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185: …

5 Jul

Ma left for Bangalore this morning. The guest bedroom is lifeless, the sheets perfect, the bed made, her purse and bags missing…just traces of her presence left behind every single where.

I hate saying bye; it’s something I despise immensely. Perhaps it’s a good thing I couldn’t get to spend as much time with her this morning since we were all getting ready to leave. As her cab moved along, all I felt was a sense of loss – of seeing her happy, smiling face everywhere; of just being in her solidly strong presence.

Thankfully there was a hectic day at school that took over everything else. I managed to sponge off some positivity from my students as we shared our thoughts and feelings before beginning our day.

She left behind, among pieces of advice, love, strength and joy, this book I almost picked up at a store but kept for later instead – Rabindranath Tagore’s autobiography – which is a keep.

His work is beyond classical and beautiful, something I thoroughly enjoy poring over bit by bit.

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of
Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”

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183: Mondays Are For Moaning

3 Jul

…especially when the countless Mondays before have been without alarms, work, deadlines, schedules.

My mind is in some sort of obvious denial about this rather harsh reality that has dawned upon it like a rude shock. While a small secret part of me is happy to be back to a routine, a large part of me has never felt more inert. Students and teachers alike were more zombies than people at a place which means serious business. What’s even more annoying is this pile of work that’s multiplied on top of my head because I avoided it all summer, because who does office work on holiday eh? I’m facing the brunt of all that grand procrastination now and it certainly doesn’t feel pleasant…but procrastination never did, so.

Since ma’s here, we’ve been spending time at my aunt’s which means extra full family time, which is always lovely. But again, that’s all this Monday has the best of.

182: Ma’s Touch

2 Jul

After what was an almost full day of work on a Saturday, I came back home to a freshly made and piping hot lunch courtesy ma. The table was laid with the spread adoring it lovingly. Dal, chawal, sabzi, raita, salad, rotis, pickle, chutney… it’s the biggest treat to have these burdens taken off your shoulders for even one day. I can’t be more thankful, really.

After a much needed siesta post lunch, we were off to my aunt’s for a Saturday night in, complete with good food, laughs, and company as always. Who says familying isn’t partying?

Tomorrow’s a brand new day and session, a final rude reminder that my holidays are over for a long time to come. But I prefer wallowing in the madness and beauty that was yesterday. :)

181: Defining Normalcy

1 Jul

When we went to receive ma late last night, the first thing she did after hug me is scold me for coming all the way to receive her at the hour that we did. It was followed by a barrage of some more scoldings which invariably led me to snap at her. Of course she means well and is only perpetually concerned, which she expresses in the way she does. However, that ended up in a quick tiff, which I’ve come to accept as normal. I’ve come to learn that this is how the women in my family show love and concern. This; and via food.

I’m not going to be surprised if we have numerous more tiffs during this short visit of hers.

Sigh.

180: Final Friday

30 Jun

The finale of my holiday is here and how. Where my summer sped off to is beyond me – if summer can fly away i.e.

I’m back at work tomorrow, which is a cruel joke to play – who works on the weekend before their work begins?!

But the highlight, the silver lining of it all is that ma’s arriving tonight. I’m looking forward to spending time with her from whatever I can salvage. But no matter what, the idea of meeting ma makes up for everything else that seems ugly to my mind right now.

I hope you’re having a beautiful Friday and an even better EoW!

163: It’s Time

13 Jun

S, A, and I left for the airport together, and sat to have our respective bevvys together while waiting for our flights. I watched his taxi to the runway and take-off, wondering just how big my baby brother had become. Soon it’d be our turn to leave.


Ma told me to have button idlis at the airport, so I did…and now I’m too full. Of everything that home can fill a child with. Including the heartbreak of leaving it. Sigh.

160: Making Memories

9 Jun

Mom and I did the unthinkable today; something we haven’t ever done before, I reckon.


We took a walk in Cubbon Park while it rained,

and then slurped on some tea at The Press Club wile it poured.

Precious.

