Doctor, doctor

18 Dec

Christmas

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. The stars are shining wherever you look. We’ve also managed to to get our Goan winter down pat too. I can feel it in the nip that swoops in at dusk, lacing everything with a crisp sprinkling of wintery coolness. And I can feel it in the wheezy rattle of congestion that’s made itself very, very comfortable deep inside my chest.

I prided myself in getting through a large part of this year illness-free. But I’ve had two terrible bouts of the cold-throat infection-flu triad. And the second time around, two weeks ago I decided I was going to fight it sans anti-biotics. I emerged battered at the end of the week of plying myself with anti-histamines and warm liquids, but victorious because I was phlegm-free! Or so I thought. Until fifteen whole days later, the rattle in my chest made a dramatic comeback. And this time around I swear I heard a wheeze every time I breathed in deeply. This was worrisome and I knew I needed to have myself checked.

I’ve also prided myself in not needing a local GP for the 5 years that I’ve been in Goa, but its not a very good place to be in, when you finally realise you do need a doctor, but have no idea where to begin. Some checking around and I found myself in a poky little clinic of what looked like an old-timer kind of doctor. The kind where you take your  slippers off before go in. The frayed pages of a yellowed calendar flapped around in the breeze, just below a picture of a chubby pink baby advertising some pediatric medicine or the other. From inside the doctor’s room walked an elderly couple, heaving what I can only imagine were germ-filled breaths of relief. I quickly stopped breathing, walked into the doctors room and realised the place smelled like becosules capsules.

There, behind an imposing teak desk sat a healthy (kind of short and rotund) looking doctor with a shiny bald pate. Bespectacled, round people are mostly cute and induce warm, fuzzy feelings. Add a dash of concern like only old-timer doctors can pull off, and I am usually reduced to mush. He was polite, gentle and so filled with concern, I was shocked. He was so gentle and sweet I could have kissed his soft hands. I was probably not paying attention, but when he gestured to ask me to lie down on his tall examination table, I didn’t know what he wanted of me. It should also give you a clue about just how long it’s been since I went to a doctor, that I didn’t realise I needed to lie down in order to be examined. And imagine my surprise when I realised I’d forgotten what the cold disc of a stethoscope against my back felt like.

A battery of questions followed, amongst which he even politely asked if I minded him asking why I don’t have any children despite being married close to seven years. I don’t mind, when a doctor puts it like that. He also gave me a flattering label of “big time writer” when I told him where some of my work is published, admitting he only reads the local news because he doesn’t have a smartphone or a laptop.

He was silently winning so many brownie points in my mind. But the clincher was the parting shot, “You can take all this medication, but nothing will give you relief like steam inhalation and warm water gargles will. Don’t stop doing that,” he said, as I walked out, grinning, because I had visions of my mother dispensing her ever-effective wisdom of steam inhalation being the cure for every ill forming in my mind.

Later, at home, I called Amma to update her about what the doctor has said. I told her he too belonged to her school of thought, where steam inhalation cures all, warm water gargles soothe a hurting throat, and he probably stopped just short of telling me to make a nightcap of haldi-wala doodh.

“I like him already,” she said.

I knew I did too.

Shut down

17 Dec

I was out all day yesterday. And sometimes days like that protect you from the horrors that we call news. News that streams in faster than we might like it to. News that you really cant escape even if you look away.

I was out all day yesterday, and that meant I was off the computer, talking to real people over pizza and coffee. We discussed writing, publishing, words, creative processes, trials and tribulations, writers block — we talked shop in a way that only writers can.

Meanwhile, the news streamed in. But it wasn’t until 8 pm when I came home and read about Peshawar. With the second news report, my palms turned cold, my eyes prickly with tears and my head was quickly pounding with anger and helplessness.

Does this happen to you? Do any of you have physical reactions to reading the news? This is new to me, and I don’t know how to deal with it. Most often, I take to turning around and sharing it with the cohabitor, the hugsband who is usually the calm to the storm inside of me. The one with the rational answer. The one with the right words, as succinct as they may be. And yet, even he turned quiet when I told him the news yesterday. No answers. No words.

