Tag Archives: days to cherish

Peek-a-boo!

A little boy
bundled up in his layered,
light-blue, balloon jacket
leans against the navy brick wall.
Legs apart, arms stretched,
leaning backwards,
his face turned upwards.

The sun peeks out,
from the bleached clouds.
He laughs aloud, runs towards
the bright sunlight and squeals
“caught you!”

And to humour the tyke,
the sun dances into
the nearby clouds.
And when it peeks out
after a while
the boy laughs,
runs forward – once again.

In that moment,
I swear that the sun
twinkled just a bit brighter.
The wind blew with a whoosh
joining in in laughter.

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Filed under Childhood, Inspired, Life at University, The world around me

Addiction

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We meet everyday
for coffee
even though you
can barely stomach
the taste of  it.
For years,
of our friendship,
I didn’t know better
and thought you simply
did not prefer it.
Even now, when we meet,
I have a cup
and so do you.
I’m addicted…
as are you.

 

Photo courtesy Anamika

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Filed under Introspective, Poetry, Reminiscing, The world around me

Fireworks

Red streaked sky, water rushing by…
A kerosene lamp illuminates
the boat’s inside.

A soft, lingering kiss
and fireworks light up the sky.

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Filed under Poetry, Reminiscing, The world around me

Unafraid

Thunder,
lightning
and
the path ahead
is
empty,
frightening.

Outside the window –
darkness
dominates the sky.

You tense
slightly
just as the sun
bids
a final goodbye.

No person,
no house
for miles around.

No gps ,
no network,
any second now
you’ll start to worry
and be filled with doubt.

No way towards
the highway
we’re all but lost.

Thunderstorms,
in the middle
of
nowhere
are
one of my
worst nightmares.

And yet, I’m unafraid.

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Filed under Breaking free, Poetry, The world around me

Nostalgia

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I remember
huddling over the table
speaking softly;
offering you coffee,
and your fleeting touch
on my straying strands
of hair that escaped
into my eye.

I remember
you ordering a cookie
and crumbling it up
saving me a big piece
while I ate my sub
slowly…haltingly.

I remember
wanting muri,
and dangling my feet
at the edge of the lake;
feeling alone
in a crowd
and you whispering
the shapes of floating clouds.

I remember
all our times
and everything
that has changed.

I remember…

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Filed under Introspective, klash, Poetry, Reminiscing, Uncategorized

Why School Means The World To Me

On wednesday, I’d gone back to school due to work. I met a few of my old teachers and it sent me on a spiral. I realized that for all the stories on this blog, a very prominent one was missing. That of me. How I came about to be. I’m going to start putting out my experiences as a pre-teen. And this is just a very raw, completely undedited start to it.

I’m not even sure I’ll edit any of it. I still don’t have the slight detachment needed.

Word Count: 1200.

 

I still remember my first few days in school vividly. I’d shifted from the hustle and bustle that was Calcutta to a laid-back place like Jaipur. At the age of 12, I’d seen the insides of more hospitals than I cared to count and I’d spent less time with my mother than with every other member of my household. I hadn’t been fond of communicating. I always talked nineteen to the dozen but, I never communicated my needs, wants or fears. I’d learnt to accept that mum and dad needed to take care of my ailing brother and that being a baby about it wasn’t an option.

My parents loved me dearly. In hindsight, I can now understand their pain in having to leave me with my grnadparents and aunts because their lives revolved around hospitals. But back then, I wasn’t so understanding. I wasn’t very accommodating either. In my eyes, they’d left me coz I wasn’t important enough. And now, for their personal reasons, they were uprooting me. As a result, I didn’t want anything to do here. I didn’t want to go to school or even try to be nice.

My first few days in school were intimidating. I’d joined mid-session and friendships had already been formed. I was the new girl from out of town with a strongly accented Hindi and really fluent English. I was the girl who couldn’t fathom the joys in visiting historical places every weekend. I was the girl with the strong opinions or the one who already knew most of the syllabus, coz she’d studied it last year. And pre-teen years, in an elitist school in a tradition rich city, can be harsh.

Back at the beginning of the new millenium, the city had very few children specific places. We didn’t have good eateries offering multi-cuisine food at all. I know Indo-Chinese is a different cuisine but Jaipur had its highly ketchup-ed and lemon juice version. From a city where we had computer classes and activity outlets at every corner, I had been shifted to a city where all I could see was tradition. Books became my solace. And yet, it was impossible to source good books.

At that point in time, I didn’t think my life was going to get better. I didn’t think I would ever learn to like any aspect of this city. But then, I went to school. I did make friends, but it wasn’t easy. It took my friends a long time to figure me out but, I’m glad they did. We’re still going strong so…I’m going to hazard a guess and say that we did good. But even before I made friends, I found loving, caring, kindred spirits.

If I’d met just one teacher who touched my life and made it bearable, I’d have a very short story. And my life wouldn’t be what it is. But I didn’t meet just one. I didn’t meet just two either. I met a hoard of them. Somehow, in that expansive school with a million students and unending classrooms, I found people willing to look into me.

