Thursday, July 12, 2012

Payback Time

Some years ago, I had written about how I had time trapped in my fist. About how I watched in slow motion while the rest of the world whizzed past me. And now its pay back time. All those days, when I languished in the endless ocean of time, playing with the minutes and seconds-  relishing and savouring every moment, somewhere deep inside, I wondered...I wondered if there would come a time, when I would climb aboard the whirring roller coaster myself . Even then, I had wondered if I could lend time to those who were looking for spare moments, and just in case, I would demand pay back with interest. 
Time has a way with making one eat and chew one's words.
For, now I've entered another phase in my life. I've become a teacher in a  school here, a school that I had always hoped to join. I teach English to little children- of 5, 6 and 7 standards. While I enjoy the teaching part completely, there are hordes of other responsibilities that come as a free deal along with the job. It feels like I've suddenly got aboard a roller coaster that is hurtling fast, fast, up, down and again up and I'm tied to it. My hair is standing on end and my palms are clenched tightly holding onto the seat, my mouth is wide open in a silent screech! Having to climb up and down two flights of stairs adds to the zing. My timings, routine have changed completely and there are times when I feel disoriented like I am jet lagged. 

(To make things worse, after having become an English teacher, I now find myself looking askance at every word I utter or  write. I'm no longer too sure of my Grammar! The Irony!  Professional hazard I guess. And the 'Tanglish' - the 'Kolaveri' kind  that I get to hear all around me adds to the conundrum. I hope I outgrow this phase of self doubt soon). 
However, I hasten to add that I've no regrets. I feel useful, I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I'm thoroughly enjoying my time with the kids. I realise that I've in store, truck-loads of patience, which I was never aware of. I find myself watching my kids even when they're at their naughtiest best, most boisterous and cantankerous selves.  I've to stop myself consciously from smiling or even laughing at times. Time will tell if they'll drain me off this exuberance. But right now I'm happy where I am.

(See what I hold in my tightly clenched fist? I’ll let u have a tiny peek- just for a moment- there…saw that? I have Time trapped within my fist…you don’t believe me? I don’t blame you…you who are so busy – you who don’t realize when the day is over and night has begun…you who cannot watch the sun set and the stars rise…
 Slowly, very slowly, I loosen my fist ever so little…and a handful of moments slither too soon…In a flash I close my fist tighter than ever- but alas- a few precious moments are already lost to Eternity- I close a single eye and peek thru the gaps in my fingers of my clenched fist- aha- Time is yet again trapped- I breathe a sigh of relief- and yet a few stealthy moments keeps trickling through the tiny gaps- I watch helplessly…counting the truant moments …
 A train flashes by along the broad gauge tracks outside- the boggies are a blur- and I watch from my balcony as if in slow motion- the second needle ticks by inside my home- an on your watch- marking off the same moments from the slice of Eternity and yet some moments are heavy, and some flit by like the caress of a feather- Theory of Relativity?
 A friend of mine tells me he feels like he’s caught in a rollercoaster that does not seem to stop- whirrrrrrrr- round and round – it goes…turning him around along with it… no time to even feel queasy-
Was wondering would it be possible to lend time to those who need some spare moments- except that maybe I’d add one clause- just in case- to be returned on demand with interest…)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Repost: The Invisible Umbilical cord...( Mother's Day Special)

The following  is a repost from 2005 

The last few days had been hectic travel- and now I am back home- my husband and I had gone to Kochi for a 2 day visit and we had a great time. Today, I just wanted to relax, laze away the day- so finished all routine chores- and settled down with a book that I got from my cousin this trip- "Chicken soup for Mothers soul"- a beautiful book; some of the stories are so moving and yet soothing- and I am feeling  refreshed, at peace with life- and so while I was actually waiting for sleep to just overwhelm me. However, reading the many anecdotes narrated in the book not only banished away all thoughts of sleep- but also inspired me to reach out to my blog friends. So here I am at my pc, typing away!

The stories are obviously about the bond between mothers and children- personal anecdotes recapitulating, reinforcing the depth of this relationship in spite of conflicts, disagreements- each story by different people seemed to me like blogs by themselves; stories with that humane, personal element.

Reading it made me look back at the relationship that I shared with my own amma- we are temperamentally similar but different in habits, ideology. We communicate beautifully as long as it does not concern housekeeping, child rearing and basic discipline! In spite of these differences, there is this underlying communication which transcends distances and time. It is an awareness, a consciousness of being bound together by invisible threads- as if the umbilical cord was never cut off. Of course, we do have royal arguments, harsh words, bitter sulks, but then that is only natural. It is a confidence, a faith of being there for each other come what may. It is an understanding, a soothing sense of security, a comfort level of mutual taking for granted at times.

Many times after a real bad argument, I have retreated feeling totally desolate, lost and miserable, afraid that  such things were not meant to happen between a mother and daughter. Afraid that perhaps I had spoilt things beyond repair, that perhaps I had hurt amma too much with my verbal/nonverbal expressions. I would be appalled at the chasm that had just caved in and I would despair of ever being able to surmount it.  I would feel suddenly lonely in spite of everybody else in the world. I would want her, only her at those terrible moments of failure. There were also other moments when I felt that I had failed her somewhere, somehow; and invariably soon enough some little thing would happen that reassured me that nothing could ever tarnish this mother- daughter bond- that whatever may be the differences of opinion, the arguments, the difficult moments, it did not matter. - I just had to utter the most beautiful word- AMME- and everything negative would just vapourise.

Then there have been those moments when I faced problems from other sides, other issues, and during such moments, I have never failed to find my mother by my side, holding me, supporting me, strengthening my spirits, my faith and gently bringing me back to track. She taught me the value of relationships, the importance of not hurting others, of respecting others view points even if they did not agree with mine, the power of tolerance, the need to let go of the past- oh, the list is endless.

This account would be incomplete if I did not mention that person who cannot see the gray strands in my hair, cannot remember that perhaps I am too heavy for his lap, who forgets that his grandchildren are perhaps younger than his daughter; that inspite of the numerous occasions when I scream at him, I remain perfect. He loves to remind me of the times he carried me in his arms, of the times when he panicked becos I was sick- and I never tire of hearing it. At times though,  he drives me up the wall with his stubbornness ( this trait he has generously passed on to me- so I am told). Yes, that’s my Achhan, he loves me unconditionally, and suffers from selective amnesia – because he does not remember the times that I have hurt him!

I started out this blog to tell you abt the book that I was reading, and somehow, it turned out this way- so now I dedicate this blog to the two people whom I love a whole lot, but cannot hope to match the love they have for me!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Most Beautiful Thing


I know I'm late by a day. Yesterday was the day to post your  Most Beautiful Thing 

 Yesterday, I was struggling to find the right words to express my Most Beautiful Thing. No words seemed good enough or powerful enough to convey the emotions within me. Enumeration of actions, deeds could be accomplished through language, but the underlying emotions and feelings got watered down. Still, I wanted to try...and here it is, I've raked out the gems of memory, ensconced in joy and gratitude, strung them on a strand of words and here's my precious  jewel. 

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