Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The cold.

As the days draw in,
And nights get longer,
When life seems
To an extend,
Has it ever
Occurred to you
That the cold
Making its way
Into your bones,
And more painful
Than a sharp knife
Cutting through
Fresh baby-soft skin,
Is not exactly the cold
But memories from
A distant past, a past
Long forgotten
You pretend,
But hopelessly
Etched in your mind
In real, forever.

Serious Acquisition Syndrome.

It was a usual day, like any other day. The sky was blue, the sun shone and the breeze stank. I was on my way to collect the freelance-work pay cheque which seemed like it never existed in the first place. And unlike other days, I hopped into a via M.G Road bus to North. I had to get into this bus. The first thing I do after grabbing a seat is to let my mind wander here and there. That day was no different. And while my mind was wandering into wholly unrealistic and highly entertaining fantasies, I somehow had to spot this ‘winter sale’ board hung up on the front door of Mochi, the shoe shop. Ten seconds later, I was happily browsing their sandals section. From twenty feet away I felt the jolt you get when you first lay eyes on the gladiator sandals you know will shortly be yours. At that point, I conveniently lost count of how many pairs of sandals I own. I sprang towards them like a lioness on an antelope. I’m a sucker for gladiator sandals and this one was so my type, so gypsy-like. The serious, take-home material.

“These”. I waved the copper brown sandals at a salesman. “Size 5”.

As he glided off, I glanced at the Rs. 1499/- price tag. Ouch. That hurt. I thought of the ignored electricity, water & internet bills stacked on my table. I’d already swiped Appa’s card five times this month. Or had it been six?

When the salesman returned, I wrestled with myself. Maybe I shouldn’t try them on. I could get attached. But they were awe-fuckin-some.
“They’re twenty per cent off”. He said.
“Naice.” I grinned as I reached for the box. God did love me.
I swiped my card for a change. Got a text. Hmm Axis Bank is pretty fast.
Your a/c 33985061 is debited Rs. 1200 on 2011-12-28. A/c balance is Rs. 98.00.
I hate this. There should be ATMs for 10 rupee notes and 1 rupee coins.
And I had to buy it, even when I was deep-neck broke. Blame it all on my serious acquisition syndrome.

Twenty minutes later I doubted God’s love as I was standing in the North bus stop, chanting abuses in my mind to the guy who was effortlessly making up excuses for not paying me. That’s when it struck me that I have practically no money left for the bus fare. I frantically searched my pockets and bag, while maintaining a carefree aura. Not even a single coin. I was sure. Jeffrey-Dean-Morgan-is-a-hot-piece-of-ass sure. Or more deep-fried-frog-legs-are-the-way-to-go sure.

I took my phone. Dialed my friend.

Your account balance is too low to make a call.
Announced the Airtel girl.
Ha! Temme something new biatch.

I couldn’t believe it. I was sure I’d recharged yesterday. Hadn’t I? I recalled that morning call I gave my BFF and the bitching-giggling- whining( exactly in that order) session that lasted for almost an hour.

Panic. No, don’t panic. I frowned. Panicky. Sweaty.
I tried to calculate the distance from where I’m standing to my home. I’m usually dumb at math but not now. Almost 5 kilometers. Pause. I’ll have to walk 5 kilometers. I froze. And my jaw hit the floor just like that.

Disclaimer: ‘I’, unfortunately denote the writer.

An unusual love story.

Quite often you find yourself in the trauma of deciding whether it's his Clooney-esque eye crinkles or the lopsided smile that is sexier. Just as when you are about to settle for his smile, you notice his salt n’ pepper hair. And that’s when you finally decide some things are better left undecided. But then there are days when he walks around with his hair and moustache so black, that you’d wonder if he reproduced the Pantone black in exact colour percentages. This happens only once in a while when his petite, younger looking pretty wife insists on coloring his hair. Speaking of his wife, she at times gets pissed off when the otherwise religious husband of hers, sits on the couch with his accounts book during the family prayer, trying to tally numbers. But most of the times, he makes her blush with his poor, innocent jokes or the way he takes credit for the delicious food prepared by her. And sometimes by helping her with the dishes. But it is when he happily spends a sunday at the general hospital with the security guard of their apartments, who met with an accident, she finds herself falling in love with him. All over again. Probably for the nth time.

Most likely to be seen running around, knocking on every apartment door, collecting funds for the family of the garbage man who passed away or for the security guard at the hospital, he sometimes goes to great lengths with the whole 'helping others thingy'. And no wonder, the residents, especially the stingy ones flee at the very sight of him, and for those who find it hard to make both ends meet, he’s a nightmare. Every single time the doorbell rings, their hearts pound and during month ends in a particularly faster pace and there are times when they won’t even open the door. Because if it’s him at the door it has to be for some monetary help and nobody, almost nobody can say no to him, seeing him striving to make things better, not for him, but for others, bringing Jesus Christ’s ‘Good Samaritan’ to life, by all means. And if at all someone appreciates him, he cringes and says ' these are the duties of the ‘General Secretary’ of the residents' association'. He might not have realized this, but all his life he’s been living for others. Back in the 80’s too, when he was in the U.S., as seen in photographs, resembling Michael Caine a lot, a dorky yet sexier version of him, with thick glasses & yellowish brown shades, wavy hair and 12” inch bellbottoms, he was the same. Not even when his 23 year old, nutty-fruity daughter complains “daddy gives everything to everyone” does he realize or is even aware of his truly selfless existence.

Not too often you come across people like him, who, despite a busy schedule, finds time to go on evening walks with his son, an annoyingly handsome 27 year old chap, discussing his career and love life, pausing in between to get a Coke from Bread World. And to ask his rebel, still goody-two-shoes daughter when she comes home late “in which part of the world were you today?”, pulling her legs, or even better, to drop her wherever she wants in mornings on the way to work in his blue Maruti Omni while carefully driving in an uncomfortable silence. And to get chocolates for his 15 year old, tomboy, couldn’t-care-less daughter who accompanies him after work all the way from the gate till his door, carrying his briefcase. Once he’s home he just dumps his stuff, making the room messy, drapes a lungi and rushes to the kitchen. And starts making his signature ‘aval nanachathu’ aka brown rice flakes sweetened with jaggery & grated coconut or ‘dosa’. Neither the overt sweetness of ‘aval’ nor the hardness of ‘dosa' stops anyone from having it, not even his elder daughter who finds daddy’s dosas extremely hard. Partly because of hunger but mostly because she knows "daddy might feel bad if you tell him it’s hard". And boy she’s so damn right, even at the slightest mention of the hardness of his dosas, he gets upset, that ever-present smile slowly fading from his face and you will be so fascinated to find at 55, this man can be so vulnerable, yet so irresistible.

Uhm, she… she likes to stay out of the picture and watch his life perfectly falling into place. Told you it’s an unusual love story.