Monthly Archives: September 2009

Fiction, Anyone?

Because right now, my own life is off blogging limits. Soon, hopefully not. So here’s a little something from an ole diary of yore. Inspired by one of my favourite albums, A Few Small Repairs by Shawn Colvin – particularly a song called If I Were Brave. (Incidentally, the ONLY song probably NOT to make it to YouTube. They were probably busy being overwhelmed by Rick Astley.)

Broken

Do it, says the shimmering man.

Your shining, evanescent body flies into the air, wings stretched and cuts through the water.

The angles and planes of you penetrate with scalpel precision.

Such perfect violation and I crush the wet sand in my palm, wanting abrasion, wanting pain.

Wanting You.

Lets assume for a minute that I was brave. That I came into this world with the Aura of the Blessed and Shimmering. Humour me a minute. Imagine fiery eyes, ambitions and a mind and body that were fearless. Imagine that.

If I were brave I would dive. My body shining in the moonlight, I would fly; I would glide; I would close my eyes briefly struck by the ecstasy of weightlessness. I would be one with the water. Feel it pounding against my eardrums, rushing into my nostrils, weighing on my lungs. Water, blood and Holy Spirit.

You come bursting through the water, dying to breathe, skin glistening and eyes dazed with daring. A magnificent snapshot for a mind constantly hungering for images of you. Puzzlement is writ large on your face – the puzzlement that is a prelude to the inevitable disappointment. I know the drill. There is my close personal history with disappointment but what’s more distasteful than a living martyr?

I want to be enough. Everything you ever wanted. For once I want to cut the mustard.

Lets go that party. The one where you can regale your friends with the never-boring Anecdote of Us. Love for you is about intangibles you will say. It was the not being able to put your finger on it breathlessness of being with someone. The miracle the miracle. I laugh gaily, shyly. I’m just learning to bask. You gesticulate. You illustrate. You effortlessly captivate your audience. I, your love object, want nothing more than to gladly and repeatedly electrocute myself on your high-voltage Aura of the Blessed and Shimmering till I bleed.

Till I feel blessed and enough.

A great party. Maybe for once I won’t be drinking too much and throwing up in the bushes wishing someone was holding back my hair. Or sitting in an overstuffed chair, thrusting my hands between my already clenched and pale knees talking about Plans. At this party I can pretend I never wanted to die.

Do it, you intone gently. Not wanting to tilt the balance.

Your torso gleams in the eerie night light as if bedecked in shining, salty pearls. A familiar ache swells in me and I feel plump with greed, wanting to taste the salt of you, the damp. I unclench the crushed sand in my palm and focus obsessively on my dirty, bitten nails. Your eyes don’t leave me for a nanosecond as I rise slowly with an exaggerated attempt at elegance.

I want to be that girl.

I want to be that bright arc cutting through the glassy surface into unknown depths. Braving all panic to swim into your arms. Your eyes are warm brown and sparkling in the chilly deep and limbs and lips mingle effortlessly, playfully. Light-bodied and light-headed we giggle bubbles and forget to breathe. Touch is velvet, fluid, more. Suddenly suddenly we are catapulted violently to a fixed bright spot in the watery firmament.

And Breathe.

I want to Do It. If I knew how, I would.

Its my fabric, blame it on the fabric. An old friend once talked about the fabric we were made of – strong, stern stuff and all that.

This fabric is flawed; it’s defective. A cosmic weaving error. The universe distractedly patched together some will and spirit but lets face it they did a shoddy job and dropped too many stitches.

Look at me.

I’m not durable polyester. Not Easy Wear or Easy Care.

I am the gauze that gives. Prod holes, leave gaps, cut, tear, rip to shreds. The fabric doesn’t know how to resist. The Easily Crushable variety.

I want to Do It. But I can’t escape the price I pay for a lifetime of Not.

But maybe – just maybe – in the deep, deep in you, I will be absolved, redeemed, baptised and reborn yours.

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Two Poems

…but not mine. It was written by my cousin (I use the term loosely and Indian ishtyle). She has just turned 13.

I would recommend some sort of seatbelt before you read these, because she really, truly, totally blew me away. You can’t make out from anything she writes that a freshly baked teenager put her pen to it. She has depths I think I only had a hazy imagination of at 13.

