Walking down the memory lane…

Back in my school days, I had seen my friends’ excitement for the summer holidays. Among many reasons, the list was topped by the visit to maternal home, a special event in everyone’s childhood. I had the luxury of visiting my mother’s home whenever I want as it’s just 10 minutes away for ours. Still I waited for the summer vacations to meet my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I was no different from my friends; we religiously followed the age old custom of spending your vacation at mother’s house. It is not like we are not visiting there anymore. We do, but not the way we used to be. Things have changed, circumstances are different now, the place itself is the not the same anymore.

I have a lot of memories associated with my maternal home… sweet, innocent, beautiful, naughty and even heartbreaking. There are so many images of that place I treasure inside my heart. Those glorious days when we used to gather there during the vacations are priceless possessions of my life.

Walking down my memory lane I could see a small gathering on the kitchen floor chit chatting to their minds’ content, no one caring about littering their clothes, cooking some stories along with the food on the stove.

And the big room in the middle where we used to sleep juxtaposed on a blanket on the floor, a thin shawl to cover from cold and singing mosquitoes. Sleep was the last thing on my mind then but somewhere during the never ending banters it invaded me only to open my eyes to the blinding sun rays to find the entire house buzzing in morning chores. I was always a late riser.

The attic was my hangout, a secret haven, a place where many things in me started and established… I have the oldest memory of me writing stories and poems at a corner there, a young me drawing on an old tattered book, I recognized my passion for dance there and I used to move around making minimum noises not to scare the inhabitants downstairs, the eeriness of the house was the fodder for my ghost fantasies, my imaginations… and of course my reading flourished there… I remember searching through a heap of books, old college books of my uncles’ or worn out magazines, dusting them eagerly ignoring occasional peeping termites. There was the balcony view of the sunrise and the sunset, vast pastures and farmlands for satisfying the nature lover in me.

Speaking of the nature, this place had a lot more to offer me to devour. The small streams with steep slopes and the square well with tortoise, fishes, frogs and snakes… the rice fields on the other bank… the plants with red tall flowers scattered in the field… the guava, rose apple, jamun and other fruit trees… the birds singing day and night…

And that corner room, where I found the greatest warmth in the world. How should I thank her for loving me so much? I can still smell her hair, her dress with that pungent smell of some medicinal herbs. I can feel her hands caressing me and her eyes watching me sleep. More than a grandmother she was an experience to me, a life time experience. She was a strong woman with a will of iron, the most beautiful woman I had met in my life, both inside and outside. I considered myself as lucky to be born as her granddaughter. I am missing her.

Finally there are a set of steps in front of the courtyard of my glorious ancestral home descending to a small clearing from where I could experience the magic of life through all my senses. I can’t remember the last time I took those steps. They are now vandalized and abandoned. I even don’t remember how many steps are there; I do remember counting them somewhere in the past but forgot the number. I always wanted to recount, but never cared to go down… down to my roots.

Reminiscence

The wicked lady turning blind due to her greed, the mountain ghost taking a stroll through the village path during the fall, the talking fox who loves homemade sweets… these are mere stories to anyone… some of them, our grandparents iterated over generations… some of them, mankind called the legends… but to a ten year old anxious mind these are the ladders to the skies of imagination to find the attic of wisdom…

And I was fed with plenty of them, thanks to a certain person with her fluffy white hairs and freckled, folded skin. My childhood was filled with such stories and I believe that was one reason I love stories more than truths, I choose fiction over facts, and I adorn imagination over reality.

When you close your eyes, on that brown black canvas there are many layers forming one after other, many lines drawn carelessly, waves scattered around, and these patterns appear and disappear. You can’t hold them as they slip away; they are meant to be that way, just a tease. They are memories of past, snippets of present, hopes of future… They are stories you want but don’t know how to tell. You kept on trying to catch these patterns oblivious to the galloping time, the changing seasons. At long last, on a fine day, you caught one and opened your eyes in joy to share your story to the world, and found yourself lazily sitting on a chair in the veranda. With the faded senses you searched around to see your grandchild romping. Your shivering wrinkled hands beckoned the child, who came and sat on your lap with the most beautiful smile adorning her lips. Placing your dry lips on her forehead, eyes filled with love and heart brimming with prayers, you started telling your stories… one after other… day and night you told her stories… the ghost of all those patterns, those carelessly drawn lines and scattered waves took bodies; and you wove a ladder for her out of them, that takes her to the skies of imagination to find the attic of wisdom.

