Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 7

The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind.
The answer is blowing in the wind..

People, I wonder if anyone`s noticed. I havent written a single decent post in a long time. Yes, I have been caught up in the run of things, some I never thought was possible. But that has nothing to do with my silence. I sit religiously everyday with the blogger page opened. I type, read back and delete. Bear with me until I find my voice back again. Until then, I will stick to these picture posts. And I hope you will enjoy them as much as I enjoy doing them! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 6

Little things. Magic things...
( My three year old nephew! A 'MUST-CLICK-FOR-ENLARGED-VIEW', THIS ONE!!)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 5 (Tulips at home!)

From this..

To This...!!

A Journey called Life...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Those were the days, my friend..

Life, they say, is a strange place. Shuffling along, alone and a little weary, I came to a crossroad and there he was, walking towards me one August afternoon. Time stood still just for a moment as I found myself hurtling down an endless tunnel. And I knew that very instant that the falling would be slow, dark and abiding.
S was our neighbor`s son, all of 22, who was visiting home for summer and who would soon be my Maths tutor. He happened when I was all of 15, had braces on my teeth and sparkling dreams in my eyes. High school board exams were around the corner and Ma decided she seriously had enough with my poor grades. Much to her relief, S`s mom came to her rescue.
"Of course he can help her," she squeaked with obvious pride, " He`s in engineering school now. What`s high school level Maths for him!" I protested animatedly just to throw Ma off track, all the while reveling in the warmth of the distant possibilities my mind had already conjured up.
Fast forward to the first lesson that was to begin in 10 minutes and I was already there in the community room of our apartment complex in eager anticipation. Wonder of wonders, so was he! For a while, not knowing what to do, I sat there absentmindedly shredding a tissue into flakes that settled on my black school bag. Soon it was time to begin. I hurriedly shoved my bag aside and tried hard to focus on the Maths textbook, all the time trying to avert my eyes as I sat across him in that room. The rest of the afternoon is a big blur. All that I remember from that afternoon is the way his lips curled at the corners as he spoke. And how startled I was at how tall he seemed from such close quarters. That, and how from certain angles and in certain lights, he resembled his crazy mother! But I brushed those thoughts aside.
" You did great!" he said finally.
I flashed him what I hoped was an alluring smile.
"I`ll see you on Tuesday. 4 o clock."
"You will?" I grunted, taken aback by my own display of immense dimwittedness..
"Hmm..well, see you around then." And he was gone. A wave of relief washed over me as I saw him quickly disappear. It was slowly getting difficult to breathe.
And so it went on. Glorious days of waiting for those Maths lessons. And two hours into them, two long hours in which I flitted from one textbook to the next, my attempts at cheery banter so edgy and stiff that at moments I felt almost foolish. There were days when we sipped on chilled cola drinks in plastic cups and let the conversation drift to topics outside our permitted domain. Graduate school life. His friends and mine. Family ties and how he was grappling with the expectations thrust upon him by demanding parents. And as we spoke, I watched his eyes glued to the skin of my hands in a long, fixed stare and I remember quickly moving my eyes to the bubbles of the drink rushing madly to the rim of the plastic cup. Oh I was in love. I was so in love! Now is the time I should speak up,I remember thinking. Instead, I found myself staring at an invisible screen separating us, the kind that glided smoothly into place whenever I approached anything intimate.
I reckoned I was going through a second childhood or maybe catching up on all the youthful rebellion in the name of love(!!) that I never had, given that mine was an all girls` school. I gave it some thought before I realized that it was true. I was showing all the classic symptoms. I put unnatural colors in my hair (much to Ma`s consternation!). I spent hours in the bathroom getting dressed! I was going out a lot in the hope of catching a much coveted glance and coming back late, reeking of forbidden desires. I had ever-growing phases in the day when I forgot that the high school board exams were near. I danced longer and wilder than anyone else in the community dinner hosted by all the residents of our apartment complex, until Ma dragged me away with firm arms and a steely look that threatened to tear me apart, while all others quickly moved aside, appalled. Yes, I was in love.
"This cant go on much longer," he said to me one day and I almost dropped the biscuit I was chewing on. I calmly dusted off the biscuit, soaked it in the tea cup and watched half of it dissolve to the bottom in lumps. I pretended this had been my plan all along and sipped the tea (which now had biscuit scum floating on the surface) with as dignified a look as I could muster. Then I coughed loudly for about 10 seconds and only then did I say, "Pardon?" He let it go and we chatted about the dinner he was attending that weekend with some old friends. I bit my lip so hard that I may have left a scar, but I did not ask for further clarification. I wanted it that way. That was where I wanted to be, pregnant with possibilities, full of hope. Nothing was defined between us. Nothing was overstated. By some tacit understanding, we were just the two of us and I felt safe that way.
Up until then, that room with its grimy blinds, worn out leather chairs and chipped off wall paint was the most perfect place to be. Every time I walked into it and shut the door behind me, I imagined that all around me the hands on the clocks stopped, the sand in hourglasses halted mid-trickle, the universe skidded to a halt - a frozen world outside and in here, the two of us. Every day I knew there was one less day of us together. Once the tests were over, there would be no reason for me to come here again. The waiting would be over. A new life awaited.
But God, I was besotted.
Even now when I get a flashback to those days, I smell the familiar smell of those blinds and the leather chairs and I`m back there, 15 again, stupid, skinny and in love. My spine springs up, I feel layers of dimpled flesh peel off my being, my cheekbones come back alive and I find myself running down the road towards him, like there is no tomorrow. But there always is. There was.
Three years back when I was visiting home, happily married to The G and the past indiscretions all forgotten, I bumped into him again. As we exchanged pleasantries and polite introductions to our better halves, I smiled to myself. He looked more and more like his mother and as I shared a knowing smile with someone who had held my heart for a while, I couldn't help sending a quiet prayer of thanks to the Heavens up above. The old times were good times, I said. But Thank You God, for now is so much better. And then I turned back and walked away.

