Office Vibes

She liked the eye. Deep. Contemplative.

Such are the eyes I would love to look into, she thought oddly.

She was arranging the files, the manager would come any moment.

The old fool. He walked fast, the manager. His paunch though walked far ahead. It was like two of them, the paunch, the man, the paunch, the man.

There was a certain music to his movement, she had noticed it yesterday. He was called to the office of the manager, the senior one, his manager, the manager’s manager.So he must have felt important because there was a lilt to his movement, a push, a start and a settling down, again a push, a start and a settling down. It must be tiring to walk like that, she thought.

He was always shouting, shouting in general. Move that file, bring this file, give that paper. If he got up to get a few papers it would be good for his paunch. At this rate, the guy is not going to live long…. she shrugged indifferently.

How does his wife tolerate him?

Then came the deep eyes, yes, the new transfer. Oh! when did that happen?

‘I know you can’t tolerate a good guy looking at me, can you?’ She was annoyed at Meenu, the secretary.

Meenu only liked guys to look her. Her huge buxom self ever eager to hug every one. What’s with this hugging? Once she just wriggled off the hug not bothering about what Meenu thought. Maybe not enough hugs back home.

Too much of cynicism is creeping into me these days. Where’s this coming from though? After a point of living alone. spinsters get it apparently. That’s what Raju told her last time.

‘You need to find someone ok. The cats and dogs can’t do to you what a man can do.’

‘Like ,like what? hurting ?’she demanded angrily as he walked out to smoke.

He came back smoldering an hour later and glared at her, ‘The problem with feminism is that it is somehow half-brained. You women with the notion of self hood have no sense of self good.’

‘Yours or mine!’ She was not in a mood to give in and he threw up his arms helplessly. ‘Whatever!’

How many times have I told the old fool that it is not ‘cha’ as in chai but ‘ch’ as in champagne…ha..good sense comes with good living…who can help that…

‘Charlene’, and the call comes.

‘Go, your darling can’t wait to see you,’ said Raju as she got up with a start.

She glanced at the mirror before entering the manager’s cabin. With all his lack of class, the man was still good at his job.

Hmm…got to brighten up the lips. A hint of mascara has added depth to her eyes. ‘Love you my beauty.’

With a toss to her mane, she said brightly

‘Good morning Sir!’

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Woman of the wall

She was busy building it. He was busy too, in removing the building blocks of the wall. It was a continuous, consistent effort on their sides, each to his own.

‘I have to build it’ she insisted. ‘It will protect me, may be even you’, she added as if she was not sure of him. His presence, his company or just him, it’s difficult to say.

‘You build it, again and again and get yourself walled in’, he argued trying to gain some authority in an argument which was tilted towards her right from the beginning.

It was not for him to argue with her. He could not stay with her sullen face. He preferred the sunshine even if some times it rained right on to him. It didn’t matter.

As long as she was there, he was happy. He had decided that long back. That is how it is going to be. Her happiness, his happiness.

‘Come help me’, she shouted. She was good at that, ‘loud noises’, whether it was joy, sorrow or anger, it was always loud with her, ‘even pleasure’, he smiled to himself.

What was this woman to me, he asked himself. Why can’t I tell her that the wall she was building was going to kill her, her free spirit, her joy, it will not be seen now, but feeding it with love, she was nurturing a monster, perhaps monster is too gross a word, but you see, you must get the flow, right?

There was no use arguing with this woman of ‘loud noises’, with whom his life is so intricately bound, woven, warp and weft, she is decided if she is decided and that’s it.

It has been like that for the past so many years. Some said, talk it out, he smiled, nodding his head, no, he was not desperate as they thought him to be, nor was he bound without his will, it was a knowing commitment, I am with thee, come rain or sunshine.

There was never a need to run away, yes, in spite of the wall, the many walls she built and so delicately designed, decorating them with mosaics of experiences, feelings, fantasies, observations, hearsays, she was important, yes, despite the wall, so he stood through, just being there was enough and it gave him joy to do that.

Once in a while though without her noticing, he climbed the stairs, clambered on to the wall, peeped outside, in fact, even jumped out and ran away, panting at the effort, it takes a lot of running to actually run, if you know what I mean.

He breathed in fresh air, rubbed against fresh faces, clung to fresh fantasies and ran straight back to the woman with the wall.

The wall that kept him in and kept so much away from him. Ha! life!

‘Are you there?’, she called, the woman of’ loud noises’, a warm bosom and a tight clasp, far too tight!. ‘Coming’, he shouted back and ambled in her direction.