Elysium…

It’s been ages…

I wanted to post before I left home, I wanted to post after coming here. One reason or other, my posts never happened. Without much ado let me write, lest I should sit changing my mind again. I miss you home, terribly and this is an understatement.

There are times when you feel the scarcity of words and phrases in a language… there are moments when your grammar ditches you mid sentence… there are occasions when the basic lessons of sentence structuring kiss you good bye… One such moment for me is when I explain my home. My every try will end up like an illegible script from some prehistoric era. You doubt? Try me then.

A bunch of people I can pick out by olfaction… faces I stare all day and night and never get bored… eyes that seldom make me uncomfortable doing an impromptu “dhinka chika”… those hands religiously reaching for me in my ups and downs, reside in… A concrete building materially, where I spent a humongous part of my life… cobwebs on the cupboard corners and the shielding mommy spider… furniture bearing some stealthily made scratches… multicolored threads on the doormat and the patterns they weave on my retina… the unresolved quest of the mosaic floor stones assortment, surrounded by… A courtyard once housed vadamalli and marigold outnumbered by selaginella and earthworms… once up on a time ridges in the backyard raising thumbba and mukkutti and a lot of monsoon special kannithulli… now metals paved with some euphorbia and plants-with-no-particular-names, leads to… A once kacha, now a trifle less kacha road… the road taken the most… the one that led me to every milestone in life, runs parallel to… A watercourse with ripples starboard carrying some algae and plastic and God-Knows-What… the sparkling sun rays trapped in those ripples are my only concern, adjoins… A lush green portrait with xanthous and auburn tinges… from the attic, a panorama drawn by the artist in my eyes… from the veranda, a bunch of trees, shrubs, herbs, ferns, mosses, and all plant types… painted vividly on my ancestral land.

I miss thou art… I miss thy ‘My Home’…

A memoir of a potential academiphile.

During the final semester of our post graduation program, we were asked to write and publish a paper on our respective thesis works. Amongst the mixed reactions from my classmates (most were negative) I uttered an exasperated ‘are you kidding me?’ verbatim. I could imagine myself penning a short story or a novel or even an ode, (actually, I daydreamed of that) but a technical paper was a big interrogation mark on my face. I was as blank and blunt as my mates was a welcome relief. But time flew and so do their works. My friends had gripped their pens tight (or may be hit their keys hard) and was half way through the act, (traitors!) and being the work shy in the class I was left behind (there’s nothing new in that). As days passed my heart started beating faster, the ever cool demeanor of me was spotted with tiny cracks of insecurities and I started to question myself about my responsibilities… my dedication… Succumbing to the unavoidable peer pressure and an unexplainable trepidation, I began my saga of scholastic writing. No… I don’t know how it’s called, but I like to call it so.

Yes I started and came a long way, may be lagging behind my friends, and everything happened in a jiffy that I couldn’t recollect what, when, where, and how. I love it so far, quite satisfied and having a great deal of fun. Here is a brief write up on my experience of a horror turned fun ride to academia. A memoir of a potential academiphile, isn’t the title too cool?

As per the values bestowed upon me by my elders, I should start by acknowledging every biotic and abiotic entity that aided me in this journey and thence I had created a list of all aspiring acknowledgement worthies. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I have lost that never ending list and I would cut it short to two, God and Internet. God is in me, like my breath, my pulse, and I bow down for all the blessings and gifts. Then and now I’m a netizen. Yes, internet is a friend, guide and philosopher, who probe me at right times at right places to pause, to turn, to resume, and to return. And here goes a standing tribute.

It was a midday when I sat on my bed leaning my back over the headrest, legs stretched with laptop on my lap, I logged into the system to unleash the scholar in me. Thank god I really had a pretty deal of resources piled up to start with, a handful of pdfs, some bookmarked references, and some copy pasted tidbits from different sites. Even if I’m not an organized person I’d like to have my works fenced and compartmentalized. So I created a folder and named it garage (my garu baby), this will be where my tools reside. RIP. Inside garage everything is a blur, it would be the most chaotic space one would ever visit, with an alarming range of things from evolution of cloud computing to latest android apps in market. What to do? Sorting this out would be anything less than the blooper of the year (time and energy were highly precious for me right then) and thus I brace myself to ignore. Hold on! I’m an admirer of Masonic philosophy and so do believe in ‘Order out of Chaos’.

Complying with the famous adage ‘well begun half done,’ I weaved out the introduction with utmost care and dedication, lest I should sit making some mistakes. The initial phase of my writing was as slow as a snail that it took almost a day to write a few sentences. Gradually the stream gained momentum.

