Friday, 10 December 2010

The Abandoned Nutcrackers Dating Trilogy

Somewhere deep down in the abyss of my mind, I could see a beautiful lagoon with varied hues, an aura very distinctive in shape, like a baby's bottom, its soft moulds looked like mountain peaks with the sun already high above them. It seemed like I was lost in a beautiful song offering unrivaled views of it's surrounds. It was a clear soothing evening in late summer, birds chorused in the forest below and hawks circled high in the sky, bees buzzed around the flowers under my feet. Millions and millions of trees aligned like army men ready to parade and the forest stretched so far away that even the Hubble telescope could see no end to it.

As I moved into the forest, the lanes became thinner and thinner until it gave way to flat prairie land full of exuberant hues, chirping birds, cascading streams and the sweet scent of mahogany. As the lanes got thinner, my hopes went higher.

What if I meet my Prince charming? This could be my day, I was so thrilled and then I could see something. Oh Yes!!!People!!May be they work for my prince, I thought. It was the moment I was waiting for all these years, I ran towards them and stopped. The smile on my face disappeared looking at those five faces.

Tring!! Tring!! Tring!! Tring!!!

Happy Birthday Su!!!Oh No!! Another dream ...I sulked.

My Name is Su alias Supriya and this is a sneak peek of a day in my life.

I softly opened my eyes knowing what was going to happen. My tryst with five faces, the ones I dreamt about, actually the ones who incorporated themselves in my dreams, they had to be everywhere. 

“Happy Birthday Su, I profoundly welcome you once again to this world of Dichotomy, irony nonetheless bountiful of surprises and happiness. I thank you for soliciting your substantial presence in my life.”

“Oh!! Thanks Mom ! I am a very gracious recipient of your generosity and munificence.”

Sheila was rolling on the floor laughing, I asked her to shut her mouth. Let me introduce Sheila, she is my conscious, my aspiring spirit, my soul mate, my partner and my only spiritual friend because the normal mortals run away from me  just by having a sneak peek of my family from a  minimum distance of 2 Miles .Sheila was my only source of rationality without her I would be mad by now. Finally Sheila stopped laughing, I was embarrassed.

My mom Maya is such a personality, she is a Public speaker and has been one all her life. We have to put up with her mannerisms even at home.Eventually she does not mean half of what she says. Mom seldom does this on deliberation, dad tells me it is soaked in her blood. Dad fell in love with mom in a public meeting where she was campaigning for the welfare of the physically challenged children. Nevertheless I loved my mom, she is beautiful, kind, a lovely cook and of course a speech master.
Happy Birthday Su darling!! 

May you have all the mirth in life but I don't think its possible nevertheless I don't want to sound cynical. When I was in Vietnam fighting the Indians I was always thinking about starting a foundation for kids and celebrating their birthdays with grandeur, unfortunately I had to stay there to contest for local elections.

Thank you Dad!! You are great, but Vietnam War was with the US right??

Dad said, “No darling it was with Indians first and then the US dropped in to help them.” I said, “Wow Dad!! You have more information than my history text book”. 

Sheila whispered “Your father is one big bag of delusions, his stories are impossible to believe”. I stared at her and she kept mum. 

My Dad Ras was a hardcore megalomaniac but he would kill us if we pointed it out. He was a self assumed optimist with gallons of mystic wrapped within. I loved him though, he is a great Dad.

Ha...Ha...Ha...P...P...PIES...BA...BA …Birr… DA… DA …DAY… SSS SU!!

Thank you Uncle Roy!

Uncle Roy, my dad's brother, he stammered a little and had huge complex about it. He loves me a lot, I love him too except for one thing in him which I disliked the most. He ogles at older women right in their face, err… not face exactly in surrounding landscapes. The worst part is he does it right in front of his family and neither have they had any issues with it nor the older women. When I say older women I mean, old women, my grandma's classmates. 

He had many dates with her friends but was seriously in love with one of them few months ago. She was 65, had wrinkles like a 1000 year old tree and died due to a heart attack the day they had sex. Uncle Roy was shattered, he has not dated any one since.

