on Sunday, September 12, 2010
Long back, Granta had a special issue about fathers and I came across some beautiful writing about people. The kind of prose which makes you truly happy. I have always wanted to write about people who are dear to me, but every time that I do make a beginning; it just doesn’t seem to do justice to them.
Today I’m just making an attempt to write about people whom I have known only by sight or exchanged a few words with. Ask any kid who has grown up in malleswaram, they will most certainly know these people. But I’m doubtful if they will remember the lady with the goats as my sister does not seem to remember her. The goat lady came only in the afternoon with a dozen goats and she kept talking to herself continuously while she fed her goats leaves from the trees on our street. You knew it was time for the afternoon nap on Sundays if the goat lady was near the gate. Her mouth was red and it used to mystify me (later I realized it was paan, of course). She was tall , dark and had wiry hair and I somehow feel she would make a beautiful subject for a painting.

Though the goat lady was a pretty common appearance, the haal cover man was a regular every two weeks. Back in those days he would religiously knock on every door step and collect the blue milk covers and would pay us two- three rupees with which twerp and I would rush off to buy lollies in Amrith. The huge basket he carried was a matter of huge curiosity to us and we would try peep into it when he was off collecting milk covers, Amma used to frown at the bottles he carried (you know what kind) in the basket. The funny thing I remember about him is, he was mostly toothless, wore a green lungi in classic Vadivel style and was mostly smiling. You can still probably see him on hot afternoons hardly uttering a sound (like some annoying guys who screeeech paaaaaaaaaaaaaper) going to all the houses he always goes to collect empty spirit bottles and haal cover.

The thatha who stands on the pavement of 4th main, seems right out of an idyllic children short story book with his silver mop of hair and a brown sweater .He lives on the very same road next to a school in a house with a long yard and rusty gates. Thatha spends most of the day taking delight in families which walk on the very same road. Some stop and talk to him and for others he is just a permanent fixture.
Then of course we still have the crazy man who doubles as a watchman, traffic regulator and you can always spot him at the center of festivities, whether it is the procession of urchava moorthy of Venugopalaswamy or the 8th cross Rayara Matha. Amma finds him scary for some reason.
I already wrote a post about dasaiah of course, he being my all time favourite.

The man with many bags as we call him of course is a legend. I only have a vague recollection of a scruffy man with too many round dirty polythene bags, oddly shaped like children. The family says that I used to finish my meals in a jiffy every time he was mentioned and how he had already carried away most of the fussy children in his bag.

These people seem ageless, some of them, the only reminder of times gone by. This post hardly does justice to these very abstract people. I wish I could paint them.

p.s- owe this one to buGblu and King

for all those bugging times

on Saturday, June 12, 2010
this post is for bugger, whom it feels incomplete to know by any other name.
this is for all those things you mean to me
- for bugging me to buy a buy a phone in second semester and not be such a recluse
- i no longer get scared of stray dogs when i see them, i remember all the stories you have told me about Tiger and i have an unnatural kinship with them now.
- for always being there for me no matter what, in very little ways.
- for letting me sit silent through all the bus rides and auto rides, it is something i can only do with you.
it is impossible for me to bid you goodbye tommorow at the airport.
on Thursday, May 6, 2010
We lived in a two storey house in a leafy neighborhood, my room there overlooked the busy road below, its beauty unmatched on rainy evenings. My sister and I would sit on my bed admiring it on such evenings, the dark rain washed road, sheltered by trees all of them ,almost of the same height, a sudden calm would descend on us, we acknowledged this only in the last few months there, my room of course of course was dusty and the bars on windows always blemished in spite of my maid's constant efforts at keeping them clean and the red oxide floor cracked, whose contours i can still remember. It was a place which had felt my presence for twenty odd years.
As i write this I'm in a room with beautifully painted walls, the bars in its windows a clean off white ,but they seem distant, to my thoughts and tears as i lie down and hence i resort to writing, in a place which seems faintly like home.

