A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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No Fairy Tales, Please

… I’m a non believer. I couldn’t ever stand those saccharine love syrup stories of Cindrella, Beauty or even Sleeping Beauty. If you ask me, they deserved every bit of suffering they got. Really! Why is it that the people who seem to “suffer” by accident of birth, circumstance or exploitation are the ones held up for sympathy and denouement of their situation? Why about that Stepmother, or The Queen, or That Beast… Rumplestilskin, the Witch… they’d worked pretty hard for what they wanted, and we’ve only been told that this is what they wanted.

Yes, I’ve railed against many a “bad” character in the Fairy Tales, and enjoyed their comeuppance too, as a child, but as I grew, a bit older, and found that there could be stories for them being that way, I guess I became a turncoat, much to the irritation of my genteel fable loving friends.

You know there was this guy in class, who’d eye his juniors, the pretty ones (girls!) and devise ways to get an intro’ or corner them for a chat. My friends were out and out hostile towards him, poor guy! He was one of those on-the-verge-nerd+needed-to-get-a-life kinda guy. Obviously, there wasn’t much affection going around for him. Neither did the giggling juniors stay for enough time to be strung up for victory 😀

It became my mission in life, by then, that dratted turncoat I had become, to defend him.

So what, I’d tell my friends, he’s pretty Ok, and he’s not chasing you people!

Exasperated, they’d just give me murderous looks and walk away. I knew I was soon going to have to join him, for these friends weren’t going to stand for much more of this from me! I decided to find out what made him tick. Putting on my best face, sincerely, I caught up with him on the corridor, during lunch break. Predictably, he was lounging on the corner of the eighth grade classes. I wondered, instantly, when a teacher would notice him, and summon him for an inquisition.

Hi, I said, what’s up?

Nothing, he said, brightening up.

Your sister’s in eighth? (Deliberately, that one!)

He gave me a strange look, but his ears turned a bit pink. A cousin, he said.

Ah! I wondered, I’ve seen you here quite regularly, so I thought it must be a brother or sister. (I hoped he’d understand why I asked him only for sister 😀 )

You know, I think she’s absent today, he said suddenly, as he made to leave.

Quickly I laid a hand on his forearm, apologetically, and explained why I was there. Just to help. And wanting to get to the bottom of it. I was astounded at my own temerity. I mean you don’t really tell people you’re watching them watching others! Sigh. I really needed to control my own thoughts and words!

The shock on his face cannot be described. Yeah, he was shocked alright. You mean, you’ve been errr… observing me? His dumbfoundedness at the thought of himself being an object for survey had a tinge of pleasure I thought. Hmmmm, he went, speculatively.

I got the message. You see, I realize how this being a very patriarchal society (my English teacher goes on and on endlessly about it!), a guy being told this would certainly get interested in the one who asked him. Escpecially if that person was a girl. Me.

I stood my ground and said yeah, I have. So what? I’m only trying to help. D’you know people kind of say things about you?

What’s that to you, he was even more astonished.

Well, for one, what you’re trying to do must have a reason. I’m going to take up anthropology later, after school, and I’m starting my research now. Let’s put it that way, shall we? And boss, you’re creeping out a lot of people too! Why don’t you start making friends where there’d be people you could relate to?

He grinned. I wondered how many people actually would have spoken to him at all, him being who he was, and seen to be doing what others perceived him to be. Self awareness is a powerful too. (My English teacher again! She does make sense sometimes!)

I’m sure I’ve been someway responsible (I’m pretty high on self esteem – pun intended! Wouldn’t my teacher love to read that? ) because gradually, the stalker of Class eight became a good friend.

I stretched my arms above my head, my neck too, up and back, my legs out in front… joints creaking ominously from the time spent hunched over the table. Warm hands ran down and up my arms, reaching down then to cup my face, and drop a kiss, from the top, on my forehead. Done for today? One more chapter, I said. You know, I’m at the Class eight corner, just now.

Devil, he said, pulling me up. Let’s graduate from there, to your anthropology classes. Thank me for taking you up on your offer.

My proposal you mean. He rolled his eyes. You certainly are my Prince Charming, he said, quite clearly. Shall we now ride away into the sunset? Or the night? 

