Apology, of sorts

*

 

And sometime, when all is fine,

All is at peace,

You speak to those,

The ones you have tried.

 

Knowing.

Though forgotten.

 

But those words you have freed,

From short-sighted mind,

And near-sighted thoughts,

Linger within,

 

The ones you have tried.

 


Of Deliriums, Backtalks and WTFs

*

 

There are things you know about yourself and there are things you think.

 

I know I can fold my tongue onto itself and quiver my eyeballs. I know I can take 11 pushups before I literally bite the dust and when push comes to shove, I scream like a little girl and bite her fingers to make my sister let go of that Ferrero. 

 

I know I can do a 14 hour movie marathon on any given day and also that I can complete a 30,000 word assignment in 24 hours. Before I stumble into the bathroom and proceed to make myself a cup of coffee by turning on the shower, as I wait for her incoherent  reply to my, “Why are you up so early Mimi?”, which, unbeknownst to me, was directed at the bathroom trash bin.

 

Then there are things I think.

 

I think my wife likes to do all the chores by herself. I think. I don’t know for sure. I know I can ask her about it, but I also know that it won’t turn out to be a good conversation. So I prefer to think she likes to do it all by herself. The noble soul.

 

I think meat in any edible form is the only thing worthy to be on my plate even though I know otherwise. But I prefer to think otherwise. Of the otherwise I know.

 

I think Mimi’s going to give me a tough time. I think this because, when I tell her to stop playing with my laptop, I know she’s backtalking when she stands there with her eyes blazing and one palm out front in a questioning gesture while the other hovers above the keyboard ready to strike if I have the nerve to reply to her rant.

 

I don’t. But I do think of the tough times ahead.

 

And then there are things I’ve never realized till I did come to realize them after so many years and ended up with an open mouth and “WTF!!!” running through my head. Like how the yellow light in a traffic signal comes on only when the lights go back from green to red and not from red to green. And how the bottle brush we use has a handle that allows the brush part to rotate inside the bottle rather than rotate the bottle itself.

 

But the biggest realization that came to me was when my wife asked me why I vigorously shook my head instead of moving the toothbrush when I brushed.

 

WTF!!!

 

*


Of Butts, Grasshoppers and the Glass Half Full

*

 

“Mimi, please don’t waste your food”, says Leya every time the little one has had enough and stumbles away in her quivering, just-learnt-to-walk gait. I don’t think Amy cares. I never did either. And as a kid who grew up in the eighties and the nineties, I’ve heard that line a lot.

 

That, and about the starving kids in the world. I told my mom that she was free to feed those less fortunate, once I was done. I didn’t care about hunger. Just like Amy now. All she wants to do is walk around pushing things, picking things, scattering things, pointing to things, rambling about said things, screaming about other things,… but I digress.

 

This write is about wasting. No, it’s not about wasting time again, which, by the way, is an absolute requisite to my favourite pastime – doing nothing.

 

This is also not a rant about wasting food. I really have never cared much about the wasting of food. When you’re done, you’re done. But sometimes, it does make me a little uneasy when I see people leave entire main courses, sans a spoonful, on the table when they leave the restaurant. But it’s not something I care about much. It’s probably because , we’ve been lucky enough to never have been in a situation when food was a scarcity. But there is something that irks and screws my mind up every time I see it.

 

A half smoked cigie.

 

It makes me mad even when I think about it. And you know why? It’s because there was a time when the Grasshoppers, in Flat no 13, BBC Apartments, Gandhi Nagar 2nd Street, Chennai, tightened their belts and sacrificed food in order to buy more of those gentle wisps of contentment, that they shared. The start of any month had each of us all having full packets in our pockets which dwindled to zero by the third week, after which it was ‘beedi ki jai’.

 

The perceptions of the glass being half empty or half full meant nothing to us. We thought in terms of a cigie being fully smoked or if one last drag could be coaxed out of it.

 

The sharing of a cigie was one of those moments that was the epitome of companionship. And if anyone among us had the off-chance nerve to stub one out, that had in it an inkling of even half a drag, was immediately round-house kicked in the head before the name calling began.

 

It instilled in us the value of everything that is material, immaterial and those that money can’t buy. And that’s why even now, even more than the wasting of food, I hate it when I see the stepped on corpse of a half smoked stub.