I won’t reveal her name or anything right now, but with her permission, I will be blogrolling her poetry site. So please go over and encourage her brilliance. Because really – the worst thing at the age and this phase in writing is how vehemently one can convince oneself one sucks. Its such a fragile age and you are already feeling too fat, too ugly, too much of a nothing even if – like this girl – you are pretty much the furthest from all that. And losing this sort of talent to lack of faith would just be unpardonable. I think I just found the most serious literary talent in our family and I can really see her out with an anthology by the time she is 18. My dear sister out-law, who works in publishing – can you back me up here?:-)

Without further ado:

Can you paint with the colors of your eyes?
The periwinkle exhaustion
the beckoning lure of the deep azule
the unfathomable crimson
abiding roses, fading, fading, constant
the violent purple
your tantalizing amaranthine
promising cerulean azure, emphasizing the cobalt intoxification
the heart-throbbing amethyst
threatening cerise
iredescent emerald, igniting
igniting the frantic orange
scintillating coral
irresistible saffron, belayed
full of the abominable black
lucious streaks of striking sunshine tweety-bird yellow
myrtle secrets upon fragile bronze
and the lightening gold and amber.
Can you?
Can you paint with all the colors of your eyes?

And then this:

Because Of You

because a blue poison tree frog can’t change its spots.
because some days, the stars don’t shine as bright
as they do on some days
as reflected in your eyes.
because we fall like raindrops, sooner or later
hitting the ground, becoming just another droplet of water
in a sea of anguish and love and hardships and tears.
because dreams aren’t good enough;
they’re for sleeping
and day dreams are just to get by.
because I’m not who you think I am,
and you’re not who everyone else thinks
you are.
because God doesn’t seem to give out his telephone number, or his street address,
on that garden-of-eden serenity up in the heavens.
because that hourglass is superglued to the table.
because roses have to die, and birds have to fly
away and leave the nest.
because humans can’t fly.
because you make me feel like i can fly
because you make me feel like i’m falling, drowning.
because you smile at me by accident
and i smile back
and you raise your eyebrows in a wiggle.
because i drop my pencils ‘accidentally on purpose’
and you see, but you walk away.
because Rapunzel’s hair was thin and fine,
and broke as the prince climbed up.
because you, all because of you
because of you, I’m terrified, I’m jubilant, I’m relentless, I’m ecstatic, I’m erratic, obliterated, helpless, senseless, drowning in desire.
because i love you,
but you don’t like me back.

Seriously, I can’t breathe.

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The One Who Got Away – Justin Currie

…and here’s why.

Justin Currie is the lead singer of Del Amitri – one of my favourite bands of all time till they began to conform to crap – and also precisely the kind of straggly, strungout Gaelic guy I would find irresistible because he is ALL about the lyrics and NOT about the baths and that sort of thing.

You never really lost me, Justin – you just won me all over again with your priceless MySpace site. And bring DA back!

Justin Currie was born in a van near Paisley in 1964 in a hailstorm so vicious that it took a team of panel beaters a month to separate his forehead from the roof. Later on, perhaps in the nineteen eighties he started to sing in a strange breathless way, cramming too many words into odd amounts of bars and found himself, with his group of twee schoolboy punks, Del Amitri, getting firmly up the collective nose of the Glasgow white-soul cognoscenti. Much more loathed than loved, and revelling in their outsider status, Del Amitri attracted a dense little coterie of followers in the United States of America who duly set up a nationwide tour funded by busking, badge selling and the refrigerators of those fans’ generous parents.

Driven half-mental by their experiences the group came home, ditched their indie twiddling and embarked upon a course of songwriting so sickeningly mainstream and Americanised that it led to a long career being spoilt stupid by the radio and recording industries of the English speaking world. Limos to the pub, ponds full of chips, week-long parties in Bognor, that sort of thing. By 2002 the thing had run it’s cliched course; the group’s fortunes were dwindling and, dropped by a record firm grown weary of their whining, the two chief writers put the band into cryogenic suspension and set about writing two LPs; a Justin Currie Alone affair and an entirely co-written electronic pop masterpiece.

Justin’s solo record is called “What Is Love For?” and features eleven thunderously dreary dirges many of which he is currently airing live to pained looking crowds of people in dingy Glasgow basements. When forced by penury, politeness or acute fear he can sometimes also be heard to trawl out tired versions of his withered hits.

Justin is unmarried and lives a quiet life of standing up and sitting down in Scotland with his two pet television sets.

Imcomplete post without my favourite Del Amitri songs, no?