This is my entry for this week`s Blog Adda Contest in collaboration with Pringoo.
Within you I lose myself...

Within you I lose myself...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 4

Shamu, The Killer Whale performing at Sea World, San Diego!
(please click on it for a better view!)
He was Born Free..

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Good of Small things..

I have always been very excited about celebrating birthdays. Mostly my own. I love feeling special. I love the fact that one day of the year is just to celebrate me, my very being :) When I was a kid, I never really had big birthday parties with a theme and a designer cake and lots of friends over. Mine were mostly simple affairs, with Mom baking a simple cake and a lavish dinner, a few balloons and the neighborhood kids and cousins. But I always attended some of my classmates` birthday parties. Most were lavish affairs that I secretly wished I could host. And it was pretty mortifying, not be invited to someone`s party, especially when your best friend was! In the later years of school, I remember 'going out' for lunch with friends. Mom would give me money to pay the check and I remember feeling so important! But nothing could quell the secret longing for a swanky birthday bash(the kind I never had!). And so over the years as I grew up, celebrating birthdays became more and more of a child-like obsession (like the 8 year old ones I once had and never grew out of!)!
This year I had the perfect birthday. I woke up to a bright morning and a flood of emails and birthday messages! From friends, from people I was not in touch with, from people I`ve never met too! I cannot explain why this was so moving, but it was! And one of the high points of the day was a surprise card by Sagarika, which completely blew my mind off (in the nicest way possible!). I couldnt imagine doing the same - making special efforts for someone I hardly know, just to make the other person`s day a little brighter. I am so touched by this gesture and very, very humbled too! It brought back several fond memories.
My best friend since school always took special care to prepare birthday cards for me. She once gifted me an assorted collection of all our favorite songs(including our all time favorite 'That`s what friends are for'! Check this out, J!), having made special efforts to look around for the songs and record them herself! I have cherished all those cards and much more over the years.
Which is what set me thinking.
I dont remember a single thing I may have gifted or done, not a single gesture that someone might have cherished over the years. But then, I think about all the times when I`ve just been around, heard someone out, cried together, whined and complained or simply laughed together. And I wonder if that is ever enough. I wonder, because sometimes it isnt with me. Sometimes I need to be pampered, made to be felt special just because. And I`m not talking of gifts that one can buy by throwing money at them. Expensive jewelery or clothes or perfumes or what have you! I`m not even talking of everyday things like waking up 10 minutes early to pack a fancy lunch for the kids (though there is something fascinating about the immense love hidden behind such diurnal monotony too). I`m simply talking of simple heartfelt gestures which show that you care and how! A thank you note. A hand-made card. Flowers. A surprise dessert date after dinner. An assorted collection of favorite songs. Surprise concert tickets. You know, little things like that, which touch a single chord and the notes resound forever..
I realize that I have truly never done anything like that for anybody! And so I step back, alarmed! Am I always taking and never giving? And more importantly, is the 'Art of Giving' something that one has to cultivate or does it come naturally to people(and sometimes not at all to others!)? Here`s the time to pause and think. Have you ever made an extra effort to show someone you care? Have you ever surprised anyone with a thoughtful gift??

And now for the cards I was talking about.
This one is by Sagarika : Album covers of The Gods(Pink Floyd!). I especially love the bday cake with my name on it!

And this one is a collection of old bday cards especially made for me! (This one`s for you, J!). Please click on the individual snippets in the collage for a better view.
Click to play this Smilebox collage: Piper`s Bday cards!
Sometimes, I see magic in little things.. Do you?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 3

Winged Wonders.. (Please click for a better view!)

Spotted: Blue Damselflies!