CURDLED

It must be the times

the change of weather

the heat of the moment

that sought solitude.

The oceans throw up

truckloads of S*** on the Versova beach

the air spits into your very eyes

chokes your throat, scowls right back at you

the rivers fling dead fish

the brackish waters fill the lakes

cancerous earth laces fruits with poison

the preaching of a god-no-more

the hope of a tomorrow-never-ever.

It must be that or the change of the weather!

 

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മാപ്പു

മാപ്പു

നിന്റെ രാജ്യത്തിൽ വന്നു
നിന്റെ സ്വന്തം വീട്ടിൽ നിന്ന് കൊണ്ട്
ഇന്ന് ഞാൻ നിന്റെ അജ്ഞാനത്തെ അപഹസിച്ചെങ്കിൽ
മാപ്പു ചോദിക്കുന്നു ഞാൻ

നിന്റെ സ്വപ്നമായ നിന്റെ സ്വന്തമായ
നിന്റെ എല്ലാമെല്ലാമായ നിന്റെ ഭാഷയിൽ
കാൽ കാശിനു വിവരമില്ലാത്ത ഞാൻ
എന്റെ വിവേക ശൂന്യതയാൽ നിന്നെ വേദനിപ്പിച്ചുവെങ്കിൽ

എന്റെ അജ്ഞാനത്തെ നീ ക്ഷമിച്ചു
എന്റെ ആംഗലേയത്തെ നീ സഹിച്ചു
എന്നിട്ടും നിന്നോട് ഞാൻ ചെയ്തത്
ക്രുരതയാണ്
ഇന്ന് ഞാൻ നിന്നോട് ആംഗലേയത്തിൽ
സംവദിക്കാൻ
തന്ടെ സഹപാഠികളുടെ മുന്നിൽ
നിർബന്ധിച്ചപ്പോൾ

എന്റെ രാജ്യത്തു എന്റെ അമ്മയായ
എന്റെ സ്വന്തമായ എന്റെ ഭാഷക്ക്
ഒരു സ്ഥാനവുമില്ലേ എന്ന് നീ
നിശബ്ദനായി എന്നോട് ചോദിച്ചപ്പോൾ

തേങ്ങി പോയി എന്റെ മനസ്സ്
സ്വന്തമായ മലയാളത്തെ സ്വന്തമാക്കാൻ
സാധിക്കാത്ത ഞാൻ
എ ബി സി ഡി യുടെ ധാർഷ്ട്യത്തിൽ ,മൗഢ്യത്തിൽ

നിന്നെ , നിന്റെ സ്വാഭിമാനത്തെ
നോവിച്ചുവെങ്കിൽ മാപ്പു
മക്കയോളയുടെ വിജയമാണിത്
എന്റെ, നിന്റെ ഈ ഭാരതത്തിന്റെ പരാജയവും!

Ps: The regret of a English teacher who never learned her mother tongue, Malayalam well enough, nor ever tried to learn or respect the languages of the places she stayed in as she should have, neither Hindi nor Kannada. Whither Indian regional languages?, when a student who is justly proud and knowledgeable of his/ her mother tongue is inadvertently made to feel ashamed of his/broken English.

 

 

Strange mom

She sat focused

wrinkling her forehead

narrowing her eyes

hearing  nothing,nothing

but the ceiling fan whirring.rring.rring

to obliterate

to demolish

the sense of pain

the pain of existence

eyes wet and hands numb

she looked ahead unseeing

then her lips widened to reach a smile

a sudden throttle of laughter bellowed

some turned at this orchestra of expressions

others moved on, haven’t they seen enough!

a second later a sob escaped her heavy chest,

and then a wail and a groaning in pain, I turned

now she was glaring at me, as if I was the strangest of all

I was shouted at, spit at and cussed for who I never was

yet knowing what was to come, I stayed, her saree pallu, I held tight

I have known her many moods, yet, love was the  most permanent of all .

So I waited, knowing well her ways and sure enough I sensed a change of tide

She smiled again and reached out,her hand eager to caress and I rushed to her, her child!

 

Getting up to go

When I get up to go

it will be something,she said.

A long pause after, she added,

It will not allow change

nor a turning about.

There will certainly be no room

for under the table discussions

nor over the top theatrics.

No slyness, no manipulations

Nothing shall stall what is to come

The repercussions?,she laughed

the who’s whos and the not so whos?

and murmuring silences and silent noises?

Well,they don’t fit into my scheme of things.

The tapestry is a mirage.

The glitter glowing harsh,

The ash hides the amber,

The sea is deeper than the seen.

 

And she got up to go…

 

Of Pride and Prejudice

You thought me quiet

And I wonder why

coz I was always loud, very loud!

a trombone playing incessantly in my head

a thousand loudspeakers

booming in my chest.

You thought me dumb

yet never have I shut my mouth;

Words

I use them well

sometimes to tell

sometimes to yell.

You thought me insignificant

And turned away

While a part of you

Holds me close

silent in your bones.

You chaffed me

You looked me down

But

I

Proud not yet prejudiced

Value you

Your follies and foibles

And will do so for ever.

