Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello People!

Yeah..I`m still around.
For now, I just had to say hello and that I miss reading all of you. Shall resurface in a little while.
All is fine.
In-laws are visiting.
Feeling quite the outlaw myself. A rebelliously vocal one at that!
Still grappling to come to terms with what is and shall be.
Hence the absence.
But I shall be back. As always, I shall be back and soon! :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

And Trouble..Yet Again!!

Mom`s purse got stolen from the train last night. She was traveling with my sister to Kolkata for a visa interview. She was traveling without Dad for the very first time in 36 years!
The loss wasnt substantial. The purse had an ICICI ATM card, a Kolkata sim card, Dad`s photograph and about Rs 2500 or so. After an hour`s anxious efforts to block the card, we finally managed to do so. The money in the bank was intact.
The F.I.R was lodged. And a (duplicate)return train ticket was issued. All was well. Atleast for the time being.
But I was angry. Angry as hell. We didnt need this. Really we didnt. One fuckin` trouble after another! Why us? Why us, all the fuckin` time???
*Apologies for swearing on a public forum!*

As I sat seething, a happy memory from the past crept its way back into my soul.

One friday afternoon,Ma took me and my sister to a fair to buy a pullover for Dad. With the two of us(all of 8 and 10) clinging onto her two arms, a spring in her steps and a sparkle on her lips, she set out. I remember roaming the entire stretch of the fair till Ma finally converged on a pullover that she found smart enough for Dad to wear! She bargained with the owner of the stall and settled for Rs 300. As she opened her bag to remove her purse, she realized it was gone! Someone had managed to slit the bag with a knife and remove the purse! She turned white, apologized to the owner and pulled us away from the stall. We quietly hopped onto a rickshaw and headed for Grandpa`s place where Dad was to pick us up on his way back from the Office.
I remember like it was yesterday.Ma broke down and cried the moment Dad returned.She had lost Dad`s hard-earned money... a few hundred bucks, she said. Dad simply laughed in reassurance and said its only money, just a few pieces of paper. It`ll come back.
I dont know if it did. But I do remember how Ma cheered up instantly. I remember that feeling of warmth that came from seeing them together this way..
When I heard Ma sobbing quietly on the phone, I wondered if she was waiting for Dad to return back, to reassure her that all was well. That it was only paper.
The loss wasnt really much, I told her. We`re lucky her passport wasnt in the purse! See, He`s up there looking over us, I said. We`ll be fine.
But it didnt feel fine. The whole thing left all three of us pretty shaken up. We could seriously do without this kind of trouble.
We spoke for a while about Dad. My sister and I cracked a few jokes about the visa interview. My aunt(one of the very few friends I have)talked of a few things from the times we were happy. And suddenly we were all ok. Once again, at ease.
We missed Dad. We missed the quiet assurance his mere presence gave us. But we are going to be fine,I thought.
We always have..

I sat alone in the den reminiscing. I wondered what I would do or say if Dad was to come back for a minute. I know he will not. Never ever.
But still..just in case.
And then there was a small thud. Perhaps in my mind.
Was it Dad?
Was it just my imagination? Or was it simply a tear landing softly on my soul...?

Sometimes its stifling. Nauseating. Like a huge weight on my chest. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I feel this pain will never end.
But I guess it does..
I hope it does someday..

Monday, June 15, 2009

And here I am again..

Thank you A, for tagging me on this. I appreciate the sensitivity of your thought that this tag will help me untangle and start writing once again. It has.
So here goes.

1) When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
"I was young when I left Home.."

"I was young when i left home
An' I been out a-ramblin' round
An' I never wrote a letter to my home.
Not a shirt on my back
Not a penny on my name
But I can't go home this a-way.."
- Bob Dylan (Who else?!!!)

2) How much cash do you have in your wallet right now?

About $30. And some $1 notes to tip the cool guy at the coffee shop.

3) What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Sore. Bore. Pour.
Does that say anything about my state of mind?!

4) Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
A telemarketer from Chase(who insists on pronouncing my name as 'Mankashi'!!)

5) What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Ohh I`ve never been a stickler for ringtones. Just the standard T-Mobile thingy on.
Though back home, I had 'You and I in this beautiful world Green grass, Blue Skies in this beautiful world!' - the Hutch ringtone. Isnt the song simply splendid?

6)What are you wearing right now?
Ohh the usual. Jeans and a red tee.
No interesting answers here, unless I re-write this post at midnight ;)

7)Do you label yourself?
I guess I do.
Sometimes as an insecure pessimist. At times as an angry pessimist. But Mostly as a depressed pessimist.

8) Name the brand of the shoes you currently own?

A pair of Nike sneakers. And a couple of non-branded sandals. That`s all.
(Its interesting to note that personal branded/non-branded shoes collection gets increasing mention in so many blogs. Is that a matter of pride, to own 250 pairs of shoes?? Just wondering..)
In the same breath, here`s a joke.
A fat woman goes to the beach on a bright Saturday morning. She looks at the other women in bikinis and scoffs. And then she scoffs some more.

Yeah, either you have a dashboard stomach to flaunt or you think bikinis are immodest! :)

9) Bright or Dark Room?

