Browsing Tag

memories

Espresso Shots

the girl called rhino

a wail rose up in the calm late afternoon air. the tail end of it came stalking into the room with the plump little girl, who threw herself on the bed, burying her face in the cushion lying on top of the carefully covered pillows. the wail turned into a smothered whimper now, though as far as the calm of the afternoon was concerned, both had the same effect on it. “oh ma, why’re you behaving like that? what’s the…

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ADiction

who put the toy in the binaca toothpaste box?

everything is complex, nothing is without its politics, yet when the voice you know so well does its familiar lilt and stretch and sound segues to the next hit song, or you seize and peruse the toy that’s just popped out of a toothpaste box, that joy, that spike of thrill, there’s no complication in it. no politics either. which is why perhaps the mind grabs it all and puts it away in a safe place, knowing one day, it’ll…

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Mythology and More

with song and reverence and cap pistol… durga pujo

cap pistol (remember those?), rahul dev burman, new clothes, midnight movies, razia sultan, drumbeats, ghugni, exams, flowers in my clasped hands. the one with ten arms comes to my mind on many things. she’s been around for a long long time, quite taken for granted, part of life. to be worshiped, to be gazed at in awe, to be surrounded by noise and joy, to be danced and acted before, to be rejoiced with food and friends, to be prostrated…

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Espresso Shots

five feet of the snake

  “unpalatable to the lord of death! first among the monkeys!! you’ve seen five feet of the snake?? burnt face, extract of low stock!!” jomer oroochi! bandorer ogrogonno!! shaaper paanch pa dekhecho?? mukh pora, bodjaat!! the swear words flew fast, interrupted only by indignant breaths, equally rapid. the frail old lady’s voice got more stentorian with each word, the affront in it resounding. “return them this moment! return them now, i say!” she bellowed, her small frame shaking, her chest…

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Espresso Shots

revolution

the tiny dark man in spotless white dhoti and panjabi – in bengal the kurta has been called that for a very long time – had just reached the palm tree at the end of the unpaved gravel strewn path leading up to the house. rimi peered out of the window, her eyes getting brighter with each step the man took, as she unconsciously closed the book lying on the desk. she’d study later. now, it was time for bismil…

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Espresso Shots

by the pond

i dreamt of my father and mother today. he was looking handsome. she had that calm air about her which had always been hers, as though she had made it herself. with every gaze of her sharp brown eyes, every raising and lowering of her eyelids, the slow purposeful turn of her head, the stillness she held in every line and curve. she could turn the calm into what she willed in an instant. it always impacted you with such…

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sarees tell stories

how do you wear your saree

she wasn’t very tall, had a slight figure, hair in a bun, a pleasant expression, nothing remarkable really, yet the two of us were staring at her riveted. next thing i remember, we’d waylaid her and started an animated conversation. i looked at the photograph recalling things. it was the winter of 1980, i think. no internet, no google, no photoshop; i have to rely on good old memory. nice feeling. in fact, when i found the photograph, and grinned…

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indi

remember the code?

this morning, twitter took me to an article in the washington post, which in turn hauled me straight back to school. 1976… or was it ’77? grade ten or eleven. we all had to do a national cadet corps (ncc) certificate course. tt was compulsory. that’s when we heard “dit dit dit dah dah dah dit dit dit” for the first time. our instructor was teaching us morse code. the dit was a short sound, the dah a long one,…

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aarwen

Did you Smell the Roses?

Smell the Roses

Reposting since am without electricity at my house again… I returned home to darkness. They had disconnected power supply to my house because I had not paid the bill. Growing up, I lived in a city where power cuts were the norm. We had different forms of battery back up, which were crucial for some respite, but eventually they would all die down. I have survived in darkness. I have enjoyed watching the faint flicker of candlelight. Not because I was…

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sarees tell stories

in a pink nylon saree

it was my maternal uncle’s wedding. may 1966. i was six, my cousins between four and ten. we were five of us girls i think. we were all going to attend the wedding in calcutta and then go to delhi for the reception. my grandmother, always generous, fun, a bit over the top as grandmothers really ought to be, decided to get nearly identical lehengas and sarees made for us. the lehengas were in red silk with green cholis and…

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