I have an ambivalent (somewhat confused) take on religion and God. I am a believer, and I have a very convenient dependency on prayer (even calling it religion would be a stretch) — giving in to hushed prayers when in times of crisis, but I am also aware that this is just a psychological crutch that has no bearing on real events. If anything, prayers uttered hastily in times of trouble, are meant to centre and ground you, but I know there are other ways to achieve that. So increasingly, I have been questioning the role of religion and the point of it all. Especially given the quickly deteriorating geo-political state of affairs across the world, I’m beginning to strongly believe religion (in the form it was intended) has played its part for us. It has now turned into a trump card that groups of people are using to get one up on each other. It’s done it’s fair share of damage, its beginning to rot in the undeserving hands of those who manipulate and politicise it, and it’s time we gave it a do-over. Or better still do away with it.

Even closer home, over the last 6 months, we’ve seen the rise of extremist and fundamentalist factions spewing the drivel they call their beliefs. We’ve had right wingers claim they want a Hindu world. We’ve had churches burnt down. We’ve had leaders tell us they want the Gita to be the national text. We also believe cow milk holds the solution to corruption and cow urine is the answer to all medical evil. We’ve had vehement calls for forcibly reversing conversion to bring those who we think belong with us, back on our side. We want to cancel Christmas and turn it into Good Governance Day (what governance — oh the irony!) It’s almost like governance = asserting our supposed religious superiority. Oh and sweeping up streets.

And if it seems like I’m highlighting only the extremists, the examples that dangle at the extremes of the spectrum, this was exactly my fear when the new power came into play. That a fundamentalist at the centre, no matter how shrewd or calculative, focused or measured he may be, will provide steam to the chest-thumping extremists that lie at the fringes. They really don’t need much more to come to the fore.

Upset, angry and shaken up. I looked back at a picture I took earlier in the afternoon in the hope that I’d find some solace, positivity and hope. Then I shut down for the day.

AlwaysSomethingLeftToLove

*****

I came online to post about some work woes. I had a post planned out in my head. I was going to mock a few clients and share some bizarre stories of things I’ve had happen to me. But I couldn’t do it.

It’s a bit messing-the-head-up to have an fb feed and a twitter TL half-filled with grief, horror, terror, many of us grappling with the shock and sheer helplessness that never seems to find form in words. And the other half filled with Christmas bakes, the minutiae of a food blogger life, pictures of decorations, the expected dose of glib viral content that has come to be the main function of social networking.

In the midst of it all, I saw this.

For Peshawar and for these times.
Via Sharanya Gopinathan on FB

Disbeliever, by Mohja Kahf

…I need a body outside my life that can travel and kneel
on the sidewalk beside a movie theater in Algiers
over the bodies of the supple children
who will never be my children’s playmates or marry them
over the bodies of the men and the women
who will never write a letter, will never phone me from Algiers:
“How was the movie? I love you. I love you.”
I need time outside this history where I can whisper in the ear of each of them,
By God, you will never be forgotten
By God, I will make sure the world
buries its face in your beautiful hair,
sings to you, learns your name and your music,
lifts you up in the crook of its arm like a gift
I am a disbeliever
in everything but the purity of the bodies
of the men and women–with or without the veil,
with or without the markings of the right identity–
in everything but the suppleness of children
I am a disbeliever in every scripture
in the world that leaves out
“How was the movie? I love you. I love you.”

*****

Increasingly, I’m leaning towards a decided disbelieving. My father is an atheist, and I’m beginning to see why. Every religion professes righteousness, tolerance, peace — and yet every day we have the worst most horrible acts perpetrated in the name of religion. It doesn’t make sense anymore.

I browse fb for 30 seconds more. My head can’t take it. And I shut down.

One of my all time favourite Carlin monologues comes to mind. I watch it, it makes me smile ruefully

He hits the nail on the head, and you can’t help but agree.