…to be continued.

Heartthrob of Pasturelands.

I am a weed, sprouted into the greens of vale.

San weapons I came, only to be drown in the chaos.

I am the commoner, and my tones are introverted.

I veiled my charms from woods, espousal is my fear.

Dwellers’ try never actioned, I remain suffused with none.

I bore mediocre blooms, seldom toed the line of ancestors.

I’m called the flower child, and you’d see a ghost of smile.

Despite the dissonance, their aroha turned me agog.

I am the heartthrob of pasturelands, a dreamlike reality.

Family

I am jinxed, I used to lament. Then she came and sat near me, moving her hand through my hair she said, ‘You are my doll,’ in the sweetest sound I had ever heard. Thus a memory happened, so close to my heart, a memory of being a jinxed doll. I smiled to myself knowing her selfless love never cease to give me jitters.

I am lucky, I used to boast. Then he came and stood behind me, gritting his teeth at my impuissance he said, ‘You are my headache,’ in the most possessive sound I had ever heard. Thus a memory happened, so close to my heart, a memory of being a lucky headache. I smiled to myself knowing his selfish love never cease to give me jitters.

‘I care,’ I pleaded only to be ignored. ‘I don’t care,’ I yelled only to be ignored again. ‘Did I matter or didn’t I,’ I wondered aloud only to earn some eyebrow raisings. ‘I love you,’ I never said and they waited. ‘I love you,’ I wanted to say but couldn’t and they smiled at me as if they knew my secret. This is so weird.

‘Ummachi…,’ as my voice reverberated through the walls and ceiling, I knew I sounded nothing but an anxious 5 year old. I couldn’t help it. ‘Papa…,’ my voice has a note of acknowledgement of the responsibility that bestows on me every time I took that word. ‘Vavachi…,’ cuteness quotient magnified and I am too aware of that for my own good. ‘Ashiq…,’ and lo am I proud? I should make sure that he is the last one to know. ‘Vellumma…,’ the calmness was not your imagination or mine, it was there brimming inside me and a pair of eyes, grey with white lashes of age, flashed. ‘Vellyappa…,’ I breathed in anguish and no one can hear a breath. I hope he hears me.

A selfless smile, a caring hand, a cute nose, a handful of mischief, and an aura of serenity- these built my family. And they prompt me to smile, to weep, to scream, to soothe, to romp, to forget, to ponder, to ignore, to tease, to love and to do everything I do. My family is my trigger. Period.

Sasuraal Genda Phool

Memoir: My life was all normal and happy that I was hopping around my house with lithe steps (jumping at times), songs in loops, dancing moves, hands held books and my fill of fangirling, with a messy self and mushy gait I hardly cared anything on the earth, and then it happened. Out of the blue I was married off and placed in a new house full of strangers, abnormal, I mean, no running or chasing, no songs, no dance, what’s-there-in-a-novel looks and fangirling is a big don’t, now teach me some etiquette and how to start a I-do-care spree, albeit I won’t argue on the happy part which stayed intact. Yes, happily married.

My saas, I mean, mother-in-law never gave me a ghari (scolding) and I had no such hopes of her. I am lucky that she is the odd one out in the MIL genre. My father-in-law is a typical FIL of Kerala. My devarji sa (brother-in-law) and chotu devarji sa (bother-in-law, pun intended) are saiyaan’s only siblings (both are polls apart). If one is samjane waali then the other is the obvious replacement for ghari dene waali. Did I say I was lucky for something? Then this is the part where I am going to edit it. I am lucky, sort of. And then comes to the ched ne waali (the one who teases), mhare saiyaanji (my husband). Husband is synonym for missing and skyping. I miss you. So let me skype you. He went to pardes (foreign land) leaving me alone, but as I am a less of a complaining saathiya and more of an understanding saathiya, we live in peace separated by seas. Let me quote Roger de Bussy, “Absence is to love is what wind is to fire, it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” And our love sets afire by the distance.

Rhapsody of Rain

It is raining outside, the thunderstorm roaring to life, and summer rain is gaining momentum. Everyone loves rain, or at least someone like me. Albeit rain (the prolonged one) brings all sorts of troubles, miseries, the inconveniences, I seldom have qualms and worries; I love rain no matter the demerits. And I love poems, despite lack of solid poetry in me. For the polishing of my poesy soul I write an ode to the rain, Rhapsody of Rain.