I often found my librarians wondering why I’d always sneak into the library. I’d devour books like they were the only thing keeping me sane. I’d lug tomes off the shelves and sit with a dictionary and immerse myself in literature. And if I’d missed a class or two, they were kind enough to pretend to not notice. They offered me a sanctuary. Even today, everytime life seems to crumble around me, all I have to do is sit surrounded by books.

I had teachers from all departments, teaching all subjects, play a very pivotal role in shaping my life. Fortunately for me, I remember my first encounters with all of them. Right down to what I felt, what I was doing, which school building we were in and what they said to have carved a place in a very stony heart.

I don’t think I was a very easy student to deal with. I was naughty, really talkative, outspoken, opinionated, extremely irritable and with a very very short temper. If I was really ticked off, I was completely capable of excusing myself with an excuse and not returning to class. I was also extremely inquisitive. It didn’t have to be on the subject matter being taught. If it was of the topic, I’d ask it. And surprisingly, my teachers didn’t end up making me stand outside the class all day. You see, it was surprising because everytime I’d been unable to do my homework or was late to school, it was because I’d been running around a hospital and hence, I was itching for a fight. I was itching for someone to tell my parents that I was horrible and needed to be sent home.
They never did that you know. They didn’t even know about my ailing brother or anything till I was in senior school. So I know that when they overlooked my behaviour and focussed on something only they could explain, it didn’t come from an understanding of my issues or pity. It came from them being them.

And that is why school has always been this place that I’m extremely sensitive about. Everything they ever tried to teach me runs around my head repeatedly. You know, everyone says teachers affect changes in futures and that they help you to evolve but I honestly cannot say that. For me, they created a future out of a very bleak present. They sculpted a person out of a glob of clay which hadn’t had a chance to be moulded by her parents. And so, whenever I go to school to pick up one of my cousins who is now a student there or to visit; I’m not just nostalgic about the times spent with my friends. I’m not just nostalgic about my pranks or my past. I’m overwhelmed by how much of an effort the teachers made with me. I miss classes and I miss extra classes where I’d carry poetry by Christina Rosetti or Tennyson and my teachers would patiently help me grasp their beauty. I miss the creation of me from absolute scratch. And nostalgia seeps in much after I’ve left school and returned home. For when I enter those hallways, I feel like the lost little 12 year old who had no clue what she was getting into.

Even today, when I walk into school and I see teachers I recognize and they recognize me, I don’t just feel happy that they remember me. I feel grateful that they took the time to look past a really prickly exterior to my angst.

They say that one shouldn’t crave for approval or being remembered. But somehow, I can’t seem to do that. When I meet my old teachers, I want to hug them and tell them exactly what they said to me that changed my life and then I want to gush and expound on all the circumstances where their teachings brought me accolades. But instead, I become the same 12 year old I was. Really talkative, barely communicative.

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Filed under Childhood, Introspective, Prose, Reminiscing

One Random Act Of Kindness

Every morning, before the rooster crows, tales of gloom are being published somewhere in the city. At the crack of dawn, a bunch of men peddle around the city and drop these tabs at our doorsteps so that we may devour the distasteful actions of others simultaneously with our breakfast. It never ceases to amaze me that most people prefer to start their day, not with thoughts of gratitude or hope but with this chronicle of scams, murder and chaos.

It makes me question humanity. My faith in the very goodness of people is shaken as many times as I pick up a newspaper. It makes me wonder if I truly want to live in this world.

But then, there are those days when a tiny act of kindness will re-affirm the belief that people can be nice. Not everyone on the streets is looking to be callous, uncaring or hurtful. One such act happened last Sunday.

I was out with my cousin for shopping. I had to drop her back to her boarding school in a few hours and we figured that we’d pick up all her necessities en route. Being a weekend and the beginning of the furor that is Diwali, the mall was predictably buzzing. Since the only entry to the parking area was by the elevator, we waited for one to enter into.

As the elevator stopped, some people poured out and we waited to seep in. A man of 30, who was already in the elevator moved to the front and positioned himself in such a way so as to block the passage into the remaning spaces. We couldn’t possibly reach the empty crevices at the back without having to brush up against him improperly. At the time when I was asking him to move and he was pointedly ignoring my request, a lady who was already in the elevator nudged him a little and took my cousin by her arm and pulled her into the space behind the man. She smiled at me, as if she knew exactly what was going on in my head and proceeded to pull me in. I shot her a grateful glance and she just shrugged.

When the doors opened to the basement parking, she whispered into my ears; “I too have a daughter. I understand your predicament.”

And with that inconscpicuous action and statement, she reaffirmed my faith in the very niceness of strangers. We certainly don’t live in an era of castles or fairy godmothers, but we still live in a world of beauty. And just like the fantastical world we inhabited as a child, this world too, has its share of unpleasant people. And while our saviours are no longer weilding swords or riding horses, we still have compassionate people.

Why then, must we begin our day with accounts of sordid and depressing actions? Why then, do we not highlight such simple gestures of compassion?

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Filed under The world around me