Balloon- Bubbly, beautiful but not very eco friendly

I remember how while I was growing up in Vijayawada, a major town in Andhra Pradesh, the balloon seller would come to the street on weekends. Me and my brother, along with other kids would run after the balloon man and get our red and orange colored balloons. For a few days at least we would wake up and go to sleep with balloon by our side, that is if it lasts that long.

I loved the balloons and I would be lying if I said that I was aware of the dangers to the environment posed by the balloon at that age or even much later.

It never occurred to me that a light, fluffy , beautiful thing could cause any damage to any one at all.

This I am sure is how we look at most of things. But now the times we are in force us to evaluate the environmental cost of every item of use be it a balloon, a ball, the ubiquitous plastic bags or anything else.

Here is an example of a balloon fest that went horribly out of turn to become a major environmental disaster. In 1986,the city of Cleveland announced that it was going to set a world record by releasing 1.5 million balloons up into the sky. It was a mass movement with a lot of hype on the television and the print media, there was much enthusiasm, great community feeling and lots of positive vibes in the air. In fact the television anchors announced that it was time to prove that Cleveland was a happening city to the world!

Soon festivities took a serious turn when an impending storm hit the city and the balloons fell all over filling the nearby lake where two local fisher men went missing.

The rescue efforts were affected because it was impossible to identify the life jackets of the fishermen among the many floating balloons.

In fact, Cleveland Balloonfest became an example of what not to do in celebration!

Kids love balloons so do adults but it is important that we consider the cost to the environment of these blown up plastic bags.

With environmental damage causing flash floods, droughts and other major catastrophes across the world, it is time to act! Say no to balloons!

For further reading!

https://www.ecowatch.com/balloons-bad-for-the-environment-2596193514.html

Of how she talks

To talk is to exist

so she does

it didn’t matter

who listened

who didn’t

sometimes the cat sat by

more out of boredom than interest

as she belted out her tunes

old tunes of old times

some sparkling new

smelling more of fantasy than reality

the other day I saw her talking to the sky

I didn’t interrupt her reverie

her holy communion

a few earth worms in hiding

came to the fore

volunteering to keep her company

a centipede or two joined

a crow cawed her approval

she spoke unabashed, uninhibited

of thin walls pressing on to her

of spaces cramped

of eavesdroppers

of rude turn-aways

of forbidden pleasures

of craving for what is not

of efforts to evolve

of struggles within without

a tear was shed from above

manna for her soul

a deluge for the earthworm and the centipede

each to his own…

Ali’s Wedding : A Review

It’s my vacation, the yearly break when I get time off work. Well, not really because I am continuously working on something or the other. Yet, the fact that I am at home is a privilege. How do I make good the time I have? By watching loads and loads of movies, even 3 a day. So I catch up with Malayalam Cinema, Kumbalangi Nights, Sudani from Nigeria, Bharya Athra Pora, a few more are lined up.

But the film that touched my heart and soul today is Ali’s Wedding, a beautiful rom-com set in Australia, revolving around a young Muslim couple greatly in love.

There is the sweet innocence of Ali who wanting to live to his father’s expectations of him, ends up screwing his own life, washing hands off his dreams and regrets deeply. (Some bells ring there and I shout an advice to my daughter, whatever happens follow your heart, only yours O.K!!!)

There is the usual family emotional blackmailing, community moments, fun and theater in the mosque and much more.

Worth more than a watch, truly!

Cute film

Anger walks out

anger, seething within

intense,dense

colors everything

knits your brows

rasps your breaths

fogs your eyes

fastens your steps

anger pinches your core

surprises and shocks you

with its very existence

and it excesses

anger clogs your head

ties your tongue

or lets it too loose

clenches your fists

glares your eyes

anger rushes you

pushes you to do more than you can

nudges you to seek more and live more

horrifies you with its deep darkness

kills your slow smile and tender moments

good friend, anger

now don’t be angry

when I say

you have run your course

it’s time to say good bye

if need be

you will be called

yet, stay away

light living, lighter moments

till then! Ciao!

Of Kumbalangi Nights

There are actors, many of them, then there is Fahad Faasil. Fahad must have a different measuring scale of acting prowess, if you don’t believe me please watch’ Kumbalangi Nights’.

My first encounter with the word Kumbalangi was when I was in Cochin for a training, I asked the participants, ‘where are you from’ in a typical, Malayali expression of ‘how do you do’ and he said, ‘Kumbalangi’, I had never heard of the place before and found it extremely funny.

Sometimes, laughter threatens to pounce on me with a vengeance, it was about to happen that day, but I controlled myself and uttered a civilized, ‘Oh, is it’ saving my dignity.

