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Dear Anybody-Willing-to-Listen,

29 May

The hugsband who came back from a five day work trip,
The way you entered the house, dumped your bags down and headed straight to your bicycle was enough to tell me that I have successfully been replaced by a two-wheeled mode of transport that is currently the source of unbridled joy in your life. I watch, totally amused, as you fish out a big bag of goodies you brought back from your trip. I am tempted to ask if there’s anything in it for me, but I knew it was a foolish question as I watched you fish our a brand new cycle seat (what was wrong with the old one to begin with?), a second water-bottle holder (doesn’t your cycle already have one?), a new bottle (because what good is a new holder if you don’t have a new bottle to put in it?), cycling shorts (I suppose a shiny new seat needs a bum clad in shiny new shorts to sit on it?), a set of ratchets and screw drivers specially designed for cycle-fixing (tool-man fetish rising to the surface again?). I have seen you get soaked up in activities of your choice like this before. You surround yourself with every accessory needed before you even try doing it first. I suppose its a different kind of keeda that floats your boat, but this, dear hugsband is scary, because we are soon going to need a new home to store all your cycling equipment in.

The people finally paving the street outside my home,
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I see the muscles on your bodies flex, and the sweat trickle down profusely, with every heave you make to get that basket of granite from the ground up on to your heads. You do it again and again, tireless toiling over a street that is of little consequence to you. It is probably just you doing your job, earning your daily bread. But as someone who has serially walked out of jobs that weren’t interesting, or that seemed like too much hard work for too little satisfaction, I wonder if you even have the space for this thought process. What is job satisfaction? What is the product of your toil? Your job probably means less to you than it does to the smug contractor watching over your every move, through his dark tinted shades. But it means a lot to me. Your actions, your Herculean strength to stick to your job in the oppressive May heat that I crib about from inside the cocoon of a curtained room, speak louder than words. Louder than the words of the local panchayat that promised to do up the road, last year. Louder than the collective words of everyone on this street who complained for a whole year before we did anything about it. And for that I am eternally grateful.

The loser who wrote the blog post I wish I hadn’t read, but that I quickly unfollowed on doing so,
How empty your life must be, if sending our passive-aggressive brain farts is the only way to get through to people you obviously have so much to say to? How utterly sad your life is, for the words you rebelliously shared sound like the thoughts of a 16 year old. How utterly stagnant and unchanging your life must be, that even after all is said and done, you’re rambling on about the same things you rambled on nearly a decade ago? What you need is a big gulp of your own medicine. Read your own words, chew on them, mull over it, regurgitate it, do whatever you will of it. But for God’s sake, believe in it. Believe in something that is your own and not a fractured, manufactured, well-put-together version of what a dozen other people told you was good for you. Grow a pair, find your spine, do whatever it takes but please, move the fuck on.

The only vegetable vendor who understands why I always need curry leaves,
I noticed you get by speaking every language possible. I’ve heard you rattle off Marathi and Konkani with the ease of a “localite” when you speak to customers from around your store, and I’ve heard the familiar intonation of Kannada roll off your tongue when you see me. You suddenly switch to a perfectly sculpted accent of Hindi, reserved only for your suppliers who call you to fix the next day’s deals. And then at times you utter a line or two of English. I grin inwardly, wiping away the first signs that threaten to show, when I hear you smooth-talk the woman in front of me, persuading her in English, to take the packet of mushrooms. You acknowledge my presence with a beaming toothy smile, and in that moment I realise what being enterprising means. It’s about being everywhere at once. Not physically, but mentally — learning languages on the go, picking up the pulse of your little store in the alley, making connections with people, talking to them like you know them, being alert to their every need, and going beyond just being a sabjiwalla. You shake me out of my thoughts, as you pull my leg about something or the other — often demanding a hundred rupees for a couple of lemons, and then throwing in a handful of chillies for free and behaving like it were a handful of gold. And then you give me the customary branch of fresh curry leaves, because nobody understands the need for fresh curry leaves, every single week, like a fellow South Indian. I thank you in Kannada and I leave. As usual, totally satisfied.

