Sunday, February 28, 2010
I study the water, see the wave coming even before it has formed. It will be a big one, I brace myself for it. Foot firmly on board, knees bent, body pressing forward as I have been doing for years. I have placed myself in the prefect spot. The wave forms under my board, carries me up to its crest. I ride the wave, hold myself up as long as possible. The wave comes crashing down, brings me down with it.
I am insignificant compared to the might of the Ocean. It embraces me, I am a part of it.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a finger in several pies. There are so many books I want to read; so many books that are waiting to be written. I have running related goals, and adventure desires. There are places I want to visit, things I want to experience. I would love to have more time for my garden, and for photography. I am passionate about all of them, and I would love to be able to devote time to any of them.
But do I really need to be told I have limited time on earth before I do all that? As a parent, I have to lay down certain rules and make sure they are followed, but can't I show them a lot more love than I do now. I love them, and they know I love them, but am I hugging them as much as I could? Do I tell them, and tell them again and again, that I love them unconditionally, and will always do so? Do I tell them without being asked that I am their friend and that I will always be their friend?
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
It was hard to tell which of us was enjoying the session more, and pretty soon, the younger one and his friend joined in too. There were a few others who were also waiting for their respective school buses to pick them up, but we were having too much fun to really pay much attention to any of them.
Almost too soon, the school bus arrived, putting an end to the game. On the way home, another mother caught up with me. "It is so wonderful when you have children early", she said. "You have the stamina to keep up with your kids. I have never been able to play football with my son."
"How can I play football?" Her voice was wistful. "What will people think?"
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
For our Silver Anniversary, I could finally afford Austria. In the land of Amadeus, Sachertorte and Maria von Trapp we never left each other, even for a moment.
Cancer may have claimed you seven years back, but you enjoyed Salzburg as much as I.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Is my surprise an example of stereotyping? Just because the people likely to patronise the establishment are unlikely to be fluent in English doesn't necessarily mean they can't be passionate about Hollywood movies, does it?
Friday, February 12, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Since the world is round, and I am almost at the other end of it, I read about her challenge only on Saturday. Which was good, because though I walk a lot every day, it is only on Saturdays that I am not focussed on getting from Point A to Point B in the shortest possible time.
I hoped to find something new, something that challenged me. I even kept my camera at home, because I wanted to savour the experience of discovery without being constrained to view it from behind the lens.
I took a few roads that I had never taken before, but did not find anything that I hadn't seen before. But, what I did find was a government school that had just gotten over. What I saw were mothers and children. What I saw were children in uniforms. What I saw was one child being taken home on a bicycle by her grandfather.
I saw girls getting an education. I saw communities that would be transformed by the educated girls. I saw the future of my country. I saw the future of the world.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Can anything be more magical than a box of crayons? You have only to slide it open, for creations real and imaginary to tumble forth.
Fish with multicoloured scales swimming in invisible ponds. Astronauts taking a walk among the planets. Rainbows dashing across the sky, finding a home in a pot of gold. Bright yellow suns with smiley faces lighting up hilly landscapes. Lions with spiky hair posing beneath apple trees. Fire-breathing dragons protecting beautiful maidens.
Don’t be taken in by its size- the entire universe is contained in a box of crayons. It needs only imagination to release it.
____Drabble (n) - an extremely short work exactly one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity and to test the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
I could drown in her limpid eyes; spend a lifetime caressing her lustrous hair. If I shut my eyes, I can feel the softness of her palms; her lips pressed against mine.
Biker chick or lovelorn housewife. Emotional dancer or proud queen. She never fails to fascinate.
She dances for me; flirts with me. She sings songs of longing; gives me looks filled with meaning.
She comes to me every night when I insert the DVD of her latest blockbuster in my player.
She is mine. I couldn’t ask for anything more. How now can I settle for anything less?
A drabble a day, everyday, on the many aspects of Love, in the Valentine Feature at the Burrow.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
While waiting for the attendent to take a blood sample for my routine pre-operative tests, the doctor had asked me why I was there. When I told him that I was going to undergo a hystrectomy, he said exactly what everyone else had told me before, "but you are too young for a hystrectomy".
"That is what everyone says", I burst out in exasparation. "But nobody tells me why it is so. Are there likely to be any medical complications because I have to have the operation at this age?"
Frankly, I did not expect an answer. When my gynecologist, who I trusted because he had respect for my intellegence, didn't give me a straight answer, why should this person who was a relative stranger?
I was in for a surprise. Not only did he reassure me that my fears were unjustified, and that there were no special complications with having the surgery 'so early', he even explained why it was that doctors reacted the way they did. "You sould realise that no surgeon likes removing organs", he told me. "They resist it as long as they can, and when it is the uterus of a woman still in child bearing age, they feel rather guilty about it."
