Saturday, November 27, 2010

A lifestyle called oyster

It has been nearly 42 days since I have left my job. In this time, there has been some traveling to a few cities, visiting friends. Some I have visited earlier, like Hyderabad. It was an instantly sweet, simple, spiritual connection. Tufts of cotton-y clouds, large timeless rocks, and evenings that don't let go without a fight. The beauty here didn't exactly leap out. But one studied it long enough and a few minutes later, wherever I looked, there was art.

Bangalore I visited for the very first time. Struck me to be a supremely refined place. There's restraint, gentility, a very Little Lord Fauntleroy charm about it;  like no-one would raise their voices unnecessarily, no-one would be gauche enough to jump a queue, no-one would dress up with one eye on the crowd gauging if they're being looked at. So proper.  And then, the trees. Oh gosh, the trees! They look as timeless as monuments that get unearthed centuries after civilizations have vanquished. I remember walking around MG Road looking at portions of Cubbon Park practically bursting at the seams, waiting to spill on to the traffic. It looked as if this city, the busy-ness of life as we know it now, is so current. It's like this little speck on a mote on a thin sliver of time.We, here and big and important, will come and go. But these trees will be there forever.

And then Delhi. The city I have known since before the face-lift. A city that has been my childhood treat, and also my adulthood nemesis and now, hopefully, my compatriot in peace-keeping of the heart. City with some of my closest friends. City that when no-one is listening, I call mine.

Which brings me back to Bom-Mumbai. My complicated, erratic, spoilt little brat. Ever so often, if it finds me getting a tad affectionate towards any place else, it will grab me back and wipe its snot on my hanky. And there I'll be rushing to offer it my newest, silkiest one to make amends.

The world, truly, could become my oyster. And what's a pearl to do?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tree spotting

To stop the search
And one day find,
The symbol of a notion
You'd left behind
In the dust that sometimes a yesterday grinds
Tied to a link to which a future sometimes binds

Then to see the symbol
Of a tired memory
Limitless and miraculous
Like eternity
And heavy and nebulous droptlet
Like mercury

It wasn't the soaring sky
Or the roaring sea
My symbol of freedom
Was a thick, full tree

Note: My first trip to Bangalore. This city has made me notice trees for the very first time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quiet thought, quiet smile

I was on the terrace around six in the morning. The plan was to get an early start to the yoga, because I really have a lot to finish today. I have to go to Saki Naka and Bandra and pack for a trip to Bangalore tomorrow. There is tons to do.

But the terrace looked so lovely. It was littered with dried leaves and had little puddles of water, courtesy the storm last night. These puddles looked blue-black in places and almost purplish-brown in others. The leaves, wilted and astrewn, looked like tired children at an amusement park. They were sulking to go home and sleep. Clearly, the wind and the rain had had a wild time here. And the guests were clearly pooped.

I pushed the agenda of yoga for a couple of hours later. Made a cup of tea, cosied up on the sofa and watched the sky molt and melt into different colours. First, the sharp violet tinges got erased to a soft flamengo pink. Then some edges of clouds unfurled to a cottony whiteness. And then, remarkably,the whole expanse moved to a subdued green. It seemed as if a beautiful messof algae had spread across it.

It brought to mind a wonderful walk I'd taken in Goa. It was to Fort Aguada from the hotel where I had put up. On the way, there's a church. One portion of it overlooks the sea. That day, I bent over its bleached white-hot crumbling ruins, trying to see the waves and trap the gorgeous roar of the sea in my ears. The sea was a brilliant blue. I don't think one could get that evenness of tone and shade digitally, no matter how meticulously one tried. The blue was so clear, vibrant, and somehow, same, from one speck of the horizon to another.

There is such a witty paradox in the beauty that surrounds us.

Sometimes, the sea is sky-blue. Sometimes, the sky is sea-green.

Monday, November 15, 2010


As I write this piece, there is a storm outside. I see maddening sways of trees and orange, pink and blue kandeels do an eccentric jig. The wind is furious. Doors and windows slam, but they do seem to be enjoying this tussle. The wind chime hung above my window chirps and tinkles like a pretty little princess at the Mad Hatter’s party.

This storm may have started just a few minutes ago, but it seems age-old. It seems to have come from the bowels of time that is almost Bronte-type. Dark, huge, unwieldy, unyielding, moorish…There are deep rumbles of thunder, and strong, shaky juggernauts of lightning. There are clangs of temple bells sounding off in a part of the world I cannot see. From some insane labyrinth, there come roars of waves crashing against tall, jagged rocks. I can’t spot them, But I know how they will be. This storm is old.

The air is wet with promise. It is full of clandestine scent of lush rain. This will come later, when the world is either asleep or unprepared. It will come and gash at routine slumber and smack hard poetry on unsuspecting eyelids.

It is a beautiful storm. It is age-old. I have lived this storm before.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Still here

I have quit my job. October sixteenth was my last day. I remember because the sky was infused with a vibrant blue. Looked as if a peacock had dissolved into a puddle. Its feathers had come asunder and were now filaments of white icy lightning that flashed across the sky.

Why did I leave my job? My heart said it was time. It was a sudden decision, in the sense that I did not look for another job before resigning. It did not feel sudden, though. It felt complete and peaceful. It felt like I had moved from one loop to another on of one of those link bracelets and the time had come to close the clasp.

Currently, I am sending out the resume and some carefully selected sample articles to pitch for work that will make me happy.

There has not been much time to write the blog. I traveled to Delhi recently and came back full...of love and happiness. So much so that my belly aches when I think of the awesome simplicity and serendipity I enjoyed there.

Now, I wake up. I go to the terrace and maybe write a sample article in long hand. I write in the open. There is a gentle breeze that might brush a paper-flower my way. I might stop writing and pick it up. My skin has a sweet conversation with sunlight. I might look around, sensing the moisture in the air. Sure enough, in the distance is a dense greyness. Clouds pregnant with rain. Because my head is up, other things will come in my view. A white beautiful bird gliding flawlessly. Two maverick crows fighting for a bit of bread. One perfect orange blossom atop a tree with lime green leaves.

My article gets done. I read it. I cap my pen and go down to my room to type it out. Knowing, deeply knowing, that all this will be there when I come back.

My days are quiet and busy. They seem to be shining with a glad, joyous uncomplicatedness. And though I sometimes have trouble believing it, I have to accept it now.

In such consummate quietness and ordinariness, I am having the time of my life.