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Oasis@Home The Arvind Way

Yesterday, in his tearing hurry to climb on the mantelpiece to – I don’t know – save the world? Arvind toppled a vase with my much-coveted, beautiful sunflowers. Yes, the ones in the header. Maybe I sensed their premature demise. Either way I’m glad I took my happy-making picture.

The vase toppled, I screamed, Arvind grovelled and begged for his life and after seeing the amazingly intact vase, I let it go. As I sadly bio-bagged the remains, Arvind came up behind me, hugged me and whispered, “Sorry” again.

Today, I came home to a clean house (thankyouthankyou lovely Thai cleaning lady who ALWAYS goes above and beyond and makes my day. Today she lit some agarbatti (incense sticks) on her way out so that the house smelt delicious when I walked through the door. I. Must. Never. Let. Her. Go.)

I also came home to this on our coffee table.

Autumn Delight

Autumn Delight

Arvind went on a nature walk today with his class and in a great a-ha! moment figured out that he could find the raw material to compensate for yesterday’s loss.

Dear son, you leave your mother hopelessly bleary-eyed when I see the thought, the delicate execution that has gone into your “autumn project” as you call it.

Oasis@Home title today goes to the thoughtful child who made his Ma’s day.

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You’re My Peace Of Mind

..in this crazy world, sang Joshua Kadison soulfully. Though he was obviously talking about a hot broad and I have something else in mind.

I believe that every home should have its oasis. A spot that is so lovely that you sometimes rush home just to take it in and glow a little. In the case of mi casa, my oases (?) wanders. I can pick a random corner/hallway/ windowsill to do up and like Flylady says, a little can go a long way.

Here is my latest oasis, created especially for Onam.

DSC_6557

This is the landing by the stairs and the sight that greets me as soon as I come in to the hallway. I love fresh flowers in the home. I especially adore gladioli of the kind you see in the big vase. The table is an antique piece bought from Vadakara, Kerala (Nat, be payin’ attention now) and I was going to be an idiot and NOT buy the matching mirror, but my Amma, who was born knowing better, gave us the mirror as a present. Now its all hand in glove, si?

As you will rightly surmise, I don’t do the Scandanavian minimalistic style. Why? Because it bores the crap out of me to see so many almost-identical white walled homes, furnished like the Stepford Wives took over on a day when they were really uninspired at IKEA. I like simple, clean cut styles, but I love soul – in pieces of furniture, in homes.

So here is the plan. I will take the little nooks and crannies of my home, bit by bit and do it up – and post ” Oasis@Home” pictures. It doesn’t have to be more advanced than a plant on a table. It doesn’t have to be a pretty thingummy at all.

It could be a toy on the floor or  laundry hung up to dry.

Your bliss, your call. All I’m looking for is a feelgood corner/ area of your home. It would be great if some of you guys took this, ran with it and started your own Oasis@Home series. Who’s in?

Those of you who don’t have a blog can mail me your pics at momgonemad9 at gmail dot com if you don’t mind sharing the loveliness around you.

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Batting A Century

.. and still in shock that I made it to this milestone.

This is 100th post on this blog. THE 100TH, PEOPLE!!

Yes, I can see those with a mere 500/1000 posts to their name, buffing their nails and nodding disinterestedly like “Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure. Cool!”

But obviously I have no time to bother because I will busy doing cartwheels, buying myself a pair of shoes and ack! who knows? maybe touching myself THAT WAY..

NOW. I get your attention. Take a seat, you friendly perv.

All of you who have hunted me down on the Internet to read me, or chanced upon me but stuck around and kept coming back – I love you. Yes, even you, the person who googled “Mallu Boobs Mom” to get to me. Because you came back even without a boob in sight on this blog. (Though you used the same search term and THAT is disturbing.) This makes me believe in your redemption, kind sir/lady. And really, flattered as I am, neither my mammaries nor genitalia have yet met the big bad world of the Inter Webbedness. So don’t be holding your breath.

I’m going to use this post to roll out the red carpet and accept the awards graciously handed out by blog buddies.

The Viking is tickled pink by how excited I am each time I get tagged for an award. ” So let me get this straight, ” he says, ” Its not like an association, or a blog community giving you an award, but your readers. Other bloggers.” And then his belly turns to jelly as he cackles, ” This is SO high school!”