Becoz

I

See

Beyond perceptions

I

See

You

Beyond myself.

Wait! did you just call me blind?

 

 

 

Of Choosing…

Into the wilderness of thoughts

clashing,cluttering

the space, the mind

you add your share

at the click of a button

a whirlpool of ideas

sometimes regurgitated

sometimes new

reaching out to what is there

and what is ready to be made.

You add your bit

to mitigate the chaos

to deepen the yawning chasm

to reach out

to hold

and sometimes hoping to be held

then the gunfire

the word-fire

and some misfire

but reaching out

you stretch your thought muscles

to make sense

even though you are sometimes

senseless yourself, totally

but silence is not golden

not always, not now

so speak

so argue

so fight a duel of words

and express, express and express

so that you connect or disconnect.

It is a terrific world out there

what will be slain

what will remain standing

it is difficult to tell

but the tears of the mother

the agony of a father

the love of friend

the longing of a lover

the dance of a butterfly

and a croaking toad

shall always seek

a kinder world

so write,speak,argue

but don’t chose silence

against yourself,

the children of tomorrow

their lives ask of you!

 

Not sorry in sari

I love wearing the sari. Half the time I spend on the internet is spent looking up varieties and shades and styles of this grand-new-old apparel. The other day, my greedy eyes caught the sight of these beautiful fluffy and light leheriya saris on www.indubindu.com. I can’t seem to get enough of feasting my eyes on those beauties.

My eyes lurk, linger and stare uninhibitedly almost luridly at those pieces of fabric which look tender,exotic and traditional all together.Saris make me go green with envy, weak at my knees and frail in my bones, just one look at of these vibrant colorful fabric dancing in the breeze, the tassles, the designs, I am hooked!

I treasure with pride the Kosa silk saris, I would buy from https://mrignayani.com/ , those quaint little outlets tucked in the streets of Indore. It helped that the schools I worked in Indore be it http://www.apsindore.com/ or the www.dalycollege.org/    always gave us the poor hard working teachers an occasion or two to flaunt our sari collection. It was never a disappointment of course, with teachers  digging out the best and the most unique of their beloved sari collection to don on a special day or two. I am always in awe of the ladies dressed to kill in their exquisite saris on every excuse of an occasion, at the school that you just can’t help standing by to admire.

As always I am a little too biased to the good times I spent in Indore, so the famed Maheswari sarees, vibrant in colors and light in texture is always a favorite with me.

https://mrignayani.com/product-category/maheshwari-sarees/

But how can I forget what my good friend, Mrs. Aditi Ghatak would bring for me, all the way from Kolkata, the simple yet elegant Bengal cotton saris. The fact that ‘roll press'(a process in which the cotton saris are starched and pressed neatly) in those times was quite cheap and  I always had my cotton saris crisp and smart, even to my own surprise, as good as new. I still have them, most of them intact yes, as good as new! Aditi did bring for me a few of the traditional ‘jamdani’  cotton saris which are still as rapturous as ever.

While as a South Indian am inclined to love Kancheepuram saris, I prefer to keep them for weddings back home in Kerala, when mom insists that I put on a few pieces of jewelry so that the general public does not come to the conclusion that I am all broke and desperate!

I love to watch my elegant mom,aunts, friends and nieces draped in Kanjeevaram saris more than I having to do it myself. Yet, I do have some beautiful Kanjeevaram saris which give my middle class wardrobe a rather elite touch.

More than the Kanjeevarams my heart calls out to the simple Kerala Kasavu saris with a golden border and those ‘chungdi’ saris so popular in Palakkad.

The Kota cotton saris,the beautiful bandhej and leheriyas from Rajasthan are light and breezy bringing in sunshine straight into your heart. My heart yearns for the authentic mysore silk saris, the pochampallis, the very expensive, understated and elegant silk saris from Orissa.

I can probably go on about my craze for saris but I must mention the beautiful teacher I admired a lot when I was in fifth standard at Vignana Vihara in Vijayawada who was a serious inspiration to wear saris. It’s also true that my first job at BITS TACT INFOTECH PVT LTD n Calicut that required me to wear saris every day to work while riding the Kinetic Honda, made me incredibly confident about my sari draping and sari carrying skills.

My favorite teacher of all times, Dakshayani mam with her incredible knowledge of Malayalam literature and her ever friendly and loving way of dealing with us, her students was always rather simple in her dress, the sari casually draped, her ‘lakshmi vala’ the bangle with different forms of goddess lakshmi being her only style statement and her watch sometimes not working, conveyed to my young impressionable mind the importance of modesty and simplicity in dressing.

Every time I go to Calicut, I open my mom’s almirah and stand there secretly admiring her collection of saris, thinking of ways to make it even more drool worthy and come back having spent on saris for her and and for me, of course. And amma’s saris are for me to pick and choose any day. The other day amma insisted that we both buy chikankari saris of different shades and we both thought that it was a great idea.

I never feel sorry for having donned a sari as I am more than happy to flaunt it. To all those sari loving ladies out there, much love!

Sariyistically yours

adhyapika 🙂