The people who make the shady stuff that is Royal Falooda Mix,
You have no idea to what extent you have pleased my overheating, summer-sapped body and mind over the last two days. The ease of boiling a litre of milk, stirring in a packet of shocking pink crystals mixed with seviyyan roasted nuts and chia seeds that grow plump over time, is sheer genius. Boil, mix, chill. And belt, served over any ice cream of your choice. Whattey beauty! Somewhere at the back of my mind is a niggling thought that wonders what scary chemicals you put into this fabulous mix, for it to get cooked up so easily, and for it to turn that eye-popping pink, but my heart goes into such raptures every time I have a glass of this wonderful-est invention, that the thought is thwarted down to a mere whimper. Liquid diet has taken on an all new meaning these days, as I have made meals of your falooda over the last two days. Strawberry done, raspberry and pistachio flavours to go.

Thank you for listening.

Cheers,
A hyperactive mind with way too many thoughts for one person to deal with

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15 Responses to “Dear Anybody-Willing-to-Listen,”

  1. Revs May 29, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    :)

    • hAAthi May 29, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Sneaky grin? Knowing grin? Happy grin?

      • Revs May 29, 2014 at 11:54 am #

        He he just an indulgent smile after reading your random thoughts. If I were an irritating random uncle, I’d grin at you, ruffle your hair and pull your cheeks maybe after reading this. Because I come from a respectable Tam family and have a certain phobia towards said uncles, I just smiled at you instead :)

        • hAAthi May 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

          Hahaha somehow I can totally picture that as a possibility :)

  2. Sofia // Papaya Pieces May 29, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Hyperactive mind today indeed! I was listening. xx

  3. egeedee May 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    So many thoughts! Good for you. Who is this blogger who pissed you off so much?

    • hAAthi May 29, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

      Loser blogger doesnt deserve anymore mileage so i will spare you :)

  4. Bikramjit May 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Well well I am not sure to decide are you angry-happy or what :) Come here after a long long time .. not that you will remember me :)

    those are a lot of thoughts .. and yes I read the whole post .. by the way how do you know the guys were working so hard and what you have described of their looks, you been watching too many movies … I specially went out of my office to look at the guys working on the road outside and NO definitely not the same breed as you have explained …

    and this Liquid diet he he he he I did it for two days , well less than that .. cud not hack it at all …

    so what sort of bicycle hubby has .. is it one of those fibre glass expensive ones .. , just in case you have time maybe you can let me know toooo .. I need one of those tooo :)

  5. Thumbelina May 31, 2014 at 7:02 am #

    Totally get the bicycle fixation, since I’m in the throes of one myself. Who needs wings, when they can ride a bike! While riding it, I’m in a state of bliss, and whenever I walk past it at home, I have to talk myself out of taking it out right then – several times in the dead of the night. And I have to limit my mileage on weekends (30 miles, enough already!) Need to get into the tools mode too, since I’m dreading pumping air into it tonight. If only I knew someone who was a bike tools fanatic, heh.

    • hAAthi May 31, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      Thumbina, meet VC. VC meet Thumbelina. We have a pump too and nt one of those huffy puffy ones but a slightly sophisticated one that takes a little less effort. Then theres a cycle chain de-greasing set. And lubricant. And special day time glasses in addition to the cycling shorts (two kinds!). The cycle cost multiples of tens of thousands and then an expensive cycle chain was bought to lock it up – LOL. Now hes talking about getting a road bike to zip around. Vc clocks about 20kms a day on week days and pushing 50kms on weekends. Hes also just informed me hes going on a 100km ride tomorrow :-|

  6. sulagna June 2, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    i have finally managed to open my long extinct wordpress account and am able to tell you..i read your blog ..yeah i know i am one of those people who come, read, enjoy every juice of every word and then leave. Talking of reading a blog you dont want to, i pretty much picked up a fist fight with someone on FB the other day , blogger..sad how people use a laptop to write oppressive stuff from inside their caves !!
    i am listening mate..i am listening..we all need to let it out once..allowed hai yaar

    • hAAthi June 3, 2014 at 8:39 am #

      Arrey Sula, thanks for dropping a note :) If you subscribe to email notifications whenever I post, you should just reply to the post, it comes to the blog as a comment.

      And you’re right. Allowed hai!

  7. The Girl Next Door June 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    :)

    I need to do this too – write random letters to random people about random things. :)

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