“I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fucked up.”

Love in the time of Bollywood-y memories

12 Dec

I woke up with an old favourite ringing on loop in my head today. You know, the kind of repetitive ringing fills your brain with a kind of musical  till you can take it no more and you have to just play the song a couple of times to get it our of your system? That.

Well that coupled by an absurdly off-season rainy day. We have a couple of showers of surprise November Rain some times, but rain half way through December? This is a first.

This track haunted my morning, taking me right back to that dull monsoon afternoon in 2011. To days of hours wasted trying to crack inane headlines to convince people to donate to underprivileged children or buy software I didn’t believe in myself. Hours of dimming my brain under the influence of the creative process circus that was our chosen mode of operation. It took me right back to that moment of discovering it on youtube, in a stuffy room at work, made stuffier still by the constant inability to crack those bleeding headlines. Windows shut, and my brain feeling stifled by the yellow walls that closed us in. Grey, gloomy clouds drifting by outside, the rain pelting down relentlessly, making deep indentations red earth that was the field outside, an undeniable reminder that maybe the whole set-up was such an experiment in futility. The song strangely just fit the scene and I remember listening to it approximately 300 times over a few days before I decided I needed something new.

There was another rainy day when someone played this song on loop. Approximately 82.87 times, I kid you not. It seemed apt and nobody complained for the longest time, even though we were all acutely aware it was the same whiny, pained song played over and over and over. It was raining, and something about the rain makes soppy songs seem okay. Even if its the same one played again and again.

I watched Hasee to Phasee on a cold February night. One of those freaky surprise-shower nights that took everybody by surprise. The lovey-dovey overtures played over several days. I’d wake up, find the youtube track and hit play as soon as I woke up. The song forever reminds me of the scene in the rain where Sidharth Kapoor and Parineeti Chopra are stranded somewhere in the city. And of course it will forever be filed away in the rain song segment of my mind.

Even though this movie turned me off Ranvir Singh for a good long while, this song and the scenes of wispy snow capped mountains, log cabins, lonesome benches, trench coats and mist wafting out of your nose when you breathe in the open, are embedded in my mind. Perfect for dull, grey days when you can close your eyes and, just for a bit, feel like you might be in the hills.

I realise I’ve been dwelling on music and memories of late. I’ve caught myself lost in a wave of nostalgia triggered by  several times. And it makes me wonder if this is just me seeking comfort of some sort? I realise there’s a special place in my heart for that sole soppy song in every other Hindi film. I manage to find it, abuse it, make it mine and stash it away in a dark crevice of my brain. The same place memories like these go to. For easy retrieval. Which is why many of them routinely jump back out, flooding mundane days like today with recollections of all the associations I have. Memories that have dulled with time, rusty frames from the past, images that light up with a flickering spark of life. They refuse to die.

Thoughts on a litfest

11 Dec

I was invited to speak at the recently concluded Goa Arts and Literary Festival this year, to share my thoughts about blogging — both in the personal blogging as well as food blogging space. My immediate reaction was disbelief. I was convinced there had been a mistake and I laughed out loud before I wrote back to the organiser informing him that he had perhaps contacted the wrong person, because most other people he mentioned in his email were in a different league. Published writers, cookbook authors, famous journalists, etc. Specifically in the blogging segment, I saw names of people with tangible accomplishments (a published book, a definite influencer, a well-known name in blogging circles). When he clarified that there was in fact no mistake, that the panel I’d be speaking on included other prominent bloggers from Goa, I first warned him of the fact that I am just bumbling along in the blogging space, I have never had a plan and don’t know where this is all going to add up in the larger scheme of things. Then, I began a long exercise in psyching myself to get on stage and speak.

I have never been very good with getting up on stage. I’ve studied music for over 15 years and dance for over 10, and yet never made it to stage because each time the opportunity presented itself I would either flatly refuse (sometimes after kicking up a mighty hissy fit), or give in to emotional blackmail and eventually do it. But not without losing all my fingernails to the battle, and developing stress-knots in my shoulders like battle-scars.