"Besides", he had added, "you don't look 38 - you look much younger."
I have been asked to get my thyroid levels checked every six months, and though the path lab is a little out of the way, I couldn't even think of going anywhere else. There was a different, much younger man sitting on the doctor's chair. He looked competant enough, but where was my doctor? I glanced up, and found a framed photograph of his on the wall.
"Is that your father?", I ventured tentatively- the resemblance was striking.
"Yes", he paused, then continued. "He passed away in November."
"I'm sorry", I said. Two words that could mean everything or nothing. Then realising how inadequate it was, added, "he was a wonderful person. I will never forget him. I am truely sorry."
His eyes glistened with tears. Mine did too. There was really nothing left to say.
The man had touched my life, but I may never have leant of his passing had I given into laziness and got the test done in a place closer home. I wonder how many other such people there are - people I assume are around, but who have actually passed on?
A little over six months back, when I met him last, he had told me not to worry too much about my surgery. "What is the point of worrying?", he'd asked me. "The worst thing that can happen to you is death. And that is inevitable. What is the point of worrying?"
"I'm not scared of dying", I assured him. "But I have two really young children who need me. I don't want to die just yet, because I am not sure if they can manage without me."
"People always manage", he assured me. "It is only we who think other people need us."
I am not sure if he was right. I may not need him the way his family would, but I will definitely miss him.
Friday, February 5, 2010
When my Dutch friend, Joris, asked me if I had a photograph of slums with skyscrapers in the background, my immediate response was "No way."
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
In 2005, a random handful of internet users discovered that they shared a common interest: writing. The bunch began to frequent a virtual place called Café Steinbeck, where they presented and discussed poetry and short prose. The Café was closed when its administrator grew worried about the safety of the texts with regard to copyright infringement; the patrons, however, stayed in touch. Aside from their individual projects, these writers now team up as The Burrow for projects combining artwork with text, in which they express regionally and socially disparate, unique views on a shared topic. This website is their showcase.
We are now in our 16th month, and despite real life trying its best to derail us, our collaborations are still going strong. And we have already established traditions - the second February Valentine feature kicked off yesterday, with this drabble -
When I impulsively suggest going out for dinner, I find she has already researched restaurants. I decide on holiday destinations, she meticulously plans the trip. I love chopping vegetables, grating cheese and kneading dough, she enjoys putting elaborate meals together. She buys things for the house, I vacuum and dust and keep the house tidy. She needs me to help her locate her misplaced earrings, I cannot put my cuff-links on without her help.
My wife of thirty-five years! She completes my life. Without her, there is just half of me.
Without me, is there also only half of her?
Image - Half a Heart
Monday, February 1, 2010
He crossed me in a blur and his timing would definitely have been a meet record, if the races were being timed. When he had nearly reached the finish line, he looked back, so how far ahead of the rest he was, and slowed down to a walk. He did the last few meters so slowly, a boy who was far behind him, almost caught up with him.
“That’s not very sportsmanlike.” The remark slipped out unconsciously. In my moral code, you always give it your best – you don’t slow down just because you can afford to do so.
In all the clapping and cheering that accompanies any Sports Day, I soon forgot about the boy. Then I saw him again. The last race of the day was a relay race of the senior class, and he was naturally running the last leg for his team. Though he was the third to get the baton, he soon narrowed the gap and shot into the lead. Watching him was sheer pleasure, but a few meters from the finish line, he did it again. He looked back, saw his lead and slowed down to a walk. Once again, I was disappointed. Why did a boy so obviously talented shy away from giving his best?
While I was thinking about the champion, the last runner passed by. He had been the last to receive the baton, and his speed, or lack of it, had only increased the gap between him and the team that came third. The race was over by the time he passed by, but he didn’t change his speed. At what was his top speed, he ran down the track, and slowed down only after crossing the finish line. I gave him a standing ovation for the last 10 meters – the race was over, there were no honours left to gather, and yet he gave the race his best- one had to applaud his spirit.
On the way back home I asked my husband which of the two boys he wished his sons would grow to resemble. To my surprise, he chose the Sports Captain. Talent and individual brilliance, he told me, mattered more than doing your best. While I don’t deny that I would, as a parent, love to see my sons on the victory podium with medals around their neck, I think there is more to life than just talent. The boy who didn’t let up, has already learnt one of the most important lessons in life – that you have to press on regardless of what life throws at you. He’ll succeed where it matters most – in life.
And the other one? He’s brilliant and talented, but I wonder how he will react when he encounters a serious challenge for the first time. Maybe he will find hidden reserves of strength- I definitely hope so.
Obviously there are no right answers and no wrong answers. But I would still like to know what you think. Of the two, which would you want as your son? Who do you think is the real winner?