Thursday, August 31, 2006


The river bounces along talking sweet murmurs and deeper down, escalating to a silence, inert and cold. I sit in the muddy banks, throwing stones into the water and watch them disappear clueless into the ashen grey, like a spine chilling mystery; sucked in by an astonishing power of absorption. Isn’t it a similar kind of gravity of the past that’s drawing me inside, to my inner layers that I have been desperately hiding away from?

I am not a woman who somebody would easily want for a wife. That was my husband’s last remark, when he was my husband.
“Jane, you are just not happening! Look at you. Now, why don’t you pump some life into your being?”

Now that I think of it, this was never how things began between us. Rosy, picturesque, dainty, and smooth – made for each other, we had imagined. But what we reaped in the end was disdain, hatred, repulsion, tough luck. All those happy moments were ephemeral that evaporated without a trace, to nothingness.

“I don’t for the life of me understand what you want,” I had screamed one day. “Walk around with dipping necklines, revealing thighs, party all time and smoke cigarettes offensively into faces? Is that what life is to you?”

“Come on Jane,” he roared, “That isn’t everything. But that, is also life. Is seclusion, quiet and mute arrogance all that there is in life for you?”

Petty fights weren’t real reasons why we separated. They were trivial, invented, to force a separation. We forced flaws, sharp divisions of attitude to merely get away. We were getting unbearable to each other, so I thought. I had all these days, tried running away from that one truth: What forced us to invent reasons? Was I so incapable of sustaining a relationship? Was I the reason for him to bring up reasons?

These have been days of emotional curfew. I wouldn’t cross the disturbing line, after which I would break down. “Why should I waste my tears for a heartless man?” I used to reason, but the reality was that I was running away from identifying myself, as possibly the core of the entire fault.

Ah, the travails of a wandering mind! I struggle to place the entire relationship and the events associated with it, under a surveillance system – my conscience. Where had it been all these days? Had I just snubbed it all those times when it rose before me to warn me of a possible breakdown?

“Let’s give ourselves some more time,” he had suggested and I had flatly refused to even lend an ear. What could you expect out of a heart that was fuming red with rage and obscene hatred?

“Don’t try to patch up things, Sam. I am tired of showing up this façade of loving you and living happily with you.You hate me, accept it and get done with me!” I had yelled.

“Jane, you are not a woman that someone would easily want to have for a wife,” he had shouted and walked out of the house. And with that he drew the final between us. Rather, it was I who forced him to face the severity of a separation.

Then, I had thought heavily about not compromising on my individuality. Why should I party and mix, when I don’t have the inclination to do it? Why should I stop doing what I love to do, when he doesn’t like it? Even the disappointment on his face wasn’t remedy to the selfishness that I was cultivating inside me. I could have at least tried out that day, couldn’t I? I could have at least made an attempt to set it all right. Give it some space, like he had said. Like I have today; I have worn the skirt that he so wanted me to wear then.

My love for him seems to have been locked away in unfathomable depths and I had let silly things come in between us only to realize that the love choked and died a silent death inside me, inside him, that the damage became irreparable. God damn, my murky, obscure attitude!

The sun has turned a dense ball of orange, and the sky a backdrop of shimmering gold. The water suddenly appears dyed orange, a flowing satin of orange. Time to leave, I decide and walk back, unmindful of the soggy mud. I turn and see that I have left a track of my footprints. These, I think, will be washed out in moments. I fervently hope that the ironies of life will brush aside too. Realization in itself is a big thing and it has begun today. I know I will learn to live, someday.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where I talk about the real ‘me’

I realise I have talked very little about myself in the last few weeks (or has it been months?). Hence, I have decided to put my stories, poems and all those other stuff aside for a while and talk a little about what’s been happening with me. An extemporaneous effort, hopefully without sounding like a rigmarole!

Nothing very important but nothing unimportant either. I was surprised by a strange phenomenon. Suddenly quite a few people that I know have asked me questions (through Orkut and phone calls) in their own styles, but with an underlying theme that could be framed thus: “How has married life been treating you?” and I got back to them saying more or less, “Yeah, splendid”. And it all happened in a week, when one of the dates coincided with the completion of six months of our married life.

I have to admit I have learnt a lot in these six months. Reflective as it may seem and sound, living with a partner alters one’s lifestyle from what it was when one remained single. It’s so much fun sharing one’s joys, sorrows and fears with a special person where adjustments, compromises made with the right temperament contributes in a big way to a harmonious life together.

There is a thin line that runs between what you would want to do and what your hubby desires and I think if one is smart enough, she should be able to strike the right balance between the two. Like, eating upma, for instance ;). I have hated the very prospect of eating that silly dish for years and I would run miles from the kitchen when I got a hint of it being prepared by my mother. But I cook the same thing for him, these days. And the best (or worst?) thing is: I eat it as well. But halfway through, seeing me struggle, he would kindly ask me to drop the idea. :D. Well, that’s fun. But, the fact is, it could be extrapolated to larger issues that tend to crop up in people’s lives together.

Oh, we have been doing tremendous shopping at Shoppers Stop. Logically speaking, we shouldn’t be talking about clothes for couple of months to come. Nevertheless, I know, we will and may be even go a step further to redo our wardrobes. :D.

Did I miss out “Vettayadu Vilayaadu” in between all this? :O. Oops, I loved the movie, the thrill, the immense change that it brings to the kollywood world which is otherwise increasingly being loaded with silly, soapy, sentimental scripts! Kamal Haasan dons the role of a smart cop and man, he really is, after all those ‘in between humour based movies’ of his. Jyothika does a subdued role and breezes through the movie. But the real eye catcher of the film is the characterization of the villainous men. The Diro-man really makes you hate them. Definitely worth a watch, if you are the sorts who can tolerate a little bit of gruesome scenes and violence.