Years later, I shied away from representing my corporate communications team in conducting a training in the basic brand principles for employees. I just outright ducked out of it, and was lucky enough to have a teammate and buddy who understood my fear and always covered for me.

More recently, I had a boss who tried very hard to get me to make a blighted monthly presentation before the rest of the organisation. I hated this exercise with all my heart. Not just making the presentation, but the entire process of being harangued into fighting my stage fright and public speaking demons. The idea was to prime us as professionals who would sooner or later be making presentations to clients and conducting ourselves in a larger professional scenario, but my job profile rarely demanded it, so I didn’t see why I needed to be pushed so hard into doing something that didn’t come naturally, and that would actually add little value to my day to day life. I was also against the idea of being coerced like a school child, into doing things because the system expects that every “professional” tick off all the right boxes.

Even though I didn’t see the point in the entire exercise, I grit my teeth and made many a desultory presentation, with an edge of disinterest and made no attempts to hide my loathing. I wouldn’t be lying if I said it certainly accelerated my desire to leave the entire organisation altogether, since I couldn’t find a logical explanation as to why I had to repeatedly make a fool of myself indulging in an activity thatw as neither my cup of tea, nor central to my profession. I did however, take back some advice my boss gave me, during one of my feedback sessions when I vehemently opposed and questioned the point of it all. He told me that it was fine if I didn’t enjoy the process after having tried it out, but “try and minimise your aversions” he said. And that has stuck with me ever since. Not just with public speaking (I am still as unwilling, but at least I feign some interest and am willing to give it a shot) but with most other things too, whether it is an aversion to try a cuisine I’m inclined to turn away from, pick up a colour I have always thought didn’t suit me, or be the first to converse with a stranger in a room.

It has to be said, this advice has held me in good stead so far. So plied with his wise words, I decided I would cast my aversions aside, if only for those 30 minutes, and give it a good honest shot. I won’t lie, I went in unprepared. Partly because the whole fest was organised so shoddily, none of us knew our sessions titles or what we were to speak about; and partly because I wanted to see how spontaneity works.

Turns out it wasn’t such a great idea because on Day 1, I fumbled, spoke in long-winded circles and didn’t make any points with clarity and conviction as I would have liked to. I had it all in my head, but a little preparation and gathering of my thoughts beforehand would have definitely helped my delivery.

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The double whammy came as a mighty surprise when the schedule was revealed 24 hours prior to the festival, when I realised I was speaking on not one, but two panel sessions. And what’s more, I was to chair the second session and engage in a casual conversation with my fellow food bloggers. So on day 2, I went prepared. I looked up my co-panelists and had questions in mind, and a general direction in which I wanted to steer the conversation. It helped that I was sharing the stage with two published cookbook authors, and one friend from Goa, so the conversation flowed much more easily.

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And you know what? I actually enjoyed it. So here’s the deal. This is what the experience has taught me:
– I realise I am unnecessarily sheepish about my skills as a writer. I’ve written this blog for over 7 years now, and the response I’ve got, despite the fact that I rarely ever seek “response”, tells me that large parts of it are more than just readable, and are actually enjoyable and they have an audience out there. I need to start believing in myself and my ability to write in this form. I seem to take only my professional writing seriously and even in conversation I’m always brushing this blog aside as something I do in my own time, for fun, calling it a space where I muck about. In the process I am probably belittling the immense part it has played in shaping my personality, giving me a vent to share my thoughts and experiences, and in just bearing witness to my growth as a person
– I might have hated and loathed speaking about writing at work, because all said and done, I never really identified with that form of writing or the larger businesses I was a part of. I found speaking about blogging, food, life in Goa and my experiences to be much more natural and spontaneous.
– I may not be the best orator around, but its a useful skill to have to be able to engage an audience that is interested in what you have to say. I never experienced this at work, because well, subject was so dreary. But it was entirely different to have the audience listen with keenness, and even ask questions at the end of every session
– I am probably not as averse to getting up on stage and speaking in public as I imagined I was. Perhaps context and content is key