Bright kitchen. Dark bedroom.

10) What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
About A, who tagged me - I think she`s an awfully caring and sensitive person.

11) What does your watch look like?

I dont wear a watch.
Never wore one.
But now I have been carrying my Dad`s watch with me, which he wore till his last aching breath.

12) What were you doing at midnight last night?
Peering out of the guest room window, trying to figure out if its a racoon or just a rabbit scooting across the lawn!

13) What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
"The gym has a potty for god`s sake Mish!" - The G

14) What’s a word that you say a lot?
"Oh Shoot!" and "Aare Yaar!"

15)Who told you he/she loved you last?
The G.

16) Last furry thing you touched?
I`ve never touched anything furry.
Never intend to either!

19) Your favourite age so far
EIGHT. It was the year my Grampa bought me my first 'adult' bike. It was maroon, had two balancing wheels and curved handles, a black leather seat and a basket in front. And I was thrilled! The memory still makes me smile.

18) What was the last thing you said to someone?
Call me at lunch.

19) The last song you listened to?
"Mora Saiyaan Mose Bole na" - Fuzon.
Excellent song. A must hear(and hence the link!)

20) Where did you live in 1987?
Ranchi, India.
I have some pretty fond memories of the old house. Especially important is that of this huge well in the campus, that my mom tried so hard to warn us about.
"Dont go near the well. You`ll fall and I wont be able to pull you out", she`d chant religiously every evening when we moved out to play.
Cant help wondering if she knew I`d fall in anyway.

21) Are you jealous of anyone?
Not of anyone in particular. But sometimes, I do feel jealous of some women who have it all.
Parents. Children. And a job.

22) Is anyone jealous of you?

I dont think so. I dont have anything that anyone might want and not have.
Except for The G.

23) Name three things that you have on you at all times?
At all times eh?? Ahem!
Let me modify the qstn as three things I have at all times when I`m out of home. :)
Cell phone, wallet and keys.

24) What’s your favourite town/city?
It`ll have to be Pune, inspite of some pretty horrendous memories that I have tried in vain to bury deep inside.
And now of course, I`m beginning to fall in love with the Twin Cities here in the US.
This qstn reminds me of a post I did a long time back about roots. I dont really feel attached to any one particular place. Its always been the people around who`ve meant more to me.

25) When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
In the year of the Lord 2005, when I was posted at Poonch, J&K.
Never ever wrote a letter after that. Have religiously stuck to email.
Incidentally, going through Dad`s things last month, we found three letters that he had safely preserved over the years.
- One that my Grandpa had written to his sister, from Japan in 1944. He was posted there as a Major in the Indian National Army, fighting along with Subhash Chandra Bose in the Azad Hind Fauj, against the Britishers during World War 2!
- One that my great grandpa wrote to me on my first bday! :)
- And the third One that Dad had written to me when I was a year old and away at my Grandpa`s place with my mom.

Amongst the other things which Dad had treasured and safely kept were my parents wedding card and a family photograph of his parents and siblings.

26) Can you change the oil on a car?
(Does that say a thing about who I am?)

27) Your first love/big crush: What is the last thing you heard about him/her?
My first crush??! Havent the faintest clue! Was some guy from a neighboring school we`d met at an inter-school recitation competition. My closest pal and me, both fell for him at once!! (J, if you`re reading this, do you remember that Ojha Guy?? He joined DAV after that).
My first love..well last I heard, he had married his cousin`s girl friend! :)
Ah! And to think his Mom thought I was weird?!!!!

28) Does anything hurt on your body right now?

My eyes, from lack of sleep. Spent the night trying to tell apart a raccoon from a rabbit.(Oooh! First time home alone in three years and its getting a little too much to handle!).
And my heart, from an unreasonable,overwhelming urge to hold my Daddy close, just once more. Just for a minute. Just one last time.

29) What is your current desktop picture?
Of The little devil(my nephew) trapped inside a laundry basket!

30) Have you been burnt by love?
Burnt. Bruised. Broken.
But up and running all the same.
On second thoughts, who hasnt?!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Back in the US of A..

And I`m back, though not quite on track.
Thank you all, for remembering me in your prayers. I`m deeply overwhelmed by the surge of emails and comments, asking me to come back.
I am back. But somehow, it feels dry. Words abandon me. I know not what to write.
No one wants to hear sob stories of my life. No one wants to read sad stuff. And that`s all I have left now. Or so it seems.
It feels awkward in my own home. So quiet. So alone. Listening to my own voice for company. No horns blaring. No one shouting. No cows on the road. No water-logged drains. No jostling and shoving. No fighting to board a train.No children playing in the gutters. No wiping of sweaty foreheads. No cursing the weather. No smell of sweat. No Mainland China. Or the neighbourhood tea stall. No arguments over cups of tea. No homemade yogurt. No smell of fish. No walks in the rain. No candles burning. No smell of incense rising up in the air.
It feels strange. It feels distant.
But that`s not because my life has suddenly changed.
Just that it always feels this way to return back to a country I dont belong to, to people I dont belong to, to a place I have no right over, to a nation where I am a 'resident alien' reduced to a numerical.
Doesnt it always feel that way to return back from home?