Sheila and I found it disgusting, we had to find a date for him which was the agenda for my Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Supriya!! May you live long like my denim jean trousers and smell fresh like my red socks”haha... 

Thank you grandpa, love you!!!

My grandpa, an intense gentleman, except for the fact that he is one of the most substantial reason for which my Family has been tagged “Abandoned Nutcrackers” by the civilians. He has a rare sense of humor beautifully marinated with kleptomania. He has this zany mannerisms which scares people .Few instances of his legendary are  like pulling pants down ,not his others pants, repeating the conversation till the other person runs away and so on, there are so many in the list. He has been arrested many times and he brags about it. Nonetheless I love him, he is one crazy little sweet fellow!!

Yappy Berthdai Dearu! I yap somethingu specialu to giving you, liking, I happy.

“Grandma what is it”? I woke up and galloped to the living room.

There stood a mannequin clad in a beautiful pink gown, looked like a wedding gown resting under the shade of a peach tree. I hugged her and tears of joy cascaded down my droopy eyes. She hugged me and kissed my cheek and said “Havingu a gooddu day my dollu”.

My Grandmother was the only sane sole in our family. She spoke broken English mixed with Kannada with the confidence of Barrack Obama. She knitted our family into one fine fabric. Without her, our family would be in a mental asylum. Our neighbors bear with all of us only for the sake of my grandma. She is my Icon, my inspiration and my love.

 I hated birthdays, they always gave me creeps and mostly the memory of my last Birthday still lingers in my mind like the dripping cheese from a Mac Donald burger. I lost all my friends on that day.

It was a normal weird day for me. I was looking forward for the Birthday party and mostly for that hunk living next door. 

I begged my mom to invite him, she said “I shall endeavor with my best foot forward to cordially acquaint myself with them and shall invite them to our epoch of incandescence “.

I said “Whatever Mom”, with a gleaming smile and a picture of kissing him, in my mind.

Late in the evening, the party was going good...Great Music, good food, lovely crowd, that hunk staring at me, I thought this is heaven until my family dropped in. I introduced them to all my friends and they got started.

Mom said, “Hello, Good evening and welcome to all knotted to this vicious circle of life to the most refreshing lifetime experience. This epoch is certainly going to metamorphose our lives into a gigantic ball of gleaming refulgence. Firstly allow me to welcome our chief guests my father Mr. Das, mother Mrs. Reni, my husband Mr. Ras, my brother Mr. Roy, my sweet child Su and last but not the least my lovable audience. We hope you have a good time here, we have lots of fun and good food lined up for you.”She yelled so loud that one of our window panes cracked and few of my friends ran out of the house.

Mom seldom noticed it, she went inside to finish her chores and dad in his red embarrassing skimpy gown got started. He told them his stories in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, the story of bloodshed, slitting people and eating them, he also made scary faces to add effects to his presentation. He also told them about his trip to heaven and how god sang Lady Marmalade with all the costume and red lipstick, he also danced like Christina Aguilera in his red skimpy costume, as if that wasn't enough my grandpa pulled my dad's panties down and he had nothing under. Both started laughing and all my friends galloped like a mad horse. Grandpa had stolen all their shoes and they had to run barefoot. Next day we had a cop scorching for him.

I promised myself never to invite anybody home ever. Nobody has spoken to me since. 

I was hurt but now I am very happy with Sheila. 

This year I am prepared to forgo my worries and find a young date for Uncle Roy. 
I got dressed in that pink gown and I looked like an angel any man would die for.

Grandma asked “Su what you to be doing today?” in her language. She was asking about my plans, I said “I just want to relax at home and maybe we could go out for a stroll in the evening”, she smiled and nodded.

Mom had made World's best pineapple pancake, she asked me about my plans too.

“Su dear! Do you have any agenda that can be reviewed and scheduled accordingly?”.

I just nodded and she knew that was a Leave me alone sign.

