Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Jasmines in her hand
My friend JD, her three year old daughter, and I were walking to a restaurant to have some steak. Or at least that's why my friend and I were walking. The little one had decided to humor us. But for some reason, she seemed disgruntled. You'd think that dimly lit roads and concrete craters would probably make the walk adventerous, but no. It was just plain tiring.
I found three jasmine flowers on the road that I offered our tiny companion. I couldn't find anything else to distract her, other than a sleepy dog; but since I'm scared of them, thought I would let the sleeping dog lie. She took the flowers willingly, yet remained unsure of whether they merited a change in mood. So the furrowed little brows and cute pout stayed
put on her sweet, round face.
Now, JD is a 'Wish I had a camera' kind of photographer. She has the eye to spot brilliant compositions but lacks the initiative to come prepared with a camera. Yes, it can be argued that it's not her profession, but how come she always has money when we go to Barista? Even when she isn't hungry?
She points out the moon to me. It's vivid, big and really close. A full moon - up, close, and personal. The coconut palms could probably tiptoe and touch it. It was one of those bewitching lunar aspects that involve sparse silhouettes of trees, diaphanous clouds, and starless skies.
'See, baby, moon', JD tells her daughter.
'Uh-huh', baby replies without looking up.
So JD and I both bend down to get to baby's eye-level and tell her, 'See, moon, moon.'
'Where?', baby asks, FINALLY looking at us.
'See, there', we both point out.
'Hmm, moon,' she glances quickly and walks away.
JD is not fully convinced that her baby has really seen the moon. I suppose she wanted baby to stand transfixed in astral reverence. Mothers in full moon. Folklores abound.
'Did you see it?', she asks.
'Hmm', replies daughter.
I was very amused. I had last heard that kind of 'Hmm' from my boss when I asked him about taking leave for Diwali. A very indulgent 'Hmm' that royalty reserves for knaves. Yes, have your garish baubles while I check up on my dull, vintage gold.
She scampers on ahead, all the while opening her palms to check if the jasmines from the road were still there. The moon could shine with all its splendor. Baby wanted the flowers in her hand.
It's easy to spot poets from the choices they make - even if they are three.