the story behind a sari

on Monday, April 26, 2010
shopping for saris can make three women so happy, Amma dragged me off to Girija's day before, to buy a sari for the college farewell ( i cannot seem to clearly define my emotions about leaving college, sometimes it is good this way, its over even before you start weeping or crying with joy ).Girija's of course is legendary and my aunt has piles of old green Girija boxes and she has a story for each one of them. Amma is right, saris are boring without their stories. Anyway, what would i tell people if they asked me the story behind this one- that it was an end of an other even semester? it was the last and we had projects to document, write exams,pictures to take, drinks to try, and was wondering how to wear my hair on the day which was supposed to be my last in college, and these were the only good things to sort out. At this point though, I'm at my lowest ebb, with all that unshaken belief i had, of being different, and knowing what i wanted completely gone. Would i tell them that?
I could have made this post humorous in that silly way of mine, i just did not want to.

gloomy doom and everything is a sham

on Friday, April 9, 2010
Its almost over. And doesn't look like I'm out of here on my own terms.

of flying caps

on Saturday, March 27, 2010
There are so many instances when you laugh your head off but that moment just dissipates leaving you with a light feeling in the head, this past week were full of these. Early twenties i guess , you earn your freedom, Amma and Appa fret, but not too much, they think they have raised you right, and apart from frantic phone calls ( they panic when you phone is out of reach or you dont pick your phone cause you are engrossed in a chick flick eating amazing potato fry), occasionally Amma will say that i have 'gotten out of control' and should be married off to the benefit of mankind, apart from this its all very wodehousian like a comfort read.
Anyway getting back to flying caps-
Naaandu and I are gearing up to ride all the way from suburbs of south to north Bangalore, when I with all my CAT cracking / engineer buddhi wear a cap to shield me from the cruel March sun.What happens? SUUUUUUyn, the cap flies inside S's Apartment, these two break into giggles and I feel stupid. But this is so not funny, when it happens in the middle of BEL road, with 401s, whirring past. Well, it so happened that it did fly off, and i told nanduuu about it. She stops the gaadi (no exasperation, trust me) and midst of laughter, asks me to go get it. Well i totally feared for my life and would not budge, one final threat and i slowly walked up to middle of BEL road to get it, all the while imagining what my Mum would say if lost an arm or leg in this adventure.
S makes amazing food, like your favourite aunt, who will add liberal portions of potato or cheese just cause you like it. I actually figured out how a kitchen works, and i make very watery maggi, also if you add pepper to maggi, the maggi goo in the end becomes sort of gross. I loved the tomato rice, cutting veggies and bonding over sour curd. waaaaaaah.
Driving at 1 am from jayamhal can be an experience, did you know that? Sounds godawful wannabe , but i would never forget that.
Girl talk is fun, and it so happens that, my humour turns willfully classic for the benefit of my friends, they call it my pillow moments. Otherwise I'm generally surly and sulky.
CTR/JANATHA totally pawn VB, Mantri mall will make me cry, haunts me even in volvos from banashankari to bommasandra. Sigh.
Waking up S and N can be a total pain. You cant even pour water on them, you save such priveleges for your younger sisters.Wooden snakes might work.
To the only boy who likes litchee cake, my brother jeep, HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
There was a time when i was reckless happy, sometime in second year, i reckon certain things never change, though I feel very much at crossroads now, with too many decisions to make but this week was just perfect.
PS:whatever this template might say, smoking is injurious to health.
on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
every Sunday at about nine in the morning as I sit devouring the sunday supplement, the sound of conche would resound, and I would automatically take two rupees from the kitchen dabba ,which has change, run down the stairs and give it to daSSaya. Giving change to daSSaya was something that made me really proud as a little kid, it was an incentive promised by aunt when i refused to eat, other threats , when things got out of hand with me,included giving me away to the garbage man with many bags, she told me they all had little children in them and i still remember how he would threateningly glare as he took milk covers away, enough to make me eat boiled carrots for a couple of days she says. daSSaya of course still comes every sunday and day before i gave him the usual change and his smile lit up his ancient dark face, my neighbour's daughter all of four years old stood groggily waiting for the daSSaya.