Dad, Grandpa and Uncle Roy were about to leave for a stroll, I did not want another police case. I offered to accompany them, so all of us went to Cathedral Park. It is a family park situated in the center of Mysore city, we loved that place and used to visit once a week. I spent most of my childhood there and have millions of sweet memories attached to it. In the park dad was meditating, grandpa was scorching for shoes and uncle ogling at older women.

Sheila and I were thinking about million ways of getting Uncle Roy hooked, she gave me weird ideas and on the contrary I was tenaciously endeavoring to be rational. 

She said “Uncle Roy stammers, we can hook him up with a girl who has sympathy for such kinds”. This is incorrigible Sheila, how can you be so down market, I am trying to find someone who loves him, did you get my point”?

What is this charade all about, who is getting it, the wind? 

I just turned back to see where this was coming from. Oh good heavens the hunk from neighborhood, it was almost a year since I saw him.

 He came to me and said “Hello Supriya, my name is Sri, your hunky neighbor and I profoundly apologize for my behavior on your birthday last year, I was really silly. It's not your fault, we all are weird in our own ways. It dint occur to me that time, I was a fool but I regret now for all that I have done, I apologize for being so immature. I wanted to tell you this from a long time but never found you alone. I came with grandma for a stroll, just saw you and followed you”. 

He smiled, I felt like a million bubbles bursting in my heart, such a beautiful dimple, big enough for me to drown in it. I couldn't look into his eye, he was too handsome. I did not want to get into this again.

I thanked him and said” I am sorry, I never knew your name, your cuteness is very overwhelming for me and override my intentions to know anything else about you. You are also bestowed with a good heart which is like an icing to my attraction, thank you for being there”.

Meanwhile grandpa stole a pair of shoes and had pulled the pants of a lady exercising, who was chasing him now.

 Sheila yelled “Look at grandpa something has gone wrong”. I had to run, so just mumbled something to him and ran to grandpa's rescue. We hid the shoes behind the bush and embarked on a conversation like nothing had happened. Sri couldn't understand anything, he came running behind me. 

“What happened?” he asked.

Grandpa told him with a huge laughter as if he had won a battle “I had peed in my pants, so I am really embarrassed to get up, Su is just giving me company not in peeing but in sitting...haha.

Sri was amused, he gave me an “Oh this is weird look” I was accustomed to that by now.

Dad and Uncle Roy joined us. They began their stories, dad of foreseeing Osama as the president of US and Uncle Roy of admiring the beautiful 60s bottom in the park. I had to walk the three safely to our house before Sri could regret his apology. 

We said goodbye to him and walked towards the entrance.

Sheila told me “Why don't you keep the shoes out, that person must be searching for it”. I told dad “You guys carry on, I left my bag in the park and I shall join you shortly”. They left and I was searching for the shoes and couldn't find them.

 “Are you searching for these”?? Sri was holding those shoes with a grin which was so close to grinding a hole in my mind. I smiled and said “Yes! Thank you”, may I have them. He said of course but only if my grandmother says yes.

I was shocked, it was his grandmother's rear that was paraded and shoes stolen.
 I knew he knew it, I was embarrassed.

 Before I could say anything, Sri asked “How about today evening 6 pm at my pool”.
You mean like a date, I exclaimed!!, he said "Yes. I always wanted to date you". 

Sheila was oscillating with joy, I said “No Sri, I am not ready as yet. I want my uncle to get a date first, I want him to happy”.

Sri laughed at me, I was annoyed. He held my hand and turned me around.

OH MY GOD!!It was Uncle Roy and Sri’s grandma, they were kissing, I felt the ground beneath my feet crack. Sri said “I think the beautiful 60s bottom Uncle Roy was talking about belongs to my grandma and she likes him too, why wouldn't she? I stood like a stone, this is not right, my Grandfather  pulled her trousers and uncle rather than warning him, was busy admiring her rear , a 60 year old date!! 

Why am I born in this family??