GALF may have fallen short on several other fronts, and the sessions I was a part of were probably of least consequence compared to the heavyduty litfesty proceedings of the festival at large, but personally it was an eye-opening experience. I got to meet fellow food bloggers, some old friends, some new. And I got to share the stage with some fabulous bloggers — some I follow and some I must begin to:

Trusha Ganesh: 13 year old blogger, who writes three blogs! One about her life as a pre-teen, one through the eyes of her dog (!) and one more full of random musings
Helene DSouza: German home cook and blogger who married into a Goan family and now straddles two cultures and cuisines and chronicles it all on her blog
Ulrike Rodrigues: who amongst many other blogs and forms of writing, wrote about cycling through and exploring Goa.
Anuradha Goyal: who is a published author, and also writes three blogs where she chronicles her travels, reviews books very seriously, and writes about technology and innovation

The food blogging panel had Helene DSouza, Pamela Timms of Korma, Kheer and Kismet fame, Kornelia Santoro who’s lives in Goa and cooks Mediterranean food (and she brought us fabulous truffles to eat!) and yours truly.

A few months ago someone (who shall remain unnamed) and who was at IFBM discovered I had this other blog, where I write freewheeling rambles about my life, experiences and thoughts — totally self-centred and personal. Imagine my shock when I received a message from her, totally out of the blue, in capital letters, demanding to know why I hadn’t conducted the session on writing at the food bloggers meet. This sort of surprise appreciation has increasingly been flowing in from unexpected quarters, and yet every time I hear words of praise for this blog, I don’t quite know how to react. I am at a loss for words and give into the most inappropriate sheepish response, which almost always is bordering on being apologetic and leads to some form of lodging my foot firmly into my mouth.

Maybe it’s time to get over my aversion to open appreciation and flattery too. And maybe I need to learn to accept it with grace.

Unfinished business

10 Dec

Is there anything worse than carrying around the lazy weight of an unaccomplished goal? There isn’t. It’s worse when reminders of it stalk you everywhere, showing you what you could have done, but didn’t. Reminding you of what could have been, but isn’t. It’s like carrying around a ball and chain uncomfortably, all over town and trying to go about your life like it doesn’t exist. Except, it does. It’s visible, heavy and drags you down.

My ball and chain is a failed attempt at accomplishing a goal. I had no real resolutions for this year, as has been the case for the last few years now. I did have one thing I wanted to accomplish before the year was done. I started off with alarming resolve — I had a plan, a list, and I went about knocking things off in extreme organised fashion. But somewhere along the way, I lost steam. Rather, other things took precedence, and I let myself lose steam. Even when I realised I was losing grip and needed to grab hold of the closest buoy and steady myself again, I didn’t. Instead, I let go and further slipped into that abyss of procrastination, counting the remaining weeks and months of 2014 that still lay ahead of me. Until, suddenly I realised it’s December. Then that familiar ache to look back washed over me, as it invariably does this time of year. And I realised it’s been a decent year in most respects, except for these two. People and this one goal I had for myself. Unfinished business, a largely unaccomplished goal.

My ball and chain this year, is the regret of wasted time. The months I let melt away assuming I still had time. It’s the weight of procrastination that leaves you deeply drained even after it has passed. It’s the painful tingle of failure, that feels like a scab hastily pulled away from a freshly healed wound. You heal, you move on, and then you stop to pull it off once more and find yourself back exactly where you started.

I was never very-self motivated to begin with, and have managed to get things done and operate with a good level of productivity and satisfaction for the last two years, purely running on the enthusiasm of the sense of liberation that quitting my job gave me. The sudden time on my hands and the possibilities it opened up kept me going. Now that that feeling is old and almost fading, I’ve struggled to do stuff. This year, I had the added challenge of looking for work in multiple places too. A search that was largely an exercise in futility. My productivity has taken a beating. And what’s worse is I’ve let that feeling take over me, and push me further into a state of inertia and lethargy that is extremely hard to get out of all on my own.