Kumbalangi Nights takes you to a setting that is almost surreal, the deep blue waters, the china nets, the canoeing in and out through the village, only hinting at the lurking possibilities of darkness in the vile-now, not so vile, but polished smile of Fahad, springing beneath his top class bushy mustache…oh, what a smile, reminding one of the quote  “O villainvillainsmiling, damned villain!” from Hamlet.

But the tension built up in the story telling is such that one does not know or cannot comprehend what is going to happen, where will the evil appear, though there is a promise of the same it is difficult to predict until it is unleashed.

In fact all the characters in the movie have done their parts well, the innocent almost drunk in delight smile of Franky, the transformation of Saji, the love story of Bobby and Baby and the silence of Bony. Simmi, Shammy’s friend, Saji’s partner in business, his wife, each character is beautifully etched.

Kumbalangi Nights is a classic. It looks deep into the diabolic in the decent, the so-called normal and leaves the audience speculative, asking perhaps, ‘so, what’s behind the mask?’

Kumbalangi Nights

Come you may or may not

I am not sure of your reading this or anything else that she writes, wrote or will write at some point of time in future.

I know not if words reach you, her words I mean or make sense to you in any which way.

Friend, lover that never loved, don’t be amused at the pain of a soul so deep in the mire of feelings, overwhelmed by emotions that deluge her very existence that at times take her by surprise, nay shock.

Stupidity, friend, is what I have often called it and have oftener called her out.

I have many a time told her to move on and not hang on words that were never there, promises that never came or those that were not hers, not hers.

I have laughed at her derisively, laughed out loud in her face, and many more times behind her back.

I, yes, I have advised her, consoled her and confronted her, but nothing has worked not now, not till now.

Delusional, she is, ha, perhaps, that is what it is, a magic potion that sustains without supply of raw material, her feelings….stupid, stupid woman

When she rests her shoulder on mine, I kiss her tenderly on her forehead.

I watch the thin, fine lines of worry crease out, slowly and a small smile dimple her cheeks.

I sit with her though even when she insists she is fine, knowing how good she is at hiding her true feelings , I stay back and keep her company.

The speckless sky is now dotted with dark clouds, a heavy downpour is expected anytime.

I keep the towel ready for the showers.

I know I am good enough yet it is you who makes a difference to her life.

It is you who she yearns for so openly, unabashed of ridicule.

With her grey hair and slow prance will she still look to the window to see you?

Will her failing heart, bear the pain of your sudden appearance?

Will she, so gentle in giving be given what she asks for?

I cannot tell.

But, this I know, I will be around for her at a glance away.

Come what may, come you may or not.

Ps: Post Stephen Fry’s impassioned love for words

And he fell, the man

‘He who weeps for me has his tears dried today, this day

He who fills my every pore with love is lost

He whose calls I spring forth to in joyous abundance

is no more, no more ,’The earth murmured,

‘Such days I never hoped to see

without his love, I am nothing.nothing.’, she stopped.

The birds cried in unison, ‘not we dear mother, not us, not us’

‘we dance for your love and your union with your eternal lover

we rejoice in you, holy mother’

the worms slow to move cried,’holy mother, we are far too small, yet you held us close

it is not us, dear mother, we pray for you and for him’.

the animals mingled in their roars, bellows, cries and laughs, said together

‘ha, mother, we have tried our very best, we even learned to be kind to your favorite, the man. We have only loved you still if there be sins we beg forgivance’.

The earth mother wept, ‘It is I who sinned, I who held one so cruel, so close to me, I opened up every reserve, every treasure for his plundering, and see what it has done to me, to us, to him, though he does not know yet, not yet’.

Sitting in circles one away from the next the life on the planet, prayed to their only god, gaia and cried

‘Curse be on the man’

‘For he has killed our mother’

‘Distanced the heavenly lover from her, our mother goddess, our only provider and nurturer’

‘This shall not be forgiven, never, never, others echoed!’

The trees were silent, so were the grass, they knew only kindness even in anger.

But he fell, the man!

Exhume, release, move on

It was that time of the year

when the heart is quiet and sure

focused on digging up past lives

reliving memories

but it was somehow different

this time unlike many other times

maybe it is marking a decade

and therefore it is willing to overlook

mostly though there was deep love replacing deep anger

loosening of many knots, filling heart with the warmth of love

the slow fire of yearning and a great realization of changing

it was easy to forgive, forego and forget

making space for what is new, what is loving, what is embracing

keep the songs coming

keep the joys brewing

for the summer is here again

the warmth is a-calling

the dreams are a-beckoning

feel the change

relive the joy

the smiles are a-lasting

love is at the door!

live and let live!