The Viking. Proud recipient of the Mocksters-Never-See-Any-Action-On-Friday-Night award. And while he stews in bitter juices, I will move on, in SPIKY HEELS, SO THERE!

Two months ago, Richa aka. SuperGooshMamma was kind enough to pass this on – the Honest Scrap award. As cool as that is, I have been pretty restrictive with myself in terms of what I write about. So Richa, I am going to throw caution to the winds and write the difficult stuff…I will dust off those languishing drafts and let them live a little.

honest-scrap

And then this pretty Kreativ Blogger award from Era,  ” for allowing us (you guys) glimpses into her (my) world with descriptions that stir the heart and soul”. Stop. You had me at Kreativ. I zimply LAUW.

kreativ-blogger-award

From the inimitable MiM, these two beauties. Jeez! And I am giving them right back because I am addicted to her blog and need my daily fix from KL to make it through the mid-morning. And yes, I humbly acknowledge that I owe you a couple of tags too, Ye MiM of Great Faith In My Tagabilities.

loveblogaward

lovelyblog15

And if I may, I want to pass this on to everyone in my blogroll. There is a reason you guys are there, and its the Oscars. And my lurrve.

To all of you who read me, leave comments, let me stalk your cyber homes, and give me a peephole into your minds – thank you once again. You guys are the reason I have begun to love writing again, the reason I run to log onto wordpress as soon as I wake up to check for comments and the reason I go around plotting posts 24/7. There are so many wonderful bloggers and blogs out there and all I need is an extra 24 hours to be reading  and responding to all of you on a daily basis.

You are just tremendous fun to know.

And those of you who lurk here frequently, but have yet to say “Hey! Hi! Howdy!” – this is a vundderrfull time to delurk, no? even if only to say, ” Hey I went to college with you and you still be an insufferable, obnoxious arse. Chew shit.”

Touch base, dears. Wish me well/or to hell. Its the thing to do in the blog world.

C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E.

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SkoolBoy

On Monday the 17th of August, Arvind began school.

On Sunday our home resembled a nuked whorehouse. Not that I am really personally acquainted with whorehouses – nuked or otherwise.

It did not look good. It did not look like the kind of home where a kid could find his homework. Not without stepping into a two-day old, dried up bowl of macaroni and meat sauce at any rate. We did not look like the parents who could be trusted with a schoolgoing child.

This was entirely ludicrous given how much planning has gone into the Excel sheet titled First Day of School. I slept with that sheet. There are lipstick marks on that sheet. All this by way of letting you know that Excel to-do sheets turn me on and…OhMyGod! I must give up the bureaucrat life before I become an even bigger freak than I ever was.

I had it all down.

What Arvind would wear? (Sweater had be bright blue. I knew that by the time he was one) What special, but healthy treat would he have for breakfast that morning? (Pancakes with fruit – duh!) Who would mind Armaan that day? Where would we go to celebrate after? It had to be perfect. There was no way I would risk him turning on me in my fragile old age and ranting, ” A POKEMON sweater in lime green? For my first day of school? ARE YOU FOR REAL?? And cheerios for breakfast?” All topped off with that look. The one of intense betrayal that says, “Thanks for memories I’m too ashamed to share with my kids.”

You get the drift. I leave nothing to chance.

Come weekend and everything (everything=me) started getting unglued. Terrible weather forced us to be indoors all day and a better parent would have made hot chocolate, found board games to play and even gone through a kiddie album or two. Me? I was only inclined to drink cuppa upon cuppa of chai. Occasionally I broke that tedium to run into the bathroom and sob into a towel.

I don’t do weakness well. Or guilt. Or failure. And it has been the hardest thing in the world to admit how hard this rite of passage was. This seemingly undramatic start of school. For me, it was like a hideous neon sign that wouldn’t budge, spelling it out glaringly:

THE SIX SWEETEST YEARS OF YOUR CHILD’S LIFE HAVE PASSED. ARE YOU GLAD YOU MISSED SO MUCH OF IT? WAS THIS THE BEST YOU COULD DO? DO YOU FEEL LIKE A GOOD MOTHER?

I know, I know. With a conscience like mine, you don’t need enemies.

I couldn’t look at him without seeing the time I had lost. Seeing the mother that I couldn’t be for him. The mother I probably should have been, but wasn’t. And every permutation and combination of these sentences rushing in for the final thrilling crescendo of self- flagellating glory.

