Friday, March 28, 2014

Look what I found

A poem by Charles Bukowski from 'Love is a dog from hell'

“there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

watering a plant.” 

Little bells

Little bells kept me going
Those tied to branches of a banyan tree
I'd see them shine from the courtyard
I'd hear them tinkle while making tea

They'd tinkle through every weather
Carrying messages of hearts that prayed
They'd jangle louder through lengthy storms
That wiped out mornings and left nights all frayed

A storm one night broke the banyan
It fell strong and full with trunk ripped right through
It was seen in a carpet of dead, wet leaves
And cheery bells clinging n singing, "Me and You"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Something on the side

According to my yoga instructor, I should stay away from rice if I want to improve my practice. I have been doing that for most days of the week. (I usually indulge over weekends where I consume a fair amount of rice with nothing more than curd, daal, and thinly sliced potatoes fried with lots of onions, capsicums, and chillies.)

So, for the most part, if I am not eating chapattis, I am eating dalia. This, I like. But the thing with dalia is that it is dalia and not rice. Rice I can eat simply with salt, especially if it is cooked really soft and is steaming on the plate. If there is butter and boiled, mashed potato to be added into this delicious heap, the meal is perfect. But I haven't developed this affinity for dalia. I usually cook the broken wheat with a lot of lentils, some veggies, and if possible, a green leafy vegetable. My mum had once made it like fried rice - with capsicum, broccoli, tofu - stir-fried with a bunch of sauces. But since my mum is not here and my cook is not my mum and I am not even my cook, I have to eat the lentils - broken wheat combination.

I usually don't mind it but on some nights like tonight, I did. I really wished that dinner could have been a little more tasty. It was very tempting to reach for the rice but I really want to resist rice until I absolutely can't. So here's what I did.

First, I went for a walk. It's not part of the cooking procedure but it helps me. After working up wee bit of an appetite, I got home and rummaged through the fridge. A neighbour had brought me these large chillies (the kinds you stuff or fry in besan) from her farm. I thought I could have this on the side with my dalia pulao. (This time, it was cooked with green moong, carrots, and peas - so not so blah.)

I heated some oil, deseeded and halved those chillies and fried them until they were a little burnt. The smoked, charred taste is really nice and it softens the chillies. (Otherwise, they have a hard casing. You can choose not to fry them too much if you like your chillies to have a solid bite to them.)When the skin on the chillies was getting a little dark and wrinkly, I added salt, a lot of chilli powder, and some rasam masala. Then, I sprinkled some water and cooked this on slow flame, sprinkling water as and when required.

After the chillies had softened and were nicely coated with the pungent mix of salt, rasam and chilli power, I took them off the pan and onto the plate. I had used a little too much chilli powder but it was still a perfect accompaniment for the dalia.

Some day, when I'm in the mood to really indulge, I will try these chillies with rice.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Little bit sad

A day that is so softly sad that I miss having someone read to me at night. Childhood, come, visit me please. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The grey sky stretched, the green grass shivered

Shy thunder moving past
Eyes that ache and miss it
Quiet kindness of the one
That met the frog but didn't actually kiss it.

Monday, March 10, 2014

When did that happen and why?

I worked this Saturday. It was a full day's job and by evening, I was exhausted. Another colleague was also working so the two of us decided to salvage the evening by going for a movie. We watched 'Queen'.

I loved the movie. It was so sweet and simple. How much friendship and cheer can come into a life if one simply allows.Just allows.

Whilst there, I ran into a couple of people from yoga class. We chatted, laughed, and moved away. I didn't seek them out later.

On the way back, I dropped my friend home. We had been discussing road trips and I was telling her about the trip to Door County from Chicago. After my friend had gone, I drove home. I fiddled with the radio and then switched it off. I listened to the CD instead - the song, "Kabeera" from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani."

As I drove, I had this very vivid sensation of being transparent. Or maybe not as much transparent as permeable. The drive to Wisconsin had been lush and glorious. We had driven across avenues that were whimsical with colour - fiery reds and mellow yellows. But I couldn't feel anything from the memories. They seem to just pass through me. As if all of me had become this sieve and whatever days I am living now will pass through very fluidly. Nothing will remain. Even the memories won't remain as memories.

I can't remember when this shift happened and why. 

Friday, March 07, 2014

Morning, good morning

Some days SO good as if they have begun with an open-mouthed kiss! Love this: http://www.womensprizeforfiction.co.uk/2014/baileys-womens-prize-for-fiction-announce-their-2014-longlist

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Beauty in the house

Today, there was a new girl in the yoga class.  She was very beautiful.  Slim, tall, and very flexible. Her skin was luminous. In fact, she looked like the delightful crescent moon I was staring at before she walked in. There were fewer people in the class today so we took it with fewer lights on. This girl just glowed through all those postures.  It was like taking a beam made of the softest water colors and bending it into different shapes. Not once did she grunt or pant. Everything about her was so smooth and mastered.

I like beauty.  Makes me want to be a better person.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Do you feel like this sometimes

That this body is too small for you? That this structure is too tight? Much of your motion is just fidgeting to get used to this restriction.  That you want to peel off your clothes, peel off your skin, dismantle your bones, and step out. I think there's a line by Rilke that goes something like this: I want to leave myself behind and walk under the stars. If the stars rather be elsewhere, then the soft unfolding darkness will do. Do you feel like this life is too long, much too long. You can segment each task and spoon out eternity in manageable chunks but even after everything is crossed out the list, many days remain. They stretch out, far and endless, but like running paint on floor, they hedge you into a corner. Do you ever feel that you are big? Much too big and immense? Not in the glorious, magnificent kind of way. Just in the sort of way that you will always be a misfit everywhere because there isn't enough space.  The universe is a lilliput land and all thd galaxies are dust under your fingernails. And every little day, every single thing shrinks and you bloat.