Thursday, August 13, 2009

Someone I really admire

"Human nature will not flourish, any more than a potato, if it be planted and replanted, for too long a series of generations, in the same worn out soil. My children have had other birthplaces, and, so far as their fortunes may be within my control, shall strike their roots into unaccustomed earth."

These words, from the epigraph of 'Unaccustomed Earth', have always made me wonder the same thing. Did my parents read these lines? Is that why they uprooted me time and again, expecting me to start afresh from scratch, and not just grow but flower? Strangely though, I have never complained, rather I have welcomed these moves. My nature has, indeed flourished, thanks to all the transplantation.

The only regrets, if any, has been the inability to truly start afresh, with a clean slate, even when I have had an opportunity and the fact that there isn't a single place on earth that I could truly call home. Nowhere that the roots go in so deep that could belong there. But then I digress. This post wasn't about that. This is what Jhumpa Lahiri does to me.

Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake and Unaccustomed Earth. Every story has the same fluidity and an underlying sense of nostalgia, yet the emotions they speak of and the reactions they evoke are different. And I have loved each of these stories. There is something about the way she writes. There is a flow in her narration, like it isn't her writing the story, its the characters following their own heartbeat. Her characters speak to me. They tell me their story, in their language, at their pace. They tell me some of the fact and leave a lot to interpretation. And thats exactly how I like it. It gives the bookworm in me the space to immerse myself into their lives and empathise with them.

In fact, I can see some of her protagonists amongst the people around me. I can feel, often pre-empt, their thought process. The contemporary settings of her stories make them real. The strongest connection, though, is probably the inherent Bong-ness of it all. And in the world that she spins around me, Bongs come in all forms. Kolkatans, Probashis, NRIs, Conservative, Liberated, Confused. Whatever their state of mind, they are essentially Bengali.

The strangest thing though, is how much I can identify with some of the people and their stories. Like the daughter in 'Unaccustomed Earth' who was trying very hard to hold on to her Bengali roots and pass them to her kids the way her mother did with her. Like the sister in 'Only Goodness', I have often wondered whether I have been a good influenc on my siblings or have I spoilt them by being the shield between them and my parents. Like Sangita in 'Nobody's Business' I have kept looking for love with all the wrong guys, never noticing the guys falling for me and well, breaking hearts. I have felt the agony that the wife goes through in her marriage in 'A Temporary Matter' and have actually played the game of one-upmanship and who-can-make-the-other-feel-worse with my boyfriend. Somebody I wished I was though is Hema and have that one all-consuming, mind-numbing, cant-live-without-you foreign affair, even if I have to move on from there wondering whether I should have expected more.

I did not realise how long I had been rambling. I have always wanted to write like her. I have written tons of stories and had people tell me that they are good. Guess I could post some of them here sometime.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Its only tears

"The house captain for Red house is...."
How could they not call her name, she wondered.
Disappointment trickled down her cheek mixed with tears.
"And the headgirl for 2009 is...."
Oh!! these are tears of happiness.
She said to those admiring the headgirl badge on her.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wedding Announcement

"Congratulations Rahul!!" he grinned as all of them hugged him.
They had all met after 6 years. He had just announced his wedding.
Even in their drunken stupor, they were all happy for him.
Whos the bride, Rahul? Nikita.
Nikita Verma? Sahil asked. He nodded, surprised.
So you are the 'creepy wannabe' she said she had to marry, just because I said no to her?

Friday, July 24, 2009

It will never be you...

'I love you baby', he said softly as she neared him.
She couldn't breathe for a few seconds.
She closed the distance and hugged him tight.
Thats when she noticed...
The bluetooth device in his ears and the look of shock in his eyes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What did I learn today...

Sometimes, the things which are hidden from you are hidden for a reason. If you dig in too deep, it would only get more and more unpleasant with time.

Somebody asked someone to believe. Believe in oneself. In one's dreams. In life itself. I liked what was said, though I could not completely agree with the thought. I believe in myself, atleast most of the time I do. I used to have dreams, I dont anymore. So thats one thing less to believe in. And life, well, dont get me started about life. The only thing I probably believe in with regards to life is that its a bitch. It screws me at the most inopportune moments. And because I can't do much about it, Il pretend to enjoy it. Well, just to set the record straight, I dont. :-)

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow. Why then oh why cant I? Because I am way to heavy. :-P

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baby.. My Baby

People wailed, everywhere she saw. Her husband sat on the steps, sobbing.
But she stood there, statue-like, not a tear in her eyes.
Her baby lay in front of her, wrapped in cloth, covered in flowers, dead.
She just wanted to tell someone, anyone. She did not mean to do this.
He just would not stop crying.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Whispered Love

A million thoughts crossed his mind, as she walked towards him.
She gave him a peck on his cheek and hugged him tight.
He silently thanked God, that she had finally understood his love for her.
And then she whispered into his ear, ‘Is the guy in the Red Octavia looking at us?’

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For the love of a woman

The sway of your hips. The pout on those lips. Those slim fingers.
You are perfect. I saw you. And I wanted you.
Today, I taste the saltiness of your skin. Take in your heavenly fragrance.
Touch you. Feel you. Explore you.
You would have enjoyed it, you know.
If only you hadn’t resisted.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Anything for a smile.. :-)

She watched his face break into a smile. She had just told him her decision.
Her heart skipped a beat. ‘Keep him smiling always’, she silently prayed.
And walked away, as the pain shot through her heart.
I think you would be happier with Jia. She had finally said it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Beginning of the End ??

Here I am.. At the start of yet another blog.. At yet another crossroad in life.. Its the same stuff, all over again.. The phoenix-shall-rise-from-the-ashes syndrome..

All I had ever wanted is out of my reach and honestly, today I dont want it anymore.. I dont 'want' anything anymore.. I am striving to become truly Spartan - detached, aloof, unemotional.. I have discovered virtue in selfishness, decided that pursuit of happiness, of one's own happiness is not a crime..

I know this resolve may not and probably, will not last long. There is a soft spot in my nature, a strain of weakness, a sensitivity that would never harden. But try I will. To suppress the sensitivity, kill the niceness, grow out of the naivete.. And if I cant become that woman, I would put on a mask.. Develop an exterior so tough that no one would know of the weakness within.. The walls have already gone up.. The lines have been drawn.. I am this side.. Everyone and everything on the other side..

First posts are usually about the why.. Why am I here? Because its my space.. Its mine, all mine.. Here, I need not pretend.. I need not say things the way others want to hear.. Here, my words speak for me.. My words are my identity..

As I watch the raindrops hit the window panes and trickle down, I wish this blog frees me of my ghosts.. Writing has always been my liberation.. I wish it does its magic.. Again..