By Sunday, guilt gave way to a bigger storm outside and the mother of all panic attacks in our home. From going around grumbling “Aargh! the house cannot look like this” to the fullblown meltdown of “Why must our home always be the local pigsty!!?” We pulled through the day; the Viking and kids dodged some bullets of motherly ire and once the kids were tucked up in bed and peace reigned, I did my thing.

My thing, where I potter around our home, straighten up and wash and fix and make pretty. Make pretty was suddenly of the utmost importance because my firstborn child is tremendously appreciative of the pretty bit. He is the boy who will walk into a freshly cleaned home and sigh with contentment. Who will suggest a move as an antidote to the mess. Maybe, like his worn ole Ma, he is just one of those persons who feels a greater sense of harmony when their external environment is neat and organised.

Pottering and making pretty is also one way I can wash away the hostility I have stained myself with. It is when I wash the kitchen counter, pat myself on the back and go, “Ach, you’re not totally crap after all. Look, the counter – it shines! It defies crapness.” Pottering leads to gratitude, jiggly dances, flowers on tables and a bowl of fruit that you never want to eat, but would be content just staring at.

Monday was a lovely day. Well, it rained like a funeral, but who cares when you have pancakes for breakfast? And Arvind – oh dear – so handsome, so tall, so handsome, so clear-eyed, clowning around relentlessly, refusing to let me take a proper portrait…. and I have to stop because suddenly someone is sitting on my chest and all the air in my windpipe froze for an instant.

And the biggest surprise of them all.

A sudden need to pray. To begin this moment auspiciously.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. I am not a religious person. I don’t normally pray. I don’t ask the Big Guy for favours. I veer between a shaky agnostic stance and a vague spirituality which mixes well with gin. Why? Not because there is no world peace thanks to organized religion and LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE FRIGGING WORLD WILL YOU?

Because I always wanted to be able to take care of myself. Be strong without the crutch of religious faith. Yet lately, I crumble a bit quicker; I’m a bit more jagged around the edges and sub-consciously I have been seeking…conversation. Clarity. Quietitude. A place within to hear my real thoughts contra what I think I should be thinking/feeling/doing.

So I think of my maternal grandfather, a classy and spiritual man if there ever was one and I find myself lighting a lamp. It spreads the warmest light into our grey Monday. And from here things become a whole lot wierder – twilight zone wierd – because suddenly I know exactly what to do. And if you’d been granted residence inside my grey matter, you’d know that that never happens.

I scoop Arvind into my arms we join our palms, his little palms nestled inside mine and I ask him to repeat after me.

asato ma sadgamaya (Lead me from unreal/untruth to real/truth)

tamaso ma jyotirgamaya (from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge)

mrtyorma amritam gamaya (from death to immortality)

Om Shantih Shantih Shantih

.. and he does so, clearly and flawlessly, delivering me a moment of such complete, quiet purity that I still can’t wrap my head around it or do justice to it with words. Somehow they turned out to be the perfect lines to say at this perfect moment.

They also beat the crap out of “Best of luck at school, Sonnyboy. Now, don’t do drugs.” Oh wait, thats for high school.

He was off without even doing us the basic courtesy of looking nervous. We all gathered in the school auditorium and when his name was called, he sauntered off to line up. Without looking back and without reaching for our hands. Just like a boy who had waited impatiently for a year for this day in his life.

So composed that I can almost imagine him as a high school graduate – a self-contained yet confident young man who is often a million miles away on a planet I hope to visit some day, if he’ll let me.

And whats different with a skoolboy in the house? Well, you’ll get eye-rolled more often for one. You MAY NOT ask how his day was, you may NOT waste your breath, you may as well not bother. Thats how much he’s NOT going to tell you a single detail of his day. If you sigh sadly, he might relent a bit and say, “Ok then, we played a bit. Ok? Stop asking.”

At this point I will eyeball the Viking and communicate silently, “See! We need a chatty girl! This.. this is my brother and a re-run of my mother’s withheld-information-hell.”

So I do the next best thing. I go kiss up to the teachers and childcare staff and they tell me how kind he is, how well he plays with other kids, how some of them ask for him if he’s a bit late, how he’s too impatient to line up, how he eats well somedays and poorly if he’s too excited and how he hates being interrupted while he’s drawing and colouring because he’s telling a story too and THAT requires your stuck-out tongue tip and ALL of your brain – d-uh!

You’re okay, skoolboy.

Godspeed, darling.



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