Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Clean Slate

I didn't know if it was a bane or a boon, in fact I didn't know anything at all. My memory was erased, and my identity was only what everyone claimed...I just didn't feel it. They said I could swim, do gymnastics, write and sing...but I never had done any of them, according to me. So what was I? I was a recovering coma patient.
              A bunch of flowers near my bed, a crowd of spectating doctors, and the sun the only thing I recognized among them all. If there was one thing I remembered, it was that look of sympathy splashed across the faces of every soul that walked into my room. And I didn't hate it, I dreaded it. It was just too much confusion to process, yet I hoped to everyday. Random faces used to sit by my side for hours, offering stories that obviously held the plot of my own life. Did they think I was both ignorant and empty to not know what their objectives were? I wished I could look into the reoccurring faces and tell them that it simply was not coming back to me. Because unlike movies, life has one thing different...reality. And if it didn't feel up for it, there's no negotiating in that. The way I looked at it? Well, if these memories they spoke of, was never close to my heart, then one- they weren't regarded great enough for my mind to register deep. Two- that life wasn't worth carrying with again after memory returned. I decided to lie low for a while.

           By now, I knew my mother, for she and I already had a great relation. And some of these faces though very very young to be my family, pursued that they were. And another set of people, ones whom I bore resemblances to, just vanished after a few months. I wasn't ignorant. It was deeply saddening to look at your own life like a third person. I sort of felt pity for the old self. God knows what neglect I had to endure just because I was bound by blood to souls that cared none. One night as I lay awake to reflect what was in my hands I smiled a bit. They say God works in mysterious ways, and maybe this was one of them. Maybe I asked for deliverance from my family and he gave me a clean slate to paint my life. So how was I going to take it with the negatives?
        I turned it all to positives. I started hanging out with my mother's friends; they were like uncles and aunts that I dreamed of. And my own friends were the brothers and sisters I never had, soul sisters that meant much more and guardians evermore. By the end of 6 months, the doctors declared I will never get my memory back, but along with it I had built the best family for myself. I mean who gets a chance like that in life? I knew that the real people were somewhere gallivanting unaware that they'd been replaced and yes that hurt me a little, but I'm glad I didn't have to fake 'Oh I remember now!' dialogue and try for my whole life. Glad to know God can bend the rules and give us a second life... a clean slate.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dressed in Love

Lend me an unsinkable boat,
One that, in my tears, can float,
And while its sails remain unfurled,
Slowly lead me to my unseen world.

Find me those invisible spectacles,
Ones I can see reality with
Where the light of mortality dulls,
There, my kingdom awakens from a myth.

Some choose love like a puzzle piece,
Checking all their boxes to make sure he's
The one before they step into love,
But sometimes love doesn't teach us how.

Sometimes, this world vanishes,
And from it, him and me it banishes,
Because we'd never last together in it,
Because our lives can't be coaxed to a perfect fit.

And so we'd fled to that kingdom,
Drop an anchor to rock bottom,
Dress down in love while it lasts,
Wrinkle a wee bit to witness time run past.

You see, some don't step, they fall from the brim,
Some etch memories instead of bask
And some find no answer when people ask,
'What is it that you see in him?' 

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Enlightened Driver- 3

Sounds like blabber? Click to read the previous pages!

