had to do was walk down the flight of stairs from our class, apparently." 

The streets were wet nevertheless. 

And I found myself shirking from the usual stares of strangers. I felt like a performing circus clown, and then I suddenly remembered that it is okay to stare at people/be stared at  around here. 

It is amazing how acutely you become aware of the differences of your growing up environment and to one you've just lived in for two weeks. 

Everything begins to sound louder than usual as opposed to the hushed, soft-spoken tones you were used to there. 

But don't you see? I don't want to hear that piece of gossip you're sharing with your lover over phone. 

My head wanders to that secret seductive moment at the elevator, on my way down from the summit of the Eiffel tower: two lovers enmeshed in each other, it was very hard to discern one from the other, it was naughty, it was natural, it was...painful. 

And then all of that snaps back to the last piece of story finished with a relish, by the unsuspecting girl seated right behind me. She sighed contentedly, like you'd sigh sated after a good healthy bout of sex. 

This place that I call Home has strange rules.The people cling on to buses, trains and sometimes even get trampled over by busy feet. They don't complain. They have become accustomed to the discomfort. 

 Here the traffic rules are lax, the cars almost always stop even when you're jaywalking. 

People are cramped up in small places. Yet, they laugh so much more. 

Even the sky is not allowed enough breathing space around here. 

In Paris, we had the luxury of being able to see skies that turned into shades like this. 

Children are not trusted. Even with dogs. 

Spotted, just outside the Eiffel Tower. 

I don't know why I sat through my entire bus trip comparing Group A with Group B; but I did. 

When my stop came, I heard the thunder grumble like a dog aroused. And a sharp wind blew, I was just about to express my irritation at the imminent rain, when a warm welcoming aroma hit me out of nowhere: potato fritters. It's a custom to have potato fritters when it gets rainy in these parts. 

So there I was being a judgy bitch to my Home. And all it had to say in return was, "welcome baby,it's about to get very pleasant, you will reach home in no time, the wind will guide you;here are some potato fritters. I'm sorry I can't give you anything else at the moment." 

That will do for now. 

That will do. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Because Bath Tubs Hold A Special Place In My Heart. There Is A Story About That As Well.

I have become  two shades darker than I usually am.My teeth look shinier than they are because I'm so effing dark now. That is just testament to how much we have traveled. 

 We had gone to pick flowers. It was my Aunt's idea. I met this aunt after 12 years. I'm more of a aapreciate-beauty-from-a-distance kind of a person. So I found it hard to snip flowers. But I really did admire the lovely bunch she was making for home. 

We found a bathtub, out of nowhere. 

And suddenly I had this intense urge to sit and read on it in the middle of the field. 

I wasn't carrying any books then. Well I could always pretend to read. 

And then when I got to it, it was just strewn with dirt. Well what did you expect, is in the middle of a field! 

Maybe if i just perch on the sides a little. 

And voila! there I was...completely underestimating my own body weight, completely rolled over, hiding my self behind the bathtub. 

It was awesome. 

Conversations With The Head.

I'm floundering my way through post vacation blues. The easiest route is to go back to being the lazy cat that I am. But the uncertainty of my future won't even let me purr in peace.

I imagine what it might be like living inside a drum. At first, the very vagueness of the idea, strikes me. I could at the most consider sitting on the top of it. Then it sinks in: this drum is huge, as deep as a well, and as vast as a tiny island.

Then all I can think about for the rest of the time I'm seated on the drum is how to avoid falling in. And suddenly out of nowhere, I notice it. It's a tiny little scratch at first. And then it starts grow. I don't understand. How did this happen?

Before I get any answers, my own body gives in to the emptiness beneath. It feels like the set course of nature.

It takes a while for it to hit home: I'm living inside a drum now.

I don't want to accept it. I can still see the stuff I usually see when I'm living outside the drum, this can't be very different, can it? 