I realised with resounding clarity last week that I am an excellent doer of things, if a plan is chalked out and direction is set. I struggle with charting my own way. I even considered consulting a personal coach a few months ago, when the unbearable weight of inaction was eating me up. When I tried everything I could to get myself motivated and going, and it still wasn’t working, I thought perhaps I need professional help in planning out the way ahead, with my goal in mind. Anything to keep it from remaining unfinished business.

December came along and it took a week more of procrastination and finally some ass-whooping at the hands of the hugsband (calm down you pervs, I’m only talking figuratively) to finally got me back on track. Some semblance of it anyway. I’m managing with some ease the part where I stick with the new routine we planned out, and where I strap myself to my desk for the stipulated time we agreed upon. What I’m struggling with is following through and getting the work done.

My mind flits this way and that, in search of a more compelling distraction. I drag it back, ball and chain and all. I shut down emails. I don’t dare open facebook. I meditate. I try and centre my mind and get it to be still. I do all of that, and somehow when it comes to actually working, here I am writing a post.

Days go by

9 Dec

It usually doesn’t take much to put me in a nostalgic head-space. Catching me off-guard most times, lingering strains of memory resurface time and again, triggered by the most random (and sometimes, inane) things. A whiff of day-old deodorant that clings to an unknown body and an unknown face in the crowded market street can send me spiraling down a rabbit-hole. A car whizzes by me, with thumping beats of an old favourite track I now consider myself too grown up for, and I’m reduced to a ball of mush. A vanity search for an old post throws up an ancient avatar, a simpering side of myself that I no longer identify with. And yet it is enough to rake up so much emotion, I have to sit with it, caress it, treat it well and tuck it right back to the place it belongs, lest it implodes into a cloud of madness, right there inside my head.

Days go by, and still I have those moments of madness that are fighting to stay on top. Last week I took a lesson in hula-hooping. The instructor hit play, and track one broke me down a little.

It took me back to a time of young, blind love in a time before cell-phones came into our lives. Of packed Bangalore night clubs before the 11 pm curfew came into our lives. Of dancing quite uninhibitedly even if we were just literally acting out the lyrics long before that accidentally acquired but carefully nurtured shyness came into our lives.

I have a thing for smells and sounds. They stick around in my head far longer than I anticipate they will. They’re my biggest memory triggers and have the staggering potential to stop me in my tracks. Days go by and still they can turn me into a blithering idiot for a bit. Like it did at the end of the hula-hoop lesson last week. I drove home in a cloud of dreamy sentimentalism, reliving hazy memories of the years when the likes of Ja Rule, Daft Punk and Dirty Vegas played in the nightclubs we frequented.

I don’t remember too much from that phase of my life. As the months wear on, parts of my past fade away getting hazier still. I don’t know how the brain chooses some parts and hangs on to them, while pushing others so far back it takes the body odour of a stanger, a distinct bass line or a string of words to bring them racing out in front again. Perhaps it is my inability to deal, to pack it all away for good. I’d rather have the option to shut it out in an infrequently visited corner of my mind, far away form reach, but close enough to retrace, should I ever feel the need to time travel back to the high octane time of my life, fueled by too much emotion, a misguided rebelious streak and misplaced sense of entitlement. Days go by and still I have this inexplicable need to revisit the madness.

Sometimes the triggers unleash a specific memory, so vivid it plays out in my head like it only just happened the other day. I remember shiny, sequined clothes that I could never pull off. I remember wearing them, all the while thinking “this is so not me” but going through with it anyway. I remember yanking the skinny jeans over my too-big bottom. I remember the attempts at make up. That was all going to come undone with the stolen kisses underneath a staircase in the corner of a crowded dance floor in one of Bangalore’s most crowded and stuffy nightclubs.