6 February, 2016, to 7 February, 2016

Day#6 of #RamblingsInFebruary – getting more nonsensical these days.

february ramblings

Serendipity, it would appear (and it is only now that I discover it, 😀 ) I wrote this (LINK) on 7 February last year. Day 7 there, and titled, wait for it… “Fairy Tale” Honest to goodness that is a revelation! 😀

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Quest, Interrupted

What if.
What if?

Which one do I mean, I wonder at all those crossroads I’ve been down, where, from the place I’m now at, I think of the roads I did not take. Happily enough. Or wonderingly. Well, I must be honest, and say this too, unhappily enough, sometimes. And while I’ve believed in the ‘Right here, Right Now’ song and dance, and counsel all and sundry, very generously too, I get that my faith falters, occasionally.

So I slip back into the quicksand that my past is, given the heady moments I can lose myself in, on slow and lonely days like today. Barely talking at all, memories triggered by a stray line in yet another romantic nonsensical story which is just about all I can digest. I know I’m losing it, letting go of the ties of today.

Fifteen years is a long time, and it’s suddenly just a week ago as well. Damn. Wallowing in the eighteen months we had together back then… so long, and yet so short. The day I was sent to clarify the entries in that register, to the day, a month on, when we, together, found them doctored; weathered the fall-out of the company almost going under; survived, despite all the efforts to put us down, away. The close proximity of those days brings the scent of nostalgia dangerously and tangibly a breath away. Double damn.

I’ve moved on, I told you, as you did too. Those were days of sheer giddy-headed madness; probably the perceived danger added to the already cliched fires simmering. Your quick smile, the way you tilted your head when you looked, pointedly at me, daring me… oh my! How young you looked! Not that I ever felt guilty. I still don’t. I know you had no regrets either.

But I do, today. I wanted to have taken that road, all those years ago, with you. All those years would have been all the better for being with you. How does that matter, you’d ask, perhaps. Holding a figment close to one’s heart, it definitely isn’t the same as the real thing, dear one. Duh. Your response.

I find myself smiling, when I should actually have lost all that. The email I am reading, right now, tells me so. You don’t smile, do you, when a friend from all those years ago, with whom you’ve desultorily kept in touch with, informs you

remember Aditi? You two were certainly close, weren’t you? And anyway you’ve already heard I guess. She was in that accident that was all over the news channels, that bus accident in Hyderabad

So. I’ll hold that duh as well, close, as I rattle about in this empty existence.

17 November, 2013

This is a repost of a story from back when 🙂 For the sake of Love. For a story that I somehow love too. For the fact that today is like this. The words are there, but the energy to share them is a bit low 🙂 Bear with me 🙂 

5 February, 2016, Day#5 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings


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Serendipity

Apparently this is one of the most difficult words in English to explain. So, what does it mean? How ’bout we try and figure it out? That is if you haven’t figured it out yet. Errrmmm… you go. I understand. You don’t have the time, and you’d rather be told, so that you can go on to that other bit of reading you had to do; (or watch that episode of the serendipitous Once Upon a Time, which, incidentally I’m watching, yes, FINALLY. S01E04 done. Yeah. I got a wayyy to go, and don’t you dare tell me the story, most of which I already know, being that die-hard romantic. Serendipity. I tell ya. I had to watch it, and now is the time 🙂 ) Sigh. There I go again. So, no spoonfeeding, hence we try to unravel it 😀 What better than a wee story?

It was Aashna’s comment on Day#2’s story (LINK) that made me want to use it. The gleeful way she jumped at me, tugged at me and implored, in askance, that she be given space. Serendipity. Not Aashna 😀 (One of these days, I’ll probably be begging her on her space 🙂 )

Therefore, a new fable.

Serendipity

It wasn’t the first time Mishika noticed that whenever she happened to go to the Library, he was there, either just before her, or maybe a little while after. But then there were others too, and she couldn’t be sure. Now you, dear reader, must probably wonder why Mishika should notice only him? Ha! Indeed. Something there is that warms your heart, does it not, when you think that?

But Mishika wasn’t the sort to moon. She noticed a lot of things. The way that burnished leaf hung for days on the badam tree, late January, and how a multitude of butterflies of different colours came by the gulmohar trees, sometime in February. The distant pigeon, seeming aimless in their sudden flight, circling, to yet again come back to their perch just between the roof and the netting of the Auditorium. There was a keenness in the way she even looked at you.