Wafted into the corridors, petrichor cradled my senses, mild and generous.

First of the season – rain of hope, sprouted greens and awaken bugs, greeted.

This is the call of life and I’m favored.

Trembled in fierce thunders, drenched, cobwebby attic walls failed to scare me.

Faraway beckons, curiosity pushes, my eyes wander beyond the wooden bars.

This is called passion and I acknowledge.

Hitting my upturned face, they swept down and stolen a kiss from my lips.

Tickling and teasing, raindrops washed my body and made love with my soul.

This should be desire, or I define so.

When they rampage, I hesitate for a moment and then step out – guts tucked.

Shedding all the sane but stubborn thoughts, I drown my eyes in the floods.

This is hope, they wash away my tears.

Clouds gather, spread macabre shadows on land, and pour down over hilltops.

I stood at the valley to be slain, the streams taking momentum and memories.

This is revenge; I vouch to live up to.

The unveiling, sort of.

Again, another long break. *sigh* It looks like I am becoming more lazy as the days pass. Now as I find some time and mind to write, let me write about me, the earnest and unadulterated way. It is not like I am an unknown or my posts had no hints, they had enough and more for a ten year old to interpret, but I want to speak out all from my heart in the truest language. So basically this post is turning out to be something superfluous. *sighing again*

I am Muhsina, an unsophisticated village girl. Doing my PG in Computer Science and Engineering I am anything but that. Before describing myself let me warn you, I am too dark for my own good. I am stubborn, confused but an accommodating one. I am like a coin with sides as sadist and masochist. You can call me The Extremist. Inferring or interpreting me seems a complex task and can take you an entire life time but in reality I am as readable as an open book, provided readers’ discretion. I have a sharp tongue, but only in my close circle, my family. For outsiders I wear a facade of calmness, innocence and forbearance. Ain’t I too generous? I never flaunt and hate flaunty lot. What is the opposite of dandy? It’s me Muhsina, one with low-toned fashion quotient. I don’t lie would be a lie, I have my share. *wink* My mouth has this uncanny tendency to blabber things I never meant, or may be the exact opposite of what I meant. Either way often put me in trouble that I would regret later. But I am too stubborn or too coward, whatever it is, to apologize and redeem. I’m eccentric to the hilt; every person who knows me inside out would approve that. I like honest people with friendly frankness and lots of healthy humor sense. I enjoy humor, constructive, to the fullest. I hate parasites and those fake double standard ones, the hypocrites. I am peace with anyone who is peace with themselves *tongue-in-cheek* and fete woman empowerment. *evil-grin* Don’t misread me as a feminist by that as I’m trying to being offbeat lately. I am a freethinker all the way. I am a true believer of the one God, Allah-u-ahad, Adam and Eve and successors of Adam, Muhammed-the Prophet for the entire mankind, the Holy Qur’an, the heaven and the hell.

Pizzazz of Marigold

Gone are those days, when the courtyard of my house housed the marigold plants grown in bunches. And when they bloomed, the xanthic and orange hues used to steal the attention of every kid passing by. I love those flowers and the pizzazz of them. And all those vadamallis, I couldn’t get enough of them, growing beside the fence teasing me with their hue that I found myself relating to someone, my first love. That particular color can do magic to me which makes it special apart from being a not-so-loved-flower. All these do remind me of nature’s purity (a term that had the drastic fate of being called endangered.)

Human beings often boasted that they have the potential to dominate the planet. Hitherto they have succeeded in proving their point. Amidst the chaos of their battles to rule the earth, they missed a very important part, that they are killing our earth, they are terribly erring the planet for their selfish greed. The encroachments of men over nature had left nothing but the ceremony, nail-its-coffin. Better we engage ourselves with the prayers to save our planet (God is the only way out) and we can exclude that future guilt-of-not-doing-anything on the day of mourning.

I am sitting in my room all alone staring at my laptop screen, mentally playing a beautiful melody. My heartbeat rises. It’s there in my heart, a vadamalli blooms, it then pricks, it then stays, bleeding my heart, draining my blood, stealing my soul.

Hits and Misses

Day and night I wander through the clouds in search of the sun until one day I was branded as a stalker. All my endeavors are rendered fruitless and I learned it the hard way, never go looking for a miracle among miracles. Then I quit just like that. I was done with my quest for love. Period.

The monotonous life I was spending henceforth, no offence taken, was much like I wish to have. To the day and the night, I am here, only here. I am happy here because I don’t know anywhere else to be happier. My knowledge sucks.

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