Saturday, February 28, 2015

To Do List

Adopt a plant, name it Hope

Adopt a dog, name her Wifi

Have tea and red velvet cake with my demons

Learn pottery, basket weaving and letting go

Sleep in an open field

Get swallows in flight tattooed on my wrist

Paint a clown of my grudge

Learn a new language

Write poetry in it

Knit sweaters for pups

Sing my dog to sleep

Wear rainbow socks

Learn puppeteering

Hug a Panda

Make a sand castle with lights

Teach a spider to calm down

Make a new word

See the Northern Lights

Go on a solitary trip

Change the world a bit. For better

Bake twenty types of cakes

Find a perfect cherry blossom

Sit and cry beneath it, then laugh

Write a self help book. Read it.

Drape a white sheet and play ghost.

Counsel a ghost

Get two unicorns married

Become godmother to their kid

Teach a banana how to laugh

Sing at a rock concert. Scare everyone away.

Rescue animals

Rescue myself

Have coffee with the Moon

Go for a long walk with a Buddhist monk

Make a snow woman

Design a book cover

Make carrot pickle

Cheer up the bamboo plant

Flirt with a Deodar


Collapse. Rebuild.

Forgive. Forget. Remember

Add to the List

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The letter I did not send.

Dearest you who never listens to anyone,

I have never really figured out how to write letters. But I have wanted to write to you for a long time. There has always been more silence between us than words. That I believe is because we haven't felt their need. But sometimes I feel that I should talk to you more. That we should have long conversations. But when I imagine it, you are always sitting silently on the ancestral cradling cane chair, your eyes smiling at me, listening to my rant like you did in yesteryears. The last time we met, you didn't say much either. Except that you missed me and that the place was untidy and that you were surprised at how remarkably small feet I have for my height. I didn't say anything at all. I wondered if you thought that I was growing up to be a shy young woman or that I didn't feel the same about you. I have never known what to say or do when overwhelmed. You were but a shadow of the man in whose lap I had spent my childhood. The only thing that hadn't changed about you was the love in your eyes and the warmth in your smile.

I don't know how to explain that moment. To tell you how was it like to see you there, standing before me. To hear your voice, still the same shade of lavender. To look at you smiling at me..just the same. Like it was just yesterday when you and I would sit together for hours and I'd tell you jungle stories, when your shoulders were my throne, when you were Cowji, when Chawanprash used to be dismissed as Cat's poo, when teddies and toys used to be stuffed in the cupboards and still more kept coming, when you would touch the prasad to my forehead and put it in my mouth like I was a baby bird. When your Ranibeti was the proudest person in the world because she had you. What words would ever be so capable that I could sew them together to say something that would even come close to describing what went through my heart that day.

You sound weak on the phone these days. And you tell me you are keeping well. Are daughters to be lied to like this? Why do even try? You are so terrible at lying. What does your God have to say about this. Does he approve? And pray tell me what is his grand design? I don't understand, never have, never will. But you do, Your smile tells me you do. Your serenity, calmness, your abandon tells me you do. Do you know how scared I am? That I am the same little girl to whom you meant the world? That I still cry every time I listen to your voice on the phone. That your messages light up my soul. That my heart brims with pride when you still call me Ranibeti. That I howled for hours when Pa told me about the tear that slipped through when you told him how much you love me.

What do I tell you to make you realize that your presence in my life is something I can't imagine myself without. Do you even know how thoroughly spoilt and obstinate you are. Do you know how much agony that causes me? It makes me resent the God to whose will you have surrendered to so willingly. You don't even want to fight. Do you realize it makes me doubt your love for me. Don't do this to your daughter. I can't call you and say this because you are still as adept at emotional manipulation as you always were and you'll cut me short. I shouldn't be powerless over you if you love me as much you seem to. Your God's will shouldn't prevail over my love. There is too much you have to do. You can't possibly put it aside and go about being stoic. You can't keep doing this to everyone who loves you. You don't have the right to do it. Nor does your God.
It has been six years since you left us. Here is the letter I wrote to you but did not send. For what fear I don't even remember. Here is the echo of the last words you said to me. That God willing we would meet soon. Here is the regret, the infernal regret that I decided to keep my visit to you a surprise. Here is the scar, of the day when you left me, a week before I was to come to you. Here is that haunting vision of your empty room. Here is the void in my heart, the vacuum where no sounds are heard. Here is the locked door, the key to which you took with you. Here are the parched dreams, where I would make you proud, where you would do my kanyadan, where you would name my first born. Here are the memories of you, strewn all over my sky, dissolved in the waters that call themselves my tears. Here is the wound that will never heal. And here I am... cursed to live with all of this and without you.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Random Rantings on a February Night

Often she would sleep with her fists clenched. Like her sweaty palms were holding the pieces of her broken song. Then the fears would come, crawling along her spine, singing in chorus. That was why she was scared to walk into that void between consciousness and slumber. For some, it was just a moment. For her it was a vast chasm of chaos. A chaos that engulfed her and pulled every strand of her consciousness until she bled white. Sometimes the same nightmare would continue itself, night after night. Like a book you couldn't bear to read, but couldn't put down either. Sometimes, there were stories, incredible stories. A village of widows in China, a train robbery, a dying woman asking her to keep the bangles for her daughter, a stampede. They'd be vivid visions, coherent and frighteningly real. 

Some days she felt like she was sitting under a murdered tree in a desert, picking splinters from her soul. She would scrape her wounds for she could not bear the touch of them. They'd bleed and bleed and then make way for scars. She was covered in them now. Memoirs of the compulsive warrior, of the decay. 

She wanted to lie in an open meadow, just after it had rained. The grass beneath her would be wet and cool. The air would smell of redemption. She would lie there on her back, facing the tired sky. She would lie there until everything would fade into oblivion. 

But she found herself sitting in this burning moor. Next to her prayers, now scattered in unmarked graves. She wished they would find some peace but then, not everything gives up the way she does. Even her own creations. She had to slay their grieving hungry ghosts. Longing to prey upon the morsels of her hope. Oh how she wished they would give up. 

She was on the shore that night when the thirst overwhelmed her. The fool that she was, she drank from the ocean. Now she sits there in agony. Tongue bruised from the salt of the sea. Then the moon came and breathed against the waters, gently nudging them bathe her
roughened feet. She smiled at his endeavor. She was his beloved loony wife. The cause of his curse. She was the reason he would wane, and yet he loved her more every night. She hoped he knew that she wanes with him. That lovers carry every curse together.