159: Surprises

8 Jun

Ever since I’ve gotten to Bangalore, there have been couriers by my name coming my way. The first one was from a jewellery store – the same one A bought my ring from. Of course I was shocked to see it come my way, and as my mind did the usual by default – it flipped and went into overdrive. Who could’ve sent this? Why? What’s in it? This has got to be crazy? Oh dear Lord, I’m married, don’t tell me there’s a creepy secret admirer?! Of course it isn’t a creepy secret admirer, the only one who’d do something like this would be A! Oh, open it already. Just to be safe, I called A up to ask him if he’d sent something for me. All this even before opening the damn package. But you just left, why would I send you jewellery?, A joked. Maybe because there’s a latent strand of romance in you and perhaps you miss me? I urged. All said and done, A confirmed that that package wasn’t from him. Packing up whatever hopes of romance I thought might resurface with this small act, I gathered myself and opened it – to find a box of chocolates. CHOCOLATES in a box from a jewellery store. I’ll let you imagine the feeling it invoked. (PS, I didn’t even have them; the gall!!)

Anyway, another courier came my way, leaving me stumped again.

Inside it lay a collection of Gulzar’s translations of Rabindranath Tagore’s works. I stared at it, and stared at it some more. Who could’ve possibly given me such a precious gift? I eyed ma and asked her upfront, which she denied straightfacedly. I wracked my brain again wondering who could’ve known exactly what I want when I’m looking for peace, quiet, and solitude.

It turns out that the package was indeed from ma – can you imagine my shock, surprise, and sheer delight?! It was stupid of me to even wonder who so painstakingly and thoughtfully extended this gesture of love towards me – of course it had to be ma and only ma.

I’m still at a loss for words, to be very honest. Gifts like these are worth their weight in gold.

140: For Ma

20 May

This cake was a long time coming; one that I’d been dreaming of making but just never got around to investing time over, until today when it just happened. Needless to say, it was the most effort I’ve ever needed to put in for a simple tea-cake, but the results, as you can see, were fabulous, and just thrilling, to be honest.

Today is ma’s birthday, and it was absolutely fitting to have this bubble up in my oven and fill my house with the fragrance of love, and all things that ma is to me, and each of us. Besides, she loves her teacakes, and I cannot wait to make this for her, because we all have an Alex in us that needs to bite the Marty in us too. :)

This reminded me of two years back when I made ma her birthday cake at home; it was also the year I was moving away from home and her nest. It had to be doubly special for reasons still too emotional to describe.

Time flies, and here I am, sitting with another cake over yet another year that has arrived at our doorsteps.

While I can’t be with her on this day, and couldn’t be with her on this day last year either, this sense of serendipity makes up for it somehow.

Love is ma. Love is a freshly baked homemade cake, too. :)

130: Girlfriend Time

10 May

There’s no denying the balms that are mom-time and girlfriend-time. I’m a sucker for both, and a hardcore fan of both, too. It was yesterday while tinkering around the laptop waiting for A to come back home from a super late work-day, that P from the states buzzed me. It’d been a while and given that she’s a new mommy trumps everything else. But she calls whenever she can, and we speak. The last time that happened, she asked me if all was well and said that I needn’t let the world or its stresses affect me, almost automatically once we said hello to each other. Yesterday, she needed to hear the things that I was telling her, or that’s what she told me as I went on yapping away like I always do. I even FaceTimed with her baby daughter, who looks just like her father, which P and I almost telepathically grimaced about for a fleeting second. It’s one of those we carry you for nine months (and a lifetime) and you still turned out like your dad harmless and non-regretful funda that gets a lot of us women, you know?

Today has also been an off which I spent a lot of propped up on my elbows texting my girlfriends, who are, by the laws of nature, in different parts of the world. But you take that and suck it, universe, because we still can be with each other whenever we like. Random small talk and rants spiralled into full-blown ventilation sessions and conversations that did naturally revolve around life, the men in our life, the domesticities in our life, the work-life imbalance in our life, and of course, the necessity to stand strong in life. It’s funny how different perspectives in the same conversation take shape and make you see various mirrors that you probably never show yourself, or know exist. My mother and my girlfriends are those mirrors. Not to be sexist, because my brothers and my husband are my main mirrors too, but I’m sticking to title specifications right now.

Anyway the conversations made me think about my life and my journey and assess where I stand in all of it. It’s all easier said than done, because each of us has our own contributory factors that make our experiences our own. It’s as simple and point-blank as this forward that my aunt sent us the other day – if we were all to sit at a table and present our problems for someone else to take, we’d all leave the table taking along with us our own problems and no one else’s. It sort of made absolute sense irrespective of just how much one might crib or feel troubled.

But having said that, there’s no better mirror to look into than a good, hearty, honest conversation with your support system, whoever they may be. Mine are my family and my friends; all with different curvatures for the view they need to show me whenever I turn to them.