Long warm days

Last night I went to bed early, and slept for twelve hours straight. I got up cranky and hungry. I was pissed off thinking about people’s unwanted need to meddle with my business, trying to advise me. It makes me lose my temper very quickly. Also, my War’s End Kiss poster had fallen off the wall. Enough said!

The morning was beautiful, and I got my ass out of the house for breakfast and a stroll in the sun. I did not want to waste the day. An entire waffle loaded with blueberries, strawberries, bananas, topped with whipped cream, three cups of tea, a smoke – it almost fixed me. A happy stomach leads to a happy head. Hell yeah!

I came back home yearning some solitude, but had a hard time finding it. Now I finally sit alone on my bed, and am to begin reading my favourite story. I have the desire, the courage to read it. I am thankful to a friend who suggested me this book. It was a funny incident. This friend was my neighbour at work place, about five years ago. I did not have a blog then, and I used to pen down a lot of things into a personal book that I carried with me at all times. He happened to find out that I did something like that, and was too keen on knowing what I wrote. I hid it from him well, or so I thought. He sneaked it out of my bag, and read a couple of poems and essays I had written. I lost my cool, and to make matters worse, he started making fun of my writing. But then, very sincerely, he suggested me this book. He actually had liked my writing and said – you must read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. I knew Arundhati Roy back then, but had no idea what a phenomenon she was. This is the story, that makes me smile, laugh, cry, and feel emotions that I have felt secretly, throughout my childhood, and that I feel even today. I do not mix the stories I read/watch with my own. But this story does that. I become a part of it, a silent spectator who sneaks in, to watch the characters secretly, to eavesdrop on their conversations, to read their minds. It reminds me of a lot of things, that I will etch today, before I begin reading it again, before I enter the beautiful world of The God of Small Things, once again. Before I smell the smells the characters had smelled, before I shed the tears they had shed, before I get molested by the orangedrink lemondrink man, before I get manhandled and beaten to pulp with Velutha, before I sit next to a lake alone in the darkest nights, with a flower in my head, and a tangerine radio playing songs only Ammu and I can hum, waiting for her Velutha. This story reminds me of…

A childhood with no best friend. Of the silent stares at streets. Of watching the beggar boy with a big black tummy and an open shirt, staring at food on ground for some time, before picking it up and swallowing it whole. Of staring at the mango tree at night, and thinking the cranes living on those trees were actually ghosts. Of walking barefoot on hot grounds during summer holidays, suckling on orange popsicle. Of taking baths carefully to avoid drowning the ants, who would climb up my dry hand, and then proceed with their busy lives on a dry wall. Of killing a frog brutally that evening, with a cold stone, and a colder heart. Of catching tadpoles from gutter, thinking they were babies of fish, and collecting them in beer bottles left by uncles. Of tying a thread to a dragonfly’s tail, and run to wherever it took me. Of watching snakes in my village without fear, and occasionally feeling them slide from over my leg. Of running behind chicks and getting pecked by their mommy hens. Of staring inside a well, looking at reflections, and watching the catfish swimming, rippling the reflections. Of sleeping on warm terrace at night, and gazing at stars, believing that spaceships and aliens would come one day, and pick me up for their experiments. Of stealing my uncle’s bidis with my brother, and trying smoke tricks, hiding. Of playing with my cousins, hiding pins, hiding ourselves. Of climbing so high on trees, that I did not know how to climb back down. Of showering naked with my cousins in cold waters that my aunt threw at us. Of collecting earthworms in coconut shells and trying to guess where the head was, and where the tail was.

Of where the head was and where the tail was…

 

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