But it's a drum! your head shouts.It's dry and it's used to produce music. You can't possibly be living inside a hollow drum. It's no good that way. 

I decide on the good, bad and ugly now, Head. Not people. Not what everyone else decides something is.

But why are you so scared of living outside? 

I am afraid of getting hurt. 

Everybody gets hurt, haven't you got hurt before? 


What was it like?

Terrible. I thought I would never see the light of day again. 

And yet...

I have always had to readjust  myself after getting hurt. The newly hurt me is quite different from the old one, with a new coat of protection armor. It's just beginning to feel very heavy now Head. I need to shed: All of this. 

Very well then. You do realise what this means? You can't hear the music as acutely as you did from outside.

Fine that's a sacrifice I'm  ready to make.


Shut up and let me sleep already!

Should I wrap myself around you like a blanket? Wouldn't that be better than living inside a drum? 

You are always there. Even in the drum. Don't worry Head.

I'm not sure I want to live in there with you. 

Ah! so that's what this is about. You're just sad that you'll have to leave me soon. That's adorable little Head. Don't worry for me. I might even make my own music,from  inside.

 Something that only I can hear.

 Then Head leaves me. And I give in to slumber. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"How do you solve a problem like Maria"? Well, she didn't *have* a problem! I would sing a lot too, if I lived amidst such beauty.

I went to Jungfraujoch, which they claim is the highest railway station of Europe in nothing but a churidar and full sleeve warm balloon top kinda thing, and  a jacket. I wore thin stockings and  mildly covered shoes. 

Judging by altitude and temperature terms, you could say I was practically naked on the Swiss Alps. 

And it was so cold that  most of the pictures my mother took of me over there, came out like this: 

My take-the-damn-picture-already expression 
But by God, was it beautiful up there......

It was like being next to stuff you see in the movies. And then feeling a little helpless because no number of pictures you take can ever do the justice to the beauty you see through your own eyes.

But one thing was startlingly clear: 

That despite my teeth forming an automatic smile, because they couldn't help but chatter, and despite feeling practically like an ice sculpture myself...I still can't believe how lucky I am in seeing what I saw... 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Don't it always seem to go /That you don't know what you've got /Till it's gone"

And I am back to where I started today.

I feel like this vacation was the kind that leaves you gasping for frugality. The kind where you wonder what it might be like to starve instead of stuff myself with another plateful of Tiramisu. I have gained 3 Kgs in this trip and a strange kind of insight: that one must continue working and one must always focus on something happy after the work is done. That is living. (If you exclude the six young men who flashed their shiny bums at us on the Seine river cruise. Yeah.That happened. That's another kind of living)

With more than 799 pictures of the places and moments captured, it is hard to choose just one that has stayed and made a lasting impression. To be more honest, every one of them has been felt intensely and some lessons have been learned, new facts about self has been discovered. 

I had no idea I could guide a very perplexed aunt, and the ever doubting mother through the streets of Paris late in the night back to our hotel.I never realized I could keep so calm when boarding our plane at the correct time was at stake, and follow instructions well enough to make things work. I also learned that I hate shopping, even if the malls and such are very strategically placed and packed with things which I wouldn't ever find back home. 

I learnt that I love nature. And quiet places. 

Interlaken, Switzerland.

Also I can eat.A lot. 

This trip has been an eye-opener. A peek into how things might be if I work hard enough to get to that place where I could have all the things I want and need. 

Meeting people from different cultures opens your mind in a way you never thought possible. 

Take a picture of that guy, he's the one doing all the work! Says the guy covered -in- clay overalls. 

No we didn't follow "Ghost" protocol.

These are just  random people we met in the ceramic section of a castle in Ludwigsberg. But they were so passionate about their work. It was inspiring!

Single, ruminating cow. My mother took this picture after scrambling through slopes. 
So yeah, I feel like this cow today. Ruminating on all that I have been through for the past two weeks. I hope  to share more of my reflections here... some feedback would be super awesome!