No matter how much the police guard insulted and ripped down his dignity, the driver stood still, like little kids at school waiting for the teachers to get tired of yelling. And so it did work here too; the guard with the help of his subordinates pulled apart the heavy barricades and let the bus pass through. Right after we joined the highway, the bus was submerged in awkward silence. I imagined that everyone was digging through their dictionary of bad words, without much luck. That's when a comic relief occurred.
               A few aisles back, a hefty man woke up from his sleep and sighed. He marched to the driver, took a deep breath and -- Out came a string of 11 dirty slang curse words in full tilt and pitch. I counted because I never saw this man do anything in our 12 hours of travel till now. After that ended, he marched right back, settled in his chair and went back to sleep. I glanced sideways at the driver. Yup, he still sat motionless; that wise expression of serenity spread across his face. Sleep tugged at my eyes and I left it to the driver to hopefully go in the right direction while I dozed off in the few hours before morning. 
When I did awake, I frantically pushed across the curtains at a 'Mooooo' sound.  Sure enough, I was greeted with the sight of chickens flocking around aimlessly, old grandmas hurling broomsticks at our bus, and my own window grazing the edge of a hut. 
"What are you doing!!" Is this the way?" I asked, surprised at the break in my morning voice. 
"A drunk guy pointed the way down this lane... I'm following his instructions" Now it was my turn to smack my forehead. 
"Great... do whatever you want" I muttered as I walked back feeling sick as ever. I should've reached a long time a ago, sitting in these seats made my knees hurt.. Then I switched over to watching the video outside without the audio and whiled away time.
                    Eventually we made it to Kumbakonam, one stop away from the destination where everyone got off the bus except me. The old man made sure all of us filled out a complaint and had us sign it as well. The driver obliged by giving us his name.Then, the old man handed it to me.
"Since you're the only one going all the way, please give this back to the Bangalore office. This body of mine can't fight against this idiot and his actions anymore.'' Saying so he cursed the driver a bit more and caught another bus. After everyone had gone, the cleaner boy looked at me with pity.
"Mam aren't you leaving?"
"I paid to get off at Mayavoram and that's the only place I will get down at! Do you get that?" I raised my voice and then started dishing out directions to the driver. 
             If I said right, he'd turn left, if  I asked him to check the sign boards, he'd do so after crossing the sign itself. I ignored it all and made a call to my brother beforehand to save the time he'd waste on finding the office again. Finally my stop came, but he went the same loop again and again trying to get the office. I got down gave him directions and watched as he did the direct opposite. Some things never change.... 
 When it was time to get back to Bangalore, I asked the guy at the desk a million times if I was going to get the same driver. 
"Hahaha no mam', he's not our permanent driver."
"But he said he drives to Palazni?" I defended without knowing why. 
"Well did you ask him from where he drove to Palazni?" Uh oh I thought as I shook my head. The guy laughed more. Seems like the joke was on us, for the poor driver used to pick people up, four stops from Palazni and drive them there. A straight road, then a simple U-turn and back again. The guy never knew a highway, or exits, and never really had the need to go more than 40km/hr because he never drove out of the village!!!! Ha! I thought. For all the screaming and yelling we showered on him, the driver was sure enlightened enough to take it all in and still do his best to get us to our destination! 

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Enlightened Driver-2

Missed the fun start? click here!

Well if you guessed he went straight, then you're spot on! But then again since the driver is enlightened as I would call him, he screeched the brakes 55 feet away from the fork. Then he reversed all the way back...on the highway...back to the fork and exited into Salem. Our story continues from here for today.
                      After entering Salem, the old man was determined to get off at the office, make a compliant and hopefully get the damn driver replaced. But all this was only if we got to the office right? The driver stopped the bus in the middle of the evening traffic and started asking,
"Hey! You! Do you know where the KPN office is?" The old man straight slapped his forehead and I watched the mocking pedestrians as they answered. At first they'd look at the bus and its name KPN blodly written across, and then at the driver and sigh. Yes, I was officially embarrassed too. It's not like we never made it to the office, the point is that it didn't help much.
"Please sir, I need to make it to a puja on time for which I've paid out of my nose. Please change the driver" pleaded the poor old man clutching his belongings to his chest. The rest of us seconded it loudly and listened.
"That and all can't be done! And don't anger the driver! Who know? Maybe he'll drive so fast and kill you!"
"If he does that much also i'll be happy! But this fool is good for nothing!" We tried but in vain and so we stomped back to the bus and sat there hoping for a miracle while the driver entered into towns and asked the same question about the office. What came next was worse...
                      He hadn't stopped for tea, for breaks, or for dinner so I clearly knew it when the bus was at stand still. Rubbing my eyes out, I parted the curtains to my left. A bridge specked with yellow lights merrily danced along slowly. Suddenly I blinked twice and sat upright. I turned to the right where the old man was finally getting some sleep like the rest of the passengers, the cleaner boy included. I got out of my seat and walked front; the rest of the vehicles were on that bridge...so what were we doing here?
'What did he do now?' I thought out aloud.
 There wasn't a soul behind us, and in front of us?  I pushed through the door that parted the cabins and a wave of noise washed into the sleeping bus.
"Are you mentally impaired? Didn't you think just for once why all the vehicles are on that bridge and not on this?" A police guard was yelling against a bunch of reflecting barricades, his hands trying to keep themselves from slapping our driver.
"Why do we put 'Closed' boards? So such intelligent people like you won't get onto this damaged bridge! You think you're so smart? Insane..."
                A crumbling bridge, five panicking passengers, half way left for destination, and one enlightened driver. What happens next?
Read more on the next post :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Enlightened Driver

