Sunday, September 30, 2012

the frieze story

mom hardly knew how to design the first years of her wedded life. she kept a clean home, utterly spick and span. after my brother and i had started school, she had lots of time on her hands, well, because of her efficient ways. as her Hindi improved, she made more friends and as our manners improved they called on a lot of people.

she told me, she realised that despite the more or less same furniture in all the Army accommodations in the various cantonments, the personalities of the owners shone through in little nuances. of course, in the end, there was not much difference, or money, but, there were still ways the sitting room differed.

cozy corner

i still remember the yak skin carpet and the Naga spears in one home, the colourful cushions in another and round paper hanging lamps in one dining room. my mother always, always turned furniture around. i seem to have inherited that trait.

in pursuit of peace

but, for some months now, i have resorted to arranging and re-arranging the top of the chest of drawers. its like my mantel, if you may. the frieze are proof of the passing seasons, collection of memories and sometimes, a window to my mood. here, are some snapshots in chronological order!

happily pink
the first time. the candle stands, planter, candles all were bought from our Muscat holiday.

trh 28july'11
a little diy to cosy things up a bit.

trh aug2'll
 the majestic leather case, also from Muscat.

a little bit of colour to offset the teakwood.

day 16 ~ something new
when the three bloomed together, they deserved pride of place.

for the son's fifth birthday.

the ever-changing frieze
when i started enjoying the permutation combinations, cliched that i am.

the daughter's version of our family under the pretty rainbow.

to be alive
when a friend brought me flowers and i prolonged the goodness for almost another week.

how it looks these days :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

there is a reason for every season. one of the many reasons of the long monsoons, for me, is to read, i just discovered. bright sunny days leave me restless and dull my mind. but, the cool rains are invigorating. you feel like you can get a lot done, after all, there's not much you can do outside!

finding a lit corner in the cloudy darkness of a rainy morning after the kids have been bundled in raincoats and wet socks to school, settling down with the largest cup of coffee or tea with the dog at your feet making up for the blanket that you are lazy to bring down is easier than finding a shady spot in summer in our house.

as it rained outside

'Barefoot in Baghdad' was a book i took immediately to in the Coimbatore Airport book store. it was pink and lilac with a striking portrait of a woman with beautiful eyes. in addition to telling stories of Iraqi women with dignity and strength, Manal M Omar brought fortha picture of Iraq different from the one in my mind, which was of a desert country over-ridden with  tanks and marines sporting rifles with little US flags attched. *sigh*

This book introduced me to the rich culture of this war-torn misused country, the banks of the Tigris and Iraqis of different communities, not unlike my country. Mutanabi street stays in my mind, pictured vibrant and busy by her words, where there was this market lined with only book stores, stacks of books overflowing into the streets and narrow alleys. according to the author, it fulfills the Arabic proverb, "Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads."

Manal M Omar is rooted in her values. her frustrations are relatable, especially at not being taken seriously for being younger than expected, and being a woman. how many times has that happened to us!

.barefoot in baghdad.

for all that i have read, i have never perused or be led by reviews. the blurb excites me, the cover calls to me or a friend recommends it to me. 'Em and the big Hoom,' was one such instance where all i had was the words of a twitter contact clear and quiet in my ears when i spotted the title in a busy display window.

the book was un-put-down-able from the first paragraph. it sucked you right into the eye of the heart rendering story, words taking hold and its like you are watching it in 3D. during the difficult teenage years, i used to hurl big words at mom and revel in explaining them to her. Jerry Pinto took me back to those years, when the mother, miserable with her mental illness tells her son, you must be smart, if you know a word like that.

the darkness, unapologetic and stark, envelopes us, entangles us... we want to stop reading, but, we also want to know. Pinto's words form images that float like clouds on a windless, humid day, stifling us, yet making us wonder about their beauty and lightness!

i told a friend, i wanted to kiss mr Pinto's hands. i still do.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

reaching out.

Was it Tony? Johnny? I don’t remember his name. He was the first wedding proposal. You know! You see photo. He sees photo. Families talk. When almost everything is finalized or to both the family’s liking, you actually get to meet in the neatest room in your home, with almost entire families of both sides right outside the half shut door.
So, Tony or Johnny had his photo sent to my excited family by eager parents. And, we were supposed to start a conversation across continents through e-mail. Except, I could not find a start. I am good to barge in, interrupt, debate… but, start with an introduction. Now, there I fail.
So, I asked my mother to let me hear his voice. Just once. Ask him to call. Anyways, things didn’t go further. I was naïve enough to hold onto something as tangible as it is intangible… the sound of someone’s voice, the vibes of a meeting, the feel of a hand.
With all the wisdom I’ve gained in the ten or so years, I have realized that I was a fool. I have made three best friends. And, we are so close. They have been lucky to get to meet each other. I have not seen them except in pictures. But, when we are in our element and in the mood to chat, you should see how words strung as chatter posing as mail fly across states and countries!
Last week, I got hold of the phone numbers of two of them. Talked to them. Now, I have voices to the words I read. A lilt to the laugher icons, intonations here and there. Reaching out is all it takes to make a bond. Holding on to it is all it takes to make it last.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

it is time

for the annual rain post. usually, by this time my spirit is damp and sunken. every inch of my being is moronish. not this time, not this year. there has been as many bright interludes with the sun shining bright as the bursts of paltry rain.

the monsoons came without showers of blessings for the farmers. there has not been enough rain. i worry about the framers, their produce. but, then i remember the warehouses with rotting grain. i think how it will be with more power outages in the warmer months. it strikes me of the times i rushed to answer the doorbell without turning off the lights and fan and stood there talking with my neighbour for almost an hour. oh the rising prices of everything! oh the times i bought stuff mighty unnecessarily just because it was on sale!

wilful waste brings woeful want, i read in college somewhere. enough is a feast. the words have stayed in my mind longer than i expected them to. time to practice them more than i do now. to do my little bit. maybe the kids will imbibe it somewhere along the way.

and, i almost forgot the pictures from my little balcony this afternoon!






Sunday, September 2, 2012

the love knot

a love story. 
two little girls.
 sisters and friends.
 the younger wanted to *paint rainbows in different shapes and put it together like a quilt.* 
the momma had already bought the gift.
 so, we improvised 
and wrapped the presents for the 11 year old birthday girl in hand-painted paper
 that the little one also crushed to add texture!



a love knot