Lord Ganesha alias Vinayaka better be happy :p. We celebrated his day in all its splendour and made his favourite kozhakattais, sundal, vadai, idlis, payasam and a full course meal! I don’t know whether He really ate it all and felt happy but our friends surely did. My friend was home within an hour of me telling him we made kozhakattais. Hey, you better treat me someday for this!

What’s more? I am now happily listening to a beautiful playlist on winamp and typing this away. But caution soon warms up the insides of this not so bright head. No more of these stretched out, relaxed happy days. No more of those afternoons when hubby comes home for lunch. No more of leisurely book reading, for I report for work (again, after a break of eight months) in exactly one week!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Love nuggets

For all the four years that I had known him, we spoke most when our eyes locked. But I couldn’t decipher its implications. Where was all this heading to? What did it mean when I saw a sparkle in his eyes? Was it love or an imagined, self conceived attraction? It could be love, I guessed, for, the pristine beauty of the feeling meant that there was indeed something special.

But, we weren’t talking. Don’t ask me why. I simply don’t know. Sometimes, the language of silence is far too soothing than any spoken word. We didn’t want to confess something we innately knew. That’s stereotypical, archaic, clichéd. The belief that he loved me, could sustain a parade of dreams for all those years and that was exceptionally sufficient to keep my soul happy.

Someday, I would get a sign, a positive one at that, and I would know the answer, I believed. The sign finally did come, when his eyes beckoned me to his arms, on a beautiful night.

One glance my way and I blushed like those docile touch-me-nots that shrink unto themselves at the touch of a finger. It was a moment pregnant with the joys of newly found love – not a word exchanged, yet it felt like I had known him for eons.

The instant was a perfect confluence of a woman’s femininity, fragility, fluidity – that the warmth of his gaze enveloped my feminine wraps. I surrendered; I melted away like drifting ice. Did he even know about it?

Rishi and I had shared wonderful moments in the three years we spent together at college. It’s hard to find a true friend, someone who can sense your mood, act accordingly, lend a shoulder to lean on and cry, ruffle your hair and let your tears have a beautiful meaning.

Rishi was all that to me, but I was always left groping with a sense of doubt – Why should he do it all for me, a girl who had nothing extraordinary about herself?

I loved taking long walks with him round the campus. This won’t last forever, I told him one day. Isn’t it unkind of fate that all good things had to come to an end? Who said this would end, he asked. How could it end, if we decided to go together forever? I stood still, feeling dizzy and as I can recollect, feeling extremely confused. What ever do you mean? Why me, Rishi? There are so many pretty and interesting women, who dote on you. Why me?

Because you are not extraordinary, he told me. Because I adore the sweet child in you who cries for a Mills n Boon story, who smacks her lips after a dose of ice cream and who without hesitation, truly hugs me and sobs for a badly done test. You are simple and hence, truly beautiful, he said and pressed his lips on my cheek leaving a solemn and tender kiss, for the first time ever.

“You are the music of my life, Maya. Won’t you be my girl?”

Sanjay couldn’t understand what went wrong. Veena’s send off hadn’t been very pleasant in the morning.
“Good bye, honey,” he had said, while leaving for office and was met with cold silence in return.
“What could be wrong?” he wondered all day long.

Back from work in the evening, he tried the hug and pacify formula. It always had fetched good results. But that day it had a different effect. Veena thrust a cup of his favourite badam kheer into his hands and was speaking to herself.

“I am a fool,” she said, “a silly wife who does all that her husband likes and he, he doesn’t care to even speak to her! All he can do is to waste away the morning, talking to a female colleague who he finds much more interesting than his own wife!”

“Ahh, pangs of jealousy. Now, I know!” he thought and grabbed a bunch of roses from the vase, knelt down and said out loud,
“Veena, my true love, come hug me now, right away!” and ran around her following her all over the house.
“I should tell my mom that I have married a monkey,” she said.
“Really, but it so happens that the monkey’s wife is curiously jealous!”
“Nobody is jealous, here, now go away!”
“Ah really, then somebody is trying to suppress a smile, isn’t it? Now come on, don’t lie!”
“Get lost, you meanie!”

“No, no way,” he laughed, and seized her by her waist, pulling her close to him.
“You silly, stupid, leave me now, I hate you, I hate you, I hate you, I hate to hate you, you bum!”

They had been married for over fifty years now. But things were slowly moving away from what it used to be. Lakshmi was distancing herself from their beautiful past, quite without her knowledge. Swaminathan was trying his best to pull her out of the deadly abyss she was plunging into. Her memories were falling prey to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Do you remember this painting?” he asked her one day, pointing at one. She looked at it and drew a blank look. “You gifted me that on our 25th wedding anniversary!” How could he hold her back, she, the essence of all that life had been to him in the last 50 years? A big part of him was nearing annihilation. What was he to do?

One of those nights, he sat, massaging her foot and telling her how the blue in her eyes still remained beautiful, even after so many years. He told her how the warmth of her grasp still communicated a thread of togetherness even that day. He told her, how he missed her voice, their early morning talks sitting in the balcony. He told her of how they had shied away during their first night and how he carried her all over the house, when she confessed her motherhood to him. He told her how he still loved her silver grey curls and her small feet.

He took a deep breath and looked at her face. He saw a tear slipping down her cheek and rushed to hold it in his palm. He believed she heard him.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

அவளது கவிதை

தித்திக்கும் இசைக்கும்,
கொஞ்சும் மழலைக்கும்,
நெஞ்சை நெகிழ வைக்கும்
தமிழுக்கும் நடுவே,
உன் இதழின் மௌனம்

ஒரு திகட்டாத புதுக் கவிதை..