Though this happened technically to my mother, I have decided its a story worth sharing; the reason why I'm writing it after months is that I stopped laughing about it just now!

Marriages in the family is like default presence or deal with the consequences, so I made it a point to get there somehow. I had to travel from Bangalore all the way down south to a village in Tamil Nadu called Mayavoram. The KPN bus reached the pick up point an hour and half late... but that's a tradition they follow. Our story starts after the bus left. 
              The screens were drawn and the glass doors cut off the traffic noise from out side. The five passengers in the bus stretched out and started waiting out the time.  Two hours passed and I peered out to realize we were still in a place that we should have crossed in half an hour from departure. An elderly man got up from behind me, marched upfront to the driver. At first they were whispering, and then the dialogues jolted me from my snooze mode. 
"Why can't you just press on the accelerator a bit more?"
"Sir, I'm going as fast as I can" the driver replied. 
"40km/hr is not fast! Just look out the window... trucks are overtaking us, cars are overtaking... even the freaking bikes are overtaking us!" I wished the old man couldn't have a heart attack.
"Sir I can't drive fast without being sure of the route" came the reply. It felt as though even my world would crash at that minute.
"What????? Are you kidding me? What do you mean you don't know the route?" The old man raised his voice as well his hands.
"He means he doesn't know where we're going" The cleaner boy entered into the conversation.
"Well do you at least know it?" the old man asked the cleaner boy.
"Nope" he said coolly. My eyes popped out. This was getting weird and seriously serious.
"Is this a joke? I paid to be driven by a driver who doesn't know the route? And you" he yelled at the cleaner boy.
"What kind of a cleaner are you? If you can't help or make this man go faster you might as well go and sleep!" Surprisingly enough that's just what he proceeded to do.
" Okay I'll tell you the route! And you better follow my instructions. Where have you driven before?"
"Sir to Palzani"
"Good. You have to cross Salem to go to Palzani. So first go there! And for God's sake accelerate!"
              With the poor old man cussing and yelling, the bus looked like it was finally making progress. But if he returned to his seat, the driver would dip back to 40km/hr and so I joined and  it went on for hours till there came a fork. One was the exit to Salem, the other was the highway towards Coimbatore. With both of us yelling to take the left, what do you think the enlightened driver did?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Pretentious Glory

She looked him up after years,
Knots were untied and new ones made,
Yet she couldn't see him through those tears,
As her unhealed scars refused to fade.

She shrugged and looked at herself next,
Saw her smile carved onto a face of rock,
Felt a lump in her throat, go down her neck
Shut the feelings and quickly cast a lock.

How long can a puppet pretend,
Growing fantasies all have an end,
Even if lies are made in paradise,
They still can climb out and rise.

And before the curtains close,
In a fickle moment of pretentious glory,
Why does the past come screeching in?
Come to ruin a perfectly sane scene?

The guilt seems written on my heart
My sides crack from its growing weight
As I breakdown part by part,
Time scrolls to the end the wait.

I don't want to see the obvious,
See what destruction I can bring
So what else can I do
Than end it before I see it, before my duties are due.