Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sita Kalyanam


It was a hot summer Trichy day when I first heard the song. Sarees,pavadai, jewellery glittered in excitement and rays of sun goddess pierced in all glory.  I was soaked in the hustle, watching everyone aimlessly walk around in hurry, an odd photographer holding on to the lighting and camera with wires dangling everywhere.  Occasionally people would trip and the apologetic photographer would fret at the hapless assistant. Cacophony of voices rang all over, with the omnipresent enge (where) screaming over the top. It started from enge vadhiyar to enga poonu to enga thatu to……  I was may be around ten and this was the first time, I wasn't running around with cousins in the marriage hall. The hide and seek with cousins took a backseat and I was engrossed in the conversations of mami's. Some necklace design overshined the bride's jewellery and soon a row of mami's held on to the necklace, watched it in piercing sun rays, felt it and then passed it on. Conversation moved from where, when and why bought to beautiful saree, Diwali purchase aahh, to the ubiquitous tailor saga, blouse patterns and finally the breakfast. Idli poo madhiri, gosthu could have been more spicy, vada nala dhan irruku, yaar cook, I should give his number to periamma, her daughter is getting married next, guy is from USA, they are demanding hygiene and tasty food, where to go for hygiene, theriamma that girl, well,we will talk later , was AC working in your room, its soo hot and on and on…..The pattern of conversations was so interesting that the nudging cousins could not pull me off that place. Even their discovery of darker rooms, maze like stairs, many options to be lost in the old marriage hall didn't entice me enough. That was may be my first official induction to oooru vambu, sigh! So you know where it all started.



When these conversations were going on, a set of people walked outside the marriage hall, with plates, lamps, bride and groom. There she was, the grand old oonjal decorated with flowers, sitting pretty on the bright summer day. The bride and groom sat on the creaking oonjal and the mami's circled around with lamps and plates. The giggles of kasi yatra and how the groom refused to come back and acted as though he was really going to Kasi just subsided. May be the groom was a fun loving chap they said. No one does these antics,  which part of US he is from , they are more fun loving.  So, another learning came my way, guys who do these antics are cool. For all the talk, may be the guy was bored walking with the stick and decided to really run away from the marriage. Let's not get there.


It was during these giggles and extended conversations of jewellery, sarees etc someone nudged someone and that someone nudging someone else. The nudge finally settled with patti singing Sita Kalyanam…..Soon it was a chorus and for that few moments, conversations of saree, jewellery, breakfast, enge fizzled out and Sita walked in with all glory.  Sita might have just settled in our minds and when Rama was entering grandly in the song, patti realized that the circling around the oonjal and red rice balls of drishti got over and it was time she stopped singing. So, there was Rama, lost in the midst of chaos even before he could enter. My love saga with that song started during that marriage. It was like an unfulfilled desire, to be resurrected during every marriage, during every oonjal, waiting for Rama to come and then watching the frenzied crowd walking back to other rituals. In the years to come, many voices sang that song, but never did Rama come in all glory, even if he did, he was rushed and had to walk off in all hurry. So, when the authentic listening during marriage betrays you, you listen to the youtube serials crooning to the songs in make believe marriages.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Crispy dosa

This feels good, he said, allowing the flavours of spicy chutney, smooth butter and crispy dosa  to sink in. They settled down in the vast area like fine mounds of aroma, taste, colours dancing in the stomach, with the aftertaste gushing in the food pipe. Eating with him was like experiencing the taste in every detail, letting the food talk to you. Before he could burp (well his niceties wouldn't allow him to!!!), I asked whether he wanted milkshake. Ah, he said let the flavours sink in more before I corrupt it with other tastes. Eh, but why milkshake he said. I tired of shakes, smoothies and phirangi stuff. Phirangi, did I hear that from a person who almost ran away from this country for greener pastures. I still remember him gleaming from other side of glass, holding his passport as though his life rested in there. Before we could bide a decent farewell, he rushed in, pushing the enormous luggage to security check. That was years back, when I still hoped he would come back, atleast for the elaborate lunches. Those were days, when amma's sambar rice would tickle his taste buds and he would push his purchased dhabha to my side and gorge on the sambar and vegetables. Does your mom still make gongura, avakai, puttu……he asked pushing me back to present. Well, yes. I will parcel some for you, to fit into your foreign suitcase. You know they parcel specially for foreign travels. Hmmm, he murmured before shouting for a coffee. Naraye decoction and konjum milk. Ah, ha black coffee, I smirked. So the phirangi aspect comes out, isn't it.

 

So, well, how come this trip. The silence was filled by the coffee slurps moving in annoying slow pace. With the conversation thread lost, I watched him gulp the last drop of coffee and pushing the dabara. There he said, looking at the brown sugar crystals settled down in the dabara, this is indulgence, loads of sugar, thick milk and thicker decoction. This is worth a lifetime of wait.

 

So, should there be a wait. By now, the aromas had sunk in and we were back to familiar after taste. He said, some more time. Outside, rain drops fell from the roof, like a lost conversation still trying to convince us. Before there was a question on how long could I wait, we paid the bill, and watched the rain drops from the roof get lost in the puddle. For now, I said lets head home before it pours. Before the deluge, we would have answers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Clandestine



She scribbled clandestine and surreptitious in plain paper, applying second layer of ink on C. This is it, she heard him saying. That's what sells, clandestine.  May be this would click, he murmured looking at her rucksack of stories. She tossed the book away, watching the bold C shimmer in bed lamp and waited for S to conjoin. He murmured again, leave it. You may spin a story on us. Beyond the shimmer, and on the other side of darkness, he turned away, pulling the bedsheet closer to him. She watched his bare shoulders peeping from the bedsheet and scribbled a bold S watching him sleep in peace. Tomorrow, the tryst begins.

Fwd: Cappuccino

The love sign in the huge cappuccino cup smirked at her. She wanted to pierce right through the middle, disturbing its peace for that moment. Far away, two people cocooned themselves away from the world, sipping two straws from one cup. Bliss, happiness and unhygienic!!! Sigh!!!

 
She shut herself from them and watched water trickle down from the glass panes. Once, she was with him in one umbrella, with his fingers writing some strange love words in the glass panel, which would be wiped away by the rain water. One more word and again water would clean it away. Last he wrote memories and rain stopped. She didn't remember what happened after that. Right now, the bill of huge cappuccino cup demanded the price of love.  

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Emotions




Watching calm shadows from my windows

Sea gushes in your city

Engulfing everyone in strange passion

I speak of discordant emotions

of calm seas and gushing winds

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Morning

Morning rays sinking in
Utensils chaos faraway
Conversations with me

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Murmur

Searching for words
Your distant murmurs