Others looked through you sometimes, but not her. I had always noticed that about her. She saw. She noticed. She did not simply hear, but listened. And, that, he noticed too. That charmer, the sportsy, artsy, n’er-do’well rakish mop of deliberately ruffled hair shouted in wild abandon at who he was, a devil-may-care cuteness in the bland practised wickedness of his “look”. A bad boy indeed, was the assessment, many a time from many a teacher, whose misfortune it was to engage him in serious study. He gave elaborately devious answers, laced with subtle sarcasm, that quite went above many a teacher’s head.

I watched, sometimes in sheer joy, as some of them got their comeuppance, them “teachers”. There are times, you know, when some of them do get on their high horse, and their *&@*#$@ in a twist, when what they say isn’t implicitly “obeyed”! For Chrissakes, these are kids, I want to tell them, not soldiers on the field! But who’s to listen, and who’s to fight for them? Duh.

You know what they say about how good girls love bad boys? Cliché, perhaps, but then there was something to it. Mishika, dreamer, listener, charming, piquant girl, came up to me, all of a sudden, one day to talk. I’m easy to talk too, you know. As much as I love to talk, and watch, I do love to listen to those stories. And believe you me, everyone who comes, of their own volition to talk to you has stories within stories, that have wheels within wheels. We’d been on easy terms, she and I, but never had any confidences sprung between us.

Is it okay if I talk to you? She asked one day.

Uh uh. Sure, come sit by me.

It’s something I feel only you can understand, that’s why I wanted to give it a try, She said.

Okay, I said. What’s bothering you? Or should I ask who?

Oh no no no no no… she laughed, and then held that grin, that suppressed a guffaw. I imagined her mocking my earnestness- my inquisitive tone 😀 It isn’t me. It’s him.

Oh. Who?

You know, our in-house wannabe rake. That RDJ look-alike. Raksh. God! He even has the same letter for his first name! I’m positive he’s going to change his name to Raksh Stark one of these days! Giggling, that.

What happened to him now? Got into trouble with the Math teacher? He’s always needling her!

Well, not exactly. You see, we had group work the previous period. We’re in the same group, you know that, and I didn’t get back to my place because he began to sell me the idea of reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Boy! That guy knows how to tell a story, I tell you!

Okay. But what’s the errr… problem?

Well, he got asked by the Math teacher to report in the Staff Room where he was asked what was going on between me and him.

And…?

He simply guffawed, I believe, and said nothing. That laugh was the problem!

And…?

And nothing. You know, something’s going to happen between us. He isn’t the only storyteller around. Beaming, she left, just as suddenly as she came.

I wanted to call her back and give her a thumbs up. I resisted. After all, I was that nerdy guy in the class, one without the extreme feelings. Or so everyone thought. I just wished she would some day say she wanted to be part of my story too.

I still wish. Why?

I believe in serendipity. There is a world of meaning there, most of it built on hope.

****

Day#4 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings

4 February, 2016

This is Chapter ONE

Chapter TWO (LINK)

Chapter THREE (LINK)

(Thank you Aashna 😀 )


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Just around the corner

… is also where you may find it most of the times 🙂 So let me guess what you’re probably wondering, given that this rambler has made a habit of taking the long way to getting to the point.

A friend? A heist? An opportunity? That house you spent an age hunting? That kirana you were told about where you might get narangamittai?? Alright, alright, I’ll let you into that direction where I’ll ultimately get to what I want to say, except that I might not, given how much I get off the track 😛 😆 And yes, I shall try and control the urge to spread smileys like they fell off an 18 wheeler, on the corner of my page. Pakka. See, I’m not grinning, though I so badly want to!

Back to the blog. And the roundabout route. Around the corner, most times, here on this blog, is where you find love. Love. Loads of it. Even in the angst there is that. And I’ve been thinking, as this has been the chosen theme (whether it stay chosen you’ll know by the 29th day! ) it’s bound to turn up sooner or later, again, and all over again 🙂

Yesterday, in Chapter One, (LINK) She peeked, and he was enveloped 🙂 Remember the physics of light, and how light can bend? What if they were at right angles on that metaphysical corner?

