Saturday, August 22, 2009

The First Day

Decorative lights. Sticker tape. Extension cords and multi-plugs. Switched off fans. Gamlas. Saffron aasans. Thermocol, pins and blow paint. Stained red hands and nails. Mother running around. Tall silver and golden samais. Seven and nine flame diyas. Ghee and cotton diyas. Liquid ghee. Raw ghee. Burnt ghee. Sparkling floors. Perfumed smoke. Aggarbattis. Ashes of aggarbattis. Flowers. Wet flowers. Fresh flowers. Orange. Yellow. Hibiscus. Rose petals. Wet rose petals. Tulsi. Durva. Garlands. Crumpled fresh green leaves. Burnt matchsticks. Mother's soft experienced hands. Long, difficult sanskrit words. My stammering voice. Panchamrut. Dahi. Water. Stained with kumkum. Camphor. Raw peculiar smell. Burning camphor. Black outline of its flame mixing wholeheartedly with the aggarbattis' white perfumed smoke. Bronze thalis, mugs, vessels. Mango leaves. Kalash. Coconut shavings. Raw coconut. Sweet water. Silver glasses with water and rose petals. Strewn rice grains. Gold plated wide aggarbatti stands. Apples. Kumkum stained sweet lemons. Raised saffron platforms. More durva. Murti. Sanshtaang namaskar. Burnt hair while holding aarti. Growling , hungry stomach. Kheer. Hot, sweet aromas. Paining shoulders on rotating aarti for long. Rainy weather. Loudspeakers. Sweet, sticky , kumkum stained hands. Open doors. People. Smiles. Blessings. The wait for lunch. Happy Ganeshutsav!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The other side

They say I am on the wrong side of the road. That I can't see the cars coming from behind and i may get hurt. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side on the train. If I have to get down at dadar i need to be on the other side. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side of 60. That I may have to go the extra mile to get placed. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I am not studying enough. That I ll have trouble later in my life. That I won't be successful enough to be satisfied. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I plan my life. That it is wrong to bound oneself to what he or she has to do and keep bothering oneself. That it is insignificant. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I am confused about things. That my confusion won't get me anywhere. And it will bother me as a habit for the rest of my life. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if worry about things. That no one has seen what the future holds for him. So there is no point in getting anxious about things you are not sure to be yours. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if i do anything anti-social. Even if it is the smallest of things. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I can't decide. That I over analyse things which makes me difficult to choose. And that choice is something that is not worth the thinking. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say i am on the wrong side if I underestimate myself. If I feel that I am not strong enough. That I have all what it takes to be the one I want in this world, but I just don't know it yet. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am wrong when I am silently diplomatic. That I should be straightforward. That I should say what I feel. I listen. And still keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side when I smile too less. Life is a gift , they say and that I have a better life than most people. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side when I think too much. That once I get rid of this habit,I ll be the happiest person in the world. I listen. And i keep quiet.

They say a lot of things. Most of it registers. Some of it doesn't. But none can be ignored. Why? Because they have said it.

They say a lot of things. About the wrong side. They say as if they know. What it is to be on the wrong side. To come to think of it, there is no wrong side. Its just the other side. Which they don't know. Or they don't want to know. Maybe because the front side guarantees a lot of good things. And the wrong side does not. May be they are just scared to explore. May be they want a simple normal life where you sit back in a recliner chair many years from now to think about how nice (read dull and monotonous) his your life was. May be that is a good thing. I don't know. Its just that it is not to be looked as right or wrong. Its just what is yours what is not yours.

They say a lot of things. Their saying does not affect me. It is a matter of choice. If I take it in, then it registers and I get affected. For example, suppose if some relative of yours passes away at 3 p.m. You get the news at 8 p.m. When you get the news, you are affected. That is not because of the relative dying. Because the person died at 3. If that was to make you unhappy you should have been unhappy at 3. But you were not. So there you had a choice of talking it in or just being yourself. And you unconsciously take the choice of being sad. You had another choice of being the same. Any ways, that was just an example.

They say a lot of things. They say I write long posts. May be I should listen to them and cut this one abruptly. Or maybe i just need therapy. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Subtle contact

He was on the ground. Face down, his nose buried deep in the damp mud. It smelled of crumpled grass, moist stones and fresh sweat. He lay there not sure if he should get up for spasms of pain were racing their way to his head from the epicenter of the injury, his knee. A deliberate planned tackle. A whistle was heard. He looked up, supporting his body on his palms and turned around. The sun was at his maximum, laughing at him over his shoulder and beating the heat upon his neck. He closed a hand around the knee and began to wipe the small, firm streaks of blood oozing out of the wound. I could have scored this one, he thought. He picturised himself just a moment ago going solo with a defender and the next moment he was down. The tackle was uncalled for and brutal. The culprit stood with his hands on his hips, with his body totally covering the referee's as he was sent off the field. A free kick. So close. He got up and stretched. The pain seemed to lesses but was present as a continual reminder. As the ball was placed, the coach looked on hopefully. Clifton was going to take it. The injured forward turned his head. He looked at Clifton and smiled. Clifton smiled back. They knew what they were going to do. This was their chance. He pulled is stockings up and tightened his laces. The stockings were looking discoloured with the blood around them. It did not matter. Now was the time. Now was the chance. As Clifton readied himself, he took his stance. No one would suspect him to do it. Only clifton knew as they had practised this for months. He saw Paneerwala his eyes wide in anticipation. He saw vinesh frantically trying to get away from the opposition defender. He smiled. As the whistle blew, he ran blindly towards the far post. The moment it left Clifton's foot everyone knew where it was going to go. It was flat and low and was racing to the place towards the far post. He ran his normal pace but felt as if the ball would somehow miss him. Maybe he was weakened by the fall or Clifton fired a little too much into it. He ran putting every ounce of energy there in him. And dived, the edge of his foot making contact with the ball. A small subtle contact. The ball went faster and higher than expected and hit the crossbar on the lower side, but went in. He didn't wait to see that. He was in a world of his own, racing away. Gone was the pain of the injury, the worry of the championship, the innumerable fouls, tackles and abuses of the game. He ran along with Clifton, jumping, celebrating as his other team mates gathered. They laughed effortlessly, like small children, their shirts soaked, but their eyes shining. The final whistle sounded as they ran over the edge of the stretch, spraying each other with water. The coach smiled and let them be. He came upto the coach and gave him a hug. The sweat and dirt didn't matter. Someone was proud today and it showed. Maybe this is what it feels like to be God, he thought. And closed his eyes as vinesh emptied another bottle of water on his head.

p.s.: I miss school days! (sob sob)!!