Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Un Momento

There's a vaguely-coloured butterfly air-skipping out in the verendah in the sopoforic heat.
My Mum finds a pair of binoculars and peers at me from across the room. I love her when she's off-centre.
My father's TV's on and comments blare about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's body language at a recent press conference. My father watches blissfully, his own commentary running in his mind which he will soon disclose to me. I can always count on him to update me when am not in the mood for the newspaper.
There are friends on my phone, friends in my email, friends loving, liking, friends I don't need right away but who comfort by simply existing. Nusaa, hello :)
Right now, I'm checking out Jamie Woon on youtube. I say 'Night Air' is my song, dark and delicate but you know what? Daytime isn't so bad.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In Memoriam: The Girl with the Pearl Smile

There was this girl we all knew. Or at least we thought we did. She was sweetness and light, sugar and spice, all things nice. Really. She drove the boys crazy with her feminine charm and glam all the while seeming like she had no clue about it. Girls just loved her and wanted to protect and mother her. She had this big kind heart-rarely speaking an ill word about anyone. She had a depth and sensibility and a disapproval of shallowness that wasn't instantly obvious. She danced, she sang-the sweetest voice you would ever hear. She had these big innocent eyes, soft cascading long hair and dewy skin. She made you think of early spring - pastels, soft winds and summer on its way. She loved the sensitive heroes of new Hindi cinema, loved songs 'Stereo Love', 'Tera Hone Laga Hoon', and 'With You'. She loved love.

Evidently, she had a winter within her too. She kept to herself, storing thoughts and feelings in inner lockers for not even her closest friends to know. People would reach out but she was private. Her emotions and her thoughts were her own. She would spend time with her friends, hours over coffee, music, movies, jokes, celebrity gossip. She would listen and soak in those of others' but no one get any closer to her. She had intense romantic thoughts, posted messages and pondered over life-openly, yet solitarily. Each one of us has an inaccessible zone, right? An area cordoned off from public viewing. We shouldn't be intrusive. We stuck our heads around the corner, hollered offers of being right there in case she needed us and backed off. And suddenly, when we weren't looking, she just upped and left. Without a clue. Without a warning. Leaving us questioning our own values formed on privacy, friendship. Retracing our steps to before that fateful night. Hadn't we tried? How close was too close? Could we have 'saved' her?

Questions, hypothetical, rhetorical questions ring out. In the company of friends and also when we're alone. Thinking back to times when we've all felt helpless and sad in the bottom of the well. Times when we've wanted to hurt ourselves physically and hurt those around us emotionally, just because we have so much heavy sorrow that we cannot lift out of our hearts. Times when friends have consciously or inadvertently stuck out a hand and pulled us back into the blindingly beautiful life-this form that we're supposed to fill out, living through the boxes, filling in the blanks and maybe drawing in the margins, too.

Maybe we aren't supposed to leave our friends be. Maybe we're meant to grab them, shake them, make them believe that life is worth living for-that no matter what happens, however humiliating, frustrating, depressing, if they just lean on us a bit longer, it'll be okay. The clouds won't part and the fog won't lift immediately, but just wait it out and see. Fight those dark forces who don't deserve a nanosecond of your time and see. There's so much ache out there, but there's so much thrill too.

Our 'Golden Girl' has gone away. When she was here, she taught us about beauty and grace. With her passing, perhaps, we should learn to not hold back. To love and be loved, to hold hands, hold out and hold on.