****

Chapter Two

She’d always known about him. Not known. But felt.  Unassuming, yes, but with a quiet ferocity of steel running through the line of his sight, as he engaged in various activities, in conversations, in debates, in jokes shared with mutual pleasure, in the circle of his many close friends. She was the extrovert, and always thought him to be the introvert, no matter what debate he got into. She’d never been able to catch his eye, ever. Except for brief, casual acknowledgements in general discussions.

It wasn’t that he was shifty-eyed. He just did not notice. Deliberate? She gave a mental shrug. It didn’t matter, but it rankled. Inadequacy wasn’t in her and he made her feel that way. Something not quite there. So she was determined to make him “see”.

No less than the Apsaras of yore, she set out, with that determination to warm the steel, and sneak a smile, in fun, out of him. The direct approach seemed best. So, one day, at the end of the English class, she walked up to him. He was turned the other way, laughing at some wisecrack his neighbour made.

Hi, Pratap, I was wondering if you’d be interested in the debate that’s coming up. Ma’am said we could form a group here, and…

Oh, hi, errr… Lekha, which debate would that be? His smile had sort of frozen. If she didn’t know better, she’d say he felt awkward. But she’d seen him and his easy camaraderie so this was surprising. Hmmmmm, she thought. Interesting. 

The one during the anti-corruption week. Ma’am said she’d wanted the class to be represented, in one of the teams, and everyone’s fed up of the corruption topic, so I can’t find anyone who’d join. You want to try? Sneaky, sneaky, nonchalantly, that one. She was dying for him to say yes.

Now Pratap was at the corner, wondering if he should turn. Lekha had caught his eye and fancy, quite earnestly for a while now, and in typical adolescent fashion, he did what the guys normally don’t do. Made this grand attempt at feigning disinterest. He did not reckon with a similar interest from the object of his own. (The rambler writes, Imma dyin’ to use a smileyyyyy!!!!!)

Oh. Okay. What’s the plan?

****

Finis 😀 Sometimes, all it takes is two short chapters, and the story is told 😛

Day#2 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂

february ramblings

2 February, 2016

Chapter ONE (LINK)


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Spring is in the Air

For wont of repeating a title already used here, Love is in the Air (LINK – dedicated to a young newly married best friends couple of the elder son 🙂

So, to Spring. The season, which begets new life, new breath, new ummnhhhnn… feelings, shall we say, and not use the “L” word yet? 😛

The Basant Rithu (बसंत ऋतु), Ponn Vasantham (പൊന്‍ വസന്തം), as we see it in or “know” it in India is the time when there is blossoming, and fragrances of sweet sweet emotion in the air. So why am I waxing lyrical about the season?

For one, I do that pretty well – ramble, sometimes lyrically, sometimes wax nonsensically too 😛 A second reason is the way the season sprang on me this morning – when I actually thought of breathing new life to this space, that has been rather badly neglected. Thanks to Shail’s invitation to join her in the “February – a month of ramblings” mission again, this year. The #FebruaryFlows, or the #RamblingsinFebruary (LINK) was the first ever challenge I managed to complete – so it is with the past success in mind and the hope that the words will visit, when I have time on my hands (and that I have time each day 😀 ) that this year too, I shall spruce up, and let Spring into this garden 🙂 🙂

february ramblings

Sigh. The thought of Spring, the knowing of February, and the L word pops up! How can it not! So, it is with Love: Khalil Gibran puts it so well, in “Song of the Rain”

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.

I’ll let the tears and memories wait for now. It’s the beginning of the Love Story here. Stories. These are going to be my ramblings this month I’ve decided for now. I hope I don’t change my mind, but if I do, I’ve already told you I might 😛 😛

Chapter one is a Haiku 🙂

She peeked through lashes

Eloquently silent; Love

Enveloped him!

Lets see if the Spring Season with spring a few surprises, spur me on with this story, nascent in thought, wispy tendrils of the narrative slowly forming, perhaps to blossom, for real 🙂

A toast, then to The Season. Spring. The Flowering of Feelings. Gently leading into Love. For Love!

Anniversary Wishes to a beautiful person, and her equally wonderful partner through Life. Nandini and Gopichettan, may the togetherness of your days find more meaning yet, as you voyage on to new adventures and happinesses 🙂 🙂

1 February, 2016

The sequel is here (LINK)

(Under 500 words! *pumps fist in air* 😛 )