I remember the heady smoke of many clandestine (and later regretted) cigarettes wasted in trying to smoke. I remember flat tyres being changed on street corners at absurd times of the night, the boys on their knees while we in our skimpy party clothes stood around trying not to panic about a curfew hour that was long gone, long forgotten. I remember standing up on leather sofas, dancing like nobody’s watching, and eventually realising that in fact everybody was, and the beefy bouncer waving his hands in front of me was a sign that I needed to step it down a notch. I remember playing the drinking game that involved burning a little hole in the tissue delicately placed over a mug of beer, encasing a coin. I remember being the unlucky one to down a mug sufficiently peppered with cigarette ash, on one occasion. I remember bring sick. I remember sitting on a cold metal bench, leaning back on a stone wall in the outdoor area, my brain throbbing to time, in keeping with the  head-thumping beats that still wafted out of the dance area. Days went by like a sea of music and memories, with us floating through without a care in the world.

It was like just the other day we drove across town, clocking 30-40 kilometres like it was no big deal, picking up friends from here and there, all to make it to the club on time. All for those few hours of throbbing, stomach-knotting beats. Those few hours of togetherness that were hard to achieve in broad daylight. Within the smokescreen that was a nightclub, something transformed us into preening divas. Something about being in a place we weren’t supposed to made it aspirational. A heady high distinctly different from the vodka shots we may or may not have had. Drunk on revelry was my usual mode of operation and only sometimes, when my pocket money afforded it, the experience would be laced by a little bit of alcohol.

I don’t always remember the nitty-gritty, the specifics, I remember dancing like I owned that little space, within the arms of the boy. I remember doing most things in an uncompromised fashion, whether it was partying hard, loving easily or even eating a good meal and having a memorable conversation. A quality that I briefly lost somewhere in between before I rediscovered it with a vengeance. But these memories they take me back to where it all began, exercising choice, free will, being happy.

Days go by. They do. Weeks and months worth of them, in fact. And while much of the memory fades away, much of it remains. All it takes to remember, is a song.

December love

4 Dec

It’s creeping up on me slowly. I know it because the sun is lazy to rise. The morning light, lazier still. The sky remains shrouded in a veil of grey, slowly, unwillingly giving in to the blot of sunshine that begins to blooms over the window behind me.

The light in my room is usually my wake up call. But these days, the alarm goes off before the room is bright enough. It’s harder getting out of bed. Near impossible disentangling myself from under the hug of a riot of limbs and blanket. I tug at the covers harder still, creeping my fingers out ever so slightly, just enough to hit snooze yet again.

I see it creeping on me slowly, when I open up the balcony doors and the nip in the air stings me for a moment. The gooseflesh shows up instantly, telling me the temperatures are dropping. And the hair on my legs wakes up in agreement.

I know it is slowly creeping up on me, when I wake up to shuffling beside me and without quite opening my eyes I’m begging VC to stay. “It’s cold outside,” I say. But he won’t listen, slipping away from me, up and about, into his cycling gear and off he goes while it’s still dark out.

This morning, I saw it. Dew, dressing the leaves in my balcony pots. Cool, fresh, resting like petite strings of tears on a baby cheek. I hold myself back from rustling it, brushing the dew off. I watch, wrapping my palms around the mug of chai in my hands.

It happens so rarely, for such a short while every year. Delicate white swathes of mist sweep through the street outside. Plumes of feathery mist hang over the fields. A dull wetness envelopes my laundry that’s hung out to dry. Everything bears a gossamer look, for a brief time in the morning.

Like the gentleness of lips brushing against lips, like a cold nose touching a hot cheek. Our version of winter, it’s creeping up on me ever so sexily. Not quite like the vivacious party guest who arrives with a crash and a bang and sweeps you off with a big-armed embrace. But like the quiet love of your life, who slips in unannounced and sneaks up on you with a welcome rub in the small of your back.

Winter sunsets with wispy clouds that float by faster than you can see them.

Winter sunsets with wispy, soap bubble clouds.

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