 

It stands for the values that make a part of who we are.

 

*


Of Creepy-Crawlies and Voices Inside

*

 

The waters flowed. From the orifice, it was meant to, into the bigger crevice through which it bled on through, to the other side.

 

 Slowly. Ebbing.

 

He let it flow. Over his fingers and palms and onto the things he held. He let it flow over his thoughts before they found their way. To the other side.

 

His thoughts flowed. Crystal, like the waters. It had been so, for a long time now. His questions always found their better halves when he stood there letting the waters flow. But like the villainous fiend, in those moving pictures, the skeletal claws of doubt loomed high above the long-lost lovers’ embrace.

 

Why was this world so? Why was his world so, he rephrased. Is this the way it would be till the end of time? Till the end of his time, he rephrased.

 

Why was he still looking for something? What is he looking for? Didn’t he have everything that was true? No. Not everything, he thought. Then what, he asked himself.

 

Passion? In a world devoid of everything but entities enclosed in their own pitiful selves, how would he find it?

 

Meaning? Of what? Life? No. That’s not what he was looking for. The meaning of life would be whatever his life spoke of fondly, after he’d breathed his last.

 

Importance, then? Or power? No. He’d understood what the word meant. His poetic heart had already written of it and now as the waters flowed, the words came back to him.

 

I watched a crawlie creep her way,
Through overlying roots under my swing.
She looked up and wondered,
why shadows passed,
Each time I swung back, over her world.


To is to dark and fro is for light,
She seemed to reckon and silent
, crept.
I wondered if she knew,
the harm I could deal,
If I should stroke her immaculate realm.


And then, thought I, of the frailty of mine.

 

He had named it Magnitude at the time. It was an answer, from the voice within. To a question he’d asked, not too long ago, when he’d let the waters flow over himself. Where was that voice now? The one that answered every time he whispered. Did it forsake him or just silently fade to nothingness, like every one of those who are alive?

 

He didn’t get an answer. But he did hear a voice. And this time, it asked him a question instead.

 

Alan, are you done washing the dishes?

 

*

 


Of Wordplay and Forgotten Gifts

*

 

Sorry. Can we start over?

 

No. You’re an idiot.

 

But it didn’t come out right.

 

But it did come out. Right?

 

It did come out. Right. But…

 

But?

 

It didn’t come out the right way.

 

But it did come out right away. Right?

 

It did come out right away. Right. But…

 

But?

 

It came out wrong.

 

It came out wrong?

 

Right. It shouldn’t have come out at all.

 

But it did and so that’s what you really think.

 

No it isn’t. Let’s start over.

 

No.

 

Okay then, I’ll ask.

 

No.

 

Why not?

 

I’m angry.

 

That’s good. I’ll know what you’ll really think now.

 

Okay then. Ask.

 

Sweet?

 

Chocolate.

 

Family?

 

Amy.

 

So I’m out?

 

Yes.

 

Why?

 

I’m angry.

 

Okay. Red?

 

Wine.

 

Love?

 

You.

 

Wow. Thanks.

 

You’re still an idiot. You should have said ‘Love you too’.

 

Oh. Okay. You ask now.

 

You still didn’t say it.

 

Oh. Love you too.

 

It’s no good now.

 

Sorry baby. But I mean it. Now you ask.

 

Okay. Music?

 

Floyd.

 

Flowers?

 

Rosapoovu.

 

You should have gotten me some.

 

Sorry.

 

…and chocolates.

 

Ferrerro.

 

No. You should have gotten me flowers and chocolates at least.

 

Oh. Sorry.

 

Idiot.

 

Belinda.

 

No, not your sister. You’re an idiot for not getting me any.

 

Oh. Sorry.

 

Love.

 

Sex and dhoka.

 

Prick.

 

Pin.

 

No. You’re a prick. The first time you said ‘Sucks’ and now it’s ‘Sex and dildo’.

 

Sex and dhoka.

 

I don’t know what that means.

 

It means ‘To cheat’ or ‘Betray’.

 

That just makes it worse.

 

Oh. Sorry baby. Happy Louers Day. Ummah?

 

Poda Patti.

 

*


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