Sheila told me “May be this is what he wants, I am sure it's not just her bottom, there should be something more which attracted them towards each other so instantly, let him have it, we only want him to be happy. I felt Sheila is right.

Sri, Sheila and I saw Uncle Roy and Sri’s grandma walking hand in hand gradually disappearing in the lanes just like in my dreams. I was happy, this time for Uncle Roy.
Sri asked me again “What about 6 PM? 

 I said “How about 5 PM”?

 I reached home, hugged mom and told her about my date. She said “An ideal date should marinate outward circumstances and inward necessity”.

“Whatever mom” I said and danced away to my room to choose my dress for the evening.

Sheila sighed “Finally a date for Uncle Roy” I said “Yes and one for me too,” we smiled.

 I wore a beautiful red gown with ruby necklace and bracelet. 

Sheila told me I looked like a princess. It is my first date with a handsome guy in a very romantic place, I was excited. 

When I rang the doorbell, he opened it for me, seemed like no one else was at home. We danced like peacocks in the rain, we ate like pigs and joked about our lives. 

We laughed our hearts out and then he kissed me on my cheek and said “You are too responsible for your age and that is what attracted me the most, how old are you, Ten?? I said “No, Twelve! He was surprised “You look very young to be Twelve.I said “You look very young to be Twenty too. “I am only Twelve Su, he retorted”. Oh really!! I gave him a puzzled look and we both laughed.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Potato Chips

I wonder, when and why

You buried me in thy soil of lie,

Let me spring with joy

Ploughed my spirits with trifles of coy

Seeded me with Ounces of dearth

Cascaded into me sprinkles of mirth

Wonder the plot of your vicious mind

To soak your manure so opined

I grew like a girl so scrawny

In your ever gleaming torch of irony

My other pleas to you my life

Play the tunes of my favorite fife

Let my spirits of crop grow

Let my essence of tuber show

Cut open my strife and stress

Clean all the spots and mess

Scrape me off my skin so dead

Salt and mold me In your finest tread

Embrace me with your oiled clips

Enjoy me, I am your Potato Chips

Preeti Venkateshan 

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Whenever You Come

Ouch!!! Ahhh!!!!

“Here you go again, I would be glad if you could keep your hands confined”, I saw myself spitting fire that could have given a dragon run for noodles.
It was one of those shallow moments I preferred to stay aloof.
All of them seated in the bus including the driver gave me weird looks.

This isn’t fair! Why do people stare at me and ignore Rahul when something goes wrong?? Not that I am too pretty, well actually I am, but so is Rahul Sharma…HANDSOME!

He was still fiddling with my bangles and pinching my wrist.
I turned towards him to give him good and then I realized...
I couldn’t!!!
His face had a charm of a new born child, he had the innocence of a child’s smile,
His touch was as soft as a baby’s bottom, everything about him reminded me of a child.
Of course it would, because that’s the way I saw him... a childlike husband :)

I smiled at him and said “You won’t stop, will you?? “He said...” No Ree”

I hated that. My name is Riddhi sharma, and he called me Reee like in reee which could sound like Reeeee or reeeed or read depending on his mood or the food in his mouth.

What’s with this Reee??? I always wondered, but it was him and I was ready to give up anything for him.

I would often laugh at my friends watching romantic movies.
I always found them boring.
My time was spent watching offbeat movies.
Talking to the dead, foreseeing future are trifle pearls from the large sea of endearing things I wanted to do before I die...
My parents found me scary, they thought I had a problem. 
And when they discovered I was in love with Rahul, they dint approve of it.
My dad told me he was one of my weird fascinations.
I was adamant, I fought, I cried, I pleaded and then I eloped.

