It’s either LKG or UKG. I can’t tell the two years apart in my barrel of fragmented memories. Ironed-white shirts and muleta-red skirts; the autorickshaw driver lifts us up and gently drives us into the spaces in between the blue seat’s torn edges and the ashy knees that are already in front of them as if we are fluid lego pieces. Brown arms with half a dozen holy threads and the scent of Cuticura layered over that of the sambars and rasams in metal tiffins that dangle from one hand while the other balances water bottles hanging around feeble necks- the driver must be good at tetris. When the auto reaches the school gates, a miss in a cotton sari runs up to our side. Dots of sweat decorate the arm that reaches out to grab me. At Assembly, as we claim all those around us – those we intend to steal chocolate from, copy off of, gossip about, play with and intentionally not play with, unintentionally forget about, learn from and about, grow up with and leave behind – as brothers and sisters, simply by virtue of the label on our application-pending passports, I feel the sweat on my forehead running down the sides of my face. Water and sodium, urea and fear; the little fingers on my non-pledging left hand restlessly pound my thigh. Today, I might have to read it aloud. The fear manifests in tears that, for now, are not marked by mascara streaks. Continue reading “On Impossibilities.”
[for a boy, a man, a society, a god.]
Continue reading “Acrylic on Canvas.”
I was six years old and Papa’s Bullet was the coolest thing in the world. The Bullet was red and its engine roared when I sat on it. My dad’s village, which was always one of my favorite places to visit, was known for its hills and rubber trees. The ride up the hill was not particularly fun but as any native would know, every up has an associated down. And unlike in life, here, the ride down would always be the most fun! The bike would change its sound from a roar to a loud hum and the wind would push my face into my dad. I could feel the edge of his helmet on my head. Continue reading “The Butterfly In My Throat.”
..aren’t we, mere mortals, fully helpless?
How do I study when the World outside is performing Her masterpiece? The wind is singing her beautiful song, an old melody that I’ve learnt by heart; much more brilliant than Rahman and Dvořák (yes, they surely belong in the same sentence). The trees and the grasses perform a dance of their own. Opening the window next to this table I sit at is like encountering a whole another world.
One in which there is a porch with three white chairs, made of a kind of straw. Continue reading “When the Heavens Distract..”
It began with that circle of teachers outside the mess hall. As a Malayalee in an Ooty school, I had the bad luck privilege to eavesdrop on the school’s hot gossip mangled in my mother tongue due to the excessive amounts of Keralite teachers and staff. Continue reading “My Fair Stealer”
Once upon a time, a little girl would take long walks with her Appachen in this little town called Tiruvalla, where people spoke this crazed-out language called Malayalam and heat was actually hot. And on the way (to nowhere in particular), they’d stop at this little tiny store that sold random yet necessary things (sambranis, bar soaps, chewing gum & neelam). And this little girl would sit on top of the counter and drink a fizzy carbonated drink called Thums Up while her Appachen and the storekeeper discussed the INC (kaipathi!), CPI (‘M’ may or may not be added) and white-white kerala politics (Munshi and Asianet News at 7!).
And then, somewhere in between, the little girl grew out of that adjective and forgot the ease in language, the strength of the heat, the name of that shopkeeper and of course, the taste of Thums Up.
Then, somewhere further down, asian supermarkets came into the picture and at least one of the aforementioned was turned right. True loves reunited ♥
In the reflection of that dirty glass bottle remains everything that truly matters.
“What we remember from childhood we remember forever – permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.”