It was the night before Diwali.
I lived in Delhi and we planned to move to Shimla, that was about 350 kms away in distance.
Rahul was waiting for me in the garage, in Dad’s car. (I had slipped him the keys)
I wore the new dress mom got me, packed my clothes, took some money from dad’s pocket and mom’s handbag and my piggy bank (I was 23 then …FYI)
We drove exactly in the midnight around 2 AM when my parents were making love.
The only thing I was sure about, living with them for so many years was their schedule ;)
So my plan went as precise as it was intended.
We reached Shimla on Diwali, we got married on the same day in a Shiva temple.
We were so thrilled, excited and curious about our lives together.
Luckily we spent all the money we had like crazy goons on food and all that is unnecessary.
At the end of the day, we did not have a roof to stay but a lot of things to be kept under the roof :)
Rahul found a room in a decent Inn. He had arranged it as per our Plan.
That was the only thing I asked him to do and he had done his job well.
We made love like crazy for the next ten days, just ate, slept and made love.
I don’t remember having a wash as well.
On the eleventh day we were so tired of doing it, so gave ourselves a break.
I said “Rahul what about our future, what do we do for food”
He said “It is free for this week, my friend said it’s complimentary”
That was the happiest moment of my life, “Free food for 7 days, would you believe it”??
We spent the next week exploring Shimla, taking pictures, eating free food and of course making love relentlessly.

Those were the best days of my life, trust me there wasn’t a moment I thought about my parents. He dint think too because he had none.
I know I am selfish but honestly Rahul was a gift from God.
He is so good, I never saw him angry, sad or cribbing about anything or anybody.
He called every moment of his life precious.
I am never able to fathom to this day, why did he love me?
What did I have in me to deserve him? I am all that he is not
Since the day we met I found myself melting and dissolving in his goodness.

All my friends who had nicknamed me “Ravenous Riddhi” were surprised at my metamorphosis.
Rahul is very handsome, and his inner beauty is more evident than the outer.
We met during a charity show in Shimla during my college days.
He was training to be a teacher there.
It was one of the most beautiful locations, which I had seen only in calendars and National geographic channel.
I was playing around with him as usual, for he was the cutest boy around.
I left to Delhi after the show and I found him at my doorstep the next day!!
I was shocked and felt guilty but there was nothing I could do.
I apologized and he left.
The next day I saw him near my college.
Trust me I was amazed at his innocence, his conviction and his love for me.
Rahul came to me and said “I am staying at my friend’s place madam, I won’t trouble you but would you let me see you every day from a distance, I won’t even come near you”
I wondered what did I do or what was there in me that he came all the way.
It was too late I had fallen for him, I said “lets meet “.
Our let’s meet escalated to let’s go out, let’s sing, let’s dance, let’s love, let’s kiss and let’s marry.

I found him terribly innocent, likeable, sweet, and humorous.
With him I found myself laughing all the time.
Dad was against it because he had dreams about packing me off with an NRI earning to glory.
A small town teacher with a small pocket was his last choice as a mortal.

“Reeee check this out “Rahul screamed while throwing a ball of snow on my face to bring me back from nostalgia.
We played like kids and went back to our room.
That night we dint make love, we spoke for the first time since we moved to Shimla.
Rahul said” I have asked my friend to drive back to Delhi and park your car home.
I don’t have enough money, so I have no choice but to take you to my small house nearby.”
We vacated the room and I was more than happy to go to our new home.
We decorated it with all the colors and decorative I could get my hands on.
Our home brimmed with exuberant colors and flavors just like our lives.
He resumed to work and I picked up a job in the same school.
Time passed by sooner than we thought, before I realized we were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary.

Rahul wanted kids only after he built a school for the orphanage nearby.
Most of our earnings, donations and offerings accumulated to our fund for the school.
We had our fights, I used to start, speak and finish, finding him poised with a childish grin on his face.
One thing I disliked about going out with him was, no matter where we went, he used to fiddle with me and all the cold stares pivoted at my face.
And again he is doing the same thing today. 

I looked at him again and said
“All of them are looking at us, just look at that aunty seated beside us “
He signaled that lady and when she saw us, he kissed me, she was shocked and I said “This is it”. 
I asked the driver to stop and started walking towards the never ending road.
Rahul came running behind, held my hand and was swinging it to and fro, humming some vague song I never heard of, nevertheless it sounded so good.
I started humming along ‘MMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm”
He was laughing, I couldn’t stop myself too and we walked and walked in our world, just us with hands knotted and love entangled.
We reached the main road, I found all of them giving me weird looks, I said Rahul “leave my hand” he refused and held it tight.
He said “let’s go home soon, I am hungry, and I know you have something special for me today”
I smiled and said “Of course darling today is our Anniversary, so let me buy some flowers and sweets from the corner shop, head back home and dwell in your arms the whole day.”
He smiled and stood in the corner waiting for me.

I usually bought sweets from Paris corner.
The shopkeeper Ramu smiled and said.
“Today is Rahul Saab’s Birthday right, I remember it.”
He had kept the sweet box ready too. It had all the sweets Rahul loved.
I smiled and said “Thank you but it’s our anniversary…” I just turned back and saw Rahul waving at Ramu and he was asking me to come soon. 

I was just about to leave when Rahul’s friend Reema appeared from nowhere…Rahul hid behind a fruit stall.
Reema said “Hey Riddhi, I am so glad to see you. I called you so many times, why dint you pick my call??? “I was grinning, looking at Rahul making faces at me.
Reema saw me and asked “Why are you smiling? “
I said “Nothing”.
She said “It’s great to see you smile, I know why you are here, today is Rahul’s birthday right??
I said a feeble “Yes” and wished to whisk into oblivion.
Reema was smiling too and pulled me across the street, I was perplexed.
She said “I know where you’re going, I want to come with you”.
But I said I don’t want to go anywhere, she smiled and said “I want to go, so come with me”
I was searching for Rahul, he was still hiding behind the fruit stall waving at me with a scorn.
I cursed him and walked with her to a beautiful park across the street.
Rahul and I enjoyed walking in this park. We had so many beautiful memories attached to every grass, every flower nurtured there.
While strolling I stumbled upon a stone…it was a tomb stone and by that time Reema came running towards me holding two bunches of flowers.
Reema looked at the grave and said” This will be the only grave in the world which is surrounded by exuberance, enslaved by colors, spirited with Life.
And it is, I thought. Can anyone find a grave in a park so beautiful...?
She took few tissues from her bag and swept the leaves away from the grave that read
Rahul Sharma
Born-1.1. 1980
Died -2.6.2007
Then I heard her cry, she hugged me and said “He was so full of life, I am seldom surprised to see flowers sprouting out of his grave.
Reema turned towards me and looked into my eyes and whispered “I miss him”...
I smiled and said “I don’t”
She was appalled and I was so sure that she would.
Anybody in her place couldn’t do better. 
She gave me a look which spoke many derogatory words ineffably.
I said “let’s go home and have some sweets, Rahul doesn’t like crying”.
Reema made a stupid excuse and left, I know I was rude nevertheless I was honest.

I realized then, Rahul had passed away 2 years after our wedding, 
He had fallen from the school building which was under construction. 
He came home the same night and we cried for weeks together but I realized, I had just lost the mortal in him, just the skin, the physicality but the person I loved was not dead, his love, his memories, his smile… they were eternally mine… and time had cascaded smoothly until now.
We do all the things which we used to do such as shopping, eating, singing and dancing, making love but the only person who can see it and feel it is ME.
Rahul smiled at me and kissed my hand, and we marched home together to celebrate.
My dad said my fascinations about the dead were weird and imaginative.
I seldom ponder over what he said, it doesn’t matter to me if Rahul is real or a facet of my imagination.
All that matters to me is HE is with ME and I believe there is nothing such as Life after Death, there is only Life after Life and a beautiful one at that.
I heard Rahul screaming at the doorstep “Ree I am going to the school will come back soon,”
I saw him leaving, I knew he would come back.
I got dressed and was standing by the doorstep waiting for him while my neighbor Radha aunty was wondering what I was up to, she signaled me to go inside and shut the door.
I scorned at her and told myself... “Rahul